Another Dot on the ‘Hate Map’

Citizens of Powder Springs, Georgia, probably have no idea they are a dot on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s annual “Hate Map,” which was published this week and achieved its purpose, i.e., generating scary headlines: “Hate group count hits 20-year high amid rise in white supremacy, report says” (USA Today), “U.S. Hate Groups Rose 30 Percent In Recent Years, Watchdog Group Reports” (NPR), and “Trump ‘fear-mongering’ fuels rise of U.S. hate groups to record: watchdog” (Reuters). The journalists who supply the SPLC with this kind of free publicity seldom if ever bother to dig down into the details of these annual reports, so it’s unlikely that USA Today readers or NPR listeners in Powder Springs (center below) are aware that one of these “hate groups” has made their town a dot on the map.

Located in the prosperous Cobb County suburbs of Atlanta, Powder Springs has more than tripled its population in the 30-odd years since I worked there as a young newspaper reporter. However, I had no idea there was a “hate group” in Powder Springs until I clicked on the SPLC’s latest map and found that the town of 14,000 people is home to American Vision, a small 501(c)3 “Biblical Worldview Ministry” currently led by Dr. Joel McDurmon, author of such books as God Versus Socialism: A Biblical Critique of the New Social Gospel(2009) and Restoring America: One County at a Time (2012). A theologian by training, McDurmon’s views can perhaps be most easily summarized as Calvinist and libertarian, and the question is: Why is this Christian non-profit organization with an office in Powder Springs labeled an “Anti-LGBT Hate Group” by the SPLC?

“Merely because we have always stood by the Bible’s position on homosexuality,” McDurmon told me in a phone interview the day the latest “Hate Map” was published. Of course, there are many thousands of churches with millions of Bible-believing congregants in America that stand by the same position, but the SPLC can’t put every church on its “Hate Map,” so there’s a certain randomness to this designation. A couple of years ago, as part of an effort by the Left to defund conservative organizations, American Vision was denied services by various online payment processing companies citing the SPLC’s “Hate Group” label. As McDurmon explained in an article last fall, “Apparently, such left-leaning companies believe Christians should be forced to bake their homosexual wedding cakes, but they shouldn’t have to serve us.”

This tactic of “financial blacklisting,” as Allum Bokhari of Breitbart News calls it, has been targeted at a broad spectrum of conservative activist groups since President Trump’s election in 2016, and can be devastating in its impact. Fortunately for supporters of American Vision, its online donations page is back in operation and McDurmon says the group has “recovered 80 to 90 percent of our donor base” since it first got blacklisted by companies like Stripe and Amazon.

The increasing absurdity of the SPLC’s “hate group” designation has become obvious to conservatives in recent years. David Horowitz, the former New Left radical-turned-conservative, has called the SPLC “a $400 million dollar hate machine.” Any really serious journalist who bothered to research the SPLC’s operation could easily find articles with headlines like “Seven Reasons to Beware the Southern Poverty Law Center” (Carol Swain, American Thinker) and “The Southern Poverty Law Center has lost all credibility” (Marc Thiessen, Washington Post). In case a reporter is too lazy to do his own research, the “SPLC Exposed” website has collected a vast trove of reporting and commentary on the subject.

Nevertheless, the SPLC’s dots-on-a-map motif continues to be parroted by liberal journalists who share the group’s hatred of all things Republican. “The words and imagery coming out of the Trump administration and from Trump himself are heightening these fears,” the SPLC’s Heidi Beirich was quoted by Reuters as telling a conference call of reporters this week. “These images of foreign scary invaders threatening diseases, massive refugee caravans coming from the south. This is fear-mongering.”

Apparently, none of those reporters bothered to ask if the SPLC is itself engaged in “fear-mongering,” nor question whether residents of Powder Springs have any reason to fear the presence of a Calvinist theologian in their tranquil suburban community. McDurmon says it’s “ridiculous” to lump American Vision in with violent groups like the Klan, and of course none of his group’s supporters have perpetrated “hate crimes” against homosexuals or anyone else for that matter. McDurmon says of the SPLC’s methods that “they stretch the definition” of hate for the most obvious of reasons: “They do this to scare people to raise money.”

Whether through laziness or sympathy for the SPLC’s left-wing agenda, few journalists ever carefully scrutinize the list of U.S. “hate groups” that are allegedly now at an all-time high. For example, among the 17 “Anti-Immigrant Hate Groups” on the SPLC’s map are Pro English — because it’s “hate” to encourage Americans to learn the English language, apparently — and Americans for Legal Immigration (ALIPAC), whose president William Gheen has emphatically denounced the SPLC’s label. While “no evidence exists that anyone in our organization has ever engaged in racism, hate, or violence against minorities,” Gheen wrote in a 2014 letter to the SPLC, the “hate group” listing was “directly encouraging people to threaten violence against me and my family.”

The 100 “Anti-Muslim Hate Groups” listed by the SPLC include Jihad Watch— a blog run by Robert Spencer, author of a number of books on Islamic terrorism — as well as 47 separate listings for local affiliates of ACT for America, a group headed by Brigitte Gabriel, a Lebanese immigrant and author of the 2006 bestseller Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America. Whatever one thinks of Ms. Gabriel or her group, what purpose is served by depicting ACT for America not as one “hate group,” but 47? Obviously, the SPLC does this to pad its numbers — to inflate the “hate,” so to speak — and any intelligent person must doubt whether any actual menace to Muslims is posed by Ms. Gabriel’s admirers in towns like Oostburg, Wisconsin, or Cape Cod, Massachusetts, each of which has a dot on the SPLC’s map.

Becoming a dot on that map can be dangerous, as when a deranged gun-wielding homosexual named Floyd Lee Corkins attacked the D.C.-based Family Research Council (FRC) in 2012. The SPLC labels the FRC as an “anti-LGBT hate group,” and Corkins told police that this label inspired his terrorist attack. McDurmon acknowledges this danger: “There’s a lot of violent unstable people on the Left.” On the other hand, Cobb County is still a pretty conservative place, so it’s unlikely American Vision could become a target of left-wing violence.

Targets on the map are beginning to fight back against the SPLC’s smears in court (see “Lawsuit Challenges SPLC’s ‘Hate’ Label,” Feb. 8), but don’t expect American Vision to join the list of plaintiffs. McDurmon says that such litigation would be contrary to his political and religious convictions: “I don’t believe in making people slaves to the government.” Wow, what an extremist opinion! With a few more dots on the map like that, Americans might start believing they have a right to “the blessings of liberty,” as some old white guys once said.

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Author: Robert Stacy McCain

Andrew McCabe: Faux Hero of Our Times

The progressive mainstream media have declared former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to be a Hero of the Republic for having launched a counterintelligence investigation of President Trump after he fired FBI Director James Comey in May 2017. In interviews on CBS and NBC, McCabe has claimed that FBI officials under his supervision opened the probe because they believed that it was “possible” that Trump had acted on behalf of the Kremlin when he fired Comey.

On NBC’s Today Show, McCabe told Savannah Guthrie that the FBI “had information that led us to believe that there might be a threat to national security — in this case that the president himself might, in fact, be a threat to the United States’ national security.”

In keeping with the media consensus, the New York Times’ review of McCabe’s new book, The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump, begins with a worshipful description of McCabe’s picture on the back cover. “His hands are at his hips, gunslinger style. It’s as if he were a kind of High Plains sheriff who had stumbled upon an intolerable rodeo of villainy.” There is more, but you get the idea.

What has been so remarkable about the coverage and commentary is the astounding degree to which no one in the mainstream media has uttered a single word or asked a single question about McCabe’s demonstrable record of dishonesty and tenuous relationship with the truth. It’s as if the remarkably incurious — bordering on semi-comatose — mainstream media have developed mass amnesia when it comes to McCabe’s firing by the FBI after the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General had found that he had “lacked candor [i.e.,lied], including under oath, on multiple occasions in connection with describing his role in connection with a disclosure” to the Wall Street Journal regarding a story about the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server and his role in that investigation. The OIG concluded that McCabe had authorized the disclosure “through an anonymously sourced quote in the WSJ, recounting the content of a telephone conversation between him and a [Justice] Department official, [that] served only to advance McCabe’s personal interests and not the public interest, as required by FBI policy. We therefore found that his actions violated applicable FBI and Department policies and constituted misconduct.”

Following these findings, the FBI fired McCabe, and he was referred to the Justice Department for possible criminal prosecution for making false statements and false swearing. That’s some record of achievement for the High Plains sheriff who, we are told, stepped into the breach to save America from Trump, the Manchurian traitor.

So, since nobody else seems interested in McCabe’s background, let’s dip into the memory hole to fish out a few scraps that might help us better evaluate McCabe’s most recent self-aggrandizing yarn.

A good place to start is the campaign of his wife’s 2015 campaign for the Virginia State Senate. She had the support of then Democratic Virginia Governor and Clinton crony Terry McAuliffe. His political action committee and the state Democratic party gave McCabe’s wife’s campaign both financial and in-kind support in excess of $675,000. Not only was McAuliffe a close political ally of Bill and Hillary Clinton, his PAC, which generously supported McCabe’s wife, held a fundraiser in June 2015 at which Hillary herself was the featured speaker.

When his wife ran for office, McCabe was the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. He announced that he would not participate in his wife’s campaign and was instructed by the FBI’s general counsel and ethics compliance office to recuse himself from any corruption investigations of Virginia politicians. He was also told that his participation in any investigation that may present an actual, perceived, or potential conflict of interest must be reviewed by the Washington Field Office’s ethics officer.

Shortly thereafter, in July 2015, McCabe assumed the number three post at FBI headquarters. Then, in February 2016, he was promoted to Deputy Director answerable only to Director James Comey.

As these promotions took place, the FBI was conducting an investigation of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private, unsecured email server to conduct official business.

Clinton was being investigated for possible violations of a criminal statute that makes it a felony for anyone lawfully possessing information pertaining to the national defense to allow it, through “gross negligence,” to be removed from its proper place of custody and disclosed. In other words, under the statute, one need not intend to cause harm. As with a drunken driver who accidentally runs down a pedestrian, “gross negligence” alone was sufficient to warrant a felony charge.

As Deputy Director, McCabe supervised this investigation until close to the very end when, in late October 2016, he was at last excluded from further participation.

In July 2016, when he announced the results of the investigation, Comey made it clear that Clinton had repeatedly and over a period of years stored, sent, and received “very sensitive, highly classified information” on her unclassified, nongovernment email server. But although Comey conceded that Clinton was “extremely careless” in doing so, he nevertheless concluded that she should not be charged because there was no “clear evidence” that she “intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information.”

So it was that, confronted by an insurmountable mountain of proof of Clinton’s grossly negligent and therefore felonious mishandling of classified information, Comey raised an utterly irrelevant nonissue (lack of clear proof of intent) to give Clinton a pass.

But in September 2016, things hit a snag. The NYPD was investigating former Congressman Anthony Weiner, husband to Clinton assistant Huma Abedin, for sexual solicitation of minors over the internet. Unfortunately for Clinton and Comey, the NYPD seized Weiner’s laptop computer and discovered on it thousands of classified State Department emails and documents.

In late September 2016, the NYPD provided copies of those documents to FBI agents in New York City. As later reported in the Washington Post, those agents “wanted to know whether the emails in question might shed new light on the Clinton investigation, which had closed in July without any charges.”

According to the Post, although the New York FBI office alerted headquarters to the new email issue within days, “nothing much happened” for a period of three weeks. Some of the official sources for the story said they were “concerned that the issue seemed to die for a period of time at McCabe’s desk, without explanation.”

But finally, after the mysterious delay, the Clinton email investigation was reopened. And then, despite the great number of emails provided by the NYPD, the restarted FBI investigation was wrapped up in a matter of days. Clinton was exonerated for a second time in November 2016.

But, before that happened, Andrew McCabe’s world began to crash around him.

On October 23, 2016, the WSJ published online an article by reporter Devlin Barrett stating that Virginia Governor McAuliffe’s PAC and the Virginia Democratic Party (over which the article reported McAuliffe “exerts considerable control”) collectively donated nearly $675,000 to the 2015 unsuccessful state senate campaign of McCabe’s wife. The article described McAuliffe as “an influential Democrat with long-standing ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton” and noted that McCabe was an FBI official “who later helped oversee the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s email use.”

The article contained an official FBI statement that McCabe “played no role” in his wife’s 2015 state senate campaign and was promoted to FBI Deputy Director months after his wife’s defeat “where,… he assumed for the first time, an oversight role in the investigation into Secretary Clinton’s emails.” According to the article, FBI officials stated that McCabe’s supervision of the Clinton email case in 2016 did not present a conflict or ethics issues because his wife’s campaign was over by then. The article went on to note that when the Clinton email investigation was launched in July 2015, McCabe was “running the FBI’s Washington, D.C., field office, which provided personnel and resources to the Clinton email probe.”

According to the OIG’s report, “immediately following online publication of the article, there was substantial public discussion as to whether McCabe’s oversight of the Clinton E-mail Investigation had been appropriate in light of the information in the [WSJ] article.”

Then, on October 24, 2016, WSJ reporter Barrett emailed the FBI’s Assistant Director for Public Affairs (AD/OPA) “about a follow-up story that he was working on. In that e-mail, Barrett asked AD/OPA a number of questions about McCabe’s involvement in certain matters,” including another FBI investigation of the Clinton Foundation. “In particular,” states the OIG report, “Barrett’s e-mail said that he was told that: in the summer, McCabe himself gave some instruction as to how to proceed with the Clinton Foundation probe, given that it was the height of election season and the FBI did not want to make a lot of overt moves that could be seen as going after Clinton or drawing attention to the probe.”

Barrett’s e-mail asked the AD/OPA “[h]ow accurate are those descriptions? Anything else I should know?”

After conducting a meticulous and exhaustive investigation, the OIG later “found that, in late October 2016, McCabe had authorized Special FBI Counsel Lisa Page and the AD/OPA to discuss with Barrett issues related to the FBI’s Clinton Foundation investigation (‘CF Investigation’). In particular, the OIG found that McCabe had authorized Page and the AD/OPA to disclose to Barrett the contents of a telephone call that had occurred on August 12, 2016, between McCabe and the then-Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General (‘PADAG’) regarding the CF Investigation. Among the purposes of the disclosure was to rebut a narrative that had been developing following the story in the WSJ on October 23, 2016, that questioned McCabe’s impartiality in overseeing FBI investigations involving former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and claimed that McCabe had ordered the termination of the CF Investigation due to Department of Justice pressure. The McCabe-authorized disclosure to the WSJ effectively confirmed the existence of the CF Investigation, which Comey had previously refused to do in testimony before Congress. The account of the August 12 McCabe-PADAG call, and other information regarding the handling of the CF Investigation, was included in the October 30 WSJ article.”

According to the OIG, the information leaked at McCabe’s direction described him as pushing back in the August telephone call with the PADAG against Justice Department efforts to close down the CF Investigation. In short, the leak was calculated to portray McCabe in a favorable light as resisting political pressure to close the CF Investigation and standing up for the rule of law. By his own leaked account, he was purportedly the hero of the piece. Sound familiar?

This disclosure to the WSJ violated FBI policy which prohibits disclosure of ongoing investigations. The leak effectively confirmed that the FBI was investigating the Clinton Foundation and set off an internal investigation to find the leaker(s).

In that regard, the OIG found that, in a conversation with Comey shortly after the WSJ article was published, McCabe had “lacked candor [i.e., lied] when he told Comey, or made statements that led Comey to believe, that McCabe had not authorized the disclosure and did not know who did.”

The OIG also found that, on May 9, 2017, “when questioned under oath by FBI agents from INSD [the FBI’s Inspections Division],” McCabe had “lacked candor when he told the agents that he had not authorized the disclosure to the WSJ and did not know who did.”

The OIG also concluded that “on July 28, 2017, when questioned under oath by the OIG in a recorded interview, McCabe lacked candor when he stated: (a) that he was not aware of Special Counsel [Lisa Page] having been authorized to speak to reporters around October 30 and (b) that, because he was not in Washington, D.C., on October 27 and 28, 2016, he was unable to say where Special Counsel [Page] was or what she was doing at that time.”

The OIG “additionally found that on November 29, 2017, when questioned under oath by the OIG in a recorded interview during which he contradicted his prior statements by acknowledging that he had authorized the disclosure to the WSJ, McCabe lacked candor when he: (a) stated that he told Comey on October 31, 2016, that he had authorized the disclosure to the WSJ; (b) denied telling INSD agents on May 9 that he had not authorized the disclosure to the WSJ about the PADAG call; and (c) asserted that INSD’s questioning of him on May 9 about the October 30 WSJ article occurred at the end of an unrelated meeting when one of the INSD agents pulled him aside and asked him one or two questions about the article.”

Finally, the OIG “determined that as Deputy Director, McCabe was authorized to disclose the existence of the CF Investigation publicly if such a disclosure fell within the ‘public interest’ exception in applicable FBI and DOJ policies generally prohibiting such a disclosure of an ongoing investigation. However, [the OIG] concluded that McCabe’s decision to confirm the existence of the CF Investigation through an anonymously sourced quote, recounting the content of a phone call with a senior [Justice] Department official in a manner designed to advance his personal interests at the expense of Department leadership, was clearly not within the public interest exception. [The OIG] therefore concluded that McCabe’s disclosure of the existence of an ongoing investigation in this manner violated the FBI’s and the Department’s media policy and constituted misconduct.”

Given the OIG’s damning findings and the fact that McCabe was fired and is now under criminal investigation for allegedly lying both under oath and otherwise, you might think that the media would want to at least mention these issues before automatically crediting his claims about Trump. But, of course, they haven’t, and you shouldn’t hold your breath waiting for them to do so. After all, McCabe’s narrative fits their destroy-Trump-at-all-costs agenda.

Now, as noted, McCabe claims that Trump’s firing of Comey triggered the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation of the president. But the record facts establish that, even before the election in November 2016, the FBI and the Obama Justice Department were investigating the Trump campaign for possible ties to Russia. That investigation was based in substantial part on opposition research helpfully gathered and disseminated by the Clinton campaign. Former British spy and FBI informant Christopher Steele, while working for Fusion GPS which was working on behalf of the Clinton campaign, gathered salacious rumors and unsubstantiated information regarding Trump’s purported antics with Moscow prostitutes and other topics that supposedly would make him subject to Russian blackmail and control.

In addition to providing that unsubstantiated information to the FBI, Steele and Fusion GPS fed it to the media.

Compiled in the eponymous “Steele dossier,” this baseless Clinton campaign opposition research and the related leaked media stories were used by the FBI during the campaign to obtain a warrant and three renewals from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to retrieve the electronically intercepted communications of Trump campaign consultant Carter Page. These warrants continued through the campaign and extended after the election and encompassed not only Page’s communications but the identities and responding communications of all persons in contact with him.

And long before election day, the FBI tasked an informant to insinuate himself with Page as well as Trump campaign advisers Sam Clovis and George Papadopoulos. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, this “longtime U.S. intelligence source” for the FBI and CIA met separately with Page, Clovis, and Papadopoulos and “offered to help with the campaign.”

The informant offered Papadopoulos a $3,000 honorarium to write a research paper and a paid trip to London. When he met with Papadopoulos, the informant quizzed him about his possible knowledge of Clinton’s emails which had allegedly been hacked by the Russians.

Despite the informant’s best efforts and the extensive FISA surveillance, no proof of Russian collusion by Trump or his campaign has surfaced. But make no mistake. The FBI tried its best to link Trump to Russia but failed, and Trump won the election.

So it is that McCabe’s claim that the FBI didn’t begin investigating Trump until he fired Comey is demonstrably untrue. Comey and McCabe’s FBI investigated Trump during the campaign even as it was meretriciously and repeatedly clearing Hillary Clinton of criminal charges.

Moreover, after the election, McCabe did his part to undermine the new president by setting up Trump’s National Security Adviser, General Michael Flynn, for his fatal interview by Special Agent Peter Strzok. According to Joe diGenova, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, McCabe was on a conference call when Flynn’s indictment for lying to the FBI was announced. McCabe reportedly cheered.

All of this points to the conclusion that, contrary to McCabe’s claim, Trump wasn’t targeted by the FBI because he fired Comey. While that may have spurred McCabe and the FBI to intensify their efforts to get Trump and may make for a good cover story, those efforts started during the campaign.

McCabewould have us believe that he was just an honest, nonpartisan lawman alarmed by a threat to national security posed by Trump. In fact, under Comey and McCabe, the FBI was an active adjunct of the Clinton campaign and, after their candidate lost, they sought to undo the outcome of the election.

In February 2018, Joe diGenova summed it up best on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show. “It is clear that, at the time prior to the election and subsequent to the election, there were a group of people inside the FBI at the senior levels on the seventh floor [of FBI headquarters] who decided that they were going to protect Hillary Clinton…. they were going to exonerate Hillary and they were going to frame Donald Trump.”

That has been the real story from the very first. But don’t expect the mainstream media to breathe a word of it as they canonize Andrew McCabe, the Savior of America.

George Parry is a former federal and state prosecutor who practices law in Philadelphia. He is a regular contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer and blogs at knowledgeisgood.net. He may be reached by e-mail at kignet1@gmail.com.

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Author: George Parry

The Good News About the Botched Bureaucratic Coup

A lot of Americans are justifiably angry that disgraced FBI official Andrew McCabe is doing a book tour rather than a stretch in some federal penitentiary. He has committed perjury on multiple occasions, participated in an attempt to alter the outcome of a national election, and colluded with other rogue bureaucrats to remove a duly elected president from power. But there is a bright and shiny silver lining to this dingy cloud of deep state skullduggery — Donald Trump still resides in the White House while Hillary Clinton stumbles around her Chappaqua mansion in a muumuu hugging a fifth of Glenfiddich.

It is, of course, galling to watch a disreputable character like McCabe treated like Nathan Hale on 60 Minutes and generally feted by the Fourth Estate, but there is only one way it could have been avoided — the election of a criminal to the presidency. Think about this for a moment. If Hillary Clinton had been elected President, it is probable that few Americans would be able to identify Andrew McCabe. Even worse, the outrageous corruption that characterized his career and the crimes of his co-conspirators would have been covered up by her administration, with the enthusiastic assistance of the media.

In other words, enduring McCabe’s ephemeral celebrity is a small price to pay for avoiding the nightmare of a Clinton presidency. This piece is being written on what we now call “Presidents Day,” a national holiday that originated as a celebration of George Washington’s birthday.  It’s useful to recall a maxim used by Washington in a 1794 letter to a friend: “Truth will ultimately prevail where pain is taken to bring it to light.” The comments made on CBS’s Face the Nation by GOP Senator Lindsey Graham, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, suggest that pains will be taken to bring the truth to light:

“We’re going to find out what happened here and the only way I know to find out is to call the people in under oath and find out, through questioning, who’s telling the truth because the underlying accusation is beyond stunning,” he said, having earlier noted, “there’s an allegation by the acting FBI director at the time that the deputy attorney general was basically trying to do an administrative coup, take the president down through the twenty-fifth amendment process.”

Graham’s comments were prompted by McCabe’s claim, during a 60 Minutes interview, that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein raised the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment against the President shortly after FBI director James Comey was fired: “Discussion of the 25th amendment was simply Rod raised the issue and discussed it with me in the context of thinking about how many other cabinet officials might support such an effort.” McCabe is hardly a paragon of veracity, of course, but his claim is consistent with the congressional testimony of former Justice Department lawyer James Baker last fall:

I was being told by some combination of Andy McCabe and Lisa Page, that, in a conversation with the Deputy Attorney General, he had stated that he — this was what was related to me — that he had at least two members of the president’s Cabinet who were ready to support, I guess you would call it, an action under the 25th Amendment.… I had the impression that the deputy attorney general had already discussed this with two members in the president’s Cabinet.

Rosenstein promptly denied the claim as “inaccurate and factually incorrect,” but his statement is oddly Clintonesque. He never actually denies the accounts provided by McCabe or Baker. He never says that he didn’t discuss removing Trump via the 25th Amendment. Instead, he belabors the obvious: “As the Deputy Attorney General previously has stated, based on his personal dealings with the President, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment, nor was the DAG in a position to consider invoking the 25th Amendment.” This word salad studiously avoids any reference to whether he discussed it with anyone.

Rosenstein and McCabe have a history of mutual mistrust. The Washington Post reported last October that each urged the other to step aside from involvement in the Mueller investigation. McCabe said Rosenstein was compromised because he wrote the memo used by the Trump administration to justify Comey’s termination. Rosenstein believed that McCabe had a conflict of interest involving his wife’s Virginia state senate campaign, which was financed by Clinton bag man Terry McAuliffe. This is the pit of vipers William Barr must clean up during his second stint as the nation’s attorney general.

McCabe has long since been fired, of course, and Rosenstein is expected to leave now that Barr is taking over the DOJ. It’s obviously a good thing that we’ll have an honest man running the Department of Justice, supervising the moribund Mueller investigation, and removing what remains of the anti-Trump cabal. But what legal consequences will these people face? Former Congressman Jason Chaffetz writes that McCabe should go to jail. In a column for Fox News titled, “FBI’s Andrew McCabe should be on trial, not a book tour,” Chaffetz points out that McCabe knew all the rules and blithely disregarded them:

Andrew McCabe lied multiple times to federal investigators. That was the official finding in February 2018 of a scathing 39-page report by the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General. They found McCabe, then Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) “lacked candor” in answering questions about his authorization of disclosures in the Hillary Clinton email investigation. The referral for further action went to the DOJ.

Instead of doing time, however, McCabe is on a media tour masquerading as a martyr. And the Washington Post just ran an op-ed by his wife in which she also portrays her husband (and herself) as Trump victims. Meanwhile their co-conspirators, John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, Bruce Ohr, Peter Strzok, et al. have suffered minimal consequences for their misdeeds and some have leveraged their perfidy into lucrative book deals and cushy gigs as talking heads. And when Senator Graham calls McCabe and Rosenstein before the Judiciary Committee, it is probable that both will lie to Congress again.

If this can be proven, they could face jail time and large fines, but few have actually faced that fate. And, while the deep state plot to depose a sitting president using the 25th Amendment seems pretty treasonous, the legal definition of treason in our country is narrow. But here’s the thing — none of these deep state Lilliputians have laid a glove on Trump. Moreover, unlike previous residents of the White House, Trump hasn’t allowed partisan attacks to distract him from his mission. His list of accomplishments continues to grow. And at the top of the list is the absence of Hillary Clinton in the Oval Office. This is good news.

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Author: David Catron

Ex-FBI Deputy Director Has History of Misleading Statements

Washington

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe will be on 60 Minutes Sunday night, and you can expect to see stories on him and his new book for days. You can also expect McCabe to portray himself as an upright lawman who stood up to President Donald Trump out of fear that the Russians may have helped carry Trump all the way to the White House.

There is one thing you should know about McCabe.

The Department of Justice inspector general found that McCabe was involved in an unauthorized leak and that he misled federal investigators who questioned him about it. The IG report doesn’t say that McCabe lied to the feds but concludes he engaged in a “lack of candor under oath.”

That’s why former Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe.

While Trump had been pushing for McCabe’s exit, FBI disciplinary officials recommended he be canned.

Remember that as you watch McCabe assert that he became a target because he called for the obstruction of justice investigation after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.

“That’s obviously the problem he has as he’s doing his book tour and describing various situations with the president,” said Gregory A. Brower, Nevada’s former U.S. attorney and a former FBI congressional liaison who worked with McCabe.

McCabe’s interview with 60 Minutes comes ahead of the release next week of his memoir, The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump.

At the time of his own firing, McCabe said in a statement, “I am being singled out and treated this way because of the role I played, the actions I took and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of James Comey.”

Trump first set his sights on McCabe because the FBI deputy director oversaw the FBI probe into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server, despite what Trump saw as a conflict of interest.

(McCabe’s wife, Jill McCabe, ran for the Virginia state Senate in 2015. She lost, but a PAC run by the Virginia Democratic Party and then-Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a supersize figure in Clinton’s world, gave her campaign hundreds of thousands of dollars. When the FBI began the investigation into the Clinton emails, McCabe did not recuse himself because the campaign was in the past and he was not involved in it. On Nov. 1, 2016, after the Wall Street Journal reported on McCabe’s role, he recused himself from the Clinton probe.)

As the Wall Street Journal started looking into McCabe’s role, he decided to leak information about a Justice Department higher-up having pushed him to back off on the Clinton probe because it was happening close to the 2016 election. Like so many leakers, McCabe was behind a leak that made him look good.

And when federal investigators started to probe the leak, McCabe told them a lot of information seemed to be coming out of the New York FBI office, according to the IG report.

The report also cited two New York FBI officials who said McCabe admonished them for the leaks. One wrote that McCabe told him there would be “consequences” if New York didn’t get to the bottom of it, and sent the message “Need leaks to stop. Damaging to org.”

When officials with the FBI Inspection Division questioned McCabe, they saw him as the “victim” of the leak and sent him a statement that stipulated he didn’t know the source of the Wall Street Journal leak or authorize anyone to share information with the paper. He didn’t sign.

Later, after McCabe decided to set the record straight and admit he was the source, an agent testified that he told McCabe: “Sir, you understand that we put a lot of work into this based on what you told us. I mean, and I even said, long nights and weekends working on this, trying to find out who amongst your ranks of trusted people would, would do something like that.”

McCabe said he was sorry but there was a lot going on at the time. Because there’s not much of a problem with federal investigators making innocent people nervous, is there?

On 60 Minutes, McCabe will talk about meetings at which Department of Justice officials discussed whether there were enough officials — the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet — to remove Trump under the 25th Amendment, as if they have authority to stage a coup of sorts.

Clearly miffed, Trump retaliated on Twitter Thursday, calling McCabe “A big part of the Crooked Hillary Scandal & Russia Hoax — a puppet for Leakin’ James Comey.”

Brower objects to the way Trump talks about the FBI probe as stacked against him. If there were conversations about the 25th Amendment, he added, “Obviously nothing ever happened.”

Got it. But when you see McCabe on television talking about his fears about Russia having gotten Trump into the Oval Office, remember that the inspector general concluded that he misled federal authorities — and he was so good at it; they believed him.

Contact Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@reviewjournal.com or 202-662-7391. Follow @DebraJSaunders on Twitter.

COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM

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Author: Debra J. Saunders

Bitter, Partisan Liar Writes a Book

Like a con proud of his crime, Andrew McCabe cannot help himself from boasting of his misdeeds.

The disgraced former acting head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, bereft of his government pension, seeks to make a buck through a tiresome, tell-some book at the expense of the man who pushed for his firing. Therein, the unelected bureaucrat boasts of plotting to overturn the will of the American people.

The text messages between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, two key members of McCabe’s cabal, indicate that this plot preceded the actual election. “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way he gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk,” Strozk wrote Page about a conversation regarding the Republican candidate in McCabe’s office. “It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”

That insurance policy involved the FBI repackaging opposition research from the Clinton campaign, compiled by a longtime agent of a foreign government, as an “intelligence dossier” that ironically charged collusion between a presidential campaign and a foreign entity. It continued with the FBI obtaining Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrants, obscuring the fact that the Clinton campaign paid for the information used to secure the warrants, to electronically surveil members of the Trump team in a banana-republic scheme so glaringly illegal that it required a cover-up, whose ends each subsequent investigation served.

Shortly after Trump fired James Comey, for instance, his successor McCabe ordered a grasping-at-straws obstruction of justice investigation of the president, as though the FBI director enjoyed tenure rather than worked at the behest of the elected leader of the executive branch. A week thereafter, McCabe prevailed upon Rod Rosenstein to appoint Robert Mueller as special counsel. McCabe writes in his book that appointing a special counsel to investigate Russian collusion in the 2016 election “felt like crossing a finish line. If I got nothing else done as acting director, I had done the one thing I needed to do.”

He needed to do it not because Trump colluded with a foreign power to become president — Mueller, after almost two years, shares zero evidence of this — but because McCabe and his colleagues repeatedly ignored the law in their attempt to rig the election against the Republican nominee. They needed to justify their criminal behavior.

Most disturbingly, Scott Pelley of 60 Minutes reports that McCabe schemed to induce the invocation of the 25th Amendment, as though the man duly elected president somehow lacked his faculties because he disagreed politically with Andy McCabe (he also questions Jeff Sessions, the man who actually fired McCabe with Trump’s support, “mental faculties,” in the words of Washington Post reviewers).

None dare call it a coup. But in each step, the intelligence apparatus called an end-around on democracy. The “insurance policy” involved the government using the apparatus of the state to spy on the opposition party. It attempted to criminalize the legitimate constitutional powers of the president in firing politically appointed underlings who serve at the behest of the chief executive. It sought to pervert the intent of the 25th Amendment through a far-flung scheme to roust Trump from his office ostensibly because of an incapacitated state.

McCabe did this for the same reasons that 60 Minutes uncritically questioned him. He hates Donald Trump. People who loathe Trump believe the ends justify the means, that anything done to thwart Trump works on the side of the angels. If the Bush Administration spied on Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, if FBI agents launched a criminal investigation against Obama because he exercised his powers in firing one of their number, if unelected bureaucrats plotted to invoke the 25th Amendment on the 44th president, would Scott Pelley have been so fawning toward the architect of all this?

McCabe, a political actor, should have overseen neither the investigations into Hillary Clinton’s emails nor Donald Trump’s “collusion” with the Russians. Terry McAuliffe, as Virginia’s governor, recruited McCabe’s wife, Jill, to run for state senate. He donated $467,500 from his political action committee and other money into her coffers. In January 2016, the Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz began investigating a conflict of interest involving McCabe’s failure to disclose donations to his wife from arguably the closest political ally of Bill and Hillary Clinton. And if Sunday’s 60 Minutes interview does not convince that McCabe despised the president, keep watching the disgraced official’s televised book tour.

James Comey, Rod Rosenstein, Michael Horowitz, and Donald Trump all challenge McCabe’s version of truth regarding various events. CBS News, strangely, laps it all up.

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Author: Daniel J. Flynn

Innovative Treatments May Require Equally Innovative Health Care Payment Models

What Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare-for-all,” former President Obama’s Affordable Care Act and former House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Medicare “premium support” model all have in common is an overemphasis on health insurance coverage — who needs it, who is eligible for it, at what level and who should pay for it (private sector vs. state governments vs. federal government).

Yet insurance coverage and health care are two different things. A focus on the first one has resulted in an endless debate over which third party pays for people’s health care bills. Whether your preference is the government or private insurers, both end up creating massive distortions and moral hazards, which then results in higher costs and poorer-quality health care.

My colleague Dr. Robert Graboyes encourages us to instead think about how to produce better health (not health insurance — not even health care) for more people at a lower cost, year after year. This requires allowing and fostering the kind of revolutionary innovation in the health care industry that we’ve seen in other fields, like information technology. It requires allowing consumers to choose treatments, even high-risk ones. But it also requires innovation in the provision and payment of health care.

For instance, advancements in gene therapy and personalized treatments could one day offer a cure for cancer or disorders currently considered incurable, sometimes with only a single injection. In 2017, the Food and Drug Administration approved its first gene therapy treatment, Kymriah, for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The FDA expects 10 to 20 cell and gene therapy approvals annually by 2025.

Kymriah is a marvel of modern science that reengineers a person’s cells so that they attack cancer cells, but a one-time treatment for children costs an eye-popping $475,000. When considered against the costs of a lifetime of treatments, even a very expensive cure can be a bargain, though the exact savings are difficult to calculate because they’re spread between patients, providers, insurers, and governments. That, along with a high upfront cost, poses a challenge within the standard fee-for-service payment model.

This is where the need to allow innovation beyond the development of new treatments is apparent. Enabling sufficient experimentation for this process to deliver its full (and difficult-to-measure) potential in new delivery and payment systems is key.

For instance, some providers and insurers may want to experiment with outcomes-based pricing. Agreements between manufacturers and payers could allow prices to adjust according to the outcome as measured by a variety of possible health metrics. A treatment that fails to work within a certain time could result in no payment owed.

Such agreements already exist, but government regulations and requirements prevent a larger number of people potentially interested in experimenting with them to even try. Some manufacturers are required to offer Medicaid the “best,” or lowest, price that they negotiate with any other buyer. However, in an outcomes-based system, the lowest price could be $0. Medicaid rules would force all payments down to $0, which is obviously untenable.

Even anti-corruption efforts pose a problem. The Anti-Kickback Statute seeks to prevent exchanges of value between manufacturers and other parties that might influence drug purchases, but it doesn’t allow for payment models that rely on measures of value instead of volume. As Duke University researchers explain, an “arrangement between a device manufacturer and a provider wherein the manufacturer would agree to reimburse the provider’s costs associated with hospitalization (or other medical services) resulting from a defective device… implicates the AKS because OIG” — the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General — “considers the reimbursement of potential ancillary costs to be ‘remuneration’ that can influence providers to purchase the device.”

Outcome-based payment models aren’t likely to be a panacea for a vast and complicated health care system. Innovators, however, can come up with new delivery and payment systems to meet the industry’s need. As more gene therapy and other high-cost one-shot treatments are developed, finding creative ways to make them accessible to the public could prove for many to be the difference between life and death.

Laws and regulations designed for the health care system of the past need to be updated and flexible enough to deliver emerging treatments to consumers. Politicians should ideally reduce the government’s role in the health care market overall so that as-yet-unknown innovations are not similarly constrained in the future. Succeeding in that endeavor would make the need for health coverage much less important.

Veronique de Rugy is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. To find out more about Veronique de Rugy and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM

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Author: Veronique de Rugy

If Only Trump Had Known What He Did Not Yet Know About D.C.

Even President Trump’s supporters do not fully realize the job he has done. As I have written in the past, during the course of a wonderful rabbinic career that has given me so much personal satisfaction and fulfillment and that hopefully has touched the lives of my flocks, I once endured the Twilight Zone interlude of being rabbi of one of the worst Nightmare Congregations in America. (Two of my dearest friends, both Christian pastors, have enlightened me that the experience was not unique, and both pointed me to an extraordinary book, Clergy Killers, that lays out the despicable phenomenon of Houses of G-d of all faiths where outlier ego-driven laity can destroy spiritual harmony as they superimpose their personal social pathologies on everyone in their church, temple, or synagogue.) During that brief thirty-month journey in the Twilight Zone, there was a coterie of only a dozen jerks out to sabotage my every effort despite the warm support and even deep love I enjoyed among the vast majority of that congregation of 250 or so people. But the jerks comprised the inner circle, the “Board of Directors,” comprised of some wonderful people out-shouted by determined ego-driven laity who knew so very little about conducting a religious community but a great deal about internal political manipulations and striving for crumbs of vainglory.

I recount this brief nightmare — and thank G-d Almig-ty it was only a passing phase, a blip in a pulpit career of more than a quarter century — because I therefore appreciate more deeply from that personal experience what President Trump has accomplished against all odds. As a rabbi, I constantly was being harassed by the Gang of Miscreants who were determined to stop my every religious and spiritual initiative. I tried to bring in a marvelous young married couple as Youth Directors, and the Board produced a false budget that showed we could not afford it. Inasmuch as I had spent more than a decade as a trained high-stakes civil litigation attorney, I had more experience than do most rabbis in analyzing a complex budget. It took me days to pierce through the errors and to educate enough sympathetic Board members so that we indeed hired that couple — with plenty of money to spare — but there was grief to endure. There was the case of the person who had harassed two women, but who was very well inter-connected with the powers in charge, and I had to decide whether I make the issue of his removal a central crusade of my rabbinate. I did make it so, and I won, but it came at a severe personal cost that I still never have regretted. If a rabbi will not stand for zero tolerance, who will? There was the case of the Board officer who entered my office and, in my presence, viciously swiped his arm across my desk and sent everything flying: my stacks of papers, my business cards, my holy books. Indeed, each and every sabotage, each and every effort to provoke me, disrupted my longer-term programs. I still accomplished many of my goals, and sixty of the 150 congregational households followed me when I departed from that place and started a new shul, but I often had to delay programs, reduce projects, reorient my schedule, even reschedule important pastoral-care sessions to deal with the daily attacks, investigations, and other harassments. During those years, I uncharacteristically did very little outside writing because something had to give time-wise.

I am going to assume, dollars to donuts, that several of this column’s readers have encountered something similar. Not necessarily at a church or temple, but maybe at a law firm or an accounting firm, a medical department at a hospital, a standard office setting. The internecine petty sabotage of office politics where mediocrities who never achieve anything great choose to live to sabotage those who surpass them. These are the themes of so many of Ayn Rand’s greatest novels:The FountainheadAtlas ShruggedWe the Living — where mediocrities who themselves never could build, design, or even conceptualize a great edifice devote their efforts to tearing down a great architect, where incompetents who cannot run a railroad or a steel mill do all they can to sabotage the successes and achievements of those who can.

This is what President Trump has been dealing with from the day he walked into the Presidency. The Mediacracy’s mediocrities set out to destroy him from Day One. The lies began immediately: He is an anti-Semite. Lie. He took a bust of Rev. Dr. King out of the oval office. Lie. He is a White supremacist. Lie.

No sooner was he at work than the hordes descended on his spokesman, Sean Spicer. Later they would throw the next spokesperson and her family out of a restaurant. And that evil Mueller Inquisition. One of these days, between tomorrow and the end of Mr. Trump’s second term in six years, we will see that Mr. Trump did not collude with Putin, but that Inquisition has taken so much air out of his every day. The President does not lay it out for us, but he surely needs to meet with his lawyers, deal with strategy over whether to give a deposition (Don’t You Dare, Mr. President!), review a gazillion documents. He has to watch friends and supporters get harassed with midnight SWAT raids, thrown into prison over nonsense because every single human being can accidentally have an innocent memory lapse or misstate a fact when subjected to hours of trick questions.

Frankly, I don’t know how he has achieved so much so fast. ISIS was spreading into a caliphate, and he finished them. North Korea was launching ballistic missiles, and he stopped it, even getting the Doughboy to return the remains of American heroes who had fallen there half a century earlier. He got back that pastor from Turkey. He has imposed brutal sanctions on Putin and started arming Ukraine after Obama kowtowed to Putin and ended our promised missile defenses that we were supposed to provide Poland and the Czech Republic. He ended our insane cash flow to terrorists of the Palestine Authority, which was using your and my millions to finance the families of convicted murderers, bombers, and other terrorists while producing schoolbooks that teach eternal hate to children. He turned America from an energy net-importing country to net-exporting country. He reversed the stagnancy of the Obama Wasted Decade’s dead economy and made it robust. The tax cuts. Manufacturing in the Rust Belt that was deemed hopelessly dead has revived. Our aluminum and steel industries are back. Veterans have new medical choices for care. The Obamacare tax penalty is dead. An unprecedented rush of new conservative federal judges have assumed their lifetime bench appointments in the federal district and appellate circuit courts, with another 54 now nominated and proceeding through The Resistance. He has wiped out scores of Obama regulations that stagnated the economy and our lives, even as he got us out of the Obama Iran Giveaway, the Paris Climate Accord that imposed on America but not on China, India, or anyone else. He got us out of the TPP and renegotiated the disastrous NAFTA. And oh how valiantly he has fought to prop up our southern border and to stop the flow of opioids, human trafficking, and gang thugs and terrorists.

Through all this he has had to deal with The Resistance, false charges of Russian collusion from people who themselves colluded with Russians, an Obama-and-Clinton stacked Ninth Circuit court of appeals, a murder of crows at CBS, NBC, ABC, MSNBC, CNN, the NYT, and WaPo that will not give him a chance. They attack everything he does, everything he says. One week they make an Omarosa their hero. The next week Avenatti — until he gets charged with battering a woman. The pole dancer whose main legal accomplishment so far has been to lose lawsuits against the President and get stuck with paying the President’s attorneys’ fees in the six figures. One week it is a Michael Cohen who, when not giving the media the anti-Trump quotes that make them salivate, is being imprisoned for one crime or another, with a rap sheet that goes to taxi medallions. Another week a lie that the President suborned perjury. Meanwhile, every time he gets a physical exam that results in a doctor innocently announcing that the President is in good health, the same Mediacracy mediocrities set about to destroy the doctor. Abort them!

It is amazing that this President has achieved so much so soon. I know from my Twilight Zone congregation of thirty months what it was like trying to get a job done when mediocrities set up daily obstacles, investigations, and demanded endless reports. But that is “small potatoes” compared to turning around the United States and the course of our country’s history. It is amazing that he has achieved so much.

They mock his wife. Go ahead and mock an African-American accent the way that Jimmy Kimmel has done in blackface. Go ahead and mock a Hispanic accent, as once was permitted in the days of Dick Tracy and Go-Go Gomez, or Bill Dana and Jose Jimenez, or The Frito Bandito. You can’t do that anymore — and, OK, fine. Let us indeed be copacetic with respecting cultures and accents. But Chelsea Handler may mock Melania Trump’s accent, even though Melania is twenty times smarter than a Chelsea Handler and speaks more languages than Handler even knows exist. Then they analyze Melania’s clothes, and they publish page-one stories about every outfit’s “hidden message” — invariably that she is about to ask for a divorce. Or where is she? Why is she hiding? They hound her; who can blame her for staying out of their glare for a few days or weeks? Let her recuperate from surgery. So then they go after his son. Then after his daughter, then after his son-in-law. They even go after the tall-but-still little kid when poor Barron falls asleep or closes his eyes. They write that he is autistic. Who goes after kids like that in a civil society? They are vicious.

Let us be forthright: Here is the President’s one flaw, and Chris Christie has been spot-on, though self-serving, through his book tour. Donald Trump came to Washington. D.C. too cockamamie-sure that he knows everything about everything and therefore can navigate anything on his own. He took on a chief of staff and a press spokesman blithely because, oh, may as well. He picked cabinet members based on considerations — and I do get it — as to what would satisfy the Mediacracy wolves’ thirst for blood. So he owed Jeff Sessions eternal gratitude — he really did — for being the only United States Senator to back him during the rough-and-tumble GOP primaries, and made him his Attorney General. He put Rex Tillerson in charge of State because Tillerson had carved a phenomenal career in dealing effectively with the Russians including Putin on energy issues. He put Mad Dog in charge of defense because the name sounded good, and Gen. Mattis seemed the guy. In all these, Mr. Trump failed to appreciate that, no, you cannot be maximally effective as President without help you can count on — help that is the best of the best, and that is the most loyal of the loyal, and people who share precisely your vision, not aiming to advance their own.

His great mistake was that — quite the opposite of his public persona — he was too nice a guy, too willing to make others happy and play to others’ expectations. So he put faith in Paul Ryan to be an improvement over John Boehner, and that was a mistake. He brought in Reince Priebus, a wonderful guy, and Sean Spicer — but those jobs were above their pay grades; he should have begun with Gen. John Kelly. Omarosa should have been made his Secretary of TV Shows and stationed in Bosnia. Mike Pompeo should have been his Secretary of State from Day One. John Bolton belonged on the inside from the outset. Nikki Haley proved a shockingly great United Nations ambassador, but he blew it with the A-G. It should have been Chris Christie, or the ever-tongue-slipping Rudy Giuliani, Joe diGenova, or even the best we have had in years, Michael Mukasey. That one last botch — picking the wrong Attorney-General — will be recorded in history as his worst mistake. It doomed so much of his first term. Look how great Eric Holder was for Obama, followed equally by Loretta Lynch. Each knew how an A-G with guts and fortitude, bold and brash, fast and furious, on the tarmac and off the tarmac, can make or break so much of a President’s agenda. Indeed, that is why John Kennedy decided that “Gee, nepotism may look bad, but I want my brother in that role.”

Donald Trump came in with no prior legislative experience. If he had known then what he finally has learned now, he would have shoved that border wall down Ryan’s throat, and he would have gotten it. If he had had the right A-G, he would have crafted his entry ban a bit more cleverly, and each of his subsequent Ninth Circuit debacles would have been more elegantly situated for Supreme Court review. Indeed, if he had me— and I am utterly not qualified, nor would I want it because I like being a rabbi and law professor, and I hate participatory politics — but if he had had even me, I would have advised him that, every single time he issues a new Executive Order, he should counter-intuitively have the pro-Trump Texas or Louisiana Attorney General race immediately to the Fifth Circuit to attack him and his Executive Order… so that the first court that rules with a national injunction would be the pro-Trump, pro-conservative Fifth Circuit. Race to the Fifth before the Left gets to the Ninth. That would have changed the whole dynamic on everything from the Keystone XL Pipeline to the various issues on the southern border.

We now enter the era of the Democrat House investigations. They want his taxes? Well, America wants Adam Schiff’s taxes. And Nancy Pelosi’s taxes. And the taxes not only of Dianne Feinstein and Maxine Waters but also of their husbands who have become very, very rich. Schiff and the other Democrat House committees are going to demand for the next two years. That is not “oversight.” We all have been employed or have employed others — or both. Oversight is when an overseer assures that the underling is coming to work on time, not stealing from the petty cash, doing an honest day’s work for an honest day’s dollar, not dawdling all day playing solitaire on the computer or scaring off the customers or disconnecting phone callers. That is oversight. By contrast, oversight is not persecuting someone — demanding his taxes, his kids’ taxes, trying to drive him crazy and tie him up with sabotage all day every day to prevent him from getting his work done.

As these next two years unfold, I hope that gutless GOP Senate committees, if only to save their own hides, start subpoenaing every Clinton thing they can think of: Clinton Foundation, Clinton speaking fees and secret speeches, back to Benghazi, back to the 33,000 yoga and wedding-dress emails. Investigate who lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee during the Kavanaugh hearings and make them roommates with Manafort and Cohen. Get Lois Lerner back; we miss her. Investigate Comey and all his crew: Macabre McCabe, Strzok, Page. Investigate that Obama CIA director, John Brennan, who voted for Gus Hall, the Communist candidate for President. (Did we actually just have a CIA director who had voted for a pro-Soviet Communist President of America? And that guy is accusing others of treason and collusion with the Russians?) And, taking a cue from Mueller, just name a Special Investigator to investigate “the Clintons” — with the proviso that he or she is authorized to follow the trail wherever it leads. It will lead everywhere.

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Author: Dov Fischer

The Banal Evil of Isis Davis-Marks

Mama’s don’t let your babies grow up to be Yalies. They’re the worst. And, as it turns out, evil. Isis Davis-Marks, a staff columnist for the Yale Daily News wrote a piece titled, “Evil is banal.” Indeed. Ms. Davis-Marks then proceeded to unintentionally illustrate that fact.

Her first sentence is a tip-off, “Everyone knows a white boy with shiny brown hair and a saccharine smile that conceals his great ambitions.” The word “saccharine” is used multiple times throughout her piece. There is no such thing a sweet smile from a white boy.

She fleshes out her argument:

When I’m watching the white boy — who is now a white man by this point — on CNN, I’ll remember a racist remark that he said, an unintentional utterance that he made when he had one drink too many at a frat party during sophomore year. I’ll recall a message that he accidentally left open on a computer when he forgot to log out of iMessage, where he likened a woman’s body to a particularly large animal. I’ll kick myself for forgetting to screenshot the evidence.

And, when I’m watching him smile that smile, I’ll think that I could have stopped it.

She wonders at the solution to stop this evil and comes to this conclusion:

To be honest, I’m not sure what the solution is. This expands beyond vocalizing problems about sexual assault: The core of this problem has to do with our values. The problem isn’t just the Yale administration; it’s Yale students. We allow things to skate by. We forget. We say, “No, he couldn’t have done that,” or, “But he’s so nice.” No questions are asked when our friends accept job offers from companies that manufacture weapons or contribute to gentrification in cities. We merely smile at them and wave as we walk across our residential college courtyards and do nothing. Thirty years later, we kick ourselves when it’s too late.

But I can’t do that anymore — I can’t let things slip by. I’m watching you, white boy. And this time, I’m taking the screenshot. [Emphasis added.]

It’s worthwhile to note her standards here.

  1. Judge someone based on his skin color.
  2. Judge the whole group based on the individual.
  3. Note any “offense” – this seems broad as offenses change.
  4. Ruin the reputation of said “evil” white boy in real-time if possible “boldly and publicly”.
  5. Hold onto evidence of “evil” for the white boy’s later success.
  6. Ruin the “white boy” at some later date with screenshots.

In other words, good people like Isis gather information against their peers and use it to ruin them, based on their race and gender, later.

Isis demonstrates the banality of evil. She shows how facile it is to make blatant racist statements. She illustrates the absurdity of her own argument.

Would anyone trust someone so misandrist, sexist, and racist to judge anyone or anything? And who gets to define what’s offensive?

There’s a reason we have the legal system we have, with a presumption of innocence and a jury of our peers. This Yale senior wants to be judge and jury against a group she despises – white men.

One could argue that being a Yale senior is privileged and that to utterly destroy someone and to have innate credibility due to the color of one’s skin and gender is also privileged. But that’s not how this very privileged young woman sees it. She sees the white boy/man as the “other”. She is what she claims to hate.

Heaven help us from the banal evil of people like Isis.

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Author: Melissa Mackenzie

The Whole Lot of Them Are Bat-Crazy

If you have been walking quietly through the week, keeping this thought to yourself because you dare not express it to your clients, patients, customers, kids in northeast liberal-arts colleges’ social-sciences programs, or your coworkers, here is your validation: Yes, indeed — the whole lot of them are absolutely bat crazy. Smile at them as Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic wisely did. But know quietly that you are correct in your political assessment, which — go figure! — makes you politically correct! They all are crazy.

I. Women in White Straitjackets

My first question:Who paid for the straitjackets? Did you and I get stuck paying for that one, too?

The various and sundry (and, after their recent Democrat Hawaii and Puerto Rico junkets, sun-dried) Democrat Congresswomen all showed up to the President’s State of the Union (SOTU) address wearing matching custom-tailored white straitjackets. Each outfit surely cost more than one or two thousand dollars, for custom fitting and professional tailoring. A D.C. hack would not accept anything less with your money. With some 90 Democrat women in Congress, they cost between $45,000 and $200,000 plus tax. Who paid? Yes, socialism is great until you run out of other people’s money. Will those outfits soon be donated to Christian charities and to Jewish Gemachs for the poor to be clothed? Don’t hold your breaths.

The President’s speech was great. The common echo of the Left, the Mediacracy, the Never Trumpers is that he should be “Presidential.” Well, he was spot-on perfect at the SOTU. No invective or cheap shots. A good sport, smiling as the Democrat women narcissistically cheered themselves during his announcement that many more women now have jobs. He announced that African Americans enjoy their lowest unemployment ever recorded in history. For that they did not cheer and hate his success. They want Blacks unemployed so they can call Trump racist and blame him for their economic malaise. But the horrible years for African Americans were the Wasted Obama Decade when employment was depressed while cities like Baltimore (Freddie Gray — all accused police acquitted) and Ferguson (Michael Brown — never did “Hands Up”; police officer not even indicted) were ablaze. So they sat on their hands when the President announced the successes of Black America, of Hispanic Americans and their lowest-ever unemployment numbers. Then he mentioned women — and suddenly they stopped complimenting each other’s new outfits and all stood up and started celebrating themselves by clapping like seals.

It was a brilliantly crafted address that highlighted the enormous achievements of the Trump Administration’s first two years on all fronts — the economy, national defense, energy, trade, foreign relations, Veterans’ affairs, manufacturing, taxes, farms, education — all without the braggadocio that annoys critics. None of his elegance or eloquence did him any good with the usual gang of critics who reign dominant over the Mediacracy. One by one, often having prepared their criticisms before he even spoke, they blasted away at him like the phony “fact checkers” who call him a liar when he condemns open borders that cause one in three women to get attacked; the idiot fact-checker responded that the actual number is not one-third (33.33 percent) but 31 percent. Jerk.

One still recalls Obama glaring at Supreme Court justices, insulting them during his SOTU. Many of the justices never attended another Obama SOTU. It was great seeing Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh in attendance this year, along with Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kagan. Class. We also got a sneak preview of what that row looks like without Ginsburg. Nice.

Van Jones, who really is a very deeply plagued person who sees racism and White privilege in every spoonful of Cocoa Krispies in milk, in every appearance of black ink printed on a white piece of paper, called the President psychotic. Have you ever walked down a Manhattan or Los Angeles street and been called a “filthy slob” by a homeless person on the curb who has not bathed since the invention of indoor plumbing? That is how to receive a Van Jones insult. Sick.

In his SOTU address, the President showed deep compassion for African Americans, for Hispanic Americans, for women — for all the groups that the liars and real haters allege he disdains. All the haters who accuse this President falsely of racism and anti-Semitism and Islamophobia and all are self-serving liars who themselves view every person with bigotry, identifying each by gender, race, sexual preference, religion. That is what their Identity Politics is all about: “Vote for me because I am your Identity, too, or will try to change myself to be.” Stacey Abrams was the perfect Democrat counterpoint: not Caucasian, not male, and still whining about losing. The Loser as counterfoil to Make America Great Again.

II. Virginia is for Lovers — of Infanticide and Hypocrisy.

Can you keep up with what is going on in Virginia? As of this writing, I am the only person in the United States still qualified to hold office in Virginia. I just checked my yeshiva high school yearbook, and I can confirm:

A. No blackface:

(i) We all were White, except for Jimmy the Custodian.

(ii) In our all-boys yeshiva high school, it was Jimmy who taught us about girls, so we respected him deeply.

(iii) Jimmy taught us all the dirty words that people speak, so he prepared us for college and for watching television and movies.

(iv) Whenever Jimmy would enter a classroom, he would shift from the demeanor we knew in the lunchroom and would become deeply respectful to the rabbi teaching class as he entered to attend to a custodial matter, always prompting the rabbis to lecture us that we should learn to be less chutzpah-like and instead should learn to be more like Jimmy. We dutifully followed our rabbis’ instructions.

B. No “#MeToo”:

(i) There were no girls in the all-boys yeshiva.

(ii) We were not allowed to date girls outside of school during our yeshiva high school years.

(iii) We were not allowed to attend mixed-gender parties.

(iv) We were not even allowed to touch girls’ hands as in a common-courtesy handshake.

(v) The only females we were allowed to talk to were our Moms, sisters, aunts, cousins, and Bubbies (grandmothers).

So my high school Yearbook has cleared me for Virginia Governor. Meanwhile, look at the crazy Left Democrat hypocrisy:

1. Joy Behar dresses in blackface. Ted Danson in blackface. The always-despicable Sarah Silverman in blackface. Jimmy Kimmel: OMG — He even do da tawkin’ in blackface like a slave on da plantation. They all are a bunch of racists of the worst sort — or maybe they just were stupid and grossly insensitive. Like, honestly — take the politics out of it, and let’s be fair: Is it racist for a White guy to dress in blackface if he is doing it as part of a celebration of his Black girlfriend? How can that be taken as racist, even as she laughs and signals approval? Meanwhile, only one week has passed. Give it some time, and we soon will find that the only person in Hollywood who has not dressed in blackface these past thirty years is Harvey Weinstein.

2. Ralph Northam announces he would kill babies. That is a governor of a state in America. We expect that of a regional governor in Afghanistan, in northern Syria — heck, in all of Syria — in Iraq, in Iran, in Saudi Arabia, in Pahhhkistahhhn. But Virginia is for lovers, no? Well, yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, but you better watch out, Virginia, for your governor’s Infanta Claws. For this Northam should have been ousted from office, along with all other Democrats backing their new Gosnell-Mengele Abortion bill. One thinks back to the scene in My Cousin Vinny where Marisa Tomei gets on Joe Pesci for deer hunting:

“Yaw gonna shoot a deeuh? A sweet, hahmliss, leaf-eatin’, doe-eyed little deeeuh. Imagine yaw’r a deeuh. Ya put yaw cool deeuh lips down to da cool cleeuh wawttuh. [And then] Bam! A [ ] bullet rips off paht of yaw head. Yaw brains ahh layin’ on da ground and in little bloody pieces.”

That is the new abortion vision proffered by Virginia Democrats and certified by Dr. Northam, M.D. If he personally ever actually did one of those post-birth “hospice abortions” he should be moved to a new movie script — from My Cousin Vinny to Judgment at Nuremberg where he gets to be portrayed as a Nazi War Criminal.

3. It turns out that Northam also had a page in his medical school yearbook with a photo of a guy in blackface and a hooded Klansmen (presumably aspiring to emulate former Democrat Senator Robert Exalted Cyclops Byrd). Thoughts:

(i) They have Yearbooks for Medical School? Like, aren’t they busy learning to be doctors and doing 48-hour shifts? They bother with Yearbooks?

(ii) What kind of idiot puts such a photo pairing on his page? Would you undergo surgery conducted by such a moron?

(iii) Even though he is an Infanticidal Liberal Democrat, he should not be punished for a mistake of 30-plus years ago. Once we begin punishing people for what they did and said thirty and forty years earlier, when they were morons in their teens — wow! Now we are talking Stalinism and the NKVD because everyone has a mistake in his closet. Adam ate the citron, fig, date, pomegranate, olive, wheat, or whatever Eve gave him. (It was not an apple. Bereishit Rabbah 15:7.) What is the point of repentance and self-improvement if you never can be allowed redemption to emerge greater than your past? What is the point of prison rehabilitation programs that liberals love so much if people cannot be forgiven for teenage idiocy from forty years earlier? And if we now adopt the policy that mistakes of forty years ago, during the Moron Years of High School, are unforgivable, what do we do with political phonies like Kamala Harris who salaciously and meretriciously slept their way up the political ladder in public extramarital affairs with political sugar-daddies thirty years their senior, all while brazenly publicly shaming her paramour’s wife? What do we do with vicious Jew-haters like Al Sharpton who, as adults, helped incite not one but two different pogroms that each resulted in street deaths and who made regular speeches attacking the Caucasian race and urging attacks on police?

(iv) Bottom Line: A person should not be destroyed politically for a mistake of forty years earlier when he was a teen-aged moron.

4. It turns out that the next guy in line, Lt. Gov. Fairfax, allegedly forced a dignified woman professor to service him orally, by allegedly pushing down her head forcibly towards his crotch and allegedly coercing her to service him. Thoughts:

(i) Not a good thing.

(ii) Perjury Blasey Ford could not identify when the supposed party happened, where it happened, how she got to the party, how she got home from the party, what she was doing at the party… and the few names she proffered as witnesses all unanimously derided and denied her hokey story. Meanwhile, Perjury Blasey Ford was on record as a Leftist in the Berkeley region, an anti-Trump donor, and she needed an excuse for adding a second front door to her home to make it a rental property in a locale not zoned for leasing. She lied about her door, her air travel. Nary a word of her voice-fry testimony held up. The only thing saving her from the hoosegow is that the people who need to investigate her lies are Republicans, and “GOP” stands for “Gutless OMG-clueless Powerless” — even when in power.

(iii) This accusing professor tells a much more compelling story. She knows the year. It was at the Democrat Convention. (Priceless.) It was at the guy’s hotel room. She vividly recounts details of the incident. She is a Black Democrat Liberal who would love to see a Black Democrat Liberal step in as next Governor of Virginia. I believe her — so far. Not because I automatically believe women — never automatically have and never automatically will. It just rings true on initial blush. But politics must not allow anyone to be denied the justice and fair play that these liars and hypocrites denied to Justice Kavanaugh. This guy deserves his right to confront his accuser, to demand evidence and a fair hearing. Maybe she is lying like Dr. Perjury Ford and like the Avenatti client who next came after Justice Kavanaugh or like the liar who falsely accused the students of the Duke lacrosse team or the liar who falsely accused the University of Virginia students or even the liar Tawana Brawley whom Al Sharpton (see above under “Jew Hater”) catapulted to fame. But it don’t look good for the Lieutenant Guv.

5. It turns out that the next guy in line, Virginia Democrat #3, also dressed in blackface. Thoughts:

(i) What’s with the Democrats, Liberals, and Blackface? Like, really, who does this? In feeding Halloween kids for more than thirty years, I don’t ever remember a kid costumed in blackface. I remember a kid dressed like an Indian. I think Elizabeth Warren (Princess Speaking Bull) once trick-or-treated while masquerading as a Paleface. There was something with Megyn— oh, what’s-her-name-again? (The one who left Fox for NBC.) But, really, who dresses in blackface?

(ii) The thing about this guy is that he demanded that Jerk #1 (the Dr. Gosnell/Dr. Mengele post-birth “hospice aborter”) should resign for having donned blackface thirty or forty years ago. Although Jerk #1 should be entitled to atonement and redemption for that one — but not for advocating infanticide as recently as 2019 — this Jerk #3 absolutely must resign because he set the standard that Blackfaces must resign, no redemption, no explanation, no matter what. So, the only advice to him: Don’t let the door hit your keisteron your way out.

III. Green Hams and Eggheads

Meanwhile, with the whole lot of these Leftist Democrats crazier than each other, somehow The Hyphen managed to escape from the butterfly nets and her white straitjacket, and she ended up announcing her new Green Economy. Remember: The Hyphen got into Congress by beating an Old Caucasian Gas-Expeller by a vote of 15,897 to 11,761 in a Bronx-Queens Democrat primary in a predominantly Hispanic district of 691,813people. (Whoever wins the Democrat primary in New York’s 14th Congressional District automatically wins the November election.) Now she is crowned the Star of Congress, although she could not have appeared more clueless during the State of the Union Address. (“Uh, is this when I should stand? When do I sit again? Is it OK to smile now? Is this when we clap?”) Now she has a plan for an America of the future, having determined that we all have only twelve years left to planet earth so we may as well spend more time at home. The Hyphen’s plan includes but is not limited to:

(i) No more oil or natural gas. So no more cars that run on gasoline. Weep for 800,000 government employees on three-weeks’ furlough from making paper-clip chains, but disregard the millions who will lose their jobs in the energy sector. They all will be dead in twelve years anyway.)

(ii) No more air travel because planes run on fossil fuels. Just high-speed rail. Thoughts:

(a) This means: No more visits to Hawaii, but at least it isolates Crazy Mazie from the mainland. And we better pull the troops home from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Germany, Japan, and everywhere else quickly while we still have the planes. Putin and the Korean Doughboy will have to come here if they want meetings.

(b) The model for the nation’s high-speed rail transit is California. Its original projected cost was around $60 billion. Now it is up to $100 billion. It was supposed to be done with Phase One in 2022. No one now knows when it will be ready, but they talk of it being completed in 2033 — which is after the earth will explode. Check back in fourteen years for an update.

(iii) No more meat because cows belch. Thoughts:

(a) Yet another justification for infanticide: babies burp, so kill them.

(b) If the Government can regulate the soda you drink and your sugar intake, why not regulate your sources of protein? But if gas-passing causes a carbon footprint, shouldn’t she be banning beans, too?

(c) Next on the list of banned substances presumably will be white bread and white rice: (i) bad for A1C; (ii) reeks of white privilege.

(iv) Every single American building and house to be retro-whatevered to make them green-friendly. (Any comment is superfluous.)

(iv) Healthcare for all. (See here for that commentary.)

(v) Income guaranteed to all, regardless of whether they even will accept work. Pay them with money borrowed from China, or print more.

All this in one week. The Narcissist Democrat Women in Coutured Straitjackets that we paid for. The Last Families of Virginia. The Hyphen gone from White to Green. Know that your innermost thoughts are validated: The whole lot of them are bat-crazy.

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Author: Dov Fischer

Pelosi Outsmarted Herself on the SOTU

When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi withdrew her original State of the Union invitation, preventing President Trump from delivering the address as scheduled on January 29, she was probably surprised when he responded with such calm forbearance: “This is her prerogative. I will do the address when the shutdown is over.” By the time Trump finished the rescheduled speech Tuesday evening, she no doubt understood that her petty political ploy had been a blunder. Trump, being no mean showman, had long since realized that the highly publicized delay would increase public interest in the speech — and that is precisely what happened.

By the time he entered the House chamber, it was already obvious that the national audience would very likely exceed last year’s larger-than-usual viewership for such speeches. This is not typical for the SOTU address. The normal pattern is a reasonably large audience for a president’s first address, followed by a gradual decline in public interest each year thereafter. This was certainly true for Trump’s predecessor. Tuesday evening’s speech, however, drew a larger audience than did the President’s 2018 address. According to a report in the Hill, broadcast TV numbers from Nielsen show the audience share was 10 percent over last year’s speech:

The four major broadcast outlets — CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox — combined for a 16.3 overnight rating during the address Tuesday night, which could result in total viewership of approximately 49 million when final numbers, to include the cable news networks and other outlets, are in later Wednesday.

Moreover, CBS and CNN conducted polls of public reaction to Trump’s words and the vast majority of viewers liked what they heard. The CBS/YouGov poll found that 76 percent of the public approved of the address, including 97 percent of Republicans and a whopping 82 percent of Independents. And a majority of viewers agreed that the President accomplished one of his primary goals for the address — improving national unity. According to CBS, “Fifty-six percent of Americans who watched tonight feel the president’s speech will do more to unite the country.” On specific issues, an unambiguous majority of viewers agreed with the President.

And, in more than one case, their answers debunked Democrat talking points. A particularly glaring example of this was the public’s response to his points on illegal immigration. The Democrats have consistently attempted to convince the public that President Trump and his administration is exaggerating the seriousness of the problem. They have frequently accused him of unnecessarily stoking racism and xenophobia in order to “manufacture a crisis.” Indeed, this is the primary basis for their consistent yet evidence-free claims that he himself is a racist. That is not, however, how the Americans who watched last night’s SOTU address view the issue:

Most viewers had a favorable opinion of what Mr. Trump had to say about immigration.… From what they heard tonight, 71 percent of speech-watchers think there is a crisis at the southern border.

It goes without saying, of course, that such unexpected and unwelcome findings forced the people at CBS to downplay the significance of their own poll. To that end, they devoted a lot of irrelevant verbiage to the number of Republicans who watched President Trump’s speech:

In the latest CBS national poll released last month, 25 percent of Americans identified themselves as Republicans. Among those who watched Tuesday night’s address, that figure was 43 percent.

Oddly, the folks at CBS neglect to explain how that datum applies to the extraordinarily high approval figures among the Independents who watched the President’s speech. Moreover, on other issues, the approval ratings on Trump’s speech are also too high to explain away:

On North Korea, 78 percent of speech-watchers think a second meeting between Mr. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is a good idea.… Most viewers [74 percent] approved of Mr. Trump’s comments on the Middle East.

The analysts at CNN also conducted a survey of the people who watched the State of the Union address, and found higher rates of approval than they evidently expected. It’s unlikely that these number crunchers were pleased to find that the percentage of viewers who rated the speech as “very positive” or “somewhat positive” was identical to the CBS result — 76 percent. Not coincidentally, CNN also tried to explain that away with the “more Republicans watched” argument. But the positive effect of Trump’s performance was very real and clearly taking its toll on Speaker Pelosi as the speech went on. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich felt her pain:

She had to listen politely.… and pretend to be a good hostess (the President is the guest of the House). When even her most radical new members began standing and applauding, she must have experienced a bit of despair.

This was obvious to anyone watching Madam Speaker gnaw her lip and writhe for the 82 minutes Trump spoke. To paraphrase the immortal P.G. Wodehouse, it was clear that, if not actually disgruntled, she was far from being gruntled. But she could have compromised with Trump on the wall and prevented an unnecessary fight. And she certainly didn’t need to postpone the SOTU. But she refused to do the former and insisted upon the latter — setting Trump up for Tuesday night’s triumph. A classic example of poetic justice. Now the country sees him as more presidential and her as less reasonable. On the shutdown fight, she was too clever by half.

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Author: David Catron