All the progressive plotters

by Victor Davis Hanson, American Greatness- April 7, 2019

When that did not work…

Right after the 2016 election, Green Party candidate Jill Stein—cheered on by Hillary Clinton dead-enders—sued in three states to recount votes and thereby overturn Donald Trump’s victory in the Electoral College. Before the quixotic effort imploded, Stein was praised as an iconic progressive social justice warrior who might stop the hated Trump from even entering the White House.

When that did not work, B-list Hollywood celebrities mobilized, with television and radio commercials, to shame electors in Trump-won states into not voting for the president-elect during the official Electoral College balloting in December 2016. Their idea was that select morally superior electors should reject their constitutional directives and throw the election into the House of Representatives where even more morally superior NeverTrump Republicans might join with even much more morally superior Democrats to find the perfect morally superior NeverTrump alternative.

When that did not work, more than 60 Democratic House members voted to bring up Trump’s impeachment for vote. Trump had only been in office a few weeks. Then San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer toured the country and lavished millions on advertisements demanding Trump’s removal by impeachment—and was sorely disappointed when he discovered that billion-dollar-fueled virtue-signaling proved utterly bankrupt virtue-signaling.

When that did not work, celebrities and politicians hit social media and the airwaves to so demonize Trump that culturally it would become taboo even to voice prior support for the elected president. Their chief tool was a strange new sort of presidential assassination chic, as Madonna, David Crosby, Robert de Niro, Johnny Depp, Snoop Dogg, Peter Fonda, Kathy Griffin, and a host of others linguistically vied with one another in finding the most appropriately violent end of Trump—blowing him up, burning him up, beating him up, shooting him up, caging him up, or decapitating him. Apparently, the aim—aside from careerist chest-thumping among the entertainment elite—was to lower the bar of Trump disparagement and insidiously delegitimize his presidency.

When that did not work, during the president’s first year in office, the Democrats and the media at various times sought to invoke the 25th Amendment, claiming Trump was so mentally or physically impaired that he was not able to carry out the duties of president. At one point, congressional Democrats called Yale University psychiatrist Dr. Bandy X. Lee to testify that Trump was unfit to continue. In fact, to prove her credentials, Lee edited The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump that offered arguments from 27 psychiatrists and other mental health experts. In May 2017, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein met secretly in efforts to poll Trump cabinet members to discover whether they could find a majority to remove Trump from office—again on grounds that he was mentally unbalanced. According to McCabe, Rosenstein offered to wear a wire, in some sort of bizarre comic coup attempt to catch Trump off-guard in a confidential conversation.

When that did not work, 200 congressional Democrats in late 2018 sued in federal court to remove President Trump, claiming he had violated the esoteric Emoluments Clause of the Constitution that forbids federal officials from taking gifts, jobs, and titles from foreign governments. They alleged Trump’s presidency has enhanced his overseas real estate holdings and interests. Yet, according to some sources, the various Trump companies have lost some $1 billion in value after he took office—to the delight of the same critics who swore he has profited enormously as president.

When that did not work, the ongoing “Resistance” both covertly and overtly sought ways to retard or destroy the Trump presidency—often by leaking presidential memos, conversations, and phone calls. An anonymous op-ed published in the New York Times on September 15, 2018 boasted of a plan of resistance to his governance and initiatives from those in the administrative state from inside the Trump Administration, most of them allegedly establishment Republicans.

When that did not work, progressive heartthrob lawyer and now indicted Michael Avenatti reintroduced pornographic film star Stormy Daniels to the public. He claimed that Daniels had somehow been tricked into signing a supposedly improper and now invalid non-disclosure agreement not to talk about an alleged sexual encounter of a decade earlier with private citizen Trump in an exchange for a payment of $135,000.

Allegedly, Trump’s acquiescence to Daniels’ veritable blackmail demands had now impaired her own opportunities of further profiting to a far greater degree from the past alleged tryst with a now President Trump. Until his recent indictment for a number of felonies, Avenatti himself had translated his work with Daniels into media celebrity-hood, appearing over 100 times on cable news shows to damn Trump, predict his impeachment, and prep his promised 2020 presidential run against Trump.

When that did not work, federal law enforcement officials stormed the offices of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, in search of incriminating materials. Cohen quickly was leveraged by federal attorneys, flipped, and offered anti-Trump testimonies and documents in exchange for leniency. He produced stealth tapes of private conversations with his own client Trump—and shortly afterward was disbarred by the New York State Supreme Court for pleading guilty to a series of felonies.

When that did not work, Russian collusion hysteria continued to sweep the country. The moribund phony Steele dossier (that had failed to derail the Trump campaign and transition) was reignited by the media and progressive politicos after the firing of FBI director James Comey, leading to the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and the emergence of Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein.

Rosenstein then appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel—in a series of events prompted by none other than fired James Comey, who admitted that he illegally leaked confidential, if not some classified, presidential memos to create the conditions necessary for such a special appointment. Mueller’s subsequent media darling attorneys—praised as the “dream team,” “all-stars,” “army,” “untouchables,” and “hunter-killer team”—of mostly Democratic partisans, some Clinton donors, and a few who had defended either the Clinton Foundation or Clinton aides then spent 22 months, and between $30-40 million trying to build a case. In the end, they leveraged mostly minor Trump satellites on process crimes, misleading testimonies, or past business deals in hopes of finding collusionary guilt. Leaking was a Mueller team trademark as each week the collusionary media announced another “bombshell” or “noose tightening” around the neck of Donald Trump—or mysteriously showed up at the home of the next Mueller victim, to wait for the arrival of SWAT teams to swoop into make an arrest.

When that did not work, congressional committees and the left-wing mob next went after William Barr, Trump’s “hand-picked” attorney general (are not all AGs “hand-picked” by the president?). Barr’s crime was that he had followed the law to the letter. And so Barr spent a few days after the arrival of the exonerating Mueller collusion report to ensure first, before releasing it to the public, that it did not endanger national security or besmirch the reputations of innocent named individuals. If in a blink, “collusion” had died, soon in its death throes it birthed “obstruction”—as if Trump’s objections to vast resources wasted on chasing an imaginary non-crime of collusion was obstruction

When that did not work, congressional committees mobilized to sue and force Trump to release at least six years of his private income tax records, elements of which already in bits and pieces had been leaked.

Are such efforts in the future to be institutionalized?

Will the Left nod and keep still, if Republicans attempt to remove an elected Democratic President before his tenure is up? Are appeals to impeachment, the 25th Amendment, the Emoluments Clause, the Logan Act, and a Special Counsel the now normal cargo of political opposition to any future elected president?

Is it now permissible in 2020 for Trump’s FBI director to insert an informant into the campaign of the Democratic presidential nominee? If Joe Biden is the 2020 nominee, will the Trump Justice Department seek FISA warrants to monitor the communications of Biden’s campaign team—in worries that Biden son’s business practices in the Ukraine had earlier compromised Biden who had intervened on his behalf by threatening to cut off aid to Ukraine? Will they investigate Biden’s propensity to hug and kiss under-aged girls? Will Trump’s CIA director contact foreign nationals to aid in spying on Biden’s aides? Will National Security Advisor John Bolton request that the names of surveilled Biden campaign officials become unmasked as a way of having them leaked to the media? Will Trump hire a British ex-spy to gather together rumors and gossip about Biden’s previous overseas trips and foreign contacts, especially in the Ukraine, and then see them seeded among the Trump CIA, FBI, Justice Department, and State Department? Is that the sort of country we have now?

America over the last half century had been nursed on the dogma that the Left was the guarantor of civil liberties. That was the old message of the battles supposedly waged on our behalf by the ACLU, the free-speech areas on campuses, and the Earl Warren Court.

Not now. The left believes that almost any means necessary, extra-legal and anti-constitutional or not, are justified to achieve their noble ends. Progressive luminaries at CNN and the New York Times have lectured us that reporters need not be disinterested any more in the age of Trump—or that it might be a crime to shout “lock her up” at a Trump rally. Will those standards apply to coverage of future Democratic presidents?

No reporter seems to care that Hillary Clinton hired a foreign national to work with other foreign nationals to sabotage, first, her opponent’s campaign, then his transition and his presidency, along with the wink and nod help from key Obama officials at the Department of Justice, State Department, National Security Council, FBI and CIA.

The final irony? If the CIA, FBI, and DOJ have gone the banana republic way of Lois Lerner’s IRS and shredded the Constitution, they still failed to remove Donald Trump.

Trump still stands. In Nietzschean fashion what did not kill him apparently only made him stronger.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Trump, All About Winning, Sees Losses in Court Pile Up

President Donald Trump pictured speaking to supporters at a March 2019 rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
https://www.propublica.org/article/president-donald-trump-losses-fred-barbash-washington-post-q-and-a

The drumbeat of defeats grew hard to ignore.

A federal judge struck down the Donald Trump administration’s plan to require some people to work for their Medicaid benefits. Another judge halted Trump’s plan to open Arctic waters to drilling. Yet another ordered an end to what critics said was the administration’s efforts to encourage an end run around the Affordable Care Act. All in the span of about a week.

I spent some time exploring whether I could create a more formal list only to discover that The Washington Post had basically done that.

Here’s how the article by Fred Barbash and Deanna Paul started:

Federal judges have ruled against the Trump administration at least 63 times over the past two years, an extraordinary record of legal defeat that has stymied large parts of the president’s agenda on the environment, immigration and other matters.

In case after case, judges have rebuked Trump officials for failing to follow the most basic rules of governance for shifting policy, including providing legitimate explanations supported by facts and, where required, public input.

Many of the cases are in early stages and subject to reversal. For example, the Supreme Court permitted a version of President Trump’s ban on travelers from certain predominantly Muslim nations to take effect after lower-court judges blocked the travel ban as discriminatory.

But regardless of whether the administration ultimately prevails, the rulings so far paint a remarkable portrait of a government rushing to implement far-reaching changes in policy without regard for long-standing rules against arbitrary and capricious behavior.

It only got more startling.

Two-thirds of the cases accuse the Trump administration of violating the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), a nearly 73-year-old law that forms the primary bulwark against arbitrary rule. The normal “win rate” for the government in such cases is about 70 percent, according to analysts and studies. But as of mid-January, a database maintained by the Institute for Policy Integrity at the New York University School of Law shows Trump’s win rate at about 6 percent.

I decided to reach out to the reporters and hear how their project came together and what they made of it. It seemed all the more timely in that the Trump administration is likely looking at a challenging legal road as it seeks to enforce the president’s declaration of a national emergency at the southern border.

Barbash agreed to a modest Q&A:

What prompted you to undertake the review?

I watch the federal courts closely and became aware over time that the administration was being challenged in court on almost every important policy and deregulatory decision and that U.S. district court judges, who ordinarily defer to the government in most of these challenges, were no longer doing so. Deanna Paul and I began keeping track of the adverse rulings. I’ve been watching regulation and courts for a very long time, and the numbers of defeats were well beyond anything I had seen.

Was it hard to capture all the possible cases?

I’m not sure we did capture all the possible cases. The highly publicized cases, like DACA and the travel ban, are obvious. Nobody seems to keep some sort of master list of everything else. So Deanna and I began to track them down using a variety of sources. We wound up with the number 63, which even since we wrote the piece has increased to about 68.

What finding surprised you most?

As we interviewed experts on the subject, including former Justice Department officials who keep track of these things, we realized that these numbers were extraordinary. No one had an exact count comparing, say, the Obama administration’s record in court after two years with the Trump administration. But as we researched the subject, we found studies estimating the average “win rate” for administrations in the courts was somewhere around 70% whereas the Trump administration appeared to be losing at least 70% of the time.

Were you able to say the losses in nature or volume were different than prior administrations?

It would have taken six or seven months to get exact numbers. But every expert we talked to agreed that the volume was much higher for the Trump administration. The question then became why. As I wrote in an earlier story, when the losing streak started, it’s kind of like relationships. When one or two don’t work out, you can plausibly blame the other people. When the numbers mount, you have to think, maybe the problem is me, that is, maybe I’m doing something wrong.

Some experts you cited said the government had failed to do basic legal homework. You think that was really true? Seems kind of crazy.

It does seem crazy, but when you read the cases and the opinions of the judges, including Republican judges, that’s what they found in so many instances. It’s hard to tell whether the agencies knew that they were out on a limb with so many of these decisions and went ahead anyway, or didn’t have competent legal advice. Some experts, as the article said, thought that the failure of some agencies to “do their homework” as they suspended or delayed regulations, for example, showed that they were more interested in making announcements of deregulatory change than in the change itself, so the risk of a judge blocking their actions didn’t concern them all that much. Of course, the agency spokespeople deny that. But lawyers know, for example, that the law sometimes requires public notice and comment when making regulatory change. It’s not hard. It just slows things down. But if they fail to do it, it’s almost a certainty that a judge will object. These are not close calls. Now some of the cases, like the census case (the Commerce Department’s decision to add a citizenship question to the census), are much more complex than what I’m describing and raise deeper issues, which we continue to pursue.

The Case for Trump

“I think Trump maybe one of those figures in history who appears from time to time to mark the end of an era and to force it to give up its old pretense”; July 2018, Henry Kissinger.

Backwater

Voters in 2016 preferred an authentic bad boy of the private sector to the public’s disingenuous good girl.

The republicans also had heir own sort of unpopular dogmas in addition to uninspiring national candidates:

a) Fair trade was seen as less important than free trade

b) Illegal immigration was largely ignored to ensure inexpensive unskilled labor for business.

c) Constant overseas interventions were seen as the necessary wages of global leadership.

d) Huge annual budget deficits were ignored.

Besides, the culture of the two coasts mattered more than what was in between’

ICE makes more arrests at decoy university; some detainees being deported, authorities say

Full article

By Luis Casiano

March 9, 2019

Federal immigration authorities say they have arrested more students enrolled at a sham Detroit-area university created by the Department of Homeland Security.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has arrested 161 foreign nationals at the University of Farmington in Farmington Hills, Mich., on immigration violations since the operation began in January, ICE spokesman Khaalid Walls told the Detroit Free Press.

“Several have since been removed and others are currently in various stages of the removal process,” Walls said.

Authorities announced Jan. 30 that 130 students enrolled at the university had been arrested. The sting set up by DHS involved making the bogus school appear to be a real institution, including accreditation. Many of the students were enrolled in master’s degree programs for engineering and computer-related fields and arrived in the U.S. through student visas, immigration attorneys said.

The detained students – mostly from India – were being housed in 34 lockups across the county, according to the American Telugu Association.

Many hail from the Telugu-speaking areas of India, the association told the paper. Some come from poor areas and took out substantial loans “to study here to study and pursue the American dream,” association president Parmesh Bheemreddy told the paper.

“Now, it will be difficult to pay off their debts after they’re sent back to India,” he said.

The immigration violations of which they are accused happened only because they were enrolled in the fake university, something they didn’t know at the time, immigration attorneys said. Some of the remaining 440 students who haven’t been arrested have opted to leave the U.S.

Tammy Bruce: Romney’s Trump attack rings especially hollow when you look at his treatment of Ric Grenell

Fox News article

Tammy Bruce, Jan 3, 2019

It’s been a couple of days since now-Senator Mitt Romney’s petty and divisive Washington Post op-ed smearing President Trump. The failed 2012 presidential candidate also made his feelings known about him in March of 2016 when he gave a speech condemning, again, the character of then-candidate Trump.

In that earlier screed, he also predicted that Trump’s economic ideas would be a disaster for the country, and would “lead entrepreneurs and businesses of all stripes to flee America.” That prediction, like all the rest of his enraged pearl-clutching that night, didn’t age well.

In the aftermath of that 2016 attempted knee-capping of candidate Trump, I was especially struck by Romney’s ostentatious moral preening. This week he returned, standing upon his same well-tended molehill of superiority to again point at and accuse the president of, sigh, being a bad, bad man.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE IN FOX NEWS OPINION FROM TAMMY BRUCE.

But Romney’s effort casting himself as the arbiter of character rings hollow for some who worked on, or were involved with, the Romney 2012 campaign for the presidency.

Over the years, our current Ambassador to Germany and former Fox News contributor, Richard Grenell, and I became friends. Everyone was very excited when Romney, having won the GOP nomination in 2012, chose Ric to be his national security spokesman for the campaign. As the New York Times put it at the time, “Mr. Grenell, a 45-year-old with a sharp wit, had joined the Romney campaign in April with sterling recommendations from Bush-era foreign policy figures, and an impressive résumé.  He had served as a United States spokesman at the United Nations under four ambassadors during the Bush administration…”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP.

Choosing Ric as his campaign national security spokesman was a natural and inspired choice. But when character mattered, Romney choked.

While the following details have been presumed by many and written about by some, they have never been confirmed by Ric, who has a policy to never speak publicly about those for whom he has worked. Over the years, however, he has spoken to me about the details of his time on the campaign. But now, as Romney struts in with his smug rehab as the nation’s moral arbiter, a more complete picture of the politician is warranted.

After just three weeks with the Romney campaign, Ric resigned. There has been speculation about what exactly led to his departure. The fact of the matter is he was pushed out after Mr. Romney failed both a character and moral test: to stand up for someone he hired who was being attacked for being gay.

But it wasn’t just refusing to stand up for someone he knew was the best person for the job. The Romney campaign responded to the criticism by asking Ric to stay quiet and not speak publicly about anything. The character-filled Romney was asking the gay man to go hide in the closet.

The last straw was when the Romney campaign told Ric to pretend he wasn’t present during a conference call he arranged. In the aftermath, the New York Times reported of the bizarre scene, “It was the biggest moment yet for Mitt Romney’s foreign policy team: a conference call last Thursday, dialed into by dozens of news outlets from around the globe, to dissect and denounce President Obama’s record on national security,” reported the newspaper in May 2012, “But Richard Grenell, the political strategist who helped organize the call and was specifically hired to oversee such communications, was conspicuously absent, or so everyone thought…”

Ric, in fact, was present and listened as reporters asked if he would be joining the call and wondering why he wasn’t there. The message was clear. He was facing a deliberately untenable situation, which would appall any serious person. He consulted with mentors and then resigned from the campaign.

He also made the decision to never say a bad word publicly about Mr. Romney. Ric even wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal endorsing Romney over Barack Obama, because it was the right thing to do.

Did Romney recognize Ric’s display of character over the years in how he handled that debacle? Likely not.

Due to Romney’s failure to defeat Mr. Obama, Ric had to wait four more years before the nation had a candidate and then president with the character to not just recognize Ric’s talent but stand by him. Ric is now our Ambassador to Germany because President Trump made sure a passive-aggressive senate confirmed his nomination.

Mr. Romney says he doesn’t like what Mr. Trump stands for. But perhaps the fact that Mr. Trump actually stands for something is what really outrages the also-ran.

In 2012, Mr. Romney’s communications strategist was asked how the candidate’s message would change now that they were headed into the general election. The answer revealed just how vapid, or dare I say, devoid of character, Romney really was.

From the March, 21, 2012 edition of the New York Times, “Mr. Fehrnstrom on Wednesday reached for a word to describe how Mr. Romney might pivot to the general election, the one that came tumbling from his mouth was ‘Etch A Sketch,’ the children’s drawing toy in which nothing is ever permanent,” reported the newspaper. “’Everything changes,’ Mr. Fehrnstrom, 50, said on CNN, with a slight smirk that suggested he believed he was about to use a clever line. ‘It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.’”

President Trump’s personal mistakes have been the subject of non-stop public investigation, commentary and debate every single day, every hour, every minute, for years. We know the man, we know what he’s done, and most of all, we know who he has become.

Donald Trump, and his entire family, left comfortable lives, where their days were not filled with death threats, invective, lies, anthrax hoax letters, harassment on airplanes, in restaurants, mocking by the liberal media, accusations of being traitors, Nazis, and targeted by a weaponized federal government with the intention of nullifying his electoral success.

Yes, he became president, and family members have joined him, in working to deliver promises made on a campaign trail to bring back jobs, the economy, border security, the rule of law, and national security to this nation. In other words, he promised to bring back the future for American families.

President Trump’s promises and conversations with the American people during the campaign and every day since aren’t written on an Etch A Sketch, and every day he pays the price for not being like Mitt Romney.

Tammy Bruce, president of Independent Women’s Voice, is a radio talk-show host, New York Times best-selling author and Fox News political contributor.

Trump signs law to curb foreign ocean dumping

– The Washington Times – Thursday, October 11, 2018

Read the full article in the Washington Times

In a rare display of bipartisanship, President Trump signed legislation Thursday to reduce ocean waste dumped by other countries, and to authorize more money for coastal cleanup in the U.S.

Mr. Trump said in a White House ceremony that the Save Our Seas Act will help to stop other nations “from making our oceans their landfills.”

“We’re being inundated by debris from other countries,” Mr. Trump said. “We will be responding and very strongly.”

Among the lawmakers attending the event in the Oval Office was Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island Democrat and a frequent critic of the administration. The president shook his hand during the bill signing.

“See, we can shake hands,” Mr. Trump told reporters.

The legislation reauthorizes and amends the Marine Debris Act to promote international action to reduce marine debris. It’s aimed at boosting the federal government’s domestic and international response to ocean waste, and allows the federal government to declare “severe marine debris events” and to authorize additional funds to states for cleanup.

The president said previous administrations “did absolutely nothing to take on the foreign countries responsible” for ocean dumping.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.