Thursday, May 24, 2018

Time To Reset

For John, BLUFBefore a strong majority goes round the bend we should stop.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

The early righteousness of the anti-Trump lynch-mob has been deflated.

From National Review, by Mr Conrad Black, 23 May 2018.

Here is how the article begins:

It is now clear that Russian attempts at interference in the 2016 election, though somewhat outrageous, were ineffectual, unconnected with any particular party, a small effort given what a country of Russia’s resources and taste for political skullduggery and chicanery is capable of, and minor compared with the influence many countries, including the United States, have sometimes exercised in the elections of other countries. No serious person could find anything in the conduct of the president that could be construed as obstruction of justice, the all-purpose catch-all of American prosecutors, who can conjure that charge from the most mundane acts.

The Trump-impeachers, shuffling grimly forward into the desert like Old Testament slaves to the chant of the ineffable millionaire congresswoman Maxine Waters: “Impeach 45!” will perish in the sand. The vultures will pick their bones in an Ozymandian setting. No president has ever been impeached and removed successfully (though Andrew Johnson, who was not guilty of anything, escaped removal by only one vote in 1868). The required “high crimes and misdemeanors” the Constitution stipulates, have never been clearly defined, but apparently did not include President Clinton’s likely untruthfulness to a grand jury. After two years of exhaustive legal investigation accompanied by intense media innuendos about everything President Trump and his family have done more ambitious than putting on their shoes in the morning (unlike the Clinton case and much closer to the relentless media badgering and defaming of Richard Nixon in the Watergate affair), there is nothing to impeach with, or about.

The statute under which Robert Mueller’s investigation is operating does not give him an open and unaccountable mandate like the old special prosecutors had, and he has wildly exceeded his remit. The reasons for the assurance of even very intelligent and fair-minded legal experts, such as Alan Dershowitz, that the president could be summoned before a grand jury by Mueller, are not clear. President Clinton complied voluntarily and President Nixon eventually responded to a Supreme Court order on a document subpoena. But Mueller has less authority, is outside his mandate, some of his staff have committed significant improprieties, and his operation was set up in the absence of a crime, in response to an illegal leak of an improperly removed document of contested accuracy by ex-FBI director James Comey in retaliation against the president for having been fired on the recommendation of the deputy attorney general (Rod Rosenstein), who then obliged Comey by engaging Mueller as special counsel (having first offered him the FBI position he held before Comey). It is not clear that the Supreme Court would order Trump’s attendance at a grand jury, given the farcical charade that has got us where we are. (Nor is it clear that if Trump declined to follow such an order, the Congress would consider that an offense justifying removal from office.)

The early righteousness of the anti-Trump lynch-mob was deflated when the Steele dossier was revealed as defamatory lies assembled and paid for by the Clinton campaign. The feeble effort at claiming a boozy conversation between a very junior member of the Trump campaign team and a former Australian politician (who had secured $25 million of Australian government money for the Clinton Foundation) as the source of the investigation has crumbled.  The origins were earlier, and Christopher Steele and prominent members of the FBI and CIA shopped his inane and scatological dossier around the media to incite the misplaced belief that there were multiple disinterested sources for its contents.

Is there any senior statesman who can say it is time to accept Mr Trump as President and time to move on?

The alternative could be, rather than Impeachment, indictments.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Don't Block Me, Bro

For John, BLUFI think this is petty harassment.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Ms Bridget Johnson, 23 May 2018.

Here is the lede:

A federal judge ruled today that President Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter because his feed is a "public forum" protected by the First Amendment.
OK then, does this mean the White House (and by extension, Congress Critters) must open and read every EMail and Snail Mail communication?  I would think so.

But, the supplemental question is, if one receives a form letter, especially one not germaine to the issue raised, is that prima facia evidence that the original recipient didn't open and read the communication, in essence blocking the communication?


Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Congress, Behaving Badly, in History

For John, BLUFThings have been tough before.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the InstaPundit and Law Professor Gail Heriot, today, 22 May 2018.

Here is the blog post:

ON THIS DAY IN 1856, CONGRESSMAN PRESTON BROOKS (D-SC) BEAT SENATOR CHARLES SUMNER (R-Mass) WITHIN AN INCH OF HIS LIFE ON THE FLOOR OF U.S. SENATE:  Two days earlier, at the height of the “Bleeding Kansas” crisis, Sumner had given an impassioned speech against the Kansas-Nebraska Act and against slavery itself.  Brooks, whose cousin Senator Andrew Butler had been instrumental in the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, viewed the beating with a cane as an acting of retaliation for defamation.  Sumner was lucky to survive.  It was years before he was able to continue his work at the Senate full time.

If you think we’re polarized now, try 1856:  William Cullen Bryant in the New York Evening Post wrote:  “Has it come to this, that we must speak with bated breath in the presence of our Southern masters?…  Are we to be chastised as they chastise their slaves?  Are we too, slaves, slaves for life, a target for their brutal blows, when we do not comport ourselves to please them?”  On the other hand, the Richmond Enquirer editorialized that “vulgar abolitionists in the Senate” should be “lashed into submission.”

Humility is helpful in times like this.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, May 21, 2018

Things Getting Better

For John, BLUFThe world is a better place than it was when we were born..  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

It projects 702 million people or 9.6% of the world’s population will be living in extreme poverty in 2015, down from 902 million people or 12.8% in 2012

From The Guardian, via Reuters, 4 Oct 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

The number of people living in extreme poverty is likely to fall for the first time below 10% of the world’s population in 2015, the World Bank said on Sunday as it revised its benchmark for measuring the problem.

“This is the best story in the world today,” said World Bank president Jim Yong Kim.  “These projections show us that we are the first generation in human history that can end extreme poverty.”

Extreme poverty has long been defined as living on or below $1.25 a day, but the World Bank’s adjustment now sets the poverty line at $1.90 a day.

The Bank said the change reflects new data on differences in the cost of living across countries, while preserving the real purchasing power of the previous yardstick.

So, is this due to the spread of Socialism, including Bolivarian Socialism and juche or due to various forms of capitalism, or due to the secret spread of some third approach?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Illegal Immigration Goes North

For John, BLUFIllegal Immigrants squeezing out the homeless?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Mr Michael Walsh, 19 May 2018.

Here is the opening:

And you thought The Camp of the Saints was fiction:
With only 20 rooms vacant, Toronto is within seven days of evoking an emergency plan to house the growing number of refugees settling in the city after crossing the U.S.-Canada border, Mayor John Tory says.

“We could not, cannot and should not be doing this alone. If these daily arrivals continue, as we expect them to, to some degree or another, we will be in a position within the next seven days, where we will need to open an emergency reception centre,” Tory told a news conference Friday.

As of Thursday, there were 2,683 refugee claimants in the Toronto shelter system, accounting for 41 per cent of the shelter population.  At the current rate of arrivals, the city expects refugees will make up 54 per cent of the spaces by November.

If you are looking for the Kindle edition of the book, Camp of the Saints, it is here.

Further on the article reads:

Behold the Cloward-Pivening of the West: operating under the false flags of "diversity" and "tolerance," and demanding that post-Christian West "live up to its own book of rules" (Alinsky Rule #4), the cultural Marxists seek to destroy the political integrity of the European and the North American nation-states by flooding them with "migrants" (to where?) and "refugees" (from what?).

Blame Trump!

Yes, if the West doesn't stand for anything, if it believes it is the West only because of good luck and not because of a set of values that brings freedom and prosperity, then it deserves to go the way of the Wooly Mammoth.  If, on the other hand, Anglo=Saxon Privilege means inheriting a set of values that provides for limited government and property right and the right to vote your government out of existence, then there needs to be a system of acculturation of assimilation, so that the ideas and ideals are not drowned by immigration but are allowed to spread and enrich all, at the pace they can accept.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Government Spying on Campaigns

For John, BLUFThis may be as old as the Republic itself, but we never forced it into the public fora, until we began this Russiagate investigation.  Sad.  Very sad.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This post relates to this earlier post. From The Washington Examiner, by Reporter Steven Nelson, 20 May 2018.

Here are the first three paragraphs of the story:

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein asked the Justice Department's inspector general Sunday to review whether there was improper politically motivated surveillance of the Trump campaign in 2016.

Rosenstein made the request shortly after a tween from President Trump saying that he would "officially" ask "that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes."

In a statement, Rosenstein said:  "if anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign of inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action."  The attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has recused himself from Russia related matters.

That seems like a timely response.  And action in the proper direction.

The accusations, if true, may not be as offensive as the Wisconsin John Doe issue, but still pretty serious.

On the other hand, I see no reason to suggest the other campaign was either involved or a benefactor.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Out of His Lane?

For John, BLUF I think Mr Brennon protests too much.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Former CIA Director-turned-Twitter troll, John Brennan lashed out at Trump on Sunday evening after the President ordered the DOJ to investigate the FBI’s infiltration of his campaign.

From The Gateway Pundit, by Ms Cristina Laila, 20 May 2018.

Here is the Tweet from Mr Brennan:

Senator McConnell & Speaker Ryan: If Mr. Trump continues along this disastrous path, you will bear major responsibility for the harm done to our democracy. You do a great disservice to our Nation & the Republican Party if you continue to enable Mr. Trump’s self-serving actions. a href="">

— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) May 20, 2018

The link in the Text Message goes here:
I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes - and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!

1:37 PM · May 20, 2018

What is M Brennan asking for?  Impeachment and Conviction?

One of the leaders of the Intel Community trying to muscle the Legislative Leadership seems askew.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff