Here are my observations on the news of the day.
CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? – The College of William & Mary has announced that former FBI Director James Comey will teach a course on “ethical leadership” this fall. Why that’s like having Bill Clinton teach a “sexual harassment” course at Wellesley, an all-women’s college.
“Ethical leaders lead by seeing above the short-term, above the urgent or the partisan, and with a higher loyalty to lasting values, most importantly the truth,” said Comey.
Really … “most importantly the truth” … this from a man, who turned the once-respected Federal Bureau of Investigation into a den of political corruption at the highest level?
At William & Mary, where they claim to be “different and we like it that way,” one can only hope that there’s at least one conservative student, who will be permitted the free-speech right to raise issues involving Comey’s unethical performance. I’m afraid, however, that Comey will hide behind the ongoing Mueller investigation.
HINT OF A STAR CHAMBER – “We learned today about information that in the immediate aftermath of his (Trump) election, there may have been a ‘secret society’ of folks within the Department of Justice and the FBI, to include (Lisa) Page and (Peter) Strzok, working against him,” said Rep. John Radcliffe (R-TX) in an interview Monday.
The thousands of texts exchanged between Strzok and Page revealed a high-level anti-Trump, pro-Clinton bias with discussion of “an insurance policy” needed after Trumps election. The texts also revealed that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch already knew of James Comey’s plan to exonerate Hillary Clinton when she announced that she would accept his recommendation.
Consider the fact that the “deep state” of former Obama administration people, who abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to unmask members of the Trump transition team. The FISA Court was established as a secret court. Just days before leaving office, Obama issued Executive Order 12333 to let the NSA, which collects information under that authority with little oversight or concern for privacy, making it easier to share unfiltered information about innocent people. It included wider access by his former staffers. UN Ambassador Samantha Power used this access some 200 times before leaving office.
Within the last few days, we have learned of an explosive memo that portends to have uncovered abuses in the DOJ and FBI, causing me to wonder if Congress was aware of this before voting to extend the authority of the FISA Court, the 702 Bill. If so, it could be said that Congress itself is complicit in giving the “deep state” continued access.
HISTORY IS FILLED WITH STORIES OF SECRET ORGANIZATIONS – Some real and some fiction. The earliest was the Star Chamber formed in 1487 under the supervision of Henry VII, established as a judicial body separate from the king’s council. The Star Chamber’s authority came from the king’s sovereign power and privileges, and wasn’t bound by common law.
“The concentration of such power in an autonomous group … made abuses not only possible but likely, especially when its proceedings were not open to the public,” Melissa Snell wrote in background piece on the Chamber.
The Star Chamber I am more familiar with is the movie that starred Michael Douglas as an idealistic judge, who was frustrated by having to let criminals go free because of legal loopholes. He forms a secret society of judges, who take justice and punishment into their own hands. I especially recall the performance by the late Hal Holbrook.
We already know that a “deep state” exists in the DOJ and FBI, so it is really immaterial if the existence of a “secret society” is confirmed.
GET SERIOUS, SENATOR – Facing criticism from the extreme left of his party after he surrendered to Republicans to re-open the government, Sen. Charles Schumer has withdrawn his offer to support funding of the southern border wall. He will regret making the disparaging remarks he made about the president’s negotiating prowess.
THE WASHINGTON POST – Below a headline, “Democrats just got rolled; They can blame Barack Obama,” the left-leaning paper said, “Obama controlled the House and had a 60-vote filibuster-proof majority. If he really wanted to pass either the Dream Act or comprehensive immigration reform, Republicans were powerless to stop him. But he didn’t do it. He didn’t do it because it was highly unpopular and would have seriously damaged the Democrats position. Democrat strategy has always been to sucker the Republicans into taking this highly unpopular move, after which Democrats would happily reap the benefit of imported voters.”
INCIDENTALLY – Coupled with the fact that the issue of immigration is low on the priority list of Americans, the recent Harvard/Harris poll in which it was revealed that most Americans want annual legal immigration capped at 500,000 or less. The current cap is set at 1.3 million annually.
U.S. ENERGY LEADER – “The U.S. is becoming the undisputed leader in of oil and gas production worldwide,” according to Faith Birol, International Energy Agency chief, “Oil production is growing very strongly and will continue to grow. We think that this growth is unprecedented both in the size of the growth and the pace of the growth.”
Birol reports that China will soon overtake the U.S. in the production of nuclear power.