Scandal Free? Really. Separating fact from Fiction

‘Scandal-free’ Obama is daring Trump to bust corrupt members of his administration by Monica Showalter – “Mouthing an old trope dating from his time in office and ever since, former President Obama declared at a Vegas conference that he had a scandal-free administration, quite unlike President Trump.”

“he made that mendacious claim just as he was being paid big dollars at the Las Vegas conference itself, which as most Americans know, is typically a disguised bribe for some favors performed earlier, and in itself a scandal. His fees are reportedly $400,000, which is nice money for a few minutes of speaking work.

It was rife with crony business deals, described here. There were major policy scandals, such as the subordination of embassy security abroad to the need to shill a ‘narrative’ about al-Qaida being on the run in time for elections, as happened in Benghazi. There was the monstrous Solyndra green energy scandal where business cronies left taxpayers on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars and made out like bandits themselves. There was the gunrunning scandal of Fast and Furious which allowed guns to move into the hands of Mexican cartels, leading to the death of a U.S. border agent. Nobody was punished, of course. There was the scandal of the emails at the Environmental Protection Agency, where officials illegally used pseudonyms to evade Freedom of Information Act laws and got away with it. There was Hillary Clinton’s illegal private server set up to evade laws the same way and created a vast opening for foreign hackers and espionage of top secrets, with Obama willingly participating in it the communications. There was the IRS targeting of political dissidents and the lies to cover it up, again, completely unpunished. There were the ‘lost’ emails – of the FBI, of the IRS, and Hillary Clinton herself while she was at the Department of State. There were the smashing of Blackberries with hammers, again, to evade transparency laws and lawmen, too. There was Clinton’s pay-to-play foundation-State Department nexus, corruption of the highest variety, and an investigation squelched due to Obama’s politicization of the FBI. There was Obama’s politicization of intelligence reports to say what he wanted on the war front, as well as his weaponization of the intelligence agencies to spy on political opponents and reporters. It turns out some of his people did go to jail, or were headed there for leaks – and he pardoned them to keep them out. Such as his “favorite” general here.

But according to Obama, the fact that no one was ever punished is the actual justification for his claim that he never had scandals. The fact that no one was ever punished is perhaps the biggest scandal of his administration.

Obama claims he had no scandals because he allowed any consequences, no matter what anyone ever did, no matter what laws they broke, which is not an argument to claim he had no scandals.

With the stream of lies about a scandal-free administration, the path is now clear that it’s time to clean house on the continuous lawbreaking of Obama officials that hasn’t been punished a whit. It’s time to create consequences for those who thumb their nose at the law, justified only by a compliant press and their own leftwingery. Obama just gave President Trump the green light.

Not so fast Obama, your biggest scandal is unfolding before our eyes by Larry O’Connor – “The notion is obviously absurd on the face of it, for anyone who paid unbiased attention over the eight years of his presidency.”

“The fact that these troubling episodes have not risen (in some people’s minds) to the level of the multiple “Generic-Gate” scandals that crippled presidencies of the past is less a testament to Obama’s ethics than it is commentary on the two institutions charged with monitoring and exposing these dramas.

From everything we are learning (and we have just begun to scratch the surface) one of the most disturbing aspects of Spygate is that, it appears, at no time did anyone in any position of authority in the DOJ, the FBI, the White House or the intelligence community raise an objection or even a concern over the actions they were taking. This tells you just how programmed these stalwart institutions had been in their blind allegiance to the political goals of President Obama and the Democratic Party.

Of all of the scandals, abuses of power and miscarriages of justice seen during the eight years of Obama’s lackluster (and shockingly unmemorable) presidency, the biggest and most outrageous one is still in its infancy. Let’s let Spygate play itself out before we start polishing up the marble for President Obama’s monument.

Jarrett and Obama are Behind Spygate by Daniel John Sobieski – “Unless we assume the FBI went completely rogue, it is inconceivable that the deployments of personnel to spy on the Trump campaign and make provocative contact with its lesser members could have occurred without the full knowledge and control of the occupants of the Oval Office.”

Ace of Spades notes that FBI spending $70 on a conference table was withheld from Congress because they thought it was a “national security” concern. Then there’s the John McCain mea culpa on the Iraq war – “Ah, #MuhPrinciples. How they doth mutate and transform.” The problem is a good idea corrupted by bad politics that drove it into being something it was not supposed to be as illustrated by the corruption now being used by the corruptors for personal leverage. Vietnam was like this, too.

Five Ways to Know if You Can Talk to Someone about Climate by Charlie Martin – “Since we first covered the Climategate Files here at PJ Media in 2009, the controversy has continued, but with some interesting changes.”

“Of course, the more the climate dogma is disputed, the more the climate change cultists resist. On the other hand, we’ve seen a lot more people coming out as thinking maybe, just maybe, there are some points of responsible dispute in the argument about climate change.

On the other hand, there are a lot of dogmatists who simply can’t be productively argued with

He dips his toe into the ‘both sides do it (sans evidence)’ thing but then goes on to list five specific questions that can discriminate between the sides. The apologia for PC is contradicted by the case he makes.

A Reminder: Why the US Rail System Is At Least as Good As the European System if You Care About Energy Use at Coyote Blog – “I know that the supposedly pro-science global warming alarmists sometimes are not actually very focused on science, but this is pretty simple to think about.”

“Most of the intellectual elites and nearly all the global warming alarmists deride the US for not having the supposedly superior rail system that France and Germany have. They are blinded by the vision of admittedly beautiful high speed trains, and have frittered away billions of dollars trying to pursue various high speed rail visions in the US.

Jordan Peterson and the left-wing smear machine by John Sexton – “Horton says the social pressure was so intense that she felt scared to speak up with her opinion. She believes that pressure to conform to a narrow, approved view is a much bigger problem for the left.” Peterson is a Canadian psychologist who dared to talk about actual reality and, hence, has become a poster boy for Leftist bullying.

“The hyperbolic uniformity of the leftist attack on Peterson is emblematic of the growing tendency to reduce left-of-center thought to the status of a rigidly simplistic ideology. Increasingly, what passes for progressive political thought today offers little more than a scripted set of weaponized hashtags (you must be pro- #metoo and anti-patriarchy, no further thought required). This narrowing of our public discourse is disturbing, and worrisome on multiple, mutually reinforcing levels…

“The Left’s attack on Peterson is so unrelenting, so superficial, and quite frequently so vicious, that many of us who work and/or live in left-leaning social environments feel scared to speak up against it…

“I realize that Peterson has at times said things that I disagree with and might even find offensive. But I’m much more concerned with—and disgusted by—the endless stream of tendentious and dishonest articles from leftists critics that grab onto such statements and blow them out of proportion, while aggressively erasing everything else the man has ever said or done from the record.

Carol Horton is correct. The left isn’t listening to Jordan Peterson, they’re just trying to destroy him as efficiently and quickly as possible. That dynamic says a lot about the left, none of it very good. Kudos to Horton for having the courage to stand up to the mob.

The Left And The Right Aren’t Hearing The Same Jordan Peterson by David Marcus – “A New York Times Magazine hit piece says more about the mainstream media than it says about Jordan Peterson.”

“In fact, much of Peterson’s insistence that we listen to, and understand, our ancient myths, legends, and stories is not because they tell us how we should be, but because they tell us how we have been. These old narratives give us insight into what our ancestors thought about being human, where humanity had been, where humanity wanted to go. This is an essential tool for understanding western thought and ideas — assuming we still wish to be human.

The DOJ’s defiance of Congress by neo-neocon – “Kimberly Strassel in the WSJ on the real constitutional crisis that’s going on

“the Democrats and the press (redundant, I know) would have us believe that it’s Congress and the right who are out of line for questioning or doubting the DOJ and its veracity and fine intentions, despite all the reasons there are to doubt that veracity and those fine intentions (and as though the left itself doesn’t doubt that veracity and those fine intentions when it suits the left’s purposes).

none of this investigation of the excesses of the DOJ re the Trump campaign would be going on if the GOP didn’t control Congress. This fact should be driven home by every GOP participant in the Congressional campaign for 2018, because I believe most people don’t connect those dots and realize what the effect of a Democrat-controlled Congress would be (and by “most people” I include a lot of people who call themselves conservatives and are angry at what they call the GOPe).

As Strassel wrote, “congressional Republicans worry about losing their oversight authority in the midterms,” and well they should. In fact, we should all worry about it.

Two different worlds: If you look at the MSM, you’d think Trump was doing very very poorly by neo-neocon – “And that has been true for his entire presidency. … So take a look at a sampler for today at memeorandum.”

“Nothing unusual about today; it’s very typical. Trump doing badly vis a vis North Korea. Trump “venting anger” at this and that (often, it’s Trump “raging” and/or “out of control”). “Concerned by Trump, some Republicans Quietly Align With Democrats” (although funny thing, what I’ve seen most of the time is a few concerned Democrats quietly aligning with Republicans). Sad tales of separated “immigrant families” (i.e. illegal immigrants). Focus on a weirdo 9-11-truther GOP candidate for Congress in a district in Illinois in which the Republican primary was uncontested and the Democrat is virtually certain to win anyway. Hit piece du jour on Jordan Peterson. Seahawk wide receiver saying “Trump is an idiot, plain and simple.” Featured op-ed in the WaPo entitled, “Are Republicans abetting a demagogue—or something worse?” And perhaps my personal favorite: “The Chilling Effect of Trump’s War on the FBI.”

Trump Moves the Narrative Football by Andrew Klavan – “I see no free speech violation, even in spirit, in the NFL’s ruling that players should not disrespect the flag during the National Anthem. The players were taking that action on company time, in company uniform, while doing the company’s business, representing the company and, clearly, hurting the company’s bottom line.”

“The NFL anthem controversy is a prime example of how Donald Trump is doing something of yuge importance that conservatives never think to do, and that intellectual conservatives don’t even seem to understand needs doing. He is challenging — and often changing — the left’s narrative.

The narrative is essentially a set of assumptions so pervasive that people are afraid to oppose them. They think they are alone in disagreeing with those assumptions and they fear they will be deemed immoral by the majority. For a long time, the left has controlled this narrative by dominating and censoring the means of communication: social media, the news networks, Hollywood and the academies.

Trump makes it easier to fire deficient govt workers… finally by Jazz Shaw – “The latest executive order news coming out of the White House addresses some long overdue questions about government workers and their unions.”

“Some of the biggest (and best) changes address policies which we’ve been carping about here for years. The first one shortens the period of Performance Improvement Plans (where the misbehaving or underperforming worker is given time to straighten up and fly right) to 30 days across all agencies. Under the old system, these PIPs could last up to half a year.

The next change really hits the motherload, though. Trump is clamping down on so-called “official time” where employees who are union officials can spend unlimited time doing union work while they are on the clock, sometimes doing zero work for the public. They also get to use offices and other government equipment for union work at no cost. Trump is clamping down on that, ordering that no union officials spend more than 25% of their work hours on union business and ordering a new agreement where the unions can use their own facilities or pay rent for using government offices. These changes are long, long overdue.

Separating fact from fiction in the FIRST STEP Act before Congress by Taylor Millard – “The House of Representatives is signing off on a bill which appears to be a good measure in the push for justice reform on the federal level.” Another bit of ‘hidden’ news that is also plagued by dishonest claims. Millard explains.

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Characteristic behaviors. Compare and Contrast.

ABC seethes over Trump presidency by Don Surber – “What his state of mind was when he tweeted, no one can say.” Hyperbolic adjectives are a clue that a reporter has a problem.

“These are hot words. Seeth means “to be violently excited or agitated.”

What evidence of seething do they have? Did he throw an ashtray at his husband for being caught cheating?

Tirade means “a long angry speech, usually of a censorious or denunciatory nature; a diatribe.”

Trump was not speaking. I suppose colloquially we can say that of a string of tweets, but where is the anger or denunciation?

His was not a diatribe but rather a statement of facts.

Fake News tries to portray him as an out-of-control nut, casting every tweet in the worst possible manner.

No insane person would get to where he is.

Trump’s excellent letter to Kim by Paul Mirengoff – “Trump’s letter to Kim is a fine piece of one-upsmanship, but it’s more than just that.” contrast reality to media headlines.

Raging leftist spits on Chicago cops as they hold pro-police rally. Is this part of a disturbing pattern? by Frieda Powers – “During a pro-police march on City Hall, demonstrators displayed their vulgar and unhinged reactions as one woman literally spit on Chicago police officers.”

“Pearl-clutching liberals feign shock and horror over President Donald Trump referring to brutal MS-13 gang members as “animals,” but then resort to vulgar outbursts at anything even remotely conservative.

Here’s The NRA Video Calling For ‘Common Sense Media Control’ That’s Causing A Stir by James Barrett – “many sounding the alarm over it either failed to watch the whole video or failed to get the point.”

“Noir begins by underscoring the role fame plays in inspiring mass shootings (video below). “Can anyone tell me the last time a mass school shooter left a manifesto, a comment on social media, or a video where they said they were inspired to commit their atrocity because of a firearm?” he asks. … as much as the media love to pivot the conversation after a mass school shooting to gun control, the pen is still mightier than the sword.

“These kids aren’t being inspired by inert hunk of plastic and metal lying on a table,” he continues. “They’re inspired by the infamous glory of past shooters, who they relate to. And no entity on the planet does a better job, whether directly or indirectly, of glorifying these killers and thereby providing the inspiration for the next one.”

Trump cracks his whip: Now North Korea wants to talk by Thomas Lifson – “you don’t play chicken with Donald Trump

“Trump validated his earlier statements that while he prefers negotiations, if necessary, he will take action to accomplish his goals (i.e., destroy the North Korean facilities) in the event that negotiations don’t work.

His many, highly vocal, TDS-suffering critics – the ones who claim he is “insane,” impetuous, and “dangerous” and will “blunder into nuclear war” – turn out to be his unwilling allies in the effort to make the North Korans believe that his threats are real.

It was no coincidence that yesterday, the House of Representative passed legislation authorizing a new generation of tactical nuclear weapons launched from submarines – with the support of 131 Democrats. But the TDS gang was right there, doing its part to scare North Korea and China

From the standpoint of domestic politics, Democrats stepped up yesterday to cover their own faces with egg.

There will be more twists and turns, but President Trump’s perceived willingness to use military force if talks fail is his Trump Card. Yes, he is breaking the norms of diplomacy – the norms that have gotten North Korea to the brink of a nuclear arsenal that can be delivered to our shores. Those who mock his willingness to change the game do so at their own peril.

How to Create a Cooperative and Mutually Beneficial Environment, Even When Dealing With People Who are Uncooperative and Sneaky by Ace of Spades –

“I don’t like social justice mobbing. Or boycotts. Or the rest of the coercions — rather than persuasions — that are currently the default method of political “argumentation” in this country in Current Year.

But: The way to stop this regime is to inflict the same tactics on our enemies (and yes, I think “enemies” is an apt term at this point) until they stop using those tactics against us.

There is a famous study — look it up — about how to push noncooperative opponents into behaving cooperatively, how to force them to start acting in a fair way instead of a self-serving, aggressive, hostile way.

Spare me your crocodile tears about the new NFL Anthem rule by Jazz Shaw – “This has long since passed the point of being merely tiresome.”

The Great German Meltdown by Victor Davis Hanson – “Every 20 to 50 years in Germany, things start unraveling.”

“In a perfect world, Germany would address its frustrations through introspection. After all, no one forced Berlin to take in over a million problematic refugees from the Middle East. No one forced it to export goods on easy credit to leveraged buyers who visibly lived far above their means. No one forced it to renege on its NATO defense promises and responsibilities. No one forced it to have a long and catastrophic history with the Jewish people. And no one forces it to expect perpetual U.S. military protection while continually setting record trade surpluses.

Despite the long postwar history of U.S.-German friendship, and despite Germany’s financial and economic power, the country is becoming psychologically isolated, if not unhinged. While Germans broadcast their anti-Americanism, they seem oblivious that Americans may likewise be tiring of German petulance.

If we are entering yet another historical period of dangerous German resentment, the ensuing result will bode ill for everyone involved.

James Clapper deceives again by Paul Mirengoff – “In short, cracker barrel speculation entitled to no weight is masquerading as akin to intelligence. And for purely partisan purposes.” Another dissection contrasting with the empty allegation.

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A tangled web untangles slowly

Mueller caught in a trap of his own making by Thomas Lifson – “If the defendant is demanding a speedy trial, there ought to be a very good reason for denying that right. And Mueller’s excuse is – let’s be blunt – not merely lame, but due to his own misbehavior.”

“I am no lawyer, but the problem with this excuse is obvious to even me: if the case is so complex that extra time is required, then why was the indictment brought in the first place? Why did the special counsel rush the indictment when he now confesses that it was too complex to go to trial?

Andrew McCarthy, who is a brilliant and distinguished attorney and ex-federal prosecutor, agrees with my less well informed opinion that it is too late to make the complexity excuse. He adds an important note about whose rights would be violated

Again, being blunt, it looks to me as though Mueller was showboating, using the justice system for propaganda purposes but without an apparent actual case ready to go forward. I am no expert at all on the canons of legal ethics, but this does sound like an abuse of the federal courts if there was no intent to proceed with a prosecution on a timely basis within the requirements of the law.

Jared Kushner finally gets his permanent security clearance (and what that means about the Mueller investigation) by John Sexton – “there’s no scandal to be found here. Mueller didn’t find any (with regard to Kushner) and Trump kept his word and didn’t show special favoritism. And if the reporting is accurate, Mueller may be wrapping up this part of his inquiry.” Instapundit also cites an Opinion on the Constitutionality of Robert Mueller’s Appointment that argues that there are problems.

Progressives on the Brink by Jeffrey Folks – “Because they view President Trump in these extreme terms, progressives view themselves not as violent extremists, but as “the resistance.” But resistance implies that there exists something worthy of resisting.”

“The resistance was not engendered by anything Trump had actually done. It was just a refusal to accept any candidate who varied from the left’s own line of thinking.

That sort of reaction, reminiscent of what happened with the election of George W. Bush, is a dangerous turn in American politics. It implies that the left refuses to accept any political action that does not accord with their own ideology. The left now demands the right to govern permanently and without opposition, regardless of the outcome of elections. This is evidence that the left today has lost respect for democratic institutions and that, if they were ever to find themselves firmly in control of government, leftists would not willingly relinquish power, even if voted out in a fair election.

One only has to look at the recent election in Venezuela to see his point.

“No American, regardless of party preference, should fail to see the seriousness of these events. The Watergate break-in and the cover-up that followed made for a serious crime, but it was nothing compared to what is now alleged on the part of members of the Obama administration or on the part of Obama himself. Disclosures are at last moving forward, with House committees pressing for FBI and Justice documents and Sen. Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, requesting communications among Bruce Ohr, Christopher Steele, and others relating to the anti-Trump dossier.

It’s also possible, and more likely, that progressives will dismiss the seriousness of whatever crimes have been committed and engage in even more desperate measures. If that happens, only the political will of the American people will stand in their way.

Media Goes Ballistic As It Scrambles To Protect Obama From Growing Spygate Scandal by DCWhispers – “the Establishment Media is desperate to insulate Mr. Obama from being directly implicated in what is quickly turning into the single greatest political scandal in U.S. history.”

“All of the major news outlets are minimizing the shocking implications of Spygate while aggressively pushing third-tier stories involving Michael Cohen and the like. It is their hope the American public will once again fail to pay attention to what is really going on. They are counting on ignorance winning the day.

Some Democrats are said to now be literally screaming at Robert Mueller to do something to stop the mounting Spygate scandal that is encircling Mr. Obama and a number of his media accomplices. Another shoe is sure to fall soon. On whose head remains to be seen.

Ace of Spades notes the absurdity in a Federal Judge Rules That Trump Cannot Block People From His Twitter Feed – “We seem to have nothing but Hawaiian judges now.” and the clarity in the NFL wich comes with a sprinkling of absurdity also – “Last year’s plummet in attendance clearly freaked out the NFL ownership.”

“Our future as conservatives depends on how we respond to left wing cultural and institutional dominance. Are we going to shrug and say that’s just the way it is or at least start taking some small steps toward fighting back?

Is It Really Illegal for Trump to Block People on Twitter Now? By Declan McCullagh – “to rule in favor of the plaintiffs, Buchwald had to find a way to declare @realDonaldTrump to be an official government account.”

“The judge’s logic turns the traditional way of viewing the First Amendment on its head: Your right to free speech doesn’t extend to a right to make someone else, even a politician you have good reason to loathe, listen to you. The Supreme Court expanded on this in a 1984 case, ruling that a “person’s right to speak is not infringed when government simply ignores that person while listening to others.”

In other words, being ignored may hurt your feelings or make you feel sad, but it does not necessarily rise to the level of a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

More Trump: We might need a “phase-in” period for North Korea denuclearization; Update: Trump cancels summit by Ed Morrissey – “It didn’t get quite as much notice as his suggestion for protesting NFL players, but Donald Trump’s comments on North Korea held much more significance.”

“Trump said he preferred an immediate denuclearization of North Korea as the goal of his upcoming summit with Kim Jong-un. However, Trump allowed that it might require more time, suggesting that the US might negotiate a series of steps from both sides — assuming the summit takes place at all:

The significance of these comments is in Trump’s signal of flexibility on process, but not on outcomes

Trump: “Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country” if you don’t stand for the anthem by Ed Morrissey – “Now that Donald Trump has endorsed it, get ready for all sorts of posturing on all sides before the kickoffs in September.” Morrissey ridicules Trump but does see what is happening.

“That last part about leaving the country is Trump’s typical hyperbole. It’s silly, but it resonates among those truly offended by players turning the anthem and the flag into political footballs, so to speak. And let’s not forget that leaving the country was and is a favorite theme among the celebrity ranks of La Résistance, too. That kind of hyperbole plays both ways, unfortunately. At any rate, it’s possible to criticize the players for these displays without having the head of state suggesting they don’t belong in the country at all, just as it is possible to dislike a president without having to declare “America is over!” while making millions from it.

Trump’s undeniably right about one thing: the NFL owners should have addressed this issue when it first started. Rather than deal with a threat to their business model when it first arose, they first hemmed and hawed, and then appeased the activists. Now no one’s happy and their product is being overshadowed by the controversies surrounding it. This rule change won’t improve matters, and Trump’s happy to keep the controversy going for his own purposes. How many times will Trump bring this up in the midterms, especially in the final eight weeks or so when NFL play begins? Every chance he gets.

why such hate for the country that feeds them?

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Concern Trolling v Spygate

The Collapse of the Collusion Narrative by Conrad Black – “No serious person could find anything in the conduct of the president that could be construed as obstruction of justice, the all-purpose catch-all of American prosecutors, who can conjure that charge from the most mundane acts.”

“The Trump-impeachers, shuffling grimly forward into the desert like Old Testament slaves to the chant of the ineffable millionaire congresswoman Maxine Waters: “Impeach 45!” will perish in the sand. The vultures will pick their bones in an Ozymandian setting. … After two years of exhaustive legal investigation accompanied by intense media innuendos about everything President Trump and his family have done more ambitious than putting on their shoes in the morning (unlike the Clinton case and much closer to the relentless media badgering and defaming of Richard Nixon in the Watergate affair), there is nothing to impeach with, or about.

The early righteousness of the anti-Trump lynch-mob was deflated when the Steele dossier was revealed as defamatory lies assembled and paid for by the Clinton campaign.

It also seems to be clear that Comey, and former National Intelligence and Central Intelligence directors James Clapper and John Brennan, were involved in improper leaks of confidential information and in coordinating their activities to mislead the president-elect. All three also appear to have misled congressional committees while under oath.

As the rot spreads and evidence of the questionable involvement of elements of the Obama administration in the sand-bag job on Trump appears at earlier dates, before the 2016 political conventions, demands from congressional committees for more information from the Justice Department are becoming more extensive and insistent.

The Biggest Threat to America’s Future Is the Media by Rick Hayes – “with the odds of any real threat of invasion to the U.S. coming from a foreign country at near zero, the only possible way the American people can lose their freedom is through an internal collapse – a breakdown not only of the rule of law, culture, and language, but Judeo-Christian values upon which America built its foundation.”

“If there is a playbook on the specific steps needed to dismantle America from within, it is indeed in use today. There is no secret how the left has been amazingly successful in such a short period.

Outnumbered and without supporting evidence or facts to back up its globalist, anti-American rhetoric, the left relies entirely on the full support of the media. Today, the media in the United States are not objective seekers and disseminators of truth. In truth, the media serve as the propagandist and protector of the forces that want to change America from a constitutional republic to a socialist state.

The media can no longer hide behind the benign image of a sometimes left-leaning communications entity because they have exposed themselves for what indeed they are: active participants in the dismantling of traditional American values.

Don SurberTrump let the Left outsmart itself. “the Left thought a little witch hunt would doom the Trump presidency. The trouble is, sooner or later you have to produce a witch. And the Left does not have one.” Press hypocrisy of the day. “The more names atop the story, the sloppier it will be because no one is taking responsibility for the piece.” This one is about using standard phones to access Twitter rather than super secure whatevers. But then, the press considers the President on Twitter as sworn testimony and fascist dictator orders rather than public communication.

“The problem is media is the media has focused on Russia, Russia, Russia, while Donald Trump has focused on being president of the United States. He is succeeding. People notice.

A press that blew off a secretary of State placing 33,000 sensitive emails on her server — possibly for sale to foreign governments — is concerned that someone may hack into Donald Trump’s Twitter account.

This is concern trolling.

They hate him, and his Twitter account because he uses Twitter to get around their beastly lies.

Thomas LifsonClapper’s desperation revealed in appearance on ‘The View’. “James Clapper has a brand new book to sell, which must be his excuse for forgetting Denis Healey’s First Law of Holes.Coming attractions: FBI agents speaking out about the abuses of Comey and McCabe. “Despite the best efforts of the Trump-hatting, Russia/Stormy Daniels-obsessed media to ignore it, the story is going to build into a major factor in the coming midterm elections and far beyond.”

“In 2013 Sen. Ron Wyden asked Clapper: “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions, of Americans?”

He did not ask Clapper about a specific program. Wyden simply asked if the NSA was collecting any data at all on millions of Americans, and Clapper said no. As it turns out, his response was a lie, plain and simple. Instead of fessing up and admitting that he lied before Congress five years ago, he’s doubling down.

there will be a cascade of evidence coming our way. The DOJ Inspector General’s report is one source, and potential criminal referrals from that report could provide far more grist for the wheels of justice to grind. But the wheels of justice move slowly. Before that happens, there will other drama playing out.

Keep in mind that Watergate took a very long time to unfold. In today’s media environment of social media and cable news, the pace is faster, but still requires time. A vast transition in psychology is part of the reason for this pace. Potential whistleblowers need to feel safe, which requires a body of supportive evidence exist before they can take that risk. And the general public has to be acclimated to the notion that that something very wrong has taken place.

Criminal Lobby is Rolling in Cash—Thank Soros by Lloyd Billingsley – “California Governor Jerry Brown tweeted that Trump “is lying on immigration, lying about crime and lying about the laws of CA,” though the short-timer chief executive offered no details.” Typical example: don’t like being called on your behavior so you claim “LIE.” It’s called denial.

“President Trump last week met with California public officials who oppose the state’s sanctuary law which, as the president said, “provides safe harbor to some of the most vicious and violent offenders on Earth, like MS-13 gang members putting innocent men, women and children at the mercy of sadistic criminals.”

California Democrats claim they are not protecting criminals but they keep federal official from the jails where false-documented illegals are already in custody. State Supreme Court Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye objects to federal ICE agents “stalking” illegals in courthouses. Public officials who swear to uphold the Constitution have instead become a criminals’ lobby.

This is not a new development in the Golden State.

As the Sacramento Bee reports, “Soros has funneled about $400,000 to Phillips through his California Justice & Public Safety PAC” and has been “spending heavily this year to flip district attorney races for progressive candidates all over California and in several other states.”

Jerry Brown, proud citizen of the world’s fifth-largest economy, has no problem with that. Neither does the state’s former state attorney general, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, who got her start under Willie Brown (literally) and received $5,400 from Soros for her 2016 senate campaign. Clearly, “justice” doesn’t come cheap.

Family that took in Parkland shooter being sued by Jazz Shaw – “They took in a kid they perceived as being in crisis (as well as being a friend of their own son) who had just been left orphaned. Sure, he turned out to be a monster, but they were still only just getting to know him. This doesn’t really sound like justice to me.”

While Allahpundit asserts that the President is “gaslighting people about fake news,” There is this one: The Problem With CNN’s School Shooting Count by Stephen Gutowski – “Nearly half of incidents identified this year are unlikely to be recognized by most as school shootings.” Compare and contrast to see the difference in values about what is important, misleading, and deceitful.

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Helping the public understand

It’s about describing things in a way that the public can understand them. It’s made particularly difficult by the efforts of the news sources much of the public depends upon obfuscating, distorting, and ignoring events.

Bombshell: More Obama admin spies attempted to insert selves into Trump campaign by Thomas Lifson – “The eye-opening disclosure came at the end of a highly informative discussion with Cater Page about his interactions with Stefan Halper, the informant already believed to have pumped members of the campaign for information.”

“Up until the revelations of spies (or “informants” as the New York Times and other anti-Trumpers call them) worming their way into the Trump campaign, it was fiendishly complex explaining to members of the general public what went on. But everyone understands the words spy, secret agent, and informant.

The revelation that the Obama administration security apparatus was spying on the Trump campaign is easy to understand and outrageous on its face.

It Depends on What Your Definition of ‘Spy’ Is by Eric Felten – “So that no one misses the message, it’s right there in the headline: “F.B.I. Used Informant to Investigate Russia Ties to Campaign, Not to Spy, as Trump Claims.

“Is this an outrage, as the president has tweeted? If the spying—yes, I said it, because that’s what it was, in any normal use of the word—turned up a conspiracy between Team Trump and the Kremlin, the enormity of the president’s offense will make any question of how the evidence was collected fade away. But if no such conspiracy is uncovered, efforts to spy on the campaign will appear to be a gross abuse of the FBI’s investigative powers.

Could it be that the insistence that a spy not be called a spy is born of a concern that there might not be proof to be had of the sort of conspiracy that would make Americans accept the spying as justified?

When did Trump-Russia probe begin? Investigators focus on mystery months by Byron York – “Revelations that an FBI informant insinuated himself into the Trump campaign have led some congressional investigators to rethink their theories on how and why former President Barack Obama’s Justice Department began investigating the 2016 Trump presidential effort.”

A few weeks before the opening of the investigation — those are the words that have raised eyebrows among Hill investigators. If it was before the investigation, then what was an FBI informant doing gathering undercover information when there was not yet an investigation?

The question has pointed investigators back to the issue of when the probe began — not when a piece of paper was formally signed but when the FBI, and perhaps other U.S. intelligence agencies, began investigating the Trump campaign.

Investor’s Business Daily, As Evidence Piles Up, The Media Ignore The ‘Other’ Trump-Russia Scandal – “There have been two major ongoing investigations involving President Trump. One is looking into whether Trump colluded with Russia. It’s borne no fruit. The other involves abuse of power at the highest levels of government to hurt Trump and is producing damning evidence by the bushel. Guess which one the press is ignoring?”

“A good reporter, or at least one who isn’t hopelessly biased, would be able to see that the real story isn’t the go-nowhere Mueller investigation, but the more troubling story of abuse of power by Obama administration officials to protect Hillary Clinton and then derail the Trump presidency.

Concealed FISA Docs May Hold Key to Trump Surveillance by Sara Carter – “President Trump meets with FBI, DOJ and DNI

“this meeting is crucial because it will be a major opportunity for the President to order the Justice Department and FBI to turn over classified information requested by the House Intelligence Committee that may finally lead to the answers related to the scope of the FBI’s surveillance on the Trump campaign. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats will be at the White House to discuss the classified nature of the request by the committee and they will argue against the disclosure of the documents.

So what can Trump do to ensure a proper review of these documents and what could be one of the biggest scandals in modern American politics?

Over the past week, a mountain of leaks regarding classified information regarding the FBI’s operation into the Trump campaign have been shared with The Washington Post and The New York Times. Many lawmakers and sources closely connected to the FBI and DOJ this reporter has spoken with believe the leaks came from the DOJ and Bureau in an effort to stay ahead of the story and frame the narrative.

The former senior U.S. intelligence official, who worked as a clandestine officer, told this reporter that it is imperative an investigation be conducted into the Bureau and Obama Department of Justice.

“It appears the FBI created the probable cause to trigger an investigation,” he said. “I would have never believed in my life that this would occur in America. We never in our history have had armed representatives of the state involved in usurping the wishes and the actions of the public at large to unseat a duly elected president. You can’t overstate the importance of this because they have weaponized the national security tools that are designed to protect the US from external enemies and weaponized it to go after a campaign and sitting president.”

Ace of Spades: Derek Hunter: I Used to be Skeptical of the Existence of a “Deep State.” I’m All Out of Skepticism Now. – Extraordinary claims require extraodinary proofs. – We now have extraordinary proofs. Follow the links! … Former Clinton Pollster Mark Penn: To Save the Republic, Robert Mueller and the Deep State Must be Stopped and DefeatedA sensible opinion, coming from a completely unexpected speaker. And yet more links to relevant material.

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The Choom Gang losing its covers

What Obama and his political Choom Gang did is far worse than Watergate By Charles Hurt – “If this was orchestrated without the express knowledge of Mr. Obama, then it reveals just how blatantly he instructed by example the weaponizing of the entire federal government to carry out his low, dishonest and unjust ideology.”

“If this conspiracy was carried out at the express direction of Mr. Obama or other high officials in his administration, then they belong in jail. From unmasking of political opponents, to leaking their names to the press, to killing legitimate investigations, to launching politically motivated witch hunts, a racket of this scale could not have been carried out without some major juice and cover at the top levels of the Department of Justice, FBI and the White House.

The rogue henchmen carrying out the dirty work, as always, presented as perfect, decent and most honest little Boy Scouts like former FBI Director James B. Comey.

What the Obama administration did to infiltrate the Trump campaign, spy on political opponents and then launch a wicked vendetta against them is worse than anything J. Edgar Hoover ever did — at least that we know about.

It is worse than any of the domestic abuses by the CIA during the Cold War.

It is worse even than what the federal government did to undermine civil rights activists like Martin Luther King Jr.

As bad and corrupt as it is to harass innocent citizens under any circumstances, it is so much worse to weaponize the government to pursue and punish and eliminate domestic political opponents. That is the sort of thing that destroys a Republic.

Does the Justice Department have to tell Congress what Mueller is doing? by Byron York – “Special counsel Robert Mueller’s recent admission that the May 17, 2017, Justice Department order defining the scope of his investigation was just for show, and that the real extent of his probe is a secret, is reverberating on Capitol Hill.”

“Now Grassley argues that the Senate has a right to see the memo, too. “This committee likewise should be permitted to review the true nature and scope of the special counsel’s investigation,” Grassley wrote to Rosenstein. “It is unclear precisely how, or whether, the Department is following its own regulations, what the actual bounds of Mr. Mueller’s authority are, and how those bounds have been established.”

In the letter, Grassley appeared unhappy that he, as the chairman of the Senate committee charged with overseeing the Justice Department, did not learn the true extent of the Mueller investigation until long after Mueller was appointed.

Grassley also noted that the Justice Department’s secrecy with the Mueller appointment comes after months in which the department withheld a variety of other documents related to the Trump-Russia affair.

Devin Nunes describes DOJ leak trap that he and Trey Gowdy avoided by Thomas Lifson – “Devin Nunes fully understands the depths to which the cover-up forces within the Department of Justice will stoop to protect their misdeeds from exposure.”

“he described a leak trap that was attempted against him and fellow House committee chairman Trey Gowdy. As he explains below, in the past they have gone to meetings at the DOJ but denied the documents they sought, only to have leaks follow. They were invited to another meeting at the DOJ on Friday, which they figured out was a ruse intended to be used to afterward blame them for leaks. When they found out that no documents would be produced, they declined.

The entire scandal of spying on the Trump campaign through abuse of the surveillance capabilities of the intelligence apparatus is shot through with set-ups: luring young George Papadopoulos to London, setting him up with information and then getting him to blab it to the Australian ambassador to London, briefing President Trump on the Steele Dossier and then leaking it to the media so as to provide an excuse for their coverage, and many, many other incidents. Nunes and Gowdy are smart enough to spot the pattern and decline to be patsies.

H.A.L.P.E.R. Spells Game Up for Obama’s Spies by Clarice Feldman – “The New York Times and Washington Post, the Democrats’ semi-official newspapers this week megaphoned the instigators, offering up their justifications without naming his name.”

“the name is Stefan Halper, who, as I wrote here last week, was paid a substantial sum by the Department of Defense’s Office of Net Assessment.

If it was for this work – and it suspiciously looks like it because the payments were made in July and September of 2016 when he was weaseling his way into the campaign – then we know we have the DNI, CIA, DOJ, FBI, Dept. of State and the Defense Department working for Hillary’s election and to smear and create a basis for further spying on Trump and his campaign.

The NYT and Washington Post stories were clearly dictated by the perpetrators of this unprecedented effort to interfere with our elections. A careful reading shows that they leaked just enough about Halper to positively identify him while the press refuses to name him because the selective leakers warned, “that exposing him could endanger him or his contacts.”

Wretchard tweets something impossible to deny: “The biggest problem with politically weaponizing intelligence agencies is it CREATES a pathway for the foreign takeover of the system. If once a hostile power takes over the WH, it obtains the power to remain indefinitely.”

We now have an imaginary crime – collusion – with imaginary evidence and even imaginary defendants. What is not imaginary is the selfish effort to destroy our polity by several handfuls of men and women who abused their positions of trust for intended partisan gain that failed. Give them the hook already.

The Hunter Becomes the Hunted by Richard Fernandez – “The Russian collusion affair, which began with the incoming president on the defensive, has now become a set of simultaneous offensives with each side trying to jail the other.”

“The invaluable timeline of the investigations compiled by Sharyl Attkisson seems to confirm what Lee Smith of Tablet Magazine has already suggested: that the roots of domestic spying predated the Trump candidacy. He notes that “Obama officials vastly expand[ed] their searches through NSA database for Americans and the content of their communications. In 2013, there were 9,600 searches involving 195 Americans. But in 2016, there are 30,355 searches of 5,288 Americans.”

Avoiding a crisis depends on not crossing certain lines and concealing that fact if it has occurred. That has now gone by the board. When a system is undeniably confronted with deceitful lawlessness it is like finding the dealer was cheating at cards. Trump, by officially demanding an answer into whether the previous administration engaged in political spying, is effectively accusing them of cheating at cards. As everybody knows, once you ask this question at a table, the surface game stops and a deeper game begins. Suddenly the little cardboard rectangles don’t matter anymore.

Watergate II: Collusiongate by neo-neocon – “Unlike Watergate, the current crisis in government/spying/politics doesn’t have a memorable name. But for those of us who lived through Watergate it has a certain resonance with that event as well as major differences, imparting a strange sense of familiarity, dislocation, and increasing alarm.”

The Latest Whopper — The FBI Was Actually Trying to ‘Protect Trump’ by Brian C. Joondeph – “It’s now to the point that Mueller’s team is investigating anyone in Trump’s circle who ever ate a bowl of borscht or drank a sip of Russian vodka.”

“A few days ago, the WaPo published an opinion piece entitled, “The FBI didn’t use an informant to go after Trump. They used one to protect him.”

Sure, they did. I can’t wait to read from the WaPo how Iran wants nukes to “protect” Israel or that that sanctuary cities are for the “protection” of legal, law-abiding residents of those cities.

They are “protecting” Trump by indicting his associates, squeezing them to rat out Trump, leaking to the media, withholding exculpatory evidence, and so on.

See what a tangled web the deep state is weaving? They have handed Trump the keys to the kingdom, providing precedent and justification to do to his next opponent what was done to him and his campaign. And future presidential campaigns as well. The Banana States of America.

All because of Obama and his administration’s tangled web and “practice to deceive.”

Dirt on Hillary by J. Marsolo – “The problem is not getting dirt on Hillary. We have the dirt on Hillary. There is so much dirt it is mindboggling for anyone who cares, which excludes Democrats and the Media.”

Mueller Year One: Journalism’s Real Heroes Continued by Julie Kelly – “A brave group of journalists—aided by key amplifiers in social media, cable news, and talk radio—continues to push back on the media’s sycophantic service to the Democratic Party in which so many reporters, news personalities and political pundits are invested.”

“Now, reporters who tried to convince us Trump was nuts for claiming Obama’s FBI spied on him are spinning hard to persuade us that an “informant” isn’t really a “spy.” But these antidotal journalists and influencers are not letting them get away with it.

Why the left buys into every anti-Israel smear by Gil Troy – “Reporters love playing the “peaceful, oppressed protesters-of-color” against “the armed, white, persecuting soldiers”

“It’s striking how easy it is to discover the truth — or at least see some complexity behind these stereotypes. You need not be a pro-Israel fanatic to assume the story must be more complicated — just as you can be a pro-Palestinian critic of Israel without caricaturing Israelis as Nazis or Ku Klux Klanners.

When people so willingly engage in self-deception, something deeper is taking place.

How Democracies End: A Bureaucratic Whimper by Victor Davis Hanson – “there has certainly been nothing yet in this administration comparable to the Obama-era efforts to curb civil liberties.”

“One strange trait of the die hard NeverTrump Republicans and progressives is their charge that Donald Trump poses an existential threat to democracy. Trump, as is his wont, says a lot of outrageous and weird things. But it is hard in his 16 months of rule to find any proof that Trump has subverted the rule of law.

While we understand those on the left refuse to believe that a constitutional “legal scholar” like Obama would even think of allowing the executive branch to go rogue, it is indeed strange that in almost every NeverTrump attack on Trump’s conduct, there is almost no recognition or indeed worry that we have been living through one of the great challenges to constitutional government in our history.

But stranger still is what we already know of the 2016 election, and the lack of outrage from constitutionalists, who daily warn us of what Trump might do—when we already know what the U.S. government has done in violation of civil rights, constitutional principles, and likely federal laws.

the threat to our civil liberties is coming from supposedly sanctimonious and allegedly judicious career FBI, Justice Department, and intelligence agency officials, progressive and self-described idealistic former members of the Obama national security team, and anti-Trump fervent campaign operatives, all of whom felt that they could break the law—including but not limited to illegally monitoring American citizens, and seeking to warp federal courts and even the presidential election because such unsavory and anti-constitutional means were felt necessary and justified to prevent and then subvert the presidency of Donald J. Trump.

It is willful blindness for progressives and NeverTrump Republicans to overlook what has happened only to damn what has not happened.

This is the way democracies end—not with a loud boisterous bang, but with insidious and self-righteous whimpers.

Nunes approaches the target (2) by Scott Johnson – “As Nunes has persisted, anonymous authorities resisting his demand commenced a leak campaign

“The leak campaign of the anonymous authorities who took to the Times and the Post for the stories that surfaced late Friday was intended in part falsely to defame Nunes. Rep. Nunes appeared yesterday morning on Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo to discuss it. Questioned by Bartiromo, Rep. Nunes spoke of his demand for the documents in issue and the resulting flak. This is an astounding interview.

Perspectives on an “outing” by Paul Mirengoff – “the informant used by the FBI in 2016 to gather information on the Trump campaign was not some previously unknown, top-secret asset whose exposure as an operative could jeopardize lives.”

“It’s understandable that the FBI and the mainstream media want to distract attention from the scandal of the FBI spying on a presidential campaign by talking about “outing” — first of a top secret agent and, when that narrative fell through, of a well-known longtime collaborator. This effort was never likely to succeed because the scandal of spying dwarfs the counter-narrative of “outing.” And now we know that the counter-narrative is a largely a smokescreen.

Venezuela “Votes.” Is There a Lesson Here For Democrats? By John Hinderaker – “barring your rivals from running is a tried-and-true path to a second term

“Here in the U.S, the Democratic Party tried a subtler approach.

At the moment, the Democrats’ relatively subtle approach doesn’t appear to be working very well. Next time, perhaps, they won’t take any chances, and will go full Maduro.

Investor’s Business Daily: The Net Neutrality Zombie Lives! – “The Senate has voted to raise net neutrality from the dead, a very bad idea.” … ““Net neutrality” is one of those brilliant marketing gimmicks that passes as something that enhances equality and freedom, but in fact destroys it.”

“The dead hand of government regulation will not promote competition, better services or lower prices. That only happens when market participants can respond to market demand and price their services accordingly. The House is expected to reject the bill, and we urge them to do so. If not, President Trump should veto it.

Uber Drivers Just Killed All the Parts of the Job They Supposedly Liked the Most, Coyote Blog – “the California Supreme Court has ruled that Uber drivers are Uber employees, not independent contractors, under California law

“People don’t always seem to have a good grasp of cause and effect. I don’t know if this is a general problem programmed into how humans think or one attributable to the sorry state of education. My favorite example is all the people who flee California due to the high taxes, housing prices, and stifling regulation and then — in their new state — immediately start voting for all the same things that caused them to flee California.

Congratulations Uber drivers, in the quest to try to use the power of government to extract more money for yourselves from the company, you just killed your jobs as you know it. You may have had freedom before but now you are working in Office Space like the rest of us.

It will be interesting to see if a bunch of California progressives let $50 billion in equity go down the drain just to avoid offending the sensibilities of their fellow California progressives.

God Hates Gun Violence by Mark Galli – “We American Christians have a biblical call to reduce firearm deaths in our land.” Violence isn’t in the Ten Commandments. False witness is. Galli provids an example of how the Devil corrupts men’s souls. Galli commits violence against truth in his comments in Christianity Today. He chooses a weapon to castigate, skirts around hum an nature in a deceitful way, and propagates myths of anti-gun fanatics.

Trump Is Going Full Alinsky – and His Opponents Are Flummoxed by Brian C. Joondeph – “What a refreshing treat to finally be on offense, scoring touchdowns, leaving Democrats and NeverTrumps babbling.” … “Let’s look at a few of the rules Trump has used to turn the new world order upside-down.”

Code Red: The Coming Eruption by David Prentice – “Code Red for the left. Worst cognitive dissonance ever. They have no clue what is about to hit them.” There is hope that the ship will be righted and float to calmer seas.

Stephen Miller: Trump America’s ‘negotiator-in-chief,’ what voters wanted ‘times 10’ by Paul Bedard – “In a break from past administrations, President Trump is using brass knuckles to personally cut deals on trade, military burden sharing, diplomacy, domestic energy production and regulations that aides describe as unprecedented and propelling an economic boom.”

““Everything that the American people hoped for when they cast that ballot for change for a new kind of leadership in Washington, everything that they hoped they would get, I am telling you that they not only received it, but they’ve gotten it times 10,” said senior aide Stephen Miller.

Donald Trump’s Socratic method by Ronald Kessler – “While the press likes to portray President Trump as impetuous and impatient with details, when it comes to important decisions, he usually weighs options carefully.”

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Now it has a name – the CYA scramble begins

The Origin of The FecesCorrupt Intelligence Community Now Leaking To Justify Unlawful Election Surveillance: Operation “Crossfire Hurricane” by sundance – “U.S. intelligence officials who participated in the 2016 Russian interference narrative/scheme are now attempting to justify their conspiratorial conduct with leaks to the New York Times and Washington Post.”

“Their leaks are a transparent effort to justify prior conduct. This cover-up endeavor has been their primary focus since congress started demanding documentary evidence from the DOJ, FBI, State Department and intelligence participants in the scheme.

When you start asking these irreconcilable common sense questions, you begin to realize -and expose- how insufferably corrupt the entire intelligence scheme really was. The entire scheme was an assembly of individual lies; each lie a thread rolled into a bigger ball of entwined nonsense. Look at it from a distance and it looks like a vast Russian conspiracy ball; however, pull any single strand out, look at it, and there’s no truth to it.

Today’s motive for the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing was exactly that: coordinate talking points, circle the wagons and reach a consensus on justification. As we have outlined exhaustively the Senate Intel Committee is the second most corrupt deep-state assembly in Washington DC.

NYT Report Confirms Obama Administration’s FBI Spied on Trump Campaign by Kemberlee Kaye – “The New York Times confirms Trump’s claims, which have been frequently dismissed by major media outlets as kooky and conspiratorial, true.

“Operation “Crossfire Hurricane” is what they called it. It was a super double secret operation that only a handful of agents and DOJ officials were aware of.

Agents, “obtained phone records and other documents using national security letters — a secret type of subpoena” and “at least one government informant met several times with Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos.”

Federal Court On Verge Of Ruling Robert Mueller Investigation As Criminally Incompetent by DCWhispers – “He shouldn’t just be fired. He should be charged.” Citing a RedSate report:

“If this is true, and from what we’ve seen of this particular case the odds are that it is true, then Jeff Sessions should step in and fire the entire team that managed this indictment for blinding incompetence. Mueller needs to be called on the carpet by someone with balls, and that would not be Rosenstein, and read the Riot Act over the disgraceful legal chopshop that he’s running.

You Lose, Democrats: Mueller Told Trump Legal Team The President Cannot Be Indicted by Matt Vespa – “citing a DOJ memo that stated it would be an unconstitutional act, preventing the executive from efficiently carrying out its duties

The Left is gambling that the outrage is for impeachment; the Right on why Trump was elected in the first place. What is on display in today’s headlines is why Trump was elected – to clean out the corruption in D,C,

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Seattle socialism; John Brennan exposed; and the usual media problems

Investor’s Business Daily has two worth considering today: Seattle Makes Amazon, Starbucks Pay For Its Own Housing Blunders – a case study in how socialism works. “Big businesses in Seattle face a substantial new tax to build more affordable housing. This is after the city thwarted private developers who were building affordable housing on their own dime.”

“Seattle’s leaders don’t seem to understand that taxing success to reward government failure won’t work for long. Eventually, Starbucks and Amazon and other businesses will simply pick up and move to places with friendlier, more-competent governments.

Seattle might solve its housing shortage, but it will end up creating a new one: A shortage of jobs and opportunity.

Media Bias: How Media Turn U.S., Israel Into Villains By Misreporting Gaza ‘Protesters’ Violence – “You might think that national news outlets would be extra careful not to sensationalize or distort what’s happening in Gaza and the West Bank in response to the U.S. moving its embassy to Jerusalem, Israel’s capital. But if you did, you would be incredibly naive.” Bias, propaganda, whatever. It falls into the rubric of Fake News in that it is not ‘the whole truth’ and uses innuendo and allegation to create news rather than to report it.

“The media have a lot to answer for in their bias and misreporting and distortion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Let’s just leave it at this: By not telling the truth, the media have contributed to the pain and misery of Palestinians, who will never have a homeland unless they recognize Israel’s right to exist and to live within secure, defensible borders.

John Brennan’s ‘Exceptionally Sensitive’ Issue by George Neumayr – “Under John Brennan, the CIA operated as an opposition research outfit for the Hillary Clinton campaign.”

“It appears from leaked news stories in the British press that Brennan’s oafish spying on Trump began around April 2016, right after Trump’s biggest primary victories. As it became urgently clear to Brennan that Trump was going to face off against Hillary, Brennan turned to “intelligence partners” in Europe for dirt on Trump. But they didn’t have any, save some pretty skimpy material on “contacts” between Trump campaign officials and Russians.

In his own clumsy way, Brennan knew that he was treading on a political minefield. He referred to the FBI/CIA’s spying on the Trump campaign as an “exceptionally, exceptionally sensitive issue.” That helpful crumb comes from Russian Roulette, the book by David Corn and Michael Isikoff.

What’s valuable about the Corn/Isikoff account is that it inadvertently provides a picture of Brennan running an anti-Trump spying operation right out of Langley.

So until election day, the “working group at Langley” was trying to dig up dirt on the Trump campaign and wasn’t coming up with any.

Many questions in all of this remain unanswered, but this much is clear: John Brennan’s transformation of the CIA into a branch office of the Hillary campaign will go down as one of the grossest abuses in the agency’s history.

Peter Strzok was selected by John Brennan to help author the ICA, based partly on the Steele dossier by John Sexton – “Real Clear Investigations has a story up today which sheds some light on Former CIA Director John Brennan and the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) which he helped produce.” But, wait, there’s more! …

Ace of Spades – “Two Colleagues Contradict Onetime Communist Party Voter John Brennan’s Claims About His Non-Use of the Dossier … When intelligence officials lie, what use is their alleged intelligence?” Then there’s the questionShould Mueller Recuse Himself Due to His Prior Dealings with Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska?” – “Alan Derschowitz questions not only Mueller’s conflict of interest, but asks the question: If Paul Manafort was indicted for colluding with Deripaska, why was Deripaska himself left out of the indictment?

And, if you wonder about the FBI’s credibility problem, consider that Almost a Year After the Political Assassination at the Baseball Field, and Our Upright and Truth-Telling FBI Still Won’t Admit The Obviously-Politically-Motivated Attack Was Politically Motivated.

“This appears nowhere in the law defining “terrorism” nor in the common understanding the term. It’s a made-up requirement so that the FBI can pretend away certain crimes they wish to make go away — much like the FBI made up the “intent” requirement of the Espionage Act to specifically absolve Hillary.

The organization has been turned away from the mission of Justice and now exists almost entirely to serve as the Armed Wing of the Democrat Party.

Why Trump Is a President Like No Other by Victor Davis Hanson – “Black’s aim is to illustrate how much of what Trump has done since announcing his presidential candidacy in summer 2015 is hardly mysterious. Instead, Trump’s methods are fully explicable by what he has always done in the past—in the sometimes troubling, but more often reassuring, sense.”

“Conrad Black’s erudite biography of Donald J. Trump is different from the usual in mediis rebus accounts of first-year presidents. He avoids the Bob Woodward fly-on-the-wall unattributed anecdote, and “they say” gossip mongering.

Black is neither a hagiographer nor an ankle-biter. He seeks to understand Trump within the three prominent landscapes in which Americans had come to know their new president: politics, the celebrity world, and the cannibalistic arena of high-stakes Manhattan real estate and finance.

Black instinctively captures the essence of the Trump paradox: How did someone supposedly so crude, so mercantile, and so insensitive display a sensitivity to the forgotten people that was lost both on his Republican competitors and Hillary Clinton?

Three final themes make Black’s book different. One, he writes at times from firsthand experience as one who has known—and liked—Trump as an acquaintance rather than as a partner or adversary. … Second, Black knows what it is like to be targeted by an overzealous prosecutor, and how the criminal justice system can be warped well before the advent of a formal trial. … Finally, Black is a singular prose stylist of what in the ancient world would be called the Asiatic, or florid and decorative, style

Most readers, like myself, have never met either Conrad Black nor Donald J. Trump. But after reading this engaging biography, those of any political persuasion would wish to do both.

CRB: The Vietnam War revisited – by Scott Johnson – “the essay/review “The Vietnam War revisited” by Mackubin Thomas Owens. It is a retrospective occasioned by the Ken Burns documentary history of the war” … Yet another first hand account of Burns gone off the rails in allowing ideology to flavor history.

Don’t blame Trump for the violence at the Gaza border by Paul Mirengoff – “Steven Schmidt, the Republican strategist, says that President Trump has blood on his hands for moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Former CIA director John Brennan seems to agree.” It’s another example of the Left attempting to distort history to appease their need for emotional comfort.

“It’s true that the same day the new U.S. embassy opened in Jerusalem, Israeli forces killed approximately 60 Palestinians who were part of a mob engaged in violent acts and trying to breach a border fence. But to blame the deaths on Trump’s decision regarding the embassy ignores both facts and logic.

First, as Nikki Haley said at the U.N., “the Hamas terrorist organization has been inciting violence for years, long before the United States decided to move our embassy.”

Second, blaming the embassy decision ignores the fact that the events of May 14 were part of an extended protest that apparently had nothing to do with the U.S. embassy.

PR victories are nice. But when they are founded on the death of your people and you have nothing else to offer them, what have you actually won?

At the AP, the News Is What Didn’t Happen by John Hinderaker – “Got that? The AP thinks the most important thing about the meeting is the topics that didn’t come up, because there was no reason why they should.” Three examples at PowerLine in one day! Three different examples all with the common theme of attempting to create a history that doesn’t exist.

Why Real Conversation Has Become Increasingly Impossible by Patterico – “Shapiro says the “loss of common values” like “human reason and objective truth” have been lost, and that we no longer have a common framework for conversation.” It is good to see this in discussion but Patterico does more to illustrate the problem than clarify it. He does describe the phenomena at issue but does not examine his own behavior in light of his descriptions. This is a hubris – assuming it is the other guy that has the problem and not one’s self. Self awareness is always a first important base for productive communications.

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What they believe the know that isn’t so

Huma Abedin Laptop Emails and The Non-Investigated Issues Therein by sundance – “The scale of the misconduct and criminal activity is staggering.”

The Strzok-Page Texts and the Origins of the Trump-Russia Investigation by Andrew C. McCarthy – there is a lot revealed and the redactions are speaking, too.

“House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes is pressing for limited disclosure of information from the government’s closely held files. He is right to do so. No government operations can be completely beyond the examination of the people’s representatives in our constitutional republic. Here, the Obama administration took extraordinary measures to withhold information from Congress about its Trump-Russia probe …

But all that aside, it may not be necessary to pry into informant files in order to find answers to the most pressing questions. Those answers may be found in the thousands of Strzok-Page texts. These provide a day-to-day narrative of the goings-on in the Clinton-emails and Trump-Russia investigations by two of the highest, most plugged-in officials in the government.

Strzok and Page are singularly well-informed, central players in the Clinton and Trump investigations. They tell us exactly what is going on and why — or at least they would if the Justice Department had not blacked out key parts of their running conversation.

Let me give you a small window into what we’re dealing with, homing in on what Nunes has been inquiring about, the start of the Trump-Russia counterintelligence investigation.

John Kerry: Reporting for Duty… From Vietnam to Iran by Paul Kengor – “Kerry, this spring 2018, sought to undermine President Trump’s policies, whereas Kennedy, spring 1983, sought to undermine President Reagan’s policies.”

“The Democratic Congress in the 1980s didn’t hesitate to launch criminal proceedings against President Ronald Reagan and his staff (many of them fine men of great integrity) in a militant pursuit for impeachment over “Iran-Contra.” Liberal Democrats did so while turning a blind eye as their leader — House Speaker Jim Wright — buddied up to Sandinista dictator Daniel Ortega in his own negotiations.

the very deal that President Trump was working to cancel just as Kerry was working to save it.

And that’s hardly the only Kerry outrage. No, this is old-hat. I’d like to remind all of Kerry’s affront decades ago. The date was April 22, 1971, 47 years to almost the exact day that Kerry met with the Iranians.

That moment, too, included yet another unsavory role by Ted Kennedy.

As to the actual origins of Kerry’s information, that is likewise a controversy. One source disputes Kerry’s claim with a bracing suggestion — namely, that the origins were not American, or Vietnamese, but Russian.

Pointing to “peace” organizations that the KGB saturated with dubious anti-American propaganda, Pacepa stated: “The quote from Senator Kerry is unmistakable Soviet-style sloganeering from this period. I believe it is very likely a direct quote from one of these organizations’ propaganda sheets.”

The communist Vietnamese never forgot John Kerry’s testimony in 1971. It had been a great help. And perhaps today, in Iran, Kerry’s words are again being heralded, this time by the world’s worst theocratic terror state. Perhaps if the nuclear deal gets resurrected, Kerry’s mug will find a frame on the wall of a “heroes” exhibit somewhere in Tehran one day: Another testimony to him saving America’s adversaries from the Republican in the White House.

Nunes, Gowdy accuse DOJ of launching anonymous attacks on congressional investigator by Catherine Herridge – “I would have a lot more respect for DOJ or House committee Democrats if they would take out their frustrations on members of Congress, and leave staffers alone,” South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, told Fox News on Monday.

“Attacking staffers, planting false stories, and endangering national security by leaking sensitive information to the press, including information about intelligence sources — this is what the DOJ is doing, and this why trust in the DOJ is rapidly eroding in Congress,” said California Rep. Devin Nunes, the GOP chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

In response to the GOP committee chairmen, Justice Department spokesperson Sarah Isgur Flores said, “As Deputy Attorney General [Rod] Rosenstein has said repeatedly, we don’t put a lot of stock in anonymous sources over here and we are committed to continuing to work with Chairmen Gowdy and Nunes to accommodate their requests.”

Ace of Spades wonders Who Ya Gonna Believe, James Comey or Two Lying Transcripts of James Comey’s Congressional Testimony?

“Last week, the House released a transcript of James Comey testifying that the interviewing agents briefed him that they had seen no indications of deception in Michael Flynn’s testimony.” … “Well, if the House transcript wasn’t enough, how about the Senate transcript, too?”

And of course Rod Rosenstein is citing Important National Security Concerns as a reason to withhold such documents from Congress.

Not to protect his friend Comey or anything.

On the McCain controversy by Byron York – “The slanders set off vicious battles on Twitter, with still more insults to McCain. In response, many of the senator’s allies and supporters rushed to his defense.”

“Given that, it is probably fair to say that arguments about McCain, both civil and not, will continue to the very end, and beyond.

Why? Because of the sheer complexity of John McCain. He has lived a big life, with accomplishments few can match. But in the course of that life he has also antagonized some who should be allies.

McCain knew that many press types admired him because of his fondness for sticking it to the GOP

So which to emphasize in what might be McCain’s final days? Here’s a thought: Why not dwell on the good, especially since it was so good? When someone dies, it really is fitting to look at the best that person did. And John McCain lived a great, patriotic life, doing more in service to the U.S. than his critics, or almost anyone else. When he dies, why not remember that?

There seems to be an excess of sensitivity here rationalized by ‘normal’ events of life. A fatal illness does not mean the ugly should be swept under the rug nor does it mean that those whose opinions differ should be impugned and maligned. Then there’s the motivation behind leaking private conversations …

John Oliver explains Venezuela: Things are terrible but don’t blame socialism by John Sexton – “John Oliver devoted most of his show this weekend to talking about the terrible situation in Venezuela, a situation that has been terrible to varying degrees for at least three years now.”

“There’s just one glaring problem with Oliver’s report: He says socialism isn’t the problem. In fact, he opens the whole segment by mocking conservative media coverage of Venezuela. “If you follow conservative media at all, you will see it frequently painted as the inevitable, dire consequences of a socialist government,” he says. He then cuts to a clip of someone on InfoWars doing a fairly dumb woman-on-the-street interview. That’s the kind of cheap cop-out I would expect from John Oliver. It’s about as fair as criticizing John Oliver and then offering readers a clip of some left-wing campus imbecile in glasses. But I’m not going to do that. I’m just going to point out that John Oliver’s take on socialism not being the real problem in Venezuela is complete and utter garbage.

Was this a case of mismanagement? Yes, absolutely. But what John Oliver never really delves into here is why the mismanagement happened and why, once things became unsustainable, the government couldn’t simply make some common sense market reforms to address it. The answer to all of those why questions is “socialism.”

Another similar apologia and rationalization is by Brian Faler about the GOP tax cut not why economy is booming – “Economists are rolling their eyes at candidates’ claims.” This one is trying to support the Left’s assertion that ‘raising taxes’ is good policy.

Put up or shut up on the Trump threatens democracy claims, Part Two by Paul Mirengoff – “In my first post on this subject, I argued that 15 months into the Trump presidency, those who claim he’s a threat to democracy should have to point to actions he’s taken that support this assertion.” This is another response to the ‘standard never-Trump mantras’ tossed out with wild abandon as axiomatic yet in denial of reality.

“I then submitted that Trump’s actions do not support claims that he threatens free speech, flouts the rule of law, assaults minority rights, or colludes with foreign adversaries.

In this post, I’ll argue that Trump’s approach to the Department of Justice is the antithesis of what we would expect from an administration that threatens our democracy or our freedoms.

This gets into the problems Congress is having getting information out of the DOJ and FBI and other ‘deep state’ behavior in the administration. That sort of behavior would not exist if Trump was as alleged by his opponents.

At Instapundit, Gail Heriot gets into the myth propagation by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

“The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights’ most recent significant offering is entitled Report on Public Education Inequity in an Era of Increasing Concentration of Poverty and Resegregation. Alas, like many such reports, it perpetuates several destructive myths. For example, it suggests that school districts with high concentrations of minority or low-income students get fewer actual dollars per students than the average school district. Nope. While pockets of underfunding exist, low-income and high-minority school districts tend to get somewhat more money than the average school district on a per-pupil basis (though they get less per-pupil than some mostly-small, mega-wealthy school districts). This “fewer actual dollars per pupil” myth needs to be corrected; it gives rise to unnecessary resentments. It’s hard to have an honest and productive discussion about how schools should be funded, when people are being led to believe that things are worse than they are (and that racism is to blame). I am certainly willing to entertain the possibility that schools with high concentrations of low-income students need more money than the average school. Indeed, I’m inclined to believe it. But I’m not willing to start from the notion that more money for schools is the primary thing that’s needed to solve the nation’s educational problems.

My Dissenting Statement to the Report on Public Education Inequity in an Era of Increasing Concentration of Poverty and Resegregation tries to deal with some of the realities of school finance. Among other things, it makes the point that the relationship between funding and student success is pretty tenuous. (E.g. Washington, D.C. schools are both the highest spenders and the lowest performers.)

There’s a lot that people know that isn’t so and their belief systems are near fanatic.

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no quarter will be given

How Obama loyalists conspired to undermine the Trump transition By Rowan Scarborough – “Republican-driven investigative reports on Russia have provided an unanticipated view into secret anti-Trump maneuvers by Obama loyalists during the span of the presidential transition.”

““The Obama administration did many things in their power to harm the Trump administration as they got their feet on the ground,” Mr. Fleischer said. “All these things revolve around a tight circle that have access to the highest levels of intelligence, and they all have a common theme: Trump colluded, when there’s no evidence of it. But they were so spooked by what they saw, I think, it’s highly likely the Obama people rushed to conclusions and made life extremely difficult for the incoming team.”

Republicans cite the following examples of Obama supporters undermining Mr. Trump: … Opposition research dossier … The FBI and Steele … Peter Strzok and Lisa Page … James Clapper … State Department … Leaks … Michael Flynn … Sen. Harry Reid

“Congress should hold hearings to investigate Obama administration officials who worked behind the scenes to sabotage Trump and associates during the campaign, transition and administration,” Mr. Gordon said. “In some countries, their actions might be considered a coup attempt. And like they enjoy saying about us, ‘Let the investigation follow the facts, wherever they may lead.’”

Stefan Halper and the origins of the FBI counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign by Thomas Lifson – “The true story of how senior officials in the FBI and intelligence community conspired to spy on the Trump campaign and presidency on suspicion of nefarious dealings with Russia is starting to emerge

Investor’s Business Daily: Fact Check: ObamaCare, Not Trump, Is To Blame For Rise In Uninsured In 2017 – “a closer look at the data and a review of recent history shows that Trump had nothing to do with the increase in the uninsured last year. The factors that did were baked in the cake in the summer of 2016” – but reality doesn’t matter to some.

“As Huffington Post put it: “Trump’s sabotage of the Affordable Care Act appears to be working.”

Even if Hillary Clinton had been president, the ranks of the uninsured would have started climbing again last year as ObamaCare’s years of massive rate hikes priced more and more people out of the insurance market.

Michael Bloomberg warns Americans of ‘epidemic of dishonesty’ in politics during Rice commencement speech by by Denis Slattery – “People are more devoted to their political party or tribe than the truth, he said, suggesting the nation is more divided than it has been since the Civil War.” But, of course, it’s the ‘other guys’ at fault.

“Trump, who consistently labels unflattering stories as “fake news,” is known for his shaky relationship with accuracy.

Fact checkers have determined that Trump has made hundreds of false and misleading statements since entering the Oval Office.

Trump and several members of his administration have repeatedly called climate change a hoax.

He warned that such deep levels of dishonesty could enable what he called “criminality.” Asked what specifically he was talking about, Bloomberg noted “lots of investigations” going on, but he declined to be more specific.

Several Trump campaign associates are facing criminal charges as part of a federal probe into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.

Who is it that is calling a disagreement about an opinion a lie or “fake news”? Who is in touch with reality and who is using logical fallacies and innuendo? The real question is why so many ‘prestigious’ figures have gone so far off the reservation. Why does the mayor of a major city decry an “epidemic of dishonesty” and then illustrate the problem in his own behavior?

The left can’t handle the truth on illegal immigration by Paul Mirengoff – “At the Washington Post, Paul Waldman disputed Kelly on the facts. Indeed, he called Kelly’s statements “terrible lies.” But Waldman fell far short of showing that Kelly’s statements are false, much less lies.” Dissecting yet another example of Bloomberg’s epidemic.

“Waldman surely knows he’s taking liberties with the facts. Kelly’s statement highlights the fact that immigrants from Mexico tend to come from rural areas. It stands to reason that Mexicans in rural areas will obtain less education than Mexicans in cities. Yet Waldman relies on data for all Mexicans, whether or not they immigrate to the U.S. and whether or not they come from rural areas.

If anyone is distorting the facts, it’s Waldman, not Kelly.

Thus, Tumulty’s claim that Kelly has “forgotten his own history” is well wide of the mark. It is typical, though, of the shallow way the left responds to true statements about illegal immigration. So too, sadly, are the knee-jerk accusations of racism.

Brutalized by Trump’s Winning, Liberals Nip at Conservatives’ Ankles by Kurt Schlichter – “So what do the liberals do when they are losing the all the big fights? They try to score points by taking some conservative scalps” – Schlicter goes down the list.

“I don’t think the president will indulge them here either, and he shouldn’t. He knows trying to appease his enemies is a sucker’s game – they care nothing about McCain or his family, only about recovering the power we militant Normals stripped from them when we rejected their decades of misrule back in November 2016.

Give them nothing. Not a head, not a scalp, not even an ankle to sink their tiny teeth into.

This keeps coming up. There seems to be a growing realization that ‘civil’ methods are fruitless and no quarter can be given.

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How can reasonable people agree when reason goes by the board?

George Will scorns Pence for the high crime of decency by William J. Bennett – “don’t let the Will’s penchant for writing columns filled with big words that most American’s never use and can’t even define obscure the fact that the central indictment of his hostile column is pretty thin gruel.”

“What is evident from Will’s splenetic attack on Pence is just how far the “Never Trump” movement is willing to go to achieve its main goal of … well, what is the goal now, 16 months after President Trump’s inauguration? Make voters wish they hadn’t supported Trump so they could have avoided the overwhelming barrage of mordant if ultimately toothless hand-wringing from the pundit class?

It’s not a debate…it’s warfare by Robert Arvay – “Each of us has, on occasion, whether online or off, attempted to reason with sufferers of TDS, but to no avail.”

“Those with the syndrome have a computer-like repertoire of ready replies to everything. If you debunk their first accusation, they pull out one more from their list and continue as if the first one was never challenged. Thus, Sam’s utter frustration. One cannot have an honest discussion with a computer that is preprogrammed to stonewall.

The tenacity these people demonstrate makes one wonder: why did they never apply their tactics to challenging the corrupt Obama presidency? Why do they interpret every minute detail of Trump’s words and actions in the darkest, most negative possible light, while Obama got the benefit of every doubt, even when no reasonable doubt existed?

The reason they cannot be persuaded is because they are not debating; they are fighting. They are not arguing for their beliefs, they are battling for what they perceive as their self-interest. Their ideology is not a system of belief, but a fortification from which they can launch their attacks.

Our opponents are not mere opponents. They are resourceful, intractable, and immune to reason. Expose their corruption, and they accuse you of doing what they did. Debunk their argument and they change the subject. The one and only thing they have going for them is power. They have lots of it, and their aim is to get all of it.

There is no point in getting angry at them. Just defeat them.

Harry Reid sent sensitive Trump collusion letter over CIA objections by Rowan Scarborough – “Mr. Reid’s Aug. 27 letter to the FBI appears to mark the first time a Democrat officially accused President’ Trump’s campaign of colluding with the Russian government to hack his party’s computers.” … “The Washington Times has examined Mr. Steele’s series of collusion charges and found that none has been confirmed independently and publicly at this point. Special counsel Robert Mueller continues to investigate.” The Legacy of the Left becomes more clear for what it is.

The ‘Election Collusion’ Was between Our Intelligence Community and Britain by Clarice Feldman – “Things seem to be coming to a head. In the meantime, another pratfall for the Mueller $10-million-dollar team: They indicted a Russian company that wasn’t in existence at the time of the alleged criminal activity.” (see the DailyWire on this last)

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Just what did your government do?

Senator Grassley appears to be preparing to bust the frame-up of General Flynn by Thomas Lifson – “The killer bombshell is the final paragraph, in which Grassley at long last reveals the name of the other FBI agent present when Peter Strzok interviewed General Flynn about his conversation with Russian ambassador Kislyak and requests an interview with him by committee staff members

Did the FBI Have a Spy in the Trump Campaign? By Andrew C. McCarthy – “The Steele-dossier author told Fusion GPS’s Glenn Simpson about a ‘human source.’”

“Unable to get voluntary cooperation, committee chairman Devin Nunes (R., Calif.) issued a subpoena demanding that the Justice Department disclose information about a top-secret intelligence source who is said to have assisted the Russia investigation. That investigation is now being run by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. But more interesting is how it got started.

On that question, officials have been suspiciously fuzzy in their explanations, and hilariously inconsistent in their leaks: initially settling on an origination story that hinged on the Steele dossier and a trip to Moscow by the obscure Trump-campaign adviser Carter Page; later pivoting to a tale of boozy blathering by an even more obscure Trump-campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, when the first story proved embarrassing — the dossier allegations having been unverified when the Justice Department included them in warrant applications to the FISA court.

the Justice Department’s response was not “No, you’re wrong, there was no spying.” It was first to bloviate that the department would not be “extorted” (Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s unusual understanding of what is more commonly known as congressional oversight) and then to claim that providing the information sought by the committee would risk “potential loss of human lives, damage to relationships with valued international partners, compromise of ongoing criminal investigations, and interference with intelligence activities.”

By now, Nunes has learned that if he is catching flak, he is over the target.

The rationalizations assert that, of course, there are always spies in campaign staffs. That is an evasion from the point that the issue is government intervention by federal law enforcement agencies acting without proper authorization.

NBC: Congress working up “Plan B” for Mueller defense by Ed Morrissey – “Not only will Trump not sign it, McConnell argues, the House won’t bother to vote on it, much less pass it, and it’s unconstitutional to boot.”

“However, this still dances all around the core problem, which is that Mueller’s doing the job that Congress should have been doing all along. The special counsel was unnecessary in two different ways. First, there was not a specific crime alleged, and even if a conflict existed in pursuing an investigation of a crime, there shouldn’t have been a special counsel appointed until a specific crime could be established — and not just a process crime, such as obstruction due to false statements by peripheral characters. Second, Congress has the constitutional authority and duty to provide oversight over the executive, and the proper remedy to high crimes and misdemeanors uncovered in those probes is either impeachment and removal or censure — not a grand jury.

If Congress wants to move the probe outside of Trump’s purview, then they should do their jobs rather than demand that the DoJ outsource it to unaccountable roving prosecutors.

All that’s wrong with the left in one Politico article by Paul Mirengoff – “There’s nothing wrong with “harshly critiqu[ing]” Dershowitz for his legal analysis of the persecution of President Trump, provided the criticism is of his arguments, not the man. But “shunning” and refusing to “tolerat[e]” are another matter.”

“Dershowitz just doesn’t want to see the criminal law abused, and civil libertarian principles violated, in the left’s quest to destroy Trump. That’s enough to make him a pariah.

Politico’s Mandery appears sympathetic to this line. “[P]erhaps the democratic project is under existential threat—and history, if it survives as an independent academic enterprise, will look back pityingly upon civil libertarians who coddled power with their concerns about prosecutorial overreach while a fundamentally corrupt president undermined the great American project,” he proclaims.

But missing from Mandery’s article is any evidence or serious example that would remotely support this alarmist rhetoric.

Authoritarians typically argue that they need to trample on civil liberties to protect true democracy, or some other “great project.” The American left is no different. It always has an excuse to erode our liberties.

If the left wants to argue that Trump is an “existential threat” to the “great American project,” and, indeed, to the “independent academic enterprise” of history, make the case. But don’t shun Alan Dershowitz because he refuses to abandon long-held principles of civil liberties in the name of these absurdities.

And the former FBI director is in Canada proclaiming the President is a “mafia boss” in public speeches …

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Patience is supposed to be a virtue but just how much is enough?

What’s behind FBI-DOJ stonewall on probable FBI spy in Trump campaign? By Thomas Lifson – “We may be on the verge of uncovering a shocking abuse of its powers by the FBI that it and the Department of Justice frantically have been concealing from Congress and the American people.”

“Kimberly Strassel of the Wall Street Journal has been doing superb detective work, and has uncovered strong hints of an FBI spy planted in the Trump presidential campaign.

Sara Carter points out that it took a threat to hold A.G. Sessions in contempt to get a closed-door meeting at the DOJ to discuss the classified information being withheld

Following the meeting, the two chairs issued a statement that expresses surprising patience, indicating to me that something big is on the way

I am as impatient as anyone to learn more about this scandal. But I also want to see the ultimate prosecutions be successful. I have long defended A.G. Sessions in the belief that as a former prosecutor, he is a stickler about dotting the is and crossing the ts so that solid cases don’t get thrown out of court on procedural errors.

My patience timeline shamelessly includes November 8, 2018 as the most important deadline

Ace has the summary on the Mueller case stories this week. One is that Comey coordinated with Mueller about his Congressional testimony and another is about one of the Russian companies Mueller indicted calling for its day in court. “Lotta firsts in this case.” – “The Special Counsel is not entitled to special rules and is required like the Attorney General to follow the rules of the Court,” Dubelier stated in his response to Mueller.”

Sean Hannity accused of repeatedly evicting tenants who paid no rent by Ed Straker – “The great things about liberals is that even though most have never run a business, they all know exactly how businesses should be run.” An insidious bias rears its ugly head at the WaPo by attacking a capitalist investing millions to solve a critical inner city problem.

“It’s hardly surprising, then, to find an exposé in the Washington Post focusing on Fox News commentator Sean Hannity. … When Sean Hannity invested millions of dollars in rental properties, he actually expected the tenants to pay rent to him!

Liberals, of course, know that this is immoral and scandalous – the economic equivalent of keeping a “brown slave” like Eric Schneiderman or sexting while babysitting like Anthony Weiner.

I get the feeling that if liberals ran Hannity’s properties, very quickly they would run them into the ground like public housing. In the meantime, liberals pontificate on the moral way to run businesses they don’t have the slightest understanding of.

Dana Milbank rages against Tom Cotton by Paul Mirengoff – “Yesterday, Cotton could not conceal his disgust with the hypocritical posturing of committee Dems.”

“Milbank has converted his policy disagreement with Cotton into an attack on the Senator’s personality. All the while, he castigates Cotton for being unable to disagree without being disagreeable.

The flaw extends to Milbank’s entire hit-piece. It’s based on the notion of civil, good faith disagreement, an ideal that has always been alien to the snarky Milbank and that was repeatedly violated by the preening, moralistic, hypocritical committee Democrats during the Haspel hearing.

Sarah Sanders Responds to Iran Critics by John Hinderaker – “MS. SANDERS: I think based on each of those individuals’ lack of success in this entire process on foreign affairs, they would probably be the last three people that we would look to for advice and counsel, and whether or not we had made the right decisions.”

Incivility, Media, and the Left by Steve Feinstein – “Liberal behavior towards conservatives is so outlandish that it borders on the absurd.”

“If the liberal media cover the offending action at all — which they often don’t — it is done more in a “See? You can’t accuse us of not covering it, now don’t ask us again” fashion than in a serious attempt to hold the offender fully accountable on the public stage.

When examining the “What if a conservative did/said this about a liberal?” comparison, it’s all too obvious that conservatives are quickly and unconditionally branded as racists, homophobes, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, misogynist, intolerant, unsophisticated and simplistic for saying things that liberals get away with completely.

What is to be made of all this? That there are double standards of decorum and acceptable public discourse for conservatives and liberals is well-known and easy to document.

The real take-away is that this kind of intolerant, one-sided, unintellectual hate speech perpetrated by liberals — where arguments are based on empty sentiment rather than a serious, sober discussion of facts — has been legitimized by the national liberal media to such a degree that today’s younger generations have taken the cue that it is acceptable for crass, dismissive emotionalism to replace rational, patient conversation. Today’s media consumers — whether that media is experienced on-line, watched, listened to or read on paper — are being taught in no uncertain terms that it is permissible to attempt to assassinate the character of those with whom you disagree, rather than to engage them in reflective, substantive debate.

American Law Is Becoming an Ass by Fay Voshell – “When arbitrary law is established, the law becomes an ass.”

“In other words, the law as created by legislatures and administered by the courts cannot be relied upon to reflect common sense or to be fair.

Under capricious law, the citizen cannot know when he or she will be charged with some offense against the powers that be. The result of chronic uncertainty is perpetual anxiety leading to ulcers of the spirit.

American law has increasingly followed the Bolshevist model as the progressive Left has sought to enshrine its political ideology into law while eliminating through persecutory and arbitrary procedures certain classes of people who are the equivalent of the bourgeoisie represented by the kulaks.

The solution? Return to the rule of law based on Law that transcends the individual and is applicable to every man and woman; namely, the Judeo-Christian ethic based on the Ten Commandments and natural law.

Will those in the swamp slide? Will the law be enforced reflecting common sense and fairness – both in terms of the corruption in the swamp and in heavy handed prosecutors?

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Hate, obstruction, consequences

Why the Left Hates Betsy DeVos by John Stossel – “The secretary of education is fighting government bureaucracy.”

“The haters claim DeVos knows little about education, only got her job because she gave money to Republican politicians, and hates free public education.

The department she inherited is a good example of that. K-12 schools are controlled and funded locally, but taxpayers are forced to ship education money to Washington, D.C., where bureaucrats there grab some, and then ship the rest back—with strings attached.

When activists blocked her school visit, she told me for my latest online video, “We drove away, and (the security guard) said, ‘Ma’am, I don’t think we should go back’ and I said…’they are not going to win. I am determined to meet those kids and those teachers.'”

She did.

The protesters seemed less interested in her views on education than on the fact that she’s rich.

Betsy DeVos Gets Standing Ovation for Commencement Speech Despite Protests by Mike LaChance – “The warm welcome was in stark contrast to the disapproving crowds DeVos encountered last year

Ace of Spades has a full slate today. Now Mossberg Discontinues Sales to Dick’s Sporting Goods, Too – “Virtual signalling and alienating customers to get nice articles written about you for the non-customer’s of Buzzfeed’s audience will cost you real cash money.” A Dick’s Sporting Goods subsidiary is Field & Stream so its PC is rather an extreme example of self flagellation. Ace also note Fienstein going after the CIA nominee using Fake News, cites Brett Easton Ellis who thinks There’s a Big Backlash Against Leftist Hysteria Coming, the NYT embarrassment over trying to diss the SoS Pompeo, CNN’s Daniels obsession still going strong, and the GOP actually nominating some strong Senate candidates.

Stormy Daniels sets a new standard for women. No victims need apply by Suzanne Fields – “We’ve entered the porn phase of feminism. You could call it the third stage.”

“The first stage, led by Susan B. Anthony and the Suffragettes, wore white to proclaim their virtue and to show themselves morally superior to men who opposed them. They won the vote in 1920, despite President Woodrow Wilson’s frown.

The second stage arrived in the 1960s, when Betty Friedan’s book, “The Feminine Mystique,” appealed to middle-class mothers confined to homes she described as “comfortable concentration camps.”

There’s certainly nothing new about a philandering president and a public affair. What is new is the latest perception of sexual behavior both public and private, and how presidential behavior comes wrapped in double standards, depending on politics.

The truth behind Scott Pruitt’s “scandalous” trip to Italy by Jazz Shaw – “Now even more details of Pruitt’s trip have been released. Rather than simply “touring the Vatican and posing for photos” the EPA boss and his staff were engaged in back to back meetings on the subject of climate concerns.” It’s another ‘Fake News’ item where there is ready-to-hand comparisons with the previous administration to show how absurd the allegations really are, presumption of guilt biases news stories to absurdity, and later reports make clear the duplicity and dishonesty of the assaults.

Confirm Jeff Clark by Paul Mirengoff – it’s about the effort to roll back “oppressive, costly, and unnecessary federal regulations” and the assault on such efforts coupled with the obstruction to assembling a team to support and defend the efforts against the attacks against them.

For conservatives, the rolling back of oppressive, costly, and unnecessary federal regulations is probably the signature achievement of the Trump administration so far. This rolling back, if it continues and if it survives challenge, will deliver a major blow to the administrative state and provide the equivalent of a large national tax cut.

Every stride the Pruitt EPA has made will be challenged in court. Thus, genuine accomplishment is contingent on the Trump administration’s ability to defend the EPA’s actions.

Rod Rosenstein put it well when he said: “There are seven litigating components in Main Justice. Only two of them have Senate-confirmed nominees. When the founders drafted the Constitution in 1787, this is probably not what they had in mind.”

It’s not what Donald Trump had in mind when he promised to drain the swamp, either.

McCain to Senate: Don’t let Haspel run the CIA by Ed Morrissey – “Lots and lots of reaction that accuses McCain of using Haspel to take shots at Trump, but that sells McCain short on this issue. He’s been passionate about the torture issue — and has the personal experience that gives him a lot more credibility than most to opine on it.” McCain and Kerry make a pair in reminding us how the Vietnam experience diminished honorable soldiers.

NYT columnist: The Senate just killed blue slips on judicial nominations — and that’s awesome by Ed Morrissey – “Former prosecutor David Lat writes that this will not just benefit both parties, but also all of the Americans who have been waiting far too long for judges to become available to hear their cases

“Lat makes one other good point about partisan benefit. There’s no doubt that the end of the blue slip as a means of obstruction will benefit Trump in the short run, but it will also help make this process a more normal function of the Senate. After the openings get filled now, the Senate will be able to maintain staffing much easier without having to rely on fits and starts only when the president’s party has the Senate majority. Or, at least there will be less excuse for procrastination.

Prosecutors and the rule of law by Andrew P. Napolitano – “Judge Ellis’ actual ruling — clouded by the fog of his dicta — gave Mr. Mueller two weeks to demonstrate his lawful jurisdiction.”

“I have characterized this prosecutorial behavior as extortion or bribery, but I am in a small minority in the legal and judicial communities. The courts have made clear that prosecutors can nullify prison exposure by reducing charges to induce the testimony they want from a witness. Yet if defense counsel gave the same witness so much as a lollipop to shade his testimony, both would be indicted for bribery.

the rule of law is only a safeguard of our liberties when the people in whose hands we repose it for safekeeping are faithful to it though, in the motto of the DOJ, the heavens fall.

America The Weird by Victor Davis Hanson – “On first glance, America does not seem that exceptional.” But here is a heavy dose of reality and history.

“Europe never had a vast frontier like the United States, or a history of mass immigration. Again, neither its individual nations nor the present European Union embrace anything like the values of the U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights. The idea of a multiracial America united only by common allegiances to the ideas of freedom and liberty is still foreign to Europe, or at least it was until the last two decades or so. Despite the stain of chattel slavery, America has otherwise had no experience with the long European traditions of monarchy, hereditary aristocracy, colonialism, or indentured peasantry.

The original vision of the Founders—to protect freedom and liberty by limiting the power of government with a system of checks and balances—was quite different than the European ideals of mandated fraternity and egalitarianism.

The result is that America exists both as the world’s refuge and its beacon, the sole place where individuals can find a safe harbor. Only in America can the individual remain free and able to live his life under the assumption that the major decisions of his life are his own and not predicated on state approval. Only in the United States does the rags to riches story still exist, given that neither regulation, the deep state, nor an entrenched aristocracy can fully suppress entrepreneurs or aspiring capitalists.

A Day With Candace Owens by John Hinderaker – “Beginning with Kanye West’s famous tweet, her life has been a whirlwind of television and radio appearances and speeches. The Left is attacking her viciously, while some on the right view her as a potential savior.”

“If you get the impression that I liked Candace, you are right. She was as engaging offstage as on. I suppose sudden fame could spoil her, or she could succumb to one pitfall or another. The Left, of course, is lying in wait for her to make a mistake. But my guess is that she will be a significant force on the right, and in American public life, for many years to come.

There are some gifted people in the pipeline coming in from the Right. From the Left? Rather empty.

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Word of the day: schadenfreude

Schneider schadenfreude surplus by Thomas Lifson – The headlines this morning are about a New York AG and long time Trump nemesis who became a victim of the #metoo movement.

“I am already running into a related non-problem: so much schadenfreude over the disgrace and resignation of New York AG Eric Schneiderman that I am overwhelmed with shameful joy in the richly deserved reckoning for an uber-hypocrite. Best of all, two separate groups are deeply compromised: abortion-worshiping feminists and the get Trump cabal.

Schneiderman joins Andrew McCabe and James Comey in needing to lawyer up for prosecutions that seem inevitable now. The Manhattan district attorney has already opened an investigation. Schneiderman has been working with Robert Mueller to indict the president on some state level beef where Trump’s pardon power does not work.

This morning in Fox & Friends, Judge Andrew Napolitano noted that Schneiderman took part in some of the meetings mentioned by Peter Strzok and Lisa Page in their text messages.

Schneiderman has been an arch-enemy of Donald Trump for a long, long time. In a prophetic tweet from almost 8 years ago, Trump eerily forecast yesterday’s demise

Why the Media Are Mum About Comedy Central’s 2011 Trump Roast by Jack Cashill – projection? Reputation? Legacy? Reality?

“When asked today why they hate Trump so intensely, political adversaries are still citing Trump’s willingness to mock a disabled reporter; his Access Hollywood “p—-” tape; and, of course, his presumed racism and imaginary dabbling in white supremacy.

Nothing Trump has ever said or done, however, measures up to the relentless vulgarity on seemingly hilarious display at the Comedy Central roast.

How it must pain these clowns that Trump gets to run their circus.

The Trump Land Mine by Victor Davis Hanson – “Explosives require careful handling. Sometimes they blow up in your face.”

“Give it credit, the Washington apparat quite imaginatively pulled out all the stops: implanting Obama holdover appointees all over the Trump executive branch; filing lawsuits and judge shopping; organizing the Resistance; pursuing impeachment writs; warping the FISA courts; weaponizing the DOJ and FBI; attempting to disrupt the Electoral College; angling for enactment of the 25th Amendment or the emoluments clause; and unleashing Hollywood celebrities, Silicon Valley and many in Wall Street to suffocate the Trump presidency in its infancy.

But now the administrative state’s multifaceted efforts are starting to unwind, and perhaps even boomerang, on the perpetrators.

The reputation of Big Tech is one of hyper-partisan politics, data miners, snoops, Bowdlerizers and censors, monopolists, progressive multibillionaires, and adolescents in arrested development who exempt themselves from the consequences of what their ideologies inflict on others.

In Wizard of Oz fashion, it’s as if the public is no longer frightened of the omnipotent imperial faces on their screens

Donald Trump proved to be a catalyst for much of the implosion of the deep state.

the government, the political apparat, the media, tech, and entertainment conglomerates sought to reduce Trump to some monstrous entity deserving of hanging, stabbing, decapitation, incineration, and shooting. It sought to indict, impeach, and remove a sitting president, as the ancien régime rushed to break federal law with assumed ethical exemption — tapping, surveilling, lying, and leaking with impunity, assured that supposedly morally superior ends justified any means necessary to achieve them.

In other words, the custodians of the status quo arrogantly grabbed up the Trump land mine and thought they could easily toss it away — as it has blown them sky-high.

Outrageous Redactions to the Russia Report by Andrew C. McCarthy – “The FBI and DOJ have been burying the investigators’ questionable judgments and information helpful to Flynn.” … “What happened with these redactions is inexcusable.”

“Cute how this works: Kick off the week with some “the Department of Justice is not going to be extorted” bombast from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, by which he rationalizes that his defiance of subpoenas and slow-walking document production to Congress — which is probing investigative irregularities related to the 2016 campaign — is required by DOJ policy and “the rule of law.” Then end the week with the Friday-night bad-news dump: the grudging removal of DOJ and FBI redactions from a House Intelligence Committee report on Russia’s election meddling.

They tell us that their lack of transparency is necessary for the protection of national security, vital intelligence, and investigative operations. But what we find out is that they were concealing their own questionable judgments and conflicting explanations for their actions

It is a fact of life that the precious commodity of a good reputation takes much less time to lose than to build.

There is no defending the redactions that have now been disclosed. Especially in light of recent history, this powerfully suggests that there is no justification for withholding much else that the Justice Department refuses to reveal.

Republican committees can carp all they like about Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein. The buck stops with the president.

This last is true, theoretically, but not in context. It misses why the media is so obsessed by the idea of Trump firing the special prosecutor or his boss or on up the chain of command. McCarthy is still enamored with a presumption of an honorable nature in the thieves he describes and is having trouble grasping the depth and breadth of the swamp they live in.

Stormy Daniels’ Lawyer Makes Stuff Up About Probe Into Trump’s Lawyer by Caroline Court – “In less than two months, Avenatti appeared on CNN 59 times.”

I do hope alleged Donald Trump paramour Stormy Daniels is Michael Avenatti’s only client, because I find it difficult to believe he’s not neglecting his other cases and clients.

“As we all now know, these statements are completely false. I’ve been saying for weeks this is a clown show, and this was certainly a well-deserved pie to the face. An attorney just making stuff up as he goes is beyond embarrassing to the profession. I hope this guy gets his TV show and never practices a day of law again. If you haven’t heard, Vanity Fair reported that Avenatti asked MSNBC President Phil Griffin for his own show. Indeed, I’ve recently been told he is close to signing an agent.

It’s no secret that for five years Avenatti worked at a political opposition and media firm run by Rahm Emanuel, who we all know went on to become Obama’s chief of staff.

Avenatti won’t disclose who referred Daniels to him, and he certainly is not disclosing who is paying his bills.

Ace comments on another revelation. “Let me go on record: I think it’s fine that John McCain doesn’t want Trump at his funeral. I think it’s fine to tell the White House that.” … “The surprising thing would be for McCain to rise above it. But he’s never been known for that.” The prompt was Jake Tapper at CNN grabbing onto McCain to impugn Trump, but that’s getting old, too.

Reuters: Dems getting pretty dismayed over Trump’s success in judiciary, or something by Ed Morrissey – “Sauce for the goose … what comes around, goes around … be careful what you wish for … Pick your proverb, adage, or cliché” but Reuters’ Lawrence Hurley doesn’t quite get it.

“Exactly who was it that set aside long-standing Senate tradition in order to force presidential nominees to the bench through to confirmation? That would be Harry Reid, who changed the rules and ended precedent unilaterally to thwart the Republican obstruction of nominees that had followed the Democratic obstruction during the Bush administration to which Hurley refers. It was his nuclear option in 2013 that allowed Barack Obama to stack the DC appellate court and eliminate the GOP minority’s ability to slow down the process. He also changed the rules on all other kinds of presidential appointments, which caused Democrats a lot of “dismay” when Trump selected his cabinet officials.

How many times does the name Harry Reid come up in Hurley’s account? Zero.

Basically, Democrats find themselves dismayed from being hoist with their own petard.

The real problem with Bank of America’s anti-gun decision By Frank Miniter – “Fomenting division and wasting resources.”

The real trouble though is this isn’t just a story about a financial institution making a political decision. By blaming gun manufacturers for the actions of criminals, Bank of America has become part of a diversion taking the national focus away from real solutions to a chronic problem.

Like the Pope thinking that eliminating all arms will solve humanity’s sins, simple solutions generally result in drastic failures.

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Desperation scenario – equal justice?

Dinesh D’Souza demands equal justice for Rosie O’Donnell’s FIVE violations. He was convicted for just one. By Samantha Chang – It’s comparison and contrast time with ‘equal justice under the law’ as the topic.

“Conservatives agree that D’Souza was targeted for malicious prosecution by the Obama administration, but the left has remained curiously silent in demanding that O’Donnell be punished for violating the same law that D’Souza did.

If someone repeatedly breaks campaign finance laws, they are usually fined. Stay tuned to find out what (if anything) happens to O’Donnell.

Note that ‘campaign finance’ is what is pushing the Daniels story even though that has legs about as strong as the ‘obstruction of justice’ fantasy.

John Kerry at it again, doing what he does best by neo-neocon – “Kerry would like to preserve his “legacy,” of course. And what of the Logan Act?” Compare and contrast to the Flynn prosecution and then wonder about “equal justice under law.”

Michelle Obama, Oracle for the ‘United State of Women’ by Jeannie DeAngelis – “It’s hard to believe that 6,000 oppressed women could break free of their race and gender-imposed manacles to attend another women’s summit, but somehow they did.”

“since the Obamas left the White House, the duo have managed to provide a conflict-ridden community organizer training venue to fit every gender, race, and ethnicity.

In fact, two of this weekend’s red flag workshops were proudly entitled: “Sheroes of Community Organizing 101” and “What the Tech?! A Crash Course for Tech-Curious Change makers and Community Organizers.”

Simply put, the women’s summit was chock full of radical activism, lessons in civic engagement, homages to organizations like Planned Parenthood and Get out the Vote schemes to ensure liberal Democrats seize back and continue to run the country. The Community Partners section on the USOW proudly lists left-wing sponsors ranging from the National Center for Transgender Equality to California Latinas for Reproductive Justice to the ACLU.

fashioning divisive organizations that categorize Americans into separate militant groups may be the most effective means of “dividing the house,” and overthrowing what the Obamas believe to be a White patriarchal power base.

In the end, the “The United State of Women Summit 2018” was a gathering of 6,000 disgruntled women who attended community organizing lectures and workshops to train them to be gender and racial activists. For the rest of America, the overriding message of the weekend summit is that instigators Michelle and Barack are still coming up with creative ways to generate chaos and unrest.

An Eagle Scout Explains the Fatal Folly of Taking the ‘Boy’ out of Boy Scouts by Scott Morefield – “as we all know, once social justice warriors gets their slimy tentacles into something their thirst is never quenched until that something is entirely destroyed, and such has it been with Boy Scouting

“Of course, anyone with half a brain knows that boys and girls are different, but reason and common sense has never stopped a rabid social justice warrior from wanting to impose their twisted view of reality on the rest of us.

Granted, some of this “boy and girl stuff” overlaps. Obviously, girls can canoe, camp out, and do pretty much anything a boy can, if she wants. But whether it’s a sports team or Boy or Girl Scouting, groups formed based on gender can provide a healthy, nurturing place for kids to come of age, not suppressing their God-given instincts and preferences but rather celebrating them and learning how to express themselves and function socially within the training wheels of those of their own gender.

Because try as liberals might to erase it, gender is and will always be “a thing.”

I am grateful for Scouting and what it meant to me growing up. But I am also angry at what liberals have turned the group into, as well as the fact that, a decade from now, it very likely won’t exist.

National STEM crisis? By Mark J. Perry – “Then why are girls entering college with superior academic qualifications in STEM than boys?” It’s another of those ‘wage gap’ fantasies where the data and the victimizing don’t fit together very well.

We hear all the time about a “gender STEM gap,” a “shortage of women in STEM,” “gender inequality in STEM” and “female underrepresentation in STEM.”

At the high school level, girls take more math and science classes than boys, they take more AP/Honors classes than boys, they earn higher GPAs overall and in math and science courses, and they are far more likely to graduate in the top 10% (and top 20%) of their high school classes. So if there is any unconscious bias against girls in science and math, gender stereotyping, or girls getting “pushed off the STEM track” it sure isn’t supported by the data above that demonstrates the impressive academic success in math and science courses by high school girls, who are far outperforming their male counterparts in STEM education and academic excellence.

What the numbers don’t show is the gender problem involved in how schools function favoring one gender over the other. Taking classes and getting good grades is different from entrepreneurship and gifted research product. 

How Americans Got Hoodwinked By Anthony J. DeBlasi – “It gives us a very special, secret pleasure to see how unaware the people around us are of what is really happening to them.” When he said this, Hitler could have been speaking about America today.

“When war broke out in Vietnam in the 1960s, however, and violent demonstrations on college campuses and riots erupted across America, older Americans suspected that the Marxist movement had been relegated to the dustbin of history too soon.

By the time of the 1960s uprisings, it was clear to all but the blind that America was under attack from within. Where were the news media reports of subversion? Why was the public kept from knowing, for example, that the Soviet Union provided $1 billion to the U.S. anti-war movement (AKA peace movement)?

By the 1980s, an entire new generation was disoriented. School and media had turned young minds toward an ideology at odds with America’s founding principles and values.

As in “the invasion of the body-snatchers,” America changed from a relatively free and happy land to a fretful and contentious one.

The left’s brainwashing of American minds was accompanied by a progressive deterioration of morality, due in great measure to the failure of religious leaders to publicly condemn those in the public eye who acted amorally or immorally.

Betsy Newmark illustrates, again, how bias can destroy credibility. Consider the assertion that “People all know that Trump is a sleaze toward women and that he lies constantly, and doesn’t lie all that well.” One logical fallacy is ‘argumentum ad populum’ and another is the appeal to probability. Then there’s the dissonance between the assertions and what one can see for one’s self on TV or in person. The sleaze idea as well as the liar idea are both propaganda constructs based on third hand reports and accusations, private conversation, misperception, or exaggeration. Newmark’s a priori assertion does not fit well in terms of scope or context. Now, figure the implications that Newmark teaches history at the high school level …

Illinois counties pull the trigger on Sanctuary status for gun owners by Jazz Shaw – “This has drawn a puzzling response from Illinois Democrats who can’t seem to grasp the hypocrisy of their own answers.” Use their own rules against them is an Alynski guide. That confuses the Left.

In No Apparent Rush, the Grand Inquisitor Plods On By Michael Walsh – “The Robert Mueller “investigation” is a disgrace to the Constitution, to our tradition of ordered liberty, and to the American Way.”

this is not justice in any meaningful sense of the term. Rather, it’s the sore-loser Left’s latest attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election by orchestrating, via deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein and St. James Comey, a quasi-legal proceeding to demonstrate that Donald Trump is unfit to sit in the Oval Office, and that therefore his presidency must be ended by any means necessary. As Ed Koch, the late former mayor of New York City, famously said: “The people have spoken and now they must be punished.”

The point of the Wall Street Journal story quoted above is that with the election season fast approaching, Mueller may have to lie doggo for a while so as not to — stop laughing! — influence the fall congressional vote.

A year later, it’s clear that the Swamp doesn’t want to be drained. And, from all the evidence we’ve seen so far — which is none — Robert Mueller is one of the chief swamp creatures. Mr. Straight Arrow sees his job as making sure that, despite Trump’s election, nothing whatsoever changes in the way Washington does business.

Except, of course, the president.

Time to Shut Mueller Down by Jed Babbin – “He’s become a threat to national security.”

“The Mueller investigation has gone on so long and is absorbing so much of the president’s time and attention that it is creating a deleterious effect on national security.

One-time Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort has been indicted in two different federal courts on separate charges. Manafort, supposedly a cooperating witness in Mueller’s investigation, suffered a pre-dawn raid and search of his home on Mueller’s orders, a harsh tactic normally reserved for serial killers, drug traffickers and mafia dons who might destroy evidence.

Judge Ellis said that the Justice Department lawyers’ earlier characterization of the case was false and amounted to, “We said what this investigation was about but we are not bound by it and we were lying.”

We shouldn’t read too much into either judge’s action. Judge Ellis, as I can vouch for from personal experience, loves to bully lawyers. His comments Thursday may have been no more than that. Judge Friedrich may be losing patience with Mueller’s team, but that will have little bearing on the disposition of the cases against the Russians indicted by Mueller in February.

Neither of the judges is at all likely to rein in the Mueller investigation, far less bring it to an end. Nor is it more likely that Deputy AG Rosenstein or AG Jeff Sessions will call a halt to Mueller’s work. The president won’t fire Mueller, for to do so would be political suicide.

Mueller’s threat to national security is accomplished, as Judge Ellis alluded to, by lying to the courts, misleading the public, and interfering with the execution of the president’s duties. He is doing far more to damage our national security than the Russians did in their unsuccessful effort to interfere in 2016.

The Mueller problem began as a legal problem with Rosenstein’s too-broad grant of powers to the special counsel. By his Beria-like methods, Mueller has made it into a political problem that no one, especially Rosenstein, seems willing to solve. As Judge Ellis said on Friday, “We don’t want anyone with unfettered power.” But that’s just what we have in Robert Mueller.

Rosenstein needs to mandate that Mueller’s investigation be ended before the November election. If Rosenstein won’t do that, Trump should fire him and hire someone who will.

On ‘Russian Collusion,’ Trump Will Win…Big Time by David Prentice – “The winds of the special counsel are blowing hard. A big tempest is brewing, and it’s not clear what is happening.”

“the evidence we do have shows that the side making the accusations did a lot of very wrong things.

There is another major storyline to all this. As a country, we are at a moment of critical mass. A tipping point is approaching.

Leftists thinks they are going to get rid of the evil Drumpf – impeached, frog-marched, jailed forever. Meanwhile, many on the right are wringing their hands over the injustices we are seeing, depressed because they see the criminal left getting away with it all. Complaints and whining about the lack of headway are registered daily. Belief that the left is in control even as they are out of power is growing, fueled by the testimony of Michael Caputo.

I am not saying the left is not leaving a devastating mark on our lives. It is. These people have crossed a line of evil, destroying many human beings, institutions, and lots in between.

But they will not win this. They will not triumph. Here is why.

Russia investigation isn’t really about Trump, but giving cover to Obama and Hillary by L. Todd Wood – “Those of us to the right of the political center in America, patriots who yearn for the return of rule of law and the righteous American ideals of freedom and equal justice, look with shock and disbelief at the legal charade and mockery of the Constitution which plays itself out …” [Nag warning – Washington Times]

“We truly can’t understand why this witch hunt gone wild is allowed to continue. We don’t understand why someone in power in the Department of Justice won’t stand up and end what is obviously a Deep State coup against a duly-elected president of the United States.

Well, I’ve been writing about this for some time but I think it’s time I said it again because the answer to these questions is very simple. This investigation is not about Trump. It is about Barack Hussein Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Rod Rosenstein, Robert Mueller, and the rest of their merry band of brothers know one thing all too clearly. They are not there to prosecute Trump; that is only a tactic to achieve the real goal. This entire drama has been played out, not to indict Trump, but to prevent the country from understanding how truly depraved, traitorous, and duplicitous the regime of Barack Hussein Obama really was. They cannot stop this investigation because if they do, Hillary, Obama, Kerry, Jarrett, all of them, go directly to jail without passing go.

Mueller is not a special prosecutor, he is a goalie, meant only to protect the truth from coming out.

No, Mueller can’t stop. If he does, the entire house of cards comes crashing down.

They will stop at nothing. The alternative is life in prison.

It’s a desperation scenario. The stakes have been raised to such a point that ‘striking a deal’ is almost out of the question. Consider Japan at the end of WW II.

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Grappling with a paradigm shift

Media lies are the real scandal by Don Surber – “Most voters are numb because we no longer believe the media.”

“John C. Harwood at CNBC wrote a piece, “Most voters have become numb to each new Trump scandal because they don’t believe what he says anyway.”

Since Trump’s election on November 8, 2016, the media has reported lie after lie after lie about him and his supporters.

Harwood and others just allege ‘liar’ without anything solid to back it up as a character attribute. As with much of the character assassination epithets hurled at Trump, evidence and reason, comparison and contrast, cause concern about the accuser and not the accused. Surber provides a list to illustrate this.

April Ryan shows that the victimized media are faking it by Eddie Scarry – “The moaning from the national media about the Trump administration inciting violence against reporters has always been a lie, and now everyone knows.” Claiming victimhood is the last realm of scoundrels. Here is a case study. It’s another ‘compare and contrast’ of reality versus fantasy.

“To date, however, there has not been a single act of violence against a reporter that can be directly traced to Trump calling the media “fake news” or Sanders, who has complained about the “tone” some reporters take in their questions.

Media indifference to Hillary’s money-laundering by Jack Hellner – “Can the media think of any other porn star who has been treated as pure as the driven snow by the media because of one unsubstantiated claim of a seven-hour rendezvous twelve years ago?”

“Meanwhile, escaping the media’s gaze is over $10 million funneled through a law firm from the DNC and the Hillary campaign to pay Fusion GPS to pay Christopher Steele to create a false Russian dossier by paying Russian sources to destroy Trump.

The goal every day by people in the bureaucracy and in the media is obviously to destroy Trump. Facts haven’t mattered for a long time.

Busted! FBI-DOJ caught using redactions of House Intel Committee Report to protect their posteriors by Thomas Lifson – “The release of a less redacted version of the House Intelligence Committee Report on Russian active measures (AKA “collusion”) has exposed abuse of the redaction process to protect the bureaucrats at the FBI and Department of Justice.”

“In theory, redacting of official documents prior to public release is supposed to be solely to protect confidential sources, or protect ongoing prosecutions, or otherwise serve legitimate government interests. Redactions to prevent embarrassment or potentially illegal activities on the part of federal officials is not legitimate.

Yet that is clearly what happened when the House Intelligence Committee report was first redacted by the DOJ and FBI.

It is now clear beyond dispute that the agents of the Deep State are afraid of exposure and are abusing the powers of their offices to prevent their perfidy from being exposed.

Judge Ellis Wants to See Mueller’s Hunting License by Clarice Feldman – “Rosenstein’s hat is no longer white, either.” The pot is boiling and mud splatters are being dissected. Will justice prevail? Will the rule of law mean anything to the courts? Some glimmers show but hope is still rather dim.

Why All the Secrecy? By Andrew C. McCarthy – “It’s time to level with the public about the basis for Mueller’s investigation.”

“A prosecutor has the power to subpoena virtually anyone. In our system, there are very few limits on what the grand jury may investigate. A comparison usefully illustrates this point. I’ve frequently observed that by appointing Mueller without first establishing a basis to believe a crime warranting investigation had been committed, Rosenstein violated regulations that govern special-counsel appointments. By contrast, the grand jury has no such constraints — it can investigate pretty much anything. There is no proof hurdle — such as “probable cause” or “reasonable suspicion” — that has to be surmounted. In fact, a grand jury is free to investigate even if it just wants to satisfy itself that a crime has not been committed.

So a prosecutor who is using the grand jury has sweeping investigative authority. That includes broad subpoena power. There is a big difference, however, between the power to issue a subpoena to a person and the power to make that person testify.

Bottom line: The question is not whether a prosecutor has the power to issue a subpoena. It is whether the person he wants to subpoena has a privilege that would allow him to refuse to testify.

Now, why does our law grant such privileges? Because we recognize that in a society based on ordered liberty, some things are simply more important than the search for truth in a criminal investigation.

There are thus very good reasons why Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein should step in and prevent Special Counsel Mueller from seeking to question the president. But I want to leave you with a different thought. How are we supposed to grapple with whether the president should be compelled to testify when we don’t know what Mueller is alleging? What crime does Mueller want to ask the president about? And if there isn’t one, why are we even talking about an interview, let alone a subpoena?

Mueller probe is a political counter-revolution to overthrow TrumpIt must be defeated by Steve Hilton – “Denying the facts is exactly what the elitists are trying to do.”

“The elitists in Washington (including – frighteningly – current and former leadership in our law enforcement and security bureaucracy) are monumentally aggrieved that the people had the temerity to elect a populist outsider to the White House. And they’re not prepared to wait for the 2020 election to try to replace populist Donald Trump.

The Mueller probe is political warfare through legal means – not surprising when you consider that the Democrats are the party of lawyers, funded by lawyers.

They don’t care how their political counter-revolution gets President Trump out – whether it’s proving the original, fabricated claim about collusion; or by some legal process misstep by the president and his team; or by something to do with Stormy Daniels. As long as it gets President Trump out of the Oval Office before 2020, it’s fine with the counter-revolutionaries.

But this all-out effort by the establishment to remove a president who was legitimately elected according to the Constitution is doing terrible damage to the United States.

The 2016 election was far from a fluke By Salena Zito – “America’s political experts got it wrong in 2016 — not because they took too few polls, but because they made the false assumption that American elections are immune to societal change.” It’s called a paradigm shift.

“Trump was not the cause of this movement, he was the result of it. In order to fully appreciate his rise to the White House, you need focus on the people who put him there.
… 
Far from a fluke, the 2016 election was a product of the tectonic plate-grinding of our society — a backlash against globalism, secularism and coastal elitism.

New York Post: The insanely complex and pointless court war over DACA – “Sadly, the Dreamers’ best hope now is that Congress will do its job once the court games end.” There shouldn’t be ‘court games’ but the judiciary cannot agree on what is law and what is political ideology and has it priorities in strange places.

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Process as punishment, something is seriously wrong

Earth to Jeff Sessions… by Michael E. Young – “It is staggering to witness the Justice Department go off the rails and barrel toward a showdown with our president over innuendo and manufactured misdeeds.”

“Sessions is AWOL in a moment of national crisis. What a shame, too, as many of us were so ecstatic by the appointment of Jeff Sessions at the onset. I couldn’t think of a more honest and stalwart conservative appointment that Trump could have made. Sessions’s behavior ever since has been a shocking disgrace. Wait, disgrace is not adequate. His behavior is meandering into the realm of treason. I share president Trump’s outrage on a daily basis. This charade was completely unnecessary. Its continued existence is a slap to the face of law-abiding citizens who voted Trump into office.

The Process is the Punishment (As Always) by Mark Steyn – “There have been exciting developments in the “Russia investigation”. There always are, because that is the nature of open-ended money-no-object investigations.”

“the most interesting development was the testimony of Michael Caputo, who appeared just before me on Tucker Carlson’s show last night. Mr Caputo was, briefly, a very minor Trump campaign aide – and so his life has been destroyed.

And somewhere or other is a guy for whom blowing, say, 75 grand on lawyers is catastrophic, and they’re trying to turn him to sell-out Caputo so they can turn Caputo to sell-out whoever’s next up the chain. And they’ve got all the time in the world to bleed you dry.

Thus American justice in the 21st century: It can ruin a no-name Trump campaign volunteer in nothing flat. But it can’t try a guy who murdered three thousand innocents in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, another two hundred in the Bali nightclub bombing, plus Daniel Pearl in Pakistan …and has confessed to all this and more.

Time Magazine: Yes, something’s seriously wrong at the FBI by Ed Morrissey – “Both Democrats and Republicans have taken turns criticizing the FBI over the past two years, but of late the former have been criticizing the latter for attacking the law-enforcement agency’s leadership and performance.” Note here that Democrats are going personal, Republicans noting behavior.

“Democrats complain that the GOP wants to weaken the FBI as part of their efforts to defend Donald Trump and are sacrificing the credibility of the organization. Rep. Jim Himes preached to a CNN congregation last month that those “besmirching” the integrity of James Comey would “rot in Hell.”

Don’t repent too quickly, Time Magazine’s Eric Lichtblau reports today. Politics aside, the FBI finds itself in a serious crisis of credibility, and not just on the news shows. Juries have begun discounting testimony from FBI agents, and James Comey may be one of the problems,

Lichtblau describes two crises, distinct but related to each other. The first has played out on cable television and headlines, which is the crisis created by leadership over the last two years with the FBI’s involvement in the presidential campaigns of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

However, that’s not the only crisis that the bureau faces. They’re losing credibility in courtrooms not just because of politics but because of their own behavior.

It will take a determined and non-partisan effort to identify all the problems and apply solutions. Unfortunately, the political environment at the moment seems to be so poisoned that reasoned analysis — or even the recognition of the problem — may be beyond us. That’s bad news for the FBI, and for everyone else, too.

Caputo: You’d better believe Mueller’s still looking at collusion by Ed Morrissey – “But is there a case for Russian collusion? “Of course not,” Caputo replies when Carlson asks” (via Power Line’s Scott Johnson)

“two main stories emerge from Carlson’s debriefing of Caputo just after his interview with Mueller’s team. The first, which occupies only the first minute or so of the conversation, is that Robert Mueller remains very much interested in potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence. The second is that Caputo says he’ll never work on a Republican campaign ever again, accusing Democrats of weaponizing prosecution as a political tool

Our Deranged White House Press Corps by John Hinderaker – “Today Sarah Sanders conducted a press briefing. What transpired illustrates Michael Ramirez’s point that there is no difference between the crazed comic Michelle Wolf and the crazed reporters who cover the White House for their various liberal outlets.”

“The White House press corps is utterly deranged by its hatred for President Trump and its determination to help its party crush his administration. A lot of people, sadly, aren’t very good at their jobs. But I doubt that you could find, anywhere in our vast country, a group of people who are as terrible at their jobs as the members of the White House press corps.

A Reality Check for Those Who Deplore the Nuking of Japan by Spike Hampson – “The nuking of Japan was a moral act.”

“The problem with condemnation of the American use of nukes against Japan is that it presumes that the lives of American soldiers are less valuable than the lives of enemy civilians. You may feel good about yourself with an attitude of this sort, but can you honestly expect to win a war for your own survival?

How Trump Inspires by Chet Richards – “Here is what we can learn from a man who prevails in the face of non-stop, ferocious opposition.”

“Without previous experience, he is now the most successful politician in living memory. And he seems to be doing remarkably well as president despite every possible impediment.

Even with his great success, Donald Trump suffers from a crippling handicap. Like the Vietnamese family, Trump’s handicap is not physical. It is cultural. Donald Trump suffers from the Handicap of Hate!

The language of his adversaries is savage, venomous, and wrong.

Did Donald Trump anticipate the venomous, nonstop, ferocious opposition that he would face in announcing his candidacy? Probably not. If he could have foreseen what was going to happen, would he have made a different decision? Probably not. It is likely he would have relished the combat. Donald Trump is a man of iron will. There is steel in that man.

Bob Mueller’s Underworld: Where Does It All End? By DJ Drummond – “I have been reading up on the basic perspectives regarding Robert Mueller’s investigation of President Trump, and I see four general perspectives

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The politics of personal destruction

The Democrats’ favorite sport: Ruining people by Patricia McCarthy – “Over the past twenty-six years, the virus that is the Clintons on the American body politic has metastasized into a virulent auto-immune disease. They are a virus that seeks to utterly destroy what it sees as an enemy but may well end up demolishing itself, with devastating results.”

“The Democratic Party today has moved so far to the left, become so radicalized, that it is a blight on the American landscape. Its favored strategy is to destroy everything, anyone, and anything that stands in its way – thus the Mueller witch hunt that has cost so many so much. Gen. Flynn has lost his house. Michael Cohen’s homes and office were raided. Michael Caputo, a “witness,” let the Senate committee know what he thinks when he said to them, “God [d—] you to Hell.” It remains to be seen if the DOJ I.G. report we await will tell the true story of their diabolical contempt for all that is good about this nation.

How to achieve the Marxist society they favor? Destroy everyone, every conservative, pro-Constitution person and every person of faith who reaches or aspires to a position of power, and do it by any means, no matter how low, no matter how illegal, no matter how immoral. This is what they do.

The Democratic Party of today, as Dennis Prager has so often pointed out, is no longer liberal, no longer the party of JFK. It is now the party of Saul Alinsky, the man who instructed, “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it” and “If the ends don’t justify the means, what does?”

This is who the left is today. Leftists’ mission in life is to destroy anyone who gets in their way. Vince Foster knew of what he spoke.

Caputo Debriefed by Scott Johnson – “Following up on his testimony and statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, former Trump campaign aide Michael Caputo was interviewed by one of the prosecutors and two FBI agents working on the Mueller Switch Project yesterday.”

“I certainly didn’t sign up for this when I went to work for the Trump campaign and I will never, ever work on another Republican campaign for as long as I live…and I think that’s part of this, Tucker. This is a punishment strategy. I think they want to destroy the president, they want to destroy his family, they want to destroy his businesses, they want to destroy his friends so that no billionaire, say, in 15 years wakes up and tells his wife, you know what, they country’s broken and only I can fix it….His wife will say, ‘are you crazy Did you see what happened to Donald Trump?’ That’s what this is about.”

“Clearly these lawsuits after the fact are the new Democratic strategy. When you lose, you still win. I don’t think anyone should work on a Republican campaign again unless you’re legally indemnified. If you do, you’re crazy.”

Conservatives organize against social media censorship, and come out swinging by Monica Showalter – “There’s censorship. But it hasn’t gotten the attention it should get, and congressional hearings don’t seem to be going anywhere at this point.”

At the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, the entertainment hit a new low by Cal Thomas – “To be vulgar once earned societal disapproval, ostracism from polite company and — in my grandmother’s era — put a young person in danger of having his mouth washed out with soap.”

“Today, vulgarities are now mainstream. People speaking in a way that “would make a sailor blush” are now on primetime television and words once frowned upon in polite society are now a part of what was once known as cordial conversation.

Last week at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington, in the very ballroom where the annual National Prayer Breakfast is held, a previously obscure “comedian” named Michelle Wolf climbed out from under a rock to spew words and personal insults at President Trump, his press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and top aide Kellyanne Conway, obliterating any remaining standard of conduct and decency. Ms. Wolf also made grotesque references to abortion and used words to describe in vulgar terms female genitalia.

It’s difficult to pinpoint when the decline began; when journalists abandoned decorum and aligned themselves with people who practice their craft from the vantage point of the sewer.

One way to win a war is to make sure that the opponent’s soldiers are afraid to serve. That works until they figure out what the alternative really is. There’s also the evolutionary model: when you engage in destruction of individuals, what will remain is the most fit who are most able to resist your efforts at destruction. That means that the politics of personal destruction will result in people who cannot be destroyed that way. Hence Trump?

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Showing the ugly

Robert Mueller Likely Knows How This All Ends by Arrett M. Graff – “Mueller’s proposed questions are presumably the starting point for what would then be increasingly detailed follow-ups, backed up by specific emails, documents, telephone records, and other files Mueller’s team and FBI investigators have accumulated in an investigation stretching back more than two years.” The questions should more properly be considered a “when did you stop beating your wife” approach but Wired and others presume guilt and conclude that the questions are all properly founded in secret evidence no one other than the special prosecutor has been able to find. Rather than deal with the history of investigation, they continue to obsess on the ‘real soon now’ expectation that their dreams will become reality.

Gail Heriot explains what bothers me about the media coverage of the “prom dress” fiasco. “WaPo writes: “‘My culture is NOT your …. prom dress.’” That, of course, is not what he wrote. What he wrote was a lot nastier.”

“Where a newspaper reporter uses an ellipsis in a quotation, the reporter is telling readers that they should trust him or her that the deleted material was not significant. But, in this case, I think it was. By deleting the curse, WaPo made the whole thing seem more like a “debate” (which is how the headline characterized it) and less like a hotheaded rant by a pathetic fool (which is what it was). I can understand not wanting to print curses in a family newspaper. If so, they could have rendered it as “My culture is NOT your [expletive deleted] prom dress.”

The real story is how so many people could “heart” such an incoherent sentiment.

How a Pretty Prom Dress Helped Reveal Rot in the American Soul by David French – “If you’re a normal human being, like the majority of Americans who saw their Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter feeds fill up with prom pictures last weekend, you thought that was a pretty girl in a pretty dress. Nothing more.”

Note the likes. Note the retweets. Note the comments. That’s a monstrously viral tweet – especially for a person with a mere 1,818 followers. It sparked so much attention and controversy that Twitter then created one of its “moments” to chronicle the controversy and chart the most salient responses.

Daum, to her immense credit, has weathered the shamestorm without backing down. She says simply that she bought the dress because she thought it was “beautiful” and she “admired the beauty of the culture.”

Reason can’t cede the public square to rage. Sometimes a prom dress is just a prom dress. But Lam’s tweet wasn’t “just” a tweet. It was a symbol of the incoherent anger that is tearing this nation apart.

Chip and Joanna Gaines have a foundation in faith and family that blunts cheap shots by Tammy Bruce – “Last week, an opinion writer caused a bit of a stir by insisting that Chip and Joanna Gaines, of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” fame, are frauds who lie about putting their family first.”

“What a shame Mr. Austin felt the need to condemn them publicly in this way. Unless this has nothing to do with Chip and Joanna, and more to do with Mr. Austin’s choices in life.

Here’s what we do know: People are different. We have different backgrounds, educations, experiences and dreams. The American dream is not one specific thing — it’s the freedom to be able to pursue what best suits you, and it will be different for everyone.

Sometimes you have to stand up to the bully, no matter the cost by L. Todd Wood – “just the thought of someone standing up to them was enough to send them scurrying to find some other weaker friend to pick on. This is exactly the situation we find ourselves in when it comes to Iran.”

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