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Escalating politics of personal destruction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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6/5/2017: disgusting things

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes — during the attack.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Shake and Bake update 6/2/2017

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

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

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

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

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

Those terms, Mr. Trump said, are unacceptable.

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

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

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

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

The president sounds like the reasonable one now.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Poverty: A state of mind.

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

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

Make way for the Democratic-driven Train of Outrage.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where to begin?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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It’s leaking!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Safe Haven Index

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Uphold the truth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Upholding the truth first involves being able to see it.

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Should have done it different

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Fake Law™ Anyone?

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

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

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

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

How much longer will this nonsense go on?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take his latest and rather pointed jab at libertarianism.

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

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

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

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

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

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

How much longer will this nonsense go on?”

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Fake News™

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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More childishness and tantrums and bullying

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Faux Outrage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Virtue Signalling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Sexton: Fire near Dakota Access Pipeline site ruled arson

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

John Sexton: NY Times: When communism inspired Americans

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

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

 

 

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Fake Protests based on Fake Rationales

Cheryl K. Chumley: People’s Climate March — rally of the ridiculous – “Forgive the yawns. It’s just that after 100 days of anti-President Donald Trump protesting, which came on the heels of 200 or so days of anti-Candidate Donald Trump protesting, the Hate Trump message is getting a bit stale.

Valerie Richardson: The people’s billionaire: George Soros gave $36M to groups behind People’s Climate March – “Media Research Center report finds steering committee groups benefited from Soros’ largesse.”

The People’s Climate March scheduled for Saturday has a powerful billionaire behind it: Democratic Party donor George Soros.

Mr. Soros, who heads the Open Society Foundations, contributed over $36 million between 2000 and 2014 to 18 of the 55 organizations on the march’s steering committee, according to an analysis released Friday by the conservative Media Research Center.

“The presence of many non-climate related organizations leading the march indicated that this climate march (just like the March for Science and the Women’s March) is not about a single issue, but about attacking the new administration,” MRC’s Aly Nielsen said.

She pointed to the march’s “usual checklist of liberal policy priorities,” such as labor-union rights, a minimum-wage increase, and a halt to “attacks on immigrants.”

Anthony Watts: Saturday’s “climate march” in Washington turns into another wrongheaded farce that has little to do with climate – “Even full-on warmists are panning it, and it hasn’t even started yet.” Watts provides some pretty graphics about the causes and logistics from sponsoring organizations.

David Sherfinski: Sheriff David Clarke: ‘Rat bastards’ on the left never give up – people are beginning to notice and some are rather colorful in their observations.

“No, I didn’t misspeak.

“You see, for them defeat is never final. Election defeats don’t matter,” he said. “It’s simply a time to regroup and continue their assault on our Constitution, the rule of law, liberty, and American exceptionalism.

“Now, why would I call them rat bastards?” he said. “First of all, because I can. Second, as you know I call ‘em as I see ‘em. But third and more importantly, just listen to Saul Alinsky, a socialist professor who admired Lucifer, for heaven’s sake. And Alinsky’s admired by the left.”

VDH: How the Obama Precedent Empowered Trump – “A number of the things that explain Trump’s election also point to unique opportunities to overturn the Obama legacy.”

The Left is understandably apprehensive of Trump because Obama set the modern precedent that a contemporary president can do almost anything he pleases by executive orders (and in Nixonian fashion can weaponize federal agencies, from the NSA to the IRS, in order to monitor and hound political rivals and perceived enemies). Sen. Harry Reid’s near suicidal destruction of the Senate filibuster captured the unreality of the times, as if Obama progressivism most certainly would be America’s new orthodoxy for generations to come.

A supposedly disinterested media’s ecstasy over Obama’s election ensured that its subsequent revulsion at Trump could be taken no more seriously.

A critical media is not a mere reset button that one turns on and off at one’s convenience. Instead, once it was short-circuited after 2008, its burned-out switch cannot be flipped back on in 2017. In sum, there is no longer a believable media that can offer credible critiques of the Trump presidency.

There is as yet no credible response to Trump and certainly no opposing coherent agenda. Instead, the “Resistance” is being waged by cherry-picking liberal federal judges in hopes of delaying and slowing down executive orders in the courts, along with states-rights nullifications, organized advertising boycotts of conservative media figures, media collusion, jamming town hall meetings of conservative representatives, campus antics, and waging war on social media.

David French: California Is Seceding from the Constitution – “Is there no end to the harm progressives will do our republic in the name of ‘social justice’?”

why should a state bother seceding when it can simply nullify the portions of the Constitution it doesn’t like? A troubling trend is emerging: California is imposing its own vision of free speech, freedom of association, and freedom of the press on its citizens, and it’s daring the courts to stop it.

The rot extends far beyond Berkeley.

In short, California public officials at every level of state and local government have taken it upon themselves to replace core constitutional protections with their own radical vision of social justice. This isn’t federalism; it’s lawlessness. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and every state law, ordinance, regulation, or practice that conflicts its guarantees of individual liberty must be struck down.

Social-justice warriors may demand #Resistance, but they cannot opt an entire state out of the Constitution. It’s time for the courts and Congress to protect liberty, and it’s time for California to remember that membership in our constitutional republic carries with it constitutional obligations. California, you can’t nullify the Bill of Rights.

OregonMuse says That’s the Way You Do It – A grand jury has approximately 212 people facing felony charges for rioting during the inauguration in January.

The way to stop rioting is by vigorous, aggressive police action. Of course, everybody knows this. The mayor of Baltimore knows this. The mayor of Ferguson knows this. Even that adipose porker who runs Berkeley knows this. But they chose to not make any attempt to restrain the rioting because, bottom line, they have more sympathy for the goals and aspirations of the circus freak show rioters than they do with law-abiding citizens, i.e. normal people of their communities. So the cities burned.

I only wish there was a way to tell the normal people, “hey, the authorities are not on your side. They will sit back and watch you and everything you’ve built burn if it means they can further their agenda.”

You would think Berkeley would at least be receptive, but the people there keep electing the same crew year after year. And pride themselves on how progressive they are.

CBD cites: “J.J. Sefton has been telling us that Daniel Greenfield is very good writer, and I finally listened. The Left’s Culture of Contempt: Saving America by hating everyone.” Greenfield describes what has happened to what used to be an entertainment – “Comedy is creative. Contempt isn’t comedy. Ultimately it’s just contemptible.”

Steven Hayward: NY Times Readers Lose Their Minds – “Bret Stephens recently left the Wall Street Journal editorial page to become an op-ed columnist at the New York Times.” The first column at the new gig was about climate change and, boy, did it set off the climate alarmists. Luboš Motl picks up on the fracas: Bret Stephens’ skepticism will spread from NYT to other mainstream sources – “The content of the op-ed is simple. Stephens – who looks like a classic lukewarmer to me here, not too much more skeptical than Andy Revkin – says that it’s wrong to expect that one is 100% certain. Only fanatics do so, sane people know that they’re 65% right if they’re really good, and the climate alarmists claiming certainty should be ashamed.”

Fine. People have reacted. On Twitter, Gavin Schmidt and a few other fanatics have claimed that Stephens is fighting a straw man. I don’t think it is the case. The fanatical claims about the certainty of destruction by man-made climate change are omnipresent – and you may find lots of them written by the brainwashed or activist commenters under Stephens’ article, too.

But I found many comments that agreed with Stephens in the New York Times, many reasonable comments (these two sets are overlapping but not identical), and I do believe that Stephens’ first op-ed made the New York Times more attractive.

You should have figured out that the conventional wisdom is rubbish, dear newspaper managers, many years ago. But behaving just like all the other mediocre managers elsewhere looked like a good enough and comfortable enough strategy to you. It was easier than to do your job well, wasn’t it?

Just to be sure, I am bored by the articles saying that “certainty is politically incorrect” (such as this Stephens’ op-ed), too. To make me intrigued, The New York Times would have to publish something much more original and brilliant.

For the other side of this ‘debate’ see Greg Laden: Out of the gate, Bret Stephens punches the hippies, says dumb things – “Right in the middle, between the Trump-inspired March for Science, and the Trump-inspired People’s Climate March, the New York times managed to come down firmly on the side of climate and science denial, in its editorial pages.” It’s loaded. Consider the hubris and judgment dripping from statements like “other right wing positions,” “consider this all too cute sentence with which he attempts to dazzle his readers,” “ a dynamic, rapidly changing field like climate change,” “hold them to any standard at all with respect to fact checking,” “still think the Earth is round, with hemispheres, right?,” “never mind the pesky details such as facts,” “His overall argument is utterly stupid,” “involves some very attractive conspiratorial ideation,” “perhaps heeding his masters’ voice,” … do you still wonder why these folks avoid honest debate?

Consider Armando Simon on The Left’s Vicious Intolerance in Science – “the media has deliberately downplayed, or altogether ignored, the vicious attacks on science by liberals. And these attacks have been going on for decades.” Consider the case studies: E. O. Wilson, Charles Murray, Paul Cameron and the ‘fashionable research’ intended to support ideological fantasies.

So any scientist that carries out research on this topic and comes to these conclusions is (as usual) called “racist,” “fascist,” “Nazi,” etc. …Liberals went ballistic on hearing of this theory and insisted that it be suppressed. While delivering a lecture on the subject, the International Committee Against Racism, a front group of the Marxist Progressive Labor Party, invaded the stage and attacked him.

The bottomless hatred of liberals is not confined to people. It extends to plants. Genetically modified foods are plants which have been tweaked genetically so that these plants can survive drought conditions, or render a bigger yield of crops. You know, just what farmers have been doing for centuries. Except now they are evil.

Eugene Volokh lists The Jefferson Muzzles 2017 for ‘egregious and or ridiculous affronts to free expression’ – “judged by the center to be improper or excessive reactions to people’s expression.” Note the patterns.

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Can you examine your ideas?

There’s a lot on the right to free speech this morning with most centered on Berkely or Coulter. John R. Lott Jr. describes a different and more insidious facet from his personal experience in Challenging inaccurate information about guns – “A fair debate on the issue is needed, but liberal lobbying groups refuse to participate.”

Alcorn: “When there’s a credible scientist — somebody who wants to have a real constructive conversation about this, we’re going to be there. But folks who seek to minimize the issue of gun violence, the grave issue of gun violence in this country or to draw attention away from the real issues to themselves — that’s not a conversation that I think is productive to be a part of.”

I don’t minimize the issue of gun violence. I just disagree about what policies will effectively combat that violence.

But Everytown can afford to make excuses and miss opportunities for debate. After all, they have massive resources and can count on the mainstream media to push their agenda.

Note also the ‘ad hominem’ by Alcorn just like the climate alarmists using ‘denier’ that is proffered with such a heaping dose of hubris. The Democrats are doing something similar in claiming “Resistance” to obtain revenge for how Republicans treated their President. No matter that ‘revenge’ is a destructive motivation. No matter that the basis is questionable. No matter that real issues get shoved aside.

Jennifer Harper provides another example of this perfidy. Confirmed: Democratic Party sending protestors to Trump’s ‘100 Day’ speech in Pennsylvania – “There are two momentous political events to consider this weekend, and they are polar opposites.” These are the Trump rally and the Correspondents Dinner. The Dinner will likely be a gala affair of celebrities and elites. The Trump rally, on the other hand, is a target for the Left to act out in ‘resistance’ and ‘protest.’

Mr. Trump has protesters waiting, however. The Pennsylvania Democratic Party has organized “The Rally Against 100 Days of Broken Promises,” which includes Democratic National Committee Vice Chairman Michael Blake, multiple state lawmakers and officials, unions and Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse. “Bring your signs, hats and your slogans,” organizers advise.

Harper also notes that Trump’s loyal voters aren’t buying ‘shameful’ media spin: Report – “Improved economy, decisive leadership called the top Trump assets.” Note how this is in contrast to the Democrat’s claims of “Broken Promises.” Such assertions are why the voters are no buying the shameful deceits.

Sally Persons cites Sessions: Some judges are more interested in advancing an agenda rather than the law – The observation is gaining traction as the examples are getting rather hard to ignore. The question is what to do about the corruption of the justice system.

Matthew Continetti take a look from a different perspective: The Democrats’ First 100 Days – “Disunity, obstruction, incoherence, obsession, obliviousness.

Let’s reverse angle. The president’s first 100 days in office have been analyzed, dissected, evaluated. Not much left to say about them. What about the opposition? What do the Democrats have to show for these first months of the Trump era?

Little.

Chuck Schumer slow-walked Trump’s nominations as best he could. In fact his obstruction was unprecedented.

The prevalent anti-Trump sentiment obscures the party’s institutional degradation.

Democrats feel betrayed. The Electoral College betrayed them by making Trump president. Hillary Clinton betrayed them by running an uninspiring campaign. James Comey betrayed them by reopening the investigation into Clinton’s server 11 days before the election. Facebook betrayed them by circulating fake news. This sense of resentment isn’t so different than the sort Democrats attribute to Trump supporters: irritation at a loss of status, vexation at changed circumstances. The despondence of a liberal is alleviated when he sees throngs of protesters, hears Samantha Bee, scrolls through Louise Mensch’s tweets.

Makes him feel better. But his party is in tatters,

John Sexton cites another tactic that may make for ‘feel good’ but does little to advance anything. Progressives flood hotline for victims of crime by ‘criminal aliens’ with UFO sightings

The Trump administration launched a new initiative Wednesday called Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE). The office is intended to provide support for Americans who have been victimized by illegal immigrants. Trump mentioned it during his first address to a joint session of Congress.

Progressives offended by the existence of the office noticed that the launch also corresponded with “Alien day,” a day where fans celebrate the Alien film series. So some progressives decided it would be a good idea to flood the hotline that responds to reports of “criminal aliens” with calls about UFOs.

Rabbi Yonason Goldson asks Can we believe in science if we don’t trust scientists? – He highlights the problem the Left has with its protests and riots and mobs and Resistance™ and posturing.

What can we expect next? Doctors for Hospitals? Lawyers for Jurisprudence? Mammals for Oxygen?

To be fair, there is a real issue here. Namely, the exploitation of science for political advantage. In a perfect world, scientific data would be apolitical, serving as a nonpartisan lodestone for guiding public policy. Facts are facts, and the only debate should be about what they mean, not what they are.

But our world is far from perfect, and the problem is not that we don’t have faith in science. It’s that many have found good reason to lose faith in scientists.

The Rabbi makes a good point but rather degrades his argument when he picks up on creation and evolution by creating a straw man and parroting the ignorance and illiteracy of fanatic creationists. It appears that the comments have a better grip on science than the Rabbi does. A rabbi taking on the mantle of scientist and scientists taking on the mantle of priest. Just who can you trust, anyway?

Walter Williams says Environmentalists Are Dead Wrong – “Each year, Earth Day is accompanied by predictions of doom. Let’s take a look at past predictions to determine just how much confidence we can have in today’s environmentalists’ predictions.” … “Americans have paid a steep price for buying into environmental deception and lies.”  

Ace: Leftist Fascism Reaches New Lows in Blatant Thuggery, as “Mainstream” Left Covers Up for Them and Blames the Right – “This is the post I delayed because I didn’t know how to write it. … I won’t write it. I’ll just link the stories.”

I will just repeat my urgent warning and threat: The rules you make for us are the rules you also make for yourselves. If you’re comfortable with that, then I suggest you begin making serious preparations for the hell you are determined to unleash on this once-peaceful country.

It has happened and happened and grown worse every year precisely because the alleged “responsible voices” of the left, who could be expected to chastise their misbehaving correligionists and tell them to stop, have in fact covered up for them every step of the way, thereby tacitly approving of them and encouraging them to go further.

The Tide is Rising and the Left does not seem to be paying attention or have any awareness about the implications of their behavior. Consider John Hinderaker’s post Portland is Stupid, Too – “An activist group called the “Raging Grannies” testifies in harmony before Portland’s City Council.”

Steve writes below that “Portlandia” is the city of the petty, bankrupt, vindictive left. That’s true. It is also stupid. … why worry about losing a few million a year when you are trying to overthrow free enterprise? … So Portland’s City Council wants socialism? It would serve them right if Portland followed in the footsteps of Venezuela.

The Coyote also gets into ‘newspeak’ with How The Left Is Changing the Meaning of Words to Reduce Freedom — The Phrase “Incite Violence” – “A surprising number of folks on the Left of late seem to be advocating for restrictions on free speech.”

This is a horrible newspeak redefinition of a term. It is implying that a speaker is responsible for the violence by those who oppose her. By this definition, the socialists of 1932 Germany were guilty of “inciting violence” whenever Nazi brownshirts tried to brutally shut down socialist meetings and speeches.

I am not sure why the Left is so good at this – perhaps because most of the media is sympathetic to the Left and is willing to let them define the terms of the debate. The Left has successfully performed a similar bit of verbal judo with the claim that Russians “hacked” the last election. By calling leaks of Democratic private correspondence “hacking the election”, they have successfully left the impression among many that the Russians actually manipulated vote totals, something for which there is zero evidence and really no credible story of how it might have been done.

Speech is to convey ideas and examine perceptions and values. That makes it a vital component of intellectual integrity. 

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Justice corrupted

The next phase in the irrational obstruction shows as Trump prepares to seat Judge Thapar, first of scores of conservatives for federal courts by Alex Swoyer. The filibuster is out for the 18 circuit court and more than 100 district court vacancies but there are a lot more ways to obstruct, obfuscate, smear, delay, and destroy in the Democrats playbook. And reasoned argument based on intellectual integrity is not in that book.

An example by Rowan Scarborough: Ex-spy admits anti-Trump dossier unverified, blames Buzzfeed for publishing – “Mr. Steele has not spoken publicly about his disputed opposition research project, but for the first time he is being forced to talk in a London court through his attorneys.” But there’s still a Democrat insisting on an independent prosecutor!

Barristers for Mr. Steele and his Orbis Business Intelligence firm filed their first defense against a defamation lawsuit brought by Aleksej Gubarev, chief executive of the network solutions firm XBT Holdings.

Mr. Steele acknowledges that the part of the 35-page dossier that identified Mr. Gubarev as a rogue hacker came from “unsolicited intelligence” and “raw intelligence” that “needed to be analyzed and further investigated/verified.”

Democrats in Washington have embraced the unproven dossier as an argument for appointing a high-powered commission to investigate President Trump and his aides.

Mr. Steele’s court filing portrays him as a victim of Fusion GPS — the Washington firm that hired him with money from a Hillary Clinton backer.

Or consider Cheryl K. Chumley with a twofer on the Judge who blocked Trump on sanctuary city a big Obama donor – “Note to those who think judges are impartial, and the judicial system in America safe and sound from the dirty world of politicking: Not.”

Anyhow, here we are again with another judge of questionable background, from a left-leaning locale, making another decision that goes — surprise, surprise — against the Trump administration and in favor of the leftist open border people. And come to find out, this judge, Orrick, is a big Democratic supporter — a big Obama supporter — a big John Kerry supporter. The common denominator of those Orrick supported?

See also Sanctuary cities ruling a despicable sign of lawless times – “Judge William Orrick on Tuesday sided with Santa Clara County, the city of San Francisco and with other jurisdictions in saying that stripping federal funding from communities that refuse to lose the sanctuary label could be a violation of the Constitution.”

Stephen Dinan and Andrea Noble make it clear that the Judge’s efforts were more of a symbolic ‘stick it to Trump’ thing than anything to do with justice or the law. Judge says Trump is wrong to tie federal funding to sanctuary status, blocks executive order – “Judge says DOJ can withhold some funds, but Trump went too far.” Once again, the EO doesn’t do what the Judge said.

The ruling was still a partial victory for the president though, with the judge saying the administration can withhold funds in cases where the law already gives him permission.

That clears the path for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to strip sanctuary cities of hundreds of millions of dollars doled out each year across three Justice Department grant programs.

The Justice Department portrayed the ruling as little more than a symbolic setback, saying it had already limited the punishment to the three programs the judge said can be cut off under existing law.

But, the Left chooses to portray this as part of an “embarrassment to Mr. Trump” and “a disaster” in a “litany of mistakes.” Pulling the courts into the Left’s assault on civilization is just another example of imaginative creationism in denial of reality. Allahpundit has something relevant to this in asking Should the Supreme Court have dinner with Trump? It goes into a presumption of guilt and seeing everything in that light.

I think the liberal reaction here goes beyond standard hyperpartisanship, to Trump himself: Once you adopt “this is not normal” as your frame for his administration, anything he does that’s the least bit unorthodox begins to look alarmingly unconventional — even when there’s plenty of precedent to support it, as there is in this case. Also, because they view Trump as fundamentally unethical, him wanting to schmooze with judges who will rule on his policies takes on an air of improper influence that wouldn’t attach to the same degree to, say, Bush or Obama doing the same. (Certainly would-be Court-packer Franklin Roosevelt wouldn’t have dreamed of of trying to inappropriately tilt SCOTUS in his direction by wining and dining them.) And when all else fails, you can argue that Trump is unique among presidents who’ve followed this tradition because some of his former campaign staffers are currently being looked at by the FBI for possible Russian influence. Should a president be inviting SCOTUS to dinner when his associates are under federal investigation — even if, er, he himself is not, as far as we know?

And then Again: Federal judge halts Trump order blocking funding for sanctuary cities – “This marks the second time a Trump executive order has been blocked based partly on comments made by Trump or his aides outside the record, whether on the campaign trail, to the media, or so on.”

He got no benefit of the doubt in the travel-ban cases about his motive and he gets no benefit of the doubt in today’s sanctuary-city case in terms of which jurisdictions he might target and which grants, specifically, he’d seek to have the Attorney General withhold. Rather, thus far in his 95 days as president, lower courts seem to be grasping for reasons to halt his policies and willing to dig through whatever material they can find, including offhand comments made on “The O’Reilly Factor,” to support their conclusion. I wonder why.

Even so, we’re left here with a strange result in which, although the order has been blocked, the Attorney General still enjoys the same power to cut off funds to sanctuary cities as he claimed to have before the court. Remember, the DOJ argued that Trump’s EO only applied to the three grants under Section 1373 that can already be withheld from sanctuary jurisdictions, not to all federal grants. The court disagreed, but even if the Trump administration had won, it would mean that Sessions would be limited by his own reasoning to just those three grants in punishing sanctuary districts. And because he’s been authorized by statute to withhold those three, he can still withhold them notwithstanding the court’s decision today. In a sense, the order doesn’t matter. Only if you thought, or hoped, that it expanded Sessions’s power to withhold all sorts of federal money from sanctuary cities is it a true defeat. And not even the DOJ claimed that.

Any judge should be very concerned about what their colleagues are doing. The trend is toward what happened in Venezuela where the courts decided it was up to them to take over the legislature’s job.

Jazz Shaw says The anniversary of the LA riots shows that some of us haven’t learned a damn thing – “it’s rather curious that the LA Times chooses to provide something of a sympathetic or even apologist retrospective this week.” As with the race riots today, the stimulus incident was not as clear as the ‘activists’ seek to portray it. But that doesn’t matter, no lie matters if it supports the cause whatever it may be.

The LA Times quotes at least one individual who feels that it’s “understandable” how the riots happen given the “context” of Rodney King and Latisha Harlins. No. It is not.

No matter the severity of King’s injuries or the tragedy of that child’s death, it’s not “understandable” that Reginald Denny, someone with zero relationship to the events of King’s arrest, was dragged from his truck and beaten within an inch of his life. It’s not “understandable” that small businesses owned by individuals crossing all racial, religious and gender lines were looted. It’s not “understandable” that the city was set afire causing billions of dollars in damage. And most of all it’s not “understandable” that law enforcement was essentially chased out of an entire section of a major metropolitan center and hoards of violent mobs were set loose to unleash mayhem.

The thin fabric of civilization broke down that week. The rule of law was shattered and what was left in its wake was anarchy. It was mob rule, something which has never boded well for humanity throughout all of hour history. If we were to take any lesson away from the Los Angeles riots 25 years later it should be that our civilization rests on a knife edge where only a thin blue line stands between the peaceful, ordered society the American experiments depends on and the type of chaos which could collapse the entire thing.

And none of what happened then is “understandable” no matter what context you care to invoke.

Justice corrupted starts with citizens who do not consider the implications of their fantasies.

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Actions beget reactions. Best not backtracking or mea culpa.

Rowan Scarborough says Trump’s lawyer launches legal action against BuzzFeed for publishing ‘completely fabricated’ dossier – that dossier is what Democrats are hanging their ‘Russian Collusion’ hats on.

Douglas Ernst reports O’Reilly says ‘truth will come out’ on Fox exit: ‘You’re going to be shaken, as I am’ – “I was very surprised how it all turned out,” the host said. “I can’t say a lot, because there’s much stuff going on right now. But I can tell you that I’m very confident the truth will come out, and when it does, I don’t know if you’re going to be surprised — but I think you’re going to be shaken, as I am. There’s a lot of stuff involved here.”

Cheryl K. Chumley says Sean Hannity’s accuser retracts sex harassment claim – “Dang it, Debbie. This is why women aren’t believed. Because of people like Schlussel who accuse, accuse, accuse — and then, faced with legal backlash, deny, deny, deny.”

Seems to be a lot of definitions of truth and true floating around. Here’s a thought: How about not accusing someone of sexual harassment when, well, no sexual harassment occurred? That has a ring of truth in it, too.

See also In Defense of Sean Hannity by Melanie Morgan – “The left-wing media is engaged in attempted character assassination against Sean Hannity as part of their effort to try and destroy the Fox News Channel.”

So desperate is the Left to try and play the smear-and-destroy card on Sean Hannity that they had to resort to dredging up wild accusations from a woman whose career has consisted of one malicious attack after another. The woman attacking Sean Hannity has attacked Sarah Palin, Steven Crowder, Free Republic, and repeatedly tried to attack Sean Hannity over and over again. Oh, and she went after me the last time I defended Sean Hannity from one of her attacks.

Jennifer Harper on Inside the Beltway: Republican students sue Berkeley after campus blocks Ann Coulter speech – “If Berkeley won’t protect its students rights, Young America’s Foundation will,” proclaims the conservative youth organization of the same name, which is mounting a lawsuit against the University of California, Berkeley after the school essentially blocked an upcoming appearance by commentator Ann Coulter.”

Jazz Shaw notes When the New York Times advocates suppression of speech – “Who gets to decide which view has what “inherent value?” Those in power.”

If you read this verbal dancing through a minefield of self-validation for too long your head will be spinning. The essence of it is that certain groups of individuals who are more deserving of protection should not be exposed to contrary opinions because those opinions are inherently false and do nothing to add to the discussion, while causing harm of some sort to the listener. The obvious pitfall in that “logic” is that someone has to make the determination as to which opinions are not open to debate because they are harmful.

On that Russian Collusion thing Dan Boylan reports Grassley takes methodical approach, follows the money to find source of ‘dodgy dossier’ – “the dossier presented a Washington-style follow-the-money angle that investigators needed to pursue. The real question remains: Who paid Mr. Steele for the material?”

The background behind the anti-Trump report — parts of which have been discredited but parts of which U.S. investigators are still working to verify and parts of which U.K. sources have partially verified — is classic Washington intrigue, political dirty tricks and the industry that has been built up to satisfy the need for dirt on one’s political opponent. Mr. Grassley’s efforts suggest that the dossier and those responsible for compiling and leaking its contents are re-emerging at the heart of the investigation.

David Keene provides a foretaste of doom: Venezuela’s coming civil war – “Maduro is arming his thugs to crush the democratic hopes of his desperate people.” There is an analogy to U.S. politics and it is improving in the worst ways. See Stephen Dinan: Illegals thwart immigration laws with help from lawyers, judges, educators – “A massive anti-deportation infrastructure has emerged to try to protect illegal immigrants from President Trump’s crackdown, with advocacy groups coaching potential deportees on how to massage encounters with police, and lawyers and judges working to shield them from charges that would make them priorities for deportation.” Don’t forget Turkey as another lesson, either.

Another one in this line is Reporters Sleep as 60 Black People Rob a BART Train in Oakland by Colin Flaherty. It’s a case of horror ignored because it doesn’t fit, and even refutes, the desired storyline.

Alicia Trost, a BART spokeswoman, said Monday that seven robberies had occurred – with victims losing a purse, a duffel bag, and five phones. Six people were robbed inside the train car, with a seventh confronted on the platform, she said.

Not one of the reporters for any of the dozens of news outlets in that area mentioned the central organizing feature of the “teens”: they were black. Tons of Bay area law enforcement officials say so.

After they rampaged through the train, this black mob retreated into their East Oakland neighborhood – you know, the one that is widely reported to be the “backbone of African American life and culture in Oakland.”

The same neighborhood black activists want to save from the gentrifiers because Black Panther Huey Newton slept there.

Even the most cursory search of crime reports and news stories reveals what everyone in that area knows: BART is a center of black violence on wheels and official denial in abundance.

Another cause of the Left is the subject of ESPN’s Bill Polian: ‘Overwhelming Majority’ of NFL Prospects Who Test Positive at Combine Fail in League as reported by Trent Baker. “With the NFL Draft coming up and reports of players failing drug tests leaking, ESPN NFL expert Bill Polian weighed in on NFL prospects failing drug tests at the NFL Combine.” Odds are not good for recreational drug users seeking a successful career in professional football.

 

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April 24, 2017: Fantasy and reality

Rowan Scarborough reports: Democrats cling to intel dossier riddled with fiction in desperate attempt to take down Trump – “An anti-Donald Trump “dossier” created by a former British spy and financed by Democratic-linked money has significant detractors: the people accused of crimes in a supposed Trump-Russia conspiracy.”

The 35-page dossier by Mr. Steele has taken on critical importance in recent weeks for Democrats in Washington. They cite its accusations without corroboration as the reason for a special commission to investigate Mr. Trump and his aides for a supposed role in Russia’s hacking of Democratic Party email servers.

But there is independent evidence that Mr. Steele’s story is wrong.

Of the dossier, the former diplomat said, “There is stuff in there that just defies logic. Lots of it.”

Today, the Steele creation is cited by Democrats trying to get Congress to appoint a special commission and by some liberal news websites that contend it is true.

Robert Knight picks up on another issue where Fake News is being used by the Left. Voter fraud oughta be a crime – “Undermines fair and honest elections.” The Governor of Virginia provides the case study.

Joseph Stalin is credited with observing that, “It’s not the people who vote that count, it’s the people who count the votes.”

Over the last two decades the left has been changing both the rules of our election process and America’s demographics to suit their political agenda.

A perfect example is Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s brazen attempt to get more than 200,000 convicted felons onto the state’s voter rolls in time for the last election. Undaunted after his slapdown by the state supreme court, the governor recently vetoed six common-sense election integrity bills sent to his desk.

Once committed, vote fraud cannot be undone. The only sensible approach is to take measures to prevent it in the first place.

Vice President Pence’s commission on voting integrity will have the opportunity to ensure that our electoral system safeguards the right of U.S. citizens to have fair and honest elections.

Another case study is about the takedown of Fox News. Cheryl K. Chumley describes the third push: Sean Hannity, Fox star, vows legal action against ‘serial harasser’ – “Over the weekend, another woman, Debbie Schlussel, came forward to accuse another Fox News host — Sean Hannity — of sexual harassment. Insert collective groan here.”

But here’s the backstory, just the same: Schlussel, a former frequent face on Fox and on Hannity’s show, went on Today’s Pat Campbell show just recently and said, while in Detroit with Hannity on a previous occasion, he repeatedly asked her to come back to his hotel room. She said she declined, and as a result, Hannity never invited her back on his show.

But Hannity, unlike fellow former Fox star Bill O’Reilly, who reportedly paid out $13 million to various female sexual harassment accusers over the years, isn’t reaching for his wallet. Rather, he’s turned toward his legal team.

there’s also this: No matter how you slice it, Fox News has suffered a major public relations ding in recent months. And it’s going to take quite a while for the cable outlet to recover and reemerge as the place not just conservatives, but traditional family advocates, go to get their news. If ever.

This is, of course, the age-old weapon long used by vindictive womyn. Despite all the rhetoric about equality from the feminist contingent, the Title IX college ‘late’ regret’ allegations accepted without due process to destroy men, the brouhaha about the Vice President’s sensible chaperon policies, and the teacher rape student cases, implication and innuendo and questionable accusation by womyn to take down men is as old as the hills. From Ailes to O’Reilly to, now, Hannity, there is a pattern of assault against figurehead conservative media that speaks for just how ugly the Left can be. Hannity is saying that it’s time to change tactics and no longer just buy it off as a matter of convenience. It is time to fight back.

It appears that O’Reilly may be planning on doing so as well. He may also be looking at trends where viewers are eschewing cable for direct I’net feed and choosing the moment to ride that wave. See Ned Barnett about Justice for Bill O’Reilly – “O’Reilly’s case is a microcosm of a trend in America that the “wronged” woman must always be right, and the “wronging” man must always be wrong.”

Renee Garfinkel provides an example of analysis beginning to realize there is a new world of strategists on the stage. Trump’s tweets: Distraction or strategy? – “President should focus on terror, national security, domestic policies.” Note the ‘should’ as a bias indicator. The tag line indicates an old paradigm focus rather than a look at trying to figure out what actually is. But there are glimmers of reality in the essay.

When a president shoots himself in the foot, the entire country suffers a self-inflicted wound.

Famously impulsive and distractible, the impact of President Trump’s personal foibles and flaws is exaggerated by a staff wholly lacking in government experience. According to some observers, this confluence of factors resulted in the embarrassing display of incompetence that was the “Repeal and Replace” health care debacle.

Other, more cynical Washington watchers see it differently. They detect deliberate strategy, not incompetence, behind Trump’s apparently self-inflicted wounds.

Take the Russian investigation. The executive branch of government should be as motivated as Congress to uncover – or put to rest – questions about Russian attempts to influence U.S. and other democratic elections around the world. But instead of cooperating, Trump changed the subject by tweeting a bogus accusation of Obama and wiretapping.

If they are strategies, Trump’s techniques of deflection and diversion have been pretty effective so far. Congressional and media resources are busily engaged with them. In the meantime, the press has inadequately attended to serious, difficult issues, such as foreign policy.

Using the Russian allegations as a case study is also interesting. The tweet about “Obama and wiretapping” has been shown to be anything but bogus and they did turn the attention from bogus Trump collusion allegations (see story above) to actual governmental spying on political opponents.

The world is a dangerous place, and the U.S. can ill afford distractions and lack of focus in the Oval Office.

The president owes the American people a plan.

If Garfinkle was listening to what has been said and done rather than preaching about what he thinks should be, he’d know where the distractions are coming from and what the plan is. If he was at all aware, he’d know that “Famously impulsive and distractible” was a false ad hominem meme and that “a staff wholly lacking in government experience” is quite at odds with actual performance. There is an indicator for just how far off base Garfinkle and his compatriots really are. It is in the polling of Trump voters, even the reluctant ones, who are showing significant acceptance that the new President is indeed getting the job done. (see Poll: 96% of Trump Supporters Would Vote for Him Again, Win Popular Vote)

Byron York: Trump’s 100 days: An executive success – “During last year’s campaign, Trump spoke frequently of all the things he would do almost immediately upon entering the Oval Office.”

By the last weeks of the campaign, Trump actually dialed back some of his promises. On October 22, he traveled to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to announce his “Contract with the American Voter,” which formalized his pledges for the first 100 days.

The “Contract” was a single piece of paper. The front listed 18 actions Trump would take under his executive authority as president, and the back listed ten pieces of legislation he would introduce in Congress.

Now, three months into the Trump administration, the front and the back of the Contract are two very different stories.

On the executive action front, Trump has kept a significant number of his promises:

But the back page of the Contract is a different story. Unlike many of his speeches, Trump was careful not to promise legislative success. “I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures and fight for their passage with the first 100 days of my administration,” he said in the Contract

But it is precisely in the legislative area that the 100 day mark is such an unrealistic measure. Congress acts on its own schedule. Truth be told, next January, on the occasion of Trump’s first year in office, if he has passed either a full-scale Obamacare repeal and replace measure or a major tax reform measure, that would be a reasonably good legislative record for a first year.

Roger Kimbal takes a look at Trump vs. Obama: A Study in Contrasts – “A full recitation of the differences between Barack Obama and Donald Trump would fill a book.”

There is not, so far as I have been able to determine, anything similar in Donald Trump’s makeup. His approach to problems, to events generally, is less ideological than pragmatic. “What’s the right thing to do in this particular case?” That seems to be his cynosure. You might not like the answers he gives, but it is easy to see that they come not from a previously adopted program or ideology but from an ad hoc response to the case at hand. Critics call that “confusion” or “inconsistency” or “contradiction.” I’m not sure those categories have much purchase in this context.

In 2014, Obama made headlines when he traded five senior Taliban leaders held captive in Guantanamo Bay for the release of Bowe Robert Bergdahl … Donald Trump, through diplomatic intervention with Egyptian President al-Sisi when he visited Washington earlier this month, quietly secured the release of the Egyptian-American charity worker Aya Hijazi, her Egyptian husband, and four other humanitarian workers who had been held for three years by Egyptian authorities.

Mark the difference.

Obama ordered the liberation of terrorists to secure the release of an anti-American Army deserter whose desertion cost the lives of at least six Army soldiers who had been sent to look for him. Trump hears about the plight of a U.S. national, uses a behind-the-scenes diplomatic initiative as an occasion to secure her release, and celebrates it at the White House.

The moral is that, for The New York Times, Donald Trump is unable to perform a humanitarian act. Everything he does must be filtered through the lens of left-wing political animus.

As we approach Trump’s hundredth day in office, however, I am happy to say that I sense a change in the anti-Trump dynamic. The anti-Trump venom is as widespread and hysterical as ever. But as the days go by and Trump governs not as Hitler but as a deliberate executive, toting up victories here, setbacks there, rain checks and extenuations and opportunities, more and more people will say, “This guy is the real deal. He gets things done. He delivers on his promises. He really is making America great again.” The effect of that sentiment will be to marginalize the mainstream media.

John Hinderaker picks up on The Associated Press Interviews President Trump – “the more I have listened to Trump and, especially, read transcripts of his speeches and interviews, the more I am impressed by the fact that if you look past his gee-whiz real estate developer style and his generally-overlooked implicit self-deprecation, what Trump is telling us is usually very smart.”

Scott Adams was prescient.

Maybe ‘The Hero’ is back. Read Clint Eastwood to Direct Film on Heroes Who Stopped ISIS-Inspired Train Attack in Paris by Melissa Mullins – “Forget calling him a Hollywood director. Clint Eastwood is quickly earning the title of America’s director.”

Meanwhile, the effort to re-write history is underway. Jazz Shaw reports that New Orleans begins tearing down some Confederate history – “Somehow I don’t think this story is going to draw as much press attention as the fights over the Confederate Battle Flag of the past couple years, but you’ll quickly see some parallels.” This is part of an effort to personalize a created opponent to obfuscate an ideological fantasy.

There is something inherently destructive and short-sighted about these efforts to whitewash our history (if you’ll pardon the phrase.) I spent some time stationed outside of New Orleans when I was in the navy and had the chance to see and photograph several of the monuments under discussion. (When I was there, the Liberty Monument was still in its original location right in the middle of Canal Street. It was later moved.) These are long standing memorials to a controversial but still important and very real part of our history. They should definitely spark civil discussions about the nation and how the past shaped who we were and the journey to come. Removing them because you find the nation’s history offensive is shallow and does a disservice to the generations to come. But it’s the path that New Orleans has now chosen, so we’ll have to rely on photographs to remember them in the future.

Jazz also describes a desecration of art in NYC: Fearless Girl and a load of bull – “it once again all comes back to context and the infinitely variable responses we have to art.” It is another example of picking at symbols to promote an ideological fantasy whether it is removing them, altering them, or something else. Maybe they need to turn the bull around to face the other way?

On Democrats and the support for lawlessness and anarchy is a Nevada Representative. Are violent demonstrations acceptable political speech? Titus thought so – “Rep. Dina Titus last week said violent protests on college campuses are responses to Donald Trump’s presidency and proposed budget. She also included violent protests in a list of ways people are “coming together” to oppose Trump.” For where this leads, take a look at Venezuela’s socialist hell.

Speaking of Venezuela, the Pope steps in it again. Robert Spencer reports that Pope Francis calls refugee centers concentration camps – “The Pope continues to exhort Europeans to commit civilizational suicide, and doesn’t hesitate to shame them into it by claiming it’s their Christian duty.”

Except for that little matter of the Nazis putting people in concentration camps in order to work them to death or murder them outright. But what need does the Pope have for such petty details?

“Leave them; they are blind guides. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14)

“Pope Francis called refugee centers concentration camps. A Jewish group says there’s no comparison,” by Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Washington Post, April 23, 2017

David Prentice provides a retrospective on The Bush Family Conundrum – “To this day, I am uncertain how to see the Bush family.”

This brings me to the biggest problem they had (and have): they never understood the nature and character of their political opponents. They never comprehended what the Democratic Party became and stood for as it lurched to the left. They didn’t care to realize that these were nasty ideological leftists who were not just in a simple disagreement with them. They likely never read the sick tomes of Howard Zinn, nor understood how the left used his work. They never understood the evil of Saul Alinsky, and how the left gained and kept political power. While the left was, and is, at war with us (the right), the Bush family appeased it.

In a word, they were naïve.

Trump just showed us how to win: have a vision, be unafraid to communicate it, and know just how nasty your opponents really are. Fight them. Conservatives, it’s time to move on from the Bush family, and go back to Reagan’s vision of a great America. Throw out your timidity, communicate as if your lives depended on it, keep your promises, and defeat leftist tyranny.

If we don’t, we won’t have much left to conserve.

There is an education goin’ on.

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Is truth an invention?

Tammy Bruce on The rot of political correctness – “In today’s academy, truth is an invention. Expecting people to show up on time is racist. Censorship is good. Silencing opposing viewpoints imperative. Violence to enforce safety is natural.”

For the last 25 years, under the guise of “political correctness,” we’ve been watching the inexplicable flow into our culture. The idiotic demands of political correctness in the 1980s, ironically relying on the decency of the American people for their acquiescence, was just the prep course, an amuse bouche before the main course of creating social chaos and destruction.

It sounds dramatic, and it is, and it’s also the only way the left maintains power — brainwashing people into believing that social norms must be destroyed in order to create a more perfect society. From the ashes would emerge the great collective phoenix.

Just ask the Soviet Union, Cambodia, Cuba and Venezuela how well that works out.

There is naval gazing due to a couple of ‘close but no cigar’ votes where the Democrats have invested heavily. Gabriel Debenedetti: Democrats begin to wonder: When do we win? – “For all the roiling anger and energy at the grassroots, the party still fell short in Georgia and Kansas. And Democratic prospects in upcoming elections aren’t promising.” Perhaps have something the part is for might be a start. When “resistance” and lawlessness and obstruction and hate are your key drivers, strength is limited.

“The biggest driver of enthusiasm right now is the rejection of Trump and the Trump agenda,” said party strategist Jesse Ferguson

Schatz believes the party’s messaging needs some refining. In his view, that means officials at the DCCC should cut the doom-and-gloom messaging in their fundraising emails — a significant way the party communicates with backers.

IBD describes The Democrats’ Desperate Ploy To Block Tax Reform – “Democrats say they won’t work with President Trump on tax reform unless he first releases his tax returns. This has to be the lamest excuse for not fixing the tax code we’ve ever heard.” It’s becoming quite clear that this obsession is just another gambit to obtain something, anything, with which to smear, defame, and denigrate.

Let’s be clear. This is not about tax reform at all. And it’s not about making sure Trump isn’t sneaking some provision into a reform bill that will secretly benefit him or his family.

This is about politics, pure and simple.

Democrats continue to hope that there’s something in Trump’s tax returns that they can blow out of proportion to further hamper his administration, and they think they have some leverage over Trump at the moment.

But the question regarding the public’s need to see Trump’s tax returns has already been decided by voters, hasn’t it? They knew before casting their ballots that Trump had refused to release his tax returns, and voted him into office anyway.

Tax reform is vital to restoring economic growth and vitality. No one denies that. If tax reform fails — and the economy suffers as a result — it won’t be Trump’s tax returns that are to blame. It will be shortsighted Democratic lawmakers kowtowing to the extremists in their party.

Another of the petards coming home to roost is described by George Neumayr: Confirmed: John Brennan Colluded With Foreign Spies to Defeat Trump – “This is the open scandal that Congress should investigate.”

An article in the Guardian last week provides more confirmation that John Brennan was the American progenitor of political espionage aimed at defeating Donald Trump. One side did collude with foreign powers to tip the election — Hillary’s.

The Guardian story is written in a style designed to flatter its sources (they are cast as high-minded whistleblowers), but the upshot of it is devastating for them, nonetheless, and explains why all the criminal leaks against Trump first originated in the British press.

Liberals pompously quote the saying — “the bigger the lie, the more it will be believed” — even as their media enshrine it. Historians will look back on 2016 and marvel at the audacity of its big lie: whispers of an imaginary Trump-Russia collusion that wafted up from the fever swamps of a real collusion between John Brennan and foreign powers seeking Trump’s defeat.

Another one raising ire is by the OregonMuse: Berkeley: An Autopsy – “So who is to blame for the seemingly ongoing Berkeley riots?”

Meet Jese Arreguin, elected mayor of Berkeley, progressive loon, terrorist enabler, idiot. His Twitter TL reads like a conservative parody of a progressive Twitter account.

What it boils down to is that the rioting that happened this weekend, as well as the previous riots, occurred because Arreguin wanted them to. After all, it was his peeps that were rioting, and the people they were punching, beating, and pepper-spraying, i.e. Trump supporters, veterans, honest free-speech advocates, and other normal people, are generally not “progressive” enough for the likes of the Berkeley mayor.

Business owners and residents of Berkeley should take note. And perhaps look into hiring private security as Ann Coulter is scheduled to speak at Berkeley on April 27th.

Things were a bit different elsewhere as Brett T. notes Auburn takes Berkeley to school as police unmask anti-fascists outside Richard Spencer speech – “To be honest, we’re less interested in what alt-right leader Richard Spencer said Tuesday night at Auburn University than it what the police patrolling the event were up to, which was especially shocking in the wake of the latest round of rioting in Berkeley.”

Ed Morrissey describes another hazardous front Beware: “Democratic radical left” provoking a government shutdown, warns … – “One Senator warns that radical activists on the Left have pushed Democrats into complete “across the board obstruction” that will precipitate a government shutdown, which Chuck Schumer will do to appease hardliners despite the fact that it won’t have any success.” The key concept is one of deciding how much to invest in fighting which battles. In a war of attrition, care is needed to assure some return on the assets at risk. The Democrats are investing all in everything and this is likely to leave them nothing for anything.

Democrats plan an all-out fight against that funding, even in a nominal amount, as part of La Resistance to Trump. That much, at least, would be part of the actual discretionary budget process, unlike the “defund ObamaCare” government shutdown in 2013 that ended up flopping — and nearly distracting voters from the even bigger disaster of the ObamaCare rollout. As we see to this day, ObamaCare gets most of its funding and does most of its spending by statute rather than appropriations, which meant that the 2013 defunding effort was a dead end right from the start.

the Trump administration has some cards to play, too. Government shutdowns leave a lot of discretion in the hands of the president, and that could allow Trump to score a few points whether the media covers it or not.

In the end, presidents win shutdowns because they have a lot more leverage, even with a hostile media. Furthermore, a shutdown undermines the Left in a way that doesn’t apply to the Right — it attacks the notion that we need bigger and more-present government in all issues. Schumer & Co can’t afford to have a shutdown go on long enough to disprove their entire raison d’être. Even with a sympathetic media behind them, budget obstructionism is not sustainable for long, and will eventually infuriate voters who expect Congress to do their jobs rather than stamp their feet and threaten to take their ball home.

Another cause of the day is also starting to reap its ‘dividends.’ Jazz Shaw: San Francisco’s minimum wage spike is already shutting down restaurants – citing the Washington ExaminerSan Francisco’s higher minimum wage is causing an increasing number of restaurants to go out of business even before it is fully phased in, a new study by the Harvard Business School found.” It’s just like those global warming studies with dissonance between fantasy and reality. It is also worthy of note that it isn’t the elite that get the impact of the Left’s efforts.

Whenever I write about the “Fight for 15” and the impact of steeply increasing minimum wage rates on employment I am regularly assured by liberal activists that such concerns are either false or severely overblown. There is an entire body of work in the progressive sphere dedicated to nothing but this particular propaganda effort. The premise makes no sense in terms of basic economics (or simply math, for that matter) but it keeps on being repeated. And yet, when the experiment is moved off of the chalkboard and out into the real world the opposite always seems to happen.

As the Harvard study found, the most expensive and highly rated restaurants don’t seem to be affected at all. The closures and cutbacks are hitting all of the more modest priced outlets with lower customer ratings. Unfortunately for San Francisco’s workforce, that’s the majority of them.

There is a tide coming in.

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