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Guilt by innuendo meets a scorched earth philosophy

So, the anonymous Kavanaugh accuser reveals herself by neo – “If this sort of thing can hurt Kavanaugh, or anyone else, then no man is safe. There is always someone who can come out of the woodwork and say that something like this happened. Always. And it cannot be refuted.”

“If Flake et al decide to stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation, mission accomplished by the left. If not, the ante will have to be upped. New accusers will come forward—or rather, they will be brought forward.

So Now What? By Charles C. W. Cooke – “We have a name and an accusation, which is an improvement over the status quo ante. If you’re going to make an allegation of misconduct, this is how you do it: publicly, and attached to as much information as you have. Eternal shame on those who made specific calls before they knew what was being alleged.”

“Trouble is, while this is closer to how this is supposed to work, there’s still nothing much to investigate. The accuser has summoned a vague memory of an event from thirty years in the past — a memory she didn’t mention until six years ago, to which she cannot attach a time or place, and that is recorded in notes that neither line up cleanly with her current story nor name Kavanaugh as the perpetrator. The two other parties have both categorically denied it, and nobody else from that era has weighed in. In addition, there are no other accusers, and every thing else we know about the accused is positive. That doesn’t mean the accuser is not telling the truth, of course. But it does mean that there’s no way of preventing a classic he said/she said dispute.

Which is all to say that this has now become a political question. Unfair as it may be, the core calculation now will not be whether the charges are true (we don’t know) or whether the timings and assumptions are fair (they are not) … Either way, this is a low moment in the history of the Senate — and one that has little to do with justice.

Transparent Political Hit Job – Kavanaugh Accuser, Christine Ford-Blasey, Activated To Advance 35-year-old Accusations by sundance – “Today the Washington Post announces the accuser of Brett Kavanaugh has stepped forward to tell her story.”

“The timing is transparent: the week prior to Brett Kavanaugh committee vote; the outlet is transparent: the intelligence ‘resistance’ apparatus, The Washington Post; the accuser is transparent: a far-left California liberal professor, Christine Ford Blasey, anti-Trump ‘resistance activist’ with an anti-policy background, including recently. The accusation is transparent: 35-year-old harassment claim/accusation, from high school intended to activate the “Me Too” activists. The motive is transparent: block the Supreme Court nomination of Justice Kavanaugh.

After carefully deleting her social media profile; and after carefully selecting left-wing attorney Debra Katz to represent her political interests; and after carefully scripting some dubious and sketchy supportive material including a lie-detector test and vague notes from a 2012 couples-therapy session, the 51-year-old academic psychologist steps forward.

Kavanaugh’s accuser recovered her memory at the time Dems were panicked Romney would win and nominate him to SCOTUS by Thomas Lifson – “It certainly is an odd coincidence.”

Professor accusing Kavanaugh is radical SJW with some damning student reviews by Selwyn Duke – “since Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hopes are being influenced by accusations that may speak to his character, it’s only fair to examine the character of his accuser.”

“Whatever the truth of the matter, however, certainly true is that Ford is a radical leftist who’d be inclined to zealously oppose a Kavanaugh nomination. For example, Breitbart reports that she not only has attended anti-Trump events, but actually donned a pink “brain p‑‑‑‑ hat” for a 2017 anti-Trump march.

Just as telling may be her student reviews.

As for Kavanaugh, unless it’s shown that he’s like Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy and has exhibited a pattern of sexual wrongdoing, there’s nothing to see here.

Attorney: Kavanaugh accuser willing to testify publicly to Judiciary Committee by Ed Morrissey – “All she has is her testimony, which is contradicted by the other two people accused in the allegation. If Ford can’t find witnesses to identify even where and when the party took place, let alone to her state of mind during it, then all we have is an allegation without any evidence at all, and a lifetime of character and service to rebut it.”

After 35 years and no other contemporaneous witnesses, it’s unresolvable. This is why statutes of limitation exist, and why we don’t derail someone’s life over an allegation when it can’t be substantiated. Unless that equation changes, and it seems very doubtful it will, forcing Kavanaugh to withdraw or shooting down his confirmation over this will set a very bad precedent and create new incentives for political witch hunts. And you can bet that those incentives will produce more of these last-minute unsubstantiated attacks on nominees in the future.

Jeff Flake, Traitor by John Hinderaker – “Traitor” is normally considered a harsh word, but it is the only printable thing I have called “Republican” Senator Jeff Flake since he announced, a few hours ago, that he is “not comfortable voting yes” on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

“His concern is the ridiculously stale allegation by Democrat professor Christine Ford that Kavanaugh groped her and tried to kiss her at a party when they were both high school students more than 30 years ago.

Medical treatment? David Bernstein has a question. “if you allege sexual assault in the distant past against a Supreme Court nominee, and you claim in writing to have undergone medical treatment as a result of the assault, but you never saw a medical doctor, and didn’t even see a therapist for thirty-three years, a Senator might not want to stake her reputation on your claim.”

Sabotaging Trump on Iran’s Behalf by Jed Babbin – “Earlier this year, when President Trump revoked the deal, Obama said it was a serious mistake for him to have done so. What we didn’t know then was that Vichy John Kerry undertook a concerted private diplomatic effort, without the knowledge of the Trump administration, to undermine what Trump has done.”

The politics of calculating hurricane deaths by Jazz Shaw – “The current argument over precisely how many people died in Puerto Rico when Hurricane Maria came barreling through has gotten ugly.”

“The article at the WaPo turns out to be from Lynn R. Goldman of the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, which compiled the death toll of 2,975 “excess deaths” in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria. Bear with me here, because the phrase “excess deaths” will become critical later. She took to the pages of the Washington Post to assure everyone that their study “was carried out with no interference whatsoever from any political party or institution.”

Here’s where we run into trouble. Look at the description of the methodology they used. It’s based on “a careful examination of all of the deaths officially reported to the government of Puerto Rico between September 2017 and February 2018… using state-of-the-art mathematical modeling to compare the total number of deaths during that time to the expected number of deaths, based on historical patterns as well as age, sex, socioeconomic status and migration from the island.”

They’re counting deaths which took place five months after the storm had passed.

Pardon my incredulousness over such a serious matter, but when did we start defining hurricane deaths in this fashion?

I’m not saying that there was or wasn’t any political bias involved in the compilation of the Milken Institute study, but that’s really not the point. The question is whether or not this is actual science. If you’re suggesting that every person who gets sick and dies months after a storm comes through because the infrastructure is inadequate, or medical supplies aren’t available, or because they were bitten by a dog who might have been too hungry because he lost his owners in the storm, are directly attributable to the hurricane, then… please. If that’s the case, the death tolls of every hurricane, tornado, wildfire, earthquake or drought in the history of the country should probably be multiplied by a factor of anywhere from 10 to 100.

How 9/11 Made a European Upper-Middle-Class Radical a Conservative by Annika Hernroth-Rothstein – “Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them.”

“He and his friends were having a party, celebrating the attack on America. He called to invite me, and to this day I have never felt such intense shame.

During his speech on September 14, 2001, President Bush said that adversity introduces us to ourselves. Well, on that day I was introduced to who I had been and who I truly was. I saw my own place in the context of history, and how the ideas that I helped promote, the accusations I had met with silence, all had a part in shaping the world I now saw burning before me.

It wasn’t a game. I had played it, but it was never a game.

On September 11, 2001, I saw, for the first time, the difference between fear and freedom, and I vowed not to be neutral between them, ever again.

Seventeen Years Later by Richard Fernandez – “Perhaps the issues raised by that attack seventeen years ago remain unresolved because the West is unwilling to answer the basic question it posed: what do we believe in?” … “Our protypical myths are missing and we have not noticed they are gone.”

“The world is now in the post-Obama phase of the response to 9/11 with no clear outcome in sight. What is clear is that immigration controversies are fueling what Anne Applebaum calls a rejection of Democracy across the West or a cold civil war depending on your point of view. Worse, surveillance technology has made Big Silicon, once the liberal bastion of the ‘digital frontier’, into Big Brother, the enforcer of hate speech rules and arbiter of truth which has added an element of paranoia to the mix.

The video of Google employees vowing never to allow something like Hillary’s defeat to occur again illustrates shows the suddenness with which the civilization’s tools can be turned against it. The ease with which instruments of surveillance and censorship can be directed at the Deplorables instead of al-Qaeda was recently brought home by a video showing a senior Google official vowing to “use the great strength and resources and reach we have to continue to advance really important values”. The unspoken agreement on values at the Google all-hands meeting is a reminder of how easily groupthink can become what Scott Adams called the ‘casual evil’ of self-righteousness.”

the “casual evil’ of self-righteousness.” It seems the ‘casual’ part is withering as self awareness grows and dissonance becomes prominent.

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Why? When the opposite is right there in front of your face?

For a rant that seems hyperbolic but cites enough specifics to cast doubt on that idea, there is Todd Royal on The Deep State, Obama, and Destroying America. A more moderate view is Democrats: ‘Let’s Do the Time Warp Again’ by Clarice Feldman – “as they reprise the demagogic lies and smear tactics that once worked for them but are now failing for anyone with a memory longer than a week or two. On the other hand, watching the Russian collusion fizzle, it might be “I’m Waiting for Ships that Never Come In.”

“Let’s start with Hurricane Florence. … Perhaps in recognition of the storm’s force downturn, they sprang a new lie, this time claiming that 3,000 people had died in Puerto Rico … I’m reminded of the gross exaggerations when Katrina hit New Orleans while G.W. Bush was president and the mayor and governor did not do their jobs. …

While we’re on the subject, television coverage of these storms is again exposed as comedic. …

Speaking of baloney, the Russian collusion story has completely fizzled out. Even Bob Woodward, who apparently can interview a comatose witness (William Casey), says he studied this for two years and found no evidence of all of such collusion.

But the press, so deeply wedded to the idea of collusion, had a hard time honestly reporting on Paul Manafort’s plea deal this week. In fact, Manafort’s plea implicated Greg Craig, Barack Obama’s former White House counsel; Tony Podesta (brother of Hillary’s campaign chairman John Podesta); the law firm Skadden Arps; and former congressman Vin Weber’s Mercury Group.

In a Hail Mary play so transparent that it will forever tarnish her reputation, Senator Dianne Feinstein announced that she’d received a concerning anonymous report about Brett Kavanaugh’s conduct in high school

Elections have consequences, and so does judicial overreach. When the Supreme Court decisions are based on the text of the law, not subjective emotion (“emanations ” and “penumbras”), these confirmation hearings will be less irksome, confined to the question of competence. And when Democrats decide to abide by the election results, they and we will be better off by far.

Obama Demonizing Trump And Republican Voters Coast To Coast by Karen Townsend – “When former President Barack Obama hits the campaign trail, he hits the campaign trail.”

“In California, he used the example of the “arc of history” – the push and pull in politics. Those who promised hope and those who promote fear, for example. He referenced people in power trying to divide the country. The irony is lost on his swooning audience.

Yeah, “it started” but his administration oversaw the slowest economic recovery since World War II. His administration built up numbers in the failure column

I do not remember a more divisive president in my lifetime.

His own claim to fame was the ramming through of Obamacare on a one-party vote – blowing up 1/6 of our economy – and it has been a disaster.

Keep in mind that California has the largest poverty rate and the greatest ‘income inequality’ in the country. It’s arc of history is becoming analogous to that of Venezuela. Is this really where that “swooning audience” wants to go?

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Sleaze and Smear — and it doesn’t bother so many?

Knowing What We Know Now, We Must Remind Ourselves by sundance – “The lies, the severity of hatred and opposition, now make much more sense.” … “For them, it is a war – and for them, nothing is out of bounds.” Citing a Donald Trump speech of 13 October 2016 that “defines the MAGA movement.”

Julia Salazar highlights “post-truth politics” on the left by Jazz Shaw – “And yet the people in her district still showed up in droves and elected her with nearly 60% of the vote to represent them in the upper chamber of New York State government. Shouldn’t that be setting off at least some minor alarm bells? That’s the theme in an op-ed which was published in, of all places, the New York Times.”

“As is now widely known, political neophyte Julia Salazar handily defeated an eight-term Democratic incumbent in New York’s 18th state senate district. Her opponent’s chief “sin” in the eyes of progressives was accepting campaign contributions from real estate lobbyists. This upset victory isn’t what’s been making national headlines, however. As you’ve doubtless heard by now, Salazar fabricated virtually her entire life story, creating an autobiography which would be more palatable to her new Democratic Socialist friends than her actual history.

Weiss points out an underlying truth which is hard to deny. The voters in this very progressive senate district are, without doubt, among the armies of liberals who constantly talk about the running list of lies uttered by the POTUS and bemoan the emergence of this new “post-truth presidency.” And this article appears in one of the loudest national and even international mouthpieces of liberalism which has been pushing this theme.

Rather than being some sort of outlier or even the root of the problem, isn’t Julia Salazar more of a symptom of something larger?

Post-truth politics is one thing. What Salazar has managed to pull off looks far more like the most successful snake oil sales rally seen in the modern era. And she’s being held up by progressives as yet another face representing the future of the left. Is this really something to celebrate?

So when will Senate Dems meet to discuss Beto? Update: Or Bill? By Ed Morrissey – “What’s the difference between an alleged and vociferously denied assault at a high school party and an adult getting tanked and driving on the highway?”

“Senate Democrats apparently consider the former a disqualifier for the judiciary, but the latter a youthful indiscretion that doesn’t disqualify someone from judging who should be on the federal bench.

If an uncorroborated anonymous allegation of a crime from 1982 qualifies as a reason to prevent someone from public service, what about an actual crime on the record from 1998?

And if Senate Democrats want to keep pressing that allegation against Kavanaugh, then they need to answer for Beto O’Rourke. At this point, even a double standard would be an improvement over none at all.

Update: For that matter, will Senate Democrats start discussed Juanita Broaddrick’s on-the-record accusations against Bill Clinton for rape? She’s told the same story publicly and consistently for over 25 years.

Allan Dershowitz continues being fair by neo – “Fairness is so unusual these days, especially among Democrats (which Dershowitz still is), that it is worthy of special note. I’ve become more and more respectful of Dershowitz in recent years for his devotion to principles over party, as in his latest efforts at correcting falsehoods

“So Dershowitz isn’t some recent convert to defending the rights of accused presidents, he’s been doing this for at least 44 years. It’s somewhat of a mystery why Dershowitz is still a Democrat, but I believe it has something to do with what Zell Miller once likened to a birthmark—an identity that for some people is so deep that it would take something truly cataclysmic to change it.

Are becoming incautious? That’s where Dershowitz needs to take a good long look at his own party and recognize that they’re not just becoming anything; they’ve been this way for a long time.

And “incautious” is way too mild a word for it. The “unindicted co-conspirator” accusation is a premeditated misstatement with malice aforethought. Some ignorant people may indeed play along with it, but many of those who perpetrate it know full well what they’re doing.

Demonization of Nunes Is a Window Into Our Times by Victor Davis Hanson – “Nunes has become the subject of unprecedented media venom.”

“Much of what we now know about the unethical and often illegal behavior of the FBI, CIA, National Security Agency, and Department of Justice emerged due to the efforts of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Its chairman during its stunning disclosures has been Representative Devin Nunes (R., Calif.), who in turn has been constantly demonized for his efforts.

No one so far has refuted the committee’s findings. Yet Chairman Nunes has become the subject of unprecedented venom, largely because a spate of further embarrassing scandals at the FBI, DOJ, and CIA have resulted from his committee’s findings.

The demonization of Nunes is a window into our times. We hunt for mythical Russian collusion while foreign collusion between Christopher Steele and his Russian sources is ignored. Progressives who claim an affinity for the middle classes demonize farmers as hicks. A supposedly noble press prints fakes news and traces down someone’s long-dead great-grandmother to suggest divided loyalties.

The real question is not why today’s jaded media go to such lengths to slander Nunes, but why they are so afraid of him.

So many values are being flipped for emotional comfort. So much damage is being done to avoid reality.

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Reactions to disappointment

Trump Voters and the Bitter Elites by Steve McCann – “Penzeys is a private entity and its president can say whatever he chooses. But the condescension and the not so veiled intimation that Trump voters are mindless buffoons drips off the page and is typical of the mindset of the elitist cabal.”

“As he reveals in his missive, Mr. Penzey and his fellow travelers are obsessed with racism as that is the most common accusation hurled by this clique. In their addled thought process racism is the sole province of Republicans and those repugnant Trump voters. In reality, it is far more prevalent among the Left and the Democratic Party.

Meanwhile, the cancer that is antisemitism is also rapidly metastasizing throughout the Left and the Democratic Party.

Mr. Penzey, I and my fellow 63 million Americans do not have make amends for a damn thing. Perhaps you and your fellow elitists should make amends for foisting Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and an unabashedly neo-socialist, racist and authoritarian Democratic Party on the nation.

Obama Attacks Trump by Ed Brodow – “Once more, the Democrats are attempting to get away with their signature political gambit — blaming their opponents for what they themselves have done.”

“To progressives, diversity has nothing to do with equality as defined by Dr. Martin Luther King. Instead, they prefer George Orwell’s suggestion that (in a totalitarian society) “some animals are more equal than others.” The left’s version of diversity means that we must give special privileges to certain protected classes of people so they can acquire control over the system at the expense of the majority. I call this the “tyranny of the minority.”

Donald Trump, in sharp contrast, cherishes the values that Obama holds in contempt. Trump’s commitment is to the foundational principles of the Constitution. He rejects minority identity politics. He wants to unify the country in its own self-interest. Trump’s objective is to drain the Washington swamp that benefited from Obama’s legion of illegal executive orders.

Dirtiest Trick In U.S. History Comes Into Focus by Conrad Black – “The almost unnoticed fact in the latest Democratic assault on the Trump administration is that it is based entirely on charges of confusion, the circus, incoherence, and nastiness.”

“On what has emerged to date, fanatically anti-Trump figures in Justice and the FBI swallowed Mr. Steele’s story and invested in it so heavily they severely compromised the institutions that employed them. Once Mr. Trump was elected, instead of letting the ruse die quietly, they swallowed harder and set out to claim that the election result was fraudulent because of the illegal Trump-Russian collusion.

Damning New Strzok Text to Page: “The Times is Angry With Us About the WP Scoop” by Sara Carter – “These series of text messages appear to contradict statements made by Strzok’s attorney, Aitan Goelman, after it was revealed earlier this week that Strzok and Page discussed a “media leak strategy” in some of their text messages.”

WaPo: Trump ‘complicit’ in hurricane Florence by Rick Moran – “The Washington Post has published some silly editorials over the years, but perhaps none reach the pinnacle of silliness like the editorial they published today that accuses Donald Trump in being “complicit” in a hurricane.”

“Even if you believe the theory of global warming, stating that there is “no reasonable doubt” that humans are responsible for any increase in hurricane intensity is either a statement of ignorance or an outright lie.

John Kerry won’t deny that he told the Iranians to wait out the Trump presidency by Allahpundit – “Undermining Republican presidents on foreign policy while abroad has been Kerry’s life work, both as a young man and an older one. He’s a living, breathing reminder that the Logan Act exists only on paper.”

News Shocker: Media fact-Checks Barack Obama, at least this once by Andrew Malcolm – “One of the things the mainstream media never quite got around to during Barack Obama’s brief 2,922 days in office was fact-checking his every public comment. Probably just an oversight.”

It’s Official: Google Is a Democratic Party Front by John Hinderaker – “Someone leaked to Breitbart an hour-long video of an “all hands” Google meeting that was held just after the 2016 election.”

“You really have to see it to believe it. Having suffered through the hour-long cri de cœur–OK, to be fair, there is a huge element of schadenfreude, too, and you will relish much of it–you probably will have several reactions: 1) These people may have certain valuable technical skills, but they aren’t very bright and are unusually lacking in self-awareness. 2) It is remarkable that they can achieve such an extraordinary monoculture in an organization with thousands of employees. It must require vigorous enforcement of right-think. 3) It is easy to see how these uniformly left-wing robots/people seamlessly transitioned into Resisting the duly elected Trump administration.

Mob rule in science at Maggie’s Farm – “This is the second time in one week (see Roundup in Breast Milk?) where I have read of scientific journals stifling studies due to fears of mob action: Academic Activists Send a Published Paper Down the Memory Hole … I blame the cowards more than the “activists.”

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How to get past the ugly?

Tucker Carlson busts open Google conspiracy to swing election to Hillary by Thomas Lifson – “Last night Tucker Carlson broke an explosive story featuring internal Google documents indicating the company made a “silent donation” – its own term – to the Hillary Clinton campaign by using its information channeling might to mobilize voters it thought would cast ballots for the Democrats’ candidate.”

“Tucker Carlson did not reveal how these emails came into his hands, but I have a strong suspicion that they are the result of the discovery process in the lawsuit filed by James Damore, the software engineer who was fired by Google after writing a polite internal email questioning some aspects of the diversity initiatives there. …

I raise this point not to criticize anyone – not Carlson, not Drudge, and not Dhillon – but rather in expectation that even more information will be coming our way. The discovery process in civil litigation may be even more effective than a criminal probe would be in excavating secrets from the (formerly “don’t be) evil” empire.

Good News: Mark Meadows Begins Outlining FBI Corrupt “Sources” (Journalists) and “Methods” (Media Reports) by sundance – “The FBI and DOJ intentionally leaked information to the media and then cited the subsequent media reports for their ongoing investigative purposes.”

“Within this circular approach journalists became “sources” and media reports became “methods”. Thus, the FBI and DOJ are desperate to protect “sources and methods” because behind the familiar catch-phrase is an outline of procedural corruption. ie: “by the book“.

In a letter today to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (full pdf below) Mr. Meadows points to new discoveries of how FBI Lawyer Lisa Page and FBI Agent Peter Strzok were using leaks to the media in April 2017 to further the aim of eliminating President Trump.

The pattern here is remarkably familiar in all aspects of the 2015, 2016 and 2017 FBI and DOJ operations against President Trump. The media were collaborating with corrupt officials to both frame a narrative and simultaneously provide material for use in ongoing corrupt FBI and DOJ investigations; including, ultimately, Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Why Trump tweets by Don Surber – “Once again, President Trump got these super duper anti-Trump sleuths to report the news he wanted and to quote him accurately because he kept his message short and to the point.”

“The original story made President Trump look good, so the political press ignored it. He revived the story more than a week later. This time they bit the bait.

The best part is President Trump got an anti-Trump political press to cover the story. This is why he tweets.

Obama vs. the Nation by Daniel John Sobieski – “Transference is a psychiatric term for the ability to take your faults and ascribe them to others.”

“In the dictionary next to the definition should be a photo of former President Barack Obama, particularly the section in his September 7 University of Illinois speech where he attacked President Trump for fomenting paranoia and division:

It is Barack Hussein Obama who divided America and incited paranoia, attacking, cops, Christians, and clingers, just to name a few.

Politifact: Kamala Harris claim on Kavanaugh as intellectually honest as you’d expect by Ed Morrissey – “What a difference two words make. That’s the difference, Politifact noted late today, between the truth and what Sen. Kamala Harris tried slinging on Friday.” They say Trump lies but they can’t substantiate that accusation with anything like this.

“Politifact concludes that they rate Harris’ statement “false,” but it’s worse than that. Harris spent all of last week shredding her own credibility, complete with a “cross-examination” stunt that became an embarrassing failed bluff. This intellectually dishonest cheap shot completely ignores how attorneys, courts, and arguments work. The only thing Harris has proven over the last week is that she’s spectacularly unfit for the Senate Judiciary Committee, and for the Senate as well. The very best thing that can be said about Kamala Harris is that she’s consistent.

Anatomy of a Fusion smear: Restatement & finale by Scott Johnson – “On September 1 the Wall Street Journal published an editorial decrying the wrong done to Cleta Mitchell in connection with the Russia investigation(s).”

“The smearing of Cleta Mitchell by Glenn Simpson via McClatchy News replicates in small the techniques that Simpson used to conjure the Russia hoax and roil the United States over the past two years. My theme in this series is that it is Glenn Simpson’s world. We’re all just living in it.

Smears. Deceit. Plots. Transference. Denial. and on it goes.

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The real threat is inside

Obama’s Benghazi Body Bags No Mere Conspiracy Theory by Daniel John Sobieski – “The arrogance of the man who lied to the parents of the Benghazi dead in front of their sons’ caskets as they were returned to the country they fought for is mind-boggling.”

“As he attempted to rewrite many chapters of his failed presidency in a speech at the University of Illinois, he called the accurate and documented reports of the criminal negligence of secretary of state Hillary Clinton and himself during the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on our Benghazi compound a mere “conspiracy theory.”

Conspiracy theories don’t produce body bags, sir, but perhaps you don’t remember that night all too well because you spent the time four brave Americans were being killed under your command in Libya readying up for a Las Vegas fundraiser.

Conspiracy theories don’t produce body bags” and the memory lingers. It is behaviors and events that tell the tale and there is a stunning contrast between the previous and current administrations.

Anti-Trump desperation grows by Don Surber – “The media keeps crying impeachment while President Trump plants the seeds, reaps the wheat, grinds the grain, and bakes the bread.”

“President Trump delivers, on time and under budget.

The media cannot stand it because he keeps proving them wrong. For example, they said — and hoped — that tariffs would trigger a global recession.

Maybe in China and Europe.

I agree with Conrad Black, who wrote, “Trump has not got to this historic point by being the blustering and crooked buffoon portrayed by his enemies. He is a cunning and pitiless enemy. This is political mortal combat, and in evidentiary as in electoral matters, you can’t fight something with nothing.”

And nothing is all they have.

President Trump has something. Plenty of something.

The Circus of Resistance by Victor Davis Hanson – “The resistance to Donald Trump was warring on all fronts last week.” … “Barack Obama decided that ex-presidents should attack current presidents, and thereby reminded the country why Trump was elected.” Many other examples are provided.

“To cut to the quick, the op-ed was published to coincide with the latest Bob Woodward “according-to-an-unnamed-source” exposé, Fear. The intent of anonymous and the New York Times was to create a force multiplying effect of a collapsing presidency—in need of the Times’ sober and judicious handlers, NeverTrump professionals, and “bipartisan” Democrats of the sort we saw during the Kavanaugh hearing to “step in” and apparently stage an intervention to save the country.

The op-ed is the latest cartoon of Trump, the Road Runner, finally, at last, and for sure driven off the cliff by the Resistance as Wile E. Coyote—infuriated by yet another Road Runner beep-beep. There were earlier and serial Looney Tunes efforts to nullify the Electoral College, to sue about election machines, to boycott the Inauguration, to introduce articles of impeachment, to invoke the 25th Amendment, to try out the Emoluments Clause and the Logan Act, to sue by cherry picking liberal federal judges, to harass officials in public places and restaurants, to warp the FISA courts, to fund a foreign spy to do opposition research, and to weaponize even further the FBI, NSA, and Justice Department—along with the now-boring celebrity assassination chic rhetoric of blowing up, stabbing, shooting, burning, hanging, smashing, and decapitating Donald J. Trump.

The compare and contrast is laid out on the table for a blunt vivisection. There is so much material it is a wonder the table doesn’t collapse. Then take a gander at Betsy Newmark’s commentary to see just how serious reality distortion can be: “contemptible”, “buffoon”, “ the lowering of standards”, “constant mad, solipsistic tweeting”, “he drives his opponents so crazy that they expose themselves to be little better than he is” … compare and contrast and it leaves any rational person wondering what standards Newmark is using to evaluate behavior – or has TDS overridden reason?

Anatomy of a Fusion smear (4) by Scott Johnson – “Peter Stone and Greg Gordon of McClatchy News smeared Cleta Mitchell in their story “Lawyer who worked for NRA said to have had concerns about group’s Russia ties.”

“The gist of the McClatchy story was false. In “Fake news: A case study,” we saw Cleta dispute the veracity of the smear directly with Stone and Gordon. “You took some unnamed source,” she noted, “you put their false statement as the lead and you put my truthful on the record statement down in the story as some sort of denial. You are reprehensible. Your tactics are disgusting.” Bingo. We also saw that Stone and Gordon were unable to substantiate the smear with a single fact.

Working on this series over the past week, I finally came to understand Simpson’s modus operandi and to absorb related news of which I was only vaguely aware. As one might infer from Stone and Gordon’s April story about Cohen in Prague, Glenn Simpson and Fusion GPS continue their efforts to undermine Donald Trump unabated. The Federalist’s Sean Davis reported earlier this year, around the same time that Stone and Gordon’s Cohen in Prague story was published: “CONFIRMED: Former Feinstein Staffer Raised $50 Million, Hired Fusion GPS And Christopher Steele After 2016 Election.” The mission continues.

Harvard, Google, NSF, Springer, and others need a vigorous rat control by Luboš Motl – “Electronic tools make it easier for dishonest SJW terrorists to perform Stalinist purges.”

“Dr Hill has learned about the insufferable situation and the witch hunts that the feminists and similar radical neo-Marxists instantly launch whenever someone dares to say something that is related to this basic “heresy” – that men and women are different.”

The most unprecedented development occurred at the very end when the paper was already printed in an electronic journal. Totally silently, the paper was erased on the web and a completely different paper was placed on that spot. It’s creepy. And it’s clearly analogous to the “commissar who vanished” at various photographs with Joseph Stalin. Stalin liked someone up to the moment XY, then he disliked him, murdered him, and he erased the memory of that person from the photographs.

Feminists and similar neo-Marxists are obviously the current counterparts of Joseph Stalin. So far, they didn’t get the power to murder 50 million people – although many of them would love to surpass that number. But in other respects, what they can do is worse than what Stalin could. One difference is the following: In the good old times, a photograph was printed in the newspapers and there were hundreds of thousands of copies of that photograph. New photographs without the commissar could have been printed but the commissar couldn’t have quite vanished – there were many copies printed on the good old paper. Some of them were in people’s collections, bookshelves etc.

The story shows that the real threat for the integrity of the scholarly process aren’t politicians. It’s the feminists and other extreme activists masquerading themselves as scholars.

the real threat isn’t always obvious.

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Captured and Terminated?

Did Nike make a huge NFL-like mistake embracing Colin Kaepernick? By Thomas Lifson – “Given the damage that the NFL has suffered from failing to confront players over their disrespect, many are wondering how on earth Nike could be so stupid.”

“America is splitting into mutually antagonistic subcultures, and that’s a terrible danger sign. One thing that is clear is that Nike doesn’t care.

Nike Decides to Make “Inspirational” Colin Kaepernick The Face of The Brand – Athletic Apparel For Social Justice Warriors by sundance – “Apparently Nike has been paying Colin Kaepernick since 2011, and made the decision to go full social justice as part of their 30-year anniversary. As with prior endeavors for corporations who engage in political advocacy, this will likely not end well financially.”

Corporate Suicide Watch, Nike Edition by John Hinderaker – “Nike apparently thinks Kaepernick has sacrificed everything, which tells you something about 21st century corporate America.”

“Kaepernich is a multimillionaire whose “sacrifice” consisted of kneeling during the National Anthem, wearing socks depicting police officers as pigs, and generally denouncing his country. Which has led to a second career as a leftist spokesman. That is not exactly a contender in the annals of Greatest Sacrifice Ever.

Further, Nike’s tag line, “Believe in something,” naturally raises the question: Does it matter what you believe in? Any normal person would say that it does. After all, the worst monsters in human history–Mao, Stalin, Lenin, Nero, Hitler, Amin, bin Laden, Castro–all believed in something. It was just the wrong thing.

Kaepernick isn’t as wrong as Lenin and Stalin, but he is still wrong.

McCain’s Friends and Family Did Him No Honor by Conrad Black – “There was what amounted to an attempted hijack of the funeral of an authentic war hero and prominent senator, to convert it into an expression of anger and of contempt for the absent president.”

“The spectacle of the Obamas, Bushes, Clintons, Cheneys, Al Gore and in earlier proceedings Joe Biden, prominent among the mourners, brought to mind everything that President Trump has run successfully against.

Throughout the week, the president and his family and administration were the soul of discretion and respect, ignoring the media repurposing of the obsequies as a Trump-bashing orgy. Obama’s comments reminded us of why the American public has substantially rejected the 20 years of public policy personified by the chief official mourners.

Africa Destroyed: Poster Child for Liberalism by Hannes Wessels – “The continental catastrophe that has engulfed Africa may go down in history as the greatest politically motivated human calamity of all time.” This is related to the Kaepernick story.

“All this has its genesis in the disastrous post-WWII decision made in Europe to rapidly and, dare I say, recklessly abandon Africa, coming on the back of a massive mindset change that saw most Western Europeans suddenly deciding they hated themselves and must henceforth spend the rest of their lives paying penalties for the crime of having been born white.

if you were white and you had the temerity to suggest you were African by birthright, wanted to stay and work in your homeland, and were entitled to the same fundamental human rights as other ethnic groups, you were quickly condemned as a member of a racist, renegade white-supremacist tribe that did little other than extort and enrich itself at the expense of a benighted black populace.

The stripping of rights from Europeans has played out in some shape or form in virtually every postcolonial African country and is one of the leading causes of the political, social, and economic collapse that has characterized the “independence” era.

Intelligence Officials Refuse To Do Damage Assessment Of Clinton Email Hacks Even After U.S. Agents Captured & Terminated by DCWhispers – “During Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State a dramatic spike in U.S. agent captures/deaths took place in China.”

“Following a bombshell report that a Chinese state-owned company hacked former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the “deep state” is unwilling to conduct a full damage assessment on how and whether Clinton’s mishandling of classified information damaged national security.

Mueller, Comey, and the Deep State Rescue of Sandy Berger by Jack Cashill – “After catching a Democratic operative stealing and destroying highly relevant classified documents, the DoJ punished him as though he had stolen the Snickers bars from the office vending machine.”

“In many ways, 2005 was a dress rehearsal for 2016. Mueller and Comey had learned how to play their parts. The media had learned how to play theirs. Indeed, the show would have been another huge hit if only Trump had stuck to the “good Republican” script the way Bush had.

Captured and Terminated?

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Yet more on using the dead for politics; Trump on the ground

Burying the Dead With Bile-Filled Histrionics by Roger Kimball – “I suppose the exploitation of funerals for grubby political ends is nothing new. Mark Antony did it with notable success when he eulogized Julius Caesar in 44 B.C.”

“But there was something especially stomach-churning about the injection of partisan animus into the obsequies of Aretha Franklin and John McCain.

Both were reminders—as if we needed any—of how these jangled, hyperpartisan times have the capacity to infect even the most solemn ceremonies of life with bile-filled histrionics, our latter-day version of the theater of the absurd.

But let us return to Bill Kristol’s invocation of “what is admirable,” that call-of-the-wild to be “bigger” and “better” that Barack Obama claims to have discerned in John McCain’s example.

What strikes me as more noteworthy, however, is the incontinent fury with which the president’s rhetoric has been met. This is where that cacophonous echo-chamber I mentioned makes its debut. One of the many ironies attending the operation of the Trump Administration is the extent to which his opponents, in their loud and adamantine opposition to the president, are guilty of the very things of which they accuse him. I know it seems odd to say, but their behavior has had the effect of making Donald Trump appear as a calming, a moderating force. Who would have thought it possible?

How much backlash will there be to the 8 days of McCainapalooza? By Thomas Lifson – “a very human response of honoring the dead has been perverted by the DC establishment and all the news networks

Reports: Trump allies furious about shots taken at him during McCain’s funeral, want him to respond by Allahpundit – “Every now and then we get a jolting reminder that Trump is actually less impulsive and vindictive than some of the people around him.”

Trump on the Ground by Victor Davis Hanson – “California’s calcified strategy, after all, is that global lucre pouring into coastal high-tech and finance will more than balance out the economic damage wrought by state government.”

“Throughout California’s coastal and mountain forests there are waves of dead trees unharvested after a devastating drought. There are large fields of recoverable gas and oil in lots of places that are not being drilled, as well as valuable ores and metals not being mined, and unmatched farmland deprived of its long ago contracted water rights. The idea of a renaissance in the vast rich interior of the state seems implausible—especially when state government is more interested in banning plastic straws and mandating gender-neutral restrooms than in building dams or roads.

Yet signs for help wanted along highways are now ubiquitous—truckers, welders, fabricators, assemblers. Agriculture worries not just in perennial fashion about the lack of farm harvesters, even at wages of $10.50 to $14 dollars an hour. Now they’re short of forklift drivers, packing house workers, and mechanics.

New housing construction is growing after roughly a decade’s hiatus, at least to the degree carpenters, electricians, and plumbers can be found. Upward mobility is evident. At the local Walmart, the checkers often tell me they’re leaving despite raises—for better paying jobs.

The media’s hatred of Trump is not necessarily determinative, but it is a force multiplier of the 24/7 unhinged narrative of the universities, popular culture, and Hollywood. Their shared goal is to make saying that one supports the Trump agenda so socially unpalatable, so culturally Neanderthal, that no sane person wishes to confess his delight with a new economy, foreign policy, and approach to the administrative state.

Abroad, for all the hatred of Donald Trump, there is a quiet, though usually repressed, recognition that the United States is doing what it long should have been doing—leading the world to an economic recovery, despite Trump’s trash-talking tariffs, and going to the mat with China.

For all the op-eds condemning a polarizing Trump who has wrecked American foreign policy, there are also more silent concessions among many analysts that the team of Mike Pompeo, Jim Mattis, John Bolton, and Nikki Haley is impressive.

Europe’s Quislings Unmasked by Jed Babbin – “Europe’s resentment of its longtime defense provider leads it to appease Iran in the most cynical, shameless manner.”

“One of President Trump’s overlooked achievements is the unmasking of our false allies in Europe. The governing elite of Europe — the same people who lead the most powerful members of both the European Union and NATO — so intensely and personally dislike Trump they no longer pretend to respect his pro-American policies. Their rebellion against their obligations toward the Atlantic Alliance has reached a dangerous level.

Apaches stave off wildfires with timber industry, active forest management By Valerie Richardson

“One reason for the difference: The Apaches have greater control over their forests. More than 200,000 acres of the Apache-Sitgreaves is designated wilderness, tightly packed woods that cannot be thinned, burned or otherwise managed by law except in emergencies.

The rest of the national forest can be treated subject to approval under the National Environmental Policy Act, but projects are frequently held up by litigation or appeals. Although tribal forest projects also must receive National Environmental Policy Act clearance, they don’t receive the same scrutiny from the public, which in the tribe’s case consists of fellow Apache.

All this comes as music to the ears of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who has made it his mission to fight destructive wildfires with more aggressive forest management, locking horns with environmental groups fighting his agenda by blaming the blazes on global warming.

The Apache would argue that the positions aren’t mutually exclusive.

The Scandal Of Left-Wing Journalists Covering A Left-Wing Pope By John Hinderaker – “what has bedeviled the American church is not pedophilia, a rare and plainly aberrant condition, but rather homosexuality

“The broader context of the scandal is that the American Catholic church welcomed an influx of homosexuals into the priesthood several decades ago. These homosexual priests were the source of the scandals that have devastated the Catholic church in America. It appears that they remain a major power within the church hierarchy, that they supported Francis in his ascension to the papacy, and that he continues to ally himself with them.

For several decades, international news media have enthusiastically promoted (while usually misrepresenting) the story of homosexual abuse among the Catholic priesthood. And yet, now that the scandal has been dropped at the door of the Pope (!) by an archbishop speaking of his own experience, the press has fallen silent. Why?

It seems pretty clear that liberal reporters and editors view Pope Francis as an ally, maybe one who could decisively neutralize their long-time adversary, the Catholic church. Hence they are protecting him against what would, with a conservative pope, be a scandal of historic proportions.

Liberal journalists cover a liberal pope. We live in an era that is corrupt in many ways, but I think the corruption of the press is the worst corruption of all.

Inside out: Sunday reflection by Ed Morrissey – “This morning’s Gospel reading is Mark 7:1–8, 14–15, 21–23

“Some of the impurities Christ decries in today’s Gospel have not just been unleashed by modern society but celebrated by it — unchastity, licentiousness, greed, envy, deceit, and so on. Many forms of these are handsomely rewarded within our culture rather than rebuked or punished. That sets up incentives not just to sin more but to rationalize it away as “natural,” “healthy,” a matter of “perspective,” and to deny the existence of truth in favor of worshiping the emotions of the moment. That’s what happened to the employees of that customer when theft became normalized, and it’s what happens to us when sin becomes normalized.

God gave us the Law of the Ten Commandments to understand His virtue and to lead lives of virtue ourselves. He wrote those laws on our hearts at our creation, but mere compliance isn’t the point. Jesus tells us that we have to allow the law to grow in our hearts — by which is meant the intersection of the will and the intellect, where decisions are made — in order to embrace its purity and His salvation. As James writes in our second reading today, “Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls. … [K]eep oneself unstained by the world.”

Donald Trump – Holy Ground by Mike Evans – “I attended and spoke briefly at that dinner, but when I saw the media reports about the evening, I could not believe what I was reading.”

“As a journalist for more than 40 years, I can only describe what I read as fake news.

Why do we support Donald Trump? Because America was on the Sodom road. We all saw the handwriting of God’s judgment coming like a freight train on America, but God chose the most unlikely person to make America great again, Donald Trump. What a shock to have a president tell us the truth and refuse to play the political game.

Yes, Donald Trump, like all of us, is a sinner, but we have no doubt that he has come to the Savior. And when Donald Trump says, “Merry Christmas,” it is because of his personal faith.

No president in America has allowed a group of evangelicals to pray over them in the Oval Office. I was there when it happened twice. It was Holy Ground! No president has given an Evangelical group a private tour of the residence as he gave us. It seems previous presidents have used us when they needed our vote; Donald Trump does the opposite, he embraces us as family. We are strong leaders with a Biblical view and we are free to speak truth to power.

A recent dissatisfied Weinberg’s talk on QM by Luboš Motl – It’s a rant about a distinguished physicist whose lecture on quantum mechanics fell short.

“I am afraid that we’re entering a dark age and when it’s over, perhaps in the 22nd century, the future historians will analyze what will have gone wrong in the early 21st century and whether it was possible to stop the collapse of the mankind’s discourse into a bunch of medieval superstitions. They will know that the evolution was linked to the post-truth era, endlessly softening education and Academia, and politically correct taboos. Weinberg could have stopped and was expected but actually helped the mankind to sink deeper into this profoundly irrational antiscientific bigotry.

profoundly irrational? Too much.

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More on politicizing everything anyway, anyhow

Politicize A Funeral? Last Time, It Didn’t Turn Out Well by John Hinderaker – “As Paul noted last night, Democrats (and some Republicans) turned John McCain’s funeral into an orgy of Trump-bashing. Evidently they thought it made political sense.”

“leading Democrats from around the country assembled in the Twin Cities for Wellstone’s funeral. The funeral was broadcast live to the nation. To the shock of most who watched, the Democrats turned Wellstone’s funeral into a partisan hate-fest. Reaction was overwhelmingly negative.

Will the politicizing of McCain’s funeral by anti-Trumpers have a similar boomerang effect? Probably not to the same degree; standards have declined considerably since 2002. But it won’t help the anti-Trumpers’ cause, just as similar anti-Trump speeches at Aretha Franklin’s funeral won’t be helpful.

What can we conclude if there is a funeral for Person A, and the “eulogies” are mostly about Person B? For one thing, Person B is obviously a heck of a lot more important than Person A. John McCain was heroic in some ways, notoriously small-minded in others. It is perhaps a fitting coda to his career that his funeral was mostly about someone else.

Burying McCain by Don Surber – “Did anyone think these seething, furious, crazed people would act like grownups? His daughter made an ass of herself.”

When Law and Politics Become One by William J. Watkins, Jr. – “What the hearings will be is political theater as leftist senators pepper Kavanaugh with questions in the hopes that he has a mental lapse so they can embarrass him and persuade their more moderate colleagues to vote against him.”

“For the last 60-plus years, the merger of law and politics has slowly killed the spirit of self-government. Today, issues that were once decided in state and local assemblies are controlled by the judges. The Supreme Court defines marriage, draws legislative districts, and micromanages state criminal law.

Kavanaugh’s hearings will be a lesson on why law and politics should be separated and a reminder of just how much our country needs an infusion of Aristotelian wisdom.

Mexican flag flies proudly over town where illegal alien killed Mollie Tibbetts by Ed Straker – “When an invading army captures a town, they usually run up the flag, to show who’s in charge.” Interesting. A new movie about the lunar landing censors the planting of the flag, a major goal for the astronauts, as we are all global now. That particular idea is turned on its head in this story from Brooklyn, Iowa.

Sunday Schadenfreude: The Associated Press by Thomas Lifson – “With President Trump always eager to point out new varieties of fake news, the Associated Press, the nation’s largest single source of news content, has lobbed a slow softball over the Oval Office plate for him.”

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Pagentry of hate. At funerals, no less.

And the Paul Wellstone Memorial Award Goes To… by Matt Margolis – “I don’t mean to sound self-centered, but I hope that at my funeral, whoever delivers the eulogy will talk about me, and not their or my political enemies.”

“I never expected this to happen at the funeral services for John McCain. When he barred President Trump from attending his funeral it may have been petty, but understandable. But, it seems now that the move merely gave those delivering eulogies the opening to bluntly attack President Trump.

The saddest part was that John McCain’s daughter Meghan used a moment in her eulogy to bluntly attack Trump.

It’s hard to wrap my head around that fact that Meghan made the conscious decision to give the media, and basically the world, the opportunity to boil down her eulogy into a Trump smear rather than an ode to her father’s lifelong legacy.

Perhaps even more shocking was that attacking Trump during a eulogy actually started with the funeral services of Aretha Franklin.

This kind of stuff doesn’t make Trump look bad, it makes his enemies look petty and weak. They’ve taken what should be solemn moments of reflection on the legacies of those they came to honor and instead used their moments in the spotlight to attack someone who wasn’t even there. They say Trump has had a negative impact on political discourse, right? So what exactly is using the funeral of a music icon or a war hero and longtime U.S. senator to attack a sitting U.S. president? Is that patriotic somehow? Is that appropriate or heroic? How exactly does attacking Trump during a eulogy make him look bad? Newsflash: it doesn’t.

Two Funerals and a Missing Cardinal by Clarice Feldman – “As the Mueller juggernaut keeps dropping bolts and rumbling to a final crash, we were temporarily distracted by the funerals of the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin and “Maverick” senator from Arizona.” … “In both cases, the pageantry was over the top.”

“Julie Kelly summed it up succinctly: “Partisan attacks at a funeral by folks bemoaning partisan attacks is quite the spectacle[.]”

And then there’s the missing cardinal to make the crazy week even weirder. … There are calls for Cardinal Wuerl to resign and he appears to have gone missing, with rumors that he was spirited out of the country to avoid prosecution.

In the meantime, the president goes about his business. This week, he seems to have brought Canada to heel on trade policies, and choked Hamas by cutting off funds to the corrupt UNRWA, which sustains those murderers. He is squeezing China on tariffs – I think as much to ensure fairer trade policies as to make Xi stop pressuring North Korea to avoid denuclearizing. He certainly has set a pattern of using all the economic tools at his disposal to settle issues instead of the warm bodies of our men and women in the military.

The Senate’s Unremembered Ex-POW by Joseph P. Duggan – “Such a contrast to the excess of the last several days.”

Media pounce on conservatives and weaponize bias against Trump By Dan Gainor – “what CNN Senior Political Analyst John Avlon called “a real culture of corruption.” In reality, Avlon should have been describing the state of journalism.”

“There are far too many failure points in the media to fit easily into one column – journalists ignoring Texas Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke’s past DUI arrest; hypocritical outlets that claim to love Republicans only after they pass away; and repeated defenses of Antifa.

It wasn’t enough for The New York Times to claim conservatives had “Weaponized the First Amendment.” How dare those right-wingers expect equal treatment under the law? Now they’re accused of using the Catholic Church’s sex scandal in a similar manner. … This was a common theme in media as major outlets like The Times and Washington Post targeted conservative Catholic media to defend the pope’s liberal social agenda.

Media TOTALLY Has Trump Now After AP’s Seventh-Hand Report by Ashe Schow – “How many layers removed can a source be before the entire report starts to look absurd?”

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What happens when the mind is deranged

Robert Reich and the Tragedy of TDS by David Catron – “The symptoms of TDS include the inability to think rationally, as well as verbal incontinence. Reich exhibited both symptoms six days ago on Facebook, where he suggested annulling “Trump’s unconstitutional presidency.”

“Because TDS has ravaged the Democrats, academia, and the media, no one around him understood that Reich’s weird post called for an intervention. This was certainly unnoticed by the other TDS victims at the University of California at Berkeley, where he teaches public policy, so his intemperate ejaculations continued the following day at his blog site. The next day they appeared on Twitter. Inevitably, all of this caught the eye of the legacy media, including Newsweek. The editors of that storied publication, demonstrating the journalistic judgment that commanded the princely sum of $1 dollar when sold by the Washington Post, gave Reich another chance to expand on how the nation can remove the Trump stain

Trump would, in other words, become an un-President. Everything his administration has done since January of 2017 would be reversed and expunged from the public record. There is not, of course, a single syllable in the Constitution that would legally justify any attempt by any entity to act on this creepy proposal.

Mark Steyn tells Tucker Carlson that Reich wants to annul reality

In his usual hilarious fashion, Steyn accurately diagnoses Reich’s disease. Trump Derangement Syndrome has disabled the part of his brain that facilitates critical thinking. TDS causes its victims to deny that objective facts reflect reality, to create alternate fictions that conform to their fantasies, and compels them to bray incessantly about the resultant “reality.” Reich and other TDS victims refuse to believe that Donald Trump won in 2016, and neurotically lurch from implausible conspiracy theories about how he managed that to even less credible claims about how to get rid of him. TDS is a tragedy for its victims, and it’s unhealthy for the nation. Time to seek a cure. To paraphrase Barack Obama: We won. You lost. Deal with it.

Triggered! CNN Lashes Out at President Trump ‘We Don’t Lie!’ by Cristina Laila – “CNN PR lashed out at President Trump in response claiming they ‘don’t lie’ — even though they were caught in a huge lie after Lanny Davis outed himself as the anonymous source in their ‘bombshell’ Trump Tower story and admitted he lied.” … “Now CNN is quadrupling down on their lies by claiming they don’t lie. Unbelievable.”

Then there’s the McCain saga. What a spiteful bitter man, even in death. He did much and did his duty but taints his honor with pettiness and vindictiveness. See, for example, The Self-Regard of McCain by Steven Hayward – “Just how can you complain about Trump’s boorish egotism when you decide to shun the person whose career you ruined, and who has been nothing but loyal?” Also see DJ Drummon In Defense of Candor – “This article addresses the valid reasons for President Trump’ opinion, and praises Trump’s decision to remain consistent in his behavior regarding McCain.”

Shock study: U.S. had far fewer mass shootings than previously reported By Stephen Dinan – “A shock 2016 study argued that the U.S. accounted for nearly one-third of all mass shootings, sparking global headlines about the dangers of an American gun culture. … Now another researcher says the original study “botched” the data.”

“If you fix the data, you get the opposite result from him,” Mr. Lott said. “He has the United States way out there, all by itself in terms of mass public shootings. He’s simply wrong. The United States, when I go through this, ranks 58th in the world in the rate of mass public shootings and 62nd in the world in terms of murders from mass public

Why School Gun Incidents are Significantly Overstated by Kemberlee Kaye – “The number thrown around most — 240 — is alarmingly high. It’s also incorrect. By a lot.”

“This is part of the reason passionate defend second amendment protections defenders write off most reports or opinions on gun ownership — the reporting, data, and descriptions are almost always wrong and egregiously so.

Even the most ardent gun rights defenders grieve the senseless loss of life, but tire of being blamed for the mistakes of few, especially when faulty data is continually thrown in their face for justification.

These 6 new technology rules will govern our future by Vivek Wadhwa – “We have already begun to see ways in which computing, sensors, artificial intelligence and genomics are reshaping entire industries and our daily lives.”

Headlines: words matter. The use of “pounce” and “sieze” and similar ‘assault’ words to impugn the right is common to the point it is noted by commentators. Another headline propaganda technique is that of misassignment. “Google Debunks Trump’s Claim It Censored His State of the Union Address” at slashdot and “FBI refutes Trump claim that Clinton’s private email server was hacked by China” at arstechnica provide two examples. In both cases, the President picked up on claims or conclusions made in studies or by witnesses that these sites then ascribed to him. Rather than take apart or critique the study or witness, these tech groups go personal. They don’t like being called out and show defensiveness rather than intellectual integrity. It is a denial of a problem that bothers many who do not hold their views.

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Sounding the depth of the blood rage

Judge blocks Trump executive orders on federal union operations by Jazz Shaw – “Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. President Donald Trump signs a series of executive orders designed to clean up the mess in the federal government, those benefitting most from said mess file numerous lawsuits and a judge is found to block the executive orders.”

“Judge Jackson concedes that the President has the authority to issue executive orders covering federal labor relations. But she then declares the three executive orders have a “cumulative effect” of “eviscerating the right to collective bargaining.” She went on to tie this to a supposed breach of the 1978 Civil Service Reform Act, saying that the executive orders amounted to instructions for the unions to collectively “bargain in bad faith.”

The only problem is that none of the three executive orders have anything to do with the collective bargaining process.

No, Cohen didn’t flip on Trump in Congressional testimony by Karen Townsend – “It turns out that Michael Cohen did NOT tell members of the Senate Intelligence Committee that President Trump knew about the infamous Trump Tower meeting with Russians after all.” Another Fake News example. CNN has a number of examples of such gross, seditious propaganda this week.

Both sides not now (2) by Scott Johnson – “She asks what is by now a rhetorical question concerning the Mueller Switch Project: “Fair-minded investigation or partisan witch hunt?” Cleta bores in on the campaign-finance angle of the great political scandal in plain sight.”

“Cleta writes ironically when she states “it will be interesting to to see if he applies the same fervor to the Democrats’ 2016 campaign-finance violations and activities that he has applied to those of President Trump and his associates.” We understand the nature of the project in which Mueller is engaged. It has nothing to do with the Clinton campaign, the confederates of the Clinton campaign or “the greatest campaign-finance scandal in history.”

How Anti-Trump Hyperbole Fosters Insanity by Roger Kimball – “Some diligent scribe should do a little historical digging and tabulate where, in each case of rhetorical Trumpery, the insults and opprobrium started. Did Donald Trump start the abuse? Or did his targets open hostilities?”

“In many, maybe most (maybe all) cases I suspect you will find that Trump’s invectives were rejoinders, i.e., responses to earlier provocations and expressions of contempt. Trump made fun of “low-energy Jeb,” but wasn’t that after Jeb said some pretty disagreeable things about Trump?

In any event, however the matter of precedent shakes out, there is also the issue of extreme rhetoric feeding extreme feelings and extreme actions. Simply put, the anti-Trump chorus has worked itself into a frenzy of trembling rage and hysterical overstatement.

All this is well-trod ground. If you’re conservative, you’re evil by definition and its open season as far as the mainstream media is concerned.

But the reaction to Donald Trump, although it began by following this playbook, has mutated into something different and more toxic.

One expression of that toxic difference is the cabal of former high-ranking government officials who, in a marked departure from past practice, have embarked on very public campaigns against the president.

but there is something else, something darker and more twisted, at work here. In the Republic, Socrates notes that while many people may lie with abandon, the one thing no one can countenance is the “lie in the soul” that makes it impossible to distinguish reliably between truth and falsehood.

I suspect that anti-Trump hyperbole has insinuated such a reality-distorting lozenge into the hearts of many of the anti-Trump brethren.

The situation is pitiable as well as contemptible. But the malignancy of their vituperation disarms pity before it can even engage. All that is left is contempt, by anger.

Trump talk by neo – “And in fact, it doesn’t seem completely unusual these days in liberal circles for people to casually and approvingly discuss assassinating Trump (speaking of tyranny), or at least of wishing him dead. Among people I know, it’s just idle talk—they’re not about to do anything—but the depth of blood rage is stunning, and a topic that should be verboten about any president seems quite acceptable in many groups.”

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OPM: Other People’s Money & Denial on Parade

A $289M Hit Job On Science In Jackpot Verdict On Monsanto’s Glyphosate By Alex Berezow

The truth is, this decision against Monsanto is just the latest in a series of jackpot verdicts taking aim at some of America’s largest companies. Johnson & Johnson just lost a $4.7-billion lawsuit over an equally scientifically impossible claim that baby powder causes ovarian cancer. Another lawsuit aimed at coffee companies tried to get their product labeled as carcinogenic, despite well-documented evidence that coffee helps prevent breast, colorectal, colon, endometrial, and prostate cancers.

The reason that legal arguments consistently trump scientific evidence is because we live in a thoroughly postmodern world. Logic and data have been replaced by emotion and virtue signaling. When a culture believes that truth is simply a matter of opinion, science is among the first casualties. America will not remain #1 in the world for scientific research if we continue to allow lawyers to bleed companies dry over crimes they never committed.

The Double Standards of Postmodern Justice by by Victor Davis Hanson – “Our institutions offer no principles to explain why some people’s lives are harmed or destroyed, and others’ lives are not.”

“In these polarized times, Americans are not so much angry that newspapers and magazines fire reporters, or that Robert Mueller indicts those under suspicion. What bothers them is that our guardians of morality do not offer any principles to explain why some people’s lives are harmed or destroyed, and others’ lives are not.

When there is no blind code of justice, people suspect that our institutions define wrong behavior and bad words as those in service to the wrong political agenda.

And they are right.

Judge halts full DACA restart By Stephen Dinan – “Court frets over ‘confusion’ of messy legal battles

“DACA cases are pending in three courts right now. Judge Bates‘ case is likely to be appealed to the circuit court in Washington, D.C., while circuit courts are already handling appeals of similar decisions from California and New York.

Each of those lawsuits challenged the Trump administration’s decision last year to phase out DACA. The judges in those cases ruled that the Trump administration cut too many corners, and so the phaseout is illegal.

But another case in Texas involves a challenge to the original 2012 Obama administration decision to create DACA in the first place. If that judge were to rule against DACA it would create a messy situation where the program itself is illegal — but so is the phaseout.

The activists in the case before Judge Bates figured that they could undercut the anti-DACA Texas case by agreeing not to allow new DACA permits to be granted.

Investor’s Business Daily: Media Ignore Record Low ObamaCare Rate Hikes — Anyone Want To Guess Why? Probably because the insurance companies are catching up but it still doesn’t fit the ‘narrative’. … Trumponomics Makes 401(k) Millionaires Like The Swiss Make Chocolates – “Fidelity says that the number of people at the end of the second quarter with a million dollars or more in their Fidelity 401(k) surged by 50,000 to 168,000, a 42% gain.”

“At a time when a major political party has put forward a plan to turn corporate America socialist, it’s important to note that the tried-and-true policies of lower taxes and less government regulation are working. They are the core of Trumponomics, and they’re helping to turn many average people into 401(k) millionaires. It’s a story of inclusive wealth creation, especially for the middle class. So much for the politics of envy.

Watch as ex-CIA analyst falls victim to Trump Derangement Syndrome, goes berserk on CNN by Thomas Lifson – “We now have a visual depiction of the onset of a Trump Derangement Syndrome episode, causing a presumably serious person to lose self-control.”

John Brennan’s Security Clearance by Victor Davis Hanson – “Scarier than former CIA chief John Brennan losing his security clearance is the idea that he ever had one in the first place.”

First They Came for Alex Jones by Jack Cashill – “no halfway sentient adult can take this self-indulgence seriously.” The MSM is worried about President Trump?

“The private enterprise argument cannot be made in the four cases that follow. In these cases, the media conspired with the government to punish individuals whose media efforts threatened Democrats in power. I have met the individuals profiled here in the course of my own work. I am sure there are many more that I have not met who have suffered similar or worse fates.

Norris went ghost in July 2010 and has not surfaced since. Unlike her former colleagues, it is not President Trump who worries her. To become an enemy of the media is to risk one’s career, one’s freedom, even one’s life.

A Case Study in Obama-Trump Double Standards by David Catron – “A thin-skinned academic lets the cat out of the bag.”

“So, the Republicans somehow made former President Obama violate the law. Moreover, it was perfectly acceptable for him to exceed his constitutional authority because… well… soccer. The absent-minded professor seems to have forgotten that only Congress has the power to authorize this kind of spending. You will not be shocked to learn that, in his New York Times column, Professor Bagley applies a completely different standard to President Trump. The latter gets no “soccer exemption.” In fact, Bagley actually castigates Trump for putting a halt to the illegal CSR payments made by his brazenly lawless predecessor

This is what might be styled the “Geraldine Jones defense.” Ms. Jones was a character created by the late great Flip Wilson. She avoided responsibility for her actions by claiming, “The Devil made me do it.”

The Compulsory Society by Kevin D. Williamson – “We owe a debt of gratitude to the cranky dissidents such as Jack Phillips.”

“The situation of African Americans in the 1960s was both unjust and untenable. On the one hand, civil-rights activists argued that the project of more closely integrating African Americans into the nation’s social, economic, and political life could not be left up to the states (the Democratic political machines controlling the South were built on segregation) and further that it should not be left up to the states, being a problem that was genuinely national in character. Critics of the 1964 legislation, including Republicans such as Senator Barry Goldwater who had supported earlier civil-rights reforms, argued that the proposed legislation went too far, that the expansive “public accommodations” doctrine would insert politics into what had been private life, politicizing the conduct of business and inviting the federal snout into places where it did not belong. The tragedy was, and is, that both sides were right.

The same cannot be said of Jack Phillips and his little bakery. No gay couple seeking a wedding cake is going to have to travel three states away to find one if Phillips declines their custom. No transgender person celebrating a coming out is going to want for baked goods if Phillips refuses service.

Everybody knows this. The activists targeting Phillips do not care. The point is not to see to it that gay and transgender people can live their lives as they wish to — the point is to coerce Jack Phillips into conformity.

The same is true of the Left’s demands for public funding of abortion and for using government power to compel elderly Catholic nuns to add contraception to their health-insurance plans.

Trump’s China gambit by neo – “My aversion to risk is one of the many, many, many reasons I’m not Donald Trump.”

“When Donald Trump threatened China with tariffs, a lot of pundits and politicians on the left acted as though they didn’t know anything about the idea of taking risks to get positive change. That obviously was what Trump was trying to do, however, and he was wagering that the chance of gain was a lot higher than the chance of failure. One can disagree with Trump’s assessment of his chances of bringing about a good result, but it would seem necessary to at least acknowledge that that was his assessment. But Trump doesn’t often get even that much respect.

This meme of Trump the stupid clueless lucky bumbler is very popular, but it really makes little sense on the face of it—particularly in the context of the negotiation of a financial deal by Trump. After all, it’s not as though Trump hasn’t announced his intentions of making better deals for the US and written a book on his deal-making tactics and strategy.

On this, see Chinese Foreign Investment: A Perspective, VDH quoting James D. Jameson.

Andrew Cuomo doesn’t see America’s greatness because he doesn’t know where to look by Salena Zito – “Great is an aspiration — a higher elevation to which you constantly try to take yourself and your countrymen.”

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realism? clear thinking? whither it go?

Stephen Miller’s insufferable uncle by Paul Mirengoff – “Glosser’s piece is a shrill, hyper-personal rant of the “Give me your tired, your poor” genre. But for Glosser’s status as Stephen Miller’s uncle, I don’t think Politico would even have considered running it.” Here is another example, in detail, illustrating why reasoned discussion is so difficult.

“Glosser concludes that “immigration reform is a complex issue that will require compassion and wisdom to bring the nation to a just solution. . .” True. But it will also require realism, clear thinking, and considerably more intellectual honesty than Uncle David is able to muster in his nasty attack on his nephew.

Using the Truth to Lie by Thales – “for the citations within it are true, even though the spin has rendered it into something it really is not. How do you articulate that?” Another examination to consider …

“Denethor was shown nothing but truth by the palantir. It could not be made to lie to him. But Sauron could spin what was shown, and cause Denethor to mistake the meaning of the things he saw. This tactic is readily employed by the media, and in the past it has been extremely effective. The journalist, if confronted on his spin, could escape with the excuse “but everything I have said is true!” We know there is a wrong here, we can sense it, but to prove it unequivocally is difficult, and essentially impossible if the instances are few enough.

Over time, with many such incidences, we can begin to notice the pattern.

we may have to give up the expedient of looking into the palantir, and just find the answers on our own, the hard way.

Betsy Newmark provides a classic example when she starts out with “Listening to the news yesterday brought home once again what happens when we elect a reality show star for president.” Go see Dana Perino’s column to find out what Newmark’s bias and blindness misses and distorts. and Newmark teaches history…

Complicating the Narratives By Amanda Ripley – “What if journalists covered controversial issues differently — based on how humans actually behave when they are polarized and suspicious?” There are some good points but the argument suffers in taking a “both sides do it” bias. The process and methodology described is all about leading people to intellectual integrity when they don’t want to go there. Ripley is engaged in a voyage of self discovery here.

“I spent the past three months interviewing people who know conflict intimately and have developed creative ways of navigating it. I met psychologists, mediators, lawyers, rabbis and other people who know how to disrupt toxic narratives and get people to reveal deeper truths. They do it every day — with livid spouses, feuding business partners, spiteful neighbors. They have learned how to get people to open up to new ideas, rather than closing down in judgment and indignation.

… After spending more than 50 hours in training for various forms of dispute resolution, I realized that I’ve overestimated my ability to quickly understand what drives people to do what they do. I have overvalued reasoning in myself and others and undervalued pride, fear and the need to belong.

The lesson for journalists (or anyone) working amidst intractable conflict: complicate the narrative. First, complexity leads to a fuller, more accurate story. Secondly, it boosts the odds that your work will matter — particularly if it is about a polarizing issue. When people encounter complexity, they become more curious and less closed off to new information. They listen, in other words.

The Hypocrisy of the NFL’s Raised Fist and Kneeling Players by Toni Williams – “I am not going to relitigate that this is a work place issue and not a First Amendment issue. Instead, I am going to call these athletes out for their hypocrisy.”

“The hypocrisy of these people is as elite as their athletic status. They are getting huge amounts of Social Justice cred and at the same time killing their source of income. Go right ahead guys and keep raising your fists and kneeling. Baseball could really become America’s sport again and y’all might be able to buy tickets.

Hypocrisy is one thing. Ignorance is another. Where would they be in either opportunity, wealth, social justice, freedoms, or status in any other country?

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Can’t you see what you are doing?

The Media Are Hiding Their Knowledge and Duplicity – Buzzfeed, WaPo and New York Times Had Unredacted FISA Application For Over A Year by sundance – “only recently did we discover the media engagements were not just pervasive, they were/are participatory.”

“As a consequence the same media cannot reasonably report on any aspect of the story without exposing their own duplicity; their only choice is to double down on lies they helped create and promote.

In preparation for explosive developments soon to reach critical mass CTH strongly urges everyone to think carefully about these recently discovered empirical truths:

Make sure you read that full response from Christopher Steele above to see the scope of the media engagements he was conducting.

As more evidence surfaces the relationship between journalists, Fusion-GPS, Chris Steele and the media’s DOJ/FBI sources begins blending together. The FBI was using media reports, which were based on Fusion-GPS pitches, to bolster its investigative documents to the FISA court. It is an intelligence laundry operation:

Think about the scale of the reporting, and reporting on reporting, of anonymous leaks, false leaks, lies from “people with knowledge of the matter”, “government officials involved in the matter”, “people familiar with the matter”, “government sources” etc. all going in one unified and semi-coordinated direction – against the aggregate Trump administration.

Now, it actually gets even more convoluted.

The problem is not just corruption with the U.S. Justice System, the DOJ and the FBI; the problem is corruption within the media.

The only way they could align with the truth is to admit that virtually every scintilla of their reportage over the past 18 months was inherently false or manipulated by the “sources” distributing the material for their reporting.

Where Do We Get Such Losers? By Colin Flaherty – “when we look at the delusion and deceit surrounding at least five Democrat members of the U.S. Senate, the question now becomes “Is this the best we have?

“Booker trotted out the T-Bone stories at every early campaign stop in his races for mayor

Fabrication? When did the media get so delicate about their accusations of deceit?

I don’t know where we get creatures with such a dubious acquaintance with reality. But even more importantly, I cannot imagine why we keep them around.

There are tons more examples that I don’t have the time to find: the story of Teddy Kennedy’s adventures at Chappaquiddick is on pay per view and I have to get back to that.

Investor’s Businerss DailyEconomic Boom: Media Rewrite History To Credit Obama Instead Of Trump. “The stronger the economy gets under President Trump, the more desperate his critics are to hand credit over to Obama. Even if that entails changing the past.”

White House exploring legal options against Omarosa Manigault Newman for making secret recording in Situation Room by Meridith Mcgraw Tara Palmeri – the story of a betrayal of Trust, a betrayal of integrity, a betrayal of country, … ugly. Ideas of extortion, blackmail, and worse come to mind, And all to sell books – or so it seems.

“The very idea a staff member would sneak a recording device into the White House Situation Room, shows a blatant disregard for our national security –- and then to brag about it on national television further proves the lack of character and integrity of this disgruntled former White House employee,” Sanders said.

Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer told ABC News her claims are “completely fictional.”

He added that Manigault Newman had top secret clearance at a minimum, and she may have broken the law by recording her conversation in the Situation Room — what’s supposed to be the most secure place in the White House.

Part of applying for clearance is agreeing to security protocols.

“It’s an unbelievable violation of protocol and the law,” Spicer said. “You can lose your security clearance for bringing your device into SCIF — to bring it in is a violation but to willfully record it — you’re entering a whole other realm.”

“She’s on a different level,” a senior White House official said. “She terrified me.”

Meanwhile a white supremacist rally in Washington D.C. that the media used for a week long bout of FUD mongering turned up only a couple dozen .. The Newman recordings will likely follow the same path, the one followed by many other attacks on the Trump administration, a whole lot of hype and hyperbole, distorted and constructed (mis)perceptions, and no ‘there’ there except in the fevered swamps of those consumed by hate.

Charlottesville rally turns into anti-police protest (videos) by Jazz Shaw – “When we originally heard that there was going to be a major rally in Charlottesville yesterday on the one-year anniversary of the bloodshed at the first Unite the Right march, there was obvious reason for concern.”

“Would the same group of neo-Nazis and wannabe Klansmen show up again leading to a battle with counterprotesters? Antifa showed up early in significant numbers, claiming that they were simply there to honor the memory of Heather Heyer, the young woman who died when one of the Klan supporters plowed his car into the crowd. But taking one look at their outfits and equipment it seemed obvious they were prepared for more than a memorial service. Fortunately, law enforcement was out on the streets in large numbers, keeping an eye out for trouble and ready to respond.

Here’s the curious, if not alarming part of the story. The white supremacists didn’t show up. (They were probably already on their way to Washington.) But even stranger than that was the fact that most of the protesters didn’t seem to be there to raise their voices against the Klan or Nazis or racism. They were there to protest the cops. (Reuters)

The complete lack of gratitude on display by these protesters for the cops who showed up to keep them safe from violence probably isn’t all that shocking in the current era. But the hypocrisy and total disconnect from reality in this spectacle is staggering.

See also So what was the point of the Unite the Right hype machine? For more on that “way to Washingon” idea. But this Charlottsville anti-cop ‘tude isn’t the only example. The NFL has this ‘antifa’ problem, too. And then there’s Karen Townsend on Atlanta elementary school replaces Pledge of Allegiance with chant for more overt displays of anti-American, anti-Christian, and anti Western Values. And then, via Instapundit: Dispatches From The Newspeak Dictionary: CNN calls marchers chanting ‘f*ck the police’ and throwing eggs ‘anti-hate groups.’

Harvard professor calls for academic ban on hiring, honoring anyone from Trump admin by Jazz Shaw – “Dani Rodrik, a Turkish born economist and Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard, penned an op-ed in the Boston Globe suggesting that the academic world needs to stop offering jobs, fellowships or any sort of honors to anyone who was in any way associated with the Trump administration.”

“There you have it. A call from a senior figure from Harvard to establish what can only be honestly described as a blacklist. It doesn’t matter what the person’s individual opinions, qualifications or record may include. Simply having served anywhere in the White House or any of the Cabinet departments under President Trump marks one as being “tainted by the experience” and they should be disqualified from employment or honors in the academic community. For the sin of having answered the call to serve your government, you should henceforth be treated like a black person trying to get a drink from the whites-only water fountain during the early part of the 20th century.

The sad part is that this proposal will doubtless be taken seriously across much of the higher education spectrum. … We have a serious problem in our nation’s universities and it’s not one that’s going to change without a generational shift in attitude.

Why Normal Americans Hate the “Elites” by John Hinderaker – “These are three news stories that came to my attention over the last 24 hours. I think they tell us a lot about the current, degraded state of public life in America.”

“Personally, I am more unhappy about the press’s assault on President Trump than about President Trump’s assault on the press. To listen to our heroic journalists, you might think that Trump is sending secret policemen to cart them off to prison.

No such thing, of course. Rather, Trump is saying things about left-wing press outlets that are nowhere near as nasty as what they have been saying about him since before his inauguration. Democratic Party journalists declared war on the president, and they now pretend that his fighting back is somehow an infringement of their rights. Boo freaking hoo.

Next, on a similar theme, we hear from Dani Rodrik, a professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School. Rodrik is concerned lest educational institutions “normalize” historically low unemployment, steady wage increases and a pro-America foreign policy:

It requires a peculiar sense of self-worth to think that your approval is needed to legitimize a president who was elected by the American people. Left-wing academics may think that ordinary Americans don’t notice their arrogance, but they are mistaken.

You could assemble stories like these pretty much any day of the week. But when I read them together, I thought they were a stark example of how malignant America’s self-appointed “elites” are, even though, as we never tire of pointing out, they are anything but elite. In fact, they are below average. Which is why most Americans rightly don’t think much of them.

Do these people think about the consequences of their perceptions and fantasies?

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A stunning level of deception

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

whither civility, honor, integrity?

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Free ride and a straight face?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And the wall.

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

We know why.

Jobs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Denial is strong

Media Gaslighting Can’t Hide Fact Trump Campaign Was Spied On by Mollie Hemingway – “After a year of alarming revelations, the media are still more interested in proving the Trump campaign treasonously colluded with Russia than wrestling with the fact that the FBI spied on a presidential campaign.” … “Still, he called it the definition of fake news and compared it to believing in ghosts.” Denial is strong.

Why a Democratic Wave Looks Likely by Jay Cost – “Despite his achievements, Trump is unpresidential, and that will matter to voters.” There are a number of these pronouncements and they will likely become more strident as November nears. The common factor is that they set aside reality and elevate perception and judgment. “Unpresidential?” By what standard? Pelosi, Schumer, either Clinton et al? Will the American people succumb to propaganda, hate, (mis)perception, and labeling or will they evaluate what has been done and the actual behavior of the candidates?

Another Narrative Busted: The Focus of Manafort’s Upcoming Trial Will Make Liberals Very Sad by Katie Pavlich – “according to a new report from the Associated Press, they’re likely to be disappointed as the trial will focus on Manafort’s business dealings and lavish lifestyle, not collusion

“The focus on Manafort’s personal dealings, rather than Russia, aren’t surprising considering the Special Counsel indictment didn’t mention the Kremlin, the 2016 presidential election or collusion a single time.

Mueller’s midterm elections by Byron York – “the 2018 midterms are less than 100 days away, and a president not on the ballot is at the center of a highly publicized investigation.”

“Ratcliffe might be on to something when he suggests that the Comey experience is an example Mueller will dearly want to avoid repeating. “In my opinion, Mueller will either try to clear Donald Trump as a target by Labor Day, or will throttle down any further public actions by the special counsel until after Nov. 6,” Ratcliffe says.

There’s Labor Day again. It’s less than six weeks away. Which means we might find out some big things from Mueller soon. If not, we might be in for a long wait.

He Drives Them Crazy by Fred Barnes – “Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, is an exception to the rule that committee chairs, male or female, are allowed to run things as they choose. Democrats, left-wing groups, and those who obsess about Trump won’t let him.”

“Were Democrats in charge, Nunes would probably be their Target No. 1. His sin was switching the committee’s focus from collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives in the 2016 presidential election to finding out why the Trump campaign was being investigated in the first place.

Vindication won’t spare Nunes harassment by the left. This is what those folks do in their spare time. And complaints to the House Ethics Committee against Nunes are piling up. Three left-wing groups accused Nunes of making classified information public last year, causing him to step down as chairman for eight months while the ethics committee dawdled before ruling in his favor.

Meanwhile, responses to his tweets pour in. It turns out the anti-Nunes forces are far from witty and a good number of them think he ought to be in prison. Nunes isn’t fazed by dumb tweets or mean charges.

But here’s why we should be grateful to Nunes and wise members of the intelligence committee like Chris Stewart from Salt Lake City. We wouldn’t know these things if they hadn’t dug them up. (1) Hillary and the DNC paid for the still-unverified Steele dossier from his Russian sources. (2) The Steele dossier was largely responsible for approval of the Page wiretap. Well worth knowing, don’t you think?

CNN’s Alysin Camerota is from Mars, Rudy Giuliani is from Earth by Patricia McCarthy – “like the rest of CNN, she cares nothing about the issues that really affect the nation. She cares only about trapping and subsequently impeaching Trump.”

“She was interested only in a couple of alleged meetings, meetings that are meaningless, meetings that, if they took place, were not illegal in any way. She is only too happy to judge Trump’s character but believes that Michael Cohen is a legitimate witness to be believed, despite his obvious chicanery. She ignored all of Giuliani’s comments about the man. Don’t confuse her with facts.

The most telling thing about the interview is how obvious it becomes that CNN is absolutely, purposefully clueless about the volumes of information that have been revealed, by the I.G. report, by John Solomon and Sarah Carter, by Gregg Jarrett in his book The Russia Hoax, and by a plethora of other real news outlets that have been reporting on the Clinton-DNC invention of a Trump collusion with Russia for months and months.

CNN has its fingers in its ears. The people there do not want to know anything that does not support their anti-Trump mindset.

She is so trapped in her never-Trumpism that she cannot see that millions of Americans are better off since Trump became president, that several millions of people are no longer on food stamps, and that millions of Americans are no longer unemployed. Needless to say, she never mentioned the 4.1% GDP. She never mentioned the fact that it was the Clinton campaign, the DNC, and the FBI who paid for the phony dossier that triggered, unlawfully, the Mueller investigation. No, no, no.

Crimes, no matter how egregious, committed by Democrats are not crimes to CNN.

Who killed the news? By Richard Fernandez – “Recently the New York Times accused Donald Trump of destroying journalism.”

“What made a few Russian trolls so powerful was not their miserably puny infrastructure but the network they could rent out from the billion dollar behemoths in California — to whom they were just another customer.

But who can confront companies richer than whole countries? Despite the bureaucratic bravado only the market has so far been up to the task of delivering a judgment of Silicon Valley’s business model.

Not long after Twitter was struck by a similar loss. The market had done something the political establishment had not previously nerved itself to do — possibly because they themselves were using social media to manipulate the public. As Wikipedia notes fake news has been been as a tool of statecraft for centuries. Fake news itself is not a problem; it only becomes a problem for elites when it veers out of control.

What makes the current fake news problem particularly hard for the establishment to solve is the dilemma posed by two conflicting requirements: Silicon Valley at once allows the establishment to manipulate the public while simultaneously creating the means for others to undermine it. One of the great ironies of the modern age is than an industry at once the greatest ally of liberal politics should also be its greatest potential foe. Efforts to resolve the dilemma have so far failed.

Patriotism: The Secret of Trump’s Success by Karin McQuillan – “Patriotism is a virtue that our politicians talk about a lot, in utterly empty ways. Many Democrats think it is a vice.”

“Trump lives American patriotism. It is the reason he ran for president and the reason he won. He knows we are a great country.

Trump recognizes and is comfortable with power – his personal power, America’s power. He does not think power is toxic. He thinks American and presidential power is wonderful and meant to be used for our common, national good.

Our president loves to build.

Trump the builder likes to do things. He likes responsibility. He likes seeing concrete outcomes. He knows that America can do things. We are so rich and so powerful as a country that we can do everything we need to do to promote American security and prosperity. Using American power for these ends is nothing to be ashamed of. It is his job.

What Are Your Child’s Passions? By Dennis Prager – Dan Scotti, lifestyle writer at the website Elite Daily, and a millennial, wrote a perceptive piece on the matter titled, “Why Don’t Millennials Have Hobbies Anymore?

“There is a world of difference between being active and being passive, between creating something and watching something, between doing something and being entertained.

I’m not picking on millennials. The problem is not new. In 1984, Neil Postman wrote a book whose title said it all: “Amusing Ourselves to Death.” It’s as relevant today as it was in 1984.

The question, then, is what, if anything, can we do about this?

Parents need to cultivate hobbies or, if you will, passions in their child. The only passion most middle-class and upper-class parents cultivate in their children is getting good grades so that they can get into a prestigious college. But that is misguided. If the most important passion you cultivate in your child is getting good grades, what will your child’s most important passion be after leaving school — in other words, for the next 70 years of his or her life?

Schools are complicit. …

Following a passion is rather difficult if you don’t have one.

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How low can you go?

New York Times Targets Kavanaugh’s Wife by John Hinderaker – “I wouldn’t have thought my opinion of the New York Times could get any lower, but it just did.”

“They won’t find anything, of course. But this is what I want to know: When Stephen Breyer, Ruth Ginsburg, Sonia Sotamayor and Elena Kagan were appointed to the Court, did the Times, or the Associated Press, try to investigate documents sent or received by their family members?

Captain Ahab Aims Harpoons at… Trump’s Tweets by Daniel J. Flynn – “The Old Gray Lady did not divulge whether the special counsel also seeks the names of books checked out on the president’s library card.”

“Trump’s pursuers continued to obfuscate. An inspector general and congressional oversight revealed investigators boasting “we’ll stop it” in reference to Trump’s election, a discussion of an “insurance” policy in the unlikely event of the despised candidate’s election, and an FBI lawyer texting “Viva le resistance” regarding his plans for acting as a fifth columnist in the incoming administration. Finding no evidence of collusion, Trump’s pursuers steamrolled over attorney-client privilege and raided the office of Trump’s personal lawyer. A 1990s apologist for the Clintons then released a conversation involving Trump and his attorney — surreptitiously recorded by the latter. It proved this shocking fact: a billionaire former casino magnate and beauty pageant overseer once slept with a really, really beautiful woman.

The investigation exposes the investigators more than the investigated. It reveals the umpires as partisan players. It demonstrates lawbreaking by law enforcers. It sows distrust in institutions heretofore beloved by the American people.

Why didn’t FBI tell court about Christopher Steele bias? by Byron York – “a close reading of both the FISA application and the Nunes memo raises questions about whether the FBI told the judges anything about Steele’s possible bias — even though the bureau had evidence that the former spy was out to get Trump.”

“The problem for the FBI is this: The initial FISA application containing those footnotes was filed in October 2016. In the previous month, September, Steele told Justice Department official Bruce Ohr that he, Steele, was “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president,” according to Ohr’s account quoted in the Nunes memo. At the time of applying for the warrant, the Justice Department knew about Steele’s “desperate” and “passionate” anti-Trumpism, but did not tell the court.

“This clear evidence of Steele’s bias was recorded by Ohr at the time and subsequently in official FBI files — but not reflected in any of the Page FISA applications,” Nunes wrote.

It is generally accepted that evidence of a source’s bias, including the source’s own acknowledgment of it, should be disclosed in warrant applications that are predicated on that source. The FBI simply did not do that in Steele’s case.

Grassley to Schumer: Feel free to pound sand on your document demands, my friend by Ed Morrissey – “On this point, Ed Whelan and Yuval Levin of the Ethics and Public Policy Center agree. The staff secretary position is neither a policy-making position nor a judicial role. In the context of this confirmation, it’s mainly a red herring and an excuse for obstruction

“Grassley comes to the same point. He tells Schumer in clear language that he’s not about to let Democrats derail the proceedings with excessive demands for documents that have little value. That motive is clear, Grassley points out, because not only have most Democrats already decided to oppose Kavanaugh, they won’t even bother to meet him

Indeed. If they’re already opposed to the confirmation, why do they need any more records, no matter how irrelevant they are? They have access to the best primary source on Kavanaugh’s state of mind, which is Kavanaugh himself, and they’re not bothering to even ask him directly what he thinks. There’s no need to bend over backwards to accommodate the unaccommodating.

Vandals untied a $40 million yacht owned by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ family by John Sexton – “some on the left are celebrating

“Obviously, the DeVos family can easily absorb the loss of $10,000 in damage. If the entire thing had sunk to the bottom, DeVos would be fine. But we’ve seen a lot of talk in the past couple of months about targeting members of the Trump administration in their private lives. While it’s too early to say for certain that’s what happened here, this could turn out to be another example of a bad trend.

America’s Next Civil War Will Be Worse Than Our Last by H. W. Crocker III – “Today, however, our divisions are so deep and fundamental that Americans cannot even agree on what marriage is or what a man or a woman is (which is pretty darn fundamental).”

“The difference between the America of today and the America of what seems like just yesterday is that we once had a common culture. As recently as 1990, Ken Burns could make a Civil War documentary for PBS and let historian Shelby Foote wax eloquent on the martial prowess of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest — something that now would likely get them both tarred, feathered, and Twitter-banned.

In the end, the war was fought over a single legal issue: whether the states that had freely ratified the Constitution to form the Union could freely leave the Union if they felt it no longer served their interests.

It’s wondering just how far differences have really become.

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