Archive for February, 2017

2/28/2017: Fake News, Fake Reality, Trying to be ‘Nice’

IBD: Sorry, Bush Is Wrong — The Media Aren’t Doing Their Job – “President George W. Bush has issued a full-throated defense of the media’s role in modern society. He’s being way too generous.”

While we deeply admire the former president for not holding a grudge, the media spent much of Bush’s eight years in office actively lying about what he was doing and what he was trying to do.
The Obama administration had scandal after scandal — Operation Fast and Furious, the IRS going after conservative groups, wire tapping of media, outright lies about what transpired at Benghazi, the Department of Justice seizing media emails and phone records, the National Security Agency’s apparent illegal spying on Americans, the list goes on.

But the “independent” media stayed mum. Instead, they behaved more like bought-and-paid-for courtiers or sycophantic lickspittles, despite Obama’s open contempt for them.
The media need to take a long look in the mirror and address their extreme ideological bias. If not, the media have no one to blame but themselves for being treated as what they are — political partisans with an ideological agenda.

Ed Morrissey has a view more focused on the victim: Bush: A free press is “indispensable to democracy” – “Did former president George W. Bush use a book-plugging appearance on NBC’s Today show to take shots at Donald Trump? Perhaps, but if so, he took a much more clear shot at the president in between the two of them.”

It’s no secret that the Bushes were not fans of Trump, and vice versa. However, Bush clearly tried to avoid being seen as directly criticizing Trump, and even scolded Lauer a bit over the rush to judgment on “healing” after only a month. It’s not exactly a shocking statement to herald a free press as indispensable to a democracy; it’s absolutely true, but also a cliché, especially in the framework of Lauer’s question, and so is the line about immigration policy. Like much of what we see in the media coverage of this administration, it’s a triumph of sound bites over context.

The book is Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors by George W. Bush.

Scott McKay asks Did Democrats Aid and Abet Terrorists Seeking American Secrets? – “Since Donald Trump took office there has been ubiquitous media coverage of what can most properly be termed crap.”

It’s not so surprising those outlets spend time on contrivances. Without The Russians! and those vaporous Trump abuses calling forth the echoes of Hitler and his brownshirts, airtime and column space might have to be devoted to other stories which would be less useful to the various narratives being concocted in New York and Washington editorial conference rooms.

One such inconvenient story is that of the Awan brothers.
Do Carlos Slim and Jeff Bezos, one might ask, really believe they can’t sell papers with such a story to tell?

And then one might conclude Trump is well within his rights to treat these people as enemy propagandists, because to have buried such a profoundly disturbing story sure looks like a mockery of the public’s trust.

Ed Morrissey picks up on another example: Spicer: Special prosecutor? For what? Update: Issa backpedals – “When ABC’s Jon Karl asks about appointing an independent investigator into rumors of connections and coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence, Spicer reminds everyone that the FBI has been probing this for months already, under two different administrations, and have found bupkis so far.”

“A special prosecutor for what? We have now for six months seen story after story about unnamed sources saying the same thing over and over again and nothing’s come of it,” Spicer said. “At what point, you have to ask yourself ‘what are you investigating?’”

The sudden media interest in a special prosecutor for potential executive-branch misdeeds seems rather curious, to say the least.
we don’t need a special prosecutor unless and until we establish that the Department of Justice has been compromised in its law-enforcement role. You know … like when the Attorney General takes private meetings with the spouse of an investigation target.

Jazz Shaw: So who is leading the field in the new Party of No? – “In the era of “Resist!” there seems to be a competition to see who can oppose, obstruct and defy president Donald Trump more than everyone else.”

For the folks out in the streets with their pre-printed signs and genitalia themed headgear it’s probably hard to pick a winner. Not so in the halls of Congress, however. Democratic Senators are lining up to lead this parade and one of the best measures they have in demonstrating precisely how willing they are to defeat the new president at every turn is the frequency with which they vote against the confirmation of his cabinet nominees. It should come as no surprise that the leaders in this race include some of the same people who are already being quietly discussed as possible presidential nominees in 2020.

Even Allahpundit gets in on this. Rubio: I’m not going to hold a town hall just to be heckled by liberal activists – It may not be (but then again) astro-turf or paid protesters but it is organized and scripted and ugly and without anything in mind other than destruction.

He has firsthand experience with liberal activists trying to put him on the spot this month even without having held a town hall. They’ve staked him out at a few places around Miami to confront him on camera about why he hasn’t held an event yet. He’s not wrong either about liberals cribbing from the “Indivisible” pamphlet, a protest guide “full of pointers on how to bird dog their members of Congress in the language of Capitol insiders.” The authors of the pamphlet claim it’s been downloaded more than a million times since December.
Rubio’s attitude is that a member of Congress has a duty to meet with constituents but no duty to provide them with a target for a media-friendly spectacle that’s not really about either side listening

The Rampant Incivility of the Left by Steve McCann – “Those vehemently opposed to Donald Trump are apparently incapable of voicing coherent and compelling criticism.”

The compulsion to compare, either directly or deviously, one’s political opponent to Fascists, Nazis, Hitler, or Mussolini is indicative of the so-called Progressives’ inability to present a coherent argument in support of their policies. The mindless references to the World War II period (including the 1930’s) are an affront to and a denigration of the memory of nearly 60 million people who died in the War and the countless millions who suffered and were displaced. Far too many on the left side of the political spectrum, who so glibly throw around these comparisons, apparently do not know, or do not care to acknowledge, the socialist underpinning of Nazism and its parent Fascism and do not have the slightest concept of the real-life experiences of those who were there.
It is an admission that the Left knows it cannot compete in the larger arena of ideas. They know the only means they have to accumulate power and win elections …

These are, in fact, some of the same strategies utilized by the despots of recent history in their seizure of power. If there is any group in the United States today that could be truthfully compared to the Fascists, it is the current iteration of the American Left.

On the kind of people behind the left is the ongoing saga of the floodplain camp protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. Besides a million dollar cleanup bill, there is a need for care in picking up the trash. John Sexton has pictures: Dakota Access Pipeline protesters left puppies behind at frozen camp. “When police shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp last week in accordance with a deadline established weeks earlier, protesters left behind cars, loads of trash and also a number of stranded pets. KFYR in Bismark reports on the efforts of one local rescue shelter to round up the abandoned animals.” Let the excuses continue.

Scott Johnson on Fake news: A case study about Rumana Ahmed – ““Burrowing,” as it’s commonly called, is the process through which political appointees move into career government status.”

In “Fake news, exposed.” Smith digs into the story behind Ahmed’s story … Smith finds the hidden hand of Obama fabulist Ben Rhodes behind Ahmed’s story (as well as the story of Ahmed’s former White Hourse office mate Ned Price). Please do read the whole thing.
Women In the World in association with the New York Times promptly picked up Ahmed’s story and sought to amplify it in “‘Only hijabi in the West Wing’ shares the story of her exit from the Trump White House — after just 8 days.” The Times now professes to be big into “truth,” but the “truth” is that it remains an organ dedicated to pumping out story lines and fake news on behalf of the left.

The NRA titles the video below “Truth doesn’t matter to the New York Times.” The video’s critique of the Times is that the Times is a latecomer to the cause of truth. I doubt that this critique is sufficiently harsh.

For a different view of the President, John Hinderaker picks up on Trump Unbound, At Dinner – “For a completely different view of President Trump, check out this report by Benny Johnson at Independent Journal Review, titled “Inside Trump’s Secret Dinner.”

Benny Johnson got a tip that he was going to have dinner at the BLT Steakhouse inside Washington’s Trump Hotel. So he reserved a table near where he expected Trump’s party to be and arrived early. His account includes pictures and several videos.
Benny Johnson’s report is a nice counterpoint to the anti-Trump propaganda with which we are bombarded 24/7. It is easy to understand why Trump doesn’t believe the media’s constant negativity reflects the views of most Americans.

A. Barton Hinkle says The Solutions Are Sitting Around a Campfire, Not In Congress – “Everything’s going to be more or less ok.” He is missing the pressure is putting on pushing their ideas to corrupt what he describes but it is still a ‘feel good piece’ for the day.

At the same time, it is possible to make too much of our current troubles. A little perspective is in order.

One way to regain that perspective is to spend a few minutes on, which tracks the generally meliorating conditions of human existence over the short, medium, and long term. It is filled with data showing how much better things today are than they once were: Hundreds of millions of people have climbed out of poverty. Literacy rates are rising, the gender wage gap is shrinking, child mortality is falling. Air travel is both cheaper and far less dangerous, food is more plentiful, malaria deaths have plunged, and on and on.

If your learning style is more experiential than data-driven, then you might try spending a few days with a Cub Scout pack. Few things are as likely to restore your confidence that everything is basically OK.
Eight-year-old boys don’t care if you’re an immigrant or black or white or Asian or Muslim or evangelical. They just don’t. As comic Denis Leary once put it, “Racism isn’t born, folks, it’s taught. I have a 2-year-old son. You know what he hates? Naps. End of list.”
While you’re telling that story you look around and realize none of the boys has touched an electronic device for a day and a half. They’re all running around in the woods with sticks, building forts and having swordfights. And you think, it’s not just this bunch of kids; this is going on all over the country. And it’s not just the Scouts but church groups and 4-H and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and sports teams and too many others to name. None of it created by Washington, none of it imposed by executive order. Just ordinary people, doing their part.

You look around and you realize: One of these days these kids are going to grow up and take over. And things will be just fine. Maybe even more than fine.

Economist: Wind and solar power are disrupting electricity systems – “But that’s no reason for governments to stop supporting them.” The underlying theme in this article is top down energy cost manipulation assuming that it is only via legislation that the price of energy is determined. The “free energy” myth that ignores both capital costs and lifetime issues is also present.

Normally investors like putting their money into electricity because it offers reliable returns. Yet green energy has a dirty secret. The more it is deployed, the more it lowers the price of power from any source.
Policymakers are already seeing this inconvenient truth as a reason to put the brakes on renewable energy. In parts of Europe and China, investment in renewables is slowing as subsidies are cut back. However, the solution is not less wind and solar. It is to rethink how the world prices clean energy in order to make better use of it.
First, the splurge of public subsidy, of about $800bn since 2008, has distorted the market.
Second, green power is intermittent.
Everyone is affected by a third factor: renewable energy has negligible or zero marginal running costs—because the wind and the sun are free.
In short, policymakers should be clear they have a problem and that the cause is not renewable energy, but the out-of-date system of electricity pricing. Then they should fix it.

The “out of date system of electricity pricing” is the capitalist free market modified by governmental oversight to control the monopoly fears. The fact is that individual customers have choices they can compare to the public grid and some find that other sources of energy work best for them. The ‘dirty little secret’ in ideological driven energy choices is that it cannot compete and must, therefore, be mandated by government and paid for by public funds or by extra consumer fees and costs. That is a cost that hits hardest on the poor and needy.

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2/27/2017: Fake Justice, too? Being able to see turns out to be difficult.

Robert Knight: Fake justice and the rise of a new religion – “Post-modern progressives, contrary to popular belief, are not irreligious. They worship at the altar of government power, lifting the chalice of “diversity” and eating the bread of “tolerance.”

In recent years, progressives have used the courts to establish newer classes of protected behaviors that effectively trump the explicit constitutional protection of religion. What is not written takes precedence over what is. You’ve heard of fake news? Welcome to fake justice.
The only cure for this existential threat is to assert strongly the unalienable rights granted to us by nature and nature’s God. We need to work and pray so that real justice replaces the fake variety.

Rowan Scarborough: Obama loyalists suspected of ‘sabotage’ with leak of travel ban report – “Intel report leaked to press ‘incomplete,’ open source.”

“This was not really a leak but sabotage,” the source said. “This report was commentary. This is insurrection. They all took an oath.”

The leak to The Associated Press appears to follow a pattern of suspected Obama loyalists still inside the government releasing draft documents that are immediately refuted by the White House

Andrew Malcom Opinion: The truth about Trump’s worrisome war on media – “worrisome” tells you about the bias in this opinion but otherwise Malcom has a few good points to consider.

Americans are not dumb, even if you disagree with their presidential choice. In the years B.T. (Before Trump), millions decided the Fourth Estate had become more of a fifth column to combat traditional values and fairness.

That’s dangerous because our democracy needs a healthy, honest press, now also financially troubled. The best way to restore both trust and business health is to reboot and become real journalists again, this time with a professional conscience. Because it takes two sides to keep a war going.

Lloyd Marcus provides balance asserting that Fake News Still Lyin’ About the Tea Party – “Harriet Baldwin posted on Facebook: “Pisses me off when the alt-left media likens these paid Obama/Soros/Alinsky violent protesters to the Tea Party.”

It has infuriated me the way the despicable fake news media intentionally branded the salt-of-the-earth good Americans at the rallies a bunch of redneck racists vehemently opposed to America electing its first black president. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Folks, Tea Party people are not racist. They love their country. They desire equal justice for all Americans. They do not want government dictating how to raise their kids and micromanaging their lives to achieve the Left’s absurd goal of equal outcomes.

Trump calling out fake news outlets is exhilarating.
And now, fake news media has the nerve to place the Left’s paid deranged, violent, and chaos-producing thugs on a higher moral level than the Tea Party. Heaven forbid.

Taylor Millard illustrates the inability to make critical distinctions on this issue by asserting a plattitude: Biased press is free press – “There’s this notion the only press for a presidential administration should be good press. President Donald Trump and his allies sure think that’s the case.” This misstates the President (big clue is use of “think”). “Good” implies agreeable and supportive whereas the President has been explicit in asserting that his interest is for an accurate press. There is a glimmer of realization about this:

But there’s another factor to all of this, which not everyone is talking about: the press needs to be honest about its biases.

But bias and accuracy are not the same. Bias may lead to the many retractions and obvious falsehoods in the press. It may stimulate headlines that are contradicted deep in the story. But bias is no excuse for corruption, deceit, and dishonest in a propaganda war against duly elected officials. Millard and others have a ways to go on getting this internalized and properly understood.

Even GWB is getting into this with the idea that the press holds government accountable. That gets a lot of happy press. What is missing is who holds the press accountable. The phenomena at hand right now is an irresponsible press, not an irresponsible government. The angst right now is a press squealing about somebody having the gall to think they need to be accurate and show intellectual integrity. 

Another example of denial is provided by Karl Bode: ‘Fake News’ Now Means Whatever People Want It To Mean, And Legislating It Away Is A Slippery Slope Toward Censorship – “We’ve already watched as Donald Trump and his supporters have whined endlessly that absolutely any information they don’t like should be mindlessly deposited into the “fake news” bin — without the pesky and annoying effort required to intelligently analyze each piece of data or reporting on its merits.” That looks like projection. Bode also gets into the ‘stupid public’ meme which is characteristic of the ‘attitude’ that is often cited as being one source of the problem.

The discussion about “fake news” certainly began with good intentions, with participants earnestly focused on how disinformation, shitty journalism and bullshit clickbait were filling the noggins of a growing segment of the public for whom critical thinking was already a Sisyphean endeavor. The solution for this problem was never as clean and easy as most of the conversations suggested, especially given that Americans — thanks in large part to our struggles with education quality and funding — have never been particularly adept at spotting disinformation, much less understanding how you expose, undermine and combat it at scale.
That said, it might be a good idea to make sure we’re not making things worse as we learn. And it shouldn’t require too much pesky critical thinking to realize that the efforts to combat “fake news” can be subverted to aid those trying to rip truth from its very foundation, or that letting politicians define what truth is may only expedite our Orwellian descent toward chilling legitimate expression.

The idea that it is politicians subverting the truth is also indicative as is pulling in Orwell and finding some chilling of “legitimate expression” by those politicians. The fact is that the only expressing chilling going on these days is from the organized Left outside of the political realm in academia and in paid-for riots and social media of all sorts, including the media.

E. Joseph Cossman – “Middle age is when your broad mind and narrow waist begin to change places.”

Thinking about those awards ceremonies? Marilyn Monroe – “Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.”

Mark Perry cites Warren Buffett on America’s miraculous achievements and amazing abundance, thanks to free market capitalism – “From Warren Buffett’s annual letter to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway, which was released yesterday”

Above all, it’s our market system – an economic traffic cop ably directing capital, brains and labor – that has created America’s abundance.
However our wealth may be divided, the mind-boggling amounts you see around you belong almost exclusively to Americans. Foreigners, of course, own or have claims on a modest portion of our wealth. Those holdings, however, are of little importance to our national balance sheet: Our citizens own assets abroad that are roughly comparable in value.

Early Americans, we should emphasize, were neither smarter nor more hard working than those people who toiled century after century before them. But those venturesome pioneers crafted a system that unleashed human potential, and their successors built upon it.

What is worrisome is that a third or more of the population wants to destroy this legacy. Fred Wilson points out that the Buffett letter also suffers from a false political pronouncement: “Sadly one of those four pillars is at risk – “a tide of talented and ambitious immigrants.” This is political blindness at its worse as it is conflating efforts to keep terrorists out of the country and the enforcement of law with that of banning “ talented and ambitious immigrants.” That is a falsehood used to impugn the newly elected administration and it is that sort of falsehood that is one of the greatest threats to the prosperity described. – the comments to his posting do discuss this.

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It’s down to slime and a shortage of raw material


Clarice Feldman: Slime and the Slimers – “There’s no Elmer’s Glue to be found anywhere on Oahu,”

Adult creators of slime don’t need glue. They need credulous readers and viewers too lazy to check libelous statements, especially claims that fit their own preconceptions.

One ongoing slime is that Trump is anti-Semitic.
This week Milo Yiannopolous was the slime target.
While the slimers have many advantages going for them, thinking people who aren’t lazy have some advantages, too. Next time you hear a disparaging tale about the president or those close to him, search for the original text and read or listen to it in its unedited form. The same sort of people who waste your money on a dangerously constructed and way too expensive Big Dig (Boston), on poorly maintained dams (California), or horribly managed water supplies (Flint) are playing with your mind to maintain power. And you’ll pay dearly for being credulous.

Unfortunately, unlike Oahu teenagers, the Left manufactures its own raw material for slime out of a fetid imagination fed by paranoia, dissonance, and defense. It is on the table to see (and smell) but seems to make no impact on the oblivious. That is a real and significant problem with significant dangerous implications (think Venezuela as an example).


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2/25/2017: The hubris of reporters and their part in the insanity

Wallace, substituting for O’Reilly, interviewed Goldberg who asserted that there was no Fake News and that Trump just couldn’t tell bias from Fake News. Bias was illustrated by the contempt Wallace and Goldberg showed for the President. Bias is headlines that are contradicted deep in the story. Bias is in patterns of questionable adjectives. Fake News is publishing stories based on sources committing crimes that turn out to be fabricated or false. Think Dan Rather and the TANG stories for the epitome of Fake News. Consider the many instances where the NYT and CNN have found it necessary to issue story corrections. Wallace and Goldberg need to step back and consider their own biases and inability to distinguish bias from Fake.

Sundance explains Very Fake News – Back Story Behind Spicer Gaggle Shows CNN and NYT Constructing False Narrative… – “There has been a lot of attention paid to Sean Spicer’s decision to not invite the New York Times, CNN and Politico to a press gaggle in his office today. “

However, against the backdrop of the attempted hit job by CNN and the New York Times the Spicer decision was modest.

CNN framed a story of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus asking the FBI to rebuke an earlier story -based on anonymous leaks- of Trump campaign contacts with Russia. According to the agenda, CNN wanted to make it look like the administration was pressuring the FBI to provide the White House political cover.

However, the truth behind the entire episode shows an entirely different story than the false narrative created by CNN.
So the entire construct by CNN of the White House (via Priebus) trying to pressure the FBI is complete nonsense. Very Fake News…. aka a false narrative.
However, perhaps more important, it’s the leaks within the FBI, to CNN which aid in the construction of the false narrative, that are now becoming more concerning to President Trump.

Don Surber: Press coverage of Trump at CPAC shows the Vanity of the Press – “I read the press accounts of The Donald at the CPAC and I must have misunderstood. They described a speech I did not witness.” Read his examples.

Trump Derangement Syndrome emerges as a public health issue by Thomas Lifson – “Mental health professionals are starting to open up in public about the mental health issues among liberals experiencing Trump Derangement Syndrome.”

TDS sufferers are inflicting their anger on others. They are thus a public health hazard. But of course, the LAT cannot openly make such a statement, and instead seeks to portray the issue as equally affecting Trump supporters: …

Ahem, the anger and aggression are one-sided, coming from the TDS sufferers.
Worst of all, mental health professionals are beginning to corrupt their profession owing to shared feelings with the TDS crowd
There are so many absurd fantasies about Trump that are widespread among liberals – that he is antisemitic (with a beloved daughter who is Jewish!), that he is Putin’s puppet (yeah, right – that’s why he is encouraging fracking that would devastate Russia’s heavy reliance on oil prices being high), and that he is somehow authoritarian (by wanting to reduce the power of the unelected bureaucrats to makes laws).

It is time for the wider community to counsel TDS sufferers that they are ill, but that they can receive help. Counseling, disengagment from politics, and if all else fails, medication.

Limbaugh answered a caller’s question about the uncivil behavior in the news by mentioning that “anger and aggression” as hate that drives the Left. With hatred paramount, other considerations for civil society fade and the result is the sort of destructive behavior being seen from the Left.

Paul Mirengoff: Law profs file frivolous bar complaint against Kellyanne Conway – “I hope someone is cataloging all of the low tactics employed by the left to impair the Trump administration. Such a catalog will be useful the next time a Democratic president takes office. … But many of the tactics will have to be rejected as too idiotic. Filing a bar complaint is one of them.”

Via Glen Reynolds: Walter Russell Mead harshes the narrative: Trump isn’t sounding like a Russian mole: Trump’s core global strategy is intended to destroy any illusions in Moscow that Russia is a peer competitor of Washington’s. – “So blind does hatred make them that they cannot understand how their own behavior is driving American public opinion in directions that bode ill for liberals in the future.”

Sara Zaske: Teaching Children to Play With Fire – “Mr. Karawahn’s workshops aim to prevent tragedies caused by children playing with fire in secret.” This, perhaps, is something for those physicians who are obsessed about guns and insist on intruding into patient’s lifestyles on the topic. A safe lifestyle is more likely had with proper training and parenting and neither of these are in the physician’s scope.

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2/24/2017: That Propaganda Machine of the Left


Valerie Richardson: Hundreds of scientists urge Trump to withdraw from U.N. climate-change agency – “MIT’s Richard Lindzen says policies cause economic harm with ‘no environmental benefits’”

“Observations since the UNFCCC was written 25 years ago show that warming from increased atmospheric CO2 will be benign — much less than initial model predictions,” says the petition.
“Restricting access to fossil fuels has very negative effects upon the wellbeing of people around the world,” he says in his letter.

“It condemns over 4 billion people in still underdeveloped countries to continued poverty.”

Jonah Goldberg doesn’t quite get it, yet. He thinks The Press Is Not the Enemy – “But it’s not objective, either.” You can tell because he shines on enlightenment that doesn’t fit his view and does not realize that a propaganda campaign is a primary indicator that one is dealing with an enemy. It seems he thinks the President needs to stay above the fray but recent experience has shown that taking that approach spells doom for a Republican.

Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, had an unfortunate turn of phrase the other day. She said it’s the mission of the press to “control exactly what people think.”
But the misstatement resonated with a lot of people, as did Trump’s claim that the press is an enemy of the people.
It was a grossly irresponsible thing for the chief constitutional officer of our government to say. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a point or that people are crazy for seeing it.
it seems patently obvious that the “objective” press is in the business of subjectively shaping attitudes rather than simply reporting facts.
The media play these kinds of linguistic games all the time. Economics professor Tim Groseclose walks readers through countless examples in his book Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind.
The language games are part of a larger tendency of journalists to follow certain scripts that conform to how coastal elites see the country.

Kelly Riddell: Playing the xenophobic card – “The press and Trump’s critics rekindle a narrative of anti-Semitism.” It’s a story of the media and their narrative and their persistence in trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

Last week, The New York Times detailed President Donald Trump’s press conference, and wrote: “A Jewish reporter got to ask Trump a question, it didn’t go well.” … CNN, also aghast, had a headline … The Washington Post, also clearly upset … Yet, Mr. Turx wasn’t insulted — heck, he actually understood Mr. Trump’s point of view.
When a reporter asked the president if he felt his administration was “playing with xenophobia and maybe racist tones,” contributing to the surge of anti-Semitic acts, Mr. Netanyahu was quick to step in and defend.
But he doesn’t know the American press. When they sense they have an opportunity to paint Mr. Trump as a fear-mongering racist and xenophobe, they’ll pound that narrative home.

On Tuesday, Mr. Trump dealt with the issue head-on.
Still, it wasn’t good enough.

That afternoon White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked six times about Mr. Trump’s remarks.
Of course, Mr. Spicer’s answers weren’t good enough — they were never going to be good enough.
Mr. Goldstein took the entire exchange out of context. But he wasn’t done there. Asked why he thought all of these anti-Semitic attacks were happening, he had a simple answer: “Because our president is creating an incubator of hatred.”

Will not accept reality and then wonder why they get lambasted for Fake News and polls show them as more despicable than Congress?

If you want to know who Tucker Carlson is, Mckay Coppins has an answer: The Bow-Tied Bard of Populism – “Tucker Carlson’s latest reinvention is guided by a simple principle—a staunch aversion to whatever his right-minded neighbors believe.”

When I ask him why he was so infuriated by Duca, he thinks about it for a moment.

Finally, he answers, “It was the unreasonableness … It’s this assumption—and it’s held by a lot of people I live around—that you’re on God’s side, everyone else is an infidel, and by calling them names you’re doing the Lord’s work. I just don’t think that’s admirable, and I’m not impressed by that.”

Fair or not, this is the essence of Carlson’s case against the educated elites and well-heeled technocrats that comprise America’s ruling class (not to mention his neighborhood). They are too certain of their own righteousness, too dismissive of dissenters, too unwilling to entertain new ideas.

Notice that the header asserts “aversion to whatever his right-minded neighbors believe” while the reality is that the aversion is to a behavior pattern, not the people or their beliefs. In this, Coppins makes his own significant error that is common in the Left that tends to personalize everything. 

i.e. intellectual integrity matters.

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2/23/2017: An alternate reality

Washington Times editorial: The McCain-Trump feud – “It’s not about the Russians, but whether America should try to remake the world.”

Mr. McCain, a senior senator and former presidential nominee of the Republican Party — and with the eminence that those credentials accord — traveled across the Atlantic the other day to deliver what one analyst calls “a calculated, planned attack on Trump’s entire system of beliefs.” This is without modern precedent, and it was out of bounds.
the senator’s description of the president, to a security conference in Munich where nobody could miss the point of his remarks, was very close to a declaration of war on the president.

Valerie Richardson: Left staging ambush attacks at GOP-led town halls – “Say turnabout after tea party fair play.” No, the TEA party was not like this.

A nationwide “storm-the-town-halls” strategy, organized by groups like the George Soros-funded, has resulted in thousands of activists swamping Republicans at public events, creating media buzz as they shout down lawmakers and fueling comparisons to the tea party town halls of 2009.

Charles C.W. Cooke: The Fourth Circuit Runs Roughshod over Heller and the Second Amendment – “In upholding Maryland’s ‘assault weapons’ ban, the court employed dubious legal reasoning to trample on American constitutional rights.”

As Judge Traxler’s dissent pointedly establishes, the majority achieved this transformation by contriving “a heretofore unknown ‘test,’ which is whether the firearm in question is ‘most useful in military service.’” In effect, this “test” is designed to permit judges to determine that any weapon they might dislike is unprotected by the Second Amendment and can therefore be prohibited with impunity. Forget that Heller contains its own explicit tests. Forget the “common use” standard. Forget “dangerous and unusual.” There’s a new kid in town, and he’s coming for your rifles.
Most worrying of all, the majority concludes its trail of destruction by playing preemptive games with the standard of review. Because it sets “assault weapons” outside of the Constitution’s remit, the majority never reaches the question of scrutiny. But it nevertheless wants us to know that it would have applied intermediate scrutiny, and that the law in question would have passed without difficulty. This is extraordinary.

See also Ted Yoho, member of the U.S. House of Representatives, on Reining in a hysterical judiciary – “When judges go rogue, it’s the job of Congress to calm them.”

Ed Morrissey: Too bad to check: California secession movement leader lives in … Russia? – Intellectual Integrity seems in short supply over there. Another example is Matt Vespa on Tucker’s guest to Trump: ‘Way more people have protested than were at your Nazi inaguration’ but back to Morrissey:

There is no small measure of irony in this. One of the biggest complaints that progressives have with Trump is his supposed ties to Russia, which have been the subject of an FBI investigation that’s apparently going nowhere. Russia did hack the DNC and John Podesta in hopes of impacting the election, both the FBI and the CIA say, but neither have found any evidence of coordination between Trump and his campaign and Russian intelligence.

Instead, there seems to be at least some indirect connections between this progressive grassroots effort to split California from the US and Russia. The NYT notes that a state-funded Russian group called the Anti-Globalization Movement that backs a breakup of the United States offered Marinelli office space in Moscow for a Yes California “embassy,” which he then accepted. The Times report also suggests that the same or a similar group paid for hotel rooms for other secessionist groups in the US last September, including efforts in Texas, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.

Even Allahpundit notes the absurdity in the WaPo’s new slogan – “The irony of using it as a middle finger to Trump is that Trump’s not really operating in “darkness.” If (cringe) democracy dies by his hand, it won’t be because he fooled the public about anything. The public knew exactly what they were getting when they voted for him.” What is also worthy of note is Allahpundit’s perception of Trump and how exaggerated it is. It serves to compare with the hyperbole gone wild illustrated by most of the Left.

The Daily Quotes has two that are pertinent to this blog: Robert Benchley: “The surest way to make a monkey of a man is to quote him.” Robert Heinlein: “Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.”

John Hinderaker notes that Immigration Law Enforcement Begins – “Hallelujah. It shouldn’t be news that we now have a president who takes his oath of office seriously, but in view of Barack Obama’s abdication of his constitutional responsibilities, it is news.”

The main thrust of the memoranda is to tell ICE and the other agencies that the nation’s immigration laws are now going to be enforced. … The memorandum titled “Enforcemen of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest” explicitly invokes the president’s constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed
I can’t find any directive in either memorandum to “publicize crimes by immigrants,” and, in any event, nothing in the orders relates to immigrants. The orders are directed at illegal immigrants. The Times deliberately conflates the two.
One could go on like this for a long time, but let’s take just one more paragraph of the Times’s cri de cœur

Real news and Fake news on the table to examine.

David Robertson: The Alternate Reality of the Political Left – “U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) thinks that he is living in an alternate reality.”

According to that alternate reality . . .

#1 It is anti-worker to want workers to have the right to work without having to pay labor unions in order to work. …

#2 People who aren’t Americans have the right to enter the USA whenever they want no matter who they are. …

#3 You have freedom of speech only if members of the Political Left approve of what you have to say. …

#4 Wealth envy is a virtue. …

The line gets blurred when matters of opinion become a real question about ‘what you been smokin’.

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2/22/2017: Fake Delusion Consensus and Reality

Anthony J. Sadar: Time’s misreading of science – “The magazine would rather settle than search.”

Accurate prediction is one of the biggest challenges in scientific practice, and indeed an accurate prediction for the right reasons is one of the conditions for a scientific assertion to be correct.

Joseph Curl: Media responds to Trump’s ‘fake news’ charge — by pumping out fake news! – “the new alpha wolf in town smacked the lapdog media repeatedly on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper.”

So they proved his point, pretty much. All style, no substance — again. They talked about themselves — their feelings were hurt, darn it — but steered clear of covering what the president actually said.

But it gets even worse. Days later, the supposedly bias-free Associated Press (not at all unbiased) dropped this bombshell in a tweet: “BREAKING: Trump administration considers mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants.”
Boom. Huge. Except there was a problem. No, many problems, foremost among them — the story wasn’t remotely true.
So the press bristled at charges from the new president that they are selling fake news — and immediately goes out and proves his point.

Paul J. Weber: Judge blocks Texas cutting Medicaid to Planned Parenthood – “Sparks‘ unsparing opinion excoriated Texas for not providing “any evidence” of Planned Parenthood wrongdoing.” Another case of judicial activism being blind to evidence he does not like.

“A secretly recorded video, fake names, a grand jury indictment, congressional investigations – these are the building blocks of a best-selling novel rather than a case concerning the interplay of federal and state authority through the Medicaid program,” Sparks wrote. “Yet, rather than a villain plotting to take over the world, the subject of this case is the State of Texas’s efforts to expel a group of health care providers from a social health care program for families and individuals with limited resources.”

A big problem is that PP does very little in terms of social health care other than abortion. Writing off video testimony as the judge has done is a disservice to justice. In another case, it was real Fake News rather than judge imagined fake news. OregonMuse on CNN: You Will Never Find A More Wretched Hive Of Scum And Villainy – “It seems like CNN has lost the first round of a defamation case in federal court for, get this, peddling fake news:”

So, for the purposes of pushing their preferred narrative, CNN just made stuff up. And then they tried to get the suit dismissed. The judge, however, told CNN to go pound sand: …

“The Court finds these allegations sufficient to establish that CNN was acting recklessly with regard to the accuracy of its report, i.e., with ‘actual malice,” the order reads.

You can read a complete summary at LawNewz. You can even read (or download) a copy of the 18-page ruling.

Ed Rogers: The ‘deep state’ is real. The ‘alt right’ is fake – “the Trump presidency may serve as the galvanizing force that links some of the formal established Democratic opposition forces, … with the informal deep-state cadre of disgruntled liberal bureaucrats, the hostile mainstream media and the usual suspects on the left. It’s a troubling phenomenon, with anti-Trump organizations and Democratic-aligned civil servants conspiring to actively work against the incumbent government.”

“Deep state” is a sexy new label being used in Washington to describe embedded anonymous bureaucratic bias against President Trump and Republican rule.
At the same time all this is going on, the left has taken to painting Republicans with a broad brush as the “alt-right.” Well, as best I can tell, the alt-right is just a new way for the left to call Republicans racists and Nazis without actually having to say those terms out loud.

IBT Editorial: Venezuelans Now On A Forced Starvation Diet — Thanks, Socialism! “We call it a shocking indictment of socialism, and should be a siren call to people around the world: Bring socialism to your country, and you bring misery. It’s the one thing that socialism produces an abundance of.”

A new study of Venezuela’s stunning decline under Hugo Chavez’s socialist model, still followed faithfully by his lap dog successor, Nicolas Maduro, reports that the average Venezuelan lost 19 pounds in the last year. Today, the 2016 Living Conditions Survey finds, 32.5% of Venezuelans eat only once or twice a day, up from 11.3% just one year ago. And 93.3% of all people don’t earn enough to buy sufficient food.
It’s a sad fact that Venezuela was once one of the wealthiest countries in South America, and even now has the second-largest oil reserves in the world. It should be a rich nation, filled with prosperous people worried about gaining too much weight, not losing it to hunger.
Meanwhile, inflation at close to 500% a year is the highest of any country on earth.
If Venezuela seems remote and of little concern, consider this headline: “Democratic Socialists Make Headway In U.S. After Trump’s Win.” Yes, we know. The Democratic Socialists of America style themselves as kinder, gentler socialists. Think Sweden, they say, not Venezuela.

But the truth is, whoever practices it or whatever those who follow it call themselves, socialism is an economic system based on mass greed and class envy that has failed time and time again. There are no successful socialist nations, anywhere. Those that find this model appealing despite its obvious failures are the desperate, the poorly educated, the uninformed and those lacking entirely in basic common sense.

It is an economic philosophy of entitlement and grievance, one that always ends in poverty, wanton destruction, the breakdown of civilization and even death — as the Venezuelans, who willingly handed control of their country over to the socialists, are now finding out.

The President has put Sweden in the spotlight recently and efforts to deny him by denying Sweden’s problems show just how tenaciously socialists hang on to their dreams. To put the Venezuela starvation crisis in perspective, Keven D. Williamson describes Planet Nebraska – “A hungry world no more.”

World hunger is in dramatic decline. As our friends at reported over the summer, the hunger indicators are all moving in the right direction: Fewer people are going hungry, both in absolute numbers and as a share of the world’s population; hunger has fallen dramatically in China after a program of partial economic liberalization; those people around the world who are underfed are less underfed than they were a decade or two ago, with their average daily calorie deficits down to about 85 calories — just 1.5 McNuggets short of a full day’s nutrition; and world food prices are down steeply, having fallen by half in real terms over the past century. The USDA reported on Tuesday that world wheat production is expected to hit a record high this year, and that U.S. producers will export — not produce, but export — more than 1 billion bushels of the stuff. Export projections are up 50 million bushels since January, driven higher by large orders from China.
Not long ago, the great dream and aspiration of most of the people walking this Earth was to have enough to eat, for themselves and for their children, and to be liberated from worrying about whether they would eat again tomorrow or the next day. Capitalism can be a great deal of work, but it works if you let it work.

On the ‘scandal free’ Obama administration and especially for those who consider Trump the fascist, there is Richard Pollock on the story Obama’s Feds Tried to Hack Indiana’s Election System While Pence Was Governor – “Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials tried to hack Indiana’s state electoral system with at least 14,800 “scans” or hits between Nov. 1, 2016, to Dec. 16, 2016, The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has learned.”

Federal officials are barred under DHS rules from trying to penetrate a state system without the express approval of the state. Neither Georgia nor Indiana approved the DHS scanning attempts.

The DHS inspector general has launched an official investigation into the Georgia breach attempt.
Governmental deployment of IT technology could be an evolving new tool against political opponents or to impose censorship, according to James Scott, a senior fellow at the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology, a cybersecurity think tank.

“Censorship has always been an issue in the brick-and-mortar world. So, censorship in the digital landscape is simply just transference of methods,” Scott said. “I think within federal agencies it is possible to imagine that there are some overreaching, aggressive managers.”

There’s a solution for this …

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2/21/2017: Cultural Marxism and the Demolition Derby

Cal Thomas: Donald Trump’s demolition derby – “The president collides with the media and the public cheers.”

When CNN’s Jim Acosta addressed the president at last Thursday’s raucous news conference, he accused Mr. Trump of damaging the First Amendment by his frequent questioning of the media’s fairness. It is actually the other way around.
Some reporters believe they have an obligation to hold leaders accountable, and they are right to a point, but they don’t appear to believe anyone should hold them accountable.
Mr. Trump is an unconventional president dealing with conventional media. They don’t get it. He does.
Few people would deny the right or even the obligation of journalists to be skeptical, but, in too many instances, skepticism has become cynicism. Just think of how the media characterizes all things conservative.
The media are like the second choice and as ratings and subscriptions sadly show, people are walking their business out the door. I seriously doubt the newspaper campaign will attract new customers. Virtuous people and noble professions usually don’t have to convince others of their virtue and nobility. It is obvious. With much of the media represented at White House press conferences, virtue and nobility are in short supply.

Conrad Black: A Purblind Press, Unable To Admit Error, Boycotts the President –

That leaves the press, and the president’s elevation of his counterattacks on the “failing” New York Times, CBS, ABC, NBC, and CNN as “enemies of the people.” Provided that what is meant is that those outlets have been so slanted and malicious that they have misled the declining section of the country that takes them seriously and that this is inimical to the country’s democratic desire for an informed electorate, it is a justified statement.
The Democrats’ fears, though not their tactics, are justified; the press’s unprofessional and dishonest calumnies are not. The press should revisit its boycott of the president and contemplate their own shortcomings. It is they, and not he, who threatens a free press. Mr. Trump, and the country, will win.

The Mainstream Media Have Forfeited All Respect by Steve McCann – “Over the past half-century, the mainstream media in the United States have evolved into interloculars for and the Praetorian Guard of the Ruling Class.”

Beyond the boundaries of the Washington-New York axis, a significant majority of the people are fully cognizant that a leviathan encompassing the entertainment complex, the education establishment and the Democratic Party, has successfully inculcated a plurality of the American people into believing there are no moral absolutes and that the state can grant any rights it so chooses to whomever they choose. Further, the nation’s founding documents are arcane, racially insensitive, and unsuitable for today. Thus, religious liberty, property rights and freedom of speech are under aggressive assault. The mainstream media have chosen sides and their reporting reflects their alliance with this leviathan, … There is virtually no balance in media coverage and to the average citizen there is no doubt that the media has an agenda.

Reporting? Liberal Media Have Much More in Mind Than That by Joe Schaeffer – “The issue, however, has nothing to do with that. It’s that these organizations are openly asserting a right to define, control and impose their world-view on us. That’s the real problem.”

To start, they are defining what is and isn’t offensive in America today, claiming they can make those designations even while admitting they don’t have all the facts, and that you, the reader, deserve to lose your job if you fall outside of the rigid box they construct. There are numerous recent examples.
These media elites are openly ascribing to themselves the right to define and control the information you receive and even the personal judgments you make after absorbing that information.

This is the same media complex that dares to assert that Trump is pushing an oppressive totalitarianism by moving to enact the campaign promises he made to the electoral majority of the American people.

In case you wondered, this is what the term “Cultural Marxism” looks like in real life.

Charlie Martin: ‘Trump Trance’? Media Sure It ‘Heard’ Sweden Comment Trump Never Said – “The furor about the Trump presidency has gotten to the point that people are literally (and I don’t mean figuratively literally, I mean literally literally) seeing and hearing things that aren’t there.”

It’s easy to dismiss this as another example of “fake news,” the phrase that went from novel to cliché in about 22 minutes, but that’s not what happened here. This was an entirely different phenomenon: people’s perceptions are actually being altered, first by their attitudes toward Trump, and then by the reinforcement from various outlets that share their attitudes toward Trump.

The media is in a trance. They are concentrating on seeing “Trump the idiot” or “Trump the liar,” and no one sees the dancing bear. Anyone concerned with understanding what’s actually going on needs to be aware of this.

Some – a lot – of what’s being reported is just not true. It didn’t happen.

Victor Davis Hanson: Seven Days in February – “Trumps’ critics, left and right, aim to bring about the cataclysm they predicted.”

Currently, the political and media opponents of Donald Trump are seeking to subvert his presidency in a manner unprecedented in the recent history of American politics.
The elite efforts to emasculate the president have sometimes taken on an eerie turn.
Fake news proliferates. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi and Representative Elijah Cummings recently attacked departing national-security advisor Michael Flynn by reading a supposed Flynn tweet that was a pure invention. Nor did Trump, as reported, have a serious plan to mobilize “100,000” National Guard troops to enforce deportations.
Clearly in empirical terms, nothing that Trump in his first month in office has done seems to have justified calls for violence against his person or his removal from office. What then accounts for the unprecedented venom?
Trump’s efforts to return politics to the center — enforce existing laws, complete previously approved projects, rein in government regulations and growth, recalibrate U.S. alliances to reflect current realities, unapologetically side with friends and punish enemies — were viewed as revolutionary rather than as a return to conventionality
ending Trump one way or another is apparently the tortured pathway his critics are taking to exit their self-created labyrinth of irrelevance.

Robichaud: Election of outsider Trump rankles federal bureaucrats – “War has been declared on President Trump. It’s actually a war against those of us who work for a living, pay taxes, don’t collect a government handout, pay for our own health insurance and don’t have lobbyists on the payroll.”

Since the November election, it has been a nonstop barrage of hate from the Democrats and the mainstream media … At first, you probably thought the crybaby routine was due to them being sore losers, but that’s not the case. The main reason is that we elected an outsider with a mandate to drain the swamp.

George Neumayr: Who Will Hold the IRS Accountable? – “Congress needs to get to the bottom of Obama-era harassment of non-profit groups.”

In the bubble of Washington, pols strain at the gnat and swallow the camel. They chase after media-driven pseudo-scandals while letting real scandals linger.
Americans don’t toss and turn at night over fears of a hazy network of Russian hackers. But they do fear letters from the IRS.
Obama left office claiming that his administration had been “scandal-free,” a whopper blatantly refuted by the politicization of the IRS on his watch. If Congress fails to ventilate the IRS scandal sufficiently, Obama’s embeds at the IRS will continue to harass conservative groups. A lazy and biased media has pushed the propagandistic line that the scandal was overblown and is now ancient news. It isn’t.
Under the framework of the founders, the people are masters, not servants, and the IRS holds no bondage on their freedoms.

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2/20/2017: Eggshells being trod upon. Finally.

Walter Williams has Something to Think About today. One topic is Pawns of Liberals, where he asserts that “Ordinary black people cannot afford to go along with the liberal agenda that calls for undermining police authority.” The other is Minimum Wage and Discrimination – “An issue not often included in minimum wage debates is the substitution effects of minimum wage increases.”

Alex Berezow: ‘March For Science’ Organizers Just Love Science. So Do 2nd Graders – “Oddly, the website for the “March for Science,” which was organized by scientists, reads a lot like what I wrote in 2nd grade.”

After weeks of planning, the site’s page on Principles and Goals continues to be filled with trite platitudes and clichés. The group’s science education policy? To teach people to “think critically.” A policy to advance careers in science? They “should be an option for anyone.” Science funding? They want more of it.

Believe it or not, this is actually a substantial improvement. The first iteration of the website was primarily concerned with diversity and poking fun at conservatives.

The co-founders of the march have had many high-profile opportunities to thoughtfully elaborate upon their mission. But, as the saying goes, they have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
It appears as if being elusive is a strategy.
I’ll get on board, pending satisfactory answers to the following serious policy questions: [about vaccinations, GMO, nuclear, risk, fracking, climate, etc]
These are just a handful of the science policy questions I would like to see addressed. Pleading for more evidence-based policy means absolutely nothing when the march organizers won’t tell us what those policies are.

In the ‘feel good’ rhetoric category is also Daniel Pipes and Christopher C. Hull who look at putting it aside to get a job done: Defeating radical Islam – “How a new White House initiative can get the job done.” The ‘compare and contrast’ provides insight into why the pushback on Trump is so severe.

the Obama administration convened a Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Working Group in 2010 and included participants who turned up such gems as: “Jihad as holy war is a European invention,” the caliphate’s return is “inevitable,” Shariah (Islamic law) is “misunderstood,” and “Islamic terrorism is a contradiction in terms because terrorism is not Islamic by definition.” The result? The group produced propaganda helpful to the (unnamed) enemy.

In contrast, then-candidate Donald Trump gave a robust speech in August 2016 on how he, as president, would “Make America Safe Again.” In it, he pledged that “one of my first acts as president will be to establish a commission on radical Islam.” Note: he said radical Islam, not some euphemism like violent extremism.

Jamie Wells: Physician ‘Gun-Gag’ Law: The Politics And The Medicine – “I hate politics. Is that enough of a disclosure? Well, I hate erosion of the doctor-patient relationship even more, especially when predicated on politicized falsehoods.” It’s about a law prompted by the medical community foisting politics on patients.

A recent ruling by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Georgia, found the Firearm Owners Privacy Act (FOPA)— enacted in 2011 in Florida— impeded the First Amendment free speech rights of medical professionals. The law sought to preserve Second Amendment rights but thought forbidding physicians to discuss gun ownership with patients was the way to do so.
For this doctor, talking about gun safety does not mean advocating for or against the right to possess a gun. But I also recognize that not all doctors can draw that line.
As we say, prevention is always relevant, no matter the etiology. Such “anticipatory guidance” is a crucial part of the doctor-patient experience.

That doesn’t mean we should be making judgments under the guise of claiming to be informational. I am not a drinker but I wouldn’t berate a parent who has moderate alcohol intake. We’re supposed to be trusted guides for the public and we can’t do that if we look like we are advocates for anything other than health.
Asking if there is a gun in the home and, if so, reinforcing the importance of it being properly stored and locked, is not intrusive, any more than asking about smoking and reinforcing that parents should do so outside is.

The line got crossed on the last part of the quote. There was a recent study questioning the perceived dangers of second hand smoke yet she just knows the proper guidance to ‘solve’ the problem. The same with weapons for self defense. She just knows they must be unavailable when needed in an emergency in order to reduce a risk that reveals how, no matter the hate for politics, she can’t let politics go in her medicine. The key here is getting a handle on one’s perceptions and being able to separate evidence and reality from fantasy and desire. Gun violence is mostly a gang violence problem. In the realm of normal home safety issues, gun ownership is right in the cloud of risk issues ranging from bathtubs to kitchen equipment to swimming pools. All need education and training for safety and proper use. None are really in the realm of the medical doctor but rather in that of parents and schools.

James Srodes on another area where public perception, political perception, and reality get into conflict: The cyberhacking to come – “Spy agencies will be joined by increasingly adept criminals and terrorists.”

If you thought the 2016 presidential election was an orgy of cyberhacking of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, of the Democratic Party computers being trawled through, and of fake news stories about Donald Trump’s hijinks in Russia, you are right. But you ain’t seen nothing yet.

The bad news is that from now on we are going to see an exponential rise in cybervandalism of all kinds and not just in America but throughout the world. Hacking, it seems, has become a game that anyone can play. The most immediate problem is that the people charged with protecting us are distracted by the wrong threats and are wasting the opportunities to — you should pardon the expression — build a wall designed to keep out the cybervandals.

Valerie Richardson on (yet more) California Nonsense: Californians jeer state’s decision to extend drought restrictions – “For consumers, the drought restrictions have translated into higher water prices even as the state grapples with another round of devastating storms.”

“We welcome this winter weather, but one good year of rain does not erase six years of drought,” David H. Wright, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power director, said in a statement after the board’s decision.
Meanwhile, rice farmer Kurt Richter accused the agency of partisanship, saying the “absurd” decision “showed everyone in the state that they’re not even trying to be subtle with their political agenda anymore,” while tech consultant Robert Dolezal mocked California drought “deniers.”

The fact is that periods of drought punctuated by inundation every ten years or so is normal in California. This is why, in California’s progressive era post WW II, reservoirs and canals were constructed to manage the water, alleviate drought and floods, and reduce effects of income inequality in water costs. As the ruckus about the Oroville dam illustrates, rather than building and improving that infrastructure the political climate has promoted neglecting what was already built and stymying additional efforts. In favor has been regulation on the consumer and there’s been a lot of it and the costs are being seen. Stephen Moore has a rundown on this regulation infection at the federal level: Congress must stop death by decree – “The biggest restraint on economic growth is federal red tape.”

The CEOs almost all listed the federal tax code as an albatross, but not the heaviest one. But I was surprised to learn that most insisted he biggest restraint on growth is federal red tape and regulation. Manufacturers, energy firms, financial services, agriculture interests — across all industries — federal rules were seen as mindless, inefficient, costly and incomprehensible.

You may have heard all the doom and gloom about the new administration flopping and flailing and suffering and on and on. That’s Fake News especially noted by its prognostications, predictions, and forecasting. Washington Times editorializes on The premature obituary – “President Trump’s popularity climbs, despite a week of media hysteria.”

But the Donald has the number of the Washington and New York press and pundits like no president before him, and even as the mainstream media was peddling the story that the past fortnight has been an unprecedented disaster, evidence grew that the opposite is true.
Writing off the president, any president, after a fortnight is a fantasy, and illustrates the hostility of a liberal media establishment that simply can’t imagine anyone liking anything Mr. Trump says or does.

There are many relevant headlines illustrating the WT’s point. Trump Takin’ It to the Left: I’m Lovin’ It! by Lloyd Marcus – “There’s a new sheriff in town, folks, and I love it!”

Thank God, President Trump is not playing by standard ineffective rules for Republican behavior. He is calling out leftist fake news media, Democrats, and other liars while quickly moving forward with the domestic agenda he promised during his campaign. By calling them out, Trump puts leftists on the defensive for a change while retaining his power.
we must stand together, holding up our president’s arms to counter the tsunami of attacks coming from both sides of the political aisle. May God be with us.

Michael Goodwin thinks The media doesn’t call the shots — Trump does – “when journalists behave like opponents, he will treat them like opponents, punching back harder than they punch him.” … “Trump knows better than most that perception, even if it’s wrong, can quickly harden into accepted fact. He sensed danger and decided to take matters into his own hands.” … “They have a choice: Get back to being journalists, or get used to being a piñata.”

Enemies of the people by Jack Hellner highlights another Trump parry. “Chris Wallace of Fox News and other media reporters are having fits because Trump tweeted that the media are an enemy of the American people.” Wallace did his cause no support when he took off on misperceptions about what was being said.

When the media willingly support a candidate who clearly violated the law by peddling classified documents but spreads a false story that the intelligence community won’t share information with President Trump because they don’t trust him, they are enemies both of truth and of the American people.
Everything I see Trump doing indicates that he wants to give power back to the people and reduce the power of the greedy and ever growing government. That does not look like a would-be dictator.
So yes, when the media intentionally seek to sabotage and destroy a president because their chosen candidate lost, they are essentially an enemy of the American people. They choose what to report and what not to report based on an agenda instead of on actual facts.

Jazz Shaw has some clarity about a WaPo writer worries that Trump will “hunt down” reporters – “Most of what Sullivan is worried about still sounds like the stuff of dystopian fiction novels rather than any real threat looming on the horizon.” Where they should be worried is in regards to their participation in criminal leaks.

Paul Mirengoff takes down Carl Bernstein’s silly anti-Trump rant – “If, in calling the press “enemies the American people,” Trump has gone too far, he will suffer for having done so.” Obama is brought up for examination as a more pertinent example for Bernstein’s hyperbole.

Then there’s John Hinderaker on The Silly Sweden Flap – “As happens so often, liberals think they are scoring points against Trump when in fact they are making fools of themselves.”

Another ‘establishment elite’ that is suffering from intellectual dishonesty is described by Monica Showalter: Where was McCain when Obama attacked the free press? – “What stands out here is the hypocrisy of his claims. He’s suddenly concerned about press freedoms and dictators?”

The Obama list is quite long, and that is not surprising. Obama was a socialist and socialists of all stripes have a long record of suppressing freedom of the press, subordinating its expression to the interests of an all-powerful state and its dictator. McCain found nothing wrong with that when Obama was playing that game and undercutting the press in what seemed to be pretty oppressive and downright illegal behavior. Breitbart News has another list of problems here. But when Trump, three or four weeks into his presidency, calls out some fake news on Twitter, suddenly we have a dictator descending.

Rand Paul: US is ‘lucky John McCain’s not in charge’ – ““I think it’s more a foreign policy debate, and Trump and McCain are on opposite sides of that debate,” Paul said. “And I tend to sympathize more with the president. We don’t need to continue to have regime change throughout the world, nation-building.” … As far as McCain’s rhetoric saying Trump is trying to “shut down the press,” Paul cautioned against hyperbole.”

Lefties keep showing off their civic ignorance by Karol Markowicz – “Everyone makes mistakes, of course. The bigger problem with this widespread lack of knowledge is that it leads to scary places.” has headlines: Dozens of workers lose their jobs for participating in Day Without Immigrants protest; Wegmans supermarket sells out of Trump wine after proposed boycott; Trump may have been unclear, but Sweden experiencing a migrant crime wave. Trump keeps coming up on top and the support is showing is breadth.

Hear the crunch as new paths are being trod back to old values?

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2/19/2017: Unhinged. Trumpian Thoughtcrimes, Imaginary News

John Hinderaker: McCain Drives Into the Ditch – “John McCain suggests on Meet the Press that President Trump is “suppressing” the free press, which is “the first thing that dictators do.”

John, John, get a grip! Who is “suppressing” the press? Do you seriously not understand the difference between criticizing the press and suppressing it? The press is not above criticism. On the contrary, it deserves to be called out constantly for bias and inaccuracy. President Trump has taken a good step in that direction, but a great deal more press criticism is in order.

Jazz Shaw: John McCain’s “dictator” talk ignores reality and his own past with the media – “We can have a debate over how much criticism should be fairly applied to cable news and the major newspapers if you like, but “suppressing the Free Press” is simply fake news.”

If you want to see actual suppression of the press you need look no further than the nation of Turkey. Over there, a nascent dictator on the rise quickly moved to engage in some actual press suppression immediately following the attempted coup last year. Rather than criticizing journalists who might have commented negatively on his policies, Turkey’s president simply shut down all of the media outlets aside from those sanctioned and controlled by the state. He upped the ante from there by not only putting hundreds of journalists on the unemployment line, but tossing a significant number of them in his dungeons just for good measure.

That, my friends, is what actual media suppression looks like. What’s taking place in the White House today is push back and criticism of American journalists. They are still on the air 24 hours a day and printing their newspapers, free to respond to these critiques and they have been doing so since the moment Trump began speaking in Florida yesterday.

Neo-neocon: The courts rule on Trump’s intent and the “Muslim ban” – “The EO does exactly what it says it does, and the court should not be guessing at whether there is some sort of Trumpian thoughtcrime behind it.”

Those who say that of course Trump’s EO on immigration was meant to be a ban on Muslims are relying on Trump’s long-ago campaign statements as well as a more recent remark of his and some recent comments by advisor Rudy Giuliani. As an example of this type of reasoning, see this article by law professor Ilya Somin, quoting Brown University Professor Corey Brettschneider (writing here)
Here is a direct quote from Giuliani during that interview:

“We focused on, instead of religion: danger, the areas of the world that create danger for us. Which is a factual basis, not a religious basis. Perfectly legal, perfectly sensible, and that’s what the ban is based on. It’s not based on religion, it’s based on places where there are [sic] substantial evidence that people are sending terrorists into our country.”

I don’t know how Giuliani could have been more clear. Giuliani explicitly says what “it” means: the goal of banning the entry of people from places where terrorists come from and will be coming from (places which, by the way, had already been identified by Obama as such). But Somin calls the EO a “case of discriminatory motives hiding behind a vener [sic] of neutrality…an attempt to target Muslims without saying so explicitly.”
Their argument, such as it is, rests on believing the worst of Trump (and Giuliani) without proof, claiming Giuliani is flat-out lying here—and not even giving their readers the benefit of the full quotes, so the readers can decide for themselves. They are certainly free to think that, but as a logical argument it leaves a great deal to be desired.

Scott Adams: Imaginary News – “I think we can all agree that there has been plenty of fake news coming from both sides.” A logical fallacy is not a good way to start in trying to explain hallucinations.

The Huffington Post is literally seeing something that is invisible to me and other observers. We see a President Trump talking the way he normally talks. They see a 77-minute meltdown.
So how can we know who is hallucinating in this case? The best way to tell is by looking for the trigger for cognitive dissonance. In this case, the trigger is clear. Trump’s unexpected win forced the Huffington Post to rewrite their mental movies from one in which they were extra-clever writers to one in which they were the dumbest political observers in the entire solar system.

The key is objective observation of behavior. From “banning Muslims” to Presidential meltdowns and other such things there are many examples of stretching reality to fit fantasy. Whether it is disciplining children or leading a large organization, being able to match perceptions to reality and making sure that it is real, observable behavior and that distinct and clear standards are used to determine measurement is a key to success. 

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2/17/2017: Media Bulls v Matador Trump

David Prentice: The Left’s Once Mighty Echo Chamber Is Losing Power – “They don’t see how they have driven themselves over the edge of reason and can no longer convince others.”

Just because the Democrat/media complex is in full, swashbuckling, we’ve-stormed the castle, we’re-going-to-impeach him-mode is no reason to panic. … The left is blowing its own opportunity by hyper-exaggerating their case.
There are several reasons the left’s capacity to take out Trump will not work. The first has been mentioned: The echo chamber is out of gas, its hyperbole is way beyond believable, and their petulance and anger is obvious. Like in the Wizard of Oz, they don’t realize Toto has torn the curtain away, and we’re seeing who is behind that curtain.

The second reason: The Trump team is implementing its agenda one step at a time. The administration is actually doing what they promised they would during the campaign.
The third reason: The Trump voter is still engaged. Not only are they engaged, they are doubly thrilled that he isn’t backing down to these people.

A look at popularity polls indicates that Trump suffers in comparisons to other Presidents due solely to the hatred of Democrats en masse. The only area where Democrats get up to the normal beyond 30% acceptance is in agreeing that Trump is keeping his campaign promises. The sub 10% acceptance in everything else polled is extraordinary and dangerously partisan.

A must read from VDH: The Deplorables Shout Back – “The full lessons of the 2016 election are still being digested (or indeed amplified), but one constant is emerging that the world outside our bi-coastal dynamic, hip, and affluent culture is not very well understood by those who lead the country.”

Trump was rural America’s shout back. One way or another, he will be its last. Either Trump will fail to restore prosperity and influence to the hinterland and thus even as president go the way of a flash-in-the-pan, would-be president Ross Perot—or he will succeed and thus make a like-minded successor superfluous.

Also by VDH: “The cracks on the face of Oroville Dam remind us that we have abused and caricatured what we inherited. In penance we might do better to listen to the wisdom of the past rather than to parrot the ignorance of the present.”

Roger Simon: The Media Bulls Have Met Their Matador in Trump – “The press doesn’t just have Trump Derangement Syndrome. They now have full-blown Trump Psychosis. And like most people with serious disorders, they are teetering close to the brink of self-immolation.”

David Middleton provides a takedown on Fake News: Fukushima Edition – “Yes, the reactors were old (1960’s) technology… But it wasn’t the nuclear technology which triggered the disaster. It was a failure to anticipate anything more than a 3.1 meter tsunami.” But …

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2/16/2017: Swampgate and the Deep State has allies.

Angelo M. Codevilla describes The CIA’s affront to Trump – “Withholding a security clearance is a means of challenging presidential policy.”

The CIA’s denial of a clearance to a presidential appointee minus good cause, however, breaks new ground and shows truly revolutionary boldness. … the CIA’s denial of Mr. Townley’s clearance removes all subtlety by demanding that Mr. Trump appoint only “natives.” If Mr. Trump indulges that demand for self-emasculation, the message will go out to all agencies: They need pay no attention to what political appointees tell them, and they need fear no retribution for this or for pressuring appointees in any way they want. The message to the people who Mr. Trump has appointed or who are considering working for Mr. Trump is just as clear: You have no choice but to make yourself acceptable to the bureaucrats because, if you don’t, they will hurt you and the president will not help you. This cannot help but skew the pool of potential members of the Trump administration.

The Deep State has decided it knows better than the people and it is willing to commit crimes as a result as the laws are just the people speaking and so don’t count. IBD has more on this: Is This Trump’s Watergate, Or Revenge Of The Swamp People?

Swampgate: President Trump may have come to Washington to “drain the swamp,” but now he’s finding out that it’s full of nasty swamp creatures. And, as he’s also discovered, they bite.
Meanwhile, federal bureaucrats, fearing Trump’s vow to shrink big government and root out corruption, are digging in as if fighting for their very lives. That’s why intelligence “sources,” as the media call them, are willing to break the law to subvert Trump’s administration. They have too much to lose if he wins.
By the way, those going after Trump seem ready to break the law if necessary to do the job.
These are real crimes — not imaginary ones.

Talk of Watergate-style crimes is way overblown, but that doesn’t mean it will blow over. The so-called Deep State, the semi-permanent class of politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists and contractors who make a grand living off the taxpayers, have a vested interest in taking down Trump. He’s the real enemy, not the Russians. And, even if it means breaking the law, that’s just what these Swamp People mean to do.

Michael Rubin: Flynn’s fall should have the intel community in the hot seat –

The greatest legal problem may not be Flynn’s. By acknowledging that they had intercepted Kislyak’s call, someone in the US intelligence community confirmed to the Russians that the National Security Agency had the sources or methods to defeat the Russian embassy’s countermeasures.
When the US intelligence community uses classified information to target Americans, it raises the specter that the CIA or NSA are just as likely to blackmail and dissuades American officials from being forthcoming during background investigations.

Ace notes that a Document Released Showing Obama’s Team Knew Immediately That Benghazi Was a “Direct Breaching” Terrorist Attack, and Was Not Even Conducted “Under the Cover of Protest” – This wasn’t from a security leak, it was from a Judicial Watch FOIA.

Judicial Watch got 54 pages of document — the bombshell here being a transcript of a phone call conducted September 12, 2012, just one day after the attack, in which Hillary Henchman Patrick Kennedy admitted, no caveats, there was no “cover of protests” and that it was a “direct breaching attack” involving “medium” weight weapons which would require some pre-planning.

Andrew P. Napolitano: Intellectual honesty and political indifference – “Only judicial attributes untouched by the jostling crowd can preserve our liberty.”

The judiciary is an independent branch of the government, and it is coequal to the president and the Congress. It is answerable to its own sense of scrupulous intellectual honesty about the Constitution. It is not answerable to the people. Yet in return for the life tenure and unaccountability its members enjoy, we expect political indifference — that judges’ decisions shall not be made in order to produce their own politically desired outcomes.

As has been made clear, this responsibility in not being met as the interests of the ‘Deep State’ surmount them. There are some indications that some in the judiciary understand their role in self discipline and are worried about rogue Judges but it remains to be seen if the concern rises to a level of taking proper actions.

Paranoia – Denial: On the ‘Fake News’ in denial front we have yet another study reported by Rowan Scarborough that Nearly 2 million non-citizen Hispanics illegally registered to vote – “Survey bolsters analysis by professors.” Trump has been excoriated on this but, as seems to usually be the case, he is right and his haters are off base. On the paranoia side, Alex Swoyer reports that Gorsuch shows ‘hostility’ to ‘discrimination victims,’ group claims in letter to senators – “But 39 former clerks to the jurist hail his ‘impeccable’ qualifications for the Supreme Court.” This goes along with much of the anti-Trump obsessives in foretelling doom with certitude despite no evidence nor anything to indicate support for their views. In fact, the evidence tends to go against them and the fact that that doesn’t matter indicates they have a real problem and it is within themselves.

But conservatives are pushing back, and suggest the letter is a political attack. They said some of the rulings cited in the letter as objectionable were cases where Democrat-appointed judges agreed with Mr. Gorsuch.

“Like Senator Schumer, they are extremists who will try every trick in the book to stop an exceptionally qualified, widely respected nominee who puts the law and the Constitution ahead of politics,” said Carrie Severino, chief counsel for the conservative Judicial Crisis Network.

The Borking has reached full throttle.

On Paranoia, there is the Soros thing on the Right. Shari Goodman describes A George Soros-Led Mutiny – it is easy to classify this sort of thing as paranoia and scapegoating but the evidence available raises questions about that conclusion. That contrasts with many of the other paranoid seeming views that abound these days that are completely devoid of evidence or reality or reason.

For the last few decades George Soros and his Open Society Institute have organized and financed a seditious movement to destroy our Constitutional Republic and monetary system. Their mission appears to be to replace it with a One World borderless government under the jurisdiction of the United Nations.
Employing the Cloward-Piven Strategy of forcing political change through orchestrated crisis, Soros seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands and grievances; thus, pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.
Thus, at the beginning of the 21st century we find ourselves on the brink of a violent second civil war where universities are no longer bastions of free speech, Trump supporters are routinely accosted, lawfare is now a weapon used against President Trump’s policies, and economic boycotts against the Trump brand are now promoted.
Many Americans are fed up and are asking why the Seditious Conspiracy law, which was first enacted during the Civil War, is no longer applied.

One of those Knee Jerk Anti Trump organizations is considering their positions. It will remain confused as along as they are not able to separate legal from illegal immigration and the proper role of national security in controlling a country’s borders. Jeff Andrade-Fong: Housing, Trump and Facing Our Hypocrisy – “for all the outcry against nativist federal policies, there’s precious little criticism of the anti-immigrant policies we have here at home.”

No fault evictions have been on the rise or years. Mid-level earners like teachers and other public servants are unable to afford housing where they’re needed most. Mega commutes are becoming increasingly common as workers can’t find reasonably priced housing near major job centers. And an invisible economic wall has been erected that’s silently preventing would-be immigrants from accessing everything that makes the Bay Area great.

These problems (and the chronic housing shortage that drives them) are caused by a broken legal, political and regulatory system that makes it impossible to build where housing would be most valuable. It allows incumbent landholders to benefit from rising housing prices while also privileging them with a disproportionate say in who gets to build what, when and where.
what’s the use in fighting to defend sanctuary cities if we aren’t willing to make them economically accessible? To what end do we speak of receiving refugees if we’re unwilling to build a place for them to live? To cry out against federal overreach in D.C., but stay silent on the regressive, segregationist, anti-immigrant housing policy we have here at home is the height of hypocrisy.

Allahpundit notes Dan Rather: This Trump thing could be bigger than Watergate – “When the man who blew the lid off the Bush National Guard memos tells you the country is facing a mega-scandal, you can take that to the bank.”

How are these people going to last four years with their sanity intact when they’re already at DefCon 2 after 26 days?
The Times has run at least three stories since late October on the FBI investigation into contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russian agents and each one has come to the same conclusion — no evidence of cooperation so far.
As tends to happen when one side is in hyper-outrage mode, a race begins to prove one’s ideological virtue by reaching for the most dramatic, hysterical analogy yet. For Rather, that’s Watergate and “worst scandal evah” rhetoric. For tools like Tom Perriello and Tom Friedman, it’s 9/11 analogies. “Ladies and gentlemen,” wrote Friedman yesterday, “we were attacked on Dec. 7, 1941, we were attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, and we were attacked on Nov. 8, 2016.” Perriello made the 9/11 point even more explicitly

Jazz Shaw: Dear GOP: Cancel the town hall meetings – “It’s a sad statement on the current condition of our democracy but the recent unending tide of well-funded and carefully coordinated “protests” by liberals angry over the defeat of Hillary Clinton have led me to one inescapable conclusion.”

If I wasn’t convinced of this before, the message really set in for me when I read about yet another such protest taking place in what I would’ve expected to be one of the most unlikely areas. In the very rural North country of New York State
Reading through the comments made by the protesters and looking at the signs they were displaying, it’s obvious what was going on here. Nobody was looking for a conversation. Nobody wanted a frank discussion with some give-and-take. This was a political stunt, just the same as the rest we’ve seen taking place around the country. Fortunately, Stefanik set an example which I hope the rest of the members of Congress will follow.
Stefanik said protesters have repeatedly harassed her staff and have personally targeted specific staff members.

“This type of intentionally disruptive behavior is unacceptable and unhelpful to civil public discourse. If it gets out of hand, we will continue to contact local law enforcement and U.S. Capitol Police,” she said.

Shaw has another about Debunking Time’s “fact check” on non-citizen voting – alternate facts deja vu

The new status quo in the mainstream media is a generally accepted insistence that Donald Trump and the White House staff are a group of unrepentant liars and that proper reporting must always include clear statements when falsehoods are uttered. This is generally followed by a “fact check” which purports to set the record straight. Time Magazine engages in this practice this week with yet another duplicitous report on the potential for voter fraud committed by illegal immigrants and legally residing aliens, describing the White House comments as, “its false and widely-criticized assertion.” Unfortunately, the “fact check” falls into the same trap which catches most MSM personalities. Since everyone seems to be being held to the same standard these days, it’s only fair that we correct the correction of the record.
All in all the Time Magazine article does a fine job of stating a number of things which are true while omitting the rest of the facts which actually make the argument against what they are saying. This is not to say that I or anyone else knows precisely how much voting by non-citizens is taking place. The point is, neither do the folks claiming that it’s not an issue. And, for the bazillionth time… wouldn’t you want to know either way?

John Sexton reports on the Borking fallout from Puzder’s ex-wife: ‘I have become the victim of the media’s malice’ (Update: Puzder withdraws) –

Fox News reports that sources on the HELP committee don’t believe the Oprah video was a “watershed” moment for Puzder’s confirmation. Meanwhile, the left-wing Campaign for Accountability was in court Tuesday arguing Puzder’s divorce records should be unsealed. The goal is clearly to publicize the allegations before his confirmation.

A spokesman for Puzder tells Fox News that Fierstein and Puzder are now “good friends” who had dinner with Puzder’s current wife Dee last week. The spokesman adds, “They spend a lot of time together and this was a chance to just be family. But the calls from reporters and the attempts to unseal her divorce documents, have been very difficult for Lisa.”

For the Democrats, the ex-wife is just collateral damage of no consequence in getting what they want.

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2/15/2017: Political Assassination Attempts and the important back story

Breitbart On the leaks – House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) said Tuesday that those who leaked the contents of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s phone calls “belong in jail.” Then there’s Peter King –

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) “You go back to the question of the leaks, that is a criminal action. I mean to have a wiretap of anyone, a foreign national, and to have an American come on that, an American citizen come on that tape, there is all sorts of precautions in the law, how that person’s identity has to be masked, how it can’t be made public. Yet, it was not only made public; it was leaked to a newspaper. So you have the national security advisor being taped. That could have been a legal wiretap aimed at the Russians. Yet, to have that leaked violating the law, it’s clearly wrong. Again, more should be said about that. That should be pursued right to the end, to find out who leaked that and take strong action against them. Also, obviously, the whole situation was General Flynn, that will also be looked into.”

Ingraham: Flynn Leaks ‘The Stuff Police States Do’ – “the leaks on former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn are “the stuff police states do. … They work to destroy the reputations of good people using information that is classified and private against individual citizens, and it should frighten anybody.”

Of course, Democrats see it differently. Dem Rep Moulton: If Trump Admin ‘Conspiring’ with Russia — That Is ‘The Definition of Treason’ but then, as might be expected, his memory is a bit short. FLASHBACK – Reports: Obama’s 2008 Campaign Reps Talked with Iran, Hamas. Then there’s the Fake News caught: New York Times Accuses, then Exonerates Trump Aides in Russia Claims but Democrats also don’t acknowledge such corrections. That is why Donald Trump Denounces ‘Un-American’ Intelligence Leaks to ‘Fake News’

From the Washington Times Flynn’s out, but the moles are not – “There’s more mischief coming in the important back story.”

The Beacon quotes “multiple sources in and out of the [Trump] White House,” whom it does not name, who described a furtive, behind the scenes campaign of planting damaging stories about Mr. Flynn with some of the abundant correspondents who despise Mr. Trump. They’re eager to bring him down and if the national interest suffers, well, collateral damage is merely the grim reality of war.

The campaign is said to be led by Ben Rhodes, an adviser to Barack Obama when he was president and who, like the former president, is still in town to remain close to the action. The Iran nuclear deal, which was conducted in secret and whose details are still closely guarded by Mr. Obama and his friends, is regarded by the former president as the centerpiece of the “legacy” he continues to obsess over.
Barack Obama is still in town — he says he’s only here to await his daughter’s graduation from high school, but he’s fortifying a mansion in Kalorama that looks in place for the long march — but he’s not going to return to the White House except as a tourist, and his coterie of apparatchiks might as well get used to it. President Trump’s task is to clean house and stop damaging leaks. Mike Flynn is only a collateral target.

L. Todd Wood: Flynn and the traitors in our midst – “Jail the seditionists.”

There is a concerted effort by multiple parties in the U.S. government to bring down the duly elected president of the United States, Donald Trump. This is not resistance. This is not hurt feelings. This is not just politics. It is sedition. It is treason.
We used to shoot people for this type of behavior.

Kelly Riddell says Trump the ultimate target of Dems’ witch hunt – “Democrats and the mainstream media are going to try to pick apart President Trump’s team, one by one, until they eventually get to their ultimate prize: Mr. Trump himself.” In other words, the Democrats are out to destroy the administration no matter the cost to themselves or the country.

Intelligence officials leaked the intercept only after Mr. Flynn made it known he wanted to restructure the intelligence community, with rumors being his top target was DNI. This restructuring would’ve inevitably led to the shakeup and perhaps dismissal of many career intelligence officials.

But there’s more. And it’s even uglier.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, Obama holdovers have plotted to undermine Mr. Trump’s national security plans before he even stepped foot in the White House.
And it’s not limited to Mr. Flynn. Democrats and the media aren’t going to ease up because of his resignation. They’re only getting started.
All of this is trivial nonsense — Ms. Conway was clearly defending her boss’s daughter in a glib fashion where she never intended for violate ethics rules.

But the Democrats are out for blood.

Riddell also notes that Rep. Cummings uses NYT fake news report to demand Flynn investigation – “This is how trust erodes between the mainstream media and the American public” and between the public and the Democratic party, too.

Eric Wilson: Statistics and politics have much to teach one another – “Big Data provides the power to gauge opinion, and to shape it”

What this past year has taught me more than anything is this: First, you can learn a lot about statistics from politics; and second, both are misunderstood.
One major flaw may be that society is myopically focused on or obsessed with causation instead of correlation. … Another issue may be that people don’t think anymore but instead just want others to tell them what to believe.
Given the computing power available today, we now have extremely large sets of data that can be analyzed computationally to reveal patterns, trends and associations. With Big Data it may no longer be necessary to sample the population since we may have access to the entire population. In the simplest terms, this is what happened on Election Day when instead of sampling and getting a poll, we sampled everyone and got a totally different result.
This is new territory and may require a new way of thinking and looking at polls. Big Data analytics has had clear wins in the fields of politics and business. It promises to provide insights for those who seek patterns from vast data banks. The biggest thing it has shown is that there may be a new way of looking at things — a messier, less exact but more realistic view of the future. A view that if harnessed correctly by some, can create or shape their destiny instead of having to just accept it.

This means that better results can be obtained by watching the public in arenas such as social media and other behavior rather than by selected polling. This is a new capability based on new technologies and cultural changes. That leads to J.T. Young describing An overlooked Republican empire – “Republican strongholds paved the way for Trump’s victory.” Empire? That seems to be a rather poor choice of words.

By focusing on the unconventional “who” and “how” of November’s presidential race, we overlook the “what” and “why” lying beneath it.
All are familiar with the contradictory presidential election story of 2016. Mr. Trump lost the popular vote handily by almost 3 million votes, yet won the electoral vote decisively 306-232.

These divergent results give the impression that Mr. Trump’s victory was a fluke — an outcome thrust upon Republicans that will not be repeated. Instead while Mr. Trump’s victory did not conform to past presidential elections, it fits perfectly with state elections’ current patterns.
Looking from state government totals to Congress, Republicans’ majorities are not surprising. If anything, they have room to grow.
There are non-electoral advantages, too. States are the incubators of policy. It is a big plus to have disproportionately more laboratories for designing policy than the opposition. Finally, there is the bonus of conditioning voters to vote Republican.
It is a map Republicans very much needed. As their state dominance shows, recent Republican presidential candidates have underperformed — particularly establishment ones — their state and congressional candidates. Mr. Trump’s “November surprise” proves Republican presidential candidates can also win there — and it need not be a surprise when they do.

There’s another part of this. Adam Brandon: The angry Loser Party – “Unlike the limited-government tea party, today’s marchers share no theme except anti-Trump.” What he illustrates is that the Left is not using its own organizations for examples of credibility and success but is instead reaching out to the Conservative groups as a reference for quality in community organizing.

Proponents of the Women’s March and other protests that have broken out in various city centers and airport terminals across the country often compare themselves to the Tea Party movement.

There is some truth to the comparison. Both groups rallied large crowds in public places. Both delivered political messages through speeches, chanting and signs.

But the differences between the two are far more important.
The Tea Party protests were organized by grass-roots activists, many of whom had never participated in the political process and whose names you wouldn’t know. They were formed to fight complacency in Washington and bring about the end of the status quo. The Tea Party forced reassessment and realignment of the Republican Party. The recent protests only reinforce the anger within the Democratic Party and enmity across the aisle. That’s why, despite all their clamoring for change, the recent protests’ influence will remain outside the mainstream and will not eclipse the strength and significance of the Tea Party.

As the Tea Party contrasted with the anti-bank rallies in clean-up, we see another example of a meaningless Left protest and riot leaving a dangerous mess. Valerie Richardson Feds join Dakota Access protest camp cleanup in race to avoid ‘environmental disaster’ – “North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum says rapid snowmelt means ‘we cannot afford to wait any longer’.” This also gives lie to hyperbolic claims about anti-science, anti-environment, Fascist Trump. Again.

“Today’s assessment by the Army Corps of Engineers is crucial to accelerating the cleanup process so this land can be properly cleared of garbage, structures, vehicles and human waste before it washes into the rivers,” the governor said. “We cannot afford to wait any longer.”

As for polarization, consider Peter Morici on The inevitable Obamacare death spiral – “The only way to save it is with price controls.” The only way? Price controls are, by definition, using other people’s money and that only works until those people’s money is gone. In part, it is the dependence upon other people’s money that is why health care is so expensive for those ‘other people.’ The fact is that there are other ways to address the issue  but Morici devolves to threats for those who do not see it his way: “Simply, Republicans must face the need to regulate prices or risk an angry electorate that can’t afford health care and lose badly in the midterm elections.” Not allowing for the possibility of other solutions or even allowing discussion about an issue is why many political debates are really pointless arguments.

President Trump and the Runaway Judiciary: The Founders Have Provided the Remedy by Steve McCann – “Since Marbury v. Madison in 1803, the Federal Courts have been gradually aggregating more power to themselves than what the founders originally envisioned.”

However, central to any of the above steps is that Congress discharges its responsibility. Something that it has been loath to do as it is held captive to ideology, partisanship and self-aggrandizement. If this latest judicial debacle cannot spur them to action, then nothing short of national chaos will.
Unless and until the Congress acts or a Convention of the States is convened, America will continue to be held hostage by the Federal Judiciary as they proceed apace seizing the authority delegated to the President and Congress as these past few weeks have amply displayed.

Nonetheless, the framers of the Constitution gave the citizenry one last opportunity to rein in a runaway Judiciary. A Constitutional Convention to amend the Constitution can be convened by the States …

The biggest part of the problem here is that there is a significant minority that is using the Courts as an alternative to its inability to push its agenda with Congress or the people. With the Courts and hyperbolic shaming and heart string tugging they have succeeded. So far.

Jazz Shaw says Democrats are setting a trap for themselves on Cabinet confirmations – “A pattern has been emerging in these confirmation hearings which is more than disturbing.”

It’s been repeated too many times to be simple coincidence or some sort of principled stand on the part of the Democrats over specific issues found on the resumes of Donald Trump’s nominees or any answers they may have given during the hearings. Yes, it’s good news that another seat has been filled, but a quick look at the vote tallies tells the story which would be sending up massive red flags for the minority party if they had the sense that God gave a goat.
nearly all of Trump’s nominees are running into a brick wall with the party of the donkey.

And for what reason? Trump is not appointing a band of brigands with criminal records or friends and donors with no experience in their respective fields. … While there has been some sporadic resistance by Republicans to a few Democratic nominees in the past, we’ve never seen anything like this.

This might be a good time for Chuck Schumer and his buddies in the Senate to look to the future and remember that in American politics the shoe inevitably winds up on the other foot sooner or later. Except in this case, the results could be far more toxic for them the next time a Democrat holds the White House.
Just something to think about for the future. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander and the goose is beginning to get considerably ticked off.

Futility breeds irrationality in problem solving and that is quite visible right now in the politcal arena.

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2/14/2017: The Political Axe

Joel B. Pollak describes how the Flynn Resignation Raises Tough Questions for FBI, Intel Services – “The fact that the contents of Flynn’s phone conversation — highly sensitive intelligence — were leaked to the media suggests that someone with access to that information also has a political axe to grind.” Four possible explanations are provided and political shenanigans with security play a prominent role. The Democrats pushing this for all it’s worth is telling (Team Clinton taunts Michael Flynn and his son after resignation).

Thomas Lifson: CIA broke the law to take out its critic General Flynn – “Make no mistake: we have just witnessed an operation by members of the CIA to take out a high official of our own government. “

Senator Chuck Schumer, of all people, laid out on January 2 what was going to happen to the Trump administration if it dared take on the deep state – the permanent bureaucracy that has contempt for the will of the voters and feels entitled to run the government for its own benefit
Or, as the old rueful saying has it, “you’ve got to go along to get along.” This means that we the people had better acknowledge that the bureaucrats have turned into our masters, and the old expression “public servant” is as ironic as anything Orwell came up with. Schumer knows this and likes it, because the deep state wants a bigger, more powerful government, just as he does.

Monica Showalter: In Russia, hunkering down over Flynn affair – “ it signals that Russia being held hostage by the establishment, and it knows it, and it’s all because the Beltway can’t quite get control of Trump.”

Kicking Flynn out as a security risk – complete with unsubstantiated claims of his supposed vulnerability to Russian blackmail – seems to be a calculated move to trash President Trump’s effort to improve relations with Russia to fight terrorists. It has a look of the Cold War status quo reasserting itself.”

IBT is wondering Is Jim Webb The Only Sane Democrat Left? – “A whimsical definition of a gaffe is “when a politician accidentally speaks the truth.” By that measure, former Virginia Senator Jim Webb committed a gaffe of huge proportions over the weekend.”

On “Meet the Press”, Webb admitted that the Democratic Party has no ideas to offer, that it’s determined to destroy the Trump administration and — here’s the gaffe — that “the Democratic Party over the past five or six years has moved very far to the left.”
In case you are wondering, Webb is hardly some sort of right-wing Democrat. The American Conservative Union says he voted with conservatives less than 17% of the time while in the Senate, the Americans for Democratic Action says he voted liberal 85-90% of the time. But he at least has enough perspective to see what’s happening to his party. As Webb said, the party has “lost the key part of their base.”

Rather than reflect on why they’ve so badly lost touch with working class Americans and how to regain it, the Democratic leadership decided to have a national temper tantrum. How many jobs will their “resist” campaign create?

It’s unfortunate that there are so few mature, common-sense Democrats like Jim Webb left in the Democratic Party, and so many fire-breathing extremists like Elizabeth Warren.

Others pick up on this meme as, on the one hand, Wesley Pruden explains How Trump’s ‘disarray’ may be merely strategy – “If he’s crazy, as some Democrats insist, it might be the craziness of a fox.” On the other, Kelly Riddell says It’s the Democrats, not President Trump, who are insane – “Democrats are at it again, desperately trying to convince the people who elected Mr. Trump that they were wrong, that he really, truly is unfit for office. They’re doubling down on their crazy, determined to set us deplorables straight.”

Pruden seems to lean a bit towards wishful thinking but what he describes is standard big business management that is often lacking in politics and academia where the competition can neglected. Hence it’s appearance in a political position creates dissonance.

Riddell gets into an expression of that dissonance.

therapist Sherry Amatenstein, … called Mr. Trump’s supposed disorder “Malignant Narcissism,” which has “four toxic components: narcissism, paranoia, anti-social personality disorder, and sadism.”

That’s quite a list of behaviors! The real question is how she tries to support her thesis that these behaviors actually exist. As Riddell says “My question to the left is: Where do we go from here?”

The mentally ill claims about Mr. Trump are so outrageous and so partisan that they went ignored before the election, and they will go ignored again.
None of Mr. Trump’s actions in his first three weeks should come as alarming. They’re exactly what Mr. Trump promised he’d do on the campaign trail: build a wall, thoroughly vet refugees from terror prone nations, shut down sanctuary cities and enforce national immigration laws. If the media was listening, they’d understand this.
So instead of going to battle on ideological issues, they’ve resorted to calling him names. To challenging his mental health. To attempting to convince the American public they made a mistake.

They’ve done it before and it failed. Yet they’re doing it again.

Isn’t that the very definition of insanity?

Jennifer Harper: The numbers are in: Republicans are ‘very happy’ with Trump – “Republicans are very happy about the first few weeks with a GOP president. Their mood has changed for the better. Just a year ago, 86 percent of Republicans thought the country was off on the wrong track; now, 61 percent say it’s heading in the right direction,”

Typical news coverage does not reflect this sentiment. There has been no honeymoon period between press and president, or even a few moments of civility. Unfriendly news organizations follow typical patterns: They nitpick the White House, suggest there’s infighting and confusion behind the scenes or claim that worried Trump voters now have buyer’s remorse and wish they’d voted for Hillary Clinton.

Dissonance between the voters and the Left. Whodda’ thunk it?

Judson Phillips wonders Will conservatives ever get in the fight? – “It is time the corporate left be given a taste of its own medicine.”

When President Trump won the election, the left went nuts.

It wasn’t just the crazy far left wing activists who lost their minds. It was liberals all across the nation.
The Republicans were, as Decius put it in the “Flight 93 election” essay, the designated losers.
But Donald Trump won, and the left went into full sedition mode.
A couple of states with far-left wing governors filed suit, supported by a host of corporations with left-wing executives.

Stopping terrorism seems like it would be not only a sane idea, but a bipartisan idea. But instead, these companies decided they wanted to support the terrorists over America.

These companies and their left-wing executives did so, not fearing any backlash from real Americans.

Why should they?

Conservatives have a history of not getting involved in fighting big business over its left-wing activism.
The left politicizes almost everything and uses American corporations to help fund their agenda. When will conservatives stand up? When will conservatives start boycotting these corporations?
Too often, conservatives simply want to go home and live their lives. As the left tries to politicize everything, including America’s breakfast cereals, Americans no longer have a choice.

It is time the corporate left be given a taste of its own medicine.

Scott Wong says the Right set to fight back on town hall protests – “In the coming weeks, grassroots conservatives will be fighting back.”

“There will be more grassroots hand-to-hand combat than we’ve seen in Washington for a long time,” FreedomWorks President and CEO Adam Brandon said Monday during an interview in his office near the Capitol.

“The conservative [lawmakers], they need to see us out there pushing. And if they see that, they’ll be bold,” he continued. “If they don’t see grassroots there on the ground, they’ll start slipping.”

Valerie Richardson: California spent on high-speed rail and illegal immigrants, but ignored Oroville Dam – “California was hit by a wave of criticism for failing to heed warnings about risks to the spillway at a time when the state spent generously on illegal immigrants and high-speed rail.” The environmentalists have been after this dam for years as it has saved many lives due to flood control since 1964 and has been a linchpin in getting water to Southern California.

Reinforcing the Oroville Dam was not included on Mr. Brown’s $100 billion wish list of projects prepared last month at the request of the National Governors Association in response to Mr. Trump’s call for $1 trillion in infrastructure improvements, CNBC reported.

One project that did make the list: California high-speed rail, a pet project of Mr. Brown’s with an estimated price tag of $100 billion that has become for state Republicans a symbol of out-of-control government spending.
others turned the crisis into an opportunity to blast Mr. Trump, saying he should repair the Oroville Dam instead of building a wall on the southern border.

It doesn’t appear that the dam is much of a concern to many on the Left as its value is mostly just political opportunism.


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2/13/2017: Oozing hatred: The dangerous part isn’t the deranged part.

It’s all over the news this morning. From the ACLU’s plans to litigate the government to a standstill no matter the cause or reason to the efforts to find something to ‘impeach Trump’ no matter how deep a hole needs to be dug, to the assertions about mental illness, to the community organizing to disrupt citizen meetings, and on and on. A new study has brought up the Voter Fraud issue again. It questions those who impugn and denigrate Trumps comments on the topic. Another example is illustrated in answering the question Why Was Betsy DeVos At Jefferson Middle School? [twitter source] Two pictures: one of the rioters in front of the school and another of the school noting its annual failed grade.

This is the kind of civil behavior that kills people and breaks societies. One only has to look at history over the last century or so to see where that leads.

David Prentice: The Handmaidens of Hatred – “It’s unfortunate that this has to be a discussion about hate – unfortunate because hatred is divisive, destructive, and at the very least unpleasant.”

It has never been totally gone from us, and now it is in the process of overwhelming an entire side in our political debate.
What is surprising has been the hatred, and the degree of it, from the left-leaning leaders and citizenry of our own country toward their own domestic political and social opponents. That’s we. What is hated is quite countable: Christianity. Class, wealth, and accomplishment. Conservatives. The GOP. America as founded. These all have been targets of left-wing hate. But now it’s also the average U.S. citizen who does not walk in lockstep with the left – and finally, any person, even those who lean left, who does not 100% agree with the new Inquisition.
But there is darkness hiding in the shadows for us, seen daily – darkness that should upset us all. Approximately 35% of our population have become unhinged maniacs. That’s a huge amount of our population that has accepted hatred of its fellow citizens as okay. That’s a monster waiting to rear its ugly head, a Godzilla that will destroy everything in its wake just to survive.
This is a national disaster in the making. No adult on the left will stand up and say what needs to be said.
We cannot survive with this many people on the edge of sanity. This is an ugly, and unsustainable state of affairs, one that cannot remain without grave consequence for us and our nation.
Democrats, this is your problem. Let’s see you come to the aid of your party.

Karin McQuillan says the Dems Made Their Bed with Leftists, Now They Must Lie in It – “After 8 years of exploiting and enflaming the grievances of identity politics, the Democratic Party is being eaten by the monster they rode to power.”

Something new is happening before our eyes. Radicals are completing a takeover of the Democratic Party. Sure, there’s been a lot of mockery among conservatives about hyperventilating Democrats. Pundits point out the obvious: that Democrats screaming that Trump is illegitimate deliver no positive message for working class voters who want jobs and that mobs in black masks are not appealing. Such analyses fall short.
Radicals don’t need to be a majority – they never are. They dominate through mob violence, media manipulation and threats. They are now dominating Democrat politicians, not allowing them to “normalize.”
Hinderaker may be mystified by what he persists in calling liberal behavior because he mislabels it. These Democrats are not liberal. They are radical. These people are not just stamping their feet, they are knocking Trump supporters unconscious and beating them with clubs. They are trained, organized and well financed political agitators.
The radicals are professional bullies. They believe in what they call “direct action,” that is, coercive violence. They demand no compromise. They are awash with money. They are professionally trained, ten thousand alone by Obama’s Organizing for America foundation. The radical agenda, now the Democratic Party’s agenda, is ideologically driven to destroy all normalcy in our government.
So far as I have seen, not one single Democrat has condemned the bloody attacks on Republicans.

Lloyd Marcus thinks The Left’s Campaign to ‘Bush’ Trump Will Fail – we can hope.

Even before Trump took his oath of office, the left launched their immoral, unethical, and lawless 1,460-day (four-year) plan to destroy Trump. The left intends to block Trump from implementing everything we elected him to do.

Despite leftists cautioning their side to tone down their over-the-top hysteria, the left’s rabid opposition to Trump continues to escalate to absurd levels. It’s a bright, sunny day. If Trump comments about it, the left will try to convince the public that it is raining, and Trump lied about the sun.

I submit that the Left cannot tone down their brain-dead, emotion-driven, foot-stomping temper tantrums because it is who they are. It is like the old joke: “I helped you because you promised not to bite me. Why did you bite me?” The snake replied, “I’m a snake. It’s what I do.”
Folks, the left is going to pull this crap every day for the next four years. When leftists push free speech to breaking the law and destroying public and private property,
Oh, one last point. I’ve heard concerns that the left will react violently if we resume Trump rallies. Well, I am sorry, folks, but freedom ain’t free. As a matter of fact, God has designed life in such a way that anything worth having requires backbone and risks.

Are you guys ready? Great! Let’s roll!

One story looked at a SCOTUS case on consumer fraud and conflated alternative facts with fake facts. That disqualified the story as the differences between these concepts – alternative and fake – is important. That sort of intellectual laziness and nonsense is called out by Andrew Klavan asserting that Yes, CNN IS Fake News – “This week’s World’s Smallest Violin Award goes to Fake News Network CNN — specifically to be shared between Fake Newsman Jake Tapper and Fake Newsman Chris Cuomo, both of whom took whiny umbrage at being called Fake News while purveying Fake News.”

The problem is this: CNN — like the New York Times, like the network news departments at NBC and ABC and CBS — is virtually the definition of Fake News, a phrase made up by the left to attack Trump but which blew up in their faces like a trick cigar when it turned out everyone knows what liars they’ve been for the past sixteen years at least.

This is not even a question of the almost ceaseless series of mistakes, distortions and obfuscations that our leftist news media, in their hysterical rage against political reality, have committed since the election of Donald Trump to the presidency. These errors and lies — which include cover-ups of Islamic extremism, lies about right-wing websites, and suspiciously incendiary “mistakes” about the White House — are being ably catalogued by the mighty and terrible John Nolte over at the Daily Wire.

That list at the Daily Wire is up to 76 documented episodes and counting.

For an example, consider this CNN Headline: Four Republican gripes about Obamacare analyzed listed under “Trumponomics.” Partisan complaints is the head, not the real issues involved. Those issues are a part of the article, though, and they have nothing to do with politics. Market collapse, excessive costs, care for the poor, and employment are observable problems that need bi-partisan solutions. They don’t need Fake News headlines and irrational defenses of a failed program put in place with an in-your-face partisan effort.

Bilious Maximus, M.D. has an idea for Cutting the health insurance Gordian Knot – “Most medical businesses show no mercy to the poor.” That starts the problem as the law requires service to the poor in this business yet the business has to make sufficient money to be able to stay in business. Having the government determine the price as well as requiring service levels is a recipe for disaster, a disaster that can be observed in most countries with socialized medicine. Maximus does have a strong point about inequalities (to use the current PC term) in medical service pricing but he does not address the reason for them.

This long-ingrained habit of billing exorbitant and unpublished fees is of no consequence to insured patients, or those with Medicare or Medicaid. They or their insurers all have contracts to pay only their contracted fees, which are invariably far less that what is billed.

But pity the poor uninsured patient. He or she has no contract with the provider to pay reasonable fees, but is required to sign an agreement to pay what is charged in order to obtain services.

For example, there are health fairs sponsored by local hospitals that provide a blood panel screening for about $100. The same medical business cites the price for that test as $800 on MediCare statements so the patient can understand just how great his insurance is because he didn’t pay anything. Why does this happen? A government edict isn’t going to make anything better as this situation is just one effort to find a solution to what the government has already done.

Jazz Shaw gets a two-fer: Green card holder sentenced for imaginary voter fraud in Texas – “That imaginary voter fraud problem we are consistently assured we don’t have appears to be about as persistent as a late case stage of herpes.”

In the Lone Star State authorities have uncovered that rarest of beasts, an actual conviction and sentencing of an immigrant for the crime of voting while not being a citizen. A 37-year-old green card holder has been sentenced to nearly a decade in prison for voting in the 2012 and 2014 elections. (Washington Post)
As with virtually all of these cases, reporters and their liberal supporters are quick to invoke the, “yeah, but…” defense.

Another two-fer as Colin Lahiff hits both the Flynn persecution and the intelligence agencies war on their boss as Mike Flynn, Russia, deportations and real fake news – maybe make that a three-fer with the Fake News.

Yes, you’ve got that right. Flynn spoke with the Russian ambassador, which is, and I underscore this (and CAPS for extra emphasis) PAR FOR THE COURSE. Campaigns and newly elected officials and their reps meet with foreign ambassadors often. Obama’s people did, and did so with the intent of undermining the outgoing Bush administration. Bush’s people did it when Clinton was leaving. McCain’s team did and they weren’t elected. There’s nothing that stops people from meeting with curious foreigners, and there’s no law that forbids any American from talking to those foreigners. If that American was negotiating on behalf of the United States, maybe, just very very maybe, they’re in violation of US law, but probably not, as again, talking with foreigners is not illegal. (The Logan Act suggests it is illegal to work with a foreign government to resolve their dispute with your own. However, the notion that this would survive a constitutional test, or that Flynn was collaborating against his own government, is far from proved, or even credible.)
What is illegal is leaking highly sensitive classified information about signals intelligence from spying on the Russian ambassador. And what is also illegal is for the CIA to spy on Americans. This is not a maybe, or an if, or a sorta. It is ILLEGAL.

Scott Adams explains it as Good Example of Our Two-Movie Reality – “I have been saying since Trump’s election that the world has split into two realities – or as I prefer to say, two movies on one screen – and most of us don’t realize it.”

We’re all looking at the same events and interpreting them wildly differently. That’s how cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias work. They work together to create a spontaneous hallucination that gets reinforced over time. That hallucination becomes your reality until something changes.

This phenomenon has nothing to do with natural intelligence. We like to think that the people on the other side of the political debate are dumb, under-informed, or just plain evil. That’s not the case. We’re actually experiencing different realities. I mean that literally.

Ed Morrissey pulls up a pertinent Sunday reflection: Matthew 5:17–37 – “whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

“whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.”
People complain about rules and balk at the boundaries, but they like rules a lot more than they’ll usually admit. From the time we are old enough to realize that we can transgress, we want to know where the lines are. Sometimes that’s because we want to be good and not accidentally do wrong, and at other times it’s because we want to know just how bad we can be without getting into trouble. The brighter those lines get, the more secure we feel in our own actions, and our judgment of the actions of others, but also the bolder we get in actions that fall just short of the lines.

What we miss in this reaction are the reasons for the laws, and their purpose. In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus explains to His disciples that they are missing the forest for the trees when it comes to God’s laws, which the Israelites have come to see as an end unto themselves.
Thus, Jesus warns, when we set our hearts on division and hatred, we have already rejected the law. It is not enough merely to follow the law by our actions; we need to let the Lord write them on our hearts, that spiritual core where our intellect and will combine. When we do, we enter into solidarity with one another and harmony with God, who loves us and provides the law for that purpose.

In other words, we have to act beyond our own native impulses and think of others as well as ourselves.

This is the problem of our times and Christ tells us what to do. It is how we can see the two movies on one screen and know which one is guiding us and which one should guide us.

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2/12/2017: Justice and Prayer

It is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. 

Law Professor Glen Reynolds cites a comment on Althouse:

“As seriously botched as this Ninth Circuit opinion is, all sides assume that all 4 Democrat-appointed Justices on the SCOTUS would vote to uphold it if it were appealed to an 8 Justice Court. That perception, more than any disparaging words of Donald Trump, should dishearten any lawyer or judge in the USA.”

Mark Andrew Dwyer: On Trump’s Immigration Executive Order, Wrong Question –

The right question that should have been asked was whether Judge Robart had the authority to issue the TRO and whether the said TRO was legally binding to the President. Neither answer is clear nor are they settled by a sound basis or valid legal reasoning (as opposed to, say, legalistic sophistry, court-approved or not).

Josh Blackman: The Failure of the 9th Circuit to Discuss 8 U.S.C. 1182(f) Allowed It To Ignore Justice Jackson’s Youngstown Framework –

Once again, Trump has stumbled into an important jurisprudential point. The fact that the President is exercising powers given to him from Congress, augmented by his own inherent authorities, indicates we are in Justice Jackson’s first tier from Youngstown, where judicial scrutiny is at its minimum.

Ed Morrissey: WaPo columnist asks: Should the faithful pray for Trump? – “How are the faithful called to handle prayer life in a time when political leadership who oppose our own preferred agendas?”

King’s argument seems based on the assumption that praying for Trump is an endorsement of whatever Trump does, and whatever he and his advisers do — even if one agrees with King’s (rather uncharitable) judgment of them. However, we know from the Gospels that this is not how Jesus saw prayer at all. In Matthew 5:43-48, Jesus gave one of the most difficult of all instructions on prayer and love
Clearly, Jesus did not mean for His disciples to love what their enemies did, or pray that their persecutors succeeded in their actions. Loving one’s enemies does not mean endorsing their intentions. Love in this case is caritas, the self-giving love that wills the best for others over our own desires. Jesus called us to love our enemies and persecutors, but not for any evil which they commit. Indeed, praying for them in love is to ask the Lord to save them from their evil, so that they may return to the Lord as well. This part of the Sermon on the Mount is meant to stress that all people are children of God and have the potential for redemption if they choose it. Jesus then exemplified this when he prayed for His tormentors as they crucified Him (Luke 23:34): “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.”

This teaching applies even more when we put this in the context of political opposition. We are not enemies but political opponents, a distinction that gets lost in today’s hyperbolic and polarized political environment. We are called to pray for each other as brethren, and especially for our nation’s leaders so that they may find wisdom.
To act in love is also to testify to the truth. Offering prayers on behalf of our leadership does not negate our standing to criticize it and demand accountability for transgressions … Hopefully that criticism stays focused on actions rather than attempts to judge what’s in the hearts of others, and prayer reminds us of the obligation to keep that perspective.

We start with ourselves.

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2/11/2017: Who has a focus?

Kelly Riddell: Courts are politicized and rule based on prejudice – “Activist judges must be called out for biased immigration rulings.” It’s not only the current EO and there’s a very troubling pattern that says the law doesn’t matter to the courts.

Annalee Newitz: Handful of “highly toxic” Wikipedia editors cause 9% of abuse on the site – “New study of Wikipedia comments reveals most attackers aren’t anonymous.” The research being described is a bit more rigorous that most. They picked the ad hominem as being “relatively easy to identify” for statistical analysis. From that, they could also identify ‘piling on.’ The study also found that less than a fifth of personal attacks were moderated. These findings should be no surprise to astute observers of social behavior whether in the classroom or the political gathering.

Cal Thomas: Major media remain in denial – “Without journalism’s resolve to battle bias, public trust will continue to decline.” These ‘highly toxic editors’ have not been moderated up to now and are having a problem with being called out for their behavior all of a sudden. There’s not only denial, there is also projection.

The defines it: “Denial is a defense mechanism postulated by Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence.”

While the major media seek to apply that definition to President Trump — Scott Pelley opened a recent broadcast of the “CBS Evening News” claiming that the president’s statement Monday about unreported terrorist attacks were part of a growing list of comments that prove he is “divorced from reality” — they ought to spend some time looking in the mirror.

Overnight, it seems, major media have become interested in facts following eight years of ignoring lies and dissembling by Democrats and members of the Obama administration, including the president. The list is long …
The public’s trust in major media continues to decline. Their denial ensures that decline will continue. If it is a threat to democracy, as Mr. Koppel claims, it is a threat of the media’s own making.

Mercedes Schlapp: Democrats have a focus and a strategy, but do Republicans? – It is hard to see any focus when the effort is described as “The [Democratic]Congressional leadership has criticized every single effort or action taken by the president, including his executive orders and Cabinet nominees, and they are not looking to back down any time soon.” Focus means you pick targets for a specific purpose and that is not what the Democrats are doing. They are not opposing, they are protesting and they are even protesting their own causes.

The mainstream media is comparing the Democrats opposition of efforts to the Tea Party. Some GOP congressman recently have faced protestors on the issue of dismantling Obamacare during their town-hall meetings, ironically reversing the issue that put them in power in the Tea Party era.

This dramatic and rebellious behavior by the Democrats is quite the opposite of the GOP when it lost in 2012. Then, the Republican National Committee produced an autopsy that concluded they needed to be more inclusive and reach out to more minorities and women. They blamed themselves for not connecting to the American people.

i.e. more Fake News from the major media.

The days of camaraderie, unity, and civility in Congress are over. The damage will be lasting if members can’t get along and find common ground, and the liberal Democrats refuse to even listen to the other side. The only saving grace will be moderate Democrats, such as Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who have been willing to sit down with President Trump.

The stakes are high for Republicans, while the Democrats have nothing to lose. The liberal Democrats’ anger is visible and their determination to place party over country is evident. The Republicans face their own challenges of supporting a president who is unconventional and at times politically unfriendly.

But asserting that the President is not focused when he is checking off his campaign promise list item by item? Schlapp seems to be missing something here. Words like focus seem to be taking on a meaning at polar opposite of traditional meaning. The Democrats do have a lot to lose as well: their ability to play any role in government.

Pete Vanderzwet: Study: Liberal-to-conservative faculty ratio in academia will blow your mind – “As the largely conservative “Greatest Generation” faded into retirement in the 1990s, “Baby Boomers” holding increasingly liberal worldviews came to dominate university faculty … So dominant is leftist ideology that across university departments in nearly all states, an average ratio of 10:1 exists among faculty who identify as liberal versus conservative.”

In any rational quest for diversity, such numbers would not be acceptable. The problem, however, isn’t only the lack of diversity when it comes to ideologies fueling the minds of those teaching our children, but the outright hostility presented to their conservative peers and the environment on campus to which conservative students are exposed.
One would expect critical thinking, true objectivity, balanced reason, and clarity of expression free from groupthink and dogma to be found in the storied halls of our great institutions of learning. While this may once have been true, this growing collection of studies demonstrate that not only are universities becoming more dominated by the ideology of the left, but that openly displaying any sort of conservative leaning is often met with outright hostility and the potential stunting of your academic career.

This climate of hostility is not limited to academic professors; it’s now a near unanimous experience of conservative students on campus, and, as the below video shows, conservative youths residing in typically liberal neighborhoods now fear to publically expose their identities.

In the political arena, the numbers are more balanced but the behavior still reflects what is seen on campus. It is the Left throwing a tantrum. David Solway describes it in his essay about A Strategy for Trump’s Political Success – he must keep his promises because

Donald Trump is regularly denounced as an electoral interloper, someone ignorant of the rules of the political game and who possesses a brash and mercurial temperament unsuited to the demands of presidential office. The litany of complaints and condemnations shows no sign of abating and is indeed picking up momentum with every passing day: he is a dictator in the making, a Putin in American clothing, a man with an itchy nuclear finger, and a potential killer of journalists and political opponents. Calls have been heard for impeachment and assassination. The attack on a lawfully elected president is not only visceral and remorseless but arguably bordering on treasonous.
It should be clear by this time that the U.S. is no longer on the brink but in the very midst of an undeclared civil war.

As for the Left’s agenda. John Sexton has this bit of horrifying news: Venezuelans eating cats, dogs, donkeys, horses and even pink flamingos to survive – The pink flamingo is the grand totum of the classic Airstream RV crowd. Oh, my!

It looks like a judge on the 9th circuit wasn’t that happy about its immigration TRO support. He made a sua sponte request for reconsideration en banc (PDF Filed). This is highly unusual as it is normally the losing party that wants more judges to weigh in on the decision. It may be that some adults in the room are considering the implications of what has been done?

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2/10/2017: “What we have here is a creeping constitutional coup.”

Here’s a few from Breitbart on the 9th Circuit ‘decision’ and what it means. The Governor of Washington is quite pleased but he and others of the Left may not fully comprehend the implications of trying to stick it to the President.

Ken Klukowski: Ninth Circuit Claims Unprecedented Power, Affirms Ban on Immigration EO – “San Francisco’s federal appeals court asserted a novel theory on Thursday to claim jurisdiction over the legal challenge to Executive Order 13769.”

a three-judge panel of the court adopted one of the novel theories asserted by the state, holding that, “as the operators of state universities, the States may assert not only their own rights to the extent affected by the Executive Order but may also assert the rights of their students and faculty members.”
The court held that the executive order likely violated the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment, holding that the “Government has not shown that the Executive Order provides what due process requires, such as notice and a hearing prior to restricting an individual’s ability to travel.”
The court also gave at least some credence to what many considered one of the most tenuous claims in the lawsuit, the one asserting that appearing to prefer Christianity over Islam for immigrants violates the Constitution’s Establishment Clause.

Neil Munro: Judges Declare Judges Can Grant Immigration Visas, Even When Elected President Disagrees – “Judges in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California are opening a new immigration route for foreigners, which would bypass the federal agencies’ sole authority to approve or decline foreigners’ immigration or entry into the U.S.”

If upheld by the Supreme Court later this year, the new declaration would allow overseas foreigners — including those hostile to the United States — to hire lawyers to persuade judges to grant them visas, residency permits and eventually citizenship. That courtroom route would bypass denials or approvals from the elected President’s administration and its subordinate agencies, including the intelligence, law-enforcement and national security agencies.
The judges’ legal claim is also an 180-degree flip-flop from court decisions declared during President Barack Obama’s tenure, when the Supreme Court insisted that states do not have any significant immigration-related authority, not even a right to create and enforce laws that mimic unenforced federal immigration laws against illegal immigration.

Ian Hanchett: CNN’s Callan: 9th Circuit ‘Overreached’ and Applied Constitutional Rights ‘To the World’ – “Paul Callan argued that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling against President Trump’s immigration order said the state of Washington “is the representative of virtually anybody across the world who’s not an American citizen.”

The Washington Times weighs in. First up is the smear campaigns of the Left By Wesley Pruden: The painful education of Neil Gorsuch – “Neil Gorsuch doesn’t know much about politics and how the political class in Washington works, and that’s a good thing. Politics and the law make unnatural bedfellows, and the progeny of such beds is often unnatural.”

Vince Foster, the deputy White House counsel in the Clinton administration who died a suicide in dark and mysterious circumstances two decades ago, had been in Washington only six weeks when he took his life. “I was not meant for the job or the spotlight of public life in Washington,” he wrote in an anguished valedictory just before he died. “Here ruining people is considered sport.”

Clarence Thomas, whom the reputation destroyers worked over without mercy during the hearings on his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, would understand Vince Foster’s despair. So would Robert Bork, whose similar vetting by an earlier generation of Democratic buzzards turned his name into a small-v verb to describe how to ruin an innocent by depriving him of his good name. So can Betsy DeVos, the new secretary of Education, and Jeff Sessions, the new U.S. attorney general, who were treated to ordeal by defamation.

Now it’s the turn of Neil Gorsuch, a nominee for the High Court that nearly everyone, liberal and conservative, Republican and Democrat, agrees is an unusually qualified lawyer and jurist, a man of impeccable personal character and integrity. Nevertheless, Mr. Gorsuch should enjoy his good reputation while he still has one. “Here ruining people is considered sport.” Buzzards can’t wait.

Kelly Riddell: Courts are politicized and rule based on prejudice – “Activist judges must be called out for biased immigration rulings.”

President Donald Trump is right — our court system has become politicized. The Obama administration flooded it with activist judges that ruled in favor of advancing liberalism, to the detriment of our national sovereignty. So it’s no surprise the courts would work to stop Mr. Trump’s agenda.
But, as we’re finding out, what applied to the Obama administration, isn’t so with the Trump administration.
The courts called Mississippi’s grievances against President Obama’s illegal DACA amnesty ‘speculative,’ but have readily welcomed Washington State’s illegitimate grievances demanding more immigrants,” he penned.

These rulings are troubling.

The executive branch has the Constitutional right to protect its citizens’ national sovereignty and security when it comes to immigration orders, and yet the courts seem to want to strip this right away from the Trump administration.

Activist judges, indeed.

They deserve to be called out on their inconsistent and hypocritical rulings.

Bradford Richardson: Reaction to Trump preferred refugee status reveals ‘blind spot’ to Christian persecution – “Advocates who work to protect persecuted groups say there is a “blind spot” in the West concerning the plight faced by Christians around the world — a shortsightedness evident in the overwhelmingly negative reaction to President Trump’s executive order granting preferred refugee status to persecuted religious minorities.”

Brian Witte: Republicans walk out of Maryland Senate during debate – “Protested resolution to allow attorney general to sue President Trump without governor’s permission.” The spite is remarkable. California is paying huge sums to the former U.S. AG to manufacture lawsuits against the current administration. Now, Maryland wants to join in. They are spending funds without considering the implications of what they are trying to do.

Commentary elsewhere on the newfound powers of the Judiciary as supreme uber alles. Eugene Kontorovich: The 9th Circuit’s dangerous and unprecedented use of campaign statements to block presidential policy – “I will address one of the most interesting and potentially far-reaching aspects.”

There is absolutely no precedent for courts looking to a politician’s statements from before he or she took office, let alone campaign promises, to establish any kind of impermissible motive. The 9th Circuit fairly disingenuously cites several Supreme Court cases that show “that evidence of purpose beyond the face of the challenged law may be considered in evaluating Establishment and Equal Protection Clause claims.” But the cases it mentions do nothing more than look at legislative history — the formal process of adopting the relevant measure. That itself goes too far for textualists, but it provides absolutely no support for looking before the start of the formal deliberations on the measure to the political process of electing its proponents.

Indeed, a brief examination of cases suggests the idea has been too wild to suggest.
The 9th Circuit’s ruling Thursday throws open a huge door to examinations of the entire lives of political officials whose motives may be relevant to legal questions. This introduces more uncertainty and judicial power into legal interpretation than even the most robust use of legislative/administrative history. Without a clear cutoff at assumption of office, attacks on statutes will become deep dives into politicians’ histories.
By accepting the use of preelection statements to impeach and limit executive policy, the 9th Circuit is taking a dangerous step.

Don Surber: Court ends constitutional government by blocking Trump – “So much for the idea that elections have consequences.”

Ed Straker: A legal analysis of the Ninth Circuit’s dangerous usurpation of presidential power – “What we have here is a creeping constitutional coup.”

As long as President Obama was in charge and had a massive open door policy at our borders and at our airports, in violation of statutory law, the judiciary was content to be silent. But when Donald Trump became president and tried to use the powers of the Presidency to put some national security safeguards into place, the judiciary sprung into action.
1) The legal concept of standing has been totally eviscerated.
2) “Irreparable harm” has been turned upside down.
3) National security policy has been wrested from the presidency and placed in the hands of the judiciary.
4) The Due Process clause has been expanded to add seven billion people.
5) The Court maliciously avoided a narrowly tailored legal remedy.
6) The Court disingenuously employed false religious protection claims
7) False consideration of “public interest.”

Matthew Vadum: The Ninth Circuit: dangerously out of order – “Probably the two most insane legal principles invented in the decision are (1) that everyone, everywhere on the planet enjoys due process rights under the U.S. Constitution, and 2) that courts can second-guess a national security-related executive order based on something other than the actual words in the order.”

Monty L. Donohew: The Real Significance of the Temporary Immigration Ban? – “There is little question the court’s injunction faces some important legal issues,”

Most people forget that the USDC system is NOT a constitutional court system. It is a statutory system. Congress established the system, and grants to the courts subject matter jurisdiction, which Congress can remove. Are the people in the Trump administration prescient enough to invite a crisis in order to justify weakening a court system that it finds “obstructive” on several fronts? My article, “The real significance of the ‘Executive Order on Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States’ suggested that a prior Trump administration order on immigration “represents governance at a very high level, a level many thought Trump incapable of reaching.” Outlining the sophistication of the order, and its objective to create a narrative, I concluded that the order “establishes the Trump administration as self-aware, proactive, and formidable.”

The IBD says Democrats Are Losing Their War With Trump – “Leaders in the Democratic Party probably should have thought twice before deciding to mount a scorched-earth campaign against President Trump.” As noted, there are many examples where the Left has not fully considered the implications of their actions. The Immigration EO response provides the current case study but the riots, legislative obstruction tactics, smear campaigns, and state investment in legal harassment all provide additional case studies.

As we write this, not a single Trump Cabinet pick has withdrawn or failed to secure confirmation, which puts him well ahead of President Obama, who was forced to withdraw several of his initial appointments due to scandals.
They’ve also failed to convince a majority — or even a plurality — of the public to oppose any of Trump’s executive orders, according to a Morning Consult/Politico poll, which asked about 11 of his most controversial ones.

In fact, the orders Democrats invested the most time and energy in attacking get the strongest public support.
This is a stunning failure on the part of Democrats to sway public opinion, despite having the full support of sign-wielding activists, several corporate executives, most celebrities and the entire mainstream press.

As for the press, their unrelenting campaign against Trump — and their determination to label just about everything he says as a lie — has backfired as well.
These polls show something else that should worry Democrats: Their antics are appealing only to their hard-core base, but are turning off political independents.

Jazz Shaw picks up on another case of the Left meeting reality: Fossil fuel divestment crashes and burns in Vermont – “Most recently we saw this at the University of Denver where the administration determined that the future health of their endowment was worth far more than any political points scored through satisfying the demands of some environmentalist students.”

A new report conducted by an independent consulting firm for the state of Vermont confirms what economists, pension fund managers and academics have long said about fossil fuel divestment: it’s costly, hurts pension fund returns, and has no tangible impact on climate change.
The bottom line for the state pension fund was indeed the bottom line in a very literal sense. They need to operate in a profitable fashion and cutting their own throats for the sake of pleasing a small but vocal minority of green warriors was simply not feasible in the long run.

Allahpundit picks up on Chris Cuomo: The term “fake news” is like the “N-word” for journalists – “In an age of identity politics and overweening media sanctimony about their own importance …”

You would think that people who work in communications professionally and who surely understand just how unpopular and untrusted they are, even vis-a-vis the Trump administration, would be careful about grandiose self-pity, but I think we’re apt to see more of this rather than less. The press has convinced itself to some extent that it’s the last obstacle between Trump and outright tyranny, and when you’re in a war like that, you’re destined to fight with any weapon to hand. Cuomo’s just picking up the nearest rock here. And, inadvertently, hitting himself in the head with it.

Betsy Newmark Cruising the Web leads off on the Conway remark about the boycott of Ivanka’s product line.

I get it that Kellyanne Conway shouldn’t be using her position as a spokeswoman for the Trump administration standing on WHite House property cannot be pushing Ivanka’s business. This is the sort of thing that people always questioned about electing a businessman with his own businesses and now we have members of the administration pushing the President’s daughter’s business. I understand why that is a violation of ethics laws.

However, for all those people upset about Conway’s little plug, I didn’t see those same people criticizing Obama going around to all those green energy businesses and pushing them while funneling stimulus funds to those businesses. At least Conway wasn’t channeling taxpayer funds to selected businesses. I would prefer if presidents didn’t push private businesses and didn’t interfere in the marketplace. I didn’t like Trump making deals with Carrier, but he’s not the only president playing the crony capitalism card. As Ben Shapiro points out that Obama was also using the power of the presidency to brag about how his policies were creating jobs.

It’s a matter of hyperbolic outrage over an incidental comment of the sort that has been ignored in the past but now assumes impeachment level attention. The outrage, as an expression of hate, is what needs the attention.

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2/9/2017 : DDoS attack on government

VDH: California goes Confederate – “The Golden State is as out of step with the rest of the nation as the antebellum South.”

Nonetheless, what is driving California’s current efforts to nullify federal law and the state’s vows to secede from the United States are some deeper — and creepy — similarities to the arrogant and blinkered Old South.

California is likewise becoming a winner-take-all society. It hosts the largest numbers of impoverished and the greatest number of rich people of any state in the country. Eager for cheap service labor, California has welcomed in nearly a quarter of the nation’s undocumented immigrants. California has more residents living in poverty than any other state. It is home to one-third of all the nation’s welfare recipients.
California, for all its braggadocio, cannot not leave the U.S. or continue its states’-rights violations of federal law. It will eventually see that the new president is not its sickness, nor are secession and nullification its cures.

Instead, California is becoming a reactionary two-tier state of masters and serfs whose culture is as peculiar and out of step with the rest of the country as was the antebellum South’s. No wonder the state lashes out at the rest of the nation with threatened updated versions of the Old Confederacy’s secession and nullification.

But such reactionary Confederate obstructionism is still quite an irony given California’s self-righteous liberal preening.

Cal Thomas: Major media remain in denial – “Without journalism’s resolve to battle bias, public trust will continue to decline.”

Overnight, it seems, major media have become interested in facts following eight years of ignoring lies and dissembling by Democrats and members of the Obama administration, including the president. The list is long and includes former Sen. Harry Reid’s lies about Mitt Romney, who Mr. Reid falsely accused of not paying his taxes. When asked about it in an interview, Mr. Reid said, “I did what was necessary” to defeat Mr. Romney in the 2012 presidential race. Then there were the numerous lies about Obamacare, the glossing over of anti-Semitic statements by Mr. Obama’s pastor, Jeremiah Wright, and the influence of radical leftist thinker Saul Alinsky on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
Mr. Koppel, who was always fair and friendly to me when I appeared on his program, correctly states: “Democracy depends on facts.” The problem is that too many of us can’t agree on the facts because the standard by which truth was once measured has disappeared in our age of relativity. It is an Alice in Wonderland age in which Humpty Dumpty is the prophet: ” ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’ “

This is the media’s fault line. Mr. Koppel writes: “There may be some temporary political advantage to be gained by tearing down public confidence in critical, nonpartisan journalism, but it is only temporary. At some point or another, everyone needs professional finders of facts.”
The notion that the public needs “professional finders of facts” goes beyond bias to hubris. It pretends these “professionals” don’t have a point of view and that they are evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives. …

The public’s trust in major media continues to decline. Their denial ensures that decline will continue. If it is a threat to democracy, as Mr. Koppel claims, it is a threat of the media’s own making.

Keep in mind that facts and truth are two separate things. Facts are a subset of the truth which is why alternative facts represents a different view rather than a falsehood as the Left often tries to portray. This is why intellectual integrity is a more appropriate standard as it is about finding truth rather than selecting facts.

John Daniel Davidson: Stop Calling Donald Trump A Fascist, Because He’s Not One – “The Left’s favorite epithet for Donald Trump is ‘fascist.’ The problem is, the term simply doesn’t apply. They should stop using it.”

Progressives are no doubt thinking of Hitler and Mussolini, but in fact they’re using “fascist” in the way George Orwell described it in “The Politics of the English Language,” merely to signify “something not desirable.”

But fascism isn’t just an abstract word that can stand in for anything you dislike. The term has an infamous history that all Americans should know about, especially since so many of us are so fond of throwing the term around lately.
“We do not enter parliament to use parliamentary methods,” wrote Joseph Goebbels in a 1929 propaganda pamphlet. Indeed, after the Nazis gained 95 seats in the 1930 elections, they would routinely disrupt proceedings in the German Reichstag by shouting down speakers, throwing debris from balconies, and generally raising hell. They held only 107 of 577 seats, but they were determined to undermine democracy in Germany—and they did.
The corruption of “fascist” is but one example of the pernicious habit of sloppy thinking that’s plaguing our public life.
In the meantime, it should suffice to stop calling Trump a fascist and recognize, as Orwell did, “that the present political chaos is connected with the decay of language, and that one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end.”

Ace: The War on Free Speech: College Now Warning Students Not to Record Their Instructors During Their Embarrassing Political Tirades – “They want to indoctrinate in secret, and will actually punish you for exposing their ideas to sunlight.”

That’s not a sign of a legitimate “intellectual” or moral movement.

The signs ominously state: “Video and/or audio recording without instructor permission is prohibited.”

Meanwhile, college “bias response teams” have a strange tendency to only persecute conservative-tilting speech.

And yes, it’s time to start seriously debating defunding the colleges that won’t defend free speech.

The government should not be in the business of siphoning taxpayer money into political institutions. If these schools wish to act like private political clubs, that’s fine, but they can do so on their own dime.
I don’t want revolution, I don’t want “resistance,” I don’t want violence. I don’t want to make others live under my heel (despite the fact they dearly wish to make me live under theirs).

I just want Done. I want Gone. I want Goodbye.

Ed Morrissey: Poll: Majority of Democrat voters want obstructionism across the board – “If 56% of your friends told you to jump in front of a moving populist train, would you do it?”

So far the answer seems to be yes, and it might be because of the same feedback that Politico and Morning Consult found in their poll from last week. Democratic voters are in the mood for vengeance — but they’re alone in that regard
Sounds like a plan, eh? Yes … for further disconnection from the electorate. The overall rating on this question is 58/30 for cooperation
As I argue in my column today at The Week, the Democrats’ policy of obstructionism is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of why power shifted to the Republicans over the last eight years. Both parties share in that misunderstanding, but at the moment Democrats are at the highest risk of damaging themselves because of it

What it seems a lot of people are missing is the difference between opposition and obstruction. Compare and contrast the behavior of the parties. Republicans didn’t smear their colleagues, did not vote a solid block, advocated clear positions on specific issues, and didn’t participate in or promote uncivil behavior. Democrats are making such things daily behavior. Opposition tries to steer government while opposition tries to stop it. You can see this in Morrissey’s Santorum: Everyone should calm down about rebuke of Warren –

There was a distinction, however, [between Santorum and Warren] that Psaki elides a bit. When Warren was challenged on her use of the letter in regard to Rule XIX, she affirmed that she was embracing King’s personal attack on Sessions — which Santorum points out. “In the case of Elizabeth Warren,” he says, “she didn’t back off.”
as Duane noted earlier today, setting a precedent on enforcement of Rule XIX has some longer-term strategic and tactical implications for Democrats — which may also explain why they want to make this a bigger deal than it is.

At its core, this is all nonsense anyway. Democrats had already started dismantling the comity of the Senate as far back as the confirmation hearings of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas, and continued to do so through the 2005 blockade of judicial appointments all the way to Harry Reid’s 2013 nuclear-option move that has now blown up Democrats’ faces. Democratic obstruction might thrill Psaki, but it’s not going thrill the rest of the nation that considers the 2016 election settled.

Elide means omit – that is an indicator that intellectual integrity is missing and alternative facts are being created to deceive and distort rather than acknowledged as a limitation on finding truth.

It is a Distributed Denial of Service Attack.

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2/8/2017: Climate of violence and separated from reality

Virgil: The Left Whips Up a Climate of Violence — the Prime Target Is Donald Trump –

Is there a media-driven “climate of violence”? You bet there is, and it’s being whipped up by the left and the Main Stream Media, here and around the world. And it has a clear purpose: The ultimate goal is the destruction of the Trump presidency—and, for at least some, seemingly, the goal is the assassination of President Trump himself.
So let’s look more closely at this idea of a “climate of violence,” which is said to foster acts of actual violence. Sometimes this inflammatory “climate” is real, and sometimes it is not real. We’ve learned that while the political left usually says that it opposes this sort of violence-inducing “climatology,” in fact, quite often, it embraces it—even adores it.
Yes, that is correct: Cutting-edge Democrats have never condemned the violent hooligans doing their dirty work, for one simple reason—they’re proud of them.

John Stossel: The incredible smear machine aimed at Team Trump – “Nearly every day brings a new Times outrage.” Example after Example. “Please. Someone. Tell The New York Times that socialism was tried. It doesn’t work.”

Edmund DeMarche says Dems rally around Warren after senator silenced at Sessions nomination – this is about bringing up debunked smears from 1986. Warren dug deeply into the Bork well but forgot that Rule 19 in the Senate prohibits Senators smearing each other. The vote on enforcing this rule was strictly partisan which means the Democrats as a unified whole do not believe rules apply to them. See also Seth McLaughlin Big whiff: No wins for Democrats in showdowns with Trump – “Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, told reporters Tuesday that even in defeat, they have exposed Mr. Trump’s hypocrisy and his nominees’ incompetence.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said some Democrats “are kind of embarrassed by the whole show.”

“At some point here, you’ve got to wonder about dysfunction and fatigue beginning to set in. And I predict that will happen sometime in the near future and we’ll get back to a more normal kind of operating style,” he said.

For more on this dustup, see Paul Mirengoff – “To support this claim, roundly disputed by African-Americans who know Jeff Sessions, Warren resorted to quotes from 1986 when the Senate did not confirm the Alabama man as a federal district court judge.”

Duane Patterson –

Tuesday night, the Democrats tried to show their base they’re willing to get off the mat and get back into the ring, this time to unsuccessfully block one of their own, a man they all like personally, but have to now verbally destroy to satisfy their base, Jeff Sessions of Alabama. Why? He’s going to be a rather effective Attorney General, and the left hates that.
Senator Warren, I realize you’ve been a Senator for a few years now, but let me officially welcome you to the new and improved United States Senate, where rules are now apparently enforced. You’ve just been Mitchslapped.

Patterson indicates that the Warren issue has implications for the handling of the Gorsuch nomination. Ace has more on this: Sean Davis: You Don’t Need the Nuclear Option to Confirm Neil Gorsuch. You Just Need to Strictly Enforce the Rules on Debate as Written. “The rules as written require that people actually, you know, debate to keep debate open.”

Michael Goodwin says The Democratic Party has lost its mind — and its soul – “the necessity of Pence’s vote reflected another kind of history, too: The decision by all Senate Democrats to reject DeVos marked a new low for the flailing party.”

Democrats claim to stand for the poor, immigrants and nonwhites. Yet given a chance to actually support someone who is dedicated to improving education for all America’s children, especially those trapped in failing urban schools, the Dems said no, hell no.
Throw away all the subtexts and subterfuge, a defense of the rotten status quo is the only explanation for the bid to block DeVos. The teachers unions pulled the strings, and the political puppets danced to their masters’ tune.
Dems see the riots and threats of violence as legitimate expressions of disapproval — and convenient for their purposes. Their contribution to the “resistance” started when 70 Democrats boycotted Trump’s inauguration and many senators boycotted confirmation hearings and votes. Maybe they’ll soon throw rocks through windows.
Think of that: The Democrats’ leader walks out on his job to play the role of a man of the people in a staged demonstration. This is a party that has lost its mind, as well as its soul.

Bradford Richardson says Elementary school, high school students face taunts for supporting Trump – “Adult behavior inspires students.”

A toxic political atmosphere fueled by nonstop media outrage and ubiquitous protest is showing signs of seeping into classrooms across the country, as reports of bullying against elementary, middle and high school students who openly support President Trump proliferate.
“It seems to me that the media coverage and the kinds of attacks on the president encourage this kind of behavior,” Mr. Allman said Monday on “The Allman Report.” “There’s almost this sense of righteousness that these people have who attack somebody — even what I talked about earlier, these people who are hitting people, Macing people, punching people and all that kind of stuff.

“They feel like they have permission somehow,” he said. “And that’s a tough environment for a sixth-grader to be growing up in.”
Mr. Allman wondered whether the school would have reacted differently if Trump supporters were doing the attacking rather than being attacked.

On the Education Secretary full out effort, consider Charles Hurt: ‘1984’: Making liberals great again – “In droves, the precious political “liberals” and “progressives” are gobbling up copies of George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984” about “the perils of a totalitarian police state,” according to The Washington Post.” … “The similarities between “1984” and the “utopian” dreams of self-proclaimed “liberals” and “progressives” today — gross misnomers both — are uncanny.” i.e. a lot of projection going on.

That feeling of self righteousness is noted by Valerie Richardson as a Judge rejects Dakota Access activists’ request to stop ‘excessive force’ by police – “Says violent agitators at Backwater Bridge riot set fires, threw rocks at officers.”

The decision comes as a setback for pipeline protesters who have accused law enforcement of interfering with their First Amendment rights by brutalizing activists with “militarized” tactics and unreasonable displays of force.

The judge rejected the contention that activists occupying camps since August on federal property near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, have been “peaceful and prayerful.”
“As previously noted, the right of free speech and assembly do not mean, and have never meant, that everyone who chooses to protest against the Dakota Access pipeline may do so at any time, any place, and under any set of conditions they choose in total disregard of the law,” Judge Hovland said.

“To allow that to occur would result in anarchy and an end to the rule of law in civilized society, [emphasis added]” he said.

Anne Hendershott thinks Religious freedom can be restored – “Trump would blunt the left’s assault on religious institutions.”

In its most recent “Two Minutes Hate” on President Trump, The Nation magazine’s hyperbolic headline warned, “Leaked Draft of Trump’s Religious Freedom Order Reveals Sweeping Plans to Legalize Discrimination.” Claiming that if signed, the president’s order “would create wholesale exemptions for people and organizations who claim religious objections to same sex marriage, premarital sex, abortion and trans identity, The Nation predicts that the order would “exceed the authority of executive branch,” and “risk violating the Establishment Clause of the first Amendment to the Constitution.”

Rather than “legalizing discrimination,” the Trump religious freedom order will finally end the current discrimination against religious organizations.
We are already at a place where the establishment clause has shifted from a legitimate desire to keep the government from entangling itself in the internal affairs of religious organizations to a justification of anti-religious secularism — pushing religion (and people of faith) out of the public square.

Another self deception issue is described by Kelly Riddell. Democrats continue to push gun-control lie – “Democrats are living a delusional lie.”

Looking to gin up gun-control activists, Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee tried to use a Tuesday hearing on Social Security to lament a noncontroversial vote last week to do away with an Obama-era rule designed to get certain beneficiaries’ information into the national gun-purchase background check system.

Their complaints were all fear-mongering and separated from reality — undoubtedly designed to catch the ear of a sympathetic, and naive media looking to advance its gun-control narrative.
But never mind the details when it comes to the polarizing topic of Secon Amendment rights. Expect Democrats and the left-wing media to continue to propagate their misleading narrative to whip up outrage at Republicans.

Stephen Dinan notes that campaign rhetoric is now being elevated to policy pronouncement level by the courts. Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’ promise is ‘evidence’ against executive order – “ Judge Richard R. Clifton wasn’t satisfied with that dodge, saying that if Mr. Trump and his advisers did in fact say they were trying to impose a Muslim ban, that could inform the way the court looks at the order Mr. Trump signed on Jan. 27.” There is something about ‘depths of depravity’ that belongs with this and it isn’t concerning the President.

Luboš Motl posting Klaus: Western cafés have launched their attack against Trump picks up on an interview with the Czech ex-president for the Parliamentary Letters (full video), via, Part I – “Trump and the whole West is experiencing the same events that the Czech Republic has been exposed to already since November 1989, namely the criticisms by the intellectuals from coffee bars and demonstrations against the free elections.” There’s more. A lot more.

Helen Schwiesow Parker: The Secret, Silent Wind-Power Peril (Part II: Nina Pierpont and ‘Wind Turbine Syndrome’) – “How have we been brought to such an extraordinary betrayal of basic human rights and social justice – a Kafkaesque world where corporate, local and state government personnel ignore and elude victims’ pleas? It is a tale of money and power shunting aside integrity and compassion, of well-intentioned individuals who don’t do their homework, of a new industrial health crisis shunned by news media who are supposed to educate, inform and protect.”

Sundance describes one instance of what the Left is leaving behind. Environmentalists Vacated From Standing Rock Protest Site Leave Tons of Toxic Waste… –

It has been consistently evident that left-wing environmentalists and their professionally unemployed protesters are the most hypocritical bunch of moonbats around the drum circle of social and economic stupidity.

What is interesting is another report that care is being taken with the garbage because of concern in might contain bodies …

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