Tuesday's HOT MIC
Well, the you-know-what is really going to hit the old fan-sky now that James Comey has been fired. But allow me to be the first to say, at least on PJM, that it should have happened months, if not years, ago. Still, did anyone see it coming? Apparently not. And on a Tuesday. Events of this nature usually happen on Fridays around five p.m. But I suspect amazing things will be revealed shortly. Also, if I don't miss my guess, Iowa Sen. Grassley has had his hand in this even though the attorney general and the deputy attorney general recommended. Bravo!
Okay, I no longer expect the usual suspects to say anything that makes any logical sense, but just think about the Comey thing for a second.
- How many of the people now saying that "it's a coup" were also demanding Comey resign or be fired at the end of October?
- How many of those people think that Comey is the one actually doing the investigation, deerstalker cap, magnifying glass and all?
Leftist crazies -- including, naturally, the New York Times -- already reaching for "Saturday Night Massacre" comparisons.
Now watch the Left go ape with dark mutterings about Putin and the Saturday Night Massacre. Oh, wait...
— Mícheál Breathnach (@dkahanerules) May 9, 2017
Exactly. Putin made a small investment that, tonight, has paid off beyond his wildest dreams. His own "worm" in the heart of our democracy. https://t.co/lCXoulMHA6
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) May 9, 2017
Of course it isn't over. I think Nixon tried the same thing. https://t.co/6ehkNpb4co
— Louise Mensch (@LouiseMensch) May 9, 2017
And away we go!
UPDATE -- it wouldn't be a trip to Krazytown without you know who...
It’s a coup.
— David Frum (@davidfrum) May 9, 2017
Agree with you as usual on this. Considering the people whose noses and more will be out of joint (including Charles K. this moment on Fox) I know this is a good thing.
Secret sauce: Rod Rosenstein, the new deputy AG who just replaced Yates. A lot of this was his doing. Indeed, he may have been put in place to do it.
I'd like to agree with Ace that Rudy Giuliani would come in to replace Comey but, alas, not happening.
Democrats are crying Watergate already and demanding a special prosecutor. Also not happening.
Yes, things like the Comey firing usually happen late on Friday. But this morning the whole country started seeing headlines like this one: "Comey’s Testimony on Huma Abedin Forwarding Emails Was Inaccurate."
The subhead was less generous, and more accurate.
The FBI hasn’t decided how to correct the director’s false claim that she forwarded thousands of Clinton emails to the laptop computer of her husband, former Congressman Anthony Weiner.
Comey lied to Congress about an investigation into the illegal distribution of classified information among high-level Democrats during a presidential race.
Under those circumstances, "You're fired!" couldn't wait until Friday. It had to be done now.
I'd go further and wager there's a good chance that a few years from now, we'll look back at this the same way we do at Reagan's firing of the PATCO strikers: The moment where everyone, especially in foreign capitals, sat up straight and thought, "Crap, this guy means it."
So maybe Trump does. His indicators haven't been quite as clear as Reagan's were in 1981, but this is a good one.
After months of political turmoil due to the impeachment proceedings against former South Korean President Park Geun-hye, the nation went to the polls and elected Moon Jae-in to a five year term.
The former human rights lawyer is considered a liberal and is expected to take a more conciliatory approach to relations with North Korea.
Um...good luck with that.
Although domestic issues dominated the campaign, foreign affairs were much higher up the agenda than usual, in large part because of Trump’s election in the United States and the stance he has taken on North and South Korea.
Trump has called for “maximum pressure” on North Korea to make Kim Jong Un’s regime give up its nuclear and missile programs, and he has threatened to use military force, an approach that could push North Korea to unleash artillery fire on Seoul.
Meanwhile, Moon has said that he is open to going to Pyongyang to meet Kim if it would help resolve the nuclear problem and that he wants to return to the “sunshine policy” of previous liberal presidents. This began in 1997 — well before North Korea had proved any nuclear capability — and involved economic engagement with the North to reduce the gaps between the two Koreas.
Moon served as chief of staff to Roh Moon-hyun, a liberal president who governed between 2003 and 2008 and who inherited the sunshine policy of liberal predecessor Kim Dae-jung. During this period, South Korea began tours to the North Korean mountain resort of Kumgangsan and opened the industrial park at Kaesong, where North Koreans worked in factories owned by South Korean companies.
In an interview with The Washington Post before his election, Moon played down his differences with Trump, saying he believed the American was “more reasonable than he is generally perceived.”
Moon has promised to review the decision to install the THAAD missile system, which will please China and the North. But overall, relations with the US will not change much.
Bye, bye, James Comey.
Former President Obama says we eat too much steak.
Thanks for the reminder, sir -- I'll take another one of these out of the freezer.
Because if there's one thing we love here in America, it's too much steak
Buyer's remorse on the Iran deal.
Iran announced an upcoming "satellite" launch, but experts suggest that this "space" initiative is likely a cover for ICBM tests. From Adam Kredo at the Washington Free Beacon:
"Now, we have two ready-to-launch satellites; one of them is Amir Kabir sensing satellite and another one is Nahid telecommunication satellite and over 97 percent of preparation works have been carried out on them," Iranian Communications and Information Technology Minister Mahmoud Vaezi was quoted as saying Monday in the country's state-controlled press.
Iran has a history of using space launches as cover to test and refine its ICBM technology, which remains part of its larger nuclear weapons program.
Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser and expert on rogue regimes, told the Free Beacon that launches of this nature have only increased since the landmark nuclear agreement relaxed international restrictions on Iran's military behavior.
"That Iran uses its satellite program as cover for ballistic missile development is no secret although, quite realistically, since John Kerry loosened restrictions on Iran's ballistic missile program, they don't need to hide quite so much," Rubin said. "The key thing to recognize is that we're no longer talking about just Iran's capability."
Iran goes hand in hand with North Korea.
"When it comes to nuclear technology, Iran and North Korea are like sorority sisters swapping clothes or an old married couple sharing a toothbrush," Rubin said. "What happens in Tehran doesn't stay in Tehran."
What will Trump do about the remaining two pillars of the "axis of evil"?
The "moderate" Muslim nation of Indonesia just convicted a prominent ethnic Chinese Christian politician of blasphemy.
Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, commonly known as Ahok, got two years in prison for quoting a passage of the Koran during his re-election campaign for governor. He was quoting the passage in order to show supporters that the Muslim holy book does not bar non-Muslims from governing Muslims.
In April, prosecutors had called for the blasphemy counts to be dropped in exchange for a lesser charge of "spreading hate," but the judges appear to have ignored that recommendation.
The controversial Chinese Christian politician was put on trial in December over accusations that he insulted Islam while campaigning for re-election. He repeatedly denied the charges.
Ahok was detained immediately after the verdict and taken to the Cipinang detention center in East Jakarta, local media reported. He said he would immediately appeal the court's decision.
The Jakarta governor sparked controversy in late 2016 after quoting a verse from the Quran to prove to his supporters that there were no restrictions on Muslims voting for a non-Muslim politician.
Almost no one who has been charged under the blasphemy law has ever escaped conviction, associate professor of Indonesian politics at the Australian National University Greg Fealy told CNN.
"The blasphemy law has really been a blight on the rule of law and democracy in Indonesia for decades," he said, adding that "the fact that Ahok was charged at all was really a product of massive street demonstrations that frightened the government into acting."
Indonesia has been fighting a low-intensity civil war against Islamist extremists for years, but it has been only recently that the disease of Islamic extremism has infected its politics. Once held up as a model Muslim state of tolerance and enlightened government, the rise of Islamism is forcing the government to curry favor with the mobs in the streets.
Ahok's conviction and sentencing to jail is a warning to other Indonesian politicians to avoid even talking about religion on the campaign trail. And if it comes up, it's best to toe the Islamist line whether you're Muslim or not.