Daily Briefing: Muller Hearing Reinforces Partisan Divide On Impeachment (July 29,2019)


Robert Mueller, 2012.jpg (Source: Wikimedia Commons)


Table of Contents:


Impeachment Dreams Die; Wall Gets Built: Clarice Feldman, American Thinker, July 28, 2019


IfNotNow: Seizing the Moment in Pursuit of Political Power: Ray Epstein, Isranet.org, July 2019


4 Takeaways From The House’s Big Vote Against The Israel Boycott Movement:  Ron Kampeas, JTA, July 26, 2019


British Invasion: Kyle Orton, Washington Examiner, March 15, 2019 

Impeachment Dreams Die; Wall Gets Built
Clarice Feldman
American Thinker, July 28, 2019

This was a week the President could only have dreamed of. There was the highly promoted appearance of Robert Mueller before two congressional committees in which the impeachment dream of the party with no saleable agenda died in full public view. Egged on by Deep Staters, Guatemala had recently backed off of a deal to keep asylum seekers there, but at the end of the week thought better of reneging (after the President threatened tariffs and other responses if they didn’t follow through on the deal). The week ended with the Supreme Court green lighting the transfer of some funds from the Defense budget to build 100 miles of a wall at the border of Mexico.

Mueller and “His” Report

For two years the mainstream media has been plugging the idea — preposterous on its face as it was –that the President colluded with Russia to beat Hillary Clinton. Indeed, the Pulitzer Committee honored the New York Times and Washington Post, leaders of  the collusion band, “for deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the nation’s understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to the Trump campaign, the President-elect’s transition team and his eventual administration.”

Television and cable news carried the same tune ad infinitum, as this video clip records in condensed form.

Few people read the Mueller report and the Democrats believed a well-practiced series of soundbites at the hearing would revitalize impeachment impetus. It didn’t. On the contrary, it revealed that the endeavor was corrupt, poorly managed by someone seemingly in the early stages of dementia, and that the special counsel was clearly among those who’d never read the report offered up in his name.

There was a lot of very good coverage of the Mueller testimony. In my view Kimberley Strassel at the Wall Street Journal and Professor Jonathan Turley at The Hill did the best job of it.

(a) Strassel

We’ve been told it was solely about Russian electoral interference and obstruction of justice. It’s now clear it was equally about protecting the actual miscreants behind the Russia-collusion hoax.

The most notable aspect of the Mueller report was always what it omitted: the origins of this mess. Christopher Steele’s dossier was central to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s probe, the basis of many of the claims of conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia. Yet the Mueller authors studiously wrote around the dossier, mentioning it only in perfunctory terms. The report ignored Mr. Steele’s paymaster, Fusion GPS, and its own ties to Russians. It also ignored Fusion’s paymaster, the Clinton campaign, and the ugly politics behind the dossier hit job.

As Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz asked Mr. Mueller, how could a special-counsel investigation into “Russia’s interference” have any credibility if it failed to look into whether the Steele dossier was itself disinformation from Moscow? Mr. Steele acknowledges that senior Russian officials were the source of his dossier’s claims of an “extensive conspiracy.” Given that no such conspiracy actually existed, Mr. Gaetz asked: “Did Russians really tell that to Christopher Steele, or did he just make it up and was he lying to the FBI?” … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]

IfNotNow: Seizing the Moment in Pursuit of Political Power
Ramón Epstein
Isranet.org, July 2019

Progressive Jewish circles were always divided on whether to support Israel and even during the early stages of the modern Zionist movement, there was a counterreaction from an anti-Zionist Jewish Labour Federation (“Bund”). Indeed, even among the pro-Israel Jewish community, there is controversy over full-fledged support for Israel, the two-state solution, and beyond that the various governments of Israel. However, one of the latest anti-Zionist Jewish organizations has set itself apart as a uniquely well-connected instrument dedicated to anything but the communal interests of the Jewish community.

IfNotNow was founded in late 2014 under the directorship of Cedar Landsman, Seth Woody, and Simon Mont, and Ethan Miller as Treasurer. While some were active in the Reform Jewish movement including Mont who wrote articles clamoring against the patriarchy in Tikkun magazine, other members are not Jewish at all. Woody, for example, is an activist on the evangelical left and was a lead organizer of the Leadership Development Initiative of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. While Mont is the movement’s chair, he tends to remain in the background as other members take the lead. IfNotNow’s mission is very clearly aimed at Jewish youth: “We will be the generation that ends our community’s support for the occupation [of Palestine]. Will you join us?”

However, IfNotNow is not one movement but a close-knit circle of movements with a much broader purpose that has nothing to do with Judaism, Israel, or Palestine. IfNotNow’s founders are, for the most part, graduates of organizational training by the Ayni Institute and its project the Momentum Community. Woody and Landsman both appear in the Ayni Institute’s 2016 promotional video. Momentum claims to have “incubated” three movements:

Movimiento Cosecha, which strives to obtain “permanent protection, dignity and respect for the 11 million undocumented people in this country”.


Sunrise: “a movement to stop climate change, and create millions of good jobs in the process. Incubation is a light term for what goes on at Momentum, as there is strong cross-pollination between the groups. Sunrise founder Sara Blazevic was originally an IfNotNow organizer; she is Croatian, not Jewish.

Much like the other two group’s, IfNotNow’s origins and strongest branches are in the Boston metropolitan area; its most numerously attended events such as 2016 #LiberationSeder take place during Passover. The training that IfNotNow and its sister movements’ activists receive through Momentum includes creating cell-like sub-groups to maintain a decentralized and seemingly grass-roots structure to the movement. …  [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]

4 Takeaways From The House’s Big Vote Against The Israel Boycott Movement
Ron Kampeas
JTA, July 26, 2019

The U.S. House of Representatives this week approved a nonbinding resolution that condemns the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel. Much was made of the 398-17 vote, one that earns the hoary journalist adjective “overwhelming.” Democrats and Republicans at long last could bond on an issue, rejecting attempts to boycott Israel. “It’s that bipartisan support for Israel that means the world understands that the United States is strongly in support of Israel,” Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill, the resolution’s lead sponsor with Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., told me this week. (Schneider and Zeldin are Jewish.)
But despite bipartisan support for the resolution, it’s hardly the last word on the Israel boycott among lawmakers. Here’s a look at what the resolution means, the politics behind it and what happens next.

The resolution does nothing — and a lot.

The resolution is nonbinding, so it doesn’t mean much, right? As a “simple resolution,” it does not require passage in the other chamber or the president’s signature. Simple resolutions are “used to express the sentiments of a single house, such as offering condolences to the family of a deceased member of Congress, or it may give ‘advice’ on foreign policy or other executive business,” a Senate explainer says, adding that they do not have the force of law.

So, what’s the point? Getting folks on the record, and daring them to vote “no” on what their constituents might consider mom-and-apple pie issues.

The BDS resolution was definitely about the politics: Republicans since the beginning of this congressional session have sought repeatedly to embarrass Democrats with bills that would penalize Israel boycotters. A substantial portion of Democrats oppose the Republican measures — these would be legally binding — because the lawmakers say the bills infringe on free speech.
Even as they decried the resolution as toothless, Republicans almost unanimously voted yea. Democrats control the House, and Republicans could hardly afford not to support a pro-Israel resolution that surely would pass without them.

But the resolution isn’t meaningless. Much of the business of the world’s most powerful parliament is to create boilerplate language to which it can return to again and again, in large part because overworked staffers would rather not reinvent the wheel every week. When 392 of 435 House members agree on a way to frame an issue, you can bet that policymakers will return to the resolution’s language as a reference and template for future legislation, including the binding kind.

The BDS issue is not going away.

This isn’t going away anytime soon, if Republicans have anything to do with it. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said he will press ahead with the anti-BDS bills that have bite. Democrats are split over bills that penalize businesses and contractors who support the boycott of Israel, because they fear they impinge on the right of free speech. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]

British Invasion
Kyle Orton
Washington Examiner, Mar. 15, 2019

When the Democratic Party faced a revolt from its ranks for daring to propose condemning anti-Semitism, the scene gave those of us in Britain deja vu. The American Left is following the same script that led to the rapid radicalization of the Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn. It’s no longer a mere talking point, a form of shorthand for journalists: The Democratic Party’s Corbynization is here, and it tacks so closely to what happened in Britain that it’s important for Americans to understand where we’ve been — and where they’re headed.

The anti-Semitism fracas came about thanks to a series of bigoted statements made by Minnesota freshman Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, who accused U.S. Jews of disloyalty to America. Omar was part of the January intake in the House of Representatives, alongside Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. The trio have become increasingly dominant in press and social media coverage, allowing them considerable influence in setting the agenda for the party in the public space. Tlaib has also levied the “dual loyalty” charge, and Ocasio-Cortez has used her prominence to defend them. The Democrats regarded this as opening the way for a bold, new approach to politics, with fresh ideas from a younger cadre who would broaden the debate. I know where I’ve heard that before.

In September 2015, Corbyn became the leader of the British Labour Party. There were three other candidates, offering variants of the centrist course; they split that vote among themselves, and Corbyn prevailed by a huge margin.

Corbyn had some help from flukes of circumstance. In order to be eligible, Corbyn had to be nominated by 35 members of Parliament. He scraped in because a number of MPs took the view of Frank Field, a senior moderate figure, that Labour needed to “widen the debate” and confront the activist wing of the party with the unreality of their program. This backfired because of the second key factor: the changes made by Corbyn’s predecessor, which allowed members of the public who had paid a mere 3 pounds to join the Labour Party to vote in its leadership contests. A flood of pro-Corbyn activists joined up before the vote.

By the time Corbyn took the helm, he was a known quantity: from the hard-Left of the party with long-standing extremist connections. Corbyn had regular contact with Eastern Bloc spies, knowing exactly who they were, throughout the Cold War. He opposes NATO, speaking of the alliance in conspiratorial tones. He backed Cuba’s Fidel Castro, the leading edge of Soviet imperialism. Elsewhere in Latin America, Corbyn supported the Soviet satellite regime in Nicaragua and keeps silent even now with Daniel Ortega back in office, committing his old crimes.

The world over Corbyn has found himself attracted to purveyors of anti-Western violence, what was once called “Third Worldism” and self-identified as “anti-imperialism.” Osama bin Laden’s death was a “ tragedy” to Corbyn. Even when he finds a defensible cause, such as rights for the Kurdish minority in the Middle East, he offers his support only to the Stalinist terrorist forces among them. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]

On Topic Links:


Warren Openly Supports Anti-Zionist Group’s Call to Pressure Israel ‘To End the Occupation’:  JNS News, July 10, 2019 — Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who is running for president in 2020, responded affirmatively on Monday to the anti-Israel group IfNotNow calling on her to pressure “the Israeli government to end occupation,” defined as “stealing Palestinian land.”


The Mueller Report’s Fundamental Dodge Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review, July 27, 2019 – Part 1 —  Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony was such a bumbling fiasco that it was easy for a viewer to be confused — and stay that way — about the main bone of Democratic contention regarding his report: the “OLC guidance” that prevents the Justice Department from charging a president with crimes while he is in office. Specifically, how did it factor into the special counsel’s decision — or, rather, non-decision — on the main question he was appointed to answer: Did President Trump obstruct justice?


New Polling Finds Mueller’s Testimony Didn’t Change Americans’ Minds On Impeachment:  Gabriela Resto-Montero, Vox  July 28, 2019 — Despite high hopes from congressional Democrats that special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony would clarify the conclusions of the Mueller report for the American public, new polls show the hearings changed few minds about the report’s contents and that a partisan split remains on questions of impeachment and presidential wrongdoing.


The Democratic Party Fight Over Impeachment:  Opinion:  Potomac Watch, WSJ Podcasts.