Archive for Justice and Law

Many fronts. Same story. Ugly.

Corruption Junction – Desperation Amid Democrat Members of The Intelligence “Gang of Eight” by sundance – “I have never seen anything like this before.”

“The combination of arrogance, hubris and desperation within a letter (pdf here) from the four Democrats on the intelligence oversight Gang of Eight, is palpable even in text format.

Perhaps more stunningly, and extra-constitutionally (meaning outside the framework of constitutional separation of power), within the jaw-dropping letter the four Democrats outline previous verbal conversations and current agreements with Coats, Rosenstein and Wray where the Cabinet officers agreed to keep information away from the White House Chief Executive, the President.

This letter reeks of corruption, manipulative intent, and between-the-lines admissions of gross intelligence abuses.

At Ace of Spades: Kavanaugh’s Accuser Says She Won’t Testify Until The FBI, Which Has Already Declined to Investigate Her Non-Federal-Jurisdiction 37 Year Old Allegations, Completes Its Investigation, Sometime After a Democrat is President – Former Fusion GPS Employee: Almost Every Claim We Made About Paul Manafort Was Wrong and I Regret Having Pushed This Hoax On to the Public

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guilty one way or another; a long descent

Kamala Harris: Make the FBI investigate Ford allegation, not us by Ed Morrissey – “For a former Attorney General and a sitting US Senator, Kamala Harris (D-CA) has a lot of trouble grasping basic concepts such as jurisdiction.”

“Not only does it not involve a federal crime, it doesn’t have enough specificity to warrant a local police investigation either. At least from the reporting so far, Ford doesn’t have a specific time or place where this occurred, and the only other named person in the allegation — Mark Judge — denies it ever happened at all. Plus, the statute of limitations would have long ago passed on an aggravated assault, especially when committed by a minor. But even if Ford remembered the specific date, time, and provided the names of potential witnesses, and it had happened within the statute of limitations, it still wouldn’t be the FBI’s jurisdiction. It’s a local crime, and the local police would have to investigate it.

The state of California is very lucky not to have Harris in charge of law enforcement if this is how she perceives the administration of justice. Unfortunately, they stuck the rest of us with her.

Kavanaugh’s will be the end of “normal” SCOTUS confirmations by Jazz Shaw – “If Ford is telling the truth, or at least a story with more than a kernel of truth at the heart of it, then such accusations will be impossible to completely refute. But if the charges are false and Kavanaugh’s career is left in ruins, that’s just as bad, if not worse.”

“The professor’s story simply can’t be completely proven or disproven absent some totally remarkable piece of physical evidence or truly compelling testimony from multiple individuals with remarkable memories and sterling reputations for unvarnished truth-telling. And with that, the weapon has been put on the table. Given the arc of politics in the modern era, do you honestly think that nobody else will pick it up in the future? The #MeToo moment is spawning many children and some of them are looking very problematic.

The Wall Street Journal nails it by Scott Johnson – “Today’s Wall Street Journal has published an editorial on the Kavanaugh ambush. I detect Kim Strassel’s hand in the editorial. The Journal condemns the charade staged by Senate Democrats starring Christine Blaesy Ford” – Johnson also provides Reflections on the devolution – “The long descent on which Senate Democrats have taken us now results in the smearing of Brett Kavanaugh. Neither Chuck Schumer nor Dianne Feinstein — nor any of the other Senate Democrats who announced their opposition to Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court months ago — is fit to carry Kavanaugh’s briefcase. How have we arrived at this pass?”

Climate Alarmism Fails the Test of Observation by John Hinderaker – “The catastrophic anthropogenic global warming theory is falsified by observation, and therefore is wrong. Ken Haapala, SEPP’s President, explains. There is far more at the link, but I will try to excerpt enough to make the point comprehensible

“In most industries, if you produced calculations that were off by a factor of 2.7, you would quickly be out of a job. But government, and pro-government research, are different. Here the purpose is not to be right, but to produce alarmist reports that, amplified by uncritical news stories written by ideologically aligned journalists, justify ever-greater government control over the economy and many billions of dollars in “green” cronyism. When the whole purpose of an enterprise is corruption, truth is only an inconvenience.

Still, truth remains an annoying presence–annoying, that is, if you are a global warming alarmist. Feynman’s adage remains indisputable: a theory that is disproved by observation is worthless.

Dispatches from District 48: Adding Solar to Our House — Here Is Why – “Our house has always been a good candidate for solar. It has a large flat roof, good sightlines to the south, and we live in just about the best solar location in the country (Phoenix). The problem has been two-fold

“The total payback comes to just about 10 years for our system. At historic cost of capital numbers this probably does not pencil out but today with ZIRP it makes sense, especially with the extra benefit of some immunity from outages. Even to get to these numbers you folks had to chip in to help my economics, in the form of the 30% tax rebate you are giving me and the above-wholesale price you are paying me for power I put into the grid.

[footnote] there is an added subsidy in the equation there from well-meaning but naive stockholders.

somebody else pays.

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Guilt by innuendo meets a scorched earth philosophy

So, the anonymous Kavanaugh accuser reveals herself by neo – “If this sort of thing can hurt Kavanaugh, or anyone else, then no man is safe. There is always someone who can come out of the woodwork and say that something like this happened. Always. And it cannot be refuted.”

“If Flake et al decide to stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation, mission accomplished by the left. If not, the ante will have to be upped. New accusers will come forward—or rather, they will be brought forward.

So Now What? By Charles C. W. Cooke – “We have a name and an accusation, which is an improvement over the status quo ante. If you’re going to make an allegation of misconduct, this is how you do it: publicly, and attached to as much information as you have. Eternal shame on those who made specific calls before they knew what was being alleged.”

“Trouble is, while this is closer to how this is supposed to work, there’s still nothing much to investigate. The accuser has summoned a vague memory of an event from thirty years in the past — a memory she didn’t mention until six years ago, to which she cannot attach a time or place, and that is recorded in notes that neither line up cleanly with her current story nor name Kavanaugh as the perpetrator. The two other parties have both categorically denied it, and nobody else from that era has weighed in. In addition, there are no other accusers, and every thing else we know about the accused is positive. That doesn’t mean the accuser is not telling the truth, of course. But it does mean that there’s no way of preventing a classic he said/she said dispute.

Which is all to say that this has now become a political question. Unfair as it may be, the core calculation now will not be whether the charges are true (we don’t know) or whether the timings and assumptions are fair (they are not) … Either way, this is a low moment in the history of the Senate — and one that has little to do with justice.

Transparent Political Hit Job – Kavanaugh Accuser, Christine Ford-Blasey, Activated To Advance 35-year-old Accusations by sundance – “Today the Washington Post announces the accuser of Brett Kavanaugh has stepped forward to tell her story.”

“The timing is transparent: the week prior to Brett Kavanaugh committee vote; the outlet is transparent: the intelligence ‘resistance’ apparatus, The Washington Post; the accuser is transparent: a far-left California liberal professor, Christine Ford Blasey, anti-Trump ‘resistance activist’ with an anti-policy background, including recently. The accusation is transparent: 35-year-old harassment claim/accusation, from high school intended to activate the “Me Too” activists. The motive is transparent: block the Supreme Court nomination of Justice Kavanaugh.

After carefully deleting her social media profile; and after carefully selecting left-wing attorney Debra Katz to represent her political interests; and after carefully scripting some dubious and sketchy supportive material including a lie-detector test and vague notes from a 2012 couples-therapy session, the 51-year-old academic psychologist steps forward.

Kavanaugh’s accuser recovered her memory at the time Dems were panicked Romney would win and nominate him to SCOTUS by Thomas Lifson – “It certainly is an odd coincidence.”

Professor accusing Kavanaugh is radical SJW with some damning student reviews by Selwyn Duke – “since Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hopes are being influenced by accusations that may speak to his character, it’s only fair to examine the character of his accuser.”

“Whatever the truth of the matter, however, certainly true is that Ford is a radical leftist who’d be inclined to zealously oppose a Kavanaugh nomination. For example, Breitbart reports that she not only has attended anti-Trump events, but actually donned a pink “brain p‑‑‑‑ hat” for a 2017 anti-Trump march.

Just as telling may be her student reviews.

As for Kavanaugh, unless it’s shown that he’s like Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy and has exhibited a pattern of sexual wrongdoing, there’s nothing to see here.

Attorney: Kavanaugh accuser willing to testify publicly to Judiciary Committee by Ed Morrissey – “All she has is her testimony, which is contradicted by the other two people accused in the allegation. If Ford can’t find witnesses to identify even where and when the party took place, let alone to her state of mind during it, then all we have is an allegation without any evidence at all, and a lifetime of character and service to rebut it.”

After 35 years and no other contemporaneous witnesses, it’s unresolvable. This is why statutes of limitation exist, and why we don’t derail someone’s life over an allegation when it can’t be substantiated. Unless that equation changes, and it seems very doubtful it will, forcing Kavanaugh to withdraw or shooting down his confirmation over this will set a very bad precedent and create new incentives for political witch hunts. And you can bet that those incentives will produce more of these last-minute unsubstantiated attacks on nominees in the future.

Jeff Flake, Traitor by John Hinderaker – “Traitor” is normally considered a harsh word, but it is the only printable thing I have called “Republican” Senator Jeff Flake since he announced, a few hours ago, that he is “not comfortable voting yes” on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

“His concern is the ridiculously stale allegation by Democrat professor Christine Ford that Kavanaugh groped her and tried to kiss her at a party when they were both high school students more than 30 years ago.

Medical treatment? David Bernstein has a question. “if you allege sexual assault in the distant past against a Supreme Court nominee, and you claim in writing to have undergone medical treatment as a result of the assault, but you never saw a medical doctor, and didn’t even see a therapist for thirty-three years, a Senator might not want to stake her reputation on your claim.”

Sabotaging Trump on Iran’s Behalf by Jed Babbin – “Earlier this year, when President Trump revoked the deal, Obama said it was a serious mistake for him to have done so. What we didn’t know then was that Vichy John Kerry undertook a concerted private diplomatic effort, without the knowledge of the Trump administration, to undermine what Trump has done.”

The politics of calculating hurricane deaths by Jazz Shaw – “The current argument over precisely how many people died in Puerto Rico when Hurricane Maria came barreling through has gotten ugly.”

“The article at the WaPo turns out to be from Lynn R. Goldman of the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, which compiled the death toll of 2,975 “excess deaths” in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria. Bear with me here, because the phrase “excess deaths” will become critical later. She took to the pages of the Washington Post to assure everyone that their study “was carried out with no interference whatsoever from any political party or institution.”

Here’s where we run into trouble. Look at the description of the methodology they used. It’s based on “a careful examination of all of the deaths officially reported to the government of Puerto Rico between September 2017 and February 2018… using state-of-the-art mathematical modeling to compare the total number of deaths during that time to the expected number of deaths, based on historical patterns as well as age, sex, socioeconomic status and migration from the island.”

They’re counting deaths which took place five months after the storm had passed.

Pardon my incredulousness over such a serious matter, but when did we start defining hurricane deaths in this fashion?

I’m not saying that there was or wasn’t any political bias involved in the compilation of the Milken Institute study, but that’s really not the point. The question is whether or not this is actual science. If you’re suggesting that every person who gets sick and dies months after a storm comes through because the infrastructure is inadequate, or medical supplies aren’t available, or because they were bitten by a dog who might have been too hungry because he lost his owners in the storm, are directly attributable to the hurricane, then… please. If that’s the case, the death tolls of every hurricane, tornado, wildfire, earthquake or drought in the history of the country should probably be multiplied by a factor of anywhere from 10 to 100.

How 9/11 Made a European Upper-Middle-Class Radical a Conservative by Annika Hernroth-Rothstein – “Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them.”

“He and his friends were having a party, celebrating the attack on America. He called to invite me, and to this day I have never felt such intense shame.

During his speech on September 14, 2001, President Bush said that adversity introduces us to ourselves. Well, on that day I was introduced to who I had been and who I truly was. I saw my own place in the context of history, and how the ideas that I helped promote, the accusations I had met with silence, all had a part in shaping the world I now saw burning before me.

It wasn’t a game. I had played it, but it was never a game.

On September 11, 2001, I saw, for the first time, the difference between fear and freedom, and I vowed not to be neutral between them, ever again.

Seventeen Years Later by Richard Fernandez – “Perhaps the issues raised by that attack seventeen years ago remain unresolved because the West is unwilling to answer the basic question it posed: what do we believe in?” … “Our protypical myths are missing and we have not noticed they are gone.”

“The world is now in the post-Obama phase of the response to 9/11 with no clear outcome in sight. What is clear is that immigration controversies are fueling what Anne Applebaum calls a rejection of Democracy across the West or a cold civil war depending on your point of view. Worse, surveillance technology has made Big Silicon, once the liberal bastion of the ‘digital frontier’, into Big Brother, the enforcer of hate speech rules and arbiter of truth which has added an element of paranoia to the mix.

The video of Google employees vowing never to allow something like Hillary’s defeat to occur again illustrates shows the suddenness with which the civilization’s tools can be turned against it. The ease with which instruments of surveillance and censorship can be directed at the Deplorables instead of al-Qaeda was recently brought home by a video showing a senior Google official vowing to “use the great strength and resources and reach we have to continue to advance really important values”. The unspoken agreement on values at the Google all-hands meeting is a reminder of how easily groupthink can become what Scott Adams called the ‘casual evil’ of self-righteousness.”

the “casual evil’ of self-righteousness.” It seems the ‘casual’ part is withering as self awareness grows and dissonance becomes prominent.

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Sleaze and Smear — and it doesn’t bother so many?

Knowing What We Know Now, We Must Remind Ourselves by sundance – “The lies, the severity of hatred and opposition, now make much more sense.” … “For them, it is a war – and for them, nothing is out of bounds.” Citing a Donald Trump speech of 13 October 2016 that “defines the MAGA movement.”

Julia Salazar highlights “post-truth politics” on the left by Jazz Shaw – “And yet the people in her district still showed up in droves and elected her with nearly 60% of the vote to represent them in the upper chamber of New York State government. Shouldn’t that be setting off at least some minor alarm bells? That’s the theme in an op-ed which was published in, of all places, the New York Times.”

“As is now widely known, political neophyte Julia Salazar handily defeated an eight-term Democratic incumbent in New York’s 18th state senate district. Her opponent’s chief “sin” in the eyes of progressives was accepting campaign contributions from real estate lobbyists. This upset victory isn’t what’s been making national headlines, however. As you’ve doubtless heard by now, Salazar fabricated virtually her entire life story, creating an autobiography which would be more palatable to her new Democratic Socialist friends than her actual history.

Weiss points out an underlying truth which is hard to deny. The voters in this very progressive senate district are, without doubt, among the armies of liberals who constantly talk about the running list of lies uttered by the POTUS and bemoan the emergence of this new “post-truth presidency.” And this article appears in one of the loudest national and even international mouthpieces of liberalism which has been pushing this theme.

Rather than being some sort of outlier or even the root of the problem, isn’t Julia Salazar more of a symptom of something larger?

Post-truth politics is one thing. What Salazar has managed to pull off looks far more like the most successful snake oil sales rally seen in the modern era. And she’s being held up by progressives as yet another face representing the future of the left. Is this really something to celebrate?

So when will Senate Dems meet to discuss Beto? Update: Or Bill? By Ed Morrissey – “What’s the difference between an alleged and vociferously denied assault at a high school party and an adult getting tanked and driving on the highway?”

“Senate Democrats apparently consider the former a disqualifier for the judiciary, but the latter a youthful indiscretion that doesn’t disqualify someone from judging who should be on the federal bench.

If an uncorroborated anonymous allegation of a crime from 1982 qualifies as a reason to prevent someone from public service, what about an actual crime on the record from 1998?

And if Senate Democrats want to keep pressing that allegation against Kavanaugh, then they need to answer for Beto O’Rourke. At this point, even a double standard would be an improvement over none at all.

Update: For that matter, will Senate Democrats start discussed Juanita Broaddrick’s on-the-record accusations against Bill Clinton for rape? She’s told the same story publicly and consistently for over 25 years.

Allan Dershowitz continues being fair by neo – “Fairness is so unusual these days, especially among Democrats (which Dershowitz still is), that it is worthy of special note. I’ve become more and more respectful of Dershowitz in recent years for his devotion to principles over party, as in his latest efforts at correcting falsehoods

“So Dershowitz isn’t some recent convert to defending the rights of accused presidents, he’s been doing this for at least 44 years. It’s somewhat of a mystery why Dershowitz is still a Democrat, but I believe it has something to do with what Zell Miller once likened to a birthmark—an identity that for some people is so deep that it would take something truly cataclysmic to change it.

Are becoming incautious? That’s where Dershowitz needs to take a good long look at his own party and recognize that they’re not just becoming anything; they’ve been this way for a long time.

And “incautious” is way too mild a word for it. The “unindicted co-conspirator” accusation is a premeditated misstatement with malice aforethought. Some ignorant people may indeed play along with it, but many of those who perpetrate it know full well what they’re doing.

Demonization of Nunes Is a Window Into Our Times by Victor Davis Hanson – “Nunes has become the subject of unprecedented media venom.”

“Much of what we now know about the unethical and often illegal behavior of the FBI, CIA, National Security Agency, and Department of Justice emerged due to the efforts of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Its chairman during its stunning disclosures has been Representative Devin Nunes (R., Calif.), who in turn has been constantly demonized for his efforts.

No one so far has refuted the committee’s findings. Yet Chairman Nunes has become the subject of unprecedented venom, largely because a spate of further embarrassing scandals at the FBI, DOJ, and CIA have resulted from his committee’s findings.

The demonization of Nunes is a window into our times. We hunt for mythical Russian collusion while foreign collusion between Christopher Steele and his Russian sources is ignored. Progressives who claim an affinity for the middle classes demonize farmers as hicks. A supposedly noble press prints fakes news and traces down someone’s long-dead great-grandmother to suggest divided loyalties.

The real question is not why today’s jaded media go to such lengths to slander Nunes, but why they are so afraid of him.

So many values are being flipped for emotional comfort. So much damage is being done to avoid reality.

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Wheels within wheels

Nike, NFL, and Levis Strauss Political Business Strategy – The Much Bigger Geopolitical and Trade Picture by sundance – “A hidden risk that likely has nothing whatsoever to do with Colin Kaepernick.”

“The bigger risk to Nike has nothing to do with Black Lives Matter, U.S. Consumers, or Antifa-like political advocacy. The bigger financial risk to the Nike Corporation has everything to do with geopolitics and a reset of international trade agreements.

The Nike political branding position is reconciled when you look at the bigger picture and see where the real financial risk aligns. The Nike economic decision is to align with China, and by extension North Korea, for a position of mutual benefit. It is all about the proverbial $$$$ and Nike’s best financial play is to mitigate risk and assist Communist China in their trade strategy.

The agenda is to defeat the Trump-trade-reset; however, they, in this example Levi Strauss, cannot openly side with China and Asia against the United States. The PR optics would be horrible…. So they do it covertly by supporting domestic political policies and opposition toward the President who is threatening the construct of their multinational business model.

So now Levi Strauss has moved into the gun control game by Jazz Shaw – “The company’s CEO, in making this announcement, is trying to have his cake and eat it too.” … “We’ve seen this movie before and it generally doesn’t end well for companies that decide to dive into contentious political issues.” … “The most curious aspect of this announcement is the question of why Levi Strauss would willingly toss themselves into this particular battle.”

Three frauds ginned up by Democrats at the Kavanaugh hearing by Monica Showalter – “Attempting to politicize the nomination as a right-left matter hasn’t worked. So now, they’re stooping to dirty, filthy tricks.”

“What does this string of frauds collectively sho[w]? That the Democrats are out of ideas, they have no basis for objecting to Kavanaugh on factual grounds, so their next tack is to make some up. It’s as if they’ve become a party of Ben Rhodes, millions of them, all cooking up fake narratives to hide the ugly reality and the bereft facts. This is the Democrats now, and they’re starting to stink of fake news, the frauds that drip from their crazed phony narratives.

Progressive groups to Schumer: “You are failing us” on Kavanaugh by Ed Morrissey – “The kind of stunts that the progressive activists have pushed Schumer into performing, especially those hypocritical and hysterical antics yesterday, are practically guaranteed to harden Republicans in their support for an obviously qualified jurist.”

“Let’s not miss the irony of this, either. The kind of total warfare that this letter demands is precisely why Schumer and the Democrats don’t have any leverage on presidential appointments any longer. Harry Reid detonated the nuclear option in 2013 by reversing centuries of precedent and allowing a rule change on a simple majority in order to allow Barack Obama’s DC Circuit nominees to get to the bench without GOP recourse to the filibuster, in large part to pander to these same progressives. Mitch McConnell used Reid’s precedent to have a simple majority to strike down the filibuster on Supreme Court nominations, and that’s why Schumer’s only option is to pull juvenile stunts like we saw yesterday.

Schumer’s out of options. The only thing left is self-immolation, but that would likely generate complaints from these progressive groups that the fire didn’t burn brightly enough.

Bob Woodward got played by Bradd Jaffy – “Bob Woodward has written a well-documented tome about the Donald John Trump presidency that is as absurd as it is understandable.”

‏”Donald Trump has gamed the media for more than four decades. He began in the toughest media town in the world, New York City. He knew what they wanted and gave it to them, to get what he wanted.

After three years, the DC press corps still doesn’t get it. The DC press corps is a smug, slightly incestuous, very parochial institution that still considers President Trump to be a rube.

Either the Democrats are correct, or the Trump administration gave Woodward and others the mushroom treatment, feeding them fertilizer and keeping them in the dark.

Indoctrination Saturation by Victor Davis Hanson – “A definition of totalitarianism might be the saturation of every facet of daily life by political agendas and social-justice messaging.”

“At the present rate, America will soon resemble the dystopias of novels such as 1984 and Brave New World in which all aspects of life are warped by an all-encompassing ideology of coerced sameness. Or rather, the prevailing orthodoxy in America is the omnipresent attempt of an elite — exempt from the consequences of its own ideology thanks to its supposed superior virtue and intelligence — to mandate an equality of result.

Americans have long accepted that Hollywood movies no longer seek just to entertain or inform, but to indoctrinate audiences by pushing progressive agendas. That commandment also demands that America be portrayed negatively — or better yet simply written out of history.

This new politicized borg ferrets out every aspect of our lives. Nothing is safe, nothing sacred. Dead or alive, the relentless social-justice messaging continues. Like some sort of time machine, we go back in time to alter history as if a few corrections and adjustments will change and thus improve the entire present.

Progressive politics seeks to connect and energize us as millions of shared malignant cells inside a metastasizing tumor — or to destroy us in the attempt.

Ben Sasse on how the three branches of government have malfunctioned by Walter Olson – this video appears to be one of the most highly regarded outcomes of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearing.

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More on politicizing everything anyway, anyhow

Politicize A Funeral? Last Time, It Didn’t Turn Out Well by John Hinderaker – “As Paul noted last night, Democrats (and some Republicans) turned John McCain’s funeral into an orgy of Trump-bashing. Evidently they thought it made political sense.”

“leading Democrats from around the country assembled in the Twin Cities for Wellstone’s funeral. The funeral was broadcast live to the nation. To the shock of most who watched, the Democrats turned Wellstone’s funeral into a partisan hate-fest. Reaction was overwhelmingly negative.

Will the politicizing of McCain’s funeral by anti-Trumpers have a similar boomerang effect? Probably not to the same degree; standards have declined considerably since 2002. But it won’t help the anti-Trumpers’ cause, just as similar anti-Trump speeches at Aretha Franklin’s funeral won’t be helpful.

What can we conclude if there is a funeral for Person A, and the “eulogies” are mostly about Person B? For one thing, Person B is obviously a heck of a lot more important than Person A. John McCain was heroic in some ways, notoriously small-minded in others. It is perhaps a fitting coda to his career that his funeral was mostly about someone else.

Burying McCain by Don Surber – “Did anyone think these seething, furious, crazed people would act like grownups? His daughter made an ass of herself.”

When Law and Politics Become One by William J. Watkins, Jr. – “What the hearings will be is political theater as leftist senators pepper Kavanaugh with questions in the hopes that he has a mental lapse so they can embarrass him and persuade their more moderate colleagues to vote against him.”

“For the last 60-plus years, the merger of law and politics has slowly killed the spirit of self-government. Today, issues that were once decided in state and local assemblies are controlled by the judges. The Supreme Court defines marriage, draws legislative districts, and micromanages state criminal law.

Kavanaugh’s hearings will be a lesson on why law and politics should be separated and a reminder of just how much our country needs an infusion of Aristotelian wisdom.

Mexican flag flies proudly over town where illegal alien killed Mollie Tibbetts by Ed Straker – “When an invading army captures a town, they usually run up the flag, to show who’s in charge.” Interesting. A new movie about the lunar landing censors the planting of the flag, a major goal for the astronauts, as we are all global now. That particular idea is turned on its head in this story from Brooklyn, Iowa.

Sunday Schadenfreude: The Associated Press by Thomas Lifson – “With President Trump always eager to point out new varieties of fake news, the Associated Press, the nation’s largest single source of news content, has lobbed a slow softball over the Oval Office plate for him.”

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Enemy of the State? deja vu

Ohr speaks! (Behind closed doors) by Thomas Lifson – “There are two closely related dangers for the bureaucratic, political, and media coalition that seeks to eject Trump from the body politic and teach the lesson to any future potential disruptor of the Establishment that such a mission is both dangerous and futile.”

Whistleblower Exposes Key Player in FBI Russia Probe: “It was all a Set-up” by Sara Carter – “An investigation by SaraACarter.com reveals that the documents and information Lovinger stumbled on and other documents obtained by this news site, raise troubling questions

“Lovinger, a whistleblower, is now battling to save his career. The Pentagon suspended his top-secret security clearance May 1, 2017, when he exposed through an internal review that Stefan Halper, who was then an emeritus Cambridge professor, had received roughly $1 million in tax-payer funded money to write Defense Department foreign policy reports

How a twenty-year-old movie foretold the Mueller witch hunt by Patricia McCarthy – “Twenty years ago, Will Smith starred in a terrific film called Enemy of the State.”

“ It was riveting for its portrayal of the government’s abuse of every hi-tech tool at the ready to surveil and destroy a man’s life. Those tools seemed make-believe in 1998. How naïve we film-goers were.

These are evil people – Mueller, Rosenstein, and their cabal of villains. They have shredded the Constitution, violated every legal precedent. Their mission is clear: destroy Trump by any means necessary.

This week, we learned that Bruce Ohr, who met seventy times with Christopher Steele after he was officially fired as an FBI asset, has never been interviewed by Mueller. Ohr’s wife likely wrote the infamous dossier meant to ruin Trump.

Do we, Americans who love this country and the Constitution, have a Brill? Are there good guys working on the side of what is legal and true?

Watch the film. It will remind you how lethal government abuse of power can be and is. And it has one of the cleverest, most satisfying conclusions ever. May the conclusion of the Mueller probe of the Obama-Brennan-HRC-conceived hoax be as gratifying.

A Post-Trump World? By Victor Davis Hanson – “Removing him would only make things worse — for his opponents & the nation.”

“We are in danger of establishing a precedent that in the new American politics, the way to defeat an oppositional leader is not to wait for the next election but to warp the criminal-justice system, normalize violent rhetoric against the person of the president, and consider the president guilty of whatever crime from his past is most convenient. Crudity will become tantamount to high crimes and misdemeanors. And the new rules will demand that when a president-elect enters office, he does not begin a new political life, but rather is subject to new legal inquiries about everything that he has done previously.

Why Deep State Sabotage Is Way Worse Than Trump’s Atrocious Infidelities By Margot Cleveland – “If the left succeeds in forcing Donald Trump out of office, the damage to our democratic republic cannot be overstated.” … note the inherent bias in presumption of guilt in “None of this, of course, addresses Trump’s underlying conduct which, while not proven, seems believable… ” all of a sudden, typical baby-boomer, ‘free love’ generation behavior is classified as “alley-cat morals.” still, …

“If the left succeeds in forcing Trump out of office, the damage to our democratic republic cannot be overstated. Trump’s infidelity, wrong though it is, is far less destructive to our country than the last two years of sabotage set off by Washington insiders — first on a presidential campaign and then, following the populace’s selection of the “wrong” candidate, on Trump’s presidency.

Yet many of the people acting high and mighty about Trump’s infidelity are the same folks ignoring the past administration’s abuse of power to set up and spy on the Trump campaign, and the lies and leaks flowing to favorite media outlets to foment a coup.

These are the real scandals plaguing our country by Michael Goodwin – “America is being scandalized by four enormous events that are happening simultaneously. By scandalized, I mean that people are shocked and outraged at what they regard as breaches of acceptable behavior or morality.”

“That wouldn’t be a problem if the vast majority were scandalized by the same things. That’s not the America we have. The vicious polarization stems from the fact that the country is split almost exactly in half over what people are outraged about.

Still, Trump won the election fairly and the economy is booming, yet too many Americans can’t accept those truths. Their attempts to bring him down define the three other scandalizing events.

First is the conduct of the mainstream media … Another scandalizing event is the behavior of some federal agencies … The fourth scandalizing event is the reaction of Democrats to Trump

Dems’ answers to his presidency can be divided into two: political assassination and political suicide.

The Art of The Donald by Don Surber – “With the exception of trolls, readers understand President Donald John Trump intuitively, so let me explain what you know and why.”

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Sounding the depth of the blood rage

Judge blocks Trump executive orders on federal union operations by Jazz Shaw – “Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. President Donald Trump signs a series of executive orders designed to clean up the mess in the federal government, those benefitting most from said mess file numerous lawsuits and a judge is found to block the executive orders.”

“Judge Jackson concedes that the President has the authority to issue executive orders covering federal labor relations. But she then declares the three executive orders have a “cumulative effect” of “eviscerating the right to collective bargaining.” She went on to tie this to a supposed breach of the 1978 Civil Service Reform Act, saying that the executive orders amounted to instructions for the unions to collectively “bargain in bad faith.”

The only problem is that none of the three executive orders have anything to do with the collective bargaining process.

No, Cohen didn’t flip on Trump in Congressional testimony by Karen Townsend – “It turns out that Michael Cohen did NOT tell members of the Senate Intelligence Committee that President Trump knew about the infamous Trump Tower meeting with Russians after all.” Another Fake News example. CNN has a number of examples of such gross, seditious propaganda this week.

Both sides not now (2) by Scott Johnson – “She asks what is by now a rhetorical question concerning the Mueller Switch Project: “Fair-minded investigation or partisan witch hunt?” Cleta bores in on the campaign-finance angle of the great political scandal in plain sight.”

“Cleta writes ironically when she states “it will be interesting to to see if he applies the same fervor to the Democrats’ 2016 campaign-finance violations and activities that he has applied to those of President Trump and his associates.” We understand the nature of the project in which Mueller is engaged. It has nothing to do with the Clinton campaign, the confederates of the Clinton campaign or “the greatest campaign-finance scandal in history.”

How Anti-Trump Hyperbole Fosters Insanity by Roger Kimball – “Some diligent scribe should do a little historical digging and tabulate where, in each case of rhetorical Trumpery, the insults and opprobrium started. Did Donald Trump start the abuse? Or did his targets open hostilities?”

“In many, maybe most (maybe all) cases I suspect you will find that Trump’s invectives were rejoinders, i.e., responses to earlier provocations and expressions of contempt. Trump made fun of “low-energy Jeb,” but wasn’t that after Jeb said some pretty disagreeable things about Trump?

In any event, however the matter of precedent shakes out, there is also the issue of extreme rhetoric feeding extreme feelings and extreme actions. Simply put, the anti-Trump chorus has worked itself into a frenzy of trembling rage and hysterical overstatement.

All this is well-trod ground. If you’re conservative, you’re evil by definition and its open season as far as the mainstream media is concerned.

But the reaction to Donald Trump, although it began by following this playbook, has mutated into something different and more toxic.

One expression of that toxic difference is the cabal of former high-ranking government officials who, in a marked departure from past practice, have embarked on very public campaigns against the president.

but there is something else, something darker and more twisted, at work here. In the Republic, Socrates notes that while many people may lie with abandon, the one thing no one can countenance is the “lie in the soul” that makes it impossible to distinguish reliably between truth and falsehood.

I suspect that anti-Trump hyperbole has insinuated such a reality-distorting lozenge into the hearts of many of the anti-Trump brethren.

The situation is pitiable as well as contemptible. But the malignancy of their vituperation disarms pity before it can even engage. All that is left is contempt, by anger.

Trump talk by neo – “And in fact, it doesn’t seem completely unusual these days in liberal circles for people to casually and approvingly discuss assassinating Trump (speaking of tyranny), or at least of wishing him dead. Among people I know, it’s just idle talk—they’re not about to do anything—but the depth of blood rage is stunning, and a topic that should be verboten about any president seems quite acceptable in many groups.”

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Can’t you see?

On the Cohen plea by neo – “What I’ve never seen is this sort of general technique used by partisans of one party to get the president of the United States, although I’ve seen something like it on a lower level

Dealing with Democrats’ Swarm Tactics by Sally Zelikovsky – “Why do the Democrats get away with their transgressions in ways Republicans could only dream of?”

“Chris Collins, Jim Jordan, Duncan Hunter.

Remember these names. They are just three of the most recent victims targeted by the Democrats and their embedded goons in the administration, with accusations of misconduct in the hopes of ousting good men from Congress and reducing the Republican majority.

We’ve seen this playbook before: Ted Stevens, Herman Cain, Donald Trump.

We’ve also seen how more often than not, the accusations miraculously fizzle out or disappear after an election or when the accused is actually acquitted, as in the case of Ted Stevens. Left-wingers dutifully play their part as the self-righteous accusers cleansing politics of Republican riffraff. Republicans usually hang their accused brethren out to dry.

The entire left-wing tactic is formulaic:

America’s Two Parties: Traitors and Patriots by Peggy Ryan – “Why, if we’re still a free country, do we have to put up with this ongoing insurrection?”

“No one involved in this coup has had to answer for his crimes. Hillary Clinton broke laws with her private server, destroyed evidence that was under congressional subpoena, sold 20% of our uranium to Russia, and commissioned a hit piece to frame Donald Trump. Yet Hillary hasn’t been in court for so much as a traffic ticket, much less felonies.

Evidence is surfacing that our intelligence agencies spied on a political opponent, unmasked Americans, and conspired to frame an innocent American (President Trump) using Hillary’s fraudulent document.

Our American Pravda uses its platform to attack President Trump as Hitler, a white supremacist, deranged, “not psychologically or physiologically fit to serve” – endless, relentless assaults to delegitimize our president, to take him down.

Why, if we’re still a free country, do we have to put up with this ongoing insurrection? Why should American patriots live every single day under threat that the cabal will overturn the election, end our democracy?

The Liberal Media Narrative Is Immune to Facts by Jim Treacher – “Once a delusion sets into a person’s mind, it can be really tough to dislodge.”

“When you just know you’re right, you’ll figure out some rationalization to convince yourself that it’s true, and that everybody telling you otherwise is part of the cover-up.

Immune or blind?

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Crime, Punishment, and Accountability

Who Watches the Media Watchdogs? By T.R. Clancy – “Somehow, these guys just aren’t getting it.”

“Is it just me, or do hundreds of newspapers joining in chorus to “express disdain” for Donald Trump (and by necessity, for his 63 million toothless supporters) somehow detract from the message “we’re not your enemy”?

Meanwhile, Rather agrees that of all the current threats he sees to the free press, “[t]he most immediate threat comes from the dangerous political moment in which we find ourselves.” By that he means the political moment in which Donald J. Trump sits in the Oval Office. It never occurs to him that, for Americans like me, the real dangerous political moment we find ourselves in is when the mainstream media, along with Hollywood, academia, social media, and leftist resisters in and out of government, are feverishly working to overturn the results of the 2016 election.

No doubt unintentionally, Dan Rather mentions how “powerful institutions” need to be held accountable by the press, then in the very next sentence uses the term “institution” again in reference to the press. He’s posing the real paradox without knowing it.

The Nuclear Option – Hot Swampy Heat: The Week Washington Officially Lost Its Collective Mind by Charles Hurt – “What is interesting about the case against Mr. Manafort is that prosecutors had declined to pursue some of the charges way back when. But that was BEFORE Mr. Manafort betrayed the political establishment by working for Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign.”

“Once he committed that cardinal sin, all bets were off.

That is why so many people see this whole crusade as a dangerous and dishonest political prosecution. It is not Paul Manafort that people care about. It is the idea that Mr. Manafort got shoved through a political-criminal meat-grinder all because he worked for Donald Trump.

Where was this prosecutorial zeal when it came to Hillary Clinton and her illegal bathroom email server or all the obvious global pay-to-play shakedowns by the Clinton Foundation?

If people in Washington honestly want to understand the hostility and distrust American voters have for their federal government, they must admit that this stinks to the high heavens.

Paul Sperry: FBI “Investigation” Into Weiner Laptop Was a Gigantic Fraud Upon the Public; by Ace of Spades – “FBI Only Looked at 3000 Emails, and Only Glanced At Those in a 12 Hour Window; Never Conducted Mandatory Security Assessment”conclusions without investigation; claims without substance.

“Read the whole thing. At least click the link and maybe look at some other headlines from Real Clear Investigations. They did amazing work here and should be rewarded.

See also Bulk of Clinton emails on Weiner’s laptop were never examined, findings were never reported by John Sexton – “But RCI’s report throws a very different light on all of this. For one thing, the investigation was botched. For two, it did find something. For three, this sham investigation matches with the inexplicable behavior of Hillary fan Peter Strzok who let the laptop matter slide for weeks.”

Judge Tells New Citizens to ‘Take A Knee’ by George Neumayr – “At a citizenship ceremony in Brooklyn, Judge LaShann DeArcy Hall gives the newest Americans appalling advice.”

“So here we have a federal court judge, who just turned a room full of foreigners into American citizens, and her first piece of advice to them is: boycott the American flag you have just been handed. It was depressing and infuriating as hell.

In the past, a judge who dispensed such nihilistic advice to new Americans would be impeached. But nowadays almost no one in Congress cares and even fewer members would entertain an impeachment drive.

For simply trying to bring a little rationality to an out-of-control dimension of national life, Trump has been called all manner of names. We are told that he is a monstrous nativist. In fact, he is simply espousing principles of nationalism both parties at one time shared. If a liberal activist had asked, say, LBJ, or even JFK, to support professional athletes boycotting the American flag, they would have told the activist to go jump in a lake. Now the Dems are the party of flag boycotters in the NFL. It is pitiful, and dangerous. The breakdown in a nationalism common to both parties has given us a judiciary chock-a-block full of subversive hacks like LaShann DeArcy.

Ted Cruz’s Slapdick Democrat Challenger Beta O’Rourke: There’s Nothing More Patriotic Than Protesting the Flag in the NFL by Ace of Spades – “This should probably earn him some votes from NeverTrumpers, who are very, very keen on talking up how patriotic the flag-protests are.”

The Diversity of Illegal Immigration by Victor Davis Hanson – “I live on farm beside a rural avenue in central California, the fifth generation to reside in the same house. And after years of thefts, home break-ins, and dangerous encounters, I have concluded that it is no longer safe to live where I was born.”

Impeachment Hysteria by John Hinderaker – “We live in a schizoid time.”

“In the world most of us inhabit, things are going extraordinarily well. We are in the midst of the longest bull market ever. Employment is at a record high, unemployment–especially among minorities, young people and women–at or near record lows. GDP is growing at a 4% clip, which liberal economists deemed impossible in the last administration. Wages are rising. We are at peace, but at the same time our government is finally taking steps to deal with long-festering problems in Iran, Russia, China and North Korea. What’s not to like?

If you listen to most journalists and pundits, none of that is important. The crisis of the hour is that Donald Trump paid two women not to talk about sexual liaisons with him. Not, mind you, because such behavior is immoral. In the post-Clinton world, “immoral” is not a word in the Left’s vocabulary, at least not when it comes to sex or anything pertaining thereto. Rather, because the payoffs constituted “illegal campaign contributions.” Which they didn’t, actually.

Media Research Center says that yesterday, “CNN and MSNBC reporters, anchors, and paid contributors used the word [impeach] an absurd 222 times in 18 hours.” They are salivating, high on visions of Donald Trump exiting the White House on a helicopter, like Richard Nixon. But does the Democrats’ impeachment hysteria have any basis in reality?

War of Attrition Against President Trump by David P. Goldman – “Precisely how does Bill Clinton’s main legal fixer turn up as Michael Cohen’s attorney in a plea bargain with a special prosecutor?”

“There’s no collusion, no smoking gun, no high crime or misdemeanor in all of this: There’s no secret at the bottom of the garbage pile that will bring down the Trump presidency. It’s not a criminal investigation. It’s a war of attrition, intended to distract and ultimately exhaust the president.

Crime and Punishment by Roger Kimball – “One of the reasons so many people are confused by the operations of our self-appointed fourth branch of government—I mean in this instance the unending, Kafkaesque investigations conducted by Robert Mueller and his crack team of anti-Trump shock troops—is that while we have seen plenty of punishment meted out, crimes have been rather less populous on the ground.”

“The point is, when you have carte-blanche to torment someone, why stop when you’ve got him locked up for life? Like a cat toying with an injured mouse, the modern major prosecutor keeps batting his prey about till he stops moving altogether. What might have been justice for a serial killer is gleefully applied to someone who fudged his tax returns or tripped over himself answering an FBI agent. Then we have sadism, not justice.

Getting Donald Trump is the point of this entire sordid “investigation.” (It has a subsidiary goal of distracting attention from the only real Russian collusion in the 2016 election, that between the Clinton campaign, Fusion GPS, and Christopher Steele on one side and dubious Russian sources “close to the Kremlin” on the other, but that really is just a collateral benefit to team Mueller.)

Think about this: not one of the people indicted by this wholesale indictment factory, not one, would have been indicted had Mueller not thought him a possible conduit to the president. How’s that for guilt by association?

After somehow managing to get elected, Donald Trump’s biggest crime has been fighting back against his enemies. They are not used to a president who gives as good as he gets. They’re used to having a monopoly on calling people unpleasant names and acting like dyspeptic toddlers. Donald Trump has had the temerity to repay them in kind. How dare he! Robert Mueller has been about impeachment all along. Bring it on, and let’s see what happens.

Biggest crime is winning the election?

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Challenges feed paranoia

A Perfect Storm Threatens America’s Survival by Frank Hawkins – “While there are still external challenges, the most serious threats are increasingly internal. Individually, each is troubling but not necessarily fatal. Blended together, like adding glycerol to concentrated nitric and sulfuric acids to form nitroglycerin, we have to ask, is America facing a Perfect Storm?” If your paranoia quotient has been a bit low lately, check Hawkins list of worries.

Was the strange language in Michael Cohen’s guilty plea a set-up? by Steve McCann – “Mr. Cohen recently retained Lanny Davis, best known for being the energetic legal enforcer of Clinton, Inc. and many others in the Democratic Party over the years.” The ‘witch hunt’ idea keeps getting fed.

“This entire sorry spectacle is no more than another feeble attempt to overturn an election wherein the “chosen one” Hillary Clinton inexplicably lost. After 16 months Robert Mueller and his unfettered and unrestrained army of prosecutors are no closer to achieving this ultimate objective, so Michael Cohen, thanks to his foibles, stupidity and greed, was the pawn in the latest gambit.

The Luciferian Left by David Solway – “The minions of the Left will never stop in their efforts to undermine the Republic.”

“They will try everything — historical revisionism, bald-face lies, blatant slander, racial discord, judicial usurpation of presidential authority, political witch hunts, voter fraud, illegal immigration, climate change, green energy, media disinformation, open borders, transnational globalism — to impose a vision on the world that in every attempt, without exception, has led inexorably to tyranny, state-sanctioned murder, economic collapse and human misery.

The lessons of history have no meaning for them. They regard themselves as uniquely exempt from the past, as if they will triumph where their predecessors have miscarried and aborted. This is why the Left cannot be treated with or engaged in reasonable discourse. No counter-argument, no matter how factual, how meticulously researched, how rational or sensible, can ever hope to gain purchase on minds steeped in ideological prejudice or influence hearts shadowed by moral darkness.

it is a catastrophic error to regard the Left and its outriders — Liberals, Progressivists — as comprising a legitimate political movement. It is not. It is a force for evil wherever it trains its ideological weaponry and needs to be institutionally quashed.

Learn from what was?

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OPM: Other People’s Money & Denial on Parade

A $289M Hit Job On Science In Jackpot Verdict On Monsanto’s Glyphosate By Alex Berezow

The truth is, this decision against Monsanto is just the latest in a series of jackpot verdicts taking aim at some of America’s largest companies. Johnson & Johnson just lost a $4.7-billion lawsuit over an equally scientifically impossible claim that baby powder causes ovarian cancer. Another lawsuit aimed at coffee companies tried to get their product labeled as carcinogenic, despite well-documented evidence that coffee helps prevent breast, colorectal, colon, endometrial, and prostate cancers.

The reason that legal arguments consistently trump scientific evidence is because we live in a thoroughly postmodern world. Logic and data have been replaced by emotion and virtue signaling. When a culture believes that truth is simply a matter of opinion, science is among the first casualties. America will not remain #1 in the world for scientific research if we continue to allow lawyers to bleed companies dry over crimes they never committed.

The Double Standards of Postmodern Justice by by Victor Davis Hanson – “Our institutions offer no principles to explain why some people’s lives are harmed or destroyed, and others’ lives are not.”

“In these polarized times, Americans are not so much angry that newspapers and magazines fire reporters, or that Robert Mueller indicts those under suspicion. What bothers them is that our guardians of morality do not offer any principles to explain why some people’s lives are harmed or destroyed, and others’ lives are not.

When there is no blind code of justice, people suspect that our institutions define wrong behavior and bad words as those in service to the wrong political agenda.

And they are right.

Judge halts full DACA restart By Stephen Dinan – “Court frets over ‘confusion’ of messy legal battles

“DACA cases are pending in three courts right now. Judge Bates‘ case is likely to be appealed to the circuit court in Washington, D.C., while circuit courts are already handling appeals of similar decisions from California and New York.

Each of those lawsuits challenged the Trump administration’s decision last year to phase out DACA. The judges in those cases ruled that the Trump administration cut too many corners, and so the phaseout is illegal.

But another case in Texas involves a challenge to the original 2012 Obama administration decision to create DACA in the first place. If that judge were to rule against DACA it would create a messy situation where the program itself is illegal — but so is the phaseout.

The activists in the case before Judge Bates figured that they could undercut the anti-DACA Texas case by agreeing not to allow new DACA permits to be granted.

Investor’s Business Daily: Media Ignore Record Low ObamaCare Rate Hikes — Anyone Want To Guess Why? Probably because the insurance companies are catching up but it still doesn’t fit the ‘narrative’. … Trumponomics Makes 401(k) Millionaires Like The Swiss Make Chocolates – “Fidelity says that the number of people at the end of the second quarter with a million dollars or more in their Fidelity 401(k) surged by 50,000 to 168,000, a 42% gain.”

“At a time when a major political party has put forward a plan to turn corporate America socialist, it’s important to note that the tried-and-true policies of lower taxes and less government regulation are working. They are the core of Trumponomics, and they’re helping to turn many average people into 401(k) millionaires. It’s a story of inclusive wealth creation, especially for the middle class. So much for the politics of envy.

Watch as ex-CIA analyst falls victim to Trump Derangement Syndrome, goes berserk on CNN by Thomas Lifson – “We now have a visual depiction of the onset of a Trump Derangement Syndrome episode, causing a presumably serious person to lose self-control.”

John Brennan’s Security Clearance by Victor Davis Hanson – “Scarier than former CIA chief John Brennan losing his security clearance is the idea that he ever had one in the first place.”

First They Came for Alex Jones by Jack Cashill – “no halfway sentient adult can take this self-indulgence seriously.” The MSM is worried about President Trump?

“The private enterprise argument cannot be made in the four cases that follow. In these cases, the media conspired with the government to punish individuals whose media efforts threatened Democrats in power. I have met the individuals profiled here in the course of my own work. I am sure there are many more that I have not met who have suffered similar or worse fates.

Norris went ghost in July 2010 and has not surfaced since. Unlike her former colleagues, it is not President Trump who worries her. To become an enemy of the media is to risk one’s career, one’s freedom, even one’s life.

A Case Study in Obama-Trump Double Standards by David Catron – “A thin-skinned academic lets the cat out of the bag.”

“So, the Republicans somehow made former President Obama violate the law. Moreover, it was perfectly acceptable for him to exceed his constitutional authority because… well… soccer. The absent-minded professor seems to have forgotten that only Congress has the power to authorize this kind of spending. You will not be shocked to learn that, in his New York Times column, Professor Bagley applies a completely different standard to President Trump. The latter gets no “soccer exemption.” In fact, Bagley actually castigates Trump for putting a halt to the illegal CSR payments made by his brazenly lawless predecessor

This is what might be styled the “Geraldine Jones defense.” Ms. Jones was a character created by the late great Flip Wilson. She avoided responsibility for her actions by claiming, “The Devil made me do it.”

The Compulsory Society by Kevin D. Williamson – “We owe a debt of gratitude to the cranky dissidents such as Jack Phillips.”

“The situation of African Americans in the 1960s was both unjust and untenable. On the one hand, civil-rights activists argued that the project of more closely integrating African Americans into the nation’s social, economic, and political life could not be left up to the states (the Democratic political machines controlling the South were built on segregation) and further that it should not be left up to the states, being a problem that was genuinely national in character. Critics of the 1964 legislation, including Republicans such as Senator Barry Goldwater who had supported earlier civil-rights reforms, argued that the proposed legislation went too far, that the expansive “public accommodations” doctrine would insert politics into what had been private life, politicizing the conduct of business and inviting the federal snout into places where it did not belong. The tragedy was, and is, that both sides were right.

The same cannot be said of Jack Phillips and his little bakery. No gay couple seeking a wedding cake is going to have to travel three states away to find one if Phillips declines their custom. No transgender person celebrating a coming out is going to want for baked goods if Phillips refuses service.

Everybody knows this. The activists targeting Phillips do not care. The point is not to see to it that gay and transgender people can live their lives as they wish to — the point is to coerce Jack Phillips into conformity.

The same is true of the Left’s demands for public funding of abortion and for using government power to compel elderly Catholic nuns to add contraception to their health-insurance plans.

Trump’s China gambit by neo – “My aversion to risk is one of the many, many, many reasons I’m not Donald Trump.”

“When Donald Trump threatened China with tariffs, a lot of pundits and politicians on the left acted as though they didn’t know anything about the idea of taking risks to get positive change. That obviously was what Trump was trying to do, however, and he was wagering that the chance of gain was a lot higher than the chance of failure. One can disagree with Trump’s assessment of his chances of bringing about a good result, but it would seem necessary to at least acknowledge that that was his assessment. But Trump doesn’t often get even that much respect.

This meme of Trump the stupid clueless lucky bumbler is very popular, but it really makes little sense on the face of it—particularly in the context of the negotiation of a financial deal by Trump. After all, it’s not as though Trump hasn’t announced his intentions of making better deals for the US and written a book on his deal-making tactics and strategy.

On this, see Chinese Foreign Investment: A Perspective, VDH quoting James D. Jameson.

Andrew Cuomo doesn’t see America’s greatness because he doesn’t know where to look by Salena Zito – “Great is an aspiration — a higher elevation to which you constantly try to take yourself and your countrymen.”

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Weaponizing government against the people

Trump Frees Obamacare Captives, Dems Sue by David Catron – “The amended rule will provide individuals access to low-cost health coverage, greater benefit flexibility, and the opportunity to escape Obamacare. Not coincidentally, on the very day the new rule became effective, the Trump administration was sued by four Democrat-controlled cities for “sabotaging” the health care law.”

“Why would they do something so counterproductive to their ostensible goals? For the Democrats, the health care wars aren’t about providing medical treatment to the uninsured or the poor, and they certainly aren’t about controlling costs. They are about power and money.

So, President Trump has reversed an arbitrary — and probably illegal — Obama administration fiat for the purpose of helping more Americans get affordable health insurance. But the Democrats in general, the corrupt officials of four dysfunctional cities, and a few academic ideologues say he can’t do that. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, which will probably grant the plaintiffs a temporary injunction, meaning more Obamacare victims will have to wait for years to get justice. But, for the Democrats it isn’t about justice. This kind of lawfare is standard practice for these creatures. About 140 such suits have been aimed at Trump since he was inaugurated — just an appetizer for what will happen if the Democrats get control of either house of Congress in November.

How Many Divisions Does Judge Bates Command? By Michael Walsh – “so out of line has the lesser judiciary — that is to say, every federal judge below the Supreme Court level — become that we have now arrived at this blatantly unconstitutional pass.”

“Let’s call this what it is: an attempt by a single judge in the District of Columbia to usurp the power of the executive simply because he doesn’t like the substance of the administration’s arguments. But the only argument the administration needs is: “because.”

The Left prefers to implement its policy preferences via the courts, because it only takes a handful, or even one, to overturn the will of the people.

Protesting journalists, much like protesting politicians, is constitutional by Taylor Millard – “The First Amendment protects the right of the people to peaceably air their grievances about whatever topic is on their minds. It doesn’t mean the rally has to be filled with logical arguments or language one might hear whilst watching a Disney princess movie. It just can’t become a riot.” Millard is a bit confused (his bias shows) but here he has a good point.

Fake news from the New York Times by Paul Mirengoff – “in portraying this “admission” as news, the Times is playing fast and loose with the English language. In the process, it is dishing out fake news.” A look at an example that can also be used to see why ‘automated’ or algorithmic fact checking can be so off base. Ed Driscoll at Instapundit has another example: GREAT MOMENTS IN “FACT CHECKING.” WashPost Fact Check: ‘Wringing’ Sarah Sanders’ Neck Different from ‘Choking’ Her.

New York Times Lies about Trump Lies by Andy May – “The New York Times does not categorize the statements in their Trump list, every misstatement is jumbled together and called an “outright lie.” Some of Trump’s statements are hyperbole, some are exaggerations, some are clearly his opinion and stated as such, some are obvious minor mistakes..” Here’s what you get when the folks that put climate data and analysis on the dissection table take on a similar propaganda effort in a different field.

“The example in Table 1 is a case where the New York Times claimed Trump lied, when he didn’t in my opinion and in the opinion of many others including Jeb Bush and Ben Carson. Legitimate differences of opinion are not lies, especially when supported by data. I show this example because 35 of the 106 NYT accusations of Trump “lies” fall in this category, it is the largest of the six groups listed in Table 2. This is also a perfect example of something very common in the New York Times list, what I call a “manufactured lie.” The New York Times will search for some aspect or view point of a statement that is contradicted by a fact, usually unrelated to the meaning of the statement and often a stretch of logic, then based on that unrelated fact call the statement a lie.

After investigating the list of supposed Trump “lies,” I concluded that the New York Times violated the “highest quality and integrity” portion of their standards.

Trump is prone to hyperbole and careless wording when speaking but calling every mistake and inaccuracy a lie is over-the-top and just not true.

When the list is studied in detail, the overt and obvious anti-Trump bias is shocking.

Understanding the Climate and History of California Fires by Tim Ball – “There is no hope for the truth when world leaders like Governor Brown of California (he runs the 19th largest economy in the world) can present such utterly false information in pursuit of a political agenda.”

“Brown clearly doesn’t know that the world was 6°C warmer 9000 years ago and was warmer than today for at least 95 % of the last 10,000 years known as the Holocene Optimum.

In the introductory climatology class, I always mentioned early in September that we can watch for a sequence of events from California. This will begin with complaints about drought and threatened water supplies. In the Fall, we will have stories about fires decimating the landscape and burning up communities. The next in the sequence is rain and mudslides. Welcome to sunny southern California. I don’t recall a year in which that sequence did not occur. The only differences were the intensity of the events, the hysteria of the media and the degree of political exploitation.

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo on claim he may put NRA out of business: “I would like to believe it’s true” by William A. Jacobson – “Although the allegations of the threat to the NRA’s existence are not new, the sensationalism of The Rolling Stone article has generated a lot of publicity.”

“It should come as no surprise that someone like Andrew Cuomo has weaponized the state financial bureaucracy to try to put a political opponent out of business. Or that he openly brags that putting them out of business is his goal. Or that he’s encouraging other Democratic Attorney Generals to do the same. Or that he’s happy about it. Or that he laughs about it.

While liberals want to gut the 2nd Amendment, they have their eyes on the 1st Amendment as well, as I predicted in late February 2018, I renewed my NRA membership because attacks on 2nd Amendment rights never stop there:

Over and over we see the power of the ‘elite’ – whether the judicial oligarchy or the deep state bureaucracy – being used to stifle political opposition.

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A broken trust in finding reality – remember Vietnam and Nixon?

The Short Lease by Richard Fernandez – “Fewer disillusions hit harder than discovering that an article of faith was a lie.”

“In the tit for tat race to the bottom of the last two years Trump had nothing to lose.

With trust in brands at low ebb the only sort of political lease many voters are willing to grant is on the basis of direct experience. Trump’s legitimacy so far has been leased with the ready money of a booming economy. Call it shallow, call it naive but there it is. Direct experience is harder to manipulate than the Narrative.

While formerly direct experience could easily be overcome by the voice of authority, with Narrative discredited there is the distinct danger people might fall prey to taking the counsel of their own senses.

Trotsky understood that the erosion of ideology by ‘practical experience’ would make it difficult for any -ists to embark on multi-decade social engineering if no results were forthcoming. The Narrative was as vital to long-term progressivism as drilling mud was to deep well oilmen. After years of steady availability they couldn’t imagine it was all gone.

Perhaps the reason why Trump has not brought on the predicted apocalypse, and not been the disaster pundits have forecast, is that his chaos proved strangely in tune with the disruptive forces of the era. Despite the conventional wisdom that the West erred in choosing Brexit and failing to elect Hillary the West may by blind luck have changed course at the very moment when it needed to.

How to stop political violence by Don Surber – “The de-humanization of political opponents is on the rise and growing in intensity.” He’s a bit conflicted with hope, though.

“The time has come to stop the self-righteousness of political principle (an oxymoron) and replace it with pragmatism. Let us concentrate on what we agree on, and put aside our disagreements. One of the best things about President Trump is he is willing to negotiate any time, anywhere with anyone.

Ozzy Osbourne sang, “Maybe it’s not too late to learn how to love and forget how to hate.”

If a drunk and drugged out rocker gets it, why can’t we sober and cerebral people?

When The Mueller Gang Met Judge Ellis by Daniel Greenfield – “The Manafort trial isn’t going to give Mueller what he wants.”

“the obsession with Manafort’s suits, karaoke machine and pond reveal the hollowness of the case. If the prosecution really had Manafort down cold, it wouldn’t need to talk about his ostrich jacket. There are only two purposes to such theatrics, to bias the jury or to play to the cheap seats in the media.

Democrat judges had lent Mueller a hand until now. But the actual case is now in the hands of a judge who doesn’t like Mueller, doesn’t like his people’s tactics and doesn’t like being used as a pawn.

Unlike the Democrat judges with an axe to grind, Judge Ellis is following the law.

Three-Card Mueller by Clarice Feldman – “The public – in this case, the mark – has been led to believe that the entire years-long Mueller investigation was into Trump’s “collusion” with Russians.”

“But the dealer (Mueller himself) knows that it is part of a plan to undermine the president and reverse the 2016 presidential election, in which the only real Russian collusion was with Hillary. By now his press supporters surely should know this, but they continue to feed the fiction that the game is to find the collusion in the one campaign in which there was none.

As has been the wont of recent special prosecutors, particularly harsh measures at the prosecution’s hand were employed – a middle-of-the-night raid on his home, with Mr. and Mrs. Manafort rousted from their beds and frisked in their nightclothes. (In this week’s trial, an FBI agent testified that they knocked three times first but entered with a key, though he could not say how the key came into the FBI’s possession.) Manafort has been held in solitary confinement during the proceedings based on a ruling by an Obama-appointed district court judge in D.C., where there is a second proceeding pending. It is reminiscent of Patrick Fitzgerald’s throwing former New York Times reporter Judith Miller in jail in the Libby case until she agreed to testify. (After this, he confused her about her notes and led her to give false testimony. Her recantation was the basis on which the D.C. Court of Appeals years later found Libby to have been likely innocent of the crimes for which he’d been convicted and reinstated him to practice.) President Trump subsequently pardoned him.

In the meantime, more skullduggery at the FBI has turned up – with still no apparent effort at transparency by Attorney General Jeff Sessions or FBI director Christopher Wray.

And they are still covering up their malfeasance and protecting their own. It’s time for Congress to seriously consider stripping counterintelligence from the FBI.

President Trump Meets and Surprises Jim Jordan in Ohio by sundance – “In another example for the keen political instincts of President Trump; he can tell from the automatic vibe that jumped in the air when he said the name “Jim Jordan”

Worse Than Watergate? Editorial of The New York Sun – “In Watergate the system worked,” Mr. Bernstein reckons, whereas today scant Republicans, in Mr. Bernstein’s view, are pressing to hold the president to account.” … “Far be it from us to gainsay the likes of Mr. Bernstein, but our impression is that he’s inaccurate.”

“By our lights, though, there are similarities. In both dramas the press has sought to topple a freely-elected president. In Watergate, the press sought to overturn the election of a president who had won 49 of the 50 states. The effect — leave intent aside — was to undercut a military victory we were winning on the ground in Vietnam. The result was to embolden an anti-war movement that was determined to deliver free Vietnam to clients of the Russians.

Free Vietnam fell in April, and Indochina, with its population to rival eastern Europe, fell into the long night of communism. That is what a lot of us think of when we hear talk of Watergate. We understand that’s a minority opinion, but it’s ours. Something worse than Watergate may yet be confected by the Democrats as they seek to bring down President Trump. They haven’t, however, yet produced a tragedy to rival the tragedy that resulted from Watergate.

The Vindication Of Clarence Thomas—And The Left’s Freakout by Steven Hayward – “beyond just the theatrics of the left’s primal screams and desperation tactics it is delightful to see the left begin to reckon with something more fundamental going on

“Liberals have always dismissed Thomas as simply Scalia’s wingman, though no one who actually read with any care their separate opinions, concurrences, and dissents would think so. But the great thing about being a liberal is that you can just go with a cliche and skip the careful thinking part.

But now that the whole scene is in flux with the arrival of Justice Gorsuch—who, like Justice Thomas, believes that the natural law tradition in legal history stretching back to Roman times still has today what social scientists call “normative” value—the left is taking stock of things, and realizing that they are in a heap of trouble.

The insults, they never stop! Anti-Trump media just can’t help themselves by Dan Gainor – “Media reaction to being booed devolved into journalists defending journalists.” The behavior patterns of denial and defense …

Rasmussen: Black approval rating of Trump now at 29% by Thomas Lifson – “If this figure reported in Rasmussen’s daily presidential tracking poll Friday is anywhere close to accurate, Democrats are closing in on a crisis.”

The Left’s Love Affair With Doublethink by Frank Miele – “If you have a hard time following the logic of some liberal arguments, don’t worry. It’s not you.”

“Taking a page out of George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” our modern prog friends have mastered the art of doublethink — “the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”

The twists and turns in the logic of doublethink are exhausting, and I think it is safe to say that part of the power of liberalism is that it is easier to surrender to its hypnotic fluttering rhetoric than to pin it down like a bug and analyze it under a microscope. Yet once you face facts, there is no going back, no matter how isolated it may make you feel.

Drive To Regulate Speech On The Internet Is Gaining Steam by John Hinderaker – “It is interesting to see how quickly the committee moves from false information to “hyper-partisan,” or “targeted” information.”

“It is common for liberals to assert that the future of our democracy (or, as here, Britain’s) is somehow threatened by the fact that misinformation can be posted to Facebook or Twitter, or elsewhere on the internet. I have yet to see any coherent explanation of why that is the case. Misinformation has been a common feature of our democracy for a long time.

This Parliamentary report is an interim version, with more to come later this year. But it is easy to see which way the wind is blowing. “Mainstream” media outlets are deemed to be mainstream because of their support for the governing class and its favored policies, which broadly can be described as liberal. The internet–not just Facebook and Twitter, although they have come to play a huge role–is “unregulated.” Worse, it is home to lots of dissenting voices. (I say dissenting, even though such voices–ours, for example–probably represent the views of a majority of Americans on most issues.) This freedom poses a serious threat to the power of the governing class and its media toadies, and they aren’t taking it lying down.

The good news is that here in the U.S., we have robust legal protections for free speech. The bad news is that the companies that control discourse on the internet–Google, Facebook, Twitter and Apple–are all run by liberals who may prove happy to accede to pressure to stifle views that run contrary to the liberal orthodoxy of Silicon Valley.

will reason, logic, intellectual integrity and honest surface out of this mess? “If a drunk and drugged out rocker gets it, why can’t we sober and cerebral people?

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The joke may be on us

Think about this one. It is a celebration of (1) the indoctrination of children, (2) success in bypassing voting by judicial oligarchy, and (3) the use of children for obtaining political power to subjugate citizens.

Kids around the world are suing governments over climate change—and it’s working by Ephrat Livni – “Nobody could have predicted the kids would get this far.”

“Back in 2015, a group of 21 young Americans decided to sue the US government over climate change. In Juliana v. US, the plaintiffs argue that the government has violated “the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property” by adopting policies that promote the use of fossil fuels—despite the knowledge that carbon dioxide emissions are a primary cause of global warming.

That might sound like an extreme claim. But in the years since, the lawsuit has kept succeeding against all odds. …

To the average observer, the case may still seem like a long shot. But the kids are part of a global movement of concerned citizens advancing similar claims. Collectively, the lawsuits are creating new precedents that bolster activism—and may, in the long term, help alter the way governments think about their responsibility to protect citizens against climate change.

… In this case, attorneys for the trust argue that a fundamental right to a stable climate that sustains life is implied in the US Constitution.

There’s no explicit mention of climate change in the Constitution, of course, since human-induced global warming wasn’t a concern in the 18th century.

“Climate change is already destructive,” 13-year-old plaintiff Sahara V. said in a statement after the appeals court decided not to block the US case. “It’s harming me and my family, and will only get worse unless the government starts taking action to stop it rather than cause it.”

There is so much wrong here. (but wait! there’s more! …)

Our robed master Bates strikes again by Scott Johnson – “The latest in a series of legal defeats to the Trump administration’s effort to rescind the Obama administration’s unconstitutional program to regularize illegal immigrants by executive decree.” A judge decides that enforcing the law requires an immediate rationale and explanation?

“Our robed master Bates ruled that the Trump administration had inadequately explained its rejection of the Obama administration’s DACA decree, but he kindly afforded Trump one more chance to explain. As Jordan put it: “The judge stayed his decision for 90 days and gave the Department of Homeland Security, which administers the program, the opportunity to better explain its reasoning for canceling it. If the department fails to do so, it ‘must accept and process new as well as renewal DACA applications,’ Judge Bates said in the decision.”

This time around — I have embedded the 25-page memorandum opinion below — Judge Bates declares that the administration’s restatement of its rationale for withdrawing DACA still fails to pass muster. He nevertheless graciously continues the stay of his order of vacatur “for a brief period—twenty days—to permit the government to determine whether it intends to appeal the Court’s decision and, if so, to seek a stay pending appeal.

In this case the joke may be on us. Even so, I can’t help but think of Gulliver and his good master when reading Judge Bates’s opinions in this case. While the Bates joke is Swift’s first in the text of chapter 1, Judge Bates’s joke takes its place in a long line brought to us by our robed masters, and not just on DACA. On the DACA version of the joke, see Josh Blackman’s January 2018 NR column criticizing yet another ruling to the same effect in “A ludicrous ruling that Trump can’t end DACA.”

Rajneeshpuram: A Microcosm of Today’s Democrats? by Lauri B. Regan – “Today’s liberals, like Rajneesh’s followers, are desperately seeking someone to take care of them.”

“For those who have not yet watched the Netflix documentary Wild Wild Country, it is a must-see. The story of cult leader (AKA the “sex-guru”) Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh’s takeover of a small town in Wasco County, Oregon in the early 1980s provides a fascinating insight into the inner workings of the cult, and, in particular, the quest of Rajneesh’s number one, Ma Anand Sheela, to retain power. … Rajneesh’s ability to hypnotize his lost followers coupled with Sheela’s evil doings in order to retain and expand her growing empire resonate with those of us who believe that Barack Obama and the Democrats utilized similar tactics in order to attain and maintain their control. One cannot help but watch the documentary and consider that Rajneesh and Sheela were the king and queen of community organizers of their time.

One of the reasons David Koresh’s Branch Davidians (the subject of a well done Paramount documentary, Waco, available on Amazon Prime video) grew to barely 150 members, while the Rajneeshees attracted nearly 10,000 to Oregon, reflected the difference between cults promoting abstinence versus orgies.

Many liberals today lack the ability to think on their own. They ingest hours upon hours of CNN and MSNBC hosts spewing out lie after lie, and the brainwashing draws them farther and farther in.

What struck me in the first episode of Wild Wild Country was that Rajneesh appears to be the father of many of liberals’ current obsessions. For instance, he and Sheela were seemingly the original multiculturalists as well as the founders of the concept of becoming “woke.”

Sheela also arguably represents the Deep State today. In some ways, she utilized the U.S. Constitution and our laws in order to expand her power, just as Obama discovered that he too could use his phone and his pen to sidestep constitutional limitations.

Similarly, both Sheela and the Democrats use physical and psychological threats to intimidate their enemies.

Sheela and Democrats also believe they are above the law. In the end, Sheela did not exhibit empathy for the victims of her actions or remorse for her sins. She still believes she should have been able to use our laws in order to attain her “virtuous” goals.

Hope and change, peace and love – both are dreams, not practical political and cultural realities. Cult leaders prey on the weak, and while those interviewed for the documentary continue to praise Rajneesh to this day, they are pathetic losers to the rest of us. If multiculturalism and safe spaces were his legacy, it is clear that he was a failure just as Obama will be viewed as such when history looks back on his years in office and sees a disappearing legacy. Obama, too, had no real message to impart. His gift was his way with words and his ability to prey on the weak – those who dream big but who know little about the real world; those who desperately want to belong and do not understand who they are joining or the quixotic nature of their cult leaders’ compelling promises turned empty lies.

Ben Shapiro: ‘Socialism Violates Three of the Ten Commandments’ by Emilie Cochran – “syndicated talk radio show host Ben Shapiro at the Young America’s Foundation’s National Conservative Student Conference on Thursday in Washington, D.C.” Idolatry, theft, jealousy all take their turn. Where is false witness?

“Socialism seeks to destroy the system of action and consequence,” Shapiro said.

When comparing other countries with the United States on economic policies, those who believe in socialism should be aware of the differences in the culture and size of the economies, said Shapiro. Things such as culture and population are very different in the U.S. than those in socialist countries.

In addition, people that are considered “poor” in America are not considered poor in other places around the world, he said. At some point or another, people feel that their situation is unfair.

“Wealth is not created by socialism; suffering is created by socialism,”

Pope Francis Says No to Centuries of Church Teaching by Liam Warner – yes, we have a ‘woke’ Pope where ideology and a lack of intellectual rigor and integrity produce things that sound oh-so-good but have little founding in the Bible. “His announcement that the death penalty is now ‘inadmissible’ has no basis in Scripture or the Church Fathers.”

“It is my lamentable duty to say that the Congregation’s letter is a blatant contradiction of Catholic doctrine, which puts Christifideles such as myself in an odious position. There are several questions that must be kept distinct, so let us deal with them in order.

We can see that there are three considerations involved in the death penalty: just punishment for the crime itself, encouragement of the criminal to repentance and rehabilitation, and prevention of further harm to innocent people.

What we hear from Pope Francis, however, is rank Whig history. “But they didn’t understand back then, you see. Now we have ‘the new understanding of penal sanctions applied by the modern State.’ Now we know about ‘the possibility of judicial error.’”

My indignation may seem to many readers to be a raging bloodlust, a grotesque love of capital punishment. Not so. I am breathing fire not primarily in favor of violence toward criminals but in protest of violence toward the Catholic faith. Regardless of what the Catechism says, that faith remains unchanged and unchangeable. This is not simply “how it is now” — this is not how it can ever be.

Saint Peter, pray for us.

Six things that the New York Times probably didn’t think about when hiring and defending Sarah Jeong by Thomas Lifson – “I haven’t been able to find any indication of what Sarah Jeong’s middle name is, or even if she has one. But it is clear that as far as the New York Times is concerned, it ought to be Pandora.”

“The excuse that she was responding to trolls excuse has created a need to find evangelical Christians, cops, (and New York Times reporters) trolling her. Robert Stacy McCain collects examples of viciousness directed at people that it might be very difficult to find trolling from

Sarah Jeong is a warning sign of something wrong with the left by John Sexton – “What does bother me is the way in which the left collectively responded to her tweets with a big shrug.”

“That really sums up what bothers me about this whole story. It’s the assumption that a public comment like “White men are bullshit” would get a shrug if not for conservatives seizing on it. It’s an admission from the Post that there is almost nothing you can say about white men that anyone on the left would deem problematic (to borrow a popular SJW term of art).

The reason why Jeong’s tweets didn’t really matter to anyone on the left is that they’ve nearly all accepted the idea that racism doesn’t mean what most people think it means.

It’s that one form of blatant bigotry gets a pass on the grounds that it won’t really hurt anyone. If the left thinks that’s true, I think they’re not paying attention. Sarah Jeong isn’t all that significant but what this affair says about the left’s mindset does matter.

SJWs turn a white gay’s life to hell for his thoughtful anti-racist essay by Luboš Motl – “After some time, I was shocked by the atmosphere around the U.S. media landscape and the selective and brutal suppression of the freedom of speech.”

“Needless to say, some of the defense of Jeong says that her tweets were a satire, or a response to some tweets and acts going in the opposite direction. Well, most of the claims that her tweets are jokes are indefensible – simply because a repeated joke ceases to be a joke, especially if you repeat it hundreds of times, and even people who aren’t too bright – including Jeong – probably can figure out that the added value of the 200th tweet of this form is small. She writes this stuff because she can’t help herself.

Also, even if her tweets were a reaction to something, great. The Holocaust was also (partly) a reaction to something. Some of the complaints against the Jews, their wealth, and power were (mostly) true. But none of these things justified the racially driven pogroms. The German Jews were rather wealthy in the early 1930s – and so are whites – but most of this edge is a fair result of a mostly meritocratic system.

I am afraid that the leftists are becoming so numerous, hurtful, and dangerous – and complicate even basic and vital activities such as the publishing of Sullivan’s essay and the decency of his life afterwards – that we will simply have to think about phasing out the overreproduced leftists. Their number in the Western civilizations must be dramatically reduced. We must find the optimal and decent enough way to do so, and perform it, otherwise our civilization will be screwed. Note that I am proposing the reduction of the people for their particular terribly damaging or criminal behavior, not for their race or something that they couldn’t affect.

Instapundit’s Ed Driscoll closes the loop with a FLASHBACK: Sarah Jeong Stoked Twitter Mob Against Andrew Sullivan For Alleged Racism.

WaPo wonders: “Is it okay to make fun of white people online?” by Ed Morrissey – “Make fun of, or vent rage and prejudice against?

“So we only get a headline from the legit Daily Caller, and two quotes from … offended conspiracy theorists. … The only inclusion of rational argument from conservatives comes from the very rational David French at NRO, who rightly points out that race-based invective harms society no matter how it’s framed. It perpetuates the notion that human beings should be judged for their immutable characteristics rather than their character and actions …

In comparison, the Post’s article quotes three institutional sources sympathetic to Jeong, offers them much more space for their arguments, and without the anthropological tone of their reference to conservatives.

12 times Christopher Steele fed Trump-Russia allegations to FBI after the election by Byron York – “Because he had broken his agreement with the FBI, bureau procedure did not allow agents to keep using Steele as a source. But they did so anyway

“It’s likely that the 302s and notes, if released, would show that the FBI was both still trying to get new information out of Steele after the election and that it was also trying to verify the information Steele had already provided in the dossier installments he handed over in preceding months. Remember, the FBI had already presented some of the dossier’s allegations as evidence to the FISA court. After going out on a limb like that, the bureau wanted to know if the allegations were true or not.

In a larger sense, the Ohr-Steele 302s could shed some light on how an effort — it certainly included Steele, but also others — to keep Trump from being elected morphed into an effort to keep Trump from being inaugurated and then morphed into an effort to remove Trump from office. A version of that effort is still going on, of course, even as some in Congress try to find out how it started.

Also see Ace of Spades: FBI Releases Records on Christopher Steele, and SURPRISE, They’re Almost Completely Redacted.

Another Democratic Socialist says capitalism must go and is incompatible with democracy by John Sexton – “In the long run, democratic socialists want to end capitalism,” Meagan Day wrote. She added, “We want to end our society’s subservience to the market.”

“Does it always have to work that way? So long as human nature remains what it is, there will always be ruthless men who achieve power and then set about making sure they never have to give it up. Democratic Socialism is putting all the hens in one giant henhouse and then promising that only the elected wolves will be given admittance. What could possibly go wrong?

It would be great if a few reporters would start asking rockstar Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez if she believes capitalism is incompatible with democracy and how the alternative would work out. That should be entertaining at the least.

Mass Destruction Of Capital by jccarlton – “The problem is that Professor Perry talks about the trade of things and loses the issues of the trade in capitol and ideas. As such he and most of the experts miss what is really going on.” A good rundown on hubris exposed among the financial elites.

“Trump has been taken to task for his trade policies. A look at the Wall St Journal on any given day will have articles, editorials and op-ed piece about why Trump is an idiot and that we need freer trade and not more tariffs. But the various journalist are making a mistake. They are not taking into account the massive destruction of American capitol that has gone on since the late 1980’s and the fact that the chickens have finally come home to roost.

The big problem with the way Progressives deal with economics is the way they seem unable to understand realities. They have this tendency believe that you can make a change in the tax or regulatory structure and nothing else will change. This tendency is shared by most of our elites.

They also don’t really see the devastation that they cause, whether it’s in Fork’s Washington or Bridgeport Connecticut.

The fact is that the free traders and the global economy types have had the opportunity to make their case. The United States has followe the prescriptions of the free traders and the globalists for decades now. The elite s promised us a new prosperity if the country did so. The chart above and all the others that go with it tell a different story, a story of capital destruction and dead towns.

The Russians Are the Least of Our Problems by John Hinderaker – “Many on the left are obsessed with Russian meddling in the 2016 election. I am a great deal more concerned with meddling in the election by the FBI and the CIA, which deserves to go down as the greatest scandal in American political history.” … “What is least possible to take seriously is talk about how the Russians have sown distrust and division in American society. The last thing the Democrats need in that regard is help from the Russians, as Michael Ramirez ably points out. Click to enlarge” (photo at link).

Trump and the Bannister Effect by Hank Wallace – “Conservatives are newly conscious and energized and have a hope that is strong, rooted in values liberals fear but cannot understand.”

“The Bannister Effect is the notion that once a person sees someone else perform an exceptional feat, all doubt as to the possibility of that feat is erased, encouraging that person to strive for the goal, with hard work and training. This happened with the four-minute mile, and certainly has played into the success of Apuada.

Who would have thought that one man, one solitary man, could take on the corrupt news media, and make them look like fools?

But now we know it is possible. Now we know that there are actually some thinking people in this country. The economic producers in flyover country now see that it is possible to push back and reverse huge chunks of liberal regress, and in only a couple of years. Large masses of the population, including liberals, are seeing that our news media, the Democrats, and the Republicans are part of the same flock of slugs that inhabit Washington, D.C.

And Donald Trump called evil, evil. Never in my life had I expected to hear this plain-speaking honesty from a president. I now know it’s possible, and due to the Bannister Effect I’m going to work even harder to put more people in charge who will call good, good, and evil, evil at every level.

But the major benefit of this phenomenon is that now many of the American people, at least the ones who are paying the bills, know that all is not lost. We may well have to go through some kind of social civil war to get us back on track, but the notion that “it’s possible” is now lighting hope in the hearts of working men and women.

Certainly, there is a huge battle ahead, but we are armed with principles, not the infatuation of personality. We now know the positive possibilities for America are unlimited. Every good thing is possible, with enough hard work and time, even the destruction of liberal evil.

See you on the front lines.

Or the joke is on us.

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Where envy leads

Someone Could Get Hurt by John Hinderaker – “What is striking to me is how unself-aware Acosta is.”

“He is “very worried” that “hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt.” But what about the violent, anti-Trump hysteria that is whipped up by many on the left, including Acosta himself? Someone already has gotten hurt, badly, as a result of that anti-Trump and anti-Republican frenzy, namely Steve Scalise. It is a miracle that he and other Republican Congressmen weren’t killed by Bernie Sanders volunteer and Republican hater James Hodgkinson.

It is possible that an extreme right-winger could try to harm a Democratic Party politician or reporter, or a Democrat wearing a Bernie Sanders t-shirt. But political violence exists pretty much exclusively on the left, and it has been going on for the last two years, at least. I’ve seen no sign that such violence concerns Jim Acosta–or, for that matter, any other liberal reporter or politician.

At Ace of Spades: “Democrat Senator: Heckling and Jeering Opponents Just “Isn’t a Thing On the Left.” All We do Is Bat Around Ideas about Healthcare and Such.”

This isn’t culture war. It’s worse. By Richard Jack Rail – “Progressives continue to astonish normal people with their complete incomprehension of normals (as Kurt Schlichter calls them) as human beings.”

“Perhaps that’s because they don’t see us as human beings. They call us unsavory names – deplorables, bitter clingers, toothless, plus every dirty word they can think of. They throw nasty, biological things. They spit on people. They shove people, break windows, start fights, and go out of their way to ensure that everybody has a bad day.

This isn’t “culture war.” Culture has nothing to do with it. It’s war on normality by Brownshirts, incited or paid for by the likes of George Soros and Tom Steyer. It has now graduated from street-fighting to trying to take down the U.S. government.

I will never understand these people’s hatred of America. They are unreachable by reason. It seems clear that they are trying to provoke a heavy, violent reaction from us so they can then haul out the artillery. They missed their big chance with Barama in the saddle but had been biding their time right along. They’ll just continue that until their next big chance. They need to be able to declare martial law.

Fire and fury: How government failures make wildfires even worse by Washington Examiner – “It’s hard for Easterners even to appreciate how dry the West is and how easy it is to start a massive fire.”

“Everyone is quick to blame global warming for this and all other natural disasters. But changes to local weather in this or that part of the country are by no means part of the same scientific consensus that climate change is real and caused in large part by human activity. Western droughts and forest fires have been around a long time, and so has climate change, but the fires have gotten much worse very recently, and government mismanagement of forests is part of the reason.

Congress has now given the Forest Service more funding for prevention, and the Trump administration is finally taking forest treatment and mitigation more seriously. But according to the Property and Environment Research Center, the backlog of restoration work could take decades to complete.

Manafort’s case proves ‘the swamp’ — not collusion — exists by John Podhoretz – “Instead of a story about Trump and the Russians, what the jury heard both from the prosecution and the defense on Tuesday was a narrative about the corrupting power of political influence-peddling on the part of Washington consultants.”

“Interestingly, the first two days of the Manafort trial have featured the judge repeatedly upbraiding Mueller’s prosecutors for trying to make it seem as though Manafort’s spending practices prove he’s a crook.

Envy driven prosecution is now a thing?

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Personal change is tough

At Best, The FBI Misled The Court To Wiretap Trump Campaign, FISA Application Shows, Investor’s Business Daily – “there can be no doubt that the FBI withheld pertinent information from the judges who approved a highly intrusive domestic spying operation during a presidential campaign.”

“The problem is that even if the truth lies somewhere in between it is incredibly damaging to the reputation of the FBI.

To that end, it’s worth noting that it’s been Democrats — and the press — who have been moving the goal posts as the unsavory facts about the origins of the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign emerged.

The idea that the FBI would use political propaganda paid for by one presidential campaign to launch a high-level investigation against the other in the middle of an election is horrifying.

So, they consistently downplayed the dossier’s importance.

But now, with the application documents in hand, even the Washington Post admits that the dossier played “a prominent role” in the wiretap request. And we know that the FBI had corroborated none of the dossier claims before filing its application.

So, after all the spinning, these are the undisputed facts: The FBI went to court to get a wiretap on a U.S. citizen it claimed was a Russian agent. It based this charge mainly on an uncorroborated, salacious document financed by the Clinton campaign. It failed to clearly disclose the funding source. Nor did it reveal that it had independently corroborated any of its claims.

Confirmed: DOJ Used Materially False Information To Secure Wiretaps On Trump Associate by Mollie Hemingway – “Newly released documents confirm House and Senate investigators’ claims that the Department of Justice and FBI used materially false and misleading information to secure wiretaps on Carter Page.”

The FISA application: Nunes was right (and it’s not Andrew C. McCarthy’s FBI anymore) by neo-neocon – “McCarthy can hardly believe the truth he’s learned; it’s so disillusioning. But he does believe it when he sees the evidence right before his eyes.”

“McCarthy also has a great deal more to say in that essay about what is actually in the application and what it means. Other people have written on the same subject, and in particular on how the release of the application vindicates the Nunes memo (see this).

And yet, of course, you can find articles (this for example) on the left saying the released application proves Nunes wrong. They rehash the same old ideas

See that funny little shift there? That’s sophistry at its finest, and that’s the way this sort of thing is written. Nunes said the document didn’t mention the role of the DNC, the Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign. And guess what? That’s exactly what the release of the memo proves—they didn’t. Byron York deals with the same issue in much greater detail with much greater clarity and truth

It’s the old “knave or fool” question. But in the case of these distortions by the AP and others, I think we can safely say “malice” as well as “tactical lying.” My reason for saying that is that it’s not easy to write stuff like that; it takes effort and skill. The “mistakes” aren’t simple ones or intuitive ones. It is necessary to twist the facts in a fairly convoluted way to get there. And although I tend to think it’s wise to never ascribe to malice what can be ascribed to simple incompetence or ignorance, incompetence (or ignorance) is not what’s going on here.

Just How Far Will the Left Go? By Victor Davis Hanson – “The methods of rhetorically assassinating Trump all have been tried out by progressive celebrities, politicians, and academics: decapitation, high explosives, nightly ritual stabbing, hanging, death by elevator, death by escalator, shooting, incineration, and fisticuffs.”

“There is no respite from the war against Trump. The NFL, the NBA, late-night comedy shows, cable news, sitcoms, Hollywood movies, books, and music have all found ways to turn their genres into anti-Trump theater.

There is no respite; there is no refuge—not the Super Bowl, not the Emmys, not the Grammys, not the Oscars. Almost every aspect of American culture has been weaponized to delegitimize Trump.

The progressive hysteria reveals the lack of an idea. Kill, humiliate, delegitimize Trump is not a sustainable political agenda whether winning a local assembly seat or a liberal majority on the Supreme Court. But then neither are socialist ideas. If the Left was intellectually honest it would run in November on what it now professes are its new core beliefs: the abolition of ICE, the end to all deportations, open borders, expansions of affirmative action, abortion on demand, and identity politics, cancellation of student debt, universal Medicare-like coverage for Americans of all ages, massive tax hikes, more regulations, and less fossil fuel production, and an EU-like socialist-democratic foreign policy.

The problem is that the above is probably not a 51 percent winnable program.

Our Under-Incarceration Problem, Atlanta Edition by Paul Mirengoff – “Lost on the judge, as on many sentencing reform advocates, was the fact that the primary purpose of putting Myrick away was to protect society from his menace, not to help him.”

“This is the main fallacy of proposals to induce prisoners into “evidence-based” rehabilitation programs by reducing sentences in exchange for participating. Most of those who participate do so in order to reduce their prison time. A prisoner who passionately wants to change will participate in a rehabilitation program without the inducement, assuming he has reason to believe the program isn’t just BS.

Myrick wasn’t interested in changing. He was interesting in getting back on the street to commit more crime. In Judge Downs, he found a sucker who would put him back. Christian Broder is dead as a result.

Personal change is tough and it has to come from within.

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Second reaction

Helsinki Is One of Trump’s Finest Moments by John Nolte – “President Donald Trump proved to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday that he is nobody’s puppet

“the media crafted a narrative around Charlottesville that determined what Trump was supposed to do, which was to make a statement condemning racism and racists. Which he did, more than once. But he also did something he was not supposed to do and that was to, at long last, make an issue of Antifa, who had been running around for the better part of a year acting as the organized left’s Brownshirts.

By having the moral courage to go off-script, Trump used Charlottesville to finally drag these terrorists into the national spotlight, and he did so by telling the truth, by accurately pointing out that “both sides” were responsible for that national disgrace. Trump also had the moral courage to point out there were “good people” on both sides; those who are not racists, who are not left-wing terrorists, who had arrived in good faith to protest against the tearing down of a statue and against racism. The New York Times, of all places, eventually proved Trump correct on this point.

The media’s post-Charlottesville tantrum was a wonder to behold, and it continues to this day, primarily through lies.

What the media wanted was to emotionally blackmail Trump into creating an international scene, a YouTube moment with Putin, where the president would violate every diplomatic norm to publicly shame and berate the Russian president.

Wisely, for the good of his country and out respect for the truth, Trump refused to jump in the trap. And now the spoiled children who once again did not get what they want, are having a national tantrum. And moral cowards, like House Speaker Paul Ryan (God bless Rand Paul), are terrified of these spoiled media babies and are seeking only to appease them.

For two years the media and Never Trump assured and reassured me that Trump was a shallow and feckless man interested only in one thing: adulation and praise. But on Monday in Helsinki, just as he did in Charlottesville, I saw Trump choose, at great personal cost, to do the moral and patriotic thing over what would have earned him that adulation and praise.

Sharyl Attkisson calls out ‘vitriolic’ John Brennan with one stinging question by Frieda Powers – “Attkisson wondered aloud what someone like Brennan, who has repeatedly shown his contempt for the president, would do with the power he had at his disposal.”

Instapundit – “Angelo Codevilla: Diplomacy 101 vs. Politics Writ Small.” … “Jay Michaelson in The Daily Beast: Stop Saying Trump Committed ‘Treason.’ You’re Playing Into His Hands.” and more.

What is roiling the water in DC? Abject fear! by Patricia McCarthy – “The disgraceful, frenzied reaction to President Trump’s press conference with Vladimir Putin on Monday would be hilarious if it were not so deadly serious.”

“The minute the presser was over, there was a near global political disintegration among our Democrats, most of the RINOs in Congress (Ryan, Flake, Corker, Graham), and the media. There were only a few voices of reason: Roger L. Simon, Rand Paul, among the few. As for the rest of the herd, one would have thought Trump had handed Putin the keys to the White House. He did nothing of the kind. Trump sat down with the man and began a conversation. Where it will go, no one yet knows. Trump knows, as do most people interested in such things, that Russia has spied on the U.S. for at least a hundred years. Pick up an Eric Ambler novel. That the Democrats are suddenly upset by this is a joke. Until November 9, 2016, they loved Russia and humiliated anyone who did not see the former Soviet Union as a model society. See Paul Kengor.

Trump’s Helsinki Comments Were a Defense of U.S. Voters, Not of Russia by D. C. McAllister – “This effort to malign, sabotage, and then seek to remove a duly elected president based on no evidence of collusion or wrongdoing is an attack on the American voter.”

“Trump did not attack the United States or U.S. institutions. He attacked people who are misusing the power of those institutions for their own political purposes — to slander opponents and delegitimize anyone who stands in the way of their agenda.

The rising tide of fear and anger toward Russia based on the false allegation that Putin colluded with Trump does nothing to help build bridges.

Trump knows it and was no doubt thinking about this point when questions about the election came up. Given his personality and his goals, he wasn’t about to give the very people who have hounded him for nearly two years one iota of credibility. Call this bad timing, inappropriate, unwise — but don’t for one minute call it treasonous.

Trump Will Win This Round With the Deep State by Conrad Black – “When the cant and emotionalism subside, the Helsinki summit will go down in history as a turning point in this American president’s struggle to disembowel the bipartisan regime of complacency and lassitude he successfully ran against.”

“Many of the president’s political supporters expressed genuine regret. …

They all missed the point. The real issue surged to the surface and into the ether in a blinding flash about five minutes after the joint press conference ended in the form of a tweet from former CIA director John Brennan.

Clearly, if to some extent implicitly, Donald Trump is saying that the latest Mueller accusations against this gang of Russian intelligence officials are a stunt to try to prop up the fraud that there was something suspect in Trump’s pre-election relations with the Russians. Naturally, this sent the Democratic leadership before the television cameras of their obsequious network supporters to tell Trump to stop calling it a witch-hunt and cancel the Putin meeting.

Trump could have handled things better in Helsinki, and should not have provoked a clarification from National Intelligence Director Dan Coats. But fundamentally he is right. And he will win.

If Not Russia, Who Is Hillary’s ‘Foreign Entity’? By Joe Herring – “I’ve long said Hillary Clinton is insufficiently stupid to have believed she could operate an unsecured home server without compromising the security of any data transmitted through it or stored on it.”

“For just as long, it has been my contention that the server was the faucet through which she pumped information she was selling (yes, selling) to foreign entities, both public and private.

It strains credulity to believe that the vast investigative resources of the federal government have been brought to bear against the Trump administration simply to enable a twice failed presidential candidate to avoid accountability for carelessly handling classified information.

one thing is certain and that is the flood of hyperbolic rhetoric.

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Principled opposition?

Brett Kavanaugh: An Excellent Beginning by John Hinderaker – “The event was, I think, superbly staged. Some observations:”

Women’s March mocked for pre-written press release opposing Supreme Court nominee ‘XX’ By Victor Morton – “The Women’s March opposes XX.”

“A pre-written — and poorly edited — statement from the Women’s March on President Trump’s Supreme Court nomination became the subject of mockery on Twitter on Monday night, including from Mr. Trump’s former press secretary.

While the statement also spelled the judge’s name as “Cavenaugh,” the obviously pre-written placeholder characters “XX” caused much mirth on social media.

The Women’s March wasn’t the only group to put out a pre-written statement betraying a certain rush to judgment.

Have Jordan Accusers Reported Abuse at Their Work Places? By Dov Fischer – “And now the Seedier Media are going after Rep. Jim Jordan. They think maybe they got something on him from thirty years ago.”

“This is so vicious, so base, the endless character assassination — leveled by hypocrites and phonies who, in front of their own very eyes, see the evil and villainy of the Keith Ellisons and Hillary Clintons, the Bill Clintons and Maxine Waterses who should be ostracized and vomited out of the body politic.

It all is cynical and dishonest beyond words. Jim Jordan is a good man. He is a very honorable man. If we are going to go back thirty years to start digging up bones and skeletons, looking to destroy people who conducted themselves thoroughly properly for their time and place, though perhaps differently from what today’s standards would expect,

There is a reason that we have statutes of limitation and laws of repose. Otherwise, let us open a new category of litigation and start suing anyone we ever have met for anything that ever has happened.

So stand with Jim Jordan. He is a good man. And let him subpoena the records as Congress delves deeper and deeper into the bowels of the Deep State. And if you must get a daily fix on the politics of destruction and character assassination leveled against good people — now that Admiral Jackson has been defamed viciously, and the Trump Family seems to be enjoying a brief post-Peter-Fonda respite — fear not. The next campaign of personal destruction is about to launch: We now have a fabulous world-class United States Supreme Court justice nominee, with only two months available for the Democrat left and their Seedier Media to destroy a wonderfully dignified human being and perhaps an entire family.

Investor’s Business Daily: Dispatches From The ‘Tolerant’ Left’s War On Trump Supporters – “Every day brings new examples of the supposedly open-minded, inclusive, tolerant, peace-loving left threatening or attacking Trump administration officials or Trump supporters.”

“Hatred and intolerance has been standard operating procedure on the extreme left. But thanks to enablers among Democrats and the press, it’s quickly becoming dangerously “mainstream.”

Here are some of the ways in just the past few days that the left has expressed its tolerance for those it disagrees with:

Breitbart recently started compiling what it characterizes as “acts of media-approved violence and harassment against Trump supporters.” The list is now up to 258 — and climbing fast.

The left defends such actions as justified because of Trump’s policies or his actions. The truth is, this is how extremists on the left always respond to politicians and policies they disagree with. They threaten, intimidate and try to shut them down. If you don’t think so, try attending a speech by a conservative speaker at any liberal college in the U.S.

Yes, we know, there are haters on the right. And Trump can be crude and abusive. But that’s the point. Even a whiff of hatred or intolerance on the right always — and correctly — receives widespread condemnation, including by Republicans.

The same is not true on the left. Not. Even. Close.

Instead, Democrats and their handmaidens in the press are busy normalizing violent, abusive, intolerant behavior … when not encouraging more of it. They seem to have forgotten that we live in a representative democracy, where we settle debates over public policies — peacefully — at the voting booth.

The facts about fact-checkers By Ed Feulner – “You don’t have to be a student of ancient Roman poetry to have heard Juvenal’s famous line “Who watches the watchmen?” But perhaps a more apt question today would be: Who checks the fact-checkers?”

“when it’s a matter of mining some data from a particular report or government agency, it’s a pretty straightforward task. But when you look closer, you start to notice that many of these features veer sharply into what can be more accurately called opinion-checking.

The upshot of her analysis? Maybe yes, maybe no. It depends on how you look at it. After illustrating how one can spin the data in different ways, Ms. Kelly proclaims: “Trump is using accurate data to draw faulty conclusions.”

There’s already a journalistic label for what Ms. Kelly is doing, and it’s not “fact-checking.” It’s “news analysis.” So why is this article flying under the “fact-checker” flag? Simple. It carries the cache of objectivity. “Analysis” can be done by any journalist with an anti- or pro-Trump axe to grind, but “fact-checking?” You can’t question that, right?

Wrong. You can, and you should. As The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto has noted:

“Some good work is done under the rubric of ‘fact-checking,’ but ‘fact-check’ journalists do not limit themselves to questions of verifiable objective fact. Frequently they accuse politicians of dishonesty because the journalists favor a different interpretation of facts that are not in dispute. Sometimes their ‘rulings’ are mere opinions on matters about which they do not know the facts, or that are not factual questions at all.”

Pinocchio longed for the day he’d become a real boy. Can we look forward to a time when Ms. Kelly and her fellow journalists become genuine fact-checkers?

A year’s worth of anti-Trump media errors by John Sexton – “Becket Adams at the Washington Examiner has completed a list of false news stories propagated by the media in 2017.”

“You’ll be shocked to learn that nearly all of the stories cut against the Trump administration. Granted, not all of these stories were blockbusters (though some were, at least initially) but the length of the list suggests the media is being remarkably careless in how it covers the administration. I’m not going to present even a substantial portion of Adams’ list but here are eight examples from the 100 he offers

We covered many of these stories here at the time they happened. And I think there are some stories that aren’t on the list that could be. For instance, the media freakout over Melania Trump’s shoes last August. He also skipped the brief freakout over Trump supposedly Photoshopping his hands to make them look bigger in official photos. Some of these claims didn’t get very far before they were reeled in by people on the right or other journalists. Still, there’s a clear willingness to believe almost anything negative about Trump or his administration which makes the media unusually susceptible to this sort of fake news

‘Anonymous’ Users Can Be Pinpointed on Twitter with 96.7% Accuracy by Allum Bokhari – “machine learning algorithms can still pinpoint you in a crowd of 10,000 other users using metadata associated with your posts, according to a new study.” Ah, yes. Another ‘study.’ But, in this one, we get a bit of hard data to see where the conclusion comes from.

“Metadata” refers to data about other data. In the context of a Twitter post, this includes the date and time of the post, the number of characters in it, the device it was posted from, its grammatical style, the location it was posted from, and a host of other markers. The average tweet contains about 144 pieces of metadata.

Using machine learning, researchers at University College London and the Turing Institute have developed a method of identifying individual users with 96.7 accuracy using metadata alone.

The collection of metadata and its implications for individual privacy became a particularly high-profile issue under the Obama administration when whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA routinely harvested mass amounts of metadata about Americans’ phone calls.

Judge shuts down challenge to sanctuary laws… for now by Jazz Shaw – “A federal judge in Sacramento dismissed two challenges from the White House which would have invalidated a pair of the state’s sanctuary laws while allowing the challenge to a third law to proceed.” It’s a good summary of the issues at hand, the implications, and how they should be resolved.

The non-science of transgender analysis by Jazz Shaw – “there’s a new entry in the media push to convince Americans that gender dysphoria is just another part of life which should be accepted without question.”

“The author would instruct us to accept the premise that people “just know” something about their inherent “identity” in such questions. Well, sometimes the observer “just knows” something when they see it as well, but they can frequently turn out to be wrong. And, again, this is unique in the American debate landscape. There are no activists out there claiming that people suffering from Cotard’s Syndrome are actually zombies and should be treated as such under the law because they believe it so much. Nobody is suggesting that victims of clinical lycanthropy be allowed to roam the fields at night ripping the throats out of people because they believe they are werewolves. Yet there is precisely as much evidence out there that people actually do turn into wolves under the light of the full moon as there is indicating that a person born with a normal chromosomal structure, a vagina, a womb and ovaries, with zero signs of a Y chromosome anywhere in sight is actually a man.

Having this debate regarding the science behind the question takes on greater importance when you consider the consequences. Simply allowing someone the freedom to deny medical science (and reality) and dress as they wish and call themselves what they like will never be enough. You’ll next be told that you have to accept these ideas and modify your language to match theirs. And you’ll want science on your side when you are informed that your teenage daughter will be going to school and showering with some “girls who happen to have penises” and if you don’t like it you’ll be taken to court for High Crimes of Bigotry.

#PermitPatty Showcases the Dangers of Overregulation by Jibran Khan – “All-encompassing rules empower bigots and rent-seekers.”

“The real face of overregulation has been in the news in recent weeks, after bystanders called the police on three young people in different states for peaceful behavior. The incidents serve as a reminder that an overly broad “rule,” even if rarely enforced, can be weaponized at any time. Such rules can serve to empower pettiness and bigotry that otherwise might have been limited to rude speech.

The three incidents all went viral, from the pathetic marijuana-corporation executive who called the police on an eight-year-old girl for the “crime” of “illegally selling water without a permit” on a hot summer day, to the neighbor who called the police on a 12-year-old for his summer lawn-mowing business, to the 16-year-old boy who was cuffed and arrested in Charleston, S.C., for selling palmetto roses (a longstanding Charleston tradition). Luckily, the police did not act on the complaints in the first two cases — but the very fact that people feel empowered to call the police over harmless behavior shows the pernicious reach of the regulatory regime. In each of these cases, the regulations in question were the sort justified on health-and-safety grounds.

And in all three cases, the children were black.

Salient?

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sometimes we can’t walk away

Exalted Righteousness, Tawdry Methods Lead to Walk Away by Clarice Feldman – The growing #WalkAway movement, in which lifelong Democrats publicly announce they are walking away from the party, shows they supposed wrong about “the ignorance and gullibility of the unenlightened.”

“Different people are walking away for different reasons, but as for Blacks and Hispanics, the party guessed wrong on its hysterical, fake news based anti-ICE pro-immigration policies. Turns out a majority of blacks and Hispanics are in accord with the president’s policies on immigration. And yet, the party doubles down on this losing position

The Washington Post, on July 2 whistled past the graveyard, dismissing the movement

In the meantime, as the Democrats double down on stupid, voter satisfaction keeps rising.

[Matthew Continetti] “it is important to recognize that the collapse of the center-left is not limited to America. It is a global phenomenon. Obama and Clinton may have broken the Democratic Party, but don’t hold them responsible for the destruction of the French Socialists, the fall of the Italian Democratic Party, the takeover of Labor by Jeremy Corbyn, the worst result by the German Social Democratic Party since World War II, and the triumph of López-Obrador in Mexico.”

I think he’s right — it’s immigration and that seems to reflect a trend throughout the western world. People have come to the conclusion that open borders policy is not such a really super idea. It destroys traditions and national culture as it overwhelms social welfare programs and law enforcement by flooding their countries with people unsuited to the available work opportunities, who don’t assimilate and who hold views inimical to theirs.

Tongue in cheek, Andrew Klaven offers a countermovement to #WalkAway –“the #DescendIntoEmotionalInfantilism and become a Democrat movement with Five Reasons to Shift to the left.”

Casual Lies: Is Postmodernism A Hallmark Of Societal Decline? By Alex Berezow – “But remember, like telling the truth, decadence and decline are choices.”

“Standing up for science and truth is also a choice, and tens of millions of Americans are willing to do just that. They do so by reading ACSH or any other outlet that places evidence over ideology. Though mainstream media may have been infected by postmodernism, plenty of us are standing against it. By reading this and sharing it with friends, we can sound the alarm that it’s not too late.

Why Should a Single Federal Judge Be Able to Make Law for the Whole Country? By John Fund – “While we fill a Supreme Court vacancy, let’s also have that debate.”

“The U.S. survived without judges’ imposing nationwide injunctions for the vast majority of its history. The first such injunction came in a 1963 minimum-wage case, in which the D.C. Circuit Court ruled that executive-branch officials should honor a court decision “in all cases of essentially the same character.” But such injunctions have been rare until, well, the Trump administration.

Even after the Supreme Court made its definitive ruling in the 16-month-old travel-ban case, the “Resistance” made clear that it hasn’t given up. On the very day the Court ruled, a total of 16 states and the District of Columbia sued to stop President Trump over his border-security measures. The suit was “forum-shopped” so it would be heard by a federal judge in the distinctly anti-Trump Seattle area.

It is madness that a single federal district court judge can impose such an arbitrary deadline covering the entire country and not have his decision reviewed for weeks or months.

madness?

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