Saturday, June 10, 2017
Friday, June 09, 2017
June 8, 2017
Watergate it wasn’t. Not even Clarence Thomas versus Anita Hill. This was Jim Comey’s revenge tour and the former FBI boss threw every bomb, punch and handful of mud he could find at Donald Trump.
Three hours later, the president was still standing. A little dirtier, to be sure, but stronger because he survived the much-anticipated onslaught.
Consider the day from the partisan angles. If you started as a Trump supporter, you still are. You were buttressed by the disclosures that the media got lots of big anti-Trump stories wrong, and not surprised that Comey, like much of the permanent government, was against the president from the start.
At the end of the day, you’re wondering, Where’s the beef? Where’s the crime?
On the other hand, if you’re a Democrat salivating over what you hoped would be the first big step to impeachment of Trump, your dreams were dashed. The most optimistic interpretation of the facts don’t add up to anywhere near an impeachable offense.
Even worse for the left, Comey confirmed that Trump was not under personal investigation in the Russia-collusion probe. That had to hurt like Election Night all over again, with Hillary Clinton losing again.
Even those who tuned in just hoping for a good show had to be disappointed. Comey-palooza, like its protagonist, never delivered on its hype.
It wasn’t for lack of trying. Comey came to destroy Trump, and Dem Senators did all they could to raise the ante on his statements and suggest implications he didn’t. Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia has been especially a nasty partisan, and yesterday was no exception.
But his problem, like Comey’s, is the facts. Not to mention the star witness’s own conduct and his insufferable only-honest-man-in-Washington act.
In one revealing sequence, Comey said he didn’t want to create “a J. Edgar Hoover situation” with Trump, where he held important information as a weapon to be used when needed. Which, of course, is exactly what he ended up doing.
The career prosecutor made extensive notes of his meetings with the president he didn’t trust, yet held them tight as long as he held his job. When he was fired, he gave those notes to a friend to leak to the media with the hope they would lead to the appointment of a special counsel — which they did.
In other words, the so-called whistleblower is the most sneaky, Hoover-like of them all. If this is rectitude in Washington, Heaven help America.
Comey also had concerns about the previous administration.
For example, he believed former attorney general Loretta Lynch was protecting Hillary Clinton’s campaign by meeting with former President Bill Clinton and ordering Comey to call the investigation into her private e-mail server a “matter,” which tracked what Clinton was calling it.
Comey also said there were other events that led him to suspect Lynch, but would only discuss them behind closed doors.
It’s important to know what those other matters were and how Lynch came to decide the investigation was a “matter.” Did Bill Clinton suggest it? Was President Obama part of the decision, or was his public statement that Clinton did nothing wrong sufficient to give Lynch her marching orders?
Yet we may never know because Comey didn’t take notes and kept his concerns to himself, and made all the key decisions about the Clinton case. He hid his misgivings about Lynch just as he did about Trump — until he got fired. Then he became a nonpartisan truth-teller.
Comey’s actions illustrate why no president ever fired J. Edgar Hoover. They were all afraid of him.
I believe Comey deserved to be fired. But there is no denying that Trump’s private conversations with him, combined with the various explanations for the dismissal, have created a problem of the president’s own making.
Just how big a problem depends on what special counsel Robert Mueller finds, which means Trump is not out of the woods. We don’t know what, if anything, Comey added to his case behind closed doors, and his extensive praise of Mueller should concern Trump.
Ultimately, impeachment is much more of a political matter than a legal one, and it is rarely invoked because of the great upheaval it causes and the necessity of bipartisan support for conviction.
So while politics might ultimately save Trump, politics also present an immediate hurdle. Given his outsider status and outsized personality, his main challenge is to prove that he can govern responsibly enough that Republicans will follow his lead and adopt his agenda.
Yet many in the GOP congress are still skittish, and it hasn’t helped the president that his public approval numbers are low by historical standards.
One result is that most of Trump’s achievements have come through executive orders and on the foreign stage. The House struggled to narrowly pass a repeal of ObamaCare, and, with the notable exception of the Senate’s confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Republican control has produced nothing close to game-changers.
Meanwhile, the hope of tax reform, or even tax cuts, is shrinking by the day. Despite increased optimism and a rising stock market, the economy hasn’t sizzled and high-paying jobs remain elusive in many parts of Trump Nation.
At times, Trump seems to understand as much and what he needs to do about it. His visit to Ohio Wednesday to introduce his infrastructure bill, and his twitter silence during yesterday’s hearing, speak to a focus on the long game and the need for team-work.
At other times, he engages in petty squabbles that send Republicans scurrying for cover. Five months into his tenure, many of those he needs feel secure enough politically to keep their distance.
This is the urgent problem Trump must fix if he is to be a successful president. He needs enough public support to pull congress his way so he can deliver on his promise of jobs, jobs, jobs.
If he can do that, impeachment will remain a liberal fantasy.
Thursday, June 08, 2017
By Ann Coulter
June 7, 2017
huram Butt and Rachid Redouane, two of the London Bridge attackers (Metropolitan Police)
In Britain, as in the U.S., when an Islamic terrorist is said to be, “known to law enforcement,” the translation is: “He is being actively ignored by law enforcement.”
After the latest terrorist attack in Britain -- at least as of this writing -- Prime Minister Theresa May bravely announced, "Enough is enough!"
What is the point of these macho proclamations after every terrorist attack? Nothing will be done to stop the next attack. Political correctness prohibits us from doing anything that might stop it.
Poland doesn't admit Muslims: It has no terrorism. Japan doesn't admit Muslims: It has no terrorism. The United Kingdom and the United States used to have very few Muslims: They used to have almost no terrorism. (One notable exception was chosen as the National Freedom Hero in this year's Puerto Rican parade in New York!)
Notwithstanding the lovely Muslim shopkeeper who wouldn't hurt a fly, everyone knows that with every tranche of peace-loving Muslims we bring in, we're also getting some number of stone-cold killers.
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair dumped millions of Third World Muslims on Britain to force "multiculturalism" on the country. Now Britons are living with the result. Since the 9/11 attack, every U.S. president has done the same. President Bush admitted Muslim immigrants at a faster pace after 9/11 than we had been doing before 9/11.
Whatever the 9/11 attackers intended to accomplish, I bet they didn’t expect that.
Now we can't get rid of them. Under the rules of political correctness, Western countries are prohibited from even pausing our breakneck importation of Muslims, much less sending the recent arrivals home.
In defense of the poor saps responding to every terrorist attack with flowers, candles and hashtags, these are people who have no ability to do anything else. Western leaders are in full possession of the tools to end Islamic terrorism in their own countries, just as their forebears once ended Nazi Stormtroopers.
Unable to summon the backbone to defeat the current enemy, the West is stuck constantly reliving that glorious time when they whipped the Nazis. In almost every Western country -- except the one with an increasingly beleaguered First Amendment -- it's against the law to deny the Holocaust.
Are we really worried about a resurgence of Nazism? Isn't Islamic terrorism a little higher on our "immediate problems" list? How about making it illegal to make statements in support of ISIS, al-Qaida, female genital mutilation, Sharia law or any act of terrorism?
The country with a First Amendment can't do that -- the most that amendment allows us to do is ban conservative speakers from every college campus in the nation.
But if our elected representatives really cared about stopping the next terrorist attack, instead of merely "watching" those on the "watch" list, they'd deport them.
To this day, we have a whole office at the Department of Justice dedicated to finding and deporting Nazis even without proof they personally committed crimes against Jews. But we can't manage to deport hearty young Muslims who post love notes to ISIS on their Facebook pages.
If the Clinton administration had merely enforced laws on the books against an Afghani immigrant, Mir Seddique Mateen, and excluded him based on his arm-length list of terrorist affiliations, his son Omar wouldn't have been around to slaughter 49 people at an Orlando nightclub last year.
If Secretary of State John Kerry, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson or anyone else in our vaunted immigration vetting system had done his job, Pakistani Tashfeen Malik never would have been admitted to this country to commit mass murder in San Bernardino a year after she arrived. Before being warmly welcomed by the U.S., Malik's social media posts were bristling with hatred of America and enthusiasm for jihad.
We're already paying a battery of FBI agents to follow every Muslim refugee around the country. When they find out that one of them lists his hobby as "jihad," we need them to stop watching and start deporting.
Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, the rest of the useless GOP -- and obviously every Democrat -- have the blood of the next terrorist attack on their hands if they don't make crystal clear that admiring remarks about Islamic terrorism is a deportable act.
But they won't do it. That's "not who we are," as Ryan famously said.
True, most Muslims are peaceful. Guess what? Most Nazis were peaceful! We didn't knock ourselves out to admit as many of them as we could, screening out only the Nazis convicted of mass murder.
Before we were even formally involved in World War II, the FBI was all over the German American Bund. No one worried about upsetting our German neighbors. (Perhaps because they knew these were Germans and wouldn't start bombing things and shooting people.)
But today, our official position is: Let's choose love so as not to scare our Muslim neighbors. Isn't that precisely what we want to do? Facing an immobile government, two British men -- by which I mean British men -- were sentenced to PRISON for putting bacon on a mosque in Bristol last year. One died in prison just after Christmas, an ancient religious holiday recently replaced by Ramadan.
If we can't look askance at Muslims without committing a hate crime, can't we at least stop admitting ever more "refugees," some percentage of whom are going to be terrorists and 100 percent of whom will consume massive amounts of government resources?
No, that's "not who we are."
Until any Western leader is willing to reduce the number of Muslims in our midst, could they spare us the big talk? "We surrender" would at least have the virtue of honesty.
COPYRIGHT 2017 ANN COULTER
Wednesday, June 07, 2017
By Mark Steyn
June 7, 2017
Roy Larner poses with a Millwall flag as he recovers in hospital (News Group Newspapers Ltd/https://www.thesun.co.uk/)
Programming note: Today, Wednesday, I'll be joining the great John Oakley north of the border on Toronto's AM640live at 5pm Eastern. Afterwards, I'll be south of the border with Tucker Carlson on Fox News coast to coast at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific. If you're a Mark Steyn Club member and you have a question you'd like me to answer on this week's Clubland Q&A, you can lay it on me right here.
Britain goes to the polls tomorrow, and Theresa May seems all but certain to be extending her stay in Downing Street - despite having fought a remarkably inept election campaign, in the course of which 29 people have been killed in terrorist attacks by "known wolves" so known that one had been reported to MI5 by at least three foreign governments (the French, Italians and Americans) and the other had starred in a Channel 4 documentary called The Jihadis Next Door.
I joked on Monday morning that the latter was Emmy-nominated for Best Jihadist in a British Extremism Documentary, but these days all the satirical fancies are humdrum reality: It seems the show was nominated for Best Documentary in Britain's prestigious Grierson Awards and Best News and Current Affairs in the Broadcast Awards. We are all supposed to be shocked by the recent poll finding that two-thirds of British Muslims would not notify the police if they knew of a terrorist sympathizer, but really one can hardly blame them given the authorities' lethargic attitude to those who do get reported.
Likewise, there is something of a pro forma quality to Fleet Street's coverage of these latest atrocities. The worst civilian massacre in the United Kingdom between the Second World War and the 7/7 attacks of 2005 was the Birmingham pub bombings of 1974. For good or ill, it convulsed the nation. In contrast to the now traditional response that the worst thing about an Islamic terror attack is that it might lead to a "backlash" against Muslims and the urgent priority is for everyone to pretend that they're "united" in "one love", the pub bombings led to the immediate cancellation of the city's St Patrick's Day parade, the third largest in the world, for the next decade. Twenty-one Birmingham pubgoers died that night. Now 22 people get slaughtered at a pop concert, and the public shrug it off with some candles and flowers. Eleven civilians were killed in the 1987 Enniskillen Remembrance Day massacre (a twelfth died after 13 years in a coma), and public outrage was so fierce that the Dublin parliament passed a fast-track UK extradition bill, the IRA apologized, Sinn Féin's electoral support didn't recover for 15 years, and Bono declared on stage "F**k the revolution" - which on the whole I prefer to Katy Perry saying touch the person next to you and tell her "I love you".
The inertia in today's Britain seems telling. We are, as the French Prime Minister and the London Mayor and other eminences have advised, getting used to it. Terror doesn't appear (from this distance) to have played much part in the election campaign: in a certain sense, the remorseless Islamization of Britain seems to have passed beyond politics. If you still think the major parties can ameliorate the situation, Mrs May is just about preferable to Jeremy Corbyn: In a choice between a dissembler and a dupe, vote for the marginally less unsafe pair of hands. If you feel the need (as they did after Enniskillen) to be outraged and impassioned, direct your outrage and passion wisely and join your fellow Britons in excoriating the President of the United States for Tweeting about the Mayor of London. If you feel the need (like Mrs Thatcher after South Georgia) to "rejoice, rejoice", join the patriotic employees of LBC radio in cheering the defenestration of Katie Hopkins, also for Tweeting. If you feel the need (as Mrs May's COBRA meeting did) for an instant policy prescription, then draw the logical conclusion from the above and blame the Internet. The Prime Minister's plans to lean on Google, Facebook et al will discombobulate the next bombers not a whit, but they'll almost certainly lead to a Robert Spencer or Geert Wilders having his YouTube channel taken down or Twitter account suspended, and that's great news, isn't it?
In similar spirit, the aforesaid mayor has called for the aforesaid president's upcoming state visit to be kiboshed. Given the current levels of vigilance by UK officialdom, it wouldn't entirely surprise me if Trump were to be declared persona non grata but still sailed through British immigration to bang on the door of Windsor Castle asking where his state banquet is. Or perhaps I'm doing the amusingly named "UK Border Force" an injustice: Unable to prevent even the most obvious "Soldier of Allah" from breezing past the desk at Heathrow in his Isis T-shirt, they mysteriously discover hitherto unknown levels of efficiency when faced with such threat priorities as Pamela Geller or Michael Savage. Maybe Mrs May will set up a PREVENT program to prevent Katie Hopkins, or Douglas Murray's book tour.
That's not an idle fancy: the Prime Minister is no friend of free speech, and, as we've seen in the last few days, the biggest obstacle to "getting used to it" is a relatively small number of people who keep harping on about it.
Mayor Khan is a slippery customer, and he used a slippery phrase in reassuring the public after Saturday's carnage: London, he declared, was "one of the safest global cities in the world". "Global city"? What is the difference between a "global city" and a mere city? The latter are more or less ethnically homogeneous places with insufficient vibrancy and diversity for the likes of Mr Khan. A "global city" is a microcosm of the global. Saturday's dead, for example, number four of Her Majesty's subjects (one English, one Canadian, two Australian) and three citizens de la république française. In part because of the socialist sclerosis of that republic, London has become home to one of the largest French populations on the planet. That's a "global city" - where an Aussie can head across London Bridge to a fashionable pub and fall into conversation with a charming demoiselle.
All these Canadians and Australians and Frenchmen were killed by a jihadist born in Pakistan, another born in Morocco, and a third from either Morocco or Libya. In London and the other "safest global cities in the world", a New Zealander can meet a nice Danish girl and be blown up by a Yemeni on the way home. The conceit of the global city is that there is no distinction between a Dane and a Yemeni.
In his new book The Strange Death of Europe, Douglas Murray returns periodically to a vital question: What happens when global cities become "global countries"? By 2011, "white British" were a minority in 23 of London's 33 boroughs. A similar transformation is well advanced in every city down the spine of England from Manchester and Leeds to Birmingham and Bristol, in all of which Islam is the principal source of population growth. For the most part, citizens of the new west accept that as a normal feature of life - while still expecting to find Cornish villages full of Cornishmen or Welsh market towns full of Welshmen. But soon we will have not just global cities but "global villages". Sweden, where most ethnic Swedes now alive will end their days as a minority within their own country, is already trending that way. A few months ago, I passed a pleasant few hours with a young couple who'd moved out of Östersund after a sexual assault by, um, "youths" and settled in a small town about an hour away in order to get away from the aggravation of said "youths". Not as easy as it was. They'd rented a place in a pleasant two-story apartment house only to find, as the chap put it to me, "I've got a f**kin' mosque in my basement." In a municipality of under a thousand people.
There's a funny thing you notice about "global cities". In Camden and Chelsea, the French and the Aussies and the Danes and the Kiwis all jostle along side by side. But in other parts of the metropolis the world city gradually becomes less worldly: in much of the East End, in the neighborhoods where the police were conducting their post-terror raids, the Jews have gone, and the gays, and a lot of the pubs and fish'n'chip shops are closing up. You can detect the same phenomenon in the heavily Muslim neighborhood of Manchester where Salman Abedi grew up. In the new global cities, certain areas are less interested in celebrating diversity than in enforcing homogeneity. There is only, to borrow from Ariana Grande, "one love".
Zachary Gray has a new column looking back to America Alone, with the somewhat depressing (for me) headline: "It Has All Come True: Revisiting Mark Steyn's Predictions." At the time of the book's publication, I was told by British politicians that there was still plenty of time to solve this thing. A decade on, they're now saying, implicitly and sometimes less so, that it's too late to solve it. Neither statement is true. But before there can be action the British people have to rouse themselves to demand action. On Saturday night in Borough Market, when the three knife-wielding jihadists stormed in to the Black & Blue restaurant, they found themselves confronting a 47-year-old football fan. "F**k you," said Roy Larner. "I'm Millwall" - a footie club with supporters of surpassing ferocity. He held the Soldiers of Allah at bay with nothing but his fists, enabling other diners to escape, and is now recovering in hospital with stab wounds to his arms, head and chest.
"F*k* you, I'm Millwall" turned out to be the "Let's roll!" of the night. If you're having trouble keeping your London rail termini straight, the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton; the Battle of London Bridge was won on the playing fields of Millwall. Mr Larner seems disinclined to get used to it - and "F**k you, I'm Millwall" is a more encouraging sign of a societal survival instinct than "one love".
But normality soon reasserts itself. This morning, a woman en route to the nursery school where she works was stabbed by three girls shouting "Allah will get you!" Hey, don't worry, the police say it wasn't terrorism, just ...daily life in "one of the safest global cities in the world". Millwall vs Allah: We are the world.
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