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The Comey hearing: More smoke, wrong fire

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About a month ago, National Review editor Rich Lowry called Trump “a human smoke-making machine . . . incapable of a little deftness.”  The headline of his opinion piece in Politico characterized the entire Trump-focused wing of the investigation into Russian election interference as “a scandal about smoke.”

When they saw all the Trump-fueled smoke, said Lowry, the Democrats wanted “to make fire.”  And when Comey suddenly decided he wanted to testify to the Senate Intelligence Committee, many on the Left christened this the Great Fire-Making Moment.

The narrative almost wrote itself.  Comey had been director of the FBI; Trump had fired him due to the Russia investigation; Trump had perhaps pressured Comey to let the investigation of Michael Flynn go.  Surely on June 8, the smoke would roll back to reveal a giant conflagration – Comey would accuse Trump of obstruction, let slip that Trump was part of a giant Russian conspiracy, reveal something, anything impeachable.  Doctor visits were canceled, watch parties were scheduled, and cable news networks broke out their countdown clocks.

What are those who pushed that narrative left with now?

Well, Comey did confirm that the leak of his memos was accurate, that Trump told him he “hoped” the Flynn investigation would be dropped because Flynn was, in Trump’s estimation, a “good guy.”  Comey said that due to Trump’s “imperceptible body language,” he took this as a direction to stop the investigation.

But Trump said the very same thing about Flynn to the press, if you recall.  And whatever Comey’s “feelings” about whether Trump meant what he said as a direction, it’s a stretch to use Comey’s feelings as the sole basis of obstruction.  To my knowledge, an “I hope” statement has never been used as the sole basis for an obstruction charge.

Comey went on to reveal that the president had made false public statements, didn’t seem to be that concerned about Russian election interference, had directly asked for his loyalty, and had fired him because of his handling of the Russia investigation.

None of that information was new.  More smoke; no fire.  Collective yawns all around.

Instead, the Comey hearing turned a flamethrower on the charred remains of the Clinton email investigation.  Comey revealed that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch had asked him to refer to the FBI investigation of Clinton’s email server as a “matter” rather than an “investigation.”  Perhaps not so coincidentally, this is the rhetoric the Clinton campaign was using at the same time.

What’s that?  Evidence of Lynch’s DOJ colluding with the Democratic Party?  Will wonders never cease.

It’s astonishing to me that Comey chose not to investigate Loretta Lynch in relation to the Clinton email imbroglio after his encounter with her, especially given Lynch’s well-documented meeting with Bill Clinton on the tarmac in Arizona.  Lynch’s alleged interference in the Clinton investigation must not have had as much “intent” as that alleged in the Trump investigation, I suppose.

Comey’s hearing boiled down to a long, drawn-out attempt by Comey to justify his actions in the Clinton and Trump investigations by slant. It really didn’t work.

Nothing said at the Comey hearing changed my opinion that Comey’s handling of the Clinton email investigation and the Russia election investigation both bordered on incompetence.  Frankly, that’s the only justification Trump needed for his firing, though that’s not the one he gave.  As Mr. Lowry said almost a month ago, Trump reliably produces smoke, but even after today’s circus, I see no accompanying fire.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Bryan Woodsmall

    June 9, 2017 at 9:36 am

    This is an interesting piece, and you make some good points.

    However, if there is “no fire” in the Trump smoke, then why is the info about Lynch’s alleged interference, which you say had “as much ‘intent’ as that alleged in the Trump investigation” tantamount to a “flamethrower”?

    The “intent” is “as much”, yet with one it is only smoke, and with the other it is a flamethrower. I don’t get that.

    I enjoyed the article. It was informative and thought provoking. But elevating the revelations about Lynch as being more damning than the info about Trump seems like partisan spin to me. In fact, both are bad. Some of the info about Lynch is new. That is one difference. Also, Lynch tried to give the appearance of being above the fray, while Trump doesn’t really try to hide his dishonesty and lack of principles. But if Trump’s problems are just smoke, then so are Lynch’s.

    • Connor Mighell

      June 9, 2017 at 9:45 am

      Hi, Bryan. Thanks for your comment. The sentence about “intent” which left you so bewildered was meant as a joke. When Comey announced that he wasn’t going to recommend charges against Clinton in the email scandal. Comey justified his actions by saying he found no evidence Clinton intended to do anything illegal. However, the crime Clinton allegedly committed does not require proof of intent to establish guilt. My statement about Lynch’s intent was meant as a joke about Comey’s ability to treat intent as consequential in cases when it isn’t. Once again, thanks for reading.

  2. Bryan Woodsmall

    June 9, 2017 at 11:38 am

    Ok, I see that I missed the joke, and I missed the word “not” which I now understand as sarcasm that seems more to suggest that Lynch’s interference was perhaps worse than Trump’s, rather than suggest equivalence.

    At any rate, your point was NOT to say they were of similar seriousness, so my bad.

    Still, while I agree that the revelation that Lynch asked Comey to use the word “matter” instead of “investigation” is a big deal, I don’t see it as a “flamethrower” vs. just “smoke” from the Trump situation. For one thing, asking the FBI to assist with spin doesn’t constitute interference in the investigation itself. It is totally improper for sure, especially since it is the same word the Clinton administration was using, but it still doesn’t amount to actually interfering with the investigation.

    Your point about Comey treating intent as consequential when it isn’t is well taken. It kind of seemed like he was trying to thread a needle with a legal and logical explanation for his decision. I don’t know the law well enough to know whether he succeeded. However, in my opinion his actions were very beneficial to the Republican candidate (I’m not saying it was intentional). Had he indicted Clinton, I think she would have been replaced as the Democratic nominee. The new nominee would have had a headwind due to not being chosen by the normal process, but probably would have been a MUCH better candidate than Hillary Clinton. By not indicting her he took away the Dems need to replace her, and by being very critical of her he helped her opponent. So it was a win-win for Trump. And then he disclosed very late in the race that more emails had come to light, and needed to be looked at. I won’t argue either way whether that tipped the election, but it was helpful to Trump in a close race.

    I am not knowledgeable enough to assess Comey’s competence or lack thereof, but I think Trump supporters should be grateful for the way he handled the Clinton investigation.

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Media

DDoS and Twitter attack in same day. Someone’s not happy with us.

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DDoS and Twitter attack in same day Someones not happy with us

I should have known when the the Twitter account for the site was suddenly permanently banned that something was fishy. Unfortunately, Twitter is funny that way, so I didn’t put 2 and 2 together until the site itself went down.

When you operate a site that tells the truth, there’s bound to be someone offended. That’s the nature of the game, especially for a news site that focuses on conservative media, that holds a Judeo-Christian worldview, and that isn’t afraid to say things that may not be popular with, well, most people.

Our web provider was great. They recognized the attacks and took steps to stop them, but the attackers are clever. When they couldn’t brute-force hack into the admin, they went the DDoS route. I’m not going to get into the technical details because they’re over my head, but from what I can tell from the logs and in talking to our host, it wasn’t a casual attack. They’ve been trying to hack the back end for days and when that proved too challenging,they went straight for the shutdown attempt.

As for Twitter, I’m not even going to bother. The site and one of the authors (that I’ve seen so far) were banned. I switched the site to link to my personal Twitter account. Been meaning to spend more energy there anyway.

This is reason #17 why we’re so badly in need of donations from our readers. We have big plans for the site that include paid editors, writers, graphics, and a tech person (which we obviously need). I need to move the site to a stronger hosting tier, one that can withstand attacks like today. The one we’re using isn’t cheap, but it’s not top-of-the-line.

When you’re on the right side of the political aisle, there will be people who try to stop you. We will persevere, but we certainly can use the help.

To paraphrase a famous quote, if you’re not making enough people mad, then you’re doing it wrong. We will not crumble under the weight of heavy opposition. Fighting the left and their media puppets is a task that’s too important to let go.


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Culture and Religion

The complete fraud that is socialism

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The complete fraud that is socialism

Once again we are witness to the age-old scam of socialism with Leftists making promises to attain power that can never be fulfilled.

Long before Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago exposed the systematic oppression, torture, incarceration and deliberate mass murder that are the hallmarks of socialistic slavery. James A. Michener documented the 1956 Hungarian uprising against communism in his book ‘The Bridge at Andau’. While both are great literary works, ‘The Bridge at Andau’ laid bare the complete fraud that is the collectivist ideologies in creating a ‘Heaven on Earth’ or ‘worker’s paradise’ that never comes to fruition.

The selling of socialistic slavery to a new generation tends to follow a certain type of ‘progress’. Promises are made for all kinds of largess ranging from Free Healthcare, Free Housing, Free College, Free food to even Free income. All paid for with other people’s money. Never mind that It’s impossible to fulfill all of these wondrous asseverations. Appearances must be made to at least begin the process, so the ever-present task of wealth redistribution begins at the point of a gun.

This is also why the Socialist-Left obsesses over gun confiscation and the suppression of free speech. It is imperative for the Leftists to disarm the people since they generally object to having their property stolen from them. However, we are getting ahead of ourselves, this is to document how this exploitation of the people has ‘progressed’ in other collectivist enclaves to better understand how this crime against the people is perpetrated.

Why do collectivist regimes always require secret police apparatus and the suppression of Liberty?

This question was detailed in The Bridge at Andau in the chapters on the ‘AVO man’. In which he discusses the secret police organisation of the Hungarian Communists, the AVO (Allamvedelmi Osztaly). He bluntly asked and answered the question:

Why must communism depend on such dregs of society?

No matter on what elevated plane communism begins its program of total dictatorship. it sooner or later runs into such economic and social problems that some strong-arm force is required to keep the civil population under control.

As is the case now as it was then, a nation’s Socialist-Left will promise just about anything to attain power over the people:

When communism is wooing the workers in Csepel, all kinds of exaggerated promises are made if they seem likely to awaken men’s aspirations and their cupidity. These promises are couched in such simple terms and such effective symbols that they become immediate goals of the revolution.

Review briefly what communist agitators had once promised the Hungarians who appear in this book: consumer goods such as they had never known before, increased wages. increased social benefits, shorter hours of work, improved education for everyone, a greater social freedom, and a government directly responsible to the working classes. Under communism such promises were never even remotely capable of attainment.

[Our Emphasis]
If all of that sounds eerily familiar, it’s because that’s part of a very old song and dance that has deceived many a generation into enslaving themselves under socialism. Consider this recent story from the Associated Press:

Democrats lurch left on top policies as 2020 primary begins

NEW YORK (AP) — Democratic presidential contender Julian Castro launched his campaign by pledging support for “Medicare for All,” free universal preschool, a large public investment in renewable energy and two years of free college for all Americans.
….

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, who is expected to launch his presidential campaign soon, has sponsored legislation to create a federal jobs guarantee program in several communities across America.

The pilot program… could ultimately transform the U.S. labor market by providing well-paid government employment with benefits for anyone who wants it.

[Our Emphasis]

As Margaret Thatcher so aptly surmised, eventually they will run out of other people’s money. In our case in the states, that is already the situation given the enormous debt and unfunded liabilities reaching into the stratosphere of trillions of dollars. Of course, this hasn’t deterred committed collectivists such as Democratic mayor Bill de Blasio who recently stated that ‘There’s plenty of money in the world… It’s just in the wrong hands!’ Never mind that it is morally wrong to steal the property of others or that once a society turns down the dead-end of socialism there will always be more people wanting more money from those who have it.

Wealth redistribution scams will always wreck the economy. A socialist regime that nationalizes the economy can never function better than one of economic Liberty. Soon enough everything breaks down, the people see through the lies and the government has to start breaking heads. Thus it is imperative that they have previously confiscated the people’s guns and made it illegal to defend themselves.

The Takeaway

Socialistic schemes always run contrary to basic human nature. Rewarding someone for not working will always result in less work. Conversely, punishing someone for working will also result in less work.

This basic logic of human nature seems to be lost on Leftists. But perhaps it is not. They have to know their schemes have never and will never work. And yet they still try to impose them on everyone else. Perhaps they know of the epic fraud they are continually perpetrating on society, but they don’t care. That will be the subject of our next installment.


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Foreign Affairs

As Venezuela implodes, Trump administration recognizes Juan Guaidó as President

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As Venezuela implodes Trump administration recognizes Juan Guaid as President

The destruction of Venezuela by socialism and corruption is practically complete, but hope is on the horizon. A new President has been recognized by the United States, making Nicolas Maduro’s presidency nearly finished.

Juan Guaidó has been serving as the President of the National Assembly of Venezuela since earlier this month and assumed the role of interim President earlier today. The United States joins Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, and Puerto Rico in recognizing his claim as legitimate.

People have filled the streets of Caracas in an amazing display of solidarity against Maduro, who held an “inauguration” on January 11 despite clear indicators the May 2018 elections were rigged. Now, the streets of Caracas are full.

President Trump confirmed the move following multiple news outlets quoting White House officials.

Ironically, Guaidó’s rallying cry happens to be “Sí, se puede!”, Spanish for “Yes we can.”

My Take

This is the only viable move given the circumstances. As I posted on Facebook:

It may not be possible for Guaidó to turn around the failing nation without a lot of outside assistance, but one thing is certain: Maduro had zero chance of making anything better for his starving people.


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