Archive for politics

Pandemic models versus ground truth and reason

Aynsley Kellow: Logic, the first casualty – “In the US Donald Trump is being excoriated for daring to consider the costs by those who consider risk management to be solely a matter for natural scientists, and to be decided without regard to cost. He is one of the few leaders (if not the only one) who is including some consideration of the human and economic costs of the responses dictated by the medical experts who have no expertise in risk management as it should be practiced.

John Merline: COVID-19 Is Killing The Case For Socialized Medicine – “we actually have a way to compare how various countries have been dealing with the coronavirus. We can compare death rates from the virus, and deaths as a share of total population and contagion rates.” … “The mantra among socialized medicine advocates is that the U.S. spends more for health care but delivers lower quality than other industrialized nations. The experience with the coronavirus is showing that the last thing we should do is import health care systems from abroad.

John Hinderaker: Covid-19 Deaths So Far: Where Is The Crisis? – “I have updated this chart a number of times, based on data from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control, and will continue to do so. It shows, for one thing, how far COVID-19 has to go before it equals the average seasonal flu mortality,”

Scott Johnson: Deborah Birx: About those models – “the predictions of the model don’t match the reality on the ground in China, South Korea or Italy.” Just like the climate models?

Monica Showalter: A stupid little political stunt to Get Trump goes awry in Nevada – “Steve Sisolak, the leftist governor of Nevada, decided to play doctor by banning the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine” … “It’s ironic, because Sisolak couldn’t do anything better to incentivize hoarding than to initiate bans and conditions and prohibitions.”

“It’s nothing but Democrat administrative-state mentality at work here — first, the slap at Trump, and second, the move to crush the wreckers and hoarders — all coming at a time when the private sector is stepping up production of necessary things in a pandemic, the innovators are going gangbusters with new solutions, doctors are experimenting in uncertainty as never before and the regulators in Washington are getting out of the way in a bid to hasten solutions.

What Nevada needs, he seems to be saying, is more bureaucrats, more enforcers, and more regulations, because there’s just too much freedom and in a pandemic, people are escaping “all proper control.” He’s moving against the Zeitgeist, led by President Trump. Expect a lot more self-justification and backtracking from him, he’s not making himself popular.

neo: The flexible opinions of the left – “Seems that within just a few years’ time, leftists have completely reversed their position on saving money vs. maximum preservation of the elderly’s lives.

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Opportunity or solution? What’s the focus?

Monica Showalter: Journey to Surrealville: What’s really fueling Pelosi’s shutdown of America’s relief package? – “As Roger Simon noted in his excellent piece, they’re using a pandemic for political aims, suggesting they have no limits on how far they’ll go to use any crisis for political gains. They’d do the same in a nuclear attack, he points out, because they are that far gone

“Not surprisingly, Twitter hashtags such as #PelosiHatesAmericans and #DemocratsAreDestroyingAmerica are leading trends on Twitter. It’s a sign that this is going to leave a mark on Democrats and isn’t going down well. … American workers have seen $1,200 checks dangled in front of them…and are now seeing them pulled away from them like Lucy’s football.

Not a biggie to Nancy Pelosi, who, after all, has called thousand-dollar checks to workers “crumbs.”

This brings us to the real question here, which is, what are they thinking? How could they treat lifeline aid during a massive crisis that has shut down the economy of the entire country as such a political football? How could they betray the blue-state governors whom President Trump is working so well with — California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom, New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and Washington’s Gov. Jay Inslee — three lefti-est of lefties — who have nothing but praise these days for President Trump? How could they betray Democratic moneybags financing sources such as Google and Facebook and even Walmart, which have done so much good as their part of the collective effort?

A look at Christine Pelosi’s Twitter feed offers some clues … More important, take a look at that Moscow Mitch designator — something McConnell reportedly does not like, so she uses it. There’s no bipartisan spirit there to start, not even any hope of it with this kind of talk, just a desire for political slugfesting. More important, the Moscow Mitch thing is a reference to the Democrats’ continuous hobbyhorse: finding some way to overturn the results of the 2016 election. This is pure partisanship at its most disgusting, business as usual for the rabid and embittered Democrats.

It’s a journey into the surreal. Yet it’s valuable to know what talking points they are pushing, given the pliance of the mainstream media and groups such as JournoList which repeat talking points in unison. This is the freak show coming at us, and it’s beyond disgusting.

Scott Johnson: Dems gotta Dem, Pelosi style – “The absurdly irrelevant provisions that Dems seek to incorporate to further the progressive takeover of the United States are meant to remain a deep secret. The current crisis — it’s not meant to go to waste, in the usual reckoning of the thought leaders of the Democratic Party.

Paul Mirengoff: Public health and economic prosperity – “On the public health side of the equation, I don’t think anyone has come up with a reliable model for forecasting the fatalities that would result from various levels of social isolation and business cessation. Similarly, on the economic side, I’m not aware of any reliable model that forecasts the amount of economic damage that would result from various levels and duration of business cessation, or that tells us how long recovery would take.

Lubos Motl: Who was Feynman’s Mr Young and what was his rat paper?When I watched this irrational behavior, the mindless promotion of “what must be done to fix the epidemics”, I couldn’t forget about the wonderful 1974 Richard Feynman’s Caltech commencement speech that is included as Cargo Cult Science,”

“a chapter in his popular book Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman. In that speech, Feynman mentioned some medieval superstitions and charlatans. How could people believe those gurus when it was rather clear that nothing really worked? However, Feynman continued, it’s a silly question because people are still behaving equally stupidly in the modern era.

Jack Cashill: Reflections on a Century of Junk Science – “In my 2009 book, Hoodwinked: How Intellectual Hucksters Have Hijacked American Culture, I documented a century’s worth of scientific misinformation, disinformation, half-truths, and lies disseminated almost inevitably to advance a progressive agenda.

“The numbers stunned me. Not following the news closely, I presumed, based on the hysteria in the air, that the numbers had to be at least ten times that high both nationally and internationally.

285? According to the Centers for Disease Control 185 Americans died of drug overdoses every day in 2018. According to the CDC, 315 people died of the flu every day during the six-month 2018-2019 flu season. And if protecting life is the goal, we could save about 400 young lives every work hour by shutting down America’s abortion clinics.

No sooner did I get home with my pizza than the news broke that the bi-state metro Kansas City would be subject to a stay-at-home order effective Tuesday morning. “After 30 days,” the TV News station reported matter-of-factly, “the jurisdictions will consider whether to extend the order.” That is how easy it is in 2020 America to suspend the U.S. Constitution and wreck the economy.

I would feel better about the order and my fellow citizens if some horrible plague were ravaging the metro. That is not exactly the case. As of Saturday night, there had been a total of four Covid-19 deaths in all of Kansas and Missouri, only one of which was in the KC metro area, a “man in his 70s with underlying health conditions.”

The science establishment was just warming up. In the decades ahead, they would serve up global cooling, nuclear winter, the alar scare, second-hand smoke, global warming, climate change, and a host of other contrived doomsday scenarios. When the predicted doom failed to materialize, the prophets of doom shifted the date of doom forward and bought more beachfront property.

Never before, though, has a mania wreaked so much havoc so quickly as the Covid-19 scare. Many of the predictions are as incredible as those for heterosexual aids, and even if accurate, they do not justify the assault on our economy and our very freedoms.

Someone please warn the president about the scientists in his midst.

Looks like Dr. Fauci may be a bit over the edge in pushing medicine without due consideration for other social issues like the economy or individual responsibility. His role is being re-assed’ and the media is jumping all over that to support its anti-Trump narrative and agenda. This suggests a Fake News Alert may be in  order.

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perspective and reason MIA?

Andrea Widburg: The Democrats are trying to create another “fine people” hoax against Trump – “We all know that Democrats, in the media and politics, lie about Trump. The most famous is the assertion that President Trump called white supremacists “fine people.” … “If you’re taking the mainstream media and the Democrat Party at face value, you are almost invariably misinformed.”

Tommaso Ebhardt et al: 99% of Those Who Died From Virus Had Other Illness, Italy Says – “After deaths from the virus reached more than 2,500, with a 150% increase in the past week, health authorities have been combing through data to provide clues to help combat the spread of the disease.

Alex Berezow: Coronavirus: U.S. Is Not The Next Italy – “There are two false narratives emerging on social media that need to be addressed. The first is that the virus is a hoax. The second is that the U.S. is “the next Italy.” Both are wrong.” Whoops … Berezow blew it with a ‘both sides do it’ fallacy on his first assertion. He swallows a misdirection by the Left for his ‘hoax’ assertion and, in doing that, tends to illustrate and compound the problem rather then relieve it. He misses the point that his second assertion, and the call for his column, is a direct result of the first.

Anna L. Stark: A little perspective helps – “What’s worse? The rapid spread of a novel virus which originated in China or the media hysteria created and broadcast around the world?

“If it was the intent of the American media to create a state of fear and panic, they’ve succeeded brilliantly. The dissemination of information pertinent to the virus has morphed into a murky river of rumors, innuendo, outright lies and blather proffered by pundits who are neither doctors nor experts on much of anything other than opinionating.

Whether or not the coronavirus originated in a Wuhan province wet market, possibly transmitted to human hosts via the consumption of infected animals or accidently leaked from a Chinese infectious disease research facility may never be determined. The Chinese government won’t be forthcoming. Coronavirus won’t be the last pandemic in human history, but the number of fatalities will be greatly diminished by 21st century medical technology, research, and vaccines. It’s also worth mentioning that in comparison, deaths in the United States due to influenza has already topped 20,000 for the 2019-2020 flu season and for which there has been no media hype, nor panic.

Ed Driscoll: The Manchurian Media – “I’m pretty sure that John Frankenheimer didn’t intend for The Manchurian Candidate to be a how-to guide. But if the media were paid Chinese agents, could they do more to harm this country than they’re already doing now?

Victor Davis Hanson: America In a New Upside-Down World – “Who can game the election-year politics of these chaotic times, especially the more macabre calculations of the electoral beneficiaries of the media-driven hysteria over the COVID-19?”

Scott Johnson: Notes on the pandemic – “As we continue to seek out noteworthy information and analysis, contrarian or otherwise, on the COVID-19 pandemic, I want only to recommend the items below to your attention.” … Ionaddis on “making decisions without reliable data”; Libsker “Humanity will survive”; Stern on vaccine progress; others

Luboš Motl: Can freedom, prosperity return at all? – “The Covid-19 hysteria has shown us that many people – including many of those who pretended something else – actually hate the civilization as it existed up to 2019, with some freedom, technological achievements, culture, sports, human contacts, religious events, and other things. In fact, many people – including TRF commenters – literally love the idea to spend their lives in a cage.

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Hysteria is no replacement for facts

Where does the false history and cultural rot lead? Columbus did it!This is another case where a racial subgroup of the population is distinguished by unpleasant statistics and trying to shift blame. That results in greater social discord as problems are not addressed and solutions are distanced from reality.

“Douglas is an indigenous American artist, activist and registered member of the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe. For her, the dance is more than a performance. She created it to process her experience of sexual abuse as well as the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women (MMIW), which she says began with European colonization and has more recently been gaining attention through social media campaigns and hashtags such as #MMIW and #NoMoreStolenSisters.

Tabitha Mueller et al: Nevada officials, native community members grapple with high rate of missing and murdered indigenous women – “Legislation and other governing bodies have allocated more resources toward addressing MMIW, but those efforts are hampered by incomplete data and a tangled web of jurisdictions between federal, state and tribal law enforcement and prosecuting authorities.”

Terry Jones: Time To End Coronavirus Hysteria And Focus On Saving Some Lives – “is the hysteria warranted? What do we really know about this virus?” What we do know at this moment doesn’t warrant the hyperbole. 560,000 hospitalizations last year from the flu and there is uber-angst about a pandemic overloading the medical system with a current total, after three months, sick census of only 20% of that? For example of the FUD mongering see “No State Is Prepared” – Mapping Where Hospitals Will Run Out Of Beds First If Virus Cases Spike – “A USA Today analysis of American Hospital Association (AHA) hospital bed data shows that if confirmed Covid-19 cases and deaths follow similar growth curves as in China, Italy, and Iran, there could be six patients for every existing hospital bed.” What’s wrong with this picture?

More of where this came from by Tyler Durden: A 70-Year War On “Propaganda” Built By The CIA – “The CIA really does not have the best track record for their role in “managing” foreign wars and counter-insurgency activities. In fact, they have been caught rather red handed in fueling such crisis situations. And these are the people who are deciding what information is fit for the American public, and western public in general, and what is not fit for their ears.” Therefore the ‘cold war’ is all America’s fault and the USSR is the model of truth and justice in its methods of keeping the public informed.

Tyler Durden: The S**t Might Actually Be Hitting The Fan But Somehow It Doesn’t Feel Real – “I’m sharing this because I bet a lot of people are feeling the same way. Second-guessing themselves. Doubting themselves. Feeling like they aren’t good preppers. You aren’t alone and I’ll bet a whole lot of folks who won’t admit it feel this way too.” i.e. I am feeding the panic to comfort myself with ‘vox populi’ logical fallacies.

“We don’t believe it because we don’t want to believe it. We never actually wanted to be right when we stockpiled and learned skills and bought more supplies that we actually had room to house.

But the thing that puts us ahead in this situation is that we prepared anyway. We learned anyway. And when we see the more obvious signs of a societal breakdown we will be able to accept it a lot faster than those who never even considered it.

Rational people don’t believe it because the numbers aren’t there and the FUD Mongerers, like Durden today, are cherry picking worst case scenarios and using logical fallacies for their views. Rational people are stepping all over themselves to explain that this isn’t a binary issue (calling out another common logical fallacy),that prudence isn’t a chicken little thing, and that the panic and hysteria are destructive rather than constructive.

Katherine Rodriguez: Judge Cites Coronavirus as Reason for Blocking Trump Admin Food Stamp Work Requirements – “a preliminary injunction blocking the recent Trump administration rule on food stamps, which the USDA estimates would have reduced federal spending by $7.9 billion over five years and gradually weaned 755,000 people off the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the government program in charge of food stamps.” The Left worries about Trump being a dictator, facist, etc. but cannot find where he doesn’t follow the law. Here’s a judge using a current social panic to dictate national policy rather than the law. Hysteria should be no replacement for facts but here it is and it does support Durden’s broader fear about societal breakdown but from the judiciary and not the executive.

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The art of the smear

Dov Fischer: The Real Threat to Our Democracy During Coronavirus – “Pelosi, Schiff & Co. were too busy dragging the country through impeachment to pay attention to ominous developments in Asia.”

“From the moment that President Trump was elected, we have been battered by the percussion of a steady drumbeat amplifying the repeated mantra that “Donald Trump is a threat to our democracy.” We hear all the lies over and over:

But Trump is a Constitutionalist, and he also happens to play by rules.

Rarely — if ever — before has a President’s fealty to the Constitution been as sorely tested as Donald Trump has encountered.

If there ever was a real threat to our democracy in today’s rancid political climate, it emanates from Pelosi, Schumer, and the Democrats who follow them like lemmings.

The CDC further announced at that time that the genome had been posted on the NIH genetic sequence database. It is a matter of public record that the Democrats, the Washington Post, the New York Times, NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, CNN, and MSNBC all were obsessed at the time with the nonsensical still-born Pelosi impeachment, doing all they could to focus public attention on that foolishness in their never-ending effort to take down Trump, while the gigantic story under their noses — the emerging coronavirus plague — went virtually unreported.

These endless internecine efforts by Democrats, aimed not at advancing the public’s needs or the common weal but solely at gumming up the machinery of government and sabotaging the Trump Administration, are proving to be the single greatest threat today to our democracy.

neo: This video shows what the MSM is about – “I realized that they could deny it and that they would deny it. They’d say that the news people involved used the phrase “Wuhan coronavirus” or “Chinese coronavirus” innocently and descriptively, but when Trump used the same words it meant something entirely different and was a racist dog whistle because racism engulfs his heart and mind. – I can’t watch the video without becoming furious and yet being impressed by what it reveals so succinctly about the MSM members involved: their poisonous hypocrisy and treacherous mendacity, delivered with such sober serious faces:

Vivek Saxena: Ben Rhodes slapped with reality check when he longs for Obama leadership under coronavirus outbreak – “Repeatedly disgraced former Obama administration national security adviser Ben Rhodes stepped in it mightily Wednesday by daring to suggest without evidence that the coronavirus outbreak would have been handled better under his former boss.” … “Why? Because during the former president’s eight year veritable reign of terror, millions of Americans were infected by and at least 12,500 died from the swine flu.

Willis Eschenbach: The Math Of Epidemics – “Now, this particular “s-shaped” curve is called a “Gompertz Curve”. It is a curious curve, in that it is not symmetrical. It goes up faster than it levels off.” The curve fits China and Korea data. What does it suggest about virus deaths elsewhere?

Greg Mankiw asserts that there will be a recession and demands that “President Trump should shut-the-hell-up” because he is an ignorant idiot. Hubris is dripping and that is, perhaps, more of the problem that is facing the issue than what the government is doing under the President’s leadership.

David Harsanyi: Joe Biden owes Clarence Thomas an apology — and so does the entire left – “For contemporary Democrats, the court exists primarily to safeguard the only constitutional “right” that really matters to them anymore: abortion.” … “the patriarchy must unilaterally surrender to the poetic truth, rather than to the evidence

“If Biden should apologize to anyone, it’s Clarence Thomas, or maybe the American people, for allowing judicial confirmation hearings to be turned into partisan-fueled character assassinations, weaponized to destroy the legitimacy of the Supreme Court — all in the service of nothing more noble than the killing of the unborn.

So many smears, so little time …

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Virulent social panic

Terry Jones: Time To End Coronavirus Hysteria And Focus On Saving Some Lives – “These are people who would rather get rid of Trump than save your life. Please remember that.

John Merline: A Tale Of Two Pandemics: Media Downplayed Swine Flu Outbreak Under Obama – “When the WHO declared the swine flu “unstoppable” on June 11, 2009, CNN didn’t even lead with that story on its homepage. It was in a pile of links on the side of the page.

Douglas MacKinnon: The Media-Induced Coronavirus Panic Is Worse Than The Disease – “In addition to the massive financial loss to our nation and the world is the haunting psychological trauma inflicted on untold millions now terrorized by the prospect of getting the virus.”

Roger Kimball: COVID-19 is terrifying — as a weapon of political propaganda – “The Wuhan Panic is a textbook case of the Rahm Emanuel principle that you never want a good crisis to go to waste.”

Matt Margolis: Joe Biden Blasts Trump’s Coronavirus Response, Then Plagiarizes Trump’s Plan – “Hey, guess what happened in January while Democrats were all focused on impeachment? The Trump administration fast-tracked the development of a vaccine with the goal of clinical trials to begin within months.” … “Plagiarism is hardly a new thing for Joe Biden, but this example truly takes the cake.

Steven Hayward: The Great Toilet Paper Pandemic of 2020 (And TWiP Preview) – “This shows how crazy ideas (like socialism) can be more contagious than a virus. Talk about epidemiology: how does the idea that you need to hoard toilet paper get started and spread? How, exactly, does a big supply of toilet paper help you ward off a virus? Has circulation of the New York Times fallen so low that you feel compelled to stock up on toilet paper?

neo: It literally represents an exponential existential threat – “Have you noticed that these three words – “literally,” “exponential,” and “existential”- have become more popular, while at the same time they’ve nearly lost their original more narrow meanings and have come to be used as mere intensifiers?

Peter Skurkiss: The silver lining in the Wuhan Virus – “The Wuhan Virus is causing major disruptions in the U.S., from the stock market to the economy to social gatherings of all sorts. The virus itself is still not nearly up to the disease standards of the common flu or swine flu, even though the media hype of it has been off the charts.”

Kimberley Strassel: Adam Schiff’s surveillance state – “Mr. Carr doesn’t dispute that Congress may, “in at least some circumstances,” have the legal authority to obtain call records under the Communications Act. The offense, he writes, was denying his targets the right to fight the subpoenas:” … “This history is what made Mr. Schiff’s subpoenas so devious and abusive. He issued them secretly. He didn’t notify his targets, and Republican committee members were barred from telling the public what they knew about the subpoenas.

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Skepticism runs deep

Daryl McCann: The Trump Doctrine and the Return of Pax Americana – “What informs Donald Trump’s decision-making, according to most narratives, is nothing more than an incongruous compendium of braggadocio, narcissism, opportunism and impulsiveness.”

“to talk earnestly of a Trump Doctrine is to suggest a degree of lucidity in Donald Trump’s actions where none exists. As a consequence, the targeted killing on January 3 of Qasem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Quds Forces, foreign legion division of Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, can make no strategic sense in the eyes of the experts, though it could—and still might—trigger general war in the region. Maybe it is the anti-Trump narrative that lacks credibility.

Scepticism about President Trump’s judgment in foreign affairs runs very deep.

If even those close to him—or, at least, those who were close to him—have no confidence in President Trump, then why should anybody else make the case for a cogent Trump Doctrine? Haley’s disclosure gives credence to this sentiment, expressed in the aftermath of the Qasem Soleimani killing by the reliably anti-Trump journalist Joel McNally: “The most dangerous day of his presidency is always tomorrow.”

The fact remains that the Third World War has not erupted on the provocateur-in-chief’s watch.

Trump’s America First framework borrows from the best of the two preceding foreign policy doctrines and omits many of their delusions.

One of the secrets of the Trump Doctrine is that it eschews the pie-in-the-sky “new world order” fantasies of both the Bush Dynasty and the Obama Doctrine. The world is what it is.

Jacob Solis et al: Like the coronavirus itself, much remains unknown about its effect on health care system, tourism sector – “no one knows how widespread the coronavirus will emerge in Nevada or how long it will last, making public health and economic predictions difficult, if not, impossible.

“My biggest concern is hospitals really both north and south that are already operating at capacity,” said Packham, who also chairs the Patient Protection Commission. “They already have disruption with just seasonal influenza, much less trying to think about how they’re going to deal with or isolate patients that have tested positive and so forth in their current operations.”

“I think I’ve had a flu-like illness once in the last three to five years and all I do is see sick patients,” Carrison added. “I’m certainly not superman.”

The proceed-as-normal mindset appears to be prevailing in the sports world as well — at least for now.

Then there’s ZeroHedge: All Hospital Beds In The US Will Be Filled With Patients ‘By About May 8th’ Due To Coronavirus: AnalysisHow To Avoid Getting Infected By The Coronavirus‘Grand Princess’ Passenger Who Died Of Covid-19 Probably Caught The Virus In California, Carnival SaysElon Musk Says Panic About Coronavirus, Which Has Killed Over 3,400, Is “Dumb”Forget Covid-19, San Diego Faces Critical Quake Danger From Long-Inactive FaultlineAmtrak Suspends Some Non-Stop Acela Service Due To Virus“It’s Like Scenes From A Mad Max Movie” – Americans Continue Epic Run On Costco“We Are In An Adverse Feedback Loop”: How To Track The Coronavirus Hit To US Consumer Spending

Remember anything like this with H1N1? Swine Flu? Legionaire’s Disease? 

Leslie Eastman: Maybe it’s time to dial back the coronavirus drama – “Let’s begin by starting with some perspective. The current flu season has hit 32 million Americans, resulting in 18,000 deaths, and the vaccine that was selected for the flu season was limited in its effectiveness. Yet, we are not doing a daily flu death countdown.

“The press is currently ginning up fear about the lack test kits. However, Pence noted that all the state labs that had requested test kits have received them. And because of the changes in the regulations implemented by the Trump administration last week, the state labs can actually run the tests.

Scott Johnson: Walton’s Whack – “The Journal editorial concludes with the understated observation Judge Walton’s “decision to add his political broadside [to his opinion] raises more questions about the judge than about the Attorney General.” More broadly, however, Judge Walton’s opinions seems to me yet another episode in the sorry saga of Trumplaw.”

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Harsh Words and Big Lies

John O’Sullivan: When the Left Lies, Conservatives Plead Guilty – “It controls all the cultural institutions, and it intends to use that power to determine what words mean, what political ideas will be allowed in public debate, and what people it is respectable to associate with.

R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.: Tired of Being Mocked? – “America has broken down into two different countries. One lectures us, mocks us, and lies to us. It is about to experience four more years of us.

Bruce Thornton: Progressive Big Lies – “Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.”

“This penchant for accepting lies as truth, however, has warped the minds of Leftists both hard and soft ever since New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty lied about Stalin’s engineered famines in the 1930s. They have accepted the Marxist, as in Groucho, stance “Who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?”

Worse yet, today’s progressives believe lies to be true despite their egregious falsehood.

These lies and their dangers have been worsened over the last few decades by the degeneration of education from grammar school to university.

we might see for ourselves what George Orwell famously prophesied in 1984 as the consequences of the big lie:

The progressive corruption of history demonstrates their control of the past. Their dangerous policies currently control much of the present. If they triumph in November, we all may have to experience the grim wages of their control of the future.

George Parry: Chuck Schumer, Wise Guy – “Yet his threats against Supreme Court justices are no laughing matter.”

John Sexton: Trump: Schumer Should ‘Pay A Severe Price’ For Threatening Supreme Court Justices – “Ed wrote about Schumer’s threats earlier today and Allahpundit wrote about Schumer’s follow up statement claiming he was being misconstrued (or something)” – What is missing is the comparison and contrast between Schumer’s and Trump’s comments directed at SCOTUS. One is a threat, the other is criticism. Conflating the two is deceit. Neo takes note of this: “There is no equivalence between a threat and a criticism. And trying to argue for a certain policy does not excuse making a threat.

“What Schumer said earlier today was different. Supreme Court Justices aren’t elected; they are appointed for life. They won’t face the voters ever. So saying “you don’t know what will hit you” clearly can’t be a reference to the Justices being surprised at their comeuppance in the next election. In fact, the only way Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh will leave the Court is if they a) resign or b) die. Obviously it’s more than a bit problematic to suggest either of those two things will be made to happen if they vote the wrong way on an abortion case.

Karen Townsend: “Out of line”: GOP chair responds as Donna Brazile doubles down – “harsh words were in response to Ronna McDaniel’s completely accurate description of 2016’s Democrat primary process.” Brazile is a Fox News employee.

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Making things up when the need for accuracy is most important

Alex Berezow: Cell Phones, Cancer, And Coronavirus: Tucker Carlson Spreads Conspiracy Theories – “Tucker Carlson doesn’t know much about science, technology, or public health, but he definitely has an opinion about them. And he knows a conspiracy when he sees one.

“There are several other basic points to consider: (1) If China did accidentally release a virus to use as a bioweapon, it would probably be capable of killing more than 2% of those it infected. (2) Why create a bioweapon that is essentially a really bad cold when there are so many “better” options (e.g., plague or smallpox)? (3) The genome of the virus was sequenced and released to the public, which would be a very strange thing to do if the virus was actually a weapon. Why would the Chinese government hand over the recipe?

Tucker certainly can opine and espouse conspiracy theories, but to do so from such a public platform is somewhat reckless. He would be more persuasive if his speculation was grounded in scientific facts.

Additionally, nonsense has consequences. The Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reports that the conspiracy theories are hurting the Wuhan lab’s ability to research the new coronavirus.

Back in October, Tucker ran a segment about evidence for UFOs. Maybe they brought the coronavirus?

Kristyn Leonard: Program aims to raise awareness about cybersecurity, misinformation risks to elections – “This narrative was a result of both very real issues in Iowa and a rampant spread of misinformation on the internet that party leaders were unable to control. Conspiracy theories flourished.” … “While doomsday predictions about the Nevada caucus largely failed to materialize, Americans’ faith in democracy has dwindled amid perceptions that elections are insecure and the speed at which falsehoods can spread over social media.” Rather typically,they take a swipe at the President by mischaracterizing his statements but the bias is rather mild. But then the Russian Collusion fake axiom creeps in, too.

“In this volatile climate, the University of Southern California has introduced their Election Cybersecurity Initiative, a program that teaches individuals who work on elections and campaigns how to secure their devices and accounts, combat misinformation, and prepare for and address a crisis in an effort to instill a “culture of cybersecurity” and restore faith in democracy.

The program offers common sense advice about password security and the dangers of phishing, presented by Justin Griffin, the program’s managing director. It’s advice everyone’s heard before

People don’t necessarily need to gain access to a campaign staffer or candidate’s device to digitally endanger the security and integrity of an election or campaign. Another portion of the program addressed the rampant issue of misinformation and disinformation on the internet.

The program emphasizes an important difference between the two. While misinformation refers to inaccurate information that may have been shared in error, disinformation is, specifically, inaccurate information that is shared deliberately, when the propagator is aware that the information is false.

The topic of election interference from Russia came up multiple times during the one-day conference.

It’s nice to see people talking but the first thing they need to do is to look in the mirror and face their own culpability. Look, for instance at how many stories are also at The Nevada Independent about the coronavirus in a FUD mongering vein alongside this election scare story …

consider “This Is Serious” – Virus Hunter Who Discovered Ebola Discusses ‘Worst-Case Scenario’ For Coronavirus – from one who claims “I’m not the scaremongering type…” This might have more weight if properly compared to the annual flue statistics where there are millions sick instead of tens and tens of thousands of fatalities instead of none (U.S. statistics to date, not worldwide). The claim is qualified: “But I think this is serious in the sense that we can’t afford not to consider it as a serious threat.” Any communicable disease warrants this sort of concern until knowledge and precautions can be obtained to indicate otherwise. FUD mongering is competing with prudence.

Joel B. Pollak: New England Journal of Medicine: Coronavirus Could Be No Worse than Flu – “Citing an analysis of the available data from the outbreak in China, the authors note that there have been zero cases among children younger than 15; and that the fatality rate is 2% at most, and could be “considerably less than 1%.

“The vast majority of patients recover, and among those who are hospitalized, the median stay thus far is 12 days.

Coronavirus, they note, does spread easily, and the average infected person has infected two other people. That means the U.S. should expect the illness to gain a “foothold.” But they note travel restrictions on China (imposed by President Donald Trump over the objections of some critics) “may have helped slow the spread of the virus.”

John Hinderaker: Is Coronavirus a Hoax? – “Democratic Party media are claiming that last night in South Carolina, President Trump said that the coronavirus epidemic is a hoax.” … “Did Trump actually say the corona virus is a hoax? Of course not. The claim is idiotic. If the president thought the virus is a hoax, why did he do a press conference on it last week, along with various medical personnel? And why did he ban travel to China at the beginning of the outbreak?” … “The hoax, obviously, is the Democrats’ unfounded criticism of the Trump administration. Never in American history have we seen such nakedly dishonest criticism of anyone in public life.

Jeff Stier and Henry I. Miller: Nothing’s ‘Impossible’ When It Comes To Innovation – “The only side effects from the Impossible Burger are headaches, heartburn, and panic attacks in the self-designated food elite who demand that we eat “naturally” to protect the planet.

“Improvements in agriculture are typically continual and incremental, but cumulatively they can make a big difference, especially to those at the bottom of the food chain – subsistence farmers. But there are always naysayers, such as the activists who reject farming with state-of-the-art pesticides and crops developed with the most precise and predictable genetic techniques. Why would anyone do that? Simple – they are mouthpieces for the purveyors of inferior, overpriced competing organic products, which are made with primitive practices that are wasteful of water and arable farmland.

Truly disruptive innovation is not only rare, but as Impossible Foods is learning, bringing game-changing products to market requires overcoming resistance from entrenched interests that pretend to represent the public interest.

Making things up is easy. Dealing with reality can be difficult,

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Projection, Propaganda, driven ideologues flailing

Robert Kraychik: Tom Cotton: Sonia Sotomayor Falsely Accused GOP-Appointed Justices of Doing What Democrat-Appointed Judges Do – “I’ve read [Sonia Sotomayor’s] dissent, and this is a classic example of the president’s critics and opponents projecting onto him exactly what they and the other critics are doing.”

Ed Morrissey: 70 Former Senators: Form A “Bipartisan Caucus” To Return The Senate To Its Constitutional Vision – “Right idea, wrong solution. Or, better yet, right idea and no solution.

“It’s both craven and hypocritical to demand a return to the framers’ vision of the upper chamber while refusing to address how the 17th Amendment destroyed it. Unfortunately, that’s par for the course in Washington too, just as is the futility of bipartisan gangs, and the tiresomeness of occasional calls for reform from those getting their own ox gored at the moment.

Getting a lot of these ‘voice of many experts’ logical fallacy based propaganda efforts substituting for reasoned arguments these days … will it register? Will the voter be suckered?

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Schizophrenia trying to accommodate conflicting rationalizations

Thomas McArdle: The Democrats’ Strategy Against The Trump Economy? Schizophrenia – “There are two tacks from which to choose in confronting this politically. Democrats can argue that our prosperity is grossly exaggerated. Or they can claim they deserve the credit for the Trump economy.”

“Which of these strategies, both decidedly dubious in their chances of success, have the Democrats picked?

Both.

It’s quite remarkable that Obama is brandishing his so-called Recovery Act today, over a decade after he signed it. That’s because two and a half years after its enactment it was so clear to him and everyone else that it was a failure – a stimulus that wasn’t stimulating – he requested an emergency address before a Joint Session of Congress in September, 2011 to call for action. Democrats were in a state of panic because of how obvious it was that their stewardship of the economy was failing.

Democrats are going to have to decide which side of their split personality they think gives them any chance of ousting President Trump in November. Unfortunately for them, as we’ve seen, both Clyburn’s claims that the jobs boom is a slave economy, and Obama’s assertion that the policies he admitted were failing two and a half years after their implementation are now succeeding under Trump, are equally absurd.

Theme of the day starts with Susan Jones: Day After Dem Debate, Headlines Warn, ‘Russia Is Meddling to Re-elect Trump’ – “Here we go again with Russian meddling.”

Jim Hoft: Here We Go… Fake News Media Says Putin Is Looking to Help Trump Win in 2020 – “Their media had only one thing to do — launch a new Russia conspiracy.”

Sister Toldjah: Donna Brazile Gets Reminded of Some Inconvenient 2016 History After Saying Trump Will ‘Cheat’ in 2020 – “Though predictable, one of the most frustrating things about how Democrats have behaved since 2016 is their penchant for undermining election results simply because they don’t like the outcome.”

Trent Baker: John Kerry: Trump’s logan act accusation a ‘presidential lie’ – “In a tweet earlier in the day, Trump said the two “grossly violated the Logan Act,” noting there would be “very serious ramifications” if it had been done by Republicans.” interesting calling this a lie after the meeting with the Iranians. Then Kerry went after a duly appointed representative along with rationalizations and character assassination. Loaded labels and diversion do not an argument make.

“If [Trump] knew anything about the law, he’d know I didn’t negotiate with anybody. I did what every senator and secretaries of state in history have done, which is continue to go to conferences abroad or have meetings in order to be well-informed. We engaged in no negotiation.”

Ben Weingarten: Why Richard Grenell As Director Of National Intelligence Is A Loss For The Deep State – “Richard Grenell has doggedly pursued the president’s agenda in the face of unrelenting defiance from the European Union’s most consequential power.”

“President Donald Trump’s pick of U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell for acting director of national intelligence (DNI) is an inspired one of great symbolic and substantive significance.

In staffing another crucial position in the executive branch with someone who genuinely shares his worldview, instincts, and tenacity, President Trump is signaling to the Trump-haters of the administrative state, and its Deep State apotheosis, that those who reject or actively seek to undermine his America First agenda will no longer be welcome in meaningful positions.

The level of hatred is commensurate with the merit of the pick. It is a feather in Grenell’s cap, and only further validates the wisdom of the president’s decision.

J.B. Shurk: How Trump Made the Federal Courts Blink – “rather than cowering in intimidation, President Trump took the opportunity of an “emergency meeting” of the federal judges to publicly ask that they look into the well documented FISA Court fraud and the Judiciary’s role in perpetrating the greatest political scandal in our nation’s history

“The judges have postponed their planned “emergency meeting” indefinitely. Like most things the president says that cause alarm for the D.C. establishment, it is not the recklessness of his words, but their truthfulness that rattles them, and the more truth he slings their way, the more rattled they become. The judges realized they were about to make a consequential mistake by taking on directly the one person in the country not afraid to put the Judicial Branch in its place.

Curses, like chickens, come home to roost. When federal judges decided long ago to become lawmakers with lifetime tenure, rather than impartial adjudicators adhering to the Constitution, they cursed themselves. This country’s first act was to expel the most powerful king in the world. When the federal courts chose to become kings, they daringly did so without a navy. Hiding behind the sanctity of priestly robes was going to protect them for only so long; eventually, Americans would realize that tyranny with a gavel is not at all different from tyranny with a crown.

With President Trump unafraid of standing up to a coequal branch of the federal government, the Judiciary may finally receive the comeuppance it deserves. One thing is certain: if he is ever to receive justice of any kind, President Trump must first take on the justice system.

Justice transparency and awareness.

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Shut up! … and pushback

Alex Berezow, PhD: Editor At Journal ‘Science’ Doubles Down On Double Standard – “The scientific publishing industry is thoroughly dishonest and corrupt, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the journal Science are now also a part of the problem. Here’s a disturbing case in point.”

Peter O’Brien: The Further Fictions of ‘Dark Emu’ – “my quarrel with Dark Emu is not a disagreement with Pascoe’s interpretation of history. It is with his shameless distortion of facts and sources.

“If Aborigines were essentially sedentary agriculturalists, as Pascoe claims, Dark Emu provides scant evidence of this. The four main elements of agriculture would be tilling or preparing the soil, planting or sowing seeds, tending the crop and harvesting it. Pascoe provides ample evidence of Aborigines harvesting various foodstuffs– which is, of course, a facet of hunter-gatherer societies. He provides no reliable examples of explorers – from whose journals he claims to have gathered his evidence – observing the activities of tilling of soil, sowing of seed or tending crops.

Dark Emu is propaganda. It is not history and it should never be permitted to enter our educational institutions under that or any other guise.

Jonathan Turley: The Death Of Free Speech: Zuckerberg Asks Governments For Instructions On “What Discourse Should Be Allowed” – “The problem is that his comments were received as accepting that government will now dictate the range of free speech. What is missing is the bright line rule long maintained by the free speech community.” … “he is accepting the fluid concept of “balanced” regulations that has always preceded expanding speech codes and criminalization.

Andrea Widburg: Trump makes the 62nd Daytona 500 something special as media heads explode – “For leftists, though, Trump’s mere existence is a political affront:” … “People pushed back, reminding the Leftists that, while Obama never used the “official apparatus of government” to thrill actual Americans, he used those same apparatuses, plus a chunk of taxpayer money, for his own benefit.

Karen D. Hurvitz and Ilya I. Feoktistov: Criminalizing Dissent – “Louis was horrified to recognize the woman who stole his MAGA hat as Beth Peller, a 36-year-old grad student who would be teaching his mandatory freshman writing class.

“Louis’ ordeal is a glimpse of the far left’s “cancel culture” as it pushes the Overton Window on free speech from Twitter bans to outright criminalization of dissent. We believe that more malicious prosecutions like Louis’s are likely; brought, at first, in progressive enclaves like Northampton where the far left holds real political power. Much as occurred in the Jim Crow South, authorities in such places are increasingly choosing to enforce their political ideology instead of the rule of law entrusted to them. The American left these days is unable to accept defeat under fair rules of play, whether in elections or in judicial proceedings. To avoid defeat, leftists will continue searching for ways to criminalize dissent. Indeed, Beth Peller’s attorney argued to the court in Northampton that defamation and offensive speech can and should be criminalized. This is a dangerous trend, and is becoming one of the major civil rights issues of our time.

Robert Gorkin: Good Grief! – “It is a shame when a professional organization gets hijacked (by presumably well-meaning individuals) to take extraordinary positions on subjects that are manifestly well outside of its arena of competence.” The American Psychiatric Association provides this example.

“I have seen no evidence in these reports or on the APA website of any (let alone substantive) debate. Not only as to the validity of the underlying science, the inherent problems with climate models, natural variability, etc.; but even more fundamentally, there is no acknowledgement of the concept of weather as distinct from climate. Nor is there any consideration of the potential benefits of more temperate conditions on health, nature, biodiversity, agriculture, and economics, not to mention the potential and well-documented adverse environmental and economic consequences of the solutions proposed by CAGW activists.

Most unfortunately for Dr. Zilber and her like-minded comrades, her emotional endorsement of ecological guilt and other climate-related pathologies only serves to create, validate, and legitimize new mental disorders that have no basis in reality–this in a profession that has a sorry record of past iatrogenic abuses.

I suggest, rather than engaging in a self-imposed lobotomy, the APA should have a real debate. Rather than potentially following in the footsteps of Trofim Lysenko, the APA should welcome a Devil’s advocate. Perhaps suspending premature judgment but “Be Prepared” is, in fact, the best of all possible worlds.

Finally, it would be hard to find a better precept to guide the APA in its deliberations than Immanuel Kant’s descriptive credo for the Age of Enlightment: Sapere Aude! (dare to know, or more loosely, dare to think for yourself!).

1776 – “an assembly of independent voices who uphold our country’s authentic founding virtues and values and challenge those who assert America is forever defined by its past failures, such as slavery. We seek to offer alternative perspectives that celebrate the progress America has made on delivering its promise of equality and opportunity and highlight the resilience of its people. Our focus is on solving problems. … We do this in the spirit of 1776, the date of America’s true founding.”

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Equality in justice is not visible

Todd Gregory and Erik Gregory: Has the Deep State beaten Bill Barr? – “Prhaps even more disturbing, Barr’s prosecution (and declination) decisions have been scarcely different from those of Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, or even Jeff Sessions (namely, prosecute Republicans or their affiliates on any charge, no matter how spurious, and look the other way when Democrats engage in incidentals like illegal spying or entrapment).” The deplorables are not happy about inequality in justice.

J. Christian Adams: President Trump Starts to Drain the Swamp, Yanks Liu – “Justice is no longer blind. Investigations, charges, and even prison terms depend on the ideological views of the targets.

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violence acceptance and education

Monica Showalter: Leftist thuggery: Political violence accelerates against Trump supporters – “There’s a climate of political violence against Trump supporters and the press is giving it little more than disjointed and cursory coverage at best, if not ignoring entirely.

“The press is refusing to cover it. The cops are refusing to investigate and enforce. The laws are letting them off anyway. The Democrats are denying so much as a problem — in Sanders’ case, his nasty little thug operative in Iowa is still on the job.

It’s as if a whole universe of incompetence and malevolence is conspiring against Trump supporters. President Trump has his bag of snakes to deal with among the Obama holdovers in the White House. But Trump supporters have their own physical attacks to deal with.

Something is very wrong in this political climate, which is seeing ever stronger and more frequent physical attacks, with little recourse for the victims.

Jack Hellner: It was Obama, not Trump, who weaponized government against political opponents – “We are hearing from the Democrat talking points that Trump is weaponizing the government and exacting revenge.”

“The media frequently buries stories that might hurt political candidates or policies they support and will continually run false stories against political candidates and policies they oppose. How else can it explain the years of fake stories on Russian collusion, seeking to destroy white Christian boys for wearing MAGA hats, trying to destroy Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh with no evidence, the false “Hands up, don’t shoot” narrative?

How else do you explain the burying of stories about all the mental and sexual abuse of women by the Clintons and the burying of stories or the lack of investigation into the clear corruption and kickbacks of the Clintons and Bidens if not pure bias?

How many people are the media willing to destroy in order to get power back for the Democrats? Isn’t that pure weaponization and revenge?

But Trump is the problem as he seeks to move the power, purse and freedom back to the people as fast as he can because that is where the power and money belong. He is the opposite of a dictator but the media doesn’t give a damn about the truth. They are also consumed with power and revenge.

On the education front —

John Hinderaker: Global Warming In A Few Charts – “Climate change hysteria has been dialed up to 11 over the last year or two. Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager who knows little or nothing about the subject, apparently will continue being nominated for a Nobel Prize until she wins one. But, hype aside, what is actually going on with the Earth’s climate?”

Katarina Schwarz and Jean Allain: Slavery is not a crime in almost half the countries of the world – new research – “Legal ownership of people was indeed abolished in all countries over the course of the last two centuries. But in many countries it has not been criminalised.” … “Legal ownership of people was indeed abolished in all countries over the course of the last two centuries. But in many countries it has not been criminalised.” This one gets into the legal weeds about definition of terms and scope of definitions.

Trevor Klee: How to fix how people learn calculus: make calculus exciting again – “I only realized in college that I had been cheated out of a deep understanding of math and given a shallow collection of tricks instead.” A good rundown on the position of calculus in the intellectual understanding of mathematics.

Jazz Shaw: Biologists Propose Radical Concept That There Are Only Two Genders/Sexes – “The authors describe in brutal detail how the current claptrap about “gender identity” that’s been making the rounds actually serves to undermine the rights and safety of women, children, gays, and lesbians.

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Deception by complexity

The Roger Stone case is getting interesting above and beyond the Mueller connections and the attorney misrepresentations to the DoJ. Now it appears the jury was stacked with Democrat activists and the judge was not hearing objections to juror placement on such a basis. With leading Democrats engaging in their usual hyperbolic exaggerations demanding Barr and/or Trump’s head, recent historical examples are being dug out of the archives to illustrate the gross hypocrisy. Nunez says the onion is being peeled on the Mueller investigation and the public will soon see just how corrupt that effort really was.

sundance: The FBI Corruption is Far Worse Than We Currently Imagine – President Trump Authorized His Own Surveillance…The originating FISA and first renewal were authorized by the Obama administration officials. However, it was the second renewal -now identified as fraudulent- on April 7th 2017, under the Trump administration, when the conniving FBI ran into a problem.

“Acting Deputy AG Dana Boente advised AG Jeff Sessions to recuse himself (March 2nd, 2017). Then Acting DAG Boente and FBI Director Comey conspired to have President Trump authorize an executive order (March 31st, 2017); that changed the DOJ succession plan, thereby permitting them to sign for a fraudulent FISA application on April 7th, 2017, that was used to conduct surveillance on the Trump administration.

But wait, it gets better, who do you think is in charge of the 40 FBI agents now conducting the third year of that fraudulent Mueller investigation?

Norman Rogers: Renewable Power Theatre of the Absurd – “One might think that having a quota for renewable power means that the power has to be generated by wind or solar and consumed within the state. There is a loophole.” Here is how corruption is fostered by woke driven environmental fantasies.

“The situation is more than a little strange. Propaganda from the sellers of wind and solar power makes people think that wind and solar are actually useful. Huge subsidies make wind and solar seem cheaper than they really are. The idea that introducing wind and solar in U.S. states will make a significant difference in world CO2 emissions is wrong. The real emissions problem, if it is a problem, is in Asia. People that really believe in global warming should face up to the fact that nuclear is the only route to stopping the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. Some of the most important advocates of global warming catastrophe make that clear.

The most salient fact concerning wind and solar is that they are intermittent and erratic sources of power. They always have to be backed up with fossil fuel plants that take over when the sun sets or the wind stops. They never replace fossil fuel plants.

It’s deception by complexity where the critical parts are moved off to somewhere hard to find and expressed in the fine print with distractions and diversions. What doesn’t fit is ignored as much as possible or swept under the rug or hidden by mixing it in with a big stinky mess.

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Can’t just make it up — can you?

J. Frank Bullitt: The Facts About Trump That Are Deadly For Democrats – “Of course Trump’s acts of kindness, wildly inconsistent with his public persona, aren’t predictive of a successful presidency. But they don’t fit the outlandish caricatures sketched out by his opponents, and are therefore dangerous to their agenda.” Why is a catalog of benevolence worthy of note? It is because it highlights a significant character flaw in his opponents, one that should frighten any voter seeking a civil society.

Becket Adams: Four major journalistic errors in just 10 hours – “If you think the news industry’s credibility problem is bad now, you haven’t seen anything yet.”

Austin Bay: On Point: Fix the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and Punish the Crooks Who Abused It – “In the past, the public expected responsible reporters to scrutinize government operations. In the FISC saga, contemporary mainstream media served as a PR tool for crooked cops and spies.

Jazz Shaw: While nobody was looking Trump shattered primary records in New Hampshire – “If Trump’s base in New Hampshire is willing to turn out at those levels in the primary, what’s going to happen in November?

Scott Johnson: Jeff Sessions: The open questions – “If I wanted to pursue my disagreement with him, Paul encouraged me to air it publicly on the site.” What is important here is the ‘polite disagreement’ and how it is supported. Johnson notes the “loaded language” and the unsupported generalizations that seem so common among those trying to find fault with the President. It is the manner of argument that is often a first clue as to the quality of the position and, on this measure, Johnson wins.

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Enough already? The worm is restless.

Victor Davis Hanson: The Once and Future Scandal – “Soon the worm may turn. The real scandal is back on the horizon, and at last, we may learn that no one is above the law—most certainly not a group of smug and mediocre apparatchiks who assumed they had the moral right to destroy a presidential candidate and later an elected president.”

“So, we are now back to the existential issue of the entire Trump phenomenon: to what degree did the Hillary Clinton campaign collude with high-ranking Obama officials, and the top echelons of the FBI, CIA, and the national intelligence apparatus, to surveil, defame, and hope to derail Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign by unlawful means?

The litany of these systematic abuses constitutes the greatest scandal in American history.

Jay Latimer: It’s time for Trump to fight fire with fire – “So another coup attempt has failed.”

“these plotters used scorched-earth tactics; surprising Trump supporters with unannounced interviews to create perjury traps, threatening their children with jail time, sending SWAT teams to kick in their doors at 3 a.m., raiding his lawyers’ offices to search for dirt, and placing a defendant for a nonviolent white-collar crime in solitary confinement.

How could this happen in the Land of the Free?

So my instinct, and that of many other observers, is to fight partisanship with a strict adherence to the rule of law, and a determination to keep politics out of the legal equation.

However, I now feel that this may be a misguided as well as naïve view.

Who are we kidding? No one will give Trump or Barr credit for an impartial investigation. The Democrats and the media will automatically label any attempt by Trump to punish these wrongdoers as partisan and illegitimate. No matter how even-handed Trump tries to be, any such actions will be treated by the dishonest media as mere political payback or (more likely) proof that Trump has become an authoritarian dictator hell-bent on revenge.

Sally Zelikovsky: Trump’s Supporters Are Not Cult Members. We’re Americans. – “Taking the high road is admirable, but if you continue to come up short, you are going to have to find another path if you want to win.”

“Democrats are experts at fake outrage, fake sincerity, and transferring all of their insincerity and provocation to the Republicans. …

Democrats don’t want unity or collaboration. …

… Like a kid throwing a tantrum knowing eventually he will get his way as long as he doesn’t stop screaming, Democrats will keep it up as long as they think we will cave after enough of us have been broken, bankrupted, and canceled.

Being pushed and bullied gets old after a while.

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Senator Romney protests (defends) perhaps a bit too much

Glen Reynolds on a Romney compare and contrast citing Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tn): “That’s exactly why today I voted to acquit President Trump—because lowering the high bar of impeachment such that any American could be found guilty is far more dangerous than anything the Democratic ‘resistance’ has asserted.”

Dana Loesch on Romney: “He didn’t just vote his conscience, his virtue-signaling was level Pharisees, minus the sackcloth and ash. ”

Conrad Black: Romney’s Discreditable, Dishonest Vote – “From February 5, 2020, onward, Mitt Romney is a political outcast—a briefly useful idiot for the defeated Democrats and a traitor to the party he once led in a presidential election.”

“As an authentically scriptural man, Mitt Romney would know that it is the “God of Vengeance, God to whom vengeance belongs.” In cobbling together the righteous fairy tale previously utterable only by chronically dishonest people such as Representatives Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), and Speaker Pelosi (doubtless resuming her famous prayers for the president after ripping up the text of his speech in front of 40 million viewers), Romney descended from the prophet’s chair in the Mormon Tabernacle to the gutter of American public life.

Romney has walked out the portals of political relevance on a lost cause that had no business coming to a vote at all, for reasons of hatred he has tried to disguise as righteousness, and in the company of unmitigated scoundrels and liars in the opposing party who cooked up this phony impeachment.

And as a man who cares about his church, Romney might have considered what this will do to Mormon candidates in the future. He has made the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints look like a cult, whose members cannot be entrusted with responsible positions.

Romney’s vote to convict President Trump is falsely reasoned, ignobly motivated, and finishes his useful political career on a tragically discreditable note.

David Solway: The Left’s Great Lie Is a Pervasive Threat to Our Culture – “Writing the book forced me to undertake relentless scrutiny of the values and beliefs I’d accepted as gospel and to realize that I had thoughtlessly succumbed to an all-encompassing lie fostered by the media, the academy, and the political left.” … “Skinner refers to the insidious operation of the rhetorical figure of paradiastole—the conversion of a vice into a virtue—which would apply to the left’s destructive policies and initiatives like those I had once endorsed.”

neo: The Senate votes against removal – “It is unsurprising but still astounding that with such a weak case – or rather, a non-existent case – every single Democrat voted for removal. Every one. Now, that’s party discipline.” What is says to all Americans about the priorities and values of the Democrats should be a warning.

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SOTU impressions

Roger Kimball: Trump’s 2020 State of the Union address was nothing less than magnificent – “His major speeches will go down as among the most eloquent and important in the nation’s history.”

New York Post: State of the Union address: Trump hits grand slam, while Pelosi just looks sad – “This was the very best of Trump — generous, bipartisan (with a few barbs) and good-spirited. He not only got congressional Democrats to stand and cheer, but he credited the legislators in the room for working together across party lines to do right by America.

“Not once did he crow about his opposition’s failings: no mention of the debacle of House Democrats’ impeachment drive, or of the historic mess of the Iowa caucuses.

This president doesn’t have to stretch the slightest to term the State of the Union “strong.” Too bad that Pelosi, and the Democratic base she answers to, feel obliged to grimace at that self-evident truth.

Andrea Widburg: President Trump’s moving, statesmanlike State of the Union address – 

“On Tuesday night, two very different events took place. The first was President Trump’s State of the Union speech, one that showcased incredibly good news about the state of America today, soaring rhetoric, and moving human interest stories. That’s what this post is about. The other event was the embarrassing Democrat temper tantrum, something that we’ll save for a less uplifting, but perhaps more amusing, post.

As Trump began to speak, Pelosi began to perform a running pantomime behind his back. Rather than listen to Trump’s speech, she leafed through the written speech he gave her. She also wriggled around in her chair, sucked her dentures, made disdainful faces, waved to people in the crowd, and generally behaved like an angry 15-year-old girl whose parents have forced her to attend a formal event. It was painful to watch the person who is third in line to the presidency behave in such a childish, rude manner.

The Democrats thought that they were protesting Trump. That’s not what Americans saw, though. They saw politicians so invested in regaining political power that they deeply resented Americans becoming richer, healthier, and safer.

D. Hawthorne: SOTU Clarifies the Choice in November – “It boils down to a love for Americans and our liberty versus a lust for power and control over others.”

Patricia McCarthy: The unspeakable ungraciousness of the Democrats in Congress – “President Trump’s SOTU speech Tuesday night was spectacular on every level.” … “President Trump has succeeded beyond all expectations for the good of the nation. This is what so enrages the left; the man has done in three years what they have promised their voters for sixty-plus years but never accomplished — on purpose.” … “And they are also as ungracious as any group of people who have ever held office in America.”

“The American Democrat party has become something it was never meant to be: it has morphed into a radically fascist party of autocrats. Certainly not all of them fall into this category but those who do not are cowards. Clearly they are afraid of the tyrants who control the party so they sit quietly by in fear of losing their seats. As we watched them all refuse to applaud the many successes of this administration and the members of the audience Trump celebrated, we should all realize that these people are not on the side of America or Americans. As Pelosi so ungraciously ripped up her copy of the speech on camera, she proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the Democrat party is no longer pro-American, pro-freedom nor pro-democracy. This SOTU speech was a transformative moment. Now we know that only one party represents the American people. The Democrat party as currently constituted, should ship out to Venezuela where they would feel right at home.

Jay Latimer: Three takeaways from the failed impeachment – “It Proves Trump Is Clean as a Whistle” … “Try a simple thought experiment: if the House Dems were aware of any illegal activity by Trump, don’t you think they would have used that as a basis for their impeachment?

Then look at the rationalizations of those who dispute the President: Pelosi says the speech was ‘dirty’ while the ‘litany of lies’ gets top billing at the WaPo and its ilk. Compare and contrast and try to figure out how such perceptions actually fit with what any reasonable person can see for themselves.

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Roots of corruption

Jonathan Turley: How the House lost the witness battle along with impeachment – “As these blunders by the House became more and more obvious, all the efforts to excuse them became more and more absurd.” Turley makes a good argument for adhering to reasonable procedures but only passes by a bigger problem which he notes at the beginning: “It is a question that many in the media would never ask about Democrats, even in the face of overtly false claims.” He illustrates his bias in an assumption implicit as a truth near the end: “The case against the president could only have become stronger” … The assumption is that of assuming that more witnesses and testimony will reveal more malfeasance rather than a lack of foundation for the charges and revealing exculpatory evidence. Developing more lies and more deceit does not make any honest argument ‘stronger.’ The presumption of guilt is the basic flaw in the impeachment effort.

Dov Fischer: Why the Senate Passed on Witnesses – “It’s good to know not every Republican senator is a Romney.” A list of reasons to ponder …

George Neumayr: All the Pope’s Men – “His inner circle grows more corrupt.” The Church is facing the Deep State problem, too. “Far from uprooting Vatican corruption, his supposed mandate, Pope Francis has cemented it in place.

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