Archive for Issues

An honest look? Stimulus or Response?

Earick Ward: Charlottesville and Truth – “Those who control the narrative, control the truth.” It’s about the Trump blaming in regards to not saying what the Left wants to hear. Trump condemned behavior. The Left wants condemnation of their opponents.

The principles of freedom are universal (all men), and are granted by God. Our Founding documents enshrined these rights, and were “exceptional” in their development and institutionalization.

There is a counter movement that seeks America’s destruction, and the imposition of a new covenant, predicated on the wisdom of man, or more particularly, a select group of men, who seek to manage the affairs of all man.

The Media, local Authorities, and in this instance, Virginia’s Governor, Terry McAuliffe determined, before a word was spoken, and/or a step was taken, in the “permitted” March that “White Nationalists” (whatever that is) were haters. Disregard that countless prior Black Lives Matter events (sanctioned and unsanctioned) called for the murder and suppression of white people, generally, and white cops, specifically. And/or antifa events, where violence was perpetrated against, again, predominantly white people.

A New (cultural) Revolution is upon us. The next 12-24 months will determine our future. Liberty or Tyranny. Lies or Truth.

Daniel Greenfield: One Easy Way Democrats Can Stop Neo-Nazis – “Charlottesville is what happens when the Left empowers extremists.”

In Dallas, a black nationalist activist shot and killed 5 police officers at a Black Lives Matter anti-police rally. Instead of condemning BLM, Barack Obama defended a racist hate group whose role model is Assata Shakur, a wanted black nationalist cop killer, at the funerals of the murdered officers.

The left killed civil rights and replaced it with black nationalism.

racism is a two-way street. So is violence. Extremists feed into each other.

You can’t legitimize one form of racism without legitimizing all of them. The media may advance this hypocritical position. Obama used the shameful “reverse racism” euphemism that distinguishes between black and white racism. But propaganda and spin don’t change the physics of human nature.

A civil society depends on a consensus. ‘Racism is bad’ is an example of such a consensus. If you normalize black nationalism, you will get more white nationalism. If you normalize leftist street violence against Trump supporters, you will also get more street violence against leftists.

Extremists want to eliminate the consensus of civil society. They want to destroy the idea that there’s any solution except violence through confrontations that show the helplessness of civil society.

If Democrats really want to stop the rise of Neo-Nazi violence, there’s a very easy way. Stop normalizing black nationalism and the Alt-Left. End the racist witch hunts for white privilege. Make it clear that street violence is unacceptable and that racism is bad no matter who it comes from. Allow people you disagree with to express their views without trying to destroy their lives.

But that’s the opposite of what the Dems will do. They don’t want fewer Neo-Nazis; they want more of them. They don’t want fewer attacks like Charlottesville and Charleston. They want more of them.

Uncomfortable compromises are how we learn to live with each other. It means that there can be memorials of Robert E. Lee and streets named after Malcolm X. Tolerating people whose views we don’t like is one of the best ways to marginalize domestic extremists. When one set of extremists is empowered to wipe out the other, we end up with a civil war. Just ask Edmund Ruffin and John Brown.

The Bill of Rights is an uncomfortable compromise. It says that we have to put up with people we don’t like. The Democrats, under the influence of the left, are rejecting that idea. But that goes both ways too.

Democrats need to take an honest look at the street violence in Seattle, in Portland, in Berkeley and Charlottesville, and decide if this is what they really want. If they don’t, it’s time for them to stop normalizing left-wing extremism. If they do, then they are to blame for the next Dallas or Charlottesville.

Meanwhile, Bill Kristol is sick about Trump’s condemning violence even though Obama celebrating violent movements and their leaders (like BLM) didn’t move him. Instapundit cites several other essays making a point similar to Greenfield’s, the point that people like Kristol seem to miss or even appear to want to aggravate as a ‘good thing’ to not get sick over.

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Collusion and POV

Karin McQuillan: Russian Collusion in Democrat Inner Circle? – “There has been enthusiastic collusion by the leadership of the Democratic Party with the Russian disinformation campaign to destroy President Donald Trump.”

We are reaping the results of a multi-decade effort by the communist and socialist left. Leftists have finally dominated and transformed the Democratic Party – into something vicious and dangerous to our republic.

When Trump destroyed their plans by winning the 2017 election, hard-left Democrats weren’t willing to give up power. The niceties of democracy, where the voters get to chose their leaders, do not fit the communist credo Obama and his inner circle were raised on.

There is collusion with Russia going on in American politics today. It has actually been going on for a long time. (See Victor David Hanson on Obama’s collusion in the 2012 elections.) President Trump is the target of the collusion. So are we all, all his voters, all Americans who believe in our constitutional republic.

The great mistake of the colluders is they cannot hide behind lies and media corruption, as the hardcore American left has done all these years. It is all out in the open now. The stink of the Mueller witch hunt is in our nostrils. It is sickening, but the stench strengthens our resolve. We are not going to let them annul our victory in the 2017 election with dirty tricks.

George Neumayr: It was a ‘Brennan Operation’ – “Even lefty Seymour Hersh agrees that the Russian fable begin in the mind of Obama’s CIA director.”

Hersh has been quoted as saying that the collusion claim is a product of “disinformation” — “a Brennan operation,” as he puts it.

Hersh says that Trump is not the villain but the victim in this story, and that the press has served as a shameful stenographer for Brennan to smear Trump. It has shown no skepticism toward any of his claims or the supposedly nonpartisan reports his cronies and political hacks assembled after the election.

it tells you all you need to know about the rottenness of the ruling class that such an open fraud could rise so high in Washington.

Why doesn’t the FBI raid Brennan’s home and rifle through his records? The reason that won’t happen is that the ruling class and deep state, which are composed largely of aging radicals, protects traitors while punishing patriots — a conclusion to which the improbable testimony of Seymour Hersh adds still more credence.

Larry Elder: The Shameful Blackout of Thomas, Sowell and Williams – “The African-American Museum’s discrimination against Thomas provides just one example of the black anti-conservative bigotry.”

Every year, the black monthly magazine Ebony lists its “Power 100,” defined as those “who lead, inspire and demonstrate through their individual talents, the very best in Black America.” Each year Thomas is conspicuously absent. Apparently, as a sitting black justice on the Supreme Court of the United States, Thomas does not “lead, inspire and demonstrate … the very best in Black America.”

Ebony not only excludes Clarence Thomas but also shuts out prominent conservatives Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams.

The exclusion of people like Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams explains why there’s no serious discussion in the black community about government dependency; school choice; the damage done by high taxes, excessive regulation and laws like minimum wage; and why blacks should rethink their allegiance to the Democratic Party.

The failure to acknowledge conservative blacks is a failure to engage their ideas, to the detriment of the community. This is not merely an injustice to them: It is an injustice to all Americans.

Compare and Contrast two views prompted by the Google Memo by two women with very different takes on the culture issues.

Megan McArdle As a Woman in Tech, I Realized: These Are Not My People – “The Google memo, saying women aren’t very into engineering, reached a similar conclusion.”

the reason I left is that I came into work one Monday morning and joined the guys at our work table, and one of them said “What did you do this weekend?”

Thinking back to those women I knew in IT, I can’t imagine any of them would have spent a weekend building a fiber-channel network in her basement.

Marie Hicks: What the Google gender ‘manifesto’ really says about Silicon Valley – “Five years ago, Silicon Valley was rocked by a wave of “brogrammer” bad behavior, when overfunded, highly entitled, mostly white and male startup founders did things that were juvenile, out of line and just plain stupid.”

Most of these activities – such as putting pornography into PowerPoint slides – revolved around the explicit or implied devaluation and harassment of women and the assumption that heterosexual men’s privilege could or should define the workplace. The recent “memo” scandal out of Google shows how far we have yet to go.

But even the tech giants foster an environment where heteronormativity and male privilege is so rampant that an engineer could feel comfortable writing and distributing a screed that effectively harassed all of his women co-workers en masse.

People take cues from our institutions. Our governments, corporations, universities and news media shape our understandings and expectations of ourselves in ways we can only partially understand without intense and sustained self-reflection.

One observes, the other judges. One accepts differences, the other is intolerant. One moves on to find work groups that better suit her, the other claims victimhood and demands conformity with her views in her work group. One is trying to save the world, the other is accepting it as it is and working with what it offers.

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What’s Woke?

IBD: Did Google Just Choke On Its Woke? – The quality of a bell is determined by it ringing and not going thud. Damore’s memo/screed/manifesto is ringing with clarity and volume.

Free Speech: A 10-page weekend memo by a former Google engineer called for a rethinking of the company’s “extreme and authoritarian” culture of “diversity and inclusion.” His reward? He was fired, of course, proving his point.

In making a plea for being treated as an individual, Damore wasn’t ranting, calling anyone names or making claims that couldn’t be sustained by simple recourse to a biology text or, even, to personal experience. Even so, his anodyne comments were treated as extreme ideological anathema, and he was instantly banished from the company for making them. Fired.

Damore’s firing only adds an exclamation point to his reasoned remarks. And Google executives jumped on the bandwagon, issuing remarks to show just how “woke” and completely brainwashed they were into the company’s ideology. It’s sickeningly reminiscent of the bad old days of the purges in the Soviet Union and the Cultural Revolution in China, when friends, colleagues and family were routinely compelled to publicly denounce and criticize those whose beliefs had suddenly become fatally politically incorrect.

Google and others in Silicon Valley such as Apple have a creepy habit of lecturing Americans on their backward political and moral beliefs, while serving as authoritarian nannies for what we read, write and view. They pose as guardians of personal and intellectual freedom, but are really centurions of the new censorship, stifling debate and thought itself.

Sadly, Google’s is the kind of thinking one expects from totalitarians, not from those who prize intellectual freedom, the right of dissent, and an open society based on reason. Google and all the rest of the anti-freedom left should be deeply ashamed of itself. If this is “woke,” maybe it’s time Google went back to sleep.

Damore may have more than federal and state law as basis for a wrongful dismissal lawsuit, Glen Reynolds thinks he may have grounds for libel regarding some of the misreporting about his memo. See Philip Wegmann: Google Is More Afraid Of Liberal Outrage Than Federal Law and CNN Reporter Lies About and Smears Now-Fired Google Engineer’s ‘Echo Chamber’ Critique and Cathy Young: Googler fired for diversity memo had legit points on gender and more at Instapundit.

Daniel Greenfield: The Google Gulag – “The internet cannot remain in the hands of a corporation that hates free speech.” No, Google isn’t a monopoly, it’s just the elephant in a room full of goats. The net neutrality false meme is in that room, though, like what hits you if you walk into a pot party … many pretty words but everyone is in a stupor.

James Damore is what most people think of when they imagine a Google employee. A brilliant original thinker with interests spread across the scientific and technological spectrum. But Danielle Brown is what Google actually is: a Hillary Clinton supporter who handled diversity at Intel and Google.

When Google fired Damore, it sent a very clear message. The message wasn’t tolerance, but intolerance.

It said that its Vice President of Diversity knows more about biology than a researcher who received his biology degree in the top 3% of his class. It announced that there is no room for original thinking, heterodoxy or genius at Google. And it went even without saying, no room for anyone to the right.

David Prentice: Trump’s Unintended Consequences: The Unmasking of the Deep State – “One of the more disturbing revelations after Trump’s win was finding that these dark forces not only exist, but are powerful and seemingly out of control.”

“Big Brother” was the term Orwell used for the totalitarian presence of 1984. We are not there. Maybe not even close. But the problem of the Deep State is that there seem to be those who want the kind of power Orwell described, the kind of power the Soviets had, or the East Germans. It’s likely that many Deep-Staters don’t even realize just how power-mad they have become.

What we are watching is a group using power willfully, wrongfully, and oftentimes illegally to undermine and destroy political opponents. They are after somebody. For real.

The left has weaponized the bureaucracies and agencies it inhabits. Leftists have decided they will become the dominant culture in the CIA, FBI, NSA, IRS, EPA, and the rest of our bureaucracies. They decided it’s okay to be totalitarian, it’s okay to break the law, it’s okay to go after their political opponents with the force of government, it’s okay because they are the ones who deserve to win.

Push back hard enough, and they will lose.

John Sexton on Niall Ferguson: ‘The real tyrants…will be for diversity (except of opinion)’ – “Monday the Boston Globe published an opinion piece by history professor Niall Ferguson titled “The biggest threat to free speech? It’s the left.”

Ferguson makes the case that left wing concerns about a Trump-inspired tyranny are overblown. The real worry, he says, is the populism of the far left.”

The reference to Venezuela is one you don’t see except perhaps here at Hot Air where both Jazz and I write about it frequently. And Ferguson points out why. What’s been happening in Venezuela over the past two years is the end stage of a long process that started with left wing populism, a desire to do good for the people. That may begin with restricting people’s economic freedom but it often makes its way to control of their other freedoms as well, speech and assembly in particular.

These problems tend to get worse over time. Sooner or later you run out of other people’s money. When it happens, the only thing left to do is silence the opposition. At a certain point, the ruling socialists decide the best thing for the people is for the opposition to not have a voice or a vote or any power at all. The revolution must go on and all of that nonsense. That’s exactly what is happening right now in Venezuela.

Brian Stelter: Fact-checking of Trump falling on deaf ears? Far from it – While the NYT gets caught, again, with Fake News about a climate report and many major media are re-doing their headline descriptions of the Google memo (re Twitchy), here is CNN working on self fulfilling prophecy. “Widespread distrust of the White House, as shown in a new CNN poll, is not just a sign of President Trump’s weakness. It’s also a sign of the national news media’s strength.”

According to CNN’s poll, which was conducted by the research firm SSRS, only 24% of Americans say they trust all or most of what they hear from the White House.

One persistent fact-checker, Daniel Dale of the Toronto Star, has counted 500 “false claims” from the president in the first 200 days.

“For decades, Donald Trump got away with blatant falsehoods because no one was keeping track,” Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler told CNNMoney in an email.

Holan, who marked PolitiFact’s ten year anniversary earlier this month, said she believes people “are better informed than ever about what politicians say and if their statements are literally true or not.”

She said that’s “partly thanks to fact-checkers, but it’s also thanks to traditional political journalists putting corrective information into their reports much more than they used to, so that incorrect statements don’t go unchallenged.”

She cautioned, however, that “literal accuracy isn’t always the No. 1 priority for voters.”

“I get the sense that values can be more important, or the attitude of leadership is more important,” Holan said. “I sometimes get emails from readers saying they know that what President Trump said wasn’t literally true, but they still think he had a larger point they agreed with.”

This is a persistent propaganda point with the Never Trumpers. What is remarkable is that there is a a lot of allegation but very little substance. The poll cited doesn’t say as much about its target as it does about the effectiveness of the propagandists in attacking that target. Holan mentioning “literal accuracy” shows an awareness of the fact that there are many statements and assertions that are being cast as “lies” that don’t really belong in the category of a statement made with intent to deceive. Fact Checkers are getting a bad reputation because they are not making distinctions to qualify deceitfulness but rather nit picking anything to such a degree as to make it obvious that their ‘fact finding for truth’ is a deceit intended to further political propaganda.

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Think Orwell: making all equal by force if necessary

Lydia Dishman takes on the issue: 5 Debunked Gender Myths In That Google Anti-Diversity Rant. The labels “myths” and “rant” provide a good start on qualifying the nature of the piece. Here’s the thesis:

He claims that men and women are inherently different, and it’s not just because gender is socialized:

 

  1. They’re universal across human cultures.
  2. They often have clear biological causes and links to prenatal testosterone.
  3. Biological males that were castrated at birth and raised as females often still identify and act like males.
  4. The underlying traits are highly heritable.
  5. They’re exactly what we would predict from an evolutionary psychology perspective.

 

Let’s get one thing out of the way first: Every single one of those claims is false.

No ifs, ands, or buts but just plain false! Every one of them. But, as noted in a previous post (re Connie Loizos), the “rant” was about free speech in the workplace with gender diversity as an example topic. So taking off on gender is a diversion. Then there’s the “myths” which are sufficiently different from the listed claims as to create suspicion that an army of straw men is being constructed.

Myth No. 1: Men And Women Have A Different Brain Makeup

Myth No. 2: Women Are Naturally More Social And Empathic And Men Are Naturally More Systematic

Myth No. 3: Women Aren’t As Assertive As Men, Which Is Why They Don’t Get Paid More Or Get Promoted

Myth No. 4: Women Aren’t As Competitive And Are More Neurotic Than Men

Myth No. 5: The More We Strive For Equality, The More We See How Different We Are

What are the arguments offered to support the assertion these are myths? “For starters, men aren’t the sole producers of testosterone at birth or afterward. Women also make the hormone, in addition to estrogen. And men produce estrogen, too.” What this is saying is that statistic trends and patterns are being converted to yes or no issues. That is a logical fallacy. It leads to a change of the point as issue as illustrated by the notice that ““individual differences are much larger than any group-level gender difference, and that no individual fits the male or female stereotype perfectly.” The point at issue isn’t about individuals, it is about aggregates. All of the arguments appear to be based on the ‘full or empty’ or ‘all or none’ or selected example fallacies to support the idea of myth. Then consider the conclusion:

However, Google’s own workforce doesn’t bear this out. As the company has been striving to be more diverse and inclusive, the result is that its male and female employees have been found to have no significant differences in their personality traits.

The problem with this is that of the selected sample. Google is under attack because its workforce does not represent the sort of diversity that one would expect if Dishman were right about her myths. The “rant” was written because Google is trying to foist these myths into its hiring practices and is suffering dissonance between that fantasy and the real world need for excellence in its product. If Google’s workforce did indeed bear out Dishman’s “myths” it would not be under scrutiny for its lack of diversity in the workforce and there’d be little argument about gender issues in STEM. 

The real puzzle Dishman reveals is the question about why such a basic human phenomena as gender identity is so hotly contested.

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Truth to Power Manifesto from the wrong POV

Ian Bogost: A Googler’s Anti-Diversity Screed Reveals Tech’s Rotten Core – “Office culture is only part of the problem.” At The Atlantic, this essay is remarkable for its presumptions starting with “Tech’s Rotton Core” in the title. “Simple grievances” … “Supposedly natural differences” … ‘white man legacy’ …”bound to incumbents” … “failing to acknowledge this truth” … it’s academia run amok.

Given the context, it’s reasonable to sneer at the anonymous Googler’s simple grievances against workplace diversity. Supposedly natural differences between men and women make them suited for different kinds of work, he argues. Failure to accept this condition casts the result as inequality, he contends, and then as oppression. Seeking to correct for it amounts to discrimination. Rejecting these premises constitutes bias, or stymies open discourse. The Googler does not reject the idea of increasing diversity in some way. However, he laments what he considers discriminatory practices instituted to accomplish those goals, among them hiring methods designed to increase the diversity of candidate pools and training or mentoring efforts meant to better support under-represented groups.

Efforts like these are necessary in the first place because diversity is so bad in the technology industry to begin with.

Given that the fundamentals of computing arose from a long legacy of ideas mostly forged by white men, it’s hard to imagine how the fundamental operation of computers at the lowest level might have been different had ideas from alternative sources underwritten it.

The business of computing is also bound to incumbents. Failing to acknowledge this truth hamstrings earnest efforts to overcome that power through diversification.

Even the fateful Googler’s memo enjoys the spoils of a world already designed for male supremacy.

We should have known that for some computational media inevitably would threaten to feminize computing, relegating technical creativity to service work at best, emotional labor at worst.

Computation ended up having a much more widespread and much more sinister impact on media writ large—not just traditional media forms like music and news, but also on media as a name for every interaction between people and the world, from socializing to health, education to transit.

imagine how some of the lost futures of pasts left unpursued might have made for different, actual presents—and that might yet fashion new futures. Only a coward would conclude that none of them are better than the one that’s become naturalized as inevitable.

Jazz Shaw weighs in on this with That Google “anti-diversity manifesto” turned into an immediate dumpster fire – “If you honestly believe that something in the female brain renders them less able to code, then you’re just ignorant.” Whoops. It is not ignorant to note the facts of the matter. It is a bit more than ignorant to disallow one hypothesis for those facts. Look at what is presumed here:

The problem is that this might have been an opportunity for Google and all of Silicon Valley to ask some politically unpopular questions and open up the floor for real answers. Are you getting the best candidates for all of the jobs you create? In a truly colorblind, 21st century world you wouldn’t even be looking at demographics when interviewing. You’d hire the best qualified and educated people with the most experience specific to the task and the best record of achievement. If they all turned out to be Jewish, Latina lesbians, so be it. That’s who you hire. If an unequal number of them wound up being white, heterosexual males and you wanted to address that issue, the place to do it would be in the education system, trying to figure out why there isn’t more diversity in the young people entering these fields.

The fact is that the success of Google refutes these presumptions. The fact is that the education system has been consumed by efforts to dispose of race and gender inequalities in STEM. The fact is that the obsession with looking at race and gender more likely belong to those trying to fault Google as they have little at stake in their allegations. Google, on the other hand, has a lot at stake in finding talent. The only diversity that really counts is that of talent. The brouhaha illustrates that the “politically unpopular question” is not about ‘equality’ in gender or race but rather why inequality shows up as a broadly distributed pattern in so many cultures and so many fields. That was the question in the manifesto and it irritates as cognitive dissonance often does.

Steven Hayward weighs in with Civil War on the Left, Part 46: Googly Bits Fall Off – “The high tech industry runs on brains, and keenly feel their lack of “diversity” that finds it overwhelmingly male, and disproportionately Asian in its workforce.” Hayward provides a good summary of the ‘truth to power’ manifesto that is raising such a ruckus along with a “Prediction: The identity of this engineer will be discovered, and he’ll be an ex-Google engineer by the end of the same day.” Don’t rock the boat, especially one that is built on fantasies in a sea of unsound ideologies.

Richard Fernandez: In Certificates We Trust – “Google’s rejection of Symantec’s SSL certificates never made the major headlines but illustrates the role trust plays in society.”

When authority systems are mistrusted even the physical facts become doubtful. The Independent cites authorities who claim “climate change could soon make it fatal to even go outside in some parts of the world.” A billion people could die says a Guardian article

Dalrymple’s argument is simple. If a doctor can be in unknowing violation of the law because the law itself is mutable and incomprehensible, action becomes risky and expensive.

Naseem Taleb found that risk can be retroactive. The Atlantic described Taleb’s recent clash with Cambridge classicist Mary Beard over ethnic diversity in the Roman Empire.

Cumulatively the breakdown of trust, rising regulatory complexity and the demand for ideological purity are the unrecognized costs imposed by current political systems on a world it is no longer able to efficiently govern. Though they are unacknowledged the costs are real. So are their effects. The paradox is that after a brief period of opening at the end of the 20th century society appears to be closing down, driven by a need to escape aggressive ideology and cascading complexity.

Thomas Lifson: Trump-haters can’t help themselves, creating Trump voters in New Jersey – hatred is a cancer that consumes the soul.

Keep it up, you coastal elites. Keep telling the unwashed deplorables how much you loathe them, where they live, their tastes, habits, and even where they go on vacation. Ridicule the things about President Trump that endear him to people that resent the people who seem to be in charge of everything. In fact, go ahead and deliver a scathing insult to the Garden State of New Jersey and its estimated 8.994 million residents.

That is not only politically foolish, it is ignorant. Every region of this country has magnificent places for vacations. And everyone knows it, except for Trump haters who have decided that the proles of the nation have failed them, and need to be shamed back into their customary subservience.

As Professor Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit always explains: “THIS IS HOW YOU GET MORE TRUMP.”

A Hiroshima Survivor is dragged out to blame nuclear weapons for the horrors of WW II much like guns are being blamed for the horrors of Democrat run inner city violence. In Hiroshima, one August morning in 1945 was dark as night – and this woman can’t forget it. “the disarmament activist has something to celebrate” but that celebration is about ignorance and deceit. Consider what the survivor was doing:

On the morning of Aug. 6, 1945, Setsuko Nakamura sat with her Grade 8 classmates on the floor of her private girls school, listening to a lecture about duty to the emperor. Setsuko and some of her classmates had been training as decoding assistants for the Japanese army, in preparation for the final invasion by Allied forces.

A child barely into the teen years was being brainwashed and trained for military purposes and the activism is about the weapon and not this outrage? The essay is careful to assert that the survivor was innocent and, therefore, a victim. It does not mention the culture and the society that was responsible for the Rape of Nanking or the Bataan Death March or the Comfort Women or the Kamikaze that all contributed to the necessity of using extreme weapons to end the conflict. It isn’t the weapons, it is the human nature that needs control. The activism on display here is also human nature, a matter of denial, that is as pernicious and evil as its pretense. It leads to the Jazz Shaw report about Another Of Those Gun Confiscations Which We’re Told Never Happens.

Don Hall was labeled a “mental defective” leading to the seizure of his property. But the documents the Sheriffs presented had obvious flaws, including multiple Social Security numbers

Keep in mind that this is New York we’re talking about. The “long-feared government round-up of civilian firearms” began here after the passage of the SAFE Act and it hasn’t slowed down.

I’m glad that Don Hall was finally able to get this straightened out and have his firearms returned. But that doesn’t solve the underlying problem which is still going on to this day.

Truth to power is OK as long as it is the right ‘truth’ and the power is not that of the Left.

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Feeding the Bear

Edward Jay Epstein: A Question of Motive – “Russia wasn’t trying to elect a particular candidate: Vladimir Putin wanted to delegitimize our elections, above all.” He lays it out, item by item.

A wider focus can be found, of all places, in Oliver Stone’s revealing, if fawning, four-hour interview with Putin, in which the Russian dictator makes clear that he views American hegemony, including America’s standing and respect in the international community, as a threat that Russia must counter. One way to undermine America’s standing is to provide disclosures that can be used by its own political factions, and the media, to sow distrust in America’s reliability as a democracy founded on transparency. Putin tells the truth when he says that it doesn’t matter particularly to Russia whether Clinton or Trump won the election: his goal was to install doubt in the legitimacy of the process, regardless of how it turned out.

What comes out of this is just how the Left is feeding the Russian Bear. The Democrats are joining with the Russian efforts in trying to de-legitimize the election. That is just the domestic side of things. Iran, the Ukraine, Syria, and other places where Russia is trying to expand empire contrast the foreign policy differences between Democrats and Republicans.

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A culture of carelessness?

Tammy Bruce: ‘Conform or else’: Democrats bully conservative women, minorities – “A Bully’s Deal: If You Ever Think For Yourself and Don’t Conform, We’ll Ruin Your Life.”

But this attack isn’t a new one from the gay left, or from liberals in general. Ann Coulter has also been referred to as a man in drag. When I was a gay activist in the 1990s, the misogyny in the gay community was palpable. It has clearly become malignant.

This isn’t about jokes gone wrong, or a mistake made that offended one group or another. This is a strategy meant to send a message to everyone who might dare to stray from liberal orthodoxy: If you do so, we will work to humiliate and destroy you.

Like a cult, anyone who dares to not pay allegiance to the liberal narrative will be attacked. Smearing high-profile conservative women, gays and people of color is meant to send a message to everyone else: conform or else. Doesn’t sound like a “Better Deal” at all, does it?

Ben Wolfgang: Trump’s energy, environment accomplishments stand out in first six months – “Mr. Trump simply undid executive orders put in place by his predecessor; former President Barack Obama’s use of executive power on energy and environment, analysts say, have made that a fairly easy area in which to take quick, decisive action.”

Specialists and even critics credit the progress to a relatively unified agenda on the part of both the president and Republicans in Congress, who largely have avoided the kind of in-the-weeds policy disagreements that have bedeviled them on health care and other areas.

Indeed, the key to action on energy has been that there’s been little need up to this point for major legislation.

In addition to near-unified support from Republicans, Mr. Trump also has benefited from the policy expertise of those he tapped for key positions.

Mr. Pruitt and other attorneys general argued that the Obama administration had stretched to the breaking point the limits of executive power. Now, rather than continuing to fight those actions in court, Mr. Trump and Mr. Pruitt are using their own power to push in the opposite direction.

“There was one fact missing from the headlines about the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, and that is that the United States already leads the world in lowering emissions. And we’ve done this through innovation and technology, not by signing agreements,” Mr. Perry said.

Christopher C. Horner: Obama’s Paris climate scheme revelation – “Emails show ‘disturbing contempt’ for the Senate’s treaty role.” For those worried about dictators and fascists, here is history that should replace the anticipation, presumption, and, perhaps, projection.

Though Paris‘ reach into perpetuity was not known at the time this Times story broke, the seizure of power that it revealed made it big news, shocking Senate lawyers. The lack of Senate intervention to this day remains scandalous. As the disastrous Iran deal showed, the institution has so atrophied it can no longer muster the will to protect its constitutionally delegated prerogatives.

Elizabeth McKee: A culture of carelessness and secrecy at the IRS – “The agency routinely destroys federal records, says an inspector general.” Another hallmark of the previous administration is exposed.

The crumbling state of IRS record keeping was first exposed during the IRS conservative targeting scandal. Former IRS unit director Lois Lerner’s hard drive crashed, and the IRS subsequently wiped and destroyed the hard drive. Although Ms. Lerner’s correspondence had been backed up, the IRS magnetically wiped 422 of the 424 backup tapes. An estimated 24,000 of Ms. Lerner’s emails were lost in the process, preventing the public from obtaining critical information. Ms. Lerner even convinced a judge to withhold her testimony from the public, further obscuring her role in the affair.

The latest TIGTA report confirms the agency’s neglect and incompetence when it comes to the preservation of critical federal records. It also notes that when the agency attempted to fulfill FOIA requests, it failed to search all available sources. This was certainly true during the Lerner debacle, when the IRS only searched one of the six available devices containing her emails.

Lawmakers are now demanding an explanation from IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. Sen. Orrin Hatch, Rep. Kevin Brady and Rep. Vern Buchanan wrote in a letter to Mr. Koskinen, “Failure to retain and produce records reduces transparency, inhibits Congressional oversight, and opens the IRS to judicial sanctions during litigation.”

The TIGTA report suggests a culture of carelessness and secrecy within the IRS. Perhaps if records were readily available for the public to review, the agency would strive to reach a higher standard of competence.

On the AG Sessions front, some are saying the recent stance on civil asset forfeiture is a sufficient concern. Ace has another one: Department of Justice Lawyers Still Suing Little Sisters of the Poor and Other Religiously-Oriented Organizations Over Obamacare Birth Control/Abortion Mandate.

Although Trump signed an executive order directing the DOJ to consider and propose an alternate rule which would insulate religiously-oriented organizations from compliance with the birth control/abortion mandate in Obamacare, no such rule has actually been published, so the situation remains as it was.

Here’s an example to consider about government: Public vs. Private Management: Marketing Videos and Hot Dogs – “One of the more popular features we have been experimenting with is adding aerial video of campgrounds we operate shot from small drones. Customers love these and find them a great way to experience the campground before the commit to a visit.” But see what is required to do this at an NFS facility.

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Fraud and protections and swampland

Richard W. Rahn: When legal protections begin to disappear – “Americans rely on strong protections for property rights and a judicial system based on due process.”

The U.S has succeeded because it was based on the rule of law, with strong protections for property rights, and a judicial system based on due process. There has been a steady erosion of these basic principles and rights over the last 240 years, resulting in the undermining of economic freedom and the loss of much personal liberty.

Cheryl K. Chumley: White House dead wrong on asset forfeitures – “You can’t “increase forfeitures” and do so “with care.” The entire civil asset forfeiture system is so counter to the Fourth Amendment, there’s no “care” about it.”

Grabbing properties from those who’ve not yet been convicted, and in some cases not even charged, of crimes is not a tool to fight crime. It’s a means of enriching law enforcement on the backs of innocence, at the utmost expense of the Constitution. It’s a police state-type program and should be abolished. And those who stand on the side of bolstering asset forfeiture, rather than reducing and banning it — yes, even those in this White House, from which much good has come — are setting themselves as an enemy to freedom, in conflict with the Constitution.

Richard H. Black: Tracing the range of voter fraud – “The Voter Integrity Commission might become one of Trump’s enduring legacies.”

The media came unhinged over President Trump’s Advisory Commission on Voter Integrity. CNN falsely claimed that 44 states had stonewalled requests for voter data, when only 14 had done so. Media outlets screamed “voter intimidation!” Their fury suggests that Mr. Trump is onto something really big.

VDH on Swampland’s Ten Commandments – “Their transition down the coastal corridor is sort of like leaving a Florida bog of alligators and water moccasins and thereby assuming one is de facto prepared to enter the far deadlier Amazon jungle of caimans, piranhas, and Bushmasters.”

Accordingly, most drones of the deep state, elected officials, and the judiciary make the necessary political adjustments in order to obtain indemnities. An obdurate Beltway conservative is like one who fights in Fallujah without Kevlar; a progressive wars from an Abrams tank. That is why there are few of the former, and lots of the latter.

John Nolte: Our Corrupt Media Is Now Haunted By All The Precedents They Set While Colluding With Obama – “over eight terrible years, our media did a whole lot more than just let Obama get away with it. They wholeheartedly colluded.”

And when even that wasn’t enough, they themselves lied and obfuscated, covered up and dissembled, and most of all they set all kinds of precedents that, in a delicious form of irony, are now driving this utterly failed institution to the edge of insanity.

And now — now! — this very same media (with the help of #NeverTrump’s forever-preening moral narcissists) is using the spear of Muh Principles to demand that those of us on the political right agree to destroy ourselves in their corrupt crusade, that we acquiesce like second-class citizens to their separate sets of rules?

Valerie Richardson: Net neutrality process ‘meaningless’ with flood of fake and foreign comments to FCC – “National Legal Policy Center finds 1.3 million overseas comments filed from July 3-12.” Here’s voter fraud and Russian Collusion!

The Coyote explains why Net Neutrality is a socialist ideological fantasy and not a practical solution: A Net Neutrality Parable – it’s another solution seeking a problem.

Google (via Youtube), Netflix, and Facebook account for over half the bandwidth used on the Internet. They claim they are worried about ISP’s filtering traffic based on political views, but no one has ever provided the smallest shred of evidence that this occurs (and it is incredibly hypocritical since Facebook and Google do exactly this within their platforms). What they are really worried about is that someone might un-bundle your local Internet service, specifically splitting the high bandwidth using sites from the low. An ISP might very rationally offer a much lower monthly rate to someone who accepted a plan that did not allow streaming video or which compressed streaming video to conserve bandwidth (oddly, while the Left supports net neutrality, they favor the opposite in cable TV, trying to force unbundling of sites that are cheap for cable companies to provide from those that are expensive (e.g. ESPN). This is likely Google and Netflix’s nightmare.

Andrea O’Sullivan: Net Neutrality Supporters Should Actually Hate the Regulations They’re Endorsing – “The Obama-era “Open Internet Order” discourages a free internet.”

From there, the concept of “net neutrality” morphed into something that was both utopian and unworkable. If you type the phrase into Google, the top definition provided is the “principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.” Yet this definition stands in sharp contradiction to the vision outlined by Wu, who noted that “a total ban on network discrimination, of course, would be counterproductive.” This kind of extreme understanding of net neutrality has been dismissed by early Internet pioneer and MIT computer scientist David Clark as a “happy little bunny rabbit dream” that would be both impossible and undesirable to implement.

Unfortunately, the unhinged understanding of “net neutrality” has since won the day. And it has fueled average people’s nightmares about what the future of the Internet holds—even though it looks a lot like what we’ve always enjoyed. (After all, the OIO regulations were only proposed in 2015.)

Shikha Dalmia: Sorry, Liberals: Protecting the Medicaid Status Quo Won’t Save Patients – “The program desperately needs radical surgery.”

Medicaid provides health care to 75 million Americans. It’s also a hideously expensive program that is at the center of the raging health-care debate in Washington. Republicans want to scale back the program, and Democrats warn that doing so will cause nothing short of mass death.

But that is not a credible—or responsible—claim.

Medicaid is perhaps the civilized world’s worst program. It costs just as much as private plans—about $7,000 per patient—but produces worse outcomes, including higher mortality, than private coverage.

Extending Medicaid to these people improved their health and diminished mortality, right? Wrong. Plenty of reputable studies suggest that this might not be the case

Adnan Farooqui: Elon Musk Explains How Many Solar Panels Are Needed To Power The U.S. – “If you wanted to power the entire United States with solar panels, it would take a fairly small corner of Nevada or Texas or Utah; you only need about 100 miles by 100 miles of solar panels to power the entire United States,” Musk said.

That’s ten thousand square miles of ecological disaster not to mention the hazmat issues with all of that solid state electronics (solar cells) and batteries. But, for some reason, those considerations don’t seem to register with the alternative energy fan-boys.

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Escalating politics of personal destruction

Neo-neocon: Comey’s testimony: in the eye of the beholder, like most things Trump

Another thing that was revealed today (IMHO) is that Comey was in an adversarial position to Trump from the start. When I say “adversarial,” I’m speaking in emotional terms, not strictly legal ones. Comey left every conversation and immediately wrote down his own recollection of what had happened, in great detail, in order to both protect himself and document the exchange.

As a person who has studied human interactions and observed them based on that study, I have to say that very very few people would be capable of recording such a conversation accurately. At one point in my life I was in a situation where I worked with families and couples and each session was recorded. So I had an unusual opportunity—I was able to check out, against the actual record, my own perceptions about conversations as well as the accuracy of the recall of others about those conversations. It turns out I’m pretty good at it but certainly not perfect, and most people I saw were not particularly good at it at all.

Therefore I doubt that Comey is recreating these conversations with Trump with exact accuracy—and that’s not just him I’m talking about, that’s anyone who might be in the same position. Comey’s not a court stenographer, after all, nor is he a recording device.

Comey’s testimony is further proof that Trump’s not a lawyer, and Comey is. When I say that, I’m not just trying to be cute. What I mean is that we’ve had a lot of lawyers as presidents, including the most recent one, Obama, and a rather well-known one, Bill Clinton. Hillary would have been still another lawyer. Many Trump supporters like Trump for that very reason—he’s not a lawyer, and doesn’t talk like one. But it’s a disadvantage when he’s tussling with someone like Comey.

Mercedes Schlapp: “What was particularly shocking was to see Mr. Comey play by a different set of rules depending on the president he was serving.”

Marco Rubio: “the only thing that was never leaked is the fact that the president was not under investigation.”

Sundance: Top Five Facts and Examples Showcasing Comey’s Political Motives… – “here’s the top five facts that showcase how badly James Comey politicized the FBI.”

IBD: On Display In Russia Hearings, Democrats’ Trump-Hatred Is Worthy Of Captain Ahab – “If there’s one thing Congress’ Russia hearings have shown, it’s that President Trump has driven the Democratic Party and far-left media to near insanity.”

No, we’re not joking. Listening to the hearings on Wednesday and Thursday, when National Intelligence Director Dan Coats, National Security Director Adm. Michael Rogers, Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and former FBI Director James Comey testified, was a revelation.

In their questioning, Democrats were plainly not interested in the truth. They merely hoped for something, anything, that would be damning or damaging to Trump. In particular, they hoped for evidence of “obstruction of justice” to impeach Trump.

But they didn’t get it. Under persistent questioning Wednesday, Coats, Rogers and McCabe all emphatically denied that Trump had brought improper pressure to bear on the Russia investigation. None.

The nonstop efforts to get Trump are failing. Piece by piece, Trump’s putting his agenda in place — just in time to watch the Democratic Party’s ship go down.

George Neumayr: Comey Served at the Pleasure of Himself – “His Senate testimony only confirms what a self-serving operator he is.”

Of the show trials in the Soviet Union, it was said, “Everything was true, except the facts.” One could say the same about the show trial Donald Trump is suffering at the hands of a hysterically partisan ruling class. Its frenzy over James Comey’s Senate testimony bears no relationship to reality; it is simply a reflection of its own ruthless power politics and determination to nail Trump at any cost.

Let’s cut through the nonsense: Comey, not Trump, is the villain in this idiotic saga. In all of his heavy-breathing hints and leaks, Comey let people think that the president was under investigation. The scandal is not that a guilty president asked the FBI director to treat him as innocent, but that an innocent president was treated as guilty by an FBI director drunk on his own rectitude.

Comey sees himself as a white knight, saving the republic from a vulgarian. But the American people can see that the “respectability” of a leaking, vicious, two-faced ruling class doesn’t add up to much and constitutes a much deeper vulgarity than anything Trump represents. If one can fault Trump for anything in the firing of Comey, it is that he didn’t do it sooner.

Ace has More Comey Fall-Out – “Jonathan Turley: Yes, It’s Possible Comey Committed a Crime with His Leaks.

These people are acting as if Trump is not their president. That’s fine for citizens, but not for federal officials with classified clearances. The law is firm on the point that Trump is their president, and their are prison cells where they can ponder this question if it still troubles them.

Meanwhile, the House approved the Financial Choice Act to repeal the “ruinous Dodd-Frank banking law” (IBD). Another regulatory monster is under assault but the Democrats in the Senate are mounting a defense.

Scott Johnson: Mugging Mr. Murray: Murray speaks – Democrats show ugly, prominent social scientist has a response.

Committee Democrats warned Lee that if Murray testified they would attack him as they did. Lee himself neither warned Murray nor invited Murray to respond.

Last night Murray spoke on campus at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis as the featured speaker of Intellectual Takeout. It was a terrific event. The video of Murray’s presentation is posted on Intellectual Takeout’s Facebook page here.

In his remarks last night Murray addressed the madness on campus with initial attention to the riot at Middlebury when he appeared there on March 2. Following Murray’s formal remarks last night Intellectual Takeout President Devin Foley read Murray a few questions submitted from the audience including my question about what happened at the JEC hearing. Murray said he was glad Lee didn’t give him the opportunity to respond to the attacks on him by the Democrats at the JEC hearing because his response would have turned his mugging into a story.

Used to be politics of personal destruction. It seems to effort has escalated a bit.

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6/5/2017: disgusting things

Ian Tuttle: The Roots of Left-Wing Violence – “A vague and dangerous ideology.” What is Antifa? Where does it come from? Why is it a problem to be solved and not a solution to anything? Why should it be considered a cancer on civilization and not a progressive step towards better social health? Consider the riots and other mayhem so far this year.

These and similar episodes call to mind Woody Allen’s character’s observation in the 1979 film Manhattan: “A satirical piece in the Times is one thing, but bricks and baseball bats really gets right to the point of it.”

All politics is, at some level, a vocabulary contest, and it happens that American politics is currently engaged in a fierce fight over, and about, words. The central word at issue is “fascist,” but there are others: “racist,” “sexist,” and the like. A great many people are currently involved in a turf war, aiming to stake out conceptual territory for these charged words: What is fascism? What isn’t it?

The point is finding charged language to signify that Mac Donald ought to be persona non grata, without needing to prove the case. The outraged undergraduates of Pomona College and Antifa are different in only one regard, albeit an important one: Antifa are willing to employ muscle to achieve their ends.

The purpose of words is, the philosopher Josef Pieper suggested, “to convey reality.” But it is clear that, for Antifa, the purpose is to cloak reality.

What George Orwell called “Newspeak” in his novel 1984 “occurs whenever the main purpose of language — which is to describe reality — is replaced by the rival purpose of asserting power over it.

Reality shapes language, but language also shapes reality. We think by means of words. Our perceptions change as the words change, and our actions often follow. Back to the Communists: No one killed affluent peasants. The Party “liquidated kulaks.”

Using words to cloak reality makes it easier to dispose of that reality. Antifa are not satisfied with labeling people fascists; they want them to bleed on that account.

Today’s leftists are more gun-shy than their predecessors, but the differences are a matter of degree.

Legitimate and stable political power is rooted in the healthful loyalties that temper destructive political passions. Rightly ordered affections — toward God, country, and one another — promote the civic friendship in which citizens work side by side to promote one another’s best interests, and by which inevitable disputes can be resolved with a minimum of conflict. When Lincoln urged that “we are not enemies, but friends,” he was stating a necessary condition of the American republic. The Antifa ideology can produce only enemies.

Hiding reality … Ace has an example. Oh My: Has #FakeNews CNN Been Caught Stage-Managing a “Muslim Protest” Against Terrorism? – “If “@BeckyCNN” (no idea who this is) didn’t actually stage the “protest,” she and her crew sure seem to have taken the lead in directing it for videotaping it.”

This may well show a genuine, real sentiment being expressed by the protesters — but it also shows CNN coordinating with them not to show an actual, organic protest, but to artificially set up a specific message that both CNN and the protesters want on TV.

More: This thread on Twitter is a good read — apparently, in the midst of a terrorist attack, one Brit took another Brit to task for using non-approved language against Islamist terrorists.

Yes — during the attack.

Jazz Shaw describes how Portland demonstrations erupt in violence thanks to the usual suspects – there were three groups. One was “Patriot Prayer” and the other two were protesting them.

Oddly enough, the group that ostensibly wanted to “stand against hate and racism” were the ones who initially started the trouble, but the mainstream press reports curiously didn’t make that very clear. Unfortunately, a third group of counter-protesters showed up at another location nearby, many wearing black masks and carrying “unknown objects” (which we’ve seen all too often before) and that’s when things really took a turn. Catherine Garcia, writing at The Week, teases out a few more details.

Welcome to the new era of peaceful protesting. If you organize a march against the current White House administration you will be lionized by the press and land interviews on CNN and MSNBC. If you set up a rally in support of any White House policies, people will show up with weapons and attempt to shut you down.

Newmark notes a “counfounding fact” exposed at Reason – “The folks who look at kiddie porn often get longer sentences than the people who molest children in real life.” Trying to establish molestation is difficult as the evidence is squishy and difficult to tie down. “But child porn? There it is on the computer. It’s a simple slam dunk for prosecutors.” Another example of this particular prosecution phenomenon is that for exceeding speed limits on the roads. Facility and faux objectivity make prosecution a lot simpler and more efficient.

David P. Goldman: Counter-terror Lessons from America’s Civil War – “There’s a tried and true American approach to suppressing terrorism, and it worked quite well during Gen. Sherman’s 1863 Kentucky campaign and Gen. Phil Sheridan’s subsequent reduction of the Shenandoah Valley. We don’t have to be particularly smart; we merely have to do some disgusting things.”

The Union always had more men and more resources; what it lacked was generals with the stomach for the job. That meant not only the grisly war of attrition waged by Grant, another middling commander with absolute resolve, but also retaliation against civilians: When snipers fired on Union soldiers from Tennessee or Kentucky villages, Sherman expelled residents, burned houses, and laid waste to crops. There are lessons here for what we used to call, quaintly, the Global War on Terror.

The way to win the war is to frighten the larger community of Muslims who passively support terror by action or inaction–frighten them so badly that they will inform on family members. Frightening the larger Muslim population in the West does not require a great deal of effort: a few thousand deportations would do.

We prefer to think about winning hearts and minds. Winning the hearts and minds of a people, though, isn’t difficult once they fear you.

This is why there are police and armies to do those’ disgusting’ things that convey the values of what is held dear and help define what is important and what is not to their societies.

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Shake and Bake update 6/2/2017

Ben Wolfgang reports on the big news as Trump eviscerates Obama’s Paris legacy – what is remarkable is that Trump bypassed all the science arguments and actually demonstrated actual science thinking and values. His reasoning for dumping the accord put the focus on its measurable effects rather than on speculation, modeling, and faux science constructions to bend the issue towards ideological goals.

“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” he continued. “I promised I would exit or renegotiate any deal that doesn’t serve America’s interests.”

Mr. Trump, though, delivered a detailed evisceration of the deal Mr. Obama signed, saying it crushes American businesses, unnecessarily funnels billions of dollars to other nations and allows the world’s top polluter, China, to do little to curb its own emissions for the next 13 years.

Mr. Obama had committed the U.S. to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26 percent by 2025, while China needs only to cap its pollution by 2030.

The pact also calls on America to commit billions of dollars to the U.N.’s Green Climate Fund to pay developing countries to develop cleaner energy.

Those terms, Mr. Trump said, are unacceptable.

“The bottom line is that the Paris accord is very unfair at the highest level to the United States,” he said.

But for all the criticism, Mr. Trump brought data to the Rose Garden Thursday to back up his decision. Known for speaking off the cuff and often accused of being loose with facts, the president this time used raw numbers to justify the move.

Wesley Pruden: The president keeps a solemn promise to put America first – “Uncle Sugar doesn’t live here any more, and he didn’t leave a forwarding address.”

The president thus makes good on one of his most important campaign promises, mocking the holy writ of global warming, or “climate change” as it’s called now because the globe refuses to warm as promised and all the dead polar bears are still not dead and the ocean that was supposed to have inundated the financial district of lower Manhattan by now, has still not obeyed Al Gore.

The president sounds like the reasonable one now.

Of course, the Left is channeling Kathy Griffin and Democrat mayors are already promising to sacrifice their cities on the alarmist alter.

Bjorn Lomborg provides a bit of context: A path forward after the Paris climate agreement – “Like the Kyoto Protocol before it, the drastically over-hyped Paris climate treaty has fallen victim to political and economic reality.”

Instead of scrapping over the treaty’s corpse, this is an opportunity to try a new, better and more efficient approach to solving global warming.

Right now, the chances of anything so constructive seem slim. Rhetoric is overheated to the point of absurdity. Environmental campaigners condemn Mr. Trump for dooming the entire planet to a fiery Armageddon, yet claim rashly that the treaty could survive without the United States. It will not, and it should not.

The hyperbole and outrage can’t hide the truth: even with the United States included, the treaty was not going to make much difference to global warming.

While the climate alarmism was serious business, there is also the editorial about Getting to the bottom of Covfefe – “Maybe the Donald just wanted to ‘let the good times roll’” As Limbaugh keeps point out, the Left has no sense of humor.

This is what infuriates those who didn’t, and couldn’t, get the message. Being “in the know” is why “everyone” comes to Washington in the first place. Knowing that you don’t know, because you’re not “in the circle,” is the fate worse than a slow death. And even worse, why would anybody hire a lobbyist who doesn’t know?

The capital obsession with what some out-of-the-loop drudges and drones call merely the Donald’s typo — it was dispatched at daybreak, after all — has replaced the previous obsession with what Melania Trump meant when she appeared to swat her husband’s hand out of the way when they were leaving an event at the G-7 summit. An obsession has the shelf life of a shrimp in Washington.

It’s always party time the closer you get to New Orleans, and this puzzles Washington, where party time has an altogether different meaning — and, some would say, never fun and about as festive as the mark-up of a budget bill. This makes more sense than the usual nonsense from Washington. Maybe partying is how you make America great again.

There may be a whole lot of the American Public that gets what is going on and Trump understands them better than many politicians or pundits.

Before the Paris Climate Fiasco, there were the NATO discussions with its signatories. It is worthy of note that the President illustrated yet again that the Left’s fears about Trump’s dictatorial penchants are absurd and ridiculous. In both of these major policy shifts, the President consulted with the governments involved and with others before offering carefully crafted reasoning for his decisions based on sound data and clear values. Robert W. Merry describes Jostling NATO’s status quo – “Trump’s nudges don’t match the threats from Russia and unchecked immigration.”

In politics and geopolitics, people tend to cling to the old ways of thinking like a drowning man in a stormy sea clings to a life preserver. Case in point: NATO. Consider the reaction to President Trump’s performance at last week’s summit of the venerable Atlantic alliance, where he chided the Europeans for not hitting defense spending targets and seemed to avoid — somewhat pointedly, some thought — the standard expressions of devotion to NATO’s Article 5, which commits NATO members to consider an attack on one to be an attack on all.

With so many establishment institutions and figures singing the same angry ballad, it must mean something. And it does: that they continue to cling to the old ways of thinking even as events demonstrate that those old ways no longer fit reality. The more that becomes apparent, the more tenaciously they grasp the status quo.

The New York Times gave the game away in calling NATO “an indisputably important alliance that has kept the peace for 70 years.” That’s demonstrably false.

The fact is that the Russian bear constitutes no such threat, and Mrs. Merkel knows it. A further fact is that Europe doesn’t need any U.S. umbrella in order to protect itself from external threats because it faces no such threats that require U.S. assistance. Its only serious outside threat is unchecked immigration of such magnitude, and of such cultural challenge, that any smooth assimilation will be extremely difficult, perhaps impossible. We only need to look at what’s roiling European politics these days to see that this threat agitates the European mind far more than any potential Russian hostility.

But don’t expect today’s establishment thinkers to incorporate those realities into their thinking. The status quo is too comfortable, however shattered it may be in the real world.

Cheryl K. Chumley says Judicial Watch sues for George Soros funding records – “Judicial Watch just launched a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development, USAID, for records related to taxpayer funding of George Soror-tied political activities.”

And Democrats are worried about Russia’s intervention in the U.S. election? Now we know why. With all eyes turned on Republicans and President Donald Trump, few eyes are left to look at the Democratic Party’s own inner doings to spread a propaganda-type progressive mantra around the world.

Let the FOIA suits proceed. It will be interesting — to understate — to see how deep the Democratic Party’s dug in with fueling Barack Obama-era State Department and USAID funding to further a Soros-Alinsky message overseas.

The Russian Collusion Conspiracy still suffers a lack of concrete evidence about its supposed results – election interference – and its supposed methods – collusion with campaign officials – and any impropriety. Now Investigations focus on ‘unwitting’ conspirators aiding Russia’s efforts to sabotage U.S. election according to Dan Boylan and Guy Taylor. The word “flailing” comes to mind when reading about the investigation.

Sundance at bat: CNN’s Gloriously, Embarrassingly, Horrible and Terribly Bad Day – Reporting on: “An Extinction Level Event”… – “CNN executives wake up in the morning knowing Trump has done something terrible, they just don’t know what it is yet. Oy, how this ideological perspective is challenging to maintain.” and then brings in history: Targeting Trump – Kathy Griffin in 2016: “my edge is that I’ll go direct for Barron.” – “it is worth noting an interview Ms. Griffin gave to Vulture Media at the Equality Now Gala in December of 2016.” The adage used to be that the President’s family was left out of the fray. This was really just a one sided thing and we have yet another example of how the standards change depending upon the target. Oh, and now Griffin is showing the Hillary Value by holding a press conference to address ‘bullying’ from the Trump family. Why don’t those on the right make this sort of offensive defensive a norm, too?

Also see John Sexton: James O’Keefe sued for $1 million over video sting – “the million dollar price tag looks like a similarly excessive attempt to punish politically embarrassing journalism.”

Ace picks up on the fact that the Left, Get This, Freaks Out Over No One Paying Any Mind to Their Silly Monster Baby Asses – “The top 15 over-the-top reactions from the left — but is there any other kind of reaction from the left? … Below, some of the ones I found.” This is rather an easy target to find.

Allahpundit: Michigan city bans farmer from selling at public market because he won’t hold gay weddings on his property – “fines are one thing. Banishment from the public square for ungood thoughts feels like a new step.” Regulation of religion continues apace, despite whatever the U.S. Constitution may say.

 

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Poverty: A state of mind.

Cheryl K. Chumley: Ben Carson’s poverty comments shake, shock — and bear true – “Ben Carson, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, sent shockwaves through the liberal world during a recent radio show when he told the host that poverty is, “to a large extent,” simply a “state of mind.” He’s another Black Hero in the light of Thomas, Sowell, and Williams who have ‘been there, done that’ and know the road.

Carson was trying to say that a winning attitude isn’t a DNA trait — it’s trained, taught, learned, instilled. In other words, money doesn’t just not buy happiness. It also doesn’t buy lasting success, according to Carson.

Make way for the Democratic-driven Train of Outrage.

The left has gone batty over the remarks. But why? He wasn’t trying to deny the existence of poverty — to make it seem like it’s all in the person’s head. Rather, he was saying the key to its conquering comes largely with the upbringing.

Parents, Carson said, and caretakers need to give their children the “mindset of a winner,” and not let them wallow in a victim mentality that sabotages their futures.

Carson the HUD chief, he’s touched a nerve of basic liberal philosophy — that of the poor being helpless victims, needful of government assistance.

This is all left twisting and turning with intent to avoid basic truths, one of which is this: In America, land of opportunity, equality, the Constitution and the Judeo-Christian concept that we’re all equal in God’s eyes, all have a chance at success, all endowed by our Creator with the abilities to pursue happiness.

“You take somebody that has the right mindset,” Carson said, “you can take everything from them and put them on the street and I guarantee in a little while they’ll be right back up there.”

Liberals who whine otherwise? They just don’t want Americans to be self-sufficient and self-supporting, anyway — it eats into their control, chips at their victimhood mentality.

Douglas Ernst has a report on blowback: USAA flooded with angry feedback after pulling ads from ‘Hannity’: ‘They caved’ – “You obviously don’t know your customer base,” added Scott Grumpman. “If your decision in the Hannity issue is not reversed by 5pm Friday I will close my accounts with USAA Friday.”

“There is an effort now about to silence to me,” the host said Tuesday. “Media Matters is attacking my advertising base. That is what we have called on this program liberal fascism — attack, boycott, all in an effort to silence conservatives.”

Valerie Richardson says DeVos refuses to be hamstrung by Education Department red tape – it’s another example of DTS (draining the swamp). In this case, the topic is about not getting anal on formatting rules for grant applications. Rules like requiring double spacing in grant applications are a good way to help find reasons to reject that have nothing to do with the purpose of the program but rather a lot to do with subjective (i.e. political) judgments. In this era where typewriters are long gone and most documents have typesetting via word processing software, such rules are arcane and outdated.

Ms. DeVos fought the bureaucracy and won, announcing Wednesday that the funding requests would be reconsidered after an internal battle over the tighter formatting rules enacted under the Obama administration.

“These are things that were going on under the previous administration, and because those were the rules and because that was the basis for the rejection, the legal team was saying, ‘The safe thing to do here is to reject them and you can change the policy going forward, but you can’t reconsider that,’” Mr. Davidson said.

“Let me just say that this issue apparently has been going on through four different secretaries, unaddressed,” said Ms. DeVos. “The moment I found out about it, I issued a departmentwide policy indicating that we are not going to reject applications for any competitive bid process based on formatting. This is a bureaucratic requirement that we should be rid of now, and we are.”

She alluded to the internal struggle, saying, “if you had any idea how much time it has [chewed] up internally for us, you would be amazed.”

Howie Carr: Hillary chokes as she coughs up lies – “Folks, you can’t make this stuff up. Hillary Clinton, lecturing the youth of America about the dangers of lying, and pointing the finger … at somebody else.”

Where to begin?

This is the same woman who claimed that she was under sniper fire in Tuzla, that she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary (five years before anyone ever heard of him), who said all four of her grandparents were immigrants (it was one), who claimed she was “dead broke” when she left the White House.

This is the woman who said she’d never endorsed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, who tried to enlist in the Marines in ’75, who swore her server wasn’t hacked and she was never subpoenaed (Trey Gowdy called her out on that one), who compared herself to Honest Abe Lincoln, who said Chelsea Clinton was downtown on 9/11 …

“When people in power invent their own facts,” said the world-class fact-inventor, “and attack those who question them, it can mark the beginning of the end of a free society.”

Bre Payton: Obama Donor Judge Threatens Pro-Life Journalists With Contempt Charges For Releasing Video – “A federal judge who donated nearly a quarter of a million dollars to President Obama’s campaign has threatened to hold undercover reporter and pro-life activist David Daleiden in contempt of court after his organization released video footage of Planned Parenthood employees admitting that abortion involves killing a baby.” The innuendo sidesteps the judges rationale for his action. As explained in the column, it has something to do with California felony charges and a bit of confusion about public records in criminal proceedings. It does appear another case of judicial over-reach. See Ed Morrissey: CMP, Daleiden face contempt charge over video release for a bit more balanced explanation that is easier to follow.

Sundance picks up on Reuters/Washington Post Publish Evidence of Obama Spying on Trump Campaign and Unmasking Americans… – “Reuters/Washington Post Puts a Slice of Kushner Cheese on Russian Nothingburger and simultaneously prove the Obama Administration was spying on the Trump campaign.” This particular scandal has evidence to chew on unlike the Trump Russian Collusion Fantasies.

The extent of the U.S. media’s straw-grasping is boundless, but this one is going to backfire. HOPEFULLY. For the most recent example consider the Washington Post and Reuters claiming President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner participating in a proposal to set up a back-channel with Russia for communication after the November 8th election.

Pay attention to this part: “[…] FBI scrutiny of Kushner began when intelligence reports of Flynn’s contacts with Russians included mentions of U.S. citizens, whose names were redacted because of U.S. privacy laws. This prompted [FBI/Comey] investigators to ask U.S. intelligence agencies to reveal the names of the Americans, the current U.S. law enforcement official said.”

Reflect back on CIA Director John Brennan’s testimony to congress and reread that paragraph broken into two parts and combined with the Brennan testimony

Aside from proving the Obama administration was specifically using James Comey to spy on the Trump campaign – So what if team Trump, or Candidate Trump, or President-Elect Trump, wanted a way to talk privately with representatives of the Russian government? That’s politics. That’s the same for every country, not just exclusive to Russia.

What this Reuters and Washington Post story actually does is prove the Obama Administration was spying on the Trump campaign. That’s the explosive angle to the story.

Ace notes that Political Violence From the Left Continues Garnering Zero Condemnation in Leftist Media – “You can find my condemnation of Greg Gianforte’s bodyslam right next to CNN’s condemnation of the professor charged with three accounts of attacking peaceful Trump supporters — with a bike lock. Which is a heavy metal improvised weapon.” Instapundit has a video flashback: When a Dem Congressman Attacked a Student Journalist, the Media Didn’t Bat an Eye.

Jazz Shaw wonders: With all that farmland, why are Venezuelans starving? – “Venezuela has some of the richest farmland in the western hemisphere and was a net exporter of agricultural products until very recently. How can the people be starving? That’s the question being tackled at the Washington Post this week and the answer comes down to a single source: it’s the socialism, stupid.” Why does the Left want to replicate that disaster here?

See also John Hinderaker on What Venezuela’s Medical Crisis Tells Us About Socialism – “The Lancet refers to Venezuela’s “political and economic crisis, but never mentions the key word, socialism. This is the point I want to make: neither Venezuelan reformers nor the Lancet seem to understand the role of socialism in the collapse of Venezuela’s health care system, along with the rest of its economy.”

Ed Morrissey describes another case of foolishness as CA single-payer bill passes out of committee … without any explanation of funding it – “The reason why Democrats don’t have a funding plan for single payer is because all of the options would be political catastrophes.”

Details, details! Who cares about how one pays for an entitlement program? The point is to pass it, and let your great-granchildren figure it out. In this case, however, the problem is so large that it’s impossible to do without the funding in place first, because of the need to pay providers for goods and services. California hardly has an extra $200 billion laying around, and even if it did, it would need to shore up its collapsing pension system first. The state is also on the hook for a $100 billion high-speed rail system whose funding is still unclear. Democrats don’t have much idea about how to pay for their current priorities, let alone their seizure of the health-care sector.

That’s the reason why Lara and his allies want to pass this bill in a rush. They don’t want to account for the accounting, which will expose this as a massive and inefficient seizure of open markets that will require an avalanche of taxes, mandates, and rationing. “Don’t wait,” their allies urge while ridiculing fiscal responsibility. There’s a big, big lesson in DeMoro’s profane inanities, if Californians are willing to learn it.

Scott Johnson describes another case of Mugging Mr. Murray. This has been going on since the publication of The Bell Curve. Data and reality don’t sit well with the Left (see the note about Carson above).

Committee Democrats performed a concerted mugging of Murray rich in the defamation flaunted by ignorant rioters protesting Murray’s appearances at Middlebury and and other college campuses. Decrying the mugging committed by JEC Democrats on Murray, Joy Pullman tells the story in the Federalist column “Congressional hit on Charles Murray indicates rioting won’t stay on campus.”

Recall that Murray appeared before the committee by the invitation of the JEC, presumably (according to Beyer’s remarks) the invitation of Senator Lee. At no point was Murray invited to respond to the ignorant and cowardly attacks on him. At no point does Senator Lee speak up on Murray’s behalf. The committee Democrats are beyond shame or regret, but whoever was responsible for the hearing owes Murray a profound apology.

Politics of personal destruction: the idea that Sherman’s march to the sea is a good model for dealing with anyone whose ideas you don’t like is also a poverty of the mind.

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It’s leaking!

Hank Campbell describes modern propaganda using a case study: 9 Ways Whole Foods Is Lying To You – “It is classic political framing, and if there is one thing that Big Organic has mastered, it is framing. Their vendors, and by extension their customers, are the good guys, and everyone else are the bad, in their take on the world.”

S.A. Miller: After a stream of intelligence leaks, it takes an irate U.K. to stir U.S. investigations – “The diplomatic flap over American officials divulging details of a British terrorism investigation lit a fire Thursday under U.S. investigators of intelligence agency leaks, an issue that had been on a back burner when the primary victim of leaks was President Trump.”

an investigation should have been initiated the first time classified information was disclosed, including internal inquiries within the National Security Agency and the CIA.

The leaks from the intelligence community to the news media have plagued the Trump administration, but until this week the revelations were aimed almost exclusively at damaging the president. Concerns previously took a back seat to probes into suspected Trump campaign collusion with Russian spies to impact the election.

The leaks have become routine, including information gleaned from phone calls intercepted by spy agencies and accounts of Oval Office conversations given to the CIA.

Mercedes Schlapp: ‘Deep state’ leakers undercut country in their zeal to hurt a president – “The leakers of classified intelligence information are chipping away at our democratic institutions.”

It’s becoming a dangerous game where those who are feeding sensitive information to the media are also creating distrust within our intelligence agencies and damaging relationships with our allies abroad.

These leakers are on a mission to weaken President Trump and disrupt his ability to govern. They believe it is their moral obligation to fight the president and his team. But at what cost?

This should be an issue of bipartisan concern, but Senate Democrats remained virtually silent on the topic during the hearing.

Leaking classified information has become the new norm, and the leakers are providing a feeding frenzy for the media. However, these leakers are criminals, and their actions have already alienated key allies and caused distress in the Trump White House and in the intelligence agencies. The leakers’ goal is to undermine Mr. Trump and his agenda, even at the high price of committing a criminal act. The Department of Justice has already initiated steps to cut off the illicit information channels but it might be difficult to find and punish those responsible.

Roger L. Simon: Leakers and Journalists Are Destroying Our Republic – “Leakers and journalists are tied together like drug dealers and junkies.”

We have an epidemic of leaking in our society unlike anything I have seen in my lifetime. It’s approaching Plague level — but with no vaccine in sight.

In other words, there’s no there there other than leaks that continue to pour out, even after the installation of the supposedly confidential investigation by Special Counsel Mueller. How repellent and, frankly, illegal is that? Has Mueller launched a leak probe of his own? He should.

For its part, CNN (as a kind of low-rent, ineffectual Pravda) is just cooperating in a smear job that was apparently instigated by their colleagues at frequent leak conduit NBC.

the leakers have a co-dependent relationship, both convincing themselves that what they are doing is for the betterment of humanity.

So what do we do about this state of affairs in a democratic republic, assuming we are serious about having one?

Quite simply, the leakers need to go to jail with the proverbial key thrown away. That is the only way this leaking will stop and it must stop. Prosecutions should have started months ago. It’s hard to understand why it’s taken so long. Let’s hope we have indictments soon. Like tomorrow.

The zeal for an inside coup does not stop with just exposing national security secrets. It also involves fabrication. Rowan Scarborough takes up the case: FBI possessed, studied anti-Trump dossier, says former top spy – “The full effect of the dossier — which began circulating in Washington in June, with periodic updates filled with sensational charges through December — is unknown.”

“I know that there were efforts made by the bureau to try to understand whether or not any of the information in that was valid,” Mr. Brennan said of the 35-page document compiled by ex-British spy Christopher Steele and paid for by Democratic-tied Fusion GPS in Washington.

Whatever role the dossier played, former FBI Director James B. Comey on two occasions made it clear he does not want to discuss it in public.

In contrast, four Democrats embraced Mr. Steele and his work. Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the panels’ top Democrat, read repeatedly from its various memos, including unproven charges, as if they had been authenticated.

But Mr. Comey refused to acknowledge the FBI ever possessed or used the document.

Before and since those two hearings, no central charge in Mr. Steele’s dossier has been verified publicly.

One target, Russian-born tech entrepreneur Aleksej Gubarev, has sued Mr. Steele for defamation.

Douglas Ernst: Limbaugh: Media using leaks as ammo for ‘political assassination’ of Trump – “Radio host notes that stories often acknowledge — very late — that they aren’t confirmed.”

High-profile but anonymous leaks of classified information to The New York Times, The Washington Post and others have convinced the man behind “the golden EIB microphone” that a political hit job is underway to destroy the president.

“Every day, four o’clock to 5:30 in the afternoon, there is a new blockbuster … and if you read the entire story, you will find that the details suggested by the headline and the early reporting in the story actually cannot be backed up,” Mr. Limbaugh said. “It’s the most amazing thing.”

It is not just the intelligence services that have been corrupted. Cheryl K. Chumley: 4th Circuit’s Russian roulette roll of the border – “despite the fact his travel ban order doesn’t talking about banning the religion, judges, with a 10-3 voice, went with the rhetoric, not the facts.”

It’s like the court’s lefties just can’t get enough of Russian roulette — the game that’s basically being played with America’s border security and the open door approach the left wants to keep intact, regardless of terror and security concerns.

Jennifer Harper: Inside the Beltway: The strategic war on Fox News – “There are those who believe Fox News has been methodically targeted by critics who would like to see the end of the network’s ratings reign and influence.” There are two major tactics at play. One is accusation and innuendo to impugn and denigrate. That is then followed by an assault on sponsors and advertisers to have them withdraw support. At Fox News, these efforts are leveraged by changes in management.

Seth McLaughlin: Gianforte taps out Quist in Montana special election for Zinke House seat – “Tensions reached boiling point when the GOP candidate apparently choke-slammed a reporter.” It appears that voters took the incident for what it was: a frustrated (inappropriate) reaction to bullying. To the Left, it’s another victory in the ‘end justifies the means’ attempts to provoke something, anything, they can use for moral preening.

Still, there were signs Thursday that Mr. Gianforte’s victory could cause headaches for GOP lawmakers, who faced a barrage of questions over whether they condone Mr. Gianforte’s behavior and whether he should be barred from joining the GOP conference.

If the tables were turned, the ‘bug’ would be a ‘feature’ to laud the perpetrator and hold him up as a hero, not a rationale to recuse, condemn, and accuse.

Daniel Greenfield says in Montana: Even With The Game Rigged, The Left Can’t Win – “throwing a ton of money into low turnout elections backed by highly motivated leftists seemed like a good plan. … Despite rigging the election, the left still lost. All that money. All those efforts. All that hate. For nothing.”

David Horowitz: The Democrats’ Second Secession & America’s New Civil War – “How to look at the bizarre turn our political life has taken.”

It is not the proper role of an opposition party in a democracy to mount a “resistance” to a duly elected government and press for its overthrow at the very outset of its tenure. But that is precisely what the Democrats have done in the first months of the Trump administration. For the second time in its history, the Democratic Party has opted to secede from the Union and its social contract. This time there is not going to be an actual civil war because the federal government is now so powerful that whoever controls it will decide the outcome. The passions of an irreconcilable conflict are still present but they are channeled into a political confrontation over the executive power.

the animus behind Democratic assaults on Republicans and their support for law and order as “racist” is the direct consequence of viewing all social disparities through the distorted lens of oppression politics.

Trump and his followers not only understand the fateful nature of the conflict triggered by decades of these assaults. Their campaign to “Make America Great Again” is inspired by them. In his inaugural address Trump opposed to the progressive vision and its divisive consequences the American idea – e pluribus unum. Referring to those Americans who had been economically left behind, Trump said, “We are one nation and their pain is our pain. Their dreams are our dreams and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny. The oath of office, I take today, is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.” Trump then elaborated on the idea that Americans are united as equal citizens: “Through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.” And finally: “It’s time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget, that whether we are black, or brown, or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots. We all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same, great American flag. And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty Creator.

Jeremy Meister: The Devil in One Generation – “there is a crowd outside the house of FCC commissioner Pai. His crime? He is returning control of the internet to internet service providers.”

The Obama administration enacted “Net Neutrality” in defiance of a Supreme Court decision. In essence, Barack Obama seized ISP property because the ISPs weren’t serving the public interest. This was exactly how socialist revolutionary Benito Mussolini defined Fascism: a system where citizens own private property so long as they serve the public interest.

Churchill said Fascism would take root in the West under the guise of anti-Fascism, but I digress.

My real concern here is the rise of the radical left – those people who believe that their cause is so good that it justifies any means.

Do Republicans in leadership realize that the American left is intimidating their voters to get them unelected? Isn’t their first duty to get re-elected? Why aren’t they standing up for their supporters? Liberals do (see illegal immigration).

The law is supposed to apply to all of us equally. But it just doesn’t seem to be that way in 2017.

It’s said that when God created the world, the angel Lucifer became jealous. He thought he could create a world better than God – a world that would be more fair.

Some argue that the Devil is evil and wanted a world of misery. Some say that the Devil had nothing but good intentions, but things just didn’t work out quite the way he wanted. What’s not debatable is that the Devil’s world is a place of pain, suffering, and horror. His is a place of hatred, anger, jealousy, property destruction, and sexual depravity.

It’s hard not to think of this story as we watch social justice warriors, liberal politicians, and media elites trash our system, our nation, and its founding in the modern day. Just like the Prince of Darkness, their pride leads them to believe they know better and have all the answers.

Ronald Reagan once said that we’re never more than a generation away from losing our freedom. It seems that we are looking at the generation that is going to take it right now.

Jack Hellner: Why did Trump say that Obama spied on him? Because he did. – “What is the likelihood that the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Associated Press, USA Today or other major news outlets will cover the fact that the Obama administration repeatedly violated the law by spying on Americans from 2011 until they were almost out of office, when they finally admitted it?”

Is it any surprise that an administration that would target political opponents through the IRS would do this, or an administration that would start monitoring a political opponent four months prior to the election?

Obama was never scared to break the laws because he knew the Justice Department, the media, and the Democrats wouldn’t care.

The CBO has Obama problems, too. John Hinderaker explains why The CBO’s Analysis of the GOP’s Health Care Bill Is Worthless – “Yesterday the Congressional Budget Office released an analysis of the current version of the House health care bill that was trumpeted by Democrats because it projected that 23 million people would “lose” their health insurance if the law went into effect.”

However, as Guy Benson points out, this claim is false, since “the large bulk of those who are said to be ‘losing’ coverage do not currently have coverage.” Further, to the extent that some who currently are forced to buy health insurance by Obamacare decide it isn’t worth the cost to them, and choose not to purchase it, that is rightfully their decision.

Then, too, there is the fact that the CBO’s predictions about Obamacare have been ridiculously bad, as illustrated by this graphic:

There is another, more subtle reason why the CBO’s analysis is worthless. As far as I know, it has been pointed out only by my colleague at Center of the American Experiment Peter Nelson, one of the country’s top health care experts. Peter points out that the CBO has uncritically relied on articles by a former Obama administration official who apparently failed to read the GOP bill and existing regulations carefully.

The Congressional Budget Office is generally touted as “non-partisan,” which is technically true. But non-partisan does not equal reliable. With respect to both Obamacare and the House bill that would repeal and replace it, the CBO’s work product has been shoddy and unreliable.

Luboš Motl: Physics World insults me, simultaneously promotes climate alarmism and crackpottery in HEP – “The writer’s cognitive dissonance is amazing.” Perhaps the most significant highlight of the rant is a clarification of the ‘consensus’ argument.

Consensus may emerge because of legitimate reasons but also because of illegitimate reasons. The more politicized a discipline is, the more likely it is for the actual reason behind some consensus to be scientifically illegitimate. No actual scientist deciding about his healthy discipline will ever mention consensus as an argument. Inkspillers and activists such as Skuse and Smolin do so all the time. They are trying to distort science by political demagogy all the time. “You have to embrace this idea or another” because “the number of the people who believe it is already very high or it is too low” etc.

What’s remarkable about the likes of Skuse and Smolin is that they manifestly use these unacceptable political arguments in both directions – they constantly contradict themselves. Sometimes, they are using consensus as a “proof” that a claim is right and a reason why the consensus should be even stronger; sometimes, they are using consensus as a “proof” that something is wrong and there should be much more diversity. You simply can’t have it in both ways. And actual scientists can’t have it in either way. Whether there is consensus or not must be absolutely irrelevant for an actual scientist’s decision whether he believes a statement or another. A person may sometimes decide according to sociological criteria and even scientists do so – but whenever they do so, it simply means that they’re outsiders in that discipline and their opinion shouldn’t be counted in any scientifically meaningful poll trying to find the truth.

Citing consensus is the logical fallacy of an appeal to authority. It is a close cousin to the ‘seriousness of the alleged crime’ that the Left often uses to impugn its opposition with allegation, scandal, and innuendo.

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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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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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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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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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