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AG Barr to the rule of law rescue?

In a nutshell, don’t hold your breath.  Leading conservative/constitutionalist radio talk show host Mark Levin had a fine interview with Mr. Barr on his “Life, Liberty and Levin” TV show last weekend.  It was a pivotal discussion about how destructive, violent, anarchist, un-American, uncivil, and rogue the left has become in its efforts to fundamentally transform America.  That transformation is away from an erstwhile codified citadel of liberty to an increasingly Marxist nation featuring iron-fisted tyranny (for flavor, consider the Corona virus policy responses, especially in blue states, where prolonged lockdowns have led to serious and widespread behavioral issues).  This effort, of course, is being led by the party of slavery, the party of segregation, the party of re-segregation, the party of the KKK, the party of internment of Japanese Americans, the party opposed to civil rights, and the party that led to unbridled third world amnesty which fueled ever growing voter disenfranchisement, Balkanization, and stagnant US jobs (for Americans).  I’m talking, of course, about the  power-obsessed, “Constitution, Americans, and America-be-damned” Democratic party. 

So far, so good.  It’s a great thing that Barr and his Department of Justice (DOJ) are at least calling the left out.  But there is a huge fly in the ointment, in my view.  It isn’t just about restoring law and order in America’s crime-infested, burning cities under racist/Marxist BLM and Antifa siege with local, state-level, and national Democratic power holders either approving or enabling rank lawlessness, and RINOs generally too intimidated to speak out against it.  It is also about going after the very lawless elected officials and bureaucrats that have made a mockery of the rule of law while the same cast of characters has often set the stage for the anarchy and destruction that law-abiding urban Americans have faced, and are currently facing in unprecedented terms, from coast to coast, especially in Democratically-run cities (the vast majority of them).  This prosecution of former and current rogue public officials is precisely what isn’t happening.  That is the devastating fly in the ointment. I addressed this in an email with a friend of mine who initially drew Barr’s interview on Mark Levin’s TV show to my attention. 

Here is what I wrote my friend: 

Got a chance to listen.  GREAT interview.  Barr nails it, as does obviously Mark.  Allow me a criticism or two; you may well consider it “majoring in minors,” but I think it goes to the heart of any honest system of government, and that starts with telling the truth. 

Barr mentioned that Trump’s economy until recently saw virtually zero percent unemployment, and that this will recur.  This is disingenuous at best.  Trump himself called the unemployment rate fake as a candidate when it was around 5% (U3, or the most flattering measure).  Furthermore, Trump mentioned, as a candidate, that real world unemployment was likely north (if not well north) of 20%.  Translation: take the U3 measure, turn it into the U6 measure, and then add back all the discouraged workers that have been looking for a job for more than a year and were conveniently taken out of the job seeker category back in the Slick Willy (Clinton) administration, and you a get “real world” US unemployment rate of around 30%.  Today!

One more point, arguably an even much, much  bigger one concerning honest government – a government run by people that are not above the law.  Here we are, some 3.5 years into the Trump administration.  Barr has (thankfully) been on board since February of 2019, or about 1.5 years.  We have mountains of evidence of treasonous and felonious acts by the heads/the top brass of former and early Trump administration politicians and bureaucrats ranging from Hillary to the former Obama AGs to the top brass of the FBI and the CIA to the judges that recklessly (or worse!) issued warrants to spy on Americans, a clear Bill of Rights violation if there ever was one.  Former FBI head Comey, in the summer of 2016, not only still “toiled” as the top (bad) cop of America, but he also put on a judge’s hat and effectively told America, after reading a litany of indictable charges against Madam Clinton, that Hillary “didn’t really mean any harm,” but if the average American acted in such a manner, then the full force of the law would come down on him.  Comey even wagged his finger “at us” as he issued his stern warning for us little people.

Have we seen ANYONE of at least a few handfuls of high level or top brass bureaucratic and elected criminals even get indicted by the supposedly lawful, ethical DOJ that supposedly eminently capable, rule-of-law man Barr heads?  Should we wait until Biden assumes the presidency to finally indict these varied disgusting, oath-shredding, Constitution-curdling crooks??  What a freakin’, pathetic banana republic with above the law power brokers running free and making millions in the MSM and by giving speeches!  Yet everyday Americans get fined for not wearing masks, wanting to run their businesses only to find that they’re forced to shut down or that their power and water have been shut off (L.A.).  Yet everyday Americans get treated by the IRS like quasi criminals (or worse) if they fall short in terms of filing or declarations or payments.  And don’t try to defend your home in blue state America; just accept the violence and destruction of often organized rioters and then call 911, but no one may answer because your police force is being defunded.  Red state America is having none of it.

Now I know a lot of the harassment, intimidation, and Bill of Rights violations are state-based affairs (I’d argue that the 14th Amendment should offer state like Bill of Rights protections), but I’m trying to make a bigger point: Mark Levin and AG Barr and others can talk the big talk, but until our governing elites are no longer above the law (the Constitution), all this is a bunch of talk with precious little “here’s the beef” walk as far as everyday Americans are concerned — and rightly so.  No wonder governmental institutions are often held in such low esteem.

Are all these mega crooks that have abused their elected or appointed positions of power going to skate?  Are sorely needed indictments going to be pushed aside by all the sickening diversions the left is continuing to cook up for us from Russia Gate to Ukraine Gate to the virus policy scam to Marxists/anarchists tearing the crap out of the fabric of both our cities and society?  And will this B.R. style “looking askance policy” be thanks to neither Trump nor Barr nor the man from Connecticut having enough guts to finally go after these above the law creeps?  Or could it be that both sides of the aisle are so steeped in corruption and so eager to sustain their power, prestige, and crony/fascist advantages that this is just all a big, bad, throw us a bone of hope pretend game that we fall for until we realize we’ve been had again?

I, for one, won’t be holding my breath.  Less talk, just walk, 3.5 years into the Trump administratin, on this VITAL, no one is supposed to be above the law front.  And Barr definitely knows the ropes, so why hasn’t he had  the decency and guts to start the process of trying to show the country that DC ain’t above the law while he still has the chance?

Here is how my friend responded:

Of course, I agree completely that Barr is not the be all and end all, or even close, for the reasons you mention, and more. The biggest one to me, because it (not the unemployment rate) is squarely in his wheelhouse is the lack of any prosecutions of arguably the biggest political criminals in the country’s history – i.e., starting with Hillary, Comey, Brennan, McCabe and… yes, Obama, the messiah himself.

That said, he is very refreshingly honest in a relative sense. Could and should he (and countless other bureaucrats, representatives and putative “leaders”) be 500% better? Absolutely. The closest one to that ideal that I can think of is probably Ted Cruz, but I have no doubt that if he were president, on the SCOTUS and/or AG, he’d disappoint as well.

So I basically agree with your critique but as many have said, politics is the art of the possible. That is the framework within which he exists, and that inevitably skews and corrupts. Right now, he’s light years better than Sessions was, and Universes better than Holder or Lynch were. Am I 100% happy with him? No, not even close. But am I much happier with him than many/ most other currently available alternatives? Absolutely.

To which I responded:

Your first paragraph says it all, as far as I am concerned.  Politics is indeed the art of the possible.  Yet for a man of conscience (Barr), a man that self-identifies as a rule-of-law constitutionalist, a man who has had under his “wheelhouse belt” the “machinery” with which to prosecute “arguably the biggest criminals in the country’s history” for about 1.5 years yet has prosecuted no such person … — this speaks sobering volumes about his true dedication to a system in which no one is above the law, else you can’t have the rule of law.  To me, this is sadly less than politics being the art of the possible, and more about rank dereliction of duty, dereliction of the oath he took, and, perhaps most stunningly and destructively of all, sustaining the very “Department of Injustice” that he inherited from the mega crooks Holder and Lynch and the absolutely incompetent, scared crapless Jeff Sessions.

Sure, Barr is 100x better than hapless Jeff and extremely crooked Holder and Lynch, but what good is that if he doesn’t take a potentially rapidly fleeting opportunity to at least attempt to yank America back from its B.R. status in which way too many elites are above the law crooks and way too many of us law-abiding citizens often get treated as if we were crooks by an alphabet soup of unelected, unrepresentative, untouchable federal and state bureaucrats that have long and unconstitutionally issued the vast majority of our de facto legislation.  How so?  Via promulgating of thousands upon thousands of often effectively cloaked regulations (how can anyone keep up with 72,561 Federal Register pages?) frequently featuring stout fines and even incarceration teeth?”

Back to post content:  President Trump, despite some of his beyond the pale assertions, especially as a candidate and early into his presidency, has often displayed the very uncanny knack for sharing “the resonating bottom line” with Americans that won him the 2016 election.  In this regard, here is what he recently said

Attorney General William Barr could go down in history as “the greatest attorney general” or just as “an average guy,” but that will depend on what U.S. Attorney John Durham reveals from his investigation into the origins of the Russia probe, President Donald Trump said Thursday. 

“Bill Barr and Durham have a chance to be — Bill Barr is great most of the time, but if he wants to be politically correct, he’ll be just another guy,” Trump said during an extensive interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo. He said he hopes Durham is “not going to be politically correct.”

“I hope he’s doing a great job,” Trump said. “[President Barack] Obama knew everything. Vice President [Joe] Biden, as dumb as he may be, knew everything, and everybody else knew.”

Trump added that former FBI Director James Comey, ex-CIA Director John Brennan, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper “were all terrible and they lied to Congress.”

Is the first Ex-FBI lawyer pleading guilty for falsifying documents to investigate the Trump campaign a hopeful sign?  Or, is this just a token, “orchestrated prosecution” by the bigwigs in both parties to offer citizens a middle management bureaucratic “sacrifice” before the top echelon power brokers revert back to widespread, bi-partisan corruption, and cronyism, also called B.R. business as usual?

A recent appeals court decision to overturn the Hillary Clinton deposition order that Judicial Watch won under the Freedom of Information Act suggests the heads of the above-the-law fish are as foul as ever.  Said differently, the jury is still out whether we will sustain an arbitrary, capricious, rapacious, despotic rule of man system over a rule of law system based on the US Constitution.  If only “the jury” got to decide such cases, for if it is ultimately principally up to leftist circuit (appeal) courts or to the Supreme Court of America, any remaining fidelity to our Constitution and the associated Bill of Rights won’t just be hanging by an ever thinner thread, but these seminal documents will have fallen deeply into a grave with dirt being rapidly heaped on top, quickly replacing daylight that was already rapidly dimming.

What if AG Barr falls short?

As you can surmise, I think this is much more likely than not.  If we cannot bring back fidelity to the rule of law for our elitist politicians and bureaucrats, how can we expect to rein in increasingly “green-lighted” anarchy, racism, and destruction?  How can we address the highly destructive “cancel culture”* (OURS) and “virtue signalling“* that is increasingly making policy in the US for all of us if our leaders act lawlessly and destructively?  The short answer is, we can’t. 

In such an unraveling world, how can we reconstitute free market capitalism, stouter property right protections, smaller government, balanced budgets, and sound money, the elixirs of invention, productivity enhancement, deflationary growth, and a wealth of nations trajectory lifting more boats and generating more happiness than any other system?  The short answer is, we can’t. 

With our toxic public policy stew run, in essence, by lockdown fascists in bed with anarchistic and racist hoodlums, we threaten to careen further and further into stagflation, revisited — this time laced with with record debt, unmatched public sector and pension deficits, unparalleled financial repression, plummeting productivity (prior to an even stronger embrace of “not so green” energy), and an increasingly threatening loss of a functioning (civil) society.  Not exactly confidence-inspiring.  Not exactly a “wealth of nations” trajectory, shutting down supply and printing money like never before.  More like 1970s’ style stagflation on steroids laced with rising civil unrest and destruction.  

In plain English, eventually our asset bubbles, especially in global bonds and US stocks, will be pierced, ending over four decades of bull markets as reversion beyond the mean gets really mean, and screaming buys proliferate.  This will not only reflect unheralded and expanding balance sheet weakness, a secular reduction in corporate earnings power stated in today’s currency terms, and hugely rising monetary inflation risks, but it will also reflect plummeting confidence in the currency in which those increasingly unsound, overvalued assets are based.   In short, we will have a stability-eviscerating and purchasing power-crushing fiat currency crisis led by the currency that has been abused the longest and the most flagrantly, the US dollar.  This is how the end of a financial system is spelled.

In such a world, people and investors have always resorted to safe haven, purchasing power-protecting real money, which is physical gold and silver.  It won’t be different this time.  If the central bankers/central planners want to keep from being rendered fully academic (which history suggests would be wonderful), they will have to again back their currencies with a stout amount of gold — around 40%.  As so much fiat money has been printed, and gold (and silver) remain very limited, we could easily be looking at $11,500 gold per Troy ounce and over $230 silver per Troy ounce (history coupled with a bit of simple math as a “15:1” silver-to-gold ratio suggests silver could reach into the $700 range per Troy ounce).  Those precious metals dollar prices would be prior to even more money supply expansion both domestically and abroad.  In this regard, note that the US money supply has been rising at a 42% annual rate in  M1 terms.  

While an adequate allocation to physical precious metals in your own possession at current price levels will help to take the economic and financial edge off of what will likely prove tumultuous times ahead, they can’t address our increasingly dysfunctional political and societal systems.  But, as the saying goes, it’s better to be (relatively) well off financially during hard times than poor.  Plus, someday, when Blue Chip crony plays will again be trading for a sub-10 P/E with a 6 – 8% dividend yield (a blast from the not too distant 1970s past), you will likely have the PM purchasing power to “back up the truck” to avail yourself of a possibly once-in-a-lifetime buying opportunity, i.e., if our current fascist system doesn’t morph into full-blown communism, where there is no more private property.

But with rising gold and silver prices, don’t wait too long to get adequate precious metals diversification, especially not with Big Warren of Berkshire Hathaway wading into gold stock(s), which will make it suddenly acceptable for all the Wall Street lemmings to embrace the very gold the talking financial news heads have long been panning (together with Warren) as a barbarous relic earning not a dime of interest.  Well, with negative real interest rates abounding and with goods and services inflation on the rise, physical gold and silver in your own discreet possession don’t look so bad.  Meanwhile, precious metals stocks have tremendous operating and financial leverage to rising precious metals prices with which to fatten your dividend income. Pretty salivating, those barbarous relics …

Conclusion: go for the PM “bar” instead of placing too much trust in Barr (and our heavily compromised system)

Hope you found this post of interest!



*- In case these psychobabble terms confuse you, let me cut to the chase: cancel culture and virtue signalling express what amounts to kindergarten bullies enforcing the alpha male’s tyranny, which they have voluntarily subjected themselves to and now insist that everyone else also has to abide by.  THAT is what is really going on.  Welcome back to kindergarten.  Where are the cops?

FYI: Edits and select link inclusions to buttress post claims continued after publishing date.  Post substance remained unchanged.

The obligatory boilerplate:

This commentary is not intended as investment advice or as an investment recommendation. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Price and yield are subject to daily change and as of the specified date. Information provided is solely the opinion of the author at the time of writing.  Nothing in the commentary should be construed as a solicitation to buy or sell securities. Information provided has been prepared from sources deemed to be reliable but is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision.  Liquid securities can fall in value.