Even Rolling Stone Has Figured It Out!

Yesterday Rolling Stone posted an article about the Inspector General’s Report. Please follow the link to read the entire article–it is well written and informative. I will try to highlight some of it, but you really do need to read the whole thing.

The article notes:

The Guardian headline reads: “DOJ Internal watchdog report clears FBI of illegal surveillance of Trump adviser.”

If the report released Monday by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz constitutes a “clearing” of the FBI, never clear me of anything. Holy God, what a clown show the Trump-Russia investigation was.

Like the much-ballyhooed report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the Horowitz report is a Rorschach test, in which partisans will find what they want to find.

Much of the press is concentrating on Horowitz’s conclusion that there was no evidence of “political bias or improper motivation” in the FBI’s probe of Donald Trump’s Russia contacts, an investigation Horowitz says the bureau had “authorized purpose” to conduct.

Horowitz uses phrases like “serious performance failures,” describing his 416-page catalogue of errors and manipulations as incompetence rather than corruption. This throws water on the notion that the Trump investigation was a vast frame-up.

However, Horowitz describes at great length an FBI whose “serious” procedural problems and omissions of “significant information” in pursuit of surveillance authority all fell in the direction of expanding the unprecedented investigation of a presidential candidate (later, a president).

The article comments on the role the news media played in this drama:

Not only did obtaining a FISA warrant allow authorities a window into other Trump figures with whom Page communicated, they led to a slew of leaked “bombshell” news stories that advanced many public misconceptions, including that a court had ruled there was “probable cause” that a Trump figure was an “agent of a foreign power.”

There are too many to list in one column, but the Horowitz report show years of breathless headlines were wrong. Some key points:

The so-called “Steele dossier” was, actually, crucial to the FBI’s decision to seek secret surveillance of Page.

Press figures have derided the idea that Steele was crucial to the FISA application, with some insisting it was only a “small part” of the application. Horowitz is clear: 

We determined that the Crossfire Hurricane team’s receipt of Steele’s election reporting on September 19, 2016 played a central and essential role in the FBI’s and Department’s decision to seek the FISA order.  

The report describes how, prior to receiving Steele’s reports, the FBI General Counsel (OGC) and/or the National Security Division’s Office of Intelligence (OI) wouldn’t budge on seeking FISA authority. But after getting the reports, the OGC unit chief said, “receipt of the Steele reporting changed her mind on whether they could establish probable cause.”

The article notes:

Steele in his “reports” embellished his sources’ quotes, played up nonexistent angles, invented attributions, and ignored inconsistencies. The FBI then transplanted this bad reporting in the form of a warrant application and an addendum to the Intelligence Assessment that included the Steele material, ignoring a new layer of inconsistencies and red flags its analysts uncovered in the review process.

Then, following a series of leaks, the news media essentially reported on the FBI’s wrong reporting of Steele’s wrong reporting.

The impact was greater than just securing a warrant to monitor Page. More significant were the years of headlines that grew out of this process, beginning with the leaking of the meeting with Trump about Steele’s blackmail allegations, the insertion of Steele’s conclusions in the Intelligence Assessment about Russian interference, and the leak of news about the approval of the Page FISA warrant.

As a result, a “well-developed conspiracy” theory based on a report that Comey described as “salacious and unverified material that a responsible journalist wouldn’t report without corroborating,” became the driving news story in a superpower nation for two yearsEven the New York Times, which published a lot of these stories, is in the wake of the Horowitz report noting Steele’s role in “unleashing a flood of speculation in the news media about the new president’s relationship with Russia.”

The article has a fantastic conclusion:

No matter what people think the political meaning of the Horowitz report might be, reporters who read it will know: Anybody who touched this nonsense in print should be embarrassed.

Rolling Stone doesn’t always get it right, but this time they nailed it!

Follow The Example Of The People With The Money Who Have A Choice

Today John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article about Mick Jagger’s recent heart surgery. I was never really a Rolling Stones fan, but the Beatles aren’t there anymore. At any rate, the article includes the following Tweet from Mick Jagger:

That’s great news, but there is more to the story. Mick Jagger just underwent a successful transcatheter aortic valve replacement (in New York City). Wait a minute–if socialized medicine is so great, what is he doing in New York City? No long wait and up-to-date care. There is still enough of the free market left in American medicine that medical procedures are up-to-date and relatively easy to obtain.

The article explains:

I think it was Robert Conquest who said that everyone is a conservative about what he knows best. Likewise, the more you really care, the less wedded you are to liberal shibboleths. I need heart surgery? Goodbye, NHS. Some years ago, there was a woman who was a member of Canada’s Parliament. She was a fierce opponent of private medical care on the ground that the people should share health risks equally. Then she came down with a rare form of cancer. She was on the next airplane to the U.S.

The Rolling Stones have always had a good appreciation of the virtues of free enterprise. John Phelan, the British economist who works for my organization, likes to quote Keith Richards:

The whole business thing is predicated a lot on the tax laws…It’s why we rehearse in Canada and not in the U.S. A lot of our astute moves have been basically keeping up with tax laws, where to go, where not to put it. Whether to sit on it or not. We left England because we’d be paying 98 cents on the dollar. We left, and they lost out. No taxes at all.

Further proving that a conservative is simply a liberal who has been mugged and that tax policies have consequences.

Putting The Fox In Charge Of The Hen House

Yesterday Breitbart reported on the latest attempt by Microsoft to end the plague of fake news. It’s a valiant effort.

The article reports:

Without consulting with its users, Microsoft has installed an establishment media browser extension, purportedly designed to rate the accuracy of news websites, as a default extension on mobile versions of its Edge browser. In practice, it creates a news blacklist by warning users away from sites including Breitbart News, The Drudge Report, and the Daily Mail.

Actually all three of those sources have a better track record than many of the news sources that Microsoft has labeled as reliable.

The article cites some examples:

The website of the conservative-leaning British newspaper The Daily Mail, which has the third-highest circulation in the U.K., is also given a “red” rating. Newsguard says the site “fails to maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability.”

WikiLeaks, which has never had to retract a story due to false or misleading information, is also given a “red” rating.

Among the websites given a “green” rating is BuzzFeed, which was recently humiliated for publishing alleged details about the ongoing Mueller investigation that were contradicted by the speial prosecutor himself. BuzzFeed did not retract the story, and even led with it on its frontpage … after Mueller contradicted it.

But in Newsguard’s view, BuzzFeed “regularly corrects or clarifies errors.”

Many of the websites that recently fed the fake news feeding frenzy against students of Covington Catholic high school in Kentucky, who were falsely accused of taunting a left-wing Native American agitator, are also given a “green” rating. These include CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. 

Also “green” — Media Matters, the Clintonite Democrat website that regularly publishes hit-jobs against conservative media publications and personalities.

Rolling Stone, the magazine infamous for publishing a hoax rape allegation against members of a University of Virginia fraternity in 2015 is also given a “green” rating. Newsguard says the outlet has “consistently published well-researched, factual information about contemporary American culture.”

Some left-wing sources are given “red” ratings by Newsguard. However, they tend to be on the anti-establishment side of Democratic politics: ShareBlue and the Daily Kos, for example, both have “red” ratings. Salon and the Huffington Post, however, do not.

Obviously, to anyone who actually pays attention to accuracy in the media, the best way to use this list is to regard those news sources marked in red as reliable and those news sources marked in green as fake news. The past histories of each group support that theory.

Let’s Take A Walk Down Memory Lane

First I need to say that times have changed since the 1960’s when I was a teenager. During the 1960’s, it was understood that girls were responsible for their actions. They were encouraged not to do stupid things. It was understood that there were young men out there who were not gentlemen, and that those young men should not be given an opportunity to behave badly. I am not trying to ‘shame’ victims, which is what you get charged with when you bring common sense into the picture, but the fact is that women are responsible for their actions. They are also responsible for deciding whether or not to take the identify of ‘victim’ for the rest of their lives. Sexual assault is a horrible thing, but there are ways women can protect themselves from it. Getting drunk at a high school keg party is not smart. Getting drunk at a college fraternity party is not smart. Going into a room alone or with a group of drunken young men is not smart. Without ‘shaming’ the victims, can we at least put some of the responsibility for their reckless behavior on them. Then we have the case of the new accuser of Judge Kavanaugh who can’t remember if it was him who did what he did, but came forward to show support for the other accuser after four witnesses denied the charge. In what universe does this make sense?

The charges against Judge Kavanaugh are starting to resemble the charges levied in Rolling Stone Magazine against a University of Virginia fraternity house that the fraternity house fostered a ‘rape culture.’ The article appeared in November 2014, and was apologized for in December 2014.

On December 5, 2014, CBS News reported:

Rolling Stone’s managing editor apologized Friday for a story the magazine published last month describing a gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity house, saying its trust in the alleged victim “was misplaced.”

I don’t have to remind you about the Duke Lacrosse team story. Again, trust in the victim was ‘misplaced.’ That’s a polite way of saying ‘she lied.’

So let’s get back to the matter at hand. Yesterday PJ Media posted an article which included the following:

As Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh lost all credibility, it was reasonable to assume there was a reason for all the stalling. Many believed that somewhere, somehow, leftists would find someone else to come forward with accusations of sexual misconduct against Judge Kavanaugh.

Earlier this evening The New Yorker published a story written by Ronan Farrow and Jane Meyer proving that theory correct. This story centers on Deborah Ramirez, who has come forward (or was pushed to come forward) with a claim that while she and Kavanaugh were both students at Yale, they were both at a drunken dorm party where Kavanaugh allegedly exposed himself to her.

The article lists four reasons the new charges are not believable:

  1. Ramirez admits gaps in her memory and wasn’t certain it was Kavanaugh
  2. The New Yorker tried to find eyewitnesses… and failed
  3. Others alleged to have been involved deny it happened
  4. Ramirez’s former best friend challenges the claim

There seems to be a pattern here, and it’s not the one the Democrats want. The charges against Kavanaugh would never make it to court (even without a statute of limitations). No lawyer would take the case, and no judge would be willing to hear it.

If these women were actually sexually assaulted by someone, that is sad. However, they have both moved on with their lives and become successful. Why in the world would they want to take victim-hood as their identity? You really have to wonder about the motives here–there are numerous people the accusers claim as witnesses who have stated that the charges are not true. There are numerous people vouching for Judge Kavanaugh’s character. This is beginning to look more like the Salem Witch Trials than a Senate Confirmation process. Remember, the Salem Witch Trials had a lot to do with power, jealousy, and money. One wonders what is going on behind the scenes with the accusers.

The Right Reponse To Tackiness

Rolling Stone featured a very flattering picture of the alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its August cover. Mayor Thomas Menino sent a letter to Rolling Stone with the appropriate response.

This is the letter the Mayor of Boston sent to Rolling Stone:

That is the correct response.

 

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