Congress

Ilhan Omar: Curiouser and curiouser

Featured image Ilhan Omar will be elected to succeed Keith Ellison representing Minnesota’s Fifth District. It appears increasingly likely that she married her brother Ahmed Nur Said Elmi for dishonest purposes in 2009 and didn’t get around to dissolving the marriage until 2017, all the while living with the man she advertised as her lawful husband and father of her children. You’d never know it, however, if you get your news from »

Well, alright!

Featured image The name of the old Buddy Holly song is “Well…All Right” or “Well All Right,” but for purposes of clarity here, I’m alluding to it with the catchphrase “Well, alright.” That’s the Star Tribune’s approach to covering the omens of Omar in Stephen Montemayor’s Friday night special “On the edge of making history, Ilhan Omar confronts fresh wave of scrutiny*.” I’ve added the asterisk for a footnote: “*But not by »

In which I write the Star Tribune

Featured image Minnesota’s Fifth District voters are about to elect state representative Ilhan Omar to succeed Keith Ellison in Congress. Rep. Omar appears to have married her brother in 2009 for some dishonest purpose — not necessarily immigration fraud — and undertaken the redundant exercise of divorcing him late last year to keep up appearances. (Speaking to an ignorant if fawning City Pages reporter in November 2016, Omar falsely asserted: “There are »

Omens of Omar

Featured image Two years ago Ilhan Omar made headlines around the world when she was on the verge of election as the first Somali state legislator in the United States. She had defeated a 22-term incumbent in the DFL primary. She just needed to hang in there until election day in November to seal the deal, as she did. That August I got a tip that Omar had married her brother at »

Dems sweat declassification

Featured image On Monday President Trump ordered the declassification of 20 or 21 previously redacted pages from the Carter Page FISA applications. The declassification order also extends to the redactions made to text messages from senior Justice Department and FBI officials. Kelly Cohen covered the declassification order for the Washington Examiner here. Democrats find this a profoundly alarming development. On Tuesday Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff and Sens. Chuck Schumer and »

Up close with Ilhan Omar

Featured image Ilhan Omar is the endorsed DFL candidate running in next Tuesday’s contested DFL primary to succeed the former Nation of Islam hustler Keith Ellison in Congress. In the primary Omar faces former Minnesota House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and state senator Patricia Torres Ray. Today the Star Tribune endorses Kelliher and ranks Torres second of the three. Omar comes in third. Attentive readers will note that this is how I »

At the Fifth District forum

Featured image Last night I attended the forum of DFL Fifth District congressional candidates at Temple Beth El in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. The forum was sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council and a variety of left-wing outfits with “Jewish” in their name although leftism is their religion (e.g., the National Council of Jewish Women). Maya Rao covered the forum for the Star Tribune in “DFLers tout experience at heavily attended »

Impeach Rod Rosenstein?

Featured image I don’t think any of us has commented on the articles of impeachment filed against Rod Rosenstein by a small number of conservative House Republicans. My comment is that there is no case for impeaching Rosenstein. I’ll give my reasons in a moment. I assume the articles were filed in order to focus attention on the fact that the Department of Justice hasn’t produced documents requested by the House at »

The Comey endorsement

Featured image This just in! Former FBI Director James Comey endorses the takeover of Congress by Democrats — in the name of the Founding Fathers, or at least in the name of Publius. Those of us who have been following the exploits of the intelligence and law enforcement agencies working to undermine the Trump presidency will not be greatly shocked by this. Those of us who find Comey a rich source of »

Strzok testifies

Featured image Peter Strzok appeared today before a joint session of the House Oversight and Judiciary committees. The event lived up to expectations in its contentiousness. Here are a few highlights, with commentary. Immediately after the opening statements, Trey Gowdy, House Oversight Committee Chairman, asked Strzok how many people he interviewed during the first eight days of the FBI’s Russia investigation (between July 31 and Aug. 8, 2016). Strzok responded that he »

Rod Rosenstein, cult hero

Featured image More than any federal agency or department I’ve worked for, with, or against, the Justice Department resembles a cult. Its employees think they are special. They feel intense hostility towards the Department’s adversaries. They are fiercely loyal to the Department and compulsively committed to its ways of doing things. Outsiders are viewed with condescension and suspicion, if not contempt. Obviously, many DOJ employees do not buy fully into the cult, »

FIRST STEP in a jailbreak, Part Two

Featured image I’ve written before about the “Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act” (FIRST STEP). Passed by the House with overwhelming support and backed by President Trump, FIRST STEP is backdoor sentence reduction legislation. Indeed, it’s big-time sentencing reduction. Former federal prosecutor Thomas Ascik demonstrates this in an article for The Hill. He shows that most federal prisoners could serve close to 40 percent of their prison sentences »

Behind the redactions, cont’d

Featured image Kim Strassel supplements Eric Felten’s peek behind the redactions of the Strzok-Page text messages produced to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley. In her Wall Wall Street Journal column “The real constitutional crisis” she also touches on several other related matters we have covered here: Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley has not been allowed to question a single current or former Justice or FBI official involved in this affair [i.e., »

Speaking of scurrilous

Featured image Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is new to the job, but he is off to a great start. Like his boss, he loves America. Like his boss, he has the fighting spirit. And as a former congressman, he has taken the size of his former colleagues on Capitol Hill perhaps even better than his boss. Where does that leave Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico? Responding to a question Senator »

An “unbelievably small, limited” strike?

Featured image In 2013, when the Obama administration was trying to convince Congress to authorize an attack on Syria to enforce its “red line’ against Assad using chemical weapons, Secretary of State John Kerry promised that the attack would be an “unbelievably small, limited kind of effort.” He often used the word “degrade,” rather than “destroy,” to describe the impact of the contemplated attack on Syria’s chemical weapons program. Kerry received plenty »

Trump should veto the omnibus, but not for the reasons he cites [UPDATE, he signed it]

Featured image After signaling to Congress that he supports the omnibus spending bill it was about to pass, President Trump is now threatening to veto the bill. He complains that it does nothing for the DACA population and virtually nothing to build his wall. In my view, these are not good reasons to veto the omnibus. Doing something for the DACA population should not be a priority, and certainly not to the »

Putin’s 2016 intentions

Featured image As John noted earlier this evening, the House Intelligence Committee has completed its investigation into Russia’s activities in connection with the 2016 election. The Committee says it found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election. No one else has found any such evidence, either. Even anti-Trump reporters Michael Isikoff and David Corn, both friends of Glenn Simpson, have none to offer »