Archive for December, 2017

Not even moral?

This is a case not often made. Avoiding GMOs isn’t just anti-science. It’s immoral By Mitch Daniels — 

“Of the several claims of “anti-science” that clutter our national debates these days, none can be more flagrantly clear than the campaign against modern agricultural technology, most specifically the use of molecular techniques to create genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Here, there are no credibly conflicting studies, no arguments about the validity of computer models, no disruption of an ecosystem nor any adverse human health or even digestive problems, after 5 billion acres have been cultivated cumulatively and trillions of meals consumed.

And yet a concerted, deep-pockets campaign, as relentless as it is baseless, has persuaded a high percentage of Americans and Europeans to avoid GMO products, and to pay premium prices for “non-GMO” or “organic” foods that may in some cases be less safe and less nutritious. 
 …
This is the kind of foolishness that rich societies can afford to indulge. But when they attempt to inflict their superstitions on the poor and hungry peoples of the planet, the cost shifts from affordable to dangerous and the debate from scientific to moral.
 …
It’s not that the legitimate scientific community doesn’t understand the seriousness of the problem or the distortions of the naysayers. But too many keep what they know to themselves or, when they engage, observe the Marquis of Queensbury rules in what is essentially a street brawl. One can understand their reticence, facing an aggressive, often self-interested anti-GMO lobby that is indifferent to the facts and quick with ad hominem attacks.

The zealotry, tactics, and blindness as described here are all common traits seen in arguments like this, arguments that can only be sustained by a wealth that minimizes direct experience with the reality of the phenomena. 

 

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grappling with reality

A president unafraid of the press by Don Surber – “People who last week bitched about no year-end press conference showed open hostility to the president talking to a reporter unguarded by his flacks.” It was an opportunity, a feeding, for Trump material to twist, distort, and demean by the Left’s Propaganda Machine and that it did.

“The power of the press is gone. A Republican president no longer is afraid of the press. In fact, Trump is the most accessible president in my lifetime — because he really doesn’t care what they write. Oh he tweets. It entertains his troops and has the press chasing its tail.

The American news media is fixated on Trump. No one wants to risk ratings or clicks by talking about anyone else. There also is a strange desire to be hated by Trump. It is some sort of stamp of approval in the media.

The interview was such a waste that it yielded a dozen different story lines for reporters in the worst week for reporters. Trump knows how to feed the trolls.

The press made personal attacks on the president. Some were doozies.

After more than a year of million-dollar investigations there is not one scintilla of evidence of collusion.

Which is why Trump keeps talking about it, because the Russian story makes the press look like desperate partisans rather than competent referees.

Wise people would have gone back to the basics last year, played it straight, and given Donald Trump a chance.

Reading these accounts — these desperate attempts to revive an industry — saddens me. It’s not what was that is the tragedy; it is what might have been.

Transparent DOJ and FBI Desperation: New York Times Attempts “Trump Operation” Justification… by sundance – “The New York Times, via Clinton’s favorite voice Maggie Haberman, pushes out an article attempting to cloud, obfuscate and justify the joint FBI and DOJ surveillance operation against Trump.”

“The timing, content and presentation of the disinformation is transparent in the intended motive. More and more people are recognizing the FBI application to the FISA court was based on political information, the Steele Dossier, assembled by political operatives and used by political operatives within the DOJ National Security Division and FBI Counterintelligence Division.

As to the substance of the NYT justification it is absurd on its face. Claiming George Papadopoulos speaking to an Australian politician in London mid May 2016, and a conversation about Russians having dirt on Hillary Clinton, as the origin of the FBI’s Russian probe is silly.

FBI Chapter of Hillary Clinton Fan Club Probes President Trump by Deroy Murdock – “It’s simply incredible what the Mueller team is being allowed to get away with.”

“At worst, this is judicial corruption, rooted in bottomless affection for the subject of one inquiry and boundless disdain for the target of a different probe.

At best, this creates the appearance of corruption, whereby Mueller’s team and their FBI and DOJ colleagues seem so pro-Hillary and so anti-Trump that even their totally even-handed and perfectly honest conclusions would be attacked as either a phony exoneration of Hillary, a fake prosecution of Trump, or an over-reaction to criticism that prompted the opposite results. With Drano-like efficiency, these outcomes would corrode confidence in federal law-enforcement agencies and the rule of law.

Mueller’s inquest is terminally compromised, as these details demonstrate:

The DOJ and FBI rot from the head down. So who’s the head? by Brian C. Joondeph – “The Trump-Russia collusion investigation is on life support.”

“With 90 percent of media coverage negative toward President Trump, you can be certain that if Trump conspired with Russia to hack the election, these same media would have long ago found evidence of collusion. But they haven’t, have they? Instead, they hyperventilate over nonsense, such as a truck blocking their view of Trump’s golf course, now a three-day story for CNN.

The conspiracy was legion, with many agency heads and upper managers working together to undermine an election. … These players could not have behaved as they did without the approval of the head of the fish, the occupant of the Oval Office – none other than President Barack Obama. Whether explicit or implicit, his directions were crystal-clear to his underlings – his attorney general, his FBI director, his IRS commissioner, and all the other agency heads serving at his pleasure.

No one working in the Obama administration would take on such chicanery and corruption on his own. This all had the blessing of the boss.

But make no mistake that none of this would have happened without the approval of the boss man in the Oval Office. If his standard were to respect law and electoral tradition, none of this would have happened.

As Cell Service Expands, National Parks Become Digital Battlegrounds by Stuart Leavenworth – “First responders support the plans, as do some park officials, who argue that better cell coverage will help attract a new generation of visitors. Critics fear it will lead to more noisy distractions in places designed to be an escape from the modern world.” As usual, one side wants a tech, government, top down fix and the other says that the problem belongs to the individual’s needs and desires.

“these days at Yosemite National Park, hikers to Half Dome are likely to encounter people talking on cellphones as they climb to the top. For visitors to the parks, the call of the outdoors increasingly comes with crisp 4G service, and not everyone is wild about that.

Yet advocates for increased cell service, including many NPS officials, say the parks can’t cling to an earlier era. Expanded cellular and broadband coverage, they argue, helps rescue teams respond to emergencies and are necessary to draw a new generation to the parks.

Juggling public demands has always been difficult in the national parks, especially those that draw big crowds and include large expanses of designated wilderness.

“This shouldn’t be an issue,” said Huffman. “If you want to avoid distractions in the wilderness, you can just turn off your phone. But you might also want to be able to turn on that phone and make a call if you broke your arm and needed help.”

First responders and other safety officials agree that enhanced cell service helps in many outdoor rescues. But the issue is complicated

It’s a matter of personal choice. Do you want it enforced from the top down or from the bottom up? Do you want to remove the option by government edict or do you want to deal with abuse by ignorant idiots? One clue is the situation now:

“People will go into the backcountry and think the cellphone will be their savior,” said Newbern. “Sometimes it doesn’t turn out that way.”

People assume things whether or not the top down choice has been made for them.

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Bookends: Vietnam and Government oppression

Senator Lindsey Graham Just Confirmed The Steele Dossier Was Used For 2016 FISA Warrant… by sundance – “Brian Kilmead understood what he was hearing was serious, but didn’t quite catch the specific gravity of it.” The mountain of evidence being pulled from many sources with great difficulty is all pointing in one direction.

“This is critical and important because the specific use of the Steele Dossier underpins the BIG UGLY and exposes the entire top-tier apparatus of the FBI Counterintelligence Division (Peter Strzok, Bill Priestap, James Baker, Andrew McCabe) and the DOJ National Security Division (John Carlin, Stuart Evans, Mary McCord and Sally Yates), as well as DOJ Bruce Ohr and FBI lawyer Lisa Page directly to “conspiracy” charges.

Steven Spielberg’s ‘The Post’ Fails To Land the Real Scoop On the Fate of Free Vietnam by Seth Lipsky – “Sometimes democracy dies in the full glare of the press.”

“That’s what happened in Vietnam. And the film, “The Post,” takes on a special irony today, as a press full of righteous indignation seeks to overturn an American election.

Yet this movie deals with only some of the lies about Vietnam. Inexcusable as they were, the lies told by the Americans were relatively small beer.

It was our Communist enemies who told the big lie — that the war was a struggle for liberation by Vietnam’s noble comrades, who took on the Americans with pitchforks. What hooey.

The truth is that the war was a conquest of free South Vietnam by a well-armed, Soviet-backed regime in the north. At the end, the enemy emerged from the jungles with tanks and surface-to-air missiles.

it wasn’t sending troops that turned out to be the error. Rather, it was assuming we couldn’t win.

On the ground in Vietnam, our GIs did just that. In the most famous battle, Tet in 1968, our soldiers trounced the Communists. The cause of free Vietnam was betrayed in the United States Congress, which had been turned by the anti-war movement.

the decision by Congress was to retreat in the face of Soviet Communism. It was about abandoning the hope of free Vietnam itself.

Vietnam’s democracy died in broad daylight.

These are bookends for the Boomers. One set of scandals and Leftist abandonment of culture when coming of age and another when retiring. Will democracy die in the full glare or will the country remove the blinders and correct course? Is the future Venezuela or the Shining City on the Hill?

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defenders of telepathy

Congress Is Forming A Bipartisan Alternative Medicine Caucus By Alex Berezow – “Open displays of bipartisanship are rare these days and, as such, should be applauded. Unfortunately, a recent example of bipartisanship promotes junk science and bogus health claims.” i.e. everybody can be bought by fake news.

“ If alternative medicine worked, it would just be called medicine. In other words, a patient has two choices: evidence-based medicine or witchcraft. Congress has decided that it would like to throw more support behind the latter.

Where did this pseudoscientific monstrosity come from? Former Democratic Senator Tom Harkin is mostly at fault, but there is plenty of blame to go around. Current Republican Senator Orrin Hatch also likes alternative medicine, specifically the supplements industry.

The influence of alternative medicine is widespread and pernicious. A study reported by RealClearScience compared the outcomes of cancer patients on conventional therapy with those using alternative medicine. It found that, after five years, 78% of the former were still alive, compared to only 55% of the latter. Alternative medicine kills people. Literally.

Knowing Their Harm, Politicians Still Push for Minimum Wages by Matthew Lau – “We have minimum wage hikes for the same reason we have rent control, protectionism, and thousands of other destructive policies.”

“Thankfully, the racist motivations of minimum wages are today gone. However, the negative consequences of minimum wages still are often not unintentional. Take the example of Ontario, Canada, where the minimum wage is set to rise from $11.60 today to $14 in 2018, and then to $15 in 2019. This policy will undoubtedly result in business closures and job losses – and as it turns out, these consequences are intended.

Which businesses will be unable to afford a minimum wage hike? The answer is primarily businesses that provide jobs to workers whose maximum productivity is too low to justify a $15 wage. Raising the wage floor to $15 makes untenable the employment of any workers whose skills do not allow them to contribute at least $15 of value hourly to employers.

With four studies produced by the Ontario government showing negative employment effects of raising the minimum wage without any reduction in poverty, why are politicians pushing forward with the policy?

The answer as to why we have minimum wage hikes is the same as to why we have rent control, and protectionism, and thousands of other destructive government policies – polls show raising the minimum wage is a political winner.

‘Fake News’: Half of all Americans believe the media make up anti-Trump stories by Bradford Richardson – “Nearly half of all Americans believe media outlets fabricate negative stories about President Trump, according to a new survey.” Can’t put much veracity in polls these days, either, but maybe, just maybe, evidence and reality might be in there somewhere? It is interesting with stories like this that actual measure of the phenomena is subservient to opinion polling data looking at perceptions. The political bias in perceptions does get some notice, though indirectly.

“At the inaugural Poynter Journalism Ethics Summit earlier this month, Brendan Nyhan, a political scientist at Dartmouth College, said increased trust in the media is a “double-edged sword” because it’s being driven mostly by partisan polarization.

“We’ve seen these dynamics occur on issues with scientists, and their perception is being affiliated with the Democratic Party, and that really harms scientific credibility in the public debate,” Mr. Nyhan said during a panel discussion.

“If journalists go down that the same road and become seen as part of the Democratic [Party] coalition, I think it’s very harmful to the ability of all you to do your jobs and to create this reasonably broad, shared consensus about the nature of reality that we’d like to hope is a mission of journalism,” he warned.

Looking for Mueller’s red meat main course By Wesley Pruden – “The conspiracy theorists are hungry, and Robert Mueller owes them dinner.”

“This lack of red meat is trying the stamina and patience of many who devoutly believe that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians to inflict maximum pain on Miss Hillary.

Who needs proof, just indict someone again, this time for mopery. Mr. Schiff was quick to embrace the infamous Russia-Trump dossier about the Donald’s naughty deeds with an expensive hooker in Moscow, written by a onetime British spy and paid for by the Democratic Party desperate for something to rescue Hillary’s foundering presidential campaign. The erstwhile spy promised evidence of Trump campaign collusion with the Russian government, but delivered only “evidence” of collusion, widely discredited, with a hooker. The FBI swallowed the story, but no one else did.

Russophobes’ irrationality emulates that of creationists by Luboš Motl – “Russophobe Harding ended the interview abruptly when he apparently realized that he has proven his book and his brain to have no beef.”

“I am not sure whether you want to sacrifice 30 minutes: I was uncertain whether anything new could come out of it. But at the end, I did watch the whole interview. And I have no regrets because it was brutal. It has reinforced my impression that a majority of the contemporary political disagreements doesn’t follow the old-fashioned left-and-right political divides. These conflicts divide the people to the rational and irrational ones instead.

In other words, Harding, the Russophobe, spoke just like some fanatical believers in the supernatural phenomena or Young Earth creationism or loop quantum gravity or science-as-democracy or any stuff like that – which exposes the true believers’ muddy thinking, constant and often apparently deliberate distraction, inability or lack of will to distinguish the hard facts and rigorous proofs from a wishful thinking, group think, random accusations, and unsubstantiated hypotheses.

Trump’s tweet on the cold weather looks like it hit a nerve as it is cited everywhere from Watts Up With That to the trolls who just have no sense of humor and otherwise illustrate the behaviors described by Motl and others.

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Evidence? We don’t need no stinkin’ evidence!

‘Junk science’? Studies behind Obama regulations under fire by Fred Lucas – “Scientific studies used by the Obama administration to help justify tough environmental regulations are coming under intensifying scrutiny, with critics questioning their merit.” Climate Catastrophe isn’t the only subject showing these behaviors that are worthy of skepticism.

In October, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a directive to ensure that individuals serving on EPA advisory committees don’t get EPA grants and are free from potential conflicts of interest.

“Whatever science comes out of EPA, shouldn’t be political science,” Pruitt said in a statement. “From this day forward, EPA advisory committee members will be financially independent from the agency.”

Environmental groups blasted the decision.

Pruitt has become one of the most controversial members of the Trump administration in its first year, cast by his detractors as battling the kinds of regulations his agency is supposed to be upholding. But his office suggests many of those rules were flawed from the start.

Here’s a look at some of the most controversial studies behind those regulations: …

Democrats’ case for Trump-Russia grand conspiracy crumbles with lack of evidence by Rowan Scarborough – “Mr. Schiff’s acknowledgment that collusion “still remains to be seen” shows that nearly a year after the House intelligence panel began its investigation, Democrats are left with a relatively small list of Trump campaign-Russia contacts on which to base a grand conspiracy.”

“The roster of contacts, some of them apparently innocuous, is a far cry from charges in the infamous Russia-Trump dossier. Paid with funds from the Democratic Party, writer Christopher Steele, a former British spy, told of a supposed “extensive conspiracy between Trump’s campaign team and the Kremlin.”

Mr. Schiff eagerly read Mr. Steele’s felony accusations into the record. Those charges remain unproven, the FBI has told congressional investigators, 17 months after it opened a counterintelligence probe that relied on the dossier. Republicans in Congress also say the dossier’s core collusion charges remain unproven.

For example, there has been no public evidence, as claimed by Mr. Steele, that Trump associates and Russian intelligence worked together to hack the Democrats and spread stolen emails.

Donald Trump is not attacking the FBI, even as he attacks the FBI by James A. Gagliano – “There is something purposely inaccurate about how some in certain media circles are attempting to frame the “battle royale” ongoing between the president of the United States and the world’s premier law enforcement agency — the FBI.” Gagliano demonstrates the phenomena himself in his post by the manner in which he describes and judges the president: “considerable ego is at war” – “impulsively” – “infuriated” – “loathsome” – these tell you very clearly that Gagliano is “no fan of Trump” and is in dire need of checking his perceptions and getting in touch with his inner self. The post does have a good rundown that clarifies that the media headlines are incorrect and that the issue is with selected leadership in the FBI for good reason and not with the organization itself.

“In the immortal words of Arsenio Hall, these are things that can fairly make a reasonable person go “Hmmm…”

Stage four of Trump Derangement Syndrome: Identifying the progress of a disease by Thomas Lifson – “Like AIDS three decades ago, Trump Derangement Syndrome is a new ailment, whose full course of development is as yet unknown.”

“Progressives love to adopt what they call a “public health perspective” on things they oppose, such as possession of a firearm. This results in pediatricians asking parents if they have a gun in their house, among other oddities. Two can play that game. It is time to face the mass psychosis that has swept the at-risk population of the nation since the election of Donald Trump as president.

It is pretty clear that the first stages of TDS include: … Denial … Anger … Shunning … Conversion …

Is there any recovery possible when TDS reaches this late stage? Does it permanently disable perception and logic?

The Mueller Test And The Paper Civil War On Trump by Daniel Greenfield – “A last ditch effort by the establishment to wrest control from the president.”

“New York and California’s #resistance apparatchiks aren’t rejecting the authority of Federal judges. They’re turning to them and relying on them. Instead they’re rejecting the authority of elected Federal officials. Their secession isn’t Federal, it’s democratic. They want a strong central government. They just aren’t willing to allow the American people to decide who gets to run it.

That’s what the civil war is about.

Will the American people govern themselves? Or will Mueller, Schneiderman, Watson, Yates and ten thousand other elites with law degrees be allowed to turn elections into a meaningless farce?

Government by litigation and investigation shifts power away from voters to lawyers. What was meant to be a last resort for redressing serious violations instead becomes the primary test for holding political office. When investigation and litigation become more powerful tools than en election, then a politician must court the political legal class ahead of the country’s voters and put his obligations to them first.

That intended outcome is also the cause of the conflict.

There is a big problem when a major part of the country’s citizenship does not even honor adherence to established law or the reality of evidence and puts political preference above any other consideration.

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Values: Why debate and discussion are so difficult

Republicans care about voter fraud; Democrats want to come out ahead, says study By Stephen Dinan – “When it comes to voter ID laws, Republicans care intensely about fraud while Democrats worry more about whether their own party will come out ahead, according to a provocative new academic study.” This is a difference in values study that is something to think about.

“Voting-rights activists have long accused GOP officeholders of racism or political expedience in fights over voting laws, but the study suggests that at least for average voters, Republicans’ support is a good-faith assessment of dangers they see in illegal voting.

Democrats, meanwhile, generally support voter-ID but their support is less firm. If told the GOP would suffer from stricter voter-ID laws, Democrats become more supportive, Mr. Kane found.

The dangerous world of Donald Trump By Clifford D. May – “A National Security Strategy is less a plan of action than an attempt to prioritize. Who, in the president’s judgment, most threatens America? What means do we have and what capabilities must we develop to defend the homeland and protect our freedoms?” This is another ‘difference in values’ exposition.

“Though well into his second term, Mr. Obama couldn’t resist the temptation to criticize his predecessor:

Last week, President Trump delivered his National Security Strategy, an attempt to “rethink the policies of the past two decades — policies based on the assumption that engagement with rivals and their inclusion in international institutions and global commerce would turn them into benign actors and trustworthy partners. For the most part, this premise turned out to be false.”

America’s sovereignty is not to be surrendered

Comforting as it might be to think we live in a global village, in reality we are surrounded by an encroaching global jungle where only the fittest survive.

Unlike Mr. Obama, who believed the arc of history bends toward justice, the current occupant of the White House believes history’s arc will be bent toward tyranny by America’s enemies — unless we grab it firmly and bend it ourselves.

California Parents Barred from Opting Kids Out of Mandatory LGBT-Inclusive Textbooks by Trey Sanchez – “And still, the Democratic Party claims to be the party of “choice.” More values differences and now enrolling the state in the Propaganda effort.

“California rejected any publisher that didn’t mention the homosexual preferences or claims against historical figures in their textbooks. In one textbook, the state forced the publisher to add “lesbian” to describe NASA astronaut Sally Ride.

And here we thought the Democratic Party was the party of “choice.” Clearly the state knows better than the parents what children need to learn.

Trump on the Rampage By Tim Mostert – noting another ‘values difference’ that is being underscored by actions.

“I don’t know what it is with the Left, but they love to put ballast on any potential successes, if they’re not part of the government system. It’s not worth the time speculating why these things go on in their little heads. They just do.

Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk Provides Update on D-ISIS Campaign (Video)… by sundance – “If you watched the prior two updates from Brett McGurk you’ll note he does an exceptional job explaining how the administration is coordinating with multiple partners to defeat ISIS.” There are a number of accomplishment lists showing up. This briefing is a specific example that shows how things get done.

My oh My, Latest Reports of FBI/DOJ Counterintelligence Operation Give Evelyn Farkas Statements New Light… by sundance – another backgrounder with resources and cites.

“In the past six weeks a stunning amount of evidence has been accumulating that shows how the Obama Administration weaponized the FBI and DOJ and launched a political campaign spying operation into candidate Donald Trump.

All of the evidence points in one transparently obvious direction; toward a 2016 collaborative effort structured to use a counterintelligence operation to conduct wiretaps and surveillance on the presidential campaign of candidate Donald Trump.

Accepting all of that mounting evidence, does this March 2017 interview with former Obama administration official Evelyn Farkas (Deputy Asst. Secretary of Defense), appearing on MSNBC, make more sense now?

Why would anyone trust Paul Krugman as a prognosticator? By neo-neocon – “my question is why Krugman’s bad predictions haven’t seemed to hurt him with either the NY Times or his wide audience.” This one provides a bit of background trying to understand a difference in values.

“Krugman is (or used to be, anyway), an economist. Now I know that he had other economic specialties than predicting the stock market’s reaction to an election. But one would think that as a Nobel Prize-winning economist and political pundit he should have at least a trifle more ability in predicting such a thing than some random blogger or the man in the street. And one would think that this failure would invalidate his writings in the minds of a significant number of his readers. But I don’t see it happening.

Krugman is by no means unique in this disconnect. It’s actually a common thing. It’s as though pundits (and not just of the liberal variety, either) exist in another world, a fantasy one in which a clever and/or emotionally satisfying turn of phrase is the goal. If it resonates with the reader at the time—mirrors what the reader is feeling or thinking—that’s good enough. Perhaps that’s the real function of Krugman in his pundit incarnation: to reflect what his readers think and whip them up into greater heights of outrage, rather than to be correct.

Another example at memorandum: Does Trump have a grand strategy for foreign policy? Dream on. (Gabriel Schoenfeld/USA Today). A daily review of headlines will reveal many such anti- Trump, and usually anti-reality headlines. Why?

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Any rational person should wonder

via memorandum:

Paul Krugman New York Times

America Is Not Yet Lost  —  Many of us came into 2017 expecting the worst.  And in many ways, the worst is what we got.  —  Donald Trump has been every bit as horrible as one might have expected; he continues, day after day, to prove himself utterly unfit for office, morally and intellectually.

This is the prize winning economist who claimed a year ago that the stock market would take a dive and never recover. By what measure is “horrible” and “utterly unfit” measured? Is it the same scale being used to condemn GPD growth not seen in years and a record breaking stock market?

Then there’s the story about that psychologist who sent a box of garden fertilizer to a cabinet secretary and bragged about his wonderfulness on social media.

There’s something awry with these folks.

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Democrat bandwagon meets Trump Train

Don’t blame Trump for worsened race relations — blame the left by Cheryl K. Chumley – the LPM (Left’s Propaganda Machine) is potent and destructive.

“The larger truth is that angry leftists fueled by Black Lives Matter, antifa thugs, radical feminists and a core of committed Democrats/progressives/socialists, have worsened race relations by orchestrating violent clashes and endorsing chaotic street protests over Trump’s messages and policies on immigration, border security, climate change, historical monuments, tax reform and the like — and have then wrongfully painted these policies as based in racism and misogyny.

And a complicit, anti-Trump mainstream media has run with the messaging.

So now voilà: You have a new survey that shows most in America blame Trump for a rise in racial tensions.

Let the poll questions be: Who’s had more impact on worsening race relations in this country, Black Lives Matter or Trump? Antifa or Trump? Nancy Pelosi or Trump? Maxine Waters or Trump? Barack Obama or Trump?

That might bring about some findings that are a bit closer to the truth.

Liberals Celebrate Christmas with ‘I Am So Sick of White Guys’ Coloring Book by Warner Todd Huston – “A Seattle man has published a coloring book attacking white men to soothe the soul of left-wingers, Democrats, and Black Lives Matter acolytes — just in time for Christmas.”

Who’s in charge of the military? Washington Times – “One U.S. District judge, Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the District of Columbia even imagines that she’s the commander in chief of the U.S. military services.”

“The president is on firm constitutional grounds. Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution plainly states, in language that even a government lawyer can understand, that “The president shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several states, when called into actual Service of the United States.”

Judge Kollar-Kotelly, who was appointed a federal judge by President Clinton, is not much impressed by that part of the Constitution.

Judicial trifling with Article 2, Section 2, won’t have immediate bad consequences, beyond making heads ache at the Pentagon, because there won’t be a lot of the sexually addled breaking down the doors at recruiting stations.

Nevertheless, there’s a far greater issue here. What is an Army or Navy for, and who is responsible for it, the president or a district court judge?

The Trump administration says it will appeal its cases to the U.S. Supreme Court, and it must. Biology is the reality, not bigotry, and the delusional among us can be pitied if not accommodated. Reality must prevail.

Trump rid conservatism of its phonies by Don Surber – “They stood athwart history screaming stop, and the Trump train ran over them without so much as a quiver felt by passengers.” Remember the Simon cite suggesting apologies are due? Surber has other ideas.

“For years they have sworn that we must get conservative judges, that we must cut taxes, and that we must move the embassy to Jerusalem.

Then along came a man who could do all that, and they freaked. They opposed his election more than they opposed Obama’s election and re-election.

The only real point they can make about Trump is that he isn’t a slick-talking politician.

They grade him on style, not substance.

There is no intellectually honest reason for anyone who is conservative to oppose him now.

The movement to impeach Trump is just beginning by Michael Goodwin – “Democrats … have no message, no leader and nothing to brag about. That leaves a vacuum, which is being filled with one idea: impeaching President Trump.”

“if an election that pits tax cuts and job growth vs. impeachment strikes you as crazy, don’t blame me. And, truth be told, you can’t really blame Democratic Party leaders either. They aren’t so much leading their base as following it.

The “resistance” wing is taking over the party and congressional bosses Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi can either jump on the “Impeach” bandwagon — or get run over by it.

Their nonstop chatter, including on the late-night comedy shows, is helping the impeachment madness break the bounds of the loony left and go mainstream.

While they’ll decorate the campaign tree with a few other items, like raising taxes on the wealthy and climate-change scares, removing the president will be their main argument for electing a Democratic Congress.

Cynic though I am, I never thought the Dems would go down such a low road.

Which is what makes it so dangerous. Never in modern times has a major party used impeachment as a pure political weapon.

Which brings me to my final prediction: If you think our politics are nasty now, just wait a few months. The midterm campaign is going to be vicious and dirty beyond belief.

These are dangerous times with mobs and hate striving to overturn civility and rational politics and governance.

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Conspiracies and Winning and Realizing the Dissonance

SCOTUS? bah, Appeals court rules against Trump travel ban for third time By Stephen Dinan – “Earlier this week the Supreme Court delivered a spanking in overturning another 9th Circuit ruling related to the president’s decision to end the Obama-era DACA deportation amnesty program.” It’s making it very clear that the 9th Circuit is a rogue court that considers itself an authority above any other court or government branch or governing document it doesn’t like.

Why pro football has become so hard to watch By Jay Cost – “As much as it pains me to say it, I’m drifting away from football. The NFL is sapping all the joy out of it.” … “I’d be lying if I said I was going to stop watching next week, or next month. But every season I get a little closer to turning off the NFL for good.”

Unravelling the Conspiracy

Was FBI Chief Legal Counsel James Baker Captured By New DOJ Leak Task Force? by sundance – “Things are getting increasingly interesting and simultaneously obvious.”

“Those who are seeking answers to the most critical questions are now running into the officials within the scheme using the Mueller probe as a defensive shield so they do not have to answer investigative questions from congress. This motive is now the primary purpose and benefit of the Mueller probe.

With hindsight it is now clear why the Democrats, the intelligence operatives, and their media allies were so adamant a Special Counsel probe be initiated. They planned to use Mueller’s investigation as a shield all along.

Morell didn’t really regret By David Zukerman – “This former top CIA official offered no details on these bizarre claims.”

“Morell continued: “So, I think there was a significant downside to those of us who became political in that moment. So, if I could have thought of that, would I have ended up in a different place? I don’t know. But it’s something I didn’t think about.”

Actually, Morell’s response is something Congress should indeed think about. Look at that last comment — “those of us who became political” during the 2016 presidential election. Seems like a pretty clear admission that Morell was not alone in meddling in domestic politics — that other senior officials in the intelligence community “became political,” as well. At the same time, none seem to have considered that Hillary Clinton could lose to Trump. How would the intelligence people defend their political transformation to the Trump administration?

Rape Trial Dismissed, After Two Years of Hell for Falsely Accused Man, After 40,000 Texts From “Victim,” Seeking Casual Sex, Are Finally Disclosed to Defendant Ace highlights an example or two from the mire of human depravity. – “That one person should lie about rape is no scandal — you’ll find liars anywhere.” … “That the police should deliberately railroad a man they know to be innocent? That is a scandal, and one that should result in prison for the police and prosecutors responsible.”

Another case noted by Ace: Judge Declares Mistrial in Clive Bundy Trial, Citing Prosecution’s “Willful” Withholding of Six Key Pieces of Evidence – “Trust in authority emerges from trustworthy behavior — it is not a right owed to them due to their mere credentials, which is a liberal notion infecting pretty much everything.”

Are These Something? The movies get good reviews but also say something about growing realizations of scandal. Chappaquiddick, 7 Days in Entebbe, The 15:17 to Paris, and then there’s the Darkest Hour. It’s hard for movies to get more suspenseful and strange than reality right now.

The Death Rattle of Obama’s Reputation By Noah Rothman – “The members of Barack Obama’s administration in exile have become conspicuously noisy of late—even more so than usual.”

“It’s no coincidence that these overheated condemnations accompany abundant evidence that the Trump administration is finding its legs. As the last administration’s undeserved reputation as sober-minded foreign policy rationalists is dismantled one retrospective report at a time, its jilted members are lashing out.

Even as early as March of 2017, it was clear that the Obama administration’s foreign-policy professionals were quite insecure about how posterity would remember their stewardship of American interests abroad. They had every reason to be. For now, at least, the Trump administration has declined to govern as Trump campaigned; not as a populist firebrand but a conventional Republican. Susan Rice and her former White House colleagues have every reason to worry, but not for the United States. Their reputations, however, are another matter entirely.

The real fake news of 2017 by Rex Murphy – “There has always been fake news. But the Fake News that we heard about for most of 2017 was something new and altogether more sinister.”

“The antipathy to Donald Trump, which in its keenest manifestations is fierce and relentless, is a disabling set of mind, nowhere more so than in the reporting on or about him.

Contempt for Trump—the conviction that he is some sort of dangerous historical “accident” in the presidential office—serves as a warrant for abandoning all disinterested judgment and analytic neutrality.

When the majority of the American media failed in their coverage of the presidential election, they had to find some excuse for their massive incompetence.

Their reading of the American election was the greatest journalistic failure—the largest act of group incompetence—in decades. This failure fostered the need for some excuse for how they got so much so wrong.

The way the term Fake News was invoked by newscasters, panels, and journalism profs was actually kind of scary. Fake News was a threat to the republic; it enjoyed a corrupting power that effortlessly ousted the voices of the real media, and blunted the rational minds of the electorate. That Fake News was powerful stuff.

Actually, it was just a lot of silly rationalization for poor coverage, an excuse for incompetence on the part of much of the professional press.

Winning

A Great Week for the President and a NeverTrump Crack-up By Julie Kelly – “This week has been a vindication for much-maligned Trump supporters. Not only did the president have the best week of his administration, an internecine feud erupted within the “NeverTrump” tribe.” Note that it is specific and not full of ad hominem, personal attack, and other logical fallacies.

“Let’s just say, for those of us who have been demeaned by some NeverTrumpers, and who have called out their harsh rhetoric and destructive agenda, it was gratifying to watch this play out. Not only is it time for anti-Trump conservatives to acknowledge this president’s bold and conservative-friendly presidency so far, it is time to call bullshit on those who refuse to do so. Admitting you were wrong—or at least mistaken in your assessment of both the electorate and a president—is never easy. But holding on to a dishonest narrative that a president—who is now doing things that alleged “conservatives” once proclaimed to be among their objectives—is somehow working to undermine those goals, is not being conservative. In fact, it’s just lying.

A good week for the president, his voters, and the country. A bad week for the NeverTrump sore losers who keep digging a hole that will be tough—if not impossible—to climb out of. Happy to toss them a rope, though, when the apologies come.

Never Trumpers: The good (who have re-evaluated), the bad (who can’t get over themselves) and the ugly (who have thrown in with the Left) By Thomas Lifson – “The passage of tax reform and the booming economy, sweeping transformations in Middle East policy, and regulatory reform that is unleashing vast potential bottled up the last 8 years and more are all signs that President Trump is not the ogre feared by a large faction of the conservative intellectual establishment.”

“The famous (or infamous, depending on your perspective) special issue of National Review, “Against Trump,” stands as a unique instance of the conservative movement’s intellectual elite turning against the champion of the GOP’s base. With almost a year in office for Trump, some of those who partook of the NeverTrump fashion have started to change their minds, while others are doubling down, becoming bitter enders.

National Review’s editor Rich Lowry, the man most responsible for “Against Trump,” has managed to give the POTUS credit where he sees it due, particularly in material written for other publications … He recently wrote a column entitled “Promise Keeper that was quite remarkable in reversing course: … “Donald Trump’s purpose in office is to disrupt if not overturn the patterns of governance and ideological consensus that have dominated the U.S. capital for decades.”

Others have been unwilling to change the positions they have staked out, and some have been actively destroying their credibility.

Kristol’s personal bitterness and unwillingness to change his position to the point of identifying with the movements he has opposed for decades are remarkable. But even more unrepentant is Evan McMullin, who ran a farcical campaign for the presidency, aimed at depriving Trump of the electoral votes in Utah.

Roger L Simon, a founder of PJ Media, called on remaining Never Trumpers to apologize now:

The reason for the necessity of apologies now is not personal vindication, but rather the stakes ahead:

Those stakes are far greater than any individual’s ego. It is tragic (in the sense of being brought low by fatal flaws) that people like Kristol, McMullen, and David Frum cannot get over themselves.

Feeble Resistance By Fred Barnes – “Look at what the Democrats haven’t accomplished.”

“Shocked by Donald Trump’s election, Democrats adopted a strategy of resistance that’s simple and blunt: Anything Trump is for, they’re against. It’s turned out to be one of the least successful strategies a political party has ever pursued. Yet Democrats have stuck to it.

it didn’t have to be that way. Had Democrats negotiated with Republicans, they might have saved the provision they most wanted to preserve—the full deductibility of state and local taxes. It’s a crucial break in rich, high-tax states like New York, New Jersey, and California.

President Reagan tried to kill deductibility in the tax reform legislation of 1986. But that was a bipartisan effort, and Democrats insisted on keeping it. Now they’re on the outside looking in.

Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) has a sensible theory about why Democrats thought they could defeat the tax bill. They sidetracked the repeal of Obamacare by intimidating GOP senators. They staged protests, harassed them at town-hall meetings, and held rallies denouncing them.

The wild charges tended to unite Republicans.

Roskam, who chairs the Ways and Means subcommittee on tax policy, had his own experience with Democrats. They offered a dozen or so “gotcha” amendments, nothing more, he says. Ways and Means chairman Kevin Brady devoted four days to amendments when the full committee met. Democrats ran out of them quickly.

Odds are, the resistance will lose again.

The resistance hasn’t done much better in opposing confirmation of Trump’s nominees to U.S. courts of appeals, one level below the Supreme Court.

Nor have the resisters succeeded in slowing the pace of deregulation that Trump has insisted on.

Donald Trump the Right Man at the Right Time [Warden] – “If you didn’t already know that today’s media is nothing more than a propaganda arm for the left, an easy giveaway would be their reaction to the Trump presidency.” [language warning needed]

“How and why did this blustering, uncouth, under funded, politically inexperienced outsider succeed when the odds appeared to be so stacked against him? I’m not qualified to say, but I do think he has one quality that is critical to understanding his impact and it is that Donald Trump is the only person I know in America that actually possesses f*** you money.

Wealthy people are usually materialistic, but they’re not primarily interested in the utility of material things. What they’re interested in is the status attached to the things that they buy.

President Trump … defines success differently than do other people at his level of wealth. He cannot be shamed into or out of a particular action or position because he simply does not care how the chattering class views him. This, alone, makes him a fascinating character and one deserving of study. I also believe it’s what makes Donald Trump such a uniquely effective politician.

It’s this quality that has Trump’s opponents spinning like tops. They’ve gone back to the same playbook for so many years that they don’t know how to adapt to someone who is immune to their historically most potent attacks. Trump has ripped back the curtain on the wizards of public shaming and revealed them to be powerless crybabies.

But he’s the only man who could do it. He had both the money and the attitude necessary to the task. His supporters grasped the importance of this unique advantage early.

The big question as we move past Donald Trump’s first year in office is whether Trumpism is a force that is dependent on the man bearing its title or whether it’s a cultural and political wave that will retain its power when he leaves.

I don’t have the answer to this question, but I think it can be confidently asserted that there is no returning to the status quo after Donald Trump has exited the stage. We are at a different place now–one that is simultaneously more visceral, raw and honest.

While nobody was looking, Trump and the GOP actually got some things done by Jazz Shaw –

“When congressional Republicans failed to enact many of President Barack H. Obama’s agenda items on looser immigration laws, gun control and “social justice” issues, they were declared by the press to be The Party of No. When Senate Democrats blocked one GOP bill after another supporting the agenda of President Donald J. Trump the media lauded them as The Heroic Resistance. When President Obama declared that he had a pen and a phone and took executive, extra-legislative action in response he was declared to be Decisive. When the pen and phone in question were placed in President Trump’s hands he was branded as Authoritarian.

Is this pattern sounding familiar?

With the end of the year just around the corner, the Democrats are grinding their teeth over the signing of the tax bill into law, while the media rushes to remind everyone that this is Trump’s “only legislative victory” in his first year. … It’s as if virtually nothing has been accomplished this year and the few achievements that managed to happen were uniformly disastrous.

But was that really what happened?

as for the endless attacks on the President over each and every thing he does or says, I would ask his many detractors to contemplate a couple of points during the Christmas and New Years break. If you didn’t complain when a previous president imposed new regulations absent legislative action, you look rather foolish claiming that the next president can’t undo them. If you didn’t complain when a president summoned DACA into being without an accompanying new law, you appear ignorant when you claim that a subsequent president “can’t” make changes to it. If you’re screaming about due process for Al Franken but you’ve already convicted Donald Trump of collusion with Vladimir Putin to steal the 2016 election, please don’t be too disappointed if we don’t take you seriously.

How to Determine If You Should Talk About Politics in Public by Scott Adams – “When candidate Trump first set about the job of redefining politics (and reality) back in 2015, people had lots of predictions about how things would turn out.”

“One year isn’t long enough to know everything we need to know about his presidency, but it’s long enough to to check some of our predictions. As a public service, I put together a list of predictions that various people made about Trump that you can use to evaluate your own predictive powers. Count the number of items on the list that you once predicted would be true. I’ll tell you how to evaluate your score at the end.

if you are wrong for three years straight — about almost everything Trump-related — please adjust your confidence in your predictive powers accordingly.

If you got 15 or more of those predictions wrong, please consider reading a copy of my book, Win Bigly, to learn how to use what I call the Persuasion Filter to predict better.

Season 2 of Trump is going to be interesting.

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Slow cookery, getting results all the way through

How Obama manipulated sensitive secret intelligence for political gain By Guy Taylor and Dan Boylan – This one’s got it all: anonymous sources, high intrigue, context, personal stories, … it provides insight into a scandal and serves as a contrast to the Fake News™ so often appearing in the Wapo or CNN or NYT that is anonymously sourced without but served up without any flesh on the bones.

Federal court on CREW emolument suit against Trump: Come on, man by Ed Morrissey – “Remember all that hyperventilating over the Emoluments Clause and Donald Trump’s business empire? Politically, it made good copy. Legally, however, the arguments fell flat.” This is another front in the attack on Trump where the charges and allegations are absurd to start with. In this case, the rejection was on the matter of standing. That means try, try again for the Left. The problem is that the Clinton’s foundation is a much more blatant of receiving compensation for political favors which is why the Uranium One investigation is being examined.

“Interestingly but perhaps predictably, Daniels’ ruling on the Emoluments claim sticks narrowly to standing and justiciability. It doesn’t delve into whether a hotel bill counts as an emolument, or the debate about whether a president can still own businesses while in office without running afoul of the Constitution. Daniels understandably notes that those are questions for the political realm to handle, not the courts, at least not at first. Until Congress acts on the Emoluments clause, the judiciary has no role.

The Deep Racism Of The Left By Steven Hayward – “Very revealing little dustup on Wednesday after the White House celebration of the tax cut bill.” It’s about going after a man who contributed to the tax bill and its content and its support because of skin color.

“Andy Ostroy of the Puffington Host tweeted out that South Carolina Republican Senator Tim Scott, who spoke prominently at the Rose Garden rally, was a Republican “prop,” because Scott is black. For the racist identity politics left, your skin color is supposed to determine your ideology; hence any black Republican has to be a “token” or a “prop” (as well as an Uncle Tom).

But in truth the racism displayed by Ostroy is actually much worse than the insidious identity politics premise behind it. One reason people like Ostroy think Scott is a “prop” for Republicans is that most blacks in Congress are props for Democrats.

Postscript: I discover that Ostroy took down his tweet and apologized to Scott. Good for him. But his view is hardly limited to him:

Scott was one of many who have been working since Tea Party days or even earlier for tax reform and have now seen their efforts bear fruit.

Republicans Bet the Farm by Patrick J. Buchanan – “By enacting the largest tax cut since the Reagan administration, the heart of which is cutting the corporate rate from 35 to 21 percent, Republicans have boldly bet the farm.” Then there’s the other items in the bill and other successes to consider.

“They have rewritten America’s tax code to reflect their belief that cutting taxes on the private sector will produce the prosperity they have promised. If it happens, the GOP will reap the rewards, if not by 2018, then in 2020.

Democrats, as the Party of Government, egalitarian and neo-socialist, have come to see their role as redistributing wealth from those who have too much—to those who have too little. For, as men (and women) are born unequal in ambition, ability, talent, energy, personality and drive, free markets must inevitably produce an inequality of results.

The mission of Democrats is to reduce those inequalities. And as the very rich are also the very few, in a one-man, one-vote democracy the Democratic Party will always have a following.

Winston Churchill called this the philosophy of failure and the gospel of envy.

The problem for Democrats is that Reaganomics worked, and is seen historically to have been successful.

Virtually eliminating state and local tax deductions is going to cause some of the rich to consider relocating to low-tax or no-tax red states in the Sun Belt like Florida. And it is going to put pressure on blue state pols to cease adding to the state and local tax burdens that Uncle Sam is not longer helping to carry.

Taxpayer rebellions in the blue states? By Silvio Canto, Jr. – “The Democrats are hysterical about the Trump tax reform. You’d probably be hysterical too if someone was about to blow up your little kingdom.”

“For years, high-tax states benefited by passing the cost to the rest of the country, or allowing their residents to “write off” their state taxes on their IRS return.

In other words, the real losers of Trump tax reform are the state legislatures in California and Illinois, as we see in this article by James Piereson

The “blue model” will now require its citizens to pay the real cost of government. My guess is that you will see an exodus of taxpayers and businesses — unless they change their approach to governing.

And you will see a taxpayer rebellion that we have not seen since the Boston Tea Party that sparked the colonies’ rebellion.

This is why they are in such panic!

And … Presto! Tax Cuts Already Working Their Magic, an IBD editorial – “Gee, that was fast. Just one day after the tax bill was finally passed, companies were already scrambling to do things with their money. It’s an impressive list and, no doubt, not comprehensive.

Time for Trump to slow-cook the turkeys of Turtle Bay by Washington Examiner – “At the United Nations headquarters in New York, President Trump is engaged in a standoff with a deeply entrenched political class. … Yet, it is the president who has the initiative.”

“He who pays the piper calls the tune. That’s the big picture. But you get still more from the details, so let’s dig in.

It appears that there will be a reception hosted by the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. for those who supported the U.S. The current administration does seem to be masters at slow cooking.

Haley’s Moment: “We Will Remember” By Scott Johnson – “It was, rather, the U.N.’s shameful business-as-usual to which Haley delivered an overdue stinging rebuke.” Here are Haley’s remarks.” Do go read carefully what she says.

Trump says he’s not firing Mueller, but the media keep insisting he might By Howard Kurtz – “The media are constantly warning that President Trump might fire Robert Mueller, triggering a political firestorm and a constitutional crisis.” In other words, the media is consumed by its desires and fantasies and not by fact and reality.

“On “America’s Newsroom” yesterday, Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: “We have no intention of firing Bob Mueller. We are continuing to work closely and cooperate with him. We look forward to seeing this hoax wrap up very soon.”

Still, the pundits keep pounding away. On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” yesterday, John Heilemann told Republican Sen. Bob Corker: “I want to ask you personally what your reaction would be if the president did try to fire the special prosecutor.”

In fact, the firing would have to be carried out by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who recently testified that he thinks Mueller is doing a good job and could only be removed for valid reasons.

So at the moment, all this amounts to an orgy of speculation.

The media mindset was perfect captured by a Chicago Tribune column with the headline: “Trump Says He Won’t Fire Bob Mueller. Don’t Believe Him.”

The media will have every right to go bonkers if Trump tries to oust the prosecutor investigating him. But for now, it may be the most overcovered hypothetical question in politics.

The persistence in the face of lack of evidence is contrasted with the absence of persistence in the face of significant evidence. See, for instance, A deafening media silence on the Obama-Hezbollah scandal By David Harsanyi – “Politico published a jaw-dropping, meticulously sourced investigative piece this week detailing how the Obama administration had secretly undermined US law enforcement agency efforts to shut down an international drug-trafficking ring run by the terror group Hezbollah.”

“The effort was part of a wider push by the administration to placate Iran and ensure the signing of the nuclear deal.

Now swap out “Trump” for “Obama” and “Russia” for “Iran” and imagine the eruption these revelations would generate. Because, by any conceivable journalistic standard, this scandal should’ve triggered widespread coverage and been plastered on front pages across the country. By any historic standard, the scandal should elicit outrage regarding the corrosion of governing norms from pundits and editorial boards.

Yet, as it turns out, there’s an exceptionally good chance most of your neighbors and colleagues haven’t heard anything about it.

What makes the media blackout particularly shameful is that the story isn’t a partisan hit job. It was written by a well-regarded journalist at a major outlet. The story has two on-the-record sources — which is more than we can say for the vast majority of so-called scoops about the Russian “collusion” investigation. One of these sources, David Asher, was an illicit finance expert at the Pentagon who was tapped to run the investigation. There’s no plausible reason to ignore him or the story.

The preponderance of editors, journalists, pundits and bookers, on the other hand, still coddle Democrats. They may do it on purpose or unconsciously, but it’s destroying their credibility. Because as David Burge once noted, “Journalism is about covering important stories. With a pillow, until they stop moving.”

Sally Yates, One of the Biggest Frauds of the Year by George Neumayr – “Drunk on the ruling class’s praise of her subversive hackery at the Justice Department, Sally Yates evidently conceives of herself as a very august presence in American public life. How else to explain her state of the union-style address in USA Today this week?”

“It is hard to imagine a less credible commentator on this subject than Yates. She deserves a special place in the annals of wholly politicized law enforcement. Were it not for the safety net the media and ruling class held beneath her, the political high-wire act she performed during the transition period after the election would have been unfathomable.

Who elected Sally Yates? Her presumption rested entirely upon the undemocratic conceits of an elite that deludes itself into thinking that the “rule of law” is synonymous with its appetite for power.

Like so many other ruling-class darlings, Yates puts on the halo of “independence” in order to advance the most partisan goals. Listening to her thoughts on “apolitical law enforcement” is like listening to Obama’s post-presidential speeches on civility in which he pretends to be giving advice to “both sides of the aisle” when in reality he is only rebuking one of them, the Republicans dumb enough to disarm as Dems are slitting their throats. All of this pompous chatter is designed not to save America from autocracy but to enshrine one that liberals see as their sacred right.

You might remember Yates in regard to an FBI investigator going after anything Trump.

Ace is on the case citing Rand Paul: It’s Time to Investigate High-Ranking Obama Officials For Colluding to Misuse Intel and Law Enforcement Assets Against a Political Rival; “Worse Than Watergate”

“Meanwhile, today Andrew McCabe, who is emulating his political favorite Hillary Clinton in her convenient lapses of memory when questioned about corrupt actions and corrupt intent, is “testifying” before two House panels. He had previously claimed large gaps in memory in his Senate “testimony” on Tuesday.

First six DisruptJ20 protesters acquitted on all charges by John Sexton – “The message of this acquittal is going to be loud and clear to Antifa: Wearing masks is a get out of jail free card.”

“ As long as no one can identify who broke which window or who started which fire, you’re safe from all consequences. This was their plan all along. I guarantee you some of these 200 people know exactly who did what. Some of them recognize their friends in those videos, but they are operating as a gang. No one will snitch on their fellow gang members.

That’s exactly what happened at an Antifa riot in Sacramento last June. Police spent months writing a 2,000-page report identifying hundreds of crimes caught on video but in the end, only a handful of people were arrested because their identities were concealed:

People have a right to protest the President, that should go without saying. But vandalism, violence, and arson are not protest activities, they’re crimes. Things could still change but we’re off to a bad start in these prosecutions. As long as these violent tactics don’t result in jail time, we’re going to continue to see more of them.

 persistence in the face of lack of evidence is contrasted with the absence of persistence in the face of significant evidence is suffering from slow cookery.

 

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Left without much power: DACA, Steele, Defense, Reckless Constitutional Crisis

Supreme Court grants reprieve to Trump on DACA documents By Stephen Dinan – “Justices: Judge too hasty in ordering documents turned over to anti-Trump activists.” Another slapdown for California courts.

“Left without much power in Congress, Mr. Trump’s political enemies have rushed to the courts instead, suing over everything from his voter integrity commission to his immigration policy to his decision this month to cut the size of some national monuments.

And while lower courts have been sympathetic to the anti-Trump forces, the Supreme Court has proved to be a blockade to their efforts.

Faced with libel lawsuit, dossier drafter Christopher Steele hedges on linking Trump to Russia by Rowan Scarborough – “the former British spy who fueled an ongoing investigation into President Trump’s administration, was a lot more confident of his charges when he wrote his now-notorious 2016 dossier than he is today in defending it in a libel lawsuit.”

Defending country, not climate, a Washington Times editorial – “Trump’s ‘principled realism’ prevails over radical environmentalism.”

“In a major national security strategy speech Monday at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, President Trump presented his “America first” agenda, founded on “principled realism.” A 53-page accompanying blueprint includes protecting “America’s way of life,” the homeland, promoting American prosperity, championing “peace through strength,” and advancing American influence. Climate change no longer makes the cut.

The rapid rise in temperatures predicted by mathematical models has not materialized, either, and forecasts of worsening weather, rising sea levels and climate-abused polar bears in Mr. Gore’s docudramas, have proved to be considerably underwhelming

The argument that stormy weather ranks with the threat of nuclear annihilation from North Korea or Iran persuaded Americans to turn to Donald Trump for a rational and sober leadership. The president’s national security strategy reinforces that hunch and belief.

Top Intel Dem warns against ‘reckless’ talk of Mueller firing By Andrea Noble – “Sen. Mark Warner, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, warned that efforts to remove Mr. Mueller could evoke “a constitutional crisis” and urged colleagues to speak out against any accusations that the special counsel’s investigation was tainted by political bias.” It’s another Democrat telling everyone not to believe the evidence or the testimony … and let’s not forget projection, partisanship, and bigotry either,

“It is up to every member of this institution, Republican or Democrat to make a clear and unambiguous statement that any attempt by this president to remove special counsel Mueller from his position, or to pardon key witnesses in any effort to shield them from accountability, or to shut the investigation would be a gross abuse of power,” the Virginia Democrat said.

He noted that all the major players who held roles overseeing the Russia investigation are Republicans — including Mr. Mueller, former FBI Director James B. Comey, current FBI Director Christopher Wray, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused himself from the probe because of his ties to the Trump campaign.

“The charges that some of made that somehow Democratic political bias has crept in this investigation are baseless given the makeup of the leadership team,” Mr. Warner said.

But Republicans have questioned whether key figures in the FBI let their bias taint their investigations after it was disclosed that a member of Mr. Mueller’s team had exchanged text messages with another FBI lawyer in which the two mocked then-candidate Mr. Trump and worried about the fate of the United States if he was elected.

LOL at Daily Caller’s Headline: “Eminem Slips Slowly Into Insanity As Trump Continues to Ignore His Rants” by Ace – “Trump seems to have decided that sometimes, silence is the best condemnation.” It’s a flavor of that parable about not stopping an opponent when he’s digging his own hole deeper and deeper.

Don’t Fire Mueller, President Trump – Let Him Keep Making A Fool Of Himself Instead by Kurt Schlichter – “we aren’t hearing anything about collusion anymore, except from Adam Schiff whenever he gets off the phone with Tater Stelter at CNN long enough to essentially insist that the collusion is all so very, very obvious, and that evidence is just a bourgeois conceit, and also please don’t look at the scheming bureaucrats behind the curtain.”

“Let’s see, Mueller got Paul Manafort for stuff he did back when the idea of President Trump was still a far-out Simpson’s gag. He got General Flynn for doing what Trump fired him for. He got some nobody named George Platypus or something for lying about something that means nothing. But did he get anybody for collusion? Anybody? Did his unbiased, Trump-hating, committed Democrat minions ever even leak any evidence of it, since they’ve leaked everything else? Hey look, tumbleweeds!

This pseudo-scandal is a joke, a scam, a desperate attempt by the establishment to try to claw back the power We The People relieved them of when we dissed their dominatrix Felonia Milhous von Pantsuit. And they are showing the same level of skill, savvy, and raw competence that led us to give them their walking papers.

The Russiagate non-scandal scandal is just another establishment grift, and it turns out that Mueller is the mark.

So, Mr. President, please don’t fire this guy. Let him stagger on for a while longer, destroying the façade of credibility our establishment betters thought they had constructed and that forms the basis of their shabby identities.

Don’t fire him, Mr. President, at least not yet. Do something even crueler. Let Mueller and his pack of Democrat clowns keep making fools of themselves.

Andrew McCabe Was a Friendly Witness for Democrats Yesterday, But His Answers to Republicans About the Dossier Contained Conflicts With Other Witness Statements As Well as Convenient Gaps In Memory by Ace – “Republicans plan a new round of subpoenas to those in McCabe’s conspiratorial circle to ferret out the truth.”

Democratic surrealism By Gary Gindler – “The Russian attempt to influence the elections in America seems to have been confirmed. This attempt was carried out not through Donald Trump, but by Democratic supporters of Hillary Clinton.”

“no one knew about Trump’s survival strategy in the Washington swamp.

The events of the past month give every reason to believe that Trump is aiming at the full-scale bankruptcy of his political opponents. This bankruptcy refers not only to financial, but also political, legal, and moral bankruptcy of the Democratic and its allies in the disinformation media.

None of these neo-Marxists with allegedly high IQs bothered to consider a strategy to forestall Trump just in case he turned out not to be guilty of anything. Could the creatures of the Washington swamp have hoped that Trump would not take advantage of the opportunity provided to him by the Democratic surrealists?

It’s impressive that the pause before Trump’s counterpunch lasted a full year. For twelve months Trump was mostly picking fights with pseudo-reporters. And then someone turned on the green light. Almost every day, America began to learn the detials of the unprecedented “witch hunt,” in which the investigation of Mueller is just the tip of the iceberg. The method and frequency of public disclosure of this information indicate that the people behind it are perfectly aware of the news cycle.

The surrealism of the situation lies in the fact that the Russian attempt to influence the elections in America seems to have been confirmed. Republicans should have listened to the Democrats when they accused Russia of interfering in the election process in America — the Democrats knew exactly what they were talking about.

They knew that this Russian attempt was carried out not through Donald Trump, but through Democratic supporters of Hillary Clinton.

Democrats may wish they’d supported Trump’s tax cut, CBS Commentary – “Why is a plan to cut taxes for working families, enact an Obama-style approach to corporate taxes and increase child-friendly spending the subject of such partisan passion? It’s not policy. It’s not math. … It’s Trump.”

“Of course there’s plenty for Democrats to complain about in this bill. There’s plenty for Republicans to hate, too. That’s because “passing bills with stuff in them don’t like” is also called “democracy.” It happens with the budget all the time, and it certainly happened with ObamaCare.

But not all party-line votes are created equal. Obamacare was a fundamental shift in how our government treated health care. It wasn’t a debate over how high to set premiums. It was a clash between the fundamental values of the two parties: Collective action v. individual responsibility; government power v. personal choice. It’s hard to compromise on core principles.

This tax bill? It’s, well, just a tax bill.

Like the Obamacare compromise, the GOP’s tax bill does quite a few things Democrats usually support.

#Resist means no cooperation, no cutting deals, none of the usual give-and-take of democracy.

next November, if the economy is growing, big employers are expanding and workers are feeling more weight in their wallets, Democrats may be wishing they had found a way to get past Trump and support a tax-reform compromise.

The tax bill is going to get more popular, says… the Washington Post? By Jazz Shaw – “Democrats have somehow decided that lower taxes are the campaign rallying cry that will carry them to victory in the midterms. In fact, they’re planning what’s being described as “a year-long assault” on the bill. (WaPo)

“That Power Post entry from Dave Weigel gives us a hint that the folks at what is arguably the biggest megaphone the Democratic Party – the Washington Post – are getting nervous. Even Weigel is warning of the possibility that Chuck and Nancy’s worst predictions about the tax cuts [may] fall flat. But there are already far more blunt assessments coming from the WaPo.

And how did the Democrats wind up in this potential quagmire? Don’t shed many tears for them because they brought it on themselves and their allies in the majority of the mainstream media baited the trap for them.

Third quarter GPD has been set at 3.2%,\; Several companies have provided an employee Christmas bonus based on their tax savings (e.g. Ace); in February the average paycheck is going to show a $100 increase due to reduced tax deductions; the stock market is booming and that is going to show on year end retirement fund reports. And that is just for 2017 anticipating the tax bill.

And here’s another Ace note: The First Black President? Black Unemployment Levels Near All-Time Lows.

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The Pope sees false witness, Schumer doesn’t; Guthrie is oblivious; and Civil War

Pope Condemns ‘Fake News’ And ‘Media Bias’ As ‘Very Serious Sin’ By Larry O’Connor – “You shouldn’t fall into the ‘sins of communication’ disinformation, or giving just one side, calumny that is sensationalised, or defamation,”

“Francis, who has enjoyed relatively glowing press from the world’s more progressive journalists due to his seemingly unorthodox emphasis on left-wing issues such as income inequality, open borders and climate change, reminded journos that reporting precise, complete, and correct information rather than biased reports was a mission that is among the most “fundamental” to democratic societies.

He said it “looking for things that are old news and have been dealt with and bringing them to light today,” constituted a “very serious sin.”

It is not yet clear whether Catholic Churches in Washington DC and Manhattan will be open for confession for any journalists who claim to be Catholic and might want to cleanse their souls in light of the pontiff’s proclamations. We’ll be monitoring the confessionals just in case… but we’re not holding our breath.

Perhaps he realizes he got trolled on those “left-wing issues” with all the fake news? Then look at the apocalyptic and hyperbolic outrage from Democrats on the tax bill …

Watch Chuck Schumer complain nobody paying attention to his anti-tax reform rant on Senate floor By Thomas Lifson – “We believe you’re messing up America. You could pay attention for a couple of minutes.” This description sounds like the previous Democrat Senate Leader, too.

“I must confess that I find New York’s senior senator, Chuck Schumer, annoying at best to listen to. He finds it difficult to speak without a tone of condescension in his voice and characteristically assumes a stance of moral, as well as intellectual, superiority to those who dare to disagree. In other words, a singularly repellant man, whose election and re-election by the voters of New York State remains a mystery to me. Who could stand to vote for such an obnoxious man? Evidently, New Yorkers see his behavior as normal and acceptable.

Savannah Guthrie to Paul Ryan: ‘Are you living in a fantasy world?’ By Avery Anapol – “Savannah Guthrie asked Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) during an interview on NBC’s “Today” early Wednesday if he was “living in a fantasy world” to think that the GOP tax bill will help workers.” Projection?

Guthrie quoted former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I), who said in an op-ed earlier this month that such an argument is “pure fantasy.”

“CEOs aren’t waiting on a tax cut to ‘jump-start the economy’—a favorite phrase of politicians who have never run a company—or to hand out raises,” Bloomberg said. “It’s pure fantasy to think that the tax bill will lead to significantly higher wages and growth.”

Ivanka Trump’s surprise visit to Connecticut school angers some parents By Caleb Parke – “”This should have been brought to our attention, although I do understand security reasons. I think we should have had the choice to send our child to school or keep them home,” Karey Fitzgerald, a Norwalk Early College Academy parent, told News 12 Connecticut Monday following Ivanka Trump’s appearance.”

““Ms. Trump was the guest of IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, who was at the school to talk with students at Norwalk Early College Academy,” Williams said. “Students discussed their experiences in taking college classes while in high school, the benefits of their IBM internships and workplace experiences, and their plans for the future.”

What Might Civil War Be Like? By E.M. Cadwaladr – “no one should kid themselves into believing it’s impossible either. Let us take a sober look at what such a conflict might entail.” Those Norwalk parents need to read this with care as the examine their own thoughts and behavior.

The Nuclear Option: Amid Anti-Trump Hysteria, Obama Treason Exposed by Charles Hurt – “These days, we are living through a real-life international spy thriller full of vast conspiracies, lawless rogue government agents, unthinkable betrayals all driven by stupendous greed and a blithe willingness to lie about absolutely anything.”

“appalling betrayals and conspiracies have become almost routine. The root causes of each scandal range from alarmingly reckless incompetence to treasonous betrayals of the American people.

Then the Democratic Party rigged its own primary to thwart the will of its own voters.

Every day now, we learn more and more about how Democrats, Republicans and self-serving bureaucrats inside the federal government worked to jilt the election out of Mr. Trump’s hands. Shamelessly, the Obama administration used our government’s most powerful intelligence apparatus to spy on his political opponents during the height of a presidential campaign.

But the most sinister twist — the most brazen conspiracy caper of all — in this entire spy novel extravaganza we are now enduring has to be the eight-year scheme by the Obama administration to betray the American people and hand unbridled power to one of our most ardent and determined enemies.

Betrayed by time By Richard Fernandez – “The Obama administration’s decision to let the Iranian proxy Hezbollah build a criminal empire in the Americas in exchange for a coveted nuclear deal provides a glimpse into the strategic thinking of the former president.”

“Many of the particulars in the Politico article had been in open-source circulation for months, though largely unnoticed by the press.

it is thinking implied by the facts that is so fascinating. The Obama administration must have been dazzled by the prospect of engagement, at the tantalizing chance of building up ‘moderate’ elements in Hezbollah. But in exchange for these political goals, Asher noted, it would be necessary to allow Hezbollah to build an operational capability that could penetrate the US homeland through a massive system of espionage rings, smuggling networks and money laundering syndicates based in Latin and Central America. Although the cost was steep — tons of addicting drugs, a growing number of infiltration routes and loads dirty money that collectively made up the Iran “Action Network”. Asher told the Committee what Iran stood to gain.

The eagerness of the Resistance to bring down Donald Trump stems from one single fact. He threatens to ruin their meticulously crafted multi-year plans.

Ironically Trump’s supposed lack of a “grand vision” may accidentally be working in his favor. By focusing on shorter term payoffs he may be aligning his decision cycle closer to the quickening clock of events. He may get up each morning thinking “what shall I do today”– and that happens to align perfectly with a world in chaos.

Hillary Clinton campaign, DNC accused of ‘corrupt’ money scheme in new FEC complaint By Perry Chiaramonte – “alleges that the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee used state chapters as strawmen to circumvent campaign donation limits and laundered the money back to her campaign.”

“Backer reiterated a point from the complaint — that the Supreme Court first recognized these practices were illegal when it ruled in a 2014 case involving Shaun McCutcheon, a businessman and electrical engineer from suburban Birmingham, Ala., who created the Conservative Action Fund PAC. McCutcheon filed suit against the FEC challenging federal campaign contribution limits. It was Backer who assisted in filing the suit.

“This is exactly the scenario that they said would occur,” Backer says. “They were so brazen about it yet so sloppy.”

The Sorcerer’s Apprentices: FBI, DOJ, GPS, DNC By Patricia McCarthy – “The German line that translates as “The spirits that I called,” is often used to describe situations that spin out of control because allies have been summoned that cannot be controlled.”

“The spirits the Democratic Party put into service to defeat and unseat Donald Trump have indeed spun out of control and exposed the Left’s nefarious schemes for all to see. It’s an ugly scenario. Many people may, and should, go to prison if we still have a functioning legal system.

The Democrats called on the spirits they assumed they could count on to do their bidding and their bidding only. It never occurred to them that their plan could backfire. … That their conspiracy to destroy Trump is falling apart is just retribution. Trump has worked a lot of magic in his first year; a miracle given the round-the-clock abuse he takes from the Left/media. It is a miracle he won given the powerful forces aligned against him. He is some sort of sorcerer, here to hopefully save the country from the folly and deceit of the Progressive Left.

see also:

Trump’s Whirlwind Year by Conrad Black — “Considering the sustained assault of 90 percent of the media, in which the normal honeymoon for a new president has been replaced by a daily media assassination squad, he has done well.”

Donald Trump was a joke until nominated, unelectable until elected, incompetent until he succeeded on most fronts, and about to be impeached until he debunked the collusion nonsense; he has had a very successful year. His enemies have been weighed in the balance and they have been found wanting. They shall have their reward. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all readers, especially the president and Mrs. Trump.

Venezuela’s a disaster. Yet socialism’s more popular than ever by Jonah Goldberg — “The disconnect between socialism’s record and its invincible appeal also stems from leftists’ denial of what it really entails.”

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There’s a bigger question to this: Mueller’s cliff, Obama’s Hezbollah, CDC’s words, John Doe in Wisconsin, and Trump

A Time for War: Deep State’s Strike and Trump’s Counter-Strike By David Prentice – “Many things are being hidden, some hidden in plain sight.” A case is made and judgment anticipated but that is the caveat: predicting what will happen is nowhere near as solid as observing what has happened.

“Trump knows his enemy. And fortuitously, the left thinks he’s stupid. Leftists have no clue he sees them for what they are. Blockbuster revelations are now seeping up through the ooze of the swamp. There is a set of facts and circumstances that show us that Trump now holds the high ground, that he has dug into strong positions, and that bombshell after bombshell is about to go off against the left.

This began with Trump’s tweet about being “wiretapped” – which, dear leftist media, was not literal. It got the point across. Look what has come out since.

Ladies and gentlemen, the fan is about to be hit. Operation Counter-Strike. Deceptive. Yet right in front of us all. The trap is sprung. The Hessians were drunk on their own self-righteousness and sleeping while the battle crept up on them. Planned by an orange oaf.

Mueller goes over the cliff By J.R. Dunn – “With the news that his people illegally obtained the Trump transition emails – many of them having no conceivable bearing on his “inquiry” — Robert Mueller’s investigation proceeds even further into disintegration.”

“The Mueller team’s lunge into criminality reveals exactly how desperate they’ve become. (and despite what you may have heard from Our Loyal Media, seizing those emails was in fact a crime – presidential transition materials remain private by federal statute. Mueller never should have been allowed near those messages.) Soon enough, they’ll be accused of more crimes than anybody they’re investigating

Was the FBI weaponized to take down the Trump presidency? By Todd Starnes – “It appears the Obama Administration weaponized the Federal Bureau of Investigation just like they weaponized the Internal Revenue Service.” … “There is no smoking gun just yet – but the evidence is staggering – it is simply staggering.”

Let’s Take a Stroll – Letter of Notice From Trump Transition To Congress Outlining Illegal Search and Seizure by Special Counsel Robert Mueller…. By sundance – “let’s take a stroll and explain to our neighbors exactly what this entire plot is all about and why they should care….

“It is my belief, based on mounting evidence, a specific cast of characters -within the Mueller “Russia Election Interference” probe- were placed there to protect people behind the FBI’s initial false claims. Those claims formed the basis for the counterintelligence operation against 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Amid firestorms, Trump has year of solid policy accomplishments. Can he keep going? by Byron York – “Something is happening in the final days of 2017. People are noticing that Donald Trump has gotten a lot done in his tumultuous first year in the White House.”

“candidate Trump promised he would hire only the “best people” if he were to win the White House.

A significant part of the problem is this: In the supercharged atmosphere of Washington, a prospective Trump aide (and his or her spouse) can face intense professional and social disapprobation from being associated with the president.

Personnel isn’t sexy. And the key person in Trump’s policy successes is Trump himself. But the president will need the actual “best people” if he is to make his second year as consequential as his first.

Instapundit notes several other realizations that, maybe, Trump has been effective. Also, on this front, is After net neutrality: Five key issues to watch at the FCC by Gus Hurwitz – “with the 2015 net neutrality rules sent to the regulatory dustbin, what purpose does the FCC serve? The answer is that there are many more, and much more important, things that the Commission does than net neutrality. Here are five issues to watch moving forward, each of which more directly affects most consumers than net neutrality.”

Virtueless prestige By Richard Fernandez – “Has the first year of the Trump administration been a retreat from the global agenda or paradoxically fueled its expansion?”

“Though the goal of a values-based foreign policy was ostensibly to make the world better by making it like America, in practice that meant making the world like Hollywood and the Beltway. That was not without its problems. When the image of elite virtue collapsed under a spate of scandal made possible by the Internet the old magic declined considerably. Calamities like Libya and the sudden exposure of American public icons may have undermined Elizabeth Shackleford’s quest far more fatally than Donald Trump’s Tweets.

The replacement for the status quo ante which may be emerging is what Francis Fukuyama termed adaptive order. Perhaps the “lack of centralized control is what makes the system more adaptive in the long run. In fact, most biological and social systems are anarchic, a condition that nonetheless permits substantial self-organization. This work is highly suggestive for the social sciences, offering an explanation why central planning has given way to markets. A further implication may be that there can be no deterministic model for the behavior of international systems, and that theorists who have been chasing elegant and highly reductionist models of international relations are doomed to fail.”

Is the world developing a new adaptive order?

In that new world American prestige and influence will not depend on the dubious virtue of any individual human institution nor on the soaring eloquence of the media but upon the industry, inventiveness and moral compass of the United States.

Guilt By Accusation Is The New Norm by Daniel Greenfield – “Don’t believe all women or all men.”

“Time has named #MeToo its ‘Person of the Year’ and every other day the hashtag lynch mob drags someone else in front of the spotlight. The accusations range from rape to harsh words. The evidence is hearsay. The target is shamed, fired from every job he ever held and purged from polite society.

Some are guilty. Some might be innocent. But we’ll never know because there’s no investigation. The time frame between accusation and purge is hours or days when it takes your average HR department a week to file a form. Just like in every totalitarian leftist state, the accusation is enough.

And then it’s on to the next one.

There’s nothing American about #MeToo. It’s the revolutionary justice of a leftist purge where random political violence against ideological enemies is used to heal social ills.

The difference between a lynch mob and a court of law is evidence. Lynch mobs don’t believe that victims can lie or that perpetrators can be innocent. They don’t believe that the justice system can be trusted. They don’t just want to punish. They want to terrorize as a tool of social improvement.

The American system believes in equal justice. The leftist system wants to ‘punch up’ at the powerful oppressors and not ‘punch down’ at the oppressed. Evidence doesn’t matter. Power relationships do.

Don’t believe all women or all men. Ask questions. Search for the truth.

Betsy Newmark – “We were told a few years ago that there was no problem about having females in the military and that they could go out on combat missions with men and sleep in tents or on submarines with them and nothing untoward would happen. How does that blithe assurance match up now with the moral panic we’re experiencing?”

“People freaked out when they heard of Mike Pence’s refusal to eat dinner with a woman alone and fretted about how that might damage a woman’s opportunities to advance while working with him. I never saw that as such a big deal, but what if it were extended to meeting alone with a woman to work on a project or write a report together? I know that, as a teacher, we’ve been warned to never meet alone with a student with the door closed even if we’re talking about personal matters. I’ve been warned, even as a middle-aged woman, that when I come back from Quiz Bowl trips and I’m waiting alone with a student for his parents to pick him up that I can’t sit on the same bench with him in case his parents get the wrong idea. It’s creepy and stupid, but such is the world we live in with accusations and lawsuits. And this will now spread to women in the workforce. How many times will an employer decide that it is just not worth it to hire a woman and risk that either someone will harass her or that she’ll make accusations of someone harassing her.

Shahriar stepped in it in his YouTube FAQ. He was trolled by the news reports that CDC was banning words. It’s a classic case of propaganda’s effect on even the smartest of us. See HHS denies banning words at CDC, says they’re “recommendations” by Taylor Millard – “The federal government is kinda, sorta pushing back at the notion it’s banning certain words within Centers for Disease Control halls by telling The New York Times they’re just suggestions.” The indications are that’s another wish fulfillment by the Deep State and the Left’s propaganda machine.

“Jazz has already looked at the stupidity of this, and he’s right. There’s no reason for HHS to say words like, “transgender,” “fetus,” or “entitlement,” should be banned from government documents. The fact this appears to be done to make sure the Republicans are okay with the budget is just beyond stupid. It’s catering to a certain sect of people who have issues with words, plus could be a way to make certain allocations of money more palatable to more budget hawks, who don’t want to appear hypocritical to voters. After all, it’s a lot easier for a GOP Congressman to say, “It’s not an entitlement program. Promise.”

The notion of word-banning has more to do with what the government tells its citizens what they can or cannot say, not necessarily what government agencies can use in their own documents. It’s still dull-witted, and should be reconsidered.

There’s a bigger question to this, which no one else is really asking. Why do HHS documents have to include these terms anyway?

The whole story isn’t clear, yet, but it does appear that this is a part of a Deep State budget fight to maintain funding for pet projects of the Left with a bit of smear tossed in for frosting. Here’s another example.

At The Washington Post, If It Misleads, It Leads By Paul Mirengoff – “The lead headline on the Washington Post’s web page right now is: ‘Putin thanks Trump for CIA intel that foiled a planned terrorist attack in Russia.’

“There is no reason why Trump and Putin shouldn’t be talking. There is no reason why they shouldn’t talk about North Korea, which probably poses the greatest threat to America’s security right now. There is no reason why Putin shouldn’t thank Trump for information that likely saved Russian lives and preserved a national treasure.

There is no reason, other than raw hatred of Trump, why the Washington Post should treat Putin’s latest call to Trump as “unusual” or provide a misleading account of Trump’s latest call to Putin.

When it comes to President Trump, if it misleads it leads at the Washington Post.

What Happened In Wisconsin: Sen. Tiffany Comments By Scott Johnson – “Senator Tiffany’s message updates and comments on the story so far.”

“You are correct, Scott, to ask the question if anyone is paying attention. The John Doe prosecutors and the leadership of the GAB have not been held fully accountable and quite honestly may never be to the extent warranted. However, the wheels of justice continue to turn. I believe the Wisconsin state senate is prepared to fulfill its constitutional obligation of advice and consent for the Ethics and Elections administrators.

How Obama Let Up On Hezbollah By Scott Johnson – “Late yesterday afternoon Politico posted Josh Meyer’s deeply reported account of our struggle with Hezbollah and its betrayal by the Obama administration.”

“If it didn’t reflect so poorly on the Obama administration, Meyer’s incredibly rich story might win a Pulitzer Prize. I hope you can find time for it despite the length. Here it is: “The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook.”

There is no shortage of revelations of scandal suitable for outrage and new ones keep on coming. Maybe draining the swamp is more like the Yellowstone volcano process.

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Normally, conspiracy theories are to be avoided for good reasons

Here are some good reasons — and, maybe, a few alternatives. With examples.

‘Christ’ Purged from Christmas and the Left Rejoices by Douglas MacKinnon – “Those who rightfully believe that Christ needs to be a part of Christmas and those rebelling against the politically correct tyranny looking to strip all spirituality from the holiday have lost.”

“According to the latest results from the Pew Research Center – and already being gleefully shouted from the rooftops of certain left-leaning media sites orchestrating the campaign against faith-based Christmas – while 90 percent of Americans still celebrate Christmas in one way or another, a majority find that the religious elements of Christmas are emphasized less and less and few of them care about that change.

If accurate, it not only tells us how truly lost we are as a nation, but underscores the dangers of absolute power, discrimination, and propaganda.

Five ways the media tries to convince us tax cuts are bad By Monica Showalter – “It’s the most fallacious collection of up-is-down arguments ever assembled. Pity when the press doesn’t have facts to go on” … “the Democrat dominance of rule-by-redistribution and subsidy is threatened. So here is a handy-dandy abbreviated guide to some of the rubbish being bandied about on the airwaves and print since they won’t stop:”

How Much Does the ‘New York Times’ Hate Donald Trump? By Michael Walsh – “At this point in the first Trump administration, the Left’s derangement at the election of an NOKD [“Not Our Kind, Dear”] outsider is already well into the red zone.”

“The Times, the Washington Post and other media enterprises have now devolved into fully partisan propaganda outlets. They’re out, proud and unafraid — and they’re coming after everyone who disagrees with them by smearing their opponents as “racist.” As I often point out on Twitter (@dkahanerules), for the Times the year is always 1933 (and Nazis are afoot) or 1963 (and America is racist). Both of its obsessions have now come to fruition in the person of Donald J. Trump and the deplorables who voted for him.

And they’re watching you, America:

Swamp Critters Target Ryan Zinke, But I’m Betting On The Seal By Frank Miele – “If anything speaks authoritatively on the partisan mess that is Washington, D.C., it is the vilification of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, seemingly the left’s favorite target after President Trump himself.”

Digging Ugly Holes – Robert Mueller Team Illegally Obtained Trump Transition Team Emails… by sundance – “There is widespread opinion that many of the officials enlisted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller are ethically challenged.”

“Almost every intellectually honest observer has come to the opinion the ‘Muh Russian Conspiracy/Collusion Narrative’ is a complete snipe hunt; a disingenuous nothing-burger.

Further, the entire “Russian narrative” now appears to have been created to cover the tracks of a joint FBI and DOJ operation where they were conducting wiretaps and surveillance on presidential candidate Donald Trump, to gain information to the benefit of candidate Hillary Clinton. In essence, the FBI and DOJ were weaponized.

Many of the same conspiring entities who are at risk from the true motive within the 2016 FBI Operation against Donald Trump (Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Bill Priestap, Andrew McCabe, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, Glenn Simpson, etc.) were also put onto the Mueller investigation.

Trump transition lawyer: Mueller improperly obtained documents in Russia probe By John Roberts, Alex Pappas – “In a letter obtained by Fox News and sent to House and Senate committees on Saturday, the transition team’s attorney alleges “unlawful conduct” by the career staff at the General Services Administration (GSA) in handing over transition documents to the special counsel’s office.”

Trump Transition Team Lawyer: Mueller improperly grabbed tens of thousands of transition docs by William A. Jacobson – “Earlier today, Mike Allen at Axios reported a scoop that made clear Mueller was focused on the transition, Scoop: Mueller obtains “tens of thousands” of Trump transition emails:”

Point Shaver Strzok and the Untouchables by cornhead – “Based upon public reports, there are many dots to connect in this entire matter but little analysis of what could really be going on … The key to understanding this matter, in my opinion, is Peter Strzok, bitcoin and shaving points.

“the Clintons are not dummies. They had to have a second line of attack. That attack was based upon supercharged opposition research. How great would it be to use the full force of the federal government, the FBI and FISA warrants in order to spy on the Trump campaign in real time? Absolute gold.

The thing that is astounding to me as a lawyer is that a DOJ lawyer may well have presented a knowingly false document in order to dupe a federal judge and get a court order to spy on American citizens. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a serious matter. One does not lie to a federal judge in order to pervert the judicial process.

The surprising thing to me is that all of this spying on the Trump campaign by the FBI, CIA and NSC has resulted in essentially nothing.

Point shavers make their in-game play look like they are performing at their best. Even when shaving points, they can win the contests. But if a team is projected to win by 7 but the actual win is by 3, who is to say that a free throw or three-point shot was missed on purpose? The beauty of a point shaving scheme is that it only takes one or two players to pull it off.

To my knowledge, the full power and effectiveness of a federal grand jury was not used in the Hillary Clinton private server matter. To the extent search warrants and subpoenas were used, they were not used on a timely and aggressive basis. Point shaving.

My question is does new FBI Director Wray and Attorney General Sessions have the stones to properly and aggressively investigate this matter consistent with the rule of law. Who is today’s Eliot Ness? Are some people above the law because they have paid friends in government?

What happened in Wisconsin, cont’d by Scott Johnson – this is a different case driven by the same ethos. It is a corruption of politics by the ‘deep’ state.

“Let me repeat the conclusion to my post on the report last week. The wrongdoing detailed in the WisDoJ report is of the deeply fascist variety that exceeds my poor powers of denunciation. Suffice it to say that it combines the instruments of tyranny — physical torture omitted — in the service of the suppression of conservatives. The story is shocking almost beyond belief. One might ask where the outrage is, but at this point we should probably ask if anyone is paying attention.

California to bring back net neutrality… but only for California by Jazz Shaw – “Best of luck, Californians. Remember… when the revolution begins, you’ll want to chat with the folks who voted in all those gun control laws too.”

“California doesn’t have their own internet. (Which is kind of a shame because if they did, the rest of us could simply filter them out.) So if they’re going to impose state-level regulations on entities which operate on a national and, in most cases, international basis, that means that those providers and associated entities are going to need to set up an entirely separate service structure for users inside that one state. (Well… possibly two states, since Washington is talking about it too.) That’s going to cost extra most likely. And who is going to pay those additional costs for special services? If you said the service providers will just suck it up, buy yourself a ticket to Venezuela where such thinking is all the rage.

Of course, the end users will have to foot the bill. Which means that Californians will wind up paying more for the same service everyone else is receiving because of state-level government regulations. Of course, we’re talking about California here, so that’s just a fact of life already. Perhaps nobody will notice.

Midnight at the Democracy Dies in Darkness Café By Clarice Feldman – “It wasn’t all sadness and gloom, though. The gang in the MAGA hats were having a great time of it.” A summary with wit and humor.

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Many curious cases

White House launching redesigned website on Friday By John Bowden – From $6M to $3M, using widely adopted FOSS software, 

“In January, the Trump administration faced criticism when it deleted the Spanish-language section of its website. In July, the White House said that improving the English-language section was a priority.

All I Want for Christmas…Is to Be as Savage as Sarah Huckabee Sanders by Brian L – “it’s no surprise that Trump put her there because she’s perfect for the job.”

The media are killing themselves with botched anti-Trump reporting By David Harsany – “If there’s a major news story over the past 70 years that the American media have botched more often because of bias and wishful thinking, I’d love to hear about it.”

“Four big scoops recently run by major news organizations, written by top reporters and, presumably, churned through layers of scrupulous editing, turned out to be completely wrong.

Forget your routine bias. These were four bombshells disseminated to millions of Americans by breathless anchors, pundits and analysts, all of whom are feeding frenzied expectations about Trump-Russia collusion that have now been internalized by many as indisputable truths. All four pieces, incidentally, are useless without their central faulty claims. Yet there they sit. And these are only four of dozens of other stories that have fizzled over the year.

The fact that many political journalists (not all) have a political agenda is not new, but if they become a proxy of operatives who peddle falsehoods, they will soon lose credibility with an even bigger swath of the country. They will have themselves to blame.

A Curious Case of Counterintelligence – Bill Priestap… by sundance – another name in a good summary of what is known to date about a most significant scandal.

On the Left, It Is All Hysteria, All the Time by John Hinderaker – “The Democrats obviously think that breaking the hysteria meter is working for them, and they could turn out to be right. But by any sane standard, they are making fools of themselves.”

Another errant anti-Trump hit piece from the Washington Post by Paul Mirengoff – “the Washington Post returns to its primary mission — taking down the President of the United States.”

“The hit piece, by Greg Miller, Greg Jaffe, and Phillip Rucker, takes up five pages in the front section of today’s Post. One searches in vain through the authors’ gossip and distortions for evidence of the article’s two themes: (1) that Trump is leaving the U.S. vulnerable to the Russian threat in question, cyber-attacks on our election process and (2) that Trump’s policies tilt in favor of Russia.

It’s never surprising when the Washington Post resorts to dishonesty and distortion. Given the thinness of today’s five-page expose, dishonesty and distortion were almost inevitable.

Clearly, the Post is grasping at straws. That’s what one does when one abandons honest journalism and joins “the resistance.”

As savage as Sarah? How about as hysteric as a Leftist?

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Ship of Fools: neutrality hysteria and growing threats exposed

Will Net-Neutrality Zealots Apologize When The Internet Fails To Crash And Burn? By IBD – “For years, advocates preached the net-neutrality gospel with a fervor normally reserved for end-of-the-world preachers.”

“The problem: While everyone says they are for net neutrality, nobody seems to actually know what it is, including the Obama FCC chairman who wrote the rules. When asked a couple of years ago how the FCC intended to apply its new regulatory authority, Tom Wheeler said: “We don’t know; we’ll have to see where things go.”

Tellingly, the first goal under net neutrality was to impose costly — and since repealed — privacy rules that had nothing to do with net neutrality. The second was to target an unlimited-video data plan provided by T-Mobile.

Shorn of all the histrionics, the FCC’s net-neutrality regime was little more than a blatant power grab by the Obama administration, and one that was completely unnecessary.

The only question left is whether the net-neutrality zealots will apologize when their doom-and-gloom prophecies fail to materialize. More likely, they’ll just come up some new world-ending “problem” that demands a government solution.

While the debate continues to rage, consumers would do well to remember that their interests are always best served by a free and open market, not by a handful of government bureaucrats issuing mandates and regulations from Washington, D.C.

Snowflakes’ hysteria after abolition of net neutrality resembles Idiocracy by Luboš Motl

“When I searched for comments about “net neutrality” on Twitter and Google News, among others, I was amazed by the amount of hysteria that requires the hysterical people’s absolute and hopeless stupidity. I was happy to see that e.g. Ted Cruz’s reaction was the same.

There is just a giant number of people – ordinary people as well as those with numerous political positions (that surely includes the Democratic FCC members and Bernie Sanders) – who just keep on repeating similar absurd or extremely oversimplified slogans such as “global warming is real” or, in this case, “abolition of net neutrality means the end of the Internet”, “we will pay $1,000 a month for every website now”, “I won’t be able to contact my friends and relatives now”, and so on.

Like in Idiocracy, we are increasingly drowning in repetitive screams of slogans driven by increasingly stupid, increasingly loud, and increasingly self-confident cliques of absolute morons. Net neutrality is harmful but it’s just one technicality – one small piece of the modern industries that net neutrality reduced to the basically “socialist or communist regime of stagnation”. But I am more worried about the overall package of similar hysterias – the hysteria after the abolition of net neutrality is just another example of our convergence towards the real dumb society as pictured in Idiocracy.

Here’s Betsey Newmark:

“It’s unbelievable what a freakout there has been. My students, who don’t follow much discussion of public policy, seem to know about this story, at least that the end of net neutrality, which they can’t define, means the end of the internet. They came into class today all panicked about it. I have tried to urge them to just calm down, but they’re so convinced by the propaganda they’ve seen that I don’t know how much seeps in. It really irritates me.

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley Outlines Evidence of Growing Threats From Iran… by sundance – “In a stunning display of international transparency, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley presents actual, physical, incontrovertible and, yes, uncomfortable, evidence of Iranian weapons that have been used by proxy fighters against allied nations.”

T-Rex: “Around The Globe” End of Year Briefing and Deep Dive on North Korea Policy… by sundance – more “stunning.” This time it is Secretary of State Rex Tillerson delivering a keynote address, “Meeting the Foreign Policy Challenges of 2017 and Beyond” at the 2017 Atlantic Council – Korea Foundation Forum.

Ken Starr’s Investigation And Robert Mueller’s — Compare And Contrast by Paul Mirengoff – “if we’re close to the precipice now, where were we 20 years ago when Ken Starr was relentlessly attacked by Democrats and their media pals while he investigated Bill Clinton?”

“Don’t expect an answer from Dionne. He’s not intellectually honest enough even to mention Starr in his rant.

But charges of hypocrisy against one party and its backers can often be turned around. Yes, the response of Democrats generally, and Dionne in particular, to attacks on Mueller is inconsistent with their posture during the Ken Starr era. But did Starr staff up with conservatives and Republicans? If so, did Republicans criticize him for doing so, as they now criticize Mueller for loading up with Hillary Clinton supporters and other partisan Democrats?

There are additional distinctions between the two investigations that undermine attempts to deflect criticism over the partisanship of Mueller’s staff by citing Starr’s operation. Here’s a key one: Starr investigated a banking scandal, a suicide, and later a sex scandal. Mueller is investigating an election.

Mirengoff also takes note of where Trump Derangement Syndrome has taken George Will (over the edge):

“It’s one thing to say that Trump erred in this weighing process. It’s another thing — an absurd one — to make this error (if that’s what it was) the centerpiece of a claim that Trump, eleven months into his presidency, is our worst president ever.

Pundits judge. Historians judge too, but first they try to understand. Will’s attack on Trump is that of an irate pundit, not a historian or even a pundit displaying historical sense.

The FBI’s Ship of Fools by Roger L Simon – “Zelig of the FBI who mysteriously appeared at every controversial moment — was second in command for counterintelligence.”

“And yet that same Mr. Strzok was conducting a clandestine extra-marital affair with an FBI colleague over thousands of text messages that could be and likely were (more of that in a moment) intercepted by those same foreign intelligence agencies — or were, at the very least, recklessly exposed to them. … How could he call them “grossly negligent” when he was so “grossly negligent” himself?

What are witnessing as these embarrassing documents, emails and texts continue to be extracted from a reluctant — and therefore self-incriminating — Justice Department is the emergence of a veritable FBI Ship of Fools with Captain Mueller at the helm, a man we repeatedly have to be told is above reproach, a Raleigh for our times, but is seeming more of a cross between Ahab and Queeg.

Well, that’s perhaps too harsh. But the investigation has already crashed against rocky shoals and is about to sink.

The ocean seems infested by ships of fools.

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A demented fury

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The text exchanges suggest they very well may have.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And here’s where it gets really interesting.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Predictable: without intellectual integrity but persistent and predictable.

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There’s more to the Strozk case than meets the eye.

Moore goes down in a close vote and that will get a lot of discussion about Al Franken and others as well as the success of the smear, the quality of the candidates, Trump haters gloating, and implications for future elections. It appears that it was a turn-out win where Democrats had the game. Exit Polls: Voters Split On Whether Roy Moore’s Accusers Are Telling the Truth, But 55% Say It’s a “Minor” Factor or Not a Factor In Their Decision.

FBI Agent Peter Strozk Anti-Trump Messages Released To Media – However, The Key Question is Not Content… by sundance – “the bigger story is not the anti-Trump bias within the text communication, the BIGGER story is why the Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General (OIG), began even looking at Agent Peter Strozk’s communication in the first place.”

Getting caught as a leaker is likely the reason Strzok was removed and reassigned to the HR post; not the bias. … However, Agent Strzok leaking information to the media; his changing the outcome of an FBI investigation into a political ally, Hillary Clinton; and his investigative involvement in the Trump Russia Conspiracy, via the Steele Dossier and FISA warrant, well, that’s the real issue evident here.

Which leads us to the next headline story that dovetails into this ideological weaponization by FBI/DOJ/DC officials leaking to the media. … the erroneous leak to CNN about the content of a received email

Having some idea of how these DC investigative practices work, it is highly doubtful that Don Jr’s attorney self-initiated that complaint on his client’s behest. There is a strong possibility the investigative unit, the new leak task-force, and/or the IG office, needs that initiating complaint in order to continue targeting the potential subjects of the leaks.

Summarizing the harms of the FCC’s 2015 internet regulation by Roslyn Layton – “Net neutrality is many things, but from a consumer’s perspective, it is a price control that forces consumers to value all data the same, whether they want to or not.” The real issue here is why the nerds and geeks are so hot and bothered that they toss slime and slander as well as virulent violence with threats towards FCC personnel as well as lawsuits.

The Strzok/Page texts make it clear that these two people were fully capable of an objective assessment of all things Trump and Clinton by neo-neocon – “Not. Not. NOT.”

Hate to be cynical, but I’m feeling that way at the moment. I think a lot of people are getting away, if not with murder in the literal sense, then with using the mechanism of government to conspiratorially subvert the republic. And funny thing, they seem to think they are being noble in protecting us from Donald Trump, whom they see as the real tyrant.

See also “Democrats’ #Resistance is creating a genuine constitutional crisis” by William A. Jacobson.

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Clarifying the coup attempt (still in progress)

The Real Problem with Judging Judge Roy Moore By Thomas Lipscomb – “The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there.” This is a good rundown on the context that puts the ‘scandal’ in its proper perspective about Moore and about the culture in which he lived. There is an understanding to be gained that the Left’s propaganda machine distorted and hid.

Female Trump accusers seek congressional hearing by Paul Mirengoff – “The women are: Rachel Crooks, who accused Trump of kissing her on the lips without consent in 2005; Jessica Leeds, who accused Trump of moving his hand up her skirt decades ago; and Samantha Holvey, a former Miss North Carolina, who accused Trump of entering a dressing room to peek at undressed beauty contestants in 2006.” As with what is (mostly) alleged about Moore, it is much easier to wonder about crude dating and social behavior rather than sexual predation and harassment with these claims. Then there’s the precedent:

“Remember, the articles of impeachment against President Clinton approved by the House cited him with lying under oath to a federal grand jury and obstructing justice. (An additional article based on his answers to questions from the House Judiciary Committee failed). There were no charges based on sexual misconduct.

That sexual misconduct left on the table included misuse of power over interns and rape that had supporting evidence not present allegations against either Trump or Moore.

Jerusalem move reveals the radical pattern of Trump diplomacy By Andrew Malcolm – “Trump’s bold announcement also sets him apart from recent presidents of both parties, who made numerous similar vows, then diddled their promises into easy inaction and oblivion.”

“And here is what’s so revealing about this Trump move: He’s not burdened by that depressing precedent. For better and worse, he’s an outsider unshackled by a self-defeating link to conventional wisdom, conventional wisdom that confines thinking only to what has been tried. If that hasn’t worked, only more of the same might.

This president may not have an obvious orthodox method to his diplomacy. But he does have a clear and decisive pattern. It’s more rooted in common-sense reality than in diplomatic dreaminess.

Former top spy rethinks: Maybe we shouldn’t have attacked a new president by Byron York – “As the old saying goes: Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. Trump understandably believes the intelligence agencies are out to get him.”

“Of course, leaders in the intelligence community would deny they are out to get the president. But in a remarkable new interview, one CIA veteran who served in the agency from 1980 to 2013, who briefed presidents on the most sensitive issues of the day, and is still a prominent voice in intelligence matters is at least conceding that he can understand why the president feels the way he does.

“Let’s put ourselves in Donald Trump’s shoes,” Morell said to Glasser. “So what does he see? Right? He sees a former director of CIA and a former director of NSA, Mike Hayden … criticizing him and his policies. Right? And he would rightfully have said, ‘Huh, what’s going on with the intelligence guys?'”

“And then he sees a former acting director and deputy director of CIA criticizing him and endorsing his opponent,” Morell continued. “And then he gets his first intelligence briefing, after becoming the Republican nominee, and within 24 to 48 hours, there are leaks out of that that are critical of him and his then-national security adviser Mike Flynn.”

“And so, this stuff starts to build, right? And he must have said to himself, ‘What is it with these intelligence guys? Are they political?'”

The answer to that was simple: Yes, they were political. But the astonishing part of the Morell interview is his admission that at the time he did not stop to consider what was happening from Trump’s perspective

Morell admits he went after the new president without even considering what that might mean. “I think there was a significant downside to those of us who became political,” he told Glasser. “So, if I could have thought of that, would I have ended up in a different place? I don’t know. But it’s something I didn’t think about.”

Reynolds on this: “That this obviously foreseeable consequence wasn’t foreseen demonstrates that these “intelligence” guys aren’t very good at what they’re supposed to be good at. And it explains why their work product hasn’t been very good with regard to other countries, when they couldn’t even foresee an obvious result in their own.”

One Mueller-Investigation Coincidence Too Many by Victor Davis Hanson – “Special investigations often quickly turn Soviet, in the sense of ‘Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.’ … Something has gone terribly wrong with the Mueller investigation.

“These public worries are not groundless. They are deeply rooted in the nature and liberal composition of the Mueller investigative team — whose left-leaning appointments just months ago had understandably made the liberal media giddy with anticipation from the outset. Wired, for instance, published this headline on June 14: “Robert Mueller Chooses His Investigatory Dream Team.” Vox, on August 22, wrote: “Meet the all-star legal team who may take down Trump.” The Daily Beast, two day later, chimed in: “Inside Robert Mueller’s Army.”

Whose ‘Army,’ Whose ‘Dream Team,’ and Whose ‘All-Stars’?

By now there are simply too many coincidental conflicts of interest and too much improper investigatory behavior to continue to give the Mueller investigation the benefit of doubt. Each is a light straw; together, they now have broken the back of the probe’s reputation.

the special-counsel investigation has developed an eerie resemblance to the spate of sexual-harassment cases, in which the accused sluff off initial charges as irrelevant, unproven, or politically motivated, only to be confronted with more fresh allegations that insidiously point to a pattern of repeated behavior.

Governmental accountability board? More like Wisconsin’s Secret Police by Glenn Harlan Reynolds – “It was a partisan witch hunt masquerading as an inquiry into campaign irregularities. And it might presage the outcome of the Mueller investigation.”

“The “Cheesehead Stasi.” That’s what Twitter humorist IowaHawk called a long-running and politicized investigation organized by Democratic politicians in Wisconsin, targeting supporters of Republican Gov. Scott Walker. The mechanism for this investigation was an allegedly nonpolitical, but in fact entirely partisan,

Now an investigation by Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel on behalf of the overseeing court has spelled out a long list of misdeeds by the investigators, and has called for punishments including contempt-of-court holdings and possible disbarment. And the stuff that it has uncovered is pretty awful.

Wisconsin Democrats took Scott Walker’s victory very hard. They tried to recall him, and failed. And they tried to undermine his term in office through the abuse of legal institutions. Now some of them will face professional discipline, and judicial punishment, as a result.

It’s too early to say, as one account does, that the Wisconsin debacle prefigured the ongoing Robert Mueller investigation into Trump’s campaign, though there are certainly similarities between the attitudes of “The Resistance” in Washington and the Wisconsin establishment’s response to Walker.

That’s the coup effort on two fronts. Ace has another: CNN Special Snowflakes to Donald Trump: Please Stop Bullying Us After We Spend Hour After Hour of #FakeNews Attacks on You!Allahpundit gets into this, too.

“The commentariat spends much of its time nowadays navel-gazing about how the media can rebuild goodwill among Americans who’ve lost faith in it. One suggestion: For starters, for the love of Mike, stop the endless cycle of self-pity and grandiosity. When reporters aren’t busy telling you how heroic their industry is, they’re busy telling you how mean the president is to them, although he’s only mean to them because he’s threatened by their heroic crusade for truth and free speech, which in turn makes his disrespect so much more tragic and hurtful since you would expect the president of all people to stand up for the First Amendment, but at least our heroic media is standing up for it, and on and on we go!

And, another front: David Gross: science will survive Pope Urban, Stalin, Hitler, and Trump by Luboš Motl – “Just a comment about some weird statement by a famous guy at a prestigious event.”

“Needless to say, the hall was crowded with tons of leftist extremists who literally and overtly want the U.S. president to die which is why the applause following Gross’ talk was extraordinary. They love to write mock articles such as the 2013 article by Donald Trump, “When You’re Feeling Low, Just Remember I’ll Be Dead in About 15 or 20 Years.”

If you think about the detailed formulation of Gross’ point, you will realize that it’s even scarier. Science has survived attacks by Pope Urban VIII, Stalin, and Hitler. Gross didn’t talk about the death of these three villains personally. But in the case of Donald Trump, it won’t be Trump’s attacks that science will survive. The word “attack” doesn’t appear on that line. David Gross thought about the death for Trump and his ilk even though the Pope, Stalin, and Hitler escaped any similar treatment. It’s only Trump and his ilk – and I can’t imagine how I could not take such comments personally – whose death is eagerly expected by David Gross and his ilk.

so the punchline of Gross’ talk is that he wants the U.S. president to die soon enough – because it’s needed as a testimony for the viability of science. Can you imagine how creepy it is?

Sorry to say, David, but it is you who is the heir to the fathers of the Aryan Physics, Lysenkoism, and other movements that try to “purify” science according to the ideological criteria.

Justice Sotomayor unintentionally highlights the danger of having too many laws by Ilya Somin – “Justice Sonia Sotomayor noted a dangerous feature of our legal system. We have far more laws than the state and federal governments can effectively enforce” Sotomayor and Somin making common sense? What is going on here?

“The executive therefore exercises enormous discretion about which lawbreakers to go after and which ones to leave alone.

This, in turn, has dire consequences for the rule of law in our society: It makes it very difficult for ordinary citizens to determine what laws apply to them and how to avoid violations, and ensures that whether a given lawbreaker gets prosecuted depends far more on the exercise of police, prosecutorial, and executive discretion than on any objective application of legal rules. Thus, the rule of law is in large part supplanted by the rule of whatever men and women control the levers of power at any given time. As Sotomayor notes, those people have vast discretion in deciding which of the “countless laws” on the books they want to enforce, and when.

Justice Sotomayor’s statement highlights a dangerous reality of our legal system. One that too many of us tend to ignore. So long as there are vastly more laws on the books than the government can realistically hope to enforce, the rule of law will continue to be imperiled.

There are implications of beliefs and opinions and many, on the Left especially, seem rather oblivious about what they think and do.

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Woke Conservatives in a civilized society

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They hate you. Govern yourself accordingly.

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

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

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

Civilized society?

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