There is great impatience, even frustration, over the slow roll out of the results of Inspector General Horowitz's investigation of the FBI's use of FISA. From what we already know from the public record, there was clear abuse and even criminal conduct by former FBI Director Jim Comey and his Deputy, Andy McCabe. They claimed in a filing with the FISA court that the Steele Dossier was verified. Yet, Jim Comey subsequently testified under oath before Congress that the so-called Dossier was "unverified." Okay Jimmy, which is it?
We have some clues that Horowitz is not doing a whitewash. Reports last week, based in part on the whining of people reportedly linked to Comey and McCabe and others at the FBI and DOJ, stated that persons substantively discussed in the report were given the chance to review their portion of the report but they had to do so after signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement and were not permitted to submit written responses.
Then we have Attorney General Barr's speech last Friday to the Federalist Society. You can read the full transcript at The Conservative Treehouse. It is magnificent. Barr understands that there has been an attempted coup against the Presidency of Donald Trump. Here are some key excerpts:
As I have said, the Framers fully expected intense pulling and hauling between the Congress and the President. Unfortunately, just in the past few years, we have seen these conflicts take on an entirely new character.
Immediately after President Trump won election, opponents inaugurated what they called “The Resistance,” and they rallied around an explicit strategy of using every tool and maneuver available to sabotage the functioning of his Administration. Now, “resistance” is the language used to describe insurgency against rule imposed by an occupying military power. It obviously connotes that the government is not legitimate. This is a very dangerous – indeed incendiary – notion to import into the politics of a democratic republic. What it means is that, instead of viewing themselves as the “loyal opposition,” as opposing parties have done in the past, they essentially see themselves as engaged in a war to cripple, by any means necessary, a duly elected government.
A prime example of this is the Senate’s unprecedented abuse of the advice-and-consent process. The Senate is free to exercise that power to reject unqualified nominees, but that power was never intended to allow the Senate to systematically oppose and draw out the approval process for every appointee so as to prevent the President from building a functional government.
Yet that is precisely what the Senate minority has done from his very first days in office. As of September of this year, the Senate had been forced to invoke cloture on 236 Trump nominees — each of those representing its own massive consumption of legislative time meant only to delay an inevitable confirmation. How many times was cloture invoked on nominees during President Obama’s first term? 17 times. The Second President Bush’s first term? Four times. It is reasonable to wonder whether a future President will actually be able to form a functioning administration if his or her party does not hold the Senate. . . .
The costs of this constant harassment are real. For example, we all understand that confidential communications and a private, internal deliberative process are essential for all of our branches of government to properly function. Congress and the Judiciary know this well, as both have taken great pains to shield their own internal communications from public inspection. There is no FOIA for Congress or the Courts. Yet Congress has happily created a regime that allows the public to seek whatever documents it wants from the Executive Branch at the same time that individual congressional committees spend their days trying to publicize the Executive’s internal decisional process. That process cannot function properly if it is public, nor is it productive to have our government devoting enormous resources to squabbling about what becomes public and when, rather than doing the work of the people. . . .
One of the ironies of today is that those who oppose this President constantly accuse this Administration of “shredding” constitutional norms and waging a war on the rule of law. When I ask my friends on the other side, what exactly are you referring to? I get vacuous stares, followed by sputtering about the Travel Ban or some such thing. While the President has certainly thrown out the traditional Beltway playbook, he was upfront about that beforehand, and the people voted for him. What I am talking about today are fundamental constitutional precepts. The fact is that this Administration’s policy initiatives and proposed rules, including the Travel Ban, have transgressed neither constitutional, nor traditional, norms, and have been amply supported by the law and patiently litigated through the Court system to vindication.
Indeed, measures undertaken by this Administration seem a bit tame when compared to some of the unprecedented steps taken by the Obama Administration’s aggressive exercises of Executive power – such as, under its DACA program, refusing to enforce broad swathes of immigration law.
The fact of the matter is that, in waging a scorched earth, no-holds-barred war of “Resistance” against this Administration, it is the Left that is engaged in the systematic shredding of norms and the undermining of the rule of law. This highlights a basic disadvantage that conservatives have always had in contesting the political issues of the day. It was adverted to by the old, curmudgeonly Federalist, Fisher Ames, in an essay during the early years of the Republic.
Bill Barr's speech is a reminder that we still have men and women of integrity and wisdom battling in the public sphere to uphold the essence of our Republic. Barr's speech laid down a very clear marker of how he sees this battle for the soul of America. He is a man grounded in the law and committed to upholding it. He understands that justice must be blind and applied without bias if the fabric of this country is to remain intact.
We will know in the coming weeks if Barr delivers. I think he will. I have bet a bottle of fine bourbon with a wise hero of our Republic that high level people will be indicted. I hope for the sake of our country I am right. And if I am right, I am still going to buy that hero a bottle of fine bourbon.
Diana C says
Barr gives me hope that my grandchildren may grow up in a country that is still founded on the Constitution.
Barbara Ann says
Heroes of the Republic should drink together, come what may. I pray you are right LJ.
Bill H says
It was a fine speech, but it was made to a private audience and not reported to any significant degree by the media. I saw nothing in it to give me any hope that actual action will be taken against those who are participating in the coup against the properly elected president of this nation.
AG Barr’s speech is definitely worth one’s time to watch/listen or read. It’s an excellent history lesson not to mention a kick in the radical Left’s derriere.
It seems many in the alt news arena are placing bets on the IG’s Report as well but I haven’t seen a fine bottle of bourbon as the prize…very classy. If I were to place a bet my money would be on the IG fully exposing the entirety of this coup cooked up by Brennan (approved by Obama), simmered by Comey and team then carried out by the Resistance cadre.
It’s unimaginable to believe Horowitz, let alone Barr, would whitewash or go half way when detailing such an extremely significant political event in our countries history. It’s also impossible to right any of this mess without full disclosure which then must lead to holding accountable those who deliberately intended to harm this country and The President.
Here’s to hoping Barr/Horowitz and team adhere to the DOJ/FBI’s motto – Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity…
It was an impressive address. Hard to work up hope when so many parts of government that should ne helping are corrupted, though.
Hey Larry what fine bourbon do you recommend…
The proof will be in the pudding. It seems the IG report will be released after Thanksgiving. Considering the previous report that Horowitz issued where the executive summary said something similar to Comey’s exoneration of Hillary, it will be interesting to see the tone of this report.
Barr made a fine speech but talk is cheap. What has he done to clean up his own department? Roger Stone was arrested by a SWAT team in a dramatic made for TV show and has now been convicted of lying. Why hasn’t the same standard been applied to all the muckety mucks in DC?
Larry Johnson says
Pappy Van Winkle.
All useless noise without real action.
Doubt Barr will do anything of substance.
An excellent choice, if you can get it.
Pappy Van Winkle 23 year old 2016 750 ml $3,899.99
Wow! You guys are definitely playing hardball.
English Outsider says
I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an impressive overview of the constitutional background before. It applies to both sides of the Atlantic but more chance of it resulting in something concrete on yours. The video contains some interesting asides that are not in the printed transcript, in particular a reference to Trump’s style of leadership and a dig at the convoluted legislation that sometimes emerges from Congress.
I was more interested in the constitutional implications of the lecture, but your article above poses the urgent question arising from it. AG Barr has nailed his colours to the mast and cleared the decks for action. Is that all, or will action follow?
Barbara Ann says
For what this bet represents – hopefully a first step towards saving the Republic, the stake seems wholly appropriate.
The size of the forum seems less important to me than the quality of audience members.
Were the founders of the US Republic many? Were they insignificant people? Were they ignorant of their own faults and the likely faults of their interlocutors?
The reaction to Barr’s comments will be telling in real time. Not TV or internet instant demand reaction time. Cattle are not the only creatures which have to ruminate, I think. The implications of Barr’s remarks have to be digested by folks accustomed to being surrounded by lackeys.
Obama perfected Cloward-Pivens strategies to get what he wanted starting back in 2008.
Obama storm-troopers would over-whelm local elections offices flooding them the voter registration requests they knew included fake registrations, just in order to prevent proper vetting of each registrant which allowed a lot of fraudulent voters to get a free pass.
Cloward-Pivens is intended to overwhelm a system “legally” to render it ineffectual. They are doing the same now with “expanded” voting rights like vote-harvesting and same day registration.
Just one more part of the Democrats use of Saul Alinksy Rules for Radicals. Glad Barr pointed all of this intentionally obstructionist out in such direct and data backed terms. We indeed are a fragile republic – losing a shared ethical common denominator every day – diversity is not our strength – in fact, it exposes our endemic weaknesses the more we move from the Founders values into third world values.
Am guessing that win or lose a bottle of Jefferson’s bourbon is destined for Col. Lang, correct?
‘If’ the ‘Establishment’ [aka Deep state] decided to prosecute its own, it would have been setting a dangerous precedence for themselves, and I fear that is the reason for the slow, s-l-o-w roll out, instead of prompt arrest, jail, prosecute, and upon conviction they become Bubb’a shower soap.
I hate to say it, but I fear that the Colonel is right, nothing will be done with all this. It’s all circus meant to distract us and get our hopes up.
Why do you think that?
Why do you think the bet is with LJ?
I hope you win your bet Larry. Without enforcement, what good are laws?
And I swear, if the malefactors get away with what they’ve done, at the very least I’ll join others to march on Washington in protest. Wars aside, this is THE worst political scandal of my lifetime – a nightmare come true of the US government at its most corrupt and tyrannical.
Jim Ticehurst says
I can feel it…The Shock..The Awe….and Double Hammers (thanks Doc) for Clean Up..
Ok off topic but vindman keeps mentioning “government interagency”.what is that.?
Altho multiple bets are possible, I agree with tidewater –
“I have a side bet with a friend. I no longer believe that the duopoly of parties in the US will indict anyone over the matter of this article.
I hope I lose the bet.” pl (Nov 17 2019)
“I have bet a bottle of fine bourbon with a wise hero of our Republic that high level people will be indicted. ” – LJ (Nov 19 2019)
I will be 78 on the 31st. I attribute my longevity to; the right genes. a robust outdoor life in youth, and a steady regime of cigars, bourbon and red meat. pl (May 25 2018)
However a commenter named Jack did once mention getting Pappy’s for his birthday.
Buffalo Trace is the poor man’s Pappy’s.
English Outsider says
Probably. Colonel, that guess results from putting two and two together about a bet you also made a little while ago, the one you are hoping to lose. I wouldn’t say that constitutes proof but there’s definitely a smoking gun there.
If you say so …
I’m not a party to this bet.
However, your memory is correct, I did receive a bottle of Pappy’s for my birthday some moons ago before it went cult. SWMBO paid $95 for it then. As you can see from Tidewater’s comment the price has escalated significantly if you can even snag one from a retailer that can get an allocation from the wholesaler. It sure is a fine bourbon. Craft spirits have definitely pushed the envelope on quality and there are now many fine spirits available.
Ah so!, as Mr. Moto would say. I see. “How do you know that?” A question oft asked in one of the past vocations, as I recall. Well, I didn’t know, actually. Careless. (Was this a little lesson in close reading?) And there was one glitch in the profile that did puzzle me and should have been a caution. Though I was bedazzled by a lot of surprising insights into the amber which I knew as Rebel Yell or Virginia Gentleman (from A. Smith Bowman who I just found out had the first name of Abram) from the time that I never had hangovers, till the time that I did, when I had to give bourbon up, switch to Scotch, and then had to give that up too, move on to the grape, where I should have been to begin with. (Though it always took me three glasses of jug wine and a little gagging before I got right with it. And then one day the wine in the groceries, like the peanuts, and the cheese, got a lot better.)
It was the Kaintuck angle that I should have noticed. That was not in the profile as developed. Still the glitch could be overlooked as a kind of grunt-ish foible, maybe. Or would have to do with the more er rambunctious LJ than his SST pix indicates, or perhaps the old stomping grounds. Appropriately symbolic, too. Camp on the Watauga, Hannah’s Cowpens, King’s Mountain, the Presbyterian invention of the pew (to slide out of in a hurry), the origin of the Rangers, the steady Overhill militia at Guilford Court House with homemade rifles lined up on the lowest rail of the split rail fence. And bourbon went there with them, I think that is certain enough.
Still, what the profile suggested to me was that it should have been a bet about something, say, from the Haut Medoc, perhaps a bottle of Chateau Petrus from Pomerol (Bordeux) maybe about 2012, and not the 1945 (a new Mercedes), just something more reasonable I see knocked down at $2499.99 at one loci. Or a Domaine Leroy Chambertin Grand Cru Cote de Nuits (Burgundy) for $1400.00. That could be considered gruntish, too. Napoleon is said to have drunk Chambertin every day. If he wasn’t allowed to get it shipped in to him on St. Helena it wasn’t the intense humidity of the rainy island climate on the arsenic in the wallpaper that did for him. And that would be really perfidious. Though thinking about it, I can see his jailors finding the steady predictable arrival of the Chambertin by mail packet like from Chewy.com a good thing for one and all…
Maybe I am right about this one, though: Someone here has a bet with Mr. William Binney.
Could it be a bottle of wine?
Yes, you are quite right. And very nicely put. I have had a grubby kind of adult life keeping one eye out for cheap, acceptable booze. So I emitted a kind of inadvertent Rorshach. Besides, I think the fiery, precious Kaintuck will be shared among a group of very smart, worldly wise, and hard old spooky guv’mint guys, sometime after Thanksgiving. Like a meeting of the Norwegian Resistance. To be a fly on the wall as to the toasts…
You ‘multiple’ covers you, but not me, and thanks for the comment. But it was a trap. Interesting, too.
I still drink VG
English Outsider says
Napoleon either did a lot of entertaining on St Helena or he hit the bottle seriously hard. He had hogsheads of Constantia wine delivered from nearby Groot Constantia to the amount of thirty bottles a month. Other sources say two or three bottles a day. “A floral desert wine that, 200 years ago, was one of the most sought after of its day. Crates were shipped to the royal courts of Europe”. (Alex Perry, “The Rift”.)
They still make it –
The sales pitch quotes Jane Austen as warranting its “healing powers on a disappointed heart” but I reckon those healing powers would have to be quite something to make up for that final cry of “La Garde Recule!”
I liked your alcoholic Odyssey above. May it long continue.
What I remember about VG is that it comes in a full quart size. More bang for the buck. I am sure that that had not gone unnoticed in Richmond-in-Virginia, a frugal environment. I never understood Kentucky whisky the way I later thought I understood Scotch. My father used to travel with a fifth of bourbon in a sturdy little travel case. This went on voyages down the ICW as well. It went everywhere. He never moved without that little case. I remember meeting up with my parents and their close friends the Gibsons in their room at the George Washington hotel in Mayfair, London, when I was coming back from my only journey ‘to the East’ in 1976. (I had read some Hesse and was conscious of this being a dramatic sort of Steppenwolf moment, at least as far as I was concerned.) There was that familiar battered little case, opened up with maybe it was a bottle of VG or maybe it was that black labelled Jack Daniels, which I didn’t realize was a Tennessee whiskey, out on the table. I think Stuart G. had his own case, too. I noticed a silver jigger that had belonged to his late brother. They had a fairly complete bar set up. There might have even been some lemons and vermouth. They were watching a British gardening program in prime news time. Very laid back. My mother said merrily when I gave her a big hug: “Greetings!” It was all kind of touching. I don’t think I ever saw my father buy a bottle of wine or talk about wine. I suppose he drank it if it was put in front of him. No interest at all.
We had neighbors down at the river who occasionally invited the wife’s mother to spend a weekend with them. One such long weekend had gone very well. Surprisingly well. Granny had been in fine spirits. There was some confusion during departure on Monday and Grandmother’s suitcase got backed over by the car. There was a loud ‘crunch’ and then a strong smell of alcohol. Granny had brought two bottles of vodka with her to get through the weekend. All was understood.
VG is now made in Kentucky.
I was just reading up on VG in some of these blogs I never heard of with names like ‘Modern Thirst.’ What I get is that VG has an initial distillation in Kentucky at Buffalo Trace in a “high rye mash bill” and then is shipped to Bowman near Fredericksburg, where it is redestilled and barrelled. The barrels are stacked and allowed to age for a time. Then, and this is where it gets interesting, Bowman ships most of the barrels to Baltimore where they are bottled as VG. But the best of the barrels are kept for Bowman brands. Wonder if this is true.
I see that they can do the same kind of critique on whisky they do on wine. Modern Thirst guy pulls an old bottle of VG out of the back bottom shelf of his cellarette that has been there for years and critiques it: “A little vanilla on the nose, and a touch of oak.” And: “This is a mild whisky, especially after essentially decanting in the bottle so long. [!] There is a note of corn and light
butterscotch on the tip of the tongue, which gives way to some tannins and oakiness at the end of the tasting.” [I think the ‘oakiness’–flavor of wood– could be from the cellarette.]
Anyway, I remember a mild whisky, I think.
For a bit there I thought Groot Constantia was an island near St. Helena that I had never heard of! I looked up Cape Town–Constantia on Wiki and got the picture. So the Dutch were making a good wine in Constantia by the mid-seventeenth century. Nineteen hundred miles seems to me not nearby, though I admit it is a routine passage for a sailing ship. Lot of sugar in a dessert wine. Thank you for your comments.
Did you ever hear the story that the Napoleon at St. Helena out there in the Atlantic off the Namibia coast was a double? The real Napoleon made his escape to the other St. Helena Island, in Beaufort County, South Carolina, according to Gullah legend.
English Outsider says
I doubt that on the grounds that if he’d made it to the States the US would now stretch from Siberia to Tierra del Fuego. A great captain, Napoleon, and had rotten luck at Waterloo. A damn close run thing indeed.
Trouble is he was also a complete bastard and very light on the touchy-feely stuff. You get that sort on the Continent every now and again so we have to go over regularly and sort them out. Gets to be a bore but Noblesse Oblige and all that.
Put that last in in case Vig, who may just possibly be LeaNder though the style’s slightly different, wants some English Exceptionalism to knock.
On the drinks front I have to confess to being a complete fraud, from the viewpoint of the average SSTer with his or her well stocked cellar. At present I’m occupied with palming off some decidedly weird home brewed cider on unsuspecting guests. Not always successfully. My home brewed beer’s OK though. Compares well with German beer, which is for me the Gold Standard. A decent Single Malt every now and again and that’s about it.
So I can admire your Odyssey, and the recollections that go with it, but not emulate it.
Looks like CNN is rolling out the official deep state CYA defense: some underling intentionally altered an intelligence report that set off this whole Trump spy gate caper.
First clue this is not the real story, but a fake narrative, is it was breaking news on CNN. Some bottom-feeding dweeb is being set up to take the fall and provide plausible deniability for those further up the food chain.
At least that is the way it looks from here. Two wild cards the deep state did not plan for – Trump winning and Trump not going down no matter how hard and how long they kept hitting him. Including last nights Democrat debate which was nothing other than more Trump gas-lighting.