Archive for Justice and Law

Marches to Protests to Sowing the Wind to Reaping the Wild Wind

Ethan provides 10 Reasons Why You Should March For Science (Synopsis) – “While there are undeniably many with very strong political opinions, the march itself isn’t political, but is rather a celebration of science and all it does for the world.”

The way to keep moving the world forward in the best way possible is strongly rooted in science and scientific investigation, and its greatest enemy is dogmatic, biased argumentation and reasoning. We live in a world that is extraordinarily dependent on science and technology, and that’s why valuing our investments in it and the results of our investigations are more important than ever.

The reasons aren’t listed but only link to an article at Forbes which has totally obnoxious nagware inhibiting review of its articles. The comments to Ethan’s post do provide some evidence of the skepticism about the integrity of his assertions. A Forbes writer also has a related post on The Global Warming Policy Forum: This Isn’t A March For Science — This Is About Economic And Political Policy by Tim Worstall, Forbes. It is a summary that links to a “full post” on Forbes, aarrrrghhh!

The complaint which is driving the ‘March for Science’ isn’t about an attack on science at all. Far from it, it’s one group of scientists not understanding that the policy they advocate is, by the scientific experts in the policy, considered to be a bad one which should be replaced.

The point is that we have yet another ‘protest’ that is falsely based by people who haven’t applied any of the intellectual rigor that is at the core of scientific literacy to their ideas. That leads to Ace and Backlash: Alleged “Antifascist” Rioters Are Finally Met By Counter-Rioters – “Even Noam Chomsky warned the “Antifas” to stop with the violence before even greater violence was visited upon themselves.” David French describes the Battle of Berkeley – “The leftist mob has sown the wind. Now, the whirlwind looms.”

If the media accurately and comprehensively reported on leftist mob violence, it would see that a pattern has emerged: On campus and in the streets, a violent or menacing core seizes the ground it wants, blocks access to buildings, and shuts down the speech or events it seeks to suppress. This violent core is often surrounded and protected by a larger group of ostensibly “peaceful” protesters who sometimes cheer aggression wildly and then provide cover for the rioters, who melt back into the crowd. After the riot, the polite progressives condemn the violence, urge that it not distract from the alleged rightness of the underlying cause, and then do virtually nothing to enforce the law and punish the offenders.

We are now teetering on the edge of a truly terrifying incident, one trigger-pull away from a slaughter. Campus and urban progressives have a choice to make. Is this a nation of laws?

Every single time the progressive establishment ignores, minimizes, or whitewashes leftist violence, it sows the wind.

Is anyone at all shocked that when the police hang back, others will step into the void? Leftists are fond of saying “violence begets violence.” If we don’t restore the rule of law, we’ll all find out just how right they are.

Actions have consequences.  

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4/3/2017: Lawful Authority, Whose Consensus?

A question of lawful authority – “For liberals it’s fine to run outside the baselines when the cause is theirs” by Robert Knight provides an hypothesis for the Gorsuch opposition. The core is about something seen in Venezuela recently where its Supreme Court tried to invalidate the Parliament.

Over the years, federal courts — especially the Supreme Court — acquired an outsized role in the nation’s affairs, especially during Franklin Roosevelt’s administration. Think of the federal government as a three-bodied creature, with one of the bodies in a black robe towering over the others with a giant Nancy Pelosi gavel.

Nonetheless, given the Court’s near-omnipotence, the central question of what constitutes lawful authority will dominate public discussion in years to come, especially if there is a conservative majority. Right now, “lawful authority” is in the eye of the beholder on many levels.

To progressives and the lockstep media, legitimate authority means only advancing progressive causes. If so, it’s no big deal for liberal presidents or judges to run outside the baselines when they need to score some runs.

Democrats’ various ‘reasons’ look to Republicans like excuses to oppose Gorsuch for Supreme Court by Alex Swoyer

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, ticks off a long list of his objections. The latest is a complaint that Mr. Trump didn’t do enough to “consult” with Democrats before making his pick.

“Democrats have been forced to talk about pretty much anything: President Trump, think tanks, you name it. Anything, but the nominee himself,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said Thursday on the Senate floor, mocking the growing list of complaints.

two months after Mr. Trump nominated Judge Gorsuch, Democrats still are searching for a consensus line of attack against him.

It’s a case of throwing mud and hoping something will stick. That is not a tactic breeding effective governance. Democrats are finding that a lot of what they throw is reflecting back on them.

Cheryl K. Chumley says Another Dem boards the impeachment fantasy train – in this case, Fox News token Leftist Juan Williams.

Could the left please, please, please get it in their heads that prosecution generally follows crime — not precedes it?

And that simply believing someone’s guilty of something is not, in fact, proof positive of guilt?

Perception is not — Not, with a capital “N” — proof. It’s not guilt. It’s not even allegation. In this case, in this polling case, it’s just really what the guy next door thinks.

All this current talk about impeachment of Trump, whether it’s from Rep. Maxine Waters, who’s made it a personal goal of hers to boot the president from the White House, or most recently, from Williams, fact is there are no facts, no pieces of evidence and, most importantly, no charges to impeach Trump.

And honestly, the more the left talks about it, the more irrational they seem.

The Russian Collusion Conspiracy is a big keystone for the likes of Williams. Kurt thinks The Russiagate Scam Will Blow Up In The Democrats’ Smug Faces.

If you’re stressed out about this whole Russian nonsense, relax – Donald Trump didn’t do anything wrong, and he’s not going be impeached, arrested, or ritually disemboweled. When the truth comes out and it explodes in the Democrats’ soft, girlish hands, we’ll all be laughing and toasting their humiliation with Stoli shots.

But neither absurdity of conclusions, lack of evidence, distortion of language, innuendo or anything else has made an impact. All reality does is to stimulate psychiatric defensive behaviors that get really, really, ugly and highly destructive of all in the vicinity.

John Hinderaker picks up on this saying It’s 2004 All Over Again – “Lately we’ve been hearing a lot about truth. It started with hysteria over “fake news” during the last election season. The “truth” narrative went into overdrive with President Trump’s unexpected (by most) victory.”

Actually, none of the current controversies has anything to do with the nature of truth, or whether truth is (figuratively speaking) on its deathbed. Liberal journalists are just getting the vapors because, once again, they have been found out. When Donald Trump succeeded Barack Obama as president, they went from a gaggle of slobbering groupies to a pack of baying hyenas. Some people approve of the head-snapping, 180-degree reversal, while others don’t. But everyone knows it happened.

The liberal media have a couple of problems. One is manifest bias. Another is gross incompetence. We and others have documented so many lies, and so many errors, coming from the New York Times, the Washington Post, CBS, CNN, etc., that few have any confidence in their reporting. That is as it should be.

The crisis that we face is not epistemological, it is political. There is no shortage of evidence, and the truth is rather clear: liberal governance has failed. The country is awash in debt, its influence around the world is in decline, its social programs have mostly failed, its borders are porous, its governing class is corrupt and incompetent, and in recent years its leaders have not even tried to advance the interests of the American people.

That is the truth. That is why Donald Trump was elected president, and why Republicans now dominate at every level of government. And that is why liberal journalists are in a panic.

Another such fantasy, as illustrated by the LA Times, is described by Kelly Riddell: Mainstream media: Trump’s first 100 days worst ever. Really?The LA Times editorial board decided to do a four-part series on our “dishonest president” starting on Sunday, writing, in part, “nothing prepared us for the magnitude of this train wreck.”

Of course, all of this is absurd — and predictably over the top from a press corps that has never approved of his candidacy, let alone his presidency.

Mr. Trump has withdrawn from TPP, approved the build-out of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines, proposed a streamlined budget which includes a Reagan-era increase to national defense, started to enforce our immigration laws, which decreased illegal border crossing by 40 percent in his first month, and has nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court — a process that has gone incredibly smooth.

The stock market has reached its highest since the early 1990s, the Dow Jones broke through the 20,000-point threshold for the first time, and manufacturing and mining jobs have rebounded in Mr. Trump’s first jobs report.

As for the idea that Mr. Trump’s first 100 is the “worst we’ve ever seen in a president”?

Lucianne also mentions the story, Our Dishonest President, as “The most astonishing editorial ever written. Be sure to read our commentary.”

On the Falsity of Climate Consensus: Judith Curry’s March 29, 2017, Testimony – “Groupthink” … “sausage making” … “bullying” … “substantial uncertainties” … “premature consensus” … These terms were used by the scholarly Judith Curry in her important, the-future-will-note Congressional testimony last week against the neo-Malthusian, nature-is-optimal natural-science community.”

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3/26/2017: Anarchy? And the churn below the surface

Mollie Hemingway explaines Why Nunes’ Obama Spying Revelations Are Such A Big Deal – “House Intel Chief Devin Nunes revealed Obama’s intelligence agencies may have been improperly spreading significant information about Trump’s transition.” Neo-Neocon says It’s not the tapping, it’s the leaking. The Public seems to be aware of this but the Left’s Propaganda Machine does not.

Many of the reporters present didn’t seem to grasp the significance of what Nunes revealed. You can — and should — watch that press conference here. …

  1. Information was collected on the Trump team by Obama administration agencies.

  2. This information had no reason to be shared in intelligence reports to Obama officials.

  3. Obama officials may have flouted legally required attempts to minimize and mask personal identifying information.

  4. This had nothing to do with Russia.

… When an administration is spreading around reports of political and personal discussions, failing to mask that information, and the information itself isn’t of foreign intelligence value, you have the makings of a huge scandal.

Many of the reporters at the press conference didn’t seem to know the significance of what they were being told, with many asking questions about Russia or the physical wire-tapping of Trump Tower, two issues Nunes had already specifically ruled out. Finally, a reporter asked whether Trump and his team were being spied on by the intelligence community.

While the media might be laser-focused on whether Obama personally wiretapped Trump, as Trump seemed to claim in his tweets a few weeks ago, the American public is not keen on the idea that other techniques or forms of electronic surveillance were used on Obama’s political opponents. Further, the media attempts to deflect and downplay and run interference for Obama officials and other Democrats regarding this significant information reveal a journalistic complex seeking not truth nor protection of civil liberties, but partisan point scoring.

Roger Simon explains why We Need an Independent Investigation of the Trump Leaks Mystery Now – “The detective story of our times is unspooling before us and the MacGuffin could affect all of our lives for years to come and the very nature of our republic.”

Who unmasked Michael Flynn and — so it seems now — others and why did he, she or they do it? Who later leaked (selectively) President Trump’s conversations with the leaders of Australia and Mexico? Is this the same person or are there several?

More importantly, who is watching the watchers and why was their work — this raw data that supposedly is never seen except on the most extreme “need to know” basis — apparently so widely distributed? Who inspired this? And who ordered what is known as a “tasking” to enable this to happen in the first place?

These questions are as or more important than healthcare, immigration, taxes or even how long ISIS will survive because they speak to the very nature of our society and the values for which we stand. Are we still a democratic republic or have we drifted so far into a high-tech Orwellian nightmare that we will never emerge from it again?

No, this is not about the Russians, nefarious as they may be. As Pogo said many years ago about an entirely different matter, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” Illegal surveillance of Americans by Americans — whether “coincidental,” deliberate or something in between — is our problem, and we have to correct it.

VDH describes what happens when Law Takes a Holiday – “In the 1934 romantic movie Death Takes a Holiday, Death assumes human form for three days, and the world turns chaotic. The same thing happens when the law goes on a vacation.”

Rules are unenforced or politicized. Citizens quickly lose faith in the legal system. Anarchy follows — ensuring that there can be neither prosperity nor security.

The United States is descending into such an abyss, as politics now seem to govern whether existing laws are enforced.

There is one common denominator in all these instances of attempted legal nullification: the liberal belief that laws should “progress” to reflect the supposedly superior political agenda of the Left.

And if laws don’t progress? Then they can be safely ignored.

But when the law is what we say it is, or what we want it to be, there is no law. And when there is no law, there is not much left but something resembling Russia, Somalia, or Venezuela.

Betsey’s Page Cruising the Web takes a look at the Gorsuch hearings. She cites David French explaining the Democrat’s Filibuster Problem, Kimberley Strassel highlights on what Senator Schumer is really doing when he threatens a filibuster against Gorsuch – “The slow-rolling nature of the process has nonetheless masked the extraordinary new standard Mr. Schumer is setting, and the damage to the Constitution” – and a bit of history. Several other issues are noticed as well. She also cites Krauthammer about checks on power. Newmark shares a personal distaste for Trump with Krauthammer and both fail to see that Trump himself is a part of “James Madison’s argument that ambition must be made to counteract ambition.” What is becoming very clear is that it is a fear of what Trump might do that is at issue for them. This is remarkable as there is no basis for this fear yet a lot of evidence that the fear was justified and reasonable with regard to the previous administration. Trump, via the election, is providing a check and balance to the real and actual scandals and incompetence of the President he replaced.

Scott Johnson notes that Charles Murray Edits the SPLC – “The Souther Poverty Law Center has become a scam operating as a left-wing hate cult.”

I don’t think the SPLC has made a constructive contribution to anything in a long time, but it has played a particularly malign and malicious role in the case of Charles Murray. He has let it go until now; now he talks back. … AEI has posted Murray’s contribution to the enlightenment of the ignorati under the heading “Charles Murray’s SPLC page as edited by Charles Murray.” Please read the whole thing.

On the Obamacare fracas, Steven Hayward wonders if there are Still Trump Cards to Play? – “The present question, which has been on my mind since inauguration day, is whether Trump might flip the script for his presidency in just the same ways he did with his campaign.”

Democrats control so little territory that they can’t act literally on their secessionist impulses—though note deep blue California, where Democrats are actually talking about secession. But you can swap out “resistance” today for “rebellion” in 1861 and capture the Democratic Party mood accurately.

I’ve thought from January 20 that the lack of a traditional political honeymoon might serve Trump well in the long run. Scott Adams of “Dilbert” fame, who has been right about Trump since the escalator ride back in June 2015, thinks something similar. He notes in his latest blog post that the new media narrative is that Trump is no longer Hitler, about to fasten the dark night of fascism on us, but is instead suddenly Trump the ineffectual incompetent. But he thinks this will flip back by year end

Trump breaks all the standard rules of politics. His current abysmal approval ratings—levels never before seen in a president in his third month in office—constitute a floor from which he has only one direction to go. And I wouldn’t be surprised to find that Trump has the trump cards to play in this story.

This goes back to the renewed confidence of Krauthammer and Newmark noted above that there are checks and balances after all and Trump won’t run roughshod over everything as the Hitler meme fears. What we are really witnessing is cognitive dissonance thrashing about trying to come to grips with reality. Adams thinks the Trump-is-Hitler hallucination has been squashed by Congress and the next phase will be the routine politics about the other side being bumbling incompetents.

We just went from an extraordinary risk (Trump=Hitler) to ordinary politics (The other side=incompetent). Ordinary politics won’t spark a revolution or make you punch a coworker. This is a good day for all of us. It just doesn’t look that way because the news is distracting you with the healthcare issue, which is also important, but a full level down in importance from electing Hitler (in your mind).

Newmark’s Cruising the Web found other evidence in this line from Sowell on education to the Gorsuch nomination to historical precedent to “Democrats are going to have trouble picking off independent and Democratic supporters of President Trump.” It’s like watching the reservoirs in California and Nevada. The spring runoff has really started yet the water masters are trying to keep the expected flood under control and the pressure on the system mounts.

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Who is dangerous,now?

A Republic, if You Can Keep It by Kevin Cee:

Today, the leaders and soldiers of the left have declared war on their fellow Americans and on our republic. They have declared war on anyone who disagrees with them. They will not accept any view of government other than their own. In fact, the left are so completely convinced of their own infallibility that they are prepared to resist and disobey any and all laws not conforming to their own views. Those who have not seen the light that they espouse are to be vilified and silenced. Therefore, they vociferously deny the unenlightened the right to express their opinions. Any who are suspect, in their minds, are a danger to our country and do not deserve the right to express their views. Anyone who disagrees with their vision of a just society is publicly denounced.

Goals that they cannot achieve by means of the ballot box, by propaganda from their coconspirators in the press, by indoctrination in the nation’s classrooms, by under-the-radar edicts from the shadow government bureaucracy, or by leftist judges are condemned. They are absolutely determined to eliminate any and all disagreement, including anyone who opposes them, by means of constant and aggressive intimidation.

Our Founding Fathers gave us a republic, one of the most successful governmental systems in the history of the world.

Can we keep it?

‘You’re Fired, Judge’: Sanctioning Federal Judges for Bad Behavior by Robert Barnes (Impeachment is not the only option)

If private lawyers had acted the way these judges did, they could be sanctioned and could lose their license and livelihoods, be thrown out of court, or even charged with a crime. That is why Judge Alex Kozinski authored two amendments to his prior dissent to specifically criticize the basis of the Hawaii judge’s ruling.

What can Trump or Congress do about it, if they believe these federal judges exceeded their authority and engaged in disreputable conduct?

These judges disrespected the rule of law they promised to protect. The Constitution says they can be fired. It is time to return the balance to the balance of power the Constitution always intended. Obama hired them; let Trump fire them.

There’s a problem and its ugly.

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Poverty in many forms

Mark A. Hewitt: What African Airports Taught Me about Obamacare – “During a 2010 Corporate Council on Africa convention in Washington, D.C., I delivered a 15-minute presentation on what it took to take Roberts Field, an airport that had been effectively dismantled and shut down, to a post-war “functional and safe” airport” and learned about poverty and racism.

In Zimbabwe, the government led a racially driven land grab solely for redistribution to blacks. The South African black-majority government will also lead a racially driven land grab solely for redistribution to blacks. In America, Obama led a racially driven insurance grab solely for redistribution to minorities and illegals.

Republicans in Congress should vigorously reject this racist-motivated law and repeal it with extreme prejudice.

Well, No, But I Did Fly Over It Once – “Princeton economics professor emeritus and Nobel laureate Angus Deaton has been running around making an extraordinary claim: “Being really poor in America is in some ways worse than being really poor in India or Africa,”

This claim was qualified—Deaton is referring to those who live in extreme poverty. But The Scrapbook did once spend two months following around economists from the U.S. Agency for International Development in the slums of Asia, and we can say with near-scientific certitude that Deaton’s claim is so idiotic it could only have been uttered by a Nobel Prize winner.

And if you’re still confused about how Donald Trump got elected, the patronizing ignorance of Ivy League professors about life between the coasts offers a clue.

Andrew Malcom says What’s important about Trump’s budget is not what you think – “For years Washington budget bees on both sides have hoodwinked Americans by announcing annual budget “cuts” that were not real cuts at all.” Trump has shifted the paradigm and the usual referents for discussion are no longer a solid base for prognostication and analysis.

Trump’s budget is only important for its political messaging. Which is still very important but has nothing to do with actual spending.

His budget sets out his goals and priorities. It tells Americans – supporters and opponents alike – that the new chief executive actually intends to follow through on major campaign promises – to rebuild the depleted military, to reduce foreign aid giveaways with dubious results, to launch a major infrastructure rebuild, to steer considerable authority back to states. It sets bargaining parameters with Congress.

Thomas Lifson: Oops! CNN accidentally confirms story that Brit intell passed along Trump communications to Obama admin – “Courtesy of Grabien, here is a disastrous interview in which the guest, Larry Johnson, confirmed the story that Judge Andrew Napolitano told on-air about British intelligence passing along surveillance data involving the Trump administration.” The general rule is that the more upset the Left gets about some Trump statement, the more likely it is that Trump was substantially correct.

Roger Kimball has a bit of a slog in describing A Government of Laws, Not Men but the conclusion is worthy of note.

Thus we see another way in which the principle of “a government of laws not men” can be violated. It used to be that we were on the lookout for individuals arrogating to themselves the power of the law. Now we find individuals denying our lawfully elected representatives the legitimacy to exercise their rightful authority.

We know from history that the first sort of violation is an invitation to tyranny. Some otherwise intelligent people seem not to appreciate how the latter is an invitation to anarchy and mob rule.

It is too early, I think, to say how this will end. Perhaps, as I hope, the odor of insurrection will dissipate and President Trump can go about the nation’s business with the presumption of legitimacy he deserves. But that may not happen. In which case, this observation from Alexander Bickel’s The Least Dangerous Branch: The Supreme Court at the Bar of Politics (1962) is pertinent: “Enforcement crises must be resolved by the use of the minimum force necessary, but above all decisively and promptly, so that the futility of resistance is never in the slightest doubt. Those who pass from litigation and political obstruction to overt insurrection must not be led to expect that will be negotiated with.”

An invitation to tyranny” is something to worry about. That is what leads to poverty.

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Sunshine politics and misuse of the third branch

This Is What Is Wrong With The American Judiciary picks up on a problem noted earlier:

Article III judges are protected by lifetime tenure in office and salary which cannot be reduced by Congress. They are not supposed to be insulated from “intense public scrutiny.” Nor should judges instruct litigants before them to limit their constitutionally protected out-of-court speech, and to encourage such limitations under the threat of what is or is not “effective advocacy.” That Judge Bybee, along with Judges Kozinski, Callahan, Bea, and Ikuta, who joined Bybee’s dissent, think otherwise is more than a problem: it is an American disaster.

It picks up on the complaints in the dissent as preceding the issue in importance as they “chill constitutionally protected speech.” The ‘lifetime tenure” idea is another way of saying that the judges are in a protected and, hence, elite class and that the complaints about public scrutiny and civility are an expression of hubris.

The fact is that both the decision that is the topic of the dissent and the complaints in the dissent are worrisome as they exceed the authority of the courts and impinge on constitutional rights rather than protect them.

Dershowitz provides an explanation of this concept: Courts Essentially Saying If Obama Issued Trump Travel Ban, It Would Be Constitutional – “If Obama had issued the very same order with the same words it would be constitutional, but if Trump issues it it’s unconstitutional.” Dershowitz notes that the law is not supposed to work this way.

From Trump’s side of things, go to the Nashville Speech: “ Trump, of course, blasted the judge. Then he surprised this Trump skeptic – he quoted law. Verbatim.”

All this to say, we are engaged in a great legal war. Blue states, like Washington state and Hawaii, are suing to keep America open to immigrants while red states, led by Tennessee, are engaging legally to protect their people – their persons and their pocketbooks.

Meanwhile in Europe, mass immigration has disrupted society.

What needs to be kept in mind about this is that judicial over-reach and the use of the courts by the Left to impose an oligarchy was a campaign issue based on long standing public concerns with Roe v. Wade being an early marker. In that light, Trump is addressing a campaign promise in one of the most effective ways by avoiding direct confrontation but instead shining a light on the corruption in such a way as to stymie its growth. A long term solution won’t be found by passing laws or using other instruments in the governmental heavy hand. It will be by turning the public perception in such a way that the corruption is acceptable by a smaller minority. Right now, judicial over-reach along with riots and other violence, slander, libel, and similar practices are accepted by, promoted, and engaged in, by one of the major political parties.It will take sunshine to change this towards the kind of civility Judge Bybee was looking for.

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3/18/2017: civility and flawed logic

Instapundit cites Matthew Continetti: Charles Murray’s Attackers: – “What happened to Charles Murray at Middlebury was an affront to academic freedom, democratic norms, freedom of speech, and basic manners.” … “The left will miss civility when it’s gone. They’re happy now while its disappearance is one-sided. That won’t last.”

And the following post is another example. David Harsanyi: Chuck Schumer’s Indecent Attacks on Neil Gorsuch.Make no mistake, though: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) now opposes a potential SCOTUS justice because he promises to be impartial when upholding the Constitution.” Then there is Orrin G. Hatch on What to expect in Gorsuch confirmation hearing – “At its best, the confirmation process provides an open venue for careful questioning and reflective deliberation; at its worst, the process can quickly devolve into partisan spectacle, killing the chances of even the most qualified nominees.”

Notwithstanding Gorsuch’s superb qualifications and principled approach to judging, Democrats and their liberal allies strain mightily to find plausible grounds to oppose his nomination. They misread his opinions, misstate his reasoning, and in general paint a picture of a man who simply does not exist. Unfortunately, we can expect more attempts to misrepresent Gorsuch’s record during his confirmation hearing. In particular, we can expect to hear over and over again the false and frankly ridiculous claim that Gorsuch is outside the “judicial mainstream.”

Liberals will tie themselves in knots claiming that Gorsuch is some sort of fringe jurist, that his views place him on the far flank of the federal judiciary. But any honest observer will concede that these accusations are complete bunk. Opponents will claim that his decisions say things that they very clearly do not say, or stand for propositions that even a generous reading cannot substantiate.

Ultimately, Gorsuch’s opponents will fail because he is so clearly a man of integrity and so clearly qualified to serve on our nation’s highest court.

Perhaps the most important take-away from comments like this is that the Republicans are beginning to accept the nature of the political opposition they face.

Or, back on Instapundit, CRICKETS:Bow Wow slurs Melania Trump in the nastiest way possible. Three guesses how reporters responded to the message.

Jonathan H. Adler quotes The most important part of Judge Bybee’s dissent from denial of en banc review in Washington v. Trump – “Five justices dissented from the denial of en banc review, arguing that the panel decision made multiple legal errors and should be vacated.” The dissent is tainted by a complaint that is, perhaps, a dig at the President and others who have a low opinion of the court due to opinions such as the one at issue. Do note, though, that the complaint also applies to both the judge who issued the restraining order as shown in his decision and in those seeking the restraint as shown by how they based their request.

The personal attacks on the distinguished district judge and our colleagues were out of all bounds of civic and persuasive discourse—particularly when they came from the parties. It does no credit to the arguments of the parties to impugn the motives or the competence of the members of this court; ad hominem attacks are not a substitute for effective advocacy. Such personal attacks treat the court as though it were merely a political forum in which bargaining, compromise, and even intimidation are acceptable principles. The courts of law must be more than that, or we are not governed by law at all.

This confuses several issues. Ad hominem is about the personal characteristics of an individual, not about an institution such as the court nor is it about a decision or other specific behavior of that person or institution. The kind of “civic and persuasive discourse” that one expects inside a courtroom proceeding is different from that in the political or social arenas. The topic of civility is an important one but it does not belong here. The topic at hand is that of the role of the courts in regards to the law and established practice.

Read Hawaii Judge’s Flawed Aloha Akhbar Logic by Daniel John Sobieski.

Judge Watson’s logic belongs in a parallel judicial universe where judges are allowed to regulate foreign policy, clearly a presidential prerogative defined in both law and the U.S. Constitution. Judge Watson cites no law and, in the case of the Constitution, says the travel ban violates the Establishment Clause which forbids favoring or disparaging a particular religion. By that logic, you could never restrict any immigration from any Muslim country for any reason. Judge Watson strays outside the four corners of the executive order and ignores explicit U.S. law to cite President Trump’s campaign statements, which are totally irrelevant. Motive, even if correctly discerned, is irrelevant here. Only the law and presidential authority should apply.

A first requirement for civility is intellectual integrity. When a group of people dismiss integrity in thought and action, the rest of the people have a difficult problem to address. 

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Pushback: a logical outcome of too much push

Andrea Noble and Stephen Dinan: Lawmakers warn judges ruling on travel bans against exceeding power – “Rulings seen as political.”

“As tempting as it is to use the judicial power to balance those competing interests as we see fit, we cannot let our personal inclinations get ahead of important, overarching principles about who gets to make decisions in our democracy,” Judge Jay Bybee, of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, wrote in a dissent Wednesday. He said his colleagues erred in not agreeing to rehear Mr. Trump’s defense of his original executive order.

Conservative legal scholars said whatever the political motivations, the judges who have ruled against Mr. Trump botched the law.

That assessment included a decision handed down early Thursday by a federal judge in Maryland, even though it only enjoined enforcement of the portion of the order restricting travel of foreign nationals from six countries.

“In none of those decisions did the judges actually discuss the legality or constitutionality of the federal immigration statute at issue,” said Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation. “This is an indication that the judges were looking at this as a policy question: Did they like or not like the policy?”

Curt A. Levey, a constitutional law scholar with FreedomWorks, said the rulings against the executive order are of particular concern because of the degree of judicial activism.

“They are not inventing a new rule of law; they are ignoring their own precedent because they are personally opposed,” Mr. Levey said.

House Republicans had scheduled a hearing Thursday on splitting the circuit, and the judges’ dislike for this president was a key piece of evidence.

“Some of the courts in your circuit are playing a dangerous game here,” said Rep. Ron DeSantis, Florida Republican. “I understand there’s antipathy in our country that is reflected on some of your courts for the current president. But that is not enough of a reason to wade into some of these sensitive matters of national security.”

“I think the courts, while they think they’re saving the day, from some people’s perspectives, I think they may end up in the long run undermining their proper role,” he said.

Of course the Democrats are happy about the judicial activism:

“I’m grateful for the judiciary system,” said Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragan, California Democrat. “It’s a checks-and-balance system that we have in this country that is meant to provide the oversight when you have a president who is doing whatever he wants to regardless of the law.”

The problem the Democrats have is that what they consider ‘The Law’ is what they fantasize about what they want it to be and not what is written as established by due process.

See also Gregg Jarrett on 4 things you need to know about the rulings against Trump’s latest travel ban – “Federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland ruled against President Trump’s revised travel ban with separate, but similar, orders blocking the main provisions of his executive order which limits travel and immigration to the United States from six predominately Muslim countries.” The comments to the posting are also worth scanning for a view as to the public perceptions about the phenomena.

David Harsanyi has more on Democrats’ contempt for law as written in describing how Chuck Schumer’s Attacks On Neil Gorsuch Are Un-American – “If Democrats want to filibuster Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, they’re entitled to do it.”

Democrats are free to try and stop the Neil Gorsuch confirmation for any reason they desire, whether ideological, personal, or no particular reason at all. There is nothing in the Constitution that compels senators to vote on judicial nominees the president forwards.

Make no mistake, though; Chuck Schumer now opposes a potential SCOTUS justice because he promises to be impartial when upholding the Constitution.

It’s up to communities and government to show empathy. It’s the job of judges to rule on law. Schumer is arguing that the impartiality of the courts should be ceded to the identity of the participants. That’s un-American.

Thomas Lifson picks up on another Field of Fantasy of the Left: Obama’s outgoing US attorney blames Chicago violence on… – “the reason Chicago is so violent is…social media!”

Forget about open borders and the gangs that flood in and engage in open warfare. Forget about the hateful rhetoric of Black Lives Matter and the White House visit that honored those cries of hatred. And pay no attention to the ACLU and Justice Department’s halting of most stop-and-frisk action by the Chicago Police Department.

When the real causes of Chicago’s violence are taboo to mention – fatherlessness, the ideology of racial victimization, the failure of schools, the glamorization of violence and lawlessness in the culture, and all the other products of progressives’ dominance of culture, bureaucracy, and the courts – the left looks to curb constitutional rights as a solution.

Trump is just one indication of a pushback to this nonsense. It’s what happens when lawyers and representatives abrogate their responsibilities and agreements with the people, including the law.

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A Judicial Coup

Among a lot of competition in the news and commentary, it is John Hinderaker who breaks the ice. He says A Liberal Coup Is In Progress.

I have not yet read Watson’s opinion, and will comment on it in detail when I have done so. But I have read Trump’s order, and the idea that it somehow can be blocked by a federal judge is ridiculous. The order is absolutely within the president’s constitutional discretion.

What we are seeing here is a coup: a coup by the New Class; by the Democratic Party; by far leftists embedded in the bureaucracy and the federal judiciary. Our duly elected president has issued an order that is plainly within his constitutional powers, and leftists have conspired to abuse legal processes to block it. They are doing so in order to serve the interests of the Democratic Party and the far-left movement. This is the most fundamental challenge to democracy in our lifetimes.

Others have noted that the injunction only cites campaign speech as its support to accept a freedom of religion argument – not the wording of the order itself or any other evidence normally considered acceptable in a court of law. The conclusion is that the injunction would not be issued for any president other than Trump. Any judge who signs on to this sort of decision abrogates their primary duty and responsibility to the law and to the people they serve. He attempts to usurp the constitutionally defined authority of the Executive and Legislative branches

Eugene Volokh notes that the vestiges of the last EO are still present in that Five 9th Circuit judges dissent, arguing for vacating panel decision on President Trump’s immigration executive order

On Wednesday, the call for rehearing was denied, because it didn’t get a majority vote of the 9th Circuit judges; but five judges — Judge Bybee, joined by Judges Kozinski, Callahan, Bea, and Ikuta — issued an opinion arguing that rehearing should have been granted, and that the panel decision was wrong and should therefore be vacated. The opinion is worth reading, I think (alongside the panel opinion, if you hadn’t read that yet), and strikes me as pretty persuasive.

There are two very significant issues at hand here. One is the ability of the executive to respond in a reasonable and timely manner to security risks as per his defined duties. The other is the responsibility of the judicial branch to police itself. If the president is constrained from acting in a timely and prudent manner as defined by law, the consequences could be tragic. If the judicial branch embraces oligarchy and a lack of accountability to law, it will either find it imposed from outside the branch or it will destroy that which is its basis for power.

William A. Jacobson says the Hawaii TRO and 9th Circuit En Banc Denial effectively strip Trump of executive powers – “At this point, only the Supreme Court can restore presidential powers.”

The federal district court in Hawaii issued a TRO and the 9th Circuit denied en banc hearing of the first appeal. Both Orders are embedded in full at the bottom of this post.

The net result is that Trump has been stripped of his constitutional and statutory powers to protect the nation through control of who is permitted to enter the country.

As discussed in prior posts, the power to control who enters the country is uniquely a presidential power. Not anymore, unless the Supreme Court acts to restore that power.

The fallacy being promoted by these judges is in treating every word in a social and informal conversation as if it were the wording of written law or court brief. Context and mode of communication are being dishonestly distorted and twisted to rationalize an indefensible outcome.

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2/27/2017: Fake Justice, too? Being able to see turns out to be difficult.

Robert Knight: Fake justice and the rise of a new religion – “Post-modern progressives, contrary to popular belief, are not irreligious. They worship at the altar of government power, lifting the chalice of “diversity” and eating the bread of “tolerance.”

In recent years, progressives have used the courts to establish newer classes of protected behaviors that effectively trump the explicit constitutional protection of religion. What is not written takes precedence over what is. You’ve heard of fake news? Welcome to fake justice.

The only cure for this existential threat is to assert strongly the unalienable rights granted to us by nature and nature’s God. We need to work and pray so that real justice replaces the fake variety.

Rowan Scarborough: Obama loyalists suspected of ‘sabotage’ with leak of travel ban report – “Intel report leaked to press ‘incomplete,’ open source.”

“This was not really a leak but sabotage,” the source said. “This report was commentary. This is insurrection. They all took an oath.”

The leak to The Associated Press appears to follow a pattern of suspected Obama loyalists still inside the government releasing draft documents that are immediately refuted by the White House

Andrew Malcom Opinion: The truth about Trump’s worrisome war on media – “worrisome” tells you about the bias in this opinion but otherwise Malcom has a few good points to consider.

Americans are not dumb, even if you disagree with their presidential choice. In the years B.T. (Before Trump), millions decided the Fourth Estate had become more of a fifth column to combat traditional values and fairness.

That’s dangerous because our democracy needs a healthy, honest press, now also financially troubled. The best way to restore both trust and business health is to reboot and become real journalists again, this time with a professional conscience. Because it takes two sides to keep a war going.

Lloyd Marcus provides balance asserting that Fake News Still Lyin’ About the Tea Party – “Harriet Baldwin posted on Facebook: “Pisses me off when the alt-left media likens these paid Obama/Soros/Alinsky violent protesters to the Tea Party.”

It has infuriated me the way the despicable fake news media intentionally branded the salt-of-the-earth good Americans at the rallies a bunch of redneck racists vehemently opposed to America electing its first black president. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Folks, Tea Party people are not racist. They love their country. They desire equal justice for all Americans. They do not want government dictating how to raise their kids and micromanaging their lives to achieve the Left’s absurd goal of equal outcomes.

Trump calling out fake news outlets is exhilarating.

And now, fake news media has the nerve to place the Left’s paid deranged, violent, and chaos-producing thugs on a higher moral level than the Tea Party. Heaven forbid.

Taylor Millard illustrates the inability to make critical distinctions on this issue by asserting a plattitude: Biased press is free press – “There’s this notion the only press for a presidential administration should be good press. President Donald Trump and his allies sure think that’s the case.” This misstates the President (big clue is use of “think”). “Good” implies agreeable and supportive whereas the President has been explicit in asserting that his interest is for an accurate press. There is a glimmer of realization about this:

But there’s another factor to all of this, which not everyone is talking about: the press needs to be honest about its biases.

But bias and accuracy are not the same. Bias may lead to the many retractions and obvious falsehoods in the press. It may stimulate headlines that are contradicted deep in the story. But bias is no excuse for corruption, deceit, and dishonest in a propaganda war against duly elected officials. Millard and others have a ways to go on getting this internalized and properly understood.

Even GWB is getting into this with the idea that the press holds government accountable. That gets a lot of happy press. What is missing is who holds the press accountable. The phenomena at hand right now is an irresponsible press, not an irresponsible government. The angst right now is a press squealing about somebody having the gall to think they need to be accurate and show intellectual integrity. 

Another example of denial is provided by Karl Bode: ‘Fake News’ Now Means Whatever People Want It To Mean, And Legislating It Away Is A Slippery Slope Toward Censorship – “We’ve already watched as Donald Trump and his supporters have whined endlessly that absolutely any information they don’t like should be mindlessly deposited into the “fake news” bin — without the pesky and annoying effort required to intelligently analyze each piece of data or reporting on its merits.” That looks like projection. Bode also gets into the ‘stupid public’ meme which is characteristic of the ‘attitude’ that is often cited as being one source of the problem.

The discussion about “fake news” certainly began with good intentions, with participants earnestly focused on how disinformation, shitty journalism and bullshit clickbait were filling the noggins of a growing segment of the public for whom critical thinking was already a Sisyphean endeavor. The solution for this problem was never as clean and easy as most of the conversations suggested, especially given that Americans — thanks in large part to our struggles with education quality and funding — have never been particularly adept at spotting disinformation, much less understanding how you expose, undermine and combat it at scale.

That said, it might be a good idea to make sure we’re not making things worse as we learn. And it shouldn’t require too much pesky critical thinking to realize that the efforts to combat “fake news” can be subverted to aid those trying to rip truth from its very foundation, or that letting politicians define what truth is may only expedite our Orwellian descent toward chilling legitimate expression.

The idea that it is politicians subverting the truth is also indicative as is pulling in Orwell and finding some chilling of “legitimate expression” by those politicians. The fact is that the only expressing chilling going on these days is from the organized Left outside of the political realm in academia and in paid-for riots and social media of all sorts, including the media.

E. Joseph Cossman – “Middle age is when your broad mind and narrow waist begin to change places.”

Thinking about those awards ceremonies? Marilyn Monroe – “Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.”

Mark Perry cites Warren Buffett on America’s miraculous achievements and amazing abundance, thanks to free market capitalism – “From Warren Buffett’s annual letter to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway, which was released yesterday

Above all, it’s our market system – an economic traffic cop ably directing capital, brains and labor – that has created America’s abundance.

However our wealth may be divided, the mind-boggling amounts you see around you belong almost exclusively to Americans. Foreigners, of course, own or have claims on a modest portion of our wealth. Those holdings, however, are of little importance to our national balance sheet: Our citizens own assets abroad that are roughly comparable in value.

Early Americans, we should emphasize, were neither smarter nor more hard working than those people who toiled century after century before them. But those venturesome pioneers crafted a system that unleashed human potential, and their successors built upon it.

What is worrisome is that a third or more of the population wants to destroy this legacy. Fred Wilson points out that the Buffett letter also suffers from a false political pronouncement: “Sadly one of those four pillars is at risk – “a tide of talented and ambitious immigrants.” This is political blindness at its worse as it is conflating efforts to keep terrorists out of the country and the enforcement of law with that of banning “ talented and ambitious immigrants.” That is a falsehood used to impugn the newly elected administration and it is that sort of falsehood that is one of the greatest threats to the prosperity described. – the comments to his posting do discuss this.

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2/22/2017: Fake Delusion Consensus and Reality

Anthony J. Sadar: Time’s misreading of science – “The magazine would rather settle than search.”

Accurate prediction is one of the biggest challenges in scientific practice, and indeed an accurate prediction for the right reasons is one of the conditions for a scientific assertion to be correct.

Joseph Curl: Media responds to Trump’s ‘fake news’ charge — by pumping out fake news! – “the new alpha wolf in town smacked the lapdog media repeatedly on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper.”

So they proved his point, pretty much. All style, no substance — again. They talked about themselves — their feelings were hurt, darn it — but steered clear of covering what the president actually said.

But it gets even worse. Days later, the supposedly bias-free Associated Press (not at all unbiased) dropped this bombshell in a tweet: “BREAKING: Trump administration considers mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants.”

Boom. Huge. Except there was a problem. No, many problems, foremost among them — the story wasn’t remotely true.

So the press bristled at charges from the new president that they are selling fake news — and immediately goes out and proves his point.

Paul J. Weber: Judge blocks Texas cutting Medicaid to Planned Parenthood – “Sparks‘ unsparing opinion excoriated Texas for not providing “any evidence” of Planned Parenthood wrongdoing.” Another case of judicial activism being blind to evidence he does not like.

“A secretly recorded video, fake names, a grand jury indictment, congressional investigations – these are the building blocks of a best-selling novel rather than a case concerning the interplay of federal and state authority through the Medicaid program,” Sparks wrote. “Yet, rather than a villain plotting to take over the world, the subject of this case is the State of Texas’s efforts to expel a group of health care providers from a social health care program for families and individuals with limited resources.”

A big problem is that PP does very little in terms of social health care other than abortion. Writing off video testimony as the judge has done is a disservice to justice. In another case, it was real Fake News rather than judge imagined fake news. OregonMuse on CNN: You Will Never Find A More Wretched Hive Of Scum And Villainy – “It seems like CNN has lost the first round of a defamation case in federal court for, get this, peddling fake news:”

So, for the purposes of pushing their preferred narrative, CNN just made stuff up. And then they tried to get the suit dismissed. The judge, however, told CNN to go pound sand: …

“The Court finds these allegations sufficient to establish that CNN was acting recklessly with regard to the accuracy of its report, i.e., with ‘actual malice,” the order reads.

You can read a complete summary at LawNewz. You can even read (or download) a copy of the 18-page ruling.

Ed Rogers: The ‘deep state’ is real. The ‘alt right’ is fake – “the Trump presidency may serve as the galvanizing force that links some of the formal established Democratic opposition forces, … with the informal deep-state cadre of disgruntled liberal bureaucrats, the hostile mainstream media and the usual suspects on the left. It’s a troubling phenomenon, with anti-Trump organizations and Democratic-aligned civil servants conspiring to actively work against the incumbent government.”

“Deep state” is a sexy new label being used in Washington to describe embedded anonymous bureaucratic bias against President Trump and Republican rule.

At the same time all this is going on, the left has taken to painting Republicans with a broad brush as the “alt-right.” Well, as best I can tell, the alt-right is just a new way for the left to call Republicans racists and Nazis without actually having to say those terms out loud.

IBT Editorial: Venezuelans Now On A Forced Starvation Diet — Thanks, Socialism!We call it a shocking indictment of socialism, and should be a siren call to people around the world: Bring socialism to your country, and you bring misery. It’s the one thing that socialism produces an abundance of.”

A new study of Venezuela’s stunning decline under Hugo Chavez’s socialist model, still followed faithfully by his lap dog successor, Nicolas Maduro, reports that the average Venezuelan lost 19 pounds in the last year. Today, the 2016 Living Conditions Survey finds, 32.5% of Venezuelans eat only once or twice a day, up from 11.3% just one year ago. And 93.3% of all people don’t earn enough to buy sufficient food.

It’s a sad fact that Venezuela was once one of the wealthiest countries in South America, and even now has the second-largest oil reserves in the world. It should be a rich nation, filled with prosperous people worried about gaining too much weight, not losing it to hunger.

Meanwhile, inflation at close to 500% a year is the highest of any country on earth.

If Venezuela seems remote and of little concern, consider this headline: “Democratic Socialists Make Headway In U.S. After Trump’s Win.” Yes, we know. The Democratic Socialists of America style themselves as kinder, gentler socialists. Think Sweden, they say, not Venezuela.

But the truth is, whoever practices it or whatever those who follow it call themselves, socialism is an economic system based on mass greed and class envy that has failed time and time again. There are no successful socialist nations, anywhere. Those that find this model appealing despite its obvious failures are the desperate, the poorly educated, the uninformed and those lacking entirely in basic common sense.

It is an economic philosophy of entitlement and grievance, one that always ends in poverty, wanton destruction, the breakdown of civilization and even death — as the Venezuelans, who willingly handed control of their country over to the socialists, are now finding out.

The President has put Sweden in the spotlight recently and efforts to deny him by denying Sweden’s problems show just how tenaciously socialists hang on to their dreams. To put the Venezuela starvation crisis in perspective, Keven D. Williamson describes Planet Nebraska – “A hungry world no more.”

World hunger is in dramatic decline. As our friends at HumanProgress.org reported over the summer, the hunger indicators are all moving in the right direction: Fewer people are going hungry, both in absolute numbers and as a share of the world’s population; hunger has fallen dramatically in China after a program of partial economic liberalization; those people around the world who are underfed are less underfed than they were a decade or two ago, with their average daily calorie deficits down to about 85 calories — just 1.5 McNuggets short of a full day’s nutrition; and world food prices are down steeply, having fallen by half in real terms over the past century. The USDA reported on Tuesday that world wheat production is expected to hit a record high this year, and that U.S. producers will export — not produce, but export — more than 1 billion bushels of the stuff. Export projections are up 50 million bushels since January, driven higher by large orders from China.

Not long ago, the great dream and aspiration of most of the people walking this Earth was to have enough to eat, for themselves and for their children, and to be liberated from worrying about whether they would eat again tomorrow or the next day. Capitalism can be a great deal of work, but it works if you let it work.

On the ‘scandal free’ Obama administration and especially for those who consider Trump the fascist, there is Richard Pollock on the story Obama’s Feds Tried to Hack Indiana’s Election System While Pence Was Governor – “Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials tried to hack Indiana’s state electoral system with at least 14,800 “scans” or hits between Nov. 1, 2016, to Dec. 16, 2016, The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has learned.”

Federal officials are barred under DHS rules from trying to penetrate a state system without the express approval of the state. Neither Georgia nor Indiana approved the DHS scanning attempts.

The DHS inspector general has launched an official investigation into the Georgia breach attempt.

Governmental deployment of IT technology could be an evolving new tool against political opponents or to impose censorship, according to James Scott, a senior fellow at the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology, a cybersecurity think tank.

“Censorship has always been an issue in the brick-and-mortar world. So, censorship in the digital landscape is simply just transference of methods,” Scott said. “I think within federal agencies it is possible to imagine that there are some overreaching, aggressive managers.”

There’s a solution for this …

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2/19/2017: Unhinged. Trumpian Thoughtcrimes, Imaginary News

John Hinderaker: McCain Drives Into the Ditch – “John McCain suggests on Meet the Press that President Trump is “suppressing” the free press, which is “the first thing that dictators do.”

John, John, get a grip! Who is “suppressing” the press? Do you seriously not understand the difference between criticizing the press and suppressing it? The press is not above criticism. On the contrary, it deserves to be called out constantly for bias and inaccuracy. President Trump has taken a good step in that direction, but a great deal more press criticism is in order.

Jazz Shaw: John McCain’s “dictator” talk ignores reality and his own past with the media – “We can have a debate over how much criticism should be fairly applied to cable news and the major newspapers if you like, but “suppressing the Free Press” is simply fake news.”

If you want to see actual suppression of the press you need look no further than the nation of Turkey. Over there, a nascent dictator on the rise quickly moved to engage in some actual press suppression immediately following the attempted coup last year. Rather than criticizing journalists who might have commented negatively on his policies, Turkey’s president simply shut down all of the media outlets aside from those sanctioned and controlled by the state. He upped the ante from there by not only putting hundreds of journalists on the unemployment line, but tossing a significant number of them in his dungeons just for good measure.

That, my friends, is what actual media suppression looks like. What’s taking place in the White House today is push back and criticism of American journalists. They are still on the air 24 hours a day and printing their newspapers, free to respond to these critiques and they have been doing so since the moment Trump began speaking in Florida yesterday.

Neo-neocon: The courts rule on Trump’s intent and the “Muslim ban” – “The EO does exactly what it says it does, and the court should not be guessing at whether there is some sort of Trumpian thoughtcrime behind it.”

Those who say that of course Trump’s EO on immigration was meant to be a ban on Muslims are relying on Trump’s long-ago campaign statements as well as a more recent remark of his and some recent comments by advisor Rudy Giuliani. As an example of this type of reasoning, see this article by law professor Ilya Somin, quoting Brown University Professor Corey Brettschneider (writing here)

Here is a direct quote from Giuliani during that interview:

“We focused on, instead of religion: danger, the areas of the world that create danger for us. Which is a factual basis, not a religious basis. Perfectly legal, perfectly sensible, and that’s what the ban is based on. It’s not based on religion, it’s based on places where there are [sic] substantial evidence that people are sending terrorists into our country.”

I don’t know how Giuliani could have been more clear. Giuliani explicitly says what “it” means: the goal of banning the entry of people from places where terrorists come from and will be coming from (places which, by the way, had already been identified by Obama as such). But Somin calls the EO a “case of discriminatory motives hiding behind a vener [sic] of neutrality…an attempt to target Muslims without saying so explicitly.”

Their argument, such as it is, rests on believing the worst of Trump (and Giuliani) without proof, claiming Giuliani is flat-out lying here—and not even giving their readers the benefit of the full quotes, so the readers can decide for themselves. They are certainly free to think that, but as a logical argument it leaves a great deal to be desired.

Scott Adams: Imaginary News – “I think we can all agree that there has been plenty of fake news coming from both sides.” A logical fallacy is not a good way to start in trying to explain hallucinations.

The Huffington Post is literally seeing something that is invisible to me and other observers. We see a President Trump talking the way he normally talks. They see a 77-minute meltdown.

So how can we know who is hallucinating in this case? The best way to tell is by looking for the trigger for cognitive dissonance. In this case, the trigger is clear. Trump’s unexpected win forced the Huffington Post to rewrite their mental movies from one in which they were extra-clever writers to one in which they were the dumbest political observers in the entire solar system.

The key is objective observation of behavior. From “banning Muslims” to Presidential meltdowns and other such things there are many examples of stretching reality to fit fantasy. Whether it is disciplining children or leading a large organization, being able to match perceptions to reality and making sure that it is real, observable behavior and that distinct and clear standards are used to determine measurement is a key to success. 

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2/12/2017: Justice and Prayer

It is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. 

Law Professor Glen Reynolds cites a comment on Althouse:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We start with ourselves.

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2/11/2017: Who has a focus?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These rulings are troubling.

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

Activist judges, indeed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6) The Court disingenuously employed false religious protection claims

7) False consideration of “public interest.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2/6/2017 The Deplorables versus the Depraved

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sooner or later, a crash is inevitable.

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

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

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

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

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

It’s the Deplorables versus the Depraved. 

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2/5/2017: Measuring and observing Angst

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Democrat power relies on millions of unpaid thought police.

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

The fourth strategic goal: provoke a national crisis.

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

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

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

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

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

Williamson’s conclusion:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reaching this level of hatred and contempt has required cultivation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is — and was — no main message.

That thematic void can be politically lethal in American elections.

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

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

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

Good luck with that these days in Washington.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blindsided by preconceived fantasies on so many fronts …

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Closest analogy: The Effect Slim Whitman yodels have on Martians

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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