Archive for the ‘Accountability’ Category

While reading this article that announced that Hugh Hewitt was getting his own show on MSNBC, I read something that almost made me start laughing uncontrollably.

The article said “NBC News chairman Andy Lack is known to favor hard news, and has programmed the network to feature a broader range of editorial opinions in addition to traditional newsmen like Brian Williams.” Since when is Lying Brian Williams a “traditional” newsman? Have industry standards dropped that low?

For instance, this article highlights “Choppergate.” That’s where it said “During the January 30, 2015, NBC Nightly News broadcast, Brian Williams referred to “a terrible moment a dozen years back during the invasion of Iraq when the helicopter we were traveling in was forced down after being hit by an RPG.” Williams later said he was not in the helicopter that was hit by an RPG, but in a helicopter directly behind it. The pilots of Williams’ helicopter say their chopper was not directly behind the hit Chinook, but in a different company altogether.”

Based on the things other anchors have said, perhaps Williams is a traditional news anchor. Compared with Scott Pelley’s recent accusations against Steve Scalise, Williams’ statements don’t seem that terrible. Williams’ statements are just verifiably dishonest. Pelley’s questions are downright offensive. Here’s a reminder of Pelley’s disgusting outburst:

It’s time to ask whether journalists have any integrity left. I’m not betting they do.

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During his testimony, Jim Comey admitted that President Trump had the right to fire Comey. Comey also admitted that President Trump had the right to instruct the then-FBI Director to stop his investigation into Gen. Flynn. We know from this transcript, during Sen. Rubio’s cross-examination that Sen. Rubio said “He said, ‘If one of my satellites’ — I imagine, by that, he meant some of the other people surrounding his campaign — ‘did something wrong, it would be great to know that, as well”?

At that point in Mr. Comey’s testimony, it’s pretty clear that President Trump wasn’t interrupting the FBI investigation. Later in Mr. Comey’s testimony, Mr. Comey admitted that he’d sent some information to friend of his so his friend could leak the information to the NYTimes and trigger the appointing of a special counsel.

Here’s what I’m questioning. President Trump wasn’t attempting to hinder Mr. Comey’s investigation. Further, Comey’s a skilled litigator so he knows that many elements of obstruction of justice aren’t present. Gregg Jarett wrote comprehensively about the required elements of obstruction in this article. Specifically, Jarrett wrote “Felony obstruction requires that the person seeking to obstruct a law enforcement investigation act ‘corruptly.’ The statute specifically defines what that includes: threats, lies, bribes, destruction of documents, and altering or concealing evidence. None of that is alleged by Comey.”

I’m questioning Mr. Comey’s integrity because he’s testified that President Trump acted within his authority when the president terminated Comey and because the required elements of obstruction don’t exist.

If that’s true, then what’s Mr. Comey motivation for pushing for a special counsel? President Trump acted lawfully. He certainly didn’t threaten or bribe investigators. He certainly didn’t destroy documents or conceal evidence. At some point, shouldn’t people admit that there’s nothing here? Alan Dershowitz seems to think that we’ve reached that point:

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Part of Friday night’s Almanac roundtable discussion centered on Gov. Dayton’s line-item veto of the funding for the legislature. It was interesting that Phil Krinkie said that this fiasco actually started last year when Gov. Dayton initially agreed to cutting taxes before he reneged on that. Krinkie said Gov. Dayton’s renege caused the distrust that led to the legislature inserting the Department of Revenue provision into the bill this year. If that’s true, then Gov. Dayton created the distrust that led to him vetoing funding for the legislature.

There’s more to this than just funding the legislature. In Harold Hamilton’s weekly commentary, he wrote “Recall that DFLers in the Senate built a new office building for themselves just before they were removed from the majority in the 2016 elections. That building was financed with $90 million in bonds, which are sold in the private debt markets and are an instrument that comes with rights and obligations. The legislative budget that the governor vetoed contains the regular payments that the state makes on the bonds. Thus, unless and until funding is restored, there is no money to make scheduled bond payments. If those payments aren’t made, the state defaults on the bonds.”

Friday night’s Almanac also featured Sarah Walker and Javier Morillo-Alicea bragging about the structural surplus in the budget. They didn’t want to talk, though, about the downgrading of the state’s credit rating. It isn’t surprising why they didn’t want to talk about that.

If the state’s bond rating drops, every bonding project across the state is immediately inflicted with higher interest rates. Think of how many millions of dollars that would cost the state. Think of how much that would cost each city building a new high school or parking ramp or convention center. Think of how much an interest rate hike would cost taxpayers for state trunk highway projects.

This isn’t a tiny sum. It’s a gigantic amount, all thanks to Gov. Dayton pulling this unprecedented stunt.

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After reading Clarice Feldman’s article, it’s clear she’s on the right track. Anyone that Mueller asks to testify should immediately demand to know what the underlying crime is that Mueller is investigating. If Mueller refuses to tell them that basic information, that person should immediately assert their Fifth Amendment rights.

Further, that person’s attorney should tell Mueller that this pattern will continue until Mueller states publicly what the underlying crime is. That attorney should make this statement publicly, preferably on TV. That way, Mueller will be put on the spot. If Mueller doesn’t state what crime he’s investigating, then the people will know that he’s conducting a fishing expedition. The minute that’s exposed, he and Jim Comey become laughingstocks.

At that point, they’ll also turn into discredited DC political operatives.

Why shouldn’t they be exposed? Comey and Mueller aren’t patriots. They’re political hacks. They haven’t earned and maintained that reputation. They might’ve been patriots at one point but they don’t fit that description anymore. It’s time they’re put to rest.

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This morning on At Issue, Ember Reichgott-Junge said something off-the-charts stupid in terms of understanding the Constitution. She was asked about Gov. Dayton exercising his line-item veto on the legislature’s budget. Reichgott-Junge said that it’s a political issue and that she thought the court would refuse to accept the Republicans’ lawsuit. Sarah Janacek disagreed with ERG, saying that this also has a constitutional aspect to this lawsuit, which is obviously true. Later in the segment, Ms. Reichgott-Junge said that a judge could just order the legislature and the governor to sit down and work out their differences.

That’s just kicking the can down the road. Neither side will budge an inch until public opinion starts going against them. If I had to bet, I’d bet that Gov. Dayton would lose this PR fight. It’s one thing to play hardball to get some tax cuts passed. It’s quite the other thing to shut down an entire branch of government for the next 4 years. That’s what Gov. Dayton’s line-item veto did.

First, this is a fight Gov. Dayton shouldn’t have picked. It shows him to be a petulant, little man. Next, this is a PR fight that Gov. Dayton won’t win because he’s acting like a spoiled brat who didn’t get his way.

Since announcing that he wasn’t seeking re-election, Gov. Dayton has picked fight after fight, sometimes against Republicans, sometimes against Democrats. (Think about his fights with Tom Bakk about commissioner pay raises and Sen. Bakk’s agreeing to a bipartisan budget agreement with Speaker Daudt.) Since that announcement, he’s been an ornery cuss, getting grumpier and more unreasonable by the week.

It’s time Gov. Dayton stopped acting like a total jerk. It’s time, too, for Gov. Dayton’s apologists to stop apologizing for his inexcusable actions. He’s done things the past 2-3 years that’ve made nonpartisans scratch their heads.

Friday night on Almanac, they opened their show with a panel of Kathryn Pearson, Larry Jacobs and David Schultz talking about the Comey hearing. Toward the end of the panel, one of the panelists (I can’t remember which) said that, as a result of the hearing, the investigation would focus on the obstruction of justice charges Democrats are pressing against President Trump. Apparently, the panelists weren’t listening during the hearing because the star witness, Jim Comey, said the President didn’t commit obstruction of justice.

Harvard Law School Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz was paying attention during the hearing. In fact, he’s been saying for months that a president can’t obstruct justice if he’s exercising his constitutional authority, which is what he was doing. Dershowitz told FNC’s Neil Cavuto that President Trump would’ve been within his authority to outright end the investigation by telling Comey not to investigate Michael Flynn or by pardoning Flynn.

It’s time to shut down the House and Senate’s investigations because there’s no there there. Apparently, Pearson, Jacobs and Schultz just want to be faithful Democrats prolonging a fishing expedition as part of the Democrats’ Resistance movement. That doesn’t do anything to fix Obamacare or get the economy running again.

It isn’t just Pearson, Jacobs and Schultz that want to prolong the fishing expedition. Sen. Jack Reed, (D-RI), wants to prolong it, too:

Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., however, told “Fox News Sunday” that cutting the collusion probes short would not be appropriate. “We have a separate obligation,” said Reed, the top Democrat on the Armed Serves Committee and an “ex officio” member of the intelligence committee which heard testimony from Comey.

A separate obligation for what, Sen. Reed? It’s one thing if you had proof. It’s another when this ‘investigation’ looks more like a fishing expedition. You don’t have a separate obligation to conduct hyper-partisan fishing expeditions while ignoring the health care crisis.

I’m tired of the Democrats constantly being the obstructionist party that never proposes solutions to the biggest crises of the day. It’s impossible to get things done when the Democrats operate in bad faith.

As for Pearson, Jacobs and Schultz, it’s pretty obvious that they’re Democratic Party hacks.

Ben Domenech’s article highlights the media’s war against President Trump. This isn’t surprising. It’s just disgusting at an unprecedented level. The only thing that’s disgusting at a more unprecedented level is the hyper-partisanship in Pinheadville, aka college campuses.

Domenech’s primary example of the media’s hatred of President Trump is CNN, which he described as having “eight-person panels where not one person defending the administration is represented.” Domenech later wrote “A network that once strove to be centrist in their approach is now openly antagonistic, and will run with the thinnest of scoops for hours at a time in order to make their case against President Trump.” Just this week, CNN had to run a correction. They started with an article titled “Comey expected to refute Trump.” When Comey didn’t refute Trump, they changed the title to “Comey unlikely to judge on obstruction.”

Let’s be clear. CNN and the networks don’t traffic in verifiable information. They traffic in things that make for juicy clickbait. Their primary goal was summed up perfectly in this quote:

analyst Gloria Borger put matters more starkly, saying, ‘Comey is going to dispute the president on this point if he’s asked about it by senators, and we have to assume that he will be. He will say he never assured Donald Trump that he was not under investigation, that that would have been improper for him to do so.’”

Hours later, Ms. Borger had to eat crow. Comey didn’t dispute President Trump’s statements. Ms. Borger’s statement was proven verifiably false in front of 20,000,000 people.

Another important facet of the Hate Trump media’s attack against President Trump is the outright vitriol displayed against him. On Thursday’s late version of Outnumbered, former HRC State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said that “Six months into President Trump’s presidency, he is best known for impeachment.”

With all due respect to Ms. Harf, that isn’t difficult to believe considering the constant dishonest bombardment by the Democratic Party, especially the media wing of the Democratic Party, aka the MSM.

The Democratic Party is totally invested in taking down President Trump. The media wing of the Democratic Party is essentially frantic about Trump’s obstruction of justice, which has been virtually dismantled by Alan Dershowitz:

and Jonathan Turley:

It’s time for Robert Mueller to close shop and report that making foolish statements isn’t a crime, much less something worthy of high crimes and misdemeanors.

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According to Jim Comey’s testimony, Comey said “I don’t think it’s for me to say whether the conversation I had with the president was an effort to obstruct,” Comey said. “I took it as a very disturbing thing, very concerning, but that’s a conclusion I’m sure the special counsel will work towards to try to understand what the intention was there and whether that’s an offense.”

That investigation shouldn’t last long. There’s nothing for Trump to obstruct. Just because CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin breathlessly insists that Trump obstructed justice doesn’t make it so. Toobin said, in a heated debate with Prof. Dershowitz, that Watergate established the standard for obstructing justice. Apparently, Toobin can’t read a statute. Greg Jarrett, in this article, proved that he care. In this article, Jarrett said “The law demands much more than that. Felony obstruction requires that the person seeking to obstruct a law enforcement investigation act ‘corruptly.’ The statute specifically defines what that includes: threats, lies, bribes, destruction of documents, and altering or concealing evidence. None of that is alleged by Comey.”

Further, Nixon obstructed justice in Watergate, which was an investigation into a verified crime: the break-in of the DNC Headquarters in the Watergate Hotel. There isn’t a verified crime yet committed in the Russia collusion case. That alone eliminates the possibility of obstruction of justice. This exchange between Sen. Risch and former Director Comey settles that score:

Later in his article, Jarrett explains what obstruction of justice is:

The president’s statement is not an order or mandate. It is not even a “request,” though Comey insists he understood it to be.  But even if we construe it as such, it is not enough to constitute obstruction. Not even close. There must be a “corrupt” act that accompanies the directive.

For example, if the president had said, “Bury whatever incriminating evidence you have, exonerate Flynn, and terminate the investigation of him entirely… or I will fire you.” That is, arguably, obstruction. It includes two corrupt elements –a threat and concealing evidence. However, this is not what happened.

That doesn’t mean Mueller will wrap up the investigation quickly. That isn’t what special prosecutors usually do. Still, barring additional proof of corruption, I’m confident of saying there is no obstruction of justice here.

Today’s biggest loser in the Comey spectacle was Jim Comey. Comey came across as a spineless wimp at times. He was especially wimpy when a) he didn’t stand up to Loretta Lynch after her meeting with Bill Clinton on a tarmac in Arizona and b) he didn’t resign when Lynch told him to characterize the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton as a matter, not an investigation.

Further, Comey admitted that he leaked a memo to a Columbia professor, who then leaked the memo to the NY Times. Besides that, Comey called President Trump a liar. He also admitted that he leaked the memo to the Columbia professor to get a special counsel named against President Trump.

Other than that, Comey had a fine day testifying to the Senate.

Loretta Lynch was yesterday’s other major loser. After her meeting with Bill Clinton on the tarmac in Arizona, it’s clear that she became a recruit for the campaign. She told then-FBI Director Comey to not refer to the Clinton campaign investigation as an investigation. Lynch told him to use the term “matter” instead:

According to this article, Comey leaked his notes to the press through a friend to the press to get an independent counsel named:

Comey, who was fired by Trump on May 9, revealed during his testimony that he had a friend, later identified as Columbia University Law Professor Dan Richman, leak contents of his private memos to the media in hopes of prompting the “appointment of a special counsel.”

Many of DC’s talking heads said Trump took a hit Thursday. While he took a few minor hits, it was Comey and Lynch, especially Comey, who sustained the hardest hits.

This morning on Outnumbered, Sandra Smith asked #OneLuckyGuy Rep. Jason Chaffetz if failure to pass health care reform was an option politically. With all due respect to Ms. Smith, that’s the wrong question. With people getting hit with unaffordable health insurance premiums and skyrocketing deductibles, the question that should be asked of Democrats is whether people can afford the Not That Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. The lead-in to the segment on health care was video of Sen. Ed Markey playing the scare tactic card, saying that Republicans wanted to throw Grandma and Grandpa out of the nursing home (with Alzheimer’s) to give tax cuts to the rich.

First, the media should stop obsessing over the non-issue of Russia working with President Trump to win the election. It’s time for the MSM to start asking important questions about issues that people care about. That means starting with asking Democrats why they haven’t offered anything substantive to fix Obamacare. Thus far, all they’ve done is employed scare tactics to win points politically for 2018.

The truth is that Obamacare is collapsing. Insurance companies are leaving exchanges on a weekly basis. This week’s exit is Anthem leaving “the Obamacare exchange in Ohio next year.” The result of that is the “move would leave participants in 20 counties without any insurer.”

Here’s the video of Sen. Markey’s blather:

Next, it’s time for the media to start doing its job by asking tough questions of Democrats about the ACA. Third, it’s time that the MSM to stop pretending that the ACA just needs a few tweaks to fix things. It’s a disaster waiting to happen. It’s time Democrats started coming up with substantive improvements ASAP.

Fourth, it’s time for Republicans to bury their differences and to settle on a sensible plan that fixes what’s wrong with the ACA. It’s beyond time to fix what’s broken. It’s time to eliminate differences, set aside egos and fix this disaster for the good of the nation. That’s the only thing that matters at this point.

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