Thursday, March 23, 2017

Time to Investigate Obama, not Just Trump


March 22, 2017

Devin Nunes, Adam Schiff
In this March 15, 2017 file photo, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Re.Devin Nunes, R-Calif., right, accompanied by the committee's ranking member, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. . (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) J. Scott Applewhite AP

House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff is in high dudgeon over the bad form of House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes in reporting his bombshell -- that the chairman had been shown actual surveillance (not involving Russia) of the Trump transition team and possibly of the then president-elect himself -- to President Trump before he presented the evidence to the committee.

Bad form, quite possibly.  But so what?

The facts are what they are.

What appears at this writing is that Trump transition team members and possibly Trump himself had their identities revealed, were  "unmasked" in the parlance, while foreign diplomats were being surveilled. The identities of American citizens were not sufficiently "minimized," as they are required to be by law. This is a crime one would assume would put the perpetrators in prison.  So far it hasn't. More than that, such behavior is a grave threat to a free society, to all of us.

In effect, Trump was wiretapped -- if not in the corny, old sense of the word, something very close. Technologically, he was wiretapped, as were several (actually many)  others.
A fair amount of this happened not long before Barack Obama suddenly changed the rules regarding raw intelligence, for the first time ever allowing the NSA to share its data with 16 other intelligence agencies, thus making the dissemination of said data (i. e. leaking) many times more likely.  That was done on January 12, 2017, just three scant days before Trump's inauguration.  Why did the then president finally decide to make that particular change at that extremely late date, rather than on one of the previous seven years and three hundred fifty-three days of his presidency?  You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes or Watson to smell a rat.  Something's rotten somewhere -- and it's not Denmark.

Whether Barack Obama ordered the surveillance of Donald Trump during the transition is not the question.  He would never have had to. In fact, he would have been highly unlikely to have done so for obvious legal and practical/political reasons.  Instead, supporters of the then president in a position to authorize or activate such surveillance would normally know or assume his wishes anyway without having to be told and could act accordingly.
That is the way of the world since there was a world.

The operative question is whether these recorded conversations then ever wound up on Obama's desk or whether he knew about them in some other manner... and, if so, when. If the worst is true, it is a scandal that makes Watergate seem like a child's prank.  Even Watergate's own Bob Woodward seemed to acknowledge as much on The O'Reilly Factor on Wednesday night.

This is why any legitimate investigation by a congressional committee or anyone else must encompass both Obama and Trump.  This is a two-part story.  If both parties are not investigated -- they cannot be separated -- this is no more than a partisan show.  Further, the press cannot even faintly be trusted to investigate or adjudicate this matter.  Their bias is so overwhelming it would sink the Titanic twice.

Although I have more confidence in Trump (whose errors usually seem those of braggadocio) than I  do in Obama (who -- from the evidence of Obamacare and the Iran deal alone -- seems to have been capable of the most consequential prevarications), the issues inherent in this situation are bigger than the pluses and minuses of either man.  We have reached a point in our history when there appears to be no privacy for anyone at any level of society, nor organizations, such as the FBI, that can be relied upon.

Meanwhile, this situation keeps exploding. A letter just published online alleges that not only Donald Trump has been been bugged, but the chief justice of the Supreme Court. It also avers our intelligence agencies have been engaged in systematic illegal surveillance of prominent Americans for years while lying to us consistently. But the subject of the letter, who claims to have left his contractor job at the NSA and the CIA with "47 hard drives and over 600 million pages" (of classified information), is himself accused of fraud.   So I take no stand.
Nevertheless, something must be done about this privacy problem from top to bottom if we are to have decent lives as citizens and have a democratic republic in any way similar to what the Founders conceived.  How this can be accomplished in the present atmosphere is, to say the least, unclear.  The hatred of Trump by the media and the Democrats is so profound that rational discussion seems close to impossible. But we are headed toward being a society devoid of trust, if we don't try.  I made my little attempt at comity.  Originally this article was titled "Time to Investigate Obama, not Trump."  I add the "Just" -- for fairness.

Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media.  His latest book is I Know Best:  How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If  It Hasn't Already. Follow him on Twitter @rogerlsimon.

WE HAVE NOW HIT FULL-ON CRAZY


By Ann Coulter
http://www.anncoulter.com/
March 22, 2017




Hours before it was to take effect President Donald Trump's revised travel ban was put on hold by U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Honolulu. (George Lee/The Star-Advertiser via AP)

Liberals are ecstatic that a judge in Hawaii is writing immigration policy for the entire country, and that policy is: We have no right to tell anyone that he can't live in America. (Unless they're Christians -- those guys we can keep out.) 

As subtly alluded to in the subtitle of Adios, America: The Left's Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole, the goal of liberals is for the poor of the world to have a constitutional right to come here whenever they want. 

I can't help but notice that the Third Worlders aren't moving to liberals' neighborhoods. 

After nearly 1 million Rwandans were murdered by other Rwandans in 1994, our government asked itself: Why not bring more of this fascinating Rwandan culture to America? Ten thousand of them poured in. So far, nearly 400 have been convicted in the United States of lying on visa applications about their role in the genocide. 

And that's why we have to tighten our belt, America! Massive international investigations don't come cheap. 

Almost every immigration case is a con, something we find out every time there's a San Bernardino shooting and half the family turns out to have scammed our immigration officials. One hundred percent of the "humanitarian" cases are frauds. 

Earlier this month, Rwanda's Gervais Ngombwa was convicted for lying on his immigration application by claiming to have been a victim of the 1994 genocide. In fact, he was a well-known perpetrator -- even featured in Rwandan newspaper articles as a leader of the genocide.

For most of the last two decades, Ngombwa has been living in Iowa with his wife and eight children in a house built by Habitat for Humanity -- because no Americans need houses. He came to the authorities' attention a couple years ago by setting that house on fire after a domestic dispute, then filing a fraudulent $75,000 insurance claim. 

Another Rwandan genocidalist living in America was featured in Adios, America: Beatrice Munyenyezi, granted refugee status as an alleged victim of the genocide, even though she, too, had helped orchestrate it. 

Munyenyezi was living safely in Kenya when she applied for a refugee visa to America. The welfare is way better here. And, luckily for us, she had a "chronic medical condition" that required constant attention from a New Hampshire hospital. 

Hesham Mohamed Hadayet arrived in the U.S. on a tourist visa, then immediately applied for "asylum" on the grounds that he was persecuted in Egypt -- for being a member of an Islamic terrorist group. 

Being a member of a noted terrorist group cannot be used to block you from coming to America, thanks to Barney Frank's 1989 amendment to the Immigration and Naturalization Act, because liberals love this country so very, very much. Being a talented neurosurgeon from Switzerland, however, is disqualifying. 

Hadayet's refugee application wasn't denied until he'd already been living here for three years. When he was called in for a visa overstay hearing, he didn't show up, and the INS didn't bother looking for him. After allowing Hadayet to mill about America for another year, our government granted him permanent residency and a work permit. 

On the Fourth of July following the 9/11 attack, Hadayet shot up the El Al ticket counter at the Los Angeles International Airport. I guess the Egyptians were right! 

As bodies were being cleared away from the ticket counter, including Hadayet's, his wife blamed America for the attack, denying her husband had anything to do with it. "He is a victim of injustice," she explained. "In America, they hate Islam and Arabs after Sept. 11.” 

At least immigrants are grateful. 

Immigration bureaucrats are so determined to transform America without anyone seeing what they're doing that the INS initially refused to release Hadayet's file to congressional investigators, in order to protect his "privacy.” 

Of course, anybody could miss Egypt's designating someone a terrorist. And maybe the INS's test for Rwandan "refugees" is: Would this person be able to convince Rolling Stone magazine that "Haven Monahan" raped her? 

How about Rasmea Yousef Odeh? She waltzed into America after having been convicted and imprisoned in Israel for a supermarket bombing that left two Hebrew University students dead, and also for the attempted bombing of the British consulate in Israel. 

She was released in a prisoner exchange -- whereupon Odeh made a beeline for the U.S. 

True, Odeh wasn't subjected to the Inquisition-like vetting accorded the humanitarian cases, like the Boston Marathon bombers (we werewarned by Russia), Hadayet (we were warned by Egypt) or the Blind Sheik (same). 

But how did our immigration authorities miss a CONVICTION FOR BOMBING IN ISRAEL? 

Apart from the terrorism, welfare and fraud, what great things did any of them do for our country? 

Ngombwa was a custodian at the Cedar Rapids Community School District in Iowa, a job that, evidently, no American would do. Munyenyezi had a job as an advocate for refugees -- just one of the many jobs being created by immigrants. Hadayet ran a failing limousine company and was $10,000 in debt. Odeh was an unemployed waitress and a Palestinian grievance activist. Recently, she's been heavily involved in anti-Trump, anti-white male protests, because who doesn't like incessant Third World unrest? 

In 1960, 75 percent of the foreign-born in America were from Europe. Today only about 10 percent are. More than a third of all post–Teddy Kennedy act immigrants -- not just the wretched humanitarian cases -- don't even have a high school diploma

What is the affirmative case for this? How is it making America better? Improving the schools? The job market? Crime? The likelihood of terrorism? 

Can the liberals doing cartwheels over a district judge's announcement that everyone in the world has a right to come here (except Europeans and Christians), give us the cost-benefit analysis they're using? Twenty million Third World immigrants give us ( __ ) terrorists, ( __ ) welfare recipients, ( __ ) uncompensated medical costs, ( __ ) discrimination lawsuits, but it's all worth it because ( _________________ )? 

COPYRIGHT 2017 ANN COULTER 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Remembering Jimmy Breslin, old-school genius and voice of New York


By Mike Lupica
http://www.nydailynews.com/
March 19, 2017

Image result for jimmy breslin daily news

You could walk down the hall from the sports department in those years at the Daily News, and there was Jimmy Breslin in one office and Pete Hamill in the other, and all this cigar smoke and cigarette smoke in between them, and genius, and all the magic that made all of us want to write for newspapers in the first place. The soundtrack, always, was the glorious sound of their typewriters.

“If you don’t blow your horn,” Jimmy liked to say, “there is no music.”


But Jimmy Breslin never required self-promotion, as much as he liked to proclaim himself “JB, Number One” in his sidewalk voice, with all his big-city swagger and brio. All you ever needed to do was read him, really from the time he got a column at the old New York Herald Tribune and changed the business forever with the force of his talent and reporting and humor; and his ability, as he once told me, in as reflective a moment as I can remember from him, as he tried to describe what it was he did, to find “eloquence in simplicity.”
There was never anyone like him. There will never be anyone like him, now that he is gone at 88.
“You know, it’s just an honor for me to do this,” Clifton Pollard told Breslin at the end of the most famous newspaper column ever written, the one about Pollard digging the grave for President John F. Kennedy in November of 1963, one now taught in journalism schools.
But the true honor, always, was reading Breslin, at the Herald Tribune and at The News and New York Newsday, and in all his books, starting with his first big one, “Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?”
When they finally got around to awarding him the Pulitzer Prize, it was because Breslin, more than anyone else at that point in America, had finally put names and faces to AIDS patients. More importantly, he did something else: Jimmy gave them a voice. His.
There has never been a voice quite like it in newspapers. It was splendidly his own. He was the poet of his city who climbed stairs and knocked on doors and found ways to take the biggest stories and tell them through such as Clifton Pollard; who could tell you with one sentence about the true meaning of a single tragic death in New York, as if he had delivered a white paper on crime with these six words:
“Dies the victim, dies the city.”
But Jimmy Breslin was more than just New York, as much as he was New York. He went to London when Churchill was dying and to Vietnam and to Selma, where he wrote from marches and from churches and made you feel as if you were there. As brilliant as the column on Clifton Pollard is, go back today and read “A Death in Emergency Room One,” about a doctor named Malcolm Perry treating John Kennedy when Kennedy was first brought to the Dallas hospital that day.
Here are just a few paragraphs of that, in the business that Hamill has always described as “history in a hurry”:
“John Kennedy had already been stripped of his jacket, shirt, and T-shirt, and a staff doctor was starting to place a tube called an endotracht down the throat. Oxygen would be forced down the endotracht. Breathing was the first thing to attack. The president was not breathing.
“Malcolm Perry unbuttoned his dark blue glen-plaid jacket and threw it onto the floor. He held out his hands while the nurse helped him put on gloves.
“The president, Perry thought. He’s bigger than I thought he was.”
I knew Jimmy Breslin from the time I was 20 years old. I can say that he made me want to do this kind of work for a living and all that does is put me in a club about as small as the U.S. Marine Corps. But he did. I met him in Cambridge, Mass., when I was at Boston College, at the home of my friend Michael Daly’s father. His old boss James Bellows was running the Washington Star, and needed a young columnist. But I didn’t want to go to Washington. I wanted to go to New York. Breslin and Hamill were there.
Then I was working with him at the Daily News, on 42nd St., between Second and Third, past the giant globe in the lobby, the one you saw in the “Superman” movies, and then up to the seventh floor. Suddenly everything I’d ever wanted to be was just down that hall.
“I thought he would just go on and on forever,” Pete Hamill said on Sunday morning after he got the news. And Jimmy’s widow, Ronnie Eldridge, a former member of the City Council and a New Yorker of the highest rank herself, said, “He was a presence, wasn’t he?”
In his last years, he was still writing away. You’d call him on the telephone and ask what he was doing and he’d yell, “Working!” If he called you, the conversation, on his end, would always begin the same way:
“Yeah.”
And so often it would end with this:
“I’m here.”
He was Jimmy Breslin, who wrote hilarious books about the Mets, and the mob, but who knew such pain in his own life; who buried his first wife, Rosemary, and a daughter named Rosemary, a wonderful writer herself, and his other daughter Kelly. Somehow he kept going and kept coming. They chased him out of Crown Heights one night when things were bad there. Still he kept coming. And kept writing, even in the late rounds.
“It is a day,” Pete Hamill said, “to both mourn and celebrate.”
The columns come rushing out of the past on this day, out of memory: A column he wrote once about the great opera singer Marian Anderson, and her farewell concert, and a note running around Carnegie Hall that let everybody know who was singing.
The night he wrote about his dear friend Mario Cuomo’s keynote address at the Democratic Convention in 1984, and Cuomo reaching out to the country with his ballplayer’s hands. And the magnificent column he wrote, on deadline, through the eyes of cops, about the night John Lennon died.
A lifetime of work like that, from the sidewalk up. A voice, silenced now, that is as famous, and as much his own, as any his city has ever produced. So go back and read him today. Celebrate that way, with a book or an old column. It is the best way to honor the great Jimmy Breslin. The only way. Yeah. He was here.

Jimmy Breslin, RIP


The last of a breed of great newspapermen has left us.
March 20, 2017

Image result for jimmy breslin daily news
Jimmy Breslin of the New York Daily News who won a Pulitzer prize, speaks to reporters in the news room at the Daily News building, April 17, 1986.(Mario Cabrera/AP)


The newspaper column has joined the phone booth, the hotel room key, and carbon paper as an item of unplanned obsolescence. One of its final practitioners, Jimmy Breslin, died last week of pneumonia at the age of 88. To the end, he remained deliberately out of style, rumpled in wardrobe, aggressive in delivery, an ever-ready raconteur, deflator of pretensions, and defender of the working stiff.
The Bronx Bombers were not for this Queens-born boy: the Mets, he proclaimed, are “the team for the cab driver who gets held up and the guy who loses out on a promotion because he didn’t maneuver himself to lunch with the boss enough. It is the team for every guy who has to get out of bed in the morning and go to work for short money on a job he does not like. The Yankees? Who does well enough to root for them, Laurance Rockefeller?”
Not for him the A-list celebs, the traditional story, the customary lead sentence. He always went for the unexpected. When President Kennedy was assassinated, for example, he didn’t go to the widow, the children, the cabinet, senators, congressmen, the Joint Chiefs. He interviewed the gravedigger—Hamlet redivivus, 300 years later.
And not for him the full name James Earle Breslin. On his baptismal certificate, OK, but for a byline? Jimmy would do just fine.
It had been Jimmy from the day he dropped out of Long Island University and started boucing around city newspapers, first as a copyboy, then as a sportswriter for Hearst’s now-defunct Journal-American (“A paper where you couldn’t believe the weather report”), then as a general columnist for the now-defunct New York Herald Tribune.
Though he assumed a professional scowl and started many an argument in bars favored by journalists, he loved the work. “A job on a newapaper,” he was to note, “is a special thing. Every day you take something that you found out about, and you put it down and in a matter of hours it becomes a product. Not just a product like a can or something. It is a personal product that people, a lot of people, take the time to sit down and read.”
A lot of people took the time to read him in the Daily NewsLong Island Newsday, and New York, where he helped establish the New Journalism—a novelistic approach to the news and those who made it. People also took time to watch him when he joined Norman Mailer’s quixotic bid to become mayor of New York in 1969. Breslin ran for president of the City Council, wondering aloud why he wasn’t at the top of the ticket. The two men campaigned on the slogan “No More Bullshit,” but as it turned out they were mountebanks themselves, and the public wasn’t buying.
After their crushing defeat, Mailer returned to egomaniacal exercises in fiction and nonfiction, and a chastened Breslin returned to the scene he knew best—the streets of the city. Between, during, and around columns, he helped the cops track down the notorious “Son of Sam” serial killer David Berkowitz in the seventies and exposed the corruption eating away at Mayor Ed Koch’s administration in the eighties. In his spare time, Jimmy made excursions into the clothbound world of the novel (The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight), biography (Damon Runyon: A Life), and social commentary (The Church that Forgot Christ). But none of the books had the bite of the Big Apple.
A total urbanite, Jimmy had never learned how to drive—he was raised by a single mother who earned a meager salary as a social worker, and drank to excess.  The Breslins couldn’t afford a car. But this wheel-less liability turned out to be his greatest asset. He went everywhere on foot or by public transportation, chatting up pedestrians, shopkeepers, cops, fellow passengers—anyone who would give him an ear and a mouth. He made the rhythms of their replies into a kind of municipal jazz that only he could record.
All along he was a festival of contradictions—Jimmy frequently published a list of people he wasn’t talking to, boasted that “there’s nobody in my league”—and then apologized in print to a woman he had insulted, “I am no good and once again I can prove it.”
In fact he was good, sui generis from Day One, a gifted and empathetic reporter who understood his neighbors far better than the J-School graduates who dreamed of a Pulitzer Prize but misplaced their humanity along the way. Jimmy, in fact, won a Pulitzer in 1986 for columns “which consistently champion the ordinary citizen.” The recognition embarrassed him; he was afraid the folks would now stop talking to the big shot. Not a chance. He continued to hide his intelligence behind a mask of urban patois, but if it deceived the interviewees it failed to con his colleagues. New York writer Jack Newfield spoke for all of us when he defined Breslin as “an intellectual disguised as a barroom primitive.”
There were fewer barrooms in Jimmy’s life after he stopped drinking in the eighties. He could tell a joke with the best of the standup comics; yet an aura of melancholia never quite left him after his wife and their two daughters succumbed to devastating ilnesses. He married again in 1982, to Ronnie Eldridge, a feminist politician who was his equal in argument and wit. But ill health dogged him as well: he suffered from a brain aneurism in 1994 and quit writing a regular column a dozen years ago when the deadlines proved too exhausting.
That didn’t stop him from giving advice to young reporters. Too many of them regarded him as an admirable antique, a souvenir of different times and a different news business.  Different indeed, but for writers trying to make their marks in an overcrowded field, his counsel remains as valid as the day he spoke them to an earlier generation: “You climb the stairs. All the stories are at the top of the stairs.”

Bears great Gale Sayers’ family opens up about dementia struggle


By Patrick Finley
March 20, 2017
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Gale Sayers hears the greats on the other end of his phone, though he says little back.
Former Bears teammate Dick Butkus just called. So did former Packers running back Paul Hornung and another Hall of Famer, ex-Browns receiver Paul Warfield. Earl Campbell, the former Oilers running back, phones once a week.
When Chicago friends check in, they ask Sayers if he could play football today. It prompts a rare response — “Yeah, I sure can” — from the former Bears running back.
“They call and talk to him, because it is important,” Sayers’ wife, Ardie, said via phone from their Wakarusa, Indiana, home Monday. “Even sometimes remembering a person’s voice is important. He knows who they are.”
Sayers has dementia. Those closest to him have known for a while. He was diagnosed four years ago during his annual checkup at the Mayo Clinic, after Ardie told his doctor about increasingly unusual behavior. Once a great public speaker, Sayers struggled to write remarks or remember old stories. He grew frustrated when he tried to talk.
“I think it’d probably been going on before then,” Ardie said. “But I didn’t know.”
Tests showed the beginnings of dementia, which only has gotten worse since.

There are days, she said, when the 73-year-old can’t write his name. He can be painfully quiet. He struggles with memory and speech but is physically fit enough to play golf when it’s warm.
Sayers’ behavior became impossible to ignore. The family went public this week, first to the Kansas City Star, to quell any public speculation.
“People were wondering,” his wife of 33 years said. “People see him, and people began to wonder what was wrong with him. They could tell something was going on. People have started making their own assumptions about him.
“I said, ‘Well, it’s time. Maybe we should say something, and then they’ll hear from us and know the truth instead of someone else making up their own stories.’ ”
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Former Bears coach Mike Ditka noticed about a year and a half ago.
“I knew what he was like [before],” said Ditka, a proponent of retired players’ medical care. “I knew that he was struggling with words and his memory a little bit.”
Sayers’ doctor said “football definitely had something to do with it,” Ardie said, but no one is certain to what extent.
“My guess is, my gut is, that it’s had some influence,” his brother Roger said from Omaha, Nebraska. “Whether or not I can say it’s the root cause, I don’t know.”
In 2013, a Chicago lawyer withdrew a lawsuit filed in Sayers’ name — at his request — against the NFL and helmet maker Riddell arguing the league was negligent in handling head trauma.
“Gale will tell you even before we knew this,” Ardie said. “He had seven knee surgeries and one replacement. He’d tell you I’d do it all over again. He loved it, and he’d say, injuries and all, he’d do it all over again.
“So what can you say?”
Sayers dominated the sport like few others. He was named first-team All-Pro five times in a brief seven-year career (1965-71).
“People in Chicago, we understand how great Walter Payton was, but Gale Sayers was way before his time,” said Ditka, a Bears teammate for two seasons. “He was the most electrifying runner, receiver, kick returner that I’ve ever seen in my life.
“I’m not just saying this because he has a problem. I’ve never seen a guy who could do more.”
There’s cruel irony in Sayers’ struggle to remember that.
“People live and work all their lives to retire and settle back and live part of their life on their memories and interactions with family and friends,” Roger said. “You lose some of that. There’s just no recognition of who’s who. And that’s tough.”
Roger suspects his brother “wants to say more than he’s capable of saying, but it’s hard for him to get some things out.” He’s grateful his brother is in good spirits and still full of vitality.
“You’re talking about one of the sweethearts in life,” Ditka said. “That disease, it doesn’t spare anybody.”
Ardie tries to keep him active. She’s planning for him to attend the Gale Sayers Foundation’s Kentucky Derby-themed party in Chicago.
“As quiet as he is,” she said, “he still enjoys taking pictures with people and having them talk to him about football.”
That’s what makes the phone calls so great.
“He’ll laugh,” Ardie said, “and it’ll put a smile on his face.”
Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley.
Email: pfinley@suntimes.com

Trump-obsessed media pay no attention to the man holding the political puppet strings


March 21. 2017
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James Comey (Jack Gruber/AP)
For a guy who claims to be above or beneath or beside grubby politics in America, FBI chief James Comey sure does manage to insert himself into the seamiest corners of politics and seize the spotlight at the most fraught moments possible. In this past election, Jim Comey was the “Where’s Waldo?” of American politics.
First he condemns Lady Dragon Hillary with the most damning exoneration in the history of public prosecutions. Then he slays her in public with just weeks to go before the election — only to ride up on his armor-suited horse in a failed effort to resuscitate her in the final days.
As busy as Mr. Comey was in the glare of the klieg lights toying with the helpless and enfeebled Hillary, he was even busier behind the scenes secretly tampering with the election in ways unknown.
Mr. Comey testified before Congress on Monday that his FBI launched a counterintelligence investigation all the way back in July into the presidential campaign of Republican nominee Donald Trump and possible ties to the Russian government.
Stop and think about that. We now know that Mr. Comey and his FBI were investigating not one but both leading political candidates for the highest office in the land during the most pivotal weeks and months of the most contentious presidential campaign in recent American history.
While Mr. Comey’s investigation into Hillary Clinton — publicly pursuing her, condemning her and ultimately stamping his approval on her — was enough to make even the most anti-Clinton partisan cringe. It is his Ahab-like pursuit of Donald Trump that is a thousand times more sinister.
Here you have a man — one of the most powerful operatives in President Obama’s administration — pursuing a global and boundless investigation into Mr. Obama’s greatest political enemy at the height of a political campaign.
This man — Mr. Comey — is answerable to not a single voter in the land. He is answerable ultimately only to the president and the president’s attorney general — a position President Obama politicized like we have never seen before.
It is one thing for the Obama administration to investigate a political ally like Hillary Clinton — that is the system working to the best of its designs. It is entirely another to have the Obama administration using all its powers of investigation to go after a political opponent — that is the system at its most suspicious.
That is when red flags should go up and sirens should go off.
Mr. Comey’s pursuit of Mr. Trump during a presidential election is one of two things. Either it is a politically charged investigation launched by one sitting president into his greatest political enemy as that enemy tries winning the White House. Or it is Watergate — ten thousandfold.
Yet as stunning as this whole situation is, all the media seem to care about is President Trump and his Twitter feed.
This is partly because the entire political press is hellbent on destroying Mr. Trump. But it is also because the political press members have an attention span of goldfish. They are constitutionally incapable of focusing on anything longer than a single tweet.
So here were are with gallons of ink, forests of trees and gigabytes of pixels being spent on one single tweet where Mr. Trump regurgitated press accounts reporting that the Obama administration used electronic surveillance to investigate Mr. Trump’s campaign.
That claim is incontrovertibly accurate. The hardest and clearest evidence of this is that Mr. Trump’s national security adviser and former campaign operative Mike Flynn was fired over lying about leaked transcripts of “wiretapped” phone calls between him and the Russian ambassador.
No one can dispute that intelligence officials inside the Obama administration used electronic surveillance to spy on the Trump campaign. All anybody can quibble about — and quibble they have — is the exact wording Mr. Trump used in his 140-characters-or-less message.
His shorthand, tabloid style that makes Mr. Trump such a successful communicator in today’s world was perfect for a quick Twitter screed.
“Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”
Forget a White House orchestrating Watergate-style spying on a political opponent during the height of a presidential campaign. Let’s go after the president’s grammar! In one message, he misspelled “tap” with two p’s! Let’s nitpick his tweet to death!
It wasn’t Obama who “wire tapped” him, but rather someone working for Obama. Wires were not “tapped,” only listened to and recorded. It wasn’t Trump Tower — even though one story insists it was — it was the entire Trump campaign.
Fine, hold Mr. Trump to some ridiculously high standard in this modern world of Twitter grunts and sighs. Blame him for the entire degradation of modern communication if you want. I don’t think he will even mind. It is just further proof that he has mastered the medium better than any other politician ever has.
But please do not overlook the true threat to our republic today. It is not poor grammar. It is not casual imprecision in describing various actors involved.
The real threat to our republic today is that one sitting president’s administration used it’s darkest and most potent powers to spy on a political opponent during a presidential campaign. And even more disturbing: We have a political press that doesn’t seem to care.
• Charles Hurt can be reached at churt@washingtontimes.com; follow him on Twitter via @charleshurt.