Today’s readings

Two related readings I highly recommend today.  The first one is a bit long (including helpful infographics), but is an excellent summary of all we know to date regarding the efforts by bureaucrats to protect Her Hillariness, and later, attempt to overturn a duly elected administration.  The second reading places this knowledge in the light of broader trends that show the rule of law is, at best, on life support in this country.

Spygate: The Inside Story Behind the Alleged Plot to Take Down Trump.”  Excerpts:

This article builds on dozens of congressional testimonies, court documents, and other research to provide an inside look at the actions of Obama administration officials in the scandal that’s become known as Spygate.

To understand this abuse of power, it helps to go back to July 2011, when DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz was appointed.  From the very start, Horowitz found his duties throttled by Attorney General Eric Holder, who placed limitations on the inspector general’s right to have unobstructed access to information…

It is against this backdrop of minimal oversight that Spygate took place.

Starting in October 2015 and continuing into early 2016, FBI Director James Comey made a series of high-profile reassignments that resulted in the complete turnover of the upper-echelon of the FBI team working on the Clinton email investigation… Comey is the only known senior FBI leadership official who remained involved throughout the entire Clinton email investigation. McCabe had the second-longest tenure…

In order for Clinton to be prosecuted, the DOJ required the FBI to establish evidence of intent—even though the gross negligence statute explicitly does not require this…

As the Clinton investigation wound down, interest from the intelligence community in the Trump campaign was ramping up. Sometime in 2015, it appears former CIA Director John Brennan established himself as the point man to push for an investigation into the Trump campaign…

During this time, Brennan appeared to have employed the use of reverse targeting, which refers to the targeting of a foreign individual with the intent of capturing data on a U.S. citizen…

Meanwhile, another less official effort began. Information paid for by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Clinton campaign targeting Trump made its way to the highest levels of the FBI and the State Department, with a sophisticated strategy relying on the personal connections of hired operatives…

Most definitely, read the entire piece.  Next, Kurt Schlichter places this labyrinthine conspiracy in a broader context of a two-tiered system of injustice:

The media hacks failed for two years-plus, nonstop and without equivocation, but are they ever going to be held to account? No, they’re just going to gather in a big circle and Pulitzer each other…

Imagine you committed a racial hate crime where you falsely accused people who didn’t look or think like you of a horrible atrocity… Now, what are the chances the DA is going to transform your 16 felony counts into a $10K fine and a couple days community servicing? Your chances of said outcome are poor. They are poor because your pals are neither Mrs. Obama or Willie Brown’s gal pal.

Now imagine that you studied really hard while the rich kids partied and smoked dope… Now imagine how you feel when Durwood Richguy IV gets admitted to Harvard when he can’t count past 10 with his Gucci loafers on and you get slotted on a waiting list for Gumbo State…

Imagine you handled classified information and you took it home and put it on your iPad. Do you think the FBI would be super-concerned with your feels about it and give you a pass, like Felonia Milhous von Pantsuit got from Jim Comey…?

Our elite is not elite. Instead, it’s a bunch of bums who somehow got a little money and took the reins of power and are now shaking-down our great nation for every penny they can wring out of it. We owe them nothing – not respect, not gratitude and certainly not obedience.

If you still wonder how we got Trump, just look around you. He’s a cry for help, a scream against the injustice we’re surrounded by. This injustice is poison to our country. (emphasis added) This injustice is what makes republics fall apart, when the worthless ruling class pushes its contempt in the people’s collective face so hard and for so long that the population finally screams “The hell with this!”

It can’t continue. It won’t continue.

I hope Schlichter’s correct, and that The Reckoning is about to happen.  A friend of mine used to say “nobody is completely useless; they can always serve as a bad example.”  The underhanded, scheming fifth columnists in government who facilitated the abuses included on the list above, can still serve their country well — if we make a proper example out of them.  Where we find evidence of wrongdoing, we need to be sure to respect judicial process and the presumption of innocence (something that should distinguish us from the modern Left).  But if found guilty, Lock Them Up!

A reminder: vote

…and vote against this kind of thuggary (list courtesy of Instapundit):

Joe Manchin: Struggle Not to “Beat the Living Crap Out Of” Republican Opponent

Hillary: ‘You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for.’

Former Attorney General Eric Holder: “Michelle [Obama] always says, ‘When they go low, we go high.’ No. No. When they go low, we kick them.”

Politico: After failing to stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Democrats wonder if it’s time to be more ruthless.

Democrat Doxxer Threatened To Reveal Senators’ Children’s Health Information.

DC restaurant: We’ve received death threats after Ted Cruz, wife forced out by protesters.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ): We Are Less Than 60 Days From Totally ‘Kicking the S–t Out of the Republicans.’

Networks Silent On Attempted Stabbing of GOP Candidate By Anti-Trump Attacker.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) Jokes About Threatening Trump Supporters ‘All The Time.’

Bernie Bro James T. Hodgkinson, Attempted Assassin Of Steve Scalise, Already Being Erased From History.

Plus:

Republican Party Office In Wyoming Set on Fire Two Days After It Opens

Florida County’s GOP Office Vandalized by Gunfire

 

Remember: Jobs, not Mobs.

A spineless Congress

It’s no wonder Americans have such a low regard for Congress, when government officials are allowed to thumb their noses at it with impunity.  In recent memory the worst sanction the legislature has given to a recalcitrant official has been to hold Eric Holder in “contempt of Congress” — the first sitting Attorney General ever to be so designated.  That only has effect if the target has any sense of shame, which few in D.C. Mordor do anymore.  Official designation or not, it’s clear much of official Washington shares that contempt.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

It’s no coincidence that defiance from Holder, Lerner, Rosenstein and Wray parallels the public’s near-record low approval of Congress, which, according to the RealClearPolitics average, hit a meager 14.2 percent earlier this week.

But Congress has only itself to blame because the Constitution gives the first branch it created “all of the ultimate weapons in any showdown with either of the other two branches,” in the memorable phrasing of professors Willmoore Kendall and George Carey in their classic “The Basic Symbols of the American Political Tradition.”

Here are five of those “ultimate weapons,” whose deployment ultimately depends on the will of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to defend the right of Congress to be the people’s representatives…

Put somebody in jail.

Impose a big fine.

Invoke the power of the purse

Cut the workforce.

More political appointees.

It’s worth reading the description of these five options at the link.  Despite the frequency of choreographed televised hearings, Congress has largely abdicated its oversight role with regard to the Federal bureaucracy.  This was apparent at least by the time of the “Fast and Furious” gunwalking scandal and the IRS investigations, during which the agencies slow-rolled Congress’ requests for information with impunity.  True oversight involves exercising the power to compel compliance.  The Founders intended the legislature to be “first among equals” within the branches of government.  They, not unelected paper-pushers, represent the people.

The president has less power than people imagine over employees in the Executive Branch.  While he can fire political appointees, career bureaucrats have created a byzantine disciplinary process that, in effect, prevents nearly anyone from losing their job.  I encountered this while supervising relatively low-level “civil servants” — I can only imagine how much more difficult things are in the executive suites.

With a majority in Congress, however, it should be a simple thing to put entire departments like the FBI on notice: comply with legislative directives and requests, or perish as an agency.  Congress can defund any activity of the government with a simple vote.  Unfortunately, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have shown zero interest in actually asserting Congress’ prerogatives.  They are as much a part of the swamp as the agencies running amok, as the recent omnibus bill debacle shows.  That should be a key issue during these midterms — voters need to seek candidates who will support Trump’s “swamp draining,” and that includes pledging to vote in new Congressional leadership.

But for any of this to happen, We the People will need to be more focused than ever this election cycle.  The election of Trump will accomplish little if voters allow the legislature to defend the status quo by resolute inaction.

What frightens the Left

Today’s recommended read:

Their latest conniption fit has come over two apparently unrelated things. The first, of course, is guns and by extension the right to one’s own personal self-defense in a dangerous and (thanks to the second thing, about which more in a bit) rapidly destabilizing world. …

The Left—which is by turns both malevolent and cowardly, and therefore both tantalized by and fearful of firearms—has never made its hostility toward the Second Amendment a secret, but for decades it was able to keep it under wraps during the half-century or more between the effective closing of the borders to immigration in 1921 and the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, known as the Hart-Celler Act but today chiefly remembered as Ted Kennedy’s lasting gift to the American people. …

Which brings us to the cause of their second recent nervous breakdown: the Trump Administration’s decision to reinstate a question about citizenship on the 2020 census form. The movement against it is being led by former attorney general Eric Holder, the knave who was held in contempt of Congress over the Obama administration’s “Fast and Furious” gun-running program to Mexico, and is an unrepentant radical.

“The addition of a citizenship question to the census questionnaire is a direct attack on our representative democracy,” said Holder, announcing a lawsuit. …

On the contrary, this question goes directly to the substance of our representative democracy by acknowledging the difference between citizens and non-citizens, a crucial distinction the Left is trying mightily to erase—and not just because the Democrats stand to benefit from the addition of millions of new dependent and culturally hostile voters.

No, it goes far deeper than that…

As Glenn Reynolds would say, read the whole thing.

The Constitution of the United States stands athwart the vision of the Left, and for that reason they undermine, vilify, circumvent and ignore it wherever they are permitted.  What they fear is a public fully aware of how that document works, why it’s set up the way it is, and willing to hold officials accountable to it.

Be that public.

A poor substitute for accountability

Today, 1,632 days after Lois Lerner planted a question with a reporter to head off an Inspector General report by revealing the Infernal Internal Revenue Service had discriminated against Tea Party-related groups seeking non-profit status, the government announced the IRS has issued an apology for improper behavior, and will pay out a settlement to the groups estimated at a total of $3.5 million.

No employees were fined, imprisoned, or otherwise inconvenienced as a result of their rogue agency undermining the electoral process in a blatantly partisan effort to help the re-election of Barack Obama in 2012.  The American taxpayer, however, is now on the hook for $3.5 million due to criminal activity by “public servants.”  (Where did you THINK the settlement money comes from?)

This is justice??

Some may take issue with my statement that nobody was inconvenienced by pointing out Lois Lerner retired as a result of the revelations.  I stand by what I wrote.  In the three years before she retired (when all of this came out), Lerner received total federal employee “bonuses” of $129,000 before settling down to collect an annual pension estimated at around $100,000.  (For comparison, that’s just shy of twice my military pension after 24 years of service and six deployments.)  That she was allowed to retire rather than face disciplinary action for clear violations of the law shows yet again the rule of law is dead in this nation.  So no, she wasn’t inconvenienced in the slightest other than losing the power to inflict misery on people with whom she disagreed politically .

It’s enough to make you wonder what happened to the American spirit, that we just accept such outcomes and assume we can do nothing about it.  The founding generation of Americans were not above using tar and feathers for tax collectors.  While I’m not in favor of resurrecting that practice, I *am* in favor of finding ways to make government agents more fearful of the peoples’ wrath at their abuses.  (Maybe a response like this to their “apology.”)  They clearly have no shame, so fear is the only way to keep them in check.  It’s clear these days that people such as Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch and Lois Lerner have no fear of legal repercussions to their actions.  For all intents and purposes, the legal system does not apply to them.

What they fail to realize is that when enough Americans decide the current system is merely a sham to protect those in power, the danger is the citizens will begin to take the law into their own handsShould that day arrive, the pent-up anger that elected Trump will go on to make tar and feathers look like child’s play.

Unfortunately, the denizens of Mordor D.C. don’t seem to think about such possibilities.  They’ve been overprotected for too long to think it could possibly happen to them.

At the rate things have been going in recent years, they may be in for a rude surprise.

In summary…

Quite a number of headlines over the past few days while I’ve been away, enjoying some time offline.  As I caught up on some of the issues, it seemed appropriate to outline some of the recent developments.

As we all know, Robert Mueller has been appointed to investigate whether the Trump candidacy “colluded” with Russia during the 2016 campaign.  As part of that, Mueller is looking into the circumstances surrounding Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey.  There were already questions about how impartial Mueller could be about the later, given his long personal and professional relationship with Comey.

Now it appears Mueller may have additional conflicts of interest regarding Russia.  You see, Mueller was Comey’s predecessor as head of the FBI.  During his tenure, the FBI had already discovered Russian efforts to influence the U.S.:

Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.

They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.

Despite having this information in 2009, the U.S. government approved in 2010 the purchase of Canada’s Uranium One (which itself controlled 1/5 of the U.S. uranium mining capacity) by Russia’s state-owned Rosatom.  As Investor’s Business Daily points out:

Does it seem strange that an American administration would OK the acquisition of 20% of America’s uranium resources by a hostile nuclear power? How could that be?

It only makes sense if you understand what else was going on, namely Hillary Clinton’s aggressive use of her State Department perch to raise money for the family “charity,” the Clinton Foundation. That Clinton used her office to the foundation’s advantage, there can be little doubt.

The Clinton Foundation took in some $145 million in contributions from Uranium One shareholders, much of it coming at about the time that deal won approval from CFIUS — the investment panel on which both Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder conveniently sat. Is that a coincidence? Or that the Justice Department waited until 2014, the year after Hillary left office, to take any action in the Russian criminal matters? Or that details of the Uranium One deal didn’t come out until 2015, the year Eric Holder left office? Was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s “reset” with the Russian government in 2009 just part of a wider plan to enrich her own family foundation with Russian cash?

We’d sure like to know the answers to these and other questions. At the very least, there is a clear prima facie case to be made for an investigation into the pay-for-play behavior in the Obama administration.

So remember: when Democrats run around screaming “Russia, Russia, Russia,” it’s most likely an attempt at projection.  As for the Clinton’s “charitable foundation,” it’s clear there’s only one beneficiary: the Clintons.  They’ve made a career out of literally selling out the U.S.  For all Trump’s shortcomings (and they are many), he at least prevented Her Hillariness from being in a position to do even more damage.  It would be ironic if the investigation meant to hamstring his administration instead revealed many of the sordid details of the swamp Trump promised to drain.

We’re all on the border, now

It doesn’t matter where you live in the United States — the current invasion is a local issue:

Illegal immigrants are being secretly flown to Massachusetts ((without the normal ID and TSA dance you and I have to endure, incidentally.  Still think TSA is about security? — Jemison)) and kept in local lockups in an under-the-radar operation that has alarmed lawmen who are raising health and security concerns amid recent spikes in detainees coming up from Texas during the latest border crisis.

“We’re all becoming border sheriffs now with these people being carted all over the country,” said Bristol County Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson.

“The blame goes all the way up. It’s a travesty and people ought to be upset,” Hodgson said. “This is un-American and has raised the stakes to the public health and public safety threat.”

Hodgson said buses from his facility were recently used to transport six planeloads of illegals sent up from San Antonio to Hanscom Field in Bedford en route to the Plymouth County 
Correctional Facility.

The sheriff said he’s also heard of 100 immigrant children recently arriving in his county. But he couldn’t say if they are part of the deluge of 50,000 unaccompanied kids crossing the nation’s southern border.

Homeland Security has plenty of its own buses, too — complete with covered windows (metaphor alert regarding government transparency).

It should disturb every citizen to realize that our government is essentially providing the logistical backbone of an invasion of our own nation.  Far from fulfilling its duties to enforce the border (without which function no nation is truly sovereign), it is enabling tens of thousands of unvetted individuals to access every corner of our land.  This is beyond dereliction of duty.  It is aiding and abetting a tidal wave to accelerate demographic changes that will in turn impact how our nation functions.  Think I’m exaggerating?  Fine: go count how many stable, prosperous, free-market-limited-government nations you find south of the Rio Grande.  The simple fact is that even if this human tsunami is seeking a better way (rather than simply handouts), they simply have no idea of or experience with how such a system is supposed to function!  A nation can assimilate small numbers of newcomers over time and still retain its identity.  It cannot withstand the importation of massive voting blocks with alien ideologies and no incentives to identify with their new society.

Those in power know it, too — so the question becomes why are they so eagerly embracing and enabling this event?  The obvious answer is that for two centuries the American people have largely resisted letting government do whatever it wants.  Diluting that particular political DNA provides more opportunity for activist government — not least in mediating between people groups with vastly different visions of how things should be. *This* is where the ‘multiculturalism’ fetish leads.

But when the process has begun to replace an electorate, you have to ask the question what the intentions are toward those you are replacing.  Americans need to realize those buses with covered windows can serve more than one purpose.  As can various “holding facilities.”  After all, it’s telling that despite all the various crises and threats in the world today ((hey, did you hear ISIS now comes with uranium?)) that the Attorney General’s nightmares are about ‘homegrown extremists.’  Maybe if you didn’t let so many people into the country willy-nilly, there wouldn’t be as many ‘homegrown’ extremists!  But then, that’s not really what he means by ‘homegrown.’

What he’s really concerned about is that Americans may re-read that part of the Declaration of Independence that talks about “…when any government becomes destructive of these ends (life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness), it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and establish new government…”  Yeah, that’s pretty extremist talk for a people who’ve become accustomed to just taking whatever Uncle Sam chooses to dish out.  But if the government becomes accustomed to moving around massive numbers of people, and decides to employ that skill towards a newTrail of Tears” for current Americans, Holder may find his nightmares well-founded.

The nation’s governors need to do more than ‘visit the border’ for photo ops.  They need to inform Uncle Sam that if he won’t do his job, they will — do include blocking any federal movements of illegal migrants into their States.

Because if the States won’t secure their borders, there won’t be any left under this Administration…

It’s come to this

UPDATE: Weapons of Mass Distraction, indeed…

Yesterday, Congress voted to hold Lois Lerner, a former IRS official believed to be at the center of targeting conservative political groups with the power of that nefarious agency, in contempt of Congress.

Which, as Erika Johnson points out, means the case is now formally referred to the Department of Justice… whose head, Attorney General Eric Holder, is also formally in contempt of Congress…

Considering the fact the first thing the ‘Justice’ Department (an increasingly Orwellian name) did after the Holder vote was to announce they would not prosecute their boss, I doubt Lerner needs worry much about the possibility of fines or imprisonment, either.  It’s clear Congress cannot count on the assistance of the Executive branch to go after issues in the Executive branch.  So, what now, legislators?

Meanwhile, on the local level, where’s the accountability for a cop who runs a stop sign, hits another car, causes lots of damage and injury… and then falsely charges the other driver with being under the influence?  (Bonus: the offending officer, now having to account for video evidence of his perjury, is apparently filing for permanent disability despite the fact it’s the woman he hit who had her neck broken…)

Rule of law?  Pshaw… that’s so 18th Century… our ruling elite is apparently much too sophisticated for that quaint notion now…

“What difference, at this point, does it make…”

…that Congress is now demanding John Kerry answer questions regarding newly revealed information about the attack in Benghazi, Libya, that resulted in the death of a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans?

After all, as the former National Security Council spokesperson put it, “Dude, this was like two years ago.”

Maybe, in hindsight, the administration should have done more to help those four besieged Americans, even if such a high-visibility military action might have called into question whether the current President’s foreign policy was worthy of re-election just a couple months later.

Meanwhile, for those Americans who are merely veterans of, rather than casualties of the Empire’s wars, there is little to no reassurance help will be there for them, either:

Department of Veterans Affairs officials were threatened Thursday with a congressional subpoena if they fail to explain the destruction of a secret list of medical appointments at the Phoenix veterans’ hospital and preserve documents for an inspector general’s investigation.

Meanwhile, the agency placed three officials from the Phoenix facility on leave.

Whistleblowers say more than 40 patients died because of delays in treatment while in the Phoenix VA Health Care System.

 

The conduct of our government on all fronts–enabled by an incestuous relationship with what has become virtually a State media sector–has been so outrageous for so long, it is no wonder a Harvard poll shows less than a third of those aged 18-29 have any trust in it.  That Congress is finally seeing a need to at least posture and bloviate that it may try to hold our prevaricating potentates accountable says more about their read of the public’s mood than it does any commitment to fixing what is structurally and institutionally broken.

**This is why at every campaign stop Hillary makes during the next two years, seeking to finally win what, in her mind, was stolen from her in 2008 by her now-former boss, someone needs to ask her loudly the title of this post (noting that they are her own words).**

These are not times for showpiece hearings that go nowhere.  They are times that call for the fining, firing and/or imprisonment of those–throughout  government–who have misled the public and abused their trust.  They are times that demand for “No Incumbents, Please,” nor the recycling of the degenerate political dynasties that have afflicted this nation for far too long.  Because if We, the People, fail to reset the system in this way, the generation that Harvard just polled is quite likely in their lifetime to have to seek other means of redress.  And that isn’t in anybody’s interest.