Russia collusion is still roiling the Left, to the great amusement of sane Americans. Indeed, thanks to Leftists, there’s a lot of silly stuff to laugh at.
Russia collusion is still roiling the Left, to the great amusement of sane Americans. Indeed, thanks to Leftists, there’s a lot of silly stuff to laugh at.
In Venezuela, maybe today being Cinco de Mayo will magically strengthen citizens in their fight against tyranny. Meanwhile, in the U.S. we’ll keep our guns.
Passover tells us that tyrants fall only when revolution affects them directly and that revolutions are successful only when focused on individual liberty.
Passover, which begins tonight, is about so many things: the Jewish people’s renewed covenant with God; their escape from slavery; the journey that ended with the Ten Commandments and a return to Eretz Israel, the Holy Land of Israel; and — which is the subject of my annual post — the nature of tyranny.
Think about this for a minute: The Passover story, depending upon which Biblical archaeology you’re referencing, places the Passover story sometime between the 16th and 13th centuries B.C. In other words, this is a story that Jews have told and retold for as many as 3,500 years — and it’s a story that is always relevant. Slaves in the South took it as their story in 19th century America. And a couple of decades ago, when I was the only straight person at a gay Passover, the attendees there took it as their story too. The yearning for liberty is a timeless aspect of the human psyche.
It’s worth contemplating for a moment what “liberty” means. In European history, “liberty” invariably means trading one form of tyranny for another form of tyranny — only one in which the revolutionaries will have control. To Europeans, therefore, “liberty” is a gigantic state that will give them, rather than the others, all the goodies government can grab. And if, in exchange, government gets to control what they do, say, and think, well, they’re still “free” if the goodies keep flowing.
Once upon a time, the Americans went in a completely different direction that was more consistent with the original Exodus story. To go back to Exodus for a moment, Exodus might have told how the Jews rose up against Pharaoh, defeated him, took over Egypt, and enslaved their former enemies, at which point everyone who sided with the Jews lived happily ever after . . . right up until the Jews were deemed the tyrants and in turn overthrown.
But Exodus tells a different story: It tells about Jews leaving the old system behind entirely in order to live as a free people, even if that freedom meant the lack of a government safety net. After all, Pharaoh may have been cruel, but he kept them fed and housed. In the desert and in the land of Israel, the Jews were responsible for themselves, for better or worse.
In the same way, the American Revolutionaries, having concluded that England had become a tyrant by taking their money and dictating their actions without giving them a say in government, opted to create a different system entirely: one in which government played as small a role as possible and in which citizens had the greatest control over their lives . . . a notion both exciting and frightening. Ultimately, with fits and starts, failures and victories, tweaks and intransigence, this liberty-oriented system gave birth, not only to the most powerful nation in the world, but also to a nation that lifted more people out of poverty than any other nation ever had. Poverty is its own form of subjugation, so America spread freedom from want around large parts of the world. Indeed, today, those parts of the world most mired in poverty are nations that have systems antithetical to the American principles of individual liberty, small government, and a free market.
Put more simply, America went the Exodus route and traded enslavement for liberty. America did so because Americans, like the ancient Israelites, believed freedom was worth the scary downsides. And just as the ancient Israelites gave birth to a set of rules that changed the world (by which I mean the Ten Commandments), so too did Americans give birth to a political system that changed the world (by which I mean a system predicated upon limited constitutional government allied with a free market).
Both the Exodus story and the American experiment show that freedom is worth the price.
The eternal timeliness of the Exodus story also matters because it reminds us that tyranny never changes: Different tyrants may use different forms of tyranny, ranging from actual enslavement, as Pharaoh did, to oppressive political systems in which people ostensibly have citizens’ “rights” but lack all actual power over their lives. These modern tyrannies can be religious (think Iran), military (think of every Latin American junta), or ideological. In the latter category are fully socialist nations, such as North Korea pr Venezuela; socialist nations that nevertheless have commerce, such as China; and micromanaged liberal fascist states, of the type embodied in the European Union. In all of them, true freedom is illusory but the state, whether as a loving parent or a cruel, minatory parent, hides this lack of freedom by boasting about how it takes care of its citizens’ needs.
Another thing that never changes about tyranny is that, no matter how tyrants talk about what they do for the people, they hate the people. The only thing that matters to the one(s) atop the tyranny pyramid is that the tyranny remains stable and protected. Which gets me to my annual Passover post which, as always, I’ve edited it to reflect current concerns. [Read more…]
The Russia collusion witch hunt the progressive left aimed at Trump has failed to consign Trump to the auto-de-fe. What is left are questions.
. . . While the investigation identified numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign, the evidence was not sufficient to support criminal charges. Among other things, the evidence was not sufficient to charge any Campaign official as an unregistered agent of the Russian government or other Russian principal. And our evidence about the June 9, 2016 meeting and WikiLeaks’s releases of hacked materials was not sufficient to charge a criminal campaign-finance violation. Further, the evidence was not sufficient to charge that any member of the Trump Campaign conspired with representatives of the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election.
Indeed, to quote the Munchkin coroner examining the Wicked Witch of the East, the charges are “really most sincerely dead.” Sorry, proggies.
Proggie congresscritters claim to be shocked at charges about Obama administration “spying” on team Trump. Given the public record, that is itself shocking.
This from the Blaze (internal links omitted):
At a hearing before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) asked Barr about a team he had indicated the day before that he was putting together to investigate the FBI’s handling of its Russia probe during the 2016 campaign, prior to the appointment of a special counsel. After President Donald Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey in 2017, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to head an independent investigation that would be separate “from the normal chain of command.”
Barr responded that he planned on “reviewing both the genesis and the conduct of intelligence activities directed against — at the Trump campaign during 2016.” He said he wanted to “pull together all the information from the various investigations that have gone on, including on the Hill, and in the department, and see if there are any remaining questions to be addressed.”
Shaheen asked Barr why he thought this was necessary.
Roll the tape:
It is shocking indeed that the left would try to defend the FBI, CIA and DOJ on the factually ludicrous claim that none of the agencies were involved in “spying” on Trump, whether before or after the November 2016 election. The public record is replete with the facts that show they targeted Trump, his campaign and then his administration. [Read more…]
With Barr promising to investigate the Russia Collusion Hoax, it’s a good time to think about the motivations driving those who masterminded the hoax.
Yesterday was another day spent pulling out ivy, a process I found so exhausting, I couldn’t write last night. Not writing, though, doesn’t mean not thinking. I’ve been thinking a lot about the Russia collusion hoax, especially about what drove the major actors to do what they did. After all, even if they thought the risk was minimal because they were banking on a Hillary victory and doing their best to ensure that victory, the power players knew that what they were doing was both illegal and immoral. That’s a pretty big hurdle for otherwise law-abiding people to make.
To get to my answer, I’ll start by looking at what they did (and mine is a slightly different focus than most others), and then I’ll try to answer the question about what powered these people’s engines. Here goes….
I suspect that several of you, like me, remember the Watergate scandal. For any of you young’uns reading this, way back in 1972, while acting on behalf of Nixon and his innermost circle, a bunch of former government operatives broke into Democrat National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex to steal information related to the election.
To give what they did some context, the equivalent act would be for some former 49er football players, acting at the behest of the current coach to break into Seattle Seahawk headquarters to steal the coaching book for the upcoming football season. It’s an aggressive form of cheating in the midst of a fiercely fought rivalry.
With that in mind, we can see that there are some parallels to Watergate in the Russia collusion hoax and some things that differ wildly. It’s easiest to start with the obvious difference, which is that the Russia Collusion scandal did not involve outsiders acting only once to steal a playbook. Instead, it involved permanent government employees embedded deeply in our entire security apparatus — the FBI, CIA, and DOJ — working in concert for months. Watergate was kindergarten and this was post-graduate work.
Moreover, unlike Watergate, after Trump was elected, this collusion scandal morphed into a full-blown government coup intended to take down a duly elected American president. That the Left — from the DNC, to the media, to the people down the block from me — looks upon this complacently instead of with horror tells you that the Left no longer has any allegiance to America, American values, or the Constitution. Every Leftist, no matter where situated, is enthusiastically embracing tin-pot banana republic tyranny. There are no words for how sad and how dangerous this is.
Interestingly, though, I haven’t heard anyone articulate what information these bad actors were seeking in the run-up to the election. I know this sounds like a stupid observation, and it may well be. The obvious answer is that these bad actors were seeking evidence of Russian collusion in order to create an October surprise that would bring down Trump’s candidacy.
The thing is, though, that you and I know that, while a few true believers may actually have thought that Trump and/or people within his inner circle were working in concert with Putin, the reality is that the big bad actors — Comey, Brennan, Clapper, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Priestap, etc. — knew perfectly well that there was no collusion. They knew this because (so far as we know) the only proof they could bring to the FISA court to justify spying on Trump was the Steele dossier. [Read more…]
Step on up, folks, and get yer red hot Mueller Report memes here! We got 26 rip-roarin’ memes plus a whole bunch of other sassy illustrated commentaries.
We know that a flaccid Mueller Report offering nothing but vaguely worded accusations will not stop the Democrats. The next phase, of course, will be to say that the absence of proof is itself proof that Trump is a criminal collusion mastermind. Meanwhile, though, please enjoy some good laughs.
Trying to convince myself that, while a Democrat-majority House will be very, very bad, Trump will not abandon the American people and may still win 2020.
1. We kept the Senate, which matters when it comes to the judiciary (phew!) and Trump’s ability to get his people appointed.
2. Trump can continue to dismantled the regulatory state, which is huge.
3. Trump still has a free hand with foreign policy and I like his approach to foreign policy.
4. The Democrats will use their hold on the House to escalate their open border policy, but I think (hope) Trump as the executive still has the stronger hand on this. I also hope (think) that the American people will not appreciate an open border, especially minorities who are always on the front line when it comes to illegal immigrants taking jobs and introducing new crime into a region.
5. What’s going to come out of the House in the upcoming years will be, literally, insane. Sarah Hoyt is very worried that Trump, who is committed to deal-making, will cave or, to use a Bill Clintonesque term from 1994, “triangulate”:
Trump is by nature a deal maker. After the first two government shut downs, he’ll meet them halfway. This will wreck our economy and yep his presidency with it. As they did with Bush in 2006, they now have a chance to wreck the economy and have it blamed on the sitting president.
Hoyt’s legitimately worried about a lot of other things. If you want the pessimist’s view of the next two years, be sure to read what she has to say.
Even Don Surber, the man who has been my compass for optimism for the past three years, is not happy. He bats aside attempts at optimism from his readers and from Glenn Reynolds, who’s hoping for a Reagan-era “coming together.” With a Democrat-majority House — or rather, with this 21st Century style Democrat-majority House — that’s not going to happen says Surber:
He just doesn’t get it. These Democrats don’t care. Infrastructure?
These Democrats let people poop in the streets of Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco. These Democrats let the homeless line pup tents along the boulevards of Maxine Waters’s Los Angeles. These Democrats let gangbangers turn Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago into a shooting gallery.
All they care about is power. Lord Acton said power corrupts. Imagine now what happens when you give power to the already corrupted.
Recent commentary from Adam Schiff, Andrew McCarthy, Lee Smith and others illuminates important issues swirling around the Trump-Russia collusion narrative.
Rep. Adam Schiff, one of the four Congressional Democrats with the clearance to actually put eyes on all of the top secret documents made available to date by the FBI and others as part of the House Intelligence Committee investigation, made a jaw dropping admission in so many words while answering media questions. He admits he has seen no evidence to date to establish any sort of criminal conspiracy between Trump and Russia. In other words, more than a year into this politically-driven investigation, there is no Trump-Russia Collusion.
So, if there is no evidence to support any of the allegations, when are we going to start investigating to determine whether this was a criminal enterprise involving Christopher Steele, CIA Director John Brennan, Fusion GPS, the DNC and others to throw the election to Clinton, destroy Trump’s presidency, and protect corrupt government officials?
Lee Smith, writing at The Federalist, looks in detail at how senior figures in the media, namely New Yorker editor David Remnick, Atlantic editor Jeffrey Goldberg, former New Republic editor Franklin Foer, and Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum, coordinated with Fusion GPS and the DNC to create an echo chamber, driving the Trump Russia collusion narrative. It is a sordid story that needs to come out as well.
On a related note is a Ted Talk given by Sheryl Attkinson, where she not only puts in perspective “fake news,” but identifies the source of the fake news controversy, much of which involves the Trump-Russia narrative, with a starring role from a Google owner. The progressive left has used the mantra of “fake news” to justify their creep into censoring conservative voices. I’ve long believed that social media sites and the major search engines are so powerful that they need either to be subject to anti-trust litigation and / or they need to be required to adhere to the First Amendment as if they were a public institution. [Read more…]
The real Russia collusion — Obama and Clinton team with Russia against Trump — makes sense if you look at the motives driving the various actors.
Da Vinci once said that “Every action needs to be prompted by a motive.” Motive is certainly a helpful tool when it comes to bringing an organizing principle to the sprawling, chaotic Russia collusion — the real Russia collusion. The real one isn’t the fake claim that Trump, who had no contacts in Russia, partnered with Putin, who had no reason to root for Trump, during the 2016 election cycle. Instead, I’m talking about the real Russia collusion, one that sees more evidence every day to support it. This is the one that says that Obama and Hillary, along with all their high level minions, conspired with Russia to keep Trump out of the White House.
You might not believe it from my blog silence about the unfolding Russian collusion, but I am paying attention. I daily read multiple articles analyzing the Nunes Memo, and the Grassley-Graham letter. I try to keep track of the cast of players: (1) the various swamp crawlers, from Hillary to Blumenthal to Brennan to Simpson to Shearer; (2) the surprise guest appearances from Obama administration players such as Rice, Lynch, and (3) the rotating cast of regular players at the FBI and the DOJ, from Comey to Strzok to Mueller. Looking at it this way, it’s pretty clear that one of the things that’s truly Russian about this whole scandal is that it has the complexity and character count you’d find in War and Peace or some other epic Russian novel.
After reading and reading and reading, I have to admit that I’m still confused about the specifics (timing, facts, lies, laws lying in smoking ruins, etc.). Nevertheless, the overarching picture emerges clearly from this welter of data: Trump did not collude with the Russians to win the election or betray America, although there were people who were temporarily on the very periphery of Trump’s campaign who would have liked to have seen Trump be even more friendly to Russia than Obama and Hillary already were. Instead, it was the Hillary team, with help from the Obama administration, that either colluded with Russia or were Russia’s patsies in trying to set up Trump.
Understanding which is the real Russian conspiracy has the unexpected byproduct of bringing people’s obvious or known motives into alignment with the emerging facts. The original story, the one that had Trump as the conspirator, never made sense, because neither he nor Putin had a motive to do what they were alleged to have done. Thus, it never made sense that Putin would collude against a Hillary presidency. Indeed, the last thing Russia wanted was for Trump to win. After all, despite his stated willingness to work with Putin, Trump was shaping up to be a nightmare for Putin for one very specific reason: Drill, baby, drill.
Under Putin’s corrupt oligarchy, the Russian economy is a wasteland. Its main reliable source of wealth is oil. The Obama administration’s ongoing efforts to destroy America’s oil-producing abilities were a boon to the Russians. Trump’s stated desire to bring America’s oil back on-line was something Putin would have wanted to avoid at all costs. It was also unclear whether Trump would continue to follow Obama’s lead when it came to Ukraine, Central Europe generally, Syria, and Iran — in all of which locales Obama had withdrawn from traditional American friends or funded foes and, when possible, handed power to Russia.
That’s why, when Steele and others (Brennan? Shearer?) came sniffing around seeking dirt on Trump, Putin and his spymasters must have been beyond thrilled. They knew Hillary could be bought; they knew Hillary would continue Obama’s effort to handicap America’s energy industry; they assumed that Hillary would follow Obama’s disreputable patterns towards traditional American friends and foes; and they probably had enough blackmail material on Hillary to last for six terms, not just one or two. (Not the least of which, as Trump pointedly joked during the campaign, would have been those 30,000 emails Hillary erased from her unprotected server, but which the Russians had probably hacked years before. Even without that, the Russians almost certainly had information about Bill’s myriad indiscretions, Benghazi, and the whole Clinton Foundation.)
Motive is even easier to find with Obama and Hillary. Obama had a legacy to preserve. Obama, who has never been a fool although he is a knave, understood that his legacy was built on sand. Except for Obamacare, he had no major legislation. All he had were executive orders, regulations, “Dear colleague” letters, and a host of other ephemeral directives that would become embedded in America culture only if a subsequent administration made it clear to true believers in government and education that these legal simulacra needed to stay to complete America’s fundamental transformation.
As for Hillary — well, heck, Hillary understands that, if you want to win, you have to cheat. She didn’t cheat hard enough in 2008, but in 2016, by God! She was going to cheat and she was going to cheat big, thanks in large part to the Obama administration’s willingness to support her win at all costs philosophy.
So, if you want motive for collusion, you have it with the Obama administration, the Hillary campaign, and the Putin administration. All of them had a vested interested in ensuring that Trump lost.
But one still has to ask why would career civil servants be so willing to join in? Sure, Trump talked about trimming back the civil service, but everyone talked about it and nobody did anything about it. I think there must have been more than mere job security at issue for same many upper ranking members of the FBI and the DOJ willingly to jettison laws, procedures, and their own past histories of relatively upright behavior.
Before I go on, let me say that I’m not talking about people such as Brennan, whom I believe to be completely corrupt, or truly evil hangers-on such as Blumenthal and Shearer. I’m talking about the others, including people like Comey and Mueller. They were always political and played hard ball to advance their careers, and they were unethical in a “cut-throat office politics” sort of way, but no matter how one points out their viciousness and failures of intelligence, before now, they’d never crossed the line. Had they walked right up to it and put their toes on it? You bet. But cross it ? No.
So what happened? [Read more…]
Lacking evidence that Trump or his team were guilty of actual Russia collusion, they resort to smears. Scott Adams shows how this technique works.
Although the election is over and Scott Adams is no longer making predictions, I still check his blog on a regular basis. He thinks entirely outside of the box, but not in a crazy, unrealistic way. Instead, his clever ideas open up new ways of thinking about things.
This video-podcast he did shows him taking on the Russia collusion meme that dominates progressive thought. His targets CNN’s Don Lemon, which is a lovely thing, because Lemon is at the head of the pack when it comes to the Russia collusion smear: