Archive for Justice and Law

Kill Chic or who’s your hero?

Kill Chic by Victor Davis Hanson – “In movies, novels, music, and art, progressives murder their enemies, including presidents, in myriad ways.” Don’t confuse leading from following, advocating a value versus describing one already in existance.

“We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping flesh, as if it is some sort of macabre ballet. Rap music has institutionalized violence against women and the police — to the tune of billions in profits, largely as a way for suburban kids to find vicarious street authenticity. And this idea of metaphorically cutting, bleeding, or shooting those whom you don’t like without real consequences has seeped into the national political dialogue.

For example, why does popular culture wink and nod at the widespread metaphorical killing of Republican presidents? Liberals used to believe that words mattered and images had consequences; the casual glorification of carnage trivialized violence and only made it more acceptable — and likely.

such kill chic is hardly new — and hardly a result of Trump’s sometimes reckless tweets or undisciplined outbursts.

What explains the rules of a rather disgusting genre of assassination, decapitation, or kill chic? Most obviously, presidential conservatives are targeted, while Obama flirts with those who artistically indulge in fantasy interracial killings. And the rules over the last two decades seem pretty clear:

There were a lot of Heroes in Parkland and every now and then a story pops up about them. There’s the coach and part time guard who tried to shield some students. An ROTC cadet (West Point Posthumously Accepts Fallen Parkland JRTOC Student) also stepped up to the plate and was honored, post-humorously, by the army. But what do we hear from a society that wants to take self defense capabilities away from honest citizens but give hypodermic needles to drug addicts; who organize and pay for political riot field trips while forcing the school band to raise its own funds for a trip to the Rose Parade? Take a look (from Lucianne): Mother of Exploited Shooting Survivor Turns Out to Be A CNN VIP & Anti-Trump Activist by Peter D’Abrosca – “If you like what Trump is currently doing please unfriendly [sic] or block me because you won’t like what I am going to begin posting.” And Soros-Linked Organizers of “Women’s March” Selected Anti-Trump Kids to Be Face of Parkland Tragedy – And Excluded Pro-Trump Kids by Lucian Wintrich – “Following the recent Parkland shooting, a number of “movements” and activist groups popped up, and the standout similarity across all of them is that they’re fronted by teenagers.”

“Controversy has abounded as teenagers lecture Americans on gun ownership and the Second Amendment.

Is this organic, grassroots teen activism in the wake of a horrible tragedy, or are these children being exploited in an orchestrated effort to serve the political interests of adults?

“This afternoon, the Gateway Pundit received a tip from a father of one of the Parkland school shooter survivors. Concerned and enraged, he confirmed what Gateway Pundit previously reported: these children are being used as political tools by the far left to further anti-Conservative rhetoric and an anti-gun agenda. The students at the forefront of this agenda were all peers of his child, they were all members of the same drama club at their high school. This fact was verified and confirmed by Buzzfeed who sent a reporter to visit the student activists at their “command center” at one of their homes. Buzzfeed reported on, but left unexplored, the fact that these students are theater-trained

We already reported that one of the student’s fathers, Hogg, was a former FBI agent. We now know the other radical groups behind the recent activism.

Behind the teenagers, working as the string-pullers, are the same people behind the Women’s March. They are vehemently anti-gun, anti-American, and anti-Trump – this is part of their sales pitch.

Powell: ‘Pretty Shocking’ That So Many American Youths Lack Smarts, Fitness for Military by Nicholas Ballasy – “One of the problems we’re having, and this is scary, it’s not just the African-American community, it’s all of our American young people” (yes, Powell does have a race problem as shown here)

“They can’t get through the basic exam that we give them. Now, c’mon, it’s not that hard of a test, but even high school kids who graduated high school can’t get through this exam. Secondly, criminal records; third, drug use; and fourth, obesity. And if you are very obese the army doesn’t want that medical problem, rightly. So we still get the number we need but it is pretty shocking that only 25 percent of our young people are eligible for service,” he said.

Guns and school shootings: The dirty and deadly big secret by Christopher Natale – “In the aftermath of yet another horrific mass murder of innocents, we are, as always, besieged by calls for stricter gun control laws, from the daily media buffet of rallies and protests to politicians spewing what now has become a familiar script.”

“Guns in the hands of the wrong people is certainly a bad thing, and good steps to deter this should be welcome. But today, too many of the wrong people are just mixed up, over-medicated young adults whose triggers to committing unspeakable acts of violence are manufactured not necessarily in gun factories, but perhaps in chemistry labs.

Try enforcing existing gun laws before launching new ones by Andrew Malcolm – “Here we go again with yet another “national conversation” about guns that is neither a conversation nor national. And not productive.”

Cries to ‘Ban the AR-15’ Based on Ignorance and Hysteria By Michael Filozof – “The pure ignorance of the people bleating for a ban on America’s most popular rifle is appalling. … Even some in professional law enforcement know not of what they speak.”

“Banning the AR-15 to stop school shooters would be like banning Boeing 757s to stop terrorist attacks after 9/11. You’ve never heard anyone say, “Nobody needs to fly through the air at 600 mph. Look at how many people died because of those dangerous jetliners!” Would liberal journalists, who advocate repealing the Second Amendment and banning guns, agree to a repeal of the First Amendment and impose a ban on computers, digital cameras, and video cameras because child pornographers use them? I doubt it.

Banning AR-15s is not the answer to school shootings. Neither the Columbine killers nor Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho, nor University of Texas shooter Charles Whitman, used AR-15s, and all of them managed to commit terrible crimes.

School shootings are absolutely unacceptable. But banning modern firearms is equally unacceptable. Nor would it be effective: Norway’s stringent gun control failed to stop Anders Breivik from killing 77 people; France’s ban on “assault weapons” didn’t stop the Bataclan shooters from killing 130; and Egypt’s rifle ban didn’t stop the massacre of 305 worshipers at a Sinai mosque last year. Britain’s total confiscation of handguns and semi-automatic rifles failed to prevent Derrick Bird from shooting 23 people (12 fatally) with a bolt-action .22 in 2010.

In Federalist #10, James Madison warned us about the tyranny of the majority, in which a faction “united … by some common impulse of passion … adverse to the rights of other citizens” vies for power and control. That is exactly what we are seeing today, with emotionally charged teenagers, skillfully manipulated and amplified by the liberal media, braying for a majority of the public to acquiesce to the abridgment of the gun rights of the sane and the decent.

Self-Driving Issues at xkcd has a relevant cartoon about fears and the pop-up says – “if most people turn into murderers all of a sudden, we’ll need to push out a firmware update or something.”

Ace: John Kasich: We Need to Start Talking About Banning AR-15s – There is an awareness that is growing about the people and society and that is a necessary first step.

“As they no longer have the support of actual conservatives, the liberal wing of the Republican Party is now liberated to tell us what they really believe — and tip us off as to why they just could never accomplish the agenda items they swore upon stacks of Bibles that they were totally in favor of for 20 years.

They’ve been running a con on us for decades, secretly working with the Democrats to block conservative agenda items while pretending to support them.

Now that #WokeNormals (as Kurt Schlichter says) have caught on to this crooked game, they feel less of a need to pretend. Now they’ll just straight-up join the liberals that they’ve always covertly been working in tandem with.

They’re exactly who we thought they were, and yet all these years we let them sabotage us from the inside.

Meanwhile, also in Ohio, 250 Teachers Sign Up for 50 Seats at Concealed Carry Training Session by Awr Hawkins – “Butler County, Ohio, Sheriff Richard K. Jones offered free concealed carry training for 50 teachers and 250 teachers responded within 24 hours.”

“He stressed that he wants teachers to understand what they can do with a gun if an armed attacker enters the classroom. And while he cannot delegate the authority for teachers to carry on a given campus–that is a school board decision–Jones said he wants the teachers to be ready if their school board so chooses.

New hot ticket for Ohio teachers: free concealed carry classes by Jazz Shaw describes some of the other ideas from Sheriff Jones of Butler County, Ohio to address school shootings.

Toxic Liberalism Created Nikolas Cruz by Brandon J. Weichert – “America’s inexorable decline continues.” See lead paragraph for contrast with ‘just who are your heroes?’

“The Left’s anti-gun and pernicious “toxic masculinity” agendas have fused, and become a widely popular belief. But, neither guns nor masculinity were the cause of Parkland high school shooting. In fact, it was the lack of masculinity — or the toxicity of what modern American Liberalism defines as worthwhile male behavior today — that spurred Nikolas Cruz on in his dastardly deeds last week.

What kind of man does society value?

MSNBC anchor: Kids or guns. What do you value more? By Allahpundit – “this makes twice in five days that someone on MSNBC has waxed sanctimonious about the value of children’s lives, oblivious to the elephant in the room.”

The first gerrymander by Paul Mirengoff – “The bottom line is that instead of gerrymandering by partisan legislators, Pennsylvania now has gerrymandering by partisan judges (Pennsylvania elects its Supreme Court judges), assisted by a partisan law professor.” Where does the Left go when they can’t get the vote?

SCOTUS passes on challenge to yet another gun law bt Jazz Shaw – “This is becoming disturbingly repetitive and depressing.”

“Weren’t we supposed to have a “conservative Supreme Court” now? Perhaps not so much when it comes to the Second Amendment. After the Heller decision was handed down, the Supremes have seemed terribly gun shy (if you’ll pardon the phrase) about taking up any more cases affecting the rights of gun owners.

In a 14-page dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas said the high court’s “continued inaction” in the area of gun rights indicates that it does not put the Second Amendment on equal footing with other amendments in the bill of rights.

“If a lower court treated another right so cavalierly, I have little doubt that this Court would intervene,” Justice Thomas wrote. “But as evidenced by our continued inaction in this area, the Second Amendment is a disfavored right in this Court.”

But to be fair, they’ve allowed the states to run roughshod over some other rights as well. Freedom of religion is sacrosanct unless you don’t want to bake a cake for gay couple’s wedding. Freedom of speech is rock solid unless you’re talking about political speech as it’s performed through campaign donations or union dues. There are limits to everything, it seems. In some cases they make sense, but in others it looks like a matter of convenience or fear of dipping a toe into highly contentious subjects. That’s what we seem to be observing here.

Stop Mistaking Evil for Mental Illness by Trevor Thomas – “For decades, we have witnessed the psychiatric community taking acts long considered evil, or at least immoral and illegal, and deeming them a “psychological disorder” that needs to be cured.”

“However, it’s a disaster for the culture. As C.S. Lewis lamented in his essay “The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment,” when it comes to crime and punishment, we too often are facing off with those who believe “that all crime is more or less pathological.” Thus, instead of the criminal “getting what he deserves” – what used to be called “justice” – we must heal or cure him, and, as Lewis puts it, “punishment becomes therapeutic.”

This “humanitarian” approach removes from punishment the concept of “desert” (pronounced d’ZERT).

When a wicked government has in its hands such a view of crime and punishment, it will possess a “finer instrument of tyranny than wickedness ever had before. For if crime and disease are to be regarded as the same thing, it follows that any state of mind which masters choose to call ‘disease’ can be treated as crime; and compulsory cured.”

A culture that confuses evil with sickness and refuses to see evil for what it is and deal with it accordingly does no favors for those guilty of evil, their victims, the culture at large, or those who are truly mentally ill.

Capitalism Is Alive and Well by Larry Alton – “While there’s always room in America for debate and the marketplace of ideas, it’s astonishing that people continue to question the effectiveness of capitalism.”

“In case you’ve become so inundated with the calls for socialism over the past decade that you’ve started to question your sanity, let’s have a bit of a refresher on why capitalism works and how it benefits the government, the marketplace, businesses, families, and individuals.

What if the News Reported Only Facts? By Scott Adams – “The common view we see from the mainstream media is that President Trump is a monster and there is no doubt about it. In support of that view, they offer plenty of evidence. And by evidence, I mean they hallucinate they can read minds.”

“My interpretation of what we all have watched for the past two-and-a-half years is that the anti-Trump media created the “monster” version of Trump based on mind-reading punditry. Factual reporting would not have created that impression in the public’s mind. The public had to be primed, and it had to be reminded every day by the mind-reading pundits that Trump was a monster.

The mind-reading pundits have done a horrible disservice to the country, although I suspect most were operating under the illusion they can accurately read the mind of strangers. And in one of the most successful persuasion plays in history, the anti-Trump media pinned the blame for rising racial tensions on Trump. To be fair, he made it easy. Even I graded him an F in race relations. But not because I can read his mind. I just think he could have done a lot more to persuade-away the Trump-monster illusion created by his detractors.

What if … what if the news didn’t sound so much like the analog of the adventures of Alice?

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Live Action Role Playing (pretending to save the Universe!)

How the Left Plays at Oppression and Encourages Tyrants by Sarah Hoyt – “And then on my blog, someone put this entire behavior in perspective for me.”

“In my community, that is, among science fiction and fantasy writers, readers and fans, there is an activity called LARPing, aka Live Action Role Playing. If you think about it as the thing children used to do while playing cowboys and Indians (or in my case Robin Hood versus the Sheriff) you won’t be far wrong.

the commenter on my blog said: “These people are oppression LARPing.” And it all became crystal clear.

The left is playing at being oppressed and being brave resisters because they know they aren’t.

What they get out of it is an unwarranted good opinion of themselves, and the mistaken idea that everyone who sees their “bravery” admires them.

They do not realize that their LARPing is endangering a duly elected government, or, ultimately, our form of government. Nor do they realize that the people emboldened and made stronger by their posturing are tyrants in waiting, wishing to grow the power of government so they, personally, can control all.

Unless they can be brought to reality, their play is going to hurt all of us.

This Isn’t Normal by Ben Shapiro – “Like self-appointed superheroes so intent on stopping an alien monster that they end up destroying the entire city, our media are so focused on stopping Trump that they end up undermining both their credibility and faith in American institutions.” He starts off with a questionable apologia which indicates he still has a ways to go himself but he’s getting there. He sees what Hoyt sees, too.

“Trump isn’t a normal president. But the threat to our institutions doesn’t reside only at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. — or even primarily there. It resides with those who are willing to side with any enemy and violate every rule in order to stop the supposed threat of Trump.

AceImportant Breaking News from CNN: Woman Recounts Her Several Minor Brush-Offs of Dates Who Voted Trump as If They’re High Drama.

“The human brain craves struggle and stress. Well, crave is the wrong word — it expects struggle and stress. It expects competition, and risk, and sometimes loss, and sometimes triumph.

No stress, no struggle — that’s good. That means no unsatisfied hunger, no days of desperate want.

But it also means no triumph.

People’s brains sense that something is missing.

And many people’s brains decide, unfortunately, to fill that gap by inventing silly, stupid dramas in their lives.

People with lives of actual interest and consequences do not have to blow trivial incidents into battles of good and evil unseen since The Two Towers.

Now you can’t paint over graffiti on your own building by Jazz Shaw – Justice?

“Property laws are among some of the oldest in our legal code. They are woven into the fundamental definition of capitalism. There may be local regulations about how and where you can build or certain community standards about the structure’s appearance. But if someone puts “art” on the outside of your building you are stuck with it forever? What if there was an earthquake and the building fell down?

If this judgment stands it’s going to be one more chunk chipped out of the wall of sanity in this country.

Judicial Resistance: Another judge tells Trump he can’t end DACA on March 5 by William A. Jacobson – “A continuing pattern of usurping Executive Branch authority and substituting judicial policy preferences.” Quoting Mark Joseph Stern:

“A judge’s comments on policy like this are highly offensive, and disrespectful of the Legislative and Executive Branches. Judges have the solemn responsibility to examine the law impartially. The Judiciary is not a superior or policy-setting branch. It is co-equal. Those who ignore this duty and follow their own policy views erode the rule of law and create bad precedents and, importantly, undermine the public respect necessary for the courts to function properly.

McClatchy: Dems hitting red alert over Trump polling by Ed Morrissey –

“One party may have demonstrated competence and seriousness issues in governance in 2017, but the other party is showing it doesn’t take anything seriously in 2018, especially economic reality. If all they can talk about is Trump’s behavior, they’ll be doing it from the back benches until at least 2020.

Scandal, Corruption, Lawbreaking — And So What? By Victor Davis Hanson – “The FISA-gate, Clinton emails, and Uranium One scandals are sort of reaching a consensus.”

“Many things quite wrong and illegal were done by both Hillary Clinton and her entourage and members of the Obama agencies and administration — both the acts themselves and the cover-ups and omissions that ensued.

Remember, in the FISA-gate scandal such likely widespread criminal behavior was predicated on two premises: 1) certainty of an easy Clinton victory, after which the miscreants would be not only excused but probably rewarded for their zeal; 2) progressive hubris in which our supposedly moral betters felt it their right, indeed their duty, to use unethical and even unlawful means for the “greater good” — to achieve their self-described moral ends of stopping the crude and reactionary Trump.

These scandals will grow even greater before various congressional investigations expire.

But then what?

In some sense, we are in uncharted territory — given the misadventure of appointing Robert Mueller as special counsel. His team is now replaying the role of Patrick Fitzgerald in the Scooter Libby case: investigating a crime that did not exist and that even if it did was committed by someone else.

Mueller’s appointment makes resolution of FISA-gate and its associated scandals more difficult to resolve.

professed civil libertarians, hard-hitting investigative reporters, and skeptics of nontransparent and overreaching federal agencies are now insidiously defending not the just the indefensible, but what they have claimed to have fought against their entire lives.

Democrats in extremis may concede …

Accepting any of these obfuscations would be a grave mistake.

Voters would only grow more cynical if some Americans were allowed to abuse constitutionally protected civil liberties, and to lie to the Congress, the FBI, and the courts, while the less connected others go to jail for much less. Without a judicial accounting, it will be impossible to clean up the hierarchies of the FBI and the DOJ.

Indeed, absent accountability and punishment, the new modus operandi would be for any lame- duck incumbent administration to use federal agencies to enhance the campaign of its own party’s nominee. It would be only logical to conclude that criminal acts used to help a successor would be forgotten or rewarded under the victor’s tenure.

Pretending Our Way To Decline by Paul Mirengoff – “I must reluctantly agree with Charles Cooke’s take on this pseudo-controversy: “We’re screwed.”

“We’re screwed as a polity if we must pretend that our system of law isn’t what it actually is — Anglo-American — lest we be accused of racism.

We’re screwed if we must pretend that black students in public schools are suspended and otherwise disciplined at a disproportionately high rate (including by black teachers) mainly because of their race rather than because of their behavior and, underlying that behavior, their upbringing and family structure. And if we must therefore relax disciplinary standards. Lest we be accused of racism.

We’re screwed if we apply the same kind of fiction to adult criminals and redefine what’s a crime and what’s a proper criminal sentence in an attempt to create racially equal outcomes in our (until now Anglo-American) justice system. Lest we be accused of racism.

We’re screwed if we must pretend that personal and cultural “identity” are irrevocably tied to skin color, and have this doctrine taught to our children as a matter of fact. Lest we be accused of racism.

It’s all in the air and the juggler’s objects will all come down eventually. 

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The Upside Down

Un-Candid in Camera by Mark Steyn – “the questions it raises about state corruption in an age of round-the-clock technological surveillance are far more profound.”

“the dossier is not “evidence” but a mere simulacrum of evidence – a stage prop to lay before the FISA court judge to get him to sign off on Trump surveillance.

In order to pull that off, the fact that the dossier is garbage from a paid partisan could not be disclosed to the judge.

Mr Page has committed no crime and been charged with none, but is routinely spoken of in the press as if he has been.

But the FBI didn’t care what it did to Carter Page – because he was necessary to get them to Trump.

The DoJ/FBI did not “inform the tribunal of all material facts” but misled the judge, seriously, on fundamental matters necessary to “enable the tribunal to make an informed decision”. They misled him/her as to the nature of the document, its provenance, its credibility, the motivations of its author, and his financial ties to the Clinton camp.

In the middle of all this is an American citizen who was put under 24/7 surveillance by the panopticon state because it enabled the ruling party to eavesdrop on its political opponent.

Was It Worth It? By Richard Fernandez – “former Attorney General and Obama stalwart Eric Holder warned it would damage American intelligence capabilities. … When the memo was actually released it superficially had nothing to do with cloak and dagger and much more to do with domestic politics.”

“If any intelligence assets were compromised, they were placed at risk by the dossier itself.

It should be hard for any American of whatever persuasion to exult in the FBI’s weakness on full display. A very important agency, on which the safety of the U.S. and the world significantly depends, has been shown at the very minimum to be vulnerable to bad judgment. Confirmation bias alters what is perceived as a threat.

Bias is dangerous because the feds need to look in places even when they’re not sure they’ll find anything. They have to play hunches even when they suspect a tip was tainted. They even need to be allowed to make mistakes if, in the main, they get it right. But they must always be honest about the uncertainty in their investigation not only with the judge but most of all to themselves because that’s all that stands between human justice and abuse.

Ironically, Eric Holder was right about the memorandum being damaging to U.S. intelligence capabilities — but not in the obvious way. The Nunes memo hurt the intelligence community not because it revealed any secret codes, hideouts or agent names. It damaged intel because it showed what fools they were.

The Ticking Memo by Victor Davis Hanson – “The House Intelligence Committee memo is pretty simple. It should not have been classified and thus far withheld from the public. In fact, far more information now needs to be released.”

“Despite the outcry, as Chairman Devin Nunes clarified, the memo can easily be in the near future supported or refuted by adducing official documents. In other words, the memo makes a series of transparent statements and leaves it up to the criminal-justice system and the public to ascertain subsequent criminal liability. It is likely that the basic accuracy of the document will not be questioned, but rather opponents, some of them mentioned in the memo, will either ask why the resulting embarrassing information needed to be aired or insist that there are only minor possible crimes in the events it narrates, or both. Remember, officials from the FBI supposedly read the memo before its release to ensure that there were not factual errors or misrepresentations.

If all this is not a scandal — then the following protocols are now considered permissible in American electoral practice and constitutional jurisprudence: An incumbent administration can freely use the FBI and the DOJ to favor one side in a presidential election, by buying its opposition research against the other candidate, using its own prestige to authenticate such a third-party oppositional dossier, and then using it to obtain court-ordered wiretaps on American citizens employed by a candidate’s campaign — and do so by deliberately misleading the court about the origins and authors of the dossier that was used to obtain the warrants.

The current internal efforts in the middle of a campaign to weaponize the FBI and DOJ are something new.

Many of the those with possible criminal exposure have already either been fired (Comey, McCabe), reassigned (Page, Strzok, Ohr), or are considered sacrosanct (Obama, Loretta Lynch, etc.). Rod Rosenstein’s fate is, for now, largely a political matter, and only later a legal one.

Democrats melt down over Nunes memo and enter the Upside Down by John Kass – “Democrats are furious and say the memo is incomplete, full of lies and half-truths, and they’re busy telling their followers not to read the memo, while heaping hate on one of the authors, House Intelligence Committee chairman U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes.”

“Democrats, the FBI and the Justice Department argued that the memo should not be made public, because it endangered national security. But after reading it, those claims appear to be nonsense.

Asked about the political hate coming his way, Nunes said, “It’s actually quite enjoyable. You know you’re over the target when you’re being attacked.”

before the left pulls out one more strand of hair in anger, or makes one more banshee scream of outrage on cable news or in social media over “the memo,” I’d like them to at least have the decency to consider the following

Thank God That Trump Won by Ben Stein – “And three cheers for Devin Nunes.”

“Now we are starting to get a look at a conspiracy so immense it can scarcely be believed. The media, the Democrat National Committee, a genuinely brain dead FISA judge, and now the media over and over again are shown to be working night and day to destroy the constitutional system of government.

Three cheers for Devin Nunes. And a special prosecutor now, if you please, to go after the people behind the phony dossier and Mr. Steele and the FISA warrant. These are real crimes. Real subversion of the justice system. What Nixon did was a high school boy’s snatching hubcaps by comparison. Will the media ever be held accountable?

Of course not. Not one person has ever been charged or prosecuted for the tens of millions of deaths under Stalin. The left takes care of its own. The right has a conscience. Big difference. But maybe we have a fighter this time.

When Madame Mao was finally arrested and tried for treason after the Cultural Revolution fizzled out, she screamed at her judges, “Mao needed a dog to bite his enemies. I was his attack dog.” Now, the CBC and the DNC/MSM clique need an attack dog squadron to chew up order and kindness. They need an SA to terrify the reasonable opposition. There they were, scowling in their dashikis in the House of Representatives. And they have their own slogan. Not Sieg Heil. But, “You’re a racist.” And now, by a great stroke of good fortune, the decent people of America have our own attack/defense dog. He even has his own plane. This will not be the walkover that Cory Booker is looking for.

Jamie Gorelick Knew What Team She Was On by Jack Cashill – The roots of the current scandal go back a ways. Here’s a rundown from 20 years ago.

WATERGATE X1000: What The MSM Is Hoping YOU Ignore About FISA MEMO Is More Than Dangerous, It’s TERRIFYING by Lucian Wintrich – “This is blatant and rampant government corruption and it all points to the Left, it spells out to the American public what many in right-leaning media have been saying for two years now.”

Comey Unhinged — for Good Reason by J. Marsolo – “The Memo confirms that the political origins of the Steele Dossier, that it was bought and paid for by Hillary and the DNC, were not disclosed to the FISA court.”

“The disclosure of these facts explains the hysterical reaction of the Dems and Comey.

Comey did not specifically deny any of the conclusions and facts in the Memo. He did not say what facts, if any, are “dishonest.”

Comey is correct that the Memo may have destroyed the relationship with the FISA Court because now the Court knows it was misled by the Obama FBI and Obama DOJ.

Comey is also correct that the Memo has “wrecked” the Intelligence Committee because now it is confirmed that the Democrats on the committee knew that the FISA warrants were based on the discredited Steele Dossier, but the Democrats kept lying that Trump “colluded” with Russia to divert attention. The only thing “wrecked” is whatever credibility Adam Schiff and the Dems had.

WSJ, NYT, WaPo: Actually, the DoJ did tell the FISA court about Steele’s political connections by Ed Morrissey – “The Wall Street Journal got the first significant leak, with an anonymous source telling the paper that the main thrust of Nunes’ memo — that the Department of Justice hid Christopher Steele’s political connections — was false.” Illegal leaks versus testimony on record is being used to cast doubt and spread innuendo. The phenomena emphasizes that the memo must only be one step in many to release classified documents and provide further transparency. But then, look at who is trying to prevent such transparency … (also note that folks like Allahpundit are working overtime on this one to diminish and demean in their own ways)

Democrats turned a hero into a horror story by Andrea Peyser – “Trump Derangement Syndrome has reached a disturbing new low.” It’s just what they do and an example of where hate takes you.

“Within hours, the hard left got hold of the inspirational story and mangled it into a cautionary tale about Republican misogyny, mistreatment of the poor and a handmaid forced to reproduce against her will, human roadkill in the evil war on drugs. No mention was made of innocent children maimed by drugs and parental neglect. It was dizzying.

The Upside Down: heroes become villains, villains become heroes, what was good is now bad, the head spins.

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Americans are dreamers, too

In California, Coffee Causes Cancer And Lawyers Collect The Fee By Alex Berezow – “A judge in California is going to determine whether or not coffee causes cancer.”

“Think about that. We live in a society where judges and lawyers — not medical doctors, scientists, or even a group of really clever AP biology high school students — get to determine the credibility of biomedical research.

One may be tempted to conclude that Californians deserve the government that they get. That might be true, but the rest of the country doesn’t deserve it.

Because California is such a large state, what happens in California doesn’t stay in California. … The notion that a handful of activists in California can dictate science and health policy for 320 million Americans is, quite frankly, obscene.

Yet, that’s where we find ourselves. Lawyers who are hellbent on destroying science to make a quick buck can find plenty of fertile ground and ample opportunity in California.

Flaunting lawlessness in the Capitol By Charles Hurt – “Never in the history of this Republic has there been such a jubilant celebration of lawlessness in the heart of our government as we saw at President Trump’s State of the Union address to Congress.”

“Under the gaze of Moses, George Mason, Thomas Jefferson and all the great champions of law from history, today’s current crop of “lawgivers” in America sneered, mocked and ridiculed the mere notion that we might have laws.

That these laws might mean anything.

That these laws might be enforced with equality.

That’s because also gazing down on our modern “lawgivers” in the chamber were an untold number of illegal aliens. These illegal aliens were actually invited to illegally come into the House chamber — the sacred nursery of America’s laws — to sit in sneering judgement of a nation built on the promise that no man (or woman or child) is above the law.

Across the street, enthroned in the pediment of the Supreme Court above the words “EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW,” Justice wept.

As is the case with such lawlessness, it necessarily metastasizes. One becomes many.

The Democratic betrayal of the Dreamers By The Washington Times – “The ferocity of the Democratic opposition to a plan that would make Dreamer dreams come true, and assure citizenship and eventually voting rights to 1.8 million illegal immigrants, is a bit puzzling.”

“They know that without getting the money for the wall, President Trump will not agree to the amnesty the Democrats seek. But terrified of the party base that moves ever farther to the left, the Democrats must keep the issue unresolved and boiling. They want no restrictions at all on illegal immigration, and seek nothing less than the Californication of the rest of the country. The Dreamers can see the resolution of their predicament, if only the Democrats will let them have it.

Trump just took ‘telling ordinary Americans’ stories’ to a whole new level By John Podhoretz – “The true inspiration for Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech was not Ronald Reagan or Abraham Lincoln. It was Paul Harvey.”

“His five-minute daily show, “The Rest of the Story,” featured beautifully told tales of individual Americans and the challenges they overcame from a populist right-wing perspective.

The only thing anyone is going to remember about this speech are the stories he told about the people his administration invited to sit in the Capitol gallery.

Trump took it to a new level last night — to a Paul Harvey level.

Speaking From The Heart, Trump’s Speech Was All Democrats Feared It Would Be, IBD – “President Trump, defying expectations that he would give a speech filled with concessions to the bitterly angry Democrats, gave a full-throated, detailed (and long) defense of his first year in office and offered a vision for the future. It was a bravura performance, one of the best in recent history.”

“After hearing Trump demonized and vilified in the media for the better part of a year, average Americans were no doubt surprised to hear a confident president with an extensive resume of successes express his love, admiration and, yes, devotion to the country he plainly loves a great deal.

We don’t know for sure how average Americans viewed his speech. But we do know that it was the kind of speech that Americans like. It was clear and plain-spoken. His ideas were based on common sense and normal American decency, not weird ideologies that bear no relevance to every-day American life.

based on the Democrats sour reaction even when Trump announced initiatives, such as infrastructure rebuilding, that are at the core of Democratic politics, it didn’t really matter. The assembled Democratic politicians looked like they had just bitten into a lemon. They, apparently, have decided not to cooperate with Trump on anything — and signaled it loudly on Tuesday.

Such stunning economic success should be celebrated. That it isn’t, especially by those who pretend to represent the African-American and Hispanic communities, only shows how poisoned the Democratic Party has become by its own extreme ideology.

In any case a lot of Americans were probably surprised by what they saw and heard after a year of nonstop Trump demonization: A man in full, flawed but street-smart, full of love of country, ready to defend it, full of ideas, and eager to go forward. An American.

But any Americans who were listening with an open heart and open mind no doubt heard much to like, and even more to deeply admire: A president who loves his country, is avidly fixing its problems, and wants the continued help and support of the American people to do so.

It’s been quite a while since we’ve had a president like that.

The Shabby, Sophomoric Behavior of Democrats at the SOTU By Patricia McCarthy – “It is difficult to imagine a more galling demonstration of incivility than the Democrats in the room for Trump’s SOTU speech.”

“They scowled, frowned, and sat on their hands throughout the speech. They could hardly be bothered to acknowledge the heroes in the audience when they were introduced. While the Dems brought illegal immigrants, Trump invited actual paragons of American character and the families of victims of illegal immigrant crimes, as well as a victim of North Korea. It was embarrassing, like watching the anti-Semites in the UN stomp out of the room when Benjamin Netanyahu speaks. How is it any different? Our Democrats behave exactly like the most racist, intolerant people on the planet, and in their own Capitol.

How and why have the leftists among us become so anti-American, so contemptuous of the Constitution, the Founders, and American heroism? When did they get to be so rude?

It was truly shocking for all to see how disrespectful were the Democrats in attendance. Do they think their bad manners will endear them to the American people, most of whom have been taught basic manners and probably agree with nearly every word Trump spoke tonight?

The fact that the Democrats in Congress loathe Trump more than they love their country or the American people is a tragedy … Generally speaking, enmity and rancor do not win over voters. Optimism and success for all does. Love of country does. Trump loves the country and all of its people. That was the message of the night, loud and clear.

5 Things Democrats Refused To Applaud During SOTU by Amber Athey – “Democrats refused to stand during a number of key moments in President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, showing their disrespect for veterans, Americans receiving tax cuts and more.”

“We’ve compiled a list of the worst times Democrats chose not to stand for Trump’s speech. … 1. The National Anthem … 2. ‘In God We Trust’ … 3. Tax Cuts … 4. Record Low In Black Unemployment … 5. Veterans

Spot the stupidest MSM SOTU television commentary By Thomas Lifson – “There is a lot of competition for the most inane commentary on the triumphant State of the Union Address that President Trump delivered last night.”

The jiu jitsu SOTU speech by neo-neocon – “In his SOTU speech Trump caught them flat-footed by being almost 100% the Happy Warrior.”

“If you spend a lot of time hammering home the idea that your opponent is stupid, crazy, and/or senile, then every time he acts smart, sane, and competent it makes you look stupid, crazy, and/or like a lying propagandist. If your opponent gets to show himself to the American people and he’s not as you’ve described, who ends up looking foolish?

A special kind of sleazy: Andrew McCabe’s sneaky set-up of Reince Priebus By Monica Showalter – “McCabe took advantage of Reince’s open, honest, honorable nature … and screwed him over for having it.”

“McCabe is suspected of leaking damaging information about Trump and Russia to the press, not because there was anything there, but because there wasn’t. He just wanted to inflict pain.

So here Priebus was, with information exonerating the Trump administration, and he wanted to honor McCabe’s request, as if the truth itself out there was McCabe’s personal possession, safer in McCabe’s hands. O.K., that was a bit weak, but it was understandable. Priebus’s real problem was that he didn’t know he was dealing with a snake.

What kind of a person does that to someone trying to protect him and keep open lines of communication? What kind of a sleazy operative or power player? Priebus was dealing with a swamp thing, not just of manners, but morals. And this is the guy James Comey claimed ‘stood tall’ against all the “small people” who got wise to his games and got rid of him.

Does the FBI need a good hosing out or what? These are dangerous, underhanded people who play unfathomably lowdown, dirty games.

FBI Scandal: McCabe’s Resignation Is Only The Beginning, IBD – “Was FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s sudden departure from the nation’s premier law enforcement agency a one-off move by a disgruntled and politically harassed bureaucrat?”

“McCabe was forced out of the No. 2 FBI power post on Monday just before the House Intelligence Committee voted to release a top secret memo detailing possible extensive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuses during the Obama administration.

McCabe was no coincidence. FBI Director Christopher Wray read the memo Sunday, and by Monday afternoon McCabe was gone.

McCabe is at the center of what increasingly appears to be a cabal of FBI officials dedicated to undermining Trump’s presidency. If so, and a congressional memo is not in and of itself proof, it would signal a major scandal that ultimately could lead to firings, fines and even prison terms.

As Congress and the president mull releasing even more information on this sad affair for American democracy, it’s important to note that this is potentially bigger than even Watergate. If in fact a circle of government employees worked to subvert American law and the political process, it’s not a firing offense — it’s a criminal offense.

Democracy’s Highest Crime and Misdemeanor by Scott S. Powell – “Every week brings new revelations and details about a cabal in the federal government whose actions border on both sedition and conspiracy.”

“The United States is now at a defining moment. Will there be a restoration of the rule of law, or will Washington’s elite continue to give cover and a pass to fellow members of the Ruling Class (a descriptive phrase coined in these pages by Angelo Codevilla)?

The U.S. is unique in human history being the only nation founded solely on moral ideas and principles and a noble vision of man’s potential for good, but also a recognition of his sinful propensities for selfishness and abuse of power.

America was founded in revolution against oppression, and then tested, forged, and reaffirmed by bloody sacrifice in civil war and successive foreign wars right up to the present — fought to uphold the cause of freedom and its attendant rights and duties inexorably tied to natural and civil law. If we give a pass to a cabal of lawbreakers in today’s Ruling Class, we betray our heritage, our ideals and vision, and the blood of so many patriots.

This kind of law breaking — the attempt to subvert the will of the American people in the 2016 election and its aftermath — is the highest crime and misdemeanor, akin to treason. So what to do?

Failing to hold Ruling Class lawbreakers accountable is not an option, for the next stage of ruin on that slippery slope we’ve been on looks more like a police state than a country club.

Yes, Americans dream … and are characterized by how they make these dreams come true. This president knows that better than many.

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Update: the civil war in process.

There is a story of the Tet Offensive 50 years on that notes that it was a military victory and a propaganda defeat (Cronkite’s Fake News™). What made it special and different was that it was a coordinated attack on many fronts with regular communist troops. The current civil war may not have regular troops but it does have the propaganda and many fronts. Rozenman touches on a few of the conflicts.

“Where federal law supervenes, state statutes — like those of Colorado and a number of other states, plus the entity known as the District of Columbia — cannot go. A civil war was fought once to settle the matter over another issue some states felt rather strongly about.”

When the Constitution is a ‘buzz-kill’ by Eric Rozenman – “since Lee surrendered to Grant in 1865, nullification has been a very dead letter in U.S. legal theory. However, in 2013 the Obama administration advised federal prosecutors to downgrade if not ignore enforcement of marijuana laws, ostensibly in favor of other crime-fighting priorities.”

“To review: In 1830, Sen. Robert Hayne of South Carolina and Sen. Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, staged their famous debate over states’ rights versus national authority, Hayne defending the theory of nullification. Tariff disagreements were the immediate issue, but at bottom the South hoped to establish nullification to protect slavery in individual states from restriction by congressional Northerners.

President Andrew Jackson asserted that nullification amounted to treason, and Congress backed him with the 1833 “Force Bill,” affirming the president’s authority to use the Army to ensure state obedience to federal law. One of Kentucky Sen. Henry Clay’s artful compromises managed to dodge the crisis. Secession would wait another generation.

Ironically, the marijuana legalization effort spread just as the country was in the final throes of its decades-long public health push to tax and stigmatize tobacco use into near extinction.

if not over the putative right to get high by any means convenient, then perhaps school segregation? Establishment of religion?

When rule of law is sacrificed to clamorous infatuation, ugliness issues from Pandora’s box of political expedience. One could imagine a situation in which states and municipalities chose to ignore lawful federal authority on immigration matters and declare themselves “sanctuaries.”

Lincoln was right. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Neither can one with a post-Union mash-up of local, state and federal spheres. Absent those spheres, properly balanced, rule of law can become increasingly nominal, with both union and liberty wafting away on each additional toke over the line.

Does the Washington Post understand the ‘rule of law’? By Jack Hellner – “For eight years the Washington Post and most of the media not only never cared as Obama and Democrats undermined the rule of law; they supported them as they did it.”

“Here is a partial list of things the Post never gave a darn about clear violations of law and Democrats not holding the President to account:

But now the Washington Post is outraged that Republicans are undermining the rule of law because heaven forbid they are asking the Justice Department to explain what they did.

The actual constitutional crisis is when we had a president and others surrounding him that continually ignored the rule of law or actually violated the rule of law and a Justice Department which chose who to prosecute not based on rule of law but based on an agenda or party affiliation.

The Washington Post and others should stop pretending they care about laws or equal treatment under the law based on all their writings the past nine years.

Executive Branch Now Has Custody of Intel Memo For Review Prior to Release by sundance – the war is being fought and steps being taken to recover lost ground.

“The media narrative engineers are busy at work attempting to cloud the constitutional framework behind the accurate, lawful, sequence of steps surrounding the Nunes House Intel Memo. Don’t fall for the tricks.

The legislative branch has now voted in committee to declassify the House Intelligence Memo on FISA-702 abuse, and systemic fraudulent DOJ/FBI use therein. The memo has been sent to the executive branch for review and public release approval.

Memo war: GOP to release memo aimed at Justice Department, while Dems push memo aimed at GOP by Byron York – “Every Republican voted to make the GOP memo public, while every Democrat voted against it.”

“But there was also a rare moment of bipartisanship for the bitterly divided panel. At the same meeting, Republicans and Democrats voted unanimously to make the Democratic memo — the counter-memo to the Republican document — available to all members of the House.

To no one’s surprise, ranking Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., was the first to make it to the cameras after the meeting Monday. He noted that the committee had voted to make the Democratic memo available to “members of the House that have been misled by the majority’s memorandum.” But he also spoke in a way that might have led a casual listener to conclude Republicans had voted to keep the memo completely under wraps. At one point he referred to “if and when the majority allows the minority memorandum to see the light of day.”

The Democratic memo, which like the Republican memo is classified and can only be viewed in a secure room, is an attempt to discredit the GOP document without making any larger point about the Trump-Russia investigation, said Republicans who have seen it.

“It was written by attorneys as a rebuttal to our memo, but it’s not going to move their argument forward,” noted one Republican member who has read the Democratic paper. “It’s too detailed, too confusing, and far more personal — they go after [Nunes] again and again.

For their part, committee Democrats called their memo “a counter-argument to all of the errors and inaccuracies in the majority memo” (Rep. Denny Heck of Washington) and “a mountain of evidence in the Trump-Russia investigation” (Rep. Eric Swalwell of California) and “an accurate rendition of the underlying facts” (Schiff).

It’s in everyone’s interest for both the Republican and Democratic memos to ultimately become public. Voters deserve to see the best case that Nunes can make versus the best case that Schiff can make. In addition, the public will need to see at least some of the underlying intelligence to be confident that each side is using that intelligence honestly. To some degree, the credibility of the larger Trump-Russia investigation depends on it.

Put it in front of the people. They are the ones fundamentally accountable and also those who will feel the consequences. Think Venezuela for the latest example of where complacency will take you.

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Evidence accumulates towards and ugly message

Evidence mounts of Obama involvement in Dinesh D’Souza’s selective prosecution by Monica Showalter – “Would President Obama have been that petty to target a critic for draconian law enforcement over a movie? The way the Soviet KGB might have targeted a dissident?” Looks that way.

“It’s creepy to think there are lawmen with that little integrity out there to have not spoken out about such a blatant abuse of police power for political purposes. And it suggests that law enforcement agencies are shot through with leftists, which would mean no diversity of thought in the ranks, same as welfare, public defender, and other leftwing agencies.

What this vast expansion of resources – $100,000 for a $20,000 at most violation – also shows that Obama’s claims to “prioritization of resources” such as he claimed when he enabled the open border and its “child migrants” – was spoken with a forked tongue.

Alexa is no longer going to take your sexist abuse by John Sexton – “Over at the Atlantic, there’s a piece arguing that Alexa—the female voice associated with Amazon’s voice-activated, home automation product—is a victim of oppression, or maybe a setback for feminism, or something.” This is the kind of thing that feeds phenomena such as described by Brent Ledger in Seniors want to know whom they can trust online.

More skewed immigration reporting from the New York Times by Paul Mirengoff – “It isn’t lack of intelligence that distorts the Times’ reporting, it’s lack of objectivity. Haberman and her colleagues are rooting so hard against Trump, and for illegal immigrants, that it bends their reporting, sometimes to the point of incoherence.”

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The cauldron is simmering

New York court breaks rules, refuses investigation into James Comey by Stephen Dinan – “and several other major figures involved in the Clinton email scandal, seemingly breaking their own rules in the process.”

“Ty Clevenger, a lawyer, had filed grievances against Mr. Comey and three others saying they violated fundamental rules of lawyers’ ethics by the way they handled the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails.

The New York grievance commission, in a letter dated earlier this month, rejected all of the complaints without comment.

Under the commission’s own rules it is supposed to provide “a brief description of the basis for the determination,” so the move to dismiss the grievances without any reason was striking.

Supreme Court halts lower court order to redraw N.C. electoral map By Alex Swoyer – “The Supreme Court has suggested that there is a limit to how much partisanship can go into drawing legislative lines, but has never set that line.”

CFPB director a new hero on the right by Rick Moran – “The acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), former congressman Mick Mulvaney, has submitted a budget request that may be a first in the history of government. … shocked official Washington by making a budget request for zero dollars.”

“In essence, the agency “protects” consumers from their own stupidity and ignorance. The CFPB was born of a myth that the financial and housing crisis was caused by unscrupulous lenders who tricked consumers into getting bad loans. Surely there were a few of those. But most foreclosures were not caused by evil lenders but by people who either took on too much debt or didn’t understand the terms and conditions of the loan.

It raises an interesting question: Should the federal government protect us from ourselves? The Obama administration believed so, but Mulvaney and many conservatives are skeptical.

The Evidence Inside The “House Intel Committee Four Page FISA Memo” by sundance – “As the year-long story has unfolded, there are two central components at the heart of the political corruption and weaponization of the DOJ and FBI:” It’s the Big Ugly and a rundown on conspiracy for a palace coup.

Does the California Model Really Work? by Jonah Goldberg – “For many progressives, California’s metastasizing liberalism proves you can have Scandinavian-style social policies and tax rates and still have robust economic growth.”

“The point is that California attracts an enormous number of rich people who think it’s worth the high taxes, awful traffic, and even the threat of tectonic annihilation to live there — for reasons that literally have nothing to do with the state’s liberal policies. Indeed, most of the Californians I know live there despite those policies, not because of them.

there’s a new data point to inform the debate that hopefully will be more difficult to ignore: California is the poverty capital of America.

Which Is Worse: Trump’s ‘Fake News’ Awards, Or The Media’s Reaction To It? By John Merline – “reporters say the “fake news” label is unfair because these news outlets issued corrections and occasionally reprimanded reporters and editors involved. Or they say that it doesn’t matter because Trump lies all the time, thereby committing the logical fallacy of “tu quoque”.”

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Backed into a corner

Cheryl K. Chumley

“Thing is: Democrats really don’t care what Trump said.

They only care about how they can use what they said to attack him politically.

There’s Democratic hatred, though, and there’s leftist-fueled deep desire to see this president impeached. And that, and that alone, is why all this angst over Trump’s rhetoric. It’s simply food for Democrats to distract from real agendas, in order to chip away at this president’s platform, policies and standing with the American people a bit more.

What do Trump, Obama, and Lindsey Graham have in common? by Paul Mirengoff – “we’re starting to hear, inevitably, about comparable remarks made by others.”

“if doing so hurt America, then Sen. Durbin and others in the room should have kept Trump’s statement to themselves. No patriotic American would hurt this country’s international standing just to embarrass the president or in the hope of gaining a little leverage in negotiations (which, I’m pretty sure, Durbin has failed to do).

But patriotism has never been Dick Durbin’s long suit. During the Bush administration, he compared American soldiers to Nazis, Soviets, and Pol Pot.

Obama’s profane disparagement of Libya received little attention, …

Lindsey Graham used language less profane but equally disparaging to describe Mexico

Way too much is being made of Trump’s alleged remarks.

And if I’m wrong about this — if Trump’s comments have materially harmed the U.S. in its foreign relations — then Dick Durbin should not have let word of the comment leave the room.

‘Shithole’-gate and Toxic Double Standards By Deion Kathawa – “In the wake of President Trump’s “shithole” comment (which may have been misreported), CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked a predictably leading question of Republican “strategist” Ana Navarro on his show Thursday night: “[I]s there any other way to interpret this comment other than being just racist?

“After taking a few potshots at Trump’s alleged “pattern” of bigotry, she unloaded: “We have a racist, a shameless racist, who has hijacked the Republican Party, who has hijacked the Oval Office, and this country needs to stand up against this and tell him that we will not let him divide us by color, by race, by ethnicity, by class . . .”

Navarro likely hasn’t given much thought to the implications of what she said, let alone examined her premises. But if she’s so outraged and offended by Trump’s alleged divisiveness, she might want to have a look around CNN’s studios or the greater Beltway area. Division is rampant, and its source isn’t the man at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, or the Right more generally.

Is not division “by color, by race, by ethnicity, by class” the modus operandi of today’s progressives?

When the Left spews such despicable, divisive language, hardly anyone seems to care. Certainly “strategist” Navarro doesn’t. But as soon as a deplorable right-winger makes a simple and obviously true observation—its crass wording notwithstanding—the political class and smart set lose their marbles. Why?

Thus, the fierce counterattack that started on November 8, 2016, and hasn’t halted, explained. Trump, for all his faults, has awakened a sense of the stakes for certain of us on the Right. We now realize that to win this war of ideas—this struggle for the very soul of America—we will have to grind the Left down and fight them to a draw. Because it’s only after we have forced a stalemate that we will be able to sue for peace and set the terms of a liveable truce, a truce within which ideological poison, no matter its pedigree, dare not be uttered.

There are many who are coming to the conclusion Rush had years ago: a draw won’t do it. Total and utter humiliating defeat might. Maybe.

Of Home Truths and Shitholes By Roger Kimball – “Outrage … is a dour beast. It glowers. It fulminates. It glories in moral indignation, which it eagerly manufactures whenever it is in short supply.” He notes the talking heads at CNN acting like a four year old that has discovered a new potty word.

“Sometimes, the experience of outrage, and its accompanying moral indignation, is essentially a feeling of displeasure—at a wrong done or suffered, an injustice or cruelty observed, etc.

But sometimes, outrage is but a patina of indignation whose chief motive is incontinent delight. Which is it for the talking heads at CNN?

And here we come to a second curiosity in the preening and ecstatic outrage over the president’s comment. Everyone, near enough, knows that he was telling a home truth. It was outrageous not because he said something crude that was untrue. Quite the contrary: it was outrageous precisely because it was true but intolerable to progressive sensitivities.

We live in a surreal moment when it becomes ever harder to tell the truth about sensitive subjects. Donald Trump has strutted across our timid landscape like a wrecking ball, telling truths, putting noses out of joint. The toffs will never forgive him, but I suspect the American people have stronger stomachs and are up to the task.

Ben Shapiro on media’s ‘sh—hole’ storm: ‘A Rorschach test on how you view the president’ by Douglas Ernst – and it might be based on Fake News, too.

“The editor-in-chief of The Daily Wire asserted Friday that Mr. Trump’s alleged “sh—hole” comments during recent policy negotiations may give his critics another opportunity to howl, but the affair ultimately constitutes a “Rorschach test” for millions of Americans.

“To be fair to the president, some countries are really crappy

Of Trump, Holes, and Our Real Immigration Scandals by Jeremy Carl – “In his usual blunt way, Trump cut to the core of the debate.”

“But that doesn’t mean there aren’t profound geography-related differences in how successful our immigrants are.

A great deal of the justified anger of the immigration patriot community is that we are told again and again by the media and politicians that we’re not allowed to care that say, the average El Salvadoran immigrant may be three times more likely as the average Norwegian immigrant or four times more likely than the average Indian immigrant to be on welfare, supported by the U.S. taxpayer. We’re outraged like Donald Trump was when he saw the truly offensive deal conjured up by Senators Graham, Flake and Gardner in conjunction with Democratic leaders

Furthermore, it’s a scandal that the GOP has yet to launch entirely justified impeachment proceedings against the San Francisco activist judge whose outrageous and blatantly illegal ruling is currently stopping the president from ending the DACA amnesty.

Finally, it’s a scandal that the Democrats are so dead-set on bringing in millions more government-dependent voters through amnesty that they’ve completely abandoned even the pretense of caring about border security and rule of law that they used to feign even a decade ago.

The pathetic results of the NFL kneeling spree by Monica Showalter – “it’s hard to protest The Man’s power when you yourself are now the man.”

“People go to football games to be entertained, not to be lectured by their supposed betters in another dreary virtue-signaling game.

This is why longtime cultural observer and critic Shelby Steele thinks black protests have lost their power in his must-read op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal.

As Steele puts it, freedom has arrived, and with freedom, accountability. Black protesters must now be judged on the actual merit of their protests, instead of just the identity reality the protesters’ black race, which up until now, has pretty much sent whites scurrying. They aren’t scurrying anymore in deference to the protests; they just aren’t buying tickets.

Freedom means accountability, which is where black protests of today fail to produce any results.

Next Week Will Be A Very Bad Week For Democrats and Their Media by sundance –

“The U.S. DOJ Has Begun Taking down the low hanging fruit on the Uranium One Tree – SEE HERE

The Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, Has Begun releasing a years-worth of Investigative Documents to the House Judiciary Committee – SEE HERE

Even Sean Hannity has discovered the BIGGER STORY behind the OIG Report – HERE

And Chairman Devin Nunes is now openly telling his colleagues in congress that the Obama, Lynch and Comey DOJ and FBI FISA violations are beyond their imaginings

Trump Lawyer Releases Letter From Porn Star Denying Affair With POTUS by Chuck Ross – one way to respond to Fake News.

CNN’s Stephen Miller incident proves how fake news ignorantly smears conservatives by Charles Hurt – “White House adviser does not play mental footsie with fools.”

“The latest drive-by character assassination of White House adviser Stephen Miller began, as it so often does, in a fact-free live TV orgy of public posturing by a journalist eager to display his virgin-snow virtue when it comes to unalloyed hatred of President Donald Trump.

When Mr. Miller refused to engage in Mr. Tapper’s conspiracy fantasy, the anchor changed his mind and decided he no longer wanted Mr. Miller on his show.

Jeff Sessions is on the right track By Jenny Beth Martin – “Attorney general is standing firm and leading on immigration and other fronts.”

“For conservatives who wanted the Justice Department cleaned up, that’s good news. The criticisms leveled at Sessions from leftist groups are reassuring. Sessions must be on the right track if he is getting this much pushback.

In the span of less than one year, Sessions has managed to draw the ire of nearly every liberal organization in the country. Liberals are apoplectic that Sessions, at the helm of the Justice Department, has managed to accomplish so many key aspects of Trump’s agenda.

In another stark contrast with Obama policies, Sessions has directed the Justice Department to partner with states as they work to enforce our nation’s immigration laws. Unlike the Obama Justice Department – which treated states as adversaries if they worked to uphold our nation’s immigration policies – Trump’s Justice Department has wisely decided to work closely with states in the shared goal of enforcing our immigration laws, including sharing information between the federal and state governments.

What all of these policy changes demonstrate is that Sessions is, first and foremost, interested in the rule of law.

In order to understand Sessions’ accomplishments in context, it is important to take stock of the rampant lawlessness and corruption in the Obama Justice Department.

The Judicial Rebellion by Tom Trinko – “We are witnessing a treasonous rebellion by leftist judges who are declaring the last election null and void.”

“At the core of these traitors’ arguments is the belief that the people do not have the right to express their views through the electoral process.

Essentially, these courts are declaring that President Trump doesn’t have the same authority as his predecessor and that the powers of the executive branch are constrained by what the judiciary thinks is good policy.

what we’re seeing is nothing less than a rebellion by judges who reject the idea that elections have consequences and believe they can impose their beliefs on the people. The judges are declaring that Democracy exists in the U.S. only to the extent that viewpoints that judges consider acceptable can result from an election.

At the core of the #Resistance movement is the idea that America is more a tyranny than a representative republic. By saying elections are legitimate only so long as leftists approve of them, they are declaring that power flows not from the people, as declared by the Constitution, but from the unelected elites.

America cannot continue to exist as a free country if the ever changing opinions of leftists carry the same authority as the Constitution and the laws passed by the people’s representatives in Congress.

Like all acts of open rebellion in America, these actions by judges are nothing less than a declaration that some people in America are worth less than others.

The reality is that when faced with a direct rejection of the principles upon which America is based, extreme measures are needed to stomp out the rebellion.

It’s time for Republicans to impeach judges who obviously overstep their authority.

Whatever mechanism we use, the reality is that if we don’t crush the rebellion in the judiciary we will lose all our freedoms and America may be headed toward an armed conflict.

The chance for real violence becomes greatest when people are backed into a corner and told they must reject their own beliefs.

That’s why it’s imperative to take peaceful steps now to defuse the crisis.

Wisconsin’s Comey-over by Scott Johnson – “Recently the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DoJ) conducted a criminal investigation into the illegal leak of court sealed John Doe records and found the Wisconsin Ethics Commission had not complied with the court’s order.” This, and the dismissal of the Bundy case, illustrate that it’s not just the courts and it’s not just at the federal level where the corruption of justice is under examination.

“A friend of mine calls the FBI’s report regarding Hillary Clinton’s emails a “Comey-over.” It appears Wisconsin’s ethics officials are trying to cover their bald spot. Expect more judges, lawyers, state legislators and attorneys general to get involved before this shameful episode finally concludes.

Just who is getting backed into a corner here?

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It’s a mess. Where will it go?

Trump’s insane? Democrats the party of lies, sex and rape by Cheryl K. Chumley – “Well frankly, this whole line of mental instability aimed at the president is both weak and tiresome.”

“calling out Trump for mental instability because he speaks tough on foreign leaders, or fails to soften his rhetoric on Twitter, or outright engages in public spats with those who insult him or his family, is not only hypocritical. It’s also disingenuous.

After all, in a contest of mental fitness that compares, say, a liar, a rapist and Trump, most sane-minded would choose Option Three, the president — a frequent tweeter who happens to have a bulldog approach to politicking.

Democrats ought to look to their own camp to root out the nut jobs. There’s plenty there, it would seem, to keep the psychiatrists busy.

As Investigations Of Misconduct Mount, Can Hillary Clinton Avoid Jail? Investor’s Business Daily editorial – “As the media focus on Donald Trump’s mental condition and whether he can be kicked out of office using the 25th Amendment, something far more significant is taking place

“In recent weeks, new developments have made it shockingly clear that questions about Clinton’s possibly criminal conduct are growing. All of these have come in the last month: …

unlike past investigations, which covered up the magnitude of Clinton’s actions and their likely criminal content, the latest ones are not being conducted by Democratic Party partisans from the Deep State who have, in communications revealed to the public, expressed open disdain for their soon-to-be president Trump and fought a rear-guard action to keep Hillary Clinton out of legal danger.

All Americans should root for the same thing: the truth. Based on current investigations and from what we now know of her past actions, which we have written on extensively here, Hillary Clinton will be very lucky indeed to escape not just prosecution, but incarceration.

Here’s Ace: Huma Abedin Backed Up Classified Emails to Anthony Weiner’s Computer, Despite Telling the FBI She Had Not Done So. Judge Dismisses Charges Against Clive Bundy and His Sons With Prejudice, Citing “Outrageous” Prosecutorial Conduct – “A sharp rebuke to how government agents were operating under Obama, and still are.” A New Method for Determining Historical Earth Temperature Finds That Earth Warmed… Only 0.1 Degree Celsius Over Past 50 Years. The Left Is Nothing More Than A Temper-Tantrum-Throwing Child – “An obstinate refusal to accept reality is the hallmark of children.”

Climate Change: California Hypocrisy Turned up to 11 by Steven Hayward – “these California cities are lying in one of these legal matters—the lawsuit claim or their bond disclosures.

“The motion ExxonMobil filed yesterday in Texas identifies 16 individuals who it believes conspired to get the attorneys general to bring this action. Some evidence of this collaboration may have been destroyed. ExxonMobil wishes to depose these 16.

Schumer succeeds in obstructing key DOJ nominees by Paul Mirengoff – “Chuck Schumer is earning his pay. Senate Republicans, not so much.”

Why Liberals Need to Look Down on Conservatives by Selwyn Duke – “A common theme among progressives is that conservatives aren’t just wrong; they’re dumb.”

“The reason for this arrogance isn’t as simple as many may think. Rather, it relates to a deep psychological phenomenon that makes it difficult for those afflicted to evolve out of the leftist primordial soup.

any challenge to this idea struck directly at an intractable self-image, threatening to upset his ego’s world order, which had him, through group association, at its very pinnacle.

This phenomenon is common. It’s often exhibited by those considering themselves part of a “master race” or any kind of special group. It can be comforting: a person may not be accomplished, intelligent, or gifted and might otherwise feel inadequate. But his group association saves his psyche’s day, for whatever he is or isn’t, at least he’s not like those other people, those untouchables.

the phenomenon in question here is a deeply emotional one.

For this reason, it’s wholly resistant to intellectual appeals. You can’t logically talk someone out of something irrational on which his self-worth is based. In fact, if it begins to dawn on such a person that his notions of superiority – and hence his self-image – rest on a lie, it will be intensely painful and depressing. The individual will thus have a strong incentive to rationalize away this realization.

This phenomenon is exacerbated by two related factors. First, liberals are generally dysfunctional, vice-ridden people who embrace what we call liberalism because its underlying relativism and nihilism help them justify their sins. … Simultaneously, liberalism allows these virtue-bereft people to virtue-signal by paying homage to the day’s fashionable values. …

Second, conservatives are more likely to have authentic faith, while liberals tend be to avowed or de facto atheists, which is why church attendance is one of the best predictors of voting patterns.

I’m Back. Here’s Where I’ve Been by Dennis Prager – “I have believed all my life that the primary crisis in America and the West is the abandonment of Judeo-Christian values, or, one might say, the dismissal of the Bible.”

“Our society, one of whose mottos is “In God We Trust,” is becoming as godless as Western Europe — and, consequently, as morally confused and unwise as Europe. Just as most professors regard most Bible believers as foolish, I have more or less the same view of most college professors in the liberal arts. When I hear that someone has a Ph.D. in sociology, anthropology, political science or English, let alone women’s studies or gender studies, I assume that he or she is morally confused and bereft of wisdom. Some are not, of course. But they constitute a small minority.

In America, there is an epidemic of children who no longer talk one or both of their parents. In a few cases, this is warranted. But in most cases, adult children are inflicting terrible, unfair pain upon their parent. This is one of a myriad of examples where believing in a God-based text is transformative. Secular callers tell me that they hardly need the Ten Commandments to desist from murdering anyone. That may well be true. But apparently, a lot of people could use the Ten Commandments to avoid inflicting terrible pain on (admittedly, flawed) parents.

My ultimate aim is to help make the Bible America’s book once again.

The foundation has been neglected.

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Democrat bandwagon meets Trump Train

Don’t blame Trump for worsened race relations — blame the left by Cheryl K. Chumley – the LPM (Left’s Propaganda Machine) is potent and destructive.

“The larger truth is that angry leftists fueled by Black Lives Matter, antifa thugs, radical feminists and a core of committed Democrats/progressives/socialists, have worsened race relations by orchestrating violent clashes and endorsing chaotic street protests over Trump’s messages and policies on immigration, border security, climate change, historical monuments, tax reform and the like — and have then wrongfully painted these policies as based in racism and misogyny.

And a complicit, anti-Trump mainstream media has run with the messaging.

So now voilà: You have a new survey that shows most in America blame Trump for a rise in racial tensions.

Let the poll questions be: Who’s had more impact on worsening race relations in this country, Black Lives Matter or Trump? Antifa or Trump? Nancy Pelosi or Trump? Maxine Waters or Trump? Barack Obama or Trump?

That might bring about some findings that are a bit closer to the truth.

Liberals Celebrate Christmas with ‘I Am So Sick of White Guys’ Coloring Book by Warner Todd Huston – “A Seattle man has published a coloring book attacking white men to soothe the soul of left-wingers, Democrats, and Black Lives Matter acolytes — just in time for Christmas.”

Who’s in charge of the military? Washington Times – “One U.S. District judge, Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the District of Columbia even imagines that she’s the commander in chief of the U.S. military services.”

“The president is on firm constitutional grounds. Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution plainly states, in language that even a government lawyer can understand, that “The president shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several states, when called into actual Service of the United States.”

Judge Kollar-Kotelly, who was appointed a federal judge by President Clinton, is not much impressed by that part of the Constitution.

Judicial trifling with Article 2, Section 2, won’t have immediate bad consequences, beyond making heads ache at the Pentagon, because there won’t be a lot of the sexually addled breaking down the doors at recruiting stations.

Nevertheless, there’s a far greater issue here. What is an Army or Navy for, and who is responsible for it, the president or a district court judge?

The Trump administration says it will appeal its cases to the U.S. Supreme Court, and it must. Biology is the reality, not bigotry, and the delusional among us can be pitied if not accommodated. Reality must prevail.

Trump rid conservatism of its phonies by Don Surber – “They stood athwart history screaming stop, and the Trump train ran over them without so much as a quiver felt by passengers.” Remember the Simon cite suggesting apologies are due? Surber has other ideas.

“For years they have sworn that we must get conservative judges, that we must cut taxes, and that we must move the embassy to Jerusalem.

Then along came a man who could do all that, and they freaked. They opposed his election more than they opposed Obama’s election and re-election.

The only real point they can make about Trump is that he isn’t a slick-talking politician.

They grade him on style, not substance.

There is no intellectually honest reason for anyone who is conservative to oppose him now.

The movement to impeach Trump is just beginning by Michael Goodwin – “Democrats … have no message, no leader and nothing to brag about. That leaves a vacuum, which is being filled with one idea: impeaching President Trump.”

“if an election that pits tax cuts and job growth vs. impeachment strikes you as crazy, don’t blame me. And, truth be told, you can’t really blame Democratic Party leaders either. They aren’t so much leading their base as following it.

The “resistance” wing is taking over the party and congressional bosses Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi can either jump on the “Impeach” bandwagon — or get run over by it.

Their nonstop chatter, including on the late-night comedy shows, is helping the impeachment madness break the bounds of the loony left and go mainstream.

While they’ll decorate the campaign tree with a few other items, like raising taxes on the wealthy and climate-change scares, removing the president will be their main argument for electing a Democratic Congress.

Cynic though I am, I never thought the Dems would go down such a low road.

Which is what makes it so dangerous. Never in modern times has a major party used impeachment as a pure political weapon.

Which brings me to my final prediction: If you think our politics are nasty now, just wait a few months. The midterm campaign is going to be vicious and dirty beyond belief.

These are dangerous times with mobs and hate striving to overturn civility and rational politics and governance.

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Conspiracies and Winning and Realizing the Dissonance

SCOTUS? bah, Appeals court rules against Trump travel ban for third time By Stephen Dinan – “Earlier this week the Supreme Court delivered a spanking in overturning another 9th Circuit ruling related to the president’s decision to end the Obama-era DACA deportation amnesty program.” It’s making it very clear that the 9th Circuit is a rogue court that considers itself an authority above any other court or government branch or governing document it doesn’t like.

Why pro football has become so hard to watch By Jay Cost – “As much as it pains me to say it, I’m drifting away from football. The NFL is sapping all the joy out of it.” … “I’d be lying if I said I was going to stop watching next week, or next month. But every season I get a little closer to turning off the NFL for good.”

Unravelling the Conspiracy

Was FBI Chief Legal Counsel James Baker Captured By New DOJ Leak Task Force? by sundance – “Things are getting increasingly interesting and simultaneously obvious.”

“Those who are seeking answers to the most critical questions are now running into the officials within the scheme using the Mueller probe as a defensive shield so they do not have to answer investigative questions from congress. This motive is now the primary purpose and benefit of the Mueller probe.

With hindsight it is now clear why the Democrats, the intelligence operatives, and their media allies were so adamant a Special Counsel probe be initiated. They planned to use Mueller’s investigation as a shield all along.

Morell didn’t really regret By David Zukerman – “This former top CIA official offered no details on these bizarre claims.”

“Morell continued: “So, I think there was a significant downside to those of us who became political in that moment. So, if I could have thought of that, would I have ended up in a different place? I don’t know. But it’s something I didn’t think about.”

Actually, Morell’s response is something Congress should indeed think about. Look at that last comment — “those of us who became political” during the 2016 presidential election. Seems like a pretty clear admission that Morell was not alone in meddling in domestic politics — that other senior officials in the intelligence community “became political,” as well. At the same time, none seem to have considered that Hillary Clinton could lose to Trump. How would the intelligence people defend their political transformation to the Trump administration?

Rape Trial Dismissed, After Two Years of Hell for Falsely Accused Man, After 40,000 Texts From “Victim,” Seeking Casual Sex, Are Finally Disclosed to Defendant Ace highlights an example or two from the mire of human depravity. – “That one person should lie about rape is no scandal — you’ll find liars anywhere.” … “That the police should deliberately railroad a man they know to be innocent? That is a scandal, and one that should result in prison for the police and prosecutors responsible.”

Another case noted by Ace: Judge Declares Mistrial in Clive Bundy Trial, Citing Prosecution’s “Willful” Withholding of Six Key Pieces of Evidence – “Trust in authority emerges from trustworthy behavior — it is not a right owed to them due to their mere credentials, which is a liberal notion infecting pretty much everything.”

Are These Something? The movies get good reviews but also say something about growing realizations of scandal. Chappaquiddick, 7 Days in Entebbe, The 15:17 to Paris, and then there’s the Darkest Hour. It’s hard for movies to get more suspenseful and strange than reality right now.

The Death Rattle of Obama’s Reputation By Noah Rothman – “The members of Barack Obama’s administration in exile have become conspicuously noisy of late—even more so than usual.”

“It’s no coincidence that these overheated condemnations accompany abundant evidence that the Trump administration is finding its legs. As the last administration’s undeserved reputation as sober-minded foreign policy rationalists is dismantled one retrospective report at a time, its jilted members are lashing out.

Even as early as March of 2017, it was clear that the Obama administration’s foreign-policy professionals were quite insecure about how posterity would remember their stewardship of American interests abroad. They had every reason to be. For now, at least, the Trump administration has declined to govern as Trump campaigned; not as a populist firebrand but a conventional Republican. Susan Rice and her former White House colleagues have every reason to worry, but not for the United States. Their reputations, however, are another matter entirely.

The real fake news of 2017 by Rex Murphy – “There has always been fake news. But the Fake News that we heard about for most of 2017 was something new and altogether more sinister.”

“The antipathy to Donald Trump, which in its keenest manifestations is fierce and relentless, is a disabling set of mind, nowhere more so than in the reporting on or about him.

Contempt for Trump—the conviction that he is some sort of dangerous historical “accident” in the presidential office—serves as a warrant for abandoning all disinterested judgment and analytic neutrality.

When the majority of the American media failed in their coverage of the presidential election, they had to find some excuse for their massive incompetence.

Their reading of the American election was the greatest journalistic failure—the largest act of group incompetence—in decades. This failure fostered the need for some excuse for how they got so much so wrong.

The way the term Fake News was invoked by newscasters, panels, and journalism profs was actually kind of scary. Fake News was a threat to the republic; it enjoyed a corrupting power that effortlessly ousted the voices of the real media, and blunted the rational minds of the electorate. That Fake News was powerful stuff.

Actually, it was just a lot of silly rationalization for poor coverage, an excuse for incompetence on the part of much of the professional press.

Winning

A Great Week for the President and a NeverTrump Crack-up By Julie Kelly – “This week has been a vindication for much-maligned Trump supporters. Not only did the president have the best week of his administration, an internecine feud erupted within the “NeverTrump” tribe.” Note that it is specific and not full of ad hominem, personal attack, and other logical fallacies.

“Let’s just say, for those of us who have been demeaned by some NeverTrumpers, and who have called out their harsh rhetoric and destructive agenda, it was gratifying to watch this play out. Not only is it time for anti-Trump conservatives to acknowledge this president’s bold and conservative-friendly presidency so far, it is time to call bullshit on those who refuse to do so. Admitting you were wrong—or at least mistaken in your assessment of both the electorate and a president—is never easy. But holding on to a dishonest narrative that a president—who is now doing things that alleged “conservatives” once proclaimed to be among their objectives—is somehow working to undermine those goals, is not being conservative. In fact, it’s just lying.

A good week for the president, his voters, and the country. A bad week for the NeverTrump sore losers who keep digging a hole that will be tough—if not impossible—to climb out of. Happy to toss them a rope, though, when the apologies come.

Never Trumpers: The good (who have re-evaluated), the bad (who can’t get over themselves) and the ugly (who have thrown in with the Left) By Thomas Lifson – “The passage of tax reform and the booming economy, sweeping transformations in Middle East policy, and regulatory reform that is unleashing vast potential bottled up the last 8 years and more are all signs that President Trump is not the ogre feared by a large faction of the conservative intellectual establishment.”

“The famous (or infamous, depending on your perspective) special issue of National Review, “Against Trump,” stands as a unique instance of the conservative movement’s intellectual elite turning against the champion of the GOP’s base. With almost a year in office for Trump, some of those who partook of the NeverTrump fashion have started to change their minds, while others are doubling down, becoming bitter enders.

National Review’s editor Rich Lowry, the man most responsible for “Against Trump,” has managed to give the POTUS credit where he sees it due, particularly in material written for other publications … He recently wrote a column entitled “Promise Keeper that was quite remarkable in reversing course: … “Donald Trump’s purpose in office is to disrupt if not overturn the patterns of governance and ideological consensus that have dominated the U.S. capital for decades.”

Others have been unwilling to change the positions they have staked out, and some have been actively destroying their credibility.

Kristol’s personal bitterness and unwillingness to change his position to the point of identifying with the movements he has opposed for decades are remarkable. But even more unrepentant is Evan McMullin, who ran a farcical campaign for the presidency, aimed at depriving Trump of the electoral votes in Utah.

Roger L Simon, a founder of PJ Media, called on remaining Never Trumpers to apologize now:

The reason for the necessity of apologies now is not personal vindication, but rather the stakes ahead:

Those stakes are far greater than any individual’s ego. It is tragic (in the sense of being brought low by fatal flaws) that people like Kristol, McMullen, and David Frum cannot get over themselves.

Feeble Resistance By Fred Barnes – “Look at what the Democrats haven’t accomplished.”

“Shocked by Donald Trump’s election, Democrats adopted a strategy of resistance that’s simple and blunt: Anything Trump is for, they’re against. It’s turned out to be one of the least successful strategies a political party has ever pursued. Yet Democrats have stuck to it.

it didn’t have to be that way. Had Democrats negotiated with Republicans, they might have saved the provision they most wanted to preserve—the full deductibility of state and local taxes. It’s a crucial break in rich, high-tax states like New York, New Jersey, and California.

President Reagan tried to kill deductibility in the tax reform legislation of 1986. But that was a bipartisan effort, and Democrats insisted on keeping it. Now they’re on the outside looking in.

Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) has a sensible theory about why Democrats thought they could defeat the tax bill. They sidetracked the repeal of Obamacare by intimidating GOP senators. They staged protests, harassed them at town-hall meetings, and held rallies denouncing them.

The wild charges tended to unite Republicans.

Roskam, who chairs the Ways and Means subcommittee on tax policy, had his own experience with Democrats. They offered a dozen or so “gotcha” amendments, nothing more, he says. Ways and Means chairman Kevin Brady devoted four days to amendments when the full committee met. Democrats ran out of them quickly.

Odds are, the resistance will lose again.

The resistance hasn’t done much better in opposing confirmation of Trump’s nominees to U.S. courts of appeals, one level below the Supreme Court.

Nor have the resisters succeeded in slowing the pace of deregulation that Trump has insisted on.

Donald Trump the Right Man at the Right Time [Warden] – “If you didn’t already know that today’s media is nothing more than a propaganda arm for the left, an easy giveaway would be their reaction to the Trump presidency.” [language warning needed]

“How and why did this blustering, uncouth, under funded, politically inexperienced outsider succeed when the odds appeared to be so stacked against him? I’m not qualified to say, but I do think he has one quality that is critical to understanding his impact and it is that Donald Trump is the only person I know in America that actually possesses f*** you money.

Wealthy people are usually materialistic, but they’re not primarily interested in the utility of material things. What they’re interested in is the status attached to the things that they buy.

President Trump … defines success differently than do other people at his level of wealth. He cannot be shamed into or out of a particular action or position because he simply does not care how the chattering class views him. This, alone, makes him a fascinating character and one deserving of study. I also believe it’s what makes Donald Trump such a uniquely effective politician.

It’s this quality that has Trump’s opponents spinning like tops. They’ve gone back to the same playbook for so many years that they don’t know how to adapt to someone who is immune to their historically most potent attacks. Trump has ripped back the curtain on the wizards of public shaming and revealed them to be powerless crybabies.

But he’s the only man who could do it. He had both the money and the attitude necessary to the task. His supporters grasped the importance of this unique advantage early.

The big question as we move past Donald Trump’s first year in office is whether Trumpism is a force that is dependent on the man bearing its title or whether it’s a cultural and political wave that will retain its power when he leaves.

I don’t have the answer to this question, but I think it can be confidently asserted that there is no returning to the status quo after Donald Trump has exited the stage. We are at a different place now–one that is simultaneously more visceral, raw and honest.

While nobody was looking, Trump and the GOP actually got some things done by Jazz Shaw –

“When congressional Republicans failed to enact many of President Barack H. Obama’s agenda items on looser immigration laws, gun control and “social justice” issues, they were declared by the press to be The Party of No. When Senate Democrats blocked one GOP bill after another supporting the agenda of President Donald J. Trump the media lauded them as The Heroic Resistance. When President Obama declared that he had a pen and a phone and took executive, extra-legislative action in response he was declared to be Decisive. When the pen and phone in question were placed in President Trump’s hands he was branded as Authoritarian.

Is this pattern sounding familiar?

With the end of the year just around the corner, the Democrats are grinding their teeth over the signing of the tax bill into law, while the media rushes to remind everyone that this is Trump’s “only legislative victory” in his first year. … It’s as if virtually nothing has been accomplished this year and the few achievements that managed to happen were uniformly disastrous.

But was that really what happened?

as for the endless attacks on the President over each and every thing he does or says, I would ask his many detractors to contemplate a couple of points during the Christmas and New Years break. If you didn’t complain when a previous president imposed new regulations absent legislative action, you look rather foolish claiming that the next president can’t undo them. If you didn’t complain when a president summoned DACA into being without an accompanying new law, you appear ignorant when you claim that a subsequent president “can’t” make changes to it. If you’re screaming about due process for Al Franken but you’ve already convicted Donald Trump of collusion with Vladimir Putin to steal the 2016 election, please don’t be too disappointed if we don’t take you seriously.

How to Determine If You Should Talk About Politics in Public by Scott Adams – “When candidate Trump first set about the job of redefining politics (and reality) back in 2015, people had lots of predictions about how things would turn out.”

“One year isn’t long enough to know everything we need to know about his presidency, but it’s long enough to to check some of our predictions. As a public service, I put together a list of predictions that various people made about Trump that you can use to evaluate your own predictive powers. Count the number of items on the list that you once predicted would be true. I’ll tell you how to evaluate your score at the end.

if you are wrong for three years straight — about almost everything Trump-related — please adjust your confidence in your predictive powers accordingly.

If you got 15 or more of those predictions wrong, please consider reading a copy of my book, Win Bigly, to learn how to use what I call the Persuasion Filter to predict better.

Season 2 of Trump is going to be interesting.

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Slow cookery, getting results all the way through

How Obama manipulated sensitive secret intelligence for political gain By Guy Taylor and Dan Boylan – This one’s got it all: anonymous sources, high intrigue, context, personal stories, … it provides insight into a scandal and serves as a contrast to the Fake News™ so often appearing in the Wapo or CNN or NYT that is anonymously sourced without but served up without any flesh on the bones.

Federal court on CREW emolument suit against Trump: Come on, man by Ed Morrissey – “Remember all that hyperventilating over the Emoluments Clause and Donald Trump’s business empire? Politically, it made good copy. Legally, however, the arguments fell flat.” This is another front in the attack on Trump where the charges and allegations are absurd to start with. In this case, the rejection was on the matter of standing. That means try, try again for the Left. The problem is that the Clinton’s foundation is a much more blatant of receiving compensation for political favors which is why the Uranium One investigation is being examined.

“Interestingly but perhaps predictably, Daniels’ ruling on the Emoluments claim sticks narrowly to standing and justiciability. It doesn’t delve into whether a hotel bill counts as an emolument, or the debate about whether a president can still own businesses while in office without running afoul of the Constitution. Daniels understandably notes that those are questions for the political realm to handle, not the courts, at least not at first. Until Congress acts on the Emoluments clause, the judiciary has no role.

The Deep Racism Of The Left By Steven Hayward – “Very revealing little dustup on Wednesday after the White House celebration of the tax cut bill.” It’s about going after a man who contributed to the tax bill and its content and its support because of skin color.

“Andy Ostroy of the Puffington Host tweeted out that South Carolina Republican Senator Tim Scott, who spoke prominently at the Rose Garden rally, was a Republican “prop,” because Scott is black. For the racist identity politics left, your skin color is supposed to determine your ideology; hence any black Republican has to be a “token” or a “prop” (as well as an Uncle Tom).

But in truth the racism displayed by Ostroy is actually much worse than the insidious identity politics premise behind it. One reason people like Ostroy think Scott is a “prop” for Republicans is that most blacks in Congress are props for Democrats.

Postscript: I discover that Ostroy took down his tweet and apologized to Scott. Good for him. But his view is hardly limited to him:

Scott was one of many who have been working since Tea Party days or even earlier for tax reform and have now seen their efforts bear fruit.

Republicans Bet the Farm by Patrick J. Buchanan – “By enacting the largest tax cut since the Reagan administration, the heart of which is cutting the corporate rate from 35 to 21 percent, Republicans have boldly bet the farm.” Then there’s the other items in the bill and other successes to consider.

“They have rewritten America’s tax code to reflect their belief that cutting taxes on the private sector will produce the prosperity they have promised. If it happens, the GOP will reap the rewards, if not by 2018, then in 2020.

Democrats, as the Party of Government, egalitarian and neo-socialist, have come to see their role as redistributing wealth from those who have too much—to those who have too little. For, as men (and women) are born unequal in ambition, ability, talent, energy, personality and drive, free markets must inevitably produce an inequality of results.

The mission of Democrats is to reduce those inequalities. And as the very rich are also the very few, in a one-man, one-vote democracy the Democratic Party will always have a following.

Winston Churchill called this the philosophy of failure and the gospel of envy.

The problem for Democrats is that Reaganomics worked, and is seen historically to have been successful.

Virtually eliminating state and local tax deductions is going to cause some of the rich to consider relocating to low-tax or no-tax red states in the Sun Belt like Florida. And it is going to put pressure on blue state pols to cease adding to the state and local tax burdens that Uncle Sam is not longer helping to carry.

Taxpayer rebellions in the blue states? By Silvio Canto, Jr. – “The Democrats are hysterical about the Trump tax reform. You’d probably be hysterical too if someone was about to blow up your little kingdom.”

“For years, high-tax states benefited by passing the cost to the rest of the country, or allowing their residents to “write off” their state taxes on their IRS return.

In other words, the real losers of Trump tax reform are the state legislatures in California and Illinois, as we see in this article by James Piereson

The “blue model” will now require its citizens to pay the real cost of government. My guess is that you will see an exodus of taxpayers and businesses — unless they change their approach to governing.

And you will see a taxpayer rebellion that we have not seen since the Boston Tea Party that sparked the colonies’ rebellion.

This is why they are in such panic!

And … Presto! Tax Cuts Already Working Their Magic, an IBD editorial – “Gee, that was fast. Just one day after the tax bill was finally passed, companies were already scrambling to do things with their money. It’s an impressive list and, no doubt, not comprehensive.

Time for Trump to slow-cook the turkeys of Turtle Bay by Washington Examiner – “At the United Nations headquarters in New York, President Trump is engaged in a standoff with a deeply entrenched political class. … Yet, it is the president who has the initiative.”

“He who pays the piper calls the tune. That’s the big picture. But you get still more from the details, so let’s dig in.

It appears that there will be a reception hosted by the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. for those who supported the U.S. The current administration does seem to be masters at slow cooking.

Haley’s Moment: “We Will Remember” By Scott Johnson – “It was, rather, the U.N.’s shameful business-as-usual to which Haley delivered an overdue stinging rebuke.” Here are Haley’s remarks.” Do go read carefully what she says.

Trump says he’s not firing Mueller, but the media keep insisting he might By Howard Kurtz – “The media are constantly warning that President Trump might fire Robert Mueller, triggering a political firestorm and a constitutional crisis.” In other words, the media is consumed by its desires and fantasies and not by fact and reality.

“On “America’s Newsroom” yesterday, Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: “We have no intention of firing Bob Mueller. We are continuing to work closely and cooperate with him. We look forward to seeing this hoax wrap up very soon.”

Still, the pundits keep pounding away. On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” yesterday, John Heilemann told Republican Sen. Bob Corker: “I want to ask you personally what your reaction would be if the president did try to fire the special prosecutor.”

In fact, the firing would have to be carried out by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who recently testified that he thinks Mueller is doing a good job and could only be removed for valid reasons.

So at the moment, all this amounts to an orgy of speculation.

The media mindset was perfect captured by a Chicago Tribune column with the headline: “Trump Says He Won’t Fire Bob Mueller. Don’t Believe Him.”

The media will have every right to go bonkers if Trump tries to oust the prosecutor investigating him. But for now, it may be the most overcovered hypothetical question in politics.

The persistence in the face of lack of evidence is contrasted with the absence of persistence in the face of significant evidence. See, for instance, A deafening media silence on the Obama-Hezbollah scandal By David Harsanyi – “Politico published a jaw-dropping, meticulously sourced investigative piece this week detailing how the Obama administration had secretly undermined US law enforcement agency efforts to shut down an international drug-trafficking ring run by the terror group Hezbollah.”

“The effort was part of a wider push by the administration to placate Iran and ensure the signing of the nuclear deal.

Now swap out “Trump” for “Obama” and “Russia” for “Iran” and imagine the eruption these revelations would generate. Because, by any conceivable journalistic standard, this scandal should’ve triggered widespread coverage and been plastered on front pages across the country. By any historic standard, the scandal should elicit outrage regarding the corrosion of governing norms from pundits and editorial boards.

Yet, as it turns out, there’s an exceptionally good chance most of your neighbors and colleagues haven’t heard anything about it.

What makes the media blackout particularly shameful is that the story isn’t a partisan hit job. It was written by a well-regarded journalist at a major outlet. The story has two on-the-record sources — which is more than we can say for the vast majority of so-called scoops about the Russian “collusion” investigation. One of these sources, David Asher, was an illicit finance expert at the Pentagon who was tapped to run the investigation. There’s no plausible reason to ignore him or the story.

The preponderance of editors, journalists, pundits and bookers, on the other hand, still coddle Democrats. They may do it on purpose or unconsciously, but it’s destroying their credibility. Because as David Burge once noted, “Journalism is about covering important stories. With a pillow, until they stop moving.”

Sally Yates, One of the Biggest Frauds of the Year by George Neumayr – “Drunk on the ruling class’s praise of her subversive hackery at the Justice Department, Sally Yates evidently conceives of herself as a very august presence in American public life. How else to explain her state of the union-style address in USA Today this week?”

“It is hard to imagine a less credible commentator on this subject than Yates. She deserves a special place in the annals of wholly politicized law enforcement. Were it not for the safety net the media and ruling class held beneath her, the political high-wire act she performed during the transition period after the election would have been unfathomable.

Who elected Sally Yates? Her presumption rested entirely upon the undemocratic conceits of an elite that deludes itself into thinking that the “rule of law” is synonymous with its appetite for power.

Like so many other ruling-class darlings, Yates puts on the halo of “independence” in order to advance the most partisan goals. Listening to her thoughts on “apolitical law enforcement” is like listening to Obama’s post-presidential speeches on civility in which he pretends to be giving advice to “both sides of the aisle” when in reality he is only rebuking one of them, the Republicans dumb enough to disarm as Dems are slitting their throats. All of this pompous chatter is designed not to save America from autocracy but to enshrine one that liberals see as their sacred right.

You might remember Yates in regard to an FBI investigator going after anything Trump.

Ace is on the case citing Rand Paul: It’s Time to Investigate High-Ranking Obama Officials For Colluding to Misuse Intel and Law Enforcement Assets Against a Political Rival; “Worse Than Watergate”

“Meanwhile, today Andrew McCabe, who is emulating his political favorite Hillary Clinton in her convenient lapses of memory when questioned about corrupt actions and corrupt intent, is “testifying” before two House panels. He had previously claimed large gaps in memory in his Senate “testimony” on Tuesday.

First six DisruptJ20 protesters acquitted on all charges by John Sexton – “The message of this acquittal is going to be loud and clear to Antifa: Wearing masks is a get out of jail free card.”

“ As long as no one can identify who broke which window or who started which fire, you’re safe from all consequences. This was their plan all along. I guarantee you some of these 200 people know exactly who did what. Some of them recognize their friends in those videos, but they are operating as a gang. No one will snitch on their fellow gang members.

That’s exactly what happened at an Antifa riot in Sacramento last June. Police spent months writing a 2,000-page report identifying hundreds of crimes caught on video but in the end, only a handful of people were arrested because their identities were concealed:

People have a right to protest the President, that should go without saying. But vandalism, violence, and arson are not protest activities, they’re crimes. Things could still change but we’re off to a bad start in these prosecutions. As long as these violent tactics don’t result in jail time, we’re going to continue to see more of them.

 persistence in the face of lack of evidence is contrasted with the absence of persistence in the face of significant evidence is suffering from slow cookery.

 

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Left without much power: DACA, Steele, Defense, Reckless Constitutional Crisis

Supreme Court grants reprieve to Trump on DACA documents By Stephen Dinan – “Justices: Judge too hasty in ordering documents turned over to anti-Trump activists.” Another slapdown for California courts.

“Left without much power in Congress, Mr. Trump’s political enemies have rushed to the courts instead, suing over everything from his voter integrity commission to his immigration policy to his decision this month to cut the size of some national monuments.

And while lower courts have been sympathetic to the anti-Trump forces, the Supreme Court has proved to be a blockade to their efforts.

Faced with libel lawsuit, dossier drafter Christopher Steele hedges on linking Trump to Russia by Rowan Scarborough – “the former British spy who fueled an ongoing investigation into President Trump’s administration, was a lot more confident of his charges when he wrote his now-notorious 2016 dossier than he is today in defending it in a libel lawsuit.”

Defending country, not climate, a Washington Times editorial – “Trump’s ‘principled realism’ prevails over radical environmentalism.”

“In a major national security strategy speech Monday at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, President Trump presented his “America first” agenda, founded on “principled realism.” A 53-page accompanying blueprint includes protecting “America’s way of life,” the homeland, promoting American prosperity, championing “peace through strength,” and advancing American influence. Climate change no longer makes the cut.

The rapid rise in temperatures predicted by mathematical models has not materialized, either, and forecasts of worsening weather, rising sea levels and climate-abused polar bears in Mr. Gore’s docudramas, have proved to be considerably underwhelming

The argument that stormy weather ranks with the threat of nuclear annihilation from North Korea or Iran persuaded Americans to turn to Donald Trump for a rational and sober leadership. The president’s national security strategy reinforces that hunch and belief.

Top Intel Dem warns against ‘reckless’ talk of Mueller firing By Andrea Noble – “Sen. Mark Warner, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, warned that efforts to remove Mr. Mueller could evoke “a constitutional crisis” and urged colleagues to speak out against any accusations that the special counsel’s investigation was tainted by political bias.” It’s another Democrat telling everyone not to believe the evidence or the testimony … and let’s not forget projection, partisanship, and bigotry either,

“It is up to every member of this institution, Republican or Democrat to make a clear and unambiguous statement that any attempt by this president to remove special counsel Mueller from his position, or to pardon key witnesses in any effort to shield them from accountability, or to shut the investigation would be a gross abuse of power,” the Virginia Democrat said.

He noted that all the major players who held roles overseeing the Russia investigation are Republicans — including Mr. Mueller, former FBI Director James B. Comey, current FBI Director Christopher Wray, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused himself from the probe because of his ties to the Trump campaign.

“The charges that some of made that somehow Democratic political bias has crept in this investigation are baseless given the makeup of the leadership team,” Mr. Warner said.

But Republicans have questioned whether key figures in the FBI let their bias taint their investigations after it was disclosed that a member of Mr. Mueller’s team had exchanged text messages with another FBI lawyer in which the two mocked then-candidate Mr. Trump and worried about the fate of the United States if he was elected.

LOL at Daily Caller’s Headline: “Eminem Slips Slowly Into Insanity As Trump Continues to Ignore His Rants” by Ace – “Trump seems to have decided that sometimes, silence is the best condemnation.” It’s a flavor of that parable about not stopping an opponent when he’s digging his own hole deeper and deeper.

Don’t Fire Mueller, President Trump – Let Him Keep Making A Fool Of Himself Instead by Kurt Schlichter – “we aren’t hearing anything about collusion anymore, except from Adam Schiff whenever he gets off the phone with Tater Stelter at CNN long enough to essentially insist that the collusion is all so very, very obvious, and that evidence is just a bourgeois conceit, and also please don’t look at the scheming bureaucrats behind the curtain.”

“Let’s see, Mueller got Paul Manafort for stuff he did back when the idea of President Trump was still a far-out Simpson’s gag. He got General Flynn for doing what Trump fired him for. He got some nobody named George Platypus or something for lying about something that means nothing. But did he get anybody for collusion? Anybody? Did his unbiased, Trump-hating, committed Democrat minions ever even leak any evidence of it, since they’ve leaked everything else? Hey look, tumbleweeds!

This pseudo-scandal is a joke, a scam, a desperate attempt by the establishment to try to claw back the power We The People relieved them of when we dissed their dominatrix Felonia Milhous von Pantsuit. And they are showing the same level of skill, savvy, and raw competence that led us to give them their walking papers.

The Russiagate non-scandal scandal is just another establishment grift, and it turns out that Mueller is the mark.

So, Mr. President, please don’t fire this guy. Let him stagger on for a while longer, destroying the façade of credibility our establishment betters thought they had constructed and that forms the basis of their shabby identities.

Don’t fire him, Mr. President, at least not yet. Do something even crueler. Let Mueller and his pack of Democrat clowns keep making fools of themselves.

Andrew McCabe Was a Friendly Witness for Democrats Yesterday, But His Answers to Republicans About the Dossier Contained Conflicts With Other Witness Statements As Well as Convenient Gaps In Memory by Ace – “Republicans plan a new round of subpoenas to those in McCabe’s conspiratorial circle to ferret out the truth.”

Democratic surrealism By Gary Gindler – “The Russian attempt to influence the elections in America seems to have been confirmed. This attempt was carried out not through Donald Trump, but by Democratic supporters of Hillary Clinton.”

“no one knew about Trump’s survival strategy in the Washington swamp.

The events of the past month give every reason to believe that Trump is aiming at the full-scale bankruptcy of his political opponents. This bankruptcy refers not only to financial, but also political, legal, and moral bankruptcy of the Democratic and its allies in the disinformation media.

None of these neo-Marxists with allegedly high IQs bothered to consider a strategy to forestall Trump just in case he turned out not to be guilty of anything. Could the creatures of the Washington swamp have hoped that Trump would not take advantage of the opportunity provided to him by the Democratic surrealists?

It’s impressive that the pause before Trump’s counterpunch lasted a full year. For twelve months Trump was mostly picking fights with pseudo-reporters. And then someone turned on the green light. Almost every day, America began to learn the detials of the unprecedented “witch hunt,” in which the investigation of Mueller is just the tip of the iceberg. The method and frequency of public disclosure of this information indicate that the people behind it are perfectly aware of the news cycle.

The surrealism of the situation lies in the fact that the Russian attempt to influence the elections in America seems to have been confirmed. Republicans should have listened to the Democrats when they accused Russia of interfering in the election process in America — the Democrats knew exactly what they were talking about.

They knew that this Russian attempt was carried out not through Donald Trump, but through Democratic supporters of Hillary Clinton.

Democrats may wish they’d supported Trump’s tax cut, CBS Commentary – “Why is a plan to cut taxes for working families, enact an Obama-style approach to corporate taxes and increase child-friendly spending the subject of such partisan passion? It’s not policy. It’s not math. … It’s Trump.”

“Of course there’s plenty for Democrats to complain about in this bill. There’s plenty for Republicans to hate, too. That’s because “passing bills with stuff in them don’t like” is also called “democracy.” It happens with the budget all the time, and it certainly happened with ObamaCare.

But not all party-line votes are created equal. Obamacare was a fundamental shift in how our government treated health care. It wasn’t a debate over how high to set premiums. It was a clash between the fundamental values of the two parties: Collective action v. individual responsibility; government power v. personal choice. It’s hard to compromise on core principles.

This tax bill? It’s, well, just a tax bill.

Like the Obamacare compromise, the GOP’s tax bill does quite a few things Democrats usually support.

#Resist means no cooperation, no cutting deals, none of the usual give-and-take of democracy.

next November, if the economy is growing, big employers are expanding and workers are feeling more weight in their wallets, Democrats may be wishing they had found a way to get past Trump and support a tax-reform compromise.

The tax bill is going to get more popular, says… the Washington Post? By Jazz Shaw – “Democrats have somehow decided that lower taxes are the campaign rallying cry that will carry them to victory in the midterms. In fact, they’re planning what’s being described as “a year-long assault” on the bill. (WaPo)

“That Power Post entry from Dave Weigel gives us a hint that the folks at what is arguably the biggest megaphone the Democratic Party – the Washington Post – are getting nervous. Even Weigel is warning of the possibility that Chuck and Nancy’s worst predictions about the tax cuts [may] fall flat. But there are already far more blunt assessments coming from the WaPo.

And how did the Democrats wind up in this potential quagmire? Don’t shed many tears for them because they brought it on themselves and their allies in the majority of the mainstream media baited the trap for them.

Third quarter GPD has been set at 3.2%,\; Several companies have provided an employee Christmas bonus based on their tax savings (e.g. Ace); in February the average paycheck is going to show a $100 increase due to reduced tax deductions; the stock market is booming and that is going to show on year end retirement fund reports. And that is just for 2017 anticipating the tax bill.

And here’s another Ace note: The First Black President? Black Unemployment Levels Near All-Time Lows.

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Don’t forget that where we are is just more of where we’ve been

Stunning Report: Left-Wing Prosecutorial Crusaders Spied on Wisconsin Republicans, Defied Court Orders by Guy Benson – “If you aren’t familiar with the “John Doe” investigation that rocked Wisconsin politics a few years ago, or are hazy on the details, go back and read my coverage of how the Left engaged in gross abuses of criminal law to intimidate, harass and silence conservatives in the state.”

“The specifics were chilling — from pre-dawn raids on political activists’ homes, to stifling gag orders preventing them from saying a peep about what was happening to them, all in pursuit of criminalizing and punishing the Badger State conservative movement. Eventually, one target violated his gag order and blew the whistle on the whole operation, eventually leading to investigations of the investigations, and multiple courts shutting down the witch hunts with extreme prejudice.

Jim Jordan Makes The Case Against The FBI And Peter Strzok [updated] by John Hinderaker – “If you want to understand the news that has been swirling around the FBI’s Peter Strzok, who played a key role in both the Hillary Clinton email investigation and Robert Mueller’s wide-ranging Russia probe …

“ you should watch this riveting seven-minute video of Congressman Jim Jordan interrogating FBI Director Christopher Wray earlier today. Wray was testifying before the House Judiciary Committee.

Jordan does a beautiful job of tying together the Strzok-related stories that have bubbled to the surface in recent days. He keeps it clean, too, not even mentioning that Strzok’s anti-Trump messages were exchanged with his illicit lover, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who also was discharged from Mueller’s team. Jordan expresses the suspicion that Strzok, on behalf of the FBI, collaborated with the Clinton campaign and, ultimately, Russian sources to produce the fake Trump dossier. Jordan further suspects that it was Strzok, a virulent Trump-hater, who took the false Russian information in the dossier and dressed it up as a FISA court application, which in turn generated an order allowing the Obama administration to spy on the Trump campaign. Wray refuses to comment.

Jordan acts like he knows something we don’t. If he is right, this is the biggest scandal in American political history:

Dossier author was in contact with Obama Justice Department by Byron York – “According to new reports, knowledge of the so-called “Trump dossier,” during the 2016 campaign, extended into the highest levels of the Obama Justice Department.”

“The news also stunned some of those who had been investigating the matter. Yes, they knew that knowledge of the dossier extended to some officials in the FBI. That was bad enough; how could the FBI endorse and consider underwriting one campaign’s dirt-digging operation in the middle of a hotly contested election? But now investigators know that nearly the highest levels of the Obama Justice Department were also aware of the dossier.

Now, with news of Ohr’s contacts with Steele and Simpson, Republicans on Capitol Hill — and perhaps some Democrats, too — will wonder just how far the Obama Justice Department officials went in the effort to stop Trump.

If Roy Moore wins. . . by Paul Mirengoff – “if they declare Moore unfit, they should be prepared to explain why they consider Donald Trump fit for the presidency.” It’s a bit convoluted but it illustrates how the meme similar to the ‘when did you stop beating your wife’ idea can be an insidious infection and political weapon. Consider the assertion “Trump admitted to sexual assault in the Billy Bush tapes.” That’s not quite an accurate perception but the important issue is how locker room braggadocio has been elevated to a confession of crimes on a par with the photographs of Al Franken or the Clinton or Kennedy issues.

Dem Rep Rice: Trump Should Resign Over His History with ‘Harassment’ by Pam Key shows how this works. – “Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) said given Sen. Al Franken’s (D-MN) resignation over sexual misconduct accusations, President Donald Trump should also resign over “his history with this issue of harassment.” Does anyone wonder why all that is offered to support such an allegation is the locker room tape or, maybe, a Gloria Allred inspired lawsuit? Compare and contrast and look for differences being shoved under the rug for political advantage.

The Warlock Hunt by Claire Berlinski – “The #MeToo moment has now morphed into a moral panic that poses as much danger to women as it does to men.” It’s a rather long diatribe and dotes on victimology out of context with history but does describe the modern hysteria and its dangers. At the end, it is tainted by a Trump hate that belies evidence. She fails to consider that Trump is a result of the phenomena she describes and a reaction to the over-zealous assault on the nature of human kind that she worries about.

“My husband is perfect in every way but one—he doesn’t exist—but he has served me so well over the years that I’m willing to overlook his ontological defects. I shouldn’t need him, but I do.

Among us, it seems, lives a class of men who call to mind Caligula and Elagabalus not only in their depravity, but in their grotesque sense of impunity.

yet something is troubling me. Recently I saw a friend—a man—pilloried on Facebook for asking if #metoo is going too far. “No,” said his female interlocutors. “Women have endured far too many years of harassment, humiliation, and injustice. We’ll tell you when it’s gone too far.”

It now takes only one accusation to destroy a man’s life. Just one for him to be tried and sentenced in the court of public opinion, overnight costing him his livelihood and social respectability. We are on a frenzied extrajudicial warlock hunt that does not pause to parse the difference between rape and stupidity. The punishment for sexual harassment is so grave that clearly this crime—like any other serious crime—requires an unambiguous definition. We have nothing of the sort.

The things men and women naturally do—flirt, play, lewdly joke, desire, seduce, tease—now become harassment only by virtue of the words that follow the description of the act, one of the generic form: “I froze. I was terrified.”

Revolutions against real injustice have a tendency, however, to descend into paroxysms of vengeance that descend upon guilty and innocent alike. We’re getting too close. Hysteria is in the air.

We now have, in effect, a crime that comes with a swift and draconian penalty, but no proper definition.

We should certainly realize by now that a moral panic mixed with an internet mob is a menace.

From the Salem Witch trials to the present, moral panics have followed the same pattern. Stanley Cohen’s Folk Devils and Moral Panics remains the classic study. To read it is to appreciate that we are seeing something familiar here.

Malicious WUWT troll sees police show up at his door by Anthony Watts – “This particularly malicious troll is one of the “Arctic sea ice zealots” that inhabit Jim Hunt’s “Great White Con” website on sea ice.” Harassment takes many forms and separating the dangerous from the innocent is not always easy. Here’s an example outside of the sexual arena to compare and contrast behavior characteristics.

California fire damage to homes is less ‘random’ than it seems by Faith Kearns – “Firefighters and researchers alike have a pretty solid understanding of why some houses are more vulnerable to wildfire than others. The real challenge ultimately lies in whether those with the power to act on that knowledge will do so.”

Gaps in required curricula may explain differences in climate change acceptance among college graduates by Liz Entman – “The average American college student has just a 17 percent chance of learning about climate change before graduation through required core courses. The finding may help explain why having a bachelor’s degree doesn’t always lead to increased acceptance of human-caused global warming.” i.e. the propaganda effort needs more force to squash critical inquiry and skepticism in college educational efforts.

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It’s something else, overdone and overboard

I’m A Liberal, And I Agree With Sean Hannity That American Journalism Is Dead By Saritha Prabhu – “The 2016 election opened my eyes to this ‘Truman Show’-like media universe we’ve all been inhabiting.”

“Once you become aware of something, you keep seeing it all the time. So, almost every time I watched or read something, I saw the media bias: in the way headlines were framed, in what they chose to cover, in the way they devoted the barest minimum time to Clinton’s problems.

To be sure, the media on the Right is often biased as well. The degree to which Sean Hannity carries water for Trump is often amusing to watch. But the mainstream media’s bias is something else, and it affects me personally. It leaves me feeling angry, betrayed, frustrated.

I didn’t go to a fancy journalism school, and don’t even have a journalism degree, but I know enough to realize that what is happening is bad, and that when the media self-divide into rabidly partisan camps, citizens suffer and democracy suffers. When Sean Hannity says “journalism has died in America,” I agree with him.

What’s the Flynn investigation all about? [Plus ABC’s “clarification”/correction] by neo-neocon – “There are several intertwined stories here that fit together to form a fascinating picture.” An example in detail about what struck Prabhu to conclude bias in reporting.

Don’t Be Fooled: The Left Doesn’t Care About Morals; It Cares About Power By D. C. Mcallister – “liberals, who once laughed at sexual improprieties, clapped as sinners danced in the streets, and pointed fingers at accusers on national television, are now offering mea culpas and purging all ranks with the fervor of medieval inquisitors.”

“It certainly looks like a change for good. But don’t be fooled. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

We’re not seeing careful consideration of how we got to this point — the abandonment of God as the source of all moral authority or, at the very least, a common recognition of natural law and traditional social norms.

Instead, we are seeing navel-gazing about how to rethink sex, what to do about the brutality of masculinity, and how to delegitimize conservatives who have been accused of abandoning character for political expediency.

Leftists aren’t embracing morality; they’re looking for a way to reclaim the moral authority they lost after past decades of materialism, creeping totalitarianism, and moral bankruptcy.

We are not living in a time of spiritual or moral awakenings. We are living in a time of cultural and political war.

The worst thing any conservative can do today, in any situation that is politically motivated on any level, is to think the issues before them are just about maintaining one’s own reputation or simply standing for “principles” without an eye to the battle. If you’re willing to abandon those who are in the political and cultural foxhole with you because you’re afraid to lose your personal moral authority (or the moral authority of a political party) due to labels manufactured by the Left, you’ve already lost your moral authority.

expose the Left’s true intentions, their political agendas, their manipulations, and their thirst for power at all costs, refusing to allow them to gain a foothold. By exposing evil, morality wins. It doesn’t win when you allow evil to continue to parade as good. And it doesn’t win when you forsake those who are in the battle with you because you’re more concerned about your own reputation than winning the war against evil.

Making the Clintons Pay By Scott S. Powell – “it should come as no surprise that America’s decline in the last 25 years has coincided with the erosion of the U.S. Constitution and the corruption of the nation’s law enforcement and judicial system.”

“What has most greased the skids of America’s decline toward the ways of a banana republic is the emergence and acceptance of two-tiered justice and attendant cronyism and political corruption. And nowhere is this more obvious than in the pass given to the Clintons, and particularly former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

What is now waking up Americans about the seriousness of Clinton family self-dealing and the need for prosecution is the realization that the Clintons were at the center of what appears to be the biggest political corruption scandal in U.S. history.

Before the Declaration and the U.S. Constitution were even written, Samuel Adams observed that, “neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.” Political corruption in America has now become a cancer destroying people’s trust in government and their respect for the rule of law.

The inclination to give a pass to high profile politicians once out of office would be a grave mistake. Boldness is needed and there is simply no more important or cathartic action to take to restore equality before the law and bring an end to cronyism and double standards than the prosecution of the masters of political corruption — the Clinton crime syndicate.

Gimme Shelter By Michael Walsh – “the verdict had little or nothing to do with the victim or the defendant; rather, it was a thumb in the eye of the Trump administration, which has since its inception opposed the concept of “sanctuary” jurisdictions as part of its efforts to end illegal immigration.”

“And here’s nub of it: the Steinle case is important, not simply as a matter of (at the very least) criminally negligent homicide, but as a fatality caused by a man who should not have been in San Francisco, or anywhere else in the U.S., at all. It’s good that the feds are now going to charge him, but the damage has been done.

“Sanctuary” from what? Sanctuary from the laws of the United States. Every state, municipality and local jurisdiction that declares itself a place of “sanctuary” should henceforth be treated as being in open rebellion against the federal government, in exactly the same way that South Carolina and the secessionist Confederacy was — and was treated as such by Abraham Lincoln — in 1861.

How much longer will we put up with this? In his first inaugural address in March 1861, Lincoln said, “Plainly, the central idea of secession, is the essence of anarchy.”

the Left no longer believes in angels, or laws, or much of anything else, except the destruction of the nation as founded and the furtherance of their own globalist ambitions, they need to be confronted, quickly. If we really do have a government of laws and not men — not to mention of illegal aliens — let’s prove it.

Charlottesville Police Chief: ‘Let them fight’ by John Sexton – “police were not properly prepared or equipped to deal with the situation and once crowds of white supremacists and counter-protesters began battling in the street the police did almost nothing. In fact, this was a strategy on the part of the police

“Needless to say, none of this is how you prevent violence at a rally involving two groups who come prepared for violence. The proper approach is to keep the two groups apart and intervene where necessary to prevent fights from escalating. The Charlottesville police did the opposite. They not only failed to intervene in fights, they also pushed the two battling groups into closer contact with one another, with results the report calls “predictable.” The report found no evidence of a verbal “stand down” order. However, the report is blunt on this point saying Charlottesville police failed to “stand up.”

Feminism, the Fake Indian, the Tragic State of the FBI, and the Flynn Flam By Clarice Feldman – “This has been a busy week and a sad one for the neo-feminists, the media, and #NeverTrump conservatives. It was a good one for those who believe we have for too long allowed a bunch of self-selected ninnies to drive both the news and the government.”

Oops! Network “Chief Political Analyst” inadvertently promotes GOP governing principle by Karen Townsend – “Matthew Dowd perfectly made the case for conservative economic policy though he meant the tweet as a slap to the Republican tax bill.”

“Any tax savings that i might get from this unfair and mean spirited gop tax bill i will donate to charities to help the poor and vulnerable. Who is with me?”

I love it when that happens. “Unfair and mean-spirited”? I think not.

I hope lots of people benefitting from the tax reform bill find some inspiration to donate more to charity, preferably at the local level. A very basic principle of the Republican party is the belief that government closest to the people is best. It is the same for charities – locally is best.

For many people, the tax reform bill, a mixed bag as Jazz wrote about, will allow modest tax cuts and a bit more freedom in financial decision making. The repeal of the individual mandate in Obamacare will be a relief for Americans paying penalties for non-coverage. The power grab by the Democrats and President Obama to socialize 1/6 of the American economy seems to me to be “unfair and mean-spirited”

“unfair and mean spirited” being tossed around like candy is a clue to what bothers Prabhu.

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Justice, DOJ, Meuller, Judges, Christians, and nerds

Jeff Sessions’ ambitious Justice Department By Alfred S. Regnery – “During his relatively short time in office,” Mr. Meese told me, “Jeff Sessions has already achieved a remarkable list of accomplishments. He has restored integrity to the Office of Attorney General and reasserted fidelity to the Constitution.”

“Mr. Sessions has encountered some rough sledding in his first 10 months as attorney general, including being on the brink of being told “you’re fired.” The Washington press corps, the entire liberal establishment, and the Democratic congressional caucus practically get hives every time they hear his name

despite a dearth of confirmed assistant attorneys general and other aides, Mr. Sessions has largely succeeded in shutting down much of the Obama-era leftism that was so alive in the Justice Department when he got there and setting it on a Reagan-like path.

Regarding criminal justice, Mr. Sessions has returned the department to actually prosecuting and locking up criminal offenders — based on the notion — outlandish to the left — that effective policing and incarceration are key to reducing crime and protecting the public rather than the Obama campaign of reducing the prison population as much as possible.

Needless to say, the left is apoplectic about what is happening to the Justice.

Judge overturns Trump DHS, restores Obama-era ‘parole’ for foreign entrepreneurs By Stephen Dinan – “When the Obama administration announced the Entrepreneur Rule last year it was controversial, with the president’s aides testing the limits of the Homeland Security Secretary’s powers to “parole” foreigners into the U.S.” Another case of a Judge deciding he has super-constitutional power and can make the law what he thinks it ought to be.

Deep Meaning Of The Mueller Probe By Scott Johnson – “It is a striking fact that the charge to which Michael Flynn pleaded yesterday involves lying about conversations that were not themselves illegal.”

None of the ground rules applicable to a special counsel criminal investigation have been followed. Mueller’s investigation partakes of the wrongs committed by special counsels in past cases — wrongs reflected in the Department of Justice Procedures that are to govern these matters, but that have been thrown out the window.

Conclusion: “Mueller’s investigation is a semblance of law-enforcement disguising the brute reality that Trump is being punished for winning the election and defying Obama policy.

McCarthy’s column expands on his comments immediately following the news of Flynn’s plea yesterday. In addition to his biting analysis, McCarthy frames his column with a (non-satirical) modest proposal about how President Trump might fight fire with fire. If you want to understand what is happening the whole thing is must reading.

Ditto on the McCarthy cite. – “The ongoing Mueller probe is not a good-faith investigation of suspected espionage or other crime. It is the exploitation of the executive’s intelligence-gathering and law-enforcement powers in order to (a) criminalize Trump political policies with which the Obama administration disagreed and (b) frame Clinton’s electoral defeat as the product of a traitorous scheme rather than a rejection of Democratic-party priorities.” and McCarthy explains why he thinks this.

How did unsubstantiated rumors make it to the front pages of newspapers? By Jack Hellner – “I get more disgusted every day with what I see on the front page of my morning paper.”

“My guess is there are people within the Trump Administration or leftovers from the Obama Administration who don’t like Tillerson or who just want to disrupt the Trump Administration. The more these rumors are reported the more people in the Administration get mad at each other. No matter where the rumors come from they start to be believed and some may come true.

I might as well read the National Enquirer or Star in the supermarket line if I want to read rumors on the front page.

Isn’t it pathetic that the whole investigation, the spying, the illegal unmasking and the illegal leaking of conversations appears to be based on a fake $12 Million Russian dossier bought and paid for by Democrats to destroy their opponent? That should be the crime.

ABC News corrects bombshell Flynn report by Oliver Darcy – “corrected an explosive special report that aired in the morning saying that Donald Trump, as a candidate for president, had asked Michael Flynn to make contact with Russians.” Twitter becomes the media of choice for the outrage at the error.

“If we want to regain trust in the media, we need to admit our mistakes, especially when as consequential as this. Retract. Correct. Don’t use weasel words to describe it,” Jonathan Swan of Axios tweeted.

ABC: Our hugely damning report about Trump and Flynn earlier might have gotten one tiny detail wrong by Allahpundit explains things a bit. – “How can ABC go on letting him report major scoops when he has a pattern of being either flatly wrong or so careless with the information as to suggest that he doesn’t understand the nuances of the story, as was true of today’s “candidate” error?”

Michael Flynn Isn’t the Only Guilty One by Ed Stetzer at Christianity Today is an illustration of just how un-Christian one can get. – “Flynn’s guilty plea is a vindication of those who have objected to the “it’s all fake news” claims.” And the logic he uses is indeed interesing.

“When Christians resort to dismissal of unpleasant truth as “fake news,” we are essentially saying that truth doesn’t matter. We are saying that we prefer the comfort of the lie to a hard truth.

If anything illustrates the problems in fake news, it is Stetzer’s own conclusions about Guilt and Flynn. He is in no position to preach to others about False Witness when he does not even conduct the most basic of truth seeking in his own conclusions about it. Maguire (following) shows what someone trying to avoid False Witness should notice before casting judgment.

Out Like Flynn by Tom Maguire – “given Flynn’s other seemingly more serious legal challenges around the unregistered lobbying, busting him for something we already knew about doe not seem like an investigative breakthrough.” … “Asking your National Security Advisor to speak to the Russian Ambassador (or others) is hardly illegal.”

“That said, I doubt Trump told him to lie to Pence or the FBI. However, it does sort of time in to an obstruction charge, especially if Mueller theorist are comfortable that Trump can “obstruct” a going-nowhere investigation of a non-crime.

Title II is Not the Net Neutrality You’re Looking For by Wayde Robson – “The idea of net neutrality is easy to get behind. Who doesn’t want a free and open Internet?” Tromping on himself at times to get an even keel and a TL;DR candidate, Robson still provides some insight into how to make the argument a debate.

“Obama didn’t create a law, nor did his administration leave behind an adequate net neutrality framework from any meaningful legal or technical perspective. The relative ease with which the Trump administration has been able to reverse Obama’s net neutrality policy should be an indication that there really wasn’t much there in the first place. To be fair, in 2015 Obama stood little chance of getting a law passed given the serious breakdown at the White House that prevails to this day. Obama’s version of net neutrality was really no more than a shuffling of some policy paperwork leftover from the 1930s. It was never legally binding and leaves interpretation of what exactly constitutes net neutrality up to the vague notions of whatever administration happens to hold office.

The reality of the net neutrality The Internet is so worried about today was no more than a reclassification of broadband Internet service providers to Title II under the 1934 Communications Act, which defines Interne service as a public utility. Ajit Pai plans to put ISPs back to their pre-2015 position of Title I, defining them as information services. All the high-minded ideals about what defines a free and open Internet might as well be crayon scribbled onto the paper-cutout effigy of net neutrality that the Obama administration created. Ajit Pai is just the first to light the match and burn it down.

Bringing high-speed service to your door is an expensive, cost-prohibitive investment, and not many areas of the US will ever have the luxury of any meaningful market-based competition. So, there should be room for meaningful policy around Internet services that protects the principle of net neutrality while stimulating investment in infrastructure. But treating Internet with the same legal framework applied to running water is not the net neutrality you’re looking for.

All you can find on the surface might not tell you about what you really have. Whether it’s the cream on a jug of milk, a Flynn story, or net neutrality, there is a lot more there than meets the eye.

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An innocent victim, a guilty fantasy.

Kate Steinle and the Globalists By Susan D. Harris – “From Gonzalez’s characterization, it seems to me that the Steinle verdict was payback for a Trump presidency, and setting a murderer free for political payback is such an egregious act, it’s nearly inconceivable.”

“For now, all we can say is, “We tried, Kate.” Yet we must also add that such a miscarriage of justice has only sharpened our seething teeth against Soros organizations and progressives across this country that are willing to legalize murder in some deluded effort to promote social justice, peace and harmony.

The Unintended Consequences of the Steinle Decision By Roger L Simon – “the real villains in the Kate Steinle story are the San Francisco politicians who made the rules that prevented ICE from removing the already five-time deported criminal Zarate from the country.”

“A final area of interest is the jury system itself. Who were these people that made this decision? Supposedly, they came to the trial unbiased by (or ignorant of) the massive press coverage of this murder. Is that possible? Did they lie? Was this another case of jury nullification like the O.J. trial?

It will be interesting to see in the days to come.

Mark Steyn: Steinle Verdict a ‘Miscarriage of Justice’ in the Profoundest Sense By Debra Heine – “A jury found Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, a 48-year-old illegal immigrant, not guilty on charges ranging from involuntary manslaughter to first-degree murder — even though he admitted to shooting Steinle.”

Kate Steinle’s Killer Acquitted by Patterico – “I didn’t see the trial, so I don’t know if the verdict was rational or irrational. However, only in the last few days did I learn some facts that made it sound like a tough case. It was a single ricochet shot off pavement. The interview was poorly conducted and failed to clearly establish that he pulled the trigger, due to a translation issue. I am not shocked by the verdict and it may be right.” But that highlights the real source of the outrage which is the authorities in San Francisco and how they handled the case and its precursors.

Kate Steinle’s accused killer found not guilty on all but one count of possession of a firearm by John Sexton – “Garcia Zarate’s defense attorney contended the shooting was accidental.”

“Zarate’s other attorney, Francisco Ugarte was more blunt. “From day one this case was used as a means to foment hate, to foment division and to foment the threat of mass deportation,” he said. He added, “He was used to catapult the presidency along that philosophy of hate. And I believe today is a vindication for the rights of immigrants.”

Projection? Then try Ezra Klein for a “philosophy of hate” and how to “foment division.”

Vox: Don’t fear impeachment, normalize it by John Sexton – “Vox’s Ezra Klein published a lengthy piece Thursday arguing in favor of impeachment, at least in general.”

“I don’t know that America would get into a shooting war over Trump’s impeachment but it would certainly raise the prospects enormously. Many Americans would rightly see it as a left-wing power grab. Indeed, many American must already suspect all the talk about it is just that. And once that norm is wiped away, just as Democrats eliminated the filibuster for most votes in the Senate, you can bet that the next time Republicans control the Congress and face off with a Democratic president, he will be impeached as well. The cycle will perpetuate with each party pointing to the prior misdeeds of the other as justification for firing another torpedo at the sitting president. And somewhere in Russia, Vladimir Putin will be sitting back and laughing as he admires the collapse of American Democracy.

Simply put, this is a horrible, very bad precedent for Democrats to set. It is everything they warned against when Trump briefly seemed to refuse to accept the outcome of the election in advance. It’s no surprise to me that Klein can’t see what a blatantly partisan move this is. But be assured he’ll feel differently when the wrecking ball he has unleashed starts swinging back in his direction.

Did the NFL fumble a deal with players over anthem protests? By Ed Morrissey – “The league has committed to paying almost $90 million over the next seven years to support the players’ political and social agenda after a series of meetings with their representatives. In return, the league gets … nothing.” The NFL has now become the League of SJW. Football and sportsmanship be damned.

“For almost two years, the NFL has gotten hammered by fans and politicians over player protests during the national anthem, and commissioner Roger Goodell has been looking for a way to get players to end them for most of this season. The stakes could not be higher; two weeks ago, Outkick the Coverage’s Clay Travis — a big critic of the protests — claimed that the league and its partners could lose $500 million this year alone from erosion in TV ratings

What has the NFL managed to produce in this deal? Owners will spend $90 million to fund an effort by players to make the game more political. Weren’t they getting that for free with the current anthem protests? Don’t any of these owners know how to negotiate at all?

From an Angry Reader: So, let me get this this rig… by Victor Davis Hanson – setting the record on the NFL SJW rights, responsibilities, … and consequences.

Thoughts From The Ammo Line – “Ammo Grrrll looks out upon the land and sees LOOPNER NATION.”

“Men lie. Women lie. Children lie like rugs. Rose McGowan I believe. Ms. Tweeden I believe, even without the grotesque photographic evidence. But I have grave doubts about some of the #MeTooers. Mark my words: Turning America into a perpetual Salem Witch Hunt where any man can be destroyed just by accusations of incidents that allegedly happened 40 years earlier and can never be disproved will not end well. Ask not for whom the 10, 20, 30-year-old sexual assault accusation tolls, my brothers; it tolls for thee.

Liberals Attack Sen. Cotton For Wanting to Enforce the Law by John Hinderaker – “This is quite bizarre. Most people expect, and want, the CIA director to protect national security secrets.”

“One would also expect that he would want the Espionage Act enforced, so as to protect our troops and our agents in the field. Yet liberals apparently think that Senator Tom Cotton is disqualified from the office because he called for enforcement of federal laws when their violation by reporters at the New York Times endangered his troops in Iraq.

This is one more sign that craziness on the Left has burst all bounds.

An ugly new paper shows why the climate policy debate is broken By Larry Kummer – “An important (but fatally flawed) new peer-reviewed paper about climate change reveals much about climate science, the public policy debate, and the role of science institutions in America.” What is interesting is to compare this critique with those in climatista blogs condemning papers they don’t like. But then some of the criticisms of this paper highlights those methods.

“This paper follows the forms of science without its substance. In this respect is resembles pseudoscience more than science.

This paper demonstrates the often discussed institutional failures in modern science. Papers whose claims are easily disproven. Sloppy peer review. Politicization. These are the elements creating the replication crisis, slowly spreading through the science (details here). That would have been a small problem in 1817, but is one we cannot afford in 2017.

Let’s hope that scientists begin institutional reforms as soon as possible. The rot seen in this paper, directed as it is at a major public policy issue, can have ugly repercussions.

Scientifically Illiterate America by Henry I. Miller – “above all, science is a method to ensure that experiments and the data derived from them are reproducible and valid.”

Another equally worrisome trend is the increasing frequency of publishing of flawed advocacy research that is designed to give a false result to support a certain cause or position and can be cited by activists long after the findings have been discredited. The articles describing such “experiments” are often found in the predatory open-access journals.

Non-scientists are likely to be fooled or manipulated by such claims because scientific illiteracy runs deep. … Such widespread illiteracy has an impact on policy.

However, even when the science is sound and the data are “meaningful,” politicians and government officials commonly ignore them, often in the cause of bureaucratic empire-building, advancing some ideological goal, or capitulating to activists.

The beauty of the scientific method, when done right, is that it protects us from ideology and bias, and helps us understand what is true and what really works. At its best, science can inform sound public policy. But when we ignore or misinterpret science, we move backwards toward a time when irrationality and superstition prevailed.

3 ways to fix end-of-life care by Suneel Dhand, Md – “In no other country in the world would Mrs. Perkins be subject to such intense health care.”

When you sit down with her, she wants nothing more than to spend her remaining time as comfortable and dignified as possible. She doesn’t want to keep being admitted to hospital and doesn’t want to go through unnecessary scanners or be subject to any additional pain or discomfort. It’s time common sense prevailed, and we let her do so, and also shape our health care system to help her do so as well.

Too often, there is no guide for medical intervention other than ‘any cost to save a life’ and this may not be what the patient or the family desire. But nobody knows this unless it has been discussed and desires recorded. While there is some effort in this area, Dr. Dhand points out that the emphasis may be a bit lower in priority than it ought to be.

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Nazi normalizing, civil heat, neutrality SJW, and the Pocahontas Pickle

The New York Times’ Nazi story goes off the rails By Tammy Bruce – “they were right to be appalled at what they were reading, but they were wrong about what the The New York Times’ agenda really was.”

“The arrogance of the legacy media doesn’t begin and end with biased coverage of existing events; it also involves stories meant to convince Americans of something about themselves and their neighbors which is ugly and untrue.

Their latest? A remarkable piece of agitprop, in the form of a profile of a neo-Nazi who helped organize the white supremacist contingent of the Nazi and antifa Charlottesville Confederate statue demonstrations.

The Times’ agenda wasn’t to generate sympathy for the Nazi, it was to inject into the public discourse the notion that the average American was, and could actually be, a literal Nazi. Without you knowing. It was a story meant to change, in the most horrific of ways, how Americans think about their neighbors. It was meant to sow paranoia and division.

For years, people who do not pay allegiance to the liberal narrative have been condemned as Nazis. President Trump and his supporters are accused regularly. This favorite accusation of the left is meant to shut down debate and isolate the nonconformist, the challenger of orthodoxy.

The Times’ effort to reframe reality as a Nazi America backfired. And big time.

The Times knows how awful it is to agitate for more division, as they work to convince their readers that Americans are awful, disgusting racists masquerading as your next-door neighbor.

Yet, we now have The New York Times, admittedly, trying to convince people that “hate and extremism have become far more normal in American life than many of us want to think,” when the opposite is true. Our becoming a better country has ruined many political agendas, but it’s dangerous when some attempt to artificially recreate what we have worked so hard to banish.

From cold to hot civil war? By Angelo M. Codevilla – “The increasing energy going into the intractable issues that divide Americans is producing a vicious cycle naturally tending toward violence.”

The Pocahontas Pickle has struck nerves. The President tossed an arrow and it hit a bulls eye. There is US News, the Investor’s Business Daily, Don Surber, American Thinker, and Fox News. Jaun Williams stepped into it on The Five by spouting the party line that Trump was a racist. There are many who see that calling the President a racist, biggoted, homophobe, dumb, unfit, facist is, perhaps, just making yourself a tool and a fool to be played by Trump.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Calls Out Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Silicon Valley for Censorship and Internet Content Manipulation… by sundance – “Chairman Pai righteously called out Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other platform control agents for being ideologically biased, and using their platforms to target their ideological opposition.”

“This debate needs, our culture needs, a more informed discussion about public policy. We need quality information, not hysteria, because hysteria takes us to unpleasant, if not dangerous places. We can disagree on policy. But we shouldn’t demonize, especially when all of us share the same goal of a free and open Internet.

when you get past the wild accusations, fearmongering, and hysteria, here’s the boring bottom line: the plan to restore Internet freedom would return us to the light touch, market-based approach under which the Internet thrived. And that’s why I am asking my colleagues to vote for it on December 14.”

One law professor’s overview of the confusing net neutrality debate by Orin Kerr – “The most confounding aspect of the contemporary net neutrality discussion to me is the social meanings that the concept has taken on. … The most notable aspect is that net neutrality has become a social justice cause.” Kerr posted the explanation of the topic he received from Gus Hurwitz. It explains the debate and even part of the argument and notes some of the arguments more interesting features.

“Progressive activist groups of all stripes have come to believe that net neutrality is essential to and allied with their causes. I do not know how this happened – but it is frustrating, because net neutrality is likely adverse to many of their interests.

The last comment that I will make is how I think about this entire issue: it’s just the latest example of a fight between bilateral media oligopolists. “Big content” and “big distribution” have always fought over how to split the rents they extract from consumers, users have always distrusted distributors, and content providers have always used this to their advantage. From this perspective, the net neutrality rules are pure rent seeking by a content/edge industry that had largely captured the previous FCC.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson – Speech and Questions, The Wilson Center – Washington DC… by sundance – “Secretary of State Rex Tillerson delivered a speech today outlining the State department engagements throughout the world.”

“The speech was delivered right into the belly-of-the-progressive-beast, with an audience filled with limo-liberals. However, the eloquence and articulation of policy by T-Rex makes him a formidable adversary for the ideological opposition.

It’s an hour well worth our time, with transcript included below:

Case shows judges matter by Don Surber – “I keep bringing up judicial appointments because unfortunately the courts have become the dominant branch of the federal government.” McConnell has been taking a lot of heat but on this topic, he is a key warrior.

“Again, this is Mitch McConnell’s doing. He refused to take votes on Obama’s appointees for two years. He bet on having a Republican president and a Republican Senate.

The trend towards a judicial oligarchy as typified by the efforts to veto the President’s national security efforts is one of the more putrid swamp pools. It is being drained, too.

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There are a lot of confused people out there.

Courts use Trump’s pontificating to rule against his policies By Stephen Dinan – it’s trying to rationalize rogue judges. It is one thing to use ‘pontificating’ to determine intent and motivation but another to use it instead of the actual order or action. The story is about the courts going from what someone actually does to what they say and think. That is a destruction of boundaries of free speech.

Trump speaks about the Alabama race by Paul Mirengoff – “Trump is right that when allegations of sexual misconduct arise, you should listen to both the accuser and the accused.” It is interesting that the President is one of the very few voices out there expressing temperance, moderation, and thoughtful consideration of reality.

Nothing in Trump’s statement today contradicts the original White House position, and Isenstadt doesn’t even attempt to explain how it might.

Trump’s enemies in the media are salivating at the opportunity to use Roy Moore, whom Trump did not support in the primary, to get at the president. Because Trump has thwarted them thus far, his media enemies have to misstate the facts.

The liberal ruse of feminism By Tammy Bruce – “The only thing that has changed for liberals is being caught as enablers and hypocrites.”

“None of these people now complaining about Mr. Clinton have had any sort of epiphany. They just realize their defense of sexual assault in the 1990s makes it impossible for them to continue the fraud of casting conservatives as the enemies of women.

Coming out over two decades after the damage is done is called being too late. It’s also a pathetic attempt to reclaim their supposed moral authority on women’s issues that the liberal establishment has claimed for generations.

What they’re doing now is worse than a simple fib.

The Illogical Attacks on Judge Moore by Jeffrey Folks – “If you thought politics couldn’t get any uglier, you were wrong.”

They play the race card. If that doesn’t stick, they toss out the gender card, as they have with Judge Moore. If the opponent survives these attacks, then it’s the class card, as it was with Mitt Romney. If none of this works, it’s the LGBT card. Then there’s the “E” card – just “too extreme,” as with Barry Goldwater and Judge Bork. When all of these fail, as they did against candidate Donald Trump – and all of them were played – the left freaks out and starts throwing things.

All of these attacks are versions of the same logical fallacy: the ad hominem argument.

Liberals are masters at using ad hominem and other cheap forms of attack. In their book, every conservative is automatically a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, or a madman ready to unleash a nuclear war until proven otherwise. Conservatives are by nature hesitant to use this kind of tactics, partly, I suppose, because they are too proud to stoop that low.

If we enter this new phase of politics, Judge Moore and Al Franken won’t be the last of it. Every candidate for public office will put his reputation at risk. Elections will be fought on the basis of who can concoct the most sensational story. We will have moved so far beyond logic that ideas will become irrelevant and character a mere figment of the imagination.

Vietnam veterans challenge Ken Burns on the accuracy of his epic documentary By Jennifer Harper – “a Texas-based interest group which includes military veterans, historians and authors in its membership — is challenging both the content and tone of the 10-episode, 18-hour epic.”

NY Times opinion: Capitalism is a threat to the world and must be replaced by John Sexton – “The NY Times published an opinion piece yesterday titled “The Climate Crisis? It’s Capitalism, Stupid” which argues that capitalism is the real threat to the environment, a threat which must be eradicated if we are to survive.”

“There’s nothing subtle about this piece. The author, who is a professor at Arizona State University, says capitalism is the problem and environmentalism is the movement that can supersede it

The author is describing what he sees here and I think he’s right in this sense: Climate change rhetoric is anti-capitalist, which is one reason so many people reject it. It’s not the science people don’t like, it’s the politics behind it. In Europe, critics of this connection sometimes refer to the various Green Partys as watermelons, i.e. green on the outside and red on the inside.

The author makes clear that there is no way a capitalist society can regulate (through government) or create (through private industry) a better world. The underlying system is hopeless and must be replaced with democratic socialism.

There’s a reason true socialist states become totalitarian states. With every other means of exchange and advancement gone or heavily regulated, the one place where someone can still excel is the government itself. The lure of this power will always appeal to tyrants and psychopaths and with the state in absolute control from the outset, there is no alternative power center to challenge this authority. You don’t get Utopia, you get the USSR or Mao’s China or worse yet, North Korea.

The burden of justification should not fall on the shoulders of those putting forward an alternative. For anyone who has really thought about the climate crisis, it is capitalism, and not its transcendence, that is in need of justification.

Here’s the justification: Democratic socialism is an authoritarian nightmare waiting to happen. We should avoid it at all costs.

The Corruption of the Climatisatas by Steven Hayward – “Here’s a paradox that few people in the fawning green media seem to perceive: the more serious you think the problem of global warming may be in the future, the more farcical and unserious are the policy prescriptions of the “climate change community.

In fact I’ll go further: if perchance we do experience catastrophic, man-made global warming many decades from now, historians will look back and blame the environmental community for being the chief impediment to taking serious incremental action to reduce carbon emissions in a significant way—not the so-called “climate deniers.” Today’s wind and solar racket, and all of the fancy pieces of paper UN bureaucrats sign in Paris making promises that no nation is going to keep, will be looked at with the same disdain that we today look back at the League of Nations treaty and the disarmament efforts of the 1920s and 1930s.

Nebraska’s approval of new route for Keystone XL could be oil pipeline’s death blow By Ben Wolfgang – “Owner less likely to complete project if more environmental reviews needed.” This looks to be a case study in how politicians and regulation kill progress and action by tactic, evasion, diversion, and lack of leadership.

“The current route has been studied by the federal government for eight years, produced over 800,000 pages of Obama administration [review] documents I think these guys lost sight of the big picture and got caught up in minutiae and did not have the political courage to do what’s right and instead tried to split the baby,” Mr. McCown said. “In doing so, they’ve guaranteed another two- to three-year legal battle and probably have raised the cost of the project another $1 billion or $2 billion for no reason whatsoever.”

SJW to get some justice (and she’s not going to like it) By Thomas Lifson – “Kudos to the Riverside County (California) District Attorney’s Office for bringing justice to a crime committed in the name of politics.” This is about a UC Riverside student who stole a MAGA hat and made a big deal of it.

“By stealing the hat directly off the person of her victim, Macias opened the door to serious charges. There was talk of felony charges earlier, but instead it has been classified as misdemeanor grand theft, which so far as I know usually is for the theft of particularly expensive items, not trucker hats.

In my view, crime committed in the name of political causes is a graver offense than the underlying offense would be if done out of greed. Political violence, unpunished or mildly punished, begets more political violence. And once political violence becomes the norm, the consequences can be fatal to the stability of the polity and society.

Sex, lies & excuses: Partisan madness on predators By John Podhoretz – “Some of these efforts are necessary and involve making distinctions — distinctions between, say, felonious assault, which should lead to prison, and really gross workplace behavior, which should lead to serious disciplinary action but should probably fall short of complete ruination.” He makes a good point but spoils his argument when he cites allegations against Moore as “credible” and then goes on to assume guilt. There are many reasons to question that credibility but the big issue is a moral preener tossing aside the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ value for a criminal allegation.

“Stealin’ Be Ok, No Big Deal” – LeVar Ball Showcases Mentality Behind His Son LiAngelo Ball Shoplifting in China… by sundance – “After watching this bizarro interview with his father I can completely understand why LiAngelo Ball thought it would be perfectly okay to shoplift in China and live a life beyond the boundaries of ordinary moral behavior.” If you wonder about a prison population that is disproportionate by race and why racism is a big problem, this is a clue.

The kids aren’t all right. Violent students driving teachers out of schools by Jazz Shaw – “This year the state of Pennsylvania has been hit particularly hard, with nearly four dozen teachers quitting in the Harrisburg school district alone, many complaining that violence by students in the classrooms is out of control.”

The situation sounds dire. Teachers described incidents where both they and some of their students were being, “hit, kicked, slapped, scratched, cussed at.” Others described tables and desks being flipped over, rampant property damage and one teacher even had her finger intentionally broken by one of her students. And it was a second-grade child.

For their part, the school district responded by expressing their disappointment that the teachers had gone public.

In Maryland, dozens of teachers from Baltimore County showed up this week to protest the same problem. Five teachers have been taken out of the schools there with injuries caused by students and one of them is currently still on medical leave after suffering a concussion.

The teachers can’t be expected to act as makeshift law enforcement agents against students who outnumber them by a factor of twenty to one or more and are willing to engage in violent behavior. But such suggestions are frequently met with complaints about “militarization” of the schools, racial profiling and the rest of the usual protests we hear.

Sadly, the real solution should be better parenting. Children coming from homes with proper discipline and sound moral values are far less likely to engage in such behavior, as well as being far more likely to succeed. Sadly, that ship seems to have sailed in too many of our inner cities.

More MAGAnomic Winning – NY Fed Raises GDP Forecast, DOW Closes New Record… by sundance

Almost too much winning… almost, but I think we can take it. The New York federal reserve has raised their anticipated fourth quarter GDP growth forecast to 3.8%. That’s only a week after previously raising it to 3.2%.

The Stock Market closes again at yet another all time high today:

So much of what is important seems to be invisible in the public dialog.

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The judge never learns – but he isn’t alone in ignorance, either

A familiar judge wastes more of our time over sanctuary city orders by Jazz Shaw – “It’s a stretch of the imagination to declare it a coincidence that this is the same judge they found to block a different sanctuary city order back in April.”

“The decision itself remains just as dubious as the previous ruling. Orrick is claiming that the President doesn’t have the authority to repurpose funds which Congress has already authorized. That’s vague at best and seems to ignore the fact that we’re talking about money given to the Executive Branch for the purpose of issuing grants. That means there’s an application process (which we’ve covered here before) and not everyone who applies for one will receive the funding. Further, it’s the Justice Department who determines the criteria for receiving such grants. Congress simply made the funding available to set up and maintain the program.

Evacuating a nuclear disaster areas is often a waste of time and money, says study by Philip Thomas – “We calculated that the Fukushima evacuation extended the population’s average life expectancy by less than three months.”

“To work out how much a specific nuclear accident will affect life expectancy, we can use something called the CLEARE (Change of life expectancy from averting a radiation exposure) Programme. This tells us how much a specific dose of radiation will shorten your remaining lifespan by on average.

The three month average loss suggests the number of people who will actually die from radiation-induced cancer is very small. Compare it to the average of 20 years lost when you look at all radiation cancer sufferers. In another comparison, the average inhabitant of London loses 4.5 months of life expectancy because of the city’s air pollution. Yet no one has suggested evacuating that city.

To support our research, colleagues at the University of Manchester analysed hundreds of possible large nuclear reactor accidents across the world. They found relocation was not a sensible policy in any of the expected case scenarios they examined.

the World Heath Organisation has documented the psychological damage done to the Chernobyl evacuees,

Nuclear refugees can’t be expected to understand exactly how radiation works, but they know when huge amounts of money are being spent. These payments can come to be seen as compensation, suggesting the radiation must have left them in an awful state of health. Their governments have never lavished such amounts of money on them before, so they believe their situation must be dire.

But the reality is that, in most cases, the risk from radiation exposure if they stay in their homes is minimal. It is important that the precedents of Chernobyl and Fukushima do not establish mass relocation as the prime policy choice in the future, because this will benefit nobody.

There were headlines yesterday that Antartic temperature records showed that the pause in global temperatures really didn’t exist and the path to human caused climate catastrophe continues apace. Then there’s comments about the New Antarctic Temperature Reconstruction by Steve McIntyre –

“Long-time CA readers will be aware of my long-standing interest in Antarctic ice core proxies, in particular, the highly resolved Law Dome d18O series. One of my first appearances in Climategate emails was a request for Law Dome data to Tas van Ommen in Australia, who immediately notified Phil Jones in Sauron’s Tower of this disturbance in the equilibrium of Middleearth. Jones promptly consulted the fiercest of his orcs, who urged that the data be withheld as follows: ” HI Phil, Personally, I wouldn’t send him [McIntyre] anything. I have no idea what he’s up to, but you can be sure it falls into the “no good” category.” I’ve discussed incidents involving Law Dome data on several occasions in the past. This is what the data looked like as of 2004: elevated values in the early first millennium, declining up to and including the 20th century.

Communism didn’t just hurt communist countries by John Sakellariadis – “On the hundredth anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia this month, Douglas Murray points out in National Review that too many people in the West have already forgotten the crimes of communism

“In my most recent Wall Street Journal column (read it here), I argue that outside the communist world communism hurt no country more than India. If the subcontinental giant houses more poor people (268 million according to the World Bank) than any other country, it’s in part because India’s leaders — like so many others in the post-colonial world — looked upon the Russian Revolution with fondness rather than horror.

Since embracing economic reforms in 1991, India has rapidly recovered from its four-decade-long tryst with socialism. But though democratic India was lucky to escape the worst communist horrors — no gulags, no show trials, no mass starvation deaths by man-made famine — this has also meant that the country has failed to make a clean break with the past. Reforms have progressed only fitfully, and even now it’s not uncommon to read paeans to Indira Gandhi, arguably the most destructive post-colonial leader of any democracy.

 

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