Archive for Media

Nihilism. Simple Fairness Demands?

Andrew McCabe is the new Joe McCarthy. Charles Lipson – “Serious charges need serious proof. Simple fairness demands it. But McCabe presents none.”

Lemon: The worst part about Smollett hoax will be all the conservative pouncing, you know. Ed Morrissey – “I … don’t think that’s Jussie Smollett’s biggest problem right now, even if it might be Don Lemon’s.”

“ Smollett’s problem appears to be that he set up a hoax, and got suckers like Lemon to bite all the way to the bone on it. That’s not his “representatives’” fault, whatever Lemon means by that. Smollett has bigger losses in front of him right now than any in the court of public opinion. You don’t hire Mark Geragos in order to wage a PR campaign.

Sorry. Mr. Lemon. The media earned every bit of ridicule and criticism it earned by going all-in on Smollett’s weird claim from the get-go. They earned every bit of criticism for doing the same thing with the Covington Catholic High School kids for the same purpose — to pounce, if you will, all over conservatives, pro-lifers, and anyone who might have a little sympathy for Donald Trump.

At least in some corners of the industry, they haven’t learned a damn thing from either failure. Expect more to come.

This might be related to an AP story about a Coast Guard officer accused of plotting to kill Democrats, journalists (Politico). It’s nice to have a wacked out white supremacist domestic terrorist with a Coast Guard seasoning tossed into the news to provide a distraction and restore the narrative. “The initial charges against Hasson are relatively uncommon, and appear to illustrate the challenges investigators face in charging individuals who may pose an imminent danger but where evidence of actionable threats against specific people is weak.

The Greatest Scandal In the History of Science. John Hinderaker – “I have written many times about the unwarranted “adjustments” to measured past temperatures by government agencies, which serve to inflate the modest warming that has occurred in recent decades.

The New Nihilism. Victor Davis Hanson – “the answer to Trump is neither liberal nor progressive, but nihilistic. The logical extreme alone ensures revolutionary purity even as it would result in chaos and destruction.” … “In sum, the emerging alternative to Trump is not Democratic pragmatism, but an angry nihilism that is as incoherent as it is destructive.

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Word of the day: inarticulable

Like Comey and Brennan, McCabe finds impetus of Trump probe ‘inarticulable’. Dan Bongino – “Like ex-CIA boss John Brennan and disgraced former FBI Director James Comey, McCabe was coining his own phrase to explain why the intelligence community started spying the Trump team.

“Paragraph One in federal investigations lays out precisely why the investigation began and how. You can’t skip over it with fanciful phrases or empty verbiage. Yet, in the case of the counter-intelligence probe that targeted Team Trump, it has been two years and we are still waiting for someone to articulate a clear reason why the program began.

McCabe told Scott Pelley the FBI had a bunch of “articulable facts,” but he didn’t bother to articulate them.

Is anybody ever going to describe what this is? Put yourself in Trump’s shoes. He is being investigated as a potential traitor to the United States for colluding with a foreign power and no one has yet described why they were investigating the Trump team during the campaign.

When the truth is no longer “articulable,” you have to get creative.

Amendment 6 – Rights of Accused in Criminal Prosecutions – “to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.” This means “articulable” and clearly articulated. It is a basic right being denied to the President.

Were conservatives really ‘frothing at the mouth’ over that Malia Obama story? (a continuing series). John Sexton – this is another Republicans Pounce story.

“The left is clearly eager to lash out at almost anyone the right whether they be Catholic high school kids or denizens of Chicago’s notorious MAGA country. In the case of the AOC dance video and this Malia Obama story, conservatives can even be saying the opposite pretty consistently all day long and still tens of thousands of people are getting themselves worked up over the idea of the offense, even if actual examples are few and far between. This story is evidence of an ongoing political problem, it’s just not the one the left thinks it is.

NYT: Trump asked Whitaker if his handpicked U.S. Attorney could be put in charge of the Stormygate probe. Allahpundit – “Trump’s futile ongoing quest to find cronies who can and will “protect” him at the Justice Department is basically slapstick comedy at this point.” It’s another revelation of True Colors, not of Trump’s but of Alahpundit’s. The meme is analogous as the one Sexton described. Note the judgmental and derogatory terms – articulated but false as in ad hominem opinion rather than factual as in evidence.

Pope Francis: Christians Should Not Fear Looking Like ‘Communists’. Thomas D. Williams – “Too many Christians shy away from the social gospel.” … Yet another example of the Left’s view of others where the Pope castigates via insinuation and engages in False Witness ignoring the fact that it is the anti-communists who have done more for “the brothers that the Lord names in chapter 25 of Matthew” and also embrace Christ. For the Pope: “We ease our conscience a little by giving alms, as long as it does not hurt too much.” Like many Leftists, he does not connect the idea of the difference between giving a man a fish and teaching a man to fish with his view of communism and capitalism. There are also the commandments about stealing and about coveting what is not yours, both of which are endemic and fundamental to communism. No, communist is not about caring for the poor and unfortunate. It is about resolving covetousness by resorting to state enforced theft. Confusing the definition like this is an affront to everything the Pope claims to hold dear.

Shall We Defend Our Common History? Roger Kimball – “Welcome to the new Orwellian world where censorship is free speech and we respect the past by attempting to elide it.

“In the background is the conviction that we, blessed members of the most enlightened cohort ever to grace the earth with its presence, occupy a moral plane superior to all who came before us.

The psychopathology behind these occurrences is a subject unto itself. What has happened in our culture and educational institutions that so many students jump from their feelings of being offended—and how delicate they are, how quick to take offense!—to self-righteous demands to repudiate the thing that offends them? The more expensive education becomes the more it seems to lead, not to broader understanding, but to narrower horizons.

Of course, impermissible attitudes and images are never in short supply once the itch to stamp out history gets going.

In the bad old days, librarians and college presidents were people who sought to protect the past, that vast storehouse of offensive attitudes and behavior that also just so happens to define our common inheritance. In our own more enlightened times, many librarians and college presidents collude in its effacement.

“inarticulable” is just a cute way of admitting to a lack of intellectual integrity by shoveling blame somewhere else.

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Tribal supersedes bias

The Jussie Smollett Hoax And The Media’s Tribal War On America. Daniel Greenfield – “The real reason the media fell so swiftly for the Smollett hoax – right after falling for the Covington Catholic hoax.”

“Why did the media fall so swiftly for the Jussie Smollett hoax right after falling for the Covington Catholic hoax? The easy answer is bias. And that might have even been the right answer a generation ago.

These days the media isn’t biased. It’s tribal.

Bias leads us to make mistakes. But the media wasn’t making a mistake when it loudly broadcast false claims with plenty of red flags about Trump supporters wearing red hats. Just as the media wasn’t making a mistake when it spread fake news about attacks on Muslim women by Trump supporters after the election. This wasn’t an error due to prejudice, but an active effort to reinforce tribal prejudices.

Stand up to our social justice mega-corps and we will destroy you. And then dance on your grave.

In a liberal society, people from different tribes can agree to disagree because they recognize their mutual humanity. In a tribal society, the ‘other’ is less than human. Tribal narratives are about the superiority of ‘our’ people to ‘their’ people. Outrage at selective incidents is used to dehumanize the ‘other’ tribe, to call for violence against them, and then to urge their utter destruction.

The deluge of disgust, contempt and hatred is a tide that can only wash up on one bloody shore.

Lara Logan: ‘The media everywhere is mostly liberal’. John Sexton – Logan says “this is the kind of interview that is like professional suicide for me…this is exactly what they target you for.” Sexton provides a good short excerpt and comment about an interview getting wide attention. Do notice that Logan is trying to be nice and falls for two logical fallacies. One is the equality, both sides do it, fallacy and the other is of the ‘vox populi’ sort. Both attempt to explain away what is getting more discussion as in Greenfield above.

On January 29, Two Hate Crimes Occurred. The Media Only Covered The Fake One. Here’s Why. Ben Shapiro – “The media ran with the story. Good Morning America hosted Smollett, where he maligned anyone who asked questions as a racist and a homophobe.” … “That same night, a Jewish man in New York was beaten by three thugs. Nothing was stolen. The attack was caught on video. … Outside of a report in The Jerusalem Post, the story received virtually no attention.

Here come the border wall lawsuits. Jazz Shaw – 16 states controlled by Democrats illustrate the solidarity of the Left. They will take one for the team no matter the cost, no matter how absurd the position.

“First, there are already provisions under federal law, Title 10, Section 2808, allowing the President to move money around in this fashion and engage in construction projects during either a time of war or a declared emergency. …

it appears that the President could have authorized military spending and manpower to construct a wall without even declaring an emergency. Under Title 10, Section 284, subsection (b)(7), the military can be employed for the purpose of “construction of roads and fences and installation of lighting to block drug smuggling corridors across international boundaries” provided the work being done is no more than 25 miles from the border or outside the border. That pretty much sounds like the definition of requesting military help in building a wall to me.

It’s tough to see how the courts toss this effort, though the Ninth Circuit will still likely take a stab at it. (If only to cause problems for Trump.) Of course, many rules of normal order have flown out the window with the rise of The Resistance, so nobody really knows how this chapter of the story ends.

Trump: “The twilight hour of socialism”. Scott Johnson – “It is a gloriously Reaganite speech; it is a great speech. In it Trump stands for freedom against the forces of socialism, tyranny and immiseration.

“President Trump has not accepted the status quo ante in American foreign policy. He has rededicated the United States to the support of Israel. He has withdrawn the United States from the disgraceful deal with Iran and implemented a sanctions regime intended to disable the mullahcracy. He has shaken up matters with the North Korean regime in the interest of terminating their nuclear weapons program. He has now come out for the removal of the socialist dictator of Venezuela. I could multiply the examples, but you can fill in the blanks. In each of these cases, Trump is right and Obama was wrong.

Yesterday President Trump went to Florida International University in Miami to give a speech on Venezuela before a friendly and raucous audience. I am unable to find either the text or the video on the White House site. I have posted a news video of the speech in its entirety below.

To get Trump, FBI and Justice Department officials trampled the Constitution. Mark Penn – “The most egregious anti-democratic actions ever taken by the what can now fairly be called the Deep State are confirmed with the publication of fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s new book

“It is now crystal clear that the highest echelons of the Justice Department and FBI had morphed from the world’s most professional law enforcement organization into a Third World rump group. They had the hubris to believe that they – not the American people or their duly elected representatives – should decide who governs and how.

A grand jury must be empaneled to investigate all this and get testimony from officials under oath, and the certification of the warrants used to wiretap the Trump campaign needs to be fully investigated. Dossier author and former British spy Christopher Steele and Glen Simpson – founder of opposition research firm Fusion GPS – need to be called to the grand jury.

Every Democrat, Republican and independent should stop angling for partisan advantage and agree, regardless of who is helped or hurt, that these officials acted without proper authority and are responsible for unprecedented damage to our democracy and our political system.

Free Speech in Andrew McCabe’s America. Seth Barrett Tillman – “Trump has the wrong resentments and the wrong doubts. So what should right-thinking people believe?” Not many cute pullouts in this one, just big steaks of raw meat.

Rush was talking about faux hoaxes and cited the idea that they were indicative of a ‘collective’ … i.e. tribal

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There may be an unraveling

Let’s Chill about Hate Crimes. Kyle Smith – “Mark the tone of absolute certainty about an unconfirmed claim. Many other news outlets took the same tack.

“Possibly it might be wise to establish whether an incident actually happened before leaping to conclusions about it. Remember Covington? Oh, right, that was almost a whole month ago.

The certain tone of the reports about an attack that Jussie Smollett may or may not have suffered was notable given the strange circumstances surrounding the actor’s claims.

Our friends on the left are saddened that a gay black man perhaps wasn’t viciously beaten up by Trump-loving thugs.

How dismal it must be to be a progressive, to rest your political purview on extremely dark assumptions about the nature of the American psyche. … No matter what the era or who is in charge, disaster always looms, and any weird anecdote that supports the larger doom narrative is eagerly, even devoutly, believed.

Jussie Smollett Case: Brothers Questioned By Police Were Paid $3,500 To Stage Attack, Which Was Rehearsed Days Before. Charlie De Mar – “Jussie Smollett paid two brothers to stage an attack against him, directed them to buy items used in the alleged assault and actually rehearsed it with them, sources say.”

Smollett apparent hate crime hoax a crisis for media that jumped to vilify Trump supporters. Thomas Lifson – “America’s progressives and their fellow-traveling media finally must cope with an apparent hate crime hoax that can’t be swept under the rug.

“The media and many Democrat politicians had leaped on the opportunity to reinforce their false narrative that Trump is a stone-cold racist and homophobe, and his followers, driven mad by his rhetoric, are the modern-day incarnation of the KKK. Media Research Center data shows that prior to the story starting to fall apart Thursday night: …

Having been vilified by President Trump as “fake news,” CNN must have been particularly worried that unless it got in front of the collapsing Smollett narrative, their credibility would decline even further. …

The wave of hate crime hoaxes is undeniable to anyone who doesn’t embrace the media blinders. The website Fakehatecrimes.org has documented no fewer than 349 hoaxes that have been perpetrated on the public.

While Illinois prisons are so overcrowded that judges are reluctant to send nonviolent offenders to prison, letting Smollett walk with only probation and a fine would cause an outcry, not just from slandered Trump supporters, but from police nationwide who do not appreciate being sent on wild goose chases …

CNN is justified in its panic. The evidence of fake news about Trump supporters is accumulating at an accelerating pace:

Trump as Hercules Cleaning Out the Augean Stables. Clarice Feldman – The Green New Deal and the Wall Shutdown both get the Feldman treatment. “The Democrats fell into a trap by insisting on provisions in the compromise bill that no rational border-defender could agree to. I think they bid a low pair of cards against Trump’s royal flush, and they will lose.

A Real Emergency. Derek Hunter – “Our elected politicians, particularly Democrats, would rather play identity politics and appeal to their radical base than protect our country. It’s disgraceful.

“The real problem isn’t President Trump’s declaring of a national emergency. The problem is Congress ceding power to the Executive Branch to empower anyone in office the ability to consider it in the first place.

Congress has the power of the purse, they say where the money goes even when we don’t like how they assign it. For decades, Congress has been slowly ceding its power to the president through a series of deliberate laws (like the National Emergencies Act) and vaguely-written legislation allowing the bureaucracy to fill in the blanks later.

As the last administration and the current one showed, you won’t always like the assertion of amassed executive power. It’s best to restore it to where it belongs. The Founding Fathers didn’t place it in Congress by accident. An all-powerful executive may sound great when it’s your team with the power, but it won’t always be your team with the power. A despot is still a despot, even if it’s your despot.

Hunter waffles. He engages in false equivalence. He trivializes the issue. He misses the problem illustrated by McConnell in pushing the New Green Deal vote. He skirts the problem of where the CiC role of the executive branch boundaries should be and issues of micromanagement. He misses the fact that Obama and Trump are not the same as Obama abused his office and Trump is attempting to correct that abuse and restore the proper role of Congress, Courts, and Executive.

Presidential plotters must face punishment. Boston Herald – “It is simply astonishing that these actors allegedly held conversations around the notion of seizing power from the elected head of the executive branch.

“Americans need to know the entire story. If, as it appears, there was an effort to sabotage a presidency and create elaborate distractions and cover-ups using the powers entrusted to them, members of the U.S. government have involved themselves in a criminal conspiracy that dwarfs Watergate.

McCabe, Rosenstein and the real truth about the 25th Amendment coup attempt. Andrew McCarthy – “The truth is somewhere in the middle: The conversation was no joke, but the idea was lunacy.

“No one was in a joking mood when these discussions took place. McCabe was in the midst of formally opening a criminal investigation of the president, and Rosenstein was handwringing over the possible appointment of a special counsel.

McCabe and the FBI’s leadership had been trying to make a criminal case against Trump for months, and McCabe thought – wrongly – that the firing of Comey might be a sound legal basis for an obstruction prosecution.

It is understandable that the deputy attorney general wishes he hadn’t talked about removing the president. Legally, it was a harebrained idea. As a matter of civics – unelected bureaucrats brainstorming about how to reverse a democratic election – it was remarkably arrogant. But it happened, nonetheless. Rod Rosenstein’s lawyerly evasions can’t change that.

Yes, it is difficult to grasp the idea that the top tier in the FBI engaged in even thinking about a coup. Even harder is to realize that the revelation is only the tip of the spear. Lunacy cannot be taken lightly, especially when its definition is abused and it becomes a weapon of projection.

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Satisfied. But at what cost?

Is Adam Schiff Satisfied with NBC News? (WSJ via outline) James Freeman – “Those outside the world of Washington media might be less than hospitable to an acquaintance who had claimed to have evidence of a neighbor’s treason but still hadn’t produced it after 23 months.

“Without defending his earlier claim, Mr. Schiff proceeded to explain how he was now setting off in search of evidence of “a different form of collusion,” perhaps involving the President’s finances.

In any case, Mr. Todd again raised the issue of Mr. Schiff’s original collusion claim but somehow once again managed to veer off from demanding the long-promised evidence.

Perhaps NBC News should be less worried about satisfying Mr. Schiff and more concerned about the targets of his allegations.

Trump tax returns: House Democrats ready for ultimate fishing expedition. Byron York – “House Democrats want to use a 1924 law that allows any one of three entities — the House Ways & Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, or the Joint Committee on Taxation — to demand that the Treasury Department turn over the returns of any individual.

“Passed in the wake of the Teapot Dome scandal and controversy over the finances of Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, the law has almost never been used. For the first 50 years of the law’s existence, no one tried to get a president’s returns — although the law played a role in the fight over Richard Nixon’s finances — and in the years since Gerald Ford took office, presidents have voluntarily made their returns public. Until Donald Trump.

What is remarkable is that even the most aggressive Democrats don’t seem to have a clear idea what they will find in the returns. They’re just sure there must be something bad in there.

The former prosecutor Andrew McCarthy has written of Trump-Russia special counsel Robert Mueller that “Mueller does not have a crime he is investigating. He is investigating in hopes of finding a crime.” That is what Democrats are planning with the president’s tax returns.

The tax returns, those and other House Democrats believe, will be a Rosetta Stone to Trump corruption.

But a choice by the Ways & Means committee to force the release of the president’s returns could have serious consequences. For one, it will set a precedent for the House majority, in this case the Democrats, to go after the tax returns of individuals. It is not hard to imagine that coming around to bite Democrats in the future.

“Once you go down this road, it’s a lot like using the intelligence agencies to look into political campaigns,” Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California, ranking member of the Intelligence Committee, said last month.

At a recent Ways & Means hearing into the issue of acquiring individual returns, Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia summed up the situation, and in the process said perhaps more than he intended. “This is not the end,” Lewis said. “This is just the beginning.”

If Only Trump Had Known What He Did Not Yet Know About D.C. Dov Fischer – “During that brief thirty-month journey in the Twilight Zone, there was a coterie of only a dozen jerks out to sabotage my every effort despite the warm support and even deep love I enjoyed among the vast majority of that congregation of 250 or so people.

“I recount this brief nightmare — and thank G-d Almig-ty it was only a passing phase, a blip in a pulpit career of more than a quarter century — because I therefore appreciate more deeply from that personal experience what President Trump has accomplished against all odds.

The internecine petty sabotage of office politics where mediocrities who never achieve anything great choose to live to sabotage those who surpass them.

Through all this he has had to deal with The Resistance, false charges of Russian collusion from people who themselves colluded with Russians, an Obama-and-Clinton stacked Ninth Circuit court of appeals, a murder of crows at CBS, NBC, ABC, MSNBC, CNN, the NYT, and WaPo that will not give him a chance. They attack everything he does, everything he says.

His great mistake was that — quite the opposite of his public persona — he was too nice a guy, too willing to make others happy and play to others’ expectations.

We now enter the era of the Democrat House investigations. They want his taxes? Well, America wants Adam Schiff’s taxes. And Nancy Pelosi’s taxes. And the taxes not only of Dianne Feinstein and Maxine Waters but also of their husbands who have become very, very rich.

As these next two years unfold, I hope that gutless GOP Senate committees, if only to save their own hides, start subpoenaing every Clinton thing they can think of … nd, taking a cue from Mueller, just name a Special Investigator to investigate “the Clintons” — with the proviso that he or she is authorized to follow the trail wherever it leads. It will lead everywhere.

The Morality of the Anti-Trump Elite. George Neumayr – “The dominant media spends day after day accusing Trump of this or that “lie.” It puts the worst possible construction on his every utterance.

“Meanwhile, the high priests of that media get caught out in plagiarism scandals and the like and never pay the slightest price for those acts of brazen dishonesty.

Yet all these scandals of the anti-Trump elite have a deflating effect on its moral crusades against the president. How seriously can we take them? Members of the ruling class spend much of the day obsessing over Trump’s “vulgarity and dishonesty,” then the remainder of it immersing themselves in their own.

Judicial Watch Uncovers Email Between Clinton Lawyer David Kendall and FBI Lawyer James Baker Same Day FBI Was Forced to Re-Open Investigation by sundance – “people have forgotten many of the inherent issues that showcased how the FBI and DOJ had decided in advance not to prosecute Hillary Clinton.” … Quite simply: there is a glaringly transparent lack of an “investigation”.

President Trump’s not-so-carefully considered decisions have consequences. Andrew Malcolm – Malcom illustrates Neumayr’s point. Notice the presumptions laid on the table and the total lack of evidence to support them. There is plenty of opinion and judgment but the evidence is absent because what is available doesn’t support the narrative … Until the end of the article.

NY Times headline: ‘Ocasio-Cortez Team Flubs a Green New Deal Summary, and Republicans Pounce’. John Sexton – taking apart another ‘Republicans Pounce’ meme so popular in places like the NYT as examples of the cancer in society. It goes hand in hand with Allahpundit’s Trump touts Drudge headline: Check out my 52% job approval rationalizing and impugning. Contrast to Jazz Shaw on the question So you’re upset that your tax refund went down? – “This is certainly a clever bit of “coverage” of a story based primarily on people bitching on Twitter. Notice how the WaPo manages to promote a hashtag denigrating the tax cuts in the second paragraph. The premise here is clearly that the tax cuts reduced some people’s refunds, only Republicans voted for the tax cuts, therefore the tax cuts must be bad and so are the Republicans.

Is Global Warming Theory Scientific? John Hinderaker – “But being a global warming alarmist means never having to say you’re sorry. Why recant, when billions of government dollars continue to flow, no matter how many wrong predictions you make? So far, the leftist alarmists have had the last laugh: consistently wrong, but never in doubt. And still lavishly funded.”

Public Education’s Dirty Secret. Mary Hudson – “The reason is that they know deep down that due to the color of their skin, less is expected of them.” The problem is that this thesis does not fit the evidence presented. It does not explain the privilege described in the observation that “The administration was consistently on the side of the student. The teacher was the fall guy, every time.” It ignores the success of charter schools. It illustrates a socialist paradigm that tries to explain away an organization’s lack of success by shifting blame towards external rationalization. The fundamental problem, the “dirty secret,” is the infestation of racism to explain an inability to sell the product. That is why it is so strange than an economist like Mark Perry picked up on the Hudson thesis. Schools do satisfy their market. The problem is properly identifying the actual market and how competing customers and ideologies distort it.

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What they don’t tell you

Trump cut drug prices. Don Surber – The Associated Press dismissed this, writing, “While President Trump is correct that drug prices dropped in the last year — and that hasn’t happened since 1972 — the drop was less than 1 percent.” That’s our media! “Under Obama, drug prices rose nearly 10% annually.

Media won’t call out gay black actor on hoax. Don Surber – “Nine days later, no one has corroborated his tale, video does not confirm it, and he refused to turn his cellphone into police.

“The Trump-supporters-beat-me-up story is popular among Muslim women, gays, and black people because the media for four years (including his campaign) have told them that Trump supporters are Islamophobic, homophobic, and racist.

John Ziegler of Media-ite … wrote … “The first thing you need to understand about this situation is that, because of Smollett’s persona and the nature of his allegation, no one in law enforcement or the news media wants any part of publicly questioning his story. Everyone knows that if they make any sort of negative implication against a black, gay, liberal, celebrity, victim of a horrible hate crime, that they will be roundly and severely attacked, regardless of whether they turn out to be correct.”

We used to joke about the media being Pravda. Now it is. The media unashamedly tells lies today.

Trump’s wild popularity overseas is one of media’s best kept secrets. Thomas Lifson – “The mainstream media pretends that their scorn for President Trump is almost universally shared overseas.”

“Stark evidence of this popularity of President Trump comes from Italy, where a populist government won power – though the media tend to ignore this. The Carnival of Viareggio, described as “world-famous” by Medium.com (the website chosen by Jeff Bezos for his j’accuse manifesto against the National Enquirer) dates back to 1873, and has established itself as the venue for featuring amazing giant figures. It takes place in Tuscany, a wealthy area that is a magnet for tourists worldwide.

Check out the highlight of yesterday’s parade:

Most delightful of all: This crowd transferred their love of President Trump into love for America.

The globalists realize that this is a worldwide phenomenon, one directed squarely at them and the transition they have wright on countries everywhere. The last thing they want is for Americans to understand that President Trump is THE global leader of a populist movement that is growing, is pro-America, and has already toppled statist governments

Acting AG Matthew Whitaker: Football impresario, stomper of Democrats. Ed Timperlake – “The Judiciary Committee hearing on February 8, 2019, held by Chairman Nadler (D-N.Y.) with committee witness Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, became an epic historic failure.

“A moment for the ages is captured in a lasting quote by witness Whitaker in his reminding the chair that if Nadler sets the rules, then he also must play by the rules.

In a day of theater, lines were crossed. One specific example in challenging a witness’s integrity was demonstrated by Rep. Jeffries (D-N.Y.). Congressman Jeffries made a rhetorical statement that was simply grandstanding against a proud, well educated, and distinguished man from Iowa. His behavior crossed over the line to a personal attack:

Vatican ex-doctrine chief pens manifesto amid pope criticism. Nicole Winfield – “a clear manifestation of conservative criticism of Francis’ emphasis on mercy and accompaniment versus a focus on repeating Catholic morals and doctrine during the previous two papacies.

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Dreadful thinking

The State Of American ‘Fact-Checking’ Is Completely Useless. David Harsanyi – “With a veneer of impartiality, fact-checkers engage in a uniquely dishonest style of partisanship.” … “State of Union coverage gave us an abundance of examples of how they do it:

“Hyper-precision fact-checking … Fact-checking subjective political assertions … Partisan talking point masquerading as a fact check … Fact-checking meant to obscure actual facts … Factchecking a truthful statement by demanding that Trump highlight information that has absolutely nothing to do with his contention

Will this be a new standard for all politicians?

The state of American fact-checking is dreadfully misleading. There’s no reason for conservatives to give its authors the deference they seek.

It is being noticed and, now, named and described. This leads to awareness and discussion and that to knowledge and better decisions.

Calling It A ‘War On Science’ Has Consequences. ACSH – National Geographic’s March 2015 cover story provided a thoughtful discussion around the question of “Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science?” The actual cover, however, simply said “The War on Science.” This one illustrates the problem it tries to name. It presumes those ‘poor deluded conservatives’ and completely bypasses and avoids matters of integrity and reason in much of what is put up as science. The ‘war’ thing should be seen as a psychological defense and a proper behavioral observation will show patterns that are oblivious to the authors of this study.

“Building on such arguments, our new research suggests that Americans may see scientists’ choice to accuse conservatives of waging a “war on science” as relatively aggressive compared to potential alternative ways of describing the current situation. In turn, this perceived aggressiveness may harm the credibility of scientists in conservative audiences that already have doubts about them.

Ocasio-Cortez’s plan properly should be called the ‘Green Leap Forward’. Thomas Lifson – “Lunatic schemes based on technological and redistributionist fantasies have been implemented on a huge scale within my lifetime with disastrous results.”

“China’s Great Leap Forward is the correct historical model for the visionary, transformational scheme of Ocasio-Cortez and Ed Markey’s plan, which properly ought to be called the “Green Leap Forward.” The Great Leap Forward was the personal creation of Chairman Mao Tse-tung, who wanted a rapid transformation of China from a backward, rural nation to a modern industrial one in the space of five, or maybe ten years, just as Ocasio-Cortez envisions a total transformation in a decade. … the horrors that it inflicted on China were vividly accounted by refugees who fled for their lives.

Just because the Green new Deal/Green Leap Forward is impossible to implement and is unlikely to become a law, there is no reason to assume the underlying madness will subside. We have our own Red Guards, some of which have already been elected to Congress. They are waiting for demography to hand them the victory they think the arc of history will provide

It’s a war on intellectual integrity … 

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Betrayal on many fronts

Will Jeff Bezos Force Whole Foods To Stop Lying? Apparently Not. Alex Berezow – “The company’s entire business model is premised upon a foundation of lies.” The Washington Post is another Bezos property with a similar ethic. The harm done weighs heavily against the benefits of his main business.

“Last week, Whole Foods Magazine (which is not actually affiliated with Whole Foods*) published an article written by a lawyer, Scott C. Tips, about an evil plan to sneak more GMOs into our food supply

As you might expect, in an article in which GMOs are called a “disease,” the lies and distortions come early and often.

For example, Tips can’t even define basic terms properly:

GMOs and other modern pesticides make it easier to practice no-till farming, which helps prevent soil erosion. But Tips is opposed to GMOs and modern pesticides.

The rest of the article is sort of a pathetic conspiratorial rant about GMOs.

I’ve been to Whole Foods a few times. The food is pretty tasty, though grossly overpriced. Unfortunately, their unscientific, holier-than-thou attitude, in which farmers are treated as villains and scientists as evil manipulators, will keep me away.

Washington Post Super Bowl ad: Democracy dies in darkness, you know. Allahpundit – “Not a bad idea for the world’s richest man to buy some goodwill from the media, though, at a moment when “rich people shouldn’t exist” is becoming mainstream Democratic thought.

“It’s a strange irony that this ad aired at a moment when the biggest story running about America’s journalism industry is layoffs.

But then, that’s fitting: Journalism’s many, many celebrations of itself tend to obsess about the trade as it aims to be rather than the realities of what it is.

They’re biased, often frivolous, and too susceptible to a herd mentality that’s on display on Twitter hourly as they read and react to each other’s takes. Too much heat, not enough light. That’s part of the reason why there’s more darkness right now than democracy should have to put up with.

Houston’s Police Chief could use a refresher course on gun crimes. Jazz Shaw – “This inspired Acevedo to fire back at them, deriding the “thoughts and prayers” comments and issuing calls for new gun control measures. Any time you have a police officer saying something like that, they immediately receive national attention from liberals in the media. This was no exception, and the Washington Post was soon singing his praises.

“Here’s an extra bit of irony for you. Acevedo took to Twitter on the day of the incident and asked people to pray for the officers. …

The spat over thoughts and prayers isn’t the real issue here. What I’m sure Acevedo knows but isn’t mentioning is the fact that it’s highly unlikely that the guns the two drug dealers who shot the cops were using were purchased legally. When we see high-profile shootings being investigated and the source of the weapons is known, that information is generally released. I’ve checked multiple press reports of this incident, with statements from Acevedo and others in Houston and there’s no mention of where those two men obtained their handguns.

And if that’s the case, calling for new restrictions on “assault rifles” and extended magazines or conducting more background checks wouldn’t have prevented those officers from being shot. Chief Acevedo should know better and stop playing to the gun control crowd using his own wounded officers as promotional material.

Paul Begala on Trump WH Schedule Leak: ‘Betrayal of Our National Security’. Tony Lee – “Set aside my strong opposition to @realDonaldTrump,” Begala tweeted. “As a former senior White House official, it is a betrayal of our national security to leak any POTUS’ schedule.” Begala added that the “hatred and disloyalty all around him is remarkable.”

Decepticon Mitch Fires Trump Impeachment Warning with U.S. Senate Demand to Keep Troops in Afghanistan/Syria. sundance – “The Senate passed a “sense of the senate” resolution today demanding that President Trump keep troops actively engaged in perpetual war.” … “When you understand the background of the ‘Senate Cloture Scheme’ (see Trade Promotion Authority and TPP), today’s Senate vote essentially highlights the Decepticon caucus. [The Big Club]

“Those who have followed Mitch McConnell for a long time will immediately notice the republican names in his coalition. They are the identical recipients of direct payments made by U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue.

Notice also that Senator McConnell timed his rebuke against President Trump to take place just prior to the State of the Union address.

In addition to demanding perpetual war (and all the financial benefits therein), the republican vote is a signal to the republican President that he will not be allowed to defy the will of the Big Club.

In many ways this is also the deep swamp protecting themselves from the structural reform which would happen as a consequence of President Trump draining the swamp.

With this vote McConnell is warning President Trump he has enough votes to support the Pelosi/Schumer impeachment agenda; if needed.

How to Make It Home in California: Rules for the Modern Odysseus. Victor Davis Hanson – “I drove back from San Francisco not long ago to the rural San Joaquin Valley. It is only 200 miles. But in fact, it can feel like Odysseus trying to get back home to Ithaca from Troy.

“Walking to the car in San Francisco was an early morning obstacle course dotted with the occasional human feces and lots of trash. The streets looked like Troy after its sacking.

The rules of the road in downtown San Francisco can seem pre-civilizational: the more law-abiding driver is considered timid and someone to be taken advantage of—while the more reckless earns respect and right of way.

The trip can take over three hours in theory and often longer than six hours in practice.

For the California driver in the age of the post-apocalypse, the rules of the road and getting home are obvious.

VDH responding to a reader angry not at him but at the betrayal of her culture she sees.my anger is boiling over from this latest insult and assault on conservatives

“Dear Not Really Angry Reader Linda Barr,

You describe a paradox in which 55 percent of the country is socially and economically conservative and yet 90 percent of our influence creators—Hollywood, network news and programing, the mainstream media, the Internet and social media, foundations, universities, professional sports, most big corporations—are leftwing. The result is that the old silent majority is like some ancient defiant sandstone rock jutting out on the beach, as the relentless surf insidiously pounds it and wears it ever so slowly away.

My only advice is not to remain silent. Everyone, each according to his or her station, has a role to play. This is not time for timidity or reticence.

Third-trimester abortion is not normal but virtual infanticide. The New Green Deal is a prescription for disaster. Free college and cancellation of student debt are insults to millions who went to work at 18, did not drift in and out of college, and oppose Pajama Boy culture, and yet are asked to pay for the debts of the more advantaged. Medicare for all is Medicare for no one, and the pathway to managed and rationed care and worse to come. Wealth taxes and higher income and estate taxes will inevitably, despite the rhetoric, fall on the upper middle-class, given that billionaires are mostly on the side of the Left and find exemptions. Abolishing ICE and open borders mean the end of U.S. sovereignty.

These new progressive agendas are frightening and we must say “they shall not pass.”

Sincerely, Victor Hanson

Betrayal? Stand up!

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We want higher prices! (really?)

Trump won the Super Bowl. Don Surber – “But what was odd was Brennan — a good reporter who does her homework — did not realize that President Trump had addressed the problem that the players had protested.

“She began the interview with two premises. One, that Nancy Pelosi out negotiated him. Two, that the intelligence chiefs rebuked him.

I doubt the interview will change any minds because most minds in America now are closed.

But both Brennan and President Trump did well.

Almost as well as our country is doing.

Green New Deal: Is 100% Renewable Energy Even Possible, Or Good For The Environment? John Merline – “The obvious conclusion is that renewable energy alone cannot meet our economy’s enormous energy needs. And no amount of populist spin can change that fact.”

“But these wildly ambitious goals tend to overlook inconvenient questions. Such as: Is it even possible to get to 100% renewable energy? Is it worth the costs and disruptions that would entail? Would it even be good for the environment?

The idea of getting to 100% renewable gets even more difficult, since environmentalists oppose several forms of renewable energy claiming they aren’t “clean enough.”

Meanwhile, nuclear Energy, which is limitless and has zero carbon emissions, never shows up on any list of “clean” energy.

Most forms of “clean” energy require massive amounts of land to produce relatively small amounts of energy.

Aside from all these hurdles, the final one that remains is that renewable energy is expensive.

More troubling is the fact that these higher costs hurt the middle class and poor hardest. That’s because they spend a greater share of their household income on utility bills than do the rich.

It appears that the highlight of yesterday’s football game was the national anthem sung by Gladys Knight. Scott Johnson says “What I heard in Ms. Knight’s rendition of the anthem was belief in the United States of America and pride in our history. Perhaps it’s wishful hearing on my part. It probably is. But her performance spoke for itself. It burned to convey love of country. It belied the disgrace of the kneeling protests. It redeemed the time.

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Yes, death happens when feel-good supersedes reason.

Congratulations Anti-Vaxxers, You’ve Made Measles Great Again. Investor’s Business Daily – “But then anti-vax mania started to spread, sparked by a single study — published in 1998 and since thoroughly debunked — conducted by a disgraced scientist.

“Yet despite their supposed devotion to science, many on the left — including celebrities like Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey — seized on this study to spread irrational fear about the supposed dangers of the vaccine. Call them “vaccine deniers.”

Their views found a major platform in the left-wing Huffington Post, which for years was the go-to site to spread anti-vax paranoia.

Keep in mind that measles is a highly contagious and potentially fatal disease. One in four who get it end up hospitalized. One in a thousand get encephalitis. Up to two per thousand end up dead.

Here’s an idea that would help move more states in the right direction. Instead of creating ugly paintings trashing President Donald Trump, Jim Carrey should consider a self-portrait wherein he abjectly apologizes for his and his friends’ role in spreading dangerous, unscientific misinformation.

Notice How Democrats are Never Indicted? William L. Gensert – “Yet, “What difference, at that point, does it make?” Hillary’s exempt from prosecution because she’s a Democrat and a bona fide leftist; and that provides blanket immunity.

“One can act with impunity when there is no fear of prosecution. Why not harvest ballots to steal elections, provide sanctuary for felonious illegal aliens, lie to Congress, or try to frame a president? Democrats never worry about financial ruin or Mueller going after their families (In like Flynn).

Real crimes go unaddressed, while misstatements about lawful actions warrant incarceration. Mueller is fond of false-statement charges where the underlying actions aren’t illegal; he also loosely interprets the definition of “lie.”

Apparently, in America today the only people who should fear prosecution are those who disagree with the “ones we’ve been waiting for” because if you’re a Democrat, you can’t get arrested in this town.

Latest Intel Assessment Shows How Trump-Russia Hoax Has Hurt American Interests. Mollie Hemingway – “This odd aversion to thinking about the best interests of the nation when pushing a conspiracy theory about treasonous collusion with Russia is dangerous.”

“Earlier this week, intelligence chiefs briefed U.S. senators on the Select Committee on Intelligence about global threats. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats’ 42-page written report read like a middling Obama-era update, with more space devoted to concern about climate change, Brexit, and social justice issues than Islamist terrorism or border disputes and violations.

Still, it’s worth considering the first and most serious global security threat Coats flagged for senators, which is the strengthened alliance of China and Russia as they seek to expand their global influence.

This is among the reasons Trump sought an improved relationship with Russia.

It’s also related to why the Obama administration tried to have a “reset” with Russia. The logic underlying that move was sound, even if it was poorly implemented. The strategic reasons for trying to build alliances where you can with Russia were, and still are, defensible, because it’s not in the U.S. interests to have Russia as a vassal of China. Unfortunately the relationship between Obama and Putin, and between the U.S. and Russia, soured, making the situation worse.

Seib notes that conspiracy theorists think Trump wants a good relationship with Russia because he owes them something. He instead suggests it’s because of geo-strategic goals.

As Henry Kissinger put it, “Balancing China against the Soviet Union from a position in which America was closer to each Communist giant than they were to each other was, of course, exactly the design of the evolving strategy.”

Yet when Trump has talked about developing a good relationship with Russia, a key aspect of triangulation approach, conspiracy theorists in the media and pundit class have lambasted him as a Putin stooge who is compromised. It’s not just an unverified and ridiculous conspiracy theory, but one that results in real harm to the United States as well.

the purpose of the intelligence agencies is to provide information to the president, not set U.S. policy. In fact, the danger seems to arise when intelligence agencies attempt to analyze and set policy

the purpose of the intelligence agencies is to provide information to the president, not set U.S. policy. In fact, the danger seems to arise when intelligence agencies attempt to analyze and set policy

The Real Reason Democrats Have Postponed Barr’s Confirmation. Julie Kelly – “As indictments unrelated to Trump-Russia collusion pile up, Republican lawmakers and Trump’s base increasingly are outraged that the culprits behind perhaps the biggest political scandal in American history remain untouched. Barr signaled that the good fortune of these scoundrels could soon take a dramatic shift under his stewardship.” Kelly highlights the criminal protection force and some of its tactics. Accuse, smear, delay, … and worse.

“Democrats also have accused Barr of bias against the Mueller investigation based on a detailed memo he authored last year that objected to the special counsel’s reported interest in whether President Trump obstructed justice. Some have suggested Barr should recuse himself from the investigation, which would be a repeat of a terrible mistake made by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions in 2017.

This one-two punch has a purpose: To taint Barr’s impartiality and discredit his office on all matters related to Trump-Russia. Why? Because during his confirmation hearing, Barr agreed—at the behest of Republican senators—to begin his own inquiry into who, why, and how the FBI launched several investigations into Trump’s presidential campaign and, eventually, into the president himself.

The enormousness of Barr’s task and the devastating consequences for those involved are now coming into clear view. The timing couldn’t be worse for Democrats and NeverTrump Republicans who are desperate to defeat Trump and the GOP in 2020. That’s why we can expect both parties to whip up more criticism of Barr over the next few months. One hopes he will resist that criticism—and both Trump and Graham need to reassure the new attorney general and the American public that his investigation will receive the same amount of protection that was afforded to the Mueller team.

The Corrupt DoJ vs. the People. Ed Brodow – “Thanks to the politicized justice system that was set in motion more than 20 years ago and reinforced during eight fateful years of the Obama administration, the quaint notion that we benefit from due process has evaporated.

“A venal gang of Obama alumni is getting away with the perversion of American justice. …

The civil rights of innocent individuals are being violated for no reason other than their political views. … Unless the Mueller investigation is terminated and we address the real scandal in our government — corruption at the top levels of the DoJ and FBI — we can kiss the American system of justice goodbye.

Weird: No Democrats in Congress seem to have heard Ralph Northam’s abortion comments. Allahpundit – quoting Henry Rodgers: “I just spoke with over 10 Democratic Senators in the past 2 hours. Not one of them would acknowledge @GovernorVA’s comments on late-term abortion. Everyone of them denied ever hearing them.

“The only reason to believe their ignorance might have been accidental rather than deliberate is that yesterday’s coverage in “neutral” media was partly of the “conservatives pounce” variety. There go the right-wingers, flying off the handle again over nothing. You could argue that restraint by the press was prudent under the circumstances; Northam’s office and various liberals online insisted he’d been misunderstood, after all. Can’t knock the media for pausing to make sure it has its facts right before proceeding with coverage of an electrically charged controversy.

Why, though, wonders Ross Douthat, does that caution only ever run one way?

our media is very deep in the tank on this issue, even more so than they are for most left-wing causes. We’re all long used to it. But occasionally the depth still manages to shock.

McConnell: Pelosi’s ‘reform’ bill nothing but a “Democratic Politician Protection Act”. Ed Morrissey – “A new paid federal holiday on Election Day turns out to be the most benign part of HR1, the election-reform package designated by Nancy Pelosi as the new House majority’s “signature” legislation in this session.” Morrissey may be thinking in too conventional of a paradigm, too ‘old school’ and missing the art of communications and an undertow in the populace noted in other articles cited in this post.

“Pelosi should send McConnell a bouquet of flowers for spending this much time on the Senate floor on a bill that has zero chance of becoming law. For a “signature” bill, which is what the HR1 designation signifies, the coverage of this bill has been remarkably low-key.

Pelosi knows this won’t move in the Senate; it’s a setup for the 2020 congressional elections. However, it’s not exactly the kind of bill that will fire up voters or be remembered for very long after its demise. House Democrats might have been better advised to focus more on hardening the voting infrastructure in the country ahead of the next election, a project that would have a much greater chance of success than giving federal workers freebies for participating in Democratic campaigns.

Green energy and litigation are bankrupting PG&E in California. Jazz Shaw – “That’s unusual because the energy business is largely a very stable industry and nearly recession-proof.

“If their transformers were exploding or the insulators on the lines were worn out and leading to sparking I could see blaming them. But they’re getting tagged with a $30 billion fine because storms blew trees over and took down their lines? …

The other half of their problem is that they’re locked into contracts to buy energy from solar and wind farms. California’s state government has issued a mandate that they must get to 60% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% by 2045. That’s left PG&E stuck buying $40B in energy from renewable firms, a lot of which they don’t even need. In fact, during peak renewable production periods they’ve been forced to sell energy off (at a loss) to neighboring states.

Put all of this together and one of the biggest energy companies in the nation has just filed for bankruptcy protection. They’re asking the court to let them out of the contracts with the wind and solar producers. If that doesn’t work, they may wind up going under. Perhaps that’s for the best and their investors can take their business to states without such a litigious and corrosive business environment.

Why “Green” Energy Is Futile, In One Lesson. John Hinderaker – “When the wind isn’t blowing–as it wasn’t yesterday–natural gas supplies the electricity. It also heats homes, and with bitter cold temperatures and no wind, there wasn’t enough natural gas to go around. The resulting “brownout” has been a political shock in Minnesota.

Much Has Changed for the Better Since 2016—Not That Trump Will Get Credit. Victor Davis Hanson – “aside from the weekly hysterias, the world has dramatically changed since 2016 in ways we scarcely have appreciated.

“There is also a growing, though little reported, consensus about what created the current economic renaissance: tax cuts, massive deregulation, recalibration of trade policy, tax incentives to bring back offshore capital, and dramatic rises in oil and natural gas production.

Since 2016, polls show that Americans have assumed that the proverbial mainstream media cannot be counted on for honest reporting but will omit, twist and massage facts and evidence for the higher “truth” of neutralizing the Trump presidency.

Trump’s popularity is about where it was when he was elected—ranging on average from the low to mid-forties. But many of his policies have led to more prosperity and address festering problems abroad.

And despite the negative news, they are widely supported, even—or especially—if Trump himself is not given proper credit for enacting most of them.

And there is more, much more.

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Where is Don Quixote when you need him?

Mueller’s Danse Macabre At Arrest of Stone. Conrad Black – “Strong-arm Tactic Shocks American Decency.”

“People who might be vulnerable and have known — or claim to have known — the president are indicted for unrelated conduct and then browbeaten and threatened with indictments of their families, unbearable legal costs, and endless press smears to invent inculpatory testimony against the president, with a guarantee of immunity from prosecution for perjury. This is the standard playbook of American prosecutors. It has been denounced repeatedly and every informed person in the country knows about it, but nobody does or says anything consequential.

This danse macabre of the ludicrously numerous and over-armed FBI agents filmed by invitation by the CNN propaganda service in their strenuous exercise to frighten Roger Stone’s cats and dogs raises the questions of what Mr. Mueller and his entirely partisan Democratic lynch-mob, some of whose most prominent members have been exposed and disgraced and fired, think they are now doing.

Whenever the suggestion that it might be time to wind down this stupor-inducing affront to the Bill of Rights starts to get determinedly to its feet in full voice, Mr. Mueller vanishes from sight.

Beclowning themselves to “get” Trump. Don Surber – “Michael Harriot of The Root wrote, “Exclusive: Clemson’s Black Players Refused to Accept Donald Trump’s Invitation to the McCookout.” The picture tells the story but perhaps a more significant tell is the ‘attitude’ and ‘tone’ expressed in the quotes of Harriot about the President. Has he no decency?

Victorina Morales is the best reason yet to cancel the SOTU speech… permanently. Jazz Shaw – “Morales is the illegal alien who was working at the Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey until the media exposed her immigration status. This is presumably a maneuver designed as a jab at the president.” … “We have a Democrat willing to violate federal law to transport an illegal immigrant to the State of the Union address. (8 U.S. Code § 1324 makes it a felony to “transport, or move or attempt to transport or move” an illegal alien.)

POTUS Interview: Speaker Ryan Lied on Border Wall Funding Promise to Get Omnibus Signed. sundance – read this carefully to catch the ‘tone’ and ‘attitude’ of the president in his own words. Compare and contrast to Harriot and his ilk.

Why Trump Will Win the Wall Fight. David Catron – “He continually adapts while the Dems remain static.” Another compare and contrast. The President has his focus on issues. His opponents on enemies.

“The Democrats squealed with delight when the President decided to temporarily end the partial government shutdown. Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and their media supporters believe they have won a famous victory. Indeed, more than a few have declared the Trump presidency dead. This isn’t merely delusional, it means that two years of dealing with “the Donald” have taught them nothing about how he operates. The President is adapting to the post-midterm political environment by changing his “game face.” The Democrats continue to indulge their irrational antipathy toward Trump and embrace increasingly inane policy positions. Meanwhile, he is becoming more presidential.

A Letter to Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic Ten Days Later. Dov Fischer – “It now is some ten days since you unintentionally became famous, and you blessedly no longer are the news outside Covington. But I write to tell you that you are not forgotten for many of us whom you made proud.

“Obama once said that, if he had had a son, it would have been a boy like Trayvon Martin. Nicholas, I do not doubt that. Not for a moment. I would rather set the boys of CovCath as role models.

New Yorkers in the Left Media cannot understand why CovCath boys like you would smile in the faces of people like that lying phony Native American “Vietnam Vet.” That is because in New York they never would have smiled at him in the first place, figuring he might have a knife or a tomahawk, so they would have run away from him. The Left Media do not understand a culture where you actually look people in the eye, smile their way, and stand your ground.

You did not back away. You demonstrated the best of the Covington Catholic education you have gotten by standing your ground and just smiling at him. That smile said: “I am here in peace. I am not going to be incited into escalating your menacing confrontation. So you can go on beating that stupid drum of yours all day, Ringo, but I am not going to back off, nor will I be drawn into a fight. Because I am here to support life and the rights of the unborn.”

You and your classmates never should have been criticized by your local Diocese. The Diocese embarrassed itself nationally when they instantly criticized CovCath kids without having the facts. That was a national disgrace, doing unto you guys what they would not have wanted others to do unto them. Lev. 11. If they must publicly criticize a Catholic, let them pick on someone their own size and comment instead on New York Governor Cuomo’s new “Gosnell Law” that legalizes tearing the limbs of fetuses apart, limb by limb, as late as nine months into pregnancy. But tell them to bang the drum slowly.

what people do to make jabs at windmills in their minds … 

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The Potomac two-step. Denial. Projection. Faux (?) outrage …

Voter Fraud: Yes, Noncitizens Are Voting In Elections — Texas Just Proved It. Investor’s Business Daily – “When President Donald Trump brought up the idea that noncitizens were casting ballots in elections, the reaction was fast and furious. Such a thing, if it exists at all, is exceedingly rare, we were told.

“After a yearlong voter-fraud probe, Texas discovered that, lo and behold, 95,000 people identified as noncitizens had voter registrations. What’s more, 58,000 of them voted in one or more Texas elections.

But wait. Isn’t all this stuff about noncitizens voting a load of bull? When Trump appointed a voter-fraud commission in 2017, Democrats and the press howled in protest.

Less than a year after he put it together, Trump disbanded his commission, not because it didn’t find anything, but because it faced a fusillade of lawsuits and stonewalling from state election officials.

The most likely explanation for Democrats’ indifference is that they benefit from sloppy enforcement of election laws. We recently pointed out that several House elections in California could have flipped from red to blue thanks to these sorts of fraudulent efforts. And California election officials seem clueless — or utterly indifferent — to whether noncitizens are voting in state elections.

That would explain why Democrats treat every effort to improve ballot integrity as an attempt to suppress voter turnout.

Brennan Brays Again. Scott Johnson – “he remains at large. He is not under indictment. The FBI has not sent a heavily armed battalion to raid his home and take him into custody in front of his friends at CNN.

“Is there any dispute about Brennan’s lies? I don’t think so. Looking around for a summary of Brennan’s lies, I find Victor Davis Hanson’s useful compilation in the June 2018 NR post “A reply to Ronald Radosh’s smear.” The compilation purports only to be illustrative, not exhaustive.

Brennan’s braying represents a classic case of non-denial denial. What a lying partisan hack Obama put in charge of the CIA. And let me add, incidentally, that Brennan’s hackery probably does not even constitute his worst quality.

The Potomac two-step: Will no one stand up to the corruption in the FBI, DOJ, and CIA? Patricia McCarthy – “For nearly ten years now, Americans who have been paying attention have known that our government has become corrupt, that its premier institutions were weaponized by the Obama administration to the point that we have become something of a police state or banana republic.

“It appears we are now a police state. Stalin would be proud. The left and the media all approved of this preposterous bit of nasty theater. Stephanopoulos said such tactics are “common,” a blatant lie. … Stephanopoulos is nothing but a tool of the left, a talking head with a script to read. Who writes the bilge he reads? Would be good to know, but one thing is certain: they have as their goal the destruction of America and its most cherished values.

Bigotry Against Christians Harms The Media’s Reputation. Mollie Hemingway – “The Atlantic’s Taylor Lorenz decided to dunk on Pope Francis for a tweet about Jesus’ mother Mary, claiming Christ faked his resurrection.”

“In recent days we’ve seen reporters attack Karen Pence for volunteering at a Christian school, attempt to dig up dirt against Christian schools, and viciously attack 16-year-old Catholic boys who were being harassed by adults spewing racist and homophobic slurs.

The Christian teachings of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection are central to the faith, but not everyone is called, as St. Paul puts it. And those who don’t believe view this central teaching as a stumbling block, as Lorenz does.

All that said, the mockery and disrespect in the anti-Christian tweet — and its favorable reception from other journalists — tell us something about the way many in the media treat Christians. As the media lean into their progressive political ideology, they are becoming more and more anti-Christian.

if The Atlantic and other media outlets wonder why they have lost their reputation recently, it can look to the disparity in how it treats conservatives and their ideas and how it rewards the journalism and anti-Christian bigotry of their liberal staff.

Stage Set For A Deal With Democrats. Conrad Black – “the president has just removed from the deck and shredded the best Democratic card, crinkled and greasy at the edges though it had become: the endless claim that he was a madman who would never retreat or compromise, a psychotic bull in the China shop of the world’s nations, rampaging through American government, heedless of any sense of compromise or nuance.

“The Democrats will have to deliver something believable on border security, and if they repair to the leftist house of debating cards, that there is no problem and therefore nothing need be done except a few humanitarian measures, they will be hammered. Pelosi and Schumer are tired components of the creaking and grunting pantomime horse of liberal Democratic medievalism, but they can’t take that argument to the country.

Against Trump: Three Years Later. Julie Kelly – “The NeverTrump crusade sparked by the “Against Trump” issue is adrift and angry. In the past three years, self-proclaimed conservatives of this variety have embraced the climate change agenda, opposed tax reform, and saved Obamacare.”

“NeverTrumpers have been silent about, or worse, helped to justify, the unconstitutional and alarming weaponization of the world’s most powerful law enforcement and intelligence apparatus to undermine a rival presidential campaign, then sabotage a duly elected president.

three years after the nation’s leading conservative outlet published a lengthy appeal to purge Donald Trump from its ranks, the president has an 80 percent approval rating among American conservatives. Trump has cut taxes; restrained the regulatory behemoth; appointed a legacy bench of conservatives federal judges; challenged lazy, ungrateful allies; rewritten outdated trade pacts; confronted a chronic border crisis; and reinvigorated the country’s manufacturing base. He’s defended the unborn, the working class, the patriotic, and the faithful while rejecting the stultifying chokehold of identity politics.

Meanwhile, his so-called conservative detractors are scrounging for primary challengers that sound more like Barack Obama than William F. Buckley, Jr. The damage they’ve done to the modern-day conservative movement will long outlast Trump’s presidency.

And three years later, they have largely proven—once again—that they are still very good at failure.

Sec. DeVos rule change on campus sexual assault now a magnet for angry personal attacks. John Sexton – “This is the kind of thing that would lead journalists to make generalizations about the kind of people who would make such ugly attacks a woman Education Secretary. At least that would be the case if only the attacks were coming from the right. But in this case, the attacks don’t fit the narrative.”

The Next States to Get Hammered by the Blue State Model. Dispatches from District 48 – “people who flee California because it is too expensive and dysfunctional come to Arizona and immediately begin voting for exactly the same policies that made California expensive and dysfunctional. Therefore, I tend to read being in an “inbound” state with dread, knowing that folks are moving in right now to make us the next Illinois or California.

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Cultural turmoil

Can the Republic Survive the Mainstream Media? David Harris – “People complain of the cultural turmoil and upset in the country without realizing that the mainstream media – which nowadays includes almost all broadcast media as well as the digital giants Facebook, Google, and Twitter, and others – are the main determinants of the mood and cultural milieu of the United States.”

“While almost nobody fully grasps the profound cultural influence of the media, we all respond to media-fostered agitation when they’re upset – notably when conservative/Republican ideas are in the ascendance – and the relative calm and quiescence when their like-minded, left-leaning Democrats are in charge.

A sad, perhaps damning adjunct in terms of cultural survival is that while we feel the swings in mood of the culture, most of us have little idea about the media’s pivotal influence.

For the last 50 years, the media have been shooting Republican fish in a barrel. These are also major factors contributing to why most Republicans seem more comfortable in the minority; at least there they can temporarily keep their heads down and enjoy a less precarious existence. Their irrelevance and relative powerlessness gives them welcome respite from the media crosshairs and its highly effective elimination strategies.

We may already have been done-in by the silencing of dissent through oppressive control of information and near-instant social pummeling of the non-compliant; along with coincident and, in some respects, consequent atrophy of independent thought; the terror of non-compliant politicians; and widespread ignorance of and indifference toward the country’s mission and laws. Time will tell.

Attack of the Techno-Lynch Mob. Victor Davis Hanson – “The entire psychodrama boiled down not to what the facts on the ground showed, but rather who each party was perceived innately to be.

“On the one side, the suspects were seen as rambunctious teenage kids (thus easy targets not especially schooled in the arts of rhetoric or repartee).

On the other side, the stereotypes were even more striking.

Add that all up and we had a Medieval morality play ripe for exploitation.

In our new race and gender morality, a teenager when confronted by an activist adult must play the adult as the activist adult plays the role of teenager.

The key in these Internet lynchings is to get in first and worst—and keep at it.

We have been here before, from the Tawana Brawley farce and the Duke Lacrosse myth to the Ferguson “hands up, don’t shoot” and the University of Virginia fraternity rape yarns—and dozens of staged truth-to-power race and gender mythologies in between.

We may have iPhones instead of rope, but human nature has not changed. The competition to appear tough, cruel, defiant—and morally superior—is fed by crowds of anonymous laptop and smartphone shock troops.

What, then, must we relearn from the latest progressive fantasy? … Media truth is relative … Rhetoric not action matters. … The progressive cause feels it is close to victory.

Eventually these Reigns of Terror come to an end when a few finally scream that the emperor is naked and push back—but usually only after thousands of lives are ruined. And we are not even close yet to making Internet lynching an unprofitable venture.

How Many FBI Agents Does It Take to Terrorize an Unarmed 66-Year-Old? George Parry – “All of which leads me to shake my wooly gray head and wonder aloud if any of these two-fisted crime fighters who took down the cunning and dangerous Roger Stone are in any way embarrassed by their participation in this vaudeville act.

“After all these years of investigation, indictments of foreign nationals who will never appear in an American courtroom, and process crimes generated in large part by the investigators themselves, the mask is slipping and the act is wearing thin. Just like the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the Great and Terrible Mueller is slowly emerging as, in the words of Dorothy, the Great and Terrible humbug.

America Lost Vietnam but Saved Southeast Asia. William Lloyd Stearman – taking on one of the original lies at the beginning of the modern era burdened by Leftist deceit and propaganda. (WSJ via outline.com) That perfidy created much human suffering that still echoes.

“America got into World War II because of Vietnam. … It is widely believed that the Vietnam War was unwinnable. But a 2004 History Chanel documentary featured interviews with knowledgeable North Vietnamese who thought otherwise.

The defeat created more than a million South Vietnamese refugees, who escaped by sea. More than 300,000 drowned, according to a Red Cross estimate. Large numbers also died in concentration camps or were executed. …

Yet even the defeat in Vietnam accomplished a lot. … “America’s action enabled noncommunist Southeast Asia to put their own houses in order. By 1975, they were in better shape to stand up to the communists. Had there been no U.S. intervention, the will of these countries to resist them would have melted and Southeast Asia would most likely gone communist.”

Headlines in the Roger Stone case such as “it’s not the crime, it’s the cover up” prompt reminiscence as the Left attempts to dig up its glory days of Nixon and Vietnam. Distortion, deceit, and populations paying the price are no matter to them. Avoiding the draft; thinking war and love are opposites; and moral preening have all had their place and what drove that is still a cancer on society today.

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meaningful discussion?

People Strongly Against GMOs Had Shakier Understanding Of Food Science, Study Finds. Jonathan Ahl – “However, previous surveys have shown that providing more scientific facts about GMOs to people doesn’t change their minds.” ‘Study finds’ is a flag so skepticism and salt need to be ready to hand. This one is nearly oxymoronic: those who are ignorant don’t know much and don’t learn. The interesting finding is what this state does to people’s expression of their opinions. Meaningful discussion?

“People who most intensely oppose genetically modified food think they know a lot about food science, but they actually know the least, according to a peer-reviewed paper published in January in the journal Nature Human Behaviour.

Then it went on to ask a series of true-or-false questions about science, ranging from basic issues like whether the core of the Earth is hot or cold to questions on genetics, like “Does a non-genetically modified tomato have genes?”

The results showed the more strongly people reported being opposed to GMOs, the lower their test score.

“A lot of people are upset by genetically modified food,” said Sydney Scott, a marketing professor at Washington University in St. Louis, one of the schools that ran the study.

“We have to get people to recognize gaps in their knowledge before we try to teach them new things and have a meaningful discussion,” she added.

Census Fight Is About Dollars and Votes. Rachel Bovard – “There is ample evidence to suggest that the judge’s ruling was ill-informed and partisan.” so it’s about Justice, too.

“glossed over in the foamy outrage on the Left is the rank and hypocritical irony that census documents ask about race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, homeownership status, electricity bills, job status, age, and even the number of toilets in each house—but a question about citizenship is somehow considered too invasive.

But the legal analysis aside, there are two key aspects to this debate. The first is to knock down the claim that the Trump administration is using the census as a means toward deportation. They’re not. But the second is to explain why the determination of citizenship is vitally important to the basic functioning of representative government.

Ultimately, though, the Left’s concern with Census participation does not arise out of some benevolent impulse toward civic participation. Rather, it stems from their two chief concerns, which govern everything: money and power.

Those on the Left, particularly the plaintiffs in this case, are preoccupied with ensuring as much federal money as possible flows to their states, which have very high illegal immigrant populations.

But perhaps more important is the role that illegal immigrant populations play in something called apportionment—the drawing of congressional districts based upon population.

It’s a cynical gambit, but a very real one. And it’s why attention must be paid at every level—to the big, flashy debates over the border wall, and the smaller, but equally important questions on the Census.

Trump wins because he isn’t screwing anyone over. Don Surber – “Unlike the politicians in Washington, he is not trying to vanquish his enemies. He just wants to get a deal done.

Establishment Republicans say this will establish a dangerous precedent. They always say that. Again, who cares? Democrat presidents do whatever they like anyway.

President Trump tried working with these fools but they do not want to cut a deal. They want him to fail, die slowly, and be buried upside down facing away from the sun.

He is not trying to screw over anyone. He is willing to give them something in return for the wall.

No. They would rather starve then let him eat.

No MAGA Hats in the Opinion Workers Union Hall. Clarice Feldman – “1000 reporters lost their jobs, Mueller jumped the shark in arresting Roger Stone in the middle of the night, and the President moved on to another stage of the long Build the Wall battle.” Caitlin Flanagan is cited as noting how Nick Sandmann worked to calm things down in this long summary of a WoW Week. On the budget barriers, the conclusion is

“Should the opposition then run to some numbskull judge in the 9thCircuit to stop him, he will have made his record that no other avenue was available to protect America’s defense. Ignore the claims that the Democrats won this battle. I don’t think they did.

Anti-Trumpers Only Embarrass Themselves. Deroy Murdock – “When you are a jackhammer, everything looks like a broken sidewalk. This is why the Trump-hating media are demolishing themselves.

“The Left’s journalists and artists are so deeply consumed by vile, vicious, venomous rage towards President Donald J. Trump and his supporters that they have become incapable of clear thought.

The media also make jackasses of themselves by complaining about small things that proved untrue.

What explains the media’s incessant self-mutilation?

More likely, though, the Trump haters have learned nothing from all of this. As they labor to destroy the president, these ink-stained suicide bombers are destroying themselves.

Is meaningful discussion possible in these circumstances?

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Ultimate irony – but will it register?

The Ultimate Irony of the ‘Native American Elder’ and the MAGA Hat Kids. Selwyn Duke – “Had Western civilization never existed and the dreaded white man not ever arrived on these shores, the Indians would still be living a stone-age lifestyle. The “noble savage” suckers may romanticize this, but neither they nor Talking Bull want any part of it.

Libels of and threats to Covington Kids will face Kentucky justice. Thomas Lifson – “the prospect of Kentuckian jurors judging those who libel or threaten their children is delightful. There are two separate avenues available, and both are being explored by people ready and willing to act.

“Trump Derangement Syndrome, which is the underlying reason why the explosion of hate for the Catholic Church has become so public (in anticipation of the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the next SCOTUS vacancy), is literally “derangement” – meaning that ordinary internal mental cautions that prevent people from crossing important lines are discarded in a frenzy.

If one or more people from outside Kentucky are indicted and brought to the state for prosecution under a terroristic threat statute, it would sober up a lot of others.

The real evil of fake news. Gavin Wax – “The fake news media is playing a game of sleight of hand with the American people. By creating a narrative and having an entire industry built around feeding this narrative, they attempt to get the public’s mind off the brass tacks of what is happening in terms of public policy.

Apologies Aren’t Enough After The Covington And BuzzFeed Media Fiascos. Investor’s Business Daily – “If mainstream reporters don’t like Trump calling their work “fake news,” they should stop providing him so many fresh examples.

Joy Behar: We jumped to conclusions about the Covington Catholic kids because we desperately want Trump out of office. Allahpundit – “How did a truthbomb like this end up being casually dropped by, of all people, Joy Behar?” Of course, it’s Allahpundit and he has to get a few TDS digs in but there is an awareness worthy of note.

David French noticed too: “When activists and partisans do that, they send a clear message to their opponents: They will destroy you if they can. … That’s the message that sent a shudder up the spine of husbands and wives during the Kavanaugh hearings. That’s the message that sends a shudder up the spine of moms and dads as we watch men and women try to ruin the Covington Catholic kids. This isn’t just a media scandal. When we see the hate, some of us see our sons, and we know that in America today, their futures, their reputations, and – given the prevalence of death threats – perhaps even their very lives are in the hands of an angry mob.”

But not all of this is due to cognitive dissonance. I think some of the doubling down is a deliberate strategy. If you want to marginalize the Bad People then the original narrative of the confrontation must prevail, whatever the evidence says. Keep pushing it. Hope that the sheer cumulative force behind the assertion carries it to widespread acceptance despite all evidence to the contrary. It works, you know. It’s happened before.

This is the lesson to learn from all of this, if you haven’t learned it already. neo – “I finally noticed and comprehended this game about two years post-9/11—a process I’ve described in my “a mind is a difficult thing to change” series—and this was one of the main reasons for my political change.” Rush Limbaugh has been on a tear about this and it is good to see a growing awareness. Neo has several good posts on his topic this morning as well.

“The tactic is even more blatantly obvious now. But many people who self-describe as being on the right seem to remain blind to it. That’s one of the themes of this recent post of Ace’s, in which he quotes a Twitter user named davereaboi as writing the following (the “you” here is the supposedly conservative press):

People are furious that those of you who bought into it and couldn’t resist making knee-jerk Virtue Signaling condemnations have not yet learned about the nature of the enemy we’re fighting:

Activists are trained to set up these scenarios, the media runs with stories that are too good to check because they reinforce their biases. They do this on purpose. You just have to read Lefty activist literature. It’s all there, for decades. *Not knowing is your failure.*

That is the heart of the matter. How can intelligent people have been taken in by this? I really don’t know. It’s not just that they’re in the Beltway, or interested in virtue-signaling, although those things are part of it. At this point they seem incredibly stupid and destructive, or else only pretending to believe in what they say they believe.

We know what game the left plays. Why don’t all writers on the right know it, too?

What happens when only one side enjoins in battle?

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Pravda Redux. no apologies. grave danger

Bill Kristol deletes tweet, fails to apologize for jumping on phony story of MAGA hat kids harassing Native American. Thomas Lifson – “He quietly deleted his tweet claiming moral superiority for what he imagines John McCain would have done, compared to that reprobate Donald Trump (who correctly did nothing).” For why apologies are needed, see The Truth about the Lincoln Memorial Incident. Taylor Day – “There was plenty for Americans to be upset by in that video, but contrary to the reporting by the Associated Press, the bad behavior did not come from the group of boys.

“Despite the hateful rhetoric directed at them, the boys are now being held to higher standards than the adults that are indisputably provoking them, and they behaved admirably. While they misread the atmosphere when the Native American group approach them as being friendly and continued to dance and call out their High School’s prideful chants, they quickly realized the awkwardness of the situation when the Native American elder singled out one of the MAGA-hat wearing teens and put himself inches from the young man’s face beating a drum.

The crime the mainstream media is claiming occurred? The teen assaulted the man with his smile.

The media should be ashamed of how they quickly picked up and ran with edited footage of the “altercation” to pose the boy, who said not a word nor flinched a muscle and offered only an innocent smile that was most likely a nervous reaction to the oddity of performance before him, as a racist bigot.

The liberal media has been under pressure this week after a Buzzfeed News article implicating President Trump in crimes was promptly discredited by Mueller’s office. However, they clearly have not learned any lesson from their failure to act with integrity by pushing a narrative that is framed and false, and they will eventually have to reap what they have sown from their intentional seeds of defamatory divides.

When the Press Sees Red. Michael Brendan Dougherty – “The condemnation of the students was nearly universal. … And then, predictably, the story began to unravel.”

“Like so many stories that supposedly conveyed the reality of Trump’s America, that so perfectly displayed white Christian menace, it turned out to be fake. Fake, like the Ohio University student who sent herself anti-gay hate mail; manufactured, like the racist harassment on a bus that Hilary Clinton tweeted about; an attempted frame-up, with liberal credulity made into the co-conspirator, like the vandalism of a Jewish cemetery done by a progressive reporter.

But good enough to share, good enough to cause doxxing, and justify the harassment and assault of children.

Whatever happened, it conveyed a reality “that seems impossible to deny.” I can’t imagine accepting a payment for writing that kind of conclusion. Although, writing it serves as some testimony to Fallows’ embarrassment. It “seems” impossible to deny only if you felt an overwhelming compulsion to condemn this kid, his school, and his community, “whatever happened.” The posited menace is real, the events, they don’t matter. Whatever.

I would like to welcome the liberal press to the Reality Based Community, but there are fewer Catholic children who deserve getting spat on in it. So I doubt they’ll show up.

From the BuzzFeed Psychodrama to the Covington Video Melodrama. Victor Davis Hanson – “it would be wise for everyone to take a deep breath and wait at least 24 hours before snap editorializing, in response to the latest sensational morality tale flashing across electronic media.

An example at Slate: Trump’s Rhetoric Is Raising the Risk of Right-Wing Terrorism. Daniel Byman – “We need to have a serious debate about the causes of political violence, before the next attack.” He goes on about anti-semitism and gun control completely oblivious to reality. His world is a very dangerous construct of fantasy and ideology completely detached from reason or integrity to satisfy his need for a bogeyman to blame for all ills he thinks he sees. Compare and contrast what Byman thinks Trump has said to that directed at the Catholic teens.

Reporting on each other: the Covington boys, the Native American, and the smart phone vs. the telescreen. neo – “Today’s smart phones (not envisioned by Orwell) can record, as well. But what they record, how it is edited and used and described and slanted, is the task of social media and the MSM.

“One person who did apologize, and quite profusely, was Scott Adams. I’m embedding his video in case you’re interested in watching. As Adams says, “This is fake news that actually damages the lives of children.” What I find especially interesting—and what I haven’t yet heard Adams explain—is how he, of all people, was originally among those taken in by this story

If the viewers of such videos don’t have a huge amount of skepticism, they are easily taken in by people using videos to mislead. Even people with a great deal of skepticism, such as Scott Adams, can apparently be taken in by the right video presented in a very clever way.

This is obviously a grave danger, because videos (like photos before them) can easily give the appearance of being the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and can whip the crowd up into enormous hatred. And yet the actual truth can be something very, very different.

What can you believe? How can you tell?

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Fact free and the cost of eggs

Dear reporter: First, wipe the egg and the smirk off your face. Don Surber – “He fell for the BuzzFeed story — leaked to change the subject from the shutdown — which Bungling Bob Mueller disavowed late Friday. … Blake took to Twitter this morning to virtue signal about journalism.

The Tables Turn on Pelosi and the Media. Clarice Feldman – “While she might have thought otherwise, the power of the commander-in-chief is far greater than that of the speaker of the House, and the humiliating way this was brought home to the congressional equivalent of Maerose Prizzi (h/t Michael Walsh) was something.

“CNN and MSNBC alone made almost 200 references in 12 hours to the BuzzFeed story.

The fun and games were soon over. In an unprecedented move, Special Counsel Mueller’s office said the story was untrue.

Fact-Free Politics: From Climate Change to Trickle Down. Thomas Sowell – “In this era when there has been more information available to more people than at any time in the past, it is also true that there has been more misinformation from more different sources than ever.

“We are not talking about differences of opinion or inadequate verification, but about statements and catchwords in utter defiance of facts.

The next time someone talks about “climate change deniers,” ask them to name one — and tell you just where specifically you can find their words, declaring that climates do not change. You can bet the rent money that they cannot tell you.

It is much the same story on economic issues. … Here, yet again, all you need to do is think back over your own life, and ask yourself if you have ever — even once in your entire life — seen, heard or read a single human being who advocated this “trickle-down theory.”

Issues in both economics and science can get complicated. But when one side of those issues has to resort to demonstrably false catchwords, that should give us a clue.

Fact free isn’t cost free.

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How dare you! (but who cares, anyway?) See how that works?

How Dare Karen Pence Be Christian! Michael Brown – “The outrage is over any connection between the historic Christian faith – the dominant, oppressive religion of America! – and the public square. Such a connection must be severed at once.

“In the famous words of John Adams, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

We do not check that morality and that religion at the door when we are elected to public office, nor do our family members.

Mrs. Pence, we are with you!

It’s Open War on Christianity. John Hinderaker – “The overt bigotry on display from members of the left-wing press is, in my opinion, shocking.” He cites David French at the National Review explaining the situation.

Quit hoping that Trump will just go away. Rich Lowry – “The walls supposedly are always closing in on Donald Trump. The end is always beginning.

“Despite media reports that Trump is perpetually furious and feeling besieged, he has never shown the slightest brittleness or sense of being overwhelmed in public. He’s always his same ebullient, combative, outrageous self.

He’s the least likely president to get worn down by an impeachment fight. What would discourage or deflate the normal human energizes him.

Besides all this, no one should really hope for a premature end to the Trump presidency. Whatever the exact circumstances, it’d be a trauma to the republic and not accepted by a significant plurality of the electorate. The wish fulfillment of Trump’s critics is better directed toward the less spectacular, yet difficult-enough task of beating him in 2020.

Weird new frontiers in media bias: BuzzFeed versus Robert Mueller? Howard J. Warner – “Those on the right see this as further evidence of “fake news,” and the left argues that this proves how fair Mueller will be.

“Given the damaging nature of these claims by BuzzFeed, one would imagine that other network reporters would be careful repeating this story. They use the caveat that “if it were true,” then this would be impeachment-worthy. But the glee in their voices was unmistakable yesterday morning and throughout the day. Now they are apoplectic because the lie was revealed.

The outcome of this error in reporting will be watched carefully, but probably no one will be punished. The result will be a stalemate that continues the animosity in Washington and threatens our republic.

Giving Pelosi a Taste of Her Own Medicine. Karl Notturno – “Au contraire, senator! Sophomoric responses seem to be the only responses that sophomores can understand. It’s sad because it seemed as though Graham was in the process of growing a spine.

“Many establishment conservatives, for some reason, hate getting their hands dirty. They hate engaging in the mudslinging that is the very hallmark of politics.

the only conservatives and Republicans the mainstream media and its surrogates are capable of respecting are either dead or emasculated.

Perhaps the only surprising fact here is that more NeverTrumpers haven’t joined the former category; excessive hand-wringing and pearl-clutching cannot be good for one’s health.

We must have learned something from years of abuse from an overly biased media and sophomoric political pundits who seem more concerned with scoring cheap political shots than actually governing the country and preserving its well-being. In fact, we obviously did learn something. We elected Donald Trump.

Abuse and cheap political shots are easy. And if one side won’t dignify them with a response, let alone a retributive attack, they are an exceedingly effective weapon. …

The only way to deter such base tactics is to use the same tactics effectively against the perpetrators. …

The incalculable schadenfreude that many downtrodden conservatives have felt over the past few years as they have watched President Trump mercilessly troll the Democrats is only amplified by the ironic fact that the president was able to do so simply by using the Democrats’ tactics more skillfully than they could.

Civility and etiquette are nice things. And they are also expensive when deployed only by one side.

Buzzfeed, Like Lawfare, Has a Role to Play in Resistance Operation. sundance – “While the media banter relentlessly about their latest resistance angle du jour; it is perhaps a more beneficial discussion to remind and outline the larger strategy at play. Honing the political skills.

“The baseline here is that everything the institutional-left does, is sequential and planned. This is what they do. This is all they do. None of the characters within the institutions of professional leftism create anything; build anything; have a life purpose for anything, other than organizing their efforts to exploit control of others via politics. This is all they know how to do.

Optics and innuendo are key elements, tools per se’, in the Alinsky narrative engineering process.

what matters is the ‘claim that needs to be investigated’. Did President Trump direct Michael Cohen to lie to congress; no, that’s silly.

All of it is a nothing-burger, but that doesn’t technically matter for the needs of the ‘resistance’; what they need is a tenuously valid innuendo trail they can exploit with Michael Cohen on February 7th, that will allow Elijah Cummings to pass that specific aspect to Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler.

See how that works?

Trump Puts Schumer and Pelosi in a Brilliant Vise Grip. Jim Davis – “Trump has created a lingering atmosphere in which Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer feel compelled to stop him at any cost. In political terms, they’re willing to die on this hill.” This is another ‘see how that works’ essay. “We didn’t hire Trump to go to church with us. We hired him to clean house. This is the best chance to get it done.

All Three Networks Ignore ‘March For Life,’ Cover Pro-Abortion ‘Women’s March’ Instead. Paul Bois – “An anti-Trump march happening tomorrow is more interesting to the networks

“According to LifeNews, despite an estimated 100,000 people being in attendance at the pro-life march along with President Trump’s address to the crowd via video, the left-wing machines could not so much as “give a passing mention to the March for Life” during the Friday morning shows.

She continued, “The fact that the March for Life happens every year makes it even more notable. Every single year for 45 years there has been a huge march protesting U.S. abortion law, despite making little headway in national policy over that time. That’s incredibly newsworthy.”

What happens when one’s voice is not heard? These folks have been incredibly patient. Just how long will that last?

Schiff for Brains Misleads Congress. Julie Kelly – This is about Bruce Ohr versus Adam Schiff. It illustrates the problem related to equality in justice and how the Left protects its interests.

“The new chairman of the House Intelligence Committee authored a memo dated January 28, 2018, ironically titled, “Correcting the Record—The Russia Investigation.” But it is Schiff who needs to correct his own record in light of new and damaging information that contradicts several claims he made in that document.

Representative Adam Schiff: about Bruce Ohr’s testimony. neo – “Adam Schiff would like nothing better than for Trump to be impeached, and if he has to lie to do it, that’s certainly an activity with which he’s both practiced and comfortable.

More on Fusion and FISA and the FBI and DOJ. neo – “The plot thickens, and it was already plenty thick

“Sorting out the details of the lies and the truths on this entire “Russia collusion” story has been practically a full-time job. One thing that has been clear for a long long time now is that the FISA application process based on the Steele dossier stank to high heaven.

But is most of America following this outrage, or caring? My answer is “no.”

And yet America has just installed a House determined to cover all of this up and to destroy Trump, which was the original idea in the first place.

Useful idiots, Kristof edition. Scott Johnson – “Lo these many years since the Russian Revolution and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the New York Times is still doing public relations for Communism.” – Yet another ‘this is how it is done’ case study.

“Professor Hirschfeld’s increased awareness of Castro’s tyranny caused her to ask a question that evidently did not occur to Kristof: “[T]o what extent is the favorable international image of the Cuban health care system maintained by the state’s practice of suppressing dissent and covertly intimidating or imprisoning would-be critics?”

Suffice it to say that Kristof seems not to have bothered himself with a call to Professor Hirschfeld before composing his monument to stupidity.

Lots of folks not bothering with due diligence, it seems.

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Thought police

35 Times the FBI “Deviated from Standard Practice” or Committed Crimes in Effort to Exonerate Hilary and Indict Trump. Jim Hoft – “Of course the employees of the FBI are in a funk, their fearless and corrupt leaders, as well as leaders in Obama’s corrupt DOJ, went to extravagant links to exonerate the obvious criminal actions of Hillary Clinton, and then to do all they could to prevent candidate Trump from winning an election. Then once the election was won by President Trump, they went to unheard of depths of deceit and corruption to attempt to remove him from office.

The FBI’s ‘Trump treason’ probe flunked civics. Rich Lowry – “US presidents over the decades have made many foolhardy decisions that have undermined our security; never before have they been deemed a fit subject for an FBI investigation.” … “If the Times reporting is correct, the FBI grew more suspicious of Trump’s conduct based on comments that have been widely misunderstood. Among the bill of particulars:

“As part of the executive branch, the FBI should brush up on the powers of the chief executive. The president gets to fire subordinate executive branch officials. He gets to meet with and talk to foreign leaders. He gets to make policy toward foreign nations. Especially important to the current investigation, he gets to say foolish, ill-informed and destructive things.

the Times story is a damning account of an offense against our political order, and not by Trump.

Watergate by Any Other Name. Roger Kimball – “For almost three years now, the intelligence services and police apparatus of the deep state have worked tirelessly to undermine Donald Trump.

“Asked recently by Fox News host Jeanine Pirro whether he is or has ever been working for Russia, Trump responded, “I think it’s the most insulting thing I’ve ever been asked.” Quite right, too. For the rest of us, though, it’s more than insulting. It’s been going on so long that we are tempted to forget what this travesty really is. Familiarity has bred indifference. It is time that we woke up to the truth. What we have been witnessing is a blatant and nefarious effort to repeal the results of a lawful election and undermine the integrity of our democratic institutions. The fact that this attempted coup is being undertaken not by wild-eyed revolutionaries but well-accoutered bureaucrats high up the feeding trough of the deep state makes the assault on our freedoms more, not less, frightening.

Trump’s shutdown trap? Thomas Lifson – “In only five more days of the already-“longest government shutdown in history” (25 days and counting, as of today), a heretofore obscure threshold will be reached, enabling permanent layoffs of bureaucrats furloughed 30 days or more.” Bug or feature?

“Keep in mind that saboteurs cannot be individually identified and RIFed, but they can be included in the layoffs if they meet the criteria above in terms of seniority and service, and that they must be given 60 days’ notice. But once they are gone, they are no longer free to obstruct using the “process” as their friend because they are gone.

Of course, you can expect lawsuits on every conceivable point I suspect that the definition of “furlough” would be one matter of dispute.

President Trump has proven that he is a “disruptor” who changes the framework of thinking on major issues by refusing to accept the “givens” – the assumptions of how things always have been done, and therefore always must be done.

Such a mass RIF would be the Trump version of Ronald Reagan firing the air traffic controllers when they went on an illegal strike in 1981. That was completely unexpected by his enemies, vehemently criticized, and successful.

Trump’s language, Trump’s thought. Neo – it’s about the English professor grading tweets for spelling and grammar in order to rationalize his ad hominem judgments. Neo takes on the absurdity of the professor’s efforts.

More on the Government Shutdown and Keeping Parks Open. Dispatches from District 48 – “I often criticize this President, but this is one area Trump should be applauded. I think the wall funding issue is a dumb reason to go into budget gridlock, particularly when he had 2 years of Republican Congresses to get this done, but given the fact of the shutdown he should be applauded for attempting to reduce its impact on ordinary Americans. President Obama, for all his reputation of caring and hope, was to my mind overly callous in explicitly trying to make the shutdown more painful for average people.” He still doesn’t understand what has been happening in Washington D.C. in anything other than overly simplified terms but this topic is his bread and butter.

NEVER CHANGE: Journos are fact checking Trump on the number of hamburgers he purchased for the Clemson football team. Greg P. – “They’re correcting his spelling mistake, too:

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Can you control your vehemence?

NYT Reveals FBI Retaliated Against Trump For Comey Firing. Mollie Hemingway – “A Friday expose from the New York Times reveals that the FBI investigation of Trump for alleged treason was little more than retaliation against the president for lawfully firing an incompetent and ethically challenged FBI director.”

“Admitting there is no actual evidence for their probe into whether Trump “worked for the Russians,” FBI officials instead cited their foreign policy differences with him, his lawful firing of bungling FBI Director James Comey, and alarm that he accurately revealed to the American public that he was told he wasn’t under investigation by the FBI, when they preferred to hide that fact.

… Just last month, CNN reported that top FBI officials opened an investigation into Trump after the lawful firing of Comey because Trump “needed to be reined in,” a shocking admission of abuse of power by our nation’s top law enforcement agency.

The latest Times report does provide more detail than these earlier reports, however, and none of it makes the FBI look good. In fact, it provides evidence of a usurpation of constitutional authority to determine foreign policy that belongs not with a politically unaccountable FBI but with the citizens’ elected president.

In sum, the framing of this New York Times article is either poorly conceived or outright disingenuous at every turn.

For one of the nation’s largest newspapers to suggest that this makes the president — and not the FBI — look bad actually validates two of Trump’s biggest complaints: the media are hopelessly biased, and there really is a “deep state” out to to overturn the 2016 election.

Backtracking Lies Worsening – REMINDER: The FBI Counterintelligence Operation into Donald Trump *DID NOT* Start After Comey Firing. sundance – it does go deeper. Here is an analysis of testimony.

In border fight, Democrats want ‘technological wall’ that won’t keep anybody out. Byron York – “The point, for those illegal immigrants, is not to enter the United States without being detected. It is to enter, be caught, and begin the asylum process that will allow them to stay, one way or the other.

“San Diego faced an intolerable situation in the 1980s. The border fence was a key part of the solution. Now, a congressman from San Diego is dead set against building a physical barrier to stop illegal crossings in other parts of the country the way it did in San Diego.

Peters reflects his party’s leadership and their determination to stop the construction of any more barriers on the border. But Democrats from Pelosi down still want to appear strong on border security. Now, they are advocating sensors and drones and cameras that would watch an unfenced border — while doing nothing to stop the flow of illegal immigrants.

Politicians and lies. neo – “To some extent, politics almost demands it, depending on how one defines “lie.” Is a bragging exaggeration a lie? Is an optimistic promise a lie? How exaggerated does it have to be before it becomes one, rather than mere hyperbole?

“Opinions are not lies, as long as the speaker really believes what he or she says (which is not always the case in politics or in life). Opinions can be incorrect, they can be based on faulty reasoning or faulty information, but as long as they are sincere you can’t call them lies. And yet so-called “fact checkers” do so on a daily basis.

Facts are facts, but sometimes competing information (Kellyanne Conway’s much-maligned “alternative facts”) is out there and it can be very difficult to ascertain what’s correct and what’s incorrect. So politicians constantly argue by citing one fact or another, or one statistic or another, that bolsters their own point of view. That’s only a lie if the facts are obviously wrong or made up.

I often hear that Trump lies far more than any other president. That’s not my perception, unless you count as lies a lot of things that aren’t, and/or a lot of things that are minor and inconsequential. The people who keep telling me that Trump lies so much are astounded and offended if I try to say that Obama lied as well; they just don’t see it that way. One can go to charts listing the lies of either or both to prove a point, but of course the charts almost always (maybe even always) represent partisan efforts to make one or the other look worse (for example, see this critique of one of the Times’ efforts). And I’m not interested in sheer numbers—it’s the subject matter and import of the lie that matters, not the quantity.

Which leads me to the conclusion that Obama’s lies were far worse than Trump’s.

Lying to one’s self is perhaps the worst ‘false witness’ sin. That is what happens when one twists and distorts reality to suit one’s fantasies. This top layer is often seen in the expression of judgments of others. Every day you can see this: ‘worst this’ or ‘evil that.’ When you can’t control the vehemence of your opinions of another, you cannot control anything.

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