Archive for science

Nihilism. Simple Fairness Demands?

Andrew McCabe is the new Joe McCarthy. Charles Lipson – “Serious charges need serious proof. Simple fairness demands it. But McCabe presents none.”

Lemon: The worst part about Smollett hoax will be all the conservative pouncing, you know. Ed Morrissey – “I … don’t think that’s Jussie Smollett’s biggest problem right now, even if it might be Don Lemon’s.”

“ Smollett’s problem appears to be that he set up a hoax, and got suckers like Lemon to bite all the way to the bone on it. That’s not his “representatives’” fault, whatever Lemon means by that. Smollett has bigger losses in front of him right now than any in the court of public opinion. You don’t hire Mark Geragos in order to wage a PR campaign.

Sorry. Mr. Lemon. The media earned every bit of ridicule and criticism it earned by going all-in on Smollett’s weird claim from the get-go. They earned every bit of criticism for doing the same thing with the Covington Catholic High School kids for the same purpose — to pounce, if you will, all over conservatives, pro-lifers, and anyone who might have a little sympathy for Donald Trump.

At least in some corners of the industry, they haven’t learned a damn thing from either failure. Expect more to come.

This might be related to an AP story about a Coast Guard officer accused of plotting to kill Democrats, journalists (Politico). It’s nice to have a wacked out white supremacist domestic terrorist with a Coast Guard seasoning tossed into the news to provide a distraction and restore the narrative. “The initial charges against Hasson are relatively uncommon, and appear to illustrate the challenges investigators face in charging individuals who may pose an imminent danger but where evidence of actionable threats against specific people is weak.

The Greatest Scandal In the History of Science. John Hinderaker – “I have written many times about the unwarranted “adjustments” to measured past temperatures by government agencies, which serve to inflate the modest warming that has occurred in recent decades.

The New Nihilism. Victor Davis Hanson – “the answer to Trump is neither liberal nor progressive, but nihilistic. The logical extreme alone ensures revolutionary purity even as it would result in chaos and destruction.” … “In sum, the emerging alternative to Trump is not Democratic pragmatism, but an angry nihilism that is as incoherent as it is destructive.

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Satisfied. But at what cost?

Is Adam Schiff Satisfied with NBC News? (WSJ via outline) James Freeman – “Those outside the world of Washington media might be less than hospitable to an acquaintance who had claimed to have evidence of a neighbor’s treason but still hadn’t produced it after 23 months.

“Without defending his earlier claim, Mr. Schiff proceeded to explain how he was now setting off in search of evidence of “a different form of collusion,” perhaps involving the President’s finances.

In any case, Mr. Todd again raised the issue of Mr. Schiff’s original collusion claim but somehow once again managed to veer off from demanding the long-promised evidence.

Perhaps NBC News should be less worried about satisfying Mr. Schiff and more concerned about the targets of his allegations.

Trump tax returns: House Democrats ready for ultimate fishing expedition. Byron York – “House Democrats want to use a 1924 law that allows any one of three entities — the House Ways & Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, or the Joint Committee on Taxation — to demand that the Treasury Department turn over the returns of any individual.

“Passed in the wake of the Teapot Dome scandal and controversy over the finances of Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, the law has almost never been used. For the first 50 years of the law’s existence, no one tried to get a president’s returns — although the law played a role in the fight over Richard Nixon’s finances — and in the years since Gerald Ford took office, presidents have voluntarily made their returns public. Until Donald Trump.

What is remarkable is that even the most aggressive Democrats don’t seem to have a clear idea what they will find in the returns. They’re just sure there must be something bad in there.

The former prosecutor Andrew McCarthy has written of Trump-Russia special counsel Robert Mueller that “Mueller does not have a crime he is investigating. He is investigating in hopes of finding a crime.” That is what Democrats are planning with the president’s tax returns.

The tax returns, those and other House Democrats believe, will be a Rosetta Stone to Trump corruption.

But a choice by the Ways & Means committee to force the release of the president’s returns could have serious consequences. For one, it will set a precedent for the House majority, in this case the Democrats, to go after the tax returns of individuals. It is not hard to imagine that coming around to bite Democrats in the future.

“Once you go down this road, it’s a lot like using the intelligence agencies to look into political campaigns,” Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California, ranking member of the Intelligence Committee, said last month.

At a recent Ways & Means hearing into the issue of acquiring individual returns, Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia summed up the situation, and in the process said perhaps more than he intended. “This is not the end,” Lewis said. “This is just the beginning.”

If Only Trump Had Known What He Did Not Yet Know About D.C. Dov Fischer – “During that brief thirty-month journey in the Twilight Zone, there was a coterie of only a dozen jerks out to sabotage my every effort despite the warm support and even deep love I enjoyed among the vast majority of that congregation of 250 or so people.

“I recount this brief nightmare — and thank G-d Almig-ty it was only a passing phase, a blip in a pulpit career of more than a quarter century — because I therefore appreciate more deeply from that personal experience what President Trump has accomplished against all odds.

The internecine petty sabotage of office politics where mediocrities who never achieve anything great choose to live to sabotage those who surpass them.

Through all this he has had to deal with The Resistance, false charges of Russian collusion from people who themselves colluded with Russians, an Obama-and-Clinton stacked Ninth Circuit court of appeals, a murder of crows at CBS, NBC, ABC, MSNBC, CNN, the NYT, and WaPo that will not give him a chance. They attack everything he does, everything he says.

His great mistake was that — quite the opposite of his public persona — he was too nice a guy, too willing to make others happy and play to others’ expectations.

We now enter the era of the Democrat House investigations. They want his taxes? Well, America wants Adam Schiff’s taxes. And Nancy Pelosi’s taxes. And the taxes not only of Dianne Feinstein and Maxine Waters but also of their husbands who have become very, very rich.

As these next two years unfold, I hope that gutless GOP Senate committees, if only to save their own hides, start subpoenaing every Clinton thing they can think of … nd, taking a cue from Mueller, just name a Special Investigator to investigate “the Clintons” — with the proviso that he or she is authorized to follow the trail wherever it leads. It will lead everywhere.

The Morality of the Anti-Trump Elite. George Neumayr – “The dominant media spends day after day accusing Trump of this or that “lie.” It puts the worst possible construction on his every utterance.

“Meanwhile, the high priests of that media get caught out in plagiarism scandals and the like and never pay the slightest price for those acts of brazen dishonesty.

Yet all these scandals of the anti-Trump elite have a deflating effect on its moral crusades against the president. How seriously can we take them? Members of the ruling class spend much of the day obsessing over Trump’s “vulgarity and dishonesty,” then the remainder of it immersing themselves in their own.

Judicial Watch Uncovers Email Between Clinton Lawyer David Kendall and FBI Lawyer James Baker Same Day FBI Was Forced to Re-Open Investigation by sundance – “people have forgotten many of the inherent issues that showcased how the FBI and DOJ had decided in advance not to prosecute Hillary Clinton.” … Quite simply: there is a glaringly transparent lack of an “investigation”.

President Trump’s not-so-carefully considered decisions have consequences. Andrew Malcolm – Malcom illustrates Neumayr’s point. Notice the presumptions laid on the table and the total lack of evidence to support them. There is plenty of opinion and judgment but the evidence is absent because what is available doesn’t support the narrative … Until the end of the article.

NY Times headline: ‘Ocasio-Cortez Team Flubs a Green New Deal Summary, and Republicans Pounce’. John Sexton – taking apart another ‘Republicans Pounce’ meme so popular in places like the NYT as examples of the cancer in society. It goes hand in hand with Allahpundit’s Trump touts Drudge headline: Check out my 52% job approval rationalizing and impugning. Contrast to Jazz Shaw on the question So you’re upset that your tax refund went down? – “This is certainly a clever bit of “coverage” of a story based primarily on people bitching on Twitter. Notice how the WaPo manages to promote a hashtag denigrating the tax cuts in the second paragraph. The premise here is clearly that the tax cuts reduced some people’s refunds, only Republicans voted for the tax cuts, therefore the tax cuts must be bad and so are the Republicans.

Is Global Warming Theory Scientific? John Hinderaker – “But being a global warming alarmist means never having to say you’re sorry. Why recant, when billions of government dollars continue to flow, no matter how many wrong predictions you make? So far, the leftist alarmists have had the last laugh: consistently wrong, but never in doubt. And still lavishly funded.”

Public Education’s Dirty Secret. Mary Hudson – “The reason is that they know deep down that due to the color of their skin, less is expected of them.” The problem is that this thesis does not fit the evidence presented. It does not explain the privilege described in the observation that “The administration was consistently on the side of the student. The teacher was the fall guy, every time.” It ignores the success of charter schools. It illustrates a socialist paradigm that tries to explain away an organization’s lack of success by shifting blame towards external rationalization. The fundamental problem, the “dirty secret,” is the infestation of racism to explain an inability to sell the product. That is why it is so strange than an economist like Mark Perry picked up on the Hudson thesis. Schools do satisfy their market. The problem is properly identifying the actual market and how competing customers and ideologies distort it.

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Dreadful thinking

The State Of American ‘Fact-Checking’ Is Completely Useless. David Harsanyi – “With a veneer of impartiality, fact-checkers engage in a uniquely dishonest style of partisanship.” … “State of Union coverage gave us an abundance of examples of how they do it:

“Hyper-precision fact-checking … Fact-checking subjective political assertions … Partisan talking point masquerading as a fact check … Fact-checking meant to obscure actual facts … Factchecking a truthful statement by demanding that Trump highlight information that has absolutely nothing to do with his contention

Will this be a new standard for all politicians?

The state of American fact-checking is dreadfully misleading. There’s no reason for conservatives to give its authors the deference they seek.

It is being noticed and, now, named and described. This leads to awareness and discussion and that to knowledge and better decisions.

Calling It A ‘War On Science’ Has Consequences. ACSH – National Geographic’s March 2015 cover story provided a thoughtful discussion around the question of “Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science?” The actual cover, however, simply said “The War on Science.” This one illustrates the problem it tries to name. It presumes those ‘poor deluded conservatives’ and completely bypasses and avoids matters of integrity and reason in much of what is put up as science. The ‘war’ thing should be seen as a psychological defense and a proper behavioral observation will show patterns that are oblivious to the authors of this study.

“Building on such arguments, our new research suggests that Americans may see scientists’ choice to accuse conservatives of waging a “war on science” as relatively aggressive compared to potential alternative ways of describing the current situation. In turn, this perceived aggressiveness may harm the credibility of scientists in conservative audiences that already have doubts about them.

Ocasio-Cortez’s plan properly should be called the ‘Green Leap Forward’. Thomas Lifson – “Lunatic schemes based on technological and redistributionist fantasies have been implemented on a huge scale within my lifetime with disastrous results.”

“China’s Great Leap Forward is the correct historical model for the visionary, transformational scheme of Ocasio-Cortez and Ed Markey’s plan, which properly ought to be called the “Green Leap Forward.” The Great Leap Forward was the personal creation of Chairman Mao Tse-tung, who wanted a rapid transformation of China from a backward, rural nation to a modern industrial one in the space of five, or maybe ten years, just as Ocasio-Cortez envisions a total transformation in a decade. … the horrors that it inflicted on China were vividly accounted by refugees who fled for their lives.

Just because the Green new Deal/Green Leap Forward is impossible to implement and is unlikely to become a law, there is no reason to assume the underlying madness will subside. We have our own Red Guards, some of which have already been elected to Congress. They are waiting for demography to hand them the victory they think the arc of history will provide

It’s a war on intellectual integrity … 

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Betrayal on many fronts

Will Jeff Bezos Force Whole Foods To Stop Lying? Apparently Not. Alex Berezow – “The company’s entire business model is premised upon a foundation of lies.” The Washington Post is another Bezos property with a similar ethic. The harm done weighs heavily against the benefits of his main business.

“Last week, Whole Foods Magazine (which is not actually affiliated with Whole Foods*) published an article written by a lawyer, Scott C. Tips, about an evil plan to sneak more GMOs into our food supply

As you might expect, in an article in which GMOs are called a “disease,” the lies and distortions come early and often.

For example, Tips can’t even define basic terms properly:

GMOs and other modern pesticides make it easier to practice no-till farming, which helps prevent soil erosion. But Tips is opposed to GMOs and modern pesticides.

The rest of the article is sort of a pathetic conspiratorial rant about GMOs.

I’ve been to Whole Foods a few times. The food is pretty tasty, though grossly overpriced. Unfortunately, their unscientific, holier-than-thou attitude, in which farmers are treated as villains and scientists as evil manipulators, will keep me away.

Washington Post Super Bowl ad: Democracy dies in darkness, you know. Allahpundit – “Not a bad idea for the world’s richest man to buy some goodwill from the media, though, at a moment when “rich people shouldn’t exist” is becoming mainstream Democratic thought.

“It’s a strange irony that this ad aired at a moment when the biggest story running about America’s journalism industry is layoffs.

But then, that’s fitting: Journalism’s many, many celebrations of itself tend to obsess about the trade as it aims to be rather than the realities of what it is.

They’re biased, often frivolous, and too susceptible to a herd mentality that’s on display on Twitter hourly as they read and react to each other’s takes. Too much heat, not enough light. That’s part of the reason why there’s more darkness right now than democracy should have to put up with.

Houston’s Police Chief could use a refresher course on gun crimes. Jazz Shaw – “This inspired Acevedo to fire back at them, deriding the “thoughts and prayers” comments and issuing calls for new gun control measures. Any time you have a police officer saying something like that, they immediately receive national attention from liberals in the media. This was no exception, and the Washington Post was soon singing his praises.

“Here’s an extra bit of irony for you. Acevedo took to Twitter on the day of the incident and asked people to pray for the officers. …

The spat over thoughts and prayers isn’t the real issue here. What I’m sure Acevedo knows but isn’t mentioning is the fact that it’s highly unlikely that the guns the two drug dealers who shot the cops were using were purchased legally. When we see high-profile shootings being investigated and the source of the weapons is known, that information is generally released. I’ve checked multiple press reports of this incident, with statements from Acevedo and others in Houston and there’s no mention of where those two men obtained their handguns.

And if that’s the case, calling for new restrictions on “assault rifles” and extended magazines or conducting more background checks wouldn’t have prevented those officers from being shot. Chief Acevedo should know better and stop playing to the gun control crowd using his own wounded officers as promotional material.

Paul Begala on Trump WH Schedule Leak: ‘Betrayal of Our National Security’. Tony Lee – “Set aside my strong opposition to @realDonaldTrump,” Begala tweeted. “As a former senior White House official, it is a betrayal of our national security to leak any POTUS’ schedule.” Begala added that the “hatred and disloyalty all around him is remarkable.”

Decepticon Mitch Fires Trump Impeachment Warning with U.S. Senate Demand to Keep Troops in Afghanistan/Syria. sundance – “The Senate passed a “sense of the senate” resolution today demanding that President Trump keep troops actively engaged in perpetual war.” … “When you understand the background of the ‘Senate Cloture Scheme’ (see Trade Promotion Authority and TPP), today’s Senate vote essentially highlights the Decepticon caucus. [The Big Club]

“Those who have followed Mitch McConnell for a long time will immediately notice the republican names in his coalition. They are the identical recipients of direct payments made by U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue.

Notice also that Senator McConnell timed his rebuke against President Trump to take place just prior to the State of the Union address.

In addition to demanding perpetual war (and all the financial benefits therein), the republican vote is a signal to the republican President that he will not be allowed to defy the will of the Big Club.

In many ways this is also the deep swamp protecting themselves from the structural reform which would happen as a consequence of President Trump draining the swamp.

With this vote McConnell is warning President Trump he has enough votes to support the Pelosi/Schumer impeachment agenda; if needed.

How to Make It Home in California: Rules for the Modern Odysseus. Victor Davis Hanson – “I drove back from San Francisco not long ago to the rural San Joaquin Valley. It is only 200 miles. But in fact, it can feel like Odysseus trying to get back home to Ithaca from Troy.

“Walking to the car in San Francisco was an early morning obstacle course dotted with the occasional human feces and lots of trash. The streets looked like Troy after its sacking.

The rules of the road in downtown San Francisco can seem pre-civilizational: the more law-abiding driver is considered timid and someone to be taken advantage of—while the more reckless earns respect and right of way.

The trip can take over three hours in theory and often longer than six hours in practice.

For the California driver in the age of the post-apocalypse, the rules of the road and getting home are obvious.

VDH responding to a reader angry not at him but at the betrayal of her culture she sees.my anger is boiling over from this latest insult and assault on conservatives

“Dear Not Really Angry Reader Linda Barr,

You describe a paradox in which 55 percent of the country is socially and economically conservative and yet 90 percent of our influence creators—Hollywood, network news and programing, the mainstream media, the Internet and social media, foundations, universities, professional sports, most big corporations—are leftwing. The result is that the old silent majority is like some ancient defiant sandstone rock jutting out on the beach, as the relentless surf insidiously pounds it and wears it ever so slowly away.

My only advice is not to remain silent. Everyone, each according to his or her station, has a role to play. This is not time for timidity or reticence.

Third-trimester abortion is not normal but virtual infanticide. The New Green Deal is a prescription for disaster. Free college and cancellation of student debt are insults to millions who went to work at 18, did not drift in and out of college, and oppose Pajama Boy culture, and yet are asked to pay for the debts of the more advantaged. Medicare for all is Medicare for no one, and the pathway to managed and rationed care and worse to come. Wealth taxes and higher income and estate taxes will inevitably, despite the rhetoric, fall on the upper middle-class, given that billionaires are mostly on the side of the Left and find exemptions. Abolishing ICE and open borders mean the end of U.S. sovereignty.

These new progressive agendas are frightening and we must say “they shall not pass.”

Sincerely, Victor Hanson

Betrayal? Stand up!

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Yes, death happens when feel-good supersedes reason.

Congratulations Anti-Vaxxers, You’ve Made Measles Great Again. Investor’s Business Daily – “But then anti-vax mania started to spread, sparked by a single study — published in 1998 and since thoroughly debunked — conducted by a disgraced scientist.

“Yet despite their supposed devotion to science, many on the left — including celebrities like Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey — seized on this study to spread irrational fear about the supposed dangers of the vaccine. Call them “vaccine deniers.”

Their views found a major platform in the left-wing Huffington Post, which for years was the go-to site to spread anti-vax paranoia.

Keep in mind that measles is a highly contagious and potentially fatal disease. One in four who get it end up hospitalized. One in a thousand get encephalitis. Up to two per thousand end up dead.

Here’s an idea that would help move more states in the right direction. Instead of creating ugly paintings trashing President Donald Trump, Jim Carrey should consider a self-portrait wherein he abjectly apologizes for his and his friends’ role in spreading dangerous, unscientific misinformation.

Notice How Democrats are Never Indicted? William L. Gensert – “Yet, “What difference, at that point, does it make?” Hillary’s exempt from prosecution because she’s a Democrat and a bona fide leftist; and that provides blanket immunity.

“One can act with impunity when there is no fear of prosecution. Why not harvest ballots to steal elections, provide sanctuary for felonious illegal aliens, lie to Congress, or try to frame a president? Democrats never worry about financial ruin or Mueller going after their families (In like Flynn).

Real crimes go unaddressed, while misstatements about lawful actions warrant incarceration. Mueller is fond of false-statement charges where the underlying actions aren’t illegal; he also loosely interprets the definition of “lie.”

Apparently, in America today the only people who should fear prosecution are those who disagree with the “ones we’ve been waiting for” because if you’re a Democrat, you can’t get arrested in this town.

Latest Intel Assessment Shows How Trump-Russia Hoax Has Hurt American Interests. Mollie Hemingway – “This odd aversion to thinking about the best interests of the nation when pushing a conspiracy theory about treasonous collusion with Russia is dangerous.”

“Earlier this week, intelligence chiefs briefed U.S. senators on the Select Committee on Intelligence about global threats. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats’ 42-page written report read like a middling Obama-era update, with more space devoted to concern about climate change, Brexit, and social justice issues than Islamist terrorism or border disputes and violations.

Still, it’s worth considering the first and most serious global security threat Coats flagged for senators, which is the strengthened alliance of China and Russia as they seek to expand their global influence.

This is among the reasons Trump sought an improved relationship with Russia.

It’s also related to why the Obama administration tried to have a “reset” with Russia. The logic underlying that move was sound, even if it was poorly implemented. The strategic reasons for trying to build alliances where you can with Russia were, and still are, defensible, because it’s not in the U.S. interests to have Russia as a vassal of China. Unfortunately the relationship between Obama and Putin, and between the U.S. and Russia, soured, making the situation worse.

Seib notes that conspiracy theorists think Trump wants a good relationship with Russia because he owes them something. He instead suggests it’s because of geo-strategic goals.

As Henry Kissinger put it, “Balancing China against the Soviet Union from a position in which America was closer to each Communist giant than they were to each other was, of course, exactly the design of the evolving strategy.”

Yet when Trump has talked about developing a good relationship with Russia, a key aspect of triangulation approach, conspiracy theorists in the media and pundit class have lambasted him as a Putin stooge who is compromised. It’s not just an unverified and ridiculous conspiracy theory, but one that results in real harm to the United States as well.

the purpose of the intelligence agencies is to provide information to the president, not set U.S. policy. In fact, the danger seems to arise when intelligence agencies attempt to analyze and set policy

the purpose of the intelligence agencies is to provide information to the president, not set U.S. policy. In fact, the danger seems to arise when intelligence agencies attempt to analyze and set policy

The Real Reason Democrats Have Postponed Barr’s Confirmation. Julie Kelly – “As indictments unrelated to Trump-Russia collusion pile up, Republican lawmakers and Trump’s base increasingly are outraged that the culprits behind perhaps the biggest political scandal in American history remain untouched. Barr signaled that the good fortune of these scoundrels could soon take a dramatic shift under his stewardship.” Kelly highlights the criminal protection force and some of its tactics. Accuse, smear, delay, … and worse.

“Democrats also have accused Barr of bias against the Mueller investigation based on a detailed memo he authored last year that objected to the special counsel’s reported interest in whether President Trump obstructed justice. Some have suggested Barr should recuse himself from the investigation, which would be a repeat of a terrible mistake made by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions in 2017.

This one-two punch has a purpose: To taint Barr’s impartiality and discredit his office on all matters related to Trump-Russia. Why? Because during his confirmation hearing, Barr agreed—at the behest of Republican senators—to begin his own inquiry into who, why, and how the FBI launched several investigations into Trump’s presidential campaign and, eventually, into the president himself.

The enormousness of Barr’s task and the devastating consequences for those involved are now coming into clear view. The timing couldn’t be worse for Democrats and NeverTrump Republicans who are desperate to defeat Trump and the GOP in 2020. That’s why we can expect both parties to whip up more criticism of Barr over the next few months. One hopes he will resist that criticism—and both Trump and Graham need to reassure the new attorney general and the American public that his investigation will receive the same amount of protection that was afforded to the Mueller team.

The Corrupt DoJ vs. the People. Ed Brodow – “Thanks to the politicized justice system that was set in motion more than 20 years ago and reinforced during eight fateful years of the Obama administration, the quaint notion that we benefit from due process has evaporated.

“A venal gang of Obama alumni is getting away with the perversion of American justice. …

The civil rights of innocent individuals are being violated for no reason other than their political views. … Unless the Mueller investigation is terminated and we address the real scandal in our government — corruption at the top levels of the DoJ and FBI — we can kiss the American system of justice goodbye.

Weird: No Democrats in Congress seem to have heard Ralph Northam’s abortion comments. Allahpundit – quoting Henry Rodgers: “I just spoke with over 10 Democratic Senators in the past 2 hours. Not one of them would acknowledge @GovernorVA’s comments on late-term abortion. Everyone of them denied ever hearing them.

“The only reason to believe their ignorance might have been accidental rather than deliberate is that yesterday’s coverage in “neutral” media was partly of the “conservatives pounce” variety. There go the right-wingers, flying off the handle again over nothing. You could argue that restraint by the press was prudent under the circumstances; Northam’s office and various liberals online insisted he’d been misunderstood, after all. Can’t knock the media for pausing to make sure it has its facts right before proceeding with coverage of an electrically charged controversy.

Why, though, wonders Ross Douthat, does that caution only ever run one way?

our media is very deep in the tank on this issue, even more so than they are for most left-wing causes. We’re all long used to it. But occasionally the depth still manages to shock.

McConnell: Pelosi’s ‘reform’ bill nothing but a “Democratic Politician Protection Act”. Ed Morrissey – “A new paid federal holiday on Election Day turns out to be the most benign part of HR1, the election-reform package designated by Nancy Pelosi as the new House majority’s “signature” legislation in this session.” Morrissey may be thinking in too conventional of a paradigm, too ‘old school’ and missing the art of communications and an undertow in the populace noted in other articles cited in this post.

“Pelosi should send McConnell a bouquet of flowers for spending this much time on the Senate floor on a bill that has zero chance of becoming law. For a “signature” bill, which is what the HR1 designation signifies, the coverage of this bill has been remarkably low-key.

Pelosi knows this won’t move in the Senate; it’s a setup for the 2020 congressional elections. However, it’s not exactly the kind of bill that will fire up voters or be remembered for very long after its demise. House Democrats might have been better advised to focus more on hardening the voting infrastructure in the country ahead of the next election, a project that would have a much greater chance of success than giving federal workers freebies for participating in Democratic campaigns.

Green energy and litigation are bankrupting PG&E in California. Jazz Shaw – “That’s unusual because the energy business is largely a very stable industry and nearly recession-proof.

“If their transformers were exploding or the insulators on the lines were worn out and leading to sparking I could see blaming them. But they’re getting tagged with a $30 billion fine because storms blew trees over and took down their lines? …

The other half of their problem is that they’re locked into contracts to buy energy from solar and wind farms. California’s state government has issued a mandate that they must get to 60% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% by 2045. That’s left PG&E stuck buying $40B in energy from renewable firms, a lot of which they don’t even need. In fact, during peak renewable production periods they’ve been forced to sell energy off (at a loss) to neighboring states.

Put all of this together and one of the biggest energy companies in the nation has just filed for bankruptcy protection. They’re asking the court to let them out of the contracts with the wind and solar producers. If that doesn’t work, they may wind up going under. Perhaps that’s for the best and their investors can take their business to states without such a litigious and corrosive business environment.

Why “Green” Energy Is Futile, In One Lesson. John Hinderaker – “When the wind isn’t blowing–as it wasn’t yesterday–natural gas supplies the electricity. It also heats homes, and with bitter cold temperatures and no wind, there wasn’t enough natural gas to go around. The resulting “brownout” has been a political shock in Minnesota.

Much Has Changed for the Better Since 2016—Not That Trump Will Get Credit. Victor Davis Hanson – “aside from the weekly hysterias, the world has dramatically changed since 2016 in ways we scarcely have appreciated.

“There is also a growing, though little reported, consensus about what created the current economic renaissance: tax cuts, massive deregulation, recalibration of trade policy, tax incentives to bring back offshore capital, and dramatic rises in oil and natural gas production.

Since 2016, polls show that Americans have assumed that the proverbial mainstream media cannot be counted on for honest reporting but will omit, twist and massage facts and evidence for the higher “truth” of neutralizing the Trump presidency.

Trump’s popularity is about where it was when he was elected—ranging on average from the low to mid-forties. But many of his policies have led to more prosperity and address festering problems abroad.

And despite the negative news, they are widely supported, even—or especially—if Trump himself is not given proper credit for enacting most of them.

And there is more, much more.

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meaningful discussion?

People Strongly Against GMOs Had Shakier Understanding Of Food Science, Study Finds. Jonathan Ahl – “However, previous surveys have shown that providing more scientific facts about GMOs to people doesn’t change their minds.” ‘Study finds’ is a flag so skepticism and salt need to be ready to hand. This one is nearly oxymoronic: those who are ignorant don’t know much and don’t learn. The interesting finding is what this state does to people’s expression of their opinions. Meaningful discussion?

“People who most intensely oppose genetically modified food think they know a lot about food science, but they actually know the least, according to a peer-reviewed paper published in January in the journal Nature Human Behaviour.

Then it went on to ask a series of true-or-false questions about science, ranging from basic issues like whether the core of the Earth is hot or cold to questions on genetics, like “Does a non-genetically modified tomato have genes?”

The results showed the more strongly people reported being opposed to GMOs, the lower their test score.

“A lot of people are upset by genetically modified food,” said Sydney Scott, a marketing professor at Washington University in St. Louis, one of the schools that ran the study.

“We have to get people to recognize gaps in their knowledge before we try to teach them new things and have a meaningful discussion,” she added.

Census Fight Is About Dollars and Votes. Rachel Bovard – “There is ample evidence to suggest that the judge’s ruling was ill-informed and partisan.” so it’s about Justice, too.

“glossed over in the foamy outrage on the Left is the rank and hypocritical irony that census documents ask about race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, homeownership status, electricity bills, job status, age, and even the number of toilets in each house—but a question about citizenship is somehow considered too invasive.

But the legal analysis aside, there are two key aspects to this debate. The first is to knock down the claim that the Trump administration is using the census as a means toward deportation. They’re not. But the second is to explain why the determination of citizenship is vitally important to the basic functioning of representative government.

Ultimately, though, the Left’s concern with Census participation does not arise out of some benevolent impulse toward civic participation. Rather, it stems from their two chief concerns, which govern everything: money and power.

Those on the Left, particularly the plaintiffs in this case, are preoccupied with ensuring as much federal money as possible flows to their states, which have very high illegal immigrant populations.

But perhaps more important is the role that illegal immigrant populations play in something called apportionment—the drawing of congressional districts based upon population.

It’s a cynical gambit, but a very real one. And it’s why attention must be paid at every level—to the big, flashy debates over the border wall, and the smaller, but equally important questions on the Census.

Trump wins because he isn’t screwing anyone over. Don Surber – “Unlike the politicians in Washington, he is not trying to vanquish his enemies. He just wants to get a deal done.

Establishment Republicans say this will establish a dangerous precedent. They always say that. Again, who cares? Democrat presidents do whatever they like anyway.

President Trump tried working with these fools but they do not want to cut a deal. They want him to fail, die slowly, and be buried upside down facing away from the sun.

He is not trying to screw over anyone. He is willing to give them something in return for the wall.

No. They would rather starve then let him eat.

No MAGA Hats in the Opinion Workers Union Hall. Clarice Feldman – “1000 reporters lost their jobs, Mueller jumped the shark in arresting Roger Stone in the middle of the night, and the President moved on to another stage of the long Build the Wall battle.” Caitlin Flanagan is cited as noting how Nick Sandmann worked to calm things down in this long summary of a WoW Week. On the budget barriers, the conclusion is

“Should the opposition then run to some numbskull judge in the 9thCircuit to stop him, he will have made his record that no other avenue was available to protect America’s defense. Ignore the claims that the Democrats won this battle. I don’t think they did.

Anti-Trumpers Only Embarrass Themselves. Deroy Murdock – “When you are a jackhammer, everything looks like a broken sidewalk. This is why the Trump-hating media are demolishing themselves.

“The Left’s journalists and artists are so deeply consumed by vile, vicious, venomous rage towards President Donald J. Trump and his supporters that they have become incapable of clear thought.

The media also make jackasses of themselves by complaining about small things that proved untrue.

What explains the media’s incessant self-mutilation?

More likely, though, the Trump haters have learned nothing from all of this. As they labor to destroy the president, these ink-stained suicide bombers are destroying themselves.

Is meaningful discussion possible in these circumstances?

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Fact free and the cost of eggs

Dear reporter: First, wipe the egg and the smirk off your face. Don Surber – “He fell for the BuzzFeed story — leaked to change the subject from the shutdown — which Bungling Bob Mueller disavowed late Friday. … Blake took to Twitter this morning to virtue signal about journalism.

The Tables Turn on Pelosi and the Media. Clarice Feldman – “While she might have thought otherwise, the power of the commander-in-chief is far greater than that of the speaker of the House, and the humiliating way this was brought home to the congressional equivalent of Maerose Prizzi (h/t Michael Walsh) was something.

“CNN and MSNBC alone made almost 200 references in 12 hours to the BuzzFeed story.

The fun and games were soon over. In an unprecedented move, Special Counsel Mueller’s office said the story was untrue.

Fact-Free Politics: From Climate Change to Trickle Down. Thomas Sowell – “In this era when there has been more information available to more people than at any time in the past, it is also true that there has been more misinformation from more different sources than ever.

“We are not talking about differences of opinion or inadequate verification, but about statements and catchwords in utter defiance of facts.

The next time someone talks about “climate change deniers,” ask them to name one — and tell you just where specifically you can find their words, declaring that climates do not change. You can bet the rent money that they cannot tell you.

It is much the same story on economic issues. … Here, yet again, all you need to do is think back over your own life, and ask yourself if you have ever — even once in your entire life — seen, heard or read a single human being who advocated this “trickle-down theory.”

Issues in both economics and science can get complicated. But when one side of those issues has to resort to demonstrably false catchwords, that should give us a clue.

Fact free isn’t cost free.

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Why no skepticism critical inspection? Intellectual integrity too much of a burden?

Is traditional masculinity pathological? Luboš Motl – “when the umbrella organization standing above all U.S. psychologists explicitly says that “masculinity is pathological”, we’re supposed to think that everything is fine. Sorry, it’s not fine.”

to claim that life on Earth is pathological in general is insane – and irrational.

Why? Because the adjective “pathological” is ultimately a value judgement that must be made by somebody who is man-like.

The APA guidelines are a reflection of the cancer of the extreme left-wing politicized science that has already conquered many disciplines. The first ones included the humanities and some social sciences but psychology is relatively close to natural sciences which is why this particular trend is so disturbing.

Media’s Angry Response To President Trump’s Oval Office Speech Comes Up Short. Mollie Hemingway – “The Democrats’ theme for the evening was ‘facts, not fear.’ Many major media also adopted the same theme.”

“The coordinated talking point began hours if not days before the speech even aired, with CNN’s Alisyn Camerota saying yesterday morning, “Fact-checkers are eating their Wheaties and getting extra rest since they will be working overtime tonight to separate fact from fiction on this border situation.”

But when it came time to back up this talking point about factual inaccuracies, the media whiffed. Most of the alleged “fact” “checks” were instead critiques of opinions. Many critiqued things not included in Trump’s speech. And sometimes the “fact” “checks” dinged Trump for saying completely true things.

Checking facts is extremely important. It’s a vital function of journalism and one that was sorely missing for a good eight years of the Obama presidency. It’s not that journalists have over-corrected — a genuine return to fact-based reporting wouldn’t just be welcome but preferable. The problem is that they’re extremely confused about the difference between value assessments and facts. They also struggle with basic logic and reading comprehension.

And people trust media oblivious to the dripping hate and anger?

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Looking for the pony under the manure pile

but, first, there’s a new documentary movie out on WW I … 

They Shall Not Grow Old a box office blowout – for good reason. Monica Showalter – “So this is a war that’s still very much with us in effects, one hundred years after the armistice was signed.”

“This is why Peter Jackson’s brilliant documentary is so compelling, just on topic alone. It’s the 100th anniversary of that war’s end, and the Imperial War Museum wanted someone to come in and look at its archives of grainy, jerky, faded, black and white footage to bring back to everyone today just what happened, show how that war looked. … Seriously, the documentary got some rave reviews, from the whole spectrum. Let me add my own since I saw it last night: Magnificent!

Why was it great? Well, because the film broke the tired truism that the soldiers were just victims, which is what is taught in schools. Jackson was so scrupulous that he kept politics and current lefty narratives out of the whole thing, let the soldiers tell their story, with no Ben Rhodes-style “narratives” at all, making the whole thing just a tad politically incorrect, since the good and bad of the entire experience were all laid out from the oral histories of the soldiers themselves, in their own words.

See also Scott Johnson on the movie.

Same Sketchy Journalists Claim Again Michael Cohen in Prague Story. sundance – “Washington Post Greg Miller obliquely noted a reference to the art world when he was explaining how reporters spent months in Praque, and surrounding area, checking through hotel records and asking questions while finding no evidence.” If only they put this much effort into finding the story rather than trying to support a myth …

“Nude Selfies”? – Mueller’s Russian Target, Concord Management, Responds to Request to Block Discovery. sundance – “Given the nature of the politicization behind the Mueller investigation, many people argue there is no actual evidence at all; it’s a manufactured ruse created only for purpose of advancing a necessary political narrative, an excuse for media column inches and pundit talks.”

Where Was The Media Outrage When 18 Migrants Died In Custody Under The Obama Administration? Matt Vespa – “U.S. immigration authorities didn’t murder the child, which is heavily insinuated if not suggested by members of the liberal media.”

“We have some folks going off half-cocked saying we have full-blown concentration camps under the Trump presidency when it comes to border enforcement. It’s straight up insanity. Then again, what would you expect the reaction would be from a movement that wants open borders?

You knew this was going to be used to attack the Trump White House. Enforcing federal immigration laws is evil, you see. And we have a new sheriff in town that is—you know—going to do that. This infuriates the Left to no end. Once again, we have to take liberal media by the hand to show that much of what Trump is doing at the border is what the Obama administration did. The Obama administration shot tear gas at migrants at the border, they separated children from adults at the border, and guess what; migrants died under the custody of U.S. immigration officials. In fact, 18 migrants died under the Obama regime. When are we going after him for being a proto-Nazi (via Daily Caller)?

NYT’s Editorial Board Claims That ‘Trump Imperils The Planet’. Michael Bastasch – “with his rolling back of the Obama administration’s climate agenda.” Meanwhile, Dr. Judith Curry has another paper out on sea level changes as they have actually existed. It’s not Trump who is operating without facts and reality.

Climate Doom Ahead? Think Twice. Charles N. Steele – “Discussion at the UN climate change talks held in Katowice, Poland recently reached a stalemate. The issue? A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released earlier this year

“To put it bluntly, there’s a lot less here than meets the eye. The report argues that the Paris Accord target of a 1.5C increase is better than a 2C target. But the farther one reads, the more it appears the IPCC’s report is not really about climate change. It’s less a scientific report and more a political platform, driven by ideology, not science.

Conversely, scientific economic analysis suggests radical responses are unnecessary, even if we accept the basic models of global warming. … We ought to view IPCC’s report – and indeed any reports with such catastrophic claims – with great skepticism. We must insist that any changes to our systems and lives in the name of sustainability be based on fact, not ideology.

Documenting San Francisco’s homeless problem one tweet at a time. John Sexton – “even apart from the violence, the city is feeling the impact of thousands of homeless people in other ways as well.” Ignoring this part of the culture export from California isn’t going to stop it.

The horror! U.S. troops want America to be great. Paul Mirengoff – “What’s unbecoming is going after U.S. troops who are in harm’s way for showing enthusiasm for America and their commander-in-chief. In fact, it’s worse than unbecoming. It’s disgusting.” especially after the Air Force shoots down CNN claim troops violated regs by having Trump sign MAGA hats. Mary Chastain – “There is no rule against Airmen bringing personal items to be signed by the president,” USAFE said in a statement. … “We still have about four more days left in 2018. That’s plenty of time for the media and leftists to top this latest freakout.”

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Learn or Impugn?

Trump Is Smarter Than the Generals. Christopher Roach – “His forthrightness is commendable, but in the remainder of his letter, Mattis only repeats the globalist conventional wisdom out of the pages of the New York Times.” The wailing and gnashing of teeth in the media about adults in the room and other Trump derogatories should be indicative that it is ideology at hand. Mattis’ letter shows true colors. He can’t just disagree, he has to impugn. Today are several articles taking the Syria withdrawal issue seriously and looking at the merits. Here is one.

“A bipartisan consensus among the foreign policy elite holds that America needs to maintain its de facto overseas empire. This includes both preserving stability, as well as fomenting deliberate instability, including regime change in places like Syria. This consensus among elected officials, defense contractors, general officers, talking heads, and various experts is not shared by the vast majority of Americans, who elected Barack Obama and Donald Trump on their promises to end “stupid wars” and put America first.

The American people have good instincts on these matters.

When we look for answers, we should look beyond our parochial and conflicted elite to the wisdom of the past. For all the study of Clausewitz in our military academies, one wonders if our strategists have forgotten his advice on the general superiority of defensive measures as a strategic matter: “What is the object of defense? To preserve. To preserve is easier than to acquire; from which follows at once that the means on both sides being supposed equal, the defensive is easier than the offensive.”

In other words, we are better off securing our border, building a wall, limiting immigrants from hostile lands, and avoiding the Middle Eastern cul de sac, than playing whack-a-mole with terrorists. Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria is the most courageous and controversial manifestation of his broader promise to put America first.

The Most Important Thing About Michael Flynn Is Not His Guilt, But His Politicized Prosecution. Margot Cleveland – “For many, the criminal case against Flynn was never about Flynn; it was about our country abandoning the precept of equal justice under the law.”

Name That Criminal Defendant! John Hinderaker – “I am so old, I can remember when intelligence officials leaking top secret information to women they were sleeping with was frowned upon. At one time, the fear was that such women might be Russian spies. Now, it is reasonable to assume that they are Democrats.”

Mundia and Modia. Luboš Motl – “Modia is a world of consensus, envy, love, hate, admiration, gratitude. Mundia is a world of gravity, electromagnetism, string dualities, supply, and demand. ;-)

“Right-wingers, farmers, engineers, men, and natural scientists tend to live in Mundia; left-wingers, academics especially in social sciences and humanities, Hollywood, people doing P.R., women, and similar folks are more likely to be in Modia.

As I said, there are very clear correlations between Mundia vs Modia on one side and parts of the societies (and age groups) on the other side. More seriously, there’s a trend. The Western civilization is becoming brutally Modian while Mundia is almost being eradicated. Boxenhorn reminds us of some optimistic old Mundian facts, however. Companies that become completely Modian, non-meritocratic (and all about nepotism and human preferences for allies etc.), generally fail soon.

That’s perhaps good news but it may be very expensive, too. To a large extent, whole nations of the Western civilization are becoming fully Modian. So what will fail may be these whole nations or the civilization as a whole. Our nations may be replaced with some other nations that stay more Mundian, perhaps the Chinese, Russians, or Persians. There’s a part of me that says that those are also members of homo sapiens so if they dominate the world in 2050, that’s just fine – and an example of the selection at a higher level in action. There’s another part of me that cares about those people’s “not being quite us”, not being sufficiently biologically or culturally related to “us”. Why can’t our nations be the right ones?

What Makes Trump Run. Robert Weissberg – “Let me suggest that Trump’s behavior is perfectly understandable if viewed in the context of his business background. As the Obama administration reflected governance by an egalitarian community activist, the current administration is rule by a hotel magnate.” Remember the 1965 Arthur Hailey book Hotel [Wikipedia]?

“We’ve come a long way from the 1950s when the Eisenhower cabinet was described as “Nine Millionaires and a Plumber.” Indeed, it was once commonplace, especially during war years, for successful businessmen to enter government and get paid a symbolic “dollar a year.”

We are now governed by likes of Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, who have spent their entire lives on the government payroll with zero firsthand private sector experience.

Melania Trump’s topiary trees prove a hit at Christmas parties. “Melania Trump’s cranberry topiary trees may have left some of her critics seeing red, but they turned out to be a Christmas hit — one of several new ideas the Trumps introduced this holiday season.”

“The red trees featured on a green carpet along the East Wing colonnade turned out to be quite the attraction: Pedestrian traffic jams formed as Trump’s many party guests clamored to be photographed in front of the unusual holiday landscape.

Largely absent from the festivities this year was the traditional opportunity for guests to have a picture taken with Trump and his wife, a time-consuming process that requires the president and first lady to stand for hours, grinning, posing and making small talk with hundreds of guests, some of whom they hardly know.

Trump retained the photo tradition for members of the U.S. Secret Service, law enforcement and the military, as well as staff who work in the residence, according to a White House official who declined to be identified discussing details of the private receptions.

Meanwhile, another effort to make Trump’s tax returns public was turned down by a judge and the Senate Democrats are holding the country’s budget hostage.

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That lizard brain manipulating uproar?

Breaking: President Trump Announces James Mattis Retiring. by sundance – “Oh snap, grab my belt, we’re going deep.” Mattis was seen as someone keeping the President under control so it’s big headlines he’s leaving as SecDef. The whole story is something else. “Initially, the traditional military interventionist approach couldn’t just be reversed or dispatched; and James Mattis was the bridge to a path forward.” That “path forward” is something a lot of people have been looking for.

“The nature of the Trump foreign policy doctrine, as it has become visible, is to hold manipulative influence accountable for regional impact(s), and simultaneously work to stop any corrupted influence from oppressing free expression of national values held by the subservient, dis-empowered, people within the nation being influenced.

The process of accurate regional assignment of influence comes with disconcerting sunlight. Often these influences are not discussed openly. However, for President Trump the lack of honesty is only a crutch to continue enabling poor actors. This is a consistent theme throughout all of President Trump’s foreign policy engagements.

If a national citizenry has to pay for the indulgent decisions of the influence class, a crisis becomes only a matter of time.

Mexico goes along with Trump’s caravan plan. Jazz Shaw – “When this idea was first proposed it was deemed to be a non-starter right out of the gate.” The opposition often goes hyperbolic in dismissal of anything Trump and that tends to be destructive. This one ties in with the reasons for the Mattis departure.

“What we’re seeing here is a careful attempt by Mexico’s new president to build on his country’s existing relationship with the United States. Showing a little deference to the American President can go a long way towards better trade deals and the possibility of foreign aid rather than facing a combative leader across the border. If this helps stem the tide of illegal immigration while we work out the border security situation, we should chalk this up as a win and encourage further cooperation from that country’s new leader.

The Trump Doctrine and 2020. Steven Hayward – “The events of the last 72 hours may be bringing the Trump Doctrine into sharper focus. … Everyone is in an uproar about Trump’s decisions, and perhaps they are right.”

“But I wonder if Trump’s supposed lizard brain isn’t on to something about the politics of the matter. The conventional wisdom is that Trump won the key midwestern states in 2016 because of white working class anxieties over immigration and job loss (or just racism if you’re a leftist), but there is some evidence that Trump’s stands on ending America’s military commitments overseas may have played a significant role in his victory in the upper midwest.

Once again, Trump’s instincts may be way ahead of everyone else, just as they were on immigration. And as for the possible risks of American disengagement, Trump’s military buildup looks to have some foresight to it also.

“Grossly irresponsible”: AG appointee Barr blasted Mueller probe on obstruction in June memo to Rosenstein. Ed Morrissey – “Barr warned Trump this would come up as an issue in his confirmation, according to CNN. Whether Trump saw that as a bug or a feature will be the core of the debate over Barr’s nomination from now until his confirmation, of course.” What it comes down to is Democrat defense for their corruption by removal and obstruction of any opposition or skepticism of their methods and actions.

“But just how much of a smoking gun is this? For the defense, Andrew C. McCarthy concludes that it’s nothing of the sort — only an excellent legal review of the circumstances. Not only are Barr’s viewpoints correct, McCarthy argues, but also necessary to rein in Mueller’s seemingly limitless investigation

What’s Next in FBI Oversight. Kimberley A. Strassel. “House and Senate investigators get pride of place for unraveling one of the greatest dirty tricks of our political times, in which a Democratic administration, party and presidential campaign either co-opted or fooled the FBI into investigating the Republican campaign.” [ht Scott Johnson]

“That also explains why House investigators haven’t released an official report on their findings. They know the story, but they can’t tell it comprehensively until President Trump follows through and declassifies the relevant documents. The president is said to be waiting for the Mueller probe and prosecutions to end. But why? This is about transparency. The president also owes it to these lawmakers, who began the hard work of investigating the 2016 election, to finally allow them to finish it.

Why ‘Why String Theory Is Wrong’ is wrong. Luboš Motl – “No, this is not funny. I am really terrified how much the society around pop science has degenerated.”

“There aren’t any “string supporters” in such comment sections today and there won’t be any string theorists in 2050. We will be fortunate if there will be people who know something about the Newtonian mechanics. The faster rate of the mankind’s intellectual rottening must mean that it is not just the negative biological selection, as hoped in the movie. Even the people whose DNA could do better end up being morphed to hopeless morons such as the commenters under the PBS video – some epigenetics and/or societal pressures must contribute the bulk of the effect. People aren’t spanked for not doing a proper science homework so they just turn to superficial trolls – it’s probably unavoidable.

The emoluments cases have had some things happening that involve the prurient digging into the President’s financial life. Media reports seem to miss the impact on the persecution discovery efforts and the changes in the nature of the case.

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Show your colors

Researchers Take Aim at Gun Violence by Targeting Desire for Revenge. “The desire for revenge that motivates most gun violence can be slaked by offering those considering violence a safe alternative – a mock trial of the individual who has done them wrong, a Yale pilot study has found.”

“A mock trial gives victims of perceived injustice a safe, socially-accepted outlet for their feelings of rage and desire for revenge,” said Yale’s Michael Rowe, professor of psychiatry and lead author of the study. “It also gives them a sense of empowerment and control, and the opportunity to explore the situation from different viewpoints and to evaluate the costs of retaliating.”

“CDC and FBI data indicate that the primary motive behind most gun violence is the desire of shooters to retaliate for perceived injustices,” Kimmel said. “Yet until now there have been no mental health strategies that specifically target revenge.”

Climate Alarmism Is The World’s Leading Cause Of Hot Gas – ‘How long can fear mongering work?’ David Harsanyi – “These days, “the point of no return” is almost always in view, yet always just out of reach.” (On Climate Depot, original at the Federalist)

“Even as anti-gas tax riots raged in France this week, the naturalist David Attenborough warned a crowd at a United Nations climate change summit in Poland that the “collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.” UN General Assembly President Maria Espinosa told the media that “mankind” was “in danger of disappearing” if climate change is allowed to progress at its current rate.

Speakers, who flew in to swap doomsday stories and partake of the meat-heavy menu, advocated for radical changes to avoid this imminent environmental apocalypse.

The problem for alarmists is that warming is now here—allegedly, the cause of an untold number of disasters, small and large—yet somehow humanity slogs onward, living longer, safer, richer lives. People internalize this reality, no matter what they tell pollsters.

Of course, simply because Malthusians have been completely wrong about human ingenuity and adaptability for more than 100 years doesn’t necessarily mean they are wrong now. On the other hand, at no point in history has a massive top-down social engineering project ever worked as intended. It’s worth noting, for example, that the 10 worst famines of the 20th century weren’t caused by the excesses of capitalism or by environmental disasters but by collectivists trying to control human nature (or to thin out the population).

Do Boys Have a Comparative Advantage in Math and Science? Alex Tabarrok – the title raised skepticism because it presents a logical fallacy – making a binary out of a distribution. The article continues with questionable measures followed by simplified (ideologically sympathetic) canards for explanations.

“Two explanations for this apparent paradox have been offered. First, countries with greater gender equality tend to be richer and have larger welfare states than countries with less gender equality. As a result, less is riding on choice of career in the richer, gender-equal countries. Even if STEM fields pay more, we would expect small differences in personality that vary with gender would become more apparent as income increases. Paraphrasing John Adams, only in a rich country are people feel free to pursue their interests more than their needs. If women are somewhat less interested in STEM fields than men, then we would expect this difference to become more apparent as income increases. …

A second explanation focuses on ability. Some people argue that more men than women have extraordinary ability levels in math and science because of greater male variability in most characteristics. Let’s put that hypothesis to the side.

Gofundme page for building the border wall soars past $3 million and shames the GOP pols who betrayed their mandate. Thomas Lifson – the problem is that the target is constructive. As the Left knows, the ultimate goal is best achieved by destroying its enemies. Those in favor of the wall need to figure out how to defeat those against it and replace them with representatives for it.

Sullivan’s Travails. William L. Gensert – “I think people misunderstand Judge Sullivan’s actions at the 12/18/18 sentencing.” hope springs eternal? But then, the judge showed his colors in another case: Judge Sullivan rides again. Scott Johnson – “I am no expert and I may be mistaken, but I think Sessions is right and Sullivan is wrong. We are being gamed by the usual suspects.”

Why We’re Divided. Jeffrey Folks – “Sen. Schumer’s response is the Bronx cheer to anything the President proposes. Nancy Pelosi follows up with her sniveling whine about how “he hasn’t got the votes.” What about discussion?” One side wants to govern, the other to win at any cost – Irreconcilable and we all lose.

“It’s hard to discuss issues with someone who begins and ends the conversation with derision and contempt for the other, and that’s the default position of the Democrat Party today. Democrats are so reflexively partisan that compromise is impossible. Then they proceed to accuse conservatives of causing the division. And that accusation is the basis for more division.

Conservatives operate from the assumption that politics is a civil discussion of ideas leading to proper decisions. There is a problem at our southern border, and it’s getting worse. The Left rejects even this obvious truth.

Unlike President Trump, who simply wants to preserve a safe and orderly system of immigration, the Left is playing politics with the issue. … For conservatives it makes no sense to open our southern border to millions of unvetted illegal immigrants.

To progressives, however, it does make sense, because progressives are pursuing a politics of disruption and division with the intent of overturning society. That politics is modeled on the tactics of Lenin, not on the constitutional foundation of our country.

President Trump Has Already Won. Conrad Black – “The president can’t lose this match politically, and as his opponents have descended beneath him, he has already won morally.” Also, one of the better descriptions or explanations of “a somewhat déclassé character.” .. “As president, Donald Trump has considerably moderated his formerly outlandish behavior.

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Divert. Deny. Accuse.

The Caravan Is A Threat To Americans In More Ways Than One. Dr. Nan Hayworth – “Democrats claim to care about aspiring immigrants, but taking a thoughtless approach to what should be an orderly process is actually a callous and cynical dereliction of responsibility to everyone involved:”

“When Democrats and media commentators deride the enforcement of our immigration laws and border integrity as “racist,” they’re not only being dishonest, but also irresponsible.

Allowing caravaners with serious illnesses to enter the United States without the health certification required of those who seek to immigrate legally will expose Americans to disease risks from which our laws have been designed to protect them.

Beyond that sensible and lifesaving precaution, we must also, reasonably and rationally, take into account the cost of providing healthcare to thousands of people when our infrastructure is already strained.

Blasey-Ford’s scared little girl voice has disappeared in first public statement since her Senate testimony. Thomas Lifson – “For the first time since her testimony, we now have the opportunity to hear her voice, and guess what! She doesn’t sound at all like the witness whose fear and suffering moved so many Democrats and feminists. She sounds like a grown-up, a professor, indeed.” … “Why it’s almost like two different people! Multiple personality disorder? Hypnosis? Acting?”

What is wrong with you, Sports Illustrated? Becket Adams – “There is so much wrong with Sports Illustrated’s decision to have Christine Blasey Ford present its 2018 Inspiration of the Year award, it is hard to know where to begin.” This is how the Left rewards its fallen, or used up, soldiers even if they lose their victim’s voice.

“Ford was not chosen for having any sort of meaningful affiliation with the award recipient, former gymnast Rachael Denhollander, whose testimony eventually led to the downfall of convicted sexual predator Larry Nassar. Ford was not chosen for any professional or personal achievements. Ford was chosen because she claimed she was sexually abused by Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, a claim that she came nowhere close to proving.

Cohen lied, broke the law and used Trump to get rich – and now blames Trump for his troubles. Jonathan Turley – “He claimed he was a trusting soul undone by the ambition and the machinations of an evil man – Donald Trump. … It played out like a modern take on the Tennessee Williams play “A Streetcar Named Desire.” He got three years. The Avanati client got dinged for nearly $300k. It seems popular trying to leverage Trump for fame and fortune but it doesn’t seem to work out as planned.

“When Trump didn’t protect Cohen with a pardon or intervention, Cohen turned to Mueller and began to publicly praise him while criticizing Trump. For his part, Mueller was clearly receptive to Cohen entreaties.

ndeed, this remake could be called “A Special Counsel Named Desire.” Mueller’s desire to build a case against President Trump – the man who Cohen described as being responsible for his undoing and leading him into “darkness” – is so overwhelming that he undercut other federal prosecutors.

For Tennessee Williams fans, it all seemed too familiar. Blanche explained how she rode a streetcar named Desire to her doom: “It brought me here. Where I’m not wanted and where I’m ashamed to be.”

Ace of Spades notes another prosecutorial outreach in another bimbo case. “Which is a strange thing, isn’t it? These women keep violating legal agreements to dish on Trump, almost as if they’re being paid to do so, and so don’t have to fear legal consequences of breaking contracts.”

“AMI has reached a plea deal and has received immunity for telling the US Attorney what the US Attorney wanted to hear, that this payment was made for the specific purpose of influencing a federal election and not just to keep a mouthy broad from disrupting Trump’s marital relations. The former reason would require an FEC disclosure, while the latter reason would not.

Note that immunity was secured by specifically claiming that the purpose was to influence the election. Without that, no case. So they got immunity by agreeing to testify to the prosecutor’s absolute must-have claim.

Eh. All right. This shit usually is handled with a fine — remember, Hillary Clinton deliberately misrepresented the reasons for her payments to Perkins-Coie as “legal services” when a substantial amount of that money went to oppo research, specifically “The Doisser” — and no one’s even talking about a fine for that, but I guess suddenly we’re taking this all very seriously.

Remember the good old days of the “Russia investigation?” Jazz Shaw – “Pardon my saying, but this entire story arc is absurd. I find myself agreeing with Rich Lowry (not exactly a fan of Trump’s), writing at Politico, who seems to view this entire episode in presidential history as a bad dime store novel with the final chapter torn out.”

Judge in Flynn case demands more documents before passing sentence. Thomas Lifson – “raising the possibility that a miscarriage of justice may finally be called out and the guilty plea coerced by Team Mueller thrown out.” There is a comparison and contrast here.

“Thanks to the sentencing memorandum filed by counsel for General Michael Flynn, we now see that the FBI used deception to ensnare him in a perjury trap. The Wall Street Journal summarizes the deception employed by or at the behest of James Comey and Peter Strzok, both now fired and revealed as fanatical Trump-haters:

It is hard for me to imagine a legitimate reason for filing (or revising?) the form 302 months after it was due. But I also can imagine no legitimate reason for the FBI not to record sound and video of all interviews instead of relying on the memory of its own agents.

I have my fingers crossed that Judge Sullivan will throw out the guilty plea and dismiss the case. Depending on what he finds in the documents he will receive, a public rebuke of the special counsel and FBI would be in order.

General Michael Flynn Outlines Deep State Gestapo Tactics To Try And Get Him To Turn Against POTUS Trump. by DCWhispers –

“Don’t buy into the Cohen guilty plea and sentencing hype the Establishment Media is now manufacturing. Cohen was primarily charged on misdeeds totally unrelated to his professional relationship with Donald Trump. Today we get a glimpse of just how insidious this entire get-Trump operations has been via words from General Michael Flynn who faced an onslought of intimidation very early on in the Mueller investigation via now disgraced former FBI Deputy Director, Andrew McCabe.

The FBI never did anything remotely like this to Hillary Clinton or the Obama administration despite multiple actual misdeeds and cover-ups by both. No, this is purely a means of trying to push a duly elected president, a true political outsider, out of office.

To his credit, General Flynn appears to have held the line and is now willing to share his experience combatting the serious abuses of federal authorities that attempted to destroy his life and reputation. What a terrible-terrible thing to have these high-ranking Deep State operatives running amok right now working against what has been one of the most successful and pro-American administrations in presidential history.

Clinton Whistleblowers: Thursday’s Public Hearing to Reveal “Explosive” Information. Sara Carter – “Rep. Meadows believes info being delivered for Thursday’s hearing to be ‘explosive’ in nature and may help connect the dots.” It is interesting that this sort of hype about Trump tends to fall flat but is heralded in the media Fake News™, e.g. Cohen sentencing, while this sort of hype about Clinton et al tends to hold up but be ignored by the media.

“A trove of documents on the Clinton Foundation alleging possible pay for play and tax evasion have been turned over to the FBI and IRS by several investigative whistleblowers, who will be testifying in an open hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Thursday, according to the committee and lawmakers.

Is There Anything Environmentalists Won’t Blame On Climate Change? Investor’s Business Daily – “CNN this week published a huge story saying the source of the migrant caravan wasn’t so much corrupt Central American governments, violence or lousy economic policies. It was climate change. This is just the latest attempt by environmentalists to blame any and all bad news — even acne — on climate change.”

“Unfortunately, playing fast and loose with the facts and jumping to wild conclusions is now the standard operating procedure when it comes to global warming.

Pick a topic and add “climate change” to it in a Google search and you’re likely to find some article or study suggesting a connection between the two.

The fanatics of food. neo – “the futility of trying to eat as though diet could make a person immortal is pretty much the point of the piece” … a cite to an Atlantic article highlighting the nature of so many arguments these days whether it be climate change, vaccinations, diet, energy, and more.

“there are contradictory ideologies: what is safe and clean to one is filth and decadence to another. …

Nutrition science itself is a self-correcting series of refutations. There is no certain path to purity and blamelessness through food. The only common thread between competing dietary ideologies is the belief that by adhering to them, one can escape the human condition, and become a purer, less animal, kind of being.

This is why arguments about diet get so vicious, so quickly. You are not merely disputing facts, you are pitting your wild gamble to avoid death against someone else’s.

China takes hostages? Two Canadians held in Huawei dispute. Ed Morrissey – “It turns out that US worries over conducting business and travel in China were justified.”

The Ninth Circuit’s Activist Midwinter Meeting. David E. Bernstein – “The liberal-dominated federal court of appeals lets its partisan and ideological freak flags fly.”

“The range of academic perspectives featured at the conference ranges from the very liberal Robert Post to the very liberal Erwin Chemerinsky. The keynote address is about Confederate monuments, a hot issue on the activist left but literally rather far afield for the West Coast-based Ninth Circuit. There’s even a panel on Russian cyberattacks on U.S. government institutions. Given the context of the Muller investigation, it’s hard to see this entirely as a response to concern about potential targeting of the judiciary.

None of these panels would be particularly noteworthy as one panel among a host of ideologically neutral or balanced panels more directly related to the Ninth Circuit’s work. But altogether the agenda reads more like the agenda of an activist organization than a federal judicial institution.

President Trump has engaged in a series of unseemly and generally unwarranted attacks on the partisan neutrality of the judiciary. This is a poor time for the Ninth Circuit to be giving his ilk ammunition.

Yep, “unseemly and generally unwarranted attacks” that are also true and important. Just what do you value, Bernstein? Isn’t unseemly and generally unwarranted rather descriptive of the 9th’s behavior?

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Playing what game?

The Hoax of ‘Climate Change’. Allison Nichols – “although it’s a monumental task, the youth of our nation who have been indoctrinated since grammar school, must come to understand that much of what they were spoon-fed in school is liberal progressive “save the planet” moral masquerading.”

‘Can’t anybody here play this game?’: Google skates again. Colin Flaherty – “At least the ranking Democrat – soon to be chair – Congressman Nadler, figured it out right away. He attacked conservatives for objecting to Google’s heavy-handed and deceptive treatment as “conspiracy theorists.” It’s another lesson on how they get away with it.

“Nadler knew that the real issue was Google’s hostility to conservatives and how the search engine titan is working to remove them from the public stage.

Nadler said none of that is really happening, and even if it is, that is OK with him. Meanwhile, on the other bench, Chairman Goodlatte spent a good chunk of his time wondering if Google is keeping track of people as they go up a flight of stairs using a fitness app – and more importantly, whether political candidates are getting the lowest possible rates as they do for print, radio, and television ads.

Not a word from the chairman on the daily hostility to conservatives emanating from Google. He was having a hard enough time reading his script, let alone figuring out how conservatives are under attack.

It is not just Google. Facebook, Twitter, and other outfits also target conservatives for extinction. We also know how easy it was for their executives to hornswoggle Republicans in Congress when questioned as to whether they too were anti-conservatives.

They too denied it. They too could barely stop themselves from bursting out laughing during their carefully crafted denials.

Let’s Prosecute Google For Illegal Campaign Contributions. John Hinderaker – “If we are going to start prosecuting illegal campaign contributions–sadly, too late to go after Barack Obama’s two scofflaw campaigns–maybe we should begin by charging Google and its executives with federal crimes.” Maybe it’s about which game you are playing?

Trump sprang three traps on Pelosi and Schumer yesterday. Thomas Lifson – “Knowing well that Pelosi had already vowed publicly that “transparency and openness” would characterize the Democrat-run House starting next month, her plaintive request to speak in private scored points for Trump and revealed her hypocrisy before any substance at all was considered.” Trump knows how to play the game Flaherty describes.

Trump to Schumer: You’re darned right I’ll order the Code Red for border security! Ed Morrissey – “With this exchange, though, Trump made it all about border security while Pelosi and Schumer fretted about “equities” of the politicians in Washington. It’s red meat for the base at no loss for Trump at all.”

19-year-old challenges Chicago political machine, Democrats respond with ‘clown car of felonies’. John Sexton – “Krupa collected 1,703, but said before he even turned them in, Quinn supporters turned in affidavits from 2,796 people who said they wanted to revoke their signatures for Krupa…” Democrats providing more lessons on how they play the game.

“Don’t hold your breath waiting for Democrats to do something about other Democrats committing election fraud. That’s not the Chicago way.

44 former Senators: ‘The foundational principles of our democracy’ are at stake. John Sexton – “So if you had to guess what a group that is 3/4 Democrats meant when warning about the dangers of partisanship, what would you guess they had in mind?” When you are skating on thing ice, it’s better not to be too clear in communications. Play the game!

“The most charitable reading of this is that there are partisans on the left (the House) and the right (the White House) who need to be held in check by the adults in the room (the Senate). That might explain why the letter keeps bringing up “simmering regional conflicts and global power confrontations.” It’s a warning not to take our eye off the ball while Iran is testing missiles, North Korea is building underground test sites, Russia is meddling in Ukraine, France is overwhelmed with riots, etc., etc. The world won’t stop burning because we decide to spend a year focused on partisan enthusiasms. As the world’s only superpower, we need to stay focused on America’s role in things happening beyond our domestic disputes.

The less charitable read is that a group of former Democratic Senators have roped in ten former Republican Senators to argue against putting up a fight when the wave of resistance efforts is launched by the new Democratic House in coordination with the findings of the Mueller’s investigation. The message here could be: For the sake of the country, don’t fight it. And given some of the names of the Democrats involved, that reading also seems entirely plausible.

The Dangers of Asymmetry. Victor Davis Hanson – “International disequilibrium in trade, religious freedoms, immigration — plenty of Americans are fed up.” caution: National Review is a nagware site. It will be joining the Washington Times’ reduced priority soon.

“All these asymmetries become force multipliers of one another, creating widespread exasperation on the part of Americans.

That vexation especially is magnified when foreign diplomatic officials or residents inside the U.S. lecture Americans on their moral shortcomings for not opening their border without restraint.

The Tyranny of the Judiciary and What to Do about It. Jon N. Hall – “Impeachment is a difficult means of dealing with rogue federal judges, and it may be even more difficult once the House is taken over by Democrats in January.”

“It doesn’t seem right that one person in one branch of government can summarily stop the activities of another branch of government. Something needs to be done. But if impeachment is too much, then what’s to be done about these lower-court judges throwing monkey wrenches into the executive? At the very least, appeals of these injunctions need to be greatly expedited.

Except for the Supreme Court, it would seem that Article III gives the Congress carte blanche to abolish the entire federal judiciary. If such a radical reorg of the judiciary seems “a bridge too far” right now, then perhaps Congress could abolish just the Ninth Circuit – just to send a message.

School teaches kids to avoid work, make excuses. Joanne – “School prepares young people to avoid effort, fake knowledge, make excuses and manipulate teachers writes Bernie Bleske, a former high school slacker and long-time high school teacher.”

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Demented?

Attacking Sully. James Aaron Brown – “Our high moral principles do not eschew science, mock dogs, or act unkindly.” … but that is what we get from folks such as Ruth Graham at Slate.

“Ruth felt her greatest contribution would be to point out Sully was simply an employee, and not a beloved family pet. Furthermore, she sought to do what many in her camp might do, impose a postmodern and deconstructionist interpretation upon a photo. She then imposes a false narrative of power struggle between a dominant master (who had Parkinson’s and needed a service dog to help him function throughout his day) on a helpless creature conscripted into training and forced to help 41. Her rationale? This is what Sully was trained to do as an employee.

Why was Sully lying in front of the casket of 41? According to Graham, “…it’s a bit demented to project soul-wrenching grief onto a dog’s decision to lie down in front of a casket.” Well, if we use science, then we will take stock of previous observations and compare similar accounts of dogs with funerals. We will then look at studies or seek out experts like Dr. Coren to see if there is any meaningful correlation. If we don’t apply our own confirmation bias, as it seems Graham did in her article, we will find that Sully is doing what many a child with the same cognitive abilities and what other dogs in Sully’s situation do.

If our society’s goal is to entertain ourselves with false criticism, Slate proves this point. However, I am convinced that deep down, the American people aspire to something greater

How Much Blood Would Leftists Be Willing To Shed To Disarm Patriotic Americans? Kurt Schlichter – “After all, it’s not as if you Democrats don’t already have a history of killing people for having guns you disapprove of.”

“So, in light of his party’s track record, I want to know how many people Rep. Swalwell – who fancies himself a potent Democrat presidential contender – is prepared to see die so he can ensure Americans are disarmed in order to please the liberal Californians he represents. How many?

Spielberg warns of the danger of ‘collective hate’. John Sexton – “I point all of that out not to diminish the real threat to Jewish people, which clearly does exist, but to point out that the cause of the current rise in anti-Semitic attacks may be more complicated than some of the simplistic analysis being offered in the national media.”

VDH takes on an “angry reader” as usual by using the criticism to illustrate reality. “Not admitting such an obvious truth is both intellectually dishonest and privileges ideology over empiricism. The anonymous author’s case is not helped by puerile ranting like the following: But Hansen (sic) will never point the finger at his Republican friends, it’s always, liberals, environmentalists, etc..

“No one is calling for mass strip logging or vast controlled burns and unlimited grazing, but rather for a balanced approach of greater harvesting, managed preventative burns, closer cooperation with grazing and timber interests, and greater worry given to human safety and security—which is tragically not state or federal policy in California.

The war on standards: fare-jumping edition. Paul Mirengoff – “Fare-jumping is, of course, a form of theft. And not an innocuous form. The local transit authority loses more than $25 million a year due to fare evasion.” Let the rationalizing begin.

“Reducing the penalty to a $50 fine with no possibility of arrest and/or fail time will mean even more lost revenue. The fine is light and unlikely to be collected in many cases. Jack Evans, chairman of the transit authority and one of the two city counsel members to vote against decriminalization, points out that unlike with parking tickets, where the city can block vehicle registration for unpaid citations, there is no good mechanism for mandating payment of a civil citation for fare-jumping.

What, then, is the argument for going so lightly on fare-jumpers? It’s a familiar one: Blacks disproportionately refuse to comply with the requirement of paying their fare.

It’s sad that African-Americans make up such a large percentage of scofflaws in Washington D.C. However, it’s difficult to see why this fact justifies going soft on fare-jumping to the detriment of the financial viability of public transportation.

In addition to the concrete costs the new law will inflict on the transit system, and ultimately its riders, the legislation is insidious. Lowering standard and, in effect, laughing off what has always been deemed criminal behavior (in this case, outright theft) simply because one segment of the population refuses to comply is a recipe for societal decline.

At the low end of criminality spectrum, fare-jumping will now effectively be excused, at least in D.C. At the high end, there is a bipartisan push to grant significant leniency to major drug dealers, with racial disproportionality a major argument advanced in favor of this move.

What other crimes will we be asked to shrug our shoulders at, or go much easier on, in the name of racial equity?

It’s spin to call 1850-1900 “pre-industrial era”. Luboš Motl – “The climate hysteria has faded away but some people keep on doing their propaganda work as if it were 2007.”

“All these examples, the definition or the very existence of seasons, the definition of the pre-industrial era, or the main function of time to describe the global climate, show that the political goals have become more important than the scientific truth in this discipline. Most of the people who were hired to this discipline since 1988 or so became (or have always been) fraudsters and demagogues who are spinning and fabricating the facts, terminology, and emphases in order to strengthen the case for a predetermined political goal. This is not science.

Demented?

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Strike out. Doesn’t seem to matter. Yet?

Return to civility means surrender to the Democrats and media. J. Marsolo – “President Bush was a gentleman, a war hero, and courteous and civil to his political opponents. But his opponents, Dems and the media, were not civil to him, nor were they civil in their opposition to Bush’s policies and nominees.”

“In sum, Trump is not “civil” because he replies to his opponents who viciously attack him. Bush was civil because he raised taxes, attacked the NRA, and did not reply to those who attacked him. The Dems and the media want to return to the “civility” where the Dems and media attack and destroy, and Trump does not respond to the attacks. The Dems and the media are not used to a Republican who fights back when attacked.

Trump fights back, while the “civil” Republicans lay down and took the abuse like good sports. How dare Trump be anything but civil?

Ace of Spades uses a Jonah Goldberg example to illustrate why people like Glenn Reynolds avoid Twitter. Screaming Fake News™ then whispering corrections …

“It’s not good for society when two camps have contradictory beliefs about the basic facts they build their worldviews on — and those who do this deliberately, or who are churlish and grudging about correcting LIES they pumped out to the world (albeit unwillingly) are adding to the strife and division they write one column every two weeks decrying.

It would be good if we could all agree on the facts, wouldn’t it?

The war on standards, STEM edition. Paul Mirengoff – “Underlying this nonsense is the dogmatic assumption that, but for systemic discrimination and “microaggressions,” female representation in STEM would equal male representation.”

 

“Heather Mac Donald has written and spoken extensively about how identity politics is hampering America’s ability to maintain its dominance in STEM fields. Our main competitors, most notably China, are focused on making sure the best scientists, mathematicians, and engineers are doing the work. They care nothing about gender. And they spend virtually every dollar related to STEM on hard research and analysis.

The U.S., by contrast, is preoccupied with the gender and (to a lesser extent) the race and ethnicity of who is in the lab. And we pour money into promoting identity politics in STEM.
… 
Somehow, one doubts that China is indulging in these self-defeating shenanigans.

Ninth Circuit fully beclowns itself on illegal immigration. Jazz Shaw – “despite being smacked down by the Supreme Court on review, the judges on Tuesday went one step further and began striking down (or at least weakening) federal immigration law.”

 

“Tashima, who was originally nominated as a District Court judge by Jimmy Carter and later elevated to the Ninth Circuit by Bill Clinton, seems to be taking an overly broad view of the free speech issue. Certainly, the First Amendment protects even the most unpopular speech and opinions, but it’s long been established that there are limits to that right.

What’s under discussion here is not an airing of opinions or debate of an issue. It’s an example of incitement to engage in criminal behavior. We already have similar laws on the books and have for ages. Laws covering Incitement to Riot (under Title 18) draw clear distinctions between “urging or instigating other persons” (which is illegal) and “advocacy of ideas or expressions of belief, not involving advocacy of any act” (which is not illegal).

WaPo: Four Pinocchios to kickstart AOC’s Congressional career. Ed Morrissey gets in a ‘both sides do it’ dig here that contradicts itself. That is a form of rationalizing a deceit that is, perhaps, at the foundation of the point he is making. When it comes to the Left, incidents and facts of significance are cited as examples. When it comes to Trump (notable selection bias indication on this), it is just vague allegation.

“However, this episode demonstrates an uncomfortable fact of public life that has been expanding for quite a long time. At least politically, we have moved into a post-fact world. Some will point to Donald Trump as the main driver, and while he’s certainly a contributor, he’s hardly the starting point. Perhaps it began with Vietnam or Watergate; possibly one could point to Iran-Contra and have some justification. What seems undeniable is that we had begun moving in that direction by the time Monica’s blue dress emerged and suddenly presidential perjury was deemed not a big deal, and we had fully embraced it by the time we heard that a video was the cause of our woefully undersecured and abandoned consulate in Benghazi being sacked. Hillary Clinton ran just as shamelessly as Trump did in 2016, refusing to tell the truth about her own abuses of power.

Ocasio-Cortez will keep fact-checkers busy with her ignorance on math, budgets, and policy, but she won’t be the only one. We’ve incentivized shameless prevarication, and the only ones who will benefit from it are the demagogues and the fact-checkers who may or may not bother to unwind their lies. Kudos to Rizzo for aggressively checking Ocasio-Cortez in this instance, but until we care about honesty in political debate, we’re gonna send a lot more Ocasio-Cortezes his way while they talk us into disastrous policies — like Medicare for All.

On this, consider a VDH ‘angry reader’ response. The claim is the narrative “Since you never state that POTUS lies 80-85% of the time when he speaks publicly, what are some examples of his fake news.” VDH notes the ad hominem and lack of specificity in the claim and suggests “why not just focus on one network, CNN, and consider just a few of their more recent transgressions?

The headlines today are about Michael Flynn. See From fishy beginning, Mueller case against Michael Flynn nears end with no jail recommendation. Byron York – “What the sentencing recommendation did not address was the sketchy beginnings of the Flynn investigation.”

“Hill Republicans have been suspicious about the the Flynn case for quite a while. But they have not been able to get their hands on some key documents and testimony that might tell them what happened.

House investigators have a chance to learn more this week when, on Friday, Comey appears for a behind-closed-doors interview with members of the Judiciary and Oversight committees.

One-Eyed-Jack Law. Victor Davis Hanson – “Criminals and partisans, accusing others of criminality and partisanship.” Here’s a catalog to peruse …

“Mueller cannot fulfill the hype of the past 18 months, which forecast that the “all-stars,” the “dream-team,” and the Mueller “army” would make short work of the supposedly buffoonish Trump by proving that he colluded with Russia to swing an election. Collusion, remember, was hyped as doing what the Logan Act, the emoluments clause, the 25th Amendment, impeachment, media frenzy, and assassination-chic rhetoric had not.

By indicting a number of minor characters on charges that so far have nothing to do with collusion — for purported crimes mostly committed after the special-counsel appointment — Mueller has emphasized the quantity rather than the quality of indictments.

Mueller has already weaponized politics, making a crime out of the tawdry business of opposition research — but only sort of, since his interests in doing so are highly selective. And so his chief legacy will have little to do with whatever he finds on Donald Trump. He has already established the precedent that there is now no real equality under the law, at least as Americans once understood fair play and blind justice.

Such skullduggery poses the question of whether Mueller’s investigation has been simply derailed by partisanship. Or has it effectively served as a deliberate distraction from the felonious behavior of dozens of Obama-administration and Clinton-campaign officials — all determined to ensure, by any means necessary, that Trump would never be president?

Scott Johnson says Analyze this – “In my contrarian “Notes on the Cohen plea,” I made these points among others: … Now what? Probably nothing. I do not pretend to know. The truth of the matter nevertheless has its own continuing claim on our attention.”

Another take: Mueller strikes out trying to nail Trump – Flynn sentencing memo is a big nothing. Gregg Jarrett – “The memo isn’t a “smoking gun” showing President Trump colluded with Russians to win the 2016 presidential election or did anything else illegal.”

“Flynn should never have been prosecuted. The FBI agents who interviewed him concluded that he was telling the truth. This was confirmed by both former FBI Director James Comey and his deputy, Andrew McCabe, when they testified before congressional investigators. Had Mueller been forced to prove his case in court, he would have lost.

The law requires that a false statement be made “willfully and knowingly” (18 U.S.C. 1001). If Flynn’s recollection of the conversation with Russian Ambassador Kislyak is inconsistent with a transcript of their conversation, secretly recorded, it is not a crime. If Flynn interpreted his discussion differently than the FBI, it is also not a crime.

Flynn pleaded guilty not because he lied, but because Mueller crushed him financially and threatened to take legal action against the retired Army general’s son.

Flynn’s decision was understandable. Mueller’s actions were, and are, unconscionable and wrong.

Bureaucrats have the power to turn a tiny glitch into an insurmountable hurdle. Luboš Motl – “As you know, I hate bureaucracy – and some very real and viscerally unpleasant experience with bureaucratic operations is a substantial part of my opposition to the ideals of the Big Government, or almost any government or a left-wing social construct, for that matter.” A tale of woe, an example, and a warning…

“Now, the whole system is corrupt – too many pensioners want their pensions to go up and they will support any liar, perhaps any murderer or any kind of scum, as long as it will increase their expectation value of their pension. What are the prospects of a nation where democracy turns into this corruption where liars increasingly steal the money from the productive part of the nation and they are defending of their increasingly self-evident lies? As Benjamin Franklin said, once the people find out they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic. And we are seeing it in Czechia. When “democracy” wins over some totally self-evident and demonstrable facts and truths, it’s too bad.

The Coyote has found a take on the Russian Collusion, from TA Frank at Vanity Fair, “that seems to almost perfectly capture my current take on the whole affair.” It is honest in that it accepts the lack of supporting evidence. It suffers otherwise. Note the vague allegations that tend towards ad hominem (“Certainly, Trump’s ethical standards are low”) and judgmental rather than opinion. The definition of sleaze is also interesting. Then there is the attempt to minimize the Clinton impeachment as simple, justifiable perjury rather than perjury about domestic violence and abuse of intern relationships. That leads to excusing what the assault on Trump is doing in regards to relationships and dealing with Russia, a matter that has very serious implications. Indeed, Frank seems to think all is peachy keen with Russia despite goings-on in places like the Ukraine or the missile treaty or other expressions of Russian aggression.

 

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Conspiracy needs exceptional support. Is it there?

A Picture Is Worth More Than A Thousand Words To The Trained Eye. Jamie Wells, M.D – “Omission in itself, intentional or not, foments an inaccurate to more demonstrably false narrative depending on the degree.”

“With the rapid pace of technology spreading a word or image globally in a matter of seconds, the old saying “a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on” is ever the more relevant today. We are a quick assumption first, deal with the collateral damage of corrective action later culture. And it is to our detriment. This manifests in little to big ways.

there are many ways to respect individual privacy and a person’s autonomy to disclose as much or as little as they desire and clarify inconsistent and erroneous messages that get spread as a result. But, the most important method of achieving this often delicate dance is urging the reintroduction into our culture of critical thinking and reasoning. Accepting what is shown as is with spoon-fed consumption does not make for an informed participant in society.

What’s the lesson? Because many sayings are timeless for a reason, when it comes to being intellectually honest and learning “the devil is in the details.”

The Scientifically Ignorant Drive GMO Debate. Alex Berezow – “There’s no nice way to put this. The scientifically ignorant are driving society’s science debates.”

“A few years ago, I reported on a study that found that people who were uninterested in science were the ones who were most fearful of it. I wrote that they “believe that science causes more problems than it solves, believe that humans should not tamper with nature, [and] feel that technology advances too quickly for them to understand.”

That paper’s finding was in complete agreement with the results of the new Pew study. And it adds to the growing narrative that one of the biggest threats to science comes from a society that remains willfully ignorant about it. How can we educate people about science if they don’t want to be educated?

Even worse, there are plenty of people who are willing to make a quick buck by cashing in on the public’s ignorance. …

It’s simply a truth of human nature that we are far more motivated by fear than by gratitude. That’s why political campaigns are almost universally about how horrible the other candidate is. It’s much easier to get a person to vote against someone (out of fear) rather than for someone (out of gratitude).

The bottom line, then, is that science debates are actually a struggle against human nature. And that is one tough thing to overcome, but it can be done.

The gender wage gap. Neo – “A new study underlines what many of us already knew.”

“It is very similar to the old “equality of opportunity” (the conservative point of view, although it was once also the liberal point of view) versus “equality of outcome” (the current leftist/liberal point of view, because leftist and liberal have increasingly fused).

The American public has been slowly, and then recently more quickly, moving to the latter goal from the former one: outcome vs. mere opportunity. How did this happen? …

It also helps that most people do not understand research and statistics. … since the basics also seem to be beyond the grasp of many people, most people are going to rely on interpreters of research—for example, articles in the MSM—to elucidate matters. And since the MSM has its own agenda, and that agenda is political rather than an objective reporting on the facts, way too many readers are going to assume that the MSM’s summary of the meaning of a research finding is reliable.

In other words, propaganda works, and the less a person knows about the actual subject matter, the more likely the propaganda will work for that person

The Best Argument Yet for Keeping the Caravan Out. Pedro Gonzalez – “Love, like hate, can blind us from seeing things as they really are. America is in a toxic relationship with immigration, and like a battered spouse, progressives keep crawling back to the same tropes and lies.”

Does ‘Make X Great Again’ Ever Happen in History? Victor Davis Hanson – “it is a scary idea that the fate of making America great again might hinge on the nihilism of the Democratic Party.”

Expert thinks Trump was set up. Don Surber – “At least six people with long-established ties to the FBI or to U.S. and Western intelligence made entrees to key figures in the Trump business organization or his presidential campaign between March and October 2016,” Solomon wrote.

Notes on the Cohen plea (2). Scott Johnson – “Sources tell Sperry that Mueller apparently withheld exculpatory evidence in the Criminal Information he filed last week against Cohen for lying about the duration of talks about a never-realized Moscow Trump Tower.” … “I would add, however, that I am quite sure it will not look anything like exoneration in Mueller’s report.”

Senator Mark Warner: The SSCI is “Working Closely” With Robert Mueller. sundance – “This is not me just haphazardly making a theory of how a corrupt Senate Committee and a corrupt Special Counsel working in concert with each other with mutual interests. This stuff is in our faces. All of the data-points involving the SSCI go in one direction…. toward corruption. There is not a single data-point going in the other direction.”

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imaginary hobgoblins, foreboding

New U.S. Climate Report a ‘Scientific Embarrassment’. Tom Harris And Dr. Madhav Khandekar – “The 1,656-page NCA report, produced by a team from thirteen federal agencies, is riddled with imaginary hobgoblins. Especially mistaken is the NCA’s repeated reference to increased warming and extreme weather events, both in the recent past and in the future.” The real question is why there is such mass delusion despite overwhelming evidence.

Nir Shaviv in Bundestag. Luboš Motl – “Gene has informed me that the Israeli astrophysicist, climate skeptic, and TRF guest blogger Nir Shaviv gave a testimony in the German Parliament, the greenest Parliament of any country in the world, on Wednesday.” It’s another example to the effect climate alarmism has on stimulating questionable behavior, especially in reactions against those who try to expose fantasy to reality.

Blackouts, deaths and civil unrest: warning over Scotland’s rush to go green. From The Herald Scotland, Sandra Dick – “A massive gap in the electricity system caused by the closure of coal-fired power stations and growth of unpredictable renewable generation has created the real prospect of complete power failure.” Read the full story here.

William Safire on Bungling Bob Mueller. Don Surber – “Safire pointed out that their excuse to seize power was to stop another 9/11.” … “Thus we see the seizure of new powers of surveillance is a smokescreen to hide failure to use the old power.”

“Safire saw the federal government for what it is: a bunch of blowhards covering their backsides. He also laid into John Ashcroft, the attorney general who proved conservatives are just as inept as liberals.

Fishing expeditions are Mueller’s specialty.

“This is not some nightmare of what may happen someday. It happened last week. Jim Sensenbrenner, chairman of House Judiciary, said the removal of restraints made him ‘queasy;’ Pat Leahy of Senate Judiciary is too busy blocking judges to object. Some sunshine libertarians are willing to suffer this loss of personal freedom in the hope that the Ashcroft-Mueller rules of intrusion may prevent a terror attack. They won’t because they’re a fraud.”

Remember Prague? In Michael Cohen plea deal, Mueller says nothing about key collusion allegation. Byron York – “the chattering class instantly began talking about the failed Trump Tower Moscow project.”

“it turns out the Cohen plea agreement also made news in what it did not cover. Specifically, it spoke volumes — without saying a word — about a key allegation of the Trump dossier, the charge that Cohen traveled to Prague to arrange secret payments to Russian hackers attacking the Clinton campaign. The accusation is the heart of the collusion allegation, and Trump-Russia special counsel Robert Mueller’s deal with Cohen strongly suggests that prosecutors have not found evidence to support it.

For more than a year, a number of Trump-Russia investigators on Capitol Hill have maintained that none of the dossier’s substantive allegations are true. The new plea deal between Cohen and Mueller is more evidence to support that.

But evidence doesn’t seem to matter to many. They’ ll make it up if they need to to keep their narrative going.

Foreboding – FBI Raids Home of Clinton Foundation Whistleblower. Sundance – “Make sure you read the entire [Daily Caller] article because if the DOJ was intending to throw a bag over the entire Clinton Foundation investigation and cover-it-up, that raid is exactly what they would do.”

“If the reporting of the raid by the Daily Caller is accurate; and given the nature of the timing for that raid; and accepting the at risk elements within the whistleblower case extended beyond Hillary Clinton to Robert Mueller; and noting how the SSCI was the recipient of the information/evidence as transmitted by Michael Horowitz; there is a solid appearance of the DOJ maneuvering to cover-up the underlying DOJ/FBI corruption by seizing -and controlling- all of the evidence.

How is this level of blatant disregard possible? Seriously, I really don’t know

It would appear there is no limit to what the corrupt Deep State officials will do to hide their unlawful activity; and apparently there’s not an honest person amid the organizations who can stop them. FUBAR. Very disturbing.

I hope I’m wrong.

Maybe there’s a valid reason for this FBI raid; if so, I can’t think of one.

Thomas Sowell – “Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good.”

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History speaks

Why this new meme on social media is not just wrong, but belittling. Donna Laframboise – “There is now a long history of environmental doom mongering, of dire predictions pre-dating even the 1960s and 1970s, that have *always* failed to materialize. From that perspective, climate skeptics know their history & have learned from it.”

“How many failed predictions of eco-apocalypse are necessary before those who approach climate change with healthy skepticism are no longer dismissed as morons?

Belittling people, distorting their position so that they look stupid, gets us nowhere. It doesn’t change anyone’s mind. It doesn’t promote mutual respect. Instead it wounds, it insults, it polarizes.

Failed Oregon Solar Equipment Plant Leaves Behind Millions in Taxpayer Losses. Bonner R. Cohen – “From The Heartland Institute November 26, 2018 By Bonner R. Cohen A multi-year effort by federal, state, and local agencies to prop up an Oregon solar-panel manufacturer has ended in a shuttered factory, millions of taxpayer dollars down the drain, and a heavily polluted manufacturing site. A multi-year effort by federal, state, and local agencies

‘Junk Science’ Is Everywhere, And The Media Eat It Up. Ashe Schow – “It’s become a profitable industry, where scheming researchers get taxpayer-funded grants to find specific conclusions, then those manipulated and fake conclusions are reported back to the public as if they are real, and then policies and recommendations are made that further cost people money.”

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Fighting the Fake. a Sisyphean task?

Global Warming: Fake Science Again Serves Far-Left Political Agenda. Investor’s Business Daily – “Time for mass panic? Nope. Just more fake science.” Yeh, but just try to tell that to the Vatican

 

“The new National Climate Assessment (NCA) report, the fourth since 2000, seems to suggest a coming climate disaster, to paraphrase the film comedy “Ghost Busters,” of “epic, even biblical proportions.” But its forecasts and models border on the absurd. At some point, the scientific malpractice in these global warming scare reports has to end.

“The Fourth National Climate Assessment offers no hard evidence, just vague assertions and claims that past climate change is no evidence about future climate change,” wrote Dr. Ken Haapala, president of the Science and Environmental Policy Project. “It earns the distinction that it does not meet the standards of the Information Quality Act, and each page should be stamped: ‘Based on speculation, not hard evidence.’ ”

As we said, at some point the scientific malpractice of these government exercises in global warming propaganda has to end. This isn’t fake news. It’s fake science, which is just as dangerous.

So don’t let these phony predictions of imminent climate doom made by government bureaucrats frighten you. Be angry instead.

 

Latest Global Warming Lies from US Global Change Research Program. Norman Rogers – “The many scientists that dispute this junk science are ruthlessly attacked and marginalized.” … “The brazenness of the fake science is often shocking.”

 

“Junk science and fake science are not limited to global warming. They are invading many important areas of science. For example, the danger of low level radiation has been exaggerated by persistent use of a model not supported by data. The supposed danger of PM2.5 or small particles, smaller than 2.5 microns, that are suspended in the air, has been exaggerated without good evidence. The danger of DDT was exaggerated with the result that millions of children were killed by malaria. In each case there are special interests that profit from spreading junk science. Stories predicting disaster sell and the science establishment is selling.

The corruption of science has its roots in the political funding of science by the federal government. Somehow we have to make it less profitable for scientists to make up science. Peer review is a joke and doesn’t work. Certainly it would help if the public and the media were skeptical about any scientific theory that predicts a disaster unless we do what the scientists and their allies want us to do.

 

Why climate litigation is out of place. Donald J. Kochan – “we should be sensible when deciding what branches of government should navigate the heated debate.”

 

“Nevertheless, a recent nationwide strategy has looked to unelected judges and juries to craft climate policy. What might be called “the judicial strategy” started in 2015, with states like New York and Massachusetts beginning “civil investigative demand” inquiries into energy companies. And these efforts reached new heights recently when Acting New York AG Barbara Underwood filed a civil suit against ExxonMobil claiming it defrauded shareholders by supposedly hiding knowledge of climate change impacts through accounting practices that are not all that unusual across myriad industries.

 

Sierra Club joins Big Wind Bullies at Apex, Diminishing our Environment. Mkbarton – “Never forget, it was a brave representative of the Los Angeles chapter of the Sierra Club, Bob Hattoy, who coined the term “the Cuisinarts of the air” in a late 1980s battle against a wind project in Gorman, California.”

 

“Today’s Sierra Club has strayed so far from Muir’s original mission of protecting life and our natural environment it is unbelievable. We are greatly saddened to see the Sierra Club (a group many of us used to support) now lobbying for the destruction of vast swaths of rural America with industrial wind sprawl, while also shamelessly advocating for abortion and other far-left ideologies that have nothing to do with protecting the environment.

 

Exposed: A Key Element of the Wind Energy Fraud. John Hinderaker – “When it comes to energy, you cannot get reliable information from “mainstream” sources or from the government. “Green” energy investors like Tom Steyer have gamed the system, and whoever pays electric bills–i.e., everyone else–is the sucker in their game.”

Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC wins the prize for the stupidest comment on the border assault. Thomas Lifson – “There is a lot of competition, but one Trump-hater stands out for utter, implausible, easily-refuted inanity in attempting to demonize opposition to the organized attempt to force our southern border open to anyone who wants to come here and sign up for the rich subsidies and benefits offered to poor people.”

 

Jim Acosta’s lecturing of President Trump about harmlessness of caravan requires an apology. Thomas Lifson – “for his inaccurate contentions about the harmlessness of the caravan and his prediction that they wouldn’t storm the border. He should have heeded Yogi Berra, who warned, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” … Twitter is full of humor at Acosta’s expense

 

Secretary Nielsen reports. Scott Johnson – “an update on what occurred and attempt to dispel many of the rumors and much of the misinformation circulating.”

 

“First, the violence we saw at the border was entirely predictable. This caravan, unlike previous caravans, had already entered #Mexico violently and attacked border police in two other countries. I refuse to believe that anyone honestly maintains that attacking law enforcement with rocks and projectiles is acceptable. It is shocking that I have to explain this, but officers can be seriously or fatally injured in such attacks. Self-defense isn’t debatable for most law-abiding Americans.

 

At the border: dealing with the invasion that isn’t an invasion. Neo – “The bad news (although it’s not news in the sense that it’s certainly not new): the US left (which now has come to include most Democrats, it seems) finds this outrageous. The tear gas, that is.” All of a sudden, SOP under Obama is now reason for outrage.

 

“The mob that stormed the border was not a Children’s Crusade; it consisted predominantly of young men. There were some children and women in it as well, however, a leaf out of the Palestinian book of putting children in harm’s way in order to get some good photo ops and play on the sympathies of the left in the country trying to protect its border. Tear gas is a miserable experience, but its time-honored use is to disperse crowds without the use of more permanently harmful means of crowd control.

The entire approach is a sort of left-handed (and leftist-generated) compliment to the people of the country it is used against. The more brutal the country really is, the less likely the opposing force is likely to use it, because truly brutal countries have no qualms whatsoever about using the deadliest of forces against anyone—including children—who would invade it, storm it, or otherwise harm it.

 

Why We Hate the Media, Chapter 12,186. Steven Hayward – “As if we need any more reason to distrust media bias, this juxtaposition says it all:” It’s the NYT from January and November. Fake News is not just False News.

 

Watergate revisited. Scott Johnson – “For those of us who lived through the days of Watergate, the Mueller Switch Project makes us feel young again. It is easy to forget, however, how little we know even to this day about the facts underlying the Watergate scandal.” Alinsky’s rules could make an interesting counterpoint.

Jack Shafer: the conservative revolt against twitter.Wake me up when this sad little uprising is over.” … Or as Ben Domenech wrote last night in a multipart tweet “Jack Shafer’s piece unintentionally illustrates why his suggestion for conservatives on Twitter utterly misses the point.”. Stephen Green picks up on this bit of misdirection at Instapundit. – “My take is that Shafer was in such a hurry to condemn Glenn’s self-removal from Twitter as “sad,” that he missed the real story. … Or if you’d like an even shorter take on Shafer’s latest for Politico: Fake news.”

 

 

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