Archive for Media

What will it take?

What will it take for journalists and other Democrats to tell the truth to the public? Jack Hellner – “The next time Russia is accused of spying, they should say, “No that is authorized surveillance.”

“The Founding Fathers gave the press freedom to hold the powerful to account, not to protect people they liked no matter what they did while seeking to destroy others they didn’t like with no evidence.

Bill Barr, Dirty Cops, and the O.J. Simpson Trial. Charles Lipson – “The Democrats’ ferocious pushback confirms the gravity of the issue. Their fears are well-founded.

“The Obama administration politicized the Department of Justice, FBI, and intelligence agencies, and a serious investigation is very likely to find criminal wrong-doing. The response of top Democrats is to smear Barr as a partisan hack.

The mainstream media, predictably, adopted the Democratic perspective, even in their “hard news” coverage.

What is so striking is not just the starkly different partisan views of Barr’s testimony and, worse, his integrity. After all, that chasm is now the defining characteristic of American political life. What is striking—and truly disturbing—is how each side thinks the other’s views are so obviously wrong that they must be corrupt and dishonest, explicable only by “bad faith” and malevolent intentions.

These accusations of bad faith raise another troubling question: In this hyper-partisan environment, will both parties accept the evidence Barr and Horowitz find? If they do not, if Democrats continue to say everything is the malign work of partisan hacks, then, Lord help us, we’re in for another special counsel.

As has been seen, any special counsel or investigation is irrelevant when evidence and reason are overwhelmed by bad faith. And, no, both sides are not the same when it comes to acepting evidence and reality.

9 Apocalyptic Lies Fed To Americans About The Republican Tax Bill. Madeline Osburn – “What falsities did these liberal opponents tell the American people would happen pending the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act? Here are a few of the most outrageous examples of fear-mongering.

EPIC: Sean Davis Absolutely Destroys Media Hypocrisy Over Barr’s Use Of The Term “Spying”. Bonchie – “The media have this odd way of moving the goalposts on verbiage depending on who’s in office.

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All the Progressive Plotters. Victor Davis Hanson – “When that did not work … ” time after time, case after case, here it is. “Are such efforts in the future to be institutionalized?

“America over the last half century had been nursed on the dogma that the Left was the guarantor of civil liberties. That was the old message of the battles supposedly waged on our behalf by the ACLU, the free-speech areas on campuses, and the Earl Warren Court.

Not now. The left believes that almost any means necessary, extra-legal and anti-constitutional or not, are justified to achieve their noble ends. Progressive luminaries at CNN and the New York Times have lectured us that reporters need not be disinterested any more in the age of Trump—or that it might be a crime to shout “lock her up” at a Trump rally. Will those standards apply to coverage of future Democratic presidents?

No reporter seems to care that Hillary Clinton hired a foreign national to work with other foreign nationals to sabotage, first, her opponent’s campaign, then his transition and his presidency, along with the wink and nod help from key Obama officials at the Department of Justice, State Department, National Security Council, FBI and CIA.

The final irony? If the CIA, FBI, and DOJ have gone the banana republic way of Lois Lerner’s IRS and shredded the Constitution, they still failed to remove Donald Trump.

Democrat Diogenes looking for honest members of his party. Rick Moran – “A small group of Trump haters in key positions in the Justice Department tried to invalidate the election results in 2016. And they abused the full force and power of the national security state in the attempt.”

“If Democrats in power were as honest as Kerrey, McCabe, Rosenstein, Comey and the rest of them would be facing their own investigation. But Kerrey’s Democratic party is gone. Rationalism and the Midwestern values held by the former Senator have been replaced with radicalism and hate.

It’s doubtful that even a shellacking at the polls would empower Democrats like Kerrey to retake their party.

Raw, stinky progressive BS needs a reckoning. Rick Swenson – “Reasonable citizens of our republic are frustrated. They tire of progressive politics invading every simple moment, ruining things that used to be fun, injecting anger and politically correct nonsense where it should not go.”

“Ask your (remaining) lefty friends to describe a few blessings they enjoy by living in America. You and I might go on for minutes — we know why the USA is that Shining City on the Hill. But your lefty friends probably will not. You should gently ask, Why, then, do so many people from all corners of the world still want to emigrate here?

No doubt there were multiple felonies committed, leading up to and during this terrible episode of U.S. history, and the necessary prosecutions of them will be messy. We did not ask for this, but we frustrated citizens are ready. Now needs come the reckoning.

Trump is Popping in the Polls. Brian C. Joondeph – “Watch most cable or network news shows and the message is clear — President Donald Trump is unpopular

“Outside the bubble, the picture is far different, even if the smart set at MSNBC and the New York Times choose not to see it. What do opinion polls say?

Rasmussen has the well-deserved reputation as the most accurate pollster, based on being the closest of all major polling organization in predicting the results of the 2016 presidential election.

In their daily presidential tracking poll, as of Friday April 5, President Trump had a 51 percent total approval number.

As some point, readers and listeners begin believing that Trump’s days are numbered. It’s the Stockholm syndrome for those of us held hostage by the mainstream media.

In fleeting moments of honesty, some news organizations admit the obvious. From the Atlantic, “Why Trump is the favorite in 2020.” Or from another far-left news outlet the Daily Beast, “Trump should have a 70 percent chance of winning in 2020.”

This election is his to lose and despite the incessant whinging from Democrats and the media, his poll numbers and momentum favor a big win in 2020.

New Mexico legislature votes to circumvent the Electoral College. Neo – “Believe me, those pushing for this are very serious and very organized (as well as well-funded, I’m going to assume).”

“Notice how far this movement has gotten without all that much fanfare, considering the enormous changes it would wreak on our entire political system. For example, this just happened, and it doesn’t seem to be that heavily covered …

If this sort of thing were to pass only in blue states, it probably wouldn’t end up mattering much in terms of electoral results. But New Mexico is sometimes considered to be a swing state—although it’s been trending blue for quite a while.

I see that John Hinderaker has written on the same topic today. Good. He has a lot more traffic than I do, and I hope his post gets a lot of publicity and raises the alarm. His piece also contains a lengthy discussion of possible constitutionality issues connected with this movement.

Every vote counts! Except when you give it away.

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Collateral damage and the Gadarene stampede

Muellergate & The Discreet Lies Of The Bourgeoisie. Tyler Durden – “The capacity of the mainstream media repeatedly to promote the myth that Russia caused Clinton’s defeat, while never mentioning what the information was that had been so damaging to Hillary, should be alarming to anybody under the illusion that we have a working “free media”.

“There are literally hundreds of thousands of mainstream media articles and broadcasts, from every single one of the very biggest names in the Western media, which were predicated on the complete nonsense that Russia had conspired to install Donald Trump as President of the United States.

In general, since the Mueller report confirmed that $50 million worth of investigation had been unable to uncover any evidence of Russiagate collusion, the media has been astonishingly unrepentant about the absolute rubbish they have been churning out for years.

Mueller Express Fails to Deliver, Democrats Head for the Abyss. Clarice Feldman – “To be sure the Congressional Democrats are floating a series of moves with more public relations impact than likely success.”

“The plotters were too sure of their success to completely cover their tracks and frankly too bumbling to succeed. And the equally incompetent and unlikeable Hillary Clinton failed to make it over the finish line to cover up for them after the fact. In the meantime, the party that relied on these clowns is now heading for the abyss.

Glenn Beck thinks The Arrogance of the Left Has Finally Overplayed its Hand (YouTube). One can hope.

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Trump ‘attacks’ and Republicans pounce?

The Battle Between Information and Chaos. Richard Fernandez – “Trouble is turning a handsome profit for the Kremlin, which John Bolton says “continues to sell arms and energy in exchange for votes at the United Nations — votes that keep strongmen in power, undermine peace and security and run counter to the best interests of the African people.”

“The empire of chaos was not created by accident. The Gatestone Institute suggests the old Cold War adversaries are back in the Third World, no longer aiming at revolution, but markets and resources. But Russia at least may be intent on exporting chaos to the West. “In both Latin America and Africa … Russia has been less involved in the race for natural resources, but its increased visibility, especially in our hemisphere, [is] part and parcel of Putin’s efforts to reassert Russia’s presence as in Cold War days.”

The threat of bad information is more subtle. ISIS and 9/11 showed that “super-empowered small groups and individuals” could be as disruptive as millions of refugees if given “incredibly powerful, cheap, small tools — for cyberwarfare, election hacking and financial hacking — into the hands of small units … so they can have outsize impacts through deep fake, deep surveillance, deep cyber theft… and all three have weaponized the new technology, hacking the U.S. and Europe and, in the case of Russia, even interfering with an American election.”

Just how lethal these weapons can be is expressed in two words: collusion or hoax.

The second decade of the 21st century is shaping up to be a battle between information and chaos. But it may be some time before the public realizes what is happening.

Ungrateful? Ilhan Omar, Somali refugee, trashes living in USA: ‘It’s an everyday assault’. Samantha Chang – “It’s an everyday assault,” Omar told Vogue Arabia. “Every day, a part of your identity is threatened, demonized, and vilified.” Ungrateful is the wrong word.

“Keep in mind that in Saudi Arabia and in many Muslim countries, Omar wouldn’t be allowed to leave the house without a male chaperone, drive, work, or vote.

And she certainly wouldn’t be a member of the federal government. Also, wife-beating is acceptable — and even encouraged.

The question that America-bashing leftists never answer is this: If the United States is so racist and evil, why do millions of people risk their lives trying to come here? And why do they stay here?

How the freedom of the 1990s didn’t last. Luboš Motl – “When the communism fell, we were speculating what our country and the world would do in the next 20 or 30 years.

“one prediction of mine from the 1990s that looks incredibly wrong and naive with the hindsight was my prediction that the freedom would be here to stay. I just couldn’t imagine any possible dynamics that would lead to the reversal back towards non-freedom. Isn’t it so much obvious that the freedom – especially like that in 1918-1938 or the 1990s – is so much better for everybody? Isn’t it obvious that people will do a lot to keep it?

Like other nations, we’re tamed by indoctrination of kids at schools, climate hysteria, multiculturalism, feminism, transgenderism, inclusion, mindless worshiping of empty clichés, and lots of other things. Increasingly frequently, our movies, newspapers, and Internet pages are being either self-censored or directly censored by some “big censors” outside.

Now, will the recent trends continue? Will they accelerate and become much worse? Or will they slow down and/or reverse back towards freedom? I don’t know. …

I do believe that much of the weakness of freedom, common sense, and traditional European values is an illusion and/or self-inflicted injury of ours. Many of us are just terrified by the sheer volume of aggressive insanity around us. But much of the gap could totally disappear if we weren’t afraid, if we spoke, and if we communicated with our soulmates much like the enemies of the freedom do.

What we learned from the Mueller report is relevant to the climate change debate. Theo Knights – “The Mueller report shows that the US media can easily be dominated by a single false idea — in this case the notion that President Trump colluded with Russia in order to win the presidency. So it is time to examine another idee fixe of the US media that has received too little attention: the widespread acceptance of the danger of human-caused climate change and the refusal to entertain or publicize contrary information.”

“Two elements of the collusion affair bear important similarities to the climate change debate: vicious personal attacks on those who publicly questioned that collusion had taken place (see Alan Dershowitz’s statement on his “blacklisting” and recent articles by Matt Taibbi and Steven F. Cohen about their treatment by the media), and a refusal by the major news networks and print media to publish material that contradicted the view that the president or his campaign had colluded with Russia. As a result, when the Mueller report apparently concluded that the collusion charge could not be substantiated, many Americans were shocked. They had been misled by the media, which — in abandoning its claims of objectivity — had allowed its revulsion toward Donald Trump to distort its reporting.

The problem with the media’s coverage of the climate change issue is the same as the problem with the coverage of Russia collusion — it took sides and refused to allow dissenting views into the public square.

Berkeley Law School Dean Says Trump’s Free Speech Executive Order is Unconstitutional. Mike LaChance – “order is so vague and ambiguous, it makes compliance by colleges and universities extremely difficult” – “It’s a bit hard to take this from someone at Berkeley. Has this dean seen what’s been happening at his school in recent years?” Deny. Attack. No matter how ridiculous or disingenuous.

RSS Is Better Than Twitter. Patrick Howell O’Neill – “In 2019, social media is water in our lungs (I’m sorry, I’m sorry, that’s the last one). With so many of us contemplating deleting our accounts or at least cutting down on that screen time, it’s time to reconsider something that feels lost in this era of algorithm-fueled newsfeeds and timelines: RSS.

“Invented exactly 20 years ago this month on the back-end of a feverish dot-com boom, RSS (Real Simple Syndication) has persisted as a technology …

Here’s what’s important: RSS is very much still here. Better yet, RSS can be a healthy alternative

At the end of the day, we’re probably not going to be able to escape social media entirely. I couldn’t even if I wanted to since it’s part of my job, as it may be part of yours. For us poor souls—and those of you who are, for some reason, online all day by choice—know that it’s okay to slow down. You’re not missing anything.

At ABC News, the headline is “As Trump attacked Mueller.” Note how criticism is elevated. This is another example of the ‘Republicans Pounce’ meme. Bias overwhelms reasoned judgments …

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Careful. A cornered animal has nothing on these guys

The case of Carter Page. Scott Johnson – “The political corruption of the FBI and the intelligence agencies by the Obama administration was to remain a deep, dark secret. If the the American people had not had the temerity to elect Donald Trump along with a Republican Congress in 2016, we would have remained in blissful ignorance. After such knowledge what forgiveness?

Media amplified Schiff’s voice, shouted down the truth. Charles Hurt – “The job of newspapers was once to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” Today, that job seems to be to give voice to liars and shout down the truth.”

“But the lying politicians are not the only ones deserving our contempt and scorn. Merchants of lies in the media deserve even more contempt and scorn. The New York Times and The Washington Post led the way. Dunces at CNN and MSNBC trotted right behind.

Used to be that reporters took enormous pride in the depth of their skepticism. They would talk about how finely tuned their “BS-detectors” are. They had a nose for when somebody was peddling lies.

All that evaporated in the Age of Trump, when anything goes — so long as it slimes the president.

Democrats, the Media, and the Big Lie. Steve McCann – “How were the Democrats, and their allies in the mainstream media able to suspend rationality and manipulate the emotions of so many Americans for so long?

“In 1925 Adolf Hitler in his screed entitled Mein Kampf coined the term “The Big Lie.” A principal tool of propaganda defined as the use of a lie so colossal that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.” The execution of this strategy and the mindset of those prone to utilize it can be summarized in a report issued by the Office of Strategic Services during World War II:

His [Hitler’s] primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.

Little did the author of the report, Walter C. Langer, realize that in analyzing the tactics of Hitler, he had laid out the roadmap for all those with a totalitarian bent, including the modern American Left and the Democratic Party, to use in propagandizing and fomenting unrest among the populace.

The Democrats in Congress, undeterred by ethics or the laws of slander and defamation, were free to fabricate or leak stories regarding Russian collusion that were accepted at face value by their allies in the media.

Whether it is the fabricated dire consequences of so-called climate change, the myth of rampant white nationalism, the fabrication that this is a virulently racist nation, the fictitious wonders of socialism, the destruction of any semblance of free speech and the single-minded obliteration of anyone who dares oppose them. The failure to crucify Donald Trump on the altar of “The Big Lie” has exposed the American Left, the mainstream media and the Democratic Party for who they are: the heirs to the Fascist mentality that first reared its ugly head in Italy in 1922.

The “soft coup”: killing a king. neo – “the problem is that this situation is not really some sort of tit-for-tat, any more than the police trying to find a cop-killer is tit-for-tat.” Too many see current affairs as if ‘both sides are the same’ and that leads to improper comparisons and suggestions. That is the big lie. Neo gets this.

So this really was an effort first to discredit Trump the candidate and then, when that didn’t work well enough, an attempted coup on Trump the president. If it was that—and I think it’s clear that it was—Trump can’t just let bygones be bygones. The precedent would be awful. The perpetrators of what amounts to a several years long attempt at a frameup have to be made to think they will be caught and cannot get away with it.

And yet, as Richard Fernandez says in his post that I quoted at the outset, an investigation of the investigators could help to destroy the peaceful transition process that America has seemingly enjoyed till 2016. But it was the previous administration that actually destroyed it, and we can’t pretend that didn’t happen.

The Resistance tried to kill the king. They may not like the king—you may not like the king, either—but that’s not the point. The effort cannot be allowed to stand, and it must be driven home to the American people what actually happened and what the dangers are. And we certainly can’t count on the MSM to do that, since they were in on the conspiracy.

That’s not tinfoil hat territory. That’s just the way it was and the way it is.

The perils of the ‘Chicken Little’ approach to fighting climate change. Jonah Goldberg – “Climate change is a real concern, but if we did absolutely nothing to stop it, the planet would still be here in a dozen years. So would the human race and many other living things.”

“The problem is that we have heard these things before. In 1989, a UN official predicted “entire ­nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not ­reversed by the year 2000.” In 2008, Al Gore warned that the northern polar ice cap could be gone in five years due to global warming.

The reasons this is a political problem for climate-change warriors should be obvious. First, they are their own worst enemy when it comes to maintaining credibility.

Another problem, which compounds the first, is that they get greedy.

Breakout Box Office Hit: Pro-Life Film ‘Unplanned’ Edges Out ‘Captain Marvel’ In Key Screening Stat. Amanda Prestigiacomo – “Despite intense media opposition, an “R” rating from the MPAA, and big tech censorship, pro-life film “Unplanned” is wildly outperforming expectations at the box office.”

“The pro-life film, unsurprisingly, has been thrown one obstacle after another due to its exposure of Planned Parenthood and the reality of abortion. “Unplanned” was hit with a controversial R rating from the MPAA and TV networks refused the film’s ads. On Saturday, Twitter inexplicably suspended the official account for the movie, however, after swift backlash, the “error” was fixed and the account was restored.

The Tables Turn in Russian Collusion Hunt. Victor Davis Hanson – “The irony of the entire Russian collusion hoax is that accusers who cried the loudest about leaking, collusion, lying, and obstruction are themselves soon very likely to be accused of just those crimes.”

Another airport drops Chick-fil-A after Democrats complain. Jazz Shaw – “Nobody has even suggested that Chick-fil-A doesn’t meet standards for food safety, sanitary conditions, hiring practices or anything else. Their only complaint is based on the opinions and religious beliefs of the company’s CEO. And for that, they are being strongarmed out of the marketplace. All of this is happening in plain view, but thus far there seems to be nothing to be done about it.”

Statistics And Probability In Scientific Research Is Immensely Complicated, And Is Almost Always Misinterpreted By The Media And Especially By Juries. CBD – “The current brouhaha over Round-Up is a colossal failure of our legal system and, perhaps even more catastrophic, our scientific education in America.” The post refers to Glyphosate Vs. Caffeine: Acute and Chronic Toxicity Assessments Explained. Alison Bernstein – “Fear of chemicals in our food has taken on an outsized role in the food discussion. Too much of the debate have become … let’s say – a bit light on the facts and long on emotion.

OS/2 Warp Community Announces It’s Merging With the Flat Earth Society. – “From now on our communities will merge to became one single point of contact for OS/2 users and people investigating the truth about our planet earth,” OS2World announced today. OS2World’s news master martiniturbide, also a Slashdot reader, writes: The OS/2 community expects that this action will benefit the platform by getting the funds to finally create an open source clone of OS/2. OS2World asks every OS/2 user to start believing that the earth is flat to get the “big bucks” that will finally turn the operating system into a Windows 10, Ubuntu, MacOS X and Android competitor in the final OS Wars of all ages.(note the date).

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Many layers bring peeled back.Patience needed.

Trump Was Not Just Spied Upon But Entrapped. Roger L. Simon – “I mean something more subtle and LeCarré-like coming from the depths of our intelligence communities. It raises once more the question of the power of such agencies in a free society, a conundrum with no easy answers but of great significance to our lives.

“I suggest that an attempt was being made to implant Halper in the Trump campaign, one way or another, not just for spying purposes but actually to help create this collusion of the campaign with Russia–that is, to help manufacture it.

Putting it another way, someone or some group wanted to create — or, more subtly, to encourage the creation — of Trump-Russia collusion from the inside in order to destroy Trump before, or failing that, after he was elected.

How’s that for a nefarious plot? Worthy of LeCarré or maybe even Graham Greene. But is it true? I wouldn’t bet against it. Something close anyway.

Fake news is going to get it in the teeth in 2020. Monica Showalter – “Republicans are raring to go after the mainstream media, using their atrocious strings of lies and “narratives” that fell apart after the Mueller report on the fake Russian collusion. They will do it when the press starts reporting biased dreck about Trump himself, citing their tattered credibility.

“There’s also the fact that the mainstream media are getting away with it. Two years of lies, false leaks, fake sources, and artificially damping President Trump’s popularity ratings, not to mention wrecking what could be an important Russia-U.S. relationship to check a rising and ravenous China that sees no accountability. Nobody got fired in the wake of this performance; nobody criticized anyone else; nobody paid any price for it. On the contrary, they seem to be praising themselves for it and awarding each other Pulitzers. They have yet to get the memo that they have disgraced themselves again.

They could have stuck to the truth, that very truth that is required in their stated profession. It might not have led to the facts they liked, but they wouldn’t have suffered the reputational loss they are looking at now. But it was so much easier to go with the stories they liked, their bias out there, yet their claims to objectivity intact in all those Pulitzers and conference engagements. They had been getting away with it up until now.

Except that now, the price they will pay is that Trump has them, not the socialist cookie-cutter Democrats, in his electoral gun sights.

Mexico bows to Pres. Trump on ‘containment’ of illegal aliens. Chriss Street – “AMLO must have been confident that President Trump’s hands were tied by the “Russiagate” investigation. He probably assumed that Democrats would either squeeze Trump out of office or continue to emasculate his ability to take major retaliatory actions.

“But after Trump was exonerated by the special counsel, AMLO quickly dispatched his interior secretary, Olga Sánchez-Cordero, to meet with U.S. secretary of homeland security Kirstjen Nielsen in Miami on March 27.

Secretary Sánchez offered a Mexican Federal Police and military “containment” belt across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, the narrowest part of the country and very close to the southern border with Guatemala.

The usually bombastic President López-Obrador sought to calmly reassure the Trump administration that Mexico is now committed to a “very respectful relationship” with the United States to stop immigrant-smuggling. He added: “We are going to do everything we can to help. We don’t in any way want a confrontation with the U.S. government.”

Texas Attorney General pounces: Come and take our Chick-fil-A. Karen Townsend – “It was a bone-headed move, to be sure, based on the religious-ideological bigotry of the left. San Antonio, your nation’s seventh largest city is like other large cities in that it is governed by liberals.

“To San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg the attorney general wrote, “The City of San Antonio’s decision to exclude a respected vendor based on the religious beliefs associated with that company and its owners is the opposite of tolerance.” This is something conservatives continually notice coming from the Left: the intolerance of Judeo-Christian religious beliefs. I daresay if the founder of Chick-fil-A was a man of Muslim faith, he would not have faced such a vote, though that religion is stridently anti-LGBT. Just a thought.

Also, the presence of a bazillion Starbucks coffee shops or displays of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in the freezer section of local grocery stores have yet to set off votes to ban these liberal companies. Democrats prove over and over again how intolerant they are of freedom of thought or religion while scolding Republicans as our moral superiors. It’s the height of hypocrisy.

Atlantic: The publication of the Steele dossier by Buzzfeed was a mistake. John Sexton – “In Graham’s view the publication of the dossier is disappointing because it made everything that was discovered later—the Trump Tower meeting, the plans for a Trump tower in Russia, etc—seem pale by comparison to the salacious but unproven details in the dossier.” It is very difficult to raise the anchors and start sailing the seas of reality when those anchors are buried so deeply in the muck at the sea bottom.

“While I agree with Graham about the irresponsibility of Buzzfeed publishing the dossier (and said so at the time), I think he’s wrong to suggest Buzzfeed is responsible for letting down the broader effort to sack Trump. In fact, it’s almost the opposite of the truth. Buzzfeed’s decision to publish genuine fake news is best seen as perhaps the most egregious example of a trend that has continued ever since. There have been numerous stories published and then retracted by allegedly more responsible outlets in the years since. The phenomenon of overreach with regard to Trump may have peaked with Buzzfeed but it didn’t start or end there.

The problem was never just this document it was the left wanting to tear down Trump by any means necessary. Remember the “not my president” meme that circulated after his election? That was the animating force in its raw form. The dossier was ultimately just a handy excuse to justify the feeling that the righteous people had unfairly lost an election to the deplorables.

Proposed Voting Changes Are About Power, Not Principles. Victor Davis Hanson – “The 2016 victory of Donald Trump shocked the Left.

“Progressive candidates and new Democratic representatives have offered lots of radical new proposals lately about voting and voters. They include scrapping the 215-year-old Electoral College. Progressives also talk of extending the vote to 16- or 17-year-olds and ex-felons. They wish to further relax requirements for voter identification, same-day registration and voting, and undocumented immigrants voting in local elections.

The Electoral College balances out the popular vote.

The founders were also terrified of radical democracies of the past, especially their frenzied tendencies to adopt mob-like tactics.

Expanding and changing the present voter base and altering how we vote is mostly about power, not principles. Without these radical changes, a majority of American voters, in traditional and time-honored elections, will likely not vote for the unpopular progressive agenda.

Illinois prosecutors are mighty angry about the disposition of the Smollett case. neo – “The Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association has some words for Kim Foxx, her office, and you:

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sideswiped. no regrets.

Sideswiped by the New Yorker. Scott Johnson – drive by media: it’s what they do. it’s what they are. Here’s another case history.

78 Media Mistakes in the Trump Era: The Definitive List. Sharyl Attkisson – “We the media have “fact-checked” President Trump like we have fact-checked no other human being on the planet—and he’s certainly given us plenty to write about.

“Our repeat mistakes involve declaring that Trump’s claims are “lies” when they are matters of opinion, or when the truth between conflicting sources is unknowable; taking Trump’s statements and events out of context; reporting secondhand accounts against Trump without attribution as if they’re established fact; relying on untruthful, conflicted sources; and presenting reporter opinions in news stories—without labeling them as opinions.

And it doesn’t stop: “Karoun Demirjian Washington Post: Attorney general expected to miss deadline for giving Mueller report to Congress, will not commit to releasing it in full — Attorney General William P. Barr is expected to miss House Democrats’ deadline to provide Congress the full report documenting special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation …” Note the “expected” and the “in full” comment. It can’t be released in full because it is not legal to release grand jury proceedings. The anticipation of the future isn’t reporting but rather presumption of guilt. Ignorance and bias are on parade.

5G Wireless Apocalypse: The RF Health-Risk Conspiracy. Wayde Robson — “Perhaps my strongest personal bias is that I am instinctively mistrustful of absolute certainty on any complex issue. But if RF caused physical harm to humans, I assume we’d be in the midst of an epidemic. Perhaps we are, I await the proof.” It’s another target that’s been around for a while. Robson provides an insight into the next cell phone technology and the FUD mongering it stimulates.

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Retcon. Grasping at straws.

Retroactive continuity is not a good way forward.

Make No Mistake: The Mueller Investigation Was All About Flynn. Michael Ledeen – “I think it began on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, when Flynn changed the way we did intelligence against the likes of Zarqawi, bin Laden, the Taliban, and their allies.”

“General Flynn saw that our battlefield intelligence was too slow. We collected information from the Middle East and sent it back to Washington, where men with stars on their shoulders and others at the civilian intel agencies chewed it over, decided what to do, and sent instructions back to the war zone. By the time all that happened, the battlefield had changed. Flynn short-circuited this cumbersome bureaucratic procedure and moved the whole enterprise to the war itself. The new methods were light years faster. Intel went to local analysts, new actions were ordered from men on the battlefield (Flynn famously didn’t care about rank or status) and the war shifted in our favor.

This earned him a following among some who worked for or with him, but it also gained him the enmity of those who had been cut out of “the chain of command.”

The operation against Flynn provided the model for the anti-Trump assault. …

The accusations against Flynn were fanciful from the outset, and need to be undone.

Mueller’s conclusions expose disgrace of Obama’s spy chiefs. New York Post – “Of all the reputations in tatters now that Robert Mueller has exploded the Russian-collusion fantasy, Obama-era spy chiefs John Brennan and James Clapper stand out.”

“These two weren’t average citizens: They spoke with the authority of having headed federal intel operations. Brennan even cited his training as an “intelligence professional” as the basis for his views.

By milking that status for brutal hits on Trump, they not only misled and divided the country, they damaged the credibility of the US intel community.

Of course, they were crossing the line while in office, running interference for President Barack Obama’s disastrous Iran deal and other policies.

But America’s top spooks are supposed to steer clear of politics completely once they leave office. By ignoring that rule (as well as basic honesty) for purely partisan ends, Clapper and Brennan violated their duty — despicably.

The tarnish on the Bush family goes apace, too – Barbara Bush blamed Trump for ‘heart attack’ – sad. Very sad.

Rep. Swalwell: Why, yes, I still think Trump is a ‘Russian agent’. John Sexton – “When you have an inconsistency in your storyline you just tell people that the old story didn’t mean what it meant or didn’t happen the way you told them it happened. You retcon the mistake.”

“If you thought that at this point Swalwell might decide to stop playing games and be a bit more forthcoming, you’re going to be disappointed. For the second time in this segment, he compared the collusion narrative to the Jussie Smollett story. But as MacCallum pointed out, the Smollett case didn’t have the top cop giving the all clear after two years of investigation. On the contrary, in Smollett’s case, the cops and even the Deputy SA who dropped the charges all said Smollett committed a hoax. That’s not what Mueller said about Trump.

But according to Swalwell, not only is Trump still a Russian agent, the entire Russia dossier is still entirely credible. Again, MacCallum is struggling to believe what she’s hearing and I don’t blame her.

Yes, we need to talk about this Jussie Smollett debacle. Jazz Shaw – “after more and more facts and opinions began trickling out, it clearly appeared that this was a case of the Chicago Way on steroids.” Racial overtones and an Obama connection also play into the story. Also, neo: Prosecutor attempts to explain the dropping of charges against Smollett. “No wonder Chicago police are angry. This isn’t the first time they’ve had the rug pulled out from under them in a case on which they’ve worked hard.

Profiles in courage: Senate Dems wimp out, vote “present” as Green New Deal gets zero votes. Allahpundit – “Vox explains, or tries to explain, the Democratic reasoning.” See also John Hinderaker: Democrats Punt on the Green New Deal. “There are several serious problems with global warming alarmism. One of them is the disconnect between the problem, as described by alarmists, and their proposed solutions.”

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What have you bought? What price has been paid? (A tulip mania?)

Russiagate’s Damage To The Country Will Take Years To Realize. Willis L. Krumholz – “The media and Democrat Party have dug themselves so deeply in a hole, they must keep on digging. That’s absolutely terrible for this country, as has been this entire endeavor.”

“No evidence of collusion was found between the Trump campaign and Russia. Leftwing media that had spent years pumping the conspiracy theory of Trump-Russia collusion made sure to add that the report “stops short of exonerating [Trump] for obstruction of justice.” Ergo, the report stays away from the patently ridiculous charge of obstruction, which would seek to politicize and decimate a president’s Article II powers.

But Democrats are making sure to stress that investigations into Trump are ongoing—in Congress, and in the federal prosecutor’s office in the Southern District of New York. And CNN promised the “Mueller report is just the start of a new Russia showdown.”

The mainstream media was just as deranged. For the entire year of 2017, anything that could damage Trump, no matter how outlandish, was published. Journalistic standards collapsed.

if you were ever tied to Trump, you were treated differently.

Regular American families who used to agree to disagree about politics are now at each other’s throats. After all, the media has been telling people that Trump is a traitor. How could any decent person support a traitor?

The damage to America’s interests, and a rational foreign policy discourse, has also been far-reaching and yet to be realized.

liberalism is dead. It has been replaced by an insane, corporatist, identity-politics-fueled, and, yes, pagan mob that would only be possible in a country sliding towards post-Christianity. The new left is power-hungry, wants nothing to do with the traditional working class, and the ends always justify the means.

What Price Maddow? Stephen Ryan – “the folks who truly deserve to be put in their place and totally humiliated are the viewers of these pretend news shows.”

“But the ringmaster understood that nobody listens to the critics. What mattered most was the act: the bearded lady would be on the show the next day and the mob would show up.

The Trump tax return debacle, in certain ways, was a game changer for progressive media.

The fallout from the Trump tax return show was that network news producers tossed their journalistic ethics out of the window. …

The Russia/Trump collusion story became the “Greatest Show on Earth”. Money, prizes, and careers were up for grabs. The circus act took off and P.T. Maddow became a star, a rating behemoth and a gigantic moneymaking machine for MSNBC.

But now, Donald Trump’s total vindication of the charge that he colluded with the Russians to win the presidency has starkly revealed an ugly corruption between important institutions of the United States.

We can be sure of one thing: the perpetrators of the Russia conspiracy theory, the politicians and the journalists, will not police themselves. It will be business as usual unless voters understand that being lied to by powerful institutions is a lot more dangerous than “climate change.”

But don’t hold your breath. The expensively educated folks who blindly watch Rachel Maddow spin her web of nonsense will be the last people on earth to admit they were duped.

As Mark Twain said: ‘It’s Easier to Fool People Than to Convince Them That They Have Been Fooled.”

ABC, Guardian: Trump trying to “weaponize” the Mueller report. Ed Morrissey – “Well, we can’t have that, can we? We must remake the story from Democrats blowing all their credibility into Trump weaponizing the fact that the Democrats’ public accusations of treachery just got shown to be baseless after two years of hammering (another clichéd metaphor!) Trump with them. That wasn’t “weaponizing,” but apparently disarming the argument is.”

Russiagate: why did the press do it? neo – “The fact that Russiagate was actually the un-Watergate probably did not even cross their minds.

No, Sarah Sanders didn’t accuse Trump’s Russiagate critics of treason. Allahpundit – “When you read a transcript of what she said, the identity of the “treasonous” party might seem ambiguous. When you watch, it isn’t. And yet, because partisanship in 2019 requires an endless supply of bad faith and willful misunderstanding, hundreds of people on social media who actually did watch the clip are in a lather about the White House supposedly claiming Russiagate true believers are traitors.”

“Right, right, it’s not news that social media is populated by morons. But what’s the New York Post’s excuse?

Drudge headlines tell the story: 533,074 articles about Russia probe. 2,284 Minutes. Zucker: No Regrets. 50 Hollywood Stars Who Accused President of Treason, Collusion. LIST: FALSE BOMBSHELLS. Most embarrassing predictions. Former Spy Chiefs Exposed. DEMS: PLAN B… TAX RETURNS!

The DOJ Just Delivered A Major Blow To Obamacare. Beth Baumann – “The Department of Justice on Monday sided with U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor’s previous ruling that the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, is unconstitutional.” See also Jazz Shaw DOJ siding with Fifth Circuit in striking down all of Obamacare.

Today’s Green New Deal vote is going to be spectacular. Jazz Shaw – “we’re probably about to watch the Democrats defeat a measure they accused Republicans of not supporting all through last year. You might want to fire up a batch of popcorn and turn on CSPAN this afternoon. You don’t often find this type of quality entertainment on television anymore.

Other stories are about the SPLC ‘meltdown’ and Pentagon progress on 57 miles of border wall.

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This is who they are. This is what they do.

John Oliver on Jay Leno’s call for civility: Remember Monica Lewinsky? Karen Townsend – “Last week former late night talk show host Jay Leno called for “a bit more civility” in public discourse and now he must be punished.

“Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton were savaged in the press and on the radio during that scandal. Both sides of the aisle went after them but for different reasons. The left smeared Lewinsky because her sexual relationship with Clinton threatened his presidency once it was exposed. The right went after Clinton for his behavior. The real hypocrisy was the left’s treatment toward a young woman being taken advantage of by the most powerful man in the world. This pre-dates the current cries from first, second, and third-wave feminists to believe all women, period. Lewinsky wasn’t so innocent as not to know what she was doing but the left was more concerned about saving Clinton’s presidency than they were about Lewinsky. She was slut-shamed like all of Clinton’s conquests.

The liberal mob always demands an apology for any manner of speech that doesn’t fit into current groupthink. Calls for civility and standing up for yourself must be squashed and mocked. This is who they are.

Tectonic plates are moving underneath Fox News. Thomas Lifson – “Under capitalism, ownership brings control, and Fox News has a new corporate parent that began trading yesterday on NASDAQ.”

“The rise of Fox News as the sole mass media counterpoint to the progressive media establishment changed American politics, and it has been a long-held goal of the Left, particularly Soros-funded attack dog Media Matters, to either destroy it or politically neuter it, thereby monopolizing all media with a large national reach. So, the question naturally arises, does this new ownership under the control of a new generation of Murdochs signal a chance for the Left to accomplish this critical goal?

CNN Interviews Brad Parscale, Then Accidentally Notes the DNC 2020 Strategy. sundance – “What Tapper notes as the urgent data collection priority of the DNCis specifically the reason why the club has enlisted Beto to draw-in the community they need to harvest.”

“Planning, scheming, endless meetings, talking points, operational organization and strategy is one of the key elements of the Democrat party. This is what they do. This is all they do. It might seem weird at first, but the DNC club is not chaotic; and, from my perspective, that is their weakness. It makes them predictable.The Democrats rarely, if ever, go off script.

New York prosecutors throw out Constitution to charge Manafort. Jonathan Turley – “The New York state charges that Vance filed against Manafort appear to run afoul of state and federal protections against double jeopardy, or being prosecuted twice for the same underlying conduct.

“The problem is that the case appears not only constitutionally flawed but ethically challenged, coming right out of the Max Bialystock School of Prosecution. I have long been one of the longest and loudest critics of Manafort. He is a corrupt and despicable person who deserves the two sentences that could keep him in jail for the rest of his life. However, it is not his crimes but his association with President Trump that has driven the manic effort to charge him in New York. In this current age of rage over Trump, Manafort is a readily available surrogate for selective prosecution.

For more than a year, leading New York state prosecutors have openly pledged to get Manafort on some undefined crime to prevent Trump from releasing him from jail on a presidential pardon. They promised to find crimes that could be alleged in the state system, which would not at all be impacted by a presidential pardon. To do that, they only had to strip all citizens of certain rights. Former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman pushed the legislature to rescind a core protection against double jeopardy to allow him to charge Manafort on the same criminal conduct that he would later be sentenced for in federal court.

When I read the complaint against Manafort, I was struck not only by the overlap but the overkill.

What emerges is a picture that should trouble everyone who values blind and fair justice.

The greatest danger is not that Vance will fail on constitutional grounds but that he may succeed.

SCOTUS Gives Trump a Big Win on Immigration. David Catron – “Court rules that criminal aliens can be held without bond during deportation proceedings.” The issue for the Left is about discrimination between citizen and non-citizen; between criminal and non-criminal.

“On Tuesday the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Trump administration in Nielsen v. Preap, allowing the Department of Homeland Security to detain illegal aliens without bond while awaiting deportation for committing crimes within our borders.

The respondents challenged the Trump administration’s interpretation of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which requires DHS to take any alien convicted of a deportable crime into custody “whether the alien is released on parole, supervised release, or probation, and without regard to whether the alien may be arrested or imprisoned again for the same offense.”

The basic point Alito is making here is that the text of the statute means what it says, and no amount of grammatical Jiu Jitsu will change that meaning.

Not all the justices took this view, of course. The position of the minority was laid out in a dissent written by Justice Stephen Breyer, who focused on the rights of the aliens impacted by Tuesday’s ruling.

One could hardly ask for a better example of what’s wrong with liberal jurisprudence. It isn’t the Supreme Court’s job to reflect on the “likely intent” of Congress.

Part VI: DC & MD v Trump—Can the President of the United States get Married or Divorced? Seth Barrett Tillman – another example or torturing words and phrases for political insanity via a judicial oligarchy. This example is about the emoluments clause. It’s what they do, It’s who they are.

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bitter-enders and moral hubris define a fifth column

Judge Jeanine is right — Fox News is wrong. M. Catharine Evans – “The funny thing is the judge’s logical examination of the origin of Omar’s anti-Semitic statements was neither bigoted, nor false, nor inciteful. … She asked a valid question.

“Why does the never-ending call for “dialogue” between non-Muslims and Muslims in this country exclude asking Jeanine’s hard question relating to possible conflicts between a Muslim congresswoman’s fidelity to Islamic teachings and the Constitution?

“The dogma lives loudly” in a Catholic judicial nominee but not in a Muslim congresswoman?

Fox’s censorship of Judge Jeanine over a genuine analysis and probing into Omar’s anti-Semitic comments puts them in the same league as other networks and social media giants who allow open criticism of Christianity and Judaism while suppressing any cynical commentary concerning Islam.

When the popular Judge Jeanine gets removed from her show for confronting Jew hatred by an elected representative, yet Omar, who had to delete anti-Semitic tweets, and who is coddled by an Islamic extremist organization known as CAIR, gets an apology, something is insanely upside down over at Fox.

When Cabin Boys Attack. Julie Kelly – “Embittered by their humiliating miscalculation of Trump’s candidacy and shamelessly contorting their previous views to be able to contradict the president, these anti-Trump “conservatives” viciously attack anyone who dares to support the president. This includes Hanson.” It is the assault and how it is conducted – and how it is rationalized – that tells the story.

“In a particularly vile hit piece posted on The Bulwark, the new blog of Weekly Standard refugees who were left unemployed after the publication was shuttered in December, Gabe Schoenfeld accused Hanson of defending evil—that evil being President Trump. Bulwark editor Charlie Sykes recently threatened to “raise the opportunity costs” for pro-Trump commentators, Hanson specifically. To do so, Sykes enlisted the facile services of Schoenfeld, an advisor for the failed Mitt Romney presidential campaign, to pretend to write a book review that was little more than an ad hominem attack on Hanson.

The Bulwark and its enablers like French continue to do more damage to our political discourse while professing to elevate it. The depth of their intellectual rot is matched only by their witless political sense and their schoolyard bully tactics. But no doubt their leftist benefactors are proud of their work in the service of genuine social evil.

Neo, on the dirty dozen in the emergency declaration case, thinks ‘reasonable minds can disagree.’ She falls for a misdirection. The issue used as an excuse, usurping of legislative powers, is just being used for moral preening and hate. Hubris and hate and dishonesty are not subjects where reasonable minds can disagree.

The Nevertrump Bitter-Enders. Bruce Thornton – “Still functioning as a fifth column for the progressive “resistance.”

“make no mistake, no matter how seemingly marginalized or absurd, the bitter-enders are still functioning as a fifth column for the progressive “resistance,” providing a “conservative” and “bipartisan” cover for the Democrats’ rush to move America farther to the left in order to change our Constitutional Republic into a socialist technocracy.

The bitter-enders now housed in The Bulwark have no response to that stark fact. At this point, their peevish, snarky, snotty commentary financed by the left serves no purpose other than to give moral support to a party that has degenerated into a juvenile congeries of failed, illiberal, and dangerous policies. That’s not much of a recommendation for the NeverTrumpers’ alleged fealty to “principles,” “conservatism,” or “democratic norms” the bitter-enders claim they are defending.

Then there is the Connecticut Supreme Court’s assault on the 2nd amendment …

It was terrorism by violence, now it is by flooding the zone with immigrants, with harassment, and with legal system abuse. The war is on and so many are unaware, even those on the front line.

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Scapegoats

Christchurch, Conservatism, and Fascism. Matthew Pinna – “In fact, conservatism had nothing to do with this. We need to understand exactly how people like this shooter think, and how the media is doing that admirable goal a disservice.

“Both media and public officials, in New Zealand and elsewhere have chosen to lay the blame for the killings on “conservatives.”

How do we know that the shooter isn’t a conservative? For starters, he explicitly says that he detests conservatism twice, once in the “Q&A” and again in his more ideological section, where he devotes a whole page to it

Instead, the shooter admits that he is an “actual fascist” — an “eco-fascist,” to be exact.

It needs to be understood that the racism and discrimination seen from historical examples of fascism aren’t mere elements or curable side effects of the ideology — they are fascism.

people need to stay out of the way of those who want to fight back. Don’t sweep what he wrote under the rug and don’t blame Republicans or Democrats for “radicalizing” this shooter. Now more than ever, we need to debate specifically against Fascists — just as we did against Communists back in the day — for Christchurch, and the future Christchurches that will happen unless we change our course.

The New Zealand shooting stopped when a brave man took away the shooter’s gun. John Sexton – “As usual, after an event like this, the shooter is getting a lot of attention. It’s understandable though it doesn’t seem that complicated in this case. Hopefully, we’ll learn more about some of the victims and the people who were heroes in the worst situation imaginable.” And maybe learn about how the social phobia about guns hindered their efforts?

Observations on Christchurch. John Hinderaker – “Early reports of catastrophic events like these always turn out to be wrong in some respects, but it does appear that armed self-defense was the key to the less tragic outcome at Linwood. Murder is the result of human evil and will never be eradicated in this world, but if more people arm themselves, there will be fewer mass murder events.

“The deplorable Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tied the murders to President Trump. It is noteworthy that liberals attribute almost superhuman powers to Donald Trump, attributing responsibility to him for pretty much anything that goes on in the world. The only phenomena for which the Left does not assign responsibility to the president are the intended, beneficent results of his own policies.

2) Brenton Tarrant published a typical mass murderer’s manifesto in which he described himself as an “eco-fascist,” expressed hatred for conservatism and said that Communist China is his ideal country. Tarrant is an environmentalist who bought the global warming hype hook, line and sinker. His closest analogy is perhaps the Unabomber. …

3) From a policy standpoint, the only lesson that can be drawn from the Christchurch massacre is reflected in the difference in the casualty totals between the two attacks. Forty-one were killed at the Dean Ave. mosque, the first one that was targeted, where the murderer had plenty of time and at one point returned to his vehicle to reload. There were only seven killed at the Linwood mosque because one of the worshippers was armed:

Hossenfelder demands $10,000 from me through Czech lawyers. Luboš Motl – “The letter is formulated as if she demands a ransom. It adds a new level to her debatable methods to earn money.

“I think it’s absolutely stunning. She’s on her violent campaign against the whole field that I find dear and against its practitioners and she just wants to silence me …

My knowledge of the law is next to non-existent. I have no idea whether a party that is attacked in this Blitzkrieg way has an effective way to defend itself. I don’t know whom I would be inviting as a witness to show that she’s been helped by affirmative action, her physics is not good etc. Your recommendations are welcome. If you’re extremely rich, your financial help would be welcome, too.

The current Tucker Carlson saga is another example of this approach to ideological warfare. Threaten, intimidate, attrit their resources, humiliate, shut them down. The media is complicit, too. Consider this headline: “Twelve Righteous Republicans (and 41 Cowards) (Bret Stephens/New York Times)” – it’s not about the merits, it’s about ad hominem judgment. Contrast that to neo’s cite of Tom Cotton.

Trump vetoes Senate’s block on his emergency declaration. neo – “They say it’s not because they don’t like the wall, but because they think the president exceeded his powers. … When I looked into the powers presidents have been given to declare national emergencies, I think it’s fairly clear that Trump did not exceed his powers.” There is an interesting contrast that Congress did vote on executive regulations that Trump put before them early in his administration. Here’s from Tom Cotton:

“Now, I’m sympathetic to arguments that the National Emergencies Act is too broad and gives the executive branch too much power. That’s a reasonable debate to have. Believe me, Congress has ceded too much power to the executive for more than a century, expanding an administrative state that increasingly deprives our people of a meaningful say in their government. So I invite my Democratic colleagues to reconsider the wisdom of this path. Maybe we can reform the EPA. Perhaps we can require up-or-down votes in Congress to approve big regulations so politicians can show some accountability for once. I’m ready for those debates. Believe me, I’m ready. But in the meantime, don’t pretend we didn’t delegate all these powers, or that it’s lawless for the executive to use laws we passed, just because you deplore him.

What Trump does not do…and it’s fantastic. Majid Mohammadi – “I will provide examples of what Trump has not done and what King Barack H. Obama and King George W. Bush did. Here is a list

“When Democrats lost to a non-politician in 2016, they could not swallow the failure and began to degrade their opponent’s victory (by manufacturing “Russia collusion”), insult people who voted for the winner (calling them racist), and assassinate the character of the winner (calling him a dictator). To make the case for the third act, they invented a story that Donald Trump likes dictators and wants to be one and will not leave office if not elected in 2020. But his actions show the opposite. Trump does not want to be a king or a dictator, while his predecessors behaved as if they wanted to be.

A scapegoat is one thing. The judgment is another. The total lack of support in reality for vehement name calling is another. It isn’t getting better. It seems to be getting worse.

 

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Everything is racist. Harassment has no imagination.

Yes, Trump is target of ‘presidential harassment’. Byron York – “it adds up to a pile-on of unprecedented proportions, by and large the work of blue-state Democrats who stand to gain politically if their investigations succeed in crippling the president.

“In a recent email exchange, I asked Andrew Coan, a University of Arizona law professor who is the author of the book Prosecuting the President, whether there is precedent for a U.S. Attorney’s office conducting a wide-ranging, open-ended investigation of a sitting president.

“The short answer is no,” Coan responded. “I am aware of no comparable prior investigation.”

The point is, the scrutiny directed at the president from all sides, not oversight of his administration or even investigations into his election, so far exceeds anything in the past that it could well qualify as presidential harassment.

Google Manager Said Company Must Stop ‘Fake News’ Because ‘That’s How Trump Won’. Allum Bokhari – “The employee also alleged the existence of official training courses at Google dedicated to “bashing conservatives and Trump supporters.”” When people know to the point of irrational belief, all sorts of ‘strange’ behaviors surface.

Paul Manafort Was an Agent of Ukraine, Not Russia. Andrew C. McCarthy – “He is a scoundrel, but he was never a Kremlin operative.

“Understand: Paul Manafort would never have been prosecuted if he had not joined Donald Trump’s campaign. He would not have been prosecuted if Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 election and spared Democrats the need to conjure up a reason to explain their defeat — something other than nominating a lousy candidate who stopped campaigning too early.

Manafort’s Ukrainian work was not a secret.

Racism in the knitting community. neo – “It’s so absurd it’s hard not to joke about it, and joking is appropriate. But there is nothing really funny about it. In just a few short years, these SJWs have gone from unhinged and powerful to more and more unhinged and more and more powerful. Knitting is just one community this has infected; there are plenty others.

Democratic presidents behaved a lot worse than Trump in the White House. Victor Davis Hanson – get your historical perspective here!

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Culture war: many fronts assaulted with much vigor.

The Red Queen. Richard Fernandez – “If the 20th century can be described as the age of materialism and conflict, the 21st may be known as the age of information; the time we discovered angels and demons are real. Madness too can become incarnate and do stuff.

“One of the vulnerabilities cited by the BBC study on civilizational collapse is today we are part of a “tightly coupled globalized system”. Unlike eras when mistakes and their consequences could be localized today a major error can affect everybody. The flip side of the claim that a Green New Deal can “save the world” is it can also destroy it.

One of the characteristics of comprehensive ideologies, as illustrated by the Green New Deal, is that because of their reductionist and global character they handle complexity with chunky policy interventions. This tends to increase the probability of “normal accidents” because the bureaucracy cannot manage the complex systems they feel compelled to control.

Nature attacks and defends on many fronts. But a giant ideological bureaucracy can do what Darwin can’t: embark on a single strategy to the exclusion of all else.

Lessons from Our Family’s Recent Identity Theft Mess. District 48 – “The problem with government (and all dysfunctional organizations, public and private) is not that they hire bad people, but they hire good people that they cause to act badly through poor information and incentives.” Police had no interest but his mail carrier “bent over backwards to help us out.” The perp was caught standing in a USPS line.

Harry Reid on Trump: ‘I just have trouble accepting him as a person’. J. Marsolo – “Speaking for the deranged Trump-haters, Harry doesn’t see Trump as a person, so everything Trump does is bad.” Trump’s smack down tweet clarifies the situation. Reid is an embarrassment, especially to Nevada.

Stunning – 44 Democrats Vote to Support Post Birth Abortion. sundance – “Three democrat Senators voted to support the bill [Casey (PA), Manchin (WVA), and Jones (AL)], all others voted against protecting the babies.” The Trump Response Tweet: “This will be remembered as one of the most shocking votes in the history of Congress. If there is one thing we should all agree on, it’s protecting the lives of innocent babies.Ace of Spades notesThree Senators — Tim Scott of South Carolina, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska all chose to not be present for the vote.

Chase Bank Now Routinely Closing the Personal Bank Accounts of Conservatives. Ace of Spades – “Part of the problem is that the left has made it its top priority to infiltrate/pressure corporations to advance the left’s goals — including the goal, now, of complete censorship and discrimination against conservatives.

About half of New Mexico counties are now gun rights sanctuaries. Jazz Shaw – “That’s not how things are supposed to work, of course. There’s the whole supremacy issue to deal with for starters. But if the Democrats passing these new gun control laws want to be upset about it, they’re going to have to explain why it’s okay for states and cities to defy federal immigration laws for sanctuary cities and states. If you’re going to pick and choose which laws you will or won’t respect, don’t act surprised when someone else does the same thing.

From Victor Davis Hanson regarding media malpractice in editing a conversation he had – “This is exactly why many people today have distrust of many in media and reflect upon the unprofessionalism that occurs too often.”

Microsoft’s Moral Abdication. Kevin Jon Heller – “This is a remarkable abdication of Microsoft’s responsibility for considering how its technology could be used — or misused.” Heller thinks that creating anything to help defend ourselves is terrible because somebody might abuse it. Take that bit of logic to even modest implications and it is clear that Heller is advocating suicide by passivity. Consider rocks in this light. Does Heller condemn making rocks because they might be used by armies in slings to protect their societies? (What happened to David and Goliath?)

“To be absolutely clear, I am not comparing IVAS to the atomic bomb. Microsoft is not the Manhattan Project. The underlying principle, however, is the same: it is not acceptable for scientists to blind themselves to the consequences of their actions.

This requires predicting the future, making unreasonable assumptions, and ignoring history. Trying to shift blame for misery from human nature to scientific creativity shows a severe lack of honesty and intellectual integrity. That shows in the absolute claims used in expressing judgment. Bringing in the Manhattan project regrets is another tell. That is a very clear story in selective history and the ignorance of tragedy reduction. The underlying fears driving that regret, about nuclear science and not weapons, are still costing human misery and suffering as outcomes of a non-polluting energy source being absent from the Green New Deal, for instance.

The culture war is one of survival. Legalizing infanticide explicitly post birth is one. Criminalizing self defense either personal or national, is another.

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Yet here we are. Surber, Feldman, sundance, McCotter, Knighton explain

Now do you see Trump won the shutdown? Don Surber – “Two months and a day after the shutdown began, President Trump is in the driver’s seat.

“First, “Trump is getting the wall.”

Second, “No, Trump did not cave.”

Third, “Trump wins because he isn’t screwing anyone over.”

When the shutdown battle began, I wrote that President Trump had won because Donald Trump wins the battle first, then goes to war. It’s Sun Tzu.

It’s the third item in the list that is perhaps most important. His opposition is all about what they can do to destroy people. Trump is about M.A.G.A.

High Ties and Misdemeanors. Clarice Feldman – “Nothing offends people more than unequal justice — disparate treatment of protected persons and classes. This week, the FBI and Department of Justice’s hash of equal justice became even clearer and the media’s fat thumb on the scales as well.” Unequal justice is about “screwing anyone over.”

“I believe the concept of “hate crimes” is an oxymoron. If you assault or murder someone it’s fair to assume it was out of improper animus. Adding a kicker for “hate” in which attacks on certain classes of people result in enhanced sentences strikes me as an improper “thought crime” punishment, inconsistent with constitutional law.

In any event, the laws on hate crimes seem to be as selectively enforced as the crimes of mishandling and leaking classified material and attempting to overthrow the president. Here too the press plays an important part, demonizing the President’s supporters, and downplaying or not reporting hate crimes against them while regularly magnifying defamatory and false accusations against them.

AP Previews Andrew Weissmann’s Special Counsel Report as Pitched by Pelosi Committee Chairs.  sundance – “Many people are wondering what type of report Andrew Weissmann could possibly write for his special counsel boss Robert Mueller – to present to the DOJ after two years of insufferable political investigations.

“the Associated Press has provided an answer that likely hits as close to accurate as anyone could presume.

In their anticipatory outline the AP reporters take half-truths, blend them with innuendo and leap-jumping suspicion, and top it all off with manipulated narrative engineering.

An American Epidemic: Toxic Imbecility. Thaddeus G. McCotter – President Abraham Lincoln ominously noted, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

“What is this postmodern plague consuming our nation?

Toxic imbecility.

And where is the hot zone where this imbecilic chicken first came home to roost and now appears ready to cook our goose?

symptoms of toxic imbecility include but are certainly not limited to the following:

Tragically, the symptoms of #ToxicImbecility appear to be endless. Fortunately, the vaccine, for those not yet infected, and the antidote, for those now suffering the scourge, is relatively succinct; readily available and, thanks to the internet, largely free: read liberal doses of Edmund Burke, Russell Kirk, William F. Buckley, Jr. and Victor Davis Hanson; escape your safe space; and embrace reality. Yes, it’s that simple.

Case study: 11-Year-Old Docked Points for Not Bashing Trump. Tom Knighton – “To say that some people dislike Donald Trump may well be the understatement of the year. It’s hard to imagine any duly elected president seeing so many protests, yet here we are.

“manipulated narrative engineering” sounds like a new course for the universities. It’s what Pravda was known for but called propaganda back then.

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The real scandal is a pile under the rug that is becoming hard to ignore

Schiffting to Phase 2 of Collusion (WSJ via Outline). Kimberley A. Strassel – “There’s been no more reliable regurgitator of fantastical Trump-Russia collusion theories than Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff.

“when the House Intelligence Committee chairman sits down to describe a “new phase” of the Trump investigation, pay attention. These are the fever swamps into which we will descend after Robert Mueller’s probe.

Mr. Schiff has now dictated to Mr. Ignatius a whole new collusion theory. Forget Carter Page, Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos—whoever. The real Trump-Russia canoodling rests in “Trump’s finances.” The future president was “doing business with Russia” and “seeking Kremlin help.”

So, no apologies. No acknowledgment that Mr. Schiff & Co. for years have pushed fake stories that accused innocent men and women of being Russian agents. No relieved hope that the country might finally put this behind us. Just a smooth transition—using Russia as a hook—into Mr. Trump’s finances. Mueller who?

What’s mind-boggling is that reporters would continue to take Mr. Schiff seriously, given his extraordinary record of incorrect and misleading pronouncements.

At the start of all the Russia craziness, Mr. Schiff had a choice: maintain the bipartisan integrity of his committee by working with Republicans to find honest answers, or take on the role of resident conspiracy theorist. He chose his path. The rest of us should know better than to follow him.

Real Scandal Of Trump Term Starts To Unravel. Conrad Black – 

“The most immense and dangerous public scandal in American history is finally cracking open like a ripe pomegranate. The broad swath of the Trump-hating press that has participated in what has amounted to an unconstitutional attempt to overthrow the government are reduced to reporting the events and revelations of the scandal in which they have been complicit, in a po-faced ho-hum manner to impart to the misinformed public that this is as routine as stock market fluctuations or the burning of an American flag in Tehran.

The authors, accomplices, and dupes of this attempted overthrow of constitutional government are now well along in reciting their misconduct without embarrassment or remorse …

Large sections of the press colluded with the Democratic campaign and produced the doctrine that anything was justifiable, no matter how dishonest, to destroy the incoming president’s reputation and damage him in public opinion polls to legitimize attempts to remove him from office.

The disgrace of their misconduct is profound and shocking.

Bernie blows his big chance to explain socialism in Venezuela. Monica Showalter – “Bernie Sanders, 77, who’s been defending socialist Venezuela for years, and who’d now like to be our president, has some explaining to do.” The real value of this article is that Showalter does some explaining. Find out what happened to get a better understanding of what socialism really is and why it wreaks havoc on societies.

ISIS bride’s father sues Trump administration to restore terrorist’s passport. Ed Morrissey – this is another Obama mess being remodeled by media interior decorating to make it seem to fit the desired narrative.

Über-IPCC chairman Will Happer may need good bodyguards. Luboš Motl – “Trump has ignored the Paris treaty and similar things but I have felt uneasy because he left the underlying cause of such irrational campaigns, the politicization of science, untouched. … Some good news may change it.

Changing Reality With Words. Victor Davis Hanson – “Suddenly, blizzards, deluges and subzero temperatures meant that typically unpredictable weather was “haywire” because of affluent Westernized lifestyles.” … “Beware of euphemisms. Radical changes in vocabulary are usually admissions that reality is unwelcome or indefensible.

White nationalist arrested on weapons charges. neo – “It all comes down to an old question: how much risk are we willing to accept in order to retain our liberty? We don’t want to be prosecuting thoughtcrime—at least, most of us on the right don’t.” It’s beginning to look like fantasizing in your personal, private diary can be fruit for prosecution if it fits political narrative fantasies. To see the spin rationalizing thoughtcrimes, see WaPo.

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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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