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.

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

I Really Do Wonder How We Are Going To Look Back On 2020

Yesterday The National Review posted an article about some recent statements by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.

The article reports:

Boston mayor Marty Walsh declared racism a “public health crisis” on Friday, and announced a proposal to transfer funds from the police department’s overtime budget to social services.

Walsh said $3 million would be immediately transferred from overtime for city police to the Boston Public Health Commission. The mayor will also propose that the City Council divert 20 percent of the polices’s overtime budget, or around $12 million, to other programs.

Is there anyone who actually believes this is going to make Boston safer?

The article concludes:

However, Walsh also praised the city police department, noting that use of force complaints dropped by 50 percent from 2013 to 2019. Over the same period, the crime rate dropped by 30 percent and the number of arrests dropped by one third.

“They have made this progress…by lifting people up, not locking people up,” Walsh said. “They, too, want to be a part of the solution, and they continue to deserve our respect and gratitude.” 

Calls have grown to “defund” police forces across the country following the death of George Floyd, an African American man killed during arrest by Minneapolis officers. Massive demonstrations protesting Floyd’s death have spread across the country, devolving into riots and looting in some cities, including Boston.

At the same time, African Americans have also seen a higher mortality rate from coronavirus infections than in the general population.

This is pandering. The Mayor knows that moving the money away from the police department is not going to make anyone safer–in fact, it may put some neighborhoods in danger. This decision is bowing to the pressure of the mob that is currently running wild.

Some Thoughts On Our Religious Liberty

Yesterday Andrew McCarthy posted an article at The National Review about a recent Supreme Court decision. The title of the article is, “It wasn’t just religious liberty that Chief Justice Roberts strangled.” The article is detailed and complex, so I suggest that you follow the link to read the entire article. However, there are a few things I want to point out that I think are very significant.

The article notes:

Most startling was that Chief Justice John Roberts not only joined the court’s four left-leaning justices (Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan) in declining to uphold religious liberty. Roberts also wrote a brief opinion explaining his decision. 

That opinion is an eye-opener. Roberts accords the right to worship no deference by virtue of its being a fundamental liberty expressly protected by the First Amendment. We are to see it as an activity like any other activity, commercial or social, the pros and cons of which technocrats must weigh in fashioning regulations. The opinion, moreover, champions the power of government officials to dictate to the people who elect them without “second-guessing by an unelected federal judiciary” — exactly the power that the Bill of Rights, and the incorporation jurisprudence by which the court has applied much of it to the states, are meant to deny.

The article also points out:

In rejecting the religious liberty claim, Roberts counters that it is not a matter of unlawful discrimination if different things are regulated in different ways. Religious gatherings, he rationalized, are being restricted like gatherings that are physically similar, such as lectures, concerts, theater productions and spectator sports. He conceded that less intense restrictions have been imposed on other activities, such as shopping, banking and laundering. But that, he insists, is because of salient differences in the way they are conducted: small groups, no extended proximity, and so on.

But wait a second. What about the constitutional pedigree of religious exercise? That was the point pressed by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, in a brief dissent joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch. (Justice Samuel Alito also opposed the denial of First Amendment relief but did not join Kavanaugh’s dissenting opinion.)

The article concludes:

There is no recognition, in Roberts’ rendering, that there is another side to this equation — a side where 400 times the number of people who’ve died have lost their jobs, millions of them facing ruin. The stubborn message: Don’t expect the court to help you, you’re the ones who elected these people; if you don’t like what they do, un-elect them. If you’ve elected social engineers who say the Bill of Rights is above their pay grade, that’s your problem.

The justices are happy to order that abortion must be available, to decide which couples (or perhaps throuples) must be permitted to marry, and to dictate what’s ever next in the ceaseless march of progressive, organic “liberty.” But as for the liberties that are actually in the Constitution, we are on our own.

Unfortunately Justice Roberts has been something of a disappointment to those of us who expected him to be a responsible judge who would uphold the Constitution. He has wandered away from the constitutional role of the judiciary more than once.

The Problem With Justice In Minneapolis

The death of George Floyd is a tragedy. There is no doubt that he would still be alive if he hadn’t been held down on the ground by the police for as long as he was. However, the autopsy does not give asphixiation as the primary cause of death. So where do we go from here?

Andrew McCarthy posted an article at The National Review today that might provide some answers.

The article notes:

For one thing, contrary to most people’s assumption, Mr. Floyd appears not to have died from asphyxia or strangulation as Chauvin pinned him to the ground, knee to the neck. Rather, as alleged in the complaint, Floyd suffered from coronary-artery disease and hypertensive-heart disease. The complaint further intimates, but does not come out and allege, that Floyd may have had “intoxicants” in his system. The effects of these underlying health conditions and “any potential intoxicants” are said to have “combined” with the physical restraint by three police officers, most prominently Chauvin, to cause Floyd’s death.

As I’ve noted in a column on the homepage, Hennepin County prosecutors have charged Chauvin with third-degree depraved-indifference homicide. Now that the complaint has been released publicly, we see that a lesser offense was also charged: second-degree manslaughter. This homicide charge involves “culpable negligence creating an unreasonable risk” of serious bodily harm, and carries a maximum sentence of ten years’ imprisonment.

It is easy to see why prosecutors added this charge (and why they shied away from more serious grades of murder described in my column). The case is tougher for prosecutors if there is doubt about whether Chauvin’s unorthodox and unnecessary pressure on Floyd’s neck caused him to die. Had he been strangled, causative effect of the neck pressure would be patent. But if the neck pressure instead just contributed to the stress of the situation that triggered death because of unusual underlying medical problems (possibly in conjunction with intoxicants Floyd may have consumed), it becomes a harder murder prosecution.

Stay tuned. This is going to get complicated. I believe that the police force was correct to fire the officers involved. However, getting them to pay a more serious price for their abuse of power is going to be difficult. Even with video evidence, they are innocent until proven guilty and have to be convicted ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’

 

As Freedom In Hong Kong Dies

Breitbart posted an article today reporting that China had blocked America’s request for a United Nations Security Council meeting to discuss China’s recent actions in Hong Kong.

The article reports:

China is one of five permanent members of the council, also including the United States, Russia, France, and the United Kingdom. According to the U.S. mission, China single-handedly prevented discussion of the increasingly worrisome situation in Hong Kong where, as of Wednesday Chinese Communist Party authorities will be able to punish people present in the nominally autonomous region for any behavior they identify as threatening the national security of China.

The “national security” law China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) passed on Thursday overrides the autonomy of the Hong Kong authorities to handle local criminal concerns. Its opponents note that it is a violation of “One Country, Two Systems,” the policy China vowed to keep to when Hong Kong accepted Chinese sovereignty over it in 1997.

The U.S. mission to the U.N. called the law a “matter of urgent global concern that implicates international peace and security.”

“As a result, the United States called today for a virtual meeting of the Security Council to discuss these acts and the PRC’s [China’s] proposed national security law that would threaten Hong Kong’s democratic institutions and civil liberties. Such actions confirm the PRC’s contempt and complete disregard for its international obligations,” the mission said. “Unsurprisingly, the PRC has refused to allow this virtual meeting to proceed in the Security Council.”

Below is part of the preamble to the United Nations Charter:
WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED
  • to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
  • to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
  • to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
  • to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Obviously they are not living up to their charter. It is time to remove them from New York City and stop giving them money.

Meanwhile, The National Review reported yesterday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Congress that the city of Hong Kong is effectively no longer an “autonomous” entity.

The article reports:

“The State Department is required by the Hong Kong Policy Act to assess the autonomy of the territory from China,” Pompeo wrote in a statement. “I certified to Congress today that Hong Kong does not continue to warrant treatment under United States laws in the same manner as U.S. laws were applied to Hong Kong before July 1997. No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China…it is now clear that China is modeling Hong Kong after itself.”

The article notes:

In light of the recent moves by China to increase its authority over the city, U.S. Senators Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) and Chris Van Hollen (D., Md.) sponsored legislation to sanction Chinese individuals and entities involved in threats to Hong Kong’s autonomy.

We need to make it financially disadvantageous for China to continue its violation of the treaty with Britain that promised Hong Kong would remain free. It is time to remove any  trade deals involving Hong Kong that are favorable toward China.

 

Who Is Paying Our Colleges?

On Friday, The National Review posted an article titled, “U.S. Colleges Have Accepted $6 Billion in Undisclosed Donations from Foreign Governments, DOE Probe Finds.” Great. No wonder we are sending children to college respecting America and getting them backl home hating America.

The article reports:

The Department of Education has discovered at least $6 billion in unreported donations to American universities from adversarial foreign nations, Townhall reported on Friday.

The DoE revealed its updates in a May 19 letter to Congress and a subsequent briefing to several ranking House Republicans who are conducting an investigation into the foreign funding of U.S. educational institutions.

The investigation was spurred by increasing reports of Chinese funding at U.S. educational institutions, including the prevalence of Confucius institutes on U.S. campuses. Confucius institutes are Chinese-government funded centers which ostensibly promote Chinese language and culture, but which U.S. agencies have warned spread propaganda for China’s government.

“Some [Institutions of Higher Education] leaders are starting to acknowledge the threat of foreign academic espionage and have been working with federal law enforcement to address gaps in reporting and transparency,” the letter from the DoE’s Office of the General Counsel reads. “However, the evidence suggests massive investments of foreign money have bred dependency and distorted the decision-making, mission, and values of too many institutions.”

The letter also states, “Certain institutions have yet to produce requested emails, metadata, and other information regarding business relationships with, and faculty funding from, Chinese, Middle Eastern, and Russian foreign sources.”

The DoE had already announced its own investigation into foreign funding of U.S. universities in February. Besides China, officials are looking into funding from Qatar, Iran, Russia, and Saudi Arabia.

America is a unique experiment. We have survived past the normal 200 years that a democracy can exist without self-destructing. The main reason for that is that we are a representative republic–not a democracy. But we need to remember that our freedom is always one generation away from being lost. If we continue to mis-educate our children from kindergarten through college, we will lose our freedom. We definitely need to remove foreign money from all of our education–from kindergarten through college. America is quite capable of teaching its own children and educating them on the value of their freedom and the great gift this country is.

 

Why Was This Redacted In The First Place?

The redacted part of the Susan Rice memo-to-self was declassified on Tuesday. The Gateway Pundit posted an article yesterday that includes a picture of the entire memo including the redacted version.

The article reports:

Acting DNI Richard Grenell on Tuesday declassified the remaining portion of Susan Rice’s email.

CBS reporter Catherine Herridge obtained the declassified email and released it to the public

It was previously known the junk Russia dossier and General Flynn’s calls to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were discussed in the secret meeting.

The newly declassified portion of the email once again implicates Barack Obama and Comey!

Barack Obama and Comey discussed Flynn’s communications with Kislyak.

Comey suggested to Obama in the meeting that the National Security Council [NSC] might not want to pass “sensitive information related to Russia” to then-incoming National Security Adviser General Mike Flynn.

“President Obama asked if Comey was saying that the NSC should not pass sensitive information related to Russia to Flynn. Comey replied “potentially” and noted “the level of communication (w/Russian Ambassador) is unusual.”

Andrew McCarthy posted an article about the memo at The National Review today.

Andrew McCarthy notes:

Try not to get dizzy. Rice has gone from claiming to have had no knowledge of Obama administration monitoring of Flynn and other Trump associates, to claiming no knowledge of any unmaskings of Trump associates, to admitting she was complicit in the unmaskings, to — now — a call for the recorded conversation between retired general Michael Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to be released because it would purportedly show that the Obama administration had good reason to be concerned about Flynn (y’know, the guy she said she had no idea they were investigating).

Naturally, we have now learned that Rice was deeply involved in the Obama administration’s Trump–Russia investigation, including its sub-investigation of Flynn, a top Trump campaign surrogate who was slated to replace Rice as national-security advisor when President Trump took office. Last night, I did a column for Fox News, analyzing the newly unredacted paragraph from Rice’s previously reported email memorializing a White House meeting on these subjects.

The meeting took place on January 5, 2017, and involved Rice, Obama, and Vice President Biden, the administration’s top political hierarchy on national-security matters, along with Obama’s top law-enforcement and counterintelligence officials, deputy attorney general Sally Yates (soon formally to take the acting AG role she was already performing), and FBI director James Comey. Prior redactions had already demonstrated that the meeting’s central purpose was to discuss the rationale for withholding intelligence about Russia from the incoming Trump national-security team.

The article at The National Review concludes:

It is vital that the documentary record, which should have been uncovered years ago, continue being brought to light. It is good that Trump’s National Intelligence director Ric Grenell is forcing the issue. But let’s not forget: When it turns out that Obama officials have intentionally inserted after-the-fact CYA memos into “the File,” we have to ask why they have done so . . . and to read what they’ve written with that in mind.

I strongly suggest that you follow the links to both of the above articles to read the details of the redacted part of this memo. It is becoming very obvious that the Obama administration was not interested in participating in a peaceful transfer of power.

 

We Need To Learn From The Mistakes Made In New York

New York has had a very high percentage of deaths from the coronavirus compared to  other states in the nation. This is not by chance–it is the result of bad decisions made at the beginning of the pandemic and throughout the crisis. Yesterday The National Review posted an article detailing the decisions that exacerbated the outbreak.

The article reports:

Cuomo made three breathtakingly bad moves in March that in retrospect amounted to catastrophe. First, Cuomo failed to call for, and even actively discouraged, informal social-distancing measures in early March. Next was the delay in mid-March in ordering formal closures when the virus started rampaging through his state. Third was his March 25 edict to long-term care facilities that they must accept infected patients, which caused a mass deadly outbreak among helpless, trapped, elderly New Yorkers.

The article notes:

Like de Blasio, who as late as March 10 was on MSNBC telling New Yorkers that most of us were at little to no risk and that the coronavirus was much like seasonal flu, Cuomo persisted with his don’t-scare-away-the-tourists happy talk well into March, the critical month. On March 1, the day New York State logged its first confirmed case of the coronavirus (a health-care worker who had just returned from Iran), Cuomo assured everyone that, although one of his own daughters had called him in a state of panic, there was no need to be afraid. “The facts defeat fear. Because the reality is reassuring. It is deep breath time. . . . This is not our first rodeo with this type of situation in New York,” Cuomo boasted, adding, “Excuse our arrogance as New Yorkers,” but the state was fully prepared. “We don’t even think it’s going to be as bad as it was in other countries,” he said. “We’re going to have a special effort for our nursing homes, et cetera, congregate facilities where senior citizens are being treated.” He further boasted that the state had broken free of federal restraints about testing: “Now we are actually in control of the systems ourselves. And as New Yorkers we like control.”

Summing up, Cuomo said, “Once you know the facts, once you know the reality, it is reassuring and we should relax because that’s what’s dictated by the reality of the situation.”

On March 6 Cuomo insisted, “The overall risk level of the novel coronavirus in New York remains low” and said, “We have more people in this country dying from the flu than we have dying from coronavirus.” As late as March 8, Cuomo, instead of advising people to stay away from the subway, advised New Yorkers to seek out less-crowded subway cars, the mass-transit equivalent of saying, “Let them eat cake.”

The coronavirus was an unknown entity, and I don’t blame Governor Cuomo for his original missteps.  However, I do believe that Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio were slow to acknowledge and react to the danger. Contrast this with President Trump who had the foresight to stop air travel from China. Leadership matters.

How To Write A Report Without Actually Saying Anything

When I heard about the article in The New York Times that proclaimed that a Republican-led Senate panel has issued a report that “undercuts claims by President Trump and his allies that Obama-era officials sought to undermine his candidacy by investigating Russia’s 2016 election meddling,” I wondered how that was possible considering the recently declassified information relating to Operation Crossfire Hurricane. Well Andrew McCarthy posted an article at The National Review yesterday that cleared that up for me. First of all I would like to state that I believe that the Senate Intelligence Committee is one of the most corrupt and leaky groups in Washington. They have been caught leaking fake news on more than one occasion. At any rate, Andrew McCarthy explained in his article exactly what was said in the report and what was not said in the report.

The article notes:

In truth, the story is a nothing-burger. We learn that one of the most useless committees on Capitol Hill, the Senate Intelligence Committee, has issued a 158-page report — festooned with the usual “there are things we can’t tell you” redactions — as a capper to its three-year investigation into a question no one is asking: Did the intelligence community competently conclude that Russia interfered in the 2016 campaign?

No one is asking that question because, for the vast majority of people closely following the collusion caper, that would be like asking whether the Chiefs won the Super Bowl.

We know Russia interfered in our campaign. Given Moscow’s long history of meddling in American politics, it would only have been a story if Russia did not meddle. The principal argument by President Trump and other intelligence agency critics has not been that Obama officials undermined Trump’s candidacy and presidency “by investigating Russia’s 2016 election meddling.” The argument is that they undermined Trump’s campaign and presidency by claiming that Trump and his campaign were complicit in Russia’s 2016 election meddling.

On that key question the Useless Committee is, as is its custom, mum.

They also punted on another key question:

The real question is whether the Obama administration and its officials held over by the new administration fabricated a tale about the Trump campaign’s complicity in Russia’s hacking. Did they peddle that tale to the FISA court while willfully concealing key exculpatory evidence? Did they continue the investigation under the guise of counterintelligence after Trump was elected, in the hope of finding a crime over which he could be impeached? Did they consciously mislead an American president about whether he was under investigation? Did they purposefully suggest in public testimony that the president was a criminal suspect, while privately assuring him that he was not one? And finally, when the Trump-Russia collusion nonsense was collapsing in a heap, did they open a criminal obstruction case — based on an untenable legal theory and facilitated by a leak of investigative information that was orchestrated by the just-fired FBI director — in order to justify continuing the probe under the auspices of a special counsel?

On these questions, the Useless Committee’s report is silent. Indeed, the report says right up front, in the findings section, that the intelligence agencies, over the FBI’s objection, did not include information from the infamous Steele dossier in its December 30, 2016, assessment on Russian interference — though, “as a compromise to the FBI insistence,” dossier allegations were included in an annex to the assessment. The Senate-report findings do not get into why the FBI was pushing so hard on the preposterous dossier. Nor do they mention that, by the time of the assessment, the bureau had already heavily relied on the dossier to obtain a surveillance warrant from the FISA court, and was even then preparing a submission to get yet another warrant — telling the federal judges the bureau believed that the Trump campaign was conspiring with the Kremlin.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. Andrew McCarthy explains how a 158-page report can say absolutely nothing. It is not a coincidence that this report was released just as declassified documents are showing illegal surveillance of the Trump campaign and administration and we are awaiting the Dunbar report. This report is a pre-emptive strike put out by the political class in Washington.

This Is A Really Good Question

Yesterday National Review posted an article with the following headline, “Why Are the Airlines Still Flying Out of New York?” That is a really good question.

The article reports:

I am baffled by the continuation of air travel between New York City and the rest of the country. At the moment, the greater New York area is at the center of the coronavirus crisis in the United States, and yet Kayak confirms that, even today, anyone from the city and its environs can get on a plane and travel almost anywhere within the United States. Why?

As I write, direct flights from Newark to Miami are going for $19 on Frontier and $29 on American Airlines. Given the seriousness of the pandemic — and the number of businesses that have been shuttered as a precaution — this seems downright bizarre. Why, one might reasonably ask, are airplanes not subject to the same social distancing rules as other commercial services? The crab shack on the beach near me is closed because the authorities in my county are worried that its customers may stand too closely together while waiting for their tacos. Is this not an equal risk in Basic Economy on United Airlines?

The federal government enjoys only limited powers — and it should enjoy only limited powers. But even my cramped reading of the Commerce Clause allows the authorities in Washington, D.C. to regulate commercial interstate air travel. President Trump threatened a federal quarantine the other day, and then, on the advice of his team, rescinded the threat. Given the legal questions at hand — and the fact that the national government simply does not have the resources to enforce such a rule — this was likely for the best; thinly tested though the relevant precedents may be, it is not at all obvious that the National Guard is allowed to prevent cars from crossing the state line between New York and Pennsylvania. But do you know what the federal government is allowed to do — and, indeed, what the federal government already does? Regulate commercial air travel. Why is it not doing so here?

Air travel should be suspended until we see the number of cases level off. Until then, the airlines are just allowing the virus to move freely around the country.

Why The Citizens United Decision Matters

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010), is a landmark United States Supreme Court case concerning campaign finance. The Supreme Court ruled on January 21, 2010, prevents the government from restricting campaign contributions from corporations, including nonprofit corporations, labor unions, and other associations.

National Review posted an article on March 5, 2014, showing political campaign donations from 1989 to 2014. Below is the chart included in the article:

As you can see, unions donate a significant amount of money to political campaigns.

On Thursday, The Washington Examiner reported that the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is investing $150 million to defeat President Trump in November.

The article reports:

The get-out-the-vote campaign is the biggest investment that the union has ever made in getting voters to the polls. It will largely focus on Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin, according to the Associated Press. It will also focus on urban areas such as Detroit and Milwaukee. And while television ads will be part of the campaign, most of its resources will go to direct contact and online ads targeting minority voters.

Maria Peralta, the union’s political director, said Trump has made inroads with some minority voters who traditionally vote Democratic if they do vote. The Trump campaign plans to open community centers to win the black vote. The offices will feature African Americans who support Trump.

So what is this about? Through deregulation and other policies, the Trump administration has seen record economic growth. In order for the Democrats to stay in power, they need a permanent underclass that is dependent on the government to support them.

On February 15, Breitbart reported:

Approximately 6.1 million individuals dropped off the food stamp rolls since President Donald Trump’s first full month in office in February 2017, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

This is a threat to the growth of the Democrat party. If the Democrats can defeat President Trump, reverse his economic policies, and create a failing economy, they can gain more control over the everyday lives of Americans. That is their goal. That is the reason we need corporate money in elections to counter the union money. That is the reason Citizens United was a good decision.

It should also be noted that as the number of people dependent on the government decreases, the size of the administrative state should also decrease. That should also decrease the cost of government. That is a goal that totally frightens those involved in the administrative state. If the administrative state continues at its present size, we will never get federal deficits under control. Eventually the deficit will crash the economy.

Two-Track Justice

Yesterday The National Review posted an article with the title, “With Liberty and Two-Track Justice for All.” Unless things change quickly, we will officially become a banana republic.

The article notes the contrasts in the way similar charges against Americans were handled:

• President Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, is doing seven and a half years at the Federal Correctional Institution in Loretto, Pa., for his pre-Trump tax and bank fraud. Manafort has endured solitary confinement.

• Former campaign aide George Papadopoulos served twelve days in the slammer for false statements to FBI officers. His steep legal bills and spooked clients drove him back into his parents’ house.

• Former national security adviser Michael Flynn awaits sentencing, and wants his charges dropped, after pleading guilty to false statements. Flynn reportedly took a plea after selling his house to pay his lawyers. DOJ prosecuted Flynn, although no less than Andrew McCabe acknowledged that “the two people who interviewed [Flynn] didn’t think he was lying.” Indeed, the G-men who spoke with Flynn later reported: “Throughout the interview, Flynn had a very ‘sure’ demeanor and did not give any indicators of deception. He did not parse his words or hesitate in any of his answers.” Never mind those details; Flynn still could wind up in an orange jump suit.

The article compares the above scenarios with the fate of James Comey:

As the OIG concluded:

Comey violated applicable policies and his Employment Agreement by failing to either surrender his copies of Memos 2, 4, 6, and 7 to the FBI or seek authorization to retain them; by releasing official FBI information and records to third parties without authorization; and by failing to immediately alert the FBI about his disclosures to his personal attorneys once he became aware in June 2017 that Memo 2 contained six words (four of which were names of foreign countries mentioned by the President) that the FBI had determined were classified at the “CONFIDENTIAL” level.

So, Comey did spill state secrets.

“By not safeguarding sensitive information obtained during the course of his FBI employment, and by using it to create public pressure for official action,” the OIG concluded in August, “Comey set a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees — and the many thousands more former FBI employees — who similarly have access to or knowledge of non-public information.”

So, is Comey breaking rocks? Awaiting his prison sentence? Preparing for trial?

The article notes the activities of Hillary Clinton:

Despite 588 security violations that the State Department attributed to Hillary Clinton and her associates in the Emailgate scandal, as well as her role in purchasing the “dirty dossier” that triggered the Russia hoax, the former first lady has suffered zero consequences for an entire career of professional misconduct. Anyone who survived her husband’s presidency recalls Hillary as a latter-day Ma Barker, or Bonnie to Bill’s Clyde. Regardless, Hillary always walks away, Scot-free. And she always gets paid.

Her 2014 book Hard Choices scored her some $14 million. The next year, Business Insider reports, she made $12 million in speaking fees to well-connected organizations and huge corporations. A sample of these for 2015 included:

California Medical Association: $100,000 (via satellite!)

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce: $150,000

Institute of Scrap Metal Recycling Industries: $225,000

National Automobile Dealers Association: $225,500

United Fresh Produce Association: $225,000

eBay Inc.: $315,000 (for a 20-minute speech)

Cisco: $325,000 (She reportedly sat onstage with the CEO)

Biotechnology Industry Organization: $335,000

Qualcomm Incorporated: $335,000

GTCR Private Equity: $780,000

Atop this steady cash, Hillary never stops playing presidential-campaign hokey-pokey: She puts her left foot in, she takes her left foot out, she puts her left foot in, and she shakes it all about. Rumors that Michael Bloomberg is considering her as a potential running mate gives this entitled woman yet another opportunity to show some West Wing ankle.

Lois Lerner also made the list of insiders with minimal consequences for breaking the law:

Lois Lerner ran the IRS unit that perpetrated the systematic political profiling of conservative groups that sought tax-exempt designation. IRS’s wingtip-dragging, relentless demands for paperwork, and Orwellian questions (“please provide the percentage of time your organization spends on prayer groups”) all subjected to extra scrutiny 94 percent of center-right and Tea Party groups that sought 501(c)(3) and (c)(4)status, versus 6 percent of analogous liberal outfits, the House Ways and Means Committee found in August 2013. Consequently, rather than educate citizens on limited-government principles before the 2012 election, scores of these organizations either failed to launch or did so, only to run out of fuel and tumble back to earth.

Lerner supervised this virtual gag-the-Right scheme. When GOP congressional overseers sought Lerner’s laptop hard drive, they learned that it was shipped to a Federal Bureau of Prisons recycling facility in Florida. As the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration testified in 2015, “this shipment of hard drives was destroyed using an AMERI-SHRED AMS-750HD shredder.” The industrial-strength machine chopped the drives into quarter-sized pieces. The Feds then sold this material as scrap.

Was Lerner punished? Reprimanded? Ordered to stand in the corner for 20 minutes?

Lerner was placed on administrative leave. This is Potomac for “paid vacation.” She received her $177,000 annual salary while she stayed home and relaxed. (If she were U.S. senator Lois Lerner, she would have earned $3,000 less.) According to the Washington Post, “Lerner has received a $100,000 annual pension since retiring from the IRS in September 2013, and she and her husband, an attorney with a national law firm, live in a $2.5 million home in Bethesda,” Maryland, where she walks her dogs and gardens outside her 6,500-square-foot house.

The article concludes:

America needs equal justice, but neither undue leniency nor undeserved cruelty toward Stone.

Given Stone’s sentence, McCabe, Comey, Clinton, and Lerner should be locked up.

But since those four got zero prison time, plus book deals, TV contracts, and a hefty pension, then Roger Stone deserves to walk into a green room at Fox News Channel. I would expect to congratulate him there on his new contributor agreement and hear all about his upcoming memoir.

Fair is fair.

I agree.

The Media Responsibility For The Divide Between Us

On February 8th, Gregory Timm drove his van into a Republican voter registration tent in Jacksonville, Florida. The mainstream media chose to ignore the story.

Today The Washington Examiner posted an opinion piece that noted a few things about the attack and the silence of the media:

In the hours and days after Gregory Timm plowed his vehicle into a tent of Republican Party volunteers registering voters in the parking lot of Kernan Village Shopping Center in Jacksonville, Florida, national coverage of the event has been alarmingly lacking.

Local news channel WJXT reported days later on the arrest report, which showed Timm telling the sheriff’s office his “disapproval of Trump” was the motivating factor for the attack. He showed the sheriff’s office a self-recorded video of him driving straight at the volunteers, expressing frustration that the video cut out before “the good part.” Even then, as I write this, the best the New York Times could muster was wire coverage.

No teams of reporters were sent to uncover his dark motivations, upbringing, or political leanings. No psychological profiles have been written up, nor have any experts weighed in on how this is a growing threat. These are all tools that would have been used by an army of reporters if Timm had been a Trump supporter plowing into Democratic Party volunteers registering voters.

The problem isn’t that Timm’s attack on the GOP wasn’t covered by most of the media. It’s that it wasn’t covered with the same voracious appetite news organizations have whenever someone who is even peripherally associated with the Right does something to a Democrat.

This isn’t whataboutism; this is realism. It gets to the heart of why people, especially conservatives, believe the media doesn’t just have a liberal bias, but it either doesn’t cover stories that show when conservatives are attacked, or it buries them.

The opinion piece concludes:

According to a new Pew Research Center study, more Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents trust rather than distrust most of the 30 outlets in the study, which includes the New York Times. The reverse is true among Republicans and center-right independents. In fact, the gap has widened substantially for Republicans’ trust in the media in the past six years to get the story right, or without bias, or report it at all.

Bier (Jeryl Bier, a freelance writer whose dispatches can be found in the Wall Street Journal and National Review) says the danger for right-leaning news organizations is to try not to overcompensate for what they see as left-wing bias. “It is truly difficult to walk the line, but more in media need to strive for that balance.”

One of the more common observations I hear from people on how my profession reports on politics in this country centers on how Trump has been covered since he became president.

The conversation typically goes something like this: “I don’t mind that you scrutinize every move he makes or what his motivations are, that is your job. I just want to know why you didn’t cover the last guy with the same gusto, which was also your job.”

It is fair to say that logic should also apply to how incidents are covered that affect Republicans. There would have been a week’s worth of cable news coverage, several nationwide protests, and someone calling for a national conversation by now had the victims of Timm’s attack been supporting anyone but Trump.

The liberal slant of the mainstream media is divisive. Many Americans do not hear both sides of an issue. The are constantly fed the idea that Trump supporters are unprincipled people who want to destroy the Constitution. When the media criticizes President Trump, it generally fails to mention similar actions of previous presidents. On the whole, the mainstream media is setting up an alternative reality that can only be harmful to America.

Interesting Take

On Friday, The Daily Wire posted an article about Trey Gowdy’s recent comments concerning the purpose of impeaching President Trump. The article points out that there is very little hope that President Trump will be impeached in the Senate and that there is very little chance that President Trump will not be re-elected. So what is the goal?

The article notes:

Former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) told Fox News’s Sean Hannity on Thursday that Democrats are not trying to remove President Donald Trump with impeachment, but instead are focused on kneecapping his second term by flipping the Senate so he can’t get anything done.

“Let’s skip over the process,” Gowdy said. “The process, the three month long inquiry investigation was laughable. But they voted. That’s the House’s prerogative. They voted, not a single Republican went along with them. In fact, they didn’t even keep all the Democrats. But the House exercised its prerogative and they impeached the president.”

“There is no mathematical way he is ever going to be convicted and they know that,” Gowdy continued. “So their goal cannot be to remove Donald Trump from office, it is to neuter his second term. I think he is going to win in November. It’s to neuter that second term by targeting the Cory Gardners and the Martha McSallys and the Thom Tillises and the Susan Collins and Joni Ernst because if Trump wins and doesn’t have the Senate then he is not going to get any judicial vacancies filled and he’s not going to replace a Supreme Court Justice if he or she retires.”

One of the major accomplishments of the Trump administration is the reshaping of the judiciary. President Trump has appointed a record number of judges to serve in the federal appeal courts.

On December 19th, The National Review reported:

Let’s first put the confirmation results in some statistical perspective. From 1981 through last year, the Senate confirmed an average of 45 judges, or 5.5 percent of the judiciary, per year. This year’s total is more than twice the annual average and constitutes 11.9 percent of the judiciary. It’s the second-highest confirmation total in a single year in American history.

Those 102 confirmations include 20 to the U.S. Court of Appeals, the third-highest annual total in history. President Donald Trump has appointed 50 appeals court judges in his first three years, compared to 55 appointed by President Barack Obama — in eight years. And this is only the second time in American history that the Senate has confirmed double-digit appeals court nominations three years in a row. The only downside is that only one current appeals court vacancy exists anywhere in the country right now, the fewest in more than four decades.

The Democrats understand that the legacy of judges will be a lasting legacy. They desperately need to take the Senate in order to stop the continuing confirmations of judges. That strategy is much more logical than a futile effort to unseat a President who is popular with most Americans (although hated by the Washington establishment).

The Political Impact Of The Long Fight To Remove President Trump

On Tuesday, Victor Davis Hanson posted an article at National Review about the impact of impeachment on President Trump.

The article includes a number of observations about the impact of the endless investigations of the President:

Quietly, the approval ratings of Trump have been rising to pre-impeachment levels and are nearing a RealClearPolitics average of 45. Support for impeaching Trump and/or removing him is not increasing as the House Democrats expected. It is essentially static, or slowly eroding, depending on how polls phrase such questions.

Apparently, an exhausted public did not see “Ukrainian” impeachment as a one-off national crisis akin to the Nixon inquiry and the Clinton impeachment and trial that merited national attention. The impeachment vote instead is being confirmed in the public mind as part of a now boring three-year impeachment psychodrama (from impeachment 1.0, the Logan Act, the emoluments clause, the 25th Amendment, and Michael Avenatti/Stormy Daniels comedies to Robert Mueller’s “dream team” and “all-stars”). The progressive logic of the current jump-the-shark monotony is to become even more monotonous, the way that a driller leans ever harder on his dull and chipping bit as his bore becomes static.

The Democrats believed that all of these efforts would be like small cuts, each one perhaps minor but all combining to bleed Trump out. But now we know, given polling data and the strong Trump economy, that the long odyssey to impeachment has had almost no effect on Trump’s popularity, other than losing him 3–4 points for a few weeks as periodic media “bombshells” went off.

The reality may be the very opposite of what Democrats planned. The more the Left tries to abort the Trump presidency before the election, the more it bleeds from each of its own inflicted nicks. As an example, Rachel Maddow’s reputation has not been enhanced by her neurotic assertions that Trump’s tax returns would soon appear, or that the Steele dossier was steadily gaining credibility, or that yet another tell-tale Russian colluder had emerged from under another American bed.

The constant drumbeat of accusations is simply not resonating. Yet, the Democrats continue with a playbook that is not working.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. It includes a lot of information that has been overlooked amidst the hype.

The article concludes:

Instead, voters are exhausted by his haters and their crazy agendas. They grow enraged over how the Mueller and Horowitz investigatory reports have disproved all the daily media, celebrity, and political assertions. And they are upset about the larger culture of the anti-Trump Left, from the fundamentals of open borders and identity politics to the trivia of transgendered athletes, Colin Kaepernickism, and the open-border, Green New Deal socialism. An auto worker who votes as a true-blue union Democrat but likes Trump’s trade policies, a no-nonsense farmer who worries about farm exports but likes deregulation, and a teacher who votes a liberal slate but has no way to control his classroom may not seem like Trump voters, but some such voters are terrified by the cultural trajectory of what the Trump-hating Left has in store for them all.

For a majority, refined and arrogant progressive mendaciousness voiced in condescending nasal tones has become far more repugnant than all-American hype in a Queens accent.

What is happening in America may be an indication that representative government may be making a comeback. We may be entering a time when elected officials will actually be required to represent the people who elected them.

The Quest For Relevance

Yesterday National Review reported  that former secretary of state John Kerry has endorsed Joe Biden for President. John Kerry cited Biden’s performance serving as vice president in the Obama administration as proof that he has what it takes to defeat President Trump. Wow. I don’t know where to start.

The article reports:

“The world is broken,” Kerry told The Washington Post. “Our politics are broken. The country faces extraordinary challenges. And I believe very deeply that Joe Biden’s character, his ability to persevere, his decency and the experiences that he brings to the table are critical to the moment. The world has to be put back together, the world that Donald Trump has smashed apart.”

Kerry’s announcement comes a week after news broke that former president Barack Obama reportedly said Biden “really doesn’t have it” in establishing a bond with the electorate.

Kerry seemingly disagreed with his former boss in describing Biden, calling him “the person for the moment.”

This is an amazing statement. John Kerry was elected to the United States Senate in 1984. He was sworn in as Secretary of State in February 2013. Joe Biden was a Senator from 1973 to 2009. President Donald Trump entered politics in 2015. If ‘the world is broken,’ I would tend to put the responsibility for that on those who have been in power for the longest time–not on the new kid on the block.

A Much-Needed Change

National Review posted an article yesterday about a new policy regarding food stamps that will go into effect in April of next year.

The article reports:

In theory, the program has a strict time limit for “ABAWDs,” or able-bodied adults without dependents: If they don’t meet their work requirement or receive a case-by-case exemption from their state, they may receive food stamps for at most three months in any 36-month period. But in practice, the executive branch has broad discretion to waive the limit for large geographic areas with weak labor markets — and previous administrations used that discretion promiscuously. As of 2017, about a third of the U.S. population lived in waived areas.

Under the old rule, any place with an unemployment rate one-fifth above the national average was eligible for a waiver. (Places could — and still can — also establish eligibility by having an absolute rate over 10 percent.) This meant that when unemployment was low throughout the country, areas with good labor markets could still receive waivers, simply because unemployment wasn’t quite as low there as it was elsewhere.

The old rule also allowed states to effectively gerrymander their waiver requests, combining high- and low-unemployment counties to maximize the number of people exempted. All told, states such as Illinois and California were able to obtain waivers for all but a few of their counties.

In short, the system was unfair and arbitrary, imposing time limits on some recipients but not others based on where they happened to live, failing to target the waivers toward truly needy areas, and allowing states to abuse the rules to draw in more federally funded benefits.

Now there will be a new rule.

The article reports:

Under the new rule, effective in April of next year, these waivers won’t be granted to areas with unemployment below 6 percent. And states will be far more limited in the geographical configurations they can request waivers for. These are entirely reasonable policies, and well within the range of discretion the statute grants to the executive branch.

Many on the left complain about the rule simply because it will reduce the number of people on food stamps — by about 700,000, roughly 2 percent of total food-stamp enrollment, by the administration’s own estimate. But increasing benefit receipt is not an end in itself, especially when it comes at the expense of an incentive for childless, able-bodied adults to find work; and given the massive growth the program has seen these past two decades, there is clearly room for cuts. (Despite the recovery, total enrollment is about double what it was in 2000.) Perhaps more to the point, whatever one’s ideal level of food-stamp enrollment, there is no good reason to gut work requirements for entire areas with low unemployment while enforcing those requirements elsewhere — or to let states play games with their maps to boost eligibility.

Food stamps and similar programs are meant to be a safety net–not a career choice. Generational welfare represents a failure of our families, educational system, and society. It is time that we encouraged and helped people to make the choices that will allow them to be financially stable and successful.

This Would Be Funny If It Wasn’t True

The National Review posted an article today about a recent comment by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Before I share the comment, I would like to point out that Speaker Pelosi took an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;

The article reports:

In her Dear Colleague letter pushing back against Republican anti-impeachment talking points, Nancy Pelosi wrote this: “The weak response to these hearings has been, ‘Let the election decide.’ That dangerous position only adds to the urgency of our action, because the President is jeopardizing the integrity of the 2020 elections.”

‘Let the election decide’ is not a dangerous idea–it is how our representative republic works. Exactly what is President Trump doing that jeopardizes the integrity of the 2020 elections? Does the idea of national voter ID jeopardize elections? What Speaker Pelosi fears is that the voters will see through the sham that is going on now and ‘throw the bums out’ that are responsible for the sham.

I also would like to note that the continued charge that President Trump has ‘abused his power’ is never followed by specifics. Meanwhile, the reason that DACA is before the Supreme Court is that President Obama abused his power. In his own words, President Obama admitted that.

The Heritage Foundation reminded us of the following in September 2017:

Responding in October 2010 to demands that he implement immigration reforms unilaterally, Obama declared, “I am not king. I can’t do these things just by myself.” In March 2011, he said that with “respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case.” In May 2011, he acknowledged that he couldn’t “just bypass Congress and change the (immigration) law myself. … That’s not how a democracy works.”

There was no outcry when he changed his mind and did it anyway. When has President Trump done anything similar?

Putting Up The Smoke Screen

The Inspector General’s report on the foreign intervention in the 2016 election is expected to come out in the next two weeks or so. Many of us are getting very impatient. Based on what the alternative media has been reporting for years now, Attorney General Barr and his investigating team are looking in all of the right places–Russia, Australia, Italy, Ukraine, and Britain. Those who took part on the scam and the investigation that followed are correct to be very uncomfortable about what is to come. The mainstream media is trying to blunt the impact of the information that will be made public.

Yesterday Newsbusters posted an article detailing exactly what is going on. It is a complicated article, so I suggest you follow the link and read the entire article, but I will provide a few highlights.

The article reports:

Once upon a time — in a galaxy far, far away — The New York Times and The Washington Post were the go-to papers when it came to uncovering political scandals.  

Both papers made a point of running the Pentagon Papers, an internal and secret U.S. government history of  various presidents and their relevant Cabinet secretaries decision-making on American involvement in the Vietnam War. The Post, of course, was also famous for its birddogging young reporters Woodward and Bernstein and their digging out the details of the Watergate scandal. In fact, movies have been made with Hollywood A-listers lionizing both The Post and the journalists involved. Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman starred in the Watergate movie (All the President’s Men), while Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep starred in the dramatic tale of the Post’s battles with government officials over  breaking the Pentagon Papers story (The Post. )

So it is with no little irony that today the two papers are leading the media charge to cover-up “Spygate” – the considerable scandal that is the the use of American intelligence agencies to spy on the political opponents of Obama and Clinton in 2016.

The Wall Street Journal has noticed, saying this in an editorial titled: “Foreign Influence and Double Standards. Democrats want to stop Barr from investigating what happened in 2016.” 

The article also notes:

Over at the Times, that paper is busy running stories like this one by the virulent Trump-hater Michelle Goldberg. This jewel of political framing is titled: “Just How Corrupt Is Bill Barr?” 

Perhaps the real question should be: Just How Corrupt is The New York Times

A perfect example of the game at play in this article is Goldberg citing one “Stephen Gillers, a professor of legal ethics at New York University School of Law.” I recall Stephen Gillers. In fact, I took a look at Gillers in my 2005 book The Borking Rebellion, a recounting of the Senate confirmation of Bush nominee Judge D. Brooks Smith for the Third Circuit of Appeals. The Post had asked Gillers for comment on a supposed ethics issue involving Judge Smith, presenting him, as does Goldberg today, as an above-it-all, strictly non-partisan legal ethics expert.

In fact, in the Smith battle I uncovered the fact that Gillers was hardly a non-partisan. He had served as a consultant to a far left special interest group called the Community Rights Counsel. The CRC had issued a report harshly critical of the Judge, and The Post went to Gillers for comment, leaving out of their story Gillers own ties to the CRC, the very group whose report on Smith he was being asked to comment. 

Goldberg plays the same game, citing Gillers as if he were some lofty non-partisan when, in fact, his background and record illustrate that he is anything but. Goldberg’s presentation is, to borrow again from her title, corrupt.

Andrew McCarthy at The National Review noted recently:

The strategy here is obvious. The Democrats and their note-takers would like the public to believe that Barr’s investigation is an adjunct of the Trump 2020 campaign — and a grossly improper one at that. The misimpression they seek to create is that Barr is putting the nation’s law-enforcement powers in the service of Trump’s reelection campaign, in the absence of any public interest. The hope is that this will delegitimize not only any information that emerges from Ukraine but the whole of the Justice Department’s investigation of intelligence and law-enforcement abuses of power attendant to the 2016 election.

If the people who used government and foreign resources to spy on a political opponent in 2016 are not held accountable, their actions will become the template for future political campaigns. This will destroy our republic.

They Did Get Some Of It Right

Yesterday The National Review posted an article about the decision by Colt to halt production of AR-15 rifles.

The article reports:

This, from ABC, is a nice example of a news organization deliberately bending the truth in order to advance a narrative that it wishes were true but is not:

Venerable gun manufacturer Colt says it will stop producing the AR-15, among other rifles, for the consumer market in the wake of many recent mass shootings in which suspects used the weapon.

Wow. Sounds dramatic. ABC continues:

“At the end of the day, we believe it is good sense to follow consumer demand and to adjust as market dynamics change,” Dennis Veilleux, president and CEO of Colt, said in a statement. “Colt has been a stout supporter of the Second Amendment for over 180 years, remains so, and will continue to provide its customers with the finest quality firearms in the world.”

So the story is that, although it still respects the Second Amendment, Colt is going to stop producing AR-15s after a series of mass shootings in which they were used. Right?

Wrong. That’s actually not the story at all, as ABC notes further down:

The company did not mention mass shootings in its statement about stopping production and instead blamed the indefinite pause in making the weapon on a “significant excess manufacturing capacity.”

And that is how you take truth and twist it until it leaves a totally false impression. That is the way the current mainstream media operates.

It’s Time For People Making Unsubstantiated Allegations To Pay A Price


Donald Trump is President and Brett Kavanaugh is a Supreme Court Judge. Those are facts. Unfortunately the political left’s personal destruction machine has been doing its best to undo these facts. The latest charges against Justice Kavanaugh are not even remembered by the person supposedly involved.

The National Review posted an article today about the ‘new’ charges.

The article reports:

If you opened Twitter on Sunday morning, you were likely greeted with the bombshell headline of the top trending news story: “NYT reporters’ book details new sexual assault allegation against Brett Kavanaugh.”

The allegation, Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly write in a New York Times story adapted from their forthcoming anti-Kavanaugh book, is this: “We also uncovered a previously unreported story about Mr. Kavanaugh in his freshman year that echoes Ms. Ramirez’s allegation.

I am not repeating the charge because this blog is rated G.

The article continues:

None of these details corroborates her accusation against Kavanaugh. But the story is framed to make it seem like Kavanaugh was the type of privileged jerk who might expose himself in front of an under-privileged college classmate.

As I wrote last October, here’s why Ramirez’s allegation was dubious:

Deborah Ramirez is the Yale classmate of Kavanaugh’s who now claims that Kavanaugh exposed himself as a college freshman at a party. Ramirez’s claim was already dubious because (1) named eyewitnesses deny the allegation and (2) Ramirez herself wasn’t sure in recent weeks if Kavanaugh had done what she now alleges. “Ms. Ramirez herself contacted former Yale classmates asking if they recalled the incident and told some of them that she could not be certain Mr. Kavanaugh was the one who exposed himself,” the New York Times reported. Ramirez was only willing to make the allegation, the New Yorker reported, after “six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney.”

This is a ridiculous attempt to smear a Justice the left does not like. One article I read noticed that the timing of this might be an indication that the left is worried about the health of Justice Ginsburg.

The article concludes:

Pogrebin and Kelly write that a couple of students say they had heard about the alleged incident in the days after it allegedly occurred, but the authors provide no indication there is any first-hand witness to corroborate the allegation. 

We already knew before Kavanaugh was confirmed last October that the “corroborating” source for Ramirez’s claim, classmate Kenneth Appold, was not present when the alleged incident occurred, but Appold told the New Yorker he was “one-hundred-percent-sure” he heard about it from an eyewitness. Shortly before Kavanaugh was confirmed, the New Yorker reported that Appold’s supposed eyewitness “said that he had no memory of the incident.”

Maybe Pogrebin and Kelly’s book is stronger than their essay. But I’m skeptical. “In the end they turn up no smoking gun,” Hanna Rosin writes in her New York Times review of the book.

Until there is a penalty paid for unsubstantiated charges, the accusations will continue. For further information about the validity of the charges against Justice Kavanaugh and the motives behind those charges see this September 4th article at Townhall. The people behind the false charges need to pay a price.

Some Disturbing Thoughts On The Jeffrey Epstein Case

Yesterday Andrew McCarthy posted an article at The National Review about the Jeffrey Epstein case. Andrew McCarthy is the former Chief Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York who led the terrorism prosecution against the “Blind Sheikh” (Omar Abdel Rahman) and eleven other jihadists for conducting a war of urban terrorism against the United States that included the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a plot to bomb New York City landmarks. He served as a prosecutor for 20 years. He has testified before Congress as an expert on issues of constitutional law, counterterrorism, and law-enforcement.

Below are some of his observations about the case against Jeffrey Epstein:

On Monday, Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that his office has now charged Epstein. While the SDNY indictment may be new, Epstein’s crimes are not. They are the same offenses from which Acosta agreed to spare Epstein from federal prosecution if he pled guilty to state prostitution charges — which Epstein proceeded to do, in reliance on Acosta’s commitment. There is thus a very good chance, based on the Constitution’s guarantee against double jeopardy, that the SDNY case against Epstein will be voided by the SD-Florida non-prosecution agreement (non-pros).

To be sure, the SDNY has a counterargument, and it will be vigorously made. It has two components. First, there is language in the non-pros that appears to limit the agreement to SD-Florida, to wit: “prosecution in this District for these offenses shall be deferred in favor of prosecution by the State of Florida” (emphasis added). Here, “deferred” effectively means forfeited — the same effect for double-jeopardy purposes as a conviction or acquittal — because of Epstein’s compliance with the requirement that he plead guilty in the state case. Second, there is jurisprudence in the Second Circuit (which controls in the SDNY) holding that one federal district’s agreement does not bind another.

Therefore, prosecutors will argue that the 2007 SD-Florida non-pros does not bar a 2019 SDNY indictment arising out of the same conduct and charging the same offenses.

I’m skeptical . . . and I think the SDNY is, too, notwithstanding the brave face prosecutors put on this week. They have carefully drafted an indictment far narrower than the SD-Florida’s contemplated case. If prosecutors really believed that there was no double-jeopardy problem, they’d have no such hesitation: They’d throw everything the FBI ever had at this sociopath. They know they are on thin ice.

Mr. McCarthy’s evaluation of the situation is not encouraging. I hope he is wrong, but his history and knowledge suggest he is probably right.

Please read the entire article to see the full argument. It would be a shame if this sleazeball escaped justice twice. I know he is innocent until proven guilty, but he has already been proven guilty–he just didn’t have to pay any real price for his horrific behavior.

 

I Guess It’s Hard To Admit You Didn’t Win

Some people just don’t know how to lose gracefully. Unfortunately, some of them are in the news on a fairly regular basis. Joseph Goebbels said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie.” Right now the Democrat party is attempting to prove that theory.

The National Review posted an article today with the following headline, “The Stacey Abrams Myth Becomes the Democratic Catechism.” The article is referring to the fact that despite losing the election for Governor of Georgia, Stacey Abrams has been telling the media at every opportunity that the election was stolen from her. She cites various reasons–racism, voter suppression, etc. Well, that is simply not true, but she keeps repeating the lie.

The article reports:

The claims of voter suppression rest primarily on the fact that as Georgia secretary of state, Kemp enforced a statute passed by a Democratic-majority legislature and signed by a Democratic governor in 1997. It required the voting rolls to be periodically purged to remove names of voters who were dead, or who had moved away or were incarcerated. Under this law, 600,000 names of people who hadn’t voted in the last three elections were removed from the rolls in 2017 by Kemp’s office.

Those who were removed got prior notification in the mail about the impending purge, and they were given a menu of options to retain their registration. Moreover, it took four years to complete the process by which a name was removed. The reason so many names were taken off in 2017 was that a lawsuit by the Georgia NAACP had delayed the routine enforcement of the law for years before the organization eventually lost in the U.S. Supreme Court.

If you assume that most of the 600,000 were Democrats who were denied the right to vote — rather than voters who were deceased or who had moved or been jailed — that gives credibility to Abrams’s story. But there aren’t many people stepping forward since November 2018 to say they were wrongfully removed from the rolls, let alone the tens or hundreds of thousands necessary to substantiate Abrams’s claim that the election was stolen.

The other argument that purportedly backs up the stolen-election claim is that lengthy lines caused by the closing of 212 precincts in the state since 2012 deterred Georgia voters from turning out. But Kemp had nothing to do with that, since all decisions on consolidating voting stations were made by county officials. Which means if there were fewer precincts and longer lines in Democratic-majority counties in Georgia, it was almost certainly due to the decisions made by local Democrats, not Kemp or a national GOP conspiracy.

When examined soberly, Abrams’s claims evaporate. Kemp’s win was no landslide, but his 1.4 percent margin of victory didn’t even give her the right to demand a legal recount. Demographic changes may mean that Georgia is trending away from the red-state status it has had in the last decade, but Stacey Abrams lost because Republicans still can turn out majorities there even in years when the odds favor Democrats.

But by continuing to swear to the lie that the election was stolen, Biden, Buttigieg, and every other Democrat who repeats that claim while paying court to Abrams and hoping to win African-American votes are poisoning the well of American democracy.

What Stacey Abrams is doing is not constructive. If she wants to be Governor of Georgia, she needs to run until she wins or she gets tired of running. Meanwhile, she needs to admit that she lost and move on. Voter roles need to be purged periodically. In North Carolina, we have a number of people well over the age of 100 voting. I question that. I suspect before they purged the voter rolls, Georgia had the same situation.

Act II

The Mueller Report fizzled. Donald Trump is still President. The House of Representative is preparing for impeachment on possible charges of a cover-up where there is no crime. Most of the Democrat candidates running for President in 2020 support socialism, killing babies up until the moment when they are actually born, open borders, free healthcare for everyone (including those here illegally), and free college. What could possibly go wrong? Well, now is the time to get out the popcorn.

On Thursday, Victor Davis Hanson posted an article at The National Review about the collapse of the Russian-collusion narrative.

Mr. Hanson points out a few obvious facts that made the narrative doubtful from the start:

One, the Washington swamp of fixers such as Paul Manafort and John and Tony Podesta was mostly bipartisan and predated Trump.

Two, the Trump administration’s Russia policies were far tougher on Vladimir Putin than were those of Barack Obama. Trump confronted Russia in Syria, upped defense spending, increased sanctions, and kept the price of oil down through massive new U.S. energy production. He did not engineer a Russian “reset” or get caught on a hot mic offering a self-interested hiatus in tensions with Russia in order to help his own reelection bid.

The article concludes by noting that the rats are deserting the sinking ship:

Comey is also in a tiff with his former deputy, Andrew McCabe. Both know that the FBI under Comey illegally leaked classified information to the media. But Comey says McCabe went rogue and did it. Of course, McCabe’s attorney shot back that Comey had authorized it. Comey also claims the Steele dossier was not the chief evidence for a FISA warrant. McCabe insists that it was. It’s possible that one might work with prosecutors against the other to finagle a lesser charge.

Former CIA director John Brennan has on two occasions lied under oath to Congress and gotten away with it. He may not get away with lying again if it’s determined that he distorted the truth about his efforts to spread the Steele dossier smears. A former CIA official claims that Comey put the unverified Steele dossier into an intelligence community report on alleged Russian interference. Comey has contended that Brennan was the one who did.

It’s possible that both did. Doing so would have been unethical if not illegal, given that neither official told President Obama (if he didn’t already know) that the silly Steele dossier was a product of Hillary Clinton’s amateurish efforts to subvert the 2016 Trump campaign.

In sum, the old leaky vessel of collusion is sinking.

The rats are scampering from their once safe refuge — biting and piling on one another in vain efforts to avoid drowning.

The really scary part of this is that if Hillary Clinton had been elected, we would know none of this, and using the government to spy on political opponents would have become a way of life in America. Unless the people responsible for using the government as a political weapon are brought to justice, using the government to spy on political opponents will become a way of life in America.