Archive for Mind Games

Resorting to a fine sieve to find something, anything.

The court filing to sentence Cohen after he pled guilty was out Friday so the pundits have had a chance to examine it. On the Left, it is confirmation that a perp walk of the President is due. On the Right, there is wondering “is this all you have?” and growing outrage at the selective ‘justice’ and political corruption and prosecutorial abuse in pursuing a duly elected president.

Why Trump is likely to be indicted by Manhattan US Attorney. Andrew McCarthy – “if the president was not implicated, I suspect they would not have prosecuted Cohen for campaign finance violations at all.”

“Moreover, campaign finance infractions are often settled by payment of an administrative fine, not turned into felony prosecutions. To be sure, federal prosecutors in New York City have charged them as felonies before – most notably in 2014 against Dinesh D’Souza, whom Trump later pardoned.

In marked contrast, though, when it was discovered that Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign was guilty of violations involving nearly $2 million – an amount that dwarfs the $280,000 in Cohen’s case – the Obama Justice Department decided not to prosecute. Instead, the matter was quietly disposed of by a $375,000 fine by the Federal Election Commission.

Nevertheless, the sentencing memo in Cohen’s case reads like an ode to campaign finance laws.

There is, furthermore, a significant legal question about whether the hush-money payments here qualify as “in-kind” campaign contributions. There is nothing illegal per se in making a non-disclosure agreement; they are quite common. The criminal law comes into play only if the non-disclosure payment is deemed a donation for purposes of influencing a political campaign.

More importantly, do campaign finance violations qualify as “high crimes and misdemeanors,” which is the constitutional standard for impeachment? It is hard to imagine an infraction that the Justice Department often elects not to prosecute is sufficiently egregious to rise to that level, but the debate on this point between partisans would be intense.

i.e. it has nothing to do with justice or law, just politics. This effort from the Left might make the Kavenaugh hearings look tame.

The Russia Probe Becomes a Banal Sex Scandal (UPDATED). Roger L Simon – “Now that Robert Mueller and his merry band of wannabe Inspector Javerts have revealed much of their hand, we can see more clearly what their investigation is all about. “

“Aside from the nauseatingly familiar Washington corruption of the Manafort/Podesta stripe, the Great Russia Probe of 2016-2018 (and onwards) has morphed into the even more nauseatingly familiar Washington sex scandal.

If we are to believe legal-eagle Jonathan Turley–and why not; he seems pretty competent–Donald Trump’s most serious problem (possibly rising to obstruction) is not Russia collusion, whatever that is, but the hush money payoffs he evidently ordered for Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal.

Before going further, it’s worth reviewing just how humdrum this is, especially at the presidential level. We can’t know for sure, but as many as half (possibly more) of our presidents have had extramarital affairs, seamy and otherwise. And, yes, there were payoffs -= some of which we know about and some of which we undoubtedly don’t.

So now we have Donald Trump trying to cover up a couple of consensual liaisons, one with a porn star and one with a former Playboy model. Tacky, for sure, even creepy and morally repellent, but, as I said, humdrum.

Nevertheless, they are trying to get Trump impeached (the obvious goal of the investigation, not anything to do with Russia) for using campaign funds for these payoffs. They do this in full knowledge of the obvious — that the businessman himself had put millions of his own money into his campaign, so the funds were originally his in the first place.

If Andy is correct, and it seems reasonable, then I predict this will devolve into one of the most bloody (figuratively and perhaps literally) fights in American political history. It’s hard to see Trump supporters seeing this selective prosecution–Obama and many others have skated on misuse of campaign fund charges (far greater numbers too) with no more than a fine, not even a slap on the wrist–as anything but the most extreme partisan hack job. Ironically, much like the Kavanaugh hearing may have saved the Senate for the Republicans, it could be the rallying cry that pushes Trump over the top in 2020.

“Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal” … “it’s worth reviewing just how humdrum this is.” There is a presumption of guilt yet it is the celebrity and power of the ‘alpha male’ that stimulates both the allegations as well as the interest in these ‘scandals.’ This is behind the whole “me, too” movement and the recent advice about how Wall Street executives need to shun women and keep a safe distance (what is called the Pence rule now). Prudence and due process are falling victim to political hatred.

Mueller’s Theory: Trump Defrauded Voters. Paul Mirengoff – So declares the first part of the headline of a New York Times article by Peter Baker and Nicholas Fandos. The rest of the headline asks “But What Does It Mean?”

“Good question. It may mean that the prosecutors haven’t found a crime, but are still pissed off that Trump won the election.

I find odd the notion that Trump defrauded voters. No candidate in my lifetime ever painted a clearer, more vivid picture of himself for voters. For better or for worse, we knew what we were getting (and no, it wasn’t a Putin stooge).

Indeed, it’s difficult for me to treat Mueller’s theory seriously. I hope readers will forgive the (at times) flippant nature of what follows.

Mueller’s case collapses. Don Surber – A Washington Post headline said, “New Mueller filing says Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen was in touch with a Russian seeking ‘political synergy’ with campaign.”

“But the media no longer cares about the truth. For example, the Post claims that as president, The Donald has told 6,800 lies.

The New York Times had published months earlier the highlights of transcripts of those wiretaps.

Given that Obama’s wiretapping was based on false premises, this should have been the story. Instead the press sides with a Democrat who was so amoral that he made Nixon seem like a Boy Scout.

And so reporters and editors lie.

That Post headline is Post-truth.

So is this investigation.

Far from being a man of honor, Mueller is a serial abuser of power whose career is marked by bullying and bedeviled by incompetence.

The same can be said for the press in the Trump presidency.

That moral Boy Scout thing is rather losing its luster due to the organization’s caving to Leftist demands, but what else can pundits use to emphasize such stark contrasts these days?

So Much Irony it’s Mag[a]netic. Clarice Feldman – “Mueller’s multimillion dollars peck, sniff, and smear operation seems to be winding down with a whimper, not a bang, despite the media’s efforts to portray it otherwise.” Here’s a catalog of the action on other fronts from Flynn to Clinton.

Then there is the latest Comey testimony, the plight of white farmers in Africa (again! repeating a disaster, the Left never learns), another faithful dog, Huawei and Chinese perfidy, … 

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Don’t shortchange your objectives

Deconstructing the Anti-Gun Cult. Rich Logis – “It’s alarming how frequently Watts manipulates data to craft a narrative that America is held hostage to pervasive gun violence and how often she and her organization regurgitate the usual debunked Democrat and DMIC (Democrat Media Industrial Complex) myths, lies, half-truths, and conspiracy theories.”

“Anti-gun propaganda is powerful, and Watts’s skills are finely honed. Her LinkedIn profile shows that she held director and vice president positions with global reach at a prominent public relations firm, Monsanto, and General Electric Healthcare.

Another effective play out of the Everytown playbook is the use of eye-catching color graphs that show America’s alleged gun apocalypse:

Do Watts and Bloomberg know even a scintilla of this information? I suspect they do, just as they know that “assault weapon” has no actual mechanical or technical meaning, irrespective of how much their DMIC and politician sycophants parrot the lie.

Aspiring gun-confiscators always say the NRA has blood on its hands, but I’ve always thought those with fantasies of confiscation have more.

If the cult wants to be taken seriously by the “gun nuts,” tell the truth – the whole truth.

Ocasio-Cortez already threatening to abuse her office before even being sworn-in. Thomas Lifson – “Warning that it is stupid to troll someone who will join a body with subpoena power is clearly a threat to use that body’s power to retaliate. There is no other reason to mention that power.”

A Survival Strategy for Conservatives. Rick Hayes – “In the current political arena, conservatives are facing off against leftist Democrats in a blood contest in which the current rules favor only the left.”

“It’s more than just a lopsided playing field; it’s a contest where conservatives are forbidden to score and are the only side charged with penalties. And yet conservatives continue to enter these contests expecting to be treated fairly.

A lie is only a lie if it emanates from the lips of a conservative. Otherwise, it’s called a “misstatement” leading to no repercussions. Immunity agreements are granted only to those close to Democrats under investigation. Otherwise, everyone associated with a conservative under investigation is blackmailed with career-ending, bankruptcy producing charges.

How many times have we watched a conservative win a debate against a liberal only to be lambasted as being too much of a bully or mean-spirited?

It appears to be acceptable for conservatives to be labeled by their race, age, and sex without a hint of any objection by the media, whereas the mere mention of race, sex, or age by a conservative is grounds for ridicule, scorn, and being further labeled as a racist, sexist, or bigot.

Interesting. The objective cited is “survival.”  Contrast that to the President’s objective: winning. 

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Demented?

Attacking Sully. James Aaron Brown – “Our high moral principles do not eschew science, mock dogs, or act unkindly.” … but that is what we get from folks such as Ruth Graham at Slate.

“Ruth felt her greatest contribution would be to point out Sully was simply an employee, and not a beloved family pet. Furthermore, she sought to do what many in her camp might do, impose a postmodern and deconstructionist interpretation upon a photo. She then imposes a false narrative of power struggle between a dominant master (who had Parkinson’s and needed a service dog to help him function throughout his day) on a helpless creature conscripted into training and forced to help 41. Her rationale? This is what Sully was trained to do as an employee.

Why was Sully lying in front of the casket of 41? According to Graham, “…it’s a bit demented to project soul-wrenching grief onto a dog’s decision to lie down in front of a casket.” Well, if we use science, then we will take stock of previous observations and compare similar accounts of dogs with funerals. We will then look at studies or seek out experts like Dr. Coren to see if there is any meaningful correlation. If we don’t apply our own confirmation bias, as it seems Graham did in her article, we will find that Sully is doing what many a child with the same cognitive abilities and what other dogs in Sully’s situation do.

If our society’s goal is to entertain ourselves with false criticism, Slate proves this point. However, I am convinced that deep down, the American people aspire to something greater

How Much Blood Would Leftists Be Willing To Shed To Disarm Patriotic Americans? Kurt Schlichter – “After all, it’s not as if you Democrats don’t already have a history of killing people for having guns you disapprove of.”

“So, in light of his party’s track record, I want to know how many people Rep. Swalwell – who fancies himself a potent Democrat presidential contender – is prepared to see die so he can ensure Americans are disarmed in order to please the liberal Californians he represents. How many?

Spielberg warns of the danger of ‘collective hate’. John Sexton – “I point all of that out not to diminish the real threat to Jewish people, which clearly does exist, but to point out that the cause of the current rise in anti-Semitic attacks may be more complicated than some of the simplistic analysis being offered in the national media.”

VDH takes on an “angry reader” as usual by using the criticism to illustrate reality. “Not admitting such an obvious truth is both intellectually dishonest and privileges ideology over empiricism. The anonymous author’s case is not helped by puerile ranting like the following: But Hansen (sic) will never point the finger at his Republican friends, it’s always, liberals, environmentalists, etc..

“No one is calling for mass strip logging or vast controlled burns and unlimited grazing, but rather for a balanced approach of greater harvesting, managed preventative burns, closer cooperation with grazing and timber interests, and greater worry given to human safety and security—which is tragically not state or federal policy in California.

The war on standards: fare-jumping edition. Paul Mirengoff – “Fare-jumping is, of course, a form of theft. And not an innocuous form. The local transit authority loses more than $25 million a year due to fare evasion.” Let the rationalizing begin.

“Reducing the penalty to a $50 fine with no possibility of arrest and/or fail time will mean even more lost revenue. The fine is light and unlikely to be collected in many cases. Jack Evans, chairman of the transit authority and one of the two city counsel members to vote against decriminalization, points out that unlike with parking tickets, where the city can block vehicle registration for unpaid citations, there is no good mechanism for mandating payment of a civil citation for fare-jumping.

What, then, is the argument for going so lightly on fare-jumpers? It’s a familiar one: Blacks disproportionately refuse to comply with the requirement of paying their fare.

It’s sad that African-Americans make up such a large percentage of scofflaws in Washington D.C. However, it’s difficult to see why this fact justifies going soft on fare-jumping to the detriment of the financial viability of public transportation.

In addition to the concrete costs the new law will inflict on the transit system, and ultimately its riders, the legislation is insidious. Lowering standard and, in effect, laughing off what has always been deemed criminal behavior (in this case, outright theft) simply because one segment of the population refuses to comply is a recipe for societal decline.

At the low end of criminality spectrum, fare-jumping will now effectively be excused, at least in D.C. At the high end, there is a bipartisan push to grant significant leniency to major drug dealers, with racial disproportionality a major argument advanced in favor of this move.

What other crimes will we be asked to shrug our shoulders at, or go much easier on, in the name of racial equity?

It’s spin to call 1850-1900 “pre-industrial era”. Luboš Motl – “The climate hysteria has faded away but some people keep on doing their propaganda work as if it were 2007.”

“All these examples, the definition or the very existence of seasons, the definition of the pre-industrial era, or the main function of time to describe the global climate, show that the political goals have become more important than the scientific truth in this discipline. Most of the people who were hired to this discipline since 1988 or so became (or have always been) fraudsters and demagogues who are spinning and fabricating the facts, terminology, and emphases in order to strengthen the case for a predetermined political goal. This is not science.

Demented?

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Strike out. Doesn’t seem to matter. Yet?

Return to civility means surrender to the Democrats and media. J. Marsolo – “President Bush was a gentleman, a war hero, and courteous and civil to his political opponents. But his opponents, Dems and the media, were not civil to him, nor were they civil in their opposition to Bush’s policies and nominees.”

“In sum, Trump is not “civil” because he replies to his opponents who viciously attack him. Bush was civil because he raised taxes, attacked the NRA, and did not reply to those who attacked him. The Dems and the media want to return to the “civility” where the Dems and media attack and destroy, and Trump does not respond to the attacks. The Dems and the media are not used to a Republican who fights back when attacked.

Trump fights back, while the “civil” Republicans lay down and took the abuse like good sports. How dare Trump be anything but civil?

Ace of Spades uses a Jonah Goldberg example to illustrate why people like Glenn Reynolds avoid Twitter. Screaming Fake News™ then whispering corrections …

“It’s not good for society when two camps have contradictory beliefs about the basic facts they build their worldviews on — and those who do this deliberately, or who are churlish and grudging about correcting LIES they pumped out to the world (albeit unwillingly) are adding to the strife and division they write one column every two weeks decrying.

It would be good if we could all agree on the facts, wouldn’t it?

The war on standards, STEM edition. Paul Mirengoff – “Underlying this nonsense is the dogmatic assumption that, but for systemic discrimination and “microaggressions,” female representation in STEM would equal male representation.”

 

“Heather Mac Donald has written and spoken extensively about how identity politics is hampering America’s ability to maintain its dominance in STEM fields. Our main competitors, most notably China, are focused on making sure the best scientists, mathematicians, and engineers are doing the work. They care nothing about gender. And they spend virtually every dollar related to STEM on hard research and analysis.

The U.S., by contrast, is preoccupied with the gender and (to a lesser extent) the race and ethnicity of who is in the lab. And we pour money into promoting identity politics in STEM.
… 
Somehow, one doubts that China is indulging in these self-defeating shenanigans.

Ninth Circuit fully beclowns itself on illegal immigration. Jazz Shaw – “despite being smacked down by the Supreme Court on review, the judges on Tuesday went one step further and began striking down (or at least weakening) federal immigration law.”

 

“Tashima, who was originally nominated as a District Court judge by Jimmy Carter and later elevated to the Ninth Circuit by Bill Clinton, seems to be taking an overly broad view of the free speech issue. Certainly, the First Amendment protects even the most unpopular speech and opinions, but it’s long been established that there are limits to that right.

What’s under discussion here is not an airing of opinions or debate of an issue. It’s an example of incitement to engage in criminal behavior. We already have similar laws on the books and have for ages. Laws covering Incitement to Riot (under Title 18) draw clear distinctions between “urging or instigating other persons” (which is illegal) and “advocacy of ideas or expressions of belief, not involving advocacy of any act” (which is not illegal).

WaPo: Four Pinocchios to kickstart AOC’s Congressional career. Ed Morrissey gets in a ‘both sides do it’ dig here that contradicts itself. That is a form of rationalizing a deceit that is, perhaps, at the foundation of the point he is making. When it comes to the Left, incidents and facts of significance are cited as examples. When it comes to Trump (notable selection bias indication on this), it is just vague allegation.

“However, this episode demonstrates an uncomfortable fact of public life that has been expanding for quite a long time. At least politically, we have moved into a post-fact world. Some will point to Donald Trump as the main driver, and while he’s certainly a contributor, he’s hardly the starting point. Perhaps it began with Vietnam or Watergate; possibly one could point to Iran-Contra and have some justification. What seems undeniable is that we had begun moving in that direction by the time Monica’s blue dress emerged and suddenly presidential perjury was deemed not a big deal, and we had fully embraced it by the time we heard that a video was the cause of our woefully undersecured and abandoned consulate in Benghazi being sacked. Hillary Clinton ran just as shamelessly as Trump did in 2016, refusing to tell the truth about her own abuses of power.

Ocasio-Cortez will keep fact-checkers busy with her ignorance on math, budgets, and policy, but she won’t be the only one. We’ve incentivized shameless prevarication, and the only ones who will benefit from it are the demagogues and the fact-checkers who may or may not bother to unwind their lies. Kudos to Rizzo for aggressively checking Ocasio-Cortez in this instance, but until we care about honesty in political debate, we’re gonna send a lot more Ocasio-Cortezes his way while they talk us into disastrous policies — like Medicare for All.

On this, consider a VDH ‘angry reader’ response. The claim is the narrative “Since you never state that POTUS lies 80-85% of the time when he speaks publicly, what are some examples of his fake news.” VDH notes the ad hominem and lack of specificity in the claim and suggests “why not just focus on one network, CNN, and consider just a few of their more recent transgressions?

The headlines today are about Michael Flynn. See From fishy beginning, Mueller case against Michael Flynn nears end with no jail recommendation. Byron York – “What the sentencing recommendation did not address was the sketchy beginnings of the Flynn investigation.”

“Hill Republicans have been suspicious about the the Flynn case for quite a while. But they have not been able to get their hands on some key documents and testimony that might tell them what happened.

House investigators have a chance to learn more this week when, on Friday, Comey appears for a behind-closed-doors interview with members of the Judiciary and Oversight committees.

One-Eyed-Jack Law. Victor Davis Hanson – “Criminals and partisans, accusing others of criminality and partisanship.” Here’s a catalog to peruse …

“Mueller cannot fulfill the hype of the past 18 months, which forecast that the “all-stars,” the “dream-team,” and the Mueller “army” would make short work of the supposedly buffoonish Trump by proving that he colluded with Russia to swing an election. Collusion, remember, was hyped as doing what the Logan Act, the emoluments clause, the 25th Amendment, impeachment, media frenzy, and assassination-chic rhetoric had not.

By indicting a number of minor characters on charges that so far have nothing to do with collusion — for purported crimes mostly committed after the special-counsel appointment — Mueller has emphasized the quantity rather than the quality of indictments.

Mueller has already weaponized politics, making a crime out of the tawdry business of opposition research — but only sort of, since his interests in doing so are highly selective. And so his chief legacy will have little to do with whatever he finds on Donald Trump. He has already established the precedent that there is now no real equality under the law, at least as Americans once understood fair play and blind justice.

Such skullduggery poses the question of whether Mueller’s investigation has been simply derailed by partisanship. Or has it effectively served as a deliberate distraction from the felonious behavior of dozens of Obama-administration and Clinton-campaign officials — all determined to ensure, by any means necessary, that Trump would never be president?

Scott Johnson says Analyze this – “In my contrarian “Notes on the Cohen plea,” I made these points among others: … Now what? Probably nothing. I do not pretend to know. The truth of the matter nevertheless has its own continuing claim on our attention.”

Another take: Mueller strikes out trying to nail Trump – Flynn sentencing memo is a big nothing. Gregg Jarrett – “The memo isn’t a “smoking gun” showing President Trump colluded with Russians to win the 2016 presidential election or did anything else illegal.”

“Flynn should never have been prosecuted. The FBI agents who interviewed him concluded that he was telling the truth. This was confirmed by both former FBI Director James Comey and his deputy, Andrew McCabe, when they testified before congressional investigators. Had Mueller been forced to prove his case in court, he would have lost.

The law requires that a false statement be made “willfully and knowingly” (18 U.S.C. 1001). If Flynn’s recollection of the conversation with Russian Ambassador Kislyak is inconsistent with a transcript of their conversation, secretly recorded, it is not a crime. If Flynn interpreted his discussion differently than the FBI, it is also not a crime.

Flynn pleaded guilty not because he lied, but because Mueller crushed him financially and threatened to take legal action against the retired Army general’s son.

Flynn’s decision was understandable. Mueller’s actions were, and are, unconscionable and wrong.

Bureaucrats have the power to turn a tiny glitch into an insurmountable hurdle. Luboš Motl – “As you know, I hate bureaucracy – and some very real and viscerally unpleasant experience with bureaucratic operations is a substantial part of my opposition to the ideals of the Big Government, or almost any government or a left-wing social construct, for that matter.” A tale of woe, an example, and a warning…

“Now, the whole system is corrupt – too many pensioners want their pensions to go up and they will support any liar, perhaps any murderer or any kind of scum, as long as it will increase their expectation value of their pension. What are the prospects of a nation where democracy turns into this corruption where liars increasingly steal the money from the productive part of the nation and they are defending of their increasingly self-evident lies? As Benjamin Franklin said, once the people find out they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic. And we are seeing it in Czechia. When “democracy” wins over some totally self-evident and demonstrable facts and truths, it’s too bad.

The Coyote has found a take on the Russian Collusion, from TA Frank at Vanity Fair, “that seems to almost perfectly capture my current take on the whole affair.” It is honest in that it accepts the lack of supporting evidence. It suffers otherwise. Note the vague allegations that tend towards ad hominem (“Certainly, Trump’s ethical standards are low”) and judgmental rather than opinion. The definition of sleaze is also interesting. Then there is the attempt to minimize the Clinton impeachment as simple, justifiable perjury rather than perjury about domestic violence and abuse of intern relationships. That leads to excusing what the assault on Trump is doing in regards to relationships and dealing with Russia, a matter that has very serious implications. Indeed, Frank seems to think all is peachy keen with Russia despite goings-on in places like the Ukraine or the missile treaty or other expressions of Russian aggression.

 

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Conspiracy needs exceptional support. Is it there?

A Picture Is Worth More Than A Thousand Words To The Trained Eye. Jamie Wells, M.D – “Omission in itself, intentional or not, foments an inaccurate to more demonstrably false narrative depending on the degree.”

“With the rapid pace of technology spreading a word or image globally in a matter of seconds, the old saying “a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on” is ever the more relevant today. We are a quick assumption first, deal with the collateral damage of corrective action later culture. And it is to our detriment. This manifests in little to big ways.

there are many ways to respect individual privacy and a person’s autonomy to disclose as much or as little as they desire and clarify inconsistent and erroneous messages that get spread as a result. But, the most important method of achieving this often delicate dance is urging the reintroduction into our culture of critical thinking and reasoning. Accepting what is shown as is with spoon-fed consumption does not make for an informed participant in society.

What’s the lesson? Because many sayings are timeless for a reason, when it comes to being intellectually honest and learning “the devil is in the details.”

The Scientifically Ignorant Drive GMO Debate. Alex Berezow – “There’s no nice way to put this. The scientifically ignorant are driving society’s science debates.”

“A few years ago, I reported on a study that found that people who were uninterested in science were the ones who were most fearful of it. I wrote that they “believe that science causes more problems than it solves, believe that humans should not tamper with nature, [and] feel that technology advances too quickly for them to understand.”

That paper’s finding was in complete agreement with the results of the new Pew study. And it adds to the growing narrative that one of the biggest threats to science comes from a society that remains willfully ignorant about it. How can we educate people about science if they don’t want to be educated?

Even worse, there are plenty of people who are willing to make a quick buck by cashing in on the public’s ignorance. …

It’s simply a truth of human nature that we are far more motivated by fear than by gratitude. That’s why political campaigns are almost universally about how horrible the other candidate is. It’s much easier to get a person to vote against someone (out of fear) rather than for someone (out of gratitude).

The bottom line, then, is that science debates are actually a struggle against human nature. And that is one tough thing to overcome, but it can be done.

The gender wage gap. Neo – “A new study underlines what many of us already knew.”

“It is very similar to the old “equality of opportunity” (the conservative point of view, although it was once also the liberal point of view) versus “equality of outcome” (the current leftist/liberal point of view, because leftist and liberal have increasingly fused).

The American public has been slowly, and then recently more quickly, moving to the latter goal from the former one: outcome vs. mere opportunity. How did this happen? …

It also helps that most people do not understand research and statistics. … since the basics also seem to be beyond the grasp of many people, most people are going to rely on interpreters of research—for example, articles in the MSM—to elucidate matters. And since the MSM has its own agenda, and that agenda is political rather than an objective reporting on the facts, way too many readers are going to assume that the MSM’s summary of the meaning of a research finding is reliable.

In other words, propaganda works, and the less a person knows about the actual subject matter, the more likely the propaganda will work for that person

The Best Argument Yet for Keeping the Caravan Out. Pedro Gonzalez – “Love, like hate, can blind us from seeing things as they really are. America is in a toxic relationship with immigration, and like a battered spouse, progressives keep crawling back to the same tropes and lies.”

Does ‘Make X Great Again’ Ever Happen in History? Victor Davis Hanson – “it is a scary idea that the fate of making America great again might hinge on the nihilism of the Democratic Party.”

Expert thinks Trump was set up. Don Surber – “At least six people with long-established ties to the FBI or to U.S. and Western intelligence made entrees to key figures in the Trump business organization or his presidential campaign between March and October 2016,” Solomon wrote.

Notes on the Cohen plea (2). Scott Johnson – “Sources tell Sperry that Mueller apparently withheld exculpatory evidence in the Criminal Information he filed last week against Cohen for lying about the duration of talks about a never-realized Moscow Trump Tower.” … “I would add, however, that I am quite sure it will not look anything like exoneration in Mueller’s report.”

Senator Mark Warner: The SSCI is “Working Closely” With Robert Mueller. sundance – “This is not me just haphazardly making a theory of how a corrupt Senate Committee and a corrupt Special Counsel working in concert with each other with mutual interests. This stuff is in our faces. All of the data-points involving the SSCI go in one direction…. toward corruption. There is not a single data-point going in the other direction.”

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When truth gets in the way, find a new way to skin the cat

When The Truth Gets In The Way. Derek Hunter – “there actually isn’t anything I can think progressives won’t toss aside, or into a woodchipper, if it became an inconvenience or an obstacle. This week was no different.”

“News organizations and Trump-hating journalists (which is just about all of them) were sexually aroused at the prospect of this latest, greatest smoking gun – that Don Jr. lied to Congress about…the timeline of discussions regarding a possible Trump Tower being built in Moscow. OK, not exactly the most exciting of charges, and certainly not conspiring to “steal” an election, but Democrats don’t really care how they destroy someone, they just want them destroyed.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the gallows – it was a lie. Not what Donald Trump Jr. said, he didn’t lie; the story was a lie. After five hours being a live story from NPR, and editor’s note” was added to this “blockbuster.”

You can add this to long list of bogus stories and narrative-enforcing lies that were wished true by reporters only to be proven otherwise after they’d spread and done their damage. And that’s really the point of these “fake news” stories, why they aren’t caught in the editing process, why no editors or publishers question stories that so perfectly encapsulate what pundits hope for but for which there is zero proof. It HAS to be true because they WANT it to be true.

What Is ‘Ballot Harvesting,’ And How Did California Dems Use It To Nuke The GOP? Scott Morefield – “Passed as a barely noticed change in the state’s vote by mail procedures in 2016 and signed by then-Governor Jerry Brown, California’s AB 1921 allows voters to give any third party — not just a relative or someone living in the same household, as was previously the law — to collect and turn in anyone else’s completed ballot.” There’s more than one way to skin a cat and the Left is very creative in finding them.

“Called “ballot harvesting,” critics say the practice is ripe for fraud. Consider “Lulu,” who was recorded trying to “harvest” what she thought was a Democratic voter’s ballot in Rep. Knight’s district.

It’s a “new service,” said Lulu, for “like, people who are supporting the Democratic party.”

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that 250,000 such ballots were used in Orange County alone, resulting in a Democratic sweep there.

Before its passage, a group opposed to the bill wrote: “AB 1921 would allow anybody to walk into an elections office and hand over truckloads of vote by mail envelopes with ballots inside, no questions asked, no verified records kept. It amounts to an open invitation to large-scale vote buying, voter coercion, “granny farming”, and automated forgery. AB 1921 solves no problem that a simple stamp can’t solve.

The Russia Probe Has Nothing to Do with Russia. Roger L Simon – “America is at war with itself and the russia probe is the leading, but far from the only, front in that war.”

“From the Okhrana (the tsars’ secret police that authored the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and specialized in agents provocateurs) to the Cheka to the NKVD to the KGB to the FSB, it has always been the same. The Russians — Soviet or not — have always engaged in disinformation. Their recent Facebook and Twitter oerings were nothing more than the tip of an iceberg that’s been sailing for years.

In other words words, there’s nothing new here. The indictments of the Russian hackers by Mueller and Company were no more than a face-saving charade.

Another Turbulent Week with Some Big Mysteries. Clarice Feldman – “From the outside it looks like Mueller used the FBI to harass someone who had the goods on him.”

“Doubtless, hoping to keep Manhattan hysterics from requiring hospitalization when their dreams are dashed, the NY Times prepares to let its readers decompress gradually, reporting that the President’s recall of the Russian deal and the documents he provided matches Cohen’s account.

Those of us watching the Mueller escapades and believing his role is to protect himself and the other DOJ, FBI, Obama officials, and intel heads from exposure for their misuse of national security information to target Trump are beginning to despair of their ever being brought to justice.

Surely, there are plenty of signs that the Mueller camp has grown desperate.

The FBI Raided My Sister’s House. sundance – “We already know the Senate Intelligence Committee is at significant risk and entirely tied-up in the matrix of a weaponized intelligence apparatus.”

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Blown narratives. So what.

NPR Blatantly Lies About Donald Trump Jr.’s 2017 Senate Testimony. Mollie Hemingway – “NPR falsely claimed that Donald Trump Jr.’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in September 2017 conflicted with an account given by a former attorney for President Donald Trump.” Another careful takedown analysis of another event in the ongoing smear and propaganda campaign. The NPR response is also telling. See Ace of Spades – “NPR Adds a Huge “Clarification” To Article, But Does Not Retract It Or Admit The Central Claim It Made Is Entirely False

Comey Lawyers Tell Federal Judge: “Here’s your opportunity, judge, to make some law”. Sundance – “There is growing acceptance that federal officials feel they are above the law; two sets of legal principles that apply; one exclusive set for them, and another set for everyone else.”

“Though it might seem rather stunning for any federal official to make such an admission in public, that’s exactly what happened today. Lawyers representing former FBI Director James Comey made exactly that argument. Recognizing Mr. Comey had no legal basis to avoid a congressional subpoena, Comey’s lawyers actually said:

Here’s your opportunity, judge, to make some law.” (link)

The Nixon ‘Road Map’ Won’t Save Mueller’s Futile Prosecution. Conrad Black – “Completely insufficient attention has been paid to the recent revelations about the grand jury and federal court findings against President Richard Nixon. In a word, the entire basis of the case against Nixon himself has been completely undermined.” The current efforts to derail a President reveal similar ugly hate politics against Nixon. Dirty laundry is being examined and the dirt reveals the victim isn’t that portrayed by the Deep State and its media arm.

“The case against Nixon has always been based on the claim that he authorized the payment of campaign funds to people implicated in the Watergate break-in to encourage them to alter their testimony, and thus he obstructed justice.

About six weeks ago, three prominent lawyers from the Watergate era sued for all the Nixon “road map” material to be opened, because they were seeking the release of comparable material, insofar as there is any in the Trump inquiry, to be opened as well. The evidence opened up by the Shepard lawsuit to reveal the grand jury evidence involving Nixon. Nixon’s comments to the grand jurors who visited him reveal that the congressional committees and the Washington grand juries were falsely advised that the Nixon version of events effectively confirmed the road map.

In reality, Richard Nixon’s evidence conformed exactly to what he said about these matters in all other cases: that he had never approved or authorized any payments to obstruct justice, alter testimony or tampered with witnesses, and that he resigned as president when he learned that courts and congressional committees indicative of likely votes in both houses of Congress concluded that the road map was accurate and that Nixon would be convicted.

The historic implications of what has been discovered are very serious. No one with any interest in Richard Nixon, Watergate, and the continuing strutting and primping of the veterans of the Watergate catacombs—especially Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein—should listen to the podcast of authentic legal historian and Watergate veteran Geoff Shepard that has been posted by the Nixon Foundation below

At least there was a crime at the Watergate and a few other places. But both attempts at pseudo-legal putsches are and have been disgusting and profoundly illegal corruptions of the system, and contribute to an understanding of why the American prosecutors win a North Korean level 99 percent of their indictments, 97 percent without a trial, and the sweet land of liberty has six to 12 times as many incarcerated people per capita as comparable large and prosperous democracies: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

Mueller, by trying to destroy Trump through illicit means, is going to force a general examination of prosecutorial abuses. In the process, the reputation of an outstanding president will inevitably be redeemed. President Nixon’s one full term was one of the most successful in the country’s history.

Another blown narrative: USC study shows migrant caravan not about escaping ‘violence’. Monica Showalter – “What they’re not is people fleeing violence and persecution. So the asylum “narrative” promoted in the press and by the left-wing lawyers now stands exposed as phony.”

“That’s significant because the press has been playing up the asylum claims, and politicians such as California’s governor-elect have been making political hay off it. Turning on the treacle, Gavin Newsom tried to frame Sunday’s border charge as violence on people fleeing violence:

There we have it: “fleeing violence.” The term is repeated again and again in the left’s bid to create a “narrative.”

Except that it’s not violence that’s being fled; it’s the wages of being uneducated, low-skilled, and wanting more. Plus the big banquet of U.S. bennies – it’s always all about the bennies.

does a blown narrative make any difference to the underlying belief? Evidence only suggests is makes the behavior even more anomalous.

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imaginary hobgoblins, foreboding

New U.S. Climate Report a ‘Scientific Embarrassment’. Tom Harris And Dr. Madhav Khandekar – “The 1,656-page NCA report, produced by a team from thirteen federal agencies, is riddled with imaginary hobgoblins. Especially mistaken is the NCA’s repeated reference to increased warming and extreme weather events, both in the recent past and in the future.” The real question is why there is such mass delusion despite overwhelming evidence.

Nir Shaviv in Bundestag. Luboš Motl – “Gene has informed me that the Israeli astrophysicist, climate skeptic, and TRF guest blogger Nir Shaviv gave a testimony in the German Parliament, the greenest Parliament of any country in the world, on Wednesday.” It’s another example to the effect climate alarmism has on stimulating questionable behavior, especially in reactions against those who try to expose fantasy to reality.

Blackouts, deaths and civil unrest: warning over Scotland’s rush to go green. From The Herald Scotland, Sandra Dick – “A massive gap in the electricity system caused by the closure of coal-fired power stations and growth of unpredictable renewable generation has created the real prospect of complete power failure.” Read the full story here.

William Safire on Bungling Bob Mueller. Don Surber – “Safire pointed out that their excuse to seize power was to stop another 9/11.” … “Thus we see the seizure of new powers of surveillance is a smokescreen to hide failure to use the old power.”

“Safire saw the federal government for what it is: a bunch of blowhards covering their backsides. He also laid into John Ashcroft, the attorney general who proved conservatives are just as inept as liberals.

Fishing expeditions are Mueller’s specialty.

“This is not some nightmare of what may happen someday. It happened last week. Jim Sensenbrenner, chairman of House Judiciary, said the removal of restraints made him ‘queasy;’ Pat Leahy of Senate Judiciary is too busy blocking judges to object. Some sunshine libertarians are willing to suffer this loss of personal freedom in the hope that the Ashcroft-Mueller rules of intrusion may prevent a terror attack. They won’t because they’re a fraud.”

Remember Prague? In Michael Cohen plea deal, Mueller says nothing about key collusion allegation. Byron York – “the chattering class instantly began talking about the failed Trump Tower Moscow project.”

“it turns out the Cohen plea agreement also made news in what it did not cover. Specifically, it spoke volumes — without saying a word — about a key allegation of the Trump dossier, the charge that Cohen traveled to Prague to arrange secret payments to Russian hackers attacking the Clinton campaign. The accusation is the heart of the collusion allegation, and Trump-Russia special counsel Robert Mueller’s deal with Cohen strongly suggests that prosecutors have not found evidence to support it.

For more than a year, a number of Trump-Russia investigators on Capitol Hill have maintained that none of the dossier’s substantive allegations are true. The new plea deal between Cohen and Mueller is more evidence to support that.

But evidence doesn’t seem to matter to many. They’ ll make it up if they need to to keep their narrative going.

Foreboding – FBI Raids Home of Clinton Foundation Whistleblower. Sundance – “Make sure you read the entire [Daily Caller] article because if the DOJ was intending to throw a bag over the entire Clinton Foundation investigation and cover-it-up, that raid is exactly what they would do.”

“If the reporting of the raid by the Daily Caller is accurate; and given the nature of the timing for that raid; and accepting the at risk elements within the whistleblower case extended beyond Hillary Clinton to Robert Mueller; and noting how the SSCI was the recipient of the information/evidence as transmitted by Michael Horowitz; there is a solid appearance of the DOJ maneuvering to cover-up the underlying DOJ/FBI corruption by seizing -and controlling- all of the evidence.

How is this level of blatant disregard possible? Seriously, I really don’t know

It would appear there is no limit to what the corrupt Deep State officials will do to hide their unlawful activity; and apparently there’s not an honest person amid the organizations who can stop them. FUBAR. Very disturbing.

I hope I’m wrong.

Maybe there’s a valid reason for this FBI raid; if so, I can’t think of one.

Thomas Sowell – “Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good.”

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History speaks

Why this new meme on social media is not just wrong, but belittling. Donna Laframboise – “There is now a long history of environmental doom mongering, of dire predictions pre-dating even the 1960s and 1970s, that have *always* failed to materialize. From that perspective, climate skeptics know their history & have learned from it.”

“How many failed predictions of eco-apocalypse are necessary before those who approach climate change with healthy skepticism are no longer dismissed as morons?

Belittling people, distorting their position so that they look stupid, gets us nowhere. It doesn’t change anyone’s mind. It doesn’t promote mutual respect. Instead it wounds, it insults, it polarizes.

Failed Oregon Solar Equipment Plant Leaves Behind Millions in Taxpayer Losses. Bonner R. Cohen – “From The Heartland Institute November 26, 2018 By Bonner R. Cohen A multi-year effort by federal, state, and local agencies to prop up an Oregon solar-panel manufacturer has ended in a shuttered factory, millions of taxpayer dollars down the drain, and a heavily polluted manufacturing site. A multi-year effort by federal, state, and local agencies

‘Junk Science’ Is Everywhere, And The Media Eat It Up. Ashe Schow – “It’s become a profitable industry, where scheming researchers get taxpayer-funded grants to find specific conclusions, then those manipulated and fake conclusions are reported back to the public as if they are real, and then policies and recommendations are made that further cost people money.”

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Insults the intelligence – more examples

Ivanka: Come on, my e-mail issue is nothing like Hillary’s. Ed Morrissey – “There may be room to criticize judgment when officials don’t strictly adhere to their official e-mail accounts, but this proposed equivalency insults the intelligence.”

“To the extent there’s an issue at all, for that matter. ABC News’ Deborah Roberts presses Ivanka Trump to explain why people should treat her use of private e-mail any differently than Hillary Clinton’s as Secretary of State in an interview aired today on Good Morning America. Other than not transmitting classified material, not deleting half of all the messages while under subpoena, and not setting up a poorly secured server to evade constitutional oversight, Ivanka says, no difference at all

Clinton’s secret e-mail system was part of a deliberate and intentional design to corrupt legitimate oversight over her work at State by Congress and the courts, and succeeded at doing so. It was that corruption that had her political opponents demanding prosecution, and it should have resulted in legal consequences at least for the exposure of classified material in the course of that corrupt scheme. Perhaps Ivanka Trump should be more careful about ensuring that official business only comes through official accounts (and so should all public officials), but without that corruption, there is no equivalency between Ivanka and Hillary. This is just an excuse by ABC and other news media to minimize Clinton’s corruption.

Twitter restores Jesse Kelly’s account, claims suspension was temporary. John Sexton – “Though the reason for the removal of the account was a mystery, Twitter did clarify that the suspension was permanent.”

“The problem is compounded by the fact that there is almost no transparency in these cases. Kelly was perma-banned by Twitter with no explanation and no avenue of appeal offered. Two days later, after a lot of reaction from the right, he’s back and Twitter has a completely new story. There doesn’t seem to be any clear process behind any of this, just whatever whims are striking people at Twitter in a given moment.

Does anyone think Jesse Kelly would have had his account restored if he didn’t have lots of high profile people on the right willing to talk about his situation? I think Twitter looked at the reaction and decided retreat was their best option, but that doesn’t mean they’ve learned anything from this. How long before they decide to ban someone else on the right, instantly and without explanation? Not every person who gets banned is going to have the benefit of a segment on national television to help change Twitter’s mind.

Arbitrary and capricious. No process due or otherwise. Changing minds, changing stories. Insults a lot more than intelligence.

About those nooses found at the Mississippi state capitol (Update) . John Sexton – “the nooses and the “hate signs” were all a stunt designed to get attention for a progressive political message on the eve of an election. This is the far left’s idea of a voter guide.”

“Whoever placed the signs and nooses must be thrilled with how all of this worked out. They did their best to identify themselves with the signs but still got several hours in which the nooses were assumed by many to be the work of some right-wing hate group running rampant. The station that initially published the photos, the Associated Press, and the Capitol police didn’t do a great job explaining what had actually happened here in a timely manner.

Mississippi Rejects Democrat Race-Baiting. David Catron – “The Democrats … thought they had hit pay dirt when an out-of-state activist posing as a journalist found a video of Hyde-Smith saying something that could, with enough media topspin, be portrayed as an endorsement of Jim Crow.”

“It turns out, however, that Mississippi voters are not quite the fools the Democrats and the media took them for. Indeed, the transparent contempt with which the latter regard the residents of the Magnolia State probably contributed to the size of Espy’s loss. Instead of explaining why the Democrat would do a better job representing them than the Republican, they treated the voters like idiots.

They’ll just write the loss off to the inability of racist hayseeds to see the one true path of identity politics. Twitter will be filled with snide remarks about all the bigoted brain donors still waiting for the South to rise again.

The Hate For Melania’s Christmas Decor Is Even Worse This Year. Here Are The Many Cruel Things Leftists Are Saying. Paul Bois – “It’s well-established that we live in hell

“You may love Melania Trump’s taste in Christmas decorations; you may indeed dislike them, or perhaps even detest them. To each his own. But the venom leftists have spewed at the First Lady these past two years regarding her Christmas decor goes beyond mere differences in taste and into pure “Mean Girls” territory.

Media critic and DePauw University professor Jeffrey McCall agreed that the reporting on Melania’s work was “boorish.”

“Melania’s decorating touches have not received the same courtesy in a number of media accounts, as if reporters had any sense of stylish interior design in the first place,” McCall told Fox News. “This boorish reporting about the First Lady’s holiday decorating is culturally divisive and unnecessary.”

‘Are You Comfortable Tear-Gassing Children?’ L. Brent Bozell and Tim Graham – “TV networks, over-reliant on emotional images and under-reliant on facts, are presenting this as they present everything else: as an outrage caused by … President Trump.”

“So here’s the first thing we know: The Border Patrol was using tear gas at the border in the years of President Obama whenever illegal immigrants were brutally throwing rocks at our agents. Does anyone remember NBC asking Obama if he was comfortable tear-gassing children? Or did no one care about the immigrants then?

NBC was especially egregious because it never mentioned the rock throwing. To witness a barrage of rocks flying, as we have, and to see the mortal danger they pose (yes, they can kill) is to understand that agents are protecting themselves. This is how anchorman Lester Holt began, using Jackson’s obnoxious question: “President Trump is defending the use of tear gas on migrants who rushed at a major border crossing and attempted to get into the U.S. illegally.” That’s the action word — “rushed.”

Why can’t NBC report that deadly projectiles were thrown? And why does it always spread the silly notion that “it began peacefully”? There’s nothing peaceful about a mob rushing the border. There’s a term for this kind of reporting. It’s “fake news.”

Creating chaos — and “iconic” photos — was the point of the caravan organizers. It’s emotionally manipulative to the core, and the actual context of the photo only gets in the way of the propaganda. This isn’t “Nightly News.” It’s a mudslinging political advertisement.

It’s what illegal-immigrant organizers wanted, and what networks led by NBC were gullible enough to report.

Debunking 3 Myths About Trump Border Enforcement. Fred Lucas – “many of the critiques either don’t provide full context or are factually incorrect, based on information released Tuesday by the Department of Homeland Security.” … child separation, tear-gassing, asylum seeking, get the reality you won’t find in the mainstream Leftist propaganda machine.

Eternal Darkness of the Leftist Mind. Lloyd Marcus – “Folks, I continue asking myself, why do leftists think so differently from the rest of us?” Examples from Oprah, Dion, Eastern Michigan University, Will Ferrell and others …

“The most disturbing example of weird leftist thinking is their desire for America, their homeland, to suffer and fail. When Democrats take over the House in January, they will be obsessed with rolling back every one of Trump’s remarkable achievements for America. Our economy is booming. Black, Hispanic, women, and Asian unemployment are at historic lows.

Trump has ended the U.S. being exploited by foreign countries. Why is all this good news for Americans deemed bad news in the warped minds of leftists?

Please stop playing with my Holocaust, Geraldo/Cortez. Jack Engelhard – “Ignorance? Anti-Semitism? There is no comparison between today’s militant migrants and Holocaust survivors and no excuse for the spurious comparison.”

“It appears that throughout this entire great country, we have but one proper news channel, Fox News, and even over there we can use a day without Juan Williams.

Or Geraldo Rivera.

Geraldo Rivera is a man in his 70s. By this time he should be less of a fool. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is in her 20s and the product of our Progressive schools.

She cannot help but be an ignoramus. But either way, their beliefs are poisonous, indefensible and unconscionable.

Knowledge and Certainty “Laundering” Via Computer Models. Coyote Blog – Lengthy and with an obligatory TDS example at the end but otherwise worth considering to understand by climate and the economy are both easily subject to misunderstanding and use as propaganda tools.

“Paul Pfleiderer of Stanford University. … “In this essay I discuss how theoretical models in finance and economics are used in ways that make them “chameleons” and how chameleons devalue the intellectual currency and muddy policy debates. A model becomes a chameleon when it is built on assumptions with dubious connections to the real world but nevertheless has conclusions that are uncritically (or not critically enough) applied to understanding our economy.”

The TDS example provides an illustration of a common problem. The climate and economic arguments are about the future or what will be. The TDS example is about explaining what has already occurred and a rather significant and sudden change that correlates well with particular actions and has a good weight of plausibility. It’s one thing to be skeptical or critical but another to be blindly so.

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Fighting the Fake. a Sisyphean task?

Global Warming: Fake Science Again Serves Far-Left Political Agenda. Investor’s Business Daily – “Time for mass panic? Nope. Just more fake science.” Yeh, but just try to tell that to the Vatican

 

“The new National Climate Assessment (NCA) report, the fourth since 2000, seems to suggest a coming climate disaster, to paraphrase the film comedy “Ghost Busters,” of “epic, even biblical proportions.” But its forecasts and models border on the absurd. At some point, the scientific malpractice in these global warming scare reports has to end.

“The Fourth National Climate Assessment offers no hard evidence, just vague assertions and claims that past climate change is no evidence about future climate change,” wrote Dr. Ken Haapala, president of the Science and Environmental Policy Project. “It earns the distinction that it does not meet the standards of the Information Quality Act, and each page should be stamped: ‘Based on speculation, not hard evidence.’ ”

As we said, at some point the scientific malpractice of these government exercises in global warming propaganda has to end. This isn’t fake news. It’s fake science, which is just as dangerous.

So don’t let these phony predictions of imminent climate doom made by government bureaucrats frighten you. Be angry instead.

 

Latest Global Warming Lies from US Global Change Research Program. Norman Rogers – “The many scientists that dispute this junk science are ruthlessly attacked and marginalized.” … “The brazenness of the fake science is often shocking.”

 

“Junk science and fake science are not limited to global warming. They are invading many important areas of science. For example, the danger of low level radiation has been exaggerated by persistent use of a model not supported by data. The supposed danger of PM2.5 or small particles, smaller than 2.5 microns, that are suspended in the air, has been exaggerated without good evidence. The danger of DDT was exaggerated with the result that millions of children were killed by malaria. In each case there are special interests that profit from spreading junk science. Stories predicting disaster sell and the science establishment is selling.

The corruption of science has its roots in the political funding of science by the federal government. Somehow we have to make it less profitable for scientists to make up science. Peer review is a joke and doesn’t work. Certainly it would help if the public and the media were skeptical about any scientific theory that predicts a disaster unless we do what the scientists and their allies want us to do.

 

Why climate litigation is out of place. Donald J. Kochan – “we should be sensible when deciding what branches of government should navigate the heated debate.”

 

“Nevertheless, a recent nationwide strategy has looked to unelected judges and juries to craft climate policy. What might be called “the judicial strategy” started in 2015, with states like New York and Massachusetts beginning “civil investigative demand” inquiries into energy companies. And these efforts reached new heights recently when Acting New York AG Barbara Underwood filed a civil suit against ExxonMobil claiming it defrauded shareholders by supposedly hiding knowledge of climate change impacts through accounting practices that are not all that unusual across myriad industries.

 

Sierra Club joins Big Wind Bullies at Apex, Diminishing our Environment. Mkbarton – “Never forget, it was a brave representative of the Los Angeles chapter of the Sierra Club, Bob Hattoy, who coined the term “the Cuisinarts of the air” in a late 1980s battle against a wind project in Gorman, California.”

 

“Today’s Sierra Club has strayed so far from Muir’s original mission of protecting life and our natural environment it is unbelievable. We are greatly saddened to see the Sierra Club (a group many of us used to support) now lobbying for the destruction of vast swaths of rural America with industrial wind sprawl, while also shamelessly advocating for abortion and other far-left ideologies that have nothing to do with protecting the environment.

 

Exposed: A Key Element of the Wind Energy Fraud. John Hinderaker – “When it comes to energy, you cannot get reliable information from “mainstream” sources or from the government. “Green” energy investors like Tom Steyer have gamed the system, and whoever pays electric bills–i.e., everyone else–is the sucker in their game.”

Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC wins the prize for the stupidest comment on the border assault. Thomas Lifson – “There is a lot of competition, but one Trump-hater stands out for utter, implausible, easily-refuted inanity in attempting to demonize opposition to the organized attempt to force our southern border open to anyone who wants to come here and sign up for the rich subsidies and benefits offered to poor people.”

 

Jim Acosta’s lecturing of President Trump about harmlessness of caravan requires an apology. Thomas Lifson – “for his inaccurate contentions about the harmlessness of the caravan and his prediction that they wouldn’t storm the border. He should have heeded Yogi Berra, who warned, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” … Twitter is full of humor at Acosta’s expense

 

Secretary Nielsen reports. Scott Johnson – “an update on what occurred and attempt to dispel many of the rumors and much of the misinformation circulating.”

 

“First, the violence we saw at the border was entirely predictable. This caravan, unlike previous caravans, had already entered #Mexico violently and attacked border police in two other countries. I refuse to believe that anyone honestly maintains that attacking law enforcement with rocks and projectiles is acceptable. It is shocking that I have to explain this, but officers can be seriously or fatally injured in such attacks. Self-defense isn’t debatable for most law-abiding Americans.

 

At the border: dealing with the invasion that isn’t an invasion. Neo – “The bad news (although it’s not news in the sense that it’s certainly not new): the US left (which now has come to include most Democrats, it seems) finds this outrageous. The tear gas, that is.” All of a sudden, SOP under Obama is now reason for outrage.

 

“The mob that stormed the border was not a Children’s Crusade; it consisted predominantly of young men. There were some children and women in it as well, however, a leaf out of the Palestinian book of putting children in harm’s way in order to get some good photo ops and play on the sympathies of the left in the country trying to protect its border. Tear gas is a miserable experience, but its time-honored use is to disperse crowds without the use of more permanently harmful means of crowd control.

The entire approach is a sort of left-handed (and leftist-generated) compliment to the people of the country it is used against. The more brutal the country really is, the less likely the opposing force is likely to use it, because truly brutal countries have no qualms whatsoever about using the deadliest of forces against anyone—including children—who would invade it, storm it, or otherwise harm it.

 

Why We Hate the Media, Chapter 12,186. Steven Hayward – “As if we need any more reason to distrust media bias, this juxtaposition says it all:” It’s the NYT from January and November. Fake News is not just False News.

 

Watergate revisited. Scott Johnson – “For those of us who lived through the days of Watergate, the Mueller Switch Project makes us feel young again. It is easy to forget, however, how little we know even to this day about the facts underlying the Watergate scandal.” Alinsky’s rules could make an interesting counterpoint.

Jack Shafer: the conservative revolt against twitter.Wake me up when this sad little uprising is over.” … Or as Ben Domenech wrote last night in a multipart tweet “Jack Shafer’s piece unintentionally illustrates why his suggestion for conservatives on Twitter utterly misses the point.”. Stephen Green picks up on this bit of misdirection at Instapundit. – “My take is that Shafer was in such a hurry to condemn Glenn’s self-removal from Twitter as “sad,” that he missed the real story. … Or if you’d like an even shorter take on Shafer’s latest for Politico: Fake news.”

 

 

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How do you rationalize this?

Fake News along the border. Don Surber – just another summary illustrating why it is Fake News™ and not merely bias or opinion.

Experts on Climate Change Assessment: ‘Every Conclusion of This Latest Government Report Is False’. Penny Star – “This latest climate report is just more of the same – except for even greater exaggeration, worse science, and added interference in the political process by unelected, self-serving bureaucrats,” Tim Huelskamp, president of the Heartland Institute said in statements released by the free-market think tank following the report’s release. When the headlines were touting a long debunked thesis that climate change causes more fires and hurricanes and even snow storms, who’d a thunk it?

“President Trump was required by law to release this report, but he is not required to take it seriously – and he surely will not,” Huelskamp said. “To do so would undermine his sensible, deregulatory agenda and restart the war on fossil fuels.”

“The left has already politicized the science, and President Trump has every right to populate the executive branch agencies that produced this report with climate realists,” Taylor said.

Lehr and 18 reputable scientists wrote a 54-page critique of the Global Change Research Program’s 2017 report, which was similarly alarmist, according to Heartland.

The critique can be found here.

See WUWT for a sad tale about how such criticism of climate alarmism is handled by its advocates.

The Costs of Presidential Candor. Victor Davis Hanson – “Oddly, the implied charge this time around was not that Trump makes up stuff, but that he said things that were factual but should not be spoken.”

“Trump’s tweets and ex tempore editorials may have been indiscreet and politically unwise, but they were also mostly accurate assessments. That paradox revisits the perennial question that is the hallmark of the Trump presidency of what exactly is presidential crudity and what are the liabilities of presidential candor?

The usual deep state protocol is to lie about U.S. complicity in things we regret or to ignore criticism. Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan, for example, lied under oath when he claimed the Obama targeted assassination program had not led to collateral “damage” to bystanders.

Trump’s crude truth bothers the media, for example, far more than Obama’s mellifluous quid-pro-quo self-interest, such as fake melodramatic red-line threats and indifference to thousands killed in Syria, or his creepy hot mic promise all but to dismantle critical and agreed-on missile defense in Eastern Europe in exchange for Putin’s good behavior abroad during Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign. The media, recall, was not bothered that Obama arguably got caught relegating his nation’s interests to his own political career.

What should have Trump done in all these cases in keeping with presidential decorum?

Mostly what most career politicians who become president do, and apparently what both the public and the media have grown accustomed to applaud: hedge, blather, and resort to euphemisms.

Forest management, political judges, Saudi assassinations, and more are put on the table to raise the question about the cost versus what the people seem to want in government and in politicians. There is a contrast for comparison in history, even very recent history, to illustrate the hypocrisy, denial, and dishonesty of the assault on the current administration again and again and again.

Forget Khashoggi, Where Were Our Elites When Obama Assassinated American Citizens? Chris Reeves – “It’s difficult to know where to begin when dissecting this sort of blatant dishonesty, but perhaps the best place to start is simply to note that neither Attiah [WaPo editor] nor any of her better-known colleagues are actually opposed to governments assassinating their own citizens on principle.”

NFL team owner dies, local network affiliate itemizes political donations. Karen Townsend – “With such a rich biography available, something odd caught my ear Saturday as I listened to the local CBS affiliate report on his death. KHOU decided to itemize Mr. McNair’s recent political contributions. I was shocked and disgusted.” Like Limbaugh says, the Left politicizes everything.

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Credibility and false witness don’t share mindspace

The Enemy of the People’. Andrew C. McCarthy – “The president’s “fake news” and “the enemy of the people” epithets are best understood as a reiteration of these longstanding complaints in the barbed Trump style.” Here is an epic struggle with cognitive dissonance. Consider the assertion “a president would be impeached before a journalist spends an hour in prison for unflattering coverage.” But this wasn’t the result when it happened under the previous administration. Like the issue of politically tainted judges, an important issue is highlighted by stating the obvious. Too many have entirely too much of a struggle dealing with it and want the statement ‘toned down’ or said in a less blunt way. They end up mouthing overdone narratives like Trump Lies in a way that echoes their objections to how Trump’s Truths are expressed.

The Media’s Credibility Is Dead. R.C. Maxwell – examples given and explained …

“To be fair, anyone regardless of race or social class can be guilty of problematic views, but to tie me to white supremacy as a means to score points off an event that conflicts with one’s worldview is to abuse one’s position a journalist and continue the trend of dishonesty in the media. RWW may not be the most respected media outlet in the country, but it ranks on Google and has been spoken highly of by respected media outlets such as The Washington Post and the New York Times.

The Right Wing Watch article that calls me, the director of Arizona’s Black Conservative Federation, a white supremacist is still up. So is the Daily Beast article and image that attempt to link Posobiec to Richard Spencer and two neo-Nazi brothers arrested in a violent plot. These are just two trespasses of many that the media will continue to get away with.

When it comes to undermining faith in democracy, another low point. Byron York – “For more than two years, voters have heard Democrats accuse Republicans of trying to undermine confidence in the American democratic system.” But consider the Georgia case.

California Burning: How the Greens Turned the Golden State Brown. Edward Ring – “Opinions vary regarding how much of this disaster could have been avoided, but nobody disputes that more could have been done.”

“For decades,” Grimes notes, “traditional forest management was scientific and successful—that is until ideological, preservationist zealots wormed their way into government and began the overhaul of sound federal forest management through abuse of the Endangered Species Act and the ‘re-wilding, no-use movement.’”

But neither outcome is likely, and the reason should come as no surprise—we are asked to believe that it’s not observable failures in policy and leadership that caused all this destruction and death, it’s “man-made climate change.”

Expect tepid progress on new preventive measures, in a state so mired in regulations and litigation that for every dollar spent paying heavy equipment operators and loggers to do real work, twice that much or more will go to pay consultants, attorneys, and public bureaucrats. Expect “climate change” to be used as a pretext for more “smart growth,” which translates into “stack and pack,” whereby people will be herded out of rural areas through punishing financial disincentives and forced into densely populated urban areas, where they can join the scores of thousands of refugees that California is welcoming from all over the world.

Never forget, according to the conventional wisdom as prescribed by California’s elites, if you don’t like it, you are a climate change “denier,” a “xenophobe,” and a “racist.”

This is the issue that underlies the California wildfires, what causes them and what to do about them. What is a “sustainable” civilization? One that embraces human settlements, has faith in human ingenuity, and aspires to make all humans prosperous enough to care about the environment, everywhere? Or one that demands Draconian limits on human settlement, with no expectation that innovation can provide solutions we can’t currently imagine, and condemns humans to police-state rationing of everything we produce and consume?

That is the stark choice that underlies the current consensus of California’s elites, backed up by dangerous and growing cadres of fanatical militants.

Friday’s required federal climate report is just another example of the Californication of government.

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Tactics; Hidden objectives

Democrats use vote fraud to play their last hand: global warming. A. Dru Kristenev – “After two years of trying to pin the tail on the Donald to no avail, the democrats cranked up voter fraud to make a last ditch effort to suspend the workings of our Republic.”

“Underlying the prospect of stealing the election, which appears to have worked in Nevada, Arizona and Utah, is invoking the usual democrat stratagems. Since the Russian collusion gambit didn’t work after two years of hype from every liberal corner, especially the media, the democrats have determined it’s time to haul out the tried and true climate change scheme in order to gain the upper hand.

Hot Times In Your Home Town? John Hinderaker – “My point in this post is not to rehash the many arguments surrounding the global warming theory, but rather to pose a question: Why is it that so many people seem willing to believe that their environment has gotten significantly hotter, even when that claim is, or should be, contradicted by their own experience?

Even California Cannot Defy Nature Forever. Victor Davis Hanson – “The state’s horrific wildfires are a reminder that abstract progressive ideologies impose life-and-death consequences on millions.”

“What is going on in California? Governor Jerry Brown, most of the Democratic-majority state legislature, the academy, and the administrative state have rushed to blame man-made global warming for the undeniable dry spell from May to mid-November that turned mountain canyons into tinderboxes.

If our life-giving reservoirs of the state’s vast California Water Project and federal Central Valley Project are currently not full, it is mostly because millions of acre-feet of stored water were released to flow into the San Francisco Bay estuaries and the delta—contradicting most of the original mandates of the water projects of providing flood control, power generation, lake recreation, and irrigation for California residents.

Left unsaid is that more than 130 million trees died throughout the state’s foothills and mountain ranges during the drought of 2011–2016 and were not removed from the forest floor, providing an immensity of natural kindling for fires.

Other force multipliers combined with the drought and poor forest management to ensure that California’s fires were especially destructive to human habitats.

Sincere flattery. Richard Fernandez – “Coopting the talking points of political foes and taking credit for their achievements is a time-honored tactic.”

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Will we find what has been lost?

On Thanksgiving, I’m Thankful For Trump. Bruce Bawer – “Finally, a president who isn’t a turkey.”

“I’ve been of voting age in eleven presidential elections. I voted in most but not all of them. Usually both choices were uninspiring. Whom to pick, a dimbulb D.C. drudge (Ford) or a smarmy phony (Carter)? A charmless technocrat (Dukakis) or an establishment empty suit (Bush senior)? In 1992 I bought Slick Willie’s act; the disillusion set in almost immediately after his inauguration. Bush junior and Obama were the two worst presidents since Wilson, but the men who ran against them weren’t world-beaters either. Even the one great president of my lifetime prior to 2016, Ronald Reagan, fell way short of carrying out the sweeping small-government reforms he’d pledged.

Past experience, of course, had taught me not to put too much stock in anything a politician says. But Trump was no politician. He wasn’t the front man for a bunch of rich guys or the mouthpiece for a staff full of policy wonks. He wasn’t scripted. He wasn’t focus-grouped. He wasn’t a mannequin projecting sham humility and offering up fake compliments to the hoi polloi. Yes, Obama had been a rousing orator, but he’d always been reading spiels written for him by a speechwriter. Trump was connecting with ordinary Americans in long, tireless, and patently sincere stream-of-consciousness monologues some of which were, frankly, tours de force. He was palpably having fun with it and actually enjoying the human contact.

This guy was talking in real language to real people about the things that really mattered to them and that he himself had been thinking seriously about for decades.

The answer: wow. So far, the results have exceeded all of my expectations. The border wall aside, Donald J. Trump has actually kept his promises, and then some. He’s done one good, gutsy thing after another.

U.K. Media: British Intelligence Heads Worried President Trump Will Discover Their Involvement in “Spygate”. Sundance – “An article published originally in the U.K. Telegraph, and republished via Yahoo News outlines growing fear within the U.K. government and British intelligence officers surrounding President Trump discovering how far they were involved within “Spygate”.

“The facts are not uncommon to anyone who has done research into the events of 2015 and 2016; however, the interesting aspect surrounds the current level of anxiety which indicates something is soon to become very public.

The central concern of the British officials surrounds President Trump declassifying evidence that will outline a coordinated effort by a weaponized U.S. intelligence apparatus to use their foreign counterparts for two aspects

Out: Russia. In: Saudi Arabia. Thomas Lifson – “The progressive narrative of President Trump as evil never changes, but the argument keeps changing.”

“Since Trump must be a pawn of nefarious foreigners (except when he is a dangerous nationalist, heedless of our obligations to other nations), we now have hysterical accusations that he is instead a pawn of Saudi Arabia, because he insists on maintaining the strategic relationship with that Arab absolute monarchy.

Yesterday, Democrat Representative Tulsi Gabbard, using vulgar language, accused the POTUS of being a Saudi agent, which would be treasonous

Barack Melts Down. John Hinderaker – “This is the central conceit of liberalism: we know how to solve the world’s problems–socialism!–but those pesky conservatives just won’t go along and make it unanimous.”

“The truth is the opposite: policy debates rage across a broad range of issues, and conservatives usually win them.

But, like a dead frog whose legs continue to kick, clueless liberals like Barack Obama parrot the pro-government line, not because it makes any scientific sense, but because it supports their statist desires.

Which brings us to the rest of Obama’s riff: Americans are “confused, blind, shrouded with hate, anger, racism, mommy issues.” This is more or less insane

We have entered a new era in American politics, and, make no mistake, it is the Democrats who have ushered in the juvenile, no-holds-barred epoch in which we live. Barack Obama should be condemned for the part he plays in debasing American political discourse.

Or consider Juan Williams on The Five in a dialog about civility over dinner. His answer was to dig out the trivia he uses to support Trump hatred as conversation topics where all could agree. It is amazing what he puts on the pedestals in his mind … but also rather telling. Instapundit on this: Leftists’ Fear/Hatred Of Their Families, as exemplified by leftist media all over explains a lot about their politics. Another insight is Stop pretending you don’t love Thanksgiving. Bridget Phetasy – “You get to tell your whole family that they’re fascists.” Mr. Williams, are you listening and can you tell satire directed at you when it is in your face?

“Obama judges”? Pretty much. Paul Mirengoff – “I like and respect Chief Justice Roberts, but I disagree with him.” This is the polite disagreement. For something more extensive and stronger, see Fischer’s comments following this citation. Keep in mind that the problem with a judicial oligarchy was a significant Trump campaign issue. The Chief Justice stepped in it …

“The questions of whether it matters who appointed a federal judge and whether such judges view litigants, including President Trump, with equal regard in any meaningful sense are empirical ones. If one can predict with a high degree of accuracy how a judge will rule in a highly controversial case, or in a case challenging a Trump edict the left doesn’t like, just by knowing which president appointed that judge, then Roberts’ defense of the federal judiciary fails.

I practiced law without appearing more than a handful of times before Obama-appointed judges. But even in the pre-Obama era, I could predict with a high degree of accuracy the way federal appellate court judges would vote in cases involving controversial, politicized subject matter

Chief Justice Roberts is right that we have an independent judiciary in the sense that no one can tell judges how to rule. He is also right that we should be thankful for this.

But we also have a judiciary in which federal judges very often decide controversial cases based on policy preferences and partisan considerations. No president has told them how to vote, but presidents have selected them based on which ideological side they are likely to uphold, and, especially in the case of Democratic presidents, the judges rarely disappoint.

Of Course We Have Obama Judges and Trump Judges, Clinton Judges and Bush Judges. Dov Fischer – “As the Left makes a mockery of the lower Federal Courts that we need to honor.”

“Impartial justice is central to life’s core values. The very notion is engraved into our Constitution, and our Founding Fathers even took steps to preserve judicial impartiality by guaranteeing federal judges lifetime tenure so that they never would fear personal ramifications of issuing unpopular decisions they believe justice demands.

One easily can read between the lines of a frustrated and perplexed Chief Justice John Roberts when he now desperately claims, with patent nonsense and perhaps even a dry sense of humor, that “we do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges.” Of course we do! The ACLU knows that we do. Roberts knows that we do. Everyone knows that. The radical “Progressive” cabal of Democrats and their Left Media stooges know it. Heck, the Obama and Clinton judges know it. Why did The Resistance go to war trying to destroy Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh? Why does the ACLU always run to the Ninth Circuit, up and down the West Coast, instead of seeking justice from a conservative appellate circuit in the Deep South? … But Roberts knows his denial is stuff and nonsense, and that it sounds ridiculous — even borderline delusional — to deny that today’s federal judiciary is chock-full of Obama judges and Clinton judges on a mission to stop President Trump’s agenda.

The system makes a mockery of the courts, as Chief Justice Roberts now desperately realizes. It creates a cynicism towards the rule of law by manipulating and leveraging judges into pawns of Democrat “Progressives.” Even if the liberal judges are trying to rule impartially, the context behind their very selections undermines their authority. People see that the ACLU and its ilk repeatedly run to Democrat-appointed judges under the umbrella of the Ninth and get the results they want. It creates a terrible aura of cynicism that “the fix is in” and that politics is ruling, not blind justice.

In so many ways, President Trump has reversed so much of Obama’s eight years, leaving so much as if Obama never were there. We are out of the nonsensical Paris Climate travesty, out of the Iran Deal, out of the bad NAFTA. Regulations have been reversed in grand style. The individual mandate is gone. Tax policy changed. The IRS is honest and no longer weaponized against political opponents. The Left media are exposed. The unemployed have returned to work. Food stamps no longer are a religious sacrament. College students falsely accused of rape now may defend themselves. There will be control of the southern border. Cuba and Venezuela no longer are our best two friends in the world, and Israel no longer is our worst pain. ISIS no longer rules half of Syria, and Putin has stopped expanding into his neighboring countries. NATO is paying some bills. For two years we have been spared Trayvon Martin dramas and the scene of cities burning like Ferguson (Michael Brown, “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!” — never happened and no indictments) and Baltimore (Freddy Gray, all accused officers acquitted). We have closed down the PLO office in Washington, no longer are supporting terrorism by funding the UNRWA in Gaza, walked out of the terrorist-enriched UN Human Rights Council, moved America’s Israel embassy to Jerusalem, and voted against the annual UN resolution against Israel in the Golan Heights. White House visitor invitations are extended to patriots, not to people who sing lyrics extolling cop-killing, and overpaid fools who are given millions of dollars to throw or run with a ball are denounced when they disrespect our flag and national anthem.

It increasingly falls on the President to focus on making the lower and mid-level federal courts every bit as Constitutionally faithful as he has worked to make the Supreme Court. The way he marks the federal bench these next two years will play a major role in bench-marking his place in history. And if he succeeds, he might even improve Chief Justice Roberts’s place in history by creating a more balanced court that places the law and objective fidelity to the Constitution above Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.

Instapundit – “If judges are as neutral and apolitical as Roberts pretends, then why so much sturm und drang over judicial appointments?”

“Two thoughts. First, in talking about “Obama judges,” Trump was merely echoing the common media trope that identifies judges in controversial cases based on who appointed them. …

Second, Roberts is in a particularly poor place to talk about apolitical judging after his transparent capitulation to the Obama Administration’s campaign of media bullying during the pendency of the ObamaCare case. He reversed his position in response to political pressure from an administration that was, at the time, a party to the case. He has no high horse to sit on.

UPDATE: Chuck Grassley to Chief Justice John Roberts: You Rebuked Trump — but Sat Silent Through Obama’s Abuse. The increased feistiness of people like Grassley and Orrin Hatch post-Kavanaugh has been an amazing thing to behold.

Living on the Edge. James B. Meigs – “Just as coastal communities must learn to live with hurricanes, communities that edge up against forests are going to have to learn to live with fire.” On Slate of all places, but there is the expected dig at Trump where the wildfire is dismissed as a factor so Trump’s comments about management can, obviously, be dissed. Like the note about Williams above, supporting hatred can require a lot of pickin’ and choosin’ and other denial of reality. But let’s look for the part of the commentary that does tell about what actually happened and how it could be addressed.

“if you look closely at photos and video of the aftermath, you’ll notice something surprising. The buildings are gone, but most of the trees are still standing—many with their leaves or needles intact.

Within Paradise itself, the main fuel feeding the fire wasn’t trees, nor the underbrush Trump suggested should have been raked up. It was buildings. The forest fire became an infrastructure fire. … The town of Paradise didn’t just experience a fast-moving wildfire, its own layout, building designs, and city management turned that fire into something even scarier.

like almost every disaster that kills large numbers of people and damages communities, the causes of the tragedy in Paradise are more complex than it first appears.

A number of environmental, political, and economic trends converged in Butte County in just a few hours on Nov. 8 to spark this fire. But the tragedy was the result of many longer-term decisions, decades in the making.

So, California’s fire country faces a double-barreled threat: More lives and infrastructure lie in the path of potential fires than ever before. And the fires are getting bigger. That combination explains why 6 out of the 10 most destructive fires in California history have occurred in the past three years.

The question is how to provide the right incentives for people so that we limit the chances of this happening again. Looking ahead, “We need to ensure that prospective homeowners can make informed decisions about the risks they face in the WUI,” Moritz, Tague, and Anderson say.

What else can be done? Building and zoning codes can be changed to make towns less fire prone. Homes that are built or retrofitted with fireproof materials—and landscaped to keep shrubbery away from structures—can usually survive typical wildfires. In new developments, homes can be clustered and surrounded by fire-resistant buffer zones, such as orchards. And, no matter how well designed, communities in fire zones need realistic evacuation plans and better emergency communications.

If global warming models hold true, fire seasons are going to be hotter and last longer. Just as people in coastal areas need to adapt to hurricanes, residents of fire country need to learn to live with fire.

Can’t forget “global warming” despite no evidence it exists much less aggravates disasters. It is worth noting the comparison to coastal areas where the dilemma has always existed about whether the build disposable structures or bunkers as reliance on insurance and government for recovery has about run its course. A great attraction for being a ‘beach bum’ or forest camper is a pleasant environment with a low cost of living – until the next hurricane or forest fire. Easy living: cheap, avoid maintenance and preparedness costs, take it as it comes …

California is struggling with the other source of compensation, the big pockets power company. It is the electrical grid bouncing in the wind that sparked some of these fires and is an easy target for culpability. Since the state is so gung-ho on renewable energy and solar panels, perhaps they should just make any electric power infrastructure crossing these forests illegal?

To understand the fire, Neo cites The Camp fire burned homes but left trees standing. The science behind the fire’s path. Thomas Curwen and Joseph Serna – “Gray smoke meant vegetation. Black smoke meant homes, possibly entire city blocks. The Camp fire was no longer just a wildland fire.”

“It was an urban conflagration,” Pangburn said. “It was structure-to-structure-to-structure ignition that carried the fire through this community.” … what Pangburn realized is that the Camp fire had changed its character upon entering the town — and in that revelation lay the hope for preventing tragedies such as this from happening again.

Most telling were the trees. Most of the pines that sheltered this community still had their canopies intact. The needles, yellowed from the intense heat, were not burned — evidence that the winds that morning had pushed the fire along so fast it never had a chance to rise into the trees. But as a surface fire, it lit up the homes that lay in its path.

Drawing lessons from tragedy is never easy, especially when those lessons have been known for years.

“Our problem is a society that is unintentionally, but actively, ignoring opportunities because of the cultural perception of wildfire,” said Jack Cohen, who is retired from the U.S. Forest Service where he worked for 40 years as a fire research scientist.

That perception, he argues, is based on myth and fear and complicated by an ongoing narrative that attributes conflagrations like the Camp fire to such factors as climate change, overgrown forests and urban encroachment into rural areas.

The first step, Cohen said, is to address the misinformation about wildland fires.

“When we look at the big flames but not the firebrands, we miss the principal igniter and pay attention to the show,” Cohen said.

Billions of these embers fly into neighborhoods, landing onto flammable roofs, into vegetation around the structure and rain gutters choked with leaves and needles.

We don’t have to live in ammo bunkers, Cohen said, and we don’t have to entirely eliminate fire from within the perimeter, just ensure that fires that occur within 100 feet don’t burn long enough or intensely enough to ignite other objects.

If Paradise and the other communities destroyed by the Camp fire are to be rebuilt, then the conversation must address the role that neighbors play collectively in protecting themselves and their environment.

Keys to Democratic success. Neo – “I continue to be surprised at how many people seem to think the direction in which the Democratic Party is going now is just peachy keen.”

“The first reason states the positives of what the Democrats offer: they promise “free” stuff to people who really do need it or who feel they need it. …

The second reason states the negatives of what Democrats say Republicans offer: racism and bigotry. The left has successfully managed to brand the right, even the moderate right—in fact, any Republican …

The actual consequences of a given policy in the real world, and the fact that most people in both parties want the common good and just have different ideas about methods to achieve it, has gotten lost.

Not a Hollywood Horror Story: Actor Loves Making Hallmark Movies. Jacob Comello – “Polhala admits that he was reluctant at first to do any work for Hallmark, whose channels have traditionally been the haunt of senior citizens and the families of their grandchildren.

“Hollywood has become synonymous with cynicism, entitlement, hypocrisy and group think. Its products and its people seem to be in a race to the bottom.
… 
Polhala mentions that his Hallmark films are by far the ones that get him the most notoriety nowadays, and don’t sacrifice family-friendliness to get him there. He relates that “… I am leaning into Hallmark because it’s fun to sit with my 7-year-old and show him what I do for a living … I’m leaning in because my 91-year-old Nana finally thinks I’ve made it in Hollywood because I’m on Hallmark.”

Polaha concludes with “… if you haven’t indulged yet, perhaps this is your year to go where the love is.” Sage advice.

So much has become lost. Perhaps some are re-discovering to find it anew.

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The judicial oligarchy or mobs, what’s your choice?

San Francisco Judge Blocks Asylum Ban For Aliens Who Cross Border Illegally. sundance – “While a challenge was predictable, frustrating and likely to be spun up by media, the ruling only applies to aliens who gain illegal entry and request asylum.” Here we go again with the judicial oligopoly.

“Nothing in the ruling stops the hardened border enforcement and/or current expedited review and deportation program. In essence, keep the illegal aliens out and the judicial ruling is moot (until defeated in higher courts).

Though it might frustrate the left-wing media and the open borders crowd, no court can successfully demand the President of the United States to stop border enforcement. This is why it is critical to have a strong DHS Secretary focused on stopping illegal entry.

‘Smug denial is no longer an option’: Recent media studies show ‘pretty much all of journalism now leans left’. Frieda Powers – “The profound leftward ideological bias of the Big Media is the main reason why America now seems saturated with ‘fake news.’ Journalists, besotted with their own ideology, are no longer able to recognize their own bias,”

“The surprise, however, seems to be that the same is now true of financial journalists as a new study pointed out.

CNN media critic attacks White House ground rules for press conferences. Thomas Lifson –

“Remember when the media caterwauled about President Trump’s lack of “decorum”? Or his claimed violation of the norms of presidential behavior? This new letter, laying out the explicit rules will help maintain decorum. Stelter may not be able to admit it, but his colleague Acosta has been way out of line, and only anti-Trump solidarity among the media (a huge problem that the media won’t admit) has prevented public shaming of Acosta by his colleagues, many of whom deeply resent him.

Stelter has just reinforced President Trump’s view of CNN as reflexively opposed to him no matter what he does.

Update: The White House Correspondents Association is openly promising to defy the limitation on follow-up questions.

They can back up each other by pressing follow-up to questions asked by others, which would be the grown-up thing to do. But myguess is that we will se another scene of reporters defying the president and grandstanding by refusing to relinquish the microphone. That would play into Trump’s hands.

Acosta decision could make it easier for White House to kick reporters out. Byron York – “In short, the judge said to the White House: You can’t throw out a reporter without going through a process. But if you go through a process — which you, the White House, can design — then you can throw the reporter out

“In any event, even if Acosta keeps his pass, Kelly said the president would be within his rights to freeze the CNN correspondent out forever. ” Sherrill explicitly recognizes the president’s right to engage with whomever he pleases,” Kelly said. “Certainly, he need not ever call on Mr. Acosta again.” The only issue in the case was that, according to Sherrill, “The government must provide Mr. Acosta due process if it is to revoke his hard pass.”

Beyond that, Kelly noted that the White House would be on firm legal ground if it ousted all reporters from the building. “The government also made the point that there is case law for the proposition that the public doesn’t have a general First Amendment right to enter the White House,” the judge said. “I have no quarrel with that at all.”

Electoral Three-Card Monte: How The Democrats Stole Orange County. Dov Fischer – “While you were watching the Red Card in Florida, guess what they pulled in California?

“So here is what happened. All these Republicans Congressional candidates in Orange County and in other parts of the People’s Democratic Republic of California (PDRC) came out of election night as winners. Two-term representative Mimi Walters in the 45th Congressional District. Young Kim, an appealing newcomer to Congress of Korean-American heritage. Others. And then, each day, as more and more provisional and other ballots kept emerging in the California count, the Republican leads dwindled.

It is the height of brazenness to watch Democrats press for a $10-20 million two-year Mueller probe of whether Putin stole an American election while right here, in the land of the free and the home of the knaves, one election after another is pilfered right under our noses.

On the 40th anniversary of the Jonestown massacre. Neo – “The details of Jonestown were unique, but the trajectory of leftist Utopian promises leading to murder was not.”

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Brainwashing amazement

Dan Crenshaw deflates anti-Trump hysteria on Face the Nation with common sense. Thomas Lifson – “This broad brush criticism that the president is somehow undermining our democracy, I always wonder like, what exactly are we talking about?” See a video clip where the standard meme and narrative is questioned.

American’t: From Midterms to End Times. Selwyn Duke – “Whatever you call it, the American republic is in its last days. This is too scary for many to contemplate, but there’s something far scarier: playing ostrich and not being prepared for things to come.”

“But this isn’t your grandfather’s Democrat Party. Voters this time empowered socialistic to socialist to closet-communist, sexual devolutionary, rabble-rousing, low-I.Q., no virtue, ignorant freaks who often encourage political violence by their Antifa-Brownshirt useful idiots. So it’s not your great-grandfather’s America, either.

The voters are only getting worse, too, for three basic reasons: immigration, indoctrination and moral corruption.

Today’s brainwashing, not just by academia but also media and entertainment, is intense. Moreover, we can’t MAGA unless we MAMA — Make America Moral Again. As Ben Franklin put it, “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” Yet academia, media and, especially, entertainment subject each generation to an ever intensifying demoralization process.

Not only is society drifting ever further from Truth (“leftwards”) for the aforementioned reasons, but consider the Democrats’ delusional perspective. Projecting, many of them have convinced themselves we’re Nazis, fascists, bigots and un-American, evil haters who have undermined the rule of law, created a constitutional crisis and who represent a clear and present danger to the republic — we’re “deplorables.” Believing this, wouldn’t you suppose these were desperate times that called for desperate measures?

Democrat Losers: Undignified and Dangerous. David Catron – “What do Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, Stacey Abrams, and Bill Nelson have in common? Each asked the voters for important positions of leadership and promptly proved themselves unworthy of those offices when the answer was “No.

“The tawdry details of those episodes are well known. But the long-term harm they wrought on the republic merits consideration.

This is the platform of a moribund party awash in dark money yet bereft of genuine ideas for improving the lives of average Americans. And, if gaining power over all three branches of government requires destroying the credibility of our electoral process, the Democrats are for it. Not one called for Abrams to stop accusing Brian Kemp — without evidence — of voter suppression. Not one asked Bill Nelson to stop accusing Rick Scott — without evidence — of meddling with the Florida ballot count. Not one gives a damn about dignity or democracy. All they care about is power — and that is dangerous.

Voters Electing Democrats Who despise Them. Taylor Lewis – “Countries don’t survive when their leaders condemn the very citizens who constitute them

“Sinema is different. Like most liberals, she believes her intellect to be far above the average, her tastes more refined than the crude proclivities of the masses.

Which gets to the paradoxical truth about many left-liberals running for public office: Often times, they despise the very people they’re entrusted with representing. In more extreme cases, they’re hostile to the society in which they assume a leading position.

“The safety of a republic depends essentially on the energy of a common national sentiment…and on the love of country,” Alexander Hamilton wrote. Countries don’t survive when their leaders contemn the very citizens who constitute them. And they certainly don’t last long when voters, knowing full well their negative estimation, elect politicians who deplore them anyway.

K-12: Six Steps to Reform Education Right Now. Bruce Deitrick Price – “Whenever people gather to discuss problems in education, we hear the same list of issues and solutions.” One needs go no farther than to listen to the new Californicated Nevada governor talk about how he will fix Nevada schools.

“We hear about poverty and the need for bigger budgets at all levels, more self-esteem, professional teacher corps, charter schools, vouchers, tutoring and remediation, new literacies, better assessment, year-round schools, pre-K, schools that are more permissive or more strict, the effects of drugs, the impact of violent sports, and the perpetual need for more and more money.

The main effect of these discussions is that the Education Establishment distracts the public from the real solutions.

Here’s a simple six-point list of what we must do differently, a list that even self-described “dummies” can instantly act on.

Public schools often define “critical thinking” as acceptance of politically correct opinions on all subjects. This is neither critical nor thinking!

Truth is, the history of K-12 education for the last hundred years was a so-called reform process going in the wrong direction. A deform process. Progressives destroyed the good ideas and replaced them with dysfunctional gimmicks. Now we reverse the process.

The Ultimate Fake News. John Hinderaker – “So the Democrats, by their constant hysteria and innuendo, have convinced a large majority of their followers, and 42% of all Americans, of a palpable falsehood that was fabricated in order to assure Hillary Clinton’s election and then, when that effort failed, perpetuated in an attempt to cripple President Trump’s administration.”

“Fake news is a serious problem in our political life. I’m not referring to a pathetically small number of Facebook ads bought by Russian provocateurs. I’m talking about the fake news that was paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee; fabricated by Democratic Party-allied consultants; propagated by the FBI and the CIA; promoted by the broadcast networks, CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Associated Press; trumpeted by pretty much every senior elected Democrat; and kept alive by the appalling Robert Mueller. The claim that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to “steal” the 2016 presidential election is the great fake news of our time.

How successful have the Democrats been in propagating that myth? This survey by The Economist and YouGov suggests that they have been successful beyond their wildest dreams. First the numbers, then some observations.

President Trump is right: fake news is a serious threat. By cynically selling an absurd lie to its followers, the Democratic Party has badly damaged confidence in our democracy.

#CampFire #WoolseyFire Blaming climate – ignoring incompetence. Paul Driessen – “California wildfires incinerate people, wildlife and habitats. Politicians blame climate change.”

“Those assertions have no basis in fact. The hard, incontrovertible reality is that California has always been a largely arid state, afflicted by prolonged droughts, interspersed with periods of intense rainfall, and buffeted almost every autumn by strong winds that can whip forest fires into infernos. The problem isn’t climate change. It’s ideological, even criminally incompetent forest management practices demanded by politicians, regulators, judges and environmentalists in recent decades. My article presents the real story.

It’s complicated.

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Pick a target …

A suicide at the University of Texas Reveals Dark Side of #MeToo Movement. David Paulin – “Morrisett’s suicide was the first time a media outlet riding on the #MeToo bandwagon veered into troubling new territory – targeting an ordinary man like Morrisett instead of the #MeToo movement’s usual high-profile villains.”

“Strangely, not a single news outlet has reported on Morrisett’s suicide, even though a media firestorm made him a reviled public figure. It’s not as if his suicide is a secret. On the contrary, the cause of Morrisett’s death can be readily obtained from the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office. Why have the Statesman and other media outlets ignored his suicide?

“They’re embarrassed,” Morrisett’s lawyer, E.G. Morris, said during a phone interview. He added, “Just because you have a particular piece of information, doesn’t mean you should publish it.”

Human beings are infinitely complex. It is risky to judge them too quickly. But such nuances were lost on the news media and campus mob in the final weeks of Morrisett’s life. Those who knew him well were appalled at how he was vilified.

By all accounts, Morrisett was a man going through a rough patch in his life. In the end, he was destroyed by a newspaper article, a media firestorm, and a campus mob. Readers, of course, can make up their own minds about who has blood on their hands.

Then They Came for the White Women. Clarice Feldman – “Since the left cannot — oh you know why — attack Black or Latino voters, they’ve aimed their bile at white women voters.”

“The attack on Brett Kavanaugh was a typical leftist attack on white men. Its insistence that a woman must always be believed when accusing men of sexual misconduct was part and parcel of the Duke Lacrosse team and University of Virginia frameups, among numerous others. It was enshrined in the Obama-era overreach of Title IX to deny college men the right of due process in such matters, and as time has passed, many colleges and universities are paying and will continue to pay male victims of this outrageous policy. No one has better publicized the harmful effect of such anti-male phrases as “toxic masculinity”, “frat boy”, “bro” and “testosterone poisoning” and unfair campus tribunals than Professor Glenn Reynolds who this week suggests that higher education institutions should use the summer break to clean up their act.

With the women should vote for a woman (Hillary) and white men are all rapists (Kavanaugh) tactics having failed, the left is now turning against white women as the enemy

Jim Acosta abused his privileges as a member of the press. Michael Goodwin – “As for the practical fallout, there are good reasons why trust of the press is at an all-time low.

“Indeed, the response to my column supporting the initial suspension reveals that Americans on both sides of the Trump line believe manners still matter. They differ over who is at fault, with Trump supporters seeing most journalists as Democrats with press passes, while Acosta supporters mostly argue he was justified in behaving badly because Trump does, too.

The idea of using someone else’s conduct to justify your misconduct is childish. Go to any playground and you’ll hear a chorus of “he started it” defenses.

It’s simply laughable when adults use that lame excuse, which is what Acosta and his defenders are doing.

The First Amendment is a key to American liberty in glorious ways, but it is not an excuse for bad manners. It is a tragedy of our era that the media must be reminded of that common-sense truth.

Perhaps those who condemn the President’s “bad behavior” should look in the mirror and then should examine the standards they use and their pass practice in upholding those standards.

 

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Media’s tar baby

Double Standards Galore in the Attorney General Fracas. John C. Eastman – “Neal Katyal writes that President Trump’s designation of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general is unconstitutional because the office of attorney general is a “principal office,” which can only be filled by someone who has been confirmed by the Senate.”

“That would be the same Neal Katyal who served as acting solicitor general, also a Senate-confirmed position. And the same Neal Katyal whose boss, Attorney General Eric Holder, had served as acting attorney general at the end of the Clinton Administration and in the early days of the George W. Bush Administration. And the same Neal Katyal who served in an administration that closed out with another acting attorney general, Sally Yates, who acted like an embedded enemy within the Trump Administration until she was finally fired by the president for refusing to defend the president’s travel ban executive order—she claimed that there was no plausible defense for it, even though the policy was ultimately upheld by the Supreme Court.

The double standard is so palpable as to be laughable.

Perhaps what we are seeing is the Trump effect on legal analysis, such as the argument made before the Fourth Circuit in the travel ban case in which Katyal himself was involved, that perfectly valid actions taken by other presidents are unconstitutional when taken by this president. But such a double standard is hardly conducive to the rule of law.

Shame on Fox News for Joining the CNN-Acosta Farce. Nicholas L. Waddy – “The absurdity of CNN’s position is plain. CNN takes the view that President Trump, in his capacity as president, has no rights at all.” and Fox News thinks this is “fair and balanced”?

Trump announces solution to Acosta problem and now the media are stuck. Thomas Lifson – You want written rules? We’ll give you written rules. And enforcement to the letter. No problem.

Trump everyone’s hard passes then. Don Surber – “Revoke all the hard passes. Make them stand in line each day with every other reporter from outlets not so privileged seeking access.”

“Every cable outlet rejected the president’s midterm election ad because their corporate owners support open borders and globalism.

By the way, that ad was prophetic. In that ad, President Trump showed illegal aliens overrunning barricades.

the television outlets censored the president of the United States because he told the truth — something Fake News media oppose.

This is America. All are equal in the eyes of the law. Make them wait in line and go through security checks like everyone else then.

Meanwhile, they did run dishonest ads by Democrats on health care …

How the AP covers your dubious election dispute pretty much depends on whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican. Becket Adams – “The language we use to cover news events says a great deal about our editorial judgment. And the Associated Press’ handling of the long-shot recount efforts in Georgia and New Mexico says its judgment needs serious reconsideration.”

“It may seem like a small thing, but the difference between these stories is the difference between healthy skepticism and no skepticism at all. That the AP’s tone changes entirely when the story is about a Democrat is probably just a coincidence. Probably.

Federal Prosecutors Investigating “Altered” Election Documents Forged by Florida Democrats – “No evidence of voter fraud,” the media lied. Ace of Spades – “protests that such claims are undermining confidence in the nation’s democracy, as we heard about correct, fact-based Republican claims about Broward.”

Fact-checking the NY Times’ Fact-checking. Kip Hansen – “The NY Times is obsessed with the President — it cannot report anything without taking a pot shot at him.”

“Thanks to the brilliant investigative reporting of the Times’ staff writer, we get the lede as a subtitle: “On Twitter, the president claimed that the state’s wildfire woes are a result of poor forest management. The truth is more complicated.”

Who would have imagined that the complex problem of California wildfires could actually be “more complicated” than the President could communicate in 140 characters?

I must admit I get weary of the NY Times’ absurd Editorial Narrative on the Environment and Climate Change — so many of their pieces on these topics are sophomoric and some are just plain silly — the above is a fine example of the “silly” category.

ABC Makes Patently False Claim About New Title IX Rules. Robby Soave – “The new standard does not require victims to show that they can’t return to school. It doesn’t even require them to leave school in the first place.”

“Unfortunately, ABC’s mischaracterization of the standard is already being parroted by the Daily Kos. This is how fake news spreads.

If would be great if a civil-liberties-minded organization in good standing with the left could step up and explain why Title IX reform is necessary and long overdue. Unfortunately, the American Civil Liberties Union has opted to go another route.

White House Ordered To Restore Jim Acosta’s Press Pass (UPDATE ADDED). Dana – “As a reminder, this is the same president who recently said of the press:” and the list provided is a reminder of just how bad the bias against Trump really is and how far people go to rationalize their hate. Every item in the list is a Trump response to uncivil and disrespectful press behavior calling it for what it is yet that truth gets bypassed in taking pot shots and rationalizing denial.

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High snobbery and criminal intent

Criminal Intent.” sundance – “Intent”, not consequence, is now the larger shield being applied toward excusing the action of people within institutions of government and society.

“It was a “mistake”…. he/she/it made “a poor decision” etc. A pattern of obfuscation downplaying consequence and allowing those decision-makers charged with delivering accountability to withdraw or apply the rules of law based on their individual overlay of ‘intent’.

That shift is factually visible everywhere now.

Following along the ideological lines of: “all actions are justified”, do you see how the shift to ‘intent’ is a serious issue within a corrupt system?

Within that system, and against that purposeful filter and determination, plausible deniability becomes the construct for intentional criminal engagement.

Fight the Denigration of American History. Michael Finch – “The recent skirmishes started with the campaign to remove Confederate statues, but it surely won’t end there.”

“As our betters in America’s universities want us to know, the whole of American history is suspect. In our media, in the popular culture, and in our schools, we’re subject to an unending drumbeat of how America was founded to promote imperialism, colonialism, racism, sexism, and genocide—unimpeachable facts, we’re told, for which all Americans must forever share the burden of collective guilt and shame.

For America to atone for her sins, her history must be denounced and then purged.

One thing we should have learned is that the Left never stops; there is no end to their relentless pursuit of destructive hate. There is no room for reasonable adjudication of their claims.

The same creative gift of God that has allowed us to build and dream and create such beauty has often conflicted with our ability to do great evil. It is called the human condition. Only through the grace of God does our ability to do great good outpace our ability do evil and allow us to be forgiven for our sins. And nowhere else, at no other time in human history, have these conditions taken place, has our better nature and our creative facility triumphed, such as it has in the hundreds of years of America history and the creation of this blessed nation.

‘Great Things Are Taking Place Whether The Media Tells Us Or Not’: Christian Musicians Hold Spontaneous WH Worship Session. Patrick Goodenough – “A “faith briefing” at the White House this week saw Christian music artists hold an impromptu worship session, singing songs of praise near the Oval Office.” The biggest lie is a truth not told. Here’s one.

“The White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives was established by President George W. Bush a week after taking office in January 2001, as a way to enhance the capacity of faith-based and community groups to provide federally-funded social services, by removing legal and institutional barriers preventing them from doing so.

President Obama renamed the initiative the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and also established an advisory council.

President Trump in an executive order last May renamed it the White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative, to empower faith-based organizations and “promote religious freedom.”

Obvious Double Standard On Recusals Proves Russia Probe Is About Getting Trump. Adam Mill – “Don’t bother reading the underlying rules on conflict of interest, because there’s only one test that matters: Would the recusal help get Trump?” Back in Watergate days, the meme was that it wasn’t the crime, it was the cover-up. That has resurfaced at times today by folks presuming it is all about the President. This time it isn’t. Mill describes how and why.

Obama Judges Can’t Save Dem Losers. David Catron – “the apparent losers haven’t benefited from arbitrary changes these partisan jurists made in the laws by which election officials are legally bound.”

Hmmm: Florida Dems plotted use of altered forms statewide; Update: Judge calls Florida “laughingstock of the world”. Ed Morrissey – “Lesson from the Naples Daily News: When Florida Democrats plot to fudge election law, they go big or go home.”

“The plan to use altered official forms to flood counties with improper “cure affidavits” went up higher and farther than first reported by Politico yesterday. Florida Democratic Party deputy field director Jennifer Kim sent the e-mails statewide, and it’s now unclear how many more altered forms might be outstanding. The e-mails went out the day after the election — two days after the actual deadline for “cure affidavits”

In one sense, this has been mooted anyway. A federal judge extended the actual deadline this morning for “cure affidavits” until Saturday, November 10th at 5 pm ET. It might well be that Kim and the FDP figured they could win in court on this point, and with the gaps so tight on Election Night, it would have made sense to get their voters to keep sending in the affidavits.

The biggest problem in this for the FDP is the altered forms. They could have just sent a cover letter instructing voters to ignore the deadline on the proper form, arguing that they would fight in court to get it extended. Instead, they altered an official election form on their own, and apparently did so in an organized manner.

High snobbery from the Washington Post. Paul Mirengoff – “The Post’s article is phony. But its snobbery, though selective, is genuine.”

Why the data debate must separate authorized versus unauthorized access. Sam Taussig – “The importance of upholding the customers’ absolute right to authorize data access, while simultaneously safeguarding against unauthorized misuse are equally critical.” There is nuance and that is food for FUD mongers.

GOP failed to fight Dem’s health-care scare tactics in midterms. Paul Roderick Gregory – “HR676 could become law if American voters pay no attention to its real contents and fall under the spell of the promise that everything will be free.” FUD Mongering has consequences.

In Democratic circles, anti-Semitism is becoming normal. Roger Kimball – “I am of two minds about where our country’s new flirtation with socialism is heading.”

“Perhaps it is a predictable by-product of affluence, a toxic gas emitted by the mighty engine of the free market. Much of the rhetoric and histrionics might be put down to the enforced childishness wrought the breakdown of our educational institutions.

As people scramble to explain the sudden resurgence of socialism not only on America’s college campuses but also in the corridors of political power, it is worth noting the concomitant resurgence of anti-Semitism in those redoubts. The coincidence is not, as the Marxists like to say, an accident. The truth is that unfettered socialism, though based primarily on a demand for the abolition of private property, always comes riding on a current of anti-Semitism. Picking apart the conceptual reasons for this link is a complex business that I will leave aside here. But it is worth noting how impeccable a provenance the union enjoys.

The efflorescence of anti-Semitism is always a bad sign in a culture, not least because it harbingers a spirit of thuggish intolerance and breakdown of faith in society’s mediating civil institutions.

Donald Trump’s gospel of ‘principled realism,’ his gentle and patriotic version of broad-church, America-first nationalism, offers a healing alternative. The angry Left, which has yet to accept the results of the 2016 election, refuse to take their seats at the table he has set for them. The increasingly violent confrontations with journalists, politicians, and talk show hosts is one troubling sign of that recalcitrance. The normalization of anti-Semitism is another.

It is only the wealthy that can afford to destroy what they have.

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