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A demented fury

EPIC! Sarah Huckabee Sanders Trolls April Ryan With a Homemade Pecan Pie and It’s Glorious (PHOTOS) by Cristina Laila – “White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders trolled April Ryan with a homemade pecan pie on Wednesday evening and it was glorious.” This is what could be called an ‘appropriate response’ to nonsense and bullying.

Megyn Kelly Leads Renewed Targeting of Trump By Daniel John Sobieski – “The former Fox News Anchor and part-time lingerie model, now working at the network where Matt Laurer locked his doors when not prowling the halls, has once again taken the lead in portraying President Donald Trump as a sexual predator who should be driven from office.”

“That’s not how another passenger on that flight remembered the transatlantic flight., casting significant doubt on the tall tale told by Jessica Leeds of groping by the Donald in the first class section..He portrayed Leeds as something between a groupie and a stalker who was rebuffed by Trump

for Megyn Kelly, this is not about protecting women. It is about advancing your career on Matt Lauer’s network and bringing down a President whom you despise.

Why we can’t let the creeps write the rules By Suzanne Fields – “Maybe we need a fresh perspective. Everybody regards harassers as creeps.”

“Nobody wants to do nuance. No one wants to take the side of a hideous harasser or boorish jerk, but we do need to face up to the difference between a man charged with rape and one simply forcing an unwanted kiss on the lips of a lady, between the man who presses his body close and the creep who locks the door of his office to prevent her escape, or between the dedicated masher and the flamboyant performer taking slapstick to the point of touching a bosom or bottom.

There’s a new worry that harassment accusations will affect work relations in general and personal relationships specifically. We’re moving into uncharted territory.

Keep Your Hypocrisy-Stained Hands Off Our President by Dov Fischer – “They’ll never get him because the people have already spoken.” There is a good, but rather long, summary, of just how pernicious and persistent the anti-Trump effort has been to support this conclusion.

“There is a profound difference between (i) the soap-opera charges now being leveled by some opportunistic women against President Donald Trump and leveraged for cheap political gain by the Gillibrand Hypocrites within the Democrat Party and (ii) the pants-dropping of The Icon, John Conyers, and the butt-squeezing, tongue-slithering obscenities of Sen. Al Franken (who now indeed will have to leave the upper chamber, with no Roy Moore to counterbalance). Conyers and Franken have lost all legitimacy. By contrast, the American people elected President Trump with full transparent cognition of his public and private portfolio, thereby validating his office.

the American people indeed were presented with the clear understanding of who Donald Trump is, what his background is, where he failed in the past. They knew about and debated the corporate bankruptcies. They knew about Billy Bush in the trailer. And the people of the United States freely decided. He was elected with full transparency by a body-slamming 306-232 electoral college runaway. The issues were litigated fully, the jury returned with a resounding verdict for Trump. That case is closed, free of double jeopardy.

Let the message be clear to the Gillibrand Hypocrites who enable sex offenders and gush over sex abusers, and to the Groping Democrat Phonies who have lived off the Harvey Weinsteins, Al Frankens, and iconic John Conyerses for all too long: Keep your hypocrisy-stained hands off our President.

Things fall apart: The decline of ‘Dumbledore’s Army’ By John Dietrich – “Resistance to the Trump administration within the intelligence community is beginning to unravel.”

“There are a significant number of CFPB employees opposed to the president and any of his appointees. They have formed a resistance group they call Dumbledore’s Army. Although members of other departments, agencies, and bureaus do not call themselves Dumbledore’s Army, they are essentially of the same mindset. Perhaps the largest number of these Dumbledores are in the Department of Justice and the intelligence community. They are mounting an attack on the Trump administration and are suffering one defeat after another. Things are falling apart.

Much of the information we have about this situation is the result of leaks. Leaks have plagued the DOJ for well over a year. Many of these leaks are clearly felonies. The former head of the FBI admitted in public that he was the source of a leak.

Has anyone in the leadership been prosecuted for leaking to the press? No.

Explosive Texts Point To FBI, Not Russian, Meddling In 2016 Election by IBD – “In other words, Strzok had motive, means and opportunity to sabotage that investigation.”

“For 18 months, the FBI has been fixated on determining whether President Trump worked with Russia to influence the 2016 election. But explosive text exchanges between top FBI agents suggest it should be looking in the mirror.

So did these FBI agents act on their fervent anti-Trump beliefs in ways that might have compromised the integrity of both investigations?

The text exchanges suggest they very well may have.

After mysterious ‘insurance policy’ text, will Justice Department reveal more on FBI agent bounced from Mueller probe? by Byron York – “More troubling, in the set of texts released Tuesday night, is a single message, from Strzok to Page, dated Aug. 15, 2016.”

“lots of federal employees loathe Trump. It would be hard for all of them to recuse themselves from government matters, although it is probably not a great idea to have them play key roles in high-stakes probes that could have a momentous effect on the presidency.

Ugly as Mueller’s investigation may look, it’s on track to clear Trump By Andrew C. McCarthy – “Far from railroading Flynn (and, derivatively, Trump), it appears that Strzok and Comey’s FBI did not seek his prosecution.”

“The higher likelihood is that the Mueller investigation, despite all the reasonable suspicions about its partisanship, will end up exonerating the president. At this point, it’s anything but clear that investigators who have political points of view have let them infect Mueller’s investigation. The Strzok controversy and other indicia of bias should be aggressively investigated by Congress. But Trump — and the rest of us — would be well advised to wait for the facts before drawing conclusions.

An Investigative Pattern Emerges… by sundance – “The corruption is jaw-dropping.”

“The very heart of the U.S. system of Law (DOJ) and Order (FBI) is now being questioned. I would argue the IG obviously understands the need for caution within these discoveries and the recent releases are all purposeful, timed, planned and targeted.

Consider what is at stake; and further consider that you were given the task of revealing the outcome of an investigation of such consequence. How would you introduce the findings to the larger U.S. electorate? Given the timing of the releases from the IG’s investigation, I think that’s what we are seeing in the past two weeks. A prosecutor laying out his case over the course of multiple media cycles.

Remember, the OIG investigation is specifically looking at actions taken, or actions not taken, by DOJ and FBI officials that reflect specific evidence of politicization by the leadership within each agency (James Comey, FBI and Loretta Lynch, DOJ), and/or their subordinates writ large.

These offices represent the “Law and Order” divisions of our national government.

There is a pattern in the released OIG information and how we retrieve it from the media.

It looks just like a prosecutor laying out his case against the identified names, and WE, the American People, are the jury.

This is strategic white hat distribution of material that is immensely important to the larger U.S. electorate. The subject matter is so consequential, it needs to be absorbed in small digestible portions.

And here’s where it gets really interesting.

Media’s Unhinged Attacks on Trump Recall the Treatment of Nixon by Conrad Black – “Both presidents inspired a demented fury against them.”

“the almost uniform view of the long-standing bipartisan political elite of the United States that President Trump is a maniac, any falsehood about him or act of obstruction is justified in damaging his presidency, impairing his ability to govern, and bringing forward the swiftest possible return of the status quo ante-Trump.

Specialists in aberrant mass psychology will one day derive great interest and perhaps generate much enlightenment on what it is that has possessed a wide swath of highly intelligent and generally civic-minded Americans to lose their minds on the subject of President Trump.

It is ironic that Donald Trump’s most fanatical critics in the media and among the Democrats have ever more frequent recourse to precisely the liberties with the truth that they find so irritating in him.

This charade will not end in the premature departure of Trump from the presidency because nobody near him has done anything inappropriate. Comparisons with Nixon are unfounded except that there remains a very inconclusive amount of evidence that Nixon himself committed illegalities, though some around him certainly did. The best possible outcome is that in patiently waiting for the shabbily conducted Mueller investigation to clear him completely, Trump will not only be vindicated; his enemies will sustain such a bone-crushing humiliation that this practice of trying bloodlessly to assassinate presidents will end. In that atmosphere, Richard Nixon will receive the fair upward revision of collective historical opinion that he richly earned.

The case against Net Neutrality: An IT pro’s perspective By Derrick Wlodarz – “every angle from which I examine the issue upon, I keep coming back to a common conclusion: Net Neutrality just isn’t needed.” It is a reasoned argument that is also notable for its understanding of just how debased the debate has become as expressed by anticipating common response tactics.

“While I may not change anyone’s mind about their position regarding Net Neutrality, the opposing viewpoint seems to be completely brushed under the rug recently. Between being maligned as a position being pushed by Russia or one which only corporate fat cats could possibly enjoy, the negative press tied to this position is stifling honest, legitimate debate.

After the vote: What’s next for the Restoring Internet Freedom Order by Daniel Lyons – “This blog post discusses the likely next steps for each of the major players in the net neutrality debate.”

“Later this morning, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expected to approve the Restoring Internet Freedom Order by a 3-2 vote.

Contrary to the dominant narrative in some circles, the vote will not end the internet as we know it, silence minority voices online, or impose Portuguese balkanized consumer access plans (which, it turns out, doesn’t even happen in Portugal). What will happen is that the order will repeal the Commission’s 2015 Open Internet Order and restore the agency’s historical classification of broadband access as a lightly regulated information service under the Communications Act. The order also enhances the transparency rules governing disclosure of network management practices.

Predictable: without intellectual integrity but persistent and predictable.

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Woke Conservatives in a civilized society

The Politics of Meaningless Words By Sarah Hoyt – “Sometimes talking to leftists could better be accomplished with interpretive dance routines, or perhaps by miming our meaning.”

“The fact that these believers in “science” see as the only solution the establishment of socialism and strict government control over the lifestyle of the masses means they don’t believe in science, they believe in socialism. Which, granted, at one time was also called “scientific” with even less justification than computer models.

As for “no human being is illegal” it is on the face of it demonstrably false.

The sign bothered me for weeks because to someone who is a trained linguist, as I am, and who spent her youth studying not just languages but the mechanics of language, this was the equivalent of someone running around with a t-shirt that said: “I believe in semantic incoherence.”

But I didn’t think of the root of the trouble until I was recently involved in a (what else?) Facebook argument with someone who was clearly leftist.

But it leaves them as an impossible partner — or even opponent — in a representative democracy. It’s impossible to argue concepts such as “least harm” with people who are making noises to which they attach no fixed meaning.

Until they decide to join the human race — known for its use of language, among other things — it leaves us in the odd position of shouting across the political chasm “Second word, rhymes with “huff it”” and “Stomp your foot once for yes, twice for no.”

Moody’s Climate Change Delusion by Justin Haskins and H. Sterling Burnett – “Coastal cities and towns across the United States are now facing significant pressure from Moody’s Investors Service, one of the world’s most important credit agencies, to battle climate change.”

“If the evidence were to clearly show that future climate change is inevitably going to create additional extreme weather events and damage to coastal areas, then Moody’s analysis would make perfect sense. Increased risks should be met with more preparedness.

However, the climate change assumptions Moody’s has built into its forecasts aren’t based on the existing evidence, which shows dire extreme weather events have not substantially increased in recent years.

Moody’s is basing its analysis of future climate change risks on the credit agency’s commitment to climate change alarmist dogma, not on scientific data, and this isn’t the first time it’s happened.

By coercing communities to spend billions more to prepare for natural disasters that may never come, Moody’s is attempting to impose its climate change fantasies on the millions of American families who would have to shoulder the burden of added government costs made to prevent a downgraded credit rating.

Rather than indulge in climate alarmist fiction, Moody’s should instead stick to what the available data actually reveals when creating its credit assessments.

Woke Conservatives And The Awesome Power Of Not Caring by Kurt Schlichter – “Have you noticed that if you fail to do, think, and vote exactly the way that the liberals and their Fredocon minions demand, you’re a racist, sexist, homophobic, child molesting, greedy, NRA terrorist determined to murder kids?”

“And you’ve probably also realized that if you do everything that the liberals and their Never Trump minions demand, you’re still a racist, sexist, homophobic, child molesting, greedy, NRA terrorist determined to murder kids.

When you understand that, you’re on your way to being conservative woke.

And when you’re conservative woke, you’re ready to deploy the most powerful non-bullet firing weapon in your liberty-loving arsenal – your devastating capability not to give a damn what the liberals and their Conservative, Inc., cruise-shilling Benedict Arnold buddies say.

They hate you. Govern yourself accordingly.

John Hinderaker A Stain On America [with comment by Paul] and More Global Warming Fraud: This Time, It’s Sea Level – same behavior, different theaters. “It would be a full-time job to keep track of the Democratic Party media’s failed attacks on President Trump and his administration. … Maybe these reporters have been lying for a long time, and we finally have a Republican leader with enough guts to call them on it.” then there’s “Via No Tricks Zone, another instance of fraud perpetrated by global warming alarmists who have charge of data. This time, they are changing sea level measurements to make it appear that sea level is rising abnormally, when it isn’t.”

Net neutrality is communism, nationalization by Luboš Motl – “Skillful data transmission engineers need to be appreciated, rewarded, have the freedom to profit from their contributions according to their business plans.”

“The leftists are obviously insensitive to the difference between the shared ownership and the private ownership because they would ideally love to abolish the latter altogether. So they are already thinking about the ISPs as if they were assets controlled by some left-wing parties or NGOs, something that these harmful parasites have already successfully stolen. But in a civilized society, nothing like that should be allowed.

Civilized society?

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Substance and style and the Art of War

“He Fights” – President Trump Calls Out Fake News Reporting of Washington Post and Dave Weigel… by sundance – “One of the many reasons people support President Trump is because “He Fights” back.”

The U.S. Media Yesterday Suffered its Most Humiliating Debacle in Ages: Now Refuses All Transparency Over What Happened by Glenn Greenwald – “FRIDAY WAS ONE of the most embarrassing days for the U.S. media in quite a long time.”

“All of this prompts the glaring, obvious, and critical question – one which CNN refuses to address: how did “multiple sources” all misread the date on this document, in exactly the same way, and toward the same end, and then feed this false information to CNN?

it’s hard to overstate how fast, far and wide this false story traveled.

It’s hard to quantify exactly how many people were deceived – filled with false news and propaganda – by the CNN story. But thanks to Democratic-loyal journalists and operatives who decree every Trump/Russia claim to be true without seeing any evidence, it’s certainly safe to say that many hundreds of thousands of people, almost certainly millions, were exposed to these false claims.

the “multiple sources” who fed CNN this false information did not confine themselves to that network.

Most embarrassing of all was what MSNBC did. You just have to watch this report from its “intelligence and national security correspondent” Ken Dilanian to believe it.

Is that what happened here? Did these “multiple sources” who fed not just CNN but also MSNBC and CBS completely false information do so deliberately and in bad faith?

Thus far, these media corporations are doing the opposite of what journalists ought to do: rather than informing the public about what happened and providing minimal transparency and accountability for themselves and the high-level officials who caused this to happen, they are hiding behind meaningless, obfuscating statements crafted by PR executives and lawyers.

this type of recklessness and falsity is now a clear and highly disturbing trend – one could say a constant – when it comes to reporting on Trump, Russia and WikiLeaks.

– “In attempting to “denormalize” Trump, they’ve denormalized themselves. If they simply reported fairly and accurately, without their screamingly obvious bias, they’d be able to do him much more damage. But they can’t help themselves.” [Instapundit] The Roy Moore case has parallels and it appears that Alabama voters may have noticed. The election will tell.

Wow! Trump fights back, forces public apology from Washington Post writer for fake news By Thomas Lifson – “We have a Republican president like no other.

Those of us who remember cringing as President George W. Bush declined to descend to the level of his critics during the Second Iraq War and allowed himself to be demonized down to miniscule levels public opinion support are grateful for a POTUS who fights back. We are tired of our political leaders cowering before the might of media bullies and the grandees of the cultural elite. And boy, do we have the man for that job!

OBAMA: “Those Jobs Aren’t Coming Back.” TRUMP: “Hold My Beer.” by DCWhispers – “No magic want was needed by POTUS Trump. Just some common sense, a basic understanding of economics and the determination to believe America can be better and stronger than ever

Skier feuds with Trump, injures herself by Don Surber – “Vonn virtue-signaled this week on CNN. … She joins a choir of millionaire athletes pandering to pretentious liberals and Antifa fascists. … We shall see if she joins 29 others who feuded with Trump, and lost.” Trump may not be responsible for her back injury but, like the recent spate of NFL injuries, a distracted focus from the sport can be hazardous.

Trump’s Decidedly Not Hitler by Clarice Feldman – “Once again, the claim of high minded principle is just another cover for power grab.”

“As the week ends, Trump is making great progress against those who have done everything to upend his plan — supported by voters — to make America great again. Paraphrasing Richard Fernandez, we’ve crushed ISIS, withdrawn from the ridiculous Paris Agreement on Climate Change, UNESCO, and the Trans Pacific Partnership. We’re about to overhaul the tax code and dismantle the failing ObamaCare program.

I’m reminded of Samson destroying the Philistines who sought to destroy him. Trump is cutting off their funding, exposing their idiocy, and destroying their political clout. Samson tied burning torches to the tails of the foxes and destroyed their crops, then took a jawbone of a donkey and slayed 1,000. Slaying them with a jawbone of a donkey, indeed.

Firing Mueller would be disastrous; discrediting him is impeachment politics by Byron York – “Trump allies are beginning to attack Mueller. They got a later start than Clinton’s allies did, but they are also operating in a much faster-paced media environment than the Clinton era. They can catch up fast.”

“They also have another thing going for them: The Mueller team deserves some of the criticism it has been receiving. Not only does Mueller himself arguably have a conflict — he has what has been called a close, “brothers in arms” relationship with former FBI Director James Comey, the key figure in the obstruction of justice part of the Trump-Russia probe — but he has hired lawyers and investigators who actively supported and defended Hillary Clinton in recent times. The FBI’s Peter Strzok was bounced from the Mueller investigation for anti-Trump and pro-Clinton texts exchanged with an FBI lawyer, who also left the Mueller Team. Top prosecutor Andrew Weissmann heaped praise on Justice Department official Sally Yates for defying Trump, and also attended Clinton’s election-night “shattered glass ceiling” party in New York. Other Mueller prosecutors defended the Clinton side in the email investigation, and one, Jeannie Rhee, “defended the Clinton Foundation against racketeering charges, and represented Mrs. Clinton personally in the question of her emails,” noted the Wall Street Journal’s Kim Strassel.

The bottom line: There’s a case to be made against Mueller.

But there is one huge difference in the Clinton and Trump strategies, and it does not work in Trump’s favor. Clinton attacked Starr from a position of popularity

The Trump Administration Is Making Progress on Veteran Affairs By Larry Alton – “With so much in disarray, President Trump had his work cut out for him entering office. However, he promised to make the VA a focal point, so it’s fair game to hold him accountable and see how he’s doing.”

“Why is it that the Left is so quick to judge the Trump presidency as a failure when he’s completed, at a very minimum, just 25 percent of his term?

On the topic of veterans affairs, Trump hasn’t lived up to every promise he made during the campaign, but he has at least three years left. He has, however, made progress in some key areas and laid promising foundations in others. While the media will continue to bash him for breathing, the reality is that he’s already done more to benefit veterans than Obama accomplished in eight years.

Army-Navy Game’s Stunning National Anthem Rendition Puts Every Kneeling NFL Player To Shame by Benny Johnson – “powerful

Good Taste Returns to the White House this Christmas By Erik Root – “The much-discussed Trump Christmas decor has contributed to this proper and appropriate appreciation of style which—as opposed to fashion—is timeless.”

“When the Obamas occupied the White House, their decorations reflected a cavalier attitude not only about the meaning of Christmas, but also about the idea of balance, form, and symmetry. The Obamas decorated their trees in a confused and disordered fashion. They were known to display ornaments reflecting the likenesses of the Communist Mao, a morphed visage of Barack Obama and Abraham Lincoln, and even a drag queen known as “Hedda Lettuce.” There were even likenesses of their dogs.

The Trumps without a doubt are friendlier in demeanor, and decor, to religion and a traditional celebration of the holiday.

A final example of the Trump inclination to classic forms should suffice: the White House is decorated with Christmas wreaths placed on all the windows for the first time in decades.

It is fitting that the Trumps have brought back a sense of tradition to their decor. The tradition they honor, however, is not a slavish dedication to the past born of reflexive resistance to change. It is a tradition based on an eternal representation of the good life and the eternal Word made flesh. Christmas is overtly Christian again in the White House. It is a blessing we have the Trumps to thank for its conservation.

Style stays, fashion is ephemeral. Then there’s that idea: “the media will continue to bash him for breathing.”

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News this morning: Looks like a Jeb Bush staffer got the Moore story pushed to Wapo; The avocado crop in SoCal was nearly wiped out by the fire (another hit for the NFL?); A horse farm was ravaged by fire; that judge recused in the Flynn case was also the judge that issued the FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign; Another Member of Mueller’s Deep State All-Stars Defended the Hillary IT Aide Who Destroyed Her Blackberries (Federal Evidence) with a Hammer; more Fake News™ from CNN (that’s three big media blunders just this week); A racism hoax exposed on an aircraft carrier;

What Being a Dad with a Gun Taught My Daughter By Don Cicchetti – “While waiting, she asked me: “Daddy, what if the robber gets in our house?

“We Americans grew up in a culture formed by the assumptions of the Gandhian sort of pacifism. We almost always feel guilty and somewhat tawdry when we consider using violence to solve problems because, after all, all violence is morally equal, right? And if we didn’t believe that, and I certainly didn’t, we at least knew that on some level, we had been “reduced to the level” of the robber by our willingness to use violence. Worst of all, we had inflicted our wicked world on an innocent child, who now knew that her dad was capable of picking up a gun and killing someone. Could she ever trust me again? Is it not frightening to learn that your dad has the potential to be a killer?

But Sam taught me the truth. Gandhi was wrong. Dead wrong. No, all violence is not morally equal, and as gun guru Massad Ayoob says, “righteous countervailing violence” is indeed the act of a moral person.

Sam wasn’t traumatized; she was safe. She knew that we adults would stand up and fight the bad guy, and she would be safe. This, my friends, is how the world was supposed to work – before that great brown flood of nonsense and lies taught to all of us since the 1960s washed over our nation.

I’m Done With the Sex Scandals By Andrew Klavan – “If someone broke the law and you can prove it, prosecute him. If someone violated the rules of his organization, eject him. Other than that, if women have forgotten the fine art of slapping a man in the face, there’s not a whole hell of a lot society can do for them.”

“You keep silent for forty years and then ruin a man’s career with an unprovable allegation — and that makes you a hero? Not to me.

I think Al Franken is a nasty little piece of corruption. … I already know he’s a creep. Any woman he grabbed should have smacked him a good one and told him to knock it off at the top of her lungs. When did women become such helpless little flowers? Slapping is a very good system of justice in these cases. Slap him, shout at him, then let the voters decide.

I don’t like Roy Moore either. I don’t like the way he inflames people’s prejudices or the way he wields the Bible at his political enemies and at gay people. I think he’s a hypocrite. But you know what? If he legally dated and kissed teenagers when he was in his thirties, I truly do not think it is any of my business.

Revealed: Melania Trump’s Ideal Christmas by Andrew Malcolm – A feel good story for the season.

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New science, Generational divides, and interesting times

Stanford professor’s defamation lawsuit puts chill in atmosphere of climate scientists By Valerie Richardson – “A Stanford University professor’s defamation lawsuit in defense of his green energy research has raised the temperature on the climate change debate, fueling fears that such a precedent could put a chill on scientific inquiry.”

“In short, a world-famous tenured professor — in response to a peer-reviewed paper criticizing his work — has threatened to financially ruin an independent researcher,” said Mr. Cullenward. “Whatever concerns Professor Jacobson has with Dr. Clack, this tactic unfairly puts the most vulnerable members of an already highly unequal profession at great risk.”

As millennial Republican women fret, ‘Bama boomers see nothing inappropriate from Moore By Seth McLaughlin – “A generational divide has emerged among Republican women in Alabama over Roy Moore’s bid for the U.S. Senate.

“Yes, I believe the allegations because my first instinct is to believe a woman who comes forward,” Mrs. Hall said. … “I damn sure believe that I have done my part to ensure that men who hurt little girls should go to jail and not the United States Senate,” Mr. Jones said this week. … “‘I applaud the women who have come forward against Roy Moore. And I think it’s time that those women be believed, just like the women who are coming out against Senator Franken, Representative (John) Conyers and others,” Mr. Jones said.

the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court has refused calls for him to exit the race. He called the charges against him a scheme by the elites in both parties to keep him out of Washington. … Many women agree, saying the evidence against Mr. Moore has been lacking.

“When I was in high school, there were girls 15 or 16 years old that their parents were signing for them to get married,” said Mrs. Bailey, a mother of five. “It was more of a, you know, they didn’t look at 15- and 16-year-old girls as being immature because in that day they were very mature. They had lived a life of working hard, and parents wanted their daughters to marry upstanding people, and it was sort of an arranged thing, to tell you the truth in America at that time.”

In other words, even if you believe the accusers in this case, the allegations of ‘child abuse’ and ‘sexual harassment’ are questionable. Comparing Moore to Franken is also indicative because it compares isolated and aged incidents as equivalent to a life long pattern of behavior. That it is the millennials who are failing to accommodate these aspects of reality fits with other troubling aspects of generational divide and propagandist education.

Betsey Newmark shows how this distortion of allegation and accusation works: “replaced by some other Republican who didn’t try to have sex with teenage girls.” A history teacher should be much more careful and much less careless when it comes to facts and reality, especially when it comes to such things as personal bias and historical context. Franken’s resignation speech also shows just how denial and political fantasy can also flavor perceptions and expressions.

And now come the calls for Clarence Thomas to step down by Jazz Shaw – The same witch hunt disease in denial of reality and reason is showing up elsewhere and exposing its true color.

Trump is bringing Mueller down by Don Surber – “Mueller has nothing — and is losing his reputation. Trump cannot fire Mueller. That would make him a martyr.” But there are other ways to fight the battle as Surber notices. Also see Ace on Another One: One of Mueller’s Partisan Assassins Was… Ben Rhodes’ Personal Lawyer – “Firing Mueller has gone from permissible to mandatory.”

Bloomberg: Remember our yuuuge Trump scoop yesterday? Well … by Ed Morrissey – “For the second time in a week, a major media outlet has blown its coverage of Trump with shoddy reporting and a lack of editorial oversight. The end result in both cases are false reports that unfairly painted Trump in a bad light, and in this case also did the same with Robert Mueller.”

A Most Remarkable Year By Richard Fernandez – “It is as if a hurricane has swept through Washington. Each fallen pillar represents a very deliberate reversal of the status quo ante policies of Barack Obama.”

“After a period of sheer disbelief these liberal revolutionaries are now going head to head with the Deplorable rebels. The game’s afoot and nobody can easily call it off.

Which will win has yet to be determined by history. All one can do is compare their present strengths and strategies. In the matter of strength there should be no contest. A survey of federal government employees have the liberals over the Deplorables by almost 19 to 1. Over 99% of Department of Education employees backed Hillary. Trump’s best showing was in the Department of Defense — and even there Hillary had 84% of contributions. Add to this the liberal dominance in the media (93%) and academe (92%) and in Big Silicon and it should be a case of progressive Goliath walking over conservative David.

Yet for a variety of reasons the contest is much closer than the liberal project could have been imagined.

Obama may have been right in his Chicago speech to warn of danger but not in the way that he meant. The danger grew in his time in office. The status quo ante over which he presided was complacent. It was already falling apart. He just never saw it, until this remarkable year.

Strategic Omnidirectional MAGA-Winning is Ongoing… by sundance – “Don’t be so caught up watching the granules moving at your feet that you fail to step back and recognize the entire landscape is shifting. It Has Begun…

“In the past week, President Trump has held three full cabinet meetings. Why? Because common sense would tell us he’s executing an omnidirectional strategic agenda-push, and direct communication is critical.

Last weekend’s FBI leaks to the New York Times and Washington Post were specifically timed because the Department of Justice Inspector General is about to drop a years-long investigative MOAB bombshell into the DC swamp. The indications are so extensive that it’s become impossible to keep up with the ongoing ramifications – which are playing out on TV and media almost hourly.

Using the Inspector General report, Admiral Mike Rogers (NSA), Dan Coates (ODNI), Christopher Wray (FBI) and Jeff Sessions (DOJ) appear fully positioned to execute a planned, strategic and comprehensive removal of most ‘black hat’ IC leakers.

If the Palestinians and Muslim Brotherhood go bananas over the pending move of the U.S. Embassy – the location of that embassy just gains increased value in negotiations. In exchange for “X” the embassy is “Y”, that leverage was just created out of political thin air.

Traditionally, politicians have trained the media and general electorate to think of a President that focuses on one single policy initiative at a time. However, specifically because he’s not a politician, the approach of President Trump is to have multiple policy initiatives advancing simultaneously.

The opposition is forced to narrow their focus and target one if they wish to try and stop it. However, as soon as they zero-in on one endeavor they want to attack, Trump fires out another signal flare (twitter), which takes them off task.

It’s a stunning playbook.

Is the Deep State Attempting a Coup? By John Hinderaker – “I agree with Professor Barnett that this is a constitutional crisis. The most powerful branch of today’s government is the Fourth: the permanent federal bureaucracy that is nowhere mentioned in the Constitution. The Trump administration can best be viewed, perhaps, as a struggle to the death between American voters and the federal employees who are paid to serve them.”

Trump’s Jerusalem Speech Is a Step Forward By John Hinderaker – “Trump put his new policy in the context of an often-expressed consensus–the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, reaffirmed unanimously last June, and promises by other politicians.”

Nation V. Tribe by Victor Davis Hanson – “Once racial, religious, ethnic, or clan ties trump all considerations of merit and loyalty to the larger commonwealth, then factionalism leads to violence, violence to chaos, and chaos to the end of the state itself.” It is another Trump “simple acknowledgement of reality’ that seems to stimulate over-reaction in the swamp.

“Though those were extreme cases, in our generation, too, we often see federal law unwinding. On campus, feminist activists are trying to deny constitutional due process protections to men accused of sexual assault. Sanctuary cities selectively choose to ignore or break federal immigration law to protect illegal aliens from deportation or federal indictment. And some black athletes violate NFL employment requirements by not standing for the National Anthem. They expect not just exemption from the rules, but support from their employers and fans.

Segregation and apartheid should have warned us where tribalism leads. Political systems strain under the pressures of nepotism and favoritism. But they fail entirely under the far greater strain of tribalism—especially one that replaces toxic individual or familial prejudices with much more insidious, sweeping, and dangerous collective biases. …

Tribal infighting is usually what erodes otherwise common cultures—from the city-states of ancient Greece to the constantly warring republics of Renaissance Italy to an increasing divided America today.

Tribal infighting is also known as identity politics.

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Dangerous Obsession and Fanatical Fantasies

The Democrats’ Dangerous Obsession With Impeachment By Jeet Heer – “The party needs to focus on winning elections, not removing Trump.” Good point but then Jeet Heer shows what Fake News™ is all about. Take a gander at these graphs and wonder:

“While it is true that Trump is “extremely bad at the job of president,” using that as grounds for removing him from office would be revolutionary, moving the criteria from the constitutional requirement of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” which is already vague, to the utterly nebulous and subjective “extremely bad.” Klein recognized that normalizing impeachment would turn it into a political weapon, but didn’t wrestle with the fact that this normalization already happened—with the spurious impeachment of Bill Clinton in 1999. That precedent suggests the dangers of further normalization: It will worsen the extreme partisanship and gridlock that is making American ungovernable.

Trump is only dangerous because he’s the standard-bearer of a party that has unified control of the government and is willing to stand by Trump no matter what.

Clinton was disbarred after the Senate failed to convict. He left considerable evidence of rape and abuse of interns. The only political stance regarding his impeachment was the solid obstruction by the Democrats towards holding him accountable for his behavior. As for Trump? No evidence of crime exists despite a whole lot of money going to a special investigation over more than a year. The party that is unified is (still) the Democrats who seem to have no problem getting all of their party to vote as a block no matter the issue, even if it is one that used to be their own. On the other hand, the Republicans have had difficulty gaining sufficient unity to be able to use their majority to pass major bills. And by what measure is Trump doing an “extremely bad job?” Anti-trump pundit Rich Lowry Notices Some Upsides: (re Instapundit)

“Also, it’s simply not true that all we have to show from the Trump administration is Gorsuch. The legislative agenda has been limited by the fact that Republicans have only 52 votes in the Senate. This is what pushed the GOP toward doing two big health and tax bills through reconciliation. When the health-care bill failed (Trump contributed to this failure, but there were lots of other factors, too), it seemed they could get nothing this year. Now, it appears very likely that they will get the tax bill, which includes a rifle-shot elimination of the individual mandate. And the administration has been steadily reversing the executive aggrandizements of the Obama administration. Trump has governed so far as more of a Republican and conservative than I expected.

A Possible Defense Of Michael Flynn by John Hinderaker. If you want to see the damage that can be done by folks like Heer, consider this case.

“I also wonder why the FBI questioned Flynn about his interactions with the Russian ambassador — interactions that were legal and normal in a transition period. I have long thought that it was an attempt to set Flynn up. That suspicion deepens given the new information about the role of Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok in the proceedings.

Media meltdown and the damage it does to democracy by Washington Examiner – “False and misleading news stories over the weekend, all of which disparaged Republicans, were parroted and retweeted and broadcast by countless reporters before being completely debunked.”

“These false or misleading stories, all of which, not coincidentally, disparaged Republicans, were parroted and retweeted and broadcast by countless reporters before being completely debunked. Countless readers and viewers still don’t realize that the stories produced by this sloppy reporting are false. Or “fake,” to borrow a phrase.

The costlier result is that no adult who cares for accuracy and honesty can take reports from these august outlets at face value without serous fact-checking.

far too many media outlets have sacrificed their arduously won integrity in the delusional belief that today’s circumstances has produced a uniquely appalling situation in which their primary role must be to hound the elected government.

Three stories showed this weekend that it is impossible to trust the many news media when they report damning things about Republicans.

The press is in the First Amendment because it — we — are needed to hold the powerful to account. We can’t do that if the people don’t trust us. After this weekend, asking the people to trust the press is a lot harder.

‘Hurtling’ GOP tax bills are actually serious by Michael Barone – “It’s a nice illustration of creatively phrased advocacy journalism.”

“This is less reportage than advocacy journalism, written to advance the argument, with which many people agree, that Republican tax bills are harmful because they make federal taxation less progressive. But it’s also an argument against any tax cut at any time.

Missing from the arguments of Republicans’ critics is acknowledgement that we already have what is, by most measures, the most progressive national tax system in the world.

Betsy Newmark has more on the meltdown describing the response to the tax reform bill, the corruption in the Meuller witch hunt and the FBI and other matters. But then she puts her anti-Trump bias on the table with a contradiction (she should ponder Althouse’s comments cited yesterday)

Trump’s tweets are stupid and do more to damage him and his legal position than shed any sort of light. He can’t help himself and for every one useful tweet to his causes, he has about five tweets that are unpresidential and harm his agenda by distracting from what he’s supposedly trying to accomplish. But he is right at least that the investigation is compromised if it keeps hiding things from the House’s legitimate oversight.

Tweets distill an issue like nothing else and Trump keeps hitting the nail on the head with his. A communications method that yields such positive results and observations that “he is right” so often is not the hallmark of “stupid.”

The Moore case hasn’t quit yet as a memo has surfaced to try to prove that Moore’s memory from forty years ago is faulty and, therefore, he is a fraud. The problem with this case is that there is only one allegation of actual wrongdoing, trying to date an underage girl. All the other allegations are for dating girls older than the age of consent, such as the one with the memo. These are lumped in with the underage girl in order to generalize pedophilia and support moral preening. There is also evidence that the underage victim has problems with her story in regards to locale. This doesn’t stop those who insist that there is “credible evidence” and otherwise jump to conclusions and make improper generalizations based on political fantasies. There are significant parallels to the Meuller investigation in purpose and integrity.

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We can hope. Sanders stands tall, football players stand short, and the Left is confused.

Sarah Sanders is Above the Shame Game By Julie Kelly – “Set aside for a moment the audacity of one professional mother (Brzezinski) using the children of another professional mother (Sanders) as a way to shame her. But since Brzezinski is a liberal and Sanders is a conservative, no one bothered to call her out on it.”

“NBC News reporter Kristen Welker pressed Sanders, asking whether it is appropriate for the president to use a “racial slur” in any context. “I don’t believe it is appropriate for him to make a racial slur, or anybody else. I don’t think that it is, and I don’t think that was the president’s intent.”

That was it. Hardly justification for Mika’s morning meltdown. Perhaps nuptial-planning has Mika in a tizzy. She’s already told us how it has affected her cooking. The pressure on brides these days…

But Mika was just piling on to the harsh media criticism directed at Sanders over the past few weeks. Unlike her easily-mockable predecessor Sean Spicer, who was often flustered, emotional, and tongue-tied, Sanders is unflappable.

it’s not “whataboutism” to contrast the harsh interrogations and personal, mean-spirited criticism Sanders now faces compared to how her two male predecessors in the Obama White House were treated. After all, these were the mouthpieces for an administration that lied about Obamacare, the Benghazi terror attacks, and the IRS scandal, just to name a few whoppers. Until his final day, Josh Earnest forcefully and facetiously peddled the Trump-colluded-with-Russia fable, even citing the dossier and helping legitimize Buzzfeed’s initial story on the document. It’s too bad Earnest and Jay Carney did not get the Sarah Sanders treatment.

Senate Democrats Blatantly Lied About Hillsdale College By Dean Clancy– “Every single Democrat senator owes Hillsdale an apology for the blatant lies spread about the college during Senate debate over tax reform.”

“The controversial provision benefitted, not just Hillsdale, but every college that declines to take federal money. There are at least six such colleges in the country, and they all follow this policy for the same reason: to preserve their liberty.

Taming the Imperial Presidency by Jay Cost – “Over decades, the chief executive has become too dominant a figure. Congress should take back the power it has surrendered.” It’s the tweets that got him. You can see just how it’s deranged Cost by his assertion that “A more acute problem, at least of late, is the false presumption that the president can actually speak for the nation.”

“And in 2017, it appears as though Trump’s communications strategy is to intentionally work people up, especially on Twitter. And what is the ultimate purpose of this? It does not seem to be to rouse Congress to work for the nation. Is it to settle whatever grievance he has on that particular morning?

The fact is that the President is elected to speak for the country as a whole. Just because you don’t like what he says or how he says it does not make it otherwise. This is a factor behind the former President’s actions following the current President’s overseas visits and also about where the anti-Trump witch-hunt is going.

Cost is also disingenuous by his sudden interest in the role of Congress after the previous two terms. The current President is undoing many of the executive branch over-reach actions and re-establishing a proper balance between all three branches. He may indeed be “needlessly infuriating half the country” – at least according to them – but that is because they want the opposite of what Cost says he is looking for. They seek a fascist dictator because that is the only way they can achieve their agenda. Opposing that view is why Trump was elected. The effectiveness of his methods of communications shows in the expressions of dissonance on the Left.

Ann Althouse – “Those who want to do anti-Trump humor need to understand that Trump himself is a comedian.”

I’m not saying Trump is just a clown, and it’s crazy that we made a clown President. I’m saying, whatever his worth as human being carrying out the duties of the presidency, he is also a comic talent, with many humorous insights, great timing, and — like the greatest comedians — he’s challenging us to see what’s funny and what’s serious as he mixes it up and causes anxiety that we can relieve if we climb out of the ocean of confusion and onto the island of laughter.

If you’ve been finding it easy to make fun of Trump, you are not working hard enough. It’s like trying to write a brief in a hard legal case and believing your adversary’s arguments are just stupid. You’d better understand the way they make sense and the thinking of the people who might hear these arguments as cogent or you’re not doing it right.

NFL Owners’ ‘social justice’ bribe spectacularly fails By Thomas Lifson – “It is not as if the owners weren’t warned. Bullies don’t stop being bullies when they get benefits for their bullying. Appeasement doesn’t work in the face of an angry and aggressive foe.”

The Right Prescription. Senate Bill Kills Obamacare’s Taxes on the Poor by David Catron – “Legislation eliminates the individual mandate and medical expense taxes.”

“It was as inevitable as, well, death and taxes that the Democrats would react to the Senate tax reform bill with public lamentation, rending of garments, and portentous declarations about the death of the Republic.

The ostensible concern of Warren and Blumenthal for the fate of the republic is, of course, no more authentic than the former’s native-American heritage or the latter’s heroic service in Vietnam. … No matter how many histrionic performances the Democrats act out for the C-Span cameras, no matter how much propaganda they promulgate via the “news” media, the public is tired of paying good money for bad ideas.

Nor are Warren and Blumenthal the only members of the Democratic Party from whom no rational person would buy a used car. The Republicans, for all their myriad faults, seem to have finally grasped that they must respond to the will of the voters if they wish to maintain their majorities in Congress. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, reconciled with the House tax bill in conference and signed by President Trump into law is a good start toward regaining the trust of their constituents by doing what they were sent to Washington to do.

That the behavior patterns are predictable helps because that leads to their being noticed and analyzed. That then leads to designing therapies to address them.

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Time for a sanity check?

Danger in AP’s relentless drive to dump on Trump By Ralph Z. Hallow – “This lead sentence, like the rest of the “news” story, reads like a press release from the Democratic National Committee. A news story it wasn’t.”

“The news service’s distinctly liberal bias alone doesn’t seem sufficient to explain the extent of its relentlessly harsh criticism of President Trump. The AP has been gut-punching him since he declared for the Republican presidential nomination way back on June 16, 2015, in New York City.

A replay of the televised Oval Office ceremony shows the obviously proud and happy code talkers continuing to beam at Mr. Trump as he makes his Pocahontas crack. No stunned silence after. No outward sign of shock or tension or crushed sensitivities. Yet The New York Times’ version of the event claims that when the president made the Pocahontas remark, the code talkers “stood stone-faced.”

In a lead sentence that was even nastier than the AP’s, The New York Times managed to drag, for the umpteenth time, race into its habitual disparagement of Mr. Trump.

Here’s the world-informing wire service quoting a full-time Democratic Trump disparager and selected relatives of code talkers, all impugning the president every way to Sunday. And smearing him as racist, based on no facts or evidence. If you don’t see danger here, you’re not looking hard enough.

How Hateful Are The Democrats? This Hateful by John Hinderaker – “You can’t make this stuff up: Vogue, a reliable Democratic Party outlet, has gone crazy over First Lady Melania Trump’s White House Christmas decorations

“When I read this sort of thing, I always wonder: did anyone say anything like this about Michelle Obama? I lived through those long eight years, and I can tell you the answer is No. As an antidote to the Democrats’ hatefulness, let’s close with some photos of this year’s White House decorations:

Anti-Trump Media: White House Christmas Decor ‘Spooky,’ Like a Scene from ‘The Shining’ By Debra Heine – “Did you know that those exquisite White House Christmas decorations First Lady Melania Trump proudly unveiled yesterday are “spooky,” “spine-chilling,” and “nightmarish” — like scenes from Mordor, Narnia, or The Shining?”

“It took most of the day yesterday, but by nightfall, the Trump-hating media was able to settle on an unfavorable narrative with which to belittle the newly unveiled decor.

Speaking of overactive imaginations, “Melania Trump decks the halls with dead branches, spine-chilling wails of the damned,” according to the AV Club. …
Good Lord. Someone tell this Edgar Allan Poe wannabe that these are fairly standard Christmas decorations.

Apparently these people despise Trump so much they must also despise his Christmas decorations.

I can’t help but wonder where these journalists were nine years ago during the Obamas’ first Christmas at the White House. The first family chose a far-left partisan to decorate the White House that year and the results were truly amazing.

Does anyone but me remember their tacky Christmas tree with Chairman Mao, transvestite Hedda Lettuce, Obama on Mount Rushmore, and Obama Lincoln ornaments?

This Is Why We Can’t Trust Factcheckers, Part Infinity By David Harsanyi – “It’s another op-ed column masquerading as a fact check.”

“During a speech at the Tax Foundation last week, Vice President Mike Pence dropped a meaningless but innocuous political talking point about the U.S. economy. “There are more Americans working today than ever before in American history,” he reportedly said.

This statement really irritated one of The Washington Post’s factchecking professionals.

It’s improbable that Obama would ever have been factchecked for saying something as insipid as Pence has. These days, in fact, factcheckers have become extraordinarily literal when rationalizing the former president’s failed promises.

All of this is important to note because, no matter how unreliable factcheckers continue to be, countless self-styled lovers of science and fact will send you these kinds of articles and treat them as irrefutable truths. They are not. Quite often, they’re just op-ed columns.

Thanks to Conyers, Identity politics finally is splitting the Democrats By Thomas Lifson – “we are in the midst of a form of hysteria that is driven by long-repressed anger.” This anger is a result of what has risen to the surface, not a cause of it.

“Even worse for the Get Trump crowd and the feminists, Rep. James Cliburn, third-ranking Democrat in the House, seemed to offer the opinion that being elected confers immunity:

Nancy Pelosi tried to defend Conyers as an icon on Sunday, and had to walk that back in the face of fury from women. But that hasn’t Rep, Gregory Meeks from arguing that Conyers” has made America a better place” while paying lip service to the concerns of feminists, and bringing racial discrimination into the conversation.

It has gotten so bad that another prominent member of the CBC is reverting to shocking racism, dismissing the complaints because the victims are white, and implying that racism is at work, likening the complainers to one of the most hated women in recent memory:

There is enough anger in the air among Democrats, with the self-identification with victim groups continuing to outweigh the joint quest for power, that Democrats have got to worry about whom to sacrifice, and how — to keep their female turnout high, without damaging black turnout in 2018.

Objections raised to deporting illegal alien MS-13 members. Wait… what? By Jazz Shaw – “It may be time for some sort of sanity check, not just in this single Maryland county, but in all the cities where gang violence is ripping apart the fabric of civil society.”

“If decent people want to take back control of their own communities they have to jointly decide that enough is enough. If you keep electing officials who refuse to make the hard decisions and actually take on the bad guys, nothing is going to save you. Sheriff Sahler should have been getting a medal for the work he was doing, but he’s instead the target of criticism. We’re living in Bizarro World at this point.

CNN wonders: Is Trump … competent? By Allahpundit – “What’s the line between being, shall we say, overly credulous about dubious information that flatters your prejudices and being a little unbalanced upstairs?”

Who is funding the Leandra English lawsuit for control of the CFPB? By John Sexton – “Tuesday, English’s lawyer, Deepak Gupta, was asked that question and struggled with his answer.”

“That’s a mighty amount of hand-waving over a pretty simple question: Who is paying your bill? No one is asking Gupta for a legal justification for whatever set up was made behind the scenes. All that’s needed here is the name of a person or organization.

This is the sort of battle you sometimes see in banana republics where two opposing sides fight for control over the same lever of power. Legally, Trump is going to win this battle. The fact that the country’s leading Democrats are trying to win this fight with politicized public appeals (like the one above) is a worrisome development.

They are playing with fire here and I suspect if the shoe were on the other foot and Republicans were trying something like this, the opinion pages would be bursting with hot-takes calling it a dangerous violation of established norms. As it stands, the media reaction to this entire dubious effort seems fairly muted so far.

The Moving Finger Fingers Our ‘Moral Betters’ By Sarah Hoyt – “The trendy way of shutting up any complaints of women not behaving in any sensible way is not going to work with me.”

As the skulls of Matt Lauer and Garrison Keillor are added to the ever-growing pile collected by the #metoo and #sohardtobeawoman feminists, this libertarian is starting to wonder if there will be any straight, normal testosterone males remaining on the left — so it’s time to inject a little sanity.

I’ve been observing the dynamic of victim worship in America for three decades. Call it an outgrowth of rooting for the underdog. It’s nauseating.

What happened in most of these cases is extortion and abuse of power. Almost all of the fields where this happened are highly oligarchic and controlled by the left. The males who rose to power in it, mostly by mouthing feminist platitudes, were, therefore, left with unchecked power over the careers of a lot of women.

Let’s make no mistake here: yeah, sure, the abusers were enabled by the media. They were enabled by an establishment that protected men acting like moronic glands on legs if they spouted the right opinions. They were protected by money, power, and prestige.

And the women gave in to them because they had power, money, prestige. Because the women wanted a career, advancement. Money.

Some of us grew up in another time and place. We were taught the way women respond to unwanted advances, much less to advances that amount to professional extortion.

The dream of equality in the workplace depends on women stopping these abuses themselves when they happen.

You can choose to stop this now and turn it around. Or you can go shambling further into insanity and restriction of women’s options.

Mash, Suicide is Painless, is here again.

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Where you live? Why? CFPB and matters of control

Choosing political bias over economic reality By Richard W. Rahn – “The debate about the tax rate cut proposal shows this same reality disconnect.”

“Why is it that those who have been right in the past are often ignored, while great attention is paid to those who have been wrong? Many “politically correct” forecasters’ words are accepted as gospel by the media despite dismal records.

The debate about climate change, the minimum wage and the proposals for tax reform illustrate why so many get it wrong.

The debate about the tax rate cut proposal shows this same reality disconnect. Minority party leaders Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schumer and many of their colleagues claim it is a tax cut for the rich when, in fact, almost all low- and middle-income people will receive a meaningful tax reduction. And yes, in Mrs. Pelosi’s San Francisco and Mr. Schumer’s New York, some of their fellow wealthy constituents might pay higher taxes.

The majority of economists claimed at the time that the economy could not grow nearly as fast as it did after the Reagan tax rate cuts — and they were wrong.

Most economists and even members of the media understand that high taxes on cigarettes and sugary drinks discourage consumption. Why then is it that so many seem to have such a hard time understanding (despite the empirical evidence) that lower tax rates on work, saving and investment will stimulate economic growth and grow the tax base? Why do members of the media (e.g., The New York Times editorial page) give more credence to those who failed in their past predictions than those who got it right? Is it political bias or ignorance of history that causes the reality disconnect?

Denzel Washington on black incarceration: ‘I can’t blame the system,’ ‘it starts in the home’ By Jessica Chasmar – “If the streets raise you, then the judge becomes your mother and prison becomes your home

“According to The New York Daily News, Mr. Washington expanded on his answer when pressed by reporters, saying, “It starts with how you raise your children. If a young man doesn’t have a father figure, he’ll go find a father figure.

“So, you know, I can’t blame the system,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that we make such easy work for them.”

In Draining The CFPB Swamp, Trump Finds Monsters by IBD – update on English v Mulvaney at the CFPB.

“If nothing else, this shows what a monumental, perhaps even Sisyphean, job it will be for Trump to drain Washington’s fetid bureaucratic swamp. It’s not the dirty water so much as the swamp monsters that make it such a perilous task.

Those who work in the CFPB, which was created by the Obama administration in 2010 as the right arm of the financially disastrous regulatory monstrosity known as Dodd-Frank, think of themselves as having a special mission: to regulate every nuance of the U.S. consumer financial world, supposedly to “protect” consumers.

As we’ve said before, the CFPB is basically a rogue agency, with virtually no accountability to Congress or to the American people for that matter. It was designed that way. And no, this is not just a question of governance style; it’s a question of constitutionality, of the rule of law.

In its current form, the CFPB is unconstitutional, as a federal court way back in October of 2016 already ruled.

The mainstream media have largely treated this as a kind of he-said/she-said spat. It’s not. It’s quite serious. If Leandra English can declare herself head of a major U.S. agency, then the chances of truly reasserting control over the administrative state would shrink to near zero.

Why Democrats are to blame for consumer agency debacle By Lorraine Woellert – “The CFPB turmoil highlights how Democrats shunned Republican efforts to broaden its governance to a commission that would have included diverse viewpoints.”

“In truth, the bureau has been mired in controversy since its creation. Warren has built a political career railing against Wall Street. Cordray infuriated industry and inspired lawsuits. And the bureau itself is unique, investing great power in one person with almost no accountability.

It was predictable that such a toxic mix would eventually explode. Now Democrats are facing the consequences of their decision to protect the agency’s powerful independent director. Anybody Trump nominates to replace Cordray will have the ability to undo a lot of his work. On Monday, Mulvaney wasted no time, imposing a regulatory and hiring freeze.

For Democrats, there seemed to be a political strategy.

Richard Cordray Delivers the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Punchline By Ronald L. Rubin – “The CFPB’s first director cared about consumers, but he was consumed by politics.”

“Obama installed Cordray by using an unconstitutional recess appointment, Democrats threatened to change the filibuster rules, and Republicans surrendered.

Perhaps it was this two-year ordeal that turned Cordray into a cynical partisan mercenary. … By 2017, there was no denying the ugly truth. Cordray cared about consumers, but he was consumed by politics.

Warren built a political battleship, and Cordray deployed it. The bureau’s powerful media division dictated policy to its regulatory professionals and relentlessly exaggerated the agency’s achievements in daily press releases and social-media posts. Political operatives used the CFPB’s super-independence to stonewall congressional subpoenas and hide unethical investigation tactics, internal discrimination problems, and other inconvenient facts. Republican critics were dismissed as Wall Street sycophants.

Meanwhile, millions of dollars were diverted from the CFPB to Democratic allies.

Cordray’s sickening stunt left no doubt about the absurdity of claims that he and the CFPB were ever politically independent. For this, we can all give thanks.

Watchdog Finds More Evidence Obama’s EPA Broke Federal Law by Chris White – “Judicial Watch obtained 900 pages of documents Monday showing the EPA used social media to lobby support for the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.”

“Federal law prohibits agencies from engaging in propaganda. It also forbids agencies from using federal resources to conduct grassroots campaigns that prod U.S. citizens into browbeating lawmakers to act on pending legislation.

“The Obama EPA knowingly did an end run around federal law to push another Obama environmental power grab,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a press statement Monday. “These documents show how these Obama-era bureaucrats seem to be more like social activists than public employees.”

“Credible” stories by neo-neocon – “what is with this “credible” business? I’ve seen it over and over to describe the Roy Moore allegations, as well as allegations against other figures in cases in which I don’t find the allegations especially credible although they might be true.”

“Each camp is going on “credible” evidence rather than anything even remotely approaching highly convincing evidence. Much of it is an emotional reaction to the accuser’s tale, and reflects a sort of hubris about our ability to detect a liar vs. a truthteller, based on that emotional reaction (and sometimes an over-identification based on personal experience). Almost any story about anyone can sound “credible” unless it contains obviously fanciful elements that are literally impossible. Are we all now required to believe any allegation by a woman against a man that is not impossible?

Science Moms Fight Fears with Facts by Harriet Hall – “a group of 15 women scientists, bloggers, and educators to send a letter to Paltrow, Gellar, and other celebrities asking them not to co-opt motherhood and wield their fame to oppose beneficial technologies, but to use their influence responsibly and ensure that their advocacy is supported by facts, not fear.” 

At the recent conference of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSICON) in Las Vegas, on October 28, 2017, I had the great privilege and pleasure of being in the audience for the American premiere of a new documentary, Science Moms, as well as for the following live panel discussion by the women featured in the movie. In the documentary, a group of scientists and science communicators who are also moms address misperceptions created by misinformation in the media about GMOs, vaccines, and other issues important to parents. They point out that “moms whose opinions are formed by fear and hype are so loud. But they’re the only people talking about it, the only resource people have.” With this documentary, people now have another resource based on science, a resource that is easily digestible and compelling.

The letter caught the attention of Natalie Newell, the host of “The Science Enthusiast” podcast. She contacted one of the letter’s authors. One thing led to another, and the result was this documentary.

The problem is that fears are irrational and facts aren’t. That’s two different worlds that humans seem to find difficult to move between.

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You’d think it was the battle for Berlin in 1945

DOJ ruling gives Trump upper hand in fight with Democrats over consumer bureau By Stephen Dinan – this is another example of where Antifa has the wrong target and it is Trump that restoring the power balance described in the U.S. Constitution. You want facism? Here’s how to build it:

“At stake is one of the government’s most powerful positions at the head of the CFPB, which gives its director an incredible amount of independence. Under the 2010 Dodd-Frank law that created the bureau, the director cannot be fired except for good cause, and the CFPB’s budget is entirely independent of Congress and the president, making it impossible to rein the bureau in.

Republicans, who largely voted against the Dodd-Frank law, say the CFPB is not only a bad idea but also illegal. A federal appeals court has agreed with them, ruling the overwhelming power of one individual to be unconstitutional — though that ruling is stayed pending another appeal.

Even Allahpundit gets it – “The idea that a now-former agency head can monarchically pass his scepter to a successor over the president’s objection, making the seat (temporarily) hereditary, is ludicrous.”

“It’s a pander to progressives by a guy who wants to protect his left flank in a Democratic gubernatorial primary. The surest way to earn cheap goodwill from the left is to make a showy gesture of sticking it to Trump. That’s what Cordray did by deputizing English and forcing a court battle. The fact that he’ll lose isn’t the point. The fact that he “fought” Trump is the point.

What makes this especially egregious is how Cordray himself first came to lead the CFPB. “Those defending Cordray’s action apparently believe powerful agency should be headed by someone not nominated by any President [and] not confirmed by any Congress,” tweeted Jonathan Adler this morning.

Unhinged coverage of Trump is hurting the media By Kyle Smith –

“A year ago this week, I marveled at the pot-boiling-over frenzy of Donald Trump Derangement Syndrome in the media. Well, today, the media’s kitchen is a shambles. Spaghetti sauce is splattered all over the walls, and the Fourth Estate is pouring more Prego marinara into the pot while keeping the heat turned up to the level marked “thermonuclear.”

Not only is everything (still) hyper-politicized, but the lines between news media, lifestyle media and flat-out activism have faded into irrelevance.

The culture warriors’ incessant politicization of everything has reached new levels of the ridiculous.

The unhinged coverage of all Trump scandals, real and imagined, has cost the media in the eyes of the public, among whom only 39 percent said they had a “great deal” or even “some” confidence in news outlets last November.

The media are correct in thinking they have an important duty in the Trump era. But the people are correct in noticing that the media is filtering everything through an obsessive hatred for Trump.

For the love of God, why can’t Democrats leave the Little Sisters of the Poor alone? by Nicole Russell – “In an unusual political move, Pennsylvania and California sued the Little Sisters, demanding the same group who won at the Supreme Court in Zubik v. Burwell provide contraceptives in their state.”

“Sadly Josh Shapiro and Xavier Becerra [attorneys general in Pennsylvania and California, respectively] think attacking nuns is a way to score political points. These men may think their campaign donors want them to sue nuns, but our guess is most taxpayers disagree. No one needs nuns in order to get contraceptives, and no one needs these guys reigniting the last administration’s divisive and unnecessary culture war.”

On the call, I asked how the states were even able to sue the organization, given the Supreme Court’s ruling on the matter. Rienzi said it was merely “political grandstanding.” In a follow-up email, Rienzi explained “This is a pretty unusual situation. It’s similar to a collateral attack — filing a second lawsuit to challenge what has already been decided elsewhere. The protection is, and should be, to let the people from the old lawsuit intervene and defend their rights in the new one.”

Let’s hope for the Little Sisters’ sake, these frivolous lawsuits end swiftly and decisively so they can continue their good work.

Ex-Cop Making Roy Moore Harassment Claim Is Leftist, Anti-Moore Opponent By Selwyn Duke – “Faye Gary created quite a stir last week with her comments, though she confessed to MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell that the claims about Judge Moore were “just rumors” and that “we never got a complaint on it.”

What didn’t come out during her media interview — in which she appeared sober and non-partisan — is that she has an ideological axe to grind with the judge.

After confirming with the City of Gadsden Personnel Office that Gary actually had served as a police officer, I contacted her via a Facebook message. The passion and anger quickly emerged, with Gary making clear she objected to Moore’s stances on homosexuality, Islam and the display of the Ten Commandments.

In fact, the venom leapt from the page. Gary insisted that Moore will, as she put it, “pay for his stance on gays, Muslims and most of all for hiding behind the Ten Commandments for his political gain.” She seemed to be implying that he’ll suffer some kind of divine retribution.

Gary also became vulgar.

Note that none of this means Gary’s claims are or aren’t true. But it hints at her motivation for coming forward and certainly makes her something less than an unimpeachable source.

In addition, the story of Moore’s most damning accuser, Beverly Young Nelson, has already unraveled. Meanwhile, rumor is helping obscure reality.

Glen Reynolds at Instapundit

“But I was pondering the weird behavior of people like Harvey Weinstein and Charlie Rose. This isn’t just about using the power of your position to get women. Instead, there was this weird stuff about walking around naked or in a bathrobe and expecting women to be impressed. So my thought: Instead of exercising traditionally male power, they were trying to exercise the traditionally female power of being desirable and desired. Maybe it’s because they were in industries where that power is especially prominent, but pathetically, they were acting like they hoped someone would find them . . . beautiful.

Also, at Instapundit, on the expression of hate in regards to net neutrality: – “Lefties will regret the precedent: Targeting Ajit Pai’s children, house. I contacted Pai, who confirms this happened, and adds: “Many other issues, too, from specific online threats to the kids to harassment of my wife on her work email accounts.”

The problem of sex By Richard Fernandez – “Commenting on the paralyzing spate of assault accusations roiling the West it seems that the sexual revolution begun in the 1960s has reached the Reign of Terror stage.”

If sex is finished it will be bad news for the human race not simply because homo sapiens, like nearly every other species, relies on it to stave off extinction but because sex has defined humanity hopes and posterity for millenia. … sex forms the bridge between a mortal individual and the immortal species. For generations there has been nothing so masculine as to die for the woman you love.

But like all powerful urges sex was dangerous. Only by taming it was civilization possible. Communities required the invention the family to form and at the family’s core lay the injunction against molesting women within it.

Suddenly a strange thing happened. The increased opportunities for sexual interaction promised by 60s prophets, rather than kicking off an endless party raised the curtain on a darker prospect. The 60s chant “if it feels good, do it” gave way to a new, more fearful phrase: rape culture.

Yale claims to have cured conservatives by turning them into liberals by Jazz Shaw – “With so many articles out there last week preparing people for the horror of having to talk to their “crazy Republican uncle” over Thanksgiving dinner, this announcement seems to have come a bit late.”

“And you wonder why people are increasingly turned off by institutes of higher education. This sort of pseudoscience doesn’t require a post-graduate degree to pick apart. Yale’s starting premise is that people who feel “unsafe” (or afraid) are more likely to adopt conservative viewpoints.

The conflation of immigration with illegal immigration is a hallmark of Democratic political speeches, not cognitive neuroscience. The study’s authors stretch the analogy from there

Putting unrelated information into the minds of survey participants prior to asking questions has a different name in political circles. It’s known as a push poll. Rather than getting an accurate impression of a person’s opinions, you’re poisoning the well in advance to sway their feelings. … This report appears to be little more than a phony attempt to festoon some bits of science onto a liberal, open borders manifesto.

Or, if they insist on traipsing down this particular path, I would suggest assembling a similar group of test subjects and showing them all a picture of Kate Steinle, followed by some grisly scenes of the handiwork of MS-13. Then ask them all about their feelings on immigration issues being sure to include the word “illegal.” Get back to us after you see how that works out. Who knows? You might even cure some liberals for a little while.

The Freddie Gray scorecard by Paul Mirengoff – “In sum, not a single officer was found by an adjudicatory body to have engaged in conduct that warranted punishment. The adjudicators who considered the matter were: a jury, an African-American judge, the police department’s administrative panel, and the police commissioner.”

The only procedure still pending in connection with the Gray case is a federal lawsuit brought by some of the officers against Marilyn Mosby, the city prosecutor, for malicious prosecution and defamation.

This is not a full accounting of the Gray matter, however. The family of Freddie Gray received $6.4 million from the city via a settlement agreed to by Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Baltimore’s hack Democratic mayor at the time.

The settlement figure was ridiculously high. Yet, Baltimore would have gotten off cheaply if that had been the sole price. Indeed, the city would have gotten off fairly cheaply if the only other price had been the riots that Mayor Rawlings in a sense invited after Gray’s death.

Instead, Baltimore suffered a huge upswing in violent crime, thanks to the unwillingness of its Democratic politicians to stand behind the police. Baltimore’s current mayor admits that violent crime is “out of control.”

And a quarterback is teaching the NFL to kneel to refute these findings and this history.

The Ultimate In Pettiness by John Hinderaker – “Perhaps you have heard about “Piegate.” It started when Press Secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted a photo of a pie that she baked for Thanksgiving

Ryan kept the “controversy” going with numerous retweets of claims that Sanders didn’t really bake the pie. It was a stock image, or something. April Ryan’s Twitter feed is actually rather shocking. I think it is fair to describe it as a hate site. She hates President Trump, the Trump administration, and Republicans and conservatives generally.

You really have to scan Ryan’s Twitter feed to get the point. She is an ideologically committed warrior against the Trump administration and the Republican party.

That wouldn’t be shocking–some of us have relatives you could describe that way–but for the fact that CNN pays her to be a “political analyst,” and she is a member of the White House press corps. In America’s modern history, we have not seen anything like this. Certainly no one from CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Associated Press, etc., declared war on the Obama administration. And when Barack Obama was president, no one started Twitter wars over the provenance of his press secretary’s Thanksgiving pies.

We are sailing in uncharted waters. The best we can say is, at least everyone knows now who our enemies are.

Elon Musk Made the Kessel Run in Less Than Twelve Parsecs by Coyote Blog – “I checked the first 10 sources in a Google search and not a single media outlet that routinely chastises climate skeptics for being anti-science seems to have questioned the oddball and nearly meaningless 100MW figure.” It was a choice between this and Mike Hughes cancels his rocket proof of Flat Earth by Luboš Motl – “Hughes would be an excellent example for the Darwin Award.” The confusion between units of power and energy wins because it is a favorite illustration of the ‘alternative energy’ fanatics’ ignorance and it is held by more people than the flat earth idea and it has a greater social adverse impact.

“A megawatt is a measure of energy production or transmission rate. As such, it is a perfectly appropriate way to size the capacity of a power plant that is assumed to have a continuous supply of fuel. However, it is an extremely odd way to size a battery. A battery has a fixed energy storage capacity, which is generally measured in watt-hours (or some conversion thereof). For example a 10 Wh battery would provide 10 watts for an hour before running out, or 5 watts for 2 hours, etc. It is not clear if this is just a typo, that they really mean 100MWh, or if 100 megawatts is the peak discharge rate and they are being silent on exactly how long this lasts (ie how long can those 30,000 homes be powered?)

I was going to compare the number on energy storage here and show that you could actually generate electricity from gas, not just store it, for well less than this. But it is sort of hard to make the calculation when they don’t get the units right.

Fear and Fantasy are tremendous motivators. Berliners, and most Germans, had a lot to fear in 1945 and that resulted in many tragedies. The Germans had good reason to fear the Russians. The Left’s fears, though, are not founded in reality and that makes them worse as the imagination can leap many boundaries.

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The light of day, a time for war, the cognitive game, and growing up girl

A Time for War By David Prentice – “it was started by the hard left, and it’s a war to achieve power for them, for them to change the entire workings of our country.”

“It’s here. Now. Thankfully this is not yet the blood in the streets kind of war, but war it is. It’s a war for the soul of this country, it’s a war that will affect everyone; none will escape having to deal with it directly, or indirectly.

Examples of the current battles in the war:

  • Racialism, black lives matter, NFL kneeling, and the war on being white.
  • The new feminism, and the war on being male.
  • The new feminism, and the war on the unborn.
  • Turning sex into a cesspool. Weinstein, Hollywood, preying on children, rampant unfaithfulness, broken families, transgenderism.
  • Turning race baiting and sex allegation into weapons of mass destruction.
  • Environmental catastrophism.
  • Health care control.
  • Spending our grandchildren’s money.
  • Allowing immigration to strangle what’s left of our institutions.
  • Pretending radical Islam is okay, but Judeo-Christian culture is not.
  • Teaching that socialism is just another form of government and not a failure.
  • Teaching that our country is inherently evil, and must be changed throughout.

the important thing to understand is every one of these major battles is going on simultaneously. Our nation’s military command used to pride itself on being capable of handling two major war fronts. As you can see, we aren’t fighting two fronts at home, it’s dozens and all at the same time. And they’re hot battles, many of them being fought with the other side spending our own money to prop themselves up.

Unfortunately, we on the right haven’t had a good organization to counter the shock and awe tactics of the left. The party that is supposed to lead us doesn’t even know we’re in a war.

The left has taught the next generation white guilt. Alongside Uncle Tom guilt. Both lies. Racialism is mental slavery.

The left has convinced the next generation that socialism is good. That free enterprise is evil. That we are destroying our environment. All destructive lies.

They are lying about their own sexual moral superiority.

each battle is filled with lies from the left. It’s their MO. Tokyo Rose is their model. Hillary is their face.

Before there is bloodshed in the streets, we must beat them at their own game.

The left must be defeated before they can regroup. Bring. It. On.

Playing the Cognitive Game – The Climate Skeptic’s Guide to Cognitive Biases by John Ridgway – “I am getting pretty fed up with psychologists proclaiming the irrationality of climate change scepticism.”

“I hope to demonstrate how easy it is to conjecture upon a group’s psychological state and how easy it is to turn the tables and place the advocates of the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) hypothesis under scrutiny. The result may be so much psychological flimflam but I consider it no less worthy than the dubious speculation emanating from the supposed experts and the IPCC.

This is about bias and not about logical fallacies. A bias is often expressed as the use of logical fallacies and might be considered an interpretation of the motivation for the them. As such, the observer needs to be much more aware that a conclusion about a bias is more subjective than one about a fallacy. A fallacy is an observation of behavior that fits a category. A bias needs a case to be made to connect the behavior to a reason for its deviance from reality.

It’s great that Blue Planet II is pushing hard on plastic pollution in the oceans – but please use facts, not conjecture by Malcolm David Hudson – “Must we always talk for victory, and never once for truth, for comfort, and joy – Ralph Waldo Emerson.” This might be a story of another example of how Attenborough lost his creds. It is about propaganda by omission, by the use of partial and selected facts to make an argument. Hudson is hoping a propagandist will change his tune. Good luck with that.

“In the final set piece, narrator David Attenborough’s tone changed – as it does when he has bad news. He showed us grim images of a turtle tangled in plastic debris, a beautiful tropical fish sheltering among our waste, and most heartbreaking of all, a mother pilot whale unable to let go of her long-dead infant as the rest of her family grieved.

In the whole sequence, there was no direct link made between the death of the baby whale and the plastic debris we saw in parallel footage; no evidence that its mother’s milk actually contained contamination from plastics. Nothing.

My inner environmentalist convulsed with frustration at wildlife being killed by unnecessary human waste, but my inner scientist screamed foul at the lack of direct evidence shown on the programme.

Powerful environmental documentaries like Blue planet II can change views on the big environmental issues; just please use truth and scientific evidence.

100 years. 100 million lives. Think twice. By Mark Perry – “the title of a recent op-ed in The Harvard Crimson written by Harvard student Laura M. Nicolae, whose father at age 26 left his parents, friends, and neighbors behind when he escaped the oppressive Romanian Communist regime

Roughly 100 million people died at the hands of the ideology my parents escaped. They cannot tell their story. We owe it to them to recognize that this ideology is not a fad, and their deaths are not a joke.

Last month marked 100 years since the Bolshevik Revolution, though college culture would give you precisely the opposite impression. Depictions of communism on campus paint the ideology as revolutionary or idealistic, overlooking its authoritarian violence. Instead of deepening our understanding of the world, the college experience teaches us to reduce one of the most destructive ideologies in human history to a one-dimensional, sanitized narrative.

After spending four years on a campus saturated with Marxist memes and jokes about communist revolutions, my classmates will graduate with the impression that communism represents a light-hearted critique of the status quo, rather than an empirically violent philosophy that destroyed millions of lives.

The stories of survivors paint a more vivid picture of communism than the textbooks my classmates have read.

For an example, consider that UNR graduate who has destroyed the NFL by pushing his ignorance.

FCC net-neutrality astroturfing new analysis – and it is bad by Justin – “The FCC comment database has been analysed by someone who knows what they are doing and the comment stuffing is much more extensive than previously thought.” The conclusion is that the humans overwhelmingly supported government I’net control while automated stuffing opposed it. That should raise skepticism. The activists were for government regulation and, as seen in previous cites, quite well populated by the tech community. The implication of the conclusion is that ‘big corporations’ committed conspiracy and fraud. Such a major implication needs better evidence than innuendo. Hence, skepticism is warranted.

Thoughts From The Ammo Line – “Ammo Grrrll draws on painful personal experience to declare NOW IS THE TIME FOR ALL GOOD MEN…is not just a typing exercise!” Growing up girl presents special hazards.

“On an hourly basis, we learn of another woman making accusations of sexual harassment, assault, even outright rape. Other women claim to be “uncomfortable” or offended by a hand on a shoulder, a pat on the back, any human touch. I come from a warm “touchy” family, so I have tended to believe that a lot of those complaints are overwrought. But then I sat down and thought about my own experiences and got depressed. I wondered if ANY female person escapes unscathed? I am pretty tough, worldly, and unusually impervious to locker room talk, and still it’s not a pretty picture. I warn dear readers that what follows is a downer and I’m sorry. I will be funny again next week. And yet I feel lucky. I have seen only my husband in the shower and we own no indoor potted plants.

Can you good and decent men – whom I count in the vast majority – not somehow police the monsters? Every last lefty Hollywood “man” knew about Harvey. Every. Last. One. The moral cowards, busy Tweeting about the Republican “War on Women” stood by and were complicit for decades. Give me my “redneck” father and his shotgun any day. As Richard Pryor intoned, decrying racism by parodying a Psalm: “How long, O Lord, must this bullshit go on?”

The story she tells describes “how good and decent men” did police abuse of their daughters. The problem is that those men are under assault themselves. Society does not accept shotgun justice in any form anymore. Society is passing laws to protect and promote perverts under ‘equality’ and ‘social justice’ banners. Think about the unisex public bathroom laws controvery for an example.

One also needs to keep in mind that a traditional role of men is (or was) to protect wives and daughters – the virtue of their family. Abuse of boys has run on different standards but that is changing, too, as they are emasculated and equalized as victims. This is about the war Prentice describes above.

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There are a lot of confused people out there.

Courts use Trump’s pontificating to rule against his policies By Stephen Dinan – it’s trying to rationalize rogue judges. It is one thing to use ‘pontificating’ to determine intent and motivation but another to use it instead of the actual order or action. The story is about the courts going from what someone actually does to what they say and think. That is a destruction of boundaries of free speech.

Trump speaks about the Alabama race by Paul Mirengoff – “Trump is right that when allegations of sexual misconduct arise, you should listen to both the accuser and the accused.” It is interesting that the President is one of the very few voices out there expressing temperance, moderation, and thoughtful consideration of reality.

Nothing in Trump’s statement today contradicts the original White House position, and Isenstadt doesn’t even attempt to explain how it might.

Trump’s enemies in the media are salivating at the opportunity to use Roy Moore, whom Trump did not support in the primary, to get at the president. Because Trump has thwarted them thus far, his media enemies have to misstate the facts.

The liberal ruse of feminism By Tammy Bruce – “The only thing that has changed for liberals is being caught as enablers and hypocrites.”

“None of these people now complaining about Mr. Clinton have had any sort of epiphany. They just realize their defense of sexual assault in the 1990s makes it impossible for them to continue the fraud of casting conservatives as the enemies of women.

Coming out over two decades after the damage is done is called being too late. It’s also a pathetic attempt to reclaim their supposed moral authority on women’s issues that the liberal establishment has claimed for generations.

What they’re doing now is worse than a simple fib.

The Illogical Attacks on Judge Moore by Jeffrey Folks – “If you thought politics couldn’t get any uglier, you were wrong.”

They play the race card. If that doesn’t stick, they toss out the gender card, as they have with Judge Moore. If the opponent survives these attacks, then it’s the class card, as it was with Mitt Romney. If none of this works, it’s the LGBT card. Then there’s the “E” card – just “too extreme,” as with Barry Goldwater and Judge Bork. When all of these fail, as they did against candidate Donald Trump – and all of them were played – the left freaks out and starts throwing things.

All of these attacks are versions of the same logical fallacy: the ad hominem argument.

Liberals are masters at using ad hominem and other cheap forms of attack. In their book, every conservative is automatically a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, or a madman ready to unleash a nuclear war until proven otherwise. Conservatives are by nature hesitant to use this kind of tactics, partly, I suppose, because they are too proud to stoop that low.

If we enter this new phase of politics, Judge Moore and Al Franken won’t be the last of it. Every candidate for public office will put his reputation at risk. Elections will be fought on the basis of who can concoct the most sensational story. We will have moved so far beyond logic that ideas will become irrelevant and character a mere figment of the imagination.

Vietnam veterans challenge Ken Burns on the accuracy of his epic documentary By Jennifer Harper – “a Texas-based interest group which includes military veterans, historians and authors in its membership — is challenging both the content and tone of the 10-episode, 18-hour epic.”

NY Times opinion: Capitalism is a threat to the world and must be replaced by John Sexton – “The NY Times published an opinion piece yesterday titled “The Climate Crisis? It’s Capitalism, Stupid” which argues that capitalism is the real threat to the environment, a threat which must be eradicated if we are to survive.”

“There’s nothing subtle about this piece. The author, who is a professor at Arizona State University, says capitalism is the problem and environmentalism is the movement that can supersede it

The author is describing what he sees here and I think he’s right in this sense: Climate change rhetoric is anti-capitalist, which is one reason so many people reject it. It’s not the science people don’t like, it’s the politics behind it. In Europe, critics of this connection sometimes refer to the various Green Partys as watermelons, i.e. green on the outside and red on the inside.

The author makes clear that there is no way a capitalist society can regulate (through government) or create (through private industry) a better world. The underlying system is hopeless and must be replaced with democratic socialism.

There’s a reason true socialist states become totalitarian states. With every other means of exchange and advancement gone or heavily regulated, the one place where someone can still excel is the government itself. The lure of this power will always appeal to tyrants and psychopaths and with the state in absolute control from the outset, there is no alternative power center to challenge this authority. You don’t get Utopia, you get the USSR or Mao’s China or worse yet, North Korea.

The burden of justification should not fall on the shoulders of those putting forward an alternative. For anyone who has really thought about the climate crisis, it is capitalism, and not its transcendence, that is in need of justification.

Here’s the justification: Democratic socialism is an authoritarian nightmare waiting to happen. We should avoid it at all costs.

The Corruption of the Climatisatas by Steven Hayward – “Here’s a paradox that few people in the fawning green media seem to perceive: the more serious you think the problem of global warming may be in the future, the more farcical and unserious are the policy prescriptions of the “climate change community.

In fact I’ll go further: if perchance we do experience catastrophic, man-made global warming many decades from now, historians will look back and blame the environmental community for being the chief impediment to taking serious incremental action to reduce carbon emissions in a significant way—not the so-called “climate deniers.” Today’s wind and solar racket, and all of the fancy pieces of paper UN bureaucrats sign in Paris making promises that no nation is going to keep, will be looked at with the same disdain that we today look back at the League of Nations treaty and the disarmament efforts of the 1920s and 1930s.

Nebraska’s approval of new route for Keystone XL could be oil pipeline’s death blow By Ben Wolfgang – “Owner less likely to complete project if more environmental reviews needed.” This looks to be a case study in how politicians and regulation kill progress and action by tactic, evasion, diversion, and lack of leadership.

“The current route has been studied by the federal government for eight years, produced over 800,000 pages of Obama administration [review] documents I think these guys lost sight of the big picture and got caught up in minutiae and did not have the political courage to do what’s right and instead tried to split the baby,” Mr. McCown said. “In doing so, they’ve guaranteed another two- to three-year legal battle and probably have raised the cost of the project another $1 billion or $2 billion for no reason whatsoever.”

SJW to get some justice (and she’s not going to like it) By Thomas Lifson – “Kudos to the Riverside County (California) District Attorney’s Office for bringing justice to a crime committed in the name of politics.” This is about a UC Riverside student who stole a MAGA hat and made a big deal of it.

“By stealing the hat directly off the person of her victim, Macias opened the door to serious charges. There was talk of felony charges earlier, but instead it has been classified as misdemeanor grand theft, which so far as I know usually is for the theft of particularly expensive items, not trucker hats.

In my view, crime committed in the name of political causes is a graver offense than the underlying offense would be if done out of greed. Political violence, unpunished or mildly punished, begets more political violence. And once political violence becomes the norm, the consequences can be fatal to the stability of the polity and society.

Sex, lies & excuses: Partisan madness on predators By John Podhoretz – “Some of these efforts are necessary and involve making distinctions — distinctions between, say, felonious assault, which should lead to prison, and really gross workplace behavior, which should lead to serious disciplinary action but should probably fall short of complete ruination.” He makes a good point but spoils his argument when he cites allegations against Moore as “credible” and then goes on to assume guilt. There are many reasons to question that credibility but the big issue is a moral preener tossing aside the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ value for a criminal allegation.

“Stealin’ Be Ok, No Big Deal” – LeVar Ball Showcases Mentality Behind His Son LiAngelo Ball Shoplifting in China… by sundance – “After watching this bizarro interview with his father I can completely understand why LiAngelo Ball thought it would be perfectly okay to shoplift in China and live a life beyond the boundaries of ordinary moral behavior.” If you wonder about a prison population that is disproportionate by race and why racism is a big problem, this is a clue.

The kids aren’t all right. Violent students driving teachers out of schools by Jazz Shaw – “This year the state of Pennsylvania has been hit particularly hard, with nearly four dozen teachers quitting in the Harrisburg school district alone, many complaining that violence by students in the classrooms is out of control.”

The situation sounds dire. Teachers described incidents where both they and some of their students were being, “hit, kicked, slapped, scratched, cussed at.” Others described tables and desks being flipped over, rampant property damage and one teacher even had her finger intentionally broken by one of her students. And it was a second-grade child.

For their part, the school district responded by expressing their disappointment that the teachers had gone public.

In Maryland, dozens of teachers from Baltimore County showed up this week to protest the same problem. Five teachers have been taken out of the schools there with injuries caused by students and one of them is currently still on medical leave after suffering a concussion.

The teachers can’t be expected to act as makeshift law enforcement agents against students who outnumber them by a factor of twenty to one or more and are willing to engage in violent behavior. But such suggestions are frequently met with complaints about “militarization” of the schools, racial profiling and the rest of the usual protests we hear.

Sadly, the real solution should be better parenting. Children coming from homes with proper discipline and sound moral values are far less likely to engage in such behavior, as well as being far more likely to succeed. Sadly, that ship seems to have sailed in too many of our inner cities.

More MAGAnomic Winning – NY Fed Raises GDP Forecast, DOW Closes New Record… by sundance

Almost too much winning… almost, but I think we can take it. The New York federal reserve has raised their anticipated fourth quarter GDP growth forecast to 3.8%. That’s only a week after previously raising it to 3.2%.

The Stock Market closes again at yet another all time high today:

So much of what is important seems to be invisible in the public dialog.

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hobgoblin of little minds

The Stupid Party gets smart By Stephen Moore – “in recent weeks the GOP is finally showing some brains and some backbone

In a more rational world, tax reform could have been bipartisan. But once Democrats declared they would be unified obstructionists on tax reform, there was never reason to throw a bone to the “resistance movement.” Playing nice with Chuck Schumer won’t buy any votes, so why bother?

Instead, it’s hard not to be impressed with how Republicans have suddenly gotten very smart on the “pay fors” in their tax bill. Three of these revenue raisers are welcome policy changes, and they help defund the left.

Start with the elimination of the state and local tax deduction. … Next is the decision by Republicans to offset the cost of the tax cut by eliminating the individual mandate tax imposed mostly on moderate-income Americans. … Finally, an idea that hasn’t gotten much attention is the tax on college endowments.

The best indication that this is all working is the rise of what I call the “tax bill cry baby caucus.”

Not only are we getting pro-growth tax policy, President Trump and the GOP are finally draining the swamp. It doesn’t get any better than this.

Progressives Whine about Obamacare Premiums by David Catron – “It would be easier to feel sympathy for these people if they admitted they were wrong about the “Affordable Care Act.” But progressives don’t do that. Instead, they blame President Trump and the GOP.” This goes back to the WaPo story cited earlier about the thousands of Trump’s “lies” that seem to ignore the so many opportunities for ‘I told you so’ moments.

“It’s wrong, of course, to revel in the misfortune of others. I nonetheless laughed aloud when I read what the editors of the New York Times imagine is a heart-rending tale of several Obamacare supporters who, having ignored years of conservative warnings about the inevitability of premium increases under Obamacare, now lament the financial difficulties they face due to the high cost of health coverage.

Now it’s time to pay for their magical thinking. Yet they still don’t want to face this undeniable reality — they got punked. Obamacare is, and always was, a scam. It’s time to wake up and smell the fair trade coffee.

Socialism’s predictable outcomes By Robert Knight – “Despite several horrifying current examples of nations in the grip of socialism, many of America’s millennials are happily skipping down the socialist Yellow Brick Road toward an Oz that could never be.”

“Socialism’s greatest outcomes are very predictable — misery, murder and refugees.

Do the millennials who were polled know these historical facts? Probably not. But if they are curious enough to find out, would fewer profess a preference for socialism?

I’d like to think so. They are the future of this country.

FBI has not verified Trump dossier by Byron York – “FBI and Justice Department officials have told congressional investigators in recent days that they have not been able to verify or corroborate the substantive allegations of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign outlined in the Trump dossier.” … yet …

Democrats cling to dubious Russia dossier in scheme to bring Trump’s downfall By Rowan Scarborough – “hailed by liberals as evidence that the 35-page collection of memos is true. – A closer look shows the claims are debatable.”

“The dossier has become one of the most ballyhooed documents in modern U.S. politics. Republicans charge that what is essentially Democrat-paid rumors and salacious gossip may have been the catalyst for the FBI to justify launching an investigation in July into the Donald Trump campaign and suspected Russia collusion.

Some Democrats continue to bet the dossier will bring President Trump’s downfall.

House Republicans say Democrats may have violated campaign finance laws by funneling money from the national committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign through a law firm to opposition research firm Fusion GPS. From there, the money flowed overseas to former British spy Christopher Steele, the dossier writer who handed out the money to Kremlin sources to dish dirt on Mr. Trump and his people.

Mr. Steele briefed Washington reporters in September 2016 at Fusion GPS’s request. He warned them to first confirm his assertions before writing articles, according to his filing in a libel lawsuit against him in London.

The Perfumed Princes of the Pentagon By Clyde Ward – “If you’re not familiar with the term “Perfumed Prince,” take a look at Air Force LTG Jay Silveria, Commander of the Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs.”

“Silveria achieved the national spotlight by chewing out the entire class over racial slurs posted on five cadets’ quarters. Months later, it turned out that one of the targets was actually the perpetrator.

Here are some bullet points from a field manual. … General “Knee-Jerk” violated all of them. When confronted with his error, he replied that this had to be said anyway. Apparently, he was conflating the Charlottesville protests with his own command, not to mention a likely disdain for his commander in chief.

But here we have an intelligence failure. Charlottesville may well have been a false flag operation. So was the “hoax” at Silveria’s academy. Intelligence must be timely and adequate. Silveria was spot-on with time but dismally inadequate despite plenty of open source information, aka “news”.

The general ranted himself into an ambush.

Colonel David Hackworth coined the term “Perfumed Princes” to describe the leaders who sidestepped the Vietnam disaster and infested the senior ranks, playing the academic or business manager while they squeezed out soldiers on the soggy end.

But Silveria’s rant went beyond careerism.

This isn’t a matter of holding ourselves to higher standards. It’s a matter of having no standards at all. Despite having made “war on terrorism” for sixteen years, the Perfumed Princes have yet to provide guidance – neither on trying terrorists nor on how novel rules of engagement translate into traditional military jurisprudence. It’s all just fine, just the way it is, whatever it is, even with terms more generous to the enemy than to our own troops, who are just canonical cannon fodder.

Billions of dollars at stake in epic battle shaping up between University of California and two Texas Universities By Thomas Lifson – TU and A&M looking to compete for University of California’s contract with DoE’s administrative contract for the Los Alamos National Laboratory? A&M vs TU would be an epic fight and in this situation they are both up against an established big whale. This is going to be quite a struggle.

Cruising the Web by Betsy Newmark once again illustrates a blindness in a ‘both sides are the same’ logical fallacy; conflating assault, harassment, and talk; and falling into other problems that neo-neocon has highlighted. She shows that she is also got a ‘hobgoblin of little minds’ problem when it comes to Trump and Moore. Presumption of guilt just because you hate is never a good starting point. Here’s where that leads:

“And now some Republicans have absorbed the same who-cares attitude when accusations appear about one of their heroes. Donald Trump was elected despite very credible accusations of his groping women and he was caught on tape bragging about it. Yet the same sorts of people who were shocked and disgusted by Clinton’s behavior decided to turn a blind eye to his immorality. And quite a few Alabamians have adopted the same attitude toward Roy Moore. We’ve become an ugly place when political advantage trumps principle. Principled consistency has truly become the hobgoblin of little minds.

Does the Administrative Procedure Act authorize national injunctions? By Sam Bray – “Traditionally, injunctions have protected the plaintiff, but only the plaintiff — injunctions haven’t protected people who aren’t parties to the case.”

“But federal judges now sometimes give “national injunctions.” National injunctions prohibit the federal government from enforcing a law or regulation against anyone, not just against the plaintiff. Examples include the national injunctions against President Barack Obama’s signature immigration initiative and against President Trump’s order restricting travel from certain countries. National injunctions are becoming routine in the federal courts.

A mere statute cannot grant to the courts a power that lies beyond the “judicial Power.” … Article III of the Constitution of the United States confers the “judicial Power.” … Article III gives the judiciary authority to resolve the disputes of the litigants, not the disputes of others. Article III gives the judiciary authority to remedy the wrongs done to those litigants, not the wrongs done to others.

There is a problem when judges take it upon themselves to solve society’s problems en masse.

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Concerns are creeping in

#MeToo has lumped trivial in with legitimate sexual assault By Andrea Peyser – “It’s gone far enough. What started as a necessary mass-rejection of sexual harassment and assault is sliding into absurdity and irrelevance.”

“A backlash is looming against the very people the spontaneous battle against sexual villainy was meant to help: powerless women and men.

How long before we stop taking victims seriously?

I don’t think confusing childish, even lewd, behavior with clear, intimate violations helps anyone. Rather, it threatens to make accusers, many of them women, appear unserious. Or “hysterical,’’ to use a term commonly wielded against humans bearing XX chromosomes.

How Anita Hill Betrayed Feminism By Paul Mirengoff – “Feminists (except those who knew Thomas personally) believed Hill’s claims.”

“And they argued (just as they do today) that, ordinarily, female accusers should be believed.

But when Bill Clinton became the subject of serious sexual harassment allegations, feminists refused to credit the claims or, when forced to do so, discounted them as irrelevant. They also attacked the accusers. Consequently, the heightened consciousness of the problem of sexual harassment that existed following the Thomas-Hill hearings subsided after Clinton’s presidency.

In this post, I want to focus on one of the feminists who defended President Clinton. That feminist is Anita Hill.

Sexual harassment allegations, then, are a means to an ends — the end being political power.

Why the Roy Moore Accusations Terrify Me as a Wife and Mother By Megan Fox – “Watching Roy Moore go through the current media circus has made me fear for the future of these men whom I love.”

“The idea that someone can lose a career, his reputation, and the public trust over accusations of events that happened decades ago — that no one was witness to, saw, heard, reported, or acknowledged in any significant way— is terrifying. Let me remind you of something that Americans hold sacred: the presumption of innocence.

It should disquiet you that this tenet of our belief system is being overwhelmed by Gloria Allred and her gaggle of female accusers that she drags out every election cycle.

Finding desperate women to pay off to sling mud at political candidates is the oldest trick in the Democrat playbook.

The message is clear. Your husbands and sons are not safe from Gloria Allred and her attack squads should they rise too high. … No one cares about the men involved or what the accusations will do to their families and lives as long as Gloria Allred and the Democrats come out on top. Is this really the future we want for the men in our lives? If not, it’s time to insist that we revert to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty in a court of law. If Moore accusers want justice, then they should press charges and go to court. I would support them 100 percent in that effort. But accusing people on camera with no legal recourse for the accused ought to be illegal.

Mall Never Banned Moore and Other Lies By Daniel John Sobieski – “The rush to judgment by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, and others was premature, but the facts about Judge Roy Moore may be unraveling the fiction as we speak

The legacy media ran with the unverified story by a mall worker that Moore had been banned and Sen. Graham even repeated it on Fox News. … But, as President Ronald Reagan used to say, facts are stubborn things, and the fact is Roy Moore was not banned from the Gadsden Mall for predatory activities

Then there’s the issue of the yearbook which Nelson and Allred claim Moore signed, which Allred has thus far refused to have examined by independent experts who can verify the age of the ink and whether in fact the handwriting is Moore’s, that is, until she can milk it for more camera time as the election clock runs down

There’s a principle in law which says that if a witness is caught lying about the littlest thing then all of that witness’ testimony can be discarded. There is another principle that guilt should be determined in a criminal case beyond a reasonable doubt. There is plenty of reasonable doubt here – decades-old accusations unmentioned during Roy Moore’s political career until now, only to be resurrected by celebrity lawyer and serial accuser Gloria Allred.

Here Are Some Revelations From New Book About The Steele Dossier by Chuck Ross – “A new book out by Guardian journalist Luke Harding provides previously unknown details about the Trump dossier and its author, former British spy Christopher Steele.”

Harding offers a sympathetic and largely uncritical look at Steele and the dossier, which was commissioned by opposition research firm Fusion GPS and funded by the Clinton campaign and DNC.

Steele’s 35-page report remains largely uncorroborated, and Trump and members of his campaign have denied the most salacious allegations laid out in the report.

It’s another case of unsupported allegations with the Left attempting to put the onus on proving innocence when there is no credible evidence of guilt. That is a demand for a logical fallacy – see wikipedia on argument from ignorance.

Note that the fallacies in the original Wapo story on Moore did take hold. The number of accusers comes up repeatedly to establish credibility via an M.O. despite the fact that most did not allege wrongdoing. The pretense of authority is also used to explain credibility when it was a constructed artifact of writing and filling in irrelevant data to add heft. This is like a story about buying a HiFi in the seventies where manufacturers were often more concerned about the heft and weight of equipment than its ability to accurately reproduce sound. Most customers couldn’t discriminate by sound quality so ‘feel good’ equipment was a major purchase decision.

Another example of trying to prove a negative is glyphosate. Large U.S. farm study finds no cancer link to Monsanto weedkiller By Kate Kelland – “A large long-term study on the use of the big-selling weedkiller glyphosate by agricultural workers in the United States has found no firm link between exposure to the pesticide and cancer” — an allegation (it causes cancer) with no evidence means a lot of looking for what isn’t there.

But people get stuck on their fantasies. Rational Wiki illustrates this in its post on Argument from ignorance where it asserts: “Common examples of this are such claims as “you can’t prove global warming is caused by humans” as an example. The problem here is a common one in the global warming argument that plays games with word definitions, issue conflation, and innuendo. The fact is that proving that A has an influence on B is not in the realm of “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” If you want to assert that A (humans) cause B (catastrophic climate change), honesty requires that evidence for this be established else it is you who is engaged in argument from ignorance. The Wiki knows this, too:

“If the only evidence for something’s existence is a lack of evidence for it not existing, then the default position is one of mild skepticism and not credulity. This type of negative proof is common in proofs of God’s existence or in pseudosciences where it is used as an attempt to shift the burden of proof onto the skeptic rather than the proponent of the idea. The burden of proof is on the individual proposing existence, not the one questioning existence.

But they are fixated on their idea about “Almost all the claims from the anti-science movement revolve around some form of personal incredulity or argument from ignorance.” and it blinds them on the AGW argument where skepticism about poor evidence and other problems are indeed a response to “an attempt to shift the burden of proof.” So they provide an example of self contradiction that cast doubts on the quality of their post.

The same wiki page also messes up the central idea behind proving a negative. A major effort in science is to take a rather general assertion that is too broad to be proved true and show that it isn’t true by finding an exception. The Wiki falls into the commutative fallacy presuming that A means B is the same as B means A.

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Turning a blind eye

This Is What Anguish Looks Like: Victims of Black-on-White Violence By Colin Flaherty – “Real-life examples of real-life emotions such as despair, abandonment, anguish, and betrayal are easy to find if you know where to look – e.g., local stories of black-on-white violence.” It’s the reality about where racism is endemic and taking a toll.

People in Chicago are way past surprise at the level of black-on-white violence in their schools. Even so, on video, we can see this mother wondering how this could happen to her son – and to her.

Note the anguish, the feelings of betrayal, the knowledge that no matter what she does, no matter what police say, no matter what school officials promise, her son is a target of racial violence at his high school. And that will not change.

That is what misery looks like. This is where Method acting meets real life. Who needs Lee Strasberg to mine this dramatic gold?

Again, no surprise in Baltimore: Black-on-white crime is shrugged off as payback for 4 million years of racist mistreatment – or just another symptom of white privilege that bestows an unreasonable expectation of public safety on white people.

“Moore” is Yet to Come in 2018 By Julie Kelly – “There are already ominous clues about what 2018 will offer our hide-the-children electorate.” We can hope there is a growing awareness of just how debased the power struggle really is.

“But 2018 won’t be about justice or accountability. It will be about political power, and the Democrats understand that. As we have seen from experience, Democrats will smear any victim, protect any miscreant, justify any misdeeds, blame any outside party, and break any rules to win. Then, years later, when it doesn’t matter, when an untold number of perpetrators and victims lie in their wake, they can sit up and say, “oops, my bad.”

Republicans have never understood this game—or that it is a game—and they have no shot either at playing by the same rules or at defending their own against incoming attacks. In some instances, Republicans—including “conservatives” who oddly wear political losses as a badge of honor—have sided with the enemy in a virtue-signaling effort to brandish their principles. But when Democrats win—in part thanks to you, dear conservatives—don’t bitch to me about abortion, higher taxes, single-payer health care, and transgender teenagers.

So, if you liked this week, don’t fret. There is a lot Moore ahead in 2018.

Washington Post Offers Totally Unexpected and Novel Hot Take: Al Franken’s Sins are Just One Man’s Failings, But Republican Sins Are Borne By Each and Every Member of the Party by Ace – “But see Democrats just have a single “issue,” whereas Republicans have an “enduring problem.”

Dying In The Streets From Hitting The Glass Ceiling On The Plantation! It’s the Ammo Grrrll at Powerline – “When you hear any of these inane phrases, call bullcrap. Enough, already.”

“When I was young, Art Linkletter had a book and a show called Kids Say the Darnedest Things. Leftists say the darnedest things too, apparently in the belief that if you just say them often enough and loudly enough and with enough spittle flying from your mouth, that they will become true. For today’s Friday Fun, let’s examine just three of these moronic phrases.

Purchased Politicians, Mostly Republicans in House and Senate, Write Letters Opposing Trump on NAFTA… by sundance – “It’s generally a legal bribery business where congressional representatives get rich by selling their votes to corporations and foreign governments.”

“There are massive international corporate and financial interests who are inherently at risk from President Trump’s “America-First” economic and trade platform. Believe it or not, President Trump is up against an entire world economic establishment.

I will outline how it works below; and when you understand how it works in the modern era you will understand why the agents within the system are so adamantly opposed to U.S. President Trump.

The Coyote is up with two on life and work. Uber Is About To Become A Much Worse Place To Work – “Here are some cool things about working for Uber … All of this is going to change. Why? Due to lawsuits in most countries that seek to redefine Uber drivers as employees rather than contractors. One such suit just succeeded in England.” Then there’s Progressives Hate When You Make Job Choices That They Would Not Make Themselves – “The article was surprising because I get about 25,000 applications every year from these workampers for about 50 open job positions.”

“A few years ago one branch of the Federal government, the Department of Labor, decided that it was a morally urgent to make sure everyone working in a Federal campground operated by a private company like mine should make at least $10.15 an hour, and imposed this special minimum wage. And we complied. But then another branch of the Federal government, the US Forest Service, decided that it could now run the campgrounds cheaper themselves because they could staff it with volunteers and not pay this minimum wage. Apparently it is not morally urgent for them to pay the minimum wage. While the USFS sometimes pays hosts a stipend, this stipend, as the author notes above, is well below even state minimum wages and certainly well below the campground concessionaire minimum wage set by the DOL. I find it not at all surprising the best example of true exploitation comes from the government. However, how much do you want to bet this author asks that we rely on government to eliminate imagined exploitation in the private world?

The cite is to Nomadland by “award-winning journalist” Jessica Bruder. Maybe award winning but definitely out of touch with reality.

On the ‘false witness’ front is Samuel D. James working his cognitive dissonance about Trump. Why So Many Conservative Christians Wanted a ‘Pagan Brawler’ in the White House – “And how their choice of Trump has affected the church since last year’s election.” … “Trump sees himself as a religious man and sees his own success as the result of living out certain religious principles—just not the ones at the heart of the gospel.” Again we see vague accusation and allegation without specifics nor any attempt to support the judgment. When specifics do come up, they seldom contain any light and, instead, show the need for the accuser to consider his own problems. Airing out these principles not “at the heart of the gospels” allegation will be then next step.

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Cultural rot is not thoughtful, it’s horrifying

The Thoughtfuls vs. the Roughneck-in-Chief By Austin Ruse – “the letter was quixotic at best. At worst, it was an intellectual temper tantrum.”

a group of Catholic Thoughtfuls penned a letter that March warning that the Catholic project was in “grave danger” because of Trump’s “vulgarity, oafishness, shocking ignorance and . . . demagoguery.” They made a point of emphasizing Trump’s” demagoguery,” in fact, while also charging him with making a racist appeal to voters.

One of the more shameful charges was that Trump appealed to voters along racial and ethnic lines. The Catholic Thoughtfuls offered no evidence for this.

So, how has Trump done so far? How has he done for the concerns of the Catholic Thoughtfuls?

I wonder if the essential repugnance they felt, then, was merely stylistic. They live and work in highly refined circles where Roughnecks are mostly embarrassments. Trump is the Roughneck-in-chief. I wonder if many would prefer a gentlemanly loser to a vulgar winner.

It is not thoughtful to pronounce judgment on another without evidence nor is it thoughtful to express that judgment in ugly and vulgar terms. The Catholic Thoughfuls need to look in the mirror and examine the real source of their angst.

No, Colin Kaepernick Is No Muhammad Ali by Larry Elder – “By contrast, Kaepernick wants to have it both ways.”

GQ magazine named former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick its 2017 “Citizen of the Year.” In doing so, GQ overlooked NFL Houston Texans’ J.J. Watt, who raised some $37 million for hurricane relief. Many of Kaepernick’s supporters liken his protest to that of boxer Muhammad Ali, who refused to be inducted into the military. The comparison is not well-taken.

What about the merits of Kaepernick’s argument? Is there an epidemic of police brutality against blacks? The answer is no.

As to Popovich’s assertion about the “day-to-day feeling that many black people have to deal with,” what of the 1997 Time/CNN poll that found 89% of black teens found little or no racism in their day-to-day lives? And more black teens than white teens agreed that “failure to take advantage of available opportunities” was a bigger problem than racism. And this was 20 years ago, before the election and re-election of a black President.

Kaepernick’s protest was bogus from the start, and it only helped to create greater unnecessary tension between the black community and the police. “Citizen of the Year,” indeed.

How Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch handed Jeff Sessions a huge present By Thomas Lifson – “The Obama administration may have publicly aligned itself with anti-gun activists, but it consistently turned a blind eye to prosecute known criminals who tried to buy guns.”

Start with a high-profile denunciation of the DOJ’s failure over the last 8 years to protect the public. … President Trump then directs, via an executive order, his DOJ to prioritize prosecution of violations of the background check documentation. … Following that, AG Sessions announces his decision to beef up prosecutions

This gets the Trump administration on the side of doing something about gun violence, and discrediting his predecessors. It also directs public attention and energy away from new laws.

I call that a win/win. Except for Democrats and gun grabbers.

Another Lawless Judge: Federal Government Cannot Withhold Federal Grants from Cities Just Because They Defy Federal Law on “Sanctuary Cities” by Ace – “You don’t have a country when half of the country believes it can live in open defiance of the law.”

When at least half, probably two thirds, of the current government is part of #TheResistance against the actual legally-empowered government, it’s time to confess we no longer have a shared civic culture and we are no longer one people under the law or in sentiment and take a mature attitude towards a peaceable division.

Backbearings By Richard Fernandez – “it may be profitable in real-life Washington to go back a few years, as Dana Priest in the New Yorker does, to unravel a problem similar to that which baffled Sherlock: why did the dog not bark in the night?”

There are too many coincidences for it to be just bad luck. Some journalists are belatedly realizing they are living through the aftermath of the Big Bang. A huge strike happened without them even being aware of it and the scale of it is boggling. The Obama administration failed to detect the rise of the Islamic state, was surprised by the Russian invasion of Crimea and Putin’s intervention in Syria, did not see the rapid development of Kim’s nuclear arsenal and, publicly at least, ascribed the assault on the Benghazi consulate to a video — and as the New Yorker points out, were even blindsided by Russian election interference openly happening on Facebook.

Do Trump’s liberal critics seem increasingly unhinged? By James Bovard – “Trump is supposedly the gravest threat to American democracy since the secession of the Confederacy.”

It is understandable that folks would be riled by Trump’s bluster about revoking the broadcast licenses of his critics or calling for the firing of protesting football players. His administration’s rhetoric on trade and the drug war threaten to revive moronic policies that should have been banished forever by perennial failures. But while Trump poses plenty of constitutional perils, many of his opponents are even more authoritarian.

Anti-Trump fervor is making liberals far more illiberal.

Many Democrats sound ready to rush to impeachment regardless of what Trump has actually done. They seem inspired by the Soviet secret police chief who allegedly declared: “Show me the man and I will show you the crime.”

Many Trump opponents are the same type of zealots who, in the late 1700s, proudly labeled themselves “Friends of Government.” In their eyes, Trump’s greatest sin is tarnishing the majesty of the presidency and the federal government.

Hysteria remains the 2017 political badge of honor.

Where Good Is Bad: ‘The Energy of Slaves’ (Oil as ‘servitude’?) by rbradley –

“It is as if capitalism (really industrialism) got lucky because of the mineral (dense) energies. To which I respond: we are lucky, and returning to the energy poverty of renewables is to throw our good fortune away. This is the major theme of a book coauthored by Kathleen Hartnett White (the current nominee for the Council of Environmental Quality), Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War on Energy (2016).

Details in BLS report suggest that earnings differentials by gender can be explained by age, marital status, children, hours worked by Mark Perry – “Language and words can be important. And that’s why I think it’s important and more accurate to refer to a “gender earnings gap” rather than a “gender pay gap.” There are reasons and Perry uses the data to delve into them.

Reflections: on witch trials by neo-neocon – “False accusations are repulsive to me (and a constant possibility), and the willingness of so many people to jump on the bandwagon of belief without significant proof has horrified me.”

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Living in a tin can.

Why I Have Given Up on Trumpism By Roger Kimball – “One factor was the increasingly surreal commentary that surrounds the whole enterprise of Trumpism. I have found that many of those discussing it would say the most bizarre things.

There are leaders who promulgate -isms or “doctrines.” The so-called Brezhnev Doctrine, for example, articulated a Soviet policy of tenacity when it came to conquered territory: no territory once brought under the Soviet sphere was to be allowed to leave the Soviet sphere. Pundits discerned in Ronald Reagan’s anti-Soviet policies the lineaments of a “Reagan Doctrine,” but I do not know that Reagan ever articulated it as such.

But when it comes to Donald Trump, pragmatism overwhelms ideology. Which is why I believe that there no such thing as “Trumpism.” Its putative author is constitutionally averse to the spirit that would give substance to the -ism.

Trump’s chief of staff John Kelly was onto something essential about his boss when, in his powerful press conference last month, he observed that Trump’s agenda was “what’s good for America.” That is to say, he has no “agenda” as that term is often used, i.e., no set of hidden or ulterior motives for his policies. He simply wants to pursue initiatives that are good for the country: policies that will “make America great again.”

From One Frenzy to the Next By Victor Davis Hanson – “Frenzy is almost a living, breathing monster. It moves from host to host, fueled by rumor, gossip, and self-righteous furor.

The Greeks knew well of the transitory nature of these mass panics. They claimed such fits were inspired by the Maniae, the three daughters of Night who were the goddesses of insanity, madness, and crazed frenzy. We’ve seen all three of them in action throughout the past year.

Pundits and talking heads without evidence echoed each other with ever more preposterous charges.

We were lectured at the height of the collusion frenzy that Trump would be 1) impeached, 2) removed by the emoluments clause, 3) forced to resign under the 25th Amendment, or 4) simply quit in shame.

The font of this 24/7 hysteria was the Clinton campaign’s purchase of a leaked smear job from an opposition research firm, which in turn had hired a disreputable former British intelligence agent, who had paid for concocted Russian slanders designed to disrupt an election.

As the collective furor grew, the net widened. More stories, but from 10, 20, 30, and 40 years past, surfaced—calibrated to the current celebrity or perceived visibility of the perpetrator.

As in the case of the other hysterias, such collective fits cool when they begin to snare the supposedly exempt

Human nature is prone to a herd mentality and the politics of excess. Groupthink offers a sense of belonging and reinforcement to most people.

In all these hysterias and frenzies, caution and moderation become proof of complicity.

History is full of such frenzies—the stasis on Corcyra, the Spanish Inquisition, the Committee of Public Safety, or the strange career of Joe McCarthy. They all can start over some legitimate grievance and all can quickly turn manic. And as we play each fit out, expect the madness to come full circle as it always does, when the spell wears off and 51 percent of people finally revolt at the very thought of tearing down Washington’s statue, or lumping together a criminal rapist with a loudmouthed sexist of 20 years past, or envisioning a multimillionaire spoiled, has-been quarterback as the next Jackie Robinson—or treating a fake-news smear document as if it were the New Testament.

President Trump has made 1,628 false or misleading claims over 298 days By Glenn Kessler, Meg Kelly and Nicole Lewis – “Trump’s most repeated claim, uttered 60 times, was some variation of the statement that the Affordable Care Act is dying and “essentially dead.” The story does more to show just how obsessed the authors are about Trump than it says about Trump … unless you’re in the anti-Trump denial camp. It would be interesting to see a comparison of Presidents using the same criteria, attitude, and perceptional bias that Kessler et al are using to judge Trump. Media stars, like Rather and Williams, might be in the study as well for a referent.

Praying for a Sessions Write-In Candidacy by Ben Shapiro – “If you say you don’t have enough evidence to make a judgment, you are judging Moore’s accusers to be not credible.” This one is good to examine for it’s flaws and that is important because flaws in the arguments are telling and critical in the Moore scandal. A first flaw is in the title. The author has an axe to grind. Another flaw is that Shapiro does not note critical differences between the accuser’s stories. Another is the attempt to simplify the issue by asserting that only certain, defined, resolutions exist. Hyperbole and exaggeration in accusation, social context then and now, what was done to surface the accusations, the selective outrage, and the sloppy use of language are all factors as well.

Did you hear about that candidate stalking young women? No… the other one by Jazz Shaw provides an example for comparison and contrast that puts the Moore scandal hyperbole and outrage in context.

Harvey Weinstein? Roy Moore? What About the Crimes of Bill Clinton and Robert Byrd? By Dov Fischer – “In this new time warp, are there not aspects of bewilderment juxtaposed amid all these unwanted-sex accusations dating back 30 and 40 years?”

And yet the allegation of the 14-year-old who asseverates that she was intimate with a Moore over 30 raises its own questions.

It is unclear whether or why some people claim things that never happened.

It turns out that sometimes people make false accusations, even placing their own morals and lifetime reputations into public disdain. But there are more questions:

The net neutrality boomerang comes full circle by Bret Swanson – “Last week, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) fulfilled a prophecy of net neutrality critics.

From the start, one of net neutrality’s big conceptual problems was that it was not neutral — legally, technically, or economically. Its advocates insisted it should apply only to one portion of the internet and only one type of firm: those that delivered broadband connectivity in the “last mile.” But the very nature of a sprawling, dynamic, hyperconnected internet made the possibility of neatly segregating these firms unlikely.

A tale of 2 US delegations at climate talks By Conor Finnegan Stephanie Ebbs – “While the world meets in Bonn, Germany, to hammer out the final details of the historic Paris climate accord and lay the path forward on combating climate change, there may be some confusion over who speaks for America.” The fact is that there should be no question about who speaks for America and that those who participate in this usurpation of the properly elected government need to consider the implications of their actions for anarchy, especially when their rationale is based on deceit and dishonesty.

Skepticism ‘requires high cognitive ability, strong motivation to be rational’ by Anthony Watts – “Stephan Lewandowsky tried to make climate skeptics look stupid (by not even bothering to sample them, but impugning their beliefs as irrational from out of population samples), this study turns the tables on his execrable work and suggests that climate skeptics are both analytical and rational.”

The article notes that despite a century of better educational opportunities and increased intelligence scores in the U.S. population, unfounded beliefs remain pervasive in contemporary society.

Epistemic rationality: Skepticism toward unfounded beliefs requires sufficient cognitive ability and motivation to be rational

Arabella’s Gift… by sundance – “The most notable aspect amid President Trump’s granddaughter Arabella delivering a folk song in native Mandarin wasn’t the song itself, it was the response from Madame Peng Liyaun, the wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

If you have followed the foreign policy pattern of President Trump you immediately recognize he does not restrain himself to DC political customs or DC political norms. Indeed as Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi optimistically noted, President Trump can accomplish many things because he brings a unique perspective to the world of policy and diplomatic engagement. Later al-Sisi repeated: “He Can Do The Impossible“.

America’s warrior-monk: Right man at the right place at the right time By Russ Vaughn – “Army veteran David Brown was visiting the graves of fallen friends in Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans’ Day when he spotted a lone but familiar figure

That other visitor was secretary of defense James Mattis, a retired four-star Marine general.

… he watched Mattis “listen patiently to stories from surviving friends and family members. An old man visiting his Marine son’s grave told Mattis that he was his boy’s hero; the Warrior Monk smiled sadly and said that the old man’s son was one of his.”

That put a lump in the throat of this old Vietnam vet, and I silently thanked Donald Trump for selecting this tough but eloquent warrior to lead our military forces. In my 76 years, I have never heard a similar vignette about any other SecDef. This one is, in my opinion, most assuredly, the right man in the right place at the right time.

Why do people do what they do? Why have so many allowed aberrant behavior to escape? Why can’t they see?

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whither they go?

NeverTrump Makes a Left Turn By Julie Kelly – “Several of the writers, grown-ups who love their country more than they love proving they were right, managed to move on in life, staying true to their conservative principles while praising and criticizing the president as the occasion warranted.” But others did not and revealed their true colors.

“So, where do these NeverTrumpers go from here? There seems to be a gradual split in the ranks and a recognition that the most fervent among them have lost their senses. There is also no compelling strategy to “take back” the GOP with any policy platform or candidate development effort. With a history of poor political prognostication, Kristol is hell-bent on making sure the Republican Party pays the price for nominating and electing Trump, even if it means the other side, with its destructive agenda of progressive policies, wins. Kristol, Rubin, Stephens, are now de facto, if not actual, liberals. We should stop allowing them to get away with calling themselves anything but that; the media will rub them in our faces until we do.

Soon, however, the Virginia election will be a memory, these NeverTrumpers’ social-media fist-bumping will end, and they will still be left with a president they detest, an electorate they ridicule, and lost integrity they won’t be able to recover.

Primal Scream By Richard Fernandez – “An earlier generation could probably quote 1 John 1:8 “if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” to remind themselves of this. Alternatively they might cite James Madison.”

“Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help” was the usual warning. But somewhere along the line conventional wisdom discarded this injunction and media began to create the myth that there were special people to rule over us.

Not only does human frailty make the dictatorship of the party untenable, it makes even lesser forms of coercion such as virtue signalling and nudging ineffective.

Whatever happens now the progressives have lost decades of “gains” not to the alt-right, which is nothing special, but to the realization of their own human frailty. They will find equality intolerable.

Bill Clinton’s looming reckoning as a sexual predator By Thomas Lifson – “So far, there has not been much holding of Bill Clinton to account by progressives, despite the change in zeitgeist for sexual predation by the powerful.”

“But the inevitable is happening. At first a few progressives start mentally applying the post-Weinstein ethic to Bill Clinton. In the process, they eventually have to reflect on their own past and regret their support for him throughout Kenneth Starr’s revelations, impeachment, and beyond. But that will take a long time.

Rep. Charlie Dent: Taking the ‘fun’ out of ‘dysfunction‘ By Jerry Shenk – “In one of the whiniest, most amusing yet revealing accidental admissions ever, Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) told Yahoo News, “You’ve got this administration that’s taken the fun out of dysfunction.”

“Rather than in Trump’s White House, dysfunction originated primarily from the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. It was the dysfunction, passivity, and arrogance of Dent and his congressional colleagues – their willingness to go along with, even enable eight years of Barack Obama’s dysfunctional, often extra-constitutional presidency – that created a political environment in which someone like Donald Trump could prevail.

Accusing the president of introducing dysfunction to Washington is a classic case of psychological projection. … To “psychological projection,” add “deflection” and “passive aggression.” By blaming the president rather than his own contributions to congressional dysfunction, Dent is attempting to distract Americans from the fact that Republican majorities in both chambers of Congress haven’t honored a single campaign promise made in 2010, 2014, and 2016 to voters who gave them majorities.

What Will Mitch McConnell Do About the Democrats’ Disgraceful Senate Blockade? By John Hinderaker – “In one agency after another, they are carrying obstructionism to unprecedented lengths.”

“Elections have consequences, right?

Not anymore they don’t. The Democrats take the position that President Trump is not entitled to exercise the powers of his office. Here, as in many other instances, the Senate minority is holding nominees hostage to its demand that Obama administration policies not be changed. Barack Obama gets to be president forever, apparently.

This obstructionism is unprecedented in American history. The question is, what are Mitch McConnell and the other alleged leaders of the Republican majority going to do about it?

Like many others, I have just about come to the conclusion that Congressional Republicans are worthless. Time is running out for McConnell and his colleagues to show us that our votes and our financial support for Republicans haven’t been wasted. And please: don’t lecture us on the hallowed traditions of the Senate. Those traditions have been blasted to smithereens by the Democrats. This is a war, Senator McConnell, and if you are not interested in fighting it, then we need to find someone who is.

The presumption of guilt by Paul Mirengoff – “Boot, it seems, wants the Republican Party to die for the “sin” of nominating Donald Trump. Only that wish provides a rational explanation for his call that the GOP “die” because of its response to allegations against Roy Moore.” See Mirengoff also on The allegations against Roy Moore – “The Washington Post’s story about Roy Moore persuades me that, when he was in his early 30s, he liked to date teenage girls. It does not persuade me that he engaged in inappropriate sexual touchings with the 14 year-old girl who claims he did.”

There is a significant imbalance between the allegations and the rhetoric assuming guilt. Aslo see neo-neocon on The Roy Moore sex allegations. But Reynolds and Driscoll says Roy Moore didn’t help himself in an interview with Sean Hannity – “This Roy Moore interview is an example of why defense attorneys tell our clients to STFU.” That’s for law but this is politics and silence enhances presumed guilt. So what is a candidate to do?

Roy Moore Gets the Herman Cain Treatment by Daniel John Sobieski – “It was déjà vu all over again.”

It doesn’t matter if the charges are false. Accusations make page one while the truth later winds up at the bottom of the classifieds. Cain’s candidacy was derailed after repeated and unproven sexual harassment allegations by former employees. But like Harry Reid’s tax lies about Mitt Romney, it worked. That is the goal of Judge Roy Moore’s accusers. Why raise the charges now after being silent for decades?

Trump accuser Jessica Leeds’ accusation was accepted as credible immediately. Smear first, prove later. Guilty until proven innocent. It worked with Romney and Cain, why not Judge Roy Moore? But the rush to believe the claims of Moore’s groping stand in contrast to the blind eye given to the claims of Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey, Paula Jones, and others, claims backed up by contemporaneous witness testimony and a victorious lawsuit by and with a cash settlement to Jones.

As Investor’s Business Daily editorialized in 2011, righteous indignation and claims of victimhood are a one-way street for the liberal grievance industry

Tell a Big Lie and Keep Repeating It by Norman Rogers – “Mother Nature is not cooperating with fake global warming science because the Earth has failed to warm for the last two decades.”

When a lie is backed by millions of government dollars, it is difficult for the truth to compete. The truth comes from scientists not corrupted by money, and from small organizations dependent on private donations. The truth is outgunned by government financed propaganda mills. The promoters of fake catastrophe depict themselves as disinterested idealists. The promoters of the truth are depicted as servants of evil industries, or as mentally disturbed crackpots.

If obvious, stupid lies, like the competitiveness of solar power, can gain popularity, how can more complicated lies be refuted?

It is much easier to make wild claims than it is to explain why these claims are fantasies or even to point out reasons for skepticism.

As the Italian philosopher Wilfredo Pareto pointed out, people form their opinions based on passion. Resort to logic and data is basically window dressing to support their previously adopted opinions. That’s why it is so difficult to make ideological conversions by means of logical argument.

Who Pays For “Green” Energy? By John Hinderaker – “These days, there is considerable obfuscation about the true costs of “green” energy–basically, wind and solar.”

“Politicians, regulators and sometimes utilities assert that wind and solar are efficient–that they actually are price-competitive with reliable energy sources like coal and natural gas. If you know anything about energy, you know this is an absurd claim. If it were true, we could do away with all subsidies for wind and solar, but no “green” energy advocate would dream of allowing that.

“Green” energy is, in my opinion, a scandal. Steve Hayward authored a great report on the subject for Center of the American Experiment (“Energy Policy in Minnesota: the High Cost of Failure”), which you can read here.

Heart of darkness: the baby killers by neo-neocon – “What state of mind allows a person to purposely target babies for killing, up close and personal?”

“What to do with a person like the Texas shooter before he goes on his rampage? There are two problems, of course. The first is that we cannot predict who will do this; we can only say who is more likely than others to do it. And the second is that until someone actually acts, we cannot detain that person preventively because that would be depriving them of liberty without cause.

But there is something so “other” about psychopaths’ makeup, so Bad-Seedish, that it remains hard to see them as people like other people with the same choices as other people.

I suppose that’s the nature of evil.

it’s in the nature of us all

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The public psyche seems askew

Intel chiefs’ botched Russia findings raise questions of motive By Dan Boylan and Guy Taylor – “It was a watershed moment: the CIA, National Security Agency and FBI challenging the legitimacy of a U.S. presidential victory.”

The conclusions in the Jan. 6 document were sharp, but the findings unraveled 10 months later, raising questions about the basis for the evidence and the motives of the Obama appointees leading the nation’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

FBI leaning on debunked Trump dossier in questioning Carter Page By Rowan Scarborough – “Former Trump aide decries discredited file.”

The dossier was funded by the Democratic Party and the Hillary Clinton campaign. They paid the private intelligence firm Fusion GPS, which hired British ex-spy Christopher Steele, to investigate and produce it. He wrote the dossier based on paid sources inside the Kremlin. The coordination prompted conservatives to charge that it was the Democrats who actually colluded with the Russians to influence the election.

Mr. Page, who lived and worked in Moscow in the 2000s as a Merrill Lynch banker, is one of Mr. Steele’s main targets in the dossier.

Troy Has Fallen. Don’t Let Helen Trick You. by Robert Oscar Lopez – “If you want to get away with anything, you need only one skill: distraction.”

“It isn’t the wickedness that staggers the mind, since most people understand the existence and reality of evil. It is the evasion of justice. Especially in institutions such as entertainment, politics, and law, which are constantly under the public gaze, it strains credulity that nobody would have seen something going wrong.

Sexual predation, like vandalism, is a timeless problem that rarely gets solved through regulation and punishment. On the other hand, like the police state of Nazi Germany, the larger disinformation apparatus chronicled by Attkisson’s Smear is a timely problem, something specific, urgent, and crucial for a free society’s capacity to remain free. And unlike sexual harassment and vandalism, the structure exposed by The Smear can be overturned if people steer clear of distraction.

it becomes undeniable that accountability matters, that a j’accuse against vague societal forces is often far less curative than a good old-fashioned whooping in the town square to show arrogant bullies they can’t treat people like dirt.

We know from Euripides what the likely tactics of distraction will be. We have no excuse. It’s time to blow the lid off all of the corruption and make America great again, for real.

Trump channels Ronald Reagan in speech to South Korea’s National Assembly by Karen Townsend – “The message is peace through strength.”

The speech was widely applauded across the political spectrum. He clearly stated that while America doesn’t want another war, we will be prepared and ready to respond, if necessary.

This president meets foreign leaders as an equal. Trump didn’t bow to the Emperor of Japan. He doesn’t apologize for America’s history in other countries. As the tensions escalate between North Korea and America, it is good to know we have a president who will not settle for drawing red lines only to ignore them when those lines are crossed.

That Maine Medicaid expansion isn’t happening just yet by Jazz Shaw – “the voters of Maine had overwhelmingly supported a referendum aimed at expanding Medicaid.”

At the time, I pointed out some of the pitfalls awaiting them down the road, but it seemed there was little to be done at this point. But it turns out that Governor Paul LePage (who vetoed five previous attempts at this) still had one more card to play. He’s not going to buck the will of the voters entirely, but he’s also dumping the problem into the lap of the legislature, telling them to figure out how to pay for all of this “free healthcare” without bankrupting the state.

There are two faces to this particular coin… the practical and the political. … on the political side, this is a cagey move by LePage. He’s already made his case against this sort of financial albatross in the past, but now that the reality of the expansion is on the horizon he’s set forth a group of milestones which he and his supporters will be able to point to in the future. If the legislators want to jack up taxes, dip into the state’s budget surplus or reduce services, there will be angst among the voters and LePage has put a firewall between himself and any electoral blowback.

In this way, the people wind up getting what they asked for, but LePage and the Republicans in Maine can basically sit back, break out the popcorn and watch what happens. It’s democracy in action, which is fitting since this passion play is somewhat reminiscent of a famous quote from H.L. Mencken. “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

Monkey Business At The CBO? By Paul Mirengoff – “something funny is going on with the CBO’s assessment of the impact of repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate.”

When Obamacare repeal was proposed, the CBO estimated that ending the individual mandate would result in a massive loss of coverage.

Now, though, some Republicans seek to take advantage of the CBO’s coverage loss estimates. They propose repealing the Obamacare mandate as part of the tax reform legislation. And based on the CBO’s estimates, they claim that this repeal would produce a savings of several hundred billion dollars.

now that Republicans are relying on the CBO estimates, the CBO wants to change [T]hem.

But this doesn’t mean the CBO isn’t tilting the playing field. It has signaled that the savings number the Republicans are citing — which corresponds to the one the Democrats flogged during the Obamacare debate — isn’t reliable. Just as Republicans argued during the Obamacare debate.

Even without a significantly lower new number, that’s a bombshell.

Brain-dead green nut jobs attack Kathleen Hartnett White by Luboš Motl – “Donald Trump has nominated Kathleen Hartnett White, an experienced Texan female politician focusing on the environment, as the boss of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.”

Oh, you haven’t killed climate skeptics in gas chambers, dear “environmentalists”, for months. This “Lassitude” claims to have earned “several degrees” – if true, it proves that the general education system is completely broken in California and total morons like “Lassitude” are getting degrees for parroting hostile, Nazi-style political slogans and/or for her non-convex reproductive organs.

Needless to say, it’s not just dirty green organizations and brain-dead trolls on Twitter who participated in the witch hunt against Ms White. NPR – led by Mr Michael Oreskes, a brother of the notorious lying alarmist bitch Ms Naomi Oreskes, who is now accused of sexual harassment – has behaved very differently than how an impartial public ratio station should behave.

Ms White may be confirmed or not, or someone else who is sensible may be confirmed. But the hostility by these brainwashed and brain-dead communist attack dogs, the likes of Lassitude, Mr Whitehouse, Mr Buchele, and millions of others, will not go away for years. Sane people should have fought against the expansion of this toxic garbage – the climate alarmist propaganda – already decades ago. Now this filth is here and it will do its best to make the life harder for everyone who knows the basic things and who is honest. It will be around and it will poison the lives of all the honest people up to the moment when we realize that we really don’t deserve it, don’t like, and need to use much more effective weapons against the likes of Mr Buchele.

There’s something ugly on in the public psyche.

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Success, Trust, Culture, Inane, Abuse

Twitter Testifies on 2016 Analysis: Clinton Used Twitter More But Trump Much More Effective… by sundance – “Additionally, Twitter legal counsel admits to hiding up to 48% of negative Clinton twitter content.” This is related to the disgust for Trump’s tweets as effectiveness stimulates envy and resentment amongst those who don’t share his goals.

Essentially Twitter legal counsel is admitting here, through twisted analytic hindsight obfuscation, they censor Twitter based on their internal opinion of the content within trending hashtags.

Hilariously, the page #11 testimony also shows that Hillary Clinton used Twitter twice as much as Donald Trump – yet had half as much engagement (re-tweets).

Ruby Ridge, Waco, and the swamp By Robert Arvay –

Years later, I am finding the same childlike reaction expressed by the juror in myself with regard to the massive and pervasive corruption in Washington, D.C. that is slowly being revealed in the Uranium One scandal, and in the Mueller probe aimed at destroying the presidency of Donald Trump. There is no Santa Claus, no honesty in government.

What was demonstrated by the Ruby Ridge and Waco events is that government is like fire: necessary in its place and dangerous when it breaches its containment.

Until recently, I had always been convinced that however corrupt the government is, at least there are honesty and integrity in the upper reaches of law enforcement. My faith had been tested, but not shattered, when what I considered to be a few rogue officers went berserk and slaughtered the aforementioned innocent Americans in an abuse of power.

Now I understand that the problem is vastly worse than my worst fears had ever led me to believe. We are faced not with a few renegade cops, but with ensconced corruption almost beyond imagining.

it will take more than torches and pitchforks to unseat them from their thrones. It will take something that not even the most skilled of them can understand – principled and courageous citizens. We will win, but it will be painful and difficult, with many a setback along the way. We will be called upon to sacrifice. The Tree of Liberty demands it.

“Anti-gentrification” or plain old vandalism? By Jazz Shaw –

It’s one of those situations where you can’t eat your cake and have it too. And this is precisely why these “anti-gentrification” campaigns are so self-defeating. You’re not preserving anyone’s culture. You’re leaving them stagnant in poverty.

Senate Republicans threaten key rule change over Dem confirmation obstruction by Ed Morrissey –

After months of grumbling over the slow process of confirming presidential appointees, and even after a change on “blue slips” for judicial nominees, Senate Republicans want significant rule changes to get Donald Trump’s appointees into office. They have finally — finally — come around to the lengthy debate requirement that promises to delay most of these appointments well into the next decade

The proposed change would cut debate time on the final floor vote for each confirmation from 30 hours to eight.

This rule change would actually be less disruptive than the others initiated by Harry Reid and McConnell over the last few years.

Schumer started this cycle years ago by blocking George W. Bush’s judicial nominees, with Harry Reid’s gleeful participation.

There are many forms of abuse and they usually have consequences. The Democrats look to be slow learners.

Rep. Gutierrez introducing articles of impeachment over Pelosi’s objections by John Sexton –

Democrats want to be perceived as running on a touchy-feely “Love Trumps Hate” platform but the reality is that their base hates Trump with a white-hot passion and still wants vengeance for the 2016 loss (Bernie’s loss and Hillary’s loss, depending on who you ask). That’s why “the resistance” has been pushing obstructionism and confrontation. They aren’t interested in governing, they’re interested in a pound of flesh.

So I’m going to say something here I’ve rarely said: Pelosi is right. The smart move now is to tone down the outrage and present Democrats as a serious party that can govern. They could fail in that but the effort probably won’t backfire.

But that’s not as emotionally satisfying as going for the throat. That disgusting Latino Victory ad, i.e. the one showing a truck trying to run down minority children, is what the base wants. Lots of folks on the far left defended that ad but it backfired within a day.

Associating people with violent racists is not a way to expand the party’s appeal or demonstrate seriousness. Similarly, trying to smear Trump with unproven collusion allegations may appeal to the base but it’s not going to win over moderates, at least some of whom Democrats need to win elections.

The ABA’s unfair attack on judicial nominee Steve Grasz by Paul Mirengoff – “Grasz has the backing of both Senator Fischer and Senator Sasse, who slammed the ABA. I doubt Grasz would have that backing if he were not qualified.”

The ABA’s rating amused me because it questioned “whether Mr. Grasz would be able to detach himself from his deeply held social agenda and political loyalty to be able to judge objectively, with compassion and without bias.” Remove the word “compassion” and you have described a great many Obama district court and appellate nominees.

To the ABA, however, if you slavishly take left-wing positions, you aren’t judging with bias. Rather, you are being mainstream — and, of course, compassionate. Never mind that it’s not the role of judges to adjudicate with compassion. The ABA’s invocation of that word gives away its bias.

This is just one example of an expression of bias that can be seen in many opinions and headlines. They serve as clues and indicators for the astute reader to use in determining the quality of the information provided.

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