From my friends at Power Line Blog (you might have to be a certain age to get this):
The Epoch Times posted an article yesterday about the report of the Justice Department Inspector General. The report found that the FBI failed to document facts correctly in 29 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) applications that were reviewed. A rational person would take that as an indication that all was not well at the FBI and that Americans were being unlawfully surveilled. However, the mainstream media did not necessarily see it that way.
Eli Lake posted the following comments at Bloomberg News:
In the twisted politics of the Trump Era, some of bureau’s defenders might actually view this report as good news: It shows that the investigation of the Trump campaign was not necessarily politically motivated. The bureau made the same kinds of mistakes with suspects who were not connected to the Trump campaign.
That’s hardly reassuring — and the malpractice that the report uncovers is a much larger problem than the FBI and its defenders may wish to admit. So far, the response to Horowitz’s December report has been a series of administrative reforms, such as a requirement that FBI field offices preserve their “Woods files” and a mandate for new FISA training for FBI lawyers and agents. That’s all well and good. But one need not go back to the bad old days of J. Edgar Hoover to see that the bureau has been careless in its monitoring of U.S. citizens.
The Woods procedures were issued in 2001 after Congress obtained a memo from the FBI’s counterterrorism division detailing surveillance abuse in the late 1990s. One target’s cell phone remained tapped after he gave it up and the number was reassigned to a different person. Another FBI field office videotaped a meeting, despite a clear prohibition on that technique in its FISA warrant. In 2003, an interim report from the Senate Judiciary Committee concluded that the 2001 memo showed “the FBI was experiencing more systemic problems related to the implementation of FISA orders” than a problem with the surveillance law itself.
Very little has changed in the intervening 17 years. That’s why it’s foolish to expect new and better procedures will work this time. A better approach would be an aggressive policy to prosecute FBI agents and lawyers who submit falsehoods to the surveillance court. The best way to prevent future violations is to severely punish those who commit them in the present.
Scott Johnson posted an article today at Power Line Blog that included the following quote (follow the link to the article for the audio of the answer to the question):
The New York Times is illustrative of “the twisted politics of the Trump era.” Daniel Chaitin covers the Times angle in his Examiner article “‘Biased and out of control’: Devin Nunes rips New York Times reporting on FISA memo.” Chaitin reports on Rep. Devin Nunes’s interview with Larry O’Connor:
Radio host Larry O’Connor read a passage from the [Times’s] report [on the Horowitz memo] to Nunes during the Examining Politics podcast on Tuesday. It said DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report “helps the FBI politically because it undercuts the narrative among President Trump and his supporters that the bureau cut corners to surveil the adviser, Carter Page, as part of a politically motivated conspiracy.”
“So, the good news for the FBI is that they trampled on people’s rights all over the place, not just people who worked with Donald Trump’s campaign,” O’Connor said. “Is that the takeaway we should have here congressman?”
I agree with Eli Lake–severe punishment for those guilty of illegal spying on American citizens is the only way to prevent future abuse by the FBI.
Many of my liberal friends and relatives (yes, I do have some of those) on Facebook have been posting claims that the reason we are having problems with the coronavirus is because President Trump dissolved the office at the White House responsible for disaster preparedness. It’s an odd claim, and I wondered when I heard it what it was based on–all fake news is based on part of a story–just not always the part that is true.
Today Paul Mirengoff at Power Line Blog posted an article explaining exactly what was done.
The article explains:
But according to Tim Morrison, the former aide to whom direction of this office was assigned, the office was not “dissolved.” It remains in operation under Morrison’s successor.
Writing in the Washington Post, Morrison states:
When I joined the National Security Council staff in 2018, I inherited a strong and skilled staff in the counterproliferation and biodefense directorate. This team of national experts together drafted the National Biodefense Strategy of 2018 and an accompanying national security presidential memorandum to implement it; an executive order to modernize influenza vaccines; and coordinated the United States’ response to the Ebola epidemic in Congo, which was ultimately defeated in 2020.
It is true that the Trump administration has seen fit to shrink the NSC staff. But the bloat that occurred under the previous administration clearly needed a correction. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, congressional oversight committees and members of the Obama administration itself all agreed the NSC was too large and too operationally focused. . . .
The reduction of force in the NSC has continued since I departed the White House. But it has left the biodefense staff unaffected — perhaps a recognition of the importance of that mission to the president, who, after all, in 2018 issued a presidential memorandum to finally create real accountability in the federal government’s expansive biodefense system.
(emphasis (underline) added in Power Line article)
The article at Power Line Blog continues:
As part of the effort to make the NSC more effective, the Trump administration created the counterproliferation and biodefense directorate, a consolidation of three directorates into one (the three were arms control and nonproliferation, weapons of mass destruction terrorism, and global health and biodefense, which obviously overlap). Morrison says “it is this reorganization that critics have misconstrued or intentionally misrepresented.” (Emphasis added) But, “if anything, the combined directorate was stronger because related expertise could be commingled.”
The article concludes:
Morrison, then, is not an apologist for Trump. He’s an ally of Bolton, his boss at the NSC whom Trump has attacked. Reportedly Morrison has been called “Bolton without a mustache.”
Morrison concedes that some of the criticism of the president’s response to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak is “warranted,” though “much [is] not.” (The odds are strongly against any leader not making mistakes in responding to something as unprecedented as this pandemic.) But the claim that Trump dissolved the pandemic response office isn’t just unwarranted. It is fake news.
As you can see, the claims being made by the political left and their allies are simply not true. They are simply another attempt to turn the country over in November to one of two grumpy old men who will undo what progress has been made in shrinking government and bringing manufacturing back to America.
Yesterday Paul Mirengoff posted an article at Power Line Blog about a recent article in The Washington Post. The article totally misrepresented what President Trump said at the recent press conference held at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The article reports:
In this article (the article in The Washinton Post),David Nakamura of the Washington Post ridicules Trump’s presser. That’s okay with me. Aspects of Trump’s performance invited ridicule.
Unfortunately, Nakamura also provides a false account of the substance of Trump’s remarks. The headline of his story asserts that “Trump second-guess[ed] the [medical] professions.” In the body of the story Nakamura goes further, claiming that the president “repeatedly second-guessed. . .the actual medical professionals standing next to him.” (Emphasis added)
Trump did no such thing. In fact, he did the opposite. He deferred to the medical professionals.
Nakamura cites no example of second-guessing. I watched the full presser and heard none.
The article concludes:
Nakamura also fails to note that Trump lavishly praised the U.S. medical experts dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. He called them the best experts in the world, and said that public health officials in other countries are relying heavily on them.
Trump made this statement repeatedly, so Nakamura couldn’t have missed it. He chose, however, to exclude it from his story. Why? Almost certainly because it didn’t fit Nakamura’s claim that Trump is “second-guessing the professionals.”
Nakamura is serving up fake news, and not for the first time.
The American news media gave up the illusion of fairness a long time ago. I believe that false reporting such as in The Washington Post is one of the main reasons the country is so divided. Americans who read The New York Times and The Washington Post have not seen a fair representation of President Trump. They are not acquainted with either the economic numbers or the efforts to deal with the coronavirus that began in January. They are reacting to second-hand gossip that they are reading in the newspaper. People who don’t read those newspapers have a much better grasp of the Trump administration and its accomplishments that those who do. The conflict between fact and bias is one source of the current division in our country. We got along much better when we had a more neutral news media.
Posted by a friend at Power Line Blog:
From my friends at Power Line Blog, a comment on the wisdom of the press:
Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article about lawsuits brought by Carter Page. It seems to be common knowledge that before being targeted by the Obama administration as a back door to spy on the Trump campaign, Carter Page had done a lot of work for three-letter government agencies and was regarded as a reliable source of information.
The article reports:
Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page filed a lawsuit Thursday in federal court against the Democratic National Committee, law firm Perkins Coie and its partners tied to the funding of the unverified dossier that served as the basis for highly controversial surveillance warrants against him.
…“This is a first step to ensure that the full extent of the FISA abuse that has occurred during the last few years is exposed and remedied,” attorney John Pierce said Thursday. “Defendants and those they worked with inside the federal government did not and will not succeed in making America a surveillance state.”
He added: “This is only the first salvo. We will follow the evidence wherever it leads, no matter how high. … The rule of law will prevail.”
The lawsuit will be heard in the Federal District Court in Northern Illinois.
The article concludes:
Page could sue Steele, except that Steele is in England and has made it clear that he doesn’t plan to visit the U.S., ever again. Nearly all potential defendants other than Steele–Comey, Clapper, McCabe and the like–would try to erect a firewall by denying any knowledge that the Steele dossier was a fraud.
Whether such guilty knowledge could be proved is doubtful. At a minimum, Page will have to get far enough to conduct meaningful discovery against the existing defendants. Do the DNC’s or Perkins Coie’s emails contain evidence of a conspiracy to lie about Carter Page, for the purpose of damaging Donald Trump? Who knows? If the participants were careful, they don’t; then again, those who were talking to each other in 2016 and 2017 probably didn’t foresee that their actions might one day be exposed in court. So perhaps they were careless. Maybe, too, any such communications were deleted or destroyed long ago.
There is at least one obvious exception to the above analysis–the DOJ lawyer who misrepresented a CIA email to the FISA court. The email said that Carter Page was a CIA asset. The lawyer changed it to say that Page was not a CIA asset. That guy, who has been fired and I assume will be criminally prosecuted, has no defense other than causation. He likely would argue that he was just a cog in a giant wheel of lies, and that Page would have been equally defamed, surveilled and harassed even if he hadn’t lied about the CIA email. Which undoubtedly is true, although it is questionable as a defense.
What Carter Page is doing is noble. Let’s hope he succeeds in shedding light on the biggest political scandal, by far, in American history.
Finally, a fun fact: Page is represented by the same lawyers who are representing Tulsi Gabbard in her defamation case against Hillary Clinton, who called Gabbard a Russian asset. Which, of course, is what she and her minions also called Carter Page, an equally absurd lie.
John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog today about a lie told by Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib. She has made a number of anti-Semitic statements during her short term in Congress.
The article reports:
Yesterday Tlaib retweeted the claim that a “herd of violent Israeli settlers” had “kidnapped and murdered” a seven-year-old Palestinian boy. The original tweet was accompanied by a video that showed an Israeli rescue team recovering the body of the boy from a cistern.
The article concludes:
The whole thing was a hoax, made up out of whole cloth. (Not the death of the boy, which was real, but the assertion that he was murdered by Israeli “settlers.”) The tweet by the Palestinian politician, Hanan Ashrawi, has now been deleted, as has Tlaib’s retweet. But Tlaib’s deletion was silent, with no explanation or apology, or any attempt to correct the misinformation that she had spread to tens of thousands on Twitter.
What happened is obvious. Like many people, Tlaib believes anything that tends to confirm her pre-existing bigotry. There is no need to investigate or verify the facts when an opportunity to smear Jews is at hand.
Anyone can make a mistake and believe something that isn’t true. However, Congresswoman Tlaib owed the people who follow her on Twitter and explanation of why her tweet was deleted and a correction to the story. Kidnapping and murder is generally not something that Israelis do to children. Unfortunately the Palestinians who Tlaib supports have a history of killing innocent people–both Israeli and American–citizens of Israel and tourists. The Representative needs to check her facts more carefully.
No, this isn’t a post about impeachment (although that, too, is getting ridiculous). Scott Johnson posted an article today at Power Line Blog about a lawsuit brought by Representative Tulsi Gabbard against Hillary Clinton. This is interesting–a few years ago, no one would have dared bring a lawsuit against the ‘powerful’ Clinton family.
The article reports:
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has sued Madam Hillary Clinton for defamation in United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Gabbard’s press release is posted online here; Gabbard’s Complaint is posted online here.
Clinton defamed Gabbard as a “Russian asset” in a statement that did not call her out by name, though I don’t think there can be any doubt that Clinton’s statement was “of and concerning” Gabbard. Identification of the plaintiff in the defamatory statement is of course an essential element of the cause of action for slander or libel. Gabbard’s Complaint addresses the issue in paragraph 28 et seq.
Is the statement that Gabbard is a “Russian asset” protected as a statement of opinion (rather than one of fact)? I hope not. See generally Complaint paragraphs 26-46.
The Complaint recites Gabbard’s request for a retraction from Clinton. Madam Hillary has declined to retract. See Complaint paragraphs 23-25.
The article concludes:
In the second sentence of her Complaint Gabbard asserts: “Tulsi Gabbard is running
for President of the United States, a position Clinton has long coveted, but has not been able to attain.” I look forward to checking out Clinton’s response on this point when she files her Answer.
Let the good times roll.
This is interesting because it puts Hillary Clinton in the spotlight (not in a positive way) at a time when some of the Democrats running for President are sidelined by the impeachment. There is still some conventional wisdom that sees a brokered Democrat convention with Hillary Clinton emerging as the candidate. The next six months are going to be very interesting.
There was a Second Amendment rally in Richmond, Virginia, yesterday. 22,000 Second Amendment supporters showed up on Martin Luther King Day to support the Second Amendment. The media was predicting riots. On Sunday I posted an article based on a Canada Free Press story that predicted a ‘false flag’ operation by Antifa. That did not materialize.
Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted a few observations about the rally. The headline on his article was, “Pro-Gun Rally In Richmond Is Peaceful; Liberals Hardest Hit.”
The article notes:
Today an estimated (by police) 22,000 people demonstrated at the Virginia capitol in Richmond in favor of Second Amendment rights, which are being threatened by the newly-elected Democratic majority in that state’s legislature. Liberal news outlets were hoping the rally would turn violent, and their disappointment when it didn’t was palpable.
The article includes this picture and comment from The Washington Post:
The Babylon Bee probably had the best headline and article:
The Babylon Bee headlines: “Media Offers Thoughts And Prayers That Someone Would Start Some Violence At Gun Rights Rally.”
Somber members of the press offered their thoughts and prayers that someone would start some violence at the gun rights rally in Virginia today.
Reporters expressed their grief and condolences as the violence they hyped has so far failed to materialize.
“Nobody has so much as fired a shot. This is an unbelievable tragedy,” said one teary-eyed MSNBC reporter, clearly caught up in the anguish of the moment.
The article cited one possible reason Antifa decided to stay home:
Antifa threatened to show up at the rally, and likely would have created violence if it had done so. But for some reason, the group’s leaders changed their minds. Maybe they focused on the fact that the 2x4s, pipes and baseball bats with which they are used to beating up innocent bystanders might not fare so well in this crowd. One young guy who looked suspiciously like a leftist advocated jumping the fence and killing people. The genuine demonstrators denounced him as an “infiltrator”–which I suspect he was–and told him to “get the f*** out.”
The article concludes:
Virginia’s Democrats are unabashedly in favor of gun confiscation. Why is it that when Democrats take control of a legislative body, they instinctively move to confiscate legally-owned firearms from law-abiding citizens, in violation of the Second Amendment? It would take a psychiatrist to answer that question. Certainly a student of crime statistics wouldn’t be able to explain it. Whatever the cause, the Democrats’ move against the citizens’ constitutional rights is manna from Heaven for Republicans, many of whom mingled with the demonstrators and endorsed their cause.
I would also like to note that those who attended the rally cleaned up after themselves before they left. It is also interesting to me that when so many ‘good people with guns” are in one place, there is no violence.
Yesterday John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog titled, “Landmark Trade Deal With China; New York Times Hardest Hit.” The article details some of the actual facts of the trade deal and contrasts those details with the reporting of The New York Times.
Reaction was predictably partisan. On CNBC, Steve Bannon said that President Trump “broke the Chinese Communist Party,” and the U.S. “gave up very little in the end.” On the same program, hedge fund manager Kyle Bass said that he sees the agreement as a “‘temporary truce’ in which the U.S. got the better of China.”
At the New York Times, on the other hand, there was wailing and gnashing of teeth:
President Trump signed an initial trade deal with China on Wednesday, bringing the first chapter of a protracted and economically damaging fight with one of the world’s largest economies to a close.
Has the trade conflict with China damaged the U.S. economy? To some degree it has, although it has certainly hurt China’s economy more. This is the kind of short-term pain that Barack Obama, for example, was unwilling to accept. And yet economic growth under President Trump has been considerably better than under Obama.
The deal caps more than two years of tense negotiations and escalating threats that at times seemed destined to plunge the United States and China into a permanent economic war.
No one thought “permanent economic war” was a realistic possibility, except, perhaps, readers of the always-hysterical New York Times.
The agreement is a significant turning point in American trade policy and the types of free-trade agreements that the United States has typically supported. Rather than lowering tariffs and other economic barriers to allow for the flow of goods and services to meet market demand, this deal leaves a record level of tariffs in place and forces China to buy $200 billion worth of specific products within two years.
Phase One reduces or eliminates some tariffs and leaves others in place for Phase Two. This isn’t really all that complicated, but the Times wants its readers to think that Trump’s approach represents a departure from an imagined, purist practice of the past.
Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is a beautiful example of how the mainstream media takes good news and attempts to make it bad news because it involves an accomplishment by President Trump.
U.S. officials are stating that they are confident that the Iranian airline that crashed in Tehran, Iran, on Tuesday night was hit by an Iranian missile.
Scott Johnson posted the following at Power Line Blog today:
Taking into account the Iranian regime’s obvious lying about the cause of the downing of the Ukrainian jetliner leaving Tehran this past Tuesday combined with the regime’s subsequent refusal to turn over the aircraft’s black boxes, and a reasonable person — say, the American Spectator’s Scott McKay — would infer that the regime shot it down one way or another.
Now comes word that “U.S. officials said Thursday it was ‘highly likely’ that an Iranian anti-aircraft missile downed a Ukrainian jetliner late Tuesday, killing all 176 people on board….The crash came just a few hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack against Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops amid a confrontation with Washington over the U.S. drone strike that killed an Iranian Revolutionary Guard general last week. Two U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence, said they had no certain knowledge of Iranian intent. But they said the airliner could have been mistaken for a threat.”
The Gateway Pundit reported the following today:
Al Hadath Dubai News reported a missile took down the Ukrainian flight after the crash on Wednesday.
(Tweets were translated)
Al Hadath: Preliminary images of the Ukrainian plane suspected of being hit by an Iranian missile
Yesterday Power Line Blog posted an article about Nick Sandmann and his lawsuit against CNN.
The article reports:
Nick Sandmann is an innocent kid who was waiting for a bus with a group of his fellow high school students in Washington, D.C., when he was accosted by an Indian activist who, accompanied by a gang of his followers, aggressively and obnoxiously beat a drum in his face. Sandmann committed the apparently unpardonable sin of standing still in the face of this activist onslaught, which caused him to be viciously smeared by media outlets like CNN and the Washington Post. Happily, Sandmann’s family retained a good lawyer and has sued several of the media outlets that lied about him.
Now the first domino has fallen: CNN has settled Sandmann’s case against it:
CNN agreed Tuesday to settle a lawsuit with Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann.
The amount of the settlement was not made public during a hearing at the federal courthouse in Covington, Kentucky.
Sandmann’s lawsuit sought $800 million from CNN, the Washington Post and NBC Universal. Trial dates are still not set for Sandmann’s lawsuit against NBC Universal and the Washington Post.
The amount of the settlement has not been disclosed, which is evidently not unusual in this type of court case.
The article concludes:
In this instance, I am pretty sure that it was CNN, one of the main malefactors, that didn’t want the world to know how much it paid Sandmann as a result of its pathetically biased reporting. Now Sandmann’s lawyers can use CNN’s contribution, likely in the mid six figures, to fund their ongoing battle against the Washington Post, NBC and any others who slandered the boy. That is how the system works, and in this case, it appears to be working for the good.
This may actually be the only way to deal with fake news.
Scott Johnson at Power Line Blog posted an article today about the escape of former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn from house arrest in Japan. It’s an amazing story. Mr. Ghosn, who is 5 feet 6 inches tall escaped in a box used to transport musical instruments.
The article quotes The New York Post:
In a bizarre scheme allegedly orchestrated by his wife in the US, a group of ex-special forces soldiers posing as musicians specializing in a Gregorian band and toting music equipment strolled past Japanese security guards and entered the pad, according to the Lebanese news channel MTV.
Ghosn, who stands at just under 5-foot-6, climbed into “one of the boxes intended for the transfer of musical instruments,’’ the news station said — possibly a roughly 6-foot-tall double-base case.
He was then carted out in the case when the group left, after a “logical time for a concert had passed,” MTV said.
Japanese authorities had the door to his home under 24-hour video surveillance — but, per an April court agreement, Ghosn’s camp didn’t have to turn over each month’s recordings until the 15th of the following month, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Ghosn is believed to have been spirited out of the country on a chartered Bombardier jet from Kansai International Airport in Osaka — a six-hour drive from Toyko — around 11:10 p.m. Sunday, the Journal said.
The plane landed at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul early Monday, reports said. Ghosn then boarded a smaller plane belonging to the Turkish company MNG Jet Havacilik AS that departed about 30 minutes later for Rafic Hariri Airport in Beirut, Lebanon.
Japanese authorities apparently had no idea that their most high-profile detainee had fled until hours later — and only then, from an MTV reporter.
The station worker approached Matahiro Yamaguchi, the Japanese ambassador to Lebanon, at a party in Beirut around 6 p.m. Monday and asked about Ghosn’s fleeing, The Guardian reported.
The stunned ambassador said his administration knew nothing about it — and spent the next few minutes furiously texting before abruptly leaving the event.
The article in The New York Post continues:
Lebanon authorities claimed Ghosn entered the country legally via the use of a French passport — although it’s unclear how.
Lawyer Hironaka said he still has Ghosn’s three passports, for Lebanon, France and Brazil, that his client had to turn over as a condition of bail.
“It would have been difficult for him to do this without the assistance of some large organization,” Hironaka told reporters.
The article at Power Line Blog reminds us that nothing happens in Lebanon without the approval of Hezbollah. Interesting.
Yesterday John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog about a story The New York Times ran about a disgruntled Trump voter. The article in The New York Times was posted in October. It was about Mark Graham, a real estate appraiser in Erie, Pennsylvania.
The New York Times reported:
Mark Graham, a real estate appraiser in this faded manufacturing hub [Erie, Pennsylvania], sat with friends at a gym named FitnessU on the morning after the Democratic debate in mid-September. He had voted for Barack Obama, but in 2016 he took a gamble on Donald Trump.
“Things have changed in the last couple weeks: More stupidity has come out,” Mr. Graham, 69, said in a telephone interview last week. He hopes Democrats nominate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., but he is not particular. “I’d vote for the Democratic nominee no matter who it is at this point,” he said.
Well, voting records are public. It turns out that Mr. Graham did not vote in 2016.
The article at Power Line Blog continues:
Fast forward a month, to November 12. Now the Times reports, excitedly, on a new anti-Trump ad campaign being undertaken by David Brock’s disreputable organization, American Bridge:
A Democratic group unveiled a $3 million advertising campaign Tuesday featuring people who supported President Trump but now regret it, the first wave of a yearlong effort to reclaim some of the voters in the industrial Midwest who helped tip the 2016 election.
The group, American Bridge, will air commercials in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania that are first-person testimonials from residents of each state explaining why they backed Mr. Trump in 2016 and why they will not do so again next year.
The Times proudly noted its own role in tracking down anti-Trump converts:
The disaffected Trump voter who appeared in the Pennsylvania spot — Mark Graham of Erie, Pa. — was featured in a New York Times article last month.
It is reasonable to assume that American Bridge found Mr. Graham via the Times article.
Unfortunately, neither American Bridge nor the Times thought to check the Erie, Pennsylvania voting records to confirm Mr. Graham’s claim that he voted for President Trump in 2016. It turns out he didn’t:
An allegedly regretful Trump voter in Pennsylvania, highlighted in videos by a Democratic political action committee and by The New York Times, never actually voted in 2016.
News organization JET 24, an ABC affiliate, found after checking county voting records that Mark Graham of Erie County, Pennsylvania, did not vote in the presidential election three years ago.
[T]he Trump campaign noted Friday that American Bridge has yet to take down its ad or apologize.
The New York Times has run a correction:
After this article was published, local news media reported that Mark Graham did not vote in the 2016 election. The Times has confirmed that Mr. Graham did not vote in the election. While Mr. Graham acknowledged misspeaking about his voting record, he said the article accurately reflects his feelings about the 2016 race and President Trump’s performance in office.
I guess that’s sort of an apology for their lack of research. It gives me hope that the mainstream media is having so much trouble finding everyday Americans who regret voting for President Trump.
Yesterday Paul Mirengoff posted an article at Power Line Blog about some recent comments by Senator Schumer.
The article notes:
Chuck Schumer’s moan that “the facts” need to “com[e] out” before a full impeachment trial can occur is an invitation to a motion to dismiss the House’s articles of impeachment, once they arrive. The House had its opportunity to develop the facts. If it didn’t develop facts sufficient to support removing the president, the Senate shouldn’t waste its time on the matter.
Mitch McConnell reportedly is considering a motion to dismiss. According to this report, he hinted that the Senate will move to dismiss the articles of impeachment after opening argument.
McConnell noted that in the 1999 trial of Bill Clinton, Schumer supported a motion to dismiss the case. He also recalled that Schumer opposed calling live witnesses. This time around, Schumer wants to call at least four witnesses who did not appear before the House.
Some Republicans, including President Trump apparently, also want to call witnesses during the impeachment trial. Joe and Hunter Biden have been mentioned, along with the whistleblower and even Adam Schiff. However, I agree with those who want to end the impeachment trial early. If Republicans want to hear from certain players, they can try to bring them in as part of the ordinary oversight process.
Why is Chuck Schumer still looking for the facts? It is the job of the House of Representatives to present the facts to the Senate for trial. If there are no facts, there is no reason for a trial. The Democrats have been looking for a crime for almost three years now. They have done little else. It is time for them to put their toys away and get to work. There will be an election in less than a year. Let the American people decide (or is that what they are afraid of?).
Scott Johnson at Power Line Blog posted an article today about what we now know about conflicting memos by Devin Nunes and Adam Schiff regarding FISA warrants.
The article reports:
When then House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes released his memo asserting that the FBI had improperly taken out FISA warrants on Carter Page, Ranking Member Adam Schiff responded with a memo of his own disputing it. The Nunes memo is accessible here and elsewhere; the Schiff memo is accessible here and elsewhere.
Both Nunes and Schiff had access to the same classified information for their memos, but Nunes was interested in disseminating the truth while Schiff sought to lie about it in the service of the Russia hoax. As has become all too clear, Schiff lies with the sangfroid of a pathological liar.
After the Department of Justice Inspector General report on FISA abuse that was released last week, we now know to a certainty that Nunes was right and Schiff was wrong. We know that Schiff was lying.
Schiff is lying now about about his lying then. It’s a postmodern world after all. In an interview with Chris Wallace on FOX News Sunday (beginning at about 5:30 below), Schiff allowed that there were indeed “serious abuses of FISA” — “serious abuses that I was unaware of.” He explained: “Had I known of them, Chris, yes, I would’ve called out the FBI at the same time,” Schiff said. “But I think it’s only fair to judge what we knew at the time.”
The article includes the memos. Scott Johnson reminds us that both men had the same access to the same information. Adam Schiff’s claim that he was unaware of the abuses is simply false. He is lying. And he continues to lie.
Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is discouraging to see a Representative who lies so easily and so frequently.
This article has two sources–a New York Sun editorial posted today and an article by Scott Johnson posted at Power Line Blog today. Both articles deal with the ‘surprise’ overwhelming victory of Boris Johnson in the British election yesterday.
The New York Sun notes:
It’s hard to overstate how wonderful is the news that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has won a mandate to, after all these years of struggle, lead a restoration of British sovereignty and independence. We may have been in that fight from the early days, but we don’t mind saying that we’ve had moments of doubt, particularly during the past year, that Britain would prevail. All the sweeter the results being tallied this evening.
This is only partly in respect of Brexit. It was, certainly, the overriding issue in the election. It is the very reason why the election was called when it was. Once again, the polls got it wrong. On the eve of the vote, the gods of polling were predicting that the race had become too close to call. A hung parliament couldn’t be ruled out. Some hazarded that Labor’s Jeremy Corbyn might end up at 10 Downing Street.
In the event, the British people delivered a resounding “no” to all that Mr. Corbyn stood for — the resentment of Jews and Israel, the embrace of socialism, and another Brexit referendum. The result is that Labor’s drubbing stands as its worst since 1935. No less than Jonathan Chait rushed out a column to mark that American leftists thought Corbyn’s inevitable victory would be their model against Trumpism.
Which is one way to mark a phenomenon that has been glimpsed throughout this battle since 2016. The phenomenon can be put this way: “As goes Brexit, so goes Trump.” In a way, the Brexit referendum turned out to be a predictor, or even a precursor, of Mr. Trump’s triumph in the election. The victory by Mr. Johnson and the Conservative Party today could well be a precursor of Mr. Trump in 2020. On verra.
Scott Johnson at Power Line Blog notes:
The election has already produced a ruling cliche to describe the results: Labour’s “red wall” crumbled. (In the UK, the colors are reversed: blue represents the Tories, red Labour.) Among the many seats in its “red wall” that has now crumbled, for example, is Tony Blair’s Sedgefield constituency. The Tories picked up a shocking number of seats that historically belonged to Labour in the industrial and rural north. It overstates the results to observe that Labour is contracting to a metropolitan party, but the tendency seems to be implicit in the outcome.
From a distance, at least, Boris proved himself an ebullient and optimistic campaigner, and not just by contrast with the dour and deceitful Corbyn. Boris staked the election campaign on the theme of getting Brexit done. His performance made me think of Steve Hayward’s observation in Churchill on Leadership: “[F]rom time to time, and especially in a crisis, the genuine leader must simply exert his personal force and summon up his willfulness.” Boris seems to me to have met the moment with some part of this quality in leading his party to its remarkable victory yesterday.
The British people voted for Brexit years ago. The ruling elite chose to ignore that vote. The people removed the blockage. I suspect we are going to see similar things in America next year–those who have blocked the immigration and economic policies of President Trump might find themselves on the unemployment line.
Yesterday John HInderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article about the latest reason given to impeach President Trump.
The article quotes the wisdom of Congressman Al Green:
Rep. Al Green (D-TX) said on Saturday during an interview on MSNBC that President Donald Trump needed to be impeached “to deal with slavery.”
Green, who has previously stated that Trump must be impeached or else “he will get reelected,” said this week that there is “no limit” to the number of times that Democrats can try to impeach the president.
…I do believe, ma’am, that we have to deal with the original sin. We have to deal with slavery. Slavery was the thing that put all of what President Trump has done lately into motion.
…So, I appreciate whatever we will do, but until we deal with the issue of invidious discrimination as a relates to [the] LGBTQ community, the anti-Semitism, the racism, the Islamophobia, the transphobia, and also the misogyny that he has exemplified, I don’t think our work is done.
I’m sorry–this seems like a bit of a stretch to me. Also, keep in mind that President Trump has Jewish grandchildren that he evidently has a beautiful relationship with. That might be a problem to a thinking person who wants to accuse him of anti-Semitism. The racist charge runs into a problem when you consider that President Trump as a private citizen literally fought city hall to allow Mar-a-Lago to admit African-Americans and Jews. The misogyny accusation runs into a problem when you consider that President Trump as a private citizen hired to first woman contractor to build a New York City skyscraper.
As you can see, most of the often repeated charges against President Trump contradict actual facts. Joseph Goebbels is often credited with saying, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Unfortunately we are seeing that principle in action regarding reporting on President Trump.