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I was 17 years old when I watched in horror, along with my High School classmates in AP Political Science, as Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas was the victim of a self-described “high-tech lynching for uppity blacks…” It was a scene that helped shape my vision of American politics, and the role that race played in it. All the platitudes and hyperbole that were drilled into our youthful heads about the triumphs over racism in America, faded away like a mirage as white senators on national television chided and condescended a proud, educated and supremely qualified black man. It haunts me still; even more on days like today.
I can think of no faster rising star in conservative media than Charles V. Payne. Frankly, it’s not close. Though he’s been with Fox Business since its inception, he has only recently met his full potential once he was afforded the airtime he deserved. Yet with exposure, comes vulnerability. Payne is perhaps too effective, too articulate, and simply too black to be allowed such an opportunity not properly sanctioned by the powers that be. All of us who represent a new, honest approach to journalism must weigh the risks of notoriety. With that attention, comes the progressive and hateful left; like hyenas they circle and seek, gleefully taking down a target too much for any of them individually. To be more emphatic, let’s call it what it is: a high-tech lynching.
On this day, July 4th, we Americans celebrate the birth of our independence. It is a day of celebration and excess of all things Americana. It’s fireworks, hot dogs, baseball and apple pie. It’s a day when we gloss over all the ugly trials and tribulations that have plagued us, lo these 240 some odd years. Instead, we don ourselves in the colors of our beloved flag and we embrace the amazing experiment that has birthed the greatest nation the world has ever known.
Some of us, though, celebrate a new kind of independence. We now feel unencumbered by the rigid, patronizing glare of the aristocratic and self-loathing liberals who deny America’s exceptionalism. What they fail to grasp is that on November 8th, 2016, we were freed from this pall that has been draped like a mourner’s veil over our patriotism for 8 years. No longer are we scolded to cast our eyes downward and apologize for our wealth, our drive and achievements. Gone are the funereal moments of somber malaise, as we were forced to listen to a president who understood nothing about our values, treating rural and suburban Americans with outright contempt. November 9th may have given birth to a movement of anti-American “resistance,” but it also gave us more…so much more. It gave us President Donald J. Trump.
I can almost hear the conversation after the last election in the Post’s editorial boardroom: “If some bots in Macedonia can infiltrate the Internet with fake news and innuendo, just imagine what we can do!” Followed by someone remarking, “Bezos will love it.” Sure enough, the Post has taken an almost hysterical and frenzied approach to spreading rumors and outright lies through “anonymous sources” and “people close to the current or prior administration.” It’s remarkable just how unremarkable the rest of the established media has found the Post’s dreadful record of accuracy during this time period. It’s propaganda now, plain and simple: A virulent strain of misinformation permeating every sector of a diseased and maligned Fourth Estate.
We’ve been here before; deviantly manipulated by lying, cynical intelligence agencies directed to provide a surgical and pre-packaged lie for public consumption. WMDs in Iraq, anyone? Then CIA Director George Tenet stood before the 9/11 Commission and lied about meeting with President Bush in August of 2001 regarding a very specific terror threat report. In fact, it was later revealed he met with Bush, after all. Twice. Lies. A common theme in the most vitally important intelligence game of all, the one called “cover your ass.” Tenet is also well known to be responsible for doctoring a false Intel report regarding a connection between Saddam’s Iraq and Al Qaeda, which directly contributed to the humiliating and career-ending presentation to the UN by Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Wick Media Series Part 1: Rod Rosenstein
I’ve spent the past two weeks peeling back the layers of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein like an onion. With every layer I peeled back, I found one deep state connection after another. The network of government lawyers in DC is a dazzling matrix of dinner party pals, Ivy League marriages, and is probably the one place where bipartisanship flourishes; provided you subscribe to naked and uninhibited reciprocity. It’s here, like a yellowed and over-stuffed rolodex, where you will find the seedlings that sprouted the endlessly and awkwardly enduring government career of Rod J. Rosenstein.
Rosenstein graduated in 1989 from Harvard Law with honors, where he had a spot on the coveted Harvard Law Review. He went to clerk for Judge Douglas Ginsberg, who you might remember as the second successive failed Supreme Court nomination, after Robert Bjork, by Ronald Reagan in 1987. After which, Rod joined the ever so cleverly entitled Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division at the Justice Department. Exactly none of you will be surprised to know that office was run Robert Mueller. Mueller and Rosenstein go back to 1990.
How dangerous is the Mueller investigation getting to our constitutional stability as a nation of laws? So dangerous he is leaking details of his investigation before it even starts. Mueller is a serious man, maybe, and this is definitely a serious issue. Right now, though, his credibility is about as crooked as a dog’s hind leg, and that is devastating to his mission. In the military there is an old line of reasoning for things like this: Send a good man on a bad mission, and you lose the man and the mission. Mark these words: Mueller and his team of Clinton-tethered lawyers are each carrying a bucket of paint, and believe me when I tell you there’s only corner left.
This deep state volley between white hat Americans heroes and black hat villains of the subterranean swamps, has resulted in a dizzying array of innuendo, leaks, lies and just about everything but a fact. How ironic is it the press and pundits lamented Trump’s propensity to blow it all up when he got to Washington? Trump hasn’t blown anything up. The left, and their deep state reptilian bureaucrat army have waged a war of utter destruction on our government, and our separation of powers. They tug mercilessly on the fabrics of our fundamental freedoms and chip at the foundation of the law and order upon which our government was built. If it’s not sedition, it’s perilously close.
I know titling an article with an anonymous quote is a blatant violation of journalistic standards, but in the modern traditions of the Washington Post, we’ll chalk it up to “when in Rome…” Specifically, when in Rome while it burned and Nero fiddled; that would be more apropos, perhaps, when describing Post standards. Nonetheless, I think it accurately and succinctly sums up my short interview with a friend who is a former Department of Justice appointee and current Law Professor.
I emailed him several times recently, trying in vain to put some perspective on some of the finer nuances of Mr. Comey’s wild ride into infamy. Eventually, I learned my friend was evaluating papers and was annoyed at the prospect of having to discuss the illogic and anti-intellectualism of Jame Comey while trying to maintain his legal reasoning. It was a fair point. I tried a different angle: Explain it to me like you were at dinner party with intellectual, but not politically or legally inclined guests. My attempt at creating an interesting new perspective was greeted with the blunt rejoinder, “that’s why I hate [expletive] dinner parties.”
People often ask me, “why don’t you write more?” They mean no harm, of course, most are actually phrasing it in a complimentary way. To a writer, it’s vaguely like asking a pregnant woman how far along she is; and you better damn well know she’s pregnant in the first place. Every writer is different. Journalists write on a frenetic scale, pushed by deadlines and the need for splashy headlines in perpetuity. Op-Ed types languish around the weekly ‘bleed and leads’ until some self-righteous impulse kicks in to inform the masses what it all really means.
For some of us, we write for the same reason a climber takes on a mountain: because it’s there. Hell, I’ve always thought a moment unwritten is a moment unmemorialized for all time. That begs a certain urgency to capture an event, a place, a moment, and put it down on paper like a placeholder. Besides, if history is written by the victors, then I better damn well do it, because the media is trying erase the present before it can even become the past. The story of Donald J. Trump and his chaotic journey to the White House has captured the imagination of the nation and the world. But the story, the real story, is just beginning.
There are few things that confuse and aggravate the average person more than the underpinnings of the American economy. What to make of it? Record highs across the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P, seemingly at odds with the latest suspect government labor reports. Which, in turn, are met by perplexing increases in small business jobs, but not corporate ones. For the average worker who keeps a wary eye on their quarterly 401K reports, marrying the economic reality of disjointed labor reports by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Federation of Independent Businesses and the ADP reports, is near impossible. Turning on the business channel won’t help you make sense of the mess, either.
While no answer is surgical or simple, there is one solution that could bolster our economy to a healthy pace of growth we haven’t seen in more than a decade. In other words: Congress could get off their collective asses and act on tax reform and health care reform. This market is ticking along nicely, making gains off every dazzling media interphase with Budget Director Mick Mulvany and other well-versed policy initiatives from the Trump admin that land in Congress with a thud. Gains have been steady since Trump’s election, but volatility lurks just beneath the surface. That volatility is fueled by the furious and voracious appetite of congressional apathy. Yes, the illustration is a contradiction. Much like the contradiction that Congress represents us and works to improve our lives. Not so much.
The trouble with making war with an uncommon enemy, are the uncommon results that tend to follow. I would imagine many such metaphorical wars were waged against Donald J. Trump in the earlier days of his storied career in the Manhattan real estate business. Lessons were learned, enemies made, battles lost, but Trump stores all these historical moments categorically. He draws upon them with an astounding subconscious ease. He can wound as easily as he woos; he comes bearing bouquets and bullets in equal measure. He wants nothing more than for you to think you know him. It’s only then, will he mark his moment. A known commodity in real estate or politics, after all, can be easily priced and sold. Donald J. Trump is not subject to the rules, he is too busy writing them. He is many things, but a known commodity is not one of them.
In my day, I’ve seen some titans of politics up close. I’ve watched them work, read their stories of bravado, and studied what remained as a legacy. Lately, I’ve taken up my old, scattered academic pursuit of executive comparisons in search of what could help draw a fair picture of Trump’s presidential forbears. I can find precious little that can be attributed to any single president, but many traits that are found among the best.
Below is a 99 page document detailing the FBI and other agencies abusing the 702 FISA court laws. This is the tip of the iceberg. A response is due from FBI on June 17th. The characterization of the response as “constitutionally vital” cannot be overstated. Please read and let me know any questions you might have. This is the precursor to the assignment of a real and actual Special Prosecutor.
Click to See the PDF Document
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