Archive for I18N

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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An unaccountable police agency? Prosecutors wilding?

FBI defies subpoena for docs on its raid on Uranium One whistleblower. Thomas Lifson – “An unaccountable police agency? “What, me worry?” seems to be the attitude of the media and Democrats.”

“The Deep State now is publicly baring its fangs at us, laughing at ineffective attempts to hold it accountable for abuse and worse. I hate be alarmist, but we have police agencies misbehaving and then destroying the evidence and refusing to cooperate with constitutional oversight functions.

Texts found (& lost) in a bottle. Scott Johnson – “Don’t the circumstances rate at least an arched eyebrow or other expression of incredulity?”

When Does Trump Say, ‘Enough Is Enough!’? Brian C. Joondeph – “The Deep State, Democrats and Republicans alike, are in lock step trying to remove Trump from office. If only they were in similar agreement on securing the border, cutting regulations, or growing the economy than they are against Trump.”

Special Counsel Responds to Judge Sullivan Request for FBI Notes – Fails to Submit Agent Pientka January Interview Notes. sundance – “The curious case against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn gets even more curious as Robert Mueller doesn’t deliver the FBI notes (FD-302) from the January 2017 interview of Flynn, as requested by Judge Emmet Sullivan, and instead submits notes from an internal July 19th, 2017, interview with FBI agent Peter Strzok.” Also see Don Surber.

Is the Flynn guilty plea going to be thrown out? Thomas Lifson – “It is always a bad idea to defy an order from a federal judge, yet the nation’s premier, most powerful, law enforcement agency has just done so.”

The Murder of the Weekly Standard. John Podhoretz – “An intellectual and political crime.”

“The Weekly Standard will be no more. There is no real reason we are witnessing the magazine’s demise other than deep pettiness and a personal desire for bureaucratic revenge on the part of a penny-ante Machiavellian who works for its parent company.

The creation of the Weekly Standard was my proudest professional moment. When Bill Kristol and I conceived the magazine at the end of 1994, our purpose was to create a publication that would help guide and keep honest the hard-charging Republican party that had scored its stunning lopsided victory over Bill Clinton’s Democrats.

I hope and expect its subscribers, tens of thousands of whom have been with the magazine since its very first day, will demand refunds rather than serve as passive participants in this act of politico-cultural murder.

Hating The President Is Not a Strategy, As Bill Kristol Just Learned. Jeff Ballabon – “Going all in on attacking President Trump isn’t proving to be a particularly effective business strategy for media outlets.”

“The “resistance” media strategy is not only corrosive to the country; it seems to be a loser business model. Kristol’s descent into fringe irrelevance and the possible end of his once-illustrious magazine is a perfect illustration.

Unmoored to reality, Kristol continues to threaten Trump, prophesying that “the Trump presidency crumbles” in the face of his 2020 primary challenge.

What’s actually crumbling are Kristol’s reputation and legacy. Happily, it appears that the bulk of the late Standard’s funding will be reassigned to its thus far fair-to-Trump sister publication, The Washington Examiner.

This last is what Podhoretz was warning about.

Media Conventional Wisdom On The Russia Investigation Is Uninformed And Idiotic. Mollie Hemingway – “Axios promised highly damning and highly detailed evidence in the Mueller probe. What it delivered instead was warmed-over D.C. conventional wisdom.” It’s another takedown of Fake News™ with several examples detailed.

“If you want to — and I quote — “go deeper,” you can click a button that gives you “460 words” of how what we know is highly damning and highly detailed. It is, of course, not even close to either of those things. But it’s worth looking at to see how some D.C. figures are easily spun into thinking — or claiming to think — that things for which there is no evidence have “highly detailed” evidence.

Axios promised highly damning and highly detailed evidence in the Mueller probe. What it instead delivered was warmed-over D.C. conventional wisdom, dramatically overwrought and imprecise allegations, and a notable lack of any evidence that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election. A typical beltway reader may come away from the article feeling comforted about where the investigation is headed. But it’s hard to argue that anyone who read all 460 words of VandeHei’s bombshell was any more informed than when he began.

Marines describe violence, racial slurs used by Antifa mob in Philadelphia. John Sexton – “Yesterday those two Marines, Alejandro Godinez and Luis Torres, testified about what happened.”

“Why isn’t this story big news? So far as I can tell, CNN hasn’t devoted a single word to this story about actual violence by Antifa members since it happened nearly a month ago. I guess Don Lemon and Brooke Baldwin were too busy with other things. Domestic political violence was all-the-rage last month, now it’s just old hat.

The ‘Trump Doctrine’ Is the Future of Conservative Foreign Policy. John Fonte – “For the past two years we have seen the emergence of a coherent Trump doctrine in both words and deeds.”

We need a bigger world. RF – “The elite wanted a world without God and they got it. … They are finding the resulting world an uncongenial place.”

“What our current civilization has lost is the capacity to live with the uncontrollable; to act in doubt which is to say in faith. That lack has resulted in the return of loneliness and fear.

Federal Judge Rules Obamacare Unconstitutional. David Catron – “U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor agreed with the plaintiffs that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate was rendered unconstitutional when Congress reduced its tax-penalty to zero. He further agreed with their assertion that the mandate is not severable from the rest of the statute.”

“In other words, Congress can’t impose the mandate pursuant to the Commerce Clause, as the Supreme Court confirmed in NFIB v. Sebelius. And the “saving construction” concocted by Chief Justice Roberts — that it is essentially a revenue-raising device permitted under Congress’s taxing powers — collapsed when the tax-penalty was eliminated by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Thus, the mandate had to be struck down. Moreover, because the Affordable Care Act contains no severability clause, and its advocates have long insisted that the individual mandate was the “linchpin” of the law, the whole edifice necessarily fell with the mandate.

O’Connor’s ruling did not, however, contain the nationwide injunction requested by the plaintiffs. Instead, he granted a summary judgment that permits the law to stay in place during the inevitable and protracted appeal process.

Roberts can only save Obamacare by reversing the opinions he issued on the last two ACA cases that reached SCOTUS.

Electoral Fraud: the Real Record. Apolo Villalobos – “the idea has been dismissed by MSM journalists who have insisted that there have not been any cases of illegal voting.” so here’s a list …

“Keep in mind also that these are just a tiny portion of detected transgressions. How many more illegal acts have occurred that have gone unnoticed? After all, voting illegally is child’s play, with no checks and balances and a minimum of negative repercussions. Since Republican voters are almost always the victim and the Republican Party is without doubt the Stupid Party, this stomach-churning travesty will continue.

No more taxpayer-funded settlements for sexual harassment claims against members of Congress. Neo – “No reason except—except—there’s the problem of the power of false accusations

“What percentage of accusations are valid and what percentage false I do not know, but I do know that false allegations can crush someone politically and financially. I believe that was probably at least part of the reason for the establishment of the Congressional slush fund in the first place. Without it, I fear that the prospect of financial and personal ruin for a politician when facing such allegations constitutes even greater motivation to make them.

In the real world of politics and of business and of life in general, payments are often made in settlements of the sort even when claims are baseless. Payments do not constitute recognition of guilt. With the slush fund, the payments made constituted a motivation for false accusations, and without the slush fund, the same is true. But without the fund, the prospect of ruin for a politician is greater whether the accusations are true or whether they are false.

 

The money motivation is there anytime deep pockets are visible.

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Divert. Deny. Accuse.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Wolves or cannibals?

Resurrecting the Jonestown Dead. Daniel J. Flynn – “Once historians settled on the facts, and agreed that a group that taught Russian to its members, issued to socialism examinations, and willed millions of dollars to the Soviet Union did not mesh well with the Bible thumper label, chroniclers shifted from obscuring the facts to offering unusual interpretations of them.”

““Unfortunately, the laudable aspects of Peoples Temple have been forgotten in the horrifying wake of Jonestown,” Julia Scheeres writes in A Thousand Lives. She posits, “If anything, the people who moved to Jonestown should be remembered as noble idealists. They wanted to create a better, more equitable, society. They wanted their kids to be free of violence and racism. They rejected sexist gender roles. They believed in a dream.”

Most people who wake up in a nightmare do.

Jonestown offers lessons if we listen. It occurred, as I write in Cult City, as a cautionary tale about ends rationalizing means, heaven on earth inevitably yielding to a less comfortable place, the profound wrongs people imagining themselves as right can commit, and outsourcing thinking to an ideology or guru. Not a factor mitigating their evil, socialism helped bring it about.

Jim Jones, who boasted of making the dead walk again, proved incapable of resurrecting his flock. Various revisionist histories prove impotent in this task, too.

End could be near for House investigation of Trump-Russia investigators. Byron York – “Among the things Americans know about the conduct of the Trump-Russia probe that they would not have known had Nunes and his colleagues not tackled the subject:

“Nunes and his colleagues learned these things, and told the public about them, over the determined opposition of the FBI, the Justice Department, and Democrats, both on the Intelligence Committee and in the larger House.

In fact, it would not be an overstatement to say the FBI and Justice Department fiercely resisted the investigation. They withheld materials, dragged their feet, and flat-out refused to provide information to which congressional overseers were clearly entitled. Sometimes disputes were settled by the intervention of House Speaker Paul Ryan on Nunes’ behalf. Sometimes they weren’t.

If they win, Democrats will of course be fully entitled to investigate what they want; that’s part of what is meant when it is said that elections have consequences.

But the work of Nunes and his fellow Republicans has been enormously valuable. When all the investigators, and the politicians, and the press were looking in one direction, Nunes looked in another — and found important information. That is not to say the other investigations were not important, too. But Nunes showed Americans something they needed to see. And if his work as chairman ends with the next election, it has still been an indispensable contribution.

Wolves in Wolves’ Clothing. Victor Davis Hanson – “although many Democrats in Trump states still dance the old bipartisan two-step, lots of blinkered progressive wolves don’t even bother to put on the sheep’s clothing.”

“As the economy kept booming and things overseas calmed down, the Democrats found it harder to run a campaign strictly against either the ogre or the incompetent Trump. So they stayed on the offensive and did not bother to hide their agendas of open borders, “Medicare for All,” abolishing ICE, identity politics quotas, radical feminism, abortion on demand, and climate change hysterias. And they were quite lupine in their sincerity even as the public insidiously began to tune them out.

But give progressive wolves credit. Unlike liberals, they are as they talk and act. They are at least proud of their agendas of remaking America in their own image—and in the last few weeks that image is appearing a veritable nightmare.

Here’s why Hillary Clinton losing her security clearance matters for the rest of us. Frank Miniter – “The mainstream media is treating the loss of these clearances as a move by Clinton to avoid a political snub by the Trump administration.”

“Treating this security issue in such a purely political manner misses a growing problem that the media is purposely trying to ignore, as an honest analysis of it doesn’t help their attacks on the current administration.

But this lax security is not simply a political story. It puts every one of us in jeopardy.

By overlooking and explaining away how Hillary Clinton treated government data, including classified information, and then covering up what Imran Awan allegedly did for years in the House, the mainstream media has done a massive disservice to the state of our democracy. Light needs to be shined on Congress and on anyone who abuses the safeguards of our system so that reforms can take place.

Growing Invasion Force Overwhelms Mexican Authorities – Approximately 10,000 Now Traveling through Mexico to U.S. Southern Border. Sundance – “Despite media claims to the contrary, elected Mexican officials previously promised to allow the invasion of Central American migrants. There is a history here.”

A different insider dish on Trump. Seth Lipsky – “With all the books about President Trump, one mystery has been ignored. How did this supposed clown manage not only to learn Ronald Reagan’s economic formula but also carry it to the next level?”

“Yet none has even tried to address the elephant in the room — how Trump built the platform of economic growth and jobs that managed to crack the Democrats’ presidential-election “Blue Wall” and leave our newscasters agape.

That’s the scoop that Stephen Moore and Arthur Laffer are about to publish in their new book “Trumponomics.” …

It’s not due to hit the bookstores until Oct. 30. You can bet, though, that the networks and the big Democratic papers are going to cover it with derision.

Back in the summer of 2015, these three musketeers of economic growth founded, with Steve Forbes, a committee to, as they put it, “unleash prosperity.” It wasn’t a Trump project. Their aim was to educate all candidates in tax cuts, spending limits, decreased regulations, sound money, the rule of law — and free trade.
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This story is not only about Moore, Laffer and Kudlow educating Trump. It’s also about Trump doing the educating (and surprising).

Invasion of the wolves, or of the cannibals?

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Evidence keeps popping up as dots in the big picture

Trail Covering: As Predicted U.S. DOJ and Treasury Turn on Oleg Deripaska. sundance – “Because of the associations with the scheme and coup-plotters, Oleg has buckets of dirt on corrupt U.S. officials who were trying to target Donald Trump.” And, are you wondering where the ‘golden showers’ in the Steel Dossier came from?

“Oleg Deripaska is a typical Russian gremlin, and if you research him you can tell he loves mocking the corrupt elements within U.S. politics. I’m almost positive it was Oleg who put the Trump “pee tapes and hookers” into the Steele Dossier just to see if the knuckleheads in the DOJ/FBI would actually use it.

Considering Christopher Steele was a contracted employee of the billionaire it just looks like something Oleg would do. Deripaska and many Russian political types just work that way. To them, manipulating U.S. officials is funny….. ‘stoopid Amerikans‘ etc.

The Russians (Deripaska) really do have leverage and blackmail… but it ain’t over Trump. Oleg has blackmail on Comey, McCabe and conspiracy crew. Oleg Deripaska must be kept away from congress and away from exposing the scheme.

The Democrats’ Moral Confusion. Karen McQuillan – “Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation against Judge Kavanaugh was deeply unethical.” Despite the denials, the hysteria, the accusations against witnesses, projection, and the prejudice and bigotry on display, reality does not move and that presents a problem for the Democrats. McQuillan walks through the components of their moral dilemma.

“Bearing false witness is of the utmost seriousness as a moral breach. It breaks the Ninth Commandment, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” It is right up there with murder and stealing, because it partakes of both.

At the end of his life, Moses spells out in detail God’s teaching on how to safeguard an innocent man from false accusations. One witness is not sufficient to lodge an accusation. Two witnesses do not suffice. There must be three witnesses.

Moses also spells out the need for consequences – that is, punishment – for bearing false witness.

The Democrats think anything goes ethically in their drive for power, because they have defined their desire to rule as ethical in itself, and their political opponents as evil. We have just experienced what happens when a just cause – to end sexual abuse and assault – is twisted to serve a partisan political purpose.

America has become morally confused. Good and evil do not lie along party lines. To follow that moral reasoning leads to horrors.

There are others who are unable to avoid false witness despite the evidence in front of them. See, for instance, Partisans on Both Sides Fervently Believe the Other Side Is More Devious and Less Constrained by Ethics at the Coyote Blog. “Both sides” ?? can you cite equivalent ethical breaches for both sides and maintain any pretense of being objective? This is asserting guilt by innuendo and is in the same league, ethically, as the false witness against Kavanaugh. But the perpetrator in this case is blind unto himself and that is where there is a very big problem for all of us.

Kavanaugh Casualties. Victor Davis Hanson – “Yes, both parties are now more united and energized. But one did so by enticing the recalcitrant back into the fold; the other, by warning them to join the revolution or be guillotined.”

“When Donald J. Trump rants at his rallies about “fake news” and claims that the media is not just biased but lies, Americans wince — but now more so at the accuracy of his charges and no longer so much at the crassness with which he delivers them.

New Kavanaughcalypse hotness: If you accuse, you must recuse — from all “politically charged” cases. Ed Morrissey – “By that measure, shouldn’t Ruth Bader Ginsburg already be recusing herself from the same cases? In July 2016, Notorious RBG told the New York Times’ Adam Liptak that it might be time for her to move to New Zealand if Donald Trump got elected.”

“Best guess: That’ll worry Kavanaugh as much as it worries Ginsburg, which is to say not at all. He’s there to do his job, just as she’s there to do hers. There’s only one Supreme Court and only nine members on its panel, which is why recusals are very rare, and occur as a result of real and personal conflicts of interest or previous work on cases that come before the court. Elena Kagan recused herself from a few such cases when it involved work she did as Solicitor General; various justices have felt it proper to recuse on rare occasions when their investments involved one of the parties. Otherwise, activists can demand recusals as much as they want, as long as they’re prepared to look like fools, shrieking about bias while exposing their own.

The ever receding climate goalpost: IPCC and Al Gore “12 years to save the planet” (again). Anthony Watts – “Ah, it’s beginning to sound like a broken record. The same message over and over again. It’s as if these folks don’t pay attention to history. The United Nations has once again issued another dire climate change report (SR15, see it here) claiming we must act before it’s too late.” It’s amazing how flexible the goalposts are to the Left.

“In the meantime, the audit of faulty climate data suggests the rush to judgment is unwarranted.

But as the new book, The Politically Incorrect Guide® to Climate Change reveals, climate tipping points have a long history of repetition, moved deadlines and utter failure. The book documents that the earliest climate “tipping point” was issued in 1864 by MIT professor who warned of “climatic excess” unless humans changed their ways.

The climate change scare campaign has always relied on arbitrary deadlines, dates by which we must act before it’s too late. Global warming advocates have drawn many lines in the sand, claiming that we must act to solve global warming—or else.

False witness infects many passions.

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