Archive for politics

2/17/2017: Media Bulls v Matador Trump

David Prentice: The Left’s Once Mighty Echo Chamber Is Losing Power – “They don’t see how they have driven themselves over the edge of reason and can no longer convince others.”

Just because the Democrat/media complex is in full, swashbuckling, we’ve-stormed the castle, we’re-going-to-impeach him-mode is no reason to panic. … The left is blowing its own opportunity by hyper-exaggerating their case.

There are several reasons the left’s capacity to take out Trump will not work. The first has been mentioned: The echo chamber is out of gas, its hyperbole is way beyond believable, and their petulance and anger is obvious. Like in the Wizard of Oz, they don’t realize Toto has torn the curtain away, and we’re seeing who is behind that curtain.

The second reason: The Trump team is implementing its agenda one step at a time. The administration is actually doing what they promised they would during the campaign.

The third reason: The Trump voter is still engaged. Not only are they engaged, they are doubly thrilled that he isn’t backing down to these people.

A look at popularity polls indicates that Trump suffers in comparisons to other Presidents due solely to the hatred of Democrats en masse. The only area where Democrats get up to the normal beyond 30% acceptance is in agreeing that Trump is keeping his campaign promises. The sub 10% acceptance in everything else polled is extraordinary and dangerously partisan.

A must read from VDH: The Deplorables Shout Back – “The full lessons of the 2016 election are still being digested (or indeed amplified), but one constant is emerging that the world outside our bi-coastal dynamic, hip, and affluent culture is not very well understood by those who lead the country.”

Trump was rural America’s shout back. One way or another, he will be its last. Either Trump will fail to restore prosperity and influence to the hinterland and thus even as president go the way of a flash-in-the-pan, would-be president Ross Perot—or he will succeed and thus make a like-minded successor superfluous.

Also by VDH: “The cracks on the face of Oroville Dam remind us that we have abused and caricatured what we inherited. In penance we might do better to listen to the wisdom of the past rather than to parrot the ignorance of the present.”

Roger Simon: The Media Bulls Have Met Their Matador in Trump – “The press doesn’t just have Trump Derangement Syndrome. They now have full-blown Trump Psychosis. And like most people with serious disorders, they are teetering close to the brink of self-immolation.”

David Middleton provides a takedown on Fake News: Fukushima Edition – “Yes, the reactors were old (1960’s) technology… But it wasn’t the nuclear technology which triggered the disaster. It was a failure to anticipate anything more than a 3.1 meter tsunami.” But …

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2/16/2017: Swampgate and the Deep State has allies.

Angelo M. Codevilla describes The CIA’s affront to Trump – “Withholding a security clearance is a means of challenging presidential policy.”

The CIA’s denial of a clearance to a presidential appointee minus good cause, however, breaks new ground and shows truly revolutionary boldness. … the CIA’s denial of Mr. Townley’s clearance removes all subtlety by demanding that Mr. Trump appoint only “natives.” If Mr. Trump indulges that demand for self-emasculation, the message will go out to all agencies: They need pay no attention to what political appointees tell them, and they need fear no retribution for this or for pressuring appointees in any way they want. The message to the people who Mr. Trump has appointed or who are considering working for Mr. Trump is just as clear: You have no choice but to make yourself acceptable to the bureaucrats because, if you don’t, they will hurt you and the president will not help you. This cannot help but skew the pool of potential members of the Trump administration.

The Deep State has decided it knows better than the people and it is willing to commit crimes as a result as the laws are just the people speaking and so don’t count. IBD has more on this: Is This Trump’s Watergate, Or Revenge Of The Swamp People?

Swampgate: President Trump may have come to Washington to “drain the swamp,” but now he’s finding out that it’s full of nasty swamp creatures. And, as he’s also discovered, they bite.

Meanwhile, federal bureaucrats, fearing Trump’s vow to shrink big government and root out corruption, are digging in as if fighting for their very lives. That’s why intelligence “sources,” as the media call them, are willing to break the law to subvert Trump’s administration. They have too much to lose if he wins.

By the way, those going after Trump seem ready to break the law if necessary to do the job.

These are real crimes — not imaginary ones.

Talk of Watergate-style crimes is way overblown, but that doesn’t mean it will blow over. The so-called Deep State, the semi-permanent class of politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists and contractors who make a grand living off the taxpayers, have a vested interest in taking down Trump. He’s the real enemy, not the Russians. And, even if it means breaking the law, that’s just what these Swamp People mean to do.

Michael Rubin: Flynn’s fall should have the intel community in the hot seat

The greatest legal problem may not be Flynn’s. By acknowledging that they had intercepted Kislyak’s call, someone in the US intelligence community confirmed to the Russians that the National Security Agency had the sources or methods to defeat the Russian embassy’s countermeasures.

When the US intelligence community uses classified information to target Americans, it raises the specter that the CIA or NSA are just as likely to blackmail and dissuades American officials from being forthcoming during background investigations.

Ace notes that a Document Released Showing Obama’s Team Knew Immediately That Benghazi Was a “Direct Breaching” Terrorist Attack, and Was Not Even Conducted “Under the Cover of Protest” – This wasn’t from a security leak, it was from a Judicial Watch FOIA.

Judicial Watch got 54 pages of document — the bombshell here being a transcript of a phone call conducted September 12, 2012, just one day after the attack, in which Hillary Henchman Patrick Kennedy admitted, no caveats, there was no “cover of protests” and that it was a “direct breaching attack” involving “medium” weight weapons which would require some pre-planning.

Andrew P. Napolitano: Intellectual honesty and political indifference – “Only judicial attributes untouched by the jostling crowd can preserve our liberty.”

The judiciary is an independent branch of the government, and it is coequal to the president and the Congress. It is answerable to its own sense of scrupulous intellectual honesty about the Constitution. It is not answerable to the people. Yet in return for the life tenure and unaccountability its members enjoy, we expect political indifference — that judges’ decisions shall not be made in order to produce their own politically desired outcomes.

As has been made clear, this responsibility in not being met as the interests of the ‘Deep State’ surmount them. There are some indications that some in the judiciary understand their role in self discipline and are worried about rogue Judges but it remains to be seen if the concern rises to a level of taking proper actions.

Paranoia – Denial: On the ‘Fake News’ in denial front we have yet another study reported by Rowan Scarborough that Nearly 2 million non-citizen Hispanics illegally registered to vote – “Survey bolsters analysis by professors.” Trump has been excoriated on this but, as seems to usually be the case, he is right and his haters are off base. On the paranoia side, Alex Swoyer reports that Gorsuch shows ‘hostility’ to ‘discrimination victims,’ group claims in letter to senators – “But 39 former clerks to the jurist hail his ‘impeccable’ qualifications for the Supreme Court.” This goes along with much of the anti-Trump obsessives in foretelling doom with certitude despite no evidence nor anything to indicate support for their views. In fact, the evidence tends to go against them and the fact that that doesn’t matter indicates they have a real problem and it is within themselves.

But conservatives are pushing back, and suggest the letter is a political attack. They said some of the rulings cited in the letter as objectionable were cases where Democrat-appointed judges agreed with Mr. Gorsuch.

“Like Senator Schumer, they are extremists who will try every trick in the book to stop an exceptionally qualified, widely respected nominee who puts the law and the Constitution ahead of politics,” said Carrie Severino, chief counsel for the conservative Judicial Crisis Network.

The Borking has reached full throttle.

On Paranoia, there is the Soros thing on the Right. Shari Goodman describes A George Soros-Led Mutiny – it is easy to classify this sort of thing as paranoia and scapegoating but the evidence available raises questions about that conclusion. That contrasts with many of the other paranoid seeming views that abound these days that are completely devoid of evidence or reality or reason.

For the last few decades George Soros and his Open Society Institute have organized and financed a seditious movement to destroy our Constitutional Republic and monetary system. Their mission appears to be to replace it with a One World borderless government under the jurisdiction of the United Nations.

Employing the Cloward-Piven Strategy of forcing political change through orchestrated crisis, Soros seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands and grievances; thus, pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.

Thus, at the beginning of the 21st century we find ourselves on the brink of a violent second civil war where universities are no longer bastions of free speech, Trump supporters are routinely accosted, lawfare is now a weapon used against President Trump’s policies, and economic boycotts against the Trump brand are now promoted.

Many Americans are fed up and are asking why the Seditious Conspiracy law, which was first enacted during the Civil War, is no longer applied.

One of those Knee Jerk Anti Trump organizations is considering their positions. It will remain confused as along as they are not able to separate legal from illegal immigration and the proper role of national security in controlling a country’s borders. Jeff Andrade-Fong: Housing, Trump and Facing Our Hypocrisy – “for all the outcry against nativist federal policies, there’s precious little criticism of the anti-immigrant policies we have here at home.”

No fault evictions have been on the rise or years. Mid-level earners like teachers and other public servants are unable to afford housing where they’re needed most. Mega commutes are becoming increasingly common as workers can’t find reasonably priced housing near major job centers. And an invisible economic wall has been erected that’s silently preventing would-be immigrants from accessing everything that makes the Bay Area great.

These problems (and the chronic housing shortage that drives them) are caused by a broken legal, political and regulatory system that makes it impossible to build where housing would be most valuable. It allows incumbent landholders to benefit from rising housing prices while also privileging them with a disproportionate say in who gets to build what, when and where.

what’s the use in fighting to defend sanctuary cities if we aren’t willing to make them economically accessible? To what end do we speak of receiving refugees if we’re unwilling to build a place for them to live? To cry out against federal overreach in D.C., but stay silent on the regressive, segregationist, anti-immigrant housing policy we have here at home is the height of hypocrisy.

Allahpundit notes Dan Rather: This Trump thing could be bigger than Watergate – “When the man who blew the lid off the Bush National Guard memos tells you the country is facing a mega-scandal, you can take that to the bank.”

How are these people going to last four years with their sanity intact when they’re already at DefCon 2 after 26 days?

The Times has run at least three stories since late October on the FBI investigation into contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russian agents and each one has come to the same conclusion — no evidence of cooperation so far.

As tends to happen when one side is in hyper-outrage mode, a race begins to prove one’s ideological virtue by reaching for the most dramatic, hysterical analogy yet. For Rather, that’s Watergate and “worst scandal evah” rhetoric. For tools like Tom Perriello and Tom Friedman, it’s 9/11 analogies. “Ladies and gentlemen,” wrote Friedman yesterday, “we were attacked on Dec. 7, 1941, we were attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, and we were attacked on Nov. 8, 2016.” Perriello made the 9/11 point even more explicitly

Jazz Shaw: Dear GOP: Cancel the town hall meetings – “It’s a sad statement on the current condition of our democracy but the recent unending tide of well-funded and carefully coordinated “protests” by liberals angry over the defeat of Hillary Clinton have led me to one inescapable conclusion.”

If I wasn’t convinced of this before, the message really set in for me when I read about yet another such protest taking place in what I would’ve expected to be one of the most unlikely areas. In the very rural North country of New York State

Reading through the comments made by the protesters and looking at the signs they were displaying, it’s obvious what was going on here. Nobody was looking for a conversation. Nobody wanted a frank discussion with some give-and-take. This was a political stunt, just the same as the rest we’ve seen taking place around the country. Fortunately, Stefanik set an example which I hope the rest of the members of Congress will follow.

Stefanik said protesters have repeatedly harassed her staff and have personally targeted specific staff members.

“This type of intentionally disruptive behavior is unacceptable and unhelpful to civil public discourse. If it gets out of hand, we will continue to contact local law enforcement and U.S. Capitol Police,” she said.

Shaw has another about Debunking Time’s “fact check” on non-citizen voting – alternate facts deja vu

The new status quo in the mainstream media is a generally accepted insistence that Donald Trump and the White House staff are a group of unrepentant liars and that proper reporting must always include clear statements when falsehoods are uttered. This is generally followed by a “fact check” which purports to set the record straight. Time Magazine engages in this practice this week with yet another duplicitous report on the potential for voter fraud committed by illegal immigrants and legally residing aliens, describing the White House comments as, “its false and widely-criticized assertion.” Unfortunately, the “fact check” falls into the same trap which catches most MSM personalities. Since everyone seems to be being held to the same standard these days, it’s only fair that we correct the correction of the record.

All in all the Time Magazine article does a fine job of stating a number of things which are true while omitting the rest of the facts which actually make the argument against what they are saying. This is not to say that I or anyone else knows precisely how much voting by non-citizens is taking place. The point is, neither do the folks claiming that it’s not an issue. And, for the bazillionth time… wouldn’t you want to know either way?

John Sexton reports on the Borking fallout from Puzder’s ex-wife: ‘I have become the victim of the media’s malice’ (Update: Puzder withdraws)

Fox News reports that sources on the HELP committee don’t believe the Oprah video was a “watershed” moment for Puzder’s confirmation. Meanwhile, the left-wing Campaign for Accountability was in court Tuesday arguing Puzder’s divorce records should be unsealed. The goal is clearly to publicize the allegations before his confirmation.

A spokesman for Puzder tells Fox News that Fierstein and Puzder are now “good friends” who had dinner with Puzder’s current wife Dee last week. The spokesman adds, “They spend a lot of time together and this was a chance to just be family. But the calls from reporters and the attempts to unseal her divorce documents, have been very difficult for Lisa.”

For the Democrats, the ex-wife is just collateral damage of no consequence in getting what they want.

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2/15/2017: Political Assassination Attempts and the important back story

Breitbart On the leaks – House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) said Tuesday that those who leaked the contents of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s phone calls “belong in jail.” Then there’s Peter King

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) “You go back to the question of the leaks, that is a criminal action. I mean to have a wiretap of anyone, a foreign national, and to have an American come on that, an American citizen come on that tape, there is all sorts of precautions in the law, how that person’s identity has to be masked, how it can’t be made public. Yet, it was not only made public; it was leaked to a newspaper. So you have the national security advisor being taped. That could have been a legal wiretap aimed at the Russians. Yet, to have that leaked violating the law, it’s clearly wrong. Again, more should be said about that. That should be pursued right to the end, to find out who leaked that and take strong action against them. Also, obviously, the whole situation was General Flynn, that will also be looked into.”

Ingraham: Flynn Leaks ‘The Stuff Police States Do’ – “the leaks on former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn are “the stuff police states do. … They work to destroy the reputations of good people using information that is classified and private against individual citizens, and it should frighten anybody.”

Of course, Democrats see it differently. Dem Rep Moulton: If Trump Admin ‘Conspiring’ with Russia — That Is ‘The Definition of Treason’ but then, as might be expected, his memory is a bit short. FLASHBACK – Reports: Obama’s 2008 Campaign Reps Talked with Iran, Hamas. Then there’s the Fake News caught: New York Times Accuses, then Exonerates Trump Aides in Russia Claims but Democrats also don’t acknowledge such corrections. That is why Donald Trump Denounces ‘Un-American’ Intelligence Leaks to ‘Fake News’

From the Washington Times Flynn’s out, but the moles are not – “There’s more mischief coming in the important back story.”

The Beacon quotes “multiple sources in and out of the [Trump] White House,” whom it does not name, who described a furtive, behind the scenes campaign of planting damaging stories about Mr. Flynn with some of the abundant correspondents who despise Mr. Trump. They’re eager to bring him down and if the national interest suffers, well, collateral damage is merely the grim reality of war.

The campaign is said to be led by Ben Rhodes, an adviser to Barack Obama when he was president and who, like the former president, is still in town to remain close to the action. The Iran nuclear deal, which was conducted in secret and whose details are still closely guarded by Mr. Obama and his friends, is regarded by the former president as the centerpiece of the “legacy” he continues to obsess over.

Barack Obama is still in town — he says he’s only here to await his daughter’s graduation from high school, but he’s fortifying a mansion in Kalorama that looks in place for the long march — but he’s not going to return to the White House except as a tourist, and his coterie of apparatchiks might as well get used to it. President Trump’s task is to clean house and stop damaging leaks. Mike Flynn is only a collateral target.

L. Todd Wood: Flynn and the traitors in our midst – “Jail the seditionists.”

There is a concerted effort by multiple parties in the U.S. government to bring down the duly elected president of the United States, Donald Trump. This is not resistance. This is not hurt feelings. This is not just politics. It is sedition. It is treason.

We used to shoot people for this type of behavior.

Kelly Riddell says Trump the ultimate target of Dems’ witch hunt – “Democrats and the mainstream media are going to try to pick apart President Trump’s team, one by one, until they eventually get to their ultimate prize: Mr. Trump himself.” In other words, the Democrats are out to destroy the administration no matter the cost to themselves or the country.

Intelligence officials leaked the intercept only after Mr. Flynn made it known he wanted to restructure the intelligence community, with rumors being his top target was DNI. This restructuring would’ve inevitably led to the shakeup and perhaps dismissal of many career intelligence officials.

But there’s more. And it’s even uglier.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, Obama holdovers have plotted to undermine Mr. Trump’s national security plans before he even stepped foot in the White House.

And it’s not limited to Mr. Flynn. Democrats and the media aren’t going to ease up because of his resignation. They’re only getting started.

All of this is trivial nonsense — Ms. Conway was clearly defending her boss’s daughter in a glib fashion where she never intended for violate ethics rules.

But the Democrats are out for blood.

Riddell also notes that Rep. Cummings uses NYT fake news report to demand Flynn investigation – “This is how trust erodes between the mainstream media and the American public” and between the public and the Democratic party, too.

Eric Wilson: Statistics and politics have much to teach one another – “Big Data provides the power to gauge opinion, and to shape it”

What this past year has taught me more than anything is this: First, you can learn a lot about statistics from politics; and second, both are misunderstood.

One major flaw may be that society is myopically focused on or obsessed with causation instead of correlation. … Another issue may be that people don’t think anymore but instead just want others to tell them what to believe.

Given the computing power available today, we now have extremely large sets of data that can be analyzed computationally to reveal patterns, trends and associations. With Big Data it may no longer be necessary to sample the population since we may have access to the entire population. In the simplest terms, this is what happened on Election Day when instead of sampling and getting a poll, we sampled everyone and got a totally different result.

This is new territory and may require a new way of thinking and looking at polls. Big Data analytics has had clear wins in the fields of politics and business. It promises to provide insights for those who seek patterns from vast data banks. The biggest thing it has shown is that there may be a new way of looking at things — a messier, less exact but more realistic view of the future. A view that if harnessed correctly by some, can create or shape their destiny instead of having to just accept it.

This means that better results can be obtained by watching the public in arenas such as social media and other behavior rather than by selected polling. This is a new capability based on new technologies and cultural changes. That leads to J.T. Young describing An overlooked Republican empire – “Republican strongholds paved the way for Trump’s victory.” Empire? That seems to be a rather poor choice of words.

By focusing on the unconventional “who” and “how” of November’s presidential race, we overlook the “what” and “why” lying beneath it.

All are familiar with the contradictory presidential election story of 2016. Mr. Trump lost the popular vote handily by almost 3 million votes, yet won the electoral vote decisively 306-232.

These divergent results give the impression that Mr. Trump’s victory was a fluke — an outcome thrust upon Republicans that will not be repeated. Instead while Mr. Trump’s victory did not conform to past presidential elections, it fits perfectly with state elections’ current patterns.

Looking from state government totals to Congress, Republicans’ majorities are not surprising. If anything, they have room to grow.

There are non-electoral advantages, too. States are the incubators of policy. It is a big plus to have disproportionately more laboratories for designing policy than the opposition. Finally, there is the bonus of conditioning voters to vote Republican.

It is a map Republicans very much needed. As their state dominance shows, recent Republican presidential candidates have underperformed — particularly establishment ones — their state and congressional candidates. Mr. Trump’s “November surprise” proves Republican presidential candidates can also win there — and it need not be a surprise when they do.

There’s another part of this. Adam Brandon: The angry Loser Party – “Unlike the limited-government tea party, today’s marchers share no theme except anti-Trump.” What he illustrates is that the Left is not using its own organizations for examples of credibility and success but is instead reaching out to the Conservative groups as a reference for quality in community organizing.

Proponents of the Women’s March and other protests that have broken out in various city centers and airport terminals across the country often compare themselves to the Tea Party movement.

There is some truth to the comparison. Both groups rallied large crowds in public places. Both delivered political messages through speeches, chanting and signs.

But the differences between the two are far more important.

The Tea Party protests were organized by grass-roots activists, many of whom had never participated in the political process and whose names you wouldn’t know. They were formed to fight complacency in Washington and bring about the end of the status quo. The Tea Party forced reassessment and realignment of the Republican Party. The recent protests only reinforce the anger within the Democratic Party and enmity across the aisle. That’s why, despite all their clamoring for change, the recent protests’ influence will remain outside the mainstream and will not eclipse the strength and significance of the Tea Party.

As the Tea Party contrasted with the anti-bank rallies in clean-up, we see another example of a meaningless Left protest and riot leaving a dangerous mess. Valerie Richardson Feds join Dakota Access protest camp cleanup in race to avoid ‘environmental disaster’ – “North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum says rapid snowmelt means ‘we cannot afford to wait any longer’.” This also gives lie to hyperbolic claims about anti-science, anti-environment, Fascist Trump. Again.

“Today’s assessment by the Army Corps of Engineers is crucial to accelerating the cleanup process so this land can be properly cleared of garbage, structures, vehicles and human waste before it washes into the rivers,” the governor said. “We cannot afford to wait any longer.”

As for polarization, consider Peter Morici on The inevitable Obamacare death spiral – “The only way to save it is with price controls.” The only way? Price controls are, by definition, using other people’s money and that only works until those people’s money is gone. In part, it is the dependence upon other people’s money that is why health care is so expensive for those ‘other people.’ The fact is that there are other ways to address the issue  but Morici devolves to threats for those who do not see it his way: “Simply, Republicans must face the need to regulate prices or risk an angry electorate that can’t afford health care and lose badly in the midterm elections.” Not allowing for the possibility of other solutions or even allowing discussion about an issue is why many political debates are really pointless arguments.

President Trump and the Runaway Judiciary: The Founders Have Provided the Remedy by Steve McCann – “Since Marbury v. Madison in 1803, the Federal Courts have been gradually aggregating more power to themselves than what the founders originally envisioned.”

However, central to any of the above steps is that Congress discharges its responsibility. Something that it has been loath to do as it is held captive to ideology, partisanship and self-aggrandizement. If this latest judicial debacle cannot spur them to action, then nothing short of national chaos will.

Unless and until the Congress acts or a Convention of the States is convened, America will continue to be held hostage by the Federal Judiciary as they proceed apace seizing the authority delegated to the President and Congress as these past few weeks have amply displayed.

Nonetheless, the framers of the Constitution gave the citizenry one last opportunity to rein in a runaway Judiciary. A Constitutional Convention to amend the Constitution can be convened by the States …

The biggest part of the problem here is that there is a significant minority that is using the Courts as an alternative to its inability to push its agenda with Congress or the people. With the Courts and hyperbolic shaming and heart string tugging they have succeeded. So far.

Jazz Shaw says Democrats are setting a trap for themselves on Cabinet confirmations – “A pattern has been emerging in these confirmation hearings which is more than disturbing.”

It’s been repeated too many times to be simple coincidence or some sort of principled stand on the part of the Democrats over specific issues found on the resumes of Donald Trump’s nominees or any answers they may have given during the hearings. Yes, it’s good news that another seat has been filled, but a quick look at the vote tallies tells the story which would be sending up massive red flags for the minority party if they had the sense that God gave a goat.

nearly all of Trump’s nominees are running into a brick wall with the party of the donkey.

And for what reason? Trump is not appointing a band of brigands with criminal records or friends and donors with no experience in their respective fields. … While there has been some sporadic resistance by Republicans to a few Democratic nominees in the past, we’ve never seen anything like this.

This might be a good time for Chuck Schumer and his buddies in the Senate to look to the future and remember that in American politics the shoe inevitably winds up on the other foot sooner or later. Except in this case, the results could be far more toxic for them the next time a Democrat holds the White House.

Just something to think about for the future. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander and the goose is beginning to get considerably ticked off.

Futility breeds irrationality in problem solving and that is quite visible right now in the politcal arena.

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2/14/2017: The Political Axe

Joel B. Pollak describes how the Flynn Resignation Raises Tough Questions for FBI, Intel Services – “The fact that the contents of Flynn’s phone conversation — highly sensitive intelligence — were leaked to the media suggests that someone with access to that information also has a political axe to grind.” Four possible explanations are provided and political shenanigans with security play a prominent role. The Democrats pushing this for all it’s worth is telling (Team Clinton taunts Michael Flynn and his son after resignation).

Thomas Lifson: CIA broke the law to take out its critic General Flynn – “Make no mistake: we have just witnessed an operation by members of the CIA to take out a high official of our own government. “

Senator Chuck Schumer, of all people, laid out on January 2 what was going to happen to the Trump administration if it dared take on the deep state – the permanent bureaucracy that has contempt for the will of the voters and feels entitled to run the government for its own benefit

Or, as the old rueful saying has it, “you’ve got to go along to get along.” This means that we the people had better acknowledge that the bureaucrats have turned into our masters, and the old expression “public servant” is as ironic as anything Orwell came up with. Schumer knows this and likes it, because the deep state wants a bigger, more powerful government, just as he does.

Monica Showalter: In Russia, hunkering down over Flynn affair – “ it signals that Russia being held hostage by the establishment, and it knows it, and it’s all because the Beltway can’t quite get control of Trump.”

Kicking Flynn out as a security risk – complete with unsubstantiated claims of his supposed vulnerability to Russian blackmail – seems to be a calculated move to trash President Trump’s effort to improve relations with Russia to fight terrorists. It has a look of the Cold War status quo reasserting itself.”

IBT is wondering Is Jim Webb The Only Sane Democrat Left? – “A whimsical definition of a gaffe is “when a politician accidentally speaks the truth.” By that measure, former Virginia Senator Jim Webb committed a gaffe of huge proportions over the weekend.”

On “Meet the Press”, Webb admitted that the Democratic Party has no ideas to offer, that it’s determined to destroy the Trump administration and — here’s the gaffe — that “the Democratic Party over the past five or six years has moved very far to the left.”

In case you are wondering, Webb is hardly some sort of right-wing Democrat. The American Conservative Union says he voted with conservatives less than 17% of the time while in the Senate, the Americans for Democratic Action says he voted liberal 85-90% of the time. But he at least has enough perspective to see what’s happening to his party. As Webb said, the party has “lost the key part of their base.”

Rather than reflect on why they’ve so badly lost touch with working class Americans and how to regain it, the Democratic leadership decided to have a national temper tantrum. How many jobs will their “resist” campaign create?

It’s unfortunate that there are so few mature, common-sense Democrats like Jim Webb left in the Democratic Party, and so many fire-breathing extremists like Elizabeth Warren.

Others pick up on this meme as, on the one hand, Wesley Pruden explains How Trump’s ‘disarray’ may be merely strategy – “If he’s crazy, as some Democrats insist, it might be the craziness of a fox.” On the other, Kelly Riddell says It’s the Democrats, not President Trump, who are insane – “Democrats are at it again, desperately trying to convince the people who elected Mr. Trump that they were wrong, that he really, truly is unfit for office. They’re doubling down on their crazy, determined to set us deplorables straight.”

Pruden seems to lean a bit towards wishful thinking but what he describes is standard big business management that is often lacking in politics and academia where the competition can neglected. Hence it’s appearance in a political position creates dissonance.

Riddell gets into an expression of that dissonance.

therapist Sherry Amatenstein, … called Mr. Trump’s supposed disorder “Malignant Narcissism,” which has “four toxic components: narcissism, paranoia, anti-social personality disorder, and sadism.”

That’s quite a list of behaviors! The real question is how she tries to support her thesis that these behaviors actually exist. As Riddell says “My question to the left is: Where do we go from here?”

The mentally ill claims about Mr. Trump are so outrageous and so partisan that they went ignored before the election, and they will go ignored again.

None of Mr. Trump’s actions in his first three weeks should come as alarming. They’re exactly what Mr. Trump promised he’d do on the campaign trail: build a wall, thoroughly vet refugees from terror prone nations, shut down sanctuary cities and enforce national immigration laws. If the media was listening, they’d understand this.

So instead of going to battle on ideological issues, they’ve resorted to calling him names. To challenging his mental health. To attempting to convince the American public they made a mistake.

They’ve done it before and it failed. Yet they’re doing it again.

Isn’t that the very definition of insanity?

Jennifer Harper: The numbers are in: Republicans are ‘very happy’ with Trump – “Republicans are very happy about the first few weeks with a GOP president. Their mood has changed for the better. Just a year ago, 86 percent of Republicans thought the country was off on the wrong track; now, 61 percent say it’s heading in the right direction,

Typical news coverage does not reflect this sentiment. There has been no honeymoon period between press and president, or even a few moments of civility. Unfriendly news organizations follow typical patterns: They nitpick the White House, suggest there’s infighting and confusion behind the scenes or claim that worried Trump voters now have buyer’s remorse and wish they’d voted for Hillary Clinton.

Dissonance between the voters and the Left. Whodda’ thunk it?

Judson Phillips wonders Will conservatives ever get in the fight? – “It is time the corporate left be given a taste of its own medicine.”

When President Trump won the election, the left went nuts.

It wasn’t just the crazy far left wing activists who lost their minds. It was liberals all across the nation.

The Republicans were, as Decius put it in the “Flight 93 election” essay, the designated losers.

But Donald Trump won, and the left went into full sedition mode.

A couple of states with far-left wing governors filed suit, supported by a host of corporations with left-wing executives.

Stopping terrorism seems like it would be not only a sane idea, but a bipartisan idea. But instead, these companies decided they wanted to support the terrorists over America.

These companies and their left-wing executives did so, not fearing any backlash from real Americans.

Why should they?

Conservatives have a history of not getting involved in fighting big business over its left-wing activism.

The left politicizes almost everything and uses American corporations to help fund their agenda. When will conservatives stand up? When will conservatives start boycotting these corporations?

Too often, conservatives simply want to go home and live their lives. As the left tries to politicize everything, including America’s breakfast cereals, Americans no longer have a choice.

It is time the corporate left be given a taste of its own medicine.

Scott Wong says the Right set to fight back on town hall protests – “In the coming weeks, grassroots conservatives will be fighting back.”

“There will be more grassroots hand-to-hand combat than we’ve seen in Washington for a long time,” FreedomWorks President and CEO Adam Brandon said Monday during an interview in his office near the Capitol.

“The conservative [lawmakers], they need to see us out there pushing. And if they see that, they’ll be bold,” he continued. “If they don’t see grassroots there on the ground, they’ll start slipping.”

Valerie Richardson: California spent on high-speed rail and illegal immigrants, but ignored Oroville Dam – “California was hit by a wave of criticism for failing to heed warnings about risks to the spillway at a time when the state spent generously on illegal immigrants and high-speed rail.” The environmentalists have been after this dam for years as it has saved many lives due to flood control since 1964 and has been a linchpin in getting water to Southern California.

Reinforcing the Oroville Dam was not included on Mr. Brown’s $100 billion wish list of projects prepared last month at the request of the National Governors Association in response to Mr. Trump’s call for $1 trillion in infrastructure improvements, CNBC reported.

One project that did make the list: California high-speed rail, a pet project of Mr. Brown’s with an estimated price tag of $100 billion that has become for state Republicans a symbol of out-of-control government spending.

others turned the crisis into an opportunity to blast Mr. Trump, saying he should repair the Oroville Dam instead of building a wall on the southern border.

It doesn’t appear that the dam is much of a concern to many on the Left as its value is mostly just political opportunism.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2/12/2017: Justice and Prayer

It is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. 

Law Professor Glen Reynolds cites a comment on Althouse:

“As seriously botched as this Ninth Circuit opinion is, all sides assume that all 4 Democrat-appointed Justices on the SCOTUS would vote to uphold it if it were appealed to an 8 Justice Court. That perception, more than any disparaging words of Donald Trump, should dishearten any lawyer or judge in the USA.”

Mark Andrew Dwyer: On Trump’s Immigration Executive Order, Wrong Question

The right question that should have been asked was whether Judge Robart had the authority to issue the TRO and whether the said TRO was legally binding to the President. Neither answer is clear nor are they settled by a sound basis or valid legal reasoning (as opposed to, say, legalistic sophistry, court-approved or not).

Josh Blackman: The Failure of the 9th Circuit to Discuss 8 U.S.C. 1182(f) Allowed It To Ignore Justice Jackson’s Youngstown Framework

Once again, Trump has stumbled into an important jurisprudential point. The fact that the President is exercising powers given to him from Congress, augmented by his own inherent authorities, indicates we are in Justice Jackson’s first tier from Youngstown, where judicial scrutiny is at its minimum.

Ed Morrissey: WaPo columnist asks: Should the faithful pray for Trump? – “How are the faithful called to handle prayer life in a time when political leadership who oppose our own preferred agendas?”

King’s argument seems based on the assumption that praying for Trump is an endorsement of whatever Trump does, and whatever he and his advisers do — even if one agrees with King’s (rather uncharitable) judgment of them. However, we know from the Gospels that this is not how Jesus saw prayer at all. In Matthew 5:43-48, Jesus gave one of the most difficult of all instructions on prayer and love

Clearly, Jesus did not mean for His disciples to love what their enemies did, or pray that their persecutors succeeded in their actions. Loving one’s enemies does not mean endorsing their intentions. Love in this case is caritas, the self-giving love that wills the best for others over our own desires. Jesus called us to love our enemies and persecutors, but not for any evil which they commit. Indeed, praying for them in love is to ask the Lord to save them from their evil, so that they may return to the Lord as well. This part of the Sermon on the Mount is meant to stress that all people are children of God and have the potential for redemption if they choose it. Jesus then exemplified this when he prayed for His tormentors as they crucified Him (Luke 23:34): “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.”

This teaching applies even more when we put this in the context of political opposition. We are not enemies but political opponents, a distinction that gets lost in today’s hyperbolic and polarized political environment. We are called to pray for each other as brethren, and especially for our nation’s leaders so that they may find wisdom.

To act in love is also to testify to the truth. Offering prayers on behalf of our leadership does not negate our standing to criticize it and demand accountability for transgressions … Hopefully that criticism stays focused on actions rather than attempts to judge what’s in the hearts of others, and prayer reminds us of the obligation to keep that perspective.

We start with ourselves.

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2/11/2017: Who has a focus?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These rulings are troubling.

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

Activist judges, indeed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6) The Court disingenuously employed false religious protection claims

7) False consideration of “public interest.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2/9/2017 : DDoS attack on government

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is a Distributed Denial of Service Attack.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Duane Patterson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is a huge problem in our country.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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2/6/2017 The Deplorables versus the Depraved

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sooner or later, a crash is inevitable.

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

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

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

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

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

It’s the Deplorables versus the Depraved. 

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2/5/2017: Measuring and observing Angst

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Democrat power relies on millions of unpaid thought police.

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

The fourth strategic goal: provoke a national crisis.

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

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

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

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

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

Williamson’s conclusion:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reaching this level of hatred and contempt has required cultivation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is — and was — no main message.

That thematic void can be politically lethal in American elections.

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

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

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

Good luck with that these days in Washington.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blindsided by preconceived fantasies on so many fronts …

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2/3/2017: Kill the chicken and let the monkey watch

David French: If We Can’t Unite Against Rioting, We Can’t Unite at All – “Public officials should find riots more appalling than free speech” but it is questionable whether this is the case right now. French provides examples from the crowd to the mayor to the Lt Governor.

In the United States of America, rioting to stop free speech is unlawful and reprehensible. Period. Full stop. It’s not “understandable.” It’s not excusable. There should be no tolerance and no sympathy for people who pepper-spray young women, beat bystanders senseless, and tear up property because they’re mad that another human being is speaking. Last night’s spectacle in Berkeley, Calif., was disgraceful.

What you’ll notice (and what you’ll experience, if you ever find yourself in the middle of violent left-wing protest) is that the rioters and the “peaceful” protesters have a symbiotic relationship. The rioters break people and destroy things, then melt back into a crowd that often quickly and purposefully closes behind them. They’re typically cheered wildly (to be sure, some yell at them to stop) and often treated as heroes by the rest of the mob — almost like they’re the SEAL Team Six of left-wing protest.

it’s entirely improper for a public official to declare what kind of speech is or is not “welcome” in American communities. Or to place free expression in the entirely fictional (legally speaking) category of “hate speech.”

The thing that is so galling — and so destructive — is that we know that if the ideology of the rioters were flipped, if they were wearing #MAGA hats, the entire university world, the mainstream media, and every Democratic politician alive would be united in a full-throated declaration that the apocalypse was upon us, that “Trump’s America” was unequivocally a dark, violent, and hateful place.

If our nation can’t unite unequivocally and without reservation around the notion that rioting to stop free speech is reprehensible and unlawful regardless of the ideology of the speaker, we are not only losing respect for our core constitutional values, we’re losing respect for the rule of law itself. The unraveling continues, and every public official who dares to muster up more anger at free speech than at violence — or who equates free speech and violence — is doing his part to rip at the very fabric of our civil society.

French also provides another example of Fake News: Don’t Believe Claims that Trump ‘Botched’ the Yemen Raid – “many journalists are rapidly reaching the point of maximum credulity — they’ll immediately believe virtually anything negative about Donald Trump, not matter how thinly-sourced or implausible.” This particular operation is also another ‘on the Democrat’s Watch’ being misapplied to Republicans tactic.

Journalists spread the Reuters report far and wide, but anyone with the slightest experience in complex special operations missions should have been instantly skeptical. The anonymous attacks on Trump look a lot more like ass-covering than whistle-blowing. Absent truly extraordinary circumstances not outlined in the report, these officials seem to be relying on reporters’ ignorance and willingness to believe anything about Trump to cover to deflect criticism of a dangerous operation that turned out to be even more dangerous than anticipated. That happens in war. It happened all the time when I was in Iraq.

So, no, don’t believe claims that Trump botched the raid in Yemen. He didn’t plan the operation, and we don’t want him planning operations. We want presidents to rely on professionals. But those same professionals will tell you that war is terrible by its very nature, and no president can guarantee victory without cost.

There’s also Fake News of the ‘we won’t mention that’ variety. Here’s Something For Schumer To Cry About: Polls Show Public Backs Trump’s Travel Ban – “If you haven’t heard of these polls, don’t kick yourself. The mainstream press isn’t exactly parading them around.”

The Trump-hating Huffington Post’s poll, conducted by YouGov and released on Thursday, shows that only 44% of the public opposes Trump, while 48% back him and another 8% aren’t sure. (You have to scroll far down Huffington Post’s main page to find it.)

So, even biased poll questions can’t get anywhere near half the public to oppose Trump. And his executive order gets significant majority support when it is accurately described.

For the international implications, see Spengler: Why Middle Eastern nations support Trump’s immigration halt – “The US president’s measure has had precisely the result he intended, giving succour to those engaged in an existential war against jihadist elements.”

Glenn Kessler provides some Fact Checking: Senate Democrats’ misleading language on a 60-vote ‘standard’ for Supreme Court nominees – it’s a bit more than the usual gotcha’ fact checking the WaPo usually offers and provides some insight into rationalizing denial.

But you can see, in Durbin’s remarks, the slippery language that Democrats use to give the impression that achieving 60 votes is some sort of Senate “standard.” Even in his amended remarks, Schumer went on to say “60 votes is the right standard for this nominee.”

Let’s explore.

Democrats are being slippery with their language. Sixty votes is not “a standard” for Supreme Court confirmations, as two of the current justices on the court did not meet that supposed standard.

There is a separate issue of whether Republicans will have to invoke cloture to end a filibuster — and whether Gorsuch could meet the necessary 60 votes to proceed to a confirmation vote.

On this one, Betsey Newmark says “Hmmm. Notice a trend in those most recent six nominees? Republican senators were willing to vote for a qualified nominee even though they ideologically disagreed with that nominee’s positions. Democrats willing to do so are much fewer.”

While Talk Radio Host Michael Savage Cautions Trump About Inner Circle – “‘Godfather of Trumpmania’ says ‘too much, too soon’,” Fay Voshell is describing Trump’s Political Blitzkrieg

Over the last eight years, the Left has taken the offensive continually while Republicans either capitulated, cooperated, procrastinated, or employed purely defensive maneuvers that amounted to a finger in the dam.

It’s been barely two weeks since Donald Trump has taken office and Democrats are facing a political blitzkrieg.

Stunned political operatives like Nancy Pelosi don’t recognize President Trump is not interested in guerilla warfare tactics, but has put into effect a broad-based offensive against the very citadels of liberal power and bloated government.

Democrats are unused to a total war offensive, as they have relied on relentless guerilla warfare and the long march. They are even more unused to being on the defensive, and are ill-prepared to fight defensively. They are aghast over the Trump tactics being applied against them, are assuming the old weapons once applied so effectively against their political enemies still work.

Trump correctly discerned that ordinary citizens who desire nothing more than to be left alone to enjoy peace and while at an actual job or sitting by their undisturbed hearths are sick to death of constantly being roiled by the incessant demands of the latest approved victim of the month. They are fed up with the constant assaults on authority and on their faith. For them, the old tactics from radicals’ playbooks dating from the 1960s have become merely irritating and meaningless liturgical chants rather than urgent and legitimate calls for justice.

However, it is still wise to put on helmets when engaged in guerilla warfare and facing sniper fire. There are still many battles to be fought, though it might appear liberalism is in the position of Custer during his last stand.

But due to Trump’s broad front against the excesses of liberalism and the tacit complicity of some with leftist goals, at least conservatives are on the offensive and conducting total warfare for the first time in a very long time.

Ace has an essay getting into the ‘leave me alone’ idea: Why Can’t the Left Accept a Defeat? – “Because Their “Politics” are a Messianic Cult, and Every Religious Zealot Knows You Cannot Repeal the Kingdom of Heaven Come to Earth.” He also notes in another post “We cannot have a country in which one party is praised for obstruction and the other demonized. … If there are two classes of citizenship in a society, then we have no society. We just have the law of the jungle in which violence can be expected to solve many disputes.”

Getting to know the President’s men: Austin Ruse provides A Bannon Apologia – “there is the seeming contradiction; Bannon is a deeply thoughtful pugilist who does not care what you think. Some will say this is a recipe for disaster. I say it’s just what we need.” It brings to mind Matthew 7:16.

Much of what he has said is Bannon riffing, having fun, shocking the lefty reporters. What the left and sadly some conservatives have done is take these quotes and spun dystopian fantasies about Steve Bannon. The best glimpse into the thinking of Steve Bannon is the lecture he gave via Skype to a conference at the Vatican two years ago. You can find the transcript online. There is also his interview with Kimberly Strassel a few months ago in the Wall Street Journal. What you will find is not a cartoon villain but a deeply thoughtful man.

The SJW or Social Justice Warrior has been taking hits. Perry de Havilland thinks GamerGate was the canary in the coal mine. Never heard of it? Some of the comments provide a good summary and there is also a link to Elizabeth Fogarty.

The Gamergate controversy is the result of a combination of separate, yet related, issues. Firstly it is a call for ethical reform in the games press, primarily in the form of disclosure of either personal or financial conflicts of interest between a journalist and a subject they are reviewing or reporting on. Secondly, it is a response to ideological manipulation of the gaming industry, and the censorship that has occurred as a result of this. These two things are, in fact, related, because we are seeing the praise of this manipulation by members of the gaming press, as well as praise of the censorship of discussion by members of the gaming press. This combination of the lack of objectivity and fact checking with the desire to adjust or omit truths in order to appeal to a particular “group” is in no way exclusive to games journalists, but rather is indicative of a larger, more universal issue in how we all receive news.

There is a cancer and it’s isn’t confined to the political arena.

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2/2/2017: pheromones

The report is that the Seahawk’s QB sees nothing good coming from the new administration. He is not alone. But one has to wonder about their perceptions. For example consider Pinkerton: Trump Lays Down the Law to Big Pharma, Embraces the Cure Strategy

The basic thrust of Trump’s idea can be stated simply: Health insurance is important, but health itself is more important. In other words, as vital as health insurance might be—including the battle over Obamacare—the reality is that health insurance of any kind is only as good as the treatment system backstopping it.

To that end, on Tuesday morning, speaking to those “pharma” chieftains, the President made six basic points about medicines and cures

Or how about the news out of UCB this morning about the riots to protest a gay conservative speaker and shut him down? The evidence is quite clear that there is a lot of positive coming from the new administration and a lot of destruction and negative coming from his opposition.

The queen of snark has been rather quite lately but the recent news storm may have provided a stimulus. Ann Coulter: Give Me Your Tired Arguments… – “Everything said about President Trump’s “Muslim ban” is a lie — including that it’s a Muslim ban.”

The New York Times wore out its thesaurus denouncing the order

Amid the hysteria over this prudent pause in refugee admissions from seven countries whose principal export is dynamite vests, it has been indignantly claimed that it’s illegal for our immigration policies to discriminate on the basis of religion.

This is often said by journalists who are only in America because of immigration policies that discriminated on the basis of religion.

Game playing in the Senate is getting results. Maybe the wrong kind of results, though. Here’s from Sen. Orrin Hatch via Hatch on Senate Dem Delay Tactics: ‘They’re a Bunch of Juvenile Idiots’

Hatch noted the action was unprecedented and referred to the Democrats as “juvenile idiots.”

“My gosh, first time in my history and the history of the Finance Committee that Democrats even refuse to show up for hearings and for markup,” Hatch said.

“It says they’re a bunch of juvenile idiots is what it says,” he added. “It’s one thing to wage a good fight and do the best you can. And we understand that. But to just not even show up, not even come? That’s another matter. And so today I invoked the rules. We went ahead and put both nominees, Mr. [Steven] Mnuchin and the congressman [Tom Price] out.”

They’ve lost the elections and now they don’t even show up for work as they have sworn an oath to do. Ed Morrissey hits implications in Hatch: I had to change committee rules while Dems “cower in the hallway”

What makes this exceptionally foolish is pulling this stunt on Orrin Hatch — one only two Republicans publicly arguing to allow Senate Democrats to keep the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees (Susan Collins is the other). Hatch may not change his mind easily on this point, but Democrats had better believe that they just taught him a lesson about the level of comity he can expect from the next two years or more. They couldn’t have picked a worse venue for their impotent stunt, and now Hatch has set a precedent that can’t be easily walked back either. Dumb, dumb move.

VDH is calling it Our Game of Thrones – “Trump’s opponents believe that they are bleeding him from a thousand nicks.”

In contrast, the Trump people may believe that the Left is becoming so unhinged that their inflated rhetoric has lost all credibility and eventually becomes counter-productive. In Napoleonic terms by attacking everything, the Left is attacking nothing.

Second, by raising the stakes, they bring out of the woodwork the true malevolence of the Left such as the adolescent boycott of the inauguration by many in the Congress, the unprofessionalism of the media typified by the Martin Luther King bust fiasco or Michael Cohen’s nonexistent Prague meetings, the unhinged behavior of the acting attorney general, the repulsive rhetoric of a Madonna or Ashley Judd, and the creepy talk of journalists abroad of assassination.

In that sense, the executive orders are pheromones that draw out and expose unattractive predators.

The loser, as in all strategic collisions, is he who more slowly misreads constantly shifting public opinion and is more guided by ideological zeal rather than empiricism and so doubles down on rather than modifies a failing strategy.

The best indices of who seems to be getting the upper-hand are of course polls on particular issues and on Trump’s favorability — and the unity or lack of among congressional Republicans.

Suzanne Fields cites Rudyard Kipling When the truth is ‘twisted by knaves’ – “President Trump is paying the price of a policy badly executed.” What is interesting is that the reasoned debate about the immigration order has devolved to its manner of promulgation and not its legality or importance.

The poem, “If,” counsels aiming for truth even when it’s “twisted by knaves,” and the plentiful knaves abroad today not only believe they have a monopoly on the truth, but are good and pure of heart and entitled to impose their “truth” on everyone else.

It’s necessary to argue with reason and attention to facts because it’s the only way to have an honest debate about how to keep America safe in the age of terrorism. Characterizing the president, as one prominent journalist did, as “deranged,” cheapens conversation and ignores the rational reasons that led to his decision to prescribe “extreme vetting” on refugees from the seven countries identified by the Obama administration as breeding grounds for terrorists.

No matter what this president does, angry antagonists on the left will object, protest and make decent disagreement impossible. The actual facts of the president’s order have been submerged in invective and loose talk.

Luboš Motl dissects an example in Leonard Susskind’s dumb attack on Steve Bannon

Such cheap oversimplified and unambiguously hostile labels simply cripple the political culture and reduce the intellectual standards that participants of the political debates expect from each other. This dumbing down and constant repetition of hostile slogans was an important reason why most Germans gradually lost their democratic instincts during the 1930s.

This insanity should stop. Susskind and others should simply get used to the fact that the only thing that has happened is that they have lost the election.

Cal Thomas picks up on this with The left’s narrative – “Having run out of ideas, their only strategy is to protest.”

Democrats have run out of ideas, even bad ones, and have nothing left but name-calling and protests. The fact that voters have rejected their agenda has not yet resonated with them. They are like people who attend oldies concerts and wave their hands in the air, eyes closed, singing “The Age of Aquarius,” like it is 1969 again. For them, the sun isn’t shining in, it’s setting. That narrative hasn’t changed.

The narrative can be jaw dropping. OregonMuse provides examples in Trump: The Universal Solvent – “Open Question for this Open Thread: What amazing things could Trump accomplish and how would the MSM spin them into failures?”

When I first read it, I thought the guy was making fun of knee-jerk progressive journalists. Then I realized “holy crap, he’s serious.”

This statement is jaw-dropping: “If it was, then this is result of Trump rhetoric”. WTF? It’s like he’s got the story already written before ascertaining the actual facts.

What it all boils down to is:

Trump Is To Blame For Everything

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is getting a lot of notice these days because his story is one of a win against fierce protest from the Left and established interests. Mike Gecan takes the Walker story and a sports analogy to explain How Democrats are getting played – one thing he misses is that the left’s playbook, or as Thomas calls it, the left’s narrative, is becoming well known and there is very little imagination in its use.

Many Dems either don’t know how to relate to people with moderate or mixed views or they don’t want to. They prefer rock stars and celebrities to bus drivers and food service workers. They like cute sayings and clever picket signs, not long and patient listening sessions with people who have complicated interests, people who might not pass the liberal litmus test.

Don Surber gets in on this by stating that Hatch joins the Party of Trump – “It is time to ignore their belligerence and incivility.”

Democrats tried this crap in Wisconsin in February 2011. Remember the shouting mobs Democrats sent to the Capitol in Madison? Meanwhile, Democrats left the state to try to stop the vote in the legislature.

But Republican Governor Scott Walker did not bend, and he became the first governor in our nation’s history to survive a recall election.

Ed Morrissey has more on the narrative – and its consequences. Begala: Should we let this duly-elected president fill Supreme Court openings?

This Supreme Court opening wasn’t “stolen” — it was a case of “sauce for the goose.” Democrats have a habit of creating and imposing “rules” that benefit themselves, only screech about the shock, shock of having to abide by the rules and policies that they created themselves. That has been especially true about confirmation of Trump’s Cabinet picks after Harry Reid set a precedent by wiping out the use of the filibuster for presidential appointments other than the Supreme Court. Having allowed Barack Obama to stack the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals with that stunt, Senate Democrats are now staging boycotts of Senate committee meetings in a vain attempt to reinstate the filibuster on these appointments by other means.

Republicans simply played by Democrats’ rules, and Democrats are furious about it. Perhaps in the future, they should refrain from unilaterally setting precedents and “rules,” but the only way to teach them a lesson is to make them pay for it — which is precisely what Republicans did last year. That way the lesson sticks.

The Fake News of Alternative Facts is a lawyer’s technobabble, David Allison explains. ‘Alternative facts’: A common legal term – “The phrase “alternative facts” is used in law and is known to most lawyers” and it was put in public by a lawyer. One can depend upon the Left to twist it into Orwell.

Again, factually true, but facts are not a reliably valid substitute for the truth.

Despite such distinctions, critics will continue to posit that the only conceivable intention of using of the term “alternative facts” would be to obfuscate truth. Such a claim is not self-evident.

Our folklore, too, is filled with the challenges presented by the delicate relationship truth has with facts. Surely, we are all familiar with the story of the blind men and the elephant.

when Chuck Todd upbraids Kellyanne Conway with the claim that “alternative facts are not facts; they’re falsehoods,” he is not only wrong, but propagating an ignorance born out of lazy and shallow thinking. But this is not surprising, really, since when it comes to telling half-truths, or presenting alternative facts, the liberal mainstream press is more notoriously guilty than any other group currently out there.

This is an important consideration in evaluating intellectual integrity. That would be why those who study perception and facts versus truth make careful distinctions and allow for unknowns.

Leadership is showing. Gabby Morrongiello says Morale at Homeland Security has ‘skyrocketed’ under Trump

Kelly’s remarks to reporters, and his willingness to enforce laws that the administration believes will protect Americans, “re-energized a lot of us because for so long we’ve been vilified for doing our jobs, and here was someone finally standing up for us,” said one Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent who was not authorized to speak on the record.

One DHS source praised Kelly, but was careful to note that Trump also deserves credit for the sudden boost in agency-wide staff satisfaction. The source highlighted the president’s visit last week to the department’s Washington headquarters, during which he signed his first two immigration-related executive orders and offered encouraging words to employees.

This sort of thing does not please the Deep State. It does illustrate how an effective CEO rallies the workers. Scott Adams made the call and his forecast is showing credibility.

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2/1/2017: enough already: from Fake Science to Fake News to Deluded and worse

Alex Berezow says Don’t Let Partisans Hijack The ‘Science March’ – he’s noted that the Left has another partisan political protest banner flying under false color.

The problem is that this message is aimed at one particular side of the political spectrum. The Right is more likely to reject climate change and evolution than the Left. Absent from this paragraph are warnings against the rejection of nuclear power, GMOs, and vaccines, and admonishments for the embrace of organic food and alternative medicine, which are stronger with the progressive Left and its leadership. Those issues aren’t even mentioned, which looks like they don’t want to alienate one side.

Regardless of where one stands on this issue, the question remains, “What does this have to do with science?” Nothing. It’s social signaling meant to excite one side of the political spectrum.

As if often the case with the ‘trying to be nice’ folks, Berezow stretches to find a ‘both sides do it’ analogy. What he noted is that the Left is trying to ‘steal’ science from the right much as the Democrats are trying to claim Trump ‘Stole’ Neil Gorsuch Seat from Obama. i.e. the Democrats are engaged in projection.

In a fundraising email, the Democratic National Committee said (original emphasis): …“Donald wants to put Judge Gorsuch in the Supreme Court seat the GOP stole from President Obama. Add your name to tell the Senate to reject his nomination.”

Republicans declined to move Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, through the Senate, based on the principle — articulated by then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) decades before — that a Supreme Court Justice should not be confirmed in the last year of a lame duck administration.

This nomination protest has devolved into such nonsense because the judge was nominated to the appeals court not long ago and approved by unanimous vote. His record and resume are stellar. Therefore, the rationalization of the protest has to be manufactured via innuendo, falsehood, and Fake News. Consider Pelosi: Gorsuch Is Bad If You ‘Breathe Air, Drink Water, Eat Food, Take Medicine,’ Trump Picked Him to Distract from EO – consider the implications of this assertion. Or take a look at how Democrats have turned on one of their colleagues in a display of malfeasance in their job. Democrats Drag Out Jeff Sessions’ Confirmation Fight and Trump Cabinet confirmations stalled by Democrats’ tactics. There is a contrast offered by one of the Left’s new heroes. Picking and choosing: Fired AG defended Obama’s unlawful immigration amnesty – She refused to support Trump’s EO but did support Obama’s even after a federal court declared it unlawful. i.e. for the Democrats, lawful orders are to be disdained, unlawful orders – if by a Democrat – are righteous.

The people have had their say. The Democrats are showing the people just how little they care and how far they will go to impugn the country and its people. Ed Morrissey explains the people part in Obama’s Solicitor General to liberals: Confirm Gorsuch

It’s worth noting that all of these issues played out in the general election. In fact, Democrats from Hillary Clinton all the way down the ticket campaigned explicitly on eliminating the Hyde Amendment so that federal dollars could go to Planned Parenthood explicitly to subsidize abortions, apart from defending the federal subsidies they already receive. Donald Trump repeatedly cited the Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters cases as examples of runaway regulation that infringed on free exercise of religion. Hillary Clinton and the Democrats wanted to expand ObamaCare, the platform that created the issues with Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters; Donald Trump and the Republicans wanted to repeal ObamaCare. How did the election turn out for Democrats — and not just at the presidential level? Poorly, as I recall.

Elections have consequences. So do extreme arguments and positions, both in an electoral context and outside of it. Katyal understands that, but don’t bet on most of his allies on the port side of the political boat to follow him rather than the exhausted extremism of Slate.

Consider ‘Nuclear’ cloud hangs over pick of Gorsuch for Supreme Court – “Eleven years ago this week, Democrats made history by attempting the first — and to date only — partisan filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee.” To avoid having Republicans emulate their tactics, the Democrats, at least in the lower courts, changed their procedures.

Glen Reynolds notes that “That’s roughly equivalent to the game former President Obama played by nominating Merrick Garland last year. Obama dared the GOP to consent to someone somewhat conservative, but hostile to the 2nd Amendment — or risk an even worse selection made by President Hillary Clinton.”

Now the Left is being faced with the fact that raising the stakes also raises the conflict. They have made it clear that violence in the streets is of no concern to them. The question is whether they will take it as far as they did the last time they got this upset (asw one pundit said “when Lincoln freed their slaves”). J. Robert Smith picks up on this noting that It’s Escalating: Defiance and Calls for Violence among Democrats – “Making America safer is exactly what they’re opposing, blubbery words about compassion and inclusion aside.”

Calls or suggestions of violence haven’t bubbled up among Democratic leaders. Let’s hope they never do. All Chuck Schumer could muster the other day at a presser about Trump’s executive order was to sob. (Perhaps Chuck needs his estrogen level checked?) But defiance among Democrats is on the rise. It’s becoming strident.

Or consider Byron York: Dems escalate anti-Trump offensive – “From Washington State to Washington DC, Democrats across the country are stepping up what some call “The Resistance

Finally, as The Resistance organized itself and pushed on multiple fronts, a new supporter spoke up to encourage the protesters — former President Barack Obama, who managed to stay out of his successor’s affairs for all of 11 days.

Trump nominees will be slowly confirmed, well behind the pace of earlier administrations, in coming weeks and months. But the Democratic offensive will likely intensify — perhaps resembling a national version of the desperate Democratic protests against Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker when Walker’s agenda threatened key Democratic constituencies in 2011.

Walker won that fight, but only after Democrats threw everything they had at him. Trump can expect no less.

John Hinderaker wonders Can Insanity Succeed?

There is, of course, no constitutional crisis. But the Democrats are going beyond the usual hyperbole. Shockingly, their just-defeated vice-presidential nominee, Tim Kaine, is urging the party’s faithful to make like Brownshirts …

I don’t believe any major American political figure has previously urged his followers to fight in the streets; not since the Civil War, certainly. Things may be about to get even more dangerous for Americans who dare to show their support for our duly-elected president, and for our democracy.

What they need is a good spanking.

At the polls, I mean. The Democratic Party has been in decline for a number of election cycles. The verdict on the Democrats’ strategy of synchronized hysteria will be rendered in November 2018. My guess is that after two years, most voters will have seen enough of the Democrats’ vileness. Watch for the Democrats to slide nearer to irrelevance in 22 months.

But Thomas Lifson says Gorsuch nomination a lose-lose for the Democrats – “The Dems always look and find “victims” of some decision of a Republican judicial nominee and state therefore that he or she will not protect women, minorities, Muslims,” (see Pelosi for an example). Lifson points out that the filibuster rule debate is working against Democrats up for re-election in Trump heavy states. The assumption is that the nomination will succeed and the Democrats can only decide if it is going to be by the ‘nuclear option’ or the will of the voter. Either way, they lose.

A part of the Democrats problem is being exposed and put on the table about national security. How Trump strengthens national security – “The executive order turns up the heat on known sponsors of terror.”

Mr. Trump campaigned on making America safe again. He was elected based on his campaign promises, which he has been implementing in rapid fashion. And while the usual suspects in the bureaucracy aren’t happy, the American people approve.

Dissent is an important aspect of the American ideal, but the argument moved by the Democrats that American leadership is “cruel” and “like Hitler” is more than wrong and embarrassing — it invites contempt and emboldens the very terrorist groups who make the same argument to their craven army of murderers.

Shaming and threats are big items in the Left’s playbook. Jazz Shaw explains with an example: How Harley Davidson caved to the SJW on a Trump visit – Interesting how a company with a manly image caves so easily.

Can you imagine that? The progressives wolves are very well organized and they are stalking the new president’s every move. What was there to protest about this trip? Is anyone really objecting to creating more manufacturing jobs in Milwaukee? That’s doubtful, even among Democrats. No, the protesters simply wanted to shut the event down because Trump was there and if Harley Davidson appeared as if they supported him they would be made to pay.

What we’re seeing is the beginning of a national level campaign similar to what the SJW has been so successful in doing at the state and local levels. If you can make enough noise and keep CNN’s cameras on the scene 24/7 you can get major businesses to do your bidding in the political arena.

This is the new special snowflake playbook. If you can’t win at the ballot box or the halls of the legislature, stomp your feet and create a spectacle. Knowing that the majority of the media will rush in to provide favorable coverage you can scare off business and punish pretty much everyone in the area – even those who might be inclined to agree with you.

Also check out the case of Taylor Gourmet, a Beltway local hoagie shop, whose owner got caught shaking hands with the President about cutting small business regulations. Then there’s Welcome to the era of “transgender Boy Scouts” provides another example

Something has obviously gone very wrong in that home and it’s not the little girl’s fault whatsoever. At eight years of age kids aren’t thinking about sex and their bodies aren’t even close to puberty in all but the rarest cases. Eight year olds should be out playing hopscotch, jumping rope and getting into the usual sort of trouble that younger elementary school kids get into. But this one clearly lives with parents who are exposing her to massive doses of SJW propaganda and filling her head with strange ideas.

But we’re talking about kids here. This isn’t a social trend… it’s a criminal offense. (Or it most certainly should be.) At an age suitable to be in the Cub Scouts and even the earlier ranks of the Boy Scouts, children have no idea about these things and are easily influenced by what they pick up in the home and on social media.

But now, hang on to your hats because the Boy Scouts have been cowed into submission by the special snowflakes. We’re going to have girls in the Boy Scouts, which means they’ll probably be heading out to live in the cabins together at summer scouting camps. Speaking as someone who did that every summer for about six years as a kid, the immediate and obvious question comes to mind. What could possibly go wrong?

The mind doth boggle.

Used to be Boy Scouts promised to be morally straight. G. K. Chesterton had something on understanding Democrats in his quote for the day: “A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.”

As for Trump v Resistance, consider VDH on The Democrat Patient – “If progressives were to become empiricists, they would look at the symptoms of the last election and come up with disinterested diagnoses, therapies, and prognoses.”

Trump essentially ran against a united Democratic party, the Republican establishment, the mainstream media (both liberal and conservative) — and won.

He was outspent. He was out-organized. He was outpolled and demonized daily as much by Republicans as Democrats. Yet he not only destroyed three political dynasties (the Clintons, Bushes, and Obamas) but also has seemingly rendered the Obama election matrix nontransferable to anyone other than Obama himself.

Any reasonable post-election autopsy for a party would identify certain inconvenient truths.

For now, the Democratic-party strategists are doubling down on boutique environmentalism and race/gender victimhood, while hoping that Donald Trump implodes in scandal, war, or depression. They are clueless that their present rabid frenzy is doing as much political damage to their cause as is the object of their outrage.

While York is describing strategy on the left, Reynolds notes that Trump is in that, too: Trump Files With FEC For 2020 Election Bid, Outmaneuvers Nonprofit Organizations.

A document from the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) indicates that Donald Trump took steps last week to outmaneuver nonprofit organizations, leaving them unable to officially campaign against him over the next few years of his Presidency.

The move is consistent with Trump’s campaign promises to reduce the financial influence of private special interest groups on Washington.

The Democrats are not alone. Buckley: Time for Roger Goodell to provide answers to Patriots fans

Just a guess here, but I believe Goodell will be fielding some questions from Boston media members today, and for one simple reason: He can’t hide forever. And that’s a nice jumping-off point to our Questions Roger Goodell Must Answer for Patriots Fans,

People will be held to account for their behavior.

An there’s a lot more. It looks like Trump is taking a position on CNN like Limbaugh on MSNBC. The EO in immigration gets solid support from the public, including Muslims. The Senate appears to be setting aside quorum rules requiring Democrats present if the Democrats boycott the meeting. This is what the country voted for and that is a full and vigorous engagement in the battle for security and culture and the U.S.A. itself.

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Strategy, Tactics, and Policies

It took four hours to fire a politically partisan acting AG who put ideology over the law. It’s taken a bit longer for most of the ‘violates constitution’ and other fake news to peter out to crocodile tears and nitpicking about process. Occasionally, something appears that gets out of the swamp and the ingrained presumptions about an evil or incompetent President. For example, consider what Trump said to front line personnel when he ‘just assumed’ they’d get the job done. Demonstrating confidence in people to be competent and do their jobs has an impact. There’s strategy and leadership to be seen elsewhere, too.

Joel B. Pollak talks strategy in What Trump Has Achieved Through the (Not) #MuslimBan – With the Left triggering their coordinated protests and judicial action and the Establishment pondering what was done, Pollak gets in the why – strategy of the action.

few seem to have noticed that Trump has made several strategic gains.

Those gains are secure even though the courts have issued a temporary stay on the executive order; even though the left is using protests to fundraise and mobilize political support; and even if the order is eventually revised to be more lenient.

The first and most important thing that Trump has done is put the world on notice that the United States is now serious about preventing terrorism from reaching our shores.

The second achievement is that even though President Trump’s executive order is not a “Muslim ban” — indeed, it does not even cover 87 percent of the world’s Muslims — it turns out to be useful for people to think that it is.

The third achievement is that Trump has restored the credibility of American power.

Whatever the other merits or flaws of the “Muslim ban,” we are clawing our way back to geostrategic advantage. The left does not understand that. For once, their mendacious dishonesty is useful.

Cameron Reddy takes another look at Trump Strategy in Saul Alinsky in the White House…Still? – “So now could the shoe be on the other foot?”

Which side is in the right on these issues of Trump’s “lies” may be of some importance, but something much more fascinating – groundbreaking – is taking place: President Trump is using the left’s playbook to stunning effect. I am not alone in seeing the connection between Alinsky’s Rules and Trump’s approach. In Real Clear Politics, Richard Porter notes that “the folks that seem to have best learned from Alinsky’s instructions … are Steve Bannon and others on the Trump team.”

Again and again we see leftists flailing helplessly, shouting their own coarse vulgarities. (Recall the sign reading “f— you, you f—— f—” poetically marched down Washington’s streets during the women’s march.). Just as Alinsky foretold, behavior such as this deeply undermines claims to sanity and legitimacy and simultaneously forces its believers to consume precious time and energy defending their way of life.

Perhaps inadvertently, Politico Magazine portrayed the left’s confusion and anxiety when it published these words: “It’s hard to know when Trump is just being Trump and when he’s fundamentally transforming the American experiment.”

Whether or not the president knows it, he is giving Alinsky a run for his money

James Delingpole: Trump’s Climate Plans Just Made the Media’s Heads Explode – “The occasion was a press conference hosted by the Global Warming Policy Foundation for Myron Ebell, head of the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency transition team. Satan’s Emissary, as liberals prefer to think of him.”

They couldn’t believe what they were hearing. They curled their lips. They laced their questions with the bitterest scorn. But they didn’t really tune into Ebell’s measured, silken, soft-spoken answers because, hell, they knew what he was saying just had to be wrong and they didn’t really understand what he meant anyway.

Perhaps the main reason for going, though, was to witness at first hand one of the main reasons why the Great Global Warming Scamsters have got away with so much for so long: the abject failure of the media to do its job and interrogate the alarmist narrative.

Valerie Richardson says North Dakota wants hired pipeline protesters to pay state income taxes – “After spending more than $22 million on the Dakota Access pipeline protest, North Dakota wants to make sure any paid activists remember to submit their state income taxes.”

Next up is the Senate. There is the Democrat stance to filibuster any court nominee no matter circumstances, qualifications, or any other consideration. This is a part of the package of slow walking nominees and otherwise obstructing effective governance in any way possible. The 2018 elections are giving some Democratic Party Senators pause on this approach. They have been leaving a scorched earth in the previous administrations efforts and can now get a glimmer of what they have wrought. It should give pause. It will be interesting to see what the current administration does and whether the Establishment can figure out what is important to examine and what is irrelevant.

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Closest analogy: The Effect Slim Whitman yodels have on Martians

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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No Holds Barred! Let the lawsuits begin. seriously and literally

The desperation mounts. You’d think riots were bad enough but, no. Now we have political spies. As noted earlier, the release of a recording of a GOP meeting in Pennsylvania required permissions not obtained. Now it appears that a Woman impersonated lawmaker’s wife, snuck into GOP retreat. This gets elevated in implications because she bypassed Secret Service protections of the Vice-President.

Meanwhile, a Federal judge is working to circumvent national security as well. But DHS will continue to enforce Trump’s travel ban – “Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to the White House, said, “Nothing in the Brooklyn judge’s order in anyway impedes or prevents the implementation of the president’s executive order which remains in full, complete and total effect.”

The DHS said in the statement that they “will faithfully execute the immigration laws, and we will treat all of those we encounter humanely and with professionalism.” They also added that they plan to ensure the safety of the American people by making sure those entering the U.S. pose no threat.

Stephen Dinan: First lawsuit filed to challenge Trump’s refugee policy – “Officers told Iraqi man’s attorneys to ‘Call Mr. Trump’” … “The lawsuit said the Trump order is unconstitutional because it discriminates based on someone’s country of birth, and “was substantially motivated by animus” toward Muslims.” As one of the first comments noted, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (see also Wikipedia) is the law on the topic. A key from Dinan is the “ substantially motivated by animus” as that shows bias. What ‘animus’ there is is clearly stated as being about Islamic Terrorists and if such a bias is contrary to the Constitution, it’d require changing the oath of office for many federal employees and elected officials.

Sundance has a bit better explanation of the judicial activism: New York Federal Judge Intercedes To Clear Airports of Current Limbo Visa Holders… – “The judge did not rule on the legality of the executive order, nor did she say that others who have not yet arrived in the U.S. can be allowed to proceed.” Several other judges whose jurisdictions include international airports have also joined in on the ‘Limbo Visa Holders.’ This can get interesting as the ‘border’ up to now for airplane passengers has always been defined as a part of the ‘international’ designation for the airport. These judges want to turn that upside down.

This is another of those paradoxes such as the distinguished law professor illustrated (see a previous post) that an EO to follow the law was somehow un-constitutional. To see just how much disdain the Left has for national security, see Andrew Blake: ‘Lady Liberty is crying,’ Democrats declare in wake of Trump’s visa, asylum executive order – there is the usual: heart string tugging, reduce to the absurd fallacies, misperceptions so bald you’d think them intentional, … just more effort by the Left to gaslight the public.

Joseph Klein says Law And Order Returns To The Border – “President Trump begins fulfilling his promise in two historic executive orders.”

President Donald Trump is doing something incredibly rare for a politician in Washington, D.C. He is keeping his word. Two of the most important of his campaign promises were to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into this country and to suspend the admission of “refugees” from countries prone to terrorism until a system of “extreme vetting” is put into place.

After eight long years of Obama administration policies that endangered the security of the American people, President Trump is placing Americans first — before illegal aliens and self-declared “refugees” from terrorist prone countries.

The president began fulfilling his promises on immigration by signing two executive orders on Wednesday at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), whose responsibilities include overseeing immigration and border security. Mr. Trump also took part in a ceremony installing his new Secretary of Homeland Security, retired Marine General John Kelly. In his remarks following the signing, President Trump emphasized that DHS is a “law enforcement agency.” He added that “beginning today, the United States gets back control of its borders.”

The Trump administration is anticipating roadblocks put in its way by legal challenges, including activists’ exploitation of environmental laws to block construction of the wall. However, the administration should be able to prevail and move forward expeditiously. The REAL ID Act of 2005 gives the Secretary of Homeland Security “the authority to waive all legal requirements such Secretary, in such Secretary’s sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure expeditious construction of the barriers and roads” along U.S. borders. Federal district courts have exclusive jurisdiction to hear challenges to the Secretary of Homeland Security’s determination, but a “cause of action or claim may only be brought alleging a violation of the Constitution of the United States.” Melinda Taylor, an environmental law professor with the University of Texas, said, “The new administration has a wild card they can pull and it’s in this law. The language in this law allows them to waive all federal laws that would be an impediment to building any type of physical barrier along the border, including a wall.” Actually, “the authority to waive all legal requirements” in the statute would extend to state and local laws and regulations, as well as federal laws. The president’s constitutional authority derives from his fundamental constitutional duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed” – in this case, the nation’s existing immigration laws.

Two things here. One is that Trump anticipates obstructions such as seen in today’s news. The second is that existing law is on his side. Note the requirement for a “violation of the Constitution of the United States.” That is the one being created to support the Limbo Visa Holder case. Support of that view is likely to be difficult. As Klein says “While leftists and other pro-Islamists will undoubtedly cry foul and may go to court in an effort to overturn this executive order as allegedly discriminating against Muslims on religious grounds, President Trump’s action is well within his legal authority.”

Former President Obama put Americans’ lives in danger by his ill-advised immigration and refugee policies. He also released scores of suspected terrorists from Guantanamo Bay despite at least a 30 percent recidivist rate. President Trump, by contrast, is showing that he means what he says in making the protection of the American people his first priority.

Jazz Shaw: So the courts want to fight the President on immigration policy

So things really blew up overnight, eh? There were all sorts of “spontaneous” protests popping up at airports around the nation in response to the new executive action on immigration and refugees. (If you were watching liberal Twitter you saw how “spontaneous” they really were. This was coordinated nationally.) But of more interest are the actions taken by several judges hearing appeals from some of the travelers who were being detained. In response, one judge in New York imposed a stay on portions of the executive order, while another in Boston attempted to block the entire thing. (NBC News)

I have zero doubt that this is going to turn into a mess in the courts. Keep in mind that if you go to the correct areas (such as Boston) you can find a judge to say almost anything, but this will eventually need to be sorted out. That’s going to be an educational experience for plenty of us because many questions regarding immigration policy can be very complicated. We’re dealing with non-citizens in different classifications as well as wrestling with the distinction between deporting people who are in the country versus denying entry to those who are not. And that’s an important point, because non-citizens inside the country, while not having the same level of rights as citizens, still maintain a more powerful position than those on the outside trying to get in. Deporting someone is always much more complicated than simply barring a non-citizen from entering.

William A. Jacobson shows why Most claims about Trump’s visa Executive Order are false or misleading – “You should read the actual EO, because most of the media and leftist pundits either have not or are lying if they have.”

It is possible to criticize the EO and Trump visa/refugee policy without hyperbole and fakery. That opponents feel the need to make false and misleading accusations is a signal that they fear losing the policy argument on its merits.

National security also involves Russia. Evgeny Lebedev takes heart in the Churchill bust episode. Thawing the permafrost with Russia – “There are good reasons to work with Vladimir Putin against a shared threat.”

Whether due to that anachronistic dogma or because their careers depend on a deliberate misreading of the geopolitical runes, America’s political and military classes will try to block any Trump-Putin embrace, citing alleged cyber-interference in the election and occupation of Crimea as twin disqualifiers of an alliance that offers our best hope of crushing Islamic terrorism. They will say Mr. Putin means to invade the Baltics as the next stage of a master plan to recreate the Soviet Union, never mind that his teetering economy is in no shape to absorb their populations.

Although I was born and spent my earliest years in Moscow, I make no claim to special insight. “I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia,” was how Churchill put it in his enigma speech. Nor can this Russian emigre.

But one high priest of realpolitik said this when asked just this week if he agreed with Joe Biden that Mr. Putin’s main aim is to destabilize the West. “No,” replied Henry Kissinger. “We are worried that this is his objective. He is worried that our objective is to undermine him.”

The time has come to end this vicious spin cycle of mutual suspicion. Rebuilding trust won’t be easy. Accommodations would have to be made and sealed at a suitably trumpeted summit or conference. Yalta II, even. Mr. Putin agreeing to respect Ukraine’s borders, the West conceding Russia’s right to Crimea.

About the EO: A number of people are talking about Trump flooding the zone with so many headline grabbing pronouncements. Others range from amazed to giddy to outraged that Trump is doing something no newly elected President before him has done: follow up on campaign promises with alacrity. The Left’s line on all this is that it is hasty action not well thought out and a total mishmash illustrating incompetence and whatnot. Ed Morrissey cites CBS: This week in executive orders … – “President Trump has issued fifteen executive actions, and CBS provides a scorecard.“ This casts doubt on the Left’s line.

To paraphrase Stanley Kubrick, have conservatives and populists stopped worrying and learned to love the EO? Not really, no, but it helps to understand the nuances of executive orders and presidential memoranda. CBS’s Rebecca Shabad makes the distinction:

“Seven days into his first term, Mr. Trump has issued more than a dozen executive actions, which include a government-wide freeze on new and pending regulations, the reinstatement of a policy that bars U.S. funding to health providers abroad that discuss abortion as an option and a call for the construction of a physical wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Most of the actions taken so far are technically presidential memoranda, and four have been executive orders, which have the force of law and must be published in the Federal Register. Historically, presidents have embraced the executive order as a tool to use when there’s a lack of action from Congress.”

Shabad misses one nuance; executive orders have the force of law within the executive branch, not outside of it. To the extent they conflict with existing statutes, they have no force at all. This was the issue with Barack Obama’s executive actions, most of which did not come in the form of EOs.

Trump’s EOs, in comparison [to Obama’s], have so far mainly stuck to exercises of authority within the executive branch’s jurisdiction, and not crossed over into conflicting with statutes.

Paul Mirengoff: An under-reported fact about the Trump presidency – “The first week of Donald Trump’s presidency received wall-to-wall coverage from the mainstream media. His every word was fact-checked, after a fashion.”

But on the whole, the mainstream media seems to be missing or under-playing one significant angle on the nascent Trump administration. The president is keeping his campaign promises.

Personally, I think it’s ridiculous to demand that Mexico pay for a wall designed to advance U.S. interests. I have mixed feelings about coercing a U.S. company not to build a plant outside the U.S. I’m okay with a 90 day suspension of entry for people from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen, but can understand why some find this problematic.

Each of these policies or practices, though, fulfills a campaign promise. President Trump is doing what candidate Trump said he would do.

It turns out that Donald Trump needed to be taken both seriously and literally.

Luboš Motl has two posts worth review this morning. Unreasonable university calls for a civil war against Trump and Trump’s Blitzkrieg against the rogue and fake U.S. government “scientific” tweeters.

At some moment, you could think that the climate hysteria is the most important “value” that the leftist folks really care about. But as the ongoing screaming shows, multiculturalism is ultimately above the climate hysteria. People from universities – including various people I know and sometimes like – are writing petitions, urging their colleagues to fight and resist, and all stuff like that.

The reason is that Trump has fulfilled his campaign promises and suspended the arrival of people from unsafe Muslim countries.

– – –

While the stupid media discusses big questions such as the size of his inauguration crowd and the length of his tie, the new U.S. president is working hard. We’re being assured that virtually all of his campaign promises were meant very seriously.

Thousands of hard left scholars have signed a petition against the suspension of the Syrian refugee program and similar reductions of the immigration from the Muslim world. I’ve spent some five minutes by looking at the list of the signatories and I know about 20-30 of them in person. They’re fine and smart people, please don’t make a mistake about it. They’re just wrong about politics. And it’s also interesting to realize how many people could have been signed but they’re not. I find it clear that the non-signatories are a silent majority.

However, something else is happening in the underground movement, e.g. on Twitter. A bunch of unofficial “resistance or rogue Twitter accounts” of some U.S. government agencies related to the environmental sciences has emerged … It’s not clear who runs these accounts and whether they’re employees of these institutions at all. They don’t have to be. In fact, they don’t have to be Americans at all. In particular, it’s consistent with everything I know that all these accounts are run by William Connolley, the British Green Party apparatchik notoriously responsible for 90% of the alarmist bias in the Wikipedia’s articles related to the climate change.

So enjoy your fake news on fake NASA, EPA, HHS, and other accounts but the rest of us will be pleased that you will regain your status of self-evident crackpots who sleep at the treetops and you won’t be able to influence the fate of the United States of America which you basically could in recent years.

You’d think a Sunday would be a day of rest, a day a bit quieter than the weekdays. Whoops. 2500 words of note from only the first level of the stack. Come to think of it, this is Pro-Bowl day. That’s on ESPN at 5 p.m. PDT. That game has a reputation for being watered down and not serious football. Maybe that’s the antidote? 

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