John Lott Blog

Copy (pdf) of Dept of Justice Inspector General Report on Andrew McCabe and why he was fired

A pdf of the DOJ Inspector General Report is available here.  A summary at the beginning of the report has this information.

. . . This misconduct report addresses the accuracy of statements made by then- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to the FBI’s Inspection Division (INSD) and the Department of Justice (Department or DOJ) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) concerning the disclosure of certain law enforcement sensitive information to reporter Devlin Barrett that was published online in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on October 30, 2016, in an article entitled “FBI in Internal Feud Over Hillary Clinton Probe.” A print version of the article was published in the WSJ on Monday, October 31, 2016, in an article entitled “FBI, Justice Feud in Clinton Probe.”

This investigation was initially opened by INSD to determine whether the information published by the WSJ in the October 30 article was an unauthorized leak and, if so, who was the source of the leak. On August 31, 2017, the OIG opened an investigation of McCabe following INSD’s referral of its matter to the OIG after INSD became concerned that McCabe may have lacked candor when questioned by INSD agents about his role in the disclosure to the WSJ. Shortly before that INSD referral, as part of its ongoing Review of Allegations Regarding Various Actions by the Department and the FBI in Advance of the 2016 Election, the OIG identified FBI text messages by McCabe’s then-Special Counsel (“Special Counsel”) that reflected that she and the then-Assistant Director for Public Affairs (“AD/OPA”) had been in contact with Barrett on October 27 and 28, 2016, and the OIG began to review the involvement of McCabe, Special Counsel, and AD/OPA in the disclosure of information to the WSJ in connection with the October 30 article. . . . 
we found that in late October 2016, McCabe authorized Special Counsel and AD/OPA to discuss with Barrett issues related to the FBI’s Clinton Foundation investigation (CF Investigation). In particular, McCabe authorized Special Counsel and AD/OPA to disclose to Barrett the contents of a telephone call that had occurred on August 12, 2016, between McCabe and the then-Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General (“PADAG”). Among the purposes of the disclosure was to rebut a narrative that had been developing following a story in the WSJ on October 23, 2016, that questioned McCabe’s impartiality in overseeing FBI investigations involving former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and claimed that McCabe had ordered the termination of the CF Investigation due to Department of Justice pressure. The disclosure to the WSJ effectively confirmed the existence of the CF Investigation, which then-FBI Director Comey had previously refused to do. The account of the August 12 McCabe-PADAG call, and other information regarding the handling of the CF Investigation, was included in the October 30 WSJ article.
We found that, in a conversation with then-Director Comey shortly after the WSJ article was published, McCabe lacked candor when he told Comey, or made statements that led Comey to believe, that McCabe had not authorized the disclosure and did not know who did. This conduct violated FBI Offense Code 2.5 (Lack of Candor – No Oath).

We also found that on May 9, 2017, when questioned under oath by FBI agents from INSD, McCabe lacked candor when he told the agents that he had not authorized the disclosure to the WSJ and did not know who did. This conduct violated FBI Offense Code 2.6 (Lack of Candor – Under Oath).
We further found that on July 28, 2017, when questioned under oath by the OIG in a recorded interview, McCabe lacked candor when he stated: (a) that he was not aware of Special Counsel having been authorized to speak to reporters around October 30 and (b) that, because he was not in Washington, D.C., on October 27 and 28, 2016, he was unable to say where Special Counsel was or what she was doing at that time. This conduct violated FBI Offense Code 2.6 (Lack of Candor – Under Oath).
We additionally found that on November 29, 2017, when questioned under oath by the OIG in a recorded interview during which he contradicted his prior statements by acknowledging that he had authorized the disclosure to the WSJ, McCabe lacked candor when he: (a) stated that he told Comey on October 31, 2016, that he had authorized the disclosure to the WSJ; (b) denied telling INSD agents on May 9 that he had not authorized the disclosure to the WSJ about the PADAG call; and (c) asserted that INSD’s questioning of him on May 9 about the October 30 WSJ article occurred at the end of an unrelated meeting when one of the INSD agents pulled him aside and asked him one or two questions about the article. This conduct violated FBI Offense Code 2.6 (Lack of Candor – Under Oath). . . .
we concluded that McCabe’s decision to confirm the existence of the CF Investigation through an anonymously sourced quote, recounting the content of a phone call with a senior Department official in a manner designed to advance his personal interests at the expense of Department leadership, was clearly not within the public interest exception. We therefore concluded that McCabe’s disclosure of the existence of an ongoing investigation in this manner violated the FBI’s and the Department’s media policy and constituted misconduct. . . . .

So why is the US Trade Deficit going up?

From CNBC:
The U.S. trade deficit increased to a near 9½-year high in February as both exports and imports rose to record highs . . . . The Commerce Department said on Thursday the trade gap rose 1.6 percent to $57.6 billion. That was the highest level since October 2008 and followed a slightly downwardly revised $56.7 billion shortfall in January. . . .The recent tax cuts that have made the US a much more attractive place to invest, causing us to run more of a surplus in the capital account (the account that looks at trading of assets between countries).  As the US becomes a more attractive place to invest, more money is invested in the US relative to other countries.  But that means, if the exchange rate is to remain constant, they will have to run a deficit in the combined goods and services accounts. 


200,000, not 800,000, attended "March for Our Lives" event

CBS notes:
More than 200,000 people attended the March for Our Lives demonstration in Washington D.C. on Saturday, according to Digital Design & Imaging Service Inc (DDIS). The Virginia-based firm uses a proprietary method for calculating crowd size using aerial photos The peak crowd size was 202,796 people, with a margin of error of 15 percent, the firm said. The crowd reached its largest size at 1 p.m., according to the company's estimates. . . .

Prominent gun control advocate David Hogg uses screen name davisgreen111

David Hogg's Twitter account is @davidhogg111, so possibly it isn't too surprising that he has set up a Reddit account with the name davisgreen111.  The point of this pseudonym seems to be to get advice on how Hogg could reach and influence more people.
On Wednesday, the /pol/ board on 4chan speculated that they had found an anonymous Reddit account called davisgreen111 that belonged to David Hogg. Today, Big League Politics has exclusively confirmed that davisgreen111 is David Hogg. The most popular post on the davisgreen111 Reddit account is a link to David Hogg’s lifeguard confrontation video, which many are familiar with. It was the video that originally caused speculation that Hogg actually lived in Redondo Beach, CA, and not Florida . . . . It appears that Hogg was looking for advice on how to best display his name, which flashes across the beginning of video . . . .Will anyone care that he was using this pseudonym? 

Remember Filegate? Where the Clinton's promised everyone that they had only accidentally been looking through FBI files on Republicans?

From William Safire:
Remember ''Filegate''? Three years ago we learned that the White House had been regularly pulling the files from the F.B.I. on hundreds of Republicans -- ostensibly for security clearance, but including hundreds of former Reagan and Bush appointees never being considered for jobs.  Even Clinton partisans shuddered at shades of an ''enemies list.'' White House spokesmen dismissed it as a ''bureaucratic snafu,'' caused by a Secret Service that couldn't keep its lists straight. Suspicion fell on D. Craig Livingstone, a Democratic advance man unqualified for his sensitive security post. Because some Clinton appointees had drug problems in their pasts, White House operatives may have felt that a supply of political mud was needed to drive off potential critics.  The F.B.I. admitted wrongdoing in being so complaisant, apologized and said it would never again ship files over without proper paperwork. But it was obviously not qualified to investigate White House abuse of its files; Janet Reno asked for independent counsel, and the matter was assigned to Ken Starr, who had an organization up and running. . . .Now we supposedly have 4 sources of information used by FBI to launch spying on Trump during the election. The Hill newspaper's John Solomon claims: "All 4 Dossiers Used to Launch the FBI Investigation Against Trump Will Trace Back to the Clintons."

All this makes one wonder what the Clintons did with all that earlier information.

New York City Police ignore 1,526 ICE detainers for criminals

From Fox News:
New York City police ignored all 1,526 requests from federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to detain undocumented immigrants for up to 48 hours last year, a top NYPD official said Wednesday.  . . . The number of requests for 2017 was nearly 20 times higher than the 80 the department received over the previous year. Chernyavsky said the department responded to just two of ICE's 2016 requests because those immigrants had federal arrest warrants.  
Under New York City law, prisoners can only be handed over to ICE if they've been convicted of one of 170 crimes and federal officials present a warrant. . . .

Remember predictions that higher sea levels were causing islands to disappear?

Smithsonian in 2004: "Global warming threatens to swamp a small island nation"
PBS 2005: "Tuvalu: That Sinking Feeling: Global warming, rising seas"

According to PBS all the scientists agreed with this:
The scientific consensus is that global warming caused by carbon dioxide emissions and other "greenhouse gases" is causing rising sea levels around the world. Climate change experts predict that over the next hundred years the sea level, on average, will rise between six inches and three feet.
If so, Tuvalu is doomed, and many coastal areas around the world will be submerged.
Which is why the 9,000 inhabitants of Tuvalu have become this century's version of the canaries in the coal mines, and why FRONTLINE/World reporter Elizabeth Pollock ventured to these remote coral atolls south of the Equator. Is Tuvalu drowning?
On a Fulbright scholarship, Pollock spent a year in the South Pacific, making a documentary with her husband about the effects of global warming. . . .Now 2018 Phys.org: "'Sinking' Pacific nation is getting bigger: study"

Note that because of erosion islands tend to get smaller over time.  Unless there is continued volcanic activity, wave action and erosion from rain will cause islands to disappear, yet, this island is getting bigger.

In any case, even if island was disappearing because of higher sea levels, wouldn't it have been a lot easier for people to move than change the rest of the world?

Media bias on NBC's Chicago PD: telling permit holder threatened by gang members to leave his gun at home, when he doesn't he is killed



NBC's shows real bias when they have a segment on this small business owner having a concealed handgun permit holder. With gang members threatening the small business owner, the police officer tells the permit holder to leave his gun at home.  The small business owner doesn't follow instructions and he is killed by the gang members.  The last part of the segment focuses on the permit holder's gun laying next to his dead body.

How stocks prices around the world soared after Trump's election on November 8, 2016

People know how US stock prices soared immediately after President Trump was elected.  That is easy to explain because of the prospects of lower taxes and regulatory reform.  But more amazing is how stock prices around the world increased at the same time.  So many think that economics is a zero-sum game.  That was is good for the US is bad for the rest of the world.  And, surely, lower taxes in the US will increase investment in the US at the expense of what happens in other countries.  But fewer regulations and lower taxes in the US have apparently meant a more productive world economy. 
Click on figure to enlarge it.

Obamacare enrollment down from 9.2 million last year to 8.7 million this year

Apparently not everyone is so thrilled by the system.  Note that this also just provides further evidence about how poorly the government is at predicting enrollment in the system.  From the Washington Times:
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services now says about 8.7 million people booked coverage on the federal website through Saturday, a drop from the roughly 8.8 million signups it reported last week, after the enrollment period officially closed on Dec. 15. The tally fell short of the 9.2 million who used HealthCare.gov last year, though Obamacare supporters cheered the numbers as a strong showing in the face of President Trump’s antipathy toward the law. Officials said the updated total for 2018 reflects the share of people who either canceled their plan selections at the last minute or dropped coverage after they were automatically enrolled for 2018. . . .

Newt Gingrich says that Republicans will win big at the polls this next November

If Newt is right, he has a chance to make a lot of money in the betting odds markets.
Newt Gingrich said Thursday that Democrats are headed for a major political upset in 2018, mostly due to the mainstream media’s dishonesty and the party’s inability to learn from its own mistakes. “The great political surprise of 2018 will be the size of the Republican victory,” the former Republican House Speaker wrote in a column for Fox News. “After members of the elite media have spent two years savaging President Trump, lying about Republican legislation, and reassuring themselves that Republican defeat was inevitable, the size of the GOP victory in 2018 will be an enormous shock.” Mr. Gingrich said the most glaring example of “fake news” is the media’s handling of the GOP’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which he said will be “the 2018 proving ground of media liberal bias and dishonesty.” “First, the media lied about the tax bill in an effort to convince most Americans their taxes would go up,” he wrote. “Then, the media took surveys of people who opposed the GOP bill based on the false information supplied by the media. Then, the media talked again and again about how unpopular the Republican plan was and how it was going to weaken Republican candidates in 2018. Then, the bill passed, and unsurprisingly, it turned out to be dramatically better for Americans than the elite media had described.” . . .The rest of the article is available here

Democrat voter registration totals declining in key states

I have seen an earlier story on Colorado, but this story in the Washington Times suggests that the phenomenon is more widespread.  Is this because states are scrubbing the voter roles?  Is it because of the push to reduce vote fraud?  Is it changing allegiances?
. . . The same trend is playing out in Florida, Pennsylvania and other battleground states where Democrats should have been growing their numbers in the age of Mr. Trump, but instead are stumbling. They have lost 12,000 registered Democratic voters in Arizona since the presidential election, bringing the number down to 1.2 million. Republicans have lost just 1,000 voters and stand at nearly 1.4 million in the state. . . . In Pennsylvania, Democrats held a registration edge of about 800,000 over Republicans — 4 million to 3.2 million — as of Dec. 18. But the number of registered Democrats is down 4.5 percent, while Republicans have lost 2.4 percent. In Florida, Democrats hold a registration edge, but their ranks also have also dropped at a faster rate. As of Oct. 31, the number of registered Florida Democrats dropped 1.9 percent from last year to about 4.8 million. The number of registered Republican voters fell 0.6 percent, to about 4.6 million. Nevada Republicans, meanwhile, have shaved Democrats’ edge from 119,000 voters in October 2016 to about 98,000 as of Dec. 1. Former Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, Virginia Republican, said many registered Democrats are transient in nature and the changes might not necessarily be subtractions but shifts elsewhere. . . .Democrats in North Carolina lost 3,829 registered voters from February to September. Republicans gained 9,241 and Libertarians gained 1,468, but unaffiliated voters grew by 47,099 registered voters, according to a report from the Civitas Institute, a right-leaning think tank in the state. In Nevada, Libertarians gained about 700 voters compared with last year, even as thousands of Democrats and Republicans dropped off the rolls. . . .