After venting about their run-ins with government bureaucracy, Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America dive into three crazy martinis related to the Justice Department’s Inspector General report. They marvel at the mountain of obvious political bias inside the FBI during the 2016 campaign and that the IG does not believe that bias affected the Hillary Clinton investigation. They also shudder at the lack of ethics that the media used to obtain classified information from FBI officials. And they find it really difficult to comprehend that former FBI Director James Comey didn’t know that Clinton’s former top aide Huma Abedin is married to disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner.

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Dershowitz for AG? Or maybe FBI Janitor General

 

The IG report, despite all the spinning, shows an FBI that is flawed and political beyond reasonable bounds. It needs some cleaning, maintenance, and repair. A little swamp draining. Who can do that job? Who can do that job and maintain some actual and perceived independence?  More

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America celebrate another free speech victory coming out of the Supreme Court as it ruled against a Minnesota law that banned political apparel at the polls. They also remain confused at President Donald Trump’s praise for the murderous North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-Un. And they look at the initial details of the long-anticipated Inspector’s General report about Comey, Lynch, and the Hillary Clinton private server investigation.

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Today on the Daily Standard Podcast, senior writer Michael Warren and reporter Andrew Egger sort through a dizzying day of news, including a new New York lawsuit against the Trump organization, the upcoming Inspector General’s report slamming Jim Comey for his handling of the Clinton investigation, and the unfolding human rights crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Daily Standard podcast is sponsored by the Dollar Shave Club. Try their daily essentials starter set (a $15 value!) for $5 with free shipping by visiting dollarshaveclub.com/weeklystandard.

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NEW PODCAST EP: Andrew C. McCarthy on Russiagate, Clinton-Trump Investigation Double Standards, Mueller’s Mandate, DOJ-FBI-CIA Politicization (Part II)

 

Andrew C. McCarthy on Russiagate, Clinton-Trump Investigation Double Standards, Mueller’s Mandate, DOJ-FBI-CIA Politicization (Part II) http://traffic.libsyn.com/bigideaswithben/20180530_Andy_McCarthy_Interview_Part_2.vF.mp3 With Michael Horowitz’s IG Report due out this afternoon, I just released Part II of my in-depth conversation for the Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast with former federal prosecutor and National Review contributor par excellence Andrew C. McCarthy. […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America devote all three martinis to the Trump-Kim summit. They are happy that President Trump did not promise to revoke any of the North Korean sanctions and that Kim reportedly made concessions on his missile program. They also rip the deal over Trump agreeing to end joint military exercises with South Korea, while only getting a vague promise from Kim to move towards denuclearization. They also berate Trump for lavishing public praise towards Kim, calling it a great honor to meet with him and suggesting Kim loves his people.

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An Ill-Conceived New Wave of Asbestos Liability

 

The United States Supreme Court will hear Air and Liquid Systems v. Devries in its next term, a case which raises the important question of whether a manufacturer that sold equipment to the United States Navy with no asbestos can be held liable for asbestos-related injuries resulting from other suppliers adding in their own products containing asbestos. The Third Circuit held that suits against any “bare metal” supplier—one who made their products in accordance with Navy specifications—might indeed be proper because it was “foreseeable” to that supplier at the time of its initial sale that products containing asbestos could be added on by independent parties. This theory, which works against any one supplier, can be brought simultaneously against multiple manufacturers who, years before, supplied bare metal components for naval ships.

This novel legal theory is a third-best alternative that takes the law far beyond its current contours. The obvious defendants are either the U.S. Navy or the supplier of those asbestos-contaminated products. But the Navy is immune from tort suit, and the suppliers of the asbestos products have all been bankrupted by a succession of earlier suits. Standard legal theories of causation hold that one person should not be held responsible for the wrongful acts of an independent party, and thus these cases ought to have been dismissed.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America praise the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold an Ohio law that cuts inactive voters from the rolls if they haven’t voted in the past six years or asked the state to keep them on. They also blast a self-described intersectional, Muslim feminist, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for Keith Ellison’s Minnesota congressional seat, over her ugly tweet about Israel. And they unload on the New York Times for their sudden embrace of Mitt Romney.

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After discussing the Washington Capitals ending a 26-year title drought in the nation’s capital, Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud Country Time for vowing to pay the fines and permit fees for kids hassled by the government for running lemonade stands without business licenses. They’re also disgusted as a 57-year-old married man with a high staff position for the Senate Intelligence Committee is charged with leaking classified information to two reporters, including his mistress, who was then 22-years-old. And they note this week’s high profile suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain as the suicide rate skyrockets in much of America, and they implore anyone struggling to go on to find help. Finally, they close on another somber note as they process the news that conservative columnist and commentator Charles Krauthammer has only weeks to live.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America react to reports that former FBI Director James Comey is described as “insubordinate” in the forthcoming inspector general’s report and former deputy director Andrew McCabe is asking for immunity before testifying to Congress about the Hillary Clinton email investigation. They also push back against the outrage surrounding the arrest of an illegal immigrant delivering pizzas to a military base, pointing out the man told a judge he would leave the country eight years ago and never did. And they’re puzzled by Sen. Bernie Sanders refusing to endorse his own son’s congressional bid when he’s been very active backing other candidates around the country.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome the news that outspoken liberal Rep. Keith Ellison is leaving the House of Representatives to run for statewide office in Minnesota, a venture they sincerely hope ends in failure. They also lament that Medicare and Social Security are getting closer to insolvency and neither lawmakers nor most Americans seem all that concerned about it. They also highlight yet another lie perpetrated by the Obama administration in getting the Iran nuclear deal done, this time allowing Iran access to U.S. banks while adamantly telling lawmakers it would not do so.

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A Frontal Assault on Social Media

 

To all appearances, the folks in charge of privacy regulation within the European Union are unfamiliar with that old cliché, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Last week, the EU parliament passed a long-anticipated and much-dreaded privacy law known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a lengthy and convoluted document that is replete with vague substantive commands accompanied by hefty penalties for violation. The implicit assumption behind the regulation is that all individuals are entitled to control data about themselves, so that various firms that acquire this information not only have to hold it secure against outsiders, but are also limited in how they can use the data, while granting individual users extensive rights to access, control, and remove their personal data. The GDPR regime is not content to let these important issues be resolved by private contract. But the new regulation fails a simple test: It does not identify any breakdown in the current institutional arrangements to justify its massive oversight in the way in which individual data is managed by all sorts of organizations and firms.

No fair-minded person thinks it’s appropriate to allow strangers to hack into databases, public or private, or to deliver hacked data to others who can then use that data to defraud or defame innocent people. Right now, a robust, multi-layered regime of legal, political, economic, and social enforcement within the EU targets firms who are perceived to violate these norms. Yet there is scant justification for piling an additional massive regulatory scheme on top of the current mix of public and private remedies. Consider the fate of Cambridge Analytica, a firm that misused for political purposes data that it had acquired under false pretenses from Facebook during the 2016 presidential campaign. Cambridge Analytica recently shut down, undone by a “siege of media coverage.” Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, meanwhile, has been hauled over the coals repeatedly in both the United States and in Europe because the systems Facebook had in place were insufficient to protect against misuse. Zuckerberg responded with more robust solutions to satisfy its huge customer base, lest Facebook lose its dominant market position and the billions in revenue its users generate.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America groan as President Trump disinvites the Philadelphia Eagles from their White House visit, after most players decided to boycott the event. They also laugh as the normally loquacious Sen. Ted Cruz is left speechless after being asked if he thinks President Trump has the power to pardon himself. And Jim rips outgoing Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz for his pathetic noncommittals on the 2020 presidential race, while explaining how Schultz would likely be a flop in the Democratic primary.

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My Response to Friends Who Believe Supreme Court in Masterpiece Cakeshop Ruled ‘in Favor of Discrimination’

 

I think the big picture is, If we as a society agree that we can’t manage to interact with our fellow citizens (in personal or commercial relationships, either one) without the federal government always coming in and mediating those relationships for us, then the outcomes in particular cases will sometimes go in favor of the […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of a Christian baker who was sued for not customizing a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony but note the ruling focused on this particular case rather than broader issues of conscience and religious liberty. They also cringe as Bill Clinton still sees himself as the victim in the Monica Lewinsky scandal and scolds an NBC reporter for even bringing it up. And they’re incredulous as President Trump boldly announces he has the power to pardon himself and Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, contends Trump could not even be indicted for killing former FBI Director James Comey while still in office.

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In Big Ruling, SCOTUS Endorses Freedom Over Compulsion

 

The Supreme Court upheld the First Amendment Monday, ruling in favor of Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakes in Lakewood, CO. In a narrowly crafted 7-2 opinion, the court ruled that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission demonstrated hostility to Phillips’s religious beliefs.

Although Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion was full of the woke posturing we’ve come to expect, had this case gone the other way, religious liberty would have suffered greatly. This ruling was a necessary brushback pitch to overreaching bureaucrats trying to stamp out diversity of thought and belief.

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