Archive for politics

Perspective and context

VDH ponders Trump and the Politics of Moral Outrage. The current brouhaha about Russian hacking is just one example that illustrates his points. That example is about perceptions, actual causes, the use of satire and humor, outrage, and political machinations.

No doubt, some of Trump’s flamboyant invective is isolationist, nativist, and protectionist. Certainly, we are in the strangest campaign of the last half-century, in which members of Trump’s own party are among his fiercest critics. In contrast, the ABC/NBC/CBS Sunday-morning liberal pundits feel no need to adopt NeverHillary advocacy. They apparently share little “Not in my name” compunction over “owning” her two decades of serial lying, her violations of basic ethical and legal protocols as secretary of state, her investment in what can be fairly termed a vast Clinton pay-to-play influence-peddling syndicate, and the general corruption of the Democratic primary process.

Amid the anguish over the Trump candidacy, we often forget that the present age of Obama is already more radical than most of what even Trump has blustered about.

Is Trump’s threatened “isolationism” worse than the present “lead from behind” or the empty step-over lines, deadlines, and red lines of the last seven years? Or than refusing to increase security at Benghazi and creating fables to hide the dereliction? I often hear the question: “Who knows what Trump might do?” I hear it much more often, in fact, than I hear anyone recall “We came, we saw, he [Qaddafi] died” or “What difference does it make?” The point is not to excuse Trump with “you too” moral equivalence, or to cynically race to the bottom of low-bar politics, but again to remind our ethicists that we live in an age characterized by Petronius’s Satyricon, not the elder Cato’s moral republic — and if they object to that fact, there were plenty of occasions to voice their outrage long before Donald J. Trump left The Apprentice. Trump may well be Trimalchio, but neither Clinton nor Obama is a Scipio (more likely a Catiline, Clodius, or Milo).

Like it or not, this election is about degree, relative political agendas, and comparative hazard, not about marrying ideological purity and consistency with sobriety and character — a sad fact that did not enter our politics with Donald J. Trump.

The current campaign is change and the state propaganda machine and established politicians are having a tough time trying to figure out what is going on. There are lessons to be learned about the people and about the wisdom of those who framed the U.S. systems of government.

Leave a Comment

Diagnosing tactics: the AP

John Hinderaker: The Association Press Plays the Race Card.

The Associated Press was once a straightforward, relatively nonpolitical news source, but those days are long gone. Now some of the most hard-core Democratic Party advocacy comes from the AP. Thus, it is no surprise that the AP is trying to advance the Democrats’ narrative that Trump is a bigot.

Is that assertion true? The AP takes no responsibility, it is just what “some observers say.”

“Coded racial language” is big on the left, but note that so far, the AP hasn’t quoted a single word that Donald Trump actually said. Not one. The AP goes on in the same vein, quoting Trump’s far-left critics, but never citing any of Trump’s own words.

And tomorrow, the AP will run a story on how Communists and Socialists are cheering for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. They won’t do that, of course, because fringe people are of interest only if they support Republicans. It’s just another day in the lives of liberal journalists who are devoted to advancing the interests of their party.

At least the propaganda is being dissected and exposed. There is still a significant gullible market for propaganda and that means that there will be those to serve the market. There is a lot of work to be done to shrink that market and education about tactics, techniques, and methods may help promote better integrity.

Leave a Comment

People notice

At least Tammy Bruce thinks so. Chaos at the Democratic National Convention — “The chaos of the Democrats follows the noisy challenge of the GOP.”

Americans notice things like no American flags on the DNC convention stage. It might be small to some people, but it’s a statement. The Democrats think so because someone made a deliberate decision to eliminate the image of the Stars and Stripes. After criticism mounted, they added them the second night. What sort of people need to be proded into including the American flag at a convention for the presidency?

The contrast is there. It is not only in symbols such as the U.S. Flag and other Americana that usually overwhelms at a national party convention. It is also in the speakers and topics that are chosen to be on the agenda. As Bruce noted, it is also in the management of the convention itself, something that isn’t noticed if well done.

Politics seems to have risen above opinion and reason and even integrity. It has gone beyond patriotism and pride in one’s society. Do the people notice? Do they care? They will tell us soon.

Then take a look at the DNC platform. IBT describes it For Democrats, Is It ‘Great America’ Or ‘Hate America’?.

The bedrock of America has always — always — been its free-market system, which has provided greater wealth and opportunity for more people than any other system ever. Yet, there have been no comments made from the convention stage in unqualified support of our free-market system. None.

The truth is, as the Democratic platform clearly shows, the Democratic Party now is in near total opposition to the free-market system we have — favoring instead top-down control of nearly every aspect of American life.

or consider answering the question Why Are ‘Progressives’ Fighting Against Uber and Airbnb?/

So in other words, to help out rich, politically connected special interests, progressives like Warren are perfectly willing to cause direct harm to middle-income families.

This isn’t being progressive, folks. This is being reactionary.

An anti Airbnb notice even came out with the Washoe County property tax notice. Will people notice?

Leave a Comment


Richard Berman thinks he knows How to defeat activists. “The key is exposing the opposition’s hidden agenda.”

Having a first-mover advantage, then occupying the moral high ground, allows activists to shift the burden of proof to the opposition. This puts opponents in the impossible position of trying to prove a negative — e.g., explaining why a higher minimum wage won’t decrease poverty, and how food labeling won’t make consumers more informed.

So how does one respond? Not by continuing to try to win on an intellectual level.

It is getting more discussion about how integrity – the intellectual level – isn’t much of a factor in today’s political arguments. Berman’s problem in envisioning tactics is that his proposed solution falls back to that of the honest person. That dissonance is a significant internal dilemma: how do you prevail when you are up against an opposition that has no boundaries on its behavior?

Consider, for instance Ed Feulner on Challenging the climate change bullies — “Despite what Democratic lawyers say, free speech isn’t debatable.”

Actually, Mr. Schneiderman can assert that all he wants. Unlike him, I believe in free speech for all, even those I disagree with. What I find abhorrent is the idea of using the power of government to compel groups who express a politically incorrect point of view to open their files for investigation.

Sorry, Mr. Whitehouse. The only fraud being perpetrated here is by those who would deny basic First Amendment rights to their fellow Americans. Let’s hope those who recognize your bullying tactics keep turning up the heat.

Keep turning up the heat – that’s another tactic and it is an effective one. It means selling the people to join you in exposing the fallacies and absurdities and in pushing back against improper behavior.

Leave a Comment

Struggles with guns

The dissonance is on display. Paul Marantz is wondering: More guns or fewer? The problems with evidence-based gun research and provides an illustration of asking the wrong question and avoiding logical inference by avoiding selected data.

To me, it seems patently absurd to suggest that fewer people would have died in that movie theater in Aurora, CO, if more theater-goers were toting firearms, or that fewer children would have died in Sandy Hook, CT, if there were armed guards in all schools, or Donald Trump’s more recent statement that if more people in that Orlando nightclub had been carrying guns, “you wouldn’t have had the tragedy that you had.”

Absurd? It is one thing to not understand but entirely another to pre-judge. The use of ‘toting’ is also an indicator of this bias. Why would it be absurd to think that an armed citizenry would increase the odds of reducing the tenure of a mass murderer? The he poses a hypothetical to support his view: “But since we can’t actually know something that didn’t happen.” The logical fallacy is trying to apply a single case to a statistical phenomena. Rather than limit the observations to one specific and selected event to determine definitive result, why not look at the broader, statistical, population? If you do, then you will find cases where an armed citizenry did indeed cut a mass murder short and other evidence that your judgment of “absurd” is off base. This is only a part of the problem.

why not take a scientific approach to determining whether there is such an association and in which direction it points? While my heart resonates with this argument, my head finds a few significant problems:

1. The powers that be don’t want this sort of information.

Just how is assuming a conspiracy taking a “scientific approach”?

2. Even when information is available, we tend to ignore or disbelieve evidence that doesn’t comport with our beliefs. While there hasn’t been enough research on gun violence, there has been some, and it generally supports the notion that having fewer restrictions on gun access is associated with more, not fewer, fatalities

When you start to allege bias, the first place to look is always in the mirror. In this case, the need is shown by a questionable allegations. This is about not enough research – like the research that has been done and the measurements taken don’t support the view I like so we need more to find some that does. Another problem is the “fewer restrictions” means more fatalities which flies in the face of the overall statistic that violence has reduced over the last couple of decades as gun ownership and CCW permits have increased. The only ‘research’ to support his allegation is highly selective and bypasses proper consideration of pertinent variables in a complex situation.

3. Americans’ mistrust of science. This last point is perhaps the most problematic; although as troubling as I find it, I do understand it a bit. First, while science represents a methodology and an approach to thinking about and understanding the world, the way “science” is taught tends to emphasize what we’ve learned from science (often focusing on fact retention) rather than the methodology itself. While the latter is more interesting, it can be intellectually challenging, and one wonders whether our educational system is up to the task

How is this mistrust measured? Is it a sop for an ad hominem attack on those who do not agree? Perhaps a place to start would be to start to examine one’s own views of science. Think about the values of science and how poorly they are reflected in your own conclusions and rationalizations.

In sum: I’m hoping for effective, evidence-based policies to curb gun violence and reduce firearm-related deaths, but I am of little faith.

What are these “effective, evidence-based policies” that are going to do what what is already happening? Why is this restricted to just one type of violence and what does that indicate about the real target of the plea – and why is that target hidden? 

Leave a Comment

Soros v Koch

A number of Democrats in the Senate are having a go at the Koch brothers claiming that they are defrauding the public and should be silenced. Meanwhile, there’s George Soros. Kelly Riddel says Beware the Soros zombies — “They’re headed to the Republican convention with a mission to disrupt and distract.”

Civil rights group Color of Change — which Mr. Soros gave $500,000 to in his Foundation’s latest tax return — collected more than 100,000 signatures on a petition to demand Coca-Cola and other companies withdraw their support from the [Republican] convention. The petition that featured a Coke bottle with the label, “Share a Coke with the KKK.”

Brave New Films, which received $250,000 from Mr. Soros‘ foundation, tried to make waves for Republicans by creating misinformation about their convention through social media.

Deceit and lies — that’s what these groups are up to — and they’re using the mainstream media as their pawns.

Last weekend, the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD), a progressive organization that was given $900,000 by Mr. Soros’s Foundation, held a People’s Convention in Pittsburgh, to organize social justice movements ahead of the political conventions both in Cleveland and Philadelphia.

That’s right, Mr. Soros is actively working to build another ACORN.

It is one thing to voice an opinion, another entirely to fund demonstrations to disrupt and destroy and silence the opposition. Soros v Koch illustrates the difference and tells much about the ethics and values that are at play in current politics and the stark differences between parties.

Leave a Comment

An IBD collection

Investor’s Business Daily has a parade of solid thinking today. Start off with Walter Williams on why We Don’t Need Another ‘National Conversation’ On Race. Then take a look Kerry Jackson: June Hottest Month On Record? It’s Just One More Overheated Claim. Both illustrate how measures of reality are in dissonance with political desires and fantasies.

The primary victims of lawlessness are black people. To address this problem and most others, black people should ignore the liberal agenda. If civil authorities will not do their job of creating a safe environment, then black people should take the initiative. One example comes to mind. In 1988, at the request of residents, Black Muslims began to patrol Mayfair Mansions, a drug-infested, gang-ridden, unsafe Washington, D.C., housing project. The gangs and drug lords left.

Without self-initiative, there is not much that can be done about the high crime rate in black neighborhoods. Black and white liberals and their allies in the ACLU, as well as many libertarians, will not countenance the kind of tools needed to bring about civility.

Similar to the ‘foolishness’ and many falsehoods driving the anti-police movement is that driving the climate propaganda.

One of the points that has to be taken from this is the foolishness of trying to determine an average temperature for a country, let alone an entire planet.

And it is indeed foolishness. Bjarne Andresen, a professor at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen, says the concept of a global temperature is thermodynamically as well as mathematically impossible to establish.

“It is impossible to talk about a single temperature for something as complicated as the climate of Earth,” Andresen, an expert in thermodynamics, says.

“A temperature can be defined only for a homogeneous system. Furthermore, the climate is not governed by a single temperature. Rather, differences of temperatures drive the processes and create the storms, sea currents, thunder, etc. which make up the climate.”

NOAA would have more credibility if it simply reported that summer had arrived in the Northern Hemisphere in June and reminded Americans, particularly those in regions where June was cooler than usual, that, yes, summer is hot.

Yes, it’s a hot summer and some are saying it was planned – at least the race riot type things. 

Leave a Comment

Democrats v Bill of Rights

Peter Roff on Freezing Free Speech — “Democratic senators are trying to put the First Amendment on ice.”

This coordinated attack on what the Democrats are calling the “Web of denial” is a hideous affront to the right of a person or an organization to hold and to propagate an opinion running counter to the political interests of the powerful. That those participating are making use of the tactics they accuse their opponents in the climate change debate of using would make for delicious irony were the stakes not so high.

Whitehouse and company understand well they cannot yet make a difference of opinion a criminal matter. They can however make it a costly one – and they are not above using the resources available to them as officers of the United States government to do it. No matter what your beliefs about climate change you should all be sickened by the spectacle. Open debate is healthy, but that’s not what this is. It’s an effort at oppression, the kind many of our forebears fled in deciding to first come to America.

If you can’t make it illegal, you can at least make it costly to oppose you. The assault on the Bill of Rights by the Democratic Party is indeed “a hideous affront.” What is frightening is that it is a major political party supported by a good portion of the citizenry.

update: the minions are falling into line: Calling out the Koch Brothers. Note the picking of a personal target and how it is rationalized and defended in the comments. 

Leave a Comment

Perfecting Hindsight: Chilicot version

It’s another ‘report’ to establish moral superiority by bashing and trashing leadership in unpleasant world affairs. This time, it is Tony Blair as the victim for supporting George Bush in the Iraq war. Not that it isn’t countries under examination, it is specific political leaders. Andrew Rawnsley reviews Ten things that Chilcot’s verdict reveals about Tony Blair and the Iraq war. One of the first things to consider in this review is the axioms that show bias.

What he can’t bring himself to say is: “If I knew then what I know now, of course I would never have taken Britain to war in Iraq.” Some react to his defiance by putting it down to self-delusion, denial and vanity. The most important reason is this: for Blair to accept that the entire enterprise was a mistake would be to say to the bereaved that their loved ones died in vain for a terrible folly.

“Folly” ? Notice the many ‘qualified’ assertions about this folly.

Chilcot concludes that the legal basis for the invasion was “far from satisfactory” and confirms that the cabinet never tested the advice from the attorney-general … On the other hand, the war was never condemned by a vote of the UN and the occupation was subsequently given a form of endorsement in post-invasion resolutions passed by the Security Council creating a framework for Iraq’s future.

Up to the cusp of the invasion, key members of the cabinet could have acted to stop British participation in the invasion. Any one of John Prescott, deputy prime minister at the time; Gordon Brown, chancellor; and Jack Straw, foreign secretary, could have halted it by resigning. … The late Robin Cook was the only member of the cabinet to quit

Even the original premise is qualified in item 10.

10 Could an Iraq war ever happen again?

That seems unlikely after the defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some policy thinkers worry there could be a sound case for intervention in the future and it won’t happen because the scars are so deep. Strategy is a mess. After the horrors in Iraq, Britain, with France and America, took a different approach when genocide was threatened by Colonel Gaddafi in Libya, using air power but not deploying troops. That form of intervention-lite has turned out badly. The failings in Iraq and Libya resulted in reluctance to intervene in Syria when anti-regime protesters rose up against the dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad. Even when he unleashed chemical weapons on civilians, parliament refused to sanction British intervention at the first time of asking. More Syrians have died since that conflict began in 2011 than Iraqis have died since the invasion of 2003. Non-intervention can be every bit as blood-stained as intervention.

The “scars are so deep” but these scars do not come from the war in Iraq but rather the political war at home. It is a political war driven by fantasy and hate and personal desires that run so deep as to stimulate massive reports trying to defend them by ignoring reality. That ignoring reality isn’t so much a creation of a new one as an emphasis on just one aspect of the whole. This is like the desire for a socialist dictatorship supported by ignoring the human suffering that results any time it surfaces.

The ‘other side’ of the Iraq war angst is in the Authorization to Use Military Force passed overwhelming by the U.S. Congress and in the U.N resolutions regarding Iraq and in the recent history of the late 20th century. These factors cannot be swept aside in ad hominem moral preening trying to pretend that humanity is what it is not.  History makes it clear that “Non-intervention can be every bit as blood-stained as intervention,” 

Leave a Comment

Trump Dissonance

Some get it. Consider Byron York: How Trump speaks. Some folks are beginning to notice that Donald Trump is different. Others, like ‘reporters’ in the mainstream propaganda machine, appear to remain clueless. The clueless don’t want to admit that, maybe, they are a bit weak on understanding so they go on attack and demean, humiliate, and castigate. In doing so, they are missing a phenomena.

Instead of a prepared stump speech that he gives over and over again — the standard diet for political reporters covering the presidential race — Trump instead has chosen to deliver a stream of consciousness performance designed to capitalize on his celebrity, to entertain, to attack opponents, and to address the actual issues in the race. And most of all, to keep his audience awake and paying attention.

People aren’t offended by the bragging because they sense it’s part of the act, and they appreciate the occasional touch of humility.

Still, amid it all, Trump manages to cover some of the bases of a conventional political speech. In Cincinnati, he devoted the first part of the speech to attacking Hillary Clinton in light of the Obama Justice Department’s decision not to charge her in the email affair.

Trump interspersed issues throughout the Cincinnati speech. As always, he never discussed specifics of how he would handle any given issue, choosing instead to talk in terms of goals.

But here’s the striking thing, whether the attendee is a loyal Trump fan or not: After all of Trump’s rambling and meandering, after one discursive aside after another, many of those attending still manage to come away from Trump’s speech with concise and focused takeaways.

He communicates in a way far different from what the political world is used to — but he communicates.

it’s clear Trump faces an enormous, perhaps insurmountable obstacle in getting his message out. He clearly believes he is a great communicator, and he is in fact a very good one. But as a political speaker, Trump is so far outside the box that he has virtually overwhelmed the senses of those reporting and analyzing the news, making it difficult for some voters who haven’t actually seen him to get a clear picture of his appeal to supporters.

A key is to consider behavior. In one column from Erik Erickson who thinks We Have Betrayed Our Founders, for instance, one can observe:

“The biggest problem is falling into the ‘both sides do it’ fallacy and not making crucial distinction about differences. That is especially important to do when the options are not attractive.

“For Hillary, his recitation is witness (lied, jeopardized national security). For Trump, it is judgment (swindled, rigged, dog whistled). That shows a crippling anti-Trump bias.

“Another problem is the ‘vox populi’ logical fallacy in asserting a growing consensus that Trump would be a disaster. That also falls into conflating the known (Hillary) with the unknown (Trump).

“Then the ‘both sides do it’ again in “allegiances now to themselves”

“As for Trump’s character, I think Erickson is off base. People I trust that know him, such as Limbaugh (and Savage) and his extended family and ex girl friends, tell a different story. His campaign tells a different story. His funding solicitation tells a different story. The angry and irrational response to Trump from certain quarters also tell me a different story.

“Demagogue is not, IMHO, a proper label for Trump. Calling Republicans the “adult party” is nonsense when looking at how they have responded to elections and as an opposition party in Congress.

“What Erickson also misses is that the Founders saw our country as being run by citizens, ordinary folks who are not career politicians. Trump fits that bill. Hillary does not.

“Trump is also a much better fit for a moral person than Clinton but it takes a close look at the ‘swindle, rigged, etc’ judgments to understand this.

“Erickson also bypasses the fact that Trump won the nomination over a stellar field of competitors and did so by following the rules. The need is to understand why Trump gets the support he does and you won’t find that by taking the road that Erickson is following.”

There is cognitive dissonance and many who thought they were on top of the game are showing significant behavior anomalies in trying to handle it. Time to get off the high horse charging around waving sabers and put the weapons aside and get down with the masses to figure out what is really happening. 

Leave a Comment

Selective reasoning

A functioning legal system means that written law is applied consistently. In the U.S. recently, this concept has been taking some abuse. The FBI v. Clinton is the topic of the day but it is not the only example. Madison Gesiotto says Liberal justices espouse Second Amendment argument in Texas abortion regulation case.

Essentially, what he is saying here is that more laws will not deter lawbreakers from committing crimes.

If they are going to use this reasoning to declare abortion regulations unconstitutional, they should stop denying its validity when raised to support the Second Amendment right of U.S. citizens to keep and bear arms.

One can only help that as gun control cases make their way to the Supreme Court that it will be difficult for these justices to distance themselves from the reasoning used in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt.

However, as we have seen in recent years, the law doesn’t always apply to everyone, and the left has a way of unapologetically picking and choosing reasoning that is politically expedient.

On the Clinton front there Andrew P. Napolitano: The Department of Political Justice — “Once again, the rule of law exempts the Clintons.”

What has become of the rule of law — no one is beneath its protections or above its requirements — when the American public can witness a game of political musical chairs orchestrated by Bill Clinton at an airport in a bizarre ruse to remove the criminal investigation of his wife from those legally responsible for making decisions about it?

It is obvious that a different standard is being applied to Mrs. Clinton than was applied to Gen. Petraeus and the others.

Unless, of course, one is willing to pervert the rule of law yet again to insulate a Clinton yet again from the law enforcement machinery that everyone else who fails to secure state secrets should expect.

Why do we stand for this?

The thing is, these sorts of things are not only in the upper levels of government, they are in local clubs like the WBCCI, an Airstream RV club. Stand up? It seems that that takes too much work and creates too much unpleasantness. Club Directors ignore malfeasance? Why worry about the club corporate charter? That’s like in Venezuela where they went for socialism and a dictator and didn’t think the current food riots were any risk to consider. What might (historically has) happened is far off so don’t worry, be happy. It’s not going to happen to you and who cares about the other guy.

Leave a Comment

Voter Fraud

It’s another partisan issue with Democrats insisting fraud doesn’t exist and voter qualification is unnecessarily discriminatory. John Hinderaker describes one case of Voter Fraud Alleged in Minnesota. As per usual, there are efforts from the Democrats to make evidence collection difficult but what has been found so far is telling.

Here in Minnesota, a case is pending in our Supreme Court that challenges same day registration and various actions by our Democratic Secretary of State that have enabled illegal voting. I haven’t yet had time to evaluate the plaintiffs’ legal arguments, but the factual allegations are explosive

The lawyers representing plaintiffs in the case have done a great deal of digging, and have come up with names, dates and places–illegal votes that likely swung Minnesota elections toward Democratic candidates. The illegal votes that plaintiffs have been able to document are only a small fraction of the actual total

Minnesota’s Secretary of State, Steve Simon, has tried to frustrate investigation into illegal voting by refusing to turn over either to polling places or to the plaintiffs in the lawsuit the complete list, which the state maintains, of those who have lost their voting rights. It is hard to see any possible reason why this list should be a secret, other than the Democrats’ desire that convicted felons, who overwhelmingly vote their way, get away with voting illegally.

This fact is particularly explosive:

MVA found 941 ineligible felons who were allowed to vote in 2008 alone, exceeding the 312 vote margin separating DFL candidate Al Franken and GOP Sen. Norm Coleman after a grueling recount.

This is stunning. It was Franken’s razor-thin “victory” over incumbent Senator Norm Coleman that allowed the Democrats to ram Obamacare down the throats of the American people. If we assume that 80% of the 941 ineligible felons voted for Al Franken–a conservative assumption, as nearly all convicted felons are Democrats–then Franken’s victory is attributable to voter fraud. And the 941 ineligible votes are just a fraction of those that could have been identified if the Democratic Secretary of State had not stonewalled, refusing to turn over the full list of ineligible voters.

Fishing expedition? Witch Hunt? Or an actual cause for investigation? Democrats see this particular issue one way and Republicans another much like in the Benghazi case or the Lerner case or the Clinton Foundation case or Fast and Furious or …. How much “there” is really there and what difference, at this point, does it make?

The pile under the rug seems to be getting to tripping hazard status and the reluctance to lift the edge to clean out the problem seems to be getting more adamant. Something will break sometime.

Leave a Comment

targeting the opposition

The scandals brew. Bill Clinton and AG Lynch have a half hour discussion in an airport – this raises questions because it is the prosecutor hobnobbing with the husband of an individual under criminal investigation. Then there is the AG that dropped the efforts against Exxon even though a coalition of 17 other Democrat AG’s promise to plow on. These are only two ingredients in the noxious brew.

Paul Bedard describes: Fox targeted by FEC Dems in first-ever vote to punish debate sponsorship

Finally making good on long-harbored anger at conservative media, Democrats on the Federal Election Commission voted in secret to punish Fox News’ sponsorship of a Republican presidential debate, using an obscure law to charge the network with helping those on stage.

It is the first time in history that members of the FEC voted to punish a media outlet’s debate sponsorship, and it follows several years of Democratic threats against conservative media and websites like the Drudge Report.

The punishment, however, was blocked by all three Republicans on the commission, resulting in a 3-3 tie vote and no action.

Then the IBD opines about the IRS Scandal: No End To Lois Lerner’s Lawlessness.

It’s now apparent, if it wasn’t before, that the Internal Revenue Service — which was created solely to collect revenues due the government, not to persecute the administration’s political enemies — has become a kind of rogue agency.

Its chief, John Koskinen, is being threatened with impeachment for not telling the truth in testimony before Congress. But Lerner, more than even Koskinen, has become a symbol of IRS arrogance and illegality.

So it looks like Lerner broke the law — again. But will she be punished? Not likely.

President Obama’s Justice Department already passed on prosecuting Lerner in 2015, despite strong evidence of criminal wrongdoing. IRS chief Koskinen, who is less guilty and less implicated than Lerner in all of this IRS skulduggery, is more likely to be impeached than Lerner is to be brought before a judge.

Loretta Lynch’s Justice Department, it seems, is just as politicized these days as the IRS.

One wonders just how long this sort of behavior will remain acceptable and how long the Democrats will continue to mount a solid patisan effort in trying to block investigations, persecute investigators, and otherwise defend and deny. The Benghazi investigation provides another clear example of this effort to whitewash a dirty fence.

Leave a Comment

The problem with the courts

William J. Olson and Herbert W. Titus take a look at a SCOTUS ruling that medical precautions in abortion are unduly restrictive in Whole Woman’s Health: Justice Thomas Exposes the Court’s Corrupt Abortion Jurisprudence. A dissent describes a broader view of just where the problem in the SCOTUS decision lies.

Justice Thomas concluded: “Our law is now so riddled with special exceptions for special rights that our decisions deliver neither predictability nor the promise of a judiciary bound by the rule of law.” Concluding with a frontal assault on balancing tests, Justice Thomas warned: “As the Court applies whatever standard it likes to any given case, nothing but empty words separates our constitutional decisions from judicial fiat[.] … If our recent cases illustrate anything, it is how easily the Court tinkers with levels of scrutiny to achieve its desired result.”

“The Court has simultaneously transformed judicially created rights like the right to abortion into preferred constitutional rights, while disfavoring many of the rights actually enumerated in the Constitution. But our Constitution renounces the notion that some constitutional rights are more equal than others. A plaintiff either possesses the constitutional right he is asserting, or not – and if not, the judiciary has no business creating ad hoc exceptions so that others can assert rights that seem especially important to vindicate[.]”

In other words, the courts have become so politically active that the only way to tell what decision they make is to examine the political ideologies of the judges. The actual law has very little to do with anything anymore. 

Think of the movie Red October where a captain orders that the safeties on a torpedo be turned off is the first two attempts did not get the desired results. That is what is happening with the courts: the safeties for governance are being turned off. In the movie, we found out why the safeties were there. Let us hope we avoid analogous results from court actions to remove the safeties on government.

Leave a Comment

Tactics and kindergarten

It was a set up job trying to get the opposition into a ‘no win’ scenario. John Sexton describes the tactics in Paul Ryan: I won’t tolerate another sit-in from Democrats.

After Democrats held what the Speaker of the House has called a fundraising stunt last week, some Republicans have recommended he file ethics charges against anyone who violated House rules. Ryan doesn’t seem ready to go there quite yet but he did tell WISN news that if Democrats try it again his response will be different … The Hill reports that Ryan chose not to have Democrats removed from the House floor last week because he had heard that was exactly what Democrats were hoping would happen

Speaker Ryan was put in an impossible situation by Democrats who were clearly hoping he would walk into a trap set for him. Had he cleared the House, Democrats would have turned an argument over a failed gun control bill into an argument over race and civil rights. … Any reaction by Ryan will be portrayed as a racially-charged overreach against a civil rights icon. So it’s hard to see how can Ryan ever win this showdown because whatever he does the media will ensure that he loses.

The same media that has been consistently dismayed by every government shutdown driven by Republicans was giddy over Democrats turning the House floor into an Occupy camp. Despite the clear breaking of the rules and Ryan’s restrained response, the media gave Democrats’ glowing reviews.

In other words, as long as people buy into this behavior, it will continue.

Then there’s the idea that Democrats release their own Benghazi report.

Democrats on the Select Committee investigating the Benghazi attack released their own report on the matter Monday. The report is intended to undercut the forthcoming report by the majority on the select committee which is expected to be released this summer

The report is 339 pages but fully 50 pages of that is dedicated to attacking the Republicans on the committee directly. The report offers 12 recommendations, 3 of which are aimed at the select committee itself.

Democrats have apparently produced exactly what they have accused Republicans of attempting to produce, a completely politicized Benghazi report.

And, if that isn’t enough, consider Jazz Shaw about Washington state to begin teaching “gender identity” in Kindergarten.

Earlier this month another dubious milestone was reached in the state of Washington, already home to many such distinctions. We learned that beginning in the fall of next year, kindergarten students being sent off to school for the first time will be learning about more than the A,B, C’s and which juice box to select before nap time. Teachers will begin instructing the five year olds on the ins and outs of gender identity… just in case they didn’t have enough to be confused about already. (Daily Caller)

Before going any further, allow me a moment to offer some advice for all the parents in the Evergreen State as well as young couples considering procreating. Get out. Pack your things and rent a U-Haul or whatever it takes. Flee the state. There is nothing left worth fighting for there and you should really strike out and find a job somewhere sane.

Childhood is confusing enough and setting off on the path to adulthood is a road with many pitfalls awaiting you. Having the state engage in this sort of destructive behavior should be criminal, but it’s now treated as the new normal. This idea probably works wonderfully to indoctrinate a new generation of Democratic voters, but the damage they may potentially leave in their wake is a tragedy in the making.

It seems that there may be a pattern or correlation here. Throwing a temper tantrum on the floor of the House is a tactic for 2 year olds. So, perhaps, they see kindergarten students as being their peers and that is why they push gender identity and sexual fantasies on these children.

Leave a Comment

Using the courts as a political weapon

A unanimous SCOTUS ruled on The McDonnell Case: Another Study in Criminal Law as Democratic Partisan Warfare. Clarice Feldman explains.

It’s common for those unhappy with a decision to criticize the partisanship of the judges involved, but the weakness of the case, which was evident when it was argued in the Supreme Court (and during the trial itself), and the fact that it was reversed unanimously warrants a raised eyebrow. It comes on the heels of the reversed prosecutions of then-Senator Ted Stevens, Governor Rick Perry, House Majority leader Tom DeLay, the IRS war on Obama’s opponents in the tea party and other conservative groups, and the outrageous trampling the rights of those who worked for and supported Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. This case and those matters lead to an inescapable conclusion: With the endorsement of partisan juries and/or judges, the Democratic Party seeks to and will use the power of the prosecution to destroy Republican political leaders and anyone who supports them.

The law was thus rather well settled on this point, and neither the prosecution nor the trial and appellate courts gave it the required deference nor exercised any reasonable (or fair) judgment on the salient issue.

In the meantime, McDonnell’s political career, finances and family have suffered greatly by this strained reading of the law to cover conduct which the Supreme Court and ordinary common sense supports was not criminal , but rather ordinary and perfectly proper official conduct.

What I would bet on is that Democrats will continue to stretch the criminal law for partisan advantage, and that, if elected; Hillary will appoint prosecutors and judges willing to continue to mount such legal warfare.

“Warrants a raised eyebrow?” That seems to be a bit of understatement, especially in light of the previous post about a cohort of partisan AG’s going after the First Amendment for the cause. The Left, and the Democrats, loose many and suffer many casualties but they keep going, keep at it, knowing that there will be an occasional victory and another small push forward in the cause.

Leave a Comment

Don’t need no stinkin’ data – we have our imaginations!

This falls into the ‘never let a catastrophe go to waste’ department. Michael Mann, scientist: Data ‘increasingly unnecessary’ because ‘we can see climate change’.

Leading climate doomsayer Michael Mann recently downplayed the importance of climate change science, telling [the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee] that data and models “increasingly are unnecessary” because the impact is obvious.

The panel’s draft, which now goes to the full platform committee for approval at a meeting July 8-9 in Orlando, Florida, includes a recommendation to call for a Justice Department investigation into “alleged corporate fraud on the part of fossil fuel companies who have reportedly misled shareholders and the public on the scientific reality of climate change.”

The recommendation, adopted by unanimous consent, comes on the heels of a campaign by 17 attorneys general — 16 Democrats and one independent — to pursue Exxon Mobil Corp. and its supporters for climate change “fraud.” At least three attorneys general have issued subpoenas to Exxon.

Exxon is challenging subpoenas issued by the Virgin Islands and Massachusetts attorneys general, denouncing the probe as a fishing expedition that violates the company’s free speech rights.

Any flood, any big storm, any unusual weather, provide meat for claims about being able to “see climate change.” You’d think a person with the credentials and position of “Mann, scientist” would be well aware of the problems of perception and bias in measurement and, especially with his previous problems with statistics, especially careful about phenomena that are not simply measured.

It is telling that the pattern persists. Deceit and a lack of intellectual integrity in espousing a position, a call for the suppression of fundamental rights, moral preening, and the platform of the Democratic Party. Modeling that party with this pattern yields much more verifiable outcomes than climate models provide.

Leave a Comment

Political fact checking: tool of the trade

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. calls is a Fact checker fandango — “Research of the record fails to trip Trump.”

Mr. Potato Head was working with CNN’s posse comitatus to bring down Mr. Trump for his revelations about Crooked Hillary, but it is they — the so-called fact checkers at CNN — who were brought down.

After last week’s speech, it appears Donald Trump’s charges against Hillary Clinton are absolutely copper bottom. CNN’s “fact checkers” should be retired. Like all politicians, Mr. Trump might occasionally exaggerate a trivial matter. Hillary lies repeatedly on things that matter.

It is an interesting use of “copper bottom.” That comes from efforts to keep the hull of wooden sailing ships free of barnacles and other sea creatures that destroyed the hull and reduced sailing efficiency. Here, the implications are that the ‘fact checkers’ are analogous to the barnacles and other destructive creatures.

The tragedy is that so many are willing to go so far in trying to defend the indefensible. Calling themselves “fact checkers” is doing a disservice both to facts and to checking for integrity and honesty.

Leave a Comment

Rights? What rights?

Democrats Attack 3 Of The 10 Amendments In The Bill Of Rights — An IBD editorial explains.

Democrats have long expressed frustration, if not outright contempt, for the Constitution whenever it hinders their ability to enact some new government program. President Obama has repeatedly complained about the “messy” process the Constitution’s co-equal branches created, and has several times acted as though the Constitution’s limits on the president’s authority simply don’t apply to him.

But the fact that a major U.S. political party — which still considers itself mainstream — is now willing to specifically target amendments designed to protect Americans from tyrannical government control is alarming, to say the least.

Then there is the SCOTUS ruling that allows reverse discrimination, despite laws for equal treatment. What next?

Leave a Comment

The most amazing. Trying to catch up with the Clintons

Bruce Bialosky: The Worst Part Of The Email Scandal

The most amazing part of this entire scandal is that Mrs. Clinton maintained the email and personal server for the four years she was Secretary of State and it never became public. It was not until the State Department turned over eight emails to the House Benghazi Committee in August, 2014, that the world learned of This was more than five years after the domain was established in January, 2009, during Mrs. Clinton’s approval process in the U.S. Senate.

Not one person questioned this practice publicly. Not one met a Washington Post reporter in a dark corner of a garage and whispered how the Secretary of State was using her own email on her own domain and exposing nationally-sensitive material to tawdry or dangerous elements on the internet. This scares the wits out of me and it should scare the wits out of you. The Obama Administration was running such a cabal that no one challenged this questionable behavior.

In speaking to colleagues about this matter, they asserted various rationale for this lack of response. Most of their rationale centers on the fact that whoever it was, whether they be people in her department, the White House staff or other people in other departments, they were essentially afraid of challenging Ms. Clinton.

As I said this is the worst part. A major part of our government and hundreds of our employees refused to blow the whistle on an obvious dangerous behavior. That should scare us all.

Then there’s Lloyd Marcus trying to explain to his brother that experience in Washington D.C. is not necessarily a good thing. Hillary: Savant of Washington Insider Corruption.

Hillary is well-schooled in DC insider corruption, becoming a multimillionaire while crushing little people along the way. Though she portrays herself as a champion of women, Hillary’s history confirms that she is the complete opposite.

Hillary has learned how to put her political best interest above American lives. This was exposed in the bestselling book and accompanying movie, 13 Hours, which tells the horrific account of how Americans were left to die in Benghazi.

Hillary has learned how to create a charity in which only 10% goes to the people she claims to champion.

Hillary has truly mastered the technique of portraying herself as a champion of various groups while stabbing them in the back.

My low-info voter brother’s time is consumed coaching kids football and working a full-time job. He gets his news from mainstream media. His only knowledge of Hillary’s email scandal is the media and Democrat operative’s spin that says evil Republicans are out to get her. My brother does not know that as secretary of state Hillary broke extremely serious national security protocols, putting American lives at risk.Government employees with far lesser violations have been thrown into jail. Hillary has learned that being a Democrat in Washington permits her to arrogantly function outside the law without consequence.

It is out there in plain sight just like the temper tantrum of Democrats on the floor of the House of Representatives trying to raise funds with a faux 60’s sit-in advocating overturning the Bill of Rights. But, instead of being aghast at such behavior, it is praised and lauded.

Worried, yet? Or are you one of the plurality that is wondering what all the fuss is about, one that gets angry at those who think there is a problem here?

Leave a Comment