Archive for Justice and Law

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. 

Leave a Comment

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.

 

Leave a Comment

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.”

Leave a Comment

Lingering Questions and Manufactured Guilt

The President’s Enemies and Their Confected Drama. Conrad Black – “Apart from its extreme vehemence, what is most striking about this latest oceanic heaving of obloquy on the president is that the Democrats have called in their heaviest serviceable units.”

“These endless cyclonic attacks on Trump have moved most of the polls 1 or 2 percent, but have not undercut the strength of his support. And it is hard to see what more the Democrats can do—all their tame commentators are wagging their heads and tongues and fingers as strenuously and constantly as they can.

The academics are all in. The elected Democratic hate-leaders are all in. The tenacity of the swamp-dwellers is formidable, and demands respect. …

Their tenacity and imperviousness to the enormity of their responsibility for the greatest economic disaster in the world in 80 years, the endless fruitless wars in the Middle East, the humanitarian disasters, the admission of many millions of illiterate peasants illegally, lurching incoherence in foreign policy, and the failure to deal with health care, immigration, infrastructure—it all sits lightly on them, as they decry the interloper as a menace to America and the world.

But they have to put up or shut up soon: impeach and lose or drop it and pretend moral exaltation. This confected drama is too oppressive to go on indefinitely.

The Neverending, Mysterious Saga of Michael Flynn. Victor Davis Hanson – “What put Flynn in legal jeopardy were the general’s statements to FBI investigators that purportedly were false, and allegedly given deliberately to mislead two federal investigators.”

“I express doubt here only because of media reports and leaks that Special Counsel Robert Mueller later either pressured Flynn for a confession, by strategies of financial exhaustion or leveraged him by threats to indict his son, or both.

Had Flynn at the time been apprised of why Andrew McCabe was sending his agents over to the White House, Flynn would have had choices, perhaps Lois Lerner-like to plead the Fifth, or in James Comey fashion he initially could have told chief interrogator Peter Strzok on 245 occasions that he did not know or did not remember, or he simply could have told investigators in James Clapper fashion that he was giving the least untruthful version of the story.

Moreover, a half-century’s worth of jurisprudence now has contextualized how evidence is obtained, and why it is often excluded in criminal cases to uphold larger principles of justice. We do not wish our prosecutors to become obsessive and vindictive in spending our time and treasure misleading citizens, without counsel, to say something that they might not otherwise have said had they not been targeted—all in order to jail them when our officials otherwise have found no other wrongdoing.

Even as importantly, issues of equality under the law certainly apply in the Flynn case.

What we have learned so far (3). 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 one underlying the presidential election of 2016, from the Clinton campaign to the highest reaches of the Obama administration.”

“But the overlooked question is this: Why did Comey and the FBI go to such extreme lengths to catch Flynn in a lie, when he had violated no federal law?

Under questioning before the House Judiciary Committee, Comey claimed that the FBI has the duty to “understand why it appeared to be the case that the National Security adviser was making false statements about his conversations with the Russians to the Vice President of the United States.”

But as Gowdy and others made clear, it is not the FBI’s job to make sure politicians tell the truth to each other. If it was, the FBI would be so busy it would never get to its real mission of investigating federal crimes.

Merry Christmas! 

Leave a Comment

Learn or Impugn?

Trump Is Smarter Than the Generals. Christopher Roach – “His forthrightness is commendable, but in the remainder of his letter, Mattis only repeats the globalist conventional wisdom out of the pages of the New York Times.” The wailing and gnashing of teeth in the media about adults in the room and other Trump derogatories should be indicative that it is ideology at hand. Mattis’ letter shows true colors. He can’t just disagree, he has to impugn. Today are several articles taking the Syria withdrawal issue seriously and looking at the merits. Here is one.

“A bipartisan consensus among the foreign policy elite holds that America needs to maintain its de facto overseas empire. This includes both preserving stability, as well as fomenting deliberate instability, including regime change in places like Syria. This consensus among elected officials, defense contractors, general officers, talking heads, and various experts is not shared by the vast majority of Americans, who elected Barack Obama and Donald Trump on their promises to end “stupid wars” and put America first.

The American people have good instincts on these matters.

When we look for answers, we should look beyond our parochial and conflicted elite to the wisdom of the past. For all the study of Clausewitz in our military academies, one wonders if our strategists have forgotten his advice on the general superiority of defensive measures as a strategic matter: “What is the object of defense? To preserve. To preserve is easier than to acquire; from which follows at once that the means on both sides being supposed equal, the defensive is easier than the offensive.”

In other words, we are better off securing our border, building a wall, limiting immigrants from hostile lands, and avoiding the Middle Eastern cul de sac, than playing whack-a-mole with terrorists. Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria is the most courageous and controversial manifestation of his broader promise to put America first.

The Most Important Thing About Michael Flynn Is Not His Guilt, But His Politicized Prosecution. Margot Cleveland – “For many, the criminal case against Flynn was never about Flynn; it was about our country abandoning the precept of equal justice under the law.”

Name That Criminal Defendant! John Hinderaker – “I am so old, I can remember when intelligence officials leaking top secret information to women they were sleeping with was frowned upon. At one time, the fear was that such women might be Russian spies. Now, it is reasonable to assume that they are Democrats.”

Mundia and Modia. Luboš Motl – “Modia is a world of consensus, envy, love, hate, admiration, gratitude. Mundia is a world of gravity, electromagnetism, string dualities, supply, and demand. ;-)

“Right-wingers, farmers, engineers, men, and natural scientists tend to live in Mundia; left-wingers, academics especially in social sciences and humanities, Hollywood, people doing P.R., women, and similar folks are more likely to be in Modia.

As I said, there are very clear correlations between Mundia vs Modia on one side and parts of the societies (and age groups) on the other side. More seriously, there’s a trend. The Western civilization is becoming brutally Modian while Mundia is almost being eradicated. Boxenhorn reminds us of some optimistic old Mundian facts, however. Companies that become completely Modian, non-meritocratic (and all about nepotism and human preferences for allies etc.), generally fail soon.

That’s perhaps good news but it may be very expensive, too. To a large extent, whole nations of the Western civilization are becoming fully Modian. So what will fail may be these whole nations or the civilization as a whole. Our nations may be replaced with some other nations that stay more Mundian, perhaps the Chinese, Russians, or Persians. There’s a part of me that says that those are also members of homo sapiens so if they dominate the world in 2050, that’s just fine – and an example of the selection at a higher level in action. There’s another part of me that cares about those people’s “not being quite us”, not being sufficiently biologically or culturally related to “us”. Why can’t our nations be the right ones?

What Makes Trump Run. Robert Weissberg – “Let me suggest that Trump’s behavior is perfectly understandable if viewed in the context of his business background. As the Obama administration reflected governance by an egalitarian community activist, the current administration is rule by a hotel magnate.” Remember the 1965 Arthur Hailey book Hotel [Wikipedia]?

“We’ve come a long way from the 1950s when the Eisenhower cabinet was described as “Nine Millionaires and a Plumber.” Indeed, it was once commonplace, especially during war years, for successful businessmen to enter government and get paid a symbolic “dollar a year.”

We are now governed by likes of Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, who have spent their entire lives on the government payroll with zero firsthand private sector experience.

Melania Trump’s topiary trees prove a hit at Christmas parties. “Melania Trump’s cranberry topiary trees may have left some of her critics seeing red, but they turned out to be a Christmas hit — one of several new ideas the Trumps introduced this holiday season.”

“The red trees featured on a green carpet along the East Wing colonnade turned out to be quite the attraction: Pedestrian traffic jams formed as Trump’s many party guests clamored to be photographed in front of the unusual holiday landscape.

Largely absent from the festivities this year was the traditional opportunity for guests to have a picture taken with Trump and his wife, a time-consuming process that requires the president and first lady to stand for hours, grinning, posing and making small talk with hundreds of guests, some of whom they hardly know.

Trump retained the photo tradition for members of the U.S. Secret Service, law enforcement and the military, as well as staff who work in the residence, according to a White House official who declined to be identified discussing details of the private receptions.

Meanwhile, another effort to make Trump’s tax returns public was turned down by a judge and the Senate Democrats are holding the country’s budget hostage.

Leave a Comment

That lizard brain manipulating uproar?

Breaking: President Trump Announces James Mattis Retiring. by sundance – “Oh snap, grab my belt, we’re going deep.” Mattis was seen as someone keeping the President under control so it’s big headlines he’s leaving as SecDef. The whole story is something else. “Initially, the traditional military interventionist approach couldn’t just be reversed or dispatched; and James Mattis was the bridge to a path forward.” That “path forward” is something a lot of people have been looking for.

“The nature of the Trump foreign policy doctrine, as it has become visible, is to hold manipulative influence accountable for regional impact(s), and simultaneously work to stop any corrupted influence from oppressing free expression of national values held by the subservient, dis-empowered, people within the nation being influenced.

The process of accurate regional assignment of influence comes with disconcerting sunlight. Often these influences are not discussed openly. However, for President Trump the lack of honesty is only a crutch to continue enabling poor actors. This is a consistent theme throughout all of President Trump’s foreign policy engagements.

If a national citizenry has to pay for the indulgent decisions of the influence class, a crisis becomes only a matter of time.

Mexico goes along with Trump’s caravan plan. Jazz Shaw – “When this idea was first proposed it was deemed to be a non-starter right out of the gate.” The opposition often goes hyperbolic in dismissal of anything Trump and that tends to be destructive. This one ties in with the reasons for the Mattis departure.

“What we’re seeing here is a careful attempt by Mexico’s new president to build on his country’s existing relationship with the United States. Showing a little deference to the American President can go a long way towards better trade deals and the possibility of foreign aid rather than facing a combative leader across the border. If this helps stem the tide of illegal immigration while we work out the border security situation, we should chalk this up as a win and encourage further cooperation from that country’s new leader.

The Trump Doctrine and 2020. Steven Hayward – “The events of the last 72 hours may be bringing the Trump Doctrine into sharper focus. … Everyone is in an uproar about Trump’s decisions, and perhaps they are right.”

“But I wonder if Trump’s supposed lizard brain isn’t on to something about the politics of the matter. The conventional wisdom is that Trump won the key midwestern states in 2016 because of white working class anxieties over immigration and job loss (or just racism if you’re a leftist), but there is some evidence that Trump’s stands on ending America’s military commitments overseas may have played a significant role in his victory in the upper midwest.

Once again, Trump’s instincts may be way ahead of everyone else, just as they were on immigration. And as for the possible risks of American disengagement, Trump’s military buildup looks to have some foresight to it also.

“Grossly irresponsible”: AG appointee Barr blasted Mueller probe on obstruction in June memo to Rosenstein. Ed Morrissey – “Barr warned Trump this would come up as an issue in his confirmation, according to CNN. Whether Trump saw that as a bug or a feature will be the core of the debate over Barr’s nomination from now until his confirmation, of course.” What it comes down to is Democrat defense for their corruption by removal and obstruction of any opposition or skepticism of their methods and actions.

“But just how much of a smoking gun is this? For the defense, Andrew C. McCarthy concludes that it’s nothing of the sort — only an excellent legal review of the circumstances. Not only are Barr’s viewpoints correct, McCarthy argues, but also necessary to rein in Mueller’s seemingly limitless investigation

What’s Next in FBI Oversight. Kimberley A. Strassel. “House and Senate investigators get pride of place for unraveling one of the greatest dirty tricks of our political times, in which a Democratic administration, party and presidential campaign either co-opted or fooled the FBI into investigating the Republican campaign.” [ht Scott Johnson]

“That also explains why House investigators haven’t released an official report on their findings. They know the story, but they can’t tell it comprehensively until President Trump follows through and declassifies the relevant documents. The president is said to be waiting for the Mueller probe and prosecutions to end. But why? This is about transparency. The president also owes it to these lawmakers, who began the hard work of investigating the 2016 election, to finally allow them to finish it.

Why ‘Why String Theory Is Wrong’ is wrong. Luboš Motl – “No, this is not funny. I am really terrified how much the society around pop science has degenerated.”

“There aren’t any “string supporters” in such comment sections today and there won’t be any string theorists in 2050. We will be fortunate if there will be people who know something about the Newtonian mechanics. The faster rate of the mankind’s intellectual rottening must mean that it is not just the negative biological selection, as hoped in the movie. Even the people whose DNA could do better end up being morphed to hopeless morons such as the commenters under the PBS video – some epigenetics and/or societal pressures must contribute the bulk of the effect. People aren’t spanked for not doing a proper science homework so they just turn to superficial trolls – it’s probably unavoidable.

The emoluments cases have had some things happening that involve the prurient digging into the President’s financial life. Media reports seem to miss the impact on the persecution discovery efforts and the changes in the nature of the case.

Leave a Comment

Squaring the circle isn’t in sight

Cognitive Dissonance: How Does The Left Manage It? CBD – “Perhaps I wasn’t dropped on my head enough as a child, but I simply do not understand how the willing fools of the Left square this circle.”

Elizabeth Warren panders. Paul Mirengoff – “Elizabeth Warren delivered the commencement address at Morgan State University last week. It strikes me that the graduates would have preferred a younger, more “with it” speaker to Warren — a 69 year-old politician trying to restore her “intersectional” credentials after the embarrassment of her DNA test. But I’m just guessing.”

“The rules need to be changed, Warren insisted, because they are stacked against African-Americans, among others. In effect, Warren was telling black undergraduates that hard work won’t properly be rewarded absent radical change.

Warren was right when she blared: “Two sets of rules: one for white families, and one for everybody else.” But in realms where there are two sets of rules, the discrepancy favors African-Americans.

The only sense in which the rules are “stacked” against blacks is that, in some cases, blacks struggle as a group to comply with them. Criminal law rules and classroom discipline standards are examples.

Michael Flynn’s Ordeal and Ours. Michael Ledeen – “We need such trailblazers, and I hope he will be freed from the shackles that special consel Robert Mueller has attached to him.”

“Second, is the importance of slapping down a corrupt justice and intelligence leadership, whose behavior in the Flynn affair should enrage and frighten all concerned citizens. It is incredible to say that after two years, we do not know what happened.

In short, we need to know a lot more, but what we do know paints a very ugly picture of an FBI that makes up stories to fit their current political dreams, whether just to get rid of General Flynn, or to thwart Trump’s election, or to somehow get him out of the White House. The bureau acts as if it has a lot to hide, and I hope that Judge Sullivan knows the details, or will know them when he pronounces sentence.

I am not a lawyer, but I think the explanations for the dreadful behavior of FBI agents, Obama NSC officials, and others are political, not legal.

Gun Confiscation Begins in New Jersey. John Sobieski – “Which part of “shall not be infringed” does the Third Circuit not understand?

“This law is one of those “sensible restrictions” on gun ownership that liberals like to talk about but that criminals will ignore as the judge who ruled the law constitutional says that despite the asterisk put next to the Second Amendment by the court assures us there is nothing to worry about:

That’s not the opinion of Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo, who warns that even police officers have become instant felons under the new law:

Which part of “shall not be infringed” does the Third Circuit not understand? Assault is a behavior and not a particular weapon or an ammo clip. Ever since Cain slew Abel with a rock, it has been the desire to kill which motivates evil. Buildings are blown up with fertilizer bombs. Marathons are blasted with pressure cooker bombs, trolls in southern France turn to tragedy through the use of, dare I say it, a high-capacity rental truck. Cars careen down New York parkways mowing down joggers and pedestrians.

Life as a Trump-Supporting Female in Manhattan. Pamela Garber – “I am routinely informed by my dates and peers that I am “destroying the world.”

“The mainstream broadcasters and much of society are an exact replica of the angry parents I sometimes see when providing family therapy sessions. …

If the Trump-haters are playing the role of the angry parents, then President Trump is the Identified Patient. If our country is a family, then President Trump is the scapegoated teen who prompted all the issues to come to light.

Why Did Michael Cohen Plead Guilty to Campaign Finance Crimes That Aren’t Campaign Finance Crimes? Jeremiah L. Morgan – “What a bizarre interpretation of federal campaign finance law.”

“As usual, either Trump is right or he’s crazy. Did Cohen plead guilty to a non-crime? The liberal media and law professors automatically assume anyone who would work with Trump is guilty, even referring to the president as an “unindicted coconspirator.” But their conclusions are based more on wishful thinking than on critical analysis of federal election law.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office never explained how expenditures made to suppress news stories meet the definition of a “contribution.” It was just assumed.

Assuming that Cohen’s attorneys are not unaware of these facts, why would they allow Cohen to plead? Cohen probably took the plea bargain because he was threatened with a long prison sentence and financial impoverishment on the many financial and tax charges unrelated to any dealings with President Trump.

Virtually All Trump-Led Organizations Under Investigation. Patterico – “How you perceive this is almost certainly driven by your view of the man. Do you think he’s a con artist and a clown? Then you’re likely to react to this by saying: “Good.” Do you think he’s a Hero of the People who has been unfairly targeted by the Deep State? Then you probably see this as a very bad thing — perhaps close to treason.” He treats this is as entertainment and misses another option: those who view the ‘investigations” as a perversion of governance and justice. These people don’t need to see a “Hero of the People” to see that there is a massive and expensive diversion of resources driven by negative emotions, differences of opinion, and political fanaticism that are destructive to our society.

Leave a Comment

Confected felonies, a product of modern justice?

Déjà Vu and Cohen Hysteria. Roger Kimball – “Actually, the centerpieces of the charges against Cohen were tax and bank fraud and lying to Congress. Paying off tarts who claim to have had sexual relations with your patron a decade earlier is not a crime, but that didn’t matter to the prosecutors or to CNN.”

“To my mind, what actually happened last week is the same thing that has been happening since the summer of 2016 when the Obama Administration began taking out “insurance policies” (classical reference there!) by trying to frame the Trump campaign with bogus charges of “Russian collusion.” After November 9, 2016, that effort mutated into an effort to destroy the Trump presidency.

Instead, they have latched on to various associates of Trump, uncovered real or imagined wrongdoing that has nothing to do with the president, and proceeded to squeeze them in an effort to encourage them to “sing”—or, if there is no relevant song, to “compose,” i.e., fabricate something harmful to the president.

What the deep state did to General Flynn, a genuine American hero and patriot, is truly unconscionable. … indeed, the ineffable James Comey, former head of the FBI, soon-to-be grand jury interviewee, boasted about setting him up and noted that he would never have gotten away with it in the Bush or Obama administrations.

Well, we’ve been here before. In fact, this chorus has been singing since before Trump was elected, an eventuality that was said to be impossible.

Washington’s Growing Product Line: Confected Felonies. Clarice Feldman – “Space constraints allow me to discuss but a few of the matters in which politics posing as law enforcement captured this week’s news.”

“A large amount of domestic coverage this week involves the ongoing Mueller fiasco, in which it appears that the legal theories under which he is operating have been concocted by nitwits, and the processes he’s employed are nothing short of Beria-like (“show me the man, and I’ll show you the crime”) stuff.

It is clear to me that Flynn’s pleading guilty was a defensive measure to protect his family, which was roughly $3 million in legal debt as he fought against a team with unlimited resources and unlimited partisan fervor (as was the situation in the Stevens case).

And then there’s Michael Cohen’s pleas, only one of which relates to the presidential campaign, a plea of guilt to something which is not a crime, because paying off people who are threatening to make damaging statements about you, is not a campaign expense.

The absurdity registers … but only with some. Why? Will Congress proceed with governance or will they join the NY AG who has been ‘shown the man’ and will devote all her resources to ‘finding a crime’ — any crime, even a confected one. With so many going along, does it matter? Anymore?

Leave a Comment

An unaccountable police agency? Prosecutors wilding?

FBI defies subpoena for docs on its raid on Uranium One whistleblower. Thomas Lifson – “An unaccountable police agency? “What, me worry?” seems to be the attitude of the media and Democrats.”

“The Deep State now is publicly baring its fangs at us, laughing at ineffective attempts to hold it accountable for abuse and worse. I hate be alarmist, but we have police agencies misbehaving and then destroying the evidence and refusing to cooperate with constitutional oversight functions.

Texts found (& lost) in a bottle. Scott Johnson – “Don’t the circumstances rate at least an arched eyebrow or other expression of incredulity?”

When Does Trump Say, ‘Enough Is Enough!’? Brian C. Joondeph – “The Deep State, Democrats and Republicans alike, are in lock step trying to remove Trump from office. If only they were in similar agreement on securing the border, cutting regulations, or growing the economy than they are against Trump.”

Special Counsel Responds to Judge Sullivan Request for FBI Notes – Fails to Submit Agent Pientka January Interview Notes. sundance – “The curious case against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn gets even more curious as Robert Mueller doesn’t deliver the FBI notes (FD-302) from the January 2017 interview of Flynn, as requested by Judge Emmet Sullivan, and instead submits notes from an internal July 19th, 2017, interview with FBI agent Peter Strzok.” Also see Don Surber.

Is the Flynn guilty plea going to be thrown out? Thomas Lifson – “It is always a bad idea to defy an order from a federal judge, yet the nation’s premier, most powerful, law enforcement agency has just done so.”

The Murder of the Weekly Standard. John Podhoretz – “An intellectual and political crime.”

“The Weekly Standard will be no more. There is no real reason we are witnessing the magazine’s demise other than deep pettiness and a personal desire for bureaucratic revenge on the part of a penny-ante Machiavellian who works for its parent company.

The creation of the Weekly Standard was my proudest professional moment. When Bill Kristol and I conceived the magazine at the end of 1994, our purpose was to create a publication that would help guide and keep honest the hard-charging Republican party that had scored its stunning lopsided victory over Bill Clinton’s Democrats.

I hope and expect its subscribers, tens of thousands of whom have been with the magazine since its very first day, will demand refunds rather than serve as passive participants in this act of politico-cultural murder.

Hating The President Is Not a Strategy, As Bill Kristol Just Learned. Jeff Ballabon – “Going all in on attacking President Trump isn’t proving to be a particularly effective business strategy for media outlets.”

“The “resistance” media strategy is not only corrosive to the country; it seems to be a loser business model. Kristol’s descent into fringe irrelevance and the possible end of his once-illustrious magazine is a perfect illustration.

Unmoored to reality, Kristol continues to threaten Trump, prophesying that “the Trump presidency crumbles” in the face of his 2020 primary challenge.

What’s actually crumbling are Kristol’s reputation and legacy. Happily, it appears that the bulk of the late Standard’s funding will be reassigned to its thus far fair-to-Trump sister publication, The Washington Examiner.

This last is what Podhoretz was warning about.

Media Conventional Wisdom On The Russia Investigation Is Uninformed And Idiotic. Mollie Hemingway – “Axios promised highly damning and highly detailed evidence in the Mueller probe. What it delivered instead was warmed-over D.C. conventional wisdom.” It’s another takedown of Fake News™ with several examples detailed.

“If you want to — and I quote — “go deeper,” you can click a button that gives you “460 words” of how what we know is highly damning and highly detailed. It is, of course, not even close to either of those things. But it’s worth looking at to see how some D.C. figures are easily spun into thinking — or claiming to think — that things for which there is no evidence have “highly detailed” evidence.

Axios promised highly damning and highly detailed evidence in the Mueller probe. What it instead delivered was warmed-over D.C. conventional wisdom, dramatically overwrought and imprecise allegations, and a notable lack of any evidence that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election. A typical beltway reader may come away from the article feeling comforted about where the investigation is headed. But it’s hard to argue that anyone who read all 460 words of VandeHei’s bombshell was any more informed than when he began.

Marines describe violence, racial slurs used by Antifa mob in Philadelphia. John Sexton – “Yesterday those two Marines, Alejandro Godinez and Luis Torres, testified about what happened.”

“Why isn’t this story big news? So far as I can tell, CNN hasn’t devoted a single word to this story about actual violence by Antifa members since it happened nearly a month ago. I guess Don Lemon and Brooke Baldwin were too busy with other things. Domestic political violence was all-the-rage last month, now it’s just old hat.

The ‘Trump Doctrine’ Is the Future of Conservative Foreign Policy. John Fonte – “For the past two years we have seen the emergence of a coherent Trump doctrine in both words and deeds.”

We need a bigger world. RF – “The elite wanted a world without God and they got it. … They are finding the resulting world an uncongenial place.”

“What our current civilization has lost is the capacity to live with the uncontrollable; to act in doubt which is to say in faith. That lack has resulted in the return of loneliness and fear.

Federal Judge Rules Obamacare Unconstitutional. David Catron – “U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor agreed with the plaintiffs that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate was rendered unconstitutional when Congress reduced its tax-penalty to zero. He further agreed with their assertion that the mandate is not severable from the rest of the statute.”

“In other words, Congress can’t impose the mandate pursuant to the Commerce Clause, as the Supreme Court confirmed in NFIB v. Sebelius. And the “saving construction” concocted by Chief Justice Roberts — that it is essentially a revenue-raising device permitted under Congress’s taxing powers — collapsed when the tax-penalty was eliminated by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Thus, the mandate had to be struck down. Moreover, because the Affordable Care Act contains no severability clause, and its advocates have long insisted that the individual mandate was the “linchpin” of the law, the whole edifice necessarily fell with the mandate.

O’Connor’s ruling did not, however, contain the nationwide injunction requested by the plaintiffs. Instead, he granted a summary judgment that permits the law to stay in place during the inevitable and protracted appeal process.

Roberts can only save Obamacare by reversing the opinions he issued on the last two ACA cases that reached SCOTUS.

Electoral Fraud: the Real Record. Apolo Villalobos – “the idea has been dismissed by MSM journalists who have insisted that there have not been any cases of illegal voting.” so here’s a list …

“Keep in mind also that these are just a tiny portion of detected transgressions. How many more illegal acts have occurred that have gone unnoticed? After all, voting illegally is child’s play, with no checks and balances and a minimum of negative repercussions. Since Republican voters are almost always the victim and the Republican Party is without doubt the Stupid Party, this stomach-churning travesty will continue.

No more taxpayer-funded settlements for sexual harassment claims against members of Congress. Neo – “No reason except—except—there’s the problem of the power of false accusations

“What percentage of accusations are valid and what percentage false I do not know, but I do know that false allegations can crush someone politically and financially. I believe that was probably at least part of the reason for the establishment of the Congressional slush fund in the first place. Without it, I fear that the prospect of financial and personal ruin for a politician when facing such allegations constitutes even greater motivation to make them.

In the real world of politics and of business and of life in general, payments are often made in settlements of the sort even when claims are baseless. Payments do not constitute recognition of guilt. With the slush fund, the payments made constituted a motivation for false accusations, and without the slush fund, the same is true. But without the fund, the prospect of ruin for a politician is greater whether the accusations are true or whether they are false.

 

The money motivation is there anytime deep pockets are visible.

Leave a Comment

Divert. Deny. Accuse.

The Caravan Is A Threat To Americans In More Ways Than One. Dr. Nan Hayworth – “Democrats claim to care about aspiring immigrants, but taking a thoughtless approach to what should be an orderly process is actually a callous and cynical dereliction of responsibility to everyone involved:”

“When Democrats and media commentators deride the enforcement of our immigration laws and border integrity as “racist,” they’re not only being dishonest, but also irresponsible.

Allowing caravaners with serious illnesses to enter the United States without the health certification required of those who seek to immigrate legally will expose Americans to disease risks from which our laws have been designed to protect them.

Beyond that sensible and lifesaving precaution, we must also, reasonably and rationally, take into account the cost of providing healthcare to thousands of people when our infrastructure is already strained.

Blasey-Ford’s scared little girl voice has disappeared in first public statement since her Senate testimony. Thomas Lifson – “For the first time since her testimony, we now have the opportunity to hear her voice, and guess what! She doesn’t sound at all like the witness whose fear and suffering moved so many Democrats and feminists. She sounds like a grown-up, a professor, indeed.” … “Why it’s almost like two different people! Multiple personality disorder? Hypnosis? Acting?”

What is wrong with you, Sports Illustrated? Becket Adams – “There is so much wrong with Sports Illustrated’s decision to have Christine Blasey Ford present its 2018 Inspiration of the Year award, it is hard to know where to begin.” This is how the Left rewards its fallen, or used up, soldiers even if they lose their victim’s voice.

“Ford was not chosen for having any sort of meaningful affiliation with the award recipient, former gymnast Rachael Denhollander, whose testimony eventually led to the downfall of convicted sexual predator Larry Nassar. Ford was not chosen for any professional or personal achievements. Ford was chosen because she claimed she was sexually abused by Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, a claim that she came nowhere close to proving.

Cohen lied, broke the law and used Trump to get rich – and now blames Trump for his troubles. Jonathan Turley – “He claimed he was a trusting soul undone by the ambition and the machinations of an evil man – Donald Trump. … It played out like a modern take on the Tennessee Williams play “A Streetcar Named Desire.” He got three years. The Avanati client got dinged for nearly $300k. It seems popular trying to leverage Trump for fame and fortune but it doesn’t seem to work out as planned.

“When Trump didn’t protect Cohen with a pardon or intervention, Cohen turned to Mueller and began to publicly praise him while criticizing Trump. For his part, Mueller was clearly receptive to Cohen entreaties.

ndeed, this remake could be called “A Special Counsel Named Desire.” Mueller’s desire to build a case against President Trump – the man who Cohen described as being responsible for his undoing and leading him into “darkness” – is so overwhelming that he undercut other federal prosecutors.

For Tennessee Williams fans, it all seemed too familiar. Blanche explained how she rode a streetcar named Desire to her doom: “It brought me here. Where I’m not wanted and where I’m ashamed to be.”

Ace of Spades notes another prosecutorial outreach in another bimbo case. “Which is a strange thing, isn’t it? These women keep violating legal agreements to dish on Trump, almost as if they’re being paid to do so, and so don’t have to fear legal consequences of breaking contracts.”

“AMI has reached a plea deal and has received immunity for telling the US Attorney what the US Attorney wanted to hear, that this payment was made for the specific purpose of influencing a federal election and not just to keep a mouthy broad from disrupting Trump’s marital relations. The former reason would require an FEC disclosure, while the latter reason would not.

Note that immunity was secured by specifically claiming that the purpose was to influence the election. Without that, no case. So they got immunity by agreeing to testify to the prosecutor’s absolute must-have claim.

Eh. All right. This shit usually is handled with a fine — remember, Hillary Clinton deliberately misrepresented the reasons for her payments to Perkins-Coie as “legal services” when a substantial amount of that money went to oppo research, specifically “The Doisser” — and no one’s even talking about a fine for that, but I guess suddenly we’re taking this all very seriously.

Remember the good old days of the “Russia investigation?” Jazz Shaw – “Pardon my saying, but this entire story arc is absurd. I find myself agreeing with Rich Lowry (not exactly a fan of Trump’s), writing at Politico, who seems to view this entire episode in presidential history as a bad dime store novel with the final chapter torn out.”

Judge in Flynn case demands more documents before passing sentence. Thomas Lifson – “raising the possibility that a miscarriage of justice may finally be called out and the guilty plea coerced by Team Mueller thrown out.” There is a comparison and contrast here.

“Thanks to the sentencing memorandum filed by counsel for General Michael Flynn, we now see that the FBI used deception to ensnare him in a perjury trap. The Wall Street Journal summarizes the deception employed by or at the behest of James Comey and Peter Strzok, both now fired and revealed as fanatical Trump-haters:

It is hard for me to imagine a legitimate reason for filing (or revising?) the form 302 months after it was due. But I also can imagine no legitimate reason for the FBI not to record sound and video of all interviews instead of relying on the memory of its own agents.

I have my fingers crossed that Judge Sullivan will throw out the guilty plea and dismiss the case. Depending on what he finds in the documents he will receive, a public rebuke of the special counsel and FBI would be in order.

General Michael Flynn Outlines Deep State Gestapo Tactics To Try And Get Him To Turn Against POTUS Trump. by DCWhispers –

“Don’t buy into the Cohen guilty plea and sentencing hype the Establishment Media is now manufacturing. Cohen was primarily charged on misdeeds totally unrelated to his professional relationship with Donald Trump. Today we get a glimpse of just how insidious this entire get-Trump operations has been via words from General Michael Flynn who faced an onslought of intimidation very early on in the Mueller investigation via now disgraced former FBI Deputy Director, Andrew McCabe.

The FBI never did anything remotely like this to Hillary Clinton or the Obama administration despite multiple actual misdeeds and cover-ups by both. No, this is purely a means of trying to push a duly elected president, a true political outsider, out of office.

To his credit, General Flynn appears to have held the line and is now willing to share his experience combatting the serious abuses of federal authorities that attempted to destroy his life and reputation. What a terrible-terrible thing to have these high-ranking Deep State operatives running amok right now working against what has been one of the most successful and pro-American administrations in presidential history.

Clinton Whistleblowers: Thursday’s Public Hearing to Reveal “Explosive” Information. Sara Carter – “Rep. Meadows believes info being delivered for Thursday’s hearing to be ‘explosive’ in nature and may help connect the dots.” It is interesting that this sort of hype about Trump tends to fall flat but is heralded in the media Fake News™, e.g. Cohen sentencing, while this sort of hype about Clinton et al tends to hold up but be ignored by the media.

“A trove of documents on the Clinton Foundation alleging possible pay for play and tax evasion have been turned over to the FBI and IRS by several investigative whistleblowers, who will be testifying in an open hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Thursday, according to the committee and lawmakers.

Is There Anything Environmentalists Won’t Blame On Climate Change? Investor’s Business Daily – “CNN this week published a huge story saying the source of the migrant caravan wasn’t so much corrupt Central American governments, violence or lousy economic policies. It was climate change. This is just the latest attempt by environmentalists to blame any and all bad news — even acne — on climate change.”

“Unfortunately, playing fast and loose with the facts and jumping to wild conclusions is now the standard operating procedure when it comes to global warming.

Pick a topic and add “climate change” to it in a Google search and you’re likely to find some article or study suggesting a connection between the two.

The fanatics of food. neo – “the futility of trying to eat as though diet could make a person immortal is pretty much the point of the piece” … a cite to an Atlantic article highlighting the nature of so many arguments these days whether it be climate change, vaccinations, diet, energy, and more.

“there are contradictory ideologies: what is safe and clean to one is filth and decadence to another. …

Nutrition science itself is a self-correcting series of refutations. There is no certain path to purity and blamelessness through food. The only common thread between competing dietary ideologies is the belief that by adhering to them, one can escape the human condition, and become a purer, less animal, kind of being.

This is why arguments about diet get so vicious, so quickly. You are not merely disputing facts, you are pitting your wild gamble to avoid death against someone else’s.

China takes hostages? Two Canadians held in Huawei dispute. Ed Morrissey – “It turns out that US worries over conducting business and travel in China were justified.”

The Ninth Circuit’s Activist Midwinter Meeting. David E. Bernstein – “The liberal-dominated federal court of appeals lets its partisan and ideological freak flags fly.”

“The range of academic perspectives featured at the conference ranges from the very liberal Robert Post to the very liberal Erwin Chemerinsky. The keynote address is about Confederate monuments, a hot issue on the activist left but literally rather far afield for the West Coast-based Ninth Circuit. There’s even a panel on Russian cyberattacks on U.S. government institutions. Given the context of the Muller investigation, it’s hard to see this entirely as a response to concern about potential targeting of the judiciary.

None of these panels would be particularly noteworthy as one panel among a host of ideologically neutral or balanced panels more directly related to the Ninth Circuit’s work. But altogether the agenda reads more like the agenda of an activist organization than a federal judicial institution.

President Trump has engaged in a series of unseemly and generally unwarranted attacks on the partisan neutrality of the judiciary. This is a poor time for the Ninth Circuit to be giving his ilk ammunition.

Yep, “unseemly and generally unwarranted attacks” that are also true and important. Just what do you value, Bernstein? Isn’t unseemly and generally unwarranted rather descriptive of the 9th’s behavior?

Leave a Comment

No escape?

Desperately seeking perfection. Sam Younnokis – “If the USA is a terrible, horrible place, what country do the (Millennial and elitist) critics think we should try to be like? Ignorance is bliss?

“Have the critics spent a year in whatever country that is? It seems reasonable that they should, to be sure they know what that country looks like instead of relying on second- and thirdhand reports.

It sounds promising when critics say we should give free medical care and education to everyone, and maybe in some ideal world, that would happen. Where is it happening right now? Nowhere.

Sweden has a great reputation among the perfectionists, but have the critics studied its history? The Swedes owned slaves a long time ago, some from neighboring peoples who were also Scandinavian, others from Ireland or places farther away. Do they get a pass if their slaves were white, or are they still on the hook for the immoral (by modern standards) practice of slavery? They also overran Norway at one point, not unlike Europeans overrunning the Native Americans in the United States. Are they still worth emulating, despite this awful (by modern standards) history?

The medical care provided by Cuba is supposedly state-of-the-art, but have the critics gone there for an extended period and experienced the care of the island’s doctors?

Truth is, no one who is here wants to leave. I’m not saying our country is perfect, but I doubt that perfection is possible. … We have nowhere to go. That is why we look for ways to fight for our country without tipping into civil war. This is, to us, the last best place on Earth, the shining city on a hill.

Will the Leakers in the Flynn Case Escape Justice? Julie Kelly – “Americans are reminded that the real criminals—top officials at our nation’s most trusted agencies—have yet to be charged for illegally leaking classified information about Flynn to the news media in an effort to sabotage Donald Trump’s presidency.”

“To date, none of the law enforcement or intelligence officials who illegally leaked the information about Flynn has been identified or charged, let alone tried and convicted.

while the wheels of justice move quickly for Trump associates such as Flynn, Paul Manafort, and Michael Cohen, there is no urgency in nabbing deep state criminals who actually threaten the rule of law and democratic norms. Despite their bluster about the danger that Trump poses to our institutions, it is they—not the president—who are destroying the integrity of those institutions without consequence.

Defeat and the Dossier Explain Everything. Victor Davis Hanson – “did we need Robert Mueller’s 18 months and $40 million to uncover and redirect to federal attorneys what was largely self-evident?”

“The diabolical Cohen also tried to enforce, extend, or create non-disclosure agreements (Swampese for hush money) with two women from Trump’s past. The two reappeared out of nowhere in 2016, apparently to translate their alleged Trump hookups of a few hours in years past to notoriety and additional profit in the new age of “President Trump.”

Who knows, had we a Robert Mueller in 1933 he might have been able to charge General Douglas MacArthur and his alleged bag man, aide Major Dwight Eisenhower, with at least something for secretly delivering a bribe of $15,000 to MacArthur’s then 19-year old mistress, Isabel Rosario Cooper (who allegedly had been the general’s mistress since she was 16).

And let us indict either the former director James Comey or the deputy director Andrew McCabe of the FBI—or both—for making false statements to federal investigators and Congress, given their respective testimonies under oath about leaking to the press and the role of the Steele dossier in FISA warrants cannot be reconciled.

To the degree there even exists a real 1799 Logan Act any more—which is meant to outlaw private citizens freelancing at foreign policy to undermine the current U.S. government—the locus classicus would obviously be citizen John Kerry’s secretive meetings this year with the Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

DC defrauded voters. Don Surber – “Prosecutors’ Narrative Is Clear: Trump Defrauded Voters. But What Does It Mean?” the New York Times asked in a headline.” Remember the McCarthy opinion cited here yesterday? That is the foil for Surber,

“The narrative means Bungling Bob Mueller cannot find any actual crime, and so he is making one up.

But the whole set up means Washington DC — from Congress to the media — still refuses to accept the results of the 2016 presidential election. The election of President Donald John Trump is America’s Brexit.

We live in times where those who were in power are willing to torch the earth to deny power to the people. The Senate dragged out confirmation of his appointees. The press lies about his every move. Obama’s people challenge every executive order in court, or so it seems.

The people crying fraud are the ones who want to defraud us.

Americans should not accept any charge against President Trump by this confederacy of swamp critters. They denied him a peaceful transition of power which nullifies any claim to moral high ground.

Federal Judge Rips DOJ and State, Orders Discovery on Clinton Emails. John Hinderaker – “At best, State’s attempt to pass off its deficient search as legally adequate during settlement negotiations was negligence born out of incompetence. At worst, career employees in the State and Justice Departments colluded to scuttle public scrutiny of Clinton, skirt FOIA, and hoodwink this Court.”

“One might note that it has been festering for a very long time. The relevant events are now six years in the past. The Obama administration was astonishingly successful at stonewalling investigations, and its stonewalling continues under a Department of Justice nominally led by a Republican, but staffed overwhelmingly by Democratic Party loyalists.

Judge Lamberth’s order explains at some length why the discovery he orders is not duplicative of other pending or resolved cases. Well and good, but a basic lesson here is the inadequacy of litigation as a check on abuse of government power. Apart from anything else, it is simply too slow. Congressional investigations potentially can be faster, but committees use their subpoena powers sparingly, for reasons I don’t understand, and congressional investigations are usually not competently conducted, apart from being hampered by rampant partisanship. It would help if we had either a nonpartisan or a two-party press, but we don’t.

Still, despite everything, the truth about Hillary Clinton’s scandalous tenure as Secretary of State may emerge in time for historians to evaluate it.

Comey Lied. Daniel John Sobieski – “James Comey is a serial liar and arguably a serial felon who supervised and directed Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, and Lisa Page in an organized deep state coup to keep Hillary Clinton out of prison and Donald Trump out of the White House.”

“In the normal course of events, one could understand the hundreds of “I don’t knows” and “I don’t recalls” former FBI Director James Comey during Friday’s testimony. Most FBI investigations are handled out of the field office in which the illegality allegedly occurred with the FBI Director not privy to all the details. But it was Comey who decided to run the whole Trump collusion and obstruction investigation out of FBI headquarters. He should have known and remembered every detail of his actions and those under him. He did.

Don’t count the “I can’t recalls” Just counting the contradictions and the lies would make quite a drinking game, starting the case which started it all — Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s “process lie”

Comey on Friday asked us all to believe that the man who remembered enough to write a book suddenly had total memory loss, saying “I don’t know” or the equivalent some 245 times.

Tucker is Wrong on this One. Elad Hakim – “Tucker Carlson’s conclusion that Trump is “not capable” and that he has not kept his promises is overly-simplistic and easily refuted.” describing what happens when you try too hard to be “fair and balanced.”

Chuck Todd, Lord of the Flies? Patricia McCarthy – “What is so fantastical about the mainstream media self-appointed czars of information delivery is how ignorant they are.”

“Ninety-five percent of those who pretend to deliver news to the American people are left-wing activists who consider it their honor and duty to tell the rest of us how to think. As Todd so freely opined at the “Recode Decode” podcast this week, they somehow failed to educate us illiterate morons who voted for Trump.

What is so fantastical about these people, these mainstream media self-appointed czars of information delivery, is how ignorant they are. Even Chris Wallace of “Fox News Sunday” seems to be either clueless about or uninterested in the available facts re: the crimes of the Clintons and the Obama administration.

Conservatives in America cannot escape the left. We are bombarded with their opinions, their agenda, all day every day. We cannot open a newspaper without being confronted with their opinions. We can’t watch a sit-com, with one exception, without being assaulted with their ideology. They, on the other hand, are clueless about our values, our hopes and prayers for this country. One would have to go looking for them and they most certainly do not go looking for them. And if they come across them by chance, they dismiss them as lunacy. They do not consider them, they just dismiss them. Critical thinking is being bred out of our culture; indoctrination reigns. Parents! Do not send your kids to university! Unless they are impervious to the dictates of the academic left, the values with which you raised them will have been eradicated by the time they graduate.

As in Lord of the Flies, our civilization is being eroded and undermined by the very people who claim to be its honest brokers. Chuck Todd and his ilk are the lords of the flies. They claim to be guardians of civilization while undermining it each and every day.

You cannot escape

Leave a Comment

Resorting to a fine sieve to find something, anything.

The court filing to sentence Cohen after he pled guilty was out Friday so the pundits have had a chance to examine it. On the Left, it is confirmation that a perp walk of the President is due. On the Right, there is wondering “is this all you have?” and growing outrage at the selective ‘justice’ and political corruption and prosecutorial abuse in pursuing a duly elected president.

Why Trump is likely to be indicted by Manhattan US Attorney. Andrew McCarthy – “if the president was not implicated, I suspect they would not have prosecuted Cohen for campaign finance violations at all.”

“Moreover, campaign finance infractions are often settled by payment of an administrative fine, not turned into felony prosecutions. To be sure, federal prosecutors in New York City have charged them as felonies before – most notably in 2014 against Dinesh D’Souza, whom Trump later pardoned.

In marked contrast, though, when it was discovered that Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign was guilty of violations involving nearly $2 million – an amount that dwarfs the $280,000 in Cohen’s case – the Obama Justice Department decided not to prosecute. Instead, the matter was quietly disposed of by a $375,000 fine by the Federal Election Commission.

Nevertheless, the sentencing memo in Cohen’s case reads like an ode to campaign finance laws.

There is, furthermore, a significant legal question about whether the hush-money payments here qualify as “in-kind” campaign contributions. There is nothing illegal per se in making a non-disclosure agreement; they are quite common. The criminal law comes into play only if the non-disclosure payment is deemed a donation for purposes of influencing a political campaign.

More importantly, do campaign finance violations qualify as “high crimes and misdemeanors,” which is the constitutional standard for impeachment? It is hard to imagine an infraction that the Justice Department often elects not to prosecute is sufficiently egregious to rise to that level, but the debate on this point between partisans would be intense.

i.e. it has nothing to do with justice or law, just politics. This effort from the Left might make the Kavenaugh hearings look tame.

The Russia Probe Becomes a Banal Sex Scandal (UPDATED). Roger L Simon – “Now that Robert Mueller and his merry band of wannabe Inspector Javerts have revealed much of their hand, we can see more clearly what their investigation is all about. “

“Aside from the nauseatingly familiar Washington corruption of the Manafort/Podesta stripe, the Great Russia Probe of 2016-2018 (and onwards) has morphed into the even more nauseatingly familiar Washington sex scandal.

If we are to believe legal-eagle Jonathan Turley–and why not; he seems pretty competent–Donald Trump’s most serious problem (possibly rising to obstruction) is not Russia collusion, whatever that is, but the hush money payoffs he evidently ordered for Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal.

Before going further, it’s worth reviewing just how humdrum this is, especially at the presidential level. We can’t know for sure, but as many as half (possibly more) of our presidents have had extramarital affairs, seamy and otherwise. And, yes, there were payoffs -= some of which we know about and some of which we undoubtedly don’t.

So now we have Donald Trump trying to cover up a couple of consensual liaisons, one with a porn star and one with a former Playboy model. Tacky, for sure, even creepy and morally repellent, but, as I said, humdrum.

Nevertheless, they are trying to get Trump impeached (the obvious goal of the investigation, not anything to do with Russia) for using campaign funds for these payoffs. They do this in full knowledge of the obvious — that the businessman himself had put millions of his own money into his campaign, so the funds were originally his in the first place.

If Andy is correct, and it seems reasonable, then I predict this will devolve into one of the most bloody (figuratively and perhaps literally) fights in American political history. It’s hard to see Trump supporters seeing this selective prosecution–Obama and many others have skated on misuse of campaign fund charges (far greater numbers too) with no more than a fine, not even a slap on the wrist–as anything but the most extreme partisan hack job. Ironically, much like the Kavanaugh hearing may have saved the Senate for the Republicans, it could be the rallying cry that pushes Trump over the top in 2020.

“Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal” … “it’s worth reviewing just how humdrum this is.” There is a presumption of guilt yet it is the celebrity and power of the ‘alpha male’ that stimulates both the allegations as well as the interest in these ‘scandals.’ This is behind the whole “me, too” movement and the recent advice about how Wall Street executives need to shun women and keep a safe distance (what is called the Pence rule now). Prudence and due process are falling victim to political hatred.

Mueller’s Theory: Trump Defrauded Voters. Paul Mirengoff – So declares the first part of the headline of a New York Times article by Peter Baker and Nicholas Fandos. The rest of the headline asks “But What Does It Mean?”

“Good question. It may mean that the prosecutors haven’t found a crime, but are still pissed off that Trump won the election.

I find odd the notion that Trump defrauded voters. No candidate in my lifetime ever painted a clearer, more vivid picture of himself for voters. For better or for worse, we knew what we were getting (and no, it wasn’t a Putin stooge).

Indeed, it’s difficult for me to treat Mueller’s theory seriously. I hope readers will forgive the (at times) flippant nature of what follows.

Mueller’s case collapses. Don Surber – A Washington Post headline said, “New Mueller filing says Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen was in touch with a Russian seeking ‘political synergy’ with campaign.”

“But the media no longer cares about the truth. For example, the Post claims that as president, The Donald has told 6,800 lies.

The New York Times had published months earlier the highlights of transcripts of those wiretaps.

Given that Obama’s wiretapping was based on false premises, this should have been the story. Instead the press sides with a Democrat who was so amoral that he made Nixon seem like a Boy Scout.

And so reporters and editors lie.

That Post headline is Post-truth.

So is this investigation.

Far from being a man of honor, Mueller is a serial abuser of power whose career is marked by bullying and bedeviled by incompetence.

The same can be said for the press in the Trump presidency.

That moral Boy Scout thing is rather losing its luster due to the organization’s caving to Leftist demands, but what else can pundits use to emphasize such stark contrasts these days?

So Much Irony it’s Mag[a]netic. Clarice Feldman – “Mueller’s multimillion dollars peck, sniff, and smear operation seems to be winding down with a whimper, not a bang, despite the media’s efforts to portray it otherwise.” Here’s a catalog of the action on other fronts from Flynn to Clinton.

Then there is the latest Comey testimony, the plight of white farmers in Africa (again! repeating a disaster, the Left never learns), another faithful dog, Huawei and Chinese perfidy, … 

Leave a Comment

Strike out. Doesn’t seem to matter. Yet?

Return to civility means surrender to the Democrats and media. J. Marsolo – “President Bush was a gentleman, a war hero, and courteous and civil to his political opponents. But his opponents, Dems and the media, were not civil to him, nor were they civil in their opposition to Bush’s policies and nominees.”

“In sum, Trump is not “civil” because he replies to his opponents who viciously attack him. Bush was civil because he raised taxes, attacked the NRA, and did not reply to those who attacked him. The Dems and the media want to return to the “civility” where the Dems and media attack and destroy, and Trump does not respond to the attacks. The Dems and the media are not used to a Republican who fights back when attacked.

Trump fights back, while the “civil” Republicans lay down and took the abuse like good sports. How dare Trump be anything but civil?

Ace of Spades uses a Jonah Goldberg example to illustrate why people like Glenn Reynolds avoid Twitter. Screaming Fake News™ then whispering corrections …

“It’s not good for society when two camps have contradictory beliefs about the basic facts they build their worldviews on — and those who do this deliberately, or who are churlish and grudging about correcting LIES they pumped out to the world (albeit unwillingly) are adding to the strife and division they write one column every two weeks decrying.

It would be good if we could all agree on the facts, wouldn’t it?

The war on standards, STEM edition. Paul Mirengoff – “Underlying this nonsense is the dogmatic assumption that, but for systemic discrimination and “microaggressions,” female representation in STEM would equal male representation.”

 

“Heather Mac Donald has written and spoken extensively about how identity politics is hampering America’s ability to maintain its dominance in STEM fields. Our main competitors, most notably China, are focused on making sure the best scientists, mathematicians, and engineers are doing the work. They care nothing about gender. And they spend virtually every dollar related to STEM on hard research and analysis.

The U.S., by contrast, is preoccupied with the gender and (to a lesser extent) the race and ethnicity of who is in the lab. And we pour money into promoting identity politics in STEM.
… 
Somehow, one doubts that China is indulging in these self-defeating shenanigans.

Ninth Circuit fully beclowns itself on illegal immigration. Jazz Shaw – “despite being smacked down by the Supreme Court on review, the judges on Tuesday went one step further and began striking down (or at least weakening) federal immigration law.”

 

“Tashima, who was originally nominated as a District Court judge by Jimmy Carter and later elevated to the Ninth Circuit by Bill Clinton, seems to be taking an overly broad view of the free speech issue. Certainly, the First Amendment protects even the most unpopular speech and opinions, but it’s long been established that there are limits to that right.

What’s under discussion here is not an airing of opinions or debate of an issue. It’s an example of incitement to engage in criminal behavior. We already have similar laws on the books and have for ages. Laws covering Incitement to Riot (under Title 18) draw clear distinctions between “urging or instigating other persons” (which is illegal) and “advocacy of ideas or expressions of belief, not involving advocacy of any act” (which is not illegal).

WaPo: Four Pinocchios to kickstart AOC’s Congressional career. Ed Morrissey gets in a ‘both sides do it’ dig here that contradicts itself. That is a form of rationalizing a deceit that is, perhaps, at the foundation of the point he is making. When it comes to the Left, incidents and facts of significance are cited as examples. When it comes to Trump (notable selection bias indication on this), it is just vague allegation.

“However, this episode demonstrates an uncomfortable fact of public life that has been expanding for quite a long time. At least politically, we have moved into a post-fact world. Some will point to Donald Trump as the main driver, and while he’s certainly a contributor, he’s hardly the starting point. Perhaps it began with Vietnam or Watergate; possibly one could point to Iran-Contra and have some justification. What seems undeniable is that we had begun moving in that direction by the time Monica’s blue dress emerged and suddenly presidential perjury was deemed not a big deal, and we had fully embraced it by the time we heard that a video was the cause of our woefully undersecured and abandoned consulate in Benghazi being sacked. Hillary Clinton ran just as shamelessly as Trump did in 2016, refusing to tell the truth about her own abuses of power.

Ocasio-Cortez will keep fact-checkers busy with her ignorance on math, budgets, and policy, but she won’t be the only one. We’ve incentivized shameless prevarication, and the only ones who will benefit from it are the demagogues and the fact-checkers who may or may not bother to unwind their lies. Kudos to Rizzo for aggressively checking Ocasio-Cortez in this instance, but until we care about honesty in political debate, we’re gonna send a lot more Ocasio-Cortezes his way while they talk us into disastrous policies — like Medicare for All.

On this, consider a VDH ‘angry reader’ response. The claim is the narrative “Since you never state that POTUS lies 80-85% of the time when he speaks publicly, what are some examples of his fake news.” VDH notes the ad hominem and lack of specificity in the claim and suggests “why not just focus on one network, CNN, and consider just a few of their more recent transgressions?

The headlines today are about Michael Flynn. See From fishy beginning, Mueller case against Michael Flynn nears end with no jail recommendation. Byron York – “What the sentencing recommendation did not address was the sketchy beginnings of the Flynn investigation.”

“Hill Republicans have been suspicious about the the Flynn case for quite a while. But they have not been able to get their hands on some key documents and testimony that might tell them what happened.

House investigators have a chance to learn more this week when, on Friday, Comey appears for a behind-closed-doors interview with members of the Judiciary and Oversight committees.

One-Eyed-Jack Law. Victor Davis Hanson – “Criminals and partisans, accusing others of criminality and partisanship.” Here’s a catalog to peruse …

“Mueller cannot fulfill the hype of the past 18 months, which forecast that the “all-stars,” the “dream-team,” and the Mueller “army” would make short work of the supposedly buffoonish Trump by proving that he colluded with Russia to swing an election. Collusion, remember, was hyped as doing what the Logan Act, the emoluments clause, the 25th Amendment, impeachment, media frenzy, and assassination-chic rhetoric had not.

By indicting a number of minor characters on charges that so far have nothing to do with collusion — for purported crimes mostly committed after the special-counsel appointment — Mueller has emphasized the quantity rather than the quality of indictments.

Mueller has already weaponized politics, making a crime out of the tawdry business of opposition research — but only sort of, since his interests in doing so are highly selective. And so his chief legacy will have little to do with whatever he finds on Donald Trump. He has already established the precedent that there is now no real equality under the law, at least as Americans once understood fair play and blind justice.

Such skullduggery poses the question of whether Mueller’s investigation has been simply derailed by partisanship. Or has it effectively served as a deliberate distraction from the felonious behavior of dozens of Obama-administration and Clinton-campaign officials — all determined to ensure, by any means necessary, that Trump would never be president?

Scott Johnson says Analyze this – “In my contrarian “Notes on the Cohen plea,” I made these points among others: … Now what? Probably nothing. I do not pretend to know. The truth of the matter nevertheless has its own continuing claim on our attention.”

Another take: Mueller strikes out trying to nail Trump – Flynn sentencing memo is a big nothing. Gregg Jarrett – “The memo isn’t a “smoking gun” showing President Trump colluded with Russians to win the 2016 presidential election or did anything else illegal.”

“Flynn should never have been prosecuted. The FBI agents who interviewed him concluded that he was telling the truth. This was confirmed by both former FBI Director James Comey and his deputy, Andrew McCabe, when they testified before congressional investigators. Had Mueller been forced to prove his case in court, he would have lost.

The law requires that a false statement be made “willfully and knowingly” (18 U.S.C. 1001). If Flynn’s recollection of the conversation with Russian Ambassador Kislyak is inconsistent with a transcript of their conversation, secretly recorded, it is not a crime. If Flynn interpreted his discussion differently than the FBI, it is also not a crime.

Flynn pleaded guilty not because he lied, but because Mueller crushed him financially and threatened to take legal action against the retired Army general’s son.

Flynn’s decision was understandable. Mueller’s actions were, and are, unconscionable and wrong.

Bureaucrats have the power to turn a tiny glitch into an insurmountable hurdle. Luboš Motl – “As you know, I hate bureaucracy – and some very real and viscerally unpleasant experience with bureaucratic operations is a substantial part of my opposition to the ideals of the Big Government, or almost any government or a left-wing social construct, for that matter.” A tale of woe, an example, and a warning…

“Now, the whole system is corrupt – too many pensioners want their pensions to go up and they will support any liar, perhaps any murderer or any kind of scum, as long as it will increase their expectation value of their pension. What are the prospects of a nation where democracy turns into this corruption where liars increasingly steal the money from the productive part of the nation and they are defending of their increasingly self-evident lies? As Benjamin Franklin said, once the people find out they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic. And we are seeing it in Czechia. When “democracy” wins over some totally self-evident and demonstrable facts and truths, it’s too bad.

The Coyote has found a take on the Russian Collusion, from TA Frank at Vanity Fair, “that seems to almost perfectly capture my current take on the whole affair.” It is honest in that it accepts the lack of supporting evidence. It suffers otherwise. Note the vague allegations that tend towards ad hominem (“Certainly, Trump’s ethical standards are low”) and judgmental rather than opinion. The definition of sleaze is also interesting. Then there is the attempt to minimize the Clinton impeachment as simple, justifiable perjury rather than perjury about domestic violence and abuse of intern relationships. That leads to excusing what the assault on Trump is doing in regards to relationships and dealing with Russia, a matter that has very serious implications. Indeed, Frank seems to think all is peachy keen with Russia despite goings-on in places like the Ukraine or the missile treaty or other expressions of Russian aggression.

 

Leave a Comment

Conspiracy needs exceptional support. Is it there?

A Picture Is Worth More Than A Thousand Words To The Trained Eye. Jamie Wells, M.D – “Omission in itself, intentional or not, foments an inaccurate to more demonstrably false narrative depending on the degree.”

“With the rapid pace of technology spreading a word or image globally in a matter of seconds, the old saying “a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on” is ever the more relevant today. We are a quick assumption first, deal with the collateral damage of corrective action later culture. And it is to our detriment. This manifests in little to big ways.

there are many ways to respect individual privacy and a person’s autonomy to disclose as much or as little as they desire and clarify inconsistent and erroneous messages that get spread as a result. But, the most important method of achieving this often delicate dance is urging the reintroduction into our culture of critical thinking and reasoning. Accepting what is shown as is with spoon-fed consumption does not make for an informed participant in society.

What’s the lesson? Because many sayings are timeless for a reason, when it comes to being intellectually honest and learning “the devil is in the details.”

The Scientifically Ignorant Drive GMO Debate. Alex Berezow – “There’s no nice way to put this. The scientifically ignorant are driving society’s science debates.”

“A few years ago, I reported on a study that found that people who were uninterested in science were the ones who were most fearful of it. I wrote that they “believe that science causes more problems than it solves, believe that humans should not tamper with nature, [and] feel that technology advances too quickly for them to understand.”

That paper’s finding was in complete agreement with the results of the new Pew study. And it adds to the growing narrative that one of the biggest threats to science comes from a society that remains willfully ignorant about it. How can we educate people about science if they don’t want to be educated?

Even worse, there are plenty of people who are willing to make a quick buck by cashing in on the public’s ignorance. …

It’s simply a truth of human nature that we are far more motivated by fear than by gratitude. That’s why political campaigns are almost universally about how horrible the other candidate is. It’s much easier to get a person to vote against someone (out of fear) rather than for someone (out of gratitude).

The bottom line, then, is that science debates are actually a struggle against human nature. And that is one tough thing to overcome, but it can be done.

The gender wage gap. Neo – “A new study underlines what many of us already knew.”

“It is very similar to the old “equality of opportunity” (the conservative point of view, although it was once also the liberal point of view) versus “equality of outcome” (the current leftist/liberal point of view, because leftist and liberal have increasingly fused).

The American public has been slowly, and then recently more quickly, moving to the latter goal from the former one: outcome vs. mere opportunity. How did this happen? …

It also helps that most people do not understand research and statistics. … since the basics also seem to be beyond the grasp of many people, most people are going to rely on interpreters of research—for example, articles in the MSM—to elucidate matters. And since the MSM has its own agenda, and that agenda is political rather than an objective reporting on the facts, way too many readers are going to assume that the MSM’s summary of the meaning of a research finding is reliable.

In other words, propaganda works, and the less a person knows about the actual subject matter, the more likely the propaganda will work for that person

The Best Argument Yet for Keeping the Caravan Out. Pedro Gonzalez – “Love, like hate, can blind us from seeing things as they really are. America is in a toxic relationship with immigration, and like a battered spouse, progressives keep crawling back to the same tropes and lies.”

Does ‘Make X Great Again’ Ever Happen in History? Victor Davis Hanson – “it is a scary idea that the fate of making America great again might hinge on the nihilism of the Democratic Party.”

Expert thinks Trump was set up. Don Surber – “At least six people with long-established ties to the FBI or to U.S. and Western intelligence made entrees to key figures in the Trump business organization or his presidential campaign between March and October 2016,” Solomon wrote.

Notes on the Cohen plea (2). Scott Johnson – “Sources tell Sperry that Mueller apparently withheld exculpatory evidence in the Criminal Information he filed last week against Cohen for lying about the duration of talks about a never-realized Moscow Trump Tower.” … “I would add, however, that I am quite sure it will not look anything like exoneration in Mueller’s report.”

Senator Mark Warner: The SSCI is “Working Closely” With Robert Mueller. sundance – “This is not me just haphazardly making a theory of how a corrupt Senate Committee and a corrupt Special Counsel working in concert with each other with mutual interests. This stuff is in our faces. All of the data-points involving the SSCI go in one direction…. toward corruption. There is not a single data-point going in the other direction.”

Leave a Comment

Blown narratives. So what.

NPR Blatantly Lies About Donald Trump Jr.’s 2017 Senate Testimony. Mollie Hemingway – “NPR falsely claimed that Donald Trump Jr.’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in September 2017 conflicted with an account given by a former attorney for President Donald Trump.” Another careful takedown analysis of another event in the ongoing smear and propaganda campaign. The NPR response is also telling. See Ace of Spades – “NPR Adds a Huge “Clarification” To Article, But Does Not Retract It Or Admit The Central Claim It Made Is Entirely False

Comey Lawyers Tell Federal Judge: “Here’s your opportunity, judge, to make some law”. Sundance – “There is growing acceptance that federal officials feel they are above the law; two sets of legal principles that apply; one exclusive set for them, and another set for everyone else.”

“Though it might seem rather stunning for any federal official to make such an admission in public, that’s exactly what happened today. Lawyers representing former FBI Director James Comey made exactly that argument. Recognizing Mr. Comey had no legal basis to avoid a congressional subpoena, Comey’s lawyers actually said:

Here’s your opportunity, judge, to make some law.” (link)

The Nixon ‘Road Map’ Won’t Save Mueller’s Futile Prosecution. Conrad Black – “Completely insufficient attention has been paid to the recent revelations about the grand jury and federal court findings against President Richard Nixon. In a word, the entire basis of the case against Nixon himself has been completely undermined.” The current efforts to derail a President reveal similar ugly hate politics against Nixon. Dirty laundry is being examined and the dirt reveals the victim isn’t that portrayed by the Deep State and its media arm.

“The case against Nixon has always been based on the claim that he authorized the payment of campaign funds to people implicated in the Watergate break-in to encourage them to alter their testimony, and thus he obstructed justice.

About six weeks ago, three prominent lawyers from the Watergate era sued for all the Nixon “road map” material to be opened, because they were seeking the release of comparable material, insofar as there is any in the Trump inquiry, to be opened as well. The evidence opened up by the Shepard lawsuit to reveal the grand jury evidence involving Nixon. Nixon’s comments to the grand jurors who visited him reveal that the congressional committees and the Washington grand juries were falsely advised that the Nixon version of events effectively confirmed the road map.

In reality, Richard Nixon’s evidence conformed exactly to what he said about these matters in all other cases: that he had never approved or authorized any payments to obstruct justice, alter testimony or tampered with witnesses, and that he resigned as president when he learned that courts and congressional committees indicative of likely votes in both houses of Congress concluded that the road map was accurate and that Nixon would be convicted.

The historic implications of what has been discovered are very serious. No one with any interest in Richard Nixon, Watergate, and the continuing strutting and primping of the veterans of the Watergate catacombs—especially Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein—should listen to the podcast of authentic legal historian and Watergate veteran Geoff Shepard that has been posted by the Nixon Foundation below

At least there was a crime at the Watergate and a few other places. But both attempts at pseudo-legal putsches are and have been disgusting and profoundly illegal corruptions of the system, and contribute to an understanding of why the American prosecutors win a North Korean level 99 percent of their indictments, 97 percent without a trial, and the sweet land of liberty has six to 12 times as many incarcerated people per capita as comparable large and prosperous democracies: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

Mueller, by trying to destroy Trump through illicit means, is going to force a general examination of prosecutorial abuses. In the process, the reputation of an outstanding president will inevitably be redeemed. President Nixon’s one full term was one of the most successful in the country’s history.

Another blown narrative: USC study shows migrant caravan not about escaping ‘violence’. Monica Showalter – “What they’re not is people fleeing violence and persecution. So the asylum “narrative” promoted in the press and by the left-wing lawyers now stands exposed as phony.”

“That’s significant because the press has been playing up the asylum claims, and politicians such as California’s governor-elect have been making political hay off it. Turning on the treacle, Gavin Newsom tried to frame Sunday’s border charge as violence on people fleeing violence:

There we have it: “fleeing violence.” The term is repeated again and again in the left’s bid to create a “narrative.”

Except that it’s not violence that’s being fled; it’s the wages of being uneducated, low-skilled, and wanting more. Plus the big banquet of U.S. bennies – it’s always all about the bennies.

does a blown narrative make any difference to the underlying belief? Evidence only suggests is makes the behavior even more anomalous.

Leave a Comment

imaginary hobgoblins, foreboding

New U.S. Climate Report a ‘Scientific Embarrassment’. Tom Harris And Dr. Madhav Khandekar – “The 1,656-page NCA report, produced by a team from thirteen federal agencies, is riddled with imaginary hobgoblins. Especially mistaken is the NCA’s repeated reference to increased warming and extreme weather events, both in the recent past and in the future.” The real question is why there is such mass delusion despite overwhelming evidence.

Nir Shaviv in Bundestag. Luboš Motl – “Gene has informed me that the Israeli astrophysicist, climate skeptic, and TRF guest blogger Nir Shaviv gave a testimony in the German Parliament, the greenest Parliament of any country in the world, on Wednesday.” It’s another example to the effect climate alarmism has on stimulating questionable behavior, especially in reactions against those who try to expose fantasy to reality.

Blackouts, deaths and civil unrest: warning over Scotland’s rush to go green. From The Herald Scotland, Sandra Dick – “A massive gap in the electricity system caused by the closure of coal-fired power stations and growth of unpredictable renewable generation has created the real prospect of complete power failure.” Read the full story here.

William Safire on Bungling Bob Mueller. Don Surber – “Safire pointed out that their excuse to seize power was to stop another 9/11.” … “Thus we see the seizure of new powers of surveillance is a smokescreen to hide failure to use the old power.”

“Safire saw the federal government for what it is: a bunch of blowhards covering their backsides. He also laid into John Ashcroft, the attorney general who proved conservatives are just as inept as liberals.

Fishing expeditions are Mueller’s specialty.

“This is not some nightmare of what may happen someday. It happened last week. Jim Sensenbrenner, chairman of House Judiciary, said the removal of restraints made him ‘queasy;’ Pat Leahy of Senate Judiciary is too busy blocking judges to object. Some sunshine libertarians are willing to suffer this loss of personal freedom in the hope that the Ashcroft-Mueller rules of intrusion may prevent a terror attack. They won’t because they’re a fraud.”

Remember Prague? In Michael Cohen plea deal, Mueller says nothing about key collusion allegation. Byron York – “the chattering class instantly began talking about the failed Trump Tower Moscow project.”

“it turns out the Cohen plea agreement also made news in what it did not cover. Specifically, it spoke volumes — without saying a word — about a key allegation of the Trump dossier, the charge that Cohen traveled to Prague to arrange secret payments to Russian hackers attacking the Clinton campaign. The accusation is the heart of the collusion allegation, and Trump-Russia special counsel Robert Mueller’s deal with Cohen strongly suggests that prosecutors have not found evidence to support it.

For more than a year, a number of Trump-Russia investigators on Capitol Hill have maintained that none of the dossier’s substantive allegations are true. The new plea deal between Cohen and Mueller is more evidence to support that.

But evidence doesn’t seem to matter to many. They’ ll make it up if they need to to keep their narrative going.

Foreboding – FBI Raids Home of Clinton Foundation Whistleblower. Sundance – “Make sure you read the entire [Daily Caller] article because if the DOJ was intending to throw a bag over the entire Clinton Foundation investigation and cover-it-up, that raid is exactly what they would do.”

“If the reporting of the raid by the Daily Caller is accurate; and given the nature of the timing for that raid; and accepting the at risk elements within the whistleblower case extended beyond Hillary Clinton to Robert Mueller; and noting how the SSCI was the recipient of the information/evidence as transmitted by Michael Horowitz; there is a solid appearance of the DOJ maneuvering to cover-up the underlying DOJ/FBI corruption by seizing -and controlling- all of the evidence.

How is this level of blatant disregard possible? Seriously, I really don’t know

It would appear there is no limit to what the corrupt Deep State officials will do to hide their unlawful activity; and apparently there’s not an honest person amid the organizations who can stop them. FUBAR. Very disturbing.

I hope I’m wrong.

Maybe there’s a valid reason for this FBI raid; if so, I can’t think of one.

Thomas Sowell – “Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good.”

Leave a Comment

Will we find what has been lost?

On Thanksgiving, I’m Thankful For Trump. Bruce Bawer – “Finally, a president who isn’t a turkey.”

“I’ve been of voting age in eleven presidential elections. I voted in most but not all of them. Usually both choices were uninspiring. Whom to pick, a dimbulb D.C. drudge (Ford) or a smarmy phony (Carter)? A charmless technocrat (Dukakis) or an establishment empty suit (Bush senior)? In 1992 I bought Slick Willie’s act; the disillusion set in almost immediately after his inauguration. Bush junior and Obama were the two worst presidents since Wilson, but the men who ran against them weren’t world-beaters either. Even the one great president of my lifetime prior to 2016, Ronald Reagan, fell way short of carrying out the sweeping small-government reforms he’d pledged.

Past experience, of course, had taught me not to put too much stock in anything a politician says. But Trump was no politician. He wasn’t the front man for a bunch of rich guys or the mouthpiece for a staff full of policy wonks. He wasn’t scripted. He wasn’t focus-grouped. He wasn’t a mannequin projecting sham humility and offering up fake compliments to the hoi polloi. Yes, Obama had been a rousing orator, but he’d always been reading spiels written for him by a speechwriter. Trump was connecting with ordinary Americans in long, tireless, and patently sincere stream-of-consciousness monologues some of which were, frankly, tours de force. He was palpably having fun with it and actually enjoying the human contact.

This guy was talking in real language to real people about the things that really mattered to them and that he himself had been thinking seriously about for decades.

The answer: wow. So far, the results have exceeded all of my expectations. The border wall aside, Donald J. Trump has actually kept his promises, and then some. He’s done one good, gutsy thing after another.

U.K. Media: British Intelligence Heads Worried President Trump Will Discover Their Involvement in “Spygate”. Sundance – “An article published originally in the U.K. Telegraph, and republished via Yahoo News outlines growing fear within the U.K. government and British intelligence officers surrounding President Trump discovering how far they were involved within “Spygate”.

“The facts are not uncommon to anyone who has done research into the events of 2015 and 2016; however, the interesting aspect surrounds the current level of anxiety which indicates something is soon to become very public.

The central concern of the British officials surrounds President Trump declassifying evidence that will outline a coordinated effort by a weaponized U.S. intelligence apparatus to use their foreign counterparts for two aspects

Out: Russia. In: Saudi Arabia. Thomas Lifson – “The progressive narrative of President Trump as evil never changes, but the argument keeps changing.”

“Since Trump must be a pawn of nefarious foreigners (except when he is a dangerous nationalist, heedless of our obligations to other nations), we now have hysterical accusations that he is instead a pawn of Saudi Arabia, because he insists on maintaining the strategic relationship with that Arab absolute monarchy.

Yesterday, Democrat Representative Tulsi Gabbard, using vulgar language, accused the POTUS of being a Saudi agent, which would be treasonous

Barack Melts Down. John Hinderaker – “This is the central conceit of liberalism: we know how to solve the world’s problems–socialism!–but those pesky conservatives just won’t go along and make it unanimous.”

“The truth is the opposite: policy debates rage across a broad range of issues, and conservatives usually win them.

But, like a dead frog whose legs continue to kick, clueless liberals like Barack Obama parrot the pro-government line, not because it makes any scientific sense, but because it supports their statist desires.

Which brings us to the rest of Obama’s riff: Americans are “confused, blind, shrouded with hate, anger, racism, mommy issues.” This is more or less insane

We have entered a new era in American politics, and, make no mistake, it is the Democrats who have ushered in the juvenile, no-holds-barred epoch in which we live. Barack Obama should be condemned for the part he plays in debasing American political discourse.

Or consider Juan Williams on The Five in a dialog about civility over dinner. His answer was to dig out the trivia he uses to support Trump hatred as conversation topics where all could agree. It is amazing what he puts on the pedestals in his mind … but also rather telling. Instapundit on this: Leftists’ Fear/Hatred Of Their Families, as exemplified by leftist media all over explains a lot about their politics. Another insight is Stop pretending you don’t love Thanksgiving. Bridget Phetasy – “You get to tell your whole family that they’re fascists.” Mr. Williams, are you listening and can you tell satire directed at you when it is in your face?

“Obama judges”? Pretty much. Paul Mirengoff – “I like and respect Chief Justice Roberts, but I disagree with him.” This is the polite disagreement. For something more extensive and stronger, see Fischer’s comments following this citation. Keep in mind that the problem with a judicial oligarchy was a significant Trump campaign issue. The Chief Justice stepped in it …

“The questions of whether it matters who appointed a federal judge and whether such judges view litigants, including President Trump, with equal regard in any meaningful sense are empirical ones. If one can predict with a high degree of accuracy how a judge will rule in a highly controversial case, or in a case challenging a Trump edict the left doesn’t like, just by knowing which president appointed that judge, then Roberts’ defense of the federal judiciary fails.

I practiced law without appearing more than a handful of times before Obama-appointed judges. But even in the pre-Obama era, I could predict with a high degree of accuracy the way federal appellate court judges would vote in cases involving controversial, politicized subject matter

Chief Justice Roberts is right that we have an independent judiciary in the sense that no one can tell judges how to rule. He is also right that we should be thankful for this.

But we also have a judiciary in which federal judges very often decide controversial cases based on policy preferences and partisan considerations. No president has told them how to vote, but presidents have selected them based on which ideological side they are likely to uphold, and, especially in the case of Democratic presidents, the judges rarely disappoint.

Of Course We Have Obama Judges and Trump Judges, Clinton Judges and Bush Judges. Dov Fischer – “As the Left makes a mockery of the lower Federal Courts that we need to honor.”

“Impartial justice is central to life’s core values. The very notion is engraved into our Constitution, and our Founding Fathers even took steps to preserve judicial impartiality by guaranteeing federal judges lifetime tenure so that they never would fear personal ramifications of issuing unpopular decisions they believe justice demands.

One easily can read between the lines of a frustrated and perplexed Chief Justice John Roberts when he now desperately claims, with patent nonsense and perhaps even a dry sense of humor, that “we do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges.” Of course we do! The ACLU knows that we do. Roberts knows that we do. Everyone knows that. The radical “Progressive” cabal of Democrats and their Left Media stooges know it. Heck, the Obama and Clinton judges know it. Why did The Resistance go to war trying to destroy Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh? Why does the ACLU always run to the Ninth Circuit, up and down the West Coast, instead of seeking justice from a conservative appellate circuit in the Deep South? … But Roberts knows his denial is stuff and nonsense, and that it sounds ridiculous — even borderline delusional — to deny that today’s federal judiciary is chock-full of Obama judges and Clinton judges on a mission to stop President Trump’s agenda.

The system makes a mockery of the courts, as Chief Justice Roberts now desperately realizes. It creates a cynicism towards the rule of law by manipulating and leveraging judges into pawns of Democrat “Progressives.” Even if the liberal judges are trying to rule impartially, the context behind their very selections undermines their authority. People see that the ACLU and its ilk repeatedly run to Democrat-appointed judges under the umbrella of the Ninth and get the results they want. It creates a terrible aura of cynicism that “the fix is in” and that politics is ruling, not blind justice.

In so many ways, President Trump has reversed so much of Obama’s eight years, leaving so much as if Obama never were there. We are out of the nonsensical Paris Climate travesty, out of the Iran Deal, out of the bad NAFTA. Regulations have been reversed in grand style. The individual mandate is gone. Tax policy changed. The IRS is honest and no longer weaponized against political opponents. The Left media are exposed. The unemployed have returned to work. Food stamps no longer are a religious sacrament. College students falsely accused of rape now may defend themselves. There will be control of the southern border. Cuba and Venezuela no longer are our best two friends in the world, and Israel no longer is our worst pain. ISIS no longer rules half of Syria, and Putin has stopped expanding into his neighboring countries. NATO is paying some bills. For two years we have been spared Trayvon Martin dramas and the scene of cities burning like Ferguson (Michael Brown, “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!” — never happened and no indictments) and Baltimore (Freddy Gray, all accused officers acquitted). We have closed down the PLO office in Washington, no longer are supporting terrorism by funding the UNRWA in Gaza, walked out of the terrorist-enriched UN Human Rights Council, moved America’s Israel embassy to Jerusalem, and voted against the annual UN resolution against Israel in the Golan Heights. White House visitor invitations are extended to patriots, not to people who sing lyrics extolling cop-killing, and overpaid fools who are given millions of dollars to throw or run with a ball are denounced when they disrespect our flag and national anthem.

It increasingly falls on the President to focus on making the lower and mid-level federal courts every bit as Constitutionally faithful as he has worked to make the Supreme Court. The way he marks the federal bench these next two years will play a major role in bench-marking his place in history. And if he succeeds, he might even improve Chief Justice Roberts’s place in history by creating a more balanced court that places the law and objective fidelity to the Constitution above Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.

Instapundit – “If judges are as neutral and apolitical as Roberts pretends, then why so much sturm und drang over judicial appointments?”

“Two thoughts. First, in talking about “Obama judges,” Trump was merely echoing the common media trope that identifies judges in controversial cases based on who appointed them. …

Second, Roberts is in a particularly poor place to talk about apolitical judging after his transparent capitulation to the Obama Administration’s campaign of media bullying during the pendency of the ObamaCare case. He reversed his position in response to political pressure from an administration that was, at the time, a party to the case. He has no high horse to sit on.

UPDATE: Chuck Grassley to Chief Justice John Roberts: You Rebuked Trump — but Sat Silent Through Obama’s Abuse. The increased feistiness of people like Grassley and Orrin Hatch post-Kavanaugh has been an amazing thing to behold.

Living on the Edge. James B. Meigs – “Just as coastal communities must learn to live with hurricanes, communities that edge up against forests are going to have to learn to live with fire.” On Slate of all places, but there is the expected dig at Trump where the wildfire is dismissed as a factor so Trump’s comments about management can, obviously, be dissed. Like the note about Williams above, supporting hatred can require a lot of pickin’ and choosin’ and other denial of reality. But let’s look for the part of the commentary that does tell about what actually happened and how it could be addressed.

“if you look closely at photos and video of the aftermath, you’ll notice something surprising. The buildings are gone, but most of the trees are still standing—many with their leaves or needles intact.

Within Paradise itself, the main fuel feeding the fire wasn’t trees, nor the underbrush Trump suggested should have been raked up. It was buildings. The forest fire became an infrastructure fire. … The town of Paradise didn’t just experience a fast-moving wildfire, its own layout, building designs, and city management turned that fire into something even scarier.

like almost every disaster that kills large numbers of people and damages communities, the causes of the tragedy in Paradise are more complex than it first appears.

A number of environmental, political, and economic trends converged in Butte County in just a few hours on Nov. 8 to spark this fire. But the tragedy was the result of many longer-term decisions, decades in the making.

So, California’s fire country faces a double-barreled threat: More lives and infrastructure lie in the path of potential fires than ever before. And the fires are getting bigger. That combination explains why 6 out of the 10 most destructive fires in California history have occurred in the past three years.

The question is how to provide the right incentives for people so that we limit the chances of this happening again. Looking ahead, “We need to ensure that prospective homeowners can make informed decisions about the risks they face in the WUI,” Moritz, Tague, and Anderson say.

What else can be done? Building and zoning codes can be changed to make towns less fire prone. Homes that are built or retrofitted with fireproof materials—and landscaped to keep shrubbery away from structures—can usually survive typical wildfires. In new developments, homes can be clustered and surrounded by fire-resistant buffer zones, such as orchards. And, no matter how well designed, communities in fire zones need realistic evacuation plans and better emergency communications.

If global warming models hold true, fire seasons are going to be hotter and last longer. Just as people in coastal areas need to adapt to hurricanes, residents of fire country need to learn to live with fire.

Can’t forget “global warming” despite no evidence it exists much less aggravates disasters. It is worth noting the comparison to coastal areas where the dilemma has always existed about whether the build disposable structures or bunkers as reliance on insurance and government for recovery has about run its course. A great attraction for being a ‘beach bum’ or forest camper is a pleasant environment with a low cost of living – until the next hurricane or forest fire. Easy living: cheap, avoid maintenance and preparedness costs, take it as it comes …

California is struggling with the other source of compensation, the big pockets power company. It is the electrical grid bouncing in the wind that sparked some of these fires and is an easy target for culpability. Since the state is so gung-ho on renewable energy and solar panels, perhaps they should just make any electric power infrastructure crossing these forests illegal?

To understand the fire, Neo cites The Camp fire burned homes but left trees standing. The science behind the fire’s path. Thomas Curwen and Joseph Serna – “Gray smoke meant vegetation. Black smoke meant homes, possibly entire city blocks. The Camp fire was no longer just a wildland fire.”

“It was an urban conflagration,” Pangburn said. “It was structure-to-structure-to-structure ignition that carried the fire through this community.” … what Pangburn realized is that the Camp fire had changed its character upon entering the town — and in that revelation lay the hope for preventing tragedies such as this from happening again.

Most telling were the trees. Most of the pines that sheltered this community still had their canopies intact. The needles, yellowed from the intense heat, were not burned — evidence that the winds that morning had pushed the fire along so fast it never had a chance to rise into the trees. But as a surface fire, it lit up the homes that lay in its path.

Drawing lessons from tragedy is never easy, especially when those lessons have been known for years.

“Our problem is a society that is unintentionally, but actively, ignoring opportunities because of the cultural perception of wildfire,” said Jack Cohen, who is retired from the U.S. Forest Service where he worked for 40 years as a fire research scientist.

That perception, he argues, is based on myth and fear and complicated by an ongoing narrative that attributes conflagrations like the Camp fire to such factors as climate change, overgrown forests and urban encroachment into rural areas.

The first step, Cohen said, is to address the misinformation about wildland fires.

“When we look at the big flames but not the firebrands, we miss the principal igniter and pay attention to the show,” Cohen said.

Billions of these embers fly into neighborhoods, landing onto flammable roofs, into vegetation around the structure and rain gutters choked with leaves and needles.

We don’t have to live in ammo bunkers, Cohen said, and we don’t have to entirely eliminate fire from within the perimeter, just ensure that fires that occur within 100 feet don’t burn long enough or intensely enough to ignite other objects.

If Paradise and the other communities destroyed by the Camp fire are to be rebuilt, then the conversation must address the role that neighbors play collectively in protecting themselves and their environment.

Keys to Democratic success. Neo – “I continue to be surprised at how many people seem to think the direction in which the Democratic Party is going now is just peachy keen.”

“The first reason states the positives of what the Democrats offer: they promise “free” stuff to people who really do need it or who feel they need it. …

The second reason states the negatives of what Democrats say Republicans offer: racism and bigotry. The left has successfully managed to brand the right, even the moderate right—in fact, any Republican …

The actual consequences of a given policy in the real world, and the fact that most people in both parties want the common good and just have different ideas about methods to achieve it, has gotten lost.

Not a Hollywood Horror Story: Actor Loves Making Hallmark Movies. Jacob Comello – “Polhala admits that he was reluctant at first to do any work for Hallmark, whose channels have traditionally been the haunt of senior citizens and the families of their grandchildren.

“Hollywood has become synonymous with cynicism, entitlement, hypocrisy and group think. Its products and its people seem to be in a race to the bottom.
… 
Polhala mentions that his Hallmark films are by far the ones that get him the most notoriety nowadays, and don’t sacrifice family-friendliness to get him there. He relates that “… I am leaning into Hallmark because it’s fun to sit with my 7-year-old and show him what I do for a living … I’m leaning in because my 91-year-old Nana finally thinks I’ve made it in Hollywood because I’m on Hallmark.”

Polaha concludes with “… if you haven’t indulged yet, perhaps this is your year to go where the love is.” Sage advice.

So much has become lost. Perhaps some are re-discovering to find it anew.

Leave a Comment

The judicial oligarchy or mobs, what’s your choice?

San Francisco Judge Blocks Asylum Ban For Aliens Who Cross Border Illegally. sundance – “While a challenge was predictable, frustrating and likely to be spun up by media, the ruling only applies to aliens who gain illegal entry and request asylum.” Here we go again with the judicial oligopoly.

“Nothing in the ruling stops the hardened border enforcement and/or current expedited review and deportation program. In essence, keep the illegal aliens out and the judicial ruling is moot (until defeated in higher courts).

Though it might frustrate the left-wing media and the open borders crowd, no court can successfully demand the President of the United States to stop border enforcement. This is why it is critical to have a strong DHS Secretary focused on stopping illegal entry.

‘Smug denial is no longer an option’: Recent media studies show ‘pretty much all of journalism now leans left’. Frieda Powers – “The profound leftward ideological bias of the Big Media is the main reason why America now seems saturated with ‘fake news.’ Journalists, besotted with their own ideology, are no longer able to recognize their own bias,”

“The surprise, however, seems to be that the same is now true of financial journalists as a new study pointed out.

CNN media critic attacks White House ground rules for press conferences. Thomas Lifson –

“Remember when the media caterwauled about President Trump’s lack of “decorum”? Or his claimed violation of the norms of presidential behavior? This new letter, laying out the explicit rules will help maintain decorum. Stelter may not be able to admit it, but his colleague Acosta has been way out of line, and only anti-Trump solidarity among the media (a huge problem that the media won’t admit) has prevented public shaming of Acosta by his colleagues, many of whom deeply resent him.

Stelter has just reinforced President Trump’s view of CNN as reflexively opposed to him no matter what he does.

Update: The White House Correspondents Association is openly promising to defy the limitation on follow-up questions.

They can back up each other by pressing follow-up to questions asked by others, which would be the grown-up thing to do. But myguess is that we will se another scene of reporters defying the president and grandstanding by refusing to relinquish the microphone. That would play into Trump’s hands.

Acosta decision could make it easier for White House to kick reporters out. Byron York – “In short, the judge said to the White House: You can’t throw out a reporter without going through a process. But if you go through a process — which you, the White House, can design — then you can throw the reporter out

“In any event, even if Acosta keeps his pass, Kelly said the president would be within his rights to freeze the CNN correspondent out forever. ” Sherrill explicitly recognizes the president’s right to engage with whomever he pleases,” Kelly said. “Certainly, he need not ever call on Mr. Acosta again.” The only issue in the case was that, according to Sherrill, “The government must provide Mr. Acosta due process if it is to revoke his hard pass.”

Beyond that, Kelly noted that the White House would be on firm legal ground if it ousted all reporters from the building. “The government also made the point that there is case law for the proposition that the public doesn’t have a general First Amendment right to enter the White House,” the judge said. “I have no quarrel with that at all.”

Electoral Three-Card Monte: How The Democrats Stole Orange County. Dov Fischer – “While you were watching the Red Card in Florida, guess what they pulled in California?

“So here is what happened. All these Republicans Congressional candidates in Orange County and in other parts of the People’s Democratic Republic of California (PDRC) came out of election night as winners. Two-term representative Mimi Walters in the 45th Congressional District. Young Kim, an appealing newcomer to Congress of Korean-American heritage. Others. And then, each day, as more and more provisional and other ballots kept emerging in the California count, the Republican leads dwindled.

It is the height of brazenness to watch Democrats press for a $10-20 million two-year Mueller probe of whether Putin stole an American election while right here, in the land of the free and the home of the knaves, one election after another is pilfered right under our noses.

On the 40th anniversary of the Jonestown massacre. Neo – “The details of Jonestown were unique, but the trajectory of leftist Utopian promises leading to murder was not.”

Leave a Comment

Pick a target …

A suicide at the University of Texas Reveals Dark Side of #MeToo Movement. David Paulin – “Morrisett’s suicide was the first time a media outlet riding on the #MeToo bandwagon veered into troubling new territory – targeting an ordinary man like Morrisett instead of the #MeToo movement’s usual high-profile villains.”

“Strangely, not a single news outlet has reported on Morrisett’s suicide, even though a media firestorm made him a reviled public figure. It’s not as if his suicide is a secret. On the contrary, the cause of Morrisett’s death can be readily obtained from the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office. Why have the Statesman and other media outlets ignored his suicide?

“They’re embarrassed,” Morrisett’s lawyer, E.G. Morris, said during a phone interview. He added, “Just because you have a particular piece of information, doesn’t mean you should publish it.”

Human beings are infinitely complex. It is risky to judge them too quickly. But such nuances were lost on the news media and campus mob in the final weeks of Morrisett’s life. Those who knew him well were appalled at how he was vilified.

By all accounts, Morrisett was a man going through a rough patch in his life. In the end, he was destroyed by a newspaper article, a media firestorm, and a campus mob. Readers, of course, can make up their own minds about who has blood on their hands.

Then They Came for the White Women. Clarice Feldman – “Since the left cannot — oh you know why — attack Black or Latino voters, they’ve aimed their bile at white women voters.”

“The attack on Brett Kavanaugh was a typical leftist attack on white men. Its insistence that a woman must always be believed when accusing men of sexual misconduct was part and parcel of the Duke Lacrosse team and University of Virginia frameups, among numerous others. It was enshrined in the Obama-era overreach of Title IX to deny college men the right of due process in such matters, and as time has passed, many colleges and universities are paying and will continue to pay male victims of this outrageous policy. No one has better publicized the harmful effect of such anti-male phrases as “toxic masculinity”, “frat boy”, “bro” and “testosterone poisoning” and unfair campus tribunals than Professor Glenn Reynolds who this week suggests that higher education institutions should use the summer break to clean up their act.

With the women should vote for a woman (Hillary) and white men are all rapists (Kavanaugh) tactics having failed, the left is now turning against white women as the enemy

Jim Acosta abused his privileges as a member of the press. Michael Goodwin – “As for the practical fallout, there are good reasons why trust of the press is at an all-time low.

“Indeed, the response to my column supporting the initial suspension reveals that Americans on both sides of the Trump line believe manners still matter. They differ over who is at fault, with Trump supporters seeing most journalists as Democrats with press passes, while Acosta supporters mostly argue he was justified in behaving badly because Trump does, too.

The idea of using someone else’s conduct to justify your misconduct is childish. Go to any playground and you’ll hear a chorus of “he started it” defenses.

It’s simply laughable when adults use that lame excuse, which is what Acosta and his defenders are doing.

The First Amendment is a key to American liberty in glorious ways, but it is not an excuse for bad manners. It is a tragedy of our era that the media must be reminded of that common-sense truth.

Perhaps those who condemn the President’s “bad behavior” should look in the mirror and then should examine the standards they use and their pass practice in upholding those standards.

 

Leave a Comment

High snobbery and criminal intent

Criminal Intent.” sundance – “Intent”, not consequence, is now the larger shield being applied toward excusing the action of people within institutions of government and society.

“It was a “mistake”…. he/she/it made “a poor decision” etc. A pattern of obfuscation downplaying consequence and allowing those decision-makers charged with delivering accountability to withdraw or apply the rules of law based on their individual overlay of ‘intent’.

That shift is factually visible everywhere now.

Following along the ideological lines of: “all actions are justified”, do you see how the shift to ‘intent’ is a serious issue within a corrupt system?

Within that system, and against that purposeful filter and determination, plausible deniability becomes the construct for intentional criminal engagement.

Fight the Denigration of American History. Michael Finch – “The recent skirmishes started with the campaign to remove Confederate statues, but it surely won’t end there.”

“As our betters in America’s universities want us to know, the whole of American history is suspect. In our media, in the popular culture, and in our schools, we’re subject to an unending drumbeat of how America was founded to promote imperialism, colonialism, racism, sexism, and genocide—unimpeachable facts, we’re told, for which all Americans must forever share the burden of collective guilt and shame.

For America to atone for her sins, her history must be denounced and then purged.

One thing we should have learned is that the Left never stops; there is no end to their relentless pursuit of destructive hate. There is no room for reasonable adjudication of their claims.

The same creative gift of God that has allowed us to build and dream and create such beauty has often conflicted with our ability to do great evil. It is called the human condition. Only through the grace of God does our ability to do great good outpace our ability do evil and allow us to be forgiven for our sins. And nowhere else, at no other time in human history, have these conditions taken place, has our better nature and our creative facility triumphed, such as it has in the hundreds of years of America history and the creation of this blessed nation.

‘Great Things Are Taking Place Whether The Media Tells Us Or Not’: Christian Musicians Hold Spontaneous WH Worship Session. Patrick Goodenough – “A “faith briefing” at the White House this week saw Christian music artists hold an impromptu worship session, singing songs of praise near the Oval Office.” The biggest lie is a truth not told. Here’s one.

“The White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives was established by President George W. Bush a week after taking office in January 2001, as a way to enhance the capacity of faith-based and community groups to provide federally-funded social services, by removing legal and institutional barriers preventing them from doing so.

President Obama renamed the initiative the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and also established an advisory council.

President Trump in an executive order last May renamed it the White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative, to empower faith-based organizations and “promote religious freedom.”

Obvious Double Standard On Recusals Proves Russia Probe Is About Getting Trump. Adam Mill – “Don’t bother reading the underlying rules on conflict of interest, because there’s only one test that matters: Would the recusal help get Trump?” Back in Watergate days, the meme was that it wasn’t the crime, it was the cover-up. That has resurfaced at times today by folks presuming it is all about the President. This time it isn’t. Mill describes how and why.

Obama Judges Can’t Save Dem Losers. David Catron – “the apparent losers haven’t benefited from arbitrary changes these partisan jurists made in the laws by which election officials are legally bound.”

Hmmm: Florida Dems plotted use of altered forms statewide; Update: Judge calls Florida “laughingstock of the world”. Ed Morrissey – “Lesson from the Naples Daily News: When Florida Democrats plot to fudge election law, they go big or go home.”

“The plan to use altered official forms to flood counties with improper “cure affidavits” went up higher and farther than first reported by Politico yesterday. Florida Democratic Party deputy field director Jennifer Kim sent the e-mails statewide, and it’s now unclear how many more altered forms might be outstanding. The e-mails went out the day after the election — two days after the actual deadline for “cure affidavits”

In one sense, this has been mooted anyway. A federal judge extended the actual deadline this morning for “cure affidavits” until Saturday, November 10th at 5 pm ET. It might well be that Kim and the FDP figured they could win in court on this point, and with the gaps so tight on Election Night, it would have made sense to get their voters to keep sending in the affidavits.

The biggest problem in this for the FDP is the altered forms. They could have just sent a cover letter instructing voters to ignore the deadline on the proper form, arguing that they would fight in court to get it extended. Instead, they altered an official election form on their own, and apparently did so in an organized manner.

High snobbery from the Washington Post. Paul Mirengoff – “The Post’s article is phony. But its snobbery, though selective, is genuine.”

Why the data debate must separate authorized versus unauthorized access. Sam Taussig – “The importance of upholding the customers’ absolute right to authorize data access, while simultaneously safeguarding against unauthorized misuse are equally critical.” There is nuance and that is food for FUD mongers.

GOP failed to fight Dem’s health-care scare tactics in midterms. Paul Roderick Gregory – “HR676 could become law if American voters pay no attention to its real contents and fall under the spell of the promise that everything will be free.” FUD Mongering has consequences.

In Democratic circles, anti-Semitism is becoming normal. Roger Kimball – “I am of two minds about where our country’s new flirtation with socialism is heading.”

“Perhaps it is a predictable by-product of affluence, a toxic gas emitted by the mighty engine of the free market. Much of the rhetoric and histrionics might be put down to the enforced childishness wrought the breakdown of our educational institutions.

As people scramble to explain the sudden resurgence of socialism not only on America’s college campuses but also in the corridors of political power, it is worth noting the concomitant resurgence of anti-Semitism in those redoubts. The coincidence is not, as the Marxists like to say, an accident. The truth is that unfettered socialism, though based primarily on a demand for the abolition of private property, always comes riding on a current of anti-Semitism. Picking apart the conceptual reasons for this link is a complex business that I will leave aside here. But it is worth noting how impeccable a provenance the union enjoys.

The efflorescence of anti-Semitism is always a bad sign in a culture, not least because it harbingers a spirit of thuggish intolerance and breakdown of faith in society’s mediating civil institutions.

Donald Trump’s gospel of ‘principled realism,’ his gentle and patriotic version of broad-church, America-first nationalism, offers a healing alternative. The angry Left, which has yet to accept the results of the 2016 election, refuse to take their seats at the table he has set for them. The increasingly violent confrontations with journalists, politicians, and talk show hosts is one troubling sign of that recalcitrance. The normalization of anti-Semitism is another.

It is only the wealthy that can afford to destroy what they have.

Leave a Comment