Archive for compare contrast

What is “The Whole Truth?”

The American Council on Science and Health has two of note this morning. Ruth Kava writes that These Chickens Can’t Cross The Road – “The Organic Consumers Association avers that organic foods since they supposedly contain no pesticides, GMOs or other such “dangerous” items, are better for you.”

But an exposé recently published in the Chicago Tribune begs to differ.

Writing specifically about Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch, located in Saranac, Michigan, journalist Peter Whoriskey notes that Herbruck’s is probably responsible for around ten percent of all the eggs sold in the US. His information belies the common misconceptions about organic chicken production.

while organic proponents may feel good about the supposed lack of pesticides and GMOs in their chickens, as far as the birds go, being raised organically isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.

Alex Berezow: Call junk science by its rightful name: Fake news – “The future of our republic depends on a properly informed electorate.” He takes up a list of his ten favorite junk fads and buzzwords.

By dumping these and other buzzwords, our society will be smarter, healthier and more scientifically savvy. In a world in which alternative facts are gaining ground, it’s past time to junk junk science.

Robert Knight: Rooting out vote fraud – “Why the vote fraud panel frightens the left.” It is getting so easy to compare and contrast the hypocrisy, double standards, and bullying behavior.

Judging by the unhinged reaction this past week to the first public meeting of President Trump’s blue-ribbon voter fraud panel, progressives are terrified.

They’re fearful that these election experts are actually going to do the job they’ve been given — uncovering the extent to which the nation’s voter rolls are vulnerable to fraudulent activity. How else to explain the panic and shots fired before the commission even met?

but surely he’s heard about the Democrats’ and the media’s obsessive Russian conspiracy theories. Bet he won’t tell them to shut up and get a grip.

Falsely accusing their opponents of racism, homophobia or jingoism has become the left’s default tactic when they aren’t rioting in the streets, shutting down campus speakers or shooting Republicans at a softball practice.

The progressive left is certainly afraid. They loathe scrutiny, and honorable men and women revealing the truth. We’re still waiting for that “civility” and “tolerance” that we heard so much about before Mr. Trump was sworn in.

Meanwhile, let’s hope and pray that the vote fraud commissioners, like the man who appointed them, have thick skins.

Rowan Scarborough: Fact-checkers drawn into heated debate over number of noncitizens who vote illegally – The defense of the Left is an assault on all fronts.

A right-leaning fact-checker is fighting critics on the left who say its conclusion that a lot of noncitizens vote illegally is bunk.

The online battle of debunking and rebuttal is playing out as a much larger war has erupted between President Trump’s commission on election integrity and Democratic state leaders. They are refusing to provide the panel with public voter registration data. Left-wing groups are suing to stop the commission’s work, which could settle the noncitizen debate by collecting enough data.

One way to settle the noncitizen debate could be the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. The co-chairmen, Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, want the states to provide what is normally public voter registration data.

Democrat-led states are stonewalling the commission, and a leader of this resistance is Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Bruce Fein: Recasting Trump’s election integrity commission – “Supreme Court, Constitution offer guidance for voter fraud probing.” The argument offered here brings to mind the special prosecutor investigation and just how far down the tubes an expectation of responsibility in government has gone such that excess micro-managing is needed.

The EO should be narrowed to examining whether a cluster of federal laws prohibiting non-citizens from registration or voting have been adequately enforced by U.S. Attorneys or the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice. The President, after all, is constitutionally entrusted with of taking care that the laws be faithfully executed under Article II, section 3.

Concrete evidence of non-citizen voting is not required to justify an Advisory Commission investigation.

Enforcement of our federal prohibitions on non-citizen voting is too important to be left to conjecture or speculation.

Jeffrey Folks: To Sink Trump Is to Sink Ordinary Americans – “The left is determined to sink the Trump presidency.”

Obviously, the left hates Trump with a vengeance, but what they despise even more is the average American with his dream of freedom and opportunity.

Hillary Clinton let it slip when she mocked the “basket of deplorables,” those whom she accused of racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and Islamophobia. Having at first insisted that “half” of Trump voters fall into these categories, she then retreated from that figure: it was somewhat less than half who are deplorable.

Rarely has a presidential candidate been so candid and so obtuse at the same time, for “deplorable” is exactly what the left thinks of average Americans. And for that reason, Trump’s presidency cannot be allowed to succeed, even if sinking Trump means sinking the country. The left is willing to savage our economy, trash health care, weaken our national defense, and lose the fight against terrorism just to see that the deplorables are kept in their place. That is the central motive of the anti-Trump forces.

It is important to understand the true source of the left’s disdain. It has nothing to do with policy or the good of the country. It is, in effect, closely aligned with the psychology of racism – the need of defensive groups to transfer their uncertainties to an object of scorn.

This is a dangerous state of affairs. The left’s brazenness is something new, and something that holds the potential for great danger.

In order to remain a cohesive movement, leftism, which has no positive agenda, must continue to ramp up hatred of its opponents. It has come to resemble a “pack” motivated by instincts of power rather than a source of civil debate.

Chicago Tribune: The bill for treating a gunshot wound: $21,000 for the first 35 minutes – It is about the costs of gun violence as if it is the weapon used that is the problem. Why the medical expenses are so high and the role of government sponsored payments for those expenses in the costs are only considered to emphasize the problem. Then there is the elephant in the room:

The data are further confirmation of how skewed gun violence is along racial and socio-economic lines. Nearly two-thirds of the hospital inpatients treated for injuries suffered as a result of firearm assault were black males ages 15 to 44, the data showed.

That is the second part of the problem that is being ignored. Putting up gun laws is so easy and makes one feel so good it doesn’t matter if they have any impact or not. Trying to address the underlying problems is hard and brings the pain home in the form of dashed dreams and fantasies.

The Washington Examiner is showing its bias in asking for The whole truth. It is assuming it doesn’t have it. This is what someone does when they don’t get the answers they want:

Perhaps the only way for Trump to prevent an ever-expanding investigation, to keep things focused narrowly on questions of alleged collusion with Russia, and to make sure nobody gets dragged into side matters, is for all the president’s men to tell the whole truth rather than either to invite perjury investigations or to give technically true answers that actually conceal the real story and thus invite futher probing.

The fact is that the administration has been remarkably open and transparent. The fact is that witch hunts like the Russian Collusion Conspiracy are never prevented by reality and facts or even by a complete lack of foundation – as is readily visible in this case. For example:

This was not illegal, as far as we can tell, although seeking dirt from such a source was politically boneheaded and morally compromising. Nor is it illegal, unseemly though it is, to veil the truth in one’s public statements. Trump Jr. could even argue that he said nothing clearly false.

i.e. there is nothing there so we have to cast judgments such as “boneheaded and morally compromising.” The request for “the whole truth” is revealed as a never-ending demand for a falsehood that supports preconceived judgments and desires and a denial of reality. It’s gotcha’ politics.

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4/2/2017: The Narrative: compare and contrast

Jazz Shaw dissects the propaganda on Government shutdowns: a tale of two media narratives – “The next chapter of the Resist! movement is beginning to build up a head of steam and it centers around the possibility that an impasse on spending authorization could lead to a government shutdown.”

Sounds absolutely heroic, doesn’t it? The party in power can be brought to heel if the Democrats can cleverly exercise their power.

Compare that to a different story. This one was unfolding in October of 2013.

That seems… different somehow, doesn’t it? “Bracing” for a shutdown. Republicans are “demanding” while President Obama and Senate Democrats were heroically “refusing to give in.” The nasty old GOP “prefers keeping the government closed.”

So if the GOP is in the minority and they obstruct the passage of a spending bill, they get the blame. But if they are in control and the Democrats are in the minority and out of the White House… the GOP gets the blame. See how that works? Get ready for more of the same as the end of April gets closer if we don’t have some sort of viable budget deal on the horizon. I just wanted to put this out there as an early stake in the ground because you can smell the narrative coming like a cow patty on a griddle.

The propaganda will likely remain the same but, if Shaw is any indication, its perfidy will be a topic for discussion and exposure for what it is.

The Weekend Pundit has wisdom on a A Purely Defensive (And Understandable) Move where the SJW crowd went hyperbolic in outrage.

I find it interesting, but unsurprising, that the Left has lost its friggin’ mind over the revelation that Mike Pence prefers not to dine alone with women who are not his wife.

While Pence has both religious and moral reasons for doing so, many other men understand the risk entailed by doing so. Considering the hostile environment created by the various feminist groups, SJW’s, and the perpetually offended Left, it’s no wonder no sane man would want to put himself into a position that has a high risk of destroying his reputation, or worse, his career. Call it a necessary defensive move in a situation created by the very same people who are now slamming Pence for publicly stating his preferences and the reason behind them.

Just consider the recent brouhaha about due process in Colleges regarding alleged rape or the Anita Hill situation or the news about the assault on Bill O’Reilly as part of the ongoing Fox News assault. For the Left, Gender is a weapon.

Jay Caruso: Media Bias Goes Far Beyond Language – “Kellyanne Conway was profiled in New York magazine, and the photos are typical of the portrayals of conservatives.” The bread and butter of photographers is to tell a story without telling it. The picture tells it and it is a matter of the impression the photograph leaves the viewer. Caruso dissects a case study.

Recently, New York magazine published a profile piece on Donald Trump’s White House counselor and campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway. The profile itself is well written, and overall I found it to be fair and interesting. That said, when I saw the accompanying photos, I couldn’t help but be taken aback. I’ve been a photographer for over 20 years, and I’ve done editorial and corporate headshots before. What I saw in New York magazine is something I would never present to a client.

Thomas Burke: Co-opting Jesus’ Name – anything is a weapon and there are no constraints about how it is used! The foil in this case is Nicholas Kristof writing a satirical opinion piece in the New York Times:And Jesus Said Unto Paul of Ryan…”,

The American progressive Left frequently decries the use of the name of Jesus Christ for political gain. I’ve heard this personally in conversation and read it in many articles, and the condemnation is often intense, claiming that co-opting Christ’s name or actions to argue public policy, especially by those on the Right claiming to be Christian, is plainly disingenuous and despicable.

Another baseline: if you talk to leaders in the church about helping their communities, you may hear them speak in terms of relief versus development. … Looking at our most expansive and expensive entitlement programs in the U.S. — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the ACA, SNAP — they are all by definition relief programs. They provide no long-term ability for their recipients to better their lives and remove themselves from the program.

What Kristof’s column really boils down to is money. It echoes a Socialist paradigm in which the making of money is evil because money itself is evil. Kristof and others attempt to use the words of Christ to authenticate this belief.

The irony about pieces like Kristof’s is they commit the exact offense the American Left accuses conservative Christians of committing: co-opting Jesus’s name to score political points.

John J. Vecchione: The Congressional Review Act and a deregulatory agenda for Trump’s second year – this is a Congressional tool dug out of the dust in the shed whose purpose is resolving problems with Executive over-reach. Vecchione explains what a CRA is and how it works.

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Trying to have it both ways. At the same time.

George Neumayr: Yes, Obama Did Investigate Trump – “After all the parsing at the Comey hearing, that remains the bottom line.”

Straining at the tweet and swallowing the camel has become Washington’s favorite pursuit, and it was on tiresome display at Monday’s Congressional hearing with Jim Comey. Out of it came two clashing headlines: “Comey Denies Obama Ordered Wiretapping on Trump,” “The FBI is Investigating Trump’s Links to Russia.”

In other words, the core claim underlying Trump’s tweets is true: people acting on the authority of Obama opened an investigation into Trump’s campaign, then criminally leaked mention of it to friendly news outlets in an attempt to derail his election. When is Obama going to apologize for that?

Notice that even the shorthand of the media’s headlines bears out the shorthand of Trump’s tweets. Some of them say that the FBI is investigating “campaign associates,” but others say that the FBI is investigating “Trump.” For all the partisan angling, blather, and word games, Trump and these newspapers finally agree: Obama was investigating him.

Roger Kimball: The Nothing Burger Gets Flipped – “I did learn something about the possibilities for political grandstanding that such meetings afford.”

Democratic representative after Democratic representative used his or her time not so much to ask questions but to deliver little sermons on the perfidy of Donald Trump and various people associated with his campaign or administration …

It wasn’t quite “Are you now or have you ever been . . .” but it was close. …

My own feeling is that the Dems must be very, very worried to go down that street. And what did it all add up to? Nada. Which is to say, rien. Nichts. Zilch. Nothing.

There actually was one bit of news. If you are looking for a crime in this whole scenario, the one crime we know was committed was when someone “unmasked” Mike Flynn’s name and leaked it to the press in connection with a couple of exchanges he had with the Russian ambassador. That, as was stressed by Republican interlocutors as well as by James Comey, was a felony punishable by up to 10 years in the slammer.

Joel B. Pollak finds a different nugget in the hearings.

The mainstream media have been doing a victory lap since the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National Security Agency (NSA) confirmed on Monday in testimony before the U.S. House Intelligence Committee that President Barack Obama did not wiretap Trump Tower. But that was already known.

There was only one new revelation at the hearing, and it was a bombshell: senior Obama administration officials could have known the identities of surveillance targets.

Monday’s hearing “debunked” Trump’s wiretapping tweets, but left his underlying claim intact: that there was surveillance of the Trump campaign; that the results were shared throughout the government — even possibly reaching the Obama White House; and that intelligence was leaked, illegally, to the mainstream media.

John Sexton notes a Putin critic to Democrats: Don’t let the Russia story become a ‘crutch’ – “Democrats have already posed a whole string of unworkable solutions to undo this election—from recounts to Russia.”

Politico Magazine published an interview with Masha Gessen Monday. Gessen is a journalist who has written a book critical of Vladmir Putin, but today she warns that Democrats seem to be heading down a dangerous political path in their attempts to resist the Trump administration. Interviewer Susan Glasser asked Gessen about falling into “the conspiracy trap.”

On misdirected debates, consider NEA funding (now that the Meals on Wheels Fake News is fading). Jazz Shaw says The Left remains confused about why there is opposition to NEA funding – confused it may be but it is definitely trying to argue a debate by changing the subject.

The arts, like everything else in society, can rise and fall on their own merit. The reason that we don’t have tremendous federal funding supporting the creation of blockbuster Hollywood movies is that such offerings tend to be popular and the business of making them is profitable. Creating paintings, sculpture, poetry or theatrical performances may not be as profitable, but if it has value to sufficient people, patrons may be found to support the work. If no such patronage is forthcoming then perhaps the “art” is better left to the lonely artist toiling away in their studio.

If we are going to have to have this debate all over again perhaps we could leave Robert Mapplethorpe out of it this time. It’s really not about him or the “piss Christ” or Andy Warhol’s paintings of soup cans. It’s about the government’s responsibility to handle taxpayer dollars with care and in an appropriate fashion.

It also looks as if the ‘Anita Hill” gambit is being pursued on the Gorsuch hearings. Ed Morrissey says Of course: “Former student” attacking Gorsuch also former Udall aide – “Margaret Hartmann’s article neglects some important context — as do the quotes themselves.”

This has become part of the tradition in Senate confirmations generally, and in judicial confirmations in particular — finding any remark that can be twisted out of context into making a nominee look bigoted or biased. Perhaps that propensity in judicial nominations comes from the heavy reliance on colloquy using hypotheticals in legal education, but it also appears in other confirmations as well. It’s part of a disturbing trend since Robert Bork that requires presidential nominees to be as bland and opinionless as possible, rather than focus on achievement and perspective in a healthier manner. The unending “gotcha” games have turned the confirmation process into a character-assassination endurance arena that leaves everyone damaged in the end, not the least of which is the American public.

The contradictions in what is in plain view are incredible.

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3/15/2017: Conspiracy theories

Remember stories about artillery guns that could fire several rounds at different trajectories so they’d all land on the same target at the same time? The news today seems like that.

Tammy Bruce: Send in the bullies – “Now out of power, Democrats deploy aggression toward high-profile targets.”

Watching White House press secretary Sean Spicer get verbally attacked at an Apple store by an unhinged activist was bizarre, but not entirely surprising as the left continues its meltdown over being rejected by the American people. It also may not have been a coincidence, but another organized effort to intimidate not just their target, but anyone else who does not pay allegiance to the leftist agenda.

Even stalwart liberals understand the problem with this bizarre nonsense of physically impeding and attacking people with whom you disagree politically.

Despite liberal leadership efforts to keep the real nature of their activist base underground, their creation of ignorant bullies highlights why they still have no clue why voters have stripped them of power not just in Washington, but also in statehouses across the country.

In the same week that Mr. Spicer was attacked, a man vandalized Trump Tower by throwing eggs at the facade. … In another incident in Los Angeles, vandals destroyed a portion of the grass at a Trump golf course.

Even a casual observer would find surprising the aggressive and sometimes criminal behavior of liberals and leftists since Mr. Trump was elected. Consider these bullies hail from the same crowd that for years has been baying for “safe spaces,” puppies and kittens during midterms, and an end to “triggers” that disturb their personal sense of well-being.

Meanwhile, Sanctuary Cities, a bullies safe haven concept, have increased to a count of 500 according to The Ohio Jobs and Justice Political Action Committee. Why? Due to bullying, of course. In further disregard for law and order …

Cheryl K. Chumley tells the tale of theft of Trump tax returns: Rachel Maddow, done in by her own ‘fake news’ mouth – it appears the administration was anticipating this which is not odd considering that there have been rewards posted seeking felonious release of privileged personal data. It’s almost as if it were a setup and MSNBC took the bait (see Ed Morrissey for more on this idea in Backup theory: Trump leaked his own tax returns?).

By the time Maddow got to that information, she had moved from the arena of “scoop” into one of “confirmation.” Her highly promoted exclusive turned into little more than a “yes, that’s right” to a formal White House release of data.

“You know you are desperate for ratings when you are willing to violate the law to push a story about two pages of tax returns from over a decade ago,” a Trump spokesperson said in a statement.

That’s the big story, though, isn’t it? Maddow tried to paint Trump as a tax-dodger, as a thief and robber baron who refused to release his tax records to the public because he had something to hide. But paying that many millions of dollars in taxes?

The Daily Caller points out that the new information disproves the premise of a major NYT story on Oct 1 and says “NYT Eats Crow After Trump Tax Return Proves Major Story Wrong.” But no crow eating is likely as reveals of the Fake News Pattern like this just tend to stimulate digging deeper holes. There have also been several references to the opening of Al Capone’s vault in the punditry to place the story in perspective …

William Layer: The Second Amendment as an individual right – “For the grammarian and the historian, the meaning is crystal-clear.”

Since San Bernardino, Sandy Hook, Columbine et al., the “progressives,” the media and their acolytes have beaten their chests calling for even stricter gun restrictions, although the most restrictive states and cities that have the highest crime. They insist that the Second Amendment does not apply to individuals, but only to the National Guard, even though the modern Guard did not come into existence until the Dick Act of 1903. To them, the Supreme Court decisions in Heller v. District of Columbia and McDonald v. Chicago affirming an individual right are mistaken, a conclusion reachable only by abjuring grammar and history.

The Founders’ classical education made them realistically fearful of government power. They knew well what had befallen the Roman Republic and that tyrannies were only possible when the people lacked the means to resist. The chaos and oppression of the English Civil War and the Glorious Revolution’s short-circuiting of the Stuart’s divine right ambitions were fixed in their minds as was the English Bill of Rights (1689) which, although limited to Protestants, secured an Englishman’s right to arms. However, the roots go even further back, to the “Trained Bandes,” locals called up to defend the realm as Elizabeth I did when the Armada threatened England. Englishmen provided their own accouterments according to their station. Likewise, the chronic war with France in which for over a century frontier settlements were attacked, settlers massacred or carried off into Indian slavery meant colonists had to protect themselves.

The left’s assertion that America’s creators couldn’t foresee a firearm beyond a flintlock is the logical fallacy of presentism — we know better today.

What of the Second Amendment, then? It is most certainly individual, but more importantly, it does not grant a right; it affirms an existing one as surely as natural law recognizes every man’s right to self-defense.

On the Fallen Stars front, consider Douglas Ernst: Petraeus, retired generals fight NRA-backed gun bill for vets deemed ‘mentally defective’ – regarding opposition to “H.R. 629, which would prohibit the Department of Veterans Affairs from labeling veterans “mentally defective” if they use a fiduciary to navigate the system.” Hire someone to help with your taxes and be deemed mentally ill and therefore denied basic rights?

Jazz Shaw: The Dakota Access protest camps end as they thrived… a giant, expensive mess – this is about the “sacred land at the heart of the Dakota Access pipeline protest” and the $1.1 million needed to clean up the mess not to mention the animal rescue efforts for abandoned pets and the tribe’s lost revenue as access to its Casino was blocked.

If more reasonable people wish to hope for a truly positive outcome it should be to ensure that the developers live up to their word, employ best practices to prevent any spills or natural disruption and allow the surrounding land to return to its natural state. One pipeline running through the area after the vegetation is regrown in the animals return is going to be far less disruptive than thousands of coastal intruders dumping their trash everywhere and setting fires.

For a comparison and contrast, consider Burning Man. Not only are they charged an arm and a leg for 60k+ people dry camping on the desert, the organization polices its area after the activity on a strict no trace remaining basis and contributes to the local community to compensate for the disruption of the local lifestyle.

On the Russian collusion front, several stories are implicating the British. Allahpundit: Judge Napolitano: Three sources tell Fox News that Obama used the British NSA to secretly surveil Trump – “The president of the United States using a foreign intelligence agency to spy on the other party’s presidential candidate, for the obviously illicit purpose of erasing any domestic paper trail of his actions?” The conspiracy oriented folks have got something to chew on a bit more important than a birth certificate.

Sean Davis thinks this is a game of telephone gone bad inspired by the “Trump dossier,” which was compiled by a British ex-spy. … It wouldn’t be surprising if the Brits had offered some information related to the probe into Trump staffers’ relationships with Russia. It would be surprising, and big, big, biggggg news, if it turned out Obama had secretly sought access to Trump communications intercepted by the NSA by asking the Brits to access the system and then hand them over to the White House.

Ed Morrissey: Former Dem rep: I got wiretapped during Obama admininstration – “While Congress gears up for an investigation into Donald Trump’s allegations that the Obama administration had tapped lines at Trump Tower before the election, one former member of the House warns not to be too skeptical of the claim.”

Retired Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) told Bill O’Reilly last night that he discovered that a phone call with one of Moammar Qaddafi’s sons and himself got tapped and recorded, even though that violated the separation-of-powers doctrine. Kucinich even holds up redacted transcripts of the call as evidence that the intelligence community had gone beyond its boundaries on at least this occasion — which Kucinich only discovered after a recording of the call leaked to a media outlet

Kucinich is correct that any conversation with a member of Congress that doesn’t involve a criminal investigation should have been off limits to intelligence operatives. They should have disconnected at that point and referred the matter to the DoJ, which could have discussed the contact directly with Kucinich if they felt it was important enough to investigate. Instead, not only did they stay on the line, they retained the recording, transcribed it, and archived it — and eventually leaked it to the media while identifying Kucinich. That is a swipe at the separation of powers and the concept of co-equal branches, treads dangerously close to political interference, and it closely resembles what happened to Flynn.

The lesson here is that broad powers of surveillance will get used broadly, and the risk of abuse for political purposes is high. Congress should investigate Kucinich’s allegations along with Trump’s to see whether those abuses have happened, who knew about them, and whether agents had permission or orders to conduct it from political appointees in their organizations.

Another conspiracy idiom is described by John Sexton: Martha MacCallum vs. Ferguson documentary filmmaker – “I keep coming back to this story because we’re seeing the creation of a new progressive conspiracy theory before our eyes, one that could result in some very bad real world consequences.”

Jason Pollock, the director of the “documentary” Stranger Fruit has been all over television, literally screaming that the authorities failed or lied about Michael Brown’s murder. As you’ll see in this clip from Fox News, Pollock is now including the FBI and the Obama Department of Justice in his claims. None of them, apparently, ever wanted to get to the truth.

Pollock is doing a pretty good impression of Alex Jones here in more ways than one. The shouting, the body language, the paranoia and the suggestion that the real facts are being hidden by authorities with an agenda. All that’s left is for him to strip off his shirt.

This case has been looked at carefully and the the FBI, DOJ and prosecutors did not fail. We have the truth but some people, including Pollock, seem more interested in stirring up conspiracy theories.

Jazz Shaw says It’s come to this: High school basketball team apologizes for USA themed shirts – “it was the interviews with the students that really had my jaw dropping.”

If we’re to have a chat with anybody over this it probably shouldn’t be the players. Somebody needs to talk to the teachers. Obviously something has gone very wrong at that high school if this is the response that the site of an American flag elicits.

John Hinderaker : A Pro-Environment Judge Is a Bad Judge – “The role of a judge is not to be a “friend” or “foe” of the environment. It is to apply the facts of the case before him to the laws that Congress (or a state legislature) has enacted. Does the Associated Press really not understand this?”

There is no “but” about it. A competent judge will rule for or against a party based on the law and the facts, not the identity of the parties. Only a corrupt judge–we have several such liberals on the current Supreme Court–will ascertain a political narrative and vote to advance it.

The AP inadvertently confers high praise on Gorsuch: “He follows the law,” said Merrill Davidoff, the landowners’ attorney. “And in this case the law favored the plaintiffs — the landowners — not the government or the government contractors.”

There is one major contemporary issue on which judicial philosophy bears strongly. That is the legitimacy of the administrative state.

Our Constitution does not establish rule by “experts,” it establishes rule by the people. I hope that soon-to-be-justice Gorsuch understands that.

The Coyote wonders about the Media, too. The Continuing Climate Disconnect and the Climate Bait and Switch – “This is just tremendously frustrating, in part because climate alarmists (at least in the media) don’t seem to understand their own theory.”

I am at an impasse. Here is my dilemma: I don’t know if the media is purposely obfuscating the climate debate or whether they are just ignorant and scientifically illiterate. For now, because I am a happy soul that does not like making dark assumptions about other people’s motivations, so I am going to give the media the benefit of the doubt and just assume they are ignorant. But it is getting harder to reach this conclusion, because for it to be ignorance, it has to be serial ignorance lasting many years and crossing thousands of people.

There is a third alternative. It is one many miss but shows up in stories such as cited today. It is the psychological hypothesis that considers denial, dissonance, cognitive bias and related behavior. I takes effort to lift perceptions and judgment out of the emotional swamp and to be aware of the influence of desires and fantasies lead. To not consider this realm is to avoid an hypothesis that can aid understanding of what might otherwise be puzzling behavior.

On the Trump front, IBT notes the Biggest Untold Story Under Trump: The Surge In Optimism After 8 Years Of ‘Hope-n-Change’ – “We’ve been cataloging the sharp upturn in optimism since Donald Trump won the November election, and the Business Roundtable has just added a new one to the pile. Not that you’d know about from the endless media dirge.”

The recent surge in optimism among job creators should be a clear enough rebuke to Obamanomics. And it should serve as a loud warning to those Democrats who are determined to stop Trump’s pro-growth agenda.

It should also be front page news.

You might think, from all the noise, that you are the target of an artillery barrage. More likely it is like close fire support hitting the ‘enemy’ on the front lines. The rounds are armed with transparency and information exploding the bulwarks of Fake News, conspiracy theories, and delusion. They do appear to be hitting vulnerable targets.

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2/20/2017: Eggshells being trod upon. Finally.

Walter Williams has Something to Think About today. One topic is Pawns of Liberals, where he asserts that “Ordinary black people cannot afford to go along with the liberal agenda that calls for undermining police authority.” The other is Minimum Wage and Discrimination – An issue not often included in minimum wage debates is the substitution effects of minimum wage increases.”

Alex Berezow: ‘March For Science’ Organizers Just Love Science. So Do 2nd Graders – “Oddly, the website for the “March for Science,” which was organized by scientists, reads a lot like what I wrote in 2nd grade.”

After weeks of planning, the site’s page on Principles and Goals continues to be filled with trite platitudes and clichés. The group’s science education policy? To teach people to “think critically.” A policy to advance careers in science? They “should be an option for anyone.” Science funding? They want more of it.

Believe it or not, this is actually a substantial improvement. The first iteration of the website was primarily concerned with diversity and poking fun at conservatives.

The co-founders of the march have had many high-profile opportunities to thoughtfully elaborate upon their mission. But, as the saying goes, they have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

It appears as if being elusive is a strategy.

I’ll get on board, pending satisfactory answers to the following serious policy questions: [about vaccinations, GMO, nuclear, risk, fracking, climate, etc]

These are just a handful of the science policy questions I would like to see addressed. Pleading for more evidence-based policy means absolutely nothing when the march organizers won’t tell us what those policies are.

In the ‘feel good’ rhetoric category is also Daniel Pipes and Christopher C. Hull who look at putting it aside to get a job done: Defeating radical Islam – How a new White House initiative can get the job done.” The ‘compare and contrast’ provides insight into why the pushback on Trump is so severe.

the Obama administration convened a Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Working Group in 2010 and included participants who turned up such gems as: “Jihad as holy war is a European invention,” the caliphate’s return is “inevitable,” Shariah (Islamic law) is “misunderstood,” and “Islamic terrorism is a contradiction in terms because terrorism is not Islamic by definition.” The result? The group produced propaganda helpful to the (unnamed) enemy.

In contrast, then-candidate Donald Trump gave a robust speech in August 2016 on how he, as president, would “Make America Safe Again.” In it, he pledged that “one of my first acts as president will be to establish a commission on radical Islam.” Note: he said radical Islam, not some euphemism like violent extremism.

Jamie Wells: Physician ‘Gun-Gag’ Law: The Politics And The Medicine – “I hate politics. Is that enough of a disclosure? Well, I hate erosion of the doctor-patient relationship even more, especially when predicated on politicized falsehoods.” It’s about a law prompted by the medical community foisting politics on patients.

A recent ruling by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Georgia, found the Firearm Owners Privacy Act (FOPA)— enacted in 2011 in Florida— impeded the First Amendment free speech rights of medical professionals. The law sought to preserve Second Amendment rights but thought forbidding physicians to discuss gun ownership with patients was the way to do so.

For this doctor, talking about gun safety does not mean advocating for or against the right to possess a gun. But I also recognize that not all doctors can draw that line.

As we say, prevention is always relevant, no matter the etiology. Such “anticipatory guidance” is a crucial part of the doctor-patient experience.

That doesn’t mean we should be making judgments under the guise of claiming to be informational. I am not a drinker but I wouldn’t berate a parent who has moderate alcohol intake. We’re supposed to be trusted guides for the public and we can’t do that if we look like we are advocates for anything other than health.

Asking if there is a gun in the home and, if so, reinforcing the importance of it being properly stored and locked, is not intrusive, any more than asking about smoking and reinforcing that parents should do so outside is.

The line got crossed on the last part of the quote. There was a recent study questioning the perceived dangers of second hand smoke yet she just knows the proper guidance to ‘solve’ the problem. The same with weapons for self defense. She just knows they must be unavailable when needed in an emergency in order to reduce a risk that reveals how, no matter the hate for politics, she can’t let politics go in her medicine. The key here is getting a handle on one’s perceptions and being able to separate evidence and reality from fantasy and desire. Gun violence is mostly a gang violence problem. In the realm of normal home safety issues, gun ownership is right in the cloud of risk issues ranging from bathtubs to kitchen equipment to swimming pools. All need education and training for safety and proper use. None are really in the realm of the medical doctor but rather in that of parents and schools.

James Srodes on another area where public perception, political perception, and reality get into conflict: The cyberhacking to come – “Spy agencies will be joined by increasingly adept criminals and terrorists.”

If you thought the 2016 presidential election was an orgy of cyberhacking of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, of the Democratic Party computers being trawled through, and of fake news stories about Donald Trump’s hijinks in Russia, you are right. But you ain’t seen nothing yet.

The bad news is that from now on we are going to see an exponential rise in cybervandalism of all kinds and not just in America but throughout the world. Hacking, it seems, has become a game that anyone can play. The most immediate problem is that the people charged with protecting us are distracted by the wrong threats and are wasting the opportunities to — you should pardon the expression — build a wall designed to keep out the cybervandals.

Valerie Richardson on (yet more) California Nonsense: Californians jeer state’s decision to extend drought restrictions – “For consumers, the drought restrictions have translated into higher water prices even as the state grapples with another round of devastating storms.”

“We welcome this winter weather, but one good year of rain does not erase six years of drought,” David H. Wright, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power director, said in a statement after the board’s decision.

Meanwhile, rice farmer Kurt Richter accused the agency of partisanship, saying the “absurd” decision “showed everyone in the state that they’re not even trying to be subtle with their political agenda anymore,” while tech consultant Robert Dolezal mocked California drought “deniers.”

The fact is that periods of drought punctuated by inundation every ten years or so is normal in California. This is why, in California’s progressive era post WW II, reservoirs and canals were constructed to manage the water, alleviate drought and floods, and reduce effects of income inequality in water costs. As the ruckus about the Oroville dam illustrates, rather than building and improving that infrastructure the political climate has promoted neglecting what was already built and stymying additional efforts. In favor has been regulation on the consumer and there’s been a lot of it and the costs are being seen. Stephen Moore has a rundown on this regulation infection at the federal level: Congress must stop death by decree – “The biggest restraint on economic growth is federal red tape.”

The CEOs almost all listed the federal tax code as an albatross, but not the heaviest one. But I was surprised to learn that most insisted he biggest restraint on growth is federal red tape and regulation. Manufacturers, energy firms, financial services, agriculture interests — across all industries — federal rules were seen as mindless, inefficient, costly and incomprehensible.

You may have heard all the doom and gloom about the new administration flopping and flailing and suffering and on and on. That’s Fake News especially noted by its prognostications, predictions, and forecasting. Washington Times editorializes on The premature obituary – “President Trump’s popularity climbs, despite a week of media hysteria.”

But the Donald has the number of the Washington and New York press and pundits like no president before him, and even as the mainstream media was peddling the story that the past fortnight has been an unprecedented disaster, evidence grew that the opposite is true.

Writing off the president, any president, after a fortnight is a fantasy, and illustrates the hostility of a liberal media establishment that simply can’t imagine anyone liking anything Mr. Trump says or does.

There are many relevant headlines illustrating the WT’s point. Trump Takin’ It to the Left: I’m Lovin’ It! by Lloyd Marcus – “There’s a new sheriff in town, folks, and I love it!”

Thank God, President Trump is not playing by standard ineffective rules for Republican behavior. He is calling out leftist fake news media, Democrats, and other liars while quickly moving forward with the domestic agenda he promised during his campaign. By calling them out, Trump puts leftists on the defensive for a change while retaining his power.

we must stand together, holding up our president’s arms to counter the tsunami of attacks coming from both sides of the political aisle. May God be with us.

Michael Goodwin thinks The media doesn’t call the shots — Trump does – “when journalists behave like opponents, he will treat them like opponents, punching back harder than they punch him.” … “Trump knows better than most that perception, even if it’s wrong, can quickly harden into accepted fact. He sensed danger and decided to take matters into his own hands.” … “They have a choice: Get back to being journalists, or get used to being a piñata.”

Enemies of the people by Jack Hellner highlights another Trump parry. “Chris Wallace of Fox News and other media reporters are having fits because Trump tweeted that the media are an enemy of the American people.” Wallace did his cause no support when he took off on misperceptions about what was being said.

When the media willingly support a candidate who clearly violated the law by peddling classified documents but spreads a false story that the intelligence community won’t share information with President Trump because they don’t trust him, they are enemies both of truth and of the American people.

Everything I see Trump doing indicates that he wants to give power back to the people and reduce the power of the greedy and ever growing government. That does not look like a would-be dictator.

So yes, when the media intentionally seek to sabotage and destroy a president because their chosen candidate lost, they are essentially an enemy of the American people. They choose what to report and what not to report based on an agenda instead of on actual facts.

Jazz Shaw has some clarity about a WaPo writer worries that Trump will “hunt down” reporters – “Most of what Sullivan is worried about still sounds like the stuff of dystopian fiction novels rather than any real threat looming on the horizon.” Where they should be worried is in regards to their participation in criminal leaks.

Paul Mirengoff takes down Carl Bernstein’s silly anti-Trump rant – “If, in calling the press “enemies the American people,” Trump has gone too far, he will suffer for having done so.” Obama is brought up for examination as a more pertinent example for Bernstein’s hyperbole.

Then there’s John Hinderaker on The Silly Sweden Flap – “As happens so often, liberals think they are scoring points against Trump when in fact they are making fools of themselves.”

Another ‘establishment elite’ that is suffering from intellectual dishonesty is described by Monica Showalter: Where was McCain when Obama attacked the free press? – “What stands out here is the hypocrisy of his claims. He’s suddenly concerned about press freedoms and dictators?”

The Obama list is quite long, and that is not surprising. Obama was a socialist and socialists of all stripes have a long record of suppressing freedom of the press, subordinating its expression to the interests of an all-powerful state and its dictator. McCain found nothing wrong with that when Obama was playing that game and undercutting the press in what seemed to be pretty oppressive and downright illegal behavior. Breitbart News has another list of problems here. But when Trump, three or four weeks into his presidency, calls out some fake news on Twitter, suddenly we have a dictator descending.

Rand Paul: US is ‘lucky John McCain’s not in charge’ – ““I think it’s more a foreign policy debate, and Trump and McCain are on opposite sides of that debate,” Paul said. “And I tend to sympathize more with the president. We don’t need to continue to have regime change throughout the world, nation-building.” … As far as McCain’s rhetoric saying Trump is trying to “shut down the press,” Paul cautioned against hyperbole.”

Lefties keep showing off their civic ignorance by Karol Markowicz – “Everyone makes mistakes, of course. The bigger problem with this widespread lack of knowledge is that it leads to scary places.”

FoxNews.com has headlines: Dozens of workers lose their jobs for participating in Day Without Immigrants protest; Wegmans supermarket sells out of Trump wine after proposed boycott; Trump may have been unclear, but Sweden experiencing a migrant crime wave. Trump keeps coming up on top and the support is showing is breadth.

Hear the crunch as new paths are being trod back to old values?

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2/13/2017: Oozing hatred: The dangerous part isn’t the deranged part.

It’s all over the news this morning. From the ACLU’s plans to litigate the government to a standstill no matter the cause or reason to the efforts to find something to ‘impeach Trump’ no matter how deep a hole needs to be dug, to the assertions about mental illness, to the community organizing to disrupt citizen meetings, and on and on. A new study has brought up the Voter Fraud issue again. It questions those who impugn and denigrate Trumps comments on the topic. Another example is illustrated in answering the question Why Was Betsy DeVos At Jefferson Middle School? [twitter source] Two pictures: one of the rioters in front of the school and another of the school noting its annual failed grade.

This is the kind of civil behavior that kills people and breaks societies. One only has to look at history over the last century or so to see where that leads.

David Prentice: The Handmaidens of Hatred – “It’s unfortunate that this has to be a discussion about hate – unfortunate because hatred is divisive, destructive, and at the very least unpleasant.”

It has never been totally gone from us, and now it is in the process of overwhelming an entire side in our political debate.

What is surprising has been the hatred, and the degree of it, from the left-leaning leaders and citizenry of our own country toward their own domestic political and social opponents. That’s we. What is hated is quite countable: Christianity. Class, wealth, and accomplishment. Conservatives. The GOP. America as founded. These all have been targets of left-wing hate. But now it’s also the average U.S. citizen who does not walk in lockstep with the left – and finally, any person, even those who lean left, who does not 100% agree with the new Inquisition.

But there is darkness hiding in the shadows for us, seen daily – darkness that should upset us all. Approximately 35% of our population have become unhinged maniacs. That’s a huge amount of our population that has accepted hatred of its fellow citizens as okay. That’s a monster waiting to rear its ugly head, a Godzilla that will destroy everything in its wake just to survive.

This is a national disaster in the making. No adult on the left will stand up and say what needs to be said.

We cannot survive with this many people on the edge of sanity. This is an ugly, and unsustainable state of affairs, one that cannot remain without grave consequence for us and our nation.

Democrats, this is your problem. Let’s see you come to the aid of your party.

Karin McQuillan says the Dems Made Their Bed with Leftists, Now They Must Lie in It – “After 8 years of exploiting and enflaming the grievances of identity politics, the Democratic Party is being eaten by the monster they rode to power.”

Something new is happening before our eyes. Radicals are completing a takeover of the Democratic Party. Sure, there’s been a lot of mockery among conservatives about hyperventilating Democrats. Pundits point out the obvious: that Democrats screaming that Trump is illegitimate deliver no positive message for working class voters who want jobs and that mobs in black masks are not appealing. Such analyses fall short.

Radicals don’t need to be a majority – they never are. They dominate through mob violence, media manipulation and threats. They are now dominating Democrat politicians, not allowing them to “normalize.”

Hinderaker may be mystified by what he persists in calling liberal behavior because he mislabels it. These Democrats are not liberal. They are radical. These people are not just stamping their feet, they are knocking Trump supporters unconscious and beating them with clubs. They are trained, organized and well financed political agitators.

The radicals are professional bullies. They believe in what they call “direct action,” that is, coercive violence. They demand no compromise. They are awash with money. They are professionally trained, ten thousand alone by Obama’s Organizing for America foundation. The radical agenda, now the Democratic Party’s agenda, is ideologically driven to destroy all normalcy in our government.

So far as I have seen, not one single Democrat has condemned the bloody attacks on Republicans.

Lloyd Marcus thinks The Left’s Campaign to ‘Bush’ Trump Will Fail – we can hope.

Even before Trump took his oath of office, the left launched their immoral, unethical, and lawless 1,460-day (four-year) plan to destroy Trump. The left intends to block Trump from implementing everything we elected him to do.

Despite leftists cautioning their side to tone down their over-the-top hysteria, the left’s rabid opposition to Trump continues to escalate to absurd levels. It’s a bright, sunny day. If Trump comments about it, the left will try to convince the public that it is raining, and Trump lied about the sun.

I submit that the Left cannot tone down their brain-dead, emotion-driven, foot-stomping temper tantrums because it is who they are. It is like the old joke: “I helped you because you promised not to bite me. Why did you bite me?” The snake replied, “I’m a snake. It’s what I do.”

Folks, the left is going to pull this crap every day for the next four years. When leftists push free speech to breaking the law and destroying public and private property,

Oh, one last point. I’ve heard concerns that the left will react violently if we resume Trump rallies. Well, I am sorry, folks, but freedom ain’t free. As a matter of fact, God has designed life in such a way that anything worth having requires backbone and risks.

Are you guys ready? Great! Let’s roll!

One story looked at a SCOTUS case on consumer fraud and conflated alternative facts with fake facts. That disqualified the story as the differences between these concepts – alternative and fake – is important. That sort of intellectual laziness and nonsense is called out by Andrew Klavan asserting that Yes, CNN IS Fake News – “This week’s World’s Smallest Violin Award goes to Fake News Network CNN — specifically to be shared between Fake Newsman Jake Tapper and Fake Newsman Chris Cuomo, both of whom took whiny umbrage at being called Fake News while purveying Fake News.”

The problem is this: CNN — like the New York Times, like the network news departments at NBC and ABC and CBS — is virtually the definition of Fake News, a phrase made up by the left to attack Trump but which blew up in their faces like a trick cigar when it turned out everyone knows what liars they’ve been for the past sixteen years at least.

This is not even a question of the almost ceaseless series of mistakes, distortions and obfuscations that our leftist news media, in their hysterical rage against political reality, have committed since the election of Donald Trump to the presidency. These errors and lies — which include cover-ups of Islamic extremism, lies about right-wing websites, and suspiciously incendiary “mistakes” about the White House — are being ably catalogued by the mighty and terrible John Nolte over at the Daily Wire.

That list at the Daily Wire is up to 76 documented episodes and counting.

For an example, consider this CNN Headline: Four Republican gripes about Obamacare analyzed listed under “Trumponomics.” Partisan complaints is the head, not the real issues involved. Those issues are a part of the article, though, and they have nothing to do with politics. Market collapse, excessive costs, care for the poor, and employment are observable problems that need bi-partisan solutions. They don’t need Fake News headlines and irrational defenses of a failed program put in place with an in-your-face partisan effort.

Bilious Maximus, M.D. has an idea for Cutting the health insurance Gordian Knot – “Most medical businesses show no mercy to the poor.” That starts the problem as the law requires service to the poor in this business yet the business has to make sufficient money to be able to stay in business. Having the government determine the price as well as requiring service levels is a recipe for disaster, a disaster that can be observed in most countries with socialized medicine. Maximus does have a strong point about inequalities (to use the current PC term) in medical service pricing but he does not address the reason for them.

This long-ingrained habit of billing exorbitant and unpublished fees is of no consequence to insured patients, or those with Medicare or Medicaid. They or their insurers all have contracts to pay only their contracted fees, which are invariably far less that what is billed.

But pity the poor uninsured patient. He or she has no contract with the provider to pay reasonable fees, but is required to sign an agreement to pay what is charged in order to obtain services.

For example, there are health fairs sponsored by local hospitals that provide a blood panel screening for about $100. The same medical business cites the price for that test as $800 on MediCare statements so the patient can understand just how great his insurance is because he didn’t pay anything. Why does this happen? A government edict isn’t going to make anything better as this situation is just one effort to find a solution to what the government has already done.

Jazz Shaw gets a two-fer: Green card holder sentenced for imaginary voter fraud in Texas – “That imaginary voter fraud problem we are consistently assured we don’t have appears to be about as persistent as a late case stage of herpes.”

In the Lone Star State authorities have uncovered that rarest of beasts, an actual conviction and sentencing of an immigrant for the crime of voting while not being a citizen. A 37-year-old green card holder has been sentenced to nearly a decade in prison for voting in the 2012 and 2014 elections. (Washington Post)

As with virtually all of these cases, reporters and their liberal supporters are quick to invoke the, “yeah, but…” defense.

Another two-fer as Colin Lahiff hits both the Flynn persecution and the intelligence agencies war on their boss as Mike Flynn, Russia, deportations and real fake news – maybe make that a three-fer with the Fake News.

Yes, you’ve got that right. Flynn spoke with the Russian ambassador, which is, and I underscore this (and CAPS for extra emphasis) PAR FOR THE COURSE. Campaigns and newly elected officials and their reps meet with foreign ambassadors often. Obama’s people did, and did so with the intent of undermining the outgoing Bush administration. Bush’s people did it when Clinton was leaving. McCain’s team did and they weren’t elected. There’s nothing that stops people from meeting with curious foreigners, and there’s no law that forbids any American from talking to those foreigners. If that American was negotiating on behalf of the United States, maybe, just very very maybe, they’re in violation of US law, but probably not, as again, talking with foreigners is not illegal. (The Logan Act suggests it is illegal to work with a foreign government to resolve their dispute with your own. However, the notion that this would survive a constitutional test, or that Flynn was collaborating against his own government, is far from proved, or even credible.)

What is illegal is leaking highly sensitive classified information about signals intelligence from spying on the Russian ambassador. And what is also illegal is for the CIA to spy on Americans. This is not a maybe, or an if, or a sorta. It is ILLEGAL.

Scott Adams explains it as Good Example of Our Two-Movie Reality – “I have been saying since Trump’s election that the world has split into two realities – or as I prefer to say, two movies on one screen – and most of us don’t realize it.”

We’re all looking at the same events and interpreting them wildly differently. That’s how cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias work. They work together to create a spontaneous hallucination that gets reinforced over time. That hallucination becomes your reality until something changes.

This phenomenon has nothing to do with natural intelligence. We like to think that the people on the other side of the political debate are dumb, under-informed, or just plain evil. That’s not the case. We’re actually experiencing different realities. I mean that literally.

Ed Morrissey pulls up a pertinent Sunday reflection: Matthew 5:17–37 – “whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

“whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.”

People complain about rules and balk at the boundaries, but they like rules a lot more than they’ll usually admit. From the time we are old enough to realize that we can transgress, we want to know where the lines are. Sometimes that’s because we want to be good and not accidentally do wrong, and at other times it’s because we want to know just how bad we can be without getting into trouble. The brighter those lines get, the more secure we feel in our own actions, and our judgment of the actions of others, but also the bolder we get in actions that fall just short of the lines.

What we miss in this reaction are the reasons for the laws, and their purpose. In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus explains to His disciples that they are missing the forest for the trees when it comes to God’s laws, which the Israelites have come to see as an end unto themselves.

Thus, Jesus warns, when we set our hearts on division and hatred, we have already rejected the law. It is not enough merely to follow the law by our actions; we need to let the Lord write them on our hearts, that spiritual core where our intellect and will combine. When we do, we enter into solidarity with one another and harmony with God, who loves us and provides the law for that purpose.

In other words, we have to act beyond our own native impulses and think of others as well as ourselves.

This is the problem of our times and Christ tells us what to do. It is how we can see the two movies on one screen and know which one is guiding us and which one should guide us.

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2/11/2017: Who has a focus?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These rulings are troubling.

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

Activist judges, indeed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6) The Court disingenuously employed false religious protection claims

7) False consideration of “public interest.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2/9/2017 : DDoS attack on government

VDH: California goes Confederate – “The Golden State is as out of step with the rest of the nation as the antebellum South.”

Nonetheless, what is driving California’s current efforts to nullify federal law and the state’s vows to secede from the United States are some deeper — and creepy — similarities to the arrogant and blinkered Old South.

California is likewise becoming a winner-take-all society. It hosts the largest numbers of impoverished and the greatest number of rich people of any state in the country. Eager for cheap service labor, California has welcomed in nearly a quarter of the nation’s undocumented immigrants. California has more residents living in poverty than any other state. It is home to one-third of all the nation’s welfare recipients.

California, for all its braggadocio, cannot not leave the U.S. or continue its states’-rights violations of federal law. It will eventually see that the new president is not its sickness, nor are secession and nullification its cures.

Instead, California is becoming a reactionary two-tier state of masters and serfs whose culture is as peculiar and out of step with the rest of the country as was the antebellum South’s. No wonder the state lashes out at the rest of the nation with threatened updated versions of the Old Confederacy’s secession and nullification.

But such reactionary Confederate obstructionism is still quite an irony given California’s self-righteous liberal preening.

Cal Thomas: Major media remain in denial – “Without journalism’s resolve to battle bias, public trust will continue to decline.”

Overnight, it seems, major media have become interested in facts following eight years of ignoring lies and dissembling by Democrats and members of the Obama administration, including the president. The list is long and includes former Sen. Harry Reid’s lies about Mitt Romney, who Mr. Reid falsely accused of not paying his taxes. When asked about it in an interview, Mr. Reid said, “I did what was necessary” to defeat Mr. Romney in the 2012 presidential race. Then there were the numerous lies about Obamacare, the glossing over of anti-Semitic statements by Mr. Obama’s pastor, Jeremiah Wright, and the influence of radical leftist thinker Saul Alinsky on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Koppel, who was always fair and friendly to me when I appeared on his program, correctly states: “Democracy depends on facts.” The problem is that too many of us can’t agree on the facts because the standard by which truth was once measured has disappeared in our age of relativity. It is an Alice in Wonderland age in which Humpty Dumpty is the prophet: ” ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’ “

This is the media’s fault line. Mr. Koppel writes: “There may be some temporary political advantage to be gained by tearing down public confidence in critical, nonpartisan journalism, but it is only temporary. At some point or another, everyone needs professional finders of facts.”

The notion that the public needs “professional finders of facts” goes beyond bias to hubris. It pretends these “professionals” don’t have a point of view and that they are evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives. …

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

Keep in mind that facts and truth are two separate things. Facts are a subset of the truth which is why alternative facts represents a different view rather than a falsehood as the Left often tries to portray. This is why intellectual integrity is a more appropriate standard as it is about finding truth rather than selecting facts.

John Daniel Davidson: Stop Calling Donald Trump A Fascist, Because He’s Not One – “The Left’s favorite epithet for Donald Trump is ‘fascist.’ The problem is, the term simply doesn’t apply. They should stop using it.”

Progressives are no doubt thinking of Hitler and Mussolini, but in fact they’re using “fascist” in the way George Orwell described it in “The Politics of the English Language,” merely to signify “something not desirable.”

But fascism isn’t just an abstract word that can stand in for anything you dislike. The term has an infamous history that all Americans should know about, especially since so many of us are so fond of throwing the term around lately.

“We do not enter parliament to use parliamentary methods,” wrote Joseph Goebbels in a 1929 propaganda pamphlet. Indeed, after the Nazis gained 95 seats in the 1930 elections, they would routinely disrupt proceedings in the German Reichstag by shouting down speakers, throwing debris from balconies, and generally raising hell. They held only 107 of 577 seats, but they were determined to undermine democracy in Germany—and they did.

The corruption of “fascist” is but one example of the pernicious habit of sloppy thinking that’s plaguing our public life.

In the meantime, it should suffice to stop calling Trump a fascist and recognize, as Orwell did, “that the present political chaos is connected with the decay of language, and that one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end.”

Ace: The War on Free Speech: College Now Warning Students Not to Record Their Instructors During Their Embarrassing Political Tirades – “They want to indoctrinate in secret, and will actually punish you for exposing their ideas to sunlight.”

That’s not a sign of a legitimate “intellectual” or moral movement.

The signs ominously state: “Video and/or audio recording without instructor permission is prohibited.”

Meanwhile, college “bias response teams” have a strange tendency to only persecute conservative-tilting speech.

And yes, it’s time to start seriously debating defunding the colleges that won’t defend free speech.

The government should not be in the business of siphoning taxpayer money into political institutions. If these schools wish to act like private political clubs, that’s fine, but they can do so on their own dime.

I don’t want revolution, I don’t want “resistance,” I don’t want violence. I don’t want to make others live under my heel (despite the fact they dearly wish to make me live under theirs).

I just want Done. I want Gone. I want Goodbye.

Ed Morrissey: Poll: Majority of Democrat voters want obstructionism across the board – “If 56% of your friends told you to jump in front of a moving populist train, would you do it?”

So far the answer seems to be yes, and it might be because of the same feedback that Politico and Morning Consult found in their poll from last week. Democratic voters are in the mood for vengeance — but they’re alone in that regard

Sounds like a plan, eh? Yes … for further disconnection from the electorate. The overall rating on this question is 58/30 for cooperation

As I argue in my column today at The Week, the Democrats’ policy of obstructionism is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of why power shifted to the Republicans over the last eight years. Both parties share in that misunderstanding, but at the moment Democrats are at the highest risk of damaging themselves because of it

What it seems a lot of people are missing is the difference between opposition and obstruction. Compare and contrast the behavior of the parties. Republicans didn’t smear their colleagues, did not vote a solid block, advocated clear positions on specific issues, and didn’t participate in or promote uncivil behavior. Democrats are making such things daily behavior. Opposition tries to steer government while opposition tries to stop it. You can see this in Morrissey’s Santorum: Everyone should calm down about rebuke of Warren

There was a distinction, however, [between Santorum and Warren] that Psaki elides a bit. When Warren was challenged on her use of the letter in regard to Rule XIX, she affirmed that she was embracing King’s personal attack on Sessions — which Santorum points out. “In the case of Elizabeth Warren,” he says, “she didn’t back off.

as Duane noted earlier today, setting a precedent on enforcement of Rule XIX has some longer-term strategic and tactical implications for Democrats — which may also explain why they want to make this a bigger deal than it is.

At its core, this is all nonsense anyway. Democrats had already started dismantling the comity of the Senate as far back as the confirmation hearings of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas, and continued to do so through the 2005 blockade of judicial appointments all the way to Harry Reid’s 2013 nuclear-option move that has now blown up Democrats’ faces. Democratic obstruction might thrill Psaki, but it’s not going thrill the rest of the nation that considers the 2016 election settled.

Elide means omit – that is an indicator that intellectual integrity is missing and alternative facts are being created to deceive and distort rather than acknowledged as a limitation on finding truth.

It is a Distributed Denial of Service Attack.

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2/8/2017: Climate of violence and separated from reality

Virgil: The Left Whips Up a Climate of Violence — the Prime Target Is Donald Trump

Is there a media-driven “climate of violence”? You bet there is, and it’s being whipped up by the left and the Main Stream Media, here and around the world. And it has a clear purpose: The ultimate goal is the destruction of the Trump presidency—and, for at least some, seemingly, the goal is the assassination of President Trump himself.

So let’s look more closely at this idea of a “climate of violence,” which is said to foster acts of actual violence. Sometimes this inflammatory “climate” is real, and sometimes it is not real. We’ve learned that while the political left usually says that it opposes this sort of violence-inducing “climatology,” in fact, quite often, it embraces it—even adores it.

Yes, that is correct: Cutting-edge Democrats have never condemned the violent hooligans doing their dirty work, for one simple reason—they’re proud of them.

John Stossel: The incredible smear machine aimed at Team Trump – “Nearly every day brings a new Times outrage.” Example after Example. “Please. Someone. Tell The New York Times that socialism was tried. It doesn’t work.”

Edmund DeMarche says Dems rally around Warren after senator silenced at Sessions nomination – this is about bringing up debunked smears from 1986. Warren dug deeply into the Bork well but forgot that Rule 19 in the Senate prohibits Senators smearing each other. The vote on enforcing this rule was strictly partisan which means the Democrats as a unified whole do not believe rules apply to them. See also Seth McLaughlin Big whiff: No wins for Democrats in showdowns with Trump – “Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, told reporters Tuesday that even in defeat, they have exposed Mr. Trump’s hypocrisy and his nominees’ incompetence.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said some Democrats “are kind of embarrassed by the whole show.”

“At some point here, you’ve got to wonder about dysfunction and fatigue beginning to set in. And I predict that will happen sometime in the near future and we’ll get back to a more normal kind of operating style,” he said.

For more on this dustup, see Paul Mirengoff – “To support this claim, roundly disputed by African-Americans who know Jeff Sessions, Warren resorted to quotes from 1986 when the Senate did not confirm the Alabama man as a federal district court judge.”

Duane Patterson

Tuesday night, the Democrats tried to show their base they’re willing to get off the mat and get back into the ring, this time to unsuccessfully block one of their own, a man they all like personally, but have to now verbally destroy to satisfy their base, Jeff Sessions of Alabama. Why? He’s going to be a rather effective Attorney General, and the left hates that.

Senator Warren, I realize you’ve been a Senator for a few years now, but let me officially welcome you to the new and improved United States Senate, where rules are now apparently enforced. You’ve just been Mitchslapped.

Patterson indicates that the Warren issue has implications for the handling of the Gorsuch nomination. Ace has more on this: Sean Davis: You Don’t Need the Nuclear Option to Confirm Neil Gorsuch. You Just Need to Strictly Enforce the Rules on Debate as Written. “The rules as written require that people actually, you know, debate to keep debate open.”

Michael Goodwin says The Democratic Party has lost its mind — and its soul – “the necessity of Pence’s vote reflected another kind of history, too: The decision by all Senate Democrats to reject DeVos marked a new low for the flailing party.”

Democrats claim to stand for the poor, immigrants and nonwhites. Yet given a chance to actually support someone who is dedicated to improving education for all America’s children, especially those trapped in failing urban schools, the Dems said no, hell no.

Throw away all the subtexts and subterfuge, a defense of the rotten status quo is the only explanation for the bid to block DeVos. The teachers unions pulled the strings, and the political puppets danced to their masters’ tune.

Dems see the riots and threats of violence as legitimate expressions of disapproval — and convenient for their purposes. Their contribution to the “resistance” started when 70 Democrats boycotted Trump’s inauguration and many senators boycotted confirmation hearings and votes. Maybe they’ll soon throw rocks through windows.

Think of that: The Democrats’ leader walks out on his job to play the role of a man of the people in a staged demonstration. This is a party that has lost its mind, as well as its soul.

Bradford Richardson says Elementary school, high school students face taunts for supporting Trump – “Adult behavior inspires students.”

A toxic political atmosphere fueled by nonstop media outrage and ubiquitous protest is showing signs of seeping into classrooms across the country, as reports of bullying against elementary, middle and high school students who openly support President Trump proliferate.

“It seems to me that the media coverage and the kinds of attacks on the president encourage this kind of behavior,” Mr. Allman said Monday on “The Allman Report.” “There’s almost this sense of righteousness that these people have who attack somebody — even what I talked about earlier, these people who are hitting people, Macing people, punching people and all that kind of stuff.

“They feel like they have permission somehow,” he said. “And that’s a tough environment for a sixth-grader to be growing up in.”

Mr. Allman wondered whether the school would have reacted differently if Trump supporters were doing the attacking rather than being attacked.

On the Education Secretary full out effort, consider Charles Hurt: ‘1984’: Making liberals great again – “In droves, the precious political “liberals” and “progressives” are gobbling up copies of George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984” about “the perils of a totalitarian police state,” according to The Washington Post.” … “The similarities between “1984” and the “utopian” dreams of self-proclaimed “liberals” and “progressives” today — gross misnomers both — are uncanny.” i.e. a lot of projection going on.

That feeling of self righteousness is noted by Valerie Richardson as a Judge rejects Dakota Access activists’ request to stop ‘excessive force’ by police – “Says violent agitators at Backwater Bridge riot set fires, threw rocks at officers.”

The decision comes as a setback for pipeline protesters who have accused law enforcement of interfering with their First Amendment rights by brutalizing activists with “militarized” tactics and unreasonable displays of force.

The judge rejected the contention that activists occupying camps since August on federal property near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, have been “peaceful and prayerful.”

“As previously noted, the right of free speech and assembly do not mean, and have never meant, that everyone who chooses to protest against the Dakota Access pipeline may do so at any time, any place, and under any set of conditions they choose in total disregard of the law,” Judge Hovland said.

“To allow that to occur would result in anarchy and an end to the rule of law in civilized society, [emphasis added]” he said.

Anne Hendershott thinks Religious freedom can be restored – “Trump would blunt the left’s assault on religious institutions.”

In its most recent “Two Minutes Hate” on President Trump, The Nation magazine’s hyperbolic headline warned, “Leaked Draft of Trump’s Religious Freedom Order Reveals Sweeping Plans to Legalize Discrimination.” Claiming that if signed, the president’s order “would create wholesale exemptions for people and organizations who claim religious objections to same sex marriage, premarital sex, abortion and trans identity, The Nation predicts that the order would “exceed the authority of executive branch,” and “risk violating the Establishment Clause of the first Amendment to the Constitution.”

Rather than “legalizing discrimination,” the Trump religious freedom order will finally end the current discrimination against religious organizations.

We are already at a place where the establishment clause has shifted from a legitimate desire to keep the government from entangling itself in the internal affairs of religious organizations to a justification of anti-religious secularism — pushing religion (and people of faith) out of the public square.

Another self deception issue is described by Kelly Riddell. Democrats continue to push gun-control lie – “Democrats are living a delusional lie.”

Looking to gin up gun-control activists, Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee tried to use a Tuesday hearing on Social Security to lament a noncontroversial vote last week to do away with an Obama-era rule designed to get certain beneficiaries’ information into the national gun-purchase background check system.

Their complaints were all fear-mongering and separated from reality — undoubtedly designed to catch the ear of a sympathetic, and naive media looking to advance its gun-control narrative.

But never mind the details when it comes to the polarizing topic of Secon Amendment rights. Expect Democrats and the left-wing media to continue to propagate their misleading narrative to whip up outrage at Republicans.

Stephen Dinan notes that campaign rhetoric is now being elevated to policy pronouncement level by the courts. Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’ promise is ‘evidence’ against executive order – “ Judge Richard R. Clifton wasn’t satisfied with that dodge, saying that if Mr. Trump and his advisers did in fact say they were trying to impose a Muslim ban, that could inform the way the court looks at the order Mr. Trump signed on Jan. 27.” There is something about ‘depths of depravity’ that belongs with this and it isn’t concerning the President.

Luboš Motl posting Klaus: Western cafés have launched their attack against Trump picks up on an interview with the Czech ex-president for the Parliamentary Letters (full video), via Klaus.cz, Part I – “Trump and the whole West is experiencing the same events that the Czech Republic has been exposed to already since November 1989, namely the criticisms by the intellectuals from coffee bars and demonstrations against the free elections.” There’s more. A lot more.

Helen Schwiesow Parker: The Secret, Silent Wind-Power Peril (Part II: Nina Pierpont and ‘Wind Turbine Syndrome’) – “How have we been brought to such an extraordinary betrayal of basic human rights and social justice – a Kafkaesque world where corporate, local and state government personnel ignore and elude victims’ pleas? It is a tale of money and power shunting aside integrity and compassion, of well-intentioned individuals who don’t do their homework, of a new industrial health crisis shunned by news media who are supposed to educate, inform and protect.”

Sundance describes one instance of what the Left is leaving behind. Environmentalists Vacated From Standing Rock Protest Site Leave Tons of Toxic Waste…

It has been consistently evident that left-wing environmentalists and their professionally unemployed protesters are the most hypocritical bunch of moonbats around the drum circle of social and economic stupidity.

What is interesting is another report that care is being taken with the garbage because of concern in might contain bodies …

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2/7/2017: But Mom, he hit me back!

Ed Morrissey: Senate talk-a-thon: Full of sound and fury signifying … no change

Democrats spent the entire night and morning exhausting its debate time in an effort to convince the other Republicans to abandon DeVos and hand Donald Trump his first defeat on Cabinet nominations. … This morning, Sen. Chris Smith (D-CT) admitted that it’s not doing any good 

And it’s not quite over yet. Having realized that they’re impotent, Senate Democrats have set phasers on full gadfly, a setting several power levels below stun

it’s not a rebuke unless they can keep them from getting confirmed. This looks more like an historic temper tantrum, one which provides a large contrast between Senate Democrats now and Senate Republicans eight years ago. That’s the real “historic” comparison. And don’t think for a moment that the lessons of this tantrum are lost on voters, even if the tantrums take place when few are awake to watch them.

Victor Joecks describes the ‘compare and contrast’ viewpoint as Bad blood in the Nevada Senate – In this case, the Californication of Nevada has Las Vegas Democrats as the majority in the Nevada Legislature. They are seeking to turn over anything the previous session passed, bi-partisan or no, and are backstabbing the previous legislator’s leaders. This year the legislative leaders were selected by race. So it’s spite, bigotry, and racism driving the majority party.

Morrissey also notes Schumer says Gorsuch will need to get 60 votes in Senate

What’s rather remarkable about this piece — it’s short and easy to read in full — is that it barely mentions Gorsuch himself, and makes no case that his confirmation is problematic. That makes some sense, given that Senate Democrats confirmed him to the appellate court by acclamation over a decade ago. That includes every current member of Senate Democratic leadership, including Schumer himself.

Furthermore, Schumer’s essay contains exactly zero acknowledgement of the fact that his party put the 60-vote threshold on the chopping block with its own exercise of the nuclear option in late 2013.

It’s an amazing example of projection. For those who have children, the entire article can be summed up thusly: “Mom, he hit me back!”

Actually, the question is how much damage has already been done to the country by Senate Democrats, and whether they will ever own up to it

And another Morrissey: Are Senate Dems planning a government shutdown? – “that the shutdown will be over nearly nothing but spite … Democrats will have nothing but Trumpophobia as their issue.” That can compare to when Republicans tried the tactic when they did have a rational case.

Kevin D. Williamson: There is no serious case against DeVos, Price, or Mnuchin – [update: DeVos approved by Chair tie breaker vote Tuesday morning]

The leaders of the Democratic party, especially Senator Chuck Schumer, need to think a little more deeply about the precedent they are setting with their near-unanimous and purely partisan opposition to virtually all of President Donald Trump’s remaining Cabinet choices.

The Democrats are making a dishonest argument, most intensely against DeVos, that being “qualified” for an office means agreeing with the Democrats on substantive policy questions.

A generation ago, Democrats thought they could destroy Robert Bork in an act of petty political score-settling against President Ronald Reagan and never pay a price for it. They have, and the country has, as an increasingly politicized federal bench has undermined both the prestige and the perceived legitimacy of the judiciary. If you are wondering why Americans haven’t exactly gasped at Trump’s ugly denunciation of a “so-called judge,” that is part of the explanation: We may believe that judges should be above politics, but who believes that they actually are?

Sally Zelikovsky: The Blood Libels of the Left – the must read for today

Antifa is short for “anti-fascist” and is pronounced an-TEE-fah. According to left-leaning tech magazine Wired, they are “militant anti-fascist[s]” and “anarchists prone to property destruction and online abuse.they double down on political polarization, driving the national narrative even further from center.”

Do not brush off these protests as the usual left wing rent-a-mobs. This is the stuff coups and revolutions are made of.

When Democrats characterize mainstream Republicans and conservatives as members of the alt-right, they aren’t just on a slippery slope, but a sheer vertical drop from which there is no return. If this continues unaddressed, they will have our blood on their hands.

Peter Hasson: In Their Own Words: Anti-Trump ‘Resistance’ Leaders Say They Want To Make America ‘Ungovernable’ – “leaders of anti-Trump “resistance” efforts are communicating the same simple but dark message: they want to make America “ungovernable” for the president of the United States.” Do they not consider the implications of their behavior?

These protesters say they will do whatever it takes to keep Trump from enacting his agenda, and many of them have shown a willingness to destroy public property, assault law enforcement officers and inflict violence upon their fellow citizens.

“We won this night. We will control the streets. We will liberate the land. We will fight fascists. We will dismantle the state,” Occupy Oakland captioned the photo. “This is war.”

Willis Eschenbach pleads Scientists, Please Don’t March – “Why is this a bad idea? Three reasons. There’s no clarity on what they are marching for. There’s no clarity on what they are marching against. And they are marching on Earth Day.”

I feel sorry for these folks. They are most likely good scientists in their fields, but they truly are out of their depth organizing either a march or a movement. A public march is only worth doing if you have a clear and compelling message. You need to show people a path from here to the desired future, offer real actions people can take, and urge people to take those actions. But “You should listen to evidence”? Where does that go?

So I implore all scientists, please don’t add your names to this foolish attempt. Don’t go on this march around Washington to lecture us on why we’re wrong. It will just piss people off and further damage the reputation of science and scientists. We’re lectured out, you’ve cried “wolf” too many times. Stay home and enjoy the day.

Rich Lowry: Sorry: Trump’s immigration order is totally legal – “If the law means anything, the Trump administration will succeed in overturning the so-called court ruling against its travel ban.”

The nationwide stay of the ban issued by Judge James Robart, a Washington state-based federal district judge, is tissue-thin. It doesn’t bother to engage on the substance, presumably because facts, logic and the law don’t support Robart’s sweeping assertion of judicial authority in an area where judicial power is inherently quite limited.

Judge Robart may not like the Trump policy, but that doesn’t mean that it is illegal or unconstitutional. His ruling is worthy of the generally unhinged opposition to President Trump. If the judge doesn’t deserve the abuse that Trump heaped on him on Twitter, he produced what should rightly be considered so-called jurisprudence.

Lowry tosses in a ‘both sides’ aside with “President Donald Trump tweeting that Robart is a “so-called judge.” and suggesting the comment “may encourage other judges to tilt against Trump’s ban in response.” That ignores the similar or worse behavior of previous presidents and impugns the judiciary in asserting that they cannot rise above such comments to meet their obligations to the law. As such, Lowry indicates his own dissonance in grappling with reality.

Morrissey has been busy and offers another essay about Former nat-sec officials file brief to fight Trump EO – this is the more insidious revolt as “Nine former high-ranking government officials filed an affidavit with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal to urge that the temporary restraining order on Donald Trump’s “travel ban” executive order remain in place.” They are asking the courts for a political judgment, not a legal one.

The question for courts in this situation is not whether the policy implemented by Donald Trump through this EO is wise, but whether it fits within his legal authority. We have elections to deal with wisdom or lack thereof on policy, and Congress to work with the president on statutory obligations and boundaries on policy (as well as the Constitution).

It’s true that presidents do not have “unfettered” authority to do anything, but that’s as meaningless as saying that neither do judges. … The ability to craft policy on visa and refugee entry falls within the constitutional authority given to the executive for national defense, and within statute specifically dealing with those issues. As such, it falls easily within Youngstown‘s Zone 1 of presidential authority.

But what about the policy? Is it really all that irrational? Not according to a study from the moderate-Muslim think tank Quilliam

The key issue here is whether the courts will follow the law or the ideology of the judges. That is what worries people who know that we have no civilization unless law has precedence. It is a very clear cut Constitutional Crisis on the plate. Will the law prevail?

Scott Johnson has a Ninth Circuit Update with links to a special page set up by the court for the case and other useful information. One of those links is to Andrew C. McCarthy explaining why he thinks even SCOTUS may go against law and precedent. Essentially, it is Justice Kennedy’s previous cases where he has indicated that the courts are superior to everybody else. “as I’ve been arguing for years now, the Supreme Court operates more like an unelected super-legislature than a judicial tribunal.”

McCarthy also asserts: Prosecute the Rioters – “And make sure that we condemn them as well.”

The message could not be clearer: For the political Left in this country, violence in the pursuit of “social justice” is not to be condemned, it is to be understood. There is the occasional winking rebuke of the forcible methods, but the underlying “progressive” cause is always endorsed, and the seditionist vanguard is the object of adulation.

It is a huge problem in our country.

What is being championed is not dissent. It is the destruction of the right to dissent. It is the suspension of the rule of law, without which a free society protective of life, liberty, and property is impossible.

One of the Fake News items is about UCB being the birthplace of the free speech movement. Jonah Goldberg begs to differ with The ‘Reasonabilists’ of Berkeley – “If you think free speech is assault but assault is free speech, you’re a moron of world-historical proportions.”

I’m not going to wade deep into the weeds on all this, but if you want to you can read, say, Nathan Glazer’s 1965 Commentary essay “What Happened at Berkeley.”

“Those of us who watched the Free Speech Movement (FSM) daily set up its loud-speakers on the steps of the administration building to denounce the president, the chancellor, the newspapers, the Regents, the faculty, and the structure and organization of society in general and universities in particular, could only admire the public-relations skill exhibited in the choice of a name for the student movement,” Glazer wrote.

The Coyote has an interesting model for a broken organization that seems to fit very well with the public school system. See Why We Need School Choice, in One Chart – “I call all these factors “organizational DNA”. This is from years ago about a corporate example, but the same is true of any organization.”

One will hear that criticism of public schools in unfair because they have all these great teachers in them. Examples will be cited. I say: “Exactly!” That is why change is needed. Public schools are hiring good people and putting them in an organization and system where they deliver poor results. Let’s liberate this talent.

By the way, one of the misconceptions about school choice is that it necessarily means the end of public schools. I find this an unlikely outcome, at least in most areas. Competition from Japan meant that Ford lost some of its customers to Toyota, but it also meant that Ford became a lot better.

Judith Curry provides a Response to critiques: Climate scientists versus climate data and provides a set of examples that show why a reasoned debate can be rather difficult.

 

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2/6/2017 The Deplorables versus the Depraved

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sooner or later, a crash is inevitable.

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

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

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

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

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

It’s the Deplorables versus the Depraved. 

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2/5/2017: Measuring and observing Angst

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Democrat power relies on millions of unpaid thought police.

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

The fourth strategic goal: provoke a national crisis.

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

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

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

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

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

Williamson’s conclusion:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reaching this level of hatred and contempt has required cultivation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is — and was — no main message.

That thematic void can be politically lethal in American elections.

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

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

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

Good luck with that these days in Washington.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blindsided by preconceived fantasies on so many fronts …

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Closest analogy: The Effect Slim Whitman yodels have on Martians

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Saturday after

Andrew Malcom takes a look: Of 45 presidents, Trump joins a super-select group who were not politicians. Excluding George Washington, only six of 45 presidents have not come up through the political ranks.

all six have been members of the Republican Party or its predecessor, the Whigs.

Half were retired generals, in effect, military chief executives. Two were wealthy businessmen, successful civilian executives. One was a career government executive who is the only person to ever head the executive and judicial branches of America’s government.

Only two of the six served two terms.

It is really rather remarkable that, over more than 200 years, Americans have chosen presidents outside the swamp more than 10% of the time.

Douglas V. Gibbs provides a bit more evidence than the Intelligence Community did on the Russians supporting his theory for who was involved in trying to corrupt the election: WikiLeaks: Hillary Clinton Bribed Republicans to Influence Election.

Never mind the Russians. It was Hillary Clinton who was actually trying to sabotage the 2016 Presidential Election, according to a WikiLeaks release.

The information released shows that the Hillary Clinton campaign staffers bribed six Republicans to “destroy Trump”.

The evidence includes an email from John Podesta to Huma Abedin discussing diverting Clinton campaign funds to various Republicans who were secretly on the Clinton payroll.

Ed Morrissey describes why the Inaugural shows ‘The Resistance’ is an attack on democracy.

At a time when the nation set out to celebrate the peaceful transfer of authority, activists on the left descended on the nation’s capital to show just how fragile that can be.

A self-governed nation must have ways to hold elected officials accountable, and the existence of peaceful, law-abiding demonstrations can assure us of the health of our liberty.

That, however, was not what we saw on Inauguration Day. It didn’t start on Inauguration Day, either, or even on Inauguration Eve. This started immediately after the election, when those on the losing side of the election began dubbing themselves “The Resistance.”

This grandiose and pretentious appellation insults those who actually have to live under authoritarian regimes, including Cuba, whose oppressed no longer have the promise of expedited asylum if they manage to reach the United States, thanks to the outgoing president’s actions in the final hours of his term.

Those who lose elections in free countries are the opposition, and can fix that by winning the next election. Instead of asking why they lost, the “resistance” decided to pretend the loss of an election amounts to oppression and have adopted the language of revolution to rally themselves.

That incendiary language didn’t just get adopted by a few on the fringe, but by many on the left, including some in the news and entertainment media.

After they lost, the activist left refuses to accept that fact and instead wants to grab power at the point of a stick, the blunt side of a brick and the business end of a riot. That’s about as far from “anti-fascist” as it gets.

What we have seen in Washington this week is not a rational or lawful exercise of freedom of speech but a violent temper tantrum by those who will accept no governance other than their own rule, regardless of the expressed will of the electorate. That will be a lesson voters should learn and consider for the next election — and beyond.

There are reports that the ACLU has already started filing lawsuits, the carping about personal financial records and imagined conflicts of interest continue unabated, that attacks on the President’s young son have already started, that Democrats are doing everything they can to oppose just because a Republican is trying to do something and taking offense at any slight imagined or otherwise, and hyperbolic excessive pessimism about everything … i.e. business as usual for the Left. The question is whether it will be damped by public shaming or, as it has for the last few years, be fanned into hatred and violence.

The apologists take the ‘everybody does it’ excuse. That is a denial of what is readily evident as the Right does not engage in wholesale riot, property destruction, or adamant opposition no matter the position.

The new President has offered an invitation to all to come aboard and address inner city poverty and violence. Will the Democrats join in the effort or will they continue to oppose and impugn and build walls and isolate themselves? Will they continue to obsess on the words he uses to describe that violence or join in to address the problem?

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Emotional Science and Irrational Politics and the Media’s fingers in both

ACSH: Media Think World Of Science And Health Will End On Inauguration Day 2017 – “a substantial number of Americans, goaded on by a sensationalist press and the hyperpartisan echo chamber of social media, strongly disagree. One could be forgiven for thinking that America is diving head first into a new Dark Age… or worse.” FUD Mongering headlines are cited. Then there’s the question: Are Science Journals Politically Biased? Editor-In-Chief Of ACS Journal Refuses To Discuss Editorial Policy – “there is a small but growing perception among Americans that scientists are becoming politically biased. Indeed, surveys have confirmed that Democrats vastly outnumber Republicans in academia. And, over the last few months, the behavior of high-profile scientific journals has only served to reconfirm these perceptions of bias.”

It is difficult to avoid the perception of bias among the public when editors at journals are condemning a new president before he has even taken office.

Given the oddity of preemptively declaring war on an administration before it has taken charge, I was curious if ES&T Letters had published any editorials critical of President Obama. After all, he presided over at least two extremely controversial policies that were decided by politics rather than science

Combined, the message being sent by the scientific community is loud and clear: “We will give preferential treatment to politicians we like, and we will refuse to even consider treating fairly those we don’t.” That’s hardly an attitude befitting a scientist; on the contrary, it is what we would expect from a partisan or TV pundit.

Such conduct is bad for science. The honor and privilege bestowed upon this “secular priesthood” ought not be abused. Currently, science continues to earn widespread admiration from both sides of the political spectrum. And though a large majority of Americans still believe scientists are politically unbiased, that reputation will erode unless the scientific community makes a better effort to behave that way.

That horse has already left the barn and the concerns are a day late and a dollar short.

Ian Hanchet: Krauthammer: Young Man Starting Fire at Anti-Trump Protest Has ‘A Whiff of ISIS To It’ – “[I]t tells you how completely weird the parents and the other people out there are. These are the same people who show up at the IMF meetings, and world bank, the Occupy Wall Street. You ask them, ‘Why are you out there?’ They’re completely incoherent. … I mean, these people ought to be medicated.”

I think the real culprits here are the people who ought to be the adults. The one’s who ought to set an example, and that’s the one-third of Democrats in Congress, who will refuse to attend, and actively boycott the inauguration. I think that is scandalous. An inauguration is not the celebration of party victory. It’s a kind of civic sacrament for something that it is exceedingly rare in the world, which is the transfer of power, uninterrupted now for 240 years, the longest anywhere on earth. That’s something that you celebrate.”

Valerie Richardson picks up on this as Trump trashing and bashing becomes a permanent role for political left – “Is the political left getting ahead of itself in bashing and trashing the Trump White House?”

Nobody expects the losing party to celebrate after a presidential race, but political analysts say the postelection frenzy of fundraising, war rooms, protests and social media hysteria represents an alarming departure from the traditional stoic acceptance of years past.

“A democracy only works if the factions, the divisions are done peacefully and resolved peacefully, and compromises are made,” Mr. Horowitz said. “There’s a honeymoon after the election in which the losing party defends the legitimacy of the election result. That’s why we’ve had peace since the Civil War in this country.”

Democrats say Republicans didn’t make it easy for Barack Obama, who had barely got comfortable in the White House before the tea party announced its arrival with a march on Washington in September 2009.

On the other hand, conservatives never tried to upend the 2008 Electoral College result by urging electors to defect, or called for his impeachment before he took office, or organized dozens of demonstrations to coincide with his inauguration.

Fixating on Mr. Trump also prevents Democrats from promoting a positive message for voters, especially if he winds up scoring policy victories early on in his administration.

“His job is to produce for the American people,” Mr. Gingrich said, “and frankly, to the degree that the Democrats decay into just being the anti-Trump party, they will keep themselves in the minority a long time.”

Jon Fleischman: Dems Boycotting Trump Should Burn American Flags, Too – “When elected federal legislators announce that they are boycotting the official swearing-in of the new president, they are not protesting the person that was elected, they are protesting America itself.”

But I believe that for an elected member of Congress ,being on hand to affirm and support this peaceful transition of power between chief executives is their responsibility — one they are shirking to make a cheap political statement that does more to diminish themselves than anything else.

Thomas Lifson says Wynton Marsalis nails it on performers boycotting the inauguration – “Make people cheat you to your face, son.”

As some performers disgrace themselves with dishonored vows to leave the U,S. upon Trump’s election and petulant bullying of peers who dare express willingness to perform at the inaugural, a genuine star has put them all to shame. Wynton Marsalis posted an essay on Facebook that deserves to be read in its entirety

Mike Kimmitt describes The Democrats’ acidic petulance – “Still posted on the CNN website is a months-old interview that again reveals the stunning phoniness of today’s hard-left Democrat-press complex.”

Earnest believes that the rapidly diminishing numbers of Democrats remaining in Congress and in state houses across the land are so convinced of their own righteousness that the most revolting display of petulance is not only acceptable, but encouraged.

With thousands of anarchists conspiring to disrupt or curtail inaugural events, Democrats in Congress are essentially urging them on with their acidic behavior.

CNN did its part with a stunningly irresponsible report in which it wistfully speculated that Democrats might be able to maintain the White House if Trump were assassinated before being sworn in.

The dangerous garishness of the Democratic Party and their sycophants in the press and on the streets of Washington, D.C. is as unprecedented as it is shameful.

On the State Left’s Propaganda Machine Kelly Riddell notes The one-sided coverage of Donald Trump – “Everybody, including the Never-Trumpers suffers for it.” Wesley Pruden picks up on consequences as a A hearty last laugh for the Donald – “Donald Trump’s greatest contribution to America will be his stripping the media, particularly the overpaid and undereducated television media, of its last pretense to fairness and objectivity.” Jennifer Harper says Battered mainstream press limps into uncharted age of Trump, social media – “There’s no press honeymoon now and not much chance for one in the future.” Warren L. Dean Jr. fits in here, too with his look at The Democrats’ ‘dossier’ – “Spying on Russia’s mischief, or even faking it, is a dangerous game.”

“Our new president is a master of communicating directly with the world in his own way, and social media enables him to bypass the press,” said veteran pollster John Zogby. “Meanwhile, the mainstream press is out of the loop, suffering from fewer viewers and subscribers, and threatened by serious distrust from the public. Ironically, the media seem to need Trump more than vice versa because he is such good drama and copy for them.”

Then, if you are into FUD Mongering, consider Andrew Blake: Passwords of top Trump appointees leaked online after earlier data breaches: Report – “Cabinet members identified in the report had their internet passwords compromised and leaked online as a consequence of high profile data breaches suffered by LinkedIn, MySpace and other websites hacked between 2012 and 2016, Channel 4 said.” This is why the prudent person manages his passwords according to accepted best practices, unlike Podesta. The fear being spread is that anyone can now read the incoming official’s private correspondence. The reality is that the incoming officials are rather more prudent than the outgoing officials as there were no such leaks as envisioned by the FUD Mongerers in the Propaganda Machine.

Charles Hurt: Donald Trump the Revolutionary – “He is coming to change many things in the lives of Americans.” Indeed, the fear of change is what is driving much of the TDS hysteria. But consider:

From the darkest corners of the bloated federal bureaucracy to the bright marble columns of the Supreme Court, Mr. Trump’s mandate is as broad as it is dramatic. Illegal immigration, international trade, education, Obamacare and America’s war against terrorism are all on the table for complete overhauls.

Refreshingly, Mr. Trump’s mandate is not a partisan one. He owes very little to the Republican Party and absolutely nothing to the Democratic Party. He handily defeated partisans on both sides of the political aisle.

He also owes nothing to any industry or special interest group except the voters who elected him and the free market system that made him a billionaire. He is owned by no one.

As a result, Mr. Trump stands poised to reinvent the entire federal government in favor of the American people alone. He is a tireless agent of disruption and an unbending force for creative destruction.

Donald Trump would not know a “talking point” if he saw one. He could barely get along with the teleprompter.

But he could talk.

And in plain English, he promised to re-invent the federal government from the ground up. People here were shocked, horrified, scandalized, frightened. But, outside Washington and the establishment media, people loved it.

Jazz Shaw on the bitter end of the Obama Era provides a wrap up.

The proceedings have started. There is much more commentary and news. Time for a breather.

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1/19/2017: Smears, Worries based on nightmares, and other emotional issues

There’s so much more but this is already up to near 2500 words.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University, published a ‘twofer’ of his thoughts today. One is about the racial disparity in crime and the other about international trade. Both are top agenda items for the new President. Here are selections from Dr. Williams thoughts.

Black Crime: The FBI reported that the total number of homicides in 2015 was 15,696. Blacks were about 52 percent of homicide victims … and over 90 percent of the time, the perpetrator was another black. Listening to the news media and the Black Lives Matter movement, one would think that black deaths at the hands of police are the major problem. It turns out that in 2015, police across the nation shot and killed 986 people. Of that number, 495 were white (50 percent), 258 were black (26 percent) and 172 Hispanic (17 percent). A study of 2,699 fatal police killings between 2013 and 2015, conducted by John R. Lott Jr. and Carlisle E. Moody of the Crime Prevention Research Center, demonstrates that the odds of a black suspect’s being killed by a black police officer were consistently greater than a black suspect’s getting killed by a white officer. Politicians, race hustlers and the news media keep such studies under wraps because these studies don’t help their narrative about racist cops.

Today’s level of lawlessness and insecurity in many black communities is a relatively new phenomenon. … The presence of criminals, having driven many businesses out, forces residents to bear the costs of shopping outside their neighborhoods. … Politicians who call for law and order are often viewed negatively, but poor people are the most dependent on law and order. … Ultimately, the solution to high crime rests with black people. Given the current political environment, it doesn’t pay a black or white politician to take those steps necessary to crack down on lawlessness in black communities.

International Trade Thuggery: Some American companies relocate in foreign lands because costs are lower and hence their profits are higher. Lower labor costs are not the only reason companies move to other countries. … One of the unappreciated benefits of international trade is that it helps reveal the cost of domestic policy. … My argument here is not against the costly regulations that we impose on ourselves. I am merely suggesting that we should appreciate the cost of those regulations. The fact that a good or service can be produced more cheaply elsewhere helps.

Trump’s threats to impose high tariffs on the products of companies that leave ought to be a worry for us … President Barack Obama has circumvented the Constitution and Congress through executive orders. … One wonders whether Trump plans to broaden that power by implementing trade tariffs through executive order. … By the way, all trade is fair in the eyes of the parties trading, or else they would not trade. It’s third parties who seek to interfere.

His worry is indicative. He is worried about the incoming president where the worry is speculative but just notes the reality of his worry about the current president. He also illustrates that his base concern isn’t so much executive abuse of the Constitution as it is of the regulatory agencies run amok.

Tucker Carlson ‘interviewed’ one of the House Boycotters and demonstrated that the boycotters concerns were ignorant of Trump’s published positions and ideas and that the Representative had much in common with Trump’s views despite asserting no common ground.

On the Russian blame game (one of the two most common Leftist excuses for losing several thousand elections country wide): “It should come as no surprise that the Democratically commissioned dossier is virtually incredible.” … “The strangest part of this story is that the so-called intelligence community in the United States reportedly got bamboozled into briefing President Obama and President-elect Trump on the dossier, and possibly presenting a summary of it to them.” … “The real story here is that the perfidious Russians were themselves being spied on.” [Warren L. Dean Jr]

It’s “Drunk on Group Think” (Kennedy). What makes it remarkable is that it is an anti-civilization effort based on blatant ignorance and dishonesty. It makes it clear that many Democrats have effective governance very low on their list of priorities and grievance politics at the very top. Trump inauguration boycott grows to third of Democratic caucus – “President-elect’s feud with John Lewis fuels unity. ” Even the Washington Times is showing the Left bias here. A cursory look at the Lewis ruckus reveals it was a Lewis feud with Trump based on fake news (The Russians and the LA/NYC vote) and ignorance of Trump’s positions. No matter. That’s just intellectual integrity and that is not valued much on the Left.

“It seems fairly unprecedented this number of people would boycott and in such a formalized manner,” said Barbara Perry, presidential studies director of the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia.

House Democrats know a thing or two about boycotting Republican inaugurals — a handful skipped the 2001 swearing-in of President George W. Bush — but the only event comparable to this year’s exodus in terms of scale is the 1973 inauguration of President Nixon.

David Sherfinski: Newt Gingrich on boycotters: Why would you ‘abandon America’? – ““They’re childish and silly. The inauguration is not about Republicans. It’s not about Donald Trump,” Mr. Gingrich said.” On the up side is the idea that they are making this clear to the public at large. This perfidy in politicians has much to do with Trump winning the election and the antics of the left like the aggressive bullying and the pompous boycotting may help educate others who have not yet understood the lesson.

On the bias in evidence front, Douglas Ernst reports that Bill Maher puts Hollywood ‘bubble’ on notice: ‘We’re the losers now’ – ““It’s very insular, just the liberals talking to themselves, which they are very good at doing,” Mr. Maher said.” Then there’s this: “It is a very troubling idea that the FBI is politicized. When the internal police department is politicized, that’s a place I don’t want to be on the wrong side of — I mean, that’s fascism.” He ‘forgets’ that the FBI issue was based on the politicization of the DoJ and efforts to dance around top down pressure and the AG meeting with the suspect. That bias about pending Fascism also misses what has been happening in the IRS and other agencies. i.e. there is a who lotta’ projection going on.

Robert Oscar Lopez says Want to Know Why Trump Won? Just Ask His Supporters – He highlights why the TDS temper tantrums are so dangerous. The tantrums feed into the angst that elected Trump. The election was the proper, the peaceful way for the angst to speak. If it is not heard then other ways to speak will happen.

If you have never been publicly accused of bigotry, you may have a difficult time understanding what political correctness means for the ordinary citizen who cannot afford to be fired, does not retain a personal lawyer, has no publicist, and lacks the resources to rescue his reputation from the onslaught of a left-wing character smear.

“Bigot! Hater!” These used to be allegations that might make one less attractive on the social scene, but nowadays they are as deadly as being accused of sorcery in 1690 in Massachusetts, or of sodomy in 1890 in London, or of Communism in 1953 in Washington, D.C.

Since Trump won, I find a huge burden lifted from me. So much of people’s ability to make me afraid to speak honestly pointed ultimately to Obama’s presence at the top of the chain of being, to marshal civic powers against anyone accused of hate. Without the IRS, the Department of Justice, the intelligence community, and the whole federal behemoth backing up the P.C. troops on the streets, we are…free.

It feels wonderful, and Trump isn’t even president yet.

S.E.Cupp has her opinion, too: Democrats, please control yourselves: Trump derangement syndrome will not help win policy fights – “If Democrats want to project strength and confidence in their ability to survive in the era of Trump — and one day defeat him — they have a long recovery ahead.” People are observing and many understand what they see.

In the hours and days following Trump’s toppling of Hillary Clinton, liberals around the country collapsed into seizing, heaving piles of inconsolable apoplexy. And it’s led to some truly tragic, and embarrassing, behavior among some.

Snit fits about every little thing are not an effective way to oppose a President’s agenda.

Party leaders and activists don’t look defiant, resolved and unified; they look alarmingly insecure, weak and spastic.

She falls into the ‘both sides do it fallacy’ – can you find any mainstream Republican kicking and screaming in response to Obama like we see now by Democrats in response to Trump? But, in this case, that is a minor issue in her main point that “if we want to get through this, and maybe get a Democrat or another Republican elected in four years, we need to pick ourselves up, put our heads down, and go to work.”

Don Surber takes up the compare and contrast in President Trump and Obama — a Tale of Two Palms – It highlights the fact that Trump, and much of his cabinet, are entering government after retiring from successful careers while the Obamas, and the Clintons, and Harry Reid entered government as paupers looking for wealth and fame in government service. He illustrates the absurdity about these ‘unfit’ judgments and complaints about lack of experience or lack of qualifications directed at Trump.

Only after he succeeded in life, did Donald Trump seek the presidency.

Then there is Barack Obama, a man who built nothing and did nothing prior to running for office. He wrote two books, did he?

Trump wrote 18.

As an over-rated community organizer once said, You Did Not Built This.

By the way, the Clintons and the Obamas mooched off friends to vacation in Martha’s Vineyard. Both Bushes and Reagan went to their own vacation places.

On the typical Leftist smearing of the ‘Republicans are going to push grandma off the cliff and kill women and children variety’ is John Merline asking Are Those ‘ObamaCare Saved My Life’ Stories Legitimate?

But the relevant question isn’t: “Did ObamaCare help some people?” The relevant question is: “Could the same benefits have been achieved at lower costs?

Did ObamaCare help some people? No doubt.

Are there a better, cheaper, more competitive, less intrusive ways to expand insurance coverage by making it more affordable?

Given ObamaCare’s enormous price tag, the disruptions it’s caused, the false promises made to get it enacted, the market implosion it sparked, and the ongoing lack of public support, the answer to that question is also a definitive “Yes.”

On the Fake News front is the IBD on Media Malpractice In The Age Of Trump – “For eight years, it was virtually impossible to get reporters interested in legitimate Obama administration scandals. Now, reporters are so eager to run scandal stories about the incoming Trump administration that they are making them up.” The example is the attempt to smear nominee Tom Price.

In other words, there is no story here, much less a scandal.

The fact that CNN pretended that there was one says nothing about Price’s ethics. It does, however, say plenty about the blatant partisan bias of today’s “independent” press.

The rant of the day award goes to Colin Flaherty on Trump and Obama’s Legacy of Racism – “Racial quotas and affirmative action is an essential part of every cubicle in every office in every department. Top to bottom … white people have to fix that. Because black people are not responsible for their own behavior. .”

Now the only question is whether Trump and his army are going to be ready to take the helm of a federal government that has made racial resentment a fundamental organizing principle of its existence. Part of the DNA of every policy in every nook and cranny in every federal office.

Or whether they think this cancer of institutional racial resentment can wait another day.

On the gun control issue Jazz Shaw says A roundup of illegal guns in Washington, D.C. proves telling – “one thing we do know is that the vast, vast majority of firearms used in crimes were not bought at the local gun shop by someone who passed a background check.”

one of the bright spots at the Washington Post has been the work of Colbert I. King. While we obviously don’t agree on everything, he usually covers the D.C. metro beat and his reporting is generally fair and critical of the district’s government where deserved. He’s done a lot of work on the outrageous but often unreported crime rate and the problems residents have been facing on that score. This week he looks at a collection of weapons confiscated from criminals and highlights some important information. Shockingly for the WaPo, it doesn’t point to an immediate demand for stricter gun control laws. In fact, a closer look indicates almost precisely the opposite.

think about the work the district police are doing. They are finding a relatively huge number of guns considering that D.C. has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation. And pretty much all of those guns were obtained illegally. Keep that in mind next time you talk to someone pushing for more background checks and tougher restrictions on legal firearms purchases.

Stephen Hayward manages to come up with both a smear and Fake News and media malfeasance: Washington Post Goes Full Retard – “And people in the media wonder why Trump, and much of the population, think the media is the enemy.” The case is dissected.

You may have seen the latest claims about ‘warmest evva’ – Luboš Motl explains what’s going on in GISS: 1998-2016 comparison suggests a trend of 2 °C per century.

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1/17/2017 A Wild Day in the EtherStorm: The Leftover Left and a boiling pot

Back after a holiday and the planet is popping. The ‘stack of stuff’ Limbaugh uses must need a warehouse and Amazon robots to manage. That means the distillation of the news is getting further distilled to focus on a selection of headlines.

Washington Times lists some of its most popular: Ads in two dozen cities offer protesters up to $2,500 to agitate at Trump inauguralPlanned Parenthood failed to take sex trafficking seriously after infamous sting, ex-employee saysPresident Obama leaves legacy of wider racial riftDemocrats wasting time hating Donald TrumpAlveda King, MLK’s niece: ‘I voted for Mr. Trump’Ryan Zinke defends expansive federal reach in land policies plus others Departing CIA chief John Brennan wants his legacy to be the work he did for LGBTQ communityPolitico admits White House press corps been asleep last 8 yearsMore U.S. Marines deployed near Russian borders … Talk about a loaded plate! But wait! there’s more!

Ed Feulner says it’s about Reversing a dangerous power grab – “The feds just took over the U.S. election process.” What he highlights is that the current Left’s thing about blaming the election results on the Russians drives policy decisions that bode ill for keeping the Russians out of elections.

That’s not to say that other forms of election tampering aren’t possible. Far from it, unfortunately. Voter fraud is a real danger, and many cases have popped up across the country.

But these occur invariably at the state and local level. It would be extraordinarily difficult for anyone, foreign or otherwise, to tap in and tamper with the results on a national level — for the simple reason that there’s no central place to tap.

Designating our election systems “critical infrastructure” places that security in jeopardy.

Despite all this talk about the Russians hacking us, the real enemy is within. It’s time to expose this naked power grab — and reverse it.

Environmentalists like to call themselves conservationists because they think it makes them look less extreme. The tactic, dating back decades, is part of a larger public relations strategy designed to craft an image that won’t alienate the average American.” Jeff Goodson describes the history in another battle with the left in Trump and the Rough Rider’s conservation ethos – “Like Teddy Roosevelt, the Donald would unlock America’s natural resources.”

Then there’s Renee Garfinkel who asks Can democracy continue without norms? – “In America, Middle East or elsewhere?” It’s a good thesis but the presentation starts to get suspicious when she starts using Trump for illustration, expresses the ‘everybody does it’ fallacy, and then comes up with this howler: “The right challenges truth by substituting emotion for reason, and embracing “truthiness” and “post-truth politics.” What you can find in the essay is a case of projection, not truth, not insight, not reality. It is moral preening that overwhelms a good point and destroys its thesis. That is very sad as much of the violence in the deep cities is related to the violence planned to disrupt the inauguration and the riots against everything from pipelines to the police. There is where you will find a dangerous violation of civil norms, not in such things as the voyeurism seeking private records of public officials in order to find political attack fodder.

More headlines this morning, this time from Lucianne: – Anti-Trump protesters caught on camera planning acid attack on ball for activists as part of bid to close down inauguration celebrationA hellscape of lies and distorted reality awaits journalists covering President Trump Hungary set to turn screws on Soros-backed NGOsBreaking: DeploraBall Organizer Contacts FBI – Will File Charges Against #DisruptJ20 Thugs=> Conspiracy to Commit TerrorismAtlanta Journal-Constitution Botches Crime Stats in Defending John LewisObama rushes to fill dozens of federal jobs before leaving office“Statistical Evidence Not Required”Mason Weaver Has a Dream, Representative John Lewis Has a Nightmare…New O´Keefe Video: Leftists Planning Stink Bombs At ´Deploraball´

Ace has a nightmare: The Intel CommunityDeep State” Is Conducting Political Warfare inside the US and says “What scares me here is not the sinisterness of this — but the gross incompetence, clumsiness, and obviousness of it.”

Jazz Shaw describes how The media rules for covering the White House are about to change… radically with examples and illustrations. HotAir is another hotbed of headlines this morning, too, especially of the compare and contrast type (refuting the ‘both sides do it’ fallacies).

Paul Mirengoff gets into problems in moral turpitude with “NEVER Trump” Republicans Whine That Trump May Say “NEVER Them” – this is part and parcel of the idea that Trump is the one with the intemperate pronouncements and not those who called him “unfit” or worse.

Am I being too harsh in thinking that the moaning of such “all-stars” is pathetic? If you are on record that Donald Trump’s candidacy is a danger to the nation, how can you expect Trump to offer you a job? Both letters are extraordinarily harsh.

Words have meaning. “Never” doesn’t mean “not until he wins.”

Mirengoff also notes a Trump Effect as Great Britain refuses to sign on to an anti-Israel agreement and Canada is looking for advice on NAFTA. Also at Powerline this morning Hinderaker quotes reporters harassing Martin Luther King III to denounce Trump and notes “The Democratic Party thinks it derives great power from its control over the press, but increasingly, Americans just yawn. Or laugh.”

Luboš Motl also gets into it with an observation from central Europe about what he sees as important.

Donald Trump has given an interview to Bild, … Donald Trump didn’t say anything that the Europeans should be scared of. He just makes sense. Much of what he’s saying just reproduces what wise Europeans like me have been saying for many years

I guess that the Donald is going to be the first Euroskeptic U.S. president.

Even though lots of nonsense has been said about his not being qualified etc., this Euroskepticism shows that he has a much deeper understanding for the European affairs than most others. He sees much of the internal structure of Europe. He even knows 1,001 differences between a Czech wife and a Slovenian wife (and believe it or not, many – but not all – of these lessons actually can be generalized to the whole two nations). The previous U.S. administrations were supporting the ever closer European integration and things like that. Why did they do it? What made so many U.S. politicians and citizens think that Europe should be increasingly integrated or unified? Why were they so close to the pseudoelite of Brussels even though their own power didn’t depend on the approval from the EU “capital”?

It’s clear that Donald Trump’s views are much closer to the views of Europeans such as myself than the opinions of the unelected commissars in the European Soviets.

The members of the European Soviet, the general secretaries of the European Union parties, and other unelected institutions are saying that Trump’s views about Europe are dangerous for Europe. In reality, they’re mostly dangerous for these deceitful unelected individual parasites happily living somewhere in the ivory tower between Brussels and Strasbourg – and all major European capitals. You are not the same thing as the population of the European continent, dear comrades, and you should better internalize this fact as quickly as you can.

Instapundit wondersIs anybody keeping track of Robert Creamer, Jan Schakowsky’s (D-IL) husband, who ginned up violence at Trump rallies on behalf of Hillary’s campaign? Because what’s going on now isn’t some sort of spontaneous upwelling. It’s organized, which means that there are organizers.”

North Dakota isn’t happy about the Pipeline protesters. North Dakota lawmaker’s bill protects drivers who negligently hit someone obstructing traffic.You have the right to “peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Not to block traffic and make yourself a nuisance or a danger to people trying to get on with their lives.”

OK, Instapundit joins the collection of collections of pot boiling headlines. Go see yourself.

Patricia McCarthy says The Left Is Thoroughly Bamboozled – “Truly melting, as surely as the wicked witch of The Wizard of Oz melted when Dorothy tossed some water on her.”

Interesting times. The cover is being yanked off the ugly and the ugly aren’t happy.

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