The Wire

  • Three takeaways from Alabama’s Runoff Election

    Excerpt:

    With Alabama’s primary election runoffs now in the books, here are three takeaways from the results.

    North Alabama has spoken.
    When this election cycle began, it became evident that north Alabama saw a window of opportunity to increase its influence.  The results from the Republican primary runoff have shown the electorate in that area of the state was eager to flex its muscle.

    Will Ainsworth pulled out an impressive come-from-behind victory in the Lt. Governor’s race. Steve Marshall enjoyed a resounding win in his bid to retain the Attorney General’s office.

  • On Roby’s win: One false media narrative dies, a new one is born

    Excerpt:

    Like Lucy van Pelt of Peanuts comic strip fame repeatedly pulling the football away from Charlie Brown as he lines up to kick it, Rep. Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) once again has shown you can’t beat her in a Republican primary.

    Similar to when she defeated “Gather Your Armies” Rick Barber in the 2010 GOP primary and “Born Free American Woman” Becky Gerritson in the 2016 GOP primary, Roby defeated former Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright for a second time on Tuesday night, this time by a whopping 36 points.

    Heading into yesterday, many national media reporters were sent into Alabama’s second congressional district looking at the possibility that Roby might have to answer to a revolt for not sticking with then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on the infamous Billy Bush weekend during the 2016 presidential campaign.

  • Mo Brooks Wins FreedomWorks’ Prestigious 2017 FreedomFighter Award

    Excerpt from a Rep. Mo Brooks news release:

    Tuesday, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) was one of only 31 members of the U.S. House of Representatives awarded the prestigious 2017 FreedomFighter Award by FreedomWorks, a leading conservative organization with more than six million members nationwide. Only members of Congress who score better than 90% on the FreedomWorks scorecard receive the FreedomFighter Award. Congressman Brooks’ FreedomWorks score was in the top 4% of all Congressmen in 2017.

    Brooks said, “FreedomWorks is a leading organization in the conservative movement. I thank them for their work keeping members of Congress accountable and scoring key House floor votes which helps the American people better understand the impact of those votes. I was proud to receive the prestigious FreedomWorks 2017 FreedomFighter Award for my voting record in 2017. If America is to maintain its place as the greatest country in world history, more members of Congress must fight for the foundational principles that made America great. I’m fighting in Congress for those principles, and I’m glad to have a partner as effective as FreedomWorks in the fight.”

1 month ago

Our reaction to the North Korea Summit depends on our predisposition about Trump

(WH/Instagram)

It goes without saying that Democrats would view President Trump’s North Korean negotiations quite differently than Republicans, but I was honestly surprised by the strong negative reaction of Trump critics on the right.

Don’t get me wrong; some Trump critics on the right reflexively oppose everything he does or says, but my gut reaction when first learning of the summit was that even they would grudgingly acknowledge this as a positive development. But their reaction was viscerally negative, harsh, cynical, pessimistic and absolute. Either I overestimated their capacity for some fairness concerning Trump or I am radically wrong in how I interpret the summit results.

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I have witnessed an ontological certitude — both intellectual and moral — from a certain type of conservative Trump critic. These critics not only are sure of their beliefs but seem equally sure that conservative Trump supporters must have an ulterior motive because they couldn’t possibly retain their principles and support him. I believe they are way off base — their judgment clouded by their bias against Trump — but I don’t doubt that they believe they are doing what is right. However, they won’t extend us the reciprocal benefit of the doubt.

They often smear conservative Trump supporters as cultists — saying we would abandon our principles, even our commitment to national security, to support Trump or cover up his missteps or tweets. There may be some Trump supporters who appear that way, but rarely is this a cultish phenomenon, any more than is the loyalty of supporters of other strong political figures, such as Presidents Obama and Reagan.

I think the attraction to Trump is grounded in an abiding patriotism. His supporters are deeply concerned about the leftist assault on America as founded and the left’s dedication to completing its fundamental transformation of this nation. I can’t deny there’s a charisma factor, but if Trump had preached anything but a singularly pro-American message, his campaign wouldn’t have gotten off the ground.

Now, concerning North Korea: Yes, Trump exaggerated when he tweeted that North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat, but it didn’t unsettle me, because I know he didn’t mean it literally. We know from everything else he said that he is approaching this soberly and has the long view in mind. A national security hawk, he is aware of the traps and North Korea’s history of deceit. He will insist on verification. And he has surrounded himself with very serious and brilliant foreign policy advisers devoted to America’s national security.

I’ve never done this, but let me share some of my tweets on why I am very upbeat about Trump’s negotiations with Kim Jong Un so far.

“I’m not sure, but it seems to me that the different reactions to Trump’s NK negotiations this week, especially among those on the right, are largely attributable to people’s predispositions about Trump personally — significantly more so even than other issues & it’s fascinating.”

“I think there’s a major difference between Trump rejoicing at NK’s promises & Clinton or Obama doing so. Whatever else you think about Trump, he is a patriot & is committed to America’s security & those priorities transcend his desire to just make a deal, unlike Obama & Clinton.”

“It was as if Obama was so obsessed with making a deal that he’d virtually sell us out to do so — not virtually, he actually did in some respects. No way I believe Trump would do that, on inspections or anything else. I am sure many Trump skeptics will scoff at this assessment.”

“People who are savaging Trump because nothing concrete is done yet are spitting in the wind. It’s impossible that anything concrete could be done yet. Those criticizing any deal because of difficulties in verifiability are also just naysayers. Of course there will be difficulties.”

“How is it legitimate to criticize Trump’s outline of a plan on verifiability concerns when those steps have yet to be specified? Just calm down and let the process unfold. If Trump doesn’t ensure verifiability then or is lax about it, go after him by all means. I think he will.”

“I also think there is a real chance that Kim believes Trump might take military action if Kim betrays us and goes forward. There is little chance he or his predecessors would have feared that with Democrat appeasement presidents.”
“In the end, what are the critics kvetching about? Seems to me their criticism is way more premature than Trump’s celebration. It is inconceivable that much more could have been done substantively than was done in the first meeting and Trump said much work remains.”

“Is there even one leftist critic who would oppose a Democrat president trying to work toward denuclearization? They didn’t complain when Obama’s [Iran] deal was completely done and he’d given away the farm. Trump’s deal is just in outline form & he’s given away nothing — not yet.”

“I understand people freaking out over Trump’s tweet on this, but do you REALLY believe this means he won’t do everything he can to follow up — and ensure adequate security measures are implemented, or no deal? Because I do, so his optimistic tweet is just that & nothing more.”

“If Trump didn’t give a da– about America’s national security I’d be very skeptical. But I am convinced America’s security is his foremost priority here. That is why I’m not worried — like I would be big time with Obama. And I’m right. Yep, I’m right on this.”

“It seems that some conservative Trump critics fear that conservative Trump supporters would compromise their priorities — like national security — to support Trump even if he were jeopardizing it. No way. We support him, among other reasons, precisely because he’s a security hawk.”

“We are in the beginning stages of a process that has started off with great promise. Nothing more; nothing less.”

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

1 month ago

‘Fake news’ is not a fake term

(W.Miller/YHN)

The left and Trump-opposing right are predictably annoyed at President Trump’s persistent description of the liberal media as “fake news.” Like it or not, the term as he uses it has merit.

Trump’s opponents hysterically claim he threatens the free press when he uses that term to describe them, just as they accuse him of other alleged abuses of constitutional power. In fact, unlike President Obama, Trump has governed within his constitutional authority. If his rhetoric scares them, then maybe they should find a safe space.

Before you accuse me of your favorite discussion stopper, “whataboutism” — supposed efforts to excuse Trump’s alleged misbehavior by citing equal or worse behavior from Obama, Hillary Clinton or other Democrats — let me repeat: I am arguing that Trump has not abused his executive powers, so I’m not seeking to excuse him at all.

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As I’ve said before in response to Trump critics, not every criticism of Clinton and Obama is designed to take the heat off Trump. It is important to hold Democrats accountable, even for their past actions, and to showcase their hypocrisy.

I have often detailed President Obama’s misdeeds and the liberal media’s deliberate refusal to report on these and therefore won’t provide another comprehensive list here. But it is important for us all to understand that Democrats, as a rule, don’t much care about abuses of constitutional power — by the executive branch or by the legislative and judicial branches, not to mention the unaccountable administrative state — when they advance their leftist agenda.

Before you scoff at this, there’s a logical reason for this beyond their hyper-partisanship. They don’t care as much as we do about the Constitution — at least not as originally written. It’s undeniable from their history of supporting liberal judicial activism alone, wherein liberal judges bend, amend and upend constitutional provisions and principles when it suits their policy preferences. Liberals speciously accuse conservatives of activism when our constitutionalist judges merely reverse their lawless rulings, just as they accuse President Trump of abusing his executive authority when he dips his executive pen into White House ink to lawfully repeal Obama’s unlawful orders.

As just one example, President Obama repeatedly and publicly lamented his lack of executive authority to change immigration laws when he was trying to pressure Congress to pass the DREAM Act. But when his efforts failed, he dipped his executive pen into his executive ink and grossly abused his authority to advance his cause. And he did these types of things routinely — thwarting the will of the people by usurping the authority of Congress.

The liberal media, who hold themselves out as objective journalists, rarely, if ever, criticized Obama for such lawlessness. They are advocacy commentators disguised as journalists, and reporting on these abuses didn’t serve their agenda. Seems pretty fake to many of us. Yes, many commentators on the right are biased, as well, but they usually admit their biases rather than masquerade as objective observers.

Those who insist Trump is abusing his executive authority are the same ones who are hot and bothered about his “fake news” moniker for the liberal press, arguing that it somehow threatens the First Amendment. This is nonsense.

Trump doesn’t jeopardize anyone’s free speech rights by calling them fake. At the risk — again — of whataboutism charges, Presidents Obama and Bill Clinton were often in public fights with Fox News and conservative talk radio. Did they threaten free speech in such instances? Moreover, are critics suggesting that Trump has a constitutional or moral duty to remain silent in the face of endless criticism from the media — the media that are so preoccupied with discrediting him and undermining his agenda that they spend almost all their time on scandal-mongering and almost none on reporting substantive news?

The critics’ incessant and unsubstantiated claim that Trump is a threat to the Constitution is itself irresponsible. Most of the examples they cite have to do with his tough rhetoric rather than his actions. They just can’t stand him and have an irrational fear that he’s going to end the world, maybe even the universe.

So please, the next time someone casually asserts that Trump is a danger to the Constitution, have the person specify and connect the dots between Trump’s action or statement and an actual threat to our democracy.

And when you are considering Trump’s claim that he’s being attacked by fake news, keep in mind that the leftist media 1) aren’t honest about their biases and mask their editorial opinions as news; 2) grossly underreport substantive newsworthy events; 3) make things up about Trump — such as that first lady Melania Trump may have been in hiding to conceal evidence of physical abuse administered by this most evil of chief executives; and 4) deliberately conceal or deny indisputable evidence of Democratic abuses and corruption, the latest being the Obama administration’s clandestine assistance to Iran to facilitate its circumvention of financial sanctions — and its overt lies to the American people about it.

When it comes to political reporting, the liberal media are often fake news, so don’t just assume that Trump’s repeated claim to that effect is nothing but counterpunching noise. It’s about time someone called them on it. It’s wholly proper for the press to hold public officials accountable when necessary, but there’s nothing whatsoever wrong about a president’s holding the media accountable, as well. After all, collectively, their bully pulpit is arguably bigger than his.

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

2 months ago

Roseanne, Trump and the myth of conservatives’ racism

(Inside Edition, MSNBC/YouTube)

Roseanne Barr posted what many are convinced was a racist tweet, and ABC summarily canceled her sitcom. As Roseanne is considered a Donald Trump supporter and Trump is widely accused of racism, people are loosely smearing Trump as responsible for her, however indirectly.

Maybe I’m defensive about loose charges of racism, but if so, I’ve acquired my defensiveness honestly, because racism has become the left’s favorite categorical smear of conservatives and Republicans. It’s not something I’m imagining. I’ve written about it many times, basing it on my observations of leftists and Democrats in action.

I don’t believe that Democrats are racists, but I do believe they cynically exploit racial smears against Republicans as part of their strategy to retain a disproportionate percentage of African-American and other minority voters, without which they would be reduced to a permanent minority party. Considering the closeness of so many national elections, can you imagine the electoral impact of even a small percentage of African-American voters leaving the Democratic Party and voting Republican? Trust me, Democratic apparatchiks believe it — and act accordingly. Their fear leads to such baseless, disgraceful claims as the one about how George W. Bush purposely left blacks stranded on rooftops in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina because they were black and Republicans don’t care about blacks.

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It has always particularly frosted me that conservative policies are associated with racism even though our policies, historically, expand opportunity and prosperity for African-Americans and other minorities. Indeed, we aspire to colorblindness rather than the individually degrading identity politics habitually practiced by Democrats. We’ve recently learned, for example, that African-American and Hispanic unemployment numbers are at historical lows. You would think that after a while, word would get out that Republican actions speak louder than Democratic words and there would be a mass conversion of minorities from the Democratic Party to the GOP. Frankly, I’m surprised it hasn’t happened already, not just because of the serial failure of Democratic policies and the success of Republican ones but because of the drippingly patronizing attitude Democratic politicians have toward minorities. Why aren’t minorities offended by their being used so conspicuously? My guess is that many don’t have much faith in Democrats but they’ve been convinced that Republicans and conservatives truly are racist.

Think about how outrageous my statement is — especially if it is true. But I can’t imagine a better explanation for African-Americans consistently voting in the 90 percent range for Democrats. The Democrats’ slander, by the way, doesn’t just hurt the Republican Party and, by extension, the nation; it also hurts African-Americans and other minorities who believe the lie that roughly half the nation (Republicans) is somehow against them. How can it be healthy for minorities to believe such a lie? How could it possibly lead to improved race relations? Democrats constantly preach about diversity and racial harmony, but they do more damage with their vilification than with their destructive policies, and that’s saying something.

Now back to the alleged connection between Roseanne Barr and Donald Trump. Democrats and Republican never-Trumpers are tweeting and writing that Roseanne’s disgraceful Twitter outburst should be expected in the Trump era because Trump has ushered in an era of racism — soft or hard, racism nevertheless. Plus, Roseanne is a Trump supporter, so her negatives must attach to him.

I think it’s a major stretch to call Roseanne a conservative. She clearly is not a social conservative, and I doubt she’s much of a conservative otherwise, but let’s just assume, for discussion purposes, that she is a Trump-supporting Republican.

How about the claim that Trump is a racist or has created a climate conducive to racism? Well, the accusers have their talking points, and they can tick them off with the discipline of an A student on exam day, but instead of relitigating those specific statements (or actions, such as Trump’s challenging Barack Obama’s birth certificate or calling MS-13 gang members “animals”), I’ll tell you what I think is at the root of the smear. Trump is now a Republican, and thus he is fair game to be cast as a racist for the reasons already stated. But a bigger point is that Trump’s signature policy is immigration enforcement. The left — and an increasing number of open-borders advocates on the right — associates that policy with nativism, which is a euphemism for racism, and with outright racism. In addition, many believe that Trump is an alt-right white supremacist or, at the very least, encourages the support of this group through his policies and language.

I don’t believe that Trump is a racist. I reject that his policies, including his immigration policies, are racist, and I don’t believe there is a strong alt-right movement in this nation. Call me naive.

The charge is utterly predictable from leftists, but it is regrettable that people on the right are willing to so carelessly malign Trump as a racist and then blame him for the racially charged climate in this country. I suppose it fits the Trump opponents’ narrative that Trump is the worst human being alive, someone with no redeeming character qualities, but it is lazy and reckless.

Attempts to blame Trump for Roseanne Barr’s ugly statements are the same kind of categorical slur that makes racism a sin. Attempts to denigrate Trump supporters by extension are even more objectionable, and as you can tell, I’m using mild, nonincendiary language here that understates my indignation on this issue.

But as racism is probably the worst sin with which to be branded, people ought to be especially careful not to make such claims lightly. Shame on them for trying to shame the rest of us, for we abhor real racism every bit as much as they do — probably way more, but as I say, my purpose here is not to inflame.

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

2 months ago

The real story: Destroying Trump and protecting Clinton

(G. Skidmore/Flickr)

You don’t need to believe that the special counsel investigating President Donald Trump is a terrible person to conclude that the Obama administration and Clinton machine (and later their holdovers during the Trump administration) politicized and weaponized federal agencies to protect Hillary Clinton and damage Trump.

So if you just can’t shake your instinct that Robert Mueller is the epitome of virtue and professionalism, hold fast to it, but consider the litany of facts that prove serious and abundant malfeasance on the part of the Obama-Clinton “deep state” actors.

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The Department of Justice, especially the FBI, bent over backward to protect Clinton and bent over forward to harm Trump. Despite those efforts, the stubborn facts have emerged, thanks to patriots relentlessly pursuing the truth. More will be revealed as the Obama-Clinton glass house continues to shatter, but there’s already enough to make an objective person gasp. If Clinton had won the election, this evidence would have remained buried, and the power-abusing left would have been emboldened to continue to thwart the rule of law and target its opponents. Before you say it’s preposterous that Obama or Clinton would have politicized and weaponized government agencies, remember the actions of Obama’s IRS and EPA.

As for protecting Clinton, consider this partial list:

–Then-FBI Director James Comey wrote a letter exonerating her in advance of interviewing her and other key witnesses.

–Comey presented a strong case against her yet shielded her from prosecution.

–Comey claimed that Christopher Steele’s dossier was not an indispensable part of the FISA warrant application, when everyone has admitted it was. He said he didn’t know that the Clintons had paid for the dossier.

–Comey earlier said there was no spying against Trump and later said there was but the “informants” were carefully regulated.

–The FBI gave immunity like candy in the Clinton case and allowed two fact witnesses to sit in on the belated Clinton interview as her lawyers.

–The FBI claimed to have lost five months’ worth of texts between adulterous FBI honchos Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, which the inspector general found in less than a week.

–Then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch met privately with Bill Clinton while Hillary was under investigation. Lynch instructed Comey to refer to the Clinton investigation as a “matter” instead of an investigation.

–Strzok texted Page after Trump and Clinton became the nominees, “Now the pressure really starts to finish MYE” — meaning “midyear exam,” the FBI’s code word for the Clinton email probe. Page responded, “It sure does.” They were desperate to wrap up the Clinton investigation to prevent Trump’s election. Page was legal counsel to then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. The lovebirds noted that Obama wanted “to know everything.” As Newt Gingrich said, with all that was going on under his watch, it’s inconceivable that Obama and his adviser Valerie Jarrett didn’t know about it.

As for stopping, removing or disabling Trump, consider this partial list:

–The FBI planted a spy or spies in the Trump campaign with no real evidence (beyond wishful thinking, anecdotal minutiae and hearsay rumors) that there was any nefarious connection between the campaign and Russia. It appears these spies were there not just to eavesdrop but to lure the Trump campaign into the very conduct they were pretending to investigate — trying to “honey-trap” them.

–The government opened a counterintelligence investigation against Trump without any evidence of a crime.

–Based on a disgraceful leak from Comey, the DOJ appointed a special counsel to investigate the Trump campaign without any evidence of a crime and without specifying any crime in the appointment memo — and such specificity is required by law. Recognizing this, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein surreptitiously amended his appointment memo, but he still won’t reveal its content to congressional investigators.

–The FBI deceived the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court four times by presenting the Steele dossier, paid for by the Clinton machine and based on unsubstantiated opposition research, as legitimate evidence and disclosing none of its origins to the court. It also fraudulently presented a news article sourced to the same Christopher Steele as corroborating the dossier. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act requires substantiated evidence; it’s a strict standard because of the extraordinary encroachments on privacy it entails. The FBI also concealed from the court that Steele had been fired by the FBI.

–The government has been stonewalling and scapegoating Rep. Devin Nunes and other congressional investigators for jeopardizing national security in demanding that documents be unredacted. Invariably, when the redactions are removed, we see that no security interests were involved but that the government was seeking to conceal embarrassing actions of government officials. The government slandered Nunes for outing the FBI mole, whose existence it had previously deceitfully denied, when it leaked facts facilitating his outing.

–The Obama administration engaged in unprecedented and egregious unmaskings.

–Five or six DOJ/FBI officials have been fired, demoted or reassigned.

–The FBI agents didn’t believe that Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, lied to them, yet the special counsel pressured him into a guilty plea.

–Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied to Congress but later denied he had lied, claiming he was thinking about something other than what he was being questioned about. That would be lame from any witness, but from a man of Clapper’s caliber, it is stunning. Clapper also said, disingenuously, that the government’s intent was not to spy on the Trump camp but to find out what Russia was doing. Then why did the government try to entrap campaign members, and why did Clapper earlier deny there were spies in the campaign? If the government’s goal was to protect the campaigns from Russian influence, why didn’t it plant spies in the Clinton campaign, as well? Why didn’t it warn the Trump campaign of the possible interference — unless its goal was to damage Trump and protect Clinton, as opposed to safeguarding national security?

–The Obama administration opened up a Logan Act case against the campaign opponent (Trump) of its would-be successor (Clinton). This is unprecedented and astonishing.

–The Obama holdouts in the DOJ and FBI are still stonewalling and misrepresenting the facts — especially as to the origin of the Trump investigation.

That Hillary Clinton wasn’t disciplined or prosecuted for her security breaches and deliberately destroying relevant evidence, among other things, is beyond disturbing. That Donald Trump colluded with Russia to win the presidency at this point seems fantastical.

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

2 months ago

The leftist duumvirate is subverting, not protecting, ‘our democracy’

(Pixabay)

It is increasingly clear that the Trump-hating holdovers from the Obama administration and their media enablers — together, the duumvirate — are not protecting “our democracy” but subverting it by fraudulently scandalizing and delegitimizing President Trump.

To avoid an email avalanche, let me emphasize that I know the difference between a democracy and a constitutional republic, but I am using the terminology of the Trump-hating left, which, by the way, prefers a democracy to a constitutional republic. But I digress.

As often happens, the truly bad actors (the duumvirate, in this case) are benefiting from the factual complexity involved, which they have exacerbated through disinformation, slanted reporting and outright lies.

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They went ballistic when candidate Donald Trump wouldn’t definitively answer in advance whether he would accept the presidential election results. Their fake outrage was purportedly over Trump’s ostensible willingness to allow a cloud to hang over the Clinton presidency in the event she won. But Trump was just saying that he wasn’t going to prematurely concede that no chicanery would occur that could result in his defeat.

I only bring this up to highlight the phoniness of liberals’ outrage, as shown by their engaging in exactly the same behavior for which they savaged Trump for merely considering. Ever since Trump was elected, they’ve tried to destroy and remove him and obstruct his agenda based on a mythical storyline and phantom “facts” concerning his supposed collusion with Russia to steal the election. (Actually, we now know their nefarious behavior preceded the election because they needed “insurance” in case he won.) As former U.S. Attorney Andrew McCarthy says, the government used its covert powers to investigate Trump despite having no evidence of a crime. There still is zero evidence.

Notwithstanding their misdirection to lead us off the scent, it’s becoming clear that they bootstrapped the case against Trump based on thirdhand rumors elicited from a government-placed spy in the Trump campaign and on a dossier full of innuendo and lies that was procured and purchased by the Clinton campaign under cover of a law firm and shadow corporation. What utter sleaze! Though fully aware Trump’s opponents bought the dossier and that its contents were salacious and unsubstantiated, they brazenly presented it to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to get a warrant, without disclosing any of these damning details. This duplicitous dossier was an indispensable component of the government’s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant application.

James Comey, former FBI director and current self-promoter, denies that the dossier was crucial to the warrant application and pretends it was funded by Republicans. If he really believes that (and reasonable people really don’t believe he really believes that), then he is betraying a disqualifying ignorance , showing he had no business heading up this investigation — or the FBI, for that matter. This same James Comey, who is so zealous to ensnare Trump for Russian collusion that exists only in fevered leftist minds, bent over backward to exonerate Clinton for real crimes concerning the willful destruction of her emails. This same sanctimonious James Comey perniciously gamed the system by leaking memos he prepared while in the FBI to a law professor friend for the admitted purpose of triggering a special counsel investigation. Is this behavior we should expect from the nation’s top law enforcement officer, or are these the actions of some disgruntled two-bit Deep Throat wannabe trying to even the score against President Trump for firing him?

Though we know that the duumvirate will support darn near anything to advance its beloved leftist agenda, can we even fathom the magnitude of its hypocrisy in looking the other way at the gross conflicts of interest of the deep-state Trump investigators? How can anyone with a scintilla of decency not read with abject horror the email exchanges between the adulterously love-struck FBI agent Peter Strzok and top FBI aide Lisa Page? It’s undeniable that they were hellbent on shielding Clinton from justice and inflicting injustices upon Trump.

Throughout this ordeal, the government has thwarted legitimate congressional information requests by speciously invoking national security concerns and then deceitfully redacting documents it was ultimately forced to turn over — not to protect national security but to cover its own rear end. With one hand, the government claims it can’t release information concerning its spying on the Trump campaign (even claiming that congressional investigators are extorting it for the information), and with the other, it leaks this same information to friendly news outlets to mitigate the outrage coming its way when the unredacted documents are released and their duplicity is revealed.

If even a fraction of our disturbing suspicions concerning the government’s actions in this Trump investigation and pretend Clinton investigation are true, the Obama administration not only conspired to surveil, undermine and criminalize the opposition party’s presidential candidate but also has holdovers in government who are still engaged in a massive cover-up that in purpose, scope and the sheer number of important officials participating makes Watergate look like child’s play.

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

2 months ago

Denying Trump’s accomplishments is increasingly irrational

(White House/Flickr)

Some people still can’t stomach the idea of a Donald Trump presidency and so remain in denial about his mounting policy successes, but their resistance is looking increasingly proud and petty.

It’s risky to predict future trends, especially the political fortunes of government leaders and the results they might achieve, because there are so many moving parts. We’ve seen so much volatility and fluidity, and we have a plethora of unknowns. So I admit that it would be foolish to take for granted that President Trump will continue to rack up remarkable, substantive policy achievements, but it would be just as foolish to deny the significance of his accomplishments already, on a variety of fronts — or to pretend that it wouldn’t have mattered much if Hillary Clinton had won the election.

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 Could we at least acknowledge that a third Obama term via Clinton would have been “A Nightmare on Elm Street”?
To fully appreciate this, we Republicans should admit that even when our party is in office, we often fail to appreciably advance the conservative agenda — and sometimes don’t even temporarily halt the relentless advancement of the progressive agenda, which is virtually on autopilot these days.

There has been a prevailing attitude of deference among garden-variety GOP officeholders that inhibits them from reversing liberal policies, no matter how disastrous they are or how illegally they were implemented. It was in recognition of this institutional cowardice and apathy that Obama ran roughshod over them and the Constitution — knowing that if he signed legislation or implemented executive orders, no matter how unconstitutional, they would most likely remain in perpetuity. Most Republican candidates talk like Ronald Reagan when campaigning but act like feckless centrists in office.

The Trump presidency, so far, has been dramatically different. He has aggressively attacked Obama’s statist achievements and affirmatively promoted conservative policies on multiple fronts — and it’s immensely gratifying to behold.

He is taking action on all the branches of government — the legislative, executive and judicial branches and the unrecognized administrative branch. Considering its unaccountability and its reach, the administrative state might as well be a branch. It is a progressive’s dream because it expands government irrespective of which party is in power.

Until now, it was as if Republicans had resigned themselves to the inevitable expansion of the regulatory state and their powerlessness to curb it, much less reverse it. But refreshingly, Trump, with his newness to politics, has shown that he isn’t paralyzed by such assumptions. He is eradicating regulations at an unprecedented pace and has reversed some of the more egregious Obama power abuses, such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s draconian carbon emission standards that he crammed through.

What might have been unthinkable before Trump has become not only thinkable but also doable — and done — and this is true despite grudging criticisms of naysayers, including those on the right.

Some say that Trump doesn’t deserve credit for his accomplishments because his subordinates accomplished them or because they would have happened under any Republican president. And besides, they huff, no matter what successes he’s had, they’re not worth it, considering the alleged damage to the GOP and conservative brands he is doing.

I strongly doubt that many of these accomplishments would have occurred under any Republican president. Many of them wouldn’t have even been tried. And the idea that Trump doesn’t deserve credit for major policy accomplishments occurring under his watch, especially those he promised to implement during the campaign, is ludicrous.

I also reject that he’s damaging the Republican brand. For the most part, he has not promoted a so-called populist agenda as some feared but is gravitating more every day toward mainstream conservatism. Talking about conservatism doesn’t enhance the brand nearly so much as action, and we’re seeing a lot of action.

Let’s look at some of his achievements, acknowledging at the outset that he has been remarkably true to his campaign promises and that had he lost, there is no telling what kind of corruption would have continued undetected by a deep state protected under the impenetrable umbrella of a Clinton presidency.

The economy is robust and growing, with unemployment at 3.9 percent, the lowest since 2000. Manufacturing is up. The promised tax law is producing record revenues, despite cynics’ predictions to the contrary, and it has led to a wave of optimism throughout the business sector and widespread employee wage hikes and bonuses.

Though — regrettably — we have yet to make inroads in congressional spending, at least the ailing defense sector is receiving a needed shot in the arm, the importance of which cannot be overstated in these tumultuous times. Trump continues to rack up foreign policy wins, from North Korea (nukes and hostages) to the Islamic State group to Afghanistan to NATO to Iran (keeping his promise to withdraw from Obama’s disastrous deal) to Israel (recognizing Jerusalem, announcing his plan to move our embassy there and finally treating the country as an ally instead of an enemy). South Korea and Japan have increased their defense budgets. Gloriously, we’ve withdrawn from the Paris climate accord.

His judicial appointments have been stellar across the board. There has been a substantial decline in southern border crossings. The EPA administrator has rescinded scores of regulations. Trump has eliminated prohibition of interstate health insurance sales and has cashiered the Obamacare employer mandate. The FCC is torpedoing the left’s net neutrality agenda.

He approved the Keystone XL pipeline, which was beginning to look more like a pipedream than a pipeline. He rescinded the Arctic drilling ban and the coal mining ban on public lands. He has increased energy production and ended Obama’s abominable war on coal.

He’s made advances on religious liberty and restored the ban on the federal funding of abortion overseas, begun to revamp the space program, and targeted MS-13 gang members for deportation.

You don’t need to idolize President Trump, approve of all his tweets or celebrate his former playboy lifestyle to acknowledge this stunning string of accomplishments. But if you think that America isn’t dramatically better off than under Obama or that things aren’t immensely better than they would have been under Clinton, I’m not sure we’re on the same planet.

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

2 months ago

Sorry, liberal media, but you own Michelle Wolf

(T. Erin/Flickr)

Michelle Wolf is not the first so-called comic to maliciously insult conservatives and Republicans at a White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, but she was intentionally mean-spirited, and even after the blowback, she’s unrepentant.

Members of the liberal mainstream media have expressed disapproval over some of Wolf’s comments, saying she went too far. But I’m not buying it. This is what passes as liberal humor these days. Just watch Jimmy Kimmel, Bill Maher and Stephen Colbert and tell me their humor is less malevolent.

But hold on, you say. There’s a difference between late-night TV and a formal dinner pregnant with self-important dignitaries of the Washington press corps. Perhaps, but the point is there is a receptive constituency for this kind of bile. The organization had to have known what to expect from Wolf, and she admits she was just being herself that night. “If you’ve seen any of my comedy, you know that I don’t — I’m not (nice),” said Wolf. “I don’t pull punches. I’m not afraid to talk about things.”

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Revealingly, comedian Tina Fey said, “When you invite a comedian into that place, where that tone is set, they’re going to give it to you straight, and I think that’s pretty much what she did.” Whoa! In one line, Fey defends Wolf’s nastiness, confirms that the association should have known what it was getting with her and fixes her stamp of approval on Wolf’s calling White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders a liar.

The unapologetic Wolf, however, denies she was ridiculing Sanders’ looks. But in her indignant denial, she admitted something just as damning: “I think if you listen to the joke, you’ll understand that it’s about the fact that she lies, and if it’s taken another way, I think you should go back and listen to it again.”

Oh, OK, Michelle. You are not a bad guy after all. You only vaguely hinted at Sanders’ appearance, but you admittedly called her a liar outright — right to her face in front of a large crowd present in the room and an exponentially larger one watching on television. Now that’s virtuous. Bless you, you crusader for truth and all that is good and decent.

It is shocking that anyone would think her disparaging slander was funny. But it is not surprising that she would assume that calling Sanders a liar would be well-received or socially acceptable. This is the way far too many leftists think these days. How else do you explain the popularity of their comedians who routinely traffic in this bilge?

Indeed, no one really cares what Wolf thinks. If she had made these remarks in a smoky nightclub, who would know or care? It’s what it says about the left that makes it newsworthy.

Based on my own interactions with people of this mindset, I think many of them are so consumed with their contempt for conservatives — and especially President Donald Trump — they believe that almost anything goes if it advances the cause of denigrating them.

Their thinking seems to be that conservatives and Trump are so evil that ordinary rules of decorum can be suspended to speak “truth to power” — as if they’re not themselves powerful and as if they are speaking truth. (See Tina Fey’s comments, above.) It’s the same thought process driving their rationalization that free speech can be denied to conservatives who express ideas they find repugnant. With every passing year, leftists gain more recruits to serve alongside them as mini-ministers of truth. The level of self-deceit they possess that twists their minds and darkens their sensitivities is alarming, and it’s getting worse.

I assume that many of you will think I am hyperventilating or exaggerating — blowing this way out of proportion and making unwarranted generalities.

I understand you believe that, but I’ve witnessed this growing hostility on the left for years, which leads even mainstream liberals to reflexively brand conservatives as racists, sexists and homophobes simply by virtue of their conservatism. You can’t oppose illegal immigration or criticize Barack Obama on policy without being called a racist. The smear has worked, which I dare say is why such a disproportionate percentage of minorities vote Democratic when Republican policies benefit them more — and why Democrats are losing their minds over Kanye West’s praise of Trump and his assertion that African-Americans should be free to think for themselves and not be pressured into identity groupthink.

I could cite examples all day of liberals condemning conservatives as evil because of their political views and consequently justifying their mistreatment. Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter for Obama, snidely defended Wolf’s remarks, mocking complaints about her tone and civility. He was not alone; all kinds of leftist figures defended Wolf, as you can verify with a quick Google search.

Actor Robert De Niro doubled down on Wolf’s invective, not only defending her but also castigating the White House Correspondents’ Association for distancing itself from her. “Shame on them! Stand up and strap on your balls and deal,” said De Niro. De Niro justified Wolf’s vitriol because Trump and Sanders and company are “liars and bullies.” What did I tell you? Anything goes as long as you’re attacking evil conservatives.

ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, hardly an outlier on the left, took to Twitter to chide the media for not defending Wolf, who “was FUNNY.”

Wolf put the elite leftist media in a box when she so openly attacked a woman in public while they were conspicuously present, but this is how far too many of them think, and this is why they invited her to the event and why they invited the equally offensive Wanda Sykes and Stephen Colbert in the past. Please spare us the feigned disapproval, guys. This is what you do.

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

3 months ago

Someone get poor Jim Acosta hazardous duty pay, quick!

(CNN/YouTube)

In their incessant, mostly baseless attacks against President Donald Trump, his leftist haters reveal much more about themselves than him — and it’s not an attractive revelation.

In what seemed like a parody of a coastal elitist disparaging inferior flyover Americans, CNN’s Jim Acosta said that too many Americans can’t see through Trump’s act because they “don’t have all their faculties.” This is going pretty far, even for this smug activist masquerading as an objective journalist. But in his defense, who wouldn’t unravel at the realization that one’s diligent yearlong efforts to remove the president have failed so spectacularly?

Have you ever noticed that leftists often characterize conservative views as bigoted, and sometimes dangerous, to discredit and dehumanize them — and suppress their speech? I dare say that as recently as a few decades ago even radical leftists wouldn’t have openly abandoned the universally shared American ideal of free speech. Today, however, finding themselves defeated in the marketplace of ideas, they increasingly support restrictions on speech they don’t like.

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They routinely conceal their censorship schemes in handsome packages, such as the Fairness Doctrine, net neutrality, and seemingly innocuous campus speech codes, but their aim is the same — to restrict or obtain a government-leveraged advantage over the speech of their political opponents. A ubiquitous telltale sign of such ploys is the insistence that they are promoting peace and harmony by protecting groups and society from offensive speech, especially that which could lead to violence.

This is grossly cynical sophistry. I could be mistaken, but I am unaware of any examples of conservatives using such specious reasoning to curtail speech they disfavor, and if I do encounter such efforts, I will oppose them, no matter how obnoxious I might find the speech.

Today, many leftists seem to be unashamed to cashier our unifying ideal of free expression — to the point that some are outright admitting they value censorship of certain ideas over the principle of constitutionally protected speech. They are so intoxicated by their self-righteous advocacy of so-called diversity and tolerance that they contend that First Amendment guarantees should not apply to what they consider hateful utterances.

Jim Acosta doesn’t go this far, but he and many of his leftist pseudo-journalistic colleagues, including CNN’s chief White House correspondent April Ryan, have been arguing that by criticizing the mainstream media, Trump could cause anarchy around the globe. Please try not to laugh, because they appear to be serious.

“Fake news, by the president saying this, is not just a simple or cute little statement for some,” said Ryan. “This has tentacles that (are) reaching overseas. … Think about it. When you are in a country and your citizenry thinks that you’re fake, thinks that what the news is saying is fake, there can be anarchy some kind of way. It causes a destabilization of democracies.”

Acosta added that people around the country don’t realize it’s an act. “They don’t have all their faculties in some cases — their elevator might not hit all floors. My concern is that a journalist is going to be hurt one of these days.”

There you have it. Red state Americans are too dim to understand that Trump and his evil mouthpieces like Sarah Huckabee Sanders know the press is truthful and are just maligning it as a cover to continue their nefarious schemes.

News flash: Trump and Sanders actually believe the liberal media are advocacy journalists who habitually slant and distort the news to advance their leftist agenda — the foremost item of which is destroying Donald Trump and his presidency. And, yes, millions of Americans believe this, too — not because they’re being duped, but because it’s true. What’s somewhat unclear to me is which members of the mainstream press are self-deceived and which are knowingly deceiving others about their mission.

But how is accusing CNN and other liberal media of spreading rubbish tantamount to inciting violence or somehow likely to lead to it? I guess these leftists forget President Obama’s ongoing war on Fox News and conservative talk radio. Besides, Americans have been accusing their political opponents of lying since the nation was founded. Since when is that the same as promoting violence? Look around. When calls to violence accompany political speech in this nation they are usually coming from leftists — and so they are projecting again. The abject hatred and intolerance of opposing ideas isn’t emanating from the political right. Just ask Kanye West.

Revealingly, Acosta praises White House press briefings, which he claims expose the administration’s “evasions, their lies, their falsehoods.” What? Did you say lies? Are you inciting violence there, Jimbo? We’re probably all hypocrites to some degree, but Acosta is gifted in the dark art.

The level of contempt these self-styled arbiters of truth have for the rest of us rubes is as astonishing as it is revealing. Are they actually saying that we can’t question their veracity without exposing them to danger?

I’m young enough to remember when journalists, even liberal ones, at least pretended the events they were reporting were bigger than themselves. Now they are not as much about reporting the news as making it — and putting themselves at the center of it. They might as well discontinue the charade — we’re on to them.

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

3 months ago

The fall of James Comey

(ABC/YHN)

I originally assumed that former FBI Director James Comey is an honorable and truthful man who was striving to be objective and avoid undue political influence. He has earned my change of mind.

Our law enforcement and judicial institutions should operate, to the extent possible, above politics to ensure equal justice under the law.

The term “justice is blind” is more than a cliche. Justice, by definition, must be administered impartially, without regard to wealth, power, gender, race, religion or any other special status. The law must guide the judicial system, from start to finish — from the decision to indict to the verdict of guilt or acquittal.

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Comey presents himself as a consummate professional, a moral paragon, dedicated to the law and consciously above rank political concerns. He has systematically undermined this carefully crafted image with his unseemly forays into the public arena, his professional decisions, his public statements, his book and his interviews.

FBI officials and agents I’ve met have always been highly professional, discreet and circumspect — so close to the vest that they won’t even share with friends information pertaining to ongoing investigations. They want to make clear that they operate with no favoritism and that their allegiance is to justice and the law.

I assumed Comey would be no different. He initially projected a patina of professionalism, as we witnessed during parts of his news conference in which he announced he wouldn’t prosecute Hillary Clinton and during his congressional testimony. He came off as consciously committed to operating above the political fray and following the law.

As his news conference unfolded, it became obvious that he was trying to be all things to all people, but instead of pleasing everyone, he alienated most. He meticulously documented the litany of damning facts against Clinton as if he were presenting a closing argument to a jury. But then he essentially told us that none of that mattered because she hadn’t intended to break the law. My BS antenna started sending me strong signals, which were later confirmed when consulting the relevant statutes. He couldn’t have laid out a better case for gross negligence and even willful criminal behavior, yet he chose to characterize her actions as noncriminal. If this weren’t bad enough, we later learned that he drafted a statement clearing Clinton of charges two months before the FBI interviewed her in its probe. His twisting the law into a pretzel to avoid prosecuting Clinton screams that political considerations were paramount and superseded any legal analysis.

Moreover, Comey admitted in his interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that he factored the likelihood of Clinton’s winning the election into his decision to publicly announce reopening her email investigation, fearing that she would immediately become an illegitimate president. He might as well have just worn a sign into his interview reading “political animal.”

Comey’s decision to write a tell-all book about an ongoing investigation on which he was the senior investigator and for which he could be a witness was abominable. It has gravely diminished him and the FBI, and it has contradicted his claim that he is concerned with protecting the image and integrity of the bureau. I doubt that Comey would have ever been appointed to such a position in the FBI had people known he was the type to air dirty laundry and share inside information on matters that demand discretion. Indeed, many current and former colleagues are recoiling with disdain.

Some of Comey’s statements in the book and interviews were particularly inappropriate. His duty of professionalism didn’t end when he left office. His comments on Donald Trump’s appearance were especially petty, more fitting for a teenage Twitter thread than from a former high-ranking law enforcement official.

Even worse was his reckless opinion to Stephanopoulos that it’s “possible” that Trump obstructed justice, even though he admitted there is no evidence. Then there were his gratuitous statements that the Russians may have something on Trump and that it’s possible the alleged incident involving prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room happened. How could anyone watch that interview and still respect Comey’s intellectual honesty?

Free speech guarantees certainly apply to this publicity hound, but they don’t insulate him from our reasoned opinion that he has no business saying Trump behaved like a mob boss or that he is morally unfit to serve.

Comey’s conduct in this affair has been disgraceful. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded that he made “serious mistakes,” that he won’t admit his mistakes and that both Democrats and Republicans called for his termination. Former attorneys general, judges and lead prosecutors believe that Comey violated his duty to preserve, protect and defend the FBI. He violated Justice Department policies and tradition. And he leaked four memos, at least one of which was classified, to a friend for publication instead of turning them over to investigators.

I suspect that Comey began writing this book expecting financial profit and professional and personal vindication. I’m afraid he’ll have to settle for the big bucks alone. I would feel sorry for him if he weren’t so sanctimonious.

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

3 months ago

Paul Ryan — still an entitlements reform crusader?

(Speaker Paul Ryan/Facebook)

Concerning Paul Ryan’s decision to leave Congress, I am more troubled by its implications for entitlement reform than the impact it may have on the GOP agenda or the November elections.

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page said, “Ryan will leave Congress in January with no substantial progress on (reforming Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid), few lawmakers interested in picking up the torch, and a clear signal that prospects are dim for any big overhaul in the foreseeable future.”

Entitlement reform is not only the least sexy of all proposed legislation; it is the kiss of death for any would-be Republican reformer, because Republicans are already depicted by leftist demagogues as reverse Robin Hoods and curbing federal benefits for the poor and elderly would just “confirm” the slander.

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It is tragic that we haven’t the maturity to responsibly discuss amending these programs to prevent the inevitable national bankruptcy they guarantee in the absence of reform. Republicans are culpable on this, to be sure, but it’s nothing compared with Democrats, who would rather demagogue than breathe.

I have been concerned about these runaway federal programs for decades but became especially interested during the Barack Obama years, when Ryan gained national prominence for making them a national issue — for a while.

This was Ryan at his best — a policy wonk, meticulously crunching the numbers, preparing the position papers explaining their implications and presenting them to Congress and the public in intelligible language. I was encouraged when Mitt Romney chose Ryan as his running mate, because I saw Ryan’s potential position as increasing the chances that the country would finally tackle the problem.

Though the details of the math might put some to sleep and experts might disagree on the timetable for our economic destruction, it is indisputable that unless we legislatively reform the programs, the country will swallow itself in debt. Any solution involves some pain, but the longer we delay the greater the pain will be and the more difficult reform will become politically.

Part of the problem is that many have been crying wolf for decades over the looming dangers of federal deficits and the accumulated federal debt. As no catastrophe has ever materialized, it’s no wonder the public has been lulled into complacency and disregards the predictions of doom.

It is human nature to focus more on immediate problems than on long-term ones, and Washington’s ever increasing demands on the public through onerous taxes and unending regulatory control keep us plenty busy. Endless partisan warfare also militates against soberly addressing this issue.

Some criticize Ryan for dropping the ball on entitlement reform after spending years convincing us that we ignore this issue at our own national peril.

But let’s be realistic here. Does anyone think that in this politically hostile, hate-Trump atmosphere fomented by the media and the Democratic Party — with the distractions they spawn over the Russia-collusion myth — Ryan would have had a snowball’s chance in Hades of getting to first base on any entitlement reform proposal?

Does that mean Ryan or other Republicans should abandon reform? No. But when you are under relentless fire, you’d better fire back right then, or you won’t be around to fight another day.

And it’s not just Democratic demagoguery and the unpopularity of reforms that stand in the way of action but also the tyranny of the urgent. Ryan didn’t choose the speakership. He even resisted the position. But he eventually relented. It soon became clear that the mood of the country was to work on Trump’s agenda, and that did not include entitlement reform. Ryan can be fairly criticized perhaps, along with many others, for the GOP failure on repealing and replacing Obamacare, but if he had dreams of addressing long-term entitlement reform in the short run as speaker under Trump, they would have been just that — dreams.

The hard, cold fact is that we do have more pressing problems than entitlement reform, and we always will — until we finally bankrupt ourselves. But the political climate has made current attention to such reform almost impossible.

Every year, entitlements will gobble up an increasing percentage of the federal budget, so that in the near future, even draconian cuts in discretionary spending will not put a dent in the federal deficit.

People often lament that democracy contains a poison pill that guarantees its own demise, in that the voting public will vote itself money from the public trough and commit suicide by greed. (Yes, we have a constitutional republic, but our representatives are democratically elected.)

This poison has infected our system in multiple ways — with the redistribution of income, certain people abusing federal power to control others, and the possible bankruptcy of future generations at the behest of irresponsible present generations.

I have no illusions that we’re going to make appreciable headway in the near term or that Democrats will ever approach this problem in good faith to allow us to achieve reform by consensus. But because the budgetary doomsday clock is ticking, we don’t have the luxury of forever shelving it.

As such, I am just going to be Pollyannaish for a change and humbly propose and pray that after Paul Ryan returns to his family and rejoins the private sector, he carves out time from his new position, whatever it is, to use his expertise and passion on entitlements to crusade for reform and keep that torch burning before it is too late for anything other than extreme reform. If you say that that reform is impossible, then you are necessarily saying the country is headed for destruction — sooner than we imagine. Are you willing to live with that?

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

3 months ago

Don’t let the left do it to Pruitt

(G. Skidmore/Flickr)

The left’s crusade against Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt should be seen for what it is — a witch hunt. We don’t need any more conservatives hanged by leftists who major in criminalizing political differences and minor in slander.

How dare a Republican president appoint an environmental heretic to head an administrative agency the left views as its sole, separate and absolute property? This agency exists to serve the deep state — the entrenched federal government bureaucracy that is tailor-made to advance the left’s agenda and operate above accountability.

This conspiratorially organized assault against Pruitt is precisely what Barack Obama and his friends mean by community organizing. It is vicious, relentless street fighting aimed at discrediting Pruitt and taking him down because he is one of the rare administrative officials who won’t put politics above the law and will stand up to those who do.

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The left — always projecting its own malicious practices onto its political opponents — is framing this as its benign campaign to protect the rule of law. Leftists claim that it is Pruitt, appointed by Dr. Donald Evil himself, who is imposing his political agenda. These Alinskyites understand the impact of words and the force of propaganda. Anyone who doesn’t swallow whole their radical assumptions on the environment is a menace, especially one who is in a position to make a policy difference.

Leftist activists and their media co-pilots are hellbent on disgracing Pruitt and destroying his reputation to effect his removal, so they are throwing all kinds of phony scandals against the wall of public opinion to pressure the White House to give them Pruitt’s head.

The energy they are expending on this should tell you how important progressives view unelected, unaccountable administrative agencies in implementing their draconian regulations, which have been choking our individual liberties and wreaking havoc on our economy.

The left is blowing a lot of smoke about alleged improprieties with Pruitt’s travel expenses. Thank goodness media conservatives, whose very existence leftists lament every day, are on the case. The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel, in a series of tweets, dismantled this bogus charge simply by comparing Pruitt’s travel and security costs with those of his predecessors, whose similar expenses dwarf Pruitt’s. And when you add the disturbing factor that Pruitt has been the target of death threats, which have required greater security measures, the contrast between Pruitt’s expenses and those of his dutifully liberal forerunners is even more pronounced.

There is also the earth-shattering matter of the alleged sweetheart deal Pruitt was given on a condo lease, a transaction that was reviewed and found proper by the EPA’s ethics office, which is hardly staffed by Trump supporters.

Leftists don’t care a whit about these nonissues; they are just using them as cudgels to thwart the democratic process — the legitimate effort of our duly elected president to appoint people who will not advance radical policies by being lawless agents. No matter how desperately leftists want to brand Pruitt as a renegade activist, he is just a cog in the wheel of their activism or, in some cases, the driver who is going to put their environmental vehicle in reverse and slam his foot on the pedal.

The left has bullied its way into imposing administrative regulations that are disastrous for business and onerous for individuals. They aren’t just horrible in substance; they’re also terrible in process. The Obama administration shamelessly thwarted the rule of law and exceeded its authority in issuing many of these regulations.

Under Pruitt’s leadership, the EPA has eliminated regulations gratuitously detrimental to the coal industry that Obama crafted to achieve his stated agenda of bankrupting that industry. Pruitt has determined, in light of recent data, that the current greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and light trucks for model years 2022-25 are inappropriate and require revision. In announcing his decision, Pruitt said that “Obama’s EPA cut the Midterm Evaluation process short with politically charged expediency, made assumptions about the standards that didn’t comport with reality, and set the standards too high.”

That is, Obama’s regulations were not only inappropriate based on the data but also issued unlawfully pursuant to a political agenda. You won’t hear leftists or their media water carriers complaining about this.

In addition to their angst over Pruitt’s revision of the fuel emissions standards, which, incidentally, could reduce the price of new cars by as much as $7,000, The Heritage Foundation’s Genevieve Wood offers two reasons the left is going after Pruitt — and neither of them has to do with ethics issues. He has led the Trump administration’s efforts to dismantle Obama’s “expensive and ineffective climate legacy piece by piece.” And his EPA is scrapping the transparency-hostile practice of developing regulations based on studies that are kept secret from the public.

One thing I appreciate about President Trump is that he is taking action in certain areas that would have been unthinkable to entrenched politicians, many of whom are so used to the inertia of bad policy that they seem to be paralyzed with feelings of futility. The EPA is one of those areas. We are actually seeing concrete results, and it’s immensely refreshing.

Like many others, I’ve long said that we can’t afford to sleep for one second in our ongoing battles against leftists because they don’t. We need to shed some of the defeatism that has crippled the conservative agenda and celebrate the kind of progress we’re seeing at the EPA.

The left considers Pruitt a hill to die on. So should we.

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. 

(Creators, copyright 2018)

4 months ago

It depends on what the meaning of facts is

(U.S. DOD)

Former President Barack Obama (I love the adjective preceding his title) made some comments at the recent Global Opinion Leaders Summit in Japan that I can’t let slide, so please forgive me.

“It used to be that the two political parties in the United States would disagree but there was a common base line of facts and a set of norms in terms of political behavior that were followed. … You could have a disagreement, but basic things got done. … And some of the reason for that is … it used to be that in the United States, there were three television stations. Basically everybody watched the same thing. Everybody got their news from the same sources, and so everybody had, more or less, a similar view of the world. But today, because of first cable television and then now the internet, people have 500 channels to choose from, and they are able to find the news that fits their views instead of fitting their views to the news, so they are very biased in terms of how they see things, in a way that just didn’t used to be the case. And so it becomes harder to have a proper democratic debate if we don’t agree on just basic facts. … I can have an argument with somebody who doesn’t think it’s worthwhile for us to sacrifice economic growth in order to reduce carbon emissions. It’s much harder to have a debate with somebody who doesn’t believe that the planet is getting warmer despite the fact that 99 out of 100 scientists say it is. … When you don’t have a common set of facts, it’s hard to have, then, a basic democratic conversation.”

The opinion Obama is expressing is not unique to him. This is the way far too many liberals think.

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I’ve heard former news luminaries such as Ted Koppel and Dan Rather separately lament that conservatives are essentially in a different reality. The liberal worldview springs from a healthy mind; the conservative one is not a different but valid alternative; it is just wrong.

Do you see the irony? Liberals don’t see that they are grossly guilty of what they are complaining about. They are the ones who don’t accord legitimacy to opposing views. Obama revealed his contempt for opposing viewpoints most infamously in his “bitter clingers” remark, but we witnessed him demonstrating it throughout his presidency, when he seemed to take umbrage at disagreement itself, as opposed to the reasons for the disagreement. If people disagree with leftists, they are being unreasonable, because leftist ideas are self-evidently true. Even worse, they presume that they alone are compassionate and that conservatives are heartless, self-interested wretches.

As an example, a young leftist criticized me on Twitter for noting that a certain student gun control activist has become offensive, hostile and partisan in his advocacy while berating those who don’t agree as placing their partisanship before children’s safety. My Twitter stalker asked me: “Since when is not wanting to get shot a partisan issue? Aren’t you bothered in the least that grade-schoolers have drills about crazed gunmen?”

I responded: “What makes leftists think that because we don’t agree with your proposed solutions we care any less about the problem than you? We actually want to address it. Your collective arrogance is astounding — no offense. I assume you want to help; you assume we don’t care.”

Now back to Obama. He longs for the days when an oligarchic media delivered a monolithic message. Darn that Rush Limbaugh (though Obama forgot to mention my evil brother this time) for opening up the media floodgates for an equally valid worldview. Darn Fox News and darn the internet. Competition is anathema to leftists not only in economics but also in the dissemination of information itself — the lifeblood of democracy.

They liked it better when the reporting of so-called facts was controlled by a narrow group of Beltway elites with a similar bias — a bias that influenced what the elites deemed important enough to report (or useful to their political agenda), the way they reported it and their commentary on it. It was much better when the expression of conservative dissent was limited to the local bar and the renegade conservative newspaper columnist.

A good way to determine which group of people is credible is to notice which is unafraid of the liberal flow of information and of the public’s ability to separate fact from fiction. Those who want to control the information are the suspect ones. Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously said, “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.” Ironically, Obama once approvingly cited this. You will note that it is never conservatives who advocate limitations on free expression through campus speech codes and other forms of censorship.

If leftists weren’t so self-important, they might understand that these things they call “facts” are not always objectively true. Take Obama’s dogmatic assertion that 99 percent of scientists believe the planet is getting warmer. Many dispute that assertion, saying that it is based on a skewed study and that there are thousands of scientists known to disagree. Further, many believe that even if it’s occurring, it is not primarily being caused by human beings and that even if it is, there is not much we could do, short of returning to a Stone Age-like existence, to reverse the process, and it’s doubtful that would work, either. Studies have shown that the draconian measures leftists support wouldn’t appreciably reduce global mean temperature in 100 years.

But if we disagree with Obama’s facts, then we are ridiculed as science deniers and told that there is a consensus and the matter is closed — claims that are wholly antithetical to the scientific method.

Leftists’ attitude that their subjective opinions should be universally recognized as objective truth is precisely why we need to promote the flow of information from all sources and let the people decide for themselves what is and isn’t credible. Thank heavens for the advent of conservative radio, conservative TV news and the internet, all of which, in various ways, liberals are trying to undermine or seize control over. Beware.

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. 

(Creators, copyright 2018)

4 months ago

Authoritarianism for me but not for thee

(ABC News, MSNBC/Youtube)

It’s funny how projection works. These hysterical Democrats calling for President Trump’s impeachment because of his dastardly “authoritarian tendencies” are the ones with authoritarian tendencies.

I’ll bet you didn’t know that the president commits an impeachable offense if his political opponents harbor an irrational fear that he has authoritarian tendencies — whether or not he has acted outside the scope of his constitutional authority, flouted the rule of law or done anything else that could be remotely construed as a high crime or misdemeanor. I didn’t, either.

But doesn’t it bother you just a little bit that the very people who are calling for Trump’s removal because they don’t like him or his policies want to put their own authoritarians in power, where they can actually flout the rule of law?

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My chief complaint is not their hypocrisy, though it abounds among these sanctimonious progressives. It is that they are eager to twist the law to suit their political agenda while masquerading as sacred guardians of the Constitution.

Someone should ask these mob-thinking witch-hunters how they can contemplate impeachment without a colorable claim that Trump has committed an impeachable offense. Other than their incapacity for self-reflection, why are they demanding an official proceeding to remove the president based on what he stands for and things he says?

Granted, impeachment is largely a political matter, but riotous partisans shouldn’t be allowed to just make things up and ignore the plain language of the Constitution and the historical background informing its provisions. Sure, liberal activists who can find an emanation and penumbra behind every constitutional rock can distort any constitutional provision beyond recognition. But would anyone but a rabid authoritarian pretend that the Framers intended “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” to include any lawful conduct or tweet that could be exploited in bad faith to overturn the democratic will of the voters?

The less likely it appears that Trump did anything improper with Russia the more desperate these Democratic authoritarians become. There is an inverse relationship between the amount of actual evidence against Trump and the intensity of the Democrats’ impeachment rhetoric. Old adages endure for a reason, and the Democrats are quite familiar with this one: “If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell.”

Everywhere we look, Democrats are pounding the table and yelling like hell. On MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes,” Sen. Bernie Sanders said Trump has “a strong authoritarian personality” and shows a “disrespect for democracy” in the U.S. His proof: Trump admires foreign dictators, and he disrespects democracy in terms of voter suppression, gerrymandering and his attacks on the media. Well, I hate to tell you, Bernie, but one of the telltale signs of leftists these days is their adoration for dictators such as the Castros. I also regret to inform you that Barack Obama declared war on Fox News and conservative talk radio without a syllable of protest from you or your comrades. And gerrymandering? Really? Nevertheless, it’s amusing for socialists to complain about authoritarianism when their lives are dedicated to consolidating governmental power to exercise authoritarian control over their subject citizens. But at least Sanders is not demanding impeachment — yet.

Liberal MSNBC host Brian Williams slammed Republicans for lacking the courage to discuss impeaching Trump. Unsurprisingly, the authoritarian-prone Williams didn’t cite any impeachable offenses.

Campus Reform reports that Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe is teaching a class that explores what impeachment and removal by other means might resemble in the Trump era. He has a new book coming out on the subject, and he was already calling for impeachment last May in an op-ed for The Washington Post.

In that essay, Tribe cited no impeachable misconduct on Trump’s part. He just groused about the “emoluments clause” — give me a break — and that “ample reasons existed” to worry about Trump even before he fired FBI Director James Comey. Tribe argued that the nation couldn’t afford to wait to begin impeachment proceedings. “To wait for the results of the multiple investigations underway is to risk tying our nation’s fate to the whims of an authoritarian leader.”

Soon after, Tribe said on MSNBC: “Letting him just sit out the time … is too dangerous for the country. We have to start an impeachment investigation in the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee now while the FBI continues to do its work.”

Does that sound a bit authoritarian to you? Just begin the formal process to remove a sitting, duly elected president against whom there is no evidence of a high crime or misdemeanor. No big deal, right?

Not one member of the reckless cabal wildly calling for Trump’s impeachment — which includes leftists and parts of the never-Trump right — can cite an actual abuse of authority by Trump, much less a high crime or misdemeanor. President Obama violated the Constitution and the rule of law for sport, and liberals didn’t care.

For the left, this isn’t about the Constitution, the rule of law or authoritarianism; it’s about getting rid of Trump at any cost to the Constitution and the rule of law — and by any authoritarian means necessary.

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

4 months ago

David Limbaugh: Hillary’s hateful harangue

Hillary Clinton’s abhorrent remarks in Mumbai, India, last week warrant our attention because, like it or not, they represent the thinking of a large swath of the modern Democratic Party.

But my aim is not to highlight Clinton’s never-ending catalog of excuses for losing the presidential election, except to note that rather than blame everyone and everything but herself, she should apologize for stealing the nomination. If she hadn’t done that, she wouldn’t have to blame anyone.

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She should also have to answer for FISA-gate, but I don’t want to waste space demonstrating Clinton’s unfitness for office — because I have little fear she’ll run again, and Democrats surely aren’t crazy enough to indulge her if she tries.

Instead, let’s review her disgraceful tirade in Mumbai, in which she blamed Americans’ racism and misogyny for her election loss.

“We do not do well with white men, and we don’t do well with married white women,” said Clinton. “And part of that is an identification with the Republican Party and a sort of ongoing pressure to vote the way that your husband, your boss, your son, whoever, believes you should.”

Hold the phone. Do you see the rich irony here? “Hear me roar” Hillary is impugning the independence and courage of women — the very people she is pretending to defend against our GOP misogyny? Seeing as she is maligning men, wouldn’t it be prudent not to insult the other half of the human race at the same time? I know few men who don’t have a higher opinion of women than this female liberal icon is displaying here.

You know darn well that Bill Clinton has a devil of a time persuading Hillary to do what she doesn’t want to do — unless it will advance her interests. So why would she assume that other women would be any less independent?

Sure, you can say she isn’t talking about all women — just white wives of Republican men — but what difference, at this point, does it make? There are way too many white GOP wives to pretend they are an exception to the norm. If GOP men are so evil, why did so many women marry them? Are they evil themselves, Mrs. Clinton? Or are they just gullible, malleable, soulless or weak? Choosing any of those options would reveal egregious disrespect for millions upon millions of women, which shatters Clinton’s argument to smithereens.

The India Today interviewer asked Clinton why 52 percent of white women voted for Trump despite the “Access Hollywood” tape showing him using vulgar language about women. I guess that even though the host is balding and graying, he is too young to realize how awkward this question was for the spouse of our former commander in heat, Bill Clinton. Then again, Hillary didn’t flinch before launching into her next set of progressive talking points.

“I won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic product,” she said. “So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward. And his whole campaign, ‘Make America Great Again,’ was looking backwards.”

Not only is Clinton doubling down on her “deplorables” slander of Trump supporters. She is confirming the Obama-Clinton progressive view of America: Its best days are in the past. Settle in for economic malaise, because that’s the best you’re going to get. For if you want a government that isn’t hostile to business and entrepreneurship and that will reduce the tax and regulatory burden on America and unleash its engine of free market growth, you are “backwards.”

But the real kicker was Clinton’s summary of Trump’s supposed message to voters: “You know, you didn’t like black people getting rights. You didn’t like women, you know, getting jobs. You don’t want (to), you know, see that Indian-Americans (are) succeeding more than you are.”

You know, you know, you know? No, we don’t know. You ought to be ashamed, Mrs. Clinton, especially for lying when you apologized for calling us deplorables and said we are driven by “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic” beliefs. You meant it then, and you mean it now.

But again, my beef isn’t with Clinton. It’s with the Democratic Party proper, which has long been cynically peddling this very message in direct and subtle ways to alienate minority voters from the Republican Party, whose policies are manifestly more conducive to their economic well-being. For starters, go back and look at the racially charged statements Obama sprinkled throughout his terms in office.

Sadly, this messaging works; I have seen too much evidence of it in my adult life to rationally deny it. The Democratic Party is running out of effective ideas, so it increasingly resorts to race baiting, gender shaming and other forms of intentionally divisive identity politics.

The racism smear is an evil cousin of racism itself because it falsely and negatively stereotypes groups of people and demeans their human decency and dignity. It does incalculable damage to the groups it vilifies and is corrosive to our society because it subverts racial harmony. And it certainly does minorities no favors to deceive them into suspecting that half the people in the country are somehow prejudiced against them.

But I have a feeling this shtick is losing its mojo. Under President Trump, the Republican Party is finally learning to fight back and defend itself against such slurs and showcase the superiority of its policies for all people, including minorities.

(Image: Fox News/YouTube)

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. 

(Creators, copyright 2018)

4 months ago

‘Trumpsteria’ keeps Democrats acting like fools

If liberals would quit acting so crazy, maybe they would have a chance of making significant gains in Congress in the upcoming midterm elections and achieve their goal of eroding support for President Donald Trump. But it’s not gonna happen.

Liberals’ extremism and outrageousness and conservatives’ failure to stop them created the conditions leading to Trump’s election. Now the left’s unrepentant persistence is sustaining and even increasing Trump’s support.

Please let liberals’ learning disability continue.

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They freak out over everything Trump does, apparently not realizing that their over-the-top reactions are way more unreasonable than anything Trump is doing. At a party fundraiser this past weekend, Trump quipped that Chinese President Xi Jinping is “now president for life. President for life. No, he’s great. And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot someday.”

You can imagine the monolithic liberal media beta males congregating at their watercoolers and whispering, “I know he’s joking, but he does have authoritarian tendencies. Creepy.”

Some even raced to their bullhorns and made fools of themselves publicly with the specious claim. CNN’s Chris Cillizza penned an opinion piece under the title “This may be the scariest thing Donald Trump has said as president.”

Wow. Do you think Cillizza seriously believes that this is scarier than Trump’s promise to cut taxes, which has already led to an economic boom that jeopardizes the beleaguered Democrats’ upcoming electoral prospects? What about his promise to appoint judges who genuinely care about the Constitution and the rule of law? Those things are indeed frightening for Cillizza’s ilk, so he must have agonized over giving the nod to Trump’s dictator joke.

In his quasi-hysterical piece, Cillizza wrote: “It’s not totally clear to me whether Trump was half-joking or not. Trump’s speech was behind closed doors.” Well, it’s not clear to me whether Cillizza is in possession of a humor molecule. His memory is also apparently on the blink, for he didn’t mention former President Barack Obama’s reported lament that it would be so much easier to be the president of China. Obama was complaining about the constitutional restraints that kept him from just dictating policy on certain issues. But his statement would have been much easier to take seriously than Trump’s because he actually did trample the Constitution every time he could get away with it. Yet his liberal media enablers stood silent.

Liberals’ hyperventilation over Trump’s tongue-in-cheek throwaways is a mild example of their venom and fruitcakery. When columnist Bethany Mandel published an op-ed in The New York Times relating her experience in buying a gun to protect her family, gun control activist Shannon Watts accused her on Twitter of having fear, paranoia and white privilege. Watts tweeted that Mandel’s white skin makes her less likely to be at risk as a gun owner, regardless of her hardscrabble background. “I guess you don’t believe in racism,” Watts tweeted to Mandel.

Leave it to an identity politics-obsessed leftist to invoke racism to attack a white Jewish wife and mother of three for purchasing a weapon to defend herself and her family in the face of actual threats made against her. I would say you can’t make this stuff up, but it’s better to say you don’t have to make this stuff up, because leftist nastiness and nuttiness are a gift that keeps on giving.

Speaking of which, when Attorney General Jeff Sessions strongly criticized Libby Schaaf — the mayor of Oakland, California — for warning immigrants who are here illegally about upcoming raids, she fired back that Sessions has racist motives. “How dare you distort the reality about declining violent crime in a diverse sanctuary city like Oakland, California, to advance your racist agenda?” she said. California Gov. Jerry Brown accused the federal government of launching a “reign of terror.” “This is basically going to war against the state of California,” Brown said.

It’s hard for me to understand how even leftists have the audacity to publicly admit that they think there is nothing illegal or immoral about a city official’s giving a heads-up to law violators that federal law enforcement officers are on the way.

OK, it’s not really that hard. Last year, California state Sen. Kevin de Leon claimed that the Trump administration’s law enforcement policies were based on principles of white supremacy rather than American values. And only about a month ago, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi shrieked that the Republicans’ immigration plan was designed to “make America white again.”

For all the Democrats’ stated concerns over Trump’s alleged excesses, he doesn’t hold a candle to their daily behavior even on his worst day. Recent polls show that Trump’s re-election prospects are looking pretty good. The game of politics is fluid and unpredictable, so these polls say little about what will happen in 2020. But they do tell us how these tired Democratic tactics are going over today.

As a Republican, I can only hope they continue.

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney.

(Creators, Copyright 2018)