Democats forget their history

February 16, 2020

Nancy Pelosi, et al, are going into their shopworn “faux outrage” routine over President Trump’s criticism of the overly harsh sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone, calling it an “abuse of power” that has “deeply damaged the rule of law” and “must all be investigated” (seriously, Pelosi must mumble these clichés in her sleep by now.) But they conveniently forget that in at least two interviews, President Obama publicly signaled to his FBI and DOJ that Hillary Clinton shouldn’t be charged with gross negligence in handling classified documents, and Democrats raised nary a peep about it.

Bonus fact: Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe of the House Judiciary Committee reports that former FBI lawyer Lisa Page confirmed under oath that “the FBI was ordered by the Obama DOJ not to consider charging Hillary Clinton for gross negligence in the handling of classified information.”

I relate this knowing full well that the left will respond to it by dismissing it as “whataboutism.” That’s a term they recently coined that means “I have no response to disprove I’m being a big fat hypocrite, so I’ll just throw this made-up word at your argument and run.”

Finally, Tony Katz at WIBC in Indianapolis has some excellent comments on this, and how the shrill hysteria over Trump’s Roger Stone comments betray a desperation by the Democrats for something, anything, to keep their broken-down “investigate/impeach” wagon rolling.

The Oscars were just seven days ago, and already, the ceremony is fading from memory (quick, who won Best Supporting Actress? Anyone?) But there’s still a lot of finger-pointing over who’s to blame for the record low ratings, and for audiences tuning out awards shows in general. Sure, much of it is changing times: Internet competition, being able to watch highlights on YouTube, etc. But the trend was downward before those things happened, and after years of dismissing complaints about leftwing stars giving condescending political lectures, even liberal media outlets are finally waking up to the realization that it’s a bad business strategy to insult half your audience. (Exception to Renee Zellweger, who thanked US troops during her Best Actress acceptance speech.)

At the link, conservative showbiz writer Christian Toto asks, “Is liberal media finally fed up with woke Hollywood?”

Some liberal critics didn’t just pan the Oscar show but actually pointed out the hypocrisy of wealthy liberal celebrities in $10,000 outfits lecturing the rest of us on income inequality and quoting Karl Marx (“Workers of the world unite.”) I’m not certain if they’re upset about the hypocrisy or just about the celebrities being so obvious about it. But Toto asks if this was finally the year when the contrast between the stars’ ostentatious displays of privilege and their sanctimonious virtual signaling became so glaring that it was the last straw.

Bonus points: Toto includes Jane Fonda’s defensive tweet that she was “wearing Pomellato jewelry because it only uses responsible, ethically harvested gold and sustainable diamonds.” I always say that when a wealthy communist sympathizer is lecturing me on the evils of capitalism, it isn’t hypocritical as long as her gold is ethically harvested and her diamonds sustainable.

On that subject, Johnathan Jones at Western Media reveals what was in the gift bags that were given to the celebrity guests at the Oscars.

Each swag bag was worth over $225,000, and included such goodies as a 24-karat-gold bath bomb, a silk kimono robe equipped with a smartphone app, designer sunglasses, vegan meals from PETA, a gold-plated vaping pen, free plastic surgery and matchmaking services, and a luxury cruise to Australia that includes access to a helicopter and a submarine (don’t worry, Greta, I’m sure they all run on hydrogen, not fossil fuels.) Jones points out that since Joaquin Phoenix hates the dairy industry so much, he could have sold his swag bag and bought 40,000 gallons of almond milk to hand out to L.A.’s 58,000 homeless people.

To be fair, it is possible that some of that swag will end up going to poor, underpaid immigrants, if the stars decide to give it to their housekeeping staffs. And you can’t expect everyone to be generous enough to donate their entire salaries to charity. Only President Trump does that.

As we head into the weekend, the focus is once again on the Department of Justice, with multiple breaking news stories. First, in a dismaying development, they’ve decided after two years not to press charges against former deputy FBI Director Andrew “Andy’s office” McCabe for his “lack of candor” with FBI investigators concerning a media leak he approved.

McCabe was asked about this on CNN, where he now works as a paid contributor (surprise), and he lamented having to wait so long to find out he wouldn’t be charged. Former U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman commented on FOX NEWS Friday afternoon, saying to those who see “inconsistency” that we should “appreciate a Justice Department that takes its time to thoroughly investigate, makes the tough decisions. It illustrates that Barr is independent, that the Justice Department is looking at the merits. And...I’m okay with the Justice Department when they decide not to bring a case. And, let’s face it, we’re all hoping that we can de-politicize the Justice Department.”

Well, that’s putting a positive face on it. He seems to be saying that what we see as “inconsistency” is actually a good thing: a sign the DOJ acting objectively, without regard to politics. Okay, but, it still looks like yet another example of the two-tier justice system. Members of Team Trump are investigated to within an inch of their lives, convicted on process crimes and given long prison sentences, while members of Team Hillary skate away to big-money book deals and contracts as contributors for CNN and MSNBC. As that is incongruous with our view of the “new” DOJ as run by Bill Barr, I have to postulate that there’s something more to this that we don’t know. (There better be.) It’s a developing story, having just been announced, and we’ll learn more soon.

In the meantime, the media will run with the headline and paint McCabe as the straight arrow in this story, the intended victim of Trump’s retribution. Never mind that he really did oversee media leaks and mislead investigators and also that he was apparently in on the “insurance policy” scheme with Comey, Strzok and Page --- none of whom have been charged, either.

This news sparked a rant from Becket Adams at the WASHINGTON EXAMINER that I think you’ll appreciate.

Also, it was announced Friday that the DOJ is hiring an outside prosecutor to review former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s case. As you know, Flynn is now mounting a vigorous defense through powerhouse attorney Sidney Powell and is trying to change his “guilty” plea. Tolman commented on this story as well, saying, “The entire Flynn chapter screams of politics. And then you start to see what’s been uncovered during the investigation –- that there was doubt in the investigators’ minds as to whether or not he was actually lying...Then you have the 302 reports, and that there were some mistakes made in there. So I LIKE that he’s doing this. Look [the attorney general’s] been around, he is bright, he is strong, and he works hard, and I hope this starts to squash all the discussion that the attorney general is just going to do what is politically expedient. He is not.”

“It’s a good move to get to the bottom of what happened in that prosecution,” he concluded.

It does seem to be a positive move. A hard look at what was obviously done to railroad Mike Flynn is just what he needs now. Let’s hope that’s what he gets.

Justice Department taps outside prosecutor to review handling of Michael Flynn case

Interesting turn of events: Nevada’s powerful Culinary Workers’ Union announced that it will not endorse a candidate in the upcoming Democratic Primary. Joe Biden was counting on that endorsement. The union issued some boilerplate comments about how all the candidates are great, but it’s no secret that they don’t like Bernie Sanders’ idea of trading in their high quality, hard-won union worker health care benefits for “Medicare For All.”

Since this is from, it naturally doesn’t mention that some political analysts wonder if Trump’s success in bringing back blue collar jobs, creating a booming economy (which is the lifeblood of a tourism town like Las Vegas), and presiding over rising wages might be forcing union bosses who reflexively back Democrats to listen to their members, who like what Trump is doing and don’t want to go back to the Democrats’ stagnation and war on free enterprise.

Cuomo meets with Trump

February 15, 2020

After a few days of public name-calling, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo actually met with President Trump on Thursday to talk about the Administration’s decision to remove New Yorkers from Global Entry and several other Trusted Traveler Programs that let people avoid long lines when returning from abroad.

Cuomo has been railing that it was political retribution and trying to paint it as a personal attack by Trump on New York with nefarious racist intentions. In fact, it was done because the databases to insure travelers are allowed in the US legally and don’t have criminal records are based on state drivers’ license records – and New York recently started giving licenses to undocumented immigrants and blocking the feds from seeing their state motor vehicle database with the necessary background information.

In short, the state expects federal agencies entrusted with guarding national security to have as little regard for who someone is and whether they’re in America legally or not as New York liberal Democrats do.

Not unexpectedly, there were no breakthroughs in the meeting, although Cuomo signaled a willingness to compromise a little by restoring federal access to driving records “on a limited basis.” Which is useless, not just because it’s limited but because having a New York drivers’ licenses will still be no guarantee that someone has the legal right to be in America at all. And he’s still vowing that “If they think they're going to extort New York into giving them a database of undocumented people, they're wrong. I will never do that."

It’s a welcome development to see Cuomo at least putting aside the overheated rhetoric for an hour and having a White House meeting with Trump “as if he’s the President.” But if he expects Trump to compromise on national security, I think he’s barking up the wrong tree. Gov. Cuomo needs to realize that as chief executive of his state, it’s his sworn duty to faithfully execute the laws, not to aid and abet people who violate them. His government’s indulgence for lawbreakers is already causing a spike in crime in New York, and President Trump is absolutely correct to hold firm in refusing to allow the contagion to spread to the federal level.

It's too bad all New Yorkers have to pay for the stubbornness and bad policies of their politicians. But if you elect people who refuse to take their jobs seriously and respect federal law, then go stand in the back of the line.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a Cook County, Illinois, grand jury has just indicted actor Jussie Smollett on charges related to filing a false police report about a staged hate crime. And yes, it’s the same staged hate crime, not a new one. The one where he claimed that two white racists in MAGA caps who just happened to be carrying rope in subzero Chicago temperatures at 2 a.m. recognized him and launched a homophobic attack. Police later determined the “attackers” were two Nigerian brothers associated with Smollett. They believe the motive was to attain publicity and sympathy that would get him a raise from his TV series “Empire,” at the expense of tarring Trump voters as racist thugs and risking possible violent retribution and racial animosity.

Smollett’s attorneys called the indictment “political” and an affront to justice, but many Americans thought the real affront to justice was when the Cook County prosecutor simply dropped the 16 charges against Smollett, claiming that was standard procedure for a first time offender. The case was assigned to special prosecutor Dan Webb, a former federal prosecutor, who conducted a six month investigation. He said, “The grand jury’s investigation revealed that Jussie Smollett planned and participated in a staged hate crime attack, and thereafter made numerous false statements to Chicago Police Department officers on multiple occasions, reporting a heinous hate crime that he, in fact, knew had not occurred.” Webb also said the county prosecutors were unable to provide any evidence that the previous dismissal was in line with similar cases.

In their defense, I would hope it would be impossible to point to any cases similar to the Jussie Smollett case.

What if Adam Schiff held a publicity-grubbing media event and nobody came? I know, that’s too much to hope for. But at least Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee that he allegedly chairs have had enough of Schiff’s partisan antics and dereliction of his real duties, and they are refusing to go along with it any more.

Wednesday, Schiff scheduled a hearing on new technologies and national security that was largely a PR event, and all the Republicans on the Committee boycotted it. In a letter to Schiff on behalf of his Republican colleagues, ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes accused Schiff of refusing to address the real responsibility of the Intelligence Committee: overseeing federal intelligence agencies. Nunes noted that months have gone by with hardly any hearings or briefings on oversight (but plenty of time for kangaroo court “impeachment” drama.) He pointed out that IG Horowitz’s report detailed 17 examples of shocking failings, including falsifying FISA court warrant applications to spy on American citizens. Yet Schiff’s committee has done nothing, other than hoping to bury it until the public forgets about it.

Well, I’m not going to forget about it, nor will many other conservatives in the media. We will continue beating on that drum until we finally see some real justice served and the people who blatantly abused their power held to account. I’m perfectly willing to keep writing about it for the next nine months until the November elections. At that time, let us hope, voters will insure that the Intelligence Committee is taken away from the self-aggrandizing partisan liar Schiff and put back under the chairmanship of Nunes, who has been right in sounding the alarm about intelligence agency political corruption from the very beginning.