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New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio seems to be shooting for a new world record for double standards. While imposing draconian crackdowns and snitch hotlines on residents who leave their homes, he’s been spotted traveling miles to his favorite gym (nobody else is allowed to go to the gym) and taking a walk with his wife in a park 11 miles from his home, which is near a park. This went over as well as you’d expect with New Yorkers

But even more disturbing than his “do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do” leadership is his double standard on respecting religious freedom. First, he threatened that any churches or synagogues that held services would be closed down “permanently” – not just until the lockdown ended, but “permanently.” It didn’t go unnoticed that he didn’t include mosques in that threat. Next, he announced that the city would provide 500,000 free halal meals to poor Muslims who couldn’t go to their mosques during Ramadan – fine in itself, but there was grumbling about the deference to Islam after the unconstitutional threat to churches and synogogues.

Now, despite DeBlasio’s Ramadan claim that "This is a place that truly believes in equality, something that is a profound New York City value," he’s once again threatening the city’s Jewish community, this time with arrest for violating “social distancing” rules by attending a funeral for a revered Rabbi in Brooklyn.

Critics are not defending the violation of social distancing, but they are alarmed at DeBlasio's language, at the way he repeatedly defaults to harsh criticism and threats of arrest and other strict government reprisals when he’s talking about Jews, but not other ethnic or religious groups.

DeBlasio was already under fire for appointing his wife to head a “coronavirus racial inequality task force.” If she’s looking for examples of discrimination in how the coronavirus is being handled, she could start by gazing across her own dinner table.

Where things stand

April 29, 2020

Tuesday, there was no White House briefing from the Coronavirus Task Force, but President Trump did hold a briefing on a wide range of topics. The full video is here.

He talked about the status of the virus response, but also the Paycheck Protection Program, states reopening, and the bill to protect meat packers to keep them from shutting down and causing food shortages…

He also mentioned the possibility of making airlines test passengers from nations that have heavy COVID-19 caseloads and his opposition to states using the crisis to get bailouts for their own bad policies unrelated to the virus, such as unsustainable public worker pension obligations. Trump suggested that he might be willing to talk to states but would expect reforms in return, like abolishing “sanctuary cities.”

On that subject, Sean Hannity on Fox News put together a montage of media outlets parroting the latest DNC talking point, which is accusing Trump of exploiting the crisis to promote his political agenda. I’m not sure how he’s doing that, unless you believe their narrative that holding daily briefings is tantamount to hosting campaign rallies (I've seen his rallies; reporters don't badger him with dumb questions there), or that nonsense about his name appearing on the printed stimulus checks, which reportedly wasn’t even his idea (it was done by the Treasury Secretary.)

But if you want to talk about exploiting the crisis to promote a political agenda, how about Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats holding up desperately-needed aid to unemployed Americans and struggling small business owners while they tried to insert their wish list into the bill? Or Pelosi’s boast that she’ll force “vote by mail” into any future relief bill? Or the issue Trump was talking about, of blue states trying to stick taxpayers with the cost of bailing out their longstanding mismanagement under the guise of coronavirus relief? Now, that’s exploiting a health crisis to promote a political agenda.

This is why it’s often said in Republican circles that if you want to know what the Democrats are really doing, just look at what they’re publicly accusing Republicans of doing.

After observing that the Michael Flynn case “took a turn” last Friday, I saw a new article from Margot Cleveland at THE FEDERALIST that says essentially the same thing. That puts me in extremely good company. (Well, she says it “imploded.”)

Cleveland goes into detail about the legal maneuvering that led to this point, with Brady evidence finally turned over that not only reveals the FBI’s intention to frame Flynn, but also strongly suggests coercion on the part of Mueller’s team to get that guilty plea out of him, by hook or by crook (emphasis on the "crook"). What gives this evidence more weight now is that it was uncovered by an outside attorney, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, Jeffrey Jensen, who was appointed by Attorney General Bill Barr to conduct a review of the Flynn case.

Under these circumstances, Cleveland says, it’s “unfathomable” that Judge Sullivan could continue to reject Flynn’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea. I would add that if he did reject that motion, it wouldn't be the first time a ruling of his in this case has been unfathomable. But surely this time, the conduct of the prosecution has been shown to be so outrageous that he’ll have no other choice.

RELATED READING:  FBI news: "Brady" evidence on Flynn finally coming out!

Over the past few years, we’ve been following the reports on Spygate and the “dossier” from John Solomon, formerly at THE HILL and now at his excellent new site JUST THE NEWS. As the story spun out over the weeks and months, our knowledge was necessarily piecemeal: one piece here, another piece there. But as I’ve said, at this point it’s obvious that the Russians weren’t "helping Trump win," as the phony narrative went, nor were they just “creating chaos,” as the secondary phony narrative went.  The “Russian disinformation” was 1) mostly from non-Russians and 2) designed to help Hillary win and, later, to take Trump out. The cast of characters involved in this activity is huge; in fact, that’s one reason why some would dismiss this reporting on Steele and the fictional “dossier” as wild conspiracy theory.

But it isn’t. Ironically, one easy way to see this as a unified, solid, evidence-based theory is to add yet another individual to this shady cast, with a name you perhaps haven’t even heard:

Adam Waldman.  Who?

 RELATED READING: It gets worse: Christopher Steele met with Hillary's lawyers 

As reported last week at the CONSERVATIVE TREEHOUSE, Waldman is an attorney with an eye-opening roster of clients. He seems connected to everyone. Not only does he represent the U.S. interests of Christopher Steele, but also a Russian oligarch who hired Steele named Oleg Deripaska, whose name is typically heard in connection with Paul Manafort.

Back in 2018, when the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley, requested that Waldman testify, he received a letter from Waldman’s own attorneys saying that Waldman was “out of the country and not expected to return for several weeks.” A photo discovered later online showed Waldman very much in the country the following night.

Why the interest in Waldman? As the author states, “In the early 2016 text messages and email conversations between DOJ official Bruce Ohr and Christopher Steele, the interests of Oleg Deripaska are a centerpiece of a quid pro quo where Deripaska obtains a travel visa and possible exemption from the Magnitsky Act [which froze financial assets of certain suspected Russian human rights abusers] in exchange for cooperation with the FBI effort against Donald Trump.” Text messages show that Waldman was the liaison, the “middle man,” the person providing plausible deniability for Steele, Deripaska, and also (yes, think about this) Democrat Sen. Mark Warner, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Waldman’s texts to Sen. Warner reveal a tie between Steele and a man named Daniel Jones (sorry, I guess that makes two new cast members to keep track of), who was a staffer for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Senate Intelligence Committee vice-chair. It was Jones who raised $50 million to continue the Fusion GPS investigation of Trump AFTER he had been elected President. The writer believes all or most of this money actually came through Deripaska with Waldman as go-between.

Waldman has yet another tie: he was representing Julian Assange.

No wonder Sen. Grassley wanted his testimony! But apparently the senator was lied to concerning Waldman’s whereabouts.

 RELATED READING: The Gov. replies to readers re: "Steele 'wiped' his documentation..."

John Solomon reported that Deripaska wanted to testify before Congress in 2017 (presumably to get his story out in the way most favorable to himself.) But he was represented by Waldman, who also represented Steele --- can you believe this? Text messages show that Sen. Warner was using Waldman to try to set up a secret meeting with Steele. And when the Republican-led House Intel Committee tried to set up a meeting with Steele, Waldman sent a text to...drum roll, please...Sen. Warner to check with him about it first.

As it turned out, Deripaska was blocked from testifying before Congress, not by the House Intel Committee, which understandably wanted to talk with him, but by the Senate, apparently by Sen. Warner.

Since Deripaska is Russian, the FBI and DOJ had been using his name to further their “Russia” narrative, but after Trump was elected, it was like, “Uh-oh, this guy knows too much about what we’ve been doing.” Deripaska was even in a position to blackmail people such as James Comey and Andrew McCabe who were part of the scheme to get Trump. But, hey, if they doubled-down on the “Russia” narrative, who was going to believe a Russian oligarch, who no doubt was just spouting more “Russian disinformation”?

There’s someone else who had to be kept away from congressional investigators: Julian Assange. Assange (remember, he’s also represented by Waldman) knows who really obtained the DNC emails. Recall that Assange has said it wasn’t Russia. If it wasn’t the Russians --- I believe Assange and don’t think it was --- the whole “Russia” narrative blows up in the Democrats’ faces. Sen. Mark Warner rides to the rescue again to keep Assange’s testimony, should he give it, under wraps, as you’ll see in the full article.

I know, I know, this really does sound like a political thriller, too big and sprawling to be true. (Nothing like this would be possible without a complicit media.) But it’s taken literally years to assemble all these pieces, and my staff and I have been following it all along. The texts and emails are all there. The associations are real. The motivations are clear.

After looking at this thing for a long time, we think the way it worked was probably along the lines of this post from Jennifer (don’t know her, but she obviously gets this) at CONSERVATIVE TREEHOUSE. If you read it without any background knowledge, it looks like some out-there conspiracy theory, but now that most of the dots have been connected (a few others can be surmised), it’s quite well grounded in reality.

Here’s Jennifer: “My guess is that Sidney Blumenthal and Cody Shearer made the whole thing up then passed it along to their buddy Steele, through Glenn Simpson, to give it polish. Nellie Ohr and Glenn Simpson added detail.

“Deripaska hired Adam Waldman in the first place because of his proximity to Hillary. His prize was going to be the ‘golden visa,’ so he could come and go to the U.S. at will. He was not passing in Russian disinformation; he was trying to be helpful to Hillary’s black-ops team. THEY ALL thought she was going to win. This dossier garbage and the FBI investigation were black ops meant to be reported in the press during the campaign to take Trump down…

“When this is said and done, ALL ROADS GO BACK TO HILLARY [emphasis mine], with Obama giving his blessings, and Soros giving millions to finance the entire cabal...”

Thanks to Jennifer for posting that; hope she's fine with us picking it up. (There was more, mostly concerning Bill Priestap, and it might be right, but we don’t post what we can’t confirm --- or at least have very good reason to suspect, such as the likely Soros connection.) All of this is absolutely consistent with my last two commentaries on Steele: “It gets worse: Christopher Steele met with Hillary’s lawyers” and “Steele ‘wiped’ his documentation, and not with a cloth.” As for Priestap, who as head of FBI Counterintelligence was Peter Strzok’s direct boss and Andrew McCabe’s #1 underling, he would have been the person to approve the payment or reimbursement of Steele and would have been aware of everything going on relative to the “dossier” and virtually every other underhanded thing they were doing.  Like Adam Waldman, he seems to have a knack for flying under the radar.

 

So, a new documentary on Michelle Obama has been in the works for months and apparently no one knew about it! How could it be? But it's true, and the video is available for streaming on Netflix starting May 1.

Okay, folks, read this --- especially her monologue at the end --- and tell me if you DON'T think she's being moved into place for the November election. This is getting so obvious now, I probably don't need to keep throwing up the red flags. But I will, anyway. Danger, danger, Will Robinson!

RELATED READING: Ainsworth: Michelle O update --- this appears to be happening

Story of the day

April 28, 2020

A big Huck’s Hero salute to New Jersey newspaper deliveryman Greg Daily. When an elderly customer asked if he could throw the paper closer to the garage, it made him think that if she couldn’t walk that 20 feet, how could she go out for groceries during the lockdown?

So he put a note inside every newspaper, offering his services to shop for and deliver groceries free of charge to his elderly customers. He’s now busy helping nearly 100 people, some of them not even on his paper route. One grateful 85-year-old widow called him “one of the finest people in the world.” Daily said the seniors appreciate the help so much, he’s decided to keep doing it even after the lockdown ends. He said, “There’s something about being able to do something really nice for people.”

There sure is! Our thanks to Greg Daily for reminding us all that “social distancing” doesn’t mean you can’t reach out to the people around you who really need your help.

And on that subject, here’s another story that could have gone a very different way, if it weren’t for the kindness and compassion of a grocery store owner in Ontario.

Here is video of President Trump’s full COVID-19 (Chinese) coronavirus task force press briefing from Monday…

Trump took a couple of days’ off from his briefings because he was fed up with dealing with hostile, accusatory and downright stupid questions from the media. But I’m glad to see the media didn’t let that time go to waste. New York Magazine’s Oliva Nuzzi obviously spent it working extra hard, trying to craft a question even stupider and more accusatory than last week's "injecting Lysol" idiocy:

"If an American President loses more Americans over the course of 6 weeks than died in the entirety of the Vietnam War, does he deserve to be re-elected?"

Trump kept his cool and gave a much better answer than the question deserved. David Marcus at the Federalist examined why it was such a ridiculous question, and how Trump might have answered it or how she might have expected him to answer it.

Personally, I might have pointed out that each year, approximately 1.25 million Americans die in car accidents, which means that over Obama’s eight-year term, 10 million Americans were slaughtered on the highways, and he did nothing to prevent it. I look forward to Ms Nuzzi’s article in New York Magazine calling for Obama to be brought up on war crimes charges because 10 million people died violently while he was in office.

Under cover of coronavirus, more big news is dropping that normally would be the top story. Thanks to the civil suit against Christopher Steele by the owners of Alfa Bank, we’re learning more about Steele’s role in creating and disseminating the “dossier.” And now --- better sit down --- we see that Steele met with --- I know you’ll never believe it --- lawyers for the DNC and the Clinton campaign.

That’s right, the same Christopher Steele who was meeting with the FBI and Fusion GPS and the media was also meeting with Clinton attorneys Michael Sussmann and Marc Elias of the law firm Perkins Coie. And Sussmann appears to be the source for the phony story about computer “pings” from the Alfa Bank tower providing a link between the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin. A week after he published a memo about that ludicrous story, he met with Marc Elias, who served as general counsel for the Clinton campaign.

RELATED READING: Steele "wiped" his documentation, and not with a cloth

These meetings were previously unreported. It’s all in court transcripts obtained by Chuck Ross at the DAILY CALLER NEWS FOUNDATION.

I think we know where the “Russian disinformation” really came from: Hillary’s campaign and people like Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS who were associated with her campaign. Russian disinformation my foot.

As Ross reports, to spread the Alfa Bank story, Sussman contacted James Baker, his former colleague who served as general counsel to the FBI. This was on September 19, 2016, the same day Steele provided the FBI with six memos that were part of the “dossier.” Right away, the Crossfire Hurricane team started drafting their FISA warrant against Carter Page, accusing him –- without evidence –- of being a Russian agent and a key link between Trump and the Kremlin.

Three days after this, Steele met with Elias. He also met with three journalists, one of whom was Michael Isikoff, who went on to write the story about Carter Page.

So here we have a conspiracy involving Clinton’s attorneys, including the general counsel for the Clinton campaign; the “oppo research” firm working for the Clinton campaign, whose researcher’s husband worked for the DOJ; the general counsel for the FBI; the head of the FBI; the FBI agents who surveilled the Trump campaign by faking a FISA warrant, and cooperative members of the media, all to do everything they could to make sure Hillary won and Trump lost. They all seem to have a connection to Steele. Of course, then-CIA Director John Brennan was shopping the “dossier” material around, too. Let’s see, have I left anyone out of this conspiracy?

I keep thinking I’m leaving someone out. Someone pretty big.