Archive for politics

A distorted mind; strange perceptions

The Emperor’s New Clothes: Trump at Davos by neo-neocon – “No, Trump’s not the emperor without clothes. He’s the kid who points and says the obvious about the naked emperor, “But he hasn’t got anything on!”

Then there are headlines like this: The Obstruction Case Is Getting Solid but when you go to look to see why, you find reporting that says “The aborted attempt to dismiss Mueller shows that Trump has sought to control the Russia investigation, that he has faked his reasons for disrupting it, and that he has ignored warnings that his behavior could be illegal.” In other words, the idea of ‘solid’ is based on something that did not happen, no evidence of any defined crime or illegal activity, and a boss mulling over firing an employee where, if that actually happened, that boss listed to, and acted on, reasonable cases presented by advisers. Just who is mentally deranged and unable to grapple reality here? Who is showing indications of obsessive behavior?

Doomsday Clock scream of ‘danger!’ falls flat on anti-Trump face by Cheryl K. Chumley – “One of the clock setters’ biggest concerns seems to be President Donald Trump’s rhetoric. – Seriously.” It’s about personality based paranoia.

“Sift through the parsed language and what these clock watchers are really getting at is that Trump’s manner of speaking — his manner of matching mockery with mockery, attack with attack, threat and intimidation with threat and intimidation — has brought the world to the brink of self-destruction.

To Doomsdayers, the Trump era, which has only been one year, by the way, has nonetheless ushered in more dangers than September 11, 2001, and the terror attacks on the United States — when the clock didn’t budge from its 1998 setting of nine minutes to midnight — and more dangers than seen during the entire diplomatic-at-all-costs Barack Obama administration, when the clock shifted from six minutes to midnight, to five minutes to midnight in 2012 and three minutes to midnight in 2015 and 2016.

This Trump talk — it’s a real killer all right.

Then there’s the Fake News™ scandal mongering. Huffington Post Smears Ryan Zinke With Fake Charge by Frank Miele – “The fake news media took another scalp this week, er, I mean, they distorted another story in order to smear the Trump administration.” AND Melania Trump’s favorability trends upward despite scandal-seeking news coverage by Jennifer Harper – “Some wonder why ‘liberal feminists’ have not come to her defense.” AND The Stormy Daniels outrage shows the media still don’t get Trump and why he won by Eddie Scarry – “It’s confounding reporters and TV commentators without critical thinking skills (take your pick off the “Morning Joe” set) that people just don’t seem to care about Stormy Daniels, the porn actress President Trump allegedly paid off to keep quiet before the 2016 election.”

Then there’s the real scandal. Grassley Pursues America’s Biggest Scandal by John Hinderaker – “While the Democratic Party press tries to pump life into Bob Mueller’s going-nowhere-fast Russia investigation, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley continues to burrow into the real scandal: the corruption of the Department of Justice and the FBI by Barack Obama, the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign.” One reason it is as big a scandal as it is is due to the solidarity and nature of the partisan response.

“Here, we simply have a letter requesting information. The Democrats to whom it is addressed will either ignore it, respond in risibly inadequate fashion, or lie. And there probably isn’t anything the Senate Judiciary Committee can do about it. Still, it is good to see that Grassley and Graham are at least trying to get at the truth with regard to what shapes up as the biggest scandal in American political history.

will the scandals of the past decade ever be resolved?

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Evidence accumulates towards and ugly message

Evidence mounts of Obama involvement in Dinesh D’Souza’s selective prosecution by Monica Showalter – “Would President Obama have been that petty to target a critic for draconian law enforcement over a movie? The way the Soviet KGB might have targeted a dissident?” Looks that way.

“It’s creepy to think there are lawmen with that little integrity out there to have not spoken out about such a blatant abuse of police power for political purposes. And it suggests that law enforcement agencies are shot through with leftists, which would mean no diversity of thought in the ranks, same as welfare, public defender, and other leftwing agencies.

What this vast expansion of resources – $100,000 for a $20,000 at most violation – also shows that Obama’s claims to “prioritization of resources” such as he claimed when he enabled the open border and its “child migrants” – was spoken with a forked tongue.

Alexa is no longer going to take your sexist abuse by John Sexton – “Over at the Atlantic, there’s a piece arguing that Alexa—the female voice associated with Amazon’s voice-activated, home automation product—is a victim of oppression, or maybe a setback for feminism, or something.” This is the kind of thing that feeds phenomena such as described by Brent Ledger in Seniors want to know whom they can trust online.

More skewed immigration reporting from the New York Times by Paul Mirengoff – “It isn’t lack of intelligence that distorts the Times’ reporting, it’s lack of objectivity. Haberman and her colleagues are rooting so hard against Trump, and for illegal immigrants, that it bends their reporting, sometimes to the point of incoherence.”

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Basic Management and Basic Scandal

Scott Adams has been using the current political war to illustrate the ideas in his new book Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter. Don Surber comes up with another, ‘amateur’ Jay Fivekiller, observer with “DACA is not a bargaining chip, it’s a wedge.” Fivekiller posted a series of 30 tweets where he laid out his view. It’s quite an analysis. For Surber it is also a reminder that those who think Trump is going in the right direction and knows more about how to get there than anyone might expect are not alone.

“30. So, once again, remember the Three Rules of the Trumpening.

  1. Always trust Trump.
  2. Never bet against Trump.
  3. Don’t get tired of winning.

“Now those are the observations of some guy who had 2,031 followers as of 9 PM last night.

I began assuring readers in August 2016 we are not alone, back when everyone wrote off The Donald.

And then 13 months later, in September 2017, I assured readers that Ann Coulter, Patrick Buchanan, and the rest were wrong about Trump’s meeting with Nancy and Chuck.

What we saw in Trump that they did not see by Don Surber – “Any honest man must admit that Donald Trump has proved in just one year to be a far better president than his predecessor.”

“We the voters are not surprised by Trump’s competence. Beneath the maelstrom and headlines lies a rather boring and casebook management style.

Congress acting downright childish By Joseph Curl – “When senators from both parties gathered over the weekend to privately discuss how to end the government shutdown, they were forced to resort to using a “talking stick.” Hold the talking stick, only you can talk. Everyone else has to put on their listening hats.”

“The three-day shutdown of the government was the most childish in history. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer had no end game at all, he simply wanted to shut it all down. And you want to know the real reason? Because he couldn’t stand the idea that President Trump was heading down to Mar-a-Lago to host a big party to celebrate his anniversary (which was Saturday).

“Today we enter the third day of the Trump Shutdown, the first ever real shutdown to occur when one party controls the entire legislative process,” Mr. Schumer said Monday. “The Republican Party controls the House, the Senate, and the presidency, and yet they were unable to keep the government open for the American people.”

The claim was, as usual, disingenuous. The Senate needed 60 votes to move forward, and there are only 54 Republicans in the chamber. Mr. Schumer knows that, which makes the “claim” a “lie.”

Howard Kurtz: Trump and the media now in a battle over truth, and who owns it By Jennifer Harper – the hype and the author don’t seem to be in sync. What seems to be missing is the problem of distinguishing between truth and pecadillo, putting a focus on ‘mistakes’ rather than the truth of the message.

“These are not easy words for me to write. I am a lifelong journalist with ink in my veins. And for all my criticism of the media’s errors and excesses, I have always believed in the mission of aggressive reporting and holding politicians accountable. But the past two years have radicalized me. I am increasingly troubled by how many of my colleagues have decided to abandon any semblance of fairness out of a conviction that they must save the country from Trump,” Mr. Kurtz said in a excerpt published Tuesday by the Hollywood Reporter.

“I first got to know Donald Trump three decades ago and never made the blunder of underestimating him during the campaign. I saw all his weaknesses — the bluster, the bullying, the refusal to admit mistakes — but I also saw strengths that most of my colleagues missed, especially an ability to channel the anger of millions of voters who despise the press — including the old-guard conservative press — and other elite institutions,” the author wrote. “This is, at bottom, a battle over the truth. Who owns it, who controls it, who can sell their version to a polarized public that increasingly cannot agree on basic facts.”

Media lying about McConnell to help save face for Chuck Schumer By Ed Lasky – “Chuck Schumer has a huge problem, but his friends in the mainstream media are pitching in to help – with lies. … instead of reporting on the disarray among the Democrats, the narrative just has to be that the evil Republicans engaged in perfidy.”

“This fake news is intended to sow distrust of McConnell among populists and some Republicans and set him up, should he not bring up the issue, for the media propagating the false narrative that Republicans are lying about bringing up DACA by the first week of February.

Fake, Fake, Fake.

Paraphrasing Groucho Marx’s immortal question: Who ya gonna believe, the media or your own eyes?

Mueller’s Fruit of the Poisonous Tree by George Neumayr – “His investigation is hopelessly compromised.”

“Once again, Trump’s criticisms are vindicated. Go back and look at even his most inflammatory tweets about Obamagate and they all hold up. His campaign was wire-tapped; FBI agents were plotting against him; Obama’s FBI director was leaking to the press; the FBI was collaborating with Hillary’s opposition researchers; the FBI/Justice Department exoneration of Hillary was rigged.

The great villain in the media’s tale of collusion turns out to be the victim.

What emerges from all this evidence of astonishing bias is a probe that didn’t seek to discover a crime but create one.

This is not the slow unfolding of justice but scenes from a show trial, one in which the only serious crimes are committed by abusive prosecutors and investigators, so intoxicated by their own political self-righteousness that they can brag to their paramours about the “fix” on Trump.

Prosecutorial Collusion in the Fourth Estate: Anatomy of a Witch Hunt, Part 4 by Mark Pulliam – “The special prosecutors’ deceitful collusion with the news media reveals the poisonous motives of both.” This is about another case with eerie parallels.

“Among the many parallels between the abuses of mercenary “special prosecutors” Kent Schaffer and Brian Wice and the out-of-control investigation being conducted by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is the prevalence of media leaks, planted stories, and outright collusion between government officials — servants of justice, supposedly — and the overwhelmingly-biased press corps. This marks an ominous development in the pattern of prosecutorial abuse that Glenn Reynolds has termed Ham Sandwich Nation; the Fourth Estate, instead of constraining such abuse, has become an accomplice to it.

The worst aspect of this grotesque miscarriage of justice, however, is the ignominious role played by a hyper-partisan, supine, and incurious press corps, which served as the special prosecutors’ obsequious PR flacks. If abusive lawfare is to be prevented, a free and independent news media must play the role of watch dog, not lap dog. The Fourth Estate has become a Fifth Column — a tool of overreaching, scheming, and manipulative prosecutors. Shame on them.

Did The Obama Administration Abuse FISA To Spy On The Trump Campaign? We’ll Have To Wait 19 Days; UPDATE: Maybe Not by Matt Vespa – It’s about that 4 page memo and when the rest of us can see what upsets so many who have cleared security to read it. Top that with lost communications from a critical period and you can understand why things are getting interesting. “Things are moving with the speed of an espionage leak.” BREAKING: FBI Text Said To “Directly” Link Obama To Illegal 2016 Election Tampering

NBC: Did McCabe sandbag Flynn into an obstruction charge? By Ed Morrissey – “How did Michael Flynn get caught in an obstruction of justice charge resulting from an FBI interrogation? The answer should serve as a warning signal to anyone who gets a call from law enforcement seeking a meeting.” It’s about using implied false pretenses to sandbag a victim for a manufactured process crime.

What Do We Do About the FBI? By Roger L Simon – “should “lying to the FBI” be a crime, when the FBI itself lies?”

“So if — and it’s not that big an if anymore — this story out of a spy novel (the density of Le Carré coupled with the outlandishness of Fleming) is indeed the truth, what do we do about it? The answer is not easy. At minimum it would necessitate a massive over-hauling, possibly even a dismantling, of the FBI and the Department of Justice. But how would we do that? That too will not be simple.

Critics of the FBI often acknowledge, seemingly paying obeisance, that there are many good people at the heart of the organization. Can we assume that to be accurate? Undoubtedly there are a significant number, but how do we determine who is who in an organization so adept at, and wedded to, stonewalling? Moreover, we can assume that the perpetrators at the top will be backed up and supported — some of the time anyway — by leaders of other investigative and intelligence branches, notably the CIA and the NSA, that have been similarly infiltrated over the years.

So many issues are at play here it’s mind-boggling. How do we deal with the dishonesty of our officials and bureaucrats when those same people are the keepers of our secrets and the enforcers of our laws (both of which are related)? When is transparency necessary? When is secrecy justified? Who will watch the watchers? Are the congressional oversight committees enough? Do they have sufficient power?

Ace: Peter Strzok on Joining Mueller’s RUSSIA Investigation: “My Gut Says There’s No Big ‘There’ There,” But Then, It May be a Chance to “Fix It and Finish It”

“Despite his gut telling him that there was no “there” there on the Russia claims, Strzok nevertheless discussed “fix[ing] things” — he seems to have felt that even a rigged Hillary fake-investigation was too much, and wanted to “fix” that — and his possible Rendezvous With History if he joined Mueller’s team … Maybe we can start calling this guy Mr. Fix-It.

Diagnosing the president disrespects those who truly have mental illnesses by Michael Kirsch, MD – “In the past month, the Goldwater Rule has appeared in our newspapers and all over cable news and commentary programs.”

“It is beyond obvious that many of these “mental health experts” are simply using a new tool to attack a president whom they oppose politically or despise personally. I oppose this practice both as a physician and as a citizen. We cannot normalize average citizens or medical professionals on the sidelines offering psychiatric assessments of folks they don’t really know. If this objectionable process were to become accepted, then it would be ultimately applied throughout society. There would be an inexorable mission creep that would make all of us potential targets of these inquisitions. If a boss at work, a teacher, an athlete or a customer started arguing, might this individual be labeled by onlookers as having a condition?

The wisdom of keeping silent is aged and timeless. “Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.” – Proverbs 22:23.

There are those who notice the childish behavior and many are getting rather concerned. Maybe. We can hope.

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Whose country is this, anyway?

How illegal immigrant Dreamers amassed power to force government shutdown By Stephen Dinan – “It’s a stunning display of political leverage for a group that, at most, numbers several million, can’t vote now, and even under the most generous proposals wouldn’t be able to cast ballots for another decade.”

“Yet they have amassed an extraordinary amount of power, comparable to the much larger tea party movement that helped precipitate the last shutdown in 2013.

In the wake of Friday’s shutdown vote in the Senate, which dozens of Dreamers watched from the public viewing galleries, they claimed victory.

Dreamers began setting up the shutdown showdown last year, soon after President Trump announced a phaseout of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals deportation amnesty that protects some 690,000 of them. They told Democrats to use their filibuster powers in the Senate to deny government funding unless Dreamers were accorded full legal status.

The Dreamers’ march to power has been nothing short of stunning.

Schumer’s shutdown reveals: Democrats will destroy America just to spite Trump By Tommy Hicks, Jr – “The Schumer shutdown has revealed the totality of the Democrats’ agenda: animosity and amnesty.”

“Never before in American history has a major political party put the interests of lawbreaking foreign nationals ahead of the interests of law abiding Americans. Yet that is exactly what the Democrats have done in holding the government hostage to extract special favors for illegal immigrants.

This is a remarkable achievement — and it’s the only achievement the Democrats can claim since blowing their “sure thing” election in 2016.

They call Americans “deplorables” and illegal immigrants “Dreamers.” That tells you everything you need to know about the Democrats’ upside-down world view.

Mythologies of Illegal Immigration by Victor Davis Hanson – “It’s a tiresome ploy by the Democrats, abetted by their allies in the media, using deceptive language to paint a false picture that blurs the distinction between legal and illegal, citizen and foreigner, justice and injustice.”

“Ethnic tribunes support illegal immigration. If the border were closed and the melting pot allowed to work, the façade of identity politics would vanish in a generation.

Most of the vocabulary surrounding illegal immigration is both politicized and weaponized—as we have seen with “Dreamers.”

“Sanctuary city” is not an abstract philosophical term. None of the current sanctuary cities would agree in principle with other jurisdictions in similar fashion nullifying federal laws that advanced left-wing policy objectives. The sobriquet is a euphemism for 1850s-style proto-Confederate, states-rights chauvinism, dressed up similarly in pseudo-moralistic terms.

“Undocumented” replaced the adjective “illegal,” just as “immigrant” (and increasingly just “migrant”) superseded the noun “alien.” That is, when the Democratic Party realized that swelling Latino populations began to vote en masse and could salvage what its failing message could not.

Strange, too, are the outward theatrics and themes of illegal alien activism—the frequent waving of Mexican flags, the often loud criticism of a generous host country, the usual demands made upon a foreign nation—mysteriously coupled with the overwhelming desire of millions to enter or remain in the supposedly demonic United States. Waving a flag of a country that one does not wish to return to while shunning the flag of a country in which one very much wishes to reside is incoherent.

What, then, exactly makes a naturally rich Mexico rather poor and naturally poor New Mexico rather rich? Why is Venezuela a mess and Colorado is not? Has anyone prohibited Mexico from reformatting its constitution to ensure an independent judiciary, the rule of law, a free-market economy, the protection and free sale of private property, a bill of rights, unfettered free speech, a meritocratic civil service, transparency in law enforcement, and an ethnically blind culture?

The question is not just mindless American boosterism. In the past, immigrants accepted that they had left Ireland, Italy, or Poland because habits, customs, and government in their home countries were deemed wanting and unworkable, and therefore it was necessary to embrace their antitheses in the United States.

Why do these mythologies abound? Largely because Americans, the hosts, either cannot anymore even define their own civilization to would-be immigrants, or are so intimidated that they are terrified to even try.

Say, this shutdown could hurt the Democrats, says… the Washington Post? By Jazz Shaw – “Most of the debate playing out on the floor of the Senate an at cable news desks has less to do with the specifics of how the government shutdown happened than a fight over the language that’s used to describe it.” Shaw emphasizes VDH’s point.

“ Language matters, and if we’re not all using the same terms in a meaningful debate it can cloud the issue. But the two sides aren’t fighting the battle of words on equal footing because the pro-amnesty crowd is putting forward a rather weak argument. On the right, the choice of saying “illegal alien” comes from both the Constitution and long-standing federal law. Saying “amnesty” is not only not offensive, but it’s a given. What’s being discussed is simply the textbook description of amnesty for a person who has broken the law. I’ll grant you that “chain migration” is probably a newer phrase for many observers, but the meaning is fairly clear and, again, accurate.

On the other side of Nakamura’s argument is the language of the pro-amnesty forces. As we’ve discussed here before, “undocumented immigrant” is a pompous and inaccurate term.

The language may be bogged down at times, but the Democrats are going to have to invent a bunch of new words if they want to talk their way out of this mess. The only reason the government is closed right now is because Senate Democrats refused to vote for a funding bill which contained nothing they seriously objected to in the past.

Great Video Explanation – “Operation Trump” – Former Federal Prosecutor Outlines Scope of FBI and DOJ Corruption by sundance – “Former federal prosecutor Joe diGenova outlines the majority of the events behind the unlawful surveillance of Donald Trump and each of the participating members within the FBI and DOJ corruption.”

The Key to Understanding Uranium One, Russia, and the Clintons by Charles Ortel – “There are limited supplies around the world of the precious element required for nuclear weapons and power plants.”

“n coming weeks, we should learn that the Uranium One scandal was less about cornering the uranium market — and more about corruption and fraud that strangely may have been covered up by officials within the FBI, Justice Department, IRS, and offices in many other governments.

Advice to Young Ladies in This Very, Very Stupid Era by Kurt Schlichter Kurt Schlichter – it’s daddy speaking …

Psychiatrists against Trump: A Strategy to Make Soviets Proud by Daniel Ashman – “We don’t need citizens electing a president; instead, Democrats and “nonpartisan” doctors can work it out for us.”

“It’s not as if Lee were a lone crank. She is actually backed up by an entire team of Ph.D. psychiatrists. Democrat congresspeople are thrilled to work with her, or, as she described it, “I was astonished by the level of eagerness to speak with us.”

Various people – such as Professor Alan Dershowitz and Twitter personalities Thomas Wictor and James Jesus Angleton – independently responded to this new assault on Trump by pointing out that using psychiatry to attack political opponents is a Soviet tactic.

let’s turn to the autobiography of heroic Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky. He spent over a decade in prisons, labor camps, and psychiatric wards. Later, he documented his struggle against communism in the superb book To Build a Castle. Let’s see if there are parallels between how the Soviet system punished Bukovsky and how the American establishment is trying to take down Trump.

Groundhog Day in America by Salena Zito – “There is no limit to what we can achieve when we set free the dreams of our incredible people,” President Trump said to a crowd of supporters …

“It is unlikely that many outside of that room heard the words of what was without question the best speech he has given in his presidency; it was sharp, concise, to the point, and both filled with information on the benefits of his tax reform bill and aspirational for his supporters.

But for those who were there, it just reinforced the hope and confidence that his supporters derive from him, when he delivers to his highest potential.

Blinded by hatred is surpassing a blindness by ignorance. Both are so blatant and widespread as to be frightening.

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Corruption exposed. Does anyone care?

Corrupt, biased U.S. elites launch rebellion with one cause By L. Todd Wood – “Progressive agenda is Trump’s enemy.”

“It is obvious that the Obama years were nothing but a limitless spree of highly organized crime. Mr. Obama used the agencies of the state to go after his political enemies. He installed moles in the security services to prevent the election of a man he did not want to become president. When that didn’t work, these traitors plotted and seditiously schemed against a duly-elected president of the United States. They were caught doing so with released emails. This was only the tip of the iceberg. This behavior was also treason. In the past these kind of people would be lined up against a wall and shot.

The Deep State is using the Trump-Russia meme to hide their organized crime wave. Trump must defeat them. Vladimir Putin is no more dangerous than an FBI Director who is corrupt, or a White House that illegally spies on Americans for political gain. There is a reason a military officer swears to defend the Constitution of the United States against enemies “foreign and domestic.” Lady Liberty’s domestic enemies are powerful.

When it comes to our adversaries overseas, we can’t ignore the fact that Russia and China are

actively attempting to destroy our way of life, our democratic institutions and our moral clarity with active measures and hybrid warfare. I would not be surprised if a lot of this communist,

culturally Marxist doctrine is being bought and paid for by some Deep State elements of our adversaries’ intelligence services, as a way to bring America down after our victory in the Cold War.

The problem for us is, it is working. The millennial generation has been sold a bill of goods in their university re-education camps, and for the most part they have bought into it — hook, line and sinker.

James Clapper will skate on his perjury to Congress if not charged by March 13 By Thomas Lifson – “Deep State stalwart James Clapper provably lied to Congress on a matter of substantive importance, yet he was never charged with perjury.”

NSA deleted surveillance data it pledged to preserve By Josh Gerstein – “The agency tells a federal judge that it is investigating and ‘sincerely regrets its failure.’

#RELEASETHEMEMO Update: Up To 200 Members Of Congress Have Read The Memo And NO LEAKS = Devastating To Dems – “It was never “Russian Collusion.” It was our own government/the Obama administration/Deep State, attempting to choose the next president – Hillary Clinton.”

What The Shutdown Tells Us About Modern Democrats By David Harsanyi – “Minority, majority, process, or norms, it doesn’t really matter. Democrats believe they should always be in control.”

“No matter what position they find themselves in, however, it seems that Democrats treat all their positions as moral imperatives, and any pushback as apostasy rather than disagreement. They think of policy aims as you might think of natural rights.

Erin Burnett to Senate Dem: Aren’t you being total hypocrites in shutting down the government over a pet issue? By Allahpundit – “Now here we are, five years later, and Democrats are prepared to deny those same services because they haven’t gotten their way on a DREAM amnesty with essentially no strings attached.”

“The basic problem with the current funding standoff is the same basic problem in all negotiations that touch on immigration: Democrats are simply too radical on the issue to agree to meaningful compromise. In that one sense, immigration politics reminds me of abortion politics. There too Republicans are knocked as radicals and absolutists when in reality Democrats are at least as extreme in their own beliefs. Heavy majorities of the public agree that abortion should be banned after 20 weeks yet it’s basic dogma among most Democratic pols — certainly ones with national ambitions — that abortion should be completely unrestricted, essentially up to the moment of birth. Even Doug Jones, running for a Senate seat in a red state in the deep south, wouldn’t move off that position. That’s fanaticism.

The “absolutist” GOP, led by its “nativist” president, is openly declaring its willingness to rubber-stamp DREAM. They just want a down payment on real controls over new immigration. Democrats won’t do it because, demographics being what they are, they’ve increasingly adopted a fanatic stance on open borders for their own political gain. It really is as simple as that.

Weaponizing the Shutdown by Mark Steyn – “Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, said that this time round they’d be working to minimize the impact of the shutdown – whereas, last time round [2013], for political reasons, the White House set out to maximize it.” Remember?

“Forty percent of the state of California is supposedly federal land, and thus officially closed to the people of the state. The geyser stasi of the National Park Service have in effect repealed the Charter of the Forest. President Obama and his enforcers have the same concept of the royal forest that King John did. The government does not own this land; the Park Service are merely the janitorial staff of “we the people” (to revive an obsolescent concept). No harm will befall the rocks and rivers by posting a sign at the entrance saying “No park ranger on duty during government shutdown. Proceed beyond this point at your own risk.” And, at the urban monuments, you don’t even need that: It is disturbing that minor state officials even presume to have the right to prevent the citizenry walking past the Vietnam Wall.

Trump’s got them by the tweets by Don Surber “This ultimately doomed quest by the Royalty of Journalism to reverse the last election is nearly unfathomable in its depth.”

“So the good people at the once-respectable Wall Street Journal have been following President Donald Trump’s tweets for a year now, reading them like the entrails of a goat to divine some sort of evidence that will once and forever end the presidency of a man the snobs of journalism decided is unfit for office.

What the Wall Street Journal found is nothing.

Interesting times.

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The cauldron is simmering

New York court breaks rules, refuses investigation into James Comey by Stephen Dinan – “and several other major figures involved in the Clinton email scandal, seemingly breaking their own rules in the process.”

“Ty Clevenger, a lawyer, had filed grievances against Mr. Comey and three others saying they violated fundamental rules of lawyers’ ethics by the way they handled the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails.

The New York grievance commission, in a letter dated earlier this month, rejected all of the complaints without comment.

Under the commission’s own rules it is supposed to provide “a brief description of the basis for the determination,” so the move to dismiss the grievances without any reason was striking.

Supreme Court halts lower court order to redraw N.C. electoral map By Alex Swoyer – “The Supreme Court has suggested that there is a limit to how much partisanship can go into drawing legislative lines, but has never set that line.”

CFPB director a new hero on the right by Rick Moran – “The acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), former congressman Mick Mulvaney, has submitted a budget request that may be a first in the history of government. … shocked official Washington by making a budget request for zero dollars.”

“In essence, the agency “protects” consumers from their own stupidity and ignorance. The CFPB was born of a myth that the financial and housing crisis was caused by unscrupulous lenders who tricked consumers into getting bad loans. Surely there were a few of those. But most foreclosures were not caused by evil lenders but by people who either took on too much debt or didn’t understand the terms and conditions of the loan.

It raises an interesting question: Should the federal government protect us from ourselves? The Obama administration believed so, but Mulvaney and many conservatives are skeptical.

The Evidence Inside The “House Intel Committee Four Page FISA Memo” by sundance – “As the year-long story has unfolded, there are two central components at the heart of the political corruption and weaponization of the DOJ and FBI:” It’s the Big Ugly and a rundown on conspiracy for a palace coup.

Does the California Model Really Work? by Jonah Goldberg – “For many progressives, California’s metastasizing liberalism proves you can have Scandinavian-style social policies and tax rates and still have robust economic growth.”

“The point is that California attracts an enormous number of rich people who think it’s worth the high taxes, awful traffic, and even the threat of tectonic annihilation to live there — for reasons that literally have nothing to do with the state’s liberal policies. Indeed, most of the Californians I know live there despite those policies, not because of them.

there’s a new data point to inform the debate that hopefully will be more difficult to ignore: California is the poverty capital of America.

Which Is Worse: Trump’s ‘Fake News’ Awards, Or The Media’s Reaction To It? By John Merline – “reporters say the “fake news” label is unfair because these news outlets issued corrections and occasionally reprimanded reporters and editors involved. Or they say that it doesn’t matter because Trump lies all the time, thereby committing the logical fallacy of “tu quoque”.”

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The most anticipated awards show

Cory Booker completely loses it at DHS secretary Kirstjen Nielsen by M. Catharine Evans – “Equal to Booker’s overt violation of Nielsen’s right to be treated without hostility and intimidation was the deranged content of his tirade.” Many of the headlines, though, were about Nielsen being accused of lying.

“Booker’s feigned emotional breakdown over a word he has heard many times as mayor of Newark was laughable.

Booker then rolled out the “white supremacy” charge, with examples of white criminals and their crimes, as if Nielsen, by the fact of her skin color, had committed them.

The senator’s fake outrage and predictable race-baiting do not lessen the seriousness of threatening and harassing a female Cabinet member.

Booker’s lunatic bellowing requires a mental health examination.

Why media companies should take Trump’s ‘Fake News Awards’ very seriously by Larry O’Connor – “the president highlighted a series of false reports from mainstream news outlets during the first year of his presidency.”

“Most media outlets ignored or mocked the damaging list of false reports. Or, they employed the tactic of pointing out falsehoods perpetuated by the Trump White House over the past year. Apparently “Whataboutism” is an appropriate and legitimate debating tactic if one is defending the media and attacking Trump. Good to know.

In any basic quality system employed by most worldwide industries (from ISO to QS to Six Sigma) companies are called to constantly self-examine and evaluate their quality systems, their manufacturing process and their customer feedback. And the CEO’s of the major corporations that own America’s broadcast and print media outlets know this very well.

The sad and embarrassing list of serious factual errors pointed out by Trump is a clear example of an industry whose primary focus has drifted well past the desire to produce a high-quality, reliable product. And the manufacturers of this product don’t seem to care.

It reminds one of the big three auto makers in the late 1970s when they saw cheaper, high quality foreign cars starting to dent their market share.

I mean, no one will really take these “Fakie Awards” seriously. This is just Trump being ridiculous and obscene. Everyone knows Trump is a liar and the Republicans are complicit enablers and Manhattan and New York journalists are the only true arbiters of what this nation should stand for, right?

It’s just that kind of thinking that persuaded 57 of 59 major publications to endorse Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, and we see how that turned out. Kinda like the AMC Pacer.

Allahpundit called the Fake News list mostly just a matter of a few errors. That’s a denial that could be expected. Paul Mirengoff, in How the liberal media portrays the GPS Fusion scandal describes another example of evading reality for comparison and contrast.

“Today, the Washington Post’s David Ignatius served up the establishment’s version of the GPS Fusion-FBI story. His column is called “The truth about the FBI’s Russia probe.”

I present the column because I think it’s important to know how the other side is portraying the matter. Let it never be said that we’re living on a different planet.

… First, Ignatius is offering the side of the story told to him by his contacts at the FBI. These are not disinterested sources. … Second, Ignatius isn’t telling the whole the truth. … Third, Ignatius, though doing his best to prop up Steele as a reliable good source … Fourth, Ignatius avoids the question of whether the FBI used uncorroborated information from Steele’s dossier to obtain warrants to engage in surveillance of Trump campaign staffers.

Psychologist leaves reporter speechless after her ‘right not to be offended’ remark: ‘Gotcha’ by Douglas Ernst – “Clinical psychologist Dr. Jordan B. Peterson’s online popularity is likely to grow after his recent performance with British journalist Cathy Newman.”

“Because in order to be able to think, you have to risk being offensive. I mean, look at the conversation we’re having right now,” the psychologist answered, The Daily Wire reported Wednesday. “You’re certainly willing to risk offending me in the pursuit of truth. Why should you have the right to do that? It’s been rather uncomfortable. […] You’re doing what you should do, which is digging a bit to see what the hell is going on. And that is what you should do. But you’re exercising your freedom of speech to certainly risk offending me, and that’s fine. More power to you, as far as I’m concerned.”

Under the New Trump Standard, Why Wasn’t Obama Impeached? By Larry Elder – “If policy disagreement is the new standard for impeachment in the Trump era, wouldn’t Obama’s Iraq bug-out qualify?” in 1975 it was a Democrat congress. In 2011 if was a Democrat president. The results in both cases was a tragedy.

“As to the Joint Chiefs’ opposition to what became known as the “Iraq bug-out,” now-retired Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said: “I go back to the work we did in 2007 (through) 2010, and we got into a place that was really good. Violence was low, the economy was growing, politics looked like it was heading in the right direction. … We thought we had it going exactly in the right direction, but now we watch it fall apart. It’s frustrating. … I think, maybe, if we had stayed a little more engaged, I think maybe it might have prevented it.”

Ace: “Trump’s Basic Instincts About the Political War Are Essentially Right, and The Establishment’s Sense of It Is Essentially Wrong” – Very good piece by Joe Katzman for the Daily Caller. – Short version: The right attempts political persuasion. The left, on the other hand, attempts social persuasion

“most people don’t really care enough about these issues to really engage with them on an intellectual level; they just want to know what to claim to believe so that other people won’t think they’re weird, and deem them unfriendable, undatable, and poor candidates for promotion inside The Corporation.

Trump’s manner of engaging with The Blob of left-wing virtue-signalling and status-conferring is to attempt to degrade the left wing cultural Borg of its own social status, thereby reducing its ability to set tastes, serve as “gatekeepers” of what the right-minded people agree are proper attitudes and beliefs, and demonize dissenters.

This is often ugly — but that’s how the sausage gets made.

New York Times stunned to discover some people actually like Trump by Jazz Shaw – “Rather than simply accepting the letters at face value, we should note that what this single paragraph actually represents is an open admission to the world that, over the course of the past year (and most of the 2016 campaign, frankly), the New York Times has not been doing their job.”

“Yes, this is a remarkable moment for the New York Times, but not for the reasons they suggest. I only hope that their regular readership doesn’t collapse from shock upon finding out that some people actually support the President, or at least his agenda. Based on recent polls and the current population of the country, there are somewhere in the range of 135 million people who don’t see the world the same way as the editors at the Gray Lady when it comes to this presidency. But if this newspaper was your only source of information you’d never know it. And judging by that editorial introduction, this situation is completely by design.

Then there’s Betsy Newmark showing a Trump bias by presumption of guilt – “Is anyone surprised to learn that Donald Trump supposedly had an affair with a porn star right after Melania gave birth to this fifth child? It’s all very distasteful to think about and one of the many, many reasons why I never supported him in the race for president.” Contrast this with neo-neocon, Stormy Daniels told tales of Trump – “Not only is Trump cognitively challenged and ill and old and crazy, but he had an affair with a porn star (“Stormy Daniels”) eleven years ago … Except that maybe he didn’t.”

Then there’s NPR. Majority Of Americans See Trump’s First Year As A Failure – “And by an almost 2-to-1 margin (61 to 32 percent), Americans said they believe Trump has divided the country since his election.” The views about the tax plan make it very clear that the poll reflects the success of the Democrat propaganda more than it does anything about Trump. How long it will take reality to sink in, bigger paychecks, higher employment (especially among minorities), less expensive health insurance, and so on is the question. Note that this NPR article is an expression of the ‘vox populi’ logical fallacy that expresses a confirmation bias.

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Racism news and thoughts on the table today

NFL’s kneeling comes to abrupt halt: Protesters miss playoffs By Valerie Richardson – “It appears that NFL players are no longer taking a knee during the national anthem, namely because none of the teams with still-active protesters has qualified for the postseason.” Losers. Again. And the explaining and rationalizing begins. The destruction of misbehavior is insidious and sometimes as hard to pin down as its causes.

“None of those franchises made the playoffs, even though four of the five did so in the previous season, leading to speculation about whether the take-a-knee protests wound up dragging down team performance along with TV ratings.

“By their actions, the kneelers brought controversy into the locker rooms, and this kind of distraction is always going to be detrimental to team cohesiveness,” said Robert Kuykendall, a spokesman for the conservative corporate watchdog 2ndVote.

“They unfairly put their own teammates in the tough position, especially the players who believe the national anthem and the flag should be respected,” he said. “Obviously, teams without the distraction were going to be more focused on the game, and that is a catalyst for success.”

Democrats decree death in the swamp for the Dreamers by Wesley Pruden – “Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and their Democratic followers laid a careful trap for their Republican tormentors, and then fell in it.”

“Determined not to recognize the results of the 2016 election, as if they were the losers of an election in a third-world backwater, the losers set out to put their candidate on the throne by “any means necessary.” The Democrats established not the usual loyal opposition, but a “resistance.” A resistance does not try to make a government work, but to thwart it by fair means or foul.

But the Democratic strategy admits of no compromise, ever, on anything. Mr. Schumer and Miss Pelosi are proud of the fact that no Democrats urged compromise, which if they had they might have saved several tax breaks dear to the hearts (and pockets) of rich donors to Democratic campaigns.

Elections have consequences, and the Democrats, who did a little dreaming of their own about Hillary Clinton, just can’t understand why they can’t have it their way, anyway.

Trump’s point is well-taken; the rest is Durbin noise by Ralph Z. Hallow – “What Mr. Durbin did was an astonishing betrayal of the commonly accepted confidence expected in private meetings.”

“Over the last six decades, I’ve talked privately or in small groups with friends and acquaintances of color who are citizens of Third World countries, including Haiti, other Caribbean countries, Central and South America and much of sub-Sahara Africa.

These friends and acquaintances commonly referred to their own countries in the exact words that a U.S. senator from Illinois, Dick Durbin, told the world Mr. Trump had used in their meeting.

A person of color blasting the elites in his own country in a private talk with me would feel ambushed and betrayed if I publicly revealed his “s–hole” comment that he had uttered out of consternation, not disrespect for his native land.

Still Looking for Tax Disaster, Democrats Are in for a Surprise by Jack Hellner – “It’s a stupid thing for Democrats to keep holding onto this mythology, because they are about to be swamped by events.”

“The Democrats and their media allies did everything they could to defeat Trump’s tax cuts and reforms. They continually lied to the public in a bid to make them believe that less than half of the taxpayers would actually get cuts and that the bill was meant to benefit only big, rich corporations. Therefore, we got all sorts of articles, obviously fed to journalists by left-wing think-tanks and Democratic politicos, claiming that the tax cuts aren’t good or aren’t performing as promised.

So, two weeks into a ten-year program, we are now hearing whining that all the promises of the broad-based reform haven’t been fulfilled yet. (Eight years into Obamacare with nothing close to what was promised hasn’t caught their attention – they’re still telling us how good it is.)

It is a shame that the Democrats wouldn’t go along with the cuts and reform, which is why the individual rates can’t be permanent, but at least the corporate rates are permanent. Corporations need permanent rates to be competitive and make long-term decisions.

We will see the media continually, on behalf of Democrats, diminish the effects of tax reform and cuts on economic growth, because, after all, there is always an election coming up. People and businesses doing well do not help the Democrats win. That is the goal: power for the Democrats instead of the people.

I can’t think of any other government program where the results of such a revolutionary reform have been challenged within two weeks of inception. Democrats are in for a surprise.

No, Jaylen Brown, Racism Is Not Why Blacks Underperform in School by D. C. McAllister – “something he says is the reason blacks underperform in today’s education system even after years of affirmative action.” Denial is heavy on this topic.

“While all minorities express some level of mistrust in white Americans, blacks are more concerned about how they’re treated by the teachers than they are with the teachers’ ability to provide them with an education that will make them productive citizens. One is purely subjective, the other is objective.

This implies that if there’s a bias, it’s on the part of blacks toward the white education system, not whites toward blacks. If the white education were truly riddled with subtle racism, then no other minority would be able to succeed.

But blacks have more trouble because they perceive that the system is against them. Instead of simply using the system as a tool to prepare for higher education and life, as other minorities do, they’re looking for an environment that reflects their image and treats them as they expect to be treated. When those subjective expectations don’t happen, they cry racism.

But why do they feel this way?

Because blacks don’t trust or value education due to its “whiteness,” students flounder. The result of this is devastating to black self-esteem. Black students feel like they’re “intellectually inferior to whites,” and because of this self-doubt, “they often eliminate themselves from higher-level courses.”

Ogbu’s data raised the question, not of how white education can “stop being racist,” but “how the black community and schools can work to minimize this type of ambivalence and dismantle the perception of certain attitudes and behaviors as racialized.” In other words, can blacks stop seeing everything through the lenses of race?

When athletes like Brown and others dismiss findings such as these and simply blame the failure and struggles of black students on racism in the white community, they are contributing to the problem that creates a culture of low achievement in the first place — distrust of whites and the American education system.

End Judicial Tyranny with One Single Word by John D. Donaldson – “We now have a cadre of Obama appointed far-left judges who are prepared to exercise their political ideology over their sworn constitutional duties.”

“We now have a cadre of Obama appointed far-left judges who are prepared to exercise their political ideology over their sworn constitutional duties. Some of these individuals in fact might have been more suitable for ambassadorships than lifetime judicial appointees, for their primary qualifications appear to be their history of donating or bundling money for a sitting president plus their demonstrated talent in the writing of legal fiction.

The Constitution is a document where definitions have been used to bend society on a political basis. Defining a single word, “ministers” in Article 3, as suggested here will end the ability of a politicized judiciary to resist the will of the people being exercised by their elected officials. This can be done without all the bitter and useless efforts to impeach individual judges or to “pack” that branch of government. Congress would thereby remove delay as a tactic while still giving all groups “their day in court” – and ending the current judicial tyranny.

Donald Trump Is Shrinking The Government. Everything Else Is Noise By Michael J. Knowles – “Keep calm, and fire bureaucrats.” and a listing of other Trump ‘errors’ (depending upon POV).

“President Trump is shrinking the size and scope of the federal government. You might have missed that little news item amid anti-Trump conservatives’ breathless reporting of each and every non-troversy the mainstream media manages to gin up. … Trump in just his first year has cut Health and Human Services by 0.5%, Defense by 1.1%, Transportation by 1.4%, Justice by 1.5%, Energy by 2.3%, Commerce by 3.1%, Housing and Urban Development by 3.3%, State by 3.8%, Labor by 4.6% Education by 4.8%, and Treasury by a whopping 7.5%.

President Nobama by Victor Davis Hanson – “Trump is commonsensically undoing, piece by piece, the main components of Obama’s legacy.” and VDH dissects the effort, piece by piece. Heavy Stuff.

“the Trump team figuratively paused, examined its inheritance from the prior administration, and apparently concluded something like “this is unhinged.” Then it proceeded, to the degree possible, to undo it.

Fake News and Toxic Media Bias Are Nothing New – Just Worse by Peter Barry Chowka – “The mainstream media’s coverage of President Donald Trump is unprecedented in its lack of fairness and its constant negativity.” Propaganda campaigns have always been around, but not like this.

“It represents the ultimate weaponization of big reporting that’s in sync with efforts by the shadow government to mobilize the national security apparatus and the other entrenched Deep State bureaucracies for the purpose of weakening and ultimately taking down the 45th president of the United States.

As bad and biased as the reporting is today, it really is nothing new – just more of the same, only much worse. It’s become fake news on steroids.

The two Martin Luther King Jrs by Paul Mirengoff – “In the later phase of his career, King radicalized his theory of civil disobedience.”

“Previously, he had stipulated that civil disobedience needed to be for reasons clearly supported by the natural law philosophy exemplified in the U.S. constitutional tradition. Later, he argued that it should be employed not just to overturn unjust laws, but to bring about socioeconomic equality across lines of class and color. This imperative finds no support in the U.S. constitutional tradition.

Moreover, civil disobedience, though it still had to be non-violent, no longer needed to be demonstrative or persuasive in character. Instead, it should be be disruptive and coercive, e.g., blocking traffic and thereby infringing on a right of access to a public road. This would entail violating not merely unjust laws, but also just laws ones that facilitate normal functioning.

There is a contrast. Many of these racist protests, back then and even now, are ‘in your face’ and conducted by finding a location for greatest offense. Contrast that with the Mormons who fled persecution by heading west or the many blacks who headed north. It is a difference between seeking conflict or seeking influence.

Playing telephone: are we tired of s***holeGate yet? by neo-neocon – “To the best of my recollection, that didn’t used to be the standard for journalism. It’s basically a little game of political telephone.”

“Perhaps the WaPo likes to play games of telephone (especially against the right and/or Trump). But personally, I don’t, and it doesn’t matter who is being quoted or misquoted, or what party that person might be from.

One of the activities that led to my political change was the fact that I could find people’s actual words online—the complete text of a speech, for example—and could come to my own conclusions about what that person had really said rather than to rely on what the MSM (or some other informant with a bone to pick) had told me the person had said. I was naive enough at the beginning to be surprised to learn that my favorite news outlets quite often twisted or in some way misrepresented the words of people they didn’t like. But long long ago that ceased surprising me.

The Unequal Rules of the Anti-Trump Blame Game by Doris O’Brien – “Donald Trump has become more than a distraction to Democrats. He has become an obsession – and an object of unswerving ridicule and hate.”

“The anti-Trump blame game is played with a special set of unequal rules. On the one hand, Democrats righteously pose as sensitive, high-minded scolds when rebuking Trump’s remarks. On the other, they feel justified in verbally brutalizing him – and sometimes his family – with obscenities that would make a sailor blush.

The way Democrats truculently confront Trump stands in ironic contrast to the manner in which they behave toward other world leaders. The murderous mullahs of Iran are feared and bribed. The Middle Eastern princes are bowed to. The presidents of European countries are gushed over for their perceived egalitarianism. The North Korean butcher is gingerly humored.

So the battle has been joined between the Democrats and their nemesis. Their emotional arsenals stand loaded to the rafters with their weapon of choice: hate.

Many Republican are sick of all the hatred from the left, which they seem to find shallow-rooted, temporary, and void of reason. I fear they underestimate it, for the roots have only extended deeper and are now spread wider over the political landscape. As to the question of whether such hatred is “reasonable,” it hardly matters.

As long as race is first in some people’s minds, it will be a barrier and hindrance towards the goals they espouse.

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California Leading and Media Imagining

Why California is the ‘poverty capital of the America’ by Rick Moran – “According to the Census Bureau, one out of five California residents is poor.” This is where an honest person would go to examine all the ‘inequality’ claims.

“This despite the state’s per capita GDP rising twice as fast in the last five years as the national average. From 1992 to 2015, state and local governments spent nearly $1 trillion to help the poor. The state, with 12% of the American population, is home today to about one in three of the nation’s welfare recipients.

Jackson then reaches the not so astonishing conclusion: “The generous spending, then, has not only failed to decrease poverty; it actually seems to have made it worse.”

Lawmakers in Sacramento should take a close look at Illinois. This is their future – a nearly failed state, deeply in debt, with taxes so high that tens of thousands of residents are leaving the state every year. With so many resources, as well as Hollywood and Silicon Valley to pay for the state’s generosity toward the poor, California has been able to avoid judgment day.

But eventually, the state will run out of other people’s money, and the piper will have to be paid.

No, Medicaid Work Requirements Aren’t Racist or Cruel by David Catron – “The usual suspects trot out the usual lies about a policy proven to work.”

“House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi summed up the position of her congressional accomplices by vehemently denouncing the new CMS policy as “mean-spirited,” “cynical,” and “spiteful.” And USA Today captured the gist of the “news” coverage with a work of fiction titled, “Medicaid work requirements are a throwback to rejected racial stereotypes.”

Never mind that the announcement contains no reference or allusion to ethnicity in any context whatsoever, unless one counts its explicit stipulation that participating states “must comply with federal civil rights laws.” Forget that the primary architect of the new policy is an Indian-American, CMS administrator Seema Verma, who cannot be characterized by any honest, or even sane, observer as a white supremacist. USA Today nonetheless advises its readers, without offering the smallest scrap of supporting evidence, that the policy is an “attempt to perpetuate myths that stereotype people of color and stigmatize popular public programs that opponents simply don’t like.”

The USA Today op-ed constitutes a classic example of the smug ignorance for which progressives are so notorious.

Democrat/MSM propaganda notwithstanding, the CMS decision to support states that wish to use a work requirement as a prerequisite for continued Medicaid eligibility for able-bodied adults seems eminently reasonable. Medicaid reform is one of the nation’s most pressing domestic issues and the Trump administration is simply allowing the states to bring their creative energy to bear on the problem. This is not racist. This is not mean-spirited. It is an all-too-rare commodity called “leadership.”

‘Don’t Be Evil’? Google Is Becoming A Police State By Robert Tracinski – “Google employees are creating their own enclave of mandatory wokeness, but they’re not content to keep this ideological policing within their own walls.”

“The problem is that their motto didn’t define what constitutes evil, so it left an opening for narrow-minded zealots to commandeer company resources in a witch hunt against whatever they define as the forces of wickedness. That’s what has happened at Google, which has adopted a corporate culture of quasi-totalitarian ideological uniformity that it is now starting to impose on everyone who uses its services

What company in its right mind would encourage its employees to treat each other this way? Well, maybe a company that is not in its right mind.

All of this is part of a wider trend in Silicon Valley toward enforcing political conformity.

Google is a private company and can create its own little enclave of mandatory wokeness if it likes, Damore’s lawsuit notwithstanding. The problem is that Googlers are not content to keep this ideological policing within their own walls.

But what happens when the Left inveighs against “fake news”? What happens is what Google just did to conservative websites

Internally, Google has the hallmarks of a company being run for its employees, to accommodate their private agendas, petty political vendettas, and weird psychological dysfunction—not to serve the interests of its shareholders, customers, or users.

Bloomberg wins Fake News of the week by Don Surber – also see Things journalists believe that are untrue. “The symbiotic nature of the press and the government is one reason why most Americans no longer trust the news media.”

Trump: I never told the WSJ I had a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un — and I have tape to prove it by Allahpundit – “Fortunately we now record conversations with reporters…” This times is the WSJ that is not listening carefully and taking off on distorted misperceptions and a negative bias. It’s really sad when you have to record meetings and conversations because you can’t trust participants.

The not so honorable Dick Durbin by Paul Mirengoff – sourcing Fake News™ to “one of the slimiest members of the Senate” with examples and background.

Associated Press: People Don’t Trust the Media, But We Can’t Figure Out Why by John Hinderaker – “The Associated Press headlines: “Trust and truth under Trump: Americans are in a quandary.” Well, the AP is, anyway.”

“Many would say that we are a year into the liberal press’s fact-bending, Trump-bashing orgy. But that doesn’t seem to occur to the AP. This is one of those articles where the AP quotes six or eight seemingly random people from across the country. You always wonder how they come up with “truck driver Chris Gromek,” “Democrat Kathy Tibbits of Tahlequah, Oklahoma,” “Victoria Steel, 50, of Cheyenne, Wyoming,” and so on. This article’s cast of characters seems reasonably well-balanced, but the AP’s commentary isn’t. This is how the AP sees the “warping of facts.”

These are actually examples of where Trump, while characteristically imprecise, was far more accurate than his critics.

Competing claims to veracity have been a major part of political life for centuries, if not millennia. There is nothing new about the fact that voters have to sort out competing claims and decide what they think is right. What is somewhat new, at least in the last 15 years, is that left-wing outfits like the Associated Press, the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS and ABC don’t have the field to themselves. It is curious to see the AP puzzling over this fact in 2018, and doing its best to associate the public’s lack of confidence in the media–“8 percent in 2016,” as the AP acknowledges–to the nefarious Donald Trump.

Mike Rowe schools a woman who labels him an “anti-education, science doubting, ultra-right wing conservative.” Reason and integrity versus something else. Do read Rowe’s essay responding to a viewer who doesn’t like his views or opinions.

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Did it really happen? Did you stop and think first?

Take a step back: Did Trump really even say the s-word? by Tom Trinko – “We also know that the leakers were willing to hurt the U.S. in order to gain a partisan political advantage.”

“Two leakers say he used the term “s—holes” to describe Haiti and African countries. However, the only person corroborating that as this is being written is a Democrat. Given that Harry Reid gleefully admitted to lying about Mitt Romney not paying taxes, it’s not irrational to question that Democrat’s veracity.

The leakers knew that whether they were telling the truth or not, it would hurt the U.S. and that didn’t slow them down a bit. That indicates a lack of trustworthiness.

We further know that the leakers were wrong in that already Jake Tapper is saying Trump didn’t attack Haiti in the way the leakers said Trump did.

There are two trustworthy Republican senators who say they didn’t hear Trump say what the leakers claim.

The reality is that Trump probably used coarse language to make a valid point: why are we letting people with no skills and whose allegiance is to their tribe, not their country in when we’re keeping people with skills and whose allegiance is to the rule of law out?

Apparently, only when Trump uses a pejorative to describe countries do the media go into a hissy fit.

The whole attack on Trump is simply a disinformation campaign to distract Americans from the Democrats’ plan to remake America in the image of those third-world hellholes, with the Democrats being the kleptocrats who live large off the labors of others.

Confusing Dossier Chaff with Wheat by Clarice Feldman – “A hallmark of the Democrats – and the Clintons in particular – is that, with the aid of a complaisant press, they hide their wrongdoings with countless obfuscations and distractions so that the truth of consequential matters is buried in chaff and hard to see.”

“Tomorrow, we expect the Department of Justice’s inspector general to release the first part of his report to congressional investigators. The report is expected to cover the alleged bias and malfeasance by the FBI, among other things.

If you know about the dossier and its work only through TV and major press accounts, you know nothing. I’m sorry to say. For example, there has been a “blizzard of lies” about Christopher Steele, who was the Fusion GPS source on Russia.

Any decent investigation of what took place should, at a minimum, involve a number of high officials in multiple counts of illegal leaking of classified information, along with perjury before Congress. At a minimum, the penalties for misusing FISA databases and a more stringent means of addressing privacy concerns should be getting far more attention in Congress than they have as it races to reauthorize FISA.

Hack alert: Letterman interviews Obama by Paul Mirengoff – “Obama: One of the biggest challenges we have to our democracy is the degree to which we don’t share a common baseline of facts.”

“Obama has it backwards. Having a common baseline of facts supplied by a monolithic media is more deleterious to democracy than the situation Obama describes. Residents of the Soviet Union had a common baseline of facts. Dictatorships are like that.

Did CIA Use Entertainers to Smear Trump? [Updated] by John Hinderaker – “The biggest scandal of our time is the manner in which the Democratic Party, under Barack Obama, weaponized the intelligence agencies and the FBI for political purposes.”

Another changer worth reading about by neo-neocon – “I bid him welcome and invite him to read all my posts on the topic of political change, many of which deal with the social ostracism factor. It’s not an easy thing to experience, and it can be a real shock.”

Immigration: the heart of the matter by neo-neocon notes the Roger Kimball essay cited earlier and concludes that he skirts the primary point about “what should our immigration policy be?” To that point is 1 Timothy 5:8, King James Bible, 1611: “But if any prouide not for his owne, & specially for those of his owne house, hee hath denied the faith, and is worse then an infidel.”

Memorandum cites Dan Balz at the Washington Post with another favorite anti-Trump meme. The problem is that the assertion that Trump does more damage to himself than his opponents ever manage to do fails when the facts are examined with objectivity. The only damage being done is from the ongoing onslaught of Fake News, negative perspectives, hateful rhetoric, misperceptions, and wishful fantasies from places like Wapo, NYT, and CNN.

Of Crudeness and Truth by Andrew Klavan – “Thoughts on President Trump’s latest verbal tempest.”

“Nothing scandalizes a leftist like the truth. Point out that women and men are different, that black Americans commit a disproportionate amount of violent crime, that most terrorist acts are committed by Muslims, and the Left leaps to its collective feet in openmouthed shock, like Margaret Dumont after a Groucho Marx wisecrack. This is racism! This is sexism! This is some sort of phobia! I’m shocked, shocked to find facts being spoken in polite company!

No one is really shocked, of course. This is simply a form of bullying. The Left has co-opted our good manners and our good will in order to silence our opposition to their bad policies. The idea is to make it seem impolite and immoral to mention the obvious.

For all the bad language, for all the loose talk, I would rather hear a man speak as a man without fear of the Nurse Ratcheds in the press and the academy than have him neutered and gagged by a system of good manners that has been misused as a form of oppression. Better impoliteness than silence. Better crudeness than lies.

Anatomy of a Farce by Andrew C. McCarthy – “Fusion GPS founder’s testimony shows how we got the collusion narrative . . . and why it won’t go away.”

“All trial lawyers must be versed in this dark art — hopefully more to guard against than practice it. It is a particular danger with prosecutors. That is why the law builds in due-process safeguards like reasonable doubt, the presumption of innocence, and the right to counsel. The ability to make nothing look like something sinister is why it is famously observed that a prosecutor could indict a ham sandwich in the grand jury, where these safeguards do not apply.

You know where else those safeguards have no application? In the black hole we call “counterintelligence investigations” — such as Trump–Russia. And in investigative journalism.

Glenn Simpson made a number of mistakes, but the main one is a habit of smart people: He ignored the wisdom he urged on others.

It is the anatomy of a farce. The frantic churning of hearsay and innuendo about bad guys who, being bad guys, must have been doing bad things. But at the core, there is no concrete, admissible evidence of an espionage or corruption conspiracy; no solid identified sources, no verifiable wrongdoing. A circle of relentless suspicion with a hole in the middle where the crime is supposed to be.

And the beat goes on …

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Backed into a corner

Cheryl K. Chumley

“Thing is: Democrats really don’t care what Trump said.

They only care about how they can use what they said to attack him politically.

There’s Democratic hatred, though, and there’s leftist-fueled deep desire to see this president impeached. And that, and that alone, is why all this angst over Trump’s rhetoric. It’s simply food for Democrats to distract from real agendas, in order to chip away at this president’s platform, policies and standing with the American people a bit more.

What do Trump, Obama, and Lindsey Graham have in common? by Paul Mirengoff – “we’re starting to hear, inevitably, about comparable remarks made by others.”

“if doing so hurt America, then Sen. Durbin and others in the room should have kept Trump’s statement to themselves. No patriotic American would hurt this country’s international standing just to embarrass the president or in the hope of gaining a little leverage in negotiations (which, I’m pretty sure, Durbin has failed to do).

But patriotism has never been Dick Durbin’s long suit. During the Bush administration, he compared American soldiers to Nazis, Soviets, and Pol Pot.

Obama’s profane disparagement of Libya received little attention, …

Lindsey Graham used language less profane but equally disparaging to describe Mexico

Way too much is being made of Trump’s alleged remarks.

And if I’m wrong about this — if Trump’s comments have materially harmed the U.S. in its foreign relations — then Dick Durbin should not have let word of the comment leave the room.

‘Shithole’-gate and Toxic Double Standards By Deion Kathawa – “In the wake of President Trump’s “shithole” comment (which may have been misreported), CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked a predictably leading question of Republican “strategist” Ana Navarro on his show Thursday night: “[I]s there any other way to interpret this comment other than being just racist?

“After taking a few potshots at Trump’s alleged “pattern” of bigotry, she unloaded: “We have a racist, a shameless racist, who has hijacked the Republican Party, who has hijacked the Oval Office, and this country needs to stand up against this and tell him that we will not let him divide us by color, by race, by ethnicity, by class . . .”

Navarro likely hasn’t given much thought to the implications of what she said, let alone examined her premises. But if she’s so outraged and offended by Trump’s alleged divisiveness, she might want to have a look around CNN’s studios or the greater Beltway area. Division is rampant, and its source isn’t the man at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, or the Right more generally.

Is not division “by color, by race, by ethnicity, by class” the modus operandi of today’s progressives?

When the Left spews such despicable, divisive language, hardly anyone seems to care. Certainly “strategist” Navarro doesn’t. But as soon as a deplorable right-winger makes a simple and obviously true observation—its crass wording notwithstanding—the political class and smart set lose their marbles. Why?

Thus, the fierce counterattack that started on November 8, 2016, and hasn’t halted, explained. Trump, for all his faults, has awakened a sense of the stakes for certain of us on the Right. We now realize that to win this war of ideas—this struggle for the very soul of America—we will have to grind the Left down and fight them to a draw. Because it’s only after we have forced a stalemate that we will be able to sue for peace and set the terms of a liveable truce, a truce within which ideological poison, no matter its pedigree, dare not be uttered.

There are many who are coming to the conclusion Rush had years ago: a draw won’t do it. Total and utter humiliating defeat might. Maybe.

Of Home Truths and Shitholes By Roger Kimball – “Outrage … is a dour beast. It glowers. It fulminates. It glories in moral indignation, which it eagerly manufactures whenever it is in short supply.” He notes the talking heads at CNN acting like a four year old that has discovered a new potty word.

“Sometimes, the experience of outrage, and its accompanying moral indignation, is essentially a feeling of displeasure—at a wrong done or suffered, an injustice or cruelty observed, etc.

But sometimes, outrage is but a patina of indignation whose chief motive is incontinent delight. Which is it for the talking heads at CNN?

And here we come to a second curiosity in the preening and ecstatic outrage over the president’s comment. Everyone, near enough, knows that he was telling a home truth. It was outrageous not because he said something crude that was untrue. Quite the contrary: it was outrageous precisely because it was true but intolerable to progressive sensitivities.

We live in a surreal moment when it becomes ever harder to tell the truth about sensitive subjects. Donald Trump has strutted across our timid landscape like a wrecking ball, telling truths, putting noses out of joint. The toffs will never forgive him, but I suspect the American people have stronger stomachs and are up to the task.

Ben Shapiro on media’s ‘sh—hole’ storm: ‘A Rorschach test on how you view the president’ by Douglas Ernst – and it might be based on Fake News, too.

“The editor-in-chief of The Daily Wire asserted Friday that Mr. Trump’s alleged “sh—hole” comments during recent policy negotiations may give his critics another opportunity to howl, but the affair ultimately constitutes a “Rorschach test” for millions of Americans.

“To be fair to the president, some countries are really crappy

Of Trump, Holes, and Our Real Immigration Scandals by Jeremy Carl – “In his usual blunt way, Trump cut to the core of the debate.”

“But that doesn’t mean there aren’t profound geography-related differences in how successful our immigrants are.

A great deal of the justified anger of the immigration patriot community is that we are told again and again by the media and politicians that we’re not allowed to care that say, the average El Salvadoran immigrant may be three times more likely as the average Norwegian immigrant or four times more likely than the average Indian immigrant to be on welfare, supported by the U.S. taxpayer. We’re outraged like Donald Trump was when he saw the truly offensive deal conjured up by Senators Graham, Flake and Gardner in conjunction with Democratic leaders

Furthermore, it’s a scandal that the GOP has yet to launch entirely justified impeachment proceedings against the San Francisco activist judge whose outrageous and blatantly illegal ruling is currently stopping the president from ending the DACA amnesty.

Finally, it’s a scandal that the Democrats are so dead-set on bringing in millions more government-dependent voters through amnesty that they’ve completely abandoned even the pretense of caring about border security and rule of law that they used to feign even a decade ago.

The pathetic results of the NFL kneeling spree by Monica Showalter – “it’s hard to protest The Man’s power when you yourself are now the man.”

“People go to football games to be entertained, not to be lectured by their supposed betters in another dreary virtue-signaling game.

This is why longtime cultural observer and critic Shelby Steele thinks black protests have lost their power in his must-read op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal.

As Steele puts it, freedom has arrived, and with freedom, accountability. Black protesters must now be judged on the actual merit of their protests, instead of just the identity reality the protesters’ black race, which up until now, has pretty much sent whites scurrying. They aren’t scurrying anymore in deference to the protests; they just aren’t buying tickets.

Freedom means accountability, which is where black protests of today fail to produce any results.

Next Week Will Be A Very Bad Week For Democrats and Their Media by sundance –

“The U.S. DOJ Has Begun Taking down the low hanging fruit on the Uranium One Tree – SEE HERE

The Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, Has Begun releasing a years-worth of Investigative Documents to the House Judiciary Committee – SEE HERE

Even Sean Hannity has discovered the BIGGER STORY behind the OIG Report – HERE

And Chairman Devin Nunes is now openly telling his colleagues in congress that the Obama, Lynch and Comey DOJ and FBI FISA violations are beyond their imaginings

Trump Lawyer Releases Letter From Porn Star Denying Affair With POTUS by Chuck Ross – one way to respond to Fake News.

CNN’s Stephen Miller incident proves how fake news ignorantly smears conservatives by Charles Hurt – “White House adviser does not play mental footsie with fools.”

“The latest drive-by character assassination of White House adviser Stephen Miller began, as it so often does, in a fact-free live TV orgy of public posturing by a journalist eager to display his virgin-snow virtue when it comes to unalloyed hatred of President Donald Trump.

When Mr. Miller refused to engage in Mr. Tapper’s conspiracy fantasy, the anchor changed his mind and decided he no longer wanted Mr. Miller on his show.

Jeff Sessions is on the right track By Jenny Beth Martin – “Attorney general is standing firm and leading on immigration and other fronts.”

“For conservatives who wanted the Justice Department cleaned up, that’s good news. The criticisms leveled at Sessions from leftist groups are reassuring. Sessions must be on the right track if he is getting this much pushback.

In the span of less than one year, Sessions has managed to draw the ire of nearly every liberal organization in the country. Liberals are apoplectic that Sessions, at the helm of the Justice Department, has managed to accomplish so many key aspects of Trump’s agenda.

In another stark contrast with Obama policies, Sessions has directed the Justice Department to partner with states as they work to enforce our nation’s immigration laws. Unlike the Obama Justice Department – which treated states as adversaries if they worked to uphold our nation’s immigration policies – Trump’s Justice Department has wisely decided to work closely with states in the shared goal of enforcing our immigration laws, including sharing information between the federal and state governments.

What all of these policy changes demonstrate is that Sessions is, first and foremost, interested in the rule of law.

In order to understand Sessions’ accomplishments in context, it is important to take stock of the rampant lawlessness and corruption in the Obama Justice Department.

The Judicial Rebellion by Tom Trinko – “We are witnessing a treasonous rebellion by leftist judges who are declaring the last election null and void.”

“At the core of these traitors’ arguments is the belief that the people do not have the right to express their views through the electoral process.

Essentially, these courts are declaring that President Trump doesn’t have the same authority as his predecessor and that the powers of the executive branch are constrained by what the judiciary thinks is good policy.

what we’re seeing is nothing less than a rebellion by judges who reject the idea that elections have consequences and believe they can impose their beliefs on the people. The judges are declaring that Democracy exists in the U.S. only to the extent that viewpoints that judges consider acceptable can result from an election.

At the core of the #Resistance movement is the idea that America is more a tyranny than a representative republic. By saying elections are legitimate only so long as leftists approve of them, they are declaring that power flows not from the people, as declared by the Constitution, but from the unelected elites.

America cannot continue to exist as a free country if the ever changing opinions of leftists carry the same authority as the Constitution and the laws passed by the people’s representatives in Congress.

Like all acts of open rebellion in America, these actions by judges are nothing less than a declaration that some people in America are worth less than others.

The reality is that when faced with a direct rejection of the principles upon which America is based, extreme measures are needed to stomp out the rebellion.

It’s time for Republicans to impeach judges who obviously overstep their authority.

Whatever mechanism we use, the reality is that if we don’t crush the rebellion in the judiciary we will lose all our freedoms and America may be headed toward an armed conflict.

The chance for real violence becomes greatest when people are backed into a corner and told they must reject their own beliefs.

That’s why it’s imperative to take peaceful steps now to defuse the crisis.

Wisconsin’s Comey-over by Scott Johnson – “Recently the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DoJ) conducted a criminal investigation into the illegal leak of court sealed John Doe records and found the Wisconsin Ethics Commission had not complied with the court’s order.” This, and the dismissal of the Bundy case, illustrate that it’s not just the courts and it’s not just at the federal level where the corruption of justice is under examination.

“A friend of mine calls the FBI’s report regarding Hillary Clinton’s emails a “Comey-over.” It appears Wisconsin’s ethics officials are trying to cover their bald spot. Expect more judges, lawyers, state legislators and attorneys general to get involved before this shameful episode finally concludes.

Just who is getting backed into a corner here?

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What Next?

Standing up to the lynch mob by Gary Anderson – “The first anniversary of the Trump presidency draws out new deranged foes.”

“ It is obvious to me that a decision was made days after the election that the president would be impeached, and not just by Democrats. The only question was how long it would take Mr. Trump’s enemies to find a charge. … I like the fact that, rather than trying to placate them as did Richard Nixon and the Bushes, Mr. Trump hits back hard.

he hires good people and holds them publicly accountable when they don’t produce the results that he wants. This is consistent with his advertised business management style. The fact that he lets his chief of staff and national security team manage day-to-day military affairs is encouraging. The president has not gotten us into any new wars and seems content to let the professionals handle the ones he has inherited.

In the area of foreign affairs, Mr. Trump has not made unnecessary enemies.

Some pundits are openly talking about a legal coup based on the 25th Amendment; that is a very slippery slope. The lynch mob has formed and is looking for a rope and tree … sad.

Psychiatrists: Discussing President Trump’s mental state is how we’ll prevent the rise of another Hitler by John Sexton – “Psychiatrists Brandy Lee and Leonard Glass are leading a campaign to convince the public that President Trump is a danger to the country.” Godwin’s Law and Reductio ad Hitlerum comes to mind, too.

“All of this would be a lot more convincing if progressives hadn’t spent years making similar claims about George W. Bush (who was also compared to Hitler), Ronald Reagan, and, yes, Barry Goldwater. It all seems to be part of a script. The constant agitation about the danger presented by giving Trump the nuclear codes dates back to this infamous political ad from 1964. In hindsight, most people realize this sort of thing is simply fear-mongering but I’m sure the doctors who condemned Goldwater (and thus prompted the Goldwater rule) didn’t see it that way at the time.

Formerly admired press watchdog names Trump top global press oppressor by Jazz Shaw – “This is a complete break from the traditional role of the CPJ, which formerly provided a useful service fighting actual press suppression and acts of violence in legitimately authoritarian regimes around the globe.”

“It’s truly a shame to see an organization like CPJ beclowning themselves in this fashion just to bolster their credentials with the #RESIST crowd. The fact is that their stated mission and fundamental raison d’etre is still badly needed in today’s world. In the “about” section of their website, they can find an important reminder of what it was they originally set out to do. “Every year, hundreds of journalists are attacked, imprisoned, or killed. For more than 35 years, CPJ has been there to defend them and fight for press freedom.”

Yes, we understand that your feelings were hurt when the President coined the term “fake news.” And no, it’s certainly no fun when media analysts point out mistakes made by your colleagues or the incredibly unbalanced level of attacks on Donald Trump in particular and conservatives in general when compared to the loving embrace you gave to Barack Obama and continue to offer to Democrats and the #RESIST movement today. But there are actual battles out there for you to be fighting.

In Russia, the government doesn’t just complain about fake news and hurt your feelings. They have journalists murdered.

Here in the United States, there is an absolute dearth of journalists being murdered by the government. As for throwing them in jail, I don’t recall any significant jail time for U.S. reporters since Josh Wolf and Judith Miller, and neither of them was imprisoned to “stop them from reporting” on the government. Those were instances of reporters refusing to divulge information relating to ongoing criminal cases. And who has Trump thrown in jail? Heck, he couldn’t even figure out how to lock up Hillary Clinton. I seriously doubt he’ll manage it with Jake Tapper.

Forced to dance the tax-cut tune, Trump is giving Elizabeth Warren the willies by Monica Showalter – “The roaring success of President Trump’s tax cuts have made every Democrat squirm uncomfortably.” The Ivy League isn’t doing so well with one professor getting lambasted for lack of license and ethics and anther …

“Let’s get that straight one more time: She actually said she wanted to get rid of the tax cuts, unable to grasp that the tax cuts were the exact instrument that enabled the energy company to cut rates for consumers. Warren was supposed to be smart enough to be a Harvard professor?

It’s got to be painful to contort herself this way.

Confirmation: DOJ and FBI Used “Steele Dossier” for Application To FISA Court for Search Authority on Trump Campaign by sundance – “As reported by Sara Carter and Fox News, the DOJ and FBI used the sketchy ‘Steele Dossier’ as the foundation for their FISA application.”

“The ENTIRE SYSTEM of surveillance and data collection was weaponized against a political campaign. They used the FISA Court to gain access to private data in order to monitor the Trump campaign and conduct surveillance on the officials therein.

The left is pushing Dems over a cliff as government shutdown looms by Rick Moran – “activists appear willing to push the Democrats over the cliff, threatening to withhold support if the party compromises on immigration.”

How to Get Kicked Off YouTube by Colin Flaherty – “Not to worry, all you lovers of racial venom. YouTube still has plenty of material to satisfy even your most vitriolic yearnings.” This is another Google problem (see yesterday’s post) as Google owns YouTube.

“These and thousands of other videos make YouTube a favorite place to spread black hostility, hate, and violence – you know, the same kind that is easy to find every day on NPR, MSNBC, CNN, and whatever else we are calling the conglomeration of reporters and public officials hopelessly devoted to spreading the greatest lie of our generation: the hoax of black victimization.

But what YouTube will not be spreading around anymore are videos that apparently are way worse than that. Videos by me, good ol’ Colin, refuting that lie.

I do not know why Nelson Mandela and lots and lots of rappers preaching black-on-white racial violence have such a hard time getting kicked off YouTube. It’s easy. I’ve done it four times for way less.

As with all my videos, there is no racism, no rancor, no apologies. Neither is there obscenity or vulgarity of any kind. No matter: that video came down.

And if they are not true, it should be the easiest thing in the world to show. Instead, the dominant reaction from the trolls is 1) that is not happening; 2) white people do it, too; 3) white people deserve it; and 4) let’s hammer YouTube until Colin is removed.

Not for lying. But for telling the truth.

YouTube might be the biggest game in town, but it is not the only place to put videos. Good ol’ Colin found a new home at minds.com, where my videos are now easy to find. And still impossible to refute.

A Ludicrous Ruling That Trump Can’t End DACA by Josh Blackman – “The Supreme Court has reversed this judge’s DACA decisions before, and it will do so again.” The judge must have watched Galaxy Quest too many times.

“On January 20, 2017, the executive power peacefully transitioned from President Obama to President Trump. At least one judge in San Francisco didn’t get the memo. Yesterday, Judge William Alsup ordered the Trump administration to keep its predecessor’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in place. This remarkable 49-page order has all the aesthetics of a judicial decision but is, at heart, an amateur act of punditry.

These talking points could have been plagiarized from the MSNBC chyron. Such rhetoric in a judicial decision would have been unthinkable barely a year ago. But now it passes for the new normal.

Judge Alsup, who continues a disturbing recent trend, failed to afford the deference due to a coordinate branch of government in making legal determinations. Trump has the electoral mandate to reverse the decisions of his predecessor and the constitutional obligation to assess the constitutionality of his actions. … I am unable to think of any decision where a court has ordered a president to exercise discretionary authority he has deemed unconstitutional.

This now-common fait accompli, where judges demand access to internal deliberative documents, and when rebuffed rule against the president anyway, evinces the feeling of a show trial. It is no wonder the Supreme Court took the unusual step of intervening in a discovery dispute.

From Resistance to Nullification to What Next? by Victor Davis Hanson – “Trump’s critics ratchet up to insurrection, but Trump’s tax reforms and our growing economy could derail their dreams.”

“Recent Democrats emeriti — Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama — apparently had a different vision of the post-presidency, unlike the quiet retirement of Lyndon Johnson back to his ranch in 1969. The three saw politics in more Manichean terms, as an existential struggle far too important to cease at the end of a presidential tenure.

we have never quite seen anything like the opposition of the so-called Resistance to the elected presidency that followed the Obama tenure.

There were the initial false charges that pro-Trump Russians had shut down power grids in Vermont. There were frivolous suits claiming that voting machines in three states were rigged. There was an organized, anti-constitutional effort to subvert the Electoral College so that it would not reflect the vote tallies of individual states. On Inauguration Day, there were congressional boycotts of the swearing-in ceremony. There were demonstrations at which, to take one example, Madonna envisioned blowing up the Trump White House.

An entire genre of assassination chic followed.

The frustrated Resistance is starting to morph into a more serious crisis of nullification, if not insurrection.

What Next, Indeed

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It’s a mess. Where will it go?

Trump’s insane? Democrats the party of lies, sex and rape by Cheryl K. Chumley – “Well frankly, this whole line of mental instability aimed at the president is both weak and tiresome.”

“calling out Trump for mental instability because he speaks tough on foreign leaders, or fails to soften his rhetoric on Twitter, or outright engages in public spats with those who insult him or his family, is not only hypocritical. It’s also disingenuous.

After all, in a contest of mental fitness that compares, say, a liar, a rapist and Trump, most sane-minded would choose Option Three, the president — a frequent tweeter who happens to have a bulldog approach to politicking.

Democrats ought to look to their own camp to root out the nut jobs. There’s plenty there, it would seem, to keep the psychiatrists busy.

As Investigations Of Misconduct Mount, Can Hillary Clinton Avoid Jail? Investor’s Business Daily editorial – “As the media focus on Donald Trump’s mental condition and whether he can be kicked out of office using the 25th Amendment, something far more significant is taking place

“In recent weeks, new developments have made it shockingly clear that questions about Clinton’s possibly criminal conduct are growing. All of these have come in the last month: …

unlike past investigations, which covered up the magnitude of Clinton’s actions and their likely criminal content, the latest ones are not being conducted by Democratic Party partisans from the Deep State who have, in communications revealed to the public, expressed open disdain for their soon-to-be president Trump and fought a rear-guard action to keep Hillary Clinton out of legal danger.

All Americans should root for the same thing: the truth. Based on current investigations and from what we now know of her past actions, which we have written on extensively here, Hillary Clinton will be very lucky indeed to escape not just prosecution, but incarceration.

Here’s Ace: Huma Abedin Backed Up Classified Emails to Anthony Weiner’s Computer, Despite Telling the FBI She Had Not Done So. Judge Dismisses Charges Against Clive Bundy and His Sons With Prejudice, Citing “Outrageous” Prosecutorial Conduct – “A sharp rebuke to how government agents were operating under Obama, and still are.” A New Method for Determining Historical Earth Temperature Finds That Earth Warmed… Only 0.1 Degree Celsius Over Past 50 Years. The Left Is Nothing More Than A Temper-Tantrum-Throwing Child – “An obstinate refusal to accept reality is the hallmark of children.”

Climate Change: California Hypocrisy Turned up to 11 by Steven Hayward – “these California cities are lying in one of these legal matters—the lawsuit claim or their bond disclosures.

“The motion ExxonMobil filed yesterday in Texas identifies 16 individuals who it believes conspired to get the attorneys general to bring this action. Some evidence of this collaboration may have been destroyed. ExxonMobil wishes to depose these 16.

Schumer succeeds in obstructing key DOJ nominees by Paul Mirengoff – “Chuck Schumer is earning his pay. Senate Republicans, not so much.”

Why Liberals Need to Look Down on Conservatives by Selwyn Duke – “A common theme among progressives is that conservatives aren’t just wrong; they’re dumb.”

“The reason for this arrogance isn’t as simple as many may think. Rather, it relates to a deep psychological phenomenon that makes it difficult for those afflicted to evolve out of the leftist primordial soup.

any challenge to this idea struck directly at an intractable self-image, threatening to upset his ego’s world order, which had him, through group association, at its very pinnacle.

This phenomenon is common. It’s often exhibited by those considering themselves part of a “master race” or any kind of special group. It can be comforting: a person may not be accomplished, intelligent, or gifted and might otherwise feel inadequate. But his group association saves his psyche’s day, for whatever he is or isn’t, at least he’s not like those other people, those untouchables.

the phenomenon in question here is a deeply emotional one.

For this reason, it’s wholly resistant to intellectual appeals. You can’t logically talk someone out of something irrational on which his self-worth is based. In fact, if it begins to dawn on such a person that his notions of superiority – and hence his self-image – rest on a lie, it will be intensely painful and depressing. The individual will thus have a strong incentive to rationalize away this realization.

This phenomenon is exacerbated by two related factors. First, liberals are generally dysfunctional, vice-ridden people who embrace what we call liberalism because its underlying relativism and nihilism help them justify their sins. … Simultaneously, liberalism allows these virtue-bereft people to virtue-signal by paying homage to the day’s fashionable values. …

Second, conservatives are more likely to have authentic faith, while liberals tend be to avowed or de facto atheists, which is why church attendance is one of the best predictors of voting patterns.

I’m Back. Here’s Where I’ve Been by Dennis Prager – “I have believed all my life that the primary crisis in America and the West is the abandonment of Judeo-Christian values, or, one might say, the dismissal of the Bible.”

“Our society, one of whose mottos is “In God We Trust,” is becoming as godless as Western Europe — and, consequently, as morally confused and unwise as Europe. Just as most professors regard most Bible believers as foolish, I have more or less the same view of most college professors in the liberal arts. When I hear that someone has a Ph.D. in sociology, anthropology, political science or English, let alone women’s studies or gender studies, I assume that he or she is morally confused and bereft of wisdom. Some are not, of course. But they constitute a small minority.

In America, there is an epidemic of children who no longer talk one or both of their parents. In a few cases, this is warranted. But in most cases, adult children are inflicting terrible, unfair pain upon their parent. This is one of a myriad of examples where believing in a God-based text is transformative. Secular callers tell me that they hardly need the Ten Commandments to desist from murdering anyone. That may well be true. But apparently, a lot of people could use the Ten Commandments to avoid inflicting terrible pain on (admittedly, flawed) parents.

My ultimate aim is to help make the Bible America’s book once again.

The foundation has been neglected.

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The radicals become fanatics

The Torment of Ajit Pai by Noah Rothman – “The radicals become fanatics.” Sad to say, even the web hosting service used for this website, Dreamhost, has joined in on the personal attacks and irrationality – from their recent newsletter: “it now seems clear that brain parasites have taken our beloved FCC chairman away from us.”

“At some point predating Donald Trump’s ascension to the presidency, political activism evolved from a civic exercise into a lifestyle. For the initiated, traditional forms of political organizing are too passive. In the activists’ minds, the objects of their fixations represent an existential threat, and there aren’t many behaviors that are proscribed in a fight for survival. For the fanatical opposition to Donald Trump, in particular, even the most mundane aspects of governance are inflated into a struggle for our very way of life. This is how opposition to an arcane, bureaucratic decision by the Federal Communications Commission transformed from a liberal cause into an obsession. This is also how the FCC’s chairman, Ajit Pai, became the subject of almost daily persecution.

The so-called “Resistance” latched onto the net-neutrality issue early in the Trump presidency and went about expressing their opposition to the repeal of this regulation in the most contemptible fashion imaginable.

Pai’s treatment is an outrage and a disgrace. It would be a national scandal in the press but for the fact that so many of the country’s opinion-makers and media professionals agree with the activists’ cause, if not their methods.

For all his autonomy, Pai and his family have nevertheless endured a campaign of stalking and intimidation for merely serving the country in his capacity as FCC chairman. This sorry display is unbecoming of a mature republic. The activist left is incubating the kind of potentially violent radicalism that they cannot control. If Democrats truly fret for the norms of civil conduct that are supposedly being lost in the Trump era, they might devote some attention to their own supporters.

Also see Ace, Judge Denies Fusion GPS’ Motion to Block Congress From Seeing Its Financial Records; Fusion GPS Files Emergency Motion to Appeals Court, Hoping for Reversal – “Boy, the Democrats’ favorite smear-shop really doesn’t want Congress to know who’s paying it or who they’re paying.

Mark Levin rips AP on Trump story: ‘You persist in your false reporting’ by Douglas Ernst – ‘This is why your profession has already been severely damaged.

Usurping the president’s constitutional authority by James A. Lyons – “It needs to be understood that judges do not have the constitutional authority to make policy for the military, nor to countermand the president’s constitutional authority. Failing to protect the president’s constitutional authority could very likely have more serious consequences in the future with issues involving our national security.”

Why hasn’t Michael Wolff’s dementia-Trump ever been seen in public? by Eddie Scarry – “President Trump is on TV and in newspapers more than any human on earth, and yet Michael Wolff, based on his time gossiping, has convinced the national media that grandpa got away and is now drooling in the Oval Office.”

“Citing an impossible-to-understand mix of conversations, Wolff otherwise says Trump is mentally diminished. And reporters believe it, despite what we’ve all seen with our own eyes over the course of two years.

But they don’t believe it because they know it’s true. They believe it because they want it to be.

Oh, and don’t forget the gorilla channel episode. Ace wonders Guy Prints Up Hilarious Parody “Quote” From Michael Wolff Book; A Blue Checkmarker Falls For It.

His Job is Done – Admiral Mike Rogers Announces His Retirement by sundance – “Reuters is reporting that NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers has announced to his staff he is resigning, and that a nominee will be announced to replace him shortly.” Do read the ‘defeat the corruption’ link where sundance refers to Operation Condor for an outline of the “story of how the FBI Counterintelligence Division and DOJ National Security Division were weaponized.” Also note the Trump handling of this breaking scandal as another example of what Eddie Scarry was talking about.

“In hindsight it appears that President Trump was fully aware when the tide would change. The moment when an empowered group of congressional people would develop the coordinated plan to defeat the corruption amid a corrupt intelligence apparatus Admiral Rogers had been holding back for the past several years.

This is scary stuff about trying to straighten out governance gone awry.

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Revealing character

Note to NeverTrumps: Trump’s Character Is Admirable By Karin McQuillan – “Trump voters often preface their satisfaction with Trump’s actions by criticizing his tweets or his personality.” It’s the ‘yeah, but’ phenomena that is being inspected by McQuillan.

“Here’s an alternate take on things: Trump’s character is responsible for his outstanding performance in his first year as president. If you want to know who someone is, you look at what he does. What we have: a booming economy, growing jobs, more lawful governance, fewer regulations, more global security. What character traits this took: hard work, focus, commitment, courage, honesty, independence, incorruptibility, self-confidence, love of excellence. The list of Trump’s positive character traits goes on and on. You don’t get achievements independent of character.

Trump’s integrity in office is outstanding – the first politician in my memory who is sticking to his promises to voters. We are hugely benefiting from his promise-keeping.

The importance of character to effectiveness cannot be overstated. Trump has other character traits of achievers. He is not discouraged by failures and mistakes; he learns from them. He doesn’t just set goals; he follows up on results. He faces reality.

In the midst of the hysterical name-calling, Stephens doesn’t point to a single bigoted word or action by Trump. He can’t. There is none. The accusations are partisan nonsense. In Stephens’s alternate universe, Trump’s evident competence, his love, respect, and commitment to help his fellow Americans, goes invisible, and we are left with a racist, fascist caricature born of leftist agitprop.

It is a sorry reflection on our polite society that they are having conniption fits over Trump’s character.

Trump’s Unnoticed Great First-Year Accomplishment by Lloyd Marcus – “Trump repeatedly spoke the truth about issues when fake news media demanded that we either embrace their lies or stay silent. Singlehandedly, Trump has opened the door for Americans to freely speak truth again.”

Scorning the Left by Dawn Merrill – “Have you ever been laughed at publicly? Mocked? Ridiculed? Shown scorn in a social or professional setting? … In today’s culture, these weapons have become something gleefully utilized by the left. It is standard practice.” Ever wonder why Rush Limbaugh does so well with his talk show?

“Ridicule has immense power. Saul Alinsky knew it and codified it in his Rules for Radicals. President Trump clearly knows it and utilizes ridicule often, with great efficacy. We on the right need to relearn this fine art. If we used this weapon as effectively as the left does, we could pull this country back onto the right track far faster than President Trump can do it on his own.

Laugh, mock, ridicule, and shower scorn upon these insane lefties. We know that reason won’t work. We know that results won’t work. … We have not fought back with the same weapon. We have been content to “bring a knife to a gunfight.”

Until President Trump. Whether you know it or not, his controversial tweets are really a license – a license to do to them exactly what they’ve done to us.

Scorn, after all, should be a two-way street. The left richly deserves, and regularly invites, mockery. Let’s oblige. Ridicule is so easy under the circumstances as to be…well, laughable. Let the laughter begin!

Walls Close In Around DOJ and FBI “Small Group” Participants by sundance – “Several stories broke yesterday …

“It is easy to get stuck in the weeds on any individual storyline within the larger network of ongoing investigations. However, the bigger picture is found in the commonality all of these investigations hold.

The single thread that binds all of these stories together is the political use of the FBI and DOJ by former and current officials within each department….

On January 1st I expressed optimism because I can see how this methodical investigative approach makes the most sense. There is a clear plan, a coordinated plan, visible within the sequencing. The current headlines solidify that perspective.

Ace on Charles Grassley: The Memos James Comey Illegally Leaked to His Buddy (To Leak to the NYT) Are So Sensitive That I Could Only View Them in a SCIF – “Grassley has written a letter to conspirator Rod Rosenstein, demanding answers to questions about Comey’s lawbreaking, but of course Rosenstein will ignore these questions, as he ignores all questions about the DOJ’s and FBI’s behavior in this matter.” Maybe not. The pressure is on. We can hope.

Democrats’ dishonest scramble to disown the Trump ‘dossier’ by Paul Sperry – “Democrats have been quoting from the infamous anti-Trump “Steele dossier” as if it were gospel.”

“but now that Hillary Clinton has been revealed as its paymaster and a Hillary-friendly FBI is under investigation for possibly launching the Trump-Russia “collusion” probe under its false pretenses, they are suddenly in full retreat from it.

Their credibility is in tatters along with the discredited document.

Democrats’ new mission is to bury the dossier, and the media are providing them the shovel.

shameless Democratic promoters got everyone lathered up over a false conspiracy theory, and now they’re realizing they overreached and are running for the exits, revising history, recasting narratives, covering their keisters.

They led the nation on a wild goose chase, and now they fear the reckoning.

It is a tangled web some weave (re Walter Scott) and the unraveling is continuing apace. 

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Denial and other psychological defenses

Note that the Washington Times website has turned into nagware with all the honor of a blackmailer – pay them once and the demands still don’t quit.

Liberal leaders back away from anti-Trump dossier by Rowan Scarborough – “A new liberal narrative has arisen since Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, launched a probe to find out who funded the salacious, unverified dossier and how the FBI used it against Trump people.” The sordid saga provides an example of how the Left plays scandals. When one narrative fails due to falsehoods and lack of evidence, create another and then repeat as necessary until the victim gets tired and gives up. Bald faced lies and complete turnarounds are peddled with aplomb. Rationalizations are offered and supported as if no skepticism can exist. Scarborough describes the antics in the latest scandal.

Fusion GPS’ ‘Fake Investigation’ — And Hillary Clinton’s Real Russian Collusion, an IBD editorial – “Someone forgot to tell the investigative duo: Intelligence without proof is merely gossip. And that’s exactly what they’ve sold.”

“In a New York Times op-ed on Wednesday titled “The Republicans’ Fake Investigations,” the two founders of Fusion GPS desperately try to clear their names, restore their business’ tarnished reputation and revive their sordid Russia collusion tale about Trump to “correct the record.” They fail on all counts.

Maybe proof isn’t the idea at all. Rather it’s about finding a way to hobble a highly effective conservative president who seems dead set on changing Washington for good and for the better. Talk about a real threat to the progressive Democrats and their allies in the Deep State.

Trump pushes need for voter ID laws after dissolving commission on voter integrity by Sally Persons – “President Trump pushed the need for voter ID on Thursday after dissolving his commission on voter integrity due to legal challenges.” Another case illustrating tactics involving state supported civil disorder, this time with counter-tactics.

“The president decided the commission was a waste of money and time, and he reallocated its work to the Department of Homeland Security. The purpose of the commission was to investigate voter fraud claims in the 2016 election and review voter-roll data. Several states refused to hand over the data and filed lawsuits to prevent the committee from achieving its goal.

But Mr. Trump said that voter fraud, and namely voter ID, will still be a priority.

Uncovering vote fraud: Plan B begins by Thomas Lifson – “Before progressives start celebrating the dissolution of the Election Integrity Commission, they had better figure out what lies ahead.”

“If the left thinks it’s home free, and that this announcement is a victory, it had better remember whom it is dealing with: a man who is accustomed to encountering obstacles and overcoming them

I think the left has outsmarted itself by making alleged “Russian hacking” of the election a national security issue. This opens the door for DHS – armed with far more investigatory power than any commission might exercise – to go full bore at election fraud. President Trump tried it the nice way, only to encounter obstruction. Now it is time for Plan B, and I am pretty sure that Democrats will not like it at all.

Those running the progressive left understand the stakes in vote fraud: their power. That is why this move toward energetic investigation under the mantle of national security may be far more fateful than it appears on the surface.

Now We Know: FBI Ignored Lawbreaking To Exonerate Hillary Clinton, IBD editorial – “Each new revelation about how the FBI handled — or, more appropriately, mishandled — the Clinton email scandal makes it that much clearer that politics trumped law enforcement, even when it involved matters of national security.”

“Democrats dismiss these new revelations as nothing more than “Republicans’ outsized obsession with Hillary Clinton’s emails two years after the fact,” as Rep. Jerrold Nadler put it.

This is standard operating procedure for Democrats. Deny any wrongdoing. Stonewall investigators. Count on mainstream reporters not to lift a finger to do any investigative reporting on their own. Then claim it’s all old news.

But in this case, there is more at stake than the question of whether Clinton broke the law many years ago — even though it seems pretty obvious that she did. The real question that must be answered is whether and how the FBI let politics drive its investigation and its decision-making.

When law enforcement becomes an arm of a political party, it’s called a police state. Democrats should be just as eager as Republicans to make sure the FBI comes clean about any political corruption, and that it cleans house.

Democrats, treason, projection by L. Todd Wood – “Liberals project their sins on Republicans.”

“So in the spirit of the new year, why don’t we all just be honest for a day? The Democrats, and I’m referring to the Obama administration and all its minions, including the Hillary organization, are guilty of treason and subversion against the United States. They are also guilty of a huge cover up of said actions. They are also guilty of using the agencies of the federal government against their political opposition. This abuse of power frighteningly included the intelligence services of the United States, which have been hopelessly politicized.

The list of their crimes is long. Colluding with Iran to give the Islamic theocracy nuclear weapons, colluding with Russia to go after Donald Trump, using the IRS against the Tea party, selling our uranium to Russia for a large sum of money, are just a few of the more horrific examples of their dirty deeds. The list is long and sordid.

The Democrats and the Left are horrified that all of this will be brought out into the open.

Trump scares the crap out of them.

Sen. Grassley’s spokesman to Fusion GPS: If you wanted transparency, why did you plead the Fifth? By John Sexton – “Fusion GPS is attacking the Senate investigation in ways that are indistinguishable from the demands being made by Democrats on the House Intel committee this week.”

“Earlier today I wrote about the NY Times op-ed by Fusion GPS’ Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch in which they attacked Republicans and demanded the transcript of their closed-door testimony be released. That op-ed has resulted in a response from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley who points out that Simpson requested the closed-door session and that during the session a lawyer for Fusion GPS explicitly asked that the transcript not be released by the committee.

Disinformation, Fusion GPS style by Scott Johnson – “McCarthy demonstrates that Simpson and Fritsch are on a mission akin to that of their man Christopher Steele with his dossier. That is, they are peddling disinformation.”

Desperate Comey Sees Scheme Unraveling – And Chuck Grassley Enters Righteous Foray by sundance – “The most dangerous time for a rescue swimmer is the moment he reaches a desperate drowning man

“Former FBI Director James Comey is sending out signals for anyone to back him up. He’s desperate.

The mindset here is the same he carried while in office. That mindset claims the FBI is above scrutiny, a system of law unto itself, and we must blindly owe it respect. THAT is exactly the view that fertilizes the seeds of politicization of offices. His arrogant and condescending viewpoint is exactly what allowed FBI gross misconduct to happen.

Contrast that perspective with Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, one of the two representative committees that hold oversight over the FBI and DOJ.

Chairman Nunes Confirms Agreement – DOJ Will Provide “All Requested Information” by sundance – “Nunes will get all the requested documents and be given a schedule for the interviews with FBI Agent Peter Strzok, FBI Attorney Lisa Page and DOJ Deputy Attorney Bruce Ohr. Whoot. Giddy up.”

“Your Honor, the President Is Acting Like He’s in Charge and We Want It Stopped” by Joe Bob Briggs – “Small children on the playground know that if you can’t win an argument any other way, you always play the faulty-research card.”

“Every time the president signs an executive order, somebody files a suit against him, claiming the right to investigate why he’s doing what he’s doing and whether he’s doing it for the right reasons or because he has sinister intentions caused by demonic fake-news sources.

You might disagree with what Trump is doing, but the way to change what he’s doing would be to change the law. That’s not how he’s being challenged. There were five—count ’em, five—major lawsuits filed against the president for changing this purely administrative policy.

All five of the requests for information are asking the childish question, “Where did you get your information?”

It doesn’t matter where he got his information.

These lawsuits—and I’m only dealing with one batch of them—are the very definition of bad faith. They challenge the right of the president to be president. They are attempts to use the courts to shape executive decisions. Do we really intend to do this for the rest of recorded history? Are we going to look at the emails and tweets and backroom conversations of every future president before we “allow” him to make a decision?

Taki’s Magazine provides a plea on every cut and paste to share by link rather than “paste an article” in order that due credit is provided and authors can “get paid for their work.” This is reasonable. It is why only highlights are posted here rather than entire articles. The hope is that the reader will see enough to pique interest and go read the cited article.

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Trying to find a way out but keep the alternate reality alive

On the scandal front, the more that is revealed, the more it is apparent that the perpetrators are trying to find a way out. Here is the McCarthy analysis and review of the latest NYT efforts to maintain a narrative on Russian Collusion,

As the Dossier Scandal Looms, the New York Times Struggles to Save Its Collusion Tale by Andrew C. McCarthy — “The totality of the evidence undermines the Times’ collusion narrative.”

Well, it turns out the Page angle and thus the collusion narrative itself is beset by an Obama-administration scandal: Slowly but surely, it has emerged that the Justice Department and FBI very likely targeted Page because of the Steele dossier, a Clinton-campaign opposition-research screed disguised as intelligence reporting. Increasingly, it appears that the Bureau failed to verify Steele’s allegations before the DOJ used some of them to bolster an application for a spying warrant from the FISA court (i.e., the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court).
  …
 It is an explosive problem, this use of the dossier by the Obama Justice Department and the FBI in an application to the FISA court for authority to spy on Trump’s associates. Politically, it suggests that the collusion narrative peddled by Democrats and the media since Trump’s victory in the November election was substantially driven by partisan propaganda. Legally, it raises the distinct possibilities that (a) the FBI did not adequately verify the claims in the dossier before using them in an application to the secret federal court; and (b) the Justice Department of the then-incumbent Democratic administration did not disclose to the court that the dossier was produced by the Democratic presidential campaign for use against the rival Republican candidate.

 

Next up is the DOJ and FBI subpoena for documents that they said didn’t exist but were found to actually exist after months of stonewalling Congressional investigation.  The problem with constructing stories is keeping things consistent when there is no solid referent in reality. 

Former FBI director Comey tweets that maybe we’ll see turn towards more moral leadership in 2018. Glen Reynolds responds that we’ve already seen a good start on this with Comey being fired in 2017.

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acknowledge reality? it’s tough, sometimes.

Consider the war against smoking – tobacco – but not pot. Maybe that has something to do with it as many in the press seem to be high on something.

A newspaper editor confronts AP over fake news by Thomas Lifson – “The story of how much time and effort it took is expressive of how deep the biases against President Trump go.” cites Frank Miele as a must read. It provides a good insight into the insidious propaganda the president faces.

“Then I broached the topic of the “falsehoods” that the president was supposedly passing along willy-nilly. I pointed out that the reporter’s claim of finding such “falsehoods” amounted to planting evidence as she substituted Trump’s actual language (“Clinton Puppets”) with her own imaginary language (“Clinton”) and then established conclusively that Trump had not proven what he had never said in the first place.

Let the reader beware. Eternal vigilance is the price of not just liberty, but also truth.

Another example is 2017: The year angry populists rose to the top — and fell on their faces by the Washington Examiner – “Just in the past week, some of the vacuous populists have revealed the emptiness and ultimate impotence of their anger.” The word “anger” is used over and over again in the opinion. Any reader who is vigilant will look around to find that anger and only see it in opposition to the ‘populist movement’ that has “actually won a national election and gained real political power.” i.e. the ‘anger’ in the opinion piece is a fabrication of the writer’s warped perceptions.

Or consider this: “With Trump’s inauguration this year, this destruction-only populism gained real power. And with nothing left to destroy, it took down itself.” Who is it that is attempting to destroy to nothing by blocking government reform and the restoration of law? Who is rioting in the streets? Who is promoting evidence absent scandal and blocking evidence laden scandal?

Confronting this sort of bias is what prompted Miele to take one small step.

The Times Diversion by Scott Johnson provides another example – “In collusion news today, the New York Times has devoted six reporters to producing the “news” that the previously obscure Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos lies at the heart of the putative case.”

“I think the story is ludicrous on its face. The Times has served as a prime purveyor of the Trump/Russia hysteria. Yet reality has deflated it. Now the Times returns to pump it up. The names have changed, but the song remains the same.

How can any informed observer take this seriously? We await the disclosure of genuine evidence rather than obvious spin.

Betsy Newmark leads with another example – “With limited reporting out of Iran and misleading stories from some major media outlets, Twitter has actually become almost indispensable in following the story since we can see videos of the protests with translations of what people are chanting.”

Trump Is Right About the Obamacare Insurance Mandate by David Catron – “Its elimination won’t kill the law overnight, but it is definitely a poison pill.” This was a Congressional correction to a case where SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts twisted himself in knots that provides another example of trying to distort reality in allegations of lies. The deceit in trying to support such allegations is astounding.

“Trump merely reiterated the oft-stated opinion of countless Obamacare supporters concerning the mandate’s importance to the success of “reform.” Yet the very people who have repeatedly warned us that repealing the individual mandate would kill “reform” suddenly executed a vertigo-inducing pirouette.

President Trump was widely ridiculed by the left for his remark and the “ignorance” it revealed concerning Obamacare. And, of course, the intrepid “fact checkers” at PolitiFact joined the chorus by braying: “We rate Trump’s claim False.” But if the President is wrong, what about Professor Chemerinsky? Is he making a “false” claim when he describes the mandate’s demise thus:

In other words, as President Trump’s remark reminded everyone, a three-legged stool can’t stand on two legs.

It Is Time To Pull The Plug On Never-Trumpism by John Hinderaker – “As President Trump’s first year in office draws to a close, even the Democrats have been forced to admit that he has accomplished quite a lot.”

“I agree that from a particular point of view, a conservative can rationally be a Never Trumper. It requires a belief that the tone of our politics is important, and that the president contributes greatly toward setting that tone. I am fine with those views. But it requires something more: a belief that the tone (or style) issue is so important that it outweighs all of the policy fronts on which the Trump administration has moved the conservative ball forward.

To come to this conclusion requires, I think, a certain disconnection from reality. The Never Trumper cannot take seriously the possibility that North Korea might drop a nuclear bomb on San Francisco. He cannot find much to worry about in Iran’s potential domination over the Middle East. He must be blind to the critical difference between 1.5% economic growth and 3% economic growth, not to the nation’s elites, who will be fine either way, but to the middle class. He must fail to apprehend the dire threat to the rule of law posed by politicians, professors and–most important–judges who despise the Constitution and believe that law is merely another avenue for the exercise of power. The list goes on.

In short, Never Trumpism can make sense only if you don’t take seriously the importance of the issues with which the president grapples, and on which President Trump has made, I think, remarkable progress in the last 11 months.

It is time for the Never Trumpers to gain a sense of perspective, to throw in the towel, and to acknowledge reality.

NASA’s Rubber Ruler: An Update By Randall Hoven – “When you go to the NASA website, you can download temperature anomalies “1880-present.” But those data change every month.” NASA isn’t media but the same phenomena of distortion and deceit is still evident.

“NASA adjusts it. You cannot find any older versions. NASA makes available only its most recent version. And NASA does not explain how it adjusts the data. You must simply trust it.

I still have the data from 2012 only because I downloaded them to a spreadsheet and kept that spreadsheet.

How does one validate a climate model using temperature observations, if those “observations” were themselves adjusted using models? Real science means using the scientific method, which means using physical measurements to test a hypothesis.

The simple explanation is that NASA is reversing that method. It apparently uses the global warming hypothesis to adjust physical measurements. That is not science. It is the opposite of science.

The “temperature record” is not a record of thermometer readings. It is a summary of what government-funded people with science degrees think is OK for us to see.

“Raw water”: The latest dangerous “natural health” fad by David Gorski – “As an old year fades into its final days and a new year approaches, I always wonder what new quackery will make an appearance in the new year.”

“In pseudoscience, the naturalistic fallacy is everywhere. It’s not surprising, then, that there is profit to be made selling “raw” (i.e., untreated) water at very high prices for its nonexistent health benefits, those benefits all claimed to be due to the “naturalness” of the water. I can’t help but note that cholera, Giardia, amoebic dysentery, and a wide variety of waterborne illnesses prevented by modern water treatment techniques are all very, very “natural.”

Thanks to the New York Times the other day, I might know. It’s variant of many forms of pseudoscience based on the naturalistic fallacy (i.e., that if it’s “natural” it must be better, safer, and healthier, and that many of humanity’s health most intractable health issues are due to the products of modernity, such as industry and pesky public health measures that protect against disease, such as vaccines, pure water, and pasteurization), but it’s also yet another variety of a common form of nonsense that I like to refer to as water woo.

White House Press Secretary triggers haters with shotgun photo by Karen Townsend – “The woman is learning to master her Twitter account and the left falls for it every time.”

“One of the reasons I appreciate Sarah Huckabee Sanders as press secretary is her ability to set off her critics, which inevitably does not end well for them. It seems a well-rounded Southern woman brings out the worst of the left. The first working mom to hold the title of White House Press Secretary also bakes and shoots skeet. I like that.

She’s got a master for a mentor.

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grappling with reality

A president unafraid of the press by Don Surber – “People who last week bitched about no year-end press conference showed open hostility to the president talking to a reporter unguarded by his flacks.” It was an opportunity, a feeding, for Trump material to twist, distort, and demean by the Left’s Propaganda Machine and that it did.

“The power of the press is gone. A Republican president no longer is afraid of the press. In fact, Trump is the most accessible president in my lifetime — because he really doesn’t care what they write. Oh he tweets. It entertains his troops and has the press chasing its tail.

The American news media is fixated on Trump. No one wants to risk ratings or clicks by talking about anyone else. There also is a strange desire to be hated by Trump. It is some sort of stamp of approval in the media.

The interview was such a waste that it yielded a dozen different story lines for reporters in the worst week for reporters. Trump knows how to feed the trolls.

The press made personal attacks on the president. Some were doozies.

After more than a year of million-dollar investigations there is not one scintilla of evidence of collusion.

Which is why Trump keeps talking about it, because the Russian story makes the press look like desperate partisans rather than competent referees.

Wise people would have gone back to the basics last year, played it straight, and given Donald Trump a chance.

Reading these accounts — these desperate attempts to revive an industry — saddens me. It’s not what was that is the tragedy; it is what might have been.

Transparent DOJ and FBI Desperation: New York Times Attempts “Trump Operation” Justification… by sundance – “The New York Times, via Clinton’s favorite voice Maggie Haberman, pushes out an article attempting to cloud, obfuscate and justify the joint FBI and DOJ surveillance operation against Trump.”

“The timing, content and presentation of the disinformation is transparent in the intended motive. More and more people are recognizing the FBI application to the FISA court was based on political information, the Steele Dossier, assembled by political operatives and used by political operatives within the DOJ National Security Division and FBI Counterintelligence Division.

As to the substance of the NYT justification it is absurd on its face. Claiming George Papadopoulos speaking to an Australian politician in London mid May 2016, and a conversation about Russians having dirt on Hillary Clinton, as the origin of the FBI’s Russian probe is silly.

FBI Chapter of Hillary Clinton Fan Club Probes President Trump by Deroy Murdock – “It’s simply incredible what the Mueller team is being allowed to get away with.”

“At worst, this is judicial corruption, rooted in bottomless affection for the subject of one inquiry and boundless disdain for the target of a different probe.

At best, this creates the appearance of corruption, whereby Mueller’s team and their FBI and DOJ colleagues seem so pro-Hillary and so anti-Trump that even their totally even-handed and perfectly honest conclusions would be attacked as either a phony exoneration of Hillary, a fake prosecution of Trump, or an over-reaction to criticism that prompted the opposite results. With Drano-like efficiency, these outcomes would corrode confidence in federal law-enforcement agencies and the rule of law.

Mueller’s inquest is terminally compromised, as these details demonstrate:

The DOJ and FBI rot from the head down. So who’s the head? by Brian C. Joondeph – “The Trump-Russia collusion investigation is on life support.”

“With 90 percent of media coverage negative toward President Trump, you can be certain that if Trump conspired with Russia to hack the election, these same media would have long ago found evidence of collusion. But they haven’t, have they? Instead, they hyperventilate over nonsense, such as a truck blocking their view of Trump’s golf course, now a three-day story for CNN.

The conspiracy was legion, with many agency heads and upper managers working together to undermine an election. … These players could not have behaved as they did without the approval of the head of the fish, the occupant of the Oval Office – none other than President Barack Obama. Whether explicit or implicit, his directions were crystal-clear to his underlings – his attorney general, his FBI director, his IRS commissioner, and all the other agency heads serving at his pleasure.

No one working in the Obama administration would take on such chicanery and corruption on his own. This all had the blessing of the boss.

But make no mistake that none of this would have happened without the approval of the boss man in the Oval Office. If his standard were to respect law and electoral tradition, none of this would have happened.

As Cell Service Expands, National Parks Become Digital Battlegrounds by Stuart Leavenworth – “First responders support the plans, as do some park officials, who argue that better cell coverage will help attract a new generation of visitors. Critics fear it will lead to more noisy distractions in places designed to be an escape from the modern world.” As usual, one side wants a tech, government, top down fix and the other says that the problem belongs to the individual’s needs and desires.

“these days at Yosemite National Park, hikers to Half Dome are likely to encounter people talking on cellphones as they climb to the top. For visitors to the parks, the call of the outdoors increasingly comes with crisp 4G service, and not everyone is wild about that.

Yet advocates for increased cell service, including many NPS officials, say the parks can’t cling to an earlier era. Expanded cellular and broadband coverage, they argue, helps rescue teams respond to emergencies and are necessary to draw a new generation to the parks.

Juggling public demands has always been difficult in the national parks, especially those that draw big crowds and include large expanses of designated wilderness.

“This shouldn’t be an issue,” said Huffman. “If you want to avoid distractions in the wilderness, you can just turn off your phone. But you might also want to be able to turn on that phone and make a call if you broke your arm and needed help.”

First responders and other safety officials agree that enhanced cell service helps in many outdoor rescues. But the issue is complicated

It’s a matter of personal choice. Do you want it enforced from the top down or from the bottom up? Do you want to remove the option by government edict or do you want to deal with abuse by ignorant idiots? One clue is the situation now:

“People will go into the backcountry and think the cellphone will be their savior,” said Newbern. “Sometimes it doesn’t turn out that way.”

People assume things whether or not the top down choice has been made for them.

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defenders of telepathy

Congress Is Forming A Bipartisan Alternative Medicine Caucus By Alex Berezow – “Open displays of bipartisanship are rare these days and, as such, should be applauded. Unfortunately, a recent example of bipartisanship promotes junk science and bogus health claims.” i.e. everybody can be bought by fake news.

“ If alternative medicine worked, it would just be called medicine. In other words, a patient has two choices: evidence-based medicine or witchcraft. Congress has decided that it would like to throw more support behind the latter.

Where did this pseudoscientific monstrosity come from? Former Democratic Senator Tom Harkin is mostly at fault, but there is plenty of blame to go around. Current Republican Senator Orrin Hatch also likes alternative medicine, specifically the supplements industry.

The influence of alternative medicine is widespread and pernicious. A study reported by RealClearScience compared the outcomes of cancer patients on conventional therapy with those using alternative medicine. It found that, after five years, 78% of the former were still alive, compared to only 55% of the latter. Alternative medicine kills people. Literally.

Knowing Their Harm, Politicians Still Push for Minimum Wages by Matthew Lau – “We have minimum wage hikes for the same reason we have rent control, protectionism, and thousands of other destructive policies.”

“Thankfully, the racist motivations of minimum wages are today gone. However, the negative consequences of minimum wages still are often not unintentional. Take the example of Ontario, Canada, where the minimum wage is set to rise from $11.60 today to $14 in 2018, and then to $15 in 2019. This policy will undoubtedly result in business closures and job losses – and as it turns out, these consequences are intended.

Which businesses will be unable to afford a minimum wage hike? The answer is primarily businesses that provide jobs to workers whose maximum productivity is too low to justify a $15 wage. Raising the wage floor to $15 makes untenable the employment of any workers whose skills do not allow them to contribute at least $15 of value hourly to employers.

With four studies produced by the Ontario government showing negative employment effects of raising the minimum wage without any reduction in poverty, why are politicians pushing forward with the policy?

The answer as to why we have minimum wage hikes is the same as to why we have rent control, and protectionism, and thousands of other destructive government policies – polls show raising the minimum wage is a political winner.

‘Fake News’: Half of all Americans believe the media make up anti-Trump stories by Bradford Richardson – “Nearly half of all Americans believe media outlets fabricate negative stories about President Trump, according to a new survey.” Can’t put much veracity in polls these days, either, but maybe, just maybe, evidence and reality might be in there somewhere? It is interesting with stories like this that actual measure of the phenomena is subservient to opinion polling data looking at perceptions. The political bias in perceptions does get some notice, though indirectly.

“At the inaugural Poynter Journalism Ethics Summit earlier this month, Brendan Nyhan, a political scientist at Dartmouth College, said increased trust in the media is a “double-edged sword” because it’s being driven mostly by partisan polarization.

“We’ve seen these dynamics occur on issues with scientists, and their perception is being affiliated with the Democratic Party, and that really harms scientific credibility in the public debate,” Mr. Nyhan said during a panel discussion.

“If journalists go down that the same road and become seen as part of the Democratic [Party] coalition, I think it’s very harmful to the ability of all you to do your jobs and to create this reasonably broad, shared consensus about the nature of reality that we’d like to hope is a mission of journalism,” he warned.

Looking for Mueller’s red meat main course By Wesley Pruden – “The conspiracy theorists are hungry, and Robert Mueller owes them dinner.”

“This lack of red meat is trying the stamina and patience of many who devoutly believe that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians to inflict maximum pain on Miss Hillary.

Who needs proof, just indict someone again, this time for mopery. Mr. Schiff was quick to embrace the infamous Russia-Trump dossier about the Donald’s naughty deeds with an expensive hooker in Moscow, written by a onetime British spy and paid for by the Democratic Party desperate for something to rescue Hillary’s foundering presidential campaign. The erstwhile spy promised evidence of Trump campaign collusion with the Russian government, but delivered only “evidence” of collusion, widely discredited, with a hooker. The FBI swallowed the story, but no one else did.

Russophobes’ irrationality emulates that of creationists by Luboš Motl – “Russophobe Harding ended the interview abruptly when he apparently realized that he has proven his book and his brain to have no beef.”

“I am not sure whether you want to sacrifice 30 minutes: I was uncertain whether anything new could come out of it. But at the end, I did watch the whole interview. And I have no regrets because it was brutal. It has reinforced my impression that a majority of the contemporary political disagreements doesn’t follow the old-fashioned left-and-right political divides. These conflicts divide the people to the rational and irrational ones instead.

In other words, Harding, the Russophobe, spoke just like some fanatical believers in the supernatural phenomena or Young Earth creationism or loop quantum gravity or science-as-democracy or any stuff like that – which exposes the true believers’ muddy thinking, constant and often apparently deliberate distraction, inability or lack of will to distinguish the hard facts and rigorous proofs from a wishful thinking, group think, random accusations, and unsubstantiated hypotheses.

Trump’s tweet on the cold weather looks like it hit a nerve as it is cited everywhere from Watts Up With That to the trolls who just have no sense of humor and otherwise illustrate the behaviors described by Motl and others.

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