By Jeff Childers
Good morning, C&C, and Happy Wednesday! The short-form roundup today includes: updates on Senator Katie Britt; my sheriff suddenly and unexpectedly resigns citing unnamed health problems; Trump indicted on January 6th charges; Trump dismissed from a civil lawsuit; Chinese malware pops up all over the U.S., but why are they telling us now?; and the U.S.’s credit score gets shortened.
Note: the Childers family’s annual summer vacation continues this week, so posts may be shorter and later than usual. If it doesn’t show up on time, don’t panic! We’ll return to normally-scheduled programming next week.
🗞💬 WORLD NEWS AND COMMENTARY 💬🗞
💉 Yesterday I reported on the most recent neurological injury in the Senate. I don’t mean the normal, everyday brain damage exhibited by most congresspeople, but rather actual clinical diagnosable injuries. Alabama’s unfortunate Katie Britt, the youngest Republican senator in history at 41 years young, is now recovering for “several weeks” from a health incident that sounds a lot like the first reports we got about Justin Bieber before he started recovering for several weeks, which ended along with his entire career.
Anyway, since my writing schedule is a little difficult this week because Michelle insists, for some reason, on extra family time during our one summer vacation, I asked C&C readers yesterday to help out with searching for Katie’s vaccine status. And you guys delivered — She’s fully jabbed:
So Katie can thank her doctor for recommending the miracle jabs, since without them her facial neuralgia or paralysis or whatever it is would probably have been a lot worse.
Second, alert readers noticed yesterday that in the Britt story I referred to a denominator of ’50’ senators, even though there are 100 of them running around, or in some cases being wheeled around. To correct the record: I did not make a civics error by undercounting Senators. I erred in failing to explain my reasoning and by wording the throwaway comment poorly.
Since Congress never had a jab mandate, my guess is about half the Senators took the shots. We’ll never know for sure, and I could argue against my estimate in both directions, that the fraction should be estimated higher (because politics) or lower (because of how easy it is to lie about getting the shots). But, for the sake of argument, assuming that half the Senators took the shots even though they weren’t required to, then the visible neurological injury rate appears to be running about 8%.
Of that 8%, half are ‘seasoned’ Senators (McConnell, Feinstein) and half are young and previously healthy Senators (Britt, Fetterman). For whatever it’s worth, injuries by party affiliation are currently running 50/50.
I would bet my next paycheck that there are more, maybe many more, undisclosed new health problems in the Senate. Injuries that are less obvious than neurological injuries, like cardiac problems.
In any case, we pray for Senator Britt’s rapid and complete recovery.
💉 Yesterday, right in my home county of Alachua, Florida, our recently-elected democrat Sheriff Clovis Watson, 61, submitted his letter of resignation to Governor DeSantis, explaining he can no longer continue working, because of unnamed “health reasons.”
In his resignation letter, Sheriff Watson explained that he isn’t sure he can perform his duties much longer. He wrote, “After more than forty years in law enforcement and public service, this decision has been very difficult, but I have accepted that my health is such that I fear that I may not be able to meet my own expectations for performing my sworn duties.”
Clovis didn’t say what his health problems were, but admitted they were unexpected. In his letter to the Governor, Sheriff Watson stressed, “it was my intention to complete my term in office.” It seems fair to assume the Sheriff didn’t go to all the trouble of running for Sheriff two years ago thinking he wouldn’t finish his first term.
Whatever is his unexpected health problem, it must be serious enough to prevent Sheriff Watson from sticking it out through next year’s elections, since his early retirement means Governor DeSantis gets to appoint Sheriff Watson’s replacement. Long-time democrat Watson was part of local democrats’ plan to “reimagine” law enforcement by stealthily defunding the department and reducing policing.
It is hard to imagine local democrats would let Governor DeSantis get involved if there was anything they could have done to prevent it.
In 2021, politicians faced terrific pressure to take the jabs. Although Sheriff Watson bravely bucked his party and refused to order a jab mandate for the Sheriff’s Department, he got the jabs himself in August, 2021. In an interview with local WCJB, Sheriff Watson explained he trusted the science: “I believe in the vaccine. I believe it’s the best way to protect ourselves and our community. I encourage everyone to get vaccinated.”
Although I suspect this story is about another jab injury cutting short another political career, I hope for Sheriff Watson’s sake that I’m wrong. And even though I completely disagree with him politically, I hope he finds a full recovery from whatever is making him quit his hard-won office.
🔥 The Hill ran a tiresome story yesterday headlined, “Trump indicted on Jan. 6 charges.” On Tuesday — the day after Devon Archer testified about Joe Biden’s shady connections to a bunch of sketchy oligarchs — special counsel Jack Smith issued a horrible 45-page indictment tacking yet another criminal case onto President Trump’s mounting legal docket.
This newest indictment includes four counts, for mainly two reasons: that President Trump “conspired to defraud the United States,” and that he “conspired to interfere with the certification of the election.” Here’s how the Hill explained it:
“Despite having lost, the Defendant was determined to remain in power. So for more than two months following election day on November 3, 2020, the Defendant spread lies that there had been outcome-determinative fraud in the election and that he had actually won,” the indictment states.
“These claims were false, and the Defendant knew that they were false,” it continues. “But the Defendant repeated and widely disseminated them anyway—to make his knowingly false claims appear legitimate, create an intense national atmosphere of mistrust and anger, and erode public faith in the administration of the election.”
The Hill, quoting bug-eyed reptilian Congressman Adam Schiff, all but admitted that the so-called House January 6th Committee was always intended to produce this singular result: charging Trump with J6-related crimes. The odious Schiff couldn’t wait to take the credit:
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on Tuesday credited the investigation, saying the indictment was “based in large part on evidence we uncovered through our work.”
Although the indictment didn’t explicitly name them or indict them (yet), it claimed Trump worked with six co-conspirators: “The Defendant enlisted co-conspirators to assist him in his criminal efforts to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election and retain power.” Based on comments from the indictment, people are guessing the co-conspirators include five of Trump’s attorneys: Rudi Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Jeffrey Clark, Kenneth Cheseboro, and John Eastman, plus an unidentified political consultant.
In a long series of poorly-considered Trump cases, this is one of the dumbest yet.
First, nearly all the conduct described in the four counts is speech, and not just speech, but political speech. Political speech is the most protected kind of speech under the Constitution’s First Amendment. That probably won’t stop the Obama-appointed judge from letting the case survive an inevitable motion to dismiss, but my initial take is the counts can’t survive without rewriting the Constitution.
The situation is slightly more complicated because the DOJ framed the counts as “fraud,” which is a type of speech that isn’t protectable, but that raises its own problems. Even if Trump did lie, which is debatable, lying isn’t illegal, not without something more, like being under oath, or harming someone who relied on the lie.
So the DOJ must first prove Trump lied, and then it must marry the lies to something else that can except them from First Amendment protection.
Which brings us to the DOJ’s next big problem, which is an interesting twist. A central material issue in this shiny new indictment is the truth or falsity of whether significant 2020 election fraud occurred or not. After all, the DOJ is claiming that Trump “lied” about election fraud, thereby — ironically — committing a fraud of his own.
In other words, they’re saying Trump committed fraud by alleging fraud. You can’t make this stuff up.
Now cast your mind back two years. Remember that none of Trump’s 2020 lawsuits ever got a chance to present evidence, since they were all dismissed on technical or procedural grounds. None of them got to take discovery, either.
But this time, now that he and his lawyers are defendants in a criminal case, President Trump can not only put on evidence of election fraud, but he must. And before that, he will have the right to conduct discovery under the demanding federal rules. And they’re not going to like it.
And, while I’m sure the giddy prosecutors are currently planning to just sit back and make Trump’s lawyers prove there was election fraud, the prosecutors will soon confront another unpleasant surprise related to what they must prove.
Right now, the prosecutors think proving their case will be easy and they won’t have to do much. But, as Trump’s lawyers begin to assemble evidence of election fraud — much of which was already pulled together in 2020 (but never considered by a court) — the DOJ prosecutors will start to realize at some point that they can’t just remain silent. They don’t see it yet, but they will eventually have to prove the negative; they will have to prove that election fraud didn’t happen.
They can’t just rely on “everybody knows” there wasn’t voter fraud. They can’t just wave their hands at the dismissed 2020 cases. They’ll almost certainly have to prove the absence of fraud.
And that, they cannot prove. Not only because proving a negative is incredibly difficult, but because it’s already very clear there was significant fraud, as demonstrated by sources like 2,000 mules. Plus, the more they look into whether fraud happened, the more it will hurt the government case.
Finally, of course, bringing this case two and a half years after January 6th during the middle of a presidential election campaign — against a candidate — is a total Banana Republic move. I’m expecting to see Joe Biden pop up wearing a medal-covered jacket covered any day now.
🔥 Yesterday, the Hill ran a related story headlined, “Judge rules Trump false election claims while in office covered by presidential immunity.”
James Savage, a 2020 Pennsylvania voting machine supervisor, filed two lawsuits (now consolidated) alleging that Trump, Rudy Giuliani, two poll watchers and others conspired to defame him. Mr. Savage alleged the President’s statements claiming the 2020 election was stolen caused him to get death threats and have two heart attacks.
Yesterday, Judge Michael Erdos dismissed the claims against Trump, ruling the statements about the election were part of Trump’s official duties, since he was speaking to the public on matters of public concern. Official duties provide public officials with immunity from civil claims.
“[T]hen-President Trump’s Gettysburg remarks and his tweet were public,” Judge Erdos wrote. “Moreover, the topic of these statements—claims from third parties and the President himself about irregularities in the Presidential election which on their face called into question the integrity of the election and whether now-President Joseph Biden had been duly elected—was undoubtedly a matter of great public concern.”
Undoubtedly. And it remains a matter of great public concern.
The bottom line is that’s one Trump case resolved. To be clear, this wasn’t one of Trump’s three criminal cases, but rather was one of the many civil cases proceeding against the President around the country. It is a good start, and Trump’s attorneys will be able to use this result to persuade other civil judges to go the same way.
The decision was also helpful to the new lawsuit, particularly in its spectacular timing. It’s not dispositive, because federal criminal standards are different, but you can’t help but draw a line from this case to the new Jack Smith indictment.
🔥 The country is in the best of hands! CNN ran a story yesterday headlined, “US officials search for hidden Chinese malware that could affect military operations.”
According to unnamed military, intelligence and national security officials, the Biden Administration believes that our power grids and communications networks are virtually infested with rampaging Chinese viruses that could bring the country to its knees whenever the Chinese want.
Another anonymous “congressional official” called the malware “a ticking time bomb” — scary — that could give China power to shut down businesses and slow American military operations by cutting off power, water and communications to our military bases.
According to the article, in late May, Microsoft reported finding a mysterious computer code in some telecommunications systems in Guam, a Pacific island with a vast American air base, and elsewhere in the United States. The New York Times then interviewed over a dozen U.S. officials and industry experts who said the problem goes far beyond telecommunications systems and said that the U.S. government has been chasing the Chinese code for over a year now.
They know malware exists, but they don’t know how much there is. Officials told the Times they do not know the full extent of the code’s presence in networks around the world, partly because it is so well hidden. They also don’t know whether the Chinese are aiming more at civilian or military infrastructure, although the malware hunt has focused on military applications, so far.
One thing we know for sure: they forgot to install the anti-virus software.
Let’s apply the “fake news” test to this story: (1) it’s old news, (2) from anonymous sources, (3) that is controversial or distracting. Yep. Fake news. It’s a deep-state psyop of some kind.
🔥 The Hill ran an embarrassing but completely unsurprising story yesterday headlined, “Fitch downgrades US credit rating over rising debt, repeated standoffs.”
The story is not surprising because half the Congresspeople have low credit scores these days. So what do you expect when you put them in charge of the country?
For context, Fitch is only one of the three main credit rating agencies (which are different from credit reporting agencies, which rate individuals). Besides Fitch, the other two are Moody’s and Standard & Poor. It’s only one of them so far. Still, its big news Fitch downgraded the U.S. for the first time ever, from the best rating, AAA, to second best, AA+. As far as its reasons, the agency cited politicization of the budget, a record-setting level of debt, and no plan to deal with an aging population.
In other words, Fitch is appalled how fast the U.S. government is spending money. They’re spending money like it belongs to someone else or something.
The implications of the downgrade are potentially enormous. The lowered credit rating signals higher risk, which means U.S. treasuries will have to pay higher interest rates, making borrowing more difficult and expensive. The change could cause banks to go under as their bond assets are re-valued lower. And it could cause the dollar to lose value against other currencies.
Thanks Joe Biden!
Is it too late to take the Congressional credit card away? Or won’t that work, since they can just print more bills? I suspect Biden is going to keep on printing money. After all, he has a Proxy War to pay for.
You can keep on printing money until you can’t. But the good news is at that point, it’s all over fast. And pretty much everyone knows it, which makes us wonder how much longer Wall Street will allow this disastrous regime to continue.
Have a wonderful Wednesday! Come on back for more delicious C&C tomorrow morning.
Consider joining with C&C to help move the nation’s needle and change minds. I could use your help getting the truth out and spreading optimism and hope, if you can: https://www.coffeeandcovid.com/p/-learn-how-to-get-involved–
© 2022, Jeff Childers, all rights reserved
The views expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal Florida.