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Characteristic behaviors. Compare and Contrast.

ABC seethes over Trump presidency by Don Surber – “What his state of mind was when he tweeted, no one can say.” Hyperbolic adjectives are a clue that a reporter has a problem.

“These are hot words. Seeth means “to be violently excited or agitated.”

What evidence of seething do they have? Did he throw an ashtray at his husband for being caught cheating?

Tirade means “a long angry speech, usually of a censorious or denunciatory nature; a diatribe.”

Trump was not speaking. I suppose colloquially we can say that of a string of tweets, but where is the anger or denunciation?

His was not a diatribe but rather a statement of facts.

Fake News tries to portray him as an out-of-control nut, casting every tweet in the worst possible manner.

No insane person would get to where he is.

Trump’s excellent letter to Kim by Paul Mirengoff – “Trump’s letter to Kim is a fine piece of one-upsmanship, but it’s more than just that.” contrast reality to media headlines.

Raging leftist spits on Chicago cops as they hold pro-police rally. Is this part of a disturbing pattern? by Frieda Powers – “During a pro-police march on City Hall, demonstrators displayed their vulgar and unhinged reactions as one woman literally spit on Chicago police officers.”

“Pearl-clutching liberals feign shock and horror over President Donald Trump referring to brutal MS-13 gang members as “animals,” but then resort to vulgar outbursts at anything even remotely conservative.

Here’s The NRA Video Calling For ‘Common Sense Media Control’ That’s Causing A Stir by James Barrett – “many sounding the alarm over it either failed to watch the whole video or failed to get the point.”

“Noir begins by underscoring the role fame plays in inspiring mass shootings (video below). “Can anyone tell me the last time a mass school shooter left a manifesto, a comment on social media, or a video where they said they were inspired to commit their atrocity because of a firearm?” he asks. … as much as the media love to pivot the conversation after a mass school shooting to gun control, the pen is still mightier than the sword.

“These kids aren’t being inspired by inert hunk of plastic and metal lying on a table,” he continues. “They’re inspired by the infamous glory of past shooters, who they relate to. And no entity on the planet does a better job, whether directly or indirectly, of glorifying these killers and thereby providing the inspiration for the next one.”

Trump cracks his whip: Now North Korea wants to talk by Thomas Lifson – “you don’t play chicken with Donald Trump

“Trump validated his earlier statements that while he prefers negotiations, if necessary, he will take action to accomplish his goals (i.e., destroy the North Korean facilities) in the event that negotiations don’t work.

His many, highly vocal, TDS-suffering critics – the ones who claim he is “insane,” impetuous, and “dangerous” and will “blunder into nuclear war” – turn out to be his unwilling allies in the effort to make the North Korans believe that his threats are real.

It was no coincidence that yesterday, the House of Representative passed legislation authorizing a new generation of tactical nuclear weapons launched from submarines – with the support of 131 Democrats. But the TDS gang was right there, doing its part to scare North Korea and China

From the standpoint of domestic politics, Democrats stepped up yesterday to cover their own faces with egg.

There will be more twists and turns, but President Trump’s perceived willingness to use military force if talks fail is his Trump Card. Yes, he is breaking the norms of diplomacy – the norms that have gotten North Korea to the brink of a nuclear arsenal that can be delivered to our shores. Those who mock his willingness to change the game do so at their own peril.

How to Create a Cooperative and Mutually Beneficial Environment, Even When Dealing With People Who are Uncooperative and Sneaky by Ace of Spades –

“I don’t like social justice mobbing. Or boycotts. Or the rest of the coercions — rather than persuasions — that are currently the default method of political “argumentation” in this country in Current Year.

But: The way to stop this regime is to inflict the same tactics on our enemies (and yes, I think “enemies” is an apt term at this point) until they stop using those tactics against us.

There is a famous study — look it up — about how to push noncooperative opponents into behaving cooperatively, how to force them to start acting in a fair way instead of a self-serving, aggressive, hostile way.

Spare me your crocodile tears about the new NFL Anthem rule by Jazz Shaw – “This has long since passed the point of being merely tiresome.”

The Great German Meltdown by Victor Davis Hanson – “Every 20 to 50 years in Germany, things start unraveling.”

“In a perfect world, Germany would address its frustrations through introspection. After all, no one forced Berlin to take in over a million problematic refugees from the Middle East. No one forced it to export goods on easy credit to leveraged buyers who visibly lived far above their means. No one forced it to renege on its NATO defense promises and responsibilities. No one forced it to have a long and catastrophic history with the Jewish people. And no one forces it to expect perpetual U.S. military protection while continually setting record trade surpluses.

Despite the long postwar history of U.S.-German friendship, and despite Germany’s financial and economic power, the country is becoming psychologically isolated, if not unhinged. While Germans broadcast their anti-Americanism, they seem oblivious that Americans may likewise be tiring of German petulance.

If we are entering yet another historical period of dangerous German resentment, the ensuing result will bode ill for everyone involved.

James Clapper deceives again by Paul Mirengoff – “In short, cracker barrel speculation entitled to no weight is masquerading as akin to intelligence. And for purely partisan purposes.” Another dissection contrasting with the empty allegation.

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The Choom Gang losing its covers

What Obama and his political Choom Gang did is far worse than Watergate By Charles Hurt – “If this was orchestrated without the express knowledge of Mr. Obama, then it reveals just how blatantly he instructed by example the weaponizing of the entire federal government to carry out his low, dishonest and unjust ideology.”

“If this conspiracy was carried out at the express direction of Mr. Obama or other high officials in his administration, then they belong in jail. From unmasking of political opponents, to leaking their names to the press, to killing legitimate investigations, to launching politically motivated witch hunts, a racket of this scale could not have been carried out without some major juice and cover at the top levels of the Department of Justice, FBI and the White House.

The rogue henchmen carrying out the dirty work, as always, presented as perfect, decent and most honest little Boy Scouts like former FBI Director James B. Comey.

What the Obama administration did to infiltrate the Trump campaign, spy on political opponents and then launch a wicked vendetta against them is worse than anything J. Edgar Hoover ever did — at least that we know about.

It is worse than any of the domestic abuses by the CIA during the Cold War.

It is worse even than what the federal government did to undermine civil rights activists like Martin Luther King Jr.

As bad and corrupt as it is to harass innocent citizens under any circumstances, it is so much worse to weaponize the government to pursue and punish and eliminate domestic political opponents. That is the sort of thing that destroys a Republic.

Does the Justice Department have to tell Congress what Mueller is doing? by Byron York – “Special counsel Robert Mueller’s recent admission that the May 17, 2017, Justice Department order defining the scope of his investigation was just for show, and that the real extent of his probe is a secret, is reverberating on Capitol Hill.”

“Now Grassley argues that the Senate has a right to see the memo, too. “This committee likewise should be permitted to review the true nature and scope of the special counsel’s investigation,” Grassley wrote to Rosenstein. “It is unclear precisely how, or whether, the Department is following its own regulations, what the actual bounds of Mr. Mueller’s authority are, and how those bounds have been established.”

In the letter, Grassley appeared unhappy that he, as the chairman of the Senate committee charged with overseeing the Justice Department, did not learn the true extent of the Mueller investigation until long after Mueller was appointed.

Grassley also noted that the Justice Department’s secrecy with the Mueller appointment comes after months in which the department withheld a variety of other documents related to the Trump-Russia affair.

Devin Nunes describes DOJ leak trap that he and Trey Gowdy avoided by Thomas Lifson – “Devin Nunes fully understands the depths to which the cover-up forces within the Department of Justice will stoop to protect their misdeeds from exposure.”

“he described a leak trap that was attempted against him and fellow House committee chairman Trey Gowdy. As he explains below, in the past they have gone to meetings at the DOJ but denied the documents they sought, only to have leaks follow. They were invited to another meeting at the DOJ on Friday, which they figured out was a ruse intended to be used to afterward blame them for leaks. When they found out that no documents would be produced, they declined.

The entire scandal of spying on the Trump campaign through abuse of the surveillance capabilities of the intelligence apparatus is shot through with set-ups: luring young George Papadopoulos to London, setting him up with information and then getting him to blab it to the Australian ambassador to London, briefing President Trump on the Steele Dossier and then leaking it to the media so as to provide an excuse for their coverage, and many, many other incidents. Nunes and Gowdy are smart enough to spot the pattern and decline to be patsies.

H.A.L.P.E.R. Spells Game Up for Obama’s Spies by Clarice Feldman – “The New York Times and Washington Post, the Democrats’ semi-official newspapers this week megaphoned the instigators, offering up their justifications without naming his name.”

“the name is Stefan Halper, who, as I wrote here last week, was paid a substantial sum by the Department of Defense’s Office of Net Assessment.

If it was for this work – and it suspiciously looks like it because the payments were made in July and September of 2016 when he was weaseling his way into the campaign – then we know we have the DNI, CIA, DOJ, FBI, Dept. of State and the Defense Department working for Hillary’s election and to smear and create a basis for further spying on Trump and his campaign.

The NYT and Washington Post stories were clearly dictated by the perpetrators of this unprecedented effort to interfere with our elections. A careful reading shows that they leaked just enough about Halper to positively identify him while the press refuses to name him because the selective leakers warned, “that exposing him could endanger him or his contacts.”

Wretchard tweets something impossible to deny: “The biggest problem with politically weaponizing intelligence agencies is it CREATES a pathway for the foreign takeover of the system. If once a hostile power takes over the WH, it obtains the power to remain indefinitely.”

We now have an imaginary crime – collusion – with imaginary evidence and even imaginary defendants. What is not imaginary is the selfish effort to destroy our polity by several handfuls of men and women who abused their positions of trust for intended partisan gain that failed. Give them the hook already.

The Hunter Becomes the Hunted by Richard Fernandez – “The Russian collusion affair, which began with the incoming president on the defensive, has now become a set of simultaneous offensives with each side trying to jail the other.”

“The invaluable timeline of the investigations compiled by Sharyl Attkisson seems to confirm what Lee Smith of Tablet Magazine has already suggested: that the roots of domestic spying predated the Trump candidacy. He notes that “Obama officials vastly expand[ed] their searches through NSA database for Americans and the content of their communications. In 2013, there were 9,600 searches involving 195 Americans. But in 2016, there are 30,355 searches of 5,288 Americans.”

Avoiding a crisis depends on not crossing certain lines and concealing that fact if it has occurred. That has now gone by the board. When a system is undeniably confronted with deceitful lawlessness it is like finding the dealer was cheating at cards. Trump, by officially demanding an answer into whether the previous administration engaged in political spying, is effectively accusing them of cheating at cards. As everybody knows, once you ask this question at a table, the surface game stops and a deeper game begins. Suddenly the little cardboard rectangles don’t matter anymore.

Watergate II: Collusiongate by neo-neocon – “Unlike Watergate, the current crisis in government/spying/politics doesn’t have a memorable name. But for those of us who lived through Watergate it has a certain resonance with that event as well as major differences, imparting a strange sense of familiarity, dislocation, and increasing alarm.”

The Latest Whopper — The FBI Was Actually Trying to ‘Protect Trump’ by Brian C. Joondeph – “It’s now to the point that Mueller’s team is investigating anyone in Trump’s circle who ever ate a bowl of borscht or drank a sip of Russian vodka.”

“A few days ago, the WaPo published an opinion piece entitled, “The FBI didn’t use an informant to go after Trump. They used one to protect him.”

Sure, they did. I can’t wait to read from the WaPo how Iran wants nukes to “protect” Israel or that that sanctuary cities are for the “protection” of legal, law-abiding residents of those cities.

They are “protecting” Trump by indicting his associates, squeezing them to rat out Trump, leaking to the media, withholding exculpatory evidence, and so on.

See what a tangled web the deep state is weaving? They have handed Trump the keys to the kingdom, providing precedent and justification to do to his next opponent what was done to him and his campaign. And future presidential campaigns as well. The Banana States of America.

All because of Obama and his administration’s tangled web and “practice to deceive.”

Dirt on Hillary by J. Marsolo – “The problem is not getting dirt on Hillary. We have the dirt on Hillary. There is so much dirt it is mindboggling for anyone who cares, which excludes Democrats and the Media.”

Mueller Year One: Journalism’s Real Heroes Continued by Julie Kelly – “A brave group of journalists—aided by key amplifiers in social media, cable news, and talk radio—continues to push back on the media’s sycophantic service to the Democratic Party in which so many reporters, news personalities and political pundits are invested.”

“Now, reporters who tried to convince us Trump was nuts for claiming Obama’s FBI spied on him are spinning hard to persuade us that an “informant” isn’t really a “spy.” But these antidotal journalists and influencers are not letting them get away with it.

Why the left buys into every anti-Israel smear by Gil Troy – “Reporters love playing the “peaceful, oppressed protesters-of-color” against “the armed, white, persecuting soldiers”

“It’s striking how easy it is to discover the truth — or at least see some complexity behind these stereotypes. You need not be a pro-Israel fanatic to assume the story must be more complicated — just as you can be a pro-Palestinian critic of Israel without caricaturing Israelis as Nazis or Ku Klux Klanners.

When people so willingly engage in self-deception, something deeper is taking place.

How Democracies End: A Bureaucratic Whimper by Victor Davis Hanson – “there has certainly been nothing yet in this administration comparable to the Obama-era efforts to curb civil liberties.”

“One strange trait of the die hard NeverTrump Republicans and progressives is their charge that Donald Trump poses an existential threat to democracy. Trump, as is his wont, says a lot of outrageous and weird things. But it is hard in his 16 months of rule to find any proof that Trump has subverted the rule of law.

While we understand those on the left refuse to believe that a constitutional “legal scholar” like Obama would even think of allowing the executive branch to go rogue, it is indeed strange that in almost every NeverTrump attack on Trump’s conduct, there is almost no recognition or indeed worry that we have been living through one of the great challenges to constitutional government in our history.

But stranger still is what we already know of the 2016 election, and the lack of outrage from constitutionalists, who daily warn us of what Trump might do—when we already know what the U.S. government has done in violation of civil rights, constitutional principles, and likely federal laws.

the threat to our civil liberties is coming from supposedly sanctimonious and allegedly judicious career FBI, Justice Department, and intelligence agency officials, progressive and self-described idealistic former members of the Obama national security team, and anti-Trump fervent campaign operatives, all of whom felt that they could break the law—including but not limited to illegally monitoring American citizens, and seeking to warp federal courts and even the presidential election because such unsavory and anti-constitutional means were felt necessary and justified to prevent and then subvert the presidency of Donald J. Trump.

It is willful blindness for progressives and NeverTrump Republicans to overlook what has happened only to damn what has not happened.

This is the way democracies end—not with a loud boisterous bang, but with insidious and self-righteous whimpers.

Nunes approaches the target (2) by Scott Johnson – “As Nunes has persisted, anonymous authorities resisting his demand commenced a leak campaign

“The leak campaign of the anonymous authorities who took to the Times and the Post for the stories that surfaced late Friday was intended in part falsely to defame Nunes. Rep. Nunes appeared yesterday morning on Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo to discuss it. Questioned by Bartiromo, Rep. Nunes spoke of his demand for the documents in issue and the resulting flak. This is an astounding interview.

Perspectives on an “outing” by Paul Mirengoff – “the informant used by the FBI in 2016 to gather information on the Trump campaign was not some previously unknown, top-secret asset whose exposure as an operative could jeopardize lives.”

“It’s understandable that the FBI and the mainstream media want to distract attention from the scandal of the FBI spying on a presidential campaign by talking about “outing” — first of a top secret agent and, when that narrative fell through, of a well-known longtime collaborator. This effort was never likely to succeed because the scandal of spying dwarfs the counter-narrative of “outing.” And now we know that the counter-narrative is a largely a smokescreen.

Venezuela “Votes.” Is There a Lesson Here For Democrats? By John Hinderaker – “barring your rivals from running is a tried-and-true path to a second term

“Here in the U.S, the Democratic Party tried a subtler approach.

At the moment, the Democrats’ relatively subtle approach doesn’t appear to be working very well. Next time, perhaps, they won’t take any chances, and will go full Maduro.

Investor’s Business Daily: The Net Neutrality Zombie Lives! – “The Senate has voted to raise net neutrality from the dead, a very bad idea.” … ““Net neutrality” is one of those brilliant marketing gimmicks that passes as something that enhances equality and freedom, but in fact destroys it.”

“The dead hand of government regulation will not promote competition, better services or lower prices. That only happens when market participants can respond to market demand and price their services accordingly. The House is expected to reject the bill, and we urge them to do so. If not, President Trump should veto it.

Uber Drivers Just Killed All the Parts of the Job They Supposedly Liked the Most, Coyote Blog – “the California Supreme Court has ruled that Uber drivers are Uber employees, not independent contractors, under California law

“People don’t always seem to have a good grasp of cause and effect. I don’t know if this is a general problem programmed into how humans think or one attributable to the sorry state of education. My favorite example is all the people who flee California due to the high taxes, housing prices, and stifling regulation and then — in their new state — immediately start voting for all the same things that caused them to flee California.

Congratulations Uber drivers, in the quest to try to use the power of government to extract more money for yourselves from the company, you just killed your jobs as you know it. You may have had freedom before but now you are working in Office Space like the rest of us.

It will be interesting to see if a bunch of California progressives let $50 billion in equity go down the drain just to avoid offending the sensibilities of their fellow California progressives.

God Hates Gun Violence by Mark Galli – “We American Christians have a biblical call to reduce firearm deaths in our land.” Violence isn’t in the Ten Commandments. False witness is. Galli provids an example of how the Devil corrupts men’s souls. Galli commits violence against truth in his comments in Christianity Today. He chooses a weapon to castigate, skirts around hum an nature in a deceitful way, and propagates myths of anti-gun fanatics.

Trump Is Going Full Alinsky – and His Opponents Are Flummoxed by Brian C. Joondeph – “What a refreshing treat to finally be on offense, scoring touchdowns, leaving Democrats and NeverTrumps babbling.” … “Let’s look at a few of the rules Trump has used to turn the new world order upside-down.”

Code Red: The Coming Eruption by David Prentice – “Code Red for the left. Worst cognitive dissonance ever. They have no clue what is about to hit them.” There is hope that the ship will be righted and float to calmer seas.

Stephen Miller: Trump America’s ‘negotiator-in-chief,’ what voters wanted ‘times 10’ by Paul Bedard – “In a break from past administrations, President Trump is using brass knuckles to personally cut deals on trade, military burden sharing, diplomacy, domestic energy production and regulations that aides describe as unprecedented and propelling an economic boom.”

““Everything that the American people hoped for when they cast that ballot for change for a new kind of leadership in Washington, everything that they hoped they would get, I am telling you that they not only received it, but they’ve gotten it times 10,” said senior aide Stephen Miller.

Donald Trump’s Socratic method by Ronald Kessler – “While the press likes to portray President Trump as impetuous and impatient with details, when it comes to important decisions, he usually weighs options carefully.”

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Seattle socialism; John Brennan exposed; and the usual media problems

Investor’s Business Daily has two worth considering today: Seattle Makes Amazon, Starbucks Pay For Its Own Housing Blunders – a case study in how socialism works. “Big businesses in Seattle face a substantial new tax to build more affordable housing. This is after the city thwarted private developers who were building affordable housing on their own dime.”

“Seattle’s leaders don’t seem to understand that taxing success to reward government failure won’t work for long. Eventually, Starbucks and Amazon and other businesses will simply pick up and move to places with friendlier, more-competent governments.

Seattle might solve its housing shortage, but it will end up creating a new one: A shortage of jobs and opportunity.

Media Bias: How Media Turn U.S., Israel Into Villains By Misreporting Gaza ‘Protesters’ Violence – “You might think that national news outlets would be extra careful not to sensationalize or distort what’s happening in Gaza and the West Bank in response to the U.S. moving its embassy to Jerusalem, Israel’s capital. But if you did, you would be incredibly naive.” Bias, propaganda, whatever. It falls into the rubric of Fake News in that it is not ‘the whole truth’ and uses innuendo and allegation to create news rather than to report it.

“The media have a lot to answer for in their bias and misreporting and distortion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Let’s just leave it at this: By not telling the truth, the media have contributed to the pain and misery of Palestinians, who will never have a homeland unless they recognize Israel’s right to exist and to live within secure, defensible borders.

John Brennan’s ‘Exceptionally Sensitive’ Issue by George Neumayr – “Under John Brennan, the CIA operated as an opposition research outfit for the Hillary Clinton campaign.”

“It appears from leaked news stories in the British press that Brennan’s oafish spying on Trump began around April 2016, right after Trump’s biggest primary victories. As it became urgently clear to Brennan that Trump was going to face off against Hillary, Brennan turned to “intelligence partners” in Europe for dirt on Trump. But they didn’t have any, save some pretty skimpy material on “contacts” between Trump campaign officials and Russians.

In his own clumsy way, Brennan knew that he was treading on a political minefield. He referred to the FBI/CIA’s spying on the Trump campaign as an “exceptionally, exceptionally sensitive issue.” That helpful crumb comes from Russian Roulette, the book by David Corn and Michael Isikoff.

What’s valuable about the Corn/Isikoff account is that it inadvertently provides a picture of Brennan running an anti-Trump spying operation right out of Langley.

So until election day, the “working group at Langley” was trying to dig up dirt on the Trump campaign and wasn’t coming up with any.

Many questions in all of this remain unanswered, but this much is clear: John Brennan’s transformation of the CIA into a branch office of the Hillary campaign will go down as one of the grossest abuses in the agency’s history.

Peter Strzok was selected by John Brennan to help author the ICA, based partly on the Steele dossier by John Sexton – “Real Clear Investigations has a story up today which sheds some light on Former CIA Director John Brennan and the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) which he helped produce.” But, wait, there’s more! …

Ace of Spades – “Two Colleagues Contradict Onetime Communist Party Voter John Brennan’s Claims About His Non-Use of the Dossier … When intelligence officials lie, what use is their alleged intelligence?” Then there’s the questionShould Mueller Recuse Himself Due to His Prior Dealings with Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska?” – “Alan Derschowitz questions not only Mueller’s conflict of interest, but asks the question: If Paul Manafort was indicted for colluding with Deripaska, why was Deripaska himself left out of the indictment?

And, if you wonder about the FBI’s credibility problem, consider that Almost a Year After the Political Assassination at the Baseball Field, and Our Upright and Truth-Telling FBI Still Won’t Admit The Obviously-Politically-Motivated Attack Was Politically Motivated.

“This appears nowhere in the law defining “terrorism” nor in the common understanding the term. It’s a made-up requirement so that the FBI can pretend away certain crimes they wish to make go away — much like the FBI made up the “intent” requirement of the Espionage Act to specifically absolve Hillary.

The organization has been turned away from the mission of Justice and now exists almost entirely to serve as the Armed Wing of the Democrat Party.

Why Trump Is a President Like No Other by Victor Davis Hanson – “Black’s aim is to illustrate how much of what Trump has done since announcing his presidential candidacy in summer 2015 is hardly mysterious. Instead, Trump’s methods are fully explicable by what he has always done in the past—in the sometimes troubling, but more often reassuring, sense.”

“Conrad Black’s erudite biography of Donald J. Trump is different from the usual in mediis rebus accounts of first-year presidents. He avoids the Bob Woodward fly-on-the-wall unattributed anecdote, and “they say” gossip mongering.

Black is neither a hagiographer nor an ankle-biter. He seeks to understand Trump within the three prominent landscapes in which Americans had come to know their new president: politics, the celebrity world, and the cannibalistic arena of high-stakes Manhattan real estate and finance.

Black instinctively captures the essence of the Trump paradox: How did someone supposedly so crude, so mercantile, and so insensitive display a sensitivity to the forgotten people that was lost both on his Republican competitors and Hillary Clinton?

Three final themes make Black’s book different. One, he writes at times from firsthand experience as one who has known—and liked—Trump as an acquaintance rather than as a partner or adversary. … Second, Black knows what it is like to be targeted by an overzealous prosecutor, and how the criminal justice system can be warped well before the advent of a formal trial. … Finally, Black is a singular prose stylist of what in the ancient world would be called the Asiatic, or florid and decorative, style

Most readers, like myself, have never met either Conrad Black nor Donald J. Trump. But after reading this engaging biography, those of any political persuasion would wish to do both.

CRB: The Vietnam War revisited – by Scott Johnson – “the essay/review “The Vietnam War revisited” by Mackubin Thomas Owens. It is a retrospective occasioned by the Ken Burns documentary history of the war” … Yet another first hand account of Burns gone off the rails in allowing ideology to flavor history.

Don’t blame Trump for the violence at the Gaza border by Paul Mirengoff – “Steven Schmidt, the Republican strategist, says that President Trump has blood on his hands for moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Former CIA director John Brennan seems to agree.” It’s another example of the Left attempting to distort history to appease their need for emotional comfort.

“It’s true that the same day the new U.S. embassy opened in Jerusalem, Israeli forces killed approximately 60 Palestinians who were part of a mob engaged in violent acts and trying to breach a border fence. But to blame the deaths on Trump’s decision regarding the embassy ignores both facts and logic.

First, as Nikki Haley said at the U.N., “the Hamas terrorist organization has been inciting violence for years, long before the United States decided to move our embassy.”

Second, blaming the embassy decision ignores the fact that the events of May 14 were part of an extended protest that apparently had nothing to do with the U.S. embassy.

PR victories are nice. But when they are founded on the death of your people and you have nothing else to offer them, what have you actually won?

At the AP, the News Is What Didn’t Happen by John Hinderaker – “Got that? The AP thinks the most important thing about the meeting is the topics that didn’t come up, because there was no reason why they should.” Three examples at PowerLine in one day! Three different examples all with the common theme of attempting to create a history that doesn’t exist.

Why Real Conversation Has Become Increasingly Impossible by Patterico – “Shapiro says the “loss of common values” like “human reason and objective truth” have been lost, and that we no longer have a common framework for conversation.” It is good to see this in discussion but Patterico does more to illustrate the problem than clarify it. He does describe the phenomena at issue but does not examine his own behavior in light of his descriptions. This is a hubris – assuming it is the other guy that has the problem and not one’s self. Self awareness is always a first important base for productive communications.

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What they believe the know that isn’t so

Huma Abedin Laptop Emails and The Non-Investigated Issues Therein by sundance – “The scale of the misconduct and criminal activity is staggering.”

The Strzok-Page Texts and the Origins of the Trump-Russia Investigation by Andrew C. McCarthy – there is a lot revealed and the redactions are speaking, too.

“House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes is pressing for limited disclosure of information from the government’s closely held files. He is right to do so. No government operations can be completely beyond the examination of the people’s representatives in our constitutional republic. Here, the Obama administration took extraordinary measures to withhold information from Congress about its Trump-Russia probe …

But all that aside, it may not be necessary to pry into informant files in order to find answers to the most pressing questions. Those answers may be found in the thousands of Strzok-Page texts. These provide a day-to-day narrative of the goings-on in the Clinton-emails and Trump-Russia investigations by two of the highest, most plugged-in officials in the government.

Strzok and Page are singularly well-informed, central players in the Clinton and Trump investigations. They tell us exactly what is going on and why — or at least they would if the Justice Department had not blacked out key parts of their running conversation.

Let me give you a small window into what we’re dealing with, homing in on what Nunes has been inquiring about, the start of the Trump-Russia counterintelligence investigation.

John Kerry: Reporting for Duty… From Vietnam to Iran by Paul Kengor – “Kerry, this spring 2018, sought to undermine President Trump’s policies, whereas Kennedy, spring 1983, sought to undermine President Reagan’s policies.”

“The Democratic Congress in the 1980s didn’t hesitate to launch criminal proceedings against President Ronald Reagan and his staff (many of them fine men of great integrity) in a militant pursuit for impeachment over “Iran-Contra.” Liberal Democrats did so while turning a blind eye as their leader — House Speaker Jim Wright — buddied up to Sandinista dictator Daniel Ortega in his own negotiations.

the very deal that President Trump was working to cancel just as Kerry was working to save it.

And that’s hardly the only Kerry outrage. No, this is old-hat. I’d like to remind all of Kerry’s affront decades ago. The date was April 22, 1971, 47 years to almost the exact day that Kerry met with the Iranians.

That moment, too, included yet another unsavory role by Ted Kennedy.

As to the actual origins of Kerry’s information, that is likewise a controversy. One source disputes Kerry’s claim with a bracing suggestion — namely, that the origins were not American, or Vietnamese, but Russian.

Pointing to “peace” organizations that the KGB saturated with dubious anti-American propaganda, Pacepa stated: “The quote from Senator Kerry is unmistakable Soviet-style sloganeering from this period. I believe it is very likely a direct quote from one of these organizations’ propaganda sheets.”

The communist Vietnamese never forgot John Kerry’s testimony in 1971. It had been a great help. And perhaps today, in Iran, Kerry’s words are again being heralded, this time by the world’s worst theocratic terror state. Perhaps if the nuclear deal gets resurrected, Kerry’s mug will find a frame on the wall of a “heroes” exhibit somewhere in Tehran one day: Another testimony to him saving America’s adversaries from the Republican in the White House.

Nunes, Gowdy accuse DOJ of launching anonymous attacks on congressional investigator by Catherine Herridge – “I would have a lot more respect for DOJ or House committee Democrats if they would take out their frustrations on members of Congress, and leave staffers alone,” South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, told Fox News on Monday.

“Attacking staffers, planting false stories, and endangering national security by leaking sensitive information to the press, including information about intelligence sources — this is what the DOJ is doing, and this why trust in the DOJ is rapidly eroding in Congress,” said California Rep. Devin Nunes, the GOP chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

In response to the GOP committee chairmen, Justice Department spokesperson Sarah Isgur Flores said, “As Deputy Attorney General [Rod] Rosenstein has said repeatedly, we don’t put a lot of stock in anonymous sources over here and we are committed to continuing to work with Chairmen Gowdy and Nunes to accommodate their requests.”

Ace of Spades wonders Who Ya Gonna Believe, James Comey or Two Lying Transcripts of James Comey’s Congressional Testimony?

“Last week, the House released a transcript of James Comey testifying that the interviewing agents briefed him that they had seen no indications of deception in Michael Flynn’s testimony.” … “Well, if the House transcript wasn’t enough, how about the Senate transcript, too?”

And of course Rod Rosenstein is citing Important National Security Concerns as a reason to withhold such documents from Congress.

Not to protect his friend Comey or anything.

On the McCain controversy by Byron York – “The slanders set off vicious battles on Twitter, with still more insults to McCain. In response, many of the senator’s allies and supporters rushed to his defense.”

“Given that, it is probably fair to say that arguments about McCain, both civil and not, will continue to the very end, and beyond.

Why? Because of the sheer complexity of John McCain. He has lived a big life, with accomplishments few can match. But in the course of that life he has also antagonized some who should be allies.

McCain knew that many press types admired him because of his fondness for sticking it to the GOP

So which to emphasize in what might be McCain’s final days? Here’s a thought: Why not dwell on the good, especially since it was so good? When someone dies, it really is fitting to look at the best that person did. And John McCain lived a great, patriotic life, doing more in service to the U.S. than his critics, or almost anyone else. When he dies, why not remember that?

There seems to be an excess of sensitivity here rationalized by ‘normal’ events of life. A fatal illness does not mean the ugly should be swept under the rug nor does it mean that those whose opinions differ should be impugned and maligned. Then there’s the motivation behind leaking private conversations …

John Oliver explains Venezuela: Things are terrible but don’t blame socialism by John Sexton – “John Oliver devoted most of his show this weekend to talking about the terrible situation in Venezuela, a situation that has been terrible to varying degrees for at least three years now.”

“There’s just one glaring problem with Oliver’s report: He says socialism isn’t the problem. In fact, he opens the whole segment by mocking conservative media coverage of Venezuela. “If you follow conservative media at all, you will see it frequently painted as the inevitable, dire consequences of a socialist government,” he says. He then cuts to a clip of someone on InfoWars doing a fairly dumb woman-on-the-street interview. That’s the kind of cheap cop-out I would expect from John Oliver. It’s about as fair as criticizing John Oliver and then offering readers a clip of some left-wing campus imbecile in glasses. But I’m not going to do that. I’m just going to point out that John Oliver’s take on socialism not being the real problem in Venezuela is complete and utter garbage.

Was this a case of mismanagement? Yes, absolutely. But what John Oliver never really delves into here is why the mismanagement happened and why, once things became unsustainable, the government couldn’t simply make some common sense market reforms to address it. The answer to all of those why questions is “socialism.”

Another similar apologia and rationalization is by Brian Faler about the GOP tax cut not why economy is booming – “Economists are rolling their eyes at candidates’ claims.” This one is trying to support the Left’s assertion that ‘raising taxes’ is good policy.

Put up or shut up on the Trump threatens democracy claims, Part Two by Paul Mirengoff – “In my first post on this subject, I argued that 15 months into the Trump presidency, those who claim he’s a threat to democracy should have to point to actions he’s taken that support this assertion.” This is another response to the ‘standard never-Trump mantras’ tossed out with wild abandon as axiomatic yet in denial of reality.

“I then submitted that Trump’s actions do not support claims that he threatens free speech, flouts the rule of law, assaults minority rights, or colludes with foreign adversaries.

In this post, I’ll argue that Trump’s approach to the Department of Justice is the antithesis of what we would expect from an administration that threatens our democracy or our freedoms.

This gets into the problems Congress is having getting information out of the DOJ and FBI and other ‘deep state’ behavior in the administration. That sort of behavior would not exist if Trump was as alleged by his opponents.

At Instapundit, Gail Heriot gets into the myth propagation by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

“The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights’ most recent significant offering is entitled Report on Public Education Inequity in an Era of Increasing Concentration of Poverty and Resegregation. Alas, like many such reports, it perpetuates several destructive myths. For example, it suggests that school districts with high concentrations of minority or low-income students get fewer actual dollars per students than the average school district. Nope. While pockets of underfunding exist, low-income and high-minority school districts tend to get somewhat more money than the average school district on a per-pupil basis (though they get less per-pupil than some mostly-small, mega-wealthy school districts). This “fewer actual dollars per pupil” myth needs to be corrected; it gives rise to unnecessary resentments. It’s hard to have an honest and productive discussion about how schools should be funded, when people are being led to believe that things are worse than they are (and that racism is to blame). I am certainly willing to entertain the possibility that schools with high concentrations of low-income students need more money than the average school. Indeed, I’m inclined to believe it. But I’m not willing to start from the notion that more money for schools is the primary thing that’s needed to solve the nation’s educational problems.

My Dissenting Statement to the Report on Public Education Inequity in an Era of Increasing Concentration of Poverty and Resegregation tries to deal with some of the realities of school finance. Among other things, it makes the point that the relationship between funding and student success is pretty tenuous. (E.g. Washington, D.C. schools are both the highest spenders and the lowest performers.)

There’s a lot that people know that isn’t so and their belief systems are near fanatic.

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How can reasonable people agree when reason goes by the board?

George Will scorns Pence for the high crime of decency by William J. Bennett – “don’t let the Will’s penchant for writing columns filled with big words that most American’s never use and can’t even define obscure the fact that the central indictment of his hostile column is pretty thin gruel.”

“What is evident from Will’s splenetic attack on Pence is just how far the “Never Trump” movement is willing to go to achieve its main goal of … well, what is the goal now, 16 months after President Trump’s inauguration? Make voters wish they hadn’t supported Trump so they could have avoided the overwhelming barrage of mordant if ultimately toothless hand-wringing from the pundit class?

It’s not a debate…it’s warfare by Robert Arvay – “Each of us has, on occasion, whether online or off, attempted to reason with sufferers of TDS, but to no avail.”

“Those with the syndrome have a computer-like repertoire of ready replies to everything. If you debunk their first accusation, they pull out one more from their list and continue as if the first one was never challenged. Thus, Sam’s utter frustration. One cannot have an honest discussion with a computer that is preprogrammed to stonewall.

The tenacity these people demonstrate makes one wonder: why did they never apply their tactics to challenging the corrupt Obama presidency? Why do they interpret every minute detail of Trump’s words and actions in the darkest, most negative possible light, while Obama got the benefit of every doubt, even when no reasonable doubt existed?

The reason they cannot be persuaded is because they are not debating; they are fighting. They are not arguing for their beliefs, they are battling for what they perceive as their self-interest. Their ideology is not a system of belief, but a fortification from which they can launch their attacks.

Our opponents are not mere opponents. They are resourceful, intractable, and immune to reason. Expose their corruption, and they accuse you of doing what they did. Debunk their argument and they change the subject. The one and only thing they have going for them is power. They have lots of it, and their aim is to get all of it.

There is no point in getting angry at them. Just defeat them.

Harry Reid sent sensitive Trump collusion letter over CIA objections by Rowan Scarborough – “Mr. Reid’s Aug. 27 letter to the FBI appears to mark the first time a Democrat officially accused President’ Trump’s campaign of colluding with the Russian government to hack his party’s computers.” … “The Washington Times has examined Mr. Steele’s series of collusion charges and found that none has been confirmed independently and publicly at this point. Special counsel Robert Mueller continues to investigate.” The Legacy of the Left becomes more clear for what it is.

The ‘Election Collusion’ Was between Our Intelligence Community and Britain by Clarice Feldman – “Things seem to be coming to a head. In the meantime, another pratfall for the Mueller $10-million-dollar team: They indicted a Russian company that wasn’t in existence at the time of the alleged criminal activity.” (see the DailyWire on this last)

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Hate, obstruction, consequences

Why the Left Hates Betsy DeVos by John Stossel – “The secretary of education is fighting government bureaucracy.”

“The haters claim DeVos knows little about education, only got her job because she gave money to Republican politicians, and hates free public education.

The department she inherited is a good example of that. K-12 schools are controlled and funded locally, but taxpayers are forced to ship education money to Washington, D.C., where bureaucrats there grab some, and then ship the rest back—with strings attached.

When activists blocked her school visit, she told me for my latest online video, “We drove away, and (the security guard) said, ‘Ma’am, I don’t think we should go back’ and I said…’they are not going to win. I am determined to meet those kids and those teachers.'”

She did.

The protesters seemed less interested in her views on education than on the fact that she’s rich.

Betsy DeVos Gets Standing Ovation for Commencement Speech Despite Protests by Mike LaChance – “The warm welcome was in stark contrast to the disapproving crowds DeVos encountered last year

Ace of Spades has a full slate today. Now Mossberg Discontinues Sales to Dick’s Sporting Goods, Too – “Virtual signalling and alienating customers to get nice articles written about you for the non-customer’s of Buzzfeed’s audience will cost you real cash money.” A Dick’s Sporting Goods subsidiary is Field & Stream so its PC is rather an extreme example of self flagellation. Ace also note Fienstein going after the CIA nominee using Fake News, cites Brett Easton Ellis who thinks There’s a Big Backlash Against Leftist Hysteria Coming, the NYT embarrassment over trying to diss the SoS Pompeo, CNN’s Daniels obsession still going strong, and the GOP actually nominating some strong Senate candidates.

Stormy Daniels sets a new standard for women. No victims need apply by Suzanne Fields – “We’ve entered the porn phase of feminism. You could call it the third stage.”

“The first stage, led by Susan B. Anthony and the Suffragettes, wore white to proclaim their virtue and to show themselves morally superior to men who opposed them. They won the vote in 1920, despite President Woodrow Wilson’s frown.

The second stage arrived in the 1960s, when Betty Friedan’s book, “The Feminine Mystique,” appealed to middle-class mothers confined to homes she described as “comfortable concentration camps.”

There’s certainly nothing new about a philandering president and a public affair. What is new is the latest perception of sexual behavior both public and private, and how presidential behavior comes wrapped in double standards, depending on politics.

The truth behind Scott Pruitt’s “scandalous” trip to Italy by Jazz Shaw – “Now even more details of Pruitt’s trip have been released. Rather than simply “touring the Vatican and posing for photos” the EPA boss and his staff were engaged in back to back meetings on the subject of climate concerns.” It’s another ‘Fake News’ item where there is ready-to-hand comparisons with the previous administration to show how absurd the allegations really are, presumption of guilt biases news stories to absurdity, and later reports make clear the duplicity and dishonesty of the assaults.

Confirm Jeff Clark by Paul Mirengoff – it’s about the effort to roll back “oppressive, costly, and unnecessary federal regulations” and the assault on such efforts coupled with the obstruction to assembling a team to support and defend the efforts against the attacks against them.

For conservatives, the rolling back of oppressive, costly, and unnecessary federal regulations is probably the signature achievement of the Trump administration so far. This rolling back, if it continues and if it survives challenge, will deliver a major blow to the administrative state and provide the equivalent of a large national tax cut.

Every stride the Pruitt EPA has made will be challenged in court. Thus, genuine accomplishment is contingent on the Trump administration’s ability to defend the EPA’s actions.

Rod Rosenstein put it well when he said: “There are seven litigating components in Main Justice. Only two of them have Senate-confirmed nominees. When the founders drafted the Constitution in 1787, this is probably not what they had in mind.”

It’s not what Donald Trump had in mind when he promised to drain the swamp, either.

McCain to Senate: Don’t let Haspel run the CIA by Ed Morrissey – “Lots and lots of reaction that accuses McCain of using Haspel to take shots at Trump, but that sells McCain short on this issue. He’s been passionate about the torture issue — and has the personal experience that gives him a lot more credibility than most to opine on it.” McCain and Kerry make a pair in reminding us how the Vietnam experience diminished honorable soldiers.

NYT columnist: The Senate just killed blue slips on judicial nominations — and that’s awesome by Ed Morrissey – “Former prosecutor David Lat writes that this will not just benefit both parties, but also all of the Americans who have been waiting far too long for judges to become available to hear their cases

“Lat makes one other good point about partisan benefit. There’s no doubt that the end of the blue slip as a means of obstruction will benefit Trump in the short run, but it will also help make this process a more normal function of the Senate. After the openings get filled now, the Senate will be able to maintain staffing much easier without having to rely on fits and starts only when the president’s party has the Senate majority. Or, at least there will be less excuse for procrastination.

Prosecutors and the rule of law by Andrew P. Napolitano – “Judge Ellis’ actual ruling — clouded by the fog of his dicta — gave Mr. Mueller two weeks to demonstrate his lawful jurisdiction.”

“I have characterized this prosecutorial behavior as extortion or bribery, but I am in a small minority in the legal and judicial communities. The courts have made clear that prosecutors can nullify prison exposure by reducing charges to induce the testimony they want from a witness. Yet if defense counsel gave the same witness so much as a lollipop to shade his testimony, both would be indicted for bribery.

the rule of law is only a safeguard of our liberties when the people in whose hands we repose it for safekeeping are faithful to it though, in the motto of the DOJ, the heavens fall.

America The Weird by Victor Davis Hanson – “On first glance, America does not seem that exceptional.” But here is a heavy dose of reality and history.

“Europe never had a vast frontier like the United States, or a history of mass immigration. Again, neither its individual nations nor the present European Union embrace anything like the values of the U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights. The idea of a multiracial America united only by common allegiances to the ideas of freedom and liberty is still foreign to Europe, or at least it was until the last two decades or so. Despite the stain of chattel slavery, America has otherwise had no experience with the long European traditions of monarchy, hereditary aristocracy, colonialism, or indentured peasantry.

The original vision of the Founders—to protect freedom and liberty by limiting the power of government with a system of checks and balances—was quite different than the European ideals of mandated fraternity and egalitarianism.

The result is that America exists both as the world’s refuge and its beacon, the sole place where individuals can find a safe harbor. Only in America can the individual remain free and able to live his life under the assumption that the major decisions of his life are his own and not predicated on state approval. Only in the United States does the rags to riches story still exist, given that neither regulation, the deep state, nor an entrenched aristocracy can fully suppress entrepreneurs or aspiring capitalists.

A Day With Candace Owens by John Hinderaker – “Beginning with Kanye West’s famous tweet, her life has been a whirlwind of television and radio appearances and speeches. The Left is attacking her viciously, while some on the right view her as a potential savior.”

“If you get the impression that I liked Candace, you are right. She was as engaging offstage as on. I suppose sudden fame could spoil her, or she could succumb to one pitfall or another. The Left, of course, is lying in wait for her to make a mistake. But my guess is that she will be a significant force on the right, and in American public life, for many years to come.

There are some gifted people in the pipeline coming in from the Right. From the Left? Rather empty.

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The politics of personal destruction

The Democrats’ favorite sport: Ruining people by Patricia McCarthy – “Over the past twenty-six years, the virus that is the Clintons on the American body politic has metastasized into a virulent auto-immune disease. They are a virus that seeks to utterly destroy what it sees as an enemy but may well end up demolishing itself, with devastating results.”

“The Democratic Party today has moved so far to the left, become so radicalized, that it is a blight on the American landscape. Its favored strategy is to destroy everything, anyone, and anything that stands in its way – thus the Mueller witch hunt that has cost so many so much. Gen. Flynn has lost his house. Michael Cohen’s homes and office were raided. Michael Caputo, a “witness,” let the Senate committee know what he thinks when he said to them, “God [d—] you to Hell.” It remains to be seen if the DOJ I.G. report we await will tell the true story of their diabolical contempt for all that is good about this nation.

How to achieve the Marxist society they favor? Destroy everyone, every conservative, pro-Constitution person and every person of faith who reaches or aspires to a position of power, and do it by any means, no matter how low, no matter how illegal, no matter how immoral. This is what they do.

The Democratic Party of today, as Dennis Prager has so often pointed out, is no longer liberal, no longer the party of JFK. It is now the party of Saul Alinsky, the man who instructed, “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it” and “If the ends don’t justify the means, what does?”

This is who the left is today. Leftists’ mission in life is to destroy anyone who gets in their way. Vince Foster knew of what he spoke.

Caputo Debriefed by Scott Johnson – “Following up on his testimony and statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, former Trump campaign aide Michael Caputo was interviewed by one of the prosecutors and two FBI agents working on the Mueller Switch Project yesterday.”

“I certainly didn’t sign up for this when I went to work for the Trump campaign and I will never, ever work on another Republican campaign for as long as I live…and I think that’s part of this, Tucker. This is a punishment strategy. I think they want to destroy the president, they want to destroy his family, they want to destroy his businesses, they want to destroy his friends so that no billionaire, say, in 15 years wakes up and tells his wife, you know what, they country’s broken and only I can fix it….His wife will say, ‘are you crazy Did you see what happened to Donald Trump?’ That’s what this is about.”

“Clearly these lawsuits after the fact are the new Democratic strategy. When you lose, you still win. I don’t think anyone should work on a Republican campaign again unless you’re legally indemnified. If you do, you’re crazy.”

Conservatives organize against social media censorship, and come out swinging by Monica Showalter – “There’s censorship. But it hasn’t gotten the attention it should get, and congressional hearings don’t seem to be going anywhere at this point.”

At the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, the entertainment hit a new low by Cal Thomas – “To be vulgar once earned societal disapproval, ostracism from polite company and — in my grandmother’s era — put a young person in danger of having his mouth washed out with soap.”

“Today, vulgarities are now mainstream. People speaking in a way that “would make a sailor blush” are now on primetime television and words once frowned upon in polite society are now a part of what was once known as cordial conversation.

Last week at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington, in the very ballroom where the annual National Prayer Breakfast is held, a previously obscure “comedian” named Michelle Wolf climbed out from under a rock to spew words and personal insults at President Trump, his press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and top aide Kellyanne Conway, obliterating any remaining standard of conduct and decency. Ms. Wolf also made grotesque references to abortion and used words to describe in vulgar terms female genitalia.

It’s difficult to pinpoint when the decline began; when journalists abandoned decorum and aligned themselves with people who practice their craft from the vantage point of the sewer.

One way to win a war is to make sure that the opponent’s soldiers are afraid to serve. That works until they figure out what the alternative really is. There’s also the evolutionary model: when you engage in destruction of individuals, what will remain is the most fit who are most able to resist your efforts at destruction. That means that the politics of personal destruction will result in people who cannot be destroyed that way. Hence Trump?

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Showing the ugly

Robert Mueller Likely Knows How This All Ends by Arrett M. Graff – “Mueller’s proposed questions are presumably the starting point for what would then be increasingly detailed follow-ups, backed up by specific emails, documents, telephone records, and other files Mueller’s team and FBI investigators have accumulated in an investigation stretching back more than two years.” The questions should more properly be considered a “when did you stop beating your wife” approach but Wired and others presume guilt and conclude that the questions are all properly founded in secret evidence no one other than the special prosecutor has been able to find. Rather than deal with the history of investigation, they continue to obsess on the ‘real soon now’ expectation that their dreams will become reality.

Gail Heriot explains what bothers me about the media coverage of the “prom dress” fiasco. “WaPo writes: “‘My culture is NOT your …. prom dress.’” That, of course, is not what he wrote. What he wrote was a lot nastier.”

“Where a newspaper reporter uses an ellipsis in a quotation, the reporter is telling readers that they should trust him or her that the deleted material was not significant. But, in this case, I think it was. By deleting the curse, WaPo made the whole thing seem more like a “debate” (which is how the headline characterized it) and less like a hotheaded rant by a pathetic fool (which is what it was). I can understand not wanting to print curses in a family newspaper. If so, they could have rendered it as “My culture is NOT your [expletive deleted] prom dress.”

The real story is how so many people could “heart” such an incoherent sentiment.

How a Pretty Prom Dress Helped Reveal Rot in the American Soul by David French – “If you’re a normal human being, like the majority of Americans who saw their Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter feeds fill up with prom pictures last weekend, you thought that was a pretty girl in a pretty dress. Nothing more.”

Note the likes. Note the retweets. Note the comments. That’s a monstrously viral tweet – especially for a person with a mere 1,818 followers. It sparked so much attention and controversy that Twitter then created one of its “moments” to chronicle the controversy and chart the most salient responses.

Daum, to her immense credit, has weathered the shamestorm without backing down. She says simply that she bought the dress because she thought it was “beautiful” and she “admired the beauty of the culture.”

Reason can’t cede the public square to rage. Sometimes a prom dress is just a prom dress. But Lam’s tweet wasn’t “just” a tweet. It was a symbol of the incoherent anger that is tearing this nation apart.

Chip and Joanna Gaines have a foundation in faith and family that blunts cheap shots by Tammy Bruce – “Last week, an opinion writer caused a bit of a stir by insisting that Chip and Joanna Gaines, of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” fame, are frauds who lie about putting their family first.”

“What a shame Mr. Austin felt the need to condemn them publicly in this way. Unless this has nothing to do with Chip and Joanna, and more to do with Mr. Austin’s choices in life.

Here’s what we do know: People are different. We have different backgrounds, educations, experiences and dreams. The American dream is not one specific thing — it’s the freedom to be able to pursue what best suits you, and it will be different for everyone.

Sometimes you have to stand up to the bully, no matter the cost by L. Todd Wood – “just the thought of someone standing up to them was enough to send them scurrying to find some other weaker friend to pick on. This is exactly the situation we find ourselves in when it comes to Iran.”

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Empty allegations of “lies” are telling (projection?)

Don’t Be Mad at Wolf’s Sanders Jokes if You’ve Never Been Mad at Trump by Katherine Timpf – “He has gone just as low, but she’s a comedian, not president, so she does deserve a bit more leeway when it comes to making jokes.” This is the typical apologia for the White House Correspondence Dinner – Trump does it so it’s OK. The problem is not President versus comedienne but rather one of accuracy in perceptions and an inability to make critical distinctions in tone, tenor, context, and accuracy. Then there’s the moral preening on top of logical fallacies.

“You don’t have to like all of her jokes, and you can think that some of them were too mean. You cannot, however, only have a problem with jokes when they’re making fun of the other side and consider yourself to be logically sound.

My Take on the “Comedy” Routine at the White House Correspondence Dinner Is Simple by Patterico illustrates the social problem – “I enjoyed watching Sarah Sanders called out for lying, on account of her being a paid liar.” He misses the hate and vulgarity and commits the ‘both sides do it’ fallacy in casting a judgment that is not supportable in any meaningful sense.

The White House Correspondents’ Dinner Is Everything Wrong With The Media by Daniel Greenfield – “The free press has been tied up and locked in the basement by the crooked media.”

“The Dinner is, in theory, a charity event. But the only people who know that are reporters and Jeopardy trivia champions. In between the celebrity appearances and the obscene taunts aimed at women who work in the Trump administration, the media orgy is supposed to be fundraising to send kids to college.

The Dinner does much better when the president shows up. That’s why the media is fuming that Trump stood them up twice. If the President is a Dem, he merits a bootlicking. If he’s a Republican, then his daughter gets compared to a box of tampons.

The WHCD and the WHCA have the same relationship to good journalism that vampires have to sunlight.

The crooked media of a corrupt party knows its business. Smear the opposition and get feted.

Trump chose wisely, ignoring the White House Correspondents Association hatefest by Patricia McCarthy – “As everyone knows, the night is meaningless, an open-mic night for anti-Republican jokes that are really just insults. But the jokes have become cruder and ruder year after year.”

“One thing about the left is certain, written in stone: they are vicious, malicious and filled with hatred for all things not radically leftist. This year was, as last year, a doubling down on the vulgar.

Nothing Michelle Wolf said last night can be quoted here. She should not be quoted anywhere. Her verbal abuse of the President and the people in the room was nothing short of degenerate. The left has always been caustic when attacking conservatives, but with this event they crossed a line into gutter obscenity. Ms. Wolf is an embarrassment not only to the left but to all of America.

Dickens pretty much summed up the political mess that is the American scene today. While Trump was raising the spirits of his supporters in Michigan, Michelle Wolf was hoping for a winter of despair and a season of darkness. Only when Americans are desolate, is the left happy and proud.

For the sake of journalism, stop the White House correspondents’ dinner by Margaret Sullivan – “It never has been a particularly good idea for journalists to don their fanciest clothes and cozy up to the people they cover, alongside Hollywood celebrities who have ventured to wonky Washington to join the fun.” Sullivan has a point although she shows her anti-Trump bias (“Trump rarely sets a good example for anyone”) and blindness (“Journalists do not present false stories. When they get something wrong, they correct it.”) so her point on the WHCD misses the mark. Again, excuses absent reality: “They are simply trying to do their jobs of informing the public, a job often made difficult by the obfuscation from the briefing room podium and the president’s own lies.” She thinks “are in the trenches digging out the truth. Not schmoozing in the swamp while the president hustles the heartland.” and that rather misses the WCHD vulgar hatefest demonstration that destroys the credibility of the media. Glen Reynolds, in response to a Glenn Greenwald ‘Trump v media’ Tweet says “All they have to do to be immune to Trump’s attacks is to not be preening, brazenly partisan, and openly crazy. And they can’t even do that.”

The New York Times’ Hatchet Job On Devin Nunes Is Riddled With Errors By Mollie Hemingway – “The New York Times article is riddled with errors that multiple sources publicly deny. It fails to include information easily found in the public record.” This is another example of the blindness Sullivan illustrates above. Hemmingway provides a case study of digging out the truth by dissecting a MSM report that was more about ignoring and obfuscating truth to provide propaganda support. Compare and contrast this analysis and its support with what you see from the likes of Margaret Sullivan.

“Jason Zengerle publicly announced his profile of Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., in today’s New York Times Sunday Magazine with the snarky tweet, “My latest for the @NYTmag on Devin Nunes, who’s been propagating, not to mention falling for, conspiracy theories since before the Deep State was even in a gleam in Donald Trump’s eye.”

It’s an accurate summation of the hit he attempted to place on Nunes, the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). The only problem is the case he attempts to make is riddled with errors and full of embarrassing and deliberate material omissions

Not only did Nunes not come up empty-handed in his dogged pursuit of transparency with the bin Laden cache, he was completely vindicated about the need to not bend the knee to intelligence officials when they claim to know better than their congressional overseers about transparency.

The campaign against Nunes by the media and Democrats can be traced to his announcement that the Obama administration had engaged in worrisome collection and distribution of information on the Trump team during the transition.

Many in the media responded by downplaying or denigrating his news, distracting with process complaints or quickly thrown-together stories from anonymous sources with no evidence claiming more breathless wrongdoing with Russia.

Showdown builds between Comey, House: Just what did FBI director say about Michael Flynn? by Byron York – “so far, the intelligence community has prevented that proof from seeing the light of day.” This is related to the objections about the redactions that were made to the House committee report. It may also be related to the recalcitrance to comply with FISA requests and Congressional subpoenas.

“In addition, Republicans pointed out that the intelligence community quickly removed proposed redactions from the House Intel Democrats’ counter-report. “The Democrats got all the redactions on their minority views lifted within a day,” said House Intel spokesman Jack Langer Sunday evening, “while we’re still struggling to get our concerns addressed.”

Now, in light of what Comey has said in recent interviews, Republicans are particularly eager to remove the blackouts. If that happens, the public will finally learn just what Comey said to the committee in March of last year.

Campaign 2018: Nevada Dems file 5th complaint against Heller by Ramona Giwargis – “Nevada Democrats filed another ethics complaint against U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, alleging the Republican is exploiting his official position to boost his campaign for re-election.” It’s a lot easier to smear and slander than it is to persuade and win elections.

“This latest frivolous complaint shows just how weak Nevada Democrats perceive their anointed candidate, Jacky Rosen,” Heller spokesman Keith Schipper said. “If Rosen respected our tax dollars, she would demand her political party quit wasting them in shameless attempts to distract Nevadans from the fact that she has been a complete failure in Congress.”

It also illustrates how Democrats assume guilt and go to any extreme to prove their point no matter how petty.

Here Are Three Scary FBI Scandal Factors You Must Know by Mark Tapscott – “There’s an old Washington maxim about being careful because ‘what goes around almost always comes back around‘”

“During the three years between Holder’s blatant subversion of the 1978 Inspectors General Act and passage of the 2016 law, James Comey succeeded Mueller as FBI chief. He continued, however, to wall off Horowitz’s access to documents essential to doing his job until the new law was passed.

As more facts are uncovered about the lengths to which former FBI Director James Comey, his then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and a half-dozen other pro-Hillary Clinton bureau insiders went to protect the Democratic nominee in her email scandal, the least discussed element is Obama’s role in the affair.

A David Horowitz Hillsdale lecture Rules for Radicals: What Constitutional Conservatives Should Know About Saul Alinsky (YouTube February 2014)) identifies the nature of the conflict. He notes that conservatives accept the fallen nature of man and seek government that will limit human faults. Heaven is left to the hereafter. Liberals thinks government can avoid human frailties and bring about heaven on earth. The implication that the end is ‘heaven on earth’ justifies any means to achieve it and that separates the two camps in this social conflict.

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Paranoia, character assassination, what else to expect from the Left?

Time to admit that Trump is doing a good job by Russ McSwain – “However bad Trump’s pre-election behavior is perceived to be, it has almost no value in evaluating the obvious success of his presidency.”

“Just as there are naïve investors who are incredulous when a surefire opportunity becomes a money-loser, there are pundits who, in their own minds, know that a person or a policy will lead to disaster. They are unable to grasp when reality makes their predictions worthless.

Trump’s negotiating style is the key to understanding his success.

Trump moves in mysterious ways. Some of his moves are likely to fail, but some of even the oddest of them work.

it will add to the health of our republic if we judge our president by what he does as president rather than by what people predicted he would do or predict that he will do. There are people who call this approach being reality-based.

John Hinderaker’s tweet of the day: “How long before a federal judge in Hawaii orders the Korean War must continue” — Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) April 27, 2018

The High-Tech Lynching of Diamond and Silk by Daniel John Sobieski – “Zuckerberg could sit back and watch Democrats engage at Thursday’s House Judiciary Committee hearings in the character assassination they level at any blacks who express conservative opinions or otherwise stray off the Democratic plantation, just as they have done from Clarence Thomas to Kanye West.”

“The bottom line here is that the Democrats, already in panic mode over the phony Russia collusion probe evaporating in futility as true Democratic collusion and corruption are revealed, and as the Trump agenda, both domestic and foreign, is succeeding, are terrified that blacks are peeling away from their coalition. Even a 5-percent swing among blacks would doom the Democratic Party. Their ideological slavery must be maintained, and black conservatives speaking the truth must be destroyed.

Food stamp usage is in decline, as is black unemployment. Wages are rising, as is black homeownership.

Diamond and Silk must be destroyed by Democrats who call Republicans racist and sexist. They and others like them who want to be judged by the content of their character and the truth of their ideas can appreciate the words of Clarence Thomas during his confirmation hearing:

The New York Post: The ugly attack on Ronny Jackson just set a new low – “Democrats this week claimed another scalp when Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson withdrew his nomination as secretary of veterans affairs under an avalanche of anonymous allegations from a red-state Democratic senator in a tough re-election fight.” It’s what they do. It’s who they are.

“Sadly, the decorated combat vet, inexperienced in DC’s often-treacherous ways, never got the chance to answer his accusers — or even to learn their names.

And because this most vicious character assassination succeeded in taking down Jackson, future nominees will face the same, or even worse.

Reuters: Trump calls on Democratic senator to resign after VA pick drops out – “the U.S. Secret Service said it had no records to back allegations that its personnel intervened to stop Jackson from disturbing former President Barack Obama during a foreign trip in 2015.” No support for smear allegations? No problem. Just pretend. See Instapundit for more – “What’s interesting is that in order to block a Trump nominee the Democrats were willing to portray the Obama White House as a drunken, chaotic mess. And Obama, who said so many nice things about Jackson, kept quiet for it instead of coming out to defend him.”

Declassified Congressional Report: James Clapper Lied About Dossier Leaks To CNN by Sean Davis – “A newly declassified report on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections reveals that former intelligence chief James Clapper lied to Congress about information he shared with CNN on the infamous Steele dossier.”

“In one of the findings within the 253-page report, the House intelligence committee wrote that Clapper leaked details of a dossier briefing given to then-President-elect Donald Trump to CNN’s Jake Tapper, lied to Congress about the leak, and was rewarded with a CNN contract a few months later.

The revelation that Clapper was responsible for leaking details of both the dossier and briefings to two presidents on the matter is significant, because former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director James Comey wrote in one of four memos that he leaked that the briefing of Trump on salacious and unverified allegations from the dossier was necessary because “CNN had them and were looking for a news hook.”

As The Federalist‘s Mollie Hemingway noted after Comey’s memos were finally made available to the public, the fired FBI director’s account of the briefing of Trump suggested that the entire briefing was a setup from the beginning, and that it was scheduled and held just so it could be leaked to journalists who wanted an excuse to publish a dossier nobody had verified.

In their coordinated response to the full intelligence committee’s findings, committee Democrats defended Clapper, claiming that he broke no laws while acknowledging that he did leak information about the dossier to CNN’s Jake Tapper.

Here Are The Republican Senators Who Voted For The Mueller Coup Bill by Daniel Greenfield – “With every committee Democrat backing the legislation, only one Republican was needed to secure passage. … But they got four.” … “And we’ve already seen federal courts playing this game before. The latest DACA ruling among them. It amounts to giving federal judges the power to keep a special counsel going indefinitely.” It’s an effort to hogtie executive branch powers enumerated in the U.S. Constitution. Congress is colluding with the judiciary to overthrow the third branch of government and squelch the checks and balances built into the Constitution.

Video: The Mueller investigation is “irretrievably tainted” says… Mark Penn? By Jazz Shaw – “As you see in the interview, it doesn’t take much prompting to wind up Penn and send him off to the races. He tags all manner of people involved in the investigation without even being specifically asked about them.”

“Then, when you add in all the material about Clapper and the dossier which has been dropping this month, well… the entire thing takes on a definitely swampy feel. The problem is that none of this changes the political realities we’re dealing with. Ending the probe before Mueller says he’s finished creates the image of a coverup whether there was anything to actually cover up or not. Firing him has even worse optics. But if Mueller is determined to drag this out through the midterm elections and beyond with nothing productive to show for his efforts, this becomes a case of the absolute worst of Washington on display.

The “legend” loses his way by Paul Mirengoff – “Berkowitz fairly concludes, Comey did not tell the president the truth when he assured him he doesn’t do sneaky things, he doesn’t leak, and he doesn’t do weasel moves.”

I agree with Peter’s conclusion: “The misconceptions and falsehoods that Comey perpetuates about the misbegotten prosecution of Scooter Libby provide further confirmation that, despite his private assurance to the president and public boasts, Comey can’t be counted on to tell the truth.”

If there’s a silver lining in the Comey saga, it’s this: The man has bought so fully into his self-legend — is so convinced of his own righteousness — that he takes no care to consult the facts. This leaves him vulnerable to the kind of questioning Bret Baier presented on Thursday, questioning that produced a fiasco for Comey.

Thus, Comey’s pompous pronouncement in March of this year — “Mr. President, the American people will hear my story very soon, and they can judge for themselves who is honorable and who is not” — may prove prophetic in a way the “legend” did not anticipate.

A Tale of Two Bills by Mark Steyn – “By strange serendipity, Bill Cosby was convicted of three counts of sexual assault on the day Juanita Broaddrick marked the 40th anniversary of her rape by Bill Clinton. Mr Cosby is eighty years old and likely to die in prison; Mr Clinton is still, in every sense, at large.” So much of this and now Tom Brokaw is in defense…

Who tipped off police to the Golden State Killer? By Ed Morrissey – “Authorities used genealogical websites to track down the suspected serial killer known as the “Golden States Killer,”

“Normally, law enforcement would need a warrant to seek out that kind of data if it wasn’t offered willingly. Of course, the unwitting tipster in this case chose to make their DNA information public in these genealogical databases in the first place, has have many, many others. This has created a powerful and perhaps dangerous tool for government to use, thanks to our own curiosity and the commercialization of our private data. In this case, it was used to apprehend a monster, but who will it be used to find in the future? And for what purpose?

this is not meant to take anything away from investigators who found a despicable monster after his victims had suffered for decades. As far as is known now, they broke no laws in accessing information that people published willingly. But it’s worth asking ourselves if we are becoming so eager to be entertained by own data that we’re not creating Big Brother by accident, and whose power will almost assuredly not be used by accident.

Come And See The Violence Inherent In The Leftism at Instapundit – “Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks suggested in a radio interview that Republicans are retiring en masse because of assassination fears.” Follow the links.

The War on Reason by Ben Voth – “We are living through an all-out war on truth, facts and reason,” said presidential candidate and former secretary of State Hillary Clinton in New York recently.” … “The urgent intellectual problem of our time is, what is reasonable? The war on reason has substantially damaged our public sphere.”

“All of this leads us back to a reconsideration of what is reason? It appears that “reason” is whatever suits the powerful at any given moment. Would Samantha Power “stoop to anything” in order to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president? Someone who is a monster at one moment may at another moment be an imperative ally. What might seem like a plain breaking of the law in one case may appear different to someone being employed by that lawbreaker in the future.

Hillary Clinton decries the war against reason. The American public’s war against “reason” is reasonable, and fully consistent with a republic founded upon limits on government rather than its ruthless expansion for selective self-gain.

Thomas Sowell’s Last Word? By Richard Kirk – “Few works on politically explosive topics maintain such a consistent focus on empirical evidence while avoiding rhetorical jabs at opponents.”

“On the other hand, empirical evidence cuts deep, especially when critics can’t protest the author’s “nasty” style. As radio talker Larry Elder observes, “[f]acts are to liberals what kryptonite is to Superman.”

Sowell shows that many or most of the disparities that afflict black Americans are due to behaviors to which even other blacks have objected.

Sowell also provides surprising examples of cases where the desire for profit actually won out over racial discrimination.

Overall, Sowell’s book is a protest against the unfounded assumption that “there would be no disparate outcomes unless there were disparate treatment.” Sowell observes that this ideologically driven assumption “seems almost impervious to evidence.” Accordingly, those who cling to this dogma with religious fervor will likely avoid Sowell’s fact-filled book like kryptonite. Folks with less dogmatic proclivities, however, would do well to peruse this concise work.

Here’s Why Jeff Sessions Might Be Playing 4-D Chess by Larry Schweikart – “From early 2017, Jeff Sessions realized that he was engaged in both a legal/criminal battle and a public relations fight. He could never succeed in the former without simultaneously winning the latter.” There’s a lot of evidence that both the battle and the fight are in play. Both are massive with many soldiers and it will take time to settle matters. Think Germany v Russia in 1942 on. What’s to come out of the action remains to be seen.

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A growing awareness: rude, crude, and maybe illegal

BREAKING: Lawmakers Make Criminal Referral on Clinton, Comey, Lynch to DOJ on Steele Dossier by Sara Carter – “Obama officials and FBI embattled agents also targeted for possible violations of federal law.” Note this is reporting on a letter from Congress, not the prosecutor and grand jury process. If the report is correct, it will be up to the DoJ to determine whether to press charges.

“House Oversight and Government Reform Committee member Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Florida, along with ten other colleagues sent the letter Wednesday to Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray criminally referring former FBI Director James Comey, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe for their involvement in the investigations into President Trump and alleged violations of federal law. FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok and his paramour FBI lawyer Lisa Page, whose anti-Trump text messages obtained by the DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, were also included in the referral.

“We write to refer the following individuals for investigation of potential violation(s) of federal statutes,” states the letter obtained by this reporter. “In doing so, we are especially mindful of the dissimilar degrees of zealousness that has marked the investigations into Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, respectively. Because we believe that those in positions of high authority should be treated the same as every other American, we want to be sure that the potential violations of law outlined below are vetted appropriately.”

After Barbara Bush’s Death, Left’s Torrent Of Bile Shows Who The Real Hatemongers Are, Investor’s Business Daily – “the progressive left turned it into a political hate-fest. We need a safe space for civility.”

“These are just some of the many other routine expressions of hate found on Twitter following Barbara Bush’s death. There were many, many others. One can only hope that their authors’ ObamaCare coverage includes mental health.

Nor are these aberrations or out of the ordinary. In fact, the far left has steadily ratcheted up the hate quotient of its speech for years. The goal is to continue to shrink the space in which basic decency, conservative or even moderate political thoughts can flourish, by constant public attack, threats, noisy demonstrations, name-calling, derision and ridicule.

those who engage in this type of routine demonizing and character assassination claim absolute moral superiority for their own beliefs as the reason why they’re fully justified. No need to have a conscience.

We hope most Americans agree: It’s time to reclaim the civility that once was part of American public life. The response to Barbara Bush’s death should be a wake-up call. If we can’t return to decency and respect in public discourse, we’ll bequeath our children and grandchildren a meaner, angrier and far less free America.

In the meantime, rest in peace, Barbara Bush.

Progressive professors behaving badly by Thomas Lifson – “I believe that both are exemplars of the moral hazard that accompanies the exalted status accorded professors, often aggravated by the practice of granting tenure.”

“While I am not familiar with the terms of her contract, I do know that tenure is not an absolute guarantee of lifetime employment. A number of factors, including the closing of an academic department due to low enrollment (aka, market forces), sexual misconduct with a student, or inflicting harm on the employing institution can be grounds for termination in some cases. Nonetheless, Jarrar’s presumption of job invulnerability is apparently what led her to believe that publicly inflicting emotional pain on very prominent people when they are most vulnerable was cost-free. …

It is quite obvious that anger is a prominent part of her self-expression. At least in this case, she was not inflicting that anger on students. I have far greater issue with anther professor whose behavior took place in a classroom and was directed at a student.

If this account is accurate, Finkelstein clearly is abusing his position as a professor. Students are graded by professors, with serious consequences for their future academic and career prospects, meaning that they are very vulnerable. There is an absolute obligation on anyone who has such responsibility to act on the basis of personal detachment from any emotional response to disagreements over political, or moral, or other contentious issues of the moment.

I began my work life as a professor, and found that the moral challenges of responsibly dealing with the power over students bestowed upon that position were quite serious and demanding.

To some degree, Professors Jarrar and Finkelstein are unwittingly “progressive” in that their despicable actions are advancing the progress of the inevitable collapse of the bubble.

James Comey goes stale fast, hits end of his shelf life by Monica Showalter – “with little more than florid descriptions to speak for his otherwise content-free book, and no big revelations, what we get from it is that he has a high opinion of himself, he’s mad about getting fired, and he wants revenge.”

“So now we see just about nobody showing up for the book’s launch at the prestigious Kramerbooks, at the heart of the capital, on Dupont Circle at its opener. The Weekly Standard noted that there were more cameras than customers for this washed up bureaucrat’s hectoring dialectic about his own virtue, and the store sold only about a dozen books, many to the reporters.

Apparently, people in Washington, D.C., who are often swamp things, can see the game he is playing well.

Maybe worst of all, the voters are beginning to notice that Comey’s act is all an act.

This is not the makings of a bestselling book. For the publishers, this big rollout represents a lot of bad judgment clouded by life in a left-wing bubble, given that they paid Comey reportedly millions in an advance. For the rest of us, the popped bubble represents a victory: people aren’t as stupid as their supposedly betters make them out to be.

Cycle dealership ordered to remove military flags goes viral. When rude city worker disrespects troops, all hell breaks loose. By Frieda Powers – “When it comes to defending American patriotism, it seems it always pays to fight for what’s right.”

“A Florida motorcycle dealership found itself facing penalties and allegedly rude behavior by city employees when it was ordered to take down military flags flying atop its store. After a now-viral Facebook video posted by the shop, the flags are being allowed to continue flying, the store has been spared the fines and the city employees suspended.

A growing awareness prompted by arrogant professors, rude city employees, and the twitterverse.

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Korea! Tax the wealthy! and smears.

Trump ends 68-year war by Don Surber – “Today news leaked that North Korea and South Korea will reach a peace agreement.” There’s also news that the ex CIA director, SoS nominee met secretly with North Korean leaders. But this sort of news is rather hard to find from the swamp’s propaganda machine with is focused on Cohen and Daniels.

“”North and South Korea are in talks to announce a permanent end to the officially declared military conflict between the two countries, daily newspaper Munhwa Ilbo reported Tuesday, citing an unnamed South Korean official,” CNBC reported.

You won’t believe what tax reform will cost wealthy Californians in 2019 by Ed Morrissey – “Lots of people just talk about soaking the rich, but Donald Trump and the GOP actually did it

“The controversial phase-out of the state and local tax deduction (SALT) will drop like a bombshell on high-tax-rate blue states, which is one reason why Democrats so staunchly opposed it.

Not only do other taxpayers end up subsidizing the wealthy, they also indemnify blue-state politicians against the consequences of their tax policies. Next year, taxpayers in California, New York, and other high-tax states will have to truly pay for their own taxes rather than foist them off on everyone else.

Minnesota Public Radio: Anatomy of a Smear by John Hinderaker – it’s how that propaganda machine works described in detail.

“Katherine Kersten is a Senior Fellow at Center of the American Experiment, the think tank that I run. In the Fall 2017 issue of our magazine, Thinking Minnesota, she wrote a long, thoroughly documented expose of leftist political indoctrination and bullying of nonconforming students, teachers and staff in the Edina, Minnesota public school system. She did a follow-up story in the Winter 2018 issue of the magazine. Because of their quality and depth of reporting, these articles (along with an op-ed by Kathy in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on the same subject) triggered a vigorous local debate.

The issue of left-wing indoctrination in the schools is, of course, of national interest, and Kathy’s articles began to attract attention from national news outlets, as well.

It is obvious that the principal purpose of MPR’s story was to smear Katherine Kersten and Center of the American Experiment by associating us with the Daily Stormer (“neo-Nazi!”), Stormfront (“white supremacist!”) and 8chan. No mention of mainstream conservatives like Dennis Prager, Brit Hume, Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, Dana Perino, Power Line, InstaPundit, Independent Women’s Forum, Hot Air, the Drudge Report, Legal Insurrection, Frontpage, Intellectual Takeout, Education News, American Conservative, PJ Media, as well as neutral outlets like Real Clear Politics and the Kansas City Star. These mainstream sites have traffic that is, what? 100,000 times greater than the Daily Stormer and Storm Front? 1,000,000 times greater? Obviously, Ms. Wastvedt featured the obscure, extremist sites as a politically-motivated smear.

I think it is telling that MPR is quick to smear those with whom its reporters disagree politically, but refuses to make its reporter available for an interview. Transparency is, apparently, a one-way street.

I am asking Minnesota Public Radio for an apology on behalf of Center of the American Experiment.

More on the Cohen investigation from Andrew C. McCarthy, Neo-neocon has a bit more on the ‘trust your government’ McCarthy dissonance noticed yesterday. The Hannity exposure is a hard fact arguing against non-political prosecutors.

CNN’s Brian Stelter Has a Lot of Nerve Getting Snotty About Sean Hannity’s Conflict of Interest by Patterico – “You see the problem? If not, let me sum it up in two words: Corey Lewandowski.”

“You did not see anything like that in any of Brian Stelter’s pieces. You did not see him calling Lewandowski’s arrangement a “glaring conflict of interest.” You did not see him claiming that CNN is not a normal newsroom. Instead, you saw him praising the Lewandowski hire.

What do you know? He has a different standard for Fox News than he has for his own employer!

Which is to be expected. Just don’t expect us to take your moral preening seriously, Brian Stelter. You guys are hardly the angels you’re trying to appear to be. And we all know it.

The compare and contrast is pulling up a lot of reference events but that only creates the need to deny, refute, ignore, or impugn to rationalize the new assault.

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Moral turpitude, who’s who?

The air is full of “Trump morally unfit” assertions what with the Comey book but it is difficult to figure out what exactly these people consider support for their views. Here are two – immigration and tax policy. Another looks to be opposition to abortion. The sad part is that these people disagree not by challenging opinions and values but by casting judgment. Surber lists 52 examples of this despicable behavior by Trump opponents. Let’s start with a counter example.

Parkland Survivor’s Mom: Trump Hugged Him, but School Didn’t Even Know He’d Been Shot by Tom Knighton – “The media has focused plenty of attention on Parkland survivors since the February 14 massacre, but mostly on the survivors who A) were not wounded and B) demand gun control.”

“I actually had to show a district staff member Williams x-rays to verify them. How could the district fail to contact each of the students in the classrooms where murders and injuries occurred. This borders on negligence.”

I have to disagree with her. It “borders” on nothing. It is negligence.

Lisa Olsen sure appears to have the evidence for her criticism. We’ve seen non-stop media squabbles rather than a total focus on all the kids with physical wounds and emotional struggles.

Apparently this district’s priorities were so off that administrators needed x-rays for proof, somehow missing that President Trump had visited him in the hospital.

Starbucks feels the Trump Effect by Don Surber – “Starbucks is the latest to learn not to mess with Trump.”

“When the president imposed a legal and constitutional moratorium on visas from six countries, Schultz attacked Trump.

The instant backlash forced Starbucks to promise to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses.

Then Schultz attacked the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

‘Global warming’ claims a victim by Thomas Lifson – “After some reflection, I see that this is a tragedy the Greek sense of the word, being based on a fatal human flaw.” These Trump haters take it seriously, even to the point of self immolation.

“Buckel was no loser with no prospects. He is someone who had a big hand in changing the way American law and public opinion regard same sex marriage

Reportedly, Buckel recently “turned his attention” to apocalyptic predictions of climate disaster, which he fully bought into, presumably based on the phony scientific consensus propagated by the fraudsters who have to “adjust” real data in order to make their hypothesis slightly plausible. The fraudsters know well that the human mind is vulnerable to predictions of apocalypse, and that encouraging panic is a great way to generate money.

I am actually very sad for Buckel, and for his friends and families. He is a victim of hucksters who scared him and countless school children into panic. The fraudsters continue to fly on private jets and occupy multiple lavish residences, which people genuinely convinced that the end is near would shun. His death is tragic, but it is also really, really stupid, once again proving that smart people, when beyond their sphere of expertise, can be deeply dumb, because they have no humility. The Greeks called it “hubris.”

Sen. Cory Booker Violating Constitution: Voting Against Pompeo for Religious Beliefs by Ken Klukowski – “announced on Friday that he will vote against CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s nomination to become secretary of state because of Pompeo’s beliefs on marriage and sexuality — beliefs consistent with Pompeo’s Christian faith.”

“Booker sharply questioned Pompeo on Thursday during the nominee’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, referring to words Pompeo spoke at a church in his district when the current director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was still serving in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Article VI of the U.S. Constitution provides, “No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office of public Trust under the United States.”

Trail of James Comey’s Dirt on Loretta Lynch Discovered Within IG Report on Andrew McCabe by sundance – “keep in mind, that at the time the book was written, Mr. Comey had no idea exactly where the ongoing Inspector General investigation might lead; nor did he know the timing of release.” The analytic examination of recently released evidence in the greater context is explained.

Comey’s last stand for the deep state by Mark Penn – “The post-election actions of these former officials makes suspect their actions as officials.”

“They were among the most powerful men of the last decade. They commanded armies of armed agents, had the ability to bug and wiretap almost anyone, and had virtually unlimited budgets. They were the leadership of the FBI, the CIA and the director of national intelligence under President Obama. Each day, it becomes clearer that they are the real abusers of power in this drama.

The book by former FBI Director James Comey and the daily hyperbolic John Brennan sound bites are perhaps the final reveal of just how much hubris and vitriol they had. Comey’s book, according to reports, contains nothing new of legal consequence to Trump (while suggesting that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch has something to worry about), but it unmasks the hatred that Comey had for Donald Trump from the beginning. It impeaches Comey’s fitness to have ever held high, nonpartisan office.

The Mueller investigation bears all of the hallmarks of prosecutorial overreach: pre-dawn raids, denial of reasonable bail, threats to prosecute family members, investigations of unrelated business matters. He didn’t appropriately subpoena selected transition emails but collected every email in the entire transition without notice, prying them from holdover employees at the General Services Administration.

Moreover, the double standards being applied here are undermining the rule of law.

As these deep staters turn into paid talking heads profiting through books, speeches and clicks, they undermine any notion that they acted professionally instead of politically while in office, and the evidence continues to mount that the foundation for turning the country upside down for the last year was most likely two parts politically tinged hubris and one part sketchy evidence.

Max Boot: Sure Andrew McCabe lied under oath…but Trump by John Sexton – “When FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was fired, Boot was one of the people who came out swinging.” Illustrating confusion about what is moral and what isn’t?

“In short, there was nothing that could possibly justify the firing of Andrew McCabe. It was a Trumpian plot. So when the DOJ Inspector General released his damning report on McCabe which concluded he had lied to James Comey, to FBI investigators while under oath, to the IG, and had even lied about his lies to FBI investigators when changing his story, suddenly Max Boot had some backtracking to do.

The recommendation from the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility was that McCabe should be canned for his repeated and intentional “lack of candor.” And that’s what happened. But having already blasted this as an attempt to “undermine the FBI” etc., Max Boot couldn’t bring himself to admit he got this one wrong. Instead, he wrote a blog post yesterday titled “Sure, McCabe and Comey made mistakes. But that’s not why they were fired.”

I think the problem here is that Boot insists on treating everything as a subset of the one story that he is focused on: blasting President Trump. It doesn’t seem to occur to him that two things could be independently true here. First, Trump really did go after McCabe and celebrate his firing. Second, McCabe is a self-serving liar who deserved to be fired.

About that Syrian scientific research center by Paul Mirengoff – a bit more about the response to Syrian use of chemical weapons. This one isn’t headed towards “aspirin factory” irrelevance.

Claudia Rosett takes up the question for PJ Media. Based on the Pentagon’s description, she believes with a very high level of confidence that the target was the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC).

According to Rosett, the SSRC is “an incredibly high-value target, an outfit central to some of the worst depravities of Assad’s weapons programs, and — as it happens — a longtime client of North Korea and Iran.”

Trump pacifies Cory Gardner on marijuana issue by Paul Mirengoff – There was a story that Trump instructed Sessions to back off on marijuana law enforcement in states that legalized the recreational drug. Here’s another part of the story. It has something to say about what Trump’s opponents consider moral and honorable and valuable.

“For months, Sen. Cory Gardner has been blocking the Trump administration from staffing key positions at the DOJ. Among these position are Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division; Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division; Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division; and, until Gardner was finally shamed into relenting, Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division. In all, around 20 positions reportedly were affected.

You might think that Gardner’s obstruction leaves these key divisions directionless, or at least without the degree of direction they should have. It’s actually worse worse than that. As Christian Adams has shown, the absence of presidential appointees at the Assistant Attorney General level can leave left-wing Obama holdovers with enormous sway at the Justice Department.

Why has Gardner done this significant favor for the left? Because of marijuana.

Instapundit on Carl Cannon: Special Prosecutorial Abuse.Since the day Trump entered political life, liberals, Democratic activists, and media pundits have issued ominous warnings about the coming authoritarianism.”

Feminists don’t care about the gender gap in ballet. Why should we care about the one in tech? – Publications – AEI by Mark Perry – “That’s the excellent title of an excellent op-ed in the Washington Examiner by ballet dancer Madison Breshears”

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Peak Comey; IG report reveals; Dealing with Dissonance

Jim Comey’s bid for vengeance is ruining his reputation, New York Post – “There are two important things worth noting about fired FBI Director James Comey’s new tell-all

“First, it has almost nothing in the way of real news. No bombshells, almost no dramatic factual revelations. The book, for all intents and purposes, simply repeats his past congressional testimony.

Second, all the headline-grabbing details are either Comey’s petty criticism of President Trump’s tan, height and hand size; unpleasant and deeply personal denigrations of his character; or dishonest or salacious (and unprovable) speculation about the state of his marriage and his sex habits.

The book, in short, is a work of revenge by someone convinced he was badly wronged for trying to save the country from an unworthy president.

In the end, Comey’s “Higher Loyalty” looks to be fully devoted to his own ego.

It’s all downhill for Comey now by Thomas Lifson – “The day that James Comey cashed the multi-million dollar advance check from MacMillan Publishers will turn out to mark the date that we can call “Peak Comey.”

“ He and his ghost writer suddenly faced the unenviable task of making him look like the righteous warrior he had always portended to be, but with the need to fill 300 pages with something. Self-serving rationalizations can’t sustain reader interest over that many words, so apparently they decided that prose about physical appearances drawn from the bodice-ripper school of novels grafted onto Trump-hatred would do the trick.

The result was so awful that even the Washington Post, owned by arch-enemy of Trump Jeff Bezos, felt the need for a satire.

Comey, after a career of manipulating, backstabbing, and ingratiating his way up the federal legal and law enforcement bureaucracy, is discovering that karma does eventually catch up to you. So far as I know, Reinhold Niebuhr never contemplated that concept.

IG Report Outlines How Obama DOJ Worked To Shut Down Investigation Into Clinton Crime Syndicate, DCWhispers – “Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitten caught the Clinton Foundation information within the IG report and is doing his best to get the word out even as the Establishment Media covers the eyes and ears of the American public in order to keep that information largely unknown

“Lost in the haze of the Syria bombing, the Establishment Media’s purposeful ignorance, and the ongoing ripples following the stunning FBI raid on the offices of President Trump’s longtime attorney, is the scathing outline by the Inspector General regarding how the Obama Department of Justice aggressively shut down what was to be a widespread investigation into the Clinton Foundation looking into allegations of widespread financial crimes.

The Deep State continues to believe it controls the narrative. It’s up to all of you to prove them wrong.

Investigators reveal bias against Trump, Boston Herald – “While the Russian collusion investigation seems to be withering away, having yielded no evidence that might impugn President Trump, a new investigation has been spun off in New York City, targeting his attorney, Michael Cohen.”

“It is best that these investigations continue to play out in public view. What we have already learned about the integrity of our intelligence services, the ethical lapses of the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign, as well as the dubious maneuverings of the Obama administration, is that Washington, D.C., rewards nefarious behavior.

It is ugly to witness, and Americans across the spectrum reject it when it is exposed, as it is now.

The perpetrators are so deeply entrenched and comfortable in their day-to-day shadiness that they’ve stopped cloaking themselves for public consumption.

What’s been splayed out in front of the American people is a sham political investigation and third-rate propagandizing by a complicit media.

It’s all nonsense. We are so far from anything to do with Russian collusion that the pursuit of Trump has become almost comical.

Let the media, Democrats and Washington bureaucrats keep piling on him in clear view. It reveals more about them than him. Right now, investigators are looking into Michael Cohen’s time in the taxi cab business years ago.

The swamp is investigating taxis.

The president is lowering taxes.

We will make our conclusions based on the indisputable facts in the light of day.

Trump’s Red Line by Clarice Feldman – “The Mueller Special Counsel appointment is predicated on the notion that President Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to assure the defeat of Hillary Clinton — a notion so ludicrous only a Democrat could fall for it.”

Typical of the biased coverage, however, which uniformly ignored the stated basis and sound facts underlying the pardon, was Saturday’s Washington Post front-page article authored by Philip Rucker, Josh Dawsey, and Matt Zapotsky, The hard copy headline states “Critics question the pardon of Libby.” In the online version, the header is more blatantly partisan: “Trump grants pardon to former Bush official; some say he is using the law as a political tool”

The lead sentence is a model of partisan opinion masking as news:

The latest nonsense from the special counsel’s office includes interfering with the press again.

The next person who suggests the appointment of a special counsel under the now existing law where there is no court oversight ought to be committed. Twice now they’ve devolved into unconstitutional, partisan witch-hunts.

Mick Mulvaney teaches Elizabeth Warren some constitutional law, Washington Examiner – “Mulvaney has earned Warren’s ire because he is the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was her brainchild. While she hasn’t backed down in their colorful exchanges, Mulvaney has been winning on points.”

“When the senator lobbed the tired accusation that Mulvaney was forgoing stricter regulations because payday lenders had bought the GOP, (for the record, the payday industry spends about half as much on politics as, say, the abortion lobby) Mulvaney responded wryly: “Prior to receiving your letter, I never would have thought to consider, for instance, whether your vote against repealing the bureau’s arbitration rule was influenced by campaign donations you may have received from trial lawyers or other parties who stood to gain financially from the rule. Perhaps I should reconsider.”

Mulvaney is a rare public official with the wit to match Warren in both policy and dramatic flourishes, which is why it would be entertaining to have him stand toe-to-toe with every Senate committee featuring a Democratic presidential wannabe. If he can run the CFPB while heading the Office of Management and Budget, why not give Mulvaney some more jobs?

Ambitious Democrats deserve someone willing and able to trade blows with them. You know, to test their mettle.

But here’s the serious point about Mulvaney’s sparring with Warren. The Senate also deserves answers and accountability from federal agencies such as the CFPB. That’s because Congress, under our Constitution, is supposed to oversee the federal government.

That authority, however, was denied to Congress deliberately when Warren and her ilk established the CFPB.

The Real Investigation by Andrew C. Mccarthy – “as an alum who spent nearly 20 years as an SDNY prosecutor, I’m always inclined to assume my old office is up to serious business.”

“The one in the Southern District of New York, involving Michael Cohen and apparent hush-money payoffs, is a serious peril for Trump.

I’ve never thought “collusion with Russia” posed jeopardy.

I’ve also never thought Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s other known angle, obstruction, posed a great risk.

Much of the commentary about the SDNY investigation puts the cart before the horse.

It seems evident that prosecutors are investigating on the theory that Clifford, McDougal, and perhaps others were defrauded or extorted into silence. The fact that they accepted money does not foreclose the possibility that their agreement to remain silent was procured, in part, by trickery or threats.

No wrongdoing has been established at this point. But the SDNY investigation is a serious matter.

McCarthy is struggling with dissonance as many with close ties to the swamp do. His friends and colleagues are doing strange things and it is difficult to believe these things might not be all above board and honest. As he points out, this latest ‘investigation’ is a third attempt to get Trump via malicious prosecution. The pains he goes through to try to rationalize what he sees is an indicator of just how far afield the efforts have gone. His warning, though, is worth considering. Just ask Scooter Libby or some of Mueller’s current victims.

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Proud to destroy. Where’s your loyalty? How do you rationalize guilt?

Michael Wolff hurt the country and he’s proud by Eddie Scarry – “Michael Wolff inflicted immeasurable damage on the country and, like an idiot child proud of getting expelled from school, he’s still bragging about it.” … and he’s not alone in this effort.

“The fantasies are endless in Wolff’s book, which would be retracted by the publisher if we weren’t living in a time where it’s perfectly acceptable to throw the nation into a crisis, so long as it makes money.

There’s one honest thing Wolff says in his Hollywood Reporter column. “My book, with its trove of Trump,” he writes, “became no longer a mere book but a seismic political event.”

True. Wolff now has a sick place in history, helped along by a national media eagerly pushing his fraud and fiction.

Feds: Michael Cohen is barely even a lawyer by Ruth Brown – “Michael Cohen is a fraud of a lawyer who works exclusively for President Trump, federal prosecutors charged Friday.” Playing games with the meanings of words is a common behavior when rationalizing behavior that cannot otherwise be considered honest and proper.

Ace has another example. Jake Tapper Falsely Claims Scooter Libby “Leaked” Noted Anti-Semite Conspiracy Theorist Valerie Plame’s Name to Press; Refuses to Correct – “If Jake Tapper is now so down on leaking, are there any highly-placed former Obama officials, like maybe someone with a last name who rhymes with his own, he’d like to denounce for leaking highly confidential national security information to him…?”

When the Lie Becomes a Pillar of the State by Fay Voshell — “It was the film’s most wonderfully stirring scene.”

“But the fact that a scene never happened did not matter to the Soviet propagandists who wished to make up truth to bolster the Communist Party’s goals of transforming Russian society and indeed, the entire globe. The whole Soviet system was built on lies. As Alexander Solzhenitsyn was later to write, “In our country the lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the State.”
 … 
It is to the West’s great shame that its top intellectuals believed and still believe in the great lies that nearly annihilated Russia.
 … 

But the new radical Left has completely lost any idea of what the truth actually is. They have absorbed the Lie completely; but like Stalin, they prefer speaking only power to truth tellers who expose their Lie. Power alone is seen as truth.

Now is the time for all good men and women to stand up and tell the Truth.

 

To do otherwise is to grant the victory to people who are pathological liars who see no distinction between good and evil or the truth and the lie; and who are intent on silencing those who see the difference.

The OIG Report is About McCabe’s Leaks Against Obama Officials and Hillary Clinton, Not About Trump. – “leak against Hillary or Obama’s minions, and they hop into furious action.” … “And “Commenter,” aka Jack Straw, says this isn’t the report, but one of several report, and those, I hope, will get at the Trump leaks.”

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About those Never-Trumpers and their relations

Never trust a Never Trumper by Don Surber – “Decades of chatter about civil rights turn out to be a facade. They no more care about the Constitution than a Canada goose does.”

How Comey Lied About Spying on Trump Tower by George Neumayr – “While he was intercepting its communications, he had aides deny the story.”

“Jim Comey deserves a special place in the annals of sanctimonious frauds in Washington, D.C. He leaked, lied, bent rules, treated FBI material as his own personal property, violated confidential conversations, and generally acted like a government unto himself. But now he has the gall to write it all up in the sonorous nonsense language of “constitutional crisis.” His forthcoming memoir amounts to nothing more than the sour grapes of a self-serving operator over a wholly justified sacking.

In a just age, Comey would have the book thrown at him, not be writing one. It is a measure of our skewed times that an unelected charlatan could subvert the elected chief executive and then emerge from his subversion as a celebrated expert on constitutional loyalty. Samuel Johnson would call Comey’s “higher loyalty” the last refuge of a scoundrel.

‘Chappaquiddick’: The Grim Record of a Kennedy Cover-Up by John Podhoretz – “The existence of Chappaquiddick, the new movie about the 1969 car accident from which Ted Kennedy walked away while his passenger Mary Jo Kopechne likely suffocated slowly inside his partly sunken Oldsmobile, is a miracle of a kind.”

“Damore’s account isn’t ideological. It is, rather, a meticulous, hour-by-hour rendering of the accident and what followed. Nor did screenwriters Allen and Logan come at the subject ideologically. They were attracted to it because they thought the tale fit nicely into the recent pop-culture appetite for controversial true-life crime stories; they were especially taken with Foxcatcher, the Steve Carell movie about the murder of an Olympic wrestler by a du Pont heir.

Rereading Damore’s book after seeing the movie, I was struck by something that hadn’t made an impression on me 30 years ago. Damore shows how the media of the day—with the shameful exception of the slavering Boston Globe—were overwhelmingly skeptical about Kennedy’s tale and deeply critical of his conduct. In fact, what makes the cover-up so startling in retrospect is that it took place in the teeth of this nationwide media skepticism. It was a raw power play. Teddy and his henchmen felt free to flex their muscles in any way necessary. That is how completely their home state had become a vassal state. You get only a taste of this from the movie.

For the Kennedys, there will always be those progressives in thrall to a bizarre dynastic delusion and ready to proffer their excuses in a staggeringly inappropriate tone of moral offense. For them, it is an offense that Chappaquiddick exists. For those who long ago threw out their original-cast album of Camelot, the existence of Chappaquiddick is a welcome moment of American cultural sanity.

Mueller and Bulger by neo-neocon – “that’s regarded in Boston as one of the great scandals of modern judicial history. And Mueller was right at the center of it

Ace has the ‘news of the day’ summary: GOP “Representatives” Have Contempt for Their Voters and Lie to Them All Day While Revealing Their True Beliefs to Fellow NeverTrumpers

“We gave them the Senate, the House and the White House. And because one of their own didn’t get the WH, they instead have thrown a snit, slow-walking confirmations, obstructing major Trump platform initiatives such as killing Obamacare, cutting spending, and building the wall (initiatives they were all for up until Trump got the nomination).

They are affirming the growing certainty among the electorate that every single principle they campaign on is situationally applicable. It is only to be offered, pursued and defended if it is politically advantageous to their own fortunes.

David Brooks: Anti-Trumpism Has Failed, Largely Because of the Inability of Its Members to Stop Sneering at Their Enemies – “Which is how you got Trump in the first place.” Neo-neocon chips on Brooks with Taking stock of Never-Trumpers – “Two fascinating pieces came out recently about the phenomenon of the Never-Trumpers, now that it’s a year-plus into the Trump presidency.”

“Trump is uncouth, coarse, nasty, seemingly inarticulate (although on close observation he actually communicates bluntly and directly and rather effectively). In other words, Trump is oh-so-many things Brooks doesn’t like, and I don’t care for either. But style is far less important to me in a president than what that person does in terms of action and policy.

But Brooks doesn’t seem to be saying that’s what he thinks, or at least he’s giving no details, at least not in that column. He says Trump has done damage (but is it the Resistance that’s done damage?). He cites Trump’s incompetences (at what?) and scandals (but are they real, or trumped (!) up, and are they important?). But he offers no evidence in the column itself of the sort of corruption or dangerousness that would warrant the depth of the Newer-Trumpers’ opposition.

The second article is a riff on the first one. It’s by Jon Gabriel, an editor at Richochet. Here’s an excerpt from it in which he talks about his own decision to leave the Never-Trumper camp:

Alan Derschowitz: Trump Shouldn’t Fire Rosenstein. Instead, He Should File a Motion to the DoJ Requiring Rosenstein to Recuse Himself – “if the DOJ refuses to recuse Rosenstein, then Trump could/should seek a similar order from a judge” … “Meanwhile, now that the Electronic Communication (EC) that sparked the Trump probe has finally been released to Congress, people can start making judgments about it.”

“Lyin’ Comey” Website Debuts, Paid for by GOP; NeverTrump Spastics Freak Out – “The Federalist is now offering Comey t-shirts. They’re not complimentary. I wonder how The Expert and the rest of the NeverTrump gang will react to these.”

Mick Mulvaney: I Told You That Making the Consumer Financial Protection Board Completely Indpendent From Congress Was a Bad Idea. Now That I’m Head Of It, Let Me Prove That. You Can Ask All the Questions of Me You Like and I Can Just Ignore Your Asses. – “Some Republicans enjoyed Mulvaney’s use of the Democrats’ own stupid rules against them.” Also see Ed Morrissey Mulvaney to Congress: Thanks to you, I don’t have to answer any of your questions — ever – “This attempt to force Congress to reckon with its own bad ideas didn’t just start yesterday.”

Diamond & Silk: Mark Zuckerberg Lied, Facebook Didn’t Contact Us – interesting poster girls for this cause …

DoJ coughs up FBI memo to House Intel chair after impeachment threat by Ed Morrissey – “House Intelligence chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) had demanded access to the full memo for months, issuing subpoenas that the Department of Justice had ignored.”

“This is no mere technicality. The FBI sought a FISA warrant to surveil someone connected to a presidential campaign. If that turns out to have been requested improperly and/or under false or misleading pretenses, it would make the nation’s top law enforcement agency look politically compromised. That falls squarely under Congress’ authority to investigate, constitutionally much more so than a special counsel operating under the same DoJ authority as the FBI itself. Stonewalling this oversight certainly rises to the level of a contempt charge, and eventually a congressional removal through impeachment of executive-branch officials that refuse to cooperate with such oversight.

California Progressives Go Full Authoritarian, Coyote Blog – “I almost titled this article “go full fascist” but the f-word is so used and abused in public discourse that I now try to avoid it.” … “Because having the government decide what is and is not true, and what can and cannot be criticized, always works out so well.”

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Backing off the Budget? Civil war talk and action heats up. Deranged about fire. Ted Kennedy had other scandals.

Springing Forward By Clarice Feldman – “What seemed as though it was going to be a dull news week – punctuated by sometimes fanciful articles from “sources” about what Special Counsel Mueller was up to – ended with a plethora of important news late Friday.”

James Freedman at the Wall Street Journal explains: “The political left is getting nervous because a virtuous and lawful reduction in federal spending is suddenly looking much more likely. … a “rescission” bill to repeal the spending increases needs only a simple majority in each house. …”

Upset about the budget deal? Get on the phone to your congressmen and senators and support rescission.

Friday the president ordered an end to the “catch and release” Obama policy, where border-jumpers were captured and released with a rarely kept promise to return for an immigration hearing to determine whether they had a legal basis to remain here.

The Congressional-FBI/DOJ Standoff Is Broken

Bill and Hillary Clinton’s Corrupt International Charity Network Faces Countless Legal Challenges

Wait–Did Twitter’s CEO Just Share A Post Calling For ‘Civil War,’ Wiping Out The GOP, And How We Should Be Like CA? By Matt Vespa – “Well, if there were any lingering doubts about Twitter’s perceived bias against conservatives, look no further than what CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted out last night.”

“Apparently, a “good read” is a post co-written by a Center for American Progress senior fellow that calls for “civil war,” the destruction of the GOP, and the adoption of how California runs everything from sea to shining sea. Yeah, bipartisanship is dead, so mob rule is what’s needed.

EPA says ‘unprecedented’ number of death threats against Pruitt by Joseph Weber – “His statement follows reports Pruitt has spent millions on security despite no proof his life was in danger.”

“According to EPA’s Assistant Inspector General, Scott Pruitt has faced an unprecedented amount of death threats against him and his family,” agency spokesman Jahan Wilcox said late Friday.

President Trump tweeted his support for Pruitt on Saturday evening. “While Security spending was somewhat more than his predecessor, Scott Pruitt has received death threats because of his bold actions at EPA. Record clean Air & Water while saving USA Billions of Dollars. Rent was about market rate, travel expenses OK. Scott is doing a great job!”

A nationwide search of state and federal court records by the Associated Press found no case in which anyone was arrested or charged with threatening Pruitt, the wire service said Friday.

It looks like another scalp hunting ‘gotcha’ effort, spending money on ‘unneeded’ security.

James Woods Pulverizes Deranged Psychologist Who Hoped For “Major Damage” Following Blaze at Trump Tower by Cristina Laila – “Liberals immediately cheered and spread absurd conspiracy theories after news broke of the blaze.”

“A sane person prays for everyone’s safety and hopes firefighters put the blaze out as quickly as possible.
Vile liberals on the other hand cheered after Trump Tower caught on fire.
Mental Health Counselor Jeffrey Guterman immediately cheered the blaze and ‘hoped for major damage.’
The backlash from Trump supporters was intense.
James Woods pulverized the deranged psychologist in a ferocious tweetstorm.

Chappaquiddick Wasn’t the Only Scandal by George Parry – “There is nothing like historical context to help evaluate and better understand current events.” It’s a collusion story, first class.

“In 1991, when Russian President Boris Yeltsin opened the archives of the Soviet Central Committee, Western researchers quickly descended on Moscow to plow through the treasure trove of previously classified official documents.

Think about that. Here is a classified document found in the Soviet archives from the head of the secret police to the General Secretary spelling out an outrageous and treasonous political plot by Kennedy to enlist the Soviet Union’s assistance in his campaign for the presidency. And not one major media outlet uttered so much as a peep about it.

The media’s failure to even report or discuss the discovery and contents of Chebrikov’s letter is but one more example of their dishonesty.

As a wise man once said, if the mainstream media didn’t have double standards, they would have no standards at all. For further proof of that statement, one need only to compare and contrast the media’s fevered, unhinged coverage of the alleged Trump-Russia collusion theory with the protective cone of silence they have placed over “Teddy, the KGB and the top secret file.”

Widely known, little reported, fits the pattern.

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The corruption of the mind is an insidious affair.

Don’t miss Chappaquiddick! By Thomas Lifson – “The movie Chappaquiddick exceeded my very high expectations.”

“Not only is it a truthful exploration of the events that led up the death of May Jo Kopechne and the criminal cover-up of Ted Kennedy’s culpability therein, it goes deep into the character of the man, and how he got to the depraved state of indifference to the life of a young woman who had devoted herself to “the cause” of the Kennedy family.

Response: ‘Chappaquiddick’ Distorts a Tragedy New York Times, by Neal Gabler – Here’s the Lucianne page with the ‘social commentary’ discussing the situation. See also Twitchy: REALLY!? One word in this ‘Chappaquiddick’ review at NBC News has sent eyes rolling. And then there’s Flashback: Watch Ted Kennedy’s 1969 Statement About Chappaquiddick at Legal Insurrection.

The media don’t really care about Scott Pruitt’s ethics — just his reversal of Obama policies by Jack Hellner – “The media are going after Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt for traveling first class and only paying $1,500 per month for a condo, pretending it’s all a matter of ethics. It’s nonsense.”

“They actually are going after him because he dares reverse some of the rules the Environmental Protection Agency implemented without going through Congress. Dissent is just not allowed from Democrat policies and the media are the method of choice for Democrats, using it to go after any Trump administration person they don’t like. Here’s a typical headline:

That wasn’t even the half of what went down during the Obama administration.

But even as the press reported these things, there was no feeding frenzy calling for firings, such as we are seeing now with Scott Pruitt. Dpuble standard, anyone?

Then there’s Slate. Why Are Republicans Defending Scott Pruitt? By Mark Joseph Stern – “Pruitt’s apologists are not disturbed by these eye-popping ethics scandals. Instead, they’ve settled on a rather extraordinary narrative: that the journalists who’ve uncovered his misdeeds did so because they oppose his agenda.” The logic in this column is … interesting. Note the modifiers (e.g. “eye-popping”). It illustrates why there is a problem in honest public discussion.

“Pruitt was tasked with dismantling every environmental regulation imposed by the Obama administration. Alas, he’s also done so much more. Pruitt hasn’t been able to resist exploiting the perks of his power, allegedly renting a room from an energy lobbyist under market value, spending an exorbitant amount of public money on lavish travel, improperly giving big raises to political appointees, replacing security guards who would not indulge his whims, and demoting officials who questioned his waste of public funds. And the list goes on, and gets longer by the day.”

What Is a Militia, Anyway? By J.L. Woodruff – “It is safe to say the protester waving the sign meant it as a rebuke to those who think the 2nd Amendment guarantees the right to own firearms.”

“As a simple declarative sentence, despite the unnecessary use of commas typical of 18th-century writing, the amendment is perfectly clear to anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of English. Yet in recent decades, it has become the source of lies, distortion, and obfuscation by assorted opponents of the Bill of Rights who claim that only members of a militia may own guns.

Most of them, unlike the mawkish teens pumping their fists like Weathermen at a Viet Cong rally, are real grown-ups in coats and ties, many with law degrees and lots of official-sounding titles that make them seem like authoritative folks who really know what they’re talking about. But they don’t.

That is one of the greatest public frauds in U.S. history. Fortunately, no one needs a law degree or even extensive knowledge of what America’s Founders thought about militias to see through the fraud and to understand the 2nd Amendment. Knowing rudimentary English will do just fine.

The people pushing the nonsense that firearms ownership depends on membership in a militia are smart, well educated people. They can read English very well. They know what the 2nd Amendment means. They have chosen to distort that meaning.

Then there’s the judge who thinks scary looking guns or anything with potential military use should be banned.

Citizen’s Righteous Rant Defending 2nd Amendment Goes Viral by Debra Heine – “Robinson’s rant is a thing of beauty.” See the video.

A North Carolina gun rights advocate gave an impassioned speech defending the Second Amendment earlier this week, and the video of his speech quickly went viral. His passion was especially impressive considering the Greensboro resident isn’t even a gun owner.

Mark Robinson’s unplanned and unscripted comments came during a city council meeting Tuesday evening, where residents were debating whether a gun show should be canceled in the wake of the Parkland high school massacre.

The Politicization of the MCAT by Devorah Goldman – “Why should we care about the opinions of aspiring doctors?” Do you want ‘woke’ doctors or skilled and knowledgeable ones?

“Dr. Darrell Kirch, president and CEO of the AAMC, expressed his vision in a candid 2011 speech at the University of California, Davis: “I am a man on a mission. I believe it is critical to our future to transform health care. I’m not talking about tweaking it. I’m not talking about some nuanced improvements here and there. I’m talking about true transformation.”

Kirch has also praised the AAMC’s political advocacy efforts, which lean left on most issues.

But it is Kirch’s reform of the MCAT that raises the most concern. … “The goal is to improve the medical admissions process to find the people who you and I would want as our doctors. Being a good doctor isn’t just about understanding science, it’s about understanding people.”

Taken on their own, these questions may not seem particularly invidious.

In response to questions about these developments and their effects, the AAMC’s executive vice president, Dr. Atul Grover, referred to a set of core principles guiding the organization’s recent work. An AAMC report outlining those principles describes the organization as “a powerful voice for compassion, equity, and justice” on behalf of the nation’s academic medical institutions, and stresses the importance of “advancing a well-trained, culturally competent, and diverse health and biomedical workforce.”

If the AAMC’s objective were merely to improve the bedside manner and general sensitivity of physicians, or even to increase diversity in the medical field through conventional affirmative-action policies, few people would likely object. Unfortunately, what Kirch in particular seems to want to create is a medical community that aligns as closely as possible with his particular political views—and to insist that future doctors accept those views as settled fact. …

The AAMC is not alone among accrediting institutions seeking to steer professions leftward.

The Week in Pictures: Special Walkout Edition by Steven Hayward – “This week it appears that K-12 teachers in more and more states looked at the recent high school walkouts intended to stamp out the 2nd Amendment and said, “Hold my cigarette butt—we can do that too!

Mark Perry gets in on the act, too, but he gets bogged down in the weeds and misses the big picture. Cartoons of the day on Trump’s trade war and its potential adverse effects on his base puts the focus on the immediate economic effects as determined by simplistic economic models perhaps coupled with ‘never Trump’ fantasies. It does not consider the strategic effects in international relationships or the issues involved in only letting the other side enjoin the battle or the bargaining process in general.

Niall Ferguson does a 2012 refresh of a popular 1969 BBC series with Civilization, is the west history?. He has his ‘killer apps’ after all. In part 3 he goes off the rails (YouTube) on another modern theme, slavery, which he takes as a particularly American “sin.” He does note that most of the early immigrants to North America were indentured servants. That is contrasted to the South American situation where most immigrants, and the natives, were serfs. As a diversion, he calls the South American immigrants conquistadors and only mentions the slave imports to crow about how they, and the rest of the serfs, made for a mixed society. In making his point, he bypasses the fact that slavery still exists in some areas, the British handling of slavery such as on sugar plantations, and the general demise of a world wide cultural phenomena by the developments of Western Culture. Instead of using slavery to illustrate his theme, he chose to use it to bash a selected target.

The corruption of the mind is an insidious affair.

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Williams and Kimmel illustrating behavior on the left

Juan Williams’s comparison to Chappaquiddick could not have been dumber by J. Marsolo – “It is telling that some still want to block a movie about how Kennedy left Mary Jo Kopechne to die inside the submerged car that he drove off the bridge in 1969.”

“Williams said he didn’t know the “story” of Chappaquiddick. You would expect that someone whose job is a paid political commentator would know the story.

If not knowing about Chappaquiddick isn’t bad enough for a paid political commentator, Williams then outdid himself. He said that while the left wanted to block the Chappaquiddick movie, the “right” wanted to block the movie about President Reagan’s last years while he was afflicted with Alzheimer’s. This is beyond stupidity and civility.

Williams’s tasteless, stupid remark shows again that leftist commentators will say anything about Republican presidents.

Jimmy Kimmel and Joss Whedon Sure Are Brave to Criticize the Trumps by Jim Treacher – “I’m old enough to remember when criticizing the president of the United States and his family, for any reason and no matter how mildly, was just about the worst thing you could do.”

“You couldn’t disagree with Obama’s policies, you couldn’t point out his numerous factual errors and outright lies, you couldn’t mock his gaffes, and you certainly couldn’t crack any jokes about his personal appearance. If you did, that meant you were a racist. On Nov. 4, 2008, Utopia dawned, and suddenly dissent was treason.

Thankfully, those days are over! Once more, it’s socially acceptable to say mean things about the POTUS. And you can bet that our moral, ethical, and intellectual betters are making the most of the opportunity.

It may be that some of the rhetoric and invective being routinely tossed at the President and anyone close to him may be as offensive to those in flyover country as telling a feminist she is pretty.

Notice how things are slowing down? 

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Media Myths, Children need education, Unmasking, Sanity, Laws versus People

Bankruptcies caused by medical bills are not common by neo-neocon – “one of the reasons for passing Obamacare was the idea pushed by the liberal/left (including and especially Elizabeth Warren) that medical bills were an enormous driver of bankruptcies.”

“Actually, a bigger driver is probably loss of income as a result of illness … “If Dobkin et al. are right, the people who quoted [Elizabeth] Warren’s inflated statistics, focused around medical bills, didn’t just overstate the problem; they had us focus on a problem we didn’t have, instead of the one we did.”

This ‘technique’ of argument based on fake or created or misrepresented ‘news’ is common. The gun control and climate change arguments are full of questionable or false or distorted claims used to rationalize irrational opinions.

Of Course Children Prefer Liberalism by Trevor Thomas – “The most significant principle of conservatism is that our rights come, not from man or from government, but from God.”

“Because what is tried and true can sometimes be viewed as stale and boring, and because being moral is often difficult, conservatism is frequently presented with challenges that liberalism is not. … For liberals … governing becomes a matter of seeking what is popular and pleasing, not what is right.

Much of our childhood is spent doing the same. We are by our nature selfish (many of us say “sinful”), self-centered creatures. We want what we want, when we want it. As children, we want the toys, food, entertainment, and so on, that make us feel good, or at least what we think will make us feel good, because others have told us, or sold us, on such an idea.

One of the great lies of modern liberalism — perhaps the great lie — is that the world owes us something, and it’s up to us to do whatever it takes to get it.

Because such a mindset is so familiar to them, it’s pretty easy to convince children — or those who think and reason like a child — that this is how the world should be.

Trump and the Great Unmasking of the Left by Thomas Lifson – “progressives are escalating their rhetoric, and in the process, unmasking their true beliefs.”

“For decades, they have obscured their real goals, and pretended to be interested in moderate, incremental measures that they believe would be acceptable to mainstream Americans. Using terms like “compassion” and “fairness,” they have sought to justify handing more and more power to the state, and the importation of a population amenable to state control of all aspects of life.

But in reaction to President Trump’s in-your-face persona and use of the mechanisms of state power for goals they oppose, they have escalated their rhetoric, and in the process exposed their real beliefs that long have been kept hidden from the broader public.

The week Trump was the only sane man in Washington by Keith Koffler – government spending, national defense, international relations, fairness in trade … “One might even say it was a very “sane” approach amid the insane cacophony of Washington.”

Partisanship and John Brennan’s Plot by R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. – “Obama CIA use of foreign spies against the Trump campaign should be cause for alarm, no?

“What passes for the current wisdom today contains a great deal of solemn slop. Yet there are some solemnities in the current wisdom that one assumes are legitimate.

We have been hearing for years that the existence of the CIA, the FBI, and other agencies of the intelligence community constitute a threat to our civil liberties.

Last week, however, I personally discovered the left’s concern for civil liberties has vanished or at least become muted by partisanship.

spying on American citizens one would think would be opposed by all sides in America today. One would expect a consensus to exist at least on this. But it does not appear to be the case. Members of the left have uttered not a peep. Even the ACLU is quiet.

Former EPA Head Turns Out To Be A Huge Fan Of Secret Science by Jazz Shaw – “If you want everyone to be confident in the work being used, be transparent. It’s really that simple.

“ It turns out that a previous EPA chief, Gina McCarthy, and Janet McCabe, the Obama era author of the Clean Power Plan, don’t care for this new system at all. In fact, they published an op-ed to remind all of you peasants that it’s none of your darn business what data went into any given study and you should just take their word for it. (The Hill)

This poorly explained op-ed relies on the same two arguments which Pruitt’s critics have attempted to foist off on us before, neither of which does them any credit. The first is the claim that any scientific study involving medical data could compromise the confidential medical data of patients. …

The second argument is the real kicker, in which we are informed that there’s no need for the hoi polloi to have a look at studies which have been peer reviewed.

Fear & loathing at the DoJ , cont’d by Scott Johnson – The case is that of Howard Root and proprietorial misconduct. “Howard faced down the government.”

“The jury didn’t think much of the government’s case. It returned with a verdict of acquittal on all charges after a day of deliberations, and that includes the time spent electing a foreman.

Howard’s case is important in its own way. The crimes charged were bogus. The prosecution was based in part on prosecutorial misconduct. The case represents fruit of the poisonous Yates Memo tree. Howard had the resources to fight the government’s unjust prosecution of him and his company, but the case exacted an enormous toll. It cries out for study and reform.

The Department of Justice declines to answer to Howard or me, but it might answer to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Utah Senator Mike Lee.

Young Anti-Gun Demagogues Copy Their Elders by Jacob Sullum – “There cannot be two sides,” say the adolescent activists, tarring their opponents as NRA puppets.”

“Taking their cues from the grownups they say have failed them, Hogg and his compatriots assume their opponents are motivated by greed, cowardice, and crass political considerations—anything but honest disagreement.

Lara Vance, a middle-aged Kentucky woman who was interviewed at the D.C. rally, said she was “rather shocked that this is even an issue.” After all, “This is something that can be solved. It doesn’t take a lot of thought. We know what the problems are, and we need Congress to get their act together and get this problem solved.”

I disagree with pretty much every part of that, but I have no doubt that Vance sincerely believes it. I wish she would extend me the same courtesy.

Of Laws And Men by Sarah Hoyt – “This is emblematic of what leftists can’t grasp about laws: that laws aren’t magical and words don’t compel obedience.”

“If — in the world we live in — laws compelled obedience in and of themselves, murder would be unheard of since almost every human society since the dawn of time has had a law against it.

And yet murder, theft, and all the other lawbreaking imaginable still happens, which proves to us it is possible for people to ignore and contravene the law.

Sometimes, in fact, you have to ignore and contravene the law to survive. The black markets in various communist countries sprang up not out of the contrariness of the citizens, but because it was vital for survival. …

But the left piously believes in laws and that laws have the power to change people’s behavior. It’s part of their fanatical devotion to a society organized by the numbers and from the top down.

To have these people learn the error of their ways in a practical fashion will only destroy the world for the rest of us. And besides, judging from Europe, they’ll never learn. They’ll just refuse to admit their plan failed and pile on more laws and more regulatory bodies, till someone’s whole job is regulating the curvature of a banana.

Who’s your hero?

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