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Just what is their flag?

Yet another ‘Trump the Liar?’ tale is described by Bradford Richardson. Recordings back Trump assertions on late-term abortions – “Priest says that New Mexico is now the ‘capital’ of procedure.”

In the final presidential debate, Mr. Trump was asked about late-term and partial-birth abortion. He said: “I think it’s terrible in the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby.”

Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, accused him at the time of “a complete lack of understanding about women’s medical care.”

Members of the media were also quick to denounce Mr. Trump, with several outlets reporting that late-term abortions are performed only when fetal abnormalities are detected late in pregnancies.

But research shows women tend to seek late-term abortions if they are raising children alone, are depressed or using illicit substances, are in a high-conflict relationship, if they had trouble deciding quickly or if they are young and have never been pregnant before.

She said she “wasn’t surprised” about how the media reacted to Mr. Trump. “I don’t think people want to believe that this is happening in our country.”

It’s the usual pattern. Take a generality. Nitpick it. Slam it. Express outrage at the ‘Lie.’ Hope reality never surfaces or, if it does, that nobody will notice.

Judson Phillips: New hate movement gunning for bloodshed – “Anifa, other terrorists gunning for death.” This is a growing awareness.

The new American hate movement is the American left.

Even before Hodgekinson’s homicidal rage, the left had totally transformed itself into a hate movement. The shooting of Congressman Scalise brought this to the attention of real Americans.

The hate movement’s responses were shocking, to put it mildly.

Violence from the left is nothing new. In the 60’s and 70’s, bombings and deaths from radical groups like the Weathermen was a routine fact of life.

The left-wing media is a coconspirator in this new hate movement. Kurt Eichenwald, a writer for Newsweek, said he wanted to see every Republican who voted to repeal Obamacare, “have a family member perish.”

The left is not going to disown the violence. The left does not want to disown their new hate movement. Decency and morality mean nothing to the left. The only thing that matters to the new hate movement is power. They have been stripped away from all of the levers of power at the national level and in many states.

Power is the religion of the left. Without it they have nothing.

It is only a matter of time before the radical left kills people

Rick Moran: Some people hate Trump. More people hate liberals – “The Karen Handel victory in the Georgia 6th district special election repeats a pattern depressingly familiar to the left.” So far, special elections are spelling it out. Four of five have made this clear although none saw a change in party control.

Each of the 4 Democratic candidates was well financed and received strong support from the national party. Each Democratic candidate’s campaign was augmented by hundreds or thousands of activist volunteer Democrats. And each and every race was seen as a referendum on Donald Trump; not his policies as much as the man himself. He is Hitler and Howdy Doody all rolled into one, a traitorous SOB (although most liberals only hint that Trump has committed treason), a threat to the rule of law, and a joke as a president.

And each and every time, liberals have been shocked to discover that ordinary people don’t view the president that way.

After the initial glum reaction of pundits to Handel’s win came the excuses. It was the weather, it was the big GOP advantage in registration, it was early voting, it was Republican outsiders, it was history, it was counter historical, Ossoff wasn’t liberal enough, no unions, blacks didn’t turn out, and the most common complaint from the left about ordinary voters…

The people refused to vote “their interests.”

Until the Democrats can learn to mask their hatred of the holi poli, ordinary people will hate them more than they hate Trump and the Republicans.

Andrew Malcolm has more on this: GOP Takes 2 More Special House Races, Meaning What? – but warns that it is the midterm elections where “In the last 20 midterms, the party of the incumbent president has lost seats in 18 of them, on average a loss of 33 seats.”

Cliff Kincaid: Why the Russians Conceived the Global Warming Scam – “These people, who were soft on the Soviet Union and now hard on Russia, are the worst kind of hypocrites.”

In short, for communism to succeed, capitalism would have to be portrayed as based on exploitation—but not of man, as the old Marxist theory held. Rather, capitalism was now exploiting the earth! The whole purpose of this dogma has been to inhibit global capitalism, the only system that has proven capable of meeting the growing needs of expanding populations. But this time the claim was that human economic progress threatened the environment because of the capitalist model on which it was based.

In other words, the United States must pay more to the other nations of the world. This is global socialism.

It looks like the “nightmarish” scenarios predicted by Natalie Grant are not yet at an end.

But when will the liberals wake up? Answer: they won’t. Like James Hodgkinson, a true believer in the global warming theory, they want to “tax the rich” in their own country and will shoot to kill those who stand in the way of this global redistribution scheme.

VDH expands on The Architecture of Regime Change – “The branches of this insidious coup d’état are quite unlike anything our generation has ever witnessed.”

For now, the Democrats and the progressive movement cannot find ways to oppose Donald Trump through traditional political means either in the Congress or through the ballot box. They have resorted to an any-means-necessary effort to dehumanize Trump and politically emasculate him before the 2020 election.

Unfortunately, the logical succession to such progressive political hate speech, and assassination-wishing, is still more political violence of the sort we saw last week.

And this is only the beginning.

Frank Santarpia: The Progressive Tea Party that Never Was – “Trump Derangement Syndrome is real, it’s deadly serious, and it appears to be metastasizing.”

the vast majority of tea party devotees believed we had to play the cards we were dealt in November of 2008, voicing our displeasure but recognizing that the next time we could win a hand was Election Day, 2010

To my mind, that is how political opposition is supposed to work in 21st century; indeed, the peaceful transition of power is something of which we have been justly proud for over two hundred years. However, we seem to have reached a point where the existence of TDS has many people questioning whether or not we can keep that streak alive. If this presidency, properly won in a proper election, is stolen by coup, violent or otherwise, the United States as we know it will become a memory.

Progressives could have started such a movement — there is no disputing they have the numbers. But they didn’t, and here’s why: what passes for the Progressive Movement in the United States today lacks any real message, which is one of the principle reasons their candidate was on the short end of an enthusiasm gap in the first place. We protested the abuse of the Constitution and espoused the rule of law — not the election of Barack Obama. That then, is the chief difference. We objected to the man’s actions; they object to the man.

It is this distinction that makes clear the reasons why the so-called “antifa” operates in a completely different manner than did the Tea Party Movement; our goal was to flip Congress via the ballot box at the next election; theirs is to flip the Presidency via any means necessary, and immediately.

Any organization needs a core idea to anchor its identity and give direction and meaning to its activities and efforts. One has to wonder just what this core idea is for the Left and the Democrat Party.

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What is evil? We need to know ourselves.

The idea that ‘both sides’ consider the other as ‘evil’ is a favorite rationale for the degradation of political discourse. The problem with this is that it covers over important distinctions that hide what is really evil and what is not. If you think both sides are the same and there is no difference in behavior and deed that correlates with political party, then Cheryl K. Chumley is just another example of the problem. The problem is that Chumley, like many on the right, provides support for her argument in A biblical truth about leftist evil.

America, in case it’s escaped your notice, has been mired in an atmosphere of political animosity and violence — violence that finally led a crazed anti-President Donald Trumper to take up arms and shoot to kill at a Republican congressional baseball team practice in Alexandria, Virginia.

But this wasn’t just an act of violence. It was an act of evil.

And it came on the heels of scores of acts of evil, both in word and deed, in thought and motive, that have plagued and dotted the political landscape for months — particularly since the rise of Trump.

Evil — all of it. Carried out by people who mask their wicked intents and furious uprisings as First Amendment rights.

Meanwhile, all the while, those of the Left continue to call for Trump’s impeachment — knowing full well he’s not even committed an impeachable offense — sue him for ridiculous emoluments charges, paint him as stealing the election and betraying America, and generally incite as many mass uprisings and protests as it takes to realize their ultimate goal: to toss the president from the White House in disgrace.

Those participating in such partisanship are not motivated by truth, but rather hate and anger. And their goal is not the betterment of America, but the advancement of their own political wills.

As Psalm 81 tells us of those who are determined to be disobedient, “So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels.” Those who steadfastly follow evil, soon enough lose the ability to discern evil — and therefore, lose the ability to recognize and stop their own evil ways. So for the rest of us, that means more violence is looming, more uprisings are on the way — and more challenge and hardship to carry out the pressing to stand fast in faith is most definitely coming.

Ralph Z. Hallow provides another example: Partisan environment makes suspicion of Mueller probe reasonable – but there is sanctimony as Democrats threaten impeachment if anyone tries to stop the witch hunt.

A reasonable but not open-and-shut case can be made that Mr. Mueller is part of a setup led by James Comey and other “deep state” actors. These “alligators” — to use Trump-backers’ pejorative term for the permanent government’s revolving-door careerists — will stop at nothing to take down President Trump before he can fulfill his promise to drain the swamp, costing them their jobs and influence.

The attacks on Mr. Mueller are exploding amid frustration on the political right. It thinks the left, with an impunity not granted the right, gets to engage to the extreme in hatred, violence and lying.

Assassination plots against President Harry S. Truman and the shooting up of Congress by Puerto Rican nationalists … the violent Weather Underground and Black Panther movements … the wounding of Rep. Steve Scalise … the almost daily emailed and social-media threats on the lives on other GOP lawmakers — it does seem as if progressives have a corner on haters and homicidal psychotics.

it’s not what Mr. Mueller did over previous decades but what he’s doing now.

Andrew C. McCarthy is blaming the victim in explaining why The Justice Department Is Killing Trump – “Four key decisions put Sessions on the sidelines and intensify a scandal.” (hint: McCarthy doesn’t like Trump’s Tweets and is looking for legal rigor in them)

Yet, a scandal it is: A specter of impropriety is undermining Trump’s administration, tanking his favorability ratings, and stalling his agenda. True, his media-Democrat enemies cast every story in the worst possible light. But there’s always a story, isn’t there?

To understand why, I will reiterate my two-part working theory for why we have a mess, albeit one that, as a matter of law rather than appearances, falls woefully short of obstruction.

Rosenstein’s flouting of the regulations means Mueller’s investigation is a fishing expedition. It is already straying far afield from suspicions about Trump collusion in Russia’s election-meddling — which, we need to remind ourselves, is the purported rationale for the probe, and thus for Mueller.

In addition, there are conflicts of interest that are apt to discredit the investigation, regardless of whether they technically require disqualification.

Ideally, the Justice Department provides the kind of legal rigor and prudent judgment that can prevent or minimize problems for a president. To be fair, President Trump can be an erratic and intemperate client. But at the flashpoints where the Justice Department might have reversed the tide of scandal, it has gone with the flow. If the president has learned nothing else, it should be the importance of filling the Justice Department, and the rest of his administration, with his own appointees. To say the prior administration laid traps for him, and that he has blundered his way into them, is putting it mildly.

Neo-neocon: Trump, Julius Caesar, and killing tyrants – “The current New York production of “Julius Caesar” in which Caesar is portrayed as a Trump-like figure is no ordinary propaganda.”

HuffPo is considered a relatively mainstream website, but the fact that this article passed muster there shows how acceptable it’s become to talk about and advocate Trump’s death.

People like the author of that HuffPo piece see themselves as heroes on a great stage. Their disagreements with Trump can’t be just the usual political dissension, because that would make them petty and ordinary too. No, the scale must be grand, and the remedy equally grand. There are a disturbing number of people around who feel this way, and some of them almost undoubtedly will try to act.

Those who steadfastly follow evil, soon enough lose the ability to discern evil — and therefore, lose the ability to recognize and stop their own evil ways

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It’s most dangerous in the close field

What’s this about unity? Stephen Dinan says Congressional staffers boo Trump at unity baseball game – “Dozens of congressional staffers erupted into boos, jeers and even vulgar gesticulations Thursday when President Trump appeared in a video at the Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park.” These are friends and colleagues in Congress but familiarity should not hide the ugly.

Some do notice. Douglas Ernst reports on comments by Camille Paglia: Democrats in ‘nationwide orgy of rage and spite’ over Donald Trump – “Renowned feminist Camille Paglia says the Democratic Party’s leaders are in “a nationwide orgy of rage and spite” that prevents them from connecting with millions of potential voters.”

“In an abject failure of leadership that may be one of the most disgraceful episodes in the history of the modern Democratic party, Chuck Schumer, who had risen to become the Senate Democratic leader after the retirement of Harry Reid, asserted absolutely no moral authority as the party spun out of control in a nationwide orgy of rage and spite,” she said in the interview published Thursday. “Nor were there statesmanlike words of caution and restraint from two seasoned politicians whom I have admired for decades and believe should have run for president long ago — Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi.

Ace notes that The Fringe Left Is Perpetrating Violence, While the “Respectable” Left Justifies Violence, Excuses It, and Promotes It – “the left does everything it can to “contextualize” the violence its Armed Wing perpetuates, and to justify it, excuse it, and even encourage more of it.” … “When you have one part of the country calling for the death of the other part of the country, you don’t have a country any longer.” This must be noticed and observed even if it is those near you participating.

It’s not only Congressmen who turn a blind eye on those near them. Thomas Lifson: Sorry, Dr. Krauthammer, the problem is on the left – “There are few political commentators that come up to the level of Dr. Charles Krauthammer, but yesterday he managed to say something very intelligent, reasonable, superficially correct, yet wrong-headed.”

In his appearance on Special Report yesterday, he blamed multiple factors that involve both parties for the horrendous violence enacted on a baseball practice field, turning it from a field of dreams to a field of nightmares.

There is a problem with rhetoric, but it is not that people see the stakes too high. The problem now is that one faction of politics refuses to accept the legitimacy of President Trump, and having tacitly adopted the strategy of forcing him from office, they have opened the door to legitimizing nondemocratic means of forcing political change.

And the message has gotten out and proliferated to the Left: anything goes!

“Both sides do it” is as much a logical fallacy as the ad hominem. If you cannot distinguish differences then you engage in false witness and are deluding yourself. This is especially true when you are observing those you know both personally and professionally as that is where a personal bias is a high risk.

Some are cataloging the differences. Dave Brooks And Benjamin Decatur: This List Of Attacks Against Conservatives Is Mind Blowing – “A wave of liberal rage has marked the last 11 months since the rise and subsequent election of President Donald Trump.”

The aggression since Trump’s nomination is difficult to enumerate, but nevertheless, The Daily Caller News Foundation pored over media reports to compile a close but non-exhaustive list of violent acts against conservatives in months following the Republican National Convention.

Jonah Goldberg: Big Government and the Epidemic of Violence – “The challenge, at least for conservatives, is that the media’s double standard is so profoundly obvious and at the same so passionately denied that bringing it up feels like an exercise in gaslighting.”

When you believe — as Hodgkinson clearly did — that all of our problems can be solved by flicking a few switches in the Oval Office, it’s a short trip to believing that those who stand in the way are willfully evil enemies bent on barring the way to salvation. That belief won’t turn everyone into a murderer, but it shouldn’t be that shocking that it would turn someone into one.

Thomas Lifson on Green deathtraps: energy-saving renovation blamed for horrific Grenfell Tower fire in London – “In the wake of the ghastly conflagration that engulfed a recently-renovated 24 story apartment tower in London, the world is waking up to the dire threat created by energy-saving green zealots.”

Did green fever cause the obvious fire hazard to be ignored? We simply do not know. But the zealotry of those who are convinced that CO2 increases are dooming us could well prioritize energy savings above safety. As seems to have been done in London.

How many more green death traps are out there? Tens of thousands in the UK, but how many in the USA?

Roger Simon is wondering Does Robert Mueller Want to Cause a Civil War? – “How are we supposed to take the myriad leaks coming from Robert Mueller’s special investigation of what I guess we could call “The Russian Matter”?”

These leaks have appeared only days after this supposedly confidential investigation began. Where did they come from? Inside the FBI? If so, that organization (with five leakers!) is seriously corrupt and should be disbanded. Yes, you read that correctly. If serial leaks are coming from the FBI, our leading law enforcement agency is betraying the America people and is staffed with a number of criminals of the most despicable entitled sort. They think they know what’s best for us hoi polloi, so they are allowed to break the law with impunity when the rest of us poor schmucks have to tow the line on a parking ticket. Over such things are civil wars and revolutions fought (taxation without representation, etc.) — with justification.

That is a big story, bigger even than Trump/Russia (well, that wouldn’t be hard). Whether or not Trump obstructed justice we have no way of knowing (though Alan Dershowitz and Jonathan Turley are skeptical), but we do know that illegal leakers are all over our government from intelligence agencies to the FBI. This is quite simply totalitarianism on the march, the subversion of the rule of law in a democratic republic.

The leaks are, so far, the only solid evidence of criminal activity unless you go back to the previous administration.

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Flirting with fantasy

Wesley Pruden: Crossing the line to flirt with an assassination fantasy – “The New York Times made a point of quickly endorsing the play as worthy of its continued corporate sponsorship, good citizenship be damned.”

Whether the director, Oskar Eustis, intended to stir up the mob or not, even someone of the artsy-craftsy persuasion should know that in the present atmosphere, not just in Gotham but everywhere else, fruitcakes and even more or less respectable “activists” need no encouragement to do great and fatal harm to America’s institutions.

In their fury to assuage their anger and feed righteous hysteria, many liberals and “progressives” cannot restrain their rage that Donald Trump, crude and all-around lout, has through lawful and constitutional means become the leader of the government. A fruitcake with a gun, bomb or long-bladed scimitar rightly imagines that these millions of Never-Trumpers would applaud whatever dirty deed fulfills their dreams and fantasies.

Cal Thomas: Lying liars – “Trump’s accusers are snared by their own deceit.”

The word “hypocrisy” was invented for such moments. The left is suddenly aghast about lying, but was fine with Barack Obama’s numerous lies, from “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” to Benghazi, “Fast and Furious,” the “red line” in Syria and the list goes on. Let’s not even get started with the Clintons. They’re serial liars.

Dan Boylan: Comey the criminal? Leak admission puts ex-FBI boss in legal jeopardy – “crossing dangerous lines regarding the classification of government documents and FBI conduct.”

the real point of controversy centers on Mr. Comey’s admission that he leaked his memos to “prompt the appointment of a special counsel” — which happened soon after the substance of his memos went public. This, they say, exposes his action as more of a self-serving Washington operator, than a move legally protected by the former head of the FBI.

Thomas Lifson: Mueller staffs up to pursue obstruction of justice – “Personnel is policy” is an old truism that applies to the staffing decisions of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.” The smell of the swamp is getting rather thick here.

Prepare yourself for the coming debate over whether Mueller should be let go, if he doesn’t recuse himself. The overwhelming consensus is that it would raise Watergate and convulse the country. One must note that the overwhelming consensus has been wrong on what Donald Trump should do more often than not.

That’s one of the problems with bald assertions that Trump is a liar. He has been right more often than not, especially on the big items.

Andrew Malcom: What that Comey hearing really revealed about Washington – “The novelty of a non-anonymous source in the murky Washington waters won’t likely last, courage there being in chronic short supply..”

All of these important ongoing complexities must give way to the transitory theatrics of prancing politicians probing others for implied illegalities that no one has really been able to delineate clearly.

Let’s be blunt here: The actors and media in Washington are addicted to scandal and the process of scandal. They can appear to be doing serious work with sincerely furrowed brows while dodging the real tasks that concern Americans, tasks which if done right, could threaten D.C.’s sacred status quo.

But Malcom gets stuck in the TDS tar-pit:

What’s also true is Trump’s self-destructive ego and impulsiveness weaken his presidential persona and credibility in the eyes of an American majority, often handing opponents powerful ammo. We warned last month about picking needless fights with D.C. institutions expert at assassination by leak.

Trump was elected to shake things up and ‘self destructive’ isn’t in evidence. Neither is impulsiveness. Like assuming “liar,” these are perceptions and judgments about tactical and strategic battle decisions that are based more on the reaction of the opponent and tradition and not on success or innovation. Having the opposition in disarray and engaging in irrational behavior and even, as Comey did, confessing to questionable behavior is battlefield success that should not be ignored.

Rod Kackley: Is Nevada All-in with Medicaid-for-All? – “Nevada Assemblyman Mike Sprinkle (D) thinks he may have come up with a model for healthcare reform the nation could embrace.” This one-ups California because other people’s money in this case is the Feds. Will they ever learn? How far will Nevada fall?

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Can we keep the Republic? Do we want to? Chasing after chimeras

Stephen B. Presser: What is a republic, and how do we keep it? – “The ‘resistance’ has forgotten the fundamentals bequeathed by the founders.”

Thus it was that the United States was to be a republic, rather than a democracy. In a republic, as the framers understood, there are at least two profound differences from a democracy. The first, most obvious, is that government is not by the people themselves, but, instead, is conducted through elected representatives. Second, less obvious, but an essential feature of republican government from Rome on, is that the government must not act arbitrarily, but must conduct itself pursuant to the rule of law. It must, in other words, follow established procedures and act according to accepted norms, in our case pursuant to our Constitution and laws.

Ever since the election of Donald Trump — an election conducted pursuant to the established procedures in the Constitution, procedures which the framers put in place to make sure that all of the states of the country would have a voice in the selection of our commander in chief

Rather than pursuing the fantasy of foreign plots, for which there seems little if any reality, it ought to be the job of a responsible media and responsible legislators to help the American people and their duly elected president to determine whether, in fact, the program on which the Republicans ran can be effected. There is plenty to examine, plenty to discuss, and plenty to debate without wasting the resources and time of our fellow citizens and their government chasing after chimeras. Moreover, we can’t keep a republic unless we understand our obligation to live under the rule of law, and to realize that the system under which we have thrived requires us to submit to events like the result of elections with which we may disagree.

Thomas Lifson explains how Andrew McCarthy demolishes the argument that Trump obstructed justice, or even did anything wrong in dinner talk with Comey. In the process, a problem in understanding how the U.S. Government works is revealed. Comey asserted that the FBI and the DOJ were DOJ were independent from the executive branch.

Nowhere in the Constitution is the FBI (or DoJ) defined as anything other than a part of the Executive Branch. The FBI didn’t exist in 1787, and wouldn’t for almost a century and a half.

Which brings us to Andrew McCarthy, explaining why President Trump had full authority to say what he did without compromising any ethics or laws

But that won’t make much difference to the conspiracy theorists on the Left. Another example and an explanation of why this lack of intellectual integrity is an issue is provided by Alicia Colon who says It’s the theory of Global Warming that’s really dangerous – “There is no excuse for not finding out the truth on many issues.” The problem is that of actually accepting the truth you find, i.e. summoning intellectual integrity to overcome personal ideologies and fantasies.

what does that say about the rest of the country who swears that climate change is not only more dangerous than Islamic jihadists but that disaster is imminent? Have we really become an idiocracy of fools believing whatever talking heads and celebrities spout about doom and gloom without finding out the truth for ourselves?

It seems we have abdicated our ability to think rationally or to question whatever claims these pseudo scientists make about planet earth. It is extremely unsettling that anyone questioning the flawed data given by these charlatans is deemed a denier and dangerous skeptic.

While there is no similarity between global warming and these other catastrophic scientific miscalculations, there is now the same danger in mixing science with politics and ideology and only with unfettered scientific research can we avoid disaster.

The latest Comey ‘scandal’ is that Trump asked for loyalty. Ace has a relevant Flashback: Defense Sec. Robert Gates Somehow Felt Compelled to Pledge His Loyalty to Obama; Bob Schieffert Accused Gates of a Lack of “Loyalty” In Writing a Memoir About His Obama Years. See also Lifson’s quotes from McCarthy on Carlson cited above as well.

Even if you somehow believe Gates pledged loyalty to Obama without prompting, then you’d have to take Gates as expert testimony that people who actually work in the upper reaches of official DC understand that if you want a job, or want to keep your job, you’re expected to tell a president you’re loyal to him.

And, frankly, I gotta say, the politics in DC are right now so obvious and obviously rotten that the first question I’d have for anyone — including law enforcement and intelligence officials, who naive authority-worshiping conservatives childishly still maintain are above any such doubt — is “Are you actually working for the Democrat Establishment?”

But the NeverTrumpers and the mainstream media, an increasingly difficult set of twins to distinguish between, did not make any grief about this, but now are labeling Trump’s similar request for “loyalty” — same as Obama asked of Gates — an impeachable offense.

In fact, Trump was right to ask where Comey’s loyalties lay — because a former AG under Bush asserted that Comey did in fact have political loyalties: It’s just that those loyalties lay with Chuck Schumer and the scorched-earth wing of the Democrat Party.

For something more solid to get incensed about, look for the stories about new documents uncovered related to the Fast and Furious scandal. Then figure out the implications of the policy change at the DOJ. Ian Mason: Jeff Sessions Ends DOJ Handouts for Leftist Groups – “Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new policy on Wednesday that prohibits payouts to third parties in settlements reached by the Justice Department.”

For decades, through a variety of initiatives, the DOJ has insisted on donations to third parties as part of the settlements it reaches with defendants, especially corporations. In the Obama administration, this practice took on the character of a “slush fund,” which funneled hundreds of millions of dollars from these corporate defendants and put it into the hands of non-government organizations.

And Hawaii thinks it can enter into treaties with foreign nations by signing in on the Paris Climate Accord. Who is the state loyal to? This is yet another example of where hatred has blinded. When you throw a tantrum, odds are higher you are going to do damage to something dear than to make any dent in what makes you angry.

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The Vicious Left

Cheryl K. Chumley: Eric Trump — rightly — slams vicious left as ‘not even people’ – “It’s such a cycle of hatred we live in right now in America.” And yet another example is provided about how even this interview is maliciously skewed in a media report.

Eric Trump, following in his father’s footsteps, issued some blunt talk about the very vicious left and its very vicious hatred — and now, predictably enough, his comments are being a bit skewed, no doubt, in order to drum up some of that vicious leftist hatred to generate even more anti-Trump headlines.

He’s quite correct; the political atmosphere is highly charged, and the left’s all-out attack on morals, values, conservatives — and Trump — is unlike any times in recent political history.

But in the regard Trump meant it — he’s right. Many of those in the Democratic Party, all of those on the far left, are using such vicious political tactics that they are indeed hardly human. They’re devoid of values, devoid of principles and notions of fair play — devoid of souls.

Jazz Shaw dissects another simmering controversy: Dems want Trump to nominate more people they can refuse to confirm – “there is plenty of blame to go around and, just possibly, some areas where “problems” are actually features rather than bugs.”

Are the Democrats obstructing Trump’s nominations? … There’s no question and they’ve been making no secret of it. … The average Trump nomination has taken 85 days to confirm so far. For Obama it was 32 days. For Bush it was 11.

Isn’t this partly the fault of the GOP? … No doubt about that either. We have the votes to confirm a canned ham, as the saying goes, but only if the entire GOP caucus is voting as a block. …

But isn’t Trump going too slow in in naming candidates? … what if he has no plan to do so and this is intentional? He came in with a mandate to put the federal behemoth on a crash diet and an attitude that many of these functions are a waste of time. If you believe that he’s serious about that he might not have any intention of filling them quickly… if at all. And if that’s the case, then I guess he’s moving at the right speed.

So do the Democrats (and the liberal media) have a point here? … The President has put up 117 names. Just 39 have been confirmed.

And now it’s the Comey circus. Indications are that this will be yet another let down for the “vicious left” with no handle provided to grab Trump.

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Whither optimism?

The Washington Examiner thinks Trump’s budget requires and should produce optimism – “The political Left struggled on Tuesday to find terminology sufficiently jarring to express their rage and disdain for President Trump’s just-released budget. That’s the price we pay for living in an age of political hyperbole.”

What’s actually remarkable about Trump’s budget is that its cuts are modest and, in many cases, are not cuts at all, merely smaller increases than some people desired or expected.

Many have criticized the document’s optimistic projection of a return to 3 percent annual economic growth, which could fall victim to the low and slow expectations that became normal throughout the last eight years. But 3 percent growth is attainable with the right policies in place, and suggesting it is impossible is defeatism.

The fact that it will be difficult to achieve makes it more vital — not less — that the federal government not be allowed constantly to grow and never to shrink. Once again, Congress should ignore the dire predictions and get on with putting policies in place that make optimism possible again.

David Prentice says Strong Enough – “It is disconcerting how many have become so unhinged over the past years. Even so, it’s not possible to have guessed just how extreme and hyperbolic the left would become.”

Championing “resistance” as if they were in a revolutionary cadre in a South American country was not expected. Acting like whining toddlers en masse was not anticipated. A media in total hysterical lockstep to unearth any evidence that Trump was bad, going as low as critiquing two servings of ice cream for him, was not foreseen.

Strength is a manifold concept. Some would say that calling for “strength” in a political leader borders on wanting a strongman such as a Mussolini, but that’s not it at all. It’s simply, strong enough.

It means bringing a different skill set to Washington. It means having a mind strong enough to strive towards a new change of direction for the country against a complacent Washington swamp that loves the power they have and the direction they have set.

Steve Bannon is on record: “If you think they (the left, the media) are going to give your country back without a fight you are sadly mistaken.”

Make no mistake, this is war, one declared by the left, and one we as citizens must face. They are pulling out all the stops. They lie, they cheat, they know the stakes, they want their power back.

Meanwhile, the suicide bomber at a Manchester teenie concert has disturbed the force, the Pope gave the President a book with his non-religious rantings on the economy and climate, more seem to be realizing that the Russian Collusion grand conspiracy theorizing is vaporware, and the Left’s propaganda machine is fixated on a gesture between the President and the First Lady.

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It’s fun to threaten Republicans?

Cheryl K. Chumley: Democrat logic: It’s fun to threaten Republicans – “This is crazed behavior. And it’s all coming from the left, aimed at the right.”

Colton Lochhead: Political vitriol sparks call for moderation in Nevada – “They disrupt … They lambaste … They accuse …

The protests have centered on the most partisan issues and often fail to resonate with the moderate base, said Billy Vassiliadis, an influential operatives for Democrats in Nevada and CEO of R&R Partners.

“Voters are sick of this. The average person is sick of this,” Vassiliadis said.

Vassiliadis, who worked for former Nevada Gov. Bob Miller’s campaign and was an adviser on the campaigns for President Barack Obama and longtime U.S. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, said this “downward spiral” has been building for the better part of two decades.

Jazz Shaw: Yet another argument saying the government can’t restrict immigration – “For reasons which are completely beyond me, Ilya Somin of the Volokh Conspiracy has once again taken to the pages of the Washington Post, making yet another argument claiming that the federal government has no power to restrict immigration in any fashion. We’ve already tackled some of his arguments here in the past, but let’s see what he’s up to this time.” Somin’s arguments anti-Trump have been a puzzle for someone of his stature.

Byron York: At this rate, it won’t matter if Trump colluded with Russia – Anonymous rumors leaking confidential notes without provenance or visibility create a running stream of antagonistic media stories that undermine the government.

That was then. Now, rather than focusing on alleged collusion, the thrust of leaks in recent days has been directed almost exclusively toward building a case of obstruction of justice against the president, charging that he actively tried to derail the investigation into his campaign and his associates. More and more, day after day, Trump’s adversaries believe that, when it comes to bringing down the president, it might not matter if collusion occurred or not. A cover-up would be enough to do the job.

On the other hand, the ‘cover-up’ may be yet another ‘fake scandal’ much like the Russian collusion turned out to be. The real question is whether the perpetrators of these malicious fabrications are held to account. It is also something to note that the prevailing presumption is that the leakers are telling truth. This seems correlated with the presumption that Trump is incompetent. Since the veracity of leakers has been so poor and there is much evidence contrary to the incompetence idea, these presumption should be something to consider.

Andrew Malcom opines on The hidden blessing for Trump in the special counsel’s investigation – “We warned the other day that Trump’s peremptory firing of James Comey and shifting storyline would thoroughly alienate Comey and his colleagues “who are real pros at the Washington game of assassination by leak.”

Here’s where the Mueller appointment is good news for Trump. Mueller has basically unlimited powers now, able to take this investigation in any and all directions. He is universally respected as a straight-shooter in Washington, a rare breed in that swamp.

What’s also quite striking in the hysterical media coverage of the usurper Trump is what didn’t happen before. Remember Attorney General Eric Holder’s Fast and Furious gun-running operation into Mexico? It was botched. Drug gangs got the guns and killed a border agent.

Holder stonewalled congressional investigators. He got censured. No special counsel.

For those of us in flyover country, the wily ways of Washington and its in-house media chroniclers eagerly being used by anonymous sources choose which scandals to snuff and which to fuel. That institutional coziness and congressional ineptitude by both parties partly explain the voter disgust that elected the angriest candidate as president. Never mind his qualifications.

The anger and suspicions of that plurality simmer to this day largely unnoticed back there. Hopefully, the probity of Mueller’s probe will prove convincing whichever way it goes.

Here’s another example of the destructive bias in perceptions: Here’s The Deal With That Glowing Orb Trump Touched In Saudi Arabia – “Social media users mused that the image, in which Trump touches a globe with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, resembled a scene where villains enact their master plan.”

In reality, Trump had touched the globe as part of an inauguration ceremony for the Global Center for Combatting Extremist Ideology in Ridyah, Saudi Arabia on Sunday. Together, the three leaders placed their hands on the globe to start a film about the center.

“This groundbreaking new center represents a clear declaration that Muslim-majority countries must take the lead in combatting radicalization, and I want to express our gratitude to King Salman for this strong demonstration of leadership,” Trump said. “We must be united in pursuing the one goal that transcends every other consideration. That goal is to meet history’s great test — to conquer extremism and vanquish the forces of terrorism.”

But all they can see is evil … maybe they are looking in the mirror?

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Rude, crude, vulgar — is this the new United States?

Cheryl K. Chumley: The art of the Trump take-down – “watching this despicable trend of Democratic-fueled accusation, followed by media-expressed outrage, followed by leftist expression of shock, gives rise to one very apt image: that of sharks circling prey.”

This is not how U.S. politics ought to be run. Yet this is America, campaign 2016 and White House 2017. Think hard, question everything. The vicious political atmosphere of late is not happenstance.

The Democrats are to blame. The mainstream media is a complicit close second for fault. And third? That’d be the gutless and elitists in the Republican Party, masquerading as true representatives of the people, who didn’t want Trump in office in the first place and are now only too glad to quietly sneer, “told you so,” while pretending allegiance to conservative principles.

And once again, let’s remember: There is no evidence Trump worked with Russians to beat Clinton in the election. But to paraphrase a famous Democratic politico, in an out-of-context way: What difference, at this point, does the truth make?

Take care, America, in this 24-hour news cycle, in this fiery anti-Trump atmosphere. There may be more reporting going on. But that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s more truth being provided.

Valerie Richardson: 80 percent of news stories were critical of Trump, says Harvard study – “President Trump has insisted that his press coverage has been historically negative, and a newly released Harvard journalism study backs him up.”

“Trump’s coverage during his first 100 days set a new standard for negativity,” said Harvard Kennedy School of Government professor Thomas E. Patterson in the report.

He added that the coverage was “negative even by the standards of today’s hypercritical press.”

At the same time, Mr. Trump has received more press coverage in general than previous presidents. He was the topic of 41 percent of all news stories, or three times that of previous presidencies, and he was the featured speaker in 65 percent of the stories.

Compare and contrast is provided by Roger Kimball describing Donald Trump’s Invigorating Speech in Riyadh – “Trump’s speech was a forthright, America First, speech, Obama’s an accommodationist’s dream.” There was also note of the media hate: “Fake news alert: the disgusting Washington Post, where truth goes to die, ran a breathless story about how Trump bowed when he received the medal signifying Saudi Arabia’s highest civilian honor. How exactly could the honor have been bestowed had Trump not bowed his head to receive it?”

Bottom line: Obama went to Cairo to apologize for America and hope for world peace. Trump went to Riyadh to champion America and extend an offer to work together for world peace.

I know that pundits will be descending like buzzards upon a carcass to pick away at the details of Trump’s speech. Happy eating to them.

Ed Morrissey says CA Dems keep it classy with digital salute to Trump at convention – “Following in the footsteps of DNC chair Tom Perez, outgoing California Democratic chair John Burton offered a foul-mouthed tirade at the party’s convention this weekend, complete with a two-finger display of defiance of Donald Trump.”

It’s a petulant whine. Normally, we’d expect that from high-school and college students living in their own little bubbles, not from people who are trying to make the case that they can be trusted to run the country. And yet more and more Democrats have begun to wallow in expletives and coarseness rather than address the issues, apparently in the belief that it’s Trump’s bluntness that won him the election. Instead, it comes across much more clearly as a middle finger to voters middle America, who have no love at all for college students and their special-snowflake protests, but at least might excuse it as youthful indiscretions. Pelosi, Perez, Kirsten Gillibrand, and other Democratic leaders hardly have that excuse.

As one party indulges this deeply unserious and idiotic behavior, they encourage more of it from all sides. The discourse in our political cultures has declined rapidly enough as it is, and our media and entertainment cultures have led the way for it. At some point in the future, if we stay on this path, we’ll end up with a political culture where grunts and rude gestures matter more than policy, a game in which the side that can produce the most gross bodily noises wins. In short, we’ll be stuck in a perpetual middle-school playground, only the bullies that come after your school lunch will have the IRS to back them up.

Instapundit cites Putin (re LA Times): “You know what surprises me? They are destabilizing the internal political situation in the United States under anti-Russian slogans,” Putin said, according to Tass. “They either do not understand that they are harming their own country, which means they are just shortsighted, or they understand everything, and that means that they are dangerous and unscrupulous people.”

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Hooey, self delusion, etc.

Charles Hurt: Hysteria, overblown hooey part of the fake news cycle – “Every time the Washington political press freaks out and goes into full panic mode against President Trump, the blockbuster, Watergate-volume story always unfolds the same way.”

Each time, these reporters sink deeper and deeper into a fantasyland as they dream bigger and bigger. THIS TIME, they keep thinking, we FINALLY got him!

Reporters and Democrats alike — not to repeat myself — are actually now speculating about whether Mr. Trump will survive the certain impeachment hearings to come.

But then, as the heavy breathing subsides and the adrenaline rush gives way to factual, concrete reporting, the most damning charges fall away.

Well, OK. But the White House should have handled it better.

Patricia McCarthy: The Media-Democratic Party Suicide Pact – “The national media and the Democratic Party have gone stark raving mad over President Trump’s election victory; they refuse to accept it.”

Our media and our Democrats seem to think that with all their hateful, childish behavior, their tantrums (“we won’t vote for an FBI director unless there is a special prosecutor”), they can win back the House and Senate in 2018. They seem not to realize that they are going to lose more seats in both houses. Their strategy, these vile tactics, are a suicide pact. And when the mainstream media and the Democratic Party die by their own hands, only the mind-numbed elites on both coasts and the denizens of the editorial offices of the NYT, the WaPo and the LA Times will be surprised. No one else will care. They will have seen it all coming for years.

Betsy McCaughey: The left’s sick lies about health reform – “Never mind facts. Democrats and media allies are resorting to shock value to defeat repeal — staging funerals with caskets and predicting massive deaths if the bill becomes law.”

Does the GOP bill abandon people with pre-existing conditions? No.

Does the GOP House bill pass the “Kimmel test”? Yes.

The public is being misled.

Is repealing ObamaCare “a death sentence for thousands” as Bernie Sanders says? No way.

The first thing to fix is the lack of intellectual integrity and self awareness on the Left.

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Uphold the truth

Rebecca Hagelin: By upholding the truth, can we fight the marketing of evil that is destroying America – “First released in hardcover in 2005 and in paperback in 2015, the book by David Kupelian (managing editor of WorldNetDaily.com) profoundly explains the marketing tactics in continuous use by the left in their attempt to destroy God and His created order and replace them with a world where mankind is sovereign.”

The awful, natural consequences that follow a culture focused on satisfying the arrogant desire of men and women to be their own gods are now infecting every area of life: Education is hijacked to teach moral relativism rather than science or facts, entertainment is permeated with the debasing of humanity, individuals and society become increasingly “entitled” to things and services at someone else’s expense, and children are left fatherless or motherless.

Paul forewarned us in Romans 1:28-31 of what becomes of nations that continue to reject Him: “Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.”

No, I Am Not a Moron but Half the Country is Deranged by Alicia Colon – “We ‘deplorables’ have probably done more research on the issues and are dumbfounded as to why anyone would ever think that Hillary Clinton was a viable candidate.”

In the very short time Donald Trump has been president, he is probably the most besieged leader since Abraham Lincoln presiding over a super polarized nation. This polarization is not based on the serious issue of slavery but by the lies and malicious machinations of a hostile opposition party and the lapdog media minions. They have successfully turned half this nation into blithering, infantile, angry non thinkers who base their anger on faux news emanated by the liberal fascists in the media.

To fully understand what I wrote in my headline, consider three issues where the derangement is most evident-Black Lives Matter, gender politics and Climate Change.

John Fund: Why Are Democrats Afraid of the Election Integrity Commission? – “They know that the voter rolls are breeding grounds for potential fraud.”

Indeed, smart liberals are already moving away from the mantra that “there is no voter fraud” to a more nuanced position.

Leftists have known for a long time that America’s voter-registration lists are breeding grounds for potential fraud. According to a 2012 Pew Research Center survey, one out of eight American voter registrations is inaccurate, out of date, or a duplicate.

That explains why the Democratic line on the new commission is to combine hysterical attacks with cautionary words that what the commission might find won’t be important anyway.

But that doesn’t explain why Democrats have so often opposed just such efforts at the state level or why the Obama administration for eight years played hide-the-ball with the data it did have on potential ineligible voters. When liberals claim that there is no voter fraud, to borrow Shakespeare’s words, they do protest too much. They know that lurking in our archaic election procedures are problems that need fixing. Here’s hoping the new commission — which includes Democratic secretaries of state Bill Gardner of New Hampshire and Matthew Dunlap of Maine — breaks through and conducts a first-ever national look at the problem.

John Hinderaker: Ignorance + Malice = James Clapper – “intended as a portentous warning, but for many Trump voters, the fact that he is “assaulting” some of our institutions is a feature, not a bug.”

CLAPPER: Well, I think, you know, the founding fathers, in their genius, created a system of three co-equal branches of government and a built-in system of checks and balances.

News flash for Mr. Clapper: the FBI is part of the Department of Justice, i.e. the executive branch, which reports to the president. The checks and balances inherent in the three branches of government have nothing to do with it.

the federal bureaucracy is not part of the constitutional system of checks and balances. It only seems that way, sometimes, because of its perennial hostility to Republican presidents.

Roger L. Simon: Schumer’s Special Prosecutor Proposal for Russia Lacks ‘Fairness’ – “Putin will have won. Even though he may not have turned our election upside down, he has certainly turned our minds upside down. We — especially our media — can’t think of anything else.”

If you’re going to have a special counsel for the Trump-Russia situation — in the spirit of bipartisanship and indeed fairness — you would need to have similar counsels for the following: The hidden Hillary Clinton email server, … The Clinton Foundation and its financial relations with Russia, … The misuse of our intelligence agencies for the surveillance and unmasking of Trump and associates and other private citizens by members of the Obama administration … The Internal Revenue Service’s singling out and harassing of many conservative-leaning non-profit organizations and attendant coverup of same, … The Benghazi incident … The Bergdahl affair … Of course there are more, but I had to start somewhere.

Richard Fernandez: Our Fragile Civilization – “Mark Steyn argued that exclusively blaming the other political side for your troubles can provide false comfort. When everything is falling apart the problem is probably bigger than any one point of view.” Fernandez starts with the recent ransomware attacks and notes that many of its victims were still running Windows XP which has been out of maintenance by Microsoft for several years (but they did issue a ‘fix’ for this attack, anyway).

The defection of Edward Snowden, the Office of Personnel Management data breach and the now infamous Hillary hacks all predated Trump though the vulnerabilities will probably continue under him. The list of commercial data breaches is also stunningly long.

One of the weaknesses of the anti-Trump resistance is their inability to address the factors which brought the current administration into existence. Too many think it’s all about one man.

So why can’t such a stupid, ignorant and incompetent bunch be seen off? That must be what troubles the Resistance. The scariest possibility is they are up against complexity itself, fighting a reality that refuses subordination to a narrative. The world is hard to control, even when you dominate all the media outlets.

What makes the pubic think governments which run Windows XP and lose secrets can manage Climate, which is as complex as a human organism? Perhaps we have to relearn humility and restore loose coupling between objects. Otherwise the reactive effects will ripple through “unexpectedly”. But of course no one will listen, just as in the Jurassic Park movies. It’ll be full speed ahead and ‘hold muh beer’.

 

Upholding the truth first involves being able to see it.

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It’s a dangerous path the Left is taking

Where the real danger lies:

Think about it: Wright was so proud of her behavior that she put it out there for the world to see. She felt no shame; no need to hide her actions.

Cheryl K. Chumley says For Republicans, it’s getting dangerous out there – “Wright ultimately left the scene — but was apprehended after she posted details of the incident to her Facebook page. And it’s that little facet of the story that seems most remarkable.”

This particular story ended with Wendi Wright, 35, being arrested and charged with felony reckless endangerment. And the specifics of her charges come down to this: She allegedly chased Kustoff and his aide, Marianne Dunavant, in her car as they drove from the town hall event, ultimately intimidating them to the point that they pulled into the driveway of somebody they knew.

Is Wright demented? Or just an average Democrat in the Trump era?

Certainly, the atmosphere in the country has turned much more accepting of violence as a form of leftist political protest in recent months — since the rise of President Donald Trump, in fact.

The congressional halls of Democratic offices are filled with calls to impeach Trump, finding an actual impeachable offense be danged. And the media, the ever complicit media, don’t mind rising from the mud, when opportunity presents, to join the anti-this, anti-that fray as well.

All this, meanwhile, comes on the heels of an appeal by a Huffington Post editor-at-large for leftists to simply hound those of the pro-Trump camp by following Republican politicians to their places of work, places of dining, places of living, and stand outside and protest and demand answers. Answers to what? Apparently, to why they’re Republicans, refusing to vote Democratic.

But this is the tone and atmosphere of the country right now. And it’s one created and fueled solely by the left. So what’s a good Republican to do to stay safe?

what’s called for in the face of these bullies is to fight harder. Bullies don’t back down unless they’re met with a force that’s to be reckoned with. And how do you best fight lying, deceptive, argumentative, angry, irrational, violent socialist-minded partisans with intent on corrupting the Constitution and destroying the greatness of America? With truth. With courage. With the full armor of God — including the breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith and sword of the spirit.

In the face of such power, evil, as these lunatic leftists represent, can only flee.

John Daniel Davidson: The American Left Is Talking Itself Into Violence – “The recent violence that’s marked our college campuses is seeping into the rest of society, and the vast majority of it comes from the intolerant Left.”

Something is wrong with the American Left. The recent spate of violent protests on college campuses has been well-documented, but the violence and intolerance championed by left-wing student activists is beginning to creep off campus and into mainstream public life.

The reason for this is straightforward enough: although progressives pride themselves on their putative tolerance and diversity, the imperatives of leftist politics are fundamentally illiberal. Justice imposed through power is the philosophical foundation of the political left, and when earnest progressives become convinced the only avenue to power is violence, their tolerance quickly falls by the wayside. Consider a few recent events, none of which involved college protesters but all of which were marked by threats of violence.

Leftist Intolerance Invites A Breakdown Of Civility

How has it come to this? No doubt, leftist ideology invites a kind of intolerance that leads to violence, as we’ve seen. But this tendency is exacerbated by a breakdown of civility fueled by social media. Would we see the kind of brutal, cutthroat behavior that’s marked the crowds at these town halls if those people had not inured themselves somewhat to it?

The problem here is picking a bogey man, social media, to sidestep and destroy the argument presented that it is a much deeper and more insidious evil at play.

William A. Jacobson: Buzzfeed asks: Why is Harvard Law Prof. Larry Tribe spreading conspiracy theories? – “A reputation is a terrible thing to waste.”

Lawrence Tribe, Harvard Law School professor, has sullied his reputation with his Trump Derangement Syndrome, as Buzzfeed documents

One of the great untold stories is how many liberals have damaged themselves in the desire to get Trump.

If Trump doesn’t go to jail, like so many of the liberal conspiracy theorists are predicting, there will be a price to pay for their delusions, and that price will be their reputations.

David Keene: A lesson in the loss of liberty – “Mischief-makers have turned new surveillance powers against Americans.”

Liberal civil libertarian types were convinced back then that it was dangerous to entrust too much to the likes of George W Bush, but went silent when Barack Obama entered the White House. …

Imagine what sort of public uproar would have erupted if, during the 2008 campaign, it had been revealed that the outgoing Bush administration had been caught doubling or tripling surveillance of its opponents and was “unmasking” candidate John McCain’s foreign policy advisers whose names may have been picked up through surveillance of noncitizens in troubled areas of the world. The media, Democrats in Congress and the liberal pundits would have simply gone berserk, but the cavalier use of these same powers by Mr. Obama against folks they don’t like hasn’t fazed them a bit.

The answer should be obvious. It goes beyond ideology to the nature of trusting government with too much power. When any government official assures the public that he or she can be trusted with powers we wouldn’t trust to “bad guys,” we should be wary because powers that can be abused will be abused by someone at some time for motives good or bad.

Clarice Feldman provides a summary on Russian Hacking and Collusion: Put the Cards on the Table – “The notion that Russia interfered in the election to help Donald Trump was a John Brennan/James Clapper confection created in an unorthodox way, and defied logic, given that Hillary and her associates had far closer connections to Russia than Trump or his associates did.”

12 prominent public statements by those on both sides of the aisle who reviewed the evidence or been briefed on it confirmed there was no evidence of Russia trying to help Trump in the election or colluding with him:

Law professor Jonathan Turley says much the same thing: “No one has yet to explain to me what the core crime that would be investigated with regards to Russian influence,’ Turley said Wednesday evening. “I don’t see the crime, so I don’t see how it’s closing in on Trump.”

Unless you think it makes political and constitutional sense to have an FBI director holding open forever an investigation of his boss with no factual basis, you might understand how ridiculous Comey’s refusal to publicly detail his reasons for so doing.

But there is much more than the misjudgment of allowing these people to head the investigation, which has run on for months with an ocean of leaks and no evidence.

if this is Watergate, it’s not because this president is trying to cover up any wrongdoing on his part, but rather Comey and others at the FBI are trying to cover up theirs, rather like Mark Felt. The drive to arrogate power to one’s self is a feature of Washington politics, and hardly unknown to the top ranks of the FBI.

Jazz Shaw picks up on how petty CNN has become: Impeachable? Trump gets TWO scoops of ice cream while the peasants all get one

they really didn’t have much of a point to make here. The best they could do was point to this as an example of how the White House staff is settling in with Trump and getting used to his preferences. But by the time they write it up on the web site the tone has definitely changed. Notice how they can’t be satisfied with simply saying that the staff has picked up on his druthers in dining. They have to paint the mental imagery of a plump, greedy child who has suddenly been turned loose in the palace and has the royal staff fetching him bowl after bowl of dessert treats.

So take that as you will. It might be a story about ice cream or the tale of some Caligula-like emperor who is gobbling up the riches of the realm while the peasants are forced to do without. This. Is. CNN. They report… you decide.

Or, another example by John Sexton: Michelle Obama is not happy about the rollback of her school lunch guidelines – “Mrs. Obama suggested that issues like school lunches should be above politics and yet she’s asking her audience to question the motives of the people who are making these changes.”

Ultimately, there has to be a balance between allowing kids to eat what tastes good to them and what will keep them healthy. It should be possible for adults to disagree about where that middle-ground is without assuming anyone who has a different opinion has bad motives and wants to see kids “eating crap.”

Or Jazz, again: This is how progressives undermine capitalism in the name of “character” – “It really wouldn’t merit much national attention were it not such a sterling example of enshrined, liberal tribal beliefs being carried over in the real world to the point of self-ridicule.” The community’s choice in which coffee shop is to replace an outed one … “what’s the difference if you drove down the property values and stopped someone from providing some jobs to local folks and possibly making a profit?”

On the U.S. economic front, Mark Perry is Putting America’s ridiculously large $18.6T economy into perspective by comparing US state GDPs to entire countries – “Overall, the US produced 24.7% of world GDP in 2016, with only about 4.5% of the world’s population.”

 

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Totally Bonkers but No shame?

Sundance: *UPDATE* – President Trump Drops Another MOAB – Media Missing Sally Yates and James Comey Timeline… – “what’s more stunning in the aftershock is the media’s incapacity to take the new Trump/Comey timeline information and add it to the existing Sally Yates timeline.”

Now, accepting the politicization of the entire Russian Conspiracy Narrative that was leading the headlines for the two months prior to this dinner; and knowing moments earlier your Chief White House counsel informs you that two political operatives (Yates and Priestap) within the DOJ were providing classified intelligence reports about General Flynn; and knowing the prior months (Nov/Dec/Jan) were fraught with leaks from intelligence reports identical to those discussed; wouldn’t you perhaps think that any action you take could be utilized to add fuel to this Russian narrative? And/Or be used by these same leak facilitators to make something seem like something it is not?

Think about it.

If you were President under those circumstances, wouldn’t you ask FBI Director James Comey what the deal was with these investigations, and whether or not you were under investigation BEFORE you took action to retain or fire Mike Flynn?

Given the circumstances it could appear, and most definitely should be considered, that the President was being ‘set-up’ to impede an FBI investigation by taking action against Flynn.

Then consider the news this morning that the Left is clamoring for the recordings as if they were Nixon’s missing minutes and Warren, among others, are taking the stance in public speech that Trump is guilty of every crime under the sun as their starting point – despite any evidence of a crime and the fact that the ‘investigation’ is about national security and not criminal matters.

Then take a look at John Merline: Oops: The New York Times Accidentally Exposed ‘The Hillary Clinton-Russia Nexus’! – “the incredible New York Times editorial* published on Thursday that lays out the case for how the Hillary Clinton campaign was colluding with the Russian government, and then tried to cover it up by blaming her election loss on Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

* OK, this is not really what The New York Times wrote in its editorial (the actual editorial can be found here). But it does closely track what the Times’ editorial accuses Trump of doing, and the Times’ accusations about a Trump “nexus” with Russia are just about as flimsy.

Top Democrats, as indicated above, also have a long history of business and political ties with Russia, for the simple reason that there is money to be made by people who can peddle their political connections. And sometimes these Democrats don’t disclose their Russia ties. If this is all the Times needs to accuse Trump and his associates of having “an unusually extensive network of relationships with a major foreign power,” then Clinton is equally guilty. (The one difference is that Hillary actually has a record of being soft on Russia.)

Phil Salmon: When science had no shame. Part 1: Why are nearly all sci-fi movies anti-science dystopia? – this has a lot to do with understanding current politics as it flavors many views and values of the Left.

Are we living in a new prohibition era? A generation of straight-laced environmental puritans have been teaching us and our children to be ashamed of science and technology.

For the self-appointed guardians of our environmental rectitude, technology is the new sex, business is the new gambling and CO2 the new alcohol

The blasted dystopian future-scapes that we view with monotonous regularity through theatrical off-stage blown mist, all communicate a not-so-subtle political message: if you don’t pay attention to our endless protest movements that are anti-science, anti-technology, anti-vaccine, anti-energy, anti that atom with the atomic number of the Beast, then look at all the bad stuff that’s heading your way! Only a small minority of SciFi movies rise above the rest and actually fulfil SciFi’s purpose, that is, to inspire us with the possibilities of science and technology – while also addressing its dangers and ambiguities but in a positive and hopeful spirit.

Optimism? Gone. Self Aware? Gone. Totally Bonkers it seems.

 

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Confused minds?

Sundance starts with the trade arguments – Canada’s Liberal Politics Behind Trudeau’s Antagonistic Trade Positions… – to say something about the United States. “In addition to the size of our economy, America is profoundly unique in that there is almost no product on the planet that cannot be replicated in the United States.” And it’s not just natural resources. Examples are provided.

Additionally, our inherent American DNA strain is one of entrepreneurial existence. We know how to do things, create things, and think completely outside the box on new and innovative ideas for things. Yes, we are exceptional like that.

It’s high time we stop being embarrassed about our exceptional nature, and start being proud of it again. Because when it matters most, when it really counts, when it’s really needed, there’s a whole bunch of people all around this world of ours that are mighty happy when swagger walks in to solve their problems.

Yeah, “let’s make America great again”. Swagger on !

James Lewis wonders about the Conservative Cringe and The Real Reason Washington Post Republicans Hate Donald Trump – “Mr. Will has finally identified his complaint in a WaPo opinion piece dramatically called “Trump Has a Dangerous Disability.”

Now, I happen to think that Trump’s political jargon is a shrewd way to dodge the murderous hatred of our fair-minded media, the people Mr. Will spends his life with. We know they examine every syllable emerging from Trump’s mouth, ready to draw blood as soon as they can distort and lie about something he says that is perfectly innocent.

Trump has developed an effective way to reach you and me. We understand his private code, which leaves liberals foaming at the mouth.

After thinking about George and Jonah and Bill, who unanimously headed for the hills when Trump started to win, I’ve finally concluded that they despised Trump because he sounded low-class. It’s a class thing.

Well, the D.C. establishment also despised Abe Lincoln as a low-class hick from the backwoods who spoke with a country accent.

On the Fake News™ front, Ace describes how the WaPo digs in on a Fake Hoax story. “Hate Crime” Reported on By Washington Post 15 Times Turns Out to Be, Get This, a Hoax; Washington Post Refuses to Run a New Story On the Hate Hoax – “Democracy Dies in Darkness, doesn’t it?

Oh, and don’t forget the AP. John Hinderaker hasn’t: On the Judiciary, the Associated Press Parrots the DNC – “I think the Associated Press is even worse, or at least, more pervasive. A case in point is tonight’s story on President Trump’s judicial appointments: “Trump begins effort to pack courts with conservatives.”

Let’s stop right there. All presidents nominate judges with compatible philosophies. Did the Associated Press ever write that President Obama was “packing” the federal judiciary with liberals? I don’t think so. I tried this Google search–“associated press obama pack courts with liberals”–and got nothing.

The AP supplies some reasonably objective information, and then goes full DNC:

“The courts” didn’t “derail” the president’s agenda. Rather, a couple of Democratic Party stalwarts, who got the cases as a result of Democratic Party judge-shopping, issued absurd orders that are destined to be overturned in due course.

The AP fails to note that application of the filibuster to judicial nominees is a very recent innovation.

From there, it only gets worse:

The question is why people are fixated on incomplete or even fabricated world models and why they push them so hard on others.

 

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More childishness and tantrums and bullying

Paul Mirengoff considers the implications as House Dems respond to passage of AHCA by singing – “Democrats are different, though. They are convinced that the AHCA is their ticket back to power, and for them it’s always about power. Hence the unseemly singing.”

it’s possible that voters will hold the Democrats’ attitude, evinced by their singing today, against them. I know I would have been very angry at any Republican member who greeted the passage of Obamacare with song.

I agree with Ben Pershing of National Journal, who tweeted “Democrats can claim to be happy (for political/electoral reasons) that this bill passed, but that’s very risky.” I also agree with Rick Klein of ABC News who tweeted, “I don’t get the optics of this.”

But no one knows whether the passage of the AHCA today will turn out to be the Democrats’ ticket back to power. All we can say after today is that the Democrats’ behavior confirmed they don’t deserve to regain it.

What is on display is something most often found in primary school and it is only the initial reaction. The Fake News™ and gross, fantastical perceptions about death and destruction are just getting started. Hold on to your shorts!

 

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Days of rage

Roger L. Simon: Colbert, Trump, and the Roots of Liberal/Progressive Rage – “I have never seen America so angry — and I’ve been around for a while.”

Donald Trump got elected — seemingly a calamity equal to, if not greater than, the Vietnam War.

Since his inauguration, and to a great extent before, the whole country has gone more or less berserk.

And yet the rage is, if anything, greater and more consistent than it was during Vietnam. How do we explain that?

I don’t think we have a choice but to say the explanation is in the realm of human neurosis, not politics. And make that pretty severe neurosis, almost psychosis.

These people are using the pretense of socialism to cover up their love of the most rapacious capitalism. They hate Trump because he exposes them. His unabashed and unashamed capitalism and obvious riches are what they seek, but don’t want to admit to themselves or others. Otherwise they would have to face what they are and stop pretending to “goodness.” It’s about the virtue signaling or what I have elsewhere called moral narcissism (really the psychological motivation for virtue signaling).

And H. Clinton has made it official. Rather than retire to the ‘elder statesman’ role she has decided to claim joining the Resistance to destroy the Government and the Country.

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Virtue Signalling

James A. Lyons: The great Democratic deception – “The Russian election scam is a diversion from surveillance of the Trump campaign.”

The massive disinformation program being waged by the Democratic Party that somehow Russia was able to influence the outcome of our 2016 presidential election is nothing but a sham. To date, there is no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians on the run-up to the election.

What actually happened was that the Obama administration was using electronic surveillance on the Trump campaign well in advance of the election to monitor Trump staffers

much of it has to do with the massive cover-up to conceal the violation of the Espionage Act by both Mrs. Clinton and President Obama for using a server that did not have an Authority to Operate designation.

The bottom line is that the mainstream media have completely ignored these transactions by the Obama administration while continuing with their false flag disinformation program on Russian involvement in our election. The most serious scandal appears to be that both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama were complicit in setting up an unsecured server in violation of the Espionage Act. This cannot be ignored by the U.S. government.

We can never condone violations of the Espionage Act by our political leaders. America has never seen such corruption in our history where both the Justice Department and the intelligence community were politicized for political gain. This is the story that America must be told.

Jazz Shaw: School takes unusual (and heartbreaking) step to protect illegal immigrant students – “If you send your children to a school more focused on “Resisting Trump” than providing them with a well rounded education, this is what you get, folks.”

Various class members were preparing for international school trips which had been in the works for some time, including journeys to Canada and Japan. Then some bad news came in. They wouldn’t be going… not for a lack of funding or any security concerns, but because the faculty was concerned that their illegal immigrant students wouldn’t be able to get back into the country. And if they can’t go, nobody is going. (The Olympian)

Forget making America great again. I’d just settle for “sane” at this point.

John Sexton: Fire near Dakota Access Pipeline site ruled arson

It’s amazing how much interest the media had in this story when there were colorful protesters marching around in the snow and how little interest they have in reporting on the ongoing arson and sabotage that are still taking place with the same apparent goal.

John Sexton: NY Times: When communism inspired Americans

Over the weekend the New York Times published a piece titled “When communism inspired Americans.” It offers a first-hand account of the “richness” of American communism in the first half of the 20th century. The piece is part of an ongoing series titled “Red Century” which has reviewed various aspects of communism’s history. The series is not extolling communism, but this particular entry strays into a kind of gauzy nostalgia that seems wildly inappropriate for a worldview that, during the 20th century, killed more people than the Third Reich.

Interesting that the Coyote takes off on people who do not read what they opine about and then does just that himself regarding Rush Limbaugh. See The Furor Over Bret Stephens First Article At the New York Times – “I don’t know where and how these things are announced, but apparently virtue-signaling on the Left offcially requires that everyone denounce the article as the most evil thing ever written (actually reading it is apparently optional).” Then “This is roughly equivalent to knowing about Hillary Clinton’s policy positions solely from listening to Rush Limbaugh.” Talk about virtue-signaling!

 

 

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Shut up. Or else.

Robert Knight: The method to PC madness – “Anyone with an opposing view must be silenced.”

For the left, the issues themselves matter less than a show of force. As author Angelo M. Codevilla has observed, “The point of PC [political correctness] is not and has never been merely about any of the items that it imposes, but about the imposition itself.”

I recall when liberals and conservatives could agree to disagree during, say, a party, and leave as friends, or at least not as enemies. But when’s the last time you went to an eclectic gathering and heard genuine views exchanged? Nobody dares anymore. The left’s scorched-earth tactics have poisoned the well.

It’s not only speech. Read the Taliban-like attack on New Orleans’s history by Monica Showalter.

Totalitarians always seek to erase history. The sad preamble to the horror of 9/11 was in the Taliban’s brazen destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas, a magnificent old relief sculpture that stood as testimony to Afghanistan’s rich and many-layered history as a crossroads of civilization. To know of that history was anathema to the Taliban which wanted absolute power over the lives of the Afghanis they terrorized.

We see the same dynamic now with the left’s movement to wholesale destruction of Confederate monuments in New Orleans.

If the left succeeds in destroying Confederate monuments, who do you think is going to be next?

The attack on New Orleans’ historic monuments is an omen of worse to come. History itself tells us this just as surely as it tells us the story of the Confederates. It is hoped that the fightback will grow.

CBD says The Mask Is Coming Off, And They Don’t Care.

They used to hide it. Hell, the Soviet Union spent billions of rubles on disinformation and supporting organizations that were publicly neutral or soft-left but in reality were fronts for the Soviet’s robust efforts to undermine Western Democracies, most of all the United States. But now there seems to be little desire to hide the progressive Left’s efforts to destroy democracy and freedom in this country.

Trumped up charges, low-level violence, manipulation of the academic-political process…this is an all-too familiar playbook.

And about gross misperception, you know, the kind used to rationalize squashing dissent, Jazz Shaw provides a case study. No, Trump is not planning to gut the First Amendment – “That’s just a classic case of reading the tea leaves in a muddled segment of a discussion and finding what you wanted to hear.”

All of this leaves aside the fact that we’re talking about something so far off in fantasy land that neither Priebus nor Trump would be “seriously” talking about it anyway. (Which doesn’t preclude some early morning tweets on the subject, I’m sure.) Nobody is going to support gutting or eliminating the First Amendment. Suggesting that they are is just a sad form of hyperbole from the cheerleaders of a Democratic Party in disarray and flummoxed over what to do when fighting from the minority. I’m sure Josh can find plenty of other things that the President is actually doing or proposing to complain about until the cows come home. There’s no need to invent new bits of red meat out of thin air.

There is self knowledge. That is why Fake News™ was such a topic at the President-less Correspondent’s Dinner. Dissonance is showing and that is a step in the right direction.

California Here We Come (but let’s hope it doesn’t go this far): John Sexton says In Venezuela, even the ‘chavistas’ are turning on President Maduro – “If you want to know how Venezuela went from one of the richest nations in South America to a basket case of 4-digit inflation, the answer is “chavistas.”

Chavistas are the people who voted for former President Hugo Chavez on the promise that the government would provide for them. That worked for a while, so long as oil prices were sky high, but once global oil prices dropped the government’s ability to pay also collapsed. Now the Washington Post reports even the chavistas have had enough of the country’s socialist rulers:

Meanwhile, every time I hear Maduro speak I can’t help but notice how much his rhetoric sounds like Bernie Sanders. Here’s Bernie last year in a piece for the Washington Post: “What do we want? We want to end the rapid movement that we are currently experiencing toward oligarchic control of our economic and political life.” About half the Democratic party is ready to make the same devil’s bargain the chavistas made in Venezuela. If only they were paying attention to what is happening in Venezuela right now, maybe they’d feel differently.

That’s the usual pattern. Corrections after significant damage and destruction. It is the path California is taking. Pleasing and appealing rhetoric is so soothing it is like a float trip down a languid river. Reality is like the rapids and waterfall ahead, though. Will the people on the boat wake up in time?

Anthony Watts: The ignorance, intolerance, and violence of the “Climate Crusaders” – “Using junk science marches, ignorant professors, resistance and violence to drive public policy.”

our students are being taught a lot of facts that just ain’t so – by a lot of academics who know all kinds of things for sure that just ain’t so. The recent science and climate marches underscore both this and the dangers of having such ignorance determine economic and energy policy.

Perhaps even more dangerous, this ignorance is compounded by rampant intolerance toward other views, and even violence toward anyone who tries to present contrarian perspectives on climate change, sustainability, personal responsibility and other topics, on college campuses or other public forums.

Examining one’s ideas, perceptions, and values hones their worth and efficacy. It is best done by a vigorous examination via the perspectives of other people. It is denied if walls are built to keep out any conflicting or clarifying information. Those who disagree need to be taught, not silenced but teaching is not preaching. That is why being an educator is often the most educating experience one can have.

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Corruption of the public and whatever happened to the law?

Cheryl K. Chumley: Does America even want freedom anymore?

Everybody cried about the hit to free speech — and rightly so. But the Coulter-Berkeley fiasco, and the ding to free speech, is not the problem, in and of itself. It’s only a symptom of a much larger problem — a symptom of a deeper, darker spirit that’s infected America, spreading far and wide as it seeks to destroy the nation’s greatest asset. The fact that in America, our individual rights come from God, not government.

A moral citizenry would not — could not — riot over rhetoric.

Storm-trooping for free speech — what have we become, America?

But it’s not just speech that’s being stifled around the nation.

The welfare of the collective is replacing the rights of the individual.

It’s not Coulter. It’s not free speech. It’s not even snowflakes and the adults who cater to their whines. It’s the loss of God from governance, opening the door to a lawless society and chaotic structure — that’s what really ails us. And that’s what must be addressed, if we really want to be a nation of free people once again.

For example, see Jazz Shaw on Baltimore warns prosecutors to “think twice” before charging illegal immigrants – “There’s a fairly clear line between “defiant resistance to Trump” and going completely around the bend.”

It’s one thing to refuse to cooperate with ICE in matters of detainers, sharing information and all the rest. It’s an entirely different ball game to decide that you can avoid attracting the attention of federal immigration officers by deciding not to prosecute criminals, no matter how “serious” the crimes may be.

Let’s think about that for a moment. In other words, for some of these comparatively low level crimes, the city wants prosecutors to go after and punish actual citizens of the country who may have run afoul of the law, but those who compound the issue by knowingly being in the country illegally to begin with are given a pass. Are the actual citizens in Baltimore who pay the taxes which fund these officials listening to this?

We’re talking about officers of the court who are charged with upholding the law. And they are seriously cautioning the staff to consider not prosecuting people who are suspected of these crimes on the basis of the fact that they are already committing a crime by being here illegally. If you are a citizen or lawful immigrant living in Baltimore you should be outraged by this. But if you keep electing these same people who pull these sorts of stunts over and over again I have zero sympathy for you at this point.

Or consider Andrew C. McCarthy’s explanation about Why the Obama Justice Department avoided the grand jury . . . until it had no choice – “On the matter of the 2016 election, why is there an investigation into Russian meddling but no investigation of Justice Department meddling? The latter effort was more extensive. And it sure looks like it would be a lot easier to prove.”

Russia’s apparent preference for one presidential candidate over the other is routinely described as a sinister scheme to “interfere with the election.” Fair enough. But how shall we describe the Department of Justice’s patent preference for one presidential candidate over the other?

Instapundit weighs in on the NYT Stephens brouhaha and reminisces about “the famous moment when the late Julian Simon debated an earlier iteration of hard left religious zealots.”

Simon, the economist who was legendarily skeptical about environmental doom, once posed a question at an environmental forum: “How many people here believe that the earth is increasingly polluted and that our natural resources are being exhausted?” Almost every hand shot up. He then said, “Is there any evidence that could dissuade you?” There was no response, so he asked again, “Is there any evidence I could give you—anything at all—that would lead you to reconsider these assumptions?” Again, no response. Simon concluded, “Well, excuse me. I’m not dressed for church.”

See neo-neocon on AGW: when a scientific theory becomes a religion… – “then those with an opposing view become apostates.”

That’s especially true if the topic is one with very high stakes, such as AGW (anthropogenic global warming). Think about it this way: if a person is—(a) convinced that AGW has been proven beyond any doubt (b) threatens life as we know it all over the globe; and (c) can be halted and/or decreased by measures we understand and can control if only we had the will to implement them—then if follow that anyone who disagrees is a person who is endangering life on earth.

Science, of course, is not a religion, and the history of science is littered with theories that have been considered proven and then are disproven. So scientists must remain skeptical and open to any evidence that would challenge their theories and their findings. That’s difficult enough to do when the topic is an abstract one with few practical applications. But when a topic is highly highly politicized (as with AGW), the difficulty increases exponentially and the public also becomes very much involved.

Which brings us to an article Bret Stephens wrote in his new venue, the NY Times. It was really a rather modest suggestion that people listen to both sides of the issue

Then consider Marc Morano with an Exclusive Video: People’s Climate March hostile to skeptics – Attempts to take down signs, deny access – “The banner, reading “The Science is NOT Settled.” was under constant assault with marchers who refused to allow the message of climate skepticism to be seen.”

James G. Wiles Machiavelli’s Advice for Mr. Trump – and Us – “have the American people been so corrupted by the welfare state that they can no longer reclaim their liberty? Is restoration of the American republic along the lines originally conceived by the Founders, impossible?” The citation is to Machiavelli’s most extended work Discourses on Livy.

Machiavelli offers us ways to think about how to answer these questions. He does it by reviewing Roman history with an eye to contemporary political problems of his own time.

In Chapter 16 of the Discourses on Livy, Machiavelli remarks that “a people that is corrupted through and through cannot live in liberty for even a short period…” When a state become free, “all those who fed off” the state become “hostile factions.” However, when the Romans overthrew the Tarquin kings in 510 B.C., they were able to establish and maintain a republic which lasted until the time of Julius Caesar.

This was possible, says Machiavelli, because, while the Tarquin kings were corrupt, the Roman people were not. “Had the Roman populace been corrupted, there would have been no effective way for them to keep their liberty.”

“This means that new laws are not enough, because the institutions that remain unchanged will corrupt them.”

It should not have been surprising, therefore, that the Democrats, the MSM, academia, and many corporate and other leaders united with the leftist street to launch the “resistance.” Or that, so far, not one Democrat in Congress has broken party ranks to support Trumpian reforms. This weekend, they will be touting their success in stalling and, sometimes, defeating specific measures taken by the president.

Then there’s David Henderson on Pope Francis’s Distorted Vision – Ideological fantasy is reaching very high levels of desctruction as the Devil plays his games.

I think the Pope and I are perceiving the world very differently. I don’t mean our values are different, although that’s probably true too. I mean that what we think is factually true is different.

Clarification of perceptions is critical to intellectual integrity.

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Justice corrupted

The next phase in the irrational obstruction shows as Trump prepares to seat Judge Thapar, first of scores of conservatives for federal courts by Alex Swoyer. The filibuster is out for the 18 circuit court and more than 100 district court vacancies but there are a lot more ways to obstruct, obfuscate, smear, delay, and destroy in the Democrats playbook. And reasoned argument based on intellectual integrity is not in that book.

An example by Rowan Scarborough: Ex-spy admits anti-Trump dossier unverified, blames Buzzfeed for publishing – “Mr. Steele has not spoken publicly about his disputed opposition research project, but for the first time he is being forced to talk in a London court through his attorneys.” But there’s still a Democrat insisting on an independent prosecutor!

Barristers for Mr. Steele and his Orbis Business Intelligence firm filed their first defense against a defamation lawsuit brought by Aleksej Gubarev, chief executive of the network solutions firm XBT Holdings.

Mr. Steele acknowledges that the part of the 35-page dossier that identified Mr. Gubarev as a rogue hacker came from “unsolicited intelligence” and “raw intelligence” that “needed to be analyzed and further investigated/verified.”

Democrats in Washington have embraced the unproven dossier as an argument for appointing a high-powered commission to investigate President Trump and his aides.

Mr. Steele’s court filing portrays him as a victim of Fusion GPS — the Washington firm that hired him with money from a Hillary Clinton backer.

Or consider Cheryl K. Chumley with a twofer on the Judge who blocked Trump on sanctuary city a big Obama donor – “Note to those who think judges are impartial, and the judicial system in America safe and sound from the dirty world of politicking: Not.”

Anyhow, here we are again with another judge of questionable background, from a left-leaning locale, making another decision that goes — surprise, surprise — against the Trump administration and in favor of the leftist open border people. And come to find out, this judge, Orrick, is a big Democratic supporter — a big Obama supporter — a big John Kerry supporter. The common denominator of those Orrick supported?

See also Sanctuary cities ruling a despicable sign of lawless times – “Judge William Orrick on Tuesday sided with Santa Clara County, the city of San Francisco and with other jurisdictions in saying that stripping federal funding from communities that refuse to lose the sanctuary label could be a violation of the Constitution.”

Stephen Dinan and Andrea Noble make it clear that the Judge’s efforts were more of a symbolic ‘stick it to Trump’ thing than anything to do with justice or the law. Judge says Trump is wrong to tie federal funding to sanctuary status, blocks executive order – “Judge says DOJ can withhold some funds, but Trump went too far.” Once again, the EO doesn’t do what the Judge said.

The ruling was still a partial victory for the president though, with the judge saying the administration can withhold funds in cases where the law already gives him permission.

That clears the path for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to strip sanctuary cities of hundreds of millions of dollars doled out each year across three Justice Department grant programs.

The Justice Department portrayed the ruling as little more than a symbolic setback, saying it had already limited the punishment to the three programs the judge said can be cut off under existing law.

But, the Left chooses to portray this as part of an “embarrassment to Mr. Trump” and “a disaster” in a “litany of mistakes.” Pulling the courts into the Left’s assault on civilization is just another example of imaginative creationism in denial of reality. Allahpundit has something relevant to this in asking Should the Supreme Court have dinner with Trump? It goes into a presumption of guilt and seeing everything in that light.

I think the liberal reaction here goes beyond standard hyperpartisanship, to Trump himself: Once you adopt “this is not normal” as your frame for his administration, anything he does that’s the least bit unorthodox begins to look alarmingly unconventional — even when there’s plenty of precedent to support it, as there is in this case. Also, because they view Trump as fundamentally unethical, him wanting to schmooze with judges who will rule on his policies takes on an air of improper influence that wouldn’t attach to the same degree to, say, Bush or Obama doing the same. (Certainly would-be Court-packer Franklin Roosevelt wouldn’t have dreamed of of trying to inappropriately tilt SCOTUS in his direction by wining and dining them.) And when all else fails, you can argue that Trump is unique among presidents who’ve followed this tradition because some of his former campaign staffers are currently being looked at by the FBI for possible Russian influence. Should a president be inviting SCOTUS to dinner when his associates are under federal investigation — even if, er, he himself is not, as far as we know?

And then Again: Federal judge halts Trump order blocking funding for sanctuary cities – “This marks the second time a Trump executive order has been blocked based partly on comments made by Trump or his aides outside the record, whether on the campaign trail, to the media, or so on.”

He got no benefit of the doubt in the travel-ban cases about his motive and he gets no benefit of the doubt in today’s sanctuary-city case in terms of which jurisdictions he might target and which grants, specifically, he’d seek to have the Attorney General withhold. Rather, thus far in his 95 days as president, lower courts seem to be grasping for reasons to halt his policies and willing to dig through whatever material they can find, including offhand comments made on “The O’Reilly Factor,” to support their conclusion. I wonder why.

Even so, we’re left here with a strange result in which, although the order has been blocked, the Attorney General still enjoys the same power to cut off funds to sanctuary cities as he claimed to have before the court. Remember, the DOJ argued that Trump’s EO only applied to the three grants under Section 1373 that can already be withheld from sanctuary jurisdictions, not to all federal grants. The court disagreed, but even if the Trump administration had won, it would mean that Sessions would be limited by his own reasoning to just those three grants in punishing sanctuary districts. And because he’s been authorized by statute to withhold those three, he can still withhold them notwithstanding the court’s decision today. In a sense, the order doesn’t matter. Only if you thought, or hoped, that it expanded Sessions’s power to withhold all sorts of federal money from sanctuary cities is it a true defeat. And not even the DOJ claimed that.

Any judge should be very concerned about what their colleagues are doing. The trend is toward what happened in Venezuela where the courts decided it was up to them to take over the legislature’s job.

Jazz Shaw says The anniversary of the LA riots shows that some of us haven’t learned a damn thing – “it’s rather curious that the LA Times chooses to provide something of a sympathetic or even apologist retrospective this week.” As with the race riots today, the stimulus incident was not as clear as the ‘activists’ seek to portray it. But that doesn’t matter, no lie matters if it supports the cause whatever it may be.

The LA Times quotes at least one individual who feels that it’s “understandable” how the riots happen given the “context” of Rodney King and Latisha Harlins. No. It is not.

No matter the severity of King’s injuries or the tragedy of that child’s death, it’s not “understandable” that Reginald Denny, someone with zero relationship to the events of King’s arrest, was dragged from his truck and beaten within an inch of his life. It’s not “understandable” that small businesses owned by individuals crossing all racial, religious and gender lines were looted. It’s not “understandable” that the city was set afire causing billions of dollars in damage. And most of all it’s not “understandable” that law enforcement was essentially chased out of an entire section of a major metropolitan center and hoards of violent mobs were set loose to unleash mayhem.

The thin fabric of civilization broke down that week. The rule of law was shattered and what was left in its wake was anarchy. It was mob rule, something which has never boded well for humanity throughout all of hour history. If we were to take any lesson away from the Los Angeles riots 25 years later it should be that our civilization rests on a knife edge where only a thin blue line stands between the peaceful, ordered society the American experiments depends on and the type of chaos which could collapse the entire thing.

And none of what happened then is “understandable” no matter what context you care to invoke.

Justice corrupted starts with citizens who do not consider the implications of their fantasies.

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