Friday, July 31, 2020

Must Read: Swing Voters Stay Swung

In other words, Obama voters who swung to Trump in 2016 are not only favoring Trump, they actually prefer Trump in a hypothetical matchup against Obama. Uh oh!

That's from a long running series of CNN focus groups. You may have seen this story referenced in the last week or so, but RedState has an excellent summary of it: CNN Piece on What Critical Swing Voters Are Thinking Now and It’s Dynamite.

Fact Or Fiction?

Well, if we're talking about Jeffrey Toobin--legal fabulist for CNN--and his new book, "TRUE CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS: The Investigation of Donald Trump," then I think we're talking fiction on several levels.

I really hadda laugh last night when I read an article at The Hill--FBI officials hid copies of Russia probe documents fearing Trump interference: book--that recounted an excerpt from Toobin's novel at CNN. My first thought was, Whoa! Theft and/or Destruction of Government Property in furtherance of a conspiracy to defraud the government of honest services! Or, in the alternative, in furtherance of a conspiracy to defraud certain named persons of their constitutional rights. In plain sight--I couldn't believe McCabe could be publicly admitting to that. Here's what The HIll said:

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and other top officials reportedly took steps to preserve memos authored by former Director James Comey and other key documents related to the Russia investigation over worries that President Trump would interfere in the probe, CNN reported Thursday. 
In the days following Comey's ouster in 2017, McCabe reportedly thought that President Trump's decision to remove the FBI director was problematic and, as the then-acting director of the agency, instructed his team to open a criminal case, according to an adapted excerpt from CNN legal analyst Jeffery Toobin's book, "True Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Investigation of Donald Trump." 
McCabe, fearing that he would not last at the agency given the tumultuousness of the moment, then acted to preserve Comey's memos detailing his conversations with Trump as well as other related documents on the FBI's internal system, thus ensuring that they could not be destroyed, according to CNN. 
Other officials sent documents including the memos to remote locations throughout the FBI, according to CNN, with the goal of preserving them to be shared at a later date. 

Did you catch what was going on? Here's the key phrase: "McCabe ... acted to preserve Comey's memos ... on the FBI's internal system." And just to be sure we have that right, here's Toobin:

McCabe couldn't be sure how long he'd last as director, so he wanted to lock down as much evidence as possible. Most important, he told the investigating agents to place Comey's memos in SENTINEL, the FBI's case management software. McCabe knew that once documents were inside the system, they were virtually impossible to remove. With Comey's memos in the system, the investigators were certain to have access to them -- even if McCabe himself would eventually be gone.
Would Trump dismiss more people? Would he shut down the investigation of his campaign's ties to Russia? Would the President demand that the Bureau cease its investigation of Michael Flynn, Trump's onetime national security adviser?

Wait--does that mean that Comey's memos had previously NOT been in SENTINEL? Yes, it does, but, Excuse me! ALL official records must be preserved on the official file system. No exceptions allowed. Believe me--if there's a reason to restrict access to particular investigations within the FBI file system, there are well established, tried and tested, methods for doing so. That's absolutely basic for any investigative agency. It's no more than the application of the basic need-to-know principle that governs all investigative activity.

All Toobin is actually doing is providing us with McCabe's self serving account of how the Comey memos finally--months after some were written--found their way into the FBI's file system where they belonged in the first place. In other words, this is a backhand admission that Comey, McCabe, and presumably others were maintaining a private file system apart from the FBI's official file system. The facts of what happened, as opposed to Toobin's fictional account, run like this:

After Comey's firing McCabe and other top conspirators--undoubtedly including McCabe but also, in all likelihood, James Baker and possibly a few others--afraid that the nature and extent of their conspiracy would become widely known throughout the FBI and DoJ and thus leakable, as also the fact that they had been maintaining a private file system, i.e., conducting a private investigation--scrambled to get the private file system uploaded into the official file system.

The idea that entering Comey's memos into the FBI file system was a security measure rather than an after the fact CYA measure doesn't come remotely close to passing the laugh test.

No Charges Against Darren Wilson. Again.

Fox News reporting:

In 2014 shooting of Michael Brown, St. Louis' top prosecutor announces no charges against Darren WilsonIn 2014 shooting of Michael Brown, St. Louis' top prosecutor announces no charges against Darren Wilson

 You thought the Michael Brown thing was over and done with? Well, maybe it is, now.

A St. Louis County, Mo., prosecutor said Thursday that he will not be charging the White police officer who shot 18-year-old Michael Brown in 2014, after quietly reopening the investigation. 
Civil rights leaders and Brown's mother reportedly hoped that Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell, who became the county’s first Black prosecutor in January 2019, might reopen the investigation into police officer Darren Wilson, who shot Brown six years ago. 
Bell told reporters today that his decision was “one of the most difficult things I’ve had to do." 
But after a five month investigation into the case’s evidence, witness statements and forensic reports, he came to the conclusion that “we cannot prove that he” committed murder or manslaughter.

The massive demonstrations that followed the shooting of Brown helped to solidify the Black Lives Matter movement in Ferguson, Mo., and around the country. 
A federal investigation and a grand jury cleared Wilson of all charges months after Brown's death in 2014.

Bell didn’t face any backlash when he re-reviewed the investigation into Brown’s shooting because Wilson was never charged or tried, and there is no statute of limitations on murder charges. 

Another way of putting might be, there's no White Lives Matter movement.

Witnesses said Brown, who was unarmed, had his hands up when he was shot, but federal investigators and the grand jury said the evidence showed otherwise.

 Another way of putting that? The investigators and grand jury decided the evidence showed the "witnesses" were lying.

“Although this case represents one of the most significant moments in St. Louis’s history, the question for this office was a simple one: Could we prove beyond a reasonable doubt that when Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown he committed murder or manslaughter under Missouri law?” Mr. Bell said during a press conference Thursday. 
“After an independent and in-depth review of the evidence, we cannot prove that he did.” 
Bell noted that just because Wilson was not found guilty of murder or manslaughter, he had not been exonerated. 
“There are so many points at which Darren Wilson could have handled the situation differently and if he had, Michael Brown might still be alive,” Bell told reporters.

No word on whether Michael Brown could have "handled the situation differently."

And yet, in a way, Michael Brown, the "gentle giant" who roughed up diminutiv Asia shop keepers, lives on. You can see it in the "peaceful protestors" holding up their hands--as they think Brown did. Fiction trumps facts in American politics. Just ask Obama.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

FOUR UPDATES: Flynn Case: There WILL Be En Banc Review

Below is Techno Fog's tweet. We'll undoubtedly be getting analysis later. Here's my take for now.

Obviously this is all about politics. Duh! It's all about delay. Duh!

But delay of what?

Delay to prevent Michael Flynn being free to participate very vocally in the Trump campaign? Maybe.

Or could it be ... or could it also be ...

Delay to prevent Michael Flynn being used as a witness in the expected developments of the Durham investigations--expected by Labor Day? A witness under investigation for false statements isn't a very useful witness--even when DoJ has moved to drop the prosecution.

What will AG Barr do to deal with this? We're gonna find out soon enough. It's hard to believe he hasn't been thinking ahead on how to deal with this development.

UPDATE 1: I hadn't read Lee Smith's new article before dashing off this post, so I didn't have Susan Rice in mind. However, reading Smith's article, it dovetails nicely:

What Does Susan Rice Bring to a Biden Ticket?
Obama’s National Security Advisor is on the short list, but why?
Nominating Rice as Biden’s VP would virtually ensure her immunity, protecting her from investigation or prosecution during the campaign. In February, Barr issued a memo stating that no investigation of a presidential or vice presidential candidate can be undertaken without his written approval. Because it is nearly inconceivable that Barr would expose himself to this type of scrutiny or risk compromising the election, Rice would be safe. Crucially, it would also cut off the investigation at the rung below her, thereby insulating Obama and Biden.

So, Keep Flynn quiet before the election--no "lock 'em up"--and keep Obama, Biden, Rice safe. Make's sense. And hope for a miracle in November--if Dems beliefe in miracles.

There's also the unmasking angle that plays into both Flynn and Rice. Barr is definitely definitely doing a deep dive into the unmasking.

UPDATE 2: Obama Today:

"Bull Connor might be gone, but today we witness with our own eyes, police officers kneeling on the necks of Black Americans. George Wallace may be gone, but we can witness our federal government sending agents to use tear gas and batons against peaceful demonstrators."

 And there are still Republicans who think that by joining in the false accusations of "murder" against Derek Chauvin they would somehow buy immunity from sleazy vilification?

UPDATE 3: Shipwreckedcrew finds Lee Smith's hypothesis plausible:

And that brings us back to the merits of picking Rice.  Yes, she doesn’t offer much by way of electoral politics, and its an unknown on how she will impact voters as a candidate herself.  But if there is a real fear in the Biden camp for what Durham might do, Rice is as close as they can come to an “inoculation” to keep him at bay.

UPDATE 4: Devin Nunes weighs in--very worthwhile:

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

What To Take From The Senate's ICA Report

Yesterday during the Dem House's theater of the absurd involving AG Bill Barr, the Senate Intel Committee released a heavily redacted version of their report on the origination of the notorious Obama administration Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) on Russian "meddling" in US elections. What this report focuses on is the inclusion of the Steele "dossier" as "Annex A" to the ICA.

I think we can take this report as a starting point for John Durham's investigation--at least as regards the ICA and its relevance to the rest of the Russia Hoax and Mueller witchhunt. We've heard at regular intervals that Durham is very much focused on the ICA, that he has been busily interviewing all the analysts involved, and--most pointedly--that he has been gathering all communications between disgraced former FBI Director James Comey and John Brennan. Naturally, the new revelations surrounding the FBI's three-day interview of Christopher Steele's notional "Primary Subsource", Igor Danchenko, make anything we can glean from this report of special interest.

Here's what struck me in reading even this heavily redacted version. You can assess my impressions while reading the excerpts I provide, below.

1. It's clear that the ICA was special ordered from the highest levels. Obama ordered it, but one assumes that there had to have been high level discussions before the decision was made. Those discussions probably involved both the Obama camp as well as the Clinton camp. After all, the Steele "dossier" was Clinton property--they had contracted for it, paid for it, and had already been putting it to use by the time the ICA was written. Getting it into the ICA, mainstreaming it as somehow an intel product rather than a political campaign product, was a big deal. And that was true no matter what caveats CIA analysts may have added.

2. Despite his testimony to the Senate, it seems clear that Comey was the driving force behind getting the dossier into the ICA. Certainly that comes across as the CIA's  understanding of the dynamics. There are hints that the FBI's Bill Priestap--its top CI official--wasn't totally committed, but Comey and disgraced former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe come across as determined. The question, then, is: Was Comey acting strictly on his own, or was he colluding with political operatives, whether from the Obama or Clinton camps, or both? Durham has surely been exploring that angle.

3. John Brennan comes across as rather clever in pointing the finger at Comey in his Senate testimony. This explains why Durham was so eager to get his hands on communications between Comey and Brennan, rather than having to rely on their testimony. What seems clear to me is that if Brennan had insisted, had really gone to the mat in support of the CIA analysts, the dossier could have been excluded from the ICA. Brennan was positioning himself.

4. While the ICA was presented as the assessment of the Intel Community as a whole, it's more clear than ever from this report that the matter of the dossier was strictly between the FBI and CIA--no other agency was truly involved--and Brennan positioned the FBI to shoulder any responsibility.

5. While the CIA analysts may not have been aware of the political provenance of the dossier material, the people at the FBI pushing for its inclusion in the ICA most certainly were fully aware that this was Clinton campaign material. They were also aware of just how unreliable it probably was and the FBI's failure to vet the material was raised insistently by the CIA analysts. Not only was this political provenance concealed from anyone reading the ICA as well as from the CIA analysts, but the fact that the FBI made no attempt to amend or revise the ICA after the Danchenko interview--just three weeks after the ICA came out--is damning evidence of Comey's conspiratorial intent against the president.

Now, here's the major portion of the redacted version of the report. What I've done is to insert an asterisk "*" to indicate redactions in the selected text. My own insertions are in brackets.

MAJOR UPDATE: The One Question That Mattered

I saw this yesterday during Bill Barr's testimony and I'm sure many others caught it, too. Most of the "hearing" was just Dem smear theater to try to demonize Barr, perhaps with the hope of somehow intimidating him. To what purpose? To this purpose:

Rep. Mucarsei-Powell: Under oath, under oath, do you commit not to releasing any report by Mr. Durham before the November election?
AG Barr: No.

The notion that Barr would commit to such an outrageous demand just shows the sort of fantasy world these idiots are living in. Imagine. After something close to four years of coordinated lies and suppression of truth, of aggressive suppression of dissenting viewpoints, and Barr is going to commit to not pursuing and exposing truth that the American people have a right to? Well, it's beyond fantasy. It's evil.

UPDATE: From Michael Goodwin's very fine, "He Came, He Saw, He Ate Their Lunch."

Nearly every time I watch Barr in extended interviews or read one of his substantive speeches, I find myself saying, “If only.” 
If only Barr had been Trump’s first attorney general, the last four years would have been dramatically different. Bob Mueller could have stayed in retirement because there was never real evidence of Russian collusion, not even enough, we now know, to start an FBI investigation. 
It was all ginned up to thwart Trump during the campaign, and then upend his presidency. Yet because Trump picked Jeff Sessions to be AG, and because Sessions, in a supreme act of selfishness, took the job knowing he would recuse himself from overseeing the FBI probe, the nation got put through the wringer. 

I will never, ever, understand "conservatives" who feel any pity for Jeff Sessions--supposedly badly treated by Trump. Where he ever got the nerve to run for the Senate after what he did to the country is beyond my understanding.

Dems were able to cow Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein into appointing Mueller and succeeded in putting the White House ­under a cloud of suspicion for nearly three years. All those leaks and screaming headlines — they were all just a bunch of nothingburgers. Some were Pulitzer Prize-winning nothing­burgers. 
The entire episode, starring Jim Comey, James Clapper, John Brennan, Hillary Clinton and other unindicted co-conspirators of the Obama-Biden administration, was the dirtiest dirty trick in American political history. And although there was no collusion, Dems and much of the media have never let go of the red-baiting insinuation that Trump is a Russian agent and an illegitimate president. 
The growing political violence, 99 percent of it from the far left, is a direct consequence, yet most Democrats don’t dare denounce the insurrection. They save their condemnation for the federal officers who are under attack.
At one point Tuesday, Barr said flatly, “We have to take a stand.” He was talking to Congress, but he meant all of us.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

UPDATED: Oh, This Is Promising!

Developing today, per Fox News: In anticipation of the Dem convention that will be taking place in Milwaukee on August 17-20, the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission directed Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales to change department policy to restrict the use of tear gas and pepper spray. Since a largish crowd is expected, a number of other police agencies had agreed to provide officers to help out. Those agencies are now pulling out of the security agreements:

At least three Wisconsin police agencies are pulling out of security agreements to send personnel to next month's Democratic National Convention over orders that would prevent officers from using certain crowd control measures during protests. 
The Fond du Lac, Franklin and West Allis police departments were part of a collective of outside agencies poised to send 1,000 officers to secure the event, which will run from Aug. 17-20 and where Joe Biden is expected to be named the party's presidential nominee. 
Fond du Lac Police Chief William Lamb told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he expects more agencies to withdraw from the program. 
"We believe in removing those tools, the use of chemical irritants or pepper spray, from the available resources that the law enforcement officers would have at their disposal if protests become non-peaceful would severely compromise the safety of the public and also the safety of the law enforcement officers who would be assigned to protect the DNC," he added.

Apparently the DNC didn't want to risk video footage of Cheesehead Stormtroopers pepper spraying Bernie Bros in the streets. They didn't consider that the alternative could be worse.

UPDATE: Per the Daily Wire:

More than 100 law enforcement agencies have reportedly pulled out of security agreements to send personnel to help with security at the Democratic National Convention next month in part because they are concerned about recent efforts to limit law enforcement’s use of tear gas and pepper spray in responding to violent riots.

A Reminder About USA John Bash's Unmasking Investigation

It's hard to remember all the events and names surrounding the Russia Hoax and the subsequent investigations of the hoax. This morning I thought it was news that USA John Bash had been named to investigate the unmaskings that were conducted so broadly by the Obama administration. In fact, however, I did a post on that back on May 20.

However, there was an interesting tidbit in Bill Barr's exchange today with Jim Jordan. Jordan--obviously not up to speed on this issue--asked whether Durham was investigating the many unmaskings in the final days of the Obama administration. Barr responded that, "actually," Bash's investigation covered "a much longer period of time." So, NOT just "the final days" of the Obama administration.

With that in mind, here's what I wrote back in May, quoting Kerri Kupec, who stresses that the unmaskings can "add a lot to our understanding about motivation and big picture events." I like that!


Barr Says It All

You have to listen closely to this to pick it up through some of the crosstalk, but you'll hear Barr say: "You're a real class act."

Actions speak louder than polls

Who needs MLB when you can watch Don Surber smacking home runs? Here's the hit and run version:

Fox reported, "A 2020 presidential election win by former Vice President Joe Biden represents the 'biggest risk' to Warren Buffett’s latest deal, according to one industry expert.
"Buffett’s Berkshire Hathway on Sunday announced plans to purchase Dominion Energy’s natural gas transmission and storage network for $9.7 billion, including debt. A Biden presidency would likely lead to stricter regulations on the energy industry."
Crazy Joe is pushing the Green Deal.
The last thing you want to own under President Biden would be a fossil fuel company.
Buffett does not like Donald John Trump, but he just bet $10 billion on President Trump's re-election.
Actions speak louder than polls.

What's Going On In The Nick Sandmann Case?

Perhaps some of you have seen the comments on Twitter? Lefty twits have been suggesting that the settlements that CNN and WaPo entered into were just for "nuisance value". For example, one suggested that CNN gave Sandmann "$25K to go away." What's the reality? I can't claim expertise of any sort re this type of litigation.

Shipwreckedcrew offers his view--Implications of Nick Sandmann’s Settlement With The Washington Post — Money to Fight With:

UPDATED: The Barr Testimony

I'll start a post here as a convenient spot for comments. As expected:

Will Chamberlain
I love Bill Barr's facial expression right now
Looking at Nadler with total contempt 
10:17 AM · Jul 28, 2020·Twitter Web App

Ẅïẗẗÿ Ẅäḅḅïẗ
Replying to
Really sad that they can say this crap in Congress and not be held accountable.

Fresh Blood For Liberty
Replying to
They can’t rattle him.

Geoffrey Ingersoll
Barr follows up by saying Lofgren’s synopsis of Portland is “completey false” and she instantly cuts him off.

Barr isn't going to pander, and they know it. All they can do is rant, and that won't convert any Trump voters.

UPDATE 1: Some actual news from the hearing--Barr has appointed a USA to handle the unmasking part of the Durham investigation, which strongly suggests that the unmasking aspect is considered very important:

Byron York
News: At House hearing, Attorney General Bill Barr reveals that he has asked a U.S. Attorney, John Bash of Texas, to look into the issue of unmasking associated with intelligence reporting.
12:17 PM · Jul 28, 2020



Jonathan Turley
Thankfully the hearing is over. In the end, it reminded me when I rode on the subway years ago in Chicago with a crazed guy raving at me for 30 minutes nonstop. As I got off, he stopped and yelled "thank you." I am still not sure what he gained from the one-sided conversation.
3:11 PM · Jul 28, 2020

UPDATED: John Reeves Prediction In Flynn Case: DC Circuit Will Reject Sullivan Petition

I noticed that Sidney Powell used some pretty strong language yesterday while speaking to Lou Dobbs. She described the three judge panel as having "dropkicked" Sullivan into "another country" and called on "the Article III court" to uphold the rule of law from outrageous abuses--a totally manufactured case--by the FBI. Was that an oblique reference not merely to the full DC Circuit but also to the SCOTUS? Does her strong language also indicate confidence?

Appellate lawyer John Reeves is cautiously optimistic:

1) I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the DC Circuit's failure at this point to rule one way or another on Judge Sullivan's en banc petition means it will DENY the petition. Here's why: 
2) When en banc rehearing is GRANTED, the order stating this does NOT declare which judges voted how. This makes sense, because the court does not want the parties to know ahead of time how each judge is thinking during briefing and oral argument on en banc rehearing. 
3) By contrast, if en banc rehearing is DENIED, and a vote was called for, the denial order usually lists how each judge voted--it lets everyone know which judges voted for en banc rehearing, and which judges voted to deny en banc rehearing. 
4) If en banc rehearing is denied on a contentious issue, it is not at all unusual for the judges who wanted en banc rehearing, but were outvoted, to write dissenting opinions stating why they believe en banc rehearing should have been granted. Writing legal opinions takes time. 
5) In light of the above, I believe that at some point last week, the DC Circuit voted on the en banc petition, and a majority voted AGAINST granting rehearing en banc. But at least some of the judges wanted to write dissenting opinions on the matter. 
6) Judge Wilkins, for example, would almost certainly write a dissenting opinion if en banc rehearing was denied. That is what I believe is going on right now--the court last week voted to deny rehearing en banc, and Judge Wilkins is writing a dissenting opinion on the matter. 
7) Otherwise, had there been a majority of DC Circuit judges to vote to grant rehearing en banc, it would already have issued an order to that effect last week. 
8) Thus, I am cautiously of the belief that the DC Circuit has already voted to DENY Judge Sullivan's petition for rehearing en banc, and it is just waiting for Judge Wilkins (and possibly others) to finish his (their) dissenting opinion(s) on the matter.

UPDATE: Shipwreckedcrew weighs in in support of John Reeves:

I think John is correct.  The writing was on the wall when Judge Sullivan had to file his own petition for re-hearing.  Prior to that Petition, any judge could have called for a vote on en banc review of the Panel decision, and Judge Sullivan's petition strongly hints none did. 
My recollection is that the three judges on the panel cannot call for rehearing, so Judge Wilkins could not.  But even when Judge Sullivan filed his petition, that doesn't automatically result in a vote being taken.  A judge still needs to call for vote on Sullivan's petition.

David Laufman To The Fore

With the revelation that Igor Danchenko was the Washington, DC, based Primary Subsource for the fraudulent Steele Dossier, attention has once again turned to David Laufman--another disgraced former DoJ official. Until being forced out of DoJ, Laufman ran DoJ's Counterintelligence and Export Control Section. It was Laufman who negotiated a "use immunity" deal for Danchenko, with a rabidly anti-Trump DC attorney who represented Danchenko during his three day FBI interview.

The reason Laufman's name is getting so much buzz now is because his involvement with the Danchenko interview can now be seen to be only the tip of the iceberg of his involvement in the Russia Hoax. As it happens, Laufman's DoJ section also handled the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which was used to spearhead the FBI's offensive against Trump.

We've gone over FARA previously. It was enacted originally in 1938 to deal with US persons propagandizing on behalf of Nazi Germany. The idea was to require such persons to publicly declare themselves, so that Americans could judge how to evaluate the propaganda they were spreading. While there were 23 prosecutions of the Act during WW2, since then DoJ enforcement policy has normally been to send a letter to the subject advising them to register. I know this because I had experience with FARA. The fact is that FARA, over the years, was often honored in the breach, in the sense that nobody really saw a need to register as long the person made no attempt to conceal his agency relationship--concealment of such a relationship had been the whole point of enacting FARA.

That changed when Donald Trump ran for president, and Laufman was the reason for that change. Paul Sperry does a fine job explaining this in:

Don't Matter Which Half You're Talkin' About

I'm sure most of you read this last night and, like me, laughed your collective *sses off:

"Nina Turner, a onetime Ohio state senator who co-chaired Sanders’ failed 2020 campaign, made the comparison while discussing with The Atlantic the choice facing progressives this election cycle."
She said of voting for Biden, "It’s like saying to somebody, ‘You have a bowl of sh*t in front of you, and all you’ve got to do is eat half of it instead of the whole thing.’ It’s still sh*t."

That comes with news that, with the convention in the offing, the Bernie Bros are cutting up rough re Medicare/Medicaid for all.

Don Surber comments:

As the Democrat-sanctioned riots continue, they amp up demands by a large segment of the Democrat Party for a communist takeover of America. The people throwing rocks and bottles of water at cops are not going to bother voting. Why should they? The media keeps telling them the election is in the bag and that their "peaceful protests" are honorable.
Meanwhile, a backlash rises among people who will actually vote.

But here's an excellent article that tells you what you need to know about what needs to get down if America is to become Great Again. We got to this point largely through the Leftist takeover of government schools--which were always a bad idea:

Most Parents Have No Idea Their Kids’ Schools Are Pushing Insane Transgender Ideology

Of course, the insanity of The Trans is simply the latest point of indoctrination for The Children. I suppose The Trans thought the time was ripe.

Here's one thing that I found interesting--note that the youthful trannies the government schools are churning out are overwhelmingly  white girls. Why is that? Are these girls more susceptible to conformity? And also note how many of the 'protestors'--who get kid glove treatment for the most part--are also white girls.

Briefly Noted This Morning: 7/28/20

Bill Barr is coming to the Dems' House, and he intends to scorch them:

Attorney General William Barr is expected to come out swinging when he testifies on Capitol Hill Tuesday, accusing Democrats of falsely seeking to paint him as a Trump loyalist and challenging them to denounce violence in Portland, Ore. 
"Ever since I made it clear that I was going to do everything I could to get to the bottom of the grave abuses involved in the bogus 'Russiagate” scandal,' many of the Democrats on this Committee have attempted to discredit me by conjuring up a narrative that I am simply the President’s factotum who disposes of criminal cases according to his instructions," Barr writes. 
"Judging from the letter inviting me to this hearing, that appears to be your agenda today," he adds.

Barr will be unapologetic and direct, and will make his scorn apparent. He will also express himself articulately and thoughtfully and will not wilt before childish Leftists. If only Barr had been on board from the start. I know, water over the dam.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Shy Trump Voters And Not So Shy Black Voters

Larry Schweikart has an interesting article at undercoverdc, but I'm going to link to it also at FR, because I found it easier to read at FR--see which suits you best:

Ignore The Polls? These are Important

The article is obviously is obviously about the polls, and it basically covers two topics (plus a bit more). Some of this has been touched on previously, but Schweikart goes into a fair amount of--readable--detail.

The first topic is how much weight to give the polls in light of the by now well recognized phenomenon of "shy" Trump voters--the extreme reluctance of Trump voters to level with pollsters. Can the polls be simply ignored? Schweikart argues that ignoring the polls is realistic:

I think the key answer is Donald Trump. There is growing evidence that Trump voters are more committed than ever to casting a vote for Trump, yet far more reluctant to tell anyone their intention. In 2016, Trafalgar solved that with the question, “Who do you think your neighbor will vote for?” vs “Who do you plan to vote for?” But the experts at Trafalgar say even that question is not revealing the larger numbers of Trump supporters—some of whom will tell the pollster at the beginning of the interview they plan to vote for Trump but won’t say so on record. 
In other words, dismissing the head-to-head polls is realistic given the incredible difficulty the pollsters are having getting the Trump supporters to “come out of the closet.”

But the "shy" Trump voters is more of a side show in the article, which is largely devoted to the remarkable shift in Trump's favorability among black voters--who by contrast to whites have not been at all shy in expressing their favorable attitudes toward Trump to the pollsters. Schweikart approaches the question of how this could affect the 2020 election not only with numbers drawn from 2016 to the present but also with some historical research that I think you'll find fascinating.

What Kind Of Deal Could Comey Make?

Yesterday, commenting on a fine article by Shipwreckedcrew, I pointed out that in January, 2017, the FBI did two things that tied them firmly to the Steele Dossier:

1) At the beginning of the month they inserted a two page summary of the Dossier as Annex A to the Intel Community Assessment (ICA). This placed an Intel Community seal of approval on the Dossier, and drove all subsequent events in the attempted coup against Trump--especially the institution of the Team Mueller witchhunt. Even though Crossfire Hurricane had supposedly been predicated on the Downer - Papadopoulos bar conversation, the ICA in effect--although not in formal reality--superseded that narrative except for occasional tactical purposes when the Dossier came under fire.

2) Toward the end of the month, following Trump's inauguration, the FBI appears to have made the decision to take over operation of Chris Steele's notional "Primary Subsource" (PSS), Igor Danchenko. The FBI had known Danchenko's identity since before the 2016 election, which means they also knew that he was an employee of the premier Dem thinktank The Brookings Institute--then run by long time Clinton crony Strobe Talbott. Further, the vetting interview with the Washington based Danchenko confirmed definitively what the Bureau would have long suspected--that the Dossier was a hoax concocted by the Clinton campaign's "opposition research" arm (spearheaded by Glenn Simpson's Fusion GPS, for which Steele was simply a subcontractor, probably used as a frontman to insulate the US operatives). Danchenko appears to have been unproductive in the role of a FBI source, but this action again tied the FBI closely to the Dossier. They could not disavow the Dossier for purposes of the ongoing FISA operation as long as they were also trying to mine its supposed sources for more "dirt" on Trump.

This all plays into the very recent rumors that Comey has been interviewed by John Durham. I gave it as my view that Comey would never sit for an interview with Durham except as part of a plea agreement. That's simply common sense--there would be no benefit for Comey in submitting to an interview under any other circumstances. If here were called before a GJ he would simply be forced to take the 5th.

Thus, I wrote:

Brit Perspective: Excessive Fear Of Covid

Most of you will be familiar to some degree or other with Peter Hitchens. Here's a 20 minute video interview with him (video of the interviewer, audio of Hitchens). Hitchens is a pretty smart guy who's almost always worth listening to, and he is here. The basic point Hitchens and the interviewer, Mike Graham, are making is simple: Fear was warranted in March because we didn't know much; it's excessive and factually unwarranted now (with the obvious exception of readily identifiable high risk groups). The mandatory measures are over the top at this point and ultimately self defeating. However, the two also go into the economic ramifications of this as well as, to some extent, the socio-cultural ramifications and economic ramifications.

You won't come away saying, Wow, I didn't know that, but it's an informed perspective that's worthwhile. The big question is this: Whatever the origins of the virus in a Chinese lab, given that this has now become in the West a political pandemic, somebody has to benefit for this to continue. Who is it? I think we know the answer to that.

Two Recommended Reads - Polling, The Power Of Trans

The first is about polling. What's going on won't be news to you, but I found this article insightful and well written--not a dense masse of numbers and statistical jargon:

Hard Look at Political Polls – What They Miss

This next article is hugely important. It's about the Big Money behind the left and its causes, with a focus on one cause that has become the all in all of Leftism--especially BLM:

How LGBT Nonprofits and Their Billionaire Patrons Are Reshaping the World

Did you ever wonder how our world changed so rapidly? It wasn't by accident. It was done by people with a lot of money--and who hope to make a lot MORE money from this. And brace yourselves for this one--those same people (the Pritzker family) were the ones who pushed Obama to the top of the political heap. Would it surprise you to learn that all this is happening also with vast infusions of taxpayer money? That's the beauty of "democracy." Nobody's really accountable. But with the educational, political, media and corporate elites backing these 'philanthropies', it's no surprise that the global Left is fully on board, along with much of the Libertarian wealth. It's a vast conglomerate of money and influence and it's behind the growing censorship and Newspeak style language modification being implemented throughout America. No wonder the SCOTUS jumped on this bandwagon of power and wealth.

Remarkably, the article itself takes its starting point from, of all things, a New Yorker article dating from 2018, which asks the question: “Are today’s donor classes solving problems or creating new ones?” It pivots from there to the particular example:

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Oh Sh*t! It's Hitting The Fan!

Shipwreckedcrew (SWC) is a very busy guy. In addition to following the Flynn case and the BLM/Antifa rioting, today--working off Paul Sperry's lengthy article on the FBI's Danchenko interview--he combines that with a deep dive into the Horowitz Report. The results are stunning, and amply demonstrate the reasons for Dem alarm and consternation at the revelation of the Danchenko interview.

SWC begins with the question several have commenters raised here: Why? Why did the FBI interview Steele? I speculated that Comey and the top levels of the FBI needed to be on solid ground as they proceeded with their coup attempt against a recently inaugurated president. As SWC puts it:

Let’s begin with the fact that Danchenko did not just walk into an FBI building, show his driver’s license and say “I’m Igor Danchenko.  I was Christopher Steele’s primary source on his Steele Dossier memos about President Trump.  I’d like to talk with someone about what I said to Mr. Steele.”

However, SWC's conclusion is even more pointed than mine: FBI Interview of Christopher Steele’s Primary Sub-Source Was To Prepare for Him To Work Directly With Crossfire Hurricane Team.

Now, that scenario might be one thing, if the FBI had, like, just a bit of predication for Crossfire Hurricane. Of course, we all know that they didn't. And you may recall that I've always maintained that, in spite of the FBI's nonsensical claim that CH was predicated on the Downer - Papadopoulos chat, the real "predication" for CH was always the Steele dossier. By going with the Papadopoulos story they were simply steering clear of Steele's connections to the Clinton campaign.

SWC takes a closer look at just how Danchenko figured in the Horowitz Report, and what he comes up with feeds directly into that. SWC argues persuasively that--while Horowitz doesn't say so in so many words--the FBI knew that Danchenko was Steele's Primary Subsource, or "PSS", and that they had this information as early as October, 2016. Before the election:

See--I Told Ya

Sundance has performed a complete volte face. Whereas until just a few weeks ago he couldn't say enough bad things about Bill Barr's corruption, now he's doing backflips defending the total secrecy surrounding the Barr - Durham investigation. I can only assume someone at DoJ tossed Sundance a bone of information finally, just to shut him up. So, this morning we read:

Given the nature of the toxic tribal environment surrounding current U.S. politics, it is critical for John Durham to protect his mission from even the appearance of impropriety. One can easily imagine how everyone in/around the purposefully tight group would demand utmost confidence and security with any aspect of their investigation. 
Certainly if a special prosecutor like John Durham was to receive critical material to assembly a political “Little Boy”, anyone in/around the delivery process would be required to go completely silent thereafter. It is the only safe way to ensure  the objective.

So after months and months of whining and complaining that Barr/Durham aren't leaking to him on his timetable, Sundance is defending Durham going totally silent. He now gets it that Durham can't leak without jeopardizing the mission. It's "critical" for a "purposefully tight group" to "go completely silent." It's "the only safe way."


Go Figure: Downtown Portland In Death Spiral

In fun news today, The Oregonian is reporting:

Downtown Portland businesses, derailed by pandemic, say protests present a new challenge
But downtown Portland business owners say they are facing unique challenges as they try to recover from the economic devastation brought on by the pandemic. Many point to the raucous protests downtown and the controversial federal response, which have put the city atop national headlines. 
While most of downtown is tranquil, and nearly all confrontations between protestors and police take place late at night, the nightly protests have given Portland a reputation for upheaval that businesses say is keeping shoppers away.
Office buildings remain empty because of the pandemic and tourists have yet to return, taking away a large customer base for many downtown businesses. More tents have appeared along the sidewalks near downtown as the city has limited cleanups of homeless camps due to the pandemic. 
Those factors have limited foot traffic in downtown. TriMet says trips downtown are down more than 75% this summer compared to last year. Parking meter transactions are down a similar amount, and traffic into downtown across the Morrison Bridge has fallen 43% compared to last year, according to the Portland Bureau of Transportation. 
The decline in hotel occupancy in the central city is the worst in the state, down 73% compared to last year, according to data provided by Travel Portland.

My subject line is taken from RCP: Downtown Portland Businesses in Death Spiral, and it seems to fit the bill.

Here's one weird thing about America--you vote for your local government. The people of Portland voted for Ted Wheeler. It's a bit like: Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

The good news for the people of Portland is that they get a re-do. They get a chance to show that they're capable of learning from experience. It's up to them.

Meanwhile, the City of Portland is threatening the Feds with legal action to force them to remove the protective fences around the Federal Building.

How Many Votes To Make A Revolution?

Shipwreckedcrew lays it out brilliantly, using Seattle as an example. However, the same probably goes for many or even most major voting jurisdictions (?). For example, in an era when black lives supposedly matter, one might think that in Chicago--where the black community is suffering a pandemic of gang murders--a mayoral election featuring two black women candidates might draw a significant number of black voters. You might assume that--but you'd be wrong. That was the situation in the last mayoral election, and only about 1/3 of black voters bothered to vote. The winner, Lori Lightfoot, was largely elected by white Lakefront Liberals from the wealthy areas along Lake Michigan. I'd be willing to bet something similar was true for de Blasio in New York and in other cities across the country.

Here are Shipwreckedcrew's numbers for Seattle--read it and weep for your country. Please note, btw, that Shipwreckedcrew is reporting here the total number of votes received--not the winning margin. It's scary:

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Key FBI Lies

The revelation of the FBI's interview of Igor Danchenko--the notional primary subsource for the Steele dossier--has also highlighted the FBI's mendacity in important respects. Stephen McIntyre is all over this. For example.

McIntyre points out that, given that they FBI interviewed Danchenko in January, 2017, that means that the FBI knew that Danchenko was NOT "Russia-based", as Steele falsely claimed and as the FBI falsely claimed in their Carter Page FISA application. Granted that the FBI could have been deceived by Steele--or, far more likely, handled Steele's material under a 'don't ask don't tell' policy--the FBI adopted the lie as its own by incorporating it in the subsequent two FISA renewal applications. That's very bad:

2/ NYT admits that Carter Page FISA falsely stated that Danchenko was "Russian-based". The falsehood (and FBI/DOJ efforts to conceal through redactions) was previously deduced some months ago here and in our twitter circle ... 
Replying to @ProfMJCleveland 
in original FISA, Primary Sub-Source was said to be "Russian-based" when (almost certain) US-based. By January, FBI knew falseness, but kept it in renewal.  Supervisory Intel Analyst notified Clinesmith to correct, but Clinesmith kept false information in 2 more renewals.

CORRECTION: The Supervisory Intel Analyst (SIA) did not "notif[y] Clinesmith to correct" the falsehood. Per the Horowitz Report, footnote 389, the SIA merely "ask[ed] whether a correction should be made." No correction was made, so I think that tells us what Clinesmith's response was. So, in addition to forgery, we have another criminal act by Clinesmith.

The importance of this falsehood lies in the impression that it likely made on the FISC judges: If it was true that the FBI was relying on information provided by super-secret "Russia-based" sources, that would inevitably convey the impression that the information itself must have been thoroughly vetted and highly reliable. To retain that falsehood in the renewal applications was not a result of carelessness but of calculation--as the action of the Supervisory Intel Analyst (Brian Auten) makes clear. The question then becomes, Who else knew of the inclusion of this falsehood in the two FISA renewal applications? We all know by now that FISA applications go through seemingly endless levels of review. Knowledge that Steele's characterization of the "PSS" was false could not have been confined to just those two--Clinesmith and Brian Auten--I refuse to believe that.

Like me, McIntyre believes that the Danchenko interview impacts heavily on the Intel Community Assessment (ICA) that we know Barr and Durham have focused on from the very beginning (I discuss McIntyre's view in Perspective On The Intel Community Assessment (ICA)--and James Comey). The point is very straightforward, but illustrates how the Steele "dossier's" fraudulent use was NOT confined solely to the FISA process--and that the role of the dossier in FISA may not have even been its most serious abuse. It's worth rereading from that linked post:


Moreover, the FBI knew this was material developed and paid for by the Clinton campaign, but concealed that known fact from the FISA court.

With that in mind, let's pivot to the ICA and its FBI "Annex". That Annex simply amounted to a two page summary of the Steele "dossier". Remember--the FBI knew that the "dossier" was done for and paid for by the Clinton campaign, yet they pushed hard to get the "dossier" material included in the ICA. And that was about three weeks before they even had interviewed Danchenko, the "PSS". Here's how McIntyre paints that (edited to correct spelling and punctuation and to provide a continous read):

What a load of absolute crap in annex to Intel Assessment of Jan 6, 2017! It's even worse and stupider than we could possibly have imagined. Aside from whatever J. Edgar Hoover stunt that Comey, Clapper and Brennan may have been pulling, that US intel agencies were apparently taking such fabrications seriously indicates that they, not local police, need to be de-funded. And why would Trump be expected to have any confidence in conclusions of these agencies on their attribution of hacking, when they were so easily and willingly duped about a supposed longstanding conspiracy between Trump and Russia? If only Barr had been beside Trump in these early days!
Also, bad as it was to not clearly disclose to FISA court that dossier had been paid for by Clinton campaign, it was 100 times worse to not disclose this to President-elect (and outgoing President) in intel assessment. This seems far more serious to me than FISA issues.The Carter Page FISA was regrettable, but hardly a core issue. However, shoddy, deceptive and fraudulent intel assessments both to incoming and outgoing administrations are entirely different level of seriousness.

OK, now do you see why it's been reported that Durham is so interested in that ICA, and why he's said to be particularly interested in the email exchanges between Comey and Brennan? It's because Comey wanted the "Annex" included in the ICA. So now ask yourself, what would you, as an FBI director, do if you discovered inside a month that that Annex was a fraud? Because that's what the FBI found out for sure from Danchenko--it wasn't just the fraud on the FISA court (bad as that was), it was also the fraud on the entire country that the ICA represented. Here's Catherine Herridge summarizing what Comey had presented to the country:

NEW: First obtained @CBSNews declassified “Annex A”Intellligence Community Assessment 2016 Russian election interference cites Steele dossier. Alleges “President-elect and his top campaign advisers knowingly worked with Russian officials to bolster his chances and were offered financial compensation.” Mueller did not substantiate. Not credible enough for Intel Community to use in body of report, but FBI still used dossier 3 more times to renew @carterwpage surveillance warrant.

But, again, it wasn't just about FISA. The ICA was trotted out regularly to justify the FBI's continuing investigation that morphed into the Team Mueller witchhunt, to justify the "Resistance," all the BS that Dems in Congress and there moles in the NSC got up to. Shouldn't Comey have admitted the fraud to Trump before it ever got to that stage? Shouldn't he have shut down Crossfire Hurricane, and its fraudulent predication? Of course. But he didn't, because he was a key part of a conspiracy to defraud the government of the honest services of its intelligence and counterintelligence agencies--as well as, through Team Mueller, of honest enforcement of the criminal laws of the United States.


McIntyre returns to this topic today:

Rather than the impact of the fraudulent claims in the Steele dossier being limited to the troubling, but somewhat esoteric, issue of Carter Page FISA, it had an important and essential role in the crucial ICA, which severely constrained policy options of the incoming [Trump] administration. 
Imagine the impact of these revelations on departing Obama admin officials, presented with such concerns by the most senior officials of the Intel Community. For example, Sally Yates, who does not appear to have been aware of the backstory, must have had her hair on fire. 
The Intel Assessment (Annex A) also repeated three of the most disturbing and damages claims of the Steele dossier: long term cultivation, an unholy bargain on Wikileaks and sanctions, secret meetings and kompromat. 

The Assessment directly quoted from Steele report 2016/95, which purported to explain events on the grounds that Putin "feared and hated" Hillary Clinton.

The crucial Intel Assessment presented to Obama admin on Jan 5, 2017 and incoming Trump team on Jan 6, 2017, cited Steele, not as a Democrat Party contractor, but as "former employee of friendly foreign intelligence service" with a "layered network" 

In fact, Steele is characterized as an "FBI source". Imagine if instead Steele had been accurately characterized in the ICA as "a contractor for the Hillary Clinton campaign who has been terminated as an FBI source due to unreliability"! And that was actually before the Danchenko interview.

Does this give some idea of the enormity of this conspiracy against our constitutional order that was perpetrated by the Dem party and its willing accomplices in the Intel agencies? And, of course, this is just one snapshot.

Danchenko's Backstory Of Booze and Mental Illness

To be frank, I don't find Danchenko in himself at all interesting. You can read all about him in Paul Sperry's excellent article: 

Meet the Steele Dossier's 'Primary Subsource': Fabulist Russian at Democrat Think Tank Whose Boozy Past the FBI IgnoredMeet the Steele Dossier's 'Primary Subsource': Fabulist Russian at Democrat Think Tank Whose Boozy Past the FBI Ignored

The only real interest Danchenko has lies in his contacts--primarily Fiona Hill and the Brookings Institute. Those connections provide a key link--yet to be anywhere close to fully developed--between the Russia Hoax and the Fake Impeachment. That link, of course, is Fiona Hill, who had ties to Steele--including during the 2016 campaign--and to the anti-Trump resistance that brought her into Trump's NSC. That 'resistance,' of course, included key players in the GOP wing of the Deep State, like H. R. McMaster.

Bill Barr famously characterized the Durham investigation as 'sprawling.' This new revelation puts some flesh on those bones. I can well imagine that Barr and Durham's key prosecutive dilemma involves strategizing when to bring indictments when some of those targeted may have some connection to events that actually came after the Mueller Dossier was released. Including the fake impeachment.

For now, here's a data point that should be of interest.

When the interview of the PSS (Danchenko) first became public, Undercover Huber asked a key question: Who was Danchenko's lawyer (representing him at the 3-day interview) and who paid for that lawyer?

Today, Undercover Huber has the answer to the first part of that important question:

UPDATE: The PSS’s lawyer is Mark E Schamel, a top white-collar attorney in Washington D.C  
—thinks Trump will drop out of the 2020 race
—supports BLM & tearing down monuments to George Washington
—FEC recs show donations to Dems inc. Tom Steyer & “Ditch Mitch” fund

The importance of who paid for Schamel is that that information will point towards the real controllers of the Russia Hoax.

Bill Barr: Master Of Legal Judo?

The Left City Council of Seattle recently passed an ordinance banning its police from using standard crowd control "tools"--such as tear gas or pepper spray--in the face of violent rioters. In response the police chief warned that the police force, deprived of appropriate law enforcement tools for such situations, would be unable to protect either the citizenry or their property from violent crowds of rioters.

That's when AG Bill Barr stepped in and displayed a legal judo move, using leverage gained from--this is true--the Obama DoJ.

As background, you may recall that a common tactic of the Obama/Holder DoJ was to sue Left city police departments and then enter into "consent decrees" that limited the ability of the police to address crime in their cities. However, one thing that these consent decrees failed to foresee was the use of widescale street violence--i.e., rioting with indiscriminate violence and destruction and targeting of law enforcement--as a deliberate political tactic deployed by Left local politicians. They probably never foresaw Republicans winning a presidential election ever again, having seen to that, as they thought, through their domestic spying program. As a result, the consent decrees left standard crowd control tactics in place, probably for use against possible protests by "white supremacists", i.e, domestic political dissent.

Shipwreckedcrew, who has been covering the rioting in Portland, and now Seattle, explains what happened next:

Friday, July 24, 2020

UPDATED: WaPo Settles With Nick Sandmann

Unfortunately, we don't know the terms of the settlement:

Washington Post settles Nicholas Sandmann defamation lawsuit in Covington Catholic High School controversy

Sandmann announced the victory on Twitter. 
"On 2/19/19, I filed $250M defamation lawsuit against Washington Post. Today, I turned 18 & WaPo settled my lawsuit. Thanks to @ToddMcMurtry & @LLinWood for their advocacy. Thanks to my family & millions of you who have stood your ground by supporting me. I still have more to do," Sandmann wrote on Friday. 
This follows the multi-million dollar settlement CNN made with the teenager back in January.

Sandmann offered a not-so-subtle warning to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. 
"We have settled with WAPO and CNN. The fight isn’t over. 2 down. 6 to go. Don’t hold your breath @jack," Sandmann tweeted.

UPDATE 1: Bonchie over at RedState suggests that this settlement might have involved more money than the earlier CNN settlement. I have no clue, but I'd like for this to be true:

Though we don’t know the exact amount, there’s no doubt Sandmann’s team of lawyers wouldn’t have settled here without extricating their pound of flesh. There was almost certainly a lot of money involved here. 
There’s something special about this compared to the CNN settlement though. The Washington Post was especially belligerent in their response to their defamation of Sandmann, releasing a letter from the editors proclaiming that their subsequent reporting was enough to offset their past defamatory statements. Yet, even their newer reporting left out key details, instead painting the situation as “complicated” when it simply wasn’t. Had the paper simply apologized and retracted immediately when the longer video originally came out, they may have won this lawsuit, but they refused to do so. Their arrogance has now cost them dearly.

UPDATE 2:  Dozens Gather In MAGA Hats In Hopes Washington Post Will Defame Them So They Can Become Millionaires

"It's very strange -- they're not burning anything. They must not be peaceful protesters. Nonetheless, we will not be fooled by this tactic," said a WaPo editor. "We will be able to resist the urge to commit libel against these deplora--I mean, these ordinary Americans."

Do Yourself A Favor--Read This Covid Article

Yesterday we mentioned Dr. Harvey Risch, a very eminent professor of epidemiology at Yale, in the context of an interview with Laura Ingraham: Good Covid News Is Suppressed. Risch has been maintaining not only that the supposed "case" against HCQ is scientifically unfounded but that, in reality, is motivated by politics. HCQ is, he says, the target of a "propaganda war" that has also targeted heroic physicians who try to do their best for their patients.

Later in the day an article to the same effect by Risch appeared--in all places--at Newsweek: The Key to Defeating COVID-19 Already Exists. We Need to Start Using It. I'm providing some highlights, but I urge everyone to read the whole article. In addition to my excerpts, Risch also discusses other issues, including the experience of Brazil and Switzerland as well as other recent studies:

Double Setback For Ghislaine Maxwell--Could Be Interesting

Ghislaine Maxwell is involved in two separate cases in federal courts in New York--the civil case involving one of the Epstein victims (Giuffre) and the federal criminal charges that led to her recent arrest. She has suffered two setbacks, one in each case, meaning: There have been two separate victories for transparency in these cases. This could have significant ramifications going forward--during campaign season--because in the civil case voluminous documents are going to be released, including the flight logs for Epstein's private jet. 

Here is the Reuters account:

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ghislaine Maxwell, the former associate of late financier Jeffrey Epstein, suffered dual setbacks in a U.S. court on Thursday, as a judge authorized the release of new materials related to her, while another judge refused to block prosecutors and lawyers from publicly discussing her criminal case. 
U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska in Manhattan directed the release of large portions of more than 80 documents from a 2015 civil lawsuit against Maxwell, the British socialite now facing criminal charges that she lured girls for Epstein to sexually abuse. 
The materials ordered unsealed include flight logs from Epstein's private jets, testimony from depositions in 2016 in which Maxwell's lawyers said she was asked "intrusive questions" about her sex life, and police reports from Palm Beach, Florida, where Epstein had a home. 
Maxwell, 58, is being held in a Brooklyn jail after pleading not guilty last week to charges she helped Epstein recruit and eventually abuse girls from 1994 to 1997, and committed perjury by denying knowledge of his abuse in depositions. 
Preska said the presumption the public had a right to access the documents outweighed Maxwell's arguments to keep them under wraps, including that they concerned "extremely personal" matters whose release could prove embarrassing or annoying.
The judge gave Maxwell one week to file an emergency appeal, but said both sides should proceed as though the documents will be made public "within a week." 
Lawyers for Maxwell did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 
Earlier, U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan rejected Maxwell's separate effort to block prosecutors, FBI agents and lawyers for some accusers from making out-of-court statements about her criminal case. 
Nathan, who oversees the criminal case, said a gag order was not needed to protect Maxwell's right to a fair trial, but that she "will not hesitate" to act if needed.

Will the Court of Appeals try to bury this case again?

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Joe Pientka's Briefing Memo Of Trump, Flynn, Declassified

Today DNI John Ratcliffe declassified the briefing memo written by FBI SSA Joe Pientka--case agent of the Crossfire Razor (Michael Flynn) investigation. This memo details the FBI's participation in the first national security briefing provided to then presidential candidate, Donald Trump. The briefing took place on 8/17/2016. Also present with Trump were Michael Flynn and Chris Christie. You can read the memo, which is only minimally redacted, here.

The briefing that Pientka provided was formulated in collaboration with disgraced former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Kevin Clinesmith--the lawyer who altered documents that were used in the final Carter Page FISA application. The content of the briefing is unexceptional, consisting basically of generalities about how foreign intelligence services target Americans with access to sensitive information--including presidential candidates.

At the time that Pientka provided this briefing he was the case agent for Crossfire Razor, the investigation of Michael Flynn that DoJ has stated--correctly--lacked any plausible predication. Pientka later tried to close the investigation before Trump was inaugurated, citing the utter lack of any indications that Flynn should be under investigation for anything. However, Pientka's selection to provide this briefing was intimately connected with the Flynn investigation. As Pientka told IG Michael Horowitz, he was selected to give the briefing precisely in order to observe Michael Flynn and to assess his personality, with a view to a possible later investigative interview of Flynn.

It is in that context that John Solomon makes what I consider to be a shrewd observation. In the memo Pientka records quite precisely everything that Trump and Flynn said--to all appearances Pientka records their exact words each time they spoke. What Trump and Flynn said was, in fact, no more exceptional than the briefing itself. Trump asked sensible questions, given the nature of the briefing--asking for an assessment of the relative threats posed by Russia and China and acknowledging the difficulties in maintaining secure communications. Flynn focused on FBI workloads, but briefly.

I'm speculating here--obviously I've never given such a briefing and have never read the writeup of such a briefing. However ...

The Morality Of A Master Spy

They do call it the world's second oldest profession, but that's a pretty close call:

Are You Afraid To Talk To Pollsters?

If you're not, then you're in the minority of Americans. Even worse, there's a good chance that means you're a "staunch liberal".

Poll: 62% of Americans Say They Have Political Views They’re Afraid to Share

And the numbers of those who fear to express their views is going up since 2017. We've all heard of how many people won't talk to pollsters at all, as well as of people who won't express their true views, preferring to say something closer to what they believe they're expected to say. This poll, commissioned by the Cato Institute, puts some numbers to those seat of the pants suspicions, and those numbers are revealing for what they tell us about polls results:

Strong liberals are “the only political group who feels they can express themselves” without fear of repercussions, a new Cato Institute survey finds. Is there any result that could be less surprising than that low information people who are out of touch with the real world--strong liberals--feel free to shoot their mouths off and feel unashamed to put their ignorance on full display? The MSM constantly affirms them in their ignorance and bolsters their belief that they're the best and brightests and most numerous in society.


Good Covid News Is Suppressed

Right. That's not news. Still, it's worth repeating, because news suppression has become the go to Dem tactic, with the willing help of what used to be the mainstream news organizations. Now you need to comb the internet to get the real news, and you can't count on Google for help.

So, some quick hits.

There's a new study out from researchers at Oxford: Herd Immunity Threshold Against COVID-19 May Be Lower Than Believed.

According to an Oxford University study (pdf), the herd immunity threshold (HIT) may be lower than previous estimates because many people may already be innately immune to COVID-19—without ever having caught the disease. 
The researchers suggest that many people may have already built up some degree of resistance to the virus from exposure to seasonal coronaviruses, such as the common cold. 
“Given the mounting evidence that exposure to seasonal coronaviruses offers protection against clinical symptoms, it would be reasonable to assume that exposure to SARS-CoV-2 itself would confer a significant degree of clinical immunity,” the researchers suggest. 
“Thus, a second peak may result in far fewer deaths, particularly among those with comorbidities in the younger age classes.”

All of which also suggests that people without comorbidities that are known to increase vulnerability or who are in frail health would probably be better off dispensing with masks, in order to get the benefit of a cold.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Dems Embrace Social Dissolution For The Election

What could possibly go wrong with embracing social dissolution as a party platform for a national election? Apparently operating on the principle that you really can fool most of the people all of the time, the Dems seem to think they can pull a neat political judo trick by blaming the increasing chaos on Trumpian "Stormtroopers." And that the Covid19 shutdown debacle can be extended indefinitely by local Dem politcos but also blamed on Trump--as if no one would notice.

Breitbart has a story that provides a metric to show that these narratives are going over like a lead balloon, including in core Blue areas--major urban centers: Flight from the Cities: Existing Home Sales Soar Nearly 21%—A Record Shattering Monthly Jump.

Existing-home sales exploded higher in June as home buyers took advantage of record-low mortgage rates and fled city centers beset with anti-police protests, riots, looting, crime, shootings, stay-at-home orders, shuttered businesses, closed schools, and a loss of amenities such as restaurants, theaters, and museums. 
“The sales recovery is strong, as buyers were eager to purchase homes and properties that they had been eyeing during the shutdown,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “This revitalization looks to be sustainable for many months ahead as long as mortgage rates remain low and job gains continue.” 
The shutdown may have led to some pent up demand, leading sales higher. In addition, many city-dwellers now see suburban life more attractive because so many cities have shutdown restaurants, bars, theaters, museums, and other cultural and commercial amenities that made urban life desirable. Parents are also seeking out school districts where schools may open full-time rather than continue the virtual learning that marked the end of the last school year and seems likely for many city schools this fall.

Some significant proportion of these refugees will surely not forget which party was responsible for turning their lives upside down. They know that Trumpian Stormtroopers are not the problem, and that defunding the police is not the solution. They have to realize at a gut level that the Dems have gone one bridge too far. Or maybe several bridges. At a gut level they know that "virtual learning" is NO learning. It's not a coincidence that Connecticut, which is planning to reopen its schools, is experiencing a massive immigration of New Yorkers. There may be many reasons to explain that, but the school issue will surely be close to the top.

Who Knew The POTUS Has A Private Army?

President Trump is sending Federal LE personnel to, among other cities, Chicago in order to protect federal government facilities (such as courthouses) and to enforce duly enacted laws of the federal government. Which prompted this response:

Mayor Lori Lightfoot
Under no circumstances will I allow Donald Trump’s troops to come to Chicago and terrorize our residents. 
6:02 PM · Jul 21, 2020

"Donald Trump's troops?" Is she referring to the President of the United States? And when did civilian law enforcement become part of the US military?

To which a puzzled Jack Posobiec responded:

Jack Posobiec 
Replying to
Is this a parody account? 
8:41 PM · Jul 21, 2020

Perhaps another question might be, Has the Left over the course of the last several generations turned the US into a parody republic?

Meanwhile, via Red State:

The description of Chicago’s latest mass shooting is something you’d expect to find written in The Babylon Bee. Nearly two dozen people were shot last night in the city, with 14 of them coming in one act of violence that took place at a funeral home. 
Yes, you read that correctly. People are becoming shooting victims while attending funerals for shooting victims. Life is imitating parody in Chicago now.

I will say this: The gangbangers are becoming ever more efficient.

Interestingly, WGN radio in Chicago actually reported that residents of the area are happy that President Trump is sending extra federal LE personnel to Chicago. The residents in question are, of course, Blacks. They appear to be unterrorized by the prospect of additional law enforcement personnel coming to Chicago.

I just can't imagine that this craziness will end well for Dems.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Not From The Onion

Jon Karl just asked McEnany where in the Constitution does the Trump have the right to send law enforcement into these cities against the will of the local officials. It would start with Article II.
Federal enforcement is not "by invitation only."  The use of federal agents to protect federal property or enforce federal law does not depend on local permission. There may be legitimate questions on how that authority is used but not the right to use the authority.

If you want to read Turley's longer discussion of related issues--including actions Trump is not going to take in the current circumstances--here.