Archive for June, 2017

Fake Outrage

Wesley Pruden: The coming crash of the lawless media – “Sniping and rock-throwing at Donald Trump, a game that any number can play and nearly everybody does, has become a game with no rules and no referees, and worse, no editors to restrain obstreperous children breaking up the furniture.”

Inciting a crime is serious business, and in the atmosphere of mayhem created by the left and the liberals in the wake of the election of Donald Trump, anything goes in pursuit of the man whose only proved “crime” so far is having defeated Hillary Clinton. Kathie Griffin’s bloody severed “head” of the president, and Johnny Depp’s call for an assassin to relieve the nation of its duly elected president was an inevitable consequence of seeding the land with toxin and deadly venom.

But winning libel suits against television networks and famous newspapers that have clearly contributed to this atmosphere of lawlessness will not be easy, the result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s shield protecting the media from the consequences of even shoddy work.

This was a valuable and needed shield, not just for the press, but for everyone but corrupt public officials. But was in a very different time, when the press was far more responsible than now.

“Anything goes” eventually invites correction, and what looks like “actual malice” lies everywhere abundant.

Jennifer Harper: Numbers don’t lie: Media bias against Trump is entrenched, vicious, persistent – “Pollsters … reveal that the American public is growing weary of the endless negative coverage, which masks authentic progress the president and his administration have made.” … “tirades also allow journalists to vent about a president who pushes back against their criticism, in what they deem an “unpresidential” way.” This “unpresidential” thing is a propaganda theme. Subjective. And becoming a target for comparison to previous presidents that show how standards have changed and how subjective and biased such allegations really are.

Thomas Lifson: President Trump is changing the norms that empower his media antagonists – “all assume that his early-morning tweets yesterday zinging the Morning Joe odd couple, “hitting back ten times as hard,” as wife Melania once characterized his tactical doctrine, were the result of some form of derangement.”

They are not equipped to understand the strategy that lies behind his tweets. Like fish unaware of the water in which they swim, they operate on the basis of unconscious beliefs.

President Trump understands that the current informal-but-very-real rules of the game have allowed Mika and Joe (and the rest of the media-political world as well) free rein to savage him and his family, while he is supposed to be a gentleman and just take it while they get support for attacking him.

Trump understands that the culture governing D.C. and the media has to change because it systematically favors his opponents.

When an organization confronts a norm that has become dysfunctional, the concepts attached to it can be so ingrained that even rules to the contrary can be worked around by members of the organization. There is no alternative in some cases but to force unpleasantness upon a situation and force adaptation.

Charles Hurt: Mad genius of Trump drives schoolmarms of political press crazy – “the funny thing about it is that nobody actually disproved anything that Mr. Trump alleged. Just like Russia and obstruction of justice and everything else, there is not one single shred of evidence that Mr. Trump is not 100 percent in the right.”

Of course, the puritanical schoolmarms of the political press went absolutely bonkers over Mr. Trump’s broadside of their fellow travelers. They scolded him that his Twitter missives were beneath the office of the president.

Really, you mean like molesting an intern in the Oval Office? “Presidential” like that?

Mark Levin to the Media: Want Trump to Act Presidential? Then Have Respect for the Office of the President – “Levin went on to add that the media have bigger problems given the public’s disapproval.”

The public really hates the media. They hate the media because they are not getting the facts.”

Ralph Z. Hallow: Trump’s coarse Mika Brzezinski remarks the inevitable, and needed, reaction to coarse journalism – “Not presidential by previous standards? Yes. But he’s the man we elected. We knew he’d do that. We wanted him to hit back.”

America has become the coarse nation that some thoughtful conservatives warned about 40 years ago. Mr. Trump, left to defend himself by himself, is defending our honor too.

Never, however, have I seen news and opinion disseminators for all major news outlets so basely treat a president. My gut tells me that my silence and that of others would be seen as acceptance of these transgressions of the norms of civilized behavior.

IBD: The Media’s Unhealthy Trump-Russia Obsession … By The Numbers – “Say what you want about President Trump’s insulting tweets about MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski, they’ve at least given the press something anti-Trump to obsess about other than Russia.”

A Harvard-Harris poll found that a majority of voters believe the Russia investigations are damaging to the country and want Congress to shift its focus to mundane things like health care, terrorism, national security, the economy and jobs.

This is bad for everyone. A free press plays a vital role in the success of our democracy, but with that great power comes a great responsibility to be fair and accurate.

Over the past six months, the mainstream media have shown no responsibility even as they constantly lecture us about how important they are.

Josh Siegel: Multiple states reject request from Trump’s voter fraud commission to provide voter roll data – They just know that there is no voter fraud and that transparency is a violation of personal identity.

Alex Padilla, California’s Democratic secretary of state, was the first to object to the request, releasing a statement Thursday vowing that he will “not provide sensitive voter information” to a commission that is pursuing “debunked claims of massive voter fraud.”

Padilla went on to call the commission a “waste of taxpayer money” and a “distraction from the real threats of the integrity of our elections today,” which he considers to be Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign.

John Sexton: How Seattle’s progressive leaders worked to undermine study critical of minimum wage hikes – Exposing the source of the problem, intellectual integrity sacrificed on the alter of ideological fantasy.

It seems clear that Seattle’s progressive leadership went data shopping when it didn’t like the results of the forthcoming UW report. So when you hear that “other reports” showing contradictory information, keep in mind those reports didn’t appear by accident. They were arranged by partisans with an ideological axe to grind.

Ed Morrissey: Scenes from the collapse: Another ObamaCare crisis erupts in rural Nevada – “Anthem, which had previously been bullish on ObamaCare, announced that it will pull out of exchanges in most of Nevada.”

One would think this crisis would allow Republicans to claim the moral high ground on repeal, but as I write in my column at The Fiscal Times today, the GOP never prepared for the public-relations fight, and their disunity is creating a circular firing squad

It’s time for Senate Republicans, and House Republicans for that matter, to get serious and produce a real bill that will put America back on the track to rational health-insurance markets.

Andrew Malcolm: A familiar GOP pattern when in power: Squabbling – “But now that they hold the offices, they can’t seem to get it done. So, how do Republicans respond? They start fighting among themselves while Democrats watch with glee.” This has a lot of voters ticked off. It is a sign of health, up to a point when coming together on a solution must occur.

Circular firing squads are a familiar feature of GOP politics. With the party’s national reputation for governing on the line over such a longstanding promise, nine GOP senators say they won’t support the bill, most of them because they want something more in or out of it.

But these profound internal GOP divisions do not just threaten Obamacare’s repeal. They endanger upcoming votes on the debt limit, tax reform, trade and the budget, especially defense spending increases, among other issues. The splits also undermine Trump’s oft-repeated boast to be the Great Deal Maker, leaving Republicans to appear incapable of governing as the 2018 midterms loom.

It is what makes the solidarity of the Democrats even more stunning. They all seem willing to make any sacrifice necessary to adhere to the common cause.

Mark Perry: Happy 87th birthday (June 30) to economist Thomas Sowell, one of the greatest living economists – “The word ‘genius’ is thrown around so much that it’s becoming meaningless, but nevertheless I think Tom Sowell is close to being one.”

In my opinion, there is no economist alive today who has done more to eloquently, articulately, and persuasively advance the principles of economic freedom, limited government, individual liberty, and a free society than Thomas Sowell. … To honor Thomas Sowell’s 87th birthday tomorrow, I present below 15 of my favorite quotations from Dr. Thomas Sowell and a bonus video of the great economist

Happy Birthday and thank you Dr. Sowell!

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Rumble, rumble

Stephen Dinan: Obama-appointed judges dismiss Supreme Court ruling, continue blocking Trump’s immigration crackdown – “The judges in those deportation cases have rejected Mr. Trump’s argument that he has wide latitude to decide who gets kicked out, without having to worry about district courts second-guessing him on facts of the case.”

Notably, all four of the judges — including one in San Francisco who blocked part of Mr. Trump’s executive order against sanctuary cities — were appointed to the bench by President Obama.

“Almost all of the judges are acting outside of established law,” said Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation who served as a Justice Department lawyer in the Bush administration.

For David Leopold, a former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the judges are heroes upholding the Constitution when the political branches of government won’t.

“You’ve got the Republicans playing ball in the Senate and the House. The only institution that’s putting a check on this guy is the judiciary,” he said.

Where lower-court judges pored over Mr. Trump’s campaign statements and perused his Twitter account looking for evidence to use against him, the Supreme Court took the president’s executive order at face value.

“These judges are clearly hoping these cases don’t get appealed, don’t get to the Supreme Court, because if they do, they’re going to get overturned,” he predicted. “The lesson to them is they need to quit making political decisions based on the fact they don’t like the president and his policy, and start making legal decisions that follow binding precedent.”

It seems like the law, as it is written, doesn’t matter much to many who profess otherwise.

Andrea Noble and Dan Boylan: Schumer uses Senate rule to scuttle meeting on ‘unmasking’ by Obama officials – “Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer invoked a parliamentary rule against holding committee meetings beyond the first two hours of the Senate’s day.” The protection of the party over-rides any other concern. The race card is also being played.

“It’s disturbing and reckless for the minority leader to block the briefing,” the Iowa Republican said. “We’ve seen too many recent reminders of how unsafe the world is today. This is no time to play politics with our national security.”

Later Wednesday, Ms. Rice, who is black, charged that race and gender could be driving the scrutiny she is currently facing.

Across Capitol Hill, at least five committees are currently conducting inquiries into Russia’s alleged role in influencing the 2016 campaign, possible ties between Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign and the Kremlin and Mr. Trump’s firing of FBI Director James B. Comey in May.

The investigations have bogged down Mr. Trump’s presidency, which has called allegations of Russian interference “a hoax” and a “witch hunt.”

Mr. Trump’s defenders on Capitol Hill say the multiple probes have yet to unearth anything substantive and should conclude as quickly as possible.

Ace: Democrat Senator Dick Durbin Refuses to Release Email Correspondence He Had With Leftwing Assassin James Hodgkinson – “Apparently it’s both nothing important, and something important enough to hide from the public.”

VDH: The progressive boomerang – “Efforts to take out Trump are coming back to haunt Democrats.”

The progressive strategy of investigating President Trump nonstop for Russian collusion or obstruction of justice or witness tampering so far has produced no substantial evidence of wrongdoing.

The alternate strategy of derailing the new administration before it really gets started hasn’t succeeded, either,

A third strategy of portraying Mr. Trump as a veritable monster likewise so far has failed in four special elections for House seats.

Mr. Trump acts as if he is a Nietzschean figure, assuming that anything that does not destroy him only makes him stronger. And now, slowly, his accusers are becoming the accused.

Now that Mr. Trump is emerging from successful House special elections and has fended off six months of media attacks, celebrity invective and progressive efforts to abort his tenure, he seems to be going back on the offensive.

Currently, House and Senate investigations are doing to Democrats what has been done Mr. Trump. So far, these probes seem to have better chances to prove alleged wrongdoing.

In sum, to thwart a new president’s policies, it is probably wiser to offer alternative agendas instead of trying to destroy him before he has even entered office.

Paul Mirengoff: Trump supporters teach Starbucks a lesson – “It’s a sad commentary that Starbucks employees need to be “coached” not to insult customers who show support for the President of the United States, or any other public official or candidate for office.” There is a comparison and contrast here not only in the ‘what if the shoe had been on the other foot’ but also for comparing how Starbuck’s staff treated a customer and how that customer’s community responded. The response was polite, to the point, had humor, and didn’t adversely impact the business.

 

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Indifference or dishonoring God?

Tammy Bruce: The alarming indifference of liberals – “Obama and Democrats are mute when it comes to violence against conservatives.” The truth is percolating.

The Federalist reported, “More use of the Wayback Machine shows the same trend for The New York Times’ website front page. One week after the attack on Giffords, five stories front-page. One week after the attack on Scalise, ‘what to cook this week’ and how to get jobs for the wives of jihadis. Nothing on Scalise. Not even on gun control.”

But this isn’t surprising, it’s typical for liberals. Democrats and their weasels in media have perfected the art of denial and lies. During Barack Obama’s eight years as president, obfuscating was standard operating procedure when facing facts was bad news for Democrats and reality exposed them for the frauds that they are.

ISIS? A JV team. Benghazi? A YouTube video. Obamacare? You can keep your plan, doctor and hospital. The IRS? Not even a smidgen of corruption. The economy? Shovel-ready jobs and summers of recovery.

But it’s not just the media that’s decided to pay no mind to the attempted massacre of Republicans by a volunteer for Sen. Bernie Sanders and fan of TV host Rachel Maddow. Mr. Obama is demonstrating for all of his fans that ignoring it is the way to go.

About that “art of denial and lies” … J. Christian Adams: Democrats’ sudden concern for election integrity – “Russian hacking has become an argument for renewing federal oversight.” Studies are indicating that the claim that voter fraud is insignificant are misplaced and that the source is very close to home for the Left. Therefore a distraction and diversion is needed.

When the Democratic Party and its deep-state allies’ favorite anti-Trump columnist begins to sour on the promise of a Russian collusion probe, it is time to start looking for a consolation prize. Based on the overnight interest in all things voting security, they seem to have found a new hobby horse.

For more than a decade, any person who honestly spoke about their sincerely held concerns regarding “election integrity” was summarily branded as a partisan fabulist upset by the fact that non-white voters could turn out in greater numbers.

Now, the left is trying to corner the market.

The establishment left is not letting a good crisis go to waste.

Instead of focusing on the foundational matter of how best to maintain the content of our voter registration systems, we are witnessing the beginning of a leftist regression — where the only solution worthy of discussion is how election powers are better centralized in Washington.

Jonah Goldberg: The Left Espouses Dangerously Stupid Health-Care Rhetoric – “Democrats will say anything to keep Obama’s health-care “win” — even if it means calling their colleagues murderers.”

Earlier this month a political zealot went to a baseball practice intending to kill as many Republican congressmen as he could. As often happens after such horrible events, various politicians and media figures suggested that we should tone down the rhetoric and not paint everything in apocalyptic terms, casting Republicans or Democrats as villains with traitorous or evil intent in their hearts. Words have consequences, they sagely said into the TV cameras.

Two weeks later, many of the very same people are describing Republicans as murderers for proposing changes to Medicaid.

Also Allahpundit: Pelosi: Let’s face it, this Republican health-care bill dishonors God – “deep thoughts from a self-described devout Catholic with a 100 percent rating from NARAL.”

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Badly served

Thomas Lifson: Jason Riley’s False Black Power published today – “Riley believes that America’s African-American community has been badly served by the emphasis on achieving political power as a means to advance. Much more important, in his view, are the “skills, habits, and values” (p.43) that are necessary to personal ambition and achievement.” Political power is process. Skills, habits, and values are product.

It is not a message that will be received eagerly by nearly all of the political class that believes itself to represent black political interests. They are invested deeply in the victimology narrative in which all the troubles of blacks are attributable to white racism.

What makes this book shine is the clarity of its logic and accessibility of its writing style.

This is a dangerous book for Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Keith Ellison. I have a genuine question over how many blacks will be among its readership. It is deeply subversive, so ought to have considerable appeal. Then fact that it is available for 6 bucks on Kindle ought to encourage them to give it a try. All that is necessary is for Jesse J to denounce it in the harshest terms.

SCOTUS also hit the news with several decisions. It was 9-0 to strike down the appellate courts efforts to elevate campaign rhetoric to legally binding status. That unanimity, it appears, required carving a hole for those with relationships in the U.S. This exception received the objection of three justices but does highlight the issue of jurisdiction of the courts. It will be argued down the road.

Another case ruled 7-2 that active discrimination against religious schools is improper. Gorsuch wrote: “The general principles here do not permit discrimination against religious exercise — whether on the playground or anywhere else.”

A decision not to hear a 2nd amendment case upheld the idea that a state can deny a concealed carry permit unless convinced there is an extraordinary need for self defense. That guts the right.

Mark Perry on Seattle’s $15 minimum wage studies – “In an important article in the Seattle Weekly, Daniel Person summarizes the situation in Seattle pretty well in the title of his exposé “The City Knew the Bad Minimum Wage Report Was Coming Out, So It Called Up Berkeley,”

There’s an old joke that economics is the only field where two people can win the Nobel Prize for saying the exact opposite thing. However, by all appearances these two takeaways on Seattle’s historic minimum wage law are not a symptom of the vagaries of a social science but an object lesson in how quickly data can get weaponized in political debates like Seattle’s minimum wage fight. In short, the Mayor’s Office knew the unflattering UW report was coming out, and reached out to other researchers to kick the tires on what threatened to be a damaging report to a central achievement of Ed Murray’s tenure as mayor.

if Seattle’s risky experiment with a $15 an hour minimum wage represents the “canary in the coal mine” for cities around the country that want to increase their minimum wages to $15 an hour, those cities may want to hold off for a few years to get a final count of the “dead canaries” in Seattle before proceeding.

Walter Olson has more on the NBER: Seattle minimum wage hike hurt low-wage workers

When Seattle’s City Hall got word the adverse study was coming from members of its own research team, it quickly commissioned a pro-labor group at Berkeley to do a counter-study looking at restaurants and concluding that everything was peachy keen [Seattle Weekly] “Does City Hall really want to know the consequences, or does it want to put blinders on and pat itself on the back?” [Seattle Times editorial]

One other takeaway from the NBER: the low-wage-earner losses weren’t in restaurant jobs, which are far less mobile. Few Seattle city residents will switch to suburban eateries for everyday dining, even in response to relative shifts in cost or quality. But many blue-collar and clerical jobs can migrate to suburbs or locations farther away than that. In short, beware of restaurant-sector-only studies of local minimum wage effects, which will typically understate damage to hours worked.

This gets to the core of much modern ‘debate’ as it isn’t about reality but about finding something, anything, to try to squish reality into ideological fantasies. Fundamental implications are often ignored, obfuscated, or bypassed. In this case, the real question is where the money is going to come from in order to raise the minimum wage.

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It’s not just a recipe nor is it just the price tag

Roger Kimball: Process vs. Product: Why the Dems Keep Losing – Dowd: “The Republicans have a wildly unpopular, unstable and untruthful president.” Really?

But what Rahm, Tim Ryan, Maureen Dowd, and the other anti-Trump Wise Hats don’t see is that the fundamental issue is not “motivating the base,” running a slicker campaign, and figuring out how to the game the polls, the focus groups, and the public’s credulity. The central issue is solving the problems that people have in their everyday lives. Pace Maureen Dowd, Trump is actually doing that. Sure, everyone she “hangs with hates Trump.” But even as she screams about how “pathetic” and “nuts” Trump is, his administration is moving ahead on the issues that actually matter to people, from immigration and jobs to taxes, health care, and national security.

The Democrats believe that process, sufficiently leavened by the emotion of virtue, is enough to win power. Trump has understood that product matters more than process and that professions of virtue are hollow when unsupported by results.

The Coyote hits the same point in another area. AP Writes Over 1300 Words on the Loss Of Summer Jobs for Teens, Never Mentions Minimum Wage – “it put 100% emphasis on pay as the only reward for work, while giving no credit for things like gaining valuable experience and skills.” Again, the left is all about process and seems completely oblivious to the intangibles, except as words. These intangibles include political product, identity, and customer pride of purchase among other things.

Glenn Reynolds: Advanced Petard-Hoistment, Dems/Russia Edition

Focus turns to Obama role. “Months of harping on President Trump’s purported ties to Russia may end up backfiring on Democrats as the White House turns the focus to former President Barack Obama’s failure to address Russian hacking, operatives from both sides said.”

Related: Adriana Cohen: Time To Investigate Democrats’ Russia Behavior.

Reynolds also cites Byron York: On Russia, a senator’s deception, and a timeline of Trump frustration. – “York has put everything in one place, so read the whole thing.” concur.

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cockamamie theorizing

David Keene: Why the FBI is hard to trust – “The Federal Bureau of Investigation claims to be above politics, but that’s not so.” Another example about why policing must be local.

At one end of the spectrum there are folks who actually believe Democrats would like to kill Republicans. These are people who perhaps take the over the top rhetoric of actors, actresses, comedians and “resistance” leaders more seriously than they should, but at the other end are people like those who occupy top posts at the FBI who will go to any lengths to excuse a man who traveled from Illinois, practiced his marksmanship, studied his targets and open fired on them. He didn’t break. He prepared for and launched a pre-meditated attack on federal officeholders.

Firing Mr. Comey was a good first step, but only a first step if the FBI is to be transformed into the first-rate crime fighting organization it professes to be rather the laughingstock it has become.

Cristina Laila: Grassley Slams Schumer For Lying: He Knew Trump Wasn’t Under Investigation Yet He Publicly Claimed Otherwise (VIDEO) – “Senator Grassley showed his disgust for the Democrat party, the fake news media and James Comey for continuing to mislead the public about President Trump being under investigation.” There needs to be more of this and it needs to match the enthusiasm of the source.

Andrew C. McCarthy: The Antithesis of Obstruction – “Trump did not obstruct a valid FBI investigation; he demanded the exposure of a false one.”

The “collusion” narrative was a fraud, plain and simple. We know that now. Hopefully, it won’t take another six months to grasp a second plain and simple truth: Collusion’s successor, the “obstruction” narrative, is a perversion.

The essence of obstruction is to frustrate the search for truth. Its antithesis is to demand the exposure of fraud. Donald Trump’s political enemies are trying to build an obstruction case on the antithesis of obstruction: the president’s insistence that the collusion fraud be exposed.

Over a period of weeks, Trump came to understand what was being done to him. His exasperation was evident in his every bull-in-a-china-shop turn. An ardently pro-law-enforcement candidate, he came to office believing the FBI was in the fraud-exposure business. He thus could not comprehend why then–FBI director James Comey would not assure the public of what Comey was privately assuring both the president and the public’s representatives in Congress, namely: The notion that the president was a suspect was false. Implicitly, the narrative that Trump had colluded with Putin to steal the election was false.

To be clear, the Russia investigation is not a fraud. The Trump collusion narrative is. Russia did try to interfere in our election, as it always does.

An FBI investigation is supposed to be a search for the truth, undertaken for the benefit of the public, which the bureau and the government serve. That is why the corrupt obstruction of such an investigation is a crime. But if the investigation has the effect of deceiving the public, and that effect is caused by such irregularities as misleading leaks and public statements by government officials, that is never in the public interest.

It is not obstruction to expose a false narrative.

CFP: What Ossoff did to Handel in Georgia-6 is “unforgivable” – but it’s the same thing they are doing to Senator Heller in Nevada. It’s giving fake news, libel, and propaganda a bad name.

Let me be very clear about what Ossoff did with those breast cancer ads: he accused Handel of murdering cancer patients. This sort of false accusation is what pumps up lunatics to shoot congressmen, and Ossoff should be severely called out for stooping to this dangerous sleaze. He probably learned the tactic from his mentor, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who conducted a similar hate-incitement campaign years ago when he compared his own constituents to murderous Klansmen if they dared to vote for a moderate white Republican over a black Democrat.

 

Roger Simon says it’s a plague. But some are resisting infection …

Monica Showalter: What does ‘COVFEFE’ mean? Try rising military morale – There’s a level of communications that many don’t (or won’t) get. The President does.

Now the howitzers say ‘COVFEFE.’ You don’t put a signature typo of a commander in chief on a howitzer unless you really enjoy it. Imagine the satisfaction of a U.S. soldier hitting a cave full of terrorists coming from a weapon with that on it. This has to mean there’s been a turnaround.

The military is enjoying its capacity to win victories with its newly decorated howitzer barrels. It’s a sign it’s now going to be allowed to win some – and it’s going to win.

They joined to go get the bad guys. 

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A rickety resistance and who is going to pay the bill?

Jennifer Harper: Democrats deal with a rickety ‘resistance’ – “The Democratic Party is still flailing against the dominant political force in America, which is President Trump, his administration and the millions of voters who stood up to be counted in 2016.”

It’s normal for the losing party to have an identity crisis, and the protocols are always the same: The suffering party conducts an internal “autopsy,” issues mea culpas, vows to find practical answers, trots out a few new slogans, then schedules a retreat to the mountains or seaside, ostensibly for soul-searching. And maybe cocktails.

The Democrats have not reached this stage yet, however. They continue to call for “resistance” from loyal members,

“Trump resistance will never be a tea party for Democrats,” says Taylor Budowich, executive director of the Tea Party Express, a political action committee founded in 2009 when the historic grass-roots movement grabbed headlines, then surprise victories in the 2010 midterm elections.

“The difference between the two movements is simple: the tea party’s message captured voters the Republican Party failed to reach. The resistance merely re-organized those Clinton voters who have yet to accept Trump’s victory and cling to the ‘Not My President’ hashtag. That’s not the formula for a political revolution, it’s just sour grapes,” Mr. Budowich writes in a USA Today op-ed.

Jazz Shaw: The decline and fall of Obamacare and the AHCA – “There’s an old maxim in American politics which tells us that any entitlement program or other initiative which gives away goodies to the public, once in place, is pretty much there forever.” Nevada chose the other people’s money route when it signed on to Obamacare and now its Senator is under extreme pressure to try to keep it going.

So what’s the only solution left to keep delivering bread and circuses to the masses? Probably a completely top-down, socialist single payer program, which will rapidly bankrupt the entire system. (California is already finding that out the hard way.) You can expect to eventually see some Republicans going along with that line of thinking too, believe it or not. It’s that or the aforementioned head-in-the-oven scenario.

Jeff Dunetz notes one source of the ‘bread and circuses’ problem that is quite evident in the assault on Senator Heller. Dems say goodbye to truce, use inflammatory rhetoric against GOP healthcare – “as soon as Senate Republicans introduced their draft healthcare bill, Democrats forgot all about the “era of good feelings” and began to use inflammatory rhetoric to fight against the GOP and their legislation.”

Understand that as Americans these Democratic Party politicians have every right to disagree with the GOP healthcare bill. In fact there are Republicans in congress who also disagree with the bill. However, as leaders of the federal government they have a obligation to lead, not divide. If one believes the rich are helped more than the poor, it’s not a transfer of wealth (it’s really not), but it’s a disagreement over priorities.

It’s legitimate to state one’s worry that enough people will be covered under the Republican plan, but claiming the GOP bill “will literally cost American lives” is the kind of rhetoric that led to the Scalise shooting. And no one in congress wants to see that happen again.

Victor Joecks: Sandoval’s opposition drives Heller away from Obamacare repeal – Nevada’s Californication proceeds.

“If you want my support (on repealing Obamacare) … you better make sure that the Republican governors that have expanded Medicaid sign off on it,” Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., said Friday. “I’ve been saying that for months. … Where is Governor Sandoval? What does he think?”

“As a result of [expanding Medicaid] we’ve added 210,000 Nevadans and allowed them to access health care,” Sandoval said. “These are our friends. These are our families. These are our neighbors.”

Currently, the federal government pays 90 percent of the costs of those recipients. Under the Senate version of AHCA, the federal government’s reimbursement rates would gradually decrease to 65 percent by 2024, and Nevada would cover the rest.

Sandoval is fighting all right — for someone else to pay the medical bills racked up by the “free” care used by “the Nevada family.” Sandoval wants the political credit for expanding freebies, but he doesn’t want to be bothered to have to persuade Nevadans to pay for it. Talk about wanting to have it both ways.

Those with the vile, dishonest, and disgusting allegations and assertions about political opponents should consider Venezuela as an example of where their rhetoric and inability to accept the costs of their desires will lead. It’s going to be tough election for people like Dean Heller as the bullying, abuse, and slander that will be targeted at them looks to be awful.

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fixated

Sally Persons points out how the Democrats are still fixated on Russia. Jeh Johnson: Trump administration showing acceptance of Russian interference in U.S. elections – “Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Friday that the Trump administration’s reluctance to address the Russian interference shows acceptance of a foreign power meddling in U.S. elections.” What is coming to the sunlight, though, is that the Russians weren’t the issue in the election and that Trump is right. Again. IBD goes over the history: Did Votes By Noncitizens Cost Trump The 2016 Popular Vote? Sure Looks That Way – “Late in 2016, we created a stir by suggesting that Donald Trump was likely right when he claimed that millions of noncitizens had illegally voted in the U.S. election.”

Last November, just weeks after his Electoral College win that gave him the presidency, then President-elect Donald Trump tweeted, “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”

The reaction was angry and swift, with the left accusing him of being an “internet troll” and of hatching a “Twitter-born conspiracy theory.”

At the time, we noted that a group called True The Vote, an online anti-voter-fraud website, had claimed that illegals had cast three million votes last year. The media and left-wing groups immediately portrayed True The Vote as a fringe group with little credibility.

The only problem is, a study in 2014 in the online Electoral Studies Journal made a quite similar claim

The bombshell was this: “Noncitizen votes likely gave Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress.”

It got little coverage in the mainstream media, and what coverage it did get was almost entirely dismissive.

Foreign governments harassing elections is a standard thing and there are protections in place for this. Political parties have also always done things to sway the vote, some proper and some not. It appears that the ‘some not’ has reached new levels in recent elections with the efforts to get out the vote from illegal aliens as well as the efforts to get voting rights for felons. Trying to whitewash hese improper efforts is why there is so much focus on the ‘Russians Did It’ conspiracy theorizing.

On other dishonesty, IBT says Critics Of The Senate Health Bill Aren’t Playing Fair – “As soon as the details emerged, critics of the Senate bill point to the various ways that it wasn’t as good as ObamaCare.”

These criticisms are all based on a false premise: That ObamaCare is sustainable in its current form.

It isn’t.

As industry expert Robert Laszewski writes, “There isn’t any such thing as a binary choice between keeping or replacing ObamaCare. The insurance exchanges are untenable in their current form.”

But whatever flaws are in this particular bill, or in whatever emerges in the end, the GOP has no choice but to repeal ObamaCare and try something new. And given the fact that ObamaCare is imploding, they can be much bolder in their reforms than they are being.

John Sexton: Ayaan Hirsi Ali on why Senators Kamala Harris and Claire McCaskill ignored her at last week’s hearing – “Perhaps Senators Heitkamp, Harris, Hassan and McCaskill are simply uninterested in sexism and misogyny. But obviously, given their outspoken support of critical women’s issues, such as the kidnapping of girls in Nigeria and campus sexual assault, that’s far from the case.”

No, what happened that day was emblematic of a deeply troubling trend among progressives when it comes to confronting the brutal reality of Islamist extremism and what it means for women in many Muslim communities here at home and around the world. When it comes to the pay gap, abortion access and workplace discrimination, progressives have much to say. But we’re still waiting for a march against honor killings, child marriages, polygamy, sex slavery or female genital mutilation…

There is a real discomfort among progressives on the left with calling out Islamic extremism.

Scott Johnson: Mueller’s empire – “President Trump is now in a death struggle with Robert Mueller and James Comey. That’s the conclusion I draw from former Assistant United States Attorney Andrew McCarthy’s gimlet-eyed American Greatness column “Mueller’s empire.”

Mueller’s appointment as Special Counsel by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein fundamentally violates the applicable regulation …

Therefore: “Mueller’s probe is the functional equivalent of a general warrant: a boundless writ to search for incriminating evidence. It is the very evil the Fourth Amendment was adopted to forbid: a scorch-the-earth investigation in the absence of probable cause that a crime has been committed.”

One reads McCarthy’s column with a deep sense of foreboding. To understand the legal component of Trump’s ordeal — to understand the nature of the train that is coming down the tracks toward Trump — McCarthy’s column is mandatory reading.

There is a war in front of us.

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Generals, Forgotten Wars, Fake Talking Points, and Gentrification Entrepreneurism

VDH: Trump and his generals – “Entrusting national security to military pros is a win for the country.”

Gens. Mattis, McMaster and Kelly must know that few other presidents would have taken the heat to entrust three military men to guide national security policy. And even if another president did, he might not empower them with anything like their president latitude.

In that regard, the three generals are beholden to Mr. Trump for a historic opportunity to shape America’s security posture in ways impossible during the last half-century.

On the other hand, Mr. Trump must recognize that such generals lend credibility to his role as commander in chief and signal that he is wise enough to value merit over politics.

At least for now, it is a win-win-win solution for Mr. Trump, the generals — and the country.

Janet Levy: The Forgotten War that Changed American History – a review of Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates (Sentinel, 2015) by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger. The Barbary Wars are about the founding of the U.S. Navy in response to piracy on the seas rationalized by Islamic extremism. Levy will get you started with a comprehensive over-view.

Ace found a Good Explanation of Why Tossoff Lost – “In short, they’re starting to realize the left has declared solemn war on them, and they’re waking up to that awful reality, and the inescapable consequences of it.” Could this be true?

Kareb Weise: Reno Is Starting to Look More Like Silicon Valley – “Run-the-robots jobs at Tesla’s Gigafactory and elsewhere are turning the city into a hipster haven.”

The telltale signs of gentrification in Reno are creeping in. Thousands throng to the weekly Food Truck Fridays near downtown, dudes play cornhole while sipping cold brew coffee at a cafe by the river, and a local bartender can’t quite keep track of the number of craft breweries. Kristen Jaskulski opened Sol, a Polynesian kava bar, a few months ago and says the business is hitting its stride. The hipster scene helps young workers imagine moving to Reno, and those who can land these new kinds of factory jobs tend to have cash to spend once they arrive.

Charles C. W. Cooke: FBI Report on Alexandria Quietly Debunks the Gun-Controllers’ Talking Points – “It is devastating to the idea that the gun-control measures presently coveted by the Democratic party would have done something to prevent the attack.” The story provides an example about why it is that an honest debate seems to be so difficult.

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Just what is their flag?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The new American hate movement is the American left.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The people refused to vote “their interests.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And this is only the beginning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Hoodwink and Rewrite to rationalize and weaponize

Professor Walter E. Williams has a twofer this month as Something to Think About. Indeed.

Rewriting American History

The job of tyrants and busybodies is never done. When they accomplish one goal, they move their agenda to something else. If we Americans give them an inch, they’ll take a yard. So I say, don’t give them an inch in the first place. The hate-America types use every tool at their disposal to achieve their agenda of discrediting and demeaning our history. Our history of slavery is simply a convenient tool to further their cause.

Democrats’ Hoodwinking of Blacks

Since its founding in the late 1820s, the Democratic Party has defended slavery, started the Civil War and opposed Reconstruction. The Democratic Party imposed segregation. Its members engaged in the lynchings of blacks and opposed the civil rights acts of the 1950s and ’60s. During Reconstruction, hundreds of black men were elected to Southern state legislatures as Republicans, and 22 black Republicans served in the U.S. Congress by 1900. The Democratic Party did not elect a black man to Congress until 1935.

The War Between the States was much more than a war about slavery. If it had been only that, it might have been resolved in a manner similar to how Great Britain handled it a few years earlier. But the Democrats have a lot of guilt on that issue and the rationalizations and history erasures are ways to deny that guilt. It’s like those religious fanatics who parade the streets whipping themselves (flagellants or see Slashing themselves with chained blades, bloodied Shi’ite Muslims including young boys flagellate themselves to mark the death of the Prophet’s grandson). If they were really concerned about slavery, they’d be all over the issue where it exists in current affairs. But no, better to harm themselves, or their own country if that’s too much rather than try to address real world human suffering.

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Unity and symmetry

Dennis Prager: If A Trump Supporter Had Shot A Democratic Congressman – “From the moment Donald Trump was elected president, America has been drowning in left-wing hysteria, all fomented by the media and the Democratic Party.”

If Democrats had been shot by a Trump supporter, all you would be hearing and reading about is how much hate the Trump election has unleashed in America, how his election is threatening our democracy and how he is unleashing fascism.

But it was a not a Trump supporter who attempted to murder a Democratic congressman, Capitol Police officers, a House GOP aide and a lobbyist; it was a Trump-hating leftist who attempted to murder a Republican congressman and other Republican officials. And, for that reason, what would have been the dominant issue in America today is already a nonissue.

Republicans have accepted the post-shooting narrative of there being some sort of moral equivalence between right-wing and left-wing hate. That they have reinforces my belief that the great majority of Republicans and conservatives, whether in politics or in the media, do not appreciate how rotten the left is (the left — not traditional liberals). Many really believe that calls for “harmony” and “unity” with Democrats and the left are meaningful.

Even during the three-day “harmony” period, the left was busy furthering the falsehood that there is quantitative and qualitative equivalence between right-wing and left-wing hate.

The difference between what has happened after these shootings and what would have happened had a right-winger shot Democratic officials is, in a nutshell, the moral difference between the left and the right; and between Democrats and Republicans.

Austin Bay: A Democrat-controlled House would overturn the election and impeach Trump

Calculating the number of congressional Republicans hard left terrorist James T. Hodgkinson could have murdered on his baseball diamond battlefield reveals a megalomaniacal political scheme that may have inspired his savage assault: a history-altering Capitol Hill coup d’état within the electoral system.

Even if Hodgkinson didn’t see this possibility with clarity, his murder spree had this evil potential. Extremist Democrats have touted every single mid-term election as a political opportunity. The races for House seats in Montana and Georgia are two examples.

However, what Hodgkinson wanted to do with bullets, hostile mainstream media in league with the Democratic Party and anti-Trump Deep State bureaucrats seek to do with relentless fake news, relentless legal shenanigans and relentless political theater.

At the bottom line they want to overturn a legitimate election. So did Hodgkinson, the Progressive Terrorist. Hodgkinson belongs to them. And now they own him.

Allahpundit: Democratic strategist: “Hunt Republican congressmen” – “This guy’s been working overtime on Twitter since the Scalise shooting to discredit his own side.”

Mentioning Palin is how you know this is a troll, I think. He could have found dozens of fringe examples of random Republicans saying irresponsible things during the Obama years to tu-quoque but instead insisted on pointing to a famous case which even liberals have been forced to admit doesn’t fit this narrative

MSNBC host Joy Reid sent Steve Scalise a little “unity” candygram while he was fighting for life in the hospital. The message here isn’t as overtly “he had it coming” as Devine’s is, but…

And there are still ‘distinguished pundits’ who haven’t quite grasped what it means when these hypotheticals about putting the shoe on the other foot are being used for comparison and contrast. 

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A slow moving coup.

Jared E. Peterson: Mueller’s Real Mandate – “The Washington D.C. nomenklatura advanced forward last week with its slow-moving coup d’état against America’s constitutionally elected President.”

As of, today, Monday June 19, 2017, here is where matters stand for the President of the United States:

Though constitutionally and decisively elected to office, President Trump must carry out his duties — that include sole responsibility for protecting the American homeland in a world where North Korea fires missiles every month and Islamic fanatics commit atrocities on a near daily basis — while a former FBI Director, unrestrained by budget, personnel, duration of authority, or substantive area of inquiry, deliberately harasses, hounds, and distracts him and his appointed officials while attempting to find something — after last week, apparently anything — that could be twisted into a warrant for the President’s impeachment and removal from office.

How did the American Republic come to this ridiculously self-destructive pass?

Even in a country whose legal system has been as debased by politics as ours, it’s simple prosecutorial ethics that a massive and in itself damaging investigation into an allegation should be turned loose only when the charges are specific and after at least some evidentiary cause to believe they are true has been adduced.

Both specificity and evidence were completely absent at the time of the Rosenstein appointment.

VDH: Trump’s Way Out of the Progressive Labyrinth – “Since January 2017, the Congress ceased being a legislative body. It is now a Star-chamber court determined to decapitate the presidency.”

In every single week of the Trump presidency, the investigators and attorneys of FBI Director James Comey or, subsequently, of special counsel Robert Mueller, have leaked information that President Donald Trump was under investigation for either colluding with the Russians or obstructing justice—allegations so far without any substantiating evidence.

Never in the history of the republic have there been so many legislative and political simultaneous efforts to 1) sabotage the Electoral College, 2) sue to overturn the presidential vote in key swing states, 3) boycott the Inauguration, 4) systematically block presidential appointments, 5) surveille, unmask, and leak classified or privileged information about the elected president, 6) nullify federal law at the state and local level, 7) sue to remove the president by invoking the Emoluments Clause, 8) declare Trump unfit under the 25th Amendments, 9) demand recusals from his top aides, 10) cherry-pick sympathetic judges to block presidential executive orders, 11) have a prior administration’s residual appointees subvert their successor, and 12) promise impending impeachment.

And that is only the political effort to remove the president.

But can Trump survive the incessant onslaught, as the street, the progressive party and the media ratchet up their collective subversions month by month? Is there any way out of the progressive labyrinth?

Trump can find his way out of the progressive maze, if he presses ahead with his legislative agenda, keeps hammering away on the economy, and establishes the precedent that the Obama administration and its supporters and appointees, between January 2016 and January 2017, were far more likely to have broken federal statutes than Donald Trump.

Only legislative momentum, economic growth, and political deterrence can free Trump from the always expanding Alinskyite labyrinth.

A 45 year grudge continues to surface. David Landau: The Frenzied Last Act Of The Watergate Brigade – “For half a lifetime, political radicals have been crossing a desert. Three decades ago, the collapse of communism and the destruction of the Berlin Wall turned them into orphans of history.” And now they are trying to build skyscrapers on foundations of sand.

Today, the leftist core is in reach of a most improbable political victory. It’s been able to get there by reprising the events of 45 years ago in which the Washington establishment, led by news media, unseated a president.

Watergate was the real American insurgency—a hundred times more vital or lasting than any other movement of the time.

For many in the media, the sheer intoxication of that event is still a living thing. “Watergate lust” has created another outlet in the campaign against Trump’s presidency.

Commentators have already espoused the idea that the current crisis is Watergate-sized—or even bigger.

As a journalistic eye-witness to the real Watergate, this writer can attest that the comparison is false in an almost total degree. But a powerful human emotion is on the field, and not to be ignored. It is nostalgia—the sentiment of a mature man who could never get past being captain of his college football team.

You don’t have to read very far to see that, for the people at those journals, candidate Trump was not simply guilty as charged; he was guilty before being charged.

Whatever this thing is, it’s not Watergate.

Here’s another difference. Nixon’s offenses were concrete; they were made known, and could be balanced against Nixon’s virtues in the long view of history.

The storm-clouds over this president have a real air of the drumhead about them. If this process does not get clean, and fast, we could easily wind up with something far worse than Watergate: a show trial that shows nothing, and breaks the republic for good.

John Hinderaker cites David Horowitz: Have the Never Trumpers No Shame? – “This piece by David Horowitz appears first on Power Line. I share his sentiments entirely.”

Throughout the six months of Trump’s embattled presidency one can only be struck by the failure of anti-Trumpers, both left and right, to acknowledge that a judgment of theirs may have been too hasty, not to say embarrassingly wrong. Yet to those not gripped by anti-Trump passions it seems obvious that there have been many such instances where second thoughts were in order.

I don’t expect that there will be apologies forthcoming for these injustices to Trump – and therefore to the American people whose security depends on him. At least not anytime soon. The campaign to sabotage and overthrow the Trump presidency through slanders will continue. And its modus operandi will remain unchanged: Whenever Trump is attacked by anti-Trump Democrats and Republicans, he himself will be held responsible for the attacks, “his own worst enemy.” Whenever a blow is delivered to his presidency – and through his presidency to the American people – “he brought it on himself.”

Expectations, propaganda, and fantasy.

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What is evil? We need to know ourselves.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Behavior matters. It cannot be ignored.

Kiera Butler: A Scientist Didn’t Disclose Important Data—and Let Everyone Believe a Popular Weedkiller Causes Cancer – “A World Health Organization group called RoundUp a “probable carcinogen,” but it didn’t have all the facts.”

RoundUp has long been considered a benign alternative to harsher weedkillers. After extensive reviews, most regulatory agencies—the US Environmental Protection Agency, the European Food Safety Authority, and those of many other nations—have come to the conclusion that it does not cause cancer. So when the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a division of the UN’s World Health Organization, declared RoundUp a probable carcinogen in 2015, there was an international outcry. Shortly after, 184 plaintiffs in California filed a legal case against Monsanto, saying that the company failed to warn them about the risks of its product. Since then, in a separate suit, hundreds more plaintiffs have claimed that RoundUp caused their cancers, citing the IARC’s findings as evidence.

So why on Earth would a scientist fail to mention his own work—and blithely let a powerful agency come to a conclusion that his own data suggested was wrong?

“This is a board of people whose job it is to assess evidence, so they should be able to do that before it’s published,” he said. “The broader issue is that they seem eager to have reached the conclusion that they reached.”

“Despite the existence of fresh data about glyphosate,” reported Reuters, the agency is “sticking with its findings.”

meanwhile, worries that IARC’s handling of this case will damage public perception of the group. “This is going to end up undermining people’s confidence in this agency’s ability to do this well,” he said. “They don’t seem interested in getting to the bottom of these things. These decisions seem based in politics.”

Sound familiar? How many fields of inquiry and prestigious scientific bodies have been corrupted by Left wing politics accompanied by trying to use lawfare to impose ideological fantasies? Consider the emoluments lawsuit with hundreds of Democrats signing on as another expression of this same tactic.

Sally Persons: Bipartisan call for Trump to cool tone – “As lawmakers search for a new tone in Washington, both Republicans and Democrats eyed President Trump as a necessary part of the solution Thursday, saying he has the power — and even the duty — to lead a change in the conversation.”

Rep. Mark Sanford, South Carolina Republican, said Mr. Trump was “partially” to blame for the hostile rhetoric that has consumed politics since the 2016 election, and which many analysts said helped set the stage for this week’s horrific baseball field attack on GOP lawmakers.

Rep. Joseph Crowley, who, as chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, is one of the party’s chief message-makers, also looked to Mr. Trump for reasons the political debate has become venomous.

The balance Mr. Crowley tried to strike is emblematic of the challenge faced by members of Congress. They represent a deeply divided country with fiercely held views and a tendency to look at the other side as “what has gone wrong” in national politics.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, said Republicans were being “sanctimonious” about the causes of the shooting, and demanded they accept part of the blame.

One Republican acknowledged his own contribution to inflaming the political debate in the aftermath of the shooting. Rep. Chris Collins of New York apologized for his remarks Wednesday blaming Democrats for the attack.

At the first level, it is the people who commit violence, who cannot control their anger, and are uncivil who need to be called out and condemned. At the second level, it is the people who condone, accept, or even praise misbehavior that need to be called out for their contribution supporting that misbehavior. At the third level is the people who try to ignore what they see because to do otherwise is uncomfortable.

The key item to note about this call on Trump is that it isn’t specific behavior but rather subjective perception – tone – that is being used as the stimulus. If clarification for that perception is demanded, then the logical fallacies and witch hunt is put on parade. This should be enough to make it very clear to any honest person that it isn’t Trump that needs to ‘cool it’ but rather those engaged in false witness and otherwise participating in trying to pretend reality is not what is in front our faces.

But some do notice, do describe what they see, and explain their perceptions.

Peggy Ryan: Americans Learning to Live with Treason – “We are watching, in real-time, a palace revolution, an overt effort to remove the president of the United States.”

Just as James Comey proudly admitted he leaked privileged communication to the press, so these insurgents brazenly brag that they want to harm the president, to impeach him, to overthrow our government. The American people seem shockingly oblivious to the looming danger.

How did we get here? Well, let’s give credit where credit’s due: the left has its ducks in a row. Leftists are carrying out a carefully planned, well executed plot to take control of our government.

Oh, it’s not soldiers bursting through the White House gates to forcefully remove the president, or, as the left says, not yet. No, they’re using a form of behavior therapy, systematic desensitization, to numb the American people to their insurgence.

These are just a few of the unacceptable transgressions by our corrupt leaders. Each time, outraged conservatives demand that the perpetrators be brought to justice. Each time, the press gaslights the American people with a media blackout, acts as though the incident never happened. Each time, the cabal rides out the news cycle until the story fades, and everyone’s home free.

Time and again, the deception, lawlessness, violation of the Constitution, or open act of sedition is met with disbelief.

Lies and fake news are the norm these days, the once unthinkable and now the expected. This cabal is a powerful alliance. If we don’t stop them, if we continue to allow this open treason, they’ll eventually reach their goal, and there will be no way back.

Ronald Reagan warned: “You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, ‘There is a price we will not pay.’ ‘There is a point beyond which they must not advance.'”

I pray he’s right. Their price is our freedom, their next stop tyranny. And they’re moving ever closer.

Daniel Greenfield says Impeach Trump’s Impeachers – “They’re dirty and crooked as hell.”

The rush to impeach President Trump is on by an opposition party that lacks the votes, evidence or legal basis for such a move. But since when did an illegal left-wing coup need any of those things?

No Dem has been more honest about the real motive for impeachment than Congressman Ted Lieu.

“We should not give him a chance to govern,” Lieu had declared after Trump had been in office for ten days. And he predicted that, “I do believe that if we win back the House of Representatives, impeachment proceedings will be started.”

That’s not how things work in the United States. But the left is running America like a banana republic.

John Sexton: Extremism experts are just starting to worry about the left now? – “My reaction: It’s about damn time.”

Somewhere in the middle of the article, Vice points out that violence is nothing new on the far left. In the 1960s groups like the Weather Underground ran domestic terror campaigns.

Earlier today the Daily Caller published a list of left-wing attacks on conservatives which contains 35 bullet points, all of them since last July.

And there seem to be plenty of people on the left spurring others on to this kind of violence. In January I wrote about a Black Lives Matter protester who gave a speech saying “we need to stark killing people.” Seven years ago, progressive cartoonist published a book whose premise was that violent revolution (by the left) was necessary. So, yes, I think it’s past time to start taking a hard look at left-wing violence and those who encourage it.

VDH is wondering Can a Divided America Survive? – “History has not been very kind to countries that enter a state of multicultural chaos.”

Either the United States will return to a shared single language and allegiance to a common and singular culture, or it will eventually descend into clannish violence.

America barely survived the Civil War of 1861–65, the Great Depression of 1929–39, and the rioting and protests of the 1960s. But today’s growing divides are additionally supercharged by instant Internet and social-media communications, 24/7 cable news, partisan media, and the denigration of America’s past traditions.

All Americans need to take a deep breath, step back, and rein in their anger — and find more ways to connect rather than divide themselves.

Steven Hayward has The Week in Pictures: Civil War Edition – “does the left really want open warfare in America? For all their talk of “fighting in the streets,” they might want to think how that would actually turn out.” Pictures emphasize the captions. Consider a few examples. “Seriously. Conservatives own 200+ million guns, 12 trillion rounds of ammo. If we were violent, you’d know it.” or “If Conservatives trust God, why do they need so many guns? Because they don’t trust Democrats.” or “Liberals think conservatives are violent because we own guns. When was the last time a group of conservatives blocked a freeway, turned over cop cars, rioted, looted, threw Molotov cocktails, burned buildings?” Many more. Go see.

Oh, and “What do we learn from cows, buffaloes & elephants? It’s impossible to reduce weight by eating green grass and salads and walking.”

For an example of the ‘ignore it in hopes it will go away school’ (level 3) is the Coyote and his new rules. He has always had a penchant for moral preening about standing above the fray where ‘both sides do it.’ His new rules proclaim “it has been a point of pride that I read from both sides. But these folks are all crazy, all the more so because they waste so many electrons arguing their side is sane and the other is crazy.” There is a difference between arguing and describing and a good part of critical reading is being able to make distinctions in the integrity and quality of the presentation. What the Coyote is doing is analogous to these protesters who actively seek to silence any opinion they don’t like. The method here is not to go after the dissenting voice but rather to self censor and avoid.

Daniel John Sobieski: The Democrats’ Deadly Rhetoric – “Bernie Sanders … and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have spent the time since President Trump’s election yelling fire in the political theatre we call democracy, warning endlessly that people will die because of the Trump agenda, painting apocalyptic visions of planetary doom.”

But as former Arkansas Governor and 2016 GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has pointed out, in order to dial down the rhetoric, one must have a working moral thermostat. That the Democrats do not have. What they have is venomous anger stemming from Donald Trump’s theft of their inheritance, his cessation of their fundamental transformation of America. Donald Trump denied them the power to control every facet of our lives.

The day after the Scalise shooting and calling for unity on the House floor, Pelosi was back stirring the pot and, not looking in the mirror, took a shot at Fox News for inspiring the crazies

In one sense, Pelosi, Sanders and Jerry Brown are right that people will die because of GOP policies. Last Wednesday a group of Republican Congressmen almost did thanks to the hatred Democrats inspire.

Behavior matters. It cannot be ignored.

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It’s most dangerous in the close field

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Trying to pretend it isn’t there is getting rather difficult.

IBT: As Steve Scalise Shooting Shows, Left’s Rhetoric Of Anger And Hate Has Gotten Out Of Hand – “This is how Trump Derangement Syndrome looks. But, sadly, such talk is not at all unusual on the left. It’s what happens when a political movement eschews honest debate and instead begins violently fantasizing in public about the demise of its opposition in the starkest, most eliminationist terms possible.”

Washington Times: A shooting war on Republicans – “Trump Derangement Syndrome leads to an attempted assassination.” Reaping what you sow …

Millions of Democrats, disappointed with the results of the 2016 elections, have built their lives around despising the president. It isn’t healthy for the republic, it isn’t healthy for those afflicted and it won’t be healthy for those who die at the hands of assassins.

Though neither Mr. Sanders nor any other Democrat is responsible for the attack on the Republican congressmen, but they are responsible for creating the current partisan climate, where anything goes in the crusade to destroy a duly elected and duly qualified president of the United States. Trump Derangement Syndrome will destroy everything we all hold holy and priceless unless political passions can be brought under control. The hour is late.

Judson Phillips: Resist movement, violence are tearing America apart – “Antifa, others terrorizing America.”

Since the election of 2016, the left has gone crazy. Their version of the tea party is called Resistance, and the spearhead of that is a loosely formed terrorist group called Antifa. Antifa is short for Anti-Fascist. The irony of their name is not lost on those who actually know history, as their tactics are straight from the fascist playbook.

In the past few months, these groups have repeatedly disrupted peaceful pro-Trump rallies. They have called for and used violence against people who support the president or disagree with them and even against members of the media who will report things Antifa doesn’t want reported.

California and Hawaii have recently announced that they would sign agreements with other nations so they could join the Paris climate change accord. Liberal states have this amazing ability to find things in the U.S. Constitution that people haven’t been able to find for over 200 years, but they ignore the plain language of the document that organizes the United States of America.

Will Ricciardella: HuffPo Pulls Article Calling For ‘Ultimate Punishment’ Of Trump – “The Huffington Post pulled a piece calling for the “execution” of President Donald Trump published Saturday by contributor Jason Fuller.”

Cheryl K. Chumley: We don’t need gun control — we need Democrat control – “Never let a crisis go to waste, as the left’s loud Chicago mayor, Rahm Emanuel, always used to say.”

If nothing else, this horrific ballpark shooting, done at the hands of James T. Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old Illinois man with an anti-Trump Facebook page that touted his love for all-things-socialism, shows just how dangerous the Democratic all-courts-press for political wins has become.

But the fact is, there is blame that can be affixed here. There is one political party more than another that’s comfortable using violence as a form of acceptable political protest. And violence, thy name is Democratic.

The common denominator? These are all leftist-led upheavals and campaigns. These are all Democratic-progressive-socialist-anarchist fueled protests, gatherings, get-togethers.

These are all movements that involve leftists possessed of intense hatred for all-things-Trump, all-things-conservative.

Unity is good. Peace is even better. And living out a godly, biblical life, both on Capitol Hill and in the privacy of home, that convicts of the need to reach out and connect with those of differing views is most definitely the way to go. But let’s face facts here.

The timing of this shooting means something. It says something about our culture, our moral compass, our political realities. It’s indicative of something deeper, darker. Put together all these somethings and what’s left is the need for Democrats, party of the angry, to step up, step forward and get their messaging and political protesting under control. And they need to do it quickly, before any more innocent Americans get hurt.

Thomas Lifson: New York Times publishes despicable lies to soften its own culpability for left wing violence – Denial on parade.

What’s a newspaper to do when it ostentatiously refuses to cut funding for a high-profile play in Central Park depicting an obvious President Trump-themed Julius Caesar being assassinated, and then a left wing extremist attempts to assassinate a group of GOP congressmen?

The answer is obvious: lie!

The New York Times editorial today about the attempted assassination yesterday in Alexandria is one of the most despicable acts of the newspaper since its Russia correspondent Walter Duranty actively covered up Stalin’s crimes in deliberately starving Ukraine.

John Sexton: The Washington Post has suddenly forgotten how the ‘climate of hate’ works – “Today’s shooting of Republicans by a man with a long history of anti-Republican social media postings has created a cottage industry of Republicans blame Democrats pieces on the left.” But, no, both sides are not equally culpable and trying to pretend so is a denial of the facts in existance.

IBT: Democrats Trot Out Plan C In Their Never-Ending Trump Impeachment Crusade – “It is merely a coincidence that just as the Trump-Russia collusion story started seriously falling apart, Democrats suddenly shifted gears to file a lawsuit against President Trump for allegedly violating an obscure provision of the Constitution involving foreign “emoluments.”

But more likely, this is simply another despicable attempt by Democrats to hobble a president they don’t like and overturn an election they regret, using any means necessary to do so. If Plan A (claiming Trump’s campaign colluded with Russians) won’t fly. And if Plan B (saying he tried to obstruct justice) doesn’t end up having legs — despite reports late Wednesday that the special council is looking into it. Then it’s time to move to Plan C, filing laughable emoluments lawsuits.

It makes one wonder how far down the alphabet we’ll have to go before we get to a Democratic plan that involves engaging in a civil debate with Trump over public policies to meet the urgent needs of the country. Do they even have such a plan?

Sundance: WaPo Report: Robert Mueller Investigating “Obstruction of Justice” Claims… – “It would appear the FBI and Robert Mueller’s team are still leaking information as noted by President Trump attorney.”

The risk represented by Robert Mueller is not connected to or about anything surrounding the Russian Conspiracy Narrative; the legal risk is within ‘the leaking‘ of classified intelligence information to undermine the administration, the potentially illegal ‘unmasking‘, and now adding an obstruction of justice angle.

If we avoid all the shiny things, ignore the shell game and reset our frame of reference to the only illegal activity currently known, the leaking; the main illegal activity visible is the illegal leaking of classified intelligence information.

Despite his earnest efforts, there is clear and mounting evidence that former FBI Director James Comey was the primary source of leaked information to the media.

The risk to Comey from his media leaking continues to explain everything James Comey has recently done, said and advanced.

Mueller has several problems. The only criminal predicate to provide credibility for his assignment is the leaking. A close friend and colleague of his is at the center of this predicate having even confessed to leaking and that raises the issue of Mueller’s conflict of interest. Mueller has also demonstrated a significant bias in his senior staff selections. All of this feeds the partisan witch hunt narrative rather than diminishes it and that feeds a sense of unfairness and corruption in the swamp.

Allahpundit: So that’s why so many Trump allies have called for firing Mueller this week – “explains why this news is suddenly being leaked. It’s an insurance policy for Mueller.”

The irony, though, is that it strengthens the “fire Mueller!” case. Mueller was supposed to be the low-key, by-the-book law-enforcement legend who’d conduct a quiet investigation with no dirty media tricks to gratuitously embarrass the president. And now here we are, with his team — presumably — leaking a sensational claim that the president’s being probed for obstruction.

And the question “what obstruction?” goes begging. It takes a lot of creativity to try to rationalize what is actually known to obtain the usual legal requirements for establishing obstruction of justice.

Instapundit has more starting with Kurt Schlichter: Why Should We Trust Mueller? – “Mueller should resign. Aside from the issues above, I don’t see any way that his office’s work will be seen as impartial, defeating the point of a special counsel. And given that — as even Chris Matthews has admitted — the whole Russia-collusion story has imploded, I’m not sure why his office shouldn’t just be shut down.”

Let’s look at all of the evidence. Mueller seems like a good guy. War hero. No scandals as FBI director. Not a known scumbag or skeevy perv. In Washington terms, the last one alone puts him miles ahead of the competition.

But now we find out that he’s Leaky Jim Comey’s bestest buddy there ever was. These guys are pals, and now Mueller is going to investigate the dude who fired his amigo? Does that seem cool to you?

In the news this morning on the Radio, the topic was about how successful the propaganda effort against Trump has been. The assassination efforts? No. The lack of evidence despite the allegations and innuendo? No. The leaks and other actual criminal activity? No. 

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Whither corruption?

We have a man asking if the players on the field are Republican or Democrat and then, when finding that it is a Congressional Republican practice squad, taking up arms against them. Several assassination fantasies are showing the American People just how the Democrats reject them and how far those on the Left will go in trying to deny elections and civil processes.

Conrad Black thinks Trump Is Winning His War on Washington – “It is easy to forget that the credibility battle between President Trump and James Comey is just the latest round in Donald Trump’s long struggle to overwhelm, single-handedly at first, the entire national political power structure.”

Every charge, no matter how fantastic, against the incoming president was given immense play by the morally bankrupt, unrelievedly partisan mainstream media, led by the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC and NBC. All of these outlets had gagged on election night, and all of them refused to accept the legitimacy of the new administration.

There had never been an argument to reelect the Democrats on the merits of the largely failed Obama administration, so their entire campaign was a smear job on Trump.

Trump has fought like a fearless but calculating fighting bull. His greatest problem is not spurious charges or media hostility, which is not uniform and provokes a heavy backlash, but the cowardice of congressional Republicans.

David French notes how The Big Collusion Narrative Keeps Melting Down – “I’m struck by the total lack of any compelling claims supporting the “big” collusion narrative, that Russia conspired with Trump or Trump officials to “hack” election.”

Millions of American believe the worst about their current president, claims every bit as toxic in their own way as “truther” smears against George Bush or “birther” smears against Barack Obama. The Trump collusion narrative has gotten a far wider and more respectable hearing than either of the two conspiracy theories that plagued the Bush and Obama administrations. Truth is truth, and it’s important for responsible people to not just understand and respond to actual evidence — no matter where it leads — but also acknowledge its absence. And so far the absence of evidence points to Trump’s innocence of some of the worst allegations ever leveled against an American president or his senior team.

Jazz Shaw: The ugly question: What if the Russia Russia Russia story was nothing? – “If all of the congressional hearings and the investigatory work by Mueller and the FBI reports end up coming up with nothing but a couple of people forgetting to list some dinner parties they attended, then what? French is correct.”

The media has spent months effectively accusing the President and his team of treason. So I ask again… what if there’s nothing to the story? Do we all shake our heads and move on to The Next Big Thing? We demand transparency and accountability of our elected leaders, but is there any sort of accountability for the media? Would there ever be, as unimaginable as it seems… an apology?

Alicia Colon: When losing an election makes you lose your mind – “It is clear that the Democrat Party has become the amoral party of progressives aka Marxists and not the one my family grew up with.”

In my opinion, the nation hasn’t been this polarized since the 1860’s with families divided over a national issue. Even during the Vietnam War, the divisions were between the silent majority and what they viewed as commie pinko militants.

Since there was a very real possibility of dying in an Asian war, one could understand why the youth waged against the war. I used to have arguments with a young 19 year old co-worker who later fled to Canada to avoid the draft. I ran into him years later when he admitted that his protests were a result of fear. Very understandable but I just don’t understand what is happening with the protests today.

If you’re a conservative who voted for Donald Trump even though he wasn’t your first choice, you may have ended up ostracized by the Democrats in your family or have ended up writing off a number of friends who’ve expressed contempt for your choice. It’s a very wise policy not to discuss politics or religion but hard to do when your career is about politics.

I’ve been called a moron, a deplorable, unhinged, and worse by those whom I once believed were reasonable but have now lost their minds. I choose not to return that vitriol for those I care for and hope that one day they will come to their senses and realize the sky is not falling and our POTUS may succeed in making America great again.

He will do this in spite of all the mainstream media, leftwing pundits, social media, the entire Democrat Party, RINOs, Hollywood celebrities and Soros minions spending his billions waging phony protests against him.

I will continue to pray for President Trump’s success and I encourage the rest of the deplorables to wish him well.

Paul Mirengoff: “The Post’s slogan these days is: “Democracy dies in darkness.” Yet, the Post is more than willing to keep its readers in the dark when it comes to key elements of the stories it reports.” Another case of media dishonesty dissected.

Neo-neocon: The next step for the Resistance – “Oh, those sheepish Democrats, so tactful and reluctant to talk about Trump’s impeachment!” So much creativity and effort is being directed at fantasies and delusions. It almost overtakes the influence of hate and vindictiveness.

Fake news is one thing. Fake law takes it to a higher level. Allan J. Favish asks Are You Ready for Fake Facts and Fake Law from the Ninth Circuit? – “these judges “interpreted” the law to mean something that the law does not state, so that even if the executive order were to be interpreted accurately, it would run afoul of the law.”

As a judge, if you want a particular outcome to a case, and your desired outcome is not possible with the applicable facts and law, and you are determined to achieve your desired outcome, you must either distort the law, or the facts, or both. In this case, these judges distorted the facts by “interpreting” President Trump’s second executive order as if it stated something other than what it actually states. At the same time, they distorted the law by “interpreting” it so that it applies to the executive order, even if the executive order would have been interpreted accurately.

The corruption isn’t in the Executive right now.

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Flirting with fantasy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But Malcom gets stuck in the TDS tar-pit:

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

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

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

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Wheels within wheels

Special Counsel Mueller is being played and Sundance says Never Underestimate The Severity of James Comey’s Manipulative Intent… – “There are times when it becomes important, perhaps very important, to emphasize inherent angles and intentions that breed within the scheme.”

James Comey is setting up Special Counsel Mueller as fruit of a poisoned tree Comey would have you believe he planted. He didn’t; but his future interests are served in having us believe he did.

These ‘after-the-fact-words‘, spoken before congress, are framed as James Comey setting up an explanation and reference point for the appointment of his “friend”, Robert Mueller. However, these are also the Machiavellian words of Comey trying to diminish the risk inherent in Robert Muellers investigation.

Fired Comey has no way of knowing how deep the investigation may go. Nor does James Comey know the severity of disposition amid those within the FBI ranks who saw and experienced his true, manipulative and self-serving character.

Therefore, the easiest way to remove risk is to corrode the foundation for the underlying investigative construct by deteriorating support for the investigation itself.

It is beginning to be noticed as a pattern. This time, the fruits of Comey’s efforts are discussed by Byron York: Is Robert Mueller conflicted in Trump probe? – “central to those allegations — the key witness — will be the prosecutor’s good friend, the now-aggrieved former FBI director.”

It’s somewhat ironic, no? I mean, the whole purpose of the special counsel is to have a prosecutor from outside the government and outside of the normal chain of command because inherent conflicts render the Justice Department incapable of handling it. So, now the special counsel is a close friend (mentor/mentee relationship) with the star witness, who by his own admission leaked the memos at least in part to engineer the appointment of a special counsel. Only in Washington. You can’t make this stuff up.

Jazz Shaw: (Video) Florida sheriff urges people to arm up and prepare. Outrage ensues – “Sheriff Wayne Ivey has … drawn national attention for a new video which his department released this month, encouraging people to arm themselves and learn how to fight to protect their own lives and families in the event of a spontaneous terror attack such as we’ve been seeing around the globe. It’s about six minutes long and is quite well produced, so give it a look.”

Even if he’s not insisting everyone have guns, the anti-gun groups can’t stand to hear about anyone suggesting fighting back. Sheriff Ivey seems to have clear eyes when it comes to the possibility of an attack by jihadist forces, but not quite so much when it comes to the home front. Perhaps he should have kept one other old adage from Sun Tzu in mind. “If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles… if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.”

John Hinderaker: Anti-Fascist Fascists: A Sign of the Times – “the antifa movement actually exists. I know it exists because antifas keep starting fights.”

The antifas have adopted the age-old trick of calling themselves the opposite of what they are. In reality, they are Brownshirts, fascists. They attack lawful demonstrations, they don black masks and throw bricks through store windows, they assault political opponents when they have them outnumbered and police officers when they think they can get away with it.

The antifas think they are street fighting men, but in fact they fall considerably short. They apparently want a civil war, but I doubt that they are serious. The Democrats started one civil war, and it didn’t end well for them. The current generation of pajama boys would fare much worse.

And then there a couple of states suing the President because he has the audacity to own businesses ….

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