Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Brief Flynn Case Update - 6/30/17

Yesterday Jan Jekielek of The Epoch Times came out with an interview with Flynn lead attorney Sidney Powell. The interview is nearly an hour long and I'm not done with it yet. However, at the very beginning there is a brief exchange in which Powell explains the current status of the case. Or tries to. In effect, she is only able to speculate about what is going on with Sullivan. Here is my transcript, which I offer because it may answer some of the typical questions that are asked. One word of explanation. While Powell states that the Court of Appeals doesn't set an explicity time within which its order must be complied with, the standard time period for executing orders is something like 21 days (I'll be happy to be corrected on that if I'm mistaken). It's possible that Sullivan intends to simply delay for that period of time, given that he has suspended his other activity in the case. Here's the exchange:

Q: Jan Jekielek 
A: Sidney Powell 
Q: Let's talk about where we are today. The DC Circuit Court of Appeals has basically said, has ordered Judge Sullivan, to close the case. And I think he had 24 hours to do so and he didn't do it. So, What's going on? Where are we at here? 
A: Well, they don't really put a time limit on the order, but I can't say in my decades of practice--and we're not going to number those--that I've ever seen a judge NOT do what he was told to do by what's called a writ of mandamus or extraordinary writ--an order directly from the Circuit Court of Appeals to do something. They always do it within 24 to 48 hours. I just haven't seen that happen, with the possible exception of one case way back when. I had to get a writ of mandamus issued against a federal district judge TWICE in the same case. Now we are certainly hoping that doesn't have to happen here and that the order will be signed shortly, because he's [Sullivan's] not a party to the case. That doesn't mean the full court can't review the case on its own, but it would be unprecedented to do so in these circumstances.

That's where we stand for now. As I indicated above, my best guess is that Sullivan intends to delay up to the point that delay would become defiance. That would bring us up to approximately July 15, the day before his previously scheduled hearing, set for July 16. That hearing was suspended by Sullivan's own order. That would simply be Sullivan giving the Court of Appeals the bird.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Voting Isn't Enough: An End To Silence?

Today I link two articles that address the problem of conservative silence. We hear often of a "silent majority." The term describes a real phenomenon in America, but it also describes a real problem for conservatives who seek to form a culture that embodies their values.

A majority that is afraid to speak its views in the public square is a serious problem for any society that is dedicated to the principle of representative government. In the past governments attempted to suppress speech that governments disapproved of. That type of speech suppression by the governing authorities is what our First Amendment was designed to eliminate. The idea behind the First Amendment was that a free marketplace of information and ideas would be the best way to combat harmful ideas.

Today we face a somewhat different problem. A hegemonistic cultural Establishment--yet one with close ties to political actors and instiututions--has obtained control over core institutions in our society: educational institutions, the greater part of the media, much of the executive governing institutions, as well as our public judical philosophy for the most part. They have done this in the name of a Leftist ideology that is allied to the political effort to "fundamentally transform" America and its constitutional order. And in support of that effort they actively seek to to suppress dissenting speech or the expression of ideas that oppose their own. This hegemonistic imperative is advanced as often as not by private actors rather than by the government, and when the government is involved the enforcement is often "subcontracted" to private actors who rely upon novel judicial interpretations to threaten employment and livelihood to enforce conformity.

And so I offer these two articles that address this unique problem that we face.

Slow Blogging

Newsworthy items were scarce yesterday. In addition, for several days I have been/will be cooperating with a project related to the usual topics covered here. Therefore, blogging may be scant for a few days. I will, of course, enable comments.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

A Liberal's Full Throated Defense Of Barr

I'll pretty much just point to the article in question. It's by Jonathan Turley, one of the few liberals left with a sense of decency and who also values basic constitutional values and the rule of law:

Think twice about why the media attacks William Barr

What Turley has to say about Barr's personality and character in general fits in well with what I consider to have been the very positive impression made in his interview with Senator Ted Cruz. Nobody who knows anything about Barr questions his dedication and determination, which matches his legal acumen. Like Turley some may disagree with Barr on particular issues--that's to be expected--but no one doubts his commitment to staying the course when he takes on a task. Here are a few excerpts that touch on that:

Piling on Barr has never been more popular — but the basis for this criticism has never been weaker. Three particular news stories seemed to break entirely free from any factual or legal moorings, and no one seemed to care.
Legitimate objections can be raised about Barr’s policies; I’ve criticized him for some of those, and we have disagreed for decades over constitutional law and executive branch power. However, I’ve never known a more honest, direct person in Washington. Barr’s real flaw is his lack of concern over the optics of his actions; he spends much time thinking about the right action to take and little time about how it is presented or perceived.

 The three particular cases that have recently been raised in impugning Barr's judgment but more particularly his integrity--and which Turly examines in some detail--are these:

The Flynn case

The Berman matter

The Cohen matter

If any of that interests you, follow the link.

Strzok, Page, Baker Emails Re Logan Act

Catherine Herridge has a twitter thread in which she provides images of two internal FBI email exchanges early in the work day of January 4, 2017. Those email exchanges involve Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and James A. Baker. First, here is an image of the emails:

Now, bear in mind that James A. Baker was at the time the top legal guy at the FBI--he was General Counsel, which means that he was disgraced former FBI Director James Comey's personal lawyer for official purposes. Lisa Page's exact position in the organizational pecking order is a bit more ambiguous, but as Counsel to the Deputy Director, Andy McCabe--who was in charge of day to day operations--she would ipso facto have a lot of clout.

The first email is from Lisa Page to James Baker, and is captioned: "code section at question." I wonder whether Page means "code section IN question"? The entire text of the email is simply the United States Code citation to the Logan Act: "18 USC 953".

What's going on here?

Informed Opinion On Covid?

My wife and I were lamenting yesterday the glaring lack of transparency regarding SARS CoV-2 (i.e., Covid). I've long since come to the view that this lack of transparency on the part of most of our State and local governments and the public health authorities can only be explained by political motives. There's no health related reason why, at this point, we should not have access to the data that they have. Not to put too fine a point on it, Lib Prog fear mongering must be behind the lack of transparency. The fact of the matter is, you know and I know that--after months of the pandemic--there is no lack of relevant data out there, collected by government health officials. Yet somehow that relevant data is, for the most part, not being pushed out to the people (you and me) who need it to respond rationally. It's as if there are people or 'folks' who don't want us to know, who don't want us to be part of the decision making process.

Amid the talk of a new surge of "cases", I want to know what a "case" is, how that relates to hospitalizations and deaths, and who these people who have become "cases" actually are. More, I'd like to know how they became "cases."

Now along comes the State of Florida--and Avik Roy to explain what's going one there. Maybe this data--which unfortunately doesn't include data on contact tracing, the "how"--will suggest a rational course of action. I don't think Roy can be mistaken for a hardcore Trump apologist. This data raises serious questions about what's currently going on, both medically and politically. It's certainly a useful starting place for informed discussion:

Friday, June 26, 2020

Two Recommended Reads 6/26/17

The first one is for those who need a dose of optimism to cheer them up. It's by Conrad Black, who writes elegantly and reasons cogently--and has been in the belly of the Swamp Beast:

The Democrats Indulge in a Death Wish
Maybe voters should grant their wish.

The second is a real head shaker. In a way it works with Black's article, in that I just can't conceive that America is remotely ready for this. Andrea Widburg draws attention to what many of you have surely noticed:

In the maddened leftist world, it’s women who are taking the lead

Here's just the first few paragraphs--lots of goodness follows:
We’ve all been watching, stupefied, as increasing numbers of men insist that they are, in fact, women. Theories range from hormonal imbalances due to women taking the Pill before pregnancy, to missing fathers, to leftist social and cultural indoctrination. Watching the escalating madness from the American left, though, it is starting to look as if men want to be women because women on the left have all the power (a theory I advance with no small degree of sarcasm).
In a must-read post, Monica Showalter described the way in which white leftists are taking over the Black Lives Matter movement: 
According to a new study from Pew Research, blacks are far from the top racial minority group involved in these protests. 
Wow. Only one in six protestors is actually black, and based on the photos seen of anti-racism protests, it's a lot less than that, except of course, if they've put blacks at the back of the line or something. But in reality, it sounds like [BET Founder Robert] Johnson is right in that Blacks would rather not get involved. This is whitey's show.

More On Fallout From The Strzok Notes

Please note that I have corrected this post based on info from commenter Cassander--Sally Yates was NOT Acting AG at the time of the Oval Office meeting re Flynn.

The enormity of the revelation from the Peter Strzok notes is slowly starting to sink in. It's not that the notes reveal things that--realistically--we didn't know already. It's that we can now look to the future and get some idea of what could be in the offing--what has the Progs and Libs and crazy Lefties of all sorts bouncing off the walls.

Let me start my pasting in some dressed up comments from earlier this morning, exchanges with commenters.

My initial impression upon looking at the Strzok notes was that they appeared to have been taken by a participant at the Oval Office meeting involving Obama, Biden, Sally Yates (NB: Did AG Loretta Lynch absent herself deliberately?) and disgraced former FBI Director Jim Comey. But there's no way that a guy at Strzok's level could have been present at such a meeting. We'll probably find out later how it worked. I don't believe Comey could have recorded it, so I'm guessing--just a guess--that Comey took notes on his way back to FBIHQ and then, as part of a briefing for the Russia Hoax inner circle at FBIHQ, read the notes to participants in that briefing--who took notes on Comey's notes. Perhaps if we could get a look at the redacted portions of the notes we'd understand fully. Or, perhaps Strzok wasn't actually present at that Comey briefing but received a second hand briefing, and took notes from someone else who was reading their notes from the Comey briefing.

However it worked, the very fact that there were any such briefings raises interesting prospects for the future, prospects that the Barr/Durham investigation is unquestionably focused on. We have to presume that at the Comey briefing issues that flowed from the Oval Office meeting were discussed. Issues like: Where do we go from here? What concrete steps do we at the FBI take?

Durham will want to know--among other things:

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Great Interview With AG Barr

This is a very wideranging interview with Bill Barr on Verdict with Ted Cruz. Among the topics covered: The Flynn Case, the Strzok notes, Antifa, Big Tech censorship, media bias and news suppression, the Berman firing--and why Barr agreed to return to DoJ when it was certain to be nothing but headaches. It's about 30 minutes long and well worth the time spent watching it.

Did Obama Try To Throw Comey Under The Bus

As if we needed confirmation, yesterday's developments in the Flynn case--both the Court of Appeals' decision but especially the bombshell Strzok notes disclosure--demonstrate that the Establishment media has failed with Fake News and has adopted the tactic of News Suppression. It was still stunning to realize that virtually nothing was said in the Establishment media about Obama's statements in the Oval Office meeting with disgraced FBI Director Jim Comey and Acting AG Sally Yates--as well as Joe Biden. Those statements were recorded in notes taken by disgraced former FBI agent Peter Strzok, probably as briefed by Comey after the meeting. Obama clearly urged the FBI Director to take official actions that the FBI Director had stated were unwarranted, because the matter under discussion "appeared legit."

Imagine if it had become known that Trump--or any Republican president you care to name--had said in similar circumstances:

Make sure you look at things, have the right people on it.

The collective howl from the Establishment media would have been heard around the globe. We would have had a mob descend upon the White House, probably including multiple GOP senators.

It seems clear to me that at this stage in the transition the Obama administration still had hopes of preventing Trump's inauguration. The lengths to which they were willing to go in that effort are revealed by Strzok's notes. It's worth taking another look at Susan Rice's email-to-self in light of these new revelations.

The Rice email has always been suspicious. For starters, the email was patently an exercise in ass covering: the "by the book" admonition attributed to Obama is really the main point of the email. This becomes apparent when we recollect several facts:

A user-friendly analysis of Rao's Flynn opinion

Andrea Widburg has an outstanding, detailed, yet reader friendly explanation of Judge Rao's opinion yesterday, granting Flynn's petition for a writ of mandamus--ordering Sullivan to dismiss the case against Flynn:

A user-friendly analysis explaining why Flynn’s case got dismissed

Because the article is so detailed it's impossible to summarize it fairly. Rest assured, however, it's very accessible. One aspect that Widburg concentrates on is Rao's "brutal takedown of Wilkins' silly reasoning" in his dissent. It takes seven points to plumb the silliness of the dissent.

Widburg considers an en banc review of the decision unlikely, due to the very detailed and tightly reasoned nature of Rao's opinion.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Are We All Trannies Now?

Excellent commentary on Gorsuch's insane opinion, from the WSJ. But, of course, the implications are quite broad:

The Abolition of Man and Woman

If each of us is defined by a ‘gender identity’ related only arbitrarily to sex, we are all transgender now.

David Crawford and Michael Hanby

A commonplace assumption of American liberalism, that courts merely preside over contests of rights, conceals the judiciary’s limitless power to decide questions of truth without thinking deeply or even honestly about them. Bostock v. Clayton County is a case in point. ...

The court has intervened in a bitterly contested question—a question of philosophy before it is a question of law—and codified a radical new conception of human nature with a dubious ideological history. It has inscribed into law the abolition of man and woman.


This would be laughable were its implications not so humanly disastrous. ...

These are metaphysical judgments. Yet Justice Gorsuch fails to recognize that the crux of his argument relies on and effectively codifies them. The question of sex discrimination in employment is relatively unimportant compared with the momentous imposition by law of these highly questionable philosophical propositions with their implications for society.

It is impossible to redefine human nature for only one person. ... If each of us is defined by a “gender identity” only arbitrarily related to our male and female bodies, now relegated to a meaningless biological substrate, then there is no longer any such thing as man or woman. We are all transgender now, even if sex and “gender identity” accidentally coincide in an overwhelming majority of instances.

The example shows the ruling’s totalitarian character. It requires everyone to live for all public and practical purposes as if what they know to be true in their pre-ideological experience of reality—the knowledge we imbibe with our mother’s milk—were officially false, a “stereotype.” Even worse, it requires everyone to live as if what they know to be false were officially true. ... The war on pronouns, an assault upon the language by which we recognize a world in common, follows of necessity. What we are dealing with is nothing less than a war on reality itself. And everyone has just been pressed into service.

There is no totalitarianism so total as that which claims authority over the meaning of nature. Increasingly the courts are assuming this authority, ..., all under the pretense of “neutrally” mediating between interests, rights, powers and authorities. ... But this is bosh, and no one believes it.

The burdens on free speech, free exercise and, perhaps most fundamentally, free thought, are obvious. But the burden on the basic unity of human society is even weightier. The court has abolished the fundamental fact on which every civilization depends, indeed on which the human species depends.


Dems Will Hold A 'Virtual' Convention

The official excuse is Covid, but I think everyone knows better. The Dems need a tightly scripted convention to try to slip a not "all there" candidate past the nation. I doubt it'll work. He'll still have to run a campaign of some sort.

Another unspoken reason is probably sheer fear. Fear of their base turning up and trashing Milwaukee on national TV. Fear of rage of the Bernie Bros, cheated of a nomination once again by the Liberal Oligarchs. Fear of platform fights. Fear of the Freak Shows that recent Dem conventions have become. Again, I doubt they can pull this off.

Highly Recommended: The rioters and the rentiers

This is an article by Michael Lind that analyzes the various factors behind the Blue City riots:

The rioters and the rentiers
Post-industrial cities aren’t working

I found the article to be quite insightful--and it spells trouble for the Dems in the long term as well as the short term. To give you a flavor, here are a few paragraphs, but a full reading is highly recommended:

The economy of America’s major hub cities is based not on profits from the sale of manufactured goods, but on economic rents of various kinds. Interest payments flow to financiers on Wall Street. Royalties for the use of intellectual properties flow to Silicon Valley tech firms and individual tech tycoons. Similar royalties flow to the Hollywood-based entertainment industry. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and search engines like Google derive quasi-rents from their near-monopolies of online advertisements. 
These three industries — Wall Street, Silicon Valley and Hollywood — provide the donor base for the Democratic party, a political machine that has virtually unchecked one-party control of most larger cities in the United States. Industries that make physical products and engage in physical services — national manufacturing, oil and gas, agribusiness, logistics — tend to contribute to the Republican party. 
The political economy of America’s progressive Democratic cities is an extreme version of the very trickle-down economics that Democrats like to denounce. Financial rents and intellectual property payments flow from around the US and the world to billionaires and firms in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and other ‘blue’ cities. Some of the rents that go to the Democratic rich are then shared as payoffs to constituencies that get out the vote for Democratic machine politicians, of which the most important are the public-sector employee and teachers’ unions.

Human Nature: An Oppressive Construct

Here's an excerpt from a Rod Dreher article--actually it's mostly from the NYT:

A Minneapolis Neighborhood Vowed to Check Its Privilege. It’s Already Being Tested.
Blocks from where George Floyd drew his last breaths, residents have vowed to avoid the police to protect people of color. The commitment is hard to keep.

Here is a banana split of Schadenfreude, courtesy of The New Woke Times. It seems that a mostly white, left-wing neighborhood in Minneapolis decided that to protect black lives, its residents would no longer call the police when crimes are happening. This is not going so well for them. Excerpts:

After the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police, Ms. Albers, who is white, and many of her progressive neighbors have vowed to avoid calling law enforcement into their community. Doing so, they believed, would add to the pain that black residents of Minneapolis were feeling and could put them in danger.
Already, that commitment is being challenged. Two weeks ago, dozens of multicolored tents appeared in the neighborhood park. They were brought by homeless people who were displaced during the unrest that gripped the city. The multiracial group of roughly 300 new residents seems to grow larger and more entrenched every day. They do laundry, listen to music and strategize about how to find permanent housing. Some are hampered by mental illness, addiction or both.
Their presence has drawn heavy car traffic into the neighborhood, some from drug dealers. At least two residents have overdosed in the encampment and had to be taken away in ambulances.
“I’m not being judgmental,” said Carrie Nightshade, 44, who explained that she no longer felt comfortable letting her children, 12 and 9, play in the park by themselves. “It’s not personal. It’s just not safe.”
On Friday, she sat in a shared backyard with four other women who live in neighboring houses. The women, four of whom are white, had called a meeting to vent about the camp.
Angelina Roslik burst into tears, explaining that she had spent the past four years fleeing unstable housing conditions and was struggling more than she cared to admit with the chaos the camp had brought into the neighborhood. Linnea Borden said she had stopped walking her dog through the park because she was tired of being catcalled. “My emotions change every 30 seconds,” said Tria Houser, who is part Native American.
The women agreed to let any property damage, including to their own homes, go ignored and to request a block party permit from the city to limit car traffic. Rather than turn to law enforcement if they saw anyone in physical danger, they resolved to call the American Indian Movement — a national organization created in 1968 to address Native American grievances such as police brutality — which had been policing its own community locally for years.
Tobie Miller, Ms. Albers’s 34-year-old daughter, lives just a block away from her mother, but lately, she said, they have felt a world apart. Ms. Miller began a concerted effort last year to challenge her own privileges by taking a class on racial biases.
She worries that a lot of what has been written about the camp on community message boards has been influenced by racial profiling. To the extent that illegal activity is going on in the park, Ms. Miller does not blame the tent residents. “My feeling around it is those are symptoms of systemic oppression,” she said. “And that’s not on them.”
This progressive white dude was robbed at gunpoint by two black teenagers. He called the cops. But now he feels bad about it:
Two days after an initial conversation, his position had evolved. “Been thinking more about it,” he wrote in a text message. “I regret calling the police. It was my instinct but I wish it hadn’t been. I put those boys in danger of death by calling the cops.”
Read it all. Please do — it is a glimpse into the kind of America these progressives wants for us all. They are lunatics. Ideology has made them crazy and self-destructive. They want to hand our cities over to armed robbers and roving lunatics.

This is pretty much what the election will come down to.

UPDATED: Will There Be An En Banc Rehearing On The Flynn/Sullivan Case?

I don't know. I've already indicated that my totally personal view is that it's probably not likely--but what do I know? The increasing evidence of very high level misconduct, the clear precedent--the "black letter law" cited by Judge Rao was written by an Obama appointee--suggests to me that the full Circuit will draw back from that course of action.

However, here is a series of tweets by shipwreckedcrew in which he sets out how such a move would proceed:

... the full court can take the matter up "en banc" on its own.  It will be a couple days before we know if any judge on the court asks for a vote on that option. 
The fact that Judge Wilkins wrote a detailed dissent in the Flynn decision does increase the chances the full court [might] take up the matter. A "call" for an en banc vote -- basically a call for a vote on whether the full court should rehear the matter -- can be made by any judge. 
All the full time active judges would then vote yes or no on rehearing the matter.  If a majority vote yes -- and there are many more Dems on the Court now tha[n] GOP appointees -- would render null the panel decision. 
Judge Wilkins dissent gives the judges two options to vote for -- to follow the majority and vote "no" on en banc review, or follow Judge Wilkins and vote yes.  The easy justification for voting "yes" and tossing the panel decision is to simply say "mandamus" wasn't justified. 
They can write an opinion that doesn't prejudge the outcome of Sullivan's hearing, but at the same time say the panel should not have used the extraordinary power of mandamus under the facts presented. 
Counter-balancing that instinct may be a real feeling on the Circuit Court that "enough is enough", and a sentiment that everyone will be better served by allowing this circus to close.

I suspect that the decision will be that it's time to draw the curtain on this fake prosecution. Why jeopardize their reputations? Especially with the new revelations about Obama and Biden's interference in the case.

UPDATE 1: Here's something I've been wondering about, and the Circuit judges might well wonder about it, too. It has to do with the release yesterday of the Strzok notes. I ask myself: How long has Barr/Durham/Jensen been sitting on those notes? Is it possible that the earlier docs were released but the Strzok notes were held back--for future use? The letter transmitting the Strzok notes to Powell, as I noted earlier, specifically states that further docs may be released in the future. In an uncertain situation of that sort, would the full Circuit Court feel comfortable in interjecting itself? They could end up with egg on their faces. The case is going to be dismissed, one way or another, so why keep it at the top of the news. For Dems, it's pretty much a no win situation. Of course, for Trump it's a no lose situation. He likes it like that.

UPDATE 2: Margot Cleveland has weighed in on this topic: Circuit Court Just Ordered Flynn’s Criminal Charges To Be Dropped — But Judge Sullivan Might Escalate Things Anyway. Despite the caption, Cleveland appears to believe that such a move by Sullivan would be likely be akin to a suicide charge, for reasons not dissimilar to those that commenter Tom Bop and I have articulated (Tom particularly well):

At this point, Sullivan need only grant the Department of Justice’s motion to dismiss and enter an order dismissing the criminal charge against Flynn with prejudice. That would end the matter. But as the respondent to Flynn’s petition for mandamus, Sullivan has the same options a normal litigant would have, including seeking review of the panel decision by the entire D.C. Circuit or requesting review by the United States Supreme Court. 
Given that Judge Robert Wilkins dissented from the majority opinion, authored by Judge Neomi Rao and joined by Judge Karen Henderson, Sullivan might just opt for open defiance. Such a course of action would be a mistake, though, as Rao penned a cautious opinion, focused on separation-of-powers concerns, that has an extremely limited reach. The majority opinion eviscerated every argument presented in Wilkins’ dissent. 
Rarely do federal appellate courts go en banc to rehear a case with narrow reach, ...

How's The Dem Smear Campaign Against Barr Working Out?

Not too well. As I wrote recently, Barr clearly remains unfazed. The hapless Jerry Nadler is currently trying to inflate Barr's dismissal of Geoffrey Berman into a thing--but it's not, and never will be. In a fine survey by Debra Heine--Indictments Likely Coming Down in Durham Probe and Antifa Financing Probe, Former Fed Says--a former top DoJ official, Jim Trusty (really), points out the farcical nature of Nadler's ploy:

“They’re trying to make it into this incredibly important inquisition about the misdeeds of Mr. Barr, and I gotta tell ya, I don’t think for a minute that Bill Barr is shaking in his boots or worrying about whether he has to appear by way of subpoena or just by volunteering. The president can move people around and the president can put new U.S. attorneys into office at his pleasure.”

Nadler's a total lightweight and Barr will brush him aside, like an overweight gnat. But in the meantime Barr has plenty of ability to shake up the public perception in some very major ways. The Flynn dismissal is very big, but even bigger is the revelation of Obama and Biden's roles in pressing disgraced former FBI Director James Comey to "investigate" Michael Flynn for acts that Comey himself is now revealed (through Peter Strzok notes) to have regarded as "legit." Against that factual backdrop, a Comey indictment--or really any other indictments stemming from the Durham investigations--will brush all other stories aside.

Further, the antics of Antifa and BLM are falling increasingly flat--except to the extent that they have encouraged Americans to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights in record numbers. The revelations coming from the attempt to railroad Flynn will also increasingly shunt those Leftist antics to the side, for any Americans who remain even remotely interested in fair play.

Most ominously, perhaps, Trusty believes that not only are Durham indictments on track for the relatively near future (Barr hinted recently that he's hoping for "developments" before the end of summer), but there could also be indictments coming against those behind Antifa:

UPDATED: Strzok's Notes Implicate Obama And Biden

When those sources told Sean Davis yesterday that Strzok notes that DoJ had just turned over to the Flynn team would be "explosive," they weren't kidding. Remember how I've stressed how important the Flynn case is for getting to the heart of the Russia Hoax. I thought that meant Team Mueller--and it probably still does. But now we're learning that Strzok's notes directly implicate Obama and Biden. Do you think Michael Flynn will have something to say about that--that Trump will, too--between now and the election? Me too.

We'll see more later, but here's the first take available. It appears that Strzok must have been briefed regarding Comey's conversation with Obama--and that Biden was also present at the discussion on the Flynn case:

Techno Fog
Peter Strzok notes from 1/4/17 released in Flynn case:
Discussion among Obama, Comey, Yates, Biden, and Susan Rice. 
Biden: "Logan Act" 
Obama: "Have the right people on" Flynn case. 
Comey: The Flynn/Kislyak calls "appear legit."

9:49 AM · Jun 24, 2020

From Sidney Powell's summary:

And a copy of the notes:

The immediate significance should be apparent: Comey told Obama (and Biden) that the Flynn - Kislyak calls "appear legit." Obama, however, wants Flynn investigated and wants Comey to be sure to have "the right people" on the case. Biden--apparently already suffering from senile dementia--chimes in: "Logan Act."

So Comey says, There's no case, there's no predication for an investigation. And Obama--the former "law professor"--appears to urge Comey to "investigate" Flynn anyway, and to handpick investigators who will be willing to go along with this illegal "investigation." That's huge! (I seem to be using that word a lot, today.)

And Dana Boente--Chris Wray's top legal counsel--was hiding this document? Very not good.

As Mr. Bean would say: Brace yourself!

UPDATE: Techno Fog states that the notes date from 1/4/17, but I don't see how that could be the case. Strzok's notes clearly appear to be notes taken at a briefing provided to top FBI officials by disgraced former FBI Director James Comey. The clearly appear to reflect Comey's recollections of the Oval Office meeting that took place on 1/5/17. In other words, on 1/4/17 Strzok got word from Comey that there would be a discussion of the Flynn case with Obama on 1/5/17--so Strzok immediately scrambled and told Pientka to keep the Flynn case open. Strzok's reason, as texted to Pientka, was that the "7th floor" was involved, i.e., Comey. But the real reason was that Obama was involved.

Margot Cleveland offers another shrewd insight. Susan Rice wrote her famous email to self, in which she memorialized the 1/5/17 Oval Office meeting, only after two weeks had passed: on 1/20/17, Inauguration day. Rice wrote the email at the direction of Neil Eggleston, Obama's White House Counsel. In that email Rice wrote that Obama instructed everyone to conduct the Flynn investigation "by the book."

But that, Cleveland notes, raises a very interesting question. What part of doing everything "by the book" is it for the POTUS--having been informed by the FBI Director that the matter under advisement "appears legit"--to nevertheless instruct the FBI Director:

Make sure you look at things, have the right people on it.

What "book" was Obama reading from when he gave those instructions to Comey? Further, as Cleveland points out, why did Strzok not include that admonition about the "book" in his notes? It's possible, of course, that Comey forgot to mention the admonition, but could it be that the admonition was never in fact given? That it was invented after the fact by Susan Rice at Neil Eggleston's instructions? Recall: Sally Yates, in her 302 on this meeting, did not mention any such admonition, either.

All of this suggests a disturbing mentality at Obama's White House, a mentality that was casting about wildly for some way--whether via Flynn and the nonsensical Logan Act claim, or Comey's attempted blackmail of Trump the next day with the "dossier" slander--to prevent Trump from being inaugurated as President of the United States.


Very, very, big news--per commenter atxnfo.

This is just now being picked up by commenters and news outlets. No time yet to read the opinion but the early accounts say that the DC Court of Appeals by 2-1 approved Flynn's petition for a writ of mandamus.

Per The Hill:

"In this case, the district court’s actions will result in specific harms to the exercise of the Executive Branch’s exclusive prosecutorial power," Judge Neomi Rao, who was appointed to the circuit court by President Trump, wrote in the majority opinion.
"If evidence comes to light calling into question the integrity or purpose of an underlying criminal investigation, the Executive Branch must have the authority to decide that further prosecution is not in the interest of justice," Rao added.

The ruling itself was a total no-brainer, only made close by the political foofaraw surrounding the Flynn case. Henderson was never going to allow Sullivan to trample established law, but the in-your-face nature of his arguments obviously convinced Henderson that Sullivan could not be trusted further than he could be thrown--so, no leeway granted. This will end up being a HUGE black eye for Team Mueller, Chris Wray's FBI, and the Fake News Media's Russia Hoax--because there is much more to follow, more evidence to be made public.

As important as anything else, Michael Flynn is now free to speak his mind and tell his story. That, too, will be huge as we head into the campaign season and as the Radical Left--proxies for the Dems--seek to turn the country upside down.

Per Undercover Huber--the victory for Flynn is "only partial." That's a tongue in cheek joke on his part. The "partial" part is that Sullivan wasn't kicked off the case--so Sullivan gets to dismiss it as ordered:

Undercover Huber

The ruling is only “partially” for @GenFlynn, as the appeals court ordered:
—Sullivan to dismiss the case 
—Gleeson’s appointment as “amicus” immediately “vacated”. Bye Felicia! 
—However they declined to grant the request to kick Judge Sullivan off the case immediately

Gleeson and Sullivan get the back of the Court's hand--Sullivan for ignoring "black letter law" and Gleeson essentially for being a jerk (that's a code word on a family oriented blog). The Court noted Gleeson's idiotic brief relied on "news stories, tweets, and other facts outside the record" as part of his "irregular and searching scrutiny" to encourage Sullivan to trespass on "a core aspect of the Executive's charging authority."


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Uh Oh! More Exculpatory Evidence In Flynn Case!

And according to Sean Davis this new evidence is "explosive." He's quoting "a source with direct knowledge" of the evidence. What's the evidence? It's handwritten notes, written by by Peter Strzok. The notes are undated but are believed to have been written right around January 3-5, 2017, when the FBI decided to keep the Flynn case open--despite Pientka's recommendation to close it because, well, it was all BS.

I know what you're asking--why wasn't this exculpatory evidence turned over previously? Good question! All I can suggest is that maybe it has something to do with Dana Boente's dismissal. Boente, you'll recall, was acting DAG at DoJ and signed off on one of the Page renewal FISAs. He then went over to be the top lawyer at the FBI, for Director Chris Wray.

The new exculpatory evidence isn't available yet, but I'm guessing it won't be long. In the meantime, below I've pasted in the letter (dated today) informing Flynn's lawyers of the new development.

The letter is somewhat amusing, in that Jocelyn Ballantine--the letter's signatory--also signed the final brief submitted to the Court of Appeals by DoJ, and included in it a huffy footnote dismissing the notion that there had been any prosecutorial misconduct whatsoever in the Flynn case. At that time it was thought that Ballantine was throwing the FBI under the bus. Nevertheless, inquiring minds would naturally want to know just how hard the Flynn prosecutors pushed the FBI regarding the entire issue of exculpatory evidence. After all, if "USA EDMO" [Jensen] was able to "obtain" these notes (and others), why were the original prosecutors unable to do so? And "additional documents may be forthcoming"! There's no possible way that this reflects well on Team Mueller, or on Sullivan who has been intent on jailing Flynn, rather than seeing justice done.

Sidney Powell
2911 Turtle Creek Blvd., Suite 300
Dallas, TX 75219 
Jesse Binnall
Harvey & Binnall, PLLC
717 King Street
Suite 300
Alexandria, VA 22314 
Re: United States v. Michael T. Flynn, 17-cr-00232 (EGS) 
Dear Counsel: 
As we have previously disclosed, beginning in January 2020, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri has been conducting a review of the Michael T. Flynn investigation. The enclosed document was obtained and analyzed by USA EDMO during the course of its review. This page of notes was taken by former Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok. While the page itself is undated; we believe that the notes were taken in early January 2017, possibly between January 3 and January 5. These materials are covered by the Protective Order entered by the Court on February 21, 2018; additional documents may be forthcoming.
Acting United States Attorney
By: /s/
Jocelyn Ballantine
Assistant United States Attorney

Minneapolis Wants Feds To Help Police The City

Ridiculous: Minneapolis Mayor Frey Asks for Help From Feds as Shootings Escalate to Chicago-Like Levels.

Didn't Minneapolis use to have a Police Department of its own? But the City Council voted to defund the Police Department, and now they want the Feds to rescue them?

If people are going to vote for a mayor like this, they should get what they vote for. Good and hard.

All I can hope is that this--and the similar examples of other Blue states and cities--will be, yes, a wake up call to the rest of the nation.

Geoffrey Berman's Ukraine-Biden Connection Surfaces

Maybe Geoffrey Berman should have just bowed out semi-gracefully. The idea that Berman's ouster was only about De Blasio's meanness to religious New Yorkers was always a bit difficult to accept. There's no possible way that Berman was not in Trump or Barr's sights, given what John Solomon has turned up:

Fired NY prosecutor was given Biden-Ukraine allegations in 2018 but didn’t follow up, emails show
Ukraine prosecutors didn't want the political spectacle that became impeachment and simply sought to turn over evidence about Joe Biden and election interference to U.S. prosecutors, memos show.

This story is detail rich, so I'll ask you to follow the link, above, after the intro. However, it does tend to confirm Tom Luongo's contention that the SDNY is a key Deep State ally. The fake impeachment simply could not have happened without this kind of help. It all shows that what's needed is a sprawling investigation. No wonder Barr says it will continue after the election:

Could the impeachment scandal have been prevented if the now-fired U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman had followed up on Ukrainian allegations about Joe Biden and his family in 2018? 
That’s the tantalizing question raised by emails from fall 2018 between an American lawyer and the chief federal prosecutor in Manhattan that were obtained by Just the News. 
The memos show that well before Ukrainian prosecutors reached out to Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s lawyer, in 2019 to talk about the Bidens and alleged 2016 election interference they first approached Berman’s office in New York in October 2018 via another American lawyer. 
The memos show Little Rock, Ark., lawyer Bud Cummins, a former U.S. attorney himself, reached out at least five times in October 2018 to Berman seeking to arrange a meeting with then-Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko. 
Lutsenko, who emerged as a key figure in the impeachment scandal, wanted to confidentially share with federal prosecutors in New York evidence he claimed to possess that raised concerns about the Bidens’ behavior as well as alleged wrongdoing in the Paul Manafort corruption case. 
“Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko is offering to come to U.S. meet with high-level law enforcement to share the fruits of investigations within Ukraine which have produced evidence of two basic alleged crimes,” Cummins wrote Berman on Oct. 4, 2018, one day after the two had talked on the phone about the allegations. 
The allegations included that Joe Biden had “exercised influence to protect Burisma Holdings” after his son Hunter and his son’s business partner Devon Archer had joined the Ukrainian gas company’s board of directors and “substantial sums of money were paid to them,” Cummins wrote.

UPDATED: Not Just A Weekend Sport?

It can't be Father's Day every day of the week--Father’s Day in Chicago: 111 Shot, 14 Killed--but it's a mark we can aim for:

41 Shot, 6 Fatally Monday In Chicago

And of course it's not just Chicago. Law and order is melting down in other metro areas across the country. Having loosed their base into the streets and egged on the violence of the Left, the Dems may soon--almost certainly are already--facing the dilemma: how do they reestablish some semblance of control? These are their cities, their base, their crazies. Has anyone thought this through?

UPDATE: Meanwhile, just so you know that Dems aren't, like, totally serious about improving the quality of life in Chicago ...

Murals Celebrating LGBTQ Life To Be Installed In Chicago

The murals will be along Chicago's "Magnificent Mile," which will likely be renamed the Fabulous Mile in the near future.

America In A Race To The Bottom?

How dumb can we get? This dumb:

As the far-left continues to push for various American institutions or locations to change their historic names, the governor of Rhode Island is taking steps to rename her entire state, according to the New York Post. 
Governor Gina Raimondo (D-R.I.), signed an order aimed at changing Rhode Island’s full official name, which is “The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.” 
The little-known but official portion of “Providence Plantations” has come under fire in recent days, with some falsely claiming that it carries connotations of slavery. As such, Raimondo’s directive, Executive Order 20-48, directs that the name be simply changed to “Rhode Island.”

Will the American people lash back against PC enforced stupidity? We're about to find out.

In the meantime, come August the Dems will hold their convention in Milwaukee. I'm very curious to see just what kind of a freak show it can turn into.

Many Americans aren't waiting to see any more of the Left Freak Show in the major cities. The news is full of stories of booming real estate markets outside major metro areas, including for second homes. Normals are voting with their feet, having given up on Dem "governance."

Emailer Todd sent me this story, which we both noticed last night. Well played Mayor Jenny!
Due to Seattle’s unrest, billion-dollar investment firm moving to Phoenix
PHOENIX — Coronavirus pandemic or not, an investment advisory company is leaving the cultural unrest in Seattle and moving its headquarters to Phoenix’s Camelback Corridor. 
” … The unrest that has taken place in the city of Seattle … there is really is not a downtown business community today,” Smead Capital Management, President and CEO Cole Smead told KTAR News 92.3 FM. 
Smead said that although taxes in Seattle are lower, candidate recruitment is harder and the cost of living within the city is more expensive than Phoenix. 
“We’re hearing rumors of 40-story buildings that will be only 20-percent occupied by October,” Smead said. 
“My biggest concern for Seattle was what the business community is going to come back to, and what kind of businesses are going to come back for customers.” 
He found that metro Phoenix offers a better quality of life. 
“My colleagues can pick the socio-economic rung of life that they want … live their lives, build their households and have a family if they’d like,” Smead said.
“Where we’re coming from just wasn’t like that.”

Build their lives, have a family ... Wow! Sounds, like, very normal! But Gorsuch and Roberts will be tracking them down to inflict "future cases" on them. Can't have normality breaking out like this.

Sounds like a great campaign slogan. Make America Normal Again.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Why Am I Not Surprised?

Shaun King--the formerly African-American (or should I say Black?) Lefty activist and fundraiser--is calling for the destruction of all images of Jesus that portray him as "white." Also slated for destruction would be all images of Jesus' "European" mother.

Shaun King 
Yes, I think the statues of the white European they claim is Jesus should also come down.  
They are a form of white supremacy.  
Always have been.  
In the Bible, when the family of Jesus wanted to hide, and blend in, guess where they went? 
Not Denmark. 
Tear them down.

Shaun King 
All murals and stained glass windows of white Jesus, and his European mother, and their white friends should also come down.  
They are a gross form white supremacy.  
Created as tools of oppression.  
Racist propaganda.  
They should all come down. 
12:07 PM - Jun 22, 2020

Just this morning I was wondering what new measures would be needed to placate the Leftist mobs once all statues of, for example, Teddy Roosevelt have been removed from public--or even not so public--view. This new iconoclasm solves that problem. Removing all images of Jesus and his European mother should keep the mobs busy for many years.

Beyond those practical considerations, though, this is a logical follow-on to Gorsuch and Robert's deconstruction of human nature, and the supine response from organized "Christianity."

TWO UPDATES: The Meaning Of The Berman Firing

Does Bill Barr have a strategy? That question is a bit like asking: Does Donald Trump know who his real enemies are, and why they hate him? The answer to both questions is an unequivocal 'Yes.' Tom Luongo has what seems to me to be a pretty shrewd account of how the Berman firing ties into everything else that's been going down since Trump took aim at becoming POTUS: the Russia Hoax (obviously), the hoax prosecutions in DC, the equally farcical anti-Trump lawfare prosecutions in the SDNY, and now the Soros,Deep State, Globalist Elite backed attempt at a 'Color Revolution' in the US--the Black Revolution. This is why Ukraine matters so much--the same players are at work.

It's a thoughtful piece and it makes clear how high the stakes are for the Deep State: The US Is In Civil War (And Why Berman's Firing Matters). It also may explain why Barr sees the Durham investigation continuing past the election even if 'developments' occur before the end of summer.


Sunday, June 21, 2020

Barr To Bartiromo: Durham Slowed By Covid Pandemic

AG Barr provided a bit of an update on the Durham investigation in an interview this morning with Maria Bartiromo. Highlights:

"There has been delay because of the pandemic." Barr cites problems caused by a reluctance to travel as well as physical difficulties in setting up interviews.

There has not been "an inability [to interview people], but a distinct slowing down in that process."

When Maria asks whether the pandemic has made it impossible to assemble grand juries, because of the necessary physical proximity, Barr hedges:

"I don't wanna suggest there has been or is a Grand Jury but it is a fact that there have not been grand juries in virtually all districts."

I take that to mean that there had been grand juries, but that their work has been curtailed or at a minimum slowed down because of the pandemic. Barr phrases it awkwardly, but it's clear that grand jury investigations in general have been curtailed, so we are to suppose that at best the process has been slowed down for Durham.

Barr hopes to see "developments"--indictments?--"before the end of the summer," but appears to envision at least some aspects of the investigation continuing past the election.

Maria was finally able to raise a smile from Barr when she asked whether Comey and McCabe knew by January, 2017, that the "dossier". Barr grinned and replied, "I don't wanna discuss that aspect." That followed Barr stating that the attempts by "four FBI case agents" to verify the "dossier" had "pretty much collapsed" by January and March of 2017 but "[the FBI] continued to use it as a basis for pursuing this counterintelligence investigation."

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Liberalism And The State Of Anti-Nature

I'll be quoting extensively from a fine article by Nick Timothy that appears in American Compass: Liberalism is Bringing About the State of Nature it Sought to Escape. Here's Timothy's bio:

Nick Timothy is the author of Remaking One Nation: The Future of Conservatism, a columnist for the Daily Telegraph, and a former Downing Street Chief of Staff.

What Timothy is talking about is similar to the critique of Classical Liberalism that Patrick Deneen and other Christian thinkers have advanced. Liberal theory derives ultimately, as we recently discussed, from the philosophical skepticism that has become--beginning in the late Middle Ages--the default public philosophy of the West. Basically, the chain of thinking is simply this: If Man is unable to definitively know reality--and especially not the objective reality of human nature--then the ultimate reality can only be each atomistic individual, who creates for himself his own reality. The "state of nature", then, is every man for himself against all others. That being the case, human life in a "state of nature," is likely to be, in the famous phrase of Thomas Hobbes, "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."

Out of sheer fear, then, civil society arises through a "social contract": to avoid the unpleasant consequences of the state of nature, men band together in a contract to maintain order and peace. But note well: this solution has nothing to do with human nature as such, which remains an essential unknown. It is an artificial contrivance that happens to suit most people, but it is not in and of itself a moral good, because in a philosophical skepticism there can be no objective moral laws. (As a brief aside, the truth of all this can be seen also in the increased politicization of science generally, as Liberalism ever more explicitly works out its presuppositions in actual practice.)

By contrast, the Christian view is that Man is able by reason to arrive at an objective knowledge of reality, therefore of the essential attributes of human nature, and then to work out an objective moral order that is based on the good of human nature. Morality and human society are "natural," based on the objective order of human nature, and are good in and of themselves. There is no such thing, in the Christian understanding, of a state of nature based on individuals because we are able to objectively know that all men share a common human nature. Civil society arises from the objective reality of human nature, beginning with the basic unit of the family--not the individual. In as state of nature man exists in solidarity with others.

Since Liberalism rejects this Christian understanding of reality on principle--both the left liberalism that we know, generally as Socialism, and the right liberalism that is known as Classical Liberalism or Libertarianism--it comes as no surprise at all that the cultural hegemony of Liberalism in the West increasingly refuses to attach meaning to the realities of human life, of male/female complementarity, and of the family. Thus we find even "conservatives" led down the same slippery slope of moral relativism as "liberals," even to the point this past week of espousing the astonishing notion that our sexual identity is whatever we choose to make up.

Now, with that introduction in mind, here is Timothy pointing out that the crisis of the West cannot be pinned solely on the Left. True, the Left has historically been more inclined toward a radically explicity abolition of human nature (think of C. S. Lewis' classic, The Abolition of Man), but Right liberals are now in a race to the bottom as well. "Conservative" theory, as we have been led to believe it to be, has contributed greatly to our crisis. Timothy's article may lack something in theoretical rigor (e.g., what exactly does he mean by "conservative", etc.) but I think he's painting a picture of our current state that may sharpen our own understanding of what we're faced with in this crisis. Of what paths may lead us out of our current dead end, and which will relegate us to digging our way into a deeper hole.

One additional thought--any resemblance between what Timothy is saying and the policy path Trump has chosen is surely no coincidence.

Antifa Update for June 20

Two shot in the Seattle Zone. One Killed, the other critically wounded. Via Red State and the Seattle PD Blotter:

Officers attempted to locate a shooting victim but were met by a violent crowd that prevented officers safe access to the victims. Officers were later informed that the victims, both males, had been transported to Harborview Medical Center by CHOP medics. 
Officers responded to Harborview and were informed that one of the victims, a 19-year-old male, had died from injuries. The other victim, also a male, unknown age, remains in the hospital with life-threatening injuries. 
Seattle Police Officers Guild President Michael Solan told “Fox & Friends Weekend” host Pete Hegseth that it is “no longer the summer of love” like Democratic Mayor Jenny Durkan claimed, but the “summer of chaos.” 
“Early this morning, that violence was raw and real where one of our community members lost their life and police are still not allowed into that area and were prevented to providing that police service to the area to locate victims and/or render aid. [It’s] very troubling what’s going on.” [….] 

Uh, no sh*t, Sherlock. I wonder what the rest of America thinks of this. Maybe we can take a poll on it once we figure everyone has returned from purchasing more guns.

“It can’t stand in America, and this is a direct result of city leadership, elected officials failing the reasonable community of Seattle to enforce the rule of law,” Solan told Hegseth.

More precisely, it's a direct result of Dems being put in positions of responsibility.

Related: My wife heard that in Chicago rapid transit ridership is down 80%. Who thinks that's gonna turn around--ever? Ridership has been declining for years, and has accelerated in the past few years as every day brings news of rapid transit shutdowns because of violent crime. That, of course, means loss of minority jobs, huge revenue shortfalls, etc. I have no doubt similar trends are occurring in most major cities.

And in Atlanta the white girl who torched Wendy's has been identified as a known far left activist, Natalie White (!). An arrest warrant has been issued.

UPDATED: Bill Barr Remains Unfazed

Even as the MSM drumbeat against AG Barr continues and Jerry Nadler is soliciting more "whistleblowers" to smear Barr, Barr signalled how unimpressed he is by it all by removing Geoffrey Berman--a Team Mueller ally--from his position as USA in the Southern District of NY (SDNY). Liberal heads are exploding.

Barr announced that Berman was "stepping down":

“I am pleased to announce that President Trump intends to nominate Jay Clayton, currently the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to serve as the next United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
... I thank Geoffrey Berman, who is stepping down after two-and-a-half years of service as United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.  ... I wish him well in the future.”

Pretty typical Barr stuff. He doesn't waste time and energy in a public debate.

Berman, on the other hand, is attempting to push back, claiming that he won't step down until Clayton is confirmed:

Friday, June 19, 2020

The DACA Decision In Historical Context

I was asked yesterday why I hadn't commented on the DACA decision. My view at the time was that it simply lacked legal interest--in those terms it was simply dumb. Further, it probably doesn't stand for any lasting precedent. That was an aspect that President Trump picked up on immediately. Some commenters, tongue in cheek, pointed out the implications of the decision if it were taken seriously as precedent: 

Blue Flu Cernovich
Today's DACA ruling gives Trump immense new power to confer rights upon citizens, even when those newly granted rights contravene statutory law. 
Under today's DACA ruling, Trump could create an executive order to workaround Section 230 immunity. 
Trump could declare via EO that citizens have a right to access social media, and that it is unlawful to ban people based on their political viewpoint. 
Under today’s DACA ruling, Trump can issue an executive order granting Americans amnesty from paying taxes.  
This ruling is a blank check.  
Never seen anything like this.  
The unitary executive theory is back, and on steroids!

But Trump, as usual, got to the heart of the matter:

Donald J. Trump
Do you get the impression that the Supreme Court doesn’t like me? 
10:10 AM · Jun 18, 2020

This was simply the Establishment reflexively thwarting our non-PC president, the president the Establishment abominates and wishes to vomit from its maw, without a thought for constitutional principles--hardly surprising after the Bostock decision. Indeed, the majority of the SCOTUS appeared to proceed without a thought for its own legitimacy, given that legitimacy in their own eyes is sufficient unto them. Legitimacy in the eyes of a huge portion of the great unwashed outside the major metro areas seems to not to be a concern.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

A Non-Reality Based Jurisprudence?

If anything good can be said to result from Neil Gorsuch's thoroughgoing deconstruction of America's constitutional order this week, it could be that his exposure of the intellectual and--therefore--moral bankruptcy of Libertarian based  jurisprudence will draw attention to the roots of the West's crisis. The roots of the crisis of the West are to be found in the Nominalist philosophy of the late Middle Ages, and the resultant skepticism that became the default public philosophy of the West. For our purposes, we can sketch the historical roots of this crisis in summary fashion.

The dominant tradition of Christian thought is grounded in the Platonic thought of Augustine. The central problem of Platonic thought, which Augustine introduced into the thought of the Christian West, is the problem of how--or whether--Man is able to know the real world that he inhabits. Suffice it to say that Plato himself never solved that problem and the Christian thinkers who followed in his footsteps had no more success than Plato did, being unwilling to abandon the authority of Augustine. The result was a tension between Christian faith--which is based on a realist philosophy that holds that Man has an objective knowledge of the world he inhabits--and the Platonic derived philosophy that formed the basis of Augustinian thought.

The introduction of the West to the thought of Aristotle in the 13th century led to a crisis in the Augustinian tradition, because it highlighted the inadequacies of the philosophy inherent in the Augustinian tradition. This led to the rise of schools of thought in late medieval philosophy called Voluntarism and Nominalism. Basically, these schools of thought followed out the implications of Platonism and reached the conclusion that Man is unable to arrive at a real, objective, knowledge of the world he inhabits. As a result, morality could no longer be considered to be based on insight into the objective order of human nature (natural law). Instead, they concluded that the moral law is simply drawn from the arbitrary commands of a God who is ultimately unknowable by human reason. Thus, as long ago as the 14th century Western man had arrived at a philosophical position not too different from what we know as legal positivism. The difference is that the Medieval thinkers still professed a belief in God.

In the wake of the Wars of Religion that followed the Protestant Revolt, with the breakdown of a common Christendom, Western intellectuals sought some system that would allow men of different "Christian" beliefs to nevertheless live together peaceably. The solutions that were proposed followed two paths. One sought a common ground among the warring sects--"Mere Christianity", as C. S. Lewis termed it--that prescinded from theological technicalities (as they were considered). This approach was grounded in the recognition of the strong hold that religion, Christianity, still had on most of the West. However, as public life in the West became ever more openly secular and skeptical, this societal modus vivendi. gradually lost support beyond an empty traditionalism. So much so that, today, to even publicly raise fundamental issues of morality and belief is, at best, almost a manifestation of bad taste. In fact, the dominant skepticism is well on its way to banning such speech and, if possible, even the thoughts.

The second, related, approach was more frankly secular. It found its clearest expression in the Enlightenment thought of Immanuel Kant, who abandoned all pretense that Man knows the real world--rather, said Kant, the human mind imposes order on whatever it is that Man thinks he knows. From that position it was a small step--and one which was explicitly taken by those who followed Kant--to the idea that Man creates his own reality. Reality, thus, is viewed as a product of Man's mind.

Sidney Powell Absolutely Skewers Gleeson

Today both DoJ and the Flynn team filed their replies to the excessively lengthy brief by Sullivan's "intemperate Amicus." The reply briefs basically cover the same legal ground as was previously done, with Sidney Powell for Flynn placing considerable emphasis on the government misconduct. Here are links to the two briefs:


To my way of thinking Powell's emphasis makes sense. It's hard to imagine a judge possessed of a conscience not being moved by page after page documenting the baseless prosecution of Flynn. If any of the three judges were disposed to allow this travesty to continue the one-two of binding precedent plus overwhelming evidence of government misconduct should force those judges to reconsider.

Powell finishes her brief with a sort of coup de grace (pp. 29-30):


 A federal judge once wrote:

[A] prosecutor can do justice by the simple act of going back into court and agreeing that justice should be done. * * * 
It is easy to be a tough prosecutor. Prosecutors are almost never criticized for being aggressive, or for fighting hard to obtain the maximum sentence, or for saying "there's nothing we can do" about an excessive sentence after all avenues of judicial relief have been exhausted. Doing justice can be much harder. It takes time and involves work, including careful consideration of the circumstances of particular crimes, defendants, and victims—and often the relevant events occurred in the distant past. It requires a willingness to make hard decisions, including some that will be criticized. 
This case is a perfect example. * * * 
By contrast, the decision []he has made required considerable work. Assistant United States Attorney ... had to retrieve and examine a[n] ... old case file. ... He requested and obtained an adjournment so his office could have the time necessary to make an extremely important decision. United States Attorneys' offices work with limited resources. The effort that went into deciding whether to agree to vacate [two counts against defendant] could have been devoted to other cases. * * * 
This is a significant case, and not just for [the defendant]. It demonstrates the difference between a Department of Prosecutions and a Department of Justice. It shows how the Department of Justice, as the government's representative in every federal criminal case, has the power to walk into courtrooms and ask judges to remedy injustices.[17]

For these reasons and those stated in our other briefs, the only lawful action this court can take is to dismiss the case with prejudice on the Government’s motion and vacate the plea. There never should have been so much as an investigation—much less an assassination by political prosecution of General Flynn—a distinguished patriot of thirty-three years of exemplary service in total devotion to this country.

[17] United States v. Holloway, 68 F. Supp. 3d 310, 311, 316 (E.D. NY 2014) (Judge John Gleeson applauding U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch for moving to vacate two counts of three counts against a defendant who had stolen three cars at gunpoint and received an extreme sentence).

She Better Lawyer Up Already

FoxNews in Atlanta came out with new and very clear photos of the female who started the fire at the Wendy's. Who believes she did this to help black lives? We should be hearing of her arrest--soon. I'm also guessing that the Atlanta FBI will take an interest in her past travels and activities.

Portia Bruner
@ATLFireRescue Investigators release new & clearer photos of the woman suspected of starting the fire at the Wendy's where #RayshardBrooks was killed by police Friday night. Investigators will give an update soon. Follow
@aungeliquefox5  proctor for details.

2:26 PM · Jun 16, 2020

Sympathy For Mitch McConnell

Mitch McConnell has made his name by accomplishing two things:

1) Shepherding judicial nominees through the Senate confirmation process, and

2) Stonewalling progressive legislative initiatives.

He has accomplished these two things in the face of a relentless drumbeat of vilification--often from both liberals and conservatives--and by persuading Republican senators to close ranks. That's a job a bit akin to herding cats.

I get that federal judges belong to a separate and equal branch of government, even though their nominations are proposed by the POTUS and are confirmed with the advice and consent of the Senate. I get that they're not supposed to tip their hands regarding their views on any particular case or controversy, and that this applies in spades to SCOTUS justices--their decisions are supposed to rise above partisan politics. So I hope I won't sound hopelessly naive or even a bit gauche if I raise an issue of simple personal decency.

Let's put aside the notion that SCOTUS justices don't take sides in politics and don't arrive at their position with policy preferences. That illusion should have been dispelled long ago.

So consider the amount of time and money that conservative groups invested in confirming Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, not to mention--on a slightly different level--the political and, yes, moral capital that the President Trump and other Republican politicians invested in the confirmation of these two judges. Untold time, effort, and many, many millions of dollars went into their confirmations. Would it not have been the decent thing to do to offer a heads up to these people? Not tipping one's hand regarding any specific case or controversy, just a simple, Hey, I may not be who you think I am?

Consider Mitch McConnell's position in particular, in light of this reminder from Josh Hammer (who clerked for a federal appellate judge):

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Josh Hawley's Speech On Bostock And The Conservative Legal Movement

I understand that Josh Hawley is a politician--and an ambitious one. I'm not presenting his speech in the belief that he's necessarily the post-Trump way forward. I'm presenting this speech because, at least in part, it articulates the dilemma facing religious conservatives. This decision has to be the end of the line for religious conservatives. After this, as Hawley says, there is no bargain. We owe these people nothing. It has to be: What have you done for us lately? It's time to find a new way forward, because the old way didn't work and manifestly won't work.

Here's how Sohrab Ahmari summarizes--or teases--the speech:

"I question the bargain that people of faith have been offered and asked to hold to for years."
This is a powerful speech by @HawleyMO. It's not just about the pathetic failure of the legal conservative movement. It's about the broken promise of the dead-consensus conservatism. 
@HawleyMO just declared the conservative legal movement dead on the Senate floor. Exactly.

The video follows the text:

BRIEF UPDATE: No, There Isn't A Silver Lining

There were some people out there trying to discern a silver lining to yesterday's dismantling of the US Constitution and it's replacement with the Diversity Constitution. People like Sean Trende, who whispered, Hey, psssst! Roberts went along with the majority so he could appoint Gorsuch to write the opinion, rather than Ginsburg. Or Kagan or Sotomayor. It's not as radical an opinion as could have been.

Sorry. There is NO good news in this. Anyone who thinks this will not lead to the total wokening of American law and society simply hasn't been paying attention to how our system works and has worked for decades now. Yes, Gorsuch makes all the usual noises, denying that the logic of his opinion is a slippery slope, but we all know that the entire edifice of Classical Liberalism (libertarianism) is nothing but one long and exceedingly slippery slope. We've seen it, beginning with Griswold, then Roe, and all its progeny--Casey, Lawrence, and so on.

And so Gorsuch writes:

Whether other policies and practices might or might not qualify as unlawful discrimination or find justifications under other provisions of Title VII are questions for future cases, not these.

What's he talking about? What are these "other policies and practices"? C'mon, we all know. This is about bathrooms and locker rooms and dress codes. It's about diversity in all its supposed glory! It's about the Queering of America. And Gorsuch knows that. He just says that this stuff is all up in the air to string us normals along, to tamp down resistance to his ukase. Thus he pretends that anyone who disagrees is jumping to conclusions--they're just imagining things:

under Title VII itself, they say sex-segregated bathrooms, locker rooms, and dress codes will prove unsustainable after our decision today. But none of these other laws are before us; we have not had the benefit of adversarial testing about the meaning of their terms, and we do not prejudge any such question today. Under Title VII, too, we do not purport to address bathrooms, locker rooms, or anything else of the kind. The only question before us is whether an employer who fires someone simply for being homosexual or transgender has discharged or otherwise discriminated against that individual “because of such individual’s sex.”

But none of us are fooled. Progs will be passing rules and regulations and laws, pushing the envelope, coercing the normals to bow to the Diversity constitutional order. Who really thinks Gorsuch is about to draw a line, now or in the future after having had "the benefit of adversarial" briefing? Who is reassured, when Gorsuch tells them that the SCOTUS will decide who can use which bathroom? Yes, this is what Constitutional law has descended to. Or, rather, this is what the American people have descended--waiting to be told what bathroom to use.

Because the sad fact is that the American people have, for the most part, acquiesced in this result already. They have submitted generations of their children to indoctrination in liberal run government schools, where their children have been subjected to indoctrination in the goodness of Queerness through "Sex Education." Maleness is the enemy in 21st century America.

At least Thomas and Alito weren't fooled:

Monday, June 15, 2020

UPDATES: BREAKING: The US Constitution Is Meaningless

The dam has broken. Progs will push the most outrageously oppressive and discriminatory laws now, and no court will protect normal people.

The intellectual and moral bankruptcy of Classical Liberalism revealed. Well, rerevealed.

BREAKING: US Supreme Court votes 6-3 to redefine ‘sex,’ write transgenderism into 1964 law

Conservatives say this ruling could force churches to recognize same-sex 'marriages'; force photographers, florists, and bakers to participate in same-sex 'weddings'; compel employers to fund drugs and surgeries to help people imitate members of the opposite sex; and make women and girls to share sleeping quarters, showers, changing areas, and restrooms with gender-confused males.

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Republican-appointed Justices John Roberts and Neil Gorsuch joined the U.S. Supreme Court’s liberals Monday in ruling that longstanding anti-discrimination law should be reinterpreted to cover homosexuality and gender confusion, in a case that will have drastic ramifications on religious liberty and force Americans to adopt a “fluid” understanding of biological sex in scores of policies. 


The majority’s reasoning flies in the face of both the plain statutory meaning of “sex” in 1964 and the clear legislative intent of the lawmakers who drafted and passed the Civil Rights Act, as explained by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) senior counsel John Bursch. “There is little dispute that, in 1964, the term ‘sex’ was publicly understood, as it is now, to mean biological sex: male and female,” he writes. “After all, the term ‘gender identity’ wasn’t even part of the American lexicon at the time. Its first use was at a European medical conference in 1963. And no semblance of it appeared in federal law until 1990.”


Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas dissented, panning the majority opinion as “legislation” written under the “deceptive” guise of “interpreting a statute,” reminding the majority that the court’s duty “is limited to saying what the law is” rather than adding to it.

Trump’s other appointee, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, wrote his own dissenting opinion, in which he noted that the “responsibility to amend Title VII belongs to Congress and the President in the legislative process, not to this Court.” 

Kavanaugh also wrote, however, that the majority opinion represented an “important victory achieved today by gay and lesbian Americans,” who “advanced powerful policy arguments,” displayed “extraordinary vision, tenacity, and grit,” and “can take pride in today’s result”... “notwithstanding my concern about the Court’s transgression of the Constitution’s separation of powers.”


1) Carrie Severino:
Justice Scalia would be disappointed [ashamed?] that his successor has bungled textualism so badly today, for the sake of appealing to college campuses and editorial boards.
This was not judging, this was legislating—a brute force attack on our constitutional system. (1/x) 
While the question of whether to amend Title VII to add more categories may be a difficult one as a matter of policy, the question of the Court’s role on this issue was an easy one: Allow the people to decide the issue through their elected representatives. (2/x) 
Today six judges acting as advocates opted to rewrite the statute themselves, short-circuiting the legislative process and in the process denying the people a decision that should be theirs to make on a major issue. (3/x) 
Have no doubts about what happened today: This was the hijacking of textualism.
You can't redefine the meaning of words themselves and still be doing textualism. This is an ominous sign for anyone concerned about the future of representative democracy. (end)

The conservative legal movement has accomplished two things: libertarian political economy (enforced by judges) and betrayal of social conservatives and traditionalists.
The next (and perhaps most important) step is for social conservatives to realize that donor economics is not merely incidental. It flows from, and reinforces, principles that degrade family, community, industrial bases, and nations.

3) Daniel Horowitz:
Or better yet, deligitimize judicial supremacy.
Sean Davis@seanmdavThe Supreme Court is not a court of law. It is a super-legislature run by nine politicians with lifetime tenure. Conservatives need to stop picking justices based on promises from nominees about how they'll analyze cases and start picking individuals who will vote correctly.
But your point is well taken. If we will treat it like a voting body that has the final say over our society, then i sure as hell want to know how he will vote even more than a senator.

4) Sohrab Ahmari:
It turns out if you remove natural law's substrates of metaphysics and philosophical anthropology, you can end up with a mind capable of "reading" gender identity into a statute squarely concerned with biological sex.

5) Patrick Deneen:
How is it George Will described the American tradition? Oh, yea - "Limited government respectful of society’s cumulative intelligence and preferences collaboratively revealed through market transactions."  That'll hold us together.

Why are the hills the place you should head?  What do you do when you get there? This is the vital information that Twitter can provide at this time. 
A modest suggestion: if a Republican ever gets to name a Supreme again, look at law school graduates from outside the ivy orbit. For Pete's sake, how many times can you wear a sign that says "kick me again?" 
Remind me again why progressives so fiercely oppose Republican judicial nominees?  They should know by now that their allegiance to their class will always trump any purported social conservatism.