Monday, April 30, 2018



Twenty-three month old Alfie Evans was held for nearly a week without care against the will of his parents in a Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool until he died yesterday. He could have been cared for in a Vatican hospital if the British authorities had let him go. The British authorities denied him care to avoid his or their suffering. The basic facts of the case are set forth by the BBC and by the Guardian.
Alfie struggled against a rare degenerative brain disease. Once taken off life support, Alfie was supposed to die immediately without life support. That’s what a British doctor testified in court back in February.
That isn’t quite the way it turned out. Alfie lived long enough to make himself an example. We have frequently commented on the immiseration of Venezuela as exemplary of the fate of socialism. The case of Alfie Evans in Britain’s National Health Service is exemplary and symbolic in its own way. That must be one reason why the British authorities refused to relent in their assertion of control over Alfie’s fate.
As for the symbolism, here are a few items as they occur to me. However obvious, I hope they may nevertheless be worth saying:
We have turned over vast swaths of our lives to the control of experts.
That’s the way the left wants it.
This is what what socialism and the administrative state are all about.
The “knowledge” of “experts” is frequently a pretense to assert control over our lives.
Individual rights lose their meaning under socialism and the administrative state.
Abuse of the right to life is “part and parcel of a health system dominated by the state rather than the individual or the family” (as James Freeman puts it).
With the loss of the right to life and property goes the right to liberty.
The Merseyside Police put it this way (per James Freeman and Mark Hemingway): “We’ve issued a statement this evening to make people aware that social media posts which are being posted in relation to Alder Hey and the Alfie Evans situation are being monitored and may be acted upon.”
The Catholic Church understands one of the principles at the heart of Alfie’s case. It therefore presented a striking contrast with the British authorities.

Brooks Suggests Republicans Are Retiring Because of Assassination Fears

Brooks Suggests Republicans Are Retiring Because of Assassination Fears

Pointed at the large number of GOP members on baseball team who are leaving Congress

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., speaks to reporters at the Republican baseball team's first practice of the year at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Virginia, on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks suggested in a radio interview that Republicans are retiring en masse because of assassination fears.
Brooks was speaking on “The Dale Jackson Show” about the first Republican practice the Congressional Baseball Game after last year’s shooting that left Majority Whip Steve Scalise severely injured.
“We have multiple rings of security, plainclothes, uniform, Capitol Police, other police,” he said. “There was a medical vehicle nearby just in case there was a copycat.”
But Brooks said while there were multiple factors that contributed to a slew of Republicans leaving the House, he suggested fears of violence was a major one.
“One of the things that’s concerning me is the assassination risk may become a factor,” he said.
Brooks referred to the fact many members of the Republican baseball team are retiring, including Sen. Jeff Flake and Reps. Ryan Costello, Pat Meehan, Dennis Ross and Tom Rooney.
“You have to wonder with that kind of disproportionate retirement number whether what happened in June played a factor,” he said.
Brooks also pointed to the fact that in the past month, a man pled guilty to threatening Arizona Rep. Martha McSally and three different people have been arrested for threatening Reps. Scott Taylor and Tom Garrett of Virginia and Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey.
“Notice a trend here?” he said. “I have a congressman who is a friend here who has a three-year old daughter whose daughter was threatened with murder.”
He also said the “socialist Bernie Sanders wing of society” was pushing for a revolution that would lead to Maoist level of violence.
“There are a growing number of leftists who believe the way to resolve this is not at the ballot box but through threats and sometimes through violence and assassinations,” he said.
When pressed about his suggestion, Brooks said it was a “possible” factor.
“I don't think any of these people who are retiring would say that, but just looking at the numbers,” he said. “That’s out of whack.”

REDACTED (DP: short must-read on the corrupt Clapper)


We have highlighted the revelation of the House Intelligence Committee report that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper leaked the Steele Dossier to Jake Tapper/CNN, lied about it to the committee, and then went on the CNN payroll to continue the anti-Trump hatefest. At the Weekly Standard, Eric Felten sketches out the ramifications of Clapper’s treachery. Based on his reading of the Comey memos, Felten speculates reasonably that it resulted in the appointment of the Special Counsel (i.e., the Mueller Switch Project).
Felten also discusses the redactions made to the report by the friends of the Democrats in the intelligence community. In one case identified by Felten the redactors removed the first name of Cody Shearer but not his last name. He impishly suggests they may have been inspired by Yossarian’s self-amusing censorship of letters home during his hospitalization at the opening of Joseph Heller’s Catch-22: “To break the monotony he invented games.” One day Yossarian blacked out everything in the letters but “aan and the.” It would have been like Yossarian to black out first names one day, but Yossarian’s creativity had its limits.
Yossarian had flown a lot of missions in combat as a bombardier World War II. Convinced that “they’re trying to kill me,” as he put it, Yossarian was in the hospital mostly faking it. Yossarian was faking it, but “they” were certainly trying to kill him. They’re trying to kill Trump’s presidency too.
Jake Tapper and CNN are of course protagonists in the Clapper story. Felten reports that he “reached out to CNN about whether Clapper spoke with Tapper. A CNN spokesperson says ‘We do not comment on sourcing.'” Felten adds drily: “Clapper is now an official ‘national security analyst’ for CNN.”
“Whether Clapper spoke with Tapper.” Whether snake spoke with Jake.
This morning I used the search engine on CNN’s site to check whether CNN had even reported this story starring Clapper. Searching Clapper’s name turns up Clapper’s appearances as a “national security analyst” but nothing on his role as a leaker, liar, and sleazebag.
UPDATE: Sean Davis comments via Twitter (below).

Sunday, April 29, 2018



This finding from today’s Rasmussen Reports is remarkable:
As Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation wears on and former FBI Director James Comey’s book drops more inside information about the 2016 election, more voters now think a special prosecutor should be assigned to investigate the FBI.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 54% of Likely U.S. Voters believe a special prosecutor should be named to investigate whether senior FBI officials handled the investigation of Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump in a legal and unbiased fashion, up from 49% who said the same in January.
A special counsel to investigate the FBI? Not long ago, that would have been unthinkable. But in Rasmussen’s survey, 46% of Democrats said they would like to see a special prosecutor for the FBI. That agency’s fall from grace has been stunning.


Neither of the two Obama-era intelligence chiefs turned Trump resisters — John Brennan nor James Clapper — is anyone’s idea of a luminary. Of the two, though, Clapper seems the more intelligent, the more clever, and thus the more dangerous.
Sean Davis’ report, cited by Scott earlier today, that Clapper leaked the anti-Trump dossier to CNN and then lied about demonstrates the point. Clapper testified before the House Intelligence Committee that he did not discuss the anti-Trump dossier compiled by Christopher Steele with journalists. His testimony to the Committee included this exchange:
MR. ROONEY: Did you discuss the dossier or any other intelligence related to Russia hacking of the 2016 election with journalists?
But Clapper changed his story after he was confronted specifically about his communications with Jake Tapper of CNN. According to the Committee’s report, “Clapper subsequently acknowledged discussing the ‘dossier with CNN journalist Jake Tapper,’ and admitted that he might have spoken with other journalists about the same topic.” The report continues, “Clapper’s discussion with Tapper took place in early January 2017, around the time IC leaders briefed President Obama and President-elect Trump, on ‘the Christopher Steele information.’”
Thus, Clapper is, indeed, a leaker and a liar.
He is also a consummate slimy operative. Davis explains why.
James Comey [note: also a leaker and a liar] wrote in one of four memos that he leaked that the briefing of Trump on salacious and unverified allegations from the dossier was necessary because “CNN had them and were looking for a news hook.”
But, of course, the briefing itself became that news hook. Moreover, according to Comey, it was Clapper who told him to brief Trump on the dossier.
Here, then, is how the caper went down (hat tip, John Sexton):
News outlets including CNN have the dossier and are looking for an excuse to run it (late 2016).
Clapper tells Comey to brief Trump on the dossier, supposedly to protect him from CNN and/or other outlets running the dossier (very early 2017).
Comey briefs Trump on just the salacious details (Jan. 6, 2017).
Shortly after the briefing he had ordered supposedly to protect the president from CNN and/or other outlets, Clapper leaks back to CNN that Trump and Obama have been briefed on the dossier.
CNN uses this as the news hook and publishes a story on the dossier (Jan. 10).
Buzzfeed dumps the entire dossier (Jan. 10).
Oh, and one more thing: CNN hired Clapper as an analyst in August 2017.
Jack Goldsmith wasn’t exaggerating when he wrote, “there is significant evidence that the deep state has used secretly collected information opportunistically and illegally to sabotage the president. . . .

Byron York: Is Comey telling the truth about his memos?

Byron York: Is Comey telling the truth about his memos?

As he presses on with his bookselling tour, fired FBI Director James Comey is leaving a trail of confusing statements about how he handled the memos he wrote after conversations with President Trump, including the memo he leaked for the purpose of creating momentum for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the president.

It has been generally understood that Comey, who says he wrote some of the seven memos on a secure FBI laptop and others on his personal computer at home, gave four of the memos to a friend, law professor Daniel Richman. Fox News reported the number of four memos back in July, 2017, and the Wall Street Journal reported it as recently as this month. "Mr. Comey gave four total memos to his friend Daniel Richman, a former federal prosecutor who is now a professor at Columbia Law School, people familiar with the matter said," the Journal reported on April 20.

In addition, the FBI has recently confirmed the four memos number to congressional committees, according to sources familiar with the matter.

But Wednesday night, during a town hall appearance on CNN , Comey suggested there was just one memo involved, and that he did not leak anything.

"You did leak memos," CNN's Anderson Cooper said to Comey. "Is it okay for somebody at the FBI to leak something — an internal document, even if it's not classified? Isn't that leaking?"

"There's a whole lot wrong with your question, Anderson," Comey responded. "First, I didn't leak memos. I asked a friend to communicate the substance of one unclassified memo. ... One unclassified memo to the media, and it was really important. I was a private citizen. I was not an FBI employee at that time."

After that semantic defense — he did not leak but instead "asked a friend to communicate the substance" of a memo to the press — Comey engaged in some creative accounting for the memos he gave Richman.

Comey explained that after his firing he sent one memo, which he claimed was unclassified, to Richman for the purpose of leaking to the New York Times. Again insisting that was not a leak — just a request to "communicate the substance" — Comey basically repeated the account he gave of events in his book, where he wrote that he "wanted [Richman] to share the substance of the memo — but not the memo itself — with a reporter."

The memo to which Comey referred was apparently the one he wrote after a Feb. 14, 2017, conversation with Trump in which the president expressed hope that Comey would drop the FBI's investigation into fired national security adviser Michael Flynn. "I hope you can let this go," Comey wrote that Trump said. The New York Times broke the story of the memos on May 16, 2017, with a story that included the quote — not just the substance but the exact quote — of Trump's words as Comey recalled them. (The Times also sourced the story to "two people who read the memo," suggesting that more eyes had seen the memo than Comey said.)

A few days before the Times' May 16, 2017, story, the paper also broke the story that Trump had asked Comey for loyalty during a Jan. 28, 2017, dinner meeting. That was the subject of Comey's classified memo from the same day, and the Times' sources were "associates" who had been told about the conversation by Comey.

On CNN, Comey expanded on why he does not believe that what he did qualifies as leaking. "I think of a leak as an unauthorized disclosure of classified information," he said. That is clearly at odds with the general understanding, one shared by Cooper in his questioning, that leaks can be of classified or unclassified information. For example, the Health and Human Services secretary might be preparing a controversial proposal on hospital funding, and an adversary inside the agency might secretly give a draft copy to the Washington Post. That's a leak, even though no classified information is involved.

But Comey insists he did not leak because the information in the memo he gave to Richman to leak was not classified. (There is some disagreement on whether that is true.) Comey also argued that giving the memo to Richman was not a leak because, "I was a private citizen — I was not an FBI employee at that time." FBI officials are not allowed to disclose confidential information, classified or not, simply because they leave the FBI.

But what about the one-memo-versus-four-memos question? On CNN, Comey explained that he gave one memo to Richman to leak . But later, he gave Richman four memos, including the one he gave Richman originally. But he only gave Richman one memo for the purpose of being leaked, and the rest he gave Richman after he, Comey, retained Richman as one of his personal lawyers.

"After I was fired I put together a legal team with three people, one of whom was Professor Dan Richmond at Columbia University," Comey told CNN. "After I had asked him to give this information to the media I separately gave my legal team four memos which were unclassified. They included the one that he had gotten to give the substance of it to give the New York Times."

So Comey gave Richman four memos, but only one at first, and then the other three later, and then as part of his "legal team." And none were leaked, although Comey authorized Richman to "communicate the substance" of one memo, although not the memo itself, to the press, although the memo ended up being quoted in the resulting news story.

Comey made some of the same arguments Thursday night in an interview with Fox News' Bret Baier. "I don't consider what I did with Mr. Richman a leak," Comey said. "I told him about an unclassified conversation with the president."

"That's a leak, isn't it?" Baier asked a bit later. "It's not," Comey responded.

On another occasion, Comey told Baier that he never considered his memos as part of an FBI file, or FBI work product. "I always thought of it as mine, like a diary," Comey said, suggesting it was therefore something he was free to give to Richman.

In all, it's a very complicated story, one in which Comey insists he did nothing wrong, no matter how it looks.

America Needs a Lot More of This Kind of 'White Hetero-Patriarchal Respectability'

(Getty Images)
“Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.” -- Amy Wax and Larry Alexander
The quote you just read comes from an excellent Jonah Goldberg column I read recently. It reminds me of Walter Williams’ formula to avoid poverty:
Avoiding long-term poverty is not rocket science. First, graduate from high school. Second, get married before you have children, and stay married. Third, work at any kind of job, even one that starts out paying the minimum wage. And, finally, avoid engaging in criminal behavior.
After seeing these quotes, most of the successful, responsible adults reading this are probably thinking, “That’s good advice. A little simple, but it’s the sort of thing parents used to tell their kids and it works.”
A coalition of students and alumni responded to the essay in predictable fashion. Wax and Alexander were peddling the “malignant logic of hetero-patriarchal, class-based, white supremacy that plagues our country today. These cultural values and logics are steeped in anti-blackness and white hetero-patriarchal respectability . . .”
 This is no longer unusual for the Left. The rich are evil and “aren’t paying their fair share.” Men are successful because of a “patriarchy.” Caucasians do well because of “white privilege.” Liberals can go on and on with all of this, but it reminds me of the black kids I used to work with in a group home who said that working hard on your school work is “acting white.”
Those kids? I don’t blame them for thinking that way because they were young, had problems, and we were doing our best to help straighten them out. What’s the excuse for a liberal college professor to push these sort of ignorant, damaging lies? Liberals think it helps them alienate black Americans from society, which they believe will help Democrats at the ballot box. It’s sick. It’s disgusting. It’s shameful.
Because let’s talk about what liberals are really doing with all of this. They are defining the basic formula for achieving the American dream, for staying off welfare, for not having 6 kids with 4 different men, for not getting shot by the police or ending up in jail, for the best way of getting what you want out of life -- they are defining all this as White Hetero-Patriarchal Respectability.” In other words, if you pay your bills, take care of your family, aren’t a junky, obey the law, and treat people around you decently, liberals think you’re “acting white.”
Here’s a crazy idea:  maybe we should encourage groups that are having problems to COPY what the successful groups are doing. People try to explain why some groups in America are doing better than others and sometimes those that are race-obsessed point to genetics while others that are race-obsessed in a different way point to racism, but it’s really all about culture.
It doesn’t matter what race, color, or gender you are; if you embrace what those liberals called “white hetero-patriarchal respectability” values, you are probably doing just fine. On the other hand, if you have kids outside of wedlock, refuse to work and live off welfare, are unpatriotic, treat other people poorly,  use drugs and commit crimes, it doesn’t matter what race, color, or gender you are.  You’re probably not doing all that well in life. When you apply those different attitudes across large numbers of people in different groups, you will see massive differences in outcomes even if every other factor is identical.
Government programs, tearing down Confederate statues, and yammering on about racism aren’t going to even things up because they don’t address the real problem. That’s actually a feature, not a bug, in some people’s book because it allows them to continue making a great living trying to turn every iffy minor incident into 1963 Birmingham, Alabama. Crying “racism” has turned into a very profitable business in America and as long as there is a profit to be made and attention to be gained, there will be people playing the race card.
On top of this, it’s always a lot easier to point the finger elsewhere than for any group to address its own issues. Nobody gets pats on the back for suggesting that black Americans as a group are mostly responsible for their own problems and they need cultural change to catch up with other groups. You can try to help; you can make a logical case; you can try to elevate people who put out a positive message; you can do outreach; you can stress how important it is to treat everyone as an individual and not discriminate against anyone because of his race -- but it’s still going to be 10 times easier for someone to come along and say, “None of this is your fault. You’re great as you are. Everyone else has to change.”
So, the people who look at a simple conventional formula for success and wail “White Hetero-Patriarchal Respectability” are winning. Unfortunately, the people they regularly smear and the people they claim to want to help are all losing because of that. If and when the race-baiters are ever put on the back burner and what those liberals call “White Hetero-Patriarchal Respectability” moves to the forefront for every group in America,  that’s when you will see black Americans as a whole make their biggest leap forward since the civil rights era.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Congressmen Call for Disclosure of U.S. Aid to Palestinian Terrorists

Congressmen Call for Disclosure of U.S. Aid to Palestinian Terrorists

Letter calls for suspension of aid to the Palestinians

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas / Getty Images
BY:   Members of Congress hope to compel the State Department to disclose the amount of U.S. aid money the Palestinian Authority has given to convicted terrorists and their families, according to a congressional communication viewed by the Free Beacon that calls for a complete freeze in U.S. aid to the Palestinian government.
Reps. David McKinley (R., W.V.) and John Ratcliffe (R., Texas) are circulating a letter to Republican offices urging them to join an effort to compel the State Department to detail the amount of taxpayer money that has been used by the Palestinian government to pay terrorists under a longstanding policy known as "pay to slay."
Following passage of the Taylor Force Act, which requires the Palestinian government to stop these payments or face a full cutoff in aid, the lawmakers are seeking to immediately freeze U.S. aid to the Palestinians until the State Department explains to lawmakers how it plans to enforce the new law.
The letter follows a recent Free Beacon report disclosing that the Palestinian Authority continues to spend U.S. aid dollars on terrorists. Palestinian officials have also made clear that they have no intention of following the new law and will continue to provide terrorists and their familiar with compensation.
"We urge you to immediately suspend all aid payments to the Palestinian Authority," the lawmakers write, according to a copy of the letter viewed by the Free Beacon. "Further, we urge you to make the cessation of this abhorrent practice that incentivizes terrorism a pre-condition for any U.S.-brokered peace talks between the sovereign state of Israel and the Palestinian Authority."
The lawmakers also demand the State Department outline in detail, "how many foreign aid dollars went to the PA that were then used to fund terrorists prior to passage of the Taylor Force Act?"
Lawmakers are additionally requesting information on what measures the administration is "planning to take to enforce the law and suspend aid to the PA, given the above statements and the content of their proposed budget?" according to the letter, which is addressed to secretary of state nominee Mike Pompeo.
The State Department is required to report to Congress this week on its implementation of the Taylor Force Act and explain what efforts it is taking to stop Palestinian payments to terrorists.
Asked about the state of play on Wednesday, a State Department official declined to provide information on the reporting requirement and further information showing the Palestinian government continues to provide salaries to terrorists.
Organizations tracking the Palestinian media recently disclosed that the PA is slated to spend at least eight percent of its 2018 budget on its so-called martyr's fund. That figure amounts to about $355 million, according to Palestinian Media Watch.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in a recent speech, outlined his intention to continue paying terrorists, a point highlighted by the lawmakers in their letter to Pompeo.
"There is something that the Americans are telling us to stop—the salaries of the martyrs and the martyrs' families," Abbas was quoted as saying. "Of course we categorically reject this. We will not under any circumstances allow anyone to harm the families of the prisoners, the wounded, and the martyrs. They are our children and they are our families. They honor us, and we will continue to pay them before the living."
The lawmakers go on to request the Trump administration require the Palestinians to abandon this  practice as a pre-condition for peace talks with Israel.
Other members of Congress are lining up behind the effort as well. 
"Congress took a bipartisan and resolute stance in the budget deal last month: We will not continue to provide aid to the Palestinian Authority if they use those funds to pay terrorists and their families. These evil individuals seek to harm the United States and our ally Israel," said McKinley. "We call on the State Department to cease aid payments to the Palestinian Authority until it can be confirmed that they have complied with this requirement."