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“I’m gonna try to make sure that the public knows that ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ was not designed to help protect the Trump campaign, as it should have been. It was designed to destroy it.”

So said Lindsay Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Sean Hannity’s Monday night show. “It reeked of political bias,” he added.

“[As for] the four front-line Mueller prosecutors who are asking for a seven-to-nine-year sentence [on Roger Stone] that was totally unjustified, there was no threat to a witness that would justify increasing the three-and-a-half to four-and-a-half-year recommendation from the guidelines. So the four prosecutors were the ones who were overzealous, and [Attorney General] Bill Barr rightly corrected that.” He said Barr stepped in and stopped what he thought was “unjust sentence enhancement.” (So that’s what it’s called!)

Graham noted that Barr also has a separate outside person looking at Trump’s original national security adviser Michael Flynn, who “was abused here.” (We’ve followed his case from the start and agree wholeheartedly.) Graham hopes the judge will void Flynn’s guilty plea. But now Andrew Weissmann, former lead investigator on the Mueller special counsel team, is muddying the waters, reportedly claiming that the Flynn review being undertaken by Barr is really a cover to look into Comey, McCabe and Strzok as well. Of course, this was blown up into a big negative story on MSNBC, but if it’s true it’s fine with me –- the review SHOULD cover them. These people are all part of Flynn’s story.

“I want to find out how far up the chain it went,” Graham said. “I want to make sure that no FISA warrant is ever issued again like it was against Carter Page. That system will have more checks and balances.” He considers “Crossfire Hurricane” to have been a danger to democracy and said Weissmann needs to explain why it took two years to complete the Mueller investigation when “he should have figured it out in the first week. There was nothing there.”

“To the people who want Barr to resign,” he said, “we know your agenda. You’re not trying to uphold the rule of law. You’re trying to take a good man down because you hate Trump.”

Precisely. Sen. Graham has started the probe he promised into the “Russia” investigation, requesting interviews with pertinent DOJ and FBI officials. He says he trusts Barr “as much as anybody I’ve ever met” to get to the bottom of what was done, and he doesn’t want to interfere with the process. And Graham knows enough about “Crossfire Hurricane” to want to make sure nothing like it ever occurs again.

The outside attorney Barr has named to look into the Flynn case is Jeffrey Jensen, the top federal prosecutor in St. Louis --- ah, good to get out of the DC swamp --- and he’ll be working alongside the lead prosecutor in the case, Brandon Van Grack. According to an official at the Justice Department, Jensen has been brought in “to get a complete and thorough understanding of the facts and the record in a complicated case.” It was just one month ago that Flynn, through his powerhouse attorney Sidney Powell, told the judge he wanted to withdraw his guilty plea, and if anyone had good reason to do that, it’s Flynn.

But now, the ruthless Weissmann, who is almost certainly the real author of the “Mueller” report, is using his current position of (surprise) NBC legal analyst to defend the FBI and raise concerns about the appointment of Jensen as a “ploy” by Barr. This appears to be part of a concerted effort to discredit Jensen –- and continue the push to get rid of Barr –- before they get too close to proving what actually happened with Flynn and others who were spied on.

Weissmann noted that the judge in the Flynn case rejected claims that Flynn was set up by the FBI after seeing the facts in the underlying investigation. Judging from what we know about the underlying investigation, which certainly does seem set up, I think there must be much more to it than that.

https://pjmedia.com/trending/top-mueller-prosecutor-says-doj-starting-new-investigation-into-comey-mccabe-and-strzok/

As for Andrew McCabe, being part of The Swamp, he’s been notified through his attorney that he won’t face charges on the leaking and related lying we all know he did. Former acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker told Tucker Carlson on Monday night that the IG’s report “lays out the factual basis” for a case against McCabe; in fact, the IG even referred him for criminal prosecution to the U.S. attorney in Washington, DC.

But that was then and this is now. Roger Stone and Andrew McCabe represent the two tiers of the justice system. While McCabe avoided prosecution for clear violations, Barr had to step in (before the President tweeted, I should add) and modify the DOJ’s ungodly recommended sentence for Stone.

Knowing how hard it is to bring cases and charge people with crimes, Whitaker trusts Barr and knows “that these difficult decisions are being well considered and being made for the right reasons.” Still, while he doesn’t want to second-guess Barr, he finds it difficult to understand why McCabe hasn’t been charged.

And he hears the same thing from Americans wherever he goes. It just doesn’t make sense. It’s getting hard for Americans to have confidence in the system, which I would add is a side benefit for “progressives” who want to tear that down along with Trump and those who support him.

Speaking of Trump supporters, Alan Dershowitz isn’t exactly one of those, but he’s objective enough and loves the Constitution enough that he can see the horrendous damage being done by “his” side, the Democrats. He gives Trump credit for being out-in-the-open about any contact he makes with the Justice Department. And, in a move that will absolutely get him banned from the guest list for every high-tone cocktail party on the Upper West Side, he gets to the subject of Obama, contrasting him negatively with Trump. (Oh, my.)  To paraphrase: “Trump tweets about the DOJ; Obama whispers about it.”

And now, Dershowitz claims that he’s in possession of documents that will show President Obama asked the FBI to investigate an unnamed person on behalf of --- yikes --- George Soros. He’s planning to disclose it down the road as part of a lawsuit. The material is “about how President Obama personally asked the FBI to investigate somebody on behalf of George Soros, who was a close ally of his.”

I’m reminded that Barr has reportedly set up a process for vetting information from Rudy Giuliani; perhaps he’s doing the same for Alan Dershowitz. Neither of them get invited to those cocktail parties, anyway –- not anymore –- but something tells me they don’t much care.

https://pjmedia.com/trending/obama-personally-asked-the-fbi-to-investigate-someone-on-behalf-of-george-soros-says-alan-dershowitz/

 

President's Day

February 17, 2020

Happy Presidents’ Day! This is a day when Americans celebrate all Presidents, but in a larger sense, we celebrate the system by which we pick our national leader. The Founders devised a brilliant system that gave a say to all the individual states, with their vastly different cultures and interests. We also celebrate our unprecedented history of respecting the vote of the people and the peaceful transfer of power. It’s too bad that many people now are so eager to trash the Electoral system, disrespect the voters’ choice and resist the peaceful transfer of power in the name of preserving their own political power. But they can at least pretend to respect those traditions for one day, then go back to observing “NOT My President Day” the other 364 days of the year (or 365 in leap years like this.)

I wrote an essay about Presidents’ Day in 2018, and I think it bears repeating, since nothing really has changed since it first appeared…

Monday was Presidents Day, and this year brought sobering new evidence that not only are Americans sadly ignorant of US history, but our historians aren’t exactly setting the woods on fire in that department, either.

A number of polls were released, asking the public to rank the greatest Presidents of all time. Overall, the highest vote-getters were John Kennedy, Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan. JFK had some major accomplishments, like the space program, but his term was tragically cut short after less than three years. Obama’s #1 ranking is similar to those Internet lists of the “all-time greatest movies” that include nothing made before 1995 (“Wow, ‘The Last Jedi’ is #1!”) They’re more a testament to the youthful ignorance of the rankers than the quality of the films. And while I take a back seat to nobody in my admiration for Reagan’s accomplishments, even he would likely protest that Washington and Lincoln should have been on top.

I don’t think most people these days appreciate the unprecedented service Washington performed by refusing to rule as a king and voluntarily stepping down from power to rejoin the people. Without his example, the presidency might not even be recognizable today. Well, at least George and Abe made the top 10 in most polls, but I suspect it’s less because of their historical significance than the fact that young people know them from the money. We’re lucky they didn’t name Alexander Hamilton as the best President, because he’s on the $10 bill and he starred in that rap musical.

But it’s easy to pick on the choices of the general public, who will naturally name things that are most recent and fresh in their minds. But what excuses do alleged experts have for their biased and uninformed choices? For instance, the 2018 Presidents & Executive Politics Presidential Greatness Survey is based on responses from current and recent members of the Presidents & Executive Politics Section of the American Political Science Association. They ranked Lincoln #1 and Washington #2. Their top 10 also includes Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and FDR. But LBJ at #10? (I get it: they love big government). Reagan only made it to #9, and at #8: Barack Obama (it goes without saying that they ranked Trump dead last, despite him presiding over the destruction of ISIS, a tax cut that’s firing up the economy and the rollback of executive overreach, all in his first year -- yet he’s ranked lower than William Henry Harrison, who died of pneumonia 31 days after being sworn in. He must’ve had one heck of a month.)

I think all you need to know about the “expertise” (or the bias) of these particular Presidential experts is that their top 10 includes Obama but not, say, James K. Polk. Polk oversaw the winning of the Mexican-American War; the reestablishing of the independent Treasury system; the annexation of Texas; the Oregon Treaty that set the border with Canada and won more of Oregon from the British than anyone expected; and the Mexican Cession, which added territory that included the current states of California, Nevada and Utah, most of Arizona, half of New Mexico, and some pretty sizable chunks of Colorado and Wyoming. He even tried to buy Cuba, which would have prevented a lot of grief down the road, but Spain wouldn’t sell. And Polk did all that and more in just four years because he kept his promise to serve only one term. For that alone, he deserves to be in the top 10 (They rank Polk at #20, seven places below Bill Clinton).

In comparison, Obama’s eight years gave us…Obamacare? A record stretch of low GDP growth? The spread of ISIS? Michelle’s school lunch program?

I can’t help wondering how many of these alleged “presidential history experts” who lionize Obama live in states that wouldn’t even be part of America if it weren’t for James K. Polk.

Parsing Mike Bloomberg

February 17, 2020

If you thought that Mike Bloomberg’s old comments about minorities and crime were bad news for his presidential campaign, then these resurfaced comments could explain why he opted to skip the Iowa Caucuses.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/bloomberg-implied-farming-is-easy-in-2016-comments

Speaking at Oxford University’s business school in 2016, Bloomberg described the job of farming like this: “I could teach anybody, even people in this room, no offense intended, to be a farmer. It's a process. You dig a hole, you put a seed in, you put dirt on top, add water, up comes the corn.” In contrast, he said today’s information era jobs require people to learn “how to think and analyze, and that is a whole degree level different. You have to have a different skill set, you have to have a lot more gray matter.”

(FYI: his comment about the low mental difficulty of factory workers’ jobs was hardly any less dismissive.)

Naturally, this is not going over too well with the agricultural community, who, surprisingly, know how to access information on the Internet and how to read. As one commenter put it, you couldn’t ask for a better example of a clueless New York bubble dweller quote – short of saying that ranching is easy because meat comes on little Styrofoam trays so you just have to put plastic wrap over it. I could just as well reply that it’s easy to learn to code because all you have to do is “learn to code.”

There’s an entire literature of jokes built on farmers outsmarting arrogant city slickers, and those stretch back to long before farmers were using advanced technology to plan and time crop rotations, calculate yields, track weather patterns and run giant, Internet-connected farming equipment like this:

https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/358512

I’ve said before that running for President these days is like undergoing a particularly thorough colonoscopy without anesthetic. Bloomberg’s billions can’t insulate him from having all his past statements dug up and parsed. And apparently, there are a lot more to come. His own employees even compiled a book of them, which shows that minorities and farmers aren’t the only people he doesn’t have much respect for (warning: some rough language at the link):

https://lidblog.com/the-portable-bloomberg/

And his reported comments to female employees, particularly about pregnant employees, aren’t likely to endear him to women voters.

https://www.westernjournal.com/bloomberg-camp-rocked-complaint-lists-mikes-shockingly-racist-sexist-remarks/

Maybe Bloomberg mistakenly thought running for President is easy: you just buy billions of dollars’ worth of ads and order your reporters not to say anything bad about you, only about the other guy. If so, he should’ve had more gray matter than to think that.

A final Huck’s Hero salute to a true American hero: Saturday in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Donald Stratton passed away in his sleep at age 97. The Navy veteran was one of the last survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack on the USS Arizona. 1,177 of his shipmates were killed when Japanese planes bombed the USS Arizona. But he and at least five other sailors survived when another sailor threw them a lifeline from a nearby ship. They struggled hand-over-hand for about 70 feet, with the other sailor calling, “Come on, sailor! You can make it!”

For decades, Stratton never knew the identity of his rescuer. But during a reunion of Pearl Harbor survivors in 2001, he learned it was Chief Petty Officer Joe George, who had died in 1996. Stratton and fellow USS Arizona survivor Lauren Bruner then took on another urgent battle: to get official recognition of George’s heroism. They even traveled to Washington to meet with President Trump. Thanks to their efforts, in 2017, the Navy finally awarded George a posthumous Bronze Star with valor.

There’s more at the link, including photos and video I know you’ll want to see. Rest in peace, George Stratton. A grateful nation thanks you for your duty and sacrifice. And our prayers and condolences to his family and his wife of nearly 70 years, Velma Stratton.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/donald-stratton-pearl-harbor-uss-arizona-died

Last week, three female high school runners filed a federal lawsuit to overturn Connecticut’s policy of allowing biological males who “identify” as girls to compete in girls’ school sports. As the story notes, “since 2017, two males have been allowed to compete in girls’ high-school track events in Connecticut. They have collectively taken 15 women’s state championship titles, all of which were previously held by females. ADF reported that these males have taken 85 advancement opportunities from female athletes in the last three seasons.”

https://www.westernjournal.com/female-athletes-file-federal-lawsuit-transgenders-repeatedly-shatter-hs-sports-records/

It’s ironic that the “social justice” crowd demand an “equal playing field” while they are literally denying that right to female athletes and turning Title IX protections for girls on their head.

In a very related story, two extremely brave university biologists have written a lengthy piece for the Wall Street Journal urging biologists and medical professionals to stop knuckling under to political correctness and stand up for the empirical fact that there are two sexes, male and female, that sex is binary (truly intersex people are extremely rare and “are neither a third sex nor proof that sex is a 'spectrum' or a 'social construct'"), and there is no such thing as a sex “spectrum.”

The biologists write that the notion that people can choose "to identify as male or female," regardless of their anatomy, is irrational and has "no basis in reality…It is false at every conceivable scale of resolution." They argue that the time for politely pretending it’s true has passed because this is harming women, gay people and children, declaring, “When authoritative scientific institutions ignore or deny empirical fact in the name of social accommodation, it is an egregious betrayal to the scientific community they represent. It undermines public trust in science, and it is dangerously harmful to those most vulnerable."

The full article is behind the WSJ’s paywall, but here’s a link to a story about it on PJ Media with another link to more included in it. This may be the latest indication that Americans are finally fed up and starting to fight back against the PC/group think/mass delusion/cancel culture mob. I think we owe President Trump a lot of the credit for showing people that you can speak your mind, stand up to all the phony outrage, fight back and win.

https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/science-says-there-are-only-two-genders-no-gender-spectrum/

There’s an old saying that in our justice system, “you can indict a ham sandwich.” But after the recent decision at the Department of Justice not to prosecute former deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe for lying, we’re seeing that for this saying to be true, there has to be one caveat: “...UNLESS the ham sandwich is part of the anti-Trump swamp.” In that case, the sandwich will remain unindicted and will walk free, to be picked up by CNN or MSNBC, where it will be hired as a paid contributor.

The decision not to indict didn’t come from Attorney General Bill Barr. The U.S. Attorney for Washington, DC, sent a letter to McCabe’s lawyer saying he wouldn’t face prosecution over the leaks and related lies. Clearly, McCabe did lie about his role in the leak to reporter Devlin Barrett, then at the WALL STREET JOURNAL, and lied some more to try to cover himself. IG Michael Horowitz’s report was blistering in its account of McCabe’s repeated lying. Legal expert Andrew McCarthy has a new piece in NATIONAL REVIEW, “Why Wasn’t Andrew McCabe Charged?” (link below) laying out the lies he told about a leak he authorized concerning the existence of an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation –- a bogus investigation, I would add, but that’s another issue –- and explaining what factors might have been involved in the decision, finally, not to charge McCabe. Compare this decision with the full-speed-ahead indictments against George Papadopoulos and Michael Flynn, and it’s easy to see the two-tier justice system at work.

The tweet sent by Lisa Page on the announcement that McCabe wouldn’t be charged says it all. 

https://twitter.com/NatSecLisa/status/1228426073131692037?s=20

There she is, smiling broadly in a sunny restaurant window, raising her glass of sparkling red wine in a toast to her colleague, Andy. She’s wearing a t-shirt that says “I am done being quiet.” The caption: “Cheers, Andy.” The irony is huge, as McCarthy says she is key to McCabe’s defense, having reportedly told the grand jury that since McCabe had the authority to approve media “disclosures” (leaks), he had no reason to lie about authorizing this one. McCarthy finds this assertion laughable, as McCabe was “serially misleading investigators” (repeatedly lying to investigators) so plainly that he had to have had a reason. Also, the IG found that he had orchestrated this leak for purposes of “self-promotion,” not the public interest, and that he had done this by making his superiors at the DOJ look bad. (Well, there’s something he could be, and was, fired for!)

It’s interesting that Page is so supportive of her colleague, as McCabe’s lies originally cast suspicion on her as the source of the leak. Chuck Ross at the DAILY CALLER has a good overview...

https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/02/why-wasnt-andrew-mccabe-charged/

Page’s grand jury testimony made prosecution of McCabe more difficult, at least in McCarthy’s analysis. “It’s tough to win a case when your witnesses are spinning for the defendant,” he says. I’d say this is especially problematic when your case is in Washington, DC, with a grand jury almost certainly infected with Trump-hate. How is it possible to win a conviction when you can’t even get an indictment from people who are automatically biased in favor of the accused?

Do you remember why McCabe lied in the first place? There was an internal conflict at the Bureau about the (purported) Clinton Foundation probe, stemming from the Obama DOJ pressuring the FBI to just drop it –- obviously part of their comprehensive efforts to rig the election for Hillary. About two weeks before the election, McCabe was the subject of a critical article by then-WSJ reporter Barrett that questioned –- with good reason, I’d add –- his fitness to lead an investigation into Hillary Clinton, as his wife had received a mind-bogglingly huge campaign contribution in her unsuccessful race for state senator from Clinton crony and then-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. McCabe got ticked off about the article and responded by authorizing a leak to Barrett, apparently crafted to paint himself as independent, not under the thumb of his superiors. The DOJ, in turn, were aghast about any investigation into the Clinton Foundation being discussed publicly two weeks before Hillary’s intended coronation---I mean election.

Here’s a great “refresher” on the details from McCarthy, written at the time Horowitz referred McCabe for possible criminal prosecution.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/04/andrew-mccabe-collusion-obama-justice-department-clinton-campaign/

And here’s the new piece, detailing McCabe’s sequence of lies as he kept deepening the hole he’d dug for himself. At the same time, it tempers the certainty of McCabe’s deception with the challenges of prosecuting him before an anti-Trump DC jury. His attorneys would surely argue he was being prosecuted for being at odds with a President they (the jurors) can’t stand. They’d identify with McCabe and feel bad for him. That’s one reason why we have such a blatant two-tier justice system in Washington, DC.

Why Wasn’t Andrew McCabe Charged? | National Review

Trump shines at Daytona

February 17, 2020

Over the weekend, President Trump paid a visit to the Daytona 500 that reminded NASCAR fans of why he was known as one of our greatest showmen before he even entered politics. It started with a thrilling buzz of the event in Air Force One...

https://youtu.be/t9borCIRsBw

Then the First Lady joined him for some patriotic comments…

https://youtu.be/B6_H6NjiIMk

And he even took a lap of the track in the armored Presidential limo, “The Beast.” It had the crowd cheering and race commentators declaring it “awesome!”

https://www.news-journalonline.com/news/20200216/trump-pumps-daytona-500-crowd-with-speech-starting-lap

But of course, the liberal media outlets were not impressed. They were (and stop me if you’ve heard this before) “outraged!” How DARE Trump use government resources like Air Force One and the Presidential limo to attend an event that might burnish his election chances, they stewed…conveniently ignoring all the times they cheered Obama’s coolness for doing things like throwing out the first ball at the World Series, using the limo for an interview with Jerry Seinfeld, and flying to L.A. so many times to vacuum money out of the pockets of leftwing celebrities that Angelinos coined the term “Obama-jam” to describe the traffic tie-ups from all the street closures caused by his frequent fundraiser visits.

This was the type of all-American event that Presidents often take part in, but when Trump does it, it’s an unprecedented scandal, and possibly an impeachable offense (they should ask Alan Dershowitz about that.) I wonder if these whiners realize that they’re coming off like the sad goth kids in high school, pouting at their table in the back of the cafeteria and making snarky comments about the cool kids – not realizing that everyone knows they’re jealous and secretly wish they could be that popular.

I’m not sure a lot of Americans pay much attention to the chatter-heads on liberal media who hate President Trump so much that they’ve become irrational and hysterical.

When the President dismissed Lt. Col. Vindman and his twin brother from their positions in the White House National Security Council office, you would have thought that the President personally went to their desks, grabbed them by the collar, and boot-kicked them out in 3 feet of snow on the White House Lawn. It was said to be vindictive, outrageous, unprecedented, unpatriotic, and that was just for starters.

Lt. Col VIndman deserves our respect for his decorated military service. What he does not deserve is to be treated like a martyr yanked from duty because he was just doing too great a job. And both he and his brother didn’t lose their paychecks. They went right back to the Pentagon and never missed one day of pay or benefits. What they lost were their positions at the White House on the staff of the National Security Council. My reaction was not to think it so very cruel, but to wonder why it didn’t happen sooner and why aren’t there more being ushered out the door.

Vindmam was a hold-over from the Obama administration. In sworn testimony before Congress several months ago, his direct supervisor complained of Vindman failing to follow the proper chain of command and seeming to think that the President ought to be taking more policy advice from him.

There are 2 kinds of government employees—there are civil service employees who supposedly are politically neutral and who have jobs from which they can almost never get fired—even when they should be. To fire one of them requires “cause.” And that cause has to be something criminal, aggresiously unethical, or grossly insubordinate. And it’s still VERY hard to get rid of them. Then there are those employees who have jobs defined as “serving at the pleasure of the President.” That’s a broad definition but it means these are political appointees and can be terminated without cause. It’s literally at the “pleasure of the President.” And if he has no pleasure with such a person, they can be frog-marched off the grounds because of what they ordered at Waffle House. No reason has to be given.

When I was governor, I oversaw over 70,000 employees. Most were civil service. It was easier to get Adam Schiff to decline a TV interview than fire one. But there were hundreds of employees that were deemed “at will, “ or who “served at the pleasure of the Governor.” I could fire them at any time for any reason. I fired quite a few, but not nearly enough.

Presidents (and Governors and Mayor for that matter) routinely replace political appointees from a previous administration and no one from the press makes a peep. On his first day in office, President Obama fired every single US attorney and every Ambassador President Bush appointed. Bush got rid of Clinton’s people. Not a scandal. Elections have consequences, and if you win, you get to put your own team on the field. Stop the crocodile tears about Vindman or anyone else who got sacked. If President Trump has made a mistake, it was not cleaning house on day one. He should not be expected to keep people around him who leak to the press, whine about the decisions of the Commander in Chief, or get upset when the person who went through the rigors of a campaign and got elected expect the people getting a paycheck from him to either show some loyalty or get the heck out. If there is one skill Donald Trump brought to the White House, it was one he got really known for on the long-running TV show “The Apprentice.” His signature line was “You’re FIRED!” I think he needs to be saying it a lot more!

Biden mocked

February 16, 2020

Considering that Joe Biden’s hopes for staying alive in the Presidential race rest on turning out black voters for him in South Carolina, I can’t help thinking that his strategy for appealing to them wasn’t very well thought out. He’s running an ad that’s mostly positive until it suddenly takes a negative turn and tries to paint President Trump as a racist and America as a nation where black people are struggling to survive. He also repeats the same quote from the Rev. James Cleveland (“I ain’t no ways tired”) that Hillary Clinton famously used in 2007 and that caused her to be roundly mocked and accused of racist pandering (as Joe now is, by Deroy Murdock.)

https://www.foxnews.com/media/deroy-murdock-responds-to-bidens

And who thought it was a good idea to include that photo of the so-called “cages” at the border? I know Democrats love to blame Trump for those (actually, they are detention facilities, not “cages”), but did nobody on Joe’s staff think anyone would point out the fact that they were actually built under the Obama/Biden Administration?

If Biden wants to appeal to black voters, I’d think the last thing he’d want to do is ask them to think about how things are going for them now (wages rising, black and black youth unemployment and black poverty rates all at record lows) and vote to go back to the way things were when Obama was President. Here’s a thought: try appealing to black voters by telling them how he’s going to improve things for Americans of all races, instead of trying to frighten them by saying the other guy is a racist and wants to “put y’all back in chains” (one of his previous unfortunately quotes.) Except that would require policies that would actually improve on what’s already working. This is why we get demagoguery, pandering and race-baiting: because that’s easy and actually improving people’s lives is hard.

Socialism primers

February 16, 2020

With the first two Democratic primaries and polls in the upcoming ones showing a disturbing level of support for Bernie Sanders and his failed socialist nostrums (well, not failed for him: like many socialist politicians, he someone became a millionaire by pushing socialism), it seems that Americans who’ve been miseducated by the education system urgently need a primer on what socialism is.

John C. Goodman at Townhall.com gives us the scholarly version…

https://townhall.com/columnists/johncgoodman/2020/02/15/what-is-socialism-n2561292

While Iain Murray at Instapundit puts it into a couple of simpler and more entertaining bullet-point formulas.

https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/358333/

And since the same young people who think socialism is so great are also the type who tend to back PETA and animal rights, kudos to Murray for including this quote from Toby Young:

“Socialism always begins with talk of the international brotherhood of man and ends with having to eat your own pets.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren told MSNBC (of course!) what she thought was a moving and inspirational anecdote. Warren choked up a little as she related that a young woman came up to her and said she was a broke college student with a ton of loan debt and only six dollars in the bank, but she just donated three dollars to Warren’s presidential campaign to keep her going.

https://www.westernjournal.com/millionaire-warren-brags-taking-half-broke-students-money/

But it backfired when critics online slammed Warren for taking half of that poor girl’s entire pitiful savings of six dollars when she’s worth an estimated $12 million. They suggested that she should have instead given the student her three bucks back, or shown real generosity and doubled it to six dollars.

I don’t think they understand that Warren hopes to use that $3 to become President, so she can erase that girl’s student loan debt and let her go to college free by confiscating and redistributing the wealth of greedy millionaires like…well, her. Using the iron hand of government to take people’s money away and give it to other people is the “progressive” version of charity. They see it as much more efficient than putting their own hands in their pockets and giving away their own money.

Speaking of Elizabeth Warren, she’s already proposed a wealth tax, and then proposed multiple new big spending programs, each of which would cost far more than her tax would generate. When economists protested that she couldn’t afford to pay for all that, she brushed them off as not knowing what they’re talking about. So as long as she’s just shoveling money into the ocean, why not do it literally? This week, she proposed a “blue new deal” to “save the oceans,” to go along with the “green new deal” to save the planet (I kind of assumed that the $90 trillion to save the planet would include the oceans, but apparently, they’re an optional extra.)

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/warren-proposes-blue-new-deal-to-save-our-oceans

Michael Avenatti's Fall

February 16, 2020

Friday in Manhattan, sleazy lawyer and former liberal media darling Michael Avenatti was convicted of attempted extortion and honest services fraud for threatening to harm the company if it didn’t pay him $25 million to conduct a probe of their alleged corporate corruption. There’s some irony for you! The charges carry a combined penalty of up to 42 years in prison, but the court system is far from finished with Avenatti. He’s still facing trials in April and May for allegedly defrauding clients out of millions, including porn star Stormy Daniels. And with multiple accusations that he was living his high-flying lifestyle by stealing from clients, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see even more trials in his future.

https://www.westernjournal.com/ap-michael-avenatti-convicted-attempted-extortion-fraud-faces-42-years-prison/

I can almost feel sorry for Stormy Daniels. Avenatti was so sleazy, he actually managed to lead a porn star astray, convincing her to sue President Trump in a case that she not only lost but was ordered to pay $300,000 in Trump’s legal fee after having her lawyer allegedly steal $300,000 from her. I can also see how a woman desperate for cash might fall for Avenatti’s banana oil, but what is the media’s excuse?

For months, they elevated Avenatti to news channel stardom, giving him a fortune in free publicity and even seriously promoting him as a Democratic presidential contender (why do I get a feeling of déjà vu when I hear people talking about Adam Schiff in the same way?) How hard did they shove Avenatti down the public’s throat? Beckett Adams at the Washington Examiner reminds us:

“CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and NBC featured him for a combined 147 television interviews between March 7 and 15, 2018. That is an average of nearly four interviews on each network per day. This is to say nothing of Avenatti’s many other appearances at the height of his news media-promoted stardom, including at the 2018 White House Correspondents' Association dinner and the MTV Video Music Awards.”

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/the-media-elevated-michael-avenatti-to-stardom-his-felony-conviction-reflects-on-them

I often get comments of the “how can you defend Trump?” variety. Well, when I disagree with something he says or does, I don’t defend it. But I do defend him when I think he’s the victim of unfair or unfounded attacks. If it seems I’m always defending him, it’s not because I’m a rabid Trump partisan, it’s because his enemies are constantly making unfair and unfounded attacks on him. If I’m going to write about the news, that’s what I have to do constantly!

I’ve been around the block in politics and can spot the tactics (which tend to repeat – remember when George W. Bush was the “war criminal” and “literally Hitler”?) I also am well-connected to primary sources, do a lot of reading and have an excellent research staff. And I like to think I have fairly good judgement about people, which is why I spotted what Avenatti was from day one. Believe me, that’s not any special skill worth bragging about. As Adams writes:

“Anyone could have told you, back when Avenatti first appeared on the ‘resistance’ scene, that he was a sleazy tangle of lies, corruption, and faux bravado. Anyone, that is, except for journalists, always credulous where those hostile toward Trump are involved.”

And that’s the key: all it took was for Avenatti to be vociferously anti-Trump, and claim to possess a weapon (his client’s lawsuit) that might bring down Trump, and he was automatically elevated to hero status. The media, who flatter themselves as the guardians at the portal of truth, will throw due diligence on the trash heap and celebrate anyone who shows potential to harm Trump, regardless of their credibility, from Avenatti to Schiff, from James Comey to Ambassador Sondland to Julie Swetnick (the woman who claimed without evidence that Trump SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavenaugh organized rape gangs in high school, and who was – surprise! – a client of Michael Avenatti.)

When the media complain about Trump “attacking” their credibility, they forget that they long ago flushed away their own credibility by giving a massive platform to any liar or con artist who’s willing to badmouth Trump. It’s funny that they often smear Trump as a “liar” and “con artist,” but when they report on Avenatti’s actual felony convictions, I wonder how many of them will remind us that not that long ago, they were all-in for making him President?

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.

https://www.westernjournal.com/hypocrisy-dems-cry-trump-weighing-stone-obama-thing-clinton/

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.

https://www.wibc.com/blogs/tony-katz/there-no-roger-stone-firestorm-theres-just-angry-democrats

Leftist tolerance

February 16, 2020

Ever since I referred to that Internet commenter who insisted that most political violence is perpetrated by people on the right, I’ve been making a little room each day to include one of the many stories I get about leftist thugs using threats and violence to try to silence and intimidate people who disagree with them. It’s not even hard to find them, they come spilling over the news feeds every day. I could easily fill these pages with them, but that might get repetitious, so I’ll just share two more to make it three days in a row and figure I’ve made my point.

This one is about a New Hampshire tough guy who (allegedly) assaulted three Trump supporters, including a 15-year-old boy for wearing a MAGA cap.

https://www.westernjournal.com/new-hampshire-man-slaps-teen-trump-supporter-school-vote-police/

And this one is about some tolerant leftists at the University of Santa Cruz attacking some College Republicans, tearing up their information table and throwing their Betsy Ross American flag on the ground and spitting on it. Here’s a video showing it happening and displaying their faces quite clearly. One of the victims reported it to the campus police, and a name of one of the attackers was discovered via social media. Are they still students there? If so, why? Are they under arrest? If not, why not?

https://www.foxnews.com/us/protesters-wreck-college-republicans-info-table-spit-on-us-flag-at-uc-santa-cruz-video-shows

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?”

https://www.hollywoodintoto.com/liberal-media-woke-oscars/

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.

https://www.westernjournal.com/celebs-rail-income-inequality-collect-225k-swag-bags-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.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/doj-wont-pursue-criminal-charges-against-mccabe

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

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/andrew-mccabe-shows-that-only-an-fbi-man-can-get-away-with-lying-to-the-fbi

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.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-02-13/powerhouse-nevada-union-declines-to-endorse-democratic-candidate

Since this is from Bloomberg.com, 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."

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-cuomo-fail-to-reach-agreement-global-entry-suspension-sanctuary-state

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.

https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2020/02/11/jussie-smollett-new-charges-special-prosecutor-dan-webb-cook-county-states-attorney-kim-foxx/

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.

https://www.westernjournal.com/house-republicans-strike-back-schiff-boycott-publicity-event-hearing/

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.

Must-Read Essay

February 14, 2020

Must-Read Essay! Karlyn Borysenko was a longtime Democrat, MSNBC viewer, and believer in all the horrible things she had been told about Donald Trump and his racist, deplorable followers. She even unfriended and blocked people on her social media pages who said anything positive about Trump. But she was also a member of an online knitting community. She noticed how leftwing “social justice warrior” types took over even something that apolitical and started bullying anyone who didn’t agree with them 100%.

So she stated listening to people on the “other side.” She discovered they actually weren’t mean, evil, racist white supremacists. That led her to the Walkaway movement, which the left had told her was just Russian bots (no, they were real people fed up with leftist hate and intolerance.) It culminated in her doing the once unthinkable: she attended a Trump rally in Manchester, and was treated…nicely! And she learned that Trump supporters aren’t a mindless cult that think he's a god (in fact, most wish he’d quit Twitter), but they appreciate that he’s keeping his promises and has a positive vision for America’s future -- unlike the unrelenting gloom-and-doom of the Democrats, who can see nothing good in our horrible, racist, climate-destroying country.

https://medium.com/@karlyn/ive-been-a-democrat-for-20-years-here-s-what-i-experienced-at-trump-s-rally-in-new-hampshire-c69ddaaf6d07

Read the entire article and follow her journey of discovery as her mind and her eyes are slowly opened. She’s not entirely there yet (she still backs Pete Buttigieg and believes some negative Trump tropes.) But she’s now an Independent, so there’s a good first step.

She’s also learned something I’ve been preaching for years: that most people are not radical political caricatures; most people want the best for their families and their country; they might just disagree on what that is or how to get there. That’s why it’s important to talk civilly to each other and listen to each other. It’s why I have an open invitation to all the Democratic Presidential candidates to come on my show, where I guarantee they will get a friendly greeting, a fair hearing and a civil discussion (so far, only Tulsi Gabbard and John Delaney have taken me up on it.)

Reading through the comments, I see that most are very supportive, which is heartening, but there are still a couple from people who have yet to break out of the bubble. They think she’s been deluded or tricked by us evil, racist Trump supporters, hiding our white supremacist intentions. One insists that most of the political violence today comes from the right. I have to assume that she lives in a bubble that formed on another planet.

When was the last time you heard of riots, violence and threats on campus from some Young Republican group trying to keep a liberal from speaking? On the other hand, here’s an entire documentary about leftist fascist thuggery, on campus and elsewhere:

https://nosafespaces.com/

I also haven’t heard about a lot of Democratic headquarters being vandalized, or any Republicans driving a van through a tent full of elderly Bernie Sanders volunteers. And yes, the jerk who did that to the Trump people was politically motivated.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/florida-man-arrested-republican-tent-trump

Nor can I find too many instances of Republicans physically assaulting people for wearing pro-Democratic apparel – or something that sort of looks like it, if your Trump Derangement Syndrome has rendered you functionally illiterate.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/retired-nypd-cop-says-he-was-assaulted-in-nashville-bar-over-make-50-great-again-birthday-hat-report

Finally, as long as I’m pointing out that it’s a lot more fruitful to look for the good in people than to blindly assume anyone who disagrees with you is 100% EEEEEEVIL, here’s a Throwback Thursday link for you. It' from 2016, and I first wrote about it back then and have referred to it occasionally since. But this is a good time for a refresher reading, in light of the Democratic Presidential candidates once against painting Donald Trump as a mean, selfish, bullying liar who is without a shred of decency and who never did anything for anyone other than himself (yes, those are actual descriptions.)

This is an article by an entertainment reporter whose job was to cover Trump long before he went into politics. She was paid to dig up dirt, but just couldn’t find any. But she did uncover a lot of stories of him reaching out to help people in need, some of which she recounted here:

https://townhall.com/columnists/lizcrokin/2016/07/10/trump-does-the-unthinkable-n2190160

The whole article is a great antidote to all the partisan hatred and slander, but this line might be the most telling of all: “…in all my years covering him, I’ve never heard anything negative about the man until he announced he was running for President.”

Gee, I wonder why that is?

Voting problems in Michigan

February 14, 2020

The Washington Free Beacon reports that liberal groups and New York attorneys are rushing to Detroit to help the city fight a lawsuit that seeks to force Detroit to clean up its voter roll irregularities.

https://freebeacon.com/issues/liberal-groups-and-high-powered-lawyers-swarm-detroit-to-keep-dead-voters-on-rolls/

A recent study found that Detroit has 479,267 individuals eligible to vote and 511,786 registered voters. Those include about 500 duplicate registrations and 2500 dead people. The leftist groups are fighting the effort to purge dead, fake and ineligible voter registrations. As the article notes:

“Democrats have built a massive network of nonprofit groups, funded by George Soros and other liberal donors, to oppose Republican-backed voting initiatives such as voter identification laws. Michigan is a significant target for such efforts given its 'swing state' status; Trump won the state by just 10,000 votes in the 2016 election.”

Far be it from me to deny dead people representation, but I get tired of hearing the claim that every attempt to stop voter fraud or clean up registration rolls is an attempt to “disenfranchise” Democratic voters. The reason this so angers me is because, in fact, every fraudulent vote cast is a real case of disenfranchising a voter.

The right to vote is one of our most fundamental rights. Whenever anyone who has no legal right to vote does so anyway (or a vote is cast in someone else’s name, or someone votes more than once), that vote cancels out a legitimate vote. Some American citizen was deprived of their sacred right to have a say in their own government.

I will start believing the people fighting attempts to clean up voter rolls really care about disenfranchising voters when I see them express equal outrage over citizens’ legitimate votes being rendered nil by fraudulent ballots.

The fight AGAINST Life

February 14, 2020

If you’re wondering why Democrats are trying to resurrect the ERA (“Equal Rights Amendment”), a 1970s relic that’s as unlamented as the polyester leisure suit, it’s not nostalgia or the “progressive” urge to revive all the terrible ideas of the past, like segregation and socialism. There is a stealth reason why three blue states (Nevada, Illinois and Virginia) have voted to ratify it even though the deadline expired 40 years ago, and why House Democrats are pushing a resolution to overturn the deadline, despite a DOJ ruling that that’s unconstitutional (even Ruth Bader Ginsburg agreed that any ratification would have to start from scratch.)

https://thefederalist.com/2020/02/12/ruth-bader-ginsburg-goes-from-leftist-hero-to-has-been-in-one-interview/

As Missouri Rep. Vicky Hartzler and Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser write at this link…

https://www.westernjournal.com/congress-vote-serious-threat-women-unborn/

…the attempt to resuscitate the corpse of the ERA is backed by radical pro-abortion groups who see it as a backdoor way to guarantee taxpayer-paid abortion on demand. For instance, New Mexico passed a state-level version of the ERA, and its state Supreme Court unanimously ruled that it means the state government (i.e., the taxpayers, including pro-life taxpayers) is required to fund abortion services.

As the writers note, this is a perversion of the original intent of the ERA, whose author, feminist Alice Paul, was pro-life, and who complained that ratification was made harder by supporters who advocated abortion, saying, “As far as I can see, ERA has nothing whatsoever to do with abortion.”

Most Americans also can’t see that it has anything connection with abortion, which is why radical abortion advocates have seized on it as the perfect Trojan horse to use to sneak an agenda past the public that the vast majority of Americans would find abhorrent. But now, you have been warned: the return of the ERA isn’t a harmless anachronism, like “Disco Night.” It’s not an attempt to revive the past, it’s an attempt to erase a lot of unborn children’s futures at your expense.

News from South Dakota

February 14, 2020

There seems to be widespread agreement in liberal circles that 18-year-olds are too immature to be trusted with anything dangerous. They want 21 to be the legal age to smoke cigarettes, vape, drunk alcohol or buy a gun.

Yet they will fight to the death to make sure children 16 and younger can decide for themselves whether to have doctors shoot them full of puberty-blocking drugs with unknown potential side-effects on their bodies, if they believe they’re transgender. We can’t test cosmetics on animals, but we can use our children as guinea pigs for testing unproven puberty blocking chemicals.

In South Dakota, there was an attempt to change the law to stop what would, in previous years, have been immediately recognized as dangerous quackery and child abuse. And despite the fact that the South Dakota government is entirely run by Republicans, with staggering majorities in both Houses, the attempt failed when the House passed it but the Senate did not.

https://www.westernjournal.com/south-dakota-senate-bows-lgbt-outrage-mob-kills-child-sex-change-bill/

And here’s an article from last week, before the bill was defeated, that includes more background about how giving dangerous chemicals to children has become a trendy political crusade, and what it can do to their bodies. Also, what the advocates for this don’t want you to know. Like how Jazz Jennings has been touted as the public face of a healthy transgender child for years, but we’re only now learning that she suffered severe complications and went through four painful surgeries because years of hormone blockers while still growing caused her sexual organs to develop in ways that the surgeons weren’t sure how to deal with.

https://pjmedia.com/trending/south-dakota-house-passes-bill-to-protect-kids-from-chemical-castration/

After the impeachment trial fizzled, Democrats needed something else right away to go after President Trump for. Fortunately for them, they’re gifted with being able to turn on a dime and quickly “find” something else to turn into a federal case (literally). They will stop at nothing. Between now and the election –- and afterwards –- they'll keep him in their sights, demanding investigation after investigation. So, what is it this time?

It’s his tweets about the Roger Stone sentencing.

President Trump tweets about everything. Sick of the media distorting everything he says and does, he takes it directly to his audience. But the media work overtime to use the tweets against him, too. The folks at MSNBC and CNN have lost their minds once again, over the Stone case and also his suggestion that the Pentagon might look into Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman; they’re likening Trump to the “dictator” of a “banana republic.” On the contrary, it’s in a banana republic that we see egregious prosecutorial abuse, people getting prison sentences way out of proportion to their crimes simply for getting caught up in a fight for political power.

Devin Nunes and some other House Republicans suspect that the Mueller prosecutors set up Stone and some others, to be able to “put the squeeze” on them to get damaging information on Trump. “We believe that this is not gonna be the only example,” Nunes said on FBC’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight.” “We think there’s other examples of things that they did during the Mueller investigation that...the American people will be very interested to learn in the coming weeks, as we start to [peel] the onion of what the Mueller team was really doing.”

I told you yesterday about the reaction from Sen. Chuck Schumer and Reps. Adam Schiff and Jerrold Nadler to the President’s tweets about the outrageous sentence recommended by prosecutors for Stone, who had the misfortune to be caught up in the effort to “get” the President. Their investigation tried unsuccessfully to tie him to WikiLeaks and an attempt to use Russian-hacked (so they said) emails to hurt the Democrat Party and Hillary Clinton, but they got him on a process crime. Now Democrats accuse Trump of trying to interfere with a criminal prosecution. With tweets.

No doubt Trump feels bad for Stone, as he does for his original national security adviser Michael Flynn and others who are collateral damage in the Democrats’ strategy to oust him. Former Trump campaign director Paul Manafort, 70, spent long months in solitary confinement and is now serving a sentence that could keep him behind bars for life. Now prosecutors are recommending a sentence for the 67-year-old Stone of seven to nine years –- also a possible life sentence –- on charges of lying to Congress and witness tampering.

Trump has said he didn’t talk to anyone in the DOJ about Stone’s case but that it would’ve been all right to do so. Contacts within the bureaucracy who know how things are done say this sentencing controversy must have been going on for weeks, certainly before Trump tweeted anything about it. Doesn’t matter. Ha, don’t be surprised if an anonymous “whistleblower” (or two or three) come forward to claim they overheard Trump say to the AG that he expects the prosecution to go easy on Roger Stone, or else the DOJ’s funding will be withheld. To add even more drama, perhaps Schiff could go on the floor of Congress to recite for the record a “parody” of what he alleges Trump said to Barr behind closed doors.

Already they’re calling for Barr to...(yes) resign as attorney general. And some of them are threatening Trump with Impeachment 2.0. California Rep. Eric Swallwell let this one rip on Wednesday with Jake Tapper on CNN: “...We’re not going to just let him torch this democracy because he thinks that he’s been let off once and we’re not going to do something about it.” I think we know who’s been trying to torch the democracy for the past few several years, and it ain’t Trump.

https://www.breitbart.com/clips/2020/02/12/swalwell-impeaching-trump-over-roger-stone-is-not-off-the-table/

Former South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy defended Barr for deciding to review the harsh sentence recommended for Stone. “There are child pornographers who don’t get nine years,” he said. “There are people who rob banks who don’t get nine years. So let the judge decide. I think two or three years is about right.” Gowdy said it would have been inappropriate for Trump to weigh in before the decision was made, but he contended that Barr was aware of the recommendation long before “Trump ever tweeted a single syllable.”

https://dailycaller.com/2020/02/12/trey-gowdy-roger-stone-bill-barr/

The DOJ didn’t need Trump to call their attention to this extraordinarily punitive sentence. According to Chuck Ross at the DAILY CALLER, “Justice Department officials were reportedly ‘shocked’ by federal prosecutors’ recommendation that longtime Trump associate Roger Stone serve up to nine years in prison...”

https://dailycaller.com/2020/02/11/doj-shocked-roger-stone-sentence/

So, if Trump had nothing to do with Barr’s involvement in the case...well, then he must have been trying to bully this judge with his tweets. Yeah, that’s the ticket. It could be argued, though, that the judge might be even harder on Stone now, just to show she isn’t intimidated by the President. The judge determines the sentence, and after what Stone has already been through, it would be sad if he were now caught in the crossfire between her and the President. The latest news at this writing is that the judge has denied Stone’s attorneys’ request for a new trial.

If you missed what Tucker Carlson had to say about this Tuesday night, he noted the same thing I have about the comparative harshness of this sentence and gave some specific examples. The average sentence for a rapist is four years. The average sentence for an armed robber is three-and-a-half years. For violent assault, it’s a year and a half. He calls for Trump to pardon Stone rather than let him die in prison as CNN would like. Here’s the link to his must-see rant.

https://dailycaller.com/2020/02/11/tucker-carlson-roger-stone-pardon-sentencing/

Predictably, Democrats are pulling out all the stops to silence Barr and those who offer evidence that supports the President and reveals their own wrongdoing. They have a big problem with him getting information on Ukraine from Rudy Giuliani, since Giuliani is Trump's attorney. (My answer: If it’s true, so what?) Watch what Democrats do now to try to damage both of them, for sniffing too close to the corruption.

Barr has agreed to go before the House Judiciary Committee on March 31 –- wish it were sooner.

As for Trump, he will not be silenced. He’s been on a justifiable tweet-rant on the two-tier justice system. And on Wednesday, the day before her Senate hearing, he withdrew U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu’s nomination as undersecretary in the Treasury Department. Until her nomination, she’d overseen the prosecutions of both Stone and Flynn. For a lively read on the newly emboldened post-impeachment President, here’s Kurt Schlichter…

https://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2020/02/10/time-for-trump-to-get-his-godfather-on-n2561014

And here’s a hot-and-fresh one, specific to the Stone case…

Trump Charges the Liberal Hacks’ Latest Ambush

Pete Buttigieg is no "moderate"

All Dem presidential candidates embrace radical policies

February 13, 2020

Only in today’s Democratic Party could someone like former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg be considered a "moderate."

The prevailing narrative of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination has been shaped by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and his unrepentant socialism, which has bifurcated the party between outspoken extremists and radicals masquerading as moderates.

On the one hand, there is Bernie himself and the similarly extremist candidacy of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. On the other hand are the candidates who have been assigned the misleading appellation “moderates” simply because they stop short of preaching outright revolution.

The alternatives to Sanders are handed the moderate label more as a matter of convenience than because their policies actually conform to the American mainstream.

Until recently, the standard-bearer for this group was former Vice President Joe Biden. But Biden’s spectacular demise – a fourth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses and a truly embarrassing failure to even hit the 10 percent mark in the New Hampshire primary – has sent the Democratic establishment scrambling for someone to fill the role of the putative “moderate” in the race.

Many are gravitating toward Buttigieg, whose seldom-examined policy agenda is, in fact, so far to the left that it would have been unimaginable in the Democratic Party of President Barack Obama, let alone that of President Bill Clinton.

Clinton, for instance, won the White House in 1992 while calling for abortion to be “safe, legal, and rare” – a strategy that also worked for Obama 16 years later. That constitutes a moderate position, at least within the Democratic Party.

So-called “moderate” Pete Buttigieg, however, has taken a much more aggressively pro-abortion approach, opposing restrictions on abortion right up to the moment of birth. If that makes Mayor Pete a “moderate” then let’s call Col. Sanders a vegan!

A 2018 Gallup poll found that only a truly tiny minority of Americans – 13 percent – believe abortion should generally be legal in the third trimester. Even among Democrats, only 18 percent think abortion should generally be legal in the third trimester, making Mayor Pete’s position truly extreme.

Buttigieg is even more radical when it comes to criminal justice reform, pledging to “Ensure more people are free by significantly reducing the number of people incarcerated in the United States at both the federal and state level by 50%.”

Between jails and prisons, that would mean about 1.1 million convicted criminals released into American communities. They wouldn’t all be “non-violent drug offenders,” either – though Buttigieg is saying that as president he would decriminalize possession of all drugs, including meth and heroin.

President Trump has gotten behind historic federal sentencing reform, too, but he took a much more responsible approach. Recognizing the excesses of the so-called “War on Drugs” and its devastating impact on some poor and minority communities, he signed the First Step Act into law.

The First Step Act offers certain nonviolent offenders opportunities to reduce their sentences by participating in programs designed to help them become productive members of society. That is a moderate position, and the broad bipartisan support for the First Step Act is proof.

Casually releasing more than 1 million criminals onto the streets is decidedly not a moderate position.

Supporting open borders is also a far cry from what any reasonable person would call “moderate” – so it should come as no surprise that Mayor Pete not only embraces unfettered illegal immigration, but actually wants to encourage more of it.

The most underreported story of the New Hampshire voting was President Trump’s win in the Republican primary. Despite Bill Weld taking about 12%, Trump was basically running unopposed, so there was no get-out-the-vote drive for him. Even so, Trump received 110,717 votes. That’s by far the most votes ever for an incumbent President running for reelection. Obama got only 49,080 votes in 2012, George W. Bush got 52,962 in 2004, and the previous record was Bill Clinton in 1996 with 76,797. Trump scored over 35,000 more votes than that.

https://hotair.com/archives/jazz-shaw/2020/02/12/nobody-looking-trump-shattered-primary-records-new-hampshire/

As Jazz Shaw put it at Hotair.com, while the Democratic turnout wasn’t particularly high even with all the candidates and campaigning, “New Hampshire Republicans turned out in record numbers on a blustery February day to cast their votes for Trump in a primary election that was completely meaningless.” So what will it be like at the real election in November? I suspect that like the Trump rallies, people will start lining up 48 hours in advance.

-------------------------

MORE ON NEW HAMPSHIRE

As I write this, it’s early Wednesday morning, and close to 90% of the votes have been counted in New Hampshire (what is it with Democrats and math?) At the moment, it appears that Bernie Sanders won with about 26%, a couple of points ahead of Pete Buttigieg. Amy Klobuchar came in a surprise third with 20%. The Hindenburg moments belonged to Elizabeth Warren in fourth place (9%) and Joe Biden fifth (8%.) Neither even cracked double digits, much less the 15% minimum to win any delegates. Sad!

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/new-hampshire-primary-polls-close

What’s all this mean? It’s tempting to say it doesn’t mean all that much at this point, but Iowa and New Hampshire offer the first opportunities for voters to weigh in on the candidates the hyper-partisan media have been hyping for months. This is when we find out whether the public agrees that they’re the greatest thing since sliced bread or just another New Coke or Lady Ghostbusters.

As I see it, despite the sprawling array of candidates, Democratic voters obviously aren’t that excited by any of them. Bernie boasted of this being the first step to his defeating Trump. But a near-record 270,000 people voted in the Democratic primary and if his 26% holds, he’ll finish with a little over 70,000 votes. In 2016, he got 60% against Hillary Clinton and a couple of dozen nobodies, and won over 152,000 votes. To me, this indicates less of a burning Bernie surge than a step down, and more evidence that even Democrats really couldn’t stomach Hillary. Bernie’s strength lies in his followers being rabid and well-organized, but his following isn't growing larger, they’re just making more noise. Like Spinal Tap, his appeal is becoming “more selective.”

If Bernie and Warren represent the socialist/far left/radical wacko wing, their combined total was only 35% of the vote. Granted, there’s nobody viable left in this race who isn’t so far to the left that the center looks like the John Birch Society compared to them. For instance, they all want to give free health care to illegal aliens, and alleged “centrist” Pete Buttigieg thinks babies can be “aborted” after they’re born and anyone who disagrees doesn’t belong in the Party. On this issue, he’s indistinguishable from Sanders.

https://www.westernjournal.com/sanders-pushes-pro-life-voters-trump-supporting-abortion-essential-dem/

Buttigieg came in second (and again got two more delegates than Bernie -- since he hates the Electoral College, shouldn’t he redistribute his delegates to the popular vote winner?) But Klobuchar’s surge based on one strong debate performance shows that many voters who want a “centrist” are still looking for one. Maybe they imagined sending Buttigieg to face down Vladimir Putin or the communist leaders of China. They’d eat him alive and send the bones home in a doggy bag.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/feb/9/pete-buttigieg-runs-moderate-champions-far-left-po/

Joe Biden was supposed to be the “centrist,” “electable,” preordained winner, but New Hampshire looked so dire, he bugged out at midday as if he were scrambling for the last helicopter out of Saigon. His dismayed voters told reporters they were stunned that he abandoned them. They should’ve known that when you’re under siege, don’t expect anyone from the Obama Administration to show up and help. At the ghost town-like post-election “party” at Biden headquarters, reporters outnumbered supporters. Biden hightailed it to South Carolina, where he hopes his rapidly crumbling firewall holds. It’s amusing that his only hope of survival is a wall he’s built in the south.

When will the media learn that declaring someone the presumptive nominee (Hillary in 2008) or President (Hillary in 2016) is a recipe for disaster? Particularly when it’s Joe Biden, who’s on his third run for President and has yet to survive past the earliest primaries. The fat lady might not be singing for his campaign yet, but I can hear her clearing her throat.

With New Hampshire’s uber-liberal base and proximity to her home state of Massachusetts, Warren was counting on a good showing. Her abysmal finish should spell the end, but she’s vowing to press on to Super Tuesday. How she’ll do that when it takes a lot of ad money that she isn’t attracting, I can’t say. Also, if she can’t make it in New Hampshire, is she really going to win the South? Her disingenuous praise of Amy Klobuchar for proving a woman can do well was a sterling example of trying to put a cherry on a horse poop sundae. What she really meant was, “Voters will support a woman…as long as it’s not me!” She really is Hillary 2.0.

Congratulations to Amy Klobuchar for doing better than expected, but all the talk of her “momentum” is a bit farcical. She won a better-than-expected 20%, but has there ever been this much media hoopla over placing third? I suspect it’s mostly a function of Democrats still casting around for someone palatable, and she had the lucky timing to be the latest option to come to their attention just as the voting started. They tried her on in New Hampshire, but it doesn’t mean they intend to buy. Let's see how she does in South Carolina when she's no longer the new flavor of centrism.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/new-hampshire-gives-klobuchar-major-boost-puts-biden-and-warren-on-2020-life-support

The primary winnowed the field a bit, but as with a weed-infested garden, the thinning was barely noticeable. Andrew Yang suspended his campaign (darn it, I was counting on him giving everyone a thousand bucks a month so my staffers wouldn’t ask for a raise.)

https://www.westernjournal.com/andrew-yang-ends-presidential-campaign-nh-votes-even-counted/

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick also dropped out of the race, devastating the six people who remembered they were in. And a rumor circulated that Tom Steyer was quitting, but it was denied. I guess he realized he still had a lot more money to throw away.

Overall, my takeaway is that most Democratic voters don’t want Bernie or Warren, but they aren’t crazy about any of the other choices, either. Ironically, the continuing vote split is likely to encourage marginal candidates to stay in longer, allowing Bernie to keep winning with small pluralities. But that makes it less likely that any candidate will gather enough delegates to clinch the nomination. Unless more drop out so the non-socialist vote can coalesce around one candidate, the Dems could be looking at a brokered convention. By then, they could be so broke that Mike Bloomberg could buy the Party in a liquidation sale and just declare himself the nominee.

NOTE: Next stop is the Nevada Caucuses, where Bernie Sanders will get to explain to a lot of tough union negotiators why the great health care plans they won for their members should be traded in for “Medicare for All.” Good luck!

In the Trump administration’s war against the ‘deep state,’ there’s news on multiple fronts. Here’s the rundown for today…

While we’ve been looking at Manafort and the Ukraine, there have been some big developments in the ongoing Roger Stone case, as he’s scheduled to be sentenced on February 20. (Recall that his home was invaded by an FBI S.W.A.T. team in full combat gear while CNN had cameras rolling.) President Trump tweeted explosively about the recommended sentence, saying, “Who are the four prosecutors (Mueller people??) who cut and ran after being exposed for recommending a ridiculous 9 year prison sentence for a man that got caught up in an investigation that was illegal, the Mueller Scam, and shouldn’t ever even have started? 13 Angry Democrats?”

One of the prosecutors in question, Aaron Zelinsky, did indeed work on Mueller’s special counsel team. All four prosecutors resigned from the case after the DOJ asked a federal court to reduce the seven-to-nine-year prison sentence they had recommended for the 67-year-old Stone, who was found guilty of seven counts of lying to Congress and witness tampering when the feds were investigating his possible involvement with WikiLeaks and information purportedly hacked by Russia. (Nothing came of that, incidentally.) The DOJ said some prison time would be appropriate, but not such a long sentence, which they termed “extreme and excessive and grossly disproportionate to Stone’s offenses.”

These prosecutors must have really wanted to clap Stone in jail and throw away the key. One of them, Jonathan Kravis, announced his resignation as an assistant U.S. attorney, leaving his job entirely.

Trump’s critics expressed alarm –- stop the presses –- at what they theorize is his interference with what certainly would be a severe punishment, possibly even a life sentence for a man of his age. In fact, many killers and rapists get less prison time than they are recommending for Stone. (And Democrats who lie to Congress get to walk free, ha.) Trump told reporters he had not spoken with DOJ officials about the case but maintained he had the right to do that. He didn’t say whether he might commute Stone’s sentence. I would add he has the right to do that, too.

"I thought the whole prosecution was ridiculous,” Trump said. “I thought it was an insult to our country.”

As if on cue, Adam Schiff, Jerrold Nadler and Chuck Schumer had a collective fit about Trump’s comments, with Schumer calling for the DOJ inspector general to begin a formal investigation into the reduced sentencing recommendation. “This situation has all the indicia of improper political interference in a criminal prosecution,” he wrote to IG Michael Horowitz. “I therefore request that you immediately investigate this matter to determine how and why the Stone sentencing recommendations were countermanded, which Justice Department officials made this decision, and which White House officials were involved.”

Good grief. These three lowlifes have all the indicia of Trump-deranged prosecutors who failed to get their nemesis tossed out of office. If they got even a week in prison for every whopper they’ve told in the House and Senate, they’d never see the light of day again. Even better, we’d never have to see them.

https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/482655-doj-lawyers-resign-en-masse-over-roger-stone-sentencing

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/482694-trump-swipes-at-resigned-prosecutors-judge-in-roger-stone-case

On another front, Rudy Giuliani, who has said he has the goods on the DNC and Ukraine, is indeed being vetted by Attorney General Barr’s Justice Department, as Barr announced on Monday. In other words, Giuliani wasn’t just blowing smoke on Maria Bartiromo’s Sunday show. According to Barr, they have “established an intake process in the field so that any information coming in about Ukraine could be carefully scrutinized by the Department and its intelligence community partners so that we could assess its provenance and its credibility. And that is true of all information that comes to the Department relative to Ukraine, including anything Mr. Giuliani might provide.”

Giuliani claims there are three Ukrainian officials willing to testify about a meeting at the White House in January of 2016 involving a secret bid to interfere in the November election in which Donald Trump was a candidate. “The three of them will say that they were at the National Security Council and two members of the [NSC] who represented Biden asked them basically to dig up dirt on the Party of Regions and any of their consultants, and their consultant was Manafort. It was later clarified they wanted Manafort. And one of the key people at the meeting making the request is one of the people suspected of being the whistleblower.”

Giuliani doesn’t say it here, but I will: he’s talking about ERIC CIARAMELLA, the NSA official that everyone knows (unofficially) is the “whistleblower” but that hardly anyone will dare to name. I do, of course, because he's not a real whistleblower at all but part of a plot to target Trump for his phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky, and he is not entitled to anonymity. His NSA colleagues Sean Misko and Abigail Grace went to work on Adam Schiff’s staff. Recall that two weeks after Trump was sworn in, CIARAMELLA and Misko, who had some foreign policy disagreements with the new President, were overheard in the White House proclaiming they were going to take Trump down. This is the guy; he’d been working in the White House since 2015 and was one of hundreds of Obama “holdovers.”

As Giuliani describes the witnesses’ accounts of the January 2016 meeting, “Obama’s people are asking political operatives of Ukraine to get information on the Trump campaign. It’s as simple as that.”

I've been saying that the Democrat Party and the media (sorry for the redundancy) are desperate to bring down John Solomon and Rudy Giuliani, and this is why. The Swamp is out to destroy them both. In the case of Giuliani, his effort is no longer just about protecting his client from the slings and arrows of outrageous Democrats. And it’s certainly not to take Joe Biden down as a candidate; Biden will certainly not be the Democrat nominee and Trump likely never thought he would be a political threat. J. D. Rucker of the NOQ REPORT is correct when he says this of Giuliani and The Swamp:

"They’re going after him for the sake of vengeance over what he has uncovered so far. They’re going after him out of a sense of self-preservation to stop what he might find next. They’re firing every political and media weapon they have at their disposal at him in an effort to slow him down if not dissuade him from pushing forward. They’re scared. They fear his courage and his resolution. And they should. Whatever they’re hiding, Giuliani is digging until he finds it. All of it.”

The same, of course, can be said of The Swamp's reaction to Solomon and any other reporters who have refused to be deterred. Also Devin Nunes and a few others in the House and Senate. And Barr, of course.

The Democrats’ narrative is that Giuliani is a “loose cannon,” but what that really means is that he is a patriot who isn’t held in check by congressional oversight or the bureaucracy. He’ll do what he thinks is right.

https://noqreport.com/2020/02/11/why-rudy-giulianis-ongoing-battle-with-the-bidens-is-more-significant-than-most-realize/

Yesterday, I presented an update on the Paul Manafort “black ledger” story, showing how the media are trying to silence John Solomon and others investigating this apparent forgery. Today, we take a look back at information Solomon gathered last year about visits to the Ukrainian embassy by DNC worker Alexandra Chalupa to try to find information that might damage Manafort and then-candidate Trump. Then, when we look at White House visitor logs unearthed by Judicial Watch, we see that Chalupa visited top-level White House officials as well.

But first, let’s look at the history of ERIC CIARAMELLA, a CIA analyst who was working at the White House starting in 2015 and who is (unofficially) known to be the “whistleblower” (really just a leaker, not entitled to anonymity) on President Trump’s appropriate call to Ukrainian President Zelensky. After obtaining and analyzing White House visitor logs, Judicial Watch revealed that on December 9, 2015, he met in the White House with Daria Kaleniuk, co-founder and executive director of the Anticorruption Action Center (AntAC) in Ukraine. AntAC is funded by George Soros. This is just one of a long line of questionable meetings; I’ll link to the entire list later on.

Another example: On January 19, 2016, CIARAMELLA met with Artem Sytnyk, director of the Ukrainian Anti-Corruption Bureau. To put this in context, on October 7, 2019, the DAILY WIRE reported that leaked tapes showed Sytnyk confirming that the Ukrainians helped the Clinton campaign.

(Wait --- I thought it was only Russia who “meddled” in the campaign, and that it was to help Trump, not Hillary!)

Another of CIARAMELLA’s meetings, on June 17, 2016 (Ted Cruz had dropped out of the race on May 3, leaving Trump the presumptive nominee), was with Victoria Nuland, then the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs. As we know from previous Judicial Watch requests, Nuland had extensive involvement with the Christopher Steele “dossier."

I've just scratched the surface. As for Chalupa, we also see from the White House logs that several high-level officials met with her there. These officials were closely connected to President Obama and Valerie Jarrett. One of them had been an intern at the Center for American Progress. Lots of Soros interplay here.

As we’ve just learned from Rudy Giuliani, Chalupa emailed DNC official Luis Miranda on May 4, 2016, to say she’d spoken to investigative journalists including Michael Isikoff of THE NEW YORK TIMES about then-Trump campaign director Manafort in Ukraine. She said something big on Manafort would be dropping in a few weeks. Sure enough, a few weeks later, the “black ledger” Manafort story broke in the NYT.

Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said that their “analysis of “White House visitor logs raises additional questions about the Obama administration, Ukraine, and the related impeachment scheme targeting President Trump. Both Mr. Ciaramella and Ms. Chalupa should be questioned about the meetings documented in these visitor logs.”

https://www.judicialwatch.org/press-releases/judicial-watch-white-house-visitor-logs-detail-meetings-of-eric-ciaramella/

Thanks to Dan Bongino for finding a timely Ukraine story by John Solomon from May of 2019. Solomon has been digging around for a long time and reported on the Alexandra Chalupa/DNC/Ukraine connection last year. (Again, this is why Democrats desperately want Solomon taken off the air and are trying to discredit him in any way possible; this is most definitely NOT a conspiracy theory, let alone a discredited one.) Chalupa apparently visited the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, DC, with the express purpose of trying to raise interest among members of Congress about Paul Manafort’s dealings in Ukraine. Manafort, of course, was Trump’s campaign director at the time.

Solomon's report, at the link below, came several months after a Ukrainian court ruled that the country’s Anti-Corruption Bureau –- closely aligned with the U.S. embassy in Kiev –- and a member of the Ukrainian parliament named Serhiy Leshchenko wrongly interfered in the 2016 election by releasing documents relating to Manafort. Recall that Solomon’s latest report from a few days ago reveals that the “black ledger” released in 2016 was almost certainly a fake.

As I noted above, the “whistleblower,” ERIC CIARAMELLA, met with the Soros-funded Anticorruption Action Center even further back, in December of 2015. Another detail: Nellie Ohr, wife of Bruce Ohr –- who was #4 in command at the Justice Department –- has acknowledged in congressional testimony that she researched both Trump and Manafort’s ties to Russia and learned that Leshchenko was providing “dirt” to Fusion, where she was working as a researcher. These people all have ties, and to point these out is not to promote a conspiracy theory. The dots practically connect themselves.

According to Federal Election Commission records, Chalupa’s firm, Chalupa & Associates, was paid almost $72,000 during the 2016 election cycle. Apparently when she visited officials at the Ukrainian embassy, she made it very clear to them what she was looking for: information they could use to claim Trump, his organization and Manafort were Russian assets. She wanted to take it to Congress in September to make the case that Trump should be removed from the ballot.

Again, this is what Solomon wrote in 2019, but it’s stunning to see how closely he was sniffing around this scandal even then. The Democrats spent literally years trying unsuccessfully to make the case that Trump was an agent of Russia, when they themselves were “colluding” with Ukraine in order to do it. The evidence continues to grow. Excellent detail here...

https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/441892-ukrainian-embassy-confirms-dnc-contractor-solicited-trump-dirt-in-2016

By the way, President Trump isn’t waiting for all this to shake out; he’s finally getting rid of the Obama holdovers at the National Security Council. When suspected leaker Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and his identical twin –- who happened to work in the department that vetted manuscripts such as John Bolton’s leaky one –- got the boot last week, it was what we might consider “a good start.” National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien is doing a thorough housecleaning, purging the NSC of 70 Obama-era personnel.

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer spoke out against this on the Senate Floor, and that alone tells us that it is a very positive development. Schumer said he’d “sent a letter to all 74 inspectors general in the Executive Branch, requesting that they immediately investigate any and all instances of retaliation against anyone who has made or, in the future, makes protected disclosures of presidential misconduct to Congress or to an inspector general.”

Sorry, but the President gets to choose who he does and does not want serving him in the Executive Branch. Period. And apparently there was plenty of reason to want Alexander Vindman gone; here’s what one of his peers had to say.

https://dailycaller.com/2020/02/09/leroy-petry-ltc-vindman-spotlight-ranger/

Victor Davis Hanson, appearing on Laura Ingraham’s Monday show, said that the NSC under Obama ballooned to hundreds of people and is plagued with leaks. He pointed out that the “whistleblower” was in the NSC and that two others from there, Sean Misko and Abigail Grace, went over to Schiff’s staff and are STILL THERE.

As we've discussed, Michael Flynn had wanted to use his new position as Trump's national security adviser to clean house at the NSC and pare it way down. This is no doubt one reason Flynn was targeted early on. So it's gratifying to be able to share this encouraging Flynn update...

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/judge-cancels-michael-flynns-sentencing-amid-legal-battles-about-his-prior-representation

Last week, investigative reporter John Solomon revealed that the mysterious “black ledger” purported to show cash payments originating in Ukraine to then-campaign director Paul Manafort, who now rots in jail, was almost certainly a forgery, as multiple sources emphatically maintain that no cash payments were ever made. On Sunday, during a wide-ranging interview with Maria Bartiromo on SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES, Trump attorney Rudy Guiliani offered evidence highly suggestive that the Democratic National Committee was involved in targeting Manafort.

He brought in a memo from Alexandra Chalupa of the DNC to her boss dated May 3, 2016, and reading in part, “I invited Michael Isikoff [of THE NEW YORK TIMES], whom I’ve been working with for the past few weeks, and connected him to the Ukrainians to talk about Paul Manafort.”

Then she says, “A big one will hit in next few weeks.”

Lo and behold, a few weeks after this was sent, the NYT broke the big story about the Manafort ledger. Think the DNC might possibly have had something to do with that?

In the aftermath of impeachment and with this sort of eyebrow-raising activity gradually coming to light, the mainstream media increasingly try to silence reporters, commentators and guests who are gaining influence and interfering with their chosen narrative. At the top of the list are Rudy Giuliani and John Solomon; there’s an ongoing campaign to silence them, just as there was with Devin Nunes. THE DAILY BEAST reports that according to an internal FOX NEWS memo they obtained, concern exists at the network that Giuliani has been “spreading disinformation.” They report that the 162-page FNC memo also singles out attorneys Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing, and that it says of John Solomon that he “played an indispensable role in the collection and domestic publication of elements of this disinformation campaign.”

SALON picked up the story, which informs us that the memo, titled “Ukraine, Disinformation & the Trump Administration,” was authored by senior political affairs specialist Brian Murphy, who works in the network’s research division, dubbed the “Brain Room.”

All right, Journalism 101 students, acknowledging that none of us has read this huge memo, let’s take a look at how SALON magazine, in just one sentence, folds its own editorializing into its report. Here’s the sentence: “It [the memo] highlighted Solomon’s reports at THE HILL, which fueled Giuliani’s baseless conspiracy theory that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election and assisted the ‘smear campaign’ leading to the ouster of former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovonovich.”

That’s right, class; there’s that ubiquitous phrase “baseless conspiracy theory,” so similar to the phrase “discredited swift boaters” we used to hear so often in “news” stories when John Kerry was running for President. The swift boaters who served with Kerry were smeared but not discredited; likewise, the notion that, like Russia, Ukraine “meddled” in the 2016 election, arguably in more significant ways than Russia did, is not baseless. In fact, evidence keeps coming out that gives support to that conclusion. And, yes, much of it has come from John Solomon. I’d wager that he’s going to turn out to be right about all of this, just as Devin Nunes’ memo –- “discredited” by Adam Schiff, no less –- turned out to be right.

Opinion-shapers think that if they just keep repeating the phrase “baseless conspiracy theory” often enough, we’ll all come to agree that’s what it is. I guess they’ve convinced themselves that it’s baseless, but they are mistaken.

Anyway, FOX NEWS has told THE DAILY BEAST that the warnings they pulled from the memo were taken out of context. To give some context to the phrase “out of context,” here’s the quote from Mitch Kweit, senior vice president of the Brain Room (and wouldn’t that title look cool on a business card): “The Ukraine briefing book is nothing more than a comprehensive chronological account of what every person involved in the Ukraine controversy was doing at any identifiable point in time, including tracking media appearances of major players who appeared on FOX NEWS and in many other outlets. The 200-page document has thousands of data points and the vast majority have no relation to FOX NEWS --- instead it’s now being taken out of context and politicized to damage the network.”

Indeed. If you’d like to read SALON’s pointedly biased interpretation of this “memo” story –- probably not worth your time, but for the record, here it is –- I’ve included the link:

https://www.salon.com/2020/02/07/internal-fox-news-briefing-book-warned-that-rudy-giuliani-was-spreading-disinformation-report/

I won’t get into the internal deliberations at FOX NEWS, as (believe it or not, lefties) there are people at FOX of all political persuasions who are bound to have different thoughts regarding opinion hosts such as Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham and the guests they choose to feature. The “opinions” for which they’ve provided a forum are increasingly turning out NOT to be disinformation but solid investigation, clearly on the right track, and they should be proud of that. (I can proudly say the same of our opinion reporting at MikeHuckabee.com.) But most media outlets won’t acknowledge this; they’re running with their chosen pull-quotes and sensationalist reporting in the style of CNN’s Amanda Carpenter, who tweeted, “It sounds like this memo the FOX NEWS ‘Brain Room’ wrote about a rampant, influential disinformation campaign would have been a great story to bring to air for their viewers. Why was it stuffed? Hm.”

Hm, Amanda. Maybe because this work is not disinformation, but a deep dig into what really was going on in Ukraine, in spite of all the efforts by you and your colleagues and likely even a few “concerned” employees at FOX NEWS to quell it. You would love to see John Solomon pulled off the air. But just wait and see --- he and others looking into the ‘deep state’ are going to have the last word on this. Speaking of words, I’m sure you have a couple of choice ones for him, Giuliani, Nunes, Lee Smith, Dan Bongino and all the others who continue to dig and connect the dots, but I have a couple of words to offer them myself: “THANK YOU.”

Sen. Lindsay Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, reportedly told Margaret Brennan of FACE THE NATION that he heard from Attorney General Barr that the DOJ is “receiving information coming out of Ukraine” from Giuliani. (Of course, Barr is also high on the list of those to be discredited and silenced.) Brennan said on CBS that Sen. Graham had told her they had “created a process” for Giuliani to supply information and for them to verify it. Back in September, a DOJ spokeswoman denied that the President had spoken to to the attorney general about contacting Ukraine or that the AG had discussed anything with Giuliani relating to Ukraine, the implication being that this “process” for Giuliani to supply information is a recent development.

Although the Bidens should not be getting a pass, there’s plenty to be looking into in Ukraine besides them. See references to the DNC and Paul Manafort, above.

Lindsey Graham: DOJ 'created a process' to verify Ukraine research from Giuliani

"Dear Rush"

February 10, 2020

Dear Rush,

I’ve had a couple of days now to process your news, and have decided it would be a good thing to write to you. As a writer/researcher for Gov. Mike Huckabee, I thought I’d also post it on the Huckabee website (with his blessing) and share it with many others who have listened to you and loved you for years. Certainly a lot of your fans are the Gov’s fans, and vice versa.

President Trump’s triumphant State Of The Union Address has just ended, and I was so happy to see you sitting there with Melania, as were many millions of others who had tuned in. This was the most powerful, confident and upbeat SOTU speech I’ve ever watched, and actually being there in that room amidst all that unspoken seething drama must have been an amazing experience. The news that you would be receiving the Presidential Medal Of Freedom had come out earlier in the evening, but who knew that you would be sitting there in the box tonight, that the honor would apparently be a surprise to you, and that it would be bestowed on you right then, on the spot! I guess they must have somehow kept you away from news reports for just long enough.

How appropriate that you would be presented this honor. I had the tissues out, to be sure. Your life cannot be separated from the American history of the past few decades, as they are so closely interwoven. You’ve been instrumental in shaping the radio industry and modern politics, and in touching lives. I’ve been listening to you for a long time and have seen all those changes.

When my then-boyfriend-later-husband (Pat Reeder, who also writes for Gov. Huckabee) first turned on your show for me while we out driving around, I have to admit I groaned. You were in the middle of talking about feminism, and you happened to bring up one of your Undeniable Truths Of Life: that feminism existed to give unattractive women easier access to mainstream society. To me, that seemed more like a defense of feminism, though I couldn’t tell if you meant it that way. Unattractive women SHOULD have access to mainstream society, I reasoned, and if they don’t have it without feminism, then feminism is a good thing. But if you were going to be critical of feminism, did that mean you thought unattractive women should NOT have access? You see my quandry. So my introduction to you was not altogether positive.

But I kept listening and gradually learned that you had an amazing view of the political landscape. So much insight. As for feminism, I’ve always thought of myself as a feminist in the classical sense, believing I should just move forward in the world as it is, as a man would do, and live the life I want to pursue rather than be pressured into something that’s wrong for me. But I came to understand that you were talking mostly about the feminist MOVEMENT, and the feminist movement did betray me, with its laser-beam focus on “reproductive rights” (abortion on demand) and its insistence on having a lot of things both ways. (The inconsistency is even worse today, as can be seen when you juxtapose the “principles” of the #MeToo movement with J-Lo’s sexed-up “empowering” pole dance at the Super Bowl.)

Anyway, the point is, I haven’t always agreed with you, but most of the time, certainly on politics, you were spot-on. It was obvious that critics of your show either didn’t listen at all or didn’t listen enough to understand what you meant, to know when you were being tongue-in-cheek. So often, they didn’t get the joke. Leftists hardly ever get the joke.

Since my husband and I are comedy writers, we have especially appreciated the humor in your show. Looking back, it seems there used to be more of that than there has been in recent years. Maybe that’s just a reflection of the times we’re in right now. (Humor today is not for the faint of heart!) Still, over the years, the many fall-down-funny song parodies you featured inspired me to write more of them myself. Thank you so much for that!

I’m indebted to you in another way, Rush. About 15 years ago, I lost the hearing in my left ear after surgery for Meniere’s Disease. The vertigo attacks were gone, but I was deaf on that side, with loud tinnitus. As I am a singer, this has been extremely challenging to deal with. But when you became totally deaf in BOTH ears, you still managed to continue your career in RADIO, no less! I was stunned at your determination to keep at it and find a way not to give up the work that so many of us value and count on. If you could do that with total hearing loss, then maybe I could find ways to keep going with music, recording and even live performances. You have been such an inspiration to me in that way, and I did eventually find help. Thank you so much.

I also admire you for sticking to your guns when you were savaged, not just by leftists but by some conservatives, for supporting Trump in 2016. As President, he has proved his conservative critics wrong --- wow, he truly has governed as a conservative --- but you seemed to really understand his potential as a conservative leader before many others on the right did.

I hope you’ll be able to be at the Golden EIB Microphone most of the time during this crazy political year. When you need some time away, we’ll understand, wishing the very best for you and hoping you’ll be recovered from treatment and back soon. I think this year will pretty much determine the future of America, so please be here for us when you can, Rush.

You’ve always said you were “having more fun than any human being should be allowed to have.” How wonderful to lead such a rich life, doing exactly what you want, and create an amazing legacy while you’re at it.

Well, I guess that’s about all. I just wanted to say how much you mean to me and to so many, but in the process I realized that mere words don’t quite get there. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to meet you personally and shake your hand, so I’ll just imagine I’m shaking your hand now. (Pause for imaginary hand-shaking. Sorry, my hand is sweating a little.) Thanks for everything, Rush. Much love to you and yours.

Sincerely,

Laura Ainsworth

Mitt Romney Call Your Office

February 7, 2020

Give Sen. Mitt Romney credit for one thing: he’s certainly sparked a renewed interest in politics back in his “home state” of Utah. By voting with the Democrats to convict President Trump on their first Article of Impeachment (abusing his power by using it pretty much the same way every President in history has), Romney has spurred a flurry of citizen activism. Some Trump critics have turned out to rally, declaring him a hero and the conscience of DC (I suspect they're the same people who called Romney a racist, elitist, bullying, dog-torturing, corporate raider who gave his employees cancer and kept women in binders, back when he was on the other side – and who will again, the minute he inevitably flip-flops).

Meanwhile, a bill to allow voters to recall errant Senators that has been languishing in the Utah state House since before impeachment even became an issue suddenly has half a dozen new co-sponsors. Its author, Rep. Tim Quinn, says he got over a hundred phone calls and 250 emails in just over an hour that were “100% positive.”

https://www.deseret.com/utah/2020/2/5/21125200/mitt-romney-trump-impeachment-acquit-senate-vote-convict-utah-legislature-recall

Romney supporters say he shouldn’t be recalled for displaying “character.” Why, exactly, it shows “character” to violate your sworn oath to “support and defend the Constitution” by ratifying the House’s unprecedented, partisan and unconstitutional impeachment process, or to find someone guilty on evidence that one week before he’d proclaimed to be insufficient to determine guilt, I cannot say. I do think the vote showed Romney’s predictable character, which I predicted here before he even announced it by referencing the fable about the scorpion that stung the friendly frog that was giving it a ride across the river. The scorpion explained, “It’s in my nature.”

Romney obviously believes he was taking the moral, Biblical high ground (aside from ignoring the “Thou shalt not bear false witness” part.) But for those in Utah who believe he should be recalled and are looking for grounds that Romney cannot argue with without looking like a hypocrite, try this:

“The great state of Utah deserves a Senator who didn’t win his election largely because of the endorsement of a President whom he himself has officially declared to be guilty of a ‘severe,’ ‘egregious’ and ‘abusive’ attack on the Constitution.”

In fact, if he really is as morally superior as he claims to be, shouldn’t he save the public the trouble of changing the law and recalling him by resigning for his own egregious sin of accepting the Senate endorsement of such a terrible, lawless President? He even unsuccessfully angled for a job as his Secretary of State. Just think, if he’d actually gotten that job, the Democrats would have subpoenaed him to reveal classified, personal conversations with the President…and when Trump cited executive privilege, imagine what his new pals would be calling Romney now!

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-voices-support-mitt-romney-campaign-senate/story?id=53208232

On Thursday, President Trump held a gathering at the White House to thank his family, supporters and legal team and celebrate his acquittal in the Senate. This ends the travesty of his phony impeachment, which started even before he was inaugurated and went on to shred the Constitution in the attempt to take him down. Of course, like sharks that have to keep swimming and eating to stay alive, his political enemies are still actively searching for some crime to “get” him on. They and their media accomplices were even criticizing him for his remarks during Thursday’s event, slamming him for “not bringing the country together,” if you can believe that.

The President was justifiably outspoken about the attempted coup that took place within the intel bureaucracy. “...If I didn’t fire James Comey, we would have never found this stuff. ‘Cause when I fired that sleazebag, all hell broke out. They were ratting on each other; they were running for the hills. Let’s see what happens...It’s in the hands of some very talented people.” a reference to Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham.

When you have a little time (it runs about an hour), you should watch this. It’s Trump at his best and most reflective. Melania is glowing with happiness. Really impressive –- I was glad to see he hasn’t lost his sense of humor after such an ordeal.

https://youtu.be/IREknOdkPbA

As for the false narrative that was created around Trump to remove him from office, one of the Democrats’ big talking points has been that Russia --- not Ukraine --- interfered with our 2016 Presidential election. Anyone suggesting that Ukraine was involved must be saying that Russia’s hands were clean, according to this line of “reasoning.” So, the idea of Ukraine’s involvement had to be coming from some wild-eyed right-wing conspiracy theorist trying to defend President Trump from the charge of being an agent of Vladimir Putin. It followed that Rudy Giuliani couldn’t have had a legitimate reason to look into Ukrainian involvement in 2016; that was merely a pretense for him to look into Joe Biden in anticipation of 2020, they said.

You see the logical flaws in this “either/or” argument. When it’s laid out like this, it makes absolutely no sense. Besides, I thought the left was opposed to “binary” choices, ha. Certs is a candy mint! Certs is a breath mint! Wait, you’re BOTH right! (And for those who remember when SNL was really funny, New Shimmer is a floor wax AND a dessert topping!) It was Russia...AND Ukraine!

Which leads me to some new revelations concerning what happened in Ukraine to launch an investigation of Trump 2016 campaign director Paul Manafort.

Recall that in December of 2018, a Ukrainian court ruled that two government officials, a member of parliament named Sergey Leschenko and (not kidding) the head of the Anticorruption Bureau of Ukraine, Artem Sytnyk, were found guilty in a Ukrainian court of illegally interfering in the American 2016 election by publicizing the so-called “black ledger” of cash payments to Paul Manafort. That ruling was overturned on a technicality, but what they did to publicize the ledger remains true. THE NEW YORK TIMES was only too happy to break the ledger story in August 2016.

John Solomon has been investigating the origins of this mysterious ledger for a long time now, as Manfort rots in jail, and Leschenko told him in an interview last summer that although he publicized the ledger in 2016, he didn’t think it could be used as evidence in court because there was no proof beyond a reasonable doubt that it was authentic. Doubts arose because officials said Manafort was never paid in cash, and the ledger reflected cash payments. The ledger appeared to have been created after the fact.

Once the ledger was made public, though, it led to the firing of Manafort from Trump’s campaign and an investigation that revealed crimes for which he was prosecuted –- by the special counsel, who sought damaging information on Trump. But it was never introduced at his trial or significantly analyzed in Robert Mueller’s report, which found no evidence of “collusion” between Trump and Russia. Mueller never released the “302’s” that would have detailed their conclusions about the ledger.

So, was the ledger a fake, created to provide a pretense to go after Manafort while he was Trump’s campaign director? Solomon has learned there was special counsel testimony attesting to the ledger’s inauthenticity from Manafort’s former business partner Rick Gates. In a “302” (summary of witness testimony) from April of 2018, Gates said, “The black ledger was a fabrication. It was never real, and this fact has since been proven true.” This statement is consistent with what several Ukrainian officials have told Solomon in his quest for the story. But Mueller did not include it.

As Solomon reports, “If true, Gates’ account means the two key pieces of documentary evidence used by the media and FBI to drive the now-debunked Russia collusion narrative --- the Steele dossier and the black ledger --- were at best uncorroborated and at worst disinformation. His account also raises the possibility that someone fabricated the document in Ukraine in an effort to restart investigative efforts on Manafort’s consulting work or to meddle in the U.S. presidential election.”

https://justthenews.com/key-witness-told-team-mueller-russia-collusion-evidence-found.html

So, with the “dossier” revealed as a highly imaginative work of fiction paid for by the Hillary campaign and the “black ledger” almost certainly manufactured as well, what happens now? Well, first of all, we need to acknowledge that there was some serious election “meddling” going on in UKRAINE that justified Rudy Giuliani’s desire to uncover it in the interest of his client. Second, our own intelligence bureaucracy needs to be overhauled to stop the use of fake “evidence” to launch investigations for political purposes.

On that score, FBI Director Chris Wray has announced that every FBI official listed in IG Michael Horowitz’s report is being reviewed for possible discipline. “Possible discipline”? That’s not good enough. Wray has kept a low profile in the aftermath of that report, which showed 17 “errors and omissions” in their phony FISA application and three renewals, and it’s difficult to know how determined he is. What’s the goal: to impart genuine reform, or to shore up the FBI’s image? Wray seems mostly interested in rehabilitating their image. Sorry, but an attempt at an “image makeover” isn’t going to cut it.

One encouraging development (hope it ‘s true): The White House is considering dismissing Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. This is not “retaliation,” as the media will portray it, but part of a badly needed purge. Details here...

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/white-house-deciding-considering-plan-to-dismiss-aide-who-testified-against-trump

Which brings us back to Trump’s remarks on Thursday. “We’ve been going through this now for over three years,” he said. It was evil, it was corrupt, it was dirty cops. It was leakers and liars. And this should never happen to another President, ever.”

Without a complete housecleaning, including criminal prosecutions where appropriate, it most certainly will. (As I mentioned, Democrats are already trying to do it again to President Trump.) And when I say “housecleaning,” I mean the FBI, CIA, DOJ...and, very importantly, the House of Representatives.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/after-impeachment-acquittal-comes-removing-pelosi-from-her-role-as-speaker-pence-says

The Democratic Response…

February 5, 2020

I don’t mean the official response by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. She gave a well-presented speech, thankfully short on partisan bile and long on standard Democratic boilerplate about helping the struggling workers and making health care more affordable – both of which would be great if (A.) I thought they meant it, and (B.) they had any idea how to do it. She didn’t respond to any specifics in Trump’s speech, but then, I’m sure it was written before his was released. You can see why Whitmer is a rising star in Democratic circles, if she isn’t sunk by the angry radical left.

No, the Democratic response I’m talking about, the one that’s getting the most attention and blowback, was the childish, rude, self-defeating reaction in the Chamber (some members, such as rabid Trump haters AOC and Al Green, boycotted the speech, and were likely not missed by anyone on either side.)

https://www.rightjournalism.com/i-am-not-attending-tonights-sham-at-least-10-reps-opting-out-of-the-state-of-the-union/

Reactions in the House to previous Presidents’ SOTU Addresses have often been partisan, but they at least showed respect for the office. A President’s fellow party members might cheer wildly at his accomplishments while the opposition sat quietly or offered polite, tepid applause. But remember the shock and outrage when one Republican shouted, “You lie!” at Obama? Democrats thought that was outrageous (he was later reprimanded.) Well, last night, Trump was interrupted by dozens of Democrats in a pre-planned heckling chant. But amazingly, that was not their worst misbehavior.

That act of self-immolation was repeated over and over, when they angrily sat on their hands and glowered as Trump listed accomplishments that they’d be doing cartwheels over if a Democrat had managed them. Record low unemployment for minorities, women and the disabled? Silence. Blue collar jobs returning and wages rising? Silence. Working on a cure for AIDS? Silence. A little African-American girl being granted her life-changing dream of choosing a good school to attend? Silence. Most refused even to show support for killing terrorist mass murderers or not killing late term babies, two things they oppose largely because Trump supports them. To them, any good news for America is bad news, since it lessens their reelection chances. They even managed to look as if they’d just swallowed castor oil when Trump called for planting a trillion trees. (“Trump likes trees? Then I hate trees now!!”)

I generally refuse to stoop to the now-common practice of ascribing the worst motives to people who disagree with my political views. I don’t assume someone who sees things differently from me is stupid, racist, evil or whatever. But with last night’s sickening display, the Democrats in the House made it crystal clear that they place expressing hatred of Trump and opposing everything he does above every other issue, no matter how positive it might otherwise be. They would honestly rather see Americans suffer and fail, even groups they claim to champion such as minorities, women and the disabled, than see Trump succeed in helping them. It was partisan politics in its rawest, most selfish form, and it was repulsive.

But wait: it actually gets worse. To cap off the blatant display of disrespect for the President and anyone who supports him (or who has benefited from his policies), Nancy Pelosi made a show of ripping her copy of the speech in half behind his back on live TV.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-in-state-of-the-union-will-tout-economic-success-slam-socialism

(This followed an hour’s worth of strange facial contortions, eye-rolling and gesticulations that made it appear she was teaching a seminar in bad silent movie acting.)

https://www.westernjournal.com/damning-clip-shows-pelosi-trying-decide-applaud-putting-america-first/

Pelosi’s stunt sparked a range of heated reactions. I think law professor Jonathan Turley, who recently tried unsuccessfully to teach the House Democrats what an impeachable offense was, put it well on Twitter: “Pelosi's act dishonored the institution and destroyed even the pretense of civility and decorum in the House. If this is the Speaker's ‘drop the mike’ moment, it is a disgrace that should never be celebrated or repeated. In a single act, she obliterated decades of tradition.”

Newt Gingrich also tweeted that Pelosi’s ripping up of the speech disgusted him and wasn’t clever or cute but a childish insult to American traditions, and she deserves to be censured.

The White House response was the most brutal, since they pointed out what was actually in the speech that she was showing utter contempt for. They tweeted, “Speaker Pelosi just ripped up: One of our last surviving Tuskegee Airmen. The survival of a child born at 21 weeks. The mourning families of Rocky Jones and Kayla Mueller. A service member's reunion with his family. That's her legacy.”

But perhaps the best reaction was from several commenters who pointed out that today, Mitch McConnell will be ripping up her “articles of impeachment.”

As Newt pointed out, Pelosi certainly deserves to be censured, but she won’t be as long as Democrats control the House. Thankfully, due to their lack of any accomplishments, their deranged obsession with a doomed impeachment crusade, and their stunningly small-minded misbehavior before the world last night, they might have helped bring the end of that lamentable era to a close very soon.

Okay, I admit it: I was wrong. I thought nothing could make the Democrats look worse than their disastrously incompetent Iowa Caucus debacle on Monday (it’s Wednesday, and we still don’t have final results.) But then came their behavior Tuesday in front of the entire world during President Trump’s State of the Union Address. I stand corrected.

Any independent voters who might still have been remotely considering putting them in charge of anything more complicated than a snowcone machine had to be shocked and repelled by their ugly, divisive, nasty, childish behavior that not only expressed visceral hatred of the President but of everything he does, no matter how much it helps America or the people or causes they claim to support.

But before we get into the reaction, a few words about the speech itself, which I thought was magnificent. (If you missed it, you can watch it here in its entirety, and you definitely should):

https://youtu.be/4pYaBf15xa4?t=1854

Many conservative pundits are calling it the best defense of conservatism since Ronald Reagan, but that’s not accurate. It’s the best speech since Reagan, but unlike many conservative speeches, it wasn’t a defense. Why should a system that works everywhere it’s tried need to be defended, especially when the alternative is a system that’s brought nothing but poverty, misery, starvation, oppression, corruption and death everywhere it’s been tried? Too many conservatives approach the subject from a defensive posture, thinking they have to respond to the blatant distortions of conservative beliefs (“Sexist! Racist! Hater!,” etc.) that the left hurls because they have no other arguments to stand on.

No, in addition to the inspiring language of Trump’s speech, it was so effective because he went full-tilt on offense. He didn’t enter the Chamber showing any weakness or understandable exhaustion after the three-year failed “impeachment” jihad against him that should meet its long-overdue demise today. Instead, he launched a forceful, unapologetic case for conservative principles because they WORK. He backed that up with one undeniable fact after another, from the booming economy and job creation that’s helping every demographic group to the drop in illegal immigration to the rout of terrorists and the reclaiming of American leadership in the world. To make it even more explicit, he called out the failed philosophy of socialism to the faces of those who seek to make it chic, and even introduced the man who’s trying to save Venezuela from its deprivations, that nation’s legitimate elected President, Juan Guiado.

And on the subject of guests, that recent tradition has never seen a more moving and inspiring selection of guests, including 100-year-old military hero and Tuskegee Airman Brig. Gen. Charles McGee and his great-grandson who wants to join the new Space Force; a military family being surprised by the return of their dad from deployment; and an emotional Rush Limbaugh, fighting stage 4 lung cancer, being presented with (and apparently very surprised by) the Presidential Medal of Freedom from First Lady Melania Trump.

https://www.westernjournal.com/trump-brings-rush-limbaugh-tears-awards-highest-civilian-honor-sotu/

Best of all, Trump made his speech about America more than about himself (when one commentator said Trump never used the "I" word, referring to "impeachment," I assumed he meant Trump didn't say "I" repeatedly, like Obama) He made it clear that while he cares about the world, he sees America as the exceptional nation it is (the “shining city on a hill,” to quote Reagan), he loves America and will always put American interests and the American people first. Trump sees himself as a proud American, not a “citizen of the world.” It’s something we used to expect of every President, but after years of American politicians badmouthing their own country and bowing to the UN or some other global governance movement, it now appears downright revolutionary. And incredibly refreshing.

(Note to Alexa from the Gov: I assume you mean Mike Bloomberg IDENTIFIES as a 5'8" man. Or maybe that's his height if you include the box he's standing on.)

From Betty:

Last evening, my husband and I were talking about the possibility that Mike Bloomberg requested a box to stand on for the debate. I asked Alexa how tall Bloomberg was, and she immediately replied 5'8". I then asked how tall President Trump was, and she replied 6'2". A few seconds later, Alexa said she found another item that I might like. She then started repeating the news item about Trump saying "the great state of Kansas" when congratulating the Chiefs on their Super Bowl win. I interrupted her and asked why she was quoting stories to trash President Trump. She said something like "I'll take note of that." We were stunned that Jeff Bezo's Alexa is providing unsolicited commentary on President Trump.

From the Gov:

Thanks, Betty. I'll take note of that! It doesn't surprise me at all. I wonder if Alexa ever volunteers news about the record-low unemployment rate or the latest lie from James Comey or Adam Schiff. I also wonder if Alexa will fit down the garbage disposal if you shove really hard.

In recent years, the term “fact-checker” has come to mean “partisan spin doctor pretending to dispense objective truth.” But President Trump made their job very hard with his SOTU Address. While Democrats are accusing him of lying from force of habit, he made a point of couching his accomplishments in verifiable statistic form, such as saying that the unemployment rate is the lowest in over 50 years, and that we’ve added 12,000 new factories after losing 60,000 under the last two Administrations. So when this fact-checking team looked into his claims, they had to admit he was telling the truth.

https://fox61.com/2020/02/04/verify-fact-checking-president-trumps-third-state-of-the-union-address/

In fact, surprisingly, he actually understated one accomplishment: "Since my election, the net worth of the bottom half of wage earners has increased by 47%, three times faster than the increase for the top one percent." Actually, according to the latest numbers from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the wealth of the bottom half has increased by 55.86%, which is 3-1/2 times the increase for the top one percent.

Of course, this didn’t prevent Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in the Democratic response from claiming that the economy is only “strong for the wealthy who are reaping rewards from tax cuts they don’t need” while it “doesn’t work for working people.” Those tax cuts helped fuel the economic boom that created the job creation that led to low unemployment that’s forced employers to increase wages and benefits to attract good workers. Electing Democrats who’ll raise taxes would undo all that. Besides, it’s an objectively false claim (see paragraph directly above.) But claiming that Republicans only care about the rich and want workers to suffer is all that Democrats know how to do, so they’ll just keep doing the same thing despite what Trump does or what those lying research numbers say.

Sadly for them, for once, fact-checkers verify that (to quote “Seinfeld”) Trump’s accomplishments are real, and they are spectacular. He wasn’t just bragging. Besides, it’s not bragging if you can really do it.

------------------

Some Democratic Iowa Caucus results are finally starting to trickle out. With 71% of precincts reporting, Pete Buttigieg is narrowly leading Bernie Sanders in the delegate race by 26.9% to 25.2%. Warren is trailing at 18.4% with Biden at 15.4%, barely edging Amy Klobuchar. Sanders leads in the popular vote. So the top two Democratic contenders for President of the United States so far are a small town mayor and an elderly socialist, with Joe Biden a distant fourth. Biden’s also not strong in the next two states, but hopes to win in his “firewall” of South Carolina. However, recent polls show his support is falling there, too.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/iowa-democratic-party-caucus-results

One of President Trump’s first reactions, when he was accused of trying to get Ukraine to investigate the Bidens because Biden would be his opponent in 2020, was to say he never thought Biden would be the nominee. It would be ironic indeed if the one person who actually got anything right in the Iowa Democratic Caucuses was Donald Trump.

PS – While the media are trying to make Republican reactions to the Democrats’ debacle in Iowa the story instead of the debacle itself or the rise of open socialist Bernie Sanders, political strategist James Carville has been around long enough to know not to believe your own blather. And he’s straight-up terrified at the suicidal impulses of his own party.

https://www.foxnews.com/media/james-carville-bernie-sanders-scared-to-death

------------------------------------

The Department of Homeland Security has announced travel restrictions on six new nations due to their failure to provide security criteria to prevent terrorists from entering the US. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasted the move, claiming it was “discrimination disguised as policy” and would bar 350 million people from predominately African nations from entering the US. DHS fired back that the actual number of people affected is approximately 12,400. If 350 million people wanted to come here, that would mean the entire populations of all those nations coming to the US and more than doubling our present population. Which I’m sure would be fine with Nancy, as long as they all vote Democrat.

https://www.westernjournal.com/pelosi-claims-new-travel-ban-affects-350-million-real-number-actually-12k/

The conservative satirical news site The Babylon Bee had a story on Monday’s Iowa Democratic Caucuses that I think fits this situation perfectly as well.

https://babylonbee.com/news/democrats-in-chaos-after-primaries-require-basic-math

--------------------------------------

Tweet of the Day! Former Obama official and MSNBC analyst (natch!) Richard Stengel tweeted about the Dems’ Iowa Caucus fiasco, “The two guys happiest with the Iowa results are Donald Trump and his pal Vladimir Putin. Please don't subscribe to conspiracy theories launched by either one of them. Simple human incompetence is almost always the right explanation.” Putting aside that Stengel cited the debunked Russian collusion conspiracy theory to denounce conspiracy theories, the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto offered the perfect response:

“’Simple Human Incompetence.’ Now there’s a campaign slogan.”

https://twitter.com/jamestaranto/status/1224763448308969493

-------------------------------

Super Bowl Post-Script: Jay-Z denied that he and wife Beyonce were making any kind of political statement by sitting during the National Anthem. He says they co-produced the show and were just absorbed in making sure everything was running smoothly (the mics, camera angles, etc.)

However, he added, "I didn't have to make a silent protest. If you look at the stage, the artists that we chose, Colombian (Shakira), Puerto Rican, J-Lo…we were making the biggest loudest protest of all." So in case you thought they forgot to add a lot of politics to an inappropriate place, rest easy. And here I thought the halftime show was just a protest against good taste and public decency.

https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/jay-z-explains-seated-super-bowl-national-anthem

--------------------------

Finally, Mitt Romney buys the load of Schiff. He's still upset he choked against Obama & begged for Sec of State but was passed over by President Trump(thank goodness!). He makes a fine Democrat Senator for Utah. I sure miss Orrin Hatch who was a statesman. Utah deserves better. We all do.

In the aftermath of closing arguments in the Senate impeachment trial, House manager Adam Schiff has not come off well.

True, Barbra Streisand tweeted that “Adam Schiff is so impressive. His knowledge of the law...his passion...his articulateness. His sincerity! He speaks the truth and would make a great president.” Personally, I think the best reason of all NOT to vote for someone for President is that Barbra Streisand said he’d make a great President.

But there has also been quite a bit of this: “...Schiff is not just dumb, he’s so deluded it’s bordering on the very kind of insanity Einstein spoke about.” And it continues: “Schiff is obsessed with Donald Trump. I don’t just mean he’s got a bit of a problem with him; I mean he’s pathologically demented in his absolute detestation of all things Trump. Every day since Trump was elected, Schiff’s been plotting to try to get rid of him…The impeachment has been about Adam Schiff, his ego and his career.”

And how about this: Adam Schiff, with his “curiously smug bug-eyed smirk” is “a man whose stratospheric ego is matched only by his astonishing superciliousness...”

Who do you think said all this? Some wild-eyed far-right-wing conspiracy theorist? Was it Dan Bongino? Sean Hannity? Maybe Devin Nunes? Me?

No, it was Piers Morgan, in a February 3 opinion piece for the Daily Mail. (If it had been me, I would have included the word “weasel.”)

According to Morgan, Adam Schiff “put his own gigantic ego and steely political ambition ahead of his party” and, with this monumental failure, helped his political nemesis get re-elected as President this coming November. He notes that the polls have been moving up for Trump throughout this impeachment process, especially on his handling of the economy, with its record low unemployment and overall stock market performance. I would add that thanks to Schiff and those in cahoots with him, Trump is coming across right now –- for the most part –- as the adult in the room, the man who’s keeping his head while all about him are losing theirs and blaming it on him (thank you, Rudyard Kipling). The same goes for his outstanding legal team, who acted like professional adults while the House managers were lying outrageously and calling names.

Adam Schiff has campaigned incessantly to get rid of Trump, Morgan says, though I would add that “The Squad” and others in the far-left, “impeach the **” crowd have pushed just as hard and deserve similar condemnation. Schiff, though, was and is the face of this impeachment. He’s the one who led the way with lie after demonstrable lie and who shoved through those horrendously unconstitutional committee rules that called for secret hearings in a secure basement “skiff” and completely shut out the President’s defense. He will go down in history for that.

It wasn’t just that Schiff conducted the impeachment improperly; Morgan thinks he was insane for starting an impeachment in the first place. Morgan didn’t like Trump’s phone call --- he thought Trump did something “stupid” --- but he’s never thought it rose to the level of an impeachable act. And with Republicans in the majority in the Senate (thank God), his efforts were destined to fail. Everyone knew that.

From a political standpoint, it was indeed stupid to hand the President another big win, as he’d already beaten Robert Mueller and the whole bloodthirsty, relentless special counsel team. In Morgan’s words, the Russia collusion allegation “was all bullsh*t.” He goes on to say that with Schiff’s D.O.A. impeachment, “they pulled the trigger on a hyper-partisan political gun that was only ever going to fire bullets into their 2020 election chances.”

It seems Schiff has attracted condemnation from both sides. Leftists and other anti-Trumpers hate him for giving the President a victory that will help propel him into another term. Trump supporters can’t stand him for his many shameless lies, his attacks on the Constitution and the damage he’s done, plus the huge waste of everybody’s time. If he thought he was going to further his political career, he may have done just the opposite. On the other hand, he does represent California --- and he at least can be assured of Barbra Streisand’s vote.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7961369/Sanctimonious-Schiff-impeachment-left-Democrats-needing-Hail-Mary-November.html

And remember my commentary from yesterday about how Alan Dershowitz is being trashed in order to delegitimize the President’s acquittal? Some legal “experts,” including Michael Gerhardt, who was on the panel of impeachment witnesses on “legal expert day” in the House, are saying the entire White House defense team could be brought up on ethics charges. Not the lying house managers Adam Schiff and Jerrold Nadler –- the WHITE HOUSE lawyers. He says THEY were lying. I kid you not.

But Jonathan Turley, the law professor serving on that same panel whose argument “helped” Trump by sticking to constitutional principles (even though, like Dershowitz, he’s not a Trump supporter) struck back with an excellent commentary, saying “The White House team were effective advocates for their clients and we do not disbar lawyers for making arguments or defending individuals that we do not like.”

Gerhardt, a legal analyst for CNN (big shock), said this to host Poppy Harlow: “I think what we are seeing...is that the lawyers who presented [Trump’s] case in the Senate basically misled or lied to the Senate. And so...at some point, we are going to see ethics charges brought against these lawyers for making false statements, which we all know are false.” But he is never specific about what statements are false, and Turley admonishes him by saying, “It is incumbent on an attorney to be specific about the false representation” when calling for ethics charges. In fact, he even warns Gerhardt that impugning the conduct of other lawyers without sufficient support can, in itself, be an ethics violation.

Turley gives the White House lawyers credit for showing that it was the House managers who misrepresented facts that were in the record. He points out that Adam Schiff was given four Pinocchios by the WASHINGTON POST for his denial of any contact between his staff and the “whistleblower.” Schiff still maintains the ridiculous farce that he doesn’t even know who the “whistleblower” is. I’d say that if we’re going to start throwing around ethics charges, Schiff should be at the top of the list.

“Lawyers often present one-sided views of the record that the other side views as unfair or unsupported,” Turley says of Gerhardt. “We do not declare on national television that the entire opposing legal team ‘will’ (not even ‘may be’) called before the bar.”

As for Schiff, I thought it was funny that after delivering piles of unsubstantiated drivel on the Senate floor on Monday, he said this: “He is who he is. Truth matters little to him. What’s right matters even less. And decency matters not at all.” It was funny because even though I knew he was talking about Trump, he was actually describing himself.

https://jonathanturley.org/2020/02/02/gerhardt-the-entire-white-house-defense-team-will-face-bar-charges/

Schiff's Folly

February 2, 2020

For all intents and purposes, Schiff’s Folly, the crime-free, evidence-deficient impeachment of President Trump, is dead.  The plug was pulled Friday night, and we’re just waiting for the corpse to stop twitching.  It happened when the Senate voted 51-49 to refuse the request of Democrat House managers to call more witnesses.  The vote was mostly along party lines, with only Republican Sens. Susan Collins and (prepare to be shocked) Mitt Romney voting with the Democrats.
I don’t blame Sen. Collins, since she’s facing a tough reelection in a liberal state (Maine) and is already taking flak for her brave vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh.  I assume Majority Leader Mitch McConnell probably told her that her “no” vote wasn’t needed.  I also assume that Romney voted with the Democrats for the same reason that the scorpion stung the frog that was giving it a ride across the river: “It’s in its nature.” 
In announcing the vote, McConnell stated the exact argument I made in my open letter to Senators: that having claimed to have proven their case with “overwhelming” evidence “beyond any doubt,” the House managers now demanded to set a dangerous precedent of making the Senate engage in a protracted round of new testimony, document searches and executive privilege appeals that it was the House’s job to do, if they needed that evidence to prove their allegedly “overwhelming” case. In short, if the prosecutors fail to find convincing evidence of a crime, they shouldn’t ask the jury to go hunting for it for them
Lindsey Graham said the same, in even sharper tones:
As expected, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer went on one of his patented pompous, scolding lectures, calling the vote a “perfidy” (for Democrats, they sure hate democracy) and “a grand tragedy. One of the worst tragedies that the Senate has ever overcome.” He said, “America will remember this day, unfortunately, where the Senate did not live up to its responsibilities, where the Senate turned away from truth and went along with a sham trial.”
 I think it’s more likely America will remember a couple of weeks ago as the day the Senate started going along with a sham trial.  Friday will be remembered as the day they ended it.
To prove the game is well and truly over and the fat lady has sung, even CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin admitted that what people will remember about “impeachment” is that Trump won.

We’ve followed the Michael Flynn story from the beginning and have been hoping the best for him, praying for him and his family after he was swept up in the effort to take down President Trump and pressured to plead guilty to lying to the FBI when he (and even his questioners) knew he hadn’t.

Flynn needed a fighter and he finally got one. His fortunes started to turn when he replaced his original legal counsel with firebrand attorney Sidney Powell. I tell you, if you ever need someone in your corner, she’s the one to have. And she’s got a lot more to work with now that the IG report on FISA abuse in the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign, “Crossfire Hurricane,” has shown horrific misconduct that stomped all over the rights of Americans such as Flynn.

Powell has just submitted a white-hot 27-page addendum to her previous motions, in which Flynn formally asks Judge Emmet Sullivan to allow him to withdraw his guilty plea. Powell is talking tougher than ever, and her demand that the charges against her client be dropped is now based on previously withheld government documents and, importantly, the IG report on FISA abuse. In response, prosecutors have said they will consider no jail time for Flynn (mighty nice of them) and would offer probation instead.

Um, I don’t think they quite heard her. And when they don’t hear her, she gets louder. Powell is telling them Flynn is INNOCENT. She says, “The IG report is replete with exculpatory information that, had it been known to Flynn, he never would have pled guilty.” She wants the charges DROPPED, citing “government conduct dishonestly wielded to destroy the National Security Adviser to President Trump as part of their larger anti-Trump scheme.”

Flynn himself is speaking up, too. He has connected the dots and can see, looking back, what was done to him and why. In the supplemental motion, he wrote, “In truth, I never lied. My guilty plea rankled me throughout this process, and while I allowed myself to succumb to the threats from the government to save my family, I believe I was grossly misled about what really happened.”

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/michael-flynn-motion-to-withdraw-guilty-plea-egregious-fbi-misconduct

Victoria Taft at PJMedia.com has more on the story, including some background for those who haven’t been keeping up:

https://pjmedia.com/trending/feds-back-off-jailing-michael-flynn-after-stunning-new-evidence-that-govt-lied-and-framed-him/

A few amusing "impeachment" side notes: the Iowa Caucuses are tomorrow night, so by stretching this through Wednesday, Mitch McConnell forced Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar to spend the entire final weeks when they should have been campaigning in Iowa sitting in DC, listening to Adam Schiff lie.

One hilarious moment came when the Democrats’ final chance to speak during Q&A came and, for possibly the first time in his life, Jerrold Nadler sprinted to the microphone, ignoring Adam Schiff’s panicked cries of “Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!” Nadler gave the expected bad and off-putting answer, although to be fair, it was probably no more annoying than Schiff would’ve been. And at least it gave us this hilarious viral moment.

https://www.foxnews.com/media/jerry-nadler-adam-schiff-podium-impeachment

When the vote to call more witnesses predictably failed, several hundred anti-Trump protesters outside the Capitol let out with screams of anger and outrage. Have you noticed that leftists endow sounds with magical powers? They think that words they disagree with cause them physical harm. They believe that talking about a problem means they’re solving it. They elect candidates based not on qualifications or experience but on rhetoric that makes their legs tingle. They think that calling something “debunked” or “proven overwhelmingly” means that it is, even when it clearly isn’t. And for some reason, they seem to think screaming at the sky conveys some actual political power, when it just makes them look emotionally unstable. They’re like roosters who think their crowing makes the sun come up. Go ahead, scream at the sky. Who cares, other than people who are trying to sleep?

To be fair, I can understand why they screamed at the sky: they were being forced to relive the first traumatic time they did that, on Election Night 2016. Once again, they were hysterical with rage to discover that even after going to all that trouble to rig the system, they still lost to Trump.

First, this from Martha S:

Great questions as usual, Mike. But you forgot to ask Schiffty about his connections to the identical twin Vindman boys, Lt. Colonel Alexander and Lt. Colonel Yevgeny. Interesting to know that they have offices across the hall from each other at the NSC and they both have connections to the impeachment proceedings, albeit behind the curtain.

From the Gov:

Great idea, Martha, though I certainly haven’t forgotten that. There’s plenty more that Schiffty could be asked. The developing story about the identical twin Vindmans is fascinating, and I’ll be writing about it as more details are clear. In the meantime, let’s bring everybody up to speed…

NSC aide handling book approvals is twin brother of Lt. Col. Vindman: Report

--------------------

Alas, my list of suggested “fun” questions for Adam Schiff did not get asked on the Senate floor, but I would have loved to watch his face during one particular Q&A that did take place. It could go down as the Question Of The Day, as it opened the door to questioning by senators concerning the unnamed “whistleblower” (ERIC CIARAMELLA) and the activities surrounding the suspicious origin of the impeachment “inquiry” within Schiff’s House Intel Committee.

It was posed to Trump’s legal counsel by Republican Sens. Lee, Cruz and Hawley: “Is it true that Sean Misko, Abigail Grace and the alleged ‘whistleblower’ were employed by or detailed to the National Security Council during the same time period between January 20, 2017, and the present? Do you have reason to believe that they knew each other? Do you have any reason to believe that the alleged ‘whistleblower’ and Misko coordinated to fulfill their reported commitments to ‘do everything we can to take out the President’?”

Deputy White House counsel Patrick Philbin calmly and matter-of-factly tackled this one, saying the only knowledge his team has comes from public reports. “I don’t want to get into speculating about that,” he said. It seemed for a moment that this was all he might say, but then he went on: “It is something that, to an unknown extent, may have been addressed in the testimony of the inspector general of the intelligence community before Chairman Schiff’s committees, but that testimony --- contacts with the ‘whistleblower,’ contacts between members of Manager Schiff’s staff and the whistleblower --- are shrouded in secrecy to this day.

“We don’t know what the testimony of the ICIG was; that remains secret, has not been forwarded. We don’t know what Manager Schiff’s staff’s contacts with the ‘whistleblower’ have been and what connections there are there. It’s something that would seem to be relevant, since the ‘whistleblower’ started this entire inquiry, but I can’t make any representations that we have particular knowledge of the facts suggested in the question. We know that there was a public report suggesting connections and prior working relationships between certain people –- not something that I can comment on other than to say that there’s a report there. We don’t know what the ICIG discussed. We don’t know what the ICIG was told by the ‘whistleblower.’ Other public reports about inaccuracies in the ‘whistleblower’s’ report to the ICIG, we don’t know the testimony on that. We don’t know the situation of the contacts, coordination, advice provided by Manager Schiff’s staff to the ‘whistleblower’ --- that all remains unknown, but something that, obviously, to get to the bottom of motivations, bias, how this, uh, how this inquiry was all created, could potentially be relevant. Thank you.”

Thank YOU, senators and Trump attorneys, for finally getting a discussion of this into the public record. The message was subtle but crystal clear to House managers: WE WILL GO THERE. DO NOT DOUBT US. Mr. Philbin was referring to the mysterious 18th transcript --- the one transcript from the House “inquiry” that Schiff will not release. (The House even refers to “the 17 witnesses,” when there were really 18.) Intel Committee IG Michael Atkinson gave his testimony inside the SCIF (“skiff”), and since that time, not even anyone on Schiff’s committee has been allowed to look at it outside that elaborately secure room in the basement of the Capitol building. We know, of course, that if it were helpful to their case at all, they would have not only revealed it, but trumpeted it.

It was bad enough that the President’s legal counsel were denied any presence during the House “inquiry” hearings. (Incidentally, I always use quotes around “inquiry” in this context because it wasn’t an inquiry at all, as the outcome had obviously been pre-ordained.) If Trump hadn’t been denied due process, his deputy counsel would have been present during the questioning of Atkinson and would have been able to ask questions himself; as it was, they didn’t even provide him with a transcript when it was done. Now, after all the other transcripts have been released, Schiff is STILL keeping Atkinson’s testimony from them.

It’s Atkinson who received the initial “whistleblower” complaint, AFTER Ciaramella had gone to Adam Schiff’s office and consulted with his staff on what to do with it. We’ve gone all over this: it was in Schiff’s office that Ciaramella was put in touch with his anti-Trump “whistleblower” attorneys. Ciaramella’s close friend who had worked with him at the National Security Council, Sean Miklos, was on Schiff’s staff. Ciaramella and Miklos were the two White House national security staffers overheard just two weeks after Trump’s inauguration loudly commenting that they would take Trump out.

Schiff probably thought he could keep the lid on the contrived origin of his phony “inquiry,” but his lies have caught up with him. He no doubt has a legal argument prepared to try to keep himself out of the witness chair if witnesses are called, but that is highly unlikely to work, and if it does, the truth will still come out through Ciaramella, Miklos, Atkinson and perhaps others on the House staff. I have a feeling it’s already been decided on BOTH sides of the aisle that witnesses won’t be called, as Schiff actually doesn’t want witnesses to be called now. Given the Pandora’s box that would be opened if Ciaramella and/or Schiff were called, I think House managers may just be pretending to demand witnesses so that when it doesn’t happen, they can complain forever about the “lack of fairness.” Yes, they are that disingenuous.

The idea that John Bolton would be a helpful witness for the House has been destroyed by a video clip of him being interviewed for Radio Free Europe in August, a month before he left the White House. In the clip, there is no hint of frustration with Trump concerning Ukraine; he even describes the two phone calls between Trump and Zelensky as “very warm and cordial.” Bolton says, “...the success of Ukraine maintaining its freedom, its system of representative government, a free-market economy FREE OF CORRUPTION (emphasis mine)...are high priorities here, obviously, but high priorities for the United States as well.”

Say, if witnesses are called after all and the Democrats decide not to call Bolton, can we have him?

…………………...

By the way, here’s a great question suggested by reader B. Drinkwine:

Many are wondering and would like an answer to this question: How can four Democrat Senators who are running for President in 2020 vote to impeach their opponent, Donald Trump? Is this not a conflict of interest or illegal?

From the Gov:

To my knowledge, no one has challenged this legally, but obviously they do have a huge conflict of interest and cannot possibly be unbiased. On the other hand, who among them is unbiased?

It does seem they had ample cause to recuse themselves, and you know they wish they didn’t have to be there. They've probably been driving around with bumper stickers reading “I’d Rather Be In Iowa.” Fortunately for all, the way things are looking as of this writing (early Thursday), they will get their wish in a matter of hours.

MONOLOGUE TEXT

There’s a reason why I increasingly hold the mainstream media in contempt.  It’s because they have destroyed the art of journalism and have replaced it with biased advocacy for the left.  There was a time they at least concealed their partisanship, but not anymore.  The number of true journalists whose stories and reporting don’t tip their hand as to their own political leanings is a very shortlist.  I’ll give you a simple way to determine if a person in the media has crossed the line from journalism to commentary.  If the story is about you or something or someone you like and you can tell whether the writer or reporter likes or despises the person being discussed, that’s commentary.  When after reading or viewing the story, you honestly can’t tell what the opinion of the writer or reporter is, that is journalism.

We need a fair and objective news media.  It’s vital to our great Republic.  The press is supposed to like the referees in a ball game, who may privately have opinions, but keep those subjugated so as to simply state the facts and let the consumer determine what they mean.  They are essentially like the guys wearing the striped shirts, trying to keep the game fair by insisting everyone is playing by the same rules,  But when the guys in the striped shirts wear a team jersey and openly cheer for one side against another, the game is rigged.

A little over a week ago, President Trump signed the USMCA trade agreement, a historic trade deal that replaced the job-killing NAFTA and which was so profound that it was actually passed by an 89-10 vote in the Senate.  Think about that.  It was a truly bipartisan bill that had overwhelming House and Senate support from both parties.  USMCA stands for United States, Mexico, and Canada and it fulfills a YUUUGE promise made by Donald Trump when he was a candidate.  He pledged to get rid of NAFTA and replace it with a trade plan that puts everyone on the same level and stops so many American jobs heading across our northern or southern border.  But how much time did NBC, CBS, ABC, AND CNN and MSNBC devote to this truly major deal that will have great impact on American farmers, manufacturers, and consumers?  ZERO.  Not one second.  Nothing.  They never mentioned it.  They were frothing at the mouth about impeachment that by any reasonable standard is based on political bias, utterly manufactured charges pulled from the blue sky, and carried out exclusively by Democrats as an attempt to overturn the 2016 election that Donald Trump won. 

 

So how can you get information that is trustworthy?  I offer you a few tips:

 

1. Never take the first “breaking news” as the story.  Too many reporters and networks had rather be first than right.

2.  Discount or even disregard stories based on anonymous “sources” or “high-level officials,” or “senior advisors.”  So-called whistle-blowers are more often smoke-blowers.   And let me be clear—I don’t care where you get your news and information. Even if it’s Fox News where I’m still contributor if they are touting “unnamed sources,” or “my sources close to the President,” don’t fall for it.  It may even be true, but demand better. 

3.  If the story doesn’t include a credible and knowledgeable named source to balance or counter the story, toss it in the trash.  It’s where a lot of modern “journalism” belongs.  In the meantime, the media sure is missing some real important news.  And that means you are too. 

 

And if we ever see real journalism again, I’ll quit talking about the New York Slimes, The Washington Compost, CNN, the bottom-feeding Catfish News Network, or BSNBC….

We’ve had so many reader comments on the Senate trial, it will take days to go through them. Thanks so much to all who are writing. Most everyone is expressing the same disgust I feel while trying to watch this, or at least some of it. Others aren’t watching at all, as they know it will just make them furious. But here’s a particularly moving letter from someone who just feels heartbroken.

From Lindsay (with slight editing):

Mike,

...I was born and raised in Arkansas and am a great fan of yours. I now live in Texas.

Actually, yes, I am watching. And how do I feel? Heartbroken. It is so obvious what they have been trying to do to this man since the beginning. They hate him and they want him out! Hatred is a powerful emotion, and the more you don’t deal with it the more it stirs up. It’s like a cancer you ignore.

I don’t want to use the term “witch hunt,” but that truly is what it is. The thing that really gets to me is the power they have. Seeing [Pelosi] gloat all over TV about Trump’s forever title “impeached” shows the truth of her heart. It speaks volumes of what her motive was from the beginning.

Our country needed Trump. We still need him...and my husband, Steve, and I are 100% behind him. I pray for him every day and pray that the hatred will leave these people’s hearts. Although this is the type of heart-issue [for which] the individual has to stop and look inside. So I don’t hold out a lot of hope. All I can do is pay and give my support.

Much love to you and your tremendous family. We love Sarah. She is meant for greatness!

Trump Train 2020,

Lindsey

From the Gov:

Thanks so much for writing, Lindsay. Incidentally, did you mean to type “pay” or “pray”? It seems we can do both: definitely pray, but also give to campaigns that might make a difference in November. The best thing we can do to make a difference is show what these people have been up to and defeat them at the polls. We would never have had this sad circus if the Democrats hadn’t re-taken Congress in 2018. We’re not likely to see a wholesale change of heart among them, so they must be stopped at the ballot box!

=---------------------

Prepare to put on your shocked face: Turns out most Americans are finding better things to do with their time than watch eight hours a day of House Democrats repeating the same lies about their impeachment “evidence” over and over again in the Senate.

Despite being carried on 10 broadcast and cable networks, day one of the opening statements pulled only 8.9 million viewers, their total audience just about equaling the number of viewers who watched “The Voice” on NBC (And let me point out, that was day one. By day three, I could easily imagine the number being 89 viewers.) By contrast, the Kavanaugh hearings drew 20 million, and Robert Mueller embarrassing himself in front of Congress drew 13 million and was considered a ratings flop.

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/bronsonstocking/2020/01/23/low-ratings-for-the-democrats-latest-farce-n2560033

I can only assume that the Democrats’ strategy is to bore Americans so much that by the time Trump’s attorneys present their defense, nobody will be watching at all.

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Must-See Video: At a campaign event that's being described as Sen. Elizabeth Warren's "Joe The Plumber" moment (you kids Google it), a father confronted Warren about her plan to spend $1.6 trillion in tax money to pay off everyone’s student loans. He told her that he worked double shifts and saved to put his daughter through college without taking out any loans, so will he get his money back? Warren replies, “Of course not.” Dad: “So you want to help those who don't save any money, and the ones that do the right thing get s*****d?”

Watch to see her response (or lack of response.) So far, millions of people have watched it online.

https://www.westernjournal.com/angry-father-confronts-stunned-elizabeth-warren-student-loan-plan-going-get-money-back/

It is an excellent question: why should the government pay the college costs of people who took out loans they couldn’t repay, but not reimburse those who worked hard to pay for college without taking out loans? Even more infuriating: image killing yourself to work your way through college, then getting a big tax bill to pay for someone else who just borrowed the money. Or being too poor to go to college, so you went straight to work, and now your paycheck will be docked to pay off your boss’s kids student loans to attend Brown or Yale.

For people who talk about “fairness” so much, I don’t think liberals quite understand what it means. Frankly, I wish they’d just come up with some way to give me back all the time I had to spend watching Democratic debates

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We’re sad to report that journalist Jim Lehrer died peacefully in his sleep at 85, after years of heart problems, and we extend our prayers and sympathies to his wife Kate and his family. As co-host of PBS’ “The McNeil-Lehrer Report” and later host of “NewsHour,” Lehrer presided over the kind of sober, in-depth reporting that’s seldom seen these days. This link has more details about his very long and fascinating career.

https://www.westernjournal.com/ap-legendary-pbs-newshour-host-jim-lehrer-dead-age-85/

If you want to see a stunning illustration of how far the profession of journalism has fallen since Lehrer entered it, check out this link to a list he wrote called “Jim Lehrer’s Rules of Journalism” and see if there are any of them that are still being practiced at most major media outlets these days.

https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/355764/

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For CNN’s sake, I suppose I should point out that this is a satirical story, even though it contains a much higher percentage of verifiable facts than most CNN stories. (If I worked for CNN, I’d just make up a number and say “It’s fake, but still 97% more accurate than CNN.”)

https://mfi-miami.com/2019/12/ny-governor-andrew-cuomo/

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Twitter Exchange of the Day: CNN’s Chris Cuomo slammed Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin for suggesting that teen climate radical Greta Thunberg study economics. Cuomo tweeted, “Why do these trumpers think it is ok to go at a kid?“ Perfectly teeing up Sean Davis of the Federalist to reply, “Didn't your garbage network just settle a nine-figure lawsuit for defaming a Catholic child at a pro-life march?” Touché!

https://twitter.com/seanmdav/status/1220458798130876421

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Great news: you don't have to suffer through weeks of Senate impeachment proceedings! I have a video that sums up the Democrats' case, their managers, and the inevitable verdict in less than 45 seconds. You're welcome, America!

https://youtu.be/hiEfuzjG1Iw?t=13

In case you missed it: 

Rep. and Democratic Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard has filed a defamation lawsuit against Hillary Clinton. Gabbard claims that Hillary harmed her campaign and American democracy by “publicly, unambiguously, and with obvious malicious intent” asserting that she’s being groomed by the Russians to launch a third-party campaign and help reelect President Trump. Her campaign sent Clinton a letter threatening a lawsuit and demanding an apology and retraction, which Hillary ignored. Gabbard is now seeking damages and an injunction to prevent the media from continuing to repeat Clinton’s false accusation.

https://www.westernjournal.com/tulsi-gabbard-announces-lawsuit-hillary-clinton-maliciously-made-false-statements/

Gabbard’s lawsuit says she is running for the Presidency, “a position Clinton has long coveted, but has not been able to attain,” and her lawsuit “seeks to hold Clinton, and the political elites who enable her, accountable for distorting the truth…” Clinton’s spokesman responded that the lawsuit is “ridiculous.”

He’s right: I can think of nothing more ridiculous than trying to hold Hillary Clinton and her enablers accountable for anything.

March for Life

January 24, 2020

Today is the 47th annual March For Life.  The big gathering is in DC, but there are hundreds of local events, and at this writing, it’s not too late to join in.  You can find info on events closest to you at www.marchforlife.org.

This year’s March will also be historic because President Trump plans to become the first sitting President ever to address the crowd in person.  I’ll share a link to that video once it’s available. With nearly 62 million babies being killed since Roe v. Wade, let’s hope this marks a turning point. The media are so pro-abortion that they routinely give little or no coverage to the massive annual pro-life march.  Trump’s appearance will force them to cover it, which is one of many reasons why it’s so appreciated by the pro-life movement.

https://www.westernjournal.com/white-house-announces-trump-will-become-first-president-attend-march-life/

It’s shocking that well into the 21st century, there are still people defending the cruel abomination of abortion, despite seeing their longtime arguments destroyed by advances in science. And with pro-life pregnancy centers that help arrange adoptions outnumbering abortion clinics 5-to-1, the abortion industry’s only hope of survival is to keep people in the dark about what abortion really is and what their options are.  By showing up in person, President Trump is forcing the liberal media outlets that keep him under a glaring spotlight 24/7 to drag that spotlight to where it will do some good.