Archive for Finance and money

bipolar elephants and China

Bipolarized Journalism… sundance – “Good grief. In the latest exhibition of bipolar narrative engineering, the New York Times encapsulates everything wrong with the current state of U.S. journalism.”

Reza Aslan Calls Kellyanne Conway the ‘Evil We Need to Eradicate’. John Nolte – a follow-up on yesterday’s notice of a reporter inciting violence, the reaction, and trying to walk back or rationalize the hate.

“When someone talks about “eradicating” hate, that is a perfectly acceptable use of the word. Aslan is talking about eradicating a whole person, a woman — which means he wants her eliminated and destroyed forever — he wants a person gone.

Obviously, despite an obvious call for violence, the leftists at Twitter have done nothing to Aslan or his Twitter account.

Leftist privilege is becoming more and more a problem in our society. People on the left can be as racist, menacing, threatening, and even as violent as they like without facing any kind of social censure from the very same people who will have the rest of us blacklisted for opposing homosexual marriage.

Blame the media for racist violence, not Trump. Marc Weisman – “The leftist playbook is simple: the mainstream media create false Trump narratives, and they repeat them far and wide until the false narrative becomes an accepted “truth.

“Here is the problem, though: we have yet to see any evidence, even flimsy evidence, that this president really is a racist.

It’s not Trump, but rather the false Trump racism charges frenetically squawked by the media that likely facilitated this week’s terrible acts of violence. When the media amps up the masses on a steady diet of nasty invective to further their must-remove-Trump agenda, it should surprise no one that unstable people may act out.

Mass Shootings: The Elephant in the Room. Taylor Day “America desperately needs to have a conversation, and it’s very different than the one we have been having when reflecting on mass murders. Despite the hysteria that these events cause, there is no significant upwards trend.”

Rand Paul’s surgery reminds us the Left has no problem cheering political violence. Jack Hunter – “It’s easy to dismiss social media commentators. But the senator’s announcement came just one week removed from actor Tom Arnold (who joined a host of other celebrities who have cheered Paul’s assault) basically saying that Paul got what he deserved from his neighbor.” … “It was just one week ago that an elected official, Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota, retweeted Arnold’s insult about Paul.” It is interesting that, after citing a litany of one sided problems, Hunter falls into the ‘both sides the same’ trap.

On Trump’s Excellent Speech. John Hinderaker – “It consisted in large part of denunciations of the murderers and sympathy for their victims. Beyond that, Trump’s comments were notable in several ways.

Trump’s ‘Teleprompter’ Speech ‘Hit All The Right Notes,’ But Was Just ‘Lip Service’. Scott Morefield – A glaring example of CNN’s bias problem.

China Allows Currency to Drop – President Trump Responds – Devaluation Lowers Consumer Import Prices… sundance – “China needs to buy dollars to backstop their own currency (¥uan). When China trades with the U.S. they hold the return dollars as a peg against their weak currency. Remove the flow of dollars (lessen exports) and they start to run out of strong pegged currency.” i.e. despite a lot of the anti-tariff rhetoric, it is China that is paying the tariff bill, not U.S. citizens. How long China will sustain this cost is the question.

Will China Retreat Into Itself? Tyler Durden – “It’s not even about the value itself, or the change in it, it’s the heavy-handed way it’s executed.” By using government force to set the value of its currency, trust in that value is diminished.

Why ‘policing is racist’ is such a poisonous lie. Heather Mac Donald – “A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences demolishes the Democratic narrative regarding race and police shootings.” … “The persistent belief that we are living through an epidemic of racially biased police shootings is a creation of selective reporting.

“The “policing is racist” discourse is poisonous. It exacerbates anti-cop tensions in minority communities and makes cops less willing to engage in the proactive policing that can save lives. …

The anti-cop narrative deflects attention away from the real criminal-justice problem, which is high rates of black-on-black victimization.

America Is Drowning in the Left’s Lies About Trump. Dennis Prager – “The major news media need to understand these are important reasons that half of America considers them frauds.

“The reason we don’t recoil when the president labels the mainstream media “fake news” is that we know the charge is true. Has one major media news outlet yet apologized to the American people for preoccupying them for nearly two years with the lie of “Trump collusion” with Russia? Has one Democrat? Of course not. Because with regard to the Trump-Russia collusion issue, the news media were never driven by a pursuit of truth; they were driven by a pursuit of Trump.

P.S. I just learned that within hours of PragerU posting “The Charlottesville Lie,” Google placed it on YouTube’s restricted list — just two weeks after a Senate hearing at which a Google representative swore under oath that Google doesn’t censor on the basis of political views. The ease with which the left lies is breathtaking.

Mass murderers and the politics blame game… neo – “The attempt to pigeonhole a crazy sociopathic murderer into one political group or other, in particular in order to hurt Trump, is standard and predictable. … All of it is garbage.” The blaming is garbage, the blaming behavior is revealing.

Fake news: an open letter to the Editor of the Washington Post. Christopher Monckton – “Yet again, the hard-Left Washington Post has libeled Dr Willie Soon, whom many of us know to be one of the most dedicated scientists in single-minded pursuit of the objective truth about global warming. If you agree with the following Letter to the Editor, please write your own letter and send it in to the Washpot.

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Avoiding reality

The Democrat debate farce. E. Jeffrey Ludwig – “They featured hilarious, inconsequential, and pure bilge being passed off as serious political worldviews.”

“What characterizes a farce? A farce is a literary piece that contains highly improbable situations, stereotyped characters, violent horseplay, extravagant exaggeration.” Collinsdictionary.com suggests that “If you describe a situation or event as a farce, you mean that it is so disorganized or ridiculous that you cannot take it seriously.”

The answers were vapid and repetitive, yet there was an aggressiveness permeating the event that the interviewers could barely control.

Most of the debaters insisted that climate change is properly called a “climate crisis.” How anyone of them is qualified to deal with life-defying changes in nature of the magnitude claimed is never addressed.

It is hilarious to hear 20 persons boasting “I am the best” when their tirades and self-aggrandizement lacks substance and evidence. While laughing uproariously, we can reject them all.

In debates, Democrats move toward open borders. Byron York – “The Trump team was obviously delighted. But some Democrats were clearly concerned.

“Raise your hand if you think it should be a civil offense, rather than a crime, to cross the border without documentation,” said NBC’s José Díaz-Balart.

All 10 candidates — Biden, Sanders, Buttigieg, Harris, Gillibrand, Bennet, Swalwell, Hickenlooper, Yang, Williamson — raised their hands in approval. That moment was perhaps the Democratic Party’s most significant step yet toward embracing a policy of open borders.

Democrats did not stop with opening the border. On Thursday night, they also unanimously supported a policy of offering health care to everyone in the country illegally

All that happened in just a couple of days. There is no indication it will be the end of such proposals in the Democratic race; after all, it is just the first debate in a long race.

A Democratic debate that ignores China and trade isn’t much of a debate. James Pethokoukis – “The core of Trumponomics is a protectionist trade policy built on tariffs, both threatened and implemented.” This is interesting in contrast to Mark Perry’s Happy 218th Birthday to French classical liberal economist Frederic Bastiat!Bastiat’s biggest contribution to economics was “his fresh and witty expressions of economic truths made them so understandable and compelling that the truths became hard to ignore.” Pethokoulis and other economics could do well to set aside their bias and desire to oversimplify and consider Bestiat’s famous essay “What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen” and comments about “legal plunder,” especially “from the viewpoint of the consumer.”

Right on Gerrymandering, Wrong on the Census. National Review – convoluted, complex decisions are an indication of a problem in decision making.

“Roberts’s work in the census case was far more troubling. Working in concert with the Court’s liberals in a decision with a confusing mishmash of opinions complementing and contradicting his own, he found that Trump had failed to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act.

as Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito spelled out in separate opinions, it is not the Court’s job to play psychoanalyst, and the decision paves the way for courts to scrutinize policymakers’ motives much more broadly.

Since Trump’s election, liberal judges have adopted the stance that the usual rules don’t apply; that the president’s unusual — and, yes, frequently lamentable — approach to governing requires abnormally high levels of judicial oversight, future consequences be damned. This time, Roberts joined in.

Roberts The Mind Reader Joins Liberal Justices On The Census. Thomas McArdle – “Chief Justice John Roberts is giving further sign that he is yet another unpleasant surprise in GOP appointments to the highest level of the Judicial Branch, following in the footsteps of David Souter (Bush 41), Anthony Kennedy and Sandra Day O’Connor (Reagan), and John Paul Stevens (Ford).

“The Court’s holding reflects an unprecedented departure from our deferential review of discretionary agency decisions,” Justice Clarence Thomas warns in his dissent, joined by Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. “And, if taken seriously as a rule of decision, this holding would transform administrative law … the Court has opened a Pandora’s box,” Thomas declared.

Motivated by politics and ideology, lawyers would challenge all sorts of Executive Branch decisions “with accusations of pretext, deceit, and illicit motives” leading to “an endless morass of discovery and policy disputes,” Thomas cautions. “Now that the Court has opened up this avenue of attack, opponents of executive actions have strong incentives to craft narratives that would derail them. Moreover, even if the effort to invalidate the action is ultimately unsuccessful, the Court’s decision enables partisans to use the courts to harangue executive officers through depositions, discovery, delay, and distraction.”

The establishment media, of course, would dutifully report such endless haranguing as scandals.

“For the first time ever,” Thomas writes, “the Court invalidates an agency action solely because it questions the sincerity of the agency’s otherwise adequate rationale.”

In his majority ruling, Chief Justice Roberts claims that the law “calls for an explanation for agency action. What was provided here was more of a distraction.” In truth, what was provided was an explanation Roberts and the four liberals found unsavory.

SCOTUS rules against citizenship question on census … for now. Jazz Shaw – “In a long and rambling explanation,

“Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the decision, and as you read through it you may find it frustrating. I’ve been making the argument here for some time now that adding a question that’s been asked repeatedly on one form of the census or another for virtually the entire history of the Republic should be a given. In part of the ruling, Robers writes precisely the same thing.

Roberts also goes on in other paragraphs to declare that the Secretary of Commerce is perfectly within his rights to add or delete questions from the census. So how is it that we’re not done with this and adding the question? In a long and rambling explanation, the court explains that the challenges brought to the addition of the question are based on the belief that certain individuals (illegal aliens, specifically) will be less likely to respond if the question is asked. They also openly admit that failing to respond would be the fault of the individual since a response is required by law.

But because the census results are used to apportion federal funding, a drop in response rates could reasonably be expected to impact the distribution of those funds adversely for certain communities. Still, the court doesn’t go so far as to say that the question can’t or won’t be added. What’s missing is an adequate explanation of why the Secretary wants to add it. In other words, it’s being tossed back down the line for a fresh look and a request for more details. In the meantime, since the risk exists that the petitioner’s fears might be realized, the lower court’s ruling that they can’t add the question yet is allowed to s

convoluted, contradictory, complex, rambling – all signs of dissonance and rationalizations of farce.

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Follow the money

President Trump Calls Out China and EU Currency Manipulation… sundance – “This is a good development. I strongly appreciate a U.S. President who believes in the intelligence of the U.S. voter to understand what is taking place.”

“A stronger dollar and a weakened euro or yuan (or any other currency) makes the imported goods cost less (paid in dollars). This offsets any tariff impact and keeps the U.S. prices low. In essence we are importing deflation.

Stand back and contemplate the scale of globalist ideology at work in this dynamic.

The nations that devalue their currency drive up inflation within their own economy.

In an effort to carry out their globalist ideological fight to stop Trump from reclaiming wealth (through new trade positions and the return of blue-collar manufacturing), these nations are willing to subsidize an effort to retain status even if it means hurting their own citizens in the process.

Again, 80% of our GDP is internal; we are generally a self-sufficient nation… that is our strength. But the globalists can only hold out so long before their intentionally constructed anti-Trump dynamic makes their own citizens misery so bad they will grab the pitchforks….

Twitter responses to AOC’s ‘concentration camp’ claim have been all over the map. John Sexton – “The bottom line is that she didn’t mean what she clearly meant. Deny, deny, deny…

“Of course, AOC used the phrase “never again” and said the president was a “fascist” which seems to clearly evoke a specific type of (NAZI) concentration camp. But AOC’s fans were eager to ignore these details and instead pretend she’d be making a generic remark about the Boer War…or something. I think they did this mostly because they felt the Nazi comparison wasn’t as defensible and they desperately wanted to defend her. It was a pathetic and dishonest spectacle.

The other reaction on the left was to simply take note of the obvious Nazi comparison she had made and cheer it on. That’s what Rep. Jerry Nadler did, completely undercutting the claim she didn’t mean those concentration camps

wild statements, perception distortions, confusion

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Chronic Conflict All Over

Dems’ Selective Outrage Over Foreign-Sourced Oppo Research on Full Display. Adriana Cohen – “The selective outrage from the left surrounding foreign interference in U.S. elections is beyond hypocritical — it’s absurd.”

“Then there’s Trump nemesis Rep. Adam Schiff, a ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee who is laser-focused on investigating the president and removing him from office — at any cost. Democrats’ feathers weren’t ruffled in 2017 when Schiff solicited dirt on Trump from Russians, who offered nude photos of Trump.

But when Trump says he’d listen to information from a foreign government — not necessarily act on it — or inform the FBI, the left goes ballistic, illustrating how morally bankrupt and ethically challenged Democrats have become in their unbridled quest for power.

Wall Street Wrong Again – Import Prices Decline During Full Year of Import Tariffs… sundance – “The latest set of statistics from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) shows all of the professional pundit claims of higher prices on imported goods due to Trump tariffs are simply disconnected from reality.” Like climate change, the models of the experts tend to be over-simplified.

DOJ Says Mnuchin Was Right to Defy House Dems Request for Trump’s Tax Return. Sara Carter – “Steven A. Engel, the head of the Office of Legal Counsel, argued in the memo, that House Democrats, led by Representative Richard E. Neal of Massachusetts, made the request for political purposes with the intention of releasing Mr. Trump’s tax returns.

When and Why Golden Geese Take Wing. Clarice Feldman – “Physical security and rule of law matter. And an independent and fair judicial system.

“The people who took to the streets in protest surely understand what China and Democratic state legislatures like those in California, New York, and Illinois do not: Capital is attracted to and invested in those places where the laws are fair and protect people and property, and where government overreach and exorbitant taxes are in check.

Chronic Conflict in the Global World: Right at Your Doorstep or on Your Computer. Richard Fernandez – “The attack on tankers in the Gulf of Oman according to the Jerusalem Post was a scripted outcome that fell apart. It was designed to make Iran’s armed forces the heroic rescuers happening upon an anonymous tragedy, but IRGC flubbed its lines.” There is a lot of war mongering, TDS flavored ‘speculating’ on this event in the MSM. Fernandez makes more sense.

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There needs to be some accounting for what happened here

Lawfare Strategy – Pelosi House Sets Contempt Vote Against AG Barr for June11th…sundance – “In essence Pelosi is setting up her own Legislative Branch division of justice, to fight against the Executive Branch U.S. Department of Justice if needed.

“Their collective goal is to use a legislative vote to open a civil lawsuit against Bill Barr for his failure to deliver the fully unredacted Mueller report to them. Additionally, the contempt vote will be written so that any other arbitrary Trump administration official can also be held in contempt, without a committee vote, and thereby initiate a civil lawsuit against the executive officer that will have to be defended in court.

If they can win a civil award (they will carefully select the judge) Pelosi and Nadler can start issuing civil fines for contempt against individual cabinet members. Adam Schiff has previously stated his recommended target amount would be $25,000 per day/per person.

This has been their plan all along. Pelosi’s poo-pooing of impeachment was always a head-fake to the compliant media, designed to fabricate a narrative around unlikely impeachment, and throw people off the scent of a plan that was designed even before the mid-term election of 2018.

So now it’s OK to destroy lives in the name of fighting Trump? Rich Lowry – “Journalists usually imagine themselves holding the powerful to account but now they are happy to punch down — and congratulate themselves on punching down — if their targets are politically uncongenial.

Liberals are gunning for your 401(k). Ken Blackwell – “Shareholder activists are taking direct aim at companies — such as oil companies and gun-manufacturers — by abusing rules that publicly traded companies must follow to promote a far-left agenda.

“Instead of trying to pass gun control laws through Congress, they are forcing public companies to bend to their will. What they are doing is dangerous.

Other asset-managers and hedge fund leaders are willing to cave to activists — in the form of “virtue-signaling” — because they fear retribution and take actions not in the shareholders’ best interest.

These shareholder activists are taking it a step farther, by sponsoring legislation (H.R. 2364) that would turn the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) into a political policing operation by forcing financial institutions to disclose significant investments with gun and ammunition manufacturers. The goal is to embarrass those investors while harming the manufacturers’ bottom line.

The reckless game played by shareholder activists makes it dangerous for shareholders who invest money that they will need to carry them through retirement.

FBI Failed to Document Four Clinton Witness Interviews. Barr Should Reopen Clinton Probe. Sara Carter – “These findings are significant, as they come at a crucial time when the Department of Justice under Attorney General William Barr is investigating the bureau’s handling of both the Clinton probe and the investigation into the origination of the bureau’s investigation into President Donald Trump’s campaign alleged – now debunked – ties to Russia.”

“The information obtained by Judicial Watch coincides with documents obtained by Congressional investigations. For example, Rep. John Ratcliffe, a former federal prosecutor who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, told Fox New’s Maria Bartiromo Sunday that Strzok’s involvement in the Trump campaign’s defensive briefing mired in conflict.

Dowd dings Mueller. Scott Johnson – “The report smears Dowd, we now know, by means of a deceptively edited voicemail message left by Dowd with Flynn counsel Robert Kelner. Following an order promulgated by Judge Emmet Sullivan in Flynn’s case, prosecutors filed the full transcript of the voicemail message with the court on Friday.

“There needs to be some accounting for what happened here. The first step is fully understanding what the report does to Dowd.

Turley turns on Mueller … neo – “With Mueller recently, both Dershowitz and Turley have been deeply shocked by the behavior of a man they used to respect and have spent some time defending.” But the public will never hear this so why should Mueller worry?

It is interesting to note that, once again, Democrats are in full throat and solid block to defend their own to prevent proper consequence for political misbehavior.

Federal Judge Rejects House Bid To Stop Trump’s Border Wall. Kevin Daley – “While the Constitution bestows upon members of the House many powers, it does not grant them standing to hale the executive branch into court claiming a dilution of Congress’s legislative authority

“Congress has several political arrows in its quiver to counter perceived threats to its sphere of power,” McFadden explained elsewhere in the decision. “These tools show that this lawsuit is not a last resort for the House. And this fact is also exemplified by the many other cases across the country challenging the administration’s planned construction of the border wall.”

“The court rightly ruled that the House of Representatives cannot ask the judiciary to take its side in political disputes and cannot use federal courts to accomplish through litigation what it cannot achieve using the tools the Constitution gives to Congress,” a DOJ spokesman said. “The Department looks forward to continuing to defend the administration’s lawful actions to address the crisis at the southern border.”

There’s a tremendous flaw (actually, several) in the reasoning of this article in Reason, comparing Trump’s tariffs to the Berlin Wall … neo – “What’s wrong with this? Let me count the ways (and I’ll probably miss a few).” Ilya Somin is a distinguished professor with a record on the Volokh Conspiracy as a pundit. His analogy in Reason only reinforces the view that he is grossly ideologically biased in his legal arguments. Here’s a case study to illustrate the point.

“Author Ilya Somin probably chose “Berlin Wall” as an analogy because it raises an emotional response; just about everyone knows something about the Berlin Wall and that is that it was a bad thing. But for the sake of accuracy, he should have at least written about the Inner German border which was the actual Cold War border between the countries of East and West Germany. It was a dangerous line to cross, and could (and did) get people shot:

Interesting how many of these gross distortions were in the media this week: taking “nasty” out of context to apply it to a person rather than a behavior, Trump’s hairstyle after a golf session, the missing bride of the prince, the Trump baby balloon… what else? Maybe this Brietbart headline provides a clue? NPR Fact Checks Trump: Sadiq Khan Isn’t ‘Half the Height’ of de Blasio, That’s Only 3 Feet!

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Culture war: many fronts assaulted with much vigor.

The Red Queen. Richard Fernandez – “If the 20th century can be described as the age of materialism and conflict, the 21st may be known as the age of information; the time we discovered angels and demons are real. Madness too can become incarnate and do stuff.

“One of the vulnerabilities cited by the BBC study on civilizational collapse is today we are part of a “tightly coupled globalized system”. Unlike eras when mistakes and their consequences could be localized today a major error can affect everybody. The flip side of the claim that a Green New Deal can “save the world” is it can also destroy it.

One of the characteristics of comprehensive ideologies, as illustrated by the Green New Deal, is that because of their reductionist and global character they handle complexity with chunky policy interventions. This tends to increase the probability of “normal accidents” because the bureaucracy cannot manage the complex systems they feel compelled to control.

Nature attacks and defends on many fronts. But a giant ideological bureaucracy can do what Darwin can’t: embark on a single strategy to the exclusion of all else.

Lessons from Our Family’s Recent Identity Theft Mess. District 48 – “The problem with government (and all dysfunctional organizations, public and private) is not that they hire bad people, but they hire good people that they cause to act badly through poor information and incentives.” Police had no interest but his mail carrier “bent over backwards to help us out.” The perp was caught standing in a USPS line.

Harry Reid on Trump: ‘I just have trouble accepting him as a person’. J. Marsolo – “Speaking for the deranged Trump-haters, Harry doesn’t see Trump as a person, so everything Trump does is bad.” Trump’s smack down tweet clarifies the situation. Reid is an embarrassment, especially to Nevada.

Stunning – 44 Democrats Vote to Support Post Birth Abortion. sundance – “Three democrat Senators voted to support the bill [Casey (PA), Manchin (WVA), and Jones (AL)], all others voted against protecting the babies.” The Trump Response Tweet: “This will be remembered as one of the most shocking votes in the history of Congress. If there is one thing we should all agree on, it’s protecting the lives of innocent babies.Ace of Spades notesThree Senators — Tim Scott of South Carolina, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska all chose to not be present for the vote.

Chase Bank Now Routinely Closing the Personal Bank Accounts of Conservatives. Ace of Spades – “Part of the problem is that the left has made it its top priority to infiltrate/pressure corporations to advance the left’s goals — including the goal, now, of complete censorship and discrimination against conservatives.

About half of New Mexico counties are now gun rights sanctuaries. Jazz Shaw – “That’s not how things are supposed to work, of course. There’s the whole supremacy issue to deal with for starters. But if the Democrats passing these new gun control laws want to be upset about it, they’re going to have to explain why it’s okay for states and cities to defy federal immigration laws for sanctuary cities and states. If you’re going to pick and choose which laws you will or won’t respect, don’t act surprised when someone else does the same thing.

From Victor Davis Hanson regarding media malpractice in editing a conversation he had – “This is exactly why many people today have distrust of many in media and reflect upon the unprofessionalism that occurs too often.”

Microsoft’s Moral Abdication. Kevin Jon Heller – “This is a remarkable abdication of Microsoft’s responsibility for considering how its technology could be used — or misused.” Heller thinks that creating anything to help defend ourselves is terrible because somebody might abuse it. Take that bit of logic to even modest implications and it is clear that Heller is advocating suicide by passivity. Consider rocks in this light. Does Heller condemn making rocks because they might be used by armies in slings to protect their societies? (What happened to David and Goliath?)

“To be absolutely clear, I am not comparing IVAS to the atomic bomb. Microsoft is not the Manhattan Project. The underlying principle, however, is the same: it is not acceptable for scientists to blind themselves to the consequences of their actions.

This requires predicting the future, making unreasonable assumptions, and ignoring history. Trying to shift blame for misery from human nature to scientific creativity shows a severe lack of honesty and intellectual integrity. That shows in the absolute claims used in expressing judgment. Bringing in the Manhattan project regrets is another tell. That is a very clear story in selective history and the ignorance of tragedy reduction. The underlying fears driving that regret, about nuclear science and not weapons, are still costing human misery and suffering as outcomes of a non-polluting energy source being absent from the Green New Deal, for instance.

The culture war is one of survival. Legalizing infanticide explicitly post birth is one. Criminalizing self defense either personal or national, is another.

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Yes, death happens when feel-good supersedes reason.

Congratulations Anti-Vaxxers, You’ve Made Measles Great Again. Investor’s Business Daily – “But then anti-vax mania started to spread, sparked by a single study — published in 1998 and since thoroughly debunked — conducted by a disgraced scientist.

“Yet despite their supposed devotion to science, many on the left — including celebrities like Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey — seized on this study to spread irrational fear about the supposed dangers of the vaccine. Call them “vaccine deniers.”

Their views found a major platform in the left-wing Huffington Post, which for years was the go-to site to spread anti-vax paranoia.

Keep in mind that measles is a highly contagious and potentially fatal disease. One in four who get it end up hospitalized. One in a thousand get encephalitis. Up to two per thousand end up dead.

Here’s an idea that would help move more states in the right direction. Instead of creating ugly paintings trashing President Donald Trump, Jim Carrey should consider a self-portrait wherein he abjectly apologizes for his and his friends’ role in spreading dangerous, unscientific misinformation.

Notice How Democrats are Never Indicted? William L. Gensert – “Yet, “What difference, at that point, does it make?” Hillary’s exempt from prosecution because she’s a Democrat and a bona fide leftist; and that provides blanket immunity.

“One can act with impunity when there is no fear of prosecution. Why not harvest ballots to steal elections, provide sanctuary for felonious illegal aliens, lie to Congress, or try to frame a president? Democrats never worry about financial ruin or Mueller going after their families (In like Flynn).

Real crimes go unaddressed, while misstatements about lawful actions warrant incarceration. Mueller is fond of false-statement charges where the underlying actions aren’t illegal; he also loosely interprets the definition of “lie.”

Apparently, in America today the only people who should fear prosecution are those who disagree with the “ones we’ve been waiting for” because if you’re a Democrat, you can’t get arrested in this town.

Latest Intel Assessment Shows How Trump-Russia Hoax Has Hurt American Interests. Mollie Hemingway – “This odd aversion to thinking about the best interests of the nation when pushing a conspiracy theory about treasonous collusion with Russia is dangerous.”

“Earlier this week, intelligence chiefs briefed U.S. senators on the Select Committee on Intelligence about global threats. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats’ 42-page written report read like a middling Obama-era update, with more space devoted to concern about climate change, Brexit, and social justice issues than Islamist terrorism or border disputes and violations.

Still, it’s worth considering the first and most serious global security threat Coats flagged for senators, which is the strengthened alliance of China and Russia as they seek to expand their global influence.

This is among the reasons Trump sought an improved relationship with Russia.

It’s also related to why the Obama administration tried to have a “reset” with Russia. The logic underlying that move was sound, even if it was poorly implemented. The strategic reasons for trying to build alliances where you can with Russia were, and still are, defensible, because it’s not in the U.S. interests to have Russia as a vassal of China. Unfortunately the relationship between Obama and Putin, and between the U.S. and Russia, soured, making the situation worse.

Seib notes that conspiracy theorists think Trump wants a good relationship with Russia because he owes them something. He instead suggests it’s because of geo-strategic goals.

As Henry Kissinger put it, “Balancing China against the Soviet Union from a position in which America was closer to each Communist giant than they were to each other was, of course, exactly the design of the evolving strategy.”

Yet when Trump has talked about developing a good relationship with Russia, a key aspect of triangulation approach, conspiracy theorists in the media and pundit class have lambasted him as a Putin stooge who is compromised. It’s not just an unverified and ridiculous conspiracy theory, but one that results in real harm to the United States as well.

the purpose of the intelligence agencies is to provide information to the president, not set U.S. policy. In fact, the danger seems to arise when intelligence agencies attempt to analyze and set policy

the purpose of the intelligence agencies is to provide information to the president, not set U.S. policy. In fact, the danger seems to arise when intelligence agencies attempt to analyze and set policy

The Real Reason Democrats Have Postponed Barr’s Confirmation. Julie Kelly – “As indictments unrelated to Trump-Russia collusion pile up, Republican lawmakers and Trump’s base increasingly are outraged that the culprits behind perhaps the biggest political scandal in American history remain untouched. Barr signaled that the good fortune of these scoundrels could soon take a dramatic shift under his stewardship.” Kelly highlights the criminal protection force and some of its tactics. Accuse, smear, delay, … and worse.

“Democrats also have accused Barr of bias against the Mueller investigation based on a detailed memo he authored last year that objected to the special counsel’s reported interest in whether President Trump obstructed justice. Some have suggested Barr should recuse himself from the investigation, which would be a repeat of a terrible mistake made by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions in 2017.

This one-two punch has a purpose: To taint Barr’s impartiality and discredit his office on all matters related to Trump-Russia. Why? Because during his confirmation hearing, Barr agreed—at the behest of Republican senators—to begin his own inquiry into who, why, and how the FBI launched several investigations into Trump’s presidential campaign and, eventually, into the president himself.

The enormousness of Barr’s task and the devastating consequences for those involved are now coming into clear view. The timing couldn’t be worse for Democrats and NeverTrump Republicans who are desperate to defeat Trump and the GOP in 2020. That’s why we can expect both parties to whip up more criticism of Barr over the next few months. One hopes he will resist that criticism—and both Trump and Graham need to reassure the new attorney general and the American public that his investigation will receive the same amount of protection that was afforded to the Mueller team.

The Corrupt DoJ vs. the People. Ed Brodow – “Thanks to the politicized justice system that was set in motion more than 20 years ago and reinforced during eight fateful years of the Obama administration, the quaint notion that we benefit from due process has evaporated.

“A venal gang of Obama alumni is getting away with the perversion of American justice. …

The civil rights of innocent individuals are being violated for no reason other than their political views. … Unless the Mueller investigation is terminated and we address the real scandal in our government — corruption at the top levels of the DoJ and FBI — we can kiss the American system of justice goodbye.

Weird: No Democrats in Congress seem to have heard Ralph Northam’s abortion comments. Allahpundit – quoting Henry Rodgers: “I just spoke with over 10 Democratic Senators in the past 2 hours. Not one of them would acknowledge @GovernorVA’s comments on late-term abortion. Everyone of them denied ever hearing them.

“The only reason to believe their ignorance might have been accidental rather than deliberate is that yesterday’s coverage in “neutral” media was partly of the “conservatives pounce” variety. There go the right-wingers, flying off the handle again over nothing. You could argue that restraint by the press was prudent under the circumstances; Northam’s office and various liberals online insisted he’d been misunderstood, after all. Can’t knock the media for pausing to make sure it has its facts right before proceeding with coverage of an electrically charged controversy.

Why, though, wonders Ross Douthat, does that caution only ever run one way?

our media is very deep in the tank on this issue, even more so than they are for most left-wing causes. We’re all long used to it. But occasionally the depth still manages to shock.

McConnell: Pelosi’s ‘reform’ bill nothing but a “Democratic Politician Protection Act”. Ed Morrissey – “A new paid federal holiday on Election Day turns out to be the most benign part of HR1, the election-reform package designated by Nancy Pelosi as the new House majority’s “signature” legislation in this session.” Morrissey may be thinking in too conventional of a paradigm, too ‘old school’ and missing the art of communications and an undertow in the populace noted in other articles cited in this post.

“Pelosi should send McConnell a bouquet of flowers for spending this much time on the Senate floor on a bill that has zero chance of becoming law. For a “signature” bill, which is what the HR1 designation signifies, the coverage of this bill has been remarkably low-key.

Pelosi knows this won’t move in the Senate; it’s a setup for the 2020 congressional elections. However, it’s not exactly the kind of bill that will fire up voters or be remembered for very long after its demise. House Democrats might have been better advised to focus more on hardening the voting infrastructure in the country ahead of the next election, a project that would have a much greater chance of success than giving federal workers freebies for participating in Democratic campaigns.

Green energy and litigation are bankrupting PG&E in California. Jazz Shaw – “That’s unusual because the energy business is largely a very stable industry and nearly recession-proof.

“If their transformers were exploding or the insulators on the lines were worn out and leading to sparking I could see blaming them. But they’re getting tagged with a $30 billion fine because storms blew trees over and took down their lines? …

The other half of their problem is that they’re locked into contracts to buy energy from solar and wind farms. California’s state government has issued a mandate that they must get to 60% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% by 2045. That’s left PG&E stuck buying $40B in energy from renewable firms, a lot of which they don’t even need. In fact, during peak renewable production periods they’ve been forced to sell energy off (at a loss) to neighboring states.

Put all of this together and one of the biggest energy companies in the nation has just filed for bankruptcy protection. They’re asking the court to let them out of the contracts with the wind and solar producers. If that doesn’t work, they may wind up going under. Perhaps that’s for the best and their investors can take their business to states without such a litigious and corrosive business environment.

Why “Green” Energy Is Futile, In One Lesson. John Hinderaker – “When the wind isn’t blowing–as it wasn’t yesterday–natural gas supplies the electricity. It also heats homes, and with bitter cold temperatures and no wind, there wasn’t enough natural gas to go around. The resulting “brownout” has been a political shock in Minnesota.

Much Has Changed for the Better Since 2016—Not That Trump Will Get Credit. Victor Davis Hanson – “aside from the weekly hysterias, the world has dramatically changed since 2016 in ways we scarcely have appreciated.

“There is also a growing, though little reported, consensus about what created the current economic renaissance: tax cuts, massive deregulation, recalibration of trade policy, tax incentives to bring back offshore capital, and dramatic rises in oil and natural gas production.

Since 2016, polls show that Americans have assumed that the proverbial mainstream media cannot be counted on for honest reporting but will omit, twist and massage facts and evidence for the higher “truth” of neutralizing the Trump presidency.

Trump’s popularity is about where it was when he was elected—ranging on average from the low to mid-forties. But many of his policies have led to more prosperity and address festering problems abroad.

And despite the negative news, they are widely supported, even—or especially—if Trump himself is not given proper credit for enacting most of them.

And there is more, much more.

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Economic consequences

Texas town committed to green energy for 25 years, now residents are paying the price. John Sexton – “Texas Public Radio reports that the switch to green energy may not have helped consumers but it definitely helped Georgetown’s PR effort.” It’s all about feeling morally superior, not about life and health.

The number of jobs lost to Obama-era anti-franchise rules is staggering. Jazz Shaw – “By allowing labor unions to hold franchisers like McDonald’s responsible for labor practices of their franchisees, despite having no direct control over those policies, they opened the door to all manner of lawsuits, government fines, and other mischiefs.”

“Even going on the conservative side of the report’s estimates, we’re talking about somewhere in the neighborhood of a quarter million job opportunities lost at a time when the nation was still struggling through one of the more anemic recoveries on record. And, as the report’s authors concluded, all of this was both predictable and avoidable. In fact, many industry analysts did predict it when the rule change went into effect. We just failed to avoid it.

The real reason that some of those NRLB changes were put in place under Barack Obama was the fact that he needed to do some favors for the labor unions.

The enduring appeal of extreme leftism. Neo – “Communism/Socialism is an idea whose time has always come, ever-fresh and ever-new. It keeps rearing its ugly head wearing a new mask, like some vampire returning in a new guise. But can’t we finally drive a stake through its wretched heart?

“In 2014 (but still quite relevant today, if not more so), Robert Stacy McCain wrote an essay describing the latest renaissance of the idea that persists in the face of all empirical evidence to the contrary, and which was correctly critiqued by the economist Ludwig von Mises not long after the Soviets came to power

Combine all that natural appeal with the undeniable propagandist skill of the left—including their willingness to lie in the most brazen manner—and you have an even greater effect. And then combine all of that with ignorance of history and economics, our culture’s reluctance to teach the young our good points and its eagerness to harp on our bad ones, and the fact that people only tend to really learn something through bitter and personal experience.

The Left Strikes Where It Hurts–Debate. John Hinderaker – “Competitive debating had its faults, but there was never any doubt that facts, evidence and logical argument were all that counted.” … “this episode demonstrates that there is no bastion of reason that liberalism cannot infiltrate and pervert.

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Fact free and the cost of eggs

Dear reporter: First, wipe the egg and the smirk off your face. Don Surber – “He fell for the BuzzFeed story — leaked to change the subject from the shutdown — which Bungling Bob Mueller disavowed late Friday. … Blake took to Twitter this morning to virtue signal about journalism.

The Tables Turn on Pelosi and the Media. Clarice Feldman – “While she might have thought otherwise, the power of the commander-in-chief is far greater than that of the speaker of the House, and the humiliating way this was brought home to the congressional equivalent of Maerose Prizzi (h/t Michael Walsh) was something.

“CNN and MSNBC alone made almost 200 references in 12 hours to the BuzzFeed story.

The fun and games were soon over. In an unprecedented move, Special Counsel Mueller’s office said the story was untrue.

Fact-Free Politics: From Climate Change to Trickle Down. Thomas Sowell – “In this era when there has been more information available to more people than at any time in the past, it is also true that there has been more misinformation from more different sources than ever.

“We are not talking about differences of opinion or inadequate verification, but about statements and catchwords in utter defiance of facts.

The next time someone talks about “climate change deniers,” ask them to name one — and tell you just where specifically you can find their words, declaring that climates do not change. You can bet the rent money that they cannot tell you.

It is much the same story on economic issues. … Here, yet again, all you need to do is think back over your own life, and ask yourself if you have ever — even once in your entire life — seen, heard or read a single human being who advocated this “trickle-down theory.”

Issues in both economics and science can get complicated. But when one side of those issues has to resort to demonstrably false catchwords, that should give us a clue.

Fact free isn’t cost free.

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crying wolf – the world is doomed! we tell you again and again and again

How many times have the media predicted doom because of Trump, and how many times have they been dead wrong? Jack Hellner – “The purpose of the report was not to be objective news because anyone with a brain knows the shutdown will end soon. The purpose was to scare the public, damp down economic growth and destroy Trump.

“Why does the media continue to use the clearly partisan economist Mark Zandi who has been 100% wrong on so much as an expert and call him independent? The answer is because he provides them with garbage to attack Trump and Republican policies which is also their goal.

How many times has the media yelled doomsday since 2016?

The greatest threat to our prosperity, our freedom and our Republic are journalists who continually repeat Democrat talking points as if that were news and seeking to make the economy collapse by continuously predicting doom for the sole purpose of destroying Trump and electing Democrats. These journalists certainly aren’t interested in lifting up the economy as a whole, and that is a shame.

see also Trump Deserves Credit for China’s Changing Stance on Trade By Tony Shaffer. The mainstream economists only see tariffs as a tax. Trump sees them as a weapon. The economists don’t get it and won’t learn.

The Dems Who Cried ‘Wolf!’ Dov Fischer – “Three years of lies and smears are doing the anti-Trumpian hysterics and haters no good.

“If you keep wasting the time of grown-ups by falsifying alarms, one of these days when you have a real alarm to sound, the grown-ups will disregard you. That day has come for Democrats. After two years of sounding the alarum that the President is a Fascist, a Dictator, a Tyrant, a Nazi, Dementia-Ridden, a TraitorF – – –him, the President is a  M – th – – – u – c – e – (go ahead and buy the letters from Vanna, from De Niro, or from that newly elected trash mouth out of Detroit) the Left has lost its ability to stir emotion outside its own echo chamber. Have a bad name to call Trump? Ho-hum.

So that manifest lie about Trump became my Rosetta Stone for the Trump presidency even before he was elected in November 2016. It alerted me early that, for whatever the reason, the Democrats, the academia Left, Hollywood and Broadway, the Corrupt Left Media, and all the others of that cruel and viciously deceitful cabal had settled on a strategy that they would lie baldly and badly about Trump, fabricate the wildest falsehoods and accusations, call him the worst names, use every excuse to compare him to Hitler — even as it would be they who would leverage the Nazi technique of the Big Lie.

For two years the Left has been accusing the President of the craziest things imaginable.

Even as the Left counts Trump’s “Pinocchios,” while ignoring Pelosi’s and Schumer’s obvious lies in opposing a wall now that they all avidly supported as perfectly moral and necessary before Trump became President, it is they who have been lying about him 24/7 from the time he launched his Presidential bid.

Every day the Pelosi-Schumer insult factory will continue heaping invective his way, amplified by the Don Lemons, Chris Cuomos, Anderson Coopers, George Stephanopouli, Chuck Todds, Todd Chucks, and all the other such fungible characters of TV Land. However, those whom they most seek to influence — fair-minded people in the center — long ago have learned to tune them out. They have cried “Wolf!” too often, and they are poised to be out-foxed.

H.R. 1: Democrats Act to Strip State Powers Over Elections. J. Christian Adams – “If you thought the midterm elections had problems, wait until you learn about Nancy Pelosi’s plan.

“Democrats in Congress have announced their top legislative priority, and it isn’t health care, immigration, or taxes. Instead, they want to centralize power over elections in Washington, D.C. H.R. 1 is number one on the legislative agenda because it is the number one priority of House Democrats, leftist groups, deep-pocketed dark money, and those who use election process rules to help win elections — or at least to cause chaos.

The bill is a 571-page dreamscape of wild wishes and federal mandates on states. The Constitution decentralizes power over American elections and puts states in charge. H.R. 1 would undo that.

More Mueller madness. Scott Johnson – “In a rational world, this story would be understood as an exploding cigar. It reveals a scandal, but the scandal is located inside the FBI. What we have here is a graphic illustration of the forces against which President Trump has contended for the past two years (including the Times). They mean to remove him from office.

“The Times story exposes more than one scandal. It exposes the overlapping scandals of which Trump is the victim, not the perpetrator. They are the biggest scandals in American political history.

One does not need to be a clinician to get a handle on the madness that permeates the Times story. There is an utter lack of self-awareness. The actors here — the Times and their sources — share the understanding that the story reflects poorly on Trump. As Paul puts it, however: “If it’s true that the FBI undertook the investigation described by the Times, this tells us plenty about the FBI. It tells us nothing about Trump.”

CNN’s Anna Navarro Files Her Nails During Discussion About Innocent Americans Murdered by Illegal Aliens. Kemberlee Kaye – “Mind you, Navarro is what passes for a Republican and conservative at CNN and on The View.” A new poster girl …

“The clip perfectly encapsulates the current border wall debate. There are those who take seriously the murder of innocents on American soil at the hands of those who had no right or permission to be here. And then there are those who find this tragic news yawn and mockworthy.

The contempt is being used as a weapon, a point of argument. Is Fischer right and people will recognize the children crying wolf?

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What’s you lookin’ at? Bouncy, bouncy

Melania Trump, first lady and role model, rises above Democratic pettiness. Tammy Bruce – “Her agenda as first lady is expansive, focusing on children and the importance of all aspects of their lives, from self-esteem to education to health care. Our nation has a first lady who is smart, beautiful and a person of faith. She is committed to her family and to this nation.”

“Mrs. Trump has suffered ignominious insults and attacks, first as candidate Donald Trump’s wife, but inexplicably even more so as the first lady. Yet, it is her reaction to the critics that sets her apart and highlights just exactly how ugly others become when jealousy and envy take root.

What we are watching is the return of “Mean Girls,” those who hounded the new girl in high school who dared to be prettier, smarter and nicer than they were.

In his first inaugural address, President Abraham Lincoln expressed his belief that we could trust in the better angels of our nature. Today, we have too many examples of Democrats encouraging and appealing to the worst in people.

We can choose to reject that toxic environment and look to role models — like Melania Trump — who encourage us to stay focused and rely on our better angels to make the world a better place.

With identical tweets, Schumer and Pelosi reveal themselves as mouthpieces for the same propaganda puppet master. Thomas Lifson – “in order to appear slightly authentic, they are supposed to speak extemporaneously and make it appear that they all came up with the phrases-of-the-day spontaneously. This works for interviews with print and television journalists, but the rise of Twitter has introduced new danger of exposure.”

“Needless to say, the mainstream media takes no interest at all in the process by which Democrats achieve what is euphemistically called “message discipline.” The notion that there is a command center that instructs Democrat office holders what to say each day is certainly an important subject, for the identities of those staffing the command center determines a large portion of our national political dialogue. Who pays these people, whoever they are? Who selects them to put words in the mouths and twitter accounts of people that supposedly represent their constituents?

Former Walmart CEO Bill Simon Discusses Strong Holiday Sales and What It Means for Economy. sundance – “The Wall Street business-pundits are pre-programmed, at an institutional dna level, to jump into the “tariffs are bad” talking points. Mr. Simon aptly dispatches them with a dose of reality from the Wal-Mart/Main Street perspective. [It’s kinda funny]

Mueller Investigation Stirring Up More Trouble Than It’s Finding. Victor Davis Hanson – “After 19 months, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has charged a number of targets with almost every conceivable sin — except collusion with Russia to throw an election.” … “Add it all up, and we have reached the point where the Mueller team may be constructing more crimes than it is finding.”

Ace of Spades has the headlines: Democrats Created Fake “Russian Bots” to Help Doug Jones Win the Alabama Special Election Against Roy Moore citing an NYT story that ties in with regrets expressed by one of the funders of the effort. – Stock Market Gains Over 1000 Points In Biggest Single-Day Gain in History recovering a bit from some pre-Christmas losses (citing CNBC). There’s a lot of bouncy-bouncy that says reason and clear thinking is suffering. – Venezuela Oil Production At Virtual Halt as Socialist Plan to Seize The Industry Results In Collapse. Unexpectedly! The Left seem the think it is the US being driven to financial ruin, not the socialist paradise. Facts on the ground say otherwise. – Washington Post More or Less Confirms That Jamal Khashoggi Was a Paid Qatari Intelligence/Propaganda Asset. He’s another hero of the Left, though, serving as a conduit by which to attack Trump.

Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Knights of Columbus? Paul Mirengoff – “Hirono and Harris don’t want to ban all Catholics; just the ones who take the Church’s teachings seriously. They subscribe to the left’s view that it’s okay (for now at least) to be a Catholic, as long as you don’t subscribe to any Church doctrine that’s inconsistent with modern left-liberalism. That’s toleration, lefty style.”

“Hirono and Harris are not the only Senate bigots. Cortes recalls that last year, during confirmation hearings, Sen. Dianne Feinstein noted the devotion of Judge Amy Coney Barrett and her family to the Catholic Church and admonished that “the dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s a concern.” Sen. Dick Durbin was similarly concerned.

The real concern for anyone who believes in freedom and the Constitution is the trend within the Democratic Party to exclude faith from the public square and people of faith from positions of power.

The plan was to steal tools. Then customers drew their guns. By Zachariah Bryan – “Marysville police are asking for the people who shot at the getaway car to come forward.”

“That’s what two men, 22 and 23, reportedly had in mind when they showed up to the Coastal Farm & Ranch store in Marysville on Saturday afternoon, according to a police report. They allegedly took four nail guns, each worth over $400, walked out of the store and got into a Honda Civic.

They didn’t expect to be surrounded by about six customers with guns raised.

Marysville police found the theft suspects’ car unoccupied about three blocks away, with two flat tires and the tools inside. Both men were apprehended after a search.

The cops seem more interested in going after the guys with guns for illegal shooting than after the thieves the tried to stop, who ran over one of them.

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Reality and results can be hard to swallow

What Trump Knows That Obama Didn’t. Fred Barnes – “We all know Trump exaggerates and brags. But many of the economic gains were impressive, especially the fact that job openings outnumber job seekers for the first time on record.” As they say, it ain’t bragging if you can do it (Dizzy Dean) yet folks like Barnes haven’t quite got that figured when it comes to President Trump … yet.

“The Obama school of economists and commentators, embarrassed by anemic results, argued that economic growth was stuck, perhaps permanently, at 2 percent annually. That meant Obama was doing the best any president could do. Certainly far better than Trump, about whom they issued dire predictions: …

Wrong, wrong, and wrong. Trump’s economy is expected to grow by more than 3 percent this year.

Barack Obama is a proud man and it was somewhat endearing when he stooped to claim he had created the ground on which Trump’s economy was growing. The media sided with Obama, no surprise.

Trump is correct about the condition of the economy in late 2016. It was weakening. The shift in economic policy to the right changed the direction of growth from down to up, just as it had with JFK and with Reagan. That’s what tax cuts deliver and tax hikes don’t.

Another example is at Coyote Blog: “Readers know that I find Trump and his style to be distasteful, and believe he is dead wrong on immigration and trade” … “If one instead challenges his manhood, he is going to dig in his heels and likely childishly harden his position against whatever you support.” Reality speaks another story. Success is a response to judgment about “dead wrong” but since when does reality or results matter to those blinded by their bias? Consider the idea that there might be something ‘distasteful’ about dishonesty and false witness.

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Mob rule can be attractive. Emoluments. Hypocrisy.

Virgil: We’ve Seen this Craziness Before–An Ancient Historian Tells Us How How It Ends — “we might look to the Greek historian Polybius.  He can’t directly address the current state of affairs, since he died in 118 B.C., and yet his wisdom still speaks to us, loud and clear.  In fact, his analysis of political events during polarizing times is timeless.”

Being president already cost President Trump $1.4 bilion. Don Surber – “Trump falls 138 spots on Forbes list of richest Americans

“Emoluments.

Being president already cost President Trump $1.4 billion, Forbes gleefully reported.

The past two Democratic presidents made out like bandits accumulating post-presidential net worths of $40 million or more, which was about $40 million more than they were worth when they entered the White House.

Running for president not only cost President Trump $66 million in donations to his own campaign but the value of his companies shrank.

Donald John Trump did not seek high office for power or money. He sought the office to Make America Great Again after 28 years of a White House run by the modern equivalents of Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, and James Buchanan.

Lincoln followed the originals.

That cost Lincoln his life.

So far, it has only cost President Trump money.

Sons of America, beware. Cheryl K. Chumley – “The left, with one fell Supreme Court nomination swoop, has managed to upturn the entire notion of due process and collapse the cherished American principle of innocent until proven guilty.”

“Democrats shrug off such assertions and warnings by saying, in essence, oh, this isn’t a court of law — due process doesn’t apply. But that’s a skirt of accountability. That’s an argument of deceit. The left knows very well what it’s doing.

Senate Democrats know they don’t have the evidence to prove these flimsy and fantastical allegations against Kavanaugh, so they instead resort to theatrics and distractions to convict — to convict in the court of public opinion, that is.

But slander is serious business. Tearing apart a man’s reputation for political sport is a grave enterprise.

So is the Democrats’ utter disregard for the long-term.

Your son — yes, yours — is one Ford-like accusation away from complete character destruction.

My Critical ‘Critical Theory’ Theory. Steven Hayward – “Everyone is buzzing today about the revelation of the three academics—James Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossian—who placed over a dozen complete hoax articles with various premier “cultural studies” or “identity studies” academic journals.”

“Why aren’t more mainstream academic liberals speaking out and objecting to this farcical “scholarship” in the fashion of Lindsay, Pluckrose, and Boghossian? The chief reason is that there is no upside to trying to oppose this nonsense, as you’ll be called a racist/bigot, etc., and maybe even face a harassment complaint from the administrative bureaucracies that universities have set up and allowed to be infiltrated by identity politics dogma. And since academic departments are by tradition entirely self-governing in hiring and promotion decisions, there is no way for senior scholars in, say, political science, to curtail the nonsense scholarship.

The only way this problem will be fixed is for administrators—deans, provosts, presidents, academic councils—to say Enough!, and actually cut back some of these tendentious departments, or at least put out notice that publication in just about any Sage journal will not be recognized by the university. I’m not going to hold my breath.

A lot of talk today about how modern academic values have corrupted Congress.

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Regardless of the facts; the end justifies the means?

‘GMO Free USA’ Attacks World-Famous Biochemist Bruce Ames by Alex Berezow – “For the crime of using evidence-based science to tell people to calm down, he’s been painted as a villain by the anti-GMO movement.”

“It’s one thing to debate a person who doesn’t know any better. At least in theory, they can be convinced once they are shown the error in their thinking. But it’s an entirely different matter debating a person who is deliberately and maliciously ignorant. How do you debate somebody who insists against all evidence that 2 + 2 = 17, vaccines cause autism, and GMOs cause cancer?

Trumponomics Triumphant by Jack Hellner – “Trumponomics is working extremely well and it can for a long time if we don’t screw it up.”

“I saw a headline in the Washington Post telling us that Trumponomics is not working, and I wondered what the heck these people must be smoking because obviously the economy is humming on almost all fronts.

We should all remember that a lot of economists predicted doom and gloom by now, and since they were way off they will just predict doom and gloom down the road a little. Few predicted the growth that we are having now so why would we believe their predictions for the future.

Let’s look at the current economic statistics to see how Trumponomics is working today:

Investor’s Business Daily says The Trump Boom Is Real — Just Ask The Global Economy. “Remember when everybody said that the “unexpectedly” strong economy under President Trump had nothing to do with his policies? He was just lucky because the global economy was booming, they said. Well, that attempt to dismiss the Trump boom just fell by the wayside.”

A puff or two of smoke, but no fire by Wesley Pruden – “Women are entitled to change their minds. … But some women, bless their hearts, abuse the female privilege.”

“Whether the accusation is true or the work of a troubled imagination is not the point. Mrs. Feinstein herself says she doesn’t know whether there was “truth” in the bombshell. What the senator wants is delay, to string out the proceedings until some time after the midterm congressional elections and hope that will enable further delay and send the Kavanaugh nomination to the briny deep. Her ploy, as transparent as Cellophane, succeeded. But so far nobody has confirmed anything

California has different standards from the rest of the republic. Destroying Brett Kavanaugh might have to require destroying some of the things the rest of us think are important. One of them is the presumption of innocence that is the bedrock of the great American experiment. Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii figured that people elsewhere think more highly of the great American experiment than she does. She set out her solution to what ails America the other day to Jake Tapper of CNN. “Men have to shut up.” She thinks there’s entirely too much attention paid to the Constitution.

When Deborah Ramirez was brought forward as “another woman” victimized by Judge Kavanaugh, her story had the same Swiss-cheese pattern of Mrs. Ford’s tale, lots of holes.

Rape, the second most heinous crime in the human crime catalog, was once taken more seriously than it is now. Rapists were subject to punishment at the end of a rope. It’s still something heinous, but some women want to use the accusation to keep their men in line.

Whatever works.

Fox News interview shows that the Kavanaugh family are the real victims by Thomas Lifson – “The blowback begins.”

“The entire appeal of the assault on Brett Kavanaugh’s character has been based on the Left’s adherence to the ideology of victimology. In any political situation, there are oppressors and victims, and “justice” demands that the victims triumph. Regardless of the facts.

But with the moving Fox News interview of Judge and Mrs. Kavanaugh yesterday, embedded below, Americans got a view of the way in which this man and his family have been deeply hurt. If you have not already watched it, I urge you to view the whole thing.

The New Refuge of Scoundrels by Victor Davis Hanson – “Just when observers had concluded the desperate progressive opposition to Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court could not stoop much lower, it most certainly did.”

The Democrats have viciously overplayed their hand by Patricia McCarthy – “This tragedy that became a farce is now a crime, the crime of purposeful defamation of an innocent man.”

“The left is so determined to prevent Kavanaugh from becoming a justice on the Supreme Court, they have exposed themselves as the lowlife cheaters they are, without shame or any sense of decency.

When they do not win, they will do anything to undo their loss. This is what has motivated the left since the 2016 election. From the moment Trump won, they set about their plans to remove him from office by any means necessary. The cabal that put this plan into motion cares nothing for the law, the Constitution, or the people they set out to ruin as they have Brett Kavanaugh.

There are no words to adequately describe how venal these conspirators among the Congressional left are, how low they are prepared to go. And to this day, not one Democrat has spoken out against this monstrous plan to destroy a fine man who has led an impeccable life. Not one. Each and every one of them knows this is an odious campaign based on lies but not one of them will admit to this fact. The Democratic Party is officially deplorable in every sense of the word.

Taking Trump out means humiliating anyone and everyone in his administration, his judicial nominees, and his supporters; no ethics, no morals, no scruples required. Trump is dealing with the Harry Reid/Chuck Schumer brand of politics: lethal, cruel, and barbaric.

It is too soon to predict how this horrific, criminal upheaval will end. Will the left succeed in destroying Kavanaugh? If they do, it will signal the end of our democratic republic as we know it.

The Smearing Of Brett Kavanaugh Is Truly Evil By Mollie Hemingway – “This media-enabled Democratic smear campaign simply can’t be the standard by which we destroy people.”

“But the idea that the country should convict him and destroy his life with no evidence other than recovered and uncorroborated memories and creepy porn lawyer Michael Avenatti’s say-so is quite insane.

Our Founding Fathers were well aware of the danger posed by people throwing accusations against political enemies. The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does a good job of explaining some of the rights of the accused in our political system: …

Kavanaugh isn’t facing criminal prosecution in part because his accusers have come nowhere near the standard required for criminal prosecution. And senators predisposed to vote against him are not the definition of an impartial jury.

No profession has as high a self-conception as journalism. And yet in recent weeks, in an environment where they are accused of being partisan activists instead of truth tellers, they have dropped their standards somehow even further.

Democratic senators announced at the outset of the Kavanaugh nomination that they would do what it took to stop him. They have held to their word, believing that any means necessary is morally defensible.

At some point one must consider whether evil means are justified for progressive ends. The bottom line is that this media-enabled Democratic smear campaign simply can’t be the standard by which we destroy people. Watching this miscarriage of justice is radicalizing those who care about rule of law and political processes that have a semblance of sanity.

Report: Grassley hires former sex-crimes prosecutor to question Ford during hearing by Allahpundit – “No matter how courteous they are to Ford, the howls about patriarchal right-wing men re-violating a sexual assault victim by asking her skeptical questions about what happened to her will follow.”

“As for the process that’s due to the accuser and accused, here’s a worthy thread on the left-wing talking point that essentially no due process is owed to Kavanaugh. This is a job interview, not a court hearing, right? Well…

I wrote about this over the weekend but will reiterate the point here: The reason we keep hearing that the burden of proof should be placed in this case on the accused, not the accuser, is because Kavanaugh’s critics understand that the evidence against him is so weak that it would fail to meet any threshold of demonstrable culpability in American law, civil or criminal. The only way to arrive at the conclusion that Kavanaugh is probably guilty of assaulting Ford based on the evidence we have is to begin there. Assume he’s guilty and force him to make the case that he isn’t. Never mind that Ford is so hazy on the where and when of the attack that she’s left him with no way to provide an alibi.

Yes, let’s see the emails that led to Deborah Ramirez’s accusation against Kavanaugh by Allahpundit – “After 35 years of uncertainty, within the span of six days, Ramirez somehow recovered her memories sufficiently to accuse a Supreme Court nominee of having sexually assaulted her.”

“And coincidentally, this memory recovery appeared to happen only after her classmates had begun emailing about Kavanaugh’s time at Yale following his nomination this summer. At some point, by Ronan Farrow’s own admission, Senate Democrats got involved in the process.

Robert VerBruggen raises a very obvious possibility: “These emails would appear to be important evidence regarding how this ball got rolling. They also may bear on the question of whether Ramirez’s memory closely matches the anonymous source’s simply because they’re both the account that was circulating while Ramirez was putting her memories together and contacting her former classmates. Let’s see them.” Yeah, let’s. Let’s see if it was Ramirez or someone else who first identified Kavanaugh as the person who assaulted her. Let’s see just how many gaps in Ramirez’s memory required filling in by others, seemingly not one of whom actually witnessed the incident. Let’s find out how many second-hand or even third-hand “witnesses” were needed to help the victim herself “remember.”

This sure sounds like a case of someone’s hazy memory being reshaped after the fact through the power of suggestion.

What a shrewd way to launder a smear into “news.” Investigate it privately, leak to the New Yorker that you’re investigating it, then cite their report that you’re investigating it privately as evidence of its seriousness, worthy of yet another delay in the confirmation vote.

Farrow: New Kavanaugh accuser came forward because “Senate Democrats came looking” by Jazz Shaw – “When asked about the genesis of the story and how this new accuser came into the public eye, Farrow dropped a bit of a bombshell. Deborah Ramirez apparently wasn’t looking to save the world from Brett Kavanaugh reaching the Supreme Court bench.”

“What’s really fascinating is the way Farrow is sticking to his claim that this story somehow meets normal journalistic standards for publication. Even George Stephanopoulos was pushing back on him, asking about the six days Ramirez spent being coached by her lawyer prior to making a statement and the lack of anyone listed as a witness backing up her claims. (To say nothing of her admittedly drunken state when the incident allegedly took place and the fact that she couldn’t even be sure Kavanaugh was there until her six-day legal conference.)

It’s quickly becoming obvious that this is yet another part of a carefully coordinated attack on Brett Kavanaugh by Democrats in an attempt to thwart his confirmation to the Supreme Court. And if Ramirez isn’t a willing participant in the plot she’s one of its victims. She can blame these “Senate Democrats” who came around fishing for her if it blows up in her face.

The Descent into Progressive Madness by Victor Davis Hanson – “From Dianne Feinstein to John Kerry to Maxine Waters to Cory ‘Spartacus’ Booker, Democrats are losing their marbles.”

Ms. Blasey-Ford Attorney Casts Doubt on Appearance by sundance – “Ms. Ford cannot testify because there’s no truth in her sketchy accusations; this was a political stunt with no intention of testimony. So, with a deadline looming it is more likely her political lawyers will try to extricate Ford from their prior commitments.”

Here’s what Donald Trump is doing right by Andrew Malcolm – “Probably more than one child over the years asked a father how to handle an ominous schoolyard bully. The typical reply was to avoid a confrontation if possible.”

“But that advice often came with a warning that at some point it would likely come to physical confrontation, the only language bullies understand. And be prepared to fight.

The United States, its people, businesses, economy and intellectual properties have been pushed around for years in the rapidly evolving cyber-world.

To put it bluntly, we’ve been patsies. Our government, companies, infrastructure and institutions have been the targets of countless cyberattacks, feints and breaches.

To put it bluntly, official U.S. retaliation is now a real possibility, just as it was with the military during the long Cold War.

“It’s important for people to understand,” Bolton added, “that we’re not just on defense, as we have been primarily on defense for a period of time.”

Of course, the new idea, which is actually old, is that weakness invites attack. Strength and the credible willingness to use it discourage that. Obama was willing to threaten the use of force. Remember his infamous “red line” vow if Syria used chemical weapons?

Syria did. But President Obama did nothing. President Trump issued the same warning. Syria again used gas on civilians. Five dozen Tomahawk missiles aimed at the launching base promptly took out 17 percent of Syria’s air force.

Finally, it appears the U.S. is willing to demonstrate to adversaries the costs of engaging in anti-U.S. cyber operations is higher than they want to bear.

It will, no doubt, take a while — and probably some damaging retaliations — for those “malicious nation-state, criminal and terrorist actors” to fully grasp this administration’s new American attitude, determination and willingness to scrap back.

It’s the kind of stand-up posture that would make all those fathers of old, including mine, smile and nod.

Trump Buries The Old-World Order by Victor Davis Hanson – “the late 20-century global order of grand illusions had long ago gone comatose, but only now has been taken off life support.” … “Trump is blamed for ending the postwar order. But all he did was bury its corpse—very loudly and bigly.”

Obama Won by Victor Davis Hanson – “Yet in terms of culture, Obama clearly won.”

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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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Trade’s art of the deal

Trump’s Deal with the EU Is Democrat Nightmare by Roger L Simon – “This is the beginning of a massive free trade deal between Europe and the U.S. with zero tariffs outside the auto industry.”

“If even half of it comes true, there will be a (okay, why not?) YUUUGE growth in trade benefitting both sides of the Atlantic.

Forget porn stars. Forget tapes. Forget evil Vlad and Rocket Man. Forget insulting our NATO partners (whatever that means). Forget that pseudo-socialist with the hyphenated name. Forget Mueller, sleazy Strzok , Adam “Leaker” Schiff, Fingers Clapper, Knuckles Brennan, Rocko Rosenstein, or any of the sordid crew. Forget even Twitter! (well, maybe). By comparison, those are all sideshows. As everyone knows, in politics, “It’s the economy, stupid!”

Or, put another way, “It’s the art of the deal.”

In Trade, Trump Foreign Policy Trump Makes A Deal by John Hinderaker – “Do you suppose the AP will ever admit that Trump was right all along?”

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Loss of faith in ourselves? Glimmers of hope, reams of dread

Civilization – Is The West History: Episode 06 Work [YouTube 47 min] by Niall Ferguson “argues that the real threat to our survival is our loss of faith not in religion but in ourselves.” In the series he bumps up against everything from slavery to eugenics to climate alarmism. In the last few minutes of his last episode, he crawls over the bumps and barriers to his “is the West history” worry. Read the comments and you can see his worry has justification.

The Limits of American Patience by Victor Davis Hanson – “Not being willing any longer to be manipulated is not succumbing to isolationism.”

“Wondering whether the United States can afford another liability is not mindless nationalism. Questioning whether America can afford the status quo here and abroad is not heresy. Assuming we can borrow our way out of any inconvenience is largely over.

What helped elect Trump was a collective weariness with demands put on a country $20 trillion in debt. America is currently running a $57 billion a month trade deficit.

Donald Trump’s presidency is many things, but there is one common denominator with all that has transpired since November 2016. The once unimaginable can become normal. When the veneer of conventional wisdom and practice is torn off, Americans learn that was not much there underneath after all, whether that idea is that we can never question open borders or Chinese commercial cheating—or whether it is complacency in our penchant to keep borrowing without worries over tomorrow.

Can we just say it? Loretta Lynch is lying by Jazz Shaw – “What’s most insulting here is the way that Lynch can shrug off the obvious and simply smirk at the nation, knowing that she will never be definitively exposed. And she has to know it. Captain Louis Renault would be more believable saying that he had no idea about gambling going on in the casino.”

The raid on Trump’s lawyer: Why? And why now? By Thomas Lifson – “we can only speculate as to the motives for a thermonuclear escalation of tactics being used against President Trump, in the effort to reverse the presidential election of 2016.”

“They have extended the fishing expedition to include seizure of protected communications between the president and his lawyers, now in the hands of the FBI, the same agency that has been stonewalling Congressional investigation into its behavior in launching the surveillance of the Trump campaign on charges of collusion with Russia. It should be noted that no evidence whatsoever of such collusion has been developed and made public, which has to be a deep embarrassment at a minimum.

‘Deafening Silence of ACLU’ After Raid on Trump Lawyer ‘Really Appalling’ As seen on Hannity – Alan Dershowitz reacted to a federal raid on the office of President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen. Dershowitz said it is a “dangerous day today for lawyer-client relations.”

The Mueller coup by Don Surber – “Robert Mueller’s unconstitutional raid on the president’s lawyer — with Democratic Party operatives grabbing privileged communications — is the last straw. Mueller should not be firedMueller should be arrested and charged with political espionage.”

“Sadly, this unconstitutional spectacle is only the latest attempt by the Democratic Party to invalidate the last election and overthrow the president.

If you vote for any Democrat from senator down to county surveyor this year, you are condoning this un-American activity

The FBI Escalates Its War on the Trump Administration by John Hinderaker – “It is blindingly obvious that this whole story, and the leak thereof, is a political attack on President Trump by the Democratic Party.”

“So here’s the situation: the Special Democratic Party Prosecutor and the Department of Justice, in the person of the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, have nothing better to do than investigate a 12-year-old, one-night consensual encounter involving Donald Trump. Apparently, actual crime in New York is a thing of the past. Organized crime is extinct; political corruption is non-existent; illegal immigration has ceased; violent crime is unknown. Stormy Daniels is the most pressing item on the law enforcement agenda.

We are witnessing, as Scott says, “a political death struggle with the authorities operating under [President Trump’s] nominal control.” President Trump and his loyal appointees need to assert the powers that the voters have given them.

The President’s Trump Card For Spending Restraint by Stephen Moore and James Carter – “The White House is seriously considering a strategy to cancel tens of billions of dollars of wasteful spending in the $1.3 trillion budget.” It’s easier to rescind than it is to allocate.

a political death struggle with the authorities operating under [President Trump’s] nominal control.”

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Awareness creeping in – but only sometimes

The leftist next door by Paul Mirengoff – “As more information becomes available, we learn that Rene Boucher, the man who assaulted and seriously injured Rand Paul, is (as John suggested) a rabidly anti-Trump leftist.” … “Add up the Antifa rioting, the campus shout-downs, and the two sets of assaults on congressional Republicans, and I say we already have a serious problem.”

Cost Benefits of Switching to Solar: A State-by-State Guide by Andy Bowen – “The ITC is a 30% federal tax credit for residential and commercial solar systems. It’s a dollar-for-dollar reduction in income taxes that would otherwise be paid to the federal government.” Bowen provides an example of what happens when you ‘drink the Kool-Aid’, swallowed the propaganda hook, line, and sinker and have left the planet.

The advantages of solar power and other renewable energy sources are colossal, and arguably necessary for our survival. On solar, the electric grid becomes more efficient and resilient to natural disasters (including hail) and disruptions — not to mention scalable to the 1.3 billion people on our planet living without electricity. On solar, power becomes cleaner, moving us that much closer toward the net zero goal advocated by climate researchers. But the benefits don’t stop there.

colossal” and “necessary for our survival” ? How on earth did man survive before the invention of solid state electronics? What are the implications of taking 30% of your expenses from other persons by the force of government to support your fantasies? What happens to a society that is not rational about its use of money and denies the reality of the actual costs, all of the costs, of its decisions (consider: the zoo animals are under threat of starvation and predation in Venezuela reported this morning)

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Detailing a puzzling derangement

Paul Mirengoff wonders Guardrails or roadblocks? – It’s about the puzzling case of Charles Krauthammer’s Trump Derangement Syndrome. You’d think Dr. Krauthammer should know better as he was specially trained to observe and analyze human behavior as a psychiatrist. There is a lot of deviant behavior to observe and it isn’t from Trump. Krauthammer should perhaps consider himself. For instance, what is it the drives him to insert “unfit” opinions into a discussion with Tucker? Mirengoff details other puzzling behavioral expressions from Krauthammer. “Careening recklessness” is as indicative as “unfit” as these are judgments, not opinions or observations. Phrases like these tell the discerning observer about the talker and his guardrails.

The estimable Charles Krauthammer celebrates five instances in which, he says, the “guardrails” of our democracy “held against the careening recklessness of” President Trump.

far from being a guardrail to democracy, when generals say no to the president they threaten it. After all, generals are not elected by the American people.

Two of the three rejecting Senators — Murkowski and McCain — campaigned on the promise of supporting repeal of Obamacare. I fail to see how they struck a blow for democracy when they violated their promise to voters.

Of the other three examples Krauthammer cites, only one has anything to do with democracy.

One more point on guardrails. They exist on only one side of the road. If the Democrats regain power, they will not be in evidence.

Just because President Obama was smooth doesn’t mean he didn’t careen recklessly. He did, which is a major reason why we have President Trump.

The big hurdle that the never Trumpers have to mount in their allegations of “unfit” or “idiot” or similar is the record of events. The behaviors used to ignore, hide, or obfuscate this hurdle to satisfy innate feelings and prejudice is what should be of interest to a psychiatrist.

John Hinderaker exposes more of the mud in the swamp: Comey’s FBI Lied About Lynch-Clinton Meeting – “The Department of Justice has finally responded to ACLJ’s FOIA request with a small number of documents.” This foot dragging is another area where the new AG might put some attention.

There are only two possibilities here: either someone at the FBI destroyed documents relating to the Bureau’s communications about the Lynch/Clinton meeting, or someone at the FBI lied in response to ACLJ’s FOIA request. Federal agencies have personnel dedicated to responding to FOIA requests, and presumably the people who carry out this relatively mundane task would not lie or destroy documents without instructions from the top.

Lynch’s DOJ created talking points about the meeting, but they apparently are secret, as they were redacted from all of the emails that contained them. How a FOIA exception could apply to those talking points, which were designed to be shared with reporters, is a mystery. But that is how the Obama administration responded to all FOIA requests on controversial matters: with evasion and obfuscation if not with outright lies. And President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions do not yet, and may not ever, control the Department of Justice.

Luboš Motl: Gary North, Mojmír Hampl on fatal volatility of cryptocurrencies – “Don’t be afraid of bitcoin.” This is making sense of a current fad.

By the “fear”, Hampl means that the cryptocurrencies don’t really represent any “competitor” to the fiat currencies.

The key reason why the cryptocurrencies aren’t really competitive with the fiat currencies is that they lack what is perhaps the most important defining virtue of any currency: its predictable value relatively to the things that people will need to buy for them, the reason why they accept and hold the currencies in the first place. I wrote these things many times.

Hampl says that the price stability is also the main task of the central banks like his. In particular, when he asks the people what’s the “money supply” in Czechia, people usually don’t have a clue but they more or less know what the latest inflation rate is. That’s because the latter is much more important for the usability of the currency than the former!

The fact that the number of Bitcoins in circulation is known – and will go towards 21 million – implies that the amount of “real things” in the inflation basket you may buy for one Bitcoin is not predictable. And that’s bad. The kids who spread the Bitcoin and blockchain ideas as a gospel may understand some technical algorithms but they don’t understand something that is much more important for an economic proposal – basics of economics. The central banks are effectively adjusting the money supply (through the interest rates or extraordinarily measures) in order to keep the money’s value predictable – because the predictable value of the money is what makes them so useful and optimizes the performance of the economic players who use them in their activities and planning. So the variable money supply of a fiat currency is a good thing, not a bad thing – because it’s a necessary condition for the stability of quantities whose stability or predictability is important! This stabilization of the money’s value is what Hampl calls the “elastic money”.

There is ignorance and some is driven by fantasies. It becomes a problem when it drives behavior.

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Circling the drain?

Jazz Shaw reports on fiscal situations in both Venezuela and Connecticut: Venezuela is now either Cuba or North Korea – “The vote was, of course, largely a sham.” This is why election integrity and voter fraud are concerns, but only if it is the will of the people that are paramount. That is why the Left’s opposition to verifying election integrity is indicative.

The “vote” in Venezuela yesterday went largely as expected, with the government of tyrant Nicolas Maduro claiming that upwards of eight million people voted to essentially wipe out the elected legislature and replace it with some window dressing which essentially makes him dictator of the country. This is a condition which could last for his entire life unless his people manage to find a way to oust him from office.

the real losers in all of this will be the Venezuelan people. They are currently starving while living on some of the richest farmland on the continent and their government is almost bankrupt while sitting atop some of the largest proven crude oil reserves in the world. These are the fruits of socialism. Watch closely if you are cheering for similar policies in the United States.

And then there is Connecticut is circling the drain financially – “This is one of those situations where we might be able to take two seemingly incongruous facts and put them together to find a deeper meaning.”

Fact number one: Connecticut is one of the richest states in the nation depending how you measure such things. Fact number two: Connecticut has managed to run up nearly $75B in debt and is teetering on the edge of being in worse financial shape than Puerto Rico. (The Daily Beast)

How many states do we need to see this story unfold in before we realize that this formula simply doesn’t work? And we’ve got the same problem looming on the horizon for the federal government. The responsibility of saving for a long term income above and beyond social security falls on the shoulders of the worker in the real world. The days of privately funded, fat retirement plans in the private sector are essentially gone. But the government continues to keep up with this unsustainable system on all levels. Sooner or later the chickens will come home to roost. That’s already happening in the liberal paradise of Connecticut. Perhaps everyone can learn a lesson from their errors.

David Horowitz: Why the Middle East Is a Disaster via John Hinderaker at Powerline.

In fact, the primary cause of the disasters in the Middle East is the Democratic Party’s sabotage of the War in Iraq. Democrats first voted to authorize the armed overthrow of Iraq’s terror regime but within three months of its inception reversed their position 180 degrees and declared the war “immoral, illegal & unnecessary.” The reason for the Democrats’ reversal on the war had nothing to do with the war itself or the so-called absence of weapons of mass destruction, but was rather a political response to the fact that an anti-war Democrat, Howard Dean, was running away with their presidential nomination. It was this that caused John Kerry and his party to forget that the war was about Saddam’s defiance of 17 UN Security Council resolutions, and refusal to allow the UN inspectors to carry out their efforts to ascertain whether he had destroyed his chemical and biological arsenals.

The path to rectifying these disasters and to stopping Islamic genocides of “infidels” in the Middle East, is first of all to restore America’s active presence in the region, taking a firm stance against radical Islamic terrorism. This is an effort which, thankfully, the Trump administration has already begun. Second, it is to make America’s policy firmly and consistently anti-terrorist, which the Trump administration has not yet done. This would mean, for example, cutting off all funds to the terrorist Palestinian Authority and the Hamas government in Gaza, and halting all “peace” negotiations until the Palestinians renounce terror and support Israel’s right to exist.

The lesson to remember in all this is that despite its human weaknesses and flaws, America is still the only great power in the world today that cares about human dignity and decency and has the wherewithal to defend them and the peace.

Hinderaker also notes Kip Hansen provides a useful corrective at Watts Up With That on the ‘plastics are forever’ doomsday cult. “The simple fact is that plastics do degrade in the environment, especially in the ocean (and lakes, streams, rivers).” … “Does that mean that we should dump plastic objects into the ocean? Obviously not. Hansen concludes with some common sense observations” and Hinderaker applauds.

If anyone ever advocates capital punishment for those who throw trash off the decks of cruise ships, I’m in. Sometimes, when talking to an environmentalist who goes on and on about global warming, etc., I like to change the subject and talk about littering and what can be done to stop it. Litter (including plastics) is, in my view, the most serious environmental issue, albeit one that never seems to be of much interest to environmentalists who can raise much more money by talking about global warming.

Also at WUWT, Ross McKitrick: In the fight between Rick Perry and climate scientists — He’s winning – “Policy makers and the public need to understand the extent to which major scientific institutions like the American Meteorological Society have become biased and politicized on the climate issue.”

Perry’s response prompted a letter of protest from Keith Seitter, executive director of the American Meteorological Society.

It is noteworthy that the meteorological society remained completely silent over the years when senior Democratic administration officials made multiple exaggerated and untrue statements in service of global warming alarmism.

But the meteorological society leapt to condemn Perry for a cautious response to an awkward question.

Furthermore, Seitter’s letter invites skepticism. It pronounces confidently on causes of global warming “in recent decades” even though this is where the literature is most disputed and uncertain. … But to the meteorological society, the fact that these and many other questions are unresolved does not prevent them from insisting on uniformity of opinion.

Elections, Finances, Wars, and Science. All subject to wishful thinking and ideological fantasies taking precedence over intellectual integrity.

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