The Plan To End The Suburbs

Yesterday Stanley Kurtz at The National Review  posted an article about the Democrat’s plan to abolish the suburbs.

The National Review reports:

The suburbs are the swing constituency in our national elections. If suburban voters knew what the Democrats had in store for them, they’d run screaming in the other direction. Unfortunately, Republicans have been too clueless or timid to make an issue of the Democrats’ anti-suburban plans. It’s time to tell voters the truth.

I’ve been studying Joe Biden’s housing plans, and what I’ve seen is both surprising and frightening. I expected that a President Biden would enforce the Obama administration’s radical AFFH (Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing) regulation to the hilt. That is exactly what Biden promises to do. By itself, that would be more than enough to end America’s suburbs as we’ve known them, as I’ve explained repeatedly here at NRO.

What surprises me is that Biden has actually promised to go much further than AFFH. Biden has embraced Cory Booker’s strategy for ending single-family zoning in the suburbs and creating what you might call “little downtowns” in the suburbs. Combine the Obama-Biden administration’s radical AFFH regulation with Booker’s new strategy, and I don’t see how the suburbs can retain their ability to govern themselves. It will mean the end of local control, the end of a style of living that many people prefer to the city, and therefore the end of meaningful choice in how Americans can live. Shouldn’t voters know that this is what’s at stake in the election?

It is no exaggeration to say that progressive urbanists have long dreamed of abolishing the suburbs. (In fact, I’ve explained it all in a book.) Initially, these anti-suburban radicals wanted large cities to simply annex their surrounding suburbs, like cities did in the 19th century. That way a big city could fatten up its tax base. Once progressives discovered it had since become illegal for a city to annex its surrounding suburbs without voter consent, they cooked up a strategy that would amount to the same thing.

This de facto annexation strategy had three parts: (1) use a kind of quota system to force “economic integration” on the suburbs, pushing urban residents outside of the city; (2) close down suburban growth by regulating development, restricting automobile use, and limiting highway growth and repair, thus forcing would-be suburbanites back to the city; (3) use state and federal laws to force suburbs to redistribute tax revenue to poorer cities in their greater metropolitan region. If you force urbanites into suburbs, force suburbanites back into cities, and redistribute suburban tax revenue, then presto! You have effectively abolished the suburbs.

I wonder if Democrats who live in the suburbs were aware of this plan, would they vote for Joe Biden?

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. So far President Trump is the only person willing to fight this move.

In The Past Americans Celebrated America

As we approach Independence Day, there are those who refuse to celebrate our nation and its history. Their actions are divisive and harmful to the nation. Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about a tweet (since deleted) that illustrates the misguided thinking of some Americans.

The article reports:

The Democrat Party on Monday evening tweeted, then deleted, an attack on Mount Rushmore, negatively portraying an upcoming event President Trump is planning ahead of Independence Day at the historic monument to four great American presidents.

“Trump has disrespected Native communities time and again,” the Democrats wrote on Twitter, with a link to an article in the British newspaper the Guardian, in the now-deleted tweet. “He’s attempted to limit their voting rights and blocked critical pandemic relief. Now he’s holding a rally glorifying white supremacy at Mount Rushmore–a region once sacred to tribal communities.”

There are some factual problems with this tweet. President Trump has neither limited the voting rights of Native communities nor blocked their pandemic relief. The rally does not glorify white supremacy–it glorifies the freedom we all share. It is a shame that one of our political parties has chosen to tear down the freedom and prosperity this country has provided rather than work to make things even better.

The shining light in this is Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota. She tweeted:

Noem addressed it further in an interview on Fox and Friends last week, saying that this is now about a “radical rewriting of our history.”

“What my message is, is that this is no longer about equality, this is a radical rewriting of our history, and in South Dakota we won’t stand for it,” Noem said. “This is a national monument. The more we focus on the flaws of these men that are on our mountain, the less likely we are to recognize the virtues and the lessons we can learn from their lives. So that really is the message that I have for South Dakotans that love this mountain and Mount Rushmore for this country, that recognize what it represents to us, and we will do all that we can to make sure that that message is loud and clear, that we will make sure that Mount Rushmore stays as majestic as it is today.”

This lady needs to run for President in 2024!

This May Be A Necessary Move

Yesterday The Daily Wire posted an article titled, “Police Consider Charging Crowd Confronted By Armed St. Louis Couple With Trespassing, Intimidation.”

The article reports:

A group of protesters in Missouri who famously found themselves facing an armed husband and wife may soon be facing multiple charges.

As a group of demonstrators marched toward the home of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home on Sunday night to demand that she resign, they marched through an area that was closed off to the public, where a husband-wife team stood outside with a rifle and a gun to protect their property.

The demonstrators had to break through a closed gate to access the gated community. At that point, they could be charged with trespassing. Some of the demonstrators were armed and issued threats to the homeowners. The incident was caught on video via a cell phone, so there is recorded evidence of the event.

The article notes:

As noted by St. Louis Today, Anders Walker, a constitutional law professor at St. Louis University, said that Mark McCloskey and his wife Patricia did not break any laws because the street where they live, Portland Place, is a private street. He added that the couple is protected by Missouri’s Castle Doctrine, which allows people to use deadly force to defend private property.

FindLaw explains, “This legal doctrine assumes that if an invader disrupts the sanctity of your home, they intend to do you harm and therefore you should be able to protect yourself or others against an attack. Missouri’s law is more extensive than those of other states because it allows you to use deadly force to attack an intruder to protect any private property that you own, in addition to yourself or another individual. This means that if someone illegally enters your front porch or backyard, you can use deadly force against them without retreating first.”

“At any point that you enter the property, they can then, in Missouri, use deadly force to get you off the lawn,” said Walker, adding, “There’s no right to protest on those streets. The protesters thought they had a right to protest, but as a technical matter, they were not allowed to be there. … It’s essentially a private estate. If anyone was violating the law, it was the protesters. In fact, if (the McCloskeys) have photos of the protesters, they could go after them for trespassing.”

The article concludes:

An attorney for the McCloskeys, Albert S. Watkins, said of his clients, who are both attorneys, “Their entire practice tenure as counsel (has) been addressing the needs of the downtrodden, for whom the fight for civil rights is necessary. My clients, as melanin-deficient human beings, are completely respectful of the message Black Lives Matter needs to get out, especially to whites … (but) two individuals exhibited such force and violence destroying a century-plus old wrought iron gate, ripping and twisting the wrought iron that was connected to a rock foundation, and then proceeded to charge at and toward and speak threateningly to Mr. and Mrs. McCloskey.”

Laws vary from state to state, so homeowners need to be careful about the actions they take. In many states, using a gun to protect your property is not protected–you are only allowed to use a gun if you are at risk. However, I would think that if a mob with a history of burning things down approached you, you might feel that you were at risk.

This case may be one way to push back against those who are abusing the right to protest. The right to protest is protected by the Constitution. The right to loot and riot is not protected.

This Decision Does Not Protect Women

Yesterday The National Review posted an article about the recent Supreme Court decision regarding Louisiana’s law regarding doctors at abortion clinics. The law in question required doctors at abortion clinics to have hospital admitting privileges. Because women can die from legal abortions, hospital admitting privileges are important. The Supreme Court struck down this requirement, putting the lives of women at risk. Chief Justice Roberts was the deciding vote on the issue, disappointing many Americans who expected him to be a conservative voice on the Court.

The article reports:

The conservative legal establishment has long been particularly enamored of this ideal: the umpire calmly calling balls and strikes. It is a very important virtue. But it is not the first virtue. An umpire who can be cowed by the crowd will not call the same strike zone for both teams. Without courage, good ideas about the law are just empty words on a page. Without courage, even the clearest-written rights are empty promises, the plainest limitations on power are easily overwhelmed, and the entire project of rule by written law becomes just another hollow formality.

Two of today’s Supreme Court decisions, on abortion and separation of powers, are further evidence of this. Chief Justice John Roberts has yet again shown the absence of courage that has so often undermined his Court. Roberts’s repeated demonstrations of lack of courage are rapidly becoming a threat to the Court itself, and to the conservative legal project.

First up, we have June Medical Services L.L.C. v. Russo, which by a 5–4 vote struck down a Louisiana abortion-clinic regulation challenged by the clinics. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, and Neil Gorsuch would have upheld the Louisiana law, but Chief Justice Roberts sided with the Court’s four liberals, claiming that his hands were tied by precedent.

In the 2016 case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the Court ruled 5–3 against a Texas abortion law that required abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. States routinely impose such requirements on the practice of medicine, especially invasive or surgical procedures. As Justice Gorsuch observed, the Louisiana law “tracks longstanding state laws governing physicians who perform relatively low-risk procedures like colonoscopies, Lasik eye surgeries, and steroid injections at ambulatory surgical centers.” The Court in both Whole Woman’s Health and June Medical ruled that “unnecessary health regulations that have the purpose or effect of presenting a substantial obstacle to a woman seeking an abortion impose an undue burden on the right” to an abortion. Yet what the Court defines as an “unnecessary” requirement would be uncontroversially legal for any other medical procedure under the sun, and the “constitutional right” itself is, of course, nowhere even vaguely mentioned in the actual Constitution.

Chief Justice Roberts has been a disappointment almost from the beginning. His ruling on Obamacare was questionable at best. Please follow the link to the article to read further details regarding the contradictions between the decision on the Louisiana law and the previous opinion written by Chief Justice Roberts

Protests Are Legal; Riots And Shooting Are Not

One America News reported yesterday that the suspect who allegedly opened fire at a Kentucky protest has been arrested. On Sunday, Louisville police confirmed the suspect is in custody and has been hospitalized.

ABC News reported the following yesterday:

The suspect behind Saturday’s fatal shooting in Louisville, Kentucky, has been arrested.

Steven Nelson Lopez was taken into custody by police after being caught on surveillance video opening fire in Jefferson Square Park during a protest against Breonna Taylor’s death.

Lopez will be charged with murder, according to authorities.

On Saturday night, Lopez shot into the crowd of protesters and fatally injured a photographer, Tyler Gerth, 27, who died at the scene despite paramedics’ help.

Another protester was also injured, and Lopez was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

One America News reports:

According to authorities, the suspect had already been arrested multiple times in recent weeks for his behavior.

“We are conferring with the attorney’s office on appropriate charges to be filed. This man had been participating in the protests since they began. He had been arrested a couple of times over the past several weeks. He had been repeatedly asked by other members in the park to leave due to his disruptive behavior.” – Chief Robert Schroeder, Louisville Police Department

Protesting is legal. Looting and rioting are not.

Some Words Of Wisdom From A Man Who Is Missed

This was posted on Facebook today. I think it is important.

Before his death Charles Krauthammer wrote the following article and it’s well worth reading today!!
The Enemy Amongst Us!!
By Charles Krauthammer,
March 6,2018
An article from the New York Post:
I do not understand how living in a country with its democracy established over 200 years ago, and now, for the first time in history, suddenly we have one of our former presidents set up a group called “Organizing for Action” (OFA).
OFA is 30,000+ strong and working to disrupt everything that our current president’s administration is trying to do. This organization goes against our Democracy, and it is an operation that will destroy our way of governing. It goes against our Constitution, our laws, and the processes established over 200 years ago. If it is allowed to proceed then we will be living in chaos very much like third world countries are run What good is it to have an established government if it is not going to be respected and allowed to follow our laws?
If you had an army some 30,000 strong and a court system stacked over the decades with judges who would allow you to break the laws, how much damage could you do to a country? We are about to find out in America!
Our ex-president said he was going to stay involved through community organizing and speak out on the issues and that appears to be one post-administration promise he intends to keep. He has moved many of his administration’s top dogs over to Organizing for Action.
OFA is behind the strategic and tactical implementation of the resistance to the Trump Administration that we are seeing across America, and politically active courts are providing the leverage for this revolution.
OFA is dedicated to organizing communities for “progressive” change… Its issues are gun control, socialist healthcare, abortion, sexual equality, climate change, and of course, immigration reform.
OFA members were propped up by the ex-president’s message from the shadows: “Organizing is the building block of everything great we have accomplished Organizers around the country are fighting for change in their communities and OFA is one of the groups on the front lines. Commit to this work in 2017 and beyond.” OFA’s website says it obtained its “digital” assets from the ex-president’s re-election effort and that he inspired the movement. In short, it is the shadow government organization aimed at resisting and tearing down the Constitutional Republic we know as AMERICA.
Paul Sperry, writing for the New York Post, says, “The OFA will fight President Donald Trump at every turn of his presidency and the ex-president will command them from a bunker less than two miles from the White House.” Sperry writes that, “The ex-president is setting up a shadow government to sabotage the Trump administration through a network of non-profits led by OFA, which is growing its war chest (more than $40 million) and has some 250 offices nationwide.
The OFA IRS filings, according to Sperry, indicate that the OFA has 32,525 (and growing) volunteers nationwide. The ex-president and his ‘wife’ will oversee the operation from their home /office in Washington DC.
Think about how this works. For example: Trump issues an immigration executive order; the OFA signals for protests and statements from pro-immigrant groups; the ACLU lawyers file lawsuits in jurisdictions where activist judges obstruct the laws; volunteers are called to protest at airports and Congressional town hall meetings; the leftist media springs to action in support of these activities; the twitter sphere lights up with social media; and violence follows. All of this happens from the ex-president’s signal that he is heartened by the protests.
If Barack Obama did not do enough to destroy this country in the 8 years he was in office, it appears his future plans are to destroy the foundation on which this country has operated on for the last 241 years.
If this does not scare you, then we are in worse trouble than you know.
So, do your part.. You have read it, so at least pass this on so others will know what we are up against. We are losing our country and we are so compliant. We are becoming a “PERFECT TARGET” for our enemy!
Editor’s comments: Krauthammer is about the best and brightest journalist and political analyst we have, in my opinion. His words of warning in the below message should be taken seriously and spread throughout the country so as many of our citizens as possible are made aware of what is happening right under our noses!

The Cancel Culture Is Beginning To Cancel Their Former Heroes

The New York Sun posted an article yesterday about Princeton University’s decision to remove the name of Woodrow Wilson from its school of public affairs. This reverses a decision made four years ago when the topic was also brought up.

The article reports:

…That was in 2016, when Princeton’s trustees, reacting to concerns within the school community and given impetus by Black Lives Matter, appointed a committee to appraise the 28th president of America, decided to continue to honor him.

At issue then was “the position he took as Princeton’s president to prevent the enrollment of black students and the policies he instituted as U.S. president that resulted in the re-segregation of the federal civil service.” Wilson’s name was on not only the School of Public & International Affairs but also a residential college. The board followed the committee’s recommendation to keep Wilson’s name. It issued what seemed to be an important statement.

“Contextualization is imperative,” it said. “Princeton must openly and candidly recognize that Wilson, like other historical figures, leaves behind a complex legacy with both positive and negative repercussions, and that the use of his name implies no endorsement of views and actions that conflict with the values and aspirations of our times.” As the cancel movement spreads today, that plea for context seems even more important.

The article concludes:

So where does that leave us? Writing in 2016 of Wilson’s views on race, scholar David Kennedy said that “We can wish that he had possessed qualities of imagination and empathy that would have liberated him from those views, but he did not.” Kennedy concluded that “In a world where there is no shortage of evil, it surely seems perverse to highlight the imperfections, rather than the positive accomplishments, of those who tried to do their best.”

Four years after echoing Professor Kennedy’s judgment, Princeton has suddenly zeroed in on Wilson’s imperfections. Whether that will serve the cause of racial understanding at the university remains to be seen. How sad it would be were one of two Princeton graduates to lead America and Princeton’s only Nobel laureate in peace — not to mention the coiner of the motto “Princeton in the Nation’s Service” — confined to the margin of the university’s institutional memory.

We seem to have lost the concept of viewing history in its context. Slavery and racism are part of America’s past, but slavery is gone and racism is not the acceptable order of the day, as it once was. Renaming things and tearing down statues will not change what was. It is time instead to deal with what is and work to make it better.

Leadership Matters

The Washington Post accused President Trump of lying when he stated that “the most dangerous cities are run by democrats.”  The Conservative Treehouse posted a graph yesterday the shows that the President’s statement was pretty accurate.

Here is the graph:

The article notes:

A republican mayor was elected to Jacksonville in the last election; therefore the Washington Post has declared that President Trump’s claim: “the most dangerous cities are run by democrats”, is false. There is a top-crime city now run by a republican.

This level of FAIL is so ridiculous, it presents itself almost as if the Washington Post intentionally trying to beclown themselves.

In 1994 Rudy Giuliani became Mayor of New York City. Mayor Giuliani instituted what was referred to as ‘The Broken Windows Theory.”

Worldatlas.com describes The Broken Windows Theory as follows:

The origin of Broken Windows Theory can be traced back to a psychologist from Stanford, Connecticut, named Philip Zimbardo. He had set up a social experiment to test the theory in 1969. Zimbardo parked an old car in the Bronx, and another one of similar condition parked in Palo Alto, Califiornia. The car in the Bronx was vandalized almost immediately with all items of importance stolen. The other car in Palo Alto was left undisturbed for more than a week before Zimbardo himself went and smashed its windows. Within hours, other people came and vandalized the car as well. The hypothesis is that a community such as the Bronx, where city services may not have the resources to encourage the upkeep of its facilities, would be more apathetic than an upscale area like Palo Alto. This theory was later stated in an article in 1982 by James Wilson and George Kelling who stated that criminal activities in a community begin as small misdemeanors and gradually grow to become capital offenses. The authors also stated that the best way of dealing with crime was dealing with it in its infancy through making neighborhoods free of social ills such as prostitution, drug abuse, and other disorderly tendencies.

In the 1980s and 70s, New York City had seen an upsurge in criminal activity and the city’s municipal council was desperately seeking solutions to the menace that was tarnishing its reputation. The city’s Transit Authority then hired the author of the “Broken Windows” article, Mr. George Kelling as a consultant who then suggested the implementation of the theory. The Transit Authority’s leader, David Gunn implemented the approach by first clearing all graffiti from the city’s subway system which was conducted during his final term from 1984 to 1990. Kelling’s successor, William J. Bratton continued with the implementation of the theory through non-tolerance of fare-dodging as well as reducing leniency during arrests for petty offences. In 1993, New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani hired Bratton as the police commissioner, and this gave Bratton a wider scope to implement the broken windows theory and was noted for arrests over public urination, public drinking, and other misdemeanors. Several studies in the past have linked the significant decline in criminal activities in the past decade to Bratton’s implementation of the “broken windows” theory. The impressive results of New York City’s implementation of the theory have made several other US cities implement the theory including Boston, Albuquerque, and Lowell.

Law and order makes a difference. When people understand that there are consequences for breaking the law, they tend to respect the law. When Mayors do not enforce the law, things will eventually become unruly. For whatever reason, Republicans seem to be more inclined to support the police and enforce the law than Democrats. The statistics posted by The Washington Post bear that out.

The Satellite Tells The Real Story

Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air today about a recent explosion in Iran. The Iranian government claimed that the explosion that rattled nearby Tehran on Friday took place in a civilian area of Parchin and not at their secret nuclear-weapons research or missile research facilities. They even supplied photos of a burnt industrial gas tank, photos which turned out to be not entirely convincing.

The article reports:

An explosion that rattled Iran’s capital came from an area in its eastern mountains that analysts believe hides an underground tunnel system and missile production sites, satellite photographs showed Saturday.

What exploded in the incident early Friday that sent a massive fireball into the sky near Tehran remains unclear, as does the cause of the blast.

The unusual response of the Iranian government in the aftermath of the explosion, however, underscores the sensitive nature of an area near where international inspectors believe the Islamic Republic conducted high-explosive tests two decades ago for nuclear weapon triggers.

…Western analysts viewing the European Commission satellite photos believe that the explosion took place in a missile-building or missile-assembly area underground. The Iranians have moved a substantial part of their missile program underground over the years to hide it from these same kinds of satellites, but intelligence agencies have a pretty good idea where those locations are and what the Iranians are doing with them.

Still, the missiles aren’t a secret themselves; the Iranians openly brag about their capabilities, even to the point of photoshopping to make them look even more impressive. Why not just tell the truth, if this was an industrial accident? Perhaps because it wasn’t an industrial accident. Iran’s militias in Syria have come under attack by air over the last 24 hours, with Israel being suspected of launching the strikes:

The article concludes:

This brings us back to Parchin and Iran’s missile production and development. Right now, Iran has the missile technology to target Israel, but not a nuclear warhead to put on one of them — we think, anyway. Israel might have decided to slow down their missile production with an act of sabotage at Parchin, perhaps in part just to demonstrate they can do it. Iran has spent the last few years creeping up on Israel via the civil war in Syria, and Israel might have just delivered a kidney punch in return.

That might be why Iran isn’t too keen on admitting that they have holes in their security, let alone have suffered a setback on military production. Theocratic tyrannies don’t last long when their subjects realize their incompetence, and this one’s already on thin ice after shooting down a Ukrainian passenger flight a few months ago. Or so we hope.

Israel (and a number of Arab countries in the Middle East) have a vested interest in preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power with missiles and warheads. Iran has made known its ambitions to create a caliphate in the area. Missiles and warheads would probably make that possible. Israel will do all it can to prevent that.

One Of Many Reasons Mail-In Voting Won’t Work

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted a video of a postal working throwing away the campaign mailers of a conservative candidate. What’s to stop any group of mail-in ballots from meeting the same fate?

The article reports:

A US Postal worker was caught on video throwing a stack of GOP congressional candidate campaign mailers in a dumpster.

Sheriff Troy Nehls is running for Texas Congressional District 22.

Mr. Nehls is a pro-Trump conservative, a church-going family man, tough on crime and tough on border security.

No wonder why the left is trying to derail his campaign.

“A US Postal worker was just caught on video throwing a stack of my campaign mailers in a dumpster. Some patriots nearby heard a noise when she tossed them in & went to investigate. They found a stack of them and called me. No wonder people are skeptical of mail in voting.” Sheriff Nehls said.

The video is posted along with the article.

Protection For Me, But Not For Thee

Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air today about a recent move by the Minneapolis City Council. The article reports that yesterday the council voted unanimously to pursue a still-ambiguous plan to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with a more politically correct “Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention.” However, there are some problems with that vote.

The article reports:

The council voted unanimously to advance a proposal that would create a new Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention. Within that, the city could create a division that includes “licensed peace officers,” though it would not be required to do so.

It’s unclear how many, if any, officers would continue to be employed by the city if the proposal passes.

Council Member Cam Gordon said it’s consistent with the pledge from council members to fundamentally alter local policing in the wake of George Floyd’s killing by Minneapolis officers.

“Those things that we called the police department are gone,” Gordon said. “Certainly, there is a provision in here that would allow this council or future councils to maintain a Division of Law Enforcement Services, but I think what we need to do is have that possibility there and talk to people about what the future should look like.”

The article explains the problem with that vote:

Maybe we should know what the “future” looks like before changing the present. The city council can’t actually change the present anyway, thanks to a city charter that requires them to maintain a police department with precise staffing levels. The best they can do under the charter is impose a cut of around 20%, but even that would fall afoul of the collective bargaining agreement with the police union. (Agreements negotiated and signed by a succession of progressive city councils, I might add here.) That makes yesterday’s vote an exercise in pusillanimity; there’s no cost to it at all.

It gets worse:

The City of Minneapolis is spending $4,500 a day for private security for three council members who have received threats following the police killing of George Floyd, FOX 9 has learned.

A city spokesperson said the private security details have cost the city $63,000 over the past three weeks.

The three council members who have the security detail – Andrea Jenkins (Ward 8), and Phillipe Cunningham (Ward 4), and Alondra Cano (Ward 9)– have been outspoken proponents of defunding the Minneapolis Police Department.

So while the Council votes to get rid of the police department as it currently exists, the City is paying for private security for three council members. Protection for me, but not for thee. These are the people the voters of Minneapolis elected. I think it might be time to unelect them. We need to remember that the voters have the power to determine leadership. In 2018, the turnout of registered Minneapolis voters was 76%. That is a solid turnout. The voters need to learn to make better choices.

Is It Really About Fixing The Problem?

Townhall posted an article today about the efforts of Congress to pass a bill that would  address the issue of police reform. The article is behind the pay wall, so the link goes to a transcript of the original article.

The article reports:

Over the past two weeks, Republican Senator Tim Scott, a black man from South Carolina, extended the olive branch of bipartisanship to Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on police reform.

On June 17, Scott introduced the JUSTICE Act as a way to tackle what he believes are needed reforms in cities across the country. He quickly gained 50 co-sponsors and opened the door to the “conversation” Democrats regularly claim America needs to have about race, communities and policing. But it turns out, the talking points about “having a conversation” weren’t stated in good faith. After Scott accepted 20 amendments on his legislation from Senate Democrats, they still voted it down, not even allowing debate on the bill.

But what’s even more egregious than playing politics with this issue is how Pelosi and Schumer framed their arguments without Scott in them.

Instead of discussing the content on the bill, the Democrats decided to attack Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The article notes:

The day before Democrats blocked opening debate on the bill, Pelosi accused Republicans working on Senator Scott’s police reform of murder. She did this while advocating for the partisan House version of police reform legislation.

“So far they [Republicans] were trying to get away with murder, actually, the murder of George Floyd,” she claimed during an interview with CBS Radio.

When confronted about her words during an interview with MSNBC, Pelosi shamelessly pivoted away from the mention of Senator Scott and back to Mitch McConnell.

“Will you apologize?” MSNBC anchor Peter Williams asked during an interview.

“Absolutely, positively not,” Pelosi said.

“Is Tim Scott working in good faith?” he followed up.

“I’m sorry?” Pelosi asked as if she had no idea who Senator Tim Scott was.

“I’m talking about Mitch McConnell,” she said.

The article concludes:

Washington D.C.’s most partisan Democrats are attempting to write Senator Tim Scott out of the conversation. They’re doing it on purpose for political reasons and to continue their false narrative that Republicans are “racists.” It is despicable.

We have reached the point where it’s more important for many in Congress to gain political advantage than to solve a serious problem. It’s time to change the composition of Congress. If your Congressman voted against debate on this issue, it’s time to elect a new Congressman.

The Senate Actually Passed A Bill

One America News is reporting today that the Senate has passed a bill sanctioning Chinese officials over the country’s actions against Hong Kong. The bipartisan Hong Kong Autonomy Act passed with unanimous consent Thursday.

This is good news. China needs to pay a price for what it has done to Hong Kong. Otherwise Taiwan is next. Taiwan is probably next anyway, but at least we can try to slow things down a little.

The article reports:

The bill would place sanctions on businesses, individuals and police that interfere with Hong Kong’s freedoms. This came after China announced a national security law that is expected pass on June 30, which is threatening Hong Kong’s autonomy.

A resolution introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley (r-Mo.) was also approved, formally condemning China’s’ actions.

“The Senate needs to act now, Mr. President, to send a clear signal now that we will stand up to this aggression,” he stated. “…to rally free peoples now in defense of the rights and liberties of Hong Kong.”

Hitting China in the pocketbook is probably the only was to deal with them successfully.

How Long Will The Flynn Saga Continue?

The American Spectator posted an article today about the ongoing case of General Flynn.

The article includes a very good lawyer joke:

Sigmund Freud dies and goes to Heaven, where he’s met at the Pearly Gates by Saint Peter.

“Dr. Freud, thank goodness you’ve come! We have a crisis and need your professional help!”

“How so?” asks Freud.

“It’s God. He’s having delusions of grandeur.”

“What are His symptoms?” asks Freud.

“He thinks He’s a federal judge!”
 — Old trial lawyer joke

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan seems to have forgotten that he is not god in handling the Flynn case. Judge Sullivan had been ordered by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia to dismiss the case.

The article explains what happened next:

In filings before the circuit court, Sullivan explained that he plans to “question the bona fides of the government’s [dismissal] motion,” “inquire about the government’s motions and representations,” “illuminat[e] the full circumstances surrounding the proposed dismissal,” and probe “whether the presumption of government regularity for prosecutorial decisions is overcome” in “the unusual facts of this case.”

In a 2-1 decision, a panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals granted the petition and ordered Sullivan to grant the motion to dismiss the criminal charge against Flynn.

Noting that, although Rule 48 requires “leave of court” before dismissing charges, under well-founded legal precedent “decisions to dismiss pending criminal charges — no less than decisions to initiate charges and to identify which charges to bring — lie squarely within the ken of prosecutorial discretion”  and that “the principal object” of the “leave of court” requirement is “to protect a defendant against prosecutorial harassment … when the Government moves to dismiss an indictment over the defendant’s objection.”

The article concludes:

And, when Sidney Powell took over Flynn’s representation, Sullivan accused her of some kind of purportedly unethical and previously unknown crypto-plagiarism because she had not, in his estimation, properly attributed the source of the legal precedents cited in her pleadings. I’ll give it to Sullivan. That was a first in my book since every legal filing I’ve ever seen used case citations indistinguishable in format from those used by Powell.

So, what’s the chance that Sullivan will seek a rehearing en banc? Seven of the 12 circuit court judges were appointed by Democrat presidents. Combine those favorable odds with Sullivan’s demonstrated hostility to Flynn, his grandiose concept of his judicial powers, his undoubted humiliation at being subjected to a writ of mandamus for committing, in the words of the panel, “clear legal error,” and the answer begins to come into focus.

Given those factors, why wouldn’t Judge Sullivan seek a rehearing before the full circuit court? And, even if he should fail in that regard, why wouldn’t he then take his cause to the U.S. Supreme Court? It’s a no-lose situation for him. Given the political composition of the D.C. Circuit, he may win. But, even if he doesn’t, by pursuing the litigation he will continue to provide ammunition to the anti-Trump forces that pervade the D.C. swamp and, at the very least, gain a permanent open invitation to all the right Georgetown cocktail parties.

I hope I’m wrong. But five decades of closely observing pampered, egocentric federal judges tells me that I’m not.

I hope he is wrong; I fear he is not.

 

 

There Is Some Good News About Covid-19

Yesterday Issues & Insights posted an article about the reporting of the statistics regarding Covid-19.

The article notes:

Once again, the U.S. is undergoing a media-driven COVID-19 scare after a “spike” in infections. But as we noted earlier this week, the number of cases depends on the amount of testing. The key gauge to watch is deaths. They’ve been falling since April, and there’s strong reason to believe they’re lower than the official count suggests.

The dreaded Wuhan virus is no doubt a nasty bug, worthy of our vigilance and ongoing concern. That said, its virulence, as measured by the daily number of deaths, appears to be waning, as the chart with this piece, courtesy of the COVID-19 Tracking Project of the Atlantic, clearly shows.

This is the chart:

The article reports:

Dr. Deborah Birx, the respected physician who heads the Trump administration’s coronavirus team, reportedly argued back in May at a closed Centers for Disease Control meeting that the agency’s death estimates were 25% too high, according to a Washington Post report.

Anecdotal evidence at the state level suggests this is true. In fact, estimates may be off by more than 25%.

A review of Minnesota deaths through late May, for instance, found that of 741 registered COVID-19 deaths, fewer than 41% listed it as a “primary cause.” By that standard, George Floyd, who died in police custody and tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus, could have been counted as a COVID-19 fatality had his death not been so well publicized.

How could this happen?

In most U.S. jurisdictions, unlike many other countries, if someone dies with COVID-19, that becomes the cause of death for official purposes. That’s true even if it didn’t technically “cause” the person’s death.

But sometimes even not being infected counts. After New York reported its 10,000 fatalities in May, the New York Times revealed that “3,700 additional people who were presumed to have died of the coronavirus … had never tested positive.” 

The article concludes:

We bring all this up again to remind you: While this Wuhan bug is dangerous, it is likely not as deadly as advertised. The CDC’s own estimate for what’s called the Infection Fatality Rate (IFR), made early this month, is about 0.26%. The regular flu, by comparison, has an IFR of about 0.1%. So using the government’s own likely inflated COVID-19 death data, the IFR for the Chinese-origin virus is about that of a very bad seasonal flu — and not the 3.4% first estimated.

Subtract the impact of horrendous policy errors in New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio caused thousands of nursing home residents to die needlessly, and fatality rates shrink even further.

With COVID-19 infections indeed going up due to more testing, we’ll soon be hearing the same strident voices yelling for a shutdown. But the death rates once used to scare us into an extreme reaction now appear even lower than they do after weeks of decline.

Until our national “experts” can explain to us why we should take these bad numbers seriously, don’t be panicked by phony warnings about possible increases in deaths. Manipulated numbers should never be used to make sweeping public policy decisions. That’s especially true now, with the left looking for any way it can find to shut down the economy again and end Trump’s presidency.

Take care. Wear a mask if you are comfortable wearing one. Stay away from sick people. Don’t hug strangers. Other than that, enjoy life and realize that you are not totally in charge.

New Information Keeps Dripping Out

Yesterday The Federalist posted an article about some handwritten notes taken by former FBI agent Peter Strzok. The notes are suspected to be related to a meeting in the White  House on January 5, 2017. The meeting was attended by President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Comey, Yates, and then-national security adviser Susan Rice. The meeting and its substance were confirmed in a bizarre Inauguration Day email Rice wrote to herself.

The article summarizes the notes:

NSA-D-DAG = [Flynn cuts?]. Other countries

D-DAG: lean forward on [unclass?]

VP: “Logan Act”

P: These are unusual times

VP: I’ve been on the intel cmte for ten years and I never

P: Make sure you look at things + have the right people on it

P: Is there anything I shouldn’t be telling transition team?

D: Flynn –> Kislyak calls but appear legit

[illegible] Happy New Year. Yeah right

The notes probably won’t impact the Flynn case, which is already on its way to being dismissed. However, it certainly supports the idea that the Obama administration was planning to undermine the Trump administration from the beginning. If nothing else, the notes indicate that the Obama administration definitely was not interested in the smooth transfer of power that is supposed to happen in our government.

The article further reports:

According to Strzok’s notes, Biden explicitly referenced the Logan Act, an 18th-century law that forbids certain political speech from private citizens. The law, even if it were constitutional, would not apply to a national security adviser for the newly elected president of the United States. Biden had previously denied that he knew anything about the investigation into Flynn.

“I know nothing about those moves to investigate Michael Flynn,” Biden said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” when George Stephanopoulos asked what he knew of the FBI’s operations in early 2017. He later admitted that statement was false.

The meeting to strategize against the Trump administration included just a few key law enforcement principals. Their testimony about what transpired is sometimes in conflict. Yates claimed Comey brought up the Logan Act while Comey claims Biden cited it. Rice claimed Obama directed that the anti-Trump operation be run “by the book,” but Comey claimed Obama even directed which personnel to use.

The information currently coming out confirms what many of us have suspected–there is a swamp in Washington that is dedicated to protecting itself from being held accountable for their actions. The way the swamp has behaved during the Trump administration is reprehensible. This has all the markings of an attempted coup and those responsible should be held accountable.

Transparency Is Always A Good Idea

Yesterday The Epoch Times reported that Judge Carl Nichols with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has ruled that the Trump administration can compel hospitals and insurers to publish negotiated costs for health care services that are normally kept secret from patients. This is wonderful news for patients in hospitals although I suspect that the medical community is not happy with the decision.

The article reports:

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) introduced a rule in November 2019 that defined “standard charges,” laid out the publication requirements for hospitals and insurers, and the department’s enforcement plans.

At the time, hospital and insurer organizations and advocacy groups objected to the agency’s proposals, disputing that the Trump administration has the authority to require the disclosures, which they believe are trade secrets. The hospitals also disputed that the policy would benefit consumers and lead to lower costs, countering that compliance would instead be too burdensome and “get in the way” of providing services for patients.

The finalization of the rule, which goes into effect January 2021, prompted the American Hospital Association (AHA) to sue, arguing that the White House didn’t have the authority to make the directive, had violated the First Amendment in its creation, and had acted in an “arbitrary and capricious” manner.

The article concludes:

Trump’s executive order on improving transparency on health care prices and quality required the HHS secretary to propose a regulation to publicly post standard charge information “in an easy-to-understand, consumer-friendly, and machine-readable format using consensus-based data standards that will meaningfully inform patients’ decision making and allow patients to compare prices across hospitals.”

It also requires hospitals to regularly update the posted information.

David Mitchell, the founder of advocacy group Patients For Affordable Drugs, said in a statement to The Epoch Times in response to the ruling that he thinks “we have to get rid of our system in which prices are secret and hidden from those who must pay them.”

This is good news for the people who pay for hospital care.

A Final Note On The NASCAR “Noose”


Yesterday The Daily Wire posted an article about a more recent statement by Bubba Wallace about the ‘noose’ found in his pit area at the Talladega Speedway. Evidently this was a misunderstanding, but it was a misunderstanding with some interesting roots. The ‘noose,’ actually a loop handle on the garage door opening had been there since 2019.

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today noting:

Today, NASCAR released a picture of the garage pull-down rope and knot that both they and Bubba Wallace described as a “noose hanging over the car“.

Except it clearly was not hanging over the car, and it clearly wasn’t a “noose” or it wouldn’t function to help pull the door down. Driver Bubba Wallace now calls it “a non-functioning noose.”  Or, in simple terms, a garage pull-down rope with a loop-knot tied in the end.

However, what NASCAR does not yet realize is the picture they have provided actually makes the situation worse; because the picture shows something else, something worse:

This is the picture:

The picture was taken Sunday, in Bubba Wallace’s garage stall #4, when the race was cancelled due to inclement weather (rain and lightning).  However, pay close attention to the partially visible uniform on the man standing at the left of the picture.

That person is a member of the Woods Brothers Race Team and this is a VERY important facet.  The picture was taken Sunday, prior to the “noose” (hereafter called a knot) being cut down.  According to a statement by the Woods Brothers team, they informed NASCAR officials the garage-pull in question was in place in 2019:

“One of our employees notified us yesterday … he recalled seeing a tied handle in the garage, from last fall.  We immediately notified NASCAR and have assisted the investigation”. (link)

So that would explain why one of the Woods Brothers team was present on Sunday June 21st when the photograph was taken.

But here’s the problem…. If that picture was taken by NASCAR that means NASCAR was aware the knot in question was in place in 2019; and therefore knew Bubba Wallace was not the target…. and they would know this on Sunday; before they went out and made a big racial publicity stunt over it.

At any rate, The Daily Wire reports the following:

NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace struck a much different tone over the alleged “noose” incident in a statement issued Wednesday than he did the night before during an interview with far-left CNN host Don Lemon.

Instead of expressing anger over the FBI findings that the “noose” his team found hanging from his garage stall on Sunday was in fact not part of a hate crime, but a mere garage pulley, as he did on Tuesday night, the driver expressed gratitude that he was not the victim of a hate crime and praised NASCAR and fellow drivers over their show of “unity” and support.

The Daily Wire also reports NASCAR’s statement:

NASCAR issued a statement Tuesday regarding the FBI findings, which clearly stated that “the garage pull rope fashioned like a noose had been positioned there since as early as last fall”:

The FBI has completed its investigation at Talladega Superspeedway and determined that Bubba Wallace was not the target of a hate crime. The FBI report concludes, and photographic evidence confirms, that the garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose had been positioned there since as early as last fall. This was obviously well before the 43 team’s arrival and garage assignment. We appreciate the FBl’s quick and thorough investigation and are thankful to learn that this was not an intentional, racist act against Bubba. We remain steadfast in our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all who love racing.

It would be interesting to know what all of this fuss was actually about and why cooler heads did not prevail in the beginning.

When You Only See What You Want To See

There was a dust-up recently in NASCAR about a noose found in the pit area of NASCAR’s only black driver. The media was all over it. The FBI was called in (as they should have been). Well, things are not always what they appear to be. It seems that the noose was actually a loop used to open the garage door. The noose had been there since before the driver was assigned to that garage. Yesterday The New York Post posted an article with a few observations on the overreaction to the situation.

The article notes:

For those who have somehow missed it, over the weekend NASCAR dramatically and declaratively announced that Wallace had been the target of a “noose” found in his garage at the Talladega speedway in Alabama. This was just before a high-profile race on that track that took place on Monday.

When I first heard of the story, I assumed there must be a photo of the noose in question, and was very curious to see how someone could be both so incredibly awful, and well as insanely stupid, as to do something so horrifically racist to a black driver. It quickly became obvious, however, that there was no public photo, and my spidey senses began to tell me that something about this story was just not correct.

…However, the lack of a photo was so inexplicable that it appeared obvious to me that this could have been a misunderstanding (under the presumption that if the noose/scene was really unambiguous, we absolutely would have seen a photo immediately). In these times of extreme racial tension, and after NASCAR had just announced it was completely banning the Confederate flag from its events, it seemed to me that someone may have seen a simple rope with an open knot at the end of it, panicked, and then once the “noose” narrative got started, there was no way to contain it, especially in this current media atmosphere. (For context, there have been two noose stories here in California over just the past week that have turned out not to be hate crimes.)

The article concludes:

Will there be any accountability for this enormous and easily avoided act of media malpractice? Will there be any apology to NASCAR fans and the people of Alabama who were presumed to be racist enough to commit, or at least enable, such a heinous act? Will there be any lessons learned by the news media?

Sadly, but predictably, the answers to these important questions will likely all be negative. No one in the major media gets fired for being wrong in interpreting a news event anymore, at least not if they are incorrect in the woke direction, and the ratings for the story are good.

What happened here will surely happen again, especially in the sports world. Largely because those in the elite media, particularly white males, are so incredibly terrified of being canceled for not being woke enough that they would much rather go along with the media herd and be proven wrong, than leave the protection of the media mob, and risk being run over, even if (especially?) they are right.

I’m glad to hear that there was no noose. I am also sorry to see that the media jumped on the story so quickly.

This Makes No Sense

Breitbart reported yesterday that Black Lives Matter protesters tore down a statue of Col. Hans Christian Heg, an immigrant from Norway who died fighting for the Union against slavery, on Tuesday night in Madison, Wisconsin.

Local ABC affiliate WKOW reported:

Protesters pulled down the Forward statue that normally stands outside the State Capitol and left it lying in the middle of the road.

The same group also tore down the Col. Hans Christian Heg statue a short time later. The group then went on to throw the statue into Lake Monona. Heg fought for the Union during the Civil War and was a stark opponent of slavery during that time.

I can almost understand the BLM’s anger against Confederate leaders and soldiers, but this is simply wanton destruction of public property. It makes no sense. It is simply the actions of an ignorant, angry mob.

The article provides a short summary of Colonel Heg’s life:

The Wisconsin Historical Society describes Col. Heg as follows:

Heg migrated to the United States from Norway as a child in 1840 and spent his youth at Muskego, in Waukesha County, Wisconsin. As a young man he went to California in the Gold Rush and stayed from 1849-1851. He returned to Wisconsin in 1851 following the death of his parents in order to care for his younger siblings and manage the family farm.

In the fall of 1861 a new Scandinavian regiment was recruited and Heg accepted appointment as its colonel. The 15th Wisconsin Infantry, made up largely of recent immigrants, went into training at Camp Randall in December and left for the South on March 2, 1862.

On December 30, 1862, at the battle of Stones River, Heg’s regiment lost more than 100 men. His horse was shot out from under him and his general called him “the bravest of the brave.” In February 1863 Heg was put in command of the entire brigade and pursued retreating Confederate troops through Tennessee, briefly into Alabama, and across the state line to Chickamauga, Georgia.

On the afternoon of September 19, 1863, Heg was charging forward at the front of his troops when he was shot in the abdomen. He managed to stay in the saddle for a short time, but loss of blood compelled him to leave the field and move to a hospital behind the lines where he died the next morning.

This is simply lawlessness–it has nothing to do with protesting anything.

The Logical Next Step

We have seen a lot of statues come down in recent days. Some of the statues defaced or removed have no relation to what those removing them claim to be the problem. An abolitionist statue was defaced in Philadelphia and a statue of U.S. Grant was torn down. This really makes no sense. So where is it going?

CNS News posted an article today with the following headline, “Activist Shaun King Calls for Statues of ‘White European Jesus’ to Come Down.”

The article notes:

As Black Lives Matters protesters have targeted and torn down the statues of Confederate soldiers and any other historical figure they deem to be racist, leftist activist Shaun King is calling for “the statues of the white European” Jesus to be torn down.

In a series of tweets on Monday, King said that when Jesus’ family wanted to hide and blend in they went to Egypt, not Denmark.

“Yes, I think the statues of the white European they claim is Jesus should also come down. They are a form of white supremacy. Always have been. In the Bible, when the family of Jesus wanted to hide, and blend in, guess where they went? EGYPT! Not Denmark. Tear them down,” he tweeted.

…King considers himself “a practicing Christian.” He said he is “an ordained minister and was a Senior Pastor for many years.”

“I am a practicing Christian. I am an ordained minister and was a Senior Pastor for many years.If my critiques of the white supremacy within the Christian world bother you to the point of wanting to kill me, you are the problem.Christian whiteness has ALWAYS been dangerous,” King tweeted on Tuesday.

Wow. I totally agree that Jesus probably did not have light hair and blue eyes. That characterization was made (I suspect) to make Him more relatable to the European population and eventually to the American population. He was Jewish. He probably looked Jewish (whatever that looks like).

Isaiah 53:2 says:

New International Version
He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

Statues and stained glass windows of the ‘white European Jesus’ do not need to come down. They are there as a visual aid. Hopefully most Christians know that they are historically incorrect. Anyone who reads the Bible can easily figure that out. I am sorry that Mr. King is so offended by these statues. If he is a Christian and a former Pastor, I am sure that he can find it in his heart to forgive the people who originated this idea and to leave the statues and windows alone.

The Truth Has A Way Of Coming Out

John Bolton’s book is out today. He will probably make a lot of money by trashing President Trump after President Trump was nice enough to give him a job in the administration. John Bolton is probably a very smart man, but his ideas about when to go to war did not fit in with President Trump’s ideas about when to go to war. Those who dislike the President will praise the book. Those who were there seem to have a different opinion.

Yesterday The Western Journal posted an article by Sarah Sanders. She obviously has a different perspective on events involving John Bolton.

The article reports:

Former National Security Advisor John Bolton might have won a battle or two in publishing his “tell-all” memoir of his time in the Trump White House.

But he’s losing a war when it comes to preserving his reputation in the wake of his betrayal of President Donald Trump and his administration.

And when former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders used a lengthy Twitter thread Monday to lay into Bolton by publishing an excerpt of her own memoir, it was clear another front had opened.

In the excerpt, Bolton comes off as almost embarrassingly “arrogant and selfish”  — Sanders’ two words.

“Bolton was a classic case of a senior White House official drunk on power, who had forgotten that nobody elected him to anything,” she wrote.

By way of example, the excerpt in the Twitter thread recounted an incident during the 2019 presidential trip to London, where White House advisers — including then-acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin but without Bolton — traveled by a single bus from a hotel to the American ambassador’s residence, known as the Winfield House.

The group was supposed to be part of a motorcade United Kingdom security officials had arranged for White House staff because Trump would be traveling mainly by helicopter. Bolton, who traveled to the U.K. in a separate plane, was supposed to meet the rest of the staff with the motorcade at their hotel, Sanders wrote, but he never showed.

While the bus was en route, according to Sanders, police directed the vehicle to pull over to make room for a motorcade coming through – the motorcade carrying Bolton.

“The discussion on the bus quickly moved from casual chit chat to how arrogant and selfish Bolton could be, not just in this moment but on a regular basis,” Sanders wrote. “If anyone on the team should have merited a motorcade it was Mnuchin, but he was a team player.”

When the bus arrived at the Winfield House, Sanders wrote, Mulvaney (who’s now the U.S. special envoy to Northern Ireland) lit into Bolton.

“Mick made clear he was the chief of staff and Bolton’s total disregard for his colleagues and common decency was unacceptable and would no longer be tolerated,” Sanders wrote. “‘Let’s face it John,’ Mick said. ‘You’re a f—— self-righteous, self-centered son of a b——!’”

For an outsider reading that, the whole issue might sound a little petty – even funny.

But Sanders made it clear it was just an example that came from “months of Bolton thinking he was more important and could play by a different set of rules than the rest of the team.”

In a column for Fox News K.T. McFarland noted:

Bolton, McFarland wrote, “was so convinced of his superior intelligence that he was condescending to everyone, including the president. He was increasingly isolated within the West Wing; cabinet officers ignored him and went behind his back directly to the president. He even avoided contact with his own National Security Council staff.”

That behavior might not have been a surprise in light of the anecdote McFarland opened her column with. She wrote that she ran into Bolton in the green room at Fox News on Election Day 2016 and asked if he’d voted yet.

Bolton replied, according to McFarland: “Yes, for Trump. He’s an idiot, but anybody is better than Hillary Clinton.”

Obviously, a national security advisor who thinks the president he serves is an “idiot” is not going to make an ideal counselor.

McFarland’s time at the White House did not overlap with Bolton’s, but she wrote that she was aware of his performance through her acquaintances who were still part of the National Security Council.

“I heard from several of my former NSC colleagues who remained at the White House after I left that Bolton spent most of his time – when he wasn’t in the Oval Office – sitting in his office behind closed doors,” she wrote. “His staff wasn’t sure what he did for those hours on end. Now we know – he was, in all likelihood, turning his copious notes into a manuscript, presumably in anticipation of getting a lucrative book deal, and rushing it into print quickly when the inevitable happened and he was fired.”

Bolton, McFarland wrote, was also a chronic leaker, playing the Washington game of talking to reporters when he didn’t get his way in the White House.

I am sure we will hear more stories like this as the book begins to circulate. Bolton has set a very bad precedent by writing a tell-all book about an administration still in office during a re-election campaign. That is just tacky.

When Government Ignores The Constitution

Yesterday The Washington Free Beacon posted an article yesterday about an incident in San Jose, California, that should give us pause.

The article reports:

In 2013, Lori Rodriguez called San Jose police to her home because her husband was having a mental health crisis and making violent threats. Seven years later, she is petitioning the Supreme Court to force the city to return her guns.

“It’s not right. I shouldn’t have to do this to get back what’s mine,” Rodriguez told the Washington Free Beacon. “They violated several of my constitutional rights.”

Rodriguez claims police ordered her to open the couple’s gun safe so they could seize all of the weapons in the home after her husband was detained for making threats that the city says included “shooting up schools.” Cops seized not only her husband’s weapons but also the guns that were personally registered to Rodriguez. The city has repeatedly rebuffed her requests to return her property.

The suit is now the sole case with Second Amendment implications remaining before the Court after the justices rejected 10 other gun-rights cases on June 15. Rodriguez’s legal challenge comes as the federal government and a number of states debate “red flag” bills that would allow authorities to deny gun rights to citizens. It has the potential to clarify the extent to which the Second Amendment protects individuals from seizures of firearms.

San Jose city attorney Richard Doyle did not respond to a request for comment. The city defended its actions, saying that authorities were within their rights to confiscate the guns, calling Rodriguez’s claim “borderline frivolous.”

“If the government has lawful authority to effect the forfeiture and observes the requirements of due process in so doing, it has complied with the Constitution,” Doyle said in a brief submitted to the Supreme Court on Wednesday. “The forfeiture does nothing whatever to impair the previous owner’s right to buy, possess, or use firearms, and notwithstanding that the owner may recover the full market value of the guns through their transfer and sale.”

The article continues:

Several of the guns confiscated from Rodriguez by San Jose police have special sentimental value, according to Rodriguez. Police confiscated not only handguns that she and her husband purchased but also a war souvenir inherited from a family member.

“One of them is a gun my great uncle brought back from WWII,” she said. “I really want that one back. You can’t replace that one, obviously.”

Don Kilmer, Rodriguez’s lawyer, said that while the case implicates the 2nd Amendment, in addition to the 4th and even 14th Amendments, it ultimately comes down to an undisputed fact: Lori Rodriguez is not prohibited from owning the firearms San Jose took from her house.

“Her mental health has never been at issue,” Kilmer told the Free Beacon. “The law that the city is holding these guns under says that you can confiscate weapons of people who are mentally ill. Lori is not mentally ill.”

In the years since the initial police call, the Rodriguez family continues to live together, but Lori has taken steps to ensure she can legally own the confiscated firearms. She has transferred all of the firearms into her name and she is the only family member who knows the combination to the gun safe. Her lawyers argue that she is in compliance with all California gun laws—including those for individuals who live with people who can not own firearms themselves.

If her husband was the problem and he had no access to the gun safe, how can the city justify taking her guns away? This is definitely overreach.