Archive for Mind Games

The next phase, False teaching

Fusion GPS co-founders signal next phase in attempted Trump takedown has started by William A. Jacobson – “When Fusion GPS speaks, newsrooms, Democrats, and prosecutors listen.”

“What is known about the Fusion GPS role in stoking and implementing an attempted takedown of candidate and ultimately president Trump is one of the greatest political scandals in memory. But it’s a story that only partially has been told.

What is less known, but almost certain, is how Fusion GPS pushed Russia conspiracy stories through its close relationship with reporters, and likely continues to do so. Fusion GPS not only was tight with reporters, it was tight with DOJ officials involved in pushing the Russia conspiracy narrative.

Manipulating the political process and media on Russia was Act I, playing out in the Mueller investigation.

Act II, as I’ve previously written, is the SDNY investigation of Michael Cohen on a referral from Mueller. That Act II, even more so than Act I, is a more direct attack on Trump’s business dealings and history than Mueller could justify keeping under his jurisdiction.

Right up front they posit an ulterior motive for the prosecution, and a willingness to circulate rumors of criminality much like they circulated rumors of Russian collusion.

They continue to put forth their suspicions, while admitting they have no hard evidence

Devin Nunes: DNC lawsuit is a ‘fundraising scheme’ by Daniel Chaitin – “This is about the extreme left, the socialist left, wanting to never accept that the president of the United States was rightfully and duly elected, carried a number of states that nobody expected him to carry,”

“Trump has said the DNC lawsuit is “good news” and his 2020 campaign has listed out a plan to draw out emails and evidence of “corruption” and “collusion” during the legal process.

Devin Nunes On Russia Probe Origin: “Major Irregularities” At State Dept, Sidney Blumenthal Involved By Tim Hains – “potential “major irregularities” exist at the State Department with regard to how the FBI found out about the George Papadopoulos meeting with a Russian national that led to the FBI’s original investigation into potential Trump/Russia collusion.” See also Analyze this by Scott Johnson.

Hardly a Stir When Starbucks Denied a Cop by Daniel John Sobieski – “We live in a world where black lives matter but blue lives matter not so much.”

“Starbucks did somewhat apologize for the incident, but there was no national mea culpa by the executive officers of Starbucks or the shutting down of its 8,000 stores and turning them into temporary re-education camps for employees who for the most part probably don’t have a biased bone in their bodies and who depend on police for their safety inside and outside their stores.

Self-survival and political correctness are prime motivators for Starbucks, but not the indignity and disrespect shown a Philadelphia officer in 2015. No grandiose mea culpas, no mass closings, and no employee re-education. Starbucks’s social conscience did not extend to those who risk their lives for the safety of its employees and customers.

Jack Goldsmith on the deep state by Paul Mirengoff – “His assertions carry weight for two reasons.”

“All of this notwithstanding, Goldsmith lamely suggests that special circumstances might have justified the deep state’s assault on the Trump presidency. What special circumstances? Sally Yates (an anti-Trumper temporarily in charge of the Justice Department) thought that Michael Flynn might become a Russian agent, or something. Plus, there were hints of collusion between Russia and Trump, a matter already being investigated (by anti-Trumpers in the deep state).

Goldsmith makes no attempt to show that these circumstances did, in fact, justify the deep state’s assault on the president. He simply allows it as a possibility.

But the deep state will always be able to cite, or gin up, “special circumstances” to justify its interference in our politics — just as, to return to the analogy with which Goldsmith begins his article — South American military leaders were always able to some up with special circumstances to justify military coups.

I think Goldsmith understands this. Maybe that’s why the alarmist portions of his discussion of the deep state’s conduct are so ringing while his suggestions that the deep state acted with justification seem so perfunctory.

For SJWs in education, I became a template for villains by Luboš Motl – “The people who demonize any hard education – as “pressure” that brings kids away from the “playful” paradise – are really enemies of the nation’s future, enemies of the Western civilization.”

“What’s manipulative is the emotional encapsulation. The choice of the words “pressure” and “playful” was clearly made with the desire to associate the “playful” guys with the common good, and the “pressure” guys with the evil. You know, I am against most types of pressure and in favor of playful approaches in many contexts. But here we’re discussing a serious particular question – what the mathematics classrooms should look like.

In the previous generations, kids obviously had to do lots of things they didn’t naturally like – everyone assumed that this is how things have to be. And to compensate for these duties, the kids also did other things that could have been seen as “somewhat rebellious”. Because the first side of the equation was largely neutralized, the second side has largely disappeared, too.

The “progressive” transformation of the society and the education system has gone very far and the question “whether the teachers may exert any pressure at all” is really the question we’re solving these days – or, if you’re just slightly more optimistic, a question we will be solving very soon. That’s where the society seems to be heading.

The False Teachings of the National Council of Churches by E. Jeffrey Ludwig – “The momentum of non-biblical Protestant Christianity picked up more than 100 years ago with the publication in 1907 of Walter Rauschenbusch’s book Christianity and the Social Crisis.”

“Rauschenbusch, shortly after his return from studies in Germany, introduced what came to be known as the Social Gospel. This Social Gospel became the basis for the Federal Council of Churches, which, in 1950, became the National Council of Churches (NCC). The dogma of the National Council of Churches has been regularly updated and is now available online here.

The NCC briefly and vaguely asserts a belief in Jesus Christ and in the Holy Spirit and then goes on to discuss its true purpose, which is salvation by works not by grace. Their “creed” is right out of the playbook of the progressive left, where righteous living is based on commitment to the entire “social justice” program.

A two-hour introduction to the climate change by Luboš Motl – “One may talk about lots of the sociology and history of the movement and it’s interesting – and often infuriating. But I still think it’s more relevant to focus on the hard science and the physical basis of all the phenomena.” His “collection of topics” list is phenomenal. It illustrates the point that climatology is not a simple ‘greenhouse gas’ thing and just how broad science can really be.

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A growing awareness: rude, crude, and maybe illegal

BREAKING: Lawmakers Make Criminal Referral on Clinton, Comey, Lynch to DOJ on Steele Dossier by Sara Carter – “Obama officials and FBI embattled agents also targeted for possible violations of federal law.” Note this is reporting on a letter from Congress, not the prosecutor and grand jury process. If the report is correct, it will be up to the DoJ to determine whether to press charges.

“House Oversight and Government Reform Committee member Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Florida, along with ten other colleagues sent the letter Wednesday to Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray criminally referring former FBI Director James Comey, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe for their involvement in the investigations into President Trump and alleged violations of federal law. FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok and his paramour FBI lawyer Lisa Page, whose anti-Trump text messages obtained by the DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, were also included in the referral.

“We write to refer the following individuals for investigation of potential violation(s) of federal statutes,” states the letter obtained by this reporter. “In doing so, we are especially mindful of the dissimilar degrees of zealousness that has marked the investigations into Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, respectively. Because we believe that those in positions of high authority should be treated the same as every other American, we want to be sure that the potential violations of law outlined below are vetted appropriately.”

After Barbara Bush’s Death, Left’s Torrent Of Bile Shows Who The Real Hatemongers Are, Investor’s Business Daily – “the progressive left turned it into a political hate-fest. We need a safe space for civility.”

“These are just some of the many other routine expressions of hate found on Twitter following Barbara Bush’s death. There were many, many others. One can only hope that their authors’ ObamaCare coverage includes mental health.

Nor are these aberrations or out of the ordinary. In fact, the far left has steadily ratcheted up the hate quotient of its speech for years. The goal is to continue to shrink the space in which basic decency, conservative or even moderate political thoughts can flourish, by constant public attack, threats, noisy demonstrations, name-calling, derision and ridicule.

those who engage in this type of routine demonizing and character assassination claim absolute moral superiority for their own beliefs as the reason why they’re fully justified. No need to have a conscience.

We hope most Americans agree: It’s time to reclaim the civility that once was part of American public life. The response to Barbara Bush’s death should be a wake-up call. If we can’t return to decency and respect in public discourse, we’ll bequeath our children and grandchildren a meaner, angrier and far less free America.

In the meantime, rest in peace, Barbara Bush.

Progressive professors behaving badly by Thomas Lifson – “I believe that both are exemplars of the moral hazard that accompanies the exalted status accorded professors, often aggravated by the practice of granting tenure.”

“While I am not familiar with the terms of her contract, I do know that tenure is not an absolute guarantee of lifetime employment. A number of factors, including the closing of an academic department due to low enrollment (aka, market forces), sexual misconduct with a student, or inflicting harm on the employing institution can be grounds for termination in some cases. Nonetheless, Jarrar’s presumption of job invulnerability is apparently what led her to believe that publicly inflicting emotional pain on very prominent people when they are most vulnerable was cost-free. …

It is quite obvious that anger is a prominent part of her self-expression. At least in this case, she was not inflicting that anger on students. I have far greater issue with anther professor whose behavior took place in a classroom and was directed at a student.

If this account is accurate, Finkelstein clearly is abusing his position as a professor. Students are graded by professors, with serious consequences for their future academic and career prospects, meaning that they are very vulnerable. There is an absolute obligation on anyone who has such responsibility to act on the basis of personal detachment from any emotional response to disagreements over political, or moral, or other contentious issues of the moment.

I began my work life as a professor, and found that the moral challenges of responsibly dealing with the power over students bestowed upon that position were quite serious and demanding.

To some degree, Professors Jarrar and Finkelstein are unwittingly “progressive” in that their despicable actions are advancing the progress of the inevitable collapse of the bubble.

James Comey goes stale fast, hits end of his shelf life by Monica Showalter – “with little more than florid descriptions to speak for his otherwise content-free book, and no big revelations, what we get from it is that he has a high opinion of himself, he’s mad about getting fired, and he wants revenge.”

“So now we see just about nobody showing up for the book’s launch at the prestigious Kramerbooks, at the heart of the capital, on Dupont Circle at its opener. The Weekly Standard noted that there were more cameras than customers for this washed up bureaucrat’s hectoring dialectic about his own virtue, and the store sold only about a dozen books, many to the reporters.

Apparently, people in Washington, D.C., who are often swamp things, can see the game he is playing well.

Maybe worst of all, the voters are beginning to notice that Comey’s act is all an act.

This is not the makings of a bestselling book. For the publishers, this big rollout represents a lot of bad judgment clouded by life in a left-wing bubble, given that they paid Comey reportedly millions in an advance. For the rest of us, the popped bubble represents a victory: people aren’t as stupid as their supposedly betters make them out to be.

Cycle dealership ordered to remove military flags goes viral. When rude city worker disrespects troops, all hell breaks loose. By Frieda Powers – “When it comes to defending American patriotism, it seems it always pays to fight for what’s right.”

“A Florida motorcycle dealership found itself facing penalties and allegedly rude behavior by city employees when it was ordered to take down military flags flying atop its store. After a now-viral Facebook video posted by the shop, the flags are being allowed to continue flying, the store has been spared the fines and the city employees suspended.

A growing awareness prompted by arrogant professors, rude city employees, and the twitterverse.

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Korea! Tax the wealthy! and smears.

Trump ends 68-year war by Don Surber – “Today news leaked that North Korea and South Korea will reach a peace agreement.” There’s also news that the ex CIA director, SoS nominee met secretly with North Korean leaders. But this sort of news is rather hard to find from the swamp’s propaganda machine with is focused on Cohen and Daniels.

“”North and South Korea are in talks to announce a permanent end to the officially declared military conflict between the two countries, daily newspaper Munhwa Ilbo reported Tuesday, citing an unnamed South Korean official,” CNBC reported.

You won’t believe what tax reform will cost wealthy Californians in 2019 by Ed Morrissey – “Lots of people just talk about soaking the rich, but Donald Trump and the GOP actually did it

“The controversial phase-out of the state and local tax deduction (SALT) will drop like a bombshell on high-tax-rate blue states, which is one reason why Democrats so staunchly opposed it.

Not only do other taxpayers end up subsidizing the wealthy, they also indemnify blue-state politicians against the consequences of their tax policies. Next year, taxpayers in California, New York, and other high-tax states will have to truly pay for their own taxes rather than foist them off on everyone else.

Minnesota Public Radio: Anatomy of a Smear by John Hinderaker – it’s how that propaganda machine works described in detail.

“Katherine Kersten is a Senior Fellow at Center of the American Experiment, the think tank that I run. In the Fall 2017 issue of our magazine, Thinking Minnesota, she wrote a long, thoroughly documented expose of leftist political indoctrination and bullying of nonconforming students, teachers and staff in the Edina, Minnesota public school system. She did a follow-up story in the Winter 2018 issue of the magazine. Because of their quality and depth of reporting, these articles (along with an op-ed by Kathy in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on the same subject) triggered a vigorous local debate.

The issue of left-wing indoctrination in the schools is, of course, of national interest, and Kathy’s articles began to attract attention from national news outlets, as well.

It is obvious that the principal purpose of MPR’s story was to smear Katherine Kersten and Center of the American Experiment by associating us with the Daily Stormer (“neo-Nazi!”), Stormfront (“white supremacist!”) and 8chan. No mention of mainstream conservatives like Dennis Prager, Brit Hume, Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, Dana Perino, Power Line, InstaPundit, Independent Women’s Forum, Hot Air, the Drudge Report, Legal Insurrection, Frontpage, Intellectual Takeout, Education News, American Conservative, PJ Media, as well as neutral outlets like Real Clear Politics and the Kansas City Star. These mainstream sites have traffic that is, what? 100,000 times greater than the Daily Stormer and Storm Front? 1,000,000 times greater? Obviously, Ms. Wastvedt featured the obscure, extremist sites as a politically-motivated smear.

I think it is telling that MPR is quick to smear those with whom its reporters disagree politically, but refuses to make its reporter available for an interview. Transparency is, apparently, a one-way street.

I am asking Minnesota Public Radio for an apology on behalf of Center of the American Experiment.

More on the Cohen investigation from Andrew C. McCarthy, Neo-neocon has a bit more on the ‘trust your government’ McCarthy dissonance noticed yesterday. The Hannity exposure is a hard fact arguing against non-political prosecutors.

CNN’s Brian Stelter Has a Lot of Nerve Getting Snotty About Sean Hannity’s Conflict of Interest by Patterico – “You see the problem? If not, let me sum it up in two words: Corey Lewandowski.”

“You did not see anything like that in any of Brian Stelter’s pieces. You did not see him calling Lewandowski’s arrangement a “glaring conflict of interest.” You did not see him claiming that CNN is not a normal newsroom. Instead, you saw him praising the Lewandowski hire.

What do you know? He has a different standard for Fox News than he has for his own employer!

Which is to be expected. Just don’t expect us to take your moral preening seriously, Brian Stelter. You guys are hardly the angels you’re trying to appear to be. And we all know it.

The compare and contrast is pulling up a lot of reference events but that only creates the need to deny, refute, ignore, or impugn to rationalize the new assault.

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The fix is in? Cohen Judge, Exposing targets, Colluders on the loose

Ace: Judge Forces Michael Cohen to Disclose Name of Client Who Had Instructed Him to Keep It Secret – “Cohen was forced to disclose this in court. Why it wasn’t disclosed in the judge’s private chambers and kept secret, I don’t know.”

A quick look at Michael Cohen’s judge by Henry Percy – “Judge hands defeat to Trump and Cohen,” blares the headline.

“Kimba Wood…Kimba Wood…where have I heard that name before? Well, look at this. She was Bill Clinton’s second choice to be attorney general, after the Zoe Baird nomination blew up. Kimba’s blew up, too, because she forgot to tell the White House she had employed an illegal as a nanny.

Is this amazingly great luck for the Mueller-U.S. attorney tag team or what?

Mueller Targets Sean Hannity Following Cohen Raid, DCWhispers – “While the court proceedings took place in New York, make no mistake those proceedings were being guided by the hand of D.C. Special Counsel and former FBI Director, Robert Mueller.

“The U.S. District Court raid on Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen’s offices was a direct offshoot of the Mueller investigation. Today that Mueller-influenced (and many feel highly illegal) raid forced Mr. Cohen to start disclosing names on his client list. First and foremost was Fox News personality and avid Trump supporter, Sean Hannity.

The abuse of power by the federal government today is a clear example of something a Congressional staffer source indicated to D.C. Whispers some time ago – that Trump is to be destroyed and those who supported him are to be punished/destroyed as well.

Like Trump, Sean Hannity is a fighter. Look for him to come out swinging against this abuse of power.

He’s in for a fight. We all are.

Colluders on the Loose by Victor Davis Hanson – “Comey, McCabe, Clapper, Brennan, Lynch, Andrew Weissmann, Bruce and Nellie Ohr, Harry Reid, Samantha Power, Clinton attorney Jeannie Rhee … f collusion is the twin of conspiracy, then there are lots of colluders running around Washington.

“Robert Mueller was tasked to find evidence of Trump and Russia collusion that might have warped the 2016 campaign and thrown the election to Trump. After a year, his investigation has found no concrete evidence of collusion. So it has often turned to other purported Trump misadventures. Ironically, collusion of all sorts — illegal, barely legal, and simply unethical — has been the sea that Washington fish always swim in.

Some sort of collusion likely occurred when the Obama DOJ and FBI sought FISA-court requests to surveille Carter Page and, indirectly, possibly many other members of the Trump campaign.

Apparently, a number of government officials must have been in cahoots to get all their stories and agendas straight ahead of time. They certainly agreed on talking points to keep embarrassing facts from FISA judges, and they did so on a number of occasions. Does that behavior fall under the definition of some sort of colluding obstruction?

Trey Gowdy: Comey was willing to put all of his supposed problems with Trump aside to keep his job by Allahpundit – “His [Trey Goudy] point isn’t made often enough about Comey even though to some extent it’s self-evident.”

“If you can spare the time, start from the beginning and watch the whole Gowdy interview as he has thoughtful things to say about the Michael Cohen raid, Mueller’s and Rosenstein’s respective duties, and the Russiagate probe, whose justification he’s never doubted. The Comey segment is actually the only part of the interview where Gowdy took Trump’s side. HIs point on the Cohen raid is simple: Once Bob Mueller thought he had probable cause of criminal activity by Cohen, what else was he supposed to do except do what he did?

Oh My: Congressional Leader Calls For Impeachment Of Rod Rosenstein Over Uranium One Scandal, DCWhispers – “During that highly controversial agreement that sold 20% of U.S. uranium stock to Putin-controlled interests in Russia then-U.S. attorney Rod Rosenstein was charged with investigating the deal as allegations of bribes, extortion, and money laundering involving the Clintons and Obama-related figures, quickly mounted.”

“And guess who was the FBI Director at the time? None other than Robert Mueller, the man now charged with investigating Donald Trump.

To date, the only real evidence of any Russian collusion has been between the Obama White House, the Clintons/Clinton Foundation, Robert Mueller, and Rod Rosenstein (among other Obama-era figures)

Should the truth ever break free it might very well reveal how the Obama years were among the most dangerously corrupt in the history of America. The Mueller investigation has nothing to do with finding the truth but doing all it can to destroy it.

The McCabe Report is Just an Appetizer by Roger Kimball – “Horowitz will follow up with entrees on the FBI’s partisan activities in the 2016 presidential election and, later, another report on (if I may employ the term) collusion with the State Department.”

“We’ll have to wait for Horowitz to serve up the additional courses he has cooking. But right now we can enjoy his refreshing treat of McCabe-kabob, grilled to perfection.

Andrew McCabe, you might recall, was a central player in the pseudo-investigation of Hillary Clinton’s misuse of classified information and self-enrichment schemes while Secretary of State. He was one of the people who made sure that went nowhere. He was also a central figure in the get-Mike-Flynn operation and, later, the Great Trump Hunt that has been occupying Robert Mueller for nearly a year.

McCabe leaked information about an investigation to a Wall Street Journal reporter, lied about leaking in casual conversations with superiors as well as under oath.”

This meal is far from over. But I suspect that Michael Horowitz will be filling out the menu at least as robustly as that fisher of men, Robert Mueller.

Ace: Inspector General Report Into Hillary Email Investigation to be Released In May – “A lot of investigations into Hillary Clinton died on McCabe’s desk.”

Judge rules to unseal 11 cases related to Starr’s Clinton investigation, following CNN request by Katelyn Polantz – “Though Chief Judge Beryl Howell’s opinion Monday deals with secret legal proceedings from 20 years ago, it could offer a road map for making court records in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation public eventually.” This has the appearance of grabbing at straws after a long series of dry holes at CNN. It is also an attempt to rationalize Mueller’s tactics by smearing previous special prosecutors.

Jonah Goldberg’s Suicide of the West by John Sexton – “The story of Western civilization, and really civilization itself, is the story of productively sublimating human nature.”

Court shoots down Acosta DOL’s attack on religious freedom by Paul Mirengoff – “What is perhaps most troubling about the Department’s position in this case, however, is the conceit of unlimited agency power that lies behind it. The power of a federal agency is no more than worldly. The Department should tend to what is Caesar’s, and leave the rest alone.”

Is It History, Or Is It Propaganda? By John Hinderaker – “This sort of ignorance and bias is rampant throughout American education. Some have suggested that it is parental malpractice to send your children to a public school. In many areas of the country, that proposition is hard to deny.”

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Moral turpitude, who’s who?

The air is full of “Trump morally unfit” assertions what with the Comey book but it is difficult to figure out what exactly these people consider support for their views. Here are two – immigration and tax policy. Another looks to be opposition to abortion. The sad part is that these people disagree not by challenging opinions and values but by casting judgment. Surber lists 52 examples of this despicable behavior by Trump opponents. Let’s start with a counter example.

Parkland Survivor’s Mom: Trump Hugged Him, but School Didn’t Even Know He’d Been Shot by Tom Knighton – “The media has focused plenty of attention on Parkland survivors since the February 14 massacre, but mostly on the survivors who A) were not wounded and B) demand gun control.”

“I actually had to show a district staff member Williams x-rays to verify them. How could the district fail to contact each of the students in the classrooms where murders and injuries occurred. This borders on negligence.”

I have to disagree with her. It “borders” on nothing. It is negligence.

Lisa Olsen sure appears to have the evidence for her criticism. We’ve seen non-stop media squabbles rather than a total focus on all the kids with physical wounds and emotional struggles.

Apparently this district’s priorities were so off that administrators needed x-rays for proof, somehow missing that President Trump had visited him in the hospital.

Starbucks feels the Trump Effect by Don Surber – “Starbucks is the latest to learn not to mess with Trump.”

“When the president imposed a legal and constitutional moratorium on visas from six countries, Schultz attacked Trump.

The instant backlash forced Starbucks to promise to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses.

Then Schultz attacked the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

‘Global warming’ claims a victim by Thomas Lifson – “After some reflection, I see that this is a tragedy the Greek sense of the word, being based on a fatal human flaw.” These Trump haters take it seriously, even to the point of self immolation.

“Buckel was no loser with no prospects. He is someone who had a big hand in changing the way American law and public opinion regard same sex marriage

Reportedly, Buckel recently “turned his attention” to apocalyptic predictions of climate disaster, which he fully bought into, presumably based on the phony scientific consensus propagated by the fraudsters who have to “adjust” real data in order to make their hypothesis slightly plausible. The fraudsters know well that the human mind is vulnerable to predictions of apocalypse, and that encouraging panic is a great way to generate money.

I am actually very sad for Buckel, and for his friends and families. He is a victim of hucksters who scared him and countless school children into panic. The fraudsters continue to fly on private jets and occupy multiple lavish residences, which people genuinely convinced that the end is near would shun. His death is tragic, but it is also really, really stupid, once again proving that smart people, when beyond their sphere of expertise, can be deeply dumb, because they have no humility. The Greeks called it “hubris.”

Sen. Cory Booker Violating Constitution: Voting Against Pompeo for Religious Beliefs by Ken Klukowski – “announced on Friday that he will vote against CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s nomination to become secretary of state because of Pompeo’s beliefs on marriage and sexuality — beliefs consistent with Pompeo’s Christian faith.”

“Booker sharply questioned Pompeo on Thursday during the nominee’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, referring to words Pompeo spoke at a church in his district when the current director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was still serving in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Article VI of the U.S. Constitution provides, “No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office of public Trust under the United States.”

Trail of James Comey’s Dirt on Loretta Lynch Discovered Within IG Report on Andrew McCabe by sundance – “keep in mind, that at the time the book was written, Mr. Comey had no idea exactly where the ongoing Inspector General investigation might lead; nor did he know the timing of release.” The analytic examination of recently released evidence in the greater context is explained.

Comey’s last stand for the deep state by Mark Penn – “The post-election actions of these former officials makes suspect their actions as officials.”

“They were among the most powerful men of the last decade. They commanded armies of armed agents, had the ability to bug and wiretap almost anyone, and had virtually unlimited budgets. They were the leadership of the FBI, the CIA and the director of national intelligence under President Obama. Each day, it becomes clearer that they are the real abusers of power in this drama.

The book by former FBI Director James Comey and the daily hyperbolic John Brennan sound bites are perhaps the final reveal of just how much hubris and vitriol they had. Comey’s book, according to reports, contains nothing new of legal consequence to Trump (while suggesting that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch has something to worry about), but it unmasks the hatred that Comey had for Donald Trump from the beginning. It impeaches Comey’s fitness to have ever held high, nonpartisan office.

The Mueller investigation bears all of the hallmarks of prosecutorial overreach: pre-dawn raids, denial of reasonable bail, threats to prosecute family members, investigations of unrelated business matters. He didn’t appropriately subpoena selected transition emails but collected every email in the entire transition without notice, prying them from holdover employees at the General Services Administration.

Moreover, the double standards being applied here are undermining the rule of law.

As these deep staters turn into paid talking heads profiting through books, speeches and clicks, they undermine any notion that they acted professionally instead of politically while in office, and the evidence continues to mount that the foundation for turning the country upside down for the last year was most likely two parts politically tinged hubris and one part sketchy evidence.

Max Boot: Sure Andrew McCabe lied under oath…but Trump by John Sexton – “When FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was fired, Boot was one of the people who came out swinging.” Illustrating confusion about what is moral and what isn’t?

“In short, there was nothing that could possibly justify the firing of Andrew McCabe. It was a Trumpian plot. So when the DOJ Inspector General released his damning report on McCabe which concluded he had lied to James Comey, to FBI investigators while under oath, to the IG, and had even lied about his lies to FBI investigators when changing his story, suddenly Max Boot had some backtracking to do.

The recommendation from the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility was that McCabe should be canned for his repeated and intentional “lack of candor.” And that’s what happened. But having already blasted this as an attempt to “undermine the FBI” etc., Max Boot couldn’t bring himself to admit he got this one wrong. Instead, he wrote a blog post yesterday titled “Sure, McCabe and Comey made mistakes. But that’s not why they were fired.”

I think the problem here is that Boot insists on treating everything as a subset of the one story that he is focused on: blasting President Trump. It doesn’t seem to occur to him that two things could be independently true here. First, Trump really did go after McCabe and celebrate his firing. Second, McCabe is a self-serving liar who deserved to be fired.

About that Syrian scientific research center by Paul Mirengoff – a bit more about the response to Syrian use of chemical weapons. This one isn’t headed towards “aspirin factory” irrelevance.

Claudia Rosett takes up the question for PJ Media. Based on the Pentagon’s description, she believes with a very high level of confidence that the target was the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC).

According to Rosett, the SSRC is “an incredibly high-value target, an outfit central to some of the worst depravities of Assad’s weapons programs, and — as it happens — a longtime client of North Korea and Iran.”

Trump pacifies Cory Gardner on marijuana issue by Paul Mirengoff – There was a story that Trump instructed Sessions to back off on marijuana law enforcement in states that legalized the recreational drug. Here’s another part of the story. It has something to say about what Trump’s opponents consider moral and honorable and valuable.

“For months, Sen. Cory Gardner has been blocking the Trump administration from staffing key positions at the DOJ. Among these position are Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division; Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division; Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division; and, until Gardner was finally shamed into relenting, Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division. In all, around 20 positions reportedly were affected.

You might think that Gardner’s obstruction leaves these key divisions directionless, or at least without the degree of direction they should have. It’s actually worse worse than that. As Christian Adams has shown, the absence of presidential appointees at the Assistant Attorney General level can leave left-wing Obama holdovers with enormous sway at the Justice Department.

Why has Gardner done this significant favor for the left? Because of marijuana.

Instapundit on Carl Cannon: Special Prosecutorial Abuse.Since the day Trump entered political life, liberals, Democratic activists, and media pundits have issued ominous warnings about the coming authoritarianism.”

Feminists don’t care about the gender gap in ballet. Why should we care about the one in tech? – Publications – AEI by Mark Perry – “That’s the excellent title of an excellent op-ed in the Washington Examiner by ballet dancer Madison Breshears”

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Peak Comey; IG report reveals; Dealing with Dissonance

Jim Comey’s bid for vengeance is ruining his reputation, New York Post – “There are two important things worth noting about fired FBI Director James Comey’s new tell-all

“First, it has almost nothing in the way of real news. No bombshells, almost no dramatic factual revelations. The book, for all intents and purposes, simply repeats his past congressional testimony.

Second, all the headline-grabbing details are either Comey’s petty criticism of President Trump’s tan, height and hand size; unpleasant and deeply personal denigrations of his character; or dishonest or salacious (and unprovable) speculation about the state of his marriage and his sex habits.

The book, in short, is a work of revenge by someone convinced he was badly wronged for trying to save the country from an unworthy president.

In the end, Comey’s “Higher Loyalty” looks to be fully devoted to his own ego.

It’s all downhill for Comey now by Thomas Lifson – “The day that James Comey cashed the multi-million dollar advance check from MacMillan Publishers will turn out to mark the date that we can call “Peak Comey.”

“ He and his ghost writer suddenly faced the unenviable task of making him look like the righteous warrior he had always portended to be, but with the need to fill 300 pages with something. Self-serving rationalizations can’t sustain reader interest over that many words, so apparently they decided that prose about physical appearances drawn from the bodice-ripper school of novels grafted onto Trump-hatred would do the trick.

The result was so awful that even the Washington Post, owned by arch-enemy of Trump Jeff Bezos, felt the need for a satire.

Comey, after a career of manipulating, backstabbing, and ingratiating his way up the federal legal and law enforcement bureaucracy, is discovering that karma does eventually catch up to you. So far as I know, Reinhold Niebuhr never contemplated that concept.

IG Report Outlines How Obama DOJ Worked To Shut Down Investigation Into Clinton Crime Syndicate, DCWhispers – “Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitten caught the Clinton Foundation information within the IG report and is doing his best to get the word out even as the Establishment Media covers the eyes and ears of the American public in order to keep that information largely unknown

“Lost in the haze of the Syria bombing, the Establishment Media’s purposeful ignorance, and the ongoing ripples following the stunning FBI raid on the offices of President Trump’s longtime attorney, is the scathing outline by the Inspector General regarding how the Obama Department of Justice aggressively shut down what was to be a widespread investigation into the Clinton Foundation looking into allegations of widespread financial crimes.

The Deep State continues to believe it controls the narrative. It’s up to all of you to prove them wrong.

Investigators reveal bias against Trump, Boston Herald – “While the Russian collusion investigation seems to be withering away, having yielded no evidence that might impugn President Trump, a new investigation has been spun off in New York City, targeting his attorney, Michael Cohen.”

“It is best that these investigations continue to play out in public view. What we have already learned about the integrity of our intelligence services, the ethical lapses of the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign, as well as the dubious maneuverings of the Obama administration, is that Washington, D.C., rewards nefarious behavior.

It is ugly to witness, and Americans across the spectrum reject it when it is exposed, as it is now.

The perpetrators are so deeply entrenched and comfortable in their day-to-day shadiness that they’ve stopped cloaking themselves for public consumption.

What’s been splayed out in front of the American people is a sham political investigation and third-rate propagandizing by a complicit media.

It’s all nonsense. We are so far from anything to do with Russian collusion that the pursuit of Trump has become almost comical.

Let the media, Democrats and Washington bureaucrats keep piling on him in clear view. It reveals more about them than him. Right now, investigators are looking into Michael Cohen’s time in the taxi cab business years ago.

The swamp is investigating taxis.

The president is lowering taxes.

We will make our conclusions based on the indisputable facts in the light of day.

Trump’s Red Line by Clarice Feldman – “The Mueller Special Counsel appointment is predicated on the notion that President Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to assure the defeat of Hillary Clinton — a notion so ludicrous only a Democrat could fall for it.”

Typical of the biased coverage, however, which uniformly ignored the stated basis and sound facts underlying the pardon, was Saturday’s Washington Post front-page article authored by Philip Rucker, Josh Dawsey, and Matt Zapotsky, The hard copy headline states “Critics question the pardon of Libby.” In the online version, the header is more blatantly partisan: “Trump grants pardon to former Bush official; some say he is using the law as a political tool”

The lead sentence is a model of partisan opinion masking as news:

The latest nonsense from the special counsel’s office includes interfering with the press again.

The next person who suggests the appointment of a special counsel under the now existing law where there is no court oversight ought to be committed. Twice now they’ve devolved into unconstitutional, partisan witch-hunts.

Mick Mulvaney teaches Elizabeth Warren some constitutional law, Washington Examiner – “Mulvaney has earned Warren’s ire because he is the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was her brainchild. While she hasn’t backed down in their colorful exchanges, Mulvaney has been winning on points.”

“When the senator lobbed the tired accusation that Mulvaney was forgoing stricter regulations because payday lenders had bought the GOP, (for the record, the payday industry spends about half as much on politics as, say, the abortion lobby) Mulvaney responded wryly: “Prior to receiving your letter, I never would have thought to consider, for instance, whether your vote against repealing the bureau’s arbitration rule was influenced by campaign donations you may have received from trial lawyers or other parties who stood to gain financially from the rule. Perhaps I should reconsider.”

Mulvaney is a rare public official with the wit to match Warren in both policy and dramatic flourishes, which is why it would be entertaining to have him stand toe-to-toe with every Senate committee featuring a Democratic presidential wannabe. If he can run the CFPB while heading the Office of Management and Budget, why not give Mulvaney some more jobs?

Ambitious Democrats deserve someone willing and able to trade blows with them. You know, to test their mettle.

But here’s the serious point about Mulvaney’s sparring with Warren. The Senate also deserves answers and accountability from federal agencies such as the CFPB. That’s because Congress, under our Constitution, is supposed to oversee the federal government.

That authority, however, was denied to Congress deliberately when Warren and her ilk established the CFPB.

The Real Investigation by Andrew C. Mccarthy – “as an alum who spent nearly 20 years as an SDNY prosecutor, I’m always inclined to assume my old office is up to serious business.”

“The one in the Southern District of New York, involving Michael Cohen and apparent hush-money payoffs, is a serious peril for Trump.

I’ve never thought “collusion with Russia” posed jeopardy.

I’ve also never thought Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s other known angle, obstruction, posed a great risk.

Much of the commentary about the SDNY investigation puts the cart before the horse.

It seems evident that prosecutors are investigating on the theory that Clifford, McDougal, and perhaps others were defrauded or extorted into silence. The fact that they accepted money does not foreclose the possibility that their agreement to remain silent was procured, in part, by trickery or threats.

No wrongdoing has been established at this point. But the SDNY investigation is a serious matter.

McCarthy is struggling with dissonance as many with close ties to the swamp do. His friends and colleagues are doing strange things and it is difficult to believe these things might not be all above board and honest. As he points out, this latest ‘investigation’ is a third attempt to get Trump via malicious prosecution. The pains he goes through to try to rationalize what he sees is an indicator of just how far afield the efforts have gone. His warning, though, is worth considering. Just ask Scooter Libby or some of Mueller’s current victims.

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Proud to destroy. Where’s your loyalty? How do you rationalize guilt?

Michael Wolff hurt the country and he’s proud by Eddie Scarry – “Michael Wolff inflicted immeasurable damage on the country and, like an idiot child proud of getting expelled from school, he’s still bragging about it.” … and he’s not alone in this effort.

“The fantasies are endless in Wolff’s book, which would be retracted by the publisher if we weren’t living in a time where it’s perfectly acceptable to throw the nation into a crisis, so long as it makes money.

There’s one honest thing Wolff says in his Hollywood Reporter column. “My book, with its trove of Trump,” he writes, “became no longer a mere book but a seismic political event.”

True. Wolff now has a sick place in history, helped along by a national media eagerly pushing his fraud and fiction.

Feds: Michael Cohen is barely even a lawyer by Ruth Brown – “Michael Cohen is a fraud of a lawyer who works exclusively for President Trump, federal prosecutors charged Friday.” Playing games with the meanings of words is a common behavior when rationalizing behavior that cannot otherwise be considered honest and proper.

Ace has another example. Jake Tapper Falsely Claims Scooter Libby “Leaked” Noted Anti-Semite Conspiracy Theorist Valerie Plame’s Name to Press; Refuses to Correct – “If Jake Tapper is now so down on leaking, are there any highly-placed former Obama officials, like maybe someone with a last name who rhymes with his own, he’d like to denounce for leaking highly confidential national security information to him…?”

When the Lie Becomes a Pillar of the State by Fay Voshell — “It was the film’s most wonderfully stirring scene.”

“But the fact that a scene never happened did not matter to the Soviet propagandists who wished to make up truth to bolster the Communist Party’s goals of transforming Russian society and indeed, the entire globe. The whole Soviet system was built on lies. As Alexander Solzhenitsyn was later to write, “In our country the lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the State.”
 … 
It is to the West’s great shame that its top intellectuals believed and still believe in the great lies that nearly annihilated Russia.
 … 

But the new radical Left has completely lost any idea of what the truth actually is. They have absorbed the Lie completely; but like Stalin, they prefer speaking only power to truth tellers who expose their Lie. Power alone is seen as truth.

Now is the time for all good men and women to stand up and tell the Truth.

 

To do otherwise is to grant the victory to people who are pathological liars who see no distinction between good and evil or the truth and the lie; and who are intent on silencing those who see the difference.

The OIG Report is About McCabe’s Leaks Against Obama Officials and Hillary Clinton, Not About Trump. – “leak against Hillary or Obama’s minions, and they hop into furious action.” … “And “Commenter,” aka Jack Straw, says this isn’t the report, but one of several report, and those, I hope, will get at the Trump leaks.”

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About those Never-Trumpers and their relations

Never trust a Never Trumper by Don Surber – “Decades of chatter about civil rights turn out to be a facade. They no more care about the Constitution than a Canada goose does.”

How Comey Lied About Spying on Trump Tower by George Neumayr – “While he was intercepting its communications, he had aides deny the story.”

“Jim Comey deserves a special place in the annals of sanctimonious frauds in Washington, D.C. He leaked, lied, bent rules, treated FBI material as his own personal property, violated confidential conversations, and generally acted like a government unto himself. But now he has the gall to write it all up in the sonorous nonsense language of “constitutional crisis.” His forthcoming memoir amounts to nothing more than the sour grapes of a self-serving operator over a wholly justified sacking.

In a just age, Comey would have the book thrown at him, not be writing one. It is a measure of our skewed times that an unelected charlatan could subvert the elected chief executive and then emerge from his subversion as a celebrated expert on constitutional loyalty. Samuel Johnson would call Comey’s “higher loyalty” the last refuge of a scoundrel.

‘Chappaquiddick’: The Grim Record of a Kennedy Cover-Up by John Podhoretz – “The existence of Chappaquiddick, the new movie about the 1969 car accident from which Ted Kennedy walked away while his passenger Mary Jo Kopechne likely suffocated slowly inside his partly sunken Oldsmobile, is a miracle of a kind.”

“Damore’s account isn’t ideological. It is, rather, a meticulous, hour-by-hour rendering of the accident and what followed. Nor did screenwriters Allen and Logan come at the subject ideologically. They were attracted to it because they thought the tale fit nicely into the recent pop-culture appetite for controversial true-life crime stories; they were especially taken with Foxcatcher, the Steve Carell movie about the murder of an Olympic wrestler by a du Pont heir.

Rereading Damore’s book after seeing the movie, I was struck by something that hadn’t made an impression on me 30 years ago. Damore shows how the media of the day—with the shameful exception of the slavering Boston Globe—were overwhelmingly skeptical about Kennedy’s tale and deeply critical of his conduct. In fact, what makes the cover-up so startling in retrospect is that it took place in the teeth of this nationwide media skepticism. It was a raw power play. Teddy and his henchmen felt free to flex their muscles in any way necessary. That is how completely their home state had become a vassal state. You get only a taste of this from the movie.

For the Kennedys, there will always be those progressives in thrall to a bizarre dynastic delusion and ready to proffer their excuses in a staggeringly inappropriate tone of moral offense. For them, it is an offense that Chappaquiddick exists. For those who long ago threw out their original-cast album of Camelot, the existence of Chappaquiddick is a welcome moment of American cultural sanity.

Mueller and Bulger by neo-neocon – “that’s regarded in Boston as one of the great scandals of modern judicial history. And Mueller was right at the center of it

Ace has the ‘news of the day’ summary: GOP “Representatives” Have Contempt for Their Voters and Lie to Them All Day While Revealing Their True Beliefs to Fellow NeverTrumpers

“We gave them the Senate, the House and the White House. And because one of their own didn’t get the WH, they instead have thrown a snit, slow-walking confirmations, obstructing major Trump platform initiatives such as killing Obamacare, cutting spending, and building the wall (initiatives they were all for up until Trump got the nomination).

They are affirming the growing certainty among the electorate that every single principle they campaign on is situationally applicable. It is only to be offered, pursued and defended if it is politically advantageous to their own fortunes.

David Brooks: Anti-Trumpism Has Failed, Largely Because of the Inability of Its Members to Stop Sneering at Their Enemies – “Which is how you got Trump in the first place.” Neo-neocon chips on Brooks with Taking stock of Never-Trumpers – “Two fascinating pieces came out recently about the phenomenon of the Never-Trumpers, now that it’s a year-plus into the Trump presidency.”

“Trump is uncouth, coarse, nasty, seemingly inarticulate (although on close observation he actually communicates bluntly and directly and rather effectively). In other words, Trump is oh-so-many things Brooks doesn’t like, and I don’t care for either. But style is far less important to me in a president than what that person does in terms of action and policy.

But Brooks doesn’t seem to be saying that’s what he thinks, or at least he’s giving no details, at least not in that column. He says Trump has done damage (but is it the Resistance that’s done damage?). He cites Trump’s incompetences (at what?) and scandals (but are they real, or trumped (!) up, and are they important?). But he offers no evidence in the column itself of the sort of corruption or dangerousness that would warrant the depth of the Newer-Trumpers’ opposition.

The second article is a riff on the first one. It’s by Jon Gabriel, an editor at Richochet. Here’s an excerpt from it in which he talks about his own decision to leave the Never-Trumper camp:

Alan Derschowitz: Trump Shouldn’t Fire Rosenstein. Instead, He Should File a Motion to the DoJ Requiring Rosenstein to Recuse Himself – “if the DOJ refuses to recuse Rosenstein, then Trump could/should seek a similar order from a judge” … “Meanwhile, now that the Electronic Communication (EC) that sparked the Trump probe has finally been released to Congress, people can start making judgments about it.”

“Lyin’ Comey” Website Debuts, Paid for by GOP; NeverTrump Spastics Freak Out – “The Federalist is now offering Comey t-shirts. They’re not complimentary. I wonder how The Expert and the rest of the NeverTrump gang will react to these.”

Mick Mulvaney: I Told You That Making the Consumer Financial Protection Board Completely Indpendent From Congress Was a Bad Idea. Now That I’m Head Of It, Let Me Prove That. You Can Ask All the Questions of Me You Like and I Can Just Ignore Your Asses. – “Some Republicans enjoyed Mulvaney’s use of the Democrats’ own stupid rules against them.” Also see Ed Morrissey Mulvaney to Congress: Thanks to you, I don’t have to answer any of your questions — ever – “This attempt to force Congress to reckon with its own bad ideas didn’t just start yesterday.”

Diamond & Silk: Mark Zuckerberg Lied, Facebook Didn’t Contact Us – interesting poster girls for this cause …

DoJ coughs up FBI memo to House Intel chair after impeachment threat by Ed Morrissey – “House Intelligence chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) had demanded access to the full memo for months, issuing subpoenas that the Department of Justice had ignored.”

“This is no mere technicality. The FBI sought a FISA warrant to surveil someone connected to a presidential campaign. If that turns out to have been requested improperly and/or under false or misleading pretenses, it would make the nation’s top law enforcement agency look politically compromised. That falls squarely under Congress’ authority to investigate, constitutionally much more so than a special counsel operating under the same DoJ authority as the FBI itself. Stonewalling this oversight certainly rises to the level of a contempt charge, and eventually a congressional removal through impeachment of executive-branch officials that refuse to cooperate with such oversight.

California Progressives Go Full Authoritarian, Coyote Blog – “I almost titled this article “go full fascist” but the f-word is so used and abused in public discourse that I now try to avoid it.” … “Because having the government decide what is and is not true, and what can and cannot be criticized, always works out so well.”

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Obsessions and hysteria on full display

Anchorage looks to be thinking it OK to allow perverts into women’s bathrooms; the ACLU applauds violation of attorney client privilege on the presumption of guilt; the NYT says objecting to excessive prosecutor behavior is implying guilt;

Bipartisan Senate effort: Operation Protect Mueller begins by Ed Morrissey – “The intent is to head off Donald Trump from provoking a “constitutional crisis,” but …

“The president has the right to hire and fire people within the executive branch of government without Congressional interference, especially high-ranking political appointees. Firing a special counsel is in itself not a constitutional crisis; it is the constitutional exercise of the authority of the presidency. The bill seeks to change that for one particular office, which is in itself a recognition of the president’s current authority.

Special counsels have inevitably proven to be disastrous to due process and accountability, which is why they should only be deployed when (a) a demonstrable crime has occurred, (b) explicit conflicts of interest prevent the Department of Justice from investigating them, and (c) stringent limitations are put on the scope of the probe. The issue with special counsels isn’t that they are too accountable, but are almost entirely unaccountable and grossly expansive by their nature. They exist mainly for political reasons, which means any attempts to enforce boundaries on their probes will generate accusations of politically motivated interference, and that means hardly any control at all is achieved. That leaves no effective check at all on a special counsel that strays far beyond his mandate (whether or not Mueller has is a matter of debate, of course) short of termination through the executive-branch chain of command.

This bill makes special counsels, now and in the future, even less accountable for their actions. If the report is true, it inserts both the judiciary and the legislature into the personnel decisions of the executive branch, which is itself a potential affront to the constitutional separation of powers. Congress’ upper chamber has a role in confirming political appointees that reflects the shared authority of many federal agencies, but they have no role in firing them other than through impeachment.

That is the proper remedy for a president that abuses his authority, too. If Trump fires Mueller and Congress perceives it to be an abuse of power and/or an obstruction of justice, they can impeach Trump and remove him from office. However, the better option all along would have been to form a select bipartisan committee under their own authority to investigate the Russia-collusion issue, one which Trump would have no authority to disband or to obstruct at all. Instead of passing the SCIIA, Congress should eliminate special counsels altogether, and bear the political costs of investigations themselves rather than hide behind special counsels.

Washington Lies In a Parallel Universe by John Hinderaker – “In a battle between reality and fantasy, it usually is prudent to bet on reality. Here, I am not so sure. The Democrats have a near-monopoly on the organs of perception, and they may be able to bend a majority of Americans to their topsy-turvy view of things. We will find out in November.”

“In the real world, the Trump administration is humming along. Its domestic policies are sensible and have been remarkably successful in a short time. Abroad, the administration has pursued American interests, again with considerable success. It has also made progress, at least, at cleaning up the appalling messes left behind by Barack Obama in Iran, Syria, Russia and North Korea. By any objective standard, the Trump administration is, so far, a major improvement on its predecessor.

But our “news” organizations have little interest in any of those topics. They are obsessed with tweets, with ten-year-old liaisons, with non-existent collusion and with investigations of nothing that apparently will never end. In their parallel world, Trump is such a failure that he might as well quit and save the Democrats the trouble of impeaching him. (For what? is a question that rarely seems to be asked.)

parallel universe or different planet?

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Is a sense of fairness rising? FBI raids, Pruitt noise, Immigration intellectual dissonance

Guess Whose House Wasn’t Raided by the FBI by Daniel John Sobieski – a compare and contrast of the sort that is becoming quite common to illustrate the corruption in the FBI and DOJ.

“This is the FBI of Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page, and Peter Strzok, whose mission was to keep Hillary Clinton out of prison and Donald Trump out of the White House. They never raided the home and office of Cheryl Mills, did they? They never raided Hillary’s house or seized the acid-washed server, did they? But Michael Cohen is a threat to our democracy warranting brute force? Why wasn’t Michel Cohen offered the immunity deal given to Cheryl Mills and other Clinton cronies?

The facts and the lack of an actual crime will not stop Robert Mueller. Just show him the man, or woman, and he will show you the crime, whether it be Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, or now Michael Cohen. As with the pre-investigation exoneration of Hillary Clinton by Comey, the facts don’t matter. Neither does, apparently, attorney-client privilege. Sentence first, trial later. These individuals are merely collateral damage in Mueller’s vendetta against Trump.

Lost amid all the ‘noise’ over Scott Pruitt is the very real damage Obama’s EPA did to rural communities by Daniel Turner – “The far left will stop at nothing in their efforts to derail the presidency of Donald Trump. Still bitter about the outcome of 2016, the left claims much of their outrage toward the president is driven by his unpredictable personality, but ideological opposition to his administration’s reform-minded agenda is the real root of their anger.”

“Pruitt’s “scandals” are exaggerated for political expediency: never mind that the Obama EPA spent just as much, if not more, than Pruitt’s team, according to a recent Fox News report. Or that Lisa Jackson, Obama’s EPA chief, was caught using the email alias “Richard Windsor” to communicate with people outside the government. Or that one Obama-era EPA employee was caught downloading and watching pornography on the job. These issues prompted no outrage from Hill offices, and one questions if Congressional inquiry could possibly be politically motivated, or if left-wing outrage is a one-way street.

Lost amid all the noise is the extreme damage the previous EPA did to rural communities.

The Ideology of Illegal Immigration by Victor Davis Hanson – “Gang members next door and dead dogs dumped in your yard? Don’t complain, or you’ll be called racist.”

“Illegal immigration has become so deeply embedded for so long within contemporary power politics, demography, and cultural change, so charged with accusations of racism, nativism, and xenophobia, that we have forgotten its intrinsic contradictions

The ideology of illegal immigration rests on certain illogical assumptions that must not be questioned.

In the absence of intellectual honesty about the need for political and economic reform in Latin America, mythologies can abound.

The entire vocabulary of illegal immigration has become Orwellian.

Talk of race has approached something like Lewis Carol’s Through the Looking Glass, in which everything is upside down.

In rural California, the law as it once was is now often inoperative, if not sometimes nonexistent.

Illegal immigration and environmentalism war with each other. But the former usually is exempted from any green audit.

EDITORIAL: All’s fair in love, war and the pursuit of Donald Trump – Washington Times. “Alas, these are not happy days for the fundamental civil rights we’ve always taken for granted in America.”

“The U.S. government raids a lawyer’s office at daybreak to fish for evidence against a designated target, and on Capitol Hill the CEO of Facebook testifies that he has been colluding with Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor in hot pursuit of Donald Trump, hoping to collect whatever evidence, or reasonable facsimile thereof, they can find to destroy a duly elected presidency.

This has never been tried before, not even in the hoary past, but who’s to say it won’t work. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook told Congress Tuesday that his company is working with Mr. Mueller as “part of the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.”

Mr. Mueller has had a distinguished career and is held as decent, honorable and well-regarded by his peers, but if he winds up his investigation with nothing to show for it he knows he will never be forgiven. The mob, which has been unable to come to terms with losing the election, wants somebody’s blood. Mobs always do.

More on the Michael Cohen seizure by neo-neocon – “One of the things about the lawfare against Trump is that it has four related effects that are not directly legal.”

“The first is that anyone considering a job in the Trump administration would have to think twice about accepting it, unless that person is ready to have his or her entirely life scrutinized

The second effect also would tend to handicap the president’s ability to govern, and that is just the stress and anger he is likely to feel.

The third effect is to gain access to all of Trump’s correspondence with his lawyer.

The fourth effect is on the public. The constant pounding on associates of the president—where no crime by Trump has ever been shown to exist in the first place—has the effect of indicating to many people that with all this smoke there must be fire.

It may also be that there is a violation of a ‘sense of fairness’ that will surface as a reaction to all of these events.

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Loss of faith in ourselves? Glimmers of hope, reams of dread

Civilization – Is The West History: Episode 06 Work [YouTube 47 min] by Niall Ferguson “argues that the real threat to our survival is our loss of faith not in religion but in ourselves.” In the series he bumps up against everything from slavery to eugenics to climate alarmism. In the last few minutes of his last episode, he crawls over the bumps and barriers to his “is the West history” worry. Read the comments and you can see his worry has justification.

The Limits of American Patience by Victor Davis Hanson – “Not being willing any longer to be manipulated is not succumbing to isolationism.”

“Wondering whether the United States can afford another liability is not mindless nationalism. Questioning whether America can afford the status quo here and abroad is not heresy. Assuming we can borrow our way out of any inconvenience is largely over.

What helped elect Trump was a collective weariness with demands put on a country $20 trillion in debt. America is currently running a $57 billion a month trade deficit.

Donald Trump’s presidency is many things, but there is one common denominator with all that has transpired since November 2016. The once unimaginable can become normal. When the veneer of conventional wisdom and practice is torn off, Americans learn that was not much there underneath after all, whether that idea is that we can never question open borders or Chinese commercial cheating—or whether it is complacency in our penchant to keep borrowing without worries over tomorrow.

Can we just say it? Loretta Lynch is lying by Jazz Shaw – “What’s most insulting here is the way that Lynch can shrug off the obvious and simply smirk at the nation, knowing that she will never be definitively exposed. And she has to know it. Captain Louis Renault would be more believable saying that he had no idea about gambling going on in the casino.”

The raid on Trump’s lawyer: Why? And why now? By Thomas Lifson – “we can only speculate as to the motives for a thermonuclear escalation of tactics being used against President Trump, in the effort to reverse the presidential election of 2016.”

“They have extended the fishing expedition to include seizure of protected communications between the president and his lawyers, now in the hands of the FBI, the same agency that has been stonewalling Congressional investigation into its behavior in launching the surveillance of the Trump campaign on charges of collusion with Russia. It should be noted that no evidence whatsoever of such collusion has been developed and made public, which has to be a deep embarrassment at a minimum.

‘Deafening Silence of ACLU’ After Raid on Trump Lawyer ‘Really Appalling’ As seen on Hannity – Alan Dershowitz reacted to a federal raid on the office of President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen. Dershowitz said it is a “dangerous day today for lawyer-client relations.”

The Mueller coup by Don Surber – “Robert Mueller’s unconstitutional raid on the president’s lawyer — with Democratic Party operatives grabbing privileged communications — is the last straw. Mueller should not be firedMueller should be arrested and charged with political espionage.”

“Sadly, this unconstitutional spectacle is only the latest attempt by the Democratic Party to invalidate the last election and overthrow the president.

If you vote for any Democrat from senator down to county surveyor this year, you are condoning this un-American activity

The FBI Escalates Its War on the Trump Administration by John Hinderaker – “It is blindingly obvious that this whole story, and the leak thereof, is a political attack on President Trump by the Democratic Party.”

“So here’s the situation: the Special Democratic Party Prosecutor and the Department of Justice, in the person of the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, have nothing better to do than investigate a 12-year-old, one-night consensual encounter involving Donald Trump. Apparently, actual crime in New York is a thing of the past. Organized crime is extinct; political corruption is non-existent; illegal immigration has ceased; violent crime is unknown. Stormy Daniels is the most pressing item on the law enforcement agenda.

We are witnessing, as Scott says, “a political death struggle with the authorities operating under [President Trump’s] nominal control.” President Trump and his loyal appointees need to assert the powers that the voters have given them.

The President’s Trump Card For Spending Restraint by Stephen Moore and James Carter – “The White House is seriously considering a strategy to cancel tens of billions of dollars of wasteful spending in the $1.3 trillion budget.” It’s easier to rescind than it is to allocate.

a political death struggle with the authorities operating under [President Trump’s] nominal control.”

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Backing off the Budget? Civil war talk and action heats up. Deranged about fire. Ted Kennedy had other scandals.

Springing Forward By Clarice Feldman – “What seemed as though it was going to be a dull news week – punctuated by sometimes fanciful articles from “sources” about what Special Counsel Mueller was up to – ended with a plethora of important news late Friday.”

James Freedman at the Wall Street Journal explains: “The political left is getting nervous because a virtuous and lawful reduction in federal spending is suddenly looking much more likely. … a “rescission” bill to repeal the spending increases needs only a simple majority in each house. …”

Upset about the budget deal? Get on the phone to your congressmen and senators and support rescission.

Friday the president ordered an end to the “catch and release” Obama policy, where border-jumpers were captured and released with a rarely kept promise to return for an immigration hearing to determine whether they had a legal basis to remain here.

The Congressional-FBI/DOJ Standoff Is Broken

Bill and Hillary Clinton’s Corrupt International Charity Network Faces Countless Legal Challenges

Wait–Did Twitter’s CEO Just Share A Post Calling For ‘Civil War,’ Wiping Out The GOP, And How We Should Be Like CA? By Matt Vespa – “Well, if there were any lingering doubts about Twitter’s perceived bias against conservatives, look no further than what CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted out last night.”

“Apparently, a “good read” is a post co-written by a Center for American Progress senior fellow that calls for “civil war,” the destruction of the GOP, and the adoption of how California runs everything from sea to shining sea. Yeah, bipartisanship is dead, so mob rule is what’s needed.

EPA says ‘unprecedented’ number of death threats against Pruitt by Joseph Weber – “His statement follows reports Pruitt has spent millions on security despite no proof his life was in danger.”

“According to EPA’s Assistant Inspector General, Scott Pruitt has faced an unprecedented amount of death threats against him and his family,” agency spokesman Jahan Wilcox said late Friday.

President Trump tweeted his support for Pruitt on Saturday evening. “While Security spending was somewhat more than his predecessor, Scott Pruitt has received death threats because of his bold actions at EPA. Record clean Air & Water while saving USA Billions of Dollars. Rent was about market rate, travel expenses OK. Scott is doing a great job!”

A nationwide search of state and federal court records by the Associated Press found no case in which anyone was arrested or charged with threatening Pruitt, the wire service said Friday.

It looks like another scalp hunting ‘gotcha’ effort, spending money on ‘unneeded’ security.

James Woods Pulverizes Deranged Psychologist Who Hoped For “Major Damage” Following Blaze at Trump Tower by Cristina Laila – “Liberals immediately cheered and spread absurd conspiracy theories after news broke of the blaze.”

“A sane person prays for everyone’s safety and hopes firefighters put the blaze out as quickly as possible.
Vile liberals on the other hand cheered after Trump Tower caught on fire.
Mental Health Counselor Jeffrey Guterman immediately cheered the blaze and ‘hoped for major damage.’
The backlash from Trump supporters was intense.
James Woods pulverized the deranged psychologist in a ferocious tweetstorm.

Chappaquiddick Wasn’t the Only Scandal by George Parry – “There is nothing like historical context to help evaluate and better understand current events.” It’s a collusion story, first class.

“In 1991, when Russian President Boris Yeltsin opened the archives of the Soviet Central Committee, Western researchers quickly descended on Moscow to plow through the treasure trove of previously classified official documents.

Think about that. Here is a classified document found in the Soviet archives from the head of the secret police to the General Secretary spelling out an outrageous and treasonous political plot by Kennedy to enlist the Soviet Union’s assistance in his campaign for the presidency. And not one major media outlet uttered so much as a peep about it.

The media’s failure to even report or discuss the discovery and contents of Chebrikov’s letter is but one more example of their dishonesty.

As a wise man once said, if the mainstream media didn’t have double standards, they would have no standards at all. For further proof of that statement, one need only to compare and contrast the media’s fevered, unhinged coverage of the alleged Trump-Russia collusion theory with the protective cone of silence they have placed over “Teddy, the KGB and the top secret file.”

Widely known, little reported, fits the pattern.

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The corruption of the mind is an insidious affair.

Don’t miss Chappaquiddick! By Thomas Lifson – “The movie Chappaquiddick exceeded my very high expectations.”

“Not only is it a truthful exploration of the events that led up the death of May Jo Kopechne and the criminal cover-up of Ted Kennedy’s culpability therein, it goes deep into the character of the man, and how he got to the depraved state of indifference to the life of a young woman who had devoted herself to “the cause” of the Kennedy family.

Response: ‘Chappaquiddick’ Distorts a Tragedy New York Times, by Neal Gabler – Here’s the Lucianne page with the ‘social commentary’ discussing the situation. See also Twitchy: REALLY!? One word in this ‘Chappaquiddick’ review at NBC News has sent eyes rolling. And then there’s Flashback: Watch Ted Kennedy’s 1969 Statement About Chappaquiddick at Legal Insurrection.

The media don’t really care about Scott Pruitt’s ethics — just his reversal of Obama policies by Jack Hellner – “The media are going after Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt for traveling first class and only paying $1,500 per month for a condo, pretending it’s all a matter of ethics. It’s nonsense.”

“They actually are going after him because he dares reverse some of the rules the Environmental Protection Agency implemented without going through Congress. Dissent is just not allowed from Democrat policies and the media are the method of choice for Democrats, using it to go after any Trump administration person they don’t like. Here’s a typical headline:

That wasn’t even the half of what went down during the Obama administration.

But even as the press reported these things, there was no feeding frenzy calling for firings, such as we are seeing now with Scott Pruitt. Dpuble standard, anyone?

Then there’s Slate. Why Are Republicans Defending Scott Pruitt? By Mark Joseph Stern – “Pruitt’s apologists are not disturbed by these eye-popping ethics scandals. Instead, they’ve settled on a rather extraordinary narrative: that the journalists who’ve uncovered his misdeeds did so because they oppose his agenda.” The logic in this column is … interesting. Note the modifiers (e.g. “eye-popping”). It illustrates why there is a problem in honest public discussion.

“Pruitt was tasked with dismantling every environmental regulation imposed by the Obama administration. Alas, he’s also done so much more. Pruitt hasn’t been able to resist exploiting the perks of his power, allegedly renting a room from an energy lobbyist under market value, spending an exorbitant amount of public money on lavish travel, improperly giving big raises to political appointees, replacing security guards who would not indulge his whims, and demoting officials who questioned his waste of public funds. And the list goes on, and gets longer by the day.”

What Is a Militia, Anyway? By J.L. Woodruff – “It is safe to say the protester waving the sign meant it as a rebuke to those who think the 2nd Amendment guarantees the right to own firearms.”

“As a simple declarative sentence, despite the unnecessary use of commas typical of 18th-century writing, the amendment is perfectly clear to anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of English. Yet in recent decades, it has become the source of lies, distortion, and obfuscation by assorted opponents of the Bill of Rights who claim that only members of a militia may own guns.

Most of them, unlike the mawkish teens pumping their fists like Weathermen at a Viet Cong rally, are real grown-ups in coats and ties, many with law degrees and lots of official-sounding titles that make them seem like authoritative folks who really know what they’re talking about. But they don’t.

That is one of the greatest public frauds in U.S. history. Fortunately, no one needs a law degree or even extensive knowledge of what America’s Founders thought about militias to see through the fraud and to understand the 2nd Amendment. Knowing rudimentary English will do just fine.

The people pushing the nonsense that firearms ownership depends on membership in a militia are smart, well educated people. They can read English very well. They know what the 2nd Amendment means. They have chosen to distort that meaning.

Then there’s the judge who thinks scary looking guns or anything with potential military use should be banned.

Citizen’s Righteous Rant Defending 2nd Amendment Goes Viral by Debra Heine – “Robinson’s rant is a thing of beauty.” See the video.

A North Carolina gun rights advocate gave an impassioned speech defending the Second Amendment earlier this week, and the video of his speech quickly went viral. His passion was especially impressive considering the Greensboro resident isn’t even a gun owner.

Mark Robinson’s unplanned and unscripted comments came during a city council meeting Tuesday evening, where residents were debating whether a gun show should be canceled in the wake of the Parkland high school massacre.

The Politicization of the MCAT by Devorah Goldman – “Why should we care about the opinions of aspiring doctors?” Do you want ‘woke’ doctors or skilled and knowledgeable ones?

“Dr. Darrell Kirch, president and CEO of the AAMC, expressed his vision in a candid 2011 speech at the University of California, Davis: “I am a man on a mission. I believe it is critical to our future to transform health care. I’m not talking about tweaking it. I’m not talking about some nuanced improvements here and there. I’m talking about true transformation.”

Kirch has also praised the AAMC’s political advocacy efforts, which lean left on most issues.

But it is Kirch’s reform of the MCAT that raises the most concern. … “The goal is to improve the medical admissions process to find the people who you and I would want as our doctors. Being a good doctor isn’t just about understanding science, it’s about understanding people.”

Taken on their own, these questions may not seem particularly invidious.

In response to questions about these developments and their effects, the AAMC’s executive vice president, Dr. Atul Grover, referred to a set of core principles guiding the organization’s recent work. An AAMC report outlining those principles describes the organization as “a powerful voice for compassion, equity, and justice” on behalf of the nation’s academic medical institutions, and stresses the importance of “advancing a well-trained, culturally competent, and diverse health and biomedical workforce.”

If the AAMC’s objective were merely to improve the bedside manner and general sensitivity of physicians, or even to increase diversity in the medical field through conventional affirmative-action policies, few people would likely object. Unfortunately, what Kirch in particular seems to want to create is a medical community that aligns as closely as possible with his particular political views—and to insist that future doctors accept those views as settled fact. …

The AAMC is not alone among accrediting institutions seeking to steer professions leftward.

The Week in Pictures: Special Walkout Edition by Steven Hayward – “This week it appears that K-12 teachers in more and more states looked at the recent high school walkouts intended to stamp out the 2nd Amendment and said, “Hold my cigarette butt—we can do that too!

Mark Perry gets in on the act, too, but he gets bogged down in the weeds and misses the big picture. Cartoons of the day on Trump’s trade war and its potential adverse effects on his base puts the focus on the immediate economic effects as determined by simplistic economic models perhaps coupled with ‘never Trump’ fantasies. It does not consider the strategic effects in international relationships or the issues involved in only letting the other side enjoin the battle or the bargaining process in general.

Niall Ferguson does a 2012 refresh of a popular 1969 BBC series with Civilization, is the west history?. He has his ‘killer apps’ after all. In part 3 he goes off the rails (YouTube) on another modern theme, slavery, which he takes as a particularly American “sin.” He does note that most of the early immigrants to North America were indentured servants. That is contrasted to the South American situation where most immigrants, and the natives, were serfs. As a diversion, he calls the South American immigrants conquistadors and only mentions the slave imports to crow about how they, and the rest of the serfs, made for a mixed society. In making his point, he bypasses the fact that slavery still exists in some areas, the British handling of slavery such as on sugar plantations, and the general demise of a world wide cultural phenomena by the developments of Western Culture. Instead of using slavery to illustrate his theme, he chose to use it to bash a selected target.

The corruption of the mind is an insidious affair.

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Williams and Kimmel illustrating behavior on the left

Juan Williams’s comparison to Chappaquiddick could not have been dumber by J. Marsolo – “It is telling that some still want to block a movie about how Kennedy left Mary Jo Kopechne to die inside the submerged car that he drove off the bridge in 1969.”

“Williams said he didn’t know the “story” of Chappaquiddick. You would expect that someone whose job is a paid political commentator would know the story.

If not knowing about Chappaquiddick isn’t bad enough for a paid political commentator, Williams then outdid himself. He said that while the left wanted to block the Chappaquiddick movie, the “right” wanted to block the movie about President Reagan’s last years while he was afflicted with Alzheimer’s. This is beyond stupidity and civility.

Williams’s tasteless, stupid remark shows again that leftist commentators will say anything about Republican presidents.

Jimmy Kimmel and Joss Whedon Sure Are Brave to Criticize the Trumps by Jim Treacher – “I’m old enough to remember when criticizing the president of the United States and his family, for any reason and no matter how mildly, was just about the worst thing you could do.”

“You couldn’t disagree with Obama’s policies, you couldn’t point out his numerous factual errors and outright lies, you couldn’t mock his gaffes, and you certainly couldn’t crack any jokes about his personal appearance. If you did, that meant you were a racist. On Nov. 4, 2008, Utopia dawned, and suddenly dissent was treason.

Thankfully, those days are over! Once more, it’s socially acceptable to say mean things about the POTUS. And you can bet that our moral, ethical, and intellectual betters are making the most of the opportunity.

It may be that some of the rhetoric and invective being routinely tossed at the President and anyone close to him may be as offensive to those in flyover country as telling a feminist she is pretty.

Notice how things are slowing down? 

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Aggression elevates debate even above dissent: Scalp hunting, Caravans, Using Dan for credible news advice.

Scott Pruitt Is Doing Great. Trump Cannot Afford to Let the Green Blob Claim His Scalp by James Delingpole – “The knives are out for Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. It’s so blatant that even liberals have noticed.”

“Pruitt is paying a terrible price for the crime of being the most effective player in Trump’s administration. And, of course, for daring to take on the most powerful vested interest in the swamp – the Green Blob, aka the Climate Industrial Complex.

The Green Blob by no means comprises merely Democrats.

Consider the array of Blobsters trying to bring Pruitt down.

Besides the usual leftist suspects such as John Podesta their number also includes conservatives such as The Weekly Standard‘s Bill Kristol, the Washington Post‘s Jennifer Rubin and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie.

What on earth did Pruitt do wrong?

Pruitt’s critics might sound less partisan, more credible if his predecessors hadn’t been about a thousand times more venal, profligate and dishonest.

Yes, of course lots of other left-wing organizations seek constantly to undermine those values too. The key difference with the EPA is that it masquerades as a responsible semi-independent agency which does its due diligence, observes the scientific method and which is quite above party politics. That’s what has made it so dangerous. And why it was so imperative that Trump had to rein it in – in a way that his Republican predecessors so shamingly failed to do.

‘Migrant Caravan’ is an Act of Aggression by Lloyd Billingsley – “It is not an ordinary thing for thousands of people to spontaneously decide to go on a march to a foreign nation, demanding things of that nation.”

“Americans have good cause to wonder who, exactly, is behind the “caravan” of more than 1,000 Central Americans in Mexico that had been heading north until Tuesday.

Since Mexico welcomed the caravan and escorts it through the country, Mexico is clearly the prime mover. Mexico seeks to violate U.S. sovereignty before the wall is built

Ace: The Weekly Standard: Republicans Should Be Condemning Sinclair Media and Its “Deeply Unserious” Claim that the Biased Leftwing Media is Leftwing and Biased – “The cucks continue padding their Clip Reels for their job applications to work in the leftwing media.”

Ace: Dan Rather, Purveyor of Forgeries to Swing an Election, Tells You How to Avoid Fake News. Neo-neocon has a good review of this: Dan Rather will teach you how to avoid fake news – “I initially thought that any advice Rather could give on the topic would be utterly ridiculous, given his history. But actually, his advice isn’t half bad. Is it possible he’s learned something in the meantime?”

“It’s with a subsequent remark of Rather’s that I find myself in disagreement: “The true test of trustworthy journalism isn’t that they never make mistakes. It’s whether they’re willing to challenge the powers that be on behalf of those without power.”

Oh, really? That’s part of what got them into trouble in the first place. Powerful people are not necessarily doing bad, and powerless people are not necessarily out for good.

And to Rather: physician heal thyself, and take a look at your own suggestion number one and own up to your own screwup.

Denial, aggression, and other asocial behavior does not help in problem solving.

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Propaganda and Fake News – exposed. Rule of Law? Rule for Radicals on display

‘Attn:’ Video Spreads Lies About Processed Food In America, Europe By Alex Berezow – “”Attn:” is an activist website that produces extremely popular videos, … And like most activist websites, truth comes in a distant second place to eyeballs.”

“the video pushes the old trope that Europeans eat food hand-picked from the Garden of the Gods, while Americans eat slop filled with dangerous chemicals. So far, it’s received 62 million views.

The lies come early and often. Let’s break them down:

The definition of “processed” itself is so vague, that it’s meaningless. [like “Assault” Rifle]

the video casts doubt not only on this fundamental tenet of toxicology but on the scientific integrity of the FDA. It then touts the benefits of the precautionary principle in Europe, which essentially means that Europeans assume every single chemical is deadly unless it can be proven safe. Since science can never definitively prove that something is 100% safe, that’s a ridiculous standard, but it’s enshrined in the EU’s constitution.

62 million people saw that video. That’s the scope of the problem actual science communicators are facing.

Why a 53-Year-Old Big-City Lawyer Who Has Never Shot a Gun Joined the NRA by Josh Kantrow – “I did so because the anti-gun hysteria that I’ve witnessed is dangerous, alarming, and ignores the facts.”

“I have found that instead of focusing on these social issues and law enforcement breakdowns, we’ve seen unbridled hatred and rage directed toward responsible gun owners. I’ve seen this personally by my friends on the Left.

The Knee-Jerk Liberals Spit At Sinclair by L. Brent Bozell And Tim Graham – “In a 60- to 75-second second promo, the local anchors in each market read the script, and the Trump-hating media gave birth to a large cow.”

“On HBO, John Oliver denounced Sinclair anchors as sounding like “members of a brainwashed cult.” So, exactly how do anchors of news or entertainment shows across the country deliver their reports? Oliver doesn’t have a script? The HBO denunciations of a “brainwashed cult” are especially hilarious, since it creates Democratic propaganda films like last year’s “fly-on-the-wall” documentary “The Final Year” on Obama’s team of supposed foreign-policy geniuses.

The Herd Media Stampedes Sinclair by George Neumayr – “In an unguarded moment during the 2016 campaign, MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski remarked that it is “our job,” not Trump’s, to “control exactly what people think.” The Sinclair Broadcast Group referenced that line in its promo

“beneath the hysterical blather was nothing more than the hurt feelings of an exposed liberal propagandist. Sinclair had nailed her and she didn’t like it.

It is rich farce to see the herd media stampeding Sinclair for refusing to join it.

The hypocrisy of this hectoring is only exceeded by its presumption.

The attacks on Sinclair amount to nothing more than a brainwashing exercise designed to get all media companies to forfeit their autonomy to liberals.

Sinclair shouldn’t surrender an inch to these frauds who feel entitled to set their employee and editorial policies for it. They are just a herd of embittered, has-been monopolists who still think it their sacred right to “control exactly what people think” without competition. They are the greatest enemies of a free press — conformists who chill free speech and call it journalism.

On the Trump-Russia investigation and the rule of law by Byron York – “This week I took part in a debate on the question “Does the Russia investigation endanger the rule of law?” I said yes, and here is why

“First, a caveat: If “endanger the rule of law” means “destroys our legal order and threatens our democracy,” then no, I don’t think the Trump-Russia investigation does that. But if it means “involves our nation’s most powerful law enforcement and intelligence agencies in reckless political conduct that undermines our system of elections and the orderly transfer of power,” then yes, the Trump-Russia investigation does, in fact, endanger the rule of law.

Two incidents from 2016 and early 2017 point to the danger posed by overzealous Trump-Russia investigators.

The bottom line is, the Flynn saga, which is at the heart of the Trump-Russia investigation, appears to have hinged on a trumped-up suspicion that a new administration had broken a centuries-old law that has never been prosecuted before — when in fact, the new administration’s real transgression was to make clear it would throw away many of its predecessor’s policies.

The second incident that suggests the Trump investigation threatens the rule of law is the FBI’s use of the Trump dossier — a Clinton campaign opposition research product — as a part of its counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign.

this was all done by the nation’s top law enforcement and intelligence officials, targeting a new president. So yes, it is reasonable to say the Trump-Russia investigation endangers the rule of law.

The Justice Department Sues California by Margot Cleveland – “The state is trying to grab control of federal lands.”

“Given the clarity of this command, in conjunction with the governing constitutional provisions, SB 50 seems destined for a quick demise — but not without a cost: As Attorney General Jeff Sessions pointed out in a scathing statement announcing the lawsuit, California is wasting government resources on litigation. “The Department of Justice is fighting every day to take illegal guns and drugs off our streets, combat the opioid epidemic and secure our borders from drug traffickers and criminal aliens, and protect our national security from radical Islamic extremists and foreign threats to our cyber security,” he wrote. “But once again, we see that too many of our resources are being diverted to deal with meritless and unnecessary lawsuits.”

Restrain may not be the correct word, though. Resistance seems the more apt descriptor, but as Attorney General Sessions stressed, “government-by-litigation isn’t what the American people voted for and attempting to thwart an administration’s elected agenda through endless, meritless lawsuits is a dangerous precedent.”

Nonetheless, California seems undeterred — as further seen yesterday, when Democratic attorney general Xavier Becerra threatened to sue the Environmental Protection Agency following EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s announcement that the federal government intended to roll back the fuel-efficiency standards for cars adopted by the previous administration. This development is yet more proof that, notwithstanding the cost to taxpayers — both federal and state — California remains committed to using the courts to overturn the consequences of the 2016 presidential election.

This method of going to court to pursue anything is one of the Rules for Radicals. As with the immigrant horde heading to the boarder being trained to seek asylum or the ‘slow walking’ of nominees in the Senate or examining administration member behavior under a cynical microscope to make allegations, the effort is to hobble and destroy proper governance. It is fomenting revolution, a civil war, and tearing down the house in which those doing the destruction live themselves.

Caravan? What Caravan? By John Hinderaker – “Weirdly, the liberal media pretended to have no idea what the President was talking about. Politifact purported to fact-check

“Politifact finally concedes that what Trump said was true, but inconsistent with Democratic Party narratives. (That’s my paraphrase.)

Politifact linked to the Associated Press’s similarly angst-ridden “fact check.”

Oddly, neither the AP nor Politifact shows any sign of having read the press release issued by the caravan’s leaders, which explains what it is all about.

There you have it. These leftists demand open borders because as Hondurans, they are just as much citizens of the U.S. as we are. This is simply a false statement of fact. But it nevertheless represents a political agenda. These would-be migrants and their supporters in the U.S.–who, unfortunately, are plentiful–don’t believe in sovereignty. They don’t believe in borders. They don’t believe in citizenship. They don’t believe in countries. Most particularly, they don’t believe in ours, notwithstanding the fact that some of them, at least, want to come here.

So the caravan represents a direct, if symbolic, challenge to our sovereignty and our right to govern ourselves as a free people. President Trump understands this, while Politifact and the Associated Press do not. Or, perhaps, they do understand but pretend not to.

The Democrats and their press minions see nothing problematic about this. But the rest of us do.

Instapundit: “I QUESTION THE TIMING: Rosenstein Memo confirming Mueller could investigate Manafort came a week after raid on Manafort’s home. Prof. Jacobson notes: “The August 2, 2017 memo was classic bootstrapping. It purported to confirm Mueller’s authority to go after Manafort’s business dealings, but Mueller already was doing that and had been doing it for weeks, culminating in the July 26 home raid. So to the extent the Rosenstein August 2, 2017 memorandum is supposed to instill confidence that Mueller is receiving proper DOJ oversight, it does just the opposite.”

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Blind hate creates cognitive dissonance: Russians, Civilization; Fade debates; Fuel efficiency

So why was Trump aide talking to a Russian spy? by Byron York – “The CNN team wanted viewers to know there could be a very big development in the Trump Russia investigation.”

“Maybe that’s right. Maybe there is an entire hoagie there. And it appears that what the CNN talkers said was factually accurate, no corrections required. But at the same time, what was not said, especially about the court filing at the heart of the conversation, is essential to understanding the news, and also suggests that the developments discussed might be somewhat less exciting than CNN reported. Sometimes spin and omission can leave inaccurate impressions from accurate reporting.

Ron Brownstein was right when he advised caution in drawing conclusions about the Mueller investigation. There is still too much that is hidden. But it is reasonable to assess what we know so far. And for the moment at least, the bread crumbs do not add up to a hoagie.

One thing hidden is the charge given Mueller. It was revealed in response to the Manafort case but everything except reference to Manafort was redacted.

Reminder: The Left Hates Our Civilization by Steven Hayward – “there is fresh evidence in recent weeks of how much the left today hates western civilization and human excellence in general.”

“Times have changed indeed. The left’s fundamental self-loathing of the western inheritance, hostility to human excellence, and childlike grasp of political reality has led to these increasingly candid expressions, for which in a sense we should be grateful—at least the left is being more honest.

Here once again we should repair to the observation of British historian Sir Geoffrey Elton, who wrote: “There are times when I incline to judge all historians by their opinion of Winston Churchill: whether they can see that, no matter how much better the details, often damaging, of man and career become known, he still remains, quite simply, a great man.”

Ah—that “great man” thing: contemporary leftist egalitarians cannot tolerate such distinctions among human beings.

The Fake Gun Control Debate by Scott Adams – “The Persuasion Filter sees nothing remotely like rational debate happening on either side.” That ‘pursuasion filter’ needs to be very careful about the assumptions it makes. You may be able to persuade with dishonesty but that raises other questions.

“One of the reasons I respect advocates on both sides of the gun debate is that we live in a political system that allows (and maybe encourages) people to vote for their self-interest, as they see it, even if the outcome would lead to the death of other citizens.

If you can’t say your preferred laws about guns are guaranteed to result in the deaths of innocent people — albeit different classes of people depending on the laws — you aren’t part of a real debate. You’re part of a fake debate that feels real.

Writing about persuasion and politics reduced my income by about 30-40% because of tribal effects. (See Laura Ingraham’s experience).

Mass shootings: Let’s face it, the real issue is mental health by Andrew Malcolm – “We don’t need new laws. We need a serious social, legal and education confrontation with the issue of mental health.”

“The nation’s convulsion of conscience after each modern mass shooting has become eerily predictable. Thoughts and prayers. Flowers on the sidewalk. Teary memorial services.

And cries – sometimes very loud, large ones, as followed the recent Florida school shooting – to do something about firearms. All this to ignite a national conversation.

Because Americans do not listen to each other anymore, it becomes instead a pointless national argument, stoked by those benefiting from public strife, including media.

mental health remains a touchy subject. Better to face it up front don’t you think as possible prevention rather than later as a useless explanation for mass murder.

Trump slammed for congratulating same Egyptian leader Obama congratulated by Jazz Shaw – “Are we in Groundhog Day mode now?” This is why it is called blind hatred.

“To be fair to MSNBC and the WaPo, maybe they’ve never heard of Google. Because if they had, they’d see the same story about Obama (yet again) from al-Sissi’s last election, without a hint of criticism. (Reuters)

Andrew McCabe: Now that you’ve given me half a million dollars, I think I can shut down my GoFundMe page by Allahpundit – “Nothing but nothing drives small-money political donations nowadays like spite.”

“Man, what a grift. I remind you at the outset that, contrary to popular belief, it’s not true that McCabe lost his pension when Jeff Sessions fired him on the eve of his retirement. What he lost was the right to qualify for that pension early, at age 50. He’ll need to wait now until he’s 57 to begin receiving money. Or, to put this in private-sector lingo, instead of being able to retire comfortably 15 years before a private-sector worker might, he’ll only be able to do so eight years before.

In the meantime, there’s no end to the ways he can monetize “Resistance” pique at Trump. Just follow the Comey model. First comes the bestselling book, then come some speaking gigs, maybe a paid job writing anti-Trump analysis for some website, a contributor’s role on CNN, on and on. And in case all of that’s not enough to pay the bills, it so happens that Mrs. McCabe is not just a doctor but medical director of the pediatric emergency unit at a well-respected hospital in Virginia. McCabe will be fine.

But Trump hates him and that’s good enough reason for liberals to shower with him cash.

The President has noticed that army of illegal aliens heading for our border by Jazz Shaw – “The usual media backflips are on display this morning as Trump’s opponents seek to claim that there’s no relationship between DACA, NAFTA and illegal aliens queuing up to sneak over the border into America. In reality, of course, all of these subjects are interwoven.”

“First of all, the fact that the so-called “dreamers” were brought here as children doesn’t mean that they aren’t in the country illegally if DACA fully expires and Congress takes no action to address the situation legislatively. And that remedy is going to require some cooperation and compromise on the part of the Democrats if they want to influence the process while they’re in the minority.

NAFTA is involved because Mexico has already agreed repeatedly (at least on paper) that they too are responsible for the security of the border. Their unwillingness to pitch in on building the wall has been a rather obvious jab at the President (who they need to be making a deal with) and it’s clearly exhausting his patience. If they want a better trade deal and the cooperation of their neighbors to the north, they could heal a lot of wounds by stepping up their enforcement efforts, beginning with shutting down this “caravan.”

The Democrats back home are involved on that front as well. If they want any sort of immigration reform passed, a Dreamers deal or anything else, they too should have been able to get much of what they wanted by coming to the table. At this point, it’s not much of a mystery as to why Trump may be reaching the end of his rope and calling on Republicans to go nuclear on the filibuster and pass something.

Is Our Culture Dead? By John Hinderaker – “Our common culture, the foundation of Western civilization, is under attack. Those who should be defending it in most cases are not. But more fatal in the long run is that our inheritance of millennia, Western culture, is being forgotten, lost in a rising tide of ignorance.” Two examples from media and one from the Pope illustrate his point.

Coyote Blog: The Electric Vehicle Mileage Fraud, Updated: Tesla Model 3 Energy Costs Higher than A Prius, Despite Crazy-High eMPG Rating – “Rather than adopt sensible rules for giving electric vehicles an equivalent mpg rating, they used a horrible unscientific methodology that inflated the metric by a factor of three.”

“Basically, I have been a voice in the wilderness on this, but I just saw this note on the Tesla Model 3 and its operating costs from Anton Wahlman writing at Seeking Alpha

“the general rule of thumb in the EV world: A smaller energy-efficient EV will yield around 4 miles per kWh, whereas a larger EV will yield around 3 miles per kWh.”

Electric vehicles have other issues, the main one being limited range combined with long refueling times. But there are some reasons to make the switch even if they are not more efficient.

 

Self interest is sometimes not as clear as some might want it to be.

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Scalp hunting and other insanity What a bizarre conflation of ideas.

Ben Rhodes cranks up the smear machine by Monica Showalter – “The sentence is so bonkers, so pristine in its conspiratorial insanity that it should one day grace a Museum of Natural History exhibit on early-21st-century US politics.”

“Not worried in the least about his own credibility, Ben Rhodes and his minions are making wild, outrageous, fact-free, lunatic-fringe claims against incoming national security adviser John Bolton, correctly perceiving that the new national security adviser will be a threat to their self-vaunted Iran deal.

Not only does the seedy little outfit Rhodes is running to spread fake news and change the “narrative” have all the top Obama national security team officials on it (flushing their own credibility down the toilet as these crazed smear-tweets go out), but it also has smear-artist extraordinaire on its masthead: Ben Wikler of MoveOn.org, whose organization is a leading Washington slime machine.

The real reason behind Sessions’ special counsel decision by Michael Goodwin – “Sessions’ decision is far more complex than reports suggest.”

“Sessions wants first to determine whether the situation meets the legal standard of “extraordinary circumstances” involving conflicts of interest that would allow him to move an investigation outside normal channels. I believe the standard will be easy to meet because there are numerous smoking guns showing that the 2016 investigations into both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were rigged by top government officials.

The two clouds hanging over Washington — whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia during the election and the conduct of government officials who apparently abused their powers to try to defeat him and elect Clinton — must be resolved as soon as possible.

Sixth-grade teacher delivers 15-minute rant claiming Trump’s MAGA slogan is a call to bring segregation back and accuses white students of being descended from mass killers by Keith Griffith – “It comes days after another social studies teacher at the same middle school assigned students to write a letter to lawmakers demanding new restrictions on gun ownership.”

School Worker Accused of Threatening to ‘Execute’ White Men (AP) – “A Connecticut high school employee is accused of threatening to “execute” white men and stomping on an American flag in a classroom.”

Anti-Trump artists turn room in President’s Manhattan hotel into rat-filled exhibit by Rich Schapiro – “A band of renegade artists released live rats inside a Trump hotel room in the city as part of a highly unauthorized exhibit complete with a Donald impersonator in golden handcuffs.”

California governor pardons 5 men facing deportation by Paul Elias – “Brown’s intervention for the men — among 56 pardoned — marked the Democratic governor’s third consecutive pardon round in which he intervened on behalf of immigrants who were deported or faced deportation because of criminal convictions.” Think back to Arlo Guthrie and the Group W bench. No joke this time.

Is a backlash brewing over sponsors fleeing Laura Ingraham’s show? By Karen Townsend – “Funny how corporations have caved so quickly to the demands of the young Floridian, isn’t it?”

“As Hogg fancies himself a student journalist, it is hard to not notice he has his act down cold.

While he enjoys playing the victim when he finally gets a bit of pushback from others – he is a liberal, after all, and they always throw the victim card into a debate – it is amazing to me how long it took for any public opposition to take hold.

In the meantime, hashtag warriors are gonna hashtag and now David Hogg thinks he’ll just take a gap year and go on the campaign trail anyway. Anyone surprised by this?

Scott Pruitt’s “housing problem” by Jazz Shaw – “Those sleuths at the Washington Post (among other outlets) have been hard at work, sniffing out corruption and wrongdoing inside the Trump administration.”

“What are they on the trail of this time? Election rigging? Bribery? Something new with the Russians? Nope. The WaPo is raising a considerable fuss over EPA chief Scott Pruitt’s “unusual housing arrangement” during his first months in Washington after joining Trump’s cabinet.

So what’s unusual about it? Apparently, while looking for a long term lease arrangement, Pruitt rented a room from friends of his who failed to charge him enough money. And no… I’m not even kidding. (WaPo)

Since everyone seems to be trafficking in speculation and innuendo these days, allow me to offer a different take. This looks like yet another case of scalp-hunting on the part of the media. If they can manufacture enough “scandals” around any of Trump’s cabinet members or advisers, it might result in calls to remove them. Then we’re treated to the next round of breathless media coverage about how the Trump White House is “in chaos” and can’t keep any people on staff.

Here’s one question for the reporters at the WaPo, the New York Times and all the rest. Did you exercise this much effort in placing the rental accommodations of Barack Obama’s newly arriving staff members under scrutiny in 2009? Surely they all had to find places to live when they arrived as well. Did anyone even think to ask? Pruitt was only renting a room at the Harts’ condo until July and since then has taken up leases on two different apartments which rent for more than three to four thousand dollars per month.

Huh. I wonder if the next story will be that his new digs are too expensive and extravagant.

An army of illegal aliens is marching on America by Jazz Shaw – “Sounds like the first line of a movie script based on some dystopian future, doesn’t it? But it’s actually an underreported story from the real world.”

“Flores is apparently on a lengthy trek through all of Mexico with a literal army of migrants from a number of countries including Honduras. Normally one might imagine that a potential national security crisis for the United States such as this would be cause for raising the alarm. Instead, the Buzzfeed reporter is cheering them on and talking about their “struggle.”

This isn’t a group of family members or some isolated, organized clan. This is an army. Flores numbers them in the hundreds but looking at the pictures coming from the “march” it clearly appears that their numbers are swelling. The real figure, as cited by Mora, is likely already more than a thousand. Their purpose? They make no bones about it when asked. They, “hope American authorities will grant them asylum or, for some, be absent when they attempt to cross the border illegally.”

This army of interlopers moving across Mexico “without authorization” as Flores puts it (translated to “illegally”) is seeking to overwhelm the resources of immigration officials and are ready to cross the border illegally if an opening presents itself. If Mexico allows this to simply happen with no intercession they shouldn’t expect such a friendly reception with the State Department and the White House.

Federal Judge: Environmental group has sued others, therefore it can be sued by John Sexton – “Last August, Energy Transfer Partners, the company that built the Dakota Access Pipeline, sued a number of environmental groups, including Greenpeace, BankTrack, and Earth First!, alleging the groups were collectively engaged in racketeering.” It’s about accountability. But then, there’s the Boston judge:

Boston Judge Accepts Climate Necessity Defence, Dismisses Charges by Eric Worrall – “Judge Mary Ann Driscoll has dismissed criminal charges against protestors including Al Gore’s daughter on the grounds that their actions were necessary to prevent climate change.” Whither the law?

“It might even lead to loss of life – sneaking onto active worksites, jumping into construction trenches, closing valves without warning on high pressure pipelines and scaling smokestacks is dangerous, both for the activists themselves and for any workers caught up with trying to save activists from their own stupidity.

At Instapundit – Suzanne Venker: Feminists are to blame for the plight of boys and men. – “In this and in other areas, we’ve given a small angry group of people with dubious mental health way too much control over the culture. Unsurprisingly, it’s working out badly.”

It’s 2018 and NPR Doesn’t Know What Christians Commemorate on Easter by Stephen Kruiser – “Do we only publicly fund entities that don’t like Christians (looking at you, Planned Parenthood)?”

“Feeling the need to Eastersplain to their postmodern, “no objective truth” fans, someone wrote an article for the NPR website that described Easter as “the day celebrating the idea that Jesus did not die and go to hell or purgatory or anywhere like that, but rather arose into heaven.”

Obviously, what is being described is the Ascension, which comes after Easter

Even if this writer hadn’t managed to get two huge things wrong in just twenty-five words, I would have taken objection that we celebrate “the idea” of the Easter story. We celebrate that it actually happened.

Denying Genetics Isn’t Shutting Down Racism, It’s Fueling It by Andrew Sullivan – “I felt a genuine relief reading the op-ed because it was so nuanced and so low-temperature; it reflects precisely my own thoughts on the subject; and it’s hard to smear a Harvard geneticist for being a white supremacist (the usual gambit).” referring to David Reich’s “rather seismic op-ed” in the New York Times.

“I know this is a touchy, fraught, difficult subject. I completely understand the reluctance to discuss it, and the hideous history of similar ideas in the past. But when people seeking the truth are immediately targeted for abuse and stigma, it matters.

When that classical liberalism is tarred as inherently racist because it cannot guarantee equality of outcomes, and when scientific research is under attack for revealing the fuller truth about our world, we are in deep trouble. Because we are robbing liberalism of the knowledge and the moderation it will soon desperately need to defend itself.

Psychology Today: “Break the Spiral of Silence on Climate Change” by Eric Worrall – “Patricia Prijatel thinks the silence of Germans oppressed by the NAZIs is comparable to not talking about the alleged dangers of anthropogenic climate change.” … “What a bizarre conflation of ideas.”

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Fantasies versus Reality; Think Critically about your conscience and impulse

A swamp creature speaks out by Aaron L. Hirschi – “Vote your conscience, but think about the consequences of your actions in cold, hard logical terms.”

“The presidency is only one branch and cannot legally do most of the necessary structural reforms without statutory changes. Whether the border wall is part of that statutory requirement is a separate debate. Congress must want to reform as well, but it doesn’t want to reform. Right now, it is the main nest of vipers poisoning the blood of the federal system; this branch has no incentive to change.

Legislative politicians rely on a big weakness of the voting public that has kept the status quo going for decades. Most of the voters want to fix the system, but not if it directly affects themselves. Instead of following the idiom of “Throw the bums out!,” many voters embrace “Throw all the bums out except my bum.”

Washington’s Fantasies Are Not People’s Reality by Victor Davis Hanson – “The more Washington journalists scream of collusion, the more they are willfully blind to one of the most disturbing scandals in American history brewing right under their noses.”

“The longer, like Captain Ahab, they hunt down the mythical white Trump whale, the more they are ruining the very reputation of journalism as they once inherited it.

So, we live in two worlds. One is the material cosmos of concrete action and deeds. The other reality is little more than the unfiltered fears, anxieties and fantasies of ill-informed television talking heads, groupthink opinion journalists, and progressive zealots who have conflated a sometimes-uncouth president with all their own apprehensions, and called the result Nazism and fascism.

When this depressing period in American news and commentary is over, the liberal order will not like the verdict.

Why AG Sessions declined to appoint a special counsel by Thomas Lifson – “A lot of conservatives are upset that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has declined for now to appoint a special prosecutor

“But, for the moment, at least, I see good reason for Sessions to take this position. In the letter, Sessions noted that he has asked the DOJ’s Inspector General Horowitz to investigate these matters, and, in a new disclosure, tasked US Attorney John W. Huber to investigate. Huber serves in Utah, far from the beltway, and was first appointed US Attorney by President Obama, and reappointed by Trump.

with the IG digging up information, and referring it to Huber, further steps, including subpoenas to former DOJ and FBI employees, such as Andrew McCabe and James Comey, can be taken before a grand jury in Utah. An indictments issued by that grand jury presumably could be tried before a federal jury in Utah, whereas a special counsel would most likely work with courts in the District of Columbia, Virginia, or Maryland, beltway strongholds. Which jury pool would you prefer? The District of Columbia or Utah?

Federal Court Delivers the Coup de Gras to Contraception Mandate by David Catron – “A long legal war on religious liberty is finally over.” Maybe

“deep state holdovers at the Justice Department, like those Japanese soldiers who refused to surrender for decades after the end of WWII, continued to pursue the lost cause even after the Trump administration took office. On Wednesday, however, Judge David Russell of the United States District Court for Western Oklahoma flushed the last of these dead-enders out of their caves and forced them lay down their briefcases.

Judge Russell permanently enjoined the federal government from enforcing the mandate against the Catholic Benefits Association (CBA) and issued a declarative judgment to the effect that the mandate violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Judge Russell’s ruling also rescinds nearly $6.9 billion in federal fines that have accrued against CBA members since Obamacare was enacted in 2014. The organization represents more than 1,000 Catholic health care providers, making it the largest single plaintiff that had challenged the mandate.

In other words, the battle over the outrageous Obamacare contraception mandate is over. The Obama era holdouts who have been hiding deep in the dark recesses of the DOJ now stand in the cold light of reality, blinking, befuddled, and wondering what happened. Ironically, the answer is clearly printed on their ID badges over those outdated photos — Justice.

David Hogg Is Quickly Learning How to Be a Bully by Jim Treacher – “When is it okay to talk back to someone who keeps falsely branding you a murderer? Well, that depends on whether he’s being funded by Republicans or Democrats.”

“our media gatekeepers seem to think Hogg should be allowed to say whatever he wants without question, no matter how transparently false it is.

As long as this kid is keeping lists of names, I hope he remembers all the adults who keep pushing him in front of the cameras.

“Collusion” stories undermine democracy more than the Russians ever could by Jazz Shaw – “Kirchick argues that Trump’s opponents who are constantly ginning up talk of collusion in terms of High Crimes and Misdemeanors are actually doing Russia’s work for them, undermining public confidence in our elections and even our democracy.”

“the President’s opponents in not only the Democratic Party but also the media, seem to be delivering in spades what Putin allegedly desires. (And I purposely say “opponents” here rather than “critics” because there is clearly an ongoing, direct campaign against the White House taking place.) With the employment numbers looking as good as they are, the stock market and people’s 401Ks soaring, taxes being lower and consumer confidence hitting impressive levels, how do you explain a sitting President who has to take comfort in his approval level which barely scrapes above 40% on occasion?

Easy. The poll respondents are being buried in a deluge of news reports every day suggesting that the sky is about to fall on the House of Trump. And if they lose faith in the person in the White House their confidence in the office itself begins to erode as well. In that regard, Kirchick makes a valid point. If Vladimir Putin’s goal truly was to undermine our democracy, he must be having a good chuckle at the moment.

Make the Democrats pay for stalling Trump’s nominees by Paul Mirengoff – “The Senate is sitting on 78 of President Trump’s nominees who have already been passed out of committee but can’t get a floor vote.”

“What to do? Try to change the rules requiring 30 hours of floor debate, a move that should have been made months ago. Sen. James Lankford has proposed that the debate time be shortened to eight hours. This, as the Journal notes, was the standard in 2013-14 after Republicans, then in the minority, agreed to a request by Harry Reid, then the Majority Leader.

It takes 60 votes to change this rule, so some Democratic support is needed. If it’s not forthcoming, and I don’t expect it to be at this juncture, then the Wall Street Journal editors urge Republicans to keep the Senate operating five days a week and even weekends until the deck has been cleared of nominees.

Right now, the Democrats are paying no price for their obstruction. This has to change.

Every Word Liberals Say About Guns Is A Lie by Kurt Schlichter – “if liberals propose to gaslight us, to make us think we are insane for seeing what we are looking at, then they really need to be more … subtle.”

“It’s a lie when they say an armed citizenry would be powerless in the face of a leftist government equipped with tanks and artillery and bombers – though their assumption that a leftist government would use tanks and artillery and bombers on the American people seems like a pretty good reason for having an armed citizenry.

It’s a lie when they say they only want to have a “conversation” and seek only “bipartisan compromise.”

What they cannot abide is us Normals being proud and free.

To disarm us would forever convert us from citizens to subjects. They get that our identity is wrapped up not in our guns themselves, but in the fact that armed we have the ability to control our destiny. If necessary, an armed citizenry can tell those who would trample our rights, “No” – and to back it up with force if necessary.

They want us disarmed because they want us disenfranchised, discouraged, and no longer disobedient. They want us broken.

California coffee cancer warning: wrong by Luboš Motl – “A Californian judge had enough power to decide that all coffee sold in California has to carry a warning: coffee causes cancer.”

“Note that presumption of guilt, instead of innocence – also known as the precautionary principle – is used here. But if you evaluate the literature rationally, you will conclude that the threat is insignificant. What the literature doesn’t show is that the threat is zero. Well, it’s because no threat is zero. And with these insanely ambitious standards, you can’t prove the harmlessness of anything. I am sure that water also causes some kinds of cancer, in some amounts and under certain circumstances. So far, these activist judges “only” attack coffee (and things like carbon dioxide). But they may attack water or the air or at least the meat, sugar, bread, or vegetables in the future, too.

Why you stink at fact-checking by Lisa Fazio – “Research from cognitive psychology shows that people are naturally poor fact-checkers and it is very difficult for us to compare things we read or hear to what we already know about a topic.”

First, people have a general bias to believe that things are true. … Second, people tend to accept information as long as it’s close enough to the correct information.

Detecting and correcting false information is difficult work and requires fighting against the ways our brains like to process information. Critical thinking alone won’t save us. Our psychological quirks put us at risk of falling for misinformation, disinformation and propaganda. Professional fact-checkers provide an essential service in hunting out incorrect information in the public view. As such, they are one of our best hopes for zeroing in on errors and correcting them, before the rest of us read or hear the false information and incorporate it into what we know of the world.

Ah, yes, we need to rely on someone else as if they are really better at whatever than us? The essay bypasses, skips, and skirts the second finding, the one about “close enough” and therefore misses or conflates the fact that misinformation is not a binary phenomena. Critical thinking is dismissed but not defined. Critical thinking is what allows building knowledge from facts and it is knowledge that counts. (see Why schools should not teach general critical-thinking skills) Knowledge considers selfawareness, context, accuracy, precision, needs, the ‘big picture’ and limitations. Knowledge grows and changes as the person does and as his experience expands. This can’t be delegated to others and must resist assault by ‘fact checkers’ who often have their own agenda and try to impugn knowledge with the escalation of de minimis.

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Media Myths, Children need education, Unmasking, Sanity, Laws versus People

Bankruptcies caused by medical bills are not common by neo-neocon – “one of the reasons for passing Obamacare was the idea pushed by the liberal/left (including and especially Elizabeth Warren) that medical bills were an enormous driver of bankruptcies.”

“Actually, a bigger driver is probably loss of income as a result of illness … “If Dobkin et al. are right, the people who quoted [Elizabeth] Warren’s inflated statistics, focused around medical bills, didn’t just overstate the problem; they had us focus on a problem we didn’t have, instead of the one we did.”

This ‘technique’ of argument based on fake or created or misrepresented ‘news’ is common. The gun control and climate change arguments are full of questionable or false or distorted claims used to rationalize irrational opinions.

Of Course Children Prefer Liberalism by Trevor Thomas – “The most significant principle of conservatism is that our rights come, not from man or from government, but from God.”

“Because what is tried and true can sometimes be viewed as stale and boring, and because being moral is often difficult, conservatism is frequently presented with challenges that liberalism is not. … For liberals … governing becomes a matter of seeking what is popular and pleasing, not what is right.

Much of our childhood is spent doing the same. We are by our nature selfish (many of us say “sinful”), self-centered creatures. We want what we want, when we want it. As children, we want the toys, food, entertainment, and so on, that make us feel good, or at least what we think will make us feel good, because others have told us, or sold us, on such an idea.

One of the great lies of modern liberalism — perhaps the great lie — is that the world owes us something, and it’s up to us to do whatever it takes to get it.

Because such a mindset is so familiar to them, it’s pretty easy to convince children — or those who think and reason like a child — that this is how the world should be.

Trump and the Great Unmasking of the Left by Thomas Lifson – “progressives are escalating their rhetoric, and in the process, unmasking their true beliefs.”

“For decades, they have obscured their real goals, and pretended to be interested in moderate, incremental measures that they believe would be acceptable to mainstream Americans. Using terms like “compassion” and “fairness,” they have sought to justify handing more and more power to the state, and the importation of a population amenable to state control of all aspects of life.

But in reaction to President Trump’s in-your-face persona and use of the mechanisms of state power for goals they oppose, they have escalated their rhetoric, and in the process exposed their real beliefs that long have been kept hidden from the broader public.

The week Trump was the only sane man in Washington by Keith Koffler – government spending, national defense, international relations, fairness in trade … “One might even say it was a very “sane” approach amid the insane cacophony of Washington.”

Partisanship and John Brennan’s Plot by R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. – “Obama CIA use of foreign spies against the Trump campaign should be cause for alarm, no?

“What passes for the current wisdom today contains a great deal of solemn slop. Yet there are some solemnities in the current wisdom that one assumes are legitimate.

We have been hearing for years that the existence of the CIA, the FBI, and other agencies of the intelligence community constitute a threat to our civil liberties.

Last week, however, I personally discovered the left’s concern for civil liberties has vanished or at least become muted by partisanship.

spying on American citizens one would think would be opposed by all sides in America today. One would expect a consensus to exist at least on this. But it does not appear to be the case. Members of the left have uttered not a peep. Even the ACLU is quiet.

Former EPA Head Turns Out To Be A Huge Fan Of Secret Science by Jazz Shaw – “If you want everyone to be confident in the work being used, be transparent. It’s really that simple.

“ It turns out that a previous EPA chief, Gina McCarthy, and Janet McCabe, the Obama era author of the Clean Power Plan, don’t care for this new system at all. In fact, they published an op-ed to remind all of you peasants that it’s none of your darn business what data went into any given study and you should just take their word for it. (The Hill)

This poorly explained op-ed relies on the same two arguments which Pruitt’s critics have attempted to foist off on us before, neither of which does them any credit. The first is the claim that any scientific study involving medical data could compromise the confidential medical data of patients. …

The second argument is the real kicker, in which we are informed that there’s no need for the hoi polloi to have a look at studies which have been peer reviewed.

Fear & loathing at the DoJ , cont’d by Scott Johnson – The case is that of Howard Root and proprietorial misconduct. “Howard faced down the government.”

“The jury didn’t think much of the government’s case. It returned with a verdict of acquittal on all charges after a day of deliberations, and that includes the time spent electing a foreman.

Howard’s case is important in its own way. The crimes charged were bogus. The prosecution was based in part on prosecutorial misconduct. The case represents fruit of the poisonous Yates Memo tree. Howard had the resources to fight the government’s unjust prosecution of him and his company, but the case exacted an enormous toll. It cries out for study and reform.

The Department of Justice declines to answer to Howard or me, but it might answer to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Utah Senator Mike Lee.

Young Anti-Gun Demagogues Copy Their Elders by Jacob Sullum – “There cannot be two sides,” say the adolescent activists, tarring their opponents as NRA puppets.”

“Taking their cues from the grownups they say have failed them, Hogg and his compatriots assume their opponents are motivated by greed, cowardice, and crass political considerations—anything but honest disagreement.

Lara Vance, a middle-aged Kentucky woman who was interviewed at the D.C. rally, said she was “rather shocked that this is even an issue.” After all, “This is something that can be solved. It doesn’t take a lot of thought. We know what the problems are, and we need Congress to get their act together and get this problem solved.”

I disagree with pretty much every part of that, but I have no doubt that Vance sincerely believes it. I wish she would extend me the same courtesy.

Of Laws And Men by Sarah Hoyt – “This is emblematic of what leftists can’t grasp about laws: that laws aren’t magical and words don’t compel obedience.”

“If — in the world we live in — laws compelled obedience in and of themselves, murder would be unheard of since almost every human society since the dawn of time has had a law against it.

And yet murder, theft, and all the other lawbreaking imaginable still happens, which proves to us it is possible for people to ignore and contravene the law.

Sometimes, in fact, you have to ignore and contravene the law to survive. The black markets in various communist countries sprang up not out of the contrariness of the citizens, but because it was vital for survival. …

But the left piously believes in laws and that laws have the power to change people’s behavior. It’s part of their fanatical devotion to a society organized by the numbers and from the top down.

To have these people learn the error of their ways in a practical fashion will only destroy the world for the rest of us. And besides, judging from Europe, they’ll never learn. They’ll just refuse to admit their plan failed and pile on more laws and more regulatory bodies, till someone’s whole job is regulating the curvature of a banana.

Who’s your hero?

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