Wednesday, December 13, 2017

No need to be coy, Roy

Random observations, following the news from Alabama.

  • I thought Roy Moore would win, but then again I though Hillary Clinton would win, too. It's difficult to make predictions about the voting patterns in a state you've never visited and, at best, any observations I could have made about the race would have been from a great distance and based on, at best, third-hand information. 
  • I suspect at least a few of Moore's accusers were lying, but there was enough underlying truth to the reports, and enough of an ick factor involved, that Moore was going to be tough to defend. Doug Jones, his opponent, is a down-the-line leftist and, in the end, the seat will go back the other way. Of course, a lot of damage can obtain in the interim. Expect a lot of posturing from the usual suspects -- Collins, Flake, Corker, et al. -- through the next year. But I suspect the Democrats will overplay their hand, because they always do.
  • The one thing I'm certain of is this -- if Al Franken were thinking about using a Moore victory as an excuse to stay in the Senate, that excuse is now gone. I recommend Franken and Garrison Keillor go out and start a new Chautauqua circuit so they can sneer at the people who deserve it. Perhaps they can do a morality play skit in which they expiate their sins by ululating in the general direction of an intersectional feminist planted in the audience.
  • I'm also wondering if the purges are going to slow down now -- the mob isn't going to materialize against Trump any more than it did against Bill Clinton, and for the same reason -- unless people are hurting in the wallet, they aren't ready to upset the applecart. I've long suspected Nixon would have survived if there hadn't been gas lines and other underlying economic tensions in the era.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Operatives in the shadows

We learn even more about the nature of Wisconsin Democrats, and it's ugly:
In the course of its secretive “John Doe” investigation, the [Government Accountability Board] hoovered up millions of personal emails from Republican donors and supporters, and even raided people’s homes, while forbidding them to talk about it.
We knew that. The "investigation" was supposed to stop after various courts told the GAB to stop. They didn't, though:
The prosecutors felt justified in these actions because they had already made up their minds about their targets’ guilt. As the report says, “After reviewing the emails exchanged between the attorneys at GAB, it is apparent that GAB attorneys had prejudged the guilt of Governor Walker, Wisconsin Republicans, and related organizations that they were investigating and this dramatically influenced their ability to give competent legal advice. GAB attorneys did not act in a detached and professional manner. The most reasonable inference is that they were on a mission to bring down the Walker campaign and the Governor himself.”

The investigation continued despite its failure to find anything like the sort of violations it was ostensibly intended to investigate. It continued despite court orders to stop. And prosecutors retained evidence (including medical and other records about Republican officials and donors, kept in a file labeled “opposition research”) even after being ordered by the Wisconsin Supreme Court to turn all the information over. It was a lawless exercise of prosecutorial power, for political ends.
It's unbelievable, really. A government-funded prosecution of political enemies? Whoever heard of such a thing? Guess we wouldn't want to draw any parallels, right? Or should we?
A senior Justice Department official demoted last week for concealing his meetings with the men behind the anti-Trump “dossier” had even closer ties to Fusion GPS, the firm responsible for the incendiary document, than have been disclosed, Fox News has confirmed: The official’s wife worked for Fusion GPS during the 2016 election.

Contacted by Fox News, investigators for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) confirmed that Nellie H. Ohr, wife of the demoted official, Bruce G. Ohr, worked for the opposition research firm last year. The precise nature of Mrs. Ohr’s duties – including whether she worked on the dossier – remains unclear but a review of her published works available online reveals Mrs. Ohr has written extensively on Russia-related subjects. HPSCI staff confirmed to Fox News that she was paid by Fusion GPS through the summer and fall of 2016.

Fusion GPS has attracted scrutiny because Republican lawmakers have spent the better part of this year investigating whether the dossier, which was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, served as the basis for the Justice Department and the FBI to obtain FISA surveillance last year on a Trump campaign adviser named Carter Page.
So we have a spouse of a high-ranking Justice Department official working with an opposition research firm that's trying to bring down Donald Trump. And remember, what Robert Mueller is doing is investigating potential Trump malfeasance. The stench is getting awfully strong -- no wonder everyone would rather talk about Roy Moore.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Right to the point

Instapundit makes a 100% correct point about Trump's rise:
If George W. Bush — or Mitt Romney — had pushed back against the media 1/10 as hard as Trump does, there wouldn’t be a President Trump. For that matter, there wouldn’t be a President Trump if the media had pushed back against Barack Obama 1/10 as hard as they pushed against Bush, Romney, or Trump.
Marquess of Queensberry rules do not apply in a gunfight. I don't approve of Trump's boorishness in the least, but he takes the battle to his opponents and concedes them nothing. That's why he's president. And that's also why Roy Moore will be elected tomorrow in Alabama. You don't have to make your peace with that if you'd like, but it behooves you to understand the dynamics involved.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Morris and Trammell to the HOF

So I got confused and thought the Veterans' Committee was reporting later. Instead, they reported their votes today and we now know that Jack Morris and Alan Trammell are going into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Tigers, Tigers, burning bright

Out of the 10 finalists, these were probably the two best candidates, although I liked Ted Simmons or Luis Tiant as candidates as well. Morris is controversial because his stats aren't the most impressive, but he was the one guy you wanted to have in a big game throughout the 1980s. And, of course, he won Game 7 of the 1991 World Series almost by himself, shutting down the Atlanta Braves. He was a hell of a pitcher and he's worthy.

Trammell was a great player for a very long time. I think his double play partner, Lou Whitaker, was just as good, but it's still great to see Trammell make it. He wasn't as good as Robin Yount or Cal Ripken, but that's not the level of competition you compare him to. If you look at the 24 shortstops currently in the HOF, he would be in the top half, I think. Good choices. Now we await the other new members.

Quick and Dirty Baseball HOF Roundup

Who will join them?
It kinda snuck up on me this year, but it's a tradition and I have a little time this morning, so let's get to it, especially since the announcement will take place later today. The Veteran's Committee will weigh in later and that's worth a separate post.

First year candidates with no chance include:

Brad Lidge -- a good relief pitcher for a few years.
Jason Isringhausen -- a decent pitcher who never did anything notable.
Aubrey Huff -- a first baseman/outfielder type who lasted longer than you'd have expected.
Carlos Lee -- El Caballo. A power hitting outfielder who wasn't very good defensively.
Kevin Millwood -- a poor man's Brad Radke.
Orlando Hudson -- a good player, nothing more.
Carlos Zambrano -- a dominant pitcher at times, but could not sustain his career.
Chris Carpenter -- at times, a very good pitcher. Not enough of a career to go forward, though.

First year curiosities with no chance include:

Hideki Matsui -- a pretty good player, but not great. Came over from Japan and acquitted himself well.
Kerry Wood -- dominant power pitcher who blew out his arm and never really recovered. Tried to come back as a reliever, but only had one good year at that.
Livan Hernandez -- came over from Cuba and had a long career. Overall win/loss record was 178-177, which sums him up.

Five guys who will get more than one look:

Jamie Moyer -- similar profile to Tommy John and Jim Kaat, but in the modern era. Never dominant, but generally good and pitched until he was almost 50. He'll probably fall short for the same reason Kaat and John have, but winning 269 games in the major leagues is a hell of an accomplishment.
Omar Vizquel -- a long, distinguished career. Great defensive shortstop, many Gold Gloves. Not a great hitter. There are worse shortstops than Vizquel already in the Hall of Fame, but that doesn't mean he'll get there. I expect he'll be a source of much discussion for the next ten years.
Johnny Damon -- Very good hitter and defensive outfielder who was a key contributor on two World Series champions ('04 Red Sox, '09 Yankees). Had power and speed, too. Did he do enough to make it? Baseball-Reference compares his career to Vada Pinson and Steve Finley, who are both on the outside looking in. Damon will stay on the ballot, but my guess is he falls short.
Andruw Jones -- A challenging career to evaluate. He was an all-time great defensive outfielder for the first part of his career and he hit well over 400 home runs. But when he started to decline, he was terrible. And his career batting average (.254) is not even close to HOF-worthy. Here's the upshot -- if you had to choose, would you choose Jones or Dale Murphy? Murphy is on the outside looking in. What makes Jones better? That's the question for the voters.
Johan Santana -- Really an interesting case. Was perhaps the best pitcher in baseball for a period of about five years, but once the arm trouble hit he was never the same. You could make an argument that he's essentially a modern-day Sandy Koufax; in fact, I've seen that argument made. Santana won the Cy Young award twice. His WAR (51.4) is slightly ahead of Koufax's (49.0). If Koufax, and for that matter Pedro Martinez, are HOF pitchers, and no one seriously disputes they are, Santana ought to get a look.

Will make it, but not on the first ballot

Scott Rolen -- he's Ron Santo, but with a better glove. He was always a dangerous hitter and a very smart player, too. He's not better than Chipper Jones, who we will discuss next, but he's a HOF player in my estimation. The only third baseman in this era who is better is Adrian Beltre, but Rolen will be in the HOF before Beltre hits the ballot.

First year, should be in

Jim Thome -- one of the all-time great power hitters. The only knock you might have on him is he wasn't a great defensive player, but a guy who hits 612 home runs is an all-timer. And even though he played in the heart of the Steroid Era, no one for a second suspected he was a user. The Paul Bunyan of baseball.

Chipper Jones  -- a no-brainer, first-ballot, mortal lock. Lifetime batting average of .303, 468 home runs. Not a great defensive player, but never a liability. Remarkably consistent career -- if you could get a guy in your lineup for 20 years who hit .300 and drove in 30 home runs and 105 RBI, would you take him? Of course you would.

Returning to the ballot

I expect Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero to be elected this time, as both were over 70% on the balloting the previous year. I personally think Hoffman is overrated, but he was consistently good for a long time. I was a bit surprised that Vlady was as highly regarded the first time, but upon further consideration he has an excellent case for the HOF as a modern-day Andre Dawson type. Edgar Martinez is getting closer, but he may run out of time. Mike Mussina is climbing; he won't make it this year, but he should get there.

The interesting question is how we view Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. Both were named on over 50% of the ballots the last time. Both are, of course, tainted with suspicion of using steroids. What makes it tough is this -- they were both HOF players before the Steroid Era really hit and if they'd simply retired, both would have been in the HOF. I don't know what to say about it. Meanwhile, the viability of the candidacies of Manny Ramirez and Gary Sheffield are both contingent on what happens with Clemens and Bonds.

Curt Schilling continues to hang around on the ballot, but I don't know if he'll make it. Benster thinks Larry Walker deserves more consideration than he's received thus far, a view that I'm coming around to -- yes, playing in Coors Field helped Walker, but he put up big numbers in Montreal, too, which was a terrible hitter's park. It's an endlessly fascinating subject. You can view the credentials of all the candidates at the invaluable Baseball-Reference website. Check it out.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Benster and D Pick Your Games -- We Almost Forgot Edition

Old dude, we almost forgot to do our picks this week! What happened?

I think we were in a Cajun-induced coma, between my tasty jambalaya and your fried oyster po'boy at Bistro La Roux. Too much celebrating can take you off your game!

That's some good Cajun food. But now we need to get the HYYYYYYYPPPPPE! back. So we'll be brief about it. Watch me work!

Minnesota Vikings (-2.5) vs. Scam Newton and his Carolina Panthers. So, Scam Newton is going to try and stop the Vikings. He has a chance. The Vikings are a good team and should be viewed as a legitimate Super Bowl contender. The problem, as we all know, is for the Vikings to live down their amazing history of choking. I'm curious to see how the Vikings are going to respond after a loss. They will get to showcase that skill, but not this week. Vikings 24, Panthers 7.

I've been amazed by the rise of the Vikings, actually. No one saw it coming, especially with Case Keenum at the helm. As a Packers supporter, it would actually be better for the Vikings to win this game, as it would set up an opportunity for the Packers to catch and pass the Panthers in the wild card if a few things break correctly. The Packers will have their opportunity to deal with the Purple eventually, but for now, enjoy the ride, Vikings fans. Vikings 24, Panthers 20.

Glorious Green Bay Packers (-3) vs. Cleveland Browns. I was at Lambeau last weekend and it was a great experience, as usual. The Packers are very much alive, but they cannot look past the Browns. Brett Hundley needs to play better than he did last week. I think he will, but this game will not be easy, since the Browns are, despite all appearances, a professional football team. Packers 17, Browns 9.

Josh Gordon makes me nervous. He's a great talent with something to prove and nothing to lose, while the Packers secondary is decimated with injuries. The key to this game for the Packers will be getting a pass rush, so that rookie Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer, who is actually younger than the Benster, doesn't feel as though he has a chance to throw the deep ball. I'm nervous! Packers 21, Browns 17.

Enjoy your football this weekend. We will! Ben out!

Friday, December 08, 2017

Good riddance

Al Franken resigned, sort of, from the Senate yesterday. It almost appeared he was trying to leave himself a little wiggle room, though:
 Facing a barrage of sexual harassment complaints and calls to step down from friends and foes alike, Sen. Al Franken took to the floor of the U.S. Senate Thursday to announce he would resign — a swift and historic fall for an unlikely Minnesota politician who had become one of the Democratic Party’s most recognizable leaders.

Franken was quick to explain that he was stepping down not because he thought he had done something wrong, but because he had determined that Minnesotans deserved a senator who wasn’t distracted by mounting allegations and a looming Senate Ethics Committee investigation.
Would resign. He hasn't yet. Could he try to wait it out and rescind his resignation if, say, the citizens of Alabama send Roy Moore to the Senate next week? If Mark Dayton delays announcing his replacement, that might be the game, but I don't it will happen. The moment Franken tried to wiggle out of the mess, more accusers would surface. I bet the eight women we've heard from are only a fraction of the people whose experiences would be something Franken "remembers differently." It would be helpful if, some day, a reporter would actually ask Franken precisely how his recollections differ from the accusations, and why we should choose to believe him. That question doesn't seem to get asked very much.

The long game for the Democrats is to go after Le Grand Orange, of course. Everything they do these days is designed to get rid of Trump. I don't know that it will work, though. For every scandal the Democrats attempt to hang on Trump, there are others tied to their party that are worse. We'll have plenty to talk about in the coming days and weeks.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

il miglior fabbro

From exotic Wichita, Bud Norman sums up the Masterpiece Cakeshop case correctly:
Those got-durned liberal fashion designers who decline to design dresses for President Donald Trump’s third First Lady deserve the same right, and so does any black baker who declines to decorate a cake with a confederate flag, and so does any homosexual baker who declines the Westboro Baptist Church’s request for a “God hate fags” cake. Outside of the legal arguments and here on the personal level, there’s no way of restricting one person’s liberty without eventually restricting the liberty of someone on the other side of political or cultural divide.
Public accommodation vs. free association. They don't have to be mutually exclusive. We'll have to see what Anthony Kennedy thinks.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Mene Mene Franken Upharsin

At the moment, Al Franken is calling reports that he is going to resign tomorrow premature, but he's gone and he knows it. You can't have half your caucus calling for you to resign and then expect to survive. He has been weighed and found wanting in the court of public opinion, and his continued presence in the Senate complicates the efforts of his party to keep the heat on Roy Moore. If Chuck Schumer wants Franken out, he'll be out. And Schumer wants him out.

So that means Mark Dayton will be appointing a successor. The Star Tribune believes Lt. Gov. Tina Flint "Abbatoir" Smith, former Planned Parenthood honcho, will get the nod as a caretaker and that a full-on raging battle for the seat will take place in the fall 2018 special election to fill the seat for the remaining two years of Franken's term. The notion is Smith will not be interested in staying in Washington. Are we sure of that? It's pretty nice in D.C. and I'm sure Planned Parenthood would love to have their own personal senator, beyond the 48 or so they already have.

So let's handicap the field:

Tina Flint Smith. Whether she'd want to stay or not, she'd be a completely loyal soldier for Schumer. She also would not likely get in the way of Amy Klobuchar's ambitions. I think there's a strong chance she'd get the nod.

Lori Swanson. Currently the attorney general, she's better at making waves and offering soundbites than Smith, but her prosecutor profile is perhaps a little too close to Klobuchar's for Amy's comfort. However, if Dayton wants to reward Swanson for her hard work as a DFL apparatchik by giving her a head start, this could happen.

Keith Ellison. Some of the more excitable conservative commentators think Ellison would be the pick, but I don't see it. I seriously doubt he could win a statewide election, and there have been enough rumors about his zipper issues over the years that he could get the same treatment Franken has received. He's reached his career apex as the congressman for CD-5 and he's smart enough to know it.

Betty McCollum. She's stayed in Washington for nearly 20 years by living inside the lapel pocket of Nancy Pelosi. If McCollum ran for statewide office, she'd have to speak. That wouldn't go well for her. No chance.

Ilhan Omar. The DFL has high hopes for her, but she's not ready. And Scott Johnson has a few questions for her that she's never really answered.

Chris Coleman. The outgoing St. Paul mayor, who wants Mark Dayton's job, but Tim Walz is standing in the way. I could see Coleman making the switch from the governor's race and take a shot at the seat in 2018, especially if Smith gets the nod and does not run. It's also possible for Walz to decide he'd rather run for the Senate, but I think he'll have a better chance running for governor.

John Choi. A darkhorse. Currently the Ramsey County attorney, he's been less overtly partisan than some of the other county attorneys and he's been generally successful in navigating a couple of high-profile cases, especially involving the scandals at the Archdiocese. He didn't get Jeronimo Yanez convicted, but sending a cop to jail is awfully tough to do. He could get the seat and hold it for 30 years.

Who do you think will get the nod? Cast your vote in the comments section!

I Wanna Destroy You

First, a little musical number:

We're into destroying things, and people, lately. In discussing the latest round of sexual harassment mongers, Victor Davis Hanson noticed it:
So what are the common pathologies to all these male icons — who are falling as fast as Confederate statutes a few months ago, in our earlier manifestation of collective moral frenzy?
I get nervous when collective moral frenzy gets rolling. It's pitchforks and torches all the way down these days and the capriciousness of it all is troubling. I hold no brief for any of the people accused; I'll also admit I am amused to see nasty, sanctimonious people like Al Franken get their indiscretions broadcast to a less-than-adoring public.

But still. . . ought not a moral imperative be involved? Is there a moral imperative involved? Are we sure? It's striking that Minnesota Public Radio hasn't just removed Garrison Keillor from its airwaves; instead, MPR and its parent company are wiping out any references to Keillor they have. It's the same notion as pulling down a Confederate statue; ought we be in the business of pretending things we now find unpleasant no longer can be mentioned?

Back to our song, written around 1980. Does this stanza ring out?

A pox upon the media
And everything you read
They tell you your opinions
And they're very good indeed

 That almost perfectly captures the argument of any critic of the MSM. I don't have a problem at all with calling down a pox on the poseurs and charlatans who tell me my opinions off their teleprompters. At the same time, can we find any coherent set of principles currently on offer? Or are we all about power -- taking it and using it? Because if we are, there's more to the song:

I wanna destroy you
And when I have destroyed you
I'll come picking at your bone
And you won't have a single atom left
To call your own

Personally, I don't have too many atoms other people would want to have, but still. If the only thing that matters is will, we're in a dangerous place.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Keyser Soze Strzok

A former top counterintelligence expert at the FBI, now at the center of a political uproar for exchanging private messages that appeared to mock President Donald Trump, changed a key phrase in former FBI Director James Comey's description of how former secretary of state Hillary Clinton handled classified information, according to US officials familiar with the matter.

Electronic records show Peter Strzok, who led the investigation of Hillary Clinton's private email server as the No. 2 official in the counterintelligence division, changed Comey's earlier draft language describing Clinton's actions as "grossly negligent" to "extremely careless," the sources said.

The drafting process was a team effort, CNN is told, with a handful of people reviewing the language as edits were made, according to another US official familiar with the matter.
Why does changing the verbiage matter? Back to the report:
The shift from "grossly negligent" to "extremely careless," which may appear pedestrian at first glance, reflected a decision by the FBI that could have had potentially significant legal implications, as the federal law governing the mishandling of classified material establishes criminal penalties for "gross negligence."

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, raised questions over why the change was made after receiving documents from the FBI last month, but the identity of who was behind the edit has not been reported until now.
Strzok appears to be at the center of a lot of things:
CNN has also learned that Strzok was the FBI official who signed the document officially opening an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, according to sources familiar with the matter. As the No. 2 official in counterintelligence, Strzok was considered to be one of the bureau's top experts on Russia.

But the news of Strzok's direct role in the statement that ultimately cleared the former Democratic presidential candidate of criminal wrongdoing, now combined with the fact that he was dismissed from special counsel Robert Mueller's team after exchanging private messages with an FBI lawyer that could be seen as favoring Clinton politically, may give ammunition to those seeking ways to discredit Mueller's Russia investigation.
The FBI lawyer in question is Lisa Page. Strzok was also having an affair with her. But there's more:
The FBI agent who was fired from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation team for sending anti-Donald Trump text messages conducted the interviews with two Hillary Clinton aides accused of giving false statements about what they knew of the former secretary of state’s private email server.

Neither of the Clinton associates, Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, faced legal consequences for their misleading statements, which they made in interviews last year with former FBI section chief Peter Strzok.
And so who was in charge of the interview with Michael Flynn, now in the crosshairs for lying to the FBI? It would be our guy Strzok:
But another Strzok interview subject was not so lucky.

Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, pleaded guilty last week to lying during an interview he gave on Jan. 24 to Strzok and another FBI agent. Circa journalist Sara Carter reported on Monday that Strzok took part in that interview with the retired lieutenant general.
And why does that matter?
At the time, Strzok was the FBI’s top investigator on the fledgling investigation into Russian interference in the presidential campaign. He was appointed to supervise that effort at the end of July 2016, just weeks after the conclusion of the Clinton email probe. CNN reported on Monday that as the FBI’s No. 2 counterintelligence official, Strzok signed the documents that officially opened the collusion inquiry.
The starkly different outcomes from Strzok’s interviews — a felony charge against Flynn and a free pass to Mills and Abedin — are sure to raise questions from Republicans about double-standards in the FBI’s two most prominent political investigations. FBI Director Christopher Wray will likely be pressed on the Strzok scandal on Thursday when he attends an oversight hearing before the House Judiciary Committee.
Either we have a justice system, or we don't. Either we treat everyone in the same way, or we don't. If we don't, we're past the rule of law and fully into something entirely different. When federal agents are simultaneously political operatives and use their powers to absolve their friends and indict their enemies, we are in a truly dangerous place. Mueller and others associated with the FBI have been stonewalling Congress for months now, precisely because proper oversight would reveal such improprieties and lead to a public outcry against the schemes of those who are supposed to serve the cause of justice. And there's more:
Along with Justice Department attorney David Laufman, Strzok interviewed Clinton herself on July 2, 2016. The pair also interviewed Mills, Abedin and two other Clinton aides, Jake Sullivan and Heather Samuelson.

Summaries of the interviews, known as 302s, were released by the FBI last year.

A review of those documents conducted by The Daily Caller shows that Mills and Abedin told Strzok and Laufman that they were not aware of Clinton’s server until after she left the State Department.

“Mills did not learn Clinton was using a private server until after Clinton’s [Department of State] tenure,” reads notes from Mills’ May 28, 2016 interview. “Mills stated she was not even sure she knew what a server was at the time.”

Abedin also denied knowing about Clinton’s server until leaving the State Department in 2013.

“Abedin did not know that Clinton had a private server until about a year and a half ago when it became public knowledge,” the summary of Strzok’s interview with Abedin states.
But that wasn't true:
But undercutting those denials are email exchanges in which both Mills and Abedin either directly discussed or were involved in discussing Clinton’s server.

“hrc email coming back — is server okay?” Mills asked in a Feb. 27, 2010 email to Abedin and Justin Cooper, a longtime aide to Bill Clinton who helped set up the Clinton server.

“Ur funny. We are on the same server,” Cooper replied.
So is lying to the FBI a crime, or is it not? Here's James Comey on the matter in 2016:
Former FBI Director James Comey defended the Clinton aides’ inconsistent statements in a House Judiciary Committee hearing held on Sept. 28, 2016.

“Having done many investigations myself, there’s always conflicting recollections of facts, some of which are central [to the investigation], some of which are peripheral,” Comey told Jason Chaffetz, a former Utah congressman who served on the committee last year.

Chaffetz was not buying Comey’s dismissive response.

“I think she lied to everybody,” he said of Mills in an interview on Fox News the night of the Comey hearing.

“There’s direct evidence that she actually did know [about the server],” said Chaffetz, who added that Comey’s defense of Mills “makes no sense.”
If Michael Flynn should be brought to justice for lying to the FBI, then Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills should be, too. Either we have a justice system, or we have something else. It's increasingly clear we have something else.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Song of the day

Integrating my social media efforts:

High school. It was fun then. Still is.

A busy news weekend, but. . .

I think it can be dispensed with quickly enough. Three quick observations:

  • I tend to think there's less to the news than meets the eye. Yes, the Senate passed a tax bill, but it's going to conference, so we don't know how things are going to look in the end. I'm amused to see the Democrats screaming about how slipshod the Senate bill was, complete with handwritten additions and whatnot. Do they not remember the Obamacare process? Further proof that politicians will say any damn thing to support their current argument.
  • As for Robert Mueller claiming a scalp, it may not mean much. As has been pointed out elsewhere, most notably by Alan Dershowitz, by getting Michael Flynn to plead guilty to lying to the FBI, Mueller and his claque have established that their potential key witness is a liar. Nice work, gents.
  • In truth, the most important news, at least around here, is the giant sinkhole in Oakdale, caused by a failed water main in the area. Since I-694 will be closed in the area for days, traffic is going to be a nightmare throughout the east metro. There's a much larger story here; our infrastructure is vulnerable virtually everywhere. I thought we were going to be spending billions, if not trillions, to fix our infrastructure following the 2008 financial crisis. Sure wonder where the hell all that money went.