Archive for politics

It’s fun to threaten Republicans?

Cheryl K. Chumley: Democrat logic: It’s fun to threaten Republicans – “This is crazed behavior. And it’s all coming from the left, aimed at the right.”

Colton Lochhead: Political vitriol sparks call for moderation in Nevada – “They disrupt … They lambaste … They accuse …

The protests have centered on the most partisan issues and often fail to resonate with the moderate base, said Billy Vassiliadis, an influential operatives for Democrats in Nevada and CEO of R&R Partners.

“Voters are sick of this. The average person is sick of this,” Vassiliadis said.

Vassiliadis, who worked for former Nevada Gov. Bob Miller’s campaign and was an adviser on the campaigns for President Barack Obama and longtime U.S. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, said this “downward spiral” has been building for the better part of two decades.

Jazz Shaw: Yet another argument saying the government can’t restrict immigration – “For reasons which are completely beyond me, Ilya Somin of the Volokh Conspiracy has once again taken to the pages of the Washington Post, making yet another argument claiming that the federal government has no power to restrict immigration in any fashion. We’ve already tackled some of his arguments here in the past, but let’s see what he’s up to this time.” Somin’s arguments anti-Trump have been a puzzle for someone of his stature.

Byron York: At this rate, it won’t matter if Trump colluded with Russia – Anonymous rumors leaking confidential notes without provenance or visibility create a running stream of antagonistic media stories that undermine the government.

That was then. Now, rather than focusing on alleged collusion, the thrust of leaks in recent days has been directed almost exclusively toward building a case of obstruction of justice against the president, charging that he actively tried to derail the investigation into his campaign and his associates. More and more, day after day, Trump’s adversaries believe that, when it comes to bringing down the president, it might not matter if collusion occurred or not. A cover-up would be enough to do the job.

On the other hand, the ‘cover-up’ may be yet another ‘fake scandal’ much like the Russian collusion turned out to be. The real question is whether the perpetrators of these malicious fabrications are held to account. It is also something to note that the prevailing presumption is that the leakers are telling truth. This seems correlated with the presumption that Trump is incompetent. Since the veracity of leakers has been so poor and there is much evidence contrary to the incompetence idea, these presumption should be something to consider.

Andrew Malcom opines on The hidden blessing for Trump in the special counsel’s investigation – “We warned the other day that Trump’s peremptory firing of James Comey and shifting storyline would thoroughly alienate Comey and his colleagues “who are real pros at the Washington game of assassination by leak.”

Here’s where the Mueller appointment is good news for Trump. Mueller has basically unlimited powers now, able to take this investigation in any and all directions. He is universally respected as a straight-shooter in Washington, a rare breed in that swamp.

What’s also quite striking in the hysterical media coverage of the usurper Trump is what didn’t happen before. Remember Attorney General Eric Holder’s Fast and Furious gun-running operation into Mexico? It was botched. Drug gangs got the guns and killed a border agent.

Holder stonewalled congressional investigators. He got censured. No special counsel.

For those of us in flyover country, the wily ways of Washington and its in-house media chroniclers eagerly being used by anonymous sources choose which scandals to snuff and which to fuel. That institutional coziness and congressional ineptitude by both parties partly explain the voter disgust that elected the angriest candidate as president. Never mind his qualifications.

The anger and suspicions of that plurality simmer to this day largely unnoticed back there. Hopefully, the probity of Mueller’s probe will prove convincing whichever way it goes.

Here’s another example of the destructive bias in perceptions: Here’s The Deal With That Glowing Orb Trump Touched In Saudi Arabia – “Social media users mused that the image, in which Trump touches a globe with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, resembled a scene where villains enact their master plan.”

In reality, Trump had touched the globe as part of an inauguration ceremony for the Global Center for Combatting Extremist Ideology in Ridyah, Saudi Arabia on Sunday. Together, the three leaders placed their hands on the globe to start a film about the center.

“This groundbreaking new center represents a clear declaration that Muslim-majority countries must take the lead in combatting radicalization, and I want to express our gratitude to King Salman for this strong demonstration of leadership,” Trump said. “We must be united in pursuing the one goal that transcends every other consideration. That goal is to meet history’s great test — to conquer extremism and vanquish the forces of terrorism.”

But all they can see is evil … maybe they are looking in the mirror?

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Rude, crude, vulgar — is this the new United States?

Cheryl K. Chumley: The art of the Trump take-down – “watching this despicable trend of Democratic-fueled accusation, followed by media-expressed outrage, followed by leftist expression of shock, gives rise to one very apt image: that of sharks circling prey.”

This is not how U.S. politics ought to be run. Yet this is America, campaign 2016 and White House 2017. Think hard, question everything. The vicious political atmosphere of late is not happenstance.

The Democrats are to blame. The mainstream media is a complicit close second for fault. And third? That’d be the gutless and elitists in the Republican Party, masquerading as true representatives of the people, who didn’t want Trump in office in the first place and are now only too glad to quietly sneer, “told you so,” while pretending allegiance to conservative principles.

And once again, let’s remember: There is no evidence Trump worked with Russians to beat Clinton in the election. But to paraphrase a famous Democratic politico, in an out-of-context way: What difference, at this point, does the truth make?

Take care, America, in this 24-hour news cycle, in this fiery anti-Trump atmosphere. There may be more reporting going on. But that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s more truth being provided.

Valerie Richardson: 80 percent of news stories were critical of Trump, says Harvard study – “President Trump has insisted that his press coverage has been historically negative, and a newly released Harvard journalism study backs him up.”

“Trump’s coverage during his first 100 days set a new standard for negativity,” said Harvard Kennedy School of Government professor Thomas E. Patterson in the report.

He added that the coverage was “negative even by the standards of today’s hypercritical press.”

At the same time, Mr. Trump has received more press coverage in general than previous presidents. He was the topic of 41 percent of all news stories, or three times that of previous presidencies, and he was the featured speaker in 65 percent of the stories.

Compare and contrast is provided by Roger Kimball describing Donald Trump’s Invigorating Speech in Riyadh – “Trump’s speech was a forthright, America First, speech, Obama’s an accommodationist’s dream.” There was also note of the media hate: “Fake news alert: the disgusting Washington Post, where truth goes to die, ran a breathless story about how Trump bowed when he received the medal signifying Saudi Arabia’s highest civilian honor. How exactly could the honor have been bestowed had Trump not bowed his head to receive it?”

Bottom line: Obama went to Cairo to apologize for America and hope for world peace. Trump went to Riyadh to champion America and extend an offer to work together for world peace.

I know that pundits will be descending like buzzards upon a carcass to pick away at the details of Trump’s speech. Happy eating to them.

Ed Morrissey says CA Dems keep it classy with digital salute to Trump at convention – “Following in the footsteps of DNC chair Tom Perez, outgoing California Democratic chair John Burton offered a foul-mouthed tirade at the party’s convention this weekend, complete with a two-finger display of defiance of Donald Trump.”

It’s a petulant whine. Normally, we’d expect that from high-school and college students living in their own little bubbles, not from people who are trying to make the case that they can be trusted to run the country. And yet more and more Democrats have begun to wallow in expletives and coarseness rather than address the issues, apparently in the belief that it’s Trump’s bluntness that won him the election. Instead, it comes across much more clearly as a middle finger to voters middle America, who have no love at all for college students and their special-snowflake protests, but at least might excuse it as youthful indiscretions. Pelosi, Perez, Kirsten Gillibrand, and other Democratic leaders hardly have that excuse.

As one party indulges this deeply unserious and idiotic behavior, they encourage more of it from all sides. The discourse in our political cultures has declined rapidly enough as it is, and our media and entertainment cultures have led the way for it. At some point in the future, if we stay on this path, we’ll end up with a political culture where grunts and rude gestures matter more than policy, a game in which the side that can produce the most gross bodily noises wins. In short, we’ll be stuck in a perpetual middle-school playground, only the bullies that come after your school lunch will have the IRS to back them up.

Instapundit cites Putin (re LA Times): “You know what surprises me? They are destabilizing the internal political situation in the United States under anti-Russian slogans,” Putin said, according to Tass. “They either do not understand that they are harming their own country, which means they are just shortsighted, or they understand everything, and that means that they are dangerous and unscrupulous people.”

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Safe Haven Index

First is a story about CNN and their obsession with the President. Then Joel B. Pollak describes how the New York Times Oversells ‘Comey’s Revenge’ Story – “The Times identifies its source as “one of Mr. Comey’s associates,” who did not provide a copy of the memo but read it aloud on the telephone.” Sundance fills in on the New York Times: President Trump Asked Comey To End Flynn Investigation… – “The Washington Post (yesterday) and New York Times (today) are attempting to frame the anti-Trump narrative right before he goes on his first overseas trip.” The IBT opines that No, Trump’s Top-Secret Whispering To Russians Isn’t Fake News — But It Is A Fake Issue – “We have no reason to disbelieve the basic story that Trump shared some intelligence with the Russians. But the details are highly suspect, to say the least. “Former” officials? That means almost certainly Obama administration officials. Hardly an unbiased source.” And reports indicate that Russian president Putin has offered to supply transcripts of the meeting to show that all was proper. Still, The Washington Examiner takes up on Schumer’s effort to cripple Trump – “Sen. Chuck Schumer is trying to sabotage the Trump administration, at the expense of the country.”

Schumer and the Left want to maximize the political price Trump pays for any action he takes, whether it is genuinely controversial and troubling, or only frothed up by critics to look that way. It’s crucial “that Democrats don’t just hand Trump and his party a quick bipartisan victory in the fight to replace James Comey,” a liberal writer urged at Rolling Stone on Friday.

Ace: Some Thoughts And Advice About How to Restore Your Chill – “Something I’ve noticed time and time again: People get the most frustrated and emotionally angry over disputes which are currently beyond their ability to resolve.” … “find the truth” … “Oddly, knowing the truth, even if it’s not the truth you’d hoped for, is less distressing, most of the time.”

How all this works, as I’ve said before, is that people with limited, incomplete, and biased information try to start a stampede of people into agreeing with their questionable, dubious, partisan-twisted conclusions. They make a lot of noise — a lot of noise — shooting off their idiot partisan pistols to get the herd stampeding in the direction they want, none of the cows quite knowing why they’re all headed in this particular direction.

It’s a deeply stupid way to conduct “debate” over political issues, which is why the left favors it so much.

It’s also grating on the mind and spirit to have to put up with so much empty noise.

Tune it out. You now know most of what there is currently available for knowing about the latest Dumb Scandals. There is no additional information currently available, and so there’s not really much reason to Run With the Stupid Bulls.

Paul Mirengoff provides some sense on the Comey meeting notes hysteria: Preliminary thoughts on the “Comey memo” [UPDATED] – “Gregg Jarrett of Fox News argues that if Comey believed the president’s statements to him amounted to obstruction of justice, then Comey himself committed a crime unless he promptly reported those statements to the Department of Justice. However, if Comey concluded that Trump’s language was vague, ambiguous or elliptical, then he had no duty under the law to report it because the statements weren’t criminal.”

Steven Hayward picks up on the intelligence leaks as Profiles in Media Hypocrisy – “We owe it to Marc Thiessen at AEI to offer a compilation of previous media hypocrisy about outing classified intelligence from foreign sources:”

Also on Powerline John Hinderaker notes “Apparently the Democratic Party press has anti-Trump stories lined up and ready to drop every two or three days.” … “The broader context, of course, is that Donald Trump declared war on the establishment, and the establishment is making war on Trump.”

Several pundits and commentators have expressed a basic assumption that Trump is not quite up to the job as President based on this all out war by Democrats and their Propaganda Machine. See Betsy Newmark saying “I can well believe that Trump had no idea that it was improper to talk to Comey about possibly ending the Flynn administration.” That, for her, isn’t new as she has always had a significant anti-Trump bias but it illustrates the presumption that is surfacing here and there. Roger Kimball expands the view a bit and asserts that Trump Maintains Momentum Despite Malicious Media – “As I had occasion to note in March, the “motor of fake news is not inaccuracy. It’s malice.”

Tucker Carlson is correct: the media is “stumbling around in a sightless rage” in their coverage of Trump.

The mournful assumption among many of Trump’s supporters is that the frenzy of media hysteria, though almost comically baseless, is nonetheless dangerous because, on the throw-enough-mud-and-some-will-stick principle, it has an abrading, delegitimizing effect, a drip-drip-drip apodosis that is corrosive of trust.

That may very well be the case. But I suspect nonetheless that the primary victim of the malicious static will not be Trump but the media, which has passed from carping hostility to surreal fantasy.

Two things are happening. On the one hand, the media’s credibility has entered a death spiral. On the other hand, Trump keeps chugging along, toting up victories and setbacks, just like every other successful politician known to man.

It is clear to most observers now that the media’s “bombshells” fail to detonate because they are total fabrications.

“If” is one of those treacherous words, I know, but I think that there are plenty of reasons for confidence. And at that point the great media hysteria of 2017 will seem not only hysterical, not only sad, but also disfiguringly repellent.

Neo-neocon also has Some personal reflections on the WaPo story claiming that Trump compromised security – “when the press is out to get a president—as it has been with Trump—it will ferret out every negative thing it can, and spin it in the most negative way. The attack will be coordinated and relentless, and it will draw at least some blood.” The column is about dealing with conflicts and dissonance.

I have gotten to the point where, when I scan the MSM outlets or memeorandum for the day’s headline stories, the entire enterprise seems more than ever before like mindless propaganda to me. And whether that phenomenon hurts Trump in the end or helps him, I can’t imagine that such a high a level of jusified distrust and weariness of the media is a good place for America to be.

When you stir up the mud at the bottom of the swamp, it releases putrid gases and foul mats of decaying vegetation float to the surface. The local radio investment pundit blamed the Yahoo Search page featuring Nixon and rumors that some Representative will broach impeachment in the House as the reason the stock market indices are dropping. He said investors were moving to ‘safe haven’ investments. This is what a civil war, an effort for a coup, the dismissal of an election, the treason and the sedition, the fake news, the propaganda, and the total lack of regard for intellectual integrity on display from the Left is putting on the table. 

 

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Hooey, self delusion, etc.

Charles Hurt: Hysteria, overblown hooey part of the fake news cycle – “Every time the Washington political press freaks out and goes into full panic mode against President Trump, the blockbuster, Watergate-volume story always unfolds the same way.”

Each time, these reporters sink deeper and deeper into a fantasyland as they dream bigger and bigger. THIS TIME, they keep thinking, we FINALLY got him!

Reporters and Democrats alike — not to repeat myself — are actually now speculating about whether Mr. Trump will survive the certain impeachment hearings to come.

But then, as the heavy breathing subsides and the adrenaline rush gives way to factual, concrete reporting, the most damning charges fall away.

Well, OK. But the White House should have handled it better.

Patricia McCarthy: The Media-Democratic Party Suicide Pact – “The national media and the Democratic Party have gone stark raving mad over President Trump’s election victory; they refuse to accept it.”

Our media and our Democrats seem to think that with all their hateful, childish behavior, their tantrums (“we won’t vote for an FBI director unless there is a special prosecutor”), they can win back the House and Senate in 2018. They seem not to realize that they are going to lose more seats in both houses. Their strategy, these vile tactics, are a suicide pact. And when the mainstream media and the Democratic Party die by their own hands, only the mind-numbed elites on both coasts and the denizens of the editorial offices of the NYT, the WaPo and the LA Times will be surprised. No one else will care. They will have seen it all coming for years.

Betsy McCaughey: The left’s sick lies about health reform – “Never mind facts. Democrats and media allies are resorting to shock value to defeat repeal — staging funerals with caskets and predicting massive deaths if the bill becomes law.”

Does the GOP bill abandon people with pre-existing conditions? No.

Does the GOP House bill pass the “Kimmel test”? Yes.

The public is being misled.

Is repealing ObamaCare “a death sentence for thousands” as Bernie Sanders says? No way.

The first thing to fix is the lack of intellectual integrity and self awareness on the Left.

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It’s a dangerous path the Left is taking

Where the real danger lies:

Think about it: Wright was so proud of her behavior that she put it out there for the world to see. She felt no shame; no need to hide her actions.

Cheryl K. Chumley says For Republicans, it’s getting dangerous out there – “Wright ultimately left the scene — but was apprehended after she posted details of the incident to her Facebook page. And it’s that little facet of the story that seems most remarkable.”

This particular story ended with Wendi Wright, 35, being arrested and charged with felony reckless endangerment. And the specifics of her charges come down to this: She allegedly chased Kustoff and his aide, Marianne Dunavant, in her car as they drove from the town hall event, ultimately intimidating them to the point that they pulled into the driveway of somebody they knew.

Is Wright demented? Or just an average Democrat in the Trump era?

Certainly, the atmosphere in the country has turned much more accepting of violence as a form of leftist political protest in recent months — since the rise of President Donald Trump, in fact.

The congressional halls of Democratic offices are filled with calls to impeach Trump, finding an actual impeachable offense be danged. And the media, the ever complicit media, don’t mind rising from the mud, when opportunity presents, to join the anti-this, anti-that fray as well.

All this, meanwhile, comes on the heels of an appeal by a Huffington Post editor-at-large for leftists to simply hound those of the pro-Trump camp by following Republican politicians to their places of work, places of dining, places of living, and stand outside and protest and demand answers. Answers to what? Apparently, to why they’re Republicans, refusing to vote Democratic.

But this is the tone and atmosphere of the country right now. And it’s one created and fueled solely by the left. So what’s a good Republican to do to stay safe?

what’s called for in the face of these bullies is to fight harder. Bullies don’t back down unless they’re met with a force that’s to be reckoned with. And how do you best fight lying, deceptive, argumentative, angry, irrational, violent socialist-minded partisans with intent on corrupting the Constitution and destroying the greatness of America? With truth. With courage. With the full armor of God — including the breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith and sword of the spirit.

In the face of such power, evil, as these lunatic leftists represent, can only flee.

John Daniel Davidson: The American Left Is Talking Itself Into Violence – “The recent violence that’s marked our college campuses is seeping into the rest of society, and the vast majority of it comes from the intolerant Left.”

Something is wrong with the American Left. The recent spate of violent protests on college campuses has been well-documented, but the violence and intolerance championed by left-wing student activists is beginning to creep off campus and into mainstream public life.

The reason for this is straightforward enough: although progressives pride themselves on their putative tolerance and diversity, the imperatives of leftist politics are fundamentally illiberal. Justice imposed through power is the philosophical foundation of the political left, and when earnest progressives become convinced the only avenue to power is violence, their tolerance quickly falls by the wayside. Consider a few recent events, none of which involved college protesters but all of which were marked by threats of violence.

Leftist Intolerance Invites A Breakdown Of Civility

How has it come to this? No doubt, leftist ideology invites a kind of intolerance that leads to violence, as we’ve seen. But this tendency is exacerbated by a breakdown of civility fueled by social media. Would we see the kind of brutal, cutthroat behavior that’s marked the crowds at these town halls if those people had not inured themselves somewhat to it?

The problem here is picking a bogey man, social media, to sidestep and destroy the argument presented that it is a much deeper and more insidious evil at play.

William A. Jacobson: Buzzfeed asks: Why is Harvard Law Prof. Larry Tribe spreading conspiracy theories? – “A reputation is a terrible thing to waste.”

Lawrence Tribe, Harvard Law School professor, has sullied his reputation with his Trump Derangement Syndrome, as Buzzfeed documents

One of the great untold stories is how many liberals have damaged themselves in the desire to get Trump.

If Trump doesn’t go to jail, like so many of the liberal conspiracy theorists are predicting, there will be a price to pay for their delusions, and that price will be their reputations.

David Keene: A lesson in the loss of liberty – “Mischief-makers have turned new surveillance powers against Americans.”

Liberal civil libertarian types were convinced back then that it was dangerous to entrust too much to the likes of George W Bush, but went silent when Barack Obama entered the White House. …

Imagine what sort of public uproar would have erupted if, during the 2008 campaign, it had been revealed that the outgoing Bush administration had been caught doubling or tripling surveillance of its opponents and was “unmasking” candidate John McCain’s foreign policy advisers whose names may have been picked up through surveillance of noncitizens in troubled areas of the world. The media, Democrats in Congress and the liberal pundits would have simply gone berserk, but the cavalier use of these same powers by Mr. Obama against folks they don’t like hasn’t fazed them a bit.

The answer should be obvious. It goes beyond ideology to the nature of trusting government with too much power. When any government official assures the public that he or she can be trusted with powers we wouldn’t trust to “bad guys,” we should be wary because powers that can be abused will be abused by someone at some time for motives good or bad.

Clarice Feldman provides a summary on Russian Hacking and Collusion: Put the Cards on the Table – “The notion that Russia interfered in the election to help Donald Trump was a John Brennan/James Clapper confection created in an unorthodox way, and defied logic, given that Hillary and her associates had far closer connections to Russia than Trump or his associates did.”

12 prominent public statements by those on both sides of the aisle who reviewed the evidence or been briefed on it confirmed there was no evidence of Russia trying to help Trump in the election or colluding with him:

Law professor Jonathan Turley says much the same thing: “No one has yet to explain to me what the core crime that would be investigated with regards to Russian influence,’ Turley said Wednesday evening. “I don’t see the crime, so I don’t see how it’s closing in on Trump.”

Unless you think it makes political and constitutional sense to have an FBI director holding open forever an investigation of his boss with no factual basis, you might understand how ridiculous Comey’s refusal to publicly detail his reasons for so doing.

But there is much more than the misjudgment of allowing these people to head the investigation, which has run on for months with an ocean of leaks and no evidence.

if this is Watergate, it’s not because this president is trying to cover up any wrongdoing on his part, but rather Comey and others at the FBI are trying to cover up theirs, rather like Mark Felt. The drive to arrogate power to one’s self is a feature of Washington politics, and hardly unknown to the top ranks of the FBI.

Jazz Shaw picks up on how petty CNN has become: Impeachable? Trump gets TWO scoops of ice cream while the peasants all get one

they really didn’t have much of a point to make here. The best they could do was point to this as an example of how the White House staff is settling in with Trump and getting used to his preferences. But by the time they write it up on the web site the tone has definitely changed. Notice how they can’t be satisfied with simply saying that the staff has picked up on his druthers in dining. They have to paint the mental imagery of a plump, greedy child who has suddenly been turned loose in the palace and has the royal staff fetching him bowl after bowl of dessert treats.

So take that as you will. It might be a story about ice cream or the tale of some Caligula-like emperor who is gobbling up the riches of the realm while the peasants are forced to do without. This. Is. CNN. They report… you decide.

Or, another example by John Sexton: Michelle Obama is not happy about the rollback of her school lunch guidelines – “Mrs. Obama suggested that issues like school lunches should be above politics and yet she’s asking her audience to question the motives of the people who are making these changes.”

Ultimately, there has to be a balance between allowing kids to eat what tastes good to them and what will keep them healthy. It should be possible for adults to disagree about where that middle-ground is without assuming anyone who has a different opinion has bad motives and wants to see kids “eating crap.”

Or Jazz, again: This is how progressives undermine capitalism in the name of “character” – “It really wouldn’t merit much national attention were it not such a sterling example of enshrined, liberal tribal beliefs being carried over in the real world to the point of self-ridicule.” The community’s choice in which coffee shop is to replace an outed one … “what’s the difference if you drove down the property values and stopped someone from providing some jobs to local folks and possibly making a profit?”

On the U.S. economic front, Mark Perry is Putting America’s ridiculously large $18.6T economy into perspective by comparing US state GDPs to entire countries – “Overall, the US produced 24.7% of world GDP in 2016, with only about 4.5% of the world’s population.”

 

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Should have done it different

Charles Hurt: Hysteria, overblown hooey part of the fake news cycle – “Every time the Washington political press freaks out and goes into full panic mode against President Trump, the blockbuster, Watergate-volume story always unfolds the same way.”

But then, as the heavy breathing subsides and the adrenaline rush gives way to factual, concrete reporting, the most damning charges fall away.

“Well, he could have handled it better,” they sniff. “He didn’t follow Washington political protocol.”

Are you freaking kidding me? It all starts with charges of high crimes and misdemeanors — impeachment imminent — and when it all turns out to be fake news these people walk away grumbling about how Mr. Trump could have handled it better?

Cheryl K. Chumley: Insanity, as left calls for stalking GOP in streets, at home – “ If you can’t beat them at the ballot box, just scream them into submission.”

But this writer, Michelangelo Signorile, editor-at-large of the HuffPo’s “Queer Voices” section, is insane. He’s not just ratcheting the anti-Trump rhetoric. He’s outright calling for fellow leftists to publicly hound anyone wearing a Republican button, a MAGA hat, a White House job title — anyone who’s not of similarly leftist lunacy mind.

He’s making an appeal for anarchy in the streets — an appeal for “force” and widespread resistance.

And once again, like the left always does, Signorile blames the victim — blames Trump and Republicans and the Republican message as bringing down the drastic measures upon their own heads.

“This may sound too extreme and out of bounds to some people … [but] Donald Trump is not operating within boundaries — nor is anyone who is enabling him,” he said. “We much fight back with equal force.”

These people are delusional and dangerous, at minimum useful idiots for the higher-ranking on the ideological left — at worst, attackers in waiting. How any level-headed individual could call for such a thing is just beyond the scope of any sensible mind.

Another example: look at how the Democrats are going after Rosenstein whose memo detailed the problems with Comey. Karoun Demirjian, Ed O’Keefe and Paul Kane: Rosenstein role in Comey firing raises more questions than answers – “Democrats were demanding a reckoning over his role in the ouster but leaving more questions than answers in his wake.” No matter that many of these politicians were calling for the action in previous weeks. No matter the content of Rosenstein’s report. No matter that Comey serves at the pleasure of the President and the President does not need any reason to fire him. No, it’s the ad hominem at Rosenstein’s expense. It’s the irrational Left on parade.

Two weeks ago, Rod J. Rosenstein received the bipartisan confidence of the vast majority of the Senate during his confirmation as deputy attorney general. But a memo he drafted this week that has served as President Trump’s public justification for firing Comey has all but eviscerated that trust.

Led primarily by Democrats, senators are now asking Rosenstein to come back to Capitol Hill next week to explain his role in Comey’s dismissal. A senior Republican, too, declined to defend Rosenstein’s actions after meeting with him behind closed doors.

It also fits into Hurt’s behavior observations as well. Feinstein is “incredulous” that Rosenstein would use “quotes from opinion pieces and news clippings about former Justice Department officials critiquing Comey’s handling of the Clinton investigation.” The title of the report was “Restoring Public Confidence in the FBI” and, it seems to the Left, demonstrating this problem should have ‘been handled better’?

Michael Barone says James Comey Is the Latest Victim of the Clintons – “For some Democrats and journalists, every Republican military initiative is Vietnam and every possible scandal Watergate. That’s a measure of the nostalgic perspective of the baby-boom generation. We’re as many years away from Vietnam and Watergate as they were from the 1920s.”

Comey’s July 5 statement made clear that Hillary Clinton had violated Title 18, Section 793(f) of U.S. Code, put in place by the Espionage Act. But he added to the words of the statute an intent requirement and so recommended that she not be prosecuted. It’s not hard to imagine that he felt entitled to inflict political damage on someone for whom the Obama Justice Department had put in the fix.

That makes Comey only the latest victim of the Clintons, who, like F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tom and Daisy Buchanan, smash up “things and creatures” and then retreat “back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it (is) that (keeps) them together, and let other people clean up the mess they (have) made.”

The mess continues, as Democrats howl against the removal of an official whose removal they demanded up through lunchtime Tuesday and continue to search, Ahab-like, for evidence that Russia somehow stole the election.

Byron York picks up on the smear campaign with What Grassley and Feinstein said about Trump, the FBI, and Russia – “One of the most dramatic moments in then-FBI Director James Comey’s May 3 appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee came when Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal tried to press Comey into revealing that President Trump is a target of the FBI’s Russia investigation.”

Blumenthal’s tactics were so concerning that on Thursday, at a business meeting of the Judiciary Committee not devoted to any aspect of the Russia affair, Republican Chairman Charles Grassley and Democratic Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein both addressed the subject.

In a carefully-written statement, Grassley said that he and Feinstein were indeed briefed by Comey on the particular individuals targeted in the current FBI investigation. And Grassley strongly implied — in fact, did everything but come out and say directly — that the president is not one of those individuals.

John Sexton: Acting FBI Director: ‘There has been no effort to impede our investigation to date’ – “McCabe said there had been no effort to impede the investigation and added that nothing would stop the FBI from doing the right thing.” This is another of those contra Fake News items that tends to stomp on the conspiracy theories.

if this is an attempt at a cover-up, it’s a very stupid one. Firing the FBI Director does not stop the FBI investigation and does not stop the parallel investigations in the House and Senate. All this does is add fuel to the fire. In fact, you can bet that the FBI agents working this case are twice as motivated as they were before to find out what’s going on because their credibility is on the line.

Kimberly Strassel: Why James Comey Had to Go. (HT Instapundit as it’s a closed WSJ column) – “Which leads us to Mr. Comey’s most recent and obvious conflict of all — likely a primary reason he was fired: the leaks investigation (or rather non-investigation). So far the only crime that has come to light from this Russia probe is the rampant and felonious leaking of classified information to the press.”

As for the press, Patricia McCarthy has Three cheers for Sarah Sanders – “One has to almost like punishment to face the White House Press Corps these days.”

These people do this because they live for the moment the person at the podium slips. They ask the same questions over and over and over again in the apparent belief that if they ask often enough, at some point, they will get the answer they want. Each wants to be the person who trips up the press secretary and becomes the story himself for the next twenty-four hours. The whole routine is pathetic. Not only does it betray the wholesale lack of critical thinking among these privileged press folk, but it illustrates their absolute hollowness. They are hollow to their core. They care not one bit about the country, the Constitution, the incalculable damage done to the nation by Obamacare, the debt incurred by the Obama administration’s profligate spending, the racial animus Obama promulgated, the absolute gibberish that passes for a university education, the horrific danger Obama has engendered with his Iran deal, etc. No. Our White House press corps cares about none of these things. These reporters care about one thing only: taking Trump down.

That leads to The Next Big Lie About ObamaCare – “as night follows day, Republicans will be blamed for it all.”

Here’s how the Democrats’ story goes. After a rough start, ObamaCare was finally on the mend. Those massive rate hikes and insurance defections of last year were a thing of the past, and there was no truth to claims that ObamaCare was in a “death spiral.”

What insurers are saying is that the ObamaCare markets are continuing to deteriorate, as they have for years, with mostly older and sicker people signing up, while the young and healthy avoid ObamaCare’s overpriced coverage. The result is a sicker insurance pool that requires higher premiums to cover, which then drives out more young and healthy people, setting off another round of rate hikes.

In fact, in some ways Trump has worked to stabilize the ObamaCare markets, which Anthem notes in its Virginia filing, citing “helpful regulatory improvements” as a mitigating factor. Nevertheless, Anthem says, these improvements aren’t enough to overcome the fact that costs “continue to outpace premiums on a large scale.”

The inconvenient truth for Democrats is that ObamaCare is failing, and will continue to fail no matter what the GOP does. It is unsustainable and must be replaced. If Democrats wanted to act like mature adults, instead of petty partisans, they’d be as eager to find a replacement for ObamaCare as the GOP is.

This is the typical rationalization for the lack of success of socialism. The failures are because of some outside influence or not having the right leaders or anything but the reality of what actually happened. This is why you don’t see Venezuela in the news that much as that case has gone so far that it is hard to make excuses so typical of the Left.

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This time it’s not ‘fake’ it’s ‘faux’ as in faux outrage.

Two topics about the Comey firing seem to be rising to fill in for the lack of any evidence to support conspiracy or treason or other malfeasance. The first is the timing and the second is the method. Both are being used to denigrate Trump by ‘swamp critters’ who really ought to know to be careful in such old paradigm conclusion jumping by now. Incompetence may be an easy rationalization for what they don’t understand but, so far, such a model has just about the same credibility as the AGW climate models as far as verification goes.

IBD: Democrats Desperate To Turn Trump Into Nixon – “Watching the Democrats splutter in splenetic rage in recent days has been priceless, a lesson in instantaneous political outrage whipped up not out of legitimate moral indignation but purely for political ends.”

Democrats, true to form these days, care only about politics and power. They look mighty silly, turning 180 degrees on Comey in just the space of months, and in some cases, weeks.

And for the record, this is how the rest of Trump’s presidency will go. Whenever he does anything, the Democrats will squeal, call for legal action or an investigation, and obstruct the people’s business in Congress.

Americans voted for big change in November, but the Democrats seem dead-set on denying them that. Trump is not Nixon. And Congress would be wise not to pretend he is.

Chris Pandolfo: Pathetic: GOP divided on Comey firing as Democrats are unified – “Count on Republicans to be disorganized and send mixed messages whenever the Trump administration does something big.” One the one hand, this illustrates that Republicans are a collection of individuals while the Democrats tend more towards the ‘mind numbed robots’ soldiers of their leader. On the other, it explains why there is so much frustration in opposing the destruction of culture and government of the people.

What is there to be confused by? What is unclear? As Levin pointed out on the radio, the deputy attorney general who made the recommendation to President Trump to fire Comey has only been on the job for a week. In that first week, DAG Rod J. Rosenstein reviewed Comey’s actions as FBI director and, as he explains in his letter, found that “the FBI is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a Director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them.”

While it’s nice to see some fighters in the GOP, why is it so hard to get the whole party on the same page? Is there a single Democrat praising President Trump for firing Comey?

There’s not. That’s why the GOP is the party of self-defeat.

Brokaw on Comey Firing: ‘This Is Not the Saturday Night Massacre’ – “Brokaw argued Trump’s actions were much different, especially given months earlier Trump’s political opponents in Congress had been critical of Comey as well.”

Well, this is not the Saturday Night Massacre. I was there covering the Saturday Night Massacre. We had a criminal conspiracy in the White House, well known that we were working to find out what had gone on. Some of the president’s top aides were on the way to jail at that point.

At the same time, you have to remember that James Comey in the eyes of the Democrats was a very flawed director of the FBI. And it was funny to watch Mitch McConnell on the floor of the Senate in his kind of droll way saying, “This is a man that we were hearing from Chuck Schumer and others saying not too long ago that should not be in this job.”

Levin on Comey Firing: ‘We Have a Lot of Legal and Historical Illiterates Posing as TV Hosts and Commentators’ – “Levin hammered one of the biggest critics of that decision, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), but not before criticizing media pundits for what he deemed to be their legal and historical illiteracy.”

First of all, the president didn’t order an end to the Russian investigation.

But I have a couple of questions, if I might, for Chuck Schumer who is the leading demagogue and all of this. Tell me something, Mr. Schumer, can you name a single Russian, just one, who colluded with Donald Trump and his campaign? Just give us a one, one.

John Hinderaker goes after the AP, again. The Associated Press Goes Around the Bend on Comey – “when the AP really wants to cut loose it labels its stories “AP Analysis.”

This is deeply dishonest. Note that the AP doesn’t say that Trump is the first president since Nixon to fire an FBI Director. Nixon didn’t fire an FBI Director. The last president to fire an FBI Director, on far weaker grounds than Trump’s, was Bill Clinton.

And note the AP’s weaselly claim that Comey was “overseeing an investigation involving the commander in chief.” Trump was not a target of Comey’s investigation, which “involved” the president only in the sense that it related to members of his campaign team and, in at least one case, his administration.

Another false, overheated assertion. Trump didn’t challenge any institutions, he fired an officer of the federal government who served at his pleasure. The AP needs to get a grip.

Any Republican can become a profile in courage by siding with Democrats and selling out a Republican president. I am trying to remember the last time a Democrat became a profile in courage by siding with Republicans.

The AP’s “analysis” is all wishful thinking. The Democrats would love to see a constitutional crisis, but all they are going to get is a new (and undoubtedly better) FBI Director. Meanwhile, to say that the Democrats’ Trump-bashing has reached a point of diminishing returns is an understatement.

Betsey Newmark falls into the camp that presumes Trump incompetence but her Cruising the Web this morning also has a few links and highlights worth noting.

Beyond partisan motivations, Charles C. W. Cooke has an explanation why some people are divided about the Comey firing. … “I’ve been trying to understand why he was so vexed, and I think I’ve worked it out: He has assumed — and built into his thinking — that there is a huge Russia scandal in the background of all this. And I haven’t.”

Dan McLaughlin has a good article explaining that it is in the Republicans’ best interest to get the whole Russia story out there. … That’s why talking about a constitutional crisis is absurd – nothing has been done that is unconstitutional as far as we know. … Since Democrats and their allies in the media are jumping up and down to pretend that there is clear evidence of Trump collusion with Russia, it behooves the Republicans to make sure that the story is fully ventilated. … “In political terms, the problem for Republicans is that as long as the investigation is secret, Democrats can continue to make it look worse than it is. They have a license to spin conspiracy theories like Marshall’s, without the need for any facts or evidence;”

Daniel Henninger discusses what he found by reading the Rosenstein memo about what went on in the FBI as they investigated Clinton’s server and it is clear that James Comey way overstepped his duties as the head of the FBI to usurp the role of a federal prosecutor. That is what he should have been fired for. “The predictable tumult from the Obama-originated mass leaks then intimidated Congress into sending the House and Senate intelligence committees chasing after these “suggestions” of collusion.

“Beyond Mike Flynn and Carter Page, why haven’t we seen more leaks pushing past the original stories? Why have the leakers gone silent, unless they leaked everything they had? Indeed why hasn’t there been a mega-dump into the press by now of all the original NSA “raw signals intelligence” à la the Pentagon Papers?”

For those who believed that Sally Yates took Ted Cruz to school during her testimony before the Senate, Josh Blackman explains why that is so not true. “there is little to celebrate in Yates’ stand. Indeed, her explanation before the Senate only made things more confusing.”

One of the prevailing themes is that the Democrats would respond rationally to reasoned, thoughtful, and considerate action by Republicans or the President. Examples of this are few and far between and this is what Newmark seems to be missing. Neo-neocon shows better awareness of this in his post on The why and wherefore of the Comey firing

I disagree strongly with McCarthy’s statement that the reasoning in Rosentein’s memorandum “will make it very difficult for Democrats to attack President Trump’s decision.” On the contrary, they will find no problem whatsoever in doing so. It doesn’t matter how well-crafted Rosenstein’s enumeration of Comey’s errors is, and it doesn’t matter how many Democrats Rosenstein manages to quote who were in agreement months ago with what he’s saying now about Comey. Those Democrats are on another side of the political divide, and will act accordingly—as McCarthy himself seems to acknowledge towards the end of his piece

Those who assume Trump incompetence and Democrat integrity are telling you something about their credibility.  

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Confused minds?

Sundance starts with the trade arguments – Canada’s Liberal Politics Behind Trudeau’s Antagonistic Trade Positions… – to say something about the United States. “In addition to the size of our economy, America is profoundly unique in that there is almost no product on the planet that cannot be replicated in the United States.” And it’s not just natural resources. Examples are provided.

Additionally, our inherent American DNA strain is one of entrepreneurial existence. We know how to do things, create things, and think completely outside the box on new and innovative ideas for things. Yes, we are exceptional like that.

It’s high time we stop being embarrassed about our exceptional nature, and start being proud of it again. Because when it matters most, when it really counts, when it’s really needed, there’s a whole bunch of people all around this world of ours that are mighty happy when swagger walks in to solve their problems.

Yeah, “let’s make America great again”. Swagger on !

James Lewis wonders about the Conservative Cringe and The Real Reason Washington Post Republicans Hate Donald Trump – “Mr. Will has finally identified his complaint in a WaPo opinion piece dramatically called “Trump Has a Dangerous Disability.”

Now, I happen to think that Trump’s political jargon is a shrewd way to dodge the murderous hatred of our fair-minded media, the people Mr. Will spends his life with. We know they examine every syllable emerging from Trump’s mouth, ready to draw blood as soon as they can distort and lie about something he says that is perfectly innocent.

Trump has developed an effective way to reach you and me. We understand his private code, which leaves liberals foaming at the mouth.

After thinking about George and Jonah and Bill, who unanimously headed for the hills when Trump started to win, I’ve finally concluded that they despised Trump because he sounded low-class. It’s a class thing.

Well, the D.C. establishment also despised Abe Lincoln as a low-class hick from the backwoods who spoke with a country accent.

On the Fake News™ front, Ace describes how the WaPo digs in on a Fake Hoax story. “Hate Crime” Reported on By Washington Post 15 Times Turns Out to Be, Get This, a Hoax; Washington Post Refuses to Run a New Story On the Hate Hoax – “Democracy Dies in Darkness, doesn’t it?

Oh, and don’t forget the AP. John Hinderaker hasn’t: On the Judiciary, the Associated Press Parrots the DNC – “I think the Associated Press is even worse, or at least, more pervasive. A case in point is tonight’s story on President Trump’s judicial appointments: “Trump begins effort to pack courts with conservatives.”

Let’s stop right there. All presidents nominate judges with compatible philosophies. Did the Associated Press ever write that President Obama was “packing” the federal judiciary with liberals? I don’t think so. I tried this Google search–“associated press obama pack courts with liberals”–and got nothing.

The AP supplies some reasonably objective information, and then goes full DNC:

“The courts” didn’t “derail” the president’s agenda. Rather, a couple of Democratic Party stalwarts, who got the cases as a result of Democratic Party judge-shopping, issued absurd orders that are destined to be overturned in due course.

The AP fails to note that application of the filibuster to judicial nominees is a very recent innovation.

From there, it only gets worse:

The question is why people are fixated on incomplete or even fabricated world models and why they push them so hard on others.

 

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As The Whole Truth succumbs to Trivia

Thomas Lifson: American media hiding socialism’s devastation of Venezuela – “If you want a simple test to determine if a news source is in the fake news business, examine what they write about Venezuela.” It’s a form of Fake News™ where the ‘fake’ is by selection.

The fate of Venezuela, which has the largest oil reserves in the world, ought to be the final lesson conclusively proving that socialism is a delusion that impoverishes those it purports to help.

Dishonesty about socialism’s failures has led to a huge percentage of Americans (roughly 4 in ten) saying that they prefer socialism to capitalism. While it is tempting to label this a failure of American education and journalism, the fact is that it represents the triumph of propaganda over reality. If people understand the fallout socialism brings as clearly as Venezuelans now do, they would reject progressives.

If the agony Venezuela is undergoing does not teach a lesson to the rest of the world, then it will have accomplished nothing. Yet, because so few Americans care deeply about Venezuela, they may be willing to accept the excuses proffered by so many in the journalistic and academic worlds. That can only mean more suffering in the future, as the socialism remains attractive for what it promises, not for what it delivers.

Jazz Shaw describes another example of this sort of deceit for propaganda purposes in explaining How a “suicide by cop” hurts everyone – ““Yet another…” As if the cops make it their national pastime to go around gunning down young black kids for no reason at all.”

They traced the call and confirmed that it had in fact been placed from the teenager’s own phone. When the police arrived he pulled out the pistol and pointed it at them. Showing incredible restraint, the officers held their fire and again ordered him to drop the weapon. Instead, the boy continued pointing it at them and began advancing on the officers. The rest is, sadly, history.

What happened was obvious. This was suicide by cop. The boy intentionally summoned the police there and put them in a situation where they clearly felt they were in danger of either losing their own lives or seeing an armed and clearly dangerous figure head out into the community with a weapon. They responded in the only fashion possible given the limited information available to them.

I don’t know what went wrong in that young, unnamed boy’s life to bring him to that point, but his senseless death isn’t the only worrisome aspect of this story. The all too common theme of the cops being the bad guys continues to be propagated on social media and everyone is all too willing to assign the blame to law enforcement before any of the facts are known. This is how we wind up with riots and communities where enforcing the law becomes all the more difficult because the residents refuse to work with the cops. How many more stories like this are we going to see? I wish I had some brilliant solutions to offer for this situation, but frankly it seems like an insurmountable challenge at this point.

Instapundit cites Salena Zito: Hillary’s perfectly crafted untruths.

Trump’s willingness to say what he thought during the 2016 campaign endeared him to his supporters. Unlike the press, Trump supporters understood that Trump shot from the hip and would make mistakes. To many of them, his walking-back of some of what he said then makes sense; is a sign of learning, not of duplicity.

Compare this to Clinton’s interview Monday with Christiane Amanpour: She conceded to mistakes during the campaign, offered to write a “confessional” seeking “absolution” — and then blamed it all on FBI Director James Comey.

Haynes believes Trump’s line of communication creates a new verb for Merriam-Webster: “I’ve started calling them ‘Etrumptions’ — the violent eruptions in the news cycle resulting from the media’s reaction to Trump’s malaprops or inaccuracies or random tweets.”

Voters want fewer media “Etrumptions” and more information. People do believe what is going on Washington is consequential, but they want to judge for themselves with good, relevant information.

They are tired of being told what they are supposed to think about every Trump word, especially the words that don’t matter.

Words delivered with honesty, despite being loose with facts, sometimes are more appealing to people than a perfectly crafted message that is dishonest at its core.

That’s why Wilson chose Trump over Clinton.

And that’s why Trump is president and Clinton is not.

This brings to mind the Fable of the Mote and the Beam (wilipedia) from Matthew 7:1-5. One path to fake is to ignore the beam in one’s own eye while going to any extreme to find a mote in Trump’s. A whole truth falls to trivia.

 

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Fake Law™ Anyone?

Silvio Canto, Jr. aksk Who needs elections? We got judges! – “What do you do when you lose everything between Maryland and the California border? You look for friendly judges who hate Trump as much as you do.” He cites Marc O. DeGirolami is a law professor at St. John’s University and the author of The Tragedy of Religious Freedom.

“Welcome to the rise of fake law. Just as fake news spreads ideologically motivated misinformation with a newsy veneer, fake law brings us judicial posturing, virtue signaling, and opinionating masquerading as jurisprudence.

“And just as fake news augurs the end of authoritative reporting, fake law portends the diminution of law’s legitimacy and the warping of judges’ self-understanding of their constitutional role.”

It may go on for a while. In other words, it won’t be long before every law that passes a red state, such as the new sanctuary city rules in Texas, will be frozen by some judge who thinks he knows best.

How much longer will this nonsense go on?

It may be time for Chief Justice John Roberts to remind judges that they are in the wrong branch if they want to make law.

For a variety of the ‘both sides do it’ fallacy, see Andrew C. McCarthy describing why No, the FBI Was Not a Trump Partisan – “The Democrats’ latest canard ignores difference between criminal and intelligence investigations.”

There is nothing more inequitable than treating two fundamentally different things as if they were the same.

Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal, based on mountainous evidence of law-breaking, resulted in a criminal investigation. The suspicion that associates of Donald Trump have troubling ties to Kremlin insiders, based on comparatively sparse evidence, has resulted in a foreign-intelligence investigation. The two types of inquiry are fundamentally different — dissimilar in their objectives, their processes, and their presumptions about secrecy and disclosure. The only similarity is that each is called an “FBI investigation.” To contend that this makes them equivalents, suitable for similar treatment, is akin to saying red and blue must be the same thing because each is a color.

There is no equivalence between criminal and intelligence investigations — the former expected to result in public disclosures, the latter classified and presumed secret. To claim otherwise is to elevate politics over national security . . . or to be just plain dumb.

Andrew Heaton: Lighten Up, Francis – “The Pontiff ought to stick to flock-tending and lay off capitalism.”

Francis sure gibbers a lot about economics, and when it comes to market forces the man is anything but infallible.

Take his latest and rather pointed jab at libertarianism.

Pope Francis no doubt sees libertarianism as hand-in-hand with the other evil he frequently warns his flock about: capitalism. Spake Francis in his 2013 Evangelii Gaudium, “Inequality is the root of social ills.”

His Holiness’ apprehension of evil people like myself springs from the assumption that we’re all very selfish, and happy about it. But classical liberalism doesn’t endorse selfishness as a virtue, it just champions individuals as the primary decision-makers of society.

Adam Smith pointed out that your baker doesn’t sell you bread out of the goodness of his heart, he does it to earn a living. When you throw self-interest and competition into the mix, bread prices plummet and scales of economy crank out enough bagels that for the first time in human history entire societies are more concerned about gluten intolerance than starvation.

Finally, let’s look at the pope’s stated root of all social ills: inequality. If we lived in a feudal state where lords become wealthy by plundering serfs, inequality would indeed be a heinous evil. Fortunately we don’t live in that zero-sum world.

Bill Gates didn’t become a billionaire by impoverishing America—quite the opposite. And if we doubled everyone’s income tomorrow many people would be lifted out of poverty, but the gap between us and whoever Bernie Sanders wants to hang this week would be even greater. Poverty and inequality simply aren’t the same thing.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. I suspect it’s also publicly funded.

How much longer will this nonsense go on?”

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More childishness and tantrums and bullying

Paul Mirengoff considers the implications as House Dems respond to passage of AHCA by singing – “Democrats are different, though. They are convinced that the AHCA is their ticket back to power, and for them it’s always about power. Hence the unseemly singing.”

it’s possible that voters will hold the Democrats’ attitude, evinced by their singing today, against them. I know I would have been very angry at any Republican member who greeted the passage of Obamacare with song.

I agree with Ben Pershing of National Journal, who tweeted “Democrats can claim to be happy (for political/electoral reasons) that this bill passed, but that’s very risky.” I also agree with Rick Klein of ABC News who tweeted, “I don’t get the optics of this.”

But no one knows whether the passage of the AHCA today will turn out to be the Democrats’ ticket back to power. All we can say after today is that the Democrats’ behavior confirmed they don’t deserve to regain it.

What is on display is something most often found in primary school and it is only the initial reaction. The Fake News™ and gross, fantastical perceptions about death and destruction are just getting started. Hold on to your shorts!

 

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Faux Outrage

Imaginary Conflicts of Interest for Trump versus Actual Conflicts of Interest for Dems by Jack Hellner – “After the Trump Administration released its outline for tax reform I saw a lot of consternation that the tax plan may help Trump himself, and that could be a conflict of interest.”

Maybe we should hold all members of Congress to the new conflict of interest rules that seem to have evolved since Trump was elected. A farmer or someone with a family member who owns a farm could no longer vote on agriculture bills. Teachers could no longer vote on education bills and business people could never vote on anything that helps businesses.

It appears the media needs a lesson on what actual conflicts of interest are, because they seem very confused. So here are several examples:

The media seemed to care very little about these obvious conflicts of interest and ways that politicians enriched themselves, because the media continually supported Obama and the Clintons. Yet they somehow are against Trump no matter what he does, so they go after him for a tax reform proposal that might help him along with a huge majority of the people.

Andrew C. Mccarthy: Faux Outrage and Melodrama over Comey’s Pre-Election Letter – “FBI director James Comey’s testimony on Wednesday at a routine oversight hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee was certain to be anything but routine.”

Several features of the hearing were especially worth noting. I have dealt with one of them in a separate column — viz., the director’s continuing defense of his assessment that there was insufficient criminal-intent evidence to warrant charging Mrs. Clinton. Now, let’s turn to another: the Democrats’ effort to skew or erase entirely the context of Comey’s October 28 letter.

October 28. In reality, the critical context of that day’s letter to Congress was the Comey press conference four months earlier …

You may recall the unrestrained Democratic glee over that particular breach of protocol.

Of course, smarter Democrats perceive this incongruity. Thus, rather than ignore the Comey press conference, they bowdlerize it, choosing to remember only the first three-quarters of Comey’s bravura performance.

What Democrats choose to forget, and hope you will too, is the closing section of Comey’s remarks.

Luboš Motl has a rant on the Lonely Woman regarding Ann Nelson’s embarrassing essay about “minorities” in physics – “like so many women in physics, she became a part-time feminist activist. In the May issue of Physics Today, she “enriched” us with the following diatribe: Commentary: Diversity in physics: Are you part of the problem?

What an amazing pile of junk, Ann. She complains that she doesn’t have a black colleague at the University of Washington’s physics faculty. If this particular comment were meant to be a tool to hire a smart black guy whom I knew as a Harvard graduate student, it’s a very painful way to push the pendulum in similar questions.

If you often get asked why there are few women in physics, it’s pretty painful that you have made no progress in understanding the answer – even though it’s so simple. The average women’s IQ is only smaller by 2-3 points than men’s and wouldn’t make a big impact. What’s more important is that the IQ distribution (much like distributions of many other quantities) is wider among men, by about 10%, relatively to the women. And this makes the number of men above the (math-related) IQ score of 140 greater than the number of women by almost one order of magnitude. …

Instead, Nelson tells her male colleagues that they’re the “culprits” responsible for the small percentage of women among physicists – or small percentage of physicists among women. Every male is guilty even if he claims to be innocent.

At the end, the existence of the “gap” is as transparent as the fact that the thermonuclear reactions are running in a smaller percentage of moons than the stars. Different, inequivalent groups of objects or humans simply have different statistical distributions and properties extracted from them.

The fact that totally different groups have totally different values of certain quantities may only be “shocking” to someone who has never understood a single problem of that kind in her or his life.

Then there’s the Kimmel fiasco that is part of the ‘pre-existing conditions’ deceit being used to assert that Republicans want to kill people or deny them things that the require to live. It’s getting to be quite predictable.

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Days of rage

Roger L. Simon: Colbert, Trump, and the Roots of Liberal/Progressive Rage – “I have never seen America so angry — and I’ve been around for a while.”

Donald Trump got elected — seemingly a calamity equal to, if not greater than, the Vietnam War.

Since his inauguration, and to a great extent before, the whole country has gone more or less berserk.

And yet the rage is, if anything, greater and more consistent than it was during Vietnam. How do we explain that?

I don’t think we have a choice but to say the explanation is in the realm of human neurosis, not politics. And make that pretty severe neurosis, almost psychosis.

These people are using the pretense of socialism to cover up their love of the most rapacious capitalism. They hate Trump because he exposes them. His unabashed and unashamed capitalism and obvious riches are what they seek, but don’t want to admit to themselves or others. Otherwise they would have to face what they are and stop pretending to “goodness.” It’s about the virtue signaling or what I have elsewhere called moral narcissism (really the psychological motivation for virtue signaling).

And H. Clinton has made it official. Rather than retire to the ‘elder statesman’ role she has decided to claim joining the Resistance to destroy the Government and the Country.

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Virtue Signalling

James A. Lyons: The great Democratic deception – “The Russian election scam is a diversion from surveillance of the Trump campaign.”

The massive disinformation program being waged by the Democratic Party that somehow Russia was able to influence the outcome of our 2016 presidential election is nothing but a sham. To date, there is no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians on the run-up to the election.

What actually happened was that the Obama administration was using electronic surveillance on the Trump campaign well in advance of the election to monitor Trump staffers

much of it has to do with the massive cover-up to conceal the violation of the Espionage Act by both Mrs. Clinton and President Obama for using a server that did not have an Authority to Operate designation.

The bottom line is that the mainstream media have completely ignored these transactions by the Obama administration while continuing with their false flag disinformation program on Russian involvement in our election. The most serious scandal appears to be that both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama were complicit in setting up an unsecured server in violation of the Espionage Act. This cannot be ignored by the U.S. government.

We can never condone violations of the Espionage Act by our political leaders. America has never seen such corruption in our history where both the Justice Department and the intelligence community were politicized for political gain. This is the story that America must be told.

Jazz Shaw: School takes unusual (and heartbreaking) step to protect illegal immigrant students – “If you send your children to a school more focused on “Resisting Trump” than providing them with a well rounded education, this is what you get, folks.”

Various class members were preparing for international school trips which had been in the works for some time, including journeys to Canada and Japan. Then some bad news came in. They wouldn’t be going… not for a lack of funding or any security concerns, but because the faculty was concerned that their illegal immigrant students wouldn’t be able to get back into the country. And if they can’t go, nobody is going. (The Olympian)

Forget making America great again. I’d just settle for “sane” at this point.

John Sexton: Fire near Dakota Access Pipeline site ruled arson

It’s amazing how much interest the media had in this story when there were colorful protesters marching around in the snow and how little interest they have in reporting on the ongoing arson and sabotage that are still taking place with the same apparent goal.

John Sexton: NY Times: When communism inspired Americans

Over the weekend the New York Times published a piece titled “When communism inspired Americans.” It offers a first-hand account of the “richness” of American communism in the first half of the 20th century. The piece is part of an ongoing series titled “Red Century” which has reviewed various aspects of communism’s history. The series is not extolling communism, but this particular entry strays into a kind of gauzy nostalgia that seems wildly inappropriate for a worldview that, during the 20th century, killed more people than the Third Reich.

Interesting that the Coyote takes off on people who do not read what they opine about and then does just that himself regarding Rush Limbaugh. See The Furor Over Bret Stephens First Article At the New York Times – “I don’t know where and how these things are announced, but apparently virtue-signaling on the Left offcially requires that everyone denounce the article as the most evil thing ever written (actually reading it is apparently optional).” Then “This is roughly equivalent to knowing about Hillary Clinton’s policy positions solely from listening to Rush Limbaugh.” Talk about virtue-signaling!

 

 

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Fake Protests based on Fake Rationales

Cheryl K. Chumley: People’s Climate March — rally of the ridiculous – “Forgive the yawns. It’s just that after 100 days of anti-President Donald Trump protesting, which came on the heels of 200 or so days of anti-Candidate Donald Trump protesting, the Hate Trump message is getting a bit stale.

Valerie Richardson: The people’s billionaire: George Soros gave $36M to groups behind People’s Climate March – “Media Research Center report finds steering committee groups benefited from Soros’ largesse.”

The People’s Climate March scheduled for Saturday has a powerful billionaire behind it: Democratic Party donor George Soros.

Mr. Soros, who heads the Open Society Foundations, contributed over $36 million between 2000 and 2014 to 18 of the 55 organizations on the march’s steering committee, according to an analysis released Friday by the conservative Media Research Center.

“The presence of many non-climate related organizations leading the march indicated that this climate march (just like the March for Science and the Women’s March) is not about a single issue, but about attacking the new administration,” MRC’s Aly Nielsen said.

She pointed to the march’s “usual checklist of liberal policy priorities,” such as labor-union rights, a minimum-wage increase, and a halt to “attacks on immigrants.”

Anthony Watts: Saturday’s “climate march” in Washington turns into another wrongheaded farce that has little to do with climate – “Even full-on warmists are panning it, and it hasn’t even started yet.” Watts provides some pretty graphics about the causes and logistics from sponsoring organizations.

David Sherfinski: Sheriff David Clarke: ‘Rat bastards’ on the left never give up – people are beginning to notice and some are rather colorful in their observations.

“No, I didn’t misspeak.

“You see, for them defeat is never final. Election defeats don’t matter,” he said. “It’s simply a time to regroup and continue their assault on our Constitution, the rule of law, liberty, and American exceptionalism.

“Now, why would I call them rat bastards?” he said. “First of all, because I can. Second, as you know I call ‘em as I see ‘em. But third and more importantly, just listen to Saul Alinsky, a socialist professor who admired Lucifer, for heaven’s sake. And Alinsky’s admired by the left.”

VDH: How the Obama Precedent Empowered Trump – “A number of the things that explain Trump’s election also point to unique opportunities to overturn the Obama legacy.”

The Left is understandably apprehensive of Trump because Obama set the modern precedent that a contemporary president can do almost anything he pleases by executive orders (and in Nixonian fashion can weaponize federal agencies, from the NSA to the IRS, in order to monitor and hound political rivals and perceived enemies). Sen. Harry Reid’s near suicidal destruction of the Senate filibuster captured the unreality of the times, as if Obama progressivism most certainly would be America’s new orthodoxy for generations to come.

A supposedly disinterested media’s ecstasy over Obama’s election ensured that its subsequent revulsion at Trump could be taken no more seriously.

A critical media is not a mere reset button that one turns on and off at one’s convenience. Instead, once it was short-circuited after 2008, its burned-out switch cannot be flipped back on in 2017. In sum, there is no longer a believable media that can offer credible critiques of the Trump presidency.

There is as yet no credible response to Trump and certainly no opposing coherent agenda. Instead, the “Resistance” is being waged by cherry-picking liberal federal judges in hopes of delaying and slowing down executive orders in the courts, along with states-rights nullifications, organized advertising boycotts of conservative media figures, media collusion, jamming town hall meetings of conservative representatives, campus antics, and waging war on social media.

David French: California Is Seceding from the Constitution – “Is there no end to the harm progressives will do our republic in the name of ‘social justice’?”

why should a state bother seceding when it can simply nullify the portions of the Constitution it doesn’t like? A troubling trend is emerging: California is imposing its own vision of free speech, freedom of association, and freedom of the press on its citizens, and it’s daring the courts to stop it.

The rot extends far beyond Berkeley.

In short, California public officials at every level of state and local government have taken it upon themselves to replace core constitutional protections with their own radical vision of social justice. This isn’t federalism; it’s lawlessness. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and every state law, ordinance, regulation, or practice that conflicts its guarantees of individual liberty must be struck down.

Social-justice warriors may demand #Resistance, but they cannot opt an entire state out of the Constitution. It’s time for the courts and Congress to protect liberty, and it’s time for California to remember that membership in our constitutional republic carries with it constitutional obligations. California, you can’t nullify the Bill of Rights.

OregonMuse says That’s the Way You Do It – A grand jury has approximately 212 people facing felony charges for rioting during the inauguration in January.

The way to stop rioting is by vigorous, aggressive police action. Of course, everybody knows this. The mayor of Baltimore knows this. The mayor of Ferguson knows this. Even that adipose porker who runs Berkeley knows this. But they chose to not make any attempt to restrain the rioting because, bottom line, they have more sympathy for the goals and aspirations of the circus freak show rioters than they do with law-abiding citizens, i.e. normal people of their communities. So the cities burned.

I only wish there was a way to tell the normal people, “hey, the authorities are not on your side. They will sit back and watch you and everything you’ve built burn if it means they can further their agenda.”

You would think Berkeley would at least be receptive, but the people there keep electing the same crew year after year. And pride themselves on how progressive they are.

CBD cites: “J.J. Sefton has been telling us that Daniel Greenfield is very good writer, and I finally listened. The Left’s Culture of Contempt: Saving America by hating everyone.” Greenfield describes what has happened to what used to be an entertainment – “Comedy is creative. Contempt isn’t comedy. Ultimately it’s just contemptible.”

Steven Hayward: NY Times Readers Lose Their Minds – “Bret Stephens recently left the Wall Street Journal editorial page to become an op-ed columnist at the New York Times.” The first column at the new gig was about climate change and, boy, did it set off the climate alarmists. Luboš Motl picks up on the fracas: Bret Stephens’ skepticism will spread from NYT to other mainstream sources – “The content of the op-ed is simple. Stephens – who looks like a classic lukewarmer to me here, not too much more skeptical than Andy Revkin – says that it’s wrong to expect that one is 100% certain. Only fanatics do so, sane people know that they’re 65% right if they’re really good, and the climate alarmists claiming certainty should be ashamed.”

Fine. People have reacted. On Twitter, Gavin Schmidt and a few other fanatics have claimed that Stephens is fighting a straw man. I don’t think it is the case. The fanatical claims about the certainty of destruction by man-made climate change are omnipresent – and you may find lots of them written by the brainwashed or activist commenters under Stephens’ article, too.

But I found many comments that agreed with Stephens in the New York Times, many reasonable comments (these two sets are overlapping but not identical), and I do believe that Stephens’ first op-ed made the New York Times more attractive.

You should have figured out that the conventional wisdom is rubbish, dear newspaper managers, many years ago. But behaving just like all the other mediocre managers elsewhere looked like a good enough and comfortable enough strategy to you. It was easier than to do your job well, wasn’t it?

Just to be sure, I am bored by the articles saying that “certainty is politically incorrect” (such as this Stephens’ op-ed), too. To make me intrigued, The New York Times would have to publish something much more original and brilliant.

For the other side of this ‘debate’ see Greg Laden: Out of the gate, Bret Stephens punches the hippies, says dumb things – “Right in the middle, between the Trump-inspired March for Science, and the Trump-inspired People’s Climate March, the New York times managed to come down firmly on the side of climate and science denial, in its editorial pages.” It’s loaded. Consider the hubris and judgment dripping from statements like “other right wing positions,” “consider this all too cute sentence with which he attempts to dazzle his readers,” “ a dynamic, rapidly changing field like climate change,” “hold them to any standard at all with respect to fact checking,” “still think the Earth is round, with hemispheres, right?,” “never mind the pesky details such as facts,” “His overall argument is utterly stupid,” “involves some very attractive conspiratorial ideation,” “perhaps heeding his masters’ voice,” … do you still wonder why these folks avoid honest debate?

Consider Armando Simon on The Left’s Vicious Intolerance in Science – “the media has deliberately downplayed, or altogether ignored, the vicious attacks on science by liberals. And these attacks have been going on for decades.” Consider the case studies: E. O. Wilson, Charles Murray, Paul Cameron and the ‘fashionable research’ intended to support ideological fantasies.

So any scientist that carries out research on this topic and comes to these conclusions is (as usual) called “racist,” “fascist,” “Nazi,” etc. …Liberals went ballistic on hearing of this theory and insisted that it be suppressed. While delivering a lecture on the subject, the International Committee Against Racism, a front group of the Marxist Progressive Labor Party, invaded the stage and attacked him.

The bottomless hatred of liberals is not confined to people. It extends to plants. Genetically modified foods are plants which have been tweaked genetically so that these plants can survive drought conditions, or render a bigger yield of crops. You know, just what farmers have been doing for centuries. Except now they are evil.

Eugene Volokh lists The Jefferson Muzzles 2017 for ‘egregious and or ridiculous affronts to free expression’ – “judged by the center to be improper or excessive reactions to people’s expression.” Note the patterns.

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Can you examine your ideas?

There’s a lot on the right to free speech this morning with most centered on Berkely or Coulter. John R. Lott Jr. describes a different and more insidious facet from his personal experience in Challenging inaccurate information about guns – “A fair debate on the issue is needed, but liberal lobbying groups refuse to participate.”

Alcorn: “When there’s a credible scientist — somebody who wants to have a real constructive conversation about this, we’re going to be there. But folks who seek to minimize the issue of gun violence, the grave issue of gun violence in this country or to draw attention away from the real issues to themselves — that’s not a conversation that I think is productive to be a part of.”

I don’t minimize the issue of gun violence. I just disagree about what policies will effectively combat that violence.

But Everytown can afford to make excuses and miss opportunities for debate. After all, they have massive resources and can count on the mainstream media to push their agenda.

Note also the ‘ad hominem’ by Alcorn just like the climate alarmists using ‘denier’ that is proffered with such a heaping dose of hubris. The Democrats are doing something similar in claiming “Resistance” to obtain revenge for how Republicans treated their President. No matter that ‘revenge’ is a destructive motivation. No matter that the basis is questionable. No matter that real issues get shoved aside.

Jennifer Harper provides another example of this perfidy. Confirmed: Democratic Party sending protestors to Trump’s ‘100 Day’ speech in Pennsylvania – “There are two momentous political events to consider this weekend, and they are polar opposites.” These are the Trump rally and the Correspondents Dinner. The Dinner will likely be a gala affair of celebrities and elites. The Trump rally, on the other hand, is a target for the Left to act out in ‘resistance’ and ‘protest.’

Mr. Trump has protesters waiting, however. The Pennsylvania Democratic Party has organized “The Rally Against 100 Days of Broken Promises,” which includes Democratic National Committee Vice Chairman Michael Blake, multiple state lawmakers and officials, unions and Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse. “Bring your signs, hats and your slogans,” organizers advise.

Harper also notes that Trump’s loyal voters aren’t buying ‘shameful’ media spin: Report – “Improved economy, decisive leadership called the top Trump assets.” Note how this is in contrast to the Democrat’s claims of “Broken Promises.” Such assertions are why the voters are no buying the shameful deceits.

Sally Persons cites Sessions: Some judges are more interested in advancing an agenda rather than the law – The observation is gaining traction as the examples are getting rather hard to ignore. The question is what to do about the corruption of the justice system.

Matthew Continetti take a look from a different perspective: The Democrats’ First 100 Days – “Disunity, obstruction, incoherence, obsession, obliviousness.

Let’s reverse angle. The president’s first 100 days in office have been analyzed, dissected, evaluated. Not much left to say about them. What about the opposition? What do the Democrats have to show for these first months of the Trump era?

Little.

Chuck Schumer slow-walked Trump’s nominations as best he could. In fact his obstruction was unprecedented.

The prevalent anti-Trump sentiment obscures the party’s institutional degradation.

Democrats feel betrayed. The Electoral College betrayed them by making Trump president. Hillary Clinton betrayed them by running an uninspiring campaign. James Comey betrayed them by reopening the investigation into Clinton’s server 11 days before the election. Facebook betrayed them by circulating fake news. This sense of resentment isn’t so different than the sort Democrats attribute to Trump supporters: irritation at a loss of status, vexation at changed circumstances. The despondence of a liberal is alleviated when he sees throngs of protesters, hears Samantha Bee, scrolls through Louise Mensch’s tweets.

Makes him feel better. But his party is in tatters,

John Sexton cites another tactic that may make for ‘feel good’ but does little to advance anything. Progressives flood hotline for victims of crime by ‘criminal aliens’ with UFO sightings

The Trump administration launched a new initiative Wednesday called Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE). The office is intended to provide support for Americans who have been victimized by illegal immigrants. Trump mentioned it during his first address to a joint session of Congress.

Progressives offended by the existence of the office noticed that the launch also corresponded with “Alien day,” a day where fans celebrate the Alien film series. So some progressives decided it would be a good idea to flood the hotline that responds to reports of “criminal aliens” with calls about UFOs.

Rabbi Yonason Goldson asks Can we believe in science if we don’t trust scientists? – He highlights the problem the Left has with its protests and riots and mobs and Resistance™ and posturing.

What can we expect next? Doctors for Hospitals? Lawyers for Jurisprudence? Mammals for Oxygen?

To be fair, there is a real issue here. Namely, the exploitation of science for political advantage. In a perfect world, scientific data would be apolitical, serving as a nonpartisan lodestone for guiding public policy. Facts are facts, and the only debate should be about what they mean, not what they are.

But our world is far from perfect, and the problem is not that we don’t have faith in science. It’s that many have found good reason to lose faith in scientists.

The Rabbi makes a good point but rather degrades his argument when he picks up on creation and evolution by creating a straw man and parroting the ignorance and illiteracy of fanatic creationists. It appears that the comments have a better grip on science than the Rabbi does. A rabbi taking on the mantle of scientist and scientists taking on the mantle of priest. Just who can you trust, anyway?

Walter Williams says Environmentalists Are Dead Wrong – “Each year, Earth Day is accompanied by predictions of doom. Let’s take a look at past predictions to determine just how much confidence we can have in today’s environmentalists’ predictions.” … “Americans have paid a steep price for buying into environmental deception and lies.”  

Ace: Leftist Fascism Reaches New Lows in Blatant Thuggery, as “Mainstream” Left Covers Up for Them and Blames the Right – “This is the post I delayed because I didn’t know how to write it. … I won’t write it. I’ll just link the stories.”

I will just repeat my urgent warning and threat: The rules you make for us are the rules you also make for yourselves. If you’re comfortable with that, then I suggest you begin making serious preparations for the hell you are determined to unleash on this once-peaceful country.

It has happened and happened and grown worse every year precisely because the alleged “responsible voices” of the left, who could be expected to chastise their misbehaving correligionists and tell them to stop, have in fact covered up for them every step of the way, thereby tacitly approving of them and encouraging them to go further.

The Tide is Rising and the Left does not seem to be paying attention or have any awareness about the implications of their behavior. Consider John Hinderaker’s post Portland is Stupid, Too – “An activist group called the “Raging Grannies” testifies in harmony before Portland’s City Council.”

Steve writes below that “Portlandia” is the city of the petty, bankrupt, vindictive left. That’s true. It is also stupid. … why worry about losing a few million a year when you are trying to overthrow free enterprise? … So Portland’s City Council wants socialism? It would serve them right if Portland followed in the footsteps of Venezuela.

The Coyote also gets into ‘newspeak’ with How The Left Is Changing the Meaning of Words to Reduce Freedom — The Phrase “Incite Violence” – “A surprising number of folks on the Left of late seem to be advocating for restrictions on free speech.”

This is a horrible newspeak redefinition of a term. It is implying that a speaker is responsible for the violence by those who oppose her. By this definition, the socialists of 1932 Germany were guilty of “inciting violence” whenever Nazi brownshirts tried to brutally shut down socialist meetings and speeches.

I am not sure why the Left is so good at this – perhaps because most of the media is sympathetic to the Left and is willing to let them define the terms of the debate. The Left has successfully performed a similar bit of verbal judo with the claim that Russians “hacked” the last election. By calling leaks of Democratic private correspondence “hacking the election”, they have successfully left the impression among many that the Russians actually manipulated vote totals, something for which there is zero evidence and really no credible story of how it might have been done.

Speech is to convey ideas and examine perceptions and values. That makes it a vital component of intellectual integrity. 

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Justice corrupted

The next phase in the irrational obstruction shows as Trump prepares to seat Judge Thapar, first of scores of conservatives for federal courts by Alex Swoyer. The filibuster is out for the 18 circuit court and more than 100 district court vacancies but there are a lot more ways to obstruct, obfuscate, smear, delay, and destroy in the Democrats playbook. And reasoned argument based on intellectual integrity is not in that book.

An example by Rowan Scarborough: Ex-spy admits anti-Trump dossier unverified, blames Buzzfeed for publishing – “Mr. Steele has not spoken publicly about his disputed opposition research project, but for the first time he is being forced to talk in a London court through his attorneys.” But there’s still a Democrat insisting on an independent prosecutor!

Barristers for Mr. Steele and his Orbis Business Intelligence firm filed their first defense against a defamation lawsuit brought by Aleksej Gubarev, chief executive of the network solutions firm XBT Holdings.

Mr. Steele acknowledges that the part of the 35-page dossier that identified Mr. Gubarev as a rogue hacker came from “unsolicited intelligence” and “raw intelligence” that “needed to be analyzed and further investigated/verified.”

Democrats in Washington have embraced the unproven dossier as an argument for appointing a high-powered commission to investigate President Trump and his aides.

Mr. Steele’s court filing portrays him as a victim of Fusion GPS — the Washington firm that hired him with money from a Hillary Clinton backer.

Or consider Cheryl K. Chumley with a twofer on the Judge who blocked Trump on sanctuary city a big Obama donor – “Note to those who think judges are impartial, and the judicial system in America safe and sound from the dirty world of politicking: Not.”

Anyhow, here we are again with another judge of questionable background, from a left-leaning locale, making another decision that goes — surprise, surprise — against the Trump administration and in favor of the leftist open border people. And come to find out, this judge, Orrick, is a big Democratic supporter — a big Obama supporter — a big John Kerry supporter. The common denominator of those Orrick supported?

See also Sanctuary cities ruling a despicable sign of lawless times – “Judge William Orrick on Tuesday sided with Santa Clara County, the city of San Francisco and with other jurisdictions in saying that stripping federal funding from communities that refuse to lose the sanctuary label could be a violation of the Constitution.”

Stephen Dinan and Andrea Noble make it clear that the Judge’s efforts were more of a symbolic ‘stick it to Trump’ thing than anything to do with justice or the law. Judge says Trump is wrong to tie federal funding to sanctuary status, blocks executive order – “Judge says DOJ can withhold some funds, but Trump went too far.” Once again, the EO doesn’t do what the Judge said.

The ruling was still a partial victory for the president though, with the judge saying the administration can withhold funds in cases where the law already gives him permission.

That clears the path for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to strip sanctuary cities of hundreds of millions of dollars doled out each year across three Justice Department grant programs.

The Justice Department portrayed the ruling as little more than a symbolic setback, saying it had already limited the punishment to the three programs the judge said can be cut off under existing law.

But, the Left chooses to portray this as part of an “embarrassment to Mr. Trump” and “a disaster” in a “litany of mistakes.” Pulling the courts into the Left’s assault on civilization is just another example of imaginative creationism in denial of reality. Allahpundit has something relevant to this in asking Should the Supreme Court have dinner with Trump? It goes into a presumption of guilt and seeing everything in that light.

I think the liberal reaction here goes beyond standard hyperpartisanship, to Trump himself: Once you adopt “this is not normal” as your frame for his administration, anything he does that’s the least bit unorthodox begins to look alarmingly unconventional — even when there’s plenty of precedent to support it, as there is in this case. Also, because they view Trump as fundamentally unethical, him wanting to schmooze with judges who will rule on his policies takes on an air of improper influence that wouldn’t attach to the same degree to, say, Bush or Obama doing the same. (Certainly would-be Court-packer Franklin Roosevelt wouldn’t have dreamed of of trying to inappropriately tilt SCOTUS in his direction by wining and dining them.) And when all else fails, you can argue that Trump is unique among presidents who’ve followed this tradition because some of his former campaign staffers are currently being looked at by the FBI for possible Russian influence. Should a president be inviting SCOTUS to dinner when his associates are under federal investigation — even if, er, he himself is not, as far as we know?

And then Again: Federal judge halts Trump order blocking funding for sanctuary cities – “This marks the second time a Trump executive order has been blocked based partly on comments made by Trump or his aides outside the record, whether on the campaign trail, to the media, or so on.”

He got no benefit of the doubt in the travel-ban cases about his motive and he gets no benefit of the doubt in today’s sanctuary-city case in terms of which jurisdictions he might target and which grants, specifically, he’d seek to have the Attorney General withhold. Rather, thus far in his 95 days as president, lower courts seem to be grasping for reasons to halt his policies and willing to dig through whatever material they can find, including offhand comments made on “The O’Reilly Factor,” to support their conclusion. I wonder why.

Even so, we’re left here with a strange result in which, although the order has been blocked, the Attorney General still enjoys the same power to cut off funds to sanctuary cities as he claimed to have before the court. Remember, the DOJ argued that Trump’s EO only applied to the three grants under Section 1373 that can already be withheld from sanctuary jurisdictions, not to all federal grants. The court disagreed, but even if the Trump administration had won, it would mean that Sessions would be limited by his own reasoning to just those three grants in punishing sanctuary districts. And because he’s been authorized by statute to withhold those three, he can still withhold them notwithstanding the court’s decision today. In a sense, the order doesn’t matter. Only if you thought, or hoped, that it expanded Sessions’s power to withhold all sorts of federal money from sanctuary cities is it a true defeat. And not even the DOJ claimed that.

Any judge should be very concerned about what their colleagues are doing. The trend is toward what happened in Venezuela where the courts decided it was up to them to take over the legislature’s job.

Jazz Shaw says The anniversary of the LA riots shows that some of us haven’t learned a damn thing – “it’s rather curious that the LA Times chooses to provide something of a sympathetic or even apologist retrospective this week.” As with the race riots today, the stimulus incident was not as clear as the ‘activists’ seek to portray it. But that doesn’t matter, no lie matters if it supports the cause whatever it may be.

The LA Times quotes at least one individual who feels that it’s “understandable” how the riots happen given the “context” of Rodney King and Latisha Harlins. No. It is not.

No matter the severity of King’s injuries or the tragedy of that child’s death, it’s not “understandable” that Reginald Denny, someone with zero relationship to the events of King’s arrest, was dragged from his truck and beaten within an inch of his life. It’s not “understandable” that small businesses owned by individuals crossing all racial, religious and gender lines were looted. It’s not “understandable” that the city was set afire causing billions of dollars in damage. And most of all it’s not “understandable” that law enforcement was essentially chased out of an entire section of a major metropolitan center and hoards of violent mobs were set loose to unleash mayhem.

The thin fabric of civilization broke down that week. The rule of law was shattered and what was left in its wake was anarchy. It was mob rule, something which has never boded well for humanity throughout all of hour history. If we were to take any lesson away from the Los Angeles riots 25 years later it should be that our civilization rests on a knife edge where only a thin blue line stands between the peaceful, ordered society the American experiments depends on and the type of chaos which could collapse the entire thing.

And none of what happened then is “understandable” no matter what context you care to invoke.

Justice corrupted starts with citizens who do not consider the implications of their fantasies.

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Actions beget reactions. Best not backtracking or mea culpa.

Rowan Scarborough says Trump’s lawyer launches legal action against BuzzFeed for publishing ‘completely fabricated’ dossier – that dossier is what Democrats are hanging their ‘Russian Collusion’ hats on.

Douglas Ernst reports O’Reilly says ‘truth will come out’ on Fox exit: ‘You’re going to be shaken, as I am’ – “I was very surprised how it all turned out,” the host said. “I can’t say a lot, because there’s much stuff going on right now. But I can tell you that I’m very confident the truth will come out, and when it does, I don’t know if you’re going to be surprised — but I think you’re going to be shaken, as I am. There’s a lot of stuff involved here.”

Cheryl K. Chumley says Sean Hannity’s accuser retracts sex harassment claim – “Dang it, Debbie. This is why women aren’t believed. Because of people like Schlussel who accuse, accuse, accuse — and then, faced with legal backlash, deny, deny, deny.”

Seems to be a lot of definitions of truth and true floating around. Here’s a thought: How about not accusing someone of sexual harassment when, well, no sexual harassment occurred? That has a ring of truth in it, too.

See also In Defense of Sean Hannity by Melanie Morgan – “The left-wing media is engaged in attempted character assassination against Sean Hannity as part of their effort to try and destroy the Fox News Channel.”

So desperate is the Left to try and play the smear-and-destroy card on Sean Hannity that they had to resort to dredging up wild accusations from a woman whose career has consisted of one malicious attack after another. The woman attacking Sean Hannity has attacked Sarah Palin, Steven Crowder, Free Republic, and repeatedly tried to attack Sean Hannity over and over again. Oh, and she went after me the last time I defended Sean Hannity from one of her attacks.

Jennifer Harper on Inside the Beltway: Republican students sue Berkeley after campus blocks Ann Coulter speech – “If Berkeley won’t protect its students rights, Young America’s Foundation will,” proclaims the conservative youth organization of the same name, which is mounting a lawsuit against the University of California, Berkeley after the school essentially blocked an upcoming appearance by commentator Ann Coulter.”

Jazz Shaw notes When the New York Times advocates suppression of speech – “Who gets to decide which view has what “inherent value?” Those in power.”

If you read this verbal dancing through a minefield of self-validation for too long your head will be spinning. The essence of it is that certain groups of individuals who are more deserving of protection should not be exposed to contrary opinions because those opinions are inherently false and do nothing to add to the discussion, while causing harm of some sort to the listener. The obvious pitfall in that “logic” is that someone has to make the determination as to which opinions are not open to debate because they are harmful.

On that Russian Collusion thing Dan Boylan reports Grassley takes methodical approach, follows the money to find source of ‘dodgy dossier’ – “the dossier presented a Washington-style follow-the-money angle that investigators needed to pursue. The real question remains: Who paid Mr. Steele for the material?”

The background behind the anti-Trump report — parts of which have been discredited but parts of which U.S. investigators are still working to verify and parts of which U.K. sources have partially verified — is classic Washington intrigue, political dirty tricks and the industry that has been built up to satisfy the need for dirt on one’s political opponent. Mr. Grassley’s efforts suggest that the dossier and those responsible for compiling and leaking its contents are re-emerging at the heart of the investigation.

David Keene provides a foretaste of doom: Venezuela’s coming civil war – “Maduro is arming his thugs to crush the democratic hopes of his desperate people.” There is an analogy to U.S. politics and it is improving in the worst ways. See Stephen Dinan: Illegals thwart immigration laws with help from lawyers, judges, educators – “A massive anti-deportation infrastructure has emerged to try to protect illegal immigrants from President Trump’s crackdown, with advocacy groups coaching potential deportees on how to massage encounters with police, and lawyers and judges working to shield them from charges that would make them priorities for deportation.” Don’t forget Turkey as another lesson, either.

Another one in this line is Reporters Sleep as 60 Black People Rob a BART Train in Oakland by Colin Flaherty. It’s a case of horror ignored because it doesn’t fit, and even refutes, the desired storyline.

Alicia Trost, a BART spokeswoman, said Monday that seven robberies had occurred – with victims losing a purse, a duffel bag, and five phones. Six people were robbed inside the train car, with a seventh confronted on the platform, she said.

Not one of the reporters for any of the dozens of news outlets in that area mentioned the central organizing feature of the “teens”: they were black. Tons of Bay area law enforcement officials say so.

After they rampaged through the train, this black mob retreated into their East Oakland neighborhood – you know, the one that is widely reported to be the “backbone of African American life and culture in Oakland.”

The same neighborhood black activists want to save from the gentrifiers because Black Panther Huey Newton slept there.

Even the most cursory search of crime reports and news stories reveals what everyone in that area knows: BART is a center of black violence on wheels and official denial in abundance.

Another cause of the Left is the subject of ESPN’s Bill Polian: ‘Overwhelming Majority’ of NFL Prospects Who Test Positive at Combine Fail in League as reported by Trent Baker. “With the NFL Draft coming up and reports of players failing drug tests leaking, ESPN NFL expert Bill Polian weighed in on NFL prospects failing drug tests at the NFL Combine.” Odds are not good for recreational drug users seeking a successful career in professional football.

 

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April 24, 2017: Fantasy and reality

Rowan Scarborough reports: Democrats cling to intel dossier riddled with fiction in desperate attempt to take down Trump – “An anti-Donald Trump “dossier” created by a former British spy and financed by Democratic-linked money has significant detractors: the people accused of crimes in a supposed Trump-Russia conspiracy.”

The 35-page dossier by Mr. Steele has taken on critical importance in recent weeks for Democrats in Washington. They cite its accusations without corroboration as the reason for a special commission to investigate Mr. Trump and his aides for a supposed role in Russia’s hacking of Democratic Party email servers.

But there is independent evidence that Mr. Steele’s story is wrong.

Of the dossier, the former diplomat said, “There is stuff in there that just defies logic. Lots of it.”

Today, the Steele creation is cited by Democrats trying to get Congress to appoint a special commission and by some liberal news websites that contend it is true.

Robert Knight picks up on another issue where Fake News is being used by the Left. Voter fraud oughta be a crime – “Undermines fair and honest elections.” The Governor of Virginia provides the case study.

Joseph Stalin is credited with observing that, “It’s not the people who vote that count, it’s the people who count the votes.”

Over the last two decades the left has been changing both the rules of our election process and America’s demographics to suit their political agenda.

A perfect example is Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s brazen attempt to get more than 200,000 convicted felons onto the state’s voter rolls in time for the last election. Undaunted after his slapdown by the state supreme court, the governor recently vetoed six common-sense election integrity bills sent to his desk.

Once committed, vote fraud cannot be undone. The only sensible approach is to take measures to prevent it in the first place.

Vice President Pence’s commission on voting integrity will have the opportunity to ensure that our electoral system safeguards the right of U.S. citizens to have fair and honest elections.

Another case study is about the takedown of Fox News. Cheryl K. Chumley describes the third push: Sean Hannity, Fox star, vows legal action against ‘serial harasser’ – “Over the weekend, another woman, Debbie Schlussel, came forward to accuse another Fox News host — Sean Hannity — of sexual harassment. Insert collective groan here.”

But here’s the backstory, just the same: Schlussel, a former frequent face on Fox and on Hannity’s show, went on Today’s Pat Campbell show just recently and said, while in Detroit with Hannity on a previous occasion, he repeatedly asked her to come back to his hotel room. She said she declined, and as a result, Hannity never invited her back on his show.

But Hannity, unlike fellow former Fox star Bill O’Reilly, who reportedly paid out $13 million to various female sexual harassment accusers over the years, isn’t reaching for his wallet. Rather, he’s turned toward his legal team.

there’s also this: No matter how you slice it, Fox News has suffered a major public relations ding in recent months. And it’s going to take quite a while for the cable outlet to recover and reemerge as the place not just conservatives, but traditional family advocates, go to get their news. If ever.

This is, of course, the age-old weapon long used by vindictive womyn. Despite all the rhetoric about equality from the feminist contingent, the Title IX college ‘late’ regret’ allegations accepted without due process to destroy men, the brouhaha about the Vice President’s sensible chaperon policies, and the teacher rape student cases, implication and innuendo and questionable accusation by womyn to take down men is as old as the hills. From Ailes to O’Reilly to, now, Hannity, there is a pattern of assault against figurehead conservative media that speaks for just how ugly the Left can be. Hannity is saying that it’s time to change tactics and no longer just buy it off as a matter of convenience. It is time to fight back.

It appears that O’Reilly may be planning on doing so as well. He may also be looking at trends where viewers are eschewing cable for direct I’net feed and choosing the moment to ride that wave. See Ned Barnett about Justice for Bill O’Reilly – “O’Reilly’s case is a microcosm of a trend in America that the “wronged” woman must always be right, and the “wronging” man must always be wrong.”

Renee Garfinkel provides an example of analysis beginning to realize there is a new world of strategists on the stage. Trump’s tweets: Distraction or strategy? – “President should focus on terror, national security, domestic policies.” Note the ‘should’ as a bias indicator. The tag line indicates an old paradigm focus rather than a look at trying to figure out what actually is. But there are glimmers of reality in the essay.

When a president shoots himself in the foot, the entire country suffers a self-inflicted wound.

Famously impulsive and distractible, the impact of President Trump’s personal foibles and flaws is exaggerated by a staff wholly lacking in government experience. According to some observers, this confluence of factors resulted in the embarrassing display of incompetence that was the “Repeal and Replace” health care debacle.

Other, more cynical Washington watchers see it differently. They detect deliberate strategy, not incompetence, behind Trump’s apparently self-inflicted wounds.

Take the Russian investigation. The executive branch of government should be as motivated as Congress to uncover – or put to rest – questions about Russian attempts to influence U.S. and other democratic elections around the world. But instead of cooperating, Trump changed the subject by tweeting a bogus accusation of Obama and wiretapping.

If they are strategies, Trump’s techniques of deflection and diversion have been pretty effective so far. Congressional and media resources are busily engaged with them. In the meantime, the press has inadequately attended to serious, difficult issues, such as foreign policy.

Using the Russian allegations as a case study is also interesting. The tweet about “Obama and wiretapping” has been shown to be anything but bogus and they did turn the attention from bogus Trump collusion allegations (see story above) to actual governmental spying on political opponents.

The world is a dangerous place, and the U.S. can ill afford distractions and lack of focus in the Oval Office.

The president owes the American people a plan.

If Garfinkle was listening to what has been said and done rather than preaching about what he thinks should be, he’d know where the distractions are coming from and what the plan is. If he was at all aware, he’d know that “Famously impulsive and distractible” was a false ad hominem meme and that “a staff wholly lacking in government experience” is quite at odds with actual performance. There is an indicator for just how far off base Garfinkle and his compatriots really are. It is in the polling of Trump voters, even the reluctant ones, who are showing significant acceptance that the new President is indeed getting the job done. (see Poll: 96% of Trump Supporters Would Vote for Him Again, Win Popular Vote)

Byron York: Trump’s 100 days: An executive success – “During last year’s campaign, Trump spoke frequently of all the things he would do almost immediately upon entering the Oval Office.”

By the last weeks of the campaign, Trump actually dialed back some of his promises. On October 22, he traveled to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to announce his “Contract with the American Voter,” which formalized his pledges for the first 100 days.

The “Contract” was a single piece of paper. The front listed 18 actions Trump would take under his executive authority as president, and the back listed ten pieces of legislation he would introduce in Congress.

Now, three months into the Trump administration, the front and the back of the Contract are two very different stories.

On the executive action front, Trump has kept a significant number of his promises:

But the back page of the Contract is a different story. Unlike many of his speeches, Trump was careful not to promise legislative success. “I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures and fight for their passage with the first 100 days of my administration,” he said in the Contract

But it is precisely in the legislative area that the 100 day mark is such an unrealistic measure. Congress acts on its own schedule. Truth be told, next January, on the occasion of Trump’s first year in office, if he has passed either a full-scale Obamacare repeal and replace measure or a major tax reform measure, that would be a reasonably good legislative record for a first year.

Roger Kimbal takes a look at Trump vs. Obama: A Study in Contrasts – “A full recitation of the differences between Barack Obama and Donald Trump would fill a book.”

There is not, so far as I have been able to determine, anything similar in Donald Trump’s makeup. His approach to problems, to events generally, is less ideological than pragmatic. “What’s the right thing to do in this particular case?” That seems to be his cynosure. You might not like the answers he gives, but it is easy to see that they come not from a previously adopted program or ideology but from an ad hoc response to the case at hand. Critics call that “confusion” or “inconsistency” or “contradiction.” I’m not sure those categories have much purchase in this context.

In 2014, Obama made headlines when he traded five senior Taliban leaders held captive in Guantanamo Bay for the release of Bowe Robert Bergdahl … Donald Trump, through diplomatic intervention with Egyptian President al-Sisi when he visited Washington earlier this month, quietly secured the release of the Egyptian-American charity worker Aya Hijazi, her Egyptian husband, and four other humanitarian workers who had been held for three years by Egyptian authorities.

Mark the difference.

Obama ordered the liberation of terrorists to secure the release of an anti-American Army deserter whose desertion cost the lives of at least six Army soldiers who had been sent to look for him. Trump hears about the plight of a U.S. national, uses a behind-the-scenes diplomatic initiative as an occasion to secure her release, and celebrates it at the White House.

The moral is that, for The New York Times, Donald Trump is unable to perform a humanitarian act. Everything he does must be filtered through the lens of left-wing political animus.

As we approach Trump’s hundredth day in office, however, I am happy to say that I sense a change in the anti-Trump dynamic. The anti-Trump venom is as widespread and hysterical as ever. But as the days go by and Trump governs not as Hitler but as a deliberate executive, toting up victories here, setbacks there, rain checks and extenuations and opportunities, more and more people will say, “This guy is the real deal. He gets things done. He delivers on his promises. He really is making America great again.” The effect of that sentiment will be to marginalize the mainstream media.

John Hinderaker picks up on The Associated Press Interviews President Trump – “the more I have listened to Trump and, especially, read transcripts of his speeches and interviews, the more I am impressed by the fact that if you look past his gee-whiz real estate developer style and his generally-overlooked implicit self-deprecation, what Trump is telling us is usually very smart.”

Scott Adams was prescient.

Maybe ‘The Hero’ is back. Read Clint Eastwood to Direct Film on Heroes Who Stopped ISIS-Inspired Train Attack in Paris by Melissa Mullins – “Forget calling him a Hollywood director. Clint Eastwood is quickly earning the title of America’s director.”

Meanwhile, the effort to re-write history is underway. Jazz Shaw reports that New Orleans begins tearing down some Confederate history – “Somehow I don’t think this story is going to draw as much press attention as the fights over the Confederate Battle Flag of the past couple years, but you’ll quickly see some parallels.” This is part of an effort to personalize a created opponent to obfuscate an ideological fantasy.

There is something inherently destructive and short-sighted about these efforts to whitewash our history (if you’ll pardon the phrase.) I spent some time stationed outside of New Orleans when I was in the navy and had the chance to see and photograph several of the monuments under discussion. (When I was there, the Liberty Monument was still in its original location right in the middle of Canal Street. It was later moved.) These are long standing memorials to a controversial but still important and very real part of our history. They should definitely spark civil discussions about the nation and how the past shaped who we were and the journey to come. Removing them because you find the nation’s history offensive is shallow and does a disservice to the generations to come. But it’s the path that New Orleans has now chosen, so we’ll have to rely on photographs to remember them in the future.

Jazz also describes a desecration of art in NYC: Fearless Girl and a load of bull – “it once again all comes back to context and the infinitely variable responses we have to art.” It is another example of picking at symbols to promote an ideological fantasy whether it is removing them, altering them, or something else. Maybe they need to turn the bull around to face the other way?

On Democrats and the support for lawlessness and anarchy is a Nevada Representative. Are violent demonstrations acceptable political speech? Titus thought so – “Rep. Dina Titus last week said violent protests on college campuses are responses to Donald Trump’s presidency and proposed budget. She also included violent protests in a list of ways people are “coming together” to oppose Trump.” For where this leads, take a look at Venezuela’s socialist hell.

Speaking of Venezuela, the Pope steps in it again. Robert Spencer reports that Pope Francis calls refugee centers concentration camps – “The Pope continues to exhort Europeans to commit civilizational suicide, and doesn’t hesitate to shame them into it by claiming it’s their Christian duty.”

Except for that little matter of the Nazis putting people in concentration camps in order to work them to death or murder them outright. But what need does the Pope have for such petty details?

“Leave them; they are blind guides. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14)

“Pope Francis called refugee centers concentration camps. A Jewish group says there’s no comparison,” by Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Washington Post, April 23, 2017

David Prentice provides a retrospective on The Bush Family Conundrum – “To this day, I am uncertain how to see the Bush family.”

This brings me to the biggest problem they had (and have): they never understood the nature and character of their political opponents. They never comprehended what the Democratic Party became and stood for as it lurched to the left. They didn’t care to realize that these were nasty ideological leftists who were not just in a simple disagreement with them. They likely never read the sick tomes of Howard Zinn, nor understood how the left used his work. They never understood the evil of Saul Alinsky, and how the left gained and kept political power. While the left was, and is, at war with us (the right), the Bush family appeased it.

In a word, they were naïve.

Trump just showed us how to win: have a vision, be unafraid to communicate it, and know just how nasty your opponents really are. Fight them. Conservatives, it’s time to move on from the Bush family, and go back to Reagan’s vision of a great America. Throw out your timidity, communicate as if your lives depended on it, keep your promises, and defeat leftist tyranny.

If we don’t, we won’t have much left to conserve.

There is an education goin’ on.

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Is truth an invention?

Tammy Bruce on The rot of political correctness – “In today’s academy, truth is an invention. Expecting people to show up on time is racist. Censorship is good. Silencing opposing viewpoints imperative. Violence to enforce safety is natural.”

For the last 25 years, under the guise of “political correctness,” we’ve been watching the inexplicable flow into our culture. The idiotic demands of political correctness in the 1980s, ironically relying on the decency of the American people for their acquiescence, was just the prep course, an amuse bouche before the main course of creating social chaos and destruction.

It sounds dramatic, and it is, and it’s also the only way the left maintains power — brainwashing people into believing that social norms must be destroyed in order to create a more perfect society. From the ashes would emerge the great collective phoenix.

Just ask the Soviet Union, Cambodia, Cuba and Venezuela how well that works out.

There is naval gazing due to a couple of ‘close but no cigar’ votes where the Democrats have invested heavily. Gabriel Debenedetti: Democrats begin to wonder: When do we win? – “For all the roiling anger and energy at the grassroots, the party still fell short in Georgia and Kansas. And Democratic prospects in upcoming elections aren’t promising.” Perhaps have something the part is for might be a start. When “resistance” and lawlessness and obstruction and hate are your key drivers, strength is limited.

“The biggest driver of enthusiasm right now is the rejection of Trump and the Trump agenda,” said party strategist Jesse Ferguson

Schatz believes the party’s messaging needs some refining. In his view, that means officials at the DCCC should cut the doom-and-gloom messaging in their fundraising emails — a significant way the party communicates with backers.

IBD describes The Democrats’ Desperate Ploy To Block Tax Reform – “Democrats say they won’t work with President Trump on tax reform unless he first releases his tax returns. This has to be the lamest excuse for not fixing the tax code we’ve ever heard.” It’s becoming quite clear that this obsession is just another gambit to obtain something, anything, with which to smear, defame, and denigrate.

Let’s be clear. This is not about tax reform at all. And it’s not about making sure Trump isn’t sneaking some provision into a reform bill that will secretly benefit him or his family.

This is about politics, pure and simple.

Democrats continue to hope that there’s something in Trump’s tax returns that they can blow out of proportion to further hamper his administration, and they think they have some leverage over Trump at the moment.

But the question regarding the public’s need to see Trump’s tax returns has already been decided by voters, hasn’t it? They knew before casting their ballots that Trump had refused to release his tax returns, and voted him into office anyway.

Tax reform is vital to restoring economic growth and vitality. No one denies that. If tax reform fails — and the economy suffers as a result — it won’t be Trump’s tax returns that are to blame. It will be shortsighted Democratic lawmakers kowtowing to the extremists in their party.

Another of the petards coming home to roost is described by George Neumayr: Confirmed: John Brennan Colluded With Foreign Spies to Defeat Trump – “This is the open scandal that Congress should investigate.”

An article in the Guardian last week provides more confirmation that John Brennan was the American progenitor of political espionage aimed at defeating Donald Trump. One side did collude with foreign powers to tip the election — Hillary’s.

The Guardian story is written in a style designed to flatter its sources (they are cast as high-minded whistleblowers), but the upshot of it is devastating for them, nonetheless, and explains why all the criminal leaks against Trump first originated in the British press.

Liberals pompously quote the saying — “the bigger the lie, the more it will be believed” — even as their media enshrine it. Historians will look back on 2016 and marvel at the audacity of its big lie: whispers of an imaginary Trump-Russia collusion that wafted up from the fever swamps of a real collusion between John Brennan and foreign powers seeking Trump’s defeat.

Another one raising ire is by the OregonMuse: Berkeley: An Autopsy – “So who is to blame for the seemingly ongoing Berkeley riots?”

Meet Jese Arreguin, elected mayor of Berkeley, progressive loon, terrorist enabler, idiot. His Twitter TL reads like a conservative parody of a progressive Twitter account.

What it boils down to is that the rioting that happened this weekend, as well as the previous riots, occurred because Arreguin wanted them to. After all, it was his peeps that were rioting, and the people they were punching, beating, and pepper-spraying, i.e. Trump supporters, veterans, honest free-speech advocates, and other normal people, are generally not “progressive” enough for the likes of the Berkeley mayor.

Business owners and residents of Berkeley should take note. And perhaps look into hiring private security as Ann Coulter is scheduled to speak at Berkeley on April 27th.

Things were a bit different elsewhere as Brett T. notes Auburn takes Berkeley to school as police unmask anti-fascists outside Richard Spencer speech – “To be honest, we’re less interested in what alt-right leader Richard Spencer said Tuesday night at Auburn University than it what the police patrolling the event were up to, which was especially shocking in the wake of the latest round of rioting in Berkeley.”

Ed Morrissey describes another hazardous front Beware: “Democratic radical left” provoking a government shutdown, warns … – “One Senator warns that radical activists on the Left have pushed Democrats into complete “across the board obstruction” that will precipitate a government shutdown, which Chuck Schumer will do to appease hardliners despite the fact that it won’t have any success.” The key concept is one of deciding how much to invest in fighting which battles. In a war of attrition, care is needed to assure some return on the assets at risk. The Democrats are investing all in everything and this is likely to leave them nothing for anything.

Democrats plan an all-out fight against that funding, even in a nominal amount, as part of La Resistance to Trump. That much, at least, would be part of the actual discretionary budget process, unlike the “defund ObamaCare” government shutdown in 2013 that ended up flopping — and nearly distracting voters from the even bigger disaster of the ObamaCare rollout. As we see to this day, ObamaCare gets most of its funding and does most of its spending by statute rather than appropriations, which meant that the 2013 defunding effort was a dead end right from the start.

the Trump administration has some cards to play, too. Government shutdowns leave a lot of discretion in the hands of the president, and that could allow Trump to score a few points whether the media covers it or not.

In the end, presidents win shutdowns because they have a lot more leverage, even with a hostile media. Furthermore, a shutdown undermines the Left in a way that doesn’t apply to the Right — it attacks the notion that we need bigger and more-present government in all issues. Schumer & Co can’t afford to have a shutdown go on long enough to disprove their entire raison d’être. Even with a sympathetic media behind them, budget obstructionism is not sustainable for long, and will eventually infuriate voters who expect Congress to do their jobs rather than stamp their feet and threaten to take their ball home.

Another cause of the day is also starting to reap its ‘dividends.’ Jazz Shaw: San Francisco’s minimum wage spike is already shutting down restaurants – citing the Washington ExaminerSan Francisco’s higher minimum wage is causing an increasing number of restaurants to go out of business even before it is fully phased in, a new study by the Harvard Business School found.” It’s just like those global warming studies with dissonance between fantasy and reality. It is also worthy of note that it isn’t the elite that get the impact of the Left’s efforts.

Whenever I write about the “Fight for 15” and the impact of steeply increasing minimum wage rates on employment I am regularly assured by liberal activists that such concerns are either false or severely overblown. There is an entire body of work in the progressive sphere dedicated to nothing but this particular propaganda effort. The premise makes no sense in terms of basic economics (or simply math, for that matter) but it keeps on being repeated. And yet, when the experiment is moved off of the chalkboard and out into the real world the opposite always seems to happen.

As the Harvard study found, the most expensive and highly rated restaurants don’t seem to be affected at all. The closures and cutbacks are hitting all of the more modest priced outlets with lower customer ratings. Unfortunately for San Francisco’s workforce, that’s the majority of them.

There is a tide coming in.

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