Monday, August 13, 2018

Are Radical Leftist Ideas Gaining Traction With the Public at Large?


Hillary Clinton speaks to an audience as she promotes her new book "What Happened", Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017 in Toronto. (Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press via AP)
It seems the more radical the leftist idea is, the more the left wants to push it. It was bad enough that they wanted to push Obamacare, but now they want to ramp it up to eleven.
The problem, however, seems to be that a new poll claims a majority of Americans want these radical leftists ideas.
Last week, the group released  results from eligible-voter polling on a number of left-leaning policy ideas, which showed that majorities support “community job creation” for anyone who can’t find employment (54 percent), having the government produce generic life-saving drugs (51 percent), and the creation of a public internet utility for those without internet access (56 percent), a proposal currently being pushed by progressive Michigan gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed. Ending cash bail, a criminal justice reform issue taken up recently by both Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris, has plurality support among eligible voters at 46 percent.
Sounds terrifying, right?
Well, there are a few things to keep in mind about this poll. First, it's a poll. As we've seen in recent years, polling has become extraordinarily unreliable. After all, just how badly was Hillary Clinton going to stomp Donald Trump in November 2016? How did that pan out again?
Additionally, the wording of these question doesn't give the respondents of the polls much to work with. It's important to remember, for example, that there's a broad range of options between "kick a few bucks in to help spur job growth" and "massive government program to hand jobs to people digging holes and filling them back up again."

Consider this question: "Would you support or oppose the federal funding of community job creation for any person who can't find a job?" One can easily see how a whole host of ideas could pop up in people's heads after being asked this question.
In other words, this poll claims that people support this radical leftist agenda, but do they? Do they realize what's really being talked about here? When it comes to jobs, for example, the government has often provided incentives to spur people to create jobs. It's not difficult to see the question referring to something along those lines and answer accordingly.
Further, many of these ideas sound great the first time you hear them, but without debate, people know nothing about the pitfalls of these programs. They don't get how these jobs will be funded or how the government, the same government that botched a website rollout, will manage an internet service provider worth a damn.
"Thank you for calling technical support. All operators are busy. The current wait time is four years, eight months and four days. Please hold." You think the DMV is bad? Ugh.
In a poll with new ideas only vaguely explained, people will support a lot of things that they later won't support after debate has been heard.
Assuming, of course, the poll is remotely accurate, which is doubtful based on recent history.
Either way, it's highly unlikely that there's anything to worry about here. Instead, it's just leftists once again pretending their radical notions have a place in America and yelling to anyone who will listen that the sky is actually plaid.

ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, AIRHEAD

ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, AIRHEAD

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, girl socialist, may know what the Gini coefficient is, but she doesn’t know much else. The Washington Post fact checked a series of recent claims by Ocasio-Cortez and found all of them to be false.
Let’s look at each claim:
1. “Unemployment is low because everyone has two jobs. Unemployment is low because people are working 60, 70, 80 hours a week and can barely feed their family.”
Wrong. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that the percentage of people working two jobs has actually declined since the Great Recession. It hovers at around 5 percent these days. And the average hours worked per week for private employees has remained steady at just under 35 hours for years, says the Post.
2 “ICE is the only criminal investigative agency, the only enforcement agency in the United States, that has a bed quota. So ICE is required to fill 34,000 beds with detainees every single night and that number has only been increasing since 2009.”
Wrong. At one point, ICE had to have 34,000 beds available — ICE “shall maintain a level of not less than 34,000 detention beds through September 30, 2016” — but it was not required to fill them. Now the requirement even to have the beds does not exist.
3. “They [national Democrats] were campaigning most when we had more of an American middle class. This upper-middle class is probably more moderate but that upper-middle class does not exist anymore in America.”
Wrong. The upper-middle class has actually grown over the years. Indeed, a 2016 paperpublished by the Urban Institute showed that the upper-middle class has grown from 12.9 percent of the population in 1979 to 29.4 percent in 2014.
4. “In a Koch brothers-funded study — if any study’s going to try to be a little bit slanted, it would be one funded by the Koch brothers — it shows that Medicare for all is actually much more, is actually much cheaper than the current system that we pay right now.”
Wrong. The study showed that Medicare for all would raise government expenditures by between $32.6 trillion and $40 trillion over 10 years.
5. “The reason that the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act is because they ruled that each of these monthly payments that everyday American make is a tax. And so, while it may not seem like we pay that tax on April 15th, we pay it every single month or we do pay at tax season if we don’t buy, you know, these plans off of the exchange.”
Wrong. In the opinion by Chief Justice Roberts that Ocasio-Cortez has in mind, Obamacare was deemed to be an appropriate exercise of the government’s taxing power. But Roberts wasn’t referring to the monthly premium payments, but rather to the individual mandate to buy insurance — and the requirement to pay an annual penalty when filing a tax return if one did not buy health insurance.
Clearly, Ocasio-Cortez is a dope. Is she also a liar? I don’t know, but she sure has little regard for the truth.

CHILD RAPED BECAUSE “SANCTUARY” PHILADELPHIA RELEASED CRIMINAL ICE WANTED [WITH COMMENT BY JOHN]

CHILD RAPED BECAUSE “SANCTUARY” PHILADELPHIA RELEASED CRIMINAL ICE WANTED [WITH COMMENT BY JOHN]

Last night, Department of Homeland Security head Kirstjen Nielsen appeared on Sean Hannity’s program to discuss the outrageous story of a girl who was raped by an illegal immigrant released from prison instead of being held, as ICE had requested. Mike Brest of the Daily Caller reports on the interview, which I didn’t see.
Here’s what Hannity said:
Let me tell the audience about a case that we just found out about and this is out of the city of brotherly love, this is out of Philadelphia. Previously deported immigrant from Honduras raped a child after Philadelphia authorities ignored ICE detainers and released him, pled guilty to illegal entry. Anyway, it goes back to this particular man, Juan Ramon Vasquez, 45.
Then after local criminal charges against him were dropped, Philadelphia officials did not comply with a detainer by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He was released, after his release he was rearrested and convicted for the rape of a child, and unlawful sexual contact with a minor.
Nielsen responded:
It could have been prevented and it should have been prevented. We owe the American people better. I mean this is a perfect example of when jurisdictions decide not to cooperate with federal law enforcement. We put our communities at risk.
Philadelphia mayor James Kenney was captured on video dancing with an aide after a federal judge ruled in favor of the city’s sanctuary city policy, finding it reasonable and appropriate. I wonder whether this poor excuse for a mayor is still dancing after Vasquez committed rape. I wonder whether the victim and her parents think Kenney’s obscene policy is reasonable and appropriate.
Unfortunately, Democrats are driven by their long-term electoral strategy — maximize the number of illegal immigrants, enable most of them to become citizens (or otherwise vote), and ride their votes to electoral victories in order to make America a “democratic socialist” country. This strategy overrides whatever slight concern these politicians might have for public safety.
The Democrats’ long-term strategy has a fair chance of succeeding. However, it risks a major backlash, as we saw in the 2016 election.
Democrats shouldn’t assume that the disaffected folks who made the difference in electing Trump are the only category of voters who, in the future, might vote for Republican presidential candidates in reaction to lawlessness by once-and-future illegal immigrants, criminals released from jail too soon pursuant to “sentencing reform,” and a host of other pet Democratic projects that run counter to the interests of law abiding Americans. Demographics matter, but law and order matters too.
JOHN adds: Amen. I would add that those most likely to be hurt by the Democrats’ fecklessness when it comes to law enforcement are not the upper-class whites who run the Democratic Party. The Democrats could be in for a nasty shock when they learn how Hispanic and African-American citizens feel about crimes like rape and murder that are needlessly inflicted on them because of the Democrats’ political strategies.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

The War Against InfoWars and Free Speech

The War Against InfoWars and Free Speech

The War Against InfoWars and Free Speech
I never in my life thought I would be writing a post defending Alex Jones and InfoWars (no, I’m not linking to that vat of conspiritard slime – feel free to go find it yourselves). But here I am, defending their right to spew whatever foul sewage that happens to spill from their facial anuses, and I probably will need a shower in boiling Listerine to wash off the filth.
If you haven’t heard already, Facebook recently removed several InfoWars pages for violating their terms of service and posting what Facebook monkeys claim is “hate speech.” Apparently Jones and his merry band of psychos were posting negative stuff about everyone from trans*insert whatever here* to people of color.
And if you haven’t heard already, criticizing anything or anyone the left considers “marginalized” will immediately get you labeled a hater and tossed off your soapbox.
“Since then, more content from the same Pages has been reported to us — upon review, we have taken it down for glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies,” Facebook wrote in its blog post.
It’s not just Facebook. Apple and Spotify have both removed InfoWars content for violating their policies, leaving only one podcast available to their audiences.
“Podcasts that violate these guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer searchable or available for download or streaming,” an Apple spokesperson said. “We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions.”
To be sure, Alex Jones is an attention-whoring, fetid yambag and a bully who exploits others’ tragedies for profit. That foul pig and his tiny army of froth-flecked fuckwads wouldn’t exist without tragic events such as terror attacks and mass murders to latch on to like rabid leeches, and I doubt anyone, but the most flaming conspiritard assholes would disagree with that assessment.
Also, I will say up front – before any of you hop on my booty like Oprah on a baked ham: Facebook, Twitter, Apple, and any other private entity has the absolute right to ban any content they want at any time.
That said, we have a problem.
We have a problem with hypocrisy and with an uneven application of existing regulations to wage a war on those whose words we don’t like and whose actions we find abhorrent. We have a problem because when we take away the mike from repulsive assholes, we leave ourselves wide open to that same mike being ripped out of our hands when inevitably a sufficient number of grievance mongers finds our words offensive.
Make no mistake – Facebook, Twitter, and the like are controlled by the howling social justice zealots eager to ban anything with which they disagree and silence the voices of dissent, and their hypocrisy is deep and glaring.
As far as I can see, Facebook and the rest are engaging in exactly the type of behavior the left sought to prevent with their net neutrality push. Net neutrality advocates want internet service providers to be neutral conduits through which digital content flows. Net neutrality is important, the left claims, because people have limited options for internet service, and therefore the government must force providers to give equal time to all content – regardless of demand. Yeah, I hate net neutrality.
Because what if *GASP!* someone can’t access their statist wailing easily enough?
As much as the big-government leftists clamored for net neutrality, because dog forbid a (leftist) voice be silenced, it’s certainly instructive to see them not raise a peep in protest when the biggest and most powerful media platforms silence the voice of those with whom they disagree – even a repugnant creep such as Alex Jones.
Isn’t that limiting people’s access to information? Isn’t that what the left ardently opposed with its caterwauling about net neutrality? And yet, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc., which right now essentially have a monopoly on information, are only too happy to silence Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, and even rational, moderate conservative voices. Other platforms certainly exist out there, but they don’t have the resources to create a platform like the giants, and that’s not FAAAAAAIR!
*Takes off hypocritical leftist hat*
Oh, I get it! It’s only limiting access to information that the left hates, so it’s OK!
If you’re going to advocate government control over the flow of information, such as net neutrality, you’d better start applying these standards to your own business practices, which Facebook, Twitter, and the others do not – no matter how much they protest to the contrary.
They are, indeed using the largest, most powerful media platforms in the world to silence and marginalize voices with which they do not agree. And even though the FCC’s equal-time rules apply to broadcast outlets because the airwaves have somehow become “public” infrastructure, it can certainly be argued that if the left claims the Internet is a public resource, much like the airwaves are, those rules should apply to Facebook, Twitter and the rest.
The equal-time rule was created because the FCC was concerned that broadcast stations could easily manipulate the outcome of elections by presenting just one point of view, and excluding other candidates.
If the left doesn’t think that social media outlets influence the outcome of elections, then why are they so ass-achingly butthurt about the Russians mucking about on the platforms, spreading their disinformation, and supposedly influencing our elections? Shouldn’t they scream loudly when opposition voices are silenced?
I guess it’s only a problem if they perceive their ox being gored.
As Stephen Green astutely observed, this is, indeed, a culture war. Those with the power to influence the flow of information are – for the most part – leftists and they have waged a war on the ability of their political opponents to communicate their message.
But truly egregious offenders are a relatively small group, and by forcing those of us – even flaming buttplugs like Alex Jones and InfoWars – into the same camp of those whose voices are silenced, they’re multiplying our numbers and our strength.
I get the feeling they’re not going to like the outcome.

Purity Spirals Into Evil

Purity Spirals Into Evil
 by Thales |Culture War, Islam, Philosophy, Power, SJWs | 23 comments
Today, I wish to discuss something that’s been on my mind off and on for a very long time. Pardon me if I stumble around it, for sometimes it is difficult to put a concept into words. I’ve discussed it on The Declination on more than one occasion, though perhaps clumsily. Nonetheless, I suspect it will be of vital importance in the days to come.

Leftists often compare Rightists to Nazis. It’s beyond cliche, these days. It is tiresome and it hinges on the most flimsy of rationalizations. Yet it begs the question: how do you know if you are becoming a tyrant? How do you know if your ideology has slid into evil?

Surely, even Nazis were once children, cared for and loved by someone. No doubt their parents had hopes for at least some of them. Dreams for them. As Tolkien explained for us in The Lord of the Rings,nothing is evil in the beginning. Not even Sauron himself. So how did they become evil? What led them there?

If you analyze tyrannical ideologies and the sort of mass mob insanity behind them, you will see a common thread: purity. Nazis obsessed over purity of race. Stalinists obsessed over purity of political beliefs. Jihadists obsess over purity of religious belief. But purity is always there. And purity can twist good into evil, or render a lesser evil into a far greater evil.

What is purity? The dictionary tells us that it is “freedom from adulteration or contamination.” For our purposes, we may use the synonym ‘perfection’ with some utility. The point of purity is to identify impurities and eradicate them. The Nazi will eradicate the racially impure, the Communist will eradicate the impure Capitalists, and so on.

The utility of quests for purity to a tyrant should be obvious. For what is more impure than man? A quest for purity is carte blanche for never ending power over others. Progressivism itself admits this even in the content of its own name. Progress toward what? Purity. Progress toward the perfectsociety, in which poverty, disease, war, and a thousand other such ills have been eradicated.

Never will you hear the Progressive say “this is good enough, we can stop now.” For them, there is always a new impurity to eradicate. The movement is like the terminator of movie fame:

Kyle Reese: Listen, and understand. That terminator is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

Social Justice is like the terminator in other ways, too. It cloaks itself as one of us. It wears the skin of our institutions in an effort to disguise itself. But always, its mission is to eradicate us. We are the impure. We cannot be permitted to exist.

And when a round of impure are disposed of, new impure are found. Today, it is Rightists. Tomorrow, Centrists. The day after that, Trotskyite Leftists. The terminator never stops. Ever-greater demands of purity are made. Like the Third Reich, the gas chambers never stop. The ash falls from the skies, forever. At least until someone puts a stop to it all at gunpoint.

Purity spirals work so well because fault can alwaysbe found with man. Every single human being in the history of our species, save one, has done wrong; has sinned. We all deserve death. That is a fundamental tenet of Christianity. It is also true even if you are the most ardent of atheists. Man is imperfect. And so it will ever be.

Yet, is it the SJW’s responsibility to act as the judge, jury, and executioner? Shall the Nazi do it? Shall the Stalinist? The Jihadist? Not only is there no one among us who could ever make demands of purity upon us, these cretins are the worst of the worst, the most evil among us. And it is they who always lead the charge to purity. The nuts are running the nuthouse.

Rationalizations always exist for why we are bad people. Why we should be punished, why we should give up everything, why we shouldn’t even exist. ALWAYS. Here we are, in America, the most prosperous nation to have ever existed in the history of our species. This is a place where starvation is virtually unknown. Where even the poorest among us possess wonders. And yet our debate constantly shifts toward America as an unjust nation that loves reducing its citizens to poverty, as if we were like Somalia or Haiti. Similar arguments are made for racism, sexism, homophobia, etc…

There are some poor people in America (though they do better here than in most places), thus we are impure. And in the minds of the purity-seekers, this means there is no fundamental differencebetween us and Haiti. Disagree? You want to push granny off a cliff, you Nazi! Ironic, I think, that the Left names us the Nazis when the modern purity-seekers are almost invariably Leftists.

Purity spirals are how evil manifests itself in its most concentrated human form. It is where humans go collectively insane, where they can rationalize the most hateful and destructive things. When the SJW says that you are a racist for X, he is almost always saying you are impure. They even police their own, thusly. They are always on the lookout for manifestations of impurity even among their own. They are political cannibals, as purists necessarily must be.

Had the Third Reich been permitted to continue, it would have invariably turned its genocidal hatred upon its own, sooner or later. Indeed, we saw signs of this even during its short life. Just as the Soviet Communists ate their own, and the Maoists, and the Jihadists killing other Muslims… this is always how it goes.

The terrifying aspect of it is that before purity-seekers consume themselves in an orgy of hatred and death, they bring us down with them. At least, if they are not stopped first.
That’s what our conflict is all about, underneath it all. Purity, and those who use purity as an excuse for tyranny. Far from being the good guys, they are the most evil among us (though we all have at least some evil in us). Far from being those who will usher in an age of peace, love, and tolerance, they are those who will usher in an age of death, war, hatred, and intolerance.

It is always this way with them. When they call you a Nazi, remember that though they have little or no political connection with them, their underlying drive for purity means that, of all modern political ideologies, they (and perhaps the Jihadists) most closely resemble the behavior patterns of Nazis. For all of them are, like the Nazis and Stalinists before them, seekers of power through purity spirals.

http://thedeclination.com/purity-spirals/

Here’s how Trump could pull off another election surprise

Here’s how Trump could pull off another election surprise 
BY ANDREW MALCOLM Special to McClatchy

Perhaps you thought America’s politicians might take off much of August, given the heat, vacations and the fact that so many of us aren’t paying much attention anymore, so bad is the odor of bitter partisan turmoil.  
Uh, no. Campaign days are a precious commodity, not unlike vacant rooms in the hotel business. Once the day (or night) is over, there’s no making it up.
In the last week, an energetic 72-year-old President Donald Trump, who isn’t on any ballot Nov. 6, has been out campaigning three times with many more to come, mainly in contested races that will decide control of the House. He’s had a pretty good record of endorsement success in recent primaries.
   
But Democrats, energized by the same polarizing figure, need pick up only 23 seats to hand the House Speaker’s gavel back to 78-year-old Nancy Pelosi or a younger challenger come January.

Even Barack Obama, who as president disdained involvement in lowly House contests, is back in. He issued a list of fairly predictable endorsements, carefully dodging some key contests that would plop him in the middle of Democrats’ simmering civil war over sane politics or socialism.
That profound fracture between far left and establishment liberals is much like the angry tea party movement that split Republicans starting in 2009 and still flares into factional feuds via House Republicans’ Freedom Caucus.
Watch for the Democratic split to deepen and widen as the party’s 2020 presidential wannabes, likely an even larger field than the 17 contenders Republicans struggled with in 2016, begin their public maneuvering later this fall.
Democrats talk about their big tent enfolding many species of liberal. They all agree Trump must go. The internal wounds will come when their primary debates stray into policy areas stretching far beyond standard liberal orthodoxy.

Kristin Roberts, Executive Editor of McClatchy's Washington Bureau, describes McClatchy's ambitious multi-platform approach to covering the 2018 midterm elections across the country. By Nicole L. Cvetnic, Patrick Gleason and Chris Farris / McClatchy
For instance, the recent upset House primary winner in the Bronx/Queens wants to end capitalism. The party’s deputy chair wants to ban all political donations and says that national borders create “injustice.”
More realistically, what about abolishing ICE and leaving the border unguarded? How will that play in the frustrated traditional Democratic districts across the Heartland where Trump unexpectedly triumphed? Democratic members and their leadership are dangerously concentrated on the coasts and in the geriatric set.
Trump knows well what’s at stake — and the odds against him. Ambitious committee chairmen in a Democratic House could block his legislative agenda. That would provide a priceless obstructionist foil for Trump’s 2020 reelection. But those same chairmen with subpoena powers could also ignite countless investigations, even impeachment.
Here’s the electoral reality for Trump: The midterm electorate is usually about a third smaller than in presidential elections and usually packed by people with a gripe.
Reality No. 2: The president’s party has lost House seats in 18 of the last 20 midterm elections, with an average loss of 33 House seats.
It takes a large special event to change that. In 1998, Bill Clinton’s Democrats gained five House seats when the GOP overstepped with impeachment. In 2002, George W. Bush’s GOP gained six seats in the 9/11 aftermath.
In 2006, Republicans lost 30 seats and House control. In 2010, Obama’s Democrats suffered a historic 63-seat loss after the forced passage of Obamacare and a fizzled jobs stimulus package, and another 13 seats were gone in 2014.
Absent some major news event like, oh, say, a damning special counsel report, what can Trump do in the next 13 weeks to at least mitigate GOP losses? First of all, will Trump’s so-far loyal base show up when his name is absent? Obama’s never did.
Trump is solid with about nine of 10 Republicans. But those 2016 voters who handed him the electoral votes from Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, for instance, are not Republicans.

Standard Democrats seem unlikely converts. Which leaves those crucial swing independents. Right now, they’re unsure about him and his behavior with reason.
Thanks to the large tax cuts and regulation-slashing, among other things, Trump has a golden argument to make. In fact, Gallup recently found Americans’ satisfaction with the country’s direction at a 12-year high.
As Trump promised, the desultory economy that limped along during the Obama reign of error is now expanding beautifully, at a 4.1 percent annualized rate at last report.
Business investments and consumer spending are up. Millions of jobs have blossomed. Unemployment has dropped to 3.9 percent, even more sharply for blacks and Hispanics, another Trump promise kept.
The president talks about these impressive achievements often. “We’ve really produced,” he said in Ohio the other day. “The economy is booming.”
A strong economy touches virtually every home. So, why don’t Americans credit the president? One reason is Trump himself. Through abrupt firings, outrageous statements or tweets, this president routinely muddies his own messages.
Many self-important media members are only too happy to write about any controversy instead of boring good news that might help the man who calls their life’s work “fake news.” In effect, Trump asks for it.
There’s still sufficient time. If Trump had the self-discipline to tell Trump to stay on one message, dump the hyperbolic false claims and needless, distracting attacks on others, he could attract many independents seeking someone more presidential. And become a more powerful president, while remaining true to the Trump that Trump and his base love.
Few think he can. But then few thought he could be elected either.
A famous American once said, “It’s very easy to be presidential.”
That famous American was Donald Trump. So, let’s see some of it.

https://www.mcclatchydc.com/opinion/article216217525.html

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Why it’s time for Trump to play his ace in the hole

Why it’s time for Trump to play his ace in the hole


You return from a great vacation and POW — reality hits like a punch in the nose. And that’s not counting the hassle of New York airports and traffic.
The pain begins when you remember that the hapless Jeff Sessions is still the attorney general of the United States. It sharpens with the realization that Rod Rosenstein, officially Sessions’ deputy but really the boss of the Justice Department and FBI, continues to get away with the biggest partisan heist of modern times.
Rosenstein is guilty of three main sins. One, he gives his spawn, special counsel Robert Mueller, virtually unlimited time, scope and budget to target anybody who worked for President Trump’s campaign or administration. As the ongoing trial of Paul Manafortillustrates, the tactic involves throwing the kitchen sink of charges with the aim of terrifying defendants so they will be more inclined to spill any possible beans on Trump in exchange for leniency.
The zealous approach — and exorbitant legal fees involved for defendants or witnesses — serve as deterrents for anyone who might consider public service. And although there is still no indication the president did anything wrong, the search for a crime to pin on him creates a cloud over everything he does and could influence the midterm elections.
Rosenstein’s second sin is his arrogant stiff-arming of congressional attempts to ferret out the facts about how the Trump probe actually started. It is a national disgrace that, 19 months after the president took the oath, the public is kept in the dark about the most basic things, including whether the FBI had any credible allegations about collusion, or whether it relied exclusively on the Hillary Clinton-financed Russian Dossier to get a surveillance warrant against Trump associate Carter Page.
We also don’t know how much money the FBI itself paid Christopher Steele, the former British spy who compiled the dossier, and why the agency continued to use Steele as a source after it fired him for leaking to the media.
Nor do we know why the FBI sent at least one spy — and maybe two — to snoop on the Trump campaign. Then there is the tsunami of leaks coming from law enforcement and intelligence agencies that were clearly designed first to defeat Trump, then to undermine him.
All these events are unprecedented, yet Rosenstein continues to thwart all efforts to explain them or hold anyone accountable. His imperious refusal suggests he sees himself and the Justice Department as above the laws it enforces on all other Americans.
Which brings us to his third sin — his complete lack of interest in the suspect handling of the Clinton email investigation. The numerous examples of misconduct and deviations from rules detailed in the inspector general report came and went as if they never happened.
That suggests it is the position of the Trump Justice Department that, despite all the agent bias, misconduct and unanswered questions, the decision not to prosecute Clinton is final and the case will not be reopened or even seriously reviewed.
The excessive secrecy and hyper-partisan taint have come at a huge cost in credibility, with a broad public perception that the FBI was guilty of bias in both the Clinton and Trump probes. A combined 62 percent of Americans believe the FBI wasn’t a straight shooter in the Clinton case, with 38 percent thinking the agency tried to help her, according to a Hill.TV poll, while 24 percent think the bias hurt Clinton.
Similarly, 59 percent saw FBI bias in the Trump investigation, with 38 percent believing the bureau worked against Trump, while 21 percent said it worked in his favor, according to the survey.
Leaving aside the polarization, the shared distrust of the­ nation’s ­premier law enforcement agency is the legacy of Barack Obama’s presidency and James Comey’s corrupt leadership. Unless Sessions and Rosenstein reverse course promptly, that distrust will keep growing and be their legacy as well.
Fortunately, there is one card left to play. It is Trump’s ace in the hole, and now is the time to put it on the table.
As I and others have noted, a president has almost unlimited powers to declassify any document within the executive branch. It is a mystery why Trump has hesitated to use that power, especially because he rails so frequently about the unfairness of both probes.
He could, in an instant, strike a blow for accountability and transparency by ordering the Justice Department to give Congress everything it wants, subject to very limited restrictions.
Embarrassment does not qualify as a reason for withholding information.
Almost certainly, the bias against Trump and in favor of Clinton would be glaring if the document troves were exposed to the disinfectant of sunshine. That would make the move a political bonus for Trump.
Even more important, it would set a dramatic precedent for a more open government, something Trump promised to deliver. Secrecy is an important part of the deep state’s permanent power and, when invoked to extremes by law enforcement, veers toward a police state. Trump should make sure he is its last victim.
Throw open the doors, Mr. President, and turn history’s page toward openness. Today would be a great day to start.