Archive for Media

What’s Woke?

IBD: Did Google Just Choke On Its Woke? – The quality of a bell is determined by it ringing and not going thud. Damore’s memo/screed/manifesto is ringing with clarity and volume.

Free Speech: A 10-page weekend memo by a former Google engineer called for a rethinking of the company’s “extreme and authoritarian” culture of “diversity and inclusion.” His reward? He was fired, of course, proving his point.

In making a plea for being treated as an individual, Damore wasn’t ranting, calling anyone names or making claims that couldn’t be sustained by simple recourse to a biology text or, even, to personal experience. Even so, his anodyne comments were treated as extreme ideological anathema, and he was instantly banished from the company for making them. Fired.

Damore’s firing only adds an exclamation point to his reasoned remarks. And Google executives jumped on the bandwagon, issuing remarks to show just how “woke” and completely brainwashed they were into the company’s ideology. It’s sickeningly reminiscent of the bad old days of the purges in the Soviet Union and the Cultural Revolution in China, when friends, colleagues and family were routinely compelled to publicly denounce and criticize those whose beliefs had suddenly become fatally politically incorrect.

Google and others in Silicon Valley such as Apple have a creepy habit of lecturing Americans on their backward political and moral beliefs, while serving as authoritarian nannies for what we read, write and view. They pose as guardians of personal and intellectual freedom, but are really centurions of the new censorship, stifling debate and thought itself.

Sadly, Google’s is the kind of thinking one expects from totalitarians, not from those who prize intellectual freedom, the right of dissent, and an open society based on reason. Google and all the rest of the anti-freedom left should be deeply ashamed of itself. If this is “woke,” maybe it’s time Google went back to sleep.

Damore may have more than federal and state law as basis for a wrongful dismissal lawsuit, Glen Reynolds thinks he may have grounds for libel regarding some of the misreporting about his memo. See Philip Wegmann: Google Is More Afraid Of Liberal Outrage Than Federal Law and CNN Reporter Lies About and Smears Now-Fired Google Engineer’s ‘Echo Chamber’ Critique and Cathy Young: Googler fired for diversity memo had legit points on gender and more at Instapundit.

Daniel Greenfield: The Google Gulag – “The internet cannot remain in the hands of a corporation that hates free speech.” No, Google isn’t a monopoly, it’s just the elephant in a room full of goats. The net neutrality false meme is in that room, though, like what hits you if you walk into a pot party … many pretty words but everyone is in a stupor.

James Damore is what most people think of when they imagine a Google employee. A brilliant original thinker with interests spread across the scientific and technological spectrum. But Danielle Brown is what Google actually is: a Hillary Clinton supporter who handled diversity at Intel and Google.

When Google fired Damore, it sent a very clear message. The message wasn’t tolerance, but intolerance.

It said that its Vice President of Diversity knows more about biology than a researcher who received his biology degree in the top 3% of his class. It announced that there is no room for original thinking, heterodoxy or genius at Google. And it went even without saying, no room for anyone to the right.

David Prentice: Trump’s Unintended Consequences: The Unmasking of the Deep State – “One of the more disturbing revelations after Trump’s win was finding that these dark forces not only exist, but are powerful and seemingly out of control.”

“Big Brother” was the term Orwell used for the totalitarian presence of 1984. We are not there. Maybe not even close. But the problem of the Deep State is that there seem to be those who want the kind of power Orwell described, the kind of power the Soviets had, or the East Germans. It’s likely that many Deep-Staters don’t even realize just how power-mad they have become.

What we are watching is a group using power willfully, wrongfully, and oftentimes illegally to undermine and destroy political opponents. They are after somebody. For real.

The left has weaponized the bureaucracies and agencies it inhabits. Leftists have decided they will become the dominant culture in the CIA, FBI, NSA, IRS, EPA, and the rest of our bureaucracies. They decided it’s okay to be totalitarian, it’s okay to break the law, it’s okay to go after their political opponents with the force of government, it’s okay because they are the ones who deserve to win.

Push back hard enough, and they will lose.

John Sexton on Niall Ferguson: ‘The real tyrants…will be for diversity (except of opinion)’ – “Monday the Boston Globe published an opinion piece by history professor Niall Ferguson titled “The biggest threat to free speech? It’s the left.”

Ferguson makes the case that left wing concerns about a Trump-inspired tyranny are overblown. The real worry, he says, is the populism of the far left.”

The reference to Venezuela is one you don’t see except perhaps here at Hot Air where both Jazz and I write about it frequently. And Ferguson points out why. What’s been happening in Venezuela over the past two years is the end stage of a long process that started with left wing populism, a desire to do good for the people. That may begin with restricting people’s economic freedom but it often makes its way to control of their other freedoms as well, speech and assembly in particular.

These problems tend to get worse over time. Sooner or later you run out of other people’s money. When it happens, the only thing left to do is silence the opposition. At a certain point, the ruling socialists decide the best thing for the people is for the opposition to not have a voice or a vote or any power at all. The revolution must go on and all of that nonsense. That’s exactly what is happening right now in Venezuela.

Brian Stelter: Fact-checking of Trump falling on deaf ears? Far from it – While the NYT gets caught, again, with Fake News about a climate report and many major media are re-doing their headline descriptions of the Google memo (re Twitchy), here is CNN working on self fulfilling prophecy. “Widespread distrust of the White House, as shown in a new CNN poll, is not just a sign of President Trump’s weakness. It’s also a sign of the national news media’s strength.”

According to CNN’s poll, which was conducted by the research firm SSRS, only 24% of Americans say they trust all or most of what they hear from the White House.

One persistent fact-checker, Daniel Dale of the Toronto Star, has counted 500 “false claims” from the president in the first 200 days.

“For decades, Donald Trump got away with blatant falsehoods because no one was keeping track,” Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler told CNNMoney in an email.

Holan, who marked PolitiFact’s ten year anniversary earlier this month, said she believes people “are better informed than ever about what politicians say and if their statements are literally true or not.”

She said that’s “partly thanks to fact-checkers, but it’s also thanks to traditional political journalists putting corrective information into their reports much more than they used to, so that incorrect statements don’t go unchallenged.”

She cautioned, however, that “literal accuracy isn’t always the No. 1 priority for voters.”

“I get the sense that values can be more important, or the attitude of leadership is more important,” Holan said. “I sometimes get emails from readers saying they know that what President Trump said wasn’t literally true, but they still think he had a larger point they agreed with.”

This is a persistent propaganda point with the Never Trumpers. What is remarkable is that there is a a lot of allegation but very little substance. The poll cited doesn’t say as much about its target as it does about the effectiveness of the propagandists in attacking that target. Holan mentioning “literal accuracy” shows an awareness of the fact that there are many statements and assertions that are being cast as “lies” that don’t really belong in the category of a statement made with intent to deceive. Fact Checkers are getting a bad reputation because they are not making distinctions to qualify deceitfulness but rather nit picking anything to such a degree as to make it obvious that their ‘fact finding for truth’ is a deceit intended to further political propaganda.

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The nub of the problem

The Washington Times has a full slate this morning. An editorial: Treason, anyone? – “The Democratic hysteria in pursuit of Trump slips into Nut Country.”

Hysteria is never a substitute for argument, even when the prey is Donald Trump. This is a caution lost on the hysterics who, try as they might, cannot dispatch the president to the island of lost presidents. So they keep raising the ante of speech and fantasy.

The latest accusation against the Trump administration is treason, a serious crime indeed, and one that some of the unhinged Democrats, locked in the agonies of Trump Derangement Syndrome, are throwing around as if they know what they’re talking about.

Invocation of the word “treason” is nonsense, as any jackleg lawyer or U.S. senator should know.

Jennifer Harper: Media fixated by Trump ‘bombshell’ du jour – “The news media has been on a never-ending quest to build a case for the impeachment of President Trump for many months.”

The current edition is centered on Donald Trump Jr. following a New York Times story published this week titled simply “Trump’s son met with Russian lawyer after being promised damaging information on Clinton.” The account, written by three reporters, is too detailed and baroque to go into here. Suffice it to say, the story launched a now-familiar press feeding frenzy.

Rowan Scarborough: Democrats intentionally used disinformation from Russia to attack Trump, campaign aides – “the public record shows that Democrats have willfully used Moscow disinformation to influence the presidential election against Donald Trump and attack his administration.”

Some Democrats have widely circulated the discredited information. Mr. Steele was paid by the Democrat-funded opposition research firm Fusion GPS with money from a Hillary Clinton backer. Fusion GPS distributed the dossier among Democrats and journalists. The information fell into the hands of the FBI, which used it in part to investigate Mr. Trump’s campaign aides.

Mr. Steele makes clear that his unproven charges came almost exclusively from sources linked to the Kremlin and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Jazz Shaw: When it comes to obstruction, Chuck Schumer is playing the long game – “There’s always a bit of gamesmanship over any “controversial” nominations, but as the Wall Street Journal points out this week the problem is no longer with the White House.”

The final point being brought up by the Journal is equally disturbing. The more time Schumer can chew up with these low level appointments, the less time there will be for any of the rest of the President’s agenda to be acted on. Since the only real game plan that the Democrats have right now is to #RESIST! Trump, this is hardly coincidental. The WSJ editors open their piece with a demand for the GOP leadership to, “restore normal order.” That sounds good in theory, but as long as Schumer is following the rules currently on the books (which were written when nobody even imagined this level of obstructionism) it’s difficult to see what can be done. This is not the New York Senator’s first trip to the rodeo and he knows how to play this game as ugly as possible.

James Robbins: Donald Trump Jr. was within his rights to meet with Russian lawyer – “those who are dead-set on invalidating the election results by other means still persisted. Lacking evidence of actual crimes, they have been forced to drum up narratives around more nebulous, subjective offenses.”

This story is hardly as inane as the collective furor that has been generated around the Russia issue writ large. … The situation became even murkier when it was revealed that Veselnitskaya had hired an investigator from Fusion GPS,

Ed Rogers: The media’s mass hysteria over ‘collusion’ is out of control – “The wailing from the media and their allies about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with some “Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer” (whatever that means) may be the last gasp of this faux scandal. Good riddance.”

As I have written before, there are always people hovering around campaigns trying to peddle information and traffic in supposed silver bullets. There should be nothing to report on when a private citizen who works at a campaign takes a meeting with a friend of a friend offering information about an opponent. And yet, the media wants to make it a smoking gun.

Anyway, Trump Jr. took the one-off meeting, and nothing happened. Is that not proof of non-collusion in and of itself? If you choose to believe otherwise, your disdain for President Trump is getting the best of you and you need help.

For many in the media and elsewhere, the collective grievances that they have against Trump personally, the White House as a whole and Trump’s policies somehow justify their zealous promotion of the “collusion scandal.” But not because the story is valid. Rather, the media know that they are not getting to Trump with anything else. Today, much of the “news coverage” of Trump and Co. is about payback. The media thinks they aren’t getting the truth and so they don’t have to deliver it either. It is a bad cycle that is not working for the White House or the media. With this much intensity, it is hard to see how this ends well.

The Anatomy of Fake News Wrapped in One Short Paragraph [Warden] – “Now there’s an interesting series of words, full of all kinds of insinuation intended to lead unaware readers to particular conclusions. Let’s break this down.” Shaken. Struggled. Meddling. Say, what?

And so there you have it. A series of vague, non-sourced, non-evidenced statements mashed together into one stinking pile of obliquely implied wrongdoing.

This is #FakeNews from top to bottom. This is how they do it.

But they aren’t getting away with it any longer, are they? People are wise to the game and the trust that they lost will never be regained.

Jack Hellner: What counts as treason differs depending on the letter after your name – “We should all remember that this really has nothing to do with Russia.”

Democrats can do whatever they want with foreign countries, including enemies like Iran and Russia, including giving them uranium. But any Republican, especially someone connected with Trump, had better not ever talk to these people, even when he gets nothing in return, or there will be continuous investigations and wall-to-wall reporting.

Charles Hurt: Long live President Trumpopov! – “You don’t have to be a seasoned Kremlinologist steeped in the chicanery of klepto-thugocracies to realize that America really dodged a bullet in last year’s presidential election.”

The Clintons would NEVER search for dirt against a political opponent. Just ask Bernie Sanders, Vince Foster or Barack Obama. (The conversation with one of those three would be a trifle one-sided.) Or Monica Lewinsky!

And if they ever did accidentally stumble upon the dirt of an opponent, the Clintons would be TOTALLY forthcoming about it when asked about it. It is the Clinton way. Just ask Ken Starr.

And, famously, President Obama would never stoop so low as to allow the world’s most powerful espionage apparatus to spy on his political opponents — except for all the times he did. In the past year. That we know about.

Yes, this is how bad things had become around here. The political establishment is now so lazy, self-serving and entrenched that spying on political opponents and suggesting they be put do death is only natural for them. This is just how things work in a klepto-thugogracy.

Clifford D. May: Celebrating the values of the West is right because they’re the best – “Trump’s campaign for the survival of Western civilization drives the so-called ‘progressives’ crazy.”

This truth should be held self-evident: Freedom, human, civil and individual rights, representative government, separation of church and state, the rule of law, pluralism and tolerance are all Western concepts, rooted in classical Greece and Rome and developed in the Enlightenment. The American Revolution began a historic attempt to build a nation-state based on them.

It required a revolution in moral thinking to come to the conclusion that slavery, bigotry and discrimination are evils. That revolution began within the West and was led by such individuals as William Wilberforce who — trigger warning — was a white, evangelical Christian.

“Our own fight for the West does not begin on the battlefield,” the president added last week. “It begins with our minds, our wills, and our souls.” Yes, it does, and that, I’m afraid is the nub of the problem.

Valerie Richardson: Maryland attorney general pushes Republican bounds of lawsuits against Trump – “With regard to what we see Brian Frosh doing, I mean, he’s suing President Trump for everything from soup to nuts,” said Mr. Shoemaker, himself a lawyer. “Every week, it’s something with him.” But it’s a holy cause, you see. However, the real question is state AG’s using public money to support litigation that is based on political ideology. That is corruption.

Democratic prosecutors have defended their aggressive legal activism as necessary to guard against what they describe as the Trump administration’s irresponsible deregulation efforts and unpredictable administrative impulses.

Certainly Democrats aren’t the first to take to the courts to oppose an unfriendly White House. … The difference lies in the sheer volume of the Democratic challenges as well as the rationale behind the litigation.

While Republicans had fought to stop the federal government from encroaching on state authority, the Democrats want to safeguard federal regulations and programs, not thwart them, said Andrew M. Grossman, a partner with BakerHostetler in Washington, who was involved in the Clean Power Plan litigation.

Connecticut lawyer Margaret A. Little said the result is that Democratic prosecutors are abusing their enforcement power to advance a policy agenda.

Rep. Ron Estes: Americans want results, not resistance – “The takeaway from my race and the other special elections is voters want Congress to solve problems and pass reforms that improve their daily lives.”

The takeaway from my race and the other special elections is voters want Congress to solve problems and pass reforms that improve their daily lives. They want practical results. The House has already passed healthcare reform, and I’m confident a bill will make it to the president’s desk. In the meantime, Congress can engineer tax reform by following a blueprint similar to one embraced by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, and many of my colleagues.

That blueprint is based on three principles: competitiveness, fairness, and simplicity.

The Representative is right.

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The Propaganda Campaign

Robert Knight: The real news from Poland – “Many in the media continue to paint the president as only a bungling incompetent boob.”

Unless you went to some lengths to access President Trump’s stunning address in Warsaw, Poland on Thursday instead of relying on media coverage, you missed a remarkable event.

The reason you may have missed this is that the media continues to paint Mr. Trump in the worst possible light. Their zeal to produce fake news about him is shameless and laughable.

Contrasted with Mr. Obama’s international Muslim apology tour in June 2009, Mr. Trump celebrated the shared Judeo-Christian values sustaining the two nations. In fact, he referenced God 10 times.

In an editorial criticizing Mr. Trump for defending “the West,” The Washington Post declared that “human rights, freedom and the dignity of every individual” spring from no particular culture.

While the fake news media portrayed President Trump as a jingoist and bumpkin, he was delivering lines like this: “You were supported in that victory over communism by a strong alliance of free nations in the West that defied tyranny. Now, among the most committed members of the NATO Alliance, Poland has resumed its place as a leading nation of a Europe that is strong, whole, and free.

A lot of people have urged Mr. Trump to act more “presidential.”

In Warsaw this week, he did just that. And the media cannot stand it.

Don Thieme: The Historical Resonance Of Trump’s Speech In Poland – “It is hard to send a message that recalls history, reassures partners and allies, and cautions rivals, but in less than an hour in front of a monument on Krasinski Square, Trump did just that.”

Ralph Z. Hallow: Why the American press thought it heard high-pitched animal sounds coming out of Warsaw – “Only Western Europeans wrote symphonies. That, as any Japanese, Chinese, Iraqi, Indian classical musician in America will tell you, has one hell of a lot to do with everything.”

Mr. Capehart, Mr. Zeleny and many dozens of other talented writers and talkers for U.S. newspapers, magazines and TV networks have declared war on American exceptionalism in favor of they know not what.

But they are the vanguard of a socialist, collectivist, internationalist movement that will take America to the same grave to which all previous great powers in world history have been dragged.

Mr. Trump thinks we in particular and the world in general owe to Western Europe more than can be enumerated here, from the Magna Carta, the Renaissance, Reformation, industrial Revolution, astronomy and on and on. That is what Mr. Trump was people-whistling about in Poland.

Tom Cotton and Mike Lee: Drones and federalism – Why the states must lead on drone regulation. Along with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (CA) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (CT) it is an interesting idea.

The bill, titled the Drone Federalism Act, would recognize the right of states and local communities to govern drones within a specified zone of authority, the airspace under 200 feet. The FAA would still be responsible for the overall safety of the skies. But at this low altitude, state and local governments would be able to set guidelines for the “reasonable time, manner, and place” of drone flights.

The bill also preserves the rights of every American by reaffirming the long held doctrine that owners control the immediate 200 feet of airspace above their property. The FAA would be prevented from authorizing the operation of an unmanned aircraft in the immediate reaches of airspace above a property without permission of the owner. Hobbyists would also be required so secure permission from the owner before flying a drone within 200 feet above a private held property.

Linda Sarsour’s Call For ‘Jihad’ Against President Trump Is A Call For Treason – “Islamic activist Linda Sarsour’s recent comments can leave a person with the impression that she is inciting sedition from Muslims in America.”

Islamic activist Linda Sarsour, co-chair of the 2017 women’s march, says she is “outraged” every single morning when she wakes up and remembers who is in the White House, referring to the president of the United States, Donald Trump. Speaking to the Islamic Society of North America, she recently made several astonishing statements, the totality of which can leave a person with the impression that Sarsour is inciting sedition from Muslims in America.

VDH in IBD: Will California Ever Thrive Again? – “The basket of California state taxes — sales, income and gasoline — rates among the highest in the U.S. Yet California roads and K-12 education rank near the bottom.”

The result is Connecticut and Alabama combined in one state. A house in Menlo Park may sell for more than $1,000 a square foot. In Madera three hours away, the cost is about one-tenth of that.

In response, state government practices escapism, haggling over transgendered restroom issues and the aquatic environment of a 3-inch baitfish rather than dealing with a sinking state.

And if faculty economists at the University of California at Berkeley keep hectoring the state about fixing income inequality, they might first acknowledge that the state pays them more than $300,000 per year — putting them among the top 2% of the university’s salaried employees.

Elites need to go back and restudy the state’s can-do confidence of the 1950s and 1960s to rediscover good state government — at least if everyday Californians are ever again to have affordable gas, electricity and homes, safe roads and competitive schools.

Herschel Smith: When Knives Are Illegal – “I called Lawyer after Lawyer and heard the same thing, the Law does not matter.” … but … “And in case I haven’t mentioned it enough times, every real man carries a knife all of the time.”

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Civilization and culture need preventive maintenance, too

Neo-neocon: Another in the almost-numberless anti-Trump salvos from the press – “articles like the one I just linked don’t help their own cause, because they are examples of a press gone off the rails—so swollen with its own sanctimonious self-importance that it can’t see its feet of clay down below.”

I think I’m getting jaded, because articles like this one have come to amuse me.

They’re so transparent, and so seemingly unaware of how absurd they sound. I know they don’t sound the least bit absurd to the left, however, and I realize I’m not their intended audience. But I’m a person on the right who was never a Trump fan, and they’re putting me in the position of being a Trump defender.

The ironic thing—the funny thing, although it’s really far more sad than funny—is that Pope’s article contradicts his own message, with his overwhelming bile and partisanship. Does he even see it anymore? Can he even see it anymore? Does a fish know it swims in water?

Also see the adjacent post Trump’s Warsaw speech: welcome to Western Civ – It’s another media take-down.

So defending on our traditions in the West—ones we should be justly proud of, such as liberty and democracy—is now controversial and conservative. And the crowd was fake. Got it.

Western civilization is what he’s [Trump] talking about. And those things are indeed things to celebrate and to preserve. If we don’t acknowledge them, how can we defend them?

Just a few short decades ago, when I was growing up, it was standard practice for both parties to talk this way. Now this practice has been taken over almost solely by the right, and sites like Vox (which is not even hard-left, but just garden-variety liberal/left) label it as “alt-right” rhetoric rather than mainstream thought.

And they wonder why they’ve been losing elections lately.

David Prentice: The Deconstruction of Western Values – “Will we finally realize that this is a fight for a decent civilization?”

Pope John Paul II gave some great speeches about what he called “the culture of death. How fitting that Trump would give his latest call to arms in Poland. How fitting that Poland, so historically war-torn, sees the battle clearly. How fitting that they are already in the fight to preserve the West, one of the few European countries to do so.

So now it comes to us here in the U.S. Will we finally realize this is a fight for a decent civilization? Or will we succumb to the petty, banal viciousness of the deconstructionist left? Will we steel ourselves to overcome this well-funded leftist blitz against our culture, or will we go out with a whimper?

Rod Dreher: Yes, They Really Do Despise Their Civilization – Dreher drips bias in his judgments of Trump but he does recognize that something important was said. He also explains why and explains what he sees.

I’m sorry, duckies, but how is this all that controversial? An American president, standing in the capital of a nation that suffered in the last century the domination of two tyrannies — Nazi and Communist — that tried to eradicate its culture, a nation whose Catholic faith kept its spirit alive and led to its rebirth — proclaims that there are things unique and valuable about Western civilization, and that we should remember those things, affirm them, and defend them.

Here’s the thing: the defense of classical liberal values depends on the Christian religion (which also entails the Hebrew Bible) far more than secular liberals like Beinart wish to concede.

I mean, really, how ignorant and provincial do you have to be, Messrs. Beinart and Bouie, to hear Trump’s speech and think of it as a #MAGA version of a Nuremberg Rally Address?

By anathematizing any and all who cherish the culture and history of the West, they will ultimately force conservatives to embrace Reaction as the only bastion of resistance to their nihilistic crusade. But they don’t see it anymore than the Social Justice Warriors grasp that their militant illiberalism is calling up and equal and opposite reaction from the people they have demonized.

“Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?” Trump asked. Maybe he was thinking about Islamic terrorists. I’m thinking about the educated barbarians who cannot create a living culture, only live off the last vestiges of one they inherited, even as they scatter salt in its fallow fields. Donald Trump may be the enemy of culture in many respects, but he is in no way as potent an enemy as these mad evangelists for the Anti-Culture.

Luboš Motl: John Schwarz tried to defend the feminist talk at Strings 2017 – “…however, he must have overlooked that the talk was indefensible…” The assault creeps into small cracks and is insidious in its corruption.

The video with the talk has attracted some 1300 viewers so far and 25 out of the 35 votes – and 6 out of 8 comments – were negative. People including several of you pointed out that stuff like that doesn’t belong to a scientific conference.

Does he really struggle to impose the ideological unity over his environment in which garbage talks like Taylor’s cannot even be criticized? It surely looks so and I am utterly disgusted by that, Dr Schwarz.

Exactly on the same day when Taylor’s talk was posted, the Telegraph reported that University professors [were] afraid to teach controversial subjects for fear of being sacked, conference hears . Charles at Watts’ blog summarized the article by the proposition that it’s all over for the U.K. science. Sadly, string theory’s pioneer Dr John Schwarz is among the vigorous warriors to suppress the freedom of thought in the scholarly world. This has already led to quite some intellectual degeneration of the university world but it seems that the likes of Schwarz still see “further room for improvements”.

Preventive Maintenance is often forgotten until the price has to be paid. That seems to be what is happening to the core of our existence. 

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Sense of humor missing?

Tammy Bruce: The brilliant wrestling match tweet – “It’s one thing to say the media is fake and can’t be trusted, and quite another to show it to the American people.”

While everyone else was laughing at the tweet of a staged pro-wrestling stunt from years ago, various CNN news actors insisted their lives were now at risk. This proved the president’s point that the network is not serious, on a singular mission to destroy the president, and ergo can’t be trusted to report what really matters to the American people.

The president remains one-step ahead of those who work to harm his ability to do his job, creating an environment where the American people can decide for themselves who they can trust

Whether it’s Obamacare, North Korea, ISIS, tax cuts, the economy, the upcoming G-20 meetings, or even the poor little Charlie Gard fighting for his life in England, the president governs first and tweets when necessary. Part of his ability to do his job is to confront those who work 24/7 to impede his ability to do so. Mocking them takes a few seconds out of the day, but their reactions confirm his concern: many in the legacy media can’t be trusted to do the most basic part of their job which is to simply bring you the news, not hate-fueled propaganda.

Thomas Lifson: CNN has fallen into Trump’s pro-wrestling trap and it can’t get up – “The media swells outraged at President Trump’s CNN wrestling tweet do not understand the level at which he communicates to his base, primarily out of their disdain for vulgar mass culture, including reality television and pro wrestling.”

President Trump knows how to reach the great mass of the public using images, music, and words, while those who disdain him primarily operate on the level of discourse they consider far superior: an appeal to intellect.

The drama being played out to people who understand pro wrestling is clear. CNN has cast itself as the villainous wrestler in the match, its hypocrisy and duplicity making the case so convincingly that it doesn’t even need a mask or outrageous costume to mark its role in the drama.

sundance: CNN Threatens To Expose Non Compliant Citizen for Thinking Wrong Thoughts… #CNNblackmail – “Got that comrades? Failure to remain a compliant citizen may render you subject to targeting by CNN corporate media..”

Also Ed Morrissey: Did CNN threaten Reddit user who created Trump’s wrestling meme? – “one line in the CNN article turned the story away from Trump and the user, and squarely on the news channel itself. … That was widely interpreted as a threat to “dox” the man in order to intimidate him into silence

Jack Engelhard: Trump’s revenge and how Woodward/Bernstein ruined journalism – “Thoughtful criticism is one thing, whether against Trump or Netanyahu. A barrage of it is something else. It then becomes pure, gleeful hatred.” Israel shares the U.S. media problem.

On top of that the obscenities coming from our TV news and talk shows are so violent that there is no choice but to say that we are past media bias and deep into media depravity. It’s been so non-stop nasty that many of us have stopped reading and watching the coverage. We know what’s coming. We are braced. Trump gets even.

today’s journalists are the offspring of “Woodard and Bernstein, all of them into it, into journalism for the romance of changing the world.” With that, by the way, comes automatic hostility against Israel, more proof that Liberalism truly is a mental disorder.

Their brave new world was supposed to extend from Obama to Hillary. Well it didn’t work out. So they’ve become angry, petulant and unhinged spoiled brats.

William L. Gensert: Making the Left Bleed – “Unlike what you read and watch, I believe most conservatives like me are not itching for violence. I don’t believe there is any right-wing movement to violently usurp the liberal establishment.”

Conservatives are not going to storm the DMV screaming, “Give me my damn ticket and call my damn number!”

Therefore, you see, I am not advocating violence against anyone. Yet, it is about time those of us on the right took the gloves off and stopped trying to be better than the left. This is a war for the soul of America.

Donald J. Trump is on the precipice of history; he is there because he is a man who will fight.

To not fight, to be gentlemen and to prosecute this battle with decorum and a sense of fairness to the Democrats is a surefire loss. They won’t play that game; they will go after friends and family and anyone ever known or loved simply to kill that person politically in an apoplectic frenzy, froth, and spittle dripping from their blood-soaked jaws as they stand above the prone carcass and explain how his death was his own fault (see the attempted assassination of Scalise).

Why is it that the left can beat people and burn things and riot with impunity, yet if conservative brings that up, they are calling for violence?

In the scheme of things, America is a new country, but Americans were not born yesterday, they can see this as the false narrative it is. That’s why Trump was elected president.

I have faith in my fellow citizens; they will see this for what it is and they will rise up and make progressive faces bleed (again, a metaphor) with their words and votes.

We on the right are America and we need to stand up and fight to ensure this country remains freedom’s safest place. Donald Trump is with us. I’m in, where do you stand?

This is consequence of confrontation.

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Here’s how it works. No pretenses.

Cheryl K. Chumley: My first-person brush with news bias: ‘You’re fired!’ – “The media’s not just unwittingly biased.”

The media’s very often head-on, all-out, glaring-eyed, aggressively, angrily fever-pitched intentionally biased. Trust me on this. I’ve been part and parcel of the media for years and have seen, too up-close-and-personal for taste, just how the liberal minds of the supposed Reputable News Outlets work.

Take notes. Media bias isn’t just a national problem. It’s local, as well.

So let’s not be so surprised when Trump hits at the media as an “enemy,” and when news outlets and news people are accused of intentional bias — of intentionally skewing and faking the news. It happens, it happens frequently, and it happens at all levels of news organizations.

Ralph Z. Hallow: Trump’s coarse Mika Brzezinski remarks the inevitable, and needed, reaction to coarse journalism – “Not presidential by previous standards? Yes. But he’s the man we elected. We knew he’d do that. We wanted him to hit back.”

His own wobbly-kneed incompetent party — the majority party in the House and the Senate — hides under desks and behind chairs rather than hit back.

America has become the coarse nation that some thoughtful conservatives warned about 40 years ago. Mr. Trump, left to defend himself by himself, is defending our honor too.

Never, however, have I seen news and opinion disseminators for all major news outlets so basely treat a president. My gut tells me that my silence and that of others would be seen as acceptance of these transgressions of the norms of civilized behavior.

Byron York: The price of fighting with Trump – “People who get into fights with Donald Trump often end up diminished by it.”

Of course one could say that Trump is at fault, that he regularly engages in spats that are beneath the dignity of the presidency. He should not, for example, respond in kind to “small hands” jabs. But Trump is Trump. He does what he does, which is what he did during the campaign and before. And now, in the White House, he has enlisted his media adversaries, wittingly or not, in a campaign against “fake news” that resonates with his core supporters.

“They like him, they believe in him, they have not to any large degree been shaken from him, and the more the media attacks him, the more it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy on the side of the Trump supporters who fervently believe the media treat him unfairly,” Tony Fabrizio, Trump’s campaign pollster, told the Washington Post.

And for those who continue to jump into sloppy fights with the president? They will walk away diminished for having done so.

Brian C. Joondeph: Trump the Junkyard Dog: Poke Him and Expect to Be Bitten – “Junkyard dogs are good in a fight, mean and nasty when provoked. They’re often docile when treated decently, with respect and kindness. But don’t poke them with a stick or kick them unless you want to be attacked with bared teeth and a nasty bite.”

President Donald Trump is a junkyard dog. Raised in New York City, he spent his entire working life dealing with N.Y. politics, graft, regulations, backstabbing, and aggressiveness. A true junkyard. It’s not the lunch room at Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue; it’s the trenches of political warfare and bureaucracy of building hotels and managing real estate.

Were they expecting a George W. Bush response of turning the other cheek – of repeatedly not reacting to criticism, content to “let history be the judge of what he did”? How did that work out? The Bush approach reflects the refined highbrow world he grew up in, not the rough-and-tumble world of New York City, where Trump cut his teeth.

Neo-neocon: “It probably does not need repeating, but I never was a Trump fan prior to the election, and I still have plenty of reservations about him and consider some of his actions and words intemperate, obnoxious, and offensive. Nevertheless, he’s been a better president than I expected, and has kept his word on some important subjects such as judicial appointments. But the way the left and the press have distorted his actions in this matter is inclined to make me more sympathetic to him than before, not less. I cannot be alone in this.”

Steven Hayward: Winning Weariness – “Trump warned us that there’d be so much winning that we’d get tired of all the winning. And while this week has been consumed, as usual, with the sideshow of another one of Trump’s impetuous tweetstorms, the ledger is indeed showing a lot to celebrate.” Meanwhile, Trump’s predecessor is alleging a lack of leadership and there is constant braying about lack of qualifications, intelligence, and whatever. Facts don’t matter to these folks.

Adam Shaw: Liberal States Get Jittery as Trump Looks to Clamp Down on Voter Fraud – “fearing that Trump is launching a “voter suppression” commission.”

the states objecting have said they won’t comply if they believe the effort is more likely to produce voter suppression rather than the stated goal of election integrity.

“This entire commission is based on the specious and false notion that there was widespread voter fraud last November,” Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a close Clinton ally, said in a statement. “At best this commission was set up as a pretext to validate Donald Trump’s alternative election facts, and at worst is a tool to commit large-scale voter suppression.”

It is not clear how such a commission could be used to commit voter suppression. States such as Alabama, Missouri, and Kansas have said they would provide the information, Axios reported.

Groups that highlight alleged cases of voter fraud referred to McAuliffe’s statement as “posturing.”

John Hinderaker: Democrats Refuse to Cooperate In Voter Fraud Investigation – “Why would Minnesota law preclude responding to the federal commission’s request? If you keep reading, you find that it wouldn’t.”

The Election Integrity Commission is trying to find out how much illegal voting goes on. The Democrats constantly tell us there is no, or virtually no, voter fraud. If that were the case, one would think that they would want to cooperate with the commission to prove their point. The fact that they don’t want the commission to be able to find out, for example, how many people are registered voters in multiple states, suggests that what they really want is for voter fraud to continue, because they know they benefit from it.

It’s the usual. Those knee deep in the muck are trying to pretend the muck doesn’t exist. That denial can get quite desperate and quite creative. There are stories that releasing voter data requested to investigate the quality of the known voter fraud problem are violations of privacy and provide opportunity for ID theft hacking. The problem is that all this effort to sweep things under the rug is starting to smell.

Sally C. Pipes: Ignoring single-payer siren song – “Single-payer health care has failed spectacularly everywhere.” But it is still being pushed with venom and vigor. Why?

Even private insurers are wondering aloud about a government takeover of the nation’s healthcare system. In June, Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna, said, “Single-payer, I think we should have that debate as a nation.”

That debate should be a quick one. Single-payer has failed spectacularly everywhere it has been tried. Patients subjected to such systems routinely wait months for care — if they’re able to receive it at all. And those delays can be deadly.

Leslie Eastman : Will next month’s total eclipse cause interstate gridlock? – “transportation officials are gearing up for potential gridlock along the interstate that may occur because of skyward rubbernecking.”

Facilities catering to tourists that lie in the “path of totality” (between Oregon and South Carolina) are already cashing in on the eclipse.

Alaska Airlines is offering a special eclipse-viewing flight.

There are six especially fun spots that will be having viewing parties.

So, plan now for where you want to see the eclipse…and don’t forget to view it safely!

Oregon is gearing up and they are looking at a 1%er protest type mess or maybe a Frat Party (Animal House) model, not a Tea Party ‘leave no trace’ experience.

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Fake Outrage

Wesley Pruden: The coming crash of the lawless media – “Sniping and rock-throwing at Donald Trump, a game that any number can play and nearly everybody does, has become a game with no rules and no referees, and worse, no editors to restrain obstreperous children breaking up the furniture.”

Inciting a crime is serious business, and in the atmosphere of mayhem created by the left and the liberals in the wake of the election of Donald Trump, anything goes in pursuit of the man whose only proved “crime” so far is having defeated Hillary Clinton. Kathie Griffin’s bloody severed “head” of the president, and Johnny Depp’s call for an assassin to relieve the nation of its duly elected president was an inevitable consequence of seeding the land with toxin and deadly venom.

But winning libel suits against television networks and famous newspapers that have clearly contributed to this atmosphere of lawlessness will not be easy, the result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s shield protecting the media from the consequences of even shoddy work.

This was a valuable and needed shield, not just for the press, but for everyone but corrupt public officials. But was in a very different time, when the press was far more responsible than now.

“Anything goes” eventually invites correction, and what looks like “actual malice” lies everywhere abundant.

Jennifer Harper: Numbers don’t lie: Media bias against Trump is entrenched, vicious, persistent – “Pollsters … reveal that the American public is growing weary of the endless negative coverage, which masks authentic progress the president and his administration have made.” … “tirades also allow journalists to vent about a president who pushes back against their criticism, in what they deem an “unpresidential” way.” This “unpresidential” thing is a propaganda theme. Subjective. And becoming a target for comparison to previous presidents that show how standards have changed and how subjective and biased such allegations really are.

Thomas Lifson: President Trump is changing the norms that empower his media antagonists – “all assume that his early-morning tweets yesterday zinging the Morning Joe odd couple, “hitting back ten times as hard,” as wife Melania once characterized his tactical doctrine, were the result of some form of derangement.”

They are not equipped to understand the strategy that lies behind his tweets. Like fish unaware of the water in which they swim, they operate on the basis of unconscious beliefs.

President Trump understands that the current informal-but-very-real rules of the game have allowed Mika and Joe (and the rest of the media-political world as well) free rein to savage him and his family, while he is supposed to be a gentleman and just take it while they get support for attacking him.

Trump understands that the culture governing D.C. and the media has to change because it systematically favors his opponents.

When an organization confronts a norm that has become dysfunctional, the concepts attached to it can be so ingrained that even rules to the contrary can be worked around by members of the organization. There is no alternative in some cases but to force unpleasantness upon a situation and force adaptation.

Charles Hurt: Mad genius of Trump drives schoolmarms of political press crazy – “the funny thing about it is that nobody actually disproved anything that Mr. Trump alleged. Just like Russia and obstruction of justice and everything else, there is not one single shred of evidence that Mr. Trump is not 100 percent in the right.”

Of course, the puritanical schoolmarms of the political press went absolutely bonkers over Mr. Trump’s broadside of their fellow travelers. They scolded him that his Twitter missives were beneath the office of the president.

Really, you mean like molesting an intern in the Oval Office? “Presidential” like that?

Mark Levin to the Media: Want Trump to Act Presidential? Then Have Respect for the Office of the President – “Levin went on to add that the media have bigger problems given the public’s disapproval.”

The public really hates the media. They hate the media because they are not getting the facts.”

Ralph Z. Hallow: Trump’s coarse Mika Brzezinski remarks the inevitable, and needed, reaction to coarse journalism – “Not presidential by previous standards? Yes. But he’s the man we elected. We knew he’d do that. We wanted him to hit back.”

America has become the coarse nation that some thoughtful conservatives warned about 40 years ago. Mr. Trump, left to defend himself by himself, is defending our honor too.

Never, however, have I seen news and opinion disseminators for all major news outlets so basely treat a president. My gut tells me that my silence and that of others would be seen as acceptance of these transgressions of the norms of civilized behavior.

IBD: The Media’s Unhealthy Trump-Russia Obsession … By The Numbers – “Say what you want about President Trump’s insulting tweets about MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski, they’ve at least given the press something anti-Trump to obsess about other than Russia.”

A Harvard-Harris poll found that a majority of voters believe the Russia investigations are damaging to the country and want Congress to shift its focus to mundane things like health care, terrorism, national security, the economy and jobs.

This is bad for everyone. A free press plays a vital role in the success of our democracy, but with that great power comes a great responsibility to be fair and accurate.

Over the past six months, the mainstream media have shown no responsibility even as they constantly lecture us about how important they are.

Josh Siegel: Multiple states reject request from Trump’s voter fraud commission to provide voter roll data – They just know that there is no voter fraud and that transparency is a violation of personal identity.

Alex Padilla, California’s Democratic secretary of state, was the first to object to the request, releasing a statement Thursday vowing that he will “not provide sensitive voter information” to a commission that is pursuing “debunked claims of massive voter fraud.”

Padilla went on to call the commission a “waste of taxpayer money” and a “distraction from the real threats of the integrity of our elections today,” which he considers to be Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign.

John Sexton: How Seattle’s progressive leaders worked to undermine study critical of minimum wage hikes – Exposing the source of the problem, intellectual integrity sacrificed on the alter of ideological fantasy.

It seems clear that Seattle’s progressive leadership went data shopping when it didn’t like the results of the forthcoming UW report. So when you hear that “other reports” showing contradictory information, keep in mind those reports didn’t appear by accident. They were arranged by partisans with an ideological axe to grind.

Ed Morrissey: Scenes from the collapse: Another ObamaCare crisis erupts in rural Nevada – “Anthem, which had previously been bullish on ObamaCare, announced that it will pull out of exchanges in most of Nevada.”

One would think this crisis would allow Republicans to claim the moral high ground on repeal, but as I write in my column at The Fiscal Times today, the GOP never prepared for the public-relations fight, and their disunity is creating a circular firing squad

It’s time for Senate Republicans, and House Republicans for that matter, to get serious and produce a real bill that will put America back on the track to rational health-insurance markets.

Andrew Malcolm: A familiar GOP pattern when in power: Squabbling – “But now that they hold the offices, they can’t seem to get it done. So, how do Republicans respond? They start fighting among themselves while Democrats watch with glee.” This has a lot of voters ticked off. It is a sign of health, up to a point when coming together on a solution must occur.

Circular firing squads are a familiar feature of GOP politics. With the party’s national reputation for governing on the line over such a longstanding promise, nine GOP senators say they won’t support the bill, most of them because they want something more in or out of it.

But these profound internal GOP divisions do not just threaten Obamacare’s repeal. They endanger upcoming votes on the debt limit, tax reform, trade and the budget, especially defense spending increases, among other issues. The splits also undermine Trump’s oft-repeated boast to be the Great Deal Maker, leaving Republicans to appear incapable of governing as the 2018 midterms loom.

It is what makes the solidarity of the Democrats even more stunning. They all seem willing to make any sacrifice necessary to adhere to the common cause.

Mark Perry: Happy 87th birthday (June 30) to economist Thomas Sowell, one of the greatest living economists – “The word ‘genius’ is thrown around so much that it’s becoming meaningless, but nevertheless I think Tom Sowell is close to being one.”

In my opinion, there is no economist alive today who has done more to eloquently, articulately, and persuasively advance the principles of economic freedom, limited government, individual liberty, and a free society than Thomas Sowell. … To honor Thomas Sowell’s 87th birthday tomorrow, I present below 15 of my favorite quotations from Dr. Thomas Sowell and a bonus video of the great economist

Happy Birthday and thank you Dr. Sowell!

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Whither corruption?

We have a man asking if the players on the field are Republican or Democrat and then, when finding that it is a Congressional Republican practice squad, taking up arms against them. Several assassination fantasies are showing the American People just how the Democrats reject them and how far those on the Left will go in trying to deny elections and civil processes.

Conrad Black thinks Trump Is Winning His War on Washington – “It is easy to forget that the credibility battle between President Trump and James Comey is just the latest round in Donald Trump’s long struggle to overwhelm, single-handedly at first, the entire national political power structure.”

Every charge, no matter how fantastic, against the incoming president was given immense play by the morally bankrupt, unrelievedly partisan mainstream media, led by the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC and NBC. All of these outlets had gagged on election night, and all of them refused to accept the legitimacy of the new administration.

There had never been an argument to reelect the Democrats on the merits of the largely failed Obama administration, so their entire campaign was a smear job on Trump.

Trump has fought like a fearless but calculating fighting bull. His greatest problem is not spurious charges or media hostility, which is not uniform and provokes a heavy backlash, but the cowardice of congressional Republicans.

David French notes how The Big Collusion Narrative Keeps Melting Down – “I’m struck by the total lack of any compelling claims supporting the “big” collusion narrative, that Russia conspired with Trump or Trump officials to “hack” election.”

Millions of American believe the worst about their current president, claims every bit as toxic in their own way as “truther” smears against George Bush or “birther” smears against Barack Obama. The Trump collusion narrative has gotten a far wider and more respectable hearing than either of the two conspiracy theories that plagued the Bush and Obama administrations. Truth is truth, and it’s important for responsible people to not just understand and respond to actual evidence — no matter where it leads — but also acknowledge its absence. And so far the absence of evidence points to Trump’s innocence of some of the worst allegations ever leveled against an American president or his senior team.

Jazz Shaw: The ugly question: What if the Russia Russia Russia story was nothing? – “If all of the congressional hearings and the investigatory work by Mueller and the FBI reports end up coming up with nothing but a couple of people forgetting to list some dinner parties they attended, then what? French is correct.”

The media has spent months effectively accusing the President and his team of treason. So I ask again… what if there’s nothing to the story? Do we all shake our heads and move on to The Next Big Thing? We demand transparency and accountability of our elected leaders, but is there any sort of accountability for the media? Would there ever be, as unimaginable as it seems… an apology?

Alicia Colon: When losing an election makes you lose your mind – “It is clear that the Democrat Party has become the amoral party of progressives aka Marxists and not the one my family grew up with.”

In my opinion, the nation hasn’t been this polarized since the 1860’s with families divided over a national issue. Even during the Vietnam War, the divisions were between the silent majority and what they viewed as commie pinko militants.

Since there was a very real possibility of dying in an Asian war, one could understand why the youth waged against the war. I used to have arguments with a young 19 year old co-worker who later fled to Canada to avoid the draft. I ran into him years later when he admitted that his protests were a result of fear. Very understandable but I just don’t understand what is happening with the protests today.

If you’re a conservative who voted for Donald Trump even though he wasn’t your first choice, you may have ended up ostracized by the Democrats in your family or have ended up writing off a number of friends who’ve expressed contempt for your choice. It’s a very wise policy not to discuss politics or religion but hard to do when your career is about politics.

I’ve been called a moron, a deplorable, unhinged, and worse by those whom I once believed were reasonable but have now lost their minds. I choose not to return that vitriol for those I care for and hope that one day they will come to their senses and realize the sky is not falling and our POTUS may succeed in making America great again.

He will do this in spite of all the mainstream media, leftwing pundits, social media, the entire Democrat Party, RINOs, Hollywood celebrities and Soros minions spending his billions waging phony protests against him.

I will continue to pray for President Trump’s success and I encourage the rest of the deplorables to wish him well.

Paul Mirengoff: “The Post’s slogan these days is: “Democracy dies in darkness.” Yet, the Post is more than willing to keep its readers in the dark when it comes to key elements of the stories it reports.” Another case of media dishonesty dissected.

Neo-neocon: The next step for the Resistance – “Oh, those sheepish Democrats, so tactful and reluctant to talk about Trump’s impeachment!” So much creativity and effort is being directed at fantasies and delusions. It almost overtakes the influence of hate and vindictiveness.

Fake news is one thing. Fake law takes it to a higher level. Allan J. Favish asks Are You Ready for Fake Facts and Fake Law from the Ninth Circuit? – “these judges “interpreted” the law to mean something that the law does not state, so that even if the executive order were to be interpreted accurately, it would run afoul of the law.”

As a judge, if you want a particular outcome to a case, and your desired outcome is not possible with the applicable facts and law, and you are determined to achieve your desired outcome, you must either distort the law, or the facts, or both. In this case, these judges distorted the facts by “interpreting” President Trump’s second executive order as if it stated something other than what it actually states. At the same time, they distorted the law by “interpreting” it so that it applies to the executive order, even if the executive order would have been interpreted accurately.

The corruption isn’t in the Executive right now.

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Rude, crude, vulgar — is this the new United States?

Cheryl K. Chumley: The art of the Trump take-down – “watching this despicable trend of Democratic-fueled accusation, followed by media-expressed outrage, followed by leftist expression of shock, gives rise to one very apt image: that of sharks circling prey.”

This is not how U.S. politics ought to be run. Yet this is America, campaign 2016 and White House 2017. Think hard, question everything. The vicious political atmosphere of late is not happenstance.

The Democrats are to blame. The mainstream media is a complicit close second for fault. And third? That’d be the gutless and elitists in the Republican Party, masquerading as true representatives of the people, who didn’t want Trump in office in the first place and are now only too glad to quietly sneer, “told you so,” while pretending allegiance to conservative principles.

And once again, let’s remember: There is no evidence Trump worked with Russians to beat Clinton in the election. But to paraphrase a famous Democratic politico, in an out-of-context way: What difference, at this point, does the truth make?

Take care, America, in this 24-hour news cycle, in this fiery anti-Trump atmosphere. There may be more reporting going on. But that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s more truth being provided.

Valerie Richardson: 80 percent of news stories were critical of Trump, says Harvard study – “President Trump has insisted that his press coverage has been historically negative, and a newly released Harvard journalism study backs him up.”

“Trump’s coverage during his first 100 days set a new standard for negativity,” said Harvard Kennedy School of Government professor Thomas E. Patterson in the report.

He added that the coverage was “negative even by the standards of today’s hypercritical press.”

At the same time, Mr. Trump has received more press coverage in general than previous presidents. He was the topic of 41 percent of all news stories, or three times that of previous presidencies, and he was the featured speaker in 65 percent of the stories.

Compare and contrast is provided by Roger Kimball describing Donald Trump’s Invigorating Speech in Riyadh – “Trump’s speech was a forthright, America First, speech, Obama’s an accommodationist’s dream.” There was also note of the media hate: “Fake news alert: the disgusting Washington Post, where truth goes to die, ran a breathless story about how Trump bowed when he received the medal signifying Saudi Arabia’s highest civilian honor. How exactly could the honor have been bestowed had Trump not bowed his head to receive it?”

Bottom line: Obama went to Cairo to apologize for America and hope for world peace. Trump went to Riyadh to champion America and extend an offer to work together for world peace.

I know that pundits will be descending like buzzards upon a carcass to pick away at the details of Trump’s speech. Happy eating to them.

Ed Morrissey says CA Dems keep it classy with digital salute to Trump at convention – “Following in the footsteps of DNC chair Tom Perez, outgoing California Democratic chair John Burton offered a foul-mouthed tirade at the party’s convention this weekend, complete with a two-finger display of defiance of Donald Trump.”

It’s a petulant whine. Normally, we’d expect that from high-school and college students living in their own little bubbles, not from people who are trying to make the case that they can be trusted to run the country. And yet more and more Democrats have begun to wallow in expletives and coarseness rather than address the issues, apparently in the belief that it’s Trump’s bluntness that won him the election. Instead, it comes across much more clearly as a middle finger to voters middle America, who have no love at all for college students and their special-snowflake protests, but at least might excuse it as youthful indiscretions. Pelosi, Perez, Kirsten Gillibrand, and other Democratic leaders hardly have that excuse.

As one party indulges this deeply unserious and idiotic behavior, they encourage more of it from all sides. The discourse in our political cultures has declined rapidly enough as it is, and our media and entertainment cultures have led the way for it. At some point in the future, if we stay on this path, we’ll end up with a political culture where grunts and rude gestures matter more than policy, a game in which the side that can produce the most gross bodily noises wins. In short, we’ll be stuck in a perpetual middle-school playground, only the bullies that come after your school lunch will have the IRS to back them up.

Instapundit cites Putin (re LA Times): “You know what surprises me? They are destabilizing the internal political situation in the United States under anti-Russian slogans,” Putin said, according to Tass. “They either do not understand that they are harming their own country, which means they are just shortsighted, or they understand everything, and that means that they are dangerous and unscrupulous people.”

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Safe Haven Index

First is a story about CNN and their obsession with the President. Then Joel B. Pollak describes how the New York Times Oversells ‘Comey’s Revenge’ Story – “The Times identifies its source as “one of Mr. Comey’s associates,” who did not provide a copy of the memo but read it aloud on the telephone.” Sundance fills in on the New York Times: President Trump Asked Comey To End Flynn Investigation… – “The Washington Post (yesterday) and New York Times (today) are attempting to frame the anti-Trump narrative right before he goes on his first overseas trip.” The IBT opines that No, Trump’s Top-Secret Whispering To Russians Isn’t Fake News — But It Is A Fake Issue – “We have no reason to disbelieve the basic story that Trump shared some intelligence with the Russians. But the details are highly suspect, to say the least. “Former” officials? That means almost certainly Obama administration officials. Hardly an unbiased source.” And reports indicate that Russian president Putin has offered to supply transcripts of the meeting to show that all was proper. Still, The Washington Examiner takes up on Schumer’s effort to cripple Trump – “Sen. Chuck Schumer is trying to sabotage the Trump administration, at the expense of the country.”

Schumer and the Left want to maximize the political price Trump pays for any action he takes, whether it is genuinely controversial and troubling, or only frothed up by critics to look that way. It’s crucial “that Democrats don’t just hand Trump and his party a quick bipartisan victory in the fight to replace James Comey,” a liberal writer urged at Rolling Stone on Friday.

Ace: Some Thoughts And Advice About How to Restore Your Chill – “Something I’ve noticed time and time again: People get the most frustrated and emotionally angry over disputes which are currently beyond their ability to resolve.” … “find the truth” … “Oddly, knowing the truth, even if it’s not the truth you’d hoped for, is less distressing, most of the time.”

How all this works, as I’ve said before, is that people with limited, incomplete, and biased information try to start a stampede of people into agreeing with their questionable, dubious, partisan-twisted conclusions. They make a lot of noise — a lot of noise — shooting off their idiot partisan pistols to get the herd stampeding in the direction they want, none of the cows quite knowing why they’re all headed in this particular direction.

It’s a deeply stupid way to conduct “debate” over political issues, which is why the left favors it so much.

It’s also grating on the mind and spirit to have to put up with so much empty noise.

Tune it out. You now know most of what there is currently available for knowing about the latest Dumb Scandals. There is no additional information currently available, and so there’s not really much reason to Run With the Stupid Bulls.

Paul Mirengoff provides some sense on the Comey meeting notes hysteria: Preliminary thoughts on the “Comey memo” [UPDATED] – “Gregg Jarrett of Fox News argues that if Comey believed the president’s statements to him amounted to obstruction of justice, then Comey himself committed a crime unless he promptly reported those statements to the Department of Justice. However, if Comey concluded that Trump’s language was vague, ambiguous or elliptical, then he had no duty under the law to report it because the statements weren’t criminal.”

Steven Hayward picks up on the intelligence leaks as Profiles in Media Hypocrisy – “We owe it to Marc Thiessen at AEI to offer a compilation of previous media hypocrisy about outing classified intelligence from foreign sources:”

Also on Powerline John Hinderaker notes “Apparently the Democratic Party press has anti-Trump stories lined up and ready to drop every two or three days.” … “The broader context, of course, is that Donald Trump declared war on the establishment, and the establishment is making war on Trump.”

Several pundits and commentators have expressed a basic assumption that Trump is not quite up to the job as President based on this all out war by Democrats and their Propaganda Machine. See Betsy Newmark saying “I can well believe that Trump had no idea that it was improper to talk to Comey about possibly ending the Flynn administration.” That, for her, isn’t new as she has always had a significant anti-Trump bias but it illustrates the presumption that is surfacing here and there. Roger Kimball expands the view a bit and asserts that Trump Maintains Momentum Despite Malicious Media – “As I had occasion to note in March, the “motor of fake news is not inaccuracy. It’s malice.”

Tucker Carlson is correct: the media is “stumbling around in a sightless rage” in their coverage of Trump.

The mournful assumption among many of Trump’s supporters is that the frenzy of media hysteria, though almost comically baseless, is nonetheless dangerous because, on the throw-enough-mud-and-some-will-stick principle, it has an abrading, delegitimizing effect, a drip-drip-drip apodosis that is corrosive of trust.

That may very well be the case. But I suspect nonetheless that the primary victim of the malicious static will not be Trump but the media, which has passed from carping hostility to surreal fantasy.

Two things are happening. On the one hand, the media’s credibility has entered a death spiral. On the other hand, Trump keeps chugging along, toting up victories and setbacks, just like every other successful politician known to man.

It is clear to most observers now that the media’s “bombshells” fail to detonate because they are total fabrications.

“If” is one of those treacherous words, I know, but I think that there are plenty of reasons for confidence. And at that point the great media hysteria of 2017 will seem not only hysterical, not only sad, but also disfiguringly repellent.

Neo-neocon also has Some personal reflections on the WaPo story claiming that Trump compromised security – “when the press is out to get a president—as it has been with Trump—it will ferret out every negative thing it can, and spin it in the most negative way. The attack will be coordinated and relentless, and it will draw at least some blood.” The column is about dealing with conflicts and dissonance.

I have gotten to the point where, when I scan the MSM outlets or memeorandum for the day’s headline stories, the entire enterprise seems more than ever before like mindless propaganda to me. And whether that phenomenon hurts Trump in the end or helps him, I can’t imagine that such a high a level of jusified distrust and weariness of the media is a good place for America to be.

When you stir up the mud at the bottom of the swamp, it releases putrid gases and foul mats of decaying vegetation float to the surface. The local radio investment pundit blamed the Yahoo Search page featuring Nixon and rumors that some Representative will broach impeachment in the House as the reason the stock market indices are dropping. He said investors were moving to ‘safe haven’ investments. This is what a civil war, an effort for a coup, the dismissal of an election, the treason and the sedition, the fake news, the propaganda, and the total lack of regard for intellectual integrity on display from the Left is putting on the table. 

 

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Hooey, self delusion, etc.

Charles Hurt: Hysteria, overblown hooey part of the fake news cycle – “Every time the Washington political press freaks out and goes into full panic mode against President Trump, the blockbuster, Watergate-volume story always unfolds the same way.”

Each time, these reporters sink deeper and deeper into a fantasyland as they dream bigger and bigger. THIS TIME, they keep thinking, we FINALLY got him!

Reporters and Democrats alike — not to repeat myself — are actually now speculating about whether Mr. Trump will survive the certain impeachment hearings to come.

But then, as the heavy breathing subsides and the adrenaline rush gives way to factual, concrete reporting, the most damning charges fall away.

Well, OK. But the White House should have handled it better.

Patricia McCarthy: The Media-Democratic Party Suicide Pact – “The national media and the Democratic Party have gone stark raving mad over President Trump’s election victory; they refuse to accept it.”

Our media and our Democrats seem to think that with all their hateful, childish behavior, their tantrums (“we won’t vote for an FBI director unless there is a special prosecutor”), they can win back the House and Senate in 2018. They seem not to realize that they are going to lose more seats in both houses. Their strategy, these vile tactics, are a suicide pact. And when the mainstream media and the Democratic Party die by their own hands, only the mind-numbed elites on both coasts and the denizens of the editorial offices of the NYT, the WaPo and the LA Times will be surprised. No one else will care. They will have seen it all coming for years.

Betsy McCaughey: The left’s sick lies about health reform – “Never mind facts. Democrats and media allies are resorting to shock value to defeat repeal — staging funerals with caskets and predicting massive deaths if the bill becomes law.”

Does the GOP bill abandon people with pre-existing conditions? No.

Does the GOP House bill pass the “Kimmel test”? Yes.

The public is being misled.

Is repealing ObamaCare “a death sentence for thousands” as Bernie Sanders says? No way.

The first thing to fix is the lack of intellectual integrity and self awareness on the Left.

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Should have done it different

Charles Hurt: Hysteria, overblown hooey part of the fake news cycle – “Every time the Washington political press freaks out and goes into full panic mode against President Trump, the blockbuster, Watergate-volume story always unfolds the same way.”

But then, as the heavy breathing subsides and the adrenaline rush gives way to factual, concrete reporting, the most damning charges fall away.

“Well, he could have handled it better,” they sniff. “He didn’t follow Washington political protocol.”

Are you freaking kidding me? It all starts with charges of high crimes and misdemeanors — impeachment imminent — and when it all turns out to be fake news these people walk away grumbling about how Mr. Trump could have handled it better?

Cheryl K. Chumley: Insanity, as left calls for stalking GOP in streets, at home – “ If you can’t beat them at the ballot box, just scream them into submission.”

But this writer, Michelangelo Signorile, editor-at-large of the HuffPo’s “Queer Voices” section, is insane. He’s not just ratcheting the anti-Trump rhetoric. He’s outright calling for fellow leftists to publicly hound anyone wearing a Republican button, a MAGA hat, a White House job title — anyone who’s not of similarly leftist lunacy mind.

He’s making an appeal for anarchy in the streets — an appeal for “force” and widespread resistance.

And once again, like the left always does, Signorile blames the victim — blames Trump and Republicans and the Republican message as bringing down the drastic measures upon their own heads.

“This may sound too extreme and out of bounds to some people … [but] Donald Trump is not operating within boundaries — nor is anyone who is enabling him,” he said. “We much fight back with equal force.”

These people are delusional and dangerous, at minimum useful idiots for the higher-ranking on the ideological left — at worst, attackers in waiting. How any level-headed individual could call for such a thing is just beyond the scope of any sensible mind.

Another example: look at how the Democrats are going after Rosenstein whose memo detailed the problems with Comey. Karoun Demirjian, Ed O’Keefe and Paul Kane: Rosenstein role in Comey firing raises more questions than answers – “Democrats were demanding a reckoning over his role in the ouster but leaving more questions than answers in his wake.” No matter that many of these politicians were calling for the action in previous weeks. No matter the content of Rosenstein’s report. No matter that Comey serves at the pleasure of the President and the President does not need any reason to fire him. No, it’s the ad hominem at Rosenstein’s expense. It’s the irrational Left on parade.

Two weeks ago, Rod J. Rosenstein received the bipartisan confidence of the vast majority of the Senate during his confirmation as deputy attorney general. But a memo he drafted this week that has served as President Trump’s public justification for firing Comey has all but eviscerated that trust.

Led primarily by Democrats, senators are now asking Rosenstein to come back to Capitol Hill next week to explain his role in Comey’s dismissal. A senior Republican, too, declined to defend Rosenstein’s actions after meeting with him behind closed doors.

It also fits into Hurt’s behavior observations as well. Feinstein is “incredulous” that Rosenstein would use “quotes from opinion pieces and news clippings about former Justice Department officials critiquing Comey’s handling of the Clinton investigation.” The title of the report was “Restoring Public Confidence in the FBI” and, it seems to the Left, demonstrating this problem should have ‘been handled better’?

Michael Barone says James Comey Is the Latest Victim of the Clintons – “For some Democrats and journalists, every Republican military initiative is Vietnam and every possible scandal Watergate. That’s a measure of the nostalgic perspective of the baby-boom generation. We’re as many years away from Vietnam and Watergate as they were from the 1920s.”

Comey’s July 5 statement made clear that Hillary Clinton had violated Title 18, Section 793(f) of U.S. Code, put in place by the Espionage Act. But he added to the words of the statute an intent requirement and so recommended that she not be prosecuted. It’s not hard to imagine that he felt entitled to inflict political damage on someone for whom the Obama Justice Department had put in the fix.

That makes Comey only the latest victim of the Clintons, who, like F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tom and Daisy Buchanan, smash up “things and creatures” and then retreat “back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it (is) that (keeps) them together, and let other people clean up the mess they (have) made.”

The mess continues, as Democrats howl against the removal of an official whose removal they demanded up through lunchtime Tuesday and continue to search, Ahab-like, for evidence that Russia somehow stole the election.

Byron York picks up on the smear campaign with What Grassley and Feinstein said about Trump, the FBI, and Russia – “One of the most dramatic moments in then-FBI Director James Comey’s May 3 appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee came when Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal tried to press Comey into revealing that President Trump is a target of the FBI’s Russia investigation.”

Blumenthal’s tactics were so concerning that on Thursday, at a business meeting of the Judiciary Committee not devoted to any aspect of the Russia affair, Republican Chairman Charles Grassley and Democratic Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein both addressed the subject.

In a carefully-written statement, Grassley said that he and Feinstein were indeed briefed by Comey on the particular individuals targeted in the current FBI investigation. And Grassley strongly implied — in fact, did everything but come out and say directly — that the president is not one of those individuals.

John Sexton: Acting FBI Director: ‘There has been no effort to impede our investigation to date’ – “McCabe said there had been no effort to impede the investigation and added that nothing would stop the FBI from doing the right thing.” This is another of those contra Fake News items that tends to stomp on the conspiracy theories.

if this is an attempt at a cover-up, it’s a very stupid one. Firing the FBI Director does not stop the FBI investigation and does not stop the parallel investigations in the House and Senate. All this does is add fuel to the fire. In fact, you can bet that the FBI agents working this case are twice as motivated as they were before to find out what’s going on because their credibility is on the line.

Kimberly Strassel: Why James Comey Had to Go. (HT Instapundit as it’s a closed WSJ column) – “Which leads us to Mr. Comey’s most recent and obvious conflict of all — likely a primary reason he was fired: the leaks investigation (or rather non-investigation). So far the only crime that has come to light from this Russia probe is the rampant and felonious leaking of classified information to the press.”

As for the press, Patricia McCarthy has Three cheers for Sarah Sanders – “One has to almost like punishment to face the White House Press Corps these days.”

These people do this because they live for the moment the person at the podium slips. They ask the same questions over and over and over again in the apparent belief that if they ask often enough, at some point, they will get the answer they want. Each wants to be the person who trips up the press secretary and becomes the story himself for the next twenty-four hours. The whole routine is pathetic. Not only does it betray the wholesale lack of critical thinking among these privileged press folk, but it illustrates their absolute hollowness. They are hollow to their core. They care not one bit about the country, the Constitution, the incalculable damage done to the nation by Obamacare, the debt incurred by the Obama administration’s profligate spending, the racial animus Obama promulgated, the absolute gibberish that passes for a university education, the horrific danger Obama has engendered with his Iran deal, etc. No. Our White House press corps cares about none of these things. These reporters care about one thing only: taking Trump down.

That leads to The Next Big Lie About ObamaCare – “as night follows day, Republicans will be blamed for it all.”

Here’s how the Democrats’ story goes. After a rough start, ObamaCare was finally on the mend. Those massive rate hikes and insurance defections of last year were a thing of the past, and there was no truth to claims that ObamaCare was in a “death spiral.”

What insurers are saying is that the ObamaCare markets are continuing to deteriorate, as they have for years, with mostly older and sicker people signing up, while the young and healthy avoid ObamaCare’s overpriced coverage. The result is a sicker insurance pool that requires higher premiums to cover, which then drives out more young and healthy people, setting off another round of rate hikes.

In fact, in some ways Trump has worked to stabilize the ObamaCare markets, which Anthem notes in its Virginia filing, citing “helpful regulatory improvements” as a mitigating factor. Nevertheless, Anthem says, these improvements aren’t enough to overcome the fact that costs “continue to outpace premiums on a large scale.”

The inconvenient truth for Democrats is that ObamaCare is failing, and will continue to fail no matter what the GOP does. It is unsustainable and must be replaced. If Democrats wanted to act like mature adults, instead of petty partisans, they’d be as eager to find a replacement for ObamaCare as the GOP is.

This is the typical rationalization for the lack of success of socialism. The failures are because of some outside influence or not having the right leaders or anything but the reality of what actually happened. This is why you don’t see Venezuela in the news that much as that case has gone so far that it is hard to make excuses so typical of the Left.

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Fake News™

Who’s your hero? It’s often about denial and rationalizing fantasies, not admirable characteristics. Now there is another example of trying to make a hero of a juvenile thug who just happened to pick the wrong target. Sundance is on the case: Florida University To Award Posthumous Degree to Trayvon Martin…

There is so much about the Trayvon Martin story that is false. Well, factually, almost every scintilla of the media story about Trayvon is false. Those who know the truth, including those who live within Miami Gardens, laugh at Fulton and Martin and fully grasp the absurdity of the Trayvon Martin college degree announcement.

One starts to wonder about the education system when reality doesn’t matter or, if it does, why they choose their heroes they do.

IBT notes that Unlike ObamaCare, The GOP Health Bill Wasn’t Built On Lies And False Promises – “While everyone is busy picking apart the flaws of the Republican ObamaCare replacement bill, one inconvenient truth is being overlooked: ObamaCare itself has been a colossal disaster.” The dishonesties used to sell ObamaCare are listed but they don’t stop there. They continue in the defense.

The Republican health plan is far from perfect. But at least Republicans are offering something concrete. The same cannot be said of their critics, who are simply ignoring the fact that ObamaCare never lived up to its promises and is now completely falling apart.

Andrew Klavan has Thanks, GOP! – “President Trump and the GOP are actually doing a pretty good job so far.”

A Wall Street Journal opinion piece gets it just right: “The media template for covering the 115th Congress apparently goes like this: When Republicans fail to pass a bill, they’re doomed. But when they succeed, they’re also doomed.”

This is not only true on the left, whose media from the New York Times to CNN now sounds like a girls’ locker room after a mouse got in. But it’s true on the right too, where every compromise is reported as a catastrophe.

But let’s step back from the close-up bill-by-bill view for a moment, and take a look at the bigger picture.

The Democratic Party has now become a far left party antithetical to American liberty. That is, the Democrats no longer support the limits on government that protect the right of each person to choose his own way, express his own thoughts and use his own property and money as he sees fit.

In each of these spheres, President Trump and the GOP Congress have begun to strike back effectively.

And President Trump’s brutal and hilarious trolling of the dishonest, failed, fake news media has marginalized these deeply corrupt faux journalists to the point of irrelevance. This is no small accomplishment in itself.

Maybe we could call a pause in carping at President Trump and tarring and feathering Speaker Ryan and scorning Senator Mitch McConnell just long enough to tell them thanks.

Michael D. Shaw: Why politics and science don’t mix – “Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s hearing aid bill may harm millions of Americans.”

When lawmakers make policy that affects the lives of American citizens, it should always be in favor of the solution supported by research and the scientific community, not by convenience or, say, the personal timetable of a member of “The Resistance.”

That is why I have grave concerns about the Over the Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017, sponsored by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with several of her colleagues.

John Sexton picks up on yet another Fake Theme as yet Another post-election hate crime turns out to be fake – The Resistance behavior is on display. What next, honorary college degrees for the perps?

Shortly after the election last year the media became obsessed with a rise in reported hate crimes. One incident which was widely reported at the time involved a church in Bean Blossom, Indiana which had been spray-painted with a swastika and the phrase “Heil Trump.” A slur for gay people was also painted on the church. This week police revealed the crime was actually a “false flag” carried out by the church’s own organist, who is himself gay.

There are more examples, but suffice it to say there have been numerous well-publicized hate crimes which turned out to be false. Though the motive wasn’t put in writing in every one of those cases (as it was in this one), it’s a safe bet most of the hoaxers were also hoping to “mobilize a movement.”

Allahpundit also notes another tactic: New frontier in “Resistance”: Mailing your ashes to Congress after the GOP health-care law kills you – “Incidentally, don’t try to FedEx your dead body to anyone. As HuffPo notes, federal law makes the U.S. Postal Service the exclusive carrier for human residue. If you must ship your bones to Nancy Pelosi, make sure your relatives know they’re stuck waiting on line at the post office.”

If you’re going to go to the trouble of sending your remains to Congress, go the extra mile and have them made into something attractive first, like a pendant or a brooch. A congressional office that gets an urnful of ashes is going to dispose of them immediately. Turn yourself into cufflinks and you could spend eternity adorning some very pricey lobbyist’s wrists. Exit question: If pro-lifers somehow amassed the ashes of every infant aborted in the Roe era, how many square miles of storage would congressional Democrats need to receive them?

And what are they after: John Sexton says In Venezuela, food is so scarce people padlock the refrigerator – “The Wall Street Journal has a story up today which really brings home how devastating the crisis in Venezuela has become for many people, especially vulnerable children.”

John Hinderaker picks up on Nancy Pelosi denouncing the latest health care effort as a “tax cut for the rich.” That leads to Americans For Tax Reform and a list of items in a trillion dollar tax cut. “What a wonderful list! I had completely forgotten about the tanning bed tax. Actually, I had forgotten about most of them. If the Senate is able to improve the House bill, fine. But one way or another, we need this legislation to pass.”

neo-neocon discusses Public perceptions and the GOP health coverage bill – “The goal on the part of the Democrats and the MSM (but I repeat myself): to frighten people—nay, to terrify them—and to have it result in Congress changing to Democrat hands in the next election.”

have you noticed how the concept of health insurance has morphed, so that by now these bills (Obamacare or Whatevercare) are routinely referred to as providing health care?

Unfortunately, health care and insurance are not “goods and services just like anything else.”

there’s another problem, which is the idea that people get sick because of their dissolute lifestyles and irresponsible choices. … Illness and injury are no invariable respecters of our efforts, and it’s folly to think they are.

it also illustrates how emotional these issues are for everyone, and how the idea of personal responsibility can be used as a cudgel to blame the sick. If the GOP is perceived as the party doing that, it will not go well for them.

Perceptions can be enough of a problem to get right. That makes them a target for those who want something that isn’t.

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Daniel Greenfield: The “RESISTANCE” Democrats Are A Terrorist Party – “The Democrats have committed to overthrowing our government.”

In this century, Democrats rejected the outcomes of two presidential elections won by Republicans. After Bush won, they settled for accusing him of being a thief, an idiot, a liar, a draft dodger and a mass murderer. They fantasized about his assassination and there was talk of impeachment. But elected officials gritted their teeth and tried to get things done.

This time around it’s “radically” different.

This fantasy is part clickbait. Leftist media outlets are feeding the worst impulses of their readers. But there is a bigger and more disturbing radical endgame.

A similar program implemented in Europe, with a covert alliance between Communists and Nazis, led to the deaths of millions, the destruction of much of Europe and the temporary triumph of the left.

The left has declared that President Trump’s victory is illegitimate. The response is “Resistance.” That covers violent anti-government protesters, states declaring that they are no longer bound to follow Federal immigration law and Senators obstructing for the sake of obstruction.

Jazz Shaw: The media sure loves the term “deportation force” – another case study on this ‘Resistance’ centered on the Left’s Propaganda Machine.

we’re ramping up our efforts to locate, apprehend and deport illegal aliens and the number of crimes being considered as triggers for prioritized processing has been expanded. That seems to be having a dampening effect on enthusiasm among those considering coming here without following the legal process. That’s good news, right? You might think so, but we’re seeing a new trend in the mainstream media this month which tends to color the story in a very different way. This recent entry from the Washington Post is a prime example, describing the administration’s efforts in terms of constructing a nationwide deportation force. (Emphasis added)

Rather than wringing your hands over whether or not there’s some sort of “mass deportation force” shaping up, perhaps you might consider a different approach in covering this story. What’s going on here might have been described in an earlier and gentler era as law enforcement. An expanded pool of law enforcement officials seeking to arrest and deport those who violate our long standing immigration laws is not some sinister shadow government plotting to institute the New World Order. They’re upholding the law.

There’s a war on. It’s only violent in small spots so far. The question is whether society can fall back to what K. A. Ellis calls revelation:

By revelation, I mean the wisdom and knowledge revealed to us by our infinite and personal Creator, essential for navigating both the earthly and unseen realms. By revolution, I mean the overthrow of an existing order in favor of a new order.
 …
Many Christians today are attracted to the ideas of historical Marxist revolutionaries, despite the philosophy’s historic tendency toward violence to achieve and maintain control.
 …
Yet power without revelation ultimately produces tyranny; resistance without revelation ultimately yields to anarchy.

Wisdom and knowledge from any source is difficult. Even Ellis skates around it. False Witness abounds. Self delusion is rife. Judgment overwhelms observation. Introspection and self knowledge take a back seat. The temptations of the Devil are difficult. There’s more to this war than you might think.

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Biased? Incestuous? Conflicted in Interests? In the Media? Unbelievably sordid? Say it ain’t so!

As if you didn’t know, Cheryl K. Chumley provides more observations: Meet the liberal press — a mainstream media cabal with deep ties to the Democratic Party – “there are those who still scoff at the idea of a biased mainstream media – at the notion that some in the press, many in the press, actually have active intents to take out Trump, tear down conservatives, trash the Republican Party, and build up the left. … Well, let the facts speak for themselves then.”

Follow the money and it underscores the inherent biases and ties between mainstream media and Democrats even more.

What’s worse than the actual donations, however, is the denial of bias.

Well, give me an open bias over a cloaked, feigned, secretive bias any day. Members of the media can profess all they want – wear whatever party pin they want – pretend independence and “no affiliation” all they want. In the end, actions speak louder than bumper stickers. One need only look at the dollars and donations, skim through the connections, marriages and Democratic Party-mainstream media ties, and it’s clear: the left-leaning press is alive, well and kicking in modern day America.

Melania Trump wins one. See Melania Trump – An Apology by Daily Mail and Mailonline – Media that got a bit carried away with Fake News and was called to account. A rumored $3 million in damages were awarded in addition to the apology.

Greg Gutfeld is entertaining in How to explain Trump to your liberal friends (not that they’ll listen) but he rather destroys his own point with the PC ‘both sides do it’ idiom.

We are now completing the third month of the Trumpocalypse.

The assumption that he’s anti-gay or hates minorities or women requires a logical disconnect — to make not just one leap of faith, but four or five concurrent leaps while juggling six balls of unequal weight.

So feel free to hate the guy. That’s OK. The right did that with President Obama. It’s a team sport thing. But it might be as false now as it was then.

Where he misses is the the Left is full of hate for the person while the Right’s hate is for the policies. In terms of Limbaugh, who expressed a desire that Obama’s policies failed, the Left now actively tries to destroy Trump the person.

Better advice on this from the Coyote: My Customer Service & Communication Advice to the United CEO – “My company serves nearly 3 million visitors a year. Though we always try for 100% satisfaction, some customers are going to slip through the cracks and be dissatisfied.”

you seem to be trying to teach this customer a lesson, and make them realize they have been bad. Even if the customer is really a jerk, this is never, ever ever ever going to happen. You will never ever convince a jerk that they are a jerk, because almost by definition jerks last self-awareness, so stop trying.”

In a more serious vein is Walter E. Williams on The Cancer Eating Away at College Campuses – “The average American has little knowledge of the extent to which our institutions of higher learning have been infected with a spreading cancer.”

Today we’re seeing the re-emergence of the mentality that gave us loyalty oaths, in the form of mandating that faculty members write “diversity statements,” especially as part of hiring and promotion procedures. They are forced to pledge allegiance to the college’s diversity agenda.

By the way, the next time you hear a college president boasting about how diverse his college is, ask him how many Republican faculty members there are in his journalism, psychology, English, and sociology departments.

College administrators have closed minds about their diversity agenda, but there’s nothing more effective in opening up closed minds than the sound of pocketbooks snapping shut.

John Hinderaker says A Shoe Drops: Obama Administration Spied On Carter Page [Updated] – this is about a WaPo story on a FISA warrant that again supports Trump’s Famous Obama Wiretap tweet.

The current leakers, whoever they are, described the Obama administration’s FISA application in detail. Or else the Post reporters have seen it.

In any event, the Obama administration failed to find any evidence that anyone associated with Trump was somehow cooperating with the Russians–not even a “junior member of the [Trump] campaign’s foreign policy advisory group,” as Page described himself. If they had, we would have learned about it long before now.

We haven’t heard the last of this story, but for the moment one thing is clear: a great many people, inside and outside of the media, owe President Trump an apology. Assuming that President Obama knew of, and approved, the FISA application–a safe assumption, I think–Trump’s much-reviled tweet was true

UPDATE: We are now starting to get a picture of how sinister this whole Democratic Party misinformation campaign is. Through the last half of 2016, the Obama administration was desperately searching for evidence of some link between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia. They went to the length of seeking (twice, reportedly) and finally obtaining a FISA order that allowed them to spy on at least one insignificant Trump associate.

In addition, we now know that Susan Rice headed up an operation whereby raw NSA intelligence was sifted for names of Trump associates, no doubt in hopes of uncovering dirt of some sort.* And we also know that these efforts came up dry. The Obama administration found no compromising information about Trump or any of his associates.

Nevertheless, ever since the Inauguration the Democratic Party, especially its press wing in Washington and New York, has relentlessly pushed the Trump/Russia story. What story? There isn’t one. But that hasn’t stopped Democrats in the press from talking about little else for the last three months.

And yet, all along, the Democrats have known that their spying produced nothing. This whole story is almost unbelievably sordid. The relevant Congressional committees should investigate thoroughly, and criminal prosecutions should follow where laws have been broken.

It is time to get to the bottom of the Obama spy scandal.

Benny Johnson says The Most Stunningly Detailed 2016 Election Map Was Just Released—Democrats Should Be Scared, Very Scared – “Ryne Rohla at Decision Desk HQ set out to model American voting patterns, not just on a national or state level, but by burrowing down to the most localized, nuanced metric available: local precincts.”

Rohla knows that voting trends reflect the true spirit of a people, at least for a window in time. This data is important and measuring it accurately is essential. However, even in our digital-first society, nailing down the accurate voting habits of a rural district is difficult.

There are maps from previous elections, too, so you can see changes. All told, though, it is a sea of red with speckles of blue.

A lot of the Trump governmental reorganization effort to ‘drain the swamp’ reminds me of the movie Force 10 From Navarone. The commando team could not take out the bridge as assigned as it was too well built but taking out the dam upstream was another matter. The resulting flood would take out the bridge. But, even then, the explosives didn’t immediately destroy the dam but only weakened it to let the water do its work. That ‘slow demolition’ surprised everyone except the explosive expert. Trump, too, is setting things in motion, dealing with sabotage, and working around obstacles while the swamp critters are expecting immediate dramatic results and using simple one-to-one models for their paradigm. They, like the Force 10 commando team, are puzzled in that they are hearing explosions but nothing is happening immediately that they can actually see but they can hear some strange rumblings in the dam.

See 20 Ways Trump Unraveled the Administrative State by Sean Moran. 

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4/5/2017: TDS and total lack of control

Ajit Pai and Maureen Ohlhausen of the FCC and FTC say No, Republicans didn’t just strip away your Internet privacy rights – The WaPo calls this an “opinion” yet it has a lot of explaining and very little opining.

April Fools’ Day came early last week, as professional lobbyists lit a wildfire of misinformation about Congress’s action — signed into law Monday by President Trump — to nullify the Federal Communications Commission’s broadband privacy rules. So as the nation’s chief communications regulator and the nation’s chief privacy enforcer, we want to let the American people know what’s really going on and how we will ensure that consumers’ online privacy is protected.

During the Obama administration, the FTC concluded that “any privacy framework should be technology neutral” because “ISPs are just one type of large platform provider” and “operating systems and browsers may be in a position to track all, or virtually all, of a consumer’s online activity to create highly detailed profiles.”

The FCC’s regulations weren’t about protecting consumers’ privacy. They were about government picking winners and losers in the marketplace. If two online companies have access to the same data about your Internet usage, why should the federal government give one company greater leeway to use it than the other?

The FTC is in here because privacy in Trade is their bailiwick. The FCC got involved in order to make ‘special distinctions’ to go after perceived villains. The effort now is to level the playing field and put Trade practices in the FTC and communications technology practices in the FCC.

Tammy Bruce is all too real concerning Trumpmageddon – “The Democrats’ fever dream is doomed to fail.”

It’s not clear how long liberals will be able to keep up their perpetual Trump outrage, but a clever entrepreneur should immediately establish sanatoriums within which Hollywood types, Democratic operatives and “activists” receive the care they need when they collapse from exhaustion.

It’ll be rehab for bullies

The media, Hollywood and smug liberals are getting a lesson from a president who isn’t swayed by screams or threats or even polls. He’s focused on making things in this country better. Mr. Trump does have a challenge, though, and that’s making sure his message is communicated clearly and strongly enough to make sure the malevolence of his opponents is barely audible like the old, dead leftist echo that it is.

Cheryl K. Chumley notes the elevated insanity in The left’s lunatic plagiarism sling at Gorsuch – “The left-leaning media, working in concert with Democratic will, have launched an all-out last-minute attack on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, accusing him of plagiarism.”

It’s bogus, by independent accounts. But this is how the left works: Smear, disgrace, tear down, defame and defile. Anything to keep him from being confirmed, it seems.

The judge has penned literally thousands upon thousands of pages of documents and rulings as a judge — but the left, led now by Buzzfeed and Politico, apparently have found three instances where his writings seemed suspect.

One person Gorsuch is accused of plagiarizing actually flatly denies he plagiarized.

And another, emeritus professor Jon Finnis of Oxford University, said similarly.

But this, from Buzzfeed … And this, from Politico, a separate headline: “Gorsuch’s writings borrow from other authors.”

The White House has fired back.

The left’s concerted attack against all-things-President Donald Trump marches on. But this latest instance, an attempted assassination of a well-regarded and esteemed member of the judiciary, however, is a new and despicable level of low, even for the left.

Rd Whelan has more on these Bastardized Charges – “Surprise, surprise. Another desperate 11th-hour smear, something that appears to have become a rite of passage for Republican Supreme Court nominees.”

If you want to see another form of Trump Derangement Syndrome, check out Jonah Goldberg at National Review. The President Is This Presidency’s Worst Enemy – “The administration doesn’t suffer from a failure of ideas, but a failure of character.” One of the first clues that you’re not dealing with someone fully in charge of his bias is Goldberg bringing up the “Why so much chaos, then?” There are other clues such as his citations and a priori assumptions not to mention the thing about Tweets.

Trump brings the same glandular, impulsive style to meetings and interviews as he does to social media. He blurts out ideas or claims that send staff scrambling to see them implemented or defended. His management style is Hobbesian. Rivalries are encouraged. Senior aides panic at the thought of not being part of his movable entourage. He cares more about saving face and “counterpunching” his critics than he does about getting policy victories.

It’s true that Trump has racked up some wins — a few relatively easy executive orders and the Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch, who’ll wind up taking the late Antonin Scalia’s seat one way or another.

Such a diatribe should make for a good classroom exercise about finding logical fallacies. There is the ad hominem, of course, then the appeal to authority, then the minimizing of counter arguments, … it’s a rich source but very typical of those who haven’t come to grips with the Trump reality. Just how far those ‘relatively easy’ wins and such have to mount up to make an impression is going to create a scale for the depth of the derangement and dissonance.

The IBD gets into a result of the Propaganda machine and the dissonance expressions such as Goldberg’s. Trump’s 34% Approval In IBD/TIPP Poll Is Nothing To Cheer, Or Ignore – “The reaction to the latest IBD/TIPP poll showing President Trump’s approval ratings taking a big hit has been, well, depressing.”

Clearly, the left’s total war against Trump has taken its toll. Every day it is wall-to-wall attacks in news, entertainment, academia and every other corner of daily life. Rather than argue and debate Trump’s policies — about which the public is largely in agreement — they’ve resorted to their favorite weapon: the politics of personal destruction.

So, congratulations, Trump haters. You’ve managed to drive down his numbers before he’s had a chance to actually get much done.

This is not to say that Trump hasn’t contributed to his own poor ratings with his ill-conceived tweets, newbie administration mistakes, and a seeming lack of focus on the issues that got him elected. But nothing Trump has done justifies the level of hatred and vitriol being thrown at him.

For now, however, the results are what they are. Reality sometimes can be uncomfortable or unpleasant. But just as celebrating Trump’s low approval is wrong, so is denying it altogether.

It is early yet and the vitriol has been unprecedented both in its quantity and in it’s depths of depravity. As Tammy Bruce wonders about above, the question is really about how long the Left can keep it up. Alicia Colon notes something the Left, and people like Goldberg, miss. It is something that does and will surface and won’t have the kind of stench that the many Obama scandals that are surfacing right now have. The Very Presidential Donald Trump; What A Surprise!

My Democrat relatives were in complete agreement as were the NeverTrumpers in the GOP who ranted about the arrogant New York native as not being presidential material.

They dragged out every single negative Trump news item and when that didn’t dissuade us; they simply made up fake ones. They had no idea whom they were dealing with.

The truth is that on a superficial level, Donald Trump may be arrogant, boastful, a tad narcissistic and he tends to fly off the handle with maddening tweets.

But what I have come to believe since his election is that he is a brilliant strategist who loves this country.

In other words, what you see in Trump tends to be more a reflection of yourself. That is why it is important to understand one’s self first and to be aware that perceptions do not necessarily truly reflect reality. Check your feelings and if you find anger or other negative emotion, be particularly careful.

On those smelly things that are surfacing, see Katie Pavlich about Bribery: New Documents Show IRS Targeting Scandal Was More Expansive – “New documents obtained by government watchdog group Judicial Watch show the IRS targeting scandal was more expansive than previously known.”

the documents show IRS officials essentially bribed groups and offered tax exempt status in exchange for limited political activity. In other words, limiting opposition to President Obama’s agenda.

“No wonder the Obama IRS has been hiding these records. The new smoking-gun documents contain admissions by the Obama IRS that it inappropriately targeted conservative groups,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “But the records also show that the abuse continued – as the Obama IRS tried to force conservative applicants to give up their First Amendment rights in order to finally get their applications granted.”

Another one also has revelations summarized by Ace citing Andy McCarthy: The Russia Story Finally Yields a Watergate-Sized Scandal, But Not the One the Leftist Media and Democrat Party (BIRM) Were ExpectingWorth reading in full.

The two moves were required together to start the conveyer belt of leaks from Rice, Clapper, and the whole gang to their co-conspirators at CNN and the Washington Post. The two work in tandem to propel the information across the national sea, like the sail that catches the wind and the mast that transfers the wind’s power into the ship itself.

And that’s why CNN is so furiously attacking a Real News story: They’re protecting their sources, and protecting their own asses as well: In any genuine criminal probe of the leaks, CNN reporters could be sent to jail on a judge’s contempt order if they refuse to reveal their sources, just as Judith Miller was ordered to jail for refusing to give up her sources in the Valerie Plame investigation.

There is a good example of how the Left deals with unpleasant reality by John Sexton who notes that 20 House Democrats request removal of Devin Nunes from Russia investigation – “A group of House Democrats led by Rep. Gerry Connolly sent a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan Tuesday asking for the recusal of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes from the ongoing investigation into Russian influence on the 2016 election.”

The idea that Democrats are trying to rescue the House from too much partisanship is, of course, absurd. There is still no proof behind the allegations the Trump campaign colluded with Russian hackers, an allegation which is once again trotted out in this letter. The allegation itself has become a means to an end: to keep the attack on the administration going and collect as many Republican scalps along the way as possible. “This is about country, not party,” would sound less like a laugh line if Democrats would stop using these accusations as a cudgel against Republicans in the media. Instead, we have House Democrats continually talking up collusion and even impeachment in advance of any proof.

No matter how absurd or dishonest there is a solidarity and persistence to be admired. This is the battle at hand and many on the Right do not quite get it, yet. The Public may have realized this and the last election illustrates that.

John Hinderaker takes apart the AP problem with TDS saying The Associated Press Is Guilty of False Advertising – “Like other Democratic Party news outlets, the Associated Press is conducting a daily war against President Trump and his administration.”

Do you want to know what is really false advertising? The AP’s claim that its “fact checks” constitute “a look at the veracity of claims by political figures.” In reality, the AP “fact checks” only one political figure, President Trump, with occasional attacks on members of his administration. Here are the headlines for the last 25 AP “fact checks.” Judge for yourself:

We could go on (and on), but you get the drift. The Associated Press was once a respected news service, but today it is just one more member of the Democratic Party’s press auxiliary. There is no reason why anyone should take anything from the AP seriously, if it relates to the Trump administration or to any subject of partisan controversy.

 

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4/2/2017: The Narrative: compare and contrast

Jazz Shaw dissects the propaganda on Government shutdowns: a tale of two media narratives – “The next chapter of the Resist! movement is beginning to build up a head of steam and it centers around the possibility that an impasse on spending authorization could lead to a government shutdown.”

Sounds absolutely heroic, doesn’t it? The party in power can be brought to heel if the Democrats can cleverly exercise their power.

Compare that to a different story. This one was unfolding in October of 2013.

That seems… different somehow, doesn’t it? “Bracing” for a shutdown. Republicans are “demanding” while President Obama and Senate Democrats were heroically “refusing to give in.” The nasty old GOP “prefers keeping the government closed.”

So if the GOP is in the minority and they obstruct the passage of a spending bill, they get the blame. But if they are in control and the Democrats are in the minority and out of the White House… the GOP gets the blame. See how that works? Get ready for more of the same as the end of April gets closer if we don’t have some sort of viable budget deal on the horizon. I just wanted to put this out there as an early stake in the ground because you can smell the narrative coming like a cow patty on a griddle.

The propaganda will likely remain the same but, if Shaw is any indication, its perfidy will be a topic for discussion and exposure for what it is.

The Weekend Pundit has wisdom on a A Purely Defensive (And Understandable) Move where the SJW crowd went hyperbolic in outrage.

I find it interesting, but unsurprising, that the Left has lost its friggin’ mind over the revelation that Mike Pence prefers not to dine alone with women who are not his wife.

While Pence has both religious and moral reasons for doing so, many other men understand the risk entailed by doing so. Considering the hostile environment created by the various feminist groups, SJW’s, and the perpetually offended Left, it’s no wonder no sane man would want to put himself into a position that has a high risk of destroying his reputation, or worse, his career. Call it a necessary defensive move in a situation created by the very same people who are now slamming Pence for publicly stating his preferences and the reason behind them.

Just consider the recent brouhaha about due process in Colleges regarding alleged rape or the Anita Hill situation or the news about the assault on Bill O’Reilly as part of the ongoing Fox News assault. For the Left, Gender is a weapon.

Jay Caruso: Media Bias Goes Far Beyond Language – “Kellyanne Conway was profiled in New York magazine, and the photos are typical of the portrayals of conservatives.” The bread and butter of photographers is to tell a story without telling it. The picture tells it and it is a matter of the impression the photograph leaves the viewer. Caruso dissects a case study.

Recently, New York magazine published a profile piece on Donald Trump’s White House counselor and campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway. The profile itself is well written, and overall I found it to be fair and interesting. That said, when I saw the accompanying photos, I couldn’t help but be taken aback. I’ve been a photographer for over 20 years, and I’ve done editorial and corporate headshots before. What I saw in New York magazine is something I would never present to a client.

Thomas Burke: Co-opting Jesus’ Name – anything is a weapon and there are no constraints about how it is used! The foil in this case is Nicholas Kristof writing a satirical opinion piece in the New York Times:And Jesus Said Unto Paul of Ryan…”,

The American progressive Left frequently decries the use of the name of Jesus Christ for political gain. I’ve heard this personally in conversation and read it in many articles, and the condemnation is often intense, claiming that co-opting Christ’s name or actions to argue public policy, especially by those on the Right claiming to be Christian, is plainly disingenuous and despicable.

Another baseline: if you talk to leaders in the church about helping their communities, you may hear them speak in terms of relief versus development. … Looking at our most expansive and expensive entitlement programs in the U.S. — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the ACA, SNAP — they are all by definition relief programs. They provide no long-term ability for their recipients to better their lives and remove themselves from the program.

What Kristof’s column really boils down to is money. It echoes a Socialist paradigm in which the making of money is evil because money itself is evil. Kristof and others attempt to use the words of Christ to authenticate this belief.

The irony about pieces like Kristof’s is they commit the exact offense the American Left accuses conservative Christians of committing: co-opting Jesus’s name to score political points.

John J. Vecchione: The Congressional Review Act and a deregulatory agenda for Trump’s second year – this is a Congressional tool dug out of the dust in the shed whose purpose is resolving problems with Executive over-reach. Vecchione explains what a CRA is and how it works.

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2/28/2017: Fake News, Fake Reality, Trying to be ‘Nice’

IBD: Sorry, Bush Is Wrong — The Media Aren’t Doing Their Job – “President George W. Bush has issued a full-throated defense of the media’s role in modern society. He’s being way too generous.”

While we deeply admire the former president for not holding a grudge, the media spent much of Bush’s eight years in office actively lying about what he was doing and what he was trying to do.

The Obama administration had scandal after scandal — Operation Fast and Furious, the IRS going after conservative groups, wire tapping of media, outright lies about what transpired at Benghazi, the Department of Justice seizing media emails and phone records, the National Security Agency’s apparent illegal spying on Americans, the list goes on.

But the “independent” media stayed mum. Instead, they behaved more like bought-and-paid-for courtiers or sycophantic lickspittles, despite Obama’s open contempt for them.

The media need to take a long look in the mirror and address their extreme ideological bias. If not, the media have no one to blame but themselves for being treated as what they are — political partisans with an ideological agenda.

Ed Morrissey has a view more focused on the victim: Bush: A free press is “indispensable to democracy” – “Did former president George W. Bush use a book-plugging appearance on NBC’s Today show to take shots at Donald Trump? Perhaps, but if so, he took a much more clear shot at the president in between the two of them.”

It’s no secret that the Bushes were not fans of Trump, and vice versa. However, Bush clearly tried to avoid being seen as directly criticizing Trump, and even scolded Lauer a bit over the rush to judgment on “healing” after only a month. It’s not exactly a shocking statement to herald a free press as indispensable to a democracy; it’s absolutely true, but also a cliché, especially in the framework of Lauer’s question, and so is the line about immigration policy. Like much of what we see in the media coverage of this administration, it’s a triumph of sound bites over context.

The book is Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors by George W. Bush.

Scott McKay asks Did Democrats Aid and Abet Terrorists Seeking American Secrets? – “Since Donald Trump took office there has been ubiquitous media coverage of what can most properly be termed crap.”

It’s not so surprising those outlets spend time on contrivances. Without The Russians! and those vaporous Trump abuses calling forth the echoes of Hitler and his brownshirts, airtime and column space might have to be devoted to other stories which would be less useful to the various narratives being concocted in New York and Washington editorial conference rooms.

One such inconvenient story is that of the Awan brothers.

Do Carlos Slim and Jeff Bezos, one might ask, really believe they can’t sell papers with such a story to tell?

And then one might conclude Trump is well within his rights to treat these people as enemy propagandists, because to have buried such a profoundly disturbing story sure looks like a mockery of the public’s trust.

Ed Morrissey picks up on another example: Spicer: Special prosecutor? For what? Update: Issa backpedals – “When ABC’s Jon Karl asks about appointing an independent investigator into rumors of connections and coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence, Spicer reminds everyone that the FBI has been probing this for months already, under two different administrations, and have found bupkis so far.”

“A special prosecutor for what? We have now for six months seen story after story about unnamed sources saying the same thing over and over again and nothing’s come of it,” Spicer said. “At what point, you have to ask yourself ‘what are you investigating?’”

The sudden media interest in a special prosecutor for potential executive-branch misdeeds seems rather curious, to say the least.

we don’t need a special prosecutor unless and until we establish that the Department of Justice has been compromised in its law-enforcement role. You know … like when the Attorney General takes private meetings with the spouse of an investigation target.

Jazz Shaw: So who is leading the field in the new Party of No? – “In the era of “Resist!” there seems to be a competition to see who can oppose, obstruct and defy president Donald Trump more than everyone else.”

For the folks out in the streets with their pre-printed signs and genitalia themed headgear it’s probably hard to pick a winner. Not so in the halls of Congress, however. Democratic Senators are lining up to lead this parade and one of the best measures they have in demonstrating precisely how willing they are to defeat the new president at every turn is the frequency with which they vote against the confirmation of his cabinet nominees. It should come as no surprise that the leaders in this race include some of the same people who are already being quietly discussed as possible presidential nominees in 2020.

Even Allahpundit gets in on this. Rubio: I’m not going to hold a town hall just to be heckled by liberal activists – It may not be (but then again) astro-turf or paid protesters but it is organized and scripted and ugly and without anything in mind other than destruction.

He has firsthand experience with liberal activists trying to put him on the spot this month even without having held a town hall. They’ve staked him out at a few places around Miami to confront him on camera about why he hasn’t held an event yet. He’s not wrong either about liberals cribbing from the “Indivisible” pamphlet, a protest guide “full of pointers on how to bird dog their members of Congress in the language of Capitol insiders.” The authors of the pamphlet claim it’s been downloaded more than a million times since December.

Rubio’s attitude is that a member of Congress has a duty to meet with constituents but no duty to provide them with a target for a media-friendly spectacle that’s not really about either side listening

The Rampant Incivility of the Left by Steve McCann – “Those vehemently opposed to Donald Trump are apparently incapable of voicing coherent and compelling criticism.”

The compulsion to compare, either directly or deviously, one’s political opponent to Fascists, Nazis, Hitler, or Mussolini is indicative of the so-called Progressives’ inability to present a coherent argument in support of their policies. The mindless references to the World War II period (including the 1930’s) are an affront to and a denigration of the memory of nearly 60 million people who died in the War and the countless millions who suffered and were displaced. Far too many on the left side of the political spectrum, who so glibly throw around these comparisons, apparently do not know, or do not care to acknowledge, the socialist underpinning of Nazism and its parent Fascism and do not have the slightest concept of the real-life experiences of those who were there.

It is an admission that the Left knows it cannot compete in the larger arena of ideas. They know the only means they have to accumulate power and win elections …

These are, in fact, some of the same strategies utilized by the despots of recent history in their seizure of power. If there is any group in the United States today that could be truthfully compared to the Fascists, it is the current iteration of the American Left.

On the kind of people behind the left is the ongoing saga of the floodplain camp protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. Besides a million dollar cleanup bill, there is a need for care in picking up the trash. John Sexton has pictures: Dakota Access Pipeline protesters left puppies behind at frozen camp. “When police shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp last week in accordance with a deadline established weeks earlier, protesters left behind cars, loads of trash and also a number of stranded pets. KFYR in Bismark reports on the efforts of one local rescue shelter to round up the abandoned animals.” Let the excuses continue.

Scott Johnson on Fake news: A case study about Rumana Ahmed – ““Burrowing,” as it’s commonly called, is the process through which political appointees move into career government status.”

In “Fake news, exposed.” Smith digs into the story behind Ahmed’s story … Smith finds the hidden hand of Obama fabulist Ben Rhodes behind Ahmed’s story (as well as the story of Ahmed’s former White Hourse office mate Ned Price). Please do read the whole thing.

Women In the World in association with the New York Times promptly picked up Ahmed’s story and sought to amplify it in “‘Only hijabi in the West Wing’ shares the story of her exit from the Trump White House — after just 8 days.” The Times now professes to be big into “truth,” but the “truth” is that it remains an organ dedicated to pumping out story lines and fake news on behalf of the left.

The NRA titles the video below “Truth doesn’t matter to the New York Times.” The video’s critique of the Times is that the Times is a latecomer to the cause of truth. I doubt that this critique is sufficiently harsh.

For a different view of the President, John Hinderaker picks up on Trump Unbound, At Dinner – “For a completely different view of President Trump, check out this report by Benny Johnson at Independent Journal Review, titled “Inside Trump’s Secret Dinner.”

Benny Johnson got a tip that he was going to have dinner at the BLT Steakhouse inside Washington’s Trump Hotel. So he reserved a table near where he expected Trump’s party to be and arrived early. His account includes pictures and several videos.

Benny Johnson’s report is a nice counterpoint to the anti-Trump propaganda with which we are bombarded 24/7. It is easy to understand why Trump doesn’t believe the media’s constant negativity reflects the views of most Americans.

A. Barton Hinkle says The Solutions Are Sitting Around a Campfire, Not In Congress – “Everything’s going to be more or less ok.” He is missing the pressure is putting on pushing their ideas to corrupt what he describes but it is still a ‘feel good piece’ for the day.

At the same time, it is possible to make too much of our current troubles. A little perspective is in order.

One way to regain that perspective is to spend a few minutes on HumanProgress.org, which tracks the generally meliorating conditions of human existence over the short, medium, and long term. It is filled with data showing how much better things today are than they once were: Hundreds of millions of people have climbed out of poverty. Literacy rates are rising, the gender wage gap is shrinking, child mortality is falling. Air travel is both cheaper and far less dangerous, food is more plentiful, malaria deaths have plunged, and on and on.

If your learning style is more experiential than data-driven, then you might try spending a few days with a Cub Scout pack. Few things are as likely to restore your confidence that everything is basically OK.

Eight-year-old boys don’t care if you’re an immigrant or black or white or Asian or Muslim or evangelical. They just don’t. As comic Denis Leary once put it, “Racism isn’t born, folks, it’s taught. I have a 2-year-old son. You know what he hates? Naps. End of list.”

While you’re telling that story you look around and realize none of the boys has touched an electronic device for a day and a half. They’re all running around in the woods with sticks, building forts and having swordfights. And you think, it’s not just this bunch of kids; this is going on all over the country. And it’s not just the Scouts but church groups and 4-H and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and sports teams and too many others to name. None of it created by Washington, none of it imposed by executive order. Just ordinary people, doing their part.

You look around and you realize: One of these days these kids are going to grow up and take over. And things will be just fine. Maybe even more than fine.

Economist: Wind and solar power are disrupting electricity systems – “But that’s no reason for governments to stop supporting them.” The underlying theme in this article is top down energy cost manipulation assuming that it is only via legislation that the price of energy is determined. The “free energy” myth that ignores both capital costs and lifetime issues is also present.

Normally investors like putting their money into electricity because it offers reliable returns. Yet green energy has a dirty secret. The more it is deployed, the more it lowers the price of power from any source.

Policymakers are already seeing this inconvenient truth as a reason to put the brakes on renewable energy. In parts of Europe and China, investment in renewables is slowing as subsidies are cut back. However, the solution is not less wind and solar. It is to rethink how the world prices clean energy in order to make better use of it.

First, the splurge of public subsidy, of about $800bn since 2008, has distorted the market.

Second, green power is intermittent.

Everyone is affected by a third factor: renewable energy has negligible or zero marginal running costs—because the wind and the sun are free.

In short, policymakers should be clear they have a problem and that the cause is not renewable energy, but the out-of-date system of electricity pricing. Then they should fix it.

The “out of date system of electricity pricing” is the capitalist free market modified by governmental oversight to control the monopoly fears. The fact is that individual customers have choices they can compare to the public grid and some find that other sources of energy work best for them. The ‘dirty little secret’ in ideological driven energy choices is that it cannot compete and must, therefore, be mandated by government and paid for by public funds or by extra consumer fees and costs. That is a cost that hits hardest on the poor and needy.

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2/27/2017: Fake Justice, too? Being able to see turns out to be difficult.

Robert Knight: Fake justice and the rise of a new religion – “Post-modern progressives, contrary to popular belief, are not irreligious. They worship at the altar of government power, lifting the chalice of “diversity” and eating the bread of “tolerance.”

In recent years, progressives have used the courts to establish newer classes of protected behaviors that effectively trump the explicit constitutional protection of religion. What is not written takes precedence over what is. You’ve heard of fake news? Welcome to fake justice.

The only cure for this existential threat is to assert strongly the unalienable rights granted to us by nature and nature’s God. We need to work and pray so that real justice replaces the fake variety.

Rowan Scarborough: Obama loyalists suspected of ‘sabotage’ with leak of travel ban report – “Intel report leaked to press ‘incomplete,’ open source.”

“This was not really a leak but sabotage,” the source said. “This report was commentary. This is insurrection. They all took an oath.”

The leak to The Associated Press appears to follow a pattern of suspected Obama loyalists still inside the government releasing draft documents that are immediately refuted by the White House

Andrew Malcom Opinion: The truth about Trump’s worrisome war on media – “worrisome” tells you about the bias in this opinion but otherwise Malcom has a few good points to consider.

Americans are not dumb, even if you disagree with their presidential choice. In the years B.T. (Before Trump), millions decided the Fourth Estate had become more of a fifth column to combat traditional values and fairness.

That’s dangerous because our democracy needs a healthy, honest press, now also financially troubled. The best way to restore both trust and business health is to reboot and become real journalists again, this time with a professional conscience. Because it takes two sides to keep a war going.

Lloyd Marcus provides balance asserting that Fake News Still Lyin’ About the Tea Party – “Harriet Baldwin posted on Facebook: “Pisses me off when the alt-left media likens these paid Obama/Soros/Alinsky violent protesters to the Tea Party.”

It has infuriated me the way the despicable fake news media intentionally branded the salt-of-the-earth good Americans at the rallies a bunch of redneck racists vehemently opposed to America electing its first black president. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Folks, Tea Party people are not racist. They love their country. They desire equal justice for all Americans. They do not want government dictating how to raise their kids and micromanaging their lives to achieve the Left’s absurd goal of equal outcomes.

Trump calling out fake news outlets is exhilarating.

And now, fake news media has the nerve to place the Left’s paid deranged, violent, and chaos-producing thugs on a higher moral level than the Tea Party. Heaven forbid.

Taylor Millard illustrates the inability to make critical distinctions on this issue by asserting a plattitude: Biased press is free press – “There’s this notion the only press for a presidential administration should be good press. President Donald Trump and his allies sure think that’s the case.” This misstates the President (big clue is use of “think”). “Good” implies agreeable and supportive whereas the President has been explicit in asserting that his interest is for an accurate press. There is a glimmer of realization about this:

But there’s another factor to all of this, which not everyone is talking about: the press needs to be honest about its biases.

But bias and accuracy are not the same. Bias may lead to the many retractions and obvious falsehoods in the press. It may stimulate headlines that are contradicted deep in the story. But bias is no excuse for corruption, deceit, and dishonest in a propaganda war against duly elected officials. Millard and others have a ways to go on getting this internalized and properly understood.

Even GWB is getting into this with the idea that the press holds government accountable. That gets a lot of happy press. What is missing is who holds the press accountable. The phenomena at hand right now is an irresponsible press, not an irresponsible government. The angst right now is a press squealing about somebody having the gall to think they need to be accurate and show intellectual integrity. 

Another example of denial is provided by Karl Bode: ‘Fake News’ Now Means Whatever People Want It To Mean, And Legislating It Away Is A Slippery Slope Toward Censorship – “We’ve already watched as Donald Trump and his supporters have whined endlessly that absolutely any information they don’t like should be mindlessly deposited into the “fake news” bin — without the pesky and annoying effort required to intelligently analyze each piece of data or reporting on its merits.” That looks like projection. Bode also gets into the ‘stupid public’ meme which is characteristic of the ‘attitude’ that is often cited as being one source of the problem.

The discussion about “fake news” certainly began with good intentions, with participants earnestly focused on how disinformation, shitty journalism and bullshit clickbait were filling the noggins of a growing segment of the public for whom critical thinking was already a Sisyphean endeavor. The solution for this problem was never as clean and easy as most of the conversations suggested, especially given that Americans — thanks in large part to our struggles with education quality and funding — have never been particularly adept at spotting disinformation, much less understanding how you expose, undermine and combat it at scale.

That said, it might be a good idea to make sure we’re not making things worse as we learn. And it shouldn’t require too much pesky critical thinking to realize that the efforts to combat “fake news” can be subverted to aid those trying to rip truth from its very foundation, or that letting politicians define what truth is may only expedite our Orwellian descent toward chilling legitimate expression.

The idea that it is politicians subverting the truth is also indicative as is pulling in Orwell and finding some chilling of “legitimate expression” by those politicians. The fact is that the only expressing chilling going on these days is from the organized Left outside of the political realm in academia and in paid-for riots and social media of all sorts, including the media.

E. Joseph Cossman – “Middle age is when your broad mind and narrow waist begin to change places.”

Thinking about those awards ceremonies? Marilyn Monroe – “Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.”

Mark Perry cites Warren Buffett on America’s miraculous achievements and amazing abundance, thanks to free market capitalism – “From Warren Buffett’s annual letter to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway, which was released yesterday

Above all, it’s our market system – an economic traffic cop ably directing capital, brains and labor – that has created America’s abundance.

However our wealth may be divided, the mind-boggling amounts you see around you belong almost exclusively to Americans. Foreigners, of course, own or have claims on a modest portion of our wealth. Those holdings, however, are of little importance to our national balance sheet: Our citizens own assets abroad that are roughly comparable in value.

Early Americans, we should emphasize, were neither smarter nor more hard working than those people who toiled century after century before them. But those venturesome pioneers crafted a system that unleashed human potential, and their successors built upon it.

What is worrisome is that a third or more of the population wants to destroy this legacy. Fred Wilson points out that the Buffett letter also suffers from a false political pronouncement: “Sadly one of those four pillars is at risk – “a tide of talented and ambitious immigrants.” This is political blindness at its worse as it is conflating efforts to keep terrorists out of the country and the enforcement of law with that of banning “ talented and ambitious immigrants.” That is a falsehood used to impugn the newly elected administration and it is that sort of falsehood that is one of the greatest threats to the prosperity described. – the comments to his posting do discuss this.

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2/25/2017: The hubris of reporters and their part in the insanity

Wallace, substituting for O’Reilly, interviewed Goldberg who asserted that there was no Fake News and that Trump just couldn’t tell bias from Fake News. Bias was illustrated by the contempt Wallace and Goldberg showed for the President. Bias is headlines that are contradicted deep in the story. Bias is in patterns of questionable adjectives. Fake News is publishing stories based on sources committing crimes that turn out to be fabricated or false. Think Dan Rather and the TANG stories for the epitome of Fake News. Consider the many instances where the NYT and CNN have found it necessary to issue story corrections. Wallace and Goldberg need to step back and consider their own biases and inability to distinguish bias from Fake.

Sundance explains Very Fake News – Back Story Behind Spicer Gaggle Shows CNN and NYT Constructing False Narrative… – “There has been a lot of attention paid to Sean Spicer’s decision to not invite the New York Times, CNN and Politico to a press gaggle in his office today. “

However, against the backdrop of the attempted hit job by CNN and the New York Times the Spicer decision was modest.

CNN framed a story of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus asking the FBI to rebuke an earlier story -based on anonymous leaks- of Trump campaign contacts with Russia. According to the agenda, CNN wanted to make it look like the administration was pressuring the FBI to provide the White House political cover.

However, the truth behind the entire episode shows an entirely different story than the false narrative created by CNN.

So the entire construct by CNN of the White House (via Priebus) trying to pressure the FBI is complete nonsense. Very Fake News…. aka a false narrative.

However, perhaps more important, it’s the leaks within the FBI, to CNN which aid in the construction of the false narrative, that are now becoming more concerning to President Trump.

Don Surber: Press coverage of Trump at CPAC shows the Vanity of the Press – “I read the press accounts of The Donald at the CPAC and I must have misunderstood. They described a speech I did not witness.” Read his examples.

Trump Derangement Syndrome emerges as a public health issue by Thomas Lifson – “Mental health professionals are starting to open up in public about the mental health issues among liberals experiencing Trump Derangement Syndrome.”

TDS sufferers are inflicting their anger on others. They are thus a public health hazard. But of course, the LAT cannot openly make such a statement, and instead seeks to portray the issue as equally affecting Trump supporters: …

Ahem, the anger and aggression are one-sided, coming from the TDS sufferers.

Worst of all, mental health professionals are beginning to corrupt their profession owing to shared feelings with the TDS crowd

There are so many absurd fantasies about Trump that are widespread among liberals – that he is antisemitic (with a beloved daughter who is Jewish!), that he is Putin’s puppet (yeah, right – that’s why he is encouraging fracking that would devastate Russia’s heavy reliance on oil prices being high), and that he is somehow authoritarian (by wanting to reduce the power of the unelected bureaucrats to makes laws).

It is time for the wider community to counsel TDS sufferers that they are ill, but that they can receive help. Counseling, disengagment from politics, and if all else fails, medication.

Limbaugh answered a caller’s question about the uncivil behavior in the news by mentioning that “anger and aggression” as hate that drives the Left. With hatred paramount, other considerations for civil society fade and the result is the sort of destructive behavior being seen from the Left.

Paul Mirengoff: Law profs file frivolous bar complaint against Kellyanne Conway – “I hope someone is cataloging all of the low tactics employed by the left to impair the Trump administration. Such a catalog will be useful the next time a Democratic president takes office. … But many of the tactics will have to be rejected as too idiotic. Filing a bar complaint is one of them.”

Via Glen Reynolds: Walter Russell Mead harshes the narrative: Trump isn’t sounding like a Russian mole: Trump’s core global strategy is intended to destroy any illusions in Moscow that Russia is a peer competitor of Washington’s. – “So blind does hatred make them that they cannot understand how their own behavior is driving American public opinion in directions that bode ill for liberals in the future.”

Sara Zaske: Teaching Children to Play With Fire – “Mr. Karawahn’s workshops aim to prevent tragedies caused by children playing with fire in secret.” This, perhaps, is something for those physicians who are obsessed about guns and insist on intruding into patient’s lifestyles on the topic. A safe lifestyle is more likely had with proper training and parenting and neither of these are in the physician’s scope.

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