Archive for I18N

ex-spurts? Health, trade, justice, voting, … ruptured

The Obamacare ‘Experts’ Are Wrong Again. John Merline – “When President Trump announced plans to provide beleaguered health insurance consumers a cheaper alternative to Obamacare, critics decried it as “sabotage.” … “It turns out that, like everything else about Obamacare, these predictions were dead wrong.

sundance at The Last Refuge:

Wilbur Ross Hits Chinese Cabinet Manufacturers With $4.4 Billion Countervailing Duty – Beijing Caught W/ Stunning 200%+ Subsidy Rate For Chinese Companies…

“Think of China like a big lake filled with U.S. dollars and economic value; the result of our purchases of their products. Through his ASEAN discussions with Vietnam, S Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Japan, et al, President Trump has stealthily built a thin levy, an ASEAN dam of sorts, that will direct the China lake of economic value into Southeast Asia.

MAGAnomics – An Incredible Team, Delivering Astonishing Results….Factually, substantively and empirically the workers of America are gaining ground. Bigger and better than before, and far beyond what anyone else could have delivered.

“there is something we don’t emphasize enough: The team of Secretary Mnuchin, Secretary Ross, USTR Lighthizer, Trade and Manufacturing advisor Navarro and NEC Director Larry Kudlow, face a scale of opposition almost unfathomable in modern political terms. There are trillions at stake; hundreds of the most powerful financial interests in the world are against them; and yet this team is succeeding.

Trey Gowdy Discusses Peter Strzok’s Political Lawsuit…Roosterhead brings up a good point that Strzok left out Robert Mueller in his civil lawsuit against the DOJ and FBI.

Trump Doubles Down On The China Trade War. Salvatore Babones – “If 1989 was the historical moment to squeeze the Soviet Union, then 2019 is the historical moment to squeeze China.”

“Trump’s aggressive push on tariffs has thrown the country’s expert class into a tizzy, with pundits predicting a severe shock to the American economy, blaming the trade war for every blip in stock prices, and warning of the potential for runaway inflation as consumers pay the price for Trump’s tariffs.

Meanwhile the economy is employing record numbers of people, inflation is running well below the Fed’s target rate, and stock markets are slightly up since the beginning of the “trade war” in April. The data simply refuses to satisfy the pundits’ appetite for economic carnage.

With the economy refusing to cooperate with their “gloom and doom” narrative, America’s pundits are now arguing that economic pressure is no way to get a trade deal from China.

All of these trends are in America’s national interest. And Trump’s trade war benefits America’s allies, too. In fact, the only country in the world with an interest in China holding all the strings of global value chains is China. If the Chinese don’t realize that, then they’re in for some real surprises as the trade war drags on.

Nicolle Wallace Says “Trump Wants to Exterminate Latinos”, Then She Says ‘Sorry’ at Sara Carter – it seems the operative word is “invasion” which is now racist and means extermination to those on the Left.

Video: Protestors Shout Death Threats Outside McConnell’s Home. Jennie Taer – “Over the chaotic cacophony of cowbells and cursing, viewers can hear a series of death threats being hurled at McConnell.

“Death Camps For Trump Supporters” Fliers Posted In New York. Tyler Durden – “The fliers feature the threatening text in red and a stylized image of Trump’s face as a skeleton.

Here’s What A Criminology Professor Learned By Studying Every Mass Shooting Since 1966. Tyler Durden – “Our goal has been to find new, data-driven pathways for preventing such shootings. Although we haven’t found that mass shooters are all alike, our data do reveal four commonalities among the perpetrators of nearly all the mass shootings we studied.

“First, the vast majority of mass shooters in our study experienced early childhood trauma and exposure to violence at a young age. …

Second, practically every mass shooter we studied had reached an identifiable crisis point in the weeks or months leading up to the shooting. …

Third, most of the shooters had studied the actions of other shooters and sought validation for their motives. …

Fourth, the shooters all had the means to carry out their plans.

Unfortunately, the ideas put up to “prevent future shootings” are like most ideas about trying to control the future or forecast it – they have high risk for low returns. Politics is not on the list but is quite present in the responses to tragedy. Politics is also evident alongside.

Murder: It’s a Democrat thing. Selwyn Duke – “We can start with the striking statistic that 68 percent of all homicides occur in just certain parts of 5 percent of America’s counties — and all, or virtually all, of these are Democrat areas.

“Also striking is Democrats’ devolution on prenatal infanticide.

projecting, leftists are also full of the hate they ascribe to others.

Worse still is how leftists (and the conservatives who defend yesterday’s liberals’ mistakes) destroy children, on the inside, with corruptive miseducation, entertainment, and sexual-devolutionary messages and temptations. From bodies to hearts to minds to souls to statues and traditions and beyond, threatening all that’s great and good, destruction is leftists’ stock in trade.

Democrats exploiting mass shootings for political gain have forgotten the lessons of the Wellstone funeral. Thomas Lifson – “such is the vigor of Trump-hatred that there is a strong possibility of ugly words, gestures, and deeds marring the solemn ceremonies.

“Today, Democrats face a fundamental challenge in controlling their uglier side that Republicans do not: the media do not warn them with critical feedback. With even the former “newspaper of record” allowing Democrat candidates to rewrite its front page headline,

Warning: How the VA ‘Red-Flags’ Patriots. Michelle Malkin – “Gun-grabbing crisis vultures just can’t let the latest mass shootings go to waste. “Red flag” laws are now all the rage in the Beltway as the magic pill to prevent homicidal maniacs from wreaking havoc on the nation.

“But if you want to know how this American version of China’s social credit system would work in practice, let me remind you of how Veterans Affairs recklessly red-flags “disruptive” citizens without due process, transparency or accountability in the name of “safety.” Government bureaucrats routinely deprive our nation’s heroes of medical treatment based on arbitrary definitions of who and what constitutes a mental health menace.

Complain too much. Criticize the powers be. Ask too many questions. Boom! You’re a threat.

If such tyranny is allowed among those who volunteered to protect and serve our country in the name of safety, imagine how it will be implemented among the law-abiding, gun-owning general populace.

How the media redefines “racism in Trump’s America”. Jazz Shaw – “While they manage to provide some balance by including people objecting to these characterizations, the argument that the President is promoting racial animus is the prevailing theme. But when it comes time to cite some proof, here’s what they offer.

“But if they’re taking a racist message from any politician’s words it’s because they hear what they want to hear. And they lurk in chat rooms where others reinforce their distorted views. What they do with that racial hatred, however, is their own choice and their own responsibility.

You can accuse Republicans of racism all you like. But if you expect to be taken seriously, you’re going to have to do a much better job of making your case.

Trump campaign reported Joaquin Castro to Twitter, but Castro claims there was ‘no call to action’. John Sexton – “Joaquin Castro posted a list of leading Trump donors in San Antonio, Texas along with the businesses where they work. “Sad to see so many San Antonians as 2019 maximum donors to Donald Trump,” Castro wrote, followed by a list of local businesses owned by some of those donors.

The Uneasy Compromise Of Campaign Finance Disclosure Is Ruptured. Tom Maguire – “In an era where Administration officials and prominent Republicans are being mobbed and chased out of restaurants (not to mention shot at on ballfields) one wonders where Castro thought this would lead.

“Democrats want to talk about inciting violence? This naming of private citizens and their employers is reckless and irresponsible. He is endangering the safety of people he is supposed to be representing,” Murtaugh told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Legally the FEC database is public record and the Congressman seems to be on solid ground. But ethically? These campaign finance disclosure rules are meant as a check on “special interests” and the politicians who might end up with reveal conflicts of interest. They are NOT meant to allow incumbents to stir up their supporters and silence the opposition.

But if the words “chilling effect” still have meaning, what Castro has done here is way over the line. Finance disclosure laws exist in tension with the principle of a private ballot.

Sarah Palin’s Defamation Case Against New York Times Reinstated. John Hinderaker – “It is notoriously difficult–some say impossible–for a public figure to win a defamation case in the current state of the law. If the law of defamation still exists, Palin’s case should succeed. If she can’t win on the facts we have here, the courts should simply acknowledge that, if you are a public figure, it is open season on you, and no redress for libel or slander is permitted, no matter how egregious the facts.

“A further question is what led the federal district court judge, Jed Rakoff, to bend the rules of civil procedure in rather blatant fashion, so as to throw Sarah Palin’s case out of court.

Paul Sperry: Mueller’s double deception. Scott Johnson – “Recently released court documents suggest Mueller may have made his surprise appearance before the press in Washington on May 29 as damage control after a federal judge privately threatened to hold his team in criminal contempt of court over what she called misleading language he included in his final report about Russian government interference in the 2016 election.

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Blind neighbors?

Representative John Ratcliffe: “Donald Trump is not above the law, but he damned sure also shouldn’t be below the law

Rep. Guy Reschenthaler: “The drafting and the publication of some of the information in this report, without an indictment, without prosecution, frankly flies in the face of American justice and I find those facts in this entire process un-American.

Rep. Louie Gohmert: “If somebody knows they did not conspire with anybody from Russia to effect the election, and they see the big Justice Department with people that hate that person coming after him, and then a special counsel appointed who hires a dozen or more people that hate that person, and he knows he’s innocent. He’s not corruptly acting in order to see that justice is done. What he’s doing is not obstructing justice. He is pursuing justice and the fact that you ran it out two years means you perpetuated injustice.”

The ‘Marlene Effect’: Why Our Reasonable Neighbors Are Blind to the Deep State. Ted McAllister – “While the evidence for this corruption is overwhelming, the soft power of both the deep state and the institutions supporting it is so great that public opinion remains largely immune to evidence, even as those Americans who are “woke” to it, strive to resist.

“The distance between Marlene and the evidence, coupled with the need to have the correct opinion on matters she is incapable of assessing directly, puts her completely at the mercy of the sources of authoritative information and assessment that she has chosen. More than perhaps any other segment of the population, those afflicted by the Marlene effect are most controlled by a public opinion generated by elite institutions rather than by their own experiences (indeed, as we noted before, their experiences are shaped by the opinions with which they are supplied). Like all provincials who aspire to be known for their cosmopolitanism, Marlene cannot question the authority of her sources without exposing her complete dependence on the work of others for her most cherished opinions and values.

The Marlene effect makes people immune to evidence and dependent on a constructed narrative. The Marlene effect reveals that the most important battle is about who gets to define reality for the citizens of a self-ruling nation.

Hong Kong is in turmoil … neo citing Michael Yon – “The British helped Hong Kongers taste freedom, and rule of law, and Hong Kongers love their freedom and legitimate judicial system. They will fight. The real fight is beginning.

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A radical idea

Nailed It – Navarro Discusses U.S-China Trade Re-engagement: “Seven Prior Chapters Now Starting Point”… sundance – “Writing a trade agreement between a free-market (USA) and a controlled-market (China) is where the challenge lies. One of the inherent issues will always be how the free-market system can hold the controlled-market system accountable if they cheat.”

MSNBC Guest Proclaims Betsy Ross Flag Equivalent to Swastika’s and Burning Crosses… sundance – “Cultural Marxism is advanced through a process of incremental control over customs and traditions within a free society.” … “The U.S. confederate flag was targeted successfully. Now the same Marxists shift attention toward the U.S. Betsy Ross flag. Eventually the target will be the current U.S. flag.”

CBS, ABC, NBC and CNN Join MSNBC… Will Not Air President Trump’s July 4th Celebration. Jim Hoft – “They hate Trump more than they love their country.”

‘Mini AOC’ Doxxed And Threatened, Family Shuts Down All Her Social Accounts. Rachel Stoltzfoos – “The family of a young girl who went viral for mocking Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shut down all of her social accounts Wednesday, after receiving death threats and harassing phone calls.”

Left Amps Up Justifications For Violence Against Their Political Opponents. Ellie Bufkin – “The left’s new extremism condones assaulting conservatives in public. Antifa’s attack on a journalist is yet another example that our norms have changed.”

This Fourth of July, why patriotism is worth defending. Kyle Smith – “For the haters, it’s open season on the American ideal.”

“But to think of slavery first when you think of American history is like thinking of Charles Manson first when you think of men. America accomplished a few good things as well. America is a radical idea that had never come close to being implemented before — a broad-based democracy with government engineered for the purpose of zealously protecting our natural, or God-given, rights. We zoomed out ahead of the rest of the world, and we never looked back. As late as 1870, only 40% of the men in Britain were entitled to vote. Voting in America was not universal until women got the vote in 1920, but the US was miles ahead of everybody else in allowing its people to be heard.

America didn’t complete the project of freedom on that broiling day in Philly, but that’s like saying your kid’s first day of school is no big deal because your kids can’t do algebra yet. On July 4, 1776, we began setting up the greatest opportunity for human flourishing the world has ever known, and our example continues to be the world’s beacon. The United States of America isn’t perfect. We’re merely the best.

“America is a radical idea that had never come close to being implemented before.”

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the Gruber Principle

The Media Intentionally Mislead Americans on Trump’s Huawei Position… sundance – “The U.S. media are desperate to find something to criticize and openly cheering for failure, so long as it provides fuel for their anti-Trump narrative.”

“With President Donald Trump making massive strides toward peace and stability surrounding North Korea, the media cannot accept -nor allow- the common sense solutions to succeed. President Trump is clearly perceived as a risk because his success highlights just how useless and manipulative a professional political class of consultants, advisors and DC think-tanks really are.

DC journalism has evolved into reveling about the never ending process and, as a consequence, media completely ignore the end point, miss the bottom line, don’t actually SEE the subject matter, and never actually attempt to discover solutions.

As part of their unspoken strategy when they encounter a solution driven approach, the media (writ large) fall back on the Gruber Principle: relying on “the stupidity of the American voter” not to understand how the lies and talking points are being distributed.

Writing a trade agreement between a free-market (USA) and a controlled-market (China) is where the challenge lies. One of the inherent issues will always be how the free-market system can hold the controlled-market system accountable if they cheat.

See Maine, Medicaid, and the Gruber Principle by David Catron, 13 Nov 2017 for an example of the Gruber Principle. “The Democrats rely heavily on “the stupidity of the American voter,” as Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber famously phrased it.

Sunday Talks: American Pravda Discuss North Korea… sundance – “Everything about this interview, including the narrative surrounding Kim Jong-Un, is pure CIA horsepucky…. all of it.” … “All of the opposition to Donald Trump is one long continuum of self-interest and risk management.

Left-wing thuggery: The battle lines are being drawn in Portland, OR. Thomas Lifson – “When local officials appear to wink and nod as masked leftist thugs openly assemble and attack conservatives, it’s time for the feds to come in and protect civil rights.”

“Antifa is part of an interstate conspiracy to deny civil rights to conservatives. Thanks to the civil rights movement, there are established procedures for dealing with such malign groups. It’s time to start using those tools.

By Any Means Necessary: It Won’t Stop with Andy Ngo. Richard Fernandez – “the combativeness of the last few days alarmed those accustomed to regarding themselves as civilized. Nicholas Kristof tried to explain the savagery by explaining that the natural virtue of liberals had been infected by conservative hate and that consequently, some were succumbing to their baser instincts.

“There was little consideration given to the possibility that liberalism — and Republican conservatism — had lost its soul long before Trump; that somewhere in the decades of media lies, PR myth-making, money printing, cynical foreign policy, abortion and political flirtation with foreign tyrants the establishment had done a deal with the devil quite without the assistance of the Donald.

It’s not surprising that the French Terror began with the purge of the moderates and the urgency of virtue.

Where the Democrats are Trying to Take Us. Steve McCann – “The primary threat to this nation is not Donald Trump nor his supporters but an evolving autocratic oligarchy made up of the hierarchy of American Left, which includes elements of the political class, the mainstream media, the education establishment and, most recently, the titans of Silicon Valley.

“They are doing so by promoting a so-called benevolent and just central government (i.e. socialism) dominated in perpetuity by the “enlightened” while promoting their brand of socialism and obliterating any opposition. Additionally, their evolving position on abortion and euthanasia reflects the mindset that deems virtually all human beings as mere pawns of the state.

Elitist Vehicles: You Subsidize Them, But You Can’t Afford Them. Eric Peters – “And that’s not the worst of it.”

“The average person can’t afford this — in money or time. But he is forced to subsidize this, which is an interesting thing given the hardest pushers of EVs are affluent liberals— who used to be people who feigned concern about the economic troubles of the average person.

And no one seems to be angry about this.

Elitist Vehicles — the electric ones — are morally despicable.

California judge blocks even more border wall construction. Jazz Shaw – “Keep in mind that only a few weeks ago, a different federal judge rejected a separate suit brought by House Democrats attempting to the exact same thing and for the same stated reasons. In doing so, he cited the exact same sections of federal code I linked to in the previous paragraph. Since at least two courts are making opposite calls on the same question, it needs to be booted up the chain, and the quicker the better.

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Chronic Conflict All Over

Dems’ Selective Outrage Over Foreign-Sourced Oppo Research on Full Display. Adriana Cohen – “The selective outrage from the left surrounding foreign interference in U.S. elections is beyond hypocritical — it’s absurd.”

“Then there’s Trump nemesis Rep. Adam Schiff, a ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee who is laser-focused on investigating the president and removing him from office — at any cost. Democrats’ feathers weren’t ruffled in 2017 when Schiff solicited dirt on Trump from Russians, who offered nude photos of Trump.

But when Trump says he’d listen to information from a foreign government — not necessarily act on it — or inform the FBI, the left goes ballistic, illustrating how morally bankrupt and ethically challenged Democrats have become in their unbridled quest for power.

Wall Street Wrong Again – Import Prices Decline During Full Year of Import Tariffs… sundance – “The latest set of statistics from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) shows all of the professional pundit claims of higher prices on imported goods due to Trump tariffs are simply disconnected from reality.” Like climate change, the models of the experts tend to be over-simplified.

DOJ Says Mnuchin Was Right to Defy House Dems Request for Trump’s Tax Return. Sara Carter – “Steven A. Engel, the head of the Office of Legal Counsel, argued in the memo, that House Democrats, led by Representative Richard E. Neal of Massachusetts, made the request for political purposes with the intention of releasing Mr. Trump’s tax returns.

When and Why Golden Geese Take Wing. Clarice Feldman – “Physical security and rule of law matter. And an independent and fair judicial system.

“The people who took to the streets in protest surely understand what China and Democratic state legislatures like those in California, New York, and Illinois do not: Capital is attracted to and invested in those places where the laws are fair and protect people and property, and where government overreach and exorbitant taxes are in check.

Chronic Conflict in the Global World: Right at Your Doorstep or on Your Computer. Richard Fernandez – “The attack on tankers in the Gulf of Oman according to the Jerusalem Post was a scripted outcome that fell apart. It was designed to make Iran’s armed forces the heroic rescuers happening upon an anonymous tragedy, but IRGC flubbed its lines.” There is a lot of war mongering, TDS flavored ‘speculating’ on this event in the MSM. Fernandez makes more sense.

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decorum and the art of war

Trump Doctrine – Border and Migration Agreement With Mexico Likely to Produce Significant Results… sundance – “Economic security is national security. Once again we see the ‘Trump Doctrine‘ at work. President Trump using economic strength as leverage to achieve national security objectives and solve national security problems.

Judge Rules FBI Must Release Declarations from Lead Mueller FBI Agent…. Sundance – “In federal court yesterday (Friday, June 7). In a FOIA case ruling (full pdf below) Judge James Boasberg was deciding public release over two issues related to the memos of former FBI Director James Comey.”

Arrogant Conceit and Pratfalls. Clarice Feldman – “The Greeks used the word “hubris” to describe excessive arrogance and conceit. And they were wise to the fact that it leads to downfalls.” Two examples are provided: Oberlin v Gibson’s Bakery and the Mexico tariff deal.

Collins Warns Nadler About Rules Of Conduct In Upcoming ‘Mock-Impeachment Inquiry’. Kerry Picket – “Collins reminded Nadler in a letter that outside an official impeach inquiry, members are restricted from accusing the president of a crime.

“The Rules of the House dictate minimum standards of decency and decorum, setting forth how Members must conduct themselves during debate. However, Majority Members of the Committee have demonstrated they either do not understand the Rules or simply are under the mistaken belief the Rules do not apply to them,” he said.

Rules? What rules?

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taking the U.S. for a ride

Democrats go dumpster diving for William Barr contempt. Cheryl K. Chumley – “It’s aimed at holding Attorney General William Barr and ex-White House counsel Don McGahn in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over documents that would put Barr in violation of the law

Trump and the Irish. Derry O’Sullivan – “As an Irishman, I’m embarrassed at the treatment of the President of the United States on his recent visit to Ireland.”

“In his meeting with President Trump, Leo Varkadkar’s concerns in this regard are twofold (1) To sort out the situation of the Irish illegals in the U.S. and (2) to keep open the U.S. safely valve to dispose of surplus Irish labour. What is Leo Varkadkar willing to give in return — just a few worthless crumbs?

U.S citizens are simply excluded from working in Ireland, yet Irish politicians want an open door for the Irish in the U.S. This is simply inequitable.

Let me let you in on a secret — the Irish are “taking the U.S. for a ride.” While they are glad to take U.S. dollars, they are willing to give little in return. Indeed many are happy to stab America in the back at every opportunity.

Overall the Irish are willing to take much from the U.S., but are only willing to give little, not even begrudging respect for your president. President Trump is addressing with the situation whereby many countries are taking them as suckers. Ireland is among those countries. Perhaps you did not know previously, but you do now.

Catering to the PC mob is going to cost Oberlin College big bucks. Thomas Lifson – “Oberlin remains arrogant

“Oberlin’s trustees need to step up and do a thorough review of the college’s administration’s handling of this affair, which has seriously damaged the financial and reputational welfare of the institution for which they hold legal and moral responsibility. The should – but probably won’t – seek the advice of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, a group which helps trustees carry out their intellectual and moral fiduciary responsibilities, instead of defaulting to passivity in the name of “academic freedom.”

If Oberlin’s insurance carrier gets stuck with the bill, we can expect liability insurance costs to skyrocket not just for Oberlin, but for higher education everywhere. Insurance companies now are on notice that their academic clients can be held responsible for the excesses of social justice warriors whom they coddle.

Study: Biofuels aren’t reducing gas prices or emissions. Jazz Shaw – “In the end, the only people benefitting from the RFS are the ethanol industry and some farmers in the midwest, particularly in Iowa and Illinois. Unfortunately, they punch far above their weight class politically, so we’re stuck with this albatross around our necks until we manage to elect some leaders who aren’t basically prostituting themselves to Iowa politicians.

Hmmm: Mueller report failed to mention US intel connection for Manafort contact. Ed Morrissey – “If this was the only potential “deception by omission” in the Mueller report, we might shrug it off.

“However, after the deceptive omissions in the John Dowd voicemail that were used to construct a potential obstruction charge, it’s beginning to look like a potential pattern from Mueller and his team. Dowd himself predicted that we’d find more such deceptions by omission. Solomon may well have found the next one.

More, more, and more on Mueller … neo – “Many of Mueller’s targets have incurred enormous legal fees. This is one of the tools of an independent counsel, working for a government with very deep pockets and arrayed against witnesses whose pockets are considerably more shallow.

“It’s almost impossible to adequately cover or even keep track of the revelations that are coming out now; there’s just so much. As I’ve said many times in the past, every single American should be deeply deeply disturbed by these activities. But plenty are not, or even applaud what they did in their Ahab-like effort to get at the root of all evil, Moby Trump.

Trump’s tariffs and Mexico: the Deal … neo – “Glaringly obvious that was the intent and the plan, anyway, to not have to actually implement the tariffs but to use them to change Mexico’s defiance into cooperation on illegal immigrants, particularly those using Mexico as transit from other areas.

“Not all plans are successful, but people should at least give Trump credit for using a certain tactic in furtherance of a strategy—although “giving Trump credit” does not compute with a lot of people.

The jury’s still out, but it looks as though so far this tactic has borne fruit. Remember, the idea was not actually to have to put the tariffs into effect; it was to get Mexico to take certain steps regarding illegal immigrants passing through that country on the way here.

If this entire tariff-threatening approach is successful, I would like to see every single pundit who excoriated Trump for it eat crow.

A person can hope.

Maybe folks are becoming jaded about being taken for a ride? … Still too many who want to ride the whale.

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omissions and the underlying assumptions

Tired, Boring—and Dangerous—Celebrity Death Wishing. Victor Davis Hanson – “Our elite entertainers do not just limit themselves to imagining the violent demise of conservative presidents like George W. Bush and Donald Trump. Any conservative elected official or their family will do.” … “So why do left-wing celebrities express such political hatred?

“If one believes the beachfront of Malibu reflects the norms of American behavior or thought, then he is seriously delusional. So expect celebrity-driven assassination chic to continue until either the country collectively says “enough”—or such sick rhetorical murder leads to the real thing.

Why Are Democrats Obstructing Justice? Julie Kelly – “In what can only be described as legitimate obstruction of justice, unlike the vague allegations against Donald Trump in the Mueller report, Democrats are frustrating Barr’s investigative efforts with a number of procedural maneuvers coupled with public ad hominem attacks against the attorney general.

“So, for two years, we were told that any criticism of Robert Mueller met the legal threshold for obstruction of justice. The commentariat class insisted that any harsh tweet, comment, or facial expression by Trump about Mueller or his team was intended to thwart his investigation. Even a casual conversation allegedly documented by Comey about former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn is contained in volume two of the Mueller report as possible evidence of obstruction of justice by the president.

But now Democratic lawmakers are openly smearing the attorney general and no one objects?

The very subjects of a criminal investigation into abuse of power, illegally leaking classified information, misleading a federal court, and violating the rights of private citizens are permitted to publicly denigrate the man in charge of the investigation, and that’s not obstruction of justice? Imagine if Republican lawmakers had made the same comments about Robert Mueller: the outrage would have been nonstop.

Let’s hope Barr—or John Durham—gets the last word.

Scorched Earth’: Mueller’s Targets Speak Out. Paul Sperry – “They were clearly on a fishing expedition

“Now that Mueller has ended his probe finding no election collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, 10 witnesses and targets of his sprawling, $35 million investigation agreed to speak with RealClearInvestigations because they are no longer in legal jeopardy.

Their firsthand accounts pull back the curtain on the secret inner workings of the Mueller probe, revealing how the special counsel’s nearly two dozen prosecutors and 40 FBI agents used harshly aggressive tactics to pressure individuals to either cop to crimes or implicate others in felonies involving collusion.

Former special prosecutors say the tactics used by Mueller’s team appear excessive.

But, the 10 witnesses swept up in the inquiry say those facts and figures, as well as the final determination that there was no conspiracy or collusion with the Russians, do not begin to account for the human toll of the Mueller probe.

They want their stories told as a public record of the broken lives Mueller’s team has left in its wake.

Trump’s Legal Authority to Impose Tariffs. David Post – “I suspect that because this issue is now seen as being all about Mr. Trump and is all entangled in the Trump/Anti-Trump miasma, there’s probably no chance of any revision in the law until a new Chief Executive is in place. But one can still hope.” What the Democrats and many economists appear to be missing is the alternative. Trump is using Tariffs as a replacement for more drastic and uglier methods. Consider Obama’s drone targeting or troop engagements, for example. If a war needs to be fought, tariffs are probably better than bullets.

Changing minds: How do you communicate with climate change skeptics? WUWT – “UNLV researcher develops new method for categorizing climate change beliefs and shares tactics for communicating with deniers

“You don’t want to view your dialogue partner as inferior. I think it’s a problem when environmentalists or climate scientists are dismissive, or potentially patronizing to climate skeptics. I think that kind of dialogue can lead to climate skeptics feeling isolated and silenced. You may not agree with the skeptic, but you should still respect the person who holds the beliefs. We must listen, not just for a talking point to jump in on, but to understand the perspective they’re coming from, and what values or identities they feel are threatened by environmentalism.

This gets interesting because of the omission and the underlying assumption. The science part is missing. Not the science of climatology but rather the science of method and values: measurement, accuracy, precision, experimental verification, and careful definition of terms and concepts. There is a bad case of projection illustrated as well. Threatened by environmentalism? Deniers driven by religious belief? Just who is engaged in logical fallacies, distortion of evidence, and emotional outbursts, and who is plagued by outrageous claims of doom and catastrophe?

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Honest and competent

You’ve already lost the immigration battle if you say this. Selwyn Duke – “Conditioned responses are funny things. One of them, the statement that they’re “probably all nice people” — oft used when discussing illegal migrants — is also a dangerous thing.” This is about the ‘both sides are the same’ fallacy.

“If you can’t say this, unabashedly, you’ve already lost the migration debate. Realize that the Left, some in whose vanguard are master manipulators, has conned us into apologizing for doing what’s right, for enforcing just laws. But what other crime do we address so sheepishly, qualifying our opposition to it with notions that the perps are “just seeking a better life” and may be “nice people”? Why, I met counterfeiters who were nice people. What’s niceness got to do with it?

“Nice” is irrelevant. Nice doesn’t save civilization. Nice never won a war, hot or cold, actual or cultural. Theological correctness informs that man is good by nature — though that nature is fallen — because he was made by God and for God. Reflecting this, most people want to do good, though often don’t know what good is. “Nice” is not unique.

Sonovogun! Our Guy Really Is Presidential. Dov Fischer – “At his best when he needs to be.” He sets the stage wondering if his attempts to watch the news might cause Fox News Arthritis someday. Worry about that lead him to C-Span where he saw “their film of President Donald J. Trump earlier in the day in Buckingham Palace, then at Westminster Abbey, looking and acting extremely Presidential.” It’s a ‘who you gonna believe, the media or you lying eyes’ expose.

let’s talk about fashion choices and history … neo talks about Melania’s fashions, and the media “mostly indulged their snotty, catty, petty, envious, Trump-deranged negativity towards Melania.” It turns out that the first lady was not only “probably the most beautiful and glamorous First Lady ever” but her choices had symbolism in a tribute to a British designer and the nature of the visit.

The moral case for honest and competent climate science. Christopher Monckton of Brenchley – “In Western countries, too, the crippling cost of global-warming policies is causing real harm.

“An outline of climatology’s error: IPCC explicitly misdefines feedback as responding only to perturbations of an input signal, when in well-established control theory whatever feedback processes prevail at any given moment must perforce act upon the entire reference signal then obtaining.

This post requires careful reading as it is heavy in ideas and not afraid to use ‘big words’ and words with specific meaning in climatology and related studies. The problem has many variables and simplifications made to create models and theories can often miss important factors.

Praying for a President Is Not that Radical: Platt, Prayer, and Polarization. Ed Stetzer – “The outrage against David Platt’s prayer for President Trump reveals more about us than David.”

“In years past, this would probably have been seen by many as an admirable practice—a president stopping by for prayer. However, as Emma Green explained in the Atlantic, “Donald Trump’s controversial stop at a Virginia mega-church after a mass shooting showed how even normal Christian behavior has been scrutinized during this administration.”

First, the criticism of David Platt was often not fair.

Second, David’s prayer was gospel rich and God honoring.

Third, David Platt is not some naive political pawn.

Follow the link and read the prayer. It would be appropriate for any leader.

But Stetzer dances and waltzes around the real issue as another example of what Selwyn Duke described above. The real issue centers on the Commandment proscribing False Witness. Stetzer conflates dishonesty with differences of opinion trying to maintain a ‘both sides the same’ fallacy while describing, or protesting, the distortions and deceit raising a ruckus.

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Tribal protection in the deep state

There is no middle ground for deep disagreements about facts. Klemens Kappel – “We are used to the idea that respectfully accommodating the views of fellow citizens, whose intelligence and sincerity is not in doubt, requires some degree of moderation on our part. We cannot, it seems, both fully respect others, regard them as intelligent and sincere, and still be fully convinced that we are right and they are completely wrong, unless we simply agree to disagree. But on a societal level we cannot do that, since ultimately some decision must be made.” A professor in the department of media cognition and communication at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark uses homeopathic medicine and climate change to argue his point. The choice of examples destroys his argument. The professor plays games with the meanings of words such as facts and evidence and makes up new ones, such as “deep disagreements” to salve his dissonance. He describes a problem and illustrates in his own essay why it is so pernicious. Old values of scholarship about maintaining intellectual integrity do not appear.

NPR’s guidelines on talking about abortion are really… something. Jazz Shaw – “have you ever noticed that the language being used in news articles seems to have a decidedly pro-abortion slant to it? It’s not just your imagination and this isn’t happening by accident.

“You’ve probably noticed it already, but it’s not just a series of choices made by individual liberal reporters. It’s right in the style guides. Terminology commonly used by “opponents” (pro-life people are referred to as “opponents” in all of these documents) is not allowed. The standards are in place to speak of pro-abortion activists favorably.

Obama Appointees in the Communist Orbit. Karin McQuillan – “Joking about support for Communism is not all that funny in the Obama administration.

“Obama choose Communists and Marxists for the highest, most powerful positions in our land, including his closest political advisors, and his head of the CIA. These facts are not in dispute. Most are openly admitted by the people in question, as necessary damage control. Our press chooses not to report them.
Is it any surprise that collusion with Russia, according to Victor David Hanson, was a eature of the Obama presidency?

The Obama administration colluded with Rusian agents who produced the Steele Dossier. It was paid for by Clinton, but it was Obama’s minions at the FBI, CIA and White House who weaponized this soviet disinformation against President Trump.

We are all victims of the Obama cabal’s collusion with Russia – President Trump’s voters and all Americans who believe in our free and fair election process.

How is this not colluding with America’s enemies? David Harsanyi – “Imagine, for a moment, what the political reaction would be if a leading Republican senator met with an antagonistic foreign power, say Russia, in the midst of high-tension standoff between President Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin?

“Such a scenario seems nearly ­inconceivable. Yet, it’s exactly the situation Sen. Dianne Feinstein created when hosting Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif for dinner a few weeks ago.

Feinstein isn’t merely just any senator, either. She is one of the leading proponents of reinstituting the Obama administration’s failed Iran deal.

Though Democrats have yet to come to terms with the harsh reality of a President Trump, negotiating deals with foreign powers is his jurisdiction. And, though the Obama administration regularly circumvented this process, the Senate’s job is ratify or reject those deals.

So while it’s one thing to debate the merits of foreign policy domestically — not only acceptable but essential in matters of potential conflict — it’s quite another for an opposition senator to shadow negotiate with a foreign minister who recently “warned” the United States on CNN and demanded our “respect.”

The Deep State Just Killed Space Force—and Endangered Us All. Brandon J. Weichert – “The congressman is a war hero. His service is unimpeachable and I maintain a deep respect for his commitment to our country. Yet his responses to my questions were flippant, painfully uninformed, and dangerously rooted in a reflexive NeverTrumpism that is unworthy of the man.

“Tragically, a group of powerful interests have aligned in Washington to prevent the creation of a sixth branch of the United States Armed Forces. Those interests are roughly comprised of the usual suspects behind all of the stymying of Trump’s policies since his historic election three years ago: the permanent bipartisan fusion party.

Ironically, this same group has, in the past, supported calls for the creation of a space force. Yet, because the dreaded Donald Trump has urged the creation of such a force; because “orange man bad!” is the battle cry in Washington today, the space force is being squelched by a bipartisan “Resistance” coalition in Congress.

The “Deep State” not only threatens the president with a #FakeNews story of Russia “collusion.” They are now seriously undermining American national security all in the name of “resisting” the dreaded “Orange Man” president. Sad!

Will The Media Ever Pay A Price For Its Irresponsibility? Steven Hayward – “because he was saying what the media wanted to hear (Trump is a horrible human being), the media were willing overlook all of the slime this reptile was leaving in media green rooms and on TV sets.

CJR: Obama admin surveillance of reporters “broader than previously known” Ed Morrissey – “For a look at what a realwar on journalism looks like, however, we can turn to an earlier report today from the Columbia Journalism Review and its analysis of actions taken by the Obama administration seven years ago.

“What wasn’t known until now was the astounding breadth of that effort … new report obtained by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and the Freedom of the Press Foundation

The report comes from the Office of Professional Responsibility, and consists of fifty-two pages that recount the DoJ’s leak probe, a four-page appendix, and a one-page cover letter that stretches into two pages with signatures. Both the report and the cover letter note that OPR “prepared its report relying on only unclassified documents or unclassified portions of classified documents,” but even a cursory scan shows significant redactions throughout. About half of the cover letter itself is redacted, and even a quarter of the Subject line is blacked out.

You have to see this juxtaposition to grasp the absurdity. On page three, the authors redact even the purpose of the investigation, then note that they didn’t use any classified information:

If we are going to criticize attacks on journalism, then let’s be clear on the identities of the most malevolent actors in that war. And let’s also be clear on which DoJ took redaction responsibilities seriously and which abused that power to hide its own wrongdoing.

Americans Are in Desperate Need of a Lesson on the History of Slavery. William Sullivan – “As Pete Buttigieg tries to erase Thomas Jefferson from history, liberals show how much they need to learn about how the Founders viewed slavery.

“In other words, these prominent men having turned against an institution that had been normal throughout human history was an expression of a revolutionary idea. To imagine that the idea that slavery is morally wrong would be embraced by everyone overnight, in such a world, is nothing short of childish fantasy.

The Founders knew that such change would require not only time, but a practical argument against the institution as well. Moreover, it would require proof that slavery is harmful.

Perhaps, rather than focusing on the fact that some Founders owned slaves, we would do better to remember their uniqueness in morally opposing slavery in their time and for having presented the economic formula through which it was expunged from American society forever.

Slavery and socialism, in other words, could be considered synonymous. Liberty is something else entirely. Our Founders should be continually celebrated for having recognized that there’s a difference between the two things and for advocating liberty over slavery.

American Suicide: A Permanent Solution to a Temporary Trump Problem. Steven Kessler – “Blowing up the Electoral College will have consequences the Left refuses to foresee.

“The problem with these moves is that they are a permanent solution to the Left’s temporary Trump problem. While these legislative acts are understood in the present as an effort to beat Trump in the next election, the authors of these bills fail to understand that the move may have long-term consequences that could come back to hurt them. As Edmund Burke once said, “Wise men will apply their remedies to vices, not to names; to the causes of evil which are permanent, not to the occasional organs by which they act, and the transitory modes in which they appear” (2).

Long-term legislation designed to fight a temporary issue that has no long-term possibilities is a mistake.

Uh oh: Does second ruling signify open season on Trump financial records? Ed Morrissey – “The long term consequence of this will be that no outsider will run for president ever again. And it’s not outside of the realm of possibility that this very outcome is at least a small part of the motivation driving this circus.

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The big question. Stubborn ignorance.

Why Does Congress Keep Getting Global Warming Wrong? Brian McNicoll – “They get the same answers because they ask the same questions of the same people who provide the same responses regardless of the evidence.

“This is raw intimidation, a gotcha campaign against a successful company precisely because that company spent the money to do the research to determine to what extent global warming was a problem.

Oppenheimer talks about “the facts.” The facts are he is an attack dog whose insults are not backed by the research. He is defending people who predicted there would be no ice on the poles by now and that New York City would be under water by 2000 and Miami by 2015.

The question is how can someone who makes his living fearmongering about energy end up testifying before a congressional committee. And the answer is that no one in the majority wants the real answers either.

When Hostility to Russia Becomes Irrational. Ted Galen Carpenter – “Although Russia’s propaganda and other intrusive initiatives were more extensive than those of other countries, they were not dramatically different in kind. The United States certainly has engaged in similar surveillance

“Unfortunately, Swalwell is not the only prominent political figure to exaggerate Russia’s offenses and to argue that pursuing a constructive dialogue with the Putin government constitutes suspicious conduct bordering on treason.

Arguing that U.S. leaders should not even talk to their Russian counterparts is especially reckless.

Putin’s government is a corrupt, authoritarian regime, but no sensible person can argue that it is worse than the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin and his successors. Swalwell and like-minded individuals do a disservice both to America’s security and basic logic when they imply that even talking to Russia constitutes disloyalty.

Politics is front and center for Russiagate probe — and the farce has reached new heights. Andrew McCarthy – “meaning: Democrats put the AG to the untenable choice of violating the law or being held in contempt.

“Democratic legislators are not taking any legislative action (you know, their job) because they don’t really want the information. They want the issue. They are straining to create the appearance of Watergate, even as Barr has turned over an Everest of information.

But that is just a sideshow compared to the Mueller report itself. The bottom line is that the special counsel not only found no collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

It appears that the FBI’s investigation was opened on false pretenses:

It gets worse. The high likelihood is that, after taking over the investigation in May 2017, Mueller knew early on that there was no “collusion” case against the president.

Of course, that raises a big question: Why did Mueller allow the “collusion” investigation to continue for well over a year after it seemed obvious that there was no case?

Democrats turned up the noise and the heat on Attorney General Barr once he announced that he would investigate the origins of the Russiagate probe. Are they trying to destroy the messenger before he can deliver the message?

FOIA Documents Show Evidence of Weissmann/Mueller Entrapment Scheme… sundance – “Recently release FOIA documents into the special counsel team of Robert Mueller reveal the remarkable trail of a 2017 entrapment scheme conducted by Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann to target George Papadopoulos.”

“Taken in combination with hindsight of the search for the cash, and lack of a pre-existing warrant at the airport, this is clear evidence of a coordinated operation to entrap Papadopoulos.

Remember, the preferred approach toward targeting Paul Manafort, Mike Flynn and George Papadopoulos surrounded FARA (Foreign Agent Registration Act) lobbying violations. Papadopoulos has stated the special counsel threatened him with charges of acting as a unregistered agent for Israel. There’s a clear picture here.

Andrew Weissmann was conducting an entrapment scheme that would have ended up with three violations of law: (1) Treasury violation; (2) FARA violation; (3) Money laundering…. All it needed was Papadopoulos to carry the undeclared cash into the U.S. …

However, because Papadopoulos suspected something, and left the money in Greece with his lawyers, upon arrival at the airport the operation collapsed in reverse.

Rebellion is Bursting out All Over. Clarice Feldman – “let’s turn to the broader picture that explains in large part why so many officials were so determined to keep Donald Trump from the White House and to oust him once he won the election.”

“As Spygate proceeds to its certain conclusion — the trials of those who engaged in this scandalous coup attempt — we receive the details of the scheme only in dribs and drabs. Too many were involved and have too much to lose at this point by not revealing to the investigators their role in exchange for more lenient treatment, which is why I believe all will soon be revealed.

It’s not just Hungarian and U.S. voters that are moving away from the inept supranational controlling institutions and globalist worldview. Large number of Brits, Germans, and Italians are also having second thoughts about being ruled by unaccountable bureaucrats who eschew the very concept of nationalism.

Indeed, there’s a good argument to be made that devolving even more decision-making to local levels leads to both better decisions and an electorate better schooled at it than placing it in the hands of others whom they have little chance to influence or replace.

… Perhaps if those at the top of the international institutions had not proven so corrupt and incompetent, populist nationalism would not be gaining ground. On the other hand, if one considers people too weak and stupid to act in their own best interests, on what possible basis should we assume that elected and appointed officials, often far removed from ordinary life, are more capable than we voters of acting in our best interests, rather than their own?

Want to shock a college student? Tell him how much tuition cost in the ’60s. John J. Duncan, Jr. –  brings back memories for many Boomers.

“Telling students about my tuition has allowed me to then tell them a simple but important lesson that they have seemingly never been taught: that costs simply explode on anything the federal government subsidizes.

This is because most of the pressures or incentives to hold down costs that are constantly present in the private sector are not there when the federal government takes over.

Big government always ends up helping a few at the top while hurting or giving a few crumbs to everyone else. The federal student loan program has been great for college and university administrators and some tenured professors but harmful to a great many students and their families.

A few years ago, I read a column in the Washington Post that said college tuition had gone up four and a half times the rate of inflation since 1985. In other words, tuition would be 450% cheaper if we had simply left things alone.

Mark Cuban, one of the stars of Shark Tank, said a couple of years ago that if you want to make college really expensive, make it free.

Unfortunately, not many people really understand this.

The big question answer may be a bit tough to swallow, simple as it is.

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Self deceit, studied ignorance, distorted perception

Why the Left Mocks the Bible. Dennis Prager – “on virtually every important value in life, the left and the Bible are diametrically opposed.

Jerry Nadler is just blowing smoke. New York Post Editorial Board – “Years of media hysteria left the Democratic base addicted to “news” about Trump wrongdoing. Rather than face junkies gone cold turkey, Nadler & Co. keep cooking up more junk.”

“Never mind that Barr by law can’t release grand jury testimony to the public. Or that Nadler and other committee members are free to view the report privately whenever they like. Or that handing over the complete Mueller files would be unprecedented.”

Omar: Israel’s occupation of Gaza causes rockets to fire and children to be killed, or something. Ed Morrissey – “The fighting has stopped for now, but the ignorance continues unabated.

“The rockets fired because of an occupation? That’s a neat trick, considering that the occupation of Gaza ended in 2005. It’s been fourteen years since Ariel Sharon dismantled all of the Israeli settlements in Gaza — to a loud outcry at home — and pulled the IDF out of the strip, leaving the Gazans to their own devices. Sharon’s government had to forcibly evict some settlers from their homes in the area, and ended up relocating thousands of Israelis back into Israel proper. Gaza held elections the next year and, despite warnings from all over the world, elected Hamas to govern the territory. The rest is history, as is any prospect of improvement while Gazans cling to terrorists as their leaders. Israel imposed a full blockade on Gaza in 2007 after Hamas won that election, but it’s not an occupation, even if Hamas calls it that.

In this iteration of the decades-long terrorist war on Israel, it wasn’t “occupation” that started the rockets firing. Hamas wanted money, wasn’t getting it, and worried about an uprising because of it:

If Omar wants “peace and justice,” she should call for the end of Hamas rule in Gaza and the emergence of leadership that actually desires peace and justice.

Irony: New York blocked a new pipeline and guess what they just found out. Jazz Shaw – “The state could be producing its own natural gas and supplying New York City more cheaply, but they’re refusing to do it out of spite. And now they’ve outstripped their fuel supply. This entire situation would be hilarious if it weren’t creating such a massive SNAFU for the energy grid.

Should Journalists Who Propagated the Russia Collusion Hoax Be Jailed? John Hinderaker – “In the end, Roger isn’t serious about jailing journalists, much as they might deserve it. But I would add this observation: Why is it that journalists who lied about Russia collusion will no doubt “get off scot-free,” while proudly displaying Pulitzers on their mantels? Why is it that the media organizations that employ them and share their political biases feel no need to sanction them in any way, let alone fire them?

“But when it comes to defamation, we don’t have a sane legal environment. The U.S. Supreme Court has seen to that in a series of decisions that deserve to be controversial. Wherever you think the boundaries of defamation law should properly be drawn, I think it is almost indisputable that our current legal regime goes too far in immunizing reporters, editors, newspapers and cable news networks against the consequences of negligently or maliciously propagating career-destroying and life-destroying falsehoods about public figures and matters of public interest.

Maybe if President Trump gets another Supreme Court appointment our extremist defamation jurisprudence will be moderated so that there is at least a possibility of holding journalists accountable.

VDH dissects Comey. Neo – “Recall—as Hanson points out—that Comey’s problem isn’t mere Trump Drerangement Syndrome (although there’s that). He showed his troubling characteristics even before Trump even became president, during the Hillary Clinton email investigation

“I can tell you one thing: I am almost certain that most Democrats don’t read Victor Davis Hanson. But I also am almost certain that, were most Democrats to do so, they would look at the facts detailed in that article with very different eyes than those of us on the right do. Would they be shocked, because they’re reading them for the first time and realizing how deep the rot goes? Or would they just say that Hanson is making stuff up, and deeply mistaken and/or lying?

I think the latter. A mind is a difficult thing to change.

The Mueller report and the assault on the AG provide an example.

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Trump ‘attacks’ and Republicans pounce?

The Battle Between Information and Chaos. Richard Fernandez – “Trouble is turning a handsome profit for the Kremlin, which John Bolton says “continues to sell arms and energy in exchange for votes at the United Nations — votes that keep strongmen in power, undermine peace and security and run counter to the best interests of the African people.”

“The empire of chaos was not created by accident. The Gatestone Institute suggests the old Cold War adversaries are back in the Third World, no longer aiming at revolution, but markets and resources. But Russia at least may be intent on exporting chaos to the West. “In both Latin America and Africa … Russia has been less involved in the race for natural resources, but its increased visibility, especially in our hemisphere, [is] part and parcel of Putin’s efforts to reassert Russia’s presence as in Cold War days.”

The threat of bad information is more subtle. ISIS and 9/11 showed that “super-empowered small groups and individuals” could be as disruptive as millions of refugees if given “incredibly powerful, cheap, small tools — for cyberwarfare, election hacking and financial hacking — into the hands of small units … so they can have outsize impacts through deep fake, deep surveillance, deep cyber theft… and all three have weaponized the new technology, hacking the U.S. and Europe and, in the case of Russia, even interfering with an American election.”

Just how lethal these weapons can be is expressed in two words: collusion or hoax.

The second decade of the 21st century is shaping up to be a battle between information and chaos. But it may be some time before the public realizes what is happening.

Ungrateful? Ilhan Omar, Somali refugee, trashes living in USA: ‘It’s an everyday assault’. Samantha Chang – “It’s an everyday assault,” Omar told Vogue Arabia. “Every day, a part of your identity is threatened, demonized, and vilified.” Ungrateful is the wrong word.

“Keep in mind that in Saudi Arabia and in many Muslim countries, Omar wouldn’t be allowed to leave the house without a male chaperone, drive, work, or vote.

And she certainly wouldn’t be a member of the federal government. Also, wife-beating is acceptable — and even encouraged.

The question that America-bashing leftists never answer is this: If the United States is so racist and evil, why do millions of people risk their lives trying to come here? And why do they stay here?

How the freedom of the 1990s didn’t last. Luboš Motl – “When the communism fell, we were speculating what our country and the world would do in the next 20 or 30 years.

“one prediction of mine from the 1990s that looks incredibly wrong and naive with the hindsight was my prediction that the freedom would be here to stay. I just couldn’t imagine any possible dynamics that would lead to the reversal back towards non-freedom. Isn’t it so much obvious that the freedom – especially like that in 1918-1938 or the 1990s – is so much better for everybody? Isn’t it obvious that people will do a lot to keep it?

Like other nations, we’re tamed by indoctrination of kids at schools, climate hysteria, multiculturalism, feminism, transgenderism, inclusion, mindless worshiping of empty clichés, and lots of other things. Increasingly frequently, our movies, newspapers, and Internet pages are being either self-censored or directly censored by some “big censors” outside.

Now, will the recent trends continue? Will they accelerate and become much worse? Or will they slow down and/or reverse back towards freedom? I don’t know. …

I do believe that much of the weakness of freedom, common sense, and traditional European values is an illusion and/or self-inflicted injury of ours. Many of us are just terrified by the sheer volume of aggressive insanity around us. But much of the gap could totally disappear if we weren’t afraid, if we spoke, and if we communicated with our soulmates much like the enemies of the freedom do.

What we learned from the Mueller report is relevant to the climate change debate. Theo Knights – “The Mueller report shows that the US media can easily be dominated by a single false idea — in this case the notion that President Trump colluded with Russia in order to win the presidency. So it is time to examine another idee fixe of the US media that has received too little attention: the widespread acceptance of the danger of human-caused climate change and the refusal to entertain or publicize contrary information.”

“Two elements of the collusion affair bear important similarities to the climate change debate: vicious personal attacks on those who publicly questioned that collusion had taken place (see Alan Dershowitz’s statement on his “blacklisting” and recent articles by Matt Taibbi and Steven F. Cohen about their treatment by the media), and a refusal by the major news networks and print media to publish material that contradicted the view that the president or his campaign had colluded with Russia. As a result, when the Mueller report apparently concluded that the collusion charge could not be substantiated, many Americans were shocked. They had been misled by the media, which — in abandoning its claims of objectivity — had allowed its revulsion toward Donald Trump to distort its reporting.

The problem with the media’s coverage of the climate change issue is the same as the problem with the coverage of Russia collusion — it took sides and refused to allow dissenting views into the public square.

Berkeley Law School Dean Says Trump’s Free Speech Executive Order is Unconstitutional. Mike LaChance – “order is so vague and ambiguous, it makes compliance by colleges and universities extremely difficult” – “It’s a bit hard to take this from someone at Berkeley. Has this dean seen what’s been happening at his school in recent years?” Deny. Attack. No matter how ridiculous or disingenuous.

RSS Is Better Than Twitter. Patrick Howell O’Neill – “In 2019, social media is water in our lungs (I’m sorry, I’m sorry, that’s the last one). With so many of us contemplating deleting our accounts or at least cutting down on that screen time, it’s time to reconsider something that feels lost in this era of algorithm-fueled newsfeeds and timelines: RSS.

“Invented exactly 20 years ago this month on the back-end of a feverish dot-com boom, RSS (Real Simple Syndication) has persisted as a technology …

Here’s what’s important: RSS is very much still here. Better yet, RSS can be a healthy alternative

At the end of the day, we’re probably not going to be able to escape social media entirely. I couldn’t even if I wanted to since it’s part of my job, as it may be part of yours. For us poor souls—and those of you who are, for some reason, online all day by choice—know that it’s okay to slow down. You’re not missing anything.

At ABC News, the headline is “As Trump attacked Mueller.” Note how criticism is elevated. This is another example of the ‘Republicans Pounce’ meme. Bias overwhelms reasoned judgments …

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Many layers bring peeled back.Patience needed.

Trump Was Not Just Spied Upon But Entrapped. Roger L. Simon – “I mean something more subtle and LeCarré-like coming from the depths of our intelligence communities. It raises once more the question of the power of such agencies in a free society, a conundrum with no easy answers but of great significance to our lives.

“I suggest that an attempt was being made to implant Halper in the Trump campaign, one way or another, not just for spying purposes but actually to help create this collusion of the campaign with Russia–that is, to help manufacture it.

Putting it another way, someone or some group wanted to create — or, more subtly, to encourage the creation — of Trump-Russia collusion from the inside in order to destroy Trump before, or failing that, after he was elected.

How’s that for a nefarious plot? Worthy of LeCarré or maybe even Graham Greene. But is it true? I wouldn’t bet against it. Something close anyway.

Fake news is going to get it in the teeth in 2020. Monica Showalter – “Republicans are raring to go after the mainstream media, using their atrocious strings of lies and “narratives” that fell apart after the Mueller report on the fake Russian collusion. They will do it when the press starts reporting biased dreck about Trump himself, citing their tattered credibility.

“There’s also the fact that the mainstream media are getting away with it. Two years of lies, false leaks, fake sources, and artificially damping President Trump’s popularity ratings, not to mention wrecking what could be an important Russia-U.S. relationship to check a rising and ravenous China that sees no accountability. Nobody got fired in the wake of this performance; nobody criticized anyone else; nobody paid any price for it. On the contrary, they seem to be praising themselves for it and awarding each other Pulitzers. They have yet to get the memo that they have disgraced themselves again.

They could have stuck to the truth, that very truth that is required in their stated profession. It might not have led to the facts they liked, but they wouldn’t have suffered the reputational loss they are looking at now. But it was so much easier to go with the stories they liked, their bias out there, yet their claims to objectivity intact in all those Pulitzers and conference engagements. They had been getting away with it up until now.

Except that now, the price they will pay is that Trump has them, not the socialist cookie-cutter Democrats, in his electoral gun sights.

Mexico bows to Pres. Trump on ‘containment’ of illegal aliens. Chriss Street – “AMLO must have been confident that President Trump’s hands were tied by the “Russiagate” investigation. He probably assumed that Democrats would either squeeze Trump out of office or continue to emasculate his ability to take major retaliatory actions.

“But after Trump was exonerated by the special counsel, AMLO quickly dispatched his interior secretary, Olga Sánchez-Cordero, to meet with U.S. secretary of homeland security Kirstjen Nielsen in Miami on March 27.

Secretary Sánchez offered a Mexican Federal Police and military “containment” belt across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, the narrowest part of the country and very close to the southern border with Guatemala.

The usually bombastic President López-Obrador sought to calmly reassure the Trump administration that Mexico is now committed to a “very respectful relationship” with the United States to stop immigrant-smuggling. He added: “We are going to do everything we can to help. We don’t in any way want a confrontation with the U.S. government.”

Texas Attorney General pounces: Come and take our Chick-fil-A. Karen Townsend – “It was a bone-headed move, to be sure, based on the religious-ideological bigotry of the left. San Antonio, your nation’s seventh largest city is like other large cities in that it is governed by liberals.

“To San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg the attorney general wrote, “The City of San Antonio’s decision to exclude a respected vendor based on the religious beliefs associated with that company and its owners is the opposite of tolerance.” This is something conservatives continually notice coming from the Left: the intolerance of Judeo-Christian religious beliefs. I daresay if the founder of Chick-fil-A was a man of Muslim faith, he would not have faced such a vote, though that religion is stridently anti-LGBT. Just a thought.

Also, the presence of a bazillion Starbucks coffee shops or displays of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in the freezer section of local grocery stores have yet to set off votes to ban these liberal companies. Democrats prove over and over again how intolerant they are of freedom of thought or religion while scolding Republicans as our moral superiors. It’s the height of hypocrisy.

Atlantic: The publication of the Steele dossier by Buzzfeed was a mistake. John Sexton – “In Graham’s view the publication of the dossier is disappointing because it made everything that was discovered later—the Trump Tower meeting, the plans for a Trump tower in Russia, etc—seem pale by comparison to the salacious but unproven details in the dossier.” It is very difficult to raise the anchors and start sailing the seas of reality when those anchors are buried so deeply in the muck at the sea bottom.

“While I agree with Graham about the irresponsibility of Buzzfeed publishing the dossier (and said so at the time), I think he’s wrong to suggest Buzzfeed is responsible for letting down the broader effort to sack Trump. In fact, it’s almost the opposite of the truth. Buzzfeed’s decision to publish genuine fake news is best seen as perhaps the most egregious example of a trend that has continued ever since. There have been numerous stories published and then retracted by allegedly more responsible outlets in the years since. The phenomenon of overreach with regard to Trump may have peaked with Buzzfeed but it didn’t start or end there.

The problem was never just this document it was the left wanting to tear down Trump by any means necessary. Remember the “not my president” meme that circulated after his election? That was the animating force in its raw form. The dossier was ultimately just a handy excuse to justify the feeling that the righteous people had unfairly lost an election to the deplorables.

Proposed Voting Changes Are About Power, Not Principles. Victor Davis Hanson – “The 2016 victory of Donald Trump shocked the Left.

“Progressive candidates and new Democratic representatives have offered lots of radical new proposals lately about voting and voters. They include scrapping the 215-year-old Electoral College. Progressives also talk of extending the vote to 16- or 17-year-olds and ex-felons. They wish to further relax requirements for voter identification, same-day registration and voting, and undocumented immigrants voting in local elections.

The Electoral College balances out the popular vote.

The founders were also terrified of radical democracies of the past, especially their frenzied tendencies to adopt mob-like tactics.

Expanding and changing the present voter base and altering how we vote is mostly about power, not principles. Without these radical changes, a majority of American voters, in traditional and time-honored elections, will likely not vote for the unpopular progressive agenda.

Illinois prosecutors are mighty angry about the disposition of the Smollett case. neo – “The Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association has some words for Kim Foxx, her office, and you:

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hyperbole, undoing, reality, going to pot

Shutdown reaches the people-will-die stage. Don Surber – “People Will Die is the last-resort of the Democrat Party arguments.” … “The predictions are worthy of a global warmist.”

The great undoing continues. Scott Johnson – “Yesterday Pompeo gave a speech at the American University in Cairo. The speech was a sort of counterpart to Obama’s June 2009 speech in Cairo. Obama’s speech was a nauseating exercise in fake history, destructive diplomacy and strategic self-destruction. By contrast, Secretary Pompeo represents the voice of sanity. In substance he repudiated Obama’s speech and related strategic vision. Pompeo could not have been more blunt.

The Great Issue of Our Time. John Hinderaker – “is whether, as a people, we are too dumb to sustain a democracy. This question arises often; for me, most recently, upon seeing this Daily Mail headline: “Twitter user stuns the internet with math that proves one 18-inch pizza has more in it than TWO 12-inch helpings.”

Marijuana, mental illness, and crime. Paul Mirengoff – “According to Mother Jones’ Stephanie Mencimer, Berensen’s book “takes a sledgehammer to the promised benefits of marijuana legalization, and cannabis enthusiasts are not going to like it one bit.” Her discussion fully justifies this statement.”

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Playing with fire

Dems unprepared for a partial government shutdown that lasts for months and months. Thomas Lifson – “The passage of a House budget bill with not even one dollar, as Speaker Pelosi averred, is supposed to increase pressure on President Trump in their view. They seem to believe that the public so loves visiting national parks in the middle of the winter – one of the few aspects of the 25% of the federal government that affects ordinary voters – that Republicans will crack under public pressure.

“a prime segment of the Democrats’ coalition is in a financial hole that gets deeper and deeper with each passing day – all because Nancy Pelosi says a border wall is “immoral,” a nonsense proposition that only sycophants can mouth without inner doubts. The position that not even a dollar should be spent on a border wall is not viable, which means that a compromise on calling it a “slatted fence” or “border protection” or some other euphemism is going to get more attractive to the federal employees and to the political bosses.

Trump Trolls The Democrats. John Hinderaker – “Early in his term, I was concerned about whether President Trump could stand up under the pressure. No one in our history, with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln, had been subjected to such vicious abuse. I wondered whether any human being could tolerate it for four years.”

“I don’t worry about that any longer. The irrepressible Donald Trump keeps on giving the Democrats at least as good as he gets, and seems to enjoy doing it.

Like many, I thought Donald Trump was a joke when he announced his presidential campaign. Through most of the primaries, I was surprised that his campaign didn’t collapse. I voted for him enthusiastically, given the alternative, but had only moderate hopes for his administration. As it has turned out, Trump is fighting for the good, in a way we have rarely seen modern Republicans fight, 90% of the time, while the Democrats are fighting for evil in about the same proportion. So call me a convert.

HUGE NEWS! Rally Saturday: SUPPORT PRESIDENT TRUMP, BORDER SECURITY AND THE WALL — Clayton, Missouri at 1 PM CT. Jim Hoft – “Local Missouri patriots are holding a rally on Saturday

China: We’ll Use Force To “Absorb” Taiwan If Necessary. Jazz Shaw – “2019 is shaping up to be the year of Chinese aggression and challenges to the west.” … “Far more troubling is the increasing level of military saber-rattling going on.” It’s sounding like the prelude to WW II. Before Churchill and Poland.

Mitt Romney’s op-ed crystallizes all the reasons the old GOP establishment has been pushed aside. Henry Olsen – “Mitt Romney’s op-ed Wednesday in The Post is being widely praised by the usual suspects in Never-Trump Land. This should be your first clue as to how wildly out of touch the senator-elect is with Republican voters.

“What are some others? Let’s start with the article’s premise that President Trump’s character is more important than his accomplishments or principles. Most Republicans simply don’t accept this argument.

Romney would like you to believe you can have your cake and eat it, too — that you can be against Trump’s character but for his policies. But that doesn’t work in the real world. Railing about character hurts the president, and Republicans know that.

Romney’s obliviousness comes through in other parts of his piece, too.

Romney ends by deploring division in our country. He’s right to do so, but Republicans and TIGRs (Trump Is Great Republicans) would differ with him regarding who’s causing the division.

Stuck in the Middle with Mitt. Michael Walsh – “If there’s one thing about Donald Trump all right-thinking folks can wholeheartedly celebrate, it’s the way he’s made the masks slip on so many alleged conservatives.

“Mitt pivoted, ran for the U.S. Senate, won, and now stands ready to inherit the mantle of Bob Corker and Jeff Flake as the only living Republicans the media will quote with approval. That both of their political careers ended thanks to their opposition to Trump doesn’t seem to have occurred to him.

The bien-pensant boilerplate [definitions.net] is strong in this one, as is the hypocrisy of a guy whose vulture capitalist firm strip-mined corporations, sold them off for parts, fired their workers, and told us it was for the good of the shareholders while Romney and his colleagues grew rich.

Et Tu, Mitt? John Sobieski – “Today the roles of Bob Corker and Jeff Flake will be played by the freshman Senator from Utah, Willard Mitt Romney. Romney is previously known for playing the role of Brutus in the play Julius Caesar

“If the America people ever wonder why their deepest concerns and wishes are never translated into legislative action, why the phrase “we the people” has become a hood ornament on a decaying and ignored Constitution, and why, consider the words of freshman Utah. Sen. Willard Mitt Romney. Just what the blazes does “rising to the mantle of the office mean”?

The American people want more than someone who looks good in a suit. They want a President who gets things done, who enacts their agenda.

House Dem agenda item? “Gonna impeach the m*****f****r”; Tlaib: I’m speaking truth to power, y’all. Ed Morrissey – “Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), who became a media darling by being the first Palestinian-American woman in Congress this election cycle, celebrated her installation in the House with supporters last night.” For those who think the President is rude, crude, etc, is this your standard of reference?

“Needless to say, the following is NSFW, so adjust your speakers accordingly:

It’s quite a group of newbies they have coming into office, eh? Nothing says “take me serious as a legislator” like dropping an MFer on a crowd. Between Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, we’ll get plenty of entertainment, if not plenty of class from this freshman class.

As NBC also points out, this isn’t Tlaib’s first time for demanding immediate impeachment. She co-authored a Detroit Free Press essay published yesterday morning calling for the immediate start of impeachment proceedings. Tlaib and John Bonifaz insisted that Trump had already been proven to have committed crimes and that waiting for Robert Mueller to finish his probe was unnecessary:

The only thing missing from this kitchen-sink argument is a couple of good MFers. Now that Tlaib is tossing those around in public, her argument sounds so much more credible, no?

Tlaib’s audience didn’t respond with an “aaahhhhhhmmmm” to her profane declaration — they reacted with delight. Just how will Nancy Pelosi ride herd on that impulse? And just how will the Democratic voting base react when she does?

If Robert Mueller produces evidence of impeachable acts, Pelosi won’t have to worry about it. If the report turns out to be a nothingburger on Russian collusion — as it appears more likely at the moment — Pelosi’s got a real problem.

Schumer: Trump told me he’d look “foolish” for taking our offer on shutdown. Ed Morrissey – “However, Trump’s hardly the only player unwilling to take an ego hit.” Here’s where Ed misses the mark along with many others that think it’s only a game with both sides having equality. He does pick up on the opportunity despite having trashed it:

“Here’s the new Speaker of the House explaining to Savannah Guthrie that she won’t move an inch either, on the principle that she won’t spend billions to questionable effect: …

One look at the federal budget makes that line laughable regardless of the party affiliation of the legislator who utters it. Equally laughable is Pelosi’s response to Guthrie’s reasonable question — if you’re not willing to compromise on this point, doesn’t that make you responsible for the shutdown as well?

Yes, issues do matter and Pelosi has noted this by citing morality. We are again looking at the morality of self defense muddled by allegations of “ego hit” and gamesmanship,

Pelosi: The Constitution considers me equal to the president. Paul Mirengoff – “It’s difficult to say which is more staggering, the ignorance or the arrogance of that boast.

“The legislative branch is co-equal with the executive branch. But the president heads the executive branch. The House Speaker does not head the legislative branch.

Yes, The Federal Campgrounds We Operate Are Open During the Government Shutdown. Dispatches from District 48 – “public parks are often a significant pawn in budget battles, so much so the term “closing the Washington Monument” has become shorthand for using popular public facilities as a leverage point in spending fights” … at least, that was the case in 2013. The current administration has a different view and a different issue but the Coyote doesn’t see very well in that direction.

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Some are peeking at the dirt swept under the carpet – quite a pile!

Big Jesse Jackson lie busted by scrappy Chicago neighborhood website. Thomas Lifson – “Telling the truth and calling BS on pols, papers, and people that perpetuate lies is a habit at CWB Chicago…

“CWB Chicago was more rigorous than the editorial board of America’s 35th biggest newspaper, and, it turns out, the Chief Judge of Cook County was not pleased that his courts were being slandered as deficient in their treatment of bond hearings

Stay tuned. This story is not over. But I am not holding my breath for the Pulitzer Prize Committee to take any notice of the achievement of CWB Chicago in correcting a serious lie affetcing public policy endorsed by a major newspaper.

A Hazardous Form of Peace. Richard Fernandez – “Of the five conflicts he examines: North Korea’s “frozen” stalemate, Beijing’s expansion in the South China Sea, Russia’s “hybrid” invasion of Ukraine, the proxy and tribal battles in Yemen and the anarchy in the Congo none resemble the stereotype of conventional war.”

“The greatest trick modern despots ever pulled was to convince the world that war has ceased to exist by disguising it as other things. … two Chinese air force colonels wrote a paper to contrive just that. It laid out how China could defeat America without a conventional confrontation. Their book, Unrestricted Warfare, proposed an ancient yet largely forgotten strategy to achieve this: by spreading out offensive activity over so many domains no one component would individually cross a red line.

Just how successful Colonels Quiao and Wang’s strategems have proved is demonstrated by the fact that — despite breathless media accounts of the Mueller investigation — most of the public has never heard of these new attack domains.

Intersectionality at the Crossroads. Clarice Feldman – “As the facts behind the Women’s Marches become more widely known, their organizers and the press, which covered for them, are covered in shame and deservedly losing traction.”

“In 2017 women (or is it womxn?) marched under a broad banner in opposition of President Trump. The hodgepodge banner under which they marched included women’s rights, immigration and healthcare reform, reproductive rights, the natural environment, LGBTQ rights, racial equality, freedom of religion, and workers’ rights. Apparently, the marchers were under the mistaken belief that all these issues had a common denominator and the boogeyman was Trump.

But the inconsistency between the views and associations of the march leaders and the useful idiots who followed their call was highlighted in recent weeks when the media were compelled to finally report what had been known for a long time but kept hidden from credulous consumers of their pap: the Women’s March leaders were linked inextricably to Louis Farrakhan, an anti-Semite, anti-homosexual, anti-white propagandist who spreads lies about slavery — ignoring the most significant role of Moslems in it even to this day.

When it finally became too obvious what was up, the organizers of the march this year in Chicago cancelled it.

It appears the march in Seattle has also been cancelled and instead workshops are scheduled around MLK events.

In Eureka, California, the march was cancelled because they couldn’t get enough minorities to participate in this nonsensical event

The media, which did such a great job for so long burying the sentiments and objectives of the organizers of the women’s march, continues on, this time, serving as a mouthpiece of open borders, Qatar, and Iran.

It’s not only burying facts which would make the left look bad that distinguishes today’s media …

we are seeing more evidence that the press is colluding with America’s enemies — the anti-American, anti-white, anti-Semite, anti-women, pro-Islamists. No wonder they covered up what they knew about the Women’s March organizers.

If you think Trump cancelled his holiday plans for show, think again. Here’s what he’s been up to today. Vivek Saxena – “The clearest evidence of this, besides for the media reports about his cancelled Christmas vacation and cancelled New Year’s party at Mar-a-Lago, are the president’s own tweets.” and the response on Twitter “From grateful American stunned by the president’s unflinching work ethic” is also revealing about the feeling of the people that is not shared by the mainstream propaganda machine.

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Brain run amok? id or ego?

How arrest of Chinese ‘princess’ exposes regime’s world domination plot. Steven W. Mosher – “Furious Chinese Communists have begun arresting innocent Canadians in retaliation.”

“So who is Meng Wanzhou?

Currently under house arrest and awaiting extradition to the US, she will face charges that her company violated US sanctions by doing business with Iran and committed bank fraud by disguising the payments it received in return.

But to say that she is the CFO of Huawei doesn’t begin to explain her importance — or China’s reaction.

It turns out that “Princess” Meng, as she is called, is Communist royalty.

Huawei stands in the same relationship to the Chinese Communist Party as German steelmaker Alfried Krupp did to Germany’s National Socialists in the days leading up to WWII.

About Face… Spin! Clarice Feldman – “Unless you read both versions or seek out official documents and transcripts of matters, you do not understand what happened. This may explain why American opinion has become so polarized.”

Plausible Lies. John Hinderaker – “The case of Claas Relotius, Der Spiegel and the town of Fergus Falls, Minnesota has become notorious.”

“Stories are reviewed “sentence by sentence for accuracy and plausibility.” What is going on here is not fact-checking, but plausibility-checking. Is it surprising that the editors at Der Spiegel found Relotius’s absurd smears against the people of Fergus Falls to be plausible? No. Bias reinforced bias, bigotry confirmed bigotry.

This phenomenon is not restricted to the European press. Here in the U.S., we have seen many instances where news outlets like CNN have reported “facts” that were entirely fabricated. Those “facts” likewise passed the test of plausibility–that is, they tended to make Donald Trump and his supporters look bad. This is, I think, one of the key mechanisms through which leftist bias is institutionalized, and the press repeatedly embarrasses itself by printing falsehoods.

The sobering question is, of all the falsehoods printed in the “mainstream” press, what percentage do you think are ever publicly exposed?

Explaining The Left, Part V: Left Vs. Right Is Brain Vs. Mind. Dennis Prager – “With the increasing secularization of society, less and less wisdom has been conveyed to young people.”

“One particularly obvious example is most secular people, especially on the left, believe human beings are basically good. It is difficult to overstate the foolishness of this belief. And a belief it is: There is no evidence to support it, and there is overwhelming evidence — like virtually all of human history — to refute it. Jewish and Christian kids who study the Bible know how morally flawed human nature is by the age of 10.

On the most important issue in human life, determining what is right and what is wrong, the brain (feelings) has triumphed over the mind (reason and values). At least two generations of Americans have been raised not with moral instruction but with the question “How do you feel about it?”

Almost every left-right disagreement in American life can be explained by the brain-mind conflict. The brain is led by what feels good, the mind by what does good. And leftist positions feel good.

You’d wonder what makes China feel good … perhaps feeling something righteous about Karl Marx and communism with words like oppression and imperialism as tar babies? As for Freud’s theories, here is Saul McLeod at Simply Psychology on the psyche. … Erie model to explain the Huawei story and provide a view of Prager’s ideas. 

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Learn or Impugn?

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

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

The American people have good instincts on these matters.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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That lizard brain manipulating uproar?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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