Archive for the ‘Democrat holdovers’ category

A Coup by Any Other Name

May 24, 2017

A Coup by Any Other Name, Power LineScott Johnson, May 24, 2017

In the post “Trump agonistes” last week I noted what I saw in the news stories that have created the consuming controversies of the past few weeks: hostile officials inside the executive branch of the government seeking the removal of Donald Trump from office. They are powerful. They lack any qualms about abusing their positions. They are determined. And they have the invaluable assistance of the Democrats’ mainstream media adjunct.

With malicious intent, “current officials” inside the intelligence agencies with access to top secret information, for example, have passed it on under the cloak of anonymity to their friends in the mainstream media. Even “former officials” — i.e., former Obama administration officials — have gotten in on the act. (The source of their information is neither revealed nor apparent.)

The subversion of an incumbent Republican president by the intelligence community in the permanent government is an old story, as is the role of the mainstream media. President Trump’s death struggle with his invisible opponents, however, has arrived early in his first term in office.

Victor Davis Hanson amplifies and elaborates on the contribution of the mainstream media angle in his long, indispensable NRO column “A coup by any other name?” We are thinking along the same lines; one section of Dr. Hanson’s column is headed “Trump agonistes.”

Here is the salient point regarding the media: “The effort to remove the president is conducted by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the wire services, and the major networks. And we have seen nothing like it in our time. In the last six months, Americans have been told quite falsely so many untruths about the Trump administration by their news agencies that for all practical purposes, there is no such thing as a media as we once knew it.”

We wend our way inevitably to this destination: “We are now watching insidious regime change, aimed at removing the president of the United States not because of what he has done so far, but because of his personality and what he might do to the Obama agenda — and because for a variety of cultural reasons, our elite simply despises his very being.”

I would add as a footnote that Christopher Roach’s “Tales of a coup: What Trump can learn from Gorbachev” makes a good companion to the Hanson column.

Russia? No, the Pony in the Manure Is the Corruption of our Intelligence Officials

April 2, 2017

Russia? No, the Pony in the Manure Is the Corruption of our Intelligence Officials, American ThinkerClarice Feldman, April 2, 2017

There’s so much in print and online about the House and Senate intelligence committees and Russian “collusion” with Trump that I can’t blame people with real lives to lead who just throw their hands up and garden or go hiking. Some will assume there’s got to be a pony in there somewhere, as Ronald Reagan used to joke about the kid digging through manure. I think there is, but it isn’t that Russia corrupted the 2016 election, it’s that Obama and his closest aides, including some at the highest level in the intelligence community, illegally intercepted one or more Republican candidates’ communications before the election, circulated them widely to their cohorts and then tried to use this information to defeat and later to hamstring Trump when Hillary — to their surprise — lost the election.

I also suspect that the attacks on Flynn have nothing to do with his Russian contacts which he disclosed, but, rather, to misdeeds respecting the Middle East, particularly Iran, the country he observed as Obama’s head of the DIA.

The Surveillance and “Unmasking” of Trump and his Associates 

We learned this week that surveillance of Trump began long before he was the Republican nominee, and that the names in the intercepted communications were “unmasked” — that is, identified by name or context — by someone high up in the intelligence community.

In addition, citizens affiliated with Trump’s team who were unmasked were not associated with any intelligence about Russia or other foreign intelligence, sources confirmed. The initial unmasking led to other surveillance, which led to other private citizens being wrongly unmasked, sources said.

“Unmasking is not unprecedented, but unmasking for political purposes… specifically of Trump transition team members… is highly suspect and questionable,” an intelligence source told Fox News. “Opposition by some in the intelligence agencies who were very connected to the Obama and Clinton teams was strong. After Trump was elected, they decided they were going to ruin his presidency by picking them off one by one.”

Nunes and Surveillance Reports

The best summation of this week’s distraction — respecting chairman of the House intelligence committee, Devin Nunes — is Victor Davis Hanson’s which I urge those of you interested to read in its entirety.

First, the central question remains who leaked what classified information for what reasons; second, since when is it improper or even unwise for an apprehensive intelligence official to bring information of some importance to the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee for external review — in a climate of endemic distrust of all intelligence agencies?[snip] Nunes also said that the surveillance shown to him “was essentially a lot of information on the President-elect and his transition team and what they were doing.” Further, he suggested that the surveillance may have involved high-level Obama officials. When a reporter at Nunes’ second March 22 press conference asked, “Can you rule out the possibility that senior Obama-administration officials were involved in this?” Nunes replied, “No, we cannot.” Ipso facto these are startling disclosures of historical proportions — if true, of an anti-constitutional magnitude comparable to Watergate. Given the stakes, we should expect hysteria to follow, and it has followed. [snip]

Some notion of such intrigue, or rather the former nexus between Congress, the Obama administration, the intelligence agencies, and the monitoring of incoming Trump officials, was inadvertently disclosed recently by former Obama-administration Department of Defense deputy assistant secretary and current MSNBC commentator Evelyn Farkas. In an interview that originally aired on March 2 and that was reported on this week by Fox, Farkas seemed to brag on air about her own efforts scrambling to release information on the incoming Trump team’s purported talks with the Russians. Farkas’s revelation might put into context the eleventh-hour Obama effort to more widely disseminate intelligence findings among officials, one that followed even earlier attempts to broaden access to Obama-administration surveillance.

In any event, the White House invited  the highest ranking  members of the House and Senate intelligence committees to come view the documents themselves. Adam Schiff did, and reported he’d seen what Nunes had, after which he did not deny the intercepted communications contained nothing about Russia or Trump. They clearly were of no national intelligence significance, but rather, as Hanson noted, were evidence that the prior administration was snooping on political adversaries using the apparatus of the state to do so.

We also learned this week that Hillary (despite her uncontested mishandling of classified information when she was Secretary of State), and her aides, including Farkas, were given access to classified information long after she left the Department of State which, with Farkas’ admission on MSNBC, underscores the apparent misuse of intelligence from her end.

FBI Director James Comey and former DNI James Clapper

As for Comey, Hanson notes:

There is no need to rehash the strange political career of FBI director James Comey during the 2016 election. As Andrew McCarthy has noted in his recent NRO analyses, news accounts alleged that Comey’s FBI investigations of supposed contacts between General Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador were shared with Obama-administration officials — but why and how we are not sure. Comey himself was quick to note that his agency is investigating supposed collusion between Team Trump and Russia, but he refused to comment on whether or not the FBI is investigating possibly inappropriate or illegal intercepts of Trump officials and the surely illegal dissemination of intercepted info through leaks to favorable media.

But there’s much more to be said about him and his “investigation” which seems to be continuing only to cover his own backside.

The FBI was concerned that the ill-secured DNC internet communications were being hacked and sought to examine them. The DNC refused and engaged an outfit called Crowd Strike to do the job. Crowd Strike reported the Russia had likely tapped their server. There’s no explanation of why Crowd Strike was chosen, why the FBI allowed this, and why it apparently relied on that outfit’s findings. Recently Crowd Strike has walked back many of its claims after a VOA report that the company misrepresented data published by an influential British think tank.

And then there’s the dossier compiled by the former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele. If you recall, this dossier was commissioned through a DC firm, Fusion GPS, by Hillary to dig up opposition research on her opponents, and when she dropped it, unnamed Republicans followed up on the contract. At some point (accounts vary about how this occurred), dog in the manger John McCain got it and widely distributed it to the press and political figures. These Republicans, too, dropped the service, at which time the FBI picked it up, though they claim not to have paid GPS. Comey apparently has based his still ongoing “investigation” on it. The dossier is utter bunk. Ironically, it is Fusion GPS that is tied to Russian intelligence.

“It is highly troubling that Fusion GPS appears to have been working with someone with ties to Russian intelligence — let alone someone alleged to have conducted political disinformation campaigns — as part of a pro-Russia lobbying effort while also simultaneously overseeing the creation of the Trump/Russia dossier,” writes [Senator] Grassley.

Akhmetshin hired Simpson and Fusion GPS last year to work on a campaign to roll back the Magnitsky Act, a law passed in 2012 which imposed sanctions against a handful of Russian criminals accused of human rights violations.

The law was named in honor of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who was killed by jail guards in 2009. Magnitsky was working for Bill Browder, a London-based investor who once operated in Russia, when he uncovered a $230 million fraud being carried out by the Russian government.

After Magnitsky’s death, Browder began lobbying U.S. lawmakers to enact sanctions against Russian criminals engaged in human rights abuses.

In a FARA complaint submitted in July, Browder laid out the case that Akhmetshin conducted a covert lobbying campaign to hinder the Global Magnitsky Act, an expansion of the original law.

The report is not worthy of consideration, but the FBI and Rep. Adam Schiff did apparently rely on it, drawing into question the FBI’s “independence from politics” and Schiff’s credulity or venality:

Citing current and former government officials, the New Yorker reported the dossier prompted skepticism among intelligence community members, with the publication quoting one member as saying it was a “nutty” piece of evidence to submit to a U.S. president.

Steele’s work has been questioned by former acting CIA director Morell, who currently works at the Hillary Clinton-tied Beacon Global Strategies LLC. Beacon was founded by Phillippe Reines, who served as Communications Adviser to Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state. From 2009-2013, Reines also served in Clinton’s State Department as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Strategic Communications. Reines is the managing director of Beacon…

Morell, who was in line to become CIA director if Clinton won, said he had seen no evidence that Trump associates cooperated with Russians. He also raised questions about the dossier written by a former British intelligence officer, which alleged a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia…

Morell pointed out that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on Meet the Press on March 5 that he had seen no evidence of a conspiracy when he left office January 20.

“That’s a pretty strong statement by General Clapper,” Morell said.

Regarding Steele’s dossier, Morell stated, “Unless you know the sources, and unless you know how a particular source acquired a particular piece of information, you can’t judge the information — you just can’t.”

Morell charged the dossier “doesn’t take you anywhere, I don’t think.”

“I had two questions when I first read it. One was, How did Chris talk to these sources? I have subsequently learned that he used intermediaries.”

Morell continued:

And then I asked myself, why did these guys provide this information, what was their motivation? And I subsequently learned that he paid them. That the intermediaries paid the sources and the intermediaries got the money from Chris. And that kind of worries me a little bit because if you’re paying somebody, particularly former FSB officers, they are going to tell you truth and innuendo and rumor, and they’re going to call you up and say, “Hey, let’s have another meeting, I have more information for you,” because they want to get paid some more.

I think you’ve got to take all that into consideration when you consider the dossier.’

Maybe Comey is continuing the investigation to blur his own role in the Obama administration’s improper and illegal snooping on his party’s opponents. He has not closed the investigation despite its apparently flimsy basis, perhaps to protect himself. He was supposed to report this investigation in a timely manner to the Congressional and Senate intelligence committees and did not.

As a correspondent with some knowledge of these matters related to me:

“When push comes to shove, no investigation gets opened, no FISA order is applied for, without James Comey’s say-so.  They can bluster, but it’s damned hard to get rid of an FBI Director without a very, very public stink.  He could have said no, but he didn’t.  That means the investigation is bound to focus on him.  And count on it — the decision to short circuit Congressional oversight was probably pushed on him by those same people, but once again, it was ultimately his decision.  He could’ve gone to the Committee, but he didn’t.  His decision, his responsibility.”

His view is strengthened by Comey’s obfuscation at a Congressional hearing:

The counter-intel investigation, by his own admission, began in July 2016. Congress was not notified until March 2017. That’s an eight month period – Obviously obfuscating the quarterly claim moments earlier.

The uncomfortable aspect to this line of inquiry is Comey’s transparent knowledge of the politicized Office of the DNI James Clapper by President Obama.

The first and second questions from Stefanik were clear. Comey’s understanding of the questions was clear. However, Comey directly evaded truthful response to the second question. When you watch the video, you can see Comey quickly connecting the dots on where this inquiry was going.

There is only one reasonable explanation for FBI Director James Comey to be launching a counter-intel investigation in July 2016, notifying the White House and Clapper, and keeping it under wraps from congress. Comey was a participant in the intelligence gathering for political purposes — wittingly, or unwittingly.

As a direct consequence of this mid-thought-stream Comey obfuscation, it is now clear — at least to me — that Director Comey was using his office as a facilitating conduit for the political purposes of the Obama White House.

John Brennan

It’s possible that the tissue-thin, incredible Steele “dossier” was not the only disinformation source. At the Spectator there’s a plausible account of how Obama’s CIA director John Brennan worked with Hillary and certain Baltic figures to discredit Trump with the charge of collusion with Russia.

Brennan pushed for a multi-agency investigation of the Trump campaign, using as his pretext alleged intelligence from an unnamed Baltic state. That “intelligence” was supplied at the very moment Baltic officials had their own political motivation to smear Trump.

“Last April, the CIA director was shown intelligence that worried him. It was — allegedly — a tape recording of a conversation about money from the Kremlin going into the US presidential campaign. It was passed to the US by an intelligence agency of one of the Baltic States,” reported the BBC’s Paul Wood.

Is it just a coincidence that Brennan got this tape recording from a Baltic State intelligence agency in April when officials in the Baltic States were up in arms over candidate Trump? Recall that in March of 2016 — the month before Brennan allegedly got the recording from Baltic spies — Trump made remarks about NATO that the press was hyping as hostile to the Baltic States. [snip]

Hillary and her allies in the media seized on these remarks and ripped Trump on the false claim that, if elected, he would “pull out of NATO,” leaving Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia to fend for themselves against Russia.

Such fearmongering set off an anti-Trump panic in political circles within the Baltic States. Out of it came a steady stream of stories with headlines such as: “Baltic States Fearful of Trump’s Nato Views” and “Estonian Prez Appears to Push Back on Trump’s NATO Comments.”

[Snip]

Both Brennan and officials in the Baltic States had strong incentives to help Hillary and hurt Trump. That Brennan and some Baltic spies teamed up to inflate the significance of some half-baked intelligence from a recording isn’t surprising. Only in such a feverish partisan milieu would basic questions go unasked, such as: Is it really a good idea to investigate a political opponent on the basis of a lead provided by a country that wants to see him lose?

Flynn

Flynn was Obama’s head of the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) and served only days under Trump. Reports this week initially made it appear that he was under investigation for ties to Russia, but it is more obvious to me that he knows about skullduggery by the prior administration in the Middle East, most likely Iran, and wants protection against the sort of unwarranted prosecutions Ted Stevens and Lewis Libby suffered at the hands of vindictive Democrats and their minions. The charges against him are being leveled by former Obama aide Sally Yates, who has utterly discredited herself earlier by her demonstrably false claim that the White House blocked her from testifying to Congress when the documentation clearly shows she was not.

Perhaps the easiest thing to do is to just consider everything the Democrats say, directly or through the media, which just prints as truth handouts from the same Democratic sources, as a lie. You’d save a lot of time and most likely be right.

 

Dept. of D’oh! EPA goofs, issues press release slamming Trump’s climate actions

March 30, 2017

Dept. of D’oh! EPA goofs, issues press release slamming Trump’s climate actions, Washington TimesBen Wolfgang, March 30, 2017

(Accident? Why of course. Not only that, but the Easter Bunny wrote the press release and Hillary is our President. Methinks the EPA swamp and multiple other agency swamps need draining. Not “soon.” Now. — DM)

FILE – In this March 16, 2017, file photo, proposals for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in President Donald Trump’s first budget are displayed at the Government Printing Office in Washington.

The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday sent out a press release touting praise for President Trump’s rollback of Obama-era climate-change regulations this week — but the agency accidentally led the email with a blistering quote from a Democratic critic.

The press release includes a quote from Sen. Tom Carper, Delaware Democrat and ranking member on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, wrongly attributed to Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, a West Virginia Republican.

The email, titled “What They Are Saying About President Trump’s Executive Order on Energy Independence,” opens with a complete and total takedown of that order.

“With this executive order, President Trump has chosen to recklessly bury his head in the sand. Walking away from the Clean Power Plan and other climate initiatives, including critical resiliency projects is not just irresponsible — it’s irrational,” reads the quote by Mr. Carper but listed as coming from Ms. Capito.

Today’s executive order calls into question America’s credibility and our commitment to tackling the greatest environmental challenge of our lifetime,” it continues. “With the world watching, President Trump and [EPA] Administrator [Scott] Pruitt have chosen to shirk our responsibility, disregard clear science and undo the significant progress our country has made to ensure we leave a better, more sustainable planet for generations to come.”

The agency quickly sent out a revised press release correcting the embarrassing error.

Leaked DHS Document is Another Democratic Party Scandal

March 29, 2017

Leaked DHS Document is Another Democratic Party Scandal, Power LineJohn Hinderaker, March 28, 2017

The document is here. It says:

DHS I&A assesses that country of citizenship is unlikely to be a reliable indicator of potential terrorist activity.

The two judges who issued orders blocking implementation of the president’s travel ban relied explicitly on the AP story and the leaked DHS document.

So it appears that what happened here is that Democratic Party activists in the Department of Homeland Security either created a bogus document or dug up a poorly-researched draft document that had never been issued, and fed it to Democratic Party activists at the Associated Press. The Democratic Party activists at the AP published a story based on the anonymous document, which two Democratic Party activists on the bench used as a pretext for orders enjoining the president’s travel order.

***************************

At Breitbart.com, Michael Patrick Leahy has what strikes me as an explosive story: “Mystery Surrounds Leaked Leaked Draft DHS Document at Center of Controversial Travel Ban Decisions by Two Federal Judges.” Actually, though, it doesn’t seem to be much of a mystery.

On February 24, AP reporters Vivian Salama and Alicia Caldwell published an AP “exclusive”: “DHS report disputes threat from banned nations.” The story was based on an anonymous draft Department of Homeland Services document that was leaked to the Associated Press, presumably by someone at DHS. The document seemed to have been created for the express purpose of undermining President Trump’s travel order. Indeed, it likely was created for that purpose.

The document is here. It says:

DHS I&A assesses that country of citizenship is unlikely to be a reliable indicator of potential terrorist activity.

The two judges who issued orders blocking implementation of the president’s travel ban relied explicitly on the AP story and the leaked DHS document. Judge Chuang, the federal district court judge in Maryland, wrote:

Among other points, they note that the Second Executive Order does not identify examples of foreign nationals from Iran, Libya, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen who engaged in terrorist activity in the United States. They also note that a report from the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Intelligence and Analysis, concluded that “country of citizenship is unlikely to be a reliable indicator of potential terrorist activity” and that “few of the impacted countries have terrorist groups that threaten the West.” l.R. 158.

Emphasis added. The Hawaii judge, Derrick Watson, wrote:

The February 24, 2017 draft report states that citizenship is an “unlikely indicator” of terrorism threats against the United States and that very few individuals from the seven countries included in Executive Order No. 13,769 had carried out or attempted to carry out terrorism activities in the United States. …

According to Plaintiffs, this and other evidence demonstrates the Administration’s pretextual justification for the Executive Order.

Judge Watson was in error: the draft report, which was never approved or finalized by DHS, is neither dated nor signed. February 24 was the date of the AP story based on the leaked document. No one at DHS has taken responsibility for writing it.

The judges were wrong to base their decisions in part on the leaked document. President Trump had clear constitutional and statutory authority to issue the travel order, and whether the judges, or some anonymous person at DHS, agreed with his judgment is irrelevant.

But Leahy skillfully unpacks what happened here. The draft report came from DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis, which was headed by David Grannis, an Obama holdover bureaucrat. Grannis is a partisan Democrat who previously worked as a staffer for Democrats Dianne Feinstein and Jane Harman. A DHS spokesman “would neither confirm nor deny that Grannis was the author of, or had reviewed, the leaked document….”

How about the reporters? It pretty much goes without saying that AP reporters are Democrats. But Leahy also points out that Vivian Salama formerly worked for Rolling Stone, where she wrote that Yemen–one of the countries covered by the travel order–“holds a special place in my heart.” She has bitterly denounced U.S. drone strikes in Yemen.

So it appears that what happened here is that Democratic Party activists in the Department of Homeland Security either created a bogus document or dug up a poorly-researched draft document that had never been issued, and fed it to Democratic Party activists at the Associated Press. The Democratic Party activists at the AP published a story based on the anonymous document, which two Democratic Party activists on the bench used as a pretext for orders enjoining the president’s travel order.

Those orders should be viewed as purely political acts that have no basis in any valid judicial reasoning or authority.

Memo to Jeff Sessions: It’s Time to Clean House

March 12, 2017

Memo to Jeff Sessions: It’s Time to Clean House,  Power LineJohn Hinderaker, March 11, 2017

(Please see also, Fire Me: U.S. Attorney In Manhattan Refuses To Resign — “The demand to be fired is astonishingly unprofessional and frankly juvenile for a high-ranking prosecutor.”  Is there any federal agency or department that doesn’t need a thorough house cleaning? How about the State Department? — DM)

President Trump won the election with a promise to drain the Washington swamp. No swamp is more in need of draining than the Department of Justice, horribly corrupted by eight years of misrule. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has his work cut out for him. Bureaucrats and lawyers at DOJ will fight him every step of the way as he tries to reform the department.

The press will fight him, too–especially when it comes to efforts to restore professionalism to the Civil Rights Division. That division is now a cesspool of bias and incompetence, but reporters will imply that every effort Sessions makes to reform it is “racist.”

**************************

Of all the Obama administration scandals, what Barack Obama, Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch did to the Department of Justice is one of the worst. Two manifestations of the depths to which DOJ has fallen emerged today. First, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, the highly partisan Democrat who selectively prosecuted Dinesh D’Souza for a felony and tried to send him to jail because he contributed too much to a Senate campaign, loudly announced that he refused to resign his position as requested by the Attorney General, his boss. Instead, Bharara insisted that he be fired. This was silly grandstanding, but it got Bharara what he wanted–headlines beneficial to a future political career–and it gave reporters what they wanted–an opportunity to pretend, for one more day, that there is something sinister in the routine replacement of political appointees.

Bharara typifies the highly partisan nature of Barack Obama’s Department of Justice, but his publicity stunt was mostly just annoying. Far more serious is the deep corruption that Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch introduced into DOJ’s Civil Rights Division. Via InstaPundit, Chris Adams reports on yet another case in which federal judges have blasted unethical or illegal conduct on the part of Civil Rights Division lawyers. See the original for links:

Here we go again. Another federal judge has scalded the unprofessional conduct of Justice Department lawyers inside the Civil Rights Division. The first time it was perjury. After that, it was unethical conduct in a trial against New Orleans police officers. Now it’s unprofessional behavior and bigotry toward the South in a federal court trial challenging Texas legislative districts.

In the course of a dissenting opinion on the Texas redistricting case about which you likely have seen headlines, Fifth Circuit Judge Jerry Smith praised the professionalism of the lawyers for both the plaintiffs and the State of Texas. Then he got to the lawyers for the U.S., which intervened in the case. They came from Loretta Lynch’s Civil Rights Division:

And then there is the United States, appearing through attorneys from the Department of Justice. I have no criticism of their knowledge of the law, and their zeal is, to say the least, more than adequate. But they entered these proceedings with arrogance and condescension. One of the Department’s lawyers even exhibited her contempt for Texas and its representatives and her disdain for these proceedings by regularly rolling her eyes at State witnesses’ answers that she did not like, and she amused herself by chewing gum while court was in session.

It was obvious, from the start, that the DoJ attorneys viewed state officials and the legislative majority and their staffs as a bunch of backwoods hayseed bigots who bemoan the abolition of the poll tax and pine for the days of literacy tests and lynchings. And the DoJ lawyers saw themselves as an expeditionary landing party arriving here, just in time, to rescue the state from oppression, obviously presuming that plaintiffs’ counsel were not up to the task. The Department of Justice moreover views Texas redistricting litigation as the potential grand prize and lusts for the day when it can reimpose preclearance via Section 3(c).

Of course, these are just personal impressions based on demeanor and attitude. More objectively verifiable are the witch hunts and fishing expeditions that the DoJ conducted in pursuit of its goals. I give two examples.
First is the DoJ’s vicious attack on Clare Dyer, a dedicated career employee of the Texas Legislative Council who has served both Democratic and Republican legislatures. …

Another example of a Department of Justice witch hunt, in its frustrated attempt to find evidence of intentional discrimination to support an ultimate claim for Section 3(c) opt-in relief, was its unsuccessful fishing expedition to uncover a smoking gun regarding what occurred on Monday and early Tuesday, June 13 and 14, 2011. …

The DoJ was determined to uncover racially-tinged communications (perhaps shopping for firehoses on the Internet?) to prove that the ultimate maps were based on “race for its own sake.” Because it was inadequately prepared, the DoJ called witness after witness, and presented document after document, to try to confect a paper trail from which the court could infer bigotry.
***
The Department of Justice has overplayed its hand and, in the process, has lost credibility. The wound is self-inflicted. The grand theory on which its intervention was mainly based—that invidious racial motives infect and predominate in the drawing of the 2011 district lines—has crashed and burned.

Judge Smith is one of a growing list of federal judges who have blown the whistle on Barack Obama’s Department of Justice. Adams explains what happened:

An ideological hiring campaign took place during the Obama years where Every Single One of the lawyers hired into the Civil Rights Division was a committed leftist. When the DOJ Inspector General recommended that hiring criteria be changed to eliminate this perceived bias, then Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez rejected the recommendation.

That’s the same Tom Perez who is now Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

President Trump won the election with a promise to drain the Washington swamp. No swamp is more in need of draining than the Department of Justice, horribly corrupted by eight years of misrule. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has his work cut out for him. Bureaucrats and lawyers at DOJ will fight him every step of the way as he tries to reform the department.

The press will fight him, too–especially when it comes to efforts to restore professionalism to the Civil Rights Division. That division is now a cesspool of bias and incompetence, but reporters will imply that every effort Sessions makes to reform it is “racist.”

Sessions faces a daunting task, but he is the right man for the job. Conservatives need to be prepared to support him, aggressively, as he begins to clean the Augean stables of the Department of Justice.

Memo to U.S. Mission in Vienna: Obama No Longer President

March 10, 2017

Memo to U.S. Mission in Vienna: Obama No Longer President, PJ MediaClaudia Rosett, March 9, 2017

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

Haley deserves applause for deflecting the pressures to start bargaining with Kim. Deals with North Korea do not work, and will not work while Kim remains in power. The long record of U.S. talks, deals and attempted talks with North Korea is one of humiliation and failure for the U.S., as North Korea’s dynastic Kim regime has repeatedly pocketed any gains, milked every concession, cheated on every agreement, and carried on with its atrocities and its nuclear missile projects.

Schofer’s words did not quite mesh with Haley’s polite dismissal of pressure for “talks and negotiations.” Rather, Schofer repeated what was for years the refrain of the Obama administration — and of former Secretary of State John Kerry, in particular — offering Pyongyang, under conditions North Korea had previously agreed to, and then violated, the option of returning to the bargaining table:

We have consistently communicated to Pyongyang that we remain open to meaningful negotiations based on the understandings reached by all members of the Six-Party Talks in the 2005 Joint Statement.

As the Trump administration now toils to reduce the threats and clean up the mess bequeathed by Obama’s “global approaches” — including Obama’s gross failure to block North Korea’s prolific nuclear-weapons advances of recent years — perhaps it’s not too much to ask that America’s Mission to the UN in Vienna get entirely on board with the new administration, even if that entails updating its web site to reflect in full that Trump, not Obama, is now the president.

*****************************

Quite likely you don’t spend a lot of time following the doings of Andrew J. Schofer, a career State Department officer who is currently the Charge d’Affaires at the U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna (UNVIE). Nor was Schofer anywhere high on my radar until this week, when he delivered a statement on North Korea that seemed to me slightly at odds with what Ambassador Nikki Haley was saying at the United Nations in New York. Which sent me to the web site for his legation in Vienna … but before I get ahead of myself on that, here’s a bit more background.

Haley, at a UN press stakeout in New York, following a Security Council meeting this Wednesday on North Korea, said that while the U.S. reevaluates how to handle North Korea, “all options are on the table.” But Haley also went out of her way to imply that the Trump administration is far from eager to accede to pressures, such as those from China, to default to talks or deals with North Korea. Referring to North Korea’s tyrant, Kim Jong Un, Haley told reporters:

I appreciate all of my counterparts wanting to talk about talks and negotiations. We are not dealing with a rational person.

To my mind, Haley may be wrong in her assessment of Kim Jong Un as irrational. We can debate whether Kim is actually a madman incapable of rational calculation, or a wily thug, who in the interest of maintaining his hereditary totalitarian throne has been proving adept, like his forebears, at calibrating what he can get away with in the way of threats, hostage-taking, assassinations, executions, extortion rackets, and nuclear missile projects — all in the interest of consolidating his grip on power and expanding his reach.

But wherever one comes down on the crazy-Kim question, Haley deserves applause for deflecting the pressures to start bargaining with Kim. Deals with North Korea do not work, and will not work while Kim remains in power. The long record of U.S. talks, deals and attempted talks with North Korea is one of humiliation and failure for the U.S., as North Korea’s dynastic Kim regime has repeatedly pocketed any gains, milked every concession, cheated on every agreement, and carried on with its atrocities and its nuclear missile projects.

Which brings me to the statement delivered this Wednesday in Vienna by U.S. Charge D’Affaires Schofer, at a meeting of the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. Schofer’s words did not quite mesh with Haley’s polite dismissal of pressure for “talks and negotiations.” Rather, Schofer repeated what was for years the refrain of the Obama administration — and of former Secretary of State John Kerry, in particular — offering Pyongyang, under conditions North Korea had previously agreed to, and then violated, the option of returning to the bargaining table:

We have consistently communicated to Pyongyang that we remain open to meaningful negotiations based on the understandings reached by all members of the Six-Party Talks in the 2005 Joint Statement.

Whether Schofer on matters involving North Korea is genuinely out of sync with Haley, or with the Trump administration generally, I don’t know. But I do know this: Schofer’s statement was different enough from Haley’s, and similar enough to those of the Obama administration, that after reading it I went looking for more information on the web site of the U.S. Mission currently run by Schofer in Vienna — an important legation, not least, because it represents the U.S. at the IAEA.

It is also, as it turns out, a legation that is in some respects almost two months out of date on a major change at the White House — meaning the inauguration on Jan. 20 of a new president. Perhaps someone at the State Department should remind Schofer that Obama has left office? Here’s an excerpt from the web site of the U.S. Mission in Vienna (boldface is mine):

UNVIE’s mission is to conduct effective multilateral diplomacy with International Organizations in Vienna to advance President Obama’s commitment to design and implement global approaches to reduce global threats and seize global opportunities.

Yes, this is small stuff, in its way — that seven weeks after Trump’s inauguration, the U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna has not gotten around to fully updating its web site. (Surely the problem here is one of carelessness, not political bias among career foreign service officers.) But details matter, especially in the symbolically freighted realms of diplomacy.

As the Trump administration now toils to reduce the threats and clean up the mess bequeathed by Obama’s “global approaches” — including Obama’s gross failure to block North Korea’s prolific nuclear-weapons advances of recent years — perhaps it’s not to much to ask that America’s Mission to the UN in Vienna get entirely on board with the new administration, even if that entails updating its web site to reflect in full that Trump, not Obama, is now the president.

3-9-17 David Horowitz on Hannity

March 10, 2017

3-9-17 David Horowitz on Hannity, Fox News via YouTube