Obsessions and hysteria on full display

Anchorage looks to be thinking it OK to allow perverts into women’s bathrooms; the ACLU applauds violation of attorney client privilege on the presumption of guilt; the NYT says objecting to excessive prosecutor behavior is implying guilt;

Bipartisan Senate effort: Operation Protect Mueller begins by Ed Morrissey – “The intent is to head off Donald Trump from provoking a “constitutional crisis,” but …

“The president has the right to hire and fire people within the executive branch of government without Congressional interference, especially high-ranking political appointees. Firing a special counsel is in itself not a constitutional crisis; it is the constitutional exercise of the authority of the presidency. The bill seeks to change that for one particular office, which is in itself a recognition of the president’s current authority.

Special counsels have inevitably proven to be disastrous to due process and accountability, which is why they should only be deployed when (a) a demonstrable crime has occurred, (b) explicit conflicts of interest prevent the Department of Justice from investigating them, and (c) stringent limitations are put on the scope of the probe. The issue with special counsels isn’t that they are too accountable, but are almost entirely unaccountable and grossly expansive by their nature. They exist mainly for political reasons, which means any attempts to enforce boundaries on their probes will generate accusations of politically motivated interference, and that means hardly any control at all is achieved. That leaves no effective check at all on a special counsel that strays far beyond his mandate (whether or not Mueller has is a matter of debate, of course) short of termination through the executive-branch chain of command.

This bill makes special counsels, now and in the future, even less accountable for their actions. If the report is true, it inserts both the judiciary and the legislature into the personnel decisions of the executive branch, which is itself a potential affront to the constitutional separation of powers. Congress’ upper chamber has a role in confirming political appointees that reflects the shared authority of many federal agencies, but they have no role in firing them other than through impeachment.

That is the proper remedy for a president that abuses his authority, too. If Trump fires Mueller and Congress perceives it to be an abuse of power and/or an obstruction of justice, they can impeach Trump and remove him from office. However, the better option all along would have been to form a select bipartisan committee under their own authority to investigate the Russia-collusion issue, one which Trump would have no authority to disband or to obstruct at all. Instead of passing the SCIIA, Congress should eliminate special counsels altogether, and bear the political costs of investigations themselves rather than hide behind special counsels.

Washington Lies In a Parallel Universe by John Hinderaker – “In a battle between reality and fantasy, it usually is prudent to bet on reality. Here, I am not so sure. The Democrats have a near-monopoly on the organs of perception, and they may be able to bend a majority of Americans to their topsy-turvy view of things. We will find out in November.”

“In the real world, the Trump administration is humming along. Its domestic policies are sensible and have been remarkably successful in a short time. Abroad, the administration has pursued American interests, again with considerable success. It has also made progress, at least, at cleaning up the appalling messes left behind by Barack Obama in Iran, Syria, Russia and North Korea. By any objective standard, the Trump administration is, so far, a major improvement on its predecessor.

But our “news” organizations have little interest in any of those topics. They are obsessed with tweets, with ten-year-old liaisons, with non-existent collusion and with investigations of nothing that apparently will never end. In their parallel world, Trump is such a failure that he might as well quit and save the Democrats the trouble of impeaching him. (For what? is a question that rarely seems to be asked.)

parallel universe or different planet?

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