Archive for Issues

Clarifying the coup attempt (still in progress)

The Real Problem with Judging Judge Roy Moore By Thomas Lipscomb – “The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there.” This is a good rundown on the context that puts the ‘scandal’ in its proper perspective about Moore and about the culture in which he lived. There is an understanding to be gained that the Left’s propaganda machine distorted and hid.

Female Trump accusers seek congressional hearing by Paul Mirengoff – “The women are: Rachel Crooks, who accused Trump of kissing her on the lips without consent in 2005; Jessica Leeds, who accused Trump of moving his hand up her skirt decades ago; and Samantha Holvey, a former Miss North Carolina, who accused Trump of entering a dressing room to peek at undressed beauty contestants in 2006.” As with what is (mostly) alleged about Moore, it is much easier to wonder about crude dating and social behavior rather than sexual predation and harassment with these claims. Then there’s the precedent:

“Remember, the articles of impeachment against President Clinton approved by the House cited him with lying under oath to a federal grand jury and obstructing justice. (An additional article based on his answers to questions from the House Judiciary Committee failed). There were no charges based on sexual misconduct.

That sexual misconduct left on the table included misuse of power over interns and rape that had supporting evidence not present allegations against either Trump or Moore.

Jerusalem move reveals the radical pattern of Trump diplomacy By Andrew Malcolm – “Trump’s bold announcement also sets him apart from recent presidents of both parties, who made numerous similar vows, then diddled their promises into easy inaction and oblivion.”

“And here is what’s so revealing about this Trump move: He’s not burdened by that depressing precedent. For better and worse, he’s an outsider unshackled by a self-defeating link to conventional wisdom, conventional wisdom that confines thinking only to what has been tried. If that hasn’t worked, only more of the same might.

This president may not have an obvious orthodox method to his diplomacy. But he does have a clear and decisive pattern. It’s more rooted in common-sense reality than in diplomatic dreaminess.

Former top spy rethinks: Maybe we shouldn’t have attacked a new president by Byron York – “As the old saying goes: Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. Trump understandably believes the intelligence agencies are out to get him.”

“Of course, leaders in the intelligence community would deny they are out to get the president. But in a remarkable new interview, one CIA veteran who served in the agency from 1980 to 2013, who briefed presidents on the most sensitive issues of the day, and is still a prominent voice in intelligence matters is at least conceding that he can understand why the president feels the way he does.

“Let’s put ourselves in Donald Trump’s shoes,” Morell said to Glasser. “So what does he see? Right? He sees a former director of CIA and a former director of NSA, Mike Hayden … criticizing him and his policies. Right? And he would rightfully have said, ‘Huh, what’s going on with the intelligence guys?'”

“And then he sees a former acting director and deputy director of CIA criticizing him and endorsing his opponent,” Morell continued. “And then he gets his first intelligence briefing, after becoming the Republican nominee, and within 24 to 48 hours, there are leaks out of that that are critical of him and his then-national security adviser Mike Flynn.”

“And so, this stuff starts to build, right? And he must have said to himself, ‘What is it with these intelligence guys? Are they political?'”

The answer to that was simple: Yes, they were political. But the astonishing part of the Morell interview is his admission that at the time he did not stop to consider what was happening from Trump’s perspective

Morell admits he went after the new president without even considering what that might mean. “I think there was a significant downside to those of us who became political,” he told Glasser. “So, if I could have thought of that, would I have ended up in a different place? I don’t know. But it’s something I didn’t think about.”

Reynolds on this: “That this obviously foreseeable consequence wasn’t foreseen demonstrates that these “intelligence” guys aren’t very good at what they’re supposed to be good at. And it explains why their work product hasn’t been very good with regard to other countries, when they couldn’t even foresee an obvious result in their own.”

One Mueller-Investigation Coincidence Too Many by Victor Davis Hanson – “Special investigations often quickly turn Soviet, in the sense of ‘Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.’ … Something has gone terribly wrong with the Mueller investigation.

“These public worries are not groundless. They are deeply rooted in the nature and liberal composition of the Mueller investigative team — whose left-leaning appointments just months ago had understandably made the liberal media giddy with anticipation from the outset. Wired, for instance, published this headline on June 14: “Robert Mueller Chooses His Investigatory Dream Team.” Vox, on August 22, wrote: “Meet the all-star legal team who may take down Trump.” The Daily Beast, two day later, chimed in: “Inside Robert Mueller’s Army.”

Whose ‘Army,’ Whose ‘Dream Team,’ and Whose ‘All-Stars’?

By now there are simply too many coincidental conflicts of interest and too much improper investigatory behavior to continue to give the Mueller investigation the benefit of doubt. Each is a light straw; together, they now have broken the back of the probe’s reputation.

the special-counsel investigation has developed an eerie resemblance to the spate of sexual-harassment cases, in which the accused sluff off initial charges as irrelevant, unproven, or politically motivated, only to be confronted with more fresh allegations that insidiously point to a pattern of repeated behavior.

Governmental accountability board? More like Wisconsin’s Secret Police by Glenn Harlan Reynolds – “It was a partisan witch hunt masquerading as an inquiry into campaign irregularities. And it might presage the outcome of the Mueller investigation.”

“The “Cheesehead Stasi.” That’s what Twitter humorist IowaHawk called a long-running and politicized investigation organized by Democratic politicians in Wisconsin, targeting supporters of Republican Gov. Scott Walker. The mechanism for this investigation was an allegedly nonpolitical, but in fact entirely partisan,

Now an investigation by Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel on behalf of the overseeing court has spelled out a long list of misdeeds by the investigators, and has called for punishments including contempt-of-court holdings and possible disbarment. And the stuff that it has uncovered is pretty awful.

Wisconsin Democrats took Scott Walker’s victory very hard. They tried to recall him, and failed. And they tried to undermine his term in office through the abuse of legal institutions. Now some of them will face professional discipline, and judicial punishment, as a result.

It’s too early to say, as one account does, that the Wisconsin debacle prefigured the ongoing Robert Mueller investigation into Trump’s campaign, though there are certainly similarities between the attitudes of “The Resistance” in Washington and the Wisconsin establishment’s response to Walker.

That’s the coup effort on two fronts. Ace has another: CNN Special Snowflakes to Donald Trump: Please Stop Bullying Us After We Spend Hour After Hour of #FakeNews Attacks on You!Allahpundit gets into this, too.

“The commentariat spends much of its time nowadays navel-gazing about how the media can rebuild goodwill among Americans who’ve lost faith in it. One suggestion: For starters, for the love of Mike, stop the endless cycle of self-pity and grandiosity. When reporters aren’t busy telling you how heroic their industry is, they’re busy telling you how mean the president is to them, although he’s only mean to them because he’s threatened by their heroic crusade for truth and free speech, which in turn makes his disrespect so much more tragic and hurtful since you would expect the president of all people to stand up for the First Amendment, but at least our heroic media is standing up for it, and on and on we go!

And, another front: David Gross: science will survive Pope Urban, Stalin, Hitler, and Trump by Luboš Motl – “Just a comment about some weird statement by a famous guy at a prestigious event.”

“Needless to say, the hall was crowded with tons of leftist extremists who literally and overtly want the U.S. president to die which is why the applause following Gross’ talk was extraordinary. They love to write mock articles such as the 2013 article by Donald Trump, “When You’re Feeling Low, Just Remember I’ll Be Dead in About 15 or 20 Years.”

If you think about the detailed formulation of Gross’ point, you will realize that it’s even scarier. Science has survived attacks by Pope Urban VIII, Stalin, and Hitler. Gross didn’t talk about the death of these three villains personally. But in the case of Donald Trump, it won’t be Trump’s attacks that science will survive. The word “attack” doesn’t appear on that line. David Gross thought about the death for Trump and his ilk even though the Pope, Stalin, and Hitler escaped any similar treatment. It’s only Trump and his ilk – and I can’t imagine how I could not take such comments personally – whose death is eagerly expected by David Gross and his ilk.

so the punchline of Gross’ talk is that he wants the U.S. president to die soon enough – because it’s needed as a testimony for the viability of science. Can you imagine how creepy it is?

Sorry to say, David, but it is you who is the heir to the fathers of the Aryan Physics, Lysenkoism, and other movements that try to “purify” science according to the ideological criteria.

Justice Sotomayor unintentionally highlights the danger of having too many laws by Ilya Somin – “Justice Sonia Sotomayor noted a dangerous feature of our legal system. We have far more laws than the state and federal governments can effectively enforce” Sotomayor and Somin making common sense? What is going on here?

“The executive therefore exercises enormous discretion about which lawbreakers to go after and which ones to leave alone.

This, in turn, has dire consequences for the rule of law in our society: It makes it very difficult for ordinary citizens to determine what laws apply to them and how to avoid violations, and ensures that whether a given lawbreaker gets prosecuted depends far more on the exercise of police, prosecutorial, and executive discretion than on any objective application of legal rules. Thus, the rule of law is in large part supplanted by the rule of whatever men and women control the levers of power at any given time. As Sotomayor notes, those people have vast discretion in deciding which of the “countless laws” on the books they want to enforce, and when.

Justice Sotomayor’s statement highlights a dangerous reality of our legal system. One that too many of us tend to ignore. So long as there are vastly more laws on the books than the government can realistically hope to enforce, the rule of law will continue to be imperiled.

There are implications of beliefs and opinions and many, on the Left especially, seem rather oblivious about what they think and do.

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Where does it lead: gun control

The news tonight was talking about the latest Democrat efforts to get rid of a duly elected president. One of the commentators noted that the implications of the precedents that are being set are not well considered and do not bode well for the health of the country in the future. This is also happening on the Moore assault.

Gun control is another topic where satisfaction from immediate gratification is being pushed over reasoned consideration of implications. Here is a story from an Australian that illustrates just where gun control efforts can – and usually do – lead. Names have been removed but otherwise it is as sent.

The loud pounding on my front door (instead of using doorbell) yesterday as I wrote to you turned out to be to heavily equipped “anti terrorist” type policemen, so apart from having “POLICE” written across their backs they do not look, at least to me, as the police that deal with the general law abiding citizens on administrative matters. These men looked ready for “battle”!

So I was a bit taken aback.

They said “Police here, to check your firearms and storage.” So they came in and to where my storage locker is, with items of furniture resting against it and I unlocked it with the key. The police then required to examine each firearm and check the serial numbers against their list. We chatted as they did so. When that was completed I was required to answer a number of questions, including, when I had used the firearms last, where, and did I intend to continue to use them. How long since I had attended a Shooting Sports Club. There were some questions obviously intended to check my mental faculties including dates that I had carried out various things.

I was questioned, if any of my neighbours knew I owned firearms, if there was a second key, if so where is it kept, do I always retain the key on my person, etc. Does any other person have access to my firearms or knowledge of how to get access. I was then required to sign a document.

They then “advised” me that my type of metal cabinet storage is “no longer desirable” as criminals might be able to use a crowbar to buckle and force the door open. We then discussed the wording of the “Firearms Act” in regard to legal storage, and I was “advised” to get a heavy steel storage.  It was said that while I had done nothing wrong, that in a follow up inspection I should have the “stronger storage” having replaced what I currently have.

Now I have related in some detail because since back in the late 1960s, there has been this localised “interpretation” of the legal acts concerning firearms, prompted by the view of certain ranking police officers or by political or media influence, when challenged, as such interpretations have been in the past, have proved to be “non enforceable”, due to not being required by legislation.

I was not too surprised to receive an inspection as such, because due to the recent tragic events in the US, the gun control and then the media proponents in Australia have been baying like the hounds on the scent, for more stringent controls, no firearms for people who are not farmers etc etc. And due to events I have currently firearms registered in my name due to inheritance, not because I sort to own more firearms than I need.

The Governments current push, is for those firearms to be handed in for destruction, and there is a current amnesty to do that.

The two special ops, police that visited me, gave the reason it was them instead of regular police from the Firearms Registry Division was they were “helping out”????????????????

But to be fair to them they were polite courteous and one very deliberately reached back when leaving to shake hands.

The replacement gun storage if I buy one to take the present number of firearms in my possession will cost a figure more that a thousand dollars.

If this isn’t frightening, consider the deceit in the arguments advocating more control. for example: A ‘good guy’ with a gun could not stop 26 innocents from dying – LA  Times. The fact is that a good guy with a gun did stop the massacre and the residents of the area seem to think it only could have been stopped earlier if there were more people able to respond.

But if a squad of heavily equipped armed men pounding on your door just to make sure you weren’t lying to authorities doesn’t bother you, then why should any reality? Just ask the people in Venezuela, Cuba, and many other countries just how long the “it can’t happen to me” belief can last.

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The art of the smear

Another overload: There is hate and that generates all sorts of irrational behavior. Stories today include an academic supporting racism in the name of racism, law enforcement trying to figure out how to ameliorate a state law advocating lawlessness, Democrat obstruction in Congress,  honoring the dishonorable, smearing the honorable, chasing geese when all it’s getting you is slipping and falling in the droppings they leave, sexual innuendo via presumption of guilt and mental constructions, silencing opponents via boycott, using tragedy for political opportunism, inability to learn from recent experience about using government to spend other people’s money, and media blindness. Whew!

They Hate Us. They Really Hate Us by Alicia Colon – “The anger and disappointment over Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss is not only unprecedented, it’s inexplicable.”

These are supposedly intelligent, educated professionals and yet their anguish has in some cases turned to unbridled hatred towards the voters who dared to think for themselves.

We have been labeled deplorable, moronic, racists and despicable even though these so-called failed political prognosticators have no idea who we really are.

It’s a good thing we do our own research because we certainly aren’t getting the truth from the mainstream media’s fake news. As for those ridiculous conspiracies on the web, nobody views them as credible only the liberal left wing that probably created them for Media Matters and other Soros inspired groups.

It certainly did bring on the revolution in the resistance movement of paid militant protesters trashing and burning buildings while beating Trump supporters. Hate spread and created a fake anti-fascist movement that is the epitome of fascism.

Now that Harvey Weinstein and other Hollywood icons are finally having their sins exposed, I think back to that effort to scald candidate Trump with that ‘pussy’ tape and why it failed. At the time Trump used that locker room language with Billy Bush, he was a billionaire playboy who was in fact acknowledging that there were women who would let him do anything and he was right.

Hate is soul corrosive and an emotion I have avoided in many of my decades of life. I never hated Barack Obama or wished him ill. I did loathe his policies which I found destructive and recognized them as Marxist as soon as he started appointing Czars to his administration.

Those media meltdowns may be very amusing to some but I find them cringing because they prove that the Fourth Estate has lost the essence of journalistic ethics.

Letting go of this hate should be their first step to recovery. We deplorables need to stop laughing at them and pray that they do.

Professor pens op-ed in support of segregation for children by Karen Townsend – “That’s right. The 1960s are back and it isn’t any prettier than it was back then.”

California sheriffs still fighting new sanctuary state law by Jazz Shaw – “In less than fifty days, on January 1st, California’s new sanctuary state law goes into effect.”

As we discussed last month, the police unions were finally convinced to endorse the new law after some changes were made, but most of the sheriffs across the state were protesting it. Not much has changed since then, with the more rural county sheriffs in particular remaining firm in their belief that the new laws are going to make California residents less safe. Also, those hoping to hinder the activities of ICE in their communities are likely to be quite disappointed in the results.

This has led at least some sheriffs to begin working on new, creative policies which will allow them to continue supporting immigration enforcement officials while not running afoul of the law. Needless to say, this has the state’s Democratic legislators in a bit of a foul mood. (LA Times)

The Bergdahl liberals By Robert Knight – “I’m minding my own business in a bookstore near the University of Maine’s campus here when I hear two women talking. One of them is trashing Donald Trump as the other sagely nods.”

While driving back, a number of snappy one-liners came to mind. But none would have done any good. Progressivism and its cousin, atheism, often are practiced with unacknowledged religious fervor. One-liners cannot penetrate devotees’ armor any more than opposite sentiments should undermine the faith of a devout Christian, Jew or Muslim.

The proffered solution of the Bergdahl progressives to any and all inequality is to make America more like the rest of the world, not less.

It means blurring the line between honor and dishonor. And confusing traitors with victims or heroes.

And it means elevating the most un-American president in history to a higher place than the 43 presidents before him.

The Blue Slip Variations by Scott Johnson – “Although the Democrats have now gone to absurd lengths to throw sand in the gears of the confirmation process under President Trump, the pace has finally picked up.”

Goose chase? Schiff unrelenting in quest to hunt down proof from Russia dossier By Rowan Scarborough – “In the investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election last year, Mr. Schiff and his Democratic colleagues since January have been more than willing to cite the dossier’s paid unidentified Kremlin sources to attack the Trump administration.”

Mr. Steele’s Kremlin spy and government sources took Mr. Page’s well-publicized Moscow visit and turned it into one of the great conspiracy theories of modern presidential politics.

At no time during the hearing did Mr. Schiff provide evidence, outside the dossier, that Mr. Page met secretly with either Mr. Sechin or Mr. Diveykin.

But as The Washington Times later pointed out, that number was released publicly by the Russian government in July, three months earlier.

Mr. Schiff presented no proof, outside of the dossier, that Mr. Page discussed a brokerage fee or met with Mr. Sechin.

Mr. Cohen has shown associates his passport, which shows no Czech Republic visits. He has produced an itinerary that showed he was visiting his son in California at the time.

But Mr. Schiff continues to hunt for improper Cohen ties to Eastern Europe.

Liberal bloggers have woven a web of conspiracies around any Trump-connected person who has ever visited Hungary, which is friendly toward Mr. Putin.

To date, there has not been official public confirmation of any of Mr. Steele’s core accusations against those people.

In a London court filing, Mr. Steele says he warned Washington reporters that they should confirm his accusations and not quote his dossier. He acknowledged that computer hacking charges he made against Mr. Gubarev were not verified.

Did dossier trigger the Trump-Russia probe? by Byron York – “What congressional investigators want to know is whether that was a coincidence or not.”

The challenge — for Steele and for Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that hired him with funding from the Clinton campaign — was to get the dossier’s charges out in public, where they might influence the presidential race.

The allegations in the dossier were basically impossible for journalists to verify. Most of the publications did not report the information. But on September 23, Yahoo’s Michael Isikoff reported that “U.S. officials” had “received intelligence reports” from a “well-placed Western intelligence source” that Carter Page had met with Sechin and Divyekin during Page’s July trip to Moscow.

Now, with multiple investigations underway, some officials are trying to reconstruct the events of June through October 2016. Were the allegations in the dossier accurate in the first place? If they were, did involvement go to the highest levels of the Trump campaign? But if they weren’t, was it a situation in which the Clinton campaign, through its hired foreign agent Steele, fed the FBI bad information for the purpose of having it leaked to the press in time to hurt Trump before the election?

Ultimately more will become public. But if the past months have shown anything, it is that the FBI will not reveal its secrets, even to its legitimate congressional overseers, without a fight.

The Three Festering Wounds of 2016 by Jed Babbin – “James Comey is central to all of them.”

Don’t get me wrong: 2016 wasn’t 1860. But we have to realize that we went into 2016 more divided, more balkanized than we had been in generations. In eight years, Barack Obama had not only divided the nation, he had seeded every part of the government with loyalists. From the judiciary to the Pentagon and the intelligence community, people dedicated to Obama’s radical left agenda were put in place.

What’s more, the entrenched bureaucracy — it’s called the “deep state” in current lingo — had its natural cravings for power unleashed, its denizens herded — faster and faster — to achieve his agenda.

Three wounds, created or revealed in 2016, have become infected, and the infections are not yet cured. First is the so-called “Russia dossier,” which became the basis for the Robert Mueller investigation that is running away in the manner that Lawrence Walsh’s “Iran Contra” investigation did. The second is the “Uranium One” scandal, which the media still try to bury. And the third is the fact that Hillary Clinton and her closest staff, such as Huma Abedin, committed felonies in handling classified information. The then-FBI Director James Comey saw the proofs of their actions and nevertheless decided to protect them from punishment.

the three all flow together in a symphony of corruption, misgovernment, and media misbehavior that cannot be ignored.

Trump is the Next Target after Roy Moore By Cliff Kincaid – “Trump knows that if they get rid of Moore, using charges that obviously cannot be proven, he’s their next target. Sex-gate will follow Russia-gate.”

In this atmosphere, women charging sexual harassment are easy to find, even if their charges cannot be proven. The men are assumed to be guilty as charged.

One can argue that everything but the kitchen sink has already been thrown at Trump and he has survived nonetheless. But since the election we have seen that the allegations of sexual harassment have been cast as a major blight on American society, making it more likely that “new” accusers against Trump will be found and that a new variation of the “scandal” will be used to cast a pall over the presidency. The same members of the GOP establishment lined up against Moore will be called upon to dump Trump.

The media playbook consists of reporting damaging charges against a conservative figure and then getting members of the conservative and GOP establishments to pile on. If it works against Moore this time, you have to know they will be used once again, with brand new accusers, against Trump.

The Washington Post, the source of the charges, is not only dishonest but downright weird.

Roy Moore For Senate? by John Hinderaker –

I agree with Paul that the Washington Post’s allegation that Moore tried to seduce a 14-year-old girl 38 years ago is more likely false than true, particularly given the gaping hole in the accuser’s story that has been attested to by her own mother. Beyond that, I question whether a newly-surfaced, 38-year-old allegation should ever–short of murder or something nearly as heinous–be grounds for defeating a political candidate.

There is a reason why our criminal laws include statutes of limitation. After decades have gone by, it is often impossible to prove (or disprove) an allegation.

Some say that Moore’s case is different, because he is a Republican, and Republicans are held to a higher standard. That is true as a statement of fact, but it is not a principle to which Republicans should stipulate.

Paul had noted The bedroom phone that wasn’t in the WaPo story as being strange – “As one woman of my acquaintance who lived in the deep South during that era guaranteed, 14 year-old girls in Alabama didn’t have phones in their rooms back then.”

In Defense of Judge Roy Moore By Frank J. Tipler – “If one reads the original Washington Post article on Judge Moore’s supposed harassment of underage “girls” with an open mind, one will conclude that Judge Moore is completely innocent, and that he is the victim of Fake News.”

Notice the differences between this single claim and the other three reports: In a single case, Moore, a trained lawyer, dated jailbait. In this single case, Moore behaved in a dishonorable manner to a girl, not a woman. In this single case, we have reasons, given in the Post article, to doubt the claim: the accuser has been married three times, and has been in bankruptcy twice.

A commonsense view of human behavior is that bad guys repeat their MOs.

The Real Scandal in the Alabama Senate Race By Selwyn Duke – this one is about the issue positions of the candidates and may be evidence that the assault on Moore is an attempt to avoid the real scandal in the issues the Left, such as Moore’s opponent advocates.

Sean Hannity is fighting for his survival By Peter Barry Chowka – “Sean Hannity reignited efforts by enemies of his on the left to take him off the air via putting pressure on his advertisers to dump his show.”

His telephone interview with Senate nominee Roy Moore, broadcast live on his radio show and replayed later on his nightly Fox News Channel program, actually won more praise than might have been expected from a variety of analysts.

Almost immediately, his enemies, in particular Media Matters for America, struck. … Media Matters for America (MMFA), the far-left group founded by David Brock to attack conservative media, is behind the boycott Hannity campaign. In fact, Keurig tweeted a thank you to MMFA’s president, Angelo Carusone, for calling Hannity’s coverage of the Moore case to the company’s attention

On Sunday, a counter campaign among Hannity’s supporters to boycott the boycotting advertisers – Keurig in particular – quickly took off on social media.

The stakes in this emerging fight couldn’t be higher. Sean Hannity, and a handful of other high profile conservative hosts on Fox News, represent the last thin line in the mainstream media that is left standing against the almost universal fake news onslaught by the MSM aimed at taking down President Donald Trump. Last April, advertisers who deserted Fox News’ #1 program at the time, The O’Reilly Factor, after allegations of sexual harassment by host Bill O’Reilly resurfaced in the media, got the host of that program summarily fired in less than three weeks.

Democrats using Texas tragedy to advance agenda By Charles Hurt – “What kind of heartless monster instantly seizes on such senseless tragedy to advance a personal political agenda?”

Ms. Warren, who is gearing up to run for president, also blamed God for not answering prayers as she sees fit. Talk about sick and deranged. At least you cannot blame her for not seizing an opportunity.

Such is the state of politics in America today that one entire wing of elected politicians is dominated by people who eagerly salivate every time a whacko gunman goes on some senseless rampage.

And it is not just daffy fringe candidates, like Ms. Warren, who think they are God grasping at every opportunity for personal political gain amid suffocating misery.

Former President Barack Obama, whose political legacy is in tatters, sprang to cash in on the tragedy as well.

If politicians, such as Mr. Obama and Ms. Warren, are serious about curbing this kind of violence, they would channel all of their political energies into enforcing current gun laws already on the books and doggedly striving to prevent criminals from illegally getting their hands on guns.

This sort of disdain for existing federal gun laws suggests that Ms. Warren placed responsibility on the wrong politicians when she blamed Republicans for the Texas church massacre.

Sutherland Springs: more guns, not more restrictions by Taylor Millard – “One thing the people of Sutherland Springs have been pretty consistent on, as well, is their belief more guns are the solution, not gun control laws.”

This shouldn’t be a shock to anyone who lives in Texas, specifically small town Texas. Sutherland Springs has only 700 residents, and no police force. The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office handles law enforcement in town, and there are agreements with nearby Schertz for some services. But people are mostly left to themselves, relying on individuals to protect themselves from harm, should something happen. One friend of mine mentioned he thought it was crazy Sutherland Springs didn’t have a police force, but it makes sense. When you live in a small town, with nearby cities which actually respect property lines and don’t try to annex for tax dollars, it doesn’t make sense to spend the money to create a police force. Texas has dozens of regulations for police forces, including training programs and benefits, which would cost towns even more cash. It makes much more sense to partner up with a Sheriff’s Office for help, when the biggest issue the town typically faces is probably a public intoxication or dumb kids doing stupid stuff.

It’s easy to try to rely on some entity like a police force or government to provide safety. We see that debate every day in America, whether it involves police shootings or violence in general. Sutherland Springs has it right: people should rely on individuals for protection. That could take the form of more guns, more swords, or simply looking out for your neighbors. It doesn’t have to mean more government.

Where Did All The Public School Money Go? Paper-Pushers, an IBD Editorial – “The education system in this country is overdue for shake-up because it has for years been grossly mismanaging taxpayer money.”

The National Education Association blasted the GOP tax reform plan saying that eliminating the state and local tax deduction for those who itemize taxes would be a severe blow to schools, putting 250,000 education jobs at risk.

Why? Because getting rid of it might force high-tax states — which benefit the most from the deduction — to cut taxes and rein in their own spending.

Per-pupil spending in public schools climbed 121%, after adjusting for inflation, from 1980 to 2014 — the last year for which the Department of Education has statistics. … Does anyone think children are getting twice as good an education?

Where has that money gone? Not much of it went to teachers. While enrollment in public schools climbed 23% over those years, the number of teachers climbed 43%.

But the ranks of public school administrators shot up 88% over those years. And the number of people performing other jobs in public schools — janitors, librarians, teachers’ aides, principals, etc. — climbed 56%.

What’s needed to improve education in the U.S. isn’t more money, it’s more efficient, more accountable and higher performing schools. A good way to achieve that is to inject more competition into the system. To the extent that the GOP tax plan moves in this direction, it will be a win for education and a win for students.

Maine, Medicaid, and the Gruber Principle by David Catron – “Maine experimented with Medicaid expansion 15 years ago, and it took the state a decade to recover from the hangover.” Deja vu but here it is again. It’s all about ‘other people’s money’ and not learning even from recent experience.

And it is no exaggeration to say that it took Maine 10 years to recover from its last Medicaid expansion. That debacle, initiated in 2002 by former Governor Angus King — who has since fled to D.C. where he now “serves” as a U.S. Senator — damaged Maine’s finances so badly that there was no money to pay hospitals for services rendered to Medicaid patients. It wasn’t until 2013 that the state was able to pay off that debt, whereupon Obamacare advocates began pimping expansion again.

As it happens, the program and the promises were virtually identical to the bill of goods sold to the voters this time around. Last time, the state expanded Medicaid eligibility to adults earning up to 125 percent of Federal Poverty Guidelines (this time it’s 138%). Maine’s voters were promised that expansion would lead to augmented economic growth, reduce the uninsured rate, and bolster the state’s medical infrastructure by reducing the amount of uncompensated care borne by its 39 hospitals. It goes without saying, of course, that not one of these implausible outcomes ever materialized.

The only new item added this time around to the 2002 list of pie-in-the-sky promises was the claim that Medicaid expansion will somehow ameliorate the opioid epidemic.

The Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, Sara Gideon, vows that “Any attempts to illegally delay or subvert this law will not be tolerated and will be fought with every recourse at our disposal.” Governor LePage vows to do nothing at all on Medicaid until the legislature fully funds the expansion. The “news” media is predictably promulgating the claim that Governor LePage is flouting the will of the voters.

The Mealy Mouth NFL by: Misanthropic Humanitarian – “A Moron submitted the following letter he sent to Green Bay Packer President Mark Murphy and Mr. Murphy’s response to him.”

Chris Wallace: Trump is right about ‘media unfairness’ By Jennifer Harper – “I’m sure some of you hear those comments and think they’re spot on. But ask yourself honestly. Do they belong on the front page of the paper, or as the lead of the evening news?”

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Neutrality? Russians? Insurance costs?

Helping the internet escape the economics-free zone By Daniel Schneider – “Broadband headway requires an end to the left’s net neutrality rules.”

Net neutrality is the principle that big internet companies should not be allowed to block, throttle or discriminate against any content. Contrary to the narrative of the hysterical left, net neutrality is not particularly controversial — though it’s an open question whether federal laws are needed to enforce a prohibition that market pressures in the broadband marketplace have already rendered irrelevant. The big broadband providers have already fully embraced neutrality as a core business practice, and pointed out they’d start hemorrhaging customers if they ever went back on that commitment.

But in the waning months of the Obama Administration, such common-sense market-based arguments rarely held sway.

Faced with this growing mountain of evidence that the Title II utility rules are a disaster, current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has led the effort to correct this mistake. Unlike his predecessor, Mr. Pai has demonstrated a willingness to listen to economists — and common sense. And faced with an FCC chairman they can’t bully, the radical left and their bought-and-paid-for “non-partisan” allies have instead resorted to hysteria.

Their tactics are despicable and their claims are beyond absurd.

Innovation, investment and freedom of expression in the online ecosystem only became endangered by Barack Obama’s Title II takeover of the internet. The internet will only be stronger once Mr. Pai ends these investment-killing utility rules once and for all.

Thousands protested Trump last November in rally organized by Russia by John Sexton – “Last November, a few days after the election, thousands of people gathered for a rally in New York to protest Donald Trump.”

It turns out those were also Russia’s streets. The Hill reports that this particular protest was organized on Facebook by a Russian group calling itself BlackMattersUS, which many people mistakenly assumed was some kind of Black Lives Matter offshoot

This may have been the most popular event organized by the group but it was not the only such rally.

Buzzfeed has more on the RBC story here. As the near-panic about Russian influence over the election continues, it’s worth recognizing that a significant aspect of that effort was telling people on the left what they wanted to hear and encouraging them to act accordingly.

It’s mind numbed robots deja vu

Obamacare has quadrupled Nevada insurance premiums in 4 years By Victor Joecks – “Finding out exactly how much Obamacare has increased your insurance costs might send you into cardiac arrest.”

Remember when then-President Barack Obama promised the Affordable Care Act would “cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500 a year”? Right now families would settle for their premiums not increasing by $2,500 a year.

But that’s not the worst of it.

Obamacare hasn’t turned health insurance premiums into a mortgage payment. It’s turned health insurance premiums into two mortgage payments.

If you buy on the exchange, Obamacare does offer subsidies — which you’re paying for — for some people. But not everyone qualifies.

The Free Lunch will come back to bite … eventually.

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Filled with dread. Fires. Healthcare. Extremists. Corruption.

Umair Irfan : California’s wildfires aren’t “natural” — “humans made them worse at every step. We fuel them, we build houses by them, we ignite them.” And, of course, there’s the obligatory ‘weather is human created global climate change’ blame complete with fuzzy (non-existant) evidence but, otherwise, a good rundown on just how normal the tragedy really is.

The California fires stretch the definition of “natural disaster” since human activities have exacerbated their likelihood, their extent, and their damage. Deliberate decisions and unintended consequences of urban development over decades have turned many parts of the state into a tinderbox.

This year’s blazes particularly stand out because of how close they are to suburbs and major cities.

Much of California is naturally hot, dry, and prone to fires for parts of the year. But the state’s population is growing, leading to a significant overlap between the areas of high fire risk and areas with a growing population density, as you can see in these maps from a 2014 study of population trends in in California out to 2050.

This pattern of building in or near fire-prone regions has also led to land management practices to prevent fire that paradoxically increase fire risk. For instance, policies for preventing wildfires have in some areas led to an accumulation of the dry vegetation that would ordinarily burn away in smaller natural blazes.

John Hinderaker: On Health Care, Trump Takes an Important First Step – “practical solutions that don’t sound glamorous but will help millions of Americans.”

In the wake of the Republican Congress’s historic failure to carry out its pledge to repeal Obamacare, President Trump today signed an executive order intended to promote choice and competition in health care markets. The order is a practical and positive step forward that will benefit millions of Americans.

Why am I so sure of that? Because the order is based mostly, if not entirely, on work done by Peter Nelson, my colleague at Center of the American Experiment, one of the country’s top health care experts. Peter has consulted extensively with the Trump administration’s health care team, and some of the ideas incorporated into today’s executive order have been advocated exclusively by him.

Stephen Dinan: Trump declares Obamacare payments illegal; deals second blow to health law – “Without payments, insurers say they would jack up premiums, upending the underpinning of the ACA.”

The Trump administration announced late Thursday that it has concluded it can no longer legally make critical Obamacare “cost-sharing” payments and will cut them off, dealing another blow to the struggling 2010 health law.

The payments had specifically been denied by Congress but President Obama had made them anyway, drawing a rebuke from a court who said he was overstepping his powers.

The move comes just hours after Mr. Trump signed an executive order pushing his administration to allow association health plans, which would allow individuals and small businesses to join up and purchase insurance on the group market across state lines.

Mr. Trump’s decision Thursday means he’s accepting the original judge’s legal finding. It’s similar to the move he made last month on DACA, the Obama-era deportation amnesty, where the administration concluded it would likely be unable to defend the program in court, so it instead announced a phaseout.

“This administration is committed to the rule of law, and a fundamental premise is that Congress holds the power of the purse. We will not usurp its authority,” said Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores.

Follow the law? That gets the Democrats in a moral outrage! For example, Cheryl K. Chumley: Chuck Schumer, always ready with the cheap shots – “Count on death and taxes — and the ability of Sen. Chuck Schumer to take cheap partisan potshots at the president, wherever and whenever possible.” Or Stephen Dinan: San Juan mayor accuses Trump of ‘genocide’ after hurricane – “Carmen Yulin Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, accused Mr. Trump of “genocide” for what she said was an antipathy toward her island territory.” This was prompted by the President noting the incompetence of the mayor earlier and making it clear that emergency aid to Puerto Rico was not permanent and, hence, not a fix for the territory’s financial problems that stem from corruption and incompetence.

The Puerto Rico aid situation also came up with the news reporting problem. Jennifer Harper: Even after 266 days in office, the news media mistreats Trump — and voters know it – “The nonstop coverage instead is filled with fake news, tweaked polls, false narratives, weaponized talking points, personal insults and incendiary language.”

IBD: It’s Official: Democrats Are The Extremists Today – “Data from the highly respected Pew Research Center provides a definitive answer. It’s because Democrats have moved sharply to the extreme left.”

Everyone knows that the country is more politically polarized than ever, but most don’t know why.

Given the way politics gets reported these days, it’s easy to conclude that the widening gap is the result of Republicans become more extreme in their views. That is, after all, a mantra among Democrats and the press. The GOP is the party of racist, sexist, xenophobic, right-wing extremists, we hear over and over again, while Democrats are but humble centrists.

The Pew data, however, make it clear that the shift toward the extreme has happened among Democrats, not Republicans.

Democrats and their water carriers in the press are like people on a boat that is drifting off to sea, but are convinced that it’s the land that’s moving, not them.

It gets interesting to hear the rhetoric about Trump with the Weinberg (and Cosby) scandals that bring up Clinton and Kennedy. David French: Trump’s Tweets Are Damaging the Republican Character – “No short-term political victory is worth the long-term cultural degradation the president is guaranteeing the GOP.”

Yet, incredibly, across the country rank-and-file Republicans react to such messages not by rebuking Trump but by trying to find a way to rationalize or justify them. Many go even further, joining Trump in his attacks regardless of their merit. These folks are degrading their political character to defend Trump, and the damage they do to their own credibility and their party’s in the process will endure long after he has departed from the political scene.

Trump is stoking a particularly destructive form of rage — and his followers don’t just allow themselves to be stoked, they attack Trump’s targets with glee.

And I have never in my adult life seen such anger.

This gets rather puzzling. Glee and anger seem at odds. Never seen such anger? Like what antifa is doing? Like the actual Fake News™? Like the assassination or impeachment ruminations? Or the expression of the heckler’s veto nearly any time a conservative shows up on campus? Or consider how French completely misses the point of the press responsibility for accuracy tweet. Or consider how he takes a single instance of locker room braggadocio and compares it to decades of sexual abuse by Weinstein. “On a vast scale, members of the Republican base are defending behavior from Trump that would shock and appall them if it came from a Democratic president.” You mean like Clinton with perjury, disbarment, and a semen stained dress? What French illustrates is just how hate can blind a person and distort his perceptions to the point of derangement. He needs to look in the mirror and do some heavy introspection to maybe find out his accusations and allegations might likely be a case of projection and not of reality.

Thomas Lifson: Tucker Carlson declares war on ‘corrupt’ NBC News – “these are far from ordinary times, and I am coming to appreciate that Tucker Carlson is far from an ordinary TV talking head.”

Meanwhile, things are a’poppin’ on the important issues. Lewis K. Uhler and Peter J. Ferrara: Congress Makes Big Progress On Pro-Growth Tax Reform – “The so-called “do nothing Congress” is making amazing progress toward major, pro-growth tax reform.”

The architects of “progressivism” (Schumer, Pelosi, Sanders) continue their chant that we are “toadies” of Wall Street and want to cut taxes for the rich. Their left wing “intellectual” apologists like the Tax Policy Center claim that our tax cut proposals will dramatically reduce federal tax revenues, increase our national deficits and debt, and bankrupt America. Yet, these are the very same people who applauded Obama’s anti-growth policies and trillions in additional debt.

These so-called “progressives” still haven’t gotten the message of the last election. Working people and their families want growth, not Third World-style stagnation.

The fundamental economic truth is when the economy is rising, revenues will be rising, regardless of the rates. And when the economy is declining, revenue will be declining, regardless of the rates.

These are historical facts, not opinion. And those who do not understand them should not pretend to be practicing economics.

Only on the promise of tax reform plus a concerted attack on business regulation the U.S. economy is growing at a rate not seen in years and the stock markets are at record highs. Trump is doing his part. Will Congress, most pointedly the Senate, follow through?

Have you wondered about those naval ship collisions? Neo-neocon describes a case at Army: The West Point rot – “Many people (me included) wondered how it was that the openly-Communist Spenser Rapone was allowed to graduate from West Point.” If the Naval Academy is similarly effected, it may explain a few things.

Now the professor who had originally reported Rapone to West Point authorities (to no avail), retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Robert Heffington, has issued an open letter to West Point graduates with a word—actually, many words—of explanation:

Here is the text of the letter. After you’ve read it, you will understand that Rapone didn’t fall through the cracks. There weren’t any cracks. If what Heffington says it’s the truth—and I’m definitely inclined to believe it—then West Point has apparently become a standardless, permissive, PC, open (and perhaps bottomless) pit.

West Point has become the same as just about any other university, afraid of its students and subservient to the PC dictates.

If all of this was an open secret, it’s shocking that there was a culture of silence around it till now. Reminds me a bit of Hollywood—or, if truth be told, most institutions. Maybe Spenser Rapone did us all a favor by being so flagrant that he drew greater public attention to the rot that’s been going on (not just in the military in general, which we already knew about, but at West Point itself) for a long time. The question is whether anything will be done about it.

William A. Jacobson: Legal Insurrection is 9 years old, and filled with dread – “Last year I noted that while it was a difficult year personally, I was optimistic. …The attempts to unwind the 2016 presidential election have changed everything.”

If the assault on the Electoral College was the game changer for me, a runner up was waking up to implications of the concentration of power in a small number of social media and internet companies who have been weaponized to shut down speech and expression.

I don’t know if there are any uncorrupted institutions left that matter.

There is a rising tide of absolutism in ideas and enforcement of ideological uniformity that is palpable.

The press could stand as a bulwark against this slide, but it too is corrupted.

Filled with dread indeed. 

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House of cards

The cable modem power supply got ambitious and fried the modem Wednesday. That meant an direct experience with Spectrum. Oh, my. So here’s yesterday’s news.

Tammy Bruce: Stirring racial divisiveness instead of sticking to the news – “The president-bashing liberal media ignore a church shooting and distort constructive efforts in Puerto Rico.”

The left works overtime to control everyone’s sense of reality. They have lost the hearts and minds of Americans so all they can do now is arrange various public Kabuki dramas insisting that America (and Americans by default) are no good and not worth standing for.

These serious, existential events were ignored or lied about by the legacy media. People say Mr. Trump will “win” any fight with the NFL, and that the kneeling controversy will backfire. No doubt the free market will send a message of rejection to the NFL. But there’s another loser in the chaotic contrivances of the left — the media and their complete loss of any objectivity and interest in actual news.

Joseph Curl: Obama hauls in millions from Wall Street, media don’t say a word – “the very places he bashed while in office are paying him big bucks to swing by and speak.” Something smells here.

Locking arms in “unity” is getting tried as a way out. It looks like several teams are testing this approach. William Sullivan has a word about its lie: Can We Please Stop Pretending the NFL Protests Have Anything to Do with Free Speech? – “there are the stock defenders of their actions invoking the First Amendment as an enshrined protection for their actions. … To be perfectly clear, doing so is an exercise in stupidity.” To acknowledge a protest that is not clear, is based on dishonesty, and is a part of a divisive propaganda campaign is participating in the dishonesty.

On Monday Night Football this week, the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals both locked arms and knelt before the National Anthem, acknowledging the protesters’ position. Then they stood and locked arms during the National Anthem. It was a charade all too obviously meant to placate fans, while still giving a platform to espouse the dangerous and entirely untrue Black Lives Matter narrative. “Unity” was the theme. More “division” is what you can expect.

Tom Tillison: Has anyone checked the actual rule about the anthem? NFL’s game operations manual is very specific – Note that “locking arms” is contrary to the rules as well. Selective application of established rules that is clearly politically biased is one of the underlying issues in Citizen unrest.

Bill Kilgore clarifies Trump, Football, and Natural Right(s) – “Trump’s battle with the NFL about anthem protests is about what is right, not one’s rights. The whole affair is not about what one can do, but about what one should do.”

To start, Trump has made as appropriate an argument as one can make about public displays of disrespect for one’s country. It was entirely based on freedom of association and the free market. Players, as private employees, can protest America by kneeling during the National Anthem. Likewise, owners can, as Trump suggested, say “get that son of a bitch off the field. He’s fired!” Nowhere has Trump argued that it should be against the law to kneel, or that the force of government should be used to make men stand. Instead, the president has argued that economic pressures from a boycott would correct the disrespectful behavior.

Trump’s comments serve an immediate tactical purpose; they follow the same communications strategy Trump has used for years. With every comment by Trump, the elites respond by driving a wedge even deeper between themselves and common Americans. It’s clarifying. This division benefits Trump because it frames the issue in a way that will mobilize voters. Even Rich Lowry and Ben Sasse have started to figure this out.

But what the NeverTrumpers of the world have not grasped is that the battle is not just about tactical gains; it is about something fundamental to our survival as a nation: educating our young people to respect their country.

Truth is, if we do not work to instill patriotism and love of country in our children, this country will not last long. People with modern sensibilities may disagree, but the fact remains. A civil religion is not idolatry or empty rituals; it is a necessary component of free, republican life.

Victor Davis Hanson: The NFL House of Cards – “The problem with the NFL is not just Donald Trump, but the greater dilemma that the league’s reason to be has become predicated on a labyrinth of lies.” But many in the NFL who aren’t BLM types say they are protesting the President’s ‘free speech’ they don’t like, the President’s opinion that players who show disrespect for their country and dismiss patriotism should be shunned.

The NFL apparently never grasped the political truism that you never insult your base and core supporters; sympathetic CNN talking heads and the solidarity of progressive political activists will not turn around sagging revenues, but will only contribute to them.

most of America, to the extent it still watches, now sees Sunday afternoon pop demonstrations as increasingly a farce, played out among players who appear neither exploited nor as exemplary model sportsmen, but rather as overpaid and pampered.

Nor do the protesting players come across as informed, brave social-justice warriors on the barricades of dissent, but as mostly unable to explain to their fans precisely why and how they are mistreated or why America is a flawed society that does not deserve momentary iconic respect each week.

Sports analysts are no longer predictably informative and pleasant or at least humble, but often half-educated former jocks or nerds who imagine themselves pop Socratic philosophers as they so often talk edgy and snarky, and often down to their supposedly politically unaware audiences.

And Donald Trump?

He no more created these crises in the NFL than he did the North Korean thermonuclear capability. If it is certainly long-term and strategically unwise for a busy chief executive and commander in chief, facing a host of inherited existential crises, to wade into a lose-lose NFL quagmire, he nonetheless may see it for a day or two as short-term and tactically advantageous. And he may be right.

Breitbart notes “Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Dallas scoffed, Monday, at the NFL’s spreading national anthem protests saying that if the players were North Koreans, they would be executed for acting so unpatriotically.”

Dinesh D’Souza: Colin Kaepernick’s big lie – “Kaepernick, of course, considers his protest to be a cry against slavery and racial oppression, for which he holds America to be the guilty party.”

So was Trump’s call to action a mistake? Trump seems to have acted instinctively, and yet here I propose to show his instincts are right on. Without drawing on either ideology or history, Trump senses that the Left and the Democrats are pushing a big lie. And he’s right.

The big lie is to take the historical crimes of the Democratic Party and project them onto someone else. Let’s blame America. Let’s blame the South. Let’s blame the white man. Let’s blame everyone except the people who actually committed those crimes.

More adept at throwing a ball than reading a book, Colin Kaepernick may not know any of this. But the leaders of the Democratic Party certainly do. So they are using suckers like Kaepernick to pin the racist tail on the Republican elephant instead of where it truly belongs, on the Democratic donkey.

Alicia Colon asks: Are All Millionaire Athletes Really That Dense? – “As far as I’m concerned, the deaths of those martyred police officers slain in NYC and Dallas by deluded haters fall squarely on the mainstream media and the left.”

Do these glorified prima donnas in the NFL even know what racism is?

If America is so steeped in racial inequality, then how on earth are there so many multi-millionaire blacks in sports?

Are they intellectually lazy or just plain stupid? Certainly those fading celebrities joining hands with the dumb jocks in solidarity are all millionaires as well. Do I really care what any of them think?

The liberal left has succeeded for many years in hiding historical facts to suit their racial attacks on conservatives. It’s easy to do if you’ve commandeered the world of academia so that our youth know only what is broadcast by the mainstream media, social media and compliant celebrity know-nothings. Just about everything that’s learned today about the civil rights movement has been manufactured by the political left to promote the demonization of the right.

The president is correct in pointing out that the real offense in not standing for the anthem is not about race but about disrespect for a nation that has enriched them greatly.

Considering the fact that so many professional athletes have degrees from colleges and universities, their eagerness to embrace a discredited narrative is just further proof of the piss-poor education now meted out by the Marxist academia.

Not all athletes are dense but those who’ve participated in the kneeling game certainly are.

Jazz Shaw: The Left’s (brilliant) scam behind the NFL anthem protests – “This isn’t about protesting racism, police misconduct or anything of the sort. What we’re observing is potentially one of the greatest red herrings in the history of American political scams.”

why were the liberal activists insisting that it had to be at the start of a game while the National Anthem is playing and the flag is on display? It didn’t make sense. And then, suddenly, it did.

I think the light bulb finally went on when I was reading this piece on the subject from the Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart

This has little or nothing to do with police shootings, racial profiling or any of the rest of it. What we’re seeing is an almost brilliant and concerted effort to damage, if not eliminate, the National Football League.

And this isn’t the first ginned up attack on the NFL that the Left has orchestrated.

It was never about the health of the players. It was all about damaging the NFL. And that’s what’s fueling this National Anthem debate as well.

full credit to the leftist activists leading this charge. We almost have to salute you for the brilliance of the plan in an Auric Goldfinger sort of way.

John Sexton: Chait: White supremacy and the discourse of far left panic – “Jonathan Chait published an interesting piece in New York magazine yesterday arguing that the far left is shouting “white supremacy!” in order to create a kind of stampede, a panic which reduces the political debate to Manichaean simplicity.”

The far left is essentially adopting the “clash of civilizations” rhetoric they have denounced for years and reframing it as an existential battle between the KKK and Antifa. I could swear the left was eager to denounce this sort of thinking up to about nine months ago. Forcing people to align with the extremists doesn’t make them extremists but it does empower the extremists.

Panic is dangerous because it is so contagious. Antifa is growing and free speech is under threat from the far left in many places. As Chait correctly points out, there’s no limiting principle here. Once political violence and extremism are normalized, there’s no predicting what happens next. The only way to stop it is to return to recognizing that not everyone to the right of Bernie Sanders is a white supremacist. There are a lot more reasonable Americans on both sides of the aisle than there are violent extremists on either side.

Sam Bray: The next step for the national injunction – its about the courts assuming oligarchy status.

what the opinion does offer is clarity about where the national injunction is going. If the district court’s perspective is accepted, in the space of two and a half years (early 2015 to late 2017), the national injunction will have gone from being an unjustified aberration to being an unjustified new normal in federal courts.

It’s not too late. But it is time for Congress, the Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure, or the Supreme Court to step in and stop the slide toward remedial irresponsibility.

It’s not too late but it seems like there are way too many Houses of Cards to confront.

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Taking a stand in the culture wars

When The Cowboys owner locked arms in a kneel down with his team on ESPN’s Monday Night Football, the NFL jumped the shark (see Sundance). The NFL has made its choice, delineated its stand, in the culture wars and its fans are taking notice. NFL players may have the right but that right comes with a responsibility that cannot be ignored or shirked.

Rich Lowry: No Way to Treat Old Glory – “The American flag is not to be trifled with.”

The late political scientist Samuel Huntington marveled at its place in our national life: We pledge allegiance to it. The national anthem celebrates it. An incredibly elaborate code stipulates how it is to be displayed, handled, and maintained. It even has its own holiday.

The NFL players who kneel during the national anthem — a phenomenon that increased exponentially after President Donald Trump colorfully demanded that they stand — are disrespecting the most potent and enduring national symbol of the most patriotic nation on Earth.

Not only are they wrong to do so, they aren’t delivering the devastating rebuke to Trump that they may imagine.

This is why the NFL kneelers are cutting against the American cultural grain, besides picking the wrong target on the merits. The American flag isn’t a Confederate monument — indeed the opposite. Our military fights under it. The flag drapes the caskets of the fallen and is folded in a solemn ceremony at military funerals, with practically every movement fraught with religious and patriotic meaning. It is not to be trifled with — unless you intend to insult the country for which it stands. When William Driver transferred control of his flag to Union troops, he is reported to have spoken “triumphantly, with tears in his eyes.” So many years later, Old Glory still elicits the same heartfelt sentiment. May it always.

Investor’s Business Daily: NFL To Fans: Drop Dead — How’s That For ‘Lack Of Respect’? – “Whether you agree with them or not, the NFL players and the executives that run the National Football League have really stepped in it, damaging their brand and alienating millions of fans and potential fans for no real good reason.”

Like it or not, and whether it’s fair or not, many Americans feel that professional athletes as a whole lead a privileged existence, working only part of the year and earning millions for their efforts. When they’re seen leading “protests” by disrespecting the flag and the national anthem — and all the high ideals and sacrifice those symbols represent — it’s too much.

Yes, Trump intentionally tweaked the football players on Friday, after his back-and-forth with the NBA champion Golden State Warriors led to the president disinviting them from a White House visit. Trump then turned his attention to the NFL players for “taking a knee” to protest racism.

The NFL’s official response was pathetically tone-deaf and could have been written by the NFL players union. Heck, maybe it was.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell castigated Trump for his “divisive comments” and “an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL.”

Lack of respect for the NFL? What about respect for the nation’s flag and its anthem, and for those who died defending them and what they stand for? What about respect for your own fans, many of whom still believe that America, though not perfect, is the greatest country on Earth? It’s no wonder that many of the protests were met with a chorus of boos.

Nor is this, as many self-righteously claim, a matter of “free speech.” NFL football players have the right to express what they believe, however odious or wrong it may be. But businesses have a right not to employ those who intentionally damage their businesses by reckless behavior and comments.

Sure, the players have a right to disrespect the flag and the anthem. As we noted, people have fought and died for those rights. But fans also have a right to be disappointed, offended and angry. Roger Goodell, the team owners and the whole NFL enterprise better wake up before it’s too late.

Douglas Ernst: Limbaugh mocks NFL national anthem protests: ‘There’s no way Donald Trump loses this’ – “Radio host: ‘The owners, as I discussed earlier, are scared to death’

“The left is attempting to publicly damage, take hold, whatever, of the NFL,” Mr. Limbaugh said. “And people who are not political — and there are a lot of those in this country, more than you would think — are seeing it. And they don’t like it, and now there’s a president speaking out against it. In public, it is Democrats who are now showing up to be the party supporting actions against the flag. The Democrats are being seen as the party that encourages protest against the anthem and the country itself. I’m telling you, sports media guys and gals, there’s no way Donald Trump loses this, the way you’ve got it going.”

“I was personally saddened,” he said. “I did not watch the National Football League yesterday, and it was the first time in 45 years that I made an active decision not to watch, including my team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.”

“The owners, as I discussed earlier, are scared to death, folks,” Mr. Limbaugh said. “They’ve got to come down on the side of their employees or their customers. They are trying to find this middle ground and they’re doing that with liberal political language like, ‘We’re for unity and solidarity,’ and it doesn’t fly because this isn’t unity. Nobody’s being unified. The divisiveness is happening on Sundays.”

Ralph Z. Hallow: Sure, players can kneel — and NFL’s customers should walk – “The fabulously wealthy players who take a knee not in thanks for the privilege of being American and living in America but in disgust at both are expressing ignorance of — or disrespect for — some amazing things about America.”

The kneelers, in what must be one of the most colossal displays of ignorance and irony on record, thumb their noses at the only nation that, thanks to its press and academics, has made too many black Americans think they have a cultural and racial right — even obligation — to resist lawful arrest and to kill law-enforcement officers for trying to carry out arrests.

Nora Princiotti: Taking on Trump: For some, president’s words could not go unchallenged – “There were twin strands of feeling intertwined in the response from most players Sunday.”

The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees freedom of speech protections from the government only. The NFL, as an employer and a private company, would have the right to discipline players for acts of protest or even release them, as the president suggested. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on ABC’s This Week that players “can do free speech on their own time.”

The NFL and its owners largely disagreed.

The president had gone after them, their teammates and friends, and it was personal. It also served as a reminder of the power they hold as athletes to influence and to control the national conversation, so it was political too. Stick to sports is a misleading phrase. In a way, the title of the NFL’s Sunday Night Football spot was, too.

If Sunday made one thing clear, it’s that what happens inside the lines has never been separated from what goes on outside of them.

Cheryl K. Chumley: Mike Rowe’s timely reminder: Citizens true bosses of NFL – Rowe is right but misses when it comes to the President as do so many others. The President was not ordering or instructing the people, he was leading. The President was reflecting the mood of the country and where the “true bosses of NFL” stand. Rowe was disappointed at the President’s appeal because he did not realize it was made as a spokesman for the ‘true bosses’ who are also speaking in other ways as well. The President’s comments were exactly what Rowe was honoring. See also Ace on Rowe’s comments.

“I felt a similar bemusement when the commissioner issued his response, followed by the president of the player’s union,” he said. “Their comments, along with the comments of many of the players themselves, were perfectly reasonable, perfectly understandable, and perfectly in keeping with their First Amendment rights. But they were also perfectly arrogant. Because they, too, presuppose that millions of fans will continue to watch them play a game, no matter what.”

Cheryl K. Chumley: Interior’s astonishing deep state: 30 percent ‘not loyal to the flag’ – “Ryan Zinke, secretary of the Interior Department, said that almost a third of his agency’s employees aren’t exactly President Donald Trump supporters — or fans of the American flag, for that matter.”

It’s one thing to work in the federal government for people with whom you politically disagree. It’s another thing entirely to work in the federal government of a country you don’t entirely support.

In a different day, a different time, that’d be cause for a red flag followup from U.S. intel agents concerned about government collapse or takeover from communist-aligned enemies, or otherwise anti-American forces.

But now?

Anti-Americanism, non-patriotism — these are just modern day expressions of free speech.

Wesley Pruden mocks the President’s attention to the anti-American antics as insignificant when there’s issues like North Korea and disaster recovery. Perhaps he needs to re-think priorities? Or Perhaps he is further indication of just how deep and serious the devaluing of patriotism and loyalty really is?

What many also seem to miss in trying to find calm in stormy seas is the matter of false witness. Ed Stetzer illustrates this in wondering about what a Christian should do. There is a difference between unpopular speech and false witness that must be acknowledged by anyone parading a mantle of Christianity. See Heather Mac Donald: Hard Data, Hollow Protests – “FBI crime figures paint a very different picture of crime and policing than this weekend’s demonstrations suggest.”

The FBI released its official crime tally for 2016 today, and the data flies in the face of the rhetoric that professional athletes rehearsed in revived Black Lives Matter protests over the weekend.

Four studies came out in 2016 alone rebutting the charge that police shootings are racially biased. If there is a bias in police shootings, it works in favor of blacks and against whites. That truth has not stopped the ongoing demonization of the police—including, now, by many of the country’s ignorant professional athletes. The toll will be felt, as always, in the inner city, by the thousands of law-abiding people there who desperately want more police protection.

That’s the hard data. The soft data about claims of racism and oppression and other propaganda points is even worse for calling false witness on those supposedly just exercising free speech.

Richard W. Rahn: If oppression could inspire happiness – “Socialism has yet to generate the utopia it promises.”

Why do so many embrace a system — socialism — that has always failed, whether it was a form of state socialism or the various utopian communities started in the United States and Europe over the last couple of hundred years?

We praise the benign socialism that is practiced within the family, churches, some social or civic groups where the members look out for each other in case of need. It works as long as it is voluntary and members are free to leave.

In contrast, government socialism is coercive and denies the fundamental right to opt out, no matter how repressive or incompetent it becomes.

The takeover playbook remains the same. State socialism is incompatible with liberty — and if a majority of the people are aware of the facts, socialism loses.

State socialism is a product of ignorance — and thrives among those who have not read history, let alone Orwell and Hayek.

Lamar Smith: Alarmism in climate reporting – “One-sided media coverage emphasizes sensation over facts.” It’s not only in the schools that the mind is prepared, it is also in the propaganda a.k.a Fake News™. It is a broad front, too.

it is rare that a day goes by without some misleading, exaggerated or flat-out false statement about climate change showing up in the media. Often, journalists knowingly publish false information with exaggerated headlines to grab readers’ attention. This strategy comes at a high cost. Trust in the media is at a record low, with only 27 percent of Americans having confidence in them. What’s more, Americans’ trust in news from the internet is at an all-time low of 16 percent.

The way the media operates today does not help increase the public’s trust. Day after day, the media publishes biased news to push a one-sided agenda. Recently, The New York Times printed a front-page, headline-grabbing story alleging that a draft climate change report had been leaked supposedly to prevent the administration from hiding it. Further investigation revealed that this draft of the report had been public for months. In an interview, multiple authors of the report said they had not heard or seen any sign of suppression or censorship by the White House.

There seems to be a culture of relishing climate scare tactics by the media. Unfortunately, the media tries to indoctrinate Americans by limiting the news to support only the networks’ views and agendas. Because of its actions, the media perpetuates misunderstandings and the exaggerated fear of climate change. This makes for bad policy and undermines our democracy.

IBD notes another case: Media Ignore Puerto Rico Devastation, Then Blast Trump For Not Tweeting About It — Sad.

Bias: The mainstream press paid little attention to the devastation in Puerto Rico all weekend. Then they noticed that President Trump hadn’t tweeted about it since Thursday. Now that they can attack Trump, they suddenly care.

On Monday, headlines everywhere all made the same exact point

If Trump’s obsession with tweeting about trivial matters — while his government is taking action — is an abuse of his position, isn’t the media’s obsession with the same trivial matters just as bad, if not worse?

John Hinderaker: For the White House Press Corps, Football Is Issue #1 – A press briefing story that illustrates just how corrupt the Media really is.

Reporters seem to think that Trump is vulnerable on the anthem, but I suspect that they are wrong. I think Trump speaks for most voters when he expresses disgust with pampered athletes who go out of their way to show contempt for their country. And on company time, no less.

Choose your fight. The President has shown a gift in OODA Loop tactics. (wikipedia) The turmoil in his opponents camp is primary evidence.

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Trump right? Again?

Double, double toil and trouble; 
Fire burn and caldron bubble. 

Song of the Witches by William Shakespeare

Another document drop brings up the Trump ‘wiretapping’ claim again. Don Surber summarizes the situation to date: The media’s wiretap dancing – “The news that the FBI may have used Paul Manafort to spy on a political opponent should have decent Americans up in arms.” Sundance cites a CNN Report: U.S. Government Wiretapped Former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort – “There will be much discussion and speculation about a recent “leaked” FBI FISA warrant surrounding former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. However, the interesting aspect always falls upon the timeline, not necessarily the wiretapping itself per se’.”

The July/August 2016 time frame is interesting because that coincides with the surfacing of the ridiculous opposition research “Steele Dossier” on Presidential Candidate Donald Trump. Further recently revealed information about the “steele dossier”, interestingly surrounds the James Comey FBI paying for the information contained therein.

Chuck Ross: Here’s Everything We Know So Far About The Trump Dossier – provides a background on one of the items that was used to support investigations into the Trump campaign.

The uncorroborated dossier of opposition research about Donald Trump has become a key document in the investigation over whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government during the presidential campaign last year.

Democrats have insisted that many claims made in the dossier, written by former British spy Christopher Steele, have been proven accurate. Republican lawmakers say otherwise, leading to a standoff between the two sides over the 35-page document, published by BuzzFeed News on Jan. 10.

John Sexton: Antifa and the normalization of left-wing violence – “Megan McArdle has written a piece for Bloomberg which highlights something that the media continues to gloss over. What we’re seeing on the left today, from Antifa and student protesters, is not normal but is being normalized.”

She goes on to argue that what we are witnessing is a challenge to our constitution, not with arguments and votes but with threats and violence:

McArdle’s basic point is that what we’re seeing isn’t normal. Every time student protesters response to speech is to “shut it down” it needs to be pointed out that they are in the wrong. Every time Antifa threatens to show up in masks and vandalize businesses or attack people on their hit list, they need to be unmasked and arrested. We can’t allow the far left’s adoption of the heckler’s veto to be normalized. They want control over who is allowed to speak in public. The answer must be no or better yet, “Hell no!” We have to keep giving the same answer until they stop making the threats in the first place.

Victor Davis Hanson: Beware of Narratives and Misinformation – “Narratives surrounding the DNC hack & Antifa reveal media bias and government bureaucracy at their worst.”

When it was discovered that the e-mails had been compromised, then–DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz weirdly refused to allow forensic detectives from the FBI to examine the DNC server to probe the evidence of the theft. Why did the FBI accept that refusal?

There is not much left to the media myth of James Comey as dutiful FBI director, unjustly fired by a partisan and vindictive President Donald Trump. A closer look suggests that Comey may have been the most politicized, duplicitous, and out-of-control FBI director since J. Edgar Hoover.

There is also a media fantasy about the Antifa street protesters. Few have criticized their systematic use of violence. But when in history have youths running through the streets decked out in black with masks, clubs, and shields acted nonviolently?

Doubts about official narratives of the DNC leaks and the errant behavior of James Comey, and misinformation about the violent extremists of Antifa, illustrate media bias — not to mention entrenched government bureaucracies that are either incompetent, ethically compromised, or completely politicized.

Steven Hayward: The Wages of Borking – “This week marks the 30thanniversary of one of the turning points in modern American politics: the travesty of the Bork confirmation hearings.”

The “Borking” of Bork changed the rules of judicial appointments, and have poisoned judicial politics, ever since. It was a shameful moment because of the duplicity and hypocrisy of Democrats.

Ted Kennedy’s single most demagogic moment on the Senate floor

The subsequent public campaign of the activist Left was stunning in its breadth, depth, and dishonesty. It also made evident the startling politicization of civic organizations in America.

The recent confirmation hearings for Amy Barrett so glaringly revealed leading Democrats to be anti-Catholic bigots that their histrionics are now backfiring. And we have Harry Reid to thank for one fo the biggest political blunders of modern times­—throwing out the filibuster of judicial nominees.

But let’s look finally at some data. This chart shows the real lasting wages of Bork: appellate court judgeships are becoming harder to get judges confirmed because of the legacy of Borking. You can see a fairly clear before- and after- break in the bars.

Ted Kennedy and Harry Reid left quite a mark on the Senate. Chappaquiddick is now the subject of a movie. What will they pick for Reid’s movie legacy?

Coyote Blog: Wealth Is The New Normal – see the graph.

Today, we spend a lot of time trying to understand the roots of poverty. This was not so 200 years ago. When Adam Smith wrote “The Wealth of Nations” his task was to explain why a very few nations at the time seemed to be getting wealthier. Poverty at the time and through most of history was accepted as the norm. Only the advent of free inquiry and (relatively) free markets has changed that norm.

But it doesn’t stop the caterwauling. And riots. And using an assumed privilege gained via false victimhood to put ignorance and rejection of a gift in your face.

Instapundit cites Prof. John Banzhaf: Sue The St. Louis Rioters. This would be to adopt a tactic of the Left and, if done with vigor, would demonstrate social rejection. At least such suits could be backed by actual physical damage and not the SJW fantasies the Left usually uses for lawsuits.

Because the threat of arrest and small fines obviously isn’t discouraging a growing number who engage in criminal activities as a way of protesting, Banzhaf suggests that all those adversely affected should sue for civil damages under a variety of legal theories, some of which have already been successful.

This is true even for rioters with few assets, since the possibility of a large civil judgment – with potential garnishments and other collection techniques – is something many young people would be concerned about.

Civil damages actions are also much easier to win than criminal prosecutions, notes Banzhaf, since there are fewer elements to establish, and a much lower standard of proof to be met.

Civil actions would also open the door to pre-trial legal discovery, including those aimed at verifying concerns expressed in various media that those with even deeper pockets are involved in the planning, funding, and/or execution of these criminal disruptions.

That last is the real point, I think. And this analysis is also applicable to campus rioters.

Bruce Bawer: The Sinister Way Germany’s Recollection of the Holocaust Impacts Its Approach to Muslim Immigration – “Every observer of Germany knows that its officially prescribed attitude of perpetual atonement over the Holocaust coexists with an anti-Semitism that’s been on the rise for decades.”

Six years ago I reviewed Tuvia Tenenbom’s eye-opening book I Sleep in Hitler’s Room: An American Jew Visits Germany. Tenenbom, I wrote, was “constantly exposed to rote expressions of sympathy for the victims of Auschwitz – and rote expressions of rage over Israel’s supposedly deplorable treatment of the Palestinians.”

Obviously, Germans enjoy equating Israel with Nazi Germany because it helps relieve their historical guilt. Germans will tell you that they’re resolved never to let “that” happen again – but they’ve managed to convince themselves that the group most in danger of being subjected to “that” in today’s Europe isn’t the Jews but the Muslims. Therefore, the best way to atone for what their ancestors did to Jews is to kowtow to Islam.

A recent report on anti-Semitism in Europe explained: the German government routinely categorizes synagogue attacks as “anti-Israeli, not anti-Semitic.” It’s a slippery way of avoiding an uncomfortable fact, and on the entire continent, apparently, it’s Germany alone that systematically practices this deception. Which is why it might be time for Germany to put an end to its phony posturing about its past evils and face up to its present ones.

This sort of deception is also fundamental to the rioters on the street whether BLM or Antifa.

Tom Knighton: Racism And Guns: Why The Left Keeps Painting Gun Owners As Racist – “you’ll have a far easier time finding racists at the Democratic National Convention than at the NRA’s annual meeting.”

By now, many pro-Second Amendment advocates and activists understand the racist roots of gun control in this country.

The anti-gun left paints gun owners in general, and the NRA in particular, as racist because they don’t want anyone to see their own racist past. They’re the mean kid in school who picks on everyone so nobody will look too closely at their own flaws.

Meanwhile, they hide the racism in their past all while still trying to keep inner city blacks from obtaining weapons to protect themselves.

They’ll paint us a racist because they don’t want anyone to see their own hoods.

Hao-Kai Pai: Defanging identity fraud by verifying identities – “part of the damage here stems from organizations assuming that Social Security Numbers are secret … another part of the problem is that some businesses are startlingly lax about confirming who they are extending credit to.”

It is of course upsetting that criminals now have access to your address and Social Security Number, and if you had a credit history, you are very likely a victim. Of course, some criminals probably already had this information from past breaches. Once compromised, much of this data stays compromised for a long time: You can’t change your birthday, and you can’t get a new Social Security Number just because criminals know the old one. You can change your name and address if you like, but those are quite disruptive and costly steps. You should assume your identity will stay compromised.

Technology has, in some ways, made identity fraud easier. Gone are the days when a mother’s maiden name could be treated as secret. But on the other hand, we also have many more ways to check identity — thanks to smartphones, half the country has a camera and a fingerprint reader in their pocket these days. If we give businesses the incentive to verify that they are extending credit to who they think they are, the businesses will find efficient and accurate ways to do so.

What you know that nobody else does is a rather poor basis for establishing identity. Anything that can be photographed needs a chain of authority. What you have is a bit better. This is why a smart phone with an address or telephone number assigned to you and backed by trusted networks is gaining popularity as a means of identity confirmation. But then, what you have can be stolen.

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Thrill Seekers and Who’s Your Hero?

John Sexton: Is Antifa just a group of ‘lawless thrill-seekers?’ – “The Washington Post has a story today which suggests that maybe, just maybe, Antifa’s motives aren’t as selfless or noble as they claim.”

Mike Isaacson, described as an anarchist adjunct professor, tells the Post, “A lot of people are coming into antifa because of the thrill of violence, and that’s not what we’re about.” Isn’t it though? Isn’t political violence the real distinctive of Antifa? Put another way, would Antifa still be Antifa if they ruled out violence? I don’t think so.

Everyone turning up to a rally in a mask and body armor is looking for a thrill. The potential for lawless behavior (toward property and people) is the draw. A willingness to risk arrest is a sign of commitment, just as it was at Occupy camps in 2011. The story suggests violence is also what gives members credibility within the group. Hines tells the Post, “Most people I know love me now.” He adds, “I’m not trying to brag, but I’ve become pretty popular.” I’m sure he is popular among a narrow group of far left 20 somethings. And you can bet that’s part of the appeal to do this again.

Sexton also on Ta-Nehisi Coates and the American Dream – “Professor Jason Hill, who teaches philosophy at DePaul University, has written a lengthy rebuttal of Ta-Nehisi Coates book Between the World and Me.”

he writes that Coates is doing black Americans a disservice by seeking to convince them the American Dream is either illusory or, worse yet, an enemy to people of color. Hill, using his own life as an example, writes that the dream is real enough. Through effort, determination, and independence, America is still a great place for people of all backgrounds.

That’s the final irony in all of this. Coates himself is living what many people would consider the American dream. He has written award-winning books and articles. A comic book fan himself, he had the chance to write a storyline for Marvel’s Black Panther. Last year he bought a $2.1 million brownstone in Brooklyn (which his friend dubbed “the dream”). After the purchase became a story in the New York media he decided it wasn’t safe and sold it (at a small profit). America has been pretty good to Ta-Nehisi Coates. He could maybe write about that once in a while too.

Victor Joecks: Would Nevadans pay higher taxes to cover Medicaid expansion? – “Nevada pays 5 percent of the costs in 2017 and by 2020 will pay 10 percent of the bill.”

Nevada’s Medicaid expansion has been getting a lot of love from Gov. Brian Sandoval, Sen. Dean Heller and others who want Washington to continue paying the bulk of the program’s tab.

But if Nevada taxpayers had to pay the full cost of the expansion, it’d have less support than Harry Reid running for president of a Republican women’s club.

A massive tax increase to give “free” health care to abled-body adults above the poverty line would be a non-starter.

The “free” money coming into Nevada is a microcosm of our nation’s larger health care problems, in which cost-shifting and third-party payments hide the actual price of care from taxpayers and patients. Beneficiaries have no ability to comparison shop and no incentive to seek less-expensive care because they can’t see the costs and they don’t directly pay them.

If the Medicaid expansion is so beneficial to the state and its people, shouldn’t Nevada’s top elected officials be willing to ask Nevadans to pay for it themselves?

Neo-neocon: Trump, DACA, the wall, and the press

In the Trump era it’s gotten even more difficult to write about the news, for the simple reason that for the most part I distrust all prognostications and rumors, both of which have come to take up a larger and larger part of reporting ever since Trump was inaugurated.

You know what I’d like to see—although I have no illusions that I will see it? Newspapers that report on what actually has happened once it has happened, rather than predicting what they think is happening or what is supposedly happening behind closed doors.

Frank Ryan: Trump’s Task Organization – for some, this might be rationalizing Trump but for others, it is a description of what they were looking for.

That unique concept of task organization is foreign to most. Many managers will tell you that it is people first and mission second. That’s how organizations fail.

People being secondary is an anathema to most people. We recognize, however, in the Marine Corps and in the special forces that putting people first actually jeopardizes everyone, because failure ensues, and people get killed.

Leadership is key in this paradigm of task organization because the effective leader knows how to communicate the mission and ensure that the common good is maximized while accomplishing the mission first.

We need to task-organize our government regardless of who is president. We need to accomplish the mission of creating a framework for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness from our government rather than creating a government of overregulation, control, and dysfunction.

More in this vein from Scott Adams: I Explain the Persuasion Techniques President Trump is using on The Wall and DACA – “You might enjoy my Periscope playback from this morning in which I describe the several persuasion techniques President Trump is using on the topic of The Wall and DACA. Here’s the quick summary.”

PrawfsBlog: Infallible: The Pope or the President – “what struck me most this time was the vitriolic rhetoric from some quarters of Catholic leadership—taking Trump’s side.”

But all this raises the larger issue, for me, of how folks deal with conflicting moral and political identities in our current climate. For those with strong moral convictions, this should presumably be fairly straightforward. But, I have to say, it doesn’t seem like it has been in recent years.

On Ken Burn’s Vietnam film, “Despite the purported time spent on researching and collecting materials, the film still comes across as a worn-out Communist propaganda.” This from the review by Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Sang at Maggie’s Farm: Review Of Ken Burn’s Vietnam PBS Series.

The following is the first factual, shall I say fact-checking, review that I’ve come across about the Ken Burns narrative of the Vietnam war(s). Other reviews are more of the same breast-beating and ignorant narrative that has dominated in the liberal press for the past several decades. This review circulated among various Vietnamese and Americans with an interest in a more realistic contemporary view, rather than retrospective self-justifications for weakness of will and understanding that condemned millions to death and torture.

No one can change the history. Those who waged wars on behalf of the international Communists must accept their responsibility for the destruction of the country. History will judge their actions and our descendants will know the truth despite the Communists’ efforts to skew the historical facts.

In order to fight against China’s aggression, the Vietnamese Communists must harness the national strength by reconciling with the people as a whole, and their victims, in particular. Otherwise, they will be a party to the demise of the country.

In conclusion, this is a one-sided, half-truth documentary unworthy of watching. My observation had been posted on Yahoo but was removed 15 minutes later. Let us hope that Mr. Burns and Ms. Novick would have a change of heart and be more factual in their next project about the Vietnam War.

It may be confirmation bias extrapolating past experience with Burns, PBS, and Google but the facts and ‘true witness’ does exist and the reviewer here was as close to the event as one could get and does provide references and examples and context.

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An explicit demonstration of elitism

Ed Morrissey: Retired jurist makes compelling case for term limits in stunning admission – “For decades, a debate over lifetime appointments in the federal judiciary have pitted those who value freedom from political influence against those who see a need for accountability.”

In short, Posner by his own admission spent the last “ten to fifteen years” disregarding the legislative and executive branches to create his own law and whim, and then enforce it. Regardless of specific outcomes, that arrogance corrodes the rule of law and the Constitution, and demonstrates aptly why Americans have grown so distrustful of their government. It’s an explicit demonstration of elitism.

It’s time to start considering methods of accountability for the federal judiciary. Perhaps that will be enough to keep future jurists from following Posner’s example, but it at least will give Americans the opportunity to ensure that they have a role in determining the laws under which they are governed, and to be sure that those laws get applied properly in courts.

John Hinderaker: Democratic Party Smears Neil Gorsuch As a Bigot – “I am not easily shocked these days, but an email sent by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee an hour and a half ago shocked me.” Also today at Powerline, Scott Johnson describes the Franken fallout, another case of Democrats gone bonkers trying to replicate Posner’s example.

It has been a long time since I have been a fan of the Democratic Party. But the hate speech to which the Democrats–not a few renegade party members, but the Democratic Party itself–now resort, is utterly beyond the pale. The leaders of the Democratic Party must understand that the wild charges they fling against people like Neil Gorsuch are not just false, but crazy. But they don’t care: power is their sole object.

We are living through a sad epoch in the history of our republic.

And Paul Mirengoff provides an update on the SPLC: “All it has is a hard-left ideology, a willingness to smear those with whom it disagrees, and lots of money. – Oh, and let’s not forget that it also benefits from a mainstream media that, to a considerable degree, shares the first two attributes.”

On the Irma Fuel Crisis, Sundance reports that his posts on the bottom tier impact have been heard and he has been assured that fuel supply efforts will be stepped up. Other parties are helping, too. David Wethe: As Florida Fuel Grew Scarce, GasBuddy App Change Filled Gap – “GasBuddy LLC, previously known only for helping drivers find the lowest fuel prices, raced to put into action a lesson learned from Harvey just a week earlier.” The cell phone app allows users to report on fuel prices and, now, on outages and supply.

A run on gas at stations in South Texas after Harvey struck convinced Walt Doyle, the company’s chief executive officer and a former venture capitalist at Highland Capital Partners LP, that GasBuddy needed to quickly expand its offerings to help Florida as it readied for Irma. The goal: Re-engineer their mobile app in a single night to help drivers escaping the storm identify which stations had run out of fuel, or had lost their electricity.

Bottom up responses were also described in an SFGate story where Burning Man put out a plea for help with 5,000 abandoned bicycles. That prompted a convoy out of Reno that took care of the problem in short order.

On the FUD front, Anthony Watts: Low-level radiation exposure less harmful to health than other modern lifestyle risks – “From the “I thought sure Fukashima was going to kill me” department.” It’s nothing new but a restatement of what is known if reality is a value.

Professor Angela McLean, lead author and Co-Director at the Oxford Martin Programme on Collective Responsibility for Infectious Disease, said: ‘We know a great deal about the health risks from radiation thanks to exceptionally careful studies of groups of people exposed to different levels from nuclear bombs or accidents, medical exposure of patients, naturally occurring sources (such as radon), and workers in the nuclear industry and medicine. From these studies it is clear that moderate and high doses of radiation increase the risk of developing some types of cancer.’

The full paper, “A restatement of the natural science evidence base concerning the health effects of low-level ionizing radiation” can be downloaded at

More ignorance from Bruce Schneier: On the Equifax Data Breach – “The market can’t fix this. Markets work because buyers choose between sellers, and sellers compete for buyers. In case you didn’t notice, you’re not Equifax’s customer. You’re its product.”

The companies that collect and sell our data don’t need to keep it secure in order to maintain their market share. They don’t have to answer to us, their products. They know it’s more profitable to save money on security and weather the occasional bout of bad press after a data loss. Yes, we are the ones who suffer when criminals get our data, or when our private information is exposed to the public, but ultimately why should Equifax care?

Market failures like this can only be solved through government intervention.

The ignorance claim? Ever look at the history of depending upon government to fix such ills? Do you really want The Swamp to control your affairs? Or consider the idea that Equifax does not have customers, or at least the sidestepping about who that customer might be. Who is going to have the biggest headaches and costs from identity theft that results from Equifax malfeasance (hint: think ‘credit rating’)? There is a role for government, certainly, but there is also a role for both Equifax’s customers and the general public. The discussion illustrates that the public is indeed taking notice and pursuing action and doing its part. The question now is whether that will be the right thing or whether FUD and ignorance will prevail.

Joanne: How campus rape policy went wrong – another issue where FUD and ignorance is being beat back (to much wailing, gnashing of teeth, and personal smears).

Pressured by the federal government and beliefs about “rape culture,” colleges have tried to police their students’ sex lives. Emily Yoffe’s excellent three-part Atlantic series explains what went wrong.

Part 1: Rules intended to help sexual-assault victims have denied due process to the accused, Yoffe writes.

Part 2 deals with the bad science underlying “trauma-informed” investigations and adjudications.

Part 3: Race may play a factor in accusations of sexual assault.

This last part gets into dangerous territory because the evidence indicates that the problem is not victim racism but rather racial distinctions in inappropriate behavior which cannot be observed or noticed or even discussed in today’s society (just ask Charles Murray).

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Going after the heretics – ackamarackus bordering on flimflam

Here’s what happens when you try to replicate climate contrarian papers – “A new paper finds common errors among the 3% of climate papers that reject the global warming consensus.” The “consensus” is a major flag. The hidden one is that the basic thesis is incorrect. The “contrarians” are more properly called skeptics. It is the alarmists who are positing a thesis and whose efforts at supporting their thesis are flawed. Those asking questions, such as just where that 97% consensus comes from, cannot express the flaws cited because they are not doing what the study tries to paste on them.

a new paper published in the journal of Theoretical and Applied Climatology examines a selection of contrarian climate science research and attempts to replicate their results. The idea is that accurate scientific research should be replicable, and through replication we can also identify any methodological flaws in that research. The study also seeks to answer the question, why do these contrarian papers come to a different conclusion than 97% of the climate science literature?

You may have noticed another characteristic of contrarian climate research – there is no cohesive, consistent alternative theory to human-caused global warming.

Human-caused global warming is the only exception. It’s based on overwhelming, consistent scientific evidence and has therefore convinced over 97% of scientific experts that it’s correct.

That 97% has been inspected and it is a consensus more in line with the “contrarians” than it is with the climate alarmism. It is a consensus that climate change is not fully understood and that there are very many factors involved only one set which is human related. Rather than go after heretics, the climate alarmists should answer questions about why their models don’t fit observations, why observation data sets are often manipulated and ‘adjusted’ in ways showing bias, about relative risks and benefits of their suggested actions, and other matters.

Jonah Goldberg: Oh Scientia! Oh Mores! – “The whole ‘science denier’ canard is a weapon wielded by people who often harbor their own doubts about the scientific consensus.”

I don’t want to debate global warming because a) it’s boring to me, b) you get screamed at by people who act like we have seconds to act before the world ends, and c) you — or at least I — also get screamed at by people who insist it’s all a complete hoax. For those interested, I’m basically in the Matt Ridley “lukewarmer”camp.

Now, back to my point. This whole “don’t believe in science” canard amounts to ackamarackus bordering on flimflam.

John Stossel: The Climate Alarmists Are Wrong – “Two big storms don’t mean much.”

So the real unanswered questions are:

1. Will climate change become a crisis? (We face immediate crises now: poverty, terrorism, a $20 trillion debt, rebuilding after the hurricanes)

2. Is there anything we can do about it? (No. Not now; the science isn’t there yet.)

3. Did man’s burning fossil fuels increase the warming? (Probably. But we don’t know how much.)

I resent how the alarmists mix these questions, pretending all the science is settled. Notice how Trevor Noah, above, tossed out the words “man-made,” as if all climate change is man-made?

Tom Randall: The Way We Get Electricity Is About to Change Forever – “Superior batteries are on the way, and they could disrupt power markets within the next decade—Sooner Than You Think.” This provides an example of wishful thinking that drives much of the irrational thinking. First is the gospel of human caused climate catastrophe. That means humans much change. That leads to prognostications that a miracle will break out Real Soon Now. Maybe. But it’s been a bit over 100 years for batteries and even longer on the chemistry behind them to get to where we are. There have been some refinements in materials and productions but the physical nature of a battery has its limits. Remember cold fusion, the last big miracle for politically correct energy?

The key to much of this is the ‘in your face’ approach. Consider stories in the Washington Times this morning. Joseph Curl: Even the Miss America pageant is political now – “ABC could have made the annual Miss America pageant on Sunday night an escape from reality, if just for a moment. Instead, the network went hard core into politics.” Bradford Richardson: ESPN gives anchor who called Trump a ‘white supremacist’ slap on the wrist – “ESPN issued a meek statement on Tuesday in response to Jemele Hill, one of the network’s anchors, calling President Trump and his supporters “white supremacists.”” Victor Morton: Black Lives Matter protesters deface Jefferson’s statue at UVa. in Charlottesville – “According to local media in Charlottesville, about 100 students, faculty and local residents shrouded the statue in black and hung a banner on it saying “Black Lives Matter” and that “White Supremacy” should commit a sexual act.” Cheryl K. Chumley: Quack attack: 27 psychiatrists pen anti-Trump book – “Real psychiatrists are probably squirming in their office chairs at this.” Valerie Richardson: Calls to punish skeptics rise with links to climate change, hurricanes – “Calls to punish global warming skepticism as a criminal offense have surged in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.”

Note that all of these actions are based on frauds, are in your face, and, usually, are personal attacks. When that fraud is called, then you have Tammy Bruce: Why Democrats fear voter fraud investigations – “Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity leaves the left in a panic.”

Then there’s Eric Althoff: Ken Burns goes back to war: Vietnam documentary tells uneasy story from all sides – “Novick helps ‘unpack’ repressed memories from defining, divisive conflict.” Burns has a history of black privilege racism and this topic is ripe for other left leaning anti-American tropes. Consider: “What we call fake news now are things that we don’t agree with but which happen to be true,” he said. Not a matter of fact that results in many mea culpa episodes but rather just opinion? Cronkite preceded Rather and neither accepted their role in fake news. There’s good fake news and right fake news and note which gets the soft treatment and excusing?

Sundance: Irma Recovery: Day #2 – Life as a Starfish Kid… The fuel situation is a refutation of the price gouging accusations.

Scott Johnson: The Franken Factor – “With his his descent to crude and dishonest attacks on judicial nominees in the Judiciary Committee, or in his capacity as a member of the committee, Minnesota Senator Al Franken degrades the Senate and the high office he holds.” This is the sort of irresponsible behavior that destroys civility and respect customs in the Senate. The Democrats should keep in mind the adage “abuse it and you lose it.”

Newmark takes note:

Democratic senators’ questioning of professor Amy Coney Barnett’s religious beliefs and how they would influence her potential decisions if she is approved to be on the 7th Circuit has raised questions about whether or not those senators were imposing a religious test on her. As Kevin Daley points out, this episode also has exposed the influence of interest groups on the confirmation process. As Daley explains, neither the senators nor their staff have the time to read all a candidate’s writings or speeches. So they depend on groups that summarize the candidate’s words. However, it becomes a problem if that group lies about a candidate. And that is exactly what has happened as the senators based their questions on a report by the Alliance for Justice. Since the report is public, it’s possible to match up the senators’ questions with the report.

She panders to the ‘both sides do it’ fallacy with a caveat: “Republicans do the same thing, of course, though I haven’t heard of their following a report that was so demonstrably dishonest. It shows what a joke that confirmation battles have become – they’re basically a battle between outside groups with U.S. senators used as mouthpieces.” The inability, or unwillingness, to accept important distinctions in behavior is an inappropriate bias.

Eric Worrall: Extreme Poverty USA: The True Cost of Climate Madness – “While various US governments continue to waste unimaginable sums of public money on pointless climate schemes, real problems ranging from third world poverty in Alabama to an explosion of the skid row population of Los Angeles are being allowed to fester.”

California’s push for 100% renewables is a major factor driving up the cost of living. Poor people spend around 40% of their income on energy. Anything which drives up the cost of energy is a big deal. A high energy bill can make the difference between being able to pay the rent, or being evicted onto the street.

another story noted that 1 in 5 Californians were below poverty level. Yet another reported on San Diego problems with its homeless population and its efforts to fight fecal born disease with street cleaning efforts.

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Free Speech but only if you agree with me

Taylor Lewis: Your Beliefs Are No Longer Allowed – “American progressives have fnally gone all the way to a totalitarian vision, demanding control over not just your behavior, but your thoughts and beliefs. This as the price of simply living without being attacked.”

It just goes to show that well-meaning conservatives who were willing to concede the culture war in the hopes the Left would cease marching forward were hopelessly wrong. Waving the white flag was never going to be a suitable compromise. Liberals aren’t satisfied with open-ended sexual rights; they want the complete eradication of bourgeois convention.

How did we get to the point where 8-year-old cross-dressers are celebrated as norms-smashing pioneers and not odd (and mentally ill) quirks?

When they’re as candid as Zack Ford, at least faithful conservatives know where we stand: blindfolded, on the firing line.

Hao-Kai Pai: Competition, not regulation, will protect free speech on the internet – “Recent highly public moves by Facebook and Google to deactivate users or to otherwise censor or handicap certain speech the companies deem “hate speech” or “fake news” has reopened one of the oddest but most popular arguments for net neutrality.”

The argument is that if Verizon, Comcast, or AT&T are not forced to act as “dumb pipes,” these companies will foreclose speech that they find distasteful. Even more convoluted is the assertion that if other companies (such as Netflix or Amazon) pay ISPs for faster service by private agreement, faster service in-and-of-itself is a threat to free speech as it “prefers” some speech over other speech — even if anyone has the same opportunity to buy the prioritized service and some do not even need it. These are odd arguments for various reasons, not least of which is that the First Amendment only limits Congress, not private actors (such as ISPs), from abridging speech. But most strikingly, the focus of net neutrality advocates on ISPs is odd as these companies do act as content conduits, not content platforms, unlike edge providers such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Twitter.

Consider the intellectual jiu-jitsu that net neutrality proponents perform to claim that ISPs are enemies of the First Amendment (or more accurately free speech) and platform and application companies that block content are not.

The delistings and self-appointed censorship role of these platforms is disconcerting. But the answer is not to incite a government takeover of the internet. Government regulation has not helped consumers of ISPs, and it won’t help consumers in the market place of ideas. It is time to restore internet freedom to help the internet grow and competition flourish. This way, consumers have more, not fewer, choices of where and how to express their ideas.

Paula Bolyard: Google Bias Against Leading Conservative Websites—Including PJM—Is Real – “A new research paper from Leo Goldstein claims to have quantified Google’s bias against leading conservative sites.”

“Google Search is found to be biased in favor of left/liberal domains and against conservative domains with a confidence of 95%,” Goldstein found. “Further, certain hard-Left domains have such a high [percentage of domain traffic, referred by Google Search, net of brand searches] that their standing raises suspicions that they have been hand-picked for prominent placement,” he says, adding that “certain respected conservative domains are blacklisted.”

Knowing what we do about the liberal leanings of Google executives and employees, the possibility of bias being incorporated into the search algorithms cannot be ruled out. Algorithms, in the end, only do what the human programmers tell them to do.

Scott Johnson: Victim of the SPLC – “The organization now serves as a handmaiden to forces of the left as they seek to stigmatize honorable conservatives and confine our public discourse to approved channels.”

Most recently, Minnesota Senator Al Franken showed how it’s done in his crude McCarthyite assault on Notre Dame Law Professor Amy Barrett in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on her nomination to the Seventh Circuit last week.

I didn’t realize that I was following in the footsteps of former Vanderbilt political science professor Carol Swain, who called the SPLC’s number in a post she wrote about it for the Huffington Post in September 2009. Professor Swain concluded the post: “Rather than monitoring hate groups, the Southern Poverty Law Center has become one.”

The SPLC seems to have taken its inspiration from 1984. In the run-up to the regime fueled by the Two Minutes Hate, the SPLC organizes the animus fueling the left-wing fascists who aim to bring it on and squelch the rest of us.

Douglas Mackinnon: Hurricane Irma And How The Left Has Politicized Even The Weather – “Rush Limbaugh was well within his rights to question the motivations of some in the media and the various weather services with regard to Irma and Hurricane “forecasts,” and Hurricane “hype.”

Like the mainstream media, the entertainment industry, and academia, discrimination against conservative or even pragmatic and honest thought is in full effect when it comes to hiring meteorologists. For the most part, if you don’t worship at the altar of the “evil of man-made global warming” and political correctness, you can’t get hired at The Weather Channel, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC or even most local television news stations.

Ultimately, the real lessons with Irma are that weather forecasting is far from an exact science and should never be exploited for political reasons or monetary gain.

Hopefully, those on the left who control almost everything in the field of meteorology will agree with that.

If for no other reason than to put fewer lives at risk.

Valerie Richardson: Calls to punish skeptics rise with links to climate change, hurricanes – “Trump has added to all of that, and we are now seeing them blow their gaskets in frustration,”

Meanwhile, Pope Francis said the two Category 4 storms offer proof of catastrophic climate change, even though they are the first two major hurricanes to make landfall on the U.S. mainland in 12 years.

“You can see the effects of climate change with your own eyes, and scientists tell us clearly the way forward,” said the pontiff, adding that leaders have a “moral responsibility” to take action.

An analysis by Colorado State University meteorologist Philip Klotzbach found that the latest hurricanes weren’t unprecedented in terms of their power upon making landfall in the U.S.

The push to prosecute climate skeptics comes even though the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has concluded that it is “premature to conclude that human activities — and particularly greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming — have already had a detectable impact on Atlantic hurricane or tropical cyclone activity.”

“That said, human activities may have already caused changes that are not yet detectable,” said the Aug. 30 statement.

The Pope may need to read the Bible about matters of false witness? Scientists may want to step back and consider matters of intellectual integrity. Citizens do seem to realize they are being sold a bill of goods with propaganda and dubious to outright outrageous claims. Then consider another issue where the same behavioral phenomena is on display reported by Stephen Dinan: Detailed stories of fraud and weaknesses in election system are sent to voter integrity commission – “For a problem that critics say doesn’t exist, Americans seem to have a lot of stories of voter fraud or the potential for it.”

The anecdotes run counter to prevailing wisdom among many academics and voting rights advocates that voter fraud doesn’t happen or is too infrequent to deserve study. Those advocates say a bigger issue is voter suppression.

Indeed, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in her new book reportedly blames part of her election loss on voter ID laws that she said prevented her supporters from turning out at the polls.

“Our election process must be secure, fair and transparent, yet Trump and Kobach are using their sham commission to spread the lie of rampant fraud as a Trojan Horse for voter suppression. We won’t let them get away with it,” said Dale Ho, director of the voting rights project at the American Civil Liberties Union.

A half-dozen legal challenges have been filed against the commission, which already has had to apologize for not being more transparent in its obligations under open-records laws.

Democrats have vowed to use the legislative process to try to derail the commission.

“The few cards and letters I have gotten are full of vile profanity, fractured grammar, and some were done in crayon. It’s like commission foes passed out stamps, talking points and crayons at an asylum,” he said.

Consider the ACLU headline Kris Kobach Pushes Voter Fraud Lies While Meeting With Fellow Suppression Activists — “Kris Kobach is getting desperate. In a column last week for Breitbart, the Kansas Secretary of State declared that voter fraud tipped the scales in the election last year in New Hampshire. — The evidence?” Lies? Desperate? Suppression Activists? Use of these words is a clue. Asking for evidence in the face of an investigation that is based on testimony presented is also a clue that a denial should be suspect. If the ACLU is right, its best argument is that the effort is a waste of money and time but, instead, the ACLU is on the attack. That, raises questions about the ACLU. Also consider the demand for evidence of fraud and silence about the need for evidence that voter ID depresses voting – a much simpler proposition that has been studied without generating evidence for the allegation.

Another example of words that say more about the author than the subject is from Jack Goldsmith: How Trump Is Destroying America — “Donald Trump is testing the institution of the presidency unlike any of his 43 predecessors. We have never had a president so ill-informed about the nature of his office, so openly mendacious, so self-destructive, or so brazen in his abusive attacks on the courts …” Ill informed? Openly medacious? Self destructive? Brazen? Abusive attacks? None of these descriptions stand much scrutiny but they do provide opportunity for rebuttals which can be found by even a minor search. Use of such descriptions raise questions about just what is Goldsmith’s problem.

Yet a third is provided by Patterico: Donald Trump After WTC Collapsed on 9/11: Now I Have the Tallest Building in Downtown New York! – an observation is turned into a “brag” and a gloat. Again, the (mis)perception, while it may be factually correct, is more telling of Patterico than it is of Trump. Nitpicking to find fault is destructive in any relationship.

Thomas Lifson: Trump Derangement Syndrome claims another victim – “This minority group is besieged by an illness that – like AIDS a generation earlier – was previously unknown, and receives far too little attention.” TDS is just one manifestation. See also Paul Mirengoff: On missing the (alleged) new Golden Age of television – “When I hear certain leftists deny that they dislike America, I often wonder what they like about it.” Or consider John Hinderaker: Are Republicans Fleeing Congress Because of Trump? – “one thing is clear: the voluntary retirement of four GOP House members is not evidence of “Republicans jumping ship amid dissatisfaction in Trump era.” That is just the Associated Press pushing the Democratic Party’s line, as it does 365 days a year.”

Also by Dinan: Judge orders Maryland bar to investigate lawyers who helped Clinton delete emails – “Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Paul F. Harris Jr. said the complaints lodged against David E. Kendall, Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson were egregious and the state bar couldn’t dismiss them as frivolous.”

Brett T. notes that the Attorney OK with Besty DeVos being sexually assaulted might have to be OK with unemployment.

Sundance: Irma’s Aftermath – A Ground Report… – “En route to the coast we got a ham radio call, well, more of a desperate plea for help on U.S. 17 for a group of families stuck between Wachula and Arcadia.” This illustrates one reason why the government licenses Amateur Radio as it can be there when other means of communications falter.

The problem with fuel is a MAJOR problem. We need generators and tools to help these people out. Many people are not back yet to see the damage to their houses. I would guess 50% still haven’t returned. Overall the structural damage is less than prior storms (Hurricane Charley roofs etc), but the overall debris is much worse. It’s Weird.

Fact: I’ve never been scared of rivers until today.

Joshua Caplan: Hah-Hah! Florida Police Shame ‘Hurricane Irma Looters’ On Social Media – “Florida police are shaming ‘Hurricane Irma looters’ on social media. Not only do they deserve shame, but hefty prison sentences, if found guilty.” Maybe a similar approach (shaming, not criminal) is needed for those politicizing the weather as climate for their anti-human ethos?

Allahpundit: Florida authorities may file felony charges against residents who abandoned their pets during Irma – “Surrendering the animal is also unthinkable to me but that shows concern for its welfare, at least. Paint me a picture where it would be understandable to drive away and leave it behind at home with a major natural disaster impending.”

The only explanation, I think, is that a small but meaningful number of pet owners view their pets purely as property, not as creatures that feel fear or affection. If you’re of that mindset and have to bug out of town and leave the TV behind, sure, you’ll leave the dog behind too. The concept of sociopathy is the closest normal people can probably come to getting a handle on this.

Reminder: There is no law anywhere that requires pet adoption. There’s no tax on pet-free households even in the bluest jurisdictions. If you’re not prepared to save your dog’s or cat’s life when it’s within your power to do so, consider skipping the trip to the shelter.

Weijie Violet Lin: What Hurricane Harvey taught this medical student about patient care – what can you do? Would a child be left floundering like this?

One woman recounted, through tears, about seeing her childhood home slowly submerge until it was underwater. Another told me about leaving a beloved dog behind, paddling furiously into the distance, when there wasn’t enough room on the rescue boat.

Lance: Ahhh. Poor wittle Ashley. – Not much sympathy for a snowflake offended by a Dairy Queen notice that “This Restaurant is Politically Incorrect.” The Kewaskum DQ joins others in standing witness to a cancer in society. To paraphrase a couple of Democrats at committee: ‘may the dogma be strong with you’


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Vote integrity, Heroes, and Hurricanes

Robert Knight: The old vote scam in the mountains – “Data from New Hampshire shows how fraud at the ballot box is alive and well.”

Mr. Trump was ridiculed for insisting that Democrats used illicit votes to steal the election. The evidence suggests he was right.

“Voter fraud in New Hampshire has gotten to the point of Lucille Ball in the chocolate factory. And the chocolates are spilling out of the box,” said Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers Chairman Ed Naile, who has been tracking vote fraud for 17 years.

Loaded with cash, Mr. Elias has been going state to state, filing challenges to voter ID laws in Virginia, Ohio, Wisconsin and North Carolina. The left is desperate to create optimal conditions for vote fraud. That becomes more obvious with every new lawsuit.

But the facts are catching up with them — and they know it.

Paul Davis: Traitor, thief, scoundrel, spy – “Why Edward Snowden must not be lionized.”

The former CIA employee and CIA and NSA contractor famously did not abide by his oath and according to NSA, he stole and subsequently released to certain journalists in 2013 more than 1.5 million classified documents. And he no doubt gave much more damaging material to his hosts and protectors, the Chinese and the Russians.

“Snowden,” a film bio of the NSA leaker, recently appeared on cable TV. Oliver Stone, the director of “Platoon” and “JFK,” directed the film. Mr. Stone previously interviewed and made documentaries about Fidel Castro and Vladimir Putin, both of whom are misunderstood good men and great world leaders, according to the director.

So it is not surprising that he made a film that makes Snowden look heroic. The film offers a sugary portrayal of Snowden and a flimsy and phony excuse of for his treason, unhinged ego and duplicity.

“NSA whistleblower and traitor Edward Snowden, living in asylum in Russia, has released a manifesto directed at the United States claiming that telling the truth should not be a crime,” said Jay Leno, the host of “The Tonight Show.” “And believe me, there’s no better place to celebrate free speech, truth, and equal rights than in Russia.”

Ace: Hypocrite… Thy Name Is U.C. Berkeley – a center for the hagiography of what destroys.

This is a fascinating example of the perfect tone-deafness of the Left and the Academy, but I repeat myself. One would think that the administration’s concern for people’s “sense of safety and belonging” would extend to those speakers whose beliefs were stifled, violently in many cases. Where is Ben Shapiro’s counselor? Where is Ann Coulter’s therapist? They should buy Milo Yiannopoulos an “emotional support” dog!

Then there’s the NFL and the Miss America Contest. Who’s your hero? Who’s your villain? Are you sure you have your facts straight? (in most cases, the Fake News™ propaganda is quite evident).

See also Jazz Shaw: Cable news sends political analysts into the eye of the storm – “as I watched the coverage of these events I was somewhat surprised at some of the faces I was seeing doing live standups in the midst of the wind and driving rain.” Who was it that said ‘never let a crisis go to waste’ ??

Another case by Steven Hayward: Have Colleges Completely Lost Their Minds? – “Monty Python fans may remember the long sketch about the “lethal joke” that was so funny you would die from laughter, and which was weaponized for battlefield use in World War II … it seems the University of Oregon takes the idea seriously. Get a load of this story.

Jim Geraghty: Parasitic Progressivism at ESPN, Marvel, and the University of Missouri – “We watch well-established institutions veer to the left, then crash and burn.”

Notice that the progressive-minded revolutionaries in these three cases did not seek to found their own university in Missouri, their own cable sports network, or their own line of comic books. That would require a great deal of patience and effort and risk of failure. They moved into preexisting, relatively apolitical institutions and steered the ship in a new direction, aligned with their political and social goals. And then they hit the rocks.

In this era of intense political and ideological divisions, it is right and fair to ask what the true purpose of any of these institutions is. Do we want a university to prepare young people for the work force, to broaden their knowledge and impart some wisdom, or to ensure they are properly “awakened” to the need to enact the progressive agenda? How much does the viewing audience want the shouting voices around the table on a sports network to resemble those on a cable-news network? And while every storyteller wants to make some statement about people and the world, can you make a political message fun, exciting, intriguing, or surprising in a world of superheroes? Isn’t one of the core rules of drama that good heroes should have flaws to overcome, and villains can be charming or seductive, an approach that doesn’t lend itself easily to simple “this political philosophy is right” stories? And shouldn’t progressives ask themselves why they’re so determined to use university campuses, cable sports networks, and comic books as the venues for their arguments?

Jed Babbin: Loose Canons Unlearned lessons of the Endless War: “Sixteen years later, why we’re not winning.” These same lessons can be applied to the domestic front – see the Snowden post above.

Mr. Bush, because he had become a neoconservative, believed that everyone, everywhere, had the most fundamental desire to be free in the same way Americans are. He was fundamentally wrong. The Muslim culture, ingrained in believers for about fourteen hundred years, doesn’t allow the freedoms we enjoy in any way, far less as we enjoy them.

That is the most basic of the Unlearned Lessons of this war. Muslims, ideologically and culturally, are different from Christians and Jews in this most fundamental way. It’s why we weren’t — as Mr. Bush expected — welcomed as liberators in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Mr. Bush was convinced that Afghanis and Iraqis would welcome the arrival of the new freedoms we sought to give them, but they didn’t. Their religion, and the culture derived from it, made us the enemy regardless of what we did.

The second unlearned lesson is another of Mr. Bush’s mistaken beliefs. He believed that nation-building succeeded in Japan and Germany after World War II — and it did — but only because the enemies there had been utterly defeated.

The lesson of World War II — and the Korean War, and Vietnam — is that if you don’t fight a war in a manner calculated to win it decisively, you will lose it inevitably.

The third unlearned lesson is that we have to gather intelligence rapidly, from every source we can find and in every manner we can imagine.

We are at war with an enemy that is bound to a religion and culture unlike ours. They do not share our values. We have never defeated any of them or their ideology. And — for the sake of political correctness and congressional cowardice — we are about to abandon some of the most essential tools of intelligence gathering we need in this war.

No wonder we’re losing.

On 9/11, President Trump was a personal witness. Jennifer Harper: Trump’s powerful proclamation for 9/11 – “Lest we forget, Monday is the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America, which killed 2,977 people. President Trump has not forgotten, either in his official role or as a citizen.”

Stephen Moore: The Trump boom arrives – “The president has shifted the economy and wealth creation into a faster gear.”

Anyone noticed through the fog of Russia, Comey, Charlottesville, and now two monster hurricanes that the U.S. economy is booming faster than any time since the late Clinton years?

It is undeniable. And the pace of improvement is quickening.

Liberals have taken note of the economic revival and are scrambling to invent plausible explanations without having to — God forbid — assign any credit to Mr. Trump. The latest spin is that this is the “Janet Yellen economy” driven by the Fed’s low interest rate policies.

My answer is that the Trump presidency has ended Washington D.C.’s war against business.

So far seven months into his presidency, love him or hate him, Mr. Trump has shifted the economy and wealth creation into a faster gear. If Republicans — and hopefully pro-business Democrats — can pass a meaningful tax cut this fall — the Trump boom may just be getting started.

Benny Johnson: Reporter Asked Florida Gov if He’s Worried About Losing His Beach Home. His Next 5 Words Define Leadership – Both in Texas and Florida the local and state government officials provided a stunning contrast to Katrina in New Orleans. The MSM showed its colors, though, as even the President had to remind one questioner that the immediate concern was lives, not money.

Newmark’s Door: The inside story of what it took to keep a Texas grocery chain running in the chaos of Hurricane Harvey – “Two things you do are these.” The link is to a posting on Linkedin describing what the H-E-B grocery chain did.

After other disasters I read similar stories about Wal-Mart and Waffle House. I would expect the number of companies acting in such ways to only grow. If a business can be there for its customers when they need it most, it can build a heck of a lot of goodwill real damn quick.

Then you have Tesla which revealed that it sold crippleware to many of its Florida customers. Tyler Lee: Tesla Extends Range On Cars To Help Owners Escape Hurricane Irma – “Thanks to a remote OTA software update, Tesla has unlocked the full potential of the 75 kWh battery packs that come in the Model S, Model X 60, and Model X 60D cars.” Whether it’s cars or oscilloscopes, the hardware is difficult so it is the software that distinguishes models.

As for Irma, it seems that power outages are the biggest story today. The relief effort is also in the news and is moving in. Cruise ships are in this story. Marine and Navy vessels were reported getting into position for relief efforts a few days ago along with rescue operations in the Carri bean. There was an Amateur Radio story in USA Today. Some reports have covered the private sector efforts by churches and nonprofits. One story showed a complete desert of air traffic over Florida comparing it to the satellite pictures of the Korean picture at night. There is also disappointment in some circles that Irma wasn’t a ‘killer’ storm but instead just one big massive damaging hurricane. Then there is some idiot’s idea that the hurricane should be shot to kill it that is getting a lot of play, too, along with a plea that it really isn’t a good idea to add random gunfire to a hurricane.

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sorely disappointed

Allahpundit: Feinstein to Catholic judicial nominee: I’m concerned that the dogma lives loudly within you – “This makes twice in three months that a prominent Democratic senator has grilled a Republican nominee for being a tad more religious than they’re comfortable with. There’s something in the Constitution about that, if I’m not mistaken.” And then Survey: White Christians now just 43% of U.S. population – “Forty years ago, they were 81 percent. As a share of the population, they’ve been cut almost in half.”

Scott Johnson: Are you now or have you ever been? – “Article VI of the Constitution prohibits a religious test for public office. So what was Senator Dick Durbin doing

Kevin Daley puts Durbin’s question and Feinstein’s comment in the context of yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the confirmation of Professor Barrett (and Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen) here. Tiffany Bates has more for the Daily Signal here. They are only the most recent evidence of the demeaning treatment to which believing Catholics are subjected by devout Democrats, but the nakedness of the bigotry still shocks.

Victor Davis Hanson: Two Resistances – “The quiet resistance — the one without black masks and clubs — is the more revolutionary force, and it transcends race, class, and gender.”

Democrats and progressives borrowed their brand name from World War II French partisans. In rather psychodramatic fashion, they envisioned their heroic role over the next four years as that of virtual French insurgents — coming down from the Maquis hills, perhaps to waylay Trump’s White House, as if the president were an SS Obergruppenführer und General der Police running occupied Paris. Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone wrote admiringly about the furious Resistance’s pushback against Trump, with extravagant claims that his agenda was already derailed thanks to a zillion grass-roots and modern-day insurgents.

Appropriating the name of heroic World War II fighters to characterize a loosely formed alliance of Trump resisters has since proven a mockery of history — and creepy as well.

In the olden days, demonstrators decked out in black, with masks and clubs, would have been deemed sinister by liberals. Now are they the necessary shock troops whose staged violence brings political dividends? Antifa’s dilemma is that its so-called good people wearing black masks can find almost no bad people in white masks to club, so they smash reporters, the disabled, and onlookers alike for sport — revealing that, at base, they perversely enjoy violence for violence’s sake. As the cowardly Klan taught us in the 1920s and 1960s: Put on a mask with a hundred like others, and even the most craven wimp believes he’s now a psychopathic thug.

Yet in contrast to the media-driven “Resistance,” there is a more authentic ongoing resistance that Trump himself capitalized on, but hardly originated.

Every leftist movement, from Lenin’s to Castro’s, serves first an apparat that finds ways to avoid the real consequences of its own ideological agendas — consequences that fall on the far poorer, less glamorous, and less influential others.

The quiet resistance is far larger than the loud Resistance and far more revolutionary. Its nature is still not fully understood by the elite Left, especially the growing wrath at two-dimensional traditional politics, dreary social-science platitudes, and economic orthodoxy.

Millions of the resistance, as the nation learned in 2016, apparently can express misgivings about Trump while expressing their greater misgivings about the alternatives to him — especially those candidates of both parties whom they have both voted for and against in the past. And they have become sorely disappointed for having done either.


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plagued by crisis

Roger L Simon: Time for a Full Investigation… of the FBI – “What happens to a country whose most important police force — and its key investigators — is no longer telling the truth to the citizens of that nation?”

There’s almost no point in going through all the analogies to despotic regimes. Writers from George Orwell to Arthur Koestler have already done it for us.

But those analogies come immediately to mind following two revelations regarding our Federal Bureau of Investigation that surfaced this week.

To millions of Americans, Hillary Clinton was as guilty as O.J. Simpson. … James Comey’s ultimate decision on Clinton depended on her putative ignorance after literally decades of government service.

No wonder he vacillated so many times in his statements and actions. Only someone completely without conscience wouldn’t have.

Meanwhile, the ongoing Mueller-Russia investigation is tied intimately to the FBI through the close relationship of former director Robert Mueller to his successor Comey with a steady stream of Clintonistas joining Mueller’s team. How much more tarnished could it get?

Well, a lot more — because it is the reputation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation itself that is even more dangerously tarnished.

Something must be done and quickly. The latest revelations about Comey make the recusal of Mueller more urgent, but the overall situation is yet more severe. The FBI itself needs some form of investigation and reorganization. A true reform. Otherwise a huge percentage of the country will continue to distrust it and that distrust, pending the results of the closely tied Mueller-Russia inquiry, will only continue to grow. That is untenable in a democratic republic.

Failing that, we might as well rename the FBI as the GDS — the Guardians of the Deep State.

Byron York: Standoff brews between Senate, FBI over Trump dossier – “If they are united, the chair and the ranking minority of a Senate committee can make a lot of trouble for an agency under their oversight. Grassley and Feinstein, veterans of many years in the Senate, know that very well.

Now Grassley and Feinstein want to know what Rybicki, as well as Ghattas, knows about the dossier, the Comey firing, and other events that make up the broadest definition of the Trump-Russia affair. But first, they’ll have to get past the Justice Department’s determination to keep things secret.

Peter Hasson: Public School Teachers Behind Violent Antifa Group – “By Any Means Necessary, which has played a key role in riots in Berkeley, Sacramento and elsewhere, has dozens of public school teachers among its members, including among its most prominent leaders.”

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security began paying closer attention to Antifa groups in general after BAMN and other extremists started a riot and attacked marchers at a white nationalist rally in Sacramento last July

BAMN’s members appear to be mixing their far-left activism with their roles as teachers.

BAMN is active within both the National Education Association — the nation’s largest teacher’s union — as well as with local and regional teacher’s unions in Michigan and California.

Cristina Laila: CAUGHT ON VIDEO=> High School Teacher Forces Students to Remove Pro-Trump Shirts Because It’s Like a “Swastika” – “A teacher at River Ridge High School in Woodstock, Georgia was caught on video telling students to remove their pro-Trump t-shirts because they are just like swastikas and the ‘MAGA’ slogan is used by neo-Nazi’s.

Clarice Feldman: Toxic Femininity Hides Jealousy and Corruption – “The left has been pushing the notion that masculinity is “toxic” and must be rooted out. … This week it’s apparent that it’s this kind of nonsense that’s toxic, not masculinity. Often it’s a cover for jealousy and a corrupt search for power.”

Beginning with the less overtly significant, we have the Stiletto war. When stunningly gorgeous Melania Trump headed off for Texas to comfort the residents beset by Harvey, she boarded AF1 in high heels and beginning with Vogue Magazine, the harpies of the fem press — including the Washington Post’s Robin Givhan — dumped on her.

Linda Sarsour (“nothing is more monstrous than Zionism”), was incomprehensibly the pro-sharia Islamist front gal for the Women’s March.

Using the myth that we are in a “rape culture” the prior administration set up regulations that a far too complaisant academia adopted to deprive men of their right to due process. As these cases wind their way through the courts, the schools that went along with this are losing.

The extent to which campus promotion of “toxic masculinity,” a corollary of the fake rape culture, prejudges men as predators cannot be overstated. Here’s a report on such a program at Princeton.

As these jealous harpies and phony humanists peddle their lies, real men are showing that chivalry survives these calumnies. Scroll through these pictures of men working hard in impossible conditions to save lives. The heroic work of thousands of men from all over Louisiana and Texas show how important and selfless men are, even in the face of a culture that overwhelmingly derides what Glenn Reynolds calls “burly men” and glamorizes emasculation.

Rather puts pay to the lie of “toxic masculinity,” something corrupt toxic demagogues like Hillary Clinton have ridden to death. I think her day may be coming to a close as this week’s developments in the masquerade Comey investigation of her misuse of classified intelligence reveal.

Jazz Shaw: You’re doing what with Lord of the Flies now? – “Even in an industry which has demonstrably run out of original ideas for movies, who actually thought this was a good idea?”

If you’re looking for a new vehicle to portray females as strong, independent creatures in a world notoriously run by men, this isn’t the place to do it unless you plan on rewriting huge portions of the script.

Lord of the Flies didn’t create any heroes or paint humanity in a noble light. I first had to read it as a school assignment. I think it was in seventh grade or so, back in the day when schools actually forced you to read books. I will confess with no hesitation that I had nightmares for weeks. It’s a terribly story which breaks down the boys into victims and monsters, with some jumping back and forth across that line. It paints the darkest picture possible of the inherent nature of humanity, showing how quickly the thin veneer of civilization washes away at the first sign of adversity and a breakdown of the social order. Its only redeeming virtue is in being accurate, a fact all too easily demonstrated by fallible humans around the globe in places plagued by crisis.

But then there’s that crisis in SE Texas where a lot of pictures are surfacing about what the ‘boys’ are doing, including the top boy…

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Peter Nichols: Doctor Krauthammer’s Peculiar Guardrails – “Of course, moral disgrace is one thing, and moral imbecility another.

The renowned Dr. Charles Krauthammer, arguing on camera against Laura Ingraham, pronounces the President’s remarks at his press conference on the Charlottesville, Virginia melee a “moral disgrace.”

The specification is Mr. Trump’s insistence that at Charlottesville, there was violence on both sides. To say this was a dastardly abrogation of duty, even though the Doctor himself acknowledges it to be true (“Yes, there was violence on both sides.”). It is true, but “not the point.” It is not the point because all the leaders “in this generation,” all except Trump, recognize the unique importance and evil of white racism in American society. And so, if there was a faction in the streets of Charlottesville that stood for racism, it is immoral to criticize another faction opposing it.

It makes no difference what the other faction did, or what part it played in the mayhem. It makes no difference that the “Unite the Right” demonstrators had a permit, affirmed by a court of law. It is immaterial whether all of those protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue were actually Nazis or Klansmen. It does not matter that the President had denounced the Nazis and the Klan in his second statement, and specifically the one who murdered a woman with his car.

In his exchange with Laura Ingraham, Krauthammer to some extent continues the argument of a recent column, in which he rejoices that the “guardrails” of our democracy had held against the imminent threat to it: President Trump.

Krauthammer knows what is good for the young Boy Scouts, and the Boy Scout leaders know what is good for themselves. Whatever guardrail protected their moral tradition has long been bulldozed by the gay rights agenda, and they dare not incur the leftists’ wrath by being associated with a leader who is not afraid of them.

Most extraordinary is Krauthammer’s praise for the Republican senators who sabotaged the ObamaCare replacement bill, after promising their constituents that they were for ridding the nation of this health care abomination.

The President and his willingness to say what leaves Dr. Krauthammer aghast, is the only significant opposition to the menace. In that sense, and just at this moment, the President would appear to be the guardrail, however imperfect. Let the Krauthammers of the world offer us a better one (and stop pretending that Nazis and Klansmen are the primary threat) if Trump causes them such indignation.

VDH: Trump Haters Left Right Versus Trump Supporters Civil War Field Guide – describes it another way.

This species of Never Trumpers sees support for Trump as abject ethical treason. They would even rather live with a Clinton Supreme Court for 30 years than be stained by Trumpian enablement and hypocrisy (“wrong with Hillary is preferable to right with Trump”). They prefer catharsis to governance with Trump and dream that they will be ready to rebuild the party of George H. W. Bush and Paul Ryan after the fires of such ritual cleansing have incinerated the Trump yahoos.

The Arpaio case continues to resonate. Paul Mirengoff: Did Joe Arpaio receive a fair hearing from an unbiased judge? – “political animus by those who opposed Arpaio’s efforts to fill the void left by the feds appears to have driven the legal case against him.” This animus is very visible in the objections to the pardon and should serve to raise skepticism about the conviction rather than the pardon. This is another case where the evidence is accumulating that it was a political hit job and not a mater of law and justice.

Ron Rotunda, a distinguished attorney and law professor, informs me via email of certain facts that reinforce my view that partisan politics drove the case against Arpaio and, indeed, resulted in an unfair trial in the case that produced the order Arpaio later was convicted of violating. I believe readers will be interested in what Rotunda has to say.

It should be obvious that whatever the duties of a federal judge are, that job description does not include conducting a judicial proceeding in a way to insure that Sheriff Arpaio is not elected and to pursue an investigation that is even broader than that for what appears to be personal reasons. . . .

Betsy Newmark provides the Trump hater’s view citing Andrew McCarthy. It seems McCarthy has forgotten President Ford’s pardon of Nixon. Both Newmark and McCarthy are sidestepping the political nature of the Arpaio conviction and, in doing so, illustrate why politics is the fundamental issue and not law.

Check out Charlie Daniels on Truth and Evil Intentions — “Well this person, a Black Lives Matter activist, went not to enjoy the fun but to criticize and try to find some obnoxious racial element in the show or its surroundings, and miserably failing to do so went to press with inane bits and pieces of minutia and innuendo.

Trying to sow seeds of dissention and division in a place where they will not take root, because Dolly’s popular dinner show, despite having Dixie in its name is one hundred percent American, patriotic and uplifting, drawing an audience of all races.

And therein, lies the true purpose of this radical movement, it is not a search for truth and unity, but a witch hunt for anything that can be construed or misconstrued to have the least racial overtones, a way to provoke chaos in America, a protest against a president they don’t like and remorse and anger for the candidate who would have carried on the secular socialist policies of Barack Obama.

Ace: Is America Now Officially Crazy? – “It’s all part of our pack animal evolution

I believe it is. I believe the dominant media culture has gone crazy due to the trauma of not getting their way. I further believe that their constant hysteria makes more sane people not actually crazy, but very stressed out and agitated.

But those things are good only when the pack animals around you are sane and reasonably reacting to stimuli that seem to indicate genuinely possible threats.

However, when half of the pack has Mad Cow Disease and shriek and wail over nothing at all, this transmission of anxiety and fear becomes toxic for the healthy members of the pack.

Half of America now consists of barely-functional lunatics, and it’s best to avoid them for all sorts of reasons.

I can only tell you I’ve been out with politically minded people and I’ve watched them freak out as they check the twitter feeds. Their voices become higher pitched and faster paced; they begin becoming apprehensive, agitated, and anxious.

let me link a few articles exploring this phenomenon of mass national lunacy.

So how do you live and keep your mental wellness in our Post-Sanity World?

Don’t take their insults too personally. … Find a Pillar of Mental Stability — Something You Can Personally Improve or Create or Build. … Disconnect Whenever Possible

Tune out the lunatics, filter out the hate, embrace things that matter, and try to get off the white-knuckled machine of anxiety, fear, depression, and hopelessness Your Media Betters have made for you.

Jeff Goodson: The NFL between a Rock and a Hard Place – “the player protests in the National Football League are an object lesson in cultural insurgency.”

Now both the NAACP on one side and pro football fans on the other are calling for a boycott of the NFL. This has put the League in a “damned if you, damned if you don’t” situation and given it a headache of Solomonic proportions.

There’s a lot at stake, and it’s not just money. One more season of this, and we’ll have a better idea of whether professional football in America has crossed the Rubicon. And a better idea of where America’s culture wars are heading.

Michael Bargo, Jr: The Democrats’ War on First Responder Services – “few Americans know that the Democrat political machine has been systematically robbing local police, fire and health care services.”

Government derives much of its moral authority to tax from its obligation to provide public safety, health and education. Yet as public-sector pension plans create ever-greater demands upon local and state financial resources, The Democrats’ machine funnels so much tax revenue into the corrupt bargain the party made with unions that states and municipalities must rob local public services of funds in order to give their constituents outrageous salary increases, bonuses, benefits and what is called “other pay.”

The trend is clear and very disturbing: public services go unfunded to exorbitant pensions and salaries are maintained.

Jazz Shaw: Denver continues its stubborn march toward lawlessness – “The city is doing this knowing full well that they are placing themselves in line to have their DoJ grant money cut.”

I’m still left wondering precisely how much longer the residents of Denver are going to put up with this. The City Council can create all of the curiously named laws it likes, but the fact is that they are making the city’s residents less safe, not more. Their government is making clear that they are prioritizing the security of known criminals over the safety and welfare of their law abiding citizens. And they’re chopping their own funding which allows law enforcement to do their jobs to boot. But as long as they keep electing people like Mayor Hancock and the current City Council they will no doubt be getting more of the same. If you can’t change the current leadership it might be time to consider getting the heck out of Denver.

Also So much for “ladies night” at one shooting range – some will complain, and file lawsuits, about anything.

While not dealing with a shooting range in particular, over the past ten years we saw a number of similar lawsuits brought against bars and restaurants which offered ladies night specials with free or reduced price drinks. And according to this ABC News report from ten years ago, the bars usually lost. The courts frequently found that, “single-sex discounts violate state and federal statutes guaranteeing equal protection under the law.”

Another example by Ace: Here’s the Story Louise Mensa Has Been “Reporting” or Just Retweeting – “Chuck Ross combs Louise Mensa’s twitter feed so you don’t have to

Note that the New York Times published a Mensa op-ed on “Russian meddling” in the election. I do not think they’d do that for a right-wing conspiracy theorist with a history of making sensational claims about, say, Obama’s birth certificate.

But they did it for Mensa.

Mark J. Fitzgibbons: Charlottesville false narrative crushed by DHS warning – “Governor Terry McAuliffe’s efforts to evade responsibility for the shocking violence at Charlottesville just got even more implausible.”

He and local authorities were warned, and yet allowed, if not forced, the two violence-prone parties into such close proximity that violence was a near certainty.

The warning issued to state and city officials was clear that the violence in Charlottesville would come, as President Trump was widely criticized for saying, from “both sides.” As quoted by Politico, the DHS assessment issued three days ahead of the Charlottesville incident read, “Anarchist extremists and white supremacist extremists online are calling on supporters to be prepared for or to instigate violence at the 12 August rally.”

Despite denials of a “stand down” order, it has become obvious, even to the ACLU, that police were kept from doing their jobs, and violence was allowed to unfold before the nation, as the media did its job of blaming conservatives and President Trump for the actions of neo-Nazis.

A disgraceful episode in American history is likely far more disgraceful than people yet understand. That federal investigation needs to be thorough and speedy.

VDH: Equal by Catastrophe – “Throughout his book, Scheidel takes pains to emphasize his tragic view of inequality, and repeatedly notes that he does not like the very solutions that he has found” A review of The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century by Walter Scheidel (Princeton University Press, 528 pp., USD$35).

Scheidel’s argument depends on a number of propositions that he does not fully explore. Economic inequality is always relative, not absolute. Scheidel assumes that throughout history disproportionate wealth leads to permanent class envy and inevitable strife. In contemporary terms, the American poor resent not just their poverty, but feel insult added to their injury in seeing others who have far more. Really? The story of the twenty-first century may be that high-tech breakthroughs, the inclusion of three billion workers from the former Third World into the global capitalist labor force, and the internet have redefined poverty and wealth.

What drives inequality during civilization’s calm? Scheidel describes rather than analyses the relative roles of luck, health, inheritance, education, or talent in wealth creation.

For all Scheidel’s good sense and prodigious research, he still does not manage to reconcile his assumption that economic equality is a very good thing with his demonstration that it occurs only under the most barbaric of conditions.

Regina F. Graham and Cheyenne Roundtree and Daniel Roth For More than 70,000 brave fierce dust storm at Burning Man – “Strong winds descend on the famed festival in the Nevada desert” What it’s about. A lot of pictures. And the wrap-up weekend is forecast to be record hot.

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Arpaio, Climate Change, Free Speech, Voting, IRS … the pot is near boil

The limit was hit after only a review of the first tier in the news. So much. Texas is drowning and needs your prayers and support but that is a different sort of too much, a more immediate and pressing too much. Here’s what else is going on. “I could swear that I saw Vladimir Putin in a Confederate uniform the other night sneaking into my yard to plant poison ivy.”

Consider this whopper in a story about freedom of speech:

Meanwhile, supporters of a president who routinely rails against the free press have enthusiastically donned the mantle of first amendment freedom fighters.”

The President rails against fake news but plauds a free press. See What Trump gets about the media. “As is often the case with Trump, the rhetoric is so insulting and extreme that it’s hard to take the underlying point seriously. But, as also is often the case with Trump, he’s onto something real.” Lies, deceit, and distortion, especially in the Press, should be a concern of everyone and the Major Media has demonstrated a low regard for such intellectual integrity.

Julia Carrie Wong does have a good essay if you can get around the bias such as shown by that whopper. The far right is losing its ability to speak freely online. Should the left defend it? – “Free speech was the left’s rally cry. But the fate of the Daily Stormer, a hate site ‘kicked off the internet’, signals the increasing irrelevance of the first amendment.”

That’s when the chief executive of website security company Cloudflare [Matthew Prince] “woke up … in a bad mood and decided to kick them off the Internet”, as he told his employees in an internal email.

Critics charge that technology platforms have enabled a disparate network of racist extremists to seek one another out, raise funds, and plan and execute such rallies. But unlike consumer facing companies such as Facebook, YouTube, PayPal and Discord, and even as liberal voices – including the Guardian editorial board – applaud it, Cloudflare won’t defend its actions.

“I am deeply uncomfortable with the decision we made,” Prince said in an interview. “It doesn’t align with our principles.”

“This is a really terrible time to be a free speech advocate,” said Jillian York, director for international freedom of expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “It’s a ‘First they came for the … situation,” she said, referring to the famous Martin Niemöller poem about the classes of people targeted by Nazis, “only in reverse”.

But the fate of the Daily Stormer – as vile a publication as it is – may be a warning to Americans that the first amendment is increasingly irrelevant.

American technology companies that were once imbued with the ethos of Twitter’s famous sobriquet – “the free speech wing of the free speech party” – have changed the rules, or at least decided to start selectively enforcing rules that are technologically unfeasible to apply across the board.

If the left does abandon its free speech principles, it may come to regret it.

“I’m really surprised to see liberals talk about what speech needs to be taken down, and not take that conversation a step further and talk about who is actually doing the censoring,” York said, questioning whether we should trust either the government or “unelected white Silicon Valley dudes” to make such decisions.

Or as Keller says: “We should not expect the new speech gatekeepers to be benign forever, or to enforce rules that we agree with forever.”

Charles Hurt: There are no decent plans in Congress, just lies, intraparty squabbling – “We are witnessing some of the most spectacularly absurd political gambits in American history unfold right now before our very eyes.”

The first comes from Democrats in Congress, who want to somehow blame collapsing Obamacare on Republicans. … The Democrats who huddled in darkness with powerful lobbyists to write the Obamacare bill. The Democrats who hid the Obamacare bill from the public and even their own members in Congress.

To be sure, Republicans in Congress should be humiliated — if politicians were capable of such a thing. They had seven years to come up with an actual plan to repeal Obamacare.

Now they have the chance to do just that right this second and they flinch.

But somehow blaming Republicans for the catastrophe that President Obama, Mrs. Pelosi and the entire Democratic Kleptocratic Regime gave us? That’s insane.

The second spectacularly absurd political gambit we are watching this season is this open effort by Republicans to somehow blame all of their problems on Mr. Trump.

how it is Mr. Trump’s fault that the professional, experienced politicians in Congress failed to repeal Obamacare is beyond any rational thinking.

It is almost as if Republicans in Congress — along with Democrats — are determined to find a Republican somewhere to blame for it.

Robert Knight: The death of parody – “Because of its shrillness and excess parodying the left is nearly impossible.”

Ever since Donald Trump’s election, we’ve been awash in such cultural and political lunacy that it defies attempts at parody.

It’s not just the concerted assault on anything reminding us of the Confederacy, or the numbingly constant messaging that only bigots oppose giving boys access to girls’ locker rooms. The very idea of America as an imperfect but good and decent country is under daily assault. Plus, the president can’t even brush his teeth correctly. You can read all about it.

The real thing on CNN looks like a daily sendup from the satirical site The Onion.

The Washington Post under Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has been turned over to editors who are apparently about 12 years old, smoking dope and stoked in cultural Marxism.

How do you satirize the left’s general, ongoing hysteria? It’s starting to affect me because I could swear that I saw Vladimir Putin in a Confederate uniform the other night sneaking into my yard to plant poison ivy.

Dave Boyer and David Sherfinski: Trump’s pardon of Arpaio sends strong messages to immigrant advocates, Mueller team, loyalists – “President Trump’s pardon of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio has set off a new round of recriminations, with Republicans saying they disagreed with the decision and Democrats saying it was an unforgivable abuse of power that presages still more political mischief.”

The last administration instituted a policy of requiring pardons to be vetted by the Justice Department before President Obama would grant them. Mr. Obama set records for clemency in cutting sentences of drug dealers and users and repeat felons — including those who used guns in the commission of their crimes.

Mr. Obama also issued end-of-term decisions to commute sentences of a member of a Puerto Rican terrorist group, and of Chelsea Manning, who before undergoing sex-change surgery was Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, serving 35 years in prison for leaking government secrets to WikiLeaks.

Mr. Trump’s first pardon signals he won’t be beholden to the Justice Department process that Mr. Obama followed.

“The Arpaio pardon was an easy call on the politics,” Mr. Corallo said. “The Trump haters are going to keep hating him regardless. The president’s base approves of it wholeheartedly. The people in the middle are not concerned with it.”

He added, “The president was fully within his authority to issue this or any pardon. Regardless of whatever process exists at DOJ, the constitution grants the president plenary power to pardon anyone. The remedy for those who disagree with the pardon is at the ballot box.”

Mr. Franks said the pardon was neither unprecedented nor outrageous, as critics suggested, and he compared it favorably with Mr. Obama’s commutation of Manning’s sentence.

“While no one can dispute Manning acted to undermine our country’s national security, Joe Arpaio has spent a lifetime trying to maintain it. Comparing the two, it is easy to discern that Arpaio is a patriot while Manning is a traitor,” Mr. Franks said.

“I think the Arpaio pardon is pretty straightforward,” Mr. Bossert said on ABC’s “This Week” program. “Just about every modern president ends up with some controversial pardons, but I think the president’s been pretty clear on it and I certainly don’t think it’s fair to characterize him as not caring about the rule of law.”

Daniel John Sobieski: RINOS Wrong on Arpaio – “House Speaker Paul Ryan also headed for the tall grass, echoing McCain’s sentiments.

Arizona Sen. John McCain’s limited understanding of the law and the Constitution was on display when he falsely claimed that President Trump’s pardon of former Maricopa County Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio undermined the rule of law. McCain was joined by his Arizona colleague, Sen. Jeff Flake, who is up for reelection in 2018:

Indeed, as McCain acknowledges, the power of the President to pardon anyone for any reason is absolute.

Arpaio was found guilty by a Clinton-appointee after he was denied a trial by jury based on the relative minor nature of the charge, a misdemeanor punishable by six months in jail. The ruling reeks of politics, with the decision to prosecute Arpaio on profiling charges made by an incoming Obama administration bent on throwing open the nation’s borders to illegal aliens

As Investor’s Business Daily editorialized at the time, the decision to prosecute Joe Arpaio smacked of hypocrisy, injustice, and legal gymnastics involving one Thomas Perez, current foul-mouthed head of the Democratic National Committee and former Obama administration DOJ official

The fact is that Joe Arpaio was in fact enforcing federal law as originally written, only to have the Obama administration rewrite the law in order to prosecute Arpaio.

Perhaps if Arpaio had given away the nation’s secrets, or been an international felon like the Clinton-pardoned Marc Rich, or been a New Black Panther intimidating Philadelphia voters in 2008, McCain, Flake, and Ryan might have a case. But they don’t. Joe Arpaio was and is a patriot fighting to protect our nation’s borders from invasion and was acting in good faith in enforcing federal laws it was originally written, not as reinterpreted by a liberal judge.

Anthony J. Sadar: Why the skeptics reject ‘human-induced’ climate change – “The stark reality does not support the unsettled settled science of man-made global warming.”

Many campus scientists are dismayed at what they see as unreasonable skepticism of the scientific establishment and the denial of the edifice of scientific facts that include disastrous global warming resulting from excessive human carbon emissions. In the coming decades, such emissions will apparently doom the planet, according to some high-level sources.

Step off campus and confident predictions of climate calamity are confronted by the world of reality where there are no safe spaces. The reverberations from the college echo chamber are damped by wide-open reality.

Antics, such as marches on Washington for ostensibly protecting scientific integrity, only serve to accent the politics and juvenility involved with modern scientific practice.

Campus science elites should at least try replacing patronizing arrogance with humble confidence. After all, there is a chance that elitist knowledge of the state of global climate decades from now might be wrong.

Don Surber: Why was health agency pushing the climate change lie? – “I will flat out call it a lie.”

For 30 years now, the United Nations and other Marxists have pushed the unhinged theory that man is causing the world to burn out of control. That is what global warming (now called climate change) is all about.

No serious scientist would back this quackery if not for the billions in taxpayer money governments use to pay of scientists in the guise of funding research.

Not one prediction has come true.

After 30 years of getting it wrong, anyone who is not a skeptic is either a fool or a liar (in some cases, both).

President Trump is draining the swamp.

That’s the climate that needs changing.

Arnold Steinberg: Not the Perfect Storm – “To CNN, Schumer, et al.: Now is NOT the time for politics.”

“As millions of people in TX and LA are preparing for the hurricane,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY), leader of the Senate Democrats, proclaimed in a series of Friday night tweets, “The President is using the cover of the storm to pardon a man who violated a court’s order to stop discriminating against Latinos and [to] ban courageous transgender men and women from serving our nation’s Armed Forces. The only reason to do these right now is to use the cover of Hurricane Harvey to avoid scrutiny. So sad, so weak.”

And, so low-life for Schumer.

There’s more.

All this would be a sick ploy, if it were true. Our fellow Americans are in distress. … We are still one nation with a resurgent sense of community. Help our fellow citizens, even if their historical statutes are politically incorrect and presumably worthy of Orwellian revisionism.

Jenny Beth Martin: Trump, McConnell, Obamacare and the tea party – “The media just don’t understand.”

“It is with that message in mind that we are heading back to Capitol Hill on Saturday, September 23rd to rally in support of the agenda that the American people supported in last year’s election. We’re going to send a message to Washington politicians: “Keep Your Promises,” and we invite all Americans who want to see the America First policies come to fruition.”

Stephen Moore: ‘Keep it simple, Stupid’ – “The key to tax reform is avoiding bills with too many moving parts.”

Larry Kudlow, Steve Forbes and I (founders of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity) have been pleading with Congress to keep the debate focused on three simple reforms:

1) cut tax rates for large and small businesses to 15 percent to make America competitive and create jobs.

2) repatriate $2.5 trillion of money held by American companies back to the United States at a 10 percent tax rate.

3) double the standard deduction for every family and individual tax filer.

The good news for Republicans is that the three components of this tax plan are all things that Mr. Trump campaigned on and are popular with voters.

Thomas Lifson: Chicago had 14,000 more votes than voters in 2016 general election – yet “President Trump continues to receive scorn over his assertion last year that vote fraud accounted for Hillary Clinton’s raw vote majority.”

They really, really don’t want anyone looking closely at vote fraud. They claim there is none of any significance.

That must be why this report from Chicago City Wire has been so thoroughly ignored by the mainstream media:

But we can expect that Democrats will continue to dismiss the possibility that vote fraud worked for them on a significant scale. The fact that they resist investigation is telling.

Rick Moran wonders: Is the IRS Scandal About to Break Wide Open? – “Lost emails, destroyed hard drives, foot dragging, stonewalling, and a smirking, sneering IRS commissioner doing his best to obscure the truth

this has largely been the response by the Internal Revenue Service to investigations by Congress and FOIA requests from conservative groups trying to discover the truth about the IRS targeting scandal.

But one federal judge appears to be just as curious as the rest of us about what exactly the IRS was up to when it targeted conservative groups for special scrutiny in approving their tax-exempt status.

tantalizing hints emerged last week that whatever the truth is may be recoverable.

More names means more witnesses to be deposed under oath. Perhaps some promises of immunity are in order so that the truth can be wrung out of an agency that has been used to target the political opponents of a president and materially affect the ability of conservative groups to exercise their rights.

As for the flood, the Cajun Navy and many other volunteers are flooding into Texas and Louisiana to aid and assist. It’s going to be a management headache but practice is honing solutions for constructive cooperation. It’s not over yet and there is much work to be done.

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Russians? Spies? Fake News?

David Keene: The Rohrabacher-Assange meeting – “Pending is proof that the Democratic National Committee wasn’t hacked by Russians after all.”

The “common wisdom” in Washington circles is that the Russians were responsible for illegally hacking into the DNC computers during the campaign and leaked the emails thus obtained through WikiLeaks, but recent revelations suggest that there is at least a possibility that the “common wisdom” is dead flat wrong. If it is wrong and can be proven, the charges of “collusion” so dear to Mr. Trump’s opponents could collapse.

The Nation magazine earlier this month published a lengthy report on the conclusions of a number of intelligence analysts who have looked at the available evidence and concluded that it would have been physically impossible for the Russians to have done what Mr. Trump’s critics allege.

They maintain that the information that made its way into the public sphere wasn’t hacked at all, but leaked by someone within the DNC itself.

There are conspiracies and then there are conspiracies. Julian Assange may have the proof as to who is right and who is fantasizing and if he provided that proof to Mr. Rohrabacher things could get very interesting for all involved and especially for Mr. Clapper and those who have relied on his “consensus view.”

Washington Times: A spy story for our times – “The computer geek with Democratic secrets flees to Pakistan

He was arrested at Dulles International Airport in suburban Virginia just as he was about to board a plane to Pakistan, his home of record, and just after he made a curious transfer of many thousands of dollars to an overseas bank account in his name.

The answers may come by following the money, which has turned over many Washington rocks to reveal secrets of many kinds. The formal indictment from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia charges Mr. Awan and his wife, Hina Alvi, with engaging in a conspiracy to obtain home equity lines of credit from the Congressional Federal Credit Union by giving false information about properties. The indictment says the couple then sent those illegally collected proceeds to certain persons in Pakistan. The moving finger writes many tales from the Arabian nights, not many of them good.

L. Todd Wood: Beyond the fake news, a real scandal of Clinton collusion with Ukraine – “The Associated Press and The New York Times reported this week that a Ukrainian hacker named “Profexer” had turned himself in and is now a cooperating witness for the FBI.”

The “Trump colluded with Russia” narrative is alive and well in the United States. With the media and the Marxist left lacking any facts to support this falsehood, they have now resorted to guessing what evidence hackers overseas may provide to resuscitate their attempt to unseat a duly elected U.S. president.

But that story aside, some real news is coming out of Ukraine on the collusion front. I’m not talking about Russian collusion against Hillary Clinton; I’m talking about collusion between the Democratic National Committee and the government of Ukraine to try to stop Donald Trump from winning the presidential election.

The swamp is being disturbed and the gas is bubbling.

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Classically Inartful

Dov Fischer: And Yet President Trump, in His Classically Inartful Way, Was Absolutely Right – There’s the usual bunch of “yeah-but” qualifiers and obsession with slavery outside of historical context but the thing to note is this “Trump was right” surfacing again. And again. And again. Romney is reported as asking for an apology from Trump. Did he actually listen to what was actually said like Fischer did?

I just did something fascinating. I just watched the President’s entire 14-minute impromptu news conference at Trump Tower on Monday that sparked all the latest barrage of anti-Trump screeds

Not the reportage about the conference, but the entire 14 minutes unedited, uninterrupted. I found myself agreeing with his every word. I did not find his tone or demeanor “unpresidential” in the least. He sharply and explicitly condemned the Nazis and White Supremacists unequivocally. He also condemned the extreme leftists who premeditatedly came armed with weapons to smash up a demonstration that, rightly or wrongly, had been granted a legal permit.

Allahpundit is on a tear this morning. One of the more ‘stick to reality’ posts is Romney to Trump on Charlottesville: Apologize – There’s a “yeah-but” here, too, in acknowledging Trump was right but complaining that he didn’t present the proper emphasis. One should not ignore the obsession with “racial oppression” either.

The other point is that he [Romney needs to get away from the idea that the Nazis were the only ones being violent last weekend. It’s simply incorrect, and the more he stresses it the more he’s going to be dismissed as an unwitting apologist for Antifa. … Trump’s main failing on Saturday wasn’t the celebrated comment about violence on “many sides,” which was tone-deaf after a white supremacist had just killed a woman by ramming her with his car but not factually inaccurate. His failing was not going much further to specifically condemn the alt-righters given their special affinity for him personally and the country’s history of racial oppression.

Ed Morrissey reports on one case that stepped over the line: Missouri Dem: Heck no, I won’t resign after calling for Trump’s assassination – “voters entrusted to Chappelle-Nadal with the expectations that she would act responsibly with that public trust. Instead, Chappelle-Nadal cheerleaded for an assassination.”

Congressman William Clay, a fellow Democrat, put it best. “(C)alling for the assassination of the President is a federal crime. … (She is) an embarrassment to our state. She should resign immediately.” Chappelle-Nadal is an embarrassment to self-governance and self-discipline. If she had any shred of remorse, she would not just resign from this office, but pledge never to run for another one. The very fact that she doesn’t feel the need to resign makes her unfitness for office even more obvious. If her fellow Democrats can’t convince her to resign, then her colleagues in the Missouri legislature need to act to expel her.

The IRS Lois Lerner scandal hit another milestone. Scott Johnson describes it as Judge Walton To Irs: “lay It On The Line” – “Koskinen has capably served as a bureaucratic foot dragger, dissembler and apologist for the scandals involving the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups.” Citing Stephen Dinan in his Washington Times article:

Despite confirmation from the D.C. Circuit last August that Plaintiffs’ constitutional claims against the IRS remain viable, resulting in a remand of the case to the district court for a decision on the substantive merits of Plaintiffs’ claims, the agency has persisted in its efforts to prevent disclosure of the details surrounding its targeting of these groups.

The court has instructed the IRS to explain, among other things, the reasons for the IRS’s delay of the Plaintiffs’ applications for tax-exempt status (to be addressed as to each separate Plaintiff), the identities of the individuals responsible for the delays, and any actions taken by the IRS since it granted them tax exemption that are outside the normal course of business.

The impact of this ruling cannot be understated, as it means that the IRS must finally acknowledge its wrongdoing (and the reasons for it) in the context of a judicial proceeding in which the agency may be held legally accountable for its misconduct.

Liz Sheld: Worse than Nazis? Gun Owners – “The ACLU has announced that it will not support the rights of groups that want to enjoy both the First and Second Amendments.”

The event at Charlottesville was a heated one to say the least — and still there was no Wild West shootout like the kind we are constantly warned about by the anti-Second Amendment alarmists.

My suspicion is that the ACLU is placating their cohort after coming under fire for defending the Nazis’ First Amendment protections. Here’s a bone, they probably thought: we’ll refuse to protect the rights of gun owners, who are worse than Nazis apparently.

Of, course, a hallmark of the Left is that only certain identity groups have selected rights and it is up to them, via government, to choose who gets what. After all, the distribution of resources to fit selected ideas of ‘equality’ is what socialism and the Left is all about.

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When did you stop beating your wife?

That’s the famous line about presumed guilt. Also, on these observations of human nature is to note that the lies about the riots are circulating the planet with the truth is just beginning to get some visibility. See John Sexton on NBC and the BBC: There were violent left-wing protesters in Charlottesville – BBC reporter “Gunter continued, “Trump is right. There was violence on both sides.”

Suzanne Fields: Scapegoats, dupes and gulls – “Intolerance is the name of the game the fearful and frightened play.”

Identity politics has gone over the top, and the flood of intolerance is drenching everyone. What began as a campaign to re-right injustice has created injustice. What was meant to change attitudes toward intolerance has become intolerance enthroned.

If math can be misleading, reactions to its ambiguous data can be merciless.

Cheryl K. Chumley: Donald Trump lashes at Lindsey Graham’s ‘moral equivalency’ quip – “Isn’t it bad enough that Trump has to correct the media for misstatements all the time? But he also has to clarify what those in own party are putting out that paint him with a black brush?” Limbaugh took off this morning on this phenomenon. Graham’s ‘moral equivalency’ is malignant and seldom applied where it really belongs. Assertions like Graham’s and others regarding Trump on Charlottesville are a most destructive and gross form of ‘fake news’ and its purveyors should be held to account and properly shamed for their false witness.

And also Charlottesville and the loss of America’s sanity – “President Donald Trump, bombarded in a speech on infrastructure with repetitive and aggressive questions about Charlottesville, made clear — again — that violence, bigotry and racism in all its many forms, in all its various shapes, were not to be tolerated.”

Let the feeding frenzy of media sharks begin. It’s as Rahm Emanuel, former White House top dog and current mayor of Chicago says: Never let a crisis go to waste. My, how that principle is playing here.

America, bluntly, has lost her sanity over Charlottesville. It’s like the words “white supremacist” came in the room, and critical thinking scurried.

what’s happened, in the emotionally charged atmosphere of the media’s narrative, is that those who try to explore the facts are automatically cast as a white supremacist; conversely, those who wildly proclaim that hate speech must be shut down are seen as reasoned and level-thinking.

what’s needed is a collective breath, a unified step back from the overheated rhetoric.

What’s missing from all this media coverage is context; what’s lacking is a look at the facts. Witnesses say the alt-left faction — the counterprotesters — started the violence. Witnesses say the police did nothing to stop the violence — that they either failed to arrive on scene or were ordered to stand down and let the violence unfold as it may. Witnesses say the protesters were wrongfully corralled into a space that included barricades — barricades that were put there when the city manager yanked the permit, but never removed when the city had to return the permit — and that the positioning of these barricades forced the protesters to walk closely by the counterprotesters, directly in their line of fire, so to speak.

It seems, as Americans, we should be able to at least agree on two points: Racism, in all its forms, is evil. And the First Amendment, at all costs, must be protected and preserved.

From a 1st Ammendment perspective, consider Chasmer’s report: “Gwinnett County Judge Jim Hinkle, a former longtime mayor of Grayson, tendered his resignation on Wednesday.”

“While, thankfully, our Constitution protects the right of all citizens to express their opinions, Judges are held to a more stringent standard by the Judicial Canons,” she said.

Judge Blum said in an earlier statement that the Judicial Canons, “as well as our internal policies, require Judges to conduct themselves in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity, impartiality, and fairness of the judiciary.”

But this only applies for certain political ideologies, not others, and which is which is becoming increasingly clear.

Judson Phillips: Antifa and white supremist rallies – “Idiots wanted to fight in Charlottesville.”

This whole tragedy could have easily been avoided and the fault for this belongs to the radical left.

The left in general and the radical left in particular, has a reflexive desire to shut down the expression of any opinion it disagrees with. The left demonstrates this with speech codes on college campuses or in the most recent example, the firing of James Damore from Google because he dared to question liberal orthodoxy.

Antifa is simply the logical extension of liberalism. When all else fails, use violence to silence anyone you disagree with.

Had the radical left Antifa crowd just left the white nationalists alone, the “unite the right” rally would have had three minutes of coverage and no one would have cared. It would have quickly been consigned to the eternal darkness of the oblivion where bad ideas go to die.

There will be more violence in the future. Antifa has made this clear.

Antifa is a real and present danger to Americans and American liberty. They are violent extremists and they are the ones the government needs to stop.

There is much being said, in public and with vehemence, about ‘right to speak but’ in regard to the people Antifa attacked. What is missing is what Trump noticed. It is the violence that needs condemnation, not the speech or who said it. Free speech is protected. Violence is not.

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