Archive for July, 2019

What a shock! Supposedly pro-border security Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee boycotted a hearing that would fix most of the problems with the US-Mexico border. Once again, this proves how unserious Democrats are on the subject of border security. What these Democrats are quite skilled at is complaining about Republicans’ bills.

The article notices that “Ms. Feinstein said Mr. Graham’s bill went too far to eliminate the Flores Settlement, which she said included important protections for migrants when they are in custody. She also complained that he hadn’t worked hard enough to make his bill bipartisan. ‘We believe that the solution on the immigration issue can and should be done on a bipartisan basis,’ the California Democrat said.”

This is a political stunt. Anyone that complains about the minor details in a bill without offering an amendment to fix that detail isn’t interested in bipartisanship. They’re interested in signaling to the media to cover, then criticize, the Democrats’ PR stunt.

Sen. Josh Hawley, (R-MO), nailed it with this analysis:

I triple-dog dare a Democrat to tell me what serious bills Democrats have submitted in either the House or Senate. I’m not worried about the results because Democrats aren’t serious about border security. Yesterday’s stunt was proof that Democrats care more about the optics of the issue than they care about fixing the problem.

In 2020, Americans will need to decide whether they’d rather have a president and a unified congress that wants to fix problems or whether they’d rather have a congress that’s mostly interested in obstructing. A vote for a Democrat is a vote for obstruction. In the House, Democrats haven’t written a single serious bill that would fix our asylum laws or would fix the Flores Decision.

If Minnesota taxpayers aren’t outraged with the Tim Walz Department of Human Services lack of integrity, they will be when they read this:

Today Senator Michelle Benson (R-Ham Lake) renewed her call to split the Office of Inspector General into a separate department in light of the continued personnel and culture problems within DHS. Senate Republicans included the change in the Health and Human Services budget passed on May 1, 2019.

“Yesterday’s revelations that a whistle blower was escorted out of her office after emailing her concerns about the legality of government contracts is more evidence the culture at DHS needs to change,” said Sen. Benson. “The change should start with an independent OIG that is open to hearing fraud reports, pursues them without bias, and protects the people that report problems.”

“We proposed making the OIG independent and accountable to the Governor last session. During negotiations, House Democrats and the Governor’s office instead suggested a ‘Blue Ribbon Commission’ to cut costs. I appreciate the effort, but the Blue Ribbon Commission hasn’t been assembled yet and DHS is crumbling under the weight of poor leadership. We need real reforms, not just cost-saving measures, to change the culture and purpose of the agency from top-to-bottom,” Benson concluded.

Senate Republicans have established a website (www.mnsenaterepublicans.com/mnwhistleblower) for DHS and other state government whistleblowers to reports their concerns. “It’s clear leadership at DHS is not taking fraud or abuse seriously. We want all DHS and state agency employees to have a safe place to report their concerns. We will keep their complaints anonymous and pursue them with the full weight of the legislature to determine whether tax dollars are being wasted or abused.”

The current Inspector General, Carolyn Ham, remains on leave after the Legislative Auditor highlighted serious concerns with her management of the OIG. On Friday, July 12, Ham said her investigation was going to start today, July 23. The following Monday, the Governor contradicted Ham’s statement and said the investigation had already began. Senate Republicans have not been officially informed of when the investigation began and the public remains in the dark on the status of the investigation.

If Democrats don’t fix this crisis, they can kiss their House majority good-bye. Right now, it’s Gov. Walz and House Democrats that are obstructing real change. Sen. Benson and other reform-minded Republicans have proposed substantive changes. That leaves things in the DFL House’s lap.

The DFL’s proposed Blue Ribbon Commission is a joke, especially compared with the Senate GOP’s plan to making the Office of Inspector General independent of the Department they’re tasked to protect. If the DFL wants to stick with that position, that’s fine. It’s just that they’d better prepare to hand over their chairman’s gavels.

The fact that Gov. Walz hasn’t lifted a finger on starting the investigation into Carolyn Ham suggests that he’s disinterested in fixing the Department of Human Services. It might not hurt him politically but I’m betting that the MNGOP will tie his inaction and the DFL’s unseriousness around the DFL’s necks.

One of the things that businesses should count on is that they shouldn’t have their projects shelved if they follow the rules. Apparently, that isn’t good enough for the anti-mining DFL. According to this Strib article, far outside-the-mainstream DFL politicians want PolyMet’s permits stopped:

Democratic lawmakers are calling for Gov. Tim Walz to suspend all state permits for PolyMet’s proposed copper-nickel mine in northern Minnesota, saying the state needs assurances “that the permits were not rigged.”

It’s the first move by lawmakers following recent disclosures about how state and federal regulators handled a crucial wastewater permit for PolyMet, which would be the state’s first hard-rock mine. Three inquiries into that episode are underway. Sen. John Marty, the Roseville Democrat leading the effort, said lawmakers were also motivated by Glencore’s recent purchase of PolyMet Mining Corp. and the catastrophic failure earlier in the year of an iron ore mine tailings dam in Brazil, a facility with a similar design to the tailings dam PolyMet would use.

Democrats have fought against PolyMet permitting since it started. This is just their latest attempt to halt the PolyMet project. It’s also the DFL’s latest attempt to keep Iron Rangers poor.

It’s apparent that the DFL doesn’t care whether those living on the Iron Range live in poverty. If the DFL cared about people living in poverty, they would’ve helped get PolyMet permitted years ago.

House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, called the letter an “ideological attack.” “It’s disappointing that Metro Democrats are spreading misleading and false information about the environmental review process in an effort to derail this project and its tremendous benefits for Minnesota jobs and Minnesota’s economy,” Daudt said in a statement. “PolyMet is the most thoroughly reviewed industrial project in Minnesota history and has been going through the environmental review process for 14 years.”

When companies follow the state’s laws and the permits are issued, companies should be able to rely on that as a matter of good faith. Sen. Marty’s attempt to throw extra-legal steps into the process would make him an authoritarian. If Sen. Marty wants a stiffer set of regulations, then he should be required to follow the regular legislative procedure. If the rules can get changed by politicians without legislation or without a hearing, then there isn’t a true rule of law.

Then again, if Sen. Marty and the DFL is willing to ignore state law in their attempt to kill a properly permitted project, there’s no reason to think that they’ll follow routine procedures. This is Metrocrat machine politics at its worst.

What wooden stakes are to vampires, the Mueller hearings, especially the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing, is to impeachment. When John Ratcliffe asked Special Counsel Mueller what other person (besides President Trump) had the burden of proving themselves innocent, Mueller replied that nobody has had that burden imposed on them. Rep. Ratcliffe asked that in reference to Andrew Weissmann’s statement that, while they didn’t indict President Trump, they didn’t exonerate him, either.

Each time Special Counsel Mueller couldn’t (or wouldn’t) answer key questions about Weissmann’s investigation, a little impeachment momentum disappeared into the ether. Once it’s gone, it isn’t returning. While Speaker Pelosi tries propping up her chairmen, she knows that impeachment is dead. She can put tons of perfume on that pig, it’s still just a pig. Here’s how Pelosi tried propping up Chairman Schiff and Chairman Nadler:

“The American people now realize more fully the crimes that were committed against our Constitution,” Pelosi said in the Capitol of Mueller’s testimony. “It is a crossing of a threshold in terms of the public awareness of what happened,” she later said during a news conference following Mueller’s testimony.

With little due respect to the Botox lady by the Bay, the hearings had the same effect on articles of impeachment that cold water has on campfires. If you want to watch Ms. Pelosi’s nauseating press conference, you can watch it here:

It’s easy to pile on Robert Mueller this morning. I’ve already done that in other posts so I won’t continue with that. That being said, the real villains in this travesty are the activists in the Resist Movement, Jerry Nadler, Adam Schiff and other Democrats, Rod Rosenstein (who never should’ve offered Mueller the position), the FBI lovebirds (Strzok and Page), Andrew McCabe, Andrew Weissman and Jim Comey.

Without these disgusting people, there wouldn’t have been a special counsel appointment. But I digress. Another thing that needs to be highlighted is the discipline that Republican members of the Judiciary and Intel committees showed yesterday. They shined like I’ve never seen them shine before.

Usually, politicians participating in high profile hearings specialize in grandstanding. That didn’t happen Wednesday. Each member focused like a laser on a specific topic in their attempt to elicit new information. That’s the new model that Republicans should adopt for high profile hearings from now on.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler also said his committee would go to court Thursday to seek access to grand jury material in the Mueller report and to enforce a subpoena against former White House Counsel Don McGahn to try to get him to testify. “Today was a watershed day in telling the facts to the American people. With those facts we can proceed,” Nadler said — although he, too, stopped short of calling for impeachment.

Stick a wooden stake in that impeachment vampire. It’s dead. CPR won’t resuscitate this patient, either. Fill our the toe tag for impeachment. Unless Democrats want to lose the House again in a landslide.

It’s obvious that Robert Mueller didn’t write the report that bears his name. It’s obvious that he was only minimally attached to this investigation. By his own admission, Mueller said that he sat in on “very few” of the interviews.

Today’s hearings didn’t produce much in the way of new information, though it provided some positive pro-Trump highlights. This is one of those pro-Trump highlights:

I’m betting, as I’m betting others are, too, that Andrew Weissman wrote the report. Further, I’m betting that he threw that line in there to help his fellow Democrats in their fight to impeach President Trump. It isn’t a secret that Weissman is corrupt.

Weissman is the prosecutor who got unanimously overturned by the Supreme Court for his prosecution of Enron. He knew what his burdens were. He didn’t let that stand in his way. He wanted that conviction even if it meant throwing Enron and Arthur Andersen under the bus.

Mueller looked totally unsteady, repeatedly asking that they repeat the question:

I don’t want to be disrespectful but Mueller looked as out of it as someone who’d just suffered a mild stroke. Another pathetic moment came when Mueller said that he didn’t know who FusionGPS was:

The other reason why I’m convinced that Weissman wrote the report and, in fact, was the de facto leader of the Special Counsel’s office is because they didn’t pay any attention to the Clinton campaign’s corruption.

To those that pay attention to congressional hearings, they know that the Democrats’ impeachment drive is over. That isn’t what’s important, though. What’s important is that Democrats won’t admit that impeachment is over.

Robert Mueller’s long-anticipated testimony is turning into a total disaster for Democrats. Drudge’s headline screams the reality:

Underneath the picture read the headline “Dazed and Confused.” That’s perhaps a little gentle. Here’s what Grabien wrote on Mueller’s testimony:

Mueller, who is often celebrated in the media for laser-like thinking, had to ask lawmakers to regularly repeat their questions, seemingly struggling to pay attention. At other points, Mueller got confused about whether the members of Congress were asking him questions or if they were reading from his own report. In just the first 90 minutes of the hearing, Mueller needed help understanding questions more than 10 times.

In one such exchange, Mueller — under questioning from Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) — asked: “And where are you reading from on that?” “I’m reading from my own question” the lawmaker reminded him. “Then can you repeat it?” Mueller asked, eliciting laughter from the audience.

In another painful episode, Mueller had to ask Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee three times to clarify and restate her question. Under questioning from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Mueller failed to follow a question that was merely 14 words long: “Attorney #2 in the Inspector General’s report and Strzok both worked on your team, didn’t they?” “Pardon me?” Mueller replied. After Gaetz restated his question, Mueller replied: “And the question was?”

Katie Pavlich touched on something that I think is significant:


It isn’t related but at the end of the House Intel Committee hearing, both John Ratcliff and Ranking Member Nunes simply thanked Mueller for his years of service and yielded back the balance of their times. It was like they knew they’d made their points and were resting their case. I think their instincts were exactly right.

The other thing that came through loud and clear was how authoritative Mueller didn’t sound. He repeatedly asked Republicans on the committees to ask the question again. At other times, he didn’t seem like he knew the contents of the report that bears his name. Clearly, he didn’t write this report.

If today is the last time he testifies on Capitol Hill, it will be a sad final chapter to his career.

Finally, the title I originally wrote said “Mueller’s testimony virtually ends impeachment.” As you can see, I’ve since deleted the word virtually. Democrats will keep investigating but that horse is as dead as our first 41 presidents.

For several years, Politifact has been seen by conservatives as a joke. Their ‘fact-checks’ have been more opinion than objective fact. This weekend, a controversy erupted over whether AOC had gotten her picture taken in front of an empty parking lot. This article sets the record straight.

The fact-check, titled “No, this isn’t a photo of Alexandria Ocasio Cortez crying over a parking lot,” was written by Ciara O’Rourke and Duke University student Stefanie Pousoulides. It was reviewed by several editors, Fox News is told.

Their approach didn’t pass muster among commentators Tuesday, who said the site had missed the point intentionally, for the sake of issuing a “false” rating that would help bury stories unfavorable to Ocasio-Cortez about the episode.

Politifact deserves a misleading rating. Here’s why:

Wrote humorist Frank Fleming: “‘Ha! AOC was crying over a parking lot!'” POLITIFACT: ‘False, haters, we checked a satellite image and it was an empty road.’ I might be paraphrasing @jamestaranto, but fact checks are like editorials but dumber.”

“IMPORTANT CORRECTION: @AOC Was Weeping Over an Empty Road, Not an Empty Parking Lot,” joked PJ Media’s Jim Treacher.

Whether AOC was ‘crying’ over an empty road or empty parking lot is immaterial except in the most nit-pickiest of senses. Nothing there is nothing there except in the most insignificant of details.

The story started by saying that AOC was crying over little children being kept in a cage. As usual, the initial story was intentionally fake. It was legitimately called fake news. Someone named Ivan Pierre Aguirre started the story with this tweet:


Now that you’ve seen AOC’s fiction, take a look at what AOC actually saw:

The fact that Politifact stands by their false rating against Jim Treacher’s article earns them a new name. They shouldn’t be called Politifact. They should be called PolitiFiction. Either that or they should be called another weapon in the DNC’s ministry of propaganda, aka the MSM.

One last thing: here’s how AOC laid it on thick about being heartbroken for the children:


Now that’s empathy. Caring about children that aren’t even there.

Robert Mueller has a big problem that he can’t get rid of. When I say big, I’m talking about 6’8″ of a problem. His name is Jim Comey and, if Republicans choose to go this direction, Robert Mueller will have lots of uncomfortable explaining to do tomorrow. It isn’t that Comey is in Mueller’s report — except in Mueller’s footnotes.

Eric Felten of RealClearInvestigations, aka RCI, painstakingly reviewed the Mueller Report. What he found is especially noteworthy:

One of the bedrock decisions investigators must make in complex probes filled with incomplete and contradictory accounts is whom to believe. Dozens of footnotes in the Mueller report make it clear that the special counsel placed absolute faith in former FBI Director James Comey.

Dozens of the footnotes refer to memos Comey wrote recording his account of meetings and phone calls with President Trump. These include memos dated Jan. 7 and Jan. 28, 2017, as well as notes from Feb. 14, March 30 and April 11. Those memoranda were treated as the evidentiary gold standard by Mueller. Long stretches of the special counsel’s report hang almost exclusively on Comey’s say-so. One or another of Comey’s memos are cited some three dozen times in Volume II alone, which addresses possible obstruction by Trump. Mueller relies on Comey memos in footnotes 109, 110, 111, and 112, and then in footnotes 172, 174, 175, 176, 177, 178, 179, 180, 181, 182 and so on. Comey was also interviewed by the FBI and numerous are the footnotes — 68, 108, 109-112, 176-78, 180-82 and more, anchoring the narrative in his testimony.

If Comey is the verification anchor of Mueller’s report, then Comey isn’t an anchor. He’s a millstone — around Mueller’s neck. Here’s why:

Mueller relied so heavily on Comey’s memos that he felt the need to argue the superior believability of the former FBI head’s version of events. He uses legal citations that “contemporaneous written notes can provide strong corroborating evidence” and that “a witness’s recitation of his account before he had any motive to fabricate also supports the witness’s credibility.” Perhaps. But Comey was not a disinterested observer. As Paul Sperry reports for RealClearInvestigations, citing sources familiar with an internal Justice Department review, the FBI director Trump inherited was secretly trying to build a conspiracy case against the president.

Which means that Comey was writing his memos with an eye to swaying future legal and public opinion. Upon finishing a memo, he would run it by his top deputies (see footnotes 187 and 188 in Volume II) to make sure it served its purpose. Comey’s memos may or may not be the “strong corroborating evidence” Mueller claims, but Comey surely intended for those memoranda to establish his version of events.

Contemporaneous notes aren’t corroborative in and of themselves. If the ‘corroboration’ comes from a liar and a demagogue, they’d quickly turn into the aforementioned millstone. Put another way, GIGO, aka Garbage In, Garbage Out.

Put yet another way, trusting Comey’s insights of an investigation into the man who fired him is as foolish as relying on Michael Cohen’s testimony. The only person stupid enough to trust Comey or Cohen are people with a gun to their proverbial head. Add into that the fact that it was just discovered that Comey lied to President Trump while targeting President Trump:

Two U.S. officials briefed on the inspector general’s investigation of possible FBI misconduct said Comey was essentially “running a covert operation against” the president, starting with a private “defensive briefing” he gave Trump just weeks before his inauguration. They said Horowitz has examined high-level FBI text messages and other communications indicating Comey was actually conducting a “counterintelligence assessment” of Trump during that January 2017 meeting in New York.

If this is accurate, then what little was left of Comey’s credibility is gone. Subsequently, the credibility of Mueller’s report would likely evaporate. Mueller should’ve just left well enough alone:

This weekend, Adam Schiff went off the rails at the Aspen Institute’s Security Forum. Then again, his replies to questions didn’t sound that much different than his replies back in DC. Most importantly, Chairman Schiff, one of the Democrats charged with impeaching President Trump, insisted that DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s investigation into alleged FISA abuse is “tainted” because of political influence.

According to the Washington Examiner article, “At the Aspen Security Forum this weekend, Schiff accused top Justice Department officials of pandering to Trump by instigating a “fast track” report last year about former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. His comments came as part of a broader answer to a question about whether he has concerns about Attorney General William Barr’s review of the origins of the Russia investigation.”

That’s irrelevant. If IG Horowitz can gather testimony and forensic evidence showing that the upper echelons of the FBI didn’t tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth to the FISA Court, then those FBI people who signed off on the integrity of the Russian disinformation otherwise known as the Steele Dossier are in trouble. As a former federal prosecutor, Schiff knows that it’s what IG Horowitz can prove, not what Schiff can spin about in fanciful terms. What’s important is what’s verifiable. This is hilarious:

“I have no reason to question the inspector general’s conclusion, but that investigation was put on a fast track. It was separated from a broader inspector general investigation, which is still ongoing,” he said. “Why was that done? It was done so he could be fired to not get a pension. It was done to please the president when the initiation investigation is tainted. So are the results of that investigation.”

Immediately after Schiff said that he doesn’t have a reason to question the IG’s conclusion, Schiff questions the IG’s conclusion that hurts the Democrats’ drive for impeachment the most. Schiff is as easy to read as a children’s book. Jim Jordan chimed in with this pertinent question:

“Inspector General Horowitz is a professional. He’s conducting a crucial investigation into FBI and DOJ misconduct. But @RepAdamSchiff said his investigation is ‘tainted.’ What’s got Schiff worried?” Jordan tweeted.

Already, Democrats are deploying 2 different spin messages. The first is that the Mueller investigation was heavily restricted, which corrupted the investigation. The other is that DOJ rules for DOJ employees testifying limit Mueller’s answers, also corrupting Mueller’s testimony. Both lines of spin aren’t worth the bandwidth they’re printed on.

What’s most frightening is that this clown is in charge of the Intel Committee:

If you go to the dictionary to find the definition of the term dishonest broker, Adam Schiff’s face will appear.

When it comes to Robert Mueller’s report, the Loony Left can’t resist hearing what Mueller didn’t say. That’s the take I got from this dishonest diatribe masquerading as journalism.

Jill Lawrence’s dishonesty is only exceeded by her writing deficiencies. This is what passes for journalism? That’s frightening. Apparently, Ms. Lawrence’s column is based on what she thinks Robert Mueller really thinks. It’s apparent that she doesn’t understand the US legal system. I’ll give Ms. Lawrence an A in creativity but that’s the only passing grade I’d give her. Check out this paragraph:

If I could stand up to raise my right hand, I’d swear to tell the truth. And it would be this: Of course I would have indicted Donald Trump if I could have. What don’t you get about “if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that”? Or 10 textbook cases of obstruction of justice? Or the difference between “no collusion” and insufficient evidence to nail down a criminal conspiracy with the Russians?

One of the cornerstones of the Mueller report was what he said about collusion/conspiracy. The American Bar Association quoted from the report, saying this:

The special counsel found that Russia did interfere with the election, but “did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple efforts from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.”

There’s nothing in that paragraph that says they didn’t have enough evidence to charge. There’s nothing in that paragraph that suggests that the Trump campaign was that receptive to the Russians. So much for Ms. Lawrence’s theories, which, by the way, doesn’t constitute proof.

Then there’s this:

I regret being overly considerate of the president and his right to a “speedy and public trial.” We faced so many limits on our investigation and obstacles in our path, I should not have added more restrictions of my own free will and out of a sense of good sportsmanship. We are in a crisis that demands clarity and, alas, I did not recognize just how dire our circumstances — Barr’s perfidious misrepresentations, maddening Democratic caution, scandalous Republican indifference — until too late.

Ms. Lawrence thinks that a person’s right to a “speedy and public trial” is a nicety? I suppose she thinks other parts of the Constitution’s Bill of Rights are niceties, too? Here’s what the Speedy Trial Clause says:

“[i]n all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy trial”

As for the statement that Mueller’s investigation faced tons of limits and obstacles, that’s ridiculous. Over 1,400,000 documents were turned over. Not once during the investigation did President Trump invoke Executive Privilege. In fact, he let the White House Counsel testify for over 30 hours. The Trump administration’s level of transparency was historic in a positive way. It’d be interesting to see what Ms. Lawrence thought of when she said that Mueller’s investigation faced lots of limitations.

What the hell was Lawrence thinking when she wrote about “10 textbook cases of obstruction of justice?” We don’t know whether any of the charges met the probable cause burden of proof. If those examples couldn’t meet that level of proof, they certainly couldn’t meet the “beyond a reasonable doubt” level of proof that’s required to convict. It’s frightening that journalists have left that field to become published activists while masquerading to be journalists. The truth is that Ms. Lawrence is just a paid political hack.