Archive for government

A stunning level of deception

Melania’s parents become U.S. citizens, the left melts down by Karen Townsend – “First Lady Melania Trump’s parents became U.S. citizens Thursday. In Trump’s America, this feel-good story turned the ugly left and their cohorts in the press into indignant critics.”

“And, the critics continue to conflate President Trump’s intention to reduce illegal immigration with an attempt to eliminate immigration. The descriptive word that is left out is the most important – ‘illegal’.

What is stunning to me, really, is this level of deception from the legal community and the journalists who can’t wait to quote them. That’s the real hypocrisy. They know better but they just don’t care because it is how they frame the narrative.

Graham: Why didn’t the FBI warn Trump like they warned Feinstein? By Ed Morrissey – “In order to get Lindsey Graham’s point in this discussion with Harris Faulkner, first you’d have to know about the spy on Dianne Feinstein’s staff.”

“Graham wants to know why the FBI warned Dianne Feinstein about a suspected spy but never bothered to tell Donald Trump about their suspicions over Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.

Let’s not forget that the penetration in Feinstein’s case was much more significant, too. The warning from the FBI came after the man had been in Feinstein’s employ for “two decades,” as the local CBS affiliate noted last week. The FBI had evidence of direct and covert contact between the suspect and China’s intelligence operatives. Feinstein was also a high-value target as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, with access to the most sensitive information held by the US government, including from our intelligence partners around the globe. And yet, the FBI reached out to Feinstein rather than open a counter-intelligence probe with her as a potential target, even though Feinstein’s family has profited extensively through contacts with China during her tenure.

In contrast, Donald Trump was a businessman running for president with three questionable advisers. Graham doesn’t see why the FBI didn’t prioritize hygiene over investigation in that case as they did with Feinstein

Too bad readers of the New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times won’t know what Graham’s talking about.

Cotton to Kamala Harris: no more Kavanaugh documents by Karen Townsend – ‘You Already Said You’re Voting No’ https://t.co/Hh5w4QQetg

“Harris’ intentions have been clear from the start. She hasn’t even met with Kavanaugh yet she has expressed a definitive opinion.

When Democrats realized that they have no procedural way of railroading Kavanaugh’s nomination, other than excessive demands of documents to slow it down, their level of frustration grew to a new level. Senator Harris is even on record declaring that “We’re looking at the destruction of the Constitution of the United States” with the nomination. Talk about hyperbole! She said it on MSNBC to host Chris Matthews so she was picking the right audience for such partisan drama.

There was a time that senators recognized that a president is entitled to his nominations, barring no extraordinary circumstances. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was nominated by President Clinton in 1993 and was confirmed 96-3. No Republican was under the impression that she was a moderate. It was even common practice to use voice votes for nominees up through the LBJ administration. That would be impossible now.

The Problem with Gay Marriage by David Solway – “Although I regard the reduction of identity to one’s sexual preferences, whatever these might be, as a diminishment of the complex spectrum of human personality, I have nothing against the practice of homosexuality – to each his own – and considered it a non-issue and none of my business.”

“Then and now, however, I believed as a matter of principle that redefining marriage was another kettle entirely. People can manage their private passions as they wish, provided they remain within the common law, but marriage has to be defended not only as a binding compact between two people and an expression of religious faith, but as a social institution whose role is twofold: the preservation of cultural life and the procreation of the species.

For these reasons, marriage can be only a contract between a man and woman.

This is why Marxism, for example, considers marriage an institution that needs to be destroyed, since procreant marriage with all its attendant responsibilities is the foundation of bourgeois society.

None of these considerations carried any weight with my literary colleague, who accused my wife and me of rejecting his “essential humanity” and broke off all communication, saying the issue was “non-negotiable” and all discussion would henceforth cease.

My friend would have none of it. He demanded total assent and expected our congratulations. But as he once wrote me about another matter, “you don’t owe a friend a lie.” It’s a maxim worth living by.

First step in a lie is the lie to one’s self. It is one thing to be intransigent on a position but another to cut off any discussion about that position or, especially, any one or any thing that might even just hold differing views.

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Ohr notes, Russian assassinations, Chinese spies, who’s the enemy?

Rudy’s Shot Across Mueller’s Bow by Mark Wauck – “With Paul Sperry stating that President Trump is about to begin declassifying some key documents, we may soon have a better picture of what’s been going on in the Mueller “probe.”

“But we may already be getting a preview, based on the handful of Steele/Ohr emails that we’ve already seen.

In other words: Ohr’s activities could only have been part of an unauthorized campaign by government officials against the President of the United States.

As it turns out, Ohr has also been discussing the planned course of action with people in Washington, and he quickly lets Steele know that he will let “them” know that Steele is on board. It also seems likely that Ohr, #4 at DoJ, may have a heads up about the forthcoming appointment of a Special Counsel.

The handwritten notes exposing what Fusion GPS told DOJ about Trump by John Solomon – “And all of it was captured in the official’s handwritten notes — a contemporaneous record that intelligence professionals tell me exposes the flaws plaguing the early Russia collusion case.”

“Yet, Simpson allegedly acknowledged that most of the information Fusion GPS and British intelligence operative Christopher Steele developed did not come from sources inside Moscow. “Much of the collection about the Trump campaign ties to Russia comes from a former Russian intelligence officer (? not entirely clear) who lives in the U.S.,” Ohr scribbled in his notes.

Simpson admitted in sworn testimony last year to the House Intelligence Committee that he had contact with Ohr after Trump’s election victory. But Ohr’s notes provide the first detailed public account of what the two men actually discussed.

One notation that stands out is Simpson’s account that he asked Steele to talk with Mother Jones reporter David Corn about their muckraking on Trump and Russia in the final days of the election. At the time, Steele still worked as an FBI source.

When Simpson testified before Congress, he said he and Steele acted out of a sense of duty.

Whatever their assessment, Congress has a wide, new mandate to investigate the Simpson-Ohr-Steele contacts with renewed vigor and lots of questions that did not exist just a few short weeks ago

Those answers could make for a long, politically hot autumn in Washington.

Russia to US: Sanctions over our assassinations and our election disruption would be an act of economic war, or something by Ed Morrissey – “the administration now realizes that Russia has been conducting an intelligence war for years against the West. That includes their disruption efforts in the 2016 election, weak as they were, as well as a string of assassinations in the West that go as far back as Alexander Litvenenko over a decade ago.” This gets to the real danger in the Democrats efforts to unseat the President. That effort is a diversion and a distraction inhibiting and stunting the efforts to tackle a very real ‘enemy of the state’ problem.

NY Post: Don’t forget how Feinstein’s China ties paid off for her while employing her driver-spy by Ed Morrissey – “So far, news outlets like the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and even Washington DC’s own Post still have yet to report a single word on this penetration, even while both newspapers are filled with Russian intel ops and their aftermath.” Yet another example of the insidious propaganda game being played by the Left.

Conservative Confusion About Who and What We’re Fighting by David Catron – “The razor-thin majority by which Balderson won is the result of absent suburban voters who have forgotten that, after 2006, the Democrats nearly destroyed the U.S. economy and set the stage for the Obama era with all its trademark criminality.”

Omarosa has secret Trump tapes, writing a tell-all book by Karen Townsend – “No matter what the content of the secret tapes, this is a huge betrayal of trust and Omarosa should be shamed for her conduct, not rewarded with a lucrative book deal.

Man arrested after making Twitter threat against ICE agents, Rep. Scalise responds (Update) by John Sexton – “I suspect someone on the left will shortly be claiming this was a joke and just part of the way progressives on Twitter talk about federal agents

“Scalise’s tweet also raises a point about how Democrats frequently play the “climate of hate” blame game, which may be his intent in asking the question he does. Every time there is a burst of political violence, the left rushes to blame the right. Often, as happened after the Tucson shooting, the left doesn’t even wait for evidence to support their claims, they just start assigning blame to the usual suspects. In some cases, they report false connections that don’t exist and in others, they ignore evidence that doesn’t fit their narrative (Remember the “Tea Party terrorist” who concluded his manifesto by quoting the Communist Manifesto?).

The left is always eager to have a national conversation about the climate of hate if they think the right will take the blame. But after the shooting of police officers in Dallas, Baton Rouge, or New York City, or the assassination attempt against Rep. Scalise and other Republicans they quickly forget how the climate of hate works and change the subject. So now is a good time to ask if they want to keep playing that game. My guess is they will decline, at least in this instance.

Finally, it bothers me that Ziobrowski faces up to five years in prison if convicted, which means he could see more jail time than Antifa goon Eric Clanton who was caught on video hitting people over the head with a bike lock. We’ll have to wait and see what justice looks like in this case.

Understanding Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 73 Years Later by Dan Mclaughlin – “The need to batter the enemy into abject and total submission seems to us today something like barbarism.” He cites the Civil War and the two world wars … “To the men of 1945, with barbarism before them on a daily basis, that animal spirit was in fact a coldly rational reading of very recent history and enduring human nature.”

“Also, no American president – perhaps not even Washington or Grant – had seen worse ground combat up close in his life than Harry Truman, an artillery officer in the ghastly 6-week Meuse-Argonne offensive (the second bloodiest battle in U.S. history) that ended World War I. Truman’s sense of war was visceral; he knew its horrors well, and knew there was no substitute for ending it.

Harry Truman did what the righteous fury of four years of the bitterest war demanded, and made a lasting peace. You could say that of precious few of our wars since 1945. That suggests that maybe Truman knew something we have forgotten about man and war.

An Observance of the Decay of Learned Restraint, Ace of Spades – “We used to learn, as children, to restrain our pettier, nastier, more childlike emotional outbursts.”

“Our parents taught us to count to ten before blowing up in anger.

Our parents and our friends taught us that to display such base emotions as seething envy was uncool and childlike.

We wanted to grow up, we wanted to be seen as grown up, and so we tried to act like grown-ups. So we learned, either because of a parent’s soft (but stinging) chiding, or a friend’s rather less gentle insulting us as a spaz or baby, to restrain exhibitions of such childish butthurts.

We also learned — or were taught, sometimes with some real social cruelty or an actual beat-down — that if we had a problem, we should sort it out ourselves or just find a way to work around it, instead of running to the nearest authority figure to squeal on our playmates.

On that last point, men especially were taught to ask themselves, “Am I acting like a man here, or a whiny child in constant need of his Mommy’s interventions?”

I’m sure women similarly asked themselves about their own behavior, probably thinking more in terms of propriety and maturity than about masculinity, but the effect was the same.

The rule used to be, “If you lose your shit, you’ve lost the game.”

Now it’s the exact opposite: “If you lose your shit and throw a tantrum, you win. Always. Because obviously the person who takes offense and flies into rage over nothing must have moral superiority over people who are calm and rational.”

whither civility, honor, integrity?

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Free ride and a straight face?

Ace of Spades: Eric Clanton, the Antifa Professor Charged With Beating People Over the Head With a U-Lock (A Deadly) Weapon, Offered Plea Deal of Three Years Probation, Not a Single Hour of JailAssault with a deadly weapon is a minor misdemeanor if you’re an antifa attempted murderer.

NAACP’s own poll reveals surge in black support for Trump – and they react badly by Thomas Lifson – “Dependence on 90% voting support from African-Americans for electoral success is the jugular vein of the Democratic Party.”

“President Trump’s rising support among black voters is correctly seen as an existential threat to the party’s – and progressivism’s – ability to win national elections. That’s why I thought it was big news last Saturday when Rasmussen proclaimed that black approval of Trump had hit 29%, even though most of the media ignored it for reasons AT readers well understand.

But the surge in black support for President Trump is real – so real that even the far left NAACP discovered it in a poll, though that poll (perhaps with a differently worded question) put the support at 21%. …

What’s a race victimology group to do with this? Of course, double down on charges that Trump is a racist.

If calling Trump a racist hasn’t stemmed the flow of black support his way, there is no reason to believe that shouting it more will start working. It’s almost as if the groups which purport to represent the interests of African Americans are really more worried about their own careers.

CNN thinks too many Latinos like President Trump by Don Surber – “Ronald Brownstein of CNN is in a panic.”

“Despite an endless stream of negative stories on CNN and elsewhere about President Trump, a growing number of Hispanic voters support him.

And the wall.

Polls nationally show President Trump’s job approval is up 10 points among Hispanic voters.

We know why.

Jobs.

Democrats need to offer something more than anti-Trump vitriol. Calling him Hitler backfires once people notice he ain’t Hitler.

The Democrats’ rhetoric is just as dangerous as Trump’s by Marc Thiessen – There’s a both sides do it bias here (e.g. “just as …”) that is belied by the examples given. Chanting “CNN Sucks” and “Lock her up” just isn’t even in the same game as the hateful and violence encouraging rhetoric often heard from the Left.

“It’s worth keeping these incidents in mind as we listen to the rising chorus of warnings that the president’s irresponsible attacks on the media will result in violence. CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta recently tweeted, “I’m very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt.” And New York Times columnist Bret Stephens warned, “We are approaching a day when blood on the newsroom floor will be blood on the president’s hands.”

Let’s pray something so awful never comes to pass. But by that standard, the blood on the Alexandria field was blood on the Democrats’ hands. Before shooting Scalise, Hodgkinson joined Facebook groups such as “Join the Resistance Worldwide,” “Terminate the Republican Party,” and “The Road To Hell Is Paved With Republicans.” He posted that “Trump is a Traitor” and “Republicans are the Taliban of the USA.” Where did he get the idea to compare Republicans to terrorists? Well, just to give one example:

Many Americans were outraged by the horrific policy of family separation, but it is inexcusably irresponsible for those such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to compare Trump’s policies with those of Nazi Germany and the detention centers along the U.S.-Mexico border to Hitler’s concentration camps. It isn’t difficult to imagine how an unbalanced mind could be influenced by overheated rhetoric by people in positions of authority.

Here’s an idea: If we are really concerned that the state of our political discourse is going to get someone killed, then maybe people on both sides should cut it out.

As long as people like Thiessen can ignore their own observations and maintain this “people on both sides” schtick, the problem will continue. True witness is a first requirement and that means coming to grips with the difference between one’s own desires and the real world.

Tougher gun laws didn’t help Los Angeles schools by Jazz Shaw – “Guess what didn’t make it onto the list of improvements.” It’s the Thiessen problem – the path to their goal just doesn’t fit reality.

Slate: The left’s response to Sarah Jeong’s tweets was problematic by John Sexton – “If you had to guess how Slate reacted to the Sarah Jeong story, you’d probably assume they backed Jeong and denied there was anything wrong with her “white people” tweets. And you’d be right” – Predictable implies consistency which is often considered a good thing but one has to question whether being predictable for what the Left is doing in terms of racism, bigotry, and even assault fits this idea.

“And as Mounk points out, the audience for this material took it the same way a racist audience for a racial joke would, i.e. by laughing along with her at the butt of the joke, in this case white people. What’s most worrisome about all of this is how few people on the left see it as a problem. [emphasis added]

This is why you get terrible movies from Hollywood and it’s not even about politics by Jazz Shaw – “some Hollywood moguls were bemoaning the decline of people showing up at the theater to watch movies on the big screen.”

“What’s of far more interest is the reason Del Vecchio cites for the opposition to this genre of films inside the industry. You see, the “artists” in that highly pampered community look down their noses at not only the studios who make such films, but even more so at the great unwashed masses who line up to see them. …

It’s nice to see Del Vecchio dismissing such haughty comments as “rubbish” (his word), but he’s clearly the exception in the industry. Foster’s critique really pulls back the mask and lets us see why so many of the big screen projects which get the green light wind up being such absolute crap. They know better than you. Even more to the point, they have zero respect for you. You are simply too ignorant to know good art when you see it and they’re on a mission to correct that. So they’ll keep pumping out “arthouse” films which tick all the boxes from their art school final exams, ignoring the fact that nobody wants to go watch most of it.

What we’re examining here typifies most of the stereotypes you hear about Hollywood whether we’re discussing films or politics. It’s a wealthy, entitled community of people who are completely out of touch. They’ve lost sight of the fact that their business does not exist to “enlighten” and “save” the hoi polloi across the world. They’re supposed to be entertaining us and offering a product we’re willing to spend our money on in our leisure hours. Making more “meaningful” films that nobody watches accomplishes nothing but assuaging the egos of the leaders in that industry. And that’s why we keep getting so many terrible films.

This is the same thing Limbaugh points out about journalists – they think their job is to save the world, not to educate and inform.

Ocasio-Cortez: Think of all the funeral expenses we’ll save under Medicare for All! By Ed Morrissey – “Boston University’s economics program apparently never included a biology requirement — or math, for that matter. BU’s most notable graduate these days, Democratic Socialist candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, tried explaining to CNN’s Chris Cuomo last night why people shouldn’t have “sticker shock” over the price tag of her core agenda item

“The question we need to ask is how a person with this much economic ignorance managed to get an economics degree from Boston University. Final question: How did Cuomo keep a straight face through this?

Canadians try to boycott American-made food products by Karen Townsend – “A hashtag-worthy movement began as Canadians began calling for consumers to #BuyCanadian, #BoycottUSProducts, and #BoycottUSA. There is a catch, though. Up to 60% of the food on Canadian grocery store shelves is from America.”

“Canadians like to virtue-signal and illegal immigration is one of their favorite issues to drag the Trump over. Nevermind that even Justin Trudeau has now admitted that unlimited access to Canada via an open border approach on his side of the border isn’t such a great idea. Resources are being stretched thin.

Maybe the cost of a free ride is coming to the surface?

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Call the cops! or maybe, better not.

Neighbors Calling Cops On Kid Selling Cookies Speaks To Bigger Societal Ail by Jamie Wells – “What once was pretty standard in communities, an adult speaking to the child’s parent about their concerns, has all but evaporated in our culture.”

“Whatever the culprit, the behavior is imprinted in the minds of the children involved. They mimic what they see. The relationship between parent and child is symbiotic. If mom is upset, child will be upset. If mom avoids conflict, then the child learns this strategy too; becoming ill-equipped in adulthood to be resilient. Certainly, if there is a real threat to a situation, then the best, safest course is to contact the police. But, for an average annoyance when having a conversation doesn’t risk your or your child’s personal safety, shouldn’t attempts to diffuse or solve the problem yield greater dividends than the alternative (e.g. establishment of a nice rapport with your long-term neighbors, learning about rectifying challenging circumstances)?

Have we simply lost the benefit of the doubt entirely – and is that the world we want to live in? Maybe when we confront such situations, we can take a moment to consider whether our actions facilitate opportunities or impose obstacles.

Midterm Meddling: Facebook Blocks Republican Candidate’s Ad, Breitbart Tech – “Facebook has banned Republican congressional candidate Elizabeth Heng’s campaign video ad about communist crimes that led her family to flee Cambodia for the U.S., claiming the platform doesn’t allow “shocking, disrespectful, or sensational” content.” It’s called ‘rewriting history’ when you attempt to distort or ignore what has actually happened because it doesn’t fit with your view of the world as you want it.

“Facebook has since reversed course on its decision, saying: “it is clear the video contains historical imagery relevant to the candidate’s story.”

“It is unbelievable that Facebook could have such blatant disregard for the history that so many people, including my own parents, have lived through,” declared Heng in a statement. “I’m sure it is shocking for some people to hear about this kind of injustice, but this is reality. This is why I wake up every single day with the fight and determination to have a voice and make a difference in my community.”

“Neither Facebook nor any other company in the tech industry get to silence our stories,” she continued. “We’ve seen it over and over again with Republican candidates and organizations.”

I remember when we called them mobs by Silvio Canto, Jr. – “And there you have it: the modern protest. We target those we disagree with, call them names, and then interrupt their dinner.” … “We call on the media to call this a mob, not a protest.” But! Fake News!

West Hollywood’s Moral Crusade against Trump by Kevin D. Williamson – “Donald Trump is sometimes fortunate in his opponents.”

“Part of me wants to encourage these fanatics. Yes, let’s dig up the Hollywood Walk of Fame until nobody is left but nice people—it’ll be a hell of a lot shorter. Yes, let’s change the name of Austin to Socialjusticeville and make it the seat of Social Justice County. (Stephen F. Austin and William Travis were involved in slavery, you see, and the takfiris in Austin want to change the city’s name.) Let’s let them burn the works of Mark Twain, and let the editors of The Nation grovel like worms every time some witless clucking Caitlyn on Twitter doesn’t like a poem they publish. Let Berkeley turn the campus over to literal blackshirts. Let’s crucify Scarlett Johansson in the public square.

Call it the Shining Path model of conservatism: Hasten the crisis to bring forward the underlying contradictions in the dominant paradigm.

How We Got Here by R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. – “There have been three Constitutional crises in my lifetime and two of them revolved around the Clintons.” … “The origin of our present Constitutional crisis is a bit more complicated than this passage from Shattered makes out, but here is a good starting point to discover how the mob, the prosecutors, the media, and the Democratic Party are intent on stealing the last election and saving the Clintons’ hides.”

Emails Reveal High School Teachers Plotting To Hide Their Political Bias From Parents By Ilya Feoktistov – “The Left is abusing American high school education in its struggle to gain and retain political power. We only found out about this incident by accident. How many more?”

“Shortly after President Trump’s inauguration, a group of public school history teachers in the posh Boston suburb of Newton pledged to reject the “call for objectivity” in the classroom, bully conservative students for their beliefs, and serve as “liberal propagandist[s]” for the cause of social justice.

This informal pact was made in an exchange of emails among history teachers at Newton North High School,

The Left is abusing American high school education in its struggle—not to do good, but to gain and retain political power. The ongoing trend of growing political intolerance and ideological bigotry among the newest American adults will continue, and nothing good will come of it. In the Soviet Union, I’ve seen what young people could be turned into, what I myself could be turned into. Trust me, America hasn’t seen anything yet.

The Police Were Not Policed by Victor Davis Hanson – “How can Americans now trust the intelligence agencies shown to be corrupt in the very recent past?

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Weaponizing government against the people

Trump Frees Obamacare Captives, Dems Sue by David Catron – “The amended rule will provide individuals access to low-cost health coverage, greater benefit flexibility, and the opportunity to escape Obamacare. Not coincidentally, on the very day the new rule became effective, the Trump administration was sued by four Democrat-controlled cities for “sabotaging” the health care law.”

“Why would they do something so counterproductive to their ostensible goals? For the Democrats, the health care wars aren’t about providing medical treatment to the uninsured or the poor, and they certainly aren’t about controlling costs. They are about power and money.

So, President Trump has reversed an arbitrary — and probably illegal — Obama administration fiat for the purpose of helping more Americans get affordable health insurance. But the Democrats in general, the corrupt officials of four dysfunctional cities, and a few academic ideologues say he can’t do that. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, which will probably grant the plaintiffs a temporary injunction, meaning more Obamacare victims will have to wait for years to get justice. But, for the Democrats it isn’t about justice. This kind of lawfare is standard practice for these creatures. About 140 such suits have been aimed at Trump since he was inaugurated — just an appetizer for what will happen if the Democrats get control of either house of Congress in November.

How Many Divisions Does Judge Bates Command? By Michael Walsh – “so out of line has the lesser judiciary — that is to say, every federal judge below the Supreme Court level — become that we have now arrived at this blatantly unconstitutional pass.”

“Let’s call this what it is: an attempt by a single judge in the District of Columbia to usurp the power of the executive simply because he doesn’t like the substance of the administration’s arguments. But the only argument the administration needs is: “because.”

The Left prefers to implement its policy preferences via the courts, because it only takes a handful, or even one, to overturn the will of the people.

Protesting journalists, much like protesting politicians, is constitutional by Taylor Millard – “The First Amendment protects the right of the people to peaceably air their grievances about whatever topic is on their minds. It doesn’t mean the rally has to be filled with logical arguments or language one might hear whilst watching a Disney princess movie. It just can’t become a riot.” Millard is a bit confused (his bias shows) but here he has a good point.

Fake news from the New York Times by Paul Mirengoff – “in portraying this “admission” as news, the Times is playing fast and loose with the English language. In the process, it is dishing out fake news.” A look at an example that can also be used to see why ‘automated’ or algorithmic fact checking can be so off base. Ed Driscoll at Instapundit has another example: GREAT MOMENTS IN “FACT CHECKING.” WashPost Fact Check: ‘Wringing’ Sarah Sanders’ Neck Different from ‘Choking’ Her.

New York Times Lies about Trump Lies by Andy May – “The New York Times does not categorize the statements in their Trump list, every misstatement is jumbled together and called an “outright lie.” Some of Trump’s statements are hyperbole, some are exaggerations, some are clearly his opinion and stated as such, some are obvious minor mistakes..” Here’s what you get when the folks that put climate data and analysis on the dissection table take on a similar propaganda effort in a different field.

“The example in Table 1 is a case where the New York Times claimed Trump lied, when he didn’t in my opinion and in the opinion of many others including Jeb Bush and Ben Carson. Legitimate differences of opinion are not lies, especially when supported by data. I show this example because 35 of the 106 NYT accusations of Trump “lies” fall in this category, it is the largest of the six groups listed in Table 2. This is also a perfect example of something very common in the New York Times list, what I call a “manufactured lie.” The New York Times will search for some aspect or view point of a statement that is contradicted by a fact, usually unrelated to the meaning of the statement and often a stretch of logic, then based on that unrelated fact call the statement a lie.

After investigating the list of supposed Trump “lies,” I concluded that the New York Times violated the “highest quality and integrity” portion of their standards.

Trump is prone to hyperbole and careless wording when speaking but calling every mistake and inaccuracy a lie is over-the-top and just not true.

When the list is studied in detail, the overt and obvious anti-Trump bias is shocking.

Understanding the Climate and History of California Fires by Tim Ball – “There is no hope for the truth when world leaders like Governor Brown of California (he runs the 19th largest economy in the world) can present such utterly false information in pursuit of a political agenda.”

“Brown clearly doesn’t know that the world was 6°C warmer 9000 years ago and was warmer than today for at least 95 % of the last 10,000 years known as the Holocene Optimum.

In the introductory climatology class, I always mentioned early in September that we can watch for a sequence of events from California. This will begin with complaints about drought and threatened water supplies. In the Fall, we will have stories about fires decimating the landscape and burning up communities. The next in the sequence is rain and mudslides. Welcome to sunny southern California. I don’t recall a year in which that sequence did not occur. The only differences were the intensity of the events, the hysteria of the media and the degree of political exploitation.

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo on claim he may put NRA out of business: “I would like to believe it’s true” by William A. Jacobson – “Although the allegations of the threat to the NRA’s existence are not new, the sensationalism of The Rolling Stone article has generated a lot of publicity.”

“It should come as no surprise that someone like Andrew Cuomo has weaponized the state financial bureaucracy to try to put a political opponent out of business. Or that he openly brags that putting them out of business is his goal. Or that he’s encouraging other Democratic Attorney Generals to do the same. Or that he’s happy about it. Or that he laughs about it.

While liberals want to gut the 2nd Amendment, they have their eyes on the 1st Amendment as well, as I predicted in late February 2018, I renewed my NRA membership because attacks on 2nd Amendment rights never stop there:

Over and over we see the power of the ‘elite’ – whether the judicial oligarchy or the deep state bureaucracy – being used to stifle political opposition.

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A broken trust in finding reality – remember Vietnam and Nixon?

The Short Lease by Richard Fernandez – “Fewer disillusions hit harder than discovering that an article of faith was a lie.”

“In the tit for tat race to the bottom of the last two years Trump had nothing to lose.

With trust in brands at low ebb the only sort of political lease many voters are willing to grant is on the basis of direct experience. Trump’s legitimacy so far has been leased with the ready money of a booming economy. Call it shallow, call it naive but there it is. Direct experience is harder to manipulate than the Narrative.

While formerly direct experience could easily be overcome by the voice of authority, with Narrative discredited there is the distinct danger people might fall prey to taking the counsel of their own senses.

Trotsky understood that the erosion of ideology by ‘practical experience’ would make it difficult for any -ists to embark on multi-decade social engineering if no results were forthcoming. The Narrative was as vital to long-term progressivism as drilling mud was to deep well oilmen. After years of steady availability they couldn’t imagine it was all gone.

Perhaps the reason why Trump has not brought on the predicted apocalypse, and not been the disaster pundits have forecast, is that his chaos proved strangely in tune with the disruptive forces of the era. Despite the conventional wisdom that the West erred in choosing Brexit and failing to elect Hillary the West may by blind luck have changed course at the very moment when it needed to.

How to stop political violence by Don Surber – “The de-humanization of political opponents is on the rise and growing in intensity.” He’s a bit conflicted with hope, though.

“The time has come to stop the self-righteousness of political principle (an oxymoron) and replace it with pragmatism. Let us concentrate on what we agree on, and put aside our disagreements. One of the best things about President Trump is he is willing to negotiate any time, anywhere with anyone.

Ozzy Osbourne sang, “Maybe it’s not too late to learn how to love and forget how to hate.”

If a drunk and drugged out rocker gets it, why can’t we sober and cerebral people?

When The Mueller Gang Met Judge Ellis by Daniel Greenfield – “The Manafort trial isn’t going to give Mueller what he wants.”

“the obsession with Manafort’s suits, karaoke machine and pond reveal the hollowness of the case. If the prosecution really had Manafort down cold, it wouldn’t need to talk about his ostrich jacket. There are only two purposes to such theatrics, to bias the jury or to play to the cheap seats in the media.

Democrat judges had lent Mueller a hand until now. But the actual case is now in the hands of a judge who doesn’t like Mueller, doesn’t like his people’s tactics and doesn’t like being used as a pawn.

Unlike the Democrat judges with an axe to grind, Judge Ellis is following the law.

Three-Card Mueller by Clarice Feldman – “The public – in this case, the mark – has been led to believe that the entire years-long Mueller investigation was into Trump’s “collusion” with Russians.”

“But the dealer (Mueller himself) knows that it is part of a plan to undermine the president and reverse the 2016 presidential election, in which the only real Russian collusion was with Hillary. By now his press supporters surely should know this, but they continue to feed the fiction that the game is to find the collusion in the one campaign in which there was none.

As has been the wont of recent special prosecutors, particularly harsh measures at the prosecution’s hand were employed – a middle-of-the-night raid on his home, with Mr. and Mrs. Manafort rousted from their beds and frisked in their nightclothes. (In this week’s trial, an FBI agent testified that they knocked three times first but entered with a key, though he could not say how the key came into the FBI’s possession.) Manafort has been held in solitary confinement during the proceedings based on a ruling by an Obama-appointed district court judge in D.C., where there is a second proceeding pending. It is reminiscent of Patrick Fitzgerald’s throwing former New York Times reporter Judith Miller in jail in the Libby case until she agreed to testify. (After this, he confused her about her notes and led her to give false testimony. Her recantation was the basis on which the D.C. Court of Appeals years later found Libby to have been likely innocent of the crimes for which he’d been convicted and reinstated him to practice.) President Trump subsequently pardoned him.

In the meantime, more skullduggery at the FBI has turned up – with still no apparent effort at transparency by Attorney General Jeff Sessions or FBI director Christopher Wray.

And they are still covering up their malfeasance and protecting their own. It’s time for Congress to seriously consider stripping counterintelligence from the FBI.

President Trump Meets and Surprises Jim Jordan in Ohio by sundance – “In another example for the keen political instincts of President Trump; he can tell from the automatic vibe that jumped in the air when he said the name “Jim Jordan”

Worse Than Watergate? Editorial of The New York Sun – “In Watergate the system worked,” Mr. Bernstein reckons, whereas today scant Republicans, in Mr. Bernstein’s view, are pressing to hold the president to account.” … “Far be it from us to gainsay the likes of Mr. Bernstein, but our impression is that he’s inaccurate.”

“By our lights, though, there are similarities. In both dramas the press has sought to topple a freely-elected president. In Watergate, the press sought to overturn the election of a president who had won 49 of the 50 states. The effect — leave intent aside — was to undercut a military victory we were winning on the ground in Vietnam. The result was to embolden an anti-war movement that was determined to deliver free Vietnam to clients of the Russians.

Free Vietnam fell in April, and Indochina, with its population to rival eastern Europe, fell into the long night of communism. That is what a lot of us think of when we hear talk of Watergate. We understand that’s a minority opinion, but it’s ours. Something worse than Watergate may yet be confected by the Democrats as they seek to bring down President Trump. They haven’t, however, yet produced a tragedy to rival the tragedy that resulted from Watergate.

The Vindication Of Clarence Thomas—And The Left’s Freakout by Steven Hayward – “beyond just the theatrics of the left’s primal screams and desperation tactics it is delightful to see the left begin to reckon with something more fundamental going on

“Liberals have always dismissed Thomas as simply Scalia’s wingman, though no one who actually read with any care their separate opinions, concurrences, and dissents would think so. But the great thing about being a liberal is that you can just go with a cliche and skip the careful thinking part.

But now that the whole scene is in flux with the arrival of Justice Gorsuch—who, like Justice Thomas, believes that the natural law tradition in legal history stretching back to Roman times still has today what social scientists call “normative” value—the left is taking stock of things, and realizing that they are in a heap of trouble.

The insults, they never stop! Anti-Trump media just can’t help themselves by Dan Gainor – “Media reaction to being booed devolved into journalists defending journalists.” The behavior patterns of denial and defense …

Rasmussen: Black approval rating of Trump now at 29% by Thomas Lifson – “If this figure reported in Rasmussen’s daily presidential tracking poll Friday is anywhere close to accurate, Democrats are closing in on a crisis.”

The Left’s Love Affair With Doublethink by Frank Miele – “If you have a hard time following the logic of some liberal arguments, don’t worry. It’s not you.”

“Taking a page out of George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” our modern prog friends have mastered the art of doublethink — “the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”

The twists and turns in the logic of doublethink are exhausting, and I think it is safe to say that part of the power of liberalism is that it is easier to surrender to its hypnotic fluttering rhetoric than to pin it down like a bug and analyze it under a microscope. Yet once you face facts, there is no going back, no matter how isolated it may make you feel.

Drive To Regulate Speech On The Internet Is Gaining Steam by John Hinderaker – “It is interesting to see how quickly the committee moves from false information to “hyper-partisan,” or “targeted” information.”

“It is common for liberals to assert that the future of our democracy (or, as here, Britain’s) is somehow threatened by the fact that misinformation can be posted to Facebook or Twitter, or elsewhere on the internet. I have yet to see any coherent explanation of why that is the case. Misinformation has been a common feature of our democracy for a long time.

This Parliamentary report is an interim version, with more to come later this year. But it is easy to see which way the wind is blowing. “Mainstream” media outlets are deemed to be mainstream because of their support for the governing class and its favored policies, which broadly can be described as liberal. The internet–not just Facebook and Twitter, although they have come to play a huge role–is “unregulated.” Worse, it is home to lots of dissenting voices. (I say dissenting, even though such voices–ours, for example–probably represent the views of a majority of Americans on most issues.) This freedom poses a serious threat to the power of the governing class and its media toadies, and they aren’t taking it lying down.

The good news is that here in the U.S., we have robust legal protections for free speech. The bad news is that the companies that control discourse on the internet–Google, Facebook, Twitter and Apple–are all run by liberals who may prove happy to accede to pressure to stifle views that run contrary to the liberal orthodoxy of Silicon Valley.

will reason, logic, intellectual integrity and honest surface out of this mess? “If a drunk and drugged out rocker gets it, why can’t we sober and cerebral people?

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Where envy leads

Someone Could Get Hurt by John Hinderaker – “What is striking to me is how unself-aware Acosta is.”

“He is “very worried” that “hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt.” But what about the violent, anti-Trump hysteria that is whipped up by many on the left, including Acosta himself? Someone already has gotten hurt, badly, as a result of that anti-Trump and anti-Republican frenzy, namely Steve Scalise. It is a miracle that he and other Republican Congressmen weren’t killed by Bernie Sanders volunteer and Republican hater James Hodgkinson.

It is possible that an extreme right-winger could try to harm a Democratic Party politician or reporter, or a Democrat wearing a Bernie Sanders t-shirt. But political violence exists pretty much exclusively on the left, and it has been going on for the last two years, at least. I’ve seen no sign that such violence concerns Jim Acosta–or, for that matter, any other liberal reporter or politician.

At Ace of Spades: “Democrat Senator: Heckling and Jeering Opponents Just “Isn’t a Thing On the Left.” All We do Is Bat Around Ideas about Healthcare and Such.”

This isn’t culture war. It’s worse. By Richard Jack Rail – “Progressives continue to astonish normal people with their complete incomprehension of normals (as Kurt Schlichter calls them) as human beings.”

“Perhaps that’s because they don’t see us as human beings. They call us unsavory names – deplorables, bitter clingers, toothless, plus every dirty word they can think of. They throw nasty, biological things. They spit on people. They shove people, break windows, start fights, and go out of their way to ensure that everybody has a bad day.

This isn’t “culture war.” Culture has nothing to do with it. It’s war on normality by Brownshirts, incited or paid for by the likes of George Soros and Tom Steyer. It has now graduated from street-fighting to trying to take down the U.S. government.

I will never understand these people’s hatred of America. They are unreachable by reason. It seems clear that they are trying to provoke a heavy, violent reaction from us so they can then haul out the artillery. They missed their big chance with Barama in the saddle but had been biding their time right along. They’ll just continue that until their next big chance. They need to be able to declare martial law.

Fire and fury: How government failures make wildfires even worse by Washington Examiner – “It’s hard for Easterners even to appreciate how dry the West is and how easy it is to start a massive fire.”

“Everyone is quick to blame global warming for this and all other natural disasters. But changes to local weather in this or that part of the country are by no means part of the same scientific consensus that climate change is real and caused in large part by human activity. Western droughts and forest fires have been around a long time, and so has climate change, but the fires have gotten much worse very recently, and government mismanagement of forests is part of the reason.

Congress has now given the Forest Service more funding for prevention, and the Trump administration is finally taking forest treatment and mitigation more seriously. But according to the Property and Environment Research Center, the backlog of restoration work could take decades to complete.

Manafort’s case proves ‘the swamp’ — not collusion — exists by John Podhoretz – “Instead of a story about Trump and the Russians, what the jury heard both from the prosecution and the defense on Tuesday was a narrative about the corrupting power of political influence-peddling on the part of Washington consultants.”

“Interestingly, the first two days of the Manafort trial have featured the judge repeatedly upbraiding Mueller’s prosecutors for trying to make it seem as though Manafort’s spending practices prove he’s a crook.

Envy driven prosecution is now a thing?

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Trade’s art of the deal

Trump’s Deal with the EU Is Democrat Nightmare by Roger L Simon – “This is the beginning of a massive free trade deal between Europe and the U.S. with zero tariffs outside the auto industry.”

“If even half of it comes true, there will be a (okay, why not?) YUUUGE growth in trade benefitting both sides of the Atlantic.

Forget porn stars. Forget tapes. Forget evil Vlad and Rocket Man. Forget insulting our NATO partners (whatever that means). Forget that pseudo-socialist with the hyphenated name. Forget Mueller, sleazy Strzok , Adam “Leaker” Schiff, Fingers Clapper, Knuckles Brennan, Rocko Rosenstein, or any of the sordid crew. Forget even Twitter! (well, maybe). By comparison, those are all sideshows. As everyone knows, in politics, “It’s the economy, stupid!”

Or, put another way, “It’s the art of the deal.”

In Trade, Trump Foreign Policy Trump Makes A Deal by John Hinderaker – “Do you suppose the AP will ever admit that Trump was right all along?”

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Personal change is tough

At Best, The FBI Misled The Court To Wiretap Trump Campaign, FISA Application Shows, Investor’s Business Daily – “there can be no doubt that the FBI withheld pertinent information from the judges who approved a highly intrusive domestic spying operation during a presidential campaign.”

“The problem is that even if the truth lies somewhere in between it is incredibly damaging to the reputation of the FBI.

To that end, it’s worth noting that it’s been Democrats — and the press — who have been moving the goal posts as the unsavory facts about the origins of the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign emerged.

The idea that the FBI would use political propaganda paid for by one presidential campaign to launch a high-level investigation against the other in the middle of an election is horrifying.

So, they consistently downplayed the dossier’s importance.

But now, with the application documents in hand, even the Washington Post admits that the dossier played “a prominent role” in the wiretap request. And we know that the FBI had corroborated none of the dossier claims before filing its application.

So, after all the spinning, these are the undisputed facts: The FBI went to court to get a wiretap on a U.S. citizen it claimed was a Russian agent. It based this charge mainly on an uncorroborated, salacious document financed by the Clinton campaign. It failed to clearly disclose the funding source. Nor did it reveal that it had independently corroborated any of its claims.

Confirmed: DOJ Used Materially False Information To Secure Wiretaps On Trump Associate by Mollie Hemingway – “Newly released documents confirm House and Senate investigators’ claims that the Department of Justice and FBI used materially false and misleading information to secure wiretaps on Carter Page.”

The FISA application: Nunes was right (and it’s not Andrew C. McCarthy’s FBI anymore) by neo-neocon – “McCarthy can hardly believe the truth he’s learned; it’s so disillusioning. But he does believe it when he sees the evidence right before his eyes.”

“McCarthy also has a great deal more to say in that essay about what is actually in the application and what it means. Other people have written on the same subject, and in particular on how the release of the application vindicates the Nunes memo (see this).

And yet, of course, you can find articles (this for example) on the left saying the released application proves Nunes wrong. They rehash the same old ideas

See that funny little shift there? That’s sophistry at its finest, and that’s the way this sort of thing is written. Nunes said the document didn’t mention the role of the DNC, the Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign. And guess what? That’s exactly what the release of the memo proves—they didn’t. Byron York deals with the same issue in much greater detail with much greater clarity and truth

It’s the old “knave or fool” question. But in the case of these distortions by the AP and others, I think we can safely say “malice” as well as “tactical lying.” My reason for saying that is that it’s not easy to write stuff like that; it takes effort and skill. The “mistakes” aren’t simple ones or intuitive ones. It is necessary to twist the facts in a fairly convoluted way to get there. And although I tend to think it’s wise to never ascribe to malice what can be ascribed to simple incompetence or ignorance, incompetence (or ignorance) is not what’s going on here.

Just How Far Will the Left Go? By Victor Davis Hanson – “The methods of rhetorically assassinating Trump all have been tried out by progressive celebrities, politicians, and academics: decapitation, high explosives, nightly ritual stabbing, hanging, death by elevator, death by escalator, shooting, incineration, and fisticuffs.”

“There is no respite from the war against Trump. The NFL, the NBA, late-night comedy shows, cable news, sitcoms, Hollywood movies, books, and music have all found ways to turn their genres into anti-Trump theater.

There is no respite; there is no refuge—not the Super Bowl, not the Emmys, not the Grammys, not the Oscars. Almost every aspect of American culture has been weaponized to delegitimize Trump.

The progressive hysteria reveals the lack of an idea. Kill, humiliate, delegitimize Trump is not a sustainable political agenda whether winning a local assembly seat or a liberal majority on the Supreme Court. But then neither are socialist ideas. If the Left was intellectually honest it would run in November on what it now professes are its new core beliefs: the abolition of ICE, the end to all deportations, open borders, expansions of affirmative action, abortion on demand, and identity politics, cancellation of student debt, universal Medicare-like coverage for Americans of all ages, massive tax hikes, more regulations, and less fossil fuel production, and an EU-like socialist-democratic foreign policy.

The problem is that the above is probably not a 51 percent winnable program.

Our Under-Incarceration Problem, Atlanta Edition by Paul Mirengoff – “Lost on the judge, as on many sentencing reform advocates, was the fact that the primary purpose of putting Myrick away was to protect society from his menace, not to help him.”

“This is the main fallacy of proposals to induce prisoners into “evidence-based” rehabilitation programs by reducing sentences in exchange for participating. Most of those who participate do so in order to reduce their prison time. A prisoner who passionately wants to change will participate in a rehabilitation program without the inducement, assuming he has reason to believe the program isn’t just BS.

Myrick wasn’t interested in changing. He was interesting in getting back on the street to commit more crime. In Judge Downs, he found a sucker who would put him back. Christian Broder is dead as a result.

Personal change is tough and it has to come from within.

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Worse than you think

Obama gets too, too cute when he warns of dictators and liars by Jack Hellner – “President Obama is in South Africa for a speech, and somehow, in the speech he gave, he showed himself to be so clueless about the “strongman” he warned about that he never realized that he described how he ran the U.S. for eight years.”

“Obama tried to transfer the purse and power to the government as fast as possible, while Trump is trying to transfer the power and purse back to the people as fast as he can. Yet the media intentionally lie when they describe Trump as the dictator when they write and tell their stories to the public.

How the press disgraces the centennial of Armistice Day by Don Surber – “The nervous breakdown by the press following America’s election of President Donald John Trump continues as reporters belittle the parade in Washington commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I as “Trump’s Parade.”

“Never mind that we are celebrating the end of a gruesome war that killed 37 million people worldwide.

No, no, no, the deranged American press must ridicule President Trump all the time, no matter what happens.

Framing this commemoration as Trump’s Parade is another reason people hate the press with a passion that once was reserved for hating Hitler.

Maybe the press should stop trying to stop President Trump and his supporters, and go back to its real job of reporting the news straight-forward and balanced.

Losing America by John Scotto – “Not too long ago we as a people could generally agree upon a certain set of core values.”

“When did certain members of our society all of sudden become selective regarding the laws they wished to be enforced ?

When exactly did some US citizens lose their basic instinct for survival ?

The Associated Press Lies About The Fisa Application by John Hinderaker – “The Associated Press carries on a daily vendetta against the Trump administration, systematically misleading the American people in articles that appear in hundreds or thousands of newspapers.”

“Thus, it is no surprise that the AP’s story on DOJ’s FISA application dump is nothing but Democratic Party spin. The AP’s headline: “Without evidence, Trump claims documents confirm misconduct.”

Actually, the president had a lot more to say about the FISA application than the AP acknowledges.

In fact, President Trump’s assessment that the FISA documents “confirm with little doubt that the Department of ‘Justice’ and FBI misled the courts” was exactly correct, as I showed here.

In a moment of epic dishonesty, the AP neglects to tell its readers about this blatantly misleading feature of the FISA application

With the AP, it is often hard to tell whether we are dealing with malice or ignorance. Thus, we have these three paragraphs, which follow one another with no articulated logical connection:

I could go on, but you get the drift. The FBI misled the FISA court to get a warrant to spy on Carter Page and, thereby, the Trump presidential campaign. The AP has picked up the baton and is now misleading the American people in order to give cover to James Comey, Sally Yates, Loretta Lynch, Peter Strzok and the rest of the Obama DOJ/FBI rogues’ gallery.

Did the FBI Lie to the FISA Court? By Daniel J. Flynn – “Is the pope still a Catholic?”

“the heavily-redacted application for a warrant to surveil U.S. citizen Carter Page obscures the source. It never says, at least in the unredacted portions, that the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid operatives to dig dirt on Donald Trump.

This allows the warrant to talk of “research” and not “opposition research.” The warrant application shields the partisan origins of the “dossier” and talks of a “law firm” hiring the investigators.

By using intermediaries to effectively launder dirty money clean, the Clinton campaign kept its name off of a story it generated — and dodged the whole intent of campaign finance laws in the process. The FBI, not wanting to undermine its case to the FISA court, similarly omitted that the material it presented to the court came from a political operative paid by the opponent of “Candidate #1.” It now omits the name of the agent bringing the application forth to the court. Judging by what we know about the various FBI employees involved in the investigation, the agent’s identity may prove similarly damning. Why redact the investigating agent’s name and not the subject of his or her investigation?

In excising information directly pertaining to that source’s credibility, the FBI impugned it own. Congressman Devin Nunes said earlier this year that the FBI “basically lied to the court” to get the warrant. The application partially released seems to confirm this.

WaPo basically admits that Mexico is a s***hole country by Jazz Shaw – “The grimly humorous part of this argument is that the WaPo editorial board is essentially correct on the specifics of all these claims while wildly mischaracterizing the reality of what they’re asking for

“The United States is one of the most generous nations in the world when it comes to helping disadvantaged people around the globe. And we already accept a staggering number of asylum applicants every year, often at considerable risk and cost to ourselves. But there have to be limits to even our generosity, particularly when there are gangs and terrorist groups eager to find a way over our borders. Mexico is a trading partner and an industrial nation, despite the rampant corruption, crime and violence which takes place there. They can take on a more significant role in this process, even if it’s only in the form of setting up refugee facilities near the U.S. border where people can wait for their claims to be processed. If they don’t want to carry their share of the burden, don’t blame it on us.

It’s worse than you think with Ocasio-Cortez and her statement on unemployment by neo-neocon – “Fourth in her class. In economics.”

Who Is Betraying America? By Caroline Glick – “Trump’s response to Lemire, and his overall conduct at the press conference, did not convey weakness at all. Certainly he was far more assertive of US interests than Obama was in his dealings with Russia.”

“The question is why are his opponents accusing him of treason for behaving as one would expect a president to behave? What is going on?

The answer to that is clear enough. Brennan signaled it explicitly when he tweeted that Trump’s statements “exceed the threshold of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors.’” The unhinged allegations of treason are supposed to form the basis of impeachment hearings.

To objective observers, the allegation that Trump betrayed the United States by equivocating in response to a rude question about Russian election interference is ridiculous on its face. But Democratic election strategists have obviously concluded that it is catnip for the Democratic faithful. For them it serves as a dog whistle.

The problem with playing domestic politics on the international scene is that doing so has real consequences for international security and for US national interests.

Where did EU’s foreign policy commissioner Federica Mogherini get the idea that it is okay for her to work urgently and openly to undermine legally constituted US sanctions against Iran for its illicit nuclear weapons program?

The answer of course is that they got a green light to adopt openly anti-American policies from the forces in the US that have devoted their energies since Trump’s election nearly two years ago to delegitimizing his victory and his presidency. Those calling Trump a traitor empowered the Europeans to defy the US on every issue.

Trump’s opponents’ unsubstantiated allegation that his campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 elections has constrained Trump’s ability to perform his duties.

So far, unlike Obama’s foreign policy by this point in his presidency, none of Trump’s exchanges have brought disaster on America or its allies. To the contrary, America and its allies have much greater strategic maneuver room across a wide spectrum of threats and join adversaries than they had when Obama left office.

Trump’s opponents’ obsession with bringing him down has caused great harm to his presidency and to America’s position worldwide. It is a testament to Trump’s commitment to the US and its allies that he met with Putin this week. And the success of their meeting is something that all who care about global security and preventing a devastating war in the Middle East should be grateful for.

Worse than you think when you don’t think about the implications of your accusations and allegations.

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Second reaction

Helsinki Is One of Trump’s Finest Moments by John Nolte – “President Donald Trump proved to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday that he is nobody’s puppet

“the media crafted a narrative around Charlottesville that determined what Trump was supposed to do, which was to make a statement condemning racism and racists. Which he did, more than once. But he also did something he was not supposed to do and that was to, at long last, make an issue of Antifa, who had been running around for the better part of a year acting as the organized left’s Brownshirts.

By having the moral courage to go off-script, Trump used Charlottesville to finally drag these terrorists into the national spotlight, and he did so by telling the truth, by accurately pointing out that “both sides” were responsible for that national disgrace. Trump also had the moral courage to point out there were “good people” on both sides; those who are not racists, who are not left-wing terrorists, who had arrived in good faith to protest against the tearing down of a statue and against racism. The New York Times, of all places, eventually proved Trump correct on this point.

The media’s post-Charlottesville tantrum was a wonder to behold, and it continues to this day, primarily through lies.

What the media wanted was to emotionally blackmail Trump into creating an international scene, a YouTube moment with Putin, where the president would violate every diplomatic norm to publicly shame and berate the Russian president.

Wisely, for the good of his country and out respect for the truth, Trump refused to jump in the trap. And now the spoiled children who once again did not get what they want, are having a national tantrum. And moral cowards, like House Speaker Paul Ryan (God bless Rand Paul), are terrified of these spoiled media babies and are seeking only to appease them.

For two years the media and Never Trump assured and reassured me that Trump was a shallow and feckless man interested only in one thing: adulation and praise. But on Monday in Helsinki, just as he did in Charlottesville, I saw Trump choose, at great personal cost, to do the moral and patriotic thing over what would have earned him that adulation and praise.

Sharyl Attkisson calls out ‘vitriolic’ John Brennan with one stinging question by Frieda Powers – “Attkisson wondered aloud what someone like Brennan, who has repeatedly shown his contempt for the president, would do with the power he had at his disposal.”

Instapundit – “Angelo Codevilla: Diplomacy 101 vs. Politics Writ Small.” … “Jay Michaelson in The Daily Beast: Stop Saying Trump Committed ‘Treason.’ You’re Playing Into His Hands.” and more.

What is roiling the water in DC? Abject fear! by Patricia McCarthy – “The disgraceful, frenzied reaction to President Trump’s press conference with Vladimir Putin on Monday would be hilarious if it were not so deadly serious.”

“The minute the presser was over, there was a near global political disintegration among our Democrats, most of the RINOs in Congress (Ryan, Flake, Corker, Graham), and the media. There were only a few voices of reason: Roger L. Simon, Rand Paul, among the few. As for the rest of the herd, one would have thought Trump had handed Putin the keys to the White House. He did nothing of the kind. Trump sat down with the man and began a conversation. Where it will go, no one yet knows. Trump knows, as do most people interested in such things, that Russia has spied on the U.S. for at least a hundred years. Pick up an Eric Ambler novel. That the Democrats are suddenly upset by this is a joke. Until November 9, 2016, they loved Russia and humiliated anyone who did not see the former Soviet Union as a model society. See Paul Kengor.

Trump’s Helsinki Comments Were a Defense of U.S. Voters, Not of Russia by D. C. McAllister – “This effort to malign, sabotage, and then seek to remove a duly elected president based on no evidence of collusion or wrongdoing is an attack on the American voter.”

“Trump did not attack the United States or U.S. institutions. He attacked people who are misusing the power of those institutions for their own political purposes — to slander opponents and delegitimize anyone who stands in the way of their agenda.

The rising tide of fear and anger toward Russia based on the false allegation that Putin colluded with Trump does nothing to help build bridges.

Trump knows it and was no doubt thinking about this point when questions about the election came up. Given his personality and his goals, he wasn’t about to give the very people who have hounded him for nearly two years one iota of credibility. Call this bad timing, inappropriate, unwise — but don’t for one minute call it treasonous.

Trump Will Win This Round With the Deep State by Conrad Black – “When the cant and emotionalism subside, the Helsinki summit will go down in history as a turning point in this American president’s struggle to disembowel the bipartisan regime of complacency and lassitude he successfully ran against.”

“Many of the president’s political supporters expressed genuine regret. …

They all missed the point. The real issue surged to the surface and into the ether in a blinding flash about five minutes after the joint press conference ended in the form of a tweet from former CIA director John Brennan.

Clearly, if to some extent implicitly, Donald Trump is saying that the latest Mueller accusations against this gang of Russian intelligence officials are a stunt to try to prop up the fraud that there was something suspect in Trump’s pre-election relations with the Russians. Naturally, this sent the Democratic leadership before the television cameras of their obsequious network supporters to tell Trump to stop calling it a witch-hunt and cancel the Putin meeting.

Trump could have handled things better in Helsinki, and should not have provoked a clarification from National Intelligence Director Dan Coats. But fundamentally he is right. And he will win.

If Not Russia, Who Is Hillary’s ‘Foreign Entity’? By Joe Herring – “I’ve long said Hillary Clinton is insufficiently stupid to have believed she could operate an unsecured home server without compromising the security of any data transmitted through it or stored on it.”

“For just as long, it has been my contention that the server was the faucet through which she pumped information she was selling (yes, selling) to foreign entities, both public and private.

It strains credulity to believe that the vast investigative resources of the federal government have been brought to bear against the Trump administration simply to enable a twice failed presidential candidate to avoid accountability for carelessly handling classified information.

one thing is certain and that is the flood of hyperbolic rhetoric.

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There is a lot of damage being done

A former intelligence agency continues to impugn the President with extremely serious but unfounded allegations and the Left’s propaganda machine is aghast because the President does not show absolute trust and faith in ‘his’ intelligence agencies?

If you want to know what was actually said and where it fits in context, see Trump and Putin and the fear-mongering MSM by neo-neocon – “One of the pillars of MSM coverage of the Trump administration is that it’s taken as a given that Trump is Putin’s puppet. You almost have to admire the left for its ability to choose a narrative early in the game and hammer it home at every opportunity, ignoring evidence that discredits it and spinning all news to conform to it.”

Correction: Trump Did Not Absolve Russians of Meddling by Tom Trinko – “Donald Trump did not say the Russians didn’t meddle in the U.S. election. Remember that when you read heated statements from leftist shills or people like Jeff Flake and John McCain. The left is in full lie mode, and leftists will say anything while assuming that their audience will never actually hear the truth.”

“Trump never said the Russians didn’t meddle – only that he discussed the issue with Putin and Putin denied it. Putin appears to be ready to back his claim up by providing Robert Mueller access to the 12 supposed hackers.

Putin could be lying, but nothing Trump said boils down to “the Russians didn’t meddle.” Rather, Trump was being diplomatic and didn’t directly call Putin a liar.

Trump did raise a very interesting point: the intelligence agencies saying the Russians interfered in the U.S. elections have not to this day taken possession of Hillary’s server. That’s similar to declaring someone guilty of murder without ever inspecting the crime scene.

Further, he pointed out the obvious truth: the left is using supposed Russian interference as a way to delegitimize Trump, even though no one is saying the Russians actually changed any vote counts.

Tell your friends the truth; Trump didn’t deny Russian interference, but he did question why Hillary’s hacked server wasn’t investigated. Trump managed to get Putin to give Mueller access to the 12 Russians, and the very diplomatic phrasing used by Trump is what the left said he was incapable of just a few months ago.

Mueller’s Politicized Indictment of Twelve Russian Intelligence Officers by Andrew C. McCarthy – “If the idea was to give Vladimir Putin and his thug regime a new way to sabotage the United States, nice work.”

“Make no mistake: This is nakedly politicized law enforcement. There is absolutely no chance any of the Russian officials charged will ever see the inside of an American courtroom. The indictment is a strictly political document by which the special counsel seeks to justify the existence of his superfluous investigation.

Thus, among the worst aspects of Mueller’s new indictment is its continuation of the Justice Department’s politicized perversion of its critical counterintelligence mission.

Lacking the requisite basis to conduct a criminal investigation, the Justice Department used its counterintelligence mission as a pretext for appointing a special counsel. This was grossly improper

What there will be, though, is a new international order in which nation-states are encouraged to file criminal charges against each other’s officials for actions deemed to be provocative (or, more accurately, actions that can be exploited for domestic political purposes). Of all government officials in the world, American officials are the most active on the global stage — and that includes meddling in other countries’ elections. I doubt our diplomats, intelligence operatives, elected officials, and citizens will much like living in the world Robert Mueller and Rod Rosenstein have given us. If the idea was to give Vladimir Putin and his thug regime a new way to sabotage the United States, nice work.

There is a lot of damage being done in this civil war.

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Missing the big story

Missing the red for all the green by Richard Fernandez – “One the unintended consequences of European environmentalism is it keeps Putin in funds.”

“It is a hole with no easy way out. The inability till recently of the US media to perceive the connection between Europe’s energy vulnerability and Russian expansionism might seem surprising at first but in retrospect is easy to understand. The politics of environmentalism have roots distinct from traditional strategic thought and the two never properly intertwined. Environmentalism grew out of literary circles — Henry David Thoreau, John Muir and Rachel Carson and Earth Day — while modern strategy grew from other soil — names like Clausewitz, Herman Kahn or Henry Kissinger to mind. The two camps don’t normally talk to each other.

The charitable explanation is that, like the German politicians, Cuomo thinks you get electricity from the plug. Being dependent on Putin for gas apparently has costs of its own, but sometimes you have to be simple minded enough to see that.

No, Ben, it was a Strzok of genius by Don Surber – “One of the reasons cable television pundits are so useless is that they give a microscopic view of Washington (which is a pretty boring and colorless place) when they need to look at the big picture.”

“We like to think of our FBI agents as Efrem Zimbalist Jr. or Tommy Lee Jones.

Instead, we got Pee Wee Herman. I know you are, but what am I?

But as Shapiro showed, there was more.

The people who do not pay close attention got a glimpse into the ugliness of this investigation. As they say, once seen, it cannot be unseen.

A Russian Ham Sandwich by Derek Hunter – “It’s a neat little trick – bring charges against people you’ll never get in court, therefore you’ll never have to prove them.”

“Since none of those charged are going to show up in court, there will be no challenge to the allegation, no demand to see the evidence, and no legal embarrassment for Mueller when the charges are dropped because the key piece of evidence not only can’t be provided to the defense, it wasn’t even examined by the prosecutor. He appears to have simply taken the word of the Democratic Party about what happened.

This “problem” with the server having vanished won’t be an issue because there’s no one to make it an issue. But there are plenty of people willing to exploit the charges because this is Washington, and Washington doesn’t need proof or have standards when there is a narrative or an agenda to advance.

FISA Abuse: It is the Risk, the Reality, and the Reason by sundance – “Peel all of the layers of investigative schemes, intelligence deception, false and distracting media narratives -including Mueller- and what lies beneath it all is the weaponized use of database-collected material for political surveillance and exploitation.” Remember the arguments about the Patriot Act?

“Seriously. Every motive and every action and reaction is directly connected to the need to hide what was taking place in 2015 and 2016 between officials within the DOJ, FBI and U.S. intelligence community, and outside government “contractors” (Fusion GPS, Crowdstrike etc.) who were political operatives. Everything boils down to the common denominator of the abuse of the intelligence apparatus for political power.

Ignore the spin — still no evidence of Trump collusion by Jonathan Turley – “The problem with hunting witches is that you can quickly forget what sent you on the hunt, or gradually view most everyone as a witch.” Turley claims his creds by asserting “Trump always has been wrong about the Mueller investigation” because there are witches to be found, just not in Trump’s camp. That is specious and and intentional perceptional distortion. This is an example of what Surber was talking about in “a Strzok of genius.”

“The problem in the Russian investigation is that we have plenty of crimes but not necessarily plenty of colluders.

much of this effort may have been much too “standard” for some of us to admit. The continued shock and revulsion expressed by many leaders at the thought of such interference is a tad forced.

In other words, if there were a real hunt for election witches, we would find ourselves at the head of the line to the pillory.

With minutes of its release, the latest indictment was unrecognizable after being put through the centrifuge of the Washington spin machine. The fact is that the indictment largely confirmed what we knew.

So, ignore the exclamations of “O Goody Ruskies.” We can be outraged by the Russian operation without being hypocrites as to our own history.

In other words, if you want to find witches, start by not being chumps.

It is missing the red for the green or, in this case, using red to paint over one’s own sins.

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The Smirk

Strzok’s claim of no bias so ridiculous that even CNN’s political director calls BS by Thomas Lifson – “Only a fool or a Democrat (the two groups considerably overlap in the United States) would believe Peter Strzok’s claim under oath that it was only the appearance of bias, not actual bias, that was the problem with his texts to his inamorata Lisa Page.”

“Yet, the Democrats in the joint committee hearing were eager to hitch their wagon to his fate. One of them, Rep Steve Cohen of Memphis, offended many people with his claim that Strzok deserved a “Purple Heart,” oblivious to the genuine grievous physical injuries that have been honored with this medal that he trivialized.

I can only assume that Democrats believe that because Strzok was out to harm Trump, they must defend him.

Strzok, who is ubiquitous in scandals of exonerating Hillary and persecuting Trump, will become radioactive before voters go to the polls. I think Chalian is offering a friendly warning to them that there is only so much BS that the public will buy.

Strzok’s Smirk by Daniel Greenfield – “There are two kinds of villains in TV mystery shows. The plausibly sympathetic type and the smirking creep.”

“Peter Strzok had rehearsed all the lines of the plausibly sympathetic type. The character that James Comey is trying to play. A man so upright that he combs his hair every hour. But Strzok couldn’t help that smirk. Every time he clashed with the impotent House Republicans barraging him with questions that he dodged or refused to answer, the smirk crept over his face and into his voice.

And what was meant to be one character became another character.

Strzok hates Republicans. He hates Trump. And while his career might be a shambles, he’s getting personal satisfaction out of sitting there and thwarting them. It’s a grave error.

Gowdy, a former prosecutor, and Gohmert, a former judge, understood that weakness and played on it. Just like TV show detectives play on the poor self-control of their suspect.

Strzok, who had done this a thousand times from the other end, lacked the self-control to keep that smirk in check.

Instead of doing what he needed to do, Strzok grew overly defensive, refused to concede any point, took any opportunity to speechify, interjected, argued and smirked.

He went in thinking that he would play his interlocutors. Instead they played on his weaknesses.

More from the theater of the Strzok hearing by neo-neocon – “Gohmert only said what everyone was thinking, of course, and the visual of looking at Strzok’s smirking face while Gohmert said it was certainly instructive.” Here’s the dictionary definition of smirk.

Some Questions That I would Like To Ask Peter Strozk by jjcarlton – “Frankly if I were Director Wray at this point my orders would be to give the joint committee everything. The longer that the FBI stalls, the worse it’s going to get for the FBI.”

“I think that the actions of the FBI and other agencies goes deeper than just the activity against the Trump campaign. It has been a long time now, but the concern of the people in Congress in the mid and late 1970’s was that the intelligence and law enforcement organizations of the government would become some sort of praetorian guard. Watching Special Agent Strozk at the hearings trying to defend the indefensible leads me to believe that those very organizations have gone far along that path. Agent Strozk’s attitude was not one of contriteness or of somebody who had committed a mistake. He honestly believes that he did the right thing by initiating an investigation against the campaign of one of the candidates for president. The fact that the entire thing was handled so callously says a lot about the institution of the FBI and the other intelligence agency’s involved. There is an ancient Roman saying, “Who will guard the guardians.” The most important thing any institution in government must have is the trust of the governed. At the hearings I saw that trust being thrown away for a desire to maintain a corrupt status quo and power.

Dirty Democrats try to hijack House hearing to protect their own by Howie Carr – “So corrupt, I’m dumb-Strzok!”

“If the corrupt Democrats in the FBI and the DOJ have nothing to hide in the investigation of their attempted coup against Donald Trump, then why did their congressional enablers attempt to hijack the FBI corruption hearing yesterday?

Whenever Strzok said “ongoing investigations,” replace that phrase with “smear campaign,” “frame up” or “Democrat dirty tricks” and you’ll see what he really meant.

In other words, he was dumb-Strzok. It was embarrassing, deeply corroding to what little remains of the FBI’s shattered reputation.

The FBI, you might say, has Strzok out.

Ask yourself this: Why don’t the Democrats want to get to the bottom of this scandal that makes Watergate look like a spitball? A scandal with actual evidence and smoking guns, unlike the Russian collusion hoax.

As we consider the corruption that is now being revealed in these current hearings, do you know what the best way is to describe the old Rico-Connolly days in Boston?

The good old days.

House Dems outraged as Ryan and McCarthy call their bluff on ‘abolish ICE’ bill by Thomas Lifson – “They actually announced that they will note “no” on their own bill.”

Why do so many people hate Trump for telling truths they don’t want to hear? Isn’t that what ALL politicians are supposed to do? by Piers Morgan – “I’ve known President Trump a long time and he’s always called things exactly how he sees them in the moment, regardless of any offence they may cause.”

“spare me all the risible ‘I’ve never been so offended!’ nonsense spewing forth from the usual suspects today at Trump’s tub-thumping tirade against his host Theresa May and her Brexit policy, as he arrived in Britain.

President Trump calls a spade a spade.

We know that, and we can expect that every single day of this extraordinary presidency.

I’m glad President Trump has come to Britain and given my Prime Minister some home truths.

It’s the perfect time for him to do it.

If she has any sense, she’ll pour him a cup of tea and listen to him.

Will Time magazine put this photo of a starving Venezuelan on its cover, too? By Monica Showalter – “Sometimes, photos shock the conscience.”

“As for the press, its sin is that it refuses to say the word ‘socialism,’ blithely reporting the starvation brought on by this man-made disaster as if it were something that just blew in with the wind, never once admitting that this is the work of ‘socialism.’ Here is an example of it, a good piece from PBS, yet its minions never once bring up the ‘s’ word.

The NY Times on Trump: That Was Then by Steven Hayward – “noting how the New York Times thought of Trump in this largely positive feature about him from 1984. It’s a long read, but there are some interesting—and familiar-sounding—parts of this story”

“SPENDING A DAY WITH Donald Trump is like driving a Ferrari without the windshield. It’s exhilarating; he gets a few bugs in his teeth. . .

No smirk with Trump.

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Ancient history

Mueller reveals tenuous link between Manafort charges and Trump by Byron York – “It’s often been observed that special counsel Robert Mueller, assigned to investigate alleged Trump-Russia collusion in the 2016 presidential campaign, has yet to charge anyone with a crime involving Trump-Russia collusion in the 2016 presidential campaign.”

“In any event, Mueller has not suggested that Donald Trump was involved in any of the actions outlined in the Manafort charges. The two Lender D loans are, apparently, the only connection between the Trump campaign and the broad array of criminal activity, some of it more than a decade old, alleged in the Manafort indictments. And Trump himself played no role in it.

Was a special counsel needed for that?

How Perkins Coie Plan to Get Congressman Jim Jordan by R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. – “The “inappropriate” behavior supposedly occurred 30 years ago.”

“Ohio State has hired a legal firm, Perkins Coie, to investigate Jordan. But wait. Did not Perkins Coie work for Hillary Clinton on the dirty dossier? Is not Jordan from his House committee investigating such matters? How did Ohio State settle on a law firm employed by Hillary to investigate Jordan, and why has no one suggested another law firm.

A number of wrestlers have come forward and testified on Jordan’s behalf, though they are rarely mentioned in the press.

I remember my first conversation with Jordan over dinner a few years back. Yes, he wanted to talk politics, but first he wanted to compare Ohio State’s training program with Indiana’s swimming program and he was particularly interested in our coach, the innovative Doc Councilman, swimming’s greatest coach. As the unnamed witness said, even after 30 years Jordan was “all business.” To a two-time NCAA champion, training came even before politics.

How is it that we have arrived at this bizarre point in our history? We are harassing a world-class athlete about vaporous charges going back 30 years when he was an assistant coach. Even if the charges are true, it is not clear what he could have done about them. Thirty years ago, things could not have been more different. When Michael Alf says his teammates “joked” about their randy doctor I have a good idea what he is talking about. Does anyone born after, say, 2000 have any idea?

Yet we cannot expect clear thinking from today’s Democrats. Jordan has become a powerful figure in investigating the “deep state’s” misbehavior.

Maybe the left should answer some questions instead of Kavanaugh by Jack Hellner – “Greg Sargent of the Washington Post, Senator Chuck Schumer, and others on the left are trying to trash President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, in as many ways possible.”

“The first question that Sargent, Schumer and other leftists of this state of mind should be asked is which law Trump broke? What’s more, how would some garden-variety stealing-or-lying charge, whatever it is, somehow make it to the Supreme Court? And more to the point, how would that cause any Supreme Court justice to let him off? Supreme Court justices are independent. They answer to no one. It appears that these Democrats, including the media, are still pretending that there was Russian collusion.

I would then ask Schumer why Obama got off without being charged with any crimes, since we know he illegally spied on thousands, and illegally communicated with Hillary Clinton on a non-secure personal computer.

Jazz Shaw has two columns in this vein. Democrats plunge forward with bill to abolish ICE – “Despite numerous warnings from within their own ranks, several Democratic representatives in the House are moving forward with a bill to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).” Dems to Kavanaugh: If we lose, you must recuse … on Mueller – “Senate Democrats signaled yesterday that Brett Kavanaugh should prepare for the kitchen-sink treatment with a ridiculous demand for a recusal.”

“None of that applies to Kavanaugh in this instance. He has done no work on the Mueller investigation, nor did he do any work for Donald Trump either before, during, or after the campaign. Democrats are ginning up a connection to Mueller in an attempt to smear Kavanaugh, in part by deliberately distorting Kavanaugh’s advice to Congress on the potential for limited presidential immunity, six years before Trump ever decided to run for office.

The only recusals needed here are those by Booker, Blumenthal, Schumer, and anyone else who peddles this noxious nonsense.

Schumer: It’s time for Supreme Court nominees to dump the Ginsburg standard and tell us their views on legal hot buttons by Allahpundit – “This makes twice now that he’s been hobbled by a Democrat setting a judicial precedent which seemed clever at the time, only to have it detonate later right in the party’s faces. In fairness to him, though, this isn’t the most desperate thing he’s done in his “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” attempt to block the nominee.”

Somebody At DOJ Isn’t Telling The Truth About Rosenstein’s Subpoena Threats Against Congressional Staff by Mollie Hemingway – “Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein denied under oath he had threatened to subpoena congressional aides’ communications, but a DOJ spokesman had already admitted that was true in statements to multiple news outlets, claiming it was justified.”

“The media praised Rosenstein for his handling of Jordan’s question, particularly his pedantic claim that phone calls can’t be subpoenaed, which elicited laughter from the gallery. It was obvious that Rosenstein was familiar with the media report his office confirmed, if spun to be less disconcerting, and that the term phone call was a reference to phone records, which are frequently subpoenaed or otherwise obtained by law enforcement authorities.

The Strange Career of White Privilege by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review – “Rich whites invent minority pedigrees to gain advantage while they condemn poor and working-class rural whites as racist.”

“What exactly did “white privilege” mean in an ethnically diverse society?

Mere appearance? Yet many Arab Americans and Latinos were indistinguishable from fifth-generation Southern European Americans or Armenian Americans. Politics had something to do with skin color, but how and why was inferred rather than defined. If a white-looking second-generation Arab American put on a head scarf and declaimed against U.S. policy, and if she had a name that was clearly not European in origin, then she too was a “minority” and could advance claims against “white privilege.” But should she dress in assimilated fashion and voice support for the state of Israel, then she probably possessed “white privilege” and joined the victimizers rather than the victims.

Intermarriage is increasingly common, if not the near norm. Millions of Americans are one-quarter something, one-half something else, and again one-quarter something still different.

But even if we were all to wear DNA badges and could agree on a magical non-white percentile that qualifies us for minority status, contradictions would still surround the construct of “white privilege.”

In sum, the terms “diversity” and “white privilege” have now been stretched to denote so many things, and yet they encompass so many paradoxes and contradictions, that they have become words that mean nothing much at all.

How odd that the current revolutionary mode is to keep these reactionary Byzantine classifications and programs that no longer sync with reality, and to damn as reactionary the truly revolutionary act — which would be to start treating people as unique individuals whose appearance is a secondary consideration.

Tribal is so ancient history.

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Principled opposition?

Brett Kavanaugh: An Excellent Beginning by John Hinderaker – “The event was, I think, superbly staged. Some observations:”

Women’s March mocked for pre-written press release opposing Supreme Court nominee ‘XX’ By Victor Morton – “The Women’s March opposes XX.”

“A pre-written — and poorly edited — statement from the Women’s March on President Trump’s Supreme Court nomination became the subject of mockery on Twitter on Monday night, including from Mr. Trump’s former press secretary.

While the statement also spelled the judge’s name as “Cavenaugh,” the obviously pre-written placeholder characters “XX” caused much mirth on social media.

The Women’s March wasn’t the only group to put out a pre-written statement betraying a certain rush to judgment.

Have Jordan Accusers Reported Abuse at Their Work Places? By Dov Fischer – “And now the Seedier Media are going after Rep. Jim Jordan. They think maybe they got something on him from thirty years ago.”

“This is so vicious, so base, the endless character assassination — leveled by hypocrites and phonies who, in front of their own very eyes, see the evil and villainy of the Keith Ellisons and Hillary Clintons, the Bill Clintons and Maxine Waterses who should be ostracized and vomited out of the body politic.

It all is cynical and dishonest beyond words. Jim Jordan is a good man. He is a very honorable man. If we are going to go back thirty years to start digging up bones and skeletons, looking to destroy people who conducted themselves thoroughly properly for their time and place, though perhaps differently from what today’s standards would expect,

There is a reason that we have statutes of limitation and laws of repose. Otherwise, let us open a new category of litigation and start suing anyone we ever have met for anything that ever has happened.

So stand with Jim Jordan. He is a good man. And let him subpoena the records as Congress delves deeper and deeper into the bowels of the Deep State. And if you must get a daily fix on the politics of destruction and character assassination leveled against good people — now that Admiral Jackson has been defamed viciously, and the Trump Family seems to be enjoying a brief post-Peter-Fonda respite — fear not. The next campaign of personal destruction is about to launch: We now have a fabulous world-class United States Supreme Court justice nominee, with only two months available for the Democrat left and their Seedier Media to destroy a wonderfully dignified human being and perhaps an entire family.

Investor’s Business Daily: Dispatches From The ‘Tolerant’ Left’s War On Trump Supporters – “Every day brings new examples of the supposedly open-minded, inclusive, tolerant, peace-loving left threatening or attacking Trump administration officials or Trump supporters.”

“Hatred and intolerance has been standard operating procedure on the extreme left. But thanks to enablers among Democrats and the press, it’s quickly becoming dangerously “mainstream.”

Here are some of the ways in just the past few days that the left has expressed its tolerance for those it disagrees with:

Breitbart recently started compiling what it characterizes as “acts of media-approved violence and harassment against Trump supporters.” The list is now up to 258 — and climbing fast.

The left defends such actions as justified because of Trump’s policies or his actions. The truth is, this is how extremists on the left always respond to politicians and policies they disagree with. They threaten, intimidate and try to shut them down. If you don’t think so, try attending a speech by a conservative speaker at any liberal college in the U.S.

Yes, we know, there are haters on the right. And Trump can be crude and abusive. But that’s the point. Even a whiff of hatred or intolerance on the right always — and correctly — receives widespread condemnation, including by Republicans.

The same is not true on the left. Not. Even. Close.

Instead, Democrats and their handmaidens in the press are busy normalizing violent, abusive, intolerant behavior … when not encouraging more of it. They seem to have forgotten that we live in a representative democracy, where we settle debates over public policies — peacefully — at the voting booth.

The facts about fact-checkers By Ed Feulner – “You don’t have to be a student of ancient Roman poetry to have heard Juvenal’s famous line “Who watches the watchmen?” But perhaps a more apt question today would be: Who checks the fact-checkers?”

“when it’s a matter of mining some data from a particular report or government agency, it’s a pretty straightforward task. But when you look closer, you start to notice that many of these features veer sharply into what can be more accurately called opinion-checking.

The upshot of her analysis? Maybe yes, maybe no. It depends on how you look at it. After illustrating how one can spin the data in different ways, Ms. Kelly proclaims: “Trump is using accurate data to draw faulty conclusions.”

There’s already a journalistic label for what Ms. Kelly is doing, and it’s not “fact-checking.” It’s “news analysis.” So why is this article flying under the “fact-checker” flag? Simple. It carries the cache of objectivity. “Analysis” can be done by any journalist with an anti- or pro-Trump axe to grind, but “fact-checking?” You can’t question that, right?

Wrong. You can, and you should. As The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto has noted:

“Some good work is done under the rubric of ‘fact-checking,’ but ‘fact-check’ journalists do not limit themselves to questions of verifiable objective fact. Frequently they accuse politicians of dishonesty because the journalists favor a different interpretation of facts that are not in dispute. Sometimes their ‘rulings’ are mere opinions on matters about which they do not know the facts, or that are not factual questions at all.”

Pinocchio longed for the day he’d become a real boy. Can we look forward to a time when Ms. Kelly and her fellow journalists become genuine fact-checkers?

A year’s worth of anti-Trump media errors by John Sexton – “Becket Adams at the Washington Examiner has completed a list of false news stories propagated by the media in 2017.”

“You’ll be shocked to learn that nearly all of the stories cut against the Trump administration. Granted, not all of these stories were blockbusters (though some were, at least initially) but the length of the list suggests the media is being remarkably careless in how it covers the administration. I’m not going to present even a substantial portion of Adams’ list but here are eight examples from the 100 he offers

We covered many of these stories here at the time they happened. And I think there are some stories that aren’t on the list that could be. For instance, the media freakout over Melania Trump’s shoes last August. He also skipped the brief freakout over Trump supposedly Photoshopping his hands to make them look bigger in official photos. Some of these claims didn’t get very far before they were reeled in by people on the right or other journalists. Still, there’s a clear willingness to believe almost anything negative about Trump or his administration which makes the media unusually susceptible to this sort of fake news

‘Anonymous’ Users Can Be Pinpointed on Twitter with 96.7% Accuracy by Allum Bokhari – “machine learning algorithms can still pinpoint you in a crowd of 10,000 other users using metadata associated with your posts, according to a new study.” Ah, yes. Another ‘study.’ But, in this one, we get a bit of hard data to see where the conclusion comes from.

“Metadata” refers to data about other data. In the context of a Twitter post, this includes the date and time of the post, the number of characters in it, the device it was posted from, its grammatical style, the location it was posted from, and a host of other markers. The average tweet contains about 144 pieces of metadata.

Using machine learning, researchers at University College London and the Turing Institute have developed a method of identifying individual users with 96.7 accuracy using metadata alone.

The collection of metadata and its implications for individual privacy became a particularly high-profile issue under the Obama administration when whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA routinely harvested mass amounts of metadata about Americans’ phone calls.

Judge shuts down challenge to sanctuary laws… for now by Jazz Shaw – “A federal judge in Sacramento dismissed two challenges from the White House which would have invalidated a pair of the state’s sanctuary laws while allowing the challenge to a third law to proceed.” It’s a good summary of the issues at hand, the implications, and how they should be resolved.

The non-science of transgender analysis by Jazz Shaw – “there’s a new entry in the media push to convince Americans that gender dysphoria is just another part of life which should be accepted without question.”

“The author would instruct us to accept the premise that people “just know” something about their inherent “identity” in such questions. Well, sometimes the observer “just knows” something when they see it as well, but they can frequently turn out to be wrong. And, again, this is unique in the American debate landscape. There are no activists out there claiming that people suffering from Cotard’s Syndrome are actually zombies and should be treated as such under the law because they believe it so much. Nobody is suggesting that victims of clinical lycanthropy be allowed to roam the fields at night ripping the throats out of people because they believe they are werewolves. Yet there is precisely as much evidence out there that people actually do turn into wolves under the light of the full moon as there is indicating that a person born with a normal chromosomal structure, a vagina, a womb and ovaries, with zero signs of a Y chromosome anywhere in sight is actually a man.

Having this debate regarding the science behind the question takes on greater importance when you consider the consequences. Simply allowing someone the freedom to deny medical science (and reality) and dress as they wish and call themselves what they like will never be enough. You’ll next be told that you have to accept these ideas and modify your language to match theirs. And you’ll want science on your side when you are informed that your teenage daughter will be going to school and showering with some “girls who happen to have penises” and if you don’t like it you’ll be taken to court for High Crimes of Bigotry.

#PermitPatty Showcases the Dangers of Overregulation by Jibran Khan – “All-encompassing rules empower bigots and rent-seekers.”

“The real face of overregulation has been in the news in recent weeks, after bystanders called the police on three young people in different states for peaceful behavior. The incidents serve as a reminder that an overly broad “rule,” even if rarely enforced, can be weaponized at any time. Such rules can serve to empower pettiness and bigotry that otherwise might have been limited to rude speech.

The three incidents all went viral, from the pathetic marijuana-corporation executive who called the police on an eight-year-old girl for the “crime” of “illegally selling water without a permit” on a hot summer day, to the neighbor who called the police on a 12-year-old for his summer lawn-mowing business, to the 16-year-old boy who was cuffed and arrested in Charleston, S.C., for selling palmetto roses (a longstanding Charleston tradition). Luckily, the police did not act on the complaints in the first two cases — but the very fact that people feel empowered to call the police over harmless behavior shows the pernicious reach of the regulatory regime. In each of these cases, the regulations in question were the sort justified on health-and-safety grounds.

And in all three cases, the children were black.

Salient?

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Worry. Angel Wings.

The Democrats’ unhealthy political platform by James Lopez – “The DNC and mainstream media (MSM) are in a collaborative effort to commit treasonous acts against the United States of America in a coup attempt.”

“While seemingly an impossible notion for America, consider the following as evidence to justify this assertion.

Consider the comprehensive and automatic responses by all progressive left influenced news outlets. This is right out of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, supplemented by the eight levels of control to create a socialist state. All talking points are similar in nature to accuse conservative policies of Nazi-like actions and tactics. In other words, accuse your opponents of what you are actually doing behind the curtain.

Consider these eight levels of control that must be obtained in order to create a socialist state:

Consider Alinsky’s rules for radicals:

This is not a free speech issue; it is a progressive left coup utilizing all means necessary to alter America. One can go on and on with examples from the MSM and far-left progressives through their accusations, false claims, lies, and fake news.

The far-left progressives are the haters. They are the bigots and racists. They are the false accusers. They are the ones who are intolerant.

Ace of Spades: James Woods’ Agent “Fires Him” on the 4th of July, Stating That He’s “Feeling Patriotic” and So Will No Longer Represent the Actor Due to His Pro-Trump Views. “Feeling patriotic” enough to engage in McCarthyite blacklisting. … This is a pure spite move, and furthermore, it’s a pure spite move made, conveniently enough, when the spite move doesn’t cost this “patriot” any money.

Video: Man threw a drink in teen’s face and stole his MAGA hat by John Sexton – “Things are pretty bad when a bar called “Rumble” is acting as the voice of reason.”

Every time Trump tweets, an angel gets its wings by Patricia McCarthy – “It is clear to anyone paying attention that the fact that Donald Trump won the 2016 election has driven the leftists of America stark raving mad

“The left and much of the right have loathed Trump’s tweets from day one. In their view, he should not be allowed to communicate directly to the American people. Our corrupt and despicable media think that is their job; they resent the president’s talking directly to the people. Social media are the left’s invention, and they don’t like interlopers who use these tools for purposes in opposition to their own. Trump’s tweeting is “not presidential,” they say. Indeed, it was not, until now.

With Trump, it is his and our only weapon against a vicious, prevaricating, radically leftist media.

Leandra English resigns from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by John Sexton – “After months of legal wrangling, Leanda English announced through her attorney that she was stepping down from her job at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.” This is one of several recent stories about Trump wins on the slog and often against malicious propaganda efforts. The ‘trade wars’ provide another example where the truth pops up out of the muck on occasion. The North Korea nuclear disarmament is just approaching the dissonance phase so it’s a bit behind that. Recent decisions at SCOTUS were a start in addressing the problem of rogue federal judges. There are many fronts and many battles in the effort to drain the swamp and restore government by and for the people. After many years of ‘stand by and go with the flow’ there is a true resistance, one that builds but does not destroy. One that slogs along getting the job done. One that has just found an effective leader to plow the road.

Wisconsin supreme court to Marquette: Reinstate conservative professor by Ed Morrissey – “Did conservatives just win a battle in the campus-speech wars, or lose one on religious liberty?” The lead is rather misleading. Yes, one judge in disssent “argued that the court was infringing on Marquette’s ability to exercise its religious liberty as a private Catholic institution by ordering McAdam’s full reinstatement and restitution” but that wasn’t really at issue in this case. “The ruling encompasses both free-speech and contract considerations, ruling that the Jesuit school committed a breach of contract in firing him for sharp criticism of another instructor who attempted to shut down a debate over gay rights.” Morrissey points out matters of bias, reverse engineering to make an argument that fit desired results, the inability of the University to provide direct substance to support its actions, and the logical fallacies involved. This one comes down to the idea that, if you are going to take action against someone, you should at least be honest about what you are doing and why.

History’s Bad Ideas Are an Inspiration for Progressives by Victor Davis Hanson – “What we now consider stupid and dangerous ideas of the past, progressives see as useful in the present.”

Max Boot joins George Will in saying that Democrats must win in order to purify the GOP, or something like that by neo-neocon – “What is it with these guys, Boot and Will and their ilk? Their revulsion to Trump is so great that they have joined forces with people they have worked against their entire lives—Democrats, liberals, and particularly the left, which, if Boot has been paying any attention lately, has taken over the Democratic Party.”

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How can you figure out what is true and what isn’t

How to Read the News: A Guide for Truth-Seekers by Alicia Colon – “Since President Trump’s election, it has become quite predictable to glean whether an article will be positive or negative simply by learning the news source. No matter what the actual news does report, certain sources will spin it with extreme bias. Here’s what I’ve learned about getting the real facts on current events.”

“No matter how successful the recent summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un turns out, these publications will report it with a “Yes, but” analysis:

The recent MSM and celebrity hysteria about the illegal immigrant children being separated from their alleged parents would have had some impact with voters had not the truth been exposed in the Internet on unbiased websites and twitter posts.

The truth is out there, but without the Internet and some cable news channels, it’s very hard to find.

if one is seeking the truth amidst all the hyperbole and hysteria about non existent events, one has to turn to the following online webzines: Breitbart.com; Newsbusters.com; Daily Caller; Jewishworldreview.com; Americanthinker.com; foxnews.com; PJmedia.com; washintonexaminer.com, freebeacon.com; theconservativetreehouse.com; powelineblog.com;washintontimes.com. and Townhall.com and of course lucianne.com.

It is a shame that we have to work so hard to learn the real facts of any incident, but the so-called free press that is protected by the Constitution has been so corrupted by unethical liberal bias.

The truth may still be out there but it is getting harder to discover it in this age of Photoshop, CGI, camera phones, and image manipulation. There are a growing number of new cable networks that promise to deliver unbiased straight news so there is some hope out there.

Colon has it right. Know who wrote what you are reading. Then always read critically.

A long tradition: Americans behaving badly to each other by Andrew Malcolm – “One of the more serious problems with America’s current fixation on instant gratification is its indulgence in instant outrage fueled by a general cultural coarsening and enabled by social media.” At least it’s not blatant but the ‘both sides do it’ falsehood is visible in Malcom’s opinion. It’s the difference that is important and it can be seen in the examples he cites. As with many stuck in dissonance, he hasn’t reached the point where he can apply his own advice to himself.

“This nation’s collective memory endures less than 10 years. Most Americans weren’t born by 1969, when those two opening incidents were personally witnessed. So, they think today’s civic rudeness is unprecedented.

It’s not.

Which reminds me of a playground altercation that turned violent long before this summer’s incivility concerns. “Well,” one boy whined to the principal, “he did it too.”

That line didn’t wash in yesterday’s fourth grade. And it doesn’t wash in today’s politics.

Ace of Spades has more: “Jen Rubin: Sarah Sanders Should Never Feel Comfortable in Public, For the Rest of Her Life; “We’re Not Going to Let These People Go Through Life Unscathed” – What if we were to collectively say this about Jen Rubin or other toxic “journalists”? Daily Beast: Trump’s So CRAZY He Complained That The Media Would Make the Annapolis Newsroom Shooting All About Him – Isn’t that exactly what the media did?”

“What’s the criticism intended here? That Trump can predict exactly what the media will do in any situation and that’s bad because, um, why?

WaPo: Dems about to outrage themselves out of midterm win by Ed Morrissey – “Will Democratic outrage finally eat itself?” Citing “The Washington Post’s Michael Scherer” …

“Let’s pause here about the “falsely” comment. Just how false is it to take calls for the abolition of the agency responsible for immigration enforcement as a call for ending it altogether? The argument is so incoherent that it’s about the only rational takeaway from it. After all, if the argument is that Democrats want to abolish ICE but still want immigration enforcement, then they’d need to reconstitute ICE with nothing more than a name change.

The problem with hysterical arguments isn’t that they get falsified — it’s that they’re entirely unfalsifiable. The words get disconnected from their literal meaning, as Scherer does here, because it’s all about sheer emotional manipulation rather than rational policy. That’s why Democrats are talking about “street fights” rather than coherent strategies and solutions

We’re having an election in four months. Rather than focus on actual democracy, Moore, Harris, and Waters are trying to sell street fights and suicide missions in their stead, based on hysteria rather than policy outcomes. How exactly does that rhetoric uphold democracy?

Steven Hayward also noted the “falsely” and commented in his PowerLine entry – “My only quibble here is with the modifier “falsely.” Prediction: There’s going to be a big fight on the 2020 Democratic Platform Committee over a proposal for a plank calling for the abolition of ICE.” 

Mitch McConnell Didn’t Steal Obama’s SCOTUS Pick, Ginsburg Did by Carl Jackson – “Sadly, when you rely on your values, morals, and worth to be affirmed by feelings, like-minded peers, and government regulation rather than by God and objective truth, it’s no wonder the left goes crazy when they can’t appoint a ruler to validate their worldview.”

“The hysterics we witnessed last week from the left in response to Kennedy’s retirement announcement is due to their fundamental misunderstanding of the role Supreme Court justices play in the U.S. Democrats wrongly believe that SCOTUS justices are placed on the bench to write or rewrite law as they see fit – a practice known as “judicial activism.” However, judges that subscribe to this philosophy do no favors to the cause of freedom in America. They circumvent the will of the people by cancelling out the votes of our elected representatives in Congress. Rather than a government of, for, and by the people, judicial activists give us a government of, for, and by the elites. This ultimately tears the nation apart rather than brings us together.

the left’s obsession over Kennedy’s retirement can largely be attributed to the civics education (or lack thereof) our high school and college kids are receiving. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find college kids that know we have three branches of government, let alone recognize their separate but equal functions. …

We can’t allow Democrats to reshape the Constitution through judicial fiat. We do so at our own peril. It’s impossible to remain a free society when citizens don’t understand how their own government works. That leaves conservatives no other option than to defeat leftists at the ballot box. We’re either going to be a nation that understands our government derives its power by the consent of the governed, as outlined by the Declaration of Independence. Or, we’ll become a nation where our rights are determined by those in government. It really is that simple.

Mueller’s Kafkaesque Probe by George Neumayr – “As the Michael Cohen frenzy underscores, this is a “collusion” investigation that has nothing to do with collusion.”

“From Andrew McCabe to Peter Strzok to now apparently Michael Cohen, they are all using anti-Trump special pleading as a kind of get-out-of-jail-free card. They are simply seeking refuge in the ruling class’s hatred of him. That Trump is the victim, not the villain, in this soap opera never slows its melodrama down: we are supposed to find it very chilling that Trump has “obstructed” an investigation that should never have started and that has turned into nothing more than a ruling class coup.

Through ruthless, abusive, and absurdly open-ended prosecution, Mueller has grabbed people within Trump’s orbit and made them political problems. But that’s all they are. This is just power politics, and it can only work if a president slinks away. Trump won’t. He is nothing if not an effective vanquisher of political mobs. Against an unelected mandarin like Mueller, who has already worn out his welcome in the eyes of much of the public for conducting a proxy coup on behalf of official Washington, Trump just finds himself in one more political fight, perhaps trickier than the others, but one he will still win. Whatever embarrassments irrelevant to his mandate that Mueller tries to dress up as impeachable offenses in the final report, it will be seen by at least half the country for what it is: a partisan railroading straight out of a Franz Kafka novel.

Political hysteria?

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The judicial oligarchy: can it be held to the law as written?

The Left Is Slipping into Terminal Irrelevance by Roger Kimball – “Well, last week was quite a week. For one side, a week of winning. For the other, a week of wailing.”

“All of these decisions are important and, in my view, beneficent. But they were overshadowed by Justice Anthony Kennedy’s announcement that he was retiring. Although Kennedy sided with the majority on these three decisions, historically he has been a wild card, siding with the Left on Roe v. Wade and many other cases involving “social issues.” His retirement, in the context of the president’s promise to “appoint justices who, like Justice Scalia, will protect our liberty with the highest regard for the Constitution” sent the Left into a histrionic orgy of vituperation, paranoia, and rage.

Well, “sent” is not quite right. At least since the wee hours of November 9, 2016, the Left has fully occupied those dismal precincts of incontinent hatred and self-pity, leavened everywhere by rhetorical extravagance and fantasies of revenge.

Commentators on both sides of the political divide speculate that the rhetoric, and the violence, will escalate. The stupidity already has.

As the leftover Left descends further into panic, they jettison one bedrock democratic institution after the next.

Donald Trump has instituted no gulags, he has started no wars, he is presiding over a bustling economy and an increasingly confident populace. He is normal. Maxine Waters and her ilk, on the contrary, loudly call for incivility, intolerance, disruption, and even violence. They, and their pathetic media enablers, are the outliers, screeching piteously on the margins of life.

How a Judicial Hack Halted Kentucky’s Medicaid Work Plan by David Catron – “The Obama-appointed judge ignored the law to block a Bluegrass State pilot program.”

“In a ruling rife with partisan editorial commentary Judge Boasberg sniffs, “It is no secret that the current administration hopes to ‘prompt[ly] repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,’” as if such aspirations are somehow immoral. He disapprovingly notes that “Defendant Verma,” as he refers to the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), “encouraged states to apply for ‘waiver[s]’ of some of the [Medicaid] program’s coverage requirements — especially for the expansion group — promising to ‘fast-track’ approval of such petitions.” Verma’s heresy involved Section 1115 waivers:

Just another day’s work for a leftwing judicial hack, and perhaps something for Republicans to think about as the November midterms loom on the horizon.

there’s a problem here.

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The system is rigged!

Elizabeth Warren on Janus: The system is rigged! By John Sexton – “one thing Elizabeth Warren never mentions is what the Janus decision actually means.”

“I wonder why Elizabeth Warren couldn’t fit this into her video clip somewhere? It’s probably because it shows her entire premise is a lie. When the left talks about “solidarity,” what they actually mean is compulsory solidarity where they take your money whether you like it or not. A system where workers choose whether or not to participate with their time and money is the opposite of a rigged system. But I guess it’s no surprise that the progressive left considers giving workers more control of their own money a national tragedy.

Supreme Court term finale: Targeting the gov’t compelled-speech archipelago by Ed Morrissey – “the court’s term — and Janus itself — have deeper implications for free speech and the relationship between individuals and the government, and for that matter between the judiciary and the legislature as well as the people.”

“This is striking in and of itself, as was the dissent against it, which focused on the disruption caused by overturning Abood rather than on the question of individual rights under the Constitution. Much of the media and analytical focus will fall on that disruption, and for good reason. However, it might leave the impression that undermining unions was a motivation for the majority.

That would be a shame, because the series of decisions at the end of this term makes it clear that they were thinking more broadly. Start with Masterpiece Cakeshop, a decision that initially disappointed conservatives, including myself. The Supreme Court overturned a punitive judgment against bakery owner Jack Phillips by the state of Colorado for refusing to take part in a same-sex wedding on the basis of his religious beliefs. Rather than rule on the compelled-speech argument, the court reversed by a 7-2 margin by focusing on the unreasonable hostility by regulators towards Phillips’ religious beliefs. They later reversed a judgment against Barronelle Stutzman and Arlene’s Flowers in Washington on the same basis, remanding it to the district court for retrial in what was certainly a win for Stutzman but seemed like thin gruel for the First Amendment fight.

That changed with NIFLA yesterday. Perhaps the majority stopped worrying about 5-4 splits or perhaps they understood that a case involving abortion would never get any support from the liberal wing, but Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas took the gloves off on compelled speech.

And thus we come to Janus and the reconsideration of Abood. Seen in this context, the majority on the court has woven a clear thicket against the imposition of speech and limits on religious expression by government on individuals, whether or not it it gets imposed directly — as in NIFLA and Masterpiece Cakeshop — or indirectly, as in Janus and public-employee unions that ally themselves with a political party. To use a different metaphor, the combined effects of these three decisions create a sledgehammer against imposed speech that should — and likely will — stymie any further attempts to recreate them.

That’s a big win for free speech, religious expression, and freedom of assembly. To the extent that others lose in this exchange, it is only to the extent that they have illegitimately profited off of infringements on basic rights in the past. Stare decisis cannot be used to continue injustices and infringements, a point Alito explicitly makes in his ruling

That’s not the only message sent by the court this term, either. As I wrote yesterday in The Week, the Supreme Court has all but shut down a new form of judicial activism that would have extended Article III authority far into the realm of electoral politics

Leftist Justices Don’t Like the Law By Andrew Klavan – “In a dissent on Janus, leftist Justice Elena Kagan accused the court of “weaponizing the first amendment

“The left doesn’t like the rule of law much. If they legally lose an election, they take to the streets as if some injustice had been done to them. If we enforce our border laws, they become hysterical and try to intimidate and bully public officials. If they can’t get a law passed by constitutional means, they are perfectly happy to use regulation to exert extra-legal control over the citizenry.

All of which is bad enough in leftist media, leftist mobs and leftist officials. But in leftist Supreme Court justices, it’s even worse.

In general, the leftist minority on the court has shown itself no friend to the law. It really is disturbing. In Hawaii, only the five conservatives agreed that the president had the legal power to bar travel from certain countries he deemed dangerous. Really? This is what the law says

If the rule of law can be overridden by the emotions of the people, the machinations of officials or the prejudices of courts, we can no longer depend on equal treatment or representative government.

Mexico — What Went Wrong? By Victor Davis Hanson – “Mexico gets a massive cash influx in remittances, American corporations get cheap labor, Democrats get voters

“Mexico in just a few days could elect one of its more anti-American figures in recent memory, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Obrador has often advanced the idea that a strangely aggrieved Mexico has the right to monitor the status of its citizens living illegally in the United States. Lately, he trumped that notion of entitlement by assuring fellow Mexicans that they have a “human right” to enter the United States as they please. For Obrador, this is an innate privilege that he promised “we will defend” — without offering any clarification on the meaning of “defend” other than to render meaningless the historic notion of borders and sovereignty.

Facts are stubborn and reveal Mexico, not the United States, as a de facto aggressor and belligerent on many fronts.

What is also unsaid is that many of the millions of Mexican expatriates in the United States who send remittances home to Mexico are themselves beneficiaries of some sort of U.S. federal, state, or local support that allows them to free up cash to send back to Mexico.

Mexico plays the same role with the Unites States that North African countries play with Europe, except in the former’s case, it has a deliberate rather than chaotic emigration policy — and uses it as direct leverage over the U.S. Mexico’s sense of immigration entitlement is predicated on the assumption that corporate America wants cheap labor, that liberal America wants voters, that identity-politics activists need constituents, that a liberal elite expresses its abstract virtue by its patronization of the Other — and that until recently most Americans were indifferent.

It is an act of belligerency for a nation to undermine the laws of its neighbor — and boast that more of the same is to come.

So, what, then, is the new Mexico — a friend, an enemy, neither, or both?

Good News, Satan Wants to Destroy You! By Derek Rishmawy – “It may sound weird, but knowing we have an enemy is encouraging.”

“Many of us already feel like we’re in the middle of a battlefield, with an ancient foe wreaking havoc and destruction. The Bible says we’re right.

the Bible says Satan is at work now and we dare not forget it. Indeed, it’s not enough to know we have an enemy. We need to know his “schemes” (Eph. 6:11) and what resources we have in Christ against him—what Puritan Thomas Brooks called our “precious remedies against Satan’s devices.”

First, our Enemy whispers lies about everything, but especially about God.

Second, Satan also whispers temptations to those of us who wander along, blithely unaware that “sin is crouching,” trying to destroy us by inflaming our desires.

Finally, our Enemy whispers accusations.

Yes, we have a foe looking to harm us, but even more, we have a mighty God of peace who has promised to “crush Satan under your feet” (Rom. 16:20).

But can you avoid false witness and self deception?

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