Five Quick Things: A KBJ Sandwich for Everybody - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Five Quick Things: A KBJ Sandwich for Everybody
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Ketanji Brown Jackson in Senate hearing, March 23, 2022 (PBS NewsHour/YouTube)

The 5QT is back, and it’s mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore. How are y’all (or youse, as experiences may differ by region) feeling today?

1. Confirmation of bias

Thursday, the inevitable that shouldn’t have been came to pass. On a vote of 53-47, the Senate confirmed Ketanji Brown Jackson, objectively the worst Supreme Court nominee of all time. Three Republicans — Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski, and Susan Collins — joined all the Democrats in giving KBJ the thumbs up.

This despite a confirmation process that showed she’s a radical with a soft spot for jihadi terrorists, child pornographers, and black separatists. Jackson isn’t an idiot or a gaffe factory like Sonia Sotomayor is, but there’s no reason to believe she’s going to offer rulings any better than Sotomayor’s.

The good news is that given Jackson replaces Stephen Breyer, the ideological makeup of the Supreme Court won’t change with this appointment. The bad news is that the Supreme Court is now a fully absurd exercise. As this column has noted, the very process of naming her was a trip into the Twilight Zone. The Supreme Court had ruled in the Bakke case all those years ago that race couldn’t be a factor in hiring decisions, and yet Joe Biden openly said that he was only considering black women for the opening Jackson ultimately filled.

Her very appointment is a repudiation of Bakke. And no, the fact that Jackson refused to define what a woman is during her confirmation process doesn’t mitigate the Ibram X. Kendi–style discrimination at work here.

American jurisprudence got worse with Jackson’s nomination and confirmation. But then, everything Biden touches gets worse, so that isn’t a surprise.

2. Should we get excited about Durham?

It’s been such a long road and there have been so few big moments during the years-long saga of John Durham’s special-counsel investigation of the Trump–Russia hoax and the Clinton–Obama Spygate affair that it’s easy to just blow the whole thing off and conclude that nothing much will come of it.

But that wouldn’t really be an accurate telling, would it? George Parry has, within these pages, done yeoman’s work dissecting the various filings and disclosures emanating from Durham’s investigation, and as he notes there’s an awful lot of meat to dine on.

Not quite enough yet to believe anyone you’ve heard of is due for a prison term, that’s true. But the meat is there.

The latest, from a couple of days ago, was really quite juicy. As John Solomon reports:

Special Counsel John Durham is revealing new smoking gun evidence, a text message that shows a Clinton campaign lawyer lied to the FBI, while putting the courts on notice he is prepared to show the effort to smear Donald Trump with now-disproven Russia collusion allegations was a “conspiracy.”

In a bombshell court filing late Monday night, Durham for the first time suggested Hillary Clinton’s campaign, her researchers and others formed a “joint venture or conspiracy” for the purpose of weaving the collusion story to harm Trump’s election chances and then the start of his presidency.

“These parties acted as ‘joint venturer[s]’ and therefore should be ‘considered as co-conspirator[s],’ ” he wrote.

Durham also revealed he has unearthed a text message showing Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann falsely told the FBI he was not working on behalf of any client when he delivered now-discredited anti-Trump research in the lead-up to the 2016 election. In fact, he was working for the Clinton campaign and another client, prosecutors say.

The existence of the text message between Sussmann and then-FBI General Counsel James Baker was revealed in a court filing late Monday night by Durham’s team. Prosecutors said they intend to show Sussmann gave a false story to the FBI but then told the truth about working on behalf of the Clinton campaign when he later testified to Congress.

“Jim – it’s Michael Sussmann. I have something time-sensitive (and sensitive) I need to discuss,” Sussmann texted Baker on Sept. 18, 2016, according to the new court filing. “Do you have availability for a short meeting tomorrow? I’m coming on my own – not on behalf of a client or company – want to help the Bureau. Thanks.”

The question is whether Jim Baker is a gullible rube or if he was in on the joke and Sussman’s text was a lie agreed upon as a CYA for the G-man. Either are plausible, but given that Sussmann was peddling the Steele dossier and its stupid, salacious, and obvious lies, one almost has to believe the latter. How do you rise to the position Baker held if you’re the kind of dunce who falls for Nigerian-prince email cons?

We’re not quite at the critical stage yet, but one gets the impression Durham is finally building toward some sort of dam-break. Let’s hope so. We need some sanitation of the filth the Beltway ruling class has covered this country in.

3. The arrogance of Cocaine Mitch

It isn’t necessary to go back through the litany of reasons why this column has had it with Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell and is ready for new blood in the party’s leadership of that body.

But in case we needed more, there was this:

Maybe McConnell’s job isn’t to be popular nationally. But to be the least popular national figure after sticking around as long as he does is a problem regardless of how much he might want to shrug it off.

Democrats were naturally going to hate him. But Republicans hate him, too. Your own party’s voters shouldn’t hate you if you’re doing a good job.

But there’s a reason we don’t like Cocaine Mitch. We don’t like him because he’s proven again and again that he doesn’t give a damn about us. He doesn’t fight for us, he doesn’t aggressively push our agenda, he actively thwarts our efforts to dictate change in Washington through what we do at the ballot box.

Mitch McConnell is just about the perfect embodiment of how terribly Republican politicians treat their voters. Getting rid of him gives the party a chance to change that.

If he goes, and the only way that happens is for there to be a massive wave of Trumpy/revivalist Republican insurgents entering the Senate (and that’s possible) which produces a majority within the caucus for change. You might well see a Rick Scott rebellion in such a case, which would be a good thing. Scott isn’t perfect, but at least he stands for something. We’re going to start a series soon talking about his 11-point Rescue America plan.

4. A Jan. 6 acquittal

So this happened:

A federal judge on Wednesday acquitted a New Mexico man of misdemeanor charges that he illegally entered the U.S. Capitol and engaged in disorderly conduct after he walked into the building during last year’s riot.

U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden issued the verdict from the bench after hearing testimony without a jury in the case against Matthew Martin. McFadden, who was nominated by former President Donald Trump, acquitted Martin of all four counts for which he was charged.

McFadden said it was reasonable for Martin to believe that outnumbered police officers allowed him and others to enter the Capitol through the Rotunda doors on Jan. 6, 2021. The judge also said Martin’s actions were “about as minimal and non-serious” as anyone who was at the Capitol that day.

Martin is the third Capitol riot defendant whose case has been resolved by a trial. He is the first of the three to be acquitted of all charges that he faced. The first two Capitol riot trials ended with convictions, although McFadden acquitted one of those defendants of a disorderly conduct charge after a bench trial last month.

We’re going to see more cases like those of Matthew Martin, who did nothing wrong. He was exercising his First Amendment right to protest a botched and illegally executed presidential election that produced what’s obviously a substandard result, and for his trouble his own government has treated him like a criminal.

As this column has noted, we’re long past the point where a general amnesty and/or rescission of charges against Jan. 6 protesters should have been in effect. That nothing like this has happened is a function of two things: cowardice on the part of Capitol Hill Republicans, who should be screaming about the over-the-top federal reaction to a protest that got out of hand, and outright bad faith on the part of the Democrat Party for its attempts to use Jan. 6 as a means of turning conservative Americans into outlaws and terrorists.

When the midterm ass-kicking comes, the amnesty should be a major demand of the Republican majority, particularly as it dissolves Nancy Pelosi’s Jan. 6 commission kangaroo court. That’s the kind of concession you can wring out of a newly toothless Biden administration once you file impeachment charges against Merrick Garland and others in the Department of Justice who turned the D.C. prisons into Chateau d’If.

5. It’s a metaphor, but it’s a time-eater for the ages

One of the things you’ll find if you root around YouTube long enough is a channel called Post 10. It’s a guy from Massachusetts who has videos on all kinds of things — for example, watching a tortoise greedily munching on a watermelon, rind and all, and venturing into abandoned houses. But his specialty is unclogging culverts and drains.

He’s got dozens, maybe hundreds, of videos of himself going around and pulling debris out of drainage infrastructure, and a lot of them are like this:

Watching that, one can help but feeling some hope for the future. Nature will run its course if it’s given a little help, and just a little unclogging of a drain can generate enough momentum that it gets easier as you go.

It just takes a willingness to get in there and do the work.

Scott McKay
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Scott McKay is publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics. He’s also a writer of fiction — check out his three Tales of Ardenia novels Animus, Perdition and Retribution at Amazon. Scott's other project is The Speakeasy, a free-speech social and news app with benefits - check it out here.
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