Archive for politics

Legal Insurrection

Legal Insurrection has a couple of posts on TDS this morning. One is about how a Propane Vendor’s Threat to Trump Voters Explodes into Controversy posted by Leslie Eastman — “Michael Turner calls Trump a “hater” and refused to sell gas to supporters.” The other is by Kemberlee Kaye on The Eight Worst Anti-Trump “Hate Crime” Hoaxes — “There are plenty of legitimate Trump criticisms and no need to concoct stories of his supporters.” (note the qualifiers that there “are plenty of …” i.e. ‘both sides do it’ logical fallacy).

The most valuable lesson to be had in 2016 may be that tying your firm’s products to politics is a bad business model.

The latest person to learn this lesson is a Maine propane distributor who recently refused to sell gas to Trump voters.

Considering that he referred to Donald Trump as despicable and the Anti-Christ, I might suggest Turner spend some time reflecting on his use of the term “hater”.

As Hillary Clinton is discovering, a dramatic display of hubris is usually followed by a visit from Nemesis. Because Turner decided to exercise his First Amendment right to express himself, other Americans exercised their right to indulge in some due diligence.

It turns out the Propane dealer wasn’t properly licensed since 2012. Whoops.

On the other post with the “plenty of” qualifier, note that hoaxes like those being seen now are not rationalized by any legitimate criticism and are also quite lopsided in target selection.

As if faith in establishment media wasn’t depleted enough, there seems no end to stories recently exposed as hoaxes. In fact, just about every story where someone was supposedly the victim of pro-Trump hate has turned out to be nothing more than wish casting.

The TDS brigade is not known for considering the implications of their actions and these two stories reinforce that view. The propane dealer didn’t consider the implications of no fuel for heat, especially on the poor in a remote area of Maine. The hoaxer is also not considering the damage done by their actions.

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The Apollo Astronauts on Christmas

It’s Instapundit as the source is behind a Wall Street Journal obnoxious wall.

It happened on Christmas Eve, 48 years ago. Three men took turns reading from the first 10 verses of the Book of Genesis. They were nearly 250,000 miles away from Bethlehem, but since it was the night before Christmas, and there was no chimney from which to hang their stockings, the three astronauts inside the Apollo 8 capsule orbiting the moon thought it would be appropriate. So as Jim Lovell,Frank Borman and Bill Anders looked at the faraway Earth through the small window of the spacecraft, they read the verses: “In the beginning, God made the heavens and the Earth.”

Their distant-sounding voices from far beyond our atmosphere were broadcast live to the whole planet that night over radio and television. It was one of those moments that brought the world together, that helped us to see our common humanity as children of God whom he loves equally, and whom he placed on the beautiful planet that he made.

Seven months after this extraordinary event, in July 1969, another NASA spacecraft, Apollo 11, carried two astronauts to the surface of the moon itself. One of them, Commander Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, thought he might do something similar to mark what was certainly an epochal moment in the history of our race.

After the Eagle had landed and he and Neil Armstrong sat in the Lunar Module, Mr. Aldrin said this over the radio:

“This is the LM pilot. I’d like to take this opportunity to ask every person listening in, whoever and wherever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his or her own way.”

He then ended radio communication and there, on the silent surface of the moon, read a Bible verse, and took communion. For reasons he explains in his own account, none of this was made public until Mr. Aldrin wrote about it in Guideposts magazine the following year:

“In the radio blackout, I opened the little plastic packages which contained the bread and the wine. I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup.”

Then Mr. Aldrin read Jesus’ words from the Gospel of John: “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whosoever abides in me will bring forth much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing.” He explained that he had wanted to read this over the radio back to Earth, but at the last minute NASA asked him not to because the agency was in a legal battle with the outspoken atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair. As it happened, she was suing over the Apollo 8 crew reading from Genesis on Christmas Eve. And that of course is why so few people have heard of this amazing story.

I sometimes wonder what’s more amazing, this story—or the fact that so few people know about it.

Even back then, the effort was to quash Christians and everything they stand for. This year, there is a bit of pushback. Merry Christmas is back in vogue and those who want to silence such words and what they represent are getting heat. A stolen Nativity scene was replace by people placing empty cribs in its place.  The spirit and message of Christ is still in hearts and minds and expression.

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Examples of a milder case of TDS

Allahpundit at Hot Air is providing a lot of good examples of the milder form of Trump Derangement Syndrom (TDS)

In a post on the decline of belief in Santa Clause: “Declining cultural confidence is a western contagion without borders: It starts with Brexit, it spreads to America with Trump, and pretty soon you’re no longer putting out a plate of cookies by the chimney on Christmas Eve.” So Trump is part and parcel of the decline in civilization and not a reaction to it? Seeking independence from irrational government as in Brexit is part and parcel of the decline in civilization rather than a reaction to the decline?

On Trump’s criteria for employees: “Either Trump has disgruntled aides inside his tent who want to damage him by making the public believe he’s making major personnel decisions based on things like height or whether the candidate has a walrus-y mustache, or … he really is making personnel decisions based on those criteria.” And on a less frivolous note: “What Corker’s doing here, whether he fully realizes it or not, is further weakening the expectation that high public officials starting with the president should be fully transparent in their business dealings.”

This last is assuming that “fully transparent” is a matter of simply implementing procedures to strip a politician of any privacy whatsoever. It goes hand in hand with the ‘conflict of interest’ controversy that attempts to strip a politician of any involvement whatsoever in anything that could be construed as commerce anywhere. One only needs to consider Obama, Pelosi, and Reid to see how off base these ideas are in reality.

Here’s another one: “slobbering over Putin” – this one is about Trump’s America First and Strong Defense postures. The stimulous can be seen in “What does he really mean, though, when he says we should “strengthen and expand [our] nuclear capability”? The Times has a fun piece out parsing his tweet word by word, noting how many different ways it could be interpreted.” And, course, rather than work on the confused, the idea is to ridicule those trying to explain: “One amusing consequence of yesterday’s tweet is watching people on both sides of the Atlantic instantly start spinning on Trump’s behalf.”

It took a few years for BDS to really get going. TDS has a head start. Bush considered himself above the fray and the mechanisms to get out to the public weren’t what they are today. Trump appears to be willing to get into the mudwrestling with pigs and the pigs are squealing because of his use of modern technology. Things are different and it will be interesting to see how the future unfolds. Will Allahpundit go bonkers like much of the left in the news right now or will the TDS symptoms fade to honest debate, perception, and observation? In other words, there is a TDS spectrum and the curve of intensity vs insanity is quite elevated. We can hope that at least one side of the curve drops into the sane region.

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More last minute, in your face, bullying. Antii-semitism edition

Despite Egypt withdrawing its resolution, the rest of the U.N. Security Council pushed it through anyway. See Obama Intended to Pass Anti-Israel Measure at UN; Netanyahu Called Trump; Trump Tweeted Against the Measure; The Measure Has Been Withdrawn
Update: Obama Abstains, Letting Measure Pass
(warning, the post is NSFW as the writer was rather upset)

Update: Although Egypt withdrew the motion, four other Security Council measures forced the motion to be considered.

As Obama initially planned, the US disgraced itself by abstaining from the vote, permitting it to pass, rather than vetoing it.

“President Obama allowed a resolution condemning Israeli settlement construction in disputed Palestinian territory to pass through the United Nations Security Council, marking a dramatic change in U.S. policy just weeks before leaving office.

“The U.S. did not go so far as to vote for the resolution, but allowed it to pass by abstaining from the vote after decades of vetoing such proposals at the Security Council. Obama ordered the veto of a similar resolution in 2011”

This then becomes another example of the U.N. despising the principles upon which it was founded and also of the outgoing President’s true sympathies with terrorists. There is a lot of popular sentiment that the U.S. should stop propping up the U.N. and this is going to feed that sentiment to an incoming President who listens to the people.

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Free Speech vs Climate Alarmists

Jonathan H. Adler provides a good overview of the situation as Making Defamation Law Great Again: Michael Mann’s suit may continue.

While a direct accusation of scientific fraud may be actionable — particularly when made against a non-public figure — challenges to scientific conclusions and interpretations of scientific studies are clearly protected by the First Amendment. So are erroneous interpretations of scientific conclusions and — particularly relevant here — criticisms of the conclusions of investigatory bodies.

In refusing to dismiss claims against Steyn and Simberg, the D.C. Court of Appeals placed tremendous weight on the fact that Penn State and other institutions investigated Mann and did not find evidence of academic misconduct. Yet it is the alleged inadequacy of Penn State’s investigation that was the focus of the very posts at issue.

It cannot be that once some official body has conducted an investigation of an individual’s conduct, that further criticism of that individual, including criticism that expressly questions the thoroughness or accuracy of the investigatory body, is off limits. … The court’s approach is particularly problematic here because both Simberg and Steyn offered reasoned (if also intemperate) explanations for why they did not credit the investigations and why they believed that these investigations failed to uncover the misconduct they believe occurred. Yet according to the court, the existence of these investigations could be sufficient for a jury to find, by “clear and convincing evidence,” that they acted with actual malice.

Mark Steyn calls it a Walking in a Legal Wonderland.

Santa has come early and left a lump of coal in my stocking

I was not a party to the appeal, mainly because I’d concluded – after spending the autumn of 2013 listening to two trial judges issuing competing rulings on the same case – that the DC courts were a proceduralist swamp and we might as well move straight to trial. That view of DC’s dysfunction was subsequently confirmed by the lethargy of the Court of Appeals. A month before the appeal’s third anniversary, the court has now issued a very belated ruling as a Christmas Eve news dump. You can read the full order here.

The takeaway is that Mann’s suit against National Review editor (and my old boss) Rich Lowry has been dismissed, but those against me and Rand Simberg will proceed

You won’t be surprised to hear that I disagree with their ladyships. The “sufficient evidence” Dr Mann has supplied are a series of mendacious claims to have been “investigated” and “exonerated” by multiple Anglo-American bodies that did, in fact, do neither.

So I was right not to bother with this proceduralist bollocks

The purpose of the whole sclerotic racket of American jurisprudence is to obstruct up-and-down trials with a nice clean guilty/not-guilty final score, and instead bury the thing in proceduralist flimflammery only the experts can follow.

Then there’s this in another Mark Stetn post

Spot on. It reminds me of the old joke about the procedure for separating the sane from the insane, back when there were “mental asylums” and society tried to keep crazy people inside them instead of running the country.

The intake assessment involved giving each patient a mop and bucket, then locking them in a room and slowly flooding it with water.

As the water level rose, the insane went to work with the mop and bucket.

The sane located the valve and turned off the water.

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Rick Darby

Then there’s Greg Laden: Michael Mann Wins Court Decision (Updated with statement by Mann)

The brief version is this: Mann sued the National Review and others over defamation. That’s a good suit and he’ll probably eventually win it. Climate science deniers have been trying to paint that as a frivolous suit for years, but it isn’t.

This is the sixth out of six decisions that have come down in favor of science

What gets interesting in that is the idea that using the logical fallacies of appeal to authority and ‘vox populi’ (many voices) are good science. The authority is the one that was subject to questioning by Steyn that prompted the lawsuit and the many voices is the “decisions” referenced.

This history condemns both the judicial system and the science establishment by illustrating how a lawsuit can be used to bully opposition and how reason and intellectual integrity can be tossed aside for political ideology.

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Two airplane harassment incidents

It gets confusing with all the acting out going on. One incident was a professional agitator on a Delta flight generating fake news about ‘how the U.S. hates Muslims’ and the other was about a gay guy that Jet Blue moved to a later flight because he could not stand flying with Ivanka Trump and her family. Paul Mirengoff described the latter as Freakout on an airplane with this summary:

And, as at the play “Hamilton,” the American public got another look at how leftists ignore the norms of civility, and at the classy way in which Trump’s close associates respond.

If the left keeps this up, Trump soon will be fully “normalized” and a clear majority of Americans will be on his side.

The agitated professor was asserting that the Trump family should have been flying private instead of public carrier coach. This gets interesting in light of the condemnation of the wealth in the Trump family. 

But first we get the incredible display. Now comes the incredible rationalizations. Hopefully there will be enough laughter to sink in and inhibit the incivility.

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Watch California and learn what not to do

In the brouhaha about the electoral college, one observer reported that taking LA and NYC out of the election would have put the popular vote and the electoral college in sync. A more common observation just notes that the tilt in California would handle the difference. That means the electoral college procedure worked as intended for who wants LA and NYC or just California to govern the rest of us? A case in point is the pension panic in Loyalton, CA. See Californians See Their First Pension Cut. — “For years, we’ve been warning this day was coming: California pensioners in the small town of Loyalton have just been told that their benefits will be cut in 2017.”

Three years ago, Loyalton pulled out of CalPERS for current employees after being told that its accounts were only 40 percent funded even though the city had reliably paid its dues to the system. Now, CalPERS openly admits it’s punishing current Loyalton retirees for that decision.

This is just the beginning. CalPERS is only 65 percent funded overall, after failing to realize its expected 7.5 percent return.

The pension problem is much more than just a California problem, of course. It is even at the core of the Social Security solvency worries. California is just at the head of the pack and showing how ugly the situation can get. Somebody is going to pay. The state determined it is to be the pensioners in Loyalton right now. This might be a pity ploy to try to get the federal government – you and I – to pay. As can be seen in places like Cuba and Venezuela and many other socialist governments, there comes a point where you run out of other people’s money. 

There is another path, it is to grow more money rather than to print more money. That, coupled with improvements in management and governance, might reduce the pain. The problem is that the Left’s understanding of growing more money is a skewed and misplaces as their understanding of many other issues such as gun control and climate change. 

There are many lessons from history and California is providing such lessons much closer to home. Watch California and learn how to avoid their mistakes.

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That popular vote

Election results have settled. Hot Air reports National popular vote now final: Clinton finishes 2.1 points ahead, Trump has highest vote total ever for a Republican. This is Allahpundit’s story so be aware of the NeverTrump bias.

Dave Wasserman of Cook Political Report and FiveThirtyEight has been tracking the numbers day by day for weeks and says they’re now official.

Trump’s total of nearly 63 million votes is almost a million votes better than the second-largest total by a Republican in history. … Second place belongs to George W. Bush, who received a little more than 62 million votes for his reelection bid in 2004 …

As for Hillary, her margin over Trump of more than two points was four times as large as that of Al Gore, the last popular-vote winner to lose the electoral college, who won by half a point in 2000. She finished with the third-most votes of any presidential candidate in history, just slightly behind Obama’s 2012 mark

Only two polls measured correctly that Clinton would hit 48 percent and no poll had Trump doing as well as 46 percent.

As is noted in the report, the population is growing so vote counts against history make a poor metric. Of course, that growth in population might also be related to why Clinton’s entire edge in the popular vote was in the California vote. See Snopes for how a left leaning organization tries to rationalize this. Or check CBS News:

Looking at the vote totals in each state helps explain it: Clinton’s entire popular vote margin, for example, is less than her overall margin of victory in California (which she won by more than 4 million votes). New York, too, is a populous state that delivered Clinton 1.7 million more votes than Trump but couldn’t help her overcome the Electoral College deficit.

Because of these two recent examples where the Electoral College outcome defied popular opinion, some clamored for its abolishment after Nov. 8, protesting that the college had outlived its usefulness.

Note the use of “defied” and then check out The Nation for a flavor of the dissonance.

But one thing is certain: Clinton’s win is unprecedented in the modern history of American presidential politics. And the numbers should focus attention on the democratic dysfunction that has been exposed.

When a candidate who wins the popular vote does not take office, when a loser is instead installed in the White House, that is an issue. And it raises questions that must be addressed.

What is important here is to recognize that there was no Trump mandate,

The questions were addressed. See the Federalist Papers. From Allahpundit to left wing rags, the question about foisting California rule on the rest of the country is shovelled under the rug. The election results by county map is set aside. The Clinton Archipelego map makes no impression. “No Mandate?” the map says otherwise. The majorities in Congress, Governorships, and state legislatures would be to disagree.

There is a reason why the U.S. election system is the way it is and it is to prevent the big guy from bullying the smaller folks. In this election, the smaller states said “enough” and these examples show that the bully is having a hard time getting the message.

Oh, and one other thing: have you seen the rumor mongering about the California immigration problem and how California accomodates illegal immigrates in a manner that makes it easy for them to vote? There’s already some wondering about voting irregularities that have shown up in Democrat dominated big cities. It looks like California might be another field for entertainment and fun with data mining. 

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Awareness is growing: the difference is getting hard to ignore

Patricia McCarthy describes The Vast Cognitive Gulf between the Left and the Right. The election highlighted behavioral differences that can be seen in many other venues.

There is an abyss between how the Left and the Right accepts loss. What explains this? The Left will produce countless “studies” that “show” they have bigger brains, are a more advanced species and that conservatives are truly mentally impaired. That is what they do. Nothing makes them feel better than demeaning their ideological opponents on pseudo-intellectual grounds.

Everyone knows it is the self-appointed morally superior Left that is behind the tyrannies of multiculturalism, political correctness, a genderless society, man-made global warming, the promotion of homosexuality and gay marriage, the crusade against all religions but Isalm, the most violent and intolerant faith on the planet. Not all Muslms are violent and intolerant of course, but 99% of all terrorist acts are committed by radicalized Muslims. And the Left’s knee-jerk response is to protect the jihadis and blame the Right for their crimes.

The Left loved Castro, and Stalin and Mao — they still do. What explains that? It seems sheer moonbattery to anyone on the Right. They were psychopathic killers, each of them.

The results of this election have broken up families and friendships and it is the people on the Left who break up with those who voted for Trump. ‘Tis a mystery.

We live in the greatest, most successful, least racist, most sane, welcoming and productive country on the planet.

In other news this morning is objection to Justice Thomas missing in a Smithsonian exhibit while Anita Hill is on display. That’s a typical “who’s your hero” difference coupled with an attempt to re-write history. Then there’s the political expression of the CIA that tosses out innuendo but refuses to provide any support – even to its Congressional oversight committee. You don’t have to look far to find plenty of substance but you will need to know yourself and your perceptional bias to make sure you are not going down the sewer with the left. 

 

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The arrow has fallen short. VDH observes

VDH on The Animal Cunning and Instinct of Donald Trump at the National Review.

Yet even after destroying the Clinton Dynasty, the Bush-family aristocracy, the Obama legacy, and 16 more-seasoned primary rivals, Trump was dismissed by observers as being mostly a joke, idiotic and reckless. Such a dismissal is a serious mistake, because what Trump lacks in traditionally defined sophistication and awareness, he more than makes up for in shrewd political cunning of a sort not seen since the regnum of Franklin Roosevelt. Take a few recent examples.

Or did he sense that his candidacy was touching off an “any means necessary” effort of unethical progressives to warp the law and custom for purportedly noble ends? After the election, that supposition was more than confirmed.

Trump has a habit of offering off-the-cuff unconventional observations — often unsubstantiated by verbal footnotes and in hyperbolic fashion. Then he is blasted for ignorance and recklessness by bipartisan grandees. Only later, and quietly, he is often taken seriously, but without commensurate public acknowledgement.

Finally, Trump sensed that the proverbial base was itching for a bare-knuckles fighter. They wanted any kind of brawler who would not play by the Marquess of Queensberry rules of 2008 and 2012 that had doomed Romney and McCain, who, fairly or not, seemed to wish to lose nobly rather than win in black-and-blue fashion, and who were sometimes more embarrassed than proud of their base. Trump again foresaw that talking trash in crude tones would appeal to middle Americans as much as Obama’s snarky and ego-driven, but otherwise crude trash-talking delighted his coastal elites. So Trump said the same kinds of things to Hillary Clinton that she, in barely more measured tones, had often said to others but never expected anyone to say out loud to her. And the more the media cried foul, the more Trump knew that voters would cry “long overdue.”

But lost amid the left-wing hatred of Trump and the conservative Never Trump condescension is that so far he has shattered American political precedents by displaying much more political cunning and prescience than have his political opponents and most observers.

his candidacy has not only redefined American politics but also recalibrated the nature of insight itself — leaving the wise to privately wonder whether they were ever all that wise after all.

Examples and illustrations provided. Read all about it at the National Review.

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Reflections on Trump and the team he is building

Ray Dalio, Chairman & Chief Investment Officer at Bridgewater Associates, L.P. provides Reflections on the Trump Presidency, One Month after the Election at LinkedIn that is one of the more sober assessments about where Trump is going based on the evidence currently on the table. It is observation and measure rather than speculation and hyperbole. 

Now that we’re a month past the election and most of the cabinet posts have been filled, it is increasingly obvious that we are about to experience a profound, president-led ideological shift that will have a big impact on both the US and the world. This will not just be a shift in government policy, but also a shift in how government policy is pursued.

This particular shift by the Trump administration could have a much bigger impact on the US economy than one would calculate on the basis of changes in tax and spending policies alone because it could ignite animal spirits and attract productive capital. Regarding igniting animal spirits, if this administration can spark a virtuous cycle in which people can make money, the move out of cash (that pays them virtually nothing) to risk-on investments could be huge.

The question is whether this administration will be a) aggressive and thoughtful or b) aggressive and reckless. The interactions between Trump, his heavy-weight advisors, and them with each other will likely determine the answer to this question.

We can get a rough sense of the experience of the new Trump administration by adding up the years major appointees have spent in relevant leadership positions. … Trump’s administration stands out for having by far the most business experience and a bit lower than average government experience (lower compared to recent presidents, and in line with Carter and Reagan). But the cumulative years of executive/government experience of his appointees are second-highest. Obviously, this is a very simple, imprecise measure, and there will be gray zones in exactly how you classify people, but it is indicative.

While the Trump administration appears very right-leaning by the measures above, it’s worth keeping in mind that Trump’s stated ideology differs from traditional Republicans in a number of ways, most notably on issues related to free trade and protectionism.

Trump’s appointees bring lots of high quality business leadership experience from roles that required pragmatism and judgment.

It’s also of note that Trump has leaned heavily on appointees with military experience to compensate for his lack of foreign policy experience

By and large, deal-maker businessmen will be running the government. Their boldness will almost certainly make the next four years incredibly interesting and will keep us all on our toes.

Different. But not by that much, really, as far as qualifications and experience. The difference is in focus and goals and that is why there is a deathly fear of change in certain circles.

BTW, about those circles, the Electoral College vote brouhaha was contained mostly within them. The defectors did more damage to Clinton than they did to Trump. This might help localize the damage to proper governance and keep it to those trying to destroy it.

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Election Maps

Instapundit cites the Clinton Archipelego as spotted by conservative talk radio host John Cardillo.

You may have seen the map with states or counties as red or blue depending upon their vote. The Clinton Archipelego shows the vote with color gradients for areas where Clinton had a majority. All of the area where Clinton did not get 50% are represented by a blue sea. The result is potent in its message.

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Electoral College Assault

There is a lot of discussion about the Electoral College prompted by the massive assault including harrassment and death threats and worse related to the election’s losers. Paul Mirengoff summarizes the situation as The Left Marches on the Electoral College.

The left has been marching relentlessly through our institutions for decades. That’s a major reason why confidence in our institutions — e.g. the mainstream media — is so low.

electors are being asked to ignore the outcome in their states, and the request is backed in some cases by attempts at coercion.

As far as I know, conservatives/Republicans never considered urging the Electoral College to nullify Obama’s victory on this basis (or any other). To do so would not only have been absurd, it would have been obscene.

The same is true of what the left is trying to do now. And the left is doing it without a murmur of disapproval from the Democratic party.

Meanwhile, liberal pundits are calling for president-elect Trump to stop talking about the election in order to “heal” the country.

Faced with claims that his victory was illegitimate, President George W. Bush tried to heal the country. He never denied the thinness of his victory margin and he compromised with Democrats on judges and on some policy matters.

This approach didn’t work out very well for Bush or his party. Trump has a different one in mind, and I don’t blame him.

Then there’s Jazz Shaw who thinks We’ll clearly need to take a fresh look at faithless electors when this is all over.

John Sexton was just writing yesterday about ongoing harassment of and threats to the electors in advance of tomorrow’s vote, but the questions which have come up this cycle are going to linger well into the future.

Even if everything goes off relatively smoothly tomorrow, the gauntlet has been thrown down in terms of whether or not the electors can or should be able to overturn an election.

While there have been some minor skirmishes over individual electors over the years (and a seriously large one in 1836) we haven’t generally politicized the Electoral College all that much. But in the 21st century, everything is up for grabs because politics is now generally accepted as being a bloodsport. Many of our government institutions have operated over the centuries essentially on the honor system, largely because the Founders assumed that those in positions of power would likely be unwilling to do anything too untoward. Well, they never saw 2016 coming, obviously.

We may be forced to fix this situation, but I’m not exactly sure how.

I remain unsure, but this conditions on the ground are getting ugly. The stage has been set for some sort of sore loser, electoral college revolt the next time enough people are angry about the outcome of an election. Even if it’s not happening this year, you can easily imagine it taking place in your lifetime. We’d be wise to figure out how to patch this system up before the dam breaks entirely.

Back on PowerLine, John Hinderaker notes the position of the State Propaganda Machine in Trump Tweets on harassment of electors, and the Associated Press rebuts.

So it’s only fair that the Democrats try to steal the election by threatening and–who knows?–bribing Republican electors! The AP has come out of the closet, in case you hadn’t noticed, as a Democratic Party organ.

The AP tweet took the ‘both sides do it’ by equating Trump’s campaign rhetoric to the assault on the Electoral College. That meme about Trump promoting violence and rioting and other leftist tacts has been shown to be Fake News(tm) but exposure of falsehood doesn’t appear to matter to the AP if it doesn’t fit the story that want to exist.

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Petty and Vindictive

Characteristics that can be seen — and are often denied and refuted by “everybody does it” or ‘reduce to insignificance’ or whatnot — are being inspected. The denial is on parade and, no, both sides do not do it. Obama ditches promise of ‘smooth and efficient’ transition to Trump provides examples to consider.

Mr. Feehery said the transition is “more like the Clinton-Bush” transfer in 2001, when some Clinton officials, angry at the election outcome and the U.S. Supreme Court decision ending a recount in Florida, were accused of mischief, including removing the “W” keys from computer keyboards in the White House.

This time around, a case might be made that there is a bit more of a stimulus for petty and vindictive behavior. Consider how PEOTUS responded to the First Lady’s comments.

“Michelle Obama said yesterday that there’s no hope,” Mr. Trump said as the crowd booed loudly. “But I assume she was talking about the past, not the future, because I’m telling you, we have tremendous hope. We are going to be so successful as a country again.”

That goes back to the current President’s ‘we won, get over it’ comments early in his administration followed by the partisan steamrolling in legislative issues like Obamacare. That indicates an investment in ideology that is perhaps unhealthy.

While all elections have consequences, the promised reversal of much of Mr. Obama’s agenda is causing deep disappointment and frustration among loyalists in the departing administration.

Mr. Obama seems to be taking a willfully rosy view of the transition, judging from some of the frustration expressed by Trump advisers such as former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway. She said Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton should call a truce with the incoming administration if they “actually love the country enough.”

Other considerations here include the Russians Did It, Fake News, Electoral College assaults, riots, falsified threats, hyperbolic anticipation of doom and gloom, and the eternal parade of pessimism and negativity that has taken over the state propaganda machine. The people have spoken (at least those outside of California) and they demand to be heard. What California and its ilk have been pushing for the last eight years is not acceptable to the U.S. at large. Denial of that fact isn’t helping anything or anyone.

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First it was pre-season football. Now it’s pre-season politics

Jazz Shaw says Democrats already accusing Trump of “treason” a month before he takes office.

This weekend you can catch a preview of what the next four years of mainstream media coverage of the Trump presidency will look like by checking in at the Boston Globe. … Yes, you read that correctly. It’s still more than a month before the PEOTUS will be sworn in and we’ve already got someone bringing up the word “treason” and tying it to his name.

No, it doesn’t appear that this was manipulation on the part of the Globe. Shattuck fires of the “treason” charge only four words into the article. And the basis for this suggestion rests entirely on the fact that Trump took issue with the conclusion drawn by some in the intelligence community that the Russians hacked the DNC’s email accounts to help him win.

Oh… so there’s no evidence. But you’ll just fire off an editorial in the Boston Globe suggesting it anyway, eh?

the real issue here is why a long established newspaper would agree to run such a blatantly hyperbolic, partisan piece of trash which is clearly designed to undermine national confidence in the electoral process and delegitimize the incoming president. In a more sane period of American politics you might expect that a newspaper with the standing of the Boston Globe would take a look at this column and at least hesitate before giving it the green light.

Sadly, that’s not the case today. The mainstream media learned nothing from the lessons of 2016 and you can expect to see a non-stop barrage of attacks on Trump over every single thing he says or does over the next four years. Today’s example is just one of many cases where we see that the press isn’t even waiting until he takes the oath to begin attempting to derail his presidency. So fasten your seat belts, kids. There’s a lot more of this to come.

Forecasting the future is always difficult and is particularly suspect when it has no tie to reality – as much of the Left’s fantasies about Trump appear to be. Things are a bit different when you extrapolate from what is currently in evidence. Pre-season football is about choosing a team roster most likely to win based on what players actually do on the field. Shaw is doing much the same thing here: anticipating the future by looking at what the media is currently doing. As such, his advice to “fasten your seat belts” is worth serious consideration.

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attack and provoke

“When liberals say the only reason conservative Christians oppose gay marriage is prejudice, they have to overlook facts like, oh, that a very senior Justice Department lawyer concedes in Supreme Court oral argument that their churches, schools, and charities may be severely penalized for following their religious beliefs. It’s not paranoia when people really are out to get you.”

Rod Dreher describes How The Left Overreached In Court (ht InstaPundit). He cites “Sean Trende, on what the left has done over the last four years to attack and provoke religious conservatives.”

Trende wrote a book and his topic appears to be particularly apt in a contrast between Obama and Trump

The major theme of my book is that all party coalitions fall apart because, well, governing is hard and it inevitably forces parties to choose among members of their coalition. More importantly – and this is where I think realignment theory isn’t just wrong but also counterproductive – parties see their wins as a sign that they’ve finally “won” at politics. But this hubristic take is always wrong, and usually destructive.

The overreach that he describes as coming from this hubris and “I won” may be correlation and not causation. Much of the assault on Christians may be related but inherent rather than stimulated. It may be that it is made less inhibited by a political winning that gives it credence and support. The recent episodes of the bullied standing up to such assaults may be to similar awareness that a new winner is going to stand behind them, too.

Then there is who won and why. Obama made it very clear that his win was ideological and his purpose was to push an agenda with the full support and collusion of his political party. Trump presented a different flavor. He enlisted the Republicans to his cause as a part of gathering together a coallition of support. His goal wasn’t to create a new way of governance and life but rather to undo the new way that the Left had imposed in such things as Obamacare and other socialist left leaning governance and top down control over basic life activities. 

“Attack and provoke” is a tactic but perhaps not an intentional one. The thesis of Dreher is that it has run amok and Trende indicates that this may have been due to a lack of restraint in tempering the ‘enthusiasm’ for the ideological goals. When pushing for what Christian’s consider immoral behavior, the sky is the limit. There is always more you can do and this means there is no lid for the left. In reducing that behavior, though, there is a floor. That is why the Obama goals foster going too far and the Trump goals have natural limits. There is no limit on what you can do to “attack and provoke” but there is a point where people cannot be left any more alone. The question then becomes one of choosing when the leaving alone becomes a community concern such as with crime and dereliction.

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Now it’s guns. Insidious political warfare

One of the traits of the left is persistence. That is why they never engage in debate but only in argument. They will not accept loss. If one tactic doesn’t succeed, they try another and they will push it to the brink. The election provides just one blatant example. Gun control is another. In Nevada, the Clark County immigrants and Californians were able to push through an onorous background check law whose implications are ominous. In California, they are after ammunition. Then there’s the U.N. Thomas Mason calls it Obama’s parting shot — “The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty gives away the rights of all Americans.”

What happened was not just part of the usual give and take of such negotiations, but a deliberate act of bad faith by Hillary Clinton. The firearms community was under the impression that the Department of State was negotiating in good faith. However, release of Mrs. Clinton’s Benghazi emails revealed the truth. As it turned out one of the reasons she supported the treaty was because it was opposed by the NRA. She wrote this in an email in March, 2011: “You know we’ve tried to support the U.N. small arms treaty but we have run into, as usual, fierce NRA and congressional opposition. But, I believe we have to keep trying. All the best, H.” Other emails showed her actively working with and meeting with anti-gun groups supporting the treaty at the U.N.illary herself identified that the treaty was about “small arms,” the U.N. term for gun control.

It’s like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football when he takes Lucy “in good faith” but finds that good faith should not be applied to Lucy much as it can’t be applied to anyone on the Left. In addition, you can also see the tactic of personalizing the opposition by selecting an evil enemy – in this case the NRA with Congressional Republicans tossed in as the NRA’s gullible dupes for extra, feel good, juice.

Restricting the right of individual self defense was a plank on the Democrat’s platform in the latest election. Many fronts being pushed for this plank but they miss Eric Raymond’s advice (see earlier post) which gets into reports this morning about women who have suffered assault using firearms training for therapy.

It appears that the populace may be getting a bit irritated by the persistence. A caller to Limbaugh mentioned a desire to be able to get up in the morning without having to worry about the next attack on her rights and freedoms and social customs. She isn’t alone. 

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A climate consensus infects intelligence?

On the Russians Did It front, the president has announced a consensus that now the FBI, Clapper back CIA, say Russia interfered in U.S. election to help Trump. The ‘evidence’ is to be released to the public ‘real soon now’ and it’s all according to ‘reports’ – promise. really and truly.

The FBI and the Director of National Intelligence agree with a CIA assessment that Russian cyber attacks on the U.S. election were intended in part to help President-elect Donald Trump win office, according to news reports.

Reports from earlier this week indicated that the ODNI had not endorsed the assessment that the Russian’s got involved to help Mr. Trump win the election.

President Obama on Friday reaffirmed his belief Russia was behind the hack of the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman. But during his last press conference of the year, the president declined to speculate on the motive of the Russian hackers saying he wanted to give intelligence agencies a chance to finish a report on the cyber attacks before drawing conclusions.

This is going to be a good test for Fake News(tm). The authority – in this case POTUS – has reversed a previous position. The motive, means, opportunity, and method remain unknown. The stories are based on leaks, innuendo, and allegation. Confirmation in terms of fact and measure is promised but not delivered. The nature of the interference and how it could achieve the claimed objectives is vague and not specified. The only thing that does exist at present is a claim of consensus. That is a logical fallacy often seen in the human caused catastrophic climate change argument. 

Right now, the trolls are still being fed. Responsible media take POTUS at his word and that is probably a ‘best option’ despite the record to date. It will be interesting to see if he can actually deliver what he promises this time. That would then beg the question of what, if anything, to do. Since that would be left to his successor, it would add to the idea that the whole ‘Russians Did It’ meme is just a partisan political tactic to impugn, demean, and denigrate the opposition as such things have been used in the past eight years.

At this point, it is getting to be quite interesting seeing how that successor deals with the tried and true tactics of the Democrats. This latest issue just provides for yet another experiment and, if behavior patterns hold, it is only the next in a long long line of creative constructs in the battle plan of the left where futility isn’t considered stupid and anything goes.

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Reform your attitude

Eric Raymond is a software developer and open source ideolog who has posted an essay:Hey, Democrats! We need you to get your act together!

Donald Trump’s victory reads to me like a realignment election, a historic break with the way interest and demographic groups have behaved in the U.S. in my lifetime. Yet, Democrats, you so far seem to have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

Here’s what I’ve been building up to:

You Democrats don’t just need to reform your gun policy, you need to reform your attitude towards the voters to a place from which your present policy looks as vicious and absurd as it does to them.

You Democrats don’t just need to reform your rhetoric about racism and sexism, you need to reform your attitude towards the voters to a place from which your present rhetoric looks as vicious and absurd as it does to them.

It’s all of a piece. You’ve forgotten how to be the party of the people. Trump was the price of that forgetfulness. Now, you need to relearn it, for all our sakes.

The alternative is that something like the Republicans, or possibly worse, dominates American politics for the foreseeable future. I don’t want that, and you should fear it more than I do.

So get your act together now.

Reform your attitude” is always good advice but it is a step in a process and not easy to do. It is advice that is most suited for one’s self and not for others. This keys in on why Clinton’s “irredeemable basket of deplorables” was significant but misses why Trump’s “make America great again” was similarly significant.

In much of Raymond’s essay where he promises to avoid “right and wrong and ideology” he brands others by who they are and the groups they have joined rather than work with actual behaviors and observables. To ‘reform an attitude’ is going to start with an examination of the perceptions that are the basis of that attitude. Raymond needs to do this for his ‘attitude’ about Trump, Republicans, and the identity groups he uses to rationalize his views. 

The implication in the claim that “Trump was the price” implies Trump expresses ‘wrong ideology’ and worse – the “price” is that of the suffering he will cause. That is an attitude that does need to be reformed and illustrates that Raymond’s advice needs to start at home. FUD Mongering of one’s own self drives all sorts of desctructive behavior. See Scott Adams for another geek’s perspective on this (scroll down for cites). 

Also: note the “you” messaging in the essay. Compare that to the I and we messaging in Trump’s speeches. Now find some of the self-help books such as those by Thomas Gordon to learn why this is important. 

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Tactics

Exposure and analysis is a good way to learn. That is why it is good to see tactics, especially dishonest tactics, being discussed. Francis Menton provides an example in The Impending Collapse Of The Global Warming Scare.

If you want fundraising in the billions rather than the thousands, you need a good end-of-days, sin-and-redemption scare. Human-caused global warming is your answer!

Even as this scare has advanced, a few lonely voices have warned that the radical environmentalists were taking the movement out onto a precarious limb.

Now, enter President-elect Trump. During the campaign, as with many issues, it was hard to know definitively where Trump stood.

So, was he proposing business-as-usual with a few tweaks, or would we see a thorough-going reversal of Obama’s extreme efforts to control the climate by fossil fuel restrictions?

With the recently announced appointments, this is starting to come very much into focus.

So what can we predict about where the climate scare is going? Among members of the environmental movement, when their heads stop exploding, there are plenty of predictions that this will be terrible for the United States: … I see it differently. I predict a high likelihood of substantial collapse of the global warming movement, both domestically and internationally, over the course of the next couple of years.

EPA is supposedly where that science is vetted and approved on behalf of the public before being turned into policy. In fact, under Obama, EPA’s principal role on the “science” has been to prevent and stifle any debate or challenge to global warming orthodoxy.

essentially all prominent global warming alarmists refuse to debate anyone who challenges any aspect of their orthodoxy. Well, that has worked as long as they and their allies have controlled all of the agencies and all of the money. Now, it will suddenly be put up or shut up.

Now the backers of the global warming alarm will not only be called upon to debate, but will face the likelihood of being called before a highly skeptical if not hostile EPA to answer all of the hard questions that they have avoided answering for the last eight years.

If the multi-tens-of-billions per year funding gusher for global warming alarmism quickly dries up, the large majority of the people living on these handouts will have no choice but to go and find something productive to do.

Avoidance of debate is a tactic. Failing to show cause when called upon to do so by proper authority is a tactic. Calling those who disagree with you names is a tactic. 

It appears that these tactics are being exposed and the parties involved are being called to account. Let the debate, the actual debate, begin!

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