They never had any interest in ‘hearing’ from him at all
July 30, 2020
ITEM #1: U.S. Attorney General William Barr went before the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday for a “hearing,” and what ensued has created quite a stir. Not for anything revealed by Barr, mind you, but for the way Democrats’ abhorrent behavior revealed so much about themselves.
As summed up by Andrew McCarthy for National Review:
"Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) and the other Democrats who control the House demanded for months that Barr come to a 'hearing' and 'testify.' But of course, it wasn’t anything like an actual hearing, and they didn’t want him to testify — as in actually answer questions. The session was a coveted election-year opportunity for Democrats to berate the attorney general of the United States in five-minute installments, accusing Barr of corruption, perjury, violating his oath, betraying the Constitution — at one point, even of killing thousands of COVID-19 victims (apparently, by being attorney general during a pandemic)."
Indeed, the entire episode was an embarrassment, a total charade motivated far less by a desire to ascertain any facts than an eagerness to grandstand and score partisan political points. It got so bad that Barr finally asked, since this was ostensibly a “hearing,” “aren’t I the one who’s supposed to be heard?”
Of course, Democrats had no interest in any such thing, and after Barr easily handled what passed for their “questioning” in the early going, Democrats dropped the ruse that they were there for any reason other than to mug for the cameras.
“In the main, the rest of the afternoon was devoted to raging, mock-anguished perorations about how Trump is a dictator and how Barr is helping him destroy our democracy.
“These were punctuated by the occasional petulant demand that Barr answer ‘yes or no’ a question that was either loaded or incoherent. When Barr would begin to answer, there would be foot-stomping, indignant, ‘I’m reclaiming my time’ interruptions, claims that there was no question pending (usually after a question had just been posed), and then more Democrat filibustering about how the American people could clearly see that Barr was afraid to answer their questions … that they wouldn’t let him answer.
“It was an embarrassing spectacle.”
And it’s no mystery why Democrats behaved in this manner, either. As McCarthy notes, “What happened on Capitol Hill Tuesday was a debacle to despair over because Democrats do not act this way because they are preternaturally rude. They act this way because their voters expect and demand that they act this way.”
So radical and extreme has the core of the Democrat Party become — not just in terms of ideology, but in its abandonment of basic standards of decorum and decency — that the only way for the party’s elected officials to satiate the base is to engage in the kind of childish theatrics we saw on Tuesday. Were they to deal with a political adversary in a mature and professional way, these Democrats would risk alienating so many of the voters they need energized come Election Day.
As McCarthy put it, “Anyone who wants power that badly shouldn’t be anywhere near it.”
ITEM #2: The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision last week, denied a request from a church here in Nevada to block the enforcement of Governor Sisolak's restrictions on attending religious services.
The decision to block Calvary Chapel’s request represents an affront to liberty as well as to the First Amendment.
Noting that the “Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion” in his dissent (joined by Justices Thomas and Kavanaugh), Justice Samuel Alito wrote that, "A public health emergency does not give Governors and other public officials carte blanche to disregard the Constitution for as long as the medical problem persists.”
Justice Neil Gorsuch put it well in his separate dissent, writing: “There is no world in which the Constitution permits Nevada to favor Caesars Palace over Calvary Chapel.”
The only thing our churches want is to be treated in the same manner as businesses, gyms, and restaurants. They can practice social distancing safely at 50 percent capacity; they do not need to be subjected to the arbitrary cap of 50 people, regardless of the size of the house of worship. Chief Justice Roberts, part of the 5-4 majority, got this one terribly wrong — and the outcome is awful for worshipers and for those who believe in the First Amendment.
Governor Sisolak should move to apply the 50 percent standard to churches immediately.
ITEM #3: The credibility of the 1619 Project died a long, long time ago. Yet somehow, this dead horse manages to find a way to keep beating itself.
As a refresher, the 1619 Project was a series of essays published by the New York Times based on the premise that the chief motive behind America’s founding was a commitment to preserving the institution of slavery. So error-plagued was the series that its point person, Nikole Hannah-Jones, was compelled to concede that she’d gotten the central premise wrong. Regardless, Hannah-Jones won a Pulitzer Prize for her work on the series, in a development that sounds like something the Babylon Bee would come up with. Then we learned that Hannah-Jones had once written a long, racist screed attacking all white people.
Now, the Washington Examiner’s Becket Adams reports:
“New York Times magazine staffer Nikole Hannah-Jones claimed this week that her infamous 1619 Project is not actually a work of history, but rather an ‘origin story.’
“Do the schools that have incorporated the project into their history curricula know about this?
“On Monday, Willamette University Professor Seth Cotlar said in praise of the project that it ‘is not about history. It's about memory; about what parts of the nation's past we should hold in our memories going forward & about how we tell the story of the nation to our children.’
“Hannah-Jones, who founded and heads the project, which posits that America's true founding dates back to the year that slaves were first brought to its shores, was pleased to hear him describe it in such terms.
“‘He is right: The fight over the 1619 Project is not about history. It is about memory,’ she responded on social media. ‘I’ve always said that the 1619 Project is not a history. It is a work of journalism that explicitly seeks to challenge the national narrative and, therefore, the national memory. The project has always been as much about the present as it is the past.’”
Adams calls Hannah-Jones out on her latest spin, noting that she’s now — again — changing her story:
The project, its founder stressed, ‘never pretended to be a history.’
“This seems an odd thing to assert now, considering Hannah-Jones herself claimed previously that the project is 'American history, not black history.' There is also the rather awkward fact that she and her cohort have spent no small amount of energy boasting about the number of historians who have contributed to the effort, whether with essays or fact-checking.”
Next time, Hannah-Jones may want to check her own history — or memory, or origin story, or whatever — so she can keep her talking points straight.
ITEM #4: At least someone is approaching the 1619 Project saga with some sanity.
U.S. Senator Tom Cotton, who calls the project “a distortion of American history” and "left-wing propaganda," has proposed a law that, if enacted, would mean school districts incorporating it into their curriculum could face financial consequences.
Hannah-Jones, taking Cotton out of context, criticized the Senator for some remarks he had made on the subject, tweeting:
“If chattel slavery — heritable, generational, permanent, race-based slavery where it was legal to rape, torture, and sell human beings for profit — were a ‘necessary evil’ as @TomCottonAR says, it’s hard to imagine what cannot be justified if it is a means to an end.”
Of course, the full context of Cotton’s remarks makes his point clear:
“We have to study the history of slavery and its role and impact on the development of our country because otherwise we can’t understand our country. As the Founding Fathers said, it was the necessary evil upon which the union was built, but the union was built in a way, as Lincoln said, to put slavery on the course to its ultimate extinction.”
Hannah-Jones apparently subscribes to U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s theory of truth-telling, best captured by AOC’s lamentation that, “I think that there's a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right."
Maybe Hannah-Jones will receive another Pulitzer for her latest distortion of the facts.
ITEM #5: Speaking of undeserved Pulitzer recipients, we wanted to make sure you saw the latest on the bogus Russia-collusion storyline.
The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway reports:
“The FBI official who ran the investigation into whether the Donald Trump campaign colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 presidential election privately admitted in newly released notes that a major New York Times article was riddled with lies, falsehoods, and 'misleading and inaccurate' information. The February 2017 story was penned by three reporters who would win Pulitzers for their reporting on Trump’s supposed collusion with Russia.
“The FBI’s public posture and leaks at the time supported the now-discredited conspiracy theory that led to the formation of a special counsel probe to investigate the Trump campaign and undermine his administration.
“‘We have not seen evidence of any individuals affiliated with the Trump team in contact with [Russian Intelligence Officials]. ... We are unaware of ANY Trump advisors engaging in conversations with Russian intelligence officials,' former FBI counterespionage official Peter Strzok wrote of the Feb. 14, 2017 New York Times story ‘Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence.’ That story, which was based on the unsubstantiated claims of four anonymous intelligence officials, was echoed by a similarly sourced CNN story published a day later and headlined ‘Trump aides were in constant touch with senior Russian officials during campaign.’"
If the Pulitzer Board is so intent on recognizing the New York Times and its writers, perhaps someone should remind them that they do award a prize for fiction.
ITEM #6: Jonathan Turley has written a great piece for The Hill titled, “More willful blindness by the media on spying by Obama administration.”
The entire commentary is worth reading, which you can do here, but here’s a key excerpt:
“The Washington press corps seems engaged in a collective demonstration of the legal concept of willful blindness, or deliberately ignoring the facts, following the release of yet another declassified document which directly refutes prior statements about the investigation into Russia collusion. The document shows that FBI officials used a national security briefing of then candidate Donald Trump and his top aides to gather possible evidence for Crossfire Hurricane, its code name for the Russia investigation.
“It is astonishing that the media refuses to see what is one of the biggest stories in decades. The Obama administration targeted the campaign of the opposing party based on false evidence. The media covered Obama administration officials ridiculing the suggestions of spying on the Trump campaign and of improper conduct with the Russia investigation. When Attorney General William Barr told the Senate last year that he believed spying did occur, he was lambasted in the media, including by James Comey and others involved in that investigation.”
And we know that, as Turley puts it, “Obama and Biden were aware of the investigation, as were the administration officials who publicly ridiculed Trump when he said there was spying on his campaign.”
It’s maddening the way the press has escaped accountability for its blatantly partisan and dishonest reporting on the phony Russia-collusion narrative. But bravo to Turley for continuing to beat this drum.
ITEM #7: "The dishonest reporting on the riots is breathtaking," Brit Hume tweeted this week. "The crisis in our media deepens."
What drew Hume's ire was the content of this newsletter from the Washington Examiner's Byron York, who exposes how the “news” media have shamefully spun the violent protests going on throughout the country.
York reminds us that “many on the left, and their allies in the media, placed blame for the trouble in Portland on the presence of federal law enforcement — specifically officers of the Department of Homeland Security, who are protecting the federal courthouse there.”
And unsurprisingly, the press has taken that dubious premise and twisted it even further to fit their own agenda. Here’s one example York provides, involving the New York Times:
“‘From Los Angeles to New York, protesters marched in a show of solidarity with demonstrations in Portland,’ the paper reported. So just in case any independent-minded readers might have suspected that there was something going on beyond simple anti-Trump sentiments — perhaps an anarchist left trying to sow pre-election disorder in cities around the country — the Times explained that the violence, even though it spread across the nation, actually sprang from Trump's actions.”
And here’s an example of how the Washington Post has taken a rather sympathetic tone in covering the protestors themselves:
"One recent dispatch portrayed a man a block away from the federal courthouse speaking about racial justice and policing — amid drums, dancing, and chanting — when tear gas began to waft over the crowd. Immediately, a group of 'orange-shirted men with leaf blowers descended on the cloud, revved their engines and blew the tear gas away,' the Post said. 'Thank you leaf-blower dads!,' shouted a young woman.
"Yes, a 'small number' of people have engaged in violence, the Post added, but the 'Leaf-Blower Dads' and the 'Wall of Moms’ — they're the ones who provide a human shield for the rioters — are keeping things cool.
Read the rest of York’s piece here.
ITEM #8: Last week we covered how the recent special legislative session exposed state Democrats’ willingness to subvert the interests of ordinary citizens to please their union backers. But it’s not just in Nevada that Democrats are beholden to the unions.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal has weighed in on the education plan put forward by Joe Biden, the Democrats’ presumptive nominee for President. They find it lacking, to say the least:
“When there’s a conflict between the desires of union officials and the needs of students, Joe Biden has made his stance clear. Adults come first. ...
“What union officials most want ... is to shut down the competition. Charter schools, which are public schools, are much less likely to be unionized than traditional public schools. The same is true of private schools. When students leave the traditional public school system, it reduces the number of teachers in those schools. That means fewer potential union members, which means fewer dollars collected in dues. That can translate into fewer political contributions, which overwhelmingly go to Democrats.
“Mr. Biden is eager to oblige the [National Education Association] on this point. He previously stated his opposition to school vouchers. He said in March that he wanted to stop privately run charter schools from receiving federal money. Ironically, Mr. Biden has first-hand experience with choice. He sent his two sons to an elite private high school in Delaware. Next year, its tuition will be $28,800.
“Low-income families don’t need anywhere near that much. Charter schools usually receive thousands less per pupil than traditional public schools. Vouchers or tax credit scholarships can improve a child’s education for half the amount public schools spend.”
The evidence shows overwhelmingly that increasing parental choice in education leads to greater student achievement. The unions, however, hate school choice. And for Democrat politicians, the unions always come first.
“The American people are horrified by what they see from the woke mob, riots in the streets, and cancel culture.” ― U.S. Senator Tom Cotton
“Teachers unions' opposition to charter schools is directly in conflict with the interests of low-income minority students. But low-income minority students do not vote, and their parents do not donate millions of dollars to political campaigns. In an election year, it is no mystery why many politicians support the teachers unions, even if that means sacrificing the education — and the futures — of millions of Black and Hispanic youngsters.” ― Thomas Sowell
"If pro sports keep insulting fans, they may not have any." ― U.S. Senator Ted Cruz