Archive for people

bitter-enders and moral hubris define a fifth column

Judge Jeanine is right — Fox News is wrong. M. Catharine Evans – “The funny thing is the judge’s logical examination of the origin of Omar’s anti-Semitic statements was neither bigoted, nor false, nor inciteful. … She asked a valid question.

“Why does the never-ending call for “dialogue” between non-Muslims and Muslims in this country exclude asking Jeanine’s hard question relating to possible conflicts between a Muslim congresswoman’s fidelity to Islamic teachings and the Constitution?

“The dogma lives loudly” in a Catholic judicial nominee but not in a Muslim congresswoman?

Fox’s censorship of Judge Jeanine over a genuine analysis and probing into Omar’s anti-Semitic comments puts them in the same league as other networks and social media giants who allow open criticism of Christianity and Judaism while suppressing any cynical commentary concerning Islam.

When the popular Judge Jeanine gets removed from her show for confronting Jew hatred by an elected representative, yet Omar, who had to delete anti-Semitic tweets, and who is coddled by an Islamic extremist organization known as CAIR, gets an apology, something is insanely upside down over at Fox.

When Cabin Boys Attack. Julie Kelly – “Embittered by their humiliating miscalculation of Trump’s candidacy and shamelessly contorting their previous views to be able to contradict the president, these anti-Trump “conservatives” viciously attack anyone who dares to support the president. This includes Hanson.” It is the assault and how it is conducted – and how it is rationalized – that tells the story.

“In a particularly vile hit piece posted on The Bulwark, the new blog of Weekly Standard refugees who were left unemployed after the publication was shuttered in December, Gabe Schoenfeld accused Hanson of defending evil—that evil being President Trump. Bulwark editor Charlie Sykes recently threatened to “raise the opportunity costs” for pro-Trump commentators, Hanson specifically. To do so, Sykes enlisted the facile services of Schoenfeld, an advisor for the failed Mitt Romney presidential campaign, to pretend to write a book review that was little more than an ad hominem attack on Hanson.

The Bulwark and its enablers like French continue to do more damage to our political discourse while professing to elevate it. The depth of their intellectual rot is matched only by their witless political sense and their schoolyard bully tactics. But no doubt their leftist benefactors are proud of their work in the service of genuine social evil.

Neo, on the dirty dozen in the emergency declaration case, thinks ‘reasonable minds can disagree.’ She falls for a misdirection. The issue used as an excuse, usurping of legislative powers, is just being used for moral preening and hate. Hubris and hate and dishonesty are not subjects where reasonable minds can disagree.

The Nevertrump Bitter-Enders. Bruce Thornton – “Still functioning as a fifth column for the progressive “resistance.”

“make no mistake, no matter how seemingly marginalized or absurd, the bitter-enders are still functioning as a fifth column for the progressive “resistance,” providing a “conservative” and “bipartisan” cover for the Democrats’ rush to move America farther to the left in order to change our Constitutional Republic into a socialist technocracy.

The bitter-enders now housed in The Bulwark have no response to that stark fact. At this point, their peevish, snarky, snotty commentary financed by the left serves no purpose other than to give moral support to a party that has degenerated into a juvenile congeries of failed, illiberal, and dangerous policies. That’s not much of a recommendation for the NeverTrumpers’ alleged fealty to “principles,” “conservatism,” or “democratic norms” the bitter-enders claim they are defending.

Then there is the Connecticut Supreme Court’s assault on the 2nd amendment …

It was terrorism by violence, now it is by flooding the zone with immigrants, with harassment, and with legal system abuse. The war is on and so many are unaware, even those on the front line.

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Scapegoats

Christchurch, Conservatism, and Fascism. Matthew Pinna – “In fact, conservatism had nothing to do with this. We need to understand exactly how people like this shooter think, and how the media is doing that admirable goal a disservice.

“Both media and public officials, in New Zealand and elsewhere have chosen to lay the blame for the killings on “conservatives.”

How do we know that the shooter isn’t a conservative? For starters, he explicitly says that he detests conservatism twice, once in the “Q&A” and again in his more ideological section, where he devotes a whole page to it

Instead, the shooter admits that he is an “actual fascist” — an “eco-fascist,” to be exact.

It needs to be understood that the racism and discrimination seen from historical examples of fascism aren’t mere elements or curable side effects of the ideology — they are fascism.

people need to stay out of the way of those who want to fight back. Don’t sweep what he wrote under the rug and don’t blame Republicans or Democrats for “radicalizing” this shooter. Now more than ever, we need to debate specifically against Fascists — just as we did against Communists back in the day — for Christchurch, and the future Christchurches that will happen unless we change our course.

The New Zealand shooting stopped when a brave man took away the shooter’s gun. John Sexton – “As usual, after an event like this, the shooter is getting a lot of attention. It’s understandable though it doesn’t seem that complicated in this case. Hopefully, we’ll learn more about some of the victims and the people who were heroes in the worst situation imaginable.” And maybe learn about how the social phobia about guns hindered their efforts?

Observations on Christchurch. John Hinderaker – “Early reports of catastrophic events like these always turn out to be wrong in some respects, but it does appear that armed self-defense was the key to the less tragic outcome at Linwood. Murder is the result of human evil and will never be eradicated in this world, but if more people arm themselves, there will be fewer mass murder events.

“The deplorable Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tied the murders to President Trump. It is noteworthy that liberals attribute almost superhuman powers to Donald Trump, attributing responsibility to him for pretty much anything that goes on in the world. The only phenomena for which the Left does not assign responsibility to the president are the intended, beneficent results of his own policies.

2) Brenton Tarrant published a typical mass murderer’s manifesto in which he described himself as an “eco-fascist,” expressed hatred for conservatism and said that Communist China is his ideal country. Tarrant is an environmentalist who bought the global warming hype hook, line and sinker. His closest analogy is perhaps the Unabomber. …

3) From a policy standpoint, the only lesson that can be drawn from the Christchurch massacre is reflected in the difference in the casualty totals between the two attacks. Forty-one were killed at the Dean Ave. mosque, the first one that was targeted, where the murderer had plenty of time and at one point returned to his vehicle to reload. There were only seven killed at the Linwood mosque because one of the worshippers was armed:

Hossenfelder demands $10,000 from me through Czech lawyers. Luboš Motl – “The letter is formulated as if she demands a ransom. It adds a new level to her debatable methods to earn money.

“I think it’s absolutely stunning. She’s on her violent campaign against the whole field that I find dear and against its practitioners and she just wants to silence me …

My knowledge of the law is next to non-existent. I have no idea whether a party that is attacked in this Blitzkrieg way has an effective way to defend itself. I don’t know whom I would be inviting as a witness to show that she’s been helped by affirmative action, her physics is not good etc. Your recommendations are welcome. If you’re extremely rich, your financial help would be welcome, too.

The current Tucker Carlson saga is another example of this approach to ideological warfare. Threaten, intimidate, attrit their resources, humiliate, shut them down. The media is complicit, too. Consider this headline: “Twelve Righteous Republicans (and 41 Cowards) (Bret Stephens/New York Times)” – it’s not about the merits, it’s about ad hominem judgment. Contrast that to neo’s cite of Tom Cotton.

Trump vetoes Senate’s block on his emergency declaration. neo – “They say it’s not because they don’t like the wall, but because they think the president exceeded his powers. … When I looked into the powers presidents have been given to declare national emergencies, I think it’s fairly clear that Trump did not exceed his powers.” There is an interesting contrast that Congress did vote on executive regulations that Trump put before them early in his administration. Here’s from Tom Cotton:

“Now, I’m sympathetic to arguments that the National Emergencies Act is too broad and gives the executive branch too much power. That’s a reasonable debate to have. Believe me, Congress has ceded too much power to the executive for more than a century, expanding an administrative state that increasingly deprives our people of a meaningful say in their government. So I invite my Democratic colleagues to reconsider the wisdom of this path. Maybe we can reform the EPA. Perhaps we can require up-or-down votes in Congress to approve big regulations so politicians can show some accountability for once. I’m ready for those debates. Believe me, I’m ready. But in the meantime, don’t pretend we didn’t delegate all these powers, or that it’s lawless for the executive to use laws we passed, just because you deplore him.

What Trump does not do…and it’s fantastic. Majid Mohammadi – “I will provide examples of what Trump has not done and what King Barack H. Obama and King George W. Bush did. Here is a list

“When Democrats lost to a non-politician in 2016, they could not swallow the failure and began to degrade their opponent’s victory (by manufacturing “Russia collusion”), insult people who voted for the winner (calling them racist), and assassinate the character of the winner (calling him a dictator). To make the case for the third act, they invented a story that Donald Trump likes dictators and wants to be one and will not leave office if not elected in 2020. But his actions show the opposite. Trump does not want to be a king or a dictator, while his predecessors behaved as if they wanted to be.

A scapegoat is one thing. The judgment is another. The total lack of support in reality for vehement name calling is another. It isn’t getting better. It seems to be getting worse.

 

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Language of the dead

Andrew McCarthy on Manafort and double jeopardy. neo – “I agree with McCarthy that this should make everyone afraid. … But it doesn’t. Some are applauding.”

Waging War Against the Dead. Victor Davis Hanson – “Not since the iconoclasts of the Byzantine Empire or the epidemic of statue destruction during the French Revolution has the world seen anything like the current war on the past.

“The West prides itself in the idea that liberal societies would never descend into such nihilism. Think again.

such attacks usually revealed a lack of confidence. The general insecurity of the present could supposedly be remedied by destroying mute statutes or the legacies of the dead, who could offer no rebuttal.

opportunism, not logic, always seems to determine the targets of destruction.

in the past there usually has been a cowardly element to historical erasure. Destruction was often done at night by roving vandals, or was sanctioned by extremist groups who bullied objectors.

ignorance both accompanies and explains the arrogance of historical erasure, past and present.

The past is not a melodrama but more often a tragedy. Destroying history will not make you feel good about the present. Studying and learning from it might.

I Love the DisneyWorld Monorail. Here is Why It is A Terrible Public Transit Technology. District 48 – “When I talk about industrial design, I often use a scale where 1 is the Boston City Hall and 10 is the Disneyworld monorail.” … “Disney has essentially abandoned the monorail for all its future expansions. … it relies on busses now almost exclusively for internal transport.” Here’s why. It’s another tale of reality meeting dreams and fantasies.

EDITORIAL: One tongue for all. Washington Times – “The idea of making English the official language is back.

Massively incorrect’: Point-by-point rebuttal to Michael Mann’s Newsweek smear of Trump, Greenpeace co-founder Dr. Moore & Princeton’s Dr. Happer — Update: Michael Mann responds: “Ooooh deniers. Did I touch a nerve? I’m sawee.” The response to being caught in flagrant lies is telling. And indicative.

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Culture war: many fronts assaulted with much vigor.

The Red Queen. Richard Fernandez – “If the 20th century can be described as the age of materialism and conflict, the 21st may be known as the age of information; the time we discovered angels and demons are real. Madness too can become incarnate and do stuff.

“One of the vulnerabilities cited by the BBC study on civilizational collapse is today we are part of a “tightly coupled globalized system”. Unlike eras when mistakes and their consequences could be localized today a major error can affect everybody. The flip side of the claim that a Green New Deal can “save the world” is it can also destroy it.

One of the characteristics of comprehensive ideologies, as illustrated by the Green New Deal, is that because of their reductionist and global character they handle complexity with chunky policy interventions. This tends to increase the probability of “normal accidents” because the bureaucracy cannot manage the complex systems they feel compelled to control.

Nature attacks and defends on many fronts. But a giant ideological bureaucracy can do what Darwin can’t: embark on a single strategy to the exclusion of all else.

Lessons from Our Family’s Recent Identity Theft Mess. District 48 – “The problem with government (and all dysfunctional organizations, public and private) is not that they hire bad people, but they hire good people that they cause to act badly through poor information and incentives.” Police had no interest but his mail carrier “bent over backwards to help us out.” The perp was caught standing in a USPS line.

Harry Reid on Trump: ‘I just have trouble accepting him as a person’. J. Marsolo – “Speaking for the deranged Trump-haters, Harry doesn’t see Trump as a person, so everything Trump does is bad.” Trump’s smack down tweet clarifies the situation. Reid is an embarrassment, especially to Nevada.

Stunning – 44 Democrats Vote to Support Post Birth Abortion. sundance – “Three democrat Senators voted to support the bill [Casey (PA), Manchin (WVA), and Jones (AL)], all others voted against protecting the babies.” The Trump Response Tweet: “This will be remembered as one of the most shocking votes in the history of Congress. If there is one thing we should all agree on, it’s protecting the lives of innocent babies.Ace of Spades notesThree Senators — Tim Scott of South Carolina, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska all chose to not be present for the vote.

Chase Bank Now Routinely Closing the Personal Bank Accounts of Conservatives. Ace of Spades – “Part of the problem is that the left has made it its top priority to infiltrate/pressure corporations to advance the left’s goals — including the goal, now, of complete censorship and discrimination against conservatives.

About half of New Mexico counties are now gun rights sanctuaries. Jazz Shaw – “That’s not how things are supposed to work, of course. There’s the whole supremacy issue to deal with for starters. But if the Democrats passing these new gun control laws want to be upset about it, they’re going to have to explain why it’s okay for states and cities to defy federal immigration laws for sanctuary cities and states. If you’re going to pick and choose which laws you will or won’t respect, don’t act surprised when someone else does the same thing.

From Victor Davis Hanson regarding media malpractice in editing a conversation he had – “This is exactly why many people today have distrust of many in media and reflect upon the unprofessionalism that occurs too often.”

Microsoft’s Moral Abdication. Kevin Jon Heller – “This is a remarkable abdication of Microsoft’s responsibility for considering how its technology could be used — or misused.” Heller thinks that creating anything to help defend ourselves is terrible because somebody might abuse it. Take that bit of logic to even modest implications and it is clear that Heller is advocating suicide by passivity. Consider rocks in this light. Does Heller condemn making rocks because they might be used by armies in slings to protect their societies? (What happened to David and Goliath?)

“To be absolutely clear, I am not comparing IVAS to the atomic bomb. Microsoft is not the Manhattan Project. The underlying principle, however, is the same: it is not acceptable for scientists to blind themselves to the consequences of their actions.

This requires predicting the future, making unreasonable assumptions, and ignoring history. Trying to shift blame for misery from human nature to scientific creativity shows a severe lack of honesty and intellectual integrity. That shows in the absolute claims used in expressing judgment. Bringing in the Manhattan project regrets is another tell. That is a very clear story in selective history and the ignorance of tragedy reduction. The underlying fears driving that regret, about nuclear science and not weapons, are still costing human misery and suffering as outcomes of a non-polluting energy source being absent from the Green New Deal, for instance.

The culture war is one of survival. Legalizing infanticide explicitly post birth is one. Criminalizing self defense either personal or national, is another.

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Does the distinction matter? What planet you on?

Leftists and reality. neo – “It may be a distinction that doesn’t matter all that much except in psychological terms, but the difference is whether the person is consciously lying or whether the person believes what he or she is saying.” This is another one noticing the behavior. Perhaps the APA should start working on this rather than toxic masculinity? The case in point is illustrated by a passage from Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Yes, ‘This Is America, 2019’. Victor Davis Hanson – “There have been so far about three general reactions to the concocted Jussie Smollett psychodrama.” Catalog, analyze, dissect, you know – those things scholars are supposed to do with interesting or unusual phenomena.

“Smollett has shown that the most absurd narratives imaginable will continue to gain credence because they fill a deep psychological, cultural—and, yes, careerist—need for millions in the country to believe that hate crimes are epidemic, that they are the currency of the Right, and that they can only be addressed by more government scrutiny of a particular class of victimizers such as the Duke Lacrosse team, the Covington kids, or Smollett’s mythic red-hatted Trump racists.

His farce is yet another example that it is now largely permissible to slur and smear millions of purported Trump supporters, as either defined by their stereotyped race and gender or their red hats (with or without a logo).

To paraphrase CNN anchorwoman Brooke Baldwin, who in careerist fashion immediately sought to gin up popular outrage over the Smollett “hate crime” attack: “This is America, 2019.”

Baldwin is right in her inference that we really are suffering from a national illness—and her own fact-free, careerist-driven editorializing and others like it are the proof.

Now Ol’ Miss Basketball has a black privilege team biting the hand that feeds story. It’d be one thing if there was a reality supporting their acting out but an overwrought sensitivity to trolling is rather odd to find in highly competitive sports.

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Yet here we are. Surber, Feldman, sundance, McCotter, Knighton explain

Now do you see Trump won the shutdown? Don Surber – “Two months and a day after the shutdown began, President Trump is in the driver’s seat.

“First, “Trump is getting the wall.”

Second, “No, Trump did not cave.”

Third, “Trump wins because he isn’t screwing anyone over.”

When the shutdown battle began, I wrote that President Trump had won because Donald Trump wins the battle first, then goes to war. It’s Sun Tzu.

It’s the third item in the list that is perhaps most important. His opposition is all about what they can do to destroy people. Trump is about M.A.G.A.

High Ties and Misdemeanors. Clarice Feldman – “Nothing offends people more than unequal justice — disparate treatment of protected persons and classes. This week, the FBI and Department of Justice’s hash of equal justice became even clearer and the media’s fat thumb on the scales as well.” Unequal justice is about “screwing anyone over.”

“I believe the concept of “hate crimes” is an oxymoron. If you assault or murder someone it’s fair to assume it was out of improper animus. Adding a kicker for “hate” in which attacks on certain classes of people result in enhanced sentences strikes me as an improper “thought crime” punishment, inconsistent with constitutional law.

In any event, the laws on hate crimes seem to be as selectively enforced as the crimes of mishandling and leaking classified material and attempting to overthrow the president. Here too the press plays an important part, demonizing the President’s supporters, and downplaying or not reporting hate crimes against them while regularly magnifying defamatory and false accusations against them.

AP Previews Andrew Weissmann’s Special Counsel Report as Pitched by Pelosi Committee Chairs.  sundance – “Many people are wondering what type of report Andrew Weissmann could possibly write for his special counsel boss Robert Mueller – to present to the DOJ after two years of insufferable political investigations.

“the Associated Press has provided an answer that likely hits as close to accurate as anyone could presume.

In their anticipatory outline the AP reporters take half-truths, blend them with innuendo and leap-jumping suspicion, and top it all off with manipulated narrative engineering.

An American Epidemic: Toxic Imbecility. Thaddeus G. McCotter – President Abraham Lincoln ominously noted, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

“What is this postmodern plague consuming our nation?

Toxic imbecility.

And where is the hot zone where this imbecilic chicken first came home to roost and now appears ready to cook our goose?

symptoms of toxic imbecility include but are certainly not limited to the following:

Tragically, the symptoms of #ToxicImbecility appear to be endless. Fortunately, the vaccine, for those not yet infected, and the antidote, for those now suffering the scourge, is relatively succinct; readily available and, thanks to the internet, largely free: read liberal doses of Edmund Burke, Russell Kirk, William F. Buckley, Jr. and Victor Davis Hanson; escape your safe space; and embrace reality. Yes, it’s that simple.

Case study: 11-Year-Old Docked Points for Not Bashing Trump. Tom Knighton – “To say that some people dislike Donald Trump may well be the understatement of the year. It’s hard to imagine any duly elected president seeing so many protests, yet here we are.

“manipulated narrative engineering” sounds like a new course for the universities. It’s what Pravda was known for but called propaganda back then.

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Word of the day: inarticulable

Like Comey and Brennan, McCabe finds impetus of Trump probe ‘inarticulable’. Dan Bongino – “Like ex-CIA boss John Brennan and disgraced former FBI Director James Comey, McCabe was coining his own phrase to explain why the intelligence community started spying the Trump team.

“Paragraph One in federal investigations lays out precisely why the investigation began and how. You can’t skip over it with fanciful phrases or empty verbiage. Yet, in the case of the counter-intelligence probe that targeted Team Trump, it has been two years and we are still waiting for someone to articulate a clear reason why the program began.

McCabe told Scott Pelley the FBI had a bunch of “articulable facts,” but he didn’t bother to articulate them.

Is anybody ever going to describe what this is? Put yourself in Trump’s shoes. He is being investigated as a potential traitor to the United States for colluding with a foreign power and no one has yet described why they were investigating the Trump team during the campaign.

When the truth is no longer “articulable,” you have to get creative.

Amendment 6 – Rights of Accused in Criminal Prosecutions – “to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.” This means “articulable” and clearly articulated. It is a basic right being denied to the President.

Were conservatives really ‘frothing at the mouth’ over that Malia Obama story? (a continuing series). John Sexton – this is another Republicans Pounce story.

“The left is clearly eager to lash out at almost anyone the right whether they be Catholic high school kids or denizens of Chicago’s notorious MAGA country. In the case of the AOC dance video and this Malia Obama story, conservatives can even be saying the opposite pretty consistently all day long and still tens of thousands of people are getting themselves worked up over the idea of the offense, even if actual examples are few and far between. This story is evidence of an ongoing political problem, it’s just not the one the left thinks it is.

NYT: Trump asked Whitaker if his handpicked U.S. Attorney could be put in charge of the Stormygate probe. Allahpundit – “Trump’s futile ongoing quest to find cronies who can and will “protect” him at the Justice Department is basically slapstick comedy at this point.” It’s another revelation of True Colors, not of Trump’s but of Alahpundit’s. The meme is analogous as the one Sexton described. Note the judgmental and derogatory terms – articulated but false as in ad hominem opinion rather than factual as in evidence.

Pope Francis: Christians Should Not Fear Looking Like ‘Communists’. Thomas D. Williams – “Too many Christians shy away from the social gospel.” … Yet another example of the Left’s view of others where the Pope castigates via insinuation and engages in False Witness ignoring the fact that it is the anti-communists who have done more for “the brothers that the Lord names in chapter 25 of Matthew” and also embrace Christ. For the Pope: “We ease our conscience a little by giving alms, as long as it does not hurt too much.” Like many Leftists, he does not connect the idea of the difference between giving a man a fish and teaching a man to fish with his view of communism and capitalism. There are also the commandments about stealing and about coveting what is not yours, both of which are endemic and fundamental to communism. No, communist is not about caring for the poor and unfortunate. It is about resolving covetousness by resorting to state enforced theft. Confusing the definition like this is an affront to everything the Pope claims to hold dear.

Shall We Defend Our Common History? Roger Kimball – “Welcome to the new Orwellian world where censorship is free speech and we respect the past by attempting to elide it.

“In the background is the conviction that we, blessed members of the most enlightened cohort ever to grace the earth with its presence, occupy a moral plane superior to all who came before us.

The psychopathology behind these occurrences is a subject unto itself. What has happened in our culture and educational institutions that so many students jump from their feelings of being offended—and how delicate they are, how quick to take offense!—to self-righteous demands to repudiate the thing that offends them? The more expensive education becomes the more it seems to lead, not to broader understanding, but to narrower horizons.

Of course, impermissible attitudes and images are never in short supply once the itch to stamp out history gets going.

In the bad old days, librarians and college presidents were people who sought to protect the past, that vast storehouse of offensive attitudes and behavior that also just so happens to define our common inheritance. In our own more enlightened times, many librarians and college presidents collude in its effacement.

“inarticulable” is just a cute way of admitting to a lack of intellectual integrity by shoveling blame somewhere else.

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Satisfied. But at what cost?

Is Adam Schiff Satisfied with NBC News? (WSJ via outline) James Freeman – “Those outside the world of Washington media might be less than hospitable to an acquaintance who had claimed to have evidence of a neighbor’s treason but still hadn’t produced it after 23 months.

“Without defending his earlier claim, Mr. Schiff proceeded to explain how he was now setting off in search of evidence of “a different form of collusion,” perhaps involving the President’s finances.

In any case, Mr. Todd again raised the issue of Mr. Schiff’s original collusion claim but somehow once again managed to veer off from demanding the long-promised evidence.

Perhaps NBC News should be less worried about satisfying Mr. Schiff and more concerned about the targets of his allegations.

Trump tax returns: House Democrats ready for ultimate fishing expedition. Byron York – “House Democrats want to use a 1924 law that allows any one of three entities — the House Ways & Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, or the Joint Committee on Taxation — to demand that the Treasury Department turn over the returns of any individual.

“Passed in the wake of the Teapot Dome scandal and controversy over the finances of Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, the law has almost never been used. For the first 50 years of the law’s existence, no one tried to get a president’s returns — although the law played a role in the fight over Richard Nixon’s finances — and in the years since Gerald Ford took office, presidents have voluntarily made their returns public. Until Donald Trump.

What is remarkable is that even the most aggressive Democrats don’t seem to have a clear idea what they will find in the returns. They’re just sure there must be something bad in there.

The former prosecutor Andrew McCarthy has written of Trump-Russia special counsel Robert Mueller that “Mueller does not have a crime he is investigating. He is investigating in hopes of finding a crime.” That is what Democrats are planning with the president’s tax returns.

The tax returns, those and other House Democrats believe, will be a Rosetta Stone to Trump corruption.

But a choice by the Ways & Means committee to force the release of the president’s returns could have serious consequences. For one, it will set a precedent for the House majority, in this case the Democrats, to go after the tax returns of individuals. It is not hard to imagine that coming around to bite Democrats in the future.

“Once you go down this road, it’s a lot like using the intelligence agencies to look into political campaigns,” Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California, ranking member of the Intelligence Committee, said last month.

At a recent Ways & Means hearing into the issue of acquiring individual returns, Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia summed up the situation, and in the process said perhaps more than he intended. “This is not the end,” Lewis said. “This is just the beginning.”

If Only Trump Had Known What He Did Not Yet Know About D.C. Dov Fischer – “During that brief thirty-month journey in the Twilight Zone, there was a coterie of only a dozen jerks out to sabotage my every effort despite the warm support and even deep love I enjoyed among the vast majority of that congregation of 250 or so people.

“I recount this brief nightmare — and thank G-d Almig-ty it was only a passing phase, a blip in a pulpit career of more than a quarter century — because I therefore appreciate more deeply from that personal experience what President Trump has accomplished against all odds.

The internecine petty sabotage of office politics where mediocrities who never achieve anything great choose to live to sabotage those who surpass them.

Through all this he has had to deal with The Resistance, false charges of Russian collusion from people who themselves colluded with Russians, an Obama-and-Clinton stacked Ninth Circuit court of appeals, a murder of crows at CBS, NBC, ABC, MSNBC, CNN, the NYT, and WaPo that will not give him a chance. They attack everything he does, everything he says.

His great mistake was that — quite the opposite of his public persona — he was too nice a guy, too willing to make others happy and play to others’ expectations.

We now enter the era of the Democrat House investigations. They want his taxes? Well, America wants Adam Schiff’s taxes. And Nancy Pelosi’s taxes. And the taxes not only of Dianne Feinstein and Maxine Waters but also of their husbands who have become very, very rich.

As these next two years unfold, I hope that gutless GOP Senate committees, if only to save their own hides, start subpoenaing every Clinton thing they can think of … nd, taking a cue from Mueller, just name a Special Investigator to investigate “the Clintons” — with the proviso that he or she is authorized to follow the trail wherever it leads. It will lead everywhere.

The Morality of the Anti-Trump Elite. George Neumayr – “The dominant media spends day after day accusing Trump of this or that “lie.” It puts the worst possible construction on his every utterance.

“Meanwhile, the high priests of that media get caught out in plagiarism scandals and the like and never pay the slightest price for those acts of brazen dishonesty.

Yet all these scandals of the anti-Trump elite have a deflating effect on its moral crusades against the president. How seriously can we take them? Members of the ruling class spend much of the day obsessing over Trump’s “vulgarity and dishonesty,” then the remainder of it immersing themselves in their own.

Judicial Watch Uncovers Email Between Clinton Lawyer David Kendall and FBI Lawyer James Baker Same Day FBI Was Forced to Re-Open Investigation by sundance – “people have forgotten many of the inherent issues that showcased how the FBI and DOJ had decided in advance not to prosecute Hillary Clinton.” … Quite simply: there is a glaringly transparent lack of an “investigation”.

President Trump’s not-so-carefully considered decisions have consequences. Andrew Malcolm – Malcom illustrates Neumayr’s point. Notice the presumptions laid on the table and the total lack of evidence to support them. There is plenty of opinion and judgment but the evidence is absent because what is available doesn’t support the narrative … Until the end of the article.

NY Times headline: ‘Ocasio-Cortez Team Flubs a Green New Deal Summary, and Republicans Pounce’. John Sexton – taking apart another ‘Republicans Pounce’ meme so popular in places like the NYT as examples of the cancer in society. It goes hand in hand with Allahpundit’s Trump touts Drudge headline: Check out my 52% job approval rationalizing and impugning. Contrast to Jazz Shaw on the question So you’re upset that your tax refund went down? – “This is certainly a clever bit of “coverage” of a story based primarily on people bitching on Twitter. Notice how the WaPo manages to promote a hashtag denigrating the tax cuts in the second paragraph. The premise here is clearly that the tax cuts reduced some people’s refunds, only Republicans voted for the tax cuts, therefore the tax cuts must be bad and so are the Republicans.

Is Global Warming Theory Scientific? John Hinderaker – “But being a global warming alarmist means never having to say you’re sorry. Why recant, when billions of government dollars continue to flow, no matter how many wrong predictions you make? So far, the leftist alarmists have had the last laugh: consistently wrong, but never in doubt. And still lavishly funded.”

Public Education’s Dirty Secret. Mary Hudson – “The reason is that they know deep down that due to the color of their skin, less is expected of them.” The problem is that this thesis does not fit the evidence presented. It does not explain the privilege described in the observation that “The administration was consistently on the side of the student. The teacher was the fall guy, every time.” It ignores the success of charter schools. It illustrates a socialist paradigm that tries to explain away an organization’s lack of success by shifting blame towards external rationalization. The fundamental problem, the “dirty secret,” is the infestation of racism to explain an inability to sell the product. That is why it is so strange than an economist like Mark Perry picked up on the Hudson thesis. Schools do satisfy their market. The problem is properly identifying the actual market and how competing customers and ideologies distort it.

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Where is Don Quixote when you need him?

Mueller’s Danse Macabre At Arrest of Stone. Conrad Black – “Strong-arm Tactic Shocks American Decency.”

“People who might be vulnerable and have known — or claim to have known — the president are indicted for unrelated conduct and then browbeaten and threatened with indictments of their families, unbearable legal costs, and endless press smears to invent inculpatory testimony against the president, with a guarantee of immunity from prosecution for perjury. This is the standard playbook of American prosecutors. It has been denounced repeatedly and every informed person in the country knows about it, but nobody does or says anything consequential.

This danse macabre of the ludicrously numerous and over-armed FBI agents filmed by invitation by the CNN propaganda service in their strenuous exercise to frighten Roger Stone’s cats and dogs raises the questions of what Mr. Mueller and his entirely partisan Democratic lynch-mob, some of whose most prominent members have been exposed and disgraced and fired, think they are now doing.

Whenever the suggestion that it might be time to wind down this stupor-inducing affront to the Bill of Rights starts to get determinedly to its feet in full voice, Mr. Mueller vanishes from sight.

Beclowning themselves to “get” Trump. Don Surber – “Michael Harriot of The Root wrote, “Exclusive: Clemson’s Black Players Refused to Accept Donald Trump’s Invitation to the McCookout.” The picture tells the story but perhaps a more significant tell is the ‘attitude’ and ‘tone’ expressed in the quotes of Harriot about the President. Has he no decency?

Victorina Morales is the best reason yet to cancel the SOTU speech… permanently. Jazz Shaw – “Morales is the illegal alien who was working at the Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey until the media exposed her immigration status. This is presumably a maneuver designed as a jab at the president.” … “We have a Democrat willing to violate federal law to transport an illegal immigrant to the State of the Union address. (8 U.S. Code § 1324 makes it a felony to “transport, or move or attempt to transport or move” an illegal alien.)

POTUS Interview: Speaker Ryan Lied on Border Wall Funding Promise to Get Omnibus Signed. sundance – read this carefully to catch the ‘tone’ and ‘attitude’ of the president in his own words. Compare and contrast to Harriot and his ilk.

Why Trump Will Win the Wall Fight. David Catron – “He continually adapts while the Dems remain static.” Another compare and contrast. The President has his focus on issues. His opponents on enemies.

“The Democrats squealed with delight when the President decided to temporarily end the partial government shutdown. Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and their media supporters believe they have won a famous victory. Indeed, more than a few have declared the Trump presidency dead. This isn’t merely delusional, it means that two years of dealing with “the Donald” have taught them nothing about how he operates. The President is adapting to the post-midterm political environment by changing his “game face.” The Democrats continue to indulge their irrational antipathy toward Trump and embrace increasingly inane policy positions. Meanwhile, he is becoming more presidential.

A Letter to Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic Ten Days Later. Dov Fischer – “It now is some ten days since you unintentionally became famous, and you blessedly no longer are the news outside Covington. But I write to tell you that you are not forgotten for many of us whom you made proud.

“Obama once said that, if he had had a son, it would have been a boy like Trayvon Martin. Nicholas, I do not doubt that. Not for a moment. I would rather set the boys of CovCath as role models.

New Yorkers in the Left Media cannot understand why CovCath boys like you would smile in the faces of people like that lying phony Native American “Vietnam Vet.” That is because in New York they never would have smiled at him in the first place, figuring he might have a knife or a tomahawk, so they would have run away from him. The Left Media do not understand a culture where you actually look people in the eye, smile their way, and stand your ground.

You did not back away. You demonstrated the best of the Covington Catholic education you have gotten by standing your ground and just smiling at him. That smile said: “I am here in peace. I am not going to be incited into escalating your menacing confrontation. So you can go on beating that stupid drum of yours all day, Ringo, but I am not going to back off, nor will I be drawn into a fight. Because I am here to support life and the rights of the unborn.”

You and your classmates never should have been criticized by your local Diocese. The Diocese embarrassed itself nationally when they instantly criticized CovCath kids without having the facts. That was a national disgrace, doing unto you guys what they would not have wanted others to do unto them. Lev. 11. If they must publicly criticize a Catholic, let them pick on someone their own size and comment instead on New York Governor Cuomo’s new “Gosnell Law” that legalizes tearing the limbs of fetuses apart, limb by limb, as late as nine months into pregnancy. But tell them to bang the drum slowly.

what people do to make jabs at windmills in their minds … 

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The Potomac two-step. Denial. Projection. Faux (?) outrage …

Voter Fraud: Yes, Noncitizens Are Voting In Elections — Texas Just Proved It. Investor’s Business Daily – “When President Donald Trump brought up the idea that noncitizens were casting ballots in elections, the reaction was fast and furious. Such a thing, if it exists at all, is exceedingly rare, we were told.

“After a yearlong voter-fraud probe, Texas discovered that, lo and behold, 95,000 people identified as noncitizens had voter registrations. What’s more, 58,000 of them voted in one or more Texas elections.

But wait. Isn’t all this stuff about noncitizens voting a load of bull? When Trump appointed a voter-fraud commission in 2017, Democrats and the press howled in protest.

Less than a year after he put it together, Trump disbanded his commission, not because it didn’t find anything, but because it faced a fusillade of lawsuits and stonewalling from state election officials.

The most likely explanation for Democrats’ indifference is that they benefit from sloppy enforcement of election laws. We recently pointed out that several House elections in California could have flipped from red to blue thanks to these sorts of fraudulent efforts. And California election officials seem clueless — or utterly indifferent — to whether noncitizens are voting in state elections.

That would explain why Democrats treat every effort to improve ballot integrity as an attempt to suppress voter turnout.

Brennan Brays Again. Scott Johnson – “he remains at large. He is not under indictment. The FBI has not sent a heavily armed battalion to raid his home and take him into custody in front of his friends at CNN.

“Is there any dispute about Brennan’s lies? I don’t think so. Looking around for a summary of Brennan’s lies, I find Victor Davis Hanson’s useful compilation in the June 2018 NR post “A reply to Ronald Radosh’s smear.” The compilation purports only to be illustrative, not exhaustive.

Brennan’s braying represents a classic case of non-denial denial. What a lying partisan hack Obama put in charge of the CIA. And let me add, incidentally, that Brennan’s hackery probably does not even constitute his worst quality.

The Potomac two-step: Will no one stand up to the corruption in the FBI, DOJ, and CIA? Patricia McCarthy – “For nearly ten years now, Americans who have been paying attention have known that our government has become corrupt, that its premier institutions were weaponized by the Obama administration to the point that we have become something of a police state or banana republic.

“It appears we are now a police state. Stalin would be proud. The left and the media all approved of this preposterous bit of nasty theater. Stephanopoulos said such tactics are “common,” a blatant lie. … Stephanopoulos is nothing but a tool of the left, a talking head with a script to read. Who writes the bilge he reads? Would be good to know, but one thing is certain: they have as their goal the destruction of America and its most cherished values.

Bigotry Against Christians Harms The Media’s Reputation. Mollie Hemingway – “The Atlantic’s Taylor Lorenz decided to dunk on Pope Francis for a tweet about Jesus’ mother Mary, claiming Christ faked his resurrection.”

“In recent days we’ve seen reporters attack Karen Pence for volunteering at a Christian school, attempt to dig up dirt against Christian schools, and viciously attack 16-year-old Catholic boys who were being harassed by adults spewing racist and homophobic slurs.

The Christian teachings of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection are central to the faith, but not everyone is called, as St. Paul puts it. And those who don’t believe view this central teaching as a stumbling block, as Lorenz does.

All that said, the mockery and disrespect in the anti-Christian tweet — and its favorable reception from other journalists — tell us something about the way many in the media treat Christians. As the media lean into their progressive political ideology, they are becoming more and more anti-Christian.

if The Atlantic and other media outlets wonder why they have lost their reputation recently, it can look to the disparity in how it treats conservatives and their ideas and how it rewards the journalism and anti-Christian bigotry of their liberal staff.

Stage Set For A Deal With Democrats. Conrad Black – “the president has just removed from the deck and shredded the best Democratic card, crinkled and greasy at the edges though it had become: the endless claim that he was a madman who would never retreat or compromise, a psychotic bull in the China shop of the world’s nations, rampaging through American government, heedless of any sense of compromise or nuance.

“The Democrats will have to deliver something believable on border security, and if they repair to the leftist house of debating cards, that there is no problem and therefore nothing need be done except a few humanitarian measures, they will be hammered. Pelosi and Schumer are tired components of the creaking and grunting pantomime horse of liberal Democratic medievalism, but they can’t take that argument to the country.

Against Trump: Three Years Later. Julie Kelly – “The NeverTrump crusade sparked by the “Against Trump” issue is adrift and angry. In the past three years, self-proclaimed conservatives of this variety have embraced the climate change agenda, opposed tax reform, and saved Obamacare.”

“NeverTrumpers have been silent about, or worse, helped to justify, the unconstitutional and alarming weaponization of the world’s most powerful law enforcement and intelligence apparatus to undermine a rival presidential campaign, then sabotage a duly elected president.

three years after the nation’s leading conservative outlet published a lengthy appeal to purge Donald Trump from its ranks, the president has an 80 percent approval rating among American conservatives. Trump has cut taxes; restrained the regulatory behemoth; appointed a legacy bench of conservatives federal judges; challenged lazy, ungrateful allies; rewritten outdated trade pacts; confronted a chronic border crisis; and reinvigorated the country’s manufacturing base. He’s defended the unborn, the working class, the patriotic, and the faithful while rejecting the stultifying chokehold of identity politics.

Meanwhile, his so-called conservative detractors are scrounging for primary challengers that sound more like Barack Obama than William F. Buckley, Jr. The damage they’ve done to the modern-day conservative movement will long outlast Trump’s presidency.

And three years later, they have largely proven—once again—that they are still very good at failure.

Sec. DeVos rule change on campus sexual assault now a magnet for angry personal attacks. John Sexton – “This is the kind of thing that would lead journalists to make generalizations about the kind of people who would make such ugly attacks a woman Education Secretary. At least that would be the case if only the attacks were coming from the right. But in this case, the attacks don’t fit the narrative.”

The Next States to Get Hammered by the Blue State Model. Dispatches from District 48 – “people who flee California because it is too expensive and dysfunctional come to Arizona and immediately begin voting for exactly the same policies that made California expensive and dysfunctional. Therefore, I tend to read being in an “inbound” state with dread, knowing that folks are moving in right now to make us the next Illinois or California.

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Ultimate irony – but will it register?

The Ultimate Irony of the ‘Native American Elder’ and the MAGA Hat Kids. Selwyn Duke – “Had Western civilization never existed and the dreaded white man not ever arrived on these shores, the Indians would still be living a stone-age lifestyle. The “noble savage” suckers may romanticize this, but neither they nor Talking Bull want any part of it.

Libels of and threats to Covington Kids will face Kentucky justice. Thomas Lifson – “the prospect of Kentuckian jurors judging those who libel or threaten their children is delightful. There are two separate avenues available, and both are being explored by people ready and willing to act.

“Trump Derangement Syndrome, which is the underlying reason why the explosion of hate for the Catholic Church has become so public (in anticipation of the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the next SCOTUS vacancy), is literally “derangement” – meaning that ordinary internal mental cautions that prevent people from crossing important lines are discarded in a frenzy.

If one or more people from outside Kentucky are indicted and brought to the state for prosecution under a terroristic threat statute, it would sober up a lot of others.

The real evil of fake news. Gavin Wax – “The fake news media is playing a game of sleight of hand with the American people. By creating a narrative and having an entire industry built around feeding this narrative, they attempt to get the public’s mind off the brass tacks of what is happening in terms of public policy.

Apologies Aren’t Enough After The Covington And BuzzFeed Media Fiascos. Investor’s Business Daily – “If mainstream reporters don’t like Trump calling their work “fake news,” they should stop providing him so many fresh examples.

Joy Behar: We jumped to conclusions about the Covington Catholic kids because we desperately want Trump out of office. Allahpundit – “How did a truthbomb like this end up being casually dropped by, of all people, Joy Behar?” Of course, it’s Allahpundit and he has to get a few TDS digs in but there is an awareness worthy of note.

David French noticed too: “When activists and partisans do that, they send a clear message to their opponents: They will destroy you if they can. … That’s the message that sent a shudder up the spine of husbands and wives during the Kavanaugh hearings. That’s the message that sends a shudder up the spine of moms and dads as we watch men and women try to ruin the Covington Catholic kids. This isn’t just a media scandal. When we see the hate, some of us see our sons, and we know that in America today, their futures, their reputations, and – given the prevalence of death threats – perhaps even their very lives are in the hands of an angry mob.”

But not all of this is due to cognitive dissonance. I think some of the doubling down is a deliberate strategy. If you want to marginalize the Bad People then the original narrative of the confrontation must prevail, whatever the evidence says. Keep pushing it. Hope that the sheer cumulative force behind the assertion carries it to widespread acceptance despite all evidence to the contrary. It works, you know. It’s happened before.

This is the lesson to learn from all of this, if you haven’t learned it already. neo – “I finally noticed and comprehended this game about two years post-9/11—a process I’ve described in my “a mind is a difficult thing to change” series—and this was one of the main reasons for my political change.” Rush Limbaugh has been on a tear about this and it is good to see a growing awareness. Neo has several good posts on his topic this morning as well.

“The tactic is even more blatantly obvious now. But many people who self-describe as being on the right seem to remain blind to it. That’s one of the themes of this recent post of Ace’s, in which he quotes a Twitter user named davereaboi as writing the following (the “you” here is the supposedly conservative press):

People are furious that those of you who bought into it and couldn’t resist making knee-jerk Virtue Signaling condemnations have not yet learned about the nature of the enemy we’re fighting:

Activists are trained to set up these scenarios, the media runs with stories that are too good to check because they reinforce their biases. They do this on purpose. You just have to read Lefty activist literature. It’s all there, for decades. *Not knowing is your failure.*

That is the heart of the matter. How can intelligent people have been taken in by this? I really don’t know. It’s not just that they’re in the Beltway, or interested in virtue-signaling, although those things are part of it. At this point they seem incredibly stupid and destructive, or else only pretending to believe in what they say they believe.

We know what game the left plays. Why don’t all writers on the right know it, too?

What happens when only one side enjoins in battle?

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The bell tolls for thee

Covington Catholic diocese sticks to its calumny against its kids. Monica Showalter – “So much for the church’s teaching on ‘dignity and respect of the human person.’

“This is sick stuff because the facts show that the kids acted with admirable restraint in the face of a genuine provocation to violence. They should actually be drawing praise from their diocese.

Sue The Bastards! [Updated]. John Hinderaker – “Is this the most outrageous hate campaign of my lifetime? I think so. Being sued is much too good for these liberals, but I am afraid it is the best we can do.” There may be a mounting frustration that this ‘is the best we can do’ as not enough to address the evil. They understand for whom the bell tolls.

YGBKM: Twitter suspends troll account that spread Covington video. Ed Morrissey – “In other words, we all got gaslighted, as Catholic News Agency’s Kevin Jones realized

The Left vs. Logic. Deana Chadwell – “The left has walked away from absolute truth and therefore from sensible policy and therefore from sanity.

“Our language is a contract that we have with others in our society and we mustn’t breach that contract. … The left has been majoring in language reassignment for decades.

When a contract means nothing …

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Pravda Redux. no apologies. grave danger

Bill Kristol deletes tweet, fails to apologize for jumping on phony story of MAGA hat kids harassing Native American. Thomas Lifson – “He quietly deleted his tweet claiming moral superiority for what he imagines John McCain would have done, compared to that reprobate Donald Trump (who correctly did nothing).” For why apologies are needed, see The Truth about the Lincoln Memorial Incident. Taylor Day – “There was plenty for Americans to be upset by in that video, but contrary to the reporting by the Associated Press, the bad behavior did not come from the group of boys.

“Despite the hateful rhetoric directed at them, the boys are now being held to higher standards than the adults that are indisputably provoking them, and they behaved admirably. While they misread the atmosphere when the Native American group approach them as being friendly and continued to dance and call out their High School’s prideful chants, they quickly realized the awkwardness of the situation when the Native American elder singled out one of the MAGA-hat wearing teens and put himself inches from the young man’s face beating a drum.

The crime the mainstream media is claiming occurred? The teen assaulted the man with his smile.

The media should be ashamed of how they quickly picked up and ran with edited footage of the “altercation” to pose the boy, who said not a word nor flinched a muscle and offered only an innocent smile that was most likely a nervous reaction to the oddity of performance before him, as a racist bigot.

The liberal media has been under pressure this week after a Buzzfeed News article implicating President Trump in crimes was promptly discredited by Mueller’s office. However, they clearly have not learned any lesson from their failure to act with integrity by pushing a narrative that is framed and false, and they will eventually have to reap what they have sown from their intentional seeds of defamatory divides.

When the Press Sees Red. Michael Brendan Dougherty – “The condemnation of the students was nearly universal. … And then, predictably, the story began to unravel.”

“Like so many stories that supposedly conveyed the reality of Trump’s America, that so perfectly displayed white Christian menace, it turned out to be fake. Fake, like the Ohio University student who sent herself anti-gay hate mail; manufactured, like the racist harassment on a bus that Hilary Clinton tweeted about; an attempted frame-up, with liberal credulity made into the co-conspirator, like the vandalism of a Jewish cemetery done by a progressive reporter.

But good enough to share, good enough to cause doxxing, and justify the harassment and assault of children.

Whatever happened, it conveyed a reality “that seems impossible to deny.” I can’t imagine accepting a payment for writing that kind of conclusion. Although, writing it serves as some testimony to Fallows’ embarrassment. It “seems” impossible to deny only if you felt an overwhelming compulsion to condemn this kid, his school, and his community, “whatever happened.” The posited menace is real, the events, they don’t matter. Whatever.

I would like to welcome the liberal press to the Reality Based Community, but there are fewer Catholic children who deserve getting spat on in it. So I doubt they’ll show up.

From the BuzzFeed Psychodrama to the Covington Video Melodrama. Victor Davis Hanson – “it would be wise for everyone to take a deep breath and wait at least 24 hours before snap editorializing, in response to the latest sensational morality tale flashing across electronic media.

An example at Slate: Trump’s Rhetoric Is Raising the Risk of Right-Wing Terrorism. Daniel Byman – “We need to have a serious debate about the causes of political violence, before the next attack.” He goes on about anti-semitism and gun control completely oblivious to reality. His world is a very dangerous construct of fantasy and ideology completely detached from reason or integrity to satisfy his need for a bogeyman to blame for all ills he thinks he sees. Compare and contrast what Byman thinks Trump has said to that directed at the Catholic teens.

Reporting on each other: the Covington boys, the Native American, and the smart phone vs. the telescreen. neo – “Today’s smart phones (not envisioned by Orwell) can record, as well. But what they record, how it is edited and used and described and slanted, is the task of social media and the MSM.

“One person who did apologize, and quite profusely, was Scott Adams. I’m embedding his video in case you’re interested in watching. As Adams says, “This is fake news that actually damages the lives of children.” What I find especially interesting—and what I haven’t yet heard Adams explain—is how he, of all people, was originally among those taken in by this story

If the viewers of such videos don’t have a huge amount of skepticism, they are easily taken in by people using videos to mislead. Even people with a great deal of skepticism, such as Scott Adams, can apparently be taken in by the right video presented in a very clever way.

This is obviously a grave danger, because videos (like photos before them) can easily give the appearance of being the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and can whip the crowd up into enormous hatred. And yet the actual truth can be something very, very different.

What can you believe? How can you tell?

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dehumanizing invective. is it a disease?

A License To Hate. Victor Davis Hanson – “Note the force of such dehumanizing invective that transcends political differences. Trump voters were not just mistaken in their political allegiances.”

What is it that really smells here?

“These outbursts were all voiced from highly educated elites (Caputo has a journalism degree from the University of Miami, Deutsch graduated from the Wharton School, Jeong from Harvard Law School, Strzok received a master’s degree from Georgetown, Wilson attended George Washington University). And all engaged in vicious and cowardly stereotyping of a demographic in a manner that they assumed involved no downside. Rather, the smears were delivered on the expectation of winning approbation from their peers. And they did in twitter-fueled competitions to find the crudest pejoratives.

But the hatred was not confined to the media and politicos, but rather also came from the very top of the Democratic Party.

What is again odd about these examples of open progressive racist, cultural, and class contempt for the American interior, is not just how ubiquitously politicians and journalists voiced them, but also how candidly and indeed confidently they repeated notions of smelly, toothless, ape-like, lazy “garbage people.”

Never Trumpers hardest hit. Don Surber – “As Bungling Bob Mueller’s investigation looks more futile by the hour, the Never Trump crowd has turned on him. They know he has squat.”

“They are trying to dissolve the Crazy Glue that stuck them to the Russian conspiracy as it becomes clear that there was no Russian collusion — and that the FBI had no business investigating President Donald John Trump.

The State of the Shutdown. David Catron – “Dem SOTU stunt signals their growing desperation.” get out your dictionary: “Having been lured into a political oubliette and chained to a wall, they are now being systematically immured by a man upon whom they have heaped countless insults.”

“The damage has now reached the point where Pelosi and Schumer are facing growing revolts in their own conference, particularly among freshman Democrats in the House, over their refusal to even negotiate with the President.

And it goes without saying that there are other Democrats who want an end to the shutdown — the furloughed federal workers. … He put their dilemma in the form of a question on Twitter: “Do the Dems realize that most of the people not getting paid are Democrats?”

The Democrats and the legacy “news” media immediately denounced Trump’s claim as false. … The political contributions of government “workers” in the 2016 presidential campaign tell the tale, as the Hill reported at the time

These hopelessly lopsided contribution percentages soundly refute any claim that a significant number of Republicans have been furloughed during the shutdown.

Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer might as well face it. President Trump has spent most of his life negotiating with real estate developers, unionized construction companies, and New York zoning officials. He comes from a business environment that makes the Beltway look like a chapter of Habitat for Humanity. So, to put it bluntly, they have already lost. Trump has them in a deep hole, chained to the wall, and is busy with brick and mortar cutting off their only source of political oxygen. The country is with him on this and he knows it. Border security “trumps” bureaucratic comfort. Time to make a deal, #Chancy.

related: Government Shutdown: Pampered Federal Workers Don’t Deserve Anyone’s Pity. Investor’s Business Daily. “The worst thing about the government shutdown isn’t the — minimal — harm it’s causing. It’s all the misplaced hand-wringing about federal workers, most of whom are overpaid and underworked, and all whom will get their back pay once government reopens.”

Pelosi’s stunt is just more progressive de-platforming. John Sexton – “it seems pretty clear from the left’s reaction that what’s happening here is just more de-platforming of Trump.” … “In other words, to the degree it’s possible, don’t let him speak.”

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Humpty Dumpty

A migrant caravan full of women and children led by a convicted child rapist? Monica Showalter – “In a jaw-dropping news item utterly ignored by the mainstream press here, a top Mexican migration official told La Razón, a left-leaning Mexican newspaper, criminals were coming to dominate the caravans now, with open-borders activists agreeing.

“Somewhere, somehow, this truth has got to eventually get out. The press isn’t reporting it. But the fact remains, the caravan problem is becoming a criminal enterprise and criminals, extremely violent ones, are among its leaders.

If that, and this arrest, is not a case for a wall, what is it going to take?

It’s Climate Alarmists Who Remain in Denial. Marc Sheppard – “Notice how in the ten years since liberal journalist Ellen Goodman introduced the term into the debate, “denier” has all but replaced “skeptic” and “realist” in the public lexicon.

“So then, 20th-century warming and cooling patterns do not correspond to man-made atmospheric CO2 concentrations but do correspond to natural solar, ocean, and cloud variations. And yet, the left wants to legislate a “Green New Deal” that would completely rewire the U.S. economy and add tens of trillions of dollars to the national debt in order to reduce atmospheric CO2.

Tell me: exactly who is in denial?

If Only Trump Haters Could Realize How Dangerously Our Democracy Is Being Threatened. Dov Fischer – “What has gone around will come around ever more destructively.”

“What Democrats and other Trump haters do not grasp is that everything the FBI top brass has done to President Trump is being tested now: Will our society tolerate such FBI behavior aimed at our freely elected national leader? Is it OK to run wildcat operations within the FBI aimed at destroying a President whom the FBI leadership detests? More than whether Strzok and Page had a “secret society” and “insurance policy” to prevent Trump from governing, more than whether Comey deserved to be fired by Trump for being the dishonest and untrustworthy snake he is, more than whether the Mueller Investigation has gone completely off the rails after two years of searching for collusion that did not exist, we face a serious and much more threatening Constitutional crisis for the future: Do we have systems in place to deter the FBI from doing yet even worse to a future President?

If today’s outrages against Trump are accepted by the Left, it all will be done again — only not to Trump next time.

Once broken …

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hyperbole, undoing, reality, going to pot

Shutdown reaches the people-will-die stage. Don Surber – “People Will Die is the last-resort of the Democrat Party arguments.” … “The predictions are worthy of a global warmist.”

The great undoing continues. Scott Johnson – “Yesterday Pompeo gave a speech at the American University in Cairo. The speech was a sort of counterpart to Obama’s June 2009 speech in Cairo. Obama’s speech was a nauseating exercise in fake history, destructive diplomacy and strategic self-destruction. By contrast, Secretary Pompeo represents the voice of sanity. In substance he repudiated Obama’s speech and related strategic vision. Pompeo could not have been more blunt.

The Great Issue of Our Time. John Hinderaker – “is whether, as a people, we are too dumb to sustain a democracy. This question arises often; for me, most recently, upon seeing this Daily Mail headline: “Twitter user stuns the internet with math that proves one 18-inch pizza has more in it than TWO 12-inch helpings.”

Marijuana, mental illness, and crime. Paul Mirengoff – “According to Mother Jones’ Stephanie Mencimer, Berensen’s book “takes a sledgehammer to the promised benefits of marijuana legalization, and cannabis enthusiasts are not going to like it one bit.” Her discussion fully justifies this statement.”

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detached and denial and projection

Shoving Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals Right Back in the Left’s Ugly Face. Kurt Schlichter – “The Left hadn’t taken a good, solid gut punch since Ronald Reagan turned the Oval Office keys over to the wimpcons who found fighting Democrats uncouth because conflict made for awkward luncheons down at the club.”

“For Donald Trump and the revitalized conservative movement, Alinsky’s book isn’t some dusty old commie tome – it’s a lifestyle.

Alinsky’s Rules are relatively simple, and they make sense when you are fighting a conventional opponent with an interest in maintaining the status quo. … They aren’t so effective against conservative brawlers who like to punch, and who aren’t too fussy about whether it’s with tweets or with fists.

The Rules are not some magic incantation; they are simply some tactical principles that work in certain kinds of fights against certain kinds of opponents – particularly ones willing to unilaterally disarm in the face of an unprincipled enemy.

How Trump Confounds the Fact Checkers. Ira Stoll – “Donald Trump just may be our most honest president since Abraham Lincoln.

“Sure, the Washington Post’s valiant if pedantic fact-checkers claim that “In 710 days, President Trump has made 7,645 false or misleading claims.”

Even before Mr. Trump took office, his trustworthiness about personal matters ranging from his marital fidelity to his wealth was widely doubted.

Another dimension of integrity, though, doesn’t involve precision about details or about anything personal. It has to do with the president’s commitment to following through on his campaign pledges. In that department, Mr. Trump has been astonishingly, almost unprecedentedly faithful.

Why even bother listening to political rhetoric if what the candidates say bears no resemblance to what they eventually do? If Mr. Trump, in at least this particular way, is not corrupt, it’s a kind of honesty that’s important — maybe even more important than some of the misstatements for which he has been faulted. Call him the promise-keeper president.

An Epidemic of Erasures, Redactions, Omissions, and Perjuries. Victor Davis Hanson – “since 2016 we have seen how many high government officials involved in any number of such investigations, were not so much citizens as hyper-citizens above the law, who felt they were not subject to audit. And they were largely right in their assumptions.

The Most Successful Coverup. Jed Babbin – “Democrats get away with a much worse crime than Watergate.

“Since Watergate, the Washington wisdom has always held that it’s not the crime, it’s the coverup that sinks a politician. But that’s only the case when the coverup fails.

But what if the coverup succeeds?

It’s horribly simple. The crimes are never uncovered and the perpetrators are never brought to justice no matter how serious their crimes may be. That is precisely what has happened because of the FBI and Justice Department’s coverup of their abuses of power and illegal actions during the 2016 election.

The stain on our system of justice and the 2016 election created by the abuses of power and probable crimes committed by FBI and DoJ officials during and after the 2016 presidential campaign will not be erased. Their coverup has succeeded.

Democrats keep proving how detached they are from reality. Michael Goodwin – “For proof, eliminate their desire to remove Trump from office and see if you can pinpoint anything else with broad Dem support.

“It unites the leadership with the rank and file, including many of the socialist-leaning newcomers. Its migration from the far-out fringe to a daily talking point among party faithful and their national media lapdogs represents a breathtaking development.

The implications are staggering — and a potential disaster for America.

Never in modern times has there been such a disconnect between the opposition party and the realities of national life. The very talk of removing Trump, without evidence of an impeachable offense, is a stick in the eye to history and most Americans.

The relentless fixation on impeachment is a destructive decision that sacrifices national progress and security on the altar of partisan madness.

Warning: TDS screed about a TDS screed … Jonah Goldberg on Trump’s Character. Patterico – “There is much else to admire in Goldberg’s column. For example, he dissects several techniques used by Trump superfans, like whataboutism, box-checking (“to be sure, nobody thinks Donald Trump is a saint…”), the pretense to ignorance (“gee, I can’t remember his attacks on free speech!”), and the like.

What is worthy of note is the bigotry. For instance, consider “whataboutism.” This is using ridicule and denial to dismiss efforts to establish a reference. Then there’s the ‘superfans’ which is a dismissal and ridicule of anyone who might have a middle position. Just who is it that is engaging in the “various dishonest techniques described in this column”? Who is illustrating logical fallacies? This is much like the new speaker refusing to listen to a cabinet secretary because she ‘disagrees’ with the facts presented. As for Trump’s character, the allegations get more and more strident the more you have such start contrasts as provided in these screeds. Look at these screeds critically and see how much is a matter of questionable opinion and how much is true witness to reality. 

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With friends like this

McCain then Romney: two failed candidates for President who show why. The political ‘hate Trump’ funeral of the former was a capstone on a history of personal vindictiveness. For the latter’s disqualification, see Joel B. Polak – Timeline: Mitt Romney’s History of Backstabbing Donald Trump. “Senator-elect Mitt Romney (R-UT) attacked President Donald Trump’s “character” in an op-ed Tuesday evening in the Washington Post.”

sundance – Strap In – Romney Didn’t Wake Up This Morning and Haphazardly Write an Op-Ed to Attack The President of His Own Political Party. “Don’t get so caught up in a furor over Senator-elect Mitt Romney writing a political hit piece against the President of the United States that we forget to look at the big picture.”

“He specifically went out of his way to level his best attack, a verbal and thought-out assassination, based on character, against the sitting President of the United States.

And he didn’t just think about this earlier this morning. This was pre-planned.

Forgive me for mixing my metaphors here; but as each of the shiv-bearers appears, that’s when Trump is forced to deliver the whac-a-mole hammer. It’s like having an administration filled with establishment terror cells. Each cell acts independently, but each cell also acts based on a common objective: retain the UniParty.

Failing to accept the severity of this shift in the past decade is intellectually dishonest. As Nancy Pelosi said of the Occupy Wall Street violent anarchists: “God bless these people.” Indeed the OWS precursor to ANTIFA were laying the groundwork for the new severity of power in Democrat leadership. Nothing is out-of-bounds; no level of corrupt behavior will be avoided; everything will happen openly and without any backlash from a compliant media apparatus; the social fabric will be shredded.

Or consider Don Surber – Romney arrives in DC. Attacks President Trump. “After allowing Barack Obama to walk all over him in 2012, Mitt Romney finally made it to Washington, and immediately attacked President Trump.”

“In a column in the Washington Post Romney could not argue facts — “it is not that all of the president’s policies have been misguided” — so he took the low road.

If half the country — including Romney — refuse to accept the legitimacy of the 2016 election results, how is President Trump responsible? These are temper tantrums by children in their 50s, 60s, and 70s.

Trump Makes A Fool Of The New York Times Yet Again. DCWhispers – “Guess what? Those very same news organizations were saying the exact same thing as the president before the fires. Ah, but once POTUS Trump says it they attack-attack-attack. Fake news at its very worst.”

Trump Responds to Mitt Romney Critique: ‘Be a Team Player and Win’. Charlie Spiering – “President Donald Trump responded to criticism from Senator-elect Mitt Romney on Wednesday, suggesting that now is the time for Republicans to work together on the nation’s issues as a “team” instead of fighting over style differences.” This is called the “high road” as a stark contrast to Romney’s low road. The President’s response refutes the attack by example so the complaint devolves down to ‘how dare the President refute our character assassination efforts?’

Washington Post Fact-Checks Trump: Obama Built a ‘Fence’ on Top of a Wall, Not a ‘Wall,’ at His New Home. Joel B. Pollak – an illustration of just how far they will go to attack and impugn …

“The Post, which claims that President Trump has made nearly 8,000 “false or misleading” claims since taking office, objected Monday: “Trump claims there’s a 10-foot wall around the Obamas’ D.C. home. He is wrong.”

But the article, Michael Brice-Saddler, actually admits that the Obamas a) have a wall; b) have added to that wall, albeit by building a fence; c) have a home whose security barrier has been described as a “wall” by other media.

Apparently, even true statements can be listed as “false or misleading” by the Post, provided they were made by President Donald Trump.

Note that the Washinton Post was Romney’s go to publication for his assault on Trump. Birds of a feather?

Can wind and solar replace fossil fuels? Richard D. Patton – “For some answers, we turn to Germany, which has some of the highest electric bills in the world as well as a high proportion of its electric power produced by wind and solar (19%).

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What’s you lookin’ at? Bouncy, bouncy

Melania Trump, first lady and role model, rises above Democratic pettiness. Tammy Bruce – “Her agenda as first lady is expansive, focusing on children and the importance of all aspects of their lives, from self-esteem to education to health care. Our nation has a first lady who is smart, beautiful and a person of faith. She is committed to her family and to this nation.”

“Mrs. Trump has suffered ignominious insults and attacks, first as candidate Donald Trump’s wife, but inexplicably even more so as the first lady. Yet, it is her reaction to the critics that sets her apart and highlights just exactly how ugly others become when jealousy and envy take root.

What we are watching is the return of “Mean Girls,” those who hounded the new girl in high school who dared to be prettier, smarter and nicer than they were.

In his first inaugural address, President Abraham Lincoln expressed his belief that we could trust in the better angels of our nature. Today, we have too many examples of Democrats encouraging and appealing to the worst in people.

We can choose to reject that toxic environment and look to role models — like Melania Trump — who encourage us to stay focused and rely on our better angels to make the world a better place.

With identical tweets, Schumer and Pelosi reveal themselves as mouthpieces for the same propaganda puppet master. Thomas Lifson – “in order to appear slightly authentic, they are supposed to speak extemporaneously and make it appear that they all came up with the phrases-of-the-day spontaneously. This works for interviews with print and television journalists, but the rise of Twitter has introduced new danger of exposure.”

“Needless to say, the mainstream media takes no interest at all in the process by which Democrats achieve what is euphemistically called “message discipline.” The notion that there is a command center that instructs Democrat office holders what to say each day is certainly an important subject, for the identities of those staffing the command center determines a large portion of our national political dialogue. Who pays these people, whoever they are? Who selects them to put words in the mouths and twitter accounts of people that supposedly represent their constituents?

Former Walmart CEO Bill Simon Discusses Strong Holiday Sales and What It Means for Economy. sundance – “The Wall Street business-pundits are pre-programmed, at an institutional dna level, to jump into the “tariffs are bad” talking points. Mr. Simon aptly dispatches them with a dose of reality from the Wal-Mart/Main Street perspective. [It’s kinda funny]

Mueller Investigation Stirring Up More Trouble Than It’s Finding. Victor Davis Hanson – “After 19 months, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has charged a number of targets with almost every conceivable sin — except collusion with Russia to throw an election.” … “Add it all up, and we have reached the point where the Mueller team may be constructing more crimes than it is finding.”

Ace of Spades has the headlines: Democrats Created Fake “Russian Bots” to Help Doug Jones Win the Alabama Special Election Against Roy Moore citing an NYT story that ties in with regrets expressed by one of the funders of the effort. – Stock Market Gains Over 1000 Points In Biggest Single-Day Gain in History recovering a bit from some pre-Christmas losses (citing CNBC). There’s a lot of bouncy-bouncy that says reason and clear thinking is suffering. – Venezuela Oil Production At Virtual Halt as Socialist Plan to Seize The Industry Results In Collapse. Unexpectedly! The Left seem the think it is the US being driven to financial ruin, not the socialist paradise. Facts on the ground say otherwise. – Washington Post More or Less Confirms That Jamal Khashoggi Was a Paid Qatari Intelligence/Propaganda Asset. He’s another hero of the Left, though, serving as a conduit by which to attack Trump.

Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Knights of Columbus? Paul Mirengoff – “Hirono and Harris don’t want to ban all Catholics; just the ones who take the Church’s teachings seriously. They subscribe to the left’s view that it’s okay (for now at least) to be a Catholic, as long as you don’t subscribe to any Church doctrine that’s inconsistent with modern left-liberalism. That’s toleration, lefty style.”

“Hirono and Harris are not the only Senate bigots. Cortes recalls that last year, during confirmation hearings, Sen. Dianne Feinstein noted the devotion of Judge Amy Coney Barrett and her family to the Catholic Church and admonished that “the dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s a concern.” Sen. Dick Durbin was similarly concerned.

The real concern for anyone who believes in freedom and the Constitution is the trend within the Democratic Party to exclude faith from the public square and people of faith from positions of power.

The plan was to steal tools. Then customers drew their guns. By Zachariah Bryan – “Marysville police are asking for the people who shot at the getaway car to come forward.”

“That’s what two men, 22 and 23, reportedly had in mind when they showed up to the Coastal Farm & Ranch store in Marysville on Saturday afternoon, according to a police report. They allegedly took four nail guns, each worth over $400, walked out of the store and got into a Honda Civic.

They didn’t expect to be surrounded by about six customers with guns raised.

Marysville police found the theft suspects’ car unoccupied about three blocks away, with two flat tires and the tools inside. Both men were apprehended after a search.

The cops seem more interested in going after the guys with guns for illegal shooting than after the thieves the tried to stop, who ran over one of them.

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Learn or Impugn?

Trump Is Smarter Than the Generals. Christopher Roach – “His forthrightness is commendable, but in the remainder of his letter, Mattis only repeats the globalist conventional wisdom out of the pages of the New York Times.” The wailing and gnashing of teeth in the media about adults in the room and other Trump derogatories should be indicative that it is ideology at hand. Mattis’ letter shows true colors. He can’t just disagree, he has to impugn. Today are several articles taking the Syria withdrawal issue seriously and looking at the merits. Here is one.

“A bipartisan consensus among the foreign policy elite holds that America needs to maintain its de facto overseas empire. This includes both preserving stability, as well as fomenting deliberate instability, including regime change in places like Syria. This consensus among elected officials, defense contractors, general officers, talking heads, and various experts is not shared by the vast majority of Americans, who elected Barack Obama and Donald Trump on their promises to end “stupid wars” and put America first.

The American people have good instincts on these matters.

When we look for answers, we should look beyond our parochial and conflicted elite to the wisdom of the past. For all the study of Clausewitz in our military academies, one wonders if our strategists have forgotten his advice on the general superiority of defensive measures as a strategic matter: “What is the object of defense? To preserve. To preserve is easier than to acquire; from which follows at once that the means on both sides being supposed equal, the defensive is easier than the offensive.”

In other words, we are better off securing our border, building a wall, limiting immigrants from hostile lands, and avoiding the Middle Eastern cul de sac, than playing whack-a-mole with terrorists. Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria is the most courageous and controversial manifestation of his broader promise to put America first.

The Most Important Thing About Michael Flynn Is Not His Guilt, But His Politicized Prosecution. Margot Cleveland – “For many, the criminal case against Flynn was never about Flynn; it was about our country abandoning the precept of equal justice under the law.”

Name That Criminal Defendant! John Hinderaker – “I am so old, I can remember when intelligence officials leaking top secret information to women they were sleeping with was frowned upon. At one time, the fear was that such women might be Russian spies. Now, it is reasonable to assume that they are Democrats.”

Mundia and Modia. Luboš Motl – “Modia is a world of consensus, envy, love, hate, admiration, gratitude. Mundia is a world of gravity, electromagnetism, string dualities, supply, and demand. ;-)

“Right-wingers, farmers, engineers, men, and natural scientists tend to live in Mundia; left-wingers, academics especially in social sciences and humanities, Hollywood, people doing P.R., women, and similar folks are more likely to be in Modia.

As I said, there are very clear correlations between Mundia vs Modia on one side and parts of the societies (and age groups) on the other side. More seriously, there’s a trend. The Western civilization is becoming brutally Modian while Mundia is almost being eradicated. Boxenhorn reminds us of some optimistic old Mundian facts, however. Companies that become completely Modian, non-meritocratic (and all about nepotism and human preferences for allies etc.), generally fail soon.

That’s perhaps good news but it may be very expensive, too. To a large extent, whole nations of the Western civilization are becoming fully Modian. So what will fail may be these whole nations or the civilization as a whole. Our nations may be replaced with some other nations that stay more Mundian, perhaps the Chinese, Russians, or Persians. There’s a part of me that says that those are also members of homo sapiens so if they dominate the world in 2050, that’s just fine – and an example of the selection at a higher level in action. There’s another part of me that cares about those people’s “not being quite us”, not being sufficiently biologically or culturally related to “us”. Why can’t our nations be the right ones?

What Makes Trump Run. Robert Weissberg – “Let me suggest that Trump’s behavior is perfectly understandable if viewed in the context of his business background. As the Obama administration reflected governance by an egalitarian community activist, the current administration is rule by a hotel magnate.” Remember the 1965 Arthur Hailey book Hotel [Wikipedia]?

“We’ve come a long way from the 1950s when the Eisenhower cabinet was described as “Nine Millionaires and a Plumber.” Indeed, it was once commonplace, especially during war years, for successful businessmen to enter government and get paid a symbolic “dollar a year.”

We are now governed by likes of Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, who have spent their entire lives on the government payroll with zero firsthand private sector experience.

Melania Trump’s topiary trees prove a hit at Christmas parties. “Melania Trump’s cranberry topiary trees may have left some of her critics seeing red, but they turned out to be a Christmas hit — one of several new ideas the Trumps introduced this holiday season.”

“The red trees featured on a green carpet along the East Wing colonnade turned out to be quite the attraction: Pedestrian traffic jams formed as Trump’s many party guests clamored to be photographed in front of the unusual holiday landscape.

Largely absent from the festivities this year was the traditional opportunity for guests to have a picture taken with Trump and his wife, a time-consuming process that requires the president and first lady to stand for hours, grinning, posing and making small talk with hundreds of guests, some of whom they hardly know.

Trump retained the photo tradition for members of the U.S. Secret Service, law enforcement and the military, as well as staff who work in the residence, according to a White House official who declined to be identified discussing details of the private receptions.

Meanwhile, another effort to make Trump’s tax returns public was turned down by a judge and the Senate Democrats are holding the country’s budget hostage.

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