Archive for Justice and Law

What have you bought? What price has been paid? (A tulip mania?)

Russiagate’s Damage To The Country Will Take Years To Realize. Willis L. Krumholz – “The media and Democrat Party have dug themselves so deeply in a hole, they must keep on digging. That’s absolutely terrible for this country, as has been this entire endeavor.”

“No evidence of collusion was found between the Trump campaign and Russia. Leftwing media that had spent years pumping the conspiracy theory of Trump-Russia collusion made sure to add that the report “stops short of exonerating [Trump] for obstruction of justice.” Ergo, the report stays away from the patently ridiculous charge of obstruction, which would seek to politicize and decimate a president’s Article II powers.

But Democrats are making sure to stress that investigations into Trump are ongoing—in Congress, and in the federal prosecutor’s office in the Southern District of New York. And CNN promised the “Mueller report is just the start of a new Russia showdown.”

The mainstream media was just as deranged. For the entire year of 2017, anything that could damage Trump, no matter how outlandish, was published. Journalistic standards collapsed.

if you were ever tied to Trump, you were treated differently.

Regular American families who used to agree to disagree about politics are now at each other’s throats. After all, the media has been telling people that Trump is a traitor. How could any decent person support a traitor?

The damage to America’s interests, and a rational foreign policy discourse, has also been far-reaching and yet to be realized.

liberalism is dead. It has been replaced by an insane, corporatist, identity-politics-fueled, and, yes, pagan mob that would only be possible in a country sliding towards post-Christianity. The new left is power-hungry, wants nothing to do with the traditional working class, and the ends always justify the means.

What Price Maddow? Stephen Ryan – “the folks who truly deserve to be put in their place and totally humiliated are the viewers of these pretend news shows.”

“But the ringmaster understood that nobody listens to the critics. What mattered most was the act: the bearded lady would be on the show the next day and the mob would show up.

The Trump tax return debacle, in certain ways, was a game changer for progressive media.

The fallout from the Trump tax return show was that network news producers tossed their journalistic ethics out of the window. …

The Russia/Trump collusion story became the “Greatest Show on Earth”. Money, prizes, and careers were up for grabs. The circus act took off and P.T. Maddow became a star, a rating behemoth and a gigantic moneymaking machine for MSNBC.

But now, Donald Trump’s total vindication of the charge that he colluded with the Russians to win the presidency has starkly revealed an ugly corruption between important institutions of the United States.

We can be sure of one thing: the perpetrators of the Russia conspiracy theory, the politicians and the journalists, will not police themselves. It will be business as usual unless voters understand that being lied to by powerful institutions is a lot more dangerous than “climate change.”

But don’t hold your breath. The expensively educated folks who blindly watch Rachel Maddow spin her web of nonsense will be the last people on earth to admit they were duped.

As Mark Twain said: ‘It’s Easier to Fool People Than to Convince Them That They Have Been Fooled.”

ABC, Guardian: Trump trying to “weaponize” the Mueller report. Ed Morrissey – “Well, we can’t have that, can we? We must remake the story from Democrats blowing all their credibility into Trump weaponizing the fact that the Democrats’ public accusations of treachery just got shown to be baseless after two years of hammering (another clichéd metaphor!) Trump with them. That wasn’t “weaponizing,” but apparently disarming the argument is.”

Russiagate: why did the press do it? neo – “The fact that Russiagate was actually the un-Watergate probably did not even cross their minds.

No, Sarah Sanders didn’t accuse Trump’s Russiagate critics of treason. Allahpundit – “When you read a transcript of what she said, the identity of the “treasonous” party might seem ambiguous. When you watch, it isn’t. And yet, because partisanship in 2019 requires an endless supply of bad faith and willful misunderstanding, hundreds of people on social media who actually did watch the clip are in a lather about the White House supposedly claiming Russiagate true believers are traitors.”

“Right, right, it’s not news that social media is populated by morons. But what’s the New York Post’s excuse?

Drudge headlines tell the story: 533,074 articles about Russia probe. 2,284 Minutes. Zucker: No Regrets. 50 Hollywood Stars Who Accused President of Treason, Collusion. LIST: FALSE BOMBSHELLS. Most embarrassing predictions. Former Spy Chiefs Exposed. DEMS: PLAN B… TAX RETURNS!

The DOJ Just Delivered A Major Blow To Obamacare. Beth Baumann – “The Department of Justice on Monday sided with U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor’s previous ruling that the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, is unconstitutional.” See also Jazz Shaw DOJ siding with Fifth Circuit in striking down all of Obamacare.

Today’s Green New Deal vote is going to be spectacular. Jazz Shaw – “we’re probably about to watch the Democrats defeat a measure they accused Republicans of not supporting all through last year. You might want to fire up a batch of popcorn and turn on CSPAN this afternoon. You don’t often find this type of quality entertainment on television anymore.

Other stories are about the SPLC ‘meltdown’ and Pentagon progress on 57 miles of border wall.

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This is who they are. This is what they do.

John Oliver on Jay Leno’s call for civility: Remember Monica Lewinsky? Karen Townsend – “Last week former late night talk show host Jay Leno called for “a bit more civility” in public discourse and now he must be punished.

“Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton were savaged in the press and on the radio during that scandal. Both sides of the aisle went after them but for different reasons. The left smeared Lewinsky because her sexual relationship with Clinton threatened his presidency once it was exposed. The right went after Clinton for his behavior. The real hypocrisy was the left’s treatment toward a young woman being taken advantage of by the most powerful man in the world. This pre-dates the current cries from first, second, and third-wave feminists to believe all women, period. Lewinsky wasn’t so innocent as not to know what she was doing but the left was more concerned about saving Clinton’s presidency than they were about Lewinsky. She was slut-shamed like all of Clinton’s conquests.

The liberal mob always demands an apology for any manner of speech that doesn’t fit into current groupthink. Calls for civility and standing up for yourself must be squashed and mocked. This is who they are.

Tectonic plates are moving underneath Fox News. Thomas Lifson – “Under capitalism, ownership brings control, and Fox News has a new corporate parent that began trading yesterday on NASDAQ.”

“The rise of Fox News as the sole mass media counterpoint to the progressive media establishment changed American politics, and it has been a long-held goal of the Left, particularly Soros-funded attack dog Media Matters, to either destroy it or politically neuter it, thereby monopolizing all media with a large national reach. So, the question naturally arises, does this new ownership under the control of a new generation of Murdochs signal a chance for the Left to accomplish this critical goal?

CNN Interviews Brad Parscale, Then Accidentally Notes the DNC 2020 Strategy. sundance – “What Tapper notes as the urgent data collection priority of the DNCis specifically the reason why the club has enlisted Beto to draw-in the community they need to harvest.”

“Planning, scheming, endless meetings, talking points, operational organization and strategy is one of the key elements of the Democrat party. This is what they do. This is all they do. It might seem weird at first, but the DNC club is not chaotic; and, from my perspective, that is their weakness. It makes them predictable.The Democrats rarely, if ever, go off script.

New York prosecutors throw out Constitution to charge Manafort. Jonathan Turley – “The New York state charges that Vance filed against Manafort appear to run afoul of state and federal protections against double jeopardy, or being prosecuted twice for the same underlying conduct.

“The problem is that the case appears not only constitutionally flawed but ethically challenged, coming right out of the Max Bialystock School of Prosecution. I have long been one of the longest and loudest critics of Manafort. He is a corrupt and despicable person who deserves the two sentences that could keep him in jail for the rest of his life. However, it is not his crimes but his association with President Trump that has driven the manic effort to charge him in New York. In this current age of rage over Trump, Manafort is a readily available surrogate for selective prosecution.

For more than a year, leading New York state prosecutors have openly pledged to get Manafort on some undefined crime to prevent Trump from releasing him from jail on a presidential pardon. They promised to find crimes that could be alleged in the state system, which would not at all be impacted by a presidential pardon. To do that, they only had to strip all citizens of certain rights. Former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman pushed the legislature to rescind a core protection against double jeopardy to allow him to charge Manafort on the same criminal conduct that he would later be sentenced for in federal court.

When I read the complaint against Manafort, I was struck not only by the overlap but the overkill.

What emerges is a picture that should trouble everyone who values blind and fair justice.

The greatest danger is not that Vance will fail on constitutional grounds but that he may succeed.

SCOTUS Gives Trump a Big Win on Immigration. David Catron – “Court rules that criminal aliens can be held without bond during deportation proceedings.” The issue for the Left is about discrimination between citizen and non-citizen; between criminal and non-criminal.

“On Tuesday the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Trump administration in Nielsen v. Preap, allowing the Department of Homeland Security to detain illegal aliens without bond while awaiting deportation for committing crimes within our borders.

The respondents challenged the Trump administration’s interpretation of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which requires DHS to take any alien convicted of a deportable crime into custody “whether the alien is released on parole, supervised release, or probation, and without regard to whether the alien may be arrested or imprisoned again for the same offense.”

The basic point Alito is making here is that the text of the statute means what it says, and no amount of grammatical Jiu Jitsu will change that meaning.

Not all the justices took this view, of course. The position of the minority was laid out in a dissent written by Justice Stephen Breyer, who focused on the rights of the aliens impacted by Tuesday’s ruling.

One could hardly ask for a better example of what’s wrong with liberal jurisprudence. It isn’t the Supreme Court’s job to reflect on the “likely intent” of Congress.

Part VI: DC & MD v Trump—Can the President of the United States get Married or Divorced? Seth Barrett Tillman – another example or torturing words and phrases for political insanity via a judicial oligarchy. This example is about the emoluments clause. It’s what they do, It’s who they are.

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Language of the dead

Andrew McCarthy on Manafort and double jeopardy. neo – “I agree with McCarthy that this should make everyone afraid. … But it doesn’t. Some are applauding.”

Waging War Against the Dead. Victor Davis Hanson – “Not since the iconoclasts of the Byzantine Empire or the epidemic of statue destruction during the French Revolution has the world seen anything like the current war on the past.

“The West prides itself in the idea that liberal societies would never descend into such nihilism. Think again.

such attacks usually revealed a lack of confidence. The general insecurity of the present could supposedly be remedied by destroying mute statutes or the legacies of the dead, who could offer no rebuttal.

opportunism, not logic, always seems to determine the targets of destruction.

in the past there usually has been a cowardly element to historical erasure. Destruction was often done at night by roving vandals, or was sanctioned by extremist groups who bullied objectors.

ignorance both accompanies and explains the arrogance of historical erasure, past and present.

The past is not a melodrama but more often a tragedy. Destroying history will not make you feel good about the present. Studying and learning from it might.

I Love the DisneyWorld Monorail. Here is Why It is A Terrible Public Transit Technology. District 48 – “When I talk about industrial design, I often use a scale where 1 is the Boston City Hall and 10 is the Disneyworld monorail.” … “Disney has essentially abandoned the monorail for all its future expansions. … it relies on busses now almost exclusively for internal transport.” Here’s why. It’s another tale of reality meeting dreams and fantasies.

EDITORIAL: One tongue for all. Washington Times – “The idea of making English the official language is back.

Massively incorrect’: Point-by-point rebuttal to Michael Mann’s Newsweek smear of Trump, Greenpeace co-founder Dr. Moore & Princeton’s Dr. Happer — Update: Michael Mann responds: “Ooooh deniers. Did I touch a nerve? I’m sawee.” The response to being caught in flagrant lies is telling. And indicative.

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Fear and flail

Media Matters has been throwing stones at Tucker Carlson from its own glass house. Thomas Lifson – “But Tucker fought back. I don’t know who it was, but someone used the same strategy on Angelo Carusone, the president of Media Matters, and pored through his published opus.” And “the culpability of his media handmaidens.” is duly noted as well. People may be getting rather tired of the ad hominem stretches intended to destroy and impugn?

The Creepiest Part of the Lisa Page Transcript. David Catron – “The real news is how fearful the denizens of the DOJ and FBI were of incurring Clinton’s wrath”. Where do you think all of allegations about Trump being fascist, etc, came from? Projection?

Lynch Testimony Reveals Bias and Intent For Failing To Give Trump Defensive Briefing. Sara Carter – “it is the key finding that won’t bode well for the FBI and DOJ.” It comes down to the idea that the role of government is to protect its citizens, including candidates for political office. Not persecute them.

Report: ICE finding ways around sanctuary policies. Jazz Shaw – “The Chair of New Mexico’s Bernalillo County Commission was (direct quote) “surprised and horrified” to find that known criminal illegal aliens were, in at least some cases, being taken into custody for processing, prosecution, and possible deportation. This is apparently what passes for “a bad thing” in some Democratic circles.” Those promoting sanctuary areas seem to become appalled when others also “pick and choose what they want to observe.” The assault on 2nd amendment rights in places like Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico provide examples.

“It’s not limited to just New Mexico, thankfully. The report goes on to state that the same practice has been observed in places including Philadelphia, Chicago and multiple communities across California. Are we surprised? These are real human beings we’re talking about here, not just dry policy points on county resolutions. Some of these law enforcement officers have been on the job for decades and have built relationships with their colleagues across the local, state and federal levels. They’re all interested in the same things… enforcing the law and keeping people safe. Is it really all that shocking to find that they stay in touch in their free time and even help each other out? …

But who is going to be punished for all of this activity? The cops. Not the criminal illegal aliens. These local government officials would rather go after their own police in the interest of scoring political points. The world has turned upside down and our law enforcement officers increasingly find themselves with nobody in the government willing to back them up.

San Jose police chief: Sanctuary policies shielded a suspected murderer from deportation six times. John Sexton – “It makes me wonder if the fact that Carranza was homeless played into this as well.”

How petty is Nancy Pelosi? This petty. Jazz Shaw – “We understand that the Democrats are all about the #RESIST movement now and doing everything they can to be confrontational when it comes to the White House. But couldn’t we at least pretend for a while that the co-equal branches are all playing for the same team?

Trump-speak: love it or hate it. neo – “I was analyzing one of Nancy Pelosi’s statements for my previous post today. I found myself in a sort of awe at how much she packed into a couple of seemingly simple sentences: so much hypocrisy, so much unctuous fake nobility, so much artificiality, a little hidden dagger, so many hidden messages.

“So, where does Trump fall on this spectrum? The first time I ever watched him give a political speech—and this was back when I thought he’d be a disaster for the right—I was impressed by a number of things … All this time has passed and that aspect of Trump hasn’t faltered: he makes all other politicians look boring and he looks natural doing whatever it is that he does.

those who really really really dislike Trump seem to dislike him in very visceral and personal terms. One thing the ones on the right don’t like is his lack of intellectualism. Another thing his enemies on both sides don’t like is that they interpret the seeming naturalism of his speech as meaning that he is someone who says whatever pops into his head, with no filter and little thought. I think noting could be further from the truth.

I think what’s happening is that Trump is every bit as strategic/tactical as any politician, perhaps even more so. …

I think what’s happening is that Trump is every bit as strategic/tactical as any politician, perhaps even more so.

CA sea level rise alarmist study ignores 30 years of NOAA data with no coastal sea level rise acceleration. Larry Hamlin – “Climate alarmists and their supporting media conveniently conceal the fact that their flawed claims have been hyped for the last 30 years as they continue to try again and again to make the same repeated but flawed claims apparently hoping that the public will forget their long track record of failure and exaggeration.

“The recent climate alarmist propaganda study hyped by the media speculating that CA coastal sea level rise levels of 1 to 2 meters (about 3 to 6 feet) by 2100 “could” occur along with associated grossly exaggerated damage estimates are based solely on invalid “computer models” which ignore the extensive measured NOAA tide gauge data which shows that 30 year old climate alarmist claims of accelerating coastal sea level rise are unsupported by actual measured data.

Greenpeace co-founder and former President of Greenpeace Canada Patrick Moore noted in a recent article addressing the hidden political drivers behind the global campaign of climate alarmist propaganda claims which he characterized as follows:

“And so you’ve got the green movement creating stories that instill fear in the public. You’ve got the media echo chamber — fake news — repeating it over and over and over again to everybody that they’re killing their children. And then you’ve got the green politicians who are buying scientists with government money to produce fear for them in the form of scientific-looking materials. And then you’ve got the green businesses, the rent-seekers, and the crony capitalists who are taking advantage of massive subsidies, huge tax write-offs, and government mandates requiring their technologies to make a fortune on this. And then, of course, you’ve got the scientists who are willingly, they’re basically hooked on government grants.”

Until CA citizens wake up and stop allowing themselves to be herded into supporting these scientifically unsupported climate alarmist propaganda claims the state will only become more and more government controlled and dominated with loss of power and influence residing within its citizenry.

Flailing?

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Witch hunt to deny free speech?

The House launches its expected fishing expedition against the Great Orange Whale, Moby Donald. neo – “That net is very wide, isn’t it? But hey, they’ll do anything to harpoon Moby Donald.

“I can’t recall anything even remotely like this, in terms of scope, against a sitting president. Watergate was mainly about Watergate, as far as I know. Even Whitewater was relatively circumscribed in nature, and mostly was handled by a succession of independent counsels. The Lewinski investigation was, likewise, comparatively limited and also involved an independent counsel (Ken Starr, who had originally started with the Whitewater matter).

The analogy to those investigations is the Mueller investigation. That’s been going on for nearly two years, and during that time Mueller has had access to the same people Nadler is pursuing, and has not found much of anything to implicate Trump. Democrats are upset about that, so they are going to try again. Whether their plan is to impeach Trump (they probably have the House votes to do that, but it would be dumb without some sort of smoking gun that could gain enough votes in the Senate to convict him) or whether they just want to try to engage in constant innuendos and smears from now to the 2020 election in hopes of damaging him further (that’s my leading theory at the moment), this is a deeply troubling although completely expected development. Another goal of this investigation—and one I would think had already been sufficiently met, but I guess the Democrats see no reason not to make the point ever more clear—is to frighten anyone away who might even consider working under Trump.

So one of the purposes of squeezing Cohen, the noted perjurer, and getting him to testify against Trump in the absence of any proof except the word of a known flagrant liar, is to set the scene for further investigations based on Cohen’s allegations. It’s a bit like the Steele dossier, isn’t it? You take a lie and make it the basis for an investigation to trap more little fish in your net in hopes of finally catching the big fish.

People who hate Trump—and they are legion—will be overjoyed. I’m wondering, though, how the vast middle will respond to this. I also wonder how vast the middle actually is anymore.

Net neutrality and the culture of contempt. Will Baird – “But the final speaker of the day struck a different tone. A business professor, the speaker described net neutrality as a “life-and-death situation” for entrepreneurs, whom he has advised to leave the country.

“His remarks continued in this vein, exclaiming that we should not be “having this debate in an academic sense in a way that…legitimizes the other side.” After describing net neutrality skeptics as Flat-Earthers who want to destroy the American Dream for entrepreneurs who are “trying to make our planet a better place,” he concluded by stating that the fact that we are even discussing the issue “makes me think, Oh My God, where am I?”

I sat in stunned silence. The conference effectively closed with a plea to the audience, consisting mostly of law students and interested lawyers, to not even acknowledge the ideas that have shaped my academic career. I am not afraid of conflict; I love policy debates, and given where I stand on issues, it’s usually not hard to find someone who disagrees with me. But this ground had shifted from ideas to tribalism. …

Unfortunately, this dynamic has increasingly become the hallmark of the net neutrality debate. No one has felt it more than Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, who has suffered an endless stream of social media vitriol, harassment of himself and his family, and death threats because of his support for the Restoring Internet Freedom Order. The effect of this dynamic is to shut down policy discussion and instead relegate the issue to the raw power struggles of the political arena.

The list of issues where this happens is long. Climate whatever, vaccinations, chemicalz, GMO, pesticides, plastics, abortion, energy, natural whatever, Fake News™ … the behaviors are common and easily observed. Even international trade brings AEI (source of the article) into this set of behaviors.

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Rendezvous With Reality?

Where Is House Ethics Probe into Adam Schiff? Julie Kelly – “During his grudge-airing, redemption-seeking spectacle on Wednesday, Michael Cohen admitted he was in cahoots with Democratic lawmakers prior to giving his congressional testimony.

“It all amounted to the latest ethical misstep by the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee; unfortunately, none of Schiff’s bad behavior has caught the attention either of the media or congressional watchdogs. Unlike his predecessor, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who was subjected to a fruitless, eight-month House Ethics Committee investigation in 2017, Schiff continues to escape scrutiny for lying to Congress, misleading the public about imaginary crimes related to Russian collusion, and now, witness-tampering. …

We now know which one was overplaying his hand: Schiff. Two years later, despite Schiff’s repeated warnings, there is no solid evidence to substantiate his claims. …

But new evidence now contradicts much of what Schiff claimed in his counter-memo, including a crucial timeline of contacts between the Justice Department and dossier author Christopher Steele, yet he has not corrected the record. Schiff’s failure to correct this record amounts to lying to Congress—his counter-memo was addressed to all members of the House of Representatives—as well as misleading Americans since the memo is a public record. Further, it’s now evident that the Nunes memo is accurate and that Schiff engaged in a deceitful campaign against his colleague in order to discredit and derail a crucial congressional investigation. How was that not an attempt by Schiff to obstruct justice?

Predictable – Adam Schiff and Elijah Cummings Announce Next Set of Witnesses. sundance – “Obviously this approach is unprecedented. However, as with everything that has happened thus far, this level of resistance continues to raise political confrontation into uncharted territory.

“All of this is carefully designed. None of this is organic. All of the participants have networked contacts acting as intermediaries (like Lawfare) to provide arms-length plausible deniability to the larger political scheme. These plans and schemes are all professional Democrats spend time thinking and talking about. This is what they do. This is all they do. This is their purpose in life; nothing else matters. …

Fortunately there are signals beginning to surface that indicate at least some members of congress are aware of the insufferable scheme and beginning to get out in front of it.

Lynne Patton: “Michael Cohen turned on the President because Mueller threatened to throw his wife in jail for up to 30 years” sundance – “This is a rather stunning statement. However, it holds the elements of truth and explanation as to why the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller/Andrew Weissmann, would pass off their assembled Cohen prosecution to the Southern District of New York.

The Democrats Embrace Not Making Sense. Jonathan F. Keiler – “Nothing about the competing positions of Democratic candidates makes much sense — not just from a Republican or conservative perspective, but from a position of logic, consistency, and anything resembling sound judgment.

“Three contradictory and irreconcilable planks dominate Democrat politics today and nobody is trying to rationalize them — socialism, identity politics, and climate change.

Identity based favoritism and set-asides are not socialist, but rather much closer to fascism.

California’s Rendezvous With Reality. Victor Davis Hanson – “Californians also see their progressive, one-party state as a neo-socialist model for a nation moving hard to the left … But how long will they retain such confidence?”

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Culture war: many fronts assaulted with much vigor.

The Red Queen. Richard Fernandez – “If the 20th century can be described as the age of materialism and conflict, the 21st may be known as the age of information; the time we discovered angels and demons are real. Madness too can become incarnate and do stuff.

“One of the vulnerabilities cited by the BBC study on civilizational collapse is today we are part of a “tightly coupled globalized system”. Unlike eras when mistakes and their consequences could be localized today a major error can affect everybody. The flip side of the claim that a Green New Deal can “save the world” is it can also destroy it.

One of the characteristics of comprehensive ideologies, as illustrated by the Green New Deal, is that because of their reductionist and global character they handle complexity with chunky policy interventions. This tends to increase the probability of “normal accidents” because the bureaucracy cannot manage the complex systems they feel compelled to control.

Nature attacks and defends on many fronts. But a giant ideological bureaucracy can do what Darwin can’t: embark on a single strategy to the exclusion of all else.

Lessons from Our Family’s Recent Identity Theft Mess. District 48 – “The problem with government (and all dysfunctional organizations, public and private) is not that they hire bad people, but they hire good people that they cause to act badly through poor information and incentives.” Police had no interest but his mail carrier “bent over backwards to help us out.” The perp was caught standing in a USPS line.

Harry Reid on Trump: ‘I just have trouble accepting him as a person’. J. Marsolo – “Speaking for the deranged Trump-haters, Harry doesn’t see Trump as a person, so everything Trump does is bad.” Trump’s smack down tweet clarifies the situation. Reid is an embarrassment, especially to Nevada.

Stunning – 44 Democrats Vote to Support Post Birth Abortion. sundance – “Three democrat Senators voted to support the bill [Casey (PA), Manchin (WVA), and Jones (AL)], all others voted against protecting the babies.” The Trump Response Tweet: “This will be remembered as one of the most shocking votes in the history of Congress. If there is one thing we should all agree on, it’s protecting the lives of innocent babies.Ace of Spades notesThree Senators — Tim Scott of South Carolina, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska all chose to not be present for the vote.

Chase Bank Now Routinely Closing the Personal Bank Accounts of Conservatives. Ace of Spades – “Part of the problem is that the left has made it its top priority to infiltrate/pressure corporations to advance the left’s goals — including the goal, now, of complete censorship and discrimination against conservatives.

About half of New Mexico counties are now gun rights sanctuaries. Jazz Shaw – “That’s not how things are supposed to work, of course. There’s the whole supremacy issue to deal with for starters. But if the Democrats passing these new gun control laws want to be upset about it, they’re going to have to explain why it’s okay for states and cities to defy federal immigration laws for sanctuary cities and states. If you’re going to pick and choose which laws you will or won’t respect, don’t act surprised when someone else does the same thing.

From Victor Davis Hanson regarding media malpractice in editing a conversation he had – “This is exactly why many people today have distrust of many in media and reflect upon the unprofessionalism that occurs too often.”

Microsoft’s Moral Abdication. Kevin Jon Heller – “This is a remarkable abdication of Microsoft’s responsibility for considering how its technology could be used — or misused.” Heller thinks that creating anything to help defend ourselves is terrible because somebody might abuse it. Take that bit of logic to even modest implications and it is clear that Heller is advocating suicide by passivity. Consider rocks in this light. Does Heller condemn making rocks because they might be used by armies in slings to protect their societies? (What happened to David and Goliath?)

“To be absolutely clear, I am not comparing IVAS to the atomic bomb. Microsoft is not the Manhattan Project. The underlying principle, however, is the same: it is not acceptable for scientists to blind themselves to the consequences of their actions.

This requires predicting the future, making unreasonable assumptions, and ignoring history. Trying to shift blame for misery from human nature to scientific creativity shows a severe lack of honesty and intellectual integrity. That shows in the absolute claims used in expressing judgment. Bringing in the Manhattan project regrets is another tell. That is a very clear story in selective history and the ignorance of tragedy reduction. The underlying fears driving that regret, about nuclear science and not weapons, are still costing human misery and suffering as outcomes of a non-polluting energy source being absent from the Green New Deal, for instance.

The culture war is one of survival. Legalizing infanticide explicitly post birth is one. Criminalizing self defense either personal or national, is another.

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Yet here we are. Surber, Feldman, sundance, McCotter, Knighton explain

Now do you see Trump won the shutdown? Don Surber – “Two months and a day after the shutdown began, President Trump is in the driver’s seat.

“First, “Trump is getting the wall.”

Second, “No, Trump did not cave.”

Third, “Trump wins because he isn’t screwing anyone over.”

When the shutdown battle began, I wrote that President Trump had won because Donald Trump wins the battle first, then goes to war. It’s Sun Tzu.

It’s the third item in the list that is perhaps most important. His opposition is all about what they can do to destroy people. Trump is about M.A.G.A.

High Ties and Misdemeanors. Clarice Feldman – “Nothing offends people more than unequal justice — disparate treatment of protected persons and classes. This week, the FBI and Department of Justice’s hash of equal justice became even clearer and the media’s fat thumb on the scales as well.” Unequal justice is about “screwing anyone over.”

“I believe the concept of “hate crimes” is an oxymoron. If you assault or murder someone it’s fair to assume it was out of improper animus. Adding a kicker for “hate” in which attacks on certain classes of people result in enhanced sentences strikes me as an improper “thought crime” punishment, inconsistent with constitutional law.

In any event, the laws on hate crimes seem to be as selectively enforced as the crimes of mishandling and leaking classified material and attempting to overthrow the president. Here too the press plays an important part, demonizing the President’s supporters, and downplaying or not reporting hate crimes against them while regularly magnifying defamatory and false accusations against them.

AP Previews Andrew Weissmann’s Special Counsel Report as Pitched by Pelosi Committee Chairs.  sundance – “Many people are wondering what type of report Andrew Weissmann could possibly write for his special counsel boss Robert Mueller – to present to the DOJ after two years of insufferable political investigations.

“the Associated Press has provided an answer that likely hits as close to accurate as anyone could presume.

In their anticipatory outline the AP reporters take half-truths, blend them with innuendo and leap-jumping suspicion, and top it all off with manipulated narrative engineering.

An American Epidemic: Toxic Imbecility. Thaddeus G. McCotter – President Abraham Lincoln ominously noted, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

“What is this postmodern plague consuming our nation?

Toxic imbecility.

And where is the hot zone where this imbecilic chicken first came home to roost and now appears ready to cook our goose?

symptoms of toxic imbecility include but are certainly not limited to the following:

Tragically, the symptoms of #ToxicImbecility appear to be endless. Fortunately, the vaccine, for those not yet infected, and the antidote, for those now suffering the scourge, is relatively succinct; readily available and, thanks to the internet, largely free: read liberal doses of Edmund Burke, Russell Kirk, William F. Buckley, Jr. and Victor Davis Hanson; escape your safe space; and embrace reality. Yes, it’s that simple.

Case study: 11-Year-Old Docked Points for Not Bashing Trump. Tom Knighton – “To say that some people dislike Donald Trump may well be the understatement of the year. It’s hard to imagine any duly elected president seeing so many protests, yet here we are.

“manipulated narrative engineering” sounds like a new course for the universities. It’s what Pravda was known for but called propaganda back then.

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Word of the day: inarticulable

Like Comey and Brennan, McCabe finds impetus of Trump probe ‘inarticulable’. Dan Bongino – “Like ex-CIA boss John Brennan and disgraced former FBI Director James Comey, McCabe was coining his own phrase to explain why the intelligence community started spying the Trump team.

“Paragraph One in federal investigations lays out precisely why the investigation began and how. You can’t skip over it with fanciful phrases or empty verbiage. Yet, in the case of the counter-intelligence probe that targeted Team Trump, it has been two years and we are still waiting for someone to articulate a clear reason why the program began.

McCabe told Scott Pelley the FBI had a bunch of “articulable facts,” but he didn’t bother to articulate them.

Is anybody ever going to describe what this is? Put yourself in Trump’s shoes. He is being investigated as a potential traitor to the United States for colluding with a foreign power and no one has yet described why they were investigating the Trump team during the campaign.

When the truth is no longer “articulable,” you have to get creative.

Amendment 6 – Rights of Accused in Criminal Prosecutions – “to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.” This means “articulable” and clearly articulated. It is a basic right being denied to the President.

Were conservatives really ‘frothing at the mouth’ over that Malia Obama story? (a continuing series). John Sexton – this is another Republicans Pounce story.

“The left is clearly eager to lash out at almost anyone the right whether they be Catholic high school kids or denizens of Chicago’s notorious MAGA country. In the case of the AOC dance video and this Malia Obama story, conservatives can even be saying the opposite pretty consistently all day long and still tens of thousands of people are getting themselves worked up over the idea of the offense, even if actual examples are few and far between. This story is evidence of an ongoing political problem, it’s just not the one the left thinks it is.

NYT: Trump asked Whitaker if his handpicked U.S. Attorney could be put in charge of the Stormygate probe. Allahpundit – “Trump’s futile ongoing quest to find cronies who can and will “protect” him at the Justice Department is basically slapstick comedy at this point.” It’s another revelation of True Colors, not of Trump’s but of Alahpundit’s. The meme is analogous as the one Sexton described. Note the judgmental and derogatory terms – articulated but false as in ad hominem opinion rather than factual as in evidence.

Pope Francis: Christians Should Not Fear Looking Like ‘Communists’. Thomas D. Williams – “Too many Christians shy away from the social gospel.” … Yet another example of the Left’s view of others where the Pope castigates via insinuation and engages in False Witness ignoring the fact that it is the anti-communists who have done more for “the brothers that the Lord names in chapter 25 of Matthew” and also embrace Christ. For the Pope: “We ease our conscience a little by giving alms, as long as it does not hurt too much.” Like many Leftists, he does not connect the idea of the difference between giving a man a fish and teaching a man to fish with his view of communism and capitalism. There are also the commandments about stealing and about coveting what is not yours, both of which are endemic and fundamental to communism. No, communist is not about caring for the poor and unfortunate. It is about resolving covetousness by resorting to state enforced theft. Confusing the definition like this is an affront to everything the Pope claims to hold dear.

Shall We Defend Our Common History? Roger Kimball – “Welcome to the new Orwellian world where censorship is free speech and we respect the past by attempting to elide it.

“In the background is the conviction that we, blessed members of the most enlightened cohort ever to grace the earth with its presence, occupy a moral plane superior to all who came before us.

The psychopathology behind these occurrences is a subject unto itself. What has happened in our culture and educational institutions that so many students jump from their feelings of being offended—and how delicate they are, how quick to take offense!—to self-righteous demands to repudiate the thing that offends them? The more expensive education becomes the more it seems to lead, not to broader understanding, but to narrower horizons.

Of course, impermissible attitudes and images are never in short supply once the itch to stamp out history gets going.

In the bad old days, librarians and college presidents were people who sought to protect the past, that vast storehouse of offensive attitudes and behavior that also just so happens to define our common inheritance. In our own more enlightened times, many librarians and college presidents collude in its effacement.

“inarticulable” is just a cute way of admitting to a lack of intellectual integrity by shoveling blame somewhere else.

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Tribal supersedes bias

The Jussie Smollett Hoax And The Media’s Tribal War On America. Daniel Greenfield – “The real reason the media fell so swiftly for the Smollett hoax – right after falling for the Covington Catholic hoax.”

“Why did the media fall so swiftly for the Jussie Smollett hoax right after falling for the Covington Catholic hoax? The easy answer is bias. And that might have even been the right answer a generation ago.

These days the media isn’t biased. It’s tribal.

Bias leads us to make mistakes. But the media wasn’t making a mistake when it loudly broadcast false claims with plenty of red flags about Trump supporters wearing red hats. Just as the media wasn’t making a mistake when it spread fake news about attacks on Muslim women by Trump supporters after the election. This wasn’t an error due to prejudice, but an active effort to reinforce tribal prejudices.

Stand up to our social justice mega-corps and we will destroy you. And then dance on your grave.

In a liberal society, people from different tribes can agree to disagree because they recognize their mutual humanity. In a tribal society, the ‘other’ is less than human. Tribal narratives are about the superiority of ‘our’ people to ‘their’ people. Outrage at selective incidents is used to dehumanize the ‘other’ tribe, to call for violence against them, and then to urge their utter destruction.

The deluge of disgust, contempt and hatred is a tide that can only wash up on one bloody shore.

Lara Logan: ‘The media everywhere is mostly liberal’. John Sexton – Logan says “this is the kind of interview that is like professional suicide for me…this is exactly what they target you for.” Sexton provides a good short excerpt and comment about an interview getting wide attention. Do notice that Logan is trying to be nice and falls for two logical fallacies. One is the equality, both sides do it, fallacy and the other is of the ‘vox populi’ sort. Both attempt to explain away what is getting more discussion as in Greenfield above.

On January 29, Two Hate Crimes Occurred. The Media Only Covered The Fake One. Here’s Why. Ben Shapiro – “The media ran with the story. Good Morning America hosted Smollett, where he maligned anyone who asked questions as a racist and a homophobe.” … “That same night, a Jewish man in New York was beaten by three thugs. Nothing was stolen. The attack was caught on video. … Outside of a report in The Jerusalem Post, the story received virtually no attention.

Here come the border wall lawsuits. Jazz Shaw – 16 states controlled by Democrats illustrate the solidarity of the Left. They will take one for the team no matter the cost, no matter how absurd the position.

“First, there are already provisions under federal law, Title 10, Section 2808, allowing the President to move money around in this fashion and engage in construction projects during either a time of war or a declared emergency. …

it appears that the President could have authorized military spending and manpower to construct a wall without even declaring an emergency. Under Title 10, Section 284, subsection (b)(7), the military can be employed for the purpose of “construction of roads and fences and installation of lighting to block drug smuggling corridors across international boundaries” provided the work being done is no more than 25 miles from the border or outside the border. That pretty much sounds like the definition of requesting military help in building a wall to me.

It’s tough to see how the courts toss this effort, though the Ninth Circuit will still likely take a stab at it. (If only to cause problems for Trump.) Of course, many rules of normal order have flown out the window with the rise of The Resistance, so nobody really knows how this chapter of the story ends.

Trump: “The twilight hour of socialism”. Scott Johnson – “It is a gloriously Reaganite speech; it is a great speech. In it Trump stands for freedom against the forces of socialism, tyranny and immiseration.

“President Trump has not accepted the status quo ante in American foreign policy. He has rededicated the United States to the support of Israel. He has withdrawn the United States from the disgraceful deal with Iran and implemented a sanctions regime intended to disable the mullahcracy. He has shaken up matters with the North Korean regime in the interest of terminating their nuclear weapons program. He has now come out for the removal of the socialist dictator of Venezuela. I could multiply the examples, but you can fill in the blanks. In each of these cases, Trump is right and Obama was wrong.

Yesterday President Trump went to Florida International University in Miami to give a speech on Venezuela before a friendly and raucous audience. I am unable to find either the text or the video on the White House site. I have posted a news video of the speech in its entirety below.

To get Trump, FBI and Justice Department officials trampled the Constitution. Mark Penn – “The most egregious anti-democratic actions ever taken by the what can now fairly be called the Deep State are confirmed with the publication of fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s new book

“It is now crystal clear that the highest echelons of the Justice Department and FBI had morphed from the world’s most professional law enforcement organization into a Third World rump group. They had the hubris to believe that they – not the American people or their duly elected representatives – should decide who governs and how.

A grand jury must be empaneled to investigate all this and get testimony from officials under oath, and the certification of the warrants used to wiretap the Trump campaign needs to be fully investigated. Dossier author and former British spy Christopher Steele and Glen Simpson – founder of opposition research firm Fusion GPS – need to be called to the grand jury.

Every Democrat, Republican and independent should stop angling for partisan advantage and agree, regardless of who is helped or hurt, that these officials acted without proper authority and are responsible for unprecedented damage to our democracy and our political system.

Free Speech in Andrew McCabe’s America. Seth Barrett Tillman – “Trump has the wrong resentments and the wrong doubts. So what should right-thinking people believe?” Not many cute pullouts in this one, just big steaks of raw meat.

Rush was talking about faux hoaxes and cited the idea that they were indicative of a ‘collective’ … i.e. tribal

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There may be an unraveling

Let’s Chill about Hate Crimes. Kyle Smith – “Mark the tone of absolute certainty about an unconfirmed claim. Many other news outlets took the same tack.

“Possibly it might be wise to establish whether an incident actually happened before leaping to conclusions about it. Remember Covington? Oh, right, that was almost a whole month ago.

The certain tone of the reports about an attack that Jussie Smollett may or may not have suffered was notable given the strange circumstances surrounding the actor’s claims.

Our friends on the left are saddened that a gay black man perhaps wasn’t viciously beaten up by Trump-loving thugs.

How dismal it must be to be a progressive, to rest your political purview on extremely dark assumptions about the nature of the American psyche. … No matter what the era or who is in charge, disaster always looms, and any weird anecdote that supports the larger doom narrative is eagerly, even devoutly, believed.

Jussie Smollett Case: Brothers Questioned By Police Were Paid $3,500 To Stage Attack, Which Was Rehearsed Days Before. Charlie De Mar – “Jussie Smollett paid two brothers to stage an attack against him, directed them to buy items used in the alleged assault and actually rehearsed it with them, sources say.”

Smollett apparent hate crime hoax a crisis for media that jumped to vilify Trump supporters. Thomas Lifson – “America’s progressives and their fellow-traveling media finally must cope with an apparent hate crime hoax that can’t be swept under the rug.

“The media and many Democrat politicians had leaped on the opportunity to reinforce their false narrative that Trump is a stone-cold racist and homophobe, and his followers, driven mad by his rhetoric, are the modern-day incarnation of the KKK. Media Research Center data shows that prior to the story starting to fall apart Thursday night: …

Having been vilified by President Trump as “fake news,” CNN must have been particularly worried that unless it got in front of the collapsing Smollett narrative, their credibility would decline even further. …

The wave of hate crime hoaxes is undeniable to anyone who doesn’t embrace the media blinders. The website Fakehatecrimes.org has documented no fewer than 349 hoaxes that have been perpetrated on the public.

While Illinois prisons are so overcrowded that judges are reluctant to send nonviolent offenders to prison, letting Smollett walk with only probation and a fine would cause an outcry, not just from slandered Trump supporters, but from police nationwide who do not appreciate being sent on wild goose chases …

CNN is justified in its panic. The evidence of fake news about Trump supporters is accumulating at an accelerating pace:

Trump as Hercules Cleaning Out the Augean Stables. Clarice Feldman – The Green New Deal and the Wall Shutdown both get the Feldman treatment. “The Democrats fell into a trap by insisting on provisions in the compromise bill that no rational border-defender could agree to. I think they bid a low pair of cards against Trump’s royal flush, and they will lose.

A Real Emergency. Derek Hunter – “Our elected politicians, particularly Democrats, would rather play identity politics and appeal to their radical base than protect our country. It’s disgraceful.

“The real problem isn’t President Trump’s declaring of a national emergency. The problem is Congress ceding power to the Executive Branch to empower anyone in office the ability to consider it in the first place.

Congress has the power of the purse, they say where the money goes even when we don’t like how they assign it. For decades, Congress has been slowly ceding its power to the president through a series of deliberate laws (like the National Emergencies Act) and vaguely-written legislation allowing the bureaucracy to fill in the blanks later.

As the last administration and the current one showed, you won’t always like the assertion of amassed executive power. It’s best to restore it to where it belongs. The Founding Fathers didn’t place it in Congress by accident. An all-powerful executive may sound great when it’s your team with the power, but it won’t always be your team with the power. A despot is still a despot, even if it’s your despot.

Hunter waffles. He engages in false equivalence. He trivializes the issue. He misses the problem illustrated by McConnell in pushing the New Green Deal vote. He skirts the problem of where the CiC role of the executive branch boundaries should be and issues of micromanagement. He misses the fact that Obama and Trump are not the same as Obama abused his office and Trump is attempting to correct that abuse and restore the proper role of Congress, Courts, and Executive.

Presidential plotters must face punishment. Boston Herald – “It is simply astonishing that these actors allegedly held conversations around the notion of seizing power from the elected head of the executive branch.

“Americans need to know the entire story. If, as it appears, there was an effort to sabotage a presidency and create elaborate distractions and cover-ups using the powers entrusted to them, members of the U.S. government have involved themselves in a criminal conspiracy that dwarfs Watergate.

McCabe, Rosenstein and the real truth about the 25th Amendment coup attempt. Andrew McCarthy – “The truth is somewhere in the middle: The conversation was no joke, but the idea was lunacy.

“No one was in a joking mood when these discussions took place. McCabe was in the midst of formally opening a criminal investigation of the president, and Rosenstein was handwringing over the possible appointment of a special counsel.

McCabe and the FBI’s leadership had been trying to make a criminal case against Trump for months, and McCabe thought – wrongly – that the firing of Comey might be a sound legal basis for an obstruction prosecution.

It is understandable that the deputy attorney general wishes he hadn’t talked about removing the president. Legally, it was a harebrained idea. As a matter of civics – unelected bureaucrats brainstorming about how to reverse a democratic election – it was remarkably arrogant. But it happened, nonetheless. Rod Rosenstein’s lawyerly evasions can’t change that.

Yes, it is difficult to grasp the idea that the top tier in the FBI engaged in even thinking about a coup. Even harder is to realize that the revelation is only the tip of the spear. Lunacy cannot be taken lightly, especially when its definition is abused and it becomes a weapon of projection.

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Gaslighting

After the Coup is Gone. Julie Kelly – “The tale we’ve been told for more than two years—that Donald Trump’s campaign team, possibly even the candidate himself, colluded with the Kremlin to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election—has been exposed as a lie.

“Various investigations into this alleged conspiracy are coming up empty and the accomplices are trying to change the subject. Even more pathetically, some still are clinging to the farce, desperate to salvage whatever still remains of their already sketchy credibility.

To describe it as a witch hunt, the president’s preferred term, is too generous.

Both Democrats and Republicans have been complicit. The national news media have acted as hatchet men.

It’s the kind of treachery that is supposed to animate banana republics or Soviet-style regimes—not our country.

Meanwhile, Robert Mueller’s investigation has not yielded one indictment related to collusion, yet it has wrecked countless reputations and livelihoods.

But no entity has acted more recklessly and destructively than the national news media.

These are only a handful of the questions now arising from the wreckage of the failed Trump-Russia collusion gambit; the answers might be just as infuriating as the questions themselves.

Andrew McCabe Confirms: Deep State Plotted To Take Down Trump. Investor’s Business Daily.

“This is nothing less than an attempted silent coup against a sitting president. The machinations of the FBI, CIA and Justice Department plainly indicate a conspiracy. A crime against the Constitution and the people of the U.S.

And they lied about it. Or kept quiet about it. Or misrepresented what they did, even to the Foreign Intelligence Security Court. That is real obstruction of justice. And a real conspiracy.

As The Russia Hoax Begins To Unravel, The Gaslighting Begins. Adam Mill – “The media has started backing away from the Russia collusion hoax. Many seem to know a reckoning is coming.”

“The Russia hoax is crumbling and people can’t run away fast enough. We’ve seen signs from the very beginning that many of the people who promoted the Trump-Russia collusion smear have always known it was a hoax. These signs have been in plain sight. Here is an incomplete list.

1. Because They Said So … 2. There’s No Hurry, In Spite of a ‘National Emergency’ … 3. The Dishonest Reporting of the Trump Tower Meeting … 4. Protecting the Mueller Probe from Embarrassment … 5. It’s About Shooting the Messenger … 6. Pushing the Hoax Makes Money

So we had secret meetings with Nicolas Maduro. Jazz Shaw – “The one other item I wanted to point out here was the tone taken by the AP reporters who covered this story. If you read through the whole thing you’ll notice a disturbing pattern. Not only do they set a tone that treats Maduro as if he’s just another world leader, but they clearly hint that the United States was the cause of his ills. Let’s look at a couple of examples.

(WSJ paywall item. see Instapundit) Stop the Impeachment Fishing Expedition. David B. Rivkin Jr. and Elizabeth Price Foley – “Congress has no business investigating the president for conduct that occurred before he took office.”

“Unfortunately, the scenario the court called “unlikely” in 1997 now exists. Like Mr. Clinton, Mr. Trump faces an investigation by a zealous prosecutor with unlimited resources inquiring, among other things, into prepresidential activities. In addition, Mr. Trump is subject to a deluge of lawsuits and investigations, including by state attorneys general, involving his conduct before entering politics.

Congress has no authority to investigate or prosecute crimes; these responsibilities belong to the executive branch. It has no power to conduct fishing expeditions, and its investigatory authority is supposed to be in the service of legislation.

To protect the separation of powers, the president should defy all demands for information about his prepresidential activities. If Congress or private litigants seek to enforce these demands, the Justice Department should move to stay these proceedings while Mr. Trump is in office. If Democrats want to remove Mr. Trump from office, there are two legitimate ways to do so: By defeating him at the polls in 2020 or through properly conducted impeachment proceedings based on evidence of “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” committed while in office.

Covington teens exonerated by Diocese report. What is important here is the questions neo raises about what Bishop Foys did in jumping to false witness. Someone who should know better commits a grievous sin and then avoids Jesus?

This WILL piss you off –> Thread of FAKE hate crimes that have happened during Trump era is un-freaking-believable. Sam J. – “Ryan Saavedra put together a thread of fake hate crimes that have been reported during the Trump era and all this editor can say is HOLY CRAP. We suppose it shouldn’t be surprising that the Left is this desperate (and gross) to lie about a hate movement that doesn’t really exist in order to somehow get revenge for Hillary losing but wow.

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Yes, death happens when feel-good supersedes reason.

Congratulations Anti-Vaxxers, You’ve Made Measles Great Again. Investor’s Business Daily – “But then anti-vax mania started to spread, sparked by a single study — published in 1998 and since thoroughly debunked — conducted by a disgraced scientist.

“Yet despite their supposed devotion to science, many on the left — including celebrities like Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey — seized on this study to spread irrational fear about the supposed dangers of the vaccine. Call them “vaccine deniers.”

Their views found a major platform in the left-wing Huffington Post, which for years was the go-to site to spread anti-vax paranoia.

Keep in mind that measles is a highly contagious and potentially fatal disease. One in four who get it end up hospitalized. One in a thousand get encephalitis. Up to two per thousand end up dead.

Here’s an idea that would help move more states in the right direction. Instead of creating ugly paintings trashing President Donald Trump, Jim Carrey should consider a self-portrait wherein he abjectly apologizes for his and his friends’ role in spreading dangerous, unscientific misinformation.

Notice How Democrats are Never Indicted? William L. Gensert – “Yet, “What difference, at that point, does it make?” Hillary’s exempt from prosecution because she’s a Democrat and a bona fide leftist; and that provides blanket immunity.

“One can act with impunity when there is no fear of prosecution. Why not harvest ballots to steal elections, provide sanctuary for felonious illegal aliens, lie to Congress, or try to frame a president? Democrats never worry about financial ruin or Mueller going after their families (In like Flynn).

Real crimes go unaddressed, while misstatements about lawful actions warrant incarceration. Mueller is fond of false-statement charges where the underlying actions aren’t illegal; he also loosely interprets the definition of “lie.”

Apparently, in America today the only people who should fear prosecution are those who disagree with the “ones we’ve been waiting for” because if you’re a Democrat, you can’t get arrested in this town.

Latest Intel Assessment Shows How Trump-Russia Hoax Has Hurt American Interests. Mollie Hemingway – “This odd aversion to thinking about the best interests of the nation when pushing a conspiracy theory about treasonous collusion with Russia is dangerous.”

“Earlier this week, intelligence chiefs briefed U.S. senators on the Select Committee on Intelligence about global threats. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats’ 42-page written report read like a middling Obama-era update, with more space devoted to concern about climate change, Brexit, and social justice issues than Islamist terrorism or border disputes and violations.

Still, it’s worth considering the first and most serious global security threat Coats flagged for senators, which is the strengthened alliance of China and Russia as they seek to expand their global influence.

This is among the reasons Trump sought an improved relationship with Russia.

It’s also related to why the Obama administration tried to have a “reset” with Russia. The logic underlying that move was sound, even if it was poorly implemented. The strategic reasons for trying to build alliances where you can with Russia were, and still are, defensible, because it’s not in the U.S. interests to have Russia as a vassal of China. Unfortunately the relationship between Obama and Putin, and between the U.S. and Russia, soured, making the situation worse.

Seib notes that conspiracy theorists think Trump wants a good relationship with Russia because he owes them something. He instead suggests it’s because of geo-strategic goals.

As Henry Kissinger put it, “Balancing China against the Soviet Union from a position in which America was closer to each Communist giant than they were to each other was, of course, exactly the design of the evolving strategy.”

Yet when Trump has talked about developing a good relationship with Russia, a key aspect of triangulation approach, conspiracy theorists in the media and pundit class have lambasted him as a Putin stooge who is compromised. It’s not just an unverified and ridiculous conspiracy theory, but one that results in real harm to the United States as well.

the purpose of the intelligence agencies is to provide information to the president, not set U.S. policy. In fact, the danger seems to arise when intelligence agencies attempt to analyze and set policy

the purpose of the intelligence agencies is to provide information to the president, not set U.S. policy. In fact, the danger seems to arise when intelligence agencies attempt to analyze and set policy

The Real Reason Democrats Have Postponed Barr’s Confirmation. Julie Kelly – “As indictments unrelated to Trump-Russia collusion pile up, Republican lawmakers and Trump’s base increasingly are outraged that the culprits behind perhaps the biggest political scandal in American history remain untouched. Barr signaled that the good fortune of these scoundrels could soon take a dramatic shift under his stewardship.” Kelly highlights the criminal protection force and some of its tactics. Accuse, smear, delay, … and worse.

“Democrats also have accused Barr of bias against the Mueller investigation based on a detailed memo he authored last year that objected to the special counsel’s reported interest in whether President Trump obstructed justice. Some have suggested Barr should recuse himself from the investigation, which would be a repeat of a terrible mistake made by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions in 2017.

This one-two punch has a purpose: To taint Barr’s impartiality and discredit his office on all matters related to Trump-Russia. Why? Because during his confirmation hearing, Barr agreed—at the behest of Republican senators—to begin his own inquiry into who, why, and how the FBI launched several investigations into Trump’s presidential campaign and, eventually, into the president himself.

The enormousness of Barr’s task and the devastating consequences for those involved are now coming into clear view. The timing couldn’t be worse for Democrats and NeverTrump Republicans who are desperate to defeat Trump and the GOP in 2020. That’s why we can expect both parties to whip up more criticism of Barr over the next few months. One hopes he will resist that criticism—and both Trump and Graham need to reassure the new attorney general and the American public that his investigation will receive the same amount of protection that was afforded to the Mueller team.

The Corrupt DoJ vs. the People. Ed Brodow – “Thanks to the politicized justice system that was set in motion more than 20 years ago and reinforced during eight fateful years of the Obama administration, the quaint notion that we benefit from due process has evaporated.

“A venal gang of Obama alumni is getting away with the perversion of American justice. …

The civil rights of innocent individuals are being violated for no reason other than their political views. … Unless the Mueller investigation is terminated and we address the real scandal in our government — corruption at the top levels of the DoJ and FBI — we can kiss the American system of justice goodbye.

Weird: No Democrats in Congress seem to have heard Ralph Northam’s abortion comments. Allahpundit – quoting Henry Rodgers: “I just spoke with over 10 Democratic Senators in the past 2 hours. Not one of them would acknowledge @GovernorVA’s comments on late-term abortion. Everyone of them denied ever hearing them.

“The only reason to believe their ignorance might have been accidental rather than deliberate is that yesterday’s coverage in “neutral” media was partly of the “conservatives pounce” variety. There go the right-wingers, flying off the handle again over nothing. You could argue that restraint by the press was prudent under the circumstances; Northam’s office and various liberals online insisted he’d been misunderstood, after all. Can’t knock the media for pausing to make sure it has its facts right before proceeding with coverage of an electrically charged controversy.

Why, though, wonders Ross Douthat, does that caution only ever run one way?

our media is very deep in the tank on this issue, even more so than they are for most left-wing causes. We’re all long used to it. But occasionally the depth still manages to shock.

McConnell: Pelosi’s ‘reform’ bill nothing but a “Democratic Politician Protection Act”. Ed Morrissey – “A new paid federal holiday on Election Day turns out to be the most benign part of HR1, the election-reform package designated by Nancy Pelosi as the new House majority’s “signature” legislation in this session.” Morrissey may be thinking in too conventional of a paradigm, too ‘old school’ and missing the art of communications and an undertow in the populace noted in other articles cited in this post.

“Pelosi should send McConnell a bouquet of flowers for spending this much time on the Senate floor on a bill that has zero chance of becoming law. For a “signature” bill, which is what the HR1 designation signifies, the coverage of this bill has been remarkably low-key.

Pelosi knows this won’t move in the Senate; it’s a setup for the 2020 congressional elections. However, it’s not exactly the kind of bill that will fire up voters or be remembered for very long after its demise. House Democrats might have been better advised to focus more on hardening the voting infrastructure in the country ahead of the next election, a project that would have a much greater chance of success than giving federal workers freebies for participating in Democratic campaigns.

Green energy and litigation are bankrupting PG&E in California. Jazz Shaw – “That’s unusual because the energy business is largely a very stable industry and nearly recession-proof.

“If their transformers were exploding or the insulators on the lines were worn out and leading to sparking I could see blaming them. But they’re getting tagged with a $30 billion fine because storms blew trees over and took down their lines? …

The other half of their problem is that they’re locked into contracts to buy energy from solar and wind farms. California’s state government has issued a mandate that they must get to 60% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% by 2045. That’s left PG&E stuck buying $40B in energy from renewable firms, a lot of which they don’t even need. In fact, during peak renewable production periods they’ve been forced to sell energy off (at a loss) to neighboring states.

Put all of this together and one of the biggest energy companies in the nation has just filed for bankruptcy protection. They’re asking the court to let them out of the contracts with the wind and solar producers. If that doesn’t work, they may wind up going under. Perhaps that’s for the best and their investors can take their business to states without such a litigious and corrosive business environment.

Why “Green” Energy Is Futile, In One Lesson. John Hinderaker – “When the wind isn’t blowing–as it wasn’t yesterday–natural gas supplies the electricity. It also heats homes, and with bitter cold temperatures and no wind, there wasn’t enough natural gas to go around. The resulting “brownout” has been a political shock in Minnesota.

Much Has Changed for the Better Since 2016—Not That Trump Will Get Credit. Victor Davis Hanson – “aside from the weekly hysterias, the world has dramatically changed since 2016 in ways we scarcely have appreciated.

“There is also a growing, though little reported, consensus about what created the current economic renaissance: tax cuts, massive deregulation, recalibration of trade policy, tax incentives to bring back offshore capital, and dramatic rises in oil and natural gas production.

Since 2016, polls show that Americans have assumed that the proverbial mainstream media cannot be counted on for honest reporting but will omit, twist and massage facts and evidence for the higher “truth” of neutralizing the Trump presidency.

Trump’s popularity is about where it was when he was elected—ranging on average from the low to mid-forties. But many of his policies have led to more prosperity and address festering problems abroad.

And despite the negative news, they are widely supported, even—or especially—if Trump himself is not given proper credit for enacting most of them.

And there is more, much more.

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Where is Don Quixote when you need him?

Mueller’s Danse Macabre At Arrest of Stone. Conrad Black – “Strong-arm Tactic Shocks American Decency.”

“People who might be vulnerable and have known — or claim to have known — the president are indicted for unrelated conduct and then browbeaten and threatened with indictments of their families, unbearable legal costs, and endless press smears to invent inculpatory testimony against the president, with a guarantee of immunity from prosecution for perjury. This is the standard playbook of American prosecutors. It has been denounced repeatedly and every informed person in the country knows about it, but nobody does or says anything consequential.

This danse macabre of the ludicrously numerous and over-armed FBI agents filmed by invitation by the CNN propaganda service in their strenuous exercise to frighten Roger Stone’s cats and dogs raises the questions of what Mr. Mueller and his entirely partisan Democratic lynch-mob, some of whose most prominent members have been exposed and disgraced and fired, think they are now doing.

Whenever the suggestion that it might be time to wind down this stupor-inducing affront to the Bill of Rights starts to get determinedly to its feet in full voice, Mr. Mueller vanishes from sight.

Beclowning themselves to “get” Trump. Don Surber – “Michael Harriot of The Root wrote, “Exclusive: Clemson’s Black Players Refused to Accept Donald Trump’s Invitation to the McCookout.” The picture tells the story but perhaps a more significant tell is the ‘attitude’ and ‘tone’ expressed in the quotes of Harriot about the President. Has he no decency?

Victorina Morales is the best reason yet to cancel the SOTU speech… permanently. Jazz Shaw – “Morales is the illegal alien who was working at the Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey until the media exposed her immigration status. This is presumably a maneuver designed as a jab at the president.” … “We have a Democrat willing to violate federal law to transport an illegal immigrant to the State of the Union address. (8 U.S. Code § 1324 makes it a felony to “transport, or move or attempt to transport or move” an illegal alien.)

POTUS Interview: Speaker Ryan Lied on Border Wall Funding Promise to Get Omnibus Signed. sundance – read this carefully to catch the ‘tone’ and ‘attitude’ of the president in his own words. Compare and contrast to Harriot and his ilk.

Why Trump Will Win the Wall Fight. David Catron – “He continually adapts while the Dems remain static.” Another compare and contrast. The President has his focus on issues. His opponents on enemies.

“The Democrats squealed with delight when the President decided to temporarily end the partial government shutdown. Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and their media supporters believe they have won a famous victory. Indeed, more than a few have declared the Trump presidency dead. This isn’t merely delusional, it means that two years of dealing with “the Donald” have taught them nothing about how he operates. The President is adapting to the post-midterm political environment by changing his “game face.” The Democrats continue to indulge their irrational antipathy toward Trump and embrace increasingly inane policy positions. Meanwhile, he is becoming more presidential.

A Letter to Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic Ten Days Later. Dov Fischer – “It now is some ten days since you unintentionally became famous, and you blessedly no longer are the news outside Covington. But I write to tell you that you are not forgotten for many of us whom you made proud.

“Obama once said that, if he had had a son, it would have been a boy like Trayvon Martin. Nicholas, I do not doubt that. Not for a moment. I would rather set the boys of CovCath as role models.

New Yorkers in the Left Media cannot understand why CovCath boys like you would smile in the faces of people like that lying phony Native American “Vietnam Vet.” That is because in New York they never would have smiled at him in the first place, figuring he might have a knife or a tomahawk, so they would have run away from him. The Left Media do not understand a culture where you actually look people in the eye, smile their way, and stand your ground.

You did not back away. You demonstrated the best of the Covington Catholic education you have gotten by standing your ground and just smiling at him. That smile said: “I am here in peace. I am not going to be incited into escalating your menacing confrontation. So you can go on beating that stupid drum of yours all day, Ringo, but I am not going to back off, nor will I be drawn into a fight. Because I am here to support life and the rights of the unborn.”

You and your classmates never should have been criticized by your local Diocese. The Diocese embarrassed itself nationally when they instantly criticized CovCath kids without having the facts. That was a national disgrace, doing unto you guys what they would not have wanted others to do unto them. Lev. 11. If they must publicly criticize a Catholic, let them pick on someone their own size and comment instead on New York Governor Cuomo’s new “Gosnell Law” that legalizes tearing the limbs of fetuses apart, limb by limb, as late as nine months into pregnancy. But tell them to bang the drum slowly.

what people do to make jabs at windmills in their minds … 

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The Potomac two-step. Denial. Projection. Faux (?) outrage …

Voter Fraud: Yes, Noncitizens Are Voting In Elections — Texas Just Proved It. Investor’s Business Daily – “When President Donald Trump brought up the idea that noncitizens were casting ballots in elections, the reaction was fast and furious. Such a thing, if it exists at all, is exceedingly rare, we were told.

“After a yearlong voter-fraud probe, Texas discovered that, lo and behold, 95,000 people identified as noncitizens had voter registrations. What’s more, 58,000 of them voted in one or more Texas elections.

But wait. Isn’t all this stuff about noncitizens voting a load of bull? When Trump appointed a voter-fraud commission in 2017, Democrats and the press howled in protest.

Less than a year after he put it together, Trump disbanded his commission, not because it didn’t find anything, but because it faced a fusillade of lawsuits and stonewalling from state election officials.

The most likely explanation for Democrats’ indifference is that they benefit from sloppy enforcement of election laws. We recently pointed out that several House elections in California could have flipped from red to blue thanks to these sorts of fraudulent efforts. And California election officials seem clueless — or utterly indifferent — to whether noncitizens are voting in state elections.

That would explain why Democrats treat every effort to improve ballot integrity as an attempt to suppress voter turnout.

Brennan Brays Again. Scott Johnson – “he remains at large. He is not under indictment. The FBI has not sent a heavily armed battalion to raid his home and take him into custody in front of his friends at CNN.

“Is there any dispute about Brennan’s lies? I don’t think so. Looking around for a summary of Brennan’s lies, I find Victor Davis Hanson’s useful compilation in the June 2018 NR post “A reply to Ronald Radosh’s smear.” The compilation purports only to be illustrative, not exhaustive.

Brennan’s braying represents a classic case of non-denial denial. What a lying partisan hack Obama put in charge of the CIA. And let me add, incidentally, that Brennan’s hackery probably does not even constitute his worst quality.

The Potomac two-step: Will no one stand up to the corruption in the FBI, DOJ, and CIA? Patricia McCarthy – “For nearly ten years now, Americans who have been paying attention have known that our government has become corrupt, that its premier institutions were weaponized by the Obama administration to the point that we have become something of a police state or banana republic.

“It appears we are now a police state. Stalin would be proud. The left and the media all approved of this preposterous bit of nasty theater. Stephanopoulos said such tactics are “common,” a blatant lie. … Stephanopoulos is nothing but a tool of the left, a talking head with a script to read. Who writes the bilge he reads? Would be good to know, but one thing is certain: they have as their goal the destruction of America and its most cherished values.

Bigotry Against Christians Harms The Media’s Reputation. Mollie Hemingway – “The Atlantic’s Taylor Lorenz decided to dunk on Pope Francis for a tweet about Jesus’ mother Mary, claiming Christ faked his resurrection.”

“In recent days we’ve seen reporters attack Karen Pence for volunteering at a Christian school, attempt to dig up dirt against Christian schools, and viciously attack 16-year-old Catholic boys who were being harassed by adults spewing racist and homophobic slurs.

The Christian teachings of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection are central to the faith, but not everyone is called, as St. Paul puts it. And those who don’t believe view this central teaching as a stumbling block, as Lorenz does.

All that said, the mockery and disrespect in the anti-Christian tweet — and its favorable reception from other journalists — tell us something about the way many in the media treat Christians. As the media lean into their progressive political ideology, they are becoming more and more anti-Christian.

if The Atlantic and other media outlets wonder why they have lost their reputation recently, it can look to the disparity in how it treats conservatives and their ideas and how it rewards the journalism and anti-Christian bigotry of their liberal staff.

Stage Set For A Deal With Democrats. Conrad Black – “the president has just removed from the deck and shredded the best Democratic card, crinkled and greasy at the edges though it had become: the endless claim that he was a madman who would never retreat or compromise, a psychotic bull in the China shop of the world’s nations, rampaging through American government, heedless of any sense of compromise or nuance.

“The Democrats will have to deliver something believable on border security, and if they repair to the leftist house of debating cards, that there is no problem and therefore nothing need be done except a few humanitarian measures, they will be hammered. Pelosi and Schumer are tired components of the creaking and grunting pantomime horse of liberal Democratic medievalism, but they can’t take that argument to the country.

Against Trump: Three Years Later. Julie Kelly – “The NeverTrump crusade sparked by the “Against Trump” issue is adrift and angry. In the past three years, self-proclaimed conservatives of this variety have embraced the climate change agenda, opposed tax reform, and saved Obamacare.”

“NeverTrumpers have been silent about, or worse, helped to justify, the unconstitutional and alarming weaponization of the world’s most powerful law enforcement and intelligence apparatus to undermine a rival presidential campaign, then sabotage a duly elected president.

three years after the nation’s leading conservative outlet published a lengthy appeal to purge Donald Trump from its ranks, the president has an 80 percent approval rating among American conservatives. Trump has cut taxes; restrained the regulatory behemoth; appointed a legacy bench of conservatives federal judges; challenged lazy, ungrateful allies; rewritten outdated trade pacts; confronted a chronic border crisis; and reinvigorated the country’s manufacturing base. He’s defended the unborn, the working class, the patriotic, and the faithful while rejecting the stultifying chokehold of identity politics.

Meanwhile, his so-called conservative detractors are scrounging for primary challengers that sound more like Barack Obama than William F. Buckley, Jr. The damage they’ve done to the modern-day conservative movement will long outlast Trump’s presidency.

And three years later, they have largely proven—once again—that they are still very good at failure.

Sec. DeVos rule change on campus sexual assault now a magnet for angry personal attacks. John Sexton – “This is the kind of thing that would lead journalists to make generalizations about the kind of people who would make such ugly attacks a woman Education Secretary. At least that would be the case if only the attacks were coming from the right. But in this case, the attacks don’t fit the narrative.”

The Next States to Get Hammered by the Blue State Model. Dispatches from District 48 – “people who flee California because it is too expensive and dysfunctional come to Arizona and immediately begin voting for exactly the same policies that made California expensive and dysfunctional. Therefore, I tend to read being in an “inbound” state with dread, knowing that folks are moving in right now to make us the next Illinois or California.

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An agreement has been made. Glee and gloating may blind some about consequences if it is not kept..

Progs and NeverTrumps celebrate Trump postponing SOTU at their peril. Thomas Lifson – “even the New York Times realizes that the story is far from over, calling Trump’s move a “seeming capitulation.”

“Trump has ensured that his next SOTU, whenever it takes place, will get a huge television audience. … Trump has also given the lie to caricatures of him as “impulsive,” “reckless,” and likely to blunder us into a nuclear war, views held as gospel among the NeverTrump faction of putative conservatives. … Trump has removed a huge distraction from the real battle, over the border barrier, and the Dems’ refusal to fund the federal government with a physical barrier funded. … Trump has reaffirmed his commitment to constitutional governance, including the specifics of executive, congressional, and judicial power. This is crucial, because both the legislative and judicial branches have disregarded their responsibilities and limitations

Why Trump went for a 21-day suspension of the partial shutdown, and what happens next. Thomas Lifson – “Nonetheless, as President Trump correctly noted in the Rose Garden address, it was an “agreement.” The Dems agreed to procedural rules that can be used to make the case for border barrier construction.” Pelosi et al are celebrating a touchdown with a fervent glee. They don’t seem to realize that one touchdown does not win the game. Trump appears to have his eyes on the bigger picture.

“Democrats naturally are gloating, calling it a surrender and admonishing Trump to “learn his lesson” and acknowledge his defeat by the wise and all-knowing Nancy Pelosi. This certainly gives them a sugar high while providing evidence for future use that their priority is humiliating Trump rather than attending to the needs of border security.

Trump’s stonewall on the shutdown had to end because a choke point had been discovered by the opposition (a group that includes Congressional Democrats and government employee unions along with the media): commercial aviation.

It may be coincidence, but this kill shot job action occurred in the wake of extraordinary signs that House Democrats were wavering in their support for Pelosi’s “not one dollar” opposition to a border wall – while the government is (partially) shut down.

It is possible that the conference committee will not be able to come up with anything that satisfies both parties, in which case the partial shutdown resumes, but this time with the Democrats shown to be willing to shut down the government in order to prevent a border barrier. … And President Trump will be delivering the State of the Union address at a date to be determined, but before the shutdown might resume. This will allow the highest possible platform for President Trump to comment on the negotiations, with Nancy Pelosi sitting behind him.

One big news item is about a science fair project on football inflation trying to prove Brady cheated. Many headlines are out there on the budget deal and most are in a similar vein: they are about defeating the President and not about the issues involved. The focus on personality rather than the state of the country is telling. A few are taking note of the tactics and strategies and how the ‘opposition’ is being played. One such tactic is a common managerial technique. A bi-partisan congressional committee has now ‘accepted’ a charge to produce results in a clearly defined arena on a defined time schedule. That’s a focus and a definition of responsibility that has not previously existed. An agreement has been made. There will be consequences if it is not kept.

Tripwire – Chairman Adam Schiff Sends HPSCI Witness Transcripts to Robert Mueller, Does Not Release Publicly. sundance – “This is a key tell and completely irreconcilable by those who work for Epoch Times news organization who continually claim that Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller are working earnestly toward the cause of justice.”

“Cunning Schiff is essentially diffusing a background question about how Mueller is able to exploit transcripts that were given to Rod Rosenstein by Devin Nunes when he asked the DOJ to conduct the declassification review. Notice no-one in the media asked this question because it would show the uncomfortable synergy between Rosenstein and Mueller.

Speaker Pelosi, Adam Schiff (HPSCI), Elijah Cummings (House Oversight), and Jerry Nadler (House Judiciary) are working with Robert Mueller (team) and Rod Rosenstein (internal DOJ corrupt officials) on a very carefully constructed plan toward the goal of an impeachment vote against the sitting President.

Unfortunately, too many people, on all sides, still refuse to believe the institutions of the DOJ and FBI are comprehensively corrupted.

Roger Stone’s SWAT team arrest: Are we even America anymore? Patricia McCarthy – “After news broke of the pre-dawn raid on Roger Stone’s home Friday morning in Florida by twenty-nine heavily-armed agents in nineteen vehicles, lights flashing, CNN serendipitously on hand to film the raid, millions of us realized once and for all that we are no longer living in the America we knew and loved.”

“Those same millions of us have known for over two years that the Mueller “probe” is a huge and well orchestrated cover-up. There are now at least two books, Gregg Jarrett’s and Dan Bongino’s, and well researched investigative articles that prove this beyond doubt.

That such an aggressive show of force could be visited upon a non-violent person accused of alleged verbal crimes is truly frightening. That so many in the media are celebrating the use of such a Gestapo tactic is horrifying. Suddenly, it is catastrophically clear that America is no longer a constitutional republic, a nation of laws and justice.

Roger Stone’s Arrest: What’s Scandalous, And What Isn’t. John Hinderaker – “The salient point is that Mueller’s indictment of Stone confirms that the Trump campaign had nothing to do with the theft of emails from the Democratic National Committee or their publication by Wikileaks

“Now, for what is truly scandalous about Roger Stone’s arrest: the manner in which it was carried out. The arrest was preserved on video because someone–presumably either the FBI or Mueller’s team–tipped off CNN, and CNN had cameras stationed in front of Stone’s residence at 5:00 in the morning. The video shows a dozen heavily armed FBI agents carrying out what can fairly be described as a paramilitary operation against Stone’s home. Why? Was there some reason to think Stone was so dangerous that it required a pre-dawn raid by a dozen agents with AR-15s to take him into custody?

No such claim has been made, nor would it be plausible. The show that Mueller and the FBI put on for the cameras of their political ally, CNN, was a disgrace.

A few years ago, I couldn’t have imagined saying this, but the FBI has proved to be corrupt and hopelessly politicized. It needs, at a minimum, a thorough housecleaning. It might even be necessary to put the FBI out of business and start over with a new federal investigative agency.

Jack Handey – “I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it.”

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Ultimate irony – but will it register?

The Ultimate Irony of the ‘Native American Elder’ and the MAGA Hat Kids. Selwyn Duke – “Had Western civilization never existed and the dreaded white man not ever arrived on these shores, the Indians would still be living a stone-age lifestyle. The “noble savage” suckers may romanticize this, but neither they nor Talking Bull want any part of it.

Libels of and threats to Covington Kids will face Kentucky justice. Thomas Lifson – “the prospect of Kentuckian jurors judging those who libel or threaten their children is delightful. There are two separate avenues available, and both are being explored by people ready and willing to act.

“Trump Derangement Syndrome, which is the underlying reason why the explosion of hate for the Catholic Church has become so public (in anticipation of the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the next SCOTUS vacancy), is literally “derangement” – meaning that ordinary internal mental cautions that prevent people from crossing important lines are discarded in a frenzy.

If one or more people from outside Kentucky are indicted and brought to the state for prosecution under a terroristic threat statute, it would sober up a lot of others.

The real evil of fake news. Gavin Wax – “The fake news media is playing a game of sleight of hand with the American people. By creating a narrative and having an entire industry built around feeding this narrative, they attempt to get the public’s mind off the brass tacks of what is happening in terms of public policy.

Apologies Aren’t Enough After The Covington And BuzzFeed Media Fiascos. Investor’s Business Daily – “If mainstream reporters don’t like Trump calling their work “fake news,” they should stop providing him so many fresh examples.

Joy Behar: We jumped to conclusions about the Covington Catholic kids because we desperately want Trump out of office. Allahpundit – “How did a truthbomb like this end up being casually dropped by, of all people, Joy Behar?” Of course, it’s Allahpundit and he has to get a few TDS digs in but there is an awareness worthy of note.

David French noticed too: “When activists and partisans do that, they send a clear message to their opponents: They will destroy you if they can. … That’s the message that sent a shudder up the spine of husbands and wives during the Kavanaugh hearings. That’s the message that sends a shudder up the spine of moms and dads as we watch men and women try to ruin the Covington Catholic kids. This isn’t just a media scandal. When we see the hate, some of us see our sons, and we know that in America today, their futures, their reputations, and – given the prevalence of death threats – perhaps even their very lives are in the hands of an angry mob.”

But not all of this is due to cognitive dissonance. I think some of the doubling down is a deliberate strategy. If you want to marginalize the Bad People then the original narrative of the confrontation must prevail, whatever the evidence says. Keep pushing it. Hope that the sheer cumulative force behind the assertion carries it to widespread acceptance despite all evidence to the contrary. It works, you know. It’s happened before.

This is the lesson to learn from all of this, if you haven’t learned it already. neo – “I finally noticed and comprehended this game about two years post-9/11—a process I’ve described in my “a mind is a difficult thing to change” series—and this was one of the main reasons for my political change.” Rush Limbaugh has been on a tear about this and it is good to see a growing awareness. Neo has several good posts on his topic this morning as well.

“The tactic is even more blatantly obvious now. But many people who self-describe as being on the right seem to remain blind to it. That’s one of the themes of this recent post of Ace’s, in which he quotes a Twitter user named davereaboi as writing the following (the “you” here is the supposedly conservative press):

People are furious that those of you who bought into it and couldn’t resist making knee-jerk Virtue Signaling condemnations have not yet learned about the nature of the enemy we’re fighting:

Activists are trained to set up these scenarios, the media runs with stories that are too good to check because they reinforce their biases. They do this on purpose. You just have to read Lefty activist literature. It’s all there, for decades. *Not knowing is your failure.*

That is the heart of the matter. How can intelligent people have been taken in by this? I really don’t know. It’s not just that they’re in the Beltway, or interested in virtue-signaling, although those things are part of it. At this point they seem incredibly stupid and destructive, or else only pretending to believe in what they say they believe.

We know what game the left plays. Why don’t all writers on the right know it, too?

What happens when only one side enjoins in battle?

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detached and denial and projection

Shoving Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals Right Back in the Left’s Ugly Face. Kurt Schlichter – “The Left hadn’t taken a good, solid gut punch since Ronald Reagan turned the Oval Office keys over to the wimpcons who found fighting Democrats uncouth because conflict made for awkward luncheons down at the club.”

“For Donald Trump and the revitalized conservative movement, Alinsky’s book isn’t some dusty old commie tome – it’s a lifestyle.

Alinsky’s Rules are relatively simple, and they make sense when you are fighting a conventional opponent with an interest in maintaining the status quo. … They aren’t so effective against conservative brawlers who like to punch, and who aren’t too fussy about whether it’s with tweets or with fists.

The Rules are not some magic incantation; they are simply some tactical principles that work in certain kinds of fights against certain kinds of opponents – particularly ones willing to unilaterally disarm in the face of an unprincipled enemy.

How Trump Confounds the Fact Checkers. Ira Stoll – “Donald Trump just may be our most honest president since Abraham Lincoln.

“Sure, the Washington Post’s valiant if pedantic fact-checkers claim that “In 710 days, President Trump has made 7,645 false or misleading claims.”

Even before Mr. Trump took office, his trustworthiness about personal matters ranging from his marital fidelity to his wealth was widely doubted.

Another dimension of integrity, though, doesn’t involve precision about details or about anything personal. It has to do with the president’s commitment to following through on his campaign pledges. In that department, Mr. Trump has been astonishingly, almost unprecedentedly faithful.

Why even bother listening to political rhetoric if what the candidates say bears no resemblance to what they eventually do? If Mr. Trump, in at least this particular way, is not corrupt, it’s a kind of honesty that’s important — maybe even more important than some of the misstatements for which he has been faulted. Call him the promise-keeper president.

An Epidemic of Erasures, Redactions, Omissions, and Perjuries. Victor Davis Hanson – “since 2016 we have seen how many high government officials involved in any number of such investigations, were not so much citizens as hyper-citizens above the law, who felt they were not subject to audit. And they were largely right in their assumptions.

The Most Successful Coverup. Jed Babbin – “Democrats get away with a much worse crime than Watergate.

“Since Watergate, the Washington wisdom has always held that it’s not the crime, it’s the coverup that sinks a politician. But that’s only the case when the coverup fails.

But what if the coverup succeeds?

It’s horribly simple. The crimes are never uncovered and the perpetrators are never brought to justice no matter how serious their crimes may be. That is precisely what has happened because of the FBI and Justice Department’s coverup of their abuses of power and illegal actions during the 2016 election.

The stain on our system of justice and the 2016 election created by the abuses of power and probable crimes committed by FBI and DoJ officials during and after the 2016 presidential campaign will not be erased. Their coverup has succeeded.

Democrats keep proving how detached they are from reality. Michael Goodwin – “For proof, eliminate their desire to remove Trump from office and see if you can pinpoint anything else with broad Dem support.

“It unites the leadership with the rank and file, including many of the socialist-leaning newcomers. Its migration from the far-out fringe to a daily talking point among party faithful and their national media lapdogs represents a breathtaking development.

The implications are staggering — and a potential disaster for America.

Never in modern times has there been such a disconnect between the opposition party and the realities of national life. The very talk of removing Trump, without evidence of an impeachable offense, is a stick in the eye to history and most Americans.

The relentless fixation on impeachment is a destructive decision that sacrifices national progress and security on the altar of partisan madness.

Warning: TDS screed about a TDS screed … Jonah Goldberg on Trump’s Character. Patterico – “There is much else to admire in Goldberg’s column. For example, he dissects several techniques used by Trump superfans, like whataboutism, box-checking (“to be sure, nobody thinks Donald Trump is a saint…”), the pretense to ignorance (“gee, I can’t remember his attacks on free speech!”), and the like.

What is worthy of note is the bigotry. For instance, consider “whataboutism.” This is using ridicule and denial to dismiss efforts to establish a reference. Then there’s the ‘superfans’ which is a dismissal and ridicule of anyone who might have a middle position. Just who is it that is engaging in the “various dishonest techniques described in this column”? Who is illustrating logical fallacies? This is much like the new speaker refusing to listen to a cabinet secretary because she ‘disagrees’ with the facts presented. As for Trump’s character, the allegations get more and more strident the more you have such start contrasts as provided in these screeds. Look at these screeds critically and see how much is a matter of questionable opinion and how much is true witness to reality. 

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holier than thou?

Mitt Romney backtracks after Trump-hating op-ed attack bombs. Monica Showalter – “Gad, his act is old.” The Romney reaction was not sympatico. — About time incivility received such a response. Showalter summarizes just how wrong Romney’s comments were and even the summary is too long to quote. People are ‘getting it’, people like Graham, Paul as well as the hoi polloi. Maybe.

 

“It shows that his potshot against Trump bombed, particularly with Republicans, who were all out there and ready to be his friend, but can now see that he’s got other priorities, such as filling the towering boots of … Jeff Flake.

Here is what Rand Paul told Fox News, as transcripted by RealClearPolitics: “I don’t know how it really helps anybody’s cause for people to stand up there like they’re holier than thou,” Paul told FOX News’ Neil Cavuto. “And it’s like, look at me, how virtuous I am. And I`m going to bring down the presidency by criticizing his character in front of the whole nation.” “It does nobody any good,” he added. “And, in the end, I think it’s going to look petty, and I think there’s going to be a backlash to this.”

the backtrack is obviously Romney’s style, proof that he never would have made a good president. With this latest failed attack, we now we know why he didn’t win. He doesn’t ‘get’ winning.

 

Trump Presidency is the ‘Bain’ of Romney’s Existence. Julie Kelly – “Just as the Republican Party is purging itself of hackneyed lawmakers, bitter neoconservative commentators, and insatiable interventionists, along comes Mitt Romney to remind us of what we definitely are not missing.”

 

“In a late New Year’s Day sermon published in the Washington Post, the incoming senator expressed his disappointment in the president and, by extension, in all of us. It was filled with the sort of juvenile platitudes that at one time mollified Republican voters, but now either amuse or enrage them.

The reaction on the Right to Romney’s missive was fast and furious.

 

Reflections on Romney. Paul Mirengoff – “The people of Utah didn’t elect Romney to provide punditry. It shocks me that Romney would even think this role might be on the table.”

 

“It should go without saying that a Senator will support policies he agrees with and oppose ones he doesn’t like. It should also go without saying that a Senator will not “comment on every tweet or fault” of a president, and certainly not a president of the same political party. …

 

Romney’s pledge to speak out against “significant statements or actions that are divisive” is pathetic. Any statement or action of a conservative-leaning Republican president is going to be “divisive.”

Romney’s pledge to speak out against any racist statements or actions of Trump sounds commendable. But he seems to assume that Trump is inclined to make such statements and take such actions.

Romney, of all people, should be particularly loath to buy into the liberal media’s nauseating practice of stretching to find racism and sexism where there’s no sound reason for inferring either.

 

Harry Reid Tries To Describe President Trump And Ends Up Describing Himself. streiff – “In a lengthy interview in the New York Times, Reid held forth on all manner of things as though his opinion actually mattered.” Streiff has the Left’s view about Trump (many allegations and assertions at significant odds with reality) but is seeing the mirror as well.

 

“There is really nothing Reid said about Trump that can’t be laid at his own doorstep. I don’t think there was a single person in DC, of any political party, who thought you could rely on Reid’s word or honor. I’m not sure there are very many…including Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin and, famously, Claire McCaskill…who thought he was ever a competent caucus leader.

 

Where I really think he gets Trump wrong, however, is in saying he’s “oblivious to the real world.” I don’t see the man that way. I think he’s very aware of the world but is dismissive of processes and traditions that constrain his ability to act. …

 

Truth be told, a lot of Reid’s criticism of Trump as president comes directly from Trump not hesitating to play hardball rather than be the Republican piñatas he was used to dealing with.

 

And in this corner, there’s Romney. neo – “ Romney’s op-ed is about what he calls “character” but is more about what I’d call “tone”. Referencing Dr. Seuss and Hemingway in the same breath?

 

“And right on cue, the WaPo itself demonstrates this, albeit in a somewhat subtle way. On the very day of Romney’s op-ed—which must have had them chortling with glee—they have also published this piece by their very own correspondent Philip Bump entitled “Timeline: Romney’s criticisms of Trump have always been moderated by his own ambitions.” It’s long and detailed, and must have taken some time to research; probably Bump was given the assignment as soon as Romney’s op-ed was received and the decision made to print it.

 

Bump’s piece attempts to show Romney as a craven opportunist whose stated opinion of Trump waxes and wanes depending on whether he needs him or not. In this, of course, Romney shows himself to be what he is: a politician. And the WaPo shows how it repays Republican gentlemen such as Romney.

 

How Democrats Teach Immigrants to Be Criminals. Roger L Simon – “In turning a blind eye or taking a blasé attitude to illegal immigration, Democrats are actually encouraging or even teaching these immigrants to be criminals, that crime pays.”

 

“Don’t believe me. Believe Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut. After all, it was Blumenthal who was scholarly enough to remind us at the Kavanaugh hearings of the importance of that apothegm of Roman law “falsus in uno falsus in omnibus” (false in one thing, false in everything).

 

It’s no great stretch to say that by allowing people to enter our country “undocumented” (i. e. break the law), Democrats are simply telling them the laws of our country don’t really count.

the Democratic Party’s immigration non-policy is essentially a school for crime. But we here in the great beyond are being led to believe the putative #governmentshutdown is the real problem. As if. (Actually, I kind of like it.)

 

Lawsuit Claims SPLC Abetted Theft, Spread Lies to Destroy Lawyer for ‘Thought Crime’. Tyler O’neil – “the liberal group allegedly violated laws and legal codes of conduct by receiving and then paying for stolen documents in violation of confidentiality agreements. The group went after Allen with the intent of getting him fired by the city of Baltimore and permanently destroying his future prospects.”

 

“Allen’s suit claims that the SPLC should have its 501c3 tax-exempt status revoked, that it owes him restitution for racketeering, and that it should pay $6.5 million in damages. …

 

Perhaps most importantly, the suit attacks the liberal group for undermining America’s tradition of free expression. …

 

“This East Europe Communist thought-crime surveillance mentality is antithetical to fundamental American cultural and Constitutional principles protecting freedom of expression and association,” Allen wrote in the suit, which can be found on his website. His lawsuit uses concrete claims of lawbreaking and defamation to expose the SPLC’s Orwellian strategy of branding its opponents “hate groups” and orchestrating campaigns against them.

The SPLC should also lose its tax-exempt status for mail and wire fraud, false statements on its tax forms, and campaigns of destruction and defamation against its perceived enemies, the lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit includes no fewer than nine counts against the defendants, so even if one or more fail, it would be very difficult for the SPLC to convince the court to dismiss the case.

This lawsuit is serious, and the SPLC cannot just brush it off as the ravings of some racist bigot with a grudge. Allen was a top arbitrator at one of the largest law firms in the world. His claims are strong and comprehensive.

 

Texas Judge Doubles Down on Obamacare Ruling. David Catron – “And the law’s apologists are more worried than they admit.”

 

“Most “news” reports focused exclusively on the stay, which comprises one page of the document, while ignoring twenty-nine pages that Judge O’Connor devotes to a detailed elucidation of his previous ruling.

That 29 of the order’s 30 pages were ignored by the legacy media is significant. They have also studiously avoided substantive discussion of the judge’s December 14 decision, choosing instead to denounce him as a (gasp) conservative who (even worse) frequently ruled against the Obama administration.

 

What we have learned so far (5). Scott Johnson – “In this series we have sought to recall what we have learned so far in the matter of the greatest scandal in our history

 

“The [Steele] dossier operation has not only damaged institutions like the FBI and DOJ, it has also poisoned the public sphere, perhaps irremediably. As a result, it is now accepted journalistic practice to print, and reprint, any garish fantasy so long as it’s layered with Russian intrigue and Trump team treason. Even as the rest of the country sees an institution that has made itself a laughingstock, the press continues to salute itself for its bravery—or the courage and industry required to take leaks from law enforcement and intelligence officials and Democratic operatives in an effort to topple a president it doesn’t like, elected by neighbors it holds in contempt.

 

contempt. moral preening. virtue signalling. modern politics.

 

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Looking for the pony under the manure pile

but, first, there’s a new documentary movie out on WW I … 

They Shall Not Grow Old a box office blowout – for good reason. Monica Showalter – “So this is a war that’s still very much with us in effects, one hundred years after the armistice was signed.”

“This is why Peter Jackson’s brilliant documentary is so compelling, just on topic alone. It’s the 100th anniversary of that war’s end, and the Imperial War Museum wanted someone to come in and look at its archives of grainy, jerky, faded, black and white footage to bring back to everyone today just what happened, show how that war looked. … Seriously, the documentary got some rave reviews, from the whole spectrum. Let me add my own since I saw it last night: Magnificent!

Why was it great? Well, because the film broke the tired truism that the soldiers were just victims, which is what is taught in schools. Jackson was so scrupulous that he kept politics and current lefty narratives out of the whole thing, let the soldiers tell their story, with no Ben Rhodes-style “narratives” at all, making the whole thing just a tad politically incorrect, since the good and bad of the entire experience were all laid out from the oral histories of the soldiers themselves, in their own words.

See also Scott Johnson on the movie.

Same Sketchy Journalists Claim Again Michael Cohen in Prague Story. sundance – “Washington Post Greg Miller obliquely noted a reference to the art world when he was explaining how reporters spent months in Praque, and surrounding area, checking through hotel records and asking questions while finding no evidence.” If only they put this much effort into finding the story rather than trying to support a myth …

“Nude Selfies”? – Mueller’s Russian Target, Concord Management, Responds to Request to Block Discovery. sundance – “Given the nature of the politicization behind the Mueller investigation, many people argue there is no actual evidence at all; it’s a manufactured ruse created only for purpose of advancing a necessary political narrative, an excuse for media column inches and pundit talks.”

Where Was The Media Outrage When 18 Migrants Died In Custody Under The Obama Administration? Matt Vespa – “U.S. immigration authorities didn’t murder the child, which is heavily insinuated if not suggested by members of the liberal media.”

“We have some folks going off half-cocked saying we have full-blown concentration camps under the Trump presidency when it comes to border enforcement. It’s straight up insanity. Then again, what would you expect the reaction would be from a movement that wants open borders?

You knew this was going to be used to attack the Trump White House. Enforcing federal immigration laws is evil, you see. And we have a new sheriff in town that is—you know—going to do that. This infuriates the Left to no end. Once again, we have to take liberal media by the hand to show that much of what Trump is doing at the border is what the Obama administration did. The Obama administration shot tear gas at migrants at the border, they separated children from adults at the border, and guess what; migrants died under the custody of U.S. immigration officials. In fact, 18 migrants died under the Obama regime. When are we going after him for being a proto-Nazi (via Daily Caller)?

NYT’s Editorial Board Claims That ‘Trump Imperils The Planet’. Michael Bastasch – “with his rolling back of the Obama administration’s climate agenda.” Meanwhile, Dr. Judith Curry has another paper out on sea level changes as they have actually existed. It’s not Trump who is operating without facts and reality.

Climate Doom Ahead? Think Twice. Charles N. Steele – “Discussion at the UN climate change talks held in Katowice, Poland recently reached a stalemate. The issue? A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released earlier this year

“To put it bluntly, there’s a lot less here than meets the eye. The report argues that the Paris Accord target of a 1.5C increase is better than a 2C target. But the farther one reads, the more it appears the IPCC’s report is not really about climate change. It’s less a scientific report and more a political platform, driven by ideology, not science.

Conversely, scientific economic analysis suggests radical responses are unnecessary, even if we accept the basic models of global warming. … We ought to view IPCC’s report – and indeed any reports with such catastrophic claims – with great skepticism. We must insist that any changes to our systems and lives in the name of sustainability be based on fact, not ideology.

Documenting San Francisco’s homeless problem one tweet at a time. John Sexton – “even apart from the violence, the city is feeling the impact of thousands of homeless people in other ways as well.” Ignoring this part of the culture export from California isn’t going to stop it.

The horror! U.S. troops want America to be great. Paul Mirengoff – “What’s unbecoming is going after U.S. troops who are in harm’s way for showing enthusiasm for America and their commander-in-chief. In fact, it’s worse than unbecoming. It’s disgusting.” especially after the Air Force shoots down CNN claim troops violated regs by having Trump sign MAGA hats. Mary Chastain – “There is no rule against Airmen bringing personal items to be signed by the president,” USAFE said in a statement. … “We still have about four more days left in 2018. That’s plenty of time for the media and leftists to top this latest freakout.”

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