Schizophrenia trying to accommodate conflicting rationalizations

Thomas McArdle: The Democrats’ Strategy Against The Trump Economy? Schizophrenia – “There are two tacks from which to choose in confronting this politically. Democrats can argue that our prosperity is grossly exaggerated. Or they can claim they deserve the credit for the Trump economy.”

“Which of these strategies, both decidedly dubious in their chances of success, have the Democrats picked?

Both.

It’s quite remarkable that Obama is brandishing his so-called Recovery Act today, over a decade after he signed it. That’s because two and a half years after its enactment it was so clear to him and everyone else that it was a failure – a stimulus that wasn’t stimulating – he requested an emergency address before a Joint Session of Congress in September, 2011 to call for action. Democrats were in a state of panic because of how obvious it was that their stewardship of the economy was failing.

Democrats are going to have to decide which side of their split personality they think gives them any chance of ousting President Trump in November. Unfortunately for them, as we’ve seen, both Clyburn’s claims that the jobs boom is a slave economy, and Obama’s assertion that the policies he admitted were failing two and a half years after their implementation are now succeeding under Trump, are equally absurd.

Theme of the day starts with Susan Jones: Day After Dem Debate, Headlines Warn, ‘Russia Is Meddling to Re-elect Trump’ – “Here we go again with Russian meddling.”

Jim Hoft: Here We Go… Fake News Media Says Putin Is Looking to Help Trump Win in 2020 – “Their media had only one thing to do — launch a new Russia conspiracy.”

Sister Toldjah: Donna Brazile Gets Reminded of Some Inconvenient 2016 History After Saying Trump Will ‘Cheat’ in 2020 – “Though predictable, one of the most frustrating things about how Democrats have behaved since 2016 is their penchant for undermining election results simply because they don’t like the outcome.”

Trent Baker: John Kerry: Trump’s logan act accusation a ‘presidential lie’ – “In a tweet earlier in the day, Trump said the two “grossly violated the Logan Act,” noting there would be “very serious ramifications” if it had been done by Republicans.” interesting calling this a lie after the meeting with the Iranians. Then Kerry went after a duly appointed representative along with rationalizations and character assassination. Loaded labels and diversion do not an argument make.

“If [Trump] knew anything about the law, he’d know I didn’t negotiate with anybody. I did what every senator and secretaries of state in history have done, which is continue to go to conferences abroad or have meetings in order to be well-informed. We engaged in no negotiation.”

Ben Weingarten: Why Richard Grenell As Director Of National Intelligence Is A Loss For The Deep State – “Richard Grenell has doggedly pursued the president’s agenda in the face of unrelenting defiance from the European Union’s most consequential power.”

“President Donald Trump’s pick of U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell for acting director of national intelligence (DNI) is an inspired one of great symbolic and substantive significance.

In staffing another crucial position in the executive branch with someone who genuinely shares his worldview, instincts, and tenacity, President Trump is signaling to the Trump-haters of the administrative state, and its Deep State apotheosis, that those who reject or actively seek to undermine his America First agenda will no longer be welcome in meaningful positions.

The level of hatred is commensurate with the merit of the pick. It is a feather in Grenell’s cap, and only further validates the wisdom of the president’s decision.

J.B. Shurk: How Trump Made the Federal Courts Blink – “rather than cowering in intimidation, President Trump took the opportunity of an “emergency meeting” of the federal judges to publicly ask that they look into the well documented FISA Court fraud and the Judiciary’s role in perpetrating the greatest political scandal in our nation’s history

“The judges have postponed their planned “emergency meeting” indefinitely. Like most things the president says that cause alarm for the D.C. establishment, it is not the recklessness of his words, but their truthfulness that rattles them, and the more truth he slings their way, the more rattled they become. The judges realized they were about to make a consequential mistake by taking on directly the one person in the country not afraid to put the Judicial Branch in its place.

Curses, like chickens, come home to roost. When federal judges decided long ago to become lawmakers with lifetime tenure, rather than impartial adjudicators adhering to the Constitution, they cursed themselves. This country’s first act was to expel the most powerful king in the world. When the federal courts chose to become kings, they daringly did so without a navy. Hiding behind the sanctity of priestly robes was going to protect them for only so long; eventually, Americans would realize that tyranny with a gavel is not at all different from tyranny with a crown.

With President Trump unafraid of standing up to a coequal branch of the federal government, the Judiciary may finally receive the comeuppance it deserves. One thing is certain: if he is ever to receive justice of any kind, President Trump must first take on the justice system.

Justice transparency and awareness.

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Justice denied, and found again.

Andrea Widburg: President Trump’s list of pardons and grants of clemency make a lot of sense – “Trump was making a point about government overreach in prosecutions, as well as reminding people about his First Step Act, which brings reformed (mostly minority) prisoners home.” Then compare and contrast to Eric Boehm’s item Trump Uses Clemency To Help Drug War Victims, Reward GOP Donors, and Spite James Comey at reason.com.

GianCarlo Canaparo: Time to End the Tyranny of District Court Judges’ Nationwide Injunctions – “they undermine public confidence in the judiciary by giving activists judges near limitless power to undo the laws and policies of the democratically accountable branches of government.

neo: Judge Amy Brennan Jackson plans to go full steam ahead with sentencing Stone – “I think the authors of that sentence/paragraph from the Hill piece should get an award from the American Association of Subtle Propaganda Writers.” The reporting is awful … and predictable.

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Shut up! … and pushback

Alex Berezow, PhD: Editor At Journal ‘Science’ Doubles Down On Double Standard – “The scientific publishing industry is thoroughly dishonest and corrupt, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the journal Science are now also a part of the problem. Here’s a disturbing case in point.”

Peter O’Brien: The Further Fictions of ‘Dark Emu’ – “my quarrel with Dark Emu is not a disagreement with Pascoe’s interpretation of history. It is with his shameless distortion of facts and sources.

“If Aborigines were essentially sedentary agriculturalists, as Pascoe claims, Dark Emu provides scant evidence of this. The four main elements of agriculture would be tilling or preparing the soil, planting or sowing seeds, tending the crop and harvesting it. Pascoe provides ample evidence of Aborigines harvesting various foodstuffs– which is, of course, a facet of hunter-gatherer societies. He provides no reliable examples of explorers – from whose journals he claims to have gathered his evidence – observing the activities of tilling of soil, sowing of seed or tending crops.

Dark Emu is propaganda. It is not history and it should never be permitted to enter our educational institutions under that or any other guise.

Jonathan Turley: The Death Of Free Speech: Zuckerberg Asks Governments For Instructions On “What Discourse Should Be Allowed” – “The problem is that his comments were received as accepting that government will now dictate the range of free speech. What is missing is the bright line rule long maintained by the free speech community.” … “he is accepting the fluid concept of “balanced” regulations that has always preceded expanding speech codes and criminalization.

Andrea Widburg: Trump makes the 62nd Daytona 500 something special as media heads explode – “For leftists, though, Trump’s mere existence is a political affront:” … “People pushed back, reminding the Leftists that, while Obama never used the “official apparatus of government” to thrill actual Americans, he used those same apparatuses, plus a chunk of taxpayer money, for his own benefit.

Karen D. Hurvitz and Ilya I. Feoktistov: Criminalizing Dissent – “Louis was horrified to recognize the woman who stole his MAGA hat as Beth Peller, a 36-year-old grad student who would be teaching his mandatory freshman writing class.

“Louis’ ordeal is a glimpse of the far left’s “cancel culture” as it pushes the Overton Window on free speech from Twitter bans to outright criminalization of dissent. We believe that more malicious prosecutions like Louis’s are likely; brought, at first, in progressive enclaves like Northampton where the far left holds real political power. Much as occurred in the Jim Crow South, authorities in such places are increasingly choosing to enforce their political ideology instead of the rule of law entrusted to them. The American left these days is unable to accept defeat under fair rules of play, whether in elections or in judicial proceedings. To avoid defeat, leftists will continue searching for ways to criminalize dissent. Indeed, Beth Peller’s attorney argued to the court in Northampton that defamation and offensive speech can and should be criminalized. This is a dangerous trend, and is becoming one of the major civil rights issues of our time.

Robert Gorkin: Good Grief! – “It is a shame when a professional organization gets hijacked (by presumably well-meaning individuals) to take extraordinary positions on subjects that are manifestly well outside of its arena of competence.” The American Psychiatric Association provides this example.

“I have seen no evidence in these reports or on the APA website of any (let alone substantive) debate. Not only as to the validity of the underlying science, the inherent problems with climate models, natural variability, etc.; but even more fundamentally, there is no acknowledgement of the concept of weather as distinct from climate. Nor is there any consideration of the potential benefits of more temperate conditions on health, nature, biodiversity, agriculture, and economics, not to mention the potential and well-documented adverse environmental and economic consequences of the solutions proposed by CAGW activists.

Most unfortunately for Dr. Zilber and her like-minded comrades, her emotional endorsement of ecological guilt and other climate-related pathologies only serves to create, validate, and legitimize new mental disorders that have no basis in reality–this in a profession that has a sorry record of past iatrogenic abuses.

I suggest, rather than engaging in a self-imposed lobotomy, the APA should have a real debate. Rather than potentially following in the footsteps of Trofim Lysenko, the APA should welcome a Devil’s advocate. Perhaps suspending premature judgment but “Be Prepared” is, in fact, the best of all possible worlds.

Finally, it would be hard to find a better precept to guide the APA in its deliberations than Immanuel Kant’s descriptive credo for the Age of Enlightment: Sapere Aude! (dare to know, or more loosely, dare to think for yourself!).

1776 – “an assembly of independent voices who uphold our country’s authentic founding virtues and values and challenge those who assert America is forever defined by its past failures, such as slavery. We seek to offer alternative perspectives that celebrate the progress America has made on delivering its promise of equality and opportunity and highlight the resilience of its people. Our focus is on solving problems. … We do this in the spirit of 1776, the date of America’s true founding.”

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Equality in justice is not visible

Todd Gregory and Erik Gregory: Has the Deep State beaten Bill Barr? – “Prhaps even more disturbing, Barr’s prosecution (and declination) decisions have been scarcely different from those of Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, or even Jeff Sessions (namely, prosecute Republicans or their affiliates on any charge, no matter how spurious, and look the other way when Democrats engage in incidentals like illegal spying or entrapment).” The deplorables are not happy about inequality in justice.

J. Christian Adams: President Trump Starts to Drain the Swamp, Yanks Liu – “Justice is no longer blind. Investigations, charges, and even prison terms depend on the ideological views of the targets.

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violence acceptance and education

Monica Showalter: Leftist thuggery: Political violence accelerates against Trump supporters – “There’s a climate of political violence against Trump supporters and the press is giving it little more than disjointed and cursory coverage at best, if not ignoring entirely.

“The press is refusing to cover it. The cops are refusing to investigate and enforce. The laws are letting them off anyway. The Democrats are denying so much as a problem — in Sanders’ case, his nasty little thug operative in Iowa is still on the job.

It’s as if a whole universe of incompetence and malevolence is conspiring against Trump supporters. President Trump has his bag of snakes to deal with among the Obama holdovers in the White House. But Trump supporters have their own physical attacks to deal with.

Something is very wrong in this political climate, which is seeing ever stronger and more frequent physical attacks, with little recourse for the victims.

Jack Hellner: It was Obama, not Trump, who weaponized government against political opponents – “We are hearing from the Democrat talking points that Trump is weaponizing the government and exacting revenge.”

“The media frequently buries stories that might hurt political candidates or policies they support and will continually run false stories against political candidates and policies they oppose. How else can it explain the years of fake stories on Russian collusion, seeking to destroy white Christian boys for wearing MAGA hats, trying to destroy Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh with no evidence, the false “Hands up, don’t shoot” narrative?

How else do you explain the burying of stories about all the mental and sexual abuse of women by the Clintons and the burying of stories or the lack of investigation into the clear corruption and kickbacks of the Clintons and Bidens if not pure bias?

How many people are the media willing to destroy in order to get power back for the Democrats? Isn’t that pure weaponization and revenge?

But Trump is the problem as he seeks to move the power, purse and freedom back to the people as fast as he can because that is where the power and money belong. He is the opposite of a dictator but the media doesn’t give a damn about the truth. They are also consumed with power and revenge.

On the education front —

John Hinderaker: Global Warming In A Few Charts – “Climate change hysteria has been dialed up to 11 over the last year or two. Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager who knows little or nothing about the subject, apparently will continue being nominated for a Nobel Prize until she wins one. But, hype aside, what is actually going on with the Earth’s climate?”

Katarina Schwarz and Jean Allain: Slavery is not a crime in almost half the countries of the world – new research – “Legal ownership of people was indeed abolished in all countries over the course of the last two centuries. But in many countries it has not been criminalised.” … “Legal ownership of people was indeed abolished in all countries over the course of the last two centuries. But in many countries it has not been criminalised.” This one gets into the legal weeds about definition of terms and scope of definitions.

Trevor Klee: How to fix how people learn calculus: make calculus exciting again – “I only realized in college that I had been cheated out of a deep understanding of math and given a shallow collection of tricks instead.” A good rundown on the position of calculus in the intellectual understanding of mathematics.

Jazz Shaw: Biologists Propose Radical Concept That There Are Only Two Genders/Sexes – “The authors describe in brutal detail how the current claptrap about “gender identity” that’s been making the rounds actually serves to undermine the rights and safety of women, children, gays, and lesbians.

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Deception by complexity

The Roger Stone case is getting interesting above and beyond the Mueller connections and the attorney misrepresentations to the DoJ. Now it appears the jury was stacked with Democrat activists and the judge was not hearing objections to juror placement on such a basis. With leading Democrats engaging in their usual hyperbolic exaggerations demanding Barr and/or Trump’s head, recent historical examples are being dug out of the archives to illustrate the gross hypocrisy. Nunez says the onion is being peeled on the Mueller investigation and the public will soon see just how corrupt that effort really was.

sundance: The FBI Corruption is Far Worse Than We Currently Imagine – President Trump Authorized His Own Surveillance…The originating FISA and first renewal were authorized by the Obama administration officials. However, it was the second renewal -now identified as fraudulent- on April 7th 2017, under the Trump administration, when the conniving FBI ran into a problem.

“Acting Deputy AG Dana Boente advised AG Jeff Sessions to recuse himself (March 2nd, 2017). Then Acting DAG Boente and FBI Director Comey conspired to have President Trump authorize an executive order (March 31st, 2017); that changed the DOJ succession plan, thereby permitting them to sign for a fraudulent FISA application on April 7th, 2017, that was used to conduct surveillance on the Trump administration.

But wait, it gets better, who do you think is in charge of the 40 FBI agents now conducting the third year of that fraudulent Mueller investigation?

Norman Rogers: Renewable Power Theatre of the Absurd – “One might think that having a quota for renewable power means that the power has to be generated by wind or solar and consumed within the state. There is a loophole.” Here is how corruption is fostered by woke driven environmental fantasies.

“The situation is more than a little strange. Propaganda from the sellers of wind and solar power makes people think that wind and solar are actually useful. Huge subsidies make wind and solar seem cheaper than they really are. The idea that introducing wind and solar in U.S. states will make a significant difference in world CO2 emissions is wrong. The real emissions problem, if it is a problem, is in Asia. People that really believe in global warming should face up to the fact that nuclear is the only route to stopping the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. Some of the most important advocates of global warming catastrophe make that clear.

The most salient fact concerning wind and solar is that they are intermittent and erratic sources of power. They always have to be backed up with fossil fuel plants that take over when the sun sets or the wind stops. They never replace fossil fuel plants.

It’s deception by complexity where the critical parts are moved off to somewhere hard to find and expressed in the fine print with distractions and diversions. What doesn’t fit is ignored as much as possible or swept under the rug or hidden by mixing it in with a big stinky mess.

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Can’t just make it up — can you?

J. Frank Bullitt: The Facts About Trump That Are Deadly For Democrats – “Of course Trump’s acts of kindness, wildly inconsistent with his public persona, aren’t predictive of a successful presidency. But they don’t fit the outlandish caricatures sketched out by his opponents, and are therefore dangerous to their agenda.” Why is a catalog of benevolence worthy of note? It is because it highlights a significant character flaw in his opponents, one that should frighten any voter seeking a civil society.

Becket Adams: Four major journalistic errors in just 10 hours – “If you think the news industry’s credibility problem is bad now, you haven’t seen anything yet.”

Austin Bay: On Point: Fix the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and Punish the Crooks Who Abused It – “In the past, the public expected responsible reporters to scrutinize government operations. In the FISC saga, contemporary mainstream media served as a PR tool for crooked cops and spies.

Jazz Shaw: While nobody was looking Trump shattered primary records in New Hampshire – “If Trump’s base in New Hampshire is willing to turn out at those levels in the primary, what’s going to happen in November?

Scott Johnson: Jeff Sessions: The open questions – “If I wanted to pursue my disagreement with him, Paul encouraged me to air it publicly on the site.” What is important here is the ‘polite disagreement’ and how it is supported. Johnson notes the “loaded language” and the unsupported generalizations that seem so common among those trying to find fault with the President. It is the manner of argument that is often a first clue as to the quality of the position and, on this measure, Johnson wins.

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Enough already? The worm is restless.

Victor Davis Hanson: The Once and Future Scandal – “Soon the worm may turn. The real scandal is back on the horizon, and at last, we may learn that no one is above the law—most certainly not a group of smug and mediocre apparatchiks who assumed they had the moral right to destroy a presidential candidate and later an elected president.”

“So, we are now back to the existential issue of the entire Trump phenomenon: to what degree did the Hillary Clinton campaign collude with high-ranking Obama officials, and the top echelons of the FBI, CIA, and the national intelligence apparatus, to surveil, defame, and hope to derail Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign by unlawful means?

The litany of these systematic abuses constitutes the greatest scandal in American history.

Jay Latimer: It’s time for Trump to fight fire with fire – “So another coup attempt has failed.”

“these plotters used scorched-earth tactics; surprising Trump supporters with unannounced interviews to create perjury traps, threatening their children with jail time, sending SWAT teams to kick in their doors at 3 a.m., raiding his lawyers’ offices to search for dirt, and placing a defendant for a nonviolent white-collar crime in solitary confinement.

How could this happen in the Land of the Free?

So my instinct, and that of many other observers, is to fight partisanship with a strict adherence to the rule of law, and a determination to keep politics out of the legal equation.

However, I now feel that this may be a misguided as well as naïve view.

Who are we kidding? No one will give Trump or Barr credit for an impartial investigation. The Democrats and the media will automatically label any attempt by Trump to punish these wrongdoers as partisan and illegitimate. No matter how even-handed Trump tries to be, any such actions will be treated by the dishonest media as mere political payback or (more likely) proof that Trump has become an authoritarian dictator hell-bent on revenge.

Sally Zelikovsky: Trump’s Supporters Are Not Cult Members. We’re Americans. – “Taking the high road is admirable, but if you continue to come up short, you are going to have to find another path if you want to win.”

“Democrats are experts at fake outrage, fake sincerity, and transferring all of their insincerity and provocation to the Republicans. …

Democrats don’t want unity or collaboration. …

… Like a kid throwing a tantrum knowing eventually he will get his way as long as he doesn’t stop screaming, Democrats will keep it up as long as they think we will cave after enough of us have been broken, bankrupted, and canceled.

Being pushed and bullied gets old after a while.

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Congress needs to step up to the plate

Ed Morrissey: Appeals Court: Dems Have No Standing To Sue Trump Over The Emoluments Clause – “the court notes repeatedly, the case fails on its face because it involves political power, and only a minority of Congress is participating in the lawsuit.” There is no law – legislation properly adopted – to tell the courts what they should do in a case like this.

“A future Congress could — and probably should — work on a clearer consensus definition of emoluments, in case voters decide to keep sending moguls to the White House, and quit demanding that the judiciary do their job for them. That’s the clear message sent by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals today.

Ed Morrissey: Hmmm: Did Mueller #2 Admit To Setting A Perjury Trap For Trump? – “What are you afraid of is a schoolground taunt that probably works in more cases than it doesn’t — unless the subject or target has a good attorney.”

“What’s notable here is that Weissmann’s complaining about Trump’s refusal to testify in an investigation that found no evidence on its core issue. He also fails to note that the reason Weissmann’s team got to talk to everyone else is that Trump waived executive privilege entirely for their investigation. The reason why Trump didn’t want to testify is that (a) it was becoming clear that Mueller wanted to expand the scope of the probe beyond the unfounded Russia-collusion hypothesis, and (b) that cooperation wasn’t accelerating the end of the probe. (And the House investigations have been even more political and unbalanced.) Small wonder Trump relied on his constitutional rights to protect himself from a fishing expedition, which was precisely why the founders added those protections to the Bill of Rights in the first place.

This isn’t an “admission” of anything except typical prosecutorial zeal. It is, however, a reminder that everyone needs to be cognizant of their rights in any investigation, and that good legal representation is a must — as is following your attorney’s advice as to when to speak and when to remain silent. Presidents aren’t the only people susceptible to perjury traps.

Molly Olmstead shows the bias at Slate: Trump Is Purging People Who Testified Against Him During the Impeachment Hearing – The “purging” is about right and the targets did testify for the House Democrats. The problem is that their testimony was not “against him” but rather about disagreements with foreign policy. i.e. Olmstead is illustrating a common theme on the Left where differences of opinion are considered criminal. The article is full of ‘telling the truth’ and other moral preening platitudes while carefully avoiding the issue that the President has the responsibility to the voters to do what he promised to do in regards to foreign policy and needs a staff to faithfully carry out his lawful and Constitutionally based directives. For something a bit more constructive, see Matt Welch below.

Matt Welch: Instead of Removing Trump From Power, Remove Power From the Presidency – “After Watergate, Democrats rolled back executive power. Under Trump, they just want to be the ones who get to wield it.” … “For anyone who would like to once again see an independent legislature, the 99% partisan impeachment process in both chambers of Congress is cause for despair. As is the Democratic presidential field’s will to executive power. If ever America is to get off the populist seesaw, we’re going to need to root less for politicians, and more for the rules and mores than can restrain them.” The ‘both chambers’ axiom is an evasion but most of Welch’s argument needs careful thought.

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Senator Romney protests (defends) perhaps a bit too much

Glen Reynolds on a Romney compare and contrast citing Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tn): “That’s exactly why today I voted to acquit President Trump—because lowering the high bar of impeachment such that any American could be found guilty is far more dangerous than anything the Democratic ‘resistance’ has asserted.”

Dana Loesch on Romney: “He didn’t just vote his conscience, his virtue-signaling was level Pharisees, minus the sackcloth and ash. ”

Conrad Black: Romney’s Discreditable, Dishonest Vote – “From February 5, 2020, onward, Mitt Romney is a political outcast—a briefly useful idiot for the defeated Democrats and a traitor to the party he once led in a presidential election.”

“As an authentically scriptural man, Mitt Romney would know that it is the “God of Vengeance, God to whom vengeance belongs.” In cobbling together the righteous fairy tale previously utterable only by chronically dishonest people such as Representatives Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), and Speaker Pelosi (doubtless resuming her famous prayers for the president after ripping up the text of his speech in front of 40 million viewers), Romney descended from the prophet’s chair in the Mormon Tabernacle to the gutter of American public life.

Romney has walked out the portals of political relevance on a lost cause that had no business coming to a vote at all, for reasons of hatred he has tried to disguise as righteousness, and in the company of unmitigated scoundrels and liars in the opposing party who cooked up this phony impeachment.

And as a man who cares about his church, Romney might have considered what this will do to Mormon candidates in the future. He has made the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints look like a cult, whose members cannot be entrusted with responsible positions.

Romney’s vote to convict President Trump is falsely reasoned, ignobly motivated, and finishes his useful political career on a tragically discreditable note.

David Solway: The Left’s Great Lie Is a Pervasive Threat to Our Culture – “Writing the book forced me to undertake relentless scrutiny of the values and beliefs I’d accepted as gospel and to realize that I had thoughtlessly succumbed to an all-encompassing lie fostered by the media, the academy, and the political left.” … “Skinner refers to the insidious operation of the rhetorical figure of paradiastole—the conversion of a vice into a virtue—which would apply to the left’s destructive policies and initiatives like those I had once endorsed.”

neo: The Senate votes against removal – “It is unsurprising but still astounding that with such a weak case – or rather, a non-existent case – every single Democrat voted for removal. Every one. Now, that’s party discipline.” What is says to all Americans about the priorities and values of the Democrats should be a warning.

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SOTU impressions

Roger Kimball: Trump’s 2020 State of the Union address was nothing less than magnificent – “His major speeches will go down as among the most eloquent and important in the nation’s history.”

New York Post: State of the Union address: Trump hits grand slam, while Pelosi just looks sad – “This was the very best of Trump — generous, bipartisan (with a few barbs) and good-spirited. He not only got congressional Democrats to stand and cheer, but he credited the legislators in the room for working together across party lines to do right by America.

“Not once did he crow about his opposition’s failings: no mention of the debacle of House Democrats’ impeachment drive, or of the historic mess of the Iowa caucuses.

This president doesn’t have to stretch the slightest to term the State of the Union “strong.” Too bad that Pelosi, and the Democratic base she answers to, feel obliged to grimace at that self-evident truth.

Andrea Widburg: President Trump’s moving, statesmanlike State of the Union address – 

“On Tuesday night, two very different events took place. The first was President Trump’s State of the Union speech, one that showcased incredibly good news about the state of America today, soaring rhetoric, and moving human interest stories. That’s what this post is about. The other event was the embarrassing Democrat temper tantrum, something that we’ll save for a less uplifting, but perhaps more amusing, post.

As Trump began to speak, Pelosi began to perform a running pantomime behind his back. Rather than listen to Trump’s speech, she leafed through the written speech he gave her. She also wriggled around in her chair, sucked her dentures, made disdainful faces, waved to people in the crowd, and generally behaved like an angry 15-year-old girl whose parents have forced her to attend a formal event. It was painful to watch the person who is third in line to the presidency behave in such a childish, rude manner.

The Democrats thought that they were protesting Trump. That’s not what Americans saw, though. They saw politicians so invested in regaining political power that they deeply resented Americans becoming richer, healthier, and safer.

D. Hawthorne: SOTU Clarifies the Choice in November – “It boils down to a love for Americans and our liberty versus a lust for power and control over others.”

Patricia McCarthy: The unspeakable ungraciousness of the Democrats in Congress – “President Trump’s SOTU speech Tuesday night was spectacular on every level.” … “President Trump has succeeded beyond all expectations for the good of the nation. This is what so enrages the left; the man has done in three years what they have promised their voters for sixty-plus years but never accomplished — on purpose.” … “And they are also as ungracious as any group of people who have ever held office in America.”

“The American Democrat party has become something it was never meant to be: it has morphed into a radically fascist party of autocrats. Certainly not all of them fall into this category but those who do not are cowards. Clearly they are afraid of the tyrants who control the party so they sit quietly by in fear of losing their seats. As we watched them all refuse to applaud the many successes of this administration and the members of the audience Trump celebrated, we should all realize that these people are not on the side of America or Americans. As Pelosi so ungraciously ripped up her copy of the speech on camera, she proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the Democrat party is no longer pro-American, pro-freedom nor pro-democracy. This SOTU speech was a transformative moment. Now we know that only one party represents the American people. The Democrat party as currently constituted, should ship out to Venezuela where they would feel right at home.

Jay Latimer: Three takeaways from the failed impeachment – “It Proves Trump Is Clean as a Whistle” … “Try a simple thought experiment: if the House Dems were aware of any illegal activity by Trump, don’t you think they would have used that as a basis for their impeachment?

Then look at the rationalizations of those who dispute the President: Pelosi says the speech was ‘dirty’ while the ‘litany of lies’ gets top billing at the WaPo and its ilk. Compare and contrast and try to figure out how such perceptions actually fit with what any reasonable person can see for themselves.

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Roots of corruption

Jonathan Turley: How the House lost the witness battle along with impeachment – “As these blunders by the House became more and more obvious, all the efforts to excuse them became more and more absurd.” Turley makes a good argument for adhering to reasonable procedures but only passes by a bigger problem which he notes at the beginning: “It is a question that many in the media would never ask about Democrats, even in the face of overtly false claims.” He illustrates his bias in an assumption implicit as a truth near the end: “The case against the president could only have become stronger” … The assumption is that of assuming that more witnesses and testimony will reveal more malfeasance rather than a lack of foundation for the charges and revealing exculpatory evidence. Developing more lies and more deceit does not make any honest argument ‘stronger.’ The presumption of guilt is the basic flaw in the impeachment effort.

Dov Fischer: Why the Senate Passed on Witnesses – “It’s good to know not every Republican senator is a Romney.” A list of reasons to ponder …

George Neumayr: All the Pope’s Men – “His inner circle grows more corrupt.” The Church is facing the Deep State problem, too. “Far from uprooting Vatican corruption, his supposed mandate, Pope Francis has cemented it in place.

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Fallout. Already? Distortions, denial, etc.

Patricia McCarthy: Media puffery can’t hide the Democrats’ impeachment face plant – “Maybe someone at Politico thought better of heralding the continued fawning over the two men who made the biggest fools of themselves over the past week.” …

“Schiff cannot utter a sentence that doesn’t contain a lie. Jeffries’ most hilarious assertion was that the Steele dossier, the entirety of which has been proven to be all lies, was just fine because it was “purchased”! They are trying to impeach the President for allegedly asking the new President of Ukraine to look into the known corruption of the Biden family and the proven interference by some in Ukraine in our 2016 election to help Hillary, and Jeffries is dismissing the Clinton campaign’s actual solicitation of dirt from a foreign source because she paid for it! You can’t make this stuff up.

But they all got up to repetitively drone on and on and on, charging him will all manner of crimes not even mentioned in their articles. And these men and women are lawyers?

Beginning with Pelosi’s unconstitutional inquiry without getting a vote from the full House, thus invalidating all their subpoenas, to demanding more witnesses after they claimed their case was proven,

George Parry: How Not to Impeach a President – “Arrogance and incompetence were all the spiteful Dems had to offer.” With that he lays out, the real question is why the Democrat Party block remained so unified in deceit and falsehoods.

neo: The Democrats’ race to the left: Warren, Pelosi, and company – “And yes, these people understand full well that they are distorting and misrepresenting what Dershowitz said.”

neo: No witnesses – “However, I’m under no illusion that the drive to impeach Trump, and the attacks on him – as well as clandestine operations against him by the self-styled “Resistance” – are over. They will continue, probably unabated and perhaps even with increased vigor (if such a thing be possible). The Democrats and the “deep state” are desperate to be rid of him, their hatred is a thing of great force, and they believe that the ends justify the means.”

New York Post: The Flynn prosecution now stands exposed as massive FBI and DOJ abuse of power – “Here’s another black eye for the Justice Department’s Obama-era leadership: The case against Gen. Michael Flynn is in full collapse.”

But there is inspiration and the story of an American Hero — 

Emily Jashinsky: Director Of Powerful New Clarence Thomas Documentary Opens Up: ‘He Just Got Tired Of Having His Story Distorted’ – “It’s a classic story of going from dire poverty in the segregated South to the highest court of the land, including many spiritual and intellectual twists and turns.” … “The corporate media’s one-dimensional rendering of Thomas is deeply unfair, and that’s where director Michael Pack steps in.”

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History distortions for modern ideological propaganda

A twofer from down under in the Quadrant … But first a bit about the phenomena in academia.

Roger Kimball: Civilization Is History at Yale – “Great art is too ‘white, straight, European and male,’ so it’ll have to give way to the latest agitprop.” (behind WSJ paywall so see Instapundit to get the ghist.)

Roger Franklin: Aboriginal History Goes to Pot – “One of the many curious things about Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu is its dearth of references to Aboriginal pottery, evidence of which one might expect to be found in profusion.” This is an example of gross evidence that often gets shoved under the rug because it doesn’t fit the desired narrative.

“The firing of clay to produce rodent-proof containers for storing grain, as well as cooking pots and drinking vessels, is a hallmark of even the earliest agrarian settlements — settlements of exactly the sort Pascoe claims the explorers encountered.

Find pottery shards and, as archeological evidence everywhere in the world establishes, what the trowels and brushes will have uncovered is a site where former residents had progressed from paleolithic hunter-gatherers to the more settled neolithic lifestyle Pascoe insists Aborigines attained and, indeed, exceeded.

Jeremy Black: Rethinking the History and Value of Empires – “discussing empire is not simply a matter of objective assessment but also an aspect of the culture wars that are so important to the modern politics of identity. Moreover, this is the case pretty well everywhere, as most countries are one-time empires, as with Britain and Hungary, or remain empires, as with China and Russia, or have experienced imperial rule.

“The discussion of empire is generally today part of a standard anti-Western “discourse”, one that was honed by the Left before, but even more during, the Cold War from 1945 to 1989, and that is painted thickly onto the British past and the American present. From those original sins of empire comes the use of imperialism as a standard critique of “the West”, past, present and future.

This approach needs unpicking if we are to understand the past of a range of states, including Britain, Hungary and, indeed, Australia, which has been accused of being an empire in the South-West Pacific. Moreover, the use of empire as a building-block in the Left’s dominance of culture wars also requires attention.

A similar point about anachronistic judgments can be made about slavery. In practice, coercive labour systems have persisted for most and probably all of human history, just as they are now very much on display in dictatorial states such as North Korea.

Moreover, the choice repeatedly, across history and area, was not that of cruel empire versus pleasant, benign, self-governing peoples, but rather of empire versus empire.

This approach to global history is one that has to be recovered from the presentist tendency to focus on empire as a Western cause, condition and pathology.

Mark Anderson: Mitt Romney: The Dumbest Smart Person? – “The Democrats’ strategy is (or should be) clear to one and all: use the impeachment trial as the means to retake the Senate.”

“The Democrats have always known they do not have the votes to remove the president — especially not based on these weak and vague articles. The weakness of their case belies their actual strategy: retake the Senate.

How? By using the tools they always use. Innuendo. Suspicion. Accusations of “hiding” the truth. The snowballing effect of people “suddenly” convinced of the case to add even weight to the charges.

None of these tactics is new. They’ve been used in the Russia collusion hoax. They were used in the Mueller probe. They were most recently used in the Ukraine “whistleblower” rollout. (Note especially how Trump blew up their planned snowballing of “other whistleblowers” who were all going to come forward — until he released the transcript.)

The best answer is to dismiss the articles of impeachment solely on constitutional grounds. It’s simple: the merits of the case do not meet constitutional standards. That’s the vote. Do these charges rise to the level of constitutional grounds for impeachment? No.

Doing so changes the dynamics and public perception. Instead of “they’re hiding something,” it becomes “this isn’t constitutional.” The case should be scoffed at because it truly is weak.

Brock Simmons: Can’t Make This Up… New York State Is Now Mandating “Stargazing Permits” For Looking At The Sky – “So what happens when an illegal alien wants to look up at the sky, and can’t get the permit because he doesn’t have proper ID? ACLU would no doubt sue the state for millions, and the taxpayers would be on the hook for it.” This is not the Babylon Bee … (e.g. Scholars Now Believe Jesus Spent Time With Prostitutes, Tax Collectors Just To Avoid Hanging Out With Loathsome Journalists.

rbradley: Friedman on Friedman on the Carbon Tax (remembering Bob Inglis’s faux pas) – it’s about Forbes trying to establish the logical fallacy of attribution to authority posthumously to support a questionable conclusion.

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Tyranny runs rampant: Judicial, schools, governance

John Hinderaker: A Blow For Liberation From Left-Wing Judges – “This issue is under the radar, but it is critical for Americans to be liberated from the tyranny of shopped political judges.”

John Hinderaker: Liberalism Causes Achievement Gaps – “The Brightbeam study does not attempt to explain the causation that its numbers clearly reveal, but calls on those who run progressive school districts to rethink their assumptions.” … like about agency, discipline, and standards flexing.

William A. Jacobson: Democrats ‘Kavanaughing’ Impeachment Trial As Predicted – John Bolton Leak Came as House Case Was Collapsing – “We have seen this show before, it’s all designed to pressure a small number of weak Republican Senators to allow Democrats to turn the Senate into a circus in which the process becomes the punishment.”

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Preterition

The New York Sun: Demagoguery of the Democrats – “The first point in the President’s defense, judging from the session this morning, lies in the failure of the Democrats to disclose, present, and address exculpatory evidence. That is itself a character fault — of the Democrats.

“This is an example of the rhetorical tactic of preterition — advancing a libel by denying it or, in this case, claiming to hope that it’s untrue. The trick is warned of in “The New York Sun Reporters Handbook” with a limerick: “The reporter was full of contrition / For putting him under suspicion: / ‘Far be it from me / ‘To suggest that he / ‘Is a crook.’ It was pure preterition.”

Character flaw allegations are tossed at the President with wild abandon but the actual visible issues with character lie with those doing the tossing and not with their target.

Perhaps the most significant revelation is just how serious the Democrats are in holding their position. Harry Reid is warning Republicans to be careful – as if following actual evidence is a minefield. Media fawn all over falsehoods and preterition for fables that fit their desired narrative in a form of what they think is masterful story-telling. Romney is back in the news with potential Democrat support, — offering yet more examples of where skepticism requires digging deep to determine the reality.

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Does the argument hold together? Impeachment or AGW oxymoronic issues? Masterful.

sundance: Jim Jordan: “Adam Schiff’s ‘Abuse of Power’ is What The Founders Called ‘Separation of Power’”

Nick Arama: Watch ‘Objective’ Liberal Media Fall All Over Themselves to Praise Schiff, Get the Mocking of their Lives – “Grabien put together a great supercuts video, with some of Cillizza’s colleagues at CNN, as well as folks from MSNBC and elsewhere.” … “It’s enough to make one hurl. Yet not one of them will get/admit how compromised, how lacking in objectivity and how contrafactual they actually are.

David Catron: Same Schiff, Different Dais – “The media fawn over him, but he’s the same guy who bungled the House impeachment inquiry.” … “By some marvelous coincidence, dozens of major news organizations were able to conjure but one word to describe it: “masterful.”

“He is a masterful liar who long ago learned to control his body language and voice production such that his most outrageous lies seem plausible. Yet, as E. Donald Elliott wrote in this space Thursday, “Schiff provided absolutely no factual support for the crucial premise on which his entire case depends.” In the end, the evidence is against him and his mendacity will destroy his credibility. He’s the same Schiff on a different dais, and every senator knows it.

Eric Worrall: Nature Predicts Worsening Climate Driven Forest Fires – Burning What? – “My point is, predictions that fires will get worse apparently without limit are absurd.” There is another oxymoron buried in the argument that climate control is needed to prevent wildfires. Like with the ‘impeach Trump’ mania, the argument is deeply flawed but only for those who can exercise critical thinking.

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Where’s common ground if reality is dismissed?

William L. Gensert: Democrats Seek Civil War, But Will Get Revolution – “Democrats conspired with foreign agents, lied, cheated, and denied due process to Donald Trump. If they were willing to do that to a duly elected president in order to obtain power, what should Americans expect them to do to them should they refuse attempts to be disarmed?”

Michael Goodwin: Chuck Schumer, Democrats must have Founding Fathers rolling in their graves – “Schumer’s bare-knuckle approach immediately dashed the faintest hope that the proceedings would reflect the gravity of the moment and explain the unprecedented effort to remove a president in an election year.”

“Instead, Schumer picked up exactly where the House left off, injecting venom into every sentence and inflating his accusations far beyond what is contained in the actual articles of impeachment.

Blackmail? A crime against democracy? His words constitute false advertising because the House charged the president only with “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress.”

In truth, the only crime against democracy is the Dems’ endless effort to overturn the 2016 election and use the impeachment process to help defeat Trump this year.

Joel B. Pollak: Fact check: no, President Trump did not say Article II gave him absolute power – “The House impeachment managers — all Democrats — argued Tuesday at the start of Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate that Trump believed that Article II of the Constitution meant he can do “whatever I want.” Both Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) presented deceptively edited video that cur out the context of Trump’s words.” It’s just one egregious example of the in-your-face deception and deceit invoked in the assault on the President.

sundance: UPDATE – First Schumer Rules Amendment Defeated – House Managers Attempt To Rectify Inherent Impeachment Flaws… Explanation and background of the scheme, its history, and its challenges to help understand the current Senate arguments.

Scott Johnson: I can’t GAO for that – “It is the sort of well-timed hit from the deep state that has become so predictable it should produce groans, if not disgust.” Johnson cites Alan Dershowitz for a clear explanation of the absurdity of the GAO allegation and James Freeman for a bit of background on the shenanigans. Also see Paul Sperry: Whistleblower overheard for another deep state exposé.

John Hinderaker: Trump In the Lions’ Den – “Trump threw down the gauntlet before Europe’s governing classes, standing up for free enterprise, limited government, and an administration that cares about all of its citizens, not just plutocrats and bureaucrats.” It’s the Davos speech, another Trump home run. See also Don Surber: Trump’s remarkable remarks at Davos.

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Hubris knows what’s good for you

Byron York: Two deceptions at the heart of Democrats’ impeachment brief – “Democrats insist on Trump’s immediate removal because, they argue, he was the knowing beneficiary of Russian help in the 2016 election, and if he is not thrown out of office right now, he will do it again. But in making their argument, Democrats make two critical mischaracterizations about Trump, Republicans, and 2016. One is flat-out wrong, while the other is misleading.

“Neither mischaracterization in the Democratic brief is a mistake; Democratic prosecutors know full well what actually happened. But the mischaracterizations are necessary to build the case against the president, to show that he had corrupt motives in the Ukraine matter. They are, of course, not the entire case, but they are important. And they are wrong.

George Zimmerman: Man, Richard Jewell Hit Home! – “The film reminded me just how much heartache an accusation this heinous puts a parent through

“This movie hit home. I absolutely identified. Richard and I were both cop wannabes — or so the media told us. We were both gullible. We both believed law enforcement had our best interests at heart. We both believed reporters wanted the truth. We both believed everyone was basically good and then we both realized what fools we had been to believe all that.

Paul Mirengoff: The horror: Trump balked at being spoon fed conventional wisdom – “The excerpt describes how three of Trump’s then-top advisers — James Mattis, Rex Tillerson, and Gary Cohn — organized a session for the president designed to sell him on key aspects of conventional policy wisdom.” … “To get a true sense of the arrogance and condescension behind the Mattis, Tillerson, Cohn “tutorial” for Trump, consider this statement by a “senior official” who helped plan the meeting” – it is this hubris that is a telling characteristic of Deep State Denizens. They just know better than anyone else.

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Ban fundamental personal rights on a whim?

Jazz Shaw: Virginia State Supreme Court Rules On Governor’s Gun Ban For Rally – “What these rulings do is codify the idea that any Democratic governor, mayor or other officials can suspend the Second Amendment any time they feel like it simply by declaring a state of emergency.”

J. Frank Bullitt: America Is Deeply Divided Because The Left Has Become So Shallow – “the hostility toward Trump, and the inevitable division that it has created, is not based on political differences. It’s based on caricatures of the man, lies that have become accepted truth to many, and, of course, a media whose dishonest reporting drives a false narrative.”

Steven Hayward: Why People Hate the Media, Chapter 12,186 – “there are lots of other daily examples you can point to, such as this pairing of Politico headlines for the same story. Politico clearly changed the headline because the first one made Trump look too good:

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