Archive for politics

Flukey bias incidents?

The Remarkable Donald Trump. Michael Busler – “In spite of 90% of media coverage of him being negative, in spite of every Democrat consistently opposing anything he wants to do, and in spite of some members of his own party being against him, he has managed to change the direction of the country.

“He is moving toward more individual freedom, more individual responsibility, lower rates of taxation, and a smaller role for government. Those are the principles that allowed our country’s economy to increase from birth to the largest in the world in less than 150 years.

Solar Power to Hit the Wall in Nevada. Norman Rogers – “The left calls its acceptable methods of generating electricity “renewable energy.” The definition of renewable energy, enshrined in renewable portfolio laws in many states, tells us what the left likes and doesn’t like. It is very arbitrary.

“In states where a lot of solar has been installed, such as California and Nevada, solar is running into a wall that is related to the time delivery of solar power versus when the electrical grid’s need for power.

The cost of a solar installation with batteries would nearly double the cost and the batteries will probably wear out periodically. The promoters of solar have a solution for that — have the federal government subsidize the cost of the batteries.

Solar installations are approximately 70% subsidized by the federal government and by state energy quotas that energize favorable financing.

The bottom line is that solar is not a good method of supplying electricity and it is not a good method for reducing CO2 emissions. It keeps going because the promoters constantly lie and spread propaganda. They often brag about cheap solar purchase contracts without mentioning the huge subsidies and the state mandates that force utilities to buy solar (and wind).

Why Do Democrats Have a Secret List of Supreme Court Nominees? Ken Blackwell – “The latest example of such bold duplicity by the Democratic Party is the secret “A-list” of potential Supreme Court (SCOTUS) judges Democrats refuse to reveal while they turn blue on Capitol Hill screaming for more transparency from the Trump administration.

“President Trump openly campaigned on the need for more conservative judges to serve on the nation’s federal courts and the SCOTUS. The president never hid his intentions — he boldly embraced the issue. …

Sens. Durbin, Schumer, Blumenthal, Booker, and many other liberal town criers in Washington, D.C. miss no opportunity to malign the Trump administration for its allegedly clandestine acts. How much longer are they going to whine about imaginary backroom shenanigans with the Russians? Yet Democrats are secretly building lists of judicial nominees — dubbed “Building the Bench” — and keeping the names hidden from the public. …

Such dishonesty raises serious questions.

When it comes to selecting people to serve on the nation’s highest court and federal district courts around the country, secret lists, deals, and backdoor maneuvers to hide nominees or political intentions undermine our judicial system and America’s faith in political leaders. If Democrats are genuinely proud of who they are and what their party stands for, they should be honest and open about whom they want to serve in government. Anything less reeks of dishonesty and should spark distrust among voters.

Emails Show Obama State Department’s Role in Anti-Trump Coup Cabal. Tom Fitton – “John Kerry, President Obama’s secretary of state, seems to be having trouble staying within the legal bounds of the Logan Act, so it’s not surprising that his State Department lieutenants were getting their hands dirty in the conspiracy to bring down Donald Trump.

New York approves driver’s licenses for illegals over public opposition. Jazz Shaw – “Yes, you read that correctly. New York is specifically crafting legislation to shield the identity of illegal aliens from immigration enforcement officials.”

“Aren’t these elected officials – particularly the Governor – supposed to be in the business of defending and supporting the rule of law? I mean, isn’t that basically their job? We’re supposed to working to remove lawbreaking aliens, not shielding and coddling them.

How do you pass a law with such significant, majority opposition among the public and expect to win another statewide election? Is this the final straw before the voters in New York stop sending this same pack of increasingly unhinged Democrats back to Albany every two years? We can only hope, but if history teaches us anything, it’s that the majority of voters in New York are painfully slow to learn.

Dems’ new strategy to defeat executive privilege: Subpoena randos! Ed Morrissey – “calling witnesses who never worked in the White House.

“As for subpoenaing Corey Lewandowski and Chris Christie, there is no “at best” scenario. It’s pure stuntwork and nothing more. Neither man worked in the White House, so they can’t speak to obstruction. No one has ever hypothesized that either man was in the Russia-collusion-hypothesis loop either. They literally have nothing to add to any impeachment case proposed by Democrats. Democrats will use them as props, targets for their soliloquies about Trump while producing nothing at all of substance.

The aims of leftist labeling and censoring of conservative pundits as extremists … neo – “For a while, the phenomenon of leftist censorship of the right concentrated on potential speakers at college campuses. … Lately, de-platforming and/or de-monetizing from various social media and internet sites such as YouTube is all the rage,

“That way it’s easy to keep the maximum number of people insulated and protected from any ideas on the right that are factually and logically correct and might even persuade a person to change a long-held idea—or, in some cases (such as that of left-to-right political changers) to change one’s mind politically in a more fundamental way. That’s why it’s even more important to label the more moderate, thoughtful conservatives as extreme and offensive than the ones who actually are extreme and offensive, because an open-minded reader or listener will probably be able to find out and decide on his/her own which pundits and writers really are extreme and offensive, and which ones are making good points. It’s that latter group the left and the MSM is most afraid of—the ones who could change the opinions of a lot of people, if they were to be given a forum and listened to with an open mind.

Let’s not ruin the internet over flukey ‘bias’ incidents like the recent one on Pinterest – Publications – AEI. James Pethokoukis – “What passes for “evidence” of Big Tech bias against the right tends to be of the anecdotal variety.” this one is a rationale for censorship. Note the minimization and qualification of the impact of events and the bigoted hyperbole “right-wing media got pretty excited about that, too” – “This is especially the case when the problem really isn’t much of a problem at all.” There is no credence given to concerns that don’t fit the author’s narrative and anything that might cast shadows on that narrative are dismissed ad hoc.

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Chronic Conflict All Over

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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FUD Mongering as a political weapon

Environmental group claims weed killer still contaminates most cereals. Kelcie Willis – “CNN reported that the Environmental Working Group, which receives financial and other support from organic food companies and others, found all but four products it tested have levels of glyphosate, a weed killer.

“According to EWG, the herbicide was at levels the group’s scientists say are too high for children’s health, leading to cancer risks.

Despite the group’s claims, the Environmental Protection Agency said in April that the herbicide poses no public health risk. “EPA continues to find that there are no risks to public health when glyphosate is used in accordance with its current label and that glyphosate is not a carcinogen,” the agency said April 30. “The agency’s scientific findings on human health risk are consistent with the conclusions of science reviews by many other countries and other federal agencies.

Mitch McConnell: I am the ‘Grim Reaper’ of Nancy Pelosi’s Socialist Agenda. Sara Carter – “Pelosi unveiled a “McConnell’s Graveyard” poster, listing several legislative items, written on tombstones, the list included the For the People Act, the Equality Act, the Paycheck Fairness Act and Gun Violence Prevention.” It’s a good summary of the Democrat’s platform. Whether the list represents “commonsense solutions” presenting action on priorities of Americans may be something of a question.

MSM Jumps on ABC’s Trump Interview. Jennie Taer – “I wish the media would take the time to look at the full clip,” said White House Deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley

“Yet again, the MSM, otherwise known as the mainstream media machine, is attacking President Trump following an interview with ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos Wednesday. They latched on to one phrase and ran with it. It happens quite often in the anti-Trump circles, administration officials say. Well, they are right.

Gidley reiterated to Fox News’ Sandra Smith that it was then-candidate Hillary Clinton who weaponized alleged dirt on President Trump to prevent him from every winning the 2016 election.

The Left’s hypocrisy knows no bounds. Patricia McCarthy – “This bunch cared not a bit whom they damaged or destroyed; their goal was a worthy one even if it was seditious. Even as the depth and breadth of their insidious plan is exposed, they remain defiant, certain they will escape indictments.

“They forgot to remember that, unlike previous Republican presidents, Trump is a fighter. He pushes back, and this time, a small group of Republicans in the House and Senate and another small group of intrepid actual journalists kept digging for the truth and found it. Mainstream media outlets have steadfastly refused to report the facts as they’ve been unearthed so that when A.G. Barr was asked before House committee if there was spying on the Trump campaign and he answered yes, there was an immediate meltdown among Democrats. How dare he suggest such a thing? By then, it was common knowledge among those paying attention.

The Left colludes with whomever it wants if leftists deem it necessary to their desired ends.

The Left has thoroughly discarded any concerns it may have once had for American citizens and their neighborhoods. Leftists are one hundred percent in support of anything that will foil Trump’s promise to put a stop to the massive illegal immigration now taking place.

So it was well and truly amusing to hear the parade of outraged leftists, from Pelosi to every single host and guest on CNN and MSNBC, express their horror at Trump’s honest answer to war-room thug Stephanopoulos. They give new meaning to the word “hyperbole”!

The Selective Prosecution of Kellyanne Conway. Roger L. Simon – “These unknown bureaucrats and/or legal eagles want Kellyanne fired for…. wait for it… making political comments while in the White House

“What utter garbage! What member of any administration since any of us have been alive could not be accused of making political comments while in the White House, overtly or covertly? At least when they’re doing it overtly we can see what they’re up to. Kudos to Kellyanne for that.

So why Conway and why now? Well, first we might want to know the names of those behind this smear. Who is their Andrew Weissmann? Second, we might want to examine the timing as the Inspector General’s report is about to come out, Barr has appointed John Durham to investigate the investigators, and all Hades is about to break loose.

Trump: I’ll defend freedom of speech by not firing Kellyanne Conway. Ed Morrissey – “Perhaps the issuing of multiple reports on Conway’s behavior reflects less on her than it does on the application of this statute to her office. The only option for a person in that position would be to never speak publicly. Trump may be overstating the free-speech issues here, but it’s not by much.” This is another effort like the Mueller Dossier to attempt to shut down the executive branch’s ability to deliberate and discuss issues before them by using threats and actual efforts to impose criminality on words and thoughts.

Extremes. Judith Curry – “I’m sure many would dismiss this conclusion as ‘denial’, in spite of the extensive documentation and logic of my arguments.

“If you are unfamiliar with the details of all this, they are quite chilling. RPJr has prepared a twitter thread on his talk ‘Extreme Weather and Extreme Politics” which is a must read.

The AGW activists now had new weapon in their arsenal — attributing extreme weather events to manmade climate change. The ‘will to act’ seemed tied to alarmism about extreme weather events. Which provides a key political role for unsupported ‘storylines’ about extreme weather events.

A corollary to this activist strategy is to scare school children, and enlist their help in politicizing the issue of climate change and extreme events and also convincing their parents.

The obvious issue is that teachers should educate children about climate science and not scare them witless about the apocalypse. The less obvious issue is the harm done by scaring children.

The shenanigans of activists and politicians in this regard are not surprising. What is horrifying is the way that schoolchildren are being used (and arguably harmed) in the interests of supporting the activists’ propaganda.

And finally, the silence of scientists who should know better, especially among those who have a vocal public presence (e.g. media interviews, twitter) is very disturbing. Although who among them would want to suffer the hassles and osctracism suffered by RPJr, myself and others.

The ‘establishment’ community of climate scientist activists has much to answer for. But insatiable media market for ‘fake news’ regarding extreme weather events assures them of a path of continued professional success for spouting alarmism regarding extreme weather events.

FUD mongering works well when applied to children.

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We are a nation full of duplicitous political actors

The FBI Tragedy: Elites above the Law. [warning, nagware site] Victor Davis Hanson – “In short, in about every growing scandal of the past two years — FISA, illegal leaking, spying on a presidential candidate, lying under oath, obstructing justice — someone in the FBI is involved.

“In sum, why did so many top FBI officials, some with long experience in the FBI, exhibit such bad judgment and display such unethical behavior, characterized by arrogance, a sense of entitlement, and a belief that they were above both the law and the Constitution itself? Were they really just rogue agents, lawyers, and administrators, or are they emblematic of an FBI culture sorely gone wrong?

The entire Mueller investigation did not reflect highly either on Mueller or the number of former and current DOJ and FBI personnel he brought on to his team.

Mueller thereby established a new but lunatic precedent in American jurisprudence in which a prosecutor who fails to find sufficient cause to indict a suspect nonetheless releases supposedly incriminating evidence, with a wink that the now-besmirched suspect cannot be exonerated of the alleged crimes.

Fairly or not, the current FBI tragedy is that an American citizen should be duly worried about his constitutional rights any time he is approached by such senior FBI officials. That is not a slur on the rank and file, but the legacy of the supposed best and brightest of the agency and their distortions of the bureau’s once professional creed.

John Dean Blows Hole in Democrats’ Impeachment Push. Jonathon Moseley – “What the “Mueller Manifesto” needs, Democrats have all but admitted, is some Broadway razz-a-ma-tazz: A chorus line. Cheerleaders. Anything to try to get voters to listen.

“So John Dean admitted to opposing Donald Trump before Trump was even elected. And Dean described his level of disgust as doubling him over with pain in his stomach at the thought of a President Donald Trump.

So Dean let the cat out of the bag. This has nothing to do with anything that Trump did after becoming President. Dean was already desperate to stop Trump from becoming President. This has nothing to do with the law, impeachment, obstruction of justice or anything else that Trump did. It is all about politics. Dean wanted Hillary Clinton to win — by his own admission. John Dean is just one of the many spoiled children of the Left who didn’t get his way.

Former U.S. attorneys Joyce White Vance (formerly of the Northern District of Alabama) and Barbara McQuade (formerly of the Eastern District of Michigan) spent the afternoon giving misleading answers. Time after time, these former federal prosecutors were asked about snippets from the Mueller Manifesto. These former federal prosecutors then repeatedly offered their mind-reading, clairvoyant speculation about what people referenced in the Mueller report were probably thinking. But they tried to hide this and make their answers sound like they were actually testifying to facts or legal procedures. Time after time, question after question, these frightening former prosecutors substituted their own wish-fulfillment for the actual words of the Mueller report. They gave testimony about what they hoped the people involved were thinking.

“We Build the Wall” border gate ordered locked open by international group. Jazz Shaw – “But the story isn’t as clear-cut as the coverage at The Hill suggests. Reading into some of the local coverage, a few more nuggets emerge.

“And how did the IBWC get involved? You probably won’t be surprised to learn that the ACLU had been calling people in the local area and urging them to contact the commission to complain. The excuse being used was that the wall blocked access to Monument One, a structure marking the three-way border of Mexico, Texas and New Mexico. But according to Kolfage, it was always intended that both the IBWC and CBP would take charge of the gate and determine when it would be locked or unlocked for access to the monument and how CBP would staff the gate to prevent the entry of illegal aliens.

Democrats want to roll back protections for gun manufacturers. Jazz Shaw – “The only thing preventing liberal activist groups from litigating the firearms industry out of existence is the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act of 2005 (PLCAA).

“Of course, if there were any honesty in the anti-gun movement, they would suggest that the major automotive companies could be sued every time a drunk driver kills someone or a case of vehicular homicide crops up. On an average year, according to the FBI, more than 1,500 people are stabbed to death and another 500 are beaten to death with blunt objects. I suppose Hillerich & Bradsby (the makers of the Louisville Slugger) and all manufacturers of kitchen knife sets should be sued out of existence as well.

It would be nice if we lived in a world where the PLCAA wasn’t necessary, but that’s unfortunately not the case. We are a nation full of duplicitous political actors who will abuse our system of courts to achieve goals they can’t manage through legislative action. If the PLCAA is weakened or removed entirely, the people who have failed to repeal the Second Amendment will stack up one lawsuit after another against firearms manufacturers until they are run out of business or are forced to price their products beyond the reach of most citizens. That’s what the Democrats want, after all, and the ends will justify the means.

After fighting Portland residents, Oregon department places boulders to discourage homeless campers. John Sexton – “Instead of applauding the neighborhood for cleaning up the area and trying to do something to prevent it becoming a mess again, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) that owned a portion of the land demanded the rose bushes be removed. But the best part was the reason that ODOT offered

Outrage: California stiffed farmers over land seized for high-speed rail route. Ed Morrissey – “More than three years after the state of California seized land through eminent domain for its high-speed rail boondoggle, the state has yet to pay farmers expenses they owe them. And in some cases, they still owe them for the land as well

Good news for Northern Virginia criminals. Paul Mirengoff – “Two veteran prosecutors in Northern Virginia were defeated yesterday by leftists backed to the hilt by George Soros’ money.

“It’s not really the job of prosecutors to institute “criminal justice reform.” It’s their job vigorously to enforce the criminal laws adopted by the legislature.

In practice,of course, prosecutors have the power to undo the legislature’s will and to undermine proper law enforcement in other ways, as well. Dehghani-Tafti and Descano seem determined to do just that. Dehghani-Tafti has said as much. (She also attacked the police based on a bogus claim of “brutality.” Two local police organizations demanded an apology, but as far as I know received none. It will be interesting to see how, as the top country prosecutor, she gets along with those who keep the public safe).

In view of all this, it’s clear why Soros (along with Terry McAuliffe) backed the two lefty challengers so strongly. His PAC spent nearly $1 million on these two races. (Remarkably, this local news story about the Arlington County race never mentions Soros’ massive involvement).

Criminal justice reform may be “one of the civil rights issues of our time,” but if we aren’t careful law and order may become one of the central issue of the time to come.

Victory Over Communism! Texas Decriminalizes Lemonade Stands. Steven Hayward – “Reminds me a little of 1993, when Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan remarked that the most significant achievement of Congress that year was decriminalizing babysitting.” Some wins among the losses.

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Lawfare versus Justice

In California, Coffee Is No Longer Carcinogenic. Was It Ever? Josh Bloom – “Only in California could coffee both cause, and prevent cancer.

“The enforcement of Prop 65 is based on a “bounty hunter” system – any individual can sue a company for failing to “warn” shoppers that their product(s) contain one of the 900+ chemicals now on the list, regardless of whether there is an actual risk or not. The bounty hunters just happen to be law firms, which can make a very nice (but parasitic) living by ambushing company owners with lawsuits, supposedly on behalf of the state of California (hah!), because a product contains a trace of a chemical on the list, despite the fact that roughly 100% of the time the chemical will do no harm.

It’s Time The EPA Was Made To Respect Property Rights, Rule Of Law. I & I Editorial Board – “What has happened, and is still happening, to the Sacketts is further evidence that the federal regulatory machinery is an enabler of bureaucratic and political harassment.

Democrats Give John Dean Another ‘Big Thrill’. I & I Editorial Board – “The House Judiciary Committee’s lead witness in its Mueller Report hearings this week will be someone who has nothing to do with Donald Trump, nothing to do with Russia, nothing to do with Mueller’s investigation, and who throughout his career could be trusted on virtually nothing.” What’s it about? Fake News and Propaganda.

“And Dean has been obsessed with President Trump. This week, this convicted felon who was spared serving any real time because he delivered big for the political enemies of his boss, may get “his big thrill for the month” once again. But what kind of thrill is it for viewers of a Judiciary Committee hearing to watch someone with a history of unethical behavior, who called for Reagan’s impeachment, then George W. Bush’s impeachment, now call today for Trump’s impeachment?

Carter Page Explains He Was “Decades Long” Source for FBI and CIA… sundance – “It never made sense that U.S. Person Carter Page was an FBI witness from 2013 through to March/May 2016 and yet in October 2016, to achieve a FISA warrant, the FBI called him an agent of a foreign government.

Devin Nunes Discusses Next Week’s House Impeachment Hearings… sundance – “democrats are forming the foundation for impeachment as a political tool.” … “As part of the current construct, the Lawfare alliance of legal advisers and staff are writing specific language into the vote that will automatically allow more contempt votes against the Trump administration without hearings.

“Additionally, the contempt vote will be written so that any arbitrary Trump administration official can also be held in contempt, without a committee vote, and thereby initiate a civil lawsuit against the executive officer that will have to be defended in court.

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

Now go back to December 2018 and the specific rule changes that Pelosi put in place, and you’ll see how this was planned out long ago.

When we approach the term “impeachment” we are not discussing it as the technical and legal approach for removal of a President; but rather the political use of the process to Alinsky (damage) President Donald Trump.

Professional political Democrats would not be using “impeachment” in the constitutional sense of the process (high crimes and misdemeanors); but rather weaponizing the process –as a tool itself– to: •target the executive office; •diminish the presidency (“isolate”/”marginalize”, Alinsky rules); •and position themselves for 2020.

Nancy Pelosi needs to stop her endless war against Trump. Michael Goodwin – “In neither case did Pelosi detail what crimes the president of the United States committed that constituted a coverup or would be worthy of prison. It’s also significant that she made both comments after the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report that found no collusion and offered no conclusion on obstruction, with the attorney general ruling that there was no obstruction.

“Her party’s continual denial of that reality is the dry tinder that makes Pelosi’s gamble so reckless. Mueller was their best shot and to talk of prison now smacks of third-world countries where there is no peaceful transfer of power.

It’s not hard to imagine the result if she continues down this path. The vile smears and hostility that have marked the left’s behavior since Trump’s election will continue to escalate and possibly lead to political violence going mainstream.

There is already too much talk of assassination. What if anger continues to build and some nut hears the secret whistle commanding him to kill the president?

Op-ed: When did GMO become a dirty word? University of Connecticut – “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved GMO insulin for use in October of 1982 after rigorous testing, clinical trials, and review.

“Scientists create GMOs by changing the genetic code of a living being in some way. Plant and animal genetics have been altered for thousands of years through breeding. New technology lets scientists select a specific trait, instead of changing the entire genetic makeup. The medical, agricultural, and environmental fields all have GMO products.

Accepting or rejecting GMOs is an individual decision. However, all decisions consumers make should be based on facts.

Consumers should form their own opinions about GMOs from the wealth of available science-based information and experts. Instead of accepting and spreading misinformation, shouldn’t we ask more questions, and turn to reliable sources instead?

Great Lakes Reveal a Fatal Flaw in Climate Change ‘Science’. I & I Editorial Board – “So what are scientists saying now? Simple. They’re now claiming that the fall and rise of Great Lakes’ water levels are due to climate change.” … “So if the lakes’ huge fluctuations in the past weren’t caused by mankind’s burning fossil fuels, why are scientists so convinced that the far more minor changes happening today are?

Trump’s Latest on Climate: Right Again! (re UK’s Piers Morgan, Prince Charles). “On the meeting with Prince Charles, which went from a scheduled 15 minutes to 90 because of the Charles’s zealotry regarding climate change. Notice the politeness of Trump in the face of a doomsayer who obviously went on way too long

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taking the U.S. for a ride

Democrats go dumpster diving for William Barr contempt. Cheryl K. Chumley – “It’s aimed at holding Attorney General William Barr and ex-White House counsel Don McGahn in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over documents that would put Barr in violation of the law

Trump and the Irish. Derry O’Sullivan – “As an Irishman, I’m embarrassed at the treatment of the President of the United States on his recent visit to Ireland.”

“In his meeting with President Trump, Leo Varkadkar’s concerns in this regard are twofold (1) To sort out the situation of the Irish illegals in the U.S. and (2) to keep open the U.S. safely valve to dispose of surplus Irish labour. What is Leo Varkadkar willing to give in return — just a few worthless crumbs?

U.S citizens are simply excluded from working in Ireland, yet Irish politicians want an open door for the Irish in the U.S. This is simply inequitable.

Let me let you in on a secret — the Irish are “taking the U.S. for a ride.” While they are glad to take U.S. dollars, they are willing to give little in return. Indeed many are happy to stab America in the back at every opportunity.

Overall the Irish are willing to take much from the U.S., but are only willing to give little, not even begrudging respect for your president. President Trump is addressing with the situation whereby many countries are taking them as suckers. Ireland is among those countries. Perhaps you did not know previously, but you do now.

Catering to the PC mob is going to cost Oberlin College big bucks. Thomas Lifson – “Oberlin remains arrogant

“Oberlin’s trustees need to step up and do a thorough review of the college’s administration’s handling of this affair, which has seriously damaged the financial and reputational welfare of the institution for which they hold legal and moral responsibility. The should – but probably won’t – seek the advice of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, a group which helps trustees carry out their intellectual and moral fiduciary responsibilities, instead of defaulting to passivity in the name of “academic freedom.”

If Oberlin’s insurance carrier gets stuck with the bill, we can expect liability insurance costs to skyrocket not just for Oberlin, but for higher education everywhere. Insurance companies now are on notice that their academic clients can be held responsible for the excesses of social justice warriors whom they coddle.

Study: Biofuels aren’t reducing gas prices or emissions. Jazz Shaw – “In the end, the only people benefitting from the RFS are the ethanol industry and some farmers in the midwest, particularly in Iowa and Illinois. Unfortunately, they punch far above their weight class politically, so we’re stuck with this albatross around our necks until we manage to elect some leaders who aren’t basically prostituting themselves to Iowa politicians.

Hmmm: Mueller report failed to mention US intel connection for Manafort contact. Ed Morrissey – “If this was the only potential “deception by omission” in the Mueller report, we might shrug it off.

“However, after the deceptive omissions in the John Dowd voicemail that were used to construct a potential obstruction charge, it’s beginning to look like a potential pattern from Mueller and his team. Dowd himself predicted that we’d find more such deceptions by omission. Solomon may well have found the next one.

More, more, and more on Mueller … neo – “Many of Mueller’s targets have incurred enormous legal fees. This is one of the tools of an independent counsel, working for a government with very deep pockets and arrayed against witnesses whose pockets are considerably more shallow.

“It’s almost impossible to adequately cover or even keep track of the revelations that are coming out now; there’s just so much. As I’ve said many times in the past, every single American should be deeply deeply disturbed by these activities. But plenty are not, or even applaud what they did in their Ahab-like effort to get at the root of all evil, Moby Trump.

Trump’s tariffs and Mexico: the Deal … neo – “Glaringly obvious that was the intent and the plan, anyway, to not have to actually implement the tariffs but to use them to change Mexico’s defiance into cooperation on illegal immigrants, particularly those using Mexico as transit from other areas.

“Not all plans are successful, but people should at least give Trump credit for using a certain tactic in furtherance of a strategy—although “giving Trump credit” does not compute with a lot of people.

The jury’s still out, but it looks as though so far this tactic has borne fruit. Remember, the idea was not actually to have to put the tariffs into effect; it was to get Mexico to take certain steps regarding illegal immigrants passing through that country on the way here.

If this entire tariff-threatening approach is successful, I would like to see every single pundit who excoriated Trump for it eat crow.

A person can hope.

Maybe folks are becoming jaded about being taken for a ride? … Still too many who want to ride the whale.

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omissions and the underlying assumptions

Tired, Boring—and Dangerous—Celebrity Death Wishing. Victor Davis Hanson – “Our elite entertainers do not just limit themselves to imagining the violent demise of conservative presidents like George W. Bush and Donald Trump. Any conservative elected official or their family will do.” … “So why do left-wing celebrities express such political hatred?

“If one believes the beachfront of Malibu reflects the norms of American behavior or thought, then he is seriously delusional. So expect celebrity-driven assassination chic to continue until either the country collectively says “enough”—or such sick rhetorical murder leads to the real thing.

Why Are Democrats Obstructing Justice? Julie Kelly – “In what can only be described as legitimate obstruction of justice, unlike the vague allegations against Donald Trump in the Mueller report, Democrats are frustrating Barr’s investigative efforts with a number of procedural maneuvers coupled with public ad hominem attacks against the attorney general.

“So, for two years, we were told that any criticism of Robert Mueller met the legal threshold for obstruction of justice. The commentariat class insisted that any harsh tweet, comment, or facial expression by Trump about Mueller or his team was intended to thwart his investigation. Even a casual conversation allegedly documented by Comey about former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn is contained in volume two of the Mueller report as possible evidence of obstruction of justice by the president.

But now Democratic lawmakers are openly smearing the attorney general and no one objects?

The very subjects of a criminal investigation into abuse of power, illegally leaking classified information, misleading a federal court, and violating the rights of private citizens are permitted to publicly denigrate the man in charge of the investigation, and that’s not obstruction of justice? Imagine if Republican lawmakers had made the same comments about Robert Mueller: the outrage would have been nonstop.

Let’s hope Barr—or John Durham—gets the last word.

Scorched Earth’: Mueller’s Targets Speak Out. Paul Sperry – “They were clearly on a fishing expedition

“Now that Mueller has ended his probe finding no election collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, 10 witnesses and targets of his sprawling, $35 million investigation agreed to speak with RealClearInvestigations because they are no longer in legal jeopardy.

Their firsthand accounts pull back the curtain on the secret inner workings of the Mueller probe, revealing how the special counsel’s nearly two dozen prosecutors and 40 FBI agents used harshly aggressive tactics to pressure individuals to either cop to crimes or implicate others in felonies involving collusion.

Former special prosecutors say the tactics used by Mueller’s team appear excessive.

But, the 10 witnesses swept up in the inquiry say those facts and figures, as well as the final determination that there was no conspiracy or collusion with the Russians, do not begin to account for the human toll of the Mueller probe.

They want their stories told as a public record of the broken lives Mueller’s team has left in its wake.

Trump’s Legal Authority to Impose Tariffs. David Post – “I suspect that because this issue is now seen as being all about Mr. Trump and is all entangled in the Trump/Anti-Trump miasma, there’s probably no chance of any revision in the law until a new Chief Executive is in place. But one can still hope.” What the Democrats and many economists appear to be missing is the alternative. Trump is using Tariffs as a replacement for more drastic and uglier methods. Consider Obama’s drone targeting or troop engagements, for example. If a war needs to be fought, tariffs are probably better than bullets.

Changing minds: How do you communicate with climate change skeptics? WUWT – “UNLV researcher develops new method for categorizing climate change beliefs and shares tactics for communicating with deniers

“You don’t want to view your dialogue partner as inferior. I think it’s a problem when environmentalists or climate scientists are dismissive, or potentially patronizing to climate skeptics. I think that kind of dialogue can lead to climate skeptics feeling isolated and silenced. You may not agree with the skeptic, but you should still respect the person who holds the beliefs. We must listen, not just for a talking point to jump in on, but to understand the perspective they’re coming from, and what values or identities they feel are threatened by environmentalism.

This gets interesting because of the omission and the underlying assumption. The science part is missing. Not the science of climatology but rather the science of method and values: measurement, accuracy, precision, experimental verification, and careful definition of terms and concepts. There is a bad case of projection illustrated as well. Threatened by environmentalism? Deniers driven by religious belief? Just who is engaged in logical fallacies, distortion of evidence, and emotional outbursts, and who is plagued by outrageous claims of doom and catastrophe?

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The law as a weapon in a total war

Sidney Powell Discusses DOJ in The Lawfare Era: “Guilty Until Proven Innocent”… sundance – “The Lawfare group ensures you have the right to remain guilty until they verify your politics and determine your alignment with the tribe. If accepted, your disposition shifts to innocent and you receive a pass to avoid any legal jeopardy…

How a Special Counsel Disgraced Himself and the US Government. Spike Hampson – “he failed to identify the specific crime being investigated and thus telegraphed the fact that for the purposes of his investigation, any crime would do.” It’s a careful dissection that contrasts with the bombast and hyperbole that one often sees from the left.

“It is good to remember that every governmental system — no matter how democratic — retains absolute power when it comes to investigating criminal activity and meting out punishment for it. Even for an enlightened government, this potential for evil is a specter that can never be eradicated. For those who believe that power corrupts, the absolute power that resides with any government must be constrained. If it is not, some of the humans who work for the government may exploit their power to serve their own personal beliefs and interests. This is one reason why our legal system is not supposed to ever search for a crime to attach to a person. That Mueller was willing to do so in his investigation of Trump is a clear sign of corruption.

Corrupt people often dress well and mouth deceits with the sincerity of a saint. Mueller fits the bill. His willingness to bring down untold pain and suffering on individuals who played no part in a crime that didn’t happen exposes him as a rotten book with a gilded cover.

6 Gun Lies (And One Truth) Obama Told In Brazil. Ryan Cleckner – “During a conversation with a host on stage during the digital innovation event, Obama took the opportunity to speak negatively about U.S. gun laws.” These are the sorts of deceit that make reasoned debate impossible.

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With malice aforethought

Doxxing: The Newest Strategy To Destroy Scientists. Alex Berezow – “FOIA is meant to uncover wrongdoing by elected officials and bureaucrats, but activists use it to selectively extract quotes out of context in order to create controversy where none exists.

“Balter’s justification for his actions is that the information is old and no longer used, but Dr. Folta denies this. Even if Balter is telling the truth, disclosing somebody’s personal data without their consent is outrageously unethical. Credit checks and other systems used to verify a person’s identity often use older private information, such as the addresses of former residences. And what if some deranged person shows up to that address? What Balter did was a gratuitous act of pure malice.

Unsurprisingly, Dr. Folta announced that he intends to close his Twitter account. He says Twitter is not a safe place for scientists. Having personally received death threats on Twitter, I can verify that he is correct.

Green Policies Turned California A Charred Black. I & I Editorial Board – “More than half of California’s roughly 105 million acres are owned by the federal and state governments. It is on these sprawling parcels that the wildfires tend to rage before devouring private land, homes, and businesses.

“Public lands “have proved far more vulnerable to forest fires than properties owned by private groups,” Hoover Institution scholar Richard Epstein wrote in California’s Forest Fire Tragedy. “Private lands are managed with the goals of conservation and production. The management of public lands has been buffeted by legislative schemes driven by strong ideological commitments.”

The loudest voices assign blame for the fires to man-made climate change. But the human activity primarily responsible for the destructive spread of wildfires is public policy favoring burned timber over harvested timber. While maybe well-intended, laws inspired by the 1970s environmentalist movement, which is determined to make sure saw blades and trees never meet, have stoked the furnaces.

Mueller’s ‘Dog Whistle’ Now a Foghorn – Because Obstruction Was Always His Target. Bob Maistros – “First, Mueller shamefully took up multiple decibel levels his report’s “did not exonerate” defamation: “If we had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.” Many questions need answers and they are not questions about the President.

AG Barr: Mueller Could Have Reached A Decision On Criminal Activity…But He Didn’t. Jennie Taer – “Referring to the Justice Department policy, Barr said that “The [OLC] opinion says you cannot indict a president while he is in office…but he could’ve reached a decision whether it was criminal activity, but he had his reasons for not doing it, which he explained.

Robert Mueller’s ‘no questions’ routine is absolute nonsense. Jonathan Turley – “The problem is that Mueller was uttering absolute nonsense about his inability to reach a conclusion. He likewise did not offer a principled basis for refusing to answer any questions.

“Whatever space Mueller occupied in maintaining such a position, it was neither created nor countenanced by federal law or Justice Department policy. Instead, he accepted the job of special counsel and then radically redefined it, without telling anyone outside of his staff. In that sense, he failed as special counsel. Mueller was not appointed to be a chronicler of allegations. Mueller was appointed to perform a prosecutorial function in the investigation of a president and his associates. Moreover, he does not get to dictate what Congress can investigate, or to stonewall the media.

Dershowitz is completely fed up with Mueller… neo – “And that is why, whatever a person’s feelings are about president Trump, all people should be outraged at this. But they are not; not at all. And that’s a terrible sign of the ignorance of the populace, and the partisanship that would overrun basic guarantees of liberty to us all.

HBO’s Chernobyl mini-series is remarkable and surprisingly political. John Sexton – “In his review of the show, Jim Geraghty says the show is “an epic five-part comprehensive denunciation of the Soviet Union.” But he also notes the flaws the show puts on display are human ones, not just socialist ones

“Finally, the Federalist points out that quite a few of the mainstream reviews of the show seem to have skipped over all of the ways in which it indicts communism. They can ignore it all they want but it’s pretty hard to deny that’s one of the main things this show is about. The show got a very positive review from the Moscow Times.

Dan Bongino fires back at ‘Chernobyl’ writer/producer who took offense to him calling the disaster a ‘failure of socialism’. – “As was pointed out to us earlier, it’s interesting that for the Left the first person in government to come to their minds when watching “Chernobyl” was Trump, when it should have been somebody else entirely.” It’s a twitter case study.

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What kind of strange new standard is on display?

If the psychiatrists and psychologists weren’t so buried in the mud themselves, they wouldn’t miss the opportunity to study the phenomena unfolding front of them. It is a years long process of people trying to come to grips with the enormity of the malfeasance and malice expressed by friends, colleagues, and others they once held in high esteem; the overturning and abandonment of values and ideas behind jurisprudence and a civil society developed over centuries; the idea that we are seeing a banana republic flavor in our government.

Both those trying to come to grips with a reality that is alien to them and those providing the stimulus are worthy of study. Take today’s case about an aircraft carrier being told to stay out of sight of the President. What is it that makes this story so important to some? The Mueller saga is another case to study.

Mueller’s Final Statement Turns Jurisprudence On Its Head. I & I Editorial Board – “This starkly politicizes presidential investigations going forward and indicts, if we may say so, the already-dubious system of weaponizing a lawyer with a blank check, no deadline, and an open-ended mandate for him to fish where he likes with minimal oversight.

“What kind of strange new standard is Mueller setting here?

Mueller had all the time and money he could want, recorded countless hours of testimony, compiled a mountain of documents, got multiple plea deals, chased down out every conceivable lead, and then says he couldn’t prove the president didn’t commit a crime.

Since when is the job of prosecutors to determine innocence beyond a reasonable doubt? And, short of that, feel free to dump all the evidence that didn’t lead to a criminal charge, but that makes the defendant look a suspect nonetheless.

Robert Mueller is a Sleazy, Shameful, Partisan Hack. Patricia McCarthy – “Robert Mueller should have been disbarred decades ago, along with his enforcer Andrew Weismann; that is how egregious his record of malfeasance is, all matters of public record.

“Much has been written already about the sheer pettiness of what Mueller did and said on Wednesday morning. Many actual legal scholars have commented; Alan Dershowitz, Sean Davis, the guys at Powerline and of course Mark Levin. Given their analyses, it is safe to say that Mueller stepped in a tar pit that may well fossilize this pathetic man. He has sacrificed his entire career on the altar of the unscrupulous politics of the Democrats, who refuse still to accept the results of the 2016 election.

I hope that they will suffer the consequences of their own bitterness.

So, what did Mueller hope to achieve? He did energize the legally illiterate, Trump-hating left and their candidates for the presidency but other than that, all he did was demean himself and his ridiculous report. If he had been interested in the truth and the burnishing his legacy, he would have brought to light the falsity of the dossier and its provenance but he did not. May we never see his kind again, the kind that abuses their positions of power for the indiscriminate destruction of innocents.

Shame on Robert Mueller for exceeding his role. Alan Dershowitz – “No responsible prosecutor should ever suggest that the subject of his investigation might indeed be guilty even if there was insufficient evidence or other reasons not to indict.

“Until today, I have defended Mueller against the accusations that he is a partisan. I did not believe that he personally favored either the Democrats or the Republicans, or had a point of view on whether President Trump should be impeached. But I have now changed my mind. By putting his thumb, indeed his elbow, on the scale of justice in favor of impeachment based on obstruction of justice, Mueller has revealed his partisan bias. He also has distorted the critical role of a prosecutor in our justice system.

Robert Mueller and the Art of Innuendo. David Catron – “He used Wednesday’s presser to take a final cheap shot at Trump.”

“For all intents and purposes, Mueller accused the President of obstructing justice then hid behind obscure DOJ memoranda to excuse his failure to make that prosecutorial call in his report to the AG. It was an utterly disgraceful performance. First, as anyone who has bothered to read Mueller’s report knows, his reluctance to officially accuse Trump of obstruction was about the dearth of real evidence to support the charge. Moreover, his claim that it is unconstitutional to indict the President is widely disputed by legal scholars.

Robert Mueller, Partisan Fraud. John Hinderaker

“Here is my question. (I know it has been asked before, but it can’t be repeated too often.) If Mueller’s charge was to investigate “Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election…[including] investigating any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign,” why didn’t he look into the possibility that the false information fed by alleged Russian insiders to an agent of the Clinton campaign was a disinformation effort by the Russian government, meant to interfere in the 2016 presidential election–an effort in which the Clinton campaign colluded?

There is strong circumstantial evidence that the Steele dossier was exactly that, while there never was any evidence at all that the Trump campaign colluded in any way with Russians. So why was Mueller’s investigation confined to the wrong campaign?

Mueller Just Proved His Entire Operation Was A Political Hit Job That Trampled The Rule Of Law. Sean Davis – “At a hastily arranged Wednesday press conference, Special Counsel Robert Mueller proved that he was never interested in justice or the rule of law.”

“If it’s important for the work to speak for itself, then why did Mueller schedule a press conference in which he would speak for it weeks after it was released? The statement, given the venue in which it was provided, is self-refuting.

Let’s start with the Mueller team’s unique take on the nature of a prosecutor’s job.

The contradictions and double standards didn’t stop there, though.

In fact, DOJ guidelines expressly prohibit the actions of both Comey and Mueller in naming and shaming individuals who were never formally charged with any wrongdoing.

Nationwide bar rules governing all practicing attorneys in the United States also explicitly prohibit Mueller’s display during Wednesday’s press conference.

Funny how no one wants to look into that report that Omar married her brother… Monica Showalter – “You’d think they’d be all over this like tabloid papparazzi.” Echoing Johnson et al at Powerline. Yes, the mainstream propaganda machine is complicit in this whole family of scandals.

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Just what is being covered up and by whom?

Pelosi’s ‘Cover-Up’ Ploy: A Strategy in Seven Letters. Bob Maistros – “when the Speaker uses a word, you’d think it is with careful consideration and strategic forethought. And you would be right.” This opinion borders on the hagiography and fails in honesty. It is all about “the crafty veteran” and her skills.

“Will the Speaker’s shrewd strategy in two syllables work? Much depends on the President’s response. Usually, his smash-mouth counterpunching leaves opponents wondering what hit them. But Ms. Pelosi once again slipped his errant blows to win another round: Trump’s storming out of their scheduled meeting on infrastructure both made him look puerile and petulant and deprived him of his only issue where he could make headway with a Democratic House.

This “puerile and petulant” opinion flies in the face of what anyone can see if they look. Trump took it head on in a presser to point out just how off base this ‘stormed out of the meeting’ perception really was. Whether Pelosi will once again skip his errant blows remains to be seen. Trump’s record doesn’t fit this perception of errant blows, either. Pelosi’s record to date has not been good and the latest Trump label carries its usual grain of truth – it is indeed crazy to claim cover-up when there has been unprecedented transparency. These discrepancies lead to a conclusion that Maistros is more of a deluded political hack than a source of worthy opinion. i.e. he is more on the problem side than the solution side. For comparison and contrast, see Why Pelosi understands the impeachment question better than her new “superstar” colleagues by Jazz Shaw – “over the course of the evening, a discussion on education policy stayed on track and the President was barely an afterthought.

Joe DiGenova blows the lid off the real scandal: the Russia hoax was a cover-up effort for Obama’s political spying since 2012. Thomas Lifson – “we are on the verge of getting to the bottom of the weaponization of the nation’s top law enforcement and spy agencies to spy on political opponents, and it is far bigger than obtaining bogus FISA Court warrants to spy on Carter Page.

“There is little doubt the FISA-702(16)(17) database system was used by Obama-era officials, from 2012 through April 2016, as a way to spy on their political opposition. Quite simply there is no other intellectually honest explanation for the scale and volume of database abuse that was taking place. (snip)

Everything after March 9th, 2016, was done to cover up the weaponization of the FISA database.

Political spying 1.0 was actually the weaponization of the IRS. This is where the term “Secret Research Project” originated as a description from the Obama team.

Just what is being covered up and by whom?

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Something was very very wrong, and I didn’t know what it was, but I could feel it all around me

Robert Mueller: Dishonest, deceptive and diabolical. Patricia McCarthy – “Once all the facts are revealed, it is likely that he will be permanently tainted by his deceptive machinations for personal or political reasons many times over the course of his career in law. The same goes for James Comey.”

“It will be interesting to see if any of the plotters has a sense of decency and expresses profound regret for his part in this obscene project. On this Memorial Day weekend, it would be wise for them to remember how this nation survived as long as it has. We owe our safety and security to the untold thousands of great men and women who have died to protect and preserve it. These scoundrels, Mueller, Comey, Brennan, Clapper, and the rest of them, have dishonored their service and sacrifice.

Declassification and Cognitive Dissonance in the Media. David Catron – “How the media stopped worrying and learned to love the CIA.”

“The Times has executed a particularly dizzying pirouette. The editors of the newspaper that published the Pentagon Papers — and countless subsequent stories containing illegally leaked government secrets — have evidently had a road to Damascus experience with regard to the necessity of protecting classified information. In an article titled, “Potential Clash Over Secrets Looms Between Justice Dept. and C.I.A,” Julian E. Barnes and David E. Sanger admit that “the ultimate power to declassify documents rests with the president.” Yet they worry that Trump’s order will (heaven forefend) render the CIA impotent in bureaucratic territorial disputes

At the Washington Post, meanwhile, Jeff Bezos’ team of seasoned editors and crack reporters has apparently concluded that democracy thrives in darkness.

Consequently, the media must report the “news” in a way that requires them to claim two contradictory “facts” are both true: The President and AG Barr are engaged in a cover-up but are also involved in a nefarious plot to declassify and release as much information as possible.

As Barr mulls declassification, a familiar tune from critics. Byron York – “Many others echoed Brennan’s and Schiff’s and Holder’s sentiments. The problem is, they were wrong then, and they are likely wrong again now.

“Indeed, after the release of the Nunes memo, there was little discussion of any specific damage it had done to U.S. national security.

Now, there is another fight about declassification. Nunes himself has heard this all before. “Every time we have tried to get information on the Russia hoax, the Left as well as the media and their leakers claimed it would devastate national security,” Nunes said in a text exchange. “Now we hear the same argument from the same reporters, leakers, and leftists, even though all their previous doomsday warnings proved false. These people simply use national security as a false justification to hide information that would reveal their abuses.”

Nunes summed up with one more line: “Democracy dies in darkness.”

Now, if anything might endanger such a source, it would be exposure in the New York Times. But the story showed that the intelligence world will push back hard against this new effort to investigate its record. The fight could be messy. But Barr, like Devin Nunes, has heard such threats before. It’s time to find out what the CIA, FBI, and other agencies did in those difficult days of the 2016 campaign.

Tears of the Times. Scott Johnson – “Barnes and Sanger somehow overlooked the many cases in which the Times itself stripped the CIA of “its most critical power,” and did so without the color of law.

One doesn’t have to call up the ancient history of the Times’s unauthorized disclosure of the highly classified anti-terror programs I discussed in the 2006 Weekly Standard column “Exposure” or in related Power Line posts such as “When Bush begged the Times.” More recently, with a little help from “current and former intelligence officials,” the Times’s Matthew Rosenberg and Adam Goldman called out Michael D’Andrea, the CIA officer newly appointed to run the agency’s Iran operations.

One begins to suspect that the tears of Barnes and Sanger over the stripping of the CIA’s “most critical power” by the president are of the variety known as crocodile. For a definitive takedown of the Times on this score, see Eric Felten’s Weekly Standard column “Why Is the NYT Suddenly Opposed to Declassifying the FISA Docs?” Barnes and Sanger’s current story gives us another example of history repeating itself.

Did It Start With Israel? John Hinderaker – “This is really extraordinary. Power was not an intelligence official, she was the U.N. Ambassador. Why was she unmasking anyone, let alone making hundreds of such requests? And why would she keep up this feverish pace right up to the moment she departed the White House?”

“The context was U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334, which stated that Israel’s settlements on the West Bank are a “flagrant violation” of international law with “no legal validity.” The incoming Trump administration was urging the Obama administration to veto the resolution. In addition, at appears that members of Trump’s team were lobbying allies to defer the vote, or to vote against the resolution. It sounds as though the Obama administration was lobbying allies in the other direction, trying to undermine the policy of the new administration, although this isn’t entirely clear.

These reports raise several obvious questions. First, why were Obama administration officials so concerned with the U.N. vote as to unmask communications of U.S. citizens on 300 occasions? The Obama administration didn’t come out in favor of the resolution, and it abstained when the resolution came up for a vote. So why would it be so concerned about the possibility that incoming Trump officials might convince allies to defer the vote, or block it altogether?

I can’t think of any reason other than the obsessive hatred of Israel that is so common on the Left. But it is bizarre, in my view, for lame duck Obama minions to carry out a vendetta against Israel, one that apparently was given high priority, through their last days in power. Maybe I am missing something here, but I can’t think what it could be.

I don’t begin to understand how these pieces fit together. We can only hope that as Attorney General Barr pursues his investigation, the true story will come out.

Liberal media attack Constitution and democratic institutions. Dan Gainor – “The people who most want to undermine the United States are on the left – and the liberal news media are helping them. Liberals are attacking our Constitution, Supreme Court, bicameral legislature and our very electoral system.

“It’s understandable that both political parties try to work government to their advantage. This is different. It’s a concerted effort to manipulate key parts of our government so the left wins. It’s not just a few statues drawing protests, or Democratic candidates bashing Thomas Jefferson. The entire American experiment is at risk.

These threats aren’t theoretical. Many are being openly discussed by Democratic presidential candidates and pushed by the liberal media. They are part of a winner-take-all attitude to democracy. Americans better wake up to the real threats to our republic before it is too late.

Massive Victory for Conservative Nationalists in European Elections… sundance – “Polls are all closed. Election results are beginning to come in fast. The overall result in the European (EU) Parliamentary Election reflects massive gains for conservative nationalists in Italy, Greece, France, Poland, Hungary, Austria, U.K. and others…”

“Brussels consensus” suffers setback in EU elections. Paul Mirengoff – “Together, the center-right and center-left parties look like controlling about 43 percent of the parliamentary seats. That’s down considerably from their current share of 53 percent.

“As I argued here, because the European Parliament has been a “sign off” body — one in which the center-right and center-left parties consent to pretty much whatever the EU leaders and their bureaucrats want — the big question in this election wasn’t how the the center-right and the center-left parties would fare in competition between the two. Rather, the big question was whether the center-right and center-left parties would, together, win enough seats to keep signing off on the EU agenda — “the Brussels consensus” as it is called.

They did not. To keep rubber stamping the Brussels consensus, the big center-right and center-left parties will need help.

How marijuana legalization affected the outlaw growers of Humboldt County. neo – “At the age of nineteen he already knew a lot of dead people, and this was a long long long time ago.

“Something was very very wrong, and I didn’t know what it was, but I could feel it all around me. It wasn’t simply the economy; the town was located in proximity to a factory that was still bustling at the time and employed a lot of local people. No, it was something more difficult to define: a general aimlessness, a cultural anomie that even I, as a visitor, could sense.

Let’s Call the Russian Collusion ‘Hoax’ What it Really Is. Roger Kimball – “George Orwell made a kindred observation about the importance of having the courage to call things by their real names. Euphemism, the counterfeit of good manners, is the enemy of truth, which is the only ally worth having.

“I myself have deployed the term “hoax” to describe what happened to Donald Trump and his colleagues—and to the American people—during and after the 2016 presidential campaign. But a couple of friends have pointed out how inadequate the term “hoax” is for what just happened and—to at least some extent—is still happening in the machinery of our government.

But thinking about it, I conclude that the term “hoax” is wholly inadequate to describe the enormity of the political scandal that was perpetrated against Donald Trump, against the office of the president, and ultimately against the American people.

One of the remarkable things about this story is how many people it has involved and how long it has taken to get a full headcount of the anti-Trump team.

Barr’s arrival on the scene has made me rethink my resignation. But whatever happens to those individuals, it now seems clear that Barr’s investigation will reveal for all to see that what began in 2016 or even 2015 and continued until and beyond the day that Robert Mueller deposited his nearly 500-page report clearing the president of “collusion” was not a hoax at all. It was an attempted coup.

We should face up to that unpleasant fact and call things by their real names. The actions taken by the Obama Administration threatened not just Donald Trump and his presidency but the very processes and protocols by which the peaceful transition of power has been effected in the United States. As L.J. Keith observed, “Even in the most contentious elections and after disputed results, there was never been this sort of dangerous, systematic, deliberate rejection of the will of the people. The abrogation of the constitution to use extrajudicial methods to destroy the incoming president. It is the very definition of a coup.”

Something was very very wrong, and I didn’t know what it was, but I could feel it all around me” — maybe we will find out what is ‘very very wrong’ to be able to do something about it.

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Propaganda and the reputation of Pravda

Journalism is Dead—Long Live the Media! Victor Davis Hanson –

“Fake news” is not just a Trump talking point or obsession. It is a factual account of what journalism has become—so often an arm of the progressive movement and an incestuous and inbred group of New York and Washington coastal elite mediocrities, or what former Obama official Ben Rhodes cynically wrote off as an “echo chamber” of greenhorn know-nothings.

WaPo: Trump launched “all-out war” with Congress … after 20+ “investigations”. Ed Morrissey – “Their lead seems a bit less contradictory but still lays all the blame at Trump’s feet

“I screencapped it in case the Post suddenly finds an answer to the chicken-egg question they raised. Unlike that purely philosophical argument, it’s possible in this instance to determine which one came first. Democrats have launched an unprecedented number of investigations into Donald Trump, and not just his actions in office but also his personal business and finances. There’s an all-out war going on, all right, but it wasn’t Trump that launched it. One might think that a Beltway editor would see the “more than 20 separate Democratic probes” part of the story and figure that much out.

As Paul Mirengoff explains at Power Line, a significant part of their story relies on spin, too. For instance, in two cases cited by the Post, the administration has been open to appearances before House committees, but under normal operating procedures.

Media and journalism no longer correlate.

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The big question. Stubborn ignorance.

Why Does Congress Keep Getting Global Warming Wrong? Brian McNicoll – “They get the same answers because they ask the same questions of the same people who provide the same responses regardless of the evidence.

“This is raw intimidation, a gotcha campaign against a successful company precisely because that company spent the money to do the research to determine to what extent global warming was a problem.

Oppenheimer talks about “the facts.” The facts are he is an attack dog whose insults are not backed by the research. He is defending people who predicted there would be no ice on the poles by now and that New York City would be under water by 2000 and Miami by 2015.

The question is how can someone who makes his living fearmongering about energy end up testifying before a congressional committee. And the answer is that no one in the majority wants the real answers either.

When Hostility to Russia Becomes Irrational. Ted Galen Carpenter – “Although Russia’s propaganda and other intrusive initiatives were more extensive than those of other countries, they were not dramatically different in kind. The United States certainly has engaged in similar surveillance

“Unfortunately, Swalwell is not the only prominent political figure to exaggerate Russia’s offenses and to argue that pursuing a constructive dialogue with the Putin government constitutes suspicious conduct bordering on treason.

Arguing that U.S. leaders should not even talk to their Russian counterparts is especially reckless.

Putin’s government is a corrupt, authoritarian regime, but no sensible person can argue that it is worse than the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin and his successors. Swalwell and like-minded individuals do a disservice both to America’s security and basic logic when they imply that even talking to Russia constitutes disloyalty.

Politics is front and center for Russiagate probe — and the farce has reached new heights. Andrew McCarthy – “meaning: Democrats put the AG to the untenable choice of violating the law or being held in contempt.

“Democratic legislators are not taking any legislative action (you know, their job) because they don’t really want the information. They want the issue. They are straining to create the appearance of Watergate, even as Barr has turned over an Everest of information.

But that is just a sideshow compared to the Mueller report itself. The bottom line is that the special counsel not only found no collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

It appears that the FBI’s investigation was opened on false pretenses:

It gets worse. The high likelihood is that, after taking over the investigation in May 2017, Mueller knew early on that there was no “collusion” case against the president.

Of course, that raises a big question: Why did Mueller allow the “collusion” investigation to continue for well over a year after it seemed obvious that there was no case?

Democrats turned up the noise and the heat on Attorney General Barr once he announced that he would investigate the origins of the Russiagate probe. Are they trying to destroy the messenger before he can deliver the message?

FOIA Documents Show Evidence of Weissmann/Mueller Entrapment Scheme… sundance – “Recently release FOIA documents into the special counsel team of Robert Mueller reveal the remarkable trail of a 2017 entrapment scheme conducted by Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann to target George Papadopoulos.”

“Taken in combination with hindsight of the search for the cash, and lack of a pre-existing warrant at the airport, this is clear evidence of a coordinated operation to entrap Papadopoulos.

Remember, the preferred approach toward targeting Paul Manafort, Mike Flynn and George Papadopoulos surrounded FARA (Foreign Agent Registration Act) lobbying violations. Papadopoulos has stated the special counsel threatened him with charges of acting as a unregistered agent for Israel. There’s a clear picture here.

Andrew Weissmann was conducting an entrapment scheme that would have ended up with three violations of law: (1) Treasury violation; (2) FARA violation; (3) Money laundering…. All it needed was Papadopoulos to carry the undeclared cash into the U.S. …

However, because Papadopoulos suspected something, and left the money in Greece with his lawyers, upon arrival at the airport the operation collapsed in reverse.

Rebellion is Bursting out All Over. Clarice Feldman – “let’s turn to the broader picture that explains in large part why so many officials were so determined to keep Donald Trump from the White House and to oust him once he won the election.”

“As Spygate proceeds to its certain conclusion — the trials of those who engaged in this scandalous coup attempt — we receive the details of the scheme only in dribs and drabs. Too many were involved and have too much to lose at this point by not revealing to the investigators their role in exchange for more lenient treatment, which is why I believe all will soon be revealed.

It’s not just Hungarian and U.S. voters that are moving away from the inept supranational controlling institutions and globalist worldview. Large number of Brits, Germans, and Italians are also having second thoughts about being ruled by unaccountable bureaucrats who eschew the very concept of nationalism.

Indeed, there’s a good argument to be made that devolving even more decision-making to local levels leads to both better decisions and an electorate better schooled at it than placing it in the hands of others whom they have little chance to influence or replace.

… Perhaps if those at the top of the international institutions had not proven so corrupt and incompetent, populist nationalism would not be gaining ground. On the other hand, if one considers people too weak and stupid to act in their own best interests, on what possible basis should we assume that elected and appointed officials, often far removed from ordinary life, are more capable than we voters of acting in our best interests, rather than their own?

Want to shock a college student? Tell him how much tuition cost in the ’60s. John J. Duncan, Jr. –  brings back memories for many Boomers.

“Telling students about my tuition has allowed me to then tell them a simple but important lesson that they have seemingly never been taught: that costs simply explode on anything the federal government subsidizes.

This is because most of the pressures or incentives to hold down costs that are constantly present in the private sector are not there when the federal government takes over.

Big government always ends up helping a few at the top while hurting or giving a few crumbs to everyone else. The federal student loan program has been great for college and university administrators and some tenured professors but harmful to a great many students and their families.

A few years ago, I read a column in the Washington Post that said college tuition had gone up four and a half times the rate of inflation since 1985. In other words, tuition would be 450% cheaper if we had simply left things alone.

Mark Cuban, one of the stars of Shark Tank, said a couple of years ago that if you want to make college really expensive, make it free.

Unfortunately, not many people really understand this.

The big question answer may be a bit tough to swallow, simple as it is.

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Words (should) mean things

Fact-checking can’t do much when people’s “dueling facts” are driven by values instead of knowledge. David Barker And Morgan Marietta – “Perhaps the most disappointing finding from our studies — at least from our point of view — is that there are no known fixes to this problem.” This is cognitive dissonance on display with the Mueller dossier as the stimulant. Barker and Marietta provide an illustration of the nature of the problem they try to explain. It is not in the evidence nor in the facts but rather in the psyche and a matter of false witness even unto one’s self.

“In other words, people do not end up with the same answers because they do not begin with the same questions.

Fact-checking tends to fall flat. The voters who need to hear corrections rarely read fact-checks. And for those who might stumble across them, reports from distant and distrusted experts are no match for closely held values and defining identities.

In our data, those with higher levels of education are more, not less, divided. And the higher the level of training, the more tightly values and perceptions intertwine.

Based on this evidence, we conclude that dueling fact perceptions (or what some have labeled “alternative facts”) are probably here to stay, and worsen.

Our conclusions are much more definitive than Mueller’s: We see clear evidence of collusion and obstruction. Collusion between values and facts. Obstruction of the capacity to observe and accept legitimate evidence.

Words mean things. Perceptions and facts are two different things. Opinions and values need careful clarification. Collusion and obstruction have distinct meanings, especially in law. If higher levels of education are “more, not less, divided” it means that education is failing (unless you think the goal of education is indoctrination rather than enlightenment). They say they see ‘clear evidence’ and judge others on that basis without any consideration of why others many not see the evidence they do. They don’t debate, they argue. They make no effort to clarify perceptions, allow for bias and error, identify the ‘evidence’ they see or explain the rationale and logic behind their conclusions. This is not scholarly behavior – or at least at as scholarly used to be. For comparison and contrast, read VDH:

Progressives Face a Bleak Post-Mueller Landscape. Victor Davis Hanson – “Both the Mueller report and Barr’s summation can be found on the internet. Anyone can read them to see whether Barr misrepresented Mueller’s conclusions.”

“The besmirching of Barr’s conduct is surreal. He certainly has not done anything even remotely approximating the conduct of former President Obama’s two attorneys general.

Has Barr dubbed himself the president’s “wingman” or called America a “nation of cowards,” as did former Attorney General Eric Holder?

Has Barr’s Department of Justice monitored reporters’ communications or ordered surveillance of a television journalist? Has Barr used a government jet to take his family to the Belmont Stakes horse race, as did Holder?

The Mueller report ignored the likely illegal origins of the Christopher Steele dossier, the insertion of an FBI informant into the Trump campaign, the unlawful leaking of documents, and the conflicted testimonies of former high-level intelligence officials.

All of those things were potential felonies. All in some way yielded information that Mueller drew on in his investigation. Yet Mueller never recommended a single indictment of any of the Obama-era officials who likely broke laws.

Excellent and clear summation of the central problem with the Mueller report. Neo – “To me, this “outrageous shifting of the burden of proof” should actually outrage all Americans, because it really is “a violation of our entire system of law.” But it obviously has not outraged all Americans, or perhaps even most.

“And this is not the least bit surprising to anyone who has watched the decline of thought, knowledge, and discourse in this country. How many people even know how our system of justice works in the first place, or just why the system is set up so that a person does not have to prove his or her innocence, and how it is that it ultimately protects each individual, Democrats or Republican or anyone else?

And how many people who actually do understand those principles are still willing to suspend them if they can be weaponized against an enemy?

The malevolent vengeance of the Democrats and man’s inhumanity to man. Patricia McCarthy – “Watching and enduring the Democrats’ venomous drive to destroy President Trump brings the phrase to mind.

“The Democrats in Congress now realize that the jig may be up, that the hoax is about to be revealed to all. I.G. Horowitz and A.G. Barr are on the case. But their two-year, multi-million-dollar attempt to unseat a president has done irreparable damage to the nation, to the numerous people they bankrupted and charged with process crimes, to the presidency, and to the Trump family. They should be ashamed, but they are not. They are doubling down on stupid.

Let us hope the nation can recover from this long national nightmare the Democrats have visited upon us. In the end, “Man’s inhumanity to man Makes countless thousands mourn.” Indeed, it does.

“Traitors, searchers after novelty, and those who err out of light mindedness” Paul Mirengoff – A history lesson from a 1740 Hasburg Empress.

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Self deceit, studied ignorance, distorted perception

Why the Left Mocks the Bible. Dennis Prager – “on virtually every important value in life, the left and the Bible are diametrically opposed.

Jerry Nadler is just blowing smoke. New York Post Editorial Board – “Years of media hysteria left the Democratic base addicted to “news” about Trump wrongdoing. Rather than face junkies gone cold turkey, Nadler & Co. keep cooking up more junk.”

“Never mind that Barr by law can’t release grand jury testimony to the public. Or that Nadler and other committee members are free to view the report privately whenever they like. Or that handing over the complete Mueller files would be unprecedented.”

Omar: Israel’s occupation of Gaza causes rockets to fire and children to be killed, or something. Ed Morrissey – “The fighting has stopped for now, but the ignorance continues unabated.

“The rockets fired because of an occupation? That’s a neat trick, considering that the occupation of Gaza ended in 2005. It’s been fourteen years since Ariel Sharon dismantled all of the Israeli settlements in Gaza — to a loud outcry at home — and pulled the IDF out of the strip, leaving the Gazans to their own devices. Sharon’s government had to forcibly evict some settlers from their homes in the area, and ended up relocating thousands of Israelis back into Israel proper. Gaza held elections the next year and, despite warnings from all over the world, elected Hamas to govern the territory. The rest is history, as is any prospect of improvement while Gazans cling to terrorists as their leaders. Israel imposed a full blockade on Gaza in 2007 after Hamas won that election, but it’s not an occupation, even if Hamas calls it that.

In this iteration of the decades-long terrorist war on Israel, it wasn’t “occupation” that started the rockets firing. Hamas wanted money, wasn’t getting it, and worried about an uprising because of it:

If Omar wants “peace and justice,” she should call for the end of Hamas rule in Gaza and the emergence of leadership that actually desires peace and justice.

Irony: New York blocked a new pipeline and guess what they just found out. Jazz Shaw – “The state could be producing its own natural gas and supplying New York City more cheaply, but they’re refusing to do it out of spite. And now they’ve outstripped their fuel supply. This entire situation would be hilarious if it weren’t creating such a massive SNAFU for the energy grid.

Should Journalists Who Propagated the Russia Collusion Hoax Be Jailed? John Hinderaker – “In the end, Roger isn’t serious about jailing journalists, much as they might deserve it. But I would add this observation: Why is it that journalists who lied about Russia collusion will no doubt “get off scot-free,” while proudly displaying Pulitzers on their mantels? Why is it that the media organizations that employ them and share their political biases feel no need to sanction them in any way, let alone fire them?

“But when it comes to defamation, we don’t have a sane legal environment. The U.S. Supreme Court has seen to that in a series of decisions that deserve to be controversial. Wherever you think the boundaries of defamation law should properly be drawn, I think it is almost indisputable that our current legal regime goes too far in immunizing reporters, editors, newspapers and cable news networks against the consequences of negligently or maliciously propagating career-destroying and life-destroying falsehoods about public figures and matters of public interest.

Maybe if President Trump gets another Supreme Court appointment our extremist defamation jurisprudence will be moderated so that there is at least a possibility of holding journalists accountable.

VDH dissects Comey. Neo – “Recall—as Hanson points out—that Comey’s problem isn’t mere Trump Drerangement Syndrome (although there’s that). He showed his troubling characteristics even before Trump even became president, during the Hillary Clinton email investigation

“I can tell you one thing: I am almost certain that most Democrats don’t read Victor Davis Hanson. But I also am almost certain that, were most Democrats to do so, they would look at the facts detailed in that article with very different eyes than those of us on the right do. Would they be shocked, because they’re reading them for the first time and realizing how deep the rot goes? Or would they just say that Hanson is making stuff up, and deeply mistaken and/or lying?

I think the latter. A mind is a difficult thing to change.

The Mueller report and the assault on the AG provide an example.

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Consequences even possible?

Should Journalists Go to Jail for Spreading Russia Lies? Roger L. Simon – “As a First Amendment maximalist, I am inclined to reply an automatic “no” to my own headline … But a penalty of some kind, indeed a serious one, should certainly be levied for misinforming the public on the most important subject of our day

“And when these prevarications can be shown to have been deliberate, to have been done knowingly, difficult as that may be to prove, the line to sedition may have been crossed and there is an argument the reporters involved should face legal consequences. They should also be fired.

Unfortunately, because reporting is an occupation with no official standards like law or medicine, no professional organizations to disbar them, and because, as A. J. Liebling wrote long ago, “Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one,” with media operations like CNN and NBC often encouraging those very lies, this is unlikely to happen.

Unjust? Of course, it is. And not so deep down, the media outlets know this. I was not the only person to think the NYT was engaged in CYA when it reported (finally admitted) the other day there was indeed actual “spying” being done on the Trump campaign. The paper has done that before, reported bad or inconvenient news in advance, aware that revelations to come may not be flattering to their work.

Will these journalists have learned a lesson and change their habits? Not likely. For the most part, they are moral narcissists, primed to feel confident of the righteousness of their cause even when faced with countervailing reality. And in any case, to change would lead to personality disintegration, loss of friends and family and, worse, being fired by the profiteers who run their companies. That’s the way of the media world today.

Time for the rest of us to learn new ways of getting our news, if we already haven’t. And we probably have. Will those sources too be biased? Of course. All news is. It’s written by humans. But at least it won’t be criminal — or seditious.

The Voter Suppression Myth. Steven Hayward – “Bottom line: Democrats are lying about this and know they are lying about this.

Get Ready For More Global Warming Hysteria. John Hinderaker – “You might think that after decades of wrong predictions, global warming alarmists would back off and try to make their claims more realistic. But you would be wrong. The Science and Environmental Policy Project explains

Those MAGA-hatted Asians attacked in DC were North Korean defectors. Neo – “This incident encapsulates so many things that are wrong with the left today, but in particular its dangerous and many-pronged assault on free speech.

“It is often remarked on by those who escaped from totalitarian leftist countries that they came to the US for that very freedom, and lately it pains them tremendously to see the same threats to liberty occurring with increasing frequency. This incident may have been small in terms of actual physical harm done, but it is ominous for what it says about the state of our nation.

The FBI’s Trump-Russia Investigation Was Formally Opened on False Pretenses. Andrew C. McCarthy – “Chicanery was the force behind the formal opening of the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation.”

“The investigative theory on which the FBI formally opened the foreign-counterintelligence probe code-named “Crossfire Hurricane” on July 31, 2016, held that the Trump campaign knew about, and was potentially complicit in, Russia’s possession of hacked emails that would compromise Hillary Clinton; and that, in order to help Donald Trump, the Kremlin planned to disseminate these emails anonymously (through a third party) at a time maximally damaging to Clinton’s campaign.

There are thus two components to this theory: the emails and Russia’s intentions.

The State Department’s report to the FBI claiming that Papadopoulos had “suggested” these things to Downer was manufactured to portray a false connection between (a) what Papadopoulos told Downer and (b) the hacking and publication of the DNC emails. That false connection then became the rationale for formally opening the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation — paper cover for an investigation of the Trump campaign that was already under way.

Then there’s Omar’s rationalization of hundreds of missiles fired at Israeli citizens or the Democrat Party’s presidential hopefuls claiming the economic boom is due to Obama. Deception and self delusion run deep.

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Leaving the plantation might not be a safe thing to do

Robert Mueller, Director of Opposition Research. Thomas McArdle – “In the United States, we don’t let prosecutors publicly blemish the reputations of law-abiding citizens for actions that fall short of criminality. At least we didn’t until special counsel Robert Mueller.”

“When it comes to “guilty” or “not guilty” there is no gray, nor should there be. A President is not above the law, but he is also not outside the law’s protection of those innocent until proven guilty. With his unauthorized “not guilty but not exonerated” assertion, Robert Mueller has, in effect, left lawyering, and the rules prosecutors must follow, and made himself stealth director of a lavishly-funded team of political opposition researchers eager to help House Democrats impeach Trump – or defeat him at the polls in 2020.

AG William Barr Cancels Appearance for House Committee Hearing Tomorrow… sundance – “House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler has created a circus atmosphere ahead of a scheduled appearance by Attorney General William Barr tomorrow.

Barr Did Nothing Wrong’: WSJ Exposes Dems’ Hypocrisy After Shameful ‘Washington Pile-On‘. Tyler Durden – “Joe Biden became the latest presidential contender to demand that AG Barr resign following a 5-hour-plus hearing on Wednesday where Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee howled, mostly without evidence, that Barr was improperly trying to cover for President Trump, that he had deliberately watered down Mueller’s findings and that he was, in effect, acting as a mole within the DOJ feeding information on the 14 ongoing investigations to the White House.

“Given his treatment at the hands of the Senate, it’s hardly a surprise that Barr declined to appear before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, which is stocked with even more bloodthirsty Democrats who will all need to defend their seats in 18 months time. And while Democrats will inevitably portray this as Barr shirking responsibility, as WSJ points out in an editorial published in Thursday’s paper, Barr’s treatment at the hands of the Judiciary’s Democrats was nothing short of reprehensible – and the coordinated ‘leak’ of the Mueller letter on the eve of the hearing was a blatant attempt to discredit an Attorney General who had done nothing wrong.

This trashing of Bill Barr shows how frustrated and angry Democrats continue to be that the special counsel came up empty in his Russia collusion probe. He was supposed to be their fast-track to impeachment. Now they’re left trying to gin up an obstruction tale, but the probe wasn’t obstructed and there was no underlying crime. So they’re shouting and pounding the table against Bill Barr for acting like a real Attorney General.

Barr laid it on the line with the simple question the Russia Hoaxers can’t answer. Thomas Lifson – “his willingness to speak plainly and directly, such as his use (and defense of his use) of the word “spying,” demonstrates that that he and his associates can make their cases in convincing language.

Suicidal Dems Continue to Foolishly Malign Barr. Roger L. Simon – “We are already–if you paid attention to Barr’s testimony or even the story in general–well into Russia Probe II – The Predicate. And that investigation involves real, documented collusion with Russia (on the part of the Clinton campaign and who knows who else) augmented by pervasive media dishonesty.

“What’s interesting, and somewhat disturbing, in all this is how well these people know each other. It’s quite incestuous. Mueller and Comey were buddies when Mueller was named special counsel after Comey was fired. Barr and Mueller have apparently known each other for thirty years.

So it was notable when Barr indicated in testimony Wednesday that when he phoned Mueller about the special counsel’s letter of complaint, he did so on a speaker with others around, taking notes. Apparently, Bill didn’t trust his old friend. Would you?

Dem attacks on Barr come down to three-week gap. Byron York – “Why are so many Democrats and so many of their allies in the press so angry at Attorney General William Barr? What explains the intensity of their feelings?

“Why were those three weeks so important? Because, whatever Barr’s motive, they allowed the attorney general to shape public opinion on Mueller’s findings before Democrats had a chance to spin the report their way. Barr, Democrats said, should have at least released the executive summaries of Volume I and Volume II of Mueller’s report, which detailed the collusion and obstruction questions, respectively.

The Democratic protest might have carried more weight had Barr’s summary of the Mueller report’s principal conclusions been inaccurate. It was not.

William Barr exposed the rampant desperation of Trump’s foes. Michael Goodwin – “They smeared him, called him a liar and said he should resign. The same Senate Democrats on the Judiciary Committee who tried to assassinate the character of Judge Brett Kavanaugh last year pulled the same stunt on Bill Barr — with the same result.

“It was a legitimate, if thin, line of questioning, but Dems didn’t like the answer and lost it again. Obviously frustrated that their main talking point for the entire Trump presidency has come up empty, they savaged Barr and accused him of covering up for a corrupt president.

It was politics at its most dishonest as they tried to argue that up is down and black is white. Barr was mostly stoic, but allowed himself a brief moment to brilliantly summarize the outlandish effort to twist reality.

At one point, he talked of possible “overreach” by top officials, then added: “But what we have to be concerned about is a few people at the top getting into their heads that they know better than the American people.”

At another point, he said, “We have to stop using the criminal justice process as a political weapon.”

The references are unmistakable and the strongest sign yet that Barr suspects wrongdoing in very high places. It’s also a sign that the worm is turning.

In Barr’s Battle With Congress, He’s in the Right. Seth Lipsky – “It turns out that Mr. Mueller wanted the report released piecemeal. Mr. Barr overruled him.

The Barr Testimony: Democrats Gone Wild. John Hinderaker – “I am not up on the stages of grief, but the Democrats are in one of them, grieving through their loss of the belief that Robert Mueller would deliver them from the illegitimate Trump presidency.

Clinton Projection Syndrome. Victor Davis Hanson – “Psychologists might call her claims “projection.” That is the well-known psychological malady of attributing bad behavior to others as a means of exonerating one’s own similar, if not often even worse, sins.

“What Mueller strangely did do — and what most federal prosecutors do not do — was cite all the allegedly questionable behavior of a target who has just been de facto exonerated by not being indicted.

What Mueller did not do was explain that much of the evidence he found useful was clearly a product of unethical and illegal behavior. In the case of the false charge of “collusion,” the irony was rich.

For much of her professional life, Hillary Clinton had acted above and beyond the law on the assumption that as the wife of a governor, as first lady of the United States, as a senator from New York, as secretary of state and as a two-time candidate for the presidency, she could ignore the law without worry over the consequences.

For Clinton now to project that the president should be indicted suggests she is worried about her own potential indictment. And she is rightly concerned that for the first time in 40 years, neither she nor her husband is serving in government or running for some office, and therefore could be held accountable.

Mueller left the plantation in his report as it is political and not in accord with established legal practice. Those who go after Barr, as after Kavenaugh, Thomas, and others, also leave the plantation and strike out into the wilderness. Going rogue like that can be dangerous.

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intellectual gymnastics … The irony, it burns.

About That Letter That Mueller Wrote To Barr… Tyler Durden – “Another deep state “leak” has hit the tape, and as usual it has gone to the WaPo and NYT almost at the exact same time… but this it’s even more laughable than usual.

“So, Mueller felt there was confusion… but he did not think the memo was inaccurate. Wait, what’s going on here and how is this even a story? Well, if we read the rest of the above sentence, we find the true object of Mueller’s “complaint”: …

Which means that, as the WaPo itself reports, what Mueller was really angry with was the coverage of his report by media such as… the WaPo and the NYT?? The irony, it burns.

Biden must answer for the lies sold to the American people by Team Obama. David N. Bossie – “the problem with nostalgia” – to quote former Sen. John Edwards as he described the presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton in 2007 – “is what we tend to do is only remember what you like and you forget the parts you didn’t like.”

Biden, one of the prime supporters of the disaster that was disingenuously marketed as the Affordable Care Act, must answer for the lies told by the Obama team to sell the plan to the American people.

The mainstream media cannot allow Biden to rewrite history when it comes to the Obama administration’s cozy Russia policy.

Biden must also be investigated fully over his alleged actions in Ukraine

On the all-important issue of fighting for the American worker and manufacturing jobs, let’s remember that the position of the Obama-Biden administration on lost manufacturing jobs was – as Obama put it – that “some of those jobs of the past are just not going come back.”

That destructive attitude, along with an outrageous regulatory regime, caused a net loss of nearly 200,000 manufacturing jobs as a result of the lack of leadership of Obama and Biden.

The failed Obama-Biden mindset of “you didn’t build that” – so critical of America’s entrepreneurial spirit – must never be forgotten.

Obama and Biden gave up the store on a deal that put an exclamation point on their failed eight-year policy of apologizing for America around the world.

You can’t finish an analysis of Biden’s record as Obama’s vice president without asking this all-important question: When it comes to the Obama administration’s efforts to try to stop Donald Trump from being elected president, what did Biden know and when did he know it?

Washington Post’s 10,000 Trump untruths is about 25% fake news. Steve Goldstein – “‘Literally true’ comments can be misleading, fact checker says” … this is about relativity in reality and truth. The trouble is that there is no Einsteinian model to equate frames of reference. In the media, the differing reference frames are entirely independent and often at odds with reality.

“The Washington Post’s count of what it calls “false and misleading statements,” and what other media outlets quickly short-handed to “lies” by Trump, is itself inflated.

Sensing that the fact checkers are a bit too quick on the draw, I decided to review a series of contentions made by Glenn Kessler and the fact-checking team at the Washington Post. …

Sometimes Kessler seems to be assuming words Trump said that the president did not. Other times he seems to demand a level of surrounding context that most would not insist from any other politician.

Kessler also said the newspaper has only used the word “lie” once — about Trump’s comments on Stormy Daniels hush money — and tries to distance its assessments from that word.

It’s also important to stress, that the Washington Post exaggerating the truth about Trump is not to say that the president isn’t uniquely untruthful.

But it also seems that fact checkers, like Kessler, have a reflexive bias toward declaring Trump comments as untrue.

WaPo writer: James Holzhauer has become “a menace”. Jazz Shaw – “But there’s one thing Lane doesn’t accuse Holzhauer of: cheating. Because he’s not cheating.” It’s a story about success envy, the kind that drives socialist ideologies to trash and bash capitalism.

Prominent clergy, scholars accuse Pope Francis of heresy in open letter. Maike Hickson – “They ask the bishops of the Catholic Church, to whom the open letter is addressed, to “take the steps necessary to deal with the grave situation” of a pope committing this crime.

“The authors base their charge of heresy on the manifold manifestations of Pope Francis’ embrace of positions contrary to the faith and his dubious support of prelates who in their lives have shown themselves to have a clear disrespect for the Church’s faith and morals.

The 20-page document is a follow-up to the 2017 Filial Correction of Pope Francis that was signed originally by 62 scholars and which stated that the Pope has “effectively upheld 7 heretical positions about marriage, the moral life, and the reception of the sacraments, and has caused these heretical opinions to spread in the Catholic Church,” especially in light of his 2016 exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

The authors first present in detail – and with theological references to substantiate their claims – the different positions against the faith Pope Francis has shown himself to hold, propagate, or support, including “seven propositions contradicting divinely revealed truth.”

If nothing else, this provides a comparison and contrast to how the Democrats are attempting impeachment.

A Fantasy for the Sexes. Daphne Patai – “Not by accident, verbal therapies in this society archetypically began with men listening and women speaking.

“Studies are done on the economic costs of smoking and poor health, but not of the costs of women’s work habits.

Somehow it is always men who are to blame. Even in the schoolyard, little boys suffer from puzzlement, pain, and ostracism as little girls make comments and express expectations boys cannot quite grasp or respond to.

The constant pressure on men to tell personal stories and focus on the analysis of their feelings is finally recognized for what it is: a gender gambit designed to maintain female superiority by reminding men of their place and of their vulnerability to women’s more high-powered emotional and verbal style. Mass culture is rewritten, and all those strong silent types in film and fiction are now understood to be men damaged by matriarchal values.

so much, so confused … it is necessary to read carefully with an appropriate degree of skepticism and to be careful about jumping to conclusions and engaging in other, similar, intellectual gymnastics.

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Base emotions: greed, envy, hubris confronted with trust and gullibility yield disaster

It’s Not Trump Derangement Syndrome. Karin McQuillan – “It’s not derangement, it’s war.”

“The Democrats’ onslaught against Trump—the only force that stands in their way—is a testament to their will to power. President Trump didn’t cause the crazy attacks on him. The Russian collusion hoax was foisted on the country by the highest levels of the Obama Administration (likely including Obama himself, although no one will state the obvious) before Trump even entered the Oval Office.

This isn’t delusional or deranged behavior, it is deliberate political behavior aimed directly at the same old political end: power. Democrats—voters as well as party hacks—followed their leaders into the moral abyss because they didn’t care about undoing a legitimate election. They just wanted to win, at any cost to America and to our democracy.

Democrats are not deranged—their tactics work, and work well. They are not well meaning. Do not believe their moral preening. They are power hungry.

A political movement based on a sense of moral monopoly and it’s own unquestioned right to rule is anti-American at its core.

ObamaGate: No Misdemeanors, Only High Crimes. Sebastian Gorka – “we cannot move on as though nothing of significance has happened here. We must not.

“It would be impossible to detail in this one article all of the things the Obama Administration did to subvert the Trump campaign through the use of the intelligence community (IC) for political ends. Moreover, we are only just beginning to chronicle of the depth and breadth of the corruption involved.

Simply put: the Obama Administration used the most powerful intelligence capabilities in the world to attempt a penetration and subversion of the presidential campaign of the the opposing party.

The Adolescent Progressive Mind. Victor Davis Hanson – “one moment a player in the Trump removal intrigue is deemed by the media-progressive nexus a demigod. The next moment, he’s a devil.

“The common denominator in progressive fluidity is not traditional worry about government surveillance of American citizens, unchecked government power, or the use of informants to spy on American citizens, but whether a bureaucrat can prove a temporarily useful idiot in the grand design of removing Donald J. Trump before the 2020 election.

Who do we follow? Do we know where they lead us? Do we care? Are we useful idiots or can we plot our own course?

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