January 22, 2020

#JOURNALISM: CNN Analyst Fabricates Quotes From GOP Senators to Smear Trump, Fox News. His defense: Hey, it’s not like anyone watches CNN anyway!

AT AMAZON, bestsellers in Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense.

WHITE RABBIT: Grace Slick’s Isolated Vocal.

UPDATE: From the comments: Isolated vocals from Somebody to Love.


Military service is so alien to most Democrats that they don’t notice the details. Say someone told you he was from Nepal. You wouldn’t have a lot of follow-up questions. You don’t know that much about Nepal. That’s how the military is to most liberals. To them, whether your record is that of Nathan Phillips or Norman Schwarzkopf, it’s all the same. Liberal reporters didn’t notice the weasel words when Phillips (the Indian who provoked the Covington kids by marching straight up to them and banging a drum in their face) kept saying he was a “Vietnam-times” or “Vietnam-era” veteran, which was his way of saying he was repairing refrigerators in Nebraska in the early Seventies. Reporters kept saying he was a Vietnam veteran. He wasn’t.

Republicans are far more likely to be familiar with the basics of the military, which is why we are unimpressed with Pete Buttigieg’s military career. Three things stand out about his brief sojourn in the Navy: One, he joined via direct commission. This, to most veterans, is a jaw-dropper. To say the least, this isn’t the way it’s usually done. Many of us recall the intensive pre-commission training (in my case, four years of ROTC in Connecticut and Advanced Camp with the 82nd Airborne in Fort Bragg) as the most trying intervals of our careers. Others spent four years at Annapolis or West Point. Buttigieg just skipped all of that. He passed a physical. He signed some papers. Voilà. To put this in terms a liberal might understand: Imagine you heard that someone got a “direct diploma” from Harvard but didn’t actually have to do four years of papers and tests. You’d never forget it. You’d probably think of that person primarily as a short-cut specialist for the rest of your life.

The second thing that stands out is that Buttigieg specifically cited Kerry as a role model. John Kerry! Kerry is a guy who immediately and shamefully turned on his brothers in arms when the political winds turned that way, and became very famous at a very young age because of it.



Well, remember:

MICHAEL YON RECOMMENDS THIS BOOK: Robert Spalding: Stealth War: How China Took Over While America’s Elite Slept. Some of them slept. Others were standing right there, with their hands out.

I SUPPOSE WE SHOULD BE PROPERLY GRATEFUL WHEN THEY GRASP THE OBVIOUS: Prof. Jacobson: Impeachment: Republican Senators “recognize the trial . . . as an attempted political decapitation.”

WORST PUTIN PUPPET EVER: Standoff: U.S. Troops Block Russian Forces From Capturing Syrian Oilfield.

WHY NOT JUST LET THE RUSSIANS OR THE CHINESE COUNT THE VOTES WHILE YOU’RE AT IT? Ignoring Security Experts, Washington State Eyes Voting by Smartphone.

OPEN THREAD: This is your thread. There are others like it, but this one is yours.

LIFE IN THE BLUE ZONES: Manhattan: a city of empty luxury condos and overflowing homeless shelters.

RATS ON THE WEST SIDE, BED BUGS UPTOWN: Multiple Subway Lines Delayed After Bed Bugs Found Inside MTA Office.

Related: Video shows MTA subway train fully covered in graffiti. “The video was tweeted out by the Police Benevolent Association, which pointed to the vandalism as a sign that the city isn’t holding criminals accountable, sending the subways back to the bad old days. ‘The 70s & 80s, now in living color on a subway platform near you,’ the PBA tweeted late Monday.”


I’M NOT SAYING THAT IT’S ALIENS, BUT, WELL, YOU KNOW. A burst of gravitational waves hit our planet. Astronomers have no clue where it’s from.

SALENA ZITO: The Second Amendment Sanctuary Movement Isn’t Going Away.

Troy Carter, 49, says that, other than voting, he’d never been involved in politics. That changed late last year, when he heard that a county board of supervisors in Virginia voted to become a gun sanctuary. On Monday he was one of an estimated 22,000 people who gathered peacefully at the Capitol Square in Richmond, Va., to support gun rights. Many of those attending were visibly armed.

Ninety-one of Virginia’s 96 counties have passed sanctuary measures to resist proposed state gun regulations. Last year Democrats took control of both chambers of Virginia’s General Assembly for the first time in nearly three decades. They, along with Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, have stood firm on their campaign pledges to enact stricter gun control, partly in reaction to a shooting last May in Virginia Beach.

For Virginians like Mr. Carter, the effort has brought about a political awakening. He learned to shoot when he was six years old. Guns are a normal part of his life, like fishing or going to church every Sunday, and something he considers vital to protecting and providing for his family. Mr. Carter choked up as he described a tradition of safety, protection and providing taught to him by his grandfather—and his grandfather before him. When he discovered the sanctuary movement, he decided to go to a meeting two counties away to learn more.

Becoming a Second Amendment sanctuary means a locality won’t use law enforcement resources to prosecute the proposed antigun laws. Whether such resolutions have any teeth depends on local officials’ resolve, but at the very least these measures are a reflection of regional sentiment on gun control.

This grass-roots movement is largely composed of people like Mr. Carter, who aren’t otherwise political but strongly believe in the importance of the Second Amendment. At his first meeting, he encountered massive support, “I just couldn’t believe the amount of people that showed up.”

This reminds me of the Tea Party. The Tea Party was killed off by a cooperative bipartisan effort. That may not work here.

UPDATE: Seen on Facebook:

LAYERS AND LAYERS OF FACT-CHECKERS AND EDITORS: Oops: Lesley Stahl Says Fox News Didn’t Exist for Clinton Impeachment.

Flashback: Cal Thomas Stumps Stahl Who Can’t Name a Conservative at CBS.


“Why, why, why, why, why, why, why! You’re getting nervous, man. Calm down! It’s OK!” he shouted, placing his palms on [CBS reporter Ed O’Keefe’s] chest as he then tried to explain.

“He apologized for saying that I was corrupt,” a calmer Biden said.

“He didn’t mention anything about whether or not I was telling the truth about Social Security,” he added, as O’Keefe smiled nervously.

Biden then gave the reporter a gentle left-hand fist bump before turning and continuing on his way.

That’s Biden’s way of saying “Keep it up, and it’s closet time for you, my Democratic Party operative with a byline.”

HISTORY MADE: Trump Will Be the First President to Speak at the March for Life.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): NeverTrumpers and lefties ask how Evangelicals can bring themselves to support Trump. This is how.

ONLY SIX? The Top Seven Lies Adam Schiff Has Told to Boost Impeachment

I take it back: Matt upgraded to seven when I wasn’t looking.


Screenshot for posterity, but here’s the original tweet,
and here’s the confession.

Notice that Lockhart is a CNN Contributor. Clearly, CNN hasn’t hit bottom yet.

WELL, THAT SEEMS LIKE A TERRIBLE IDEA: Some Push To Change State Laws That Require HIV Disclosure To Sexual Partners. If the fact that somebody’s girlfriend lied about it means you shouldn’t have a law, what do we do about rape laws? But the gist of this NPR story is that you can’t believe the women.

STEPHEN KRUISER: Comedy Loses Another Legend: Monty Python’s Terry Jones Has Died.

THE DEMOCRATS’ #WARONWOMEN CONTINUES: Hunter Biden renting $12,000-per-month Hollywood home while defying child support suit. “Hunter Biden is defying a court order to disclose his financial information as part of a child support fight while renting a $3.8 million designer home in Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, for $12,000 per month. . . . While living in the high-end digs, Biden has been fighting a court order to turn over his financial information as part of a paternity suit in Arkansas. On Tuesday, Circuit Judge Holly Meyer ordered Biden to appear in court on Jan. 29 and ‘show cause, if any exists, as to why he should not be held in contempt’ for allegedly failing to submit the information by the court’s deadline earlier this month.”

THEIR CASE WOULD SEEM MORE PERSUASIVE IF THEY EVER TOLD THE TRUTH ABOUT ANYTHING: Byron York: Impeachment, Democrats, and those 90,000 documents.

For weeks, Democrats have been demanding to see new witnesses and documents for the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump. Mostly they have emphasized witnesses. But on Tuesday, the first full day of the trial, the Democratic House managers seemed to turn up the call for documents, claiming that President Bill Clinton provided tens of thousands of pages of documents for his impeachment trial in 1999.

“In the Clinton case, the president provided all of the documents — more than 90,000 pages of them — before the trial took place,” the managers said in a statement released Tuesday morning. “[Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell’s resolution rejects that basic necessity.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi backed up the managers. “For the Clinton trial, witnesses were deposed and the president provided more than 90,000 documents,” she said Tuesday.

“All of the documents in the Clinton trial were turned over prior to the trial,” said lead impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff when arguments before the Senate began. “All 90,000 pages of them, so they could be used in the House’s case.”

So a question: Where did the figure of 90,000 pages, or documents, come from? Did Clinton helpfully cooperate with the House Republicans who were trying to remove him from office 20 years ago?

It turns out Schiff, Pelosi, and their colleagues were not telling the whole story. They got the 90,000 figure, apparently, from Clinton’s rebuttal to the Starr report — the report independent counsel Kenneth Starr turned over to Congress on Sept. 9, 1998, after seven months of investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair. In that rebuttal, given to Congress on Sept. 11, Clinton’s lawyers wrote: “During the past four and a half years, the President has … produced more than 90,000 pages of documents and other items” to investigators.

But not to Congress. The Clinton situation was entirely different from the one Schiff and his fellow Democrats face today. Starr was an independent counsel with full law enforcement powers, and his office issued many grand jury subpoenas pushing Clinton, who often resisted fiercely, to turn over the 90,000 documents over the course of four and a half years, covering the Whitewater, Travelgate, Filegate, and Lewinsky investigations.

“If memory serves me correctly, I don’t think he voluntarily gave us anything,” said Sol Weisenberg, a former Starr prosecutor, in a conversation Tuesday.

With Trump, the House has been involved in a different process. Speaker Nancy Pelosi chose not to seek the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the Trump-Ukraine matter. (The old independent counsel law under which Starr was appointed expired years ago; a Trump-Ukraine special counsel investigation might have operated along the lines of the Robert Mueller Trump-Russia investigation.) Instead, House Democrats conducted a hurried investigation that did not involve a grand jury or engage in the type of fighting for documents that Starr did.

The whole thing is a politicized sham.

BECAUSE IT’S ALL THEATER FOR THE RUBES, AND SHE’S THEIR TOOL: Greta Hectors Davos: Why Are Elitists Thrilled To Be Lectured By A Child Who Knows Nothing? Our elites are willing to be hectored when it’s all about them adopting policies that cement their control.

OUT: BLACK SWAN. IN: SWAN WITH A REALLY BAD COUGH. China virus outbreak may wallop economy, financial markets.

NAZIS, NAZIS EVERYWHERE: As Stars & Stripes reported in 2018: Writer resigns from New Yorker magazine after Twitter flap over Marine vet’s tattoo.

Talia Lavin, whose tweet about a veteran’s tattoo implied he was a Nazi, has apologized to him and resigned from her position as a fact-checker at the New Yorker magazine.

But in another tweet, Thursday evening, Lavin also lashed out at the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, saying it unfairly targeted her in its own tweet about combat-wounded veteran Justin Gaertner.

“This has been a wild and difficult week,” Lavin said in the tweet. “I owe ICE agent Justin Gaertner a sincere apology for spreading an rumor about his tattoo. However, I do not think it is acceptable for a federal agency to target a private citizen for a good faith, hastily rectified error.”

And the “good faith” continues!

Julio Rosas of Townhall tweets, “Oh look, another person who was *not* at the rally trying to tell everyone else that it wasn’t *really* peaceful. The article also does not mention or acknowledge the hundreds of minorities, who were armed as well, that were there in support of the rally.”

Or as Jim Treacher adds, “If you don’t get the violence you desperately wanted, just pretend you did.”

It’s quite a place the media has arrived in 2020, where the gun-grabbing, abortion-extremist governor with a history of wearing blackface while in his mid-20s in medical school is the good guy, and a racially diverse crowd of pro-Constitution Americans are the crypto-Nazis.


WITH GOLF AT NOON FOR FREE? Swimmers call for protection of Eden Rock. I think I agree with the Caymanian opposition to the new cruise ship terminal. The island is getting overdeveloped, and there are already swarms of cruise ships. And there’s a pretty good case that the pier’s effect on currents will damage or kill the reef for a half mile in either direction.

THIS WHOLE IMPEACHMENT THING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: Trump approval ‘the best of his presidency’: Gallup.


Someday, there will be more than three network television channels. There might even be multiple channels devoted to 24 hour coverage of the news. I know this might sound like science fiction, but perhaps, eventually, these additional channels could be delivered through some sort of buried coaxial cable, or even via satellite. (I’d mention sending faxes from the beach, but that’s really wild-eyed crazy-talk.)

FAD GONE BAD MAKES GRAUNIAD MAD: How the word ‘woke’ was weaponised by the right.

JUST DO IT: Civil War Redux? Some Virginia Counties May Want to Secede to Join West Virginia Over Gun Control.

Where is Glenn’s paper on state secession which is always looking steadily more timely?

AT AMAZON, shop the Valentine’s Day Gift Shop.

HMM: Tesla Slams NHTSA’s Unintended-Acceleration Investigation. Every time this has come up before, it’s been because, in P.J. O’Rourke’s immortal phrase in Parliament of Whores, the silly buggers stepped on the gas instead of the brake. I assign his chapter on NHTSA in my Administrative Law class, because it’s a very useful primer on how agencies behave and why.

MEANWHILE, OVER AT VODKAPUNDIT: Debunking Trump’s Impeachment with One Simple Thought Experiment.

Let’s pretend that Joe Biden had a different name. No, better: Let’s pretend that Joe Biden had a different letter after his name. Let’s pretend he’s Joe Biden (R), former Vice President under George W. Bush.

In that case, what would the Democrats be doing differently? Literally everything.

Instead of impeaching Trump, they’d be praising him (although perhaps reluctantly) for his non-partisan willingness to look into Republican malfeasance. Adam Schiff would hold months worth of hearings, looking back into the Bush Administration in ways he’d never dare look back into Obama’s. The Democrat-controlled press would be 24/7 Biden! Biden! Biden! Jerry Nadler would have to go back to, I dunno, eating mayonnaise with an ice cream scoop.

Read the whole thing, if you don’t mind me saying so myself.

I have a second column today for PJMedia/Townhall VIP members. Want to know what Hillary Clinton would really say, if she dropped the mask long enough to dish the dirt over a box or two of chardonnay? Here’s your chance: Hillary Clinton: Off the Hook.

And here’s your thrice-weekly reminder that if you’ve been thinking of becoming a VIP member, the VODKAPUNDIT promo code is still good for a nice little discount.

ROGER KIMBALL: Roger Scruton, 1944–2020.

For many years—nay for several decades—Scruton had been treated as a pariah by the confraternity of intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals whose follies and misadventures he anatomized with unforgivable clarity and penetration. Senior professors wrote to Roger’s publishers demanding that they cease publishing his books. “I may tell you with dismay,” wrote one guardian of the academic cartel, “that many colleagues here [i.e., in Oxford] feel that the Longman imprint—a respected one—has been tarnished by association with Scruton’s work.” Scruton was denied academic preferment, rendered all but unemployable by the university establishment. He was roundly excoriated by the press on both sides of the Atlantic. And for what?

Part of the reason is suggested by the title of one of his books, recently reissued as Fools, Frauds and Firebrands, a brisk and deliciously mordant act of intellectual fumigation that left the work and reputations of a dozen prominent philosophical mountebanks in smoldering ruins. As Scruton put it in Modern Philosophy (1994), his magnum opus, “A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ‘merely relative,’ is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.” Such impertinence was not to be borne, and the academic establishment did everything it could to ostracize him.

Read the whole thing.

YES. AND FOR THE SAME REASON THE SCORPION STUNG THE FROG. Did Adam Schiff Purposely Mislead America About The Parnas Texts?

THAT’S VERY TRUE: Patients Want To Die At Home, But Home Hospice Care Can Be Tough On Families. Helen’s mother had home hospice, but the burden on her kids was very high.

DISPATCHES FROM THE INTERSECTION OF THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE AND THE CORBYNIZATION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY: ‘Jewish Voice for Peace’ student activist distorts Anne Frank’s death to use against Trump and Israel.

A DOWN PAYMENT: Clinton Corruption Update: What’s $1 Million Between Friends?

THE 21ST CENTURY ISN’T TURNING OUT AS I’D HOPED: Three Skin Warning Signs To Watch Out Indicating You Have Been Bitten By Bed Bugs.


A TRAILER PARK CALLED CAMELOT: Appear in Arkansas court, explain, judge orders Hunter Biden. “Biden must appear Jan. 29 in a Batesville courtroom and explain why he shouldn’t be held in contempt for violating court orders to provide financial information in his Arkansas paternity case.”

HE REALLY WAS THE WORST: Thanks, Obama: Iran Thinks Kidnapping U.S. Hostages Is a Money-Making Strategy.

WHEN IS IT A “DONATION,” AND WHEN IS IT AN “EXTRACTION?” Men should be allowed to donate sperm after death, study says. “The mechanics of donating, they say, are entirely feasible through either electroejaculation or surgical methods.” With prior consent, I guess it’s a donation. Without, it’s an extraction.

AMERICA’S PAPER OF RECORD: Hillary: ‘Sanders Would Be More Likable If He’d Just Have The People Who Don’t Like Him Assassinated.’ “Look, if you want to be likable in politics, you’ve got to be willing to fight for it, and maybe kill for it.”

NEW SOCIALIST “IT GIRL” CONTINUES TO PAY DIVIDENDS: AOC Goes Full Commie: ‘No One Ever Makes a Billion Dollars. You Take a Billion Dollars.’

Given her and her former chief of staff’s dalliances with national socialists, embracing international socialism really isn’t that big of a Great Leap Forward for her.


My take: She chose a bad venue — the Southern District is notoriously defendant-friendly — and while the complaint is super-amusing, I wouldn’t call it top-notch. My guess is that this is mostly a warning shot for the benefit of future political adversaries in future races. As a public figure, it’s hard for Tulsi to win a libel suit.

That said, we’re talking about Hillary here. She’s not a media defendant, which is who the SDNY is usually sympathetic to. And let’s be honest, where Hillary’s concerned, malice should basically be presumed. . . .

Also, as Charles Glasser was pointing out on Facebook, you can expect Hillary’s team to argue — as CNN did with “racist” in the Sandmann case — that “Russian asset” is just a statement of opinion, not a defamatory statement of fact. Trouble is, it’s a defamatory statement of fact, and was undoubtedly meant to be taken as such.

SHOT: CBS Bets Big on ‘Star Trek: Picard’ to Boost Streaming Business.

CHASER: Patrick Stewart Says ‘Star Trek: Picard’ A Response To The ‘F***ed’ World Of Brexit, Trump.

Insulting half your audience before the show even airs is rarely a recipe for success.

TRUE: Christopher Tolkien Was The Unsung Hero Of Middle Earth.

BOEING: Starliner’s thruster performance receiving close scrutiny from NASA.

The NASA release did not mention thruster performance, but an agency source told Ars that engineers are looking closely at the performance of the Starliner propulsion system. In addition to four large launch abort engines, the service module has 28 reaction control system thrusters, each with 85 pounds of thrust and 20 more-powerful orbital maneuvering thrusters, each with 1,500 pounds of thrust.

During the post-flight news conference Jim Chilton, Boeing’s senior vice president of the Space and Launch division, said the service module thrusters were stressed due to their unconventional use in raising Starliner’s orbit instead of performing one big burn. As a result, the company had to shut down one manifold, which effectively branches into several lines carrying propellant to four thrusters. “We even shut down one manifold as we saw pressure go low ’cause it had been used a lot,” he said.

The NASA source said eight or more thrusters on the service module failed at one point and that one thruster never fired at all.

And from the comments:

I will give Boeing a semi-pass on this one. The thrusters were used in a manner they would never be used during a mission, so it’s probably not surprising they had issues after that. However, it is concerning that one thruster never fired at all. That is certainly not acceptable, and unfortunately, may be yet another failure of Boeing’s quality assurance culture. In light of this additional finding, there is absolutely no way they should be allowed to do a manned flight without a successful unmanned demo. Considering Dragon had yet another great flight adds more fuel to that argument. If SpaceX can do it, why can’t Boeing?

Good question.


IS THERE ANY DEM CANDIDATE WHO COULD DO THIS? Record-breaking 100,000 people want tickets to Trump rally in New Jersey.

FINALLY, WE’VE ACHIEVED TRUE GENDER DIVERSITY: Women Hold Editor-In-Chief Positions At The Top 16 Law Reviews. If only they were all black, so we’d have perfect racial diversity, too.

FORMER BILL CLINTON ADVISOR MARK PENN: Democrats Need to End This Partisan Impeachment.

History, it seems, does repeat itself. George Washington’s farewell address about the excesses of partisanship was never truer than today. As America’s only truly independent president, Washington predicted that the growth of factionalism would undermine the execution of our laws and that the “alternate domination” of one party over another would lead to efforts to “exact revenge” and “raise false alarms.”

Let us not forget that the Trump administration suffered through a two-year special counsel investigation based almost entirely on opposition research from the other party, and that this imbroglio stems from the other party believing it had now in turn found information that would turn the political tables. It is all exactly as George Washington foretold.

Read the whole thing.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Sues Hillary Clinton for Defamation Over ‘Russian’ Claim.

More here: “Following Clinton’s initial comments, Gabbard responded on Twitter by calling the former secretary of state ‘the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long,’ and challenged her to join the primary.”

And at Twitchy: “Tulsi Gabbard is suing Hillary Clinton and the first page of the filing is WILD AF… ‘Tulsi Gabbard is running for President of the United States, a position Clinton has long coveted, but has not been able to attain.’”

Pass the popcorn.

BREAKING: Adam Schiff Deliberately Misrepresents Impeachment Evidence AGAIN!

“CRIMINAL FRAUD” HAS A NICE RING TO IT: Protesters in Puerto Rico Call for Governor’s Resignation After Aid Found in Warehouse.

FRANK J. says it better — and more pithily — than I did.

NO BRAIN? NO PROBLEM! What We Can Learn About Impeachment From Slime Molds

TYLER O’NEIL: ‘Hate Group’ Lawsuit Clears Hurdle, Judeo-Christian Group Warns SPLC ‘Day of Reckoning’ Is Coming.’

Tyler has been on top of the SPLC story since before it was a story.




HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: U. Oklahoma race workshop led by consultant who claims being on time is ‘white supremacy.’

Whom the gods would destroy, they first make ridiculous. The gods must really hate higher education lately.

Related: Taxpayers Losing Interest In Funding Campus Kooks.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Board Of Regents To Vote Today On Big Tuition Hikes At California’s Public Law Schools.

JON CALDARA:  Denver Post Fired Me Because of Political Correctness.

(I sympathize.  I got hammered for this once too.  I got death threats even.  Still, I am pretty sure I am right on the law.)

SHE’S BEEN MARRIED TO BILL FOR HOW LONG? Hillary Clinton Pleads Ignorance About Harvey Weinstein Despite Multiple Warnings. “‘How could we have known?’ Clinton asked, despite multiple women saying they warned the campaign.”

MAZIE HIRONO REDEFINES “CONSPIRACY THEORY”: Dem Senator Says It’s a ‘Conspiracy Theory’ to Say Dems Were Out to Get Trump From Beginning.

No, “conspiracy theory” doesn’t mean “inconvenient”.

CHINA SYNDROME: Chinese national arrested for smuggling Harvard cancer research in a sock.

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: Spare Us the Wrath of the Commie Beta Bernie Bros. “Marty here wants to get armed and learn how to shoot so he can go subjugate those of us who are already armed and know how to shoot. As strategies go, this one is a little lacking and lagging behind.”


GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Social Justice Revisionism Comes for Washington and Lee.

ERIC CIAMARELLA IS NOT A “WHISTLEBLOWER,” HE’S AN OPERATIVE: RealClearInvestigations: Whistleblower Was Overheard in ’17 Discussing With Ally How to Remove Trump.


Donald Trump published the most consequential tweet of his presidency on March 4, 2017. “How low has President Obama gone to tapp [sic] my phones during the very sacred election process,” the chief executive pondered. “This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”

The response from Trump’s opposition was outrage. The Washington Post fact checker gave it four Pinocchios. The director of the FBI, James Comey, rebuked Trump and said such a thing had never happened. James Clapper, Obama’s director of national intelligence, assured NBC’s Meet the Press that no warrants had been issued in 2016 to surveil members of the Trump campaign.

In a narrow sense, the pushback against Trump’s tweet was correct; Trump himself was never personally the target of an FBI wiretap. In any case, the president doesn’t order such a thing; the FBI applies for a warrant to eavesdrop on Americans from a secret court. No such warrant was issued to bug the president’s offices.

But the furious denials were misleading. To paraphrase a cliché from 2016, Trump’s tweet should have been taken seriously, not literally. Obama did not tap Trump’s phones. But his FBI did spy on Trump’s campaign. That fact is no longer in dispute. The question is whether the FBI was justified in treating the Trump campaign itself as a suspect in this crime against the 2016 election.

I’d quibble with a couple of points — for example, it does appear FBI was monitoring phones in Trump’s campaign HQ and transition team, which sure sound like “Trump’s phones” to me — but it’s a good review.

OH: Biden Says Only Felons Should Be Deported And He Doesn’t ‘Count Drunk Driving as a Felony.’

“You aren’t allowed to be here.”

“What’s the penalty for that?”

“You get to stay here.”

Economists call this a perverse incentive, but Democrats just call it policy.


ARE YOU NOW OR HAVE YOU EVER BEEN A MEMBER OF THE FEDERALIST SOCIETY?: The Wall Street Journal reports that the Judicial Conference is thinking of prohibiting judges from being members of the Federalist Society. It’s too political—or so the Judicial Conference believes.

If the Judicial Conference does ban judges from being members of the Federalist Society, it will need to do the same for the ABA. Unlike the Federalist Society, which takes no stand on any legal or political issue, the ABA weighs in on countless issues, always taking the leftward leaning side of things. The ABA files amicus curiae briefs before the Supreme Court, again with a consistent slant to the left. The long march through the institutions infiltrated the ABA long ago.

Similarly, membership in “affinity bar associations” like the National Hispanic Bar Association and the National Bar Association (which is for African American lawyers), and the National Association of Women Lawyers will need to be prohibited. Those left-leaning organizations routinely take stands on controversial issues and file amicus briefs. The Federalist Society never does and never will.

I can’t tell you how proud I am to be a member of the Federalist Society. It’s true that its members are overwhelmingly conservative or libertarian. But to say that it is not monolithic understates it. Lawyers actually engage in civil debate at the Federalist Society. It always attempts to present all sides of legal and public policy debates at its functions (including different strands of conservatism and libertarianism as well as left-of-center views). That does not happen at law schools these days. There is far less ideological diversity on campuses than you routinely find at the Federal Society’s Annual Lawyers Conference.

Two personal anecdotes are worth mentioning here.

  1. In 1996, I co-chaired the Yes on Proposition 209 Campaign here in California. That measure, which passed with a strong majority, prohibited the State of California (including its universities) from discriminating against or granting preferential treatment to any individual or group based or race, color, sex or ethnicity in the operation of public education, public employment or public contacting. Needless to say, the Left hated it.

At the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools in January of 1997, a panel with OVER TWENTY speakers was presented. All of them opposed Proposition 209. Despite being both a law professor present at the conference and the second ranking person in the 209 campaign, I was not invited to speak. (That’s okay.  I’m not exactly Cicero, so maybe the AALS didn’t think I was a good enough speaker.) But there were at least three other law professors who had worked on the campaign who were also ignored

Meanwhile, the Federalist Society put on its own Proposition 209 panel at a nearby hotel to which all law professors were invited. If I remember correctly, the panel had five speakers. Three of them opposed Proposition 209 and two supported it (including me). Yet the Federalist Society is the organization that that Judicial Conference thinks is too political.

  1. A few years later, I was on a panel at the Federalist Society’s Annual Lawyers’ Convention. The topic was again affirmative action. The staff had worked to get speakers on both sides of the issue. But for some reason the left-of-center speaker did not show up. Much to the Federalist Society’s embarrassment, all it had was an empty chair. To remedy the problem, after I and the other panelists had given our prepared remarks, I stood up again and argued the other side of the issue the best I could. (I’m a lawyer. That’s what lawyers are supposed to be able to do.) The crowd appreciated it. I was later told that I was persuasive to at least one person in the audience.

The Judicial Conference tries to sound evenhanded by putting the American Constitutional Society in the same category as the Federalist Society. I should point out that the American Constitutional Society is (so far) a pale imitation of what the Left imagines the Federalist Society to be. It has far fewer active members and (weirdly) is far more political than the Federalist Society. Unlike the Federalist Society, it does take stands on issues and files amicus briefs in cases. But membership in the ACS shouldn’t be prohibited either—not unless membership in organizations like the ABA are prohibited too.

The Judicial Conference can argue that it isn’t preventing judges from being members of the Federalist Society prior to becoming judges. Nor is it preventing judges from attending Federalist Society events. But invariably a prohibition on membership will be taken as a sign that the Federalist Society is something bad … something that lawyers with a judicial temperament will avoid.  The truth is more like the opposite. Lawyers who are interested in hearing all sides of an issue gravitate towards the Federalist Society, not away from it.   The Judicial Conference should be pleased that to have judges who are members.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): For perspective, what’s going on here is that the left expects the right to dominate the judiciary in the near future, and on its way out wants to change the “ethical” rules to block the right from behaving the way the left did when it had hegemony. A standard move and, of course, utterly unprincipled.

THIS IS FAR FROM THE WORST PROBLEM WE COULD HAVE: US Cyber Command was not prepared to handle the amount of data it hacked from ISIS. “Operation Glowing Symphony was a success, but Cyber Command operators were not prepared for the amount of data they found in hacked ISIS accounts and servers.”

KEEP ‘EM ON THE RUN: Another college ditches girls-only programs after crusading professor files complaints.

SLOWER, PLEASE: Chinese Virus Is Spreading Between Humans, Prompting Outbreak Fears.

THE PARTY LINE: No Slam ‘Debunk’: Analyzing the Dems’ Repetitive Impeach Text.

HOWIE CARR: Trump’s Only Crime Is Being Trump.

Forget the two “counts” against President Trump in the Senate trial that begins today, the reality is he is charged with only one crime.

He is accused of being Donald J. Trump.

For that high crime, the Democrats say, he must be removed from office.

The Democrat “House managers” are going to get 24 hours over the next two days to lay out their opening arguments, but how are they going to fill that time, considering that they’re not even accusing him of committing any crimes?

Certainly no actual felonies — you know, Bill Clinton stuff like obstruction of justice, perjury and subornlng perjury.

They just accuse him of being … Donald J. Trump.

For that they need 24 hours?

How are Schiff, Nadler, et al., going to fill those hours? Are they going to talk about how he puts ketchup on steaks? And then orders two scoops of ice cream for dessert?

Considering all the airtime they have to fill, maybe the Democrats can include a Greatest Hits compilation of all the other fake-news fantasies they’ve entertained over the last three years for getting rid of Trump:

Jill Stein’s recount (before Hillary was accused of being a Russian asset), faithless electors, emoluments clause, the 25th Amendment, Hillary’s fake dossier, the Russian hoax, firing crooked James Comey, senile Bob Mueller and his 19 angry Democrats, Michael Cohen, Michael Avenatti (pre-indictments), Stormy Daniels, Brett Kavanaugh frame-up, tax returns, loans guaranteed by Russian oligarchs … .

And now, the Ukraine hoax.

What are the high crimes and misdemeanors committed by Trump? Record high numbers of Americans working, the stock market at record highs. Favorable trade deals, ISIS destroyed, millions off welfare and food stamps.

They never feared Trump failing. They feared his success, and that’s unforgivable.

JOHN HINDERAKER: Why Are Bernie Bros So Violent? “I am starting to get the feeling that James Hodgkinson wasn’t a one-off. James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas has been conducting an undercover investigation of the Bernie Sanders campaign.”

SELECTIVE AMNESIA: Jay Sekulow Demolishes Schiff, Pelosi on Executive Privilege: Remember Eric Holder?

GARRETT EPPS IS VERY WRONG ABOUT THIS: Guns Are No Mere Symbol: Protesters gathered at the Virginia state capitol on Monday to exercise their First Amendment rights, but they did so in a way that took away the First Amendment rights of others.

That, in one sense, was what many of the protesters in Richmond Monday were doing—politics in the purest sense, as they registered their opposition to planned gun-control legislation pending before the Virginia legislature. That opposition was one they have every right to feel and to express. This was, at one level, pure democratic politics.

But note who was not in Capitol Square on Monday. The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence had also planned to assemble and petition for gun-control legislation—as it had done in peaceful competition with gun-rights groups in previous years. This year, because of the threats of armed violence surrounding the gun-rights march, that gun-control demonstration had to be canceled. The delegate from Manassas, Lee Carter, the South’s only socialist legislator, went into hiding because of death threats. Carter had not, in fact, sponsored an anti-gun measure, but gun-rights groups spread disinformation on the internet that he had done so; his life—and his ability to function as a legislator—was endangered.

One group’s politics canceled those of others, in other words. Self-government in a democratic society is supposed to follow a model of openness—different ideas and points of view compete in a “marketplace of ideas” for the support of the people and their representatives. That model doesn’t work when one side kills the other, or even threatens to.

If you conflate the threats of a few Internet loonies with the views of the entire opposing side in a debate — and this smear is central to Epps’ argument — then you can accuse anyone of using violence to undermine debate. If “that model doesn’t work when one side kills the other, or even threatens to” then that model never works, because there are always loonies — or even paid Bernie Sanders staffers — making those sorts of threats. It’s just when the threats come from the left they’re ignored rather than attributed to everyone else on their side of the ideological split.

And note that for all the scary talk of violence, there wasn’t any. Marching peacefully while armed is a statement not only that you are armed, but that you are peaceful. Is there any lefty group that could march on its enemies bearing deadly weapons and not engage in violence? Recent history suggests that the answer is no. (Much less clean up after themselves.)

If you start from the premise that your opponents are deranged killers whose mere presence paralyzes you with fear, you’re not standing up for “openness” and the marketplace of ideas, you’re engaged in a smear campaign.

Related: Antifa Infiltrator? Gun Rally Goers Turn on Protester Who Suggests Violence.

UPDATE: From Frank J. Fleming:

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