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Is Trumprussia boomeranging?

As Rush, Hannity, etc. have been pointing out lately, eight months of baseless Trump-Russia collusion allegations seem finally to be blowing up in the faces of the Democrats, Controlled Media and Deep State.

In a recent poll, 73% of Americans said the investigations are causing Congress to lose focus, 64% said they’re hurting the country, 56% said it’s time to move on, and 52% said they don’t believe Trump did any collusion. And the story itself is taking a few turns.

First, I’d like to give the background on something called the Trump Dossier.

  • It’s a salacious report on candidate Trump that was put together (in 2015 or 16?) by a former British intelligence agent, Christopher Steele.
  • His work was sloppy, containing (among other things) provably-false tales of Trump associates meeting Russians in Europe, and probably-false tales of Trump doing bizarre sexual practices. (OK, tame practices by gay standards.)
  • Steele was paid to produce the dossier by a company called Fusion GPS.
  • Many suspect that Fusion GPS was paid ultimately by Democrats and/or #NeverTrumpers, and was hired precisely to do a hit piece (something shoddy and salacious).
  • The dossier was passed to the FBI and other U.S. agencies. Although they knew it was false in its most serious claims (or should have known), they appear to have used it as a basis for investigations on Trump and as a roadmap for questioning witnesses.
  • Also, some suspect that the Obama administration may have used the dossier to obtain their secret FISA warrants and/or NSA surveillance on Trump, during and after the 2016 campaign.
  • We need to know on that last point because, *if true*, it would be explosive: one would have to “connect the dots” of Hillary or DNC paying a foreigner for a bogus report on Trump, Obama using the report as a bogus reason to spy on candidate Trump, Susan Rice “unmasking” the data and distributing it within the Obama government, and then leakers possibly leaking Trump campaign secrets to media, DNC and/or Hillary. Quite a trick.

It’s backfiring on the Democrats because at long last, the Senate Judiciary committee is investigating Fusion GPS and who was behind the bogus dossier.

Next, I’d like to discuss The Washington Post’s blockbuster article last Friday on Russian election hacking, a game-changer.

WaPo is known for “burying the lede”: putting a title/frame on a story that tries to mask the important revelations within it. This article is titled “Obama’s secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin’s election assault”. Thus, WaPo’s frame is: Russian election hacking is real and isn’t Obama a lonely hero for having tried to punish Russia?

But the article’s details tell a different story.

  • Everyone agrees, still, that Russia didn’t change a single vote. In that respect, the 2016 election was perfectly fair and un-hacked.
  • The CIA did report to Obama in 2016 that Russia was trying to do cyber-crime on various U.S. targets, including both the DNC and RNC.
  • For five months, Obama dithered and considered various responses and, in the end, he did…nothing. Until after the election (when he expelled some Russian diplomats, tightened some sanctions, and fanned the flames of protest and questioning Trump’s legitimacy).

“It is the hardest thing about my entire time in government to defend,” said a former senior Obama administration official involved in White House deliberations on Russia [in the months before the election]. “I feel like we sort of choked.”

I want to make clear that I still do not take this “Russia hacking” narrative at face value. My reasons:

  • Still no evidence. The WaPo article doesn’t actually provide any.
  • After Wikileaks Vault 7 (including revelations that the CIA itself routinely hacks things and leaves Russian fingerprints), there is no reason to take the CIA’s word on anything – without evidence.
  • Also, Russia could have tried to hack into stuff – but with little or no effect.
  • In regard to the “DNC emails”, at least, it is still very plausible the leaker was Seth Rich, a DNC insider. Because Wikileaks dropped many hints about it. (At this point, yes I trust their hints more than the CIA’s.)
  • And it still doesn’t matter who leaked the “DNC emails” because they were 100% true and relevant information that American voters deserved. If it was Russia, they did not attack our nation or our democracy; only our 2 major-party Establishments. (Big difference.)
  • It is still exceedingly odd that the DNC denied FBI investigators access to their computers after the leaks. Instead, the DNC spoon-fed the FBI a report on supposed Russian hacking from another shoddy, DNC-paid company, CrowdStrike.

But let’s say it’s all true. Most observers agree that the major countries all try to hack each other (or spy), and to influence each other’s elections. And that Russia and the U.S. have been doing it to each other for 70 years or more. Why should 2016 be an exception? In that case,

  1. It is all the more strange and inappropriate that the DNC didn’t let the FBI in to look at their servers and network, after the alleged “DNC email” hack.
  2. It is strange and inappropriate that Obama didn’t defend the U.S. constitution (as his oath requires) by telling the American public. Obama was no stranger to stirring up trouble with Russia (see: Ukraine coup, 2014). Why wouldn’t he, here? Some guesses:
    • He’s just ineffectual?
    • The Russian interference was routine (see above); much less of a deal than WaPo is now making of it?
    • Obama didn’t want to draw attention to Hillary’s corrupt Russia dealings?
    • He didn’t want to draw attention to Democrats having serious problems with security; like, you know, Hillary’s e-mail scandal?
    • He didn’t want to draw attention to Hillary’s hypocritical interference in Russian elections?
    • He thought Hillary would win, and didn’t want any Russia messes tainting her presidency in the public’s mind? (This is WaPo’s theory. But then, when Trump won, Obama was suddenly OK with tainting the next President?)
    • Or: Deep down, Obama didn’t want Hillary to win? (This is Rush’s theory.)
  3. It is still strange and inappropriate that leading Democrats want to blame Republicans – and the American people – in all this. For example, from Rep. Adam Schiff:

    He said many groups inadvertently abetted Russia’s campaign, including Republicans who refused to confront Moscow and media organizations that eagerly mined the troves of hacked emails.

    In other words, damn the American people for opening their eyes and reading those 100% genuine DNC emails!

In short: If WaPo’s story is true, then instead of Trump-Russia collusion, we should be looking at Obama-Russia collusion and Obama-Hillary collusion. This is the game-changer.

Trumprussia was always “mostly bullsh*t”, as we learned Tuesday. The real story would be if the Russian government interfered in U.S. elections – and President Obama let them. Then made a big deal of it later – just to undermine President Trump. Now *that’s* attacking American democracy.

In every plausible version of this mess,

  1. Someone in the government spread around the fake Trump dossier (when they should have ignored/discredited it).
  2. The DNC hid an alleged crime scene from FBI investigators.
  3. Susan Rice wrongly “unmasked” data on domestic political opponents.
  4. Obama failed to do a thing about Russian interference; until it was time for him, and various Deep State leakers, to undermine a lawful new President whom they just didn’t like.

Kabuki theater

Figuring out what’s happening in Washington – under the surface, with the Deep State factions – is a guessing game. Highly uncertain. Of course I don’t “know anything”, in the sense of having sources. I read the tea leaves as best I can, and I guess.

When President Trump unexpectedly did a huge Saudi arms deal, I had a feeling that former FBI Director Comey’s testimony would then turn out as a net win for Trump. What’s the connection? Hard to explain. I’m going to say some stuff now which could easily be crap; feel free to shoot it down in the comments, or to add your own ideas.

(more…)

Flashback: Hillary’s Big Russia Deal

…in which Our Brrrrrrrrave Gal approved the transfer of 20% of the U.S. ongoing supply of uranium to Russian control, while taking millions in Russian- and/or deal-related donations.

I’m following this New York Times article from April 2015:

…the Russian atomic energy agency, Rosatom, [took] over a Canadian company with uranium-mining stakes stretching from Central Asia to the American West. The deal…brought Mr. Putin closer to his goal of controlling much of the global uranium supply chain…

At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.

…the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States…the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among [them] was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

At the time, both Rosatom and the United States government made promises intended to ease concerns…Those promises have been repeatedly broken, records show…

Whether the donations played any role in the approval of the uranium deal is unknown. [ed: Riiiiiight.] But the episode underscores the special ethical challenges presented by the Clinton Foundation, headed by a former president who relied heavily on foreign cash to accumulate $250 million in assets even as his wife helped steer American foreign policy as secretary of state, presiding over decisions with the potential to benefit the foundation’s donors…

The article continues with pages of details. One tiny sample:

The path to a Russian acquisition of American uranium deposits began in 2005 in Kazakhstan, where the Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra orchestrated his first big uranium deal, with Mr. Clinton at his side.

…several months later, Mr. Giustra had donated $31.3 million to Mr. Clinton’s foundation.

Did the Clintons hide some large donations, possibly showing consciousness of guilt? Yes. Example:

To judge from [Clinton] disclosures…the only Uranium One official to give to the Clinton Foundation was Mr. Telfer, the chairman, and the amount was relatively small: no more than $250,000, and that was in 2007, before talk of a Rosatom deal began percolating.

But a review of tax records in Canada, where Mr. Telfer has a family charity called the Fernwood Foundation, shows that he donated millions of dollars more, during and after the critical time when the foreign investment committee was reviewing his deal with the Russians.

By the way, I didn’t know that “While the United States gets one-fifth of its electrical power from nuclear plants, it produces only around 20 percent of the uranium it needs, and most plants have only 18 to 36 months of reserves…”

Exit questions:

  1. Why would NYT publish such an article? Why in April 2015? On whose hidden agenda?

    To be clear: I’m glad they gave us the info. But NYT is usually pro-Hillary. Why would they do something that undercuts her? Because Schweizer’s book was about to come out anyway?

  2. Why has no Special Counsel ever been appointed to look into all this?

UPDATE: Do the Clintons profit personally from the Clinton Foundation? (more…)

The New Civil War

For the last 100 years – and, especially for the last 8 years under President Obama – more and more Americans have become feckless dependents of government.

They may be rich, middle class or poor. They may depend on government benefits, or on special favors written into our laws and regulations. Or they may be politicians and bureaucrats and government workers, deciding the fates of other people and taking paychecks a good deal larger than what most of them could get in the private sector. They may be journalists taking cash payments from the CIA, or billionaires with extensive government contracts.

And they are indeed feckless. They gladly believe and spread the most ridiculous things on zero evidence. For example, they choose a criminally dishonest politician (Hillary Clinton) to be president. When she doesn’t quite win the election, they gladly believe and spread rumors that the guy who did win is a Russian spy – on zero evidence, again – and chant “F*ck [him]!” at important political conventions.

On the other side are ordinary Americans who more-or-less believe in God, common sense, and supporting themselves through work. Again, they may be rich, middle class or poor. They choose 2 business people in a row to be president. The most recent one might not be a great role model in some ways, but at least he says sensible things in a forthright, unafraid manner. When he wins the election, he sets himself to the task of reviving America’s economy and manufacturing base – only to be undermined by the vast army and bureaucracy of the feckless government dependents, spreading their nonsense.

It’s a mortal conflict. And one side knows it: the feckless government dependents. Because America is fast reaching the point where it can’t afford to support them any longer. They, the cancer, are about to kill the host. They, the cancer, must be controlled and cut back – so that the rest of America can survive, and perhaps revive a little.

They, the feckless government dependents, know it deep-down. And, being out-of-control like any late-stage cancer, they are desperate to deny it and to continue a system – their own system – that promises to extract every last drop of life and treasure that can be extracted from normal Americans.

It’s Producers vs. Looters. Understand that the Producers are people of all classes and walks of life. Likewise, the Looters are people of all classes and walks of life.

And so we arrive at the political struggles of the last seven months. President Trump isn’t perfect. I did not support him. I still don’t support him, whenever and wherever I may disagree with him. But, somehow (and although I never wanted it), he became a leader for the Producers – or at least for the opponents of America’s looting, criminal Establishment. Imperfect Mr. Trump is the president we’ve got. And the vast army and bureaucracy of the feckless government dependents are determined to destroy him.

Thus the endless, utter nonsense they spew each day. I’m not sure what to do about it. I know that supporting Trump blindly will not help. But tolerating nonsense will also not help.

The only thing I know how to do, that might help in some tiny way, is to keep telling the truth as I see it unfolding around me.

Or posting links.

Schlichter sums it up well: “Someone came to Washington who wasn’t part of the club, and that’s intolerable. So they are desperate to expel him, and by extension, us. Every day will be a crisis, every action he takes will be the worst thing that has ever happened, and every step towards keeping his promises a crime.”

Each day, let us dedicate ourselves anew to rejecting the nonsense. And to offering truth, in its place.

Comey’s dirty track record

Former FBI Director James Comey once served the Bush administration and is supposed to be a “registered Republican”. But some gay guys marry women and are supposed to be straight. Sometimes, the declaration doesn’t matter – or is there for cover.

I’ll provide some highlights of Comey’s career, then details. First, the highlights. Or should I say lowlights? As I realized everything that Comey has been into and how political he is, my jaw dropped.

  • Comey helped the Clintons to escape justice over Bill’s pardon of Marc Rich.
  • Comey appointed Patrick Fitzgerald to investigate the Valerie Plame affair. (A bizarre mess that ended in the prosecution of Scooter Libby, and the political tar-and-feathering of the Bush administration.)
  • Comey prosecuted Martha Stewart. (This may be OK; but I will show that it sets up the irony/hypocrisy of his later saving Hillary from prosecution.)
  • Comey helped the Clintons in the Sandy Berger investigation, by limiting its scope.
  • Comey limited the government’s actions to punish a corrupt auditor, KPMG.
  • Comey obstructed the Bush administration’s post-9/11 efforts to do warrantless surveillance. That could be a great thing; except that
    1. his actions were surrounded by allegations of lying and usurpation of power; and
    2. he went on to happily serve an Obama presidency that did far worse things than Bush, in terms of warrantless surveillance.
  • Comey served as General Counsel of a scandal-ridden defense contractor, then a Director of a scandal-ridden bank. (I don’t have anything strong here; mentioned for completeness.)
  • And then as FBI Director, of course, Comey knew Hillary was guilty but usurped authority and blocked her prosecution, turning the statutes on their head in the process.

If I missed anything, please let us know in the comments. For example, did Comey play any part in Hillary’s Uranium One fiasco? (UPDATE: Yes, indirectly. It involved Clinton Foundation corruption. Charles Ortel points out that Comey has repeatedly been on-point to investigate that corruption and has refused to do so, giving it a pass.)

Some of Comey’s actions might be defensible. But looking at the overall pattern: I personally conclude that Comey is a longtime Democrat operative, as well as a liar-when-it-suits-him.

Now for details. (more…)

Let the DOJ appoint another special counsel

…to look into the Obama administration’s surveillance of its political opponents.

  • whether it was truly “incidental” to legitimate (other) concerns, and/or done under FISA warrants
  • whether FISA warrants were obtained properly (rather than relying on, say, a “dossier” hacked together by a foreign intelligence agency as a political favor)
  • whether NSA Susan Rice, an Obama White House operative who apparently ordered the “unmasking” of Trump associates’ names in the surveillance data, did so for honest and legal reasons
  • whether the subsequent distribution of the “unmasked” intelligence was necessary, legal and proper
  • and who leaked it (along with Trump campaign information) to the media and/or the Hillary campaign, possibly committing felonies in the process.

Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander. We, the American people, need to know exactly what the Obama administration was up to with its domestic spying on Americans and especially on its political opponents.

And if illegal unmasking, distribution or leaking occurred: let there be indictments.

UPDATE: Tucker Carlson has a point: President Trump could have blocked the DOJ’s special counsel for Russia. And President Hillary would have (for anything connected to her). She would be too afraid of where an independent investigator might go. Trump isn’t.

I notice Trump calling it a witch hunt, but that’s a slag on the Left’s hysteria; not on the DOJ or Director Mueller.

The Swamp Strikes Back

Via HotAir: Yet another media football we are supposed to care about.

Former FBI Director Comey, who in 2016 usurped authority most improperly and to the advantage of one political party (their presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, not being indicted), and who was justly fired last week, is dishing dirt on the man who fired him.

First, some key details:

“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Mr. Trump told Mr. Comey, according to [Comey’s account]. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

Mr. Trump told Mr. Comey that Mr. Flynn had done nothing wrong, according to [Comey’s account]. Mr. Comey did not say anything to Mr. Trump about curtailing the investigation, replying only: “I agree he is a good guy.”

In a statement, the White House denied the version of events…

“While the president has repeatedly expressed his view that General Flynn is a decent man who served and protected our country, the president has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn,” the statement said. “The president has the utmost respect for our law enforcement agencies, and all investigations. This is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr. Comey.”

…The Feb. 14 meeting took place just a day after Mr. Flynn was forced out of his job…

To review:

  • Even Comey agrees that former NSA Flynn is well-meaning and patriotic.
  • All the same, President Trump fired Flynn.
  • After he did that, and according to only one side of the story, Trump then wondered out loud why Flynn would still be a matter for investigation.

But this is what the New York Times put in the lede:

President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into [Flynn]…

That’s taking sides, rather a lot.

I can see why Trump’s opponents think they’re onto something. POTUS should never discuss ongoing investigations with the FBI, lest their be any hint of improper influence. If Comey’s account is true, Trump made a mistake.

But that is no small “if”. Even apart from this incident, Comey has a recent track record of showboating, misunderstanding situations and improper behavior. And he was just fired. Narcissistic, Disgruntled And Disgraced Ex-Employee Dishing Whatever Dirt He Thinks He Has #1,499,503,777. Yawn, yawn, yawn.

The larger picture is this. President Trump wants to Drain The Swamp and Make America Great Again. That’s why half of America elected him. Also, the fact that Trump is an amateur politician, NOT a professional. People thought it would be refreshing.

The Swamp, naturally, doesn’t want to be drained. And it owns the Controlled Media: for example, it owns the New York Times via Carlos Slim, an immigration activist and Trump opponent (and alleged corrupt businessperson and/or drug lord). And so we’re treated to these accounts, which are then picked up by The Swamp’s many representatives in Congress.

There are going to be a lot of these kerfuffles to come. Trump is a sloppy, amateur politician. And The Swamp is determined to derail his reform agenda, by making a mountain of every mistake that they would gladly cover up for one of their own (Obama or Hillary).

In the end, either The Swamp will win, or Trump will. It’s out of my hands.

UPDATE: Mark Steyn (via commenter KCRob):

if this partially read memo is as the Times characterized it (“Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation”), that would be a very serious matter. Comey had several options:

1) He could have reported Trump’s attempted interference to the Department of Justice (as he was obliged to do);

2) He could have disclosed it to the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr;

3) He could have resigned on principle.

Instead, he did nothing…

In other words: More Comey impropriety! Either the man or his story (at least) is belied by the fact that he did nothing at the time, except write a Note to Self.

UPDATE: Rush has a point: Whatever Trump is alleged to have done in the Flynn investigation is far less than what Obama did in the Hillary investigation.

In my view: that wouldn’t make it OK, but double standards aren’t OK either.

UPDATE: Yes, Comey has a track record as a Democrat agent who lies to promote himself and help Clintons escape justice. I wondered. Sigh.

Hollywood Puritans’ Outrage-du-Jour

Posted by V the K at 5:45 am - January 11, 2016.
Filed under: Political Scandals

At a dumb celebrity event, a dumb celebrity made a joke about the stunning and brave Caitlyn Jenner.

Now Caitlyn Jenner of course. What a year she’s had! She became a role model for trans people everywhere, showing great bravery in breaking down barriers and destroying stereotypes. She didn’t do a lot for women drivers, but you can’t have everything.”

Cue the sanctimonious social left outrage:

And so on.

(more…)

Republican remarks on lack of civility in the workplace; is immediately attacked as fanatical moralist

Posted by V the K at 6:22 pm - January 28, 2015.
Filed under: Political Scandals

Mike Huckabee said it was “trashy” to throw the f-word around in a professional business environment and the blogosphere, both left and right, has picked this as the “Really Ridiculous Thing to Get Outraged Over” for today.

“In a business meeting … in Iowa, you would not have people who would just throw the f-bomb and use gratuitous profanity in a professional setting,” Huckabee said. “In New York, not only do the men do it, but the women do it!””This is worse than locker-room talk,” Huckabee added. “This would be considered totally inappropriate to say these things in front of a woman and for a woman to say them in a professional setting. … As we would say in the South: ‘That’s just trashy.'”

I don’t care for Mike Huckabee, and I strongly oppose his presidential aspirations. But this seems like a really silly thing to go nanners about. For Set’s sake, he expressed an opinion about vulgarity, he didn’t propose to outlaw speech he found offensive (like a leftist would do).

FWIW I think the world would be a better place without people using the f-word in its various forms as rhetorical punctuation; I agree that such use marks one as trashy, whether man or woman.

As the Bergdahl Narrative Falls Apart, Obama Administration Turns Its Venom on the Troops

One might have been tempted to think the Obama Administration had hit rock-bottom when they called Bowe Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers liars and “swift-boaters*” for disputing the Administration’s official line that Bergdahl served with “honor and distinction.” (Maybe with the Taliban.) That seemed to be as low they could go.

Then, somebody went and tossed them a shovel.

An administration spokesman (for the Department of Housing and Urban Development) took to Teh Twitters and called those soldiers (the ones that didn’t desert and collaborate with the Taliban)… “psychopaths.”

Name-calling has been the administration’s modus operandi for dealing with critics since Day 1. Curious as to why the president is keeping his college records secret? You’re a “birther.” Skeptical about the president’s Draconian environmental laws? You’re a “climate change denier.” And the perennial catchall for any critic of the president’s policies… “racist!”

Administration insiders apparently believe that criticism of the Bergdahl Affair has nothing to do with honest disagreement about the wisdom of turning loose five of the Taliban’s top generals for one deserter. They honestly believe it all springs from personal animosity toward the president. “[All criticism in the Bergdahl matter] Obama aides say, is in their minds a proxy for the hatred toward the president.

How simplistic this all is. There are no genuine arguments, only personal animus. Therefore, there is no need to argue in support of policies; simple name-calling of your opponents is sufficient.

* “Swiftboat” – verb. When knowledgeable people reveal an unpleasant truth about a Democrat that contradicts the official party narrative.

Is it Cynical to Think Obama Isn’t Really Mad About the VA Scandal?

Posted by V the K at 5:56 pm - May 21, 2014.
Filed under: Obama Watch,Political Scandals

Old and Busted: #BringBackOurGirls

New Hotness: #MadAsHell

Madder than hell” and “nobody is madder than me” are the Obama Regime’s latest attempt to reduce a serious issue to a catchy hashtag; in this case, a sort of verbal hashtag to let everyone know the president is really “engaged” on the scandal at the VA.

To Obama and his handlers, the VA scandal isn’t that veterans died while waiting for treatment and bureaucrats covered it up with phony waiting lists.  The scandal is that someone is making Obama look bad. Fixing the problems at the VA doesn’t matter; the goal is to manage public perception so that the scandal doesn’t harm his presidency.

So, get those low-information voters thinking, “Wow, he must really be mad as hell about this. I’m kind of mad, too. He can relate to people like me. What a swell president.”

Is he really angry? Hard to say. Will he really do anything to fix the actual problem and hold those responsible accountable? If history is any guide, probably not.

Chicago’s murder rate drops – follow-up

In an earlier post on Chicago’s declining murder rate, the decline didn’t seem to prove anything about gun control or gun ownership (in any direction) and I asked “So, what happened?”

V the K suggested a different explanation by sending this link, The Truth About Chicago’s Crime Rates. Short answer: Someone has been cooking the books.

On October 28, a pathologist ruled the death of Tiara Groves a homicide…the Chicago Police Department should have counted Groves’s death as a murder. And it did. Until December 18. On that day, the police report indicates, a lieutenant overseeing the Groves case reclassified the homicide investigation as a noncriminal death investigation…

The change stunned officers. Current and former veteran detectives who reviewed the Groves case at Chicago’s request were just as incredulous.

Was it just a coincidence, some wondered, that the reclassification occurred less than two weeks before the end of the year, when the city of Chicago’s final homicide numbers for 2013 would be tallied? …

For the case of Tiara Groves is not an isolated one. Chicago [Magazine, the authors] conducted a 12-month examination of the Chicago Police Department’s crime statistics going back several years…We identified 10 people…whose cases were reclassified…, downgraded to more minor crimes, or even closed as noncriminal incidents—all for illogical or, at best, unclear reasons.

This troubling practice goes far beyond murders…Chicago found dozens of other crimes, including serious felonies such as robberies, burglaries, and assaults, that were misclassified, downgraded to wrist-slap offenses, or made to vanish altogether…

Does the problem start at the top? Evidently:

Many officers of different ranks and from different parts of the city recounted instances…One detective refers to the “magic ink”: the power to make a case disappear. Says another: “The rank and file don’t agree with what’s going on. The powers that be are making the changes.”

…sources describe a practice that has become widespread at the same time that top police brass have become fixated on demonstrating improvement in Chicago’s woeful crime statistics…

…the see-no-evil, hear-no-evil pols on Chicago’s City Council have mostly accepted the police department’s crime numbers at face value. So have most in the media. You can hardly turn on the news without hearing McCarthy or Mayor Rahm Emanuel proclaiming unquestioned: Murders down 18 percent in 2013! Overall crime down 23 percent! Twelve thousand fewer crime victims! “These days, everything is about media and public opinion,” says one longtime officer. “If a number makes people feel safe, then why not give it to them?”

There’s much more, including a Part 2 yet to come.

Sic Transit Gloria

Posted by V the K at 7:13 am - February 3, 2014.
Filed under: Political Scandals

How things can change in just 90 days.

90 days ago, the MFM, the Democrats, and the GOP Establishment stood as one in their hatred of the heretic, Senator Ted Cruz, for both standing against Obamacare and exposing his party leadership’s Kabuki Theater “opposition” to it.

90 days ago, Mr. Chris Christie, coming off his re-election victory, was being figuratively lauded with laurel wreaths and rose petals. He was the darling of the GOP Establishment, who all but proclaimed, “You tea baggers — with your crazy ideas about fiscal responsibility and your weird fetish for following the Constitution — may not like him, but you’ll get in line because Christie is popular!”

Now, Senator Ted Cruz looks prescient because Obamacare has proven every bit the disaster he warned about and more; and he looks principled for standing up to the leadership of his own party. Mr. Chris Christie, on the other hand, looks like an arrogant, bullying schmuck. And the GOP Establishment look like fools … well, even greater fools than usual… for rallying around a pro-Amnesty, pro-gun control, Obama-hugging schmuck as the savior of their party.

Hubris. gentlemen, look it up.

(more…)

The Obamacare implosion

A number of conservative commentators and writers have been speculating for some time how long it will be from the time it is implemented until Obamacare collapses under the weight of its own poorly-conceived structure.  I think few have anticipated the situation we’ve been witnessing in the past two weeks, where first the administration announces that businesses won’t have to comply with the “employer mandate” until January 2015, and more recently, that the administration won’t be investigating eligibility for Obamacare subsidies, thereby opening the door to massive fraud and abuse.

Although the reasons that the Obama administration is making these changes are cynically transparent to anyone who realizes that the Democrats don’t want to lose big in the 2014 election cycle when voters will have a chance to express their displeasure with Obamacare at the ballot box once again, the more interesting question at the moment concerns the meaning and implications of the administration’s latest maneuvers for its ability to enact policies and govern going forward.

I think some people believe the public is paying closer attention to all this than is most likely the case, but that doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying the triumphalism and mockery of the administration’s opponents.  After the last election, it’s refreshing to see the administration increasingly on the defensive over the actions it has taken with regard to its signature piece of legislation.  Even better is getting to watch the likes of Dick Durbin (D-IL) admit that the disastrous bill “needs changes and improvements.”

But beyond getting to see and hear the bill’s defenders feel the heat, it is gratifying to see pieces like this one speculating that the Republicans in Congress may wise up enough about the administration’s actions to finally kill “immigration reform”:

“They have shown no respect for traditional Constitutional separation of powers,” Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., told National Review‘s John Fund about the impact of the Obamacare delays on the immigration debate, “and that makes it difficult to pass laws where the fear is that they will simply ignore the parts they don’t like.”

Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, who is on the House Judiciary Committee and had been a member of a bipartisan group working on immigration reform, echoed Roe’s concerns on Meet the Press. “In fact, if you look at this Obamacare debacle that they have right now, this administration is actually deciding when and where to actually enforce the law. And that’s what some of us in the House are concerned about. If you give to this administration the authority to decide when they’re going to enforce the law, how they’re going to enforce the law … what’s going to happen is that we’re going to give legalization to 11 million people and Janet Napolitano is going to come to Congress and tell us that the border is already secure and nothing else needs to happen.”

Even the Wall Street Journal is writing about the administration’s actions in language reminiscent of that we saw with the rise of the Tea Party four years ago:

President Obama’s decision last week to suspend the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act may be welcome relief to businesses affected by this provision, but it raises grave concerns about his understanding of the role of the executive in our system of government

Article II, Section 3, of the Constitution states that the president “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” This is a duty, not a discretionary power. While the president does have substantial discretion about how to enforce a law, he has no discretion about whether to do so.

This matter—the limits of executive power—has deep historical roots. During the period of royal absolutism, English monarchs asserted a right to dispense with parliamentary statutes they disliked. King James II’s use of the prerogative was a key grievance that lead to the Glorious Revolution of 1688. The very first provision of the English Bill of Rights of 1689—the most important precursor to the U.S. Constitution—declared that “the pretended power of suspending of laws, or the execution of laws, by regal authority, without consent of parliament, is illegal.”

Needless to say we can certainly hope that this lively piece by Tony Katz on Townhall.com is more than just a humorous reflection on the administration’s latest foibles:

For years the Right has said that the Obama Administration was thuggish, was hell bent on revenge, and was vindictive.

The IRS scandal was perhaps the tipping point. At first, The Left tried claimed that not just conservative and tea party groups, but progressives as well had been targeted. But, as the Inspector General’s report showed, that was not the case. Obama’s minions attacked Americans who disagreed with him. The Left knows they voted for hate.

Obama is not the man (messiah) they thought he was. The Left was blinded by his skin color and duped by mainstream media.

But now they know he lies. And now they know he surrounds himself with sycophants, ready and willing to lie for him, in poetry and prose.

Lets not let them ever forget it.

Today’s Appalling Facebook Meme

Wow, just wow, is about all I can say in response to this piece of leftist rationalization which I saw today on Facebook.  It goes without saying that we’d be hearing something VERY DIFFERENT from this fellow if there was a Republican president.

The message here boils down to: freedom doesn’t matter, liberty doesn’t matter, rights don’t matter, and the most important role for government is to stand for “social justice.”  Here’s the link, but I’ve quoted the whole thing in its appalling entirety below:

Things I’m more worried about than my phone being tapped:
Global warming. The richest 1% controlling more wealth than the bottom 50%. Homelessness. Gutting the food stamp program. The rich hiding several Trillion untaxed dollars. Secretaries paying more in taxes than billionaires. Politicians being bought and sold. Malaria and starvation. More people per capita in prison than any other country. The “war” on drugs. More black men in prison than in college. Rising cost of education and health care. The rise of extremism. The continued oppression of women. The general lack of compassion in the world. The degree to which we all blame our problems on others and close our eyes to our own irrationality.
That more people are outraged by a small loss of privacy than any of these other issues.

Should I add “People who write in sentence fragments” to his list of outrages more “worrisome” than a government which spends all its time monitoring its people, or is that just my pet peeve?

Not surprisingly, the best responses to this kind of thing date to the founding of the Republic.  We’ve always got the classic from Benjamin Franklin: “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

But in this context, where the message is to sacrifice liberty for “social justice,” I think Sam Adams might be better, though trying to choose just one passage that is appropriate is rather like an embarrassment of riches.  I have long admired this one:

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

Perhaps this one is better: “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

And just in case the Obamalaise is getting to you, here’s one worth repeating regularly: “Nil desperandum, — Never Despair. That is a motto for you and me. All are not dead; and where there is a spark of patriotic fire, we will rekindle it.”

Scandal central? Or a whole lot of talk that will amount to nothing?

As the scandals engulfing the Obama Administration have proliferated and “gotten legs” this week, many of the conservatives I know or whom I hear on the radio have started drawing comparisons with what happened under Nixon, bringing up the word “impeachment,” and hoping that as  it becomes evident that these activities were not accidents but part of a coordinated strategy, Obama will eventually resign, or at least some of those who hold key posts of power in this administration–such as Eric Holder–will resign and that the Administration will be hopelessly tainted as the truth becomes known.

I hear that talk, and I think, it would be nice, but I can’t see it happening.  Maybe Holder will resign.  Maybe.

I can imagine the press starting to subject the Obama Administration to a little more scrutiny in the future, but “a little more” than none is still only a little bit of scrutiny, hardly enough to make a significant difference in public opinion.  While the outrage surrounding all of this may be enough for the Republicans to hold the House and to gain control in the Senate in 2014, there will still be formidable problems, and we’ll still have a very divided country.  The low-information voters in the electorate will still be willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt because most of them are either unwilling to see him for the cynical, partisan character he is, or they are unable to do so.

It is possible that after a year or two of scandals and after the outrage that is sure to follow the full implementation of Obamacare, Obama will end his second term with even lower approval ratings than George W. Bush ended his, but at this point, I think that’s about the most we can hope for, that, and maybe Holder’s resignation.  I’m not even sure any of this will derail the immigration bill, which is looking more and more like the next legislative disaster coming down the pike.

I’m not trying to be pessimistic, merely practical.  In the lead-up to the election in November, I knew that what happened  with the administration’s lies about Benghazi was an outrage, but after the election, it seemed evident to me that Obama, Hillary, and the entire administration were going to get away without any consequences.  The American voters had failed to demand answers and accountability and had just re-elected Obama.

Now that the scandals are starting to illustrate the kinds of things conservatives have been saying about Obama for years and years now, some liberals are upset with Obama, but others are busy trying to find more ways to blame conservatives for making an issue of the problems.   In one of the most ironic defenses of Obama I have encountered so far, David Axelrod offered the “incompetence” excuse, namely, that the government is just too big for Obama to really know what’s going on, an excuse we are sure to hear echoed in the days ahead.  Forgive me if I can’t forget that in November the American electorate rejected a man who was renowned for his management skills and his ability to lead large organizations successfully, all so they could re-elect the “community organizer.”

So what do our readers think?  Am I just being pessimistic about all this?  Is the investigation of these scandals likely to have real and significant consequences for our government, or are they a lot of talk that will amount to nothing, or at least nothing much?

Capricious Enforcement: A sign of the times

Back in October 2010, blogger Tigerhawk recalled what one of his Princeton classmates, who was originally from Romania, said about the nature of life under socialism:

One recurring tool of socialist tyranny is the capricious enforcement of unworkable laws.

He quoted the passage in making a point about the “capricious enforcement” which was an inevitable feature of the unworkable mess better known as Obamacare.

But two and a half years later, it’s evident that observation could just as easily have been applied to our byzantine tax code, our environmental regulations, and even laws pertaining to press freedoms under the Obama administration.  As Dan wrote earlier today, the only folks who are surprised by any of these scandals are the ones who haven’t been paying attention to what has been going with our government since January 20, 2009.

In the case of the Obama administration, though, it’s not strictly capricious enforcement, but selective enforcement, always with a partisan goal in mind.  The IRS targeting of the Tea Party and conservative organizations is appalling, but one would have to be naive not to believe, as ABC’s Trey Hardin noted today, that it wasn’t authorized by someone in the West Wing.  Hardin observed (audio at the link):

I will tell you this on the IRS front. I’ve worked in this town for over 20 years in the White House and on Capitol Hill and I can say with a very strong sense of certainty that there are people very close to this president that not only knew what the IRS were doing but authorized it. It simply just does not happen at an agency level like that without political advisers likely in the West Wing certainly connected to the president’s ongoing campaign organization.

And it’s not just the IRS.  Earlier today it came out that the EPA waived fees for leftist organizations and leftist journalists who requested information, but not for conservative ones:   “Conservative groups seeking information from the Environmental Protection Agency have been routinely hindered by fees normally waived for media and watchdog groups, while fees for more than 90 percent of requests from green groups were waived, according to requests reviewed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute.”  Yes, this would be the same EPA that has classified carbon dioxide as a pollutant, making the mere act of exhaling potentially troublesome.

A coincidence?  I think not.  This is the same administration committed to picking winners and losers on most matters.  Hence, it should surprise no one that while oil companies are prosecuted for the deaths of eagles and other protected species, the bird-killing wind farms are naturally given a pass.   Clearly, some energy companies are more equal than others.

It’s the same with journalists.  Just a day after the AP snooping scandal broke, the administration is playing favorites again.  Jake Tapper has gained a reputation as one who can be counted on to ask tough questions of the White House with greater frequency than the reporters at most of the other lamestream news organizations.  Well, today Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection is reporting that the White House played Jake Tapper by selectively leaking one e-mail with the apparent aim of creating a diversion in the reporting about the Benghazi cover-up.  Jacobson writes: “Like I said, this entire diversion of leaking a single email out of a chain of emails to Tapper was simply meant to put critics of the administration back on their heels and to provide an excuse for White House defenders to throw around words like ‘doctored.'”

And so what else do we see today?  Well, all of a sudden the administration’s lackeys in the press such as Hilary Rosen are now out expressing their sympathy for poor Jay Carney.  I guess they’re afraid of ending up as the subject of a DOJ snooping scandal or an IRS investigation or a selective leak.

 

Look what else is hanging out in the Weiners’ closet…

Alright, so it’s well-known (and almost excusable with today’s short-attention-span public) that sex sells. That explains why the at-first reluctant former mainstream media went wall-to-wall with coverage of soon-to-be (but not soon enough) former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner’s naughtiness. (Of course, their initial reluctance is no question due to the “D” he wears on the right side of his title.) That Weiner was one of the nastiest, most partisan, and rhetorically ugly members of the once-vaunted assembly was of no interest to the press. That his support for policies that have been an albatross around America’s neck also rose no brows. What they wanted were those pics (once Andrew Breitbart forced their hands with undeniable photographic evidence that they were never going to seek out themselves) and a salacious headline (one preferably that included a grade-school-era pun, if possible, please).

The next thing the press darlings love is a human-interest story. Forget the details of a crime. Forget any sort of ongoing work of the authorities to capture a criminal. Certainly forget any sort of racial description of an alleged perpetrator. But if something’s gone down in the big city, you can count on the locals (and if it’s dramatic enough, the Big Three) to cover the angle of the family that’s been affected or the children left orphaned.

So we were introduced over and over to the dutiful wife, Huma Abedin—currently with child. Naturally the angle of her working for the oft-humiliated wife of the former president and current Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, was played, often with a sly wink. Much was made about the likelihood of the two conferring over how to best deal with the situation, both in public and in private. In fact, it wasn’t until Mrs. Weiner returned from her overseas trip with the Secretary (on which she’d been when the whole escapade broke) that the Congressman finally decided to fold up his tent and go home. There was even the irony of Bill Clinton having officiated at their wedding. (Is he a rabbi now? Talk about a comeback!)

In all that, though; in all the delving into this couple’s details and discussing ad nauseam about what’s next for them… no interest from those stalwarts for the Public’s Right To Know about this little tidbit:

It turns out that Huma Abedin may have very close links to a little terrorist organization known as the Muslim Brotherhood.

Al-Liwa Al-Arabi (translated here) claims to have leaked an extensive list of members of the Brotherhood’s secret women’s division, which is known alternately as the Muslim Sisterhood or the International Women’s Organization (IWO). This detailed list was partially published by Al Jazeera and several other major Arab newspapers. And it included Huma’s mother, Saleha Abedin.

Apparently her brother is also closely tied with the Brotherhood.
(more…)

Chris Matthews’ sensitivities FINALLY offended:

NewsBusters (a site hosted by the Media Research Center) is always a great source to highlight the blatant leftist leaning of what used to be considered ‘mainstream’ media outlets. One of their most visited nemeses is Chris Matthews of MSNBC.

Their latest link for Matthews highlights his comments last night regarding Rep. Anthony Weiner’s current predicament. It’s titled “Matthews: Weiner in Trouble Because His Behavior Offends ‘Culturally Backward’ Christian Conservatives”, and naturally this insinuation by Matthews grabs the viewer for its obvious condescension and elitism. But it seems NewsBusters may have missed an even more curious comment from the huge-headed commentator. As you view the imbedded video, tell me if what Matthews says at 0:10 strikes you as well:

 

It’s getting very very hard to defend the behavior—politically—of the party. Now you throw on top of that, immoral behavior, indiscreet behavior, embarrassing behavior, gross behavior like this…”

(My emphasis)

Now? “NOW “?!

Where was Matthews when Rep. Massa was playing tickle-fight with his staffers and encountering Rahm Emanuel in the shower? Has he never heard of Barney Frank’s brothel? Elliot Spitzer, Jim McGreevey, and my God, Bill Clinton?!

NOW“?!

Should we consider from Matthews that all these (and believe me, we could go on all day listing them, no?) dalliances pale in comparison with Weiner twitting pics of his unit to consenting, presumably adult ladies, and that this most recent embarrassment to the party of Jackson and Jefferson is finally the one that sends him over the edge?

Thank goodness for MRC and NewsBusters for watching his incoherent drivel so we don’t have to and can therefore enjoy the snippets of it for what they’re worth: a theater of the absurd.

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HQ)

UPDATE (from Dan):  Nick, seems Matthews believes 91% of Americans are “‘Culturally Backward’ Christian Conservatives” given that that percentage of our fellow citizens believe it is “morally wrong” for a married man (or woman) to have an affair.

Was Obama Channeling Robert Byrd on The View?

I am sick to my stomach and furious that our so-called “post-racial” President uttered these words on national TV today:

When asked about his background, which includes a black father and white mother, Obama said of African-Americans: “We are sort of a mongrel people.”

I initially was going to resist posting on this because I really despise racial politics.  But since we are getting some new readership from the Left (and they have no clue about American history), I thought it was important. 

Does President Obama have any idea what he just put out there on the table?  Perhaps the most incendiary language in American history

From the article ‘D. W. Griffith and “The Birth of A Monster‘:  [Reference: Who Is D. W. Griffith?]

D.W. Griffith’s 1915 motion picture The Birth of a Nation — originally titled The Clansman — a film which presented a re-writing of the actual history of post Civil War Reconstruction by the same Confederate traitors aginst whom the war had to be fought. It portrayed African-Americans in the post-Civil War South as depraved, lascivious beasts whose rampant lawlessness and alleged domination of the South — through military force and control of the state legislatures — threatened to destroy “Southern civilization” and “mongrelize the races”. The film asserts that this could only be stopped by the glorified lynchings and reign of terror carried out by the “honorable” new, secret order of the “chivalrous” Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

<…>

In most of the Northern cities where the The Birth of a Nation was scheduled to be shown, political fights exploded, and some small riots did occur in Philadelphia and elsewhere where the film was shown. The NAACP and others attempted to seek either a banning of the film completely, or to force the editing-out of the most egregious racist scenes. For the most part, those attempts were futile. Endless hearings were held before mayors, state legislatures, city councils, and state and city censorship boards across the country. The Illinois legislature voted 111-2 to ban the showing in that state, but eventually lost on judicial appeals filed by the film’s promoters.

Those hearings became platforms for the pro-Griffith lobby to pronounce the alleged virtues of eugenics. In New York City, Griffith’s lawyer Martin W. Littleton told Mayor Mitchell that the film was a “protest against the mongrel mixture of black and white.”

It is disgusting and putrid that a President of the United States bring this kind of filth language into the public discourse when our nation has moved so far past it.  Laura Ingraham is correct, Obama is not “post-racial” — he is the most racial and divisive President we have ever had.  Two top Democrat operatives agreed with that conclusion as well this week.

Rather than being a unifier, Mr. Obama has divided America on the basis of race, class and partisanship. Moreover, his cynical approach to governance has encouraged his allies to pursue a similar strategy of racially divisive politics on his behalf.

We have seen the divisive approach under Republican presidents as well—particularly the administrations of Richard Nixon and George W. Bush. It was wrong then, and it is wrong now. By dividing America, Mr. Obama has brought our government to the brink of a crisis of legitimacy, compromising our ability to address our most important policy issues.

<…>

The president had a unique opportunity to focus on overarching issues of importance to whites and blacks. He has failed to address the critical challenges. He has not used his bully pulpit to emphasize the importance of racial unity and the common interest of poor whites and blacks who need training, job opportunities, and the possibility of realizing the American Dream. He hasn’t done enough to address youth unemployment—which in the white community is 23.2% and in the black community is 39.9%.

Mr. Obama has also cynically divided the country on class lines. He has taken to playing the populist card time and time again. He bashes Wall Street and insurance companies whenever convenient to advance his programs, yet he has been eager to accept campaign contributions and negotiate with these very same banks and corporations behind closed doors in order to advance his political agenda.

Obama’s use of the expression “mongrel people” on The View is further evidence that this President wants to stab America at its heart and divide our people in a way that no other President has.

I have always questioned Obama’s knowledge and comprehension of the American Experience and the American Character.  Now I truly do not believe he has any clue about either.  This is a dangerous man we have elected.

[RELATED: Mongrel. Sexism. Just Another Healing Day for the POTUS – Liberty Pundits]

-Bruce (GayPatriot)