36 thoughts on “News/Politics 10-19-19

  1. When govt. is the bully, you need a bigger one.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/10/16/bureaucratic-bullies-trump-administration-successful-war-against-column/3974449002/

    “The Trump administration’s successful war against bureaucratic bullies”

    “For years, unelected bureaucrats have been allowed largely unchecked power over the daily lives of Americans. This president is trying to change that.”

    —–

    “The enormous authority of these unelected administrators
    The subjective, secretive nature of the process has led one critic to deem it “regulatory dark matter.”

    This “government by memo” is how the Obama administration effectively mandated that colleges lower the burden of proof in sexual assault tribunals on their campuses in 2011.

    Two years later, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a bulletin informing that auto lenders would be liable for racial discrimination based on the makeup of their lending portfolios.

    In 2015, the Department of Labor upended the entire labor market with a blog post announcing it was now classifying some independent contractors as full-time employees.

    This type of murky, unclear, bureaucrat-driven style of regulating is exactly what Americans fear from the administrative state. It is, essentially, bullying by the government. Indeed, in the Sackett case, the EPA claimed the couple did not even have the right to challenge the agency’s finding in court. (The Supreme Court unanimously reversed the agency in 2012.)

    The Trump administration is taking welcome steps to stop the bureaucratic bullying. With the signing of two executive orders last week, the administration is requiring that these guidance documents be subject to transparent formulation and notice before enforcement. Critically, these orders also make sure ordinary Americans have the ability to challenge the government’s determination against them.

    This is a relief to those whose lives have been upended by government policy decisions quite literally made in secret and enforced against them with little to no legal recourse.

    Americans generally play by the rules — but they have to know what they are. These two new executive orders are a welcome step by the Trump administration, and a vital part of their continued efforts to rebalance the relationship between regular Americans and the powerful colossus that is the administrative state.”

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  2. And yet Comey could find no one to hold responsible for any of it.

    Not that anyone will be held responsible now. At worst a sternly worded letter in their permenant file.

    Because justice is for the poor and unconnected.

    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2019/10/18/hillary-email-investigation-n2555015

    “State Department Completes Its Investigation Into Hillary’s Email Server: Found 588 Violations”

    “Hillary Clinton’s email fiasco remains a topic of conversation. She might have thought it was blown out of proportion, but she certainly didn’t help neutralize its main concern. Clinton used a home-based server for all official business while serving as secretary of state under Obama. It wasn’t secure. It was unauthorized. And she might have mishandled classified information. In 2016, as the Democratic Party’s nominee, this is a story. It was one that killed her numbers with voters. Her endless stream of lies about it also poured fuel on the fire. She said that she had gone to State Department officials for approval and that they signed off on it.

    Not true, as stated in the State Department inspector general’s report at the time. Either way, the whole controversy rehashed many of the criticisms that plagued the power couple during Bill Clinton’s presidency, that being the two are secretive and they think the rules don’t apply to them. Hillary eventually decided to do the one thing that ensures non-stop talk about the server: she nixed doing press conferences.

    Now, the State Department has finally concluded their review, where they cite 588 violations by 38 people (via AP):

    The investigation, launched more than three years ago, determined that those 38 people were “culpable” in 91 cases of sending classified information that ended up in Clinton’s personal email, according to a letter sent to Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley this week and released on Friday. The 38 are current and former State Department officials but were not identified.

    The investigation covered 33,000 emails that Clinton turned over for review after her use of the private email account became public. The department said it found a total of 588 violations involving information then or now deemed to be classified but could not assign fault in 497 cases.

    For current and former officials, culpability means the violations will be noted in their files and will be considered when they apply for or go to renew security clearances. For current officials, there could also be some kind of disciplinary action. But it was not immediately clear what that would be.”

    —————

    It’s a joke.

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  3. Serves ’em right.

    https://hotair.com/archives/allahpundit/2019/10/18/dem-snafu-impeachment-trial-will-force-many-2020-hopefuls-spend-several-key-weeks-washington-instead-campaigning/

    “Dem Snafu: Impeachment Trial Will Force Many 2020 Hopefuls To Spend Several Key Weeks In Washington Instead Of Campaigning”

    “A nifty piece by BuzzFeed contemplating a major unintended consequence of the Democrats’ pursuit of impeachment. The Senate’s rules when the president is on trial are clear: Attendance is mandatory. Mitch McConnell has already announced that the proceedings will run six days a week (Sundays are off) beginning each day at 12:30 p.m. ET and running until … who knows when. Conventional wisdom has it that House Dems will vote on impeachment before Thanksgiving and the Senate will take up the matter shortly thereafter, with the trial set to run throughout December.

    The first Democratic presidential vote, in Iowa, takes place on February 3.

    All of which means that no fewer than six Democratic presidential candidates will be stuck spending prime campaign time bogged down in the Capitol as jurors in Trump’s case instead of out on the trail in the early states stumping for votes. Specifically, it’s Michael Bennet, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar … and Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren. Two of the three members of the top tier along with a candidate who was top-tier once before this year and might be again will have their campaigns completely upended by the House’s impeachment fever. Remember a few weeks ago when Harris told colleagues, “I’m @#$$%$# moving to Iowa,” in hopes of reviving her campaign? Uh, no she’s not. Not until January. Thanks to Nancy Pelosi.

    It’s not as if senators can rely on showy moments during the trial like dressing down a witness during a committee hearing. Because senators are the jurors of an impeachment trial, they must live through every politician’s nightmare of sitting and watching the proceedings without speaking…”

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  4. Quid pro no.

    The Post’s EB points out the inconvenient (for Dems and Nters) truth. What the press is selling is a false narrative with fake “facts”.

    https://nypost.com/2019/10/17/quid-pro-nothing-trump-accusers-dont-care-about-the-facts/

    “Quid pro nothing: Trump accusers don’t care about the facts”

    “Everyone who already thought the case for President Trump’s impeachment was a slam-dunk went berserk Thursday, claiming that acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney had just admitted to a quid pro quo with Ukraine.

    Except that what Mulvaney “admitted” is that the administration was doing what it should — pushing a foreign government to cooperate in getting to the bottom of foreign interference in the 2016 campaign.

    Virtually every media outlet in America — certainly all those that jumped on Mulvaney’s remarks — has spent most of the last three years painting such foreign interference as the blackest possible crime.

    In fact, all Mulvaney did was repeat yet again that Trump “was worried about corruption with that nation” — and specifically say those worries extended to cooperation in “the look-back to what happened in 2016.”

    Asked if Ukraine’s uncertainty about probing those matters was linked to the US holdup of military aid, he said “yes” — clarifying hours later that it wasn’t a quid pro quo.

    Which it couldn’t be: Ukraine didn’t know about the holdup until weeks after President Volodymyr Zelensky’s call with Trump.

    Critics complain that one specific issue Trump pushed is a “debunked conspiracy theory.” So what? The Obama administration and several Democratic senators at various times pushed Ukraine to cooperate in probes of possible Trump 2016 wrongdoing that eventually turned out not to exist.

    Indeed, ongoing Justice Department investigations are trying to determine what if any lines the US intelligence community crossed improperly during those probes.”

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  5. Liked by 1 person

  6. The problem:

    ~ His own acting chief of staff delivered a setback Thursday by essentially admitting to a quid pro quo. Mick Mulvaney told reporters that Trump held up military aid to Ukraine: “Did he also mention to me in the past the corruption that related to the DNC server? Absolutely. No question about that. But that’s it, and that’s why we hung up the money.” In walking it back later, Mulvaney complained that “the media has decided to misconstrue my comments to advance a biased and political witch hunt against President Trump.” Except no journalistic interpretation was needed for the on-camera remarks. ~

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  7. The only reason Trump is upset with Ukrainian corruption is because he’s not part of it.

    Forget quid pro quo. The man just gave himself a contract hosting the G7 at his resort in Florida. Banana republics everywhere feel vindicated.

    Amusing to see Huckebee-Sanders and Trump Jr complain about nepotism. The cognitive dissonance is remarkable.

    White phosphorus was dropped on Kurdish civilians. Is Trump then complicit in war crimes?

    Perhaps not but he did manage to drive the best Middle East allies the West ever had into the arms of the Russians. And he even gave the Russians a fully developed military base. How nice of Trump. The YouTube videos of Russian soldiers wandering through the US base is amusing.

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  8. DJ,

    Nonsense. That’s the Dem and media spin on what he said. That’s not what he was actually admitting to. He’s being misquoted. He was clearly speaking to his point 1 and 2, the EU not paying their fair share and the corruption in Ukraine.

    Don’t fall for it.

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/10/mick-mulvaneys-presser.php

    “Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney held a press conference today. Mulvaney cited two reasons for the holding up of military aid to Ukraine: (1) lack of a contribution by European countries and (2) corruption in Ukraine. Then he added:

    Did [Trump] also mention to me in passing the corruption related to the DNC server?” Absolutely, no question about that. But that’s it, and that’s why we held up the money.

    It’s hard to read this as a clear statement that investigating the DNC server was a reason for holding up aid to Ukraine. However, asked if there was a quid pro quo, Mulvaney said, “We do that all the time with foreign policy.” Mulvaney then cited another instance in which the administration held up money in order to influence another country’s policies.

    Mulvaney has since denied that there was a quid pro quo in this instance. In the end, the military aid to Ukraine was released.

    Democrats and their media allies are treating Mulvaney’s statement as a concession that there was a corrupt quid pro quo. Adam Schiff said that, in light of the statement, things have gone from very bad to worse.

    I don’t think so. I’ve been bothered by evidence that Trump may have conditioned aid to Ukraine, or threatened to condition it, on an investigation of the Bidens by that country. But that’s not what Mulvaney “confessed” to today. Mulvaney was talking about a link between aid and an investigation regarding foreign involvement in the 2016 election.

    There’s a big difference. With the Bidens, we’re talking about possibly conditioning U.S. policy on a foreign government agreeing to investigate President Trump’s political rival. In that case, moreover, there was no active Justice Department investigation of the Bidens (to my knowledge, anyway).”

    ——————

    More here.

    Don’t believe the spin.

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/10/mick-mulvaneys-presser-a-closer-look.php

    “MICK MULVANEY’S PRESSER, A CLOSER LOOK
    I want to take another look at Mick Mulvaney’s presser — the one that Democrats and the mainstream media claim nails down the existence of a quid pro quo arrangement between President Trump and Ukraine (or offer thereof) involving U.S. military aid. My previous post focused on the fact that if Mulvaney was talking about a quid pro quo, it wasn’t military aid in exchange for conducting an investigation of the Bidens. Rather it was military aid for cooperating with an investigation of Ukrainian involvement in the 2016 election campaign.

    I argued that even if such a pro quid quo was offered, it wasn’t corrupt because investigating foreign involvement in our election is a legitimate national interest.

    In this post, I want to look more closely at whether Mulvaney confessed to any quid pro quo. Having listened more closely to what Mulvaney said, it’s not clear that he did.

    Mulvaney cited two reasons for the holding up of military aid to Ukraine: (1) lack of a contribution by European countries and (2) corruption in Ukraine. Then he added:

    Did [Trump] also mention to me in past the corruption related to the DNC server? Absolutely, no question about that. But that’s it, and that’s why we held up the money.

    Previously, instead of transcribing “in past,” I transcribed “in passing.” But on further review, it sounds like Mulvaney said “in past.” I assume he meant to say “in the past.”

    Thus, Mulvaney was telling reporters that Trump initially withheld the aid because of lack of European participation and because of corruption. The “DNC server” was merely something Trump had mentioned in the past as an example of the corruption that concerned him.

    This is not a confession by Mulvaney that, when aid was withheld, there was a quid pro quo involving investigating the DNC, a server, and/or interference in the 2016 election. It is not a confession that Trump wanted to pressure Ukraine into investigating matters relevant to the 2016 election, or anything else.

    This, though, was not the end of discussion. A reporter followed up by saying/asking, “So the demand for an investigation into the Democrats was part of the reason why [Trump] ordered to withhold funding to the Ukrainians?”

    Mulvaney did not adopt that statement. Instead, he said, “the look back to what happened in 2016 was part of the thing he was worried about in corruption with that nation.””

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  9. This must be who Sowell had in mind.

    https://freebeacon.com/politics/maine-columnist-suggests-collins-deserves-death-threats/

    “Maine Columnist Suggests Collins Deserves Death Threats

    ‘I’d start wondering what the heck I’m doing to tick so many people off'”

    “A Maine newspaper columnist suggested Friday that Sen. Susan Collins (R., Maine) deserved the death threats she has received during Donald Trump’s presidency.

    Portland Press-Herald scribe Bill Nemitz wrote that Collins should figure out why she’s bothering voters so much.

    He quoted a statement from Collins’s spokeswoman Annie Clark, who told the PPH that “over the past two years Senator Collins has endured death threats, threatening mailings, been confronted by people at her home late at night, been harassed in airports, at stores, when eating out, and in parking lots. She has protesters regularly at home, at her offices, and at events. She is ridiculed regularly online by people who mock her intellect, integrity, and physical characteristics.”

    “Maybe it’s just me, but if I was experiencing all of those things, I’d start wondering what the heck I’m doing to tick so many people off,” Nemitz wrote.”

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  10. Or maybe Sowell was referring to CNN….

    And oh boy. Ol’ Jim Acosta ain’t gonna like this. 🙂

    Double Bonus! 🙂

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/trump-campaign-to-sue-cnn-over-pro-impeachment-bias-demands-substantial-payment

    “Trump campaign to sue CNN over pro-impeachment bias, demands ‘substantial payment’”

    “Outraged by secretly taped anti-Trump comments attributed to CNN President Jeff Zucker and others at the cable network, President Trump’s campaign is vowing to sue the company for “a substantial payment of damages.”

    In a four-page letter to CNN, Zucker, and Executive Vice President David Vigilante, Trump attorney Charles J. Harder cited years of anti-Trump bias at the network and claimed the cable giant has broken its promise of “excellence in journalism.”

    Listing several examples from the just-released Project Veritas videotapes of CNN insiders describing Zucker’s demand for “impeachment above all else,” Harder wrote that they “are merely the tip of the iceberg of the evidence my clients have accumulated over recent years.”

    He added, “Never in the history of this country has a President been the subject of such a sustained barrage of unfair, unfounded, unethical and unlawful attacks by so-called ‘mainstream’ news, as the current situation.””

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  11. Suing CNN, ok then.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-cnn/trump-threatens-to-sue-cnn-seeks-substantial-payment-over-damages-letter-idUSKBN1WX2B1
    _________________

    … Rebecca Tushnet, a professor of false advertising law at Harvard Law School, said there was “no merit” to the letter’s legal arguments and that she doubted a lawsuit would ever be filed.

    The letter was signed by Charles Harder, who has sent similar threats to media organizations on Trump’s behalf.

    Last year, Harder suggested Trump would take legal action against the New York Times for an investigative report on his business empire, calling it “highly defamatory.”

    Harder also threatened a libel lawsuit over “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” by author Michael Wolff, a book that portrayed an inept president in a fumbling White House. …

    … On Nov. 7, 2018, the day after congressional elections, Trump erupted into anger during a news conference when CNN’s White House correspondent Jim Acosta questioned him about the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election and a migrant caravan traveling through Mexico.

    The White House suspended Acosta’s credentials later that day, alleging Acosta had put his hands on an intern who was trying to take a microphone from him. Videos of the encounter show Acosta pulling back as the intern moved to take the microphone.

    The White House later restored Acosta’s press access, ending a lawsuit brought by CNN challenging the revocation as a violation of the reporter’s constitutional rights. A judge had issued a temporary ruling in CNN’s favor.
    ____________________________

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  12. “Nonsense. That’s the Dem and media spin on what he said”

    Um, but that’s what he said. He may have misspoken — and that’s an entirely different problem he & the administration need to seriously address — but it is what he actually said.

    Yes, the media has grabbed it and run with it, but honestly, if he didn’t mean to say that, well — he just shouldn’t have said that.

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  13. DJ,

    That’s just playing semantics.

    ““Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney held a press conference today. Mulvaney cited two reasons for the holding up of military aid to Ukraine: (1) lack of a contribution by European countries and (2) corruption in Ukraine. Then he added:

    Did [Trump] also mention to me in passing the corruption related to the DNC server?” Absolutely, no question about that. But that’s it, and that’s why we held up the money.”

    —–

    He answered with 1 and 2. He then added that of course they discussed it, but the reasons were 1 and 2. He mentioned the 3rd thing in passing, that’s it, as he said, but the reasons were 1 and 2.

    The rest is spin, and people once again reading what they want to believe into it.

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  14. And speaking of things being misreported…..

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/press-secretary-stephanie-grisham-shreds-pelosi-over-antics-in-meeting-with-trump

    “White House Press Secretary and Communications Director Stephanie Grisham appeared on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” on Friday morning, where she touched on a wide range of issues, including the recent meeting that Democratic leaders had with President Donald Trump.

    “I’ll tell you what. I was in that meeting,” Grisham said. “The president walked in. He greeted everybody, as he does, and Speaker Pelosi started out the meeting – it was actually quite bizarre. She had no intentions of sitting there. We had military people. We had people there to brief them. And she was not going to listen.”

    “She got up. She stormed out. Her focus was getting to the cameras,” Grisham continued. “It was funny to watch Schumer chase after her. I think he was a little worried that if he didn’t leave with her, that she would get angry with him.”

    “The president was measured. He stayed behind and he worked with the Democrats who actually remained behind, too,” Grisham concluded on the issue. “And we continued the briefing, and that was it. Again, this president has work to do. We’re not going to be swayed by all of the Dems and the theater that they continue to perform every day.”

    ——

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  15. This guy is becoming the right’s version of Schiff. He’s just making it up now too. 🙂

    https://dailycaller.com/2019/10/19/justin-amash-hillary-clinton-donald-trump-asset/

    “Justin Amash: ‘Hillary Clinton Is A Donald Trump Asset’”

    “Michigan Independent Rep. Justin Amash blasted former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a “Donald Trump asset,” arguing in a Friday night Twitter post that Clinton’s criticism of Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard will only “drive many people into the arms of Donald Trump.”

    “The thing we know for sure is that Hillary Clinton is a Donald Trump asset,” Amash, a frequent Trump critic who recently left the Republican Party to become an Independent, tweeted Friday night. “Hillary does — and did — drive many people into the arms of Donald Trump. Her attack on Tulsi does likewise. In my district, Trump did worse than any Republican in modern times and still beat Clinton by a fair margin. Many Ds in the Midwest rejected her. I didn’t vote for either one.”

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  16. “people once again reading what they want to believe into it.”

    This could be the best summation ever of this entire political season in which we all are trapped.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. ~ “The cat sat on a mat” is not a story. “The cat sat on the other cat’s mat” is a story. ~ John le Carre (British author of espionage novels)

    Not related to anything here necessarily, just a journalism thread tidbit I saw that made me smile. Could apply to politics, could apply to households with dogs and cats and various mats.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. DJ – Another similar saying is that Dog Bites Man is not a story, but Man Bites Dog is.

    *******
    AJ – re: Amash’s comment about Hillary Clinton being a Trump asset. I’m not sure what you don’t agree with there, unless you think he meant it literally (that somehow she is working with Trump). But I think he has a valid point that Clinton’s remarks about Tulsi Gabbard and others are going to push some people, particularly undecideds and independents, over to Trump.

    His use of the phrase “Donald Trump Asset” if, of course, riffing off of Clinton’s claim that Gabbard (and at least one other candidate, I think) is a Russian asset.

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  19. Bingo.

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  20. Tick-tock traitors.

    Time is up.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/justice-department/ag-barr-expands-controversial-review-origin-russia-investigation-n1068971

    “AG Barr expands mysterious review into origin of Russia investigation”

    ——

    “The prosecutor conducting the review, Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham, has expressed his intent to interview a number of current and former intelligence officials involved in examining Russia’s effort to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, including former CIA Director John Brennan and former director of national intelligence James Clapper, Brennan told NBC News.

    Durham has also requested to talk to CIA analysts involved in the intelligence assessment of Russia’s activities, prompting some of them to hire lawyers, according to three former CIA officials familiar with the matter. And there is tension between the CIA and the Justice Department over what classified documents Durham can examine, two people familiar with the matter said.

    With Barr’s approval, Durham has expanded his staff and the timeframe under scrutiny, according to a law enforcement official directly familiar with the matter. And he is now looking into conduct past Donald Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, a Trump administration official said.”

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  21. More on the fraud that is Adam Schiff.

    —————

    And his show trials.

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  22. Yep.

    ————–

    Like

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