(Via Daily Mail)
Former FBI Director James Comey issued a statement in defense of the FBI’s top lawyer James Baker who Republicans on Capitol Hill are trying to cast as a leaker.
‘Sadly, we are now at a point in our political life when anyone can be attacked for partisan gain,’ Comey remarked on his Twitter account Friday night. ‘James Baker, who is stepping down as FBI General Counsel, served our country incredibly well for 25 years & deserves better.’
Hill Republicans, who are attempting to sniff out political bias within the agency, have suggested that Baker – who is in the process of changing roles at the FBI – may have leaked information about the infamous dirty dossier to Mother Jones reporter David Corn.
Corn, who broke the story on the existence of the dossier, has stated that Baker was not his source.
President Trump, however, suggested something shady might be afoot in a Saturday afternoon tweet. ‘Wow, “FBI lawyer James Baker reassigned,” according to @FoxNews,’ the president wrote.
Politico put out a story Friday that quoted two unnamed Congressional GOP sources who told the publication that House Republicans are investigating contact between Baker and Corn in the weeks leading up to the 2016 presidential election.
Corn broke the story on the dossier on October 31, 2016, eight days before the election.
On October 28, 2016, Comey had told lawmakers that the FBI had found additional emails pertinent to the Hillary Clinton email investigation – a statement that the Democrat would later say helped her lose.
Corn’s piece pointed out that then Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, sent a ‘fiery’ letter to Comey and revealed the existence of the dossier.
‘In my communications with you and other top officials in the national security community, it has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government,’ Reid wrote. ‘The public has the right to know this information,’ the Senate’s Democratic leader told Comey.
Corn then laid out what he knew.
The liberal journalist said his primary source was a ‘former senior intelligence officer for a Western country who specialized in Russian counterintelligence,’ who told Mother Jones ‘in recent months he provided the bureau with memos, based on his recent interactions with Russian sources, contending the Russian government has for years tried to co-opt and assist Trump – and that the FBI requested more information from him.’
It’s since been reported that the dossier’s author was Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent.
Corn also cited a ‘senior U.S. government official not involved in the case’ who called the dossier’s source ‘credible’ and ‘with a proven record of providing reliable, sensitive and important information to the U.S. government.’
In a statement to Politico Corn said, ‘I’m not going to discuss my sources. But in order to prevent the dissemination of inaccurate information, I will say that James Baker was not my source for this story.’
Baker, however, was receiving attention because of a Washington Post story that came out Thursday that said he’s being reassigned from his position atop the Office of General Counsel at the FBI.
Two of the Post’s sources said the move didn’t come because of the political controversies plaguing the FBI, but rather as part of the leadership transition at the hands of new FBI Director Christopher Wray, who was confirmed for the job in August.
The Post’s story also pointed to Baker’s involvement in a leak probe that involved news reports detailing surveillance techniques for a specific email provider.
A source told the paper that on that issue, Baker ‘was distressed about it but was confident he hadn’t leaked anything.’
That probe, the newspaper reported, had recently petered out.
Politico’s story, which came out a day later, had Republican sources revealing that Baker had been in contact with Corn in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election, citing documents that had been provided to lawmakers recently by the Department of Justice.
However, the story also noted that the congressional sources told the publication that there was no conclusive evidence that Baker assisted Corn with his reporting.
‘But Republicans are pointing to the connection to cast suspicions about whether FBI officials had a hand in directing the details of the dossier to reporters, and the two sources said they expect it to be a focus on GOP investigators’ upcoming lines of inquiry,’ Politico wrote.
The contents of the dossier were also reportedly shopped around to reporters by Fusion GPS, the firm hired by Hillary Clinton’s campaign to dig up dirt on Trump.
The dossier had originated as opposition research on Trump, first funded by an unknown Republican primary opponent and then taken over by the Democrats and Clinton’s campaign.
Republican allies have questioned the FBI’s use of the dossier, which has never been verified in full, as a way to cast doubt on the handful of investigations into Russian meddling of the 2016 election and any Trump ties.
The president has also made great hay over government officials leaking information to the media.
Questions about Baker’s media ties began several days ago, Politico pointed out, when he appeared with FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on Tuesday as McCabe took part in a closed-door session with the House Intelligence Committee, one of the panels investigating the Russia links.
GOP lawmakers in the meeting grilled McCabe on who at the FBI was allowed to talk to the media.
One Republican member then asked McCabe about a ‘hypothetical,’ outlining a meeting between the FBI’s general counsel and a Mother Jones reporter, Politico said.
In front of the panel, McCabe – who has also taken recent heat from the president over alleged political bias – said a meeting between such an FBI official and a reporter would be unauthorized, as Baker was seated in the room.
The committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, suggested it was Republicans who should be ashamed for leaking information about Baker to the media, as Politico’s sources had done.
‘While we do not comment on the substance of nonpublic investigatory interviews, congressional Republicans again appear to be leaking information in an effort to discredit the FBI and Justice Department in the hopes of undermining the Mueller investigation,’ Schiff said.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has taken over the FBI’s investigation into Russia and Trump.
‘Disdainful of the damage they are doing to our system of checks and balances, they would drag down another public servant in order to protect the president at any cost,’ said Schiff.
Besides his Capitol Hill testimony in June, Comey – who was fired by President Trump in May – has largely stayed away from FBI-related matters, using his social media presence to share timely quotes and inspirational phrases.
But on Friday night, he used his Twitter account to back a former colleague.
‘He is what we should all want our public servants to be,’ Comey said of Baker.
News flash! Women’s Lives Now More Than Bearable
This is a contentious time for feminism. In the age of #MeToo, Time’s Up, and the Weinstein effect, just a few of the many products of the fourth-wave feminist movement, women are continuing to push forward a certain narrative about men and the Western culture’s effect on women in general. It seems as if the conversation surrounding women and gender equality has seeped into virtually every realm of life: politics, culture, religion, and even medicine and technology. Fourth-wave feminists are expressing their distrust in men in many ways…celebrities are calling out sexual predators in front of public audiences, politicians are using sexual assault as a political tool, and students are marching and demonstrating. Corporations, eager to jump on the “let’s make a political statement” bandwagon, are even using sexual assault as a marketing tool, spouting controversial messages about toxic masculinity and the like. A prime example is the recent Gillette ad, which garnered more than 19 million views on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.
Many women are also writing about feminism. One example of this is an article, written last year in celebration of International Women’s Day, that has been circulating on social media for the past few months. The article, entitled “100 Easy Ways to Make Women’s Lives More Bearable” and authored by Dani Beckett, has been shared more than 300,000 times since its publication in March 2018. While we would not exactly call it “viral,” it is no secret that the article’s contents are becoming increasingly normalized, currently believed by a meaningful number of female millenials. Beckett’s article was published in Broadly, a subset of Vice Media, a digital media and broadcasting company that launched Vice, the Canadian-American print magazine that gave rise to Broadly. Broadly, a heavily leftist channel catering to women and designed to “provide a space for us to understand, express, and navigate our identities as we define who we are and where we’re headed next,” has quite a solid readership.
After I kept encountering the article on Facebook for several months, I figured it was probably worth a read, but before reading it, I could not help but linger on the title. How to make women’s lives more…bearable? Bearable means tolerable, able to be endured, not even touching the realm of pleasurable or happy. The title implies that women in this country are struggling so much that someone desperately needs to make their lives “more bearable.” In a country where the vast majority of workplace fatalities befall men, the chief victims of non-fatal violence are men, men make up three quarters of all murder victims, women are outperforming men at all levels of education (they even outnumber men at most medical schools), women win custody battles, and women legally win half the earnings and belongings in a household, apparently women’s lives are not yet bearable enough. I was confused, but intrigued, and proceeded to make my way down the long list of male-targeted demands, some of which are too good not to highlight.
The article is written in an incredibly patronizing tone, as if men in America need to be taught that forcing sex upon a woman is probably not a good idea, as if they apparently grew up in a society that conditioned them to rape. The first item on Beckett’s list is, “Before explaining something to a woman, ask yourself if she might already understand. She may know more about it than you do.” Well, is that not general logical advice for anyone? I know the point is to call men out for supposedly always trying to explain things to a woman, but if you are versed in the basic tenets of communication, then it must be the case that you know not to prematurely lecture someone on a topic you suspect they are already well-versed in, regardless of their gender. And let us suppose this is not the case and you have a habit of being didactical when not needed. Well, then this advice should certainly go for everyone, not just men. The point is, gender has nothing to do with it. There is no evidence that men are somehow more likely than women to try to explain something to women, simply because they are women, before considering whether those women might actually understand the topic. Fourth-wave feminists are pushing the narrative that men inherently feel entitled and better than women, so they feel it necessary to always explain things to a woman without thinking if she might already understand. It is a dangerous and baseless narrative to push forward. While it was certainly true fifty years ago when male professors would not even call on their female students in lecture, today, men DO listen to women, whether they like it or not. By virtue of the professional empowerment of women, which has become normalized in Western society, men listen to women explain things to them every single day. Consider this: women now hold 49% of total faculty positions in American colleges and universities. Women lecture, and men listen.
Beckett then states, “Related: Never, ever try to explain feminism to a woman.” Well, what if she’s wrong? Beckett would tell you, “Trust women. When they teach you something, do not feel the need to go and check for yourself. And especially do not Google it in front of them.” So, if she’s wrong, it doesn’t matter. No one cares about facts anyway. Women are so privileged that they now also have the right to be wrong and to lie without getting called out. This is an important reminder of “Believe all women,” the Left’s mantra during the infamous Kavanaugh controversy. If you feel the need to check something JUST because the person who explained it to you is a woman, then maybe you need to treat your misogyny and perhaps Beckett’s list is actually for you. But we live in a society where women are leaders in every sphere – politics, business, medicine, science, the law. At this point, men get it. The need to overpower women, of which remnants will perhaps always exist, has largely dissipated through the years as evidenced by the fact that women now control 60% of the wealth in the United States, for example. If men are such misogynists, why are they collectively not fighting tooth and nail to tear down successful women? Certainly some are, but it’s virtually impossible to prove patriarchy-enforcing men outnumber matriarchy-enforcing women. Instead of acknowledging that, fourth-wave feminists are resorting to feelings, as opposed to facts, to craft their man-hating narrative. What’s more, they are lowering their standards for women.
Clearly, men and women are different, no matter what radical feminists want you to believe. But even though they are different, every society is founded upon a standard set of basic principles and values that every human, regardless of identity, should be obligated to follow in order to preserve civility. Lying does not all of a sudden become okay for a woman if it’s not okay for a man because women should not get special privileges. That is why Dani Beckett is also mistaken in suggesting “Be kind to women in customer service positions. Tip them extra.” Because they are a woman? This sentiment points directly to the pinnacle of feminists’ hypocrisy. Feminists want women to be treated equally, which naturally entails holding them to the same standards as men. Regardless of whether you are a woman or a man, if you don’t do your job well, then you should not be tipped extra. Regardless of whether you are a woman or a man, your customers should be nice to you if you do your job well because that’s the right thing to do.
Next on Beckett’s list is a whole compilation of demands centered around how to describe women. She states, “Examine your language when talking about women. Get rid of ‘irrational, dramatic, bossy, and badgering immediately.” This implies that women cannot be any of these things, which they most certainly can. Or perhaps it implies that they can be some or all of these things but they should not be called out for it, which once again, means that according to Beckett, we should hold women to a lower standard. Let’s be clear, women should not get free passes just because they are women and their ancestors have suffered through years of misogyny and oppression. If feminists want true equality, then they should not be cutting women slack and lowering their standards for women out of pity. Women are perfectly capable of meeting those standards. Pushing forward women’s rights legislation should not be done out of a need to prop up identity politics. Women deserve equal rights not because they are women, but because they are humans.
If that was not enough, Beckett certainly has more! “Never comment on a woman’s body,” she says. When describing women positively, men should say she is “talented,” “clever” or “funny,” but not “gorgeous” “sweet” or “cute.” Men also cannot call her unique, and “unlike other girls” because all girls are awesome. Long gone are the days when it was flattering for a woman to be told she has a nice physical appearance. And long gone are the days when men were allowed to make their physical attraction, the very basis of biological reproduction, known to women. I am assuming Beckett wants men to assign more value to women than their physical appearance, which is understandable, but assigning more value to personality and assigning some value to physical appearance are not mutually exclusive acts. A 2017 study published in Evolutionary Psychological Science found that most women are likely to choose physical attractiveness over personality and intelligence in potential partners. For a group of people who supposedly hate double standards, fourth-wave feminists sure do love double standards.
And now we arrive at the scariest portion of Beckett’s list: the postgenderism demands. Beckett states, “If you read stories to a child, swap the genders. Cast women in parts written for men. We know how to rule kingdoms, go to war, be, not be, and wait for Godot.” Right, and that is exactly why the parts of Katniss Everdeen, Hermione Granger, Wonder Woman, Lara Croft, Daenerys Targaryen, Mulan, and many, many more have been written. To show that women can indeed rule kingdoms, go to war, and do pretty much anything. Fourth-wave feminists are called “fourth-wave” because they are not the first. The women of the past have already proven that women are powerful and can rule kingdoms. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel by going to extreme measures (i.e. swapping genders) to show something that everyone, barring exceptions, already knows. Perhaps, then, the point of swapping genders is not so much to normalize powerful, masculine women. It is, in fact, to get rid of gender roles altogether. My prediction is that postgenderism will pave the way for fifth-wave feminism.
So why is one article like this one so important? It’s maybe just the opinion of one woman. Except it’s not. Between 70 and 80 percent of college women currently identify as feminists. The contents of Beckett’s article are at least somewhat representative of the mentality of young women in America today, even if some shy away from the label “feminist.” I fear that this association we have started to develop between feminism and fourth-wave values, some of which are exemplified in this article, will only become stronger until, eventually, first and second-wave feminists are shut out entirely. Women who are pro-life are shut out entirely. Women who want other women to be held accountable are shunned and considered anti-feminist. Criticizing obesity, pointing to false allegations of sexual assault, challenging the misconceptions surrounding the pay gap, holding conservative views about female sexuality, and acknowledging core differences between men and women will become wholly incompatible with any definition of feminism. Women should be encouraged to be strong, not feed their victimization complexes. Women should be encouraged to listen to other women, even if they disagree. Fourth-wave feminist indoctrination should not be something we stand for if we want to actually help gender equality.
Trump to Enact Massive Change to Prescription Drug Pricing, Sources Say
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration late Thursday afternoon proposed an effort to increase transparency when it comes to prescription drug pricing by cutting the widely used practice of middlemen — one of the major cost-drivers of drug prices.
President Donald Trump is strongly considering signing an executive order to do just that, according to four people inside the administration who asked for their identities to be withheld for various reasons.
The executive order which has already been drafted by White House counsel Pat Cipollone, would allow manufacturers of drugs to offer discounted pricing to customers, but would legally, stop them from giving rebates to pharmacy benefit managers.
“If you can’t manage a campaign, how do you manage the country?”: Chuck Todd schools Bernie Sanders
In a segment Thursday on MSNBC, network host Chuck Todd slammed Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders for allowing sexual misconduct to occur inside his 2016 presidential campaign.
“Could this derail his chances of another presidential bid,” host Chuck Todd wondered before playing a video clip.
“Boy, that is a tough answer to defend of course,” Todd said referring to Sanders telling CNN’s Anderson Cooper in an interview that he didn’t know about ongoing sexual misconduct because he was “a little busy running around the country trying to…make the case.”
“Because if you’re running to be president of the United States…if you can’t manage your campaign, how do you manage the country,” Todd continued. “No potential 2020 candidates had a worse start to 2019 than Bernie Sanders”