Archive for Mind Games

Whither optimism?

The Washington Examiner thinks Trump’s budget requires and should produce optimism – “The political Left struggled on Tuesday to find terminology sufficiently jarring to express their rage and disdain for President Trump’s just-released budget. That’s the price we pay for living in an age of political hyperbole.”

What’s actually remarkable about Trump’s budget is that its cuts are modest and, in many cases, are not cuts at all, merely smaller increases than some people desired or expected.

Many have criticized the document’s optimistic projection of a return to 3 percent annual economic growth, which could fall victim to the low and slow expectations that became normal throughout the last eight years. But 3 percent growth is attainable with the right policies in place, and suggesting it is impossible is defeatism.

The fact that it will be difficult to achieve makes it more vital — not less — that the federal government not be allowed constantly to grow and never to shrink. Once again, Congress should ignore the dire predictions and get on with putting policies in place that make optimism possible again.

David Prentice says Strong Enough – “It is disconcerting how many have become so unhinged over the past years. Even so, it’s not possible to have guessed just how extreme and hyperbolic the left would become.”

Championing “resistance” as if they were in a revolutionary cadre in a South American country was not expected. Acting like whining toddlers en masse was not anticipated. A media in total hysterical lockstep to unearth any evidence that Trump was bad, going as low as critiquing two servings of ice cream for him, was not foreseen.

Strength is a manifold concept. Some would say that calling for “strength” in a political leader borders on wanting a strongman such as a Mussolini, but that’s not it at all. It’s simply, strong enough.

It means bringing a different skill set to Washington. It means having a mind strong enough to strive towards a new change of direction for the country against a complacent Washington swamp that loves the power they have and the direction they have set.

Steve Bannon is on record: “If you think they (the left, the media) are going to give your country back without a fight you are sadly mistaken.”

Make no mistake, this is war, one declared by the left, and one we as citizens must face. They are pulling out all the stops. They lie, they cheat, they know the stakes, they want their power back.

Meanwhile, the suicide bomber at a Manchester teenie concert has disturbed the force, the Pope gave the President a book with his non-religious rantings on the economy and climate, more seem to be realizing that the Russian Collusion grand conspiracy theorizing is vaporware, and the Left’s propaganda machine is fixated on a gesture between the President and the First Lady.

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It’s fun to threaten Republicans?

Cheryl K. Chumley: Democrat logic: It’s fun to threaten Republicans – “This is crazed behavior. And it’s all coming from the left, aimed at the right.”

Colton Lochhead: Political vitriol sparks call for moderation in Nevada – “They disrupt … They lambaste … They accuse …

The protests have centered on the most partisan issues and often fail to resonate with the moderate base, said Billy Vassiliadis, an influential operatives for Democrats in Nevada and CEO of R&R Partners.

“Voters are sick of this. The average person is sick of this,” Vassiliadis said.

Vassiliadis, who worked for former Nevada Gov. Bob Miller’s campaign and was an adviser on the campaigns for President Barack Obama and longtime U.S. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, said this “downward spiral” has been building for the better part of two decades.

Jazz Shaw: Yet another argument saying the government can’t restrict immigration – “For reasons which are completely beyond me, Ilya Somin of the Volokh Conspiracy has once again taken to the pages of the Washington Post, making yet another argument claiming that the federal government has no power to restrict immigration in any fashion. We’ve already tackled some of his arguments here in the past, but let’s see what he’s up to this time.” Somin’s arguments anti-Trump have been a puzzle for someone of his stature.

Byron York: At this rate, it won’t matter if Trump colluded with Russia – Anonymous rumors leaking confidential notes without provenance or visibility create a running stream of antagonistic media stories that undermine the government.

That was then. Now, rather than focusing on alleged collusion, the thrust of leaks in recent days has been directed almost exclusively toward building a case of obstruction of justice against the president, charging that he actively tried to derail the investigation into his campaign and his associates. More and more, day after day, Trump’s adversaries believe that, when it comes to bringing down the president, it might not matter if collusion occurred or not. A cover-up would be enough to do the job.

On the other hand, the ‘cover-up’ may be yet another ‘fake scandal’ much like the Russian collusion turned out to be. The real question is whether the perpetrators of these malicious fabrications are held to account. It is also something to note that the prevailing presumption is that the leakers are telling truth. This seems correlated with the presumption that Trump is incompetent. Since the veracity of leakers has been so poor and there is much evidence contrary to the incompetence idea, these presumption should be something to consider.

Andrew Malcom opines on The hidden blessing for Trump in the special counsel’s investigation – “We warned the other day that Trump’s peremptory firing of James Comey and shifting storyline would thoroughly alienate Comey and his colleagues “who are real pros at the Washington game of assassination by leak.”

Here’s where the Mueller appointment is good news for Trump. Mueller has basically unlimited powers now, able to take this investigation in any and all directions. He is universally respected as a straight-shooter in Washington, a rare breed in that swamp.

What’s also quite striking in the hysterical media coverage of the usurper Trump is what didn’t happen before. Remember Attorney General Eric Holder’s Fast and Furious gun-running operation into Mexico? It was botched. Drug gangs got the guns and killed a border agent.

Holder stonewalled congressional investigators. He got censured. No special counsel.

For those of us in flyover country, the wily ways of Washington and its in-house media chroniclers eagerly being used by anonymous sources choose which scandals to snuff and which to fuel. That institutional coziness and congressional ineptitude by both parties partly explain the voter disgust that elected the angriest candidate as president. Never mind his qualifications.

The anger and suspicions of that plurality simmer to this day largely unnoticed back there. Hopefully, the probity of Mueller’s probe will prove convincing whichever way it goes.

Here’s another example of the destructive bias in perceptions: Here’s The Deal With That Glowing Orb Trump Touched In Saudi Arabia – “Social media users mused that the image, in which Trump touches a globe with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, resembled a scene where villains enact their master plan.”

In reality, Trump had touched the globe as part of an inauguration ceremony for the Global Center for Combatting Extremist Ideology in Ridyah, Saudi Arabia on Sunday. Together, the three leaders placed their hands on the globe to start a film about the center.

“This groundbreaking new center represents a clear declaration that Muslim-majority countries must take the lead in combatting radicalization, and I want to express our gratitude to King Salman for this strong demonstration of leadership,” Trump said. “We must be united in pursuing the one goal that transcends every other consideration. That goal is to meet history’s great test — to conquer extremism and vanquish the forces of terrorism.”

But all they can see is evil … maybe they are looking in the mirror?

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Rude, crude, vulgar — is this the new United States?

Cheryl K. Chumley: The art of the Trump take-down – “watching this despicable trend of Democratic-fueled accusation, followed by media-expressed outrage, followed by leftist expression of shock, gives rise to one very apt image: that of sharks circling prey.”

This is not how U.S. politics ought to be run. Yet this is America, campaign 2016 and White House 2017. Think hard, question everything. The vicious political atmosphere of late is not happenstance.

The Democrats are to blame. The mainstream media is a complicit close second for fault. And third? That’d be the gutless and elitists in the Republican Party, masquerading as true representatives of the people, who didn’t want Trump in office in the first place and are now only too glad to quietly sneer, “told you so,” while pretending allegiance to conservative principles.

And once again, let’s remember: There is no evidence Trump worked with Russians to beat Clinton in the election. But to paraphrase a famous Democratic politico, in an out-of-context way: What difference, at this point, does the truth make?

Take care, America, in this 24-hour news cycle, in this fiery anti-Trump atmosphere. There may be more reporting going on. But that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s more truth being provided.

Valerie Richardson: 80 percent of news stories were critical of Trump, says Harvard study – “President Trump has insisted that his press coverage has been historically negative, and a newly released Harvard journalism study backs him up.”

“Trump’s coverage during his first 100 days set a new standard for negativity,” said Harvard Kennedy School of Government professor Thomas E. Patterson in the report.

He added that the coverage was “negative even by the standards of today’s hypercritical press.”

At the same time, Mr. Trump has received more press coverage in general than previous presidents. He was the topic of 41 percent of all news stories, or three times that of previous presidencies, and he was the featured speaker in 65 percent of the stories.

Compare and contrast is provided by Roger Kimball describing Donald Trump’s Invigorating Speech in Riyadh – “Trump’s speech was a forthright, America First, speech, Obama’s an accommodationist’s dream.” There was also note of the media hate: “Fake news alert: the disgusting Washington Post, where truth goes to die, ran a breathless story about how Trump bowed when he received the medal signifying Saudi Arabia’s highest civilian honor. How exactly could the honor have been bestowed had Trump not bowed his head to receive it?”

Bottom line: Obama went to Cairo to apologize for America and hope for world peace. Trump went to Riyadh to champion America and extend an offer to work together for world peace.

I know that pundits will be descending like buzzards upon a carcass to pick away at the details of Trump’s speech. Happy eating to them.

Ed Morrissey says CA Dems keep it classy with digital salute to Trump at convention – “Following in the footsteps of DNC chair Tom Perez, outgoing California Democratic chair John Burton offered a foul-mouthed tirade at the party’s convention this weekend, complete with a two-finger display of defiance of Donald Trump.”

It’s a petulant whine. Normally, we’d expect that from high-school and college students living in their own little bubbles, not from people who are trying to make the case that they can be trusted to run the country. And yet more and more Democrats have begun to wallow in expletives and coarseness rather than address the issues, apparently in the belief that it’s Trump’s bluntness that won him the election. Instead, it comes across much more clearly as a middle finger to voters middle America, who have no love at all for college students and their special-snowflake protests, but at least might excuse it as youthful indiscretions. Pelosi, Perez, Kirsten Gillibrand, and other Democratic leaders hardly have that excuse.

As one party indulges this deeply unserious and idiotic behavior, they encourage more of it from all sides. The discourse in our political cultures has declined rapidly enough as it is, and our media and entertainment cultures have led the way for it. At some point in the future, if we stay on this path, we’ll end up with a political culture where grunts and rude gestures matter more than policy, a game in which the side that can produce the most gross bodily noises wins. In short, we’ll be stuck in a perpetual middle-school playground, only the bullies that come after your school lunch will have the IRS to back them up.

Instapundit cites Putin (re LA Times): “You know what surprises me? They are destabilizing the internal political situation in the United States under anti-Russian slogans,” Putin said, according to Tass. “They either do not understand that they are harming their own country, which means they are just shortsighted, or they understand everything, and that means that they are dangerous and unscrupulous people.”

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Safe Haven Index

First is a story about CNN and their obsession with the President. Then Joel B. Pollak describes how the New York Times Oversells ‘Comey’s Revenge’ Story – “The Times identifies its source as “one of Mr. Comey’s associates,” who did not provide a copy of the memo but read it aloud on the telephone.” Sundance fills in on the New York Times: President Trump Asked Comey To End Flynn Investigation… – “The Washington Post (yesterday) and New York Times (today) are attempting to frame the anti-Trump narrative right before he goes on his first overseas trip.” The IBT opines that No, Trump’s Top-Secret Whispering To Russians Isn’t Fake News — But It Is A Fake Issue – “We have no reason to disbelieve the basic story that Trump shared some intelligence with the Russians. But the details are highly suspect, to say the least. “Former” officials? That means almost certainly Obama administration officials. Hardly an unbiased source.” And reports indicate that Russian president Putin has offered to supply transcripts of the meeting to show that all was proper. Still, The Washington Examiner takes up on Schumer’s effort to cripple Trump – “Sen. Chuck Schumer is trying to sabotage the Trump administration, at the expense of the country.”

Schumer and the Left want to maximize the political price Trump pays for any action he takes, whether it is genuinely controversial and troubling, or only frothed up by critics to look that way. It’s crucial “that Democrats don’t just hand Trump and his party a quick bipartisan victory in the fight to replace James Comey,” a liberal writer urged at Rolling Stone on Friday.

Ace: Some Thoughts And Advice About How to Restore Your Chill – “Something I’ve noticed time and time again: People get the most frustrated and emotionally angry over disputes which are currently beyond their ability to resolve.” … “find the truth” … “Oddly, knowing the truth, even if it’s not the truth you’d hoped for, is less distressing, most of the time.”

How all this works, as I’ve said before, is that people with limited, incomplete, and biased information try to start a stampede of people into agreeing with their questionable, dubious, partisan-twisted conclusions. They make a lot of noise — a lot of noise — shooting off their idiot partisan pistols to get the herd stampeding in the direction they want, none of the cows quite knowing why they’re all headed in this particular direction.

It’s a deeply stupid way to conduct “debate” over political issues, which is why the left favors it so much.

It’s also grating on the mind and spirit to have to put up with so much empty noise.

Tune it out. You now know most of what there is currently available for knowing about the latest Dumb Scandals. There is no additional information currently available, and so there’s not really much reason to Run With the Stupid Bulls.

Paul Mirengoff provides some sense on the Comey meeting notes hysteria: Preliminary thoughts on the “Comey memo” [UPDATED] – “Gregg Jarrett of Fox News argues that if Comey believed the president’s statements to him amounted to obstruction of justice, then Comey himself committed a crime unless he promptly reported those statements to the Department of Justice. However, if Comey concluded that Trump’s language was vague, ambiguous or elliptical, then he had no duty under the law to report it because the statements weren’t criminal.”

Steven Hayward picks up on the intelligence leaks as Profiles in Media Hypocrisy – “We owe it to Marc Thiessen at AEI to offer a compilation of previous media hypocrisy about outing classified intelligence from foreign sources:”

Also on Powerline John Hinderaker notes “Apparently the Democratic Party press has anti-Trump stories lined up and ready to drop every two or three days.” … “The broader context, of course, is that Donald Trump declared war on the establishment, and the establishment is making war on Trump.”

Several pundits and commentators have expressed a basic assumption that Trump is not quite up to the job as President based on this all out war by Democrats and their Propaganda Machine. See Betsy Newmark saying “I can well believe that Trump had no idea that it was improper to talk to Comey about possibly ending the Flynn administration.” That, for her, isn’t new as she has always had a significant anti-Trump bias but it illustrates the presumption that is surfacing here and there. Roger Kimball expands the view a bit and asserts that Trump Maintains Momentum Despite Malicious Media – “As I had occasion to note in March, the “motor of fake news is not inaccuracy. It’s malice.”

Tucker Carlson is correct: the media is “stumbling around in a sightless rage” in their coverage of Trump.

The mournful assumption among many of Trump’s supporters is that the frenzy of media hysteria, though almost comically baseless, is nonetheless dangerous because, on the throw-enough-mud-and-some-will-stick principle, it has an abrading, delegitimizing effect, a drip-drip-drip apodosis that is corrosive of trust.

That may very well be the case. But I suspect nonetheless that the primary victim of the malicious static will not be Trump but the media, which has passed from carping hostility to surreal fantasy.

Two things are happening. On the one hand, the media’s credibility has entered a death spiral. On the other hand, Trump keeps chugging along, toting up victories and setbacks, just like every other successful politician known to man.

It is clear to most observers now that the media’s “bombshells” fail to detonate because they are total fabrications.

“If” is one of those treacherous words, I know, but I think that there are plenty of reasons for confidence. And at that point the great media hysteria of 2017 will seem not only hysterical, not only sad, but also disfiguringly repellent.

Neo-neocon also has Some personal reflections on the WaPo story claiming that Trump compromised security – “when the press is out to get a president—as it has been with Trump—it will ferret out every negative thing it can, and spin it in the most negative way. The attack will be coordinated and relentless, and it will draw at least some blood.” The column is about dealing with conflicts and dissonance.

I have gotten to the point where, when I scan the MSM outlets or memeorandum for the day’s headline stories, the entire enterprise seems more than ever before like mindless propaganda to me. And whether that phenomenon hurts Trump in the end or helps him, I can’t imagine that such a high a level of jusified distrust and weariness of the media is a good place for America to be.

When you stir up the mud at the bottom of the swamp, it releases putrid gases and foul mats of decaying vegetation float to the surface. The local radio investment pundit blamed the Yahoo Search page featuring Nixon and rumors that some Representative will broach impeachment in the House as the reason the stock market indices are dropping. He said investors were moving to ‘safe haven’ investments. This is what a civil war, an effort for a coup, the dismissal of an election, the treason and the sedition, the fake news, the propaganda, and the total lack of regard for intellectual integrity on display from the Left is putting on the table. 

 

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Hooey, self delusion, etc.

Charles Hurt: Hysteria, overblown hooey part of the fake news cycle – “Every time the Washington political press freaks out and goes into full panic mode against President Trump, the blockbuster, Watergate-volume story always unfolds the same way.”

Each time, these reporters sink deeper and deeper into a fantasyland as they dream bigger and bigger. THIS TIME, they keep thinking, we FINALLY got him!

Reporters and Democrats alike — not to repeat myself — are actually now speculating about whether Mr. Trump will survive the certain impeachment hearings to come.

But then, as the heavy breathing subsides and the adrenaline rush gives way to factual, concrete reporting, the most damning charges fall away.

Well, OK. But the White House should have handled it better.

Patricia McCarthy: The Media-Democratic Party Suicide Pact – “The national media and the Democratic Party have gone stark raving mad over President Trump’s election victory; they refuse to accept it.”

Our media and our Democrats seem to think that with all their hateful, childish behavior, their tantrums (“we won’t vote for an FBI director unless there is a special prosecutor”), they can win back the House and Senate in 2018. They seem not to realize that they are going to lose more seats in both houses. Their strategy, these vile tactics, are a suicide pact. And when the mainstream media and the Democratic Party die by their own hands, only the mind-numbed elites on both coasts and the denizens of the editorial offices of the NYT, the WaPo and the LA Times will be surprised. No one else will care. They will have seen it all coming for years.

Betsy McCaughey: The left’s sick lies about health reform – “Never mind facts. Democrats and media allies are resorting to shock value to defeat repeal — staging funerals with caskets and predicting massive deaths if the bill becomes law.”

Does the GOP bill abandon people with pre-existing conditions? No.

Does the GOP House bill pass the “Kimmel test”? Yes.

The public is being misled.

Is repealing ObamaCare “a death sentence for thousands” as Bernie Sanders says? No way.

The first thing to fix is the lack of intellectual integrity and self awareness on the Left.

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Uphold the truth

Rebecca Hagelin: By upholding the truth, can we fight the marketing of evil that is destroying America – “First released in hardcover in 2005 and in paperback in 2015, the book by David Kupelian (managing editor of WorldNetDaily.com) profoundly explains the marketing tactics in continuous use by the left in their attempt to destroy God and His created order and replace them with a world where mankind is sovereign.”

The awful, natural consequences that follow a culture focused on satisfying the arrogant desire of men and women to be their own gods are now infecting every area of life: Education is hijacked to teach moral relativism rather than science or facts, entertainment is permeated with the debasing of humanity, individuals and society become increasingly “entitled” to things and services at someone else’s expense, and children are left fatherless or motherless.

Paul forewarned us in Romans 1:28-31 of what becomes of nations that continue to reject Him: “Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.”

No, I Am Not a Moron but Half the Country is Deranged by Alicia Colon – “We ‘deplorables’ have probably done more research on the issues and are dumbfounded as to why anyone would ever think that Hillary Clinton was a viable candidate.”

In the very short time Donald Trump has been president, he is probably the most besieged leader since Abraham Lincoln presiding over a super polarized nation. This polarization is not based on the serious issue of slavery but by the lies and malicious machinations of a hostile opposition party and the lapdog media minions. They have successfully turned half this nation into blithering, infantile, angry non thinkers who base their anger on faux news emanated by the liberal fascists in the media.

To fully understand what I wrote in my headline, consider three issues where the derangement is most evident-Black Lives Matter, gender politics and Climate Change.

John Fund: Why Are Democrats Afraid of the Election Integrity Commission? – “They know that the voter rolls are breeding grounds for potential fraud.”

Indeed, smart liberals are already moving away from the mantra that “there is no voter fraud” to a more nuanced position.

Leftists have known for a long time that America’s voter-registration lists are breeding grounds for potential fraud. According to a 2012 Pew Research Center survey, one out of eight American voter registrations is inaccurate, out of date, or a duplicate.

That explains why the Democratic line on the new commission is to combine hysterical attacks with cautionary words that what the commission might find won’t be important anyway.

But that doesn’t explain why Democrats have so often opposed just such efforts at the state level or why the Obama administration for eight years played hide-the-ball with the data it did have on potential ineligible voters. When liberals claim that there is no voter fraud, to borrow Shakespeare’s words, they do protest too much. They know that lurking in our archaic election procedures are problems that need fixing. Here’s hoping the new commission — which includes Democratic secretaries of state Bill Gardner of New Hampshire and Matthew Dunlap of Maine — breaks through and conducts a first-ever national look at the problem.

John Hinderaker: Ignorance + Malice = James Clapper – “intended as a portentous warning, but for many Trump voters, the fact that he is “assaulting” some of our institutions is a feature, not a bug.”

CLAPPER: Well, I think, you know, the founding fathers, in their genius, created a system of three co-equal branches of government and a built-in system of checks and balances.

News flash for Mr. Clapper: the FBI is part of the Department of Justice, i.e. the executive branch, which reports to the president. The checks and balances inherent in the three branches of government have nothing to do with it.

the federal bureaucracy is not part of the constitutional system of checks and balances. It only seems that way, sometimes, because of its perennial hostility to Republican presidents.

Roger L. Simon: Schumer’s Special Prosecutor Proposal for Russia Lacks ‘Fairness’ – “Putin will have won. Even though he may not have turned our election upside down, he has certainly turned our minds upside down. We — especially our media — can’t think of anything else.”

If you’re going to have a special counsel for the Trump-Russia situation — in the spirit of bipartisanship and indeed fairness — you would need to have similar counsels for the following: The hidden Hillary Clinton email server, … The Clinton Foundation and its financial relations with Russia, … The misuse of our intelligence agencies for the surveillance and unmasking of Trump and associates and other private citizens by members of the Obama administration … The Internal Revenue Service’s singling out and harassing of many conservative-leaning non-profit organizations and attendant coverup of same, … The Benghazi incident … The Bergdahl affair … Of course there are more, but I had to start somewhere.

Richard Fernandez: Our Fragile Civilization – “Mark Steyn argued that exclusively blaming the other political side for your troubles can provide false comfort. When everything is falling apart the problem is probably bigger than any one point of view.” Fernandez starts with the recent ransomware attacks and notes that many of its victims were still running Windows XP which has been out of maintenance by Microsoft for several years (but they did issue a ‘fix’ for this attack, anyway).

The defection of Edward Snowden, the Office of Personnel Management data breach and the now infamous Hillary hacks all predated Trump though the vulnerabilities will probably continue under him. The list of commercial data breaches is also stunningly long.

One of the weaknesses of the anti-Trump resistance is their inability to address the factors which brought the current administration into existence. Too many think it’s all about one man.

So why can’t such a stupid, ignorant and incompetent bunch be seen off? That must be what troubles the Resistance. The scariest possibility is they are up against complexity itself, fighting a reality that refuses subordination to a narrative. The world is hard to control, even when you dominate all the media outlets.

What makes the pubic think governments which run Windows XP and lose secrets can manage Climate, which is as complex as a human organism? Perhaps we have to relearn humility and restore loose coupling between objects. Otherwise the reactive effects will ripple through “unexpectedly”. But of course no one will listen, just as in the Jurassic Park movies. It’ll be full speed ahead and ‘hold muh beer’.

 

Upholding the truth first involves being able to see it.

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It’s a dangerous path the Left is taking

Where the real danger lies:

Think about it: Wright was so proud of her behavior that she put it out there for the world to see. She felt no shame; no need to hide her actions.

Cheryl K. Chumley says For Republicans, it’s getting dangerous out there – “Wright ultimately left the scene — but was apprehended after she posted details of the incident to her Facebook page. And it’s that little facet of the story that seems most remarkable.”

This particular story ended with Wendi Wright, 35, being arrested and charged with felony reckless endangerment. And the specifics of her charges come down to this: She allegedly chased Kustoff and his aide, Marianne Dunavant, in her car as they drove from the town hall event, ultimately intimidating them to the point that they pulled into the driveway of somebody they knew.

Is Wright demented? Or just an average Democrat in the Trump era?

Certainly, the atmosphere in the country has turned much more accepting of violence as a form of leftist political protest in recent months — since the rise of President Donald Trump, in fact.

The congressional halls of Democratic offices are filled with calls to impeach Trump, finding an actual impeachable offense be danged. And the media, the ever complicit media, don’t mind rising from the mud, when opportunity presents, to join the anti-this, anti-that fray as well.

All this, meanwhile, comes on the heels of an appeal by a Huffington Post editor-at-large for leftists to simply hound those of the pro-Trump camp by following Republican politicians to their places of work, places of dining, places of living, and stand outside and protest and demand answers. Answers to what? Apparently, to why they’re Republicans, refusing to vote Democratic.

But this is the tone and atmosphere of the country right now. And it’s one created and fueled solely by the left. So what’s a good Republican to do to stay safe?

what’s called for in the face of these bullies is to fight harder. Bullies don’t back down unless they’re met with a force that’s to be reckoned with. And how do you best fight lying, deceptive, argumentative, angry, irrational, violent socialist-minded partisans with intent on corrupting the Constitution and destroying the greatness of America? With truth. With courage. With the full armor of God — including the breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith and sword of the spirit.

In the face of such power, evil, as these lunatic leftists represent, can only flee.

John Daniel Davidson: The American Left Is Talking Itself Into Violence – “The recent violence that’s marked our college campuses is seeping into the rest of society, and the vast majority of it comes from the intolerant Left.”

Something is wrong with the American Left. The recent spate of violent protests on college campuses has been well-documented, but the violence and intolerance championed by left-wing student activists is beginning to creep off campus and into mainstream public life.

The reason for this is straightforward enough: although progressives pride themselves on their putative tolerance and diversity, the imperatives of leftist politics are fundamentally illiberal. Justice imposed through power is the philosophical foundation of the political left, and when earnest progressives become convinced the only avenue to power is violence, their tolerance quickly falls by the wayside. Consider a few recent events, none of which involved college protesters but all of which were marked by threats of violence.

Leftist Intolerance Invites A Breakdown Of Civility

How has it come to this? No doubt, leftist ideology invites a kind of intolerance that leads to violence, as we’ve seen. But this tendency is exacerbated by a breakdown of civility fueled by social media. Would we see the kind of brutal, cutthroat behavior that’s marked the crowds at these town halls if those people had not inured themselves somewhat to it?

The problem here is picking a bogey man, social media, to sidestep and destroy the argument presented that it is a much deeper and more insidious evil at play.

William A. Jacobson: Buzzfeed asks: Why is Harvard Law Prof. Larry Tribe spreading conspiracy theories? – “A reputation is a terrible thing to waste.”

Lawrence Tribe, Harvard Law School professor, has sullied his reputation with his Trump Derangement Syndrome, as Buzzfeed documents

One of the great untold stories is how many liberals have damaged themselves in the desire to get Trump.

If Trump doesn’t go to jail, like so many of the liberal conspiracy theorists are predicting, there will be a price to pay for their delusions, and that price will be their reputations.

David Keene: A lesson in the loss of liberty – “Mischief-makers have turned new surveillance powers against Americans.”

Liberal civil libertarian types were convinced back then that it was dangerous to entrust too much to the likes of George W Bush, but went silent when Barack Obama entered the White House. …

Imagine what sort of public uproar would have erupted if, during the 2008 campaign, it had been revealed that the outgoing Bush administration had been caught doubling or tripling surveillance of its opponents and was “unmasking” candidate John McCain’s foreign policy advisers whose names may have been picked up through surveillance of noncitizens in troubled areas of the world. The media, Democrats in Congress and the liberal pundits would have simply gone berserk, but the cavalier use of these same powers by Mr. Obama against folks they don’t like hasn’t fazed them a bit.

The answer should be obvious. It goes beyond ideology to the nature of trusting government with too much power. When any government official assures the public that he or she can be trusted with powers we wouldn’t trust to “bad guys,” we should be wary because powers that can be abused will be abused by someone at some time for motives good or bad.

Clarice Feldman provides a summary on Russian Hacking and Collusion: Put the Cards on the Table – “The notion that Russia interfered in the election to help Donald Trump was a John Brennan/James Clapper confection created in an unorthodox way, and defied logic, given that Hillary and her associates had far closer connections to Russia than Trump or his associates did.”

12 prominent public statements by those on both sides of the aisle who reviewed the evidence or been briefed on it confirmed there was no evidence of Russia trying to help Trump in the election or colluding with him:

Law professor Jonathan Turley says much the same thing: “No one has yet to explain to me what the core crime that would be investigated with regards to Russian influence,’ Turley said Wednesday evening. “I don’t see the crime, so I don’t see how it’s closing in on Trump.”

Unless you think it makes political and constitutional sense to have an FBI director holding open forever an investigation of his boss with no factual basis, you might understand how ridiculous Comey’s refusal to publicly detail his reasons for so doing.

But there is much more than the misjudgment of allowing these people to head the investigation, which has run on for months with an ocean of leaks and no evidence.

if this is Watergate, it’s not because this president is trying to cover up any wrongdoing on his part, but rather Comey and others at the FBI are trying to cover up theirs, rather like Mark Felt. The drive to arrogate power to one’s self is a feature of Washington politics, and hardly unknown to the top ranks of the FBI.

Jazz Shaw picks up on how petty CNN has become: Impeachable? Trump gets TWO scoops of ice cream while the peasants all get one

they really didn’t have much of a point to make here. The best they could do was point to this as an example of how the White House staff is settling in with Trump and getting used to his preferences. But by the time they write it up on the web site the tone has definitely changed. Notice how they can’t be satisfied with simply saying that the staff has picked up on his druthers in dining. They have to paint the mental imagery of a plump, greedy child who has suddenly been turned loose in the palace and has the royal staff fetching him bowl after bowl of dessert treats.

So take that as you will. It might be a story about ice cream or the tale of some Caligula-like emperor who is gobbling up the riches of the realm while the peasants are forced to do without. This. Is. CNN. They report… you decide.

Or, another example by John Sexton: Michelle Obama is not happy about the rollback of her school lunch guidelines – “Mrs. Obama suggested that issues like school lunches should be above politics and yet she’s asking her audience to question the motives of the people who are making these changes.”

Ultimately, there has to be a balance between allowing kids to eat what tastes good to them and what will keep them healthy. It should be possible for adults to disagree about where that middle-ground is without assuming anyone who has a different opinion has bad motives and wants to see kids “eating crap.”

Or Jazz, again: This is how progressives undermine capitalism in the name of “character” – “It really wouldn’t merit much national attention were it not such a sterling example of enshrined, liberal tribal beliefs being carried over in the real world to the point of self-ridicule.” The community’s choice in which coffee shop is to replace an outed one … “what’s the difference if you drove down the property values and stopped someone from providing some jobs to local folks and possibly making a profit?”

On the U.S. economic front, Mark Perry is Putting America’s ridiculously large $18.6T economy into perspective by comparing US state GDPs to entire countries – “Overall, the US produced 24.7% of world GDP in 2016, with only about 4.5% of the world’s population.”

 

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Totally Bonkers but No shame?

Sundance: *UPDATE* – President Trump Drops Another MOAB – Media Missing Sally Yates and James Comey Timeline… – “what’s more stunning in the aftershock is the media’s incapacity to take the new Trump/Comey timeline information and add it to the existing Sally Yates timeline.”

Now, accepting the politicization of the entire Russian Conspiracy Narrative that was leading the headlines for the two months prior to this dinner; and knowing moments earlier your Chief White House counsel informs you that two political operatives (Yates and Priestap) within the DOJ were providing classified intelligence reports about General Flynn; and knowing the prior months (Nov/Dec/Jan) were fraught with leaks from intelligence reports identical to those discussed; wouldn’t you perhaps think that any action you take could be utilized to add fuel to this Russian narrative? And/Or be used by these same leak facilitators to make something seem like something it is not?

Think about it.

If you were President under those circumstances, wouldn’t you ask FBI Director James Comey what the deal was with these investigations, and whether or not you were under investigation BEFORE you took action to retain or fire Mike Flynn?

Given the circumstances it could appear, and most definitely should be considered, that the President was being ‘set-up’ to impede an FBI investigation by taking action against Flynn.

Then consider the news this morning that the Left is clamoring for the recordings as if they were Nixon’s missing minutes and Warren, among others, are taking the stance in public speech that Trump is guilty of every crime under the sun as their starting point – despite any evidence of a crime and the fact that the ‘investigation’ is about national security and not criminal matters.

Then take a look at John Merline: Oops: The New York Times Accidentally Exposed ‘The Hillary Clinton-Russia Nexus’! – “the incredible New York Times editorial* published on Thursday that lays out the case for how the Hillary Clinton campaign was colluding with the Russian government, and then tried to cover it up by blaming her election loss on Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

* OK, this is not really what The New York Times wrote in its editorial (the actual editorial can be found here). But it does closely track what the Times’ editorial accuses Trump of doing, and the Times’ accusations about a Trump “nexus” with Russia are just about as flimsy.

Top Democrats, as indicated above, also have a long history of business and political ties with Russia, for the simple reason that there is money to be made by people who can peddle their political connections. And sometimes these Democrats don’t disclose their Russia ties. If this is all the Times needs to accuse Trump and his associates of having “an unusually extensive network of relationships with a major foreign power,” then Clinton is equally guilty. (The one difference is that Hillary actually has a record of being soft on Russia.)

Phil Salmon: When science had no shame. Part 1: Why are nearly all sci-fi movies anti-science dystopia? – this has a lot to do with understanding current politics as it flavors many views and values of the Left.

Are we living in a new prohibition era? A generation of straight-laced environmental puritans have been teaching us and our children to be ashamed of science and technology.

For the self-appointed guardians of our environmental rectitude, technology is the new sex, business is the new gambling and CO2 the new alcohol

The blasted dystopian future-scapes that we view with monotonous regularity through theatrical off-stage blown mist, all communicate a not-so-subtle political message: if you don’t pay attention to our endless protest movements that are anti-science, anti-technology, anti-vaccine, anti-energy, anti that atom with the atomic number of the Beast, then look at all the bad stuff that’s heading your way! Only a small minority of SciFi movies rise above the rest and actually fulfil SciFi’s purpose, that is, to inspire us with the possibilities of science and technology – while also addressing its dangers and ambiguities but in a positive and hopeful spirit.

Optimism? Gone. Self Aware? Gone. Totally Bonkers it seems.

 

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Should have done it different

Charles Hurt: Hysteria, overblown hooey part of the fake news cycle – “Every time the Washington political press freaks out and goes into full panic mode against President Trump, the blockbuster, Watergate-volume story always unfolds the same way.”

But then, as the heavy breathing subsides and the adrenaline rush gives way to factual, concrete reporting, the most damning charges fall away.

“Well, he could have handled it better,” they sniff. “He didn’t follow Washington political protocol.”

Are you freaking kidding me? It all starts with charges of high crimes and misdemeanors — impeachment imminent — and when it all turns out to be fake news these people walk away grumbling about how Mr. Trump could have handled it better?

Cheryl K. Chumley: Insanity, as left calls for stalking GOP in streets, at home – “ If you can’t beat them at the ballot box, just scream them into submission.”

But this writer, Michelangelo Signorile, editor-at-large of the HuffPo’s “Queer Voices” section, is insane. He’s not just ratcheting the anti-Trump rhetoric. He’s outright calling for fellow leftists to publicly hound anyone wearing a Republican button, a MAGA hat, a White House job title — anyone who’s not of similarly leftist lunacy mind.

He’s making an appeal for anarchy in the streets — an appeal for “force” and widespread resistance.

And once again, like the left always does, Signorile blames the victim — blames Trump and Republicans and the Republican message as bringing down the drastic measures upon their own heads.

“This may sound too extreme and out of bounds to some people … [but] Donald Trump is not operating within boundaries — nor is anyone who is enabling him,” he said. “We much fight back with equal force.”

These people are delusional and dangerous, at minimum useful idiots for the higher-ranking on the ideological left — at worst, attackers in waiting. How any level-headed individual could call for such a thing is just beyond the scope of any sensible mind.

Another example: look at how the Democrats are going after Rosenstein whose memo detailed the problems with Comey. Karoun Demirjian, Ed O’Keefe and Paul Kane: Rosenstein role in Comey firing raises more questions than answers – “Democrats were demanding a reckoning over his role in the ouster but leaving more questions than answers in his wake.” No matter that many of these politicians were calling for the action in previous weeks. No matter the content of Rosenstein’s report. No matter that Comey serves at the pleasure of the President and the President does not need any reason to fire him. No, it’s the ad hominem at Rosenstein’s expense. It’s the irrational Left on parade.

Two weeks ago, Rod J. Rosenstein received the bipartisan confidence of the vast majority of the Senate during his confirmation as deputy attorney general. But a memo he drafted this week that has served as President Trump’s public justification for firing Comey has all but eviscerated that trust.

Led primarily by Democrats, senators are now asking Rosenstein to come back to Capitol Hill next week to explain his role in Comey’s dismissal. A senior Republican, too, declined to defend Rosenstein’s actions after meeting with him behind closed doors.

It also fits into Hurt’s behavior observations as well. Feinstein is “incredulous” that Rosenstein would use “quotes from opinion pieces and news clippings about former Justice Department officials critiquing Comey’s handling of the Clinton investigation.” The title of the report was “Restoring Public Confidence in the FBI” and, it seems to the Left, demonstrating this problem should have ‘been handled better’?

Michael Barone says James Comey Is the Latest Victim of the Clintons – “For some Democrats and journalists, every Republican military initiative is Vietnam and every possible scandal Watergate. That’s a measure of the nostalgic perspective of the baby-boom generation. We’re as many years away from Vietnam and Watergate as they were from the 1920s.”

Comey’s July 5 statement made clear that Hillary Clinton had violated Title 18, Section 793(f) of U.S. Code, put in place by the Espionage Act. But he added to the words of the statute an intent requirement and so recommended that she not be prosecuted. It’s not hard to imagine that he felt entitled to inflict political damage on someone for whom the Obama Justice Department had put in the fix.

That makes Comey only the latest victim of the Clintons, who, like F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tom and Daisy Buchanan, smash up “things and creatures” and then retreat “back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it (is) that (keeps) them together, and let other people clean up the mess they (have) made.”

The mess continues, as Democrats howl against the removal of an official whose removal they demanded up through lunchtime Tuesday and continue to search, Ahab-like, for evidence that Russia somehow stole the election.

Byron York picks up on the smear campaign with What Grassley and Feinstein said about Trump, the FBI, and Russia – “One of the most dramatic moments in then-FBI Director James Comey’s May 3 appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee came when Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal tried to press Comey into revealing that President Trump is a target of the FBI’s Russia investigation.”

Blumenthal’s tactics were so concerning that on Thursday, at a business meeting of the Judiciary Committee not devoted to any aspect of the Russia affair, Republican Chairman Charles Grassley and Democratic Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein both addressed the subject.

In a carefully-written statement, Grassley said that he and Feinstein were indeed briefed by Comey on the particular individuals targeted in the current FBI investigation. And Grassley strongly implied — in fact, did everything but come out and say directly — that the president is not one of those individuals.

John Sexton: Acting FBI Director: ‘There has been no effort to impede our investigation to date’ – “McCabe said there had been no effort to impede the investigation and added that nothing would stop the FBI from doing the right thing.” This is another of those contra Fake News items that tends to stomp on the conspiracy theories.

if this is an attempt at a cover-up, it’s a very stupid one. Firing the FBI Director does not stop the FBI investigation and does not stop the parallel investigations in the House and Senate. All this does is add fuel to the fire. In fact, you can bet that the FBI agents working this case are twice as motivated as they were before to find out what’s going on because their credibility is on the line.

Kimberly Strassel: Why James Comey Had to Go. (HT Instapundit as it’s a closed WSJ column) – “Which leads us to Mr. Comey’s most recent and obvious conflict of all — likely a primary reason he was fired: the leaks investigation (or rather non-investigation). So far the only crime that has come to light from this Russia probe is the rampant and felonious leaking of classified information to the press.”

As for the press, Patricia McCarthy has Three cheers for Sarah Sanders – “One has to almost like punishment to face the White House Press Corps these days.”

These people do this because they live for the moment the person at the podium slips. They ask the same questions over and over and over again in the apparent belief that if they ask often enough, at some point, they will get the answer they want. Each wants to be the person who trips up the press secretary and becomes the story himself for the next twenty-four hours. The whole routine is pathetic. Not only does it betray the wholesale lack of critical thinking among these privileged press folk, but it illustrates their absolute hollowness. They are hollow to their core. They care not one bit about the country, the Constitution, the incalculable damage done to the nation by Obamacare, the debt incurred by the Obama administration’s profligate spending, the racial animus Obama promulgated, the absolute gibberish that passes for a university education, the horrific danger Obama has engendered with his Iran deal, etc. No. Our White House press corps cares about none of these things. These reporters care about one thing only: taking Trump down.

That leads to The Next Big Lie About ObamaCare – “as night follows day, Republicans will be blamed for it all.”

Here’s how the Democrats’ story goes. After a rough start, ObamaCare was finally on the mend. Those massive rate hikes and insurance defections of last year were a thing of the past, and there was no truth to claims that ObamaCare was in a “death spiral.”

What insurers are saying is that the ObamaCare markets are continuing to deteriorate, as they have for years, with mostly older and sicker people signing up, while the young and healthy avoid ObamaCare’s overpriced coverage. The result is a sicker insurance pool that requires higher premiums to cover, which then drives out more young and healthy people, setting off another round of rate hikes.

In fact, in some ways Trump has worked to stabilize the ObamaCare markets, which Anthem notes in its Virginia filing, citing “helpful regulatory improvements” as a mitigating factor. Nevertheless, Anthem says, these improvements aren’t enough to overcome the fact that costs “continue to outpace premiums on a large scale.”

The inconvenient truth for Democrats is that ObamaCare is failing, and will continue to fail no matter what the GOP does. It is unsustainable and must be replaced. If Democrats wanted to act like mature adults, instead of petty partisans, they’d be as eager to find a replacement for ObamaCare as the GOP is.

This is the typical rationalization for the lack of success of socialism. The failures are because of some outside influence or not having the right leaders or anything but the reality of what actually happened. This is why you don’t see Venezuela in the news that much as that case has gone so far that it is hard to make excuses so typical of the Left.

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This time it’s not ‘fake’ it’s ‘faux’ as in faux outrage.

Two topics about the Comey firing seem to be rising to fill in for the lack of any evidence to support conspiracy or treason or other malfeasance. The first is the timing and the second is the method. Both are being used to denigrate Trump by ‘swamp critters’ who really ought to know to be careful in such old paradigm conclusion jumping by now. Incompetence may be an easy rationalization for what they don’t understand but, so far, such a model has just about the same credibility as the AGW climate models as far as verification goes.

IBD: Democrats Desperate To Turn Trump Into Nixon – “Watching the Democrats splutter in splenetic rage in recent days has been priceless, a lesson in instantaneous political outrage whipped up not out of legitimate moral indignation but purely for political ends.”

Democrats, true to form these days, care only about politics and power. They look mighty silly, turning 180 degrees on Comey in just the space of months, and in some cases, weeks.

And for the record, this is how the rest of Trump’s presidency will go. Whenever he does anything, the Democrats will squeal, call for legal action or an investigation, and obstruct the people’s business in Congress.

Americans voted for big change in November, but the Democrats seem dead-set on denying them that. Trump is not Nixon. And Congress would be wise not to pretend he is.

Chris Pandolfo: Pathetic: GOP divided on Comey firing as Democrats are unified – “Count on Republicans to be disorganized and send mixed messages whenever the Trump administration does something big.” One the one hand, this illustrates that Republicans are a collection of individuals while the Democrats tend more towards the ‘mind numbed robots’ soldiers of their leader. On the other, it explains why there is so much frustration in opposing the destruction of culture and government of the people.

What is there to be confused by? What is unclear? As Levin pointed out on the radio, the deputy attorney general who made the recommendation to President Trump to fire Comey has only been on the job for a week. In that first week, DAG Rod J. Rosenstein reviewed Comey’s actions as FBI director and, as he explains in his letter, found that “the FBI is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a Director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them.”

While it’s nice to see some fighters in the GOP, why is it so hard to get the whole party on the same page? Is there a single Democrat praising President Trump for firing Comey?

There’s not. That’s why the GOP is the party of self-defeat.

Brokaw on Comey Firing: ‘This Is Not the Saturday Night Massacre’ – “Brokaw argued Trump’s actions were much different, especially given months earlier Trump’s political opponents in Congress had been critical of Comey as well.”

Well, this is not the Saturday Night Massacre. I was there covering the Saturday Night Massacre. We had a criminal conspiracy in the White House, well known that we were working to find out what had gone on. Some of the president’s top aides were on the way to jail at that point.

At the same time, you have to remember that James Comey in the eyes of the Democrats was a very flawed director of the FBI. And it was funny to watch Mitch McConnell on the floor of the Senate in his kind of droll way saying, “This is a man that we were hearing from Chuck Schumer and others saying not too long ago that should not be in this job.”

Levin on Comey Firing: ‘We Have a Lot of Legal and Historical Illiterates Posing as TV Hosts and Commentators’ – “Levin hammered one of the biggest critics of that decision, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), but not before criticizing media pundits for what he deemed to be their legal and historical illiteracy.”

First of all, the president didn’t order an end to the Russian investigation.

But I have a couple of questions, if I might, for Chuck Schumer who is the leading demagogue and all of this. Tell me something, Mr. Schumer, can you name a single Russian, just one, who colluded with Donald Trump and his campaign? Just give us a one, one.

John Hinderaker goes after the AP, again. The Associated Press Goes Around the Bend on Comey – “when the AP really wants to cut loose it labels its stories “AP Analysis.”

This is deeply dishonest. Note that the AP doesn’t say that Trump is the first president since Nixon to fire an FBI Director. Nixon didn’t fire an FBI Director. The last president to fire an FBI Director, on far weaker grounds than Trump’s, was Bill Clinton.

And note the AP’s weaselly claim that Comey was “overseeing an investigation involving the commander in chief.” Trump was not a target of Comey’s investigation, which “involved” the president only in the sense that it related to members of his campaign team and, in at least one case, his administration.

Another false, overheated assertion. Trump didn’t challenge any institutions, he fired an officer of the federal government who served at his pleasure. The AP needs to get a grip.

Any Republican can become a profile in courage by siding with Democrats and selling out a Republican president. I am trying to remember the last time a Democrat became a profile in courage by siding with Republicans.

The AP’s “analysis” is all wishful thinking. The Democrats would love to see a constitutional crisis, but all they are going to get is a new (and undoubtedly better) FBI Director. Meanwhile, to say that the Democrats’ Trump-bashing has reached a point of diminishing returns is an understatement.

Betsey Newmark falls into the camp that presumes Trump incompetence but her Cruising the Web this morning also has a few links and highlights worth noting.

Beyond partisan motivations, Charles C. W. Cooke has an explanation why some people are divided about the Comey firing. … “I’ve been trying to understand why he was so vexed, and I think I’ve worked it out: He has assumed — and built into his thinking — that there is a huge Russia scandal in the background of all this. And I haven’t.”

Dan McLaughlin has a good article explaining that it is in the Republicans’ best interest to get the whole Russia story out there. … That’s why talking about a constitutional crisis is absurd – nothing has been done that is unconstitutional as far as we know. … Since Democrats and their allies in the media are jumping up and down to pretend that there is clear evidence of Trump collusion with Russia, it behooves the Republicans to make sure that the story is fully ventilated. … “In political terms, the problem for Republicans is that as long as the investigation is secret, Democrats can continue to make it look worse than it is. They have a license to spin conspiracy theories like Marshall’s, without the need for any facts or evidence;”

Daniel Henninger discusses what he found by reading the Rosenstein memo about what went on in the FBI as they investigated Clinton’s server and it is clear that James Comey way overstepped his duties as the head of the FBI to usurp the role of a federal prosecutor. That is what he should have been fired for. “The predictable tumult from the Obama-originated mass leaks then intimidated Congress into sending the House and Senate intelligence committees chasing after these “suggestions” of collusion.

“Beyond Mike Flynn and Carter Page, why haven’t we seen more leaks pushing past the original stories? Why have the leakers gone silent, unless they leaked everything they had? Indeed why hasn’t there been a mega-dump into the press by now of all the original NSA “raw signals intelligence” à la the Pentagon Papers?”

For those who believed that Sally Yates took Ted Cruz to school during her testimony before the Senate, Josh Blackman explains why that is so not true. “there is little to celebrate in Yates’ stand. Indeed, her explanation before the Senate only made things more confusing.”

One of the prevailing themes is that the Democrats would respond rationally to reasoned, thoughtful, and considerate action by Republicans or the President. Examples of this are few and far between and this is what Newmark seems to be missing. Neo-neocon shows better awareness of this in his post on The why and wherefore of the Comey firing

I disagree strongly with McCarthy’s statement that the reasoning in Rosentein’s memorandum “will make it very difficult for Democrats to attack President Trump’s decision.” On the contrary, they will find no problem whatsoever in doing so. It doesn’t matter how well-crafted Rosenstein’s enumeration of Comey’s errors is, and it doesn’t matter how many Democrats Rosenstein manages to quote who were in agreement months ago with what he’s saying now about Comey. Those Democrats are on another side of the political divide, and will act accordingly—as McCarthy himself seems to acknowledge towards the end of his piece

Those who assume Trump incompetence and Democrat integrity are telling you something about their credibility.  

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Confused minds?

Sundance starts with the trade arguments – Canada’s Liberal Politics Behind Trudeau’s Antagonistic Trade Positions… – to say something about the United States. “In addition to the size of our economy, America is profoundly unique in that there is almost no product on the planet that cannot be replicated in the United States.” And it’s not just natural resources. Examples are provided.

Additionally, our inherent American DNA strain is one of entrepreneurial existence. We know how to do things, create things, and think completely outside the box on new and innovative ideas for things. Yes, we are exceptional like that.

It’s high time we stop being embarrassed about our exceptional nature, and start being proud of it again. Because when it matters most, when it really counts, when it’s really needed, there’s a whole bunch of people all around this world of ours that are mighty happy when swagger walks in to solve their problems.

Yeah, “let’s make America great again”. Swagger on !

James Lewis wonders about the Conservative Cringe and The Real Reason Washington Post Republicans Hate Donald Trump – “Mr. Will has finally identified his complaint in a WaPo opinion piece dramatically called “Trump Has a Dangerous Disability.”

Now, I happen to think that Trump’s political jargon is a shrewd way to dodge the murderous hatred of our fair-minded media, the people Mr. Will spends his life with. We know they examine every syllable emerging from Trump’s mouth, ready to draw blood as soon as they can distort and lie about something he says that is perfectly innocent.

Trump has developed an effective way to reach you and me. We understand his private code, which leaves liberals foaming at the mouth.

After thinking about George and Jonah and Bill, who unanimously headed for the hills when Trump started to win, I’ve finally concluded that they despised Trump because he sounded low-class. It’s a class thing.

Well, the D.C. establishment also despised Abe Lincoln as a low-class hick from the backwoods who spoke with a country accent.

On the Fake News™ front, Ace describes how the WaPo digs in on a Fake Hoax story. “Hate Crime” Reported on By Washington Post 15 Times Turns Out to Be, Get This, a Hoax; Washington Post Refuses to Run a New Story On the Hate Hoax – “Democracy Dies in Darkness, doesn’t it?

Oh, and don’t forget the AP. John Hinderaker hasn’t: On the Judiciary, the Associated Press Parrots the DNC – “I think the Associated Press is even worse, or at least, more pervasive. A case in point is tonight’s story on President Trump’s judicial appointments: “Trump begins effort to pack courts with conservatives.”

Let’s stop right there. All presidents nominate judges with compatible philosophies. Did the Associated Press ever write that President Obama was “packing” the federal judiciary with liberals? I don’t think so. I tried this Google search–“associated press obama pack courts with liberals”–and got nothing.

The AP supplies some reasonably objective information, and then goes full DNC:

“The courts” didn’t “derail” the president’s agenda. Rather, a couple of Democratic Party stalwarts, who got the cases as a result of Democratic Party judge-shopping, issued absurd orders that are destined to be overturned in due course.

The AP fails to note that application of the filibuster to judicial nominees is a very recent innovation.

From there, it only gets worse:

The question is why people are fixated on incomplete or even fabricated world models and why they push them so hard on others.

 

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As The Whole Truth succumbs to Trivia

Thomas Lifson: American media hiding socialism’s devastation of Venezuela – “If you want a simple test to determine if a news source is in the fake news business, examine what they write about Venezuela.” It’s a form of Fake News™ where the ‘fake’ is by selection.

The fate of Venezuela, which has the largest oil reserves in the world, ought to be the final lesson conclusively proving that socialism is a delusion that impoverishes those it purports to help.

Dishonesty about socialism’s failures has led to a huge percentage of Americans (roughly 4 in ten) saying that they prefer socialism to capitalism. While it is tempting to label this a failure of American education and journalism, the fact is that it represents the triumph of propaganda over reality. If people understand the fallout socialism brings as clearly as Venezuelans now do, they would reject progressives.

If the agony Venezuela is undergoing does not teach a lesson to the rest of the world, then it will have accomplished nothing. Yet, because so few Americans care deeply about Venezuela, they may be willing to accept the excuses proffered by so many in the journalistic and academic worlds. That can only mean more suffering in the future, as the socialism remains attractive for what it promises, not for what it delivers.

Jazz Shaw describes another example of this sort of deceit for propaganda purposes in explaining How a “suicide by cop” hurts everyone – ““Yet another…” As if the cops make it their national pastime to go around gunning down young black kids for no reason at all.”

They traced the call and confirmed that it had in fact been placed from the teenager’s own phone. When the police arrived he pulled out the pistol and pointed it at them. Showing incredible restraint, the officers held their fire and again ordered him to drop the weapon. Instead, the boy continued pointing it at them and began advancing on the officers. The rest is, sadly, history.

What happened was obvious. This was suicide by cop. The boy intentionally summoned the police there and put them in a situation where they clearly felt they were in danger of either losing their own lives or seeing an armed and clearly dangerous figure head out into the community with a weapon. They responded in the only fashion possible given the limited information available to them.

I don’t know what went wrong in that young, unnamed boy’s life to bring him to that point, but his senseless death isn’t the only worrisome aspect of this story. The all too common theme of the cops being the bad guys continues to be propagated on social media and everyone is all too willing to assign the blame to law enforcement before any of the facts are known. This is how we wind up with riots and communities where enforcing the law becomes all the more difficult because the residents refuse to work with the cops. How many more stories like this are we going to see? I wish I had some brilliant solutions to offer for this situation, but frankly it seems like an insurmountable challenge at this point.

Instapundit cites Salena Zito: Hillary’s perfectly crafted untruths.

Trump’s willingness to say what he thought during the 2016 campaign endeared him to his supporters. Unlike the press, Trump supporters understood that Trump shot from the hip and would make mistakes. To many of them, his walking-back of some of what he said then makes sense; is a sign of learning, not of duplicity.

Compare this to Clinton’s interview Monday with Christiane Amanpour: She conceded to mistakes during the campaign, offered to write a “confessional” seeking “absolution” — and then blamed it all on FBI Director James Comey.

Haynes believes Trump’s line of communication creates a new verb for Merriam-Webster: “I’ve started calling them ‘Etrumptions’ — the violent eruptions in the news cycle resulting from the media’s reaction to Trump’s malaprops or inaccuracies or random tweets.”

Voters want fewer media “Etrumptions” and more information. People do believe what is going on Washington is consequential, but they want to judge for themselves with good, relevant information.

They are tired of being told what they are supposed to think about every Trump word, especially the words that don’t matter.

Words delivered with honesty, despite being loose with facts, sometimes are more appealing to people than a perfectly crafted message that is dishonest at its core.

That’s why Wilson chose Trump over Clinton.

And that’s why Trump is president and Clinton is not.

This brings to mind the Fable of the Mote and the Beam (wilipedia) from Matthew 7:1-5. One path to fake is to ignore the beam in one’s own eye while going to any extreme to find a mote in Trump’s. A whole truth falls to trivia.

 

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Fake Law™ Anyone?

Silvio Canto, Jr. aksk Who needs elections? We got judges! – “What do you do when you lose everything between Maryland and the California border? You look for friendly judges who hate Trump as much as you do.” He cites Marc O. DeGirolami is a law professor at St. John’s University and the author of The Tragedy of Religious Freedom.

“Welcome to the rise of fake law. Just as fake news spreads ideologically motivated misinformation with a newsy veneer, fake law brings us judicial posturing, virtue signaling, and opinionating masquerading as jurisprudence.

“And just as fake news augurs the end of authoritative reporting, fake law portends the diminution of law’s legitimacy and the warping of judges’ self-understanding of their constitutional role.”

It may go on for a while. In other words, it won’t be long before every law that passes a red state, such as the new sanctuary city rules in Texas, will be frozen by some judge who thinks he knows best.

How much longer will this nonsense go on?

It may be time for Chief Justice John Roberts to remind judges that they are in the wrong branch if they want to make law.

For a variety of the ‘both sides do it’ fallacy, see Andrew C. McCarthy describing why No, the FBI Was Not a Trump Partisan – “The Democrats’ latest canard ignores difference between criminal and intelligence investigations.”

There is nothing more inequitable than treating two fundamentally different things as if they were the same.

Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal, based on mountainous evidence of law-breaking, resulted in a criminal investigation. The suspicion that associates of Donald Trump have troubling ties to Kremlin insiders, based on comparatively sparse evidence, has resulted in a foreign-intelligence investigation. The two types of inquiry are fundamentally different — dissimilar in their objectives, their processes, and their presumptions about secrecy and disclosure. The only similarity is that each is called an “FBI investigation.” To contend that this makes them equivalents, suitable for similar treatment, is akin to saying red and blue must be the same thing because each is a color.

There is no equivalence between criminal and intelligence investigations — the former expected to result in public disclosures, the latter classified and presumed secret. To claim otherwise is to elevate politics over national security . . . or to be just plain dumb.

Andrew Heaton: Lighten Up, Francis – “The Pontiff ought to stick to flock-tending and lay off capitalism.”

Francis sure gibbers a lot about economics, and when it comes to market forces the man is anything but infallible.

Take his latest and rather pointed jab at libertarianism.

Pope Francis no doubt sees libertarianism as hand-in-hand with the other evil he frequently warns his flock about: capitalism. Spake Francis in his 2013 Evangelii Gaudium, “Inequality is the root of social ills.”

His Holiness’ apprehension of evil people like myself springs from the assumption that we’re all very selfish, and happy about it. But classical liberalism doesn’t endorse selfishness as a virtue, it just champions individuals as the primary decision-makers of society.

Adam Smith pointed out that your baker doesn’t sell you bread out of the goodness of his heart, he does it to earn a living. When you throw self-interest and competition into the mix, bread prices plummet and scales of economy crank out enough bagels that for the first time in human history entire societies are more concerned about gluten intolerance than starvation.

Finally, let’s look at the pope’s stated root of all social ills: inequality. If we lived in a feudal state where lords become wealthy by plundering serfs, inequality would indeed be a heinous evil. Fortunately we don’t live in that zero-sum world.

Bill Gates didn’t become a billionaire by impoverishing America—quite the opposite. And if we doubled everyone’s income tomorrow many people would be lifted out of poverty, but the gap between us and whoever Bernie Sanders wants to hang this week would be even greater. Poverty and inequality simply aren’t the same thing.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. I suspect it’s also publicly funded.

How much longer will this nonsense go on?”

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Fake News™

Who’s your hero? It’s often about denial and rationalizing fantasies, not admirable characteristics. Now there is another example of trying to make a hero of a juvenile thug who just happened to pick the wrong target. Sundance is on the case: Florida University To Award Posthumous Degree to Trayvon Martin…

There is so much about the Trayvon Martin story that is false. Well, factually, almost every scintilla of the media story about Trayvon is false. Those who know the truth, including those who live within Miami Gardens, laugh at Fulton and Martin and fully grasp the absurdity of the Trayvon Martin college degree announcement.

One starts to wonder about the education system when reality doesn’t matter or, if it does, why they choose their heroes they do.

IBT notes that Unlike ObamaCare, The GOP Health Bill Wasn’t Built On Lies And False Promises – “While everyone is busy picking apart the flaws of the Republican ObamaCare replacement bill, one inconvenient truth is being overlooked: ObamaCare itself has been a colossal disaster.” The dishonesties used to sell ObamaCare are listed but they don’t stop there. They continue in the defense.

The Republican health plan is far from perfect. But at least Republicans are offering something concrete. The same cannot be said of their critics, who are simply ignoring the fact that ObamaCare never lived up to its promises and is now completely falling apart.

Andrew Klavan has Thanks, GOP! – “President Trump and the GOP are actually doing a pretty good job so far.”

A Wall Street Journal opinion piece gets it just right: “The media template for covering the 115th Congress apparently goes like this: When Republicans fail to pass a bill, they’re doomed. But when they succeed, they’re also doomed.”

This is not only true on the left, whose media from the New York Times to CNN now sounds like a girls’ locker room after a mouse got in. But it’s true on the right too, where every compromise is reported as a catastrophe.

But let’s step back from the close-up bill-by-bill view for a moment, and take a look at the bigger picture.

The Democratic Party has now become a far left party antithetical to American liberty. That is, the Democrats no longer support the limits on government that protect the right of each person to choose his own way, express his own thoughts and use his own property and money as he sees fit.

In each of these spheres, President Trump and the GOP Congress have begun to strike back effectively.

And President Trump’s brutal and hilarious trolling of the dishonest, failed, fake news media has marginalized these deeply corrupt faux journalists to the point of irrelevance. This is no small accomplishment in itself.

Maybe we could call a pause in carping at President Trump and tarring and feathering Speaker Ryan and scorning Senator Mitch McConnell just long enough to tell them thanks.

Michael D. Shaw: Why politics and science don’t mix – “Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s hearing aid bill may harm millions of Americans.”

When lawmakers make policy that affects the lives of American citizens, it should always be in favor of the solution supported by research and the scientific community, not by convenience or, say, the personal timetable of a member of “The Resistance.”

That is why I have grave concerns about the Over the Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017, sponsored by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with several of her colleagues.

John Sexton picks up on yet another Fake Theme as yet Another post-election hate crime turns out to be fake – The Resistance behavior is on display. What next, honorary college degrees for the perps?

Shortly after the election last year the media became obsessed with a rise in reported hate crimes. One incident which was widely reported at the time involved a church in Bean Blossom, Indiana which had been spray-painted with a swastika and the phrase “Heil Trump.” A slur for gay people was also painted on the church. This week police revealed the crime was actually a “false flag” carried out by the church’s own organist, who is himself gay.

There are more examples, but suffice it to say there have been numerous well-publicized hate crimes which turned out to be false. Though the motive wasn’t put in writing in every one of those cases (as it was in this one), it’s a safe bet most of the hoaxers were also hoping to “mobilize a movement.”

Allahpundit also notes another tactic: New frontier in “Resistance”: Mailing your ashes to Congress after the GOP health-care law kills you – “Incidentally, don’t try to FedEx your dead body to anyone. As HuffPo notes, federal law makes the U.S. Postal Service the exclusive carrier for human residue. If you must ship your bones to Nancy Pelosi, make sure your relatives know they’re stuck waiting on line at the post office.”

If you’re going to go to the trouble of sending your remains to Congress, go the extra mile and have them made into something attractive first, like a pendant or a brooch. A congressional office that gets an urnful of ashes is going to dispose of them immediately. Turn yourself into cufflinks and you could spend eternity adorning some very pricey lobbyist’s wrists. Exit question: If pro-lifers somehow amassed the ashes of every infant aborted in the Roe era, how many square miles of storage would congressional Democrats need to receive them?

And what are they after: John Sexton says In Venezuela, food is so scarce people padlock the refrigerator – “The Wall Street Journal has a story up today which really brings home how devastating the crisis in Venezuela has become for many people, especially vulnerable children.”

John Hinderaker picks up on Nancy Pelosi denouncing the latest health care effort as a “tax cut for the rich.” That leads to Americans For Tax Reform and a list of items in a trillion dollar tax cut. “What a wonderful list! I had completely forgotten about the tanning bed tax. Actually, I had forgotten about most of them. If the Senate is able to improve the House bill, fine. But one way or another, we need this legislation to pass.”

neo-neocon discusses Public perceptions and the GOP health coverage bill – “The goal on the part of the Democrats and the MSM (but I repeat myself): to frighten people—nay, to terrify them—and to have it result in Congress changing to Democrat hands in the next election.”

have you noticed how the concept of health insurance has morphed, so that by now these bills (Obamacare or Whatevercare) are routinely referred to as providing health care?

Unfortunately, health care and insurance are not “goods and services just like anything else.”

there’s another problem, which is the idea that people get sick because of their dissolute lifestyles and irresponsible choices. … Illness and injury are no invariable respecters of our efforts, and it’s folly to think they are.

it also illustrates how emotional these issues are for everyone, and how the idea of personal responsibility can be used as a cudgel to blame the sick. If the GOP is perceived as the party doing that, it will not go well for them.

Perceptions can be enough of a problem to get right. That makes them a target for those who want something that isn’t.

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More childishness and tantrums and bullying

Paul Mirengoff considers the implications as House Dems respond to passage of AHCA by singing – “Democrats are different, though. They are convinced that the AHCA is their ticket back to power, and for them it’s always about power. Hence the unseemly singing.”

it’s possible that voters will hold the Democrats’ attitude, evinced by their singing today, against them. I know I would have been very angry at any Republican member who greeted the passage of Obamacare with song.

I agree with Ben Pershing of National Journal, who tweeted “Democrats can claim to be happy (for political/electoral reasons) that this bill passed, but that’s very risky.” I also agree with Rick Klein of ABC News who tweeted, “I don’t get the optics of this.”

But no one knows whether the passage of the AHCA today will turn out to be the Democrats’ ticket back to power. All we can say after today is that the Democrats’ behavior confirmed they don’t deserve to regain it.

What is on display is something most often found in primary school and it is only the initial reaction. The Fake News™ and gross, fantastical perceptions about death and destruction are just getting started. Hold on to your shorts!

 

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Faux Outrage

Imaginary Conflicts of Interest for Trump versus Actual Conflicts of Interest for Dems by Jack Hellner – “After the Trump Administration released its outline for tax reform I saw a lot of consternation that the tax plan may help Trump himself, and that could be a conflict of interest.”

Maybe we should hold all members of Congress to the new conflict of interest rules that seem to have evolved since Trump was elected. A farmer or someone with a family member who owns a farm could no longer vote on agriculture bills. Teachers could no longer vote on education bills and business people could never vote on anything that helps businesses.

It appears the media needs a lesson on what actual conflicts of interest are, because they seem very confused. So here are several examples:

The media seemed to care very little about these obvious conflicts of interest and ways that politicians enriched themselves, because the media continually supported Obama and the Clintons. Yet they somehow are against Trump no matter what he does, so they go after him for a tax reform proposal that might help him along with a huge majority of the people.

Andrew C. Mccarthy: Faux Outrage and Melodrama over Comey’s Pre-Election Letter – “FBI director James Comey’s testimony on Wednesday at a routine oversight hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee was certain to be anything but routine.”

Several features of the hearing were especially worth noting. I have dealt with one of them in a separate column — viz., the director’s continuing defense of his assessment that there was insufficient criminal-intent evidence to warrant charging Mrs. Clinton. Now, let’s turn to another: the Democrats’ effort to skew or erase entirely the context of Comey’s October 28 letter.

October 28. In reality, the critical context of that day’s letter to Congress was the Comey press conference four months earlier …

You may recall the unrestrained Democratic glee over that particular breach of protocol.

Of course, smarter Democrats perceive this incongruity. Thus, rather than ignore the Comey press conference, they bowdlerize it, choosing to remember only the first three-quarters of Comey’s bravura performance.

What Democrats choose to forget, and hope you will too, is the closing section of Comey’s remarks.

Luboš Motl has a rant on the Lonely Woman regarding Ann Nelson’s embarrassing essay about “minorities” in physics – “like so many women in physics, she became a part-time feminist activist. In the May issue of Physics Today, she “enriched” us with the following diatribe: Commentary: Diversity in physics: Are you part of the problem?

What an amazing pile of junk, Ann. She complains that she doesn’t have a black colleague at the University of Washington’s physics faculty. If this particular comment were meant to be a tool to hire a smart black guy whom I knew as a Harvard graduate student, it’s a very painful way to push the pendulum in similar questions.

If you often get asked why there are few women in physics, it’s pretty painful that you have made no progress in understanding the answer – even though it’s so simple. The average women’s IQ is only smaller by 2-3 points than men’s and wouldn’t make a big impact. What’s more important is that the IQ distribution (much like distributions of many other quantities) is wider among men, by about 10%, relatively to the women. And this makes the number of men above the (math-related) IQ score of 140 greater than the number of women by almost one order of magnitude. …

Instead, Nelson tells her male colleagues that they’re the “culprits” responsible for the small percentage of women among physicists – or small percentage of physicists among women. Every male is guilty even if he claims to be innocent.

At the end, the existence of the “gap” is as transparent as the fact that the thermonuclear reactions are running in a smaller percentage of moons than the stars. Different, inequivalent groups of objects or humans simply have different statistical distributions and properties extracted from them.

The fact that totally different groups have totally different values of certain quantities may only be “shocking” to someone who has never understood a single problem of that kind in her or his life.

Then there’s the Kimmel fiasco that is part of the ‘pre-existing conditions’ deceit being used to assert that Republicans want to kill people or deny them things that the require to live. It’s getting to be quite predictable.

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Days of rage

Roger L. Simon: Colbert, Trump, and the Roots of Liberal/Progressive Rage – “I have never seen America so angry — and I’ve been around for a while.”

Donald Trump got elected — seemingly a calamity equal to, if not greater than, the Vietnam War.

Since his inauguration, and to a great extent before, the whole country has gone more or less berserk.

And yet the rage is, if anything, greater and more consistent than it was during Vietnam. How do we explain that?

I don’t think we have a choice but to say the explanation is in the realm of human neurosis, not politics. And make that pretty severe neurosis, almost psychosis.

These people are using the pretense of socialism to cover up their love of the most rapacious capitalism. They hate Trump because he exposes them. His unabashed and unashamed capitalism and obvious riches are what they seek, but don’t want to admit to themselves or others. Otherwise they would have to face what they are and stop pretending to “goodness.” It’s about the virtue signaling or what I have elsewhere called moral narcissism (really the psychological motivation for virtue signaling).

And H. Clinton has made it official. Rather than retire to the ‘elder statesman’ role she has decided to claim joining the Resistance to destroy the Government and the Country.

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Virtue Signalling

James A. Lyons: The great Democratic deception – “The Russian election scam is a diversion from surveillance of the Trump campaign.”

The massive disinformation program being waged by the Democratic Party that somehow Russia was able to influence the outcome of our 2016 presidential election is nothing but a sham. To date, there is no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians on the run-up to the election.

What actually happened was that the Obama administration was using electronic surveillance on the Trump campaign well in advance of the election to monitor Trump staffers

much of it has to do with the massive cover-up to conceal the violation of the Espionage Act by both Mrs. Clinton and President Obama for using a server that did not have an Authority to Operate designation.

The bottom line is that the mainstream media have completely ignored these transactions by the Obama administration while continuing with their false flag disinformation program on Russian involvement in our election. The most serious scandal appears to be that both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama were complicit in setting up an unsecured server in violation of the Espionage Act. This cannot be ignored by the U.S. government.

We can never condone violations of the Espionage Act by our political leaders. America has never seen such corruption in our history where both the Justice Department and the intelligence community were politicized for political gain. This is the story that America must be told.

Jazz Shaw: School takes unusual (and heartbreaking) step to protect illegal immigrant students – “If you send your children to a school more focused on “Resisting Trump” than providing them with a well rounded education, this is what you get, folks.”

Various class members were preparing for international school trips which had been in the works for some time, including journeys to Canada and Japan. Then some bad news came in. They wouldn’t be going… not for a lack of funding or any security concerns, but because the faculty was concerned that their illegal immigrant students wouldn’t be able to get back into the country. And if they can’t go, nobody is going. (The Olympian)

Forget making America great again. I’d just settle for “sane” at this point.

John Sexton: Fire near Dakota Access Pipeline site ruled arson

It’s amazing how much interest the media had in this story when there were colorful protesters marching around in the snow and how little interest they have in reporting on the ongoing arson and sabotage that are still taking place with the same apparent goal.

John Sexton: NY Times: When communism inspired Americans

Over the weekend the New York Times published a piece titled “When communism inspired Americans.” It offers a first-hand account of the “richness” of American communism in the first half of the 20th century. The piece is part of an ongoing series titled “Red Century” which has reviewed various aspects of communism’s history. The series is not extolling communism, but this particular entry strays into a kind of gauzy nostalgia that seems wildly inappropriate for a worldview that, during the 20th century, killed more people than the Third Reich.

Interesting that the Coyote takes off on people who do not read what they opine about and then does just that himself regarding Rush Limbaugh. See The Furor Over Bret Stephens First Article At the New York Times – “I don’t know where and how these things are announced, but apparently virtue-signaling on the Left offcially requires that everyone denounce the article as the most evil thing ever written (actually reading it is apparently optional).” Then “This is roughly equivalent to knowing about Hillary Clinton’s policy positions solely from listening to Rush Limbaugh.” Talk about virtue-signaling!

 

 

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Shut up. Or else.

Robert Knight: The method to PC madness – “Anyone with an opposing view must be silenced.”

For the left, the issues themselves matter less than a show of force. As author Angelo M. Codevilla has observed, “The point of PC [political correctness] is not and has never been merely about any of the items that it imposes, but about the imposition itself.”

I recall when liberals and conservatives could agree to disagree during, say, a party, and leave as friends, or at least not as enemies. But when’s the last time you went to an eclectic gathering and heard genuine views exchanged? Nobody dares anymore. The left’s scorched-earth tactics have poisoned the well.

It’s not only speech. Read the Taliban-like attack on New Orleans’s history by Monica Showalter.

Totalitarians always seek to erase history. The sad preamble to the horror of 9/11 was in the Taliban’s brazen destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas, a magnificent old relief sculpture that stood as testimony to Afghanistan’s rich and many-layered history as a crossroads of civilization. To know of that history was anathema to the Taliban which wanted absolute power over the lives of the Afghanis they terrorized.

We see the same dynamic now with the left’s movement to wholesale destruction of Confederate monuments in New Orleans.

If the left succeeds in destroying Confederate monuments, who do you think is going to be next?

The attack on New Orleans’ historic monuments is an omen of worse to come. History itself tells us this just as surely as it tells us the story of the Confederates. It is hoped that the fightback will grow.

CBD says The Mask Is Coming Off, And They Don’t Care.

They used to hide it. Hell, the Soviet Union spent billions of rubles on disinformation and supporting organizations that were publicly neutral or soft-left but in reality were fronts for the Soviet’s robust efforts to undermine Western Democracies, most of all the United States. But now there seems to be little desire to hide the progressive Left’s efforts to destroy democracy and freedom in this country.

Trumped up charges, low-level violence, manipulation of the academic-political process…this is an all-too familiar playbook.

And about gross misperception, you know, the kind used to rationalize squashing dissent, Jazz Shaw provides a case study. No, Trump is not planning to gut the First Amendment – “That’s just a classic case of reading the tea leaves in a muddled segment of a discussion and finding what you wanted to hear.”

All of this leaves aside the fact that we’re talking about something so far off in fantasy land that neither Priebus nor Trump would be “seriously” talking about it anyway. (Which doesn’t preclude some early morning tweets on the subject, I’m sure.) Nobody is going to support gutting or eliminating the First Amendment. Suggesting that they are is just a sad form of hyperbole from the cheerleaders of a Democratic Party in disarray and flummoxed over what to do when fighting from the minority. I’m sure Josh can find plenty of other things that the President is actually doing or proposing to complain about until the cows come home. There’s no need to invent new bits of red meat out of thin air.

There is self knowledge. That is why Fake News™ was such a topic at the President-less Correspondent’s Dinner. Dissonance is showing and that is a step in the right direction.

California Here We Come (but let’s hope it doesn’t go this far): John Sexton says In Venezuela, even the ‘chavistas’ are turning on President Maduro – “If you want to know how Venezuela went from one of the richest nations in South America to a basket case of 4-digit inflation, the answer is “chavistas.”

Chavistas are the people who voted for former President Hugo Chavez on the promise that the government would provide for them. That worked for a while, so long as oil prices were sky high, but once global oil prices dropped the government’s ability to pay also collapsed. Now the Washington Post reports even the chavistas have had enough of the country’s socialist rulers:

Meanwhile, every time I hear Maduro speak I can’t help but notice how much his rhetoric sounds like Bernie Sanders. Here’s Bernie last year in a piece for the Washington Post: “What do we want? We want to end the rapid movement that we are currently experiencing toward oligarchic control of our economic and political life.” About half the Democratic party is ready to make the same devil’s bargain the chavistas made in Venezuela. If only they were paying attention to what is happening in Venezuela right now, maybe they’d feel differently.

That’s the usual pattern. Corrections after significant damage and destruction. It is the path California is taking. Pleasing and appealing rhetoric is so soothing it is like a float trip down a languid river. Reality is like the rapids and waterfall ahead, though. Will the people on the boat wake up in time?

Anthony Watts: The ignorance, intolerance, and violence of the “Climate Crusaders” – “Using junk science marches, ignorant professors, resistance and violence to drive public policy.”

our students are being taught a lot of facts that just ain’t so – by a lot of academics who know all kinds of things for sure that just ain’t so. The recent science and climate marches underscore both this and the dangers of having such ignorance determine economic and energy policy.

Perhaps even more dangerous, this ignorance is compounded by rampant intolerance toward other views, and even violence toward anyone who tries to present contrarian perspectives on climate change, sustainability, personal responsibility and other topics, on college campuses or other public forums.

Examining one’s ideas, perceptions, and values hones their worth and efficacy. It is best done by a vigorous examination via the perspectives of other people. It is denied if walls are built to keep out any conflicting or clarifying information. Those who disagree need to be taught, not silenced but teaching is not preaching. That is why being an educator is often the most educating experience one can have.

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Corruption of the public and whatever happened to the law?

Cheryl K. Chumley: Does America even want freedom anymore?

Everybody cried about the hit to free speech — and rightly so. But the Coulter-Berkeley fiasco, and the ding to free speech, is not the problem, in and of itself. It’s only a symptom of a much larger problem — a symptom of a deeper, darker spirit that’s infected America, spreading far and wide as it seeks to destroy the nation’s greatest asset. The fact that in America, our individual rights come from God, not government.

A moral citizenry would not — could not — riot over rhetoric.

Storm-trooping for free speech — what have we become, America?

But it’s not just speech that’s being stifled around the nation.

The welfare of the collective is replacing the rights of the individual.

It’s not Coulter. It’s not free speech. It’s not even snowflakes and the adults who cater to their whines. It’s the loss of God from governance, opening the door to a lawless society and chaotic structure — that’s what really ails us. And that’s what must be addressed, if we really want to be a nation of free people once again.

For example, see Jazz Shaw on Baltimore warns prosecutors to “think twice” before charging illegal immigrants – “There’s a fairly clear line between “defiant resistance to Trump” and going completely around the bend.”

It’s one thing to refuse to cooperate with ICE in matters of detainers, sharing information and all the rest. It’s an entirely different ball game to decide that you can avoid attracting the attention of federal immigration officers by deciding not to prosecute criminals, no matter how “serious” the crimes may be.

Let’s think about that for a moment. In other words, for some of these comparatively low level crimes, the city wants prosecutors to go after and punish actual citizens of the country who may have run afoul of the law, but those who compound the issue by knowingly being in the country illegally to begin with are given a pass. Are the actual citizens in Baltimore who pay the taxes which fund these officials listening to this?

We’re talking about officers of the court who are charged with upholding the law. And they are seriously cautioning the staff to consider not prosecuting people who are suspected of these crimes on the basis of the fact that they are already committing a crime by being here illegally. If you are a citizen or lawful immigrant living in Baltimore you should be outraged by this. But if you keep electing these same people who pull these sorts of stunts over and over again I have zero sympathy for you at this point.

Or consider Andrew C. McCarthy’s explanation about Why the Obama Justice Department avoided the grand jury . . . until it had no choice – “On the matter of the 2016 election, why is there an investigation into Russian meddling but no investigation of Justice Department meddling? The latter effort was more extensive. And it sure looks like it would be a lot easier to prove.”

Russia’s apparent preference for one presidential candidate over the other is routinely described as a sinister scheme to “interfere with the election.” Fair enough. But how shall we describe the Department of Justice’s patent preference for one presidential candidate over the other?

Instapundit weighs in on the NYT Stephens brouhaha and reminisces about “the famous moment when the late Julian Simon debated an earlier iteration of hard left religious zealots.”

Simon, the economist who was legendarily skeptical about environmental doom, once posed a question at an environmental forum: “How many people here believe that the earth is increasingly polluted and that our natural resources are being exhausted?” Almost every hand shot up. He then said, “Is there any evidence that could dissuade you?” There was no response, so he asked again, “Is there any evidence I could give you—anything at all—that would lead you to reconsider these assumptions?” Again, no response. Simon concluded, “Well, excuse me. I’m not dressed for church.”

See neo-neocon on AGW: when a scientific theory becomes a religion… – “then those with an opposing view become apostates.”

That’s especially true if the topic is one with very high stakes, such as AGW (anthropogenic global warming). Think about it this way: if a person is—(a) convinced that AGW has been proven beyond any doubt (b) threatens life as we know it all over the globe; and (c) can be halted and/or decreased by measures we understand and can control if only we had the will to implement them—then if follow that anyone who disagrees is a person who is endangering life on earth.

Science, of course, is not a religion, and the history of science is littered with theories that have been considered proven and then are disproven. So scientists must remain skeptical and open to any evidence that would challenge their theories and their findings. That’s difficult enough to do when the topic is an abstract one with few practical applications. But when a topic is highly highly politicized (as with AGW), the difficulty increases exponentially and the public also becomes very much involved.

Which brings us to an article Bret Stephens wrote in his new venue, the NY Times. It was really a rather modest suggestion that people listen to both sides of the issue

Then consider Marc Morano with an Exclusive Video: People’s Climate March hostile to skeptics – Attempts to take down signs, deny access – “The banner, reading “The Science is NOT Settled.” was under constant assault with marchers who refused to allow the message of climate skepticism to be seen.”

James G. Wiles Machiavelli’s Advice for Mr. Trump – and Us – “have the American people been so corrupted by the welfare state that they can no longer reclaim their liberty? Is restoration of the American republic along the lines originally conceived by the Founders, impossible?” The citation is to Machiavelli’s most extended work Discourses on Livy.

Machiavelli offers us ways to think about how to answer these questions. He does it by reviewing Roman history with an eye to contemporary political problems of his own time.

In Chapter 16 of the Discourses on Livy, Machiavelli remarks that “a people that is corrupted through and through cannot live in liberty for even a short period…” When a state become free, “all those who fed off” the state become “hostile factions.” However, when the Romans overthrew the Tarquin kings in 510 B.C., they were able to establish and maintain a republic which lasted until the time of Julius Caesar.

This was possible, says Machiavelli, because, while the Tarquin kings were corrupt, the Roman people were not. “Had the Roman populace been corrupted, there would have been no effective way for them to keep their liberty.”

“This means that new laws are not enough, because the institutions that remain unchanged will corrupt them.”

It should not have been surprising, therefore, that the Democrats, the MSM, academia, and many corporate and other leaders united with the leftist street to launch the “resistance.” Or that, so far, not one Democrat in Congress has broken party ranks to support Trumpian reforms. This weekend, they will be touting their success in stalling and, sometimes, defeating specific measures taken by the president.

Then there’s David Henderson on Pope Francis’s Distorted Vision – Ideological fantasy is reaching very high levels of desctruction as the Devil plays his games.

I think the Pope and I are perceiving the world very differently. I don’t mean our values are different, although that’s probably true too. I mean that what we think is factually true is different.

Clarification of perceptions is critical to intellectual integrity.

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