America: past, present, and future — a depressing post for today

In America, two past events and one past trend are leading us inexorably — absent a black swan event — to one of two very grim American futures.

America on FireI got to thinking about where we are now, right now, with the Deep State on the verge of a successful coup against an elected American president; with Islam on the march around the Western world; and with all of our primary communication, education, and corporate outlets in Marxist hands. As I see it, there are two major past events and one major past trend that have left us with a grim present that leads to two potential futures, both equally disastrous.

Past Event No. 1: The first Past Event that has led to our current tenuous present is Kennedy’s 1962 Executive Order 10988, which allowed federal employees to unionize. Even Franklin Roosevelt had stopped short of taking that step. Although Roosevelt was in the trifecta of Leftist political presidents (Wilson, Roosevelt, and Obama), he explicitly stated that “It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.”

What someone even as hard Left as Roosevelt understood is that, in the private sector, when the owners and unions sat down at the negotiating table, they both have skin in the game. The owners are paying any negotiated wages out of their own money and the union members have a vested interested in keeping the business going.

That’s not the case with government unions. The only people with skin in the game are taxpayers, and they’re nowhere near that negotiating table. Instead, politicians and union bosses sit down to figure out how much taxpayer money can be given to government employees without fomenting armed rebellion. The understanding when they leave the table is that a significant amount of that same money will find its way back into the politicians’ pockets, whether in the form of forced union dues or donations from employees who know precisely which politicians are raping taxpayers for the benefit of government employees.

Because unions have always been a Democrat Party game, Kennedy’s executive order turned America’s bureaucracy from a party-neutral form civil service working for America’s benefit into a giant arm of the Democrat Party. We all know and are grateful for that small percentage of government employees who have managed to retain the common sense and common decency that comes with conservativism.

The larger reality though, is that federal employees, from the upper echelons of the each administrative branch down to the mail room minions, are hardcore Democrat activists who know that, if Democrats lose power in Washington D.C., these employees lose their gold-plated benefits (far in excess of similarly situated workers in the private sector) and, quite possibly, they lose their jobs. That last, incidentally, the bit about losing jobs, was the threat Donald Trump brought with him to the White House, when he promised to shrink the bloated, ineffectual, bullying administrative state.

No wonder, then, that Obama was so easily able, either explicitly or implicitly, to encourage the federal bureaucracy to carry out the Democrat agenda, whether it was the IRS destroying pro-conservative and pro-Israel groups; the EPA destroying the energy industry and advancing an apocalyptic and redistributionist view of “climate change; or the DOJ and FBI actively weaponizing themselves against anything conservative and covering up anything that might harm Democrats. Moreover, as you think about this ideological takeover of America’s civil service, don’t forget that, thanks to a massive buying spree during the Obama administration, our administrative offices have more guns and ammo than the entire Marine Corps.

It is this armed, ready, and biased administrative state that is working hard to take down a properly elected president. The first effort was the Democrat-hatched “Russia collusion” accusation against Trump collapsed, which is collapsing for want of any evidence. With that having failed, the Democrat-controlled, weaponized, unionized administrative state is now attacking Trump very directly.

The no-knock raid on Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, is intended to box Trump in on all sides. If he fires Mueller, that’s obstruction and he’ll be impeached. If he pardons Cohen, that’s obstruction and he’ll be impeached. If he does nothing, the Progressive cohorts in the DOJ and FBI will root through every attorney-client privileged scrap of paper in Cohen’s possession until they find something, anything.

As Stalin’s henchman Lavrentiy Beria so succinctly said, “Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime.” I like better the way Dan Bongino states the same sentiment because he also exposes the profoundly anti-American ideology underpinning Mueller’s actions:

Thanks to Kennedy’s executive order, we are facing a government coup against an elected leader. The only time America experienced a more perilous internal threat was on the eve of the Civil War — and we know just how bad things got when that threat was executed.

In my optimistic moments, which are rare, I hope that the Inspector General’s report will expose the Deep State for what it is or that President Trump, a born fighter, has some magical Hollywood judo ending for us.

In my pessimistic moments, which are more common, I foresee that Trump will be taken down over his attorney’s $130,000 payment to a stripper. After all, the GOP hates Trump too and wants desperately to go back to a peaceful status quo in which members of the GOP accrued power by mouthing conservative platitudes and then governing like the rest of America’s Leftists. If Trump goes down, we may see a very swift descent into civil unrest and the collapse of America’s normative politics and safe civil space. Continue reading

New York Times has no standing to talk about the rule of law

I refuse to listen to the hypocritical New York Times when it suddenly discovers the rule of law and starts to care about a president’s associates.

New York Times clutches pearlsA Progressive friend was tremendously excited about an editorial in the New York Times. In it, the editorial board exulted about the fact that the president is exposed for all to see: an unsavory con man with no respect for the rule of law. I think it’s worth quoting a part of it:

Mr. Obama has spent his career in the company of developers and celebrities, and also of grifters, cons, sharks, goons and crooks. He cuts corners, he lies, he cheats, he brags about it, and for the most part, he’s gotten away with it, protected by threats of litigation, hush money and his own bravado. Those methods may be proving to have their limits when they are applied from the Oval Office. Though Democrat leaders in Congress still keep a cowardly silence. . . .

Yeah, you caught me — I switched out president names (Obama for Trump) and political parties (Democrats for Republicans). In fact, the New York Times is in full-throated condemnation about Trump’s disdain for the rule of law, the unsavory characters with which he surrounds himself, his open disrespect for the media and law enforcement, and his shenanigans to achieve and retain power.

Much to my Progressive friend’s dismay, I was not impressed, stating only that the New York Times lacked any standing to voice these concerns because it had been completely silent about Obama’s disdain for the rule of law, the unsavory characters with which he surrounded himself, or his shenanigans to achieve and retain power. The Progressive did not want to hear details, instead castigating me for living in a bubble and having no respect for the rule of law.

Had I not been shut down, I would have said this: First, I knew exactly what kind of person I was getting with Donald Trump. I knew he was sleazy, I knew he was unfaithful to his wives, I knew that he had sleazy friends (witness his friendship with the Clintons), and I knew that he was willing to push his way around the law if he could. I also knew that he loved his country, that he has a deserved reputation for getting things done, and that he was not Hillary, the ultimate grifter, sleaze, and law-breaker. Since he’s been president, I’ve cut all ties with caring about his sometimes less-than-savory past. He’s done nothing but good for American interests at home and abroad, and he’s done so within both the letter and spirit of the Constitution. Continue reading

Outrageous — the FBI raid on Michael Cohen (Update 2)

The FBI gave Hillary a free pass for national security violations; now it conducted an outrageous raid against Trump’s attorney right before the IG report.

This morning, the DOJ, based on allegations passed on by Bob Mueller, executed a warrant on Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, sweeping up a host of material covered by attorney client privilege.  Indications are that the information related to Stormy Daniels, something completely unrelated to a single thing about Trump-Russian collusion.

[Update 1:  By all accounts, Cohen was fully cooperating with the FBI and DOJ.  So why and how this warrant?  The procedure for issuing this particular warrant would have had to pass a high bar and involved multiple people at DOJ.  My suspicion, reinforced by the following from Liz Shields at PJM, is that it is the mother of all fishing expeditions:

One thing is curious: Mr. Cohen was cooperating with the authorities, so why were the jackboots brought in? A special team of agents will need to go through the material in order to identify communications that are protected under attorney-client relationship. If the New York agents just happen to find something relevant to Mueller’s investigation they can turn it over to the special counsel, The New York Times reports.

So just who made the decision to seek a warrant in this matter?  We’re still waiting to find out.  It is just being reported that the AG for the Southern District of New York, a Trump appointee, was recused from this matter and he, just like Jeff Sessions did with Rosenstein, turned the matter over to someone else in his office — all with the approval of Rosenstein.  Rosenstein also approved the warrant at issue here.]

[Update:  Andy McCarthy, writing at NRO, puts the investigation of Cohen in perspective:

Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign was caught hiding the sources of 1,300 large campaign donations, aggregating to nearly $2 million. The campaign also accepted more than $1.3 million in unlawful donations from contributors who had already given the legal maximum.

Under federal law, such campaign-finance violations, if they aggregate to just $25,000 in a calendar year, may be treated as felonies punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment . . .

The Obama campaign did not have a defense; it argued in mitigation that the unlawful donations constituted a negligible fraction of the monumental amount it had raised from millions of “grass-roots” donors. Compelling? Maybe not, but enough to convince the Obama Justice Department not to prosecute the Obama campaign — shocking, I know. During the Christmas holiday season right after the 2012 campaign, with Obama safely reelected and nobody paying much attention, the matter was quietly settled with the payment of a $375,000 fine.

Is the $130,000 in hush money Donald Trump’s personal lawyer paid to porn star Stormy Daniels on the eve of the 2016 election a campaign-finance violation? Probably, although it’s a point of contention. Even if we stipulate that it is, though, we’re talking comparative chump change.

Yet, as that lawyer, Michael Cohen, has discovered, what was not a crime in the Obama days is the crime of the century now. . . .

This is a mockery of equal justice, which makes the execution of this warrant look like an utter abuse of our legal system, all in an effort to overturn the results of the 2016 election.]

This warrant is from the same bastards who have yet – two years after the fact – to execute a warrant to verify that the single most basic fact of the collusion story, that the DNC server was hacked by the Russians.  This from the same bastards that allowed Hillary to maintain her private server for months after it became known that she had run all State Dept. business through that server, all but certainly exposing thousands of confidential, secret and top secret documents and items of information in violation of our state secrets laws.  During that time, Hillary and her attorney wiped that server clean.  And now these bastards, seemingly having found nothing on which to charge Trump relating to Russian collusion, and having given Hillary and her team a pass on crystal clear felonies, go after Trump and/or his personal attorney on a technical violation of election law?  These worthless bastards are out of control.

It is hard to express just how outrageous this is [Update:  though Alan Dershowitz does a good job of it]:

The attorney–client privilege is one of the oldest recognized privileges for confidential communications.  The United States Supreme Court has stated that by assuring confidentiality, the privilege encourages clients to make “full and frank” disclosures to their attorneys, who are then better able to provide candid advice and effective representation.

Indeed, the Attorney Client privilege is not merely judge made law well over a century old, it is part of the Federal Rules of Evidence passed into law by Congress.  If a prosecutor is even thinking of violating it, he has a high bar to overcome.  That is doubly so in this case where the warrant was issued ex parte, without any chance for Trump or his attorney to object and be heard. Continue reading

FBI raid on Michael Cohen — Open Thread

We have a few fixed data points about today’s raid on Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, but not much else. I’m interested in your thoughts on the matter.

Michael CohenHere’s what we know:

Robert Mueller is supposed to be probing whether Trump colluded with the Russians in the lead-up to the November 2016 election.

Trump had an affair a decade ago with an adult film actress.

Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen paid the actress money to keep her mouth shut.

Trump claims not to have known about this payment. (I can actually believe this. Trump has always boasted about his conquests and we know he cheated on all of his wives. Why would he become coy now?)

Despite accepting money to keep her mouth shut, the actress has revitalized her career by talking non-stop.

Mueller, with Deputy A.G. Rosenstein’s agreement, gave some information to the FBI’s Southern District of New York office.

Based on that information, the FBI got warrants to raid Cohen’s home and office.

Leftists are thrilled, believing that this is the prelude to criminals charges against Trump and impeachment.

Trump is furious.

That’s what we know. (At least, since this is off the top of my head, I think it’s what we know.) I haven’t formulated any conclusions or ideas yet. In part, I think it’s premature to have any real idea what’s going on. Still, I’m interested in what your thoughts are, even at this early stage.

*****

What Business Thinks