Archive for politics

It’s most dangerous in the close field

What’s this about unity? Stephen Dinan says Congressional staffers boo Trump at unity baseball game – “Dozens of congressional staffers erupted into boos, jeers and even vulgar gesticulations Thursday when President Trump appeared in a video at the Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park.” These are friends and colleagues in Congress but familiarity should not hide the ugly.

Some do notice. Douglas Ernst reports on comments by Camille Paglia: Democrats in ‘nationwide orgy of rage and spite’ over Donald Trump – “Renowned feminist Camille Paglia says the Democratic Party’s leaders are in “a nationwide orgy of rage and spite” that prevents them from connecting with millions of potential voters.”

“In an abject failure of leadership that may be one of the most disgraceful episodes in the history of the modern Democratic party, Chuck Schumer, who had risen to become the Senate Democratic leader after the retirement of Harry Reid, asserted absolutely no moral authority as the party spun out of control in a nationwide orgy of rage and spite,” she said in the interview published Thursday. “Nor were there statesmanlike words of caution and restraint from two seasoned politicians whom I have admired for decades and believe should have run for president long ago — Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi.

Ace notes that The Fringe Left Is Perpetrating Violence, While the “Respectable” Left Justifies Violence, Excuses It, and Promotes It – “the left does everything it can to “contextualize” the violence its Armed Wing perpetuates, and to justify it, excuse it, and even encourage more of it.” … “When you have one part of the country calling for the death of the other part of the country, you don’t have a country any longer.” This must be noticed and observed even if it is those near you participating.

It’s not only Congressmen who turn a blind eye on those near them. Thomas Lifson: Sorry, Dr. Krauthammer, the problem is on the left – “There are few political commentators that come up to the level of Dr. Charles Krauthammer, but yesterday he managed to say something very intelligent, reasonable, superficially correct, yet wrong-headed.”

In his appearance on Special Report yesterday, he blamed multiple factors that involve both parties for the horrendous violence enacted on a baseball practice field, turning it from a field of dreams to a field of nightmares.

There is a problem with rhetoric, but it is not that people see the stakes too high. The problem now is that one faction of politics refuses to accept the legitimacy of President Trump, and having tacitly adopted the strategy of forcing him from office, they have opened the door to legitimizing nondemocratic means of forcing political change.

And the message has gotten out and proliferated to the Left: anything goes!

“Both sides do it” is as much a logical fallacy as the ad hominem. If you cannot distinguish differences then you engage in false witness and are deluding yourself. This is especially true when you are observing those you know both personally and professionally as that is where a personal bias is a high risk.

Some are cataloging the differences. Dave Brooks And Benjamin Decatur: This List Of Attacks Against Conservatives Is Mind Blowing – “A wave of liberal rage has marked the last 11 months since the rise and subsequent election of President Donald Trump.”

The aggression since Trump’s nomination is difficult to enumerate, but nevertheless, The Daily Caller News Foundation pored over media reports to compile a close but non-exhaustive list of violent acts against conservatives in months following the Republican National Convention.

Jonah Goldberg: Big Government and the Epidemic of Violence – “The challenge, at least for conservatives, is that the media’s double standard is so profoundly obvious and at the same so passionately denied that bringing it up feels like an exercise in gaslighting.”

When you believe — as Hodgkinson clearly did — that all of our problems can be solved by flicking a few switches in the Oval Office, it’s a short trip to believing that those who stand in the way are willfully evil enemies bent on barring the way to salvation. That belief won’t turn everyone into a murderer, but it shouldn’t be that shocking that it would turn someone into one.

Thomas Lifson on Green deathtraps: energy-saving renovation blamed for horrific Grenfell Tower fire in London – “In the wake of the ghastly conflagration that engulfed a recently-renovated 24 story apartment tower in London, the world is waking up to the dire threat created by energy-saving green zealots.”

Did green fever cause the obvious fire hazard to be ignored? We simply do not know. But the zealotry of those who are convinced that CO2 increases are dooming us could well prioritize energy savings above safety. As seems to have been done in London.

How many more green death traps are out there? Tens of thousands in the UK, but how many in the USA?

Roger Simon is wondering Does Robert Mueller Want to Cause a Civil War? – “How are we supposed to take the myriad leaks coming from Robert Mueller’s special investigation of what I guess we could call “The Russian Matter”?”

These leaks have appeared only days after this supposedly confidential investigation began. Where did they come from? Inside the FBI? If so, that organization (with five leakers!) is seriously corrupt and should be disbanded. Yes, you read that correctly. If serial leaks are coming from the FBI, our leading law enforcement agency is betraying the America people and is staffed with a number of criminals of the most despicable entitled sort. They think they know what’s best for us hoi polloi, so they are allowed to break the law with impunity when the rest of us poor schmucks have to tow the line on a parking ticket. Over such things are civil wars and revolutions fought (taxation without representation, etc.) — with justification.

That is a big story, bigger even than Trump/Russia (well, that wouldn’t be hard). Whether or not Trump obstructed justice we have no way of knowing (though Alan Dershowitz and Jonathan Turley are skeptical), but we do know that illegal leakers are all over our government from intelligence agencies to the FBI. This is quite simply totalitarianism on the march, the subversion of the rule of law in a democratic republic.

The leaks are, so far, the only solid evidence of criminal activity unless you go back to the previous administration.

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Trying to pretend it isn’t there is getting rather difficult.

IBT: As Steve Scalise Shooting Shows, Left’s Rhetoric Of Anger And Hate Has Gotten Out Of Hand – “This is how Trump Derangement Syndrome looks. But, sadly, such talk is not at all unusual on the left. It’s what happens when a political movement eschews honest debate and instead begins violently fantasizing in public about the demise of its opposition in the starkest, most eliminationist terms possible.”

Washington Times: A shooting war on Republicans – “Trump Derangement Syndrome leads to an attempted assassination.” Reaping what you sow …

Millions of Democrats, disappointed with the results of the 2016 elections, have built their lives around despising the president. It isn’t healthy for the republic, it isn’t healthy for those afflicted and it won’t be healthy for those who die at the hands of assassins.

Though neither Mr. Sanders nor any other Democrat is responsible for the attack on the Republican congressmen, but they are responsible for creating the current partisan climate, where anything goes in the crusade to destroy a duly elected and duly qualified president of the United States. Trump Derangement Syndrome will destroy everything we all hold holy and priceless unless political passions can be brought under control. The hour is late.

Judson Phillips: Resist movement, violence are tearing America apart – “Antifa, others terrorizing America.”

Since the election of 2016, the left has gone crazy. Their version of the tea party is called Resistance, and the spearhead of that is a loosely formed terrorist group called Antifa. Antifa is short for Anti-Fascist. The irony of their name is not lost on those who actually know history, as their tactics are straight from the fascist playbook.

In the past few months, these groups have repeatedly disrupted peaceful pro-Trump rallies. They have called for and used violence against people who support the president or disagree with them and even against members of the media who will report things Antifa doesn’t want reported.

California and Hawaii have recently announced that they would sign agreements with other nations so they could join the Paris climate change accord. Liberal states have this amazing ability to find things in the U.S. Constitution that people haven’t been able to find for over 200 years, but they ignore the plain language of the document that organizes the United States of America.

Will Ricciardella: HuffPo Pulls Article Calling For ‘Ultimate Punishment’ Of Trump – “The Huffington Post pulled a piece calling for the “execution” of President Donald Trump published Saturday by contributor Jason Fuller.”

Cheryl K. Chumley: We don’t need gun control — we need Democrat control – “Never let a crisis go to waste, as the left’s loud Chicago mayor, Rahm Emanuel, always used to say.”

If nothing else, this horrific ballpark shooting, done at the hands of James T. Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old Illinois man with an anti-Trump Facebook page that touted his love for all-things-socialism, shows just how dangerous the Democratic all-courts-press for political wins has become.

But the fact is, there is blame that can be affixed here. There is one political party more than another that’s comfortable using violence as a form of acceptable political protest. And violence, thy name is Democratic.

The common denominator? These are all leftist-led upheavals and campaigns. These are all Democratic-progressive-socialist-anarchist fueled protests, gatherings, get-togethers.

These are all movements that involve leftists possessed of intense hatred for all-things-Trump, all-things-conservative.

Unity is good. Peace is even better. And living out a godly, biblical life, both on Capitol Hill and in the privacy of home, that convicts of the need to reach out and connect with those of differing views is most definitely the way to go. But let’s face facts here.

The timing of this shooting means something. It says something about our culture, our moral compass, our political realities. It’s indicative of something deeper, darker. Put together all these somethings and what’s left is the need for Democrats, party of the angry, to step up, step forward and get their messaging and political protesting under control. And they need to do it quickly, before any more innocent Americans get hurt.

Thomas Lifson: New York Times publishes despicable lies to soften its own culpability for left wing violence – Denial on parade.

What’s a newspaper to do when it ostentatiously refuses to cut funding for a high-profile play in Central Park depicting an obvious President Trump-themed Julius Caesar being assassinated, and then a left wing extremist attempts to assassinate a group of GOP congressmen?

The answer is obvious: lie!

The New York Times editorial today about the attempted assassination yesterday in Alexandria is one of the most despicable acts of the newspaper since its Russia correspondent Walter Duranty actively covered up Stalin’s crimes in deliberately starving Ukraine.

John Sexton: The Washington Post has suddenly forgotten how the ‘climate of hate’ works – “Today’s shooting of Republicans by a man with a long history of anti-Republican social media postings has created a cottage industry of Republicans blame Democrats pieces on the left.” But, no, both sides are not equally culpable and trying to pretend so is a denial of the facts in existance.

IBT: Democrats Trot Out Plan C In Their Never-Ending Trump Impeachment Crusade – “It is merely a coincidence that just as the Trump-Russia collusion story started seriously falling apart, Democrats suddenly shifted gears to file a lawsuit against President Trump for allegedly violating an obscure provision of the Constitution involving foreign “emoluments.”

But more likely, this is simply another despicable attempt by Democrats to hobble a president they don’t like and overturn an election they regret, using any means necessary to do so. If Plan A (claiming Trump’s campaign colluded with Russians) won’t fly. And if Plan B (saying he tried to obstruct justice) doesn’t end up having legs — despite reports late Wednesday that the special council is looking into it. Then it’s time to move to Plan C, filing laughable emoluments lawsuits.

It makes one wonder how far down the alphabet we’ll have to go before we get to a Democratic plan that involves engaging in a civil debate with Trump over public policies to meet the urgent needs of the country. Do they even have such a plan?

Sundance: WaPo Report: Robert Mueller Investigating “Obstruction of Justice” Claims… – “It would appear the FBI and Robert Mueller’s team are still leaking information as noted by President Trump attorney.”

The risk represented by Robert Mueller is not connected to or about anything surrounding the Russian Conspiracy Narrative; the legal risk is within ‘the leaking‘ of classified intelligence information to undermine the administration, the potentially illegal ‘unmasking‘, and now adding an obstruction of justice angle.

If we avoid all the shiny things, ignore the shell game and reset our frame of reference to the only illegal activity currently known, the leaking; the main illegal activity visible is the illegal leaking of classified intelligence information.

Despite his earnest efforts, there is clear and mounting evidence that former FBI Director James Comey was the primary source of leaked information to the media.

The risk to Comey from his media leaking continues to explain everything James Comey has recently done, said and advanced.

Mueller has several problems. The only criminal predicate to provide credibility for his assignment is the leaking. A close friend and colleague of his is at the center of this predicate having even confessed to leaking and that raises the issue of Mueller’s conflict of interest. Mueller has also demonstrated a significant bias in his senior staff selections. All of this feeds the partisan witch hunt narrative rather than diminishes it and that feeds a sense of unfairness and corruption in the swamp.

Allahpundit: So that’s why so many Trump allies have called for firing Mueller this week – “explains why this news is suddenly being leaked. It’s an insurance policy for Mueller.”

The irony, though, is that it strengthens the “fire Mueller!” case. Mueller was supposed to be the low-key, by-the-book law-enforcement legend who’d conduct a quiet investigation with no dirty media tricks to gratuitously embarrass the president. And now here we are, with his team — presumably — leaking a sensational claim that the president’s being probed for obstruction.

And the question “what obstruction?” goes begging. It takes a lot of creativity to try to rationalize what is actually known to obtain the usual legal requirements for establishing obstruction of justice.

Instapundit has more starting with Kurt Schlichter: Why Should We Trust Mueller? – “Mueller should resign. Aside from the issues above, I don’t see any way that his office’s work will be seen as impartial, defeating the point of a special counsel. And given that — as even Chris Matthews has admitted — the whole Russia-collusion story has imploded, I’m not sure why his office shouldn’t just be shut down.”

Let’s look at all of the evidence. Mueller seems like a good guy. War hero. No scandals as FBI director. Not a known scumbag or skeevy perv. In Washington terms, the last one alone puts him miles ahead of the competition.

But now we find out that he’s Leaky Jim Comey’s bestest buddy there ever was. These guys are pals, and now Mueller is going to investigate the dude who fired his amigo? Does that seem cool to you?

In the news this morning on the Radio, the topic was about how successful the propaganda effort against Trump has been. The assassination efforts? No. The lack of evidence despite the allegations and innuendo? No. The leaks and other actual criminal activity? No. 

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Whither corruption?

We have a man asking if the players on the field are Republican or Democrat and then, when finding that it is a Congressional Republican practice squad, taking up arms against them. Several assassination fantasies are showing the American People just how the Democrats reject them and how far those on the Left will go in trying to deny elections and civil processes.

Conrad Black thinks Trump Is Winning His War on Washington – “It is easy to forget that the credibility battle between President Trump and James Comey is just the latest round in Donald Trump’s long struggle to overwhelm, single-handedly at first, the entire national political power structure.”

Every charge, no matter how fantastic, against the incoming president was given immense play by the morally bankrupt, unrelievedly partisan mainstream media, led by the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC and NBC. All of these outlets had gagged on election night, and all of them refused to accept the legitimacy of the new administration.

There had never been an argument to reelect the Democrats on the merits of the largely failed Obama administration, so their entire campaign was a smear job on Trump.

Trump has fought like a fearless but calculating fighting bull. His greatest problem is not spurious charges or media hostility, which is not uniform and provokes a heavy backlash, but the cowardice of congressional Republicans.

David French notes how The Big Collusion Narrative Keeps Melting Down – “I’m struck by the total lack of any compelling claims supporting the “big” collusion narrative, that Russia conspired with Trump or Trump officials to “hack” election.”

Millions of American believe the worst about their current president, claims every bit as toxic in their own way as “truther” smears against George Bush or “birther” smears against Barack Obama. The Trump collusion narrative has gotten a far wider and more respectable hearing than either of the two conspiracy theories that plagued the Bush and Obama administrations. Truth is truth, and it’s important for responsible people to not just understand and respond to actual evidence — no matter where it leads — but also acknowledge its absence. And so far the absence of evidence points to Trump’s innocence of some of the worst allegations ever leveled against an American president or his senior team.

Jazz Shaw: The ugly question: What if the Russia Russia Russia story was nothing? – “If all of the congressional hearings and the investigatory work by Mueller and the FBI reports end up coming up with nothing but a couple of people forgetting to list some dinner parties they attended, then what? French is correct.”

The media has spent months effectively accusing the President and his team of treason. So I ask again… what if there’s nothing to the story? Do we all shake our heads and move on to The Next Big Thing? We demand transparency and accountability of our elected leaders, but is there any sort of accountability for the media? Would there ever be, as unimaginable as it seems… an apology?

Alicia Colon: When losing an election makes you lose your mind – “It is clear that the Democrat Party has become the amoral party of progressives aka Marxists and not the one my family grew up with.”

In my opinion, the nation hasn’t been this polarized since the 1860’s with families divided over a national issue. Even during the Vietnam War, the divisions were between the silent majority and what they viewed as commie pinko militants.

Since there was a very real possibility of dying in an Asian war, one could understand why the youth waged against the war. I used to have arguments with a young 19 year old co-worker who later fled to Canada to avoid the draft. I ran into him years later when he admitted that his protests were a result of fear. Very understandable but I just don’t understand what is happening with the protests today.

If you’re a conservative who voted for Donald Trump even though he wasn’t your first choice, you may have ended up ostracized by the Democrats in your family or have ended up writing off a number of friends who’ve expressed contempt for your choice. It’s a very wise policy not to discuss politics or religion but hard to do when your career is about politics.

I’ve been called a moron, a deplorable, unhinged, and worse by those whom I once believed were reasonable but have now lost their minds. I choose not to return that vitriol for those I care for and hope that one day they will come to their senses and realize the sky is not falling and our POTUS may succeed in making America great again.

He will do this in spite of all the mainstream media, leftwing pundits, social media, the entire Democrat Party, RINOs, Hollywood celebrities and Soros minions spending his billions waging phony protests against him.

I will continue to pray for President Trump’s success and I encourage the rest of the deplorables to wish him well.

Paul Mirengoff: “The Post’s slogan these days is: “Democracy dies in darkness.” Yet, the Post is more than willing to keep its readers in the dark when it comes to key elements of the stories it reports.” Another case of media dishonesty dissected.

Neo-neocon: The next step for the Resistance – “Oh, those sheepish Democrats, so tactful and reluctant to talk about Trump’s impeachment!” So much creativity and effort is being directed at fantasies and delusions. It almost overtakes the influence of hate and vindictiveness.

Fake news is one thing. Fake law takes it to a higher level. Allan J. Favish asks Are You Ready for Fake Facts and Fake Law from the Ninth Circuit? – “these judges “interpreted” the law to mean something that the law does not state, so that even if the executive order were to be interpreted accurately, it would run afoul of the law.”

As a judge, if you want a particular outcome to a case, and your desired outcome is not possible with the applicable facts and law, and you are determined to achieve your desired outcome, you must either distort the law, or the facts, or both. In this case, these judges distorted the facts by “interpreting” President Trump’s second executive order as if it stated something other than what it actually states. At the same time, they distorted the law by “interpreting” it so that it applies to the executive order, even if the executive order would have been interpreted accurately.

The corruption isn’t in the Executive right now.

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Flirting with fantasy

Wesley Pruden: Crossing the line to flirt with an assassination fantasy – “The New York Times made a point of quickly endorsing the play as worthy of its continued corporate sponsorship, good citizenship be damned.”

Whether the director, Oskar Eustis, intended to stir up the mob or not, even someone of the artsy-craftsy persuasion should know that in the present atmosphere, not just in Gotham but everywhere else, fruitcakes and even more or less respectable “activists” need no encouragement to do great and fatal harm to America’s institutions.

In their fury to assuage their anger and feed righteous hysteria, many liberals and “progressives” cannot restrain their rage that Donald Trump, crude and all-around lout, has through lawful and constitutional means become the leader of the government. A fruitcake with a gun, bomb or long-bladed scimitar rightly imagines that these millions of Never-Trumpers would applaud whatever dirty deed fulfills their dreams and fantasies.

Cal Thomas: Lying liars – “Trump’s accusers are snared by their own deceit.”

The word “hypocrisy” was invented for such moments. The left is suddenly aghast about lying, but was fine with Barack Obama’s numerous lies, from “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” to Benghazi, “Fast and Furious,” the “red line” in Syria and the list goes on. Let’s not even get started with the Clintons. They’re serial liars.

Dan Boylan: Comey the criminal? Leak admission puts ex-FBI boss in legal jeopardy – “crossing dangerous lines regarding the classification of government documents and FBI conduct.”

the real point of controversy centers on Mr. Comey’s admission that he leaked his memos to “prompt the appointment of a special counsel” — which happened soon after the substance of his memos went public. This, they say, exposes his action as more of a self-serving Washington operator, than a move legally protected by the former head of the FBI.

Thomas Lifson: Mueller staffs up to pursue obstruction of justice – “Personnel is policy” is an old truism that applies to the staffing decisions of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.” The smell of the swamp is getting rather thick here.

Prepare yourself for the coming debate over whether Mueller should be let go, if he doesn’t recuse himself. The overwhelming consensus is that it would raise Watergate and convulse the country. One must note that the overwhelming consensus has been wrong on what Donald Trump should do more often than not.

That’s one of the problems with bald assertions that Trump is a liar. He has been right more often than not, especially on the big items.

Andrew Malcom: What that Comey hearing really revealed about Washington – “The novelty of a non-anonymous source in the murky Washington waters won’t likely last, courage there being in chronic short supply..”

All of these important ongoing complexities must give way to the transitory theatrics of prancing politicians probing others for implied illegalities that no one has really been able to delineate clearly.

Let’s be blunt here: The actors and media in Washington are addicted to scandal and the process of scandal. They can appear to be doing serious work with sincerely furrowed brows while dodging the real tasks that concern Americans, tasks which if done right, could threaten D.C.’s sacred status quo.

But Malcom gets stuck in the TDS tar-pit:

What’s also true is Trump’s self-destructive ego and impulsiveness weaken his presidential persona and credibility in the eyes of an American majority, often handing opponents powerful ammo. We warned last month about picking needless fights with D.C. institutions expert at assassination by leak.

Trump was elected to shake things up and ‘self destructive’ isn’t in evidence. Neither is impulsiveness. Like assuming “liar,” these are perceptions and judgments about tactical and strategic battle decisions that are based more on the reaction of the opponent and tradition and not on success or innovation. Having the opposition in disarray and engaging in irrational behavior and even, as Comey did, confessing to questionable behavior is battlefield success that should not be ignored.

Rod Kackley: Is Nevada All-in with Medicaid-for-All? – “Nevada Assemblyman Mike Sprinkle (D) thinks he may have come up with a model for healthcare reform the nation could embrace.” This one-ups California because other people’s money in this case is the Feds. Will they ever learn? How far will Nevada fall?

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Wheels within wheels

Special Counsel Mueller is being played and Sundance says Never Underestimate The Severity of James Comey’s Manipulative Intent… – “There are times when it becomes important, perhaps very important, to emphasize inherent angles and intentions that breed within the scheme.”

James Comey is setting up Special Counsel Mueller as fruit of a poisoned tree Comey would have you believe he planted. He didn’t; but his future interests are served in having us believe he did.

These ‘after-the-fact-words‘, spoken before congress, are framed as James Comey setting up an explanation and reference point for the appointment of his “friend”, Robert Mueller. However, these are also the Machiavellian words of Comey trying to diminish the risk inherent in Robert Muellers investigation.

Fired Comey has no way of knowing how deep the investigation may go. Nor does James Comey know the severity of disposition amid those within the FBI ranks who saw and experienced his true, manipulative and self-serving character.

Therefore, the easiest way to remove risk is to corrode the foundation for the underlying investigative construct by deteriorating support for the investigation itself.

It is beginning to be noticed as a pattern. This time, the fruits of Comey’s efforts are discussed by Byron York: Is Robert Mueller conflicted in Trump probe? – “central to those allegations — the key witness — will be the prosecutor’s good friend, the now-aggrieved former FBI director.”

It’s somewhat ironic, no? I mean, the whole purpose of the special counsel is to have a prosecutor from outside the government and outside of the normal chain of command because inherent conflicts render the Justice Department incapable of handling it. So, now the special counsel is a close friend (mentor/mentee relationship) with the star witness, who by his own admission leaked the memos at least in part to engineer the appointment of a special counsel. Only in Washington. You can’t make this stuff up.

Jazz Shaw: (Video) Florida sheriff urges people to arm up and prepare. Outrage ensues – “Sheriff Wayne Ivey has … drawn national attention for a new video which his department released this month, encouraging people to arm themselves and learn how to fight to protect their own lives and families in the event of a spontaneous terror attack such as we’ve been seeing around the globe. It’s about six minutes long and is quite well produced, so give it a look.”

Even if he’s not insisting everyone have guns, the anti-gun groups can’t stand to hear about anyone suggesting fighting back. Sheriff Ivey seems to have clear eyes when it comes to the possibility of an attack by jihadist forces, but not quite so much when it comes to the home front. Perhaps he should have kept one other old adage from Sun Tzu in mind. “If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles… if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.”

John Hinderaker: Anti-Fascist Fascists: A Sign of the Times – “the antifa movement actually exists. I know it exists because antifas keep starting fights.”

The antifas have adopted the age-old trick of calling themselves the opposite of what they are. In reality, they are Brownshirts, fascists. They attack lawful demonstrations, they don black masks and throw bricks through store windows, they assault political opponents when they have them outnumbered and police officers when they think they can get away with it.

The antifas think they are street fighting men, but in fact they fall considerably short. They apparently want a civil war, but I doubt that they are serious. The Democrats started one civil war, and it didn’t end well for them. The current generation of pajama boys would fare much worse.

And then there a couple of states suing the President because he has the audacity to own businesses ….

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Conspiracy theories

A vast conspiracy of silence kept the ‘Russia collusion’ story alive – by Thomas Lifson:

American democracy has been corrupted, and if not cured, the disease will be fatal. There is no other conclusion to be drawn when the public is deceived is on the scale that was revealed (but ignored) by James Comey. The stunning truth is that the American political and media establishment allowed a phony story – that they knew was phony — to dominate our political discourse for months.

Sundance of Conservative Treehouse adds up the names and numbers of Congressional leaders who were briefed by Comey, according to his testimony. Consider the vast uniparty conspiracy that permitted a national obsession over a malicious fantasy, originally spun by John Podesta and Team Hillary in the immediate aftermath of her election loss.

For all his faults, Donald Trump is fighting against this corrupt collectivity that dominates our politics. That is preisely why this fantasy tale was created, constantly discussed, and tolerated by those who knew better. The American people must decide which side will prevail.

Ben Kew: ‘Anti-Fascists’ Crash Nationwide Protests Against Sharia Law – “Protesters campaigning against Sharia Law were met with a number of counter-demonstrations on Saturday.”

AP: Sides square off in rallies over Islamic law vs. Constitution – “Seattle stands with our Muslim neighbors.” The Left is confusing the person and the behavior as usual.

Demonstrators at small but raucous gatherings around the country yesterday raised the specter that extremist interpretations of Islamic law might somehow spread across the U.S., but many of the rallies drew even more boisterous counter-protests by people who called such fears unfounded.

The organization said it opposes discrimination and supports the rights of those subject to Shariah. However, the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, calls it the largest American anti-Muslim group.

“I don’t believe Islam can peacefully co-exist with the Constitution,” said Seattle anti-Shariah demonstrator Aaron Bassford, 29. “We need unity in this country under no ideology and no banner except the Constitution of the United States of America.”

Muslims, as a people or even a race, are one thing. A core belief of Islam, that Sharia Law supersedes any other, is another. Those confusing the two are accepting, condoning, and promoting the subjugation of women and many other practices and denials of personal rights Western Cultures consider abhorrent.

Byron York: Five notes on Trump’s current predicament – “The danger President Trump faces from the various investigations into the Trump-Russia matter has changed dramatically in recent weeks.”

To Democrats, that [Russian collusion] no longer matters. Now, it’s all about obstruction of justice, or alleged obstruction of justice, or fantasized obstruction of justice, depending on your partisan perspective. … Now, however, after the Comey memos and the Comey firing, it seems safe to predict that special counsel Robert Mueller will investigate Trump for obstruction. So it is a new game, even if Republicans keep trying to play the old one.

Here is a simple fact: Many of Trump’s most determined adversaries do not want just to defeat him on Obamacare, although they want that, too. They do not want just to defeat him on taxes, although they want that, too. They do not want just to stop the border wall, although they want that, too. No, they do not want just to defeat him — they want to remove him from office.

Democrats do not need any more information than what is already publicly known to pursue impeachment proceedings against the president. What they need is 218 votes in the House of Representatives.

the bottom line next year is 218 votes. If Democrats have them, the president’s life becomes much, much more difficult and fraught with danger.

For other battlefronts in this war see Jazz Shaw: Now California plans to stop Trump from shrinking any national “monuments” – “The state attorney general for California should know better, but this is probably just an effort to hurt the President as opposed to any serious legal inquiry.” And also on the idea that Mika Brzezinski is now offering free mental health diagnoses on MSNBC – “The MSNBC team was busy putting on their white lab coats getting to work yesterday, questioning the sanity of the POTUS.”

i.e. the Democrats seek to subvert a national election and have no concerns about how they do it nor about the implications of their desires and actions.

Paul Mirengoff is struggling with Comey’s Calculations – “just because Comey almost surely will not be prosecuted doesn’t mean he didn’t violate the law.”

This is the man who constantly claims the moral high ground. This is the man who asks us to believe his account of President Trump’s conduct.

Before Thursday’s hearing began, I was inclined to. Having read Comey’s prepared remarks, I expected that Comey and Trump would disagree regarding important factual questions. Given Comey’s reputation for integrity, whatever his faults, and given my view that Trump has been less than honest at times, I thought that — other things being equal — Comey should have the edge when it comes to weighing credibility.

I no longer see it that way. My view of Trump hasn’t changed, but my view of Comey has. Clearly, he is far from the straight shooter he holds himself out as. His primary interest isn’t the truth; it’s having his way. Kind of like Trump, but without the electoral mandate.

The Comey testimony keeps coming up short on integrity. The reference to timelines in yesterday’s post is one example. John Hinderaker describes another and concludes:

James Comey says there is a pattern to his dealings with presidents: he is an honest man who only needed to create memos to document his conversations with Donald Trump, because Trump is untruthful. But that isn’t the real pattern. The real pattern is that Comey is a snake in the grass who creates tendentious, self-serving memos that can later be used to cover his own rear end or to discredit presidents, but only if they are Republicans.

Swamp indeed.

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Remember, some still think Comey a saint and Trump a despicable whatever

Why watch Perry Mason re-runs when you have this? Sundance goes into timelines as President Trump Responds To Comey Testimony With Whistling Sound of MOAB in Distance… – “Again, timelines and backdrop are important.”

Now, accepting the politicization of the entire Russian Conspiracy Narrative that was leading the headlines for the two months prior to this dinner; and knowing moments earlier your Chief White House counsel informs you that two political operatives (Yates and Priestap) within the DOJ were providing classified intelligence reports about General Flynn; and knowing the prior months (Nov/Dec/Jan) were fraught with leaks from intelligence reports identical to those discussed; wouldn’t you perhaps think that any action you take could be utilized to add fuel to this Russian narrative? And/Or be used by these same leak facilitators to make something seem like something it is not?

Think about it.

Given the circumstances it could appear, and most definitely should be considered, that the President was being ‘set-up’ to impede an FBI investigation by taking action against Flynn.

Given circumstances … need to set a new category here for political warfare.

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Escalating politics of personal destruction

Neo-neocon: Comey’s testimony: in the eye of the beholder, like most things Trump

Another thing that was revealed today (IMHO) is that Comey was in an adversarial position to Trump from the start. When I say “adversarial,” I’m speaking in emotional terms, not strictly legal ones. Comey left every conversation and immediately wrote down his own recollection of what had happened, in great detail, in order to both protect himself and document the exchange.

As a person who has studied human interactions and observed them based on that study, I have to say that very very few people would be capable of recording such a conversation accurately. At one point in my life I was in a situation where I worked with families and couples and each session was recorded. So I had an unusual opportunity—I was able to check out, against the actual record, my own perceptions about conversations as well as the accuracy of the recall of others about those conversations. It turns out I’m pretty good at it but certainly not perfect, and most people I saw were not particularly good at it at all.

Therefore I doubt that Comey is recreating these conversations with Trump with exact accuracy—and that’s not just him I’m talking about, that’s anyone who might be in the same position. Comey’s not a court stenographer, after all, nor is he a recording device.

Comey’s testimony is further proof that Trump’s not a lawyer, and Comey is. When I say that, I’m not just trying to be cute. What I mean is that we’ve had a lot of lawyers as presidents, including the most recent one, Obama, and a rather well-known one, Bill Clinton. Hillary would have been still another lawyer. Many Trump supporters like Trump for that very reason—he’s not a lawyer, and doesn’t talk like one. But it’s a disadvantage when he’s tussling with someone like Comey.

Mercedes Schlapp: “What was particularly shocking was to see Mr. Comey play by a different set of rules depending on the president he was serving.”

Marco Rubio: “the only thing that was never leaked is the fact that the president was not under investigation.”

Sundance: Top Five Facts and Examples Showcasing Comey’s Political Motives… – “here’s the top five facts that showcase how badly James Comey politicized the FBI.”

IBD: On Display In Russia Hearings, Democrats’ Trump-Hatred Is Worthy Of Captain Ahab – “If there’s one thing Congress’ Russia hearings have shown, it’s that President Trump has driven the Democratic Party and far-left media to near insanity.”

No, we’re not joking. Listening to the hearings on Wednesday and Thursday, when National Intelligence Director Dan Coats, National Security Director Adm. Michael Rogers, Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and former FBI Director James Comey testified, was a revelation.

In their questioning, Democrats were plainly not interested in the truth. They merely hoped for something, anything, that would be damning or damaging to Trump. In particular, they hoped for evidence of “obstruction of justice” to impeach Trump.

But they didn’t get it. Under persistent questioning Wednesday, Coats, Rogers and McCabe all emphatically denied that Trump had brought improper pressure to bear on the Russia investigation. None.

The nonstop efforts to get Trump are failing. Piece by piece, Trump’s putting his agenda in place — just in time to watch the Democratic Party’s ship go down.

George Neumayr: Comey Served at the Pleasure of Himself – “His Senate testimony only confirms what a self-serving operator he is.”

Of the show trials in the Soviet Union, it was said, “Everything was true, except the facts.” One could say the same about the show trial Donald Trump is suffering at the hands of a hysterically partisan ruling class. Its frenzy over James Comey’s Senate testimony bears no relationship to reality; it is simply a reflection of its own ruthless power politics and determination to nail Trump at any cost.

Let’s cut through the nonsense: Comey, not Trump, is the villain in this idiotic saga. In all of his heavy-breathing hints and leaks, Comey let people think that the president was under investigation. The scandal is not that a guilty president asked the FBI director to treat him as innocent, but that an innocent president was treated as guilty by an FBI director drunk on his own rectitude.

Comey sees himself as a white knight, saving the republic from a vulgarian. But the American people can see that the “respectability” of a leaking, vicious, two-faced ruling class doesn’t add up to much and constitutes a much deeper vulgarity than anything Trump represents. If one can fault Trump for anything in the firing of Comey, it is that he didn’t do it sooner.

Ace has More Comey Fall-Out – “Jonathan Turley: Yes, It’s Possible Comey Committed a Crime with His Leaks.

These people are acting as if Trump is not their president. That’s fine for citizens, but not for federal officials with classified clearances. The law is firm on the point that Trump is their president, and their are prison cells where they can ponder this question if it still troubles them.

Meanwhile, the House approved the Financial Choice Act to repeal the “ruinous Dodd-Frank banking law” (IBD). Another regulatory monster is under assault but the Democrats in the Senate are mounting a defense.

Scott Johnson: Mugging Mr. Murray: Murray speaks – Democrats show ugly, prominent social scientist has a response.

Committee Democrats warned Lee that if Murray testified they would attack him as they did. Lee himself neither warned Murray nor invited Murray to respond.

Last night Murray spoke on campus at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis as the featured speaker of Intellectual Takeout. It was a terrific event. The video of Murray’s presentation is posted on Intellectual Takeout’s Facebook page here.

In his remarks last night Murray addressed the madness on campus with initial attention to the riot at Middlebury when he appeared there on March 2. Following Murray’s formal remarks last night Intellectual Takeout President Devin Foley read Murray a few questions submitted from the audience including my question about what happened at the JEC hearing. Murray said he was glad Lee didn’t give him the opportunity to respond to the attacks on him by the Democrats at the JEC hearing because his response would have turned his mugging into a story.

Used to be politics of personal destruction. It seems to effort has escalated a bit.

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Can we keep the Republic? Do we want to? Chasing after chimeras

Stephen B. Presser: What is a republic, and how do we keep it? – “The ‘resistance’ has forgotten the fundamentals bequeathed by the founders.”

Thus it was that the United States was to be a republic, rather than a democracy. In a republic, as the framers understood, there are at least two profound differences from a democracy. The first, most obvious, is that government is not by the people themselves, but, instead, is conducted through elected representatives. Second, less obvious, but an essential feature of republican government from Rome on, is that the government must not act arbitrarily, but must conduct itself pursuant to the rule of law. It must, in other words, follow established procedures and act according to accepted norms, in our case pursuant to our Constitution and laws.

Ever since the election of Donald Trump — an election conducted pursuant to the established procedures in the Constitution, procedures which the framers put in place to make sure that all of the states of the country would have a voice in the selection of our commander in chief

Rather than pursuing the fantasy of foreign plots, for which there seems little if any reality, it ought to be the job of a responsible media and responsible legislators to help the American people and their duly elected president to determine whether, in fact, the program on which the Republicans ran can be effected. There is plenty to examine, plenty to discuss, and plenty to debate without wasting the resources and time of our fellow citizens and their government chasing after chimeras. Moreover, we can’t keep a republic unless we understand our obligation to live under the rule of law, and to realize that the system under which we have thrived requires us to submit to events like the result of elections with which we may disagree.

Thomas Lifson explains how Andrew McCarthy demolishes the argument that Trump obstructed justice, or even did anything wrong in dinner talk with Comey. In the process, a problem in understanding how the U.S. Government works is revealed. Comey asserted that the FBI and the DOJ were DOJ were independent from the executive branch.

Nowhere in the Constitution is the FBI (or DoJ) defined as anything other than a part of the Executive Branch. The FBI didn’t exist in 1787, and wouldn’t for almost a century and a half.

Which brings us to Andrew McCarthy, explaining why President Trump had full authority to say what he did without compromising any ethics or laws

But that won’t make much difference to the conspiracy theorists on the Left. Another example and an explanation of why this lack of intellectual integrity is an issue is provided by Alicia Colon who says It’s the theory of Global Warming that’s really dangerous – “There is no excuse for not finding out the truth on many issues.” The problem is that of actually accepting the truth you find, i.e. summoning intellectual integrity to overcome personal ideologies and fantasies.

what does that say about the rest of the country who swears that climate change is not only more dangerous than Islamic jihadists but that disaster is imminent? Have we really become an idiocracy of fools believing whatever talking heads and celebrities spout about doom and gloom without finding out the truth for ourselves?

It seems we have abdicated our ability to think rationally or to question whatever claims these pseudo scientists make about planet earth. It is extremely unsettling that anyone questioning the flawed data given by these charlatans is deemed a denier and dangerous skeptic.

While there is no similarity between global warming and these other catastrophic scientific miscalculations, there is now the same danger in mixing science with politics and ideology and only with unfettered scientific research can we avoid disaster.

The latest Comey ‘scandal’ is that Trump asked for loyalty. Ace has a relevant Flashback: Defense Sec. Robert Gates Somehow Felt Compelled to Pledge His Loyalty to Obama; Bob Schieffert Accused Gates of a Lack of “Loyalty” In Writing a Memoir About His Obama Years. See also Lifson’s quotes from McCarthy on Carlson cited above as well.

Even if you somehow believe Gates pledged loyalty to Obama without prompting, then you’d have to take Gates as expert testimony that people who actually work in the upper reaches of official DC understand that if you want a job, or want to keep your job, you’re expected to tell a president you’re loyal to him.

And, frankly, I gotta say, the politics in DC are right now so obvious and obviously rotten that the first question I’d have for anyone — including law enforcement and intelligence officials, who naive authority-worshiping conservatives childishly still maintain are above any such doubt — is “Are you actually working for the Democrat Establishment?”

But the NeverTrumpers and the mainstream media, an increasingly difficult set of twins to distinguish between, did not make any grief about this, but now are labeling Trump’s similar request for “loyalty” — same as Obama asked of Gates — an impeachable offense.

In fact, Trump was right to ask where Comey’s loyalties lay — because a former AG under Bush asserted that Comey did in fact have political loyalties: It’s just that those loyalties lay with Chuck Schumer and the scorched-earth wing of the Democrat Party.

For something more solid to get incensed about, look for the stories about new documents uncovered related to the Fast and Furious scandal. Then figure out the implications of the policy change at the DOJ. Ian Mason: Jeff Sessions Ends DOJ Handouts for Leftist Groups – “Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new policy on Wednesday that prohibits payouts to third parties in settlements reached by the Justice Department.”

For decades, through a variety of initiatives, the DOJ has insisted on donations to third parties as part of the settlements it reaches with defendants, especially corporations. In the Obama administration, this practice took on the character of a “slush fund,” which funneled hundreds of millions of dollars from these corporate defendants and put it into the hands of non-government organizations.

And Hawaii thinks it can enter into treaties with foreign nations by signing in on the Paris Climate Accord. Who is the state loyal to? This is yet another example of where hatred has blinded. When you throw a tantrum, odds are higher you are going to do damage to something dear than to make any dent in what makes you angry.

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The Vicious Left

Cheryl K. Chumley: Eric Trump — rightly — slams vicious left as ‘not even people’ – “It’s such a cycle of hatred we live in right now in America.” And yet another example is provided about how even this interview is maliciously skewed in a media report.

Eric Trump, following in his father’s footsteps, issued some blunt talk about the very vicious left and its very vicious hatred — and now, predictably enough, his comments are being a bit skewed, no doubt, in order to drum up some of that vicious leftist hatred to generate even more anti-Trump headlines.

He’s quite correct; the political atmosphere is highly charged, and the left’s all-out attack on morals, values, conservatives — and Trump — is unlike any times in recent political history.

But in the regard Trump meant it — he’s right. Many of those in the Democratic Party, all of those on the far left, are using such vicious political tactics that they are indeed hardly human. They’re devoid of values, devoid of principles and notions of fair play — devoid of souls.

Jazz Shaw dissects another simmering controversy: Dems want Trump to nominate more people they can refuse to confirm – “there is plenty of blame to go around and, just possibly, some areas where “problems” are actually features rather than bugs.”

Are the Democrats obstructing Trump’s nominations? … There’s no question and they’ve been making no secret of it. … The average Trump nomination has taken 85 days to confirm so far. For Obama it was 32 days. For Bush it was 11.

Isn’t this partly the fault of the GOP? … No doubt about that either. We have the votes to confirm a canned ham, as the saying goes, but only if the entire GOP caucus is voting as a block. …

But isn’t Trump going too slow in in naming candidates? … what if he has no plan to do so and this is intentional? He came in with a mandate to put the federal behemoth on a crash diet and an attitude that many of these functions are a waste of time. If you believe that he’s serious about that he might not have any intention of filling them quickly… if at all. And if that’s the case, then I guess he’s moving at the right speed.

So do the Democrats (and the liberal media) have a point here? … The President has put up 117 names. Just 39 have been confirmed.

And now it’s the Comey circus. Indications are that this will be yet another let down for the “vicious left” with no handle provided to grab Trump.

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6/6/2017: Calling the charlatans’ bluff

This makes sense. James Delingpole: Revealed – The Real Reason Trump Pulled Out Of Paris… – “…Is because he has a very powerful bullshit detector.”

We know this thanks to a fascinating and unwittingly revelatory article in the German newspaper Der Spiegel.

The paper reveals how, in the days running up to President Trump’s decision to quit the UN Paris accord, he received a series of deputations from EU leaders urging him to change his mind.

“For me it’s easier to stay in than step out,” Trump told them.

This is perfectly true. Since his momentous Rose Garden speech announcing his plans to pull out of Paris, Trump has taken more flak than a thousand-bomber raid over Berlin in ’44.

Now do you see what I mean? President Trump pulled out of Paris for a lot of sensible reasons. But the one that tipped him over the edge was quite simply this: when you’ve got your fellow leaders of the free world insulting you with arguments you know to be bullshit and treating you like you’re some kind of an idiot, well suddenly it all becomes crystal clear what you’ve gotta do…

You call those charlatans’ bluff and remember why it was that people voted you to be President of the U.S.A: because they wanted someone real doing the job, for a change, and not yet another of those charlatans…

Calling the charlatans’ bluff seems to be something Trump does that the swamp pundits just don’t understand. Two recent stories may illustrate this. One is about labeling his EO on immigration a “travel ban” and the other is his rationalizing his use of twitter to bypass the media.

Allahpundit is showing his bias in White House to Comey: Go ahead and testify. We won’t stop you. – Note “A smart decision after a series of silly ones” and “Comey’s testimony Thursday is a cinch to damage Trump and the White House.” One needs to be careful when casting judgment on others and the “cinch” or ‘sure thing’ has been anticipated many times in the past with near zero realization. It may be, just perhaps, that the ‘mistakes’ are only in the eyes of someone who presumes guilt. That is a judgment that should be avoided unless there is solid evidence to support it which does not exist in this case.

VDH notes patterns in behavior: “How perfectly you conform to the now typical “angry reader” profile (ad hominem, streams of repetitive adjectives (“reductive, simplistic, polarizing, nonsense [do you ever come up for air?]), all without evidence and specificity. I congratulate you that you did not resort to capital letters and obscenity.”

Eugene Kontorovich: Trump’s travel tweets do not hurt the legal case for his executive orders – what comes out of this is that the animus isn’t from Trump. It is from those on the left and also those like Allahpundit and Newmark that have this presumption of guilt and incompetence in regard to Trump.

A fairly bizarre series of tweets by President Trump criticizing the Justice Department for its handling of his executive orders on visas has lead most observers to conclude that he has cemented the constitutional challenge to his own policies, blown up the government’s case and confirmed his own bigotry.

But reading the actual tweets reveals absolutely none of this: To the contrary, they may actually buttress the government’s defense of the travel restrictions in the Supreme Court. Certainly any reading of them as confirming a “Muslim ban” policy reads them through the same presumption of animus that informed the lower court readings of his campaign statements. However, animus is the thing to be proven — and it cannot be found in these tweets.

Sam Bray: Whose case? Whose remedy? Thoughts on the travel ban injunctions. – “the Constitution gives the federal courts “the judicial Power” — that is a power to decide “cases” for particular litigants, not a power to decide general questions and issue remedies for people not before the court.” … “The proper scope of an injunction against the national government is an important question, and increasingly hard to ignore.”

William A. Jacobson may get it: Stupid travel “ban” tricks

So no, I don’t think these tweets help Trump. I agree that Trump would be an impossible client to represent for this very reason. But perhaps he understands that this is not just a court fight, it’s a public opinion fight and he already knows how the media and punditry vote. They are not his audience.

On the legal front, the question is whether the Supreme Court Justices will take a personal view of this case, as have lower courts, or understand the enormous implications of the Courts taking on national security and immigration powers reserved for the President.

It’s a wild ride.

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Remember that bit about Cruz v Chaplin? Luboš Motl weighs in

Now here’s a dose of high dudgeon for you: Was the U.S. created by int’l community in 1783?

The American departure from the insane Paris climate treaty has made the behavior of many extreme leftists extraordinary. After Donald Trump was accused of being a servant of Russia – in the absence of a glimpse of evidence – our EU overlords kindly informed us that the U.S. is no longer a good friend and we the Europeans are obliged to befriend China, India, and Russia instead.

Well, Ms Joyce Chaplin isn’t just an extreme leftist. She’s been also hired by Harvard University as an expert in the early American history, probably because she doesn’t even know when the U.S. was created. Cruz has mocked her, The Weekly Standard has mocked her, The American Thinker did it as well, and she deserves some words from me, too.

But the other thing that’s spectacular about Chaplin’s tweet is the claim that it was the “international community” that established the U.S. in 1783.

The big picture as well as virtually every detail that the likes of Joyce Chaplin tell you about things like that is insanely wrong. They distort the year in which the world’s only superpower was born, who created it, why, who signed the treaties, whom he supported, and on top of all these lies and stupidities, they interpret this alternative history as some debt that the U.S. should repay 250 years in the form of its support for some stupid ritual that got popular in some countries.

People like Chaplin are so far from anything that could be considered a reasonable opinion that it seems impossible to intelligently debate such people.

A Czechia string theorist is schooling a Harvard Historian? The really sad part of this is that Luboš has a better handle on early U.S. History than the Historian.

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Shake and Bake update 6/2/2017

Ben Wolfgang reports on the big news as Trump eviscerates Obama’s Paris legacy – what is remarkable is that Trump bypassed all the science arguments and actually demonstrated actual science thinking and values. His reasoning for dumping the accord put the focus on its measurable effects rather than on speculation, modeling, and faux science constructions to bend the issue towards ideological goals.

“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” he continued. “I promised I would exit or renegotiate any deal that doesn’t serve America’s interests.”

Mr. Trump, though, delivered a detailed evisceration of the deal Mr. Obama signed, saying it crushes American businesses, unnecessarily funnels billions of dollars to other nations and allows the world’s top polluter, China, to do little to curb its own emissions for the next 13 years.

Mr. Obama had committed the U.S. to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26 percent by 2025, while China needs only to cap its pollution by 2030.

The pact also calls on America to commit billions of dollars to the U.N.’s Green Climate Fund to pay developing countries to develop cleaner energy.

Those terms, Mr. Trump said, are unacceptable.

“The bottom line is that the Paris accord is very unfair at the highest level to the United States,” he said.

But for all the criticism, Mr. Trump brought data to the Rose Garden Thursday to back up his decision. Known for speaking off the cuff and often accused of being loose with facts, the president this time used raw numbers to justify the move.

Wesley Pruden: The president keeps a solemn promise to put America first – “Uncle Sugar doesn’t live here any more, and he didn’t leave a forwarding address.”

The president thus makes good on one of his most important campaign promises, mocking the holy writ of global warming, or “climate change” as it’s called now because the globe refuses to warm as promised and all the dead polar bears are still not dead and the ocean that was supposed to have inundated the financial district of lower Manhattan by now, has still not obeyed Al Gore.

The president sounds like the reasonable one now.

Of course, the Left is channeling Kathy Griffin and Democrat mayors are already promising to sacrifice their cities on the alarmist alter.

Bjorn Lomborg provides a bit of context: A path forward after the Paris climate agreement – “Like the Kyoto Protocol before it, the drastically over-hyped Paris climate treaty has fallen victim to political and economic reality.”

Instead of scrapping over the treaty’s corpse, this is an opportunity to try a new, better and more efficient approach to solving global warming.

Right now, the chances of anything so constructive seem slim. Rhetoric is overheated to the point of absurdity. Environmental campaigners condemn Mr. Trump for dooming the entire planet to a fiery Armageddon, yet claim rashly that the treaty could survive without the United States. It will not, and it should not.

The hyperbole and outrage can’t hide the truth: even with the United States included, the treaty was not going to make much difference to global warming.

While the climate alarmism was serious business, there is also the editorial about Getting to the bottom of Covfefe – “Maybe the Donald just wanted to ‘let the good times roll’” As Limbaugh keeps point out, the Left has no sense of humor.

This is what infuriates those who didn’t, and couldn’t, get the message. Being “in the know” is why “everyone” comes to Washington in the first place. Knowing that you don’t know, because you’re not “in the circle,” is the fate worse than a slow death. And even worse, why would anybody hire a lobbyist who doesn’t know?

The capital obsession with what some out-of-the-loop drudges and drones call merely the Donald’s typo — it was dispatched at daybreak, after all — has replaced the previous obsession with what Melania Trump meant when she appeared to swat her husband’s hand out of the way when they were leaving an event at the G-7 summit. An obsession has the shelf life of a shrimp in Washington.

It’s always party time the closer you get to New Orleans, and this puzzles Washington, where party time has an altogether different meaning — and, some would say, never fun and about as festive as the mark-up of a budget bill. This makes more sense than the usual nonsense from Washington. Maybe partying is how you make America great again.

There may be a whole lot of the American Public that gets what is going on and Trump understands them better than many politicians or pundits.

Before the Paris Climate Fiasco, there were the NATO discussions with its signatories. It is worthy of note that the President illustrated yet again that the Left’s fears about Trump’s dictatorial penchants are absurd and ridiculous. In both of these major policy shifts, the President consulted with the governments involved and with others before offering carefully crafted reasoning for his decisions based on sound data and clear values. Robert W. Merry describes Jostling NATO’s status quo – “Trump’s nudges don’t match the threats from Russia and unchecked immigration.”

In politics and geopolitics, people tend to cling to the old ways of thinking like a drowning man in a stormy sea clings to a life preserver. Case in point: NATO. Consider the reaction to President Trump’s performance at last week’s summit of the venerable Atlantic alliance, where he chided the Europeans for not hitting defense spending targets and seemed to avoid — somewhat pointedly, some thought — the standard expressions of devotion to NATO’s Article 5, which commits NATO members to consider an attack on one to be an attack on all.

With so many establishment institutions and figures singing the same angry ballad, it must mean something. And it does: that they continue to cling to the old ways of thinking even as events demonstrate that those old ways no longer fit reality. The more that becomes apparent, the more tenaciously they grasp the status quo.

The New York Times gave the game away in calling NATO “an indisputably important alliance that has kept the peace for 70 years.” That’s demonstrably false.

The fact is that the Russian bear constitutes no such threat, and Mrs. Merkel knows it. A further fact is that Europe doesn’t need any U.S. umbrella in order to protect itself from external threats because it faces no such threats that require U.S. assistance. Its only serious outside threat is unchecked immigration of such magnitude, and of such cultural challenge, that any smooth assimilation will be extremely difficult, perhaps impossible. We only need to look at what’s roiling European politics these days to see that this threat agitates the European mind far more than any potential Russian hostility.

But don’t expect today’s establishment thinkers to incorporate those realities into their thinking. The status quo is too comfortable, however shattered it may be in the real world.

Cheryl K. Chumley says Judicial Watch sues for George Soros funding records – “Judicial Watch just launched a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development, USAID, for records related to taxpayer funding of George Soror-tied political activities.”

And Democrats are worried about Russia’s intervention in the U.S. election? Now we know why. With all eyes turned on Republicans and President Donald Trump, few eyes are left to look at the Democratic Party’s own inner doings to spread a propaganda-type progressive mantra around the world.

Let the FOIA suits proceed. It will be interesting — to understate — to see how deep the Democratic Party’s dug in with fueling Barack Obama-era State Department and USAID funding to further a Soros-Alinsky message overseas.

The Russian Collusion Conspiracy still suffers a lack of concrete evidence about its supposed results – election interference – and its supposed methods – collusion with campaign officials – and any impropriety. Now Investigations focus on ‘unwitting’ conspirators aiding Russia’s efforts to sabotage U.S. election according to Dan Boylan and Guy Taylor. The word “flailing” comes to mind when reading about the investigation.

Sundance at bat: CNN’s Gloriously, Embarrassingly, Horrible and Terribly Bad Day – Reporting on: “An Extinction Level Event”… – “CNN executives wake up in the morning knowing Trump has done something terrible, they just don’t know what it is yet. Oy, how this ideological perspective is challenging to maintain.” and then brings in history: Targeting Trump – Kathy Griffin in 2016: “my edge is that I’ll go direct for Barron.” – “it is worth noting an interview Ms. Griffin gave to Vulture Media at the Equality Now Gala in December of 2016.” The adage used to be that the President’s family was left out of the fray. This was really just a one sided thing and we have yet another example of how the standards change depending upon the target. Oh, and now Griffin is showing the Hillary Value by holding a press conference to address ‘bullying’ from the Trump family. Why don’t those on the right make this sort of offensive defensive a norm, too?

Also see John Sexton: James O’Keefe sued for $1 million over video sting – “the million dollar price tag looks like a similarly excessive attempt to punish politically embarrassing journalism.”

Ace picks up on the fact that the Left, Get This, Freaks Out Over No One Paying Any Mind to Their Silly Monster Baby Asses – “The top 15 over-the-top reactions from the left — but is there any other kind of reaction from the left? … Below, some of the ones I found.” This is rather an easy target to find.

Allahpundit: Michigan city bans farmer from selling at public market because he won’t hold gay weddings on his property – “fines are one thing. Banishment from the public square for ungood thoughts feels like a new step.” Regulation of religion continues apace, despite whatever the U.S. Constitution may say.

 

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Poverty: A state of mind.

Cheryl K. Chumley: Ben Carson’s poverty comments shake, shock — and bear true – “Ben Carson, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, sent shockwaves through the liberal world during a recent radio show when he told the host that poverty is, “to a large extent,” simply a “state of mind.” He’s another Black Hero in the light of Thomas, Sowell, and Williams who have ‘been there, done that’ and know the road.

Carson was trying to say that a winning attitude isn’t a DNA trait — it’s trained, taught, learned, instilled. In other words, money doesn’t just not buy happiness. It also doesn’t buy lasting success, according to Carson.

Make way for the Democratic-driven Train of Outrage.

The left has gone batty over the remarks. But why? He wasn’t trying to deny the existence of poverty — to make it seem like it’s all in the person’s head. Rather, he was saying the key to its conquering comes largely with the upbringing.

Parents, Carson said, and caretakers need to give their children the “mindset of a winner,” and not let them wallow in a victim mentality that sabotages their futures.

Carson the HUD chief, he’s touched a nerve of basic liberal philosophy — that of the poor being helpless victims, needful of government assistance.

This is all left twisting and turning with intent to avoid basic truths, one of which is this: In America, land of opportunity, equality, the Constitution and the Judeo-Christian concept that we’re all equal in God’s eyes, all have a chance at success, all endowed by our Creator with the abilities to pursue happiness.

“You take somebody that has the right mindset,” Carson said, “you can take everything from them and put them on the street and I guarantee in a little while they’ll be right back up there.”

Liberals who whine otherwise? They just don’t want Americans to be self-sufficient and self-supporting, anyway — it eats into their control, chips at their victimhood mentality.

Douglas Ernst has a report on blowback: USAA flooded with angry feedback after pulling ads from ‘Hannity’: ‘They caved’ – “You obviously don’t know your customer base,” added Scott Grumpman. “If your decision in the Hannity issue is not reversed by 5pm Friday I will close my accounts with USAA Friday.”

“There is an effort now about to silence to me,” the host said Tuesday. “Media Matters is attacking my advertising base. That is what we have called on this program liberal fascism — attack, boycott, all in an effort to silence conservatives.”

Valerie Richardson says DeVos refuses to be hamstrung by Education Department red tape – it’s another example of DTS (draining the swamp). In this case, the topic is about not getting anal on formatting rules for grant applications. Rules like requiring double spacing in grant applications are a good way to help find reasons to reject that have nothing to do with the purpose of the program but rather a lot to do with subjective (i.e. political) judgments. In this era where typewriters are long gone and most documents have typesetting via word processing software, such rules are arcane and outdated.

Ms. DeVos fought the bureaucracy and won, announcing Wednesday that the funding requests would be reconsidered after an internal battle over the tighter formatting rules enacted under the Obama administration.

“These are things that were going on under the previous administration, and because those were the rules and because that was the basis for the rejection, the legal team was saying, ‘The safe thing to do here is to reject them and you can change the policy going forward, but you can’t reconsider that,’” Mr. Davidson said.

“Let me just say that this issue apparently has been going on through four different secretaries, unaddressed,” said Ms. DeVos. “The moment I found out about it, I issued a departmentwide policy indicating that we are not going to reject applications for any competitive bid process based on formatting. This is a bureaucratic requirement that we should be rid of now, and we are.”

She alluded to the internal struggle, saying, “if you had any idea how much time it has [chewed] up internally for us, you would be amazed.”

Howie Carr: Hillary chokes as she coughs up lies – “Folks, you can’t make this stuff up. Hillary Clinton, lecturing the youth of America about the dangers of lying, and pointing the finger … at somebody else.”

Where to begin?

This is the same woman who claimed that she was under sniper fire in Tuzla, that she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary (five years before anyone ever heard of him), who said all four of her grandparents were immigrants (it was one), who claimed she was “dead broke” when she left the White House.

This is the woman who said she’d never endorsed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, who tried to enlist in the Marines in ’75, who swore her server wasn’t hacked and she was never subpoenaed (Trey Gowdy called her out on that one), who compared herself to Honest Abe Lincoln, who said Chelsea Clinton was downtown on 9/11 …

“When people in power invent their own facts,” said the world-class fact-inventor, “and attack those who question them, it can mark the beginning of the end of a free society.”

Bre Payton: Obama Donor Judge Threatens Pro-Life Journalists With Contempt Charges For Releasing Video – “A federal judge who donated nearly a quarter of a million dollars to President Obama’s campaign has threatened to hold undercover reporter and pro-life activist David Daleiden in contempt of court after his organization released video footage of Planned Parenthood employees admitting that abortion involves killing a baby.” The innuendo sidesteps the judges rationale for his action. As explained in the column, it has something to do with California felony charges and a bit of confusion about public records in criminal proceedings. It does appear another case of judicial over-reach. See Ed Morrissey: CMP, Daleiden face contempt charge over video release for a bit more balanced explanation that is easier to follow.

Sundance picks up on Reuters/Washington Post Publish Evidence of Obama Spying on Trump Campaign and Unmasking Americans… – “Reuters/Washington Post Puts a Slice of Kushner Cheese on Russian Nothingburger and simultaneously prove the Obama Administration was spying on the Trump campaign.” This particular scandal has evidence to chew on unlike the Trump Russian Collusion Fantasies.

The extent of the U.S. media’s straw-grasping is boundless, but this one is going to backfire. HOPEFULLY. For the most recent example consider the Washington Post and Reuters claiming President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner participating in a proposal to set up a back-channel with Russia for communication after the November 8th election.

Pay attention to this part: “[…] FBI scrutiny of Kushner began when intelligence reports of Flynn’s contacts with Russians included mentions of U.S. citizens, whose names were redacted because of U.S. privacy laws. This prompted [FBI/Comey] investigators to ask U.S. intelligence agencies to reveal the names of the Americans, the current U.S. law enforcement official said.”

Reflect back on CIA Director John Brennan’s testimony to congress and reread that paragraph broken into two parts and combined with the Brennan testimony

Aside from proving the Obama administration was specifically using James Comey to spy on the Trump campaign – So what if team Trump, or Candidate Trump, or President-Elect Trump, wanted a way to talk privately with representatives of the Russian government? That’s politics. That’s the same for every country, not just exclusive to Russia.

What this Reuters and Washington Post story actually does is prove the Obama Administration was spying on the Trump campaign. That’s the explosive angle to the story.

Ace notes that Political Violence From the Left Continues Garnering Zero Condemnation in Leftist Media – “You can find my condemnation of Greg Gianforte’s bodyslam right next to CNN’s condemnation of the professor charged with three accounts of attacking peaceful Trump supporters — with a bike lock. Which is a heavy metal improvised weapon.” Instapundit has a video flashback: When a Dem Congressman Attacked a Student Journalist, the Media Didn’t Bat an Eye.

Jazz Shaw wonders: With all that farmland, why are Venezuelans starving? – “Venezuela has some of the richest farmland in the western hemisphere and was a net exporter of agricultural products until very recently. How can the people be starving? That’s the question being tackled at the Washington Post this week and the answer comes down to a single source: it’s the socialism, stupid.” Why does the Left want to replicate that disaster here?

See also John Hinderaker on What Venezuela’s Medical Crisis Tells Us About Socialism – “The Lancet refers to Venezuela’s “political and economic crisis, but never mentions the key word, socialism. This is the point I want to make: neither Venezuelan reformers nor the Lancet seem to understand the role of socialism in the collapse of Venezuela’s health care system, along with the rest of its economy.”

Ed Morrissey describes another case of foolishness as CA single-payer bill passes out of committee … without any explanation of funding it – “The reason why Democrats don’t have a funding plan for single payer is because all of the options would be political catastrophes.”

Details, details! Who cares about how one pays for an entitlement program? The point is to pass it, and let your great-granchildren figure it out. In this case, however, the problem is so large that it’s impossible to do without the funding in place first, because of the need to pay providers for goods and services. California hardly has an extra $200 billion laying around, and even if it did, it would need to shore up its collapsing pension system first. The state is also on the hook for a $100 billion high-speed rail system whose funding is still unclear. Democrats don’t have much idea about how to pay for their current priorities, let alone their seizure of the health-care sector.

That’s the reason why Lara and his allies want to pass this bill in a rush. They don’t want to account for the accounting, which will expose this as a massive and inefficient seizure of open markets that will require an avalanche of taxes, mandates, and rationing. “Don’t wait,” their allies urge while ridiculing fiscal responsibility. There’s a big, big lesson in DeMoro’s profane inanities, if Californians are willing to learn it.

Scott Johnson describes another case of Mugging Mr. Murray. This has been going on since the publication of The Bell Curve. Data and reality don’t sit well with the Left (see the note about Carson above).

Committee Democrats performed a concerted mugging of Murray rich in the defamation flaunted by ignorant rioters protesting Murray’s appearances at Middlebury and and other college campuses. Decrying the mugging committed by JEC Democrats on Murray, Joy Pullman tells the story in the Federalist column “Congressional hit on Charles Murray indicates rioting won’t stay on campus.”

Recall that Murray appeared before the committee by the invitation of the JEC, presumably (according to Beyer’s remarks) the invitation of Senator Lee. At no point was Murray invited to respond to the ignorant and cowardly attacks on him. At no point does Senator Lee speak up on Murray’s behalf. The committee Democrats are beyond shame or regret, but whoever was responsible for the hearing owes Murray a profound apology.

Politics of personal destruction: the idea that Sherman’s march to the sea is a good model for dealing with anyone whose ideas you don’t like is also a poverty of the mind.

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It’s leaking!

Hank Campbell describes modern propaganda using a case study: 9 Ways Whole Foods Is Lying To You – “It is classic political framing, and if there is one thing that Big Organic has mastered, it is framing. Their vendors, and by extension their customers, are the good guys, and everyone else are the bad, in their take on the world.”

S.A. Miller: After a stream of intelligence leaks, it takes an irate U.K. to stir U.S. investigations – “The diplomatic flap over American officials divulging details of a British terrorism investigation lit a fire Thursday under U.S. investigators of intelligence agency leaks, an issue that had been on a back burner when the primary victim of leaks was President Trump.”

an investigation should have been initiated the first time classified information was disclosed, including internal inquiries within the National Security Agency and the CIA.

The leaks from the intelligence community to the news media have plagued the Trump administration, but until this week the revelations were aimed almost exclusively at damaging the president. Concerns previously took a back seat to probes into suspected Trump campaign collusion with Russian spies to impact the election.

The leaks have become routine, including information gleaned from phone calls intercepted by spy agencies and accounts of Oval Office conversations given to the CIA.

Mercedes Schlapp: ‘Deep state’ leakers undercut country in their zeal to hurt a president – “The leakers of classified intelligence information are chipping away at our democratic institutions.”

It’s becoming a dangerous game where those who are feeding sensitive information to the media are also creating distrust within our intelligence agencies and damaging relationships with our allies abroad.

These leakers are on a mission to weaken President Trump and disrupt his ability to govern. They believe it is their moral obligation to fight the president and his team. But at what cost?

This should be an issue of bipartisan concern, but Senate Democrats remained virtually silent on the topic during the hearing.

Leaking classified information has become the new norm, and the leakers are providing a feeding frenzy for the media. However, these leakers are criminals, and their actions have already alienated key allies and caused distress in the Trump White House and in the intelligence agencies. The leakers’ goal is to undermine Mr. Trump and his agenda, even at the high price of committing a criminal act. The Department of Justice has already initiated steps to cut off the illicit information channels but it might be difficult to find and punish those responsible.

Roger L. Simon: Leakers and Journalists Are Destroying Our Republic – “Leakers and journalists are tied together like drug dealers and junkies.”

We have an epidemic of leaking in our society unlike anything I have seen in my lifetime. It’s approaching Plague level — but with no vaccine in sight.

In other words, there’s no there there other than leaks that continue to pour out, even after the installation of the supposedly confidential investigation by Special Counsel Mueller. How repellent and, frankly, illegal is that? Has Mueller launched a leak probe of his own? He should.

For its part, CNN (as a kind of low-rent, ineffectual Pravda) is just cooperating in a smear job that was apparently instigated by their colleagues at frequent leak conduit NBC.

the leakers have a co-dependent relationship, both convincing themselves that what they are doing is for the betterment of humanity.

So what do we do about this state of affairs in a democratic republic, assuming we are serious about having one?

Quite simply, the leakers need to go to jail with the proverbial key thrown away. That is the only way this leaking will stop and it must stop. Prosecutions should have started months ago. It’s hard to understand why it’s taken so long. Let’s hope we have indictments soon. Like tomorrow.

The zeal for an inside coup does not stop with just exposing national security secrets. It also involves fabrication. Rowan Scarborough takes up the case: FBI possessed, studied anti-Trump dossier, says former top spy – “The full effect of the dossier — which began circulating in Washington in June, with periodic updates filled with sensational charges through December — is unknown.”

“I know that there were efforts made by the bureau to try to understand whether or not any of the information in that was valid,” Mr. Brennan said of the 35-page document compiled by ex-British spy Christopher Steele and paid for by Democratic-tied Fusion GPS in Washington.

Whatever role the dossier played, former FBI Director James B. Comey on two occasions made it clear he does not want to discuss it in public.

In contrast, four Democrats embraced Mr. Steele and his work. Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the panels’ top Democrat, read repeatedly from its various memos, including unproven charges, as if they had been authenticated.

But Mr. Comey refused to acknowledge the FBI ever possessed or used the document.

Before and since those two hearings, no central charge in Mr. Steele’s dossier has been verified publicly.

One target, Russian-born tech entrepreneur Aleksej Gubarev, has sued Mr. Steele for defamation.

Douglas Ernst: Limbaugh: Media using leaks as ammo for ‘political assassination’ of Trump – “Radio host notes that stories often acknowledge — very late — that they aren’t confirmed.”

High-profile but anonymous leaks of classified information to The New York Times, The Washington Post and others have convinced the man behind “the golden EIB microphone” that a political hit job is underway to destroy the president.

“Every day, four o’clock to 5:30 in the afternoon, there is a new blockbuster … and if you read the entire story, you will find that the details suggested by the headline and the early reporting in the story actually cannot be backed up,” Mr. Limbaugh said. “It’s the most amazing thing.”

It is not just the intelligence services that have been corrupted. Cheryl K. Chumley: 4th Circuit’s Russian roulette roll of the border – “despite the fact his travel ban order doesn’t talking about banning the religion, judges, with a 10-3 voice, went with the rhetoric, not the facts.”

It’s like the court’s lefties just can’t get enough of Russian roulette — the game that’s basically being played with America’s border security and the open door approach the left wants to keep intact, regardless of terror and security concerns.

Jennifer Harper: Inside the Beltway: The strategic war on Fox News – “There are those who believe Fox News has been methodically targeted by critics who would like to see the end of the network’s ratings reign and influence.” There are two major tactics at play. One is accusation and innuendo to impugn and denigrate. That is then followed by an assault on sponsors and advertisers to have them withdraw support. At Fox News, these efforts are leveraged by changes in management.

Seth McLaughlin: Gianforte taps out Quist in Montana special election for Zinke House seat – “Tensions reached boiling point when the GOP candidate apparently choke-slammed a reporter.” It appears that voters took the incident for what it was: a frustrated (inappropriate) reaction to bullying. To the Left, it’s another victory in the ‘end justifies the means’ attempts to provoke something, anything, they can use for moral preening.

Still, there were signs Thursday that Mr. Gianforte’s victory could cause headaches for GOP lawmakers, who faced a barrage of questions over whether they condone Mr. Gianforte’s behavior and whether he should be barred from joining the GOP conference.

If the tables were turned, the ‘bug’ would be a ‘feature’ to laud the perpetrator and hold him up as a hero, not a rationale to recuse, condemn, and accuse.

Daniel Greenfield says in Montana: Even With The Game Rigged, The Left Can’t Win – “throwing a ton of money into low turnout elections backed by highly motivated leftists seemed like a good plan. … Despite rigging the election, the left still lost. All that money. All those efforts. All that hate. For nothing.”

David Horowitz: The Democrats’ Second Secession & America’s New Civil War – “How to look at the bizarre turn our political life has taken.”

It is not the proper role of an opposition party in a democracy to mount a “resistance” to a duly elected government and press for its overthrow at the very outset of its tenure. But that is precisely what the Democrats have done in the first months of the Trump administration. For the second time in its history, the Democratic Party has opted to secede from the Union and its social contract. This time there is not going to be an actual civil war because the federal government is now so powerful that whoever controls it will decide the outcome. The passions of an irreconcilable conflict are still present but they are channeled into a political confrontation over the executive power.

the animus behind Democratic assaults on Republicans and their support for law and order as “racist” is the direct consequence of viewing all social disparities through the distorted lens of oppression politics.

Trump and his followers not only understand the fateful nature of the conflict triggered by decades of these assaults. Their campaign to “Make America Great Again” is inspired by them. In his inaugural address Trump opposed to the progressive vision and its divisive consequences the American idea – e pluribus unum. Referring to those Americans who had been economically left behind, Trump said, “We are one nation and their pain is our pain. Their dreams are our dreams and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny. The oath of office, I take today, is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.” Trump then elaborated on the idea that Americans are united as equal citizens: “Through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.” And finally: “It’s time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget, that whether we are black, or brown, or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots. We all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same, great American flag. And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty Creator.

Jeremy Meister: The Devil in One Generation – “there is a crowd outside the house of FCC commissioner Pai. His crime? He is returning control of the internet to internet service providers.”

The Obama administration enacted “Net Neutrality” in defiance of a Supreme Court decision. In essence, Barack Obama seized ISP property because the ISPs weren’t serving the public interest. This was exactly how socialist revolutionary Benito Mussolini defined Fascism: a system where citizens own private property so long as they serve the public interest.

Churchill said Fascism would take root in the West under the guise of anti-Fascism, but I digress.

My real concern here is the rise of the radical left – those people who believe that their cause is so good that it justifies any means.

Do Republicans in leadership realize that the American left is intimidating their voters to get them unelected? Isn’t their first duty to get re-elected? Why aren’t they standing up for their supporters? Liberals do (see illegal immigration).

The law is supposed to apply to all of us equally. But it just doesn’t seem to be that way in 2017.

It’s said that when God created the world, the angel Lucifer became jealous. He thought he could create a world better than God – a world that would be more fair.

Some argue that the Devil is evil and wanted a world of misery. Some say that the Devil had nothing but good intentions, but things just didn’t work out quite the way he wanted. What’s not debatable is that the Devil’s world is a place of pain, suffering, and horror. His is a place of hatred, anger, jealousy, property destruction, and sexual depravity.

It’s hard not to think of this story as we watch social justice warriors, liberal politicians, and media elites trash our system, our nation, and its founding in the modern day. Just like the Prince of Darkness, their pride leads them to believe they know better and have all the answers.

Ronald Reagan once said that we’re never more than a generation away from losing our freedom. It seems that we are looking at the generation that is going to take it right now.

Jack Hellner: Why did Trump say that Obama spied on him? Because he did. – “What is the likelihood that the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Associated Press, USA Today or other major news outlets will cover the fact that the Obama administration repeatedly violated the law by spying on Americans from 2011 until they were almost out of office, when they finally admitted it?”

Is it any surprise that an administration that would target political opponents through the IRS would do this, or an administration that would start monitoring a political opponent four months prior to the election?

Obama was never scared to break the laws because he knew the Justice Department, the media, and the Democrats wouldn’t care.

The CBO has Obama problems, too. John Hinderaker explains why The CBO’s Analysis of the GOP’s Health Care Bill Is Worthless – “Yesterday the Congressional Budget Office released an analysis of the current version of the House health care bill that was trumpeted by Democrats because it projected that 23 million people would “lose” their health insurance if the law went into effect.”

However, as Guy Benson points out, this claim is false, since “the large bulk of those who are said to be ‘losing’ coverage do not currently have coverage.” Further, to the extent that some who currently are forced to buy health insurance by Obamacare decide it isn’t worth the cost to them, and choose not to purchase it, that is rightfully their decision.

Then, too, there is the fact that the CBO’s predictions about Obamacare have been ridiculously bad, as illustrated by this graphic:

There is another, more subtle reason why the CBO’s analysis is worthless. As far as I know, it has been pointed out only by my colleague at Center of the American Experiment Peter Nelson, one of the country’s top health care experts. Peter points out that the CBO has uncritically relied on articles by a former Obama administration official who apparently failed to read the GOP bill and existing regulations carefully.

The Congressional Budget Office is generally touted as “non-partisan,” which is technically true. But non-partisan does not equal reliable. With respect to both Obamacare and the House bill that would repeal and replace it, the CBO’s work product has been shoddy and unreliable.

Luboš Motl: Physics World insults me, simultaneously promotes climate alarmism and crackpottery in HEP – “The writer’s cognitive dissonance is amazing.” Perhaps the most significant highlight of the rant is a clarification of the ‘consensus’ argument.

Consensus may emerge because of legitimate reasons but also because of illegitimate reasons. The more politicized a discipline is, the more likely it is for the actual reason behind some consensus to be scientifically illegitimate. No actual scientist deciding about his healthy discipline will ever mention consensus as an argument. Inkspillers and activists such as Skuse and Smolin do so all the time. They are trying to distort science by political demagogy all the time. “You have to embrace this idea or another” because “the number of the people who believe it is already very high or it is too low” etc.

What’s remarkable about the likes of Skuse and Smolin is that they manifestly use these unacceptable political arguments in both directions – they constantly contradict themselves. Sometimes, they are using consensus as a “proof” that a claim is right and a reason why the consensus should be even stronger; sometimes, they are using consensus as a “proof” that something is wrong and there should be much more diversity. You simply can’t have it in both ways. And actual scientists can’t have it in either way. Whether there is consensus or not must be absolutely irrelevant for an actual scientist’s decision whether he believes a statement or another. A person may sometimes decide according to sociological criteria and even scientists do so – but whenever they do so, it simply means that they’re outsiders in that discipline and their opinion shouldn’t be counted in any scientifically meaningful poll trying to find the truth.

Citing consensus is the logical fallacy of an appeal to authority. It is a close cousin to the ‘seriousness of the alleged crime’ that the Left often uses to impugn its opposition with allegation, scandal, and innuendo.

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It’s fun to threaten Republicans?

Cheryl K. Chumley: Democrat logic: It’s fun to threaten Republicans – “This is crazed behavior. And it’s all coming from the left, aimed at the right.”

Colton Lochhead: Political vitriol sparks call for moderation in Nevada – “They disrupt … They lambaste … They accuse …

The protests have centered on the most partisan issues and often fail to resonate with the moderate base, said Billy Vassiliadis, an influential operatives for Democrats in Nevada and CEO of R&R Partners.

“Voters are sick of this. The average person is sick of this,” Vassiliadis said.

Vassiliadis, who worked for former Nevada Gov. Bob Miller’s campaign and was an adviser on the campaigns for President Barack Obama and longtime U.S. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, said this “downward spiral” has been building for the better part of two decades.

Jazz Shaw: Yet another argument saying the government can’t restrict immigration – “For reasons which are completely beyond me, Ilya Somin of the Volokh Conspiracy has once again taken to the pages of the Washington Post, making yet another argument claiming that the federal government has no power to restrict immigration in any fashion. We’ve already tackled some of his arguments here in the past, but let’s see what he’s up to this time.” Somin’s arguments anti-Trump have been a puzzle for someone of his stature.

Byron York: At this rate, it won’t matter if Trump colluded with Russia – Anonymous rumors leaking confidential notes without provenance or visibility create a running stream of antagonistic media stories that undermine the government.

That was then. Now, rather than focusing on alleged collusion, the thrust of leaks in recent days has been directed almost exclusively toward building a case of obstruction of justice against the president, charging that he actively tried to derail the investigation into his campaign and his associates. More and more, day after day, Trump’s adversaries believe that, when it comes to bringing down the president, it might not matter if collusion occurred or not. A cover-up would be enough to do the job.

On the other hand, the ‘cover-up’ may be yet another ‘fake scandal’ much like the Russian collusion turned out to be. The real question is whether the perpetrators of these malicious fabrications are held to account. It is also something to note that the prevailing presumption is that the leakers are telling truth. This seems correlated with the presumption that Trump is incompetent. Since the veracity of leakers has been so poor and there is much evidence contrary to the incompetence idea, these presumption should be something to consider.

Andrew Malcom opines on The hidden blessing for Trump in the special counsel’s investigation – “We warned the other day that Trump’s peremptory firing of James Comey and shifting storyline would thoroughly alienate Comey and his colleagues “who are real pros at the Washington game of assassination by leak.”

Here’s where the Mueller appointment is good news for Trump. Mueller has basically unlimited powers now, able to take this investigation in any and all directions. He is universally respected as a straight-shooter in Washington, a rare breed in that swamp.

What’s also quite striking in the hysterical media coverage of the usurper Trump is what didn’t happen before. Remember Attorney General Eric Holder’s Fast and Furious gun-running operation into Mexico? It was botched. Drug gangs got the guns and killed a border agent.

Holder stonewalled congressional investigators. He got censured. No special counsel.

For those of us in flyover country, the wily ways of Washington and its in-house media chroniclers eagerly being used by anonymous sources choose which scandals to snuff and which to fuel. That institutional coziness and congressional ineptitude by both parties partly explain the voter disgust that elected the angriest candidate as president. Never mind his qualifications.

The anger and suspicions of that plurality simmer to this day largely unnoticed back there. Hopefully, the probity of Mueller’s probe will prove convincing whichever way it goes.

Here’s another example of the destructive bias in perceptions: Here’s The Deal With That Glowing Orb Trump Touched In Saudi Arabia – “Social media users mused that the image, in which Trump touches a globe with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, resembled a scene where villains enact their master plan.”

In reality, Trump had touched the globe as part of an inauguration ceremony for the Global Center for Combatting Extremist Ideology in Ridyah, Saudi Arabia on Sunday. Together, the three leaders placed their hands on the globe to start a film about the center.

“This groundbreaking new center represents a clear declaration that Muslim-majority countries must take the lead in combatting radicalization, and I want to express our gratitude to King Salman for this strong demonstration of leadership,” Trump said. “We must be united in pursuing the one goal that transcends every other consideration. That goal is to meet history’s great test — to conquer extremism and vanquish the forces of terrorism.”

But all they can see is evil … maybe they are looking in the mirror?

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Rude, crude, vulgar — is this the new United States?

Cheryl K. Chumley: The art of the Trump take-down – “watching this despicable trend of Democratic-fueled accusation, followed by media-expressed outrage, followed by leftist expression of shock, gives rise to one very apt image: that of sharks circling prey.”

This is not how U.S. politics ought to be run. Yet this is America, campaign 2016 and White House 2017. Think hard, question everything. The vicious political atmosphere of late is not happenstance.

The Democrats are to blame. The mainstream media is a complicit close second for fault. And third? That’d be the gutless and elitists in the Republican Party, masquerading as true representatives of the people, who didn’t want Trump in office in the first place and are now only too glad to quietly sneer, “told you so,” while pretending allegiance to conservative principles.

And once again, let’s remember: There is no evidence Trump worked with Russians to beat Clinton in the election. But to paraphrase a famous Democratic politico, in an out-of-context way: What difference, at this point, does the truth make?

Take care, America, in this 24-hour news cycle, in this fiery anti-Trump atmosphere. There may be more reporting going on. But that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s more truth being provided.

Valerie Richardson: 80 percent of news stories were critical of Trump, says Harvard study – “President Trump has insisted that his press coverage has been historically negative, and a newly released Harvard journalism study backs him up.”

“Trump’s coverage during his first 100 days set a new standard for negativity,” said Harvard Kennedy School of Government professor Thomas E. Patterson in the report.

He added that the coverage was “negative even by the standards of today’s hypercritical press.”

At the same time, Mr. Trump has received more press coverage in general than previous presidents. He was the topic of 41 percent of all news stories, or three times that of previous presidencies, and he was the featured speaker in 65 percent of the stories.

Compare and contrast is provided by Roger Kimball describing Donald Trump’s Invigorating Speech in Riyadh – “Trump’s speech was a forthright, America First, speech, Obama’s an accommodationist’s dream.” There was also note of the media hate: “Fake news alert: the disgusting Washington Post, where truth goes to die, ran a breathless story about how Trump bowed when he received the medal signifying Saudi Arabia’s highest civilian honor. How exactly could the honor have been bestowed had Trump not bowed his head to receive it?”

Bottom line: Obama went to Cairo to apologize for America and hope for world peace. Trump went to Riyadh to champion America and extend an offer to work together for world peace.

I know that pundits will be descending like buzzards upon a carcass to pick away at the details of Trump’s speech. Happy eating to them.

Ed Morrissey says CA Dems keep it classy with digital salute to Trump at convention – “Following in the footsteps of DNC chair Tom Perez, outgoing California Democratic chair John Burton offered a foul-mouthed tirade at the party’s convention this weekend, complete with a two-finger display of defiance of Donald Trump.”

It’s a petulant whine. Normally, we’d expect that from high-school and college students living in their own little bubbles, not from people who are trying to make the case that they can be trusted to run the country. And yet more and more Democrats have begun to wallow in expletives and coarseness rather than address the issues, apparently in the belief that it’s Trump’s bluntness that won him the election. Instead, it comes across much more clearly as a middle finger to voters middle America, who have no love at all for college students and their special-snowflake protests, but at least might excuse it as youthful indiscretions. Pelosi, Perez, Kirsten Gillibrand, and other Democratic leaders hardly have that excuse.

As one party indulges this deeply unserious and idiotic behavior, they encourage more of it from all sides. The discourse in our political cultures has declined rapidly enough as it is, and our media and entertainment cultures have led the way for it. At some point in the future, if we stay on this path, we’ll end up with a political culture where grunts and rude gestures matter more than policy, a game in which the side that can produce the most gross bodily noises wins. In short, we’ll be stuck in a perpetual middle-school playground, only the bullies that come after your school lunch will have the IRS to back them up.

Instapundit cites Putin (re LA Times): “You know what surprises me? They are destabilizing the internal political situation in the United States under anti-Russian slogans,” Putin said, according to Tass. “They either do not understand that they are harming their own country, which means they are just shortsighted, or they understand everything, and that means that they are dangerous and unscrupulous people.”

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Safe Haven Index

First is a story about CNN and their obsession with the President. Then Joel B. Pollak describes how the New York Times Oversells ‘Comey’s Revenge’ Story – “The Times identifies its source as “one of Mr. Comey’s associates,” who did not provide a copy of the memo but read it aloud on the telephone.” Sundance fills in on the New York Times: President Trump Asked Comey To End Flynn Investigation… – “The Washington Post (yesterday) and New York Times (today) are attempting to frame the anti-Trump narrative right before he goes on his first overseas trip.” The IBT opines that No, Trump’s Top-Secret Whispering To Russians Isn’t Fake News — But It Is A Fake Issue – “We have no reason to disbelieve the basic story that Trump shared some intelligence with the Russians. But the details are highly suspect, to say the least. “Former” officials? That means almost certainly Obama administration officials. Hardly an unbiased source.” And reports indicate that Russian president Putin has offered to supply transcripts of the meeting to show that all was proper. Still, The Washington Examiner takes up on Schumer’s effort to cripple Trump – “Sen. Chuck Schumer is trying to sabotage the Trump administration, at the expense of the country.”

Schumer and the Left want to maximize the political price Trump pays for any action he takes, whether it is genuinely controversial and troubling, or only frothed up by critics to look that way. It’s crucial “that Democrats don’t just hand Trump and his party a quick bipartisan victory in the fight to replace James Comey,” a liberal writer urged at Rolling Stone on Friday.

Ace: Some Thoughts And Advice About How to Restore Your Chill – “Something I’ve noticed time and time again: People get the most frustrated and emotionally angry over disputes which are currently beyond their ability to resolve.” … “find the truth” … “Oddly, knowing the truth, even if it’s not the truth you’d hoped for, is less distressing, most of the time.”

How all this works, as I’ve said before, is that people with limited, incomplete, and biased information try to start a stampede of people into agreeing with their questionable, dubious, partisan-twisted conclusions. They make a lot of noise — a lot of noise — shooting off their idiot partisan pistols to get the herd stampeding in the direction they want, none of the cows quite knowing why they’re all headed in this particular direction.

It’s a deeply stupid way to conduct “debate” over political issues, which is why the left favors it so much.

It’s also grating on the mind and spirit to have to put up with so much empty noise.

Tune it out. You now know most of what there is currently available for knowing about the latest Dumb Scandals. There is no additional information currently available, and so there’s not really much reason to Run With the Stupid Bulls.

Paul Mirengoff provides some sense on the Comey meeting notes hysteria: Preliminary thoughts on the “Comey memo” [UPDATED] – “Gregg Jarrett of Fox News argues that if Comey believed the president’s statements to him amounted to obstruction of justice, then Comey himself committed a crime unless he promptly reported those statements to the Department of Justice. However, if Comey concluded that Trump’s language was vague, ambiguous or elliptical, then he had no duty under the law to report it because the statements weren’t criminal.”

Steven Hayward picks up on the intelligence leaks as Profiles in Media Hypocrisy – “We owe it to Marc Thiessen at AEI to offer a compilation of previous media hypocrisy about outing classified intelligence from foreign sources:”

Also on Powerline John Hinderaker notes “Apparently the Democratic Party press has anti-Trump stories lined up and ready to drop every two or three days.” … “The broader context, of course, is that Donald Trump declared war on the establishment, and the establishment is making war on Trump.”

Several pundits and commentators have expressed a basic assumption that Trump is not quite up to the job as President based on this all out war by Democrats and their Propaganda Machine. See Betsy Newmark saying “I can well believe that Trump had no idea that it was improper to talk to Comey about possibly ending the Flynn administration.” That, for her, isn’t new as she has always had a significant anti-Trump bias but it illustrates the presumption that is surfacing here and there. Roger Kimball expands the view a bit and asserts that Trump Maintains Momentum Despite Malicious Media – “As I had occasion to note in March, the “motor of fake news is not inaccuracy. It’s malice.”

Tucker Carlson is correct: the media is “stumbling around in a sightless rage” in their coverage of Trump.

The mournful assumption among many of Trump’s supporters is that the frenzy of media hysteria, though almost comically baseless, is nonetheless dangerous because, on the throw-enough-mud-and-some-will-stick principle, it has an abrading, delegitimizing effect, a drip-drip-drip apodosis that is corrosive of trust.

That may very well be the case. But I suspect nonetheless that the primary victim of the malicious static will not be Trump but the media, which has passed from carping hostility to surreal fantasy.

Two things are happening. On the one hand, the media’s credibility has entered a death spiral. On the other hand, Trump keeps chugging along, toting up victories and setbacks, just like every other successful politician known to man.

It is clear to most observers now that the media’s “bombshells” fail to detonate because they are total fabrications.

“If” is one of those treacherous words, I know, but I think that there are plenty of reasons for confidence. And at that point the great media hysteria of 2017 will seem not only hysterical, not only sad, but also disfiguringly repellent.

Neo-neocon also has Some personal reflections on the WaPo story claiming that Trump compromised security – “when the press is out to get a president—as it has been with Trump—it will ferret out every negative thing it can, and spin it in the most negative way. The attack will be coordinated and relentless, and it will draw at least some blood.” The column is about dealing with conflicts and dissonance.

I have gotten to the point where, when I scan the MSM outlets or memeorandum for the day’s headline stories, the entire enterprise seems more than ever before like mindless propaganda to me. And whether that phenomenon hurts Trump in the end or helps him, I can’t imagine that such a high a level of jusified distrust and weariness of the media is a good place for America to be.

When you stir up the mud at the bottom of the swamp, it releases putrid gases and foul mats of decaying vegetation float to the surface. The local radio investment pundit blamed the Yahoo Search page featuring Nixon and rumors that some Representative will broach impeachment in the House as the reason the stock market indices are dropping. He said investors were moving to ‘safe haven’ investments. This is what a civil war, an effort for a coup, the dismissal of an election, the treason and the sedition, the fake news, the propaganda, and the total lack of regard for intellectual integrity on display from the Left is putting on the table. 

 

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Hooey, self delusion, etc.

Charles Hurt: Hysteria, overblown hooey part of the fake news cycle – “Every time the Washington political press freaks out and goes into full panic mode against President Trump, the blockbuster, Watergate-volume story always unfolds the same way.”

Each time, these reporters sink deeper and deeper into a fantasyland as they dream bigger and bigger. THIS TIME, they keep thinking, we FINALLY got him!

Reporters and Democrats alike — not to repeat myself — are actually now speculating about whether Mr. Trump will survive the certain impeachment hearings to come.

But then, as the heavy breathing subsides and the adrenaline rush gives way to factual, concrete reporting, the most damning charges fall away.

Well, OK. But the White House should have handled it better.

Patricia McCarthy: The Media-Democratic Party Suicide Pact – “The national media and the Democratic Party have gone stark raving mad over President Trump’s election victory; they refuse to accept it.”

Our media and our Democrats seem to think that with all their hateful, childish behavior, their tantrums (“we won’t vote for an FBI director unless there is a special prosecutor”), they can win back the House and Senate in 2018. They seem not to realize that they are going to lose more seats in both houses. Their strategy, these vile tactics, are a suicide pact. And when the mainstream media and the Democratic Party die by their own hands, only the mind-numbed elites on both coasts and the denizens of the editorial offices of the NYT, the WaPo and the LA Times will be surprised. No one else will care. They will have seen it all coming for years.

Betsy McCaughey: The left’s sick lies about health reform – “Never mind facts. Democrats and media allies are resorting to shock value to defeat repeal — staging funerals with caskets and predicting massive deaths if the bill becomes law.”

Does the GOP bill abandon people with pre-existing conditions? No.

Does the GOP House bill pass the “Kimmel test”? Yes.

The public is being misled.

Is repealing ObamaCare “a death sentence for thousands” as Bernie Sanders says? No way.

The first thing to fix is the lack of intellectual integrity and self awareness on the Left.

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It’s a dangerous path the Left is taking

Where the real danger lies:

Think about it: Wright was so proud of her behavior that she put it out there for the world to see. She felt no shame; no need to hide her actions.

Cheryl K. Chumley says For Republicans, it’s getting dangerous out there – “Wright ultimately left the scene — but was apprehended after she posted details of the incident to her Facebook page. And it’s that little facet of the story that seems most remarkable.”

This particular story ended with Wendi Wright, 35, being arrested and charged with felony reckless endangerment. And the specifics of her charges come down to this: She allegedly chased Kustoff and his aide, Marianne Dunavant, in her car as they drove from the town hall event, ultimately intimidating them to the point that they pulled into the driveway of somebody they knew.

Is Wright demented? Or just an average Democrat in the Trump era?

Certainly, the atmosphere in the country has turned much more accepting of violence as a form of leftist political protest in recent months — since the rise of President Donald Trump, in fact.

The congressional halls of Democratic offices are filled with calls to impeach Trump, finding an actual impeachable offense be danged. And the media, the ever complicit media, don’t mind rising from the mud, when opportunity presents, to join the anti-this, anti-that fray as well.

All this, meanwhile, comes on the heels of an appeal by a Huffington Post editor-at-large for leftists to simply hound those of the pro-Trump camp by following Republican politicians to their places of work, places of dining, places of living, and stand outside and protest and demand answers. Answers to what? Apparently, to why they’re Republicans, refusing to vote Democratic.

But this is the tone and atmosphere of the country right now. And it’s one created and fueled solely by the left. So what’s a good Republican to do to stay safe?

what’s called for in the face of these bullies is to fight harder. Bullies don’t back down unless they’re met with a force that’s to be reckoned with. And how do you best fight lying, deceptive, argumentative, angry, irrational, violent socialist-minded partisans with intent on corrupting the Constitution and destroying the greatness of America? With truth. With courage. With the full armor of God — including the breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith and sword of the spirit.

In the face of such power, evil, as these lunatic leftists represent, can only flee.

John Daniel Davidson: The American Left Is Talking Itself Into Violence – “The recent violence that’s marked our college campuses is seeping into the rest of society, and the vast majority of it comes from the intolerant Left.”

Something is wrong with the American Left. The recent spate of violent protests on college campuses has been well-documented, but the violence and intolerance championed by left-wing student activists is beginning to creep off campus and into mainstream public life.

The reason for this is straightforward enough: although progressives pride themselves on their putative tolerance and diversity, the imperatives of leftist politics are fundamentally illiberal. Justice imposed through power is the philosophical foundation of the political left, and when earnest progressives become convinced the only avenue to power is violence, their tolerance quickly falls by the wayside. Consider a few recent events, none of which involved college protesters but all of which were marked by threats of violence.

Leftist Intolerance Invites A Breakdown Of Civility

How has it come to this? No doubt, leftist ideology invites a kind of intolerance that leads to violence, as we’ve seen. But this tendency is exacerbated by a breakdown of civility fueled by social media. Would we see the kind of brutal, cutthroat behavior that’s marked the crowds at these town halls if those people had not inured themselves somewhat to it?

The problem here is picking a bogey man, social media, to sidestep and destroy the argument presented that it is a much deeper and more insidious evil at play.

William A. Jacobson: Buzzfeed asks: Why is Harvard Law Prof. Larry Tribe spreading conspiracy theories? – “A reputation is a terrible thing to waste.”

Lawrence Tribe, Harvard Law School professor, has sullied his reputation with his Trump Derangement Syndrome, as Buzzfeed documents

One of the great untold stories is how many liberals have damaged themselves in the desire to get Trump.

If Trump doesn’t go to jail, like so many of the liberal conspiracy theorists are predicting, there will be a price to pay for their delusions, and that price will be their reputations.

David Keene: A lesson in the loss of liberty – “Mischief-makers have turned new surveillance powers against Americans.”

Liberal civil libertarian types were convinced back then that it was dangerous to entrust too much to the likes of George W Bush, but went silent when Barack Obama entered the White House. …

Imagine what sort of public uproar would have erupted if, during the 2008 campaign, it had been revealed that the outgoing Bush administration had been caught doubling or tripling surveillance of its opponents and was “unmasking” candidate John McCain’s foreign policy advisers whose names may have been picked up through surveillance of noncitizens in troubled areas of the world. The media, Democrats in Congress and the liberal pundits would have simply gone berserk, but the cavalier use of these same powers by Mr. Obama against folks they don’t like hasn’t fazed them a bit.

The answer should be obvious. It goes beyond ideology to the nature of trusting government with too much power. When any government official assures the public that he or she can be trusted with powers we wouldn’t trust to “bad guys,” we should be wary because powers that can be abused will be abused by someone at some time for motives good or bad.

Clarice Feldman provides a summary on Russian Hacking and Collusion: Put the Cards on the Table – “The notion that Russia interfered in the election to help Donald Trump was a John Brennan/James Clapper confection created in an unorthodox way, and defied logic, given that Hillary and her associates had far closer connections to Russia than Trump or his associates did.”

12 prominent public statements by those on both sides of the aisle who reviewed the evidence or been briefed on it confirmed there was no evidence of Russia trying to help Trump in the election or colluding with him:

Law professor Jonathan Turley says much the same thing: “No one has yet to explain to me what the core crime that would be investigated with regards to Russian influence,’ Turley said Wednesday evening. “I don’t see the crime, so I don’t see how it’s closing in on Trump.”

Unless you think it makes political and constitutional sense to have an FBI director holding open forever an investigation of his boss with no factual basis, you might understand how ridiculous Comey’s refusal to publicly detail his reasons for so doing.

But there is much more than the misjudgment of allowing these people to head the investigation, which has run on for months with an ocean of leaks and no evidence.

if this is Watergate, it’s not because this president is trying to cover up any wrongdoing on his part, but rather Comey and others at the FBI are trying to cover up theirs, rather like Mark Felt. The drive to arrogate power to one’s self is a feature of Washington politics, and hardly unknown to the top ranks of the FBI.

Jazz Shaw picks up on how petty CNN has become: Impeachable? Trump gets TWO scoops of ice cream while the peasants all get one

they really didn’t have much of a point to make here. The best they could do was point to this as an example of how the White House staff is settling in with Trump and getting used to his preferences. But by the time they write it up on the web site the tone has definitely changed. Notice how they can’t be satisfied with simply saying that the staff has picked up on his druthers in dining. They have to paint the mental imagery of a plump, greedy child who has suddenly been turned loose in the palace and has the royal staff fetching him bowl after bowl of dessert treats.

So take that as you will. It might be a story about ice cream or the tale of some Caligula-like emperor who is gobbling up the riches of the realm while the peasants are forced to do without. This. Is. CNN. They report… you decide.

Or, another example by John Sexton: Michelle Obama is not happy about the rollback of her school lunch guidelines – “Mrs. Obama suggested that issues like school lunches should be above politics and yet she’s asking her audience to question the motives of the people who are making these changes.”

Ultimately, there has to be a balance between allowing kids to eat what tastes good to them and what will keep them healthy. It should be possible for adults to disagree about where that middle-ground is without assuming anyone who has a different opinion has bad motives and wants to see kids “eating crap.”

Or Jazz, again: This is how progressives undermine capitalism in the name of “character” – “It really wouldn’t merit much national attention were it not such a sterling example of enshrined, liberal tribal beliefs being carried over in the real world to the point of self-ridicule.” The community’s choice in which coffee shop is to replace an outed one … “what’s the difference if you drove down the property values and stopped someone from providing some jobs to local folks and possibly making a profit?”

On the U.S. economic front, Mark Perry is Putting America’s ridiculously large $18.6T economy into perspective by comparing US state GDPs to entire countries – “Overall, the US produced 24.7% of world GDP in 2016, with only about 4.5% of the world’s population.”

 

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