Archive for Media

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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2/24/2017: That Propaganda Machine of the Left

 

Valerie Richardson: Hundreds of scientists urge Trump to withdraw from U.N. climate-change agency – “MIT’s Richard Lindzen says policies cause economic harm with ‘no environmental benefits’

“Observations since the UNFCCC was written 25 years ago show that warming from increased atmospheric CO2 will be benign — much less than initial model predictions,” says the petition.

“Restricting access to fossil fuels has very negative effects upon the wellbeing of people around the world,” he says in his letter.

“It condemns over 4 billion people in still underdeveloped countries to continued poverty.”

Jonah Goldberg doesn’t quite get it, yet. He thinks The Press Is Not the Enemy – “But it’s not objective, either.” You can tell because he shines on enlightenment that doesn’t fit his view and does not realize that a propaganda campaign is a primary indicator that one is dealing with an enemy. It seems he thinks the President needs to stay above the fray but recent experience has shown that taking that approach spells doom for a Republican.

Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, had an unfortunate turn of phrase the other day. She said it’s the mission of the press to “control exactly what people think.”

But the misstatement resonated with a lot of people, as did Trump’s claim that the press is an enemy of the people.

It was a grossly irresponsible thing for the chief constitutional officer of our government to say. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a point or that people are crazy for seeing it.

it seems patently obvious that the “objective” press is in the business of subjectively shaping attitudes rather than simply reporting facts.

The media play these kinds of linguistic games all the time. Economics professor Tim Groseclose walks readers through countless examples in his book Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind.

The language games are part of a larger tendency of journalists to follow certain scripts that conform to how coastal elites see the country.

Kelly Riddell: Playing the xenophobic card – “The press and Trump’s critics rekindle a narrative of anti-Semitism.” It’s a story of the media and their narrative and their persistence in trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

Last week, The New York Times detailed President Donald Trump’s press conference, and wrote: “A Jewish reporter got to ask Trump a question, it didn’t go well.” … CNN, also aghast, had a headline … The Washington Post, also clearly upset … Yet, Mr. Turx wasn’t insulted — heck, he actually understood Mr. Trump’s point of view.

When a reporter asked the president if he felt his administration was “playing with xenophobia and maybe racist tones,” contributing to the surge of anti-Semitic acts, Mr. Netanyahu was quick to step in and defend.

But he doesn’t know the American press. When they sense they have an opportunity to paint Mr. Trump as a fear-mongering racist and xenophobe, they’ll pound that narrative home.

On Tuesday, Mr. Trump dealt with the issue head-on.

Still, it wasn’t good enough.

That afternoon White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked six times about Mr. Trump’s remarks.

Of course, Mr. Spicer’s answers weren’t good enough — they were never going to be good enough.

Mr. Goldstein took the entire exchange out of context. But he wasn’t done there. Asked why he thought all of these anti-Semitic attacks were happening, he had a simple answer: “Because our president is creating an incubator of hatred.”

Will not accept reality and then wonder why they get lambasted for Fake News and polls show them as more despicable than Congress?

If you want to know who Tucker Carlson is, Mckay Coppins has an answer: The Bow-Tied Bard of Populism – “Tucker Carlson’s latest reinvention is guided by a simple principle—a staunch aversion to whatever his right-minded neighbors believe.”

When I ask him why he was so infuriated by Duca, he thinks about it for a moment.

Finally, he answers, “It was the unreasonableness … It’s this assumption—and it’s held by a lot of people I live around—that you’re on God’s side, everyone else is an infidel, and by calling them names you’re doing the Lord’s work. I just don’t think that’s admirable, and I’m not impressed by that.”

Fair or not, this is the essence of Carlson’s case against the educated elites and well-heeled technocrats that comprise America’s ruling class (not to mention his neighborhood). They are too certain of their own righteousness, too dismissive of dissenters, too unwilling to entertain new ideas.

Notice that the header asserts “aversion to whatever his right-minded neighbors believe” while the reality is that the aversion is to a behavior pattern, not the people or their beliefs. In this, Coppins makes his own significant error that is common in the Left that tends to personalize everything. 

i.e. intellectual integrity matters.

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2/21/2017: Cultural Marxism and the Demolition Derby

Cal Thomas: Donald Trump’s demolition derby – “The president collides with the media and the public cheers.”

When CNN’s Jim Acosta addressed the president at last Thursday’s raucous news conference, he accused Mr. Trump of damaging the First Amendment by his frequent questioning of the media’s fairness. It is actually the other way around.

Some reporters believe they have an obligation to hold leaders accountable, and they are right to a point, but they don’t appear to believe anyone should hold them accountable.

Mr. Trump is an unconventional president dealing with conventional media. They don’t get it. He does.

Few people would deny the right or even the obligation of journalists to be skeptical, but, in too many instances, skepticism has become cynicism. Just think of how the media characterizes all things conservative.

The media are like the second choice and as ratings and subscriptions sadly show, people are walking their business out the door. I seriously doubt the newspaper campaign will attract new customers. Virtuous people and noble professions usually don’t have to convince others of their virtue and nobility. It is obvious. With much of the media represented at White House press conferences, virtue and nobility are in short supply.

Conrad Black: A Purblind Press, Unable To Admit Error, Boycotts the President

That leaves the press, and the president’s elevation of his counterattacks on the “failing” New York Times, CBS, ABC, NBC, and CNN as “enemies of the people.” Provided that what is meant is that those outlets have been so slanted and malicious that they have misled the declining section of the country that takes them seriously and that this is inimical to the country’s democratic desire for an informed electorate, it is a justified statement.

The Democrats’ fears, though not their tactics, are justified; the press’s unprofessional and dishonest calumnies are not. The press should revisit its boycott of the president and contemplate their own shortcomings. It is they, and not he, who threatens a free press. Mr. Trump, and the country, will win.

The Mainstream Media Have Forfeited All Respect by Steve McCann – “Over the past half-century, the mainstream media in the United States have evolved into interloculars for and the Praetorian Guard of the Ruling Class.”

Beyond the boundaries of the Washington-New York axis, a significant majority of the people are fully cognizant that a leviathan encompassing the entertainment complex, the education establishment and the Democratic Party, has successfully inculcated a plurality of the American people into believing there are no moral absolutes and that the state can grant any rights it so chooses to whomever they choose. Further, the nation’s founding documents are arcane, racially insensitive, and unsuitable for today. Thus, religious liberty, property rights and freedom of speech are under aggressive assault. The mainstream media have chosen sides and their reporting reflects their alliance with this leviathan, … There is virtually no balance in media coverage and to the average citizen there is no doubt that the media has an agenda.

Reporting? Liberal Media Have Much More in Mind Than That by Joe Schaeffer – “The issue, however, has nothing to do with that. It’s that these organizations are openly asserting a right to define, control and impose their world-view on us. That’s the real problem.”

To start, they are defining what is and isn’t offensive in America today, claiming they can make those designations even while admitting they don’t have all the facts, and that you, the reader, deserve to lose your job if you fall outside of the rigid box they construct. There are numerous recent examples.

These media elites are openly ascribing to themselves the right to define and control the information you receive and even the personal judgments you make after absorbing that information.

This is the same media complex that dares to assert that Trump is pushing an oppressive totalitarianism by moving to enact the campaign promises he made to the electoral majority of the American people.

In case you wondered, this is what the term “Cultural Marxism” looks like in real life.

Charlie Martin: ‘Trump Trance’? Media Sure It ‘Heard’ Sweden Comment Trump Never Said – “The furor about the Trump presidency has gotten to the point that people are literally (and I don’t mean figuratively literally, I mean literally literally) seeing and hearing things that aren’t there.”

It’s easy to dismiss this as another example of “fake news,” the phrase that went from novel to cliché in about 22 minutes, but that’s not what happened here. This was an entirely different phenomenon: people’s perceptions are actually being altered, first by their attitudes toward Trump, and then by the reinforcement from various outlets that share their attitudes toward Trump.

The media is in a trance. They are concentrating on seeing “Trump the idiot” or “Trump the liar,” and no one sees the dancing bear. Anyone concerned with understanding what’s actually going on needs to be aware of this.

Some – a lot – of what’s being reported is just not true. It didn’t happen.

Victor Davis Hanson: Seven Days in February – “Trumps’ critics, left and right, aim to bring about the cataclysm they predicted.”

Currently, the political and media opponents of Donald Trump are seeking to subvert his presidency in a manner unprecedented in the recent history of American politics.

The elite efforts to emasculate the president have sometimes taken on an eerie turn.

Fake news proliferates. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi and Representative Elijah Cummings recently attacked departing national-security advisor Michael Flynn by reading a supposed Flynn tweet that was a pure invention. Nor did Trump, as reported, have a serious plan to mobilize “100,000” National Guard troops to enforce deportations.

Clearly in empirical terms, nothing that Trump in his first month in office has done seems to have justified calls for violence against his person or his removal from office. What then accounts for the unprecedented venom?

Trump’s efforts to return politics to the center — enforce existing laws, complete previously approved projects, rein in government regulations and growth, recalibrate U.S. alliances to reflect current realities, unapologetically side with friends and punish enemies — were viewed as revolutionary rather than as a return to conventionality

ending Trump one way or another is apparently the tortured pathway his critics are taking to exit their self-created labyrinth of irrelevance.

Robichaud: Election of outsider Trump rankles federal bureaucrats – “War has been declared on President Trump. It’s actually a war against those of us who work for a living, pay taxes, don’t collect a government handout, pay for our own health insurance and don’t have lobbyists on the payroll.”

Since the November election, it has been a nonstop barrage of hate from the Democrats and the mainstream media … At first, you probably thought the crybaby routine was due to them being sore losers, but that’s not the case. The main reason is that we elected an outsider with a mandate to drain the swamp.

George Neumayr: Who Will Hold the IRS Accountable? – “Congress needs to get to the bottom of Obama-era harassment of non-profit groups.”

In the bubble of Washington, pols strain at the gnat and swallow the camel. They chase after media-driven pseudo-scandals while letting real scandals linger.

Americans don’t toss and turn at night over fears of a hazy network of Russian hackers. But they do fear letters from the IRS.

Obama left office claiming that his administration had been “scandal-free,” a whopper blatantly refuted by the politicization of the IRS on his watch. If Congress fails to ventilate the IRS scandal sufficiently, Obama’s embeds at the IRS will continue to harass conservative groups. A lazy and biased media has pushed the propagandistic line that the scandal was overblown and is now ancient news. It isn’t.

Under the framework of the founders, the people are masters, not servants, and the IRS holds no bondage on their freedoms.

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2/19/2017: Unhinged. Trumpian Thoughtcrimes, Imaginary News

John Hinderaker: McCain Drives Into the Ditch – “John McCain suggests on Meet the Press that President Trump is “suppressing” the free press, which is “the first thing that dictators do.”

John, John, get a grip! Who is “suppressing” the press? Do you seriously not understand the difference between criticizing the press and suppressing it? The press is not above criticism. On the contrary, it deserves to be called out constantly for bias and inaccuracy. President Trump has taken a good step in that direction, but a great deal more press criticism is in order.

Jazz Shaw: John McCain’s “dictator” talk ignores reality and his own past with the media – “We can have a debate over how much criticism should be fairly applied to cable news and the major newspapers if you like, but “suppressing the Free Press” is simply fake news.”

If you want to see actual suppression of the press you need look no further than the nation of Turkey. Over there, a nascent dictator on the rise quickly moved to engage in some actual press suppression immediately following the attempted coup last year. Rather than criticizing journalists who might have commented negatively on his policies, Turkey’s president simply shut down all of the media outlets aside from those sanctioned and controlled by the state. He upped the ante from there by not only putting hundreds of journalists on the unemployment line, but tossing a significant number of them in his dungeons just for good measure.

That, my friends, is what actual media suppression looks like. What’s taking place in the White House today is push back and criticism of American journalists. They are still on the air 24 hours a day and printing their newspapers, free to respond to these critiques and they have been doing so since the moment Trump began speaking in Florida yesterday.

Neo-neocon: The courts rule on Trump’s intent and the “Muslim ban” – “The EO does exactly what it says it does, and the court should not be guessing at whether there is some sort of Trumpian thoughtcrime behind it.”

Those who say that of course Trump’s EO on immigration was meant to be a ban on Muslims are relying on Trump’s long-ago campaign statements as well as a more recent remark of his and some recent comments by advisor Rudy Giuliani. As an example of this type of reasoning, see this article by law professor Ilya Somin, quoting Brown University Professor Corey Brettschneider (writing here)

Here is a direct quote from Giuliani during that interview:

“We focused on, instead of religion: danger, the areas of the world that create danger for us. Which is a factual basis, not a religious basis. Perfectly legal, perfectly sensible, and that’s what the ban is based on. It’s not based on religion, it’s based on places where there are [sic] substantial evidence that people are sending terrorists into our country.”

I don’t know how Giuliani could have been more clear. Giuliani explicitly says what “it” means: the goal of banning the entry of people from places where terrorists come from and will be coming from (places which, by the way, had already been identified by Obama as such). But Somin calls the EO a “case of discriminatory motives hiding behind a vener [sic] of neutrality…an attempt to target Muslims without saying so explicitly.”

Their argument, such as it is, rests on believing the worst of Trump (and Giuliani) without proof, claiming Giuliani is flat-out lying here—and not even giving their readers the benefit of the full quotes, so the readers can decide for themselves. They are certainly free to think that, but as a logical argument it leaves a great deal to be desired.

Scott Adams: Imaginary News – “I think we can all agree that there has been plenty of fake news coming from both sides.” A logical fallacy is not a good way to start in trying to explain hallucinations.

The Huffington Post is literally seeing something that is invisible to me and other observers. We see a President Trump talking the way he normally talks. They see a 77-minute meltdown.

So how can we know who is hallucinating in this case? The best way to tell is by looking for the trigger for cognitive dissonance. In this case, the trigger is clear. Trump’s unexpected win forced the Huffington Post to rewrite their mental movies from one in which they were extra-clever writers to one in which they were the dumbest political observers in the entire solar system.

The key is objective observation of behavior. From “banning Muslims” to Presidential meltdowns and other such things there are many examples of stretching reality to fit fantasy. Whether it is disciplining children or leading a large organization, being able to match perceptions to reality and making sure that it is real, observable behavior and that distinct and clear standards are used to determine measurement is a key to success. 

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2/17/2017: Media Bulls v Matador Trump

David Prentice: The Left’s Once Mighty Echo Chamber Is Losing Power – “They don’t see how they have driven themselves over the edge of reason and can no longer convince others.”

Just because the Democrat/media complex is in full, swashbuckling, we’ve-stormed the castle, we’re-going-to-impeach him-mode is no reason to panic. … The left is blowing its own opportunity by hyper-exaggerating their case.

There are several reasons the left’s capacity to take out Trump will not work. The first has been mentioned: The echo chamber is out of gas, its hyperbole is way beyond believable, and their petulance and anger is obvious. Like in the Wizard of Oz, they don’t realize Toto has torn the curtain away, and we’re seeing who is behind that curtain.

The second reason: The Trump team is implementing its agenda one step at a time. The administration is actually doing what they promised they would during the campaign.

The third reason: The Trump voter is still engaged. Not only are they engaged, they are doubly thrilled that he isn’t backing down to these people.

A look at popularity polls indicates that Trump suffers in comparisons to other Presidents due solely to the hatred of Democrats en masse. The only area where Democrats get up to the normal beyond 30% acceptance is in agreeing that Trump is keeping his campaign promises. The sub 10% acceptance in everything else polled is extraordinary and dangerously partisan.

A must read from VDH: The Deplorables Shout Back – “The full lessons of the 2016 election are still being digested (or indeed amplified), but one constant is emerging that the world outside our bi-coastal dynamic, hip, and affluent culture is not very well understood by those who lead the country.”

Trump was rural America’s shout back. One way or another, he will be its last. Either Trump will fail to restore prosperity and influence to the hinterland and thus even as president go the way of a flash-in-the-pan, would-be president Ross Perot—or he will succeed and thus make a like-minded successor superfluous.

Also by VDH: “The cracks on the face of Oroville Dam remind us that we have abused and caricatured what we inherited. In penance we might do better to listen to the wisdom of the past rather than to parrot the ignorance of the present.”

Roger Simon: The Media Bulls Have Met Their Matador in Trump – “The press doesn’t just have Trump Derangement Syndrome. They now have full-blown Trump Psychosis. And like most people with serious disorders, they are teetering close to the brink of self-immolation.”

David Middleton provides a takedown on Fake News: Fukushima Edition – “Yes, the reactors were old (1960’s) technology… But it wasn’t the nuclear technology which triggered the disaster. It was a failure to anticipate anything more than a 3.1 meter tsunami.” But …

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2/13/2017: Oozing hatred: The dangerous part isn’t the deranged part.

It’s all over the news this morning. From the ACLU’s plans to litigate the government to a standstill no matter the cause or reason to the efforts to find something to ‘impeach Trump’ no matter how deep a hole needs to be dug, to the assertions about mental illness, to the community organizing to disrupt citizen meetings, and on and on. A new study has brought up the Voter Fraud issue again. It questions those who impugn and denigrate Trumps comments on the topic. Another example is illustrated in answering the question Why Was Betsy DeVos At Jefferson Middle School? [twitter source] Two pictures: one of the rioters in front of the school and another of the school noting its annual failed grade.

This is the kind of civil behavior that kills people and breaks societies. One only has to look at history over the last century or so to see where that leads.

David Prentice: The Handmaidens of Hatred – “It’s unfortunate that this has to be a discussion about hate – unfortunate because hatred is divisive, destructive, and at the very least unpleasant.”

It has never been totally gone from us, and now it is in the process of overwhelming an entire side in our political debate.

What is surprising has been the hatred, and the degree of it, from the left-leaning leaders and citizenry of our own country toward their own domestic political and social opponents. That’s we. What is hated is quite countable: Christianity. Class, wealth, and accomplishment. Conservatives. The GOP. America as founded. These all have been targets of left-wing hate. But now it’s also the average U.S. citizen who does not walk in lockstep with the left – and finally, any person, even those who lean left, who does not 100% agree with the new Inquisition.

But there is darkness hiding in the shadows for us, seen daily – darkness that should upset us all. Approximately 35% of our population have become unhinged maniacs. That’s a huge amount of our population that has accepted hatred of its fellow citizens as okay. That’s a monster waiting to rear its ugly head, a Godzilla that will destroy everything in its wake just to survive.

This is a national disaster in the making. No adult on the left will stand up and say what needs to be said.

We cannot survive with this many people on the edge of sanity. This is an ugly, and unsustainable state of affairs, one that cannot remain without grave consequence for us and our nation.

Democrats, this is your problem. Let’s see you come to the aid of your party.

Karin McQuillan says the Dems Made Their Bed with Leftists, Now They Must Lie in It – “After 8 years of exploiting and enflaming the grievances of identity politics, the Democratic Party is being eaten by the monster they rode to power.”

Something new is happening before our eyes. Radicals are completing a takeover of the Democratic Party. Sure, there’s been a lot of mockery among conservatives about hyperventilating Democrats. Pundits point out the obvious: that Democrats screaming that Trump is illegitimate deliver no positive message for working class voters who want jobs and that mobs in black masks are not appealing. Such analyses fall short.

Radicals don’t need to be a majority – they never are. They dominate through mob violence, media manipulation and threats. They are now dominating Democrat politicians, not allowing them to “normalize.”

Hinderaker may be mystified by what he persists in calling liberal behavior because he mislabels it. These Democrats are not liberal. They are radical. These people are not just stamping their feet, they are knocking Trump supporters unconscious and beating them with clubs. They are trained, organized and well financed political agitators.

The radicals are professional bullies. They believe in what they call “direct action,” that is, coercive violence. They demand no compromise. They are awash with money. They are professionally trained, ten thousand alone by Obama’s Organizing for America foundation. The radical agenda, now the Democratic Party’s agenda, is ideologically driven to destroy all normalcy in our government.

So far as I have seen, not one single Democrat has condemned the bloody attacks on Republicans.

Lloyd Marcus thinks The Left’s Campaign to ‘Bush’ Trump Will Fail – we can hope.

Even before Trump took his oath of office, the left launched their immoral, unethical, and lawless 1,460-day (four-year) plan to destroy Trump. The left intends to block Trump from implementing everything we elected him to do.

Despite leftists cautioning their side to tone down their over-the-top hysteria, the left’s rabid opposition to Trump continues to escalate to absurd levels. It’s a bright, sunny day. If Trump comments about it, the left will try to convince the public that it is raining, and Trump lied about the sun.

I submit that the Left cannot tone down their brain-dead, emotion-driven, foot-stomping temper tantrums because it is who they are. It is like the old joke: “I helped you because you promised not to bite me. Why did you bite me?” The snake replied, “I’m a snake. It’s what I do.”

Folks, the left is going to pull this crap every day for the next four years. When leftists push free speech to breaking the law and destroying public and private property,

Oh, one last point. I’ve heard concerns that the left will react violently if we resume Trump rallies. Well, I am sorry, folks, but freedom ain’t free. As a matter of fact, God has designed life in such a way that anything worth having requires backbone and risks.

Are you guys ready? Great! Let’s roll!

One story looked at a SCOTUS case on consumer fraud and conflated alternative facts with fake facts. That disqualified the story as the differences between these concepts – alternative and fake – is important. That sort of intellectual laziness and nonsense is called out by Andrew Klavan asserting that Yes, CNN IS Fake News – “This week’s World’s Smallest Violin Award goes to Fake News Network CNN — specifically to be shared between Fake Newsman Jake Tapper and Fake Newsman Chris Cuomo, both of whom took whiny umbrage at being called Fake News while purveying Fake News.”

The problem is this: CNN — like the New York Times, like the network news departments at NBC and ABC and CBS — is virtually the definition of Fake News, a phrase made up by the left to attack Trump but which blew up in their faces like a trick cigar when it turned out everyone knows what liars they’ve been for the past sixteen years at least.

This is not even a question of the almost ceaseless series of mistakes, distortions and obfuscations that our leftist news media, in their hysterical rage against political reality, have committed since the election of Donald Trump to the presidency. These errors and lies — which include cover-ups of Islamic extremism, lies about right-wing websites, and suspiciously incendiary “mistakes” about the White House — are being ably catalogued by the mighty and terrible John Nolte over at the Daily Wire.

That list at the Daily Wire is up to 76 documented episodes and counting.

For an example, consider this CNN Headline: Four Republican gripes about Obamacare analyzed listed under “Trumponomics.” Partisan complaints is the head, not the real issues involved. Those issues are a part of the article, though, and they have nothing to do with politics. Market collapse, excessive costs, care for the poor, and employment are observable problems that need bi-partisan solutions. They don’t need Fake News headlines and irrational defenses of a failed program put in place with an in-your-face partisan effort.

Bilious Maximus, M.D. has an idea for Cutting the health insurance Gordian Knot – “Most medical businesses show no mercy to the poor.” That starts the problem as the law requires service to the poor in this business yet the business has to make sufficient money to be able to stay in business. Having the government determine the price as well as requiring service levels is a recipe for disaster, a disaster that can be observed in most countries with socialized medicine. Maximus does have a strong point about inequalities (to use the current PC term) in medical service pricing but he does not address the reason for them.

This long-ingrained habit of billing exorbitant and unpublished fees is of no consequence to insured patients, or those with Medicare or Medicaid. They or their insurers all have contracts to pay only their contracted fees, which are invariably far less that what is billed.

But pity the poor uninsured patient. He or she has no contract with the provider to pay reasonable fees, but is required to sign an agreement to pay what is charged in order to obtain services.

For example, there are health fairs sponsored by local hospitals that provide a blood panel screening for about $100. The same medical business cites the price for that test as $800 on MediCare statements so the patient can understand just how great his insurance is because he didn’t pay anything. Why does this happen? A government edict isn’t going to make anything better as this situation is just one effort to find a solution to what the government has already done.

Jazz Shaw gets a two-fer: Green card holder sentenced for imaginary voter fraud in Texas – “That imaginary voter fraud problem we are consistently assured we don’t have appears to be about as persistent as a late case stage of herpes.”

In the Lone Star State authorities have uncovered that rarest of beasts, an actual conviction and sentencing of an immigrant for the crime of voting while not being a citizen. A 37-year-old green card holder has been sentenced to nearly a decade in prison for voting in the 2012 and 2014 elections. (Washington Post)

As with virtually all of these cases, reporters and their liberal supporters are quick to invoke the, “yeah, but…” defense.

Another two-fer as Colin Lahiff hits both the Flynn persecution and the intelligence agencies war on their boss as Mike Flynn, Russia, deportations and real fake news – maybe make that a three-fer with the Fake News.

Yes, you’ve got that right. Flynn spoke with the Russian ambassador, which is, and I underscore this (and CAPS for extra emphasis) PAR FOR THE COURSE. Campaigns and newly elected officials and their reps meet with foreign ambassadors often. Obama’s people did, and did so with the intent of undermining the outgoing Bush administration. Bush’s people did it when Clinton was leaving. McCain’s team did and they weren’t elected. There’s nothing that stops people from meeting with curious foreigners, and there’s no law that forbids any American from talking to those foreigners. If that American was negotiating on behalf of the United States, maybe, just very very maybe, they’re in violation of US law, but probably not, as again, talking with foreigners is not illegal. (The Logan Act suggests it is illegal to work with a foreign government to resolve their dispute with your own. However, the notion that this would survive a constitutional test, or that Flynn was collaborating against his own government, is far from proved, or even credible.)

What is illegal is leaking highly sensitive classified information about signals intelligence from spying on the Russian ambassador. And what is also illegal is for the CIA to spy on Americans. This is not a maybe, or an if, or a sorta. It is ILLEGAL.

Scott Adams explains it as Good Example of Our Two-Movie Reality – “I have been saying since Trump’s election that the world has split into two realities – or as I prefer to say, two movies on one screen – and most of us don’t realize it.”

We’re all looking at the same events and interpreting them wildly differently. That’s how cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias work. They work together to create a spontaneous hallucination that gets reinforced over time. That hallucination becomes your reality until something changes.

This phenomenon has nothing to do with natural intelligence. We like to think that the people on the other side of the political debate are dumb, under-informed, or just plain evil. That’s not the case. We’re actually experiencing different realities. I mean that literally.

Ed Morrissey pulls up a pertinent Sunday reflection: Matthew 5:17–37 – “whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

“whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.”

People complain about rules and balk at the boundaries, but they like rules a lot more than they’ll usually admit. From the time we are old enough to realize that we can transgress, we want to know where the lines are. Sometimes that’s because we want to be good and not accidentally do wrong, and at other times it’s because we want to know just how bad we can be without getting into trouble. The brighter those lines get, the more secure we feel in our own actions, and our judgment of the actions of others, but also the bolder we get in actions that fall just short of the lines.

What we miss in this reaction are the reasons for the laws, and their purpose. In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus explains to His disciples that they are missing the forest for the trees when it comes to God’s laws, which the Israelites have come to see as an end unto themselves.

Thus, Jesus warns, when we set our hearts on division and hatred, we have already rejected the law. It is not enough merely to follow the law by our actions; we need to let the Lord write them on our hearts, that spiritual core where our intellect and will combine. When we do, we enter into solidarity with one another and harmony with God, who loves us and provides the law for that purpose.

In other words, we have to act beyond our own native impulses and think of others as well as ourselves.

This is the problem of our times and Christ tells us what to do. It is how we can see the two movies on one screen and know which one is guiding us and which one should guide us.

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1/18/2017: Bullies with vitriol and where’s the Truth?

Just a few more days and the pessimist wonders what these folks will turn to, then.

The bullies at the gate ahead of the Trump inauguration – “Hollywood, liberals and the political establishment descend into panic.” By Tammy Bruce – – Wednesday, January 18, 2017

As Jan. 20 approaches, the bullies are at the gate. Hollywood, liberals and the political establishment are panicking because they have no idea what to expect when Donald Trump officially becomes the president of the United States.

What Hollywood does know is that anyone in their industry who does not conform to the standard Trump Derangement Syndrome will be bullied until they submit.

The civil war we’re experiencing is not limited to the political parties and Washington, D.C., it’s throughout a culture within which a select few have cultivated an “us vs. them” mentality in order to benefit from government largesse and the power and influence that it provides.

The bullying isn’t only about performers. The Woodmont Country Club is also getting the treatment. Jazz Shaw:

“But the mayor – one Jeffrey Slavin, who I’m just going to assume is a Democrat – seems to be milking this for all he can get out of it. Rather than simply disagreeing with his fellow golfers, he’s chosen to quit and put out a statement describing the potential decision as intolerance. It doesn’t take much ability to read between the lines to know what that means. He’s accusing the members of being racists and the press is picking up the ball and running with it.”

On that civil war thing, consider the mercenaries. Record protest crowds expected to greet Donald Trump at his inauguration – “Take President-elect Donald Trump, add the rise of the professional protest class, and you’ve got a recipe for a record-shattering inauguration protest.” By Valerie Richardson – The Washington Times – Tuesday, January 17, 2017. The professional protest class has become prominent enough to attract scammers. Hoax ads in two dozen cities offered protesters up to $2,500 to agitate at Trump inaugural – “‘Dominic Tullipso’ prompts Fox host to laugh, say ‘this is performance art’.” Meanwhile, O’Keefe drops another video (DisruptJ20 Dramatically Scales Back Plans to Sabotage Inauguration After Project Veritas Sting) …

On the climate front, there is the ying and the yang. Richard W. Rahn describes the Bias, ignorance and reality in climate science – and why “Refusal to own up to the distortions of climate science is a costly mistake.” Then Seth Borenstein illustrates what Rahn was talking about by asserting Global warming could steal postcard-perfect weather days.

Trump Gores a Sacred Cow, and Liberals Lament – “The great Broom of Time recently swept away another failed ideology and political movement.” By Daniel L. Mallock

That the reaction of the Utopian Progressive Left is based upon anger, resentment, hatred, intolerance, and pique rather than logic is not important to them; it is a point that remains always unaddressed. Every political “dirty trick” that seems obviously a sham is accepted at face value, and bitter attacks built upon these false accusations immediately begin. The dizzying speed of the reactions, the overwhelmingly standardized nature of the talking points and commonly invoked yet faulty arguments, suggests a uniformity of thought more typical of an ideological movement or cult than of reasoned, cogent advocacy for a political candidate within a democratic open society.

Roger L Simon: The Real Reason John Lewis and Company Boycott the Inauguration – “When people “act out,” it’s often because a particularly raw nerve has been touched, some basic fear triggered.”

But that’s the surface of what’s really upsetting them, what the shrinks call the “presenting complaint.” Deep down it’s something else, something far more potent.

They’re afraid Donald Trump might actually succeed.

In a world where we often talk of disruptors in business, Trump is the ultimate political disruptor.

But the wound is too severe. Even devoid of a viable ideology, they fight on tooth and nail. Power itself has always been more important than what it stands for. The battle, as is clearly evident, is far from over.

To illustrate that point, John Merline: The Washington Post Takes Anti-Trump Bias To A New Level — 

The mainstream press loves to tell readers that it can be trusted because it employs professional journalists backed by layers of editors. Oh, and they’re all unbiased.

So how to explain a recent Washington Post headline, which manages both to misrepresent its own poll and expose the ridiculous extent to which its reporters and editors will go to bash President-elect Donald Trump?

Or, there’s this by John Kass: Trump, the media and a cure for hysteria.

So how about gigantic, five-gallon jugs chock-full of Prozac, or other such antidepressants, placed in every newsroom?

Because it should be clear by now that something is needed, since much of journalism leans to the political left, and that many of the left are beyond fear and hysterics over Trump.

And so, here’s the Democratic game: Delegitimize Trump even before his term begins, use outrage and media anger toward Trump to shovel it out to America, and shame anyone who dares say otherwise, to save those 10 senators running in the pro-Trump states.

So what do you do if your voters are getting itchy? You bind them with fear and anger.

Ace provides another example citing Mollie Hemingway and the Generals Leading the Intelligence Community’s War on a Duly Elected President. “A plausible answer, it seems to me, is that the media is protecting the sources it knows damn well are the leakers.”

Regarding the Manning commutation, see Jazz Shaw on The aftermath of the disgraceful Chelsea Manning commutation – “What’s of greater interest to me is the proper level of outrage being expressed over this blatant insult to the military, the intelligence community and the citizens of the nation. The New York Post provided a fairly good roundup of some of the initial reactions last night. Speaker Ryan was one of the first out of the gate.” Even Allahpundit picks up on this: “Sean Davis extracts the lesson here: “Giving classified info to Wikileaks is good as long as it only endangers national security and not Democrat careers.”

This isn’t the only one and the release of Gitmo terrorists is just another part of this story of Obama’s thinking about terrorism and treason. Consider also the commuting of the sentence of Oscar López Rivera, a former Chicago community organizer turned FALN terrorist. Andrew C. McCarthy explains The Damage Done to America by Manning … and Obama

Third, the degree to which Obama has wielded executive power in favor of America’s enemies and against his own political opponents and scapegoats is breathtaking.

But if you are Dinesh D’Souza, a conservative Obama critic, the Justice Department inflates an administrative violation into multiple felonies and aggressively advocates (thankfully, without success) for a stiff prison sentence. If you are a tea party group gearing up to fight Obama’s re-election, here comes the IRS. If you are “anti-Muslim video producer” Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and Obama needs a scapegoat for his derelictions in Benghazi, you end up in the slammer. If you are a deep-pocketed financial institution that Obama wants to make the culprit for the government-driven financial meltdown, or to raid so the radical left’s legion of “community organizers” can be funded, prepare to pony up a 9- or 10-figure “settlement.” If you are a police department, be ready to be scandalized as a practitioner of racially malicious enforcement. If you are Israel, brace for the “international outlaw” smear.

A standard defense for the current crop of Barack Obama’s pardon and commutation binge is that it is only about folks incarcerated for inoffensive drug possession or, perhaps, the awful racist U.S. injustice system. Jazz Shaw says The clemency train is ready to pull out from the station again and cites Heather Mac Donald at National Review [who] covered this [nonviolent criminal] problem last year.

For an example of the TDS vitriol, consider Rachel and her Truth in the Age of Trump – and this from a self professed ‘conservative’:

Quite apart from the security headaches, the road closures, and the not-inconsiderable prospect of violent demonstrations the day of, or the days after the event, the prospect of it filled me with disgust. I wanted to be far away from the pleasant city that is our national capital. Donald J. Trump has repeatedly revealed himself as a lying, crooked, narcissistic ignoramus, incapable of generous thoughts or deeds, indeed, incapable of seeing beyond himself at all. The idea of that man living in Lincoln’s house is nauseating.

But he is the President, so what is one to do? More particularly, what are conservative intellectuals to do?

The most important thing is to speak the truth, indeed, to become somewhat fanatical on the subject.

Perhaps a first step towards finding truth is to examine the basis of one’s own perceptions? The nausea is a clue that there is a problem in this area. You cannot speak truth until you find it. Blinded by hatred is no way to find the pathway to truth.

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1/11/2017: Dezinformatsiya

The observations on the politicization of U.S. agencies (and everything else) continues.

Warren L. Dean Jr.: The CIA disgrace – “It’s not the agency’s place to cast doubt on the legitimacy of a U.S. election

Now they are blaming their ultimate political humiliation, the loss of the election to Donald Trump, on Vladimir Putin. There seems to be no recognition in Washington that the entire exercise looks to the rest of the world to be a callow, if not cowardly, effort to find a scapegoat for yet another domestic political failure. And that is exactly what it is.

Clifford D. May: Lost in cyberspace – “Cyberespionage is a concern, but cyberwarfare is far more serious.”

Russia’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee was mischievous. Did it change the outcome of the 2016 elections? No evidence suggests that and the intelligence community isn’t claiming that.

Victor Morton: Trump blasts Buzzfeed over Russia reports: ‘Fake news,’ ‘unverifiable,’ ‘witch hunt!’ – “Ally Michael Cohen rebuts claim in intel dossier, saying he’d never gone to alleged site of secret meeting

Steven Hayward: Fake News Jumps Fake Shark

But that is just a warmup, apparently. The story Paul noted below about the supposed Russian dossier of compromising information about Trump is looking phonier by the moment. Without even referring to the critics who are calling it a hoax, there are a number of obvious peculiarities in the document that has been released to call its authenticity into question. I’ve read a lot of declassified CIA reports of this kind over the years, and this one looks off. Way off.

I’ll bet this story falls apart faster than a Dan Rather memo on national guard service.

This is likely just a taste of what is coming and why the mainstream media has no credibility. Jennifer Harper has more: Donald Trump gets zero honeymoon with the press, major media attack now underway

unverified claims about Mr. Trump in BuzzFeed … “All three network morning shows parroted Democrats’ complaints … Pollsters are also in on it

There have been few calls for critics to ease up on the negativity, which has been percolating for two months.

“Sorry, but the Republican Party isn’t ‘extremist.’ Liberals have been making the same argument for 35 years (at least). It’s still not true,”

It appears that the Fake News™ goes back through John McCain. That does not credit his honor nor his integrity. Jazz Shaw picks up on this sort of incivility in describing how a WaPo writer ponders how to “remove Trump from office” before he’s even sworn in

… Richard Cohen’s column this week which carries the not very ambiguous title of, “How to remove Trump from office.”

Let’s leave aside for a moment the somewhat inconvenient fact that Donald Trump isn’t even in the office yet. What was the thinking going on inside the hallowed halls of the WaPo when they approved an editorial like this?

If you want an example of early onset Trump Derangement Syndrome, this is one case which almost demands that medical authorities be rushed to Cohen’s home immediately to save him from himself.

let’s close with a callback to the original question I posed. Exactly how unhinged are the senior members of the Washington Post staff in terms of Trump Derangement Syndrome? I’m guessing that this will be widely reflected in their newsroom coverage over the next four years. I’d be thrilled to be proven wrong, but you probably shouldn’t bet too heavily against me.

John Hinderaker asks Why Are Liberals Such Racists? – The prompt is a MTV reporter tweet about Sessions holding his granddaughter on his lap.

As a conservative, I essentially never encounter racism. I don’t have any racist friends or acquaintances. The issue never comes up. Liberals, on the other hand, tell us that they are swimming in a sea of racism. I don’t know, they might be right. Maybe in their liberal world, racism is still an issue.

But what is it with liberals and racism? Remember when liberals tried to make some kind of scandal out of the fact that one of Mitt Romney’s grandchildren was African-American? What is wrong with these people? This kind of thing happens a lot. If you are looking for racism, look to the left.

The moral of the story is that, while most people think liberals are just ignorant, the truth is much worse.

Hinderaker has another one about how Disgraceful Democrats Depict Police Officers As Pigs – this is the story of the contest winning painting from an 18 year old in William Lacy Clay’s district.

This painting obviously violates the rule against “depicting subjects of contemporary political controversy,” and it is, in any event, outrageously inappropriate for display in the Capitol. But Congressman Clay, a far leftist, nevertheless insists that it hang in the corridor.

the issue here isn’t the First Amendment, it is the politically-inspired myth of police racism. The reality is that Rep. Clay and most of his fellow Democrats are delighted to see police officers depicted as pigs, because this particular smear fires up their base and is to their political advantage. The lines here couldn’t be more clearly drawn.

The episode tells you the nature of the Democrats, their unwillingness to work with others, their lack of respect for law and order, their lack of intellectual integrity, and their persistence over any barrier including reason or reality. It is good to see the ruckus getting discussion as it needs airing and inspection and introspection about civility and the proper means for advancing governance over political ideology.

Luboš Motl: What does Obama’s drivel tell us about the Science magazine – “For the editors, the left-wing cult is a higher priority than science.” It’s about Science magazine publishing a paper by Obama.

The conflation of science and politics displayed by Obama’s article is very bad. It’s actually bad in both directions. It’s terrible when some political cults are ultimately above scientists in the science journals – when politicians and their ideologies and programs may influence how scientists talk about science. But the opposite influence is also bad. It’s bad when scientists think that they have the “right” to make political decisions just because they are scientists – even though the “right” political decisions obviously cannot be determined by science alone.

There is so much to examine, to analyze, to ponder.

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