You would think that an attorney general who has presided over the embarrassing debacle of the Hunter Biden investigation would express contrition, or maybe a little anger at the underlings who have shamed him, when he is hauled before a congressional committee to explain his failures.
But alas, Merrick Garland is just another Mr. Magoo.
His department is ablaze but he knows nothing.
The nation’s chief law enforcement officer has no special insight into the malfeasance unfolding under his nose.
He is just an oblivious bystander, unperturbed by the tyrannical turn the DOJ has taken under his leadership, persecuting his boss’ political enemies and coddling the crooked president’s crooked relatives.
Even though Garland used to be a judge, he makes no judgments at all.
He professes to have no view about US Attorney David Weiss’ farcical five-year “investigation” of the president’s 53-year-old son, Hunter.
“I promised the Senate that I would not interfere,” he told the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday.
“I have not intruded or attempted to evaluate that, because that was the promise I made to the Senate.” What an honorable man, keeping his promises.
But he’s the ship’s captain. There is a fire in the hold, the vessel is going down, and he doesn’t even trouble himself to find out what happened.
“Have you had personal contact with anyone at FBI Headquarters about the Hunter Biden investigation?” asked Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La).
For what seemed like an eternity but was really about seven seconds, Garland looked down at his tightly clasped hands, slowly turned his head left and right as if the answer might materialize somewhere on the empty table below him, then popped his tongue, said “ahhhh,” pursed his lips, exhaled and arranged the edges of his mouth in a downward shrug, before finally looking up at Johnson with a sheepish expression and stammering: “I don’t real . . . I don’t . . . ah . . . I don’t recollect the answer to that question but the FBI works for the Justice Department?” a non sequitur delivered in a cascade of upward inflections as if he was the one asking questions, or maybe channeling a Valley Girl.
He wants us to applaud his pathological incuriosity about the corruption of Weiss’ probe, as exposed by the two valiant IRS whistleblowers, Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler. The sort of professional, nonpartisan public servants whom Garland professes to support, they are the heroes of this sordid tale.
They blew up their careers to testify about the slow-walking, the kid-glove treatment available to no other American, the tip-offs about search warrants, the constraints on investigators, the no-go zones anywhere near the Big Guy, the refusal of geolocation searches to determine if Joe really was in the room, like Hunter claimed, in his shakedown WhatsApp to a Chinese benefactor, the burying of incriminating evidence such as the FD-1023 FBI source report alleging Hunter and Joe each took a $5 million bribe from a Ukrainian oligarch, and of course, Hunter’s infamous laptop, which the FBI had authenticated and seized in December 2019, but which remained off-limits to the IRS investigators.
Not his problem, Garland communicated, as he delivered the bravura stonewalling performance we’ve come to expect from Biden appointees.
Stanford Covid lockdown skeptic Dr Jay Bhattacharya touts court ruling that Biden administration censored criticism about masks, school closures
A Stanford doctor silenced for challenging Biden administration lockdown policies said the government infringed on his first amendment rights.
A federal court ruled earlier this month that the Biden Administration coerced social media sites to censor him and other dissenters who wrote a controversial petition that criticized government efforts to shut down the economy, including schools.
Dr Jay Bhattacharya, an epidemiologist and health policy researcher said the ruling was ‘akin to the second Enlightenment’.
He was named in a lawsuit as one of the Covid-19 epidemiologists whose Twitter and Facebook accounts were scrubbed and removed from Google results during the pandemic.
The Louisiana appeals court that heard the case determined that the Biden administration wrongfully pressured social media companies to silence critics, though it was narrowed from an earlier lower court ruling by Trump-appointed judge Terry Doughty, who banned the administration from contacting social media companies.
Dr Bhattacharya is also the director of Stanford’s Center for Demography and Economics of Health and Aging.
He added: ‘It’s a ruling that says there’s a democracy of ideas. The issue is not whether the ideas are wrong or right. The question is who gets to control what ideas are expressed in the public square?’
This is hardly the first time that lockdown critics said they have been censored and sidelined.
Former National Institutes of Health director Dr Francis Collins sent an email to Dr Anthony Fauci in October 2020 saying the ideas from ‘fringe’ epidemiologists who wrote the declaration required ‘a quick and devastating published take down’.
While the latest ruling to side with skeptics by a three-judge panel in a New Orleans federal appeals court marked a major win for people like Dr Bhattacharya, it was narrowed from an earlier ruling by Trump-appointed judge Terry Doughty, who banned the administration from contacting social media companies.
Dr Bhattacharya said: ‘The government had a vast censorship enterprise. It was systematically used to threaten and coerce and jawbone and tell all these social media companies, “You better listen to us: Censor these people, censor these ideas, or else’”.
The Great Barrington Declaration called for ‘focused protection,’ an idea that would mean the bulk of efforts to increase immunity would be centered on the most vulnerable groups – the elderly and the immunocompromised – with few restrictions on the general healthy population.
As more and more people become infected and later immune for a period of time, the virus has fewer opportunities to spread and infect vulnerable people.
But the idea was slammed by many mainstream scientists, including those like Drs Fauci and Collins who worked in the Biden administration. Many criticized the idea as dangerous and would lead to many preventable deaths.
But Dr Bhattacharya continues to advocate for the theory, which has reportedly received thousands of signatures in support.
He said: “We were just acting as scientists, but almost immediately we were censored. Google de-boosted us. Our Facebook page was removed. It was just a crazy time.
‘The kinds of things that the federal government was telling social media companies to censor included us — along with millions of other posts from countless other people who were criticizing government COVID policy.’
The widespread lockdowns that were implemented in 2020 have been deemed extremely disruptive to the economy, which took a downward spiral, as well as students’ ability to learn.
Lockdowns also fed into a crisis of poor teen mental health, as they were suddenly thrust into a world of isolation kept far from recreation and time with friends, as well as in-person classes.