Archive for Justice and Law

2/12/2017: Justice and Prayer

It is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. 

Law Professor Glen Reynolds cites a comment on Althouse:

“As seriously botched as this Ninth Circuit opinion is, all sides assume that all 4 Democrat-appointed Justices on the SCOTUS would vote to uphold it if it were appealed to an 8 Justice Court. That perception, more than any disparaging words of Donald Trump, should dishearten any lawyer or judge in the USA.”

Mark Andrew Dwyer: On Trump’s Immigration Executive Order, Wrong Question

The right question that should have been asked was whether Judge Robart had the authority to issue the TRO and whether the said TRO was legally binding to the President. Neither answer is clear nor are they settled by a sound basis or valid legal reasoning (as opposed to, say, legalistic sophistry, court-approved or not).

Josh Blackman: The Failure of the 9th Circuit to Discuss 8 U.S.C. 1182(f) Allowed It To Ignore Justice Jackson’s Youngstown Framework

Once again, Trump has stumbled into an important jurisprudential point. The fact that the President is exercising powers given to him from Congress, augmented by his own inherent authorities, indicates we are in Justice Jackson’s first tier from Youngstown, where judicial scrutiny is at its minimum.

Ed Morrissey: WaPo columnist asks: Should the faithful pray for Trump? – “How are the faithful called to handle prayer life in a time when political leadership who oppose our own preferred agendas?”

King’s argument seems based on the assumption that praying for Trump is an endorsement of whatever Trump does, and whatever he and his advisers do — even if one agrees with King’s (rather uncharitable) judgment of them. However, we know from the Gospels that this is not how Jesus saw prayer at all. In Matthew 5:43-48, Jesus gave one of the most difficult of all instructions on prayer and love

Clearly, Jesus did not mean for His disciples to love what their enemies did, or pray that their persecutors succeeded in their actions. Loving one’s enemies does not mean endorsing their intentions. Love in this case is caritas, the self-giving love that wills the best for others over our own desires. Jesus called us to love our enemies and persecutors, but not for any evil which they commit. Indeed, praying for them in love is to ask the Lord to save them from their evil, so that they may return to the Lord as well. This part of the Sermon on the Mount is meant to stress that all people are children of God and have the potential for redemption if they choose it. Jesus then exemplified this when he prayed for His tormentors as they crucified Him (Luke 23:34): “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.”

This teaching applies even more when we put this in the context of political opposition. We are not enemies but political opponents, a distinction that gets lost in today’s hyperbolic and polarized political environment. We are called to pray for each other as brethren, and especially for our nation’s leaders so that they may find wisdom.

To act in love is also to testify to the truth. Offering prayers on behalf of our leadership does not negate our standing to criticize it and demand accountability for transgressions … Hopefully that criticism stays focused on actions rather than attempts to judge what’s in the hearts of others, and prayer reminds us of the obligation to keep that perspective.

We start with ourselves.

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2/11/2017: Who has a focus?

Kelly Riddell: Courts are politicized and rule based on prejudice – “Activist judges must be called out for biased immigration rulings.” It’s not only the current EO and there’s a very troubling pattern that says the law doesn’t matter to the courts.

Annalee Newitz: Handful of “highly toxic” Wikipedia editors cause 9% of abuse on the site – “New study of Wikipedia comments reveals most attackers aren’t anonymous.” The research being described is a bit more rigorous that most. They picked the ad hominem as being “relatively easy to identify” for statistical analysis. From that, they could also identify ‘piling on.’ The study also found that less than a fifth of personal attacks were moderated. These findings should be no surprise to astute observers of social behavior whether in the classroom or the political gathering.

Cal Thomas: Major media remain in denial – “Without journalism’s resolve to battle bias, public trust will continue to decline.” These ‘highly toxic editors’ have not been moderated up to now and are having a problem with being called out for their behavior all of a sudden. There’s not only denial, there is also projection.

The psychologywikia.com defines it: “Denial is a defense mechanism postulated by Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence.”

While the major media seek to apply that definition to President Trump — Scott Pelley opened a recent broadcast of the “CBS Evening News” claiming that the president’s statement Monday about unreported terrorist attacks were part of a growing list of comments that prove he is “divorced from reality” — they ought to spend some time looking in the mirror.

Overnight, it seems, major media have become interested in facts following eight years of ignoring lies and dissembling by Democrats and members of the Obama administration, including the president. The list is long …

The public’s trust in major media continues to decline. Their denial ensures that decline will continue. If it is a threat to democracy, as Mr. Koppel claims, it is a threat of the media’s own making.

Mercedes Schlapp: Democrats have a focus and a strategy, but do Republicans? – It is hard to see any focus when the effort is described as “The [Democratic]Congressional leadership has criticized every single effort or action taken by the president, including his executive orders and Cabinet nominees, and they are not looking to back down any time soon.” Focus means you pick targets for a specific purpose and that is not what the Democrats are doing. They are not opposing, they are protesting and they are even protesting their own causes.

The mainstream media is comparing the Democrats opposition of efforts to the Tea Party. Some GOP congressman recently have faced protestors on the issue of dismantling Obamacare during their town-hall meetings, ironically reversing the issue that put them in power in the Tea Party era.

This dramatic and rebellious behavior by the Democrats is quite the opposite of the GOP when it lost in 2012. Then, the Republican National Committee produced an autopsy that concluded they needed to be more inclusive and reach out to more minorities and women. They blamed themselves for not connecting to the American people.

i.e. more Fake News from the major media.

The days of camaraderie, unity, and civility in Congress are over. The damage will be lasting if members can’t get along and find common ground, and the liberal Democrats refuse to even listen to the other side. The only saving grace will be moderate Democrats, such as Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who have been willing to sit down with President Trump.

The stakes are high for Republicans, while the Democrats have nothing to lose. The liberal Democrats’ anger is visible and their determination to place party over country is evident. The Republicans face their own challenges of supporting a president who is unconventional and at times politically unfriendly.

But asserting that the President is not focused when he is checking off his campaign promise list item by item? Schlapp seems to be missing something here. Words like focus seem to be taking on a meaning at polar opposite of traditional meaning. The Democrats do have a lot to lose as well: their ability to play any role in government.

Pete Vanderzwet: Study: Liberal-to-conservative faculty ratio in academia will blow your mind – “As the largely conservative “Greatest Generation” faded into retirement in the 1990s, “Baby Boomers” holding increasingly liberal worldviews came to dominate university faculty … So dominant is leftist ideology that across university departments in nearly all states, an average ratio of 10:1 exists among faculty who identify as liberal versus conservative.”

In any rational quest for diversity, such numbers would not be acceptable. The problem, however, isn’t only the lack of diversity when it comes to ideologies fueling the minds of those teaching our children, but the outright hostility presented to their conservative peers and the environment on campus to which conservative students are exposed.

One would expect critical thinking, true objectivity, balanced reason, and clarity of expression free from groupthink and dogma to be found in the storied halls of our great institutions of learning. While this may once have been true, this growing collection of studies demonstrate that not only are universities becoming more dominated by the ideology of the left, but that openly displaying any sort of conservative leaning is often met with outright hostility and the potential stunting of your academic career.

This climate of hostility is not limited to academic professors; it’s now a near unanimous experience of conservative students on campus, and, as the below video shows, conservative youths residing in typically liberal neighborhoods now fear to publically expose their identities.

In the political arena, the numbers are more balanced but the behavior still reflects what is seen on campus. It is the Left throwing a tantrum. David Solway describes it in his essay about A Strategy for Trump’s Political Success – he must keep his promises because

Donald Trump is regularly denounced as an electoral interloper, someone ignorant of the rules of the political game and who possesses a brash and mercurial temperament unsuited to the demands of presidential office. The litany of complaints and condemnations shows no sign of abating and is indeed picking up momentum with every passing day: he is a dictator in the making, a Putin in American clothing, a man with an itchy nuclear finger, and a potential killer of journalists and political opponents. Calls have been heard for impeachment and assassination. The attack on a lawfully elected president is not only visceral and remorseless but arguably bordering on treasonous.

It should be clear by this time that the U.S. is no longer on the brink but in the very midst of an undeclared civil war.

As for the Left’s agenda. John Sexton has this bit of horrifying news: Venezuelans eating cats, dogs, donkeys, horses and even pink flamingos to survive – The pink flamingo is the grand totum of the classic Airstream RV crowd. Oh, my!

It looks like a judge on the 9th circuit wasn’t that happy about its immigration TRO support. He made a sua sponte request for reconsideration en banc (PDF Filed). This is highly unusual as it is normally the losing party that wants more judges to weigh in on the decision. It may be that some adults in the room are considering the implications of what has been done?

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2/10/2017: “What we have here is a creeping constitutional coup.”

Here’s a few from Breitbart on the 9th Circuit ‘decision’ and what it means. The Governor of Washington is quite pleased but he and others of the Left may not fully comprehend the implications of trying to stick it to the President.

Ken Klukowski: Ninth Circuit Claims Unprecedented Power, Affirms Ban on Immigration EO – “San Francisco’s federal appeals court asserted a novel theory on Thursday to claim jurisdiction over the legal challenge to Executive Order 13769.”

a three-judge panel of the court adopted one of the novel theories asserted by the state, holding that, “as the operators of state universities, the States may assert not only their own rights to the extent affected by the Executive Order but may also assert the rights of their students and faculty members.”

The court held that the executive order likely violated the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment, holding that the “Government has not shown that the Executive Order provides what due process requires, such as notice and a hearing prior to restricting an individual’s ability to travel.”

The court also gave at least some credence to what many considered one of the most tenuous claims in the lawsuit, the one asserting that appearing to prefer Christianity over Islam for immigrants violates the Constitution’s Establishment Clause.

Neil Munro: Judges Declare Judges Can Grant Immigration Visas, Even When Elected President Disagrees – “Judges in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California are opening a new immigration route for foreigners, which would bypass the federal agencies’ sole authority to approve or decline foreigners’ immigration or entry into the U.S.”

If upheld by the Supreme Court later this year, the new declaration would allow overseas foreigners — including those hostile to the United States — to hire lawyers to persuade judges to grant them visas, residency permits and eventually citizenship. That courtroom route would bypass denials or approvals from the elected President’s administration and its subordinate agencies, including the intelligence, law-enforcement and national security agencies.

The judges’ legal claim is also an 180-degree flip-flop from court decisions declared during President Barack Obama’s tenure, when the Supreme Court insisted that states do not have any significant immigration-related authority, not even a right to create and enforce laws that mimic unenforced federal immigration laws against illegal immigration.

Ian Hanchett: CNN’s Callan: 9th Circuit ‘Overreached’ and Applied Constitutional Rights ‘To the World’ – “Paul Callan argued that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling against President Trump’s immigration order said the state of Washington “is the representative of virtually anybody across the world who’s not an American citizen.”

The Washington Times weighs in. First up is the smear campaigns of the Left By Wesley Pruden: The painful education of Neil Gorsuch – “Neil Gorsuch doesn’t know much about politics and how the political class in Washington works, and that’s a good thing. Politics and the law make unnatural bedfellows, and the progeny of such beds is often unnatural.”

Vince Foster, the deputy White House counsel in the Clinton administration who died a suicide in dark and mysterious circumstances two decades ago, had been in Washington only six weeks when he took his life. “I was not meant for the job or the spotlight of public life in Washington,” he wrote in an anguished valedictory just before he died. “Here ruining people is considered sport.”

Clarence Thomas, whom the reputation destroyers worked over without mercy during the hearings on his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, would understand Vince Foster’s despair. So would Robert Bork, whose similar vetting by an earlier generation of Democratic buzzards turned his name into a small-v verb to describe how to ruin an innocent by depriving him of his good name. So can Betsy DeVos, the new secretary of Education, and Jeff Sessions, the new U.S. attorney general, who were treated to ordeal by defamation.

Now it’s the turn of Neil Gorsuch, a nominee for the High Court that nearly everyone, liberal and conservative, Republican and Democrat, agrees is an unusually qualified lawyer and jurist, a man of impeccable personal character and integrity. Nevertheless, Mr. Gorsuch should enjoy his good reputation while he still has one. “Here ruining people is considered sport.” Buzzards can’t wait.

Kelly Riddell: Courts are politicized and rule based on prejudice – “Activist judges must be called out for biased immigration rulings.”

President Donald Trump is right — our court system has become politicized. The Obama administration flooded it with activist judges that ruled in favor of advancing liberalism, to the detriment of our national sovereignty. So it’s no surprise the courts would work to stop Mr. Trump’s agenda.

But, as we’re finding out, what applied to the Obama administration, isn’t so with the Trump administration.

The courts called Mississippi’s grievances against President Obama’s illegal DACA amnesty ‘speculative,’ but have readily welcomed Washington State’s illegitimate grievances demanding more immigrants,” he penned.

These rulings are troubling.

The executive branch has the Constitutional right to protect its citizens’ national sovereignty and security when it comes to immigration orders, and yet the courts seem to want to strip this right away from the Trump administration.

Activist judges, indeed.

They deserve to be called out on their inconsistent and hypocritical rulings.

Bradford Richardson: Reaction to Trump preferred refugee status reveals ‘blind spot’ to Christian persecution – “Advocates who work to protect persecuted groups say there is a “blind spot” in the West concerning the plight faced by Christians around the world — a shortsightedness evident in the overwhelmingly negative reaction to President Trump’s executive order granting preferred refugee status to persecuted religious minorities.”

Brian Witte: Republicans walk out of Maryland Senate during debate – “Protested resolution to allow attorney general to sue President Trump without governor’s permission.” The spite is remarkable. California is paying huge sums to the former U.S. AG to manufacture lawsuits against the current administration. Now, Maryland wants to join in. They are spending funds without considering the implications of what they are trying to do.

Commentary elsewhere on the newfound powers of the Judiciary as supreme uber alles. Eugene Kontorovich: The 9th Circuit’s dangerous and unprecedented use of campaign statements to block presidential policy – “I will address one of the most interesting and potentially far-reaching aspects.”

There is absolutely no precedent for courts looking to a politician’s statements from before he or she took office, let alone campaign promises, to establish any kind of impermissible motive. The 9th Circuit fairly disingenuously cites several Supreme Court cases that show “that evidence of purpose beyond the face of the challenged law may be considered in evaluating Establishment and Equal Protection Clause claims.” But the cases it mentions do nothing more than look at legislative history — the formal process of adopting the relevant measure. That itself goes too far for textualists, but it provides absolutely no support for looking before the start of the formal deliberations on the measure to the political process of electing its proponents.

Indeed, a brief examination of cases suggests the idea has been too wild to suggest.

The 9th Circuit’s ruling Thursday throws open a huge door to examinations of the entire lives of political officials whose motives may be relevant to legal questions. This introduces more uncertainty and judicial power into legal interpretation than even the most robust use of legislative/administrative history. Without a clear cutoff at assumption of office, attacks on statutes will become deep dives into politicians’ histories.

By accepting the use of preelection statements to impeach and limit executive policy, the 9th Circuit is taking a dangerous step.

Don Surber: Court ends constitutional government by blocking Trump – “So much for the idea that elections have consequences.”

Ed Straker: A legal analysis of the Ninth Circuit’s dangerous usurpation of presidential power – “What we have here is a creeping constitutional coup.”

As long as President Obama was in charge and had a massive open door policy at our borders and at our airports, in violation of statutory law, the judiciary was content to be silent. But when Donald Trump became president and tried to use the powers of the Presidency to put some national security safeguards into place, the judiciary sprung into action.

1) The legal concept of standing has been totally eviscerated.

2) “Irreparable harm” has been turned upside down.

3) National security policy has been wrested from the presidency and placed in the hands of the judiciary.

4) The Due Process clause has been expanded to add seven billion people.

5) The Court maliciously avoided a narrowly tailored legal remedy.

6) The Court disingenuously employed false religious protection claims

7) False consideration of “public interest.”

Matthew Vadum: The Ninth Circuit: dangerously out of order – “Probably the two most insane legal principles invented in the decision are (1) that everyone, everywhere on the planet enjoys due process rights under the U.S. Constitution, and 2) that courts can second-guess a national security-related executive order based on something other than the actual words in the order.”

Monty L. Donohew: The Real Significance of the Temporary Immigration Ban? – “There is little question the court’s injunction faces some important legal issues,”

Most people forget that the USDC system is NOT a constitutional court system. It is a statutory system. Congress established the system, and grants to the courts subject matter jurisdiction, which Congress can remove. Are the people in the Trump administration prescient enough to invite a crisis in order to justify weakening a court system that it finds “obstructive” on several fronts? My article, “The real significance of the ‘Executive Order on Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States’ suggested that a prior Trump administration order on immigration “represents governance at a very high level, a level many thought Trump incapable of reaching.” Outlining the sophistication of the order, and its objective to create a narrative, I concluded that the order “establishes the Trump administration as self-aware, proactive, and formidable.”

The IBD says Democrats Are Losing Their War With Trump – “Leaders in the Democratic Party probably should have thought twice before deciding to mount a scorched-earth campaign against President Trump.” As noted, there are many examples where the Left has not fully considered the implications of their actions. The Immigration EO response provides the current case study but the riots, legislative obstruction tactics, smear campaigns, and state investment in legal harassment all provide additional case studies.

As we write this, not a single Trump Cabinet pick has withdrawn or failed to secure confirmation, which puts him well ahead of President Obama, who was forced to withdraw several of his initial appointments due to scandals.

They’ve also failed to convince a majority — or even a plurality — of the public to oppose any of Trump’s executive orders, according to a Morning Consult/Politico poll, which asked about 11 of his most controversial ones.

In fact, the orders Democrats invested the most time and energy in attacking get the strongest public support.

This is a stunning failure on the part of Democrats to sway public opinion, despite having the full support of sign-wielding activists, several corporate executives, most celebrities and the entire mainstream press.

As for the press, their unrelenting campaign against Trump — and their determination to label just about everything he says as a lie — has backfired as well.

These polls show something else that should worry Democrats: Their antics are appealing only to their hard-core base, but are turning off political independents.

Jazz Shaw picks up on another case of the Left meeting reality: Fossil fuel divestment crashes and burns in Vermont – “Most recently we saw this at the University of Denver where the administration determined that the future health of their endowment was worth far more than any political points scored through satisfying the demands of some environmentalist students.”

A new report conducted by an independent consulting firm for the state of Vermont confirms what economists, pension fund managers and academics have long said about fossil fuel divestment: it’s costly, hurts pension fund returns, and has no tangible impact on climate change.

The bottom line for the state pension fund was indeed the bottom line in a very literal sense. They need to operate in a profitable fashion and cutting their own throats for the sake of pleasing a small but vocal minority of green warriors was simply not feasible in the long run.

Allahpundit picks up on Chris Cuomo: The term “fake news” is like the “N-word” for journalists – “In an age of identity politics and overweening media sanctimony about their own importance …”

You would think that people who work in communications professionally and who surely understand just how unpopular and untrusted they are, even vis-a-vis the Trump administration, would be careful about grandiose self-pity, but I think we’re apt to see more of this rather than less. The press has convinced itself to some extent that it’s the last obstacle between Trump and outright tyranny, and when you’re in a war like that, you’re destined to fight with any weapon to hand. Cuomo’s just picking up the nearest rock here. And, inadvertently, hitting himself in the head with it.

Betsy Newmark Cruising the Web leads off on the Conway remark about the boycott of Ivanka’s product line.

I get it that Kellyanne Conway shouldn’t be using her position as a spokeswoman for the Trump administration standing on WHite House property cannot be pushing Ivanka’s business. This is the sort of thing that people always questioned about electing a businessman with his own businesses and now we have members of the administration pushing the President’s daughter’s business. I understand why that is a violation of ethics laws.

However, for all those people upset about Conway’s little plug, I didn’t see those same people criticizing Obama going around to all those green energy businesses and pushing them while funneling stimulus funds to those businesses. At least Conway wasn’t channeling taxpayer funds to selected businesses. I would prefer if presidents didn’t push private businesses and didn’t interfere in the marketplace. I didn’t like Trump making deals with Carrier, but he’s not the only president playing the crony capitalism card. As Ben Shapiro points out that Obama was also using the power of the presidency to brag about how his policies were creating jobs.

It’s a matter of hyperbolic outrage over an incidental comment of the sort that has been ignored in the past but now assumes impeachment level attention. The outrage, as an expression of hate, is what needs the attention.

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2/6/2017 The Deplorables versus the Depraved

But, of course, this sort of thing doesn’t matter.

First, the lawsuit could have been dismissed by the district court (or the court of appeals) in whole or in part for lack of jurisdiction. Second, the district court did not give the required legal reasoning in its order to justify the TRO. Third, the court had no business enjoining the executive order nationwide, instead of just in the two states. But fourth, once the district court issued the TRO, the appeals court had no authority to touch any other aspect of this legal challenge until it reaches the next stage of litigation.

Ken Klukowski explains the Travesty of Legal Errors in Immigration EO Lawsuit – “Washington and Minnesota’s lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s immigration executive order (EO) showcases a cavalcade of legal errors.”

But having made those errors, there is nothing the Justice Department can do until the TRO is superseded by a preliminary injunction (PI). A TRO expires within 14 days of being issued, unless another event overtakes it first.

Given the liberal makeup of the Ninth Circuit, however, the Justice Department faces an uphill fight in San Francisco. More likely this issue is heading to the U.S. Supreme Court, meaning that President Trump’s EO—and immigration as a whole—could become a major topic of discussion in the confirmation process of the Supreme Court’s incoming ninth justice, Neil Gorsuch.

Byron York also weighs in: Justice Department demolishes case against Trump order – “James Robart, the U.S. district judge in Washington State, offered little explanation for his decision … Now the government has answered Robart, and unlike the judge, Justice Department lawyers have produced a point-by-point demolition of Washington State’s claims.”

the Justice Department argued that Robart’s restraining order violates the separation of powers, encroaches on the president’s constitutional and legal authority in the areas of foreign affairs, national security, and immigration, and “second-guesses the president’s national security judgment” about risks faced by the United States.

The government brief supported the president’s decision on both legal and constitutional grounds, starting with the law. And that starts with the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952

On the larger question of the Trump order’s constitutionality, the government makes a very simple point: foreign nationals in foreign countries do not have U.S. constitutional rights

strength of the case does not assure victory. As Laura Ingraham, the conservative radio host who also served as a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, tweeted on Sunday: “The law is on Donald Trump’s side. Doesn’t mean that the courts will follow it.”

Ilya Somin beclowns himself, again, trying to explain Why Trump’s refugee order is unconstitutional –“On its face, the order does not discriminate on the basis of religion” but, of course, he knows better as words only mean what he thinks they ought to. He goes into a tortured explanation about why a temporary ban of visitors from countries where citizen documentation is suspect that were selected by a previous administration is really a religious ban and not a security issue. Then Somin ignores precedent and diminishes that part of the Constitution he does not like.

A more reasoned approach is Focusing on temporary visas as protected “liberty interests” in the challenges to Trump’s Immigration EO – the key argument here is about a topic not explicit in the EO which is the matter of current visa and green card holders with established U.S. residence. The EO is being treated as if it was a lot more than it is.

In order to analyze that hybrid constitutional/statutory question, however, one needs to focus on the most legally plausible constitutional interest at stake that would counsel for a narrow construction of the President’s power. In my view, the EO’s point of greatest vulnerability is its depriving long-term U.S. residents with non-immigrant visas of their interest in entering the United States and returning to their homes, families, workplaces, and schools. By contrast, the claim that the EO violates equal protection faces a steeply uphill battle. Disparate impacts on Muslims are not sufficient to trigger strict scrutiny (although the smoking gun of Trump’s campaign speeches as well as Giuliani’s boasting about creating a “Muslim ban” might suffice to shift the burden of proof). Moreover, nationality-based discrimination is still deeply embedded in our immigration system, despite the 1965 move away from national quotas. The Hart-Celler Act of 1965 still maintains per-country limits on immigration, and, more recently, national categories similar to those in Trump’s EO were used to exclude immigrants from the visa waiver program in the Terrorist Travel Prevention Act. I do not see federal judges eager to overturn all such nationality-based distinctions in immigration law in the name of equal protection.

Daniel Greenfield: Judge James Robart is the swamp that Trump must drain – “This is the radical judge who endorsed the racist Black Lives Matter hate group from the bench and illegally blocked President Trump’s order to keep Americans safe.”

This is why there is so much concern about SCOTUS and rogue justices and one of the major issues that help elect Trump. James A. Lyons essay on Restoring America’s leadership and security – “President Trump’s political revolution points a way forward” is pertinent here, too.

It is interesting that a Democrat on a talking heads panel was totally outraged and disgusted by Trump setting aside Putin murders with a ‘U.S. does it, too’ comment and then seeing a CBS Poll: Two-Thirds of Democrats Say Islam, Christianity Equally Violent reported by Neil Munro.

Almost seven out 10 Democrats believe Islam “encourages violence… about the same as other religions,” according to a new CBS poll.

The trusting attitude towards Islam is revealed in the February 2017 poll follows 17 tumultuous years of attacks against Americans motivated or shaped by Islamic ideology throughout the United States

Progressive and left-wing activists say much violence is caused by Christians, although few make the argument that the violence is motivated Christian doctrines.

Sarah Gustafson: Obama’s higher education record: a low bar for Betsey DeVos – “critics will continue to frame her as dangerously inexperienced. Even the slightest misstep will be held up as proof she’s out of her depth.”

critics should grade DeVos on a curve, with the midpoint set at the Obama administration’s less-than-elegant higher education policymaking. Let’s review that record.

Reviewing the follies of the Obama administration’s higher education agenda is not meant to be (completely) cynical. There are lessons here for DeVos. Making good higher education policy is challenging. And the stakes are quite high: bad policy and slipshod implementation put students’ futures and taxpayers’ dollars at risk. DeVos must treat postsecondary education with as much consequence and care as she would elementary and secondary education policies.

But the lesson for everyone else: the left-of-center politicians and advocacy groups who worry Betsy DeVos lacks higher education experience treated the Obama administration with kid gloves each time the administration botched a new reform. Take their sudden worry that DeVos will commit all sorts of policy blunders with a grain of salt.

Noting some whistle-blowing by Delingpole: NOAA Scandal Gives Trump The Perfect Excuse To Drain The Climate Swamp

In the field of energy and climate, President Trump has said that there is a massive swamp that needs draining.

But his efforts are being resisted at every turn by all those lying scientists, bent politicians, rent-seeking businessmen, and Soros-funded activist groups who insist: “What swamp? What crocodiles? What leeches? Nothing to see here!”

What does this all mean in terms of science? Not much. As we’ve seen above, there have been strong suspicions about Karl et al’s paper since the moment it was published.

In terms of the climate propaganda wars, on the other hand, it is huge: this is a blow from which the Alarmist establishment may never recover for it gives the Trump administration just the excuse it needs to sweep clean the Augean of corrupt climate science once and forever.

Trump is now in the perfect position to demand that climate-related scientific bodies in receipt of government funding (ie all of them) make their code and data available to the public.

This gets interesting because there is a massive effort to ‘save the data from Trump’ as the Left knows he is going to destroy it. The Left knows a lot of things, it seems, that are rather strange when viewed in the sunshine of reality. See John Bates on Climate scientists versus climate data on Dr. Curry’s blog – “A look behind the curtain at NOAA’s climate data center.”

I read with great irony recently that scientists are “frantically copying U.S. Climate data, fearing it might vanish under Trump” (e.g., Washington Post 13 December 2016). As a climate scientist formerly responsible for NOAA’s climate archive, the most critical issue in archival of climate data is actually scientists who are unwilling to formally archive and document their data. I spent the last decade cajoling climate scientists to archive their data and fully document the datasets. I established a climate data records program that was awarded a U.S. Department of Commerce Gold Medal in 2014 for visionary work in the acquisition, production, and preservation of climate data records (CDRs), which accurately describe the Earth’s changing environment.

Robert Knight: Left uses violence but decries ‘speech as violence’ – “Respect for faith and family trumps ‘the power of the people’” – “In the upside down world of leftist activism, speech is violence while actual violence is an appropriate response.” The Boy Scouts caving to Leftist bullying is the example.

Another form of anarchy is the violence done to language in the name of ideology. Without common understanding of the meaning of words, we cannot communicate, much less engage in meaningful dialogue.

The enemies of civilization in America figured out long ago that they could control debates by controlling language. In order to avoid the smear of “extremism” and to get along, most people reflexively adopt the new terms. You know, turning homosexuality into “gay,” abortion into “choice,” gambling into “gaming,” smut into “erotica” and government spending into “investments.”

One reason that Donald Trump evokes such fear and hatred among progressives is that he avoids politically correct phraseology. It’s not that he didn’t get the memo; he tore it up and sent it back in tiny pieces.

The mobs at Berkeley and the go-along-to-get-along leadership of the BSA might regard themselves as the vanguard of a cultural revolution, but they’re just peddling their own forms of anarchy. While they drift into nonsense, a quiet revolution is taking shape below the radar that aims to reestablish respect for the permanent things of faith, family and freedom. Not to mention sanity.

J. Christian Adams provides another example of “ violence done to language in the name of ideology.” Why the North Carolina voter ID case matters – “It’s actually an attempt to preserve the Voting Rights Act.” – “Because voter ID is overwhelmingly popular, and because courts have largely supported it, they are trying to change what the Voting Rights Act means.”

They may never admit it, but the civil rights industry is tired of spending millions of dollars only to lose most voter ID fights in court. Instead of declaring defeat, the strategy has shifted to changing the rules of engagement, and trying to transform the Voting Rights Act into something it isn’t.

On appeal, however, the judges ruled in the exact opposite direction for North Carolina: claiming that the state went out of its way to intentionally discriminate against minorities. It did this by substituting its own version of the facts, even though appeals courts don’t see witnesses, and even though experts for the United States were found to be not credible.

This difference between two courts was because of how the Voting Rights Act was read.

There is more at stake than the integrity of elections. If the Court does not intervene, the nation could see one of the shining achievements of the Civil Rights era be politicized.

Rebecca Hagelin has the ‘compare and contrast’ down pat in Thank God for Kellyanne Conway – “She’s one of the smartest, most kind, most thoughtful people you could ever hope to meet. And the mass media are intent on destroying her.”

the deeper reason for the particularly venomous attacks aimed at Kellyanne is so simple that it’s sophomoric: The media are professionally embarrassed that Donald Trump won the election despite their repeated attempts to kill his campaign. So, they have decided to destroy the one who made that victory possible.

While the media elites publicly ignore the fact that Kellyanne made history and should be lauded as a role model for all women who have struggled in the male-dominated political arena, they secretly obsess over the fact that she beat their pants off.

And they really can’t accept the fact that their woman, Hillary Clinton, was beaten by a man whose “right-hand man” is actually a conservative lady.

Thank God that Kellyanne continues to fight and win. And mark my words: She will keep fighting, with millions of Americans cheering her on.

Michael Filozof says The United States Cannot Survive as Presently Constituted – “With slight shades of difference,” wrote George Washington in 1796, Americans “have the same religion, manners, habits and political principles.”

The inauguration of Donald Trump sparked national protests – obscene, vulgar, and crude — by the Left. Over sixty congressional Democrats boycotted his inauguration. Plans to impeach him were in the works – before he had even done anything.

the Constitution of 1787 no longer articulates a set of shared principles. For practical purposes, today there are two separate and unrelated constitutions – a constitution of the Left, and a constitution of the Right. The Leftist constitution includes the rights to abortion, anal intercourse, and gay marriage. The Right, reading the “supreme law of the land” as it was actually written, sees no such rights anywhere in the U.S. Constitution.

The Right regards America’s Founders as men of achievement, morality, and virtue. They see our European heritage as praiseworthy, for it gave us the Enlightenment, Industrial Revolution, electricity, medicine, clean water, automobiles, powered flight, and landed men on the moon.

The Left sees the Founders as wicked, greedy men who cheated innocent Indians and enslaved innocent blacks. Whites of European descent raped and destroyed the pristine environment with global warming, imposed monogamy and heterosexuality upon women, and subordinated the “peaceful” cultures (like Islam) of black and brown people.

Why waste time and effort trying to persuade people who cannot and will not be persuaded? If Californians want to ban guns, parade around in bondage leather, and allow illiterates and criminals to cross the border to receive government benefits, let them. Ohioans and Michiganders ought not be forced to go along with it.

But the present situation is untenable. The nation is like a car careening down the road, with two people fighting over the wheel. One pulls the car left, the other swerves back to the right.

Sooner or later, a crash is inevitable.

Jazz Shaw: Can the government rein in disruption and riots hiding under the guise of “protests?”

The old school idea of “protesting” which I grew up with has changed a lot in the 21st century. This new school of protesters focuses on “disruption” as the vehicle for their efforts as opposed to the old school, quaint concept of simply marching on sidewalks, in parks or designated areas with signs and songs. … At some point along that trail we crossed the line from protesting to rioting, and while we can debate the exact moment when it happened, we’re there now.

Robert Rohlfing: The Long War Of The Left – “The Left’s Long War is far from over, we see it now more than ever being exposed and played out not only in this nation, but on the world stage as well. With each battle they are losing ground, but they are not down and out.”

Judi McLeod: The Civil War Known as the Deplorables Vs The Depraved – “Obama’s legacy of hate is just beginning to show its hideous face. Words have meanings, elections have consequences and propaganda is changing the world into one where outrageous lies masquerade as truth. The worst is yet to come.”

Matthew Vadum: The seditious left – “Prosecute the Berkeley rioters by enforcing federal law.”

It’s the Deplorables versus the Depraved. 

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2/5/2017: Measuring and observing Angst

On the Fake News front is an ‘alternative facts’ bias in the form of labeling the Washington judge as a Bush appointee. The other alternative fact is that the judge was appointed as a normal consideration to a Senator in the state. Which of these ‘alternative facts’ is chosen for headlines indicates whether or not the attempt is to push a false narrative or not. The judge’s behavior makes the reality clear.

Patterico describes The Judge Who Halted Trump’s Immigration Order Has Made Some Wacky Rulings In The Past – “Today, we are learning more about that judge . . . and some of it is unsettling.”

Will Baude wonders about The deadly serious accusation of being a “so-called judge” – “to call him a “so-called” judge is to hint that he is not really a judge, that he lacks judicial power. … I hope I am reading too much into this. But I am positive that this is not the last time I will be writing about judicial decisions and judicial authority.” Consider context. Trump was talking layman and not lawyer. So, yes, Baude was reading way too much into a Trump tweet. The error is so obvious that it lends credence to a concern about bias and, therefore, accuracy, of the essay.

You may have heard about the Doomsday Clock getting set ever closer to Armageddon. Because Trump. Never mind that as real estate mogul with high value properties all over the globe he’s got more incentive to avoid a nuclear holocaust than nearly anyone else. Dave Taylor describes why The Doomsday Clock is a Measure of Liberal Hysteria, not Armageddon

The Doomsday Clock was created by a group of scientists who managed a publication about nuclear warfare research called the Bulletin of The Atomic Scientists. The clock itself first showed up back in 1947 and its starting position was “seven minutes to midnight,” with midnight symbolizing earth’s end.

Predictably, the media has gone bananas: “Thirty seconds closer to global annihilation!” NBC News trumpeted,

But where were all these alarmed journalists when the clock’s keepers moved Doomsday’s countdown from six minutes to midnight to three minutes to midnight during Barack Obama’s presidency?

As the deafening silence about the clock during Obama’s presidency suggests, the Doomsday Clock has long been a partisan, not a scientific, device.

As for the Doomsday Clock, it’s probably best to heed the advice of one of its critics, who notes that it is “a more reliable measure of liberal angst than the risk of a nuclear holocaust, and it should be treated as such.” Turns out that what we really need these days isn’t a countdown to nuclear Armageddon, but more levelheaded and nonpartisan scientists.

Looks like this one, too, is more fodder for the problems in the propaganda machine that is being cataloged by more and more pundits.

Karin McQuillan says the Democrats Find a Use for Violence – “Democrats are rejecting the heart of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power via the ballot box.”

Democrats are scared stiff that Trump’s sensible, practical polices will make our country safer, boost our economy, and deliver jobs to blacks and millennials. That’s why they are running around in pink hats and black masks, beating dissenters up literally or verbally.

This is not the 1960s. This is not a mass movement protesting an unpopular war or supporting civil rights legislation. We have Obama’s community agitation, not Martin Luther King’s nonviolent resistance.

First, progressive violence reinforces the messages of identity politics, to keep their side from hemorrhaging support.

Second, Democrats liked it better before Trump, when conservatives kept their heads down and their mouths shut.

Democrat power relies on millions of unpaid thought police.

Third, violent speech and actions by Democrats are meant to define Trump’s policies as abnormal.

The fourth strategic goal: provoke a national crisis.

Some Americans will end up hurt, beat up, and perhaps worse. Democrats don’t care. Republicans are non-persons; their bloodied faces and concussions are acceptable collateral damage for Democrat power politics.

Democrats’ violent refusal to accept their loss of the presidency and Congress should be a national scandal.

John Hinderaker is asking What, really, is the Democratic Party? – highlighting projection.

Kevin Williamson in National Review … takes off from the observation that the Democrats are not making any serious effort to block such Trump nominees as Satan Jeff Sessions, but instead have trained their guns on the seemingly-innocuous Betsy DeVos. His argument is that a familiar slander against the Republican Party may actually be true as applied to the Democrats

Do the people who run the Democratic Party really care about the social issues, other than as a cynical means to fire up their base? The evidence suggests that the answer is No

Williamson’s conclusion:

What is the Democratic party? Is it a genuine political party, or is it simply an instrument of relatively well-off government workers who care about very little other than securing for themselves regular raises and comfortable pensions?

If I were a progressive, I’d be curious about that.”

Introspection is difficult so it is rather rare, especially on the left. That is why there is so much angst that can be seen in behaviors typical of denial and dissonance.

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2/4/2017: Blindsided by preconceptions and a closed mind makes you a target

It’s not the new administration upsetting the applecart. Now the judiciary has set itself above established and explicit executive authority and in a most fundamental area. It used to be that the concern about terrorism was that it only took one lapse in security but a judge has now tossed that idea aside. It used to be that the executive could determine who could be allowed into the country but a judge has now tossed that aside. It used to be that citizens had special rights that non-citizens did not have but a judge has now tossed that aside. Andrea Noble reports Federal judge halts Trump’s immigration order – the judge has decided that the lawyers in the DoJ were incompetent and that many others who cannot find support for his view were wrong also. Basic concepts of precedent and prudence have been set aside for partisan ideological satisfaction even in the area of national security.

In written arguments in the Washington case, the Justice Department defended the president’s order and his authority “to suspend or impose restrictions on the entry of aliens into the United States.”

“Every President over the last thirty years has invoked this authority to suspend or impose restrictions on the entry of certain aliens or classes of aliens, in some instances including classifications based on nationality,” DOJ attorneys wrote.

Judge Robart’s written order, issued several hours after the court hearing, indicates that the plaintiffs successfully demonstrated that they would “suffer irreparable harm” if the court did not intervene.

The Associated Press reported that Judge Robart asked Justice Department attorneys whether there had been any terrorist attacks by people from the seven counties listed in Mr. Trump’s order since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

“The answer is none,” Judge Robart said. “You’re here arguing we have to protect from these individuals from these countries, and there’s no support for that.”

John Sexton observes that “Politico notes this setback came just a few hours after the Trump administration prevailed in another lawsuit against the executive order.” In other words, it is warfare by attrition with no holds barred in attempting to subvert the established social order.

Slashdot may have a clue as to the “immediate harm” idea: Microsoft’s H-1B Workers Cited In Motion That Successfully Blocked Trump’s Travel Ban – “Washington’s technology industry relies heavily on the H-1B visa program.”

Washington ranks ninth in the number of applications for high-tech visas. Microsoft, which is headquartered in Washington, employs nearly 5,000 people through the program. Other Washington companies, including Amazon, Expedia, and Starbucks, employ thousands of H-1B visa holders. Loss of highly skilled workers puts Washington companies at a competitive disadvantage with global competitors.

Trump might get a ‘twofer’ out of this as the H-1B visa holders replacing American skilled workers has been on the burner for quite a while. It also provides fodder for those who endlessly complain about inhuman corporate interests except Trump is shown here as fighting those interests. That’s in addition to the national security and immigration promise fulfillment.

On a similar front is the civil war being conducted by the deep state. Andrew Restuccia, Marianne Levine And Nahal Toosi say Federal workers turn to encryption to thwart Trump – they make it clear that the enemy isn’t the criminal or the terrorist but rather the people and their nation. If you run a company and encountered employees as described in the article, what would you do? should you do?

Federal employees worried that President Donald Trump will gut their agencies are creating new email addresses, signing up for encrypted messaging apps and looking for other, protected ways to push back against the new administration’s agenda.

At the EPA, a small group of career employees — numbering less than a dozen so far — are using an encrypted messaging app to discuss what to do if Trump’s political appointees undermine their agency’s mission to protect public health and the environment, flout the law, or delete valuable scientific data that the agency has been collecting for years, sources told POLITICO.

Just what is it that provides any basis for these fears of a “small group of career employees”? Such fears add to the concerns. Not only do you have employees who are plotting to undermine their employer, you also have indications that they are irrational in their behavior.

Russell Paul La Valle notes The Trump opposition: Hell hath no fury like Democrats’ scorn

Trump’s destruction is nothing less than the moral battle for the soul of America, and his sacrifice will reconcile God and the Democrats for the mortal sin of ever allowing him to be elected president in the first place.

Reaching this level of hatred and contempt has required cultivation.

John Sexton picks up on one example of where this hate can lead: Dakota Access Pipeline protest leader charged with inciting a riot, 74 arrested – “Dakota Access Pipeline protester Chase Iron Eyes was arrested this week and has been charged with inciting a riot, which is a felony.”

It might be helpful to the protesters if Iron Eyes were the spokesman for the Standing Rock Sioux and could be portrayed as a victim here. But in fact, the actual spokesman for the tribe, Dave Archambault, published a statement on the tribe’s Facebook page Wednesday which was very critical of Iron Eyes, albeit without mentioning him by name.

If you’re wondering, it was Chase Iron Eyes who called people back to camp this week despite a recent vote by the tribal council asking all of the remaining protesters to vacate the land before floods wash them and all their voluminous garbage into the river.

Chuck Ross: Look Who Funds The Group Behind The Call To Arms At Milo’s Berkeley Event

The left-wing group that helped organize the violent shut down of the Milo Yiannopoulos event at the University of California, Berkeley on Wednesday is backed by a progressive charity that is in turn funded by George Soros, the city of Tucson, a major labor union and several large companies.

And on its Facebook page, the group asserted that the vandalism and arson were not “violence.” Instead, the group argued that Yiannopoulos and Trump perpetrate violence through the policies they support.

Again, constructed outrage based on manufactured pretenses that displays projection more than any constructive effort to advance their stated purposes. Ace notes that Newsweek Enthuses Over Political Violence, Saying “Protesters” “Schooled” Milo Yiannopolous and the city of Berkley aren’t too concerned about the implications of riots that destroy property and commit assault and battery.

Allahpundit noticed the potential for ‘good cop, bad cop’ tactics in a Nikki Haley Russia blasting at the U.N. Another insight is Video: Kellyanne Conway on the “Bowling Green massacre” that didn’t happen – “when you’re a top White House advisor and the single most ubiquitous surrogate for the president on American TV, unreliability about a terror attack is a very bad trait to display, whether the mistake is innocent or not.”

But the heavy media coverage of her mistake today, in treating this as a “can you believe it?” mega-gaffe and an example of the “alternative facts” that Conway infamously touted a few weeks ago, is also being unreliable in glossing over her underlying point. She’s defending Trump’s temporary refugee ban by noting that dangerous people have been admitted to the United States before — which is true, and the two Bowling Green scumbags are paradigm examples. There was no “massacre” and she deserves to be called on that, but if you worry about letting people in from Iraq and Syria because you’re afraid they might have an interest in bombs and jihad, well, the Bowling Green incident gives you reason to worry. She misremembered it as a successful attack, but the intent to kill American soldiers was there — enough so to secure federal convictions.

If the press wanted to fact-check Conway effectively on this, they’d skip the buzzers and do what Elizabeth Nolan Brown did, asking the question of just how many refugees have gone bad like the pair in Bowling Green. The answer, according to a 2015 study: Three — out of 784,000.

Good point on the overblown ‘Conway Lies’ meme but missing the fundamental ‘it only takes one’ on the terrorist meme or, in this case 3 out of 784,000. That’s, of course, the 3 known terrorists. It’s like voter fraud where what you don’t know can be either a reason to ignore (the Left’s view) or a reason to check (Right’s view).

Andrew Malcolm says Donald Trump’s setting so many fires Democrats can’t keep up – “What is it exactly these congressional Democrats want instead?”

Perhaps you’ve noticed a fair number of protests, many of them violent, since Hillary Clinton was not elected president.

Perhaps you’ve also noticed the Democrat minorities in Congress opposing pretty much every single thing involving the man who was elected president Nov. 8

There is — and was — no main message.

That thematic void can be politically lethal in American elections.

Remember Alexander Hamilton or maybe someone else saying, if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything? Well, the converse is true too: If you oppose everything, you stand for nothing. And that’s the muddy path that Democrats Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi and their Gang of No has taken.

You may not agree with many or any of his actions. Or like his loud style. But the strategic truth is, in creating just two main themes, the unpredictable media magnet Trump has lit so many fires that Democrats under their elderly leaders can’t decide which to fight. So, they’re fighting them all, none effectively. Everybody watching the not-exactly spontaneous protests and the on-camera anger has their own tolerance level for outrage. But at some point, everybody has one.

“We need to be guided by a positive message about economic growth for everybody and a country that includes everybody,” Connecticut’s lonely Democrat Sen. Chris Murphy said sensibly. “We can’t respond to everything. You have to decide what to respond to based on what your vision for the country is.”

Good luck with that these days in Washington.

Steven Hayward, in his The Week in Pictures: Trump Train Keeps on Rolling Edition says “it appears the only thing that can possibly slow down President Trump is carpal tunnel syndrome.”

Michael Sainato says Everything Trump Is Doing, Establishment Democrats Set in Motion – “In 2006 Obama, Clinton, Biden, Schumer and 20 other Democrats voted in favor of a physical barrier to be built along the US-Mexico border.” This sort of comparison and contrast just makes it worse because it makes it clear that the opposition is really inane protest.

The Democratic Party has actively participated or remained complicit in several of the policies and plans now being pushed by the Trump administration, despite their rhetoric conveying a blanket opposition.

Establishment Democrats have acted outraged over Trump’s plans to develop a Muslim registry, but their criticisms were nowhere to be found when Bush and Obama had one in place between 2001 to 2011.

In order to develop serious opposition against Trump’s Presidency and the Republican-dominated Congress, Democrats need to face how their political cowardice and questionable policies enabled Trump’s ascendancy. … Understanding the Democratic Party’s past wrongdoings is vital to develop a recovery plan, but so far the Democrats continue to remain entangled in the policies that they claim to oppose from the Trump Administration.

Ed Morrissey expands on a point Rush Limbaugh made: Robert Reich: “Rumors” that Berkeley riots were a right-wing false flag, or something

Is it possible? Er … sure, in a theoretical, paranoid-conspiracy construct, I suppose. We’d have to believe that Breitbart.com is using its money to fund roving bands of thugs that only seem to appear when conservatives go to speak on campuses or when Republicans get inaugurated as presidents. And if you believe that, you can also believe that our friends at Breitbart have figured out how to travel through time to stage the 1999 WTO riots in Seattle, which featured similar tactics by people dressed and acting in an almost identical manner

Godwin’s Law [wikipedia] has been taking hits. The Left says it is suspended because Trump is just like Hitler in every vile way imaginable. There is a good explanation of This Hitler Nonsense on Regie’s Blog. His father “toured post-war Germany extensively in 1957 and ’58 as a child performer. And he often recounts the stories.”

These and other intense experiences in Germany sent my father on a life-long quest to understand this sociopath (Hitler) and the country that allowed itself to be dragged into one of the darkest chapters in world history. My dad is a Hitler/Nazi buff the way Indiana Jones’ dad was a Holy Grail buff.

As the son of a man with this hobby (one might call obsession) I learned a lot about Hitler and the Third Reich just by osmosis, growing up. My father would weave WWII stories into his sermons.

But the truth about Nazis isn’t funny at all. It’s bloody and horrible and gut churning. And it involves machine guns and butchery and inhumanity on a scale that takes your breath away.

The idea of comparing an American president to Hitler is just as absurd …from any angle, in any context.

Hitler took over a small, failing state that didn’t have separated government, enumerated powers or checks and balances. … His entire political career was violent from the beginning. … He disarmed the population, then nationalized healthcare and education.

Hitler was a real life murdering sociopath. He wasn’t just a charismatic speaker who incrementally fell into bad behavior. He wasn’t just a racist corrupted by unfettered power. In other words, you or I probably couldn’t end up being Hitler. A garden variety KKK leader probably couldn’t end up being Hitler either …or a community organizer …or a New York real-estate tycoon. It’s not that easy or simple.

But if you study enough about it, you realize the guy vetting and banning refugees is probably not Hitler …the guy CREATING refugees probably is.

If we keep looking for Hitler in every United States president we disagree with, we’re not going to recognize the real one when he actually shows up …in a different country.

Here’s a bit of the Californication of Nevada that might be on the positive side of the ledger, reported on TechDirt of all places. Good News: Nevada’s Strong Anti-SLAPP Law Is Constitutional – “SLAPP stands for a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. In short, SLAPP suits are lawsuits where it is fairly obvious that the intent of the lawsuits is to stifle free speech, rather than for a legitimate purpose under the law. “

the ruling basically recognized that Nevada’s anti-SLAPP statute was similar to California’s (much older and much more broadly litigated anti-SLAPP) law, and that Nevada courts can use California case law for its own anti-SLAPP cases

Dan Calabrese says Trump’s blunt style throws foreign leaders into a tizzy—and has them rushing to meet with him – “Establishment voices think Trump is an out-of-control bumpkin who has no idea what the proper way is to operate on the world stage.”

One of the biggest mistakes of the political establishment – one they show no sign of grasping – is that when they constantly complain about how Trump is violating all the norms of politics, the presidency and international relations, they totally miss that this is exactly what the people who voted for him wanted him to do. And they totally miss that he is doing it intentionally and with purpose.

Career diplomats are appalled because their job description usually involves preserving the stability of the established global order. If stability is disrupted, a diplomat thinks that’s a crisis.

But there’s a concept in business called order from chaos. It holds that what appears to be order might actually be little more than a set of norms with which you’ve become comfortable. It’s not really producing anything positive, but it feels comfortable to you so you continue to operate according to it. An outside party can come into an organization and observe that the established order is not producing the desired results, but it can be difficult for those who have operated within the established order for awhile to see that.

Coyote Blog provides a Global Temperature Update – “I just updated my climate presentation with data through December of 2016, so given “hottest year evah” claims, I thought I would give a brief update with the data that the media seldom ever provides.” He’s probably a bit more in line with the “consensus” than the alarmists and shouters and the ideologues. There are graphs and charts and a bit of preening as well.

Blindsided by preconceived fantasies on so many fronts …

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Closest analogy: The Effect Slim Whitman yodels have on Martians

Heads Explode. The minions of the left were prepared. They immediately went to sympathetic judges. The pronouncements about Trump incompetence, sloth, stupidity, etc, etc, were all lined up and ready to go. But what happens when you actually take a look at the stimulus to try to validate the response? Uh, Oh.

Compare and Contrast: Benjamin Wittes on Malevolence Tempered by Incompetence: Trump’s Horrifying Executive Order on Refugees and Visas to Thomas Lifson on the Stunning media malpractice on Trump suspension of entry .

Wittes exposes his bias saying “Color me skeptical that this is the real purpose” and his arguments are more political opinion than legal analysis. For the latter, he accepts anti-Trump rumors and pronouncements at face value. So he does not accept what was actually written but rather what he wants it to say and bases his conclusions on hearsay rather than evidence.

Lifson addresses the incompetence and malevolence judgments by noting that “The latent fingerprints of Democrat icons, especially ex-president Obama, are discoverable all over President Trump’s executive order of the 27th titled, “Protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States.” He then cites and quotes those fingerprints so you can see for yourself.

 

Newmark cites Alder on this as Alder also thinks it is sloppy, etc. The problem is that Alder also notes that “in normal circumstances” there wouldn’t be any controversy about the validity of the EO. That implies that the only thing really wrong with the EO is that it came from Trump. That gets back to the editorial noted below about “the dark view of the President.”

John Hayward: Seven Inconvenient Facts About Trump’s Refugee Actions – The Fact Checkers are twisting themselves into knots trying to support the hysteria but nearly all of the outrage is based on Fake News from the religious based ban to the historical precedent.

The hysterical reaction to Trump’s order illustrates the very thing that worries advocates of strong immigration security: Americans’ security is the lowest priority, far below progressive ideology, crass political opportunism, and emotional theater.

On another of Trump’s ‘Lies’ is put to the test by Rowan Scarborough; Conservative groups press states to overhaul voter lists, combat fraud – 

One reason there are few investigations may be that suspected voter fraud happens in heavily Democratic districts, where it would take a Democratic prosecutor to investigate the people who vote for the party.

Washington Times: The dark view of the president – “An unhinged media has a duty to sober up, keep calm and carry on.”

The hatred of Donald Trump grows darker, more frightening and more irresponsible.

This irresponsibility speaks volumes about how far out of touch the arbiters of the national culture are with rest of America. Steve Bannon, a senior adviser to the president, remarked earlier this week that “they don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”

The mighty organs of the media have a special responsibility to keep calm and carry on, as difficult as that may be. The guardians of the truth, as they regard themselves, must first figure out what the truth is.

Skepticism is healthy and necessary, and it’s a pity that it was in short supply in the White House briefing room over the course of the last administration. The press (loosely defined) and the larger media must resist the temptation to assuage its guilt by adopting an attitude that anything about Mr. Trump goes, the meaner and more irresponsible the better. This encourages recklessness in others.

See the Sunday reflection: Matthew 5:1-12 as it seems pertinent here.

Many of the arguments from the Left fail on a first inspection. Trump is a successful real estate developer with high value properties all over the world not to mention his success going upstream to win his office. That sets a high bar for those with TDS. Stupid, slothful, careless, incompetent, and other such allegations as are common and frequent, especially in the immigration issue, cannot be considered rational as they don’t accommodate the readily available evidence anyone can see. That is why the ‘dark view’ is so insidious as it denotes no acceptance of any civilized standard of behavior based on reality and respect for integrity or other people.

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Bigotry driven hate on display and a bit of Moonbattery tossed in for good measure

It’s the day after. The womyn gathered in such large numbers that the original parade route had to be changed. The media is concentrating on the vacant seats at the inauguration set up for the Democrats who don’t believe in democracy and ignoring the masses on the mall and the masses trying to get past security checkpoints. Some of those checkpoints had been blockaded by protesters and a number of the violent protesters are facing felony charges. The NYT is reporting Soros links to dozens of organizations behind the womyn’s gathering. And egregious Fake News in the Left’s Propaganda Machine are being noted. It’s a new era.

Roger Simon has a calm rundown on the The Pointless Paranoia of the Women’s Marches.

I am no stranger to protesting … But I have come to think over the years that too much demonstrating can get to be a bad habit, like smoking.

Now I’m not talking here about the Gloria Steinems and Michael Moores, for whom protest is so much a way of life they couldn’t exist without it.

I’m talking about the rest of us, especially, this weekend, a fair percentage of the women of America who descended on our nation’s capital and elsewhere in impressive numbers.

Excuse me if I don’t get it. What exactly was motivating them?

So back to square one. What was the purpose of Saturday’s demonstrations? None, I think, meaning nothing substantive in the provable sense. They were propaganda. Basically the protests were media and social media ginned-up events intended to continue opposition to the myth, not the reality, of a Trump administration for political purposes.

Which leads me to a final point — people who demonstrate all the time should consider they risk morphing into a collective version of the boy who cried wolf. When there’s something really worth protesting, no one believes them anymore.

For a bit less calm view, with pictures, see Sundance on the Making Moonbattery Great Again….

Most of America knows the organizers of the various “Women’s Marches” today did not construct women’s events, they constructed events for women who are anti-Trump and voted for Hillary Clinton, ie. liberal women. After all, billionaire George Soro’s financing is behind more than 50 groups who organized the various events.

There is a specific type of moonbattery exhibited by people demanding they must not be defined by their body parts, while they simultaneously hold up signs defining themselves by their body parts. An intellectual irony seemingly lost almost all the marchers.

On the Fake News front, WaPo has an excellent example of the innuendo version. Matt Zapotosky: Trump White House vows it won’t coddle ‘the rioter, the looter, or the violent disrupter’. His first clue is in picking up the “carnage in America” quote and attempting to minimize it: “That is true, though lethal violence remains low by historical standards.” Another example is “The statement noted rioters, looters and disrupters, but it made no mention of people’s First Amendment rights to free speech. The only amendment it mentioned was the second, the right to bear arms.” As if free speech is going to be abridged by considering rioting and looting as a crime rather than free speech. Finally, he brings in the case of Eric Garner with the BLM based debunked Fake News errors of the past to end with the idea that it is the authority that is criminal, not the criminals. 

T. Becket Adams says It has been a really bad week for journalism and provides a litany of examples.

It has been a particularly embarrassing week for the press, and it’s only Saturday.

For an industry that’s as disliked and distrusted as Congress, there’s a lot of work that media need to do to win back viewers’ trust. There’s no room for error, especially now that there’s a subgenre of “news” that has zero basis in fact, and is created from thin air for the sole purpose of generating cash.

But learning to be more careful and even-handed is apparently difficult for some in media, and this week was especially rough for newsrooms that are already struggling to regain credibility.

In no particular order, here are some of the most embarrassing media moments from this week:

There’s the NYT hit on Perry, The MLK bust, The Gelernter slam, Christian prayer shaming, bullying MKL III, First Lady website resume juice, and the website revision paranoia. This last showed up in local news about downtown protests. That was a ‘woman on the street’ interview with aimlessly wandering people thinking they were protesting something that illustrated that they were out only due to ignorance, bigotry, and hatred with nothing constructive in mind. One cited the last of testimony of support for LGBT causes on the White House website as his cause for paranoia.

This is the sort of blind hatred that Thomas Lifson notes in The conspiracy to impeach Trump already launched.

It should be crystal clear to all Americans that his political enemies are searching for any pretext to launch an impeachment effort to unseat President Trump, once they think it would have a chance of success. Given the level of animosity toward Trump in his own party, and the possibility of midterm election losses for the president’s party (the normal pattern in American politics), these efforts can’t be dismissed as impossible.

We know about this secret conspiracy because of a leak to the Washington Free Beacon.

If this sounds like a sales pitch, that’s because it is. Brock functions only with the funding of rich leftists like George Soros and his allies, and his humiliating failure to deliver for them in the 2016 election leaves him no option but to escalate, in hopes the suckers donors will throw good money after bad.

The sales pitch presents a well-oiled machine already operating:

I have little doubt that the megaphone of the White House will be employed to publicize this memo. What are the odds that Brock will blame the Russians? But the Vast Leftwing Conspiracy has been exposed laying out its plans in serch of a pretext for all to see.

The left is counting on media support to make its case for impeachment work. But that is a diminishing asset for them, and the Trump administration has signaled that it is ready to help dispatch the ailing members as they collapse. I think it is time to ask prominent Congressional Dems if they are willing to condemn the effort to impeach before a pretext is even available.

One of the problems here is that the Democrats have established precedent to set the bar very very low. The analogy is their invocation of the ‘nuclear option’ that handcuffs their opposition to nominee ‘advice and consent’. For impeachment, they have shown that even behavior egregious enough to get a president expelled from the bar is insufficient to remove him from office.

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1/4/2017: Media noose, Trump tactics, Democrat behavior, Techie moral preening, and Adieu to academia

Ken Blackwell: A media noose for Jeff Sessions – “He’s a white son of the South and that’s enough to justify a lynching.”

There’s only one reason why large news organizations invest so much time, energy and money — they sent reporters to Alabama, each of whom spent a week there — to do these biased stories, and it’s time someone said what it is. The reason is because someone, somewhere, deep down doesn’t believe a white man from Alabama should be the attorney general of the United States.

That’s every bit as racist as saying a black man from Chicago shouldn’t be president of the United States.

The anti-white, anti-southern racist obsession with which media organizations have pursued Mr. Sessions is a sign they have learned nothing from the presidential campaign, where we all witnessed their all-out opposition to Donald Trump.

Ace has more on this citing several other columns: This Is How the Media Dies: Not With a Bang But a Whine.

And he’s of course definitely right. The media are acting viciously and defensively precisely because they are defending the territory they’ve claimed for themselves by pissing all over the outskirts of it. They will not abide a challenge nor a chastening; they intend to “win” the argument they’ve been having for 40 years with 300 million Americans.

They won’t, but no one accepts a downward change in status gracefully and without embarrassing spectacle.

Thomas Lifson: House GOP capitulation to Trump ethics tweet is a really big deal – the key here is how direct outreach created influence that could not be ignored.

A Trump tweet was sufficient to generate thousands off outraged calls to members’ offices, an avalanche so potent that no politician would dare ignore it. In short order, like burglars caught in a powerful searchlight, they scuttled the plan and hoped that the whole thing would go away.

This is a reality that makes a good comparison and contrast with Jason Willick at A Leftist Who Gets It – (beware that American Interest is greedy and disrespectful of readers). This might also be considered projection in light of the manner of operation of the Obama administration.

The sophisticated case for optimism about a Trump presidency is that his unconventional political style and force of personality can break the cycle of stagnation and decay. But there is also a real danger that Trump’s hard-to-deny authoritarian impulses, operating against an exhausted political establishment and decaying political institutions, could pave the way for something much worse: A more personalistic style of politics, in which elites negotiate with one another for power and wealth unconstrained by the rule of law. This type of competitive authoritarianism seems to be on the rise all over the world.

Kurt Schlichter: For Democrats, 2017 Will Be The Year of Living Stupidly – predicting the future is usually an indicator of someone gone off the edge. That is when the prediction is based on questionable perception rather than a short extrapolation of current reality. Schlichter’s prediction shows both. It takes the current ‘off the edge’ predictions of the left and makes its own predictions extrapolating from there.

As 2016 ends, progressives enter the new year terrified that Donald Trump will continue to run circles around them, and their epic meltdown is only going to get more epically meltdownier. They’ve been shrill, stupid, and annoying for the last two months, but brace yourself for the next 12. Fear is going to make them go nuts – not the fear that Trump will be a failure, but the gut-wrenching, mind-numbing fear that Donald Trump will be a success.

The left is going to keep freaking out, and it may take well beyond the next 12 months for these losers to realize that it’s just not working, that they have hit bottom yet continued to dig.

We can expect more nonsense along these lines. Everything Trump does will draw howls of anguish. Courageous hashtags like #TheResistance will spread across Twitter. The traditional media will whine all the way down as it falls towards irrelevance. And Trump will march on, heedless of his critics. 2017 has the potential to be awesome.

Gerald K. McOscar: Let Democrats be Democrats – “The two camps are divided as much by opposing worldviews as by opposing political views.”

It is liberals, Ivy League-credentialed, sophisticated, tolerant, open-minded stewards of received wisdom and “settled” science, who are most impervious to facts and resistant to change. Ironically, these putative descendants of Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason function in a world distorted, like a funhouse mirror, by emotion at the expense of reason.

With these respective worlds, so far apart, there is little room for critical thought or intelligent discourse. Mr. Trump will never reach détente with his critics. Thus, he has nothing to lose by doing precisely what he promised if elected.

Cooler heads in the liberal camp have suggested that Democrats stop pointing fingers. They have suggested several ways for their allies to tack closer to reality: stop being insufferable know-it-alls, venture beyond the east coast-west coast liberal echo chambers and extend a hand to folks in flyover country, attempt to give opponents the benefit of the doubt.

Napoleon said, “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”

Republicans should pray without ceasing that Democrats continue to be Democrats.

More on this line by Ed Morrissey: Schumer: Trump better pick a mainstream Supreme Court nominee, or else. As Morrissey notes, the Democrats have made their bed with the Biden principles of 1992 and the Reid assaults on minority protections. They are now facing having to lie in the bed they made.

Then there’s Tyler O’Neil on 7 Desperate Liberal Lies About Trump’s Education Pick Betsy DeVos – the Senate Majority Leader is pointing out the contrast to how Republicans treated Obama’s nominees, too. And that doesn’t even get into the ‘dead wrong’ which so often typifies the Democrat’s attacks (Think Reid on the Senate Floor and his comments about Romney).

Every time President-elect Donald Trump names a cabinet pick, liberals have a field day— how can they paint a Trump pick as racist, elitist, extremist, and all-around evil? These attacks reached a fever pitch against Trump’s selection for secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. … Here are seven attacks liberals launched against her, and explanations of why they are dead wrong.

How about Fake News™ with motive? From an IBT editorial: The Russian Election Hacking Case Is Getting Murkier.

Jeffrey Carr, writing for the liberal site The Intercept, also blasted the DHS/FBI report, saying that it “adds nothing to the call for evidence that the Russian government was responsible for hacking the DNC.”

He goes on to say that “this entire assignment of blame against the Russian government is looking more and more like a domestic political operation run by the White House that relied heavily on questionable intelligence generated by a for-profit cybersecurity firm with a vested interest.”

Added to these concerns is the fact that the mainstream press has been incredibly irresponsible in reporting on Russian actions during the election campaign.

All we do know is that Democrats — from President Obama on down — have an obvious vested interest in blaming Russia, even if there’s little actual evidence to support those accusations.

Jazz Shaw: Facebook’s fight against court issued warrants – he picks up on the moral preening absurdities in the techie community.

What Facebook is doing here is not protecting the privacy of their customers. It’s obstruction of justice. And their insistence on telling the suspects that the government was interested in their postings goes a step further since it could easily be considered aiding and abetting them in escaping prosecution if they immediately went back and deleted any old posts which might have related to Social Security fraud.

Between this and the fight with Apple over phone encryption, the modern tech sector has gotten completely out of hand. Simply owning control of the access to user data doesn’t make one exempt from the law and the government should be asking questions about Facebook at this point, not just the alleged criminals they may be providing cover for.

Steven Hayward: Judith Curry Bids Adieu To Academia – Why? She says: “The deeper reasons have to do with my growing disenchantment with universities, the academic field of climate science and scientists.” It’s time for another venue, one that isn’t so hidebound, bigoted, and leftist.

Betsy McCaughey: Why Medicare isn’t actually going bankrupt – some interesting factoids with implications on future planning.

Medicare spending on end-of-life care is dropping rapidly, down from 19 percent to 13 percent of the Medicare budget since 2000. … in truth, disability and chronic illness are declining among the elderly. … Scientists call this overall improvement in aging “compression of morbidity.” The elderly live longer, stay healthier and have shorter illnesses at the end of life.

The US Preventive Services Task Force … guidelines alarmingly resemble those of Britain, where patients over 75 are routinely denied knee replacements, mastectomies and other surgeries. It’s a slippery slope.

Medicaid spending now is nearing $8,000 per recipient. That’s thousands more than is spent on people in private plans. And for all that money, studies show Medicaid isn’t improving patients’ health.

By contrast, Medicare is a success story. It has transformed aging, enabling older Americans to lead longer, more independent lives than our grandparents did. The average man turning 65 today will live five years longer than in 1970. Not just more years. Quality years. What a gift.

And reports are that Obama has started putting troops in position facing Russia – yet it is Trump they worry about? It is going to be an interesting year.

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Free Speech vs Climate Alarmists

Jonathan H. Adler provides a good overview of the situation as Making Defamation Law Great Again: Michael Mann’s suit may continue.

While a direct accusation of scientific fraud may be actionable — particularly when made against a non-public figure — challenges to scientific conclusions and interpretations of scientific studies are clearly protected by the First Amendment. So are erroneous interpretations of scientific conclusions and — particularly relevant here — criticisms of the conclusions of investigatory bodies.

In refusing to dismiss claims against Steyn and Simberg, the D.C. Court of Appeals placed tremendous weight on the fact that Penn State and other institutions investigated Mann and did not find evidence of academic misconduct. Yet it is the alleged inadequacy of Penn State’s investigation that was the focus of the very posts at issue.

It cannot be that once some official body has conducted an investigation of an individual’s conduct, that further criticism of that individual, including criticism that expressly questions the thoroughness or accuracy of the investigatory body, is off limits. … The court’s approach is particularly problematic here because both Simberg and Steyn offered reasoned (if also intemperate) explanations for why they did not credit the investigations and why they believed that these investigations failed to uncover the misconduct they believe occurred. Yet according to the court, the existence of these investigations could be sufficient for a jury to find, by “clear and convincing evidence,” that they acted with actual malice.

Mark Steyn calls it a Walking in a Legal Wonderland.

Santa has come early and left a lump of coal in my stocking

I was not a party to the appeal, mainly because I’d concluded – after spending the autumn of 2013 listening to two trial judges issuing competing rulings on the same case – that the DC courts were a proceduralist swamp and we might as well move straight to trial. That view of DC’s dysfunction was subsequently confirmed by the lethargy of the Court of Appeals. A month before the appeal’s third anniversary, the court has now issued a very belated ruling as a Christmas Eve news dump. You can read the full order here.

The takeaway is that Mann’s suit against National Review editor (and my old boss) Rich Lowry has been dismissed, but those against me and Rand Simberg will proceed

You won’t be surprised to hear that I disagree with their ladyships. The “sufficient evidence” Dr Mann has supplied are a series of mendacious claims to have been “investigated” and “exonerated” by multiple Anglo-American bodies that did, in fact, do neither.

So I was right not to bother with this proceduralist bollocks

The purpose of the whole sclerotic racket of American jurisprudence is to obstruct up-and-down trials with a nice clean guilty/not-guilty final score, and instead bury the thing in proceduralist flimflammery only the experts can follow.

Then there’s this in another Mark Stetn post

Spot on. It reminds me of the old joke about the procedure for separating the sane from the insane, back when there were “mental asylums” and society tried to keep crazy people inside them instead of running the country.

The intake assessment involved giving each patient a mop and bucket, then locking them in a room and slowly flooding it with water.

As the water level rose, the insane went to work with the mop and bucket.

The sane located the valve and turned off the water.

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Rick Darby

Then there’s Greg Laden: Michael Mann Wins Court Decision (Updated with statement by Mann)

The brief version is this: Mann sued the National Review and others over defamation. That’s a good suit and he’ll probably eventually win it. Climate science deniers have been trying to paint that as a frivolous suit for years, but it isn’t.

This is the sixth out of six decisions that have come down in favor of science

What gets interesting in that is the idea that using the logical fallacies of appeal to authority and ‘vox populi’ (many voices) are good science. The authority is the one that was subject to questioning by Steyn that prompted the lawsuit and the many voices is the “decisions” referenced.

This history condemns both the judicial system and the science establishment by illustrating how a lawsuit can be used to bully opposition and how reason and intellectual integrity can be tossed aside for political ideology.

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Electoral College Assault

There is a lot of discussion about the Electoral College prompted by the massive assault including harrassment and death threats and worse related to the election’s losers. Paul Mirengoff summarizes the situation as The Left Marches on the Electoral College.

The left has been marching relentlessly through our institutions for decades. That’s a major reason why confidence in our institutions — e.g. the mainstream media — is so low.

electors are being asked to ignore the outcome in their states, and the request is backed in some cases by attempts at coercion.

As far as I know, conservatives/Republicans never considered urging the Electoral College to nullify Obama’s victory on this basis (or any other). To do so would not only have been absurd, it would have been obscene.

The same is true of what the left is trying to do now. And the left is doing it without a murmur of disapproval from the Democratic party.

Meanwhile, liberal pundits are calling for president-elect Trump to stop talking about the election in order to “heal” the country.

Faced with claims that his victory was illegitimate, President George W. Bush tried to heal the country. He never denied the thinness of his victory margin and he compromised with Democrats on judges and on some policy matters.

This approach didn’t work out very well for Bush or his party. Trump has a different one in mind, and I don’t blame him.

Then there’s Jazz Shaw who thinks We’ll clearly need to take a fresh look at faithless electors when this is all over.

John Sexton was just writing yesterday about ongoing harassment of and threats to the electors in advance of tomorrow’s vote, but the questions which have come up this cycle are going to linger well into the future.

Even if everything goes off relatively smoothly tomorrow, the gauntlet has been thrown down in terms of whether or not the electors can or should be able to overturn an election.

While there have been some minor skirmishes over individual electors over the years (and a seriously large one in 1836) we haven’t generally politicized the Electoral College all that much. But in the 21st century, everything is up for grabs because politics is now generally accepted as being a bloodsport. Many of our government institutions have operated over the centuries essentially on the honor system, largely because the Founders assumed that those in positions of power would likely be unwilling to do anything too untoward. Well, they never saw 2016 coming, obviously.

We may be forced to fix this situation, but I’m not exactly sure how.

I remain unsure, but this conditions on the ground are getting ugly. The stage has been set for some sort of sore loser, electoral college revolt the next time enough people are angry about the outcome of an election. Even if it’s not happening this year, you can easily imagine it taking place in your lifetime. We’d be wise to figure out how to patch this system up before the dam breaks entirely.

Back on PowerLine, John Hinderaker notes the position of the State Propaganda Machine in Trump Tweets on harassment of electors, and the Associated Press rebuts.

So it’s only fair that the Democrats try to steal the election by threatening and–who knows?–bribing Republican electors! The AP has come out of the closet, in case you hadn’t noticed, as a Democratic Party organ.

The AP tweet took the ‘both sides do it’ by equating Trump’s campaign rhetoric to the assault on the Electoral College. That meme about Trump promoting violence and rioting and other leftist tacts has been shown to be Fake News(tm) but exposure of falsehood doesn’t appear to matter to the AP if it doesn’t fit the story that want to exist.

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Lawless – closest thing to a sci-fi movie plot about body parts

Kelly Riddel thinks it is an An important criminal referral — “Pro-life Republican legislators take aim at Planned Parenthood and its affiliates.”

The committee’s revelations are not based on the CMP videos, but rather 20,000 pages and documents provided voluntarily by the parties, including contracts, invoices, internal cost calculations, medical standards and guidelines, technician compensation policies and tissue procurement logs.

“I don’t take lightly making a criminal referral. But, the seeming disregard for the law by these entities has been fueled by decades of utter failure by the Justice Department to enforce it,” Mr. Grassley said in a statement this week. “And, unless there is a renewed commitment by everyone involved against commercializing the trade in aborted fetal body parts for profit, then the problem is likely to continue.”

In 1993, the House passed the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act which was intended to outlaw the commercial market for fetal tissue. During the 14 years since the law’s passage, the Department of Health and Human Services has never conducted a single audit to ensure it was being enforced, and the Justice Department hasn’t initiated a single prosecution.

Some abhorrent stuff, if the Obama administration were willing to investigate. Instead, Mr. Obama has been working overtime to protect Planned Parenthood. Just this week, the HHS issued a rule that bars states from defunding abortion providers through Title X funds.

It has been law for more than 20 years. Exposure was not difficult. It took horrific video to garner outrage to prompt investigation. Just how important the issue really is can be seen in the reaction of the defense. The attempt to criminalize whistle blowers failed prosecution in Houston but reached the legislature in California. As is often the case for such causes favored by the left, there is misdirection. The right to sell fetus body parts is considered a part of a women’s rights  over her own body and the government’s failing to pay for the activity is considered a denial of health services for women. 

Riddel says there “is a new sheriff in town” and that the 20 year history of turning a blind eye on the law will change. Maybe. The force is strong there.

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If you are worried about interference in the election …

The excuse and blame game brouhaha of the past week has been about the Russians hacked election computers to influence the election results. This is despite no evidence and a bit of confusion about interfering with the voting and the differences between hacking and leaking. Russian and other foreign agents as well as the hobbyist and criminal elements are well known for probing any computer they can find. That’s why security is a big deal and why Clinton’s lack of attention to National Security and her own communications security was a concern.

The evidence is mounting, from what Wikileaks says and from the President’s own behavior in the matter over time, and from a careful reading of the opinions offered by intelligence agencies, that the election computer problems the Democrats encountered were most likely due to leaks by a disgruntled employee or volunteer made easy by loose security practice.

But that’s all distraction. If you are worried about election integrity, consider Harvard Law School professor Lessig and his compatriots. See the story: Harvard Law professor reveals at least 20 GOP electors to vote against Donald Trump — “Convincing 37 GOP electors to break with Trump would throw election to House of Representatives.”

“Our goal is to let the electors exercise their judgment, and what we believe is at least 37 electors will make the judgment not to support Donald Trump” Mr. Lessig told MSNBC. “And if that happens, then of course it goes to the House, and the House has to pick among the top three candidates.”

In other words, it is an explicitly expressed goal to circumvent election law, custom, and procedure. The legal establishment isn’t enamoured with this idea.

At least three states — California, Colorado and Washington — have grappled with lawsuits filed by electors seeking to deviate from the popular vote.

In Washington, a federal judge rejected Wednesday a bid by two “faithless electors” — in this case, two electors who would be expected to support Hillary Clinton — for an injunction that would allow them to vote their conscience.

Washington state’s secretary of state spokesman Dave Ammons said any Democratic electors in Washington who bolt from Mrs. Clinton will face the possibility of civil penalties, which would be a first since the law binding electors to the popular vote was passed in 1977.

In Colorado, Secretary of State Wayne Williams wants to stop the electors before they become faithless. After a judge ruled Tuesday that such electors may be replaced, he began working with the state Democratic Party to line up substitutes.

But the Democrats are nothing but creative, persistent, and totally without integrity. See how they are using the manufactured Russian allegations and innuendo for political ends:

Another group of more than 50 electors — again, mostly Democrats — led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s daughter Christine, a California elector, have signed a letter demanding an intelligence briefing on allegations of Russian interference in the campaign.

Only one member of the Pelosi group, Chris Suprun of Texas, is a Republican.

opponents of Mr. Trump are determined to fight until the last Electoral College ballot is cast. Left-wing groups such as Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Americans Take Action and Democracy Spring are organizing protests at the 50 state capitols to coincide with the electoral vote.

Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia bind their electors to the popular vote, but Mr. Lessig said Mr. Trump’s victory gives them a “moral reason” to deviate from the will of the voters.

“[T]hey have a moral or ethical obligation once they take the pledge, and they must vote that way unless there’s a moral reason not to vote that way, and the disqualification or failure of a candidate not to live up to the qualifications would be one such reason, and that’s exactly the issue that’s raised by this election,” Mr. Lessig said. “The Electoral College was made for this election precisely.”

It is incredible that a Harvard Law professor would completely dismiss the basis for his profession and show such ignorance of the Constitution. The electoral college exists to protect minorities from just the kind of moral supremacy and hubris that he thinks should be supreme. That lawyer should be aware that he is involved in a conspiracy to thwart the law and improperly influence election processes. This is the depth to which the Democratic Party has sunk and if there is any need for fear, it isn’t the election result but rather the extent to which the losing party is willing to go to impugn, discredit, and overthrow it.

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Actions have consequences

One of the problems in ‘modern’ debate is that of confusing correlation and causation. Trying to determine the consequences of actions can be difficult when it comes to expression of values, multiple contributing factors, and indirect paths of causation. The assault on cops provides a study. It correlates with the left’s obsession with racism over the last few years, the construction of outrages based on false narratives such as police racism, and the equality in criminality fantasies.

John Hinderaker takes up the situation in describing how The War on Cops Comes to San Antonio.

San Antonio police officer Benjamin Marconi was writing a traffic ticket outside police headquarters earlier today when a motorist pulled up behind him, got out of his car, approached Marconi and shot him twice in the head. The murderer got back into his car and drove away.

A law enforcement officer here in Minnesota sent me a link to an article in Police magazine titled “Why So Many Police Are Being Murdered.” The author, Dr. Ron Martinelli, describes the recent killings of police officers in Lancaster and Palm Springs, California. He recounts the perpetrators’ lengthy criminal records; as usual, the first question is why these men were not in prison.

The American educational system no longer teaches civics in school. Students no longer learn about our justice system and its components. They know nothing about what their civil rights are and, more importantly, are not. They have no knowledge of the important role of police in our society and therefore have not been taught proper behavior and respect for police authority during police encounters. This allows subversive groups such as Black Lives Matter to spew the false narratives of hate and to perpetuate the lie that police are the “bad guys” and armed recidivist offenders are somehow the “good guys.” This circumstance breeds resistance and exacerbates violent, armed and deadly encounters with police.


Martinelli identifies broader societal trends that underlie the War On Cops:

While a new administration in Washington won’t solve the problem overnight, Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions will not contribute to the undermining of law enforcement, as Barack Obama and Eric Holder have done. This may prove to be one of the greatest virtues of the Trump administration.

Even now, those who riot are not being condemned. Those who abuse their positions in the name of “free speech” are being lauded and not shamed. There continues to be stories about teachers making lesson plans for subversion and ideological propaganda that belie true history. These actions have consequences. Police assassinations are one but only a link in a chain. Baltimore and other leftist run cities face the conundrum of their support of an anti-police ethos and it is a downhill slide.

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Blowback: enough already. The ‘other’ side is gaining its voice.

There’s blowback. Whether it’s objection to lecturing by the cast of a Broadway play, to disputing the presumptions in news interviews, to cataloging misbehaviors, there is a fresh breeze in the public square. Feldman provides one example in the previous post. Here are two more.

Jazz Shaw reports that The time has come for the “Suck it up, Buttercup” bill

We’ve long since grown used to stories coming from the nation’s college campuses where “safe spaces” are set up for everything from Halloween costumes to the results of the presidential election. But some universities have taken it a step further, setting up special counseling sessions for “grieving” students and additional classes, much of it on the taxpayer dime. The Ivy League schools have gone so far as to consider making themselves miniature “sanctuary cities” to protect illegal immigrants on campus from anticipated increases in law enforcement efforts.

One GOP member of the Iowa state legislature decided earlier this week that the madness needs to stop and has introduced a bill being very appropriately nicknamed the Suck It Up, Buttercup Act.

There’s more to this legislation than meets the eye. The top line item is the obvious one, providing for cuts to funding for schools which could add up to double what they spend on all of this safe space and hand wringing activity.

But a second feature of this bill will, I’m guessing, garner a lot more popular support. It proposes to impose additional criminal penalties on people who intentionally block the highways as part of their “protests and free speech.”

David Rosenthal A New Defense for Religious Liberty: Going on Offense against Bad Laws

It is no secret that religious liberty is under attack. The wedding photographer, florist, and cake baker are no longer able to practice their faith at work without fear of retribution for refusing to fall in line with the new government orthodoxy.

One way to preserve the American conscience is for individuals to pre-emptively put unjust laws on trial by way of pre-enforcement challenges.

Pre-enforcement challenges have a long pedigree in free speech cases, which carries over into the religious liberty context.

ith the principle in mind, ADF recently launched a pre-enforcement challenge in support of religious liberty on behalf of clients in Arizona.

The culture war will rage on, but pre-enforcement challenges have the potential to provide refuge for conscientious objectors who want to live out their faith in the marketplace without fear of prosecution for doing so. It is time to put bad laws on trial before bad laws are able to do worse to conscientious objectors.

To date, it’s been the riots, the over-riding of individual liberties, the libel and slander, and the destruction of culture that has dominated the news. It is about time that the opposition to such efforts stands up for its day in the ‘debate.’

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About that election: the why on display

The ugliness, the hate, the narrow-mindedness, the violence, the authoritarianism of the liberal left unleashed by the election of Donald J. Trump (R), despised by the self-proclaimed dealers of peace, tolerance, love, and open-mindedness, as documented here by Carol Brown and other right-thinking media (and minimized by the so-called mainstream media), is revealing.

Remember, this isn’t the alt liberal-left – the fringe. These are the feelings, the attitudes, and the beliefs of a substantial proportion of liberals.

Ethel C. Fenig says Threatening to assassinate the president has consequences.

Dominating the culture for so long, these lefties thought they could do anything and get away with it. But they can’t.

For instance, Matt Harrigan, CEO of cyber-security firm PacketSled, is, like most of the Silicon Valley executives, bright but arrogant and condescending to those who disagree with him. Despite Harrigan’s wishes, Trump was elected. And so Harrigan publicly announced he would assassinate Trump.

Not surprisingly many of the liberal left, in all its non-peace-loving, narrow-minded glory, approved.

But others didn’t, so Harrigan offered a weak apology, blaming those offended for being offended at his mighty, superior self.

The question is that these rioters, called “protestors” to minimize their extreme and unseemly behavior, are demonstrating just what the election was about. It is related to the LA Police saying they won’t enforce the law in regards to immigration or the mayor of Chicago claiming his city will maintain a pledge of diversity and remain a ‘sanctuary city’ for illegals despite its soaring crime.

Even ‘friends’ on social media talk about Republicans the way the KKK used to talk about blacks. They prognosticate about evil deeds yet to come despite no evidence or history that could be extrapolated to validate such fears.

It has been noted that many of rioters are paid – advertisements for hiring have been noted on Craig’s List. The rioters in Portland appear to be mostly folks who did not vote in the election. Some Democrats in leadership positions remain quiet and muted in objection but many praise the riots. Again, the law means nothing if it gets in the way of the left. That is why the voters spoke out they way they did. 

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Why the electoral college?

Allahpundit picks up on Eric Holder: C’mon, let’s get rid of the electoral college. The topic comes up every time someone’s candidate for president loses, it seems. There is good reason for the electoral college and it is related to the distinction between the House and the Senate. Nevada provides an example of what can happen as the city of Las Vegas can swamp the desires of voters in the rest of the state.

The point of the Electoral College is simple: to restrict the power of the majority. There’s a tendency to forget that majority rule is only half of a free country — the other half is the protection of the rights of the minority, of the dissenters. This is why our federal government has two legislative houses instead of one. The House of Representatives is filled on the majority-rule principle, with greater power given to larger states; the Senate, on the minority-protection principle, with equal power given to each state no matter its size…

Remember: The constitution intends that most laws be made on a scale much smaller than the federal government, where the individual voter has, proportionally, a much greater say, and where local problems can be dealt with without affecting unconcerned strangers. The federal government is the federation of one level of distinct law-making units — the states — and a direct presidential election would mean that problems unique to sparsely populated parts of the country would be irrelevant to the president.

This time the election was won by people who want government out of their lives. The riots and angst is in the crowd that wants to get into other people’s lives by imposing regulations, taxes, and restrictions on defined rights. Which was the minority is not quite clear as the vote difference was in the noise. Either way, the national election at least gave the minority in flyover country a voice and that is very likely a better situation than those in the wilds of Nevada got. 

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Can the protests

The news is full of stories about rioters who encountered reality in election results. As per usual, for example the Dakota pipeline standoff, there is little to condemn the destruction and violence. There are other actions of ‘protest’ that can be more easily dropped. These are actions being defended in the courts. Stephen Dinan says Trump can eviscerate Obama’s policies by dropping lawsuits, revoking memos.

Forget about waiting for Congress — Donald Trump can eviscerate Obamacare and cripple President Obama’s global warming framework all on his first few days in office by directing policy from the White House and ordering his Justice Department to drop lawsuits that the current administration is pursuing.

There is precedent for making those kinds of decisions. Mr. Turley pointed to the Obama administration’s refusal to defend in courts the Defense of Marriage Act, which was enacted by Congress and signed by President Clinton.

Mr. Kobach said a Trump administration could also put an end to sue-and-settle practices. That is when agencies essentially collude with interest groups, inviting them to sue to force action. The agency then agrees to a settlement that ends up writing rules that the interest groups want.

“The Trump administration is going to have to clean out the Justice Department from top to bottom because of the complete politicalization by [Attorney Generals Eric H.] Holder and [Loretta E.] Lynch that destroyed the professionalism and ethics of the department — it will be a monumental task as difficult as Hercules having to clean out the Augean stables,”

The (mis)use of the legal system is a hallmark of the left. It avoids Congress to put validity of lawmaking on the courts. It is this sort of dictatorial action that the current riots fear will happen while they ignore what has happened. Dinan describes a number of issues that can be resolved simply by an administration dropping the case. This includes cases currently being promoted, like the bathroom demands, to cases currently being defended. like questionable spending.

There is a lot of talk about “compromise” and getting ‘buy in from the other side of the aisle’ no matter principle. One thesis for the election of 2016 is that the people have said enough of this. Republicans falling back into that mode of presumed civility and honest debate – again – is a fear of those who realize just how the left operations. It is time to draw the line and put legislation back into the hands of Congress and keep its formation out of the hands of the executive. 

Right now, The President’s Diktat is soft, a matter of executive order and administration policy. It has not been set in concrete by courts and custom as has happened with many un-constitutional ideas of the 20th century (see Charles Murray’s books). It may be this that those promoting the riots fear. They have a lot invested in putting their ideas forward and they have not set, yet. A new president could easily dismantle the molds before they set and set their efforts back.

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Tit4Tat

Trump has made election fraud an issue in this campaign. That was stimulated by court rulings favoring Democrat efforts to fight voter ID laws, the Holder DoJ dropping campaign intimidation campaigns by Democrat ethnic groups, and the many stories of the dead voting and other irregularities at the voting booth. What’s a Democrat to do? How about nuisance lawsuits? In several states, Democrats have filed for injunctions about Republican voter intimidation and other misbehavior. Andrea Noble reports: Courts dismiss Democrats’ claims of ‘vigilante voter intimidation’ efforts.

In Arizona, U.S. District Judge John J. Tuchi found that the Arizona Democratic Party had not provided enough evidence to support the issuance of a temporary restraining order against the Trump campaign and Mr. Stone, noting that several of the campaign’s public statements that were cited as evidence of intimidation were taken out of context.

“One can seriously question the wisdom of stirring up supporters about a controversial issue, encouraging them to go to a precinct that is not their own, and telling them to look for ‘voter fraud’ without defining what it is, leaving individuals to their own devices to figure out how to go about that task,” Judge Tuchi wrote in an order issued Friday. “But whatever the shortcomings of the Trump campaign’s statements on this issue might be, simply arguing there is voter fraud and urging people to watch out for it is not, without more, sufficient to justify the extraordinary relief that an injunction constitutes.”

While early voting was underway in the state, the judge found that Democrats failed to provide evidence of “any attempts at voter intimidation, or any voter reporting they felt intimidated, during this cycle.”

Of course, if the Democrats hold true to form for the left, losing a few nuisance lawsuits isn’t going to deter the effort. They will keep at it until they find some irregularity they can trumpet as a “see! I told you so!” or until they find some judge who will let them proceed. It is like on report on the Watergate comparisons being flawed because Nixon put the country first and resigned. That sort of thing isn’t very common with Democrats as the country does not hold much value to them which is why Trump’s “make America great again” slogan resonates.

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Trump keeps coming up right.

An IBD editorial wonders: Clinton Foundation Scandal: A Justice Department Cover-Up Exposed?. Of course, it is Trump’s money that has been subject to allegation but also, as usual, investigation in that direction does not find anything. Looking the other direction is a different matter. The State Propaganda Machine spends more time lambasting Trump’s crude and vulgar and ugly and demeaning and so on comments about the election being rigged or the Russian influence or the other problems he sees that everyone with eyeballs can see too.

One report has it that there are at least five FBI investigations into Clinton related corruption. One of them is has roots going back to the Holder decision to not worry about Black Panthers guarding a voting station. It is about the corruption in the DoJ itself.

Now it appears that Justice has successfully sidelined a critical investigation into the corrupt Clinton Foundation purely for political reasons. If so, then the Justice Department itself is guilty of obstructing justice.

This is the very definition of a “rigged system.”

There is a mad scrambling to defend against the light of day. Trump is getting more of those ‘he was right about that’ judgments as more see that he was talking about the shape of the forest and his detractors are trying to put his comments as talking about individual insect eaten leaves. That only goes so far. Maybe.

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