Thursday, December 31, 2020

2020: The Year Our Most Cherished Myths Went Belly Up

It's the season for reviewing the year, and I found James Bovard's review of 2020 to be particularly trenchant:

The Year in which Comforting American Myths Were Ravaged

What I'll do is provide what I take to be Bovard's major headings and add a few comments. You can follow the link for his thinking in detail. And note that he doesn't even get into the state sponsored violence. At any rate ... here we go:

Thanks in large part to Covid lockdowns, this year has left vast wreckage in its wake, ...

But the casualty list for 2020 must also include many of the political myths that shape Americans’ lives. 

Perhaps the biggest myth to die this year was that Americans’ constitutional rights are safeguarded by the Bill of Rights. ... Politicians and government officials merely had to issue decrees, which were endlessly amended, in order to destroy citizens’ freedom of movement, freedom of association, and freedom of choice in daily life.

Also exposed was the practical futility of seeking remedies through our courts. Yes, there have been victories for our rights as free citizens rather than "subjects of the crown"--as we were pre-1776--but the real lesson of 2020 in this regard is: Justice delayed is justice denied. In exceptional America, if you want justice you'd better be willing to pay through the nose for it.

The Rule of Law is another myth impaled by 2020’s dire developments. ... How many governors and mayors have you seen on the television news being led away in handcuffs after their arrest for violating citizens’ rights this year?

Another myth that 2020 obliterated was the notion that politicians spending more than a hundred billion dollars every year for science and public health would keep Americans safe. 

There's another myth that died with this one: the myth of "scientific objectivity." Scientists have covered themselves in ignominy in going along to get along. And that's when they haven't been consciously conspiring with the Globalist elite. Yeah, I know--we should have been prepared for this by the Climate Hoax, but the scale of devastation wrought by the Covid Hoax goes far beyond such comparisons.

The benevolence and compassion of public school teachers was another myth that 2020 obliterated.

This was part of the collapse of the broader myth that the rulers and ruled have common interests.

No, we're not all in this together. As someone else recently put it, the view of the elite is that the great majority of people were born with saddles on their backs. That's us.

Another myth that perished in 2020 was that social media and the Internet could be a powerful propellant of free information.

From politics to Covid to social commentary to humor--it was all fair game for the censors.

This year’s presidential election put a helluva dent in the credo that politicians rule with the “consent of the governed.”

Perhaps the saddest casualty of 2020 is the myth that average Americans cherish their personal freedom.


States and cities across the country set up snitch lines that were soon deluged with complaints of people outside without a mask, meeting friends, or having more visitors in their homes than could fit in a phone booth. 

As the Harvard International Review warned, “The very methods that liberal democracies are currently using to effectively fight the virus are the same tactics that authoritarian leaders use to dominate their people. The tools that have been temporarily deployed in the fight against a once-in-a-lifetime disease may become permanent.”

Hats off to Bovard--he tries to end on a positive note, which is difficult in these times:


It is still possible that the catastrophic and pointless losses imposed by Covid crackdowns will finally awaken enough people to their growing subjugation. But the most dangerous myth is that Americans will finally become safe after they cease making any efforts to leash their rulers.


Nevertheless, there are signs of America awakening. Protests of parents at the shutting down of education (a blessing in disguise?). The recall campaign in California. The growing resistance to society wide shutdowns and the enforced vaccination measures.

And yet--how much damage has already been done? Can we recover?

Not So Happy New Year: Barr And The CIA Revisited

I've spent the last 24 hours or so pondering an article that appeared yesterday:

Barr Points to the True Culprit—Comey’s FBI Team

Attorney General William Barr’s statement exculpating the CIA, rather than disappointing, is in fact hopeful for all who treasure equal justice for both sides of the political fence.

The article is by a former federal prosecutor, John D. O'Connor, who can be presumed to know a thing or two about the Deep State:

John D. O’Connor is a former federal prosecutor and the San Francisco attorney who represented W. Mark Felt during his revelation as Deep Throat in 2005. O’Connor is the author of the book, Postgate: How the Washington Post Betrayed Deep Throat, Covered Up Watergate, and Began Today’s Partisan Advocacy Journalism.

I remain totally unconvinced by O'Connor. Which is to say, I continue to believe that Barr's "exculpation" of the CIA is false and a basic betrayal of the nation. Equal justice will not flow from covering up the CIA's role in the Russia Hoax and everything to do with the last two decades of Deep State rule.

Obviously, O'Connor is correct in his contention that disgraced former FBI Director James Comey played a central role in the Clinton/Obama coverups and the attempted coup against Trump. However, O'Connor's attempt to portray the entire Russia Hoax operation as an FBI operation because most of the main players were assets of the FBI is misguided. Every single one of the people under consideration:

Joseph Mifsud

Stefan Halper

Christopher Steele

Nellie Ohr

Alexander Downer

Mary Jacoby and Glenn Simpson

fit the profile of CIA assets. They move in circles that are far too rarefied for the FBI--diplomatic officials, high level executive branch officials, persons with obvious connections to foreign intelligence services rather than counterintelligence services. My operative assumption has always been that, to the extent that some of these people cooperated with the FBI they did it on loan from the CIA. And that means that the CIA knew why the FBI needed their services.

Briefly Noted: A Modest Proposal

Progs keep warning us that the worst is yet to come ...

New US Dietary Guidelines Include Babies And Toddlers For First Time

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Briefly Noted: What Would A Less Heroic Nashville Response Have Looked Like?

A less heroic--but probably more effective--response might have involved investigating Anthony "Tony" Warner before he set off his huge bomb. Red State has an article this morning, citing seemingly reliable public sources, in which the claim is made that the state and local police had been warned a year ago that Warner was building bombs in his RV:

Nashville Bomber’s Girlfriend Warned Police He Was Making Bombs Last Year

Despite the F.B.I.’s claims to the contrary, law enforcement was warned about Anthony Q. Warner’s disturbing activities more than a year before he set off a bomb in downtown Nashville. The new information might shed light on the alleged bomber’s motive.

The Tennessean reported that “sixteen months before Anthony Quinn Warner’s RV exploded in downtown Nashville on Christmas morning, officers visited his home in Antioch after his girlfriend reported that he was making bombs in the vehicle.”

Shortly after the bombing, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation stated that Warner was “not on our radar” before the attack. However, a Metro Nashville Police Department report from August of last year shows that “local and federal authorities were aware of alleged threats he had made,” according to The Tennessean.

It does not appear that law enforcement took any action against Warner despite the warning. On Aug. 21, 2019, his girlfriend told Nashville police that he “was building bombs in the RV trailer at his residence.” The officer then sent the information to the F.B.I.

Weird, isn't it? One wonders what local, state, and federal LE officials were so busy with that they had no time to do a bit of digging into complaints of a tech savvy guy building bombs.

In fairness to the FBI, they did take action when the information was relayed to them:

Briefly Noted: True Inequality

Wirepoints is "an independent, nonprofit company delivering original research and commentary about Illinois’ economy and government." It has been one of the best sources for data on Covid in Illinois. Today they run a striking blog that speaks volumes about Blue America:

True inequality: In-class education at Chicago’s Catholic schools but remote learning at public schools

I certainly hold no brief for the Archdiocese of Chicago, but the response of Catholic schools in Chicago to Covid has been exemplary. Be it noted, the response has been carried out in the face of the same determined hostility to religion and its free exercise that has become a feature of most of Blue America:

The difference in how Chicago’s low-income, minority students are being treated by the city’s two major school systems during the pandemic should make school choice skeptics reconsider their position.

At the heart of the issue is the Chicago Teachers Union’s absolute refusal to allow an in-class learning option for public school students. CPS teachers haven’t been in the classroom for nearly nine months and now CPS officials want to partially restart in-person learning at the beginning of 2021. CTU is hinting they’ll strike for the fourth time in less than a decade to stop that from happening.

In sharp contrast, over 2,000 Catholic school teachers of the Chicago Archdiocese have been teaching in-person, five days a week, to 34,000 city students since the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.

It’s not as if CPS students and teachers are more at risk from COVID than their private school counterparts. CPS and the Archdiocese serve the same Chicago communities. CPS serves about 350,000 students, 85 percent of them minorities. The majority of city students the Archdiocese serves are also from minority, low-income homes. The students may be the same, but the way they are being treated is far different.

The CTU, of course, is a radically Leftist organization. These snippets will tell you all you need to know. First from, yes, Wikipedia

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Not The Big One!

 Clarification: Yes, the Election Hoax WAS the Big One--The Big Steal. What we're talking about here is Covid, and now we're being told by no less an authority than The Guardian that Covid wasn't The Big One.

WHO warns Covid-19 pandemic is 'not necessarily the big one'

Experts tell end of year media briefing that virus is likely to become endemic and the world will have to learn to live with it

Learn to live with Covid? We're a bit behind the learning curve at this point, aren't we? A good place to have started that learning process would have been in government schools, but--despite knowing, like, forever that kids aren't at risk--those schools are mostly all closed. A paid vacation for the unionized teachers, but it put the kids behind the educational 8-ball. Well played, Dems!

Here the Guardian's experts explain:

Monday, December 28, 2020

UPDATED: Please Remind Me Why We Should All Be Vaxxed

WHO Chief Scientist Warns "No Evidence COVID Vaccine Prevents Viral Transmission"

On the other hand, transparency is refreshing.

UPDATE: More transparency:

The REAL America

Is it OK for me to say that talk of "American Exceptionalism" and "belief" therein makes me ill? It does.

I don't mean to be quoting Don Surber all day here, but he just reviewed the numbers that we've all been tossing around for the better part of two months. It's a handy and useful reminder of what went down.

Does anyone really think this happened without a bipartisan consensus--within the ruling class? I just can't see how this could have happened without a broad consensus within the ruling class that their subjects needed to be slapped down good and hard. Needed to be shown who runs this country.

Excerpted from a much longer blog--Rupert surrenders to the left:. This is the reality of America as a nation:

That Democrats stuffed the ballot box is without question. Since giving women the right to vote, voter participation has averaged 55%, topping 60% only in 1964 when 61% of registered voters voted.

Murdoch and the people he bows to would have you believe that suddenly 67% of registered voters voted -- in a year when the media has promote a pandemic panic that has people fearing to go to the mailbox.

We went from 56% participation in 2016 to 67% in 4 years?

Without campaigning, Biden received 16 million more votes than Hillary?

That would be a 25% increase for a man who never finished higher than 4th in the Iowa caucus in his 32 years of running for president.

President Trump's addition of 12 million votes is more typical for a Republican president's second term. Well, a Republican president not named Bush, that is.

55% of the registered voters would be about 135 million voters. Subtract President Trump's 74 million votes and you have a more likely 61 million votes for Biden, a drop off of 4 million from Hillary.

That means Democrats shoved 20 million votes into the ballot box via mail fraud.

Few people in Washington want President Trump re-elected, not even the 3 ingrates he appointed to the Supreme Court. I plan to delve into this tomorrow.


Kevin Clinesmith Sentencing Put Off Till January 29

Go figure. Excellent progress, that.

The Sad Lessons Of The Trump Presidency

The sad lessons are about who we are as a nation, as a people.

Today John Daniel Davidson reviews the lessons we've learned in 2020:

5 Big Things We Learned About Our Elites In 2020

It’s been a hard year but at least we know, beyond all doubt, that our elites despise us and will do anything to expand their power.

IMO, I think we can go a bit further and state that these lessons--while driven home with a vengeance in 2020--tell us things about ourselves as a nation that stretch back certainly to the beginning of the Obama era. However, here are the 5 lessons that Davidson lists:

1. Democrats Don’t Care About Science—Or Religious Liberty

2. Lockdowns For Thee But Not For Me

3. Lockdown Elites Don’t Care If Small Businesses Die

4. Silicon Valley Wants You to Shut Up

5. Elites Are Okay With Chaos and Violence From the Left

I'm sure you can gather a pretty good idea of where he goes with those. Here's how Davidson leads into his 5 headings:

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Briefly Noted: Name Deficit In Pennsylvania?

I'm not mathematician, so I can't explain this. I'll let the Twitter threads speak for themselves--with a hat tip to TGP, where I found this.

You may recall that an Ivy League math professor, Steven J. Miller, previously testified about statistical anomalies in the Pennsylvania vote. Later, a "mathematician and expert witness" testified for the Trump campaign in Arizona, again pointing out statistical anomalies. This second mathematician is named Bobby Piton, but I've been unable to come up with his bio quickly. Twitter suspended Piton for his AZ testimony. At any rate, Piton has now examined the PA and GA votes from a rather novel perspective--a statistical analysis of Last Names. His research--if I understand it correctly--indicates that votes were deducted in PA. LOTS of votes.

What follows is my editing of Piton's new Twitter thread, which explains his analysis of the PA vote. That is followed by his conclusions which correlate PA and GA. See what you make of it. My understanding of what he's saying about PA--and I may be mistaken--goes like this:

Piton identified 521,879 Last Names that were used in the PA vote. Of those, 47% belong to "one and only one person." So Piton then looked at the names that had multiple persons attached to them. By looking at just the 1000 most common Last Names and discovered that there were nearly 700K fewer of these people who voted than statistics would project. That's a pretty huge anomaly. 

Based on what he discovered, Piton concludes:

Based on my findings a sophisticated State Actor was able to optimize a desired outcome for both the State of Georgia and the State of Pennsylvania.

OK, so first we have Piton's summary of his PA findings:

Saturday, December 26, 2020

The Phantom Middle Class

Now, to follow up on the last blog, What Matters ..., I present an excerpt from Charles Hugh Smith's latest blog, Our Phantom Middle Class. And most of us are the phantoms Smith is talking about.

Recall that in What Matters we presented Smith's concept of financialization:

Financialization is the commoditization of debt collaterized by previously unsecuritized assets, a pyramiding of risk and speculation that is only possible in a massive expansion of low-cost credit and leverage for those at the top of the wealth-power pyramid: financiers, banks and corporations.

The result of the transformation of the economy under the influence of financialization is seen in some of the phenomena that Trump's populism was intended to combat:

Globalization and financialization have been the two engines of soaring wealth inequality. ...
In other words, globalization is the result of those at the top of the wealth-power pyramid shifting borrowed capital around the world to exploit lower costs of labor, commodities, environmental regulations and taxes.
This manifests as offshoring of jobs, the stripmining of forests, minerals, etc., the degradation of local ecosystems, the decline of tax revenues derived from capital and the explosive rise in stock market valuations as wages stagnate or decline.
Here we'll present, basically, a series of charts to show the concrete results of this process, which--while building for many decades--really took off with the Reagan Revolution:

What Matters: The Gospel According To Charles Hugh Smith

The other day when I included a link to Tom Luongo's musings on Secession I had intended to include more commentary of my own. However, I was put off by my ignorance of economic matters. A day or so later I'm just as ignorant as before, but I still want to raise these issues to see what others--who may know more--have to say. 

One article on Secession that I came across while I was preparing the blog Recommended Reading For Christmas contended that Blue counties account for 70% of GDP and that Red counties are basically populated by losers who scuffle to get by and have little to offer the country as a whole. That seemed a pretty extreme assessment to me. I mean, I knew that the Blue counties don't actually produce much of anything--not energy, not food, not really too much in terms of consumer goods. Still I wasn't sure how to proceed.

Many of you, I'm guessing, have some familiarity with Charles Hugh Smith through republication of his blogs at Zerohedge. If so, you'll know that his big bugaboo is the "financialization" of our economy. As far as that goes, I've always been receptive to the idea that the decline and repeal of Glass Steagall is what got us to where we are now, with an economy that's top heavy in the financial sector and a population that keeps falling further behind. 

Obviously, to that extent I blame simple minded Libertarians for enabling the pass we've come to. Luongo, a self professed Libertarian, at least recognizes that the "American Myth" of Classical Liberalism has pretty much collapsed and doesn't have much to offer in terms of a way forward for the nation. Trump wanted to restructure the economy, away from financialization and towards productivity in the real world, and we're seeing the result--a Deep State hit and the collapse of our constitutional order. I think we all get that: While the top 5% of the population wasn't out there stuffing the ballot boxes--they had useful idiots to do that--they were the ones who dictated that Trump had to go, constitution be damned.

Now, I can't say that I read everything that Smith writes--actually, far from it. Still, I decided that one way to proceed would be to see if I could find a blog in which he explains his ideas, excerpt that, and see what other conservatives might think of his thesis. My reason for doing this is because, while I acknowledge my ignorance in this regard, it seems that any attempt to make sense of what's coming at us in the tunnel ahead will have to take financialization into account.

With that as my premise, I dug up this blog:

Biden Lost 'A Sea' Of Hispanic And Asian Votes To Trump

And he still "won"!

I'm linking to the Daily Mail, which synopsizes a NYT story. One picture is worth a thousand words, so here's that picture, which shows the percent change between 2016 and 2020 in major metro areas where the precincts were at least 65% Hispanic/Asian. The change is pretty dramatic:

Here's some of the analysis:

Friday, December 25, 2020

Recommended Reading For Christmas

It's Christmas--so I'm taking a break. However, I came across a couple of provocative articles that I wanted to at least link to.

First up, because there's been so much commentary about secession v. revolt, is Tom Luongo's Luongo: End The Great American Myth - Secession, Not Revolution. Luongo seems to be a bit of a thinking man's Libertarian, in that he appears to sense--if not fully grasp--the shallowness of Classical Liberalism. He understands that the Classical Liberal vision of Man is patently failing, but doesn't realize that Classical Liberalism's own theoretic weaknesses--its flawed understanding of human nature and ignorance of history-- foredoomed it to failure. Nevertheless, it makes for an interesting read even if, like me, you can't totally buy into his version of American history:

... as a libertarian, I always think in terms of secession first, rather than revolution. It sits on my shoulder whispering in my ear the truth of what’s in front of us.

We’ve reached a very important moment in world history. It is that moment where the promises of classical liberalism are failing in the face of a creeping totalitarian nightmare.

America as mythology has always stood as the ‘shining house on the hill’ for this enlightened idea that the wishes of the individual pursuing his bliss creates the community and culture which lifts the world out of a Hobbesian State of Nature.

The war of all against all, (bellum omnium contra omnes).

But America as Mythology and America as Reality are two vastly different rough beasts. And it is that difference between them that is being exploited today by The Davos Crowd to set the process in motion for their next victory.


This final paragraph that I'll quote is important. We'll return to it a bit further down:

But, leftism as practiced today, is aggressive. It is rapacious and rests on the idea that no one can exist outside their preferred outcome lest anyone see their world for the nightmare it truly is.

Merry Christmas!

Even as the assault on what little remains of our republican constitutional order continues apace (ht/t emailer Jim):

Donald Trump executive order banning diversity training blocked by federal judge

A federal judge has blocked Donald Trump's executive order restricting the federal government and its contractors from offering diversity training that the president labeled "divisive" and "un-American."

U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman granted a preliminary nationwide injunction in the lawsuit filed by LGBT rights groups in November in the Northern District of California, saying the groups were likely to prevail on their First Amendment claims.

I extend the traditional greeting with the prayer that, just as the seeming demise of our constitutional order has been revealed, so too this season of hope may reveal to us a rebirth of the hope on which our order was founded. 

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Pearl Harbor Or 9/11? Or Both?

If you have evidence that Russia committed the SolarWinds "hack," feel free to submit it. You'll be the first to do so publicly.

In the meantime, Lefty Glenn Greenwald has a witty article at Zerohedge: With Biden's New Threats, Russia Discourse More Reckless And Dangerous Than Ever. It's witty, but sad with regard to what it says about the state of the nation's psyche. Day to day, election to fake election, we seem to live from hoax to hoax.

Greenwald doesn't do brief articles, but here are a few excerpts:

Kick 'Em While They're Down

That seems to be the emerging Liberal plan for education and their core constituency, as contained in the Covid "Stimulus" Bill. Who are we talking about? Well, most the few articles that address what's going on coyly speak of "lower income, working class, and special needs families". We all know that's code language. An article at The Hill today has the virtue of at least breaking out of the coded language, to the extent that it refers to "vulnerable children of poverty and color." In this day of BLM the more forthright way of saying it would be: black kids. Here's the story:

American education 2020: A tragically unreported catastrophe

The author begins by sketching the disgraceful Liberal method of taking advantage of the less advantaged:

Briefly Noted: Pardon Me--Lest We Forget

Lest we forget what Liberals are all about, the American Spectator has a fine retrospective on the Clinton Pardon Scandal:

Bill Clinton’s Profitable Pardon Business

Trump’s pardons are nothing like this: Bill was giving them out for cash.

Read it all, to remind yourself what grifters we choose to run our country--reminder #1336, or whatever. No wonder DC wanted Trump gone so badly. Here's how it starts:

“I don’t know Roger Clinton. I’ve never met Roger Clinton. How did he know I applied for clemency? That’s not public information. And how did he get my private cell phone number? I don’t give that out, but it was in my clemency application.” Those comments were shared with me by someone who had a clemency application pending before Bill Clinton when he left the presidency. The applicant was convinced Bill gave the cell phone number to his brother.

Roger Clinton told the applicant it would cost $100,000 to get a pardon from his brother. Was the applicant willing to pay? “I didn’t have the money. I couldn’t pay that even if I wanted to,” the applicant later recalled. The applicant, who wishes to remain anonymous due to ongoing business considerations, never received a pardon.

This was the crazy final 18 months of the Clinton presidency. Roger was cold-calling applicants offering to get them clemency in return for cash.“

Briefly Noted: First Catholic Martyr To Covid?

It seems it's come to that. Covid may be hazardous to your health in ways you never imagined. Fox reports:

A coronavirus patient is accused of beating his 82-year-old hospital roommate to death with an oxygen tank in Lancaster, Calif., last week because he was upset with his Catholic prayers, according to authorities.

The victim shared a two-person room at Antelope Valley Hospital with the suspect, 37-year-old Jesse Martinez. They were both undergoing treatment for COVID-19, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The two did not know each other, but the elderly victim’s praying upset Martinez on the morning of Dec. 17, authorities said. The suspect is accused of grabbing an oxygen tank and pummeling the victim.

The death will be counted by our liberal secular masters in California as a Covid death, so that should be good enough for the Church, right? Patron saint of Covid sufferers.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Briefly Noted: The Middle Class Beatdown Will Continue

The previous attempt at a middle class beatdown--global warming, or, wait, climate change--was a dismal failure. What that episode did reveal, however, was the Left's Stalinist view of science: Science is whatever advances the Socialist Cause.

The Left isn't about to drop its campaign to redefine science, and so we have its embrace of Covid. The campaign to universally impose a vaccine that is, at best, rather pointless and at worst possibly dangerous or even sinister has been running into some headwinds. As a result, the Left is consumed with their favorite pastime: fantasies of coercing recalcitrant Right wingers. However, having seen how successful hoaxes can prove to be in this age of fake news inculcated by an omnipresent social media, the redefinition of words has its own fascination for the left. I suppose it all started with "Ms."

In any event, the better to trick the recalcitrant into vaxxing, the WHO has redefined "herd immunity". You can read all about it here:

Experts, including Stanford epidemiologist Dr Jay Bhattacharya, say the new definition is wrong

Dr. Bhattacharya is right, of course, but he's missing the point. The point is to get people used to saying black is white--or something like that. The further point is to smoke out dissenters--those irritating people like Dr. Bhattacharya who insist on saying black is black and white is white. The technique is the Big Lie. Dr. Michael Yeadon, calling out a lying colleague, tweets:

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

The Trump Strategy: Purely Legal Or National Security Based?

There's a split among those who support Trump's resistance to the Election Hoax, and in part it's a split as to how to view Trump's strategy. Some are absorbed in the legal challenges. Others believe that Trump has a national security ace up his sleeve.

The first view is typified by sundance's post this morning:

I won't rehearse the long post--most of you have either read the post itself or have gathered the salient points elsewhere. Sundance is addressing the 'distinct approaches' of Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell. One aspect of the discussion that's somewhat bemusing is that sundance finds himself in the position of defending White House Counsel Pat Cipollone--a long time Bill Barr protege who has been savagely attacked by Sidney Powell's ally, Patrick Byrne. Overall, I have to say, I come down on sundance's side here. For those of you who aren't up on these developments, here's sundance's handy summary:

  • Wednesday Night – Michael Flynn recommended (Newsmax) impounding Dominion machines by order of President Trump; and noted military possibilities.
  • Thursday – The DC media stirred up the controversy around the insurrection act by painting Trump supporters as unstable.  Joint Chief’s General Milley said the military would not engage in any political effort.
  • Friday – Sidney Powell and Patrick Byrne meet with President Trump in the Oval Office.
  • Saturday – The New York Times framed the Powell/Byrne meeting as a radical effort to remain president.
  • Saturday night – President Trump pushed-back against the Martial Law narrative.
  • Sunday Patrick Byrne criticizes the White House advisory group, President Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and the office of White House counsel.

  • On the one hand, Trump apparently supports the continuing litigation efforts of Giuliani's legal team. On the other hand, Flynn and Powell certainly appear to have excellent access to Trump, which suggests that Trump is at least somewhat receptive to what they're saying.

    On the other hand, Jen Dyer has published a lengthy article in which she argues that Trump may be simultaneously pursuing a national security resolution to the Election Hoax that's rooted in the turmoil we've been seeing at DoD and its cyber related components: NSA and Cyber Command:

    Not The Onion: Durham Making 'Good Progress'

    Spoken with no discernible sense of irony:


    Source tells Fox News that Durham is now 'frequently' working out of Washington, DC

    Special counsel John Durham is "making good progress" in his investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, Attorney General William Barr said this week.

    A source familiar with the investigation told Fox News that Durham, who is the U.S. attorney for Connecticut, is now "frequently" working out of Washington, D.C. Durham and some members of his team had been doing their work out of New Haven, Conn., over the summer.


    They're working in DC now! That must mean they're getting close to their targets!

    ... "They’re making good progress now and I expect they will be able to finish their work."

    I'll take Barr at his word, just as I take him at his word that Joe Biden isn't being investigated. Barr "expects" Durham will be able to finish his work--but that's not a guarantee. 

    Briefly Noted: The Post Trump Celebration Kicks Off

    The Covid Bill, as anticipated, has turned into a massive anticipatory bi-partisan celebration of the excellent new post-Trump era. Breitbart explains:

    Coronavirus Package Allows Feds to Import More Foreign Workers as 17.8M Americans are Jobless

    A spending bill, labeled as a relief package for Americans during the Chinese coronavirus crisis, will allow federal bureaucrats to import more foreign workers to take blue-collar jobs in the United States – even as 17.8 million Americans remain jobless.

    A provision slipped into the more than 5,590-page spending bill allows the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Labor Department to import more foreign labor competition against Americans at their discretion.

    Specifically, the bill gives DHS the ability to “increase the total number” of H-2B foreign visa workers who can be brought into the U.S. to take blue-collar, nonagricultural jobs that would otherwise go to working class Americans.


    When comparing the wages of H-2B foreign workers to the national wage average for each blue-collar industry, about 21 out of 25 of the industries offered lower wages to foreign workers than Americans.

    In the construction industry, wage suppression is significant, with H-2B foreign workers being offered more than 20 percent less than their American counterparts. In the fishing industry, foreign workers were offered more than 30 percent less for their jobs than Americans in the field. In the meatpacking industry, foreign workers got 23 percent less pay than Americans.

    Hey, here's your $600--take it and shut up. Fake elections, fake relief. Go figure.

    Briefly Noted: UK Lockdown Hoax?

    About a week and a half ago I ran a piece that featured a lengthy interview with a medical expert, Dr. Theresa Deisher, who has over 30 years' experience in the field of commercial biotechnology. The interview largely focused on Deisher's skeptical views regarding the new Covid vaccines. Deisher expressed serious reservations not only about the lack of transparency in the hasty development of the vaccine but also, very pertinently, about whether such vaccines are actually needed or desirable. Let me quote that pertinent part from the blog (Briefly Noted: Covid Vaccine Hoax?):

    She also doesn't believe the vaccine is necessary to begin with. Fairly early in the interview she makes the point that, while initially we were unsure how this virus would behave, the intervening months have shown that it's behaving much like other similar respiratory viruses. What she means is--and she explains this--these viruses come in "waves", with each succeeding wave yielding a virus that is more contagious than the previous wave, but also less virulent. The result we're seeing fits that pattern: more infections, but fewer serious outcomes. In other words, she adds, it's on its way to being a common cold or flu type of phenomenon: Endemic, but something we can readily deal with.

    And so she states, in effect, that there's really no point to this vaccine. No point, because why would you give a vaccine that has serious side effects to perfectly healthy people who are unlikely to suffer great harm?

    Commenting on the need for a vaccine, Deisher laid out that “this virus to date has less than a 0.03% fatality rate and most of those people, I believe it's 92% or above, have other health problems; we're making a vaccine at warp speed for a virus that doesn't look like it's going to need a vaccine.”She added that “[i]t is possible, but I don’t believe it is desirable, nor do I believe that it’s safe,” with as much as “15% of the very healthy young volunteers [experiencing] significant side effects.”

    There's much more about vaccines in general and these Covid vaccines in particular. Deisher isn't an anti-vaxxer by any means, but she is a skeptic with regard to this one. 

    The reason I'm reviewing this has to do with the news you may have heard about a new and severe UK lockdown. Note how I phrased that. The lockdown is new and severe. Listening to the mainstream news might lead you to believe that the mutation of Covid that is supposedly causing this extreme response is some new monster virus. However, there are skeptics within the UK medical establishment, and they are demanding that the government produce some, well, real data to justify their extreme policy decisions. You can read about this at PJ Media, but the point I want to make is that what these very mainstream medical experts are saying directly supports what Dr. Deisher was also saying not long ago--maybe more transmissible, but apparently less severe:

    Monday, December 21, 2020

    What's The SolarWind Prognosis?

    Probably not great.

    I'm still mulling over Jen Dyer's latest on the Trump "Operational Timeline" and some related matters. However commenter DFinley has written at some length on the SolarWind situation, and since Dyer devotes a fair amount of space to that issue, I thought it would be useful to republish that comment. I think you'll quickly see that what he has to say is directly relevant. DFinley:

    I've seen several cases where people who should know better are saying that, once this infection is cured we're good, our systems are clean again. But CISA's directive to isolate or power down, and in many cases completely reinstall all software, suggests they don't think so. Neither do I.

    Any entity going to as much trouble as the attacker did to blend in, hide, and operate in the background would almost certainly have several other hooks into the system. If they didn't install a couple of root kits, they've been negligent, and properly done root kits can be almost impossible to find and root out. 

    All they need is a little of the unmapped space on a hard drive, or the storage on a video card or some other place, and a tweak to the Master Boot Record; all very hard to detect.

    They almost certainly infected more of SolarWinds' portfolio than has been reported so far. Again, anyone going to this much trouble, showing this much patience and expertise, would not settle for infecting a single file.

    WRT breaking in and taking nothing, it's too soon to make that claim. But even if nothing was taken, that doesn't mean a lot. The intrusion was slow and painstaking to avoid catching the attention of SolarWinds' security team (assuming they have one, as they certainly should). The intruder may be only part way to its ultimate goal, which we cannot know at this time. And that ultimate goal could easily be a “cyber Pearl Harbor.”

    SolarWinds has many thousands of customers, including critical government agencies and critical infrastructure. If you wanted to take it all down at once, SolarWinds is the way to do it in a massive instantaneous attack with no apparent outside initiation. The attacker has displayed so much patience thus far that we shouldn't discount an ultimate goal far beyond what we've seen, and exercising patience would mean foregoing any short-term gain in order to avoid jeopardizing the ultimate goal.

    And there's still another factor I haven't seen adequately addressed yet. The left has demonstrated that they're perfectly willing to do anything to achieve total control. With NSA and US Cyber Command in one organization under one leader, lefty control of someone at the right level (not necessarily at the top) within Cyber Command (especially) gives them access to NSA's hacking tools (and everyone breathing has access to the CIA hacking tools released by Wikileaks a few years ago) and the ability to do the SolarWinds thing unnoticed by NSA or anyone else. I wouldn't put it past them.

    In the cyber world, attribution is a bitch. If you're following the flow of outbound data, or backtracking to find the command and control servers, whatever you find isn't the end of it. There's so much smoke and mirrors, and there are so many ways of faking and disguising that you can rarely know you've found the culprit that way. Another method is to reverse compile the hack, examine the results, and try to tie it back to some known entity. Compiled code (the binaries, or executables) contain artifacts the compiling system throws in, and those artifacts may offer a clue. Stuxnet, for example, contained a couple of names from the Old Testament, leading many to believe that Israel was involved. Or the code may look like something previously seen from a known entity.

    But an attacker as patient and expert as this one knows how attribution works, so you can bet the farm that any artifacts found in the compiled code will point away from the real attacker. If it looks Russian, it's probably from China, Iran, or North Korea. CIA even had a tool to help with this.

    I'd bet there's an insider at SolarWinds and maybe one or more in our government.


    Barr Declines The Special Counsel Gambit

    By now you've all heard that self-disgraced soon-to-be-former AG Bill Barr has declined to appoint one or more Special Counsels, to investigate either Biden Inc. or election fraud. In a sense he even went out of his way to add insult to injury. In the case of election fraud, he explicitly reaffirmed his earlier expressed view that fraud in elections happens all the time and this time was in line with the past. I'm sorry, that's absurd.

    What was especially insulting, however, was his comparison of the Biden Inc. case to the Russia Hoax case, from the special counsel standpoint.

    Special Counsel's are supposed to be appointed because

    That investigation or prosecution of that person or matter by a United States Attorney's Office or litigating Division of the Department of Justice would present a conflict of interest for the Department or other extraordinary circumstances

    To my knowledge Barr never articulated any specific conflict nor any other extraordinary circumstance. What he said was that he wanted to assure Team Durham that they'd be able to complete whatever it is they've been doing for lo! these many months.

    Compare that to what he said today regarding the ongoing Biden Inc. investigation:

    "I think to the extent that there's an investigation, I think that it's being handled responsibly and professionally," Barr said Monday about the investigation into Hunter Biden. "To this point I have not seen a reason to appoint a special counsel and I have no plan to do so before I leave."

    To my way of thinking it's far easier to articulate a conflict for DoJ or some "other extraordinary situation" when officials subject to summary dismissal by the president would be investigating not only the president's son but would be required to follow out investigative leads involving the president himself. Barr's Biden Inc. statement, to me, simply doesn't pass the laugh test when compared to the Russia Hoax case. And anyway, given that Durham's appointment appears to violate the DoJ regulations (he's a DoJ employee rather than an outsider), I assume Durham will be quickly gone unless he does something very soon.

    Speaking of the laugh test, Jen Psaki is quoted as saying that Biden won't mention his son to any prospective AG candidates. Apparently a wink and a nod will cover the situation.

    Sunday, December 20, 2020

    UPDATED: Bill Binney's Bombshell Examined

    Bill Binney has thrown a bit of a bombshell into the debate about the Election Hoax. Working off a WaPo article, Binney calculates that Biden may have actually received something like 66 million votes--for short of his supposed mega landslide of 80 million and also far short of Trump's 74 million. 

    However, a closer examination of the premises behind the WaPo article suggests that Binney misunderstood premises on which the WaPo reporters' statistics were based.

    Before we get into the numbers, here's the Wikipedia short bio of Binney, to show that he really does have a "head for numbers" and to explain why I took his thesis at face value:

    Binney grew up in rural Pennsylvania and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the Pennsylvania State University in 1970. He said that he volunteered for the Army during the Vietnam era in order to select work that would interest him rather than be drafted and have no input. He was found to have strong aptitudes for mathematicsanalysis, and code breaking,[6] and served from 1965 to 1969 in the Army Security Agency before going to the NSA in 1970.

    Binney was a Russia specialist and worked in the operations side of intelligence, starting as an analyst and ending as a Technical Director prior to becoming a geopolitical world Technical Director. In the 1990s, he co-founded a unit on automating signals intelligence with NSA research chief Dr. John Taggart.[7] Binney's NSA career culminated as Technical Leader for intelligence in 2001. He has expertise in intelligence analysistraffic analysissystems analysisknowledge management, and mathematics (including set theorynumber theory, and probability).

    Here's what I included in a post this morning, quoting Binney:

    REVEALED: ‘Simple Math’ Shows Biden Claims 13 MILLION More Votes Than There Were Eligible Voters Who Voted in 2020 Election

    Correspondent Margaret contacted me this evening, having run the numbers and seen that they didn't add up. Here is her analysis, which led me to go back to examine the WaPo's premises:

    According to the Washington Post 2020 voter turnout in raw numbers was the highest in over a century.  That is believable due to the large number of absentee ballots that were enabled this special Covid year. Based on the total votes, 19.6 million more people voted than had ever voted before in an election. (159,633,396, first ever to go over 140 million).

    When you do the math using actual tallies of registered voters in each state as of the most recent point before the election cutoff in each state you find something interesting.

    turnout = # votes /# registered to vote = 66.2 % (WaPo)

    There were 159,633,396 total votes for President (81.3  million for Biden and 74.2 for Trump 4.1 others)

    Total registered to vote = 213.8 million

    So total 159.6 votes divided by 213.8 = 74.6 percent voter turnout

    Why the discrepancy? If WaPo's voter turnout percentage is correct and only 66.2 percent of registered voters turned out and the vote total should be only 141.6 million. Where did the other votes come from? 

    If we take the voter turnout percentage and multiply times the registered voter total:

    66.2 percent x 214 million registered voters gives us 141,668,000.

    Yet 159.6 million votes were counted.

    So, with that under our belts, here is what the WaPo article states about their numbers:

    Turnout figures are based on historic and current estimates from the U.S. Elections Project of citizens age 18 and over who are eligible to register and vote, and of ballots cast.

    I read this to mean that, for purposes of the WaPo article, turnout = ballots cast / all citizens "eligible to register and vote." Thus, the WaPo's turnout percentage appears to be based on a percentage of those who were theoretically eligible, not on a percentage of those who actually registered

    The number of those who are ELIGIBLE to register and then to vote is, of course, smaller than the number who actually DO register. The number who register and then actually do vote is, once again, smaller than the number who simply register. The result is that if we look at the larger total number of persons who were theoretically eligible to register and then to vote and compare that to the actual number of votes, we come up with ~66%. But if we compare the smaller number of persons who actually did register to vote to the same actual number of votes, we get, as expected, a higher percentage: ~73%.

    If my reasoning is correct, then Binney's numbers were based on a faulty reading of the article. I hope commenter EZ will take comfort in this. He gets to chide me for not examining the WaPo's premises more closely and relying blindly on Binney's authority.

    Thanks go to Margaret for setting this out so clearly.

    UPDATE: It should go without saying, but I will say it: 73% of registered voters actually voting is still a crazy high number. That comes back to the crazy and historically high number of votes supposedly cast and all the anomalies and irregularities that have been documented. So, none of the above is a validation of the election numbers. It's simply a questioning of Binney's interpretation.

    UPDATED: Election Hoax Aftermath

    As usual I'll be heading out soon--worshipping the Creator in spirit and truth is a good thing even in bad times. Herewith, a few observations gleaned in the last few minutes.

    The other day a reader reminded me of a story from Maricopa County, AZ, where the local officials are refusing to respond to a legislative subpoena to turn over the Dominion voting machines for an audit. I remarked to him that this illustrates the inherent weaknesses of our voting "system", which were unfortunately not foreseen by the Founding Fathers. Turning exclusive responsibility (but for the date) of elections over to the locals turned out to be a Bad Idea. The legislature has no credible way to enforce their subpoena, and the local authorities--having seen the results of an audit in Antrim County, MI--have every reason to not turn over the voting machines. Because they probably have an excellent idea of what would be found. 

    Clarice Feldman (2020: The Year of the Big Fraud) sums up the intuitive conclusion that there was a Big Steal, and why a plurality of Americans aren't going to buy into the absurd alternative. I like the title, although my preferred expression is Hoax rather than fraud--I remarked the other day that the Trump years have been marked by a succession of Hoaxes:

    Merriam Webster: Hoax definition is - to trick into believing or accepting as genuine something false and often preposterous.

    Wikipedia: A hoax is a falsehood deliberately fabricated to masquerade as the truth. It is distinguishable from errors in observation or judgment, rumors, urban legends, ...

    The distinction is that "hoax" refers to a pretend phenomenon rather than just some dishonest manipulation--although that certainly happened in conjunction with the hoaxes. Anyway, Clarice Feldman:

    Friday, December 18, 2020

    UPDATED: Barr's Valedictory Interview

    Bill Barr is heading out the door at DoJ, and this afternoon the WSJ's Kim Strassel wrote up an valedictory interview with him. Barr is obviously eager to convince the public that he was a total success as AG, and Strassel and the WSJ are just as eager to assist him. In the process Barr says a lot of great sounding things, but it's difficult to fit it all into a coherent and satisfying whole.

    First things first, however. You can read the interview if you're willing to pay the WSJ for the privilege and, as a concession to the less 'pecunious' class, the Journal provides a video at the web version of the article that's free of charge--it features some of the more outrageous assaults on Barr. Here's the link:

    William Barr: ‘One Standard of Justice’

    The departing attorney general talks about John Durham, Robert Mueller, Hunter Biden, Mike Flynn and the flak he’s taken from both parties.

    Barr starts off by explaining why he he came back to take the AG gig after Jeff Sessions had to be put out of his misery:

    He reminds me why he took the job in the first place: “The Department of Justice was being used as a political weapon” by a “willful if small group of people,” who used the claim of collusion with Russia in an attempt to “topple an administration,” he says. “Someone had to make sure that the power of the department stopped being abused and that there was accountability for what had happened.” ...

    Mr. Barr describes an overarching objective of ensuring that there is “one standard of justice.” That, he says, is why he appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham to investigate the FBI’s 2016 Crossfire Hurricane probe. “Of course the Russians did bad things in the election,” he says. “But the idea that this was done with the collusion of the Trump campaign—there was never any evidence. It was entirely made up.” The country deserved to know how the world’s premier law-enforcement agency came to target and spy on a presidential campaign.

    A small group of "willful" people abusing the power of the DoJ--how ... regrettable. But, as others have noted, somehow there were no righteous people--either at the FBI or at DoJ itself--who were willing to blow the whistle on these few "willful" people. Why not? I think we know why not--they feared for their careers if they stuck their necks out, which tells you all you need to know about that supposedly small group of people. And the fact that the Horowitz and Durham investigations turned into such prolonged tooth pulling operations confirms that impression. There was no rush of people coming forward to assist the investigators.

    That business of "one standard of justice" and stopping the abuse--how did that work out in practice?

    In his resignation letter Barr rightly points out to President Trump:

    Your record is all the more historic because you accomplished it in the face of relentless, implacable resistance. Your 2016 victory speech in which you reached out to your opponents and called for working together for the benefit of the American people was immediately met by a partisan onslaught against you in which no tactic, no matter how abusive and deceitful, was out of bounds. The nadir of this campaign was the effort to cripple, if not oust, your Administration with frenzied and baseless accusations of collusion with Russia.

    And yet President Trump was "impeached", basically, for investigating Biden Inc.'s corrupt activities in Ukraine. At that time Barr was fully aware that Trump had solid reasons for urging an investigation. If Barr had spoken up and simply confirmed that DoJ was actually investigating the Bidens based on highly credible information then an injustice both to President Trump and to the nation might well have been avoided. Yet Barr is unapolagetic for not having spoken up. He even acknowledges that "the Justice Department’s rule against confirming probes involving office-seekers is 'not absolute'". But somehow the principle of "one standard of justice" meant--to Barr--that a President should be unjustly "impeached" while criminals should remain unnamed. Nor would any effective declassifications take place to call out those who were using "abusive and deceitful" tactics, making "frenzied and baseless accusations" that Barr knew to be false. Funny how "one standard of justice" works sometimes.

    No doubt Michael Flynn is enjoying a laugh about that "one standard of justice" too. Barr is properly scathing about the treatment of Flynn:

    Also outrageous, in Mr. Barr’s view, was the abuse of power by both the FBI and the Mueller team toward Mr. Trump’s associates, especially Mr. Flynn. The FBI, as a review by U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen found, pulled Mr. Flynn into an interview that had “no legitimate investigative basis.” The Mueller team then denied Mr. Flynn’s legal defense exculpatory information and pressured Mr. Flynn into pleading guilty to lying.

    And yet, Barr admits--no, he seems to assert as if he's taking credit for some righteousness on his part:

    Mr. Barr didn’t order a review of the case until Mr. Flynn petitioned to withdraw his guilty plea in January 2020.

    In other words, despite an enormous outcry on Flynn's behalf and well publicized information about the "outrageous" and legally indefensible persecution of Flynn that Barr refers to, Barr sees it as a badge of merit that he held off taking any action whatsoever--by his account--until Flynn got some sense and replaced his conflicted lawyers with Sidney Powell. If that hadn't happened, apparently Barr would have been totally down with an innocent man being saddled with a felony. Will there ever be any of that accountability Barr talks about, justice time for the FBI and Team Mueller persecutors of Flynn? Or does Barr think the pardon was good enough? I have to say, I'm no longer holding my breath.

    And speaking of the Flynn pardon, itself a result of gross abuses of judicial ethics by Sullivan and a major injustice to Flynn--well, Barr isn't speaking of it:

    Mr. Barr declines to comment on Judge Sullivan’s maneuvering.

    One is left wondering whether, if Barr had a mouth full of it, he'd ever say it. At least we know Sidney Powell will say it.

    Another major point that Barr harps on is that, basically, DoJ can only hold people to account through intra-departmental administrative procedures or prosecution:

    The attorney general also hopes people remember that orange jumpsuits aren’t the only measure of misconduct. It frustrates him that the political class these days frequently plays “the criminal card,” obsessively focused on “who is going to jail, who is getting indicted.”

    One danger of the focus on criminal charges is that it ends up excusing a vast range of contemptible or abusive behavior that doesn’t reach the bar. The FBI’s use “of confidential human sources and wiretapping to investigate people connected to a campaign was outrageous,” Mr. Barr says—whether or not it leads to criminal charges.

    Yet what specific actions did Barr's DoJ take to remind people of those truths? We've already noted that in the case of the fake impeachment against President Trump justice could have been served short of criminal prosecution if necessary--by a timely disclosure of directly relevant information. Perhaps that would have jeopardized a successful prosecution, but that remains a speculative issue. The important point is that some issues of overriding importance to the nation may justify accepting that risk, in the interests of justice and the health and well being of our constitutional order. The general public could well be excused if they thought that Barr held to the very view that he claims to reject--that orange jumpsuits really are the only measure of misconduct. That impression results from his repeatedly over cautious adherence to standard DoJ norms rather than aggressively seeking justice.

    The same considerations come into play with regard to Barr's remarkable statement about the CIA--a statement that is getting top billing in media accounts of the interview:

    The biggest news from Mr. Durham’s probe is what he has ruled out. Mr. Barr was initially suspicious that agents had been spying on the Trump campaign before the official July 2016 start date of Crossfire Hurricane, and that the Central Intelligence Agency or foreign intelligence had played a role. But even prior to naming Mr. Durham special counsel, Mr. Barr had come to the conclusion that he didn’t “see any sign of improper CIA activity” or “foreign government activity before July 2016,” he says. “The CIA stayed in its lane.”

    To put this in proper perspective we have to bear in mind that Barr is referring to "the CIA" more or less as an institution. In that sense it appears to be true that, especially with regard to the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) which fueled the continuation of the Russia Hoax after President Trump's inauguration and largely justified the Mueller Witchhunt, the CIA analysts played a largely honorable role. The CIA analysts assigned to the ICA project objected strenuously to inclusion of the Steele material in the ICA (at the insistence of the FBI), and they also objected strongly to CIA Director John Brennan's intervention to slant the ICA against Trump. In that sense it's fair to say that "The CIA stayed in its lane."

    The difficulty with that statement, however, arises when considering the role that Brennan played. Brennan personally overruled the strong consensus of his analysts, insisting on including dubious assessments of supposed Russian efforts to aid Trump and harm Hillary in the 2016 election. Certainly Barr himself asserts that the notion of actual collusion was "entirely made up."

    Now, again bearing in mind that Brennan can argue--and probably did so argue to Durham when interviewed--that his intervention in the ICA was simply an erroneous assessment, that should not be the end of the matter from the standpoint of justice. True, making a mistaken assessment is not something a person can be prosecuted for. Nevertheless, having made that mistake immediately before Trump's inauguration, Brennan has continued to vilify President Trump in the most outrageous terms, in the face of all the evidence that has been brought forward to show how mistaken--and that's giving Brennan the total benefit of every doubt--Brennan was. Indeed, the phrase "frenzied and baseless accusations" that Barr uses in his resignation letter fits Brennan's conduct over the past four years to a tee.

    Barr makes much of the danger in focusing solely on criminal prosecution as the sole standard for judging behavior, and he's right to do so. Sadly, in our contemporary society it appears that anything goes--short of behavior that can actually be prosecuted:

    One danger of the focus on criminal charges is that it ends up excusing a vast range of contemptible or abusive behavior that doesn’t reach the bar.

    In that light, Barr's words of exoneration regarding the CIA--while understandable with regard to the institution, and in particular with regard to the analysts who worked on the ICA--falls short of his own standards when we consider the conduct of the CIA's Director, who is, after all, the public face of the institution. The CIA analysts who worked on the ICA may well have been honorable, but it was Brennan's biased and "mistaken" overriding of their honorable work that ended up being embodied in the ICA and was presented to the world has a highly reliable view based on sound intelligence. In light of that, to say that "The CIA stayed in its lane" really doesn't cover the case. That statement will be used and misused by the same persons whose tactics--as Barr so aptly said in his resignation letter--were "abusive and deceitful", knowing no bounds of decency. Barr knows this as well as anyone in Washington, so to make such an unqualified statement regarding "the CIA", without drawing any distinctions, is a distinct disservice to President Trump--as surely as Barr's premature dismissal of election fraud was also a disservice.

    For the rest, Barr says that Durham's investigation is now

    tightly focused on “the conduct of Crossfire Hurricane, the small group at the FBI that was most involved in that ...” 


    In that regard Strassel points out that 

    Durham has publicly stated that he’s not convinced the FBI team had an adequate “predicate” to launch an investigation ...

    and that the FBI had every reason to know that the Hillary campaign was behind the Russia Hoax.

    As John Cleese might say: John Durham--master of the bleeding obvious.

    The only hope offered by Barr that Durham might offer up anything in the nature of the Big Picture of what happened to Trump is that Barr says that 

    Durham is also looking at as well as “the activities of certain private actors.” (Mr. Barr doesn’t elaborate.) 

    One assumes that would include Glenn Simpson. Will it also include other individuals close to the Clinton inner circle, such as Michael Sussmann? Will Durham address the vast range of contemptible behavior that was systematically gaslighted the American people for four years--not just the Hillary campaign itself but the Adam Schiff memo and other notorious examples? I'm not holding my breath. 

    In many ways Barr proved to be an exemplary Attorney General. In ordinary times he might have ended his tenure regarded as one of the greatest AGs we've had. Unfortunately, in this time of constitutional crisis he will be judged to have suffered from a too constricted vision of doing justice. He talks of going beyond the limited view of setting the bar for acceptable conduct as criminal prosecution, but in practice he has done little to alter that view. To change public perception is a difficult task, one that cannot be achieved quickly--something like changing the course of a supertanker. Rather than attempting to educate the public, Barr has been content--or so it seems to me--to speak to other lawyers like himself rather than taking on the role of being an educator of the American public. I realize that's asking a lot, but it would have been easier had he exemplified his principles more clearly in the conduct of his high office when the demands of justice required a more expansive view.

    UPDATE: With regard to Barr's failure to speak out effectively about Biden Inc. either at the time of the fake impeachment or later, Brett Tolman's words--which can be found here: Brett Tolman Takes Bill Barr To Task--are worth rereading. Partial quote, and note that Tolman speaks of an "absolute duty", in contrast to Barr's seeming self satisfaction with his own behavior:

    MACCALLUM: [Returns to Tolman and poses the question--Yes, Barr was cautious in his response a year ago, but did "we" deserve to know more about all this during the election--from Barr? After all, we're now hearing that there are FOUR investigations going on into "the family," Biden Inc.!]

    TOLMAN: Well, first of all I think it's great that you had that moment. You were one of the few asking those tough questions. I think by his [Barr'] response we can certainly see, there was some knowledge there. There was something--he was trying to be careful. They have a policy in the Department of Justice to not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation, but you hit on the issue that is important, and that is: What we saw happen AFTER that was stories about Russia disinformation, 50 plus former intelligence officers indicating that there was nothing here, that this [Giuliani's information] was from Russia. At that point I believe the Attorney General absolutely had an obligation  to correct the record, to make sure that that was not the case, that there was information to suggest that they were at least going to look into it. And that's OK for the American people to know, that they [DoJ/FBI] had credible leads into potential laundering of money or the movement of money that might have been illegal, involving Hunter Biden. That shoulda been said. There was enough time to do that prior to things ramping up in the election.

    MACCALLUM: [If Joe Biden wasn't implicated, could Barr have spoken out sooner?]

    TOLMAN: I mean, this is something where the Attorney General, who--Certainly he's 'old school'. He was Attorney General many, many years ago before we were in the political atmosphere that we are. But this called for a different response, and I think what we're going to see now is, a lot of the details coming out, and people are gonna be frustrated, they're gonna be upset. Because let me tell you, it's not just the laptop that triggered this investigation. When you have suspicious activity reports that are being filed by financial institutions, and you have the laptop, and then you have Bobulinski, you have the makings of a fairly large scale investigation into the illegal movement of money that is involving multiple people. That's a conspiracy.

    This is from an email that I dashed off earlier this morning. My point, not completely articulated, is that in these extraordinary times standard departmental policies and procedures could not possibly be sufficient to the situation. That's a view that Barr vehemently disagreed with:

    My guess is that at some point Barr got cold feet--particularly with regard to CIA and foreign intel services, Brits, Aussies, Italians. It was leaked in a UK paper that UK intel was saying, What's Barr trying to do, bring down the whole intel apparatus? IOW, too big to bring down. I suspect that the FBI was chosen as a handy (and most deserving) scapegoat. Certainly little of this could have happened without the FBI on board--CI pretty much can't happen without the FBI, even if foreign tips are received. However, there was also all sorts of "improper" meddling going on at DoJ, with the embryo of Team Mueller interfering re Manafort even before the election without warrant--Horowitz documented that and other instances.

    This is another failing. When he changed the focus of his investigation Barr owed it to the Chief Executive to brief him in on the big picture of how he wanted to proceed--after all, Barr openly acknowledges that this was a "coup", an attempt to bring down an administration using LE and intel agencies, in cooperation with purely political operatives. The president has a need to know, but Barr seems never to have truly shared his big game plan with Trump.

    Finally, Jeff Carlson has done an assessment of Barr that's balanced but critical (Where Bill Barr Failed the President). It's a lengthy article, but one portion jumps out at me. Carlson cites Barr's House testimony from July 28:

    Barr later continued, saying, “We’re not going to interfere [in the election]. In fact, I’ve made it clear. I’m not going to tolerate it … Any report will be, in my judgment, not one that is covered by the policy and would disrupt the election.”

    And he again noted that the investigation wasn’t focused, nor was it expected to focus, on either Obama or Biden, saying “I’ve already made it clear that neither candidate is under [investigation].”

    Again we see that Barr places rigid adherence to policies and procedures above safeguarding our constitutional order. His bizarre reasoning seems to have been that such "fair" adherence to rules would convince the Dems to behave with decency. Did this irresponsible position--irresponsible, in view of all that had long been known about Biden Inc.--contribute to encouraging the MSM and Big Tech to ignore and even censor all attempts to draw attention to the Hunter and Joe Biden corruption saga? I have to believe so. Certainly his words can and will be cited in defense of the news suppression that occurred.

    Compare that to Tolman's assessment. Barr's conduct was inexcusable. He has disgraced himself.