PowerLine -> McCarthy compares and contrasts + The presumption of guilt

Powerline John Hinderaker at HoaxAndChange

PowerLine -> McCarthy compares and contrasts + The presumption of guilt

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Daily Digest

  • McCarthy compares and contrasts
  • The Week in Pictures: Chainsaw Bayonet Edition
  • What Will Mitch McConnell Do About the Democrats’ Disgraceful Senate Blockade?
  • The presumption of guilt
McCarthy compares and contrasts

Posted: 11 Nov 2017 08:59 AM PST

(Scott Johnson)

In his weekly NRO column, Andrew McCarthy compares and contrasts the Obama administration’s investigation of the Hillary Clinton email matter under former FBI Director James Comey with the metastasizing collusion investigation under the auspices of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Reviewing the course of the Mueller investigation so far, my friend Mr. McCarthy catches up and links to newsworthy items we haven’t gotten around to. One such item is the earliest known draft of Comey’s absolution of Clinton; another such is the compelled testimony of one of Manafort’s attorneys against Manafort before the grand jury.

Here is something that we have touched on:

The [Obama] Justice Department would not even issue grand-jury subpoenas to compel the production of physical evidence — such as the private laptop computers used by Clinton’s subordinates to store her emails (a number of which contained classified information). Instead, investigators politely asked lawyers to turn over pertinent items, and they made extraordinary agreements to restrict the information they would be permitted to look at (such as an agreement that prevented agents from looking at information on the Mills and Samuelson computers during the time frame when attempts to obstruct congressional investigations may have occurred).

It is worth noting that, very similarly, the Obama Justice Department and the FBI did not seize the servers of the Democratic National Committee, even though much of the collusion case hinges on the conclusion that these servers were hacked by Russian operatives. Instead, the FBI politely requested that the servers be surrendered so the Bureau’s own renowned forensic investigators could examine them. When the DNC refused, the Justice Department did not issue a subpoena or obtain a search warrant; to the contrary, the FBI and DOJ agreed to accept the findings of CrowdStrike, a private investigative firm retained by the DNC’s (and the Clinton campaign’s) attorneys.

If you seek to understand the deep meaning of the Mueller investigation, the whole thing is must reading. It takes a look back in time at the phoniness of the Clinton investigation. It also serves as a preview of coming attractions with respect to which we will look back in anger before too long.


The Week in Pictures: Chainsaw Bayonet Edition

Posted: 11 Nov 2017 03:30 AM PST

(Steven Hayward)

John has already clobbered USA Today for its greatest banana-peel slip ever—the “chainsaw bayonet” graphic for an AR-15. And USA Today wonders why people think it is a purveyor of fake news. They’d do better if they just stuck to trivializing the news. Meanwhile, tax cuts are back! How can you tell? Because liberals are complaining about the idea that people might get to keep more of their own money.   

Who wore it better?



I’m not touching this with a . . .

Headlines of the week:


Fine moments in media analysis.


Very glad we got this cleared up. No one felt good after Harper’s Ferry.


And finally. . . 


What Will Mitch McConnell Do About the Democrats’ Disgraceful Senate Blockade?

Posted: 10 Nov 2017 05:31 PM PST

(John Hinderaker)

Despite being in office for nearly a year, President Trump has been unable to staff his administration. In the early days, he was slow to make nominations–not surprisingly, given that he wasn’t surrounded by a cadre of former officials and government hangers-on. But that is no longer true. Now, the problem is that Senate Democrats are stalling Trump’s nominees. In one agency after another, they are carrying obstructionism to unprecedented lengths.

Take, for example, the Department of the Interior. Secretary Ryan Zinke has written a letter to Democrat Dick Durbin protesting the Democrats’ blockade of nominees to his department:

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says Senate Democrats are holding the department’s nominees “hostage” to a political agenda that includes opposition to his review of presidentially designated monuments.

In a sharply worded letter to Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat, Zinke said it’s unfortunate that Democrats have placed holds on four Interior nominees, including the department’s top lawyer and budget chief.

The nominees “have nothing to do with this monument review, yet they have been forced to sit on the sidelines” for months, Zinke wrote Thursday. “As a former Navy SEAL, this is not the type of hostage situation I am accustomed to.”

But it is the hostage situation that is taking place all across the federal bureaucracy. The Democrats consider federal agencies to be their rightful property, and they have no intention of allowing a Republican president to exercise the constitutional powers of his office.

The specific issue here is the designation of “monuments” under federal law by the Obama administration, which the Trump administration wants to reduce in size.

President Donald Trump ordered the review this spring following complaints by congressional Republicans that previous presidents had misused a century-old law intended to protect federal lands, creating oversized monuments that hinder energy development, logging and other uses. Trump called some monument designations by his Democratic predecessors “massive land grabs.”

Zinke has recommended that Trump shrink four large monuments in the West, including the sprawling Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah.

Let’s take, as an example, the Bears Ears “monument” in Utah. Barack Obama created the Bears Ears “monument” during the last days of his administration, on December 28, 2016, subsequent to President Trump’s election, by issuing an executive order under the Antiquities Act. Bears Ears comprises 1.35 million acres or more than 2,000 square miles. That is one heck of a monument! It is nearly double the size of the State of Rhode Island. This map of southern Utah shows the Bears Ears “monument.”

The point of this alleged “monument” status is to block development. The Trump administration wants to undo the Obama administration’s orders, at least in part, by shrinking the size of the Western monuments to reasonable dimensions. That makes sense and would be popular in the affected states. Elections have consequences, right?

Not anymore they don’t. The Democrats take the position that President Trump is not entitled to exercise the powers of his office. Here, as in many other instances, the Senate minority is holding nominees hostage to its demand that Obama administration policies not be changed. Barack Obama gets to be president forever, apparently.

This obstructionism is unprecedented in American history. The question is, what are Mitch McConnell and the other alleged leaders of the Republican majority going to do about it?

Like many others, I have just about come to the conclusion that Congressional Republicans are worthless. Time is running out for McConnell and his colleagues to show us that our votes and our financial support for Republicans haven’t been wasted. And please: don’t lecture us on the hallowed traditions of the Senate. Those traditions have been blasted to smithereens by the Democrats. This is a war, Senator McConnell, and if you are not interested in fighting it, then we need to find someone who is.


The presumption of guilt

Posted: 10 Nov 2017 05:16 PM PST

(Paul Mirengoff)

As Scott wrote this morning, the proposition that a man is presumed innocent until proven guilty is to be applied by a jury sitting in a criminal case. The proposition need not be applied in an election campaign and, if one chooses to apply it, one should not demand proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

But in the case of Roy Moore, as a friend emailed me to say, “the Left is pushing a presumption of guilt — indeed, treating Moore as if he had been proven guilty — which is also incorrect.”

Nor is guilt being presumed solely by the Left. Nancy French, writing in the Washington Post, presumes that Moore is guilty of the criminal conduct alleged by Leigh Corfman.

Max Boot goes further in a piece for USA Today. Not only does he presume that Moore is guilty of the alleged criminal conduct, he argues that the Republican Party “deserves to die” because Senate Republicans aren’t demanding that Moore exit the race and threatening to endorse the Democrat if he refuses.

Boot does allow that “of course, no one wants to see anyone punished for false allegations.” But he counters that there isn’t enough time to determine whether the allegation of criminal conduct by Moore is true. Therefore, Republicans must act as if it is true, and “die” as a Party if they demur.

Nonsense. As Scott says, “we are left to judge Moore’s fitness for office based on a common-sense reading of the facts and circumstances.” There’s enough time to do that. We can also wait for more facts before reaching a conclusion.

Boot barely seems interested in the endeavor. He writes:

The Post account is full of detailed corroboration from 30 people, including the victims, who spoke on the record.

“Detailed corroboration from 30 people” of what? That many decades ago, Moore dated and kissed teenage girls, apparently with their consent? There’s a fair amount of corroboration of this claim.

That Moore sexually touched an underage girl? No. The corroboration of this claim is thin and there are factors that weigh against believing it.

Boot concludes:

Roy Moore could molest a 14-year-old girl and not lose votes. Because for Republican partisans, their opponents are “the forces of evil,” and anything is preferable to that. Even Donald Trump. Even Roy Moore. So in ostensibly fighting evil, Republicans have become complicit in it.

This is a party that does not deserve to survive.

(Emphasis added).

Here, we finally get to the heart of the matter. Boot, it seems, wants the Republican Party to die for the “sin” of nominating Donald Trump. Only that wish provides a rational explanation for his call that the GOP “die” because of its response to allegations against Roy Moore.


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