Barr rang the bell and it resonates

J. Frank Bullitt: FedEx Paid No 2018 Federal Corporate Taxes — A Reminder That The Tax Rate Should Be Zero – “The greediest people on Earth are not those who earn wages, salaries, and profits and wish to keep what they made — it’s the lawmakers who want to forcibly take what belongs to others and use it for their own purposes. Even a criminal sometimes sleeps, said C.S. Lewis, and “his cupidity may at some point be satiated.” But the politicians’ lust for other people’s money never rests.”

Julie Kelly: The Swamp’s Swingline Stapler – “We are to believe that crying EPA employees, out-of-the-loop ambassadors, holier-than-thou law enforcement chiefs, and jobless assistant deputy undersecretaries for blah-blah affairs are the victims of a rogue president who must be removed from office for hurting their feelings and challenging their authority.”

“But now in the Trump era, as Obama-era somnambulists awake every day to a new outrage that heretofore had been considered standard operating procedure inside the Beltway, a dismissed ambassador is given hours to vent her thoughts and feelz in front of one of Capitol Hill’s most powerful committees. If you weren’t moved by the sad tale of former Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch—an Obama appointee—getting the ax by Donald Trump, according to Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, you don’t have a pulse.

We’ve seen this bureaucratic temper tantrum over and over since November 2016.

Chumps in Congress and in the White House—not to mention the folks paying for it all—are subservient to their demands. And in the end, if they don’t get their way, they’ll torch the place. What we are watching now is the slow burn of our democracy, not at the hands of Donald Trump, but by the Left and its eager servants in the swamp. If only it was as amusing, and fictional, as “Office Space.”

Christopher Roach: Neglect of Foreign Policy Led to the Deep State – “Implicit in the recent impeachment inquiry is whether the president may make policy contrary to the wishes of the deep state. Of course, any notion of constitutionally limited government requires that he has such power. The real “high crime” is the idea that it could be otherwise.”

“Who are our friends? Who are our enemies? What are our goals? These are not settled issues or technical questions that are easily divorced from broader political concerns. Indeed, the American people tend to be less interventionist than the elites of the foreign policy establishment. While the current impeachment proceedings are based on Trump’s deviations from foreign policy conventional wisdom, most Americans are less concerned about protecting Ukraine’s borders than they are about policing our own. In a healthier, more participatory form of self-government, politicians other than Donald Trump would have opinions on these matters too.

A large “blob” of analysts, senior policymakers, think tankers, senior military leaders, and career civil servants have created a foreign policy almost completely immune from political influence and defined by a broad consensus that spans both political parties. Their consensus commands liberal hegemony secured by America’s status as a “sole superpower.”

Of course, the military is part of the same deep state as those in “suits and silk ties.” It seeks more power and larger budgets. Its senior leaders tend to absorb the same cultural habits of the rest of Washington, D.C., where many such leaders spend the latter parts of their careers.

While much pious talk of “democracy” and “the rule of law” has been levied against President Trump by his critics, one would search in vain for a discussion of the powers of unelected bureaucrats or the importance of an “interagency consensus” in the Constitution. …

This is why the president is the commander in chief of the armed forces. The benefit of civilian control of our military does not rest in the fact that the president is an outsider or does not wear a uniform, but rather because he, unlike the military’s career officers, is subject to democratic control. He is influenced by and accountable to popular opinion and is thereby entitled to preeminent authority over foreign policy.

Scott Johnson: Barr’s preview – “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.”

“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. … 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.

Byron York: Democrats don’t want public to know origins of Ukraine investigation like they didn’t want public to know origins of Russia investigation – “In both cases, they fought hard to keep secret the origins of investigations that have shaken the nation, deeply divided the electorate, and affected the future of the presidency.”

“But so far, at least, the investigation seems to have established that Trump’s alleged misconduct exists in the eye of the beholder. Some officials heard the Zelensky call as it happened and saw no wrongdoing. Vindman, on the other hand, saw wrongdoing and got in touch with an unknown number of people about it. After that, the story grew and grew. How did one man’s impression turn into the impeachment investigation of today?

And that is what Chairman Schiff does not want the nation to know.

Jazz Shaw: Why You’re Not Hearing More About That Mass Shooting In Fresno – “there’s no real underlying lesson here that we didn’t already know about. I only bring it up as a useful data point for future reference.”

“this mass shooting is uninteresting to much of the media because it fails all the normal tests and doesn’t fit in with the narrative. Had the men at least been using “assault rifles” they might have merited a bit more coverage. But those events are vanishingly rare because most gang members are well aware that it’s tough to hide a long gun when walking down the street to attack someone or while fleeing the scene afterward.

Further, if initial reports prove accurate, this was an incident of adult Asian people shooting other adult Asian people.

The great unwashed … perhaps it has something to do with the windows they use to see what’s happening in the ‘hood?

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