IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Pelosi exploits the House of Representatives to advocate for non-Americans.
- The explosive Senate FISA memo is even more damning than the House version.
- Yes, Obama knew a lot about the investigation into Hillary’s emails.
- Americans should demand control over their personal data.
- Trump reverses the ordered closure of Gitmo, and that’s a good thing.
- Global warming alarmism takes a hit on childbearing.
- Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.
“Here comes the orator! With his flood of words, and his drop of reason.” —Benjamin Franklin (1735)
By Thomas Gallatin
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Wednesday set the record for delivering the longest speech from the floor of the House of Representatives in U.S. history. Setting the mark at eight hours and seven minutes, the 77-year-old used the occasion of Congress’s work to pass a budget deal to advocate for an immigration deal on DACA. Unlike the Senate, the House has no filibuster rule — only what is known as the “magic minute” special privilege, which essentially grants top House leaders extra time to speak.
Just stop and think about this: Ironically and outrageously, Pelosi exploited this special privilege to set a record in representing the interests of non-citizen illegal aliens rather than the rights of American citizens she was elected to represent. The Founding Fathers must be rolling over in their graves.
Secondly, Pelosi’s gambit was nothing more than a publicity stunt due to the fact that top House and Senate leaders are already in talks on a new immigration deal. That prompted House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to ask, “I don’t understand. If you have four leaders agree to a bill, why do you get to negotiate if you’re not going to vote for the bill?” But, he teased, “I think [Pelosi’s speech is] going to make her Wikipedia page. It’s her biggest accomplishment this year.”
Pelosi argued that her sole objective was to ensure that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) agrees to a vote on DACA. Ryan has maintained that he will only support a bill that would “support what the president supports.” Ryan stated, “President Trump made a very serious and sincere offer of goodwill with the reforms that he sent to the Hill. That is what we should be working off of. Those are the bipartisan negotiations that the majority leader is conducting on our behalf. So we’re not going to bring immigration legislation through that the president doesn’t support.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders clarified the issue, saying, “I think we’ve made clear that the budget deal should be a budget deal, and that members of Congress, like Nancy Pelosi, should not hold our military hostage over a separate issue. We’ve laid out what we would like to see in immigration legislation, and I think it’s something that Nancy Pelosi should support.”
On another note, during her speech Pelosi referenced her Roman Catholic faith and read selected Bible verses as justification for her advocation for illegal immigrant “Dreamers.” If her Catholic faith so “instructs” her policy position on immigration, why has it not also instructed and informed her position regarding the immorality of abortion or same-sex marriage? Evidently, Pelosi’s politics trump her faith.
Finally, after ending her marathon speech, Pelosi quipped that the time flew by, saying, “When you’re out there talking, it seems shorter. When you’re listening, it seems longer.” To which an astute reporter hollered back, “Yeah. We know.”
By Nate Jackson
Now that the dust has settled from Tuesday night’s release of a less redacted version of a key Senate memo about dossier author Christopher Steele, there are some key things to highlight. This memo complements the one written by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes that Mark Alexander covered comprehensively Monday. But if anything, the Senate memo, written by Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC), is even more damning.
Grassley and Graham summarize, “It appears the FBI relied on admittedly uncorroborated information, funded by and obtained for Secretary Clinton’s presidential campaign, in order to conduct surveillance of an associate of the opposing presidential candidate. It did so based on Mr. Steele’s personal credibility and presumably having faith in his process of obtaining the information. But there is substantial evidence suggesting that Mr. Steele materially misled the FBI about a key aspect of his dossier efforts, one which bears on his credibility.”
The memo elaborates on those charges. The senators make public for the first time actual text from the FBI’s FISA application for surveillance of Carter Page, a member of Donald Trump’s campaign team. While Nunes revealed that the FBI used the dossier for that FISA application, the Senate memo indicates the bureau relied “heavily” on Steele’s dossier — as in it comprised the bulk of the application. The memo explains, “The application appears to contain no additional information corroborating the dossier allegations against Mr. Page.” That’s critical: The FBI used the dossier not as a lead for further digging but as self-sufficient evidence, and the court apparently agreed. That’s incredibly weak justification for what ended up being a Fourth Amendment violation.
Also made public is classified FBI testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the dossier and FISA application. What do we learn? The FBI did not inform the FISA court that Steele was, by his own account, “desperate” to stop Trump from being elected. According to the Senate’s letter, “The application failed to disclose that the identities of [Fusion GPS founder Glenn] Simpson’s ultimate clients were the Clinton campaign and the DNC [Democratic National Committee].” Thus, Steele’s political motivation — never mind his funding — was deliberately concealed, and thus the court issued a surveillance order based on false information.
The FBI also based its trust in Steele on … its trust in Steele. Investigators considered him credible because he’d given good information previously, leaving them blind to his political bias. Yes, the FBI eventually ended its relationship with Steele after learning some of this, but it was too late. As Graham said, “You can be an FBI informant. You can be a political operative. But you can’t be both, particularly at the same time.”
Moreover, Steele wasn’t honest, much less credible. Steele lied to the FBI, in part by denying that he was the source for a Yahoo News article about the dossier, when in fact he was the source. That news article was not only used by the FBI as backup for Steele’s dossier, it was cited by the Clinton campaign in attacks on Trump — meaning she was getting political mileage out of the same “intelligence” used by Barack Obama’s law enforcement arm to surveil Trump’s campaign.
And Steele leaked like a sieve, speaking also to The Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN, The New Yorker and maybe other Leftmedia outlets. Once he was leaking, he could be manipulated by bad actors feeding him bad information. Garbage in, garbage out.
But wait; there’s more. The Wall Street Journal writes, “The Grassley-Graham referral also drops the stunning news that Mr. Steele received at least some of the information for his dossier from the Obama State Department. The letter redacts the names involved. But the press is now reporting, and our sources confirm, that one of the generators of this information was none other than [Hillary hatchet man] Sidney Blumenthal.” In other words, Hillary’s cronies at State were backfilling information she was paying for and using to discredit her opponent.
Bottom line: It’s time to declassify and release all four FISA applications (the original and three renewals) for surveilling Carter Page. The Senate memo sheds even more light than Nunes’ did on FBI corruption, but more information and transparency is needed.
By Harold Hutchison
While senior FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page were engaged in an illicit affair, their texts contain a bombshell with some big implications. Not only do they now raise the question about what Barack Obama knew and when he knew it regarding the FBI’s probe into Hillary Clinton’s emails, but they also lead us to wonder whether he really found out about other stuff “through news reports,” as he routinely claimed. Out on a limb, he was lying every time.
Obama famously claimed in an April 2016 interview with Chris Wallace he wasn’t talking to the attorney general or FBI director about the Clinton investigation. Then-FBI Director James Comey denied during congressional testimony that he’d talked with Obama about the case in October 2016. But those were specifically worded denials that didn’t rule out Obama knowing via other avenues.
Now those texts indicate Obama either decided to change his mind about his “no talking” policy with the Justice Department and/or FBI about this, or he was lying. We know this because on Sept. 2, 2016, Page texted Strzok and said, “POTUS wants to know everything we’re doing.” POTUS stands for president of the United States. Comey, by the way, doesn’t have a best-case outcome, because Page’s text means he apparently did lie to Congress the next month.
However, the implications of Page’s text go beyond the Clinton email scandal. There was another scandal — the targeting of Tea Party groups by the Internal Revenue Service — and there were some fishy things going on. A lot of Lois Lerner’s emails vanished, and the devices and hard drives were destroyed. What was on those hard drives and devices will never be known for sure, but it’s quite possible there is a similar smoking gun regarding the IRS Tea Party targeting.
Keep this in mind: During the timeframe of the worst of the scandal, then-IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman visited the Obama White House 157 times.
So, what did Obama know about the IRS targeting the Tea Party, and when did he know it wasn’t just a screwup by low-level employees in Cincinnati? And what did he know about the investigation into Clintons emails? The same investigation that he publicly said was unnecessary because Hillary didn’t do anything wrong.
Senate leaders agree to two-year budget deal (The Hill)
GM hourly workers to get $11,750 profit-sharing checks (USA Today)
California judge rules baker can refuse to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples (The Washington Free Beacon)
DHS cyber chief: Russia “successfully penetrated” some state voter rolls (The Hill)
White House staff secretary Rob Porter out amid domestic abuse allegations (USA Today)
This is why we have a sexual abuse problem: Sports Illustrated’s #MeToo Swimsuit Issue celebrates “more than being naked” with photos of gorgeous, naked women (The Daily Wire)
Black LIES Matter: BLM co-founder marks six years since “white vigilante” murdered Trayvon Martin “in cold blood” (PJ Media)
Professor: “No such thing as black racism” (The Daily Wire)
Humor: Trump orders Pentagon to conduct military parade and make North Korea pay for it (Duffel Blog)
Policy: What to know about Congress’ latest budget-busting deal (The Daily Signal)
Policy: Fossil fuels, not renewables, are the sources of America’s future (American Enterprise Institute)
For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s top cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column
Read Two Mayors and Their Internal Affairs. There are some insidious infestations of moral corruption in local governments — call it the “Clinton effect.”
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MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST
- Americans Should Demand Control Over Their Personal Data — A fundamental question remains unanswered: Why are tech titans allowed to share our data — without our permission?
- Making America Safe Again: President Reverses Gitmo Closure — While Obama never actually followed through to close the facility, his order to do so needs reversal.
- Sen. Rand Paul’s Shutdown Solution — He proposes, if no deal is reached, immediate continuing resolutions that cut funding by 1% across the board.
- Global Warming Alarmism Hits Childbearing — The New York Times talks with people who are forgoing childbearing for the sake of “saving the planet.”
- Video: How Democrats Went From Border Hawks to Amnesty Doves — A Washington Free Beacon SUPERcut compiled video of current Democrat senators shows their evolution.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
- Victor Davis Hanson: Why FISA-gate Is Scarier Than Watergate
- R. Emmett Tyrrell: Pope Francis Falls Behind the Episcopalians
- Jeff Jacoby: Poland and Israel Need Friendship, Not a Bitter Fight Over History
- Rebecca Hagelin: Disruption at Home and Abroad? Follow the Money
- Cal Thomas: Prison Reform: The Time Is Now
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Victor Davis Hanson: “Barack Obama was a progressive constitutional lawyer who expressed distrust of the secretive ‘Deep State.’ Yet his administration weaponized the IRS and surveilled Associated Press communications and a Fox News journalist for reporting unfavorable news based on supposed leaks. Obama did not fit the past stereotypes of right-wing authoritarians subverting the Department of Justice and its agencies. Perhaps that is why there was little pushback against his administration’s efforts to assist the campaign of his likely replacement, fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton. Progressives are not supposed to destroy requested emails, ‘acid wash’ hard drives, spread unverified and paid-for opposition research among government agencies, or use the DOJ and FBI to obtain warrants to snoop on the communications of American citizens. FISA-gate may become a more worrisome scandal than either Watergate or Iran-Contra. Why? Because our defense against government wrongdoing — the press — is defending such actions, not uncovering them. Liberal and progressive voices are excusing, not airing, the excesses of the DOJ and FBI. Apparently, weaponizing government agencies to stop a detested Donald Trump by any means necessary is not really considered a crime.”
Insight: “The maxim, that governments ought to train the people in the way in which they should go, sounds well. But is there any reason for believing that a government is more likely to lead the people in the right way than the people to fall into the right way of themselves?” —Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-1859)
Good question: “If Nancy Pelosi thinks that $1,000 is ‘crumbs,’ why does she support a law that requires every American who contributes more than $200 (and as little as $10 in some states) to a candidate, political party, or PAC, to be reported to the government, with their names, addresses, and employment information published for the world to see?” —Bradley A. Smith
For the record: “There are 690,000 official DACA registrants and the president sent over what amounts to be two-and-a-half times that number, to 1.8 million. The difference between 690 [thousand] and 1.8 million were the people that some would say were too afraid to sign up, others would say were too lazy to get off their asses, but they didn’t sign up.” —White House Chief of Staff John Kelly
Amazingly, this rube was once the attorney general… “If one looks at the dismissal of James Comey and the reasons why the president told Lester Holt he did that … I think you technically have a case of obstruction of justice.” —Eric Holder
Braying Jackass: “That apology [by the IRS for targeting conservatives] was unnecessary, unfounded and inconsistent, it seems to me.” —Eric Holder
Non Compos Mentis: “The most common complaint about my course [titled ‘White Racism’] that I’ve encountered thus far is that anybody can be racist. They ask indignantly: What about ‘black racism’? Or what about other forms of racism they believe exist on the part of Latinos, Asian Americans and Native peoples? My answer is: There is no such thing as black racism.” —Florida Gulf Coast University professor Ted Thornhill
And last… “Does anybody know the longest consecutive time Nancy Pelosi has spoken in defense of American citizens?” —Liz Wheeler
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Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher