Archive for November, 2018

Media’s tar baby

Double Standards Galore in the Attorney General Fracas. John C. Eastman – “Neal Katyal writes that President Trump’s designation of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general is unconstitutional because the office of attorney general is a “principal office,” which can only be filled by someone who has been confirmed by the Senate.”

“That would be the same Neal Katyal who served as acting solicitor general, also a Senate-confirmed position. And the same Neal Katyal whose boss, Attorney General Eric Holder, had served as acting attorney general at the end of the Clinton Administration and in the early days of the George W. Bush Administration. And the same Neal Katyal who served in an administration that closed out with another acting attorney general, Sally Yates, who acted like an embedded enemy within the Trump Administration until she was finally fired by the president for refusing to defend the president’s travel ban executive order—she claimed that there was no plausible defense for it, even though the policy was ultimately upheld by the Supreme Court.

The double standard is so palpable as to be laughable.

Perhaps what we are seeing is the Trump effect on legal analysis, such as the argument made before the Fourth Circuit in the travel ban case in which Katyal himself was involved, that perfectly valid actions taken by other presidents are unconstitutional when taken by this president. But such a double standard is hardly conducive to the rule of law.

Shame on Fox News for Joining the CNN-Acosta Farce. Nicholas L. Waddy – “The absurdity of CNN’s position is plain. CNN takes the view that President Trump, in his capacity as president, has no rights at all.” and Fox News thinks this is “fair and balanced”?

Trump announces solution to Acosta problem and now the media are stuck. Thomas Lifson – You want written rules? We’ll give you written rules. And enforcement to the letter. No problem.

Trump everyone’s hard passes then. Don Surber – “Revoke all the hard passes. Make them stand in line each day with every other reporter from outlets not so privileged seeking access.”

“Every cable outlet rejected the president’s midterm election ad because their corporate owners support open borders and globalism.

By the way, that ad was prophetic. In that ad, President Trump showed illegal aliens overrunning barricades.

the television outlets censored the president of the United States because he told the truth — something Fake News media oppose.

This is America. All are equal in the eyes of the law. Make them wait in line and go through security checks like everyone else then.

Meanwhile, they did run dishonest ads by Democrats on health care …

How the AP covers your dubious election dispute pretty much depends on whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican. Becket Adams – “The language we use to cover news events says a great deal about our editorial judgment. And the Associated Press’ handling of the long-shot recount efforts in Georgia and New Mexico says its judgment needs serious reconsideration.”

“It may seem like a small thing, but the difference between these stories is the difference between healthy skepticism and no skepticism at all. That the AP’s tone changes entirely when the story is about a Democrat is probably just a coincidence. Probably.

Federal Prosecutors Investigating “Altered” Election Documents Forged by Florida Democrats – “No evidence of voter fraud,” the media lied. Ace of Spades – “protests that such claims are undermining confidence in the nation’s democracy, as we heard about correct, fact-based Republican claims about Broward.”

Fact-checking the NY Times’ Fact-checking. Kip Hansen – “The NY Times is obsessed with the President — it cannot report anything without taking a pot shot at him.”

“Thanks to the brilliant investigative reporting of the Times’ staff writer, we get the lede as a subtitle: “On Twitter, the president claimed that the state’s wildfire woes are a result of poor forest management. The truth is more complicated.”

Who would have imagined that the complex problem of California wildfires could actually be “more complicated” than the President could communicate in 140 characters?

I must admit I get weary of the NY Times’ absurd Editorial Narrative on the Environment and Climate Change — so many of their pieces on these topics are sophomoric and some are just plain silly — the above is a fine example of the “silly” category.

ABC Makes Patently False Claim About New Title IX Rules. Robby Soave – “The new standard does not require victims to show that they can’t return to school. It doesn’t even require them to leave school in the first place.”

“Unfortunately, ABC’s mischaracterization of the standard is already being parroted by the Daily Kos. This is how fake news spreads.

If would be great if a civil-liberties-minded organization in good standing with the left could step up and explain why Title IX reform is necessary and long overdue. Unfortunately, the American Civil Liberties Union has opted to go another route.

White House Ordered To Restore Jim Acosta’s Press Pass (UPDATE ADDED). Dana – “As a reminder, this is the same president who recently said of the press:” and the list provided is a reminder of just how bad the bias against Trump really is and how far people go to rationalize their hate. Every item in the list is a Trump response to uncivil and disrespectful press behavior calling it for what it is yet that truth gets bypassed in taking pot shots and rationalizing denial.

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High snobbery and criminal intent

Criminal Intent.” sundance – “Intent”, not consequence, is now the larger shield being applied toward excusing the action of people within institutions of government and society.

“It was a “mistake”…. he/she/it made “a poor decision” etc. A pattern of obfuscation downplaying consequence and allowing those decision-makers charged with delivering accountability to withdraw or apply the rules of law based on their individual overlay of ‘intent’.

That shift is factually visible everywhere now.

Following along the ideological lines of: “all actions are justified”, do you see how the shift to ‘intent’ is a serious issue within a corrupt system?

Within that system, and against that purposeful filter and determination, plausible deniability becomes the construct for intentional criminal engagement.

Fight the Denigration of American History. Michael Finch – “The recent skirmishes started with the campaign to remove Confederate statues, but it surely won’t end there.”

“As our betters in America’s universities want us to know, the whole of American history is suspect. In our media, in the popular culture, and in our schools, we’re subject to an unending drumbeat of how America was founded to promote imperialism, colonialism, racism, sexism, and genocide—unimpeachable facts, we’re told, for which all Americans must forever share the burden of collective guilt and shame.

For America to atone for her sins, her history must be denounced and then purged.

One thing we should have learned is that the Left never stops; there is no end to their relentless pursuit of destructive hate. There is no room for reasonable adjudication of their claims.

The same creative gift of God that has allowed us to build and dream and create such beauty has often conflicted with our ability to do great evil. It is called the human condition. Only through the grace of God does our ability to do great good outpace our ability do evil and allow us to be forgiven for our sins. And nowhere else, at no other time in human history, have these conditions taken place, has our better nature and our creative facility triumphed, such as it has in the hundreds of years of America history and the creation of this blessed nation.

‘Great Things Are Taking Place Whether The Media Tells Us Or Not’: Christian Musicians Hold Spontaneous WH Worship Session. Patrick Goodenough – “A “faith briefing” at the White House this week saw Christian music artists hold an impromptu worship session, singing songs of praise near the Oval Office.” The biggest lie is a truth not told. Here’s one.

“The White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives was established by President George W. Bush a week after taking office in January 2001, as a way to enhance the capacity of faith-based and community groups to provide federally-funded social services, by removing legal and institutional barriers preventing them from doing so.

President Obama renamed the initiative the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and also established an advisory council.

President Trump in an executive order last May renamed it the White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative, to empower faith-based organizations and “promote religious freedom.”

Obvious Double Standard On Recusals Proves Russia Probe Is About Getting Trump. Adam Mill – “Don’t bother reading the underlying rules on conflict of interest, because there’s only one test that matters: Would the recusal help get Trump?” Back in Watergate days, the meme was that it wasn’t the crime, it was the cover-up. That has resurfaced at times today by folks presuming it is all about the President. This time it isn’t. Mill describes how and why.

Obama Judges Can’t Save Dem Losers. David Catron – “the apparent losers haven’t benefited from arbitrary changes these partisan jurists made in the laws by which election officials are legally bound.”

Hmmm: Florida Dems plotted use of altered forms statewide; Update: Judge calls Florida “laughingstock of the world”. Ed Morrissey – “Lesson from the Naples Daily News: When Florida Democrats plot to fudge election law, they go big or go home.”

“The plan to use altered official forms to flood counties with improper “cure affidavits” went up higher and farther than first reported by Politico yesterday. Florida Democratic Party deputy field director Jennifer Kim sent the e-mails statewide, and it’s now unclear how many more altered forms might be outstanding. The e-mails went out the day after the election — two days after the actual deadline for “cure affidavits”

In one sense, this has been mooted anyway. A federal judge extended the actual deadline this morning for “cure affidavits” until Saturday, November 10th at 5 pm ET. It might well be that Kim and the FDP figured they could win in court on this point, and with the gaps so tight on Election Night, it would have made sense to get their voters to keep sending in the affidavits.

The biggest problem in this for the FDP is the altered forms. They could have just sent a cover letter instructing voters to ignore the deadline on the proper form, arguing that they would fight in court to get it extended. Instead, they altered an official election form on their own, and apparently did so in an organized manner.

High snobbery from the Washington Post. Paul Mirengoff – “The Post’s article is phony. But its snobbery, though selective, is genuine.”

Why the data debate must separate authorized versus unauthorized access. Sam Taussig – “The importance of upholding the customers’ absolute right to authorize data access, while simultaneously safeguarding against unauthorized misuse are equally critical.” There is nuance and that is food for FUD mongers.

GOP failed to fight Dem’s health-care scare tactics in midterms. Paul Roderick Gregory – “HR676 could become law if American voters pay no attention to its real contents and fall under the spell of the promise that everything will be free.” FUD Mongering has consequences.

In Democratic circles, anti-Semitism is becoming normal. Roger Kimball – “I am of two minds about where our country’s new flirtation with socialism is heading.”

“Perhaps it is a predictable by-product of affluence, a toxic gas emitted by the mighty engine of the free market. Much of the rhetoric and histrionics might be put down to the enforced childishness wrought the breakdown of our educational institutions.

As people scramble to explain the sudden resurgence of socialism not only on America’s college campuses but also in the corridors of political power, it is worth noting the concomitant resurgence of anti-Semitism in those redoubts. The coincidence is not, as the Marxists like to say, an accident. The truth is that unfettered socialism, though based primarily on a demand for the abolition of private property, always comes riding on a current of anti-Semitism. Picking apart the conceptual reasons for this link is a complex business that I will leave aside here. But it is worth noting how impeccable a provenance the union enjoys.

The efflorescence of anti-Semitism is always a bad sign in a culture, not least because it harbingers a spirit of thuggish intolerance and breakdown of faith in society’s mediating civil institutions.

Donald Trump’s gospel of ‘principled realism,’ his gentle and patriotic version of broad-church, America-first nationalism, offers a healing alternative. The angry Left, which has yet to accept the results of the 2016 election, refuse to take their seats at the table he has set for them. The increasingly violent confrontations with journalists, politicians, and talk show hosts is one troubling sign of that recalcitrance. The normalization of anti-Semitism is another.

It is only the wealthy that can afford to destroy what they have.

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Metacognition is missing?

Why People Deny Science. Steven Novella – “A new study further shows that people are inconsistent in how they justify their beliefs.” They key flag here is they use of “Deny” as it is used as a perjorative for those who don’t toe the ideological line. That suggests a diversion. Science denial is being substituted for the broader concepts in psychology concerning how humans deal with a reality they have difficulty accepting. This is about such topics as cognitive dissonance and grief. If that bias and diversion, which is its own example of the problems being discussed, is understood then the column’s insights gain good value.

What all of this suggests is that people do not usually engage in metacognition – thinking about their own thinking. They may have a cognitive style that they tend to use, but otherwise they engage in whatever type of reasoning serves their purpose on any particular topic. …

To counter this we cannot just teach science or explain what the evidence says. We need to teach critical thinking skills – which is metacognition. Critical thinking includes an understanding of all the various ways our thinking can go wrong. Just as important, however, is that critical thinking involves stepping back from our own cognitive process to examine it objectively, to make a sincere effort to consistently apply valid logic and the same fair and objective criteria for evidence.

Doing this is really hard, because people are very good at motivated reasoning. We are extremely creative at inventing reasons to reject logic and evidence we don’t like, and those invented reasons can create a powerful illusion of being correct – so much so that almost half of people feel comfortable saying that no new evidence could even theoretically change their mind on a topic.

The Present American Revolution. Victor Davis Hanson – “Destroying the Constitution and seeking state-mandated equality of result

“Our present revolution is more multifaceted. It is a war on the very Constitution of the United States that has not yet brought the Left its Holy Grail: a state-mandated equality of result overseen by an omnipotent and omniscient elite. The problem for today’s leftists is that they are not fighting Bourbon France, a reactionary Europe of 1848, or Czarist Russia, but an affluent, culturally uninhibited, and wildly free United States, where never in the history of civilization has a people attained such affluence and leisure.

The courts have become revolutionary. They now routinely overturn popular referenda, presidential executive orders, and legislative statutes, mostly on the principle that better-educated, more moral and experienced judges answer to a higher, more progressive calling and know what in the long run is best for the uneducated rabble.

Almost everything we have seen in just the last three months — the Kavanaugh chaos, the “caravan,” the ongoing Mueller octopus, recounting election results until they are deemed “correct,” the Beto and Gillum neo-socialism craziness, the swarming of a Fox News anchor’s home, driving public officials out of restaurants, the media circus at presidential press conferences — are symptoms of revolutionary America. In this conflict, one side believes it is not only not fair but also not allowable that it lacks the necessary power to make us all equal — but equal only in the eyes of a self-anointed elite.

Thinking about their own thinking?

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Can you see? Do you think?

Democrats and the Rule of Lawyers. David Catron – “Live by pettifoggery, die by pettifoggery.”

“As Graham put it, “In the eyes of Democrats, the law is just something to get around when it comes to winning what you want.” That’s why they’re dangerous. Our government, like the Roman republic, is based on the principle that no one is above the law. The Democrats have assiduously undermined that principle, but this is as dangerous for them as it is for us. They should consider Cicero, whose executioners had been sent by his young protégé, Octavian. The latter knew about those five executions and the former wound up with his head in a bag. Both men were above the law.

Camille Paglia, women, and #MeToo. Neo – “the last couple of decades have brought home to me the irrationality not just of so many women, but of so many men as well. And that seems to be increasing, too.”

“One of the reasons the Kavanaugh hearing energized so many women (and others) on the right to support Senate Republicans in the 2018 election is that it was a graphic example of how easy it is to “credibly” accuse an innocent man, and how even someone with a sterling previous reputation such as Kavanaugh is highly vulnerable to a woman who tells a good story in a believable manner, even without corroborative evidence, without important details such as time and place, and even though the events the woman alleges to have occurred supposedly took place many decades ago. It was a chilling prospect for anyone who believe in due process, the rule of law, and rationality over emotion when making a judgment about an issue so important.

Did John McCain kill the House in November of 2018? neo – “Did McCain’s “no” cause the GOP to lose the House? Maybe. If so, however, it was certainly misplaced anger on the part of any GOP voters who stayed home because of it. The fault was the Senate’s and McCain’s, not the House members’ at all.”

Forest Fires in the Golden State. Willis Eschenbach – “California Governor, Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown, has announced that all climate-change deniers are “definitely contributing” to the wildfires in the northern and southern parts of the state over the past few days, as well as blazes “in the coming years.”

“Since 1895, it [CA temperature average] has been going up at a rate of about 0.02°C, two-hundredths of a degree Celsius, per decade.

0.02°C is about the altitude-caused temperature drop between … wait for it … your toes and the top of your head. Far, far to small to even feel.

Well, if it’s not the temperature, how about the rainfall? Is climate change making the state dryer? Fortunately, the WRCC has the data for that as well.

Is the precipitation decreasing? Yes … by a totally meaningless five-hundredths of an inch (1.1 mm) per decade. So that is clearly not the reason for the increase in fires.

So what is the reason for the increase in fires? Actually, there are a few reasons.

First, our forests have not been harvested properly for some years.

Next, California regulations highly restrict both the logging and the thinning of forests.

Finally, a couple of years back we had a big El Nino/La Nina event.

Tragedy can focus the mind — or cloud it with emotions. 

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scams

Support For ‘Pre-Existing Conditions’ Protections Plummets When Costs Are Explained. Investor’s Business Daily – “Across the country, Democrats attacked their Republican opponents on the issue, saying that the GOP wanted to take away this protection.”

“In making this the core issue, Democrats appear to be on solid ground with the public. Poll after poll shows widespread support for protecting people who have pre-existing medical conditions when they buy insurance coverage.

But there are important caveats that never come up.

One can only hope that we have an honest discussion about all these caveats when Democrats bring the issue up again next year.

Green Energy is the Perfect Scam. Norman Rogers – “What makes the scam extremely clever is that the scammers have convinced the public that the purpose of their scam is to improve the environment

“Any really good scam needs endorsements from authoritative sounding sources. In the case of green energy, the authoritative sources are in on the scam. The beneficiaries of the green energy scam go way beyond the wind and solar industries.

Green energy is the perfect scam because it is disguised as a do-good movement and the victims are dispersed, unorganized and disarmed by propaganda. Green energy is endorsed by government agencies, environmental non-profits, and scientific groups. These are people that are often seen as sources of reliable information but that, in reality, work to promote their own parochial interests. This is a scam that needs to be exposed.

So many such scams, so many gullible people.

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No civility unless we win – everything.

So Much For The Afterglow. Derek Hunter – “We were told that civility would return once Democrats regained the House of Representatives. In fact, we were told that was the only way civility would return to a world of angry liberal mobs assaulting and shouting down anyone who dare not agree with them. We were lied to.”

“Being lied to by liberals is not a surprise. What is a little surprising is how quickly, boldly, and proudly they broke their word as if no one would remember the promise.

After winning the House, as expected, Democrats immediately turned the thermostat up to 11 by promising to investigate everything Donald Trump ever did. His high school girlfriends should be expecting a subpoena.

In the name of civility, Democrats openly spoke about going after the President’s tax returns and business records.

Democrats aren’t even going to pretend their word is worth more than a pile of soiled diapers anymore, Republicans need to get this through their heads and act accordingly.

Civility isn’t coming back until incivility stops working. Liberals learned Tuesday that there are very few consequences for bad actions. Since then it’s been a stream of even more – thwarting of state election law in Florida, ballots being “discovered” in strange places, more cries of racism when things don’t go their way.

It’s Not Quite Kristallnacht, but It’s Not The Fourth of July Either. Clarice Feldman – “DC police did nothing to these modern-day brownshirts.”

“Just days before the eightieth anniversary of Kristallnacht, when Nazis burned synagogues, looted Jewish homes and shops, and rounded up Jewish families for concentration camps, Tucker Carlson’s home was surrounded by Antifa thugs who pounded on his door (cracking it), terrifying his wife, uttered threats against him and his family and painted an anarchist symbol on his driveway

In several places in Arizona, Georgia, and Florida — most obviously in Broward and Palm Beach — Florida, election workers are racing to undo the results of a free election, undermining the very basis of our political system. And they are thumbing their noses at judicial efforts to halt the theft.

Trump Is Blessed with His Enemies. Conrad Black – “Now it is easy to see the disconcertion of the Democrats at their failure to derail Trump.”

“What was left of the pretense that he was somehow not a legitimate president has been shredded, and what the Democrats have taken as their inviolable extra-constitutional right to keep the president’s hands tied while the Mueller-Inspector Clouseau charade carries on into its third year, has been debunked. The silent eunuch attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has finally gone. And now the Justice Department will have the ability to discomfit the Democrats who misrepresented the Steele dossier, used it to obtain false FISA warrants, and who lied to Congress under oath, or to federal officials. This prestigious group appears to include Hillary Clinton, agency chiefs John Brennan, James Clapper, and James Comey, and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch. They are all vulnerable to grand jury indictments.

It is clear that in their distaste for Trump and overconfidence of a Clinton victory, the FBI, CIA, NIA, and Justice department all crossed the double-white line into improper activity, confident that President Hillary Clinton would sweep it under the White House rug. More important than vengeance on the wrongdoers is institutional reform and safeguards to prevent a recurrence.

God And Guns In The Synagogue. Daniel Greenfield – “Jews across America choose between self-defense and gun control.”

“There are two types of synagogues: those that believe in G-d and those that believe in government.

After the mass shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue, the government synagogues turned to the government with calls for gun control. And those that believe in G-d, turned to the Almighty.

And then, trusting in the Almighty to stand with them against danger, they went out and got their guns.

The choice between self-defense and gun control is at also a choice between dependency and independence. It’s the quintessential dilemma out of which the United States of America was born.

The thing is, “gun control” means laws centered on tools used for self defense as well as for assault. It does not mean gun control. Actual control of human behavior is not within the scope of government. The mob rule ethos evident is today’s political activity should make that clear.

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It’s a very terrible thing you said

Democrats’ playbook of dirty tricks is getting old, very old… By Monica Showalter – “Having lost two or three close elections in Arizona and Florida, all of a sudden, they are “finding” new ballots and attempting to change the outcome. Just like they did in Florida’s 2000 election.”

“All of these things are suggestive of a party unable to take ‘no’ for an answer, and thus, unable to adapt to democracy itself. Democrats are reacting to everything they don’t win with childish tantrums, and in each case, trying to move back the clock for a do-over.

But it’s significant that they are using the same sleights of hand they used 20 years ago, and thinking we’re fools who’ll fall for it. They aren’t even coming up with new kinds of dirty tricks, they are just replaying the old ones, hoping for a different result.

This has just got to fail in the era of Trump because one can only go to the well once in politics. Democrats’ latest trick shows they think it’s an open bar.

Sessions Out, Whitaker In — For Now, and Maybe for Good. Andrew C. McCarthy – “Feeling like he’s been burned once, and then saddled for the better part of two years with an AG he could no longer abide, the president may want a trial run before he settles on a “permanent” replacement.” There are those claiming “unconstitutional” about this affair but they assume that (1) it is about firing the special prosecutor and that (2) the President is guilty of something nefarious and (3) the constitution and federal law says what they think it does. McCarthy explains different.

Doesn’t anybody here respect us journalists? Wesley Pruden – “The snowflake disease is catching. Donald Trump, of all people, tried to teach a couple of White House reporters a little needed manners this week and you might have thought he had repealed the First Amendment with an executive order.”

“Yamiche Alcindor of National Public Radio asked the president why he calls himself a “nationalist” when he should know that the word has been twisted into a meaning it once never had.

This is the classic ‘when-did-you-stop-beating your wife’ question.

Attributing bigotry to someone with whom you disagree has become a liberal’s first line of argument, and even a president finds it hard to ignore, and this president doesn’t do letting it go.

“I don’t know why you’d say that,” Mr. Trump replied. “Such a racist question. Honestly? Let me tell you, that’s a racist question. Why do I have the highest poll numbers ever with African Americans? That’s such a racist question. I love our country, I do. You have nationalists, and you have globalists. But to say what you said to me is so insulting to me. It’s a very terrible thing you said.”

Indeed. Very terrible.

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Whither the mind numbed robots?

Kavanaugh report shows why the presumption of innocence is key. Thomas Jipping – “One of the most disturbing things to emerge from the failed campaign to keep Justice Brett Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court is the willingness of some, including powerful senators, to abandon this human right.”

“This is a chance for us to seriously consider what kind of society we want to live in today. The 1948 American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man states that “every accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.” So does the 2000 European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights. All of that is fine until it is tested. As this new report shows, actions do speak louder than words, and some people have failed miserably.

And many have failed to notice or act on the transgressions … indeed it seems to go the other way.

Real threat to freedom of the press as mob attacks Tucker Carlson’s home while CNN whines about Acosta the accoster losing White House access. Thomas Lifson – “In what looks to me like a terroristic threat, a mob of about 20 Antifa thugs pounded on the door of Tucker Carlson’s house, cracking it, and issued verbal threats intended to intimidate him into silence.”

“This incident ought to be a wake-up call for all members of the media. If Antifa gets away with this, other media figures of other ideological complexions could face their own threats. So far, too few media stars have spoken up in support

As this is being written, The New York Times has not covered the story. Nor has CNN, which is hyperventilating about “threats” to the free press when its rude correspondent Jim Acosta had his White House access curtailed after interrupting President Trump and refusing to yield his microphone, even pushing away the young intern who attempted to retrieve it yesterday in a press conference.

Jim Acosta violated one of the oldest rules of journalism. Michael Goodwin – “The conduct of a handful of so-called reporters during President Trump’s news conference was disgraceful beyond measure. This is not journalism, this is narcissism.”

“There was a time not long ago when young journalists were taught not to become the story. Apparently, many news organizations have flipped that lesson on its head.

But we are witnessing something more insidious here than media trash talk. Plain and simple, we are watching expressions of personal hatred.

Or try to imagine Acosta and his ilk behaving in similarly hostile fashion toward Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. Keep trying, but you can’t imagine it because it never happened. Both of those pols lied to journalists repeatedly, yet you can bet 90 percent still voted straight Democratic.

The anti-Trump antics are no longer a sideshow. America has serious problems as well as dangerous enemies, and the mere prospect of Trump, Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell working together is the best news we could have hoped for Wednesday.

Instead, it was overshadowed by a few narcissists chasing their own vanity.

A Country Gone Half-Mad. John Hinderaker – “Many Democrats, perhaps because of disappointment over yesterday’s election results, are behaving in a manner that can fairly be described as crazy.”

“Exhibit A is today’s presidential press conference, where reporters representing the Democratic Party lost their cool entirely. Their rudeness and presumption were extraordinary. CNN’s Jim Acosta was the worst offender, but by no means the only one. It is hard to believe that this is how allegedly professional reporters conduct themselves

Exhibit B is Democratic Congressman Jerrold Nadler, who will become Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Riding the train from New York to Washington, Nadler couldn’t restrain himself while talking on the telephone

Exhibit C is sheer comedy: Joy Behar, political pundit on “The View,” explaining to a Democratic Party consultant that Republicans made gains in the Senate because of gerrymandering. You can’t make this stuff up

That interview was one place among many where Democrats have peddled the concept of a national “popular vote” in House and Senate elections. This is a wholly irrelevant concept with no constitutional or logical standing, but expect to hear more about it from the Democrats. Basically, they are trying to undermine the legitimacy not only of the Senate, but of our entire constitutional federal structure. I have no idea what the end game of that effort is supposed to be. Perhaps there isn’t one; perhaps we are just observing people who have been driven mad.

Jeff Sessions resigns: so long, it’s been not all that good to know you. Neo – “I was puzzled as to why it didn’t happen sooner. Sessions’ recusal made him essentially ineffective for some of the biggest tasks of his office.” The fact that the Democrats have flipped their views on Sessions tells its own story. Neo nails the key issue. An AG who has recused himself from the biggest issue facing his office is ineffective. The political opposition shows its colors by seeking a lack of accountability in their pursuit of political power and the recusal served their interests. See also neo’s Bye bye old investigations; hello new investigations. “the trouble is that so many aren’t paying attention, and/or so many are simply reading what the MSM has to say about it all. So those investigations could have gone on for many more years and much of America would have ignored their findings.”

“For the right to win any sort of meaningful and lasting victories, more has to change with our educational system and various other non-political institutions, because until that happens, everything is filtered through the lens of the left.

Is Nevada no longer ‘purple’? 9 takeaways from Tuesday’s vote. Bill Dentzer – “The Democrats prevailed up, down and sideways in the state, so much so that Nevada’s status as a purple swing state might need to be reassessed.” Interesting: Democrats and Women are noted as the big winners for elected office and women also won tax exempt status in the propositions. Along with this, irrationality shows in that the question requiring a move towards expensive and environmentally harmful energy sources also passed although it will need another vote to become law. Turnout was incredible and that is why announcing results was delayed. Demographics from immigration into the state was cited as a major factor in changing the face of Nevada into a fully ‘Californicated” state.

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What you don’t see or the dog that didn’t bark in the night

The ‘Sacred’ Walls of Donald Trump. Pedro Gonzalez – “Progressives recoil in horror at President Trump’s declaration that we must defend ourselves against an invasion of thousands of foreigners who denounce our laws and hold our sovereignty in contempt.”

“But Americans should ask themselves, why are they being told by progressives that the mob poses little to no threat after they’ve opened fire on Mexican police officers?

Here is another question the liberal press and our conservative commentariat would rather ignore. Why is it “racist” to point out that immigrants from the Third World often carry disease?

Progressives appear to believe in all sincerity that the magic soil of the United States will transform foreigners overnight into good “Americans,” if only American citizens weren’t such bigots. The habits that have transformed Latin America into the murder capital of the world, progressives insist, will be checked at the border, and could be altogether eliminated if we didn’t have borders, or Donald Trump.

This is all as insane as it is paradoxical.

The Etruscans handed down a tradition to the Romans that constituted the physical process of founding a city-state.

Trump has reaffirmed this critical and primordial truth against the lies of progressives steeped in postmodern thinking. Without borders—without at least a “wall of men”—it is not simply nations, but communities and families which cannot flourish.

The case of the disappearing campaign issues. Thomas Lifson – “You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out why certain perennial concerns hyped by the mainstream media have disappeared from the 2018 campaign cycle.”

“The disappearance illustrates the degeneration of the principal American mass media into mere propaganda outlets for the Democrats. When the topics seemed to work against Republicans, they were almost constantly drummed into the public’s consciousness. They were a threat to our very democracy, and all good citizens were horrified, according to the instructions from our media betters. But now, because they reflect badly on Democrats, they have mysteriously vanished.

If the media aren’t honest or consistent in their approach to political issues, doesn’t the label “enemy of the people” apply? If not, why not?

7 Top Takeaways From Grassley’s Report On Brett Kavanaugh’s Accusers. Margot Cleveland – “The Senate Judiciary Committee report included several new tidbits that further expose the fraudulent nature of the claims of sexual misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh.”

“Throughout the report, the names of various witnesses remain redacted. Early on, Grassley explains the need for this anonymity: “A large portion of individuals providing testimony in support of Justice Kavanaugh asked that their names be redacted out of fear that their statements might result in personal or professional retribution or personal physical harm—or even risk the safety and well-being of their families and friends. The Committee respected all requests for anonymity. Accordingly, some aspects of this memorandum are redacted.”

Of course, it has been widely reported that Ford and her family have also received threats, as has Kavanaugh’s family, making the witnesses’ reticence understandable. This public spectacle and the attendant threats could have all been avoided had Feinstein properly (and promptly) turned Ford’s July 2018 letter detailing the alleged assault over to the FBI. But she didn’t, which is likely why Grassley’s memo mentions that the committee is continuing to investigate possible violation of Senate rules. That, however, will be little comfort to the families continuing to face threats.

Thus the question will be whether, in the hopes of saving their own necks, McLean and Ford take down any congressional Democrats or staffers with them. While it may be many months before the next shoe drops, Grassley’s report came in time to remind voters of the righteous anger they felt over the Democrats’ horrid treatment of Kavanaugh and his family. We’ll know tomorrow whether that anger has been rekindled.

CNN’s Existential War With Trump. Victor Davis Hanson – “The shoddiness in reporting about Trump and the occasional flat-out inaccurate new stories reflect a toxic network culture in which partisanship is now standard and apparently to be expected.”

“n answer to both Cillizza and Acosta, unfortunately CNN has serially issued false reports, has had to fire hosts, contributors, and reporters, and has had its anchors and panelists engage in wild ahistorical attacks on Trump and traffic in racialist stereotypes and obscenity.

The names of those who have abused the journalistic ethos and the regrettable failure of CNN to uphold media standards are a matter of record.

The best way to stop the chronic Trump attacks on the veracity of CNN is not to unleash a rude and boisterous Acosta to argue endlessly with Sarah Huckabee Sanders, but simply to ensure that CNN news reports are fact-checked and not in need of retractions or firings, that CNN hosts, contributors, and anchors do not stoop to profanity, scatology, racism, and ahistorical comparisons to Stalin and Hitler, and that CNN’s staff and hosts do not joke about the president being killed through plane crashes and decapitation.

What the Midterm Elections Mean for Energy. Tom Pyle – “The Democratic Party’s key energy goal is the complete elimination of natural gas, coal, and oil from our society no matter the cost to American families.”

Watch: Supporters Sing ‘Amazing Grace’ After Woman Collapses During Trump Rally. Charlie Spiering – “The president paused his rally for six minutes while he waited for medical staff to attend to the woman.” This is the Trump people are getting to know, despite the Left, but it will be interesting to see how the media distorts this event.

CNN Maybe Missed a Few Key Details About the Synagogue Vandal. Ace – “Strange how CNN was Johnny On the Spot linking the Not-A-Bomb Mailer to Trump but forgot to mention the synagogue vandal/threatener was an Obama volunteer.”

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Let’s vote on a value of pi again …

Caravan not viewed nicely by people who actually know Honduras. Monica Showalter – “Yes, dishonest press coverage should take the cake.”

“This is also the era of first-person reporting and Internet instant transmission, so a little bit of the reality is getting out, and it’s not pretty for the caravan.

culture matters, and that poor Hondurans who are offered things for free often value them for exactly what they paid for them, which is to not value them at all, which suggests problems down the line for the states if these caravan migrants are let in

She [Jennifer Zilly Canales] also points out that the caravan itself is an enticement to irresponsibility, with children abandoned as their military-aged young fathers head off to the states in search of the gringo’s free stuff. Seriously, the children are dumped.

Seriously. With this garbage going on as the caravan takes off, is this what the press, and the Catholic Church, with its liberation theology acolytes, is really encouraging in a supposedly Catholic country? Is this kind of child-dumping what Pope Francis is encouraging us here in the states to support as he asks us to “walk with migrants”? It’s unvarnished moral turpitude and right there ought to disqualify anyone who does it from entry into the U.S. One wonders if the immigration officers would even ask about such a thing – did you abandon a child in the streets to get the goodies here – but it sounds like something that would be very difficult to prove.

What it all highlights is how thick the tissue of lies from the press really has been about an otherwise little-known country that has been painted as hell on earth, but which really isn’t. The people who have been cited have spent their lives working to help Hondurans better themselves in a real way. Along comes a caravan, promising paradise (and big gringo benefit packages), and their work is undercut.

Thank goodness they are saying something. Because with their accounts, the caravan stands exposed as a lefty political fraud.

1,600 “scientists” defy science to support transgender activism. Jazz Shaw – “What’s truly amazing is the fact that these supposed pillars of the scientific community are calling on the Trump administration to reject such notions and formulate a policy which is more scientific and ethically based. (This Hill)” It’s a common logical fallacy as often seen in the climate argument. A number of “scientists” offer themselves as sacrificial lambs to serve the idea that ‘might makes right’ and a vote of the people can settle matters of reality and fact.

“The authors go on from there to adopt a favorite trick of activists and attempt to conflate the conditions displayed by the tiny fraction of the population with legitimate intersex traits caused by genetic anomalies (a completely valid topic) and all of the people who just really, really, really feel like they were born in the wrong body. Granted, some men produce more or less testosterone than others. That doesn’t make the ones producing less women. Ditto for females and estrogen levels.

What we’re seeing here is the downstream effects of the corruption of the educational system by liberal politics. As schools are overrun by social justice warriors and those controlling the flow of grant money bend to liberal demands, we’re seeing this nonsense now being passed off as science. And as it bleeds over into other areas, everyone in society will be paying the price for it.

NY Times launches histrionic alarm over “white nationalism” days before election. Jazz Shaw – this is an example of why Fake News™ is an enemy of the people.

“The sad part is that this is a conversation the public could benefit from if it were conducted impartially. There are clearly still pockets of violent racism out there. And while thankfully very small in number, when they act up our law enforcement resources need to be able to take them down. If you choose to belong to a branch of the Klan or march around with a swastika chanting about Hitler, we have to defend your right to free speech. But when you go beyond speaking an begin busting heads, you’re going to the slammer. But the same must apply to all of the left wing groups who attack groups of conservatives or take to the streets calling for the execution of cops.

Of course, the groups in those latter categories won’t be mentioned by the Gray Lady until we get past this election.

Another Kavanaugh Accuser Lied, Allegations Were A “Ploy” To Derail Nomination. Nina Bookout – “I’d say that Judy Munro-Leighton is in deep kimchi right about now.” The perfidy of the Democrats unravels. That’s now two retractions to add to the complete lack of evidence and other problems.

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Why has a handle on reality been lost by so many?

Ace of Spades details the latest shoe to drop as “Chuck Grassely Criminally Refers Leftwing Activist Who Claimed in Graphic Detail to Have Been Raped by Brett Kavanaugh, But Who Turned Out to Be Decades Older Than Him and Never Having Been in the Same State as Him; She Admits It Was all a “Ploy” … Then there is a get out the vote effort, “Grab Them by the Ballot” featuring a picture of Democrat-supporting women going nude – “Question: Have I been eye-raped? Am I now a #Survivor?

When Laws Are Not Enforced, Anarchy Follows. Victor Davis Hanson – “The result of hundreds of “sanctuary cities” is not just to forbid full immigration enforcement in particular jurisdictions. They also signal that U.S. immigration law, and other laws by extension, can be ignored.”

“The problem with ignoring laws is that it is contagious—and can boomerang.

German philosopher Immanuel Kant noted that “anarchy is law and freedom without force.”

Translated to our current context, Kant might say that all our high-minded talk about the Bill of Rights means absolutely nothing without the cop on the beat and the local district attorney.

Why engage in false character assassination? Why go nude to parade a hate distorted perception of others? Why has a handle on reality been lost by so many?

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The gotcha’ mentality

Trump speech and press conference on the caravan and illegal immigration. neo – “This type of muddled and/or mendacious coverage is typical; there’s nothing particularly special about CNN.” An analysis of the difference between what happened and what was reported: a Fake News case study.

On birthright citizenship: the truth, the whole truth, and the “Trump truth”. neo – “I wish Trump would somehow convey that information more clearly. I wish it were easy to do it succinctly. But what Trump certainly does do is to get people’s attention.” This one is a look at the ‘Trump Lies’ meme and it’s problems.

Associated Press Spreads Fake News: Trump Kids Received Birthright Citizenship. John Nolte – “Worse still, after claiming the piece has been corrected, the AP is still attempting to spread the outrageous lie that it is kind of true Trump’s oldest three children were granted birthright citizenship.”

“In what is yet another example of the garbage fire the establishment media have become in the age of Trump, the AP originally published the story with the headline, “President Trump’s First 3 Children Received Birthright Citizenship.”

No doubt, the AP thought it had the gotcha of all gotchas on its hands.

This, of course, is a lie. When Trump’s first three children were born, Trump was a U.S. citizen, therefore his children are U.S. citizens — which means his children are U.S. citizens, period. There is no mixed assessment of that fact.

Just another example to deny, rationalize, and try to pretend it’s not Fake News from a supposedly reputable source yet again.

Why demanding a randomized controlled trial for vaccines is disingenuous. Christopher Johnson – “The enduring mystery in this perennial chestnut of a topic is that vaccine deniers demand a level of safety and certainty from vaccines that they demand from no other medical procedure or treatment.” Standards and values depending upon context are indeed a mystery.

“I’m going to write about a particular form of concern trolling common among vaccine denialists: the claim that they would fully support vaccines if only vaccines could be shown to be fully safe and effective, using their own special definitions of what that means. In effect, they erect an impossible standard to meet, which is of course how concern trolling works.

Concern trolling. Wokeness. Wickedness.

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Standards and reality

Trump generates media hysteria by telling the truth about telling the truth. Thomas Lifson – “Since those innocent days of the 1950s, a more realistic view has become nearly universal, and most people realize that presidents do not always tell the truth – sometimes for very good reasons.”

“Trump is therefore telling the truth – and his supporters (and many of those not committed to hating him) understand that.

Trump, in speaking off the cuff, often gets the details wrong, exaggerates, and engages in hyperbole. True, past presidents have never done this. They vet their prepared remarks, and stick to script, for the most part. That minimizes the risk of errors. But it also marks the politician as manipulative, a politician who maybe can’t be trusted to tell us what he really thinks.

And he is a real guy, somebody who teases, jokes, and yeah, sometimes gets the little stuff wrong. But when he makes a promise, he means it.

After generations of pols that way too slick, he is refreshing. The media gotchas are damaging their own credibility.

Past presidents have never done this? Maybe not the way the current president does but many examples exist of the same phenomena from ‘past presidents’. The key is “vet their prepared remarks” and keeping promises. Trump’s sales campaigns are more honest than most both in terms of the issue on the table actually being tied to a campaign promise and in terms of arguments for its success.

“Right wing terrorism” isn’t what Max Boot seems to think it is. Jazz Shaw – “There was a curious op-ed in the Washington Post this week, penned by Max Boot. The author recently decided to not only eschew President Trump but the entire Republican Party.”

“As has typically been the case in the past, the vast majority of shootings where multiple people are injured or killed don’t have any identifiable “statement” behind them, with the possible exception of Islamic extremist attacks. (Still a relatively small portion of total shootings.) Domestic disturbances, gang violence, disgruntled employees and just plain crazy people account for most of the carnage.

There is one thing that’s different these days, however, and that’s the way that cable news and the major newspapers amplify the stories. It probably seems as if there’s more politically motivated murder going on because once the networks get their teeth into a story like that they’ll drag it out for weeks if it supports the current narrative. Meanwhile, you could have a dozen mass shootings like the one in Bunny Friend Park a few years ago (nearly two dozen people shot in a matter of minutes) and you’ll never hear a peep about it on MSNBC or CNN.

So I’m afraid the data just doesn’t exist to support the idea of some sort of Right-Wing Terror Wave sweeping the nation. But with the election only six days away I suppose it makes for a juicy headline.

So many examples on parade yet so many cannot see,

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