Archive for February, 2019

Nihilism. Simple Fairness Demands?

Andrew McCabe is the new Joe McCarthy. Charles Lipson – “Serious charges need serious proof. Simple fairness demands it. But McCabe presents none.”

Lemon: The worst part about Smollett hoax will be all the conservative pouncing, you know. Ed Morrissey – “I … don’t think that’s Jussie Smollett’s biggest problem right now, even if it might be Don Lemon’s.”

“ Smollett’s problem appears to be that he set up a hoax, and got suckers like Lemon to bite all the way to the bone on it. That’s not his “representatives’” fault, whatever Lemon means by that. Smollett has bigger losses in front of him right now than any in the court of public opinion. You don’t hire Mark Geragos in order to wage a PR campaign.

Sorry. Mr. Lemon. The media earned every bit of ridicule and criticism it earned by going all-in on Smollett’s weird claim from the get-go. They earned every bit of criticism for doing the same thing with the Covington Catholic High School kids for the same purpose — to pounce, if you will, all over conservatives, pro-lifers, and anyone who might have a little sympathy for Donald Trump.

At least in some corners of the industry, they haven’t learned a damn thing from either failure. Expect more to come.

This might be related to an AP story about a Coast Guard officer accused of plotting to kill Democrats, journalists (Politico). It’s nice to have a wacked out white supremacist domestic terrorist with a Coast Guard seasoning tossed into the news to provide a distraction and restore the narrative. “The initial charges against Hasson are relatively uncommon, and appear to illustrate the challenges investigators face in charging individuals who may pose an imminent danger but where evidence of actionable threats against specific people is weak.

The Greatest Scandal In the History of Science. John Hinderaker – “I have written many times about the unwarranted “adjustments” to measured past temperatures by government agencies, which serve to inflate the modest warming that has occurred in recent decades.

The New Nihilism. Victor Davis Hanson – “the answer to Trump is neither liberal nor progressive, but nihilistic. The logical extreme alone ensures revolutionary purity even as it would result in chaos and destruction.” … “In sum, the emerging alternative to Trump is not Democratic pragmatism, but an angry nihilism that is as incoherent as it is destructive.

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Word of the day: inarticulable

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tribal supersedes bias

The Jussie Smollett Hoax And The Media’s Tribal War On America. Daniel Greenfield – “The real reason the media fell so swiftly for the Smollett hoax – right after falling for the Covington Catholic hoax.”

“Why did the media fall so swiftly for the Jussie Smollett hoax right after falling for the Covington Catholic hoax? The easy answer is bias. And that might have even been the right answer a generation ago.

These days the media isn’t biased. It’s tribal.

Bias leads us to make mistakes. But the media wasn’t making a mistake when it loudly broadcast false claims with plenty of red flags about Trump supporters wearing red hats. Just as the media wasn’t making a mistake when it spread fake news about attacks on Muslim women by Trump supporters after the election. This wasn’t an error due to prejudice, but an active effort to reinforce tribal prejudices.

Stand up to our social justice mega-corps and we will destroy you. And then dance on your grave.

In a liberal society, people from different tribes can agree to disagree because they recognize their mutual humanity. In a tribal society, the ‘other’ is less than human. Tribal narratives are about the superiority of ‘our’ people to ‘their’ people. Outrage at selective incidents is used to dehumanize the ‘other’ tribe, to call for violence against them, and then to urge their utter destruction.

The deluge of disgust, contempt and hatred is a tide that can only wash up on one bloody shore.

Lara Logan: ‘The media everywhere is mostly liberal’. John Sexton – Logan says “this is the kind of interview that is like professional suicide for me…this is exactly what they target you for.” Sexton provides a good short excerpt and comment about an interview getting wide attention. Do notice that Logan is trying to be nice and falls for two logical fallacies. One is the equality, both sides do it, fallacy and the other is of the ‘vox populi’ sort. Both attempt to explain away what is getting more discussion as in Greenfield above.

On January 29, Two Hate Crimes Occurred. The Media Only Covered The Fake One. Here’s Why. Ben Shapiro – “The media ran with the story. Good Morning America hosted Smollett, where he maligned anyone who asked questions as a racist and a homophobe.” … “That same night, a Jewish man in New York was beaten by three thugs. Nothing was stolen. The attack was caught on video. … Outside of a report in The Jerusalem Post, the story received virtually no attention.

Here come the border wall lawsuits. Jazz Shaw – 16 states controlled by Democrats illustrate the solidarity of the Left. They will take one for the team no matter the cost, no matter how absurd the position.

“First, there are already provisions under federal law, Title 10, Section 2808, allowing the President to move money around in this fashion and engage in construction projects during either a time of war or a declared emergency. …

it appears that the President could have authorized military spending and manpower to construct a wall without even declaring an emergency. Under Title 10, Section 284, subsection (b)(7), the military can be employed for the purpose of “construction of roads and fences and installation of lighting to block drug smuggling corridors across international boundaries” provided the work being done is no more than 25 miles from the border or outside the border. That pretty much sounds like the definition of requesting military help in building a wall to me.

It’s tough to see how the courts toss this effort, though the Ninth Circuit will still likely take a stab at it. (If only to cause problems for Trump.) Of course, many rules of normal order have flown out the window with the rise of The Resistance, so nobody really knows how this chapter of the story ends.

Trump: “The twilight hour of socialism”. Scott Johnson – “It is a gloriously Reaganite speech; it is a great speech. In it Trump stands for freedom against the forces of socialism, tyranny and immiseration.

“President Trump has not accepted the status quo ante in American foreign policy. He has rededicated the United States to the support of Israel. He has withdrawn the United States from the disgraceful deal with Iran and implemented a sanctions regime intended to disable the mullahcracy. He has shaken up matters with the North Korean regime in the interest of terminating their nuclear weapons program. He has now come out for the removal of the socialist dictator of Venezuela. I could multiply the examples, but you can fill in the blanks. In each of these cases, Trump is right and Obama was wrong.

Yesterday President Trump went to Florida International University in Miami to give a speech on Venezuela before a friendly and raucous audience. I am unable to find either the text or the video on the White House site. I have posted a news video of the speech in its entirety below.

To get Trump, FBI and Justice Department officials trampled the Constitution. Mark Penn – “The most egregious anti-democratic actions ever taken by the what can now fairly be called the Deep State are confirmed with the publication of fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s new book

“It is now crystal clear that the highest echelons of the Justice Department and FBI had morphed from the world’s most professional law enforcement organization into a Third World rump group. They had the hubris to believe that they – not the American people or their duly elected representatives – should decide who governs and how.

A grand jury must be empaneled to investigate all this and get testimony from officials under oath, and the certification of the warrants used to wiretap the Trump campaign needs to be fully investigated. Dossier author and former British spy Christopher Steele and Glen Simpson – founder of opposition research firm Fusion GPS – need to be called to the grand jury.

Every Democrat, Republican and independent should stop angling for partisan advantage and agree, regardless of who is helped or hurt, that these officials acted without proper authority and are responsible for unprecedented damage to our democracy and our political system.

Free Speech in Andrew McCabe’s America. Seth Barrett Tillman – “Trump has the wrong resentments and the wrong doubts. So what should right-thinking people believe?” Not many cute pullouts in this one, just big steaks of raw meat.

Rush was talking about faux hoaxes and cited the idea that they were indicative of a ‘collective’ … i.e. tribal

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There may be an unraveling

Let’s Chill about Hate Crimes. Kyle Smith – “Mark the tone of absolute certainty about an unconfirmed claim. Many other news outlets took the same tack.

“Possibly it might be wise to establish whether an incident actually happened before leaping to conclusions about it. Remember Covington? Oh, right, that was almost a whole month ago.

The certain tone of the reports about an attack that Jussie Smollett may or may not have suffered was notable given the strange circumstances surrounding the actor’s claims.

Our friends on the left are saddened that a gay black man perhaps wasn’t viciously beaten up by Trump-loving thugs.

How dismal it must be to be a progressive, to rest your political purview on extremely dark assumptions about the nature of the American psyche. … No matter what the era or who is in charge, disaster always looms, and any weird anecdote that supports the larger doom narrative is eagerly, even devoutly, believed.

Jussie Smollett Case: Brothers Questioned By Police Were Paid $3,500 To Stage Attack, Which Was Rehearsed Days Before. Charlie De Mar – “Jussie Smollett paid two brothers to stage an attack against him, directed them to buy items used in the alleged assault and actually rehearsed it with them, sources say.”

Smollett apparent hate crime hoax a crisis for media that jumped to vilify Trump supporters. Thomas Lifson – “America’s progressives and their fellow-traveling media finally must cope with an apparent hate crime hoax that can’t be swept under the rug.

“The media and many Democrat politicians had leaped on the opportunity to reinforce their false narrative that Trump is a stone-cold racist and homophobe, and his followers, driven mad by his rhetoric, are the modern-day incarnation of the KKK. Media Research Center data shows that prior to the story starting to fall apart Thursday night: …

Having been vilified by President Trump as “fake news,” CNN must have been particularly worried that unless it got in front of the collapsing Smollett narrative, their credibility would decline even further. …

The wave of hate crime hoaxes is undeniable to anyone who doesn’t embrace the media blinders. The website Fakehatecrimes.org has documented no fewer than 349 hoaxes that have been perpetrated on the public.

While Illinois prisons are so overcrowded that judges are reluctant to send nonviolent offenders to prison, letting Smollett walk with only probation and a fine would cause an outcry, not just from slandered Trump supporters, but from police nationwide who do not appreciate being sent on wild goose chases …

CNN is justified in its panic. The evidence of fake news about Trump supporters is accumulating at an accelerating pace:

Trump as Hercules Cleaning Out the Augean Stables. Clarice Feldman – The Green New Deal and the Wall Shutdown both get the Feldman treatment. “The Democrats fell into a trap by insisting on provisions in the compromise bill that no rational border-defender could agree to. I think they bid a low pair of cards against Trump’s royal flush, and they will lose.

A Real Emergency. Derek Hunter – “Our elected politicians, particularly Democrats, would rather play identity politics and appeal to their radical base than protect our country. It’s disgraceful.

“The real problem isn’t President Trump’s declaring of a national emergency. The problem is Congress ceding power to the Executive Branch to empower anyone in office the ability to consider it in the first place.

Congress has the power of the purse, they say where the money goes even when we don’t like how they assign it. For decades, Congress has been slowly ceding its power to the president through a series of deliberate laws (like the National Emergencies Act) and vaguely-written legislation allowing the bureaucracy to fill in the blanks later.

As the last administration and the current one showed, you won’t always like the assertion of amassed executive power. It’s best to restore it to where it belongs. The Founding Fathers didn’t place it in Congress by accident. An all-powerful executive may sound great when it’s your team with the power, but it won’t always be your team with the power. A despot is still a despot, even if it’s your despot.

Hunter waffles. He engages in false equivalence. He trivializes the issue. He misses the problem illustrated by McConnell in pushing the New Green Deal vote. He skirts the problem of where the CiC role of the executive branch boundaries should be and issues of micromanagement. He misses the fact that Obama and Trump are not the same as Obama abused his office and Trump is attempting to correct that abuse and restore the proper role of Congress, Courts, and Executive.

Presidential plotters must face punishment. Boston Herald – “It is simply astonishing that these actors allegedly held conversations around the notion of seizing power from the elected head of the executive branch.

“Americans need to know the entire story. If, as it appears, there was an effort to sabotage a presidency and create elaborate distractions and cover-ups using the powers entrusted to them, members of the U.S. government have involved themselves in a criminal conspiracy that dwarfs Watergate.

McCabe, Rosenstein and the real truth about the 25th Amendment coup attempt. Andrew McCarthy – “The truth is somewhere in the middle: The conversation was no joke, but the idea was lunacy.

“No one was in a joking mood when these discussions took place. McCabe was in the midst of formally opening a criminal investigation of the president, and Rosenstein was handwringing over the possible appointment of a special counsel.

McCabe and the FBI’s leadership had been trying to make a criminal case against Trump for months, and McCabe thought – wrongly – that the firing of Comey might be a sound legal basis for an obstruction prosecution.

It is understandable that the deputy attorney general wishes he hadn’t talked about removing the president. Legally, it was a harebrained idea. As a matter of civics – unelected bureaucrats brainstorming about how to reverse a democratic election – it was remarkably arrogant. But it happened, nonetheless. Rod Rosenstein’s lawyerly evasions can’t change that.

Yes, it is difficult to grasp the idea that the top tier in the FBI engaged in even thinking about a coup. Even harder is to realize that the revelation is only the tip of the spear. Lunacy cannot be taken lightly, especially when its definition is abused and it becomes a weapon of projection.

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Driven by ignorance, willful or no.

Pelosi says a Democratic president could declare a national emergency, too, so you better watch out. neo – “any president has the right to declare a national emergency, and many have done so already. The real questions are: (1) under what conditions can a president declare a national emergency; and (2) what is a president allowed to do when that emergency is declared? … So, let’s get some facts.

AEI, for example, is so infected by TDS that its pundits don’t see thousands being formed en masse to assault the southern border as any sort of national security threat of any significant concern. All of a sudden, issues like Congressional delegation of its primary duties and Executive authority and other fundamental Constitutional issues become matters for judgment rather than reasoned and informed opinion. The fundamental issue is how the Democrats are trying to tie the President’s hands in foreign affairs and the national defense. It isn’t a rather mundane expression of executive authority that is the issue of import, it is the issue of open borders, law enforcement, immigration, and the proper separation of governmental responsibilities as defined in the Constitution.

Red Flag Law, Universal Background Checks Fail to Stop Illinois Shooting. AWR Hawkins – “Illinois also licenses all gun owners, but gun control was impotent to stop the shooting.” … “House Democrats are currently pushing universal background checks at the federal level.” Effectiveness and reality don’t make much of difference on this issue. Just look at Nevada, for instance. 

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Gaslighting

After the Coup is Gone. Julie Kelly – “The tale we’ve been told for more than two years—that Donald Trump’s campaign team, possibly even the candidate himself, colluded with the Kremlin to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election—has been exposed as a lie.

“Various investigations into this alleged conspiracy are coming up empty and the accomplices are trying to change the subject. Even more pathetically, some still are clinging to the farce, desperate to salvage whatever still remains of their already sketchy credibility.

To describe it as a witch hunt, the president’s preferred term, is too generous.

Both Democrats and Republicans have been complicit. The national news media have acted as hatchet men.

It’s the kind of treachery that is supposed to animate banana republics or Soviet-style regimes—not our country.

Meanwhile, Robert Mueller’s investigation has not yielded one indictment related to collusion, yet it has wrecked countless reputations and livelihoods.

But no entity has acted more recklessly and destructively than the national news media.

These are only a handful of the questions now arising from the wreckage of the failed Trump-Russia collusion gambit; the answers might be just as infuriating as the questions themselves.

Andrew McCabe Confirms: Deep State Plotted To Take Down Trump. Investor’s Business Daily.

“This is nothing less than an attempted silent coup against a sitting president. The machinations of the FBI, CIA and Justice Department plainly indicate a conspiracy. A crime against the Constitution and the people of the U.S.

And they lied about it. Or kept quiet about it. Or misrepresented what they did, even to the Foreign Intelligence Security Court. That is real obstruction of justice. And a real conspiracy.

As The Russia Hoax Begins To Unravel, The Gaslighting Begins. Adam Mill – “The media has started backing away from the Russia collusion hoax. Many seem to know a reckoning is coming.”

“The Russia hoax is crumbling and people can’t run away fast enough. We’ve seen signs from the very beginning that many of the people who promoted the Trump-Russia collusion smear have always known it was a hoax. These signs have been in plain sight. Here is an incomplete list.

1. Because They Said So … 2. There’s No Hurry, In Spite of a ‘National Emergency’ … 3. The Dishonest Reporting of the Trump Tower Meeting … 4. Protecting the Mueller Probe from Embarrassment … 5. It’s About Shooting the Messenger … 6. Pushing the Hoax Makes Money

So we had secret meetings with Nicolas Maduro. Jazz Shaw – “The one other item I wanted to point out here was the tone taken by the AP reporters who covered this story. If you read through the whole thing you’ll notice a disturbing pattern. Not only do they set a tone that treats Maduro as if he’s just another world leader, but they clearly hint that the United States was the cause of his ills. Let’s look at a couple of examples.

(WSJ paywall item. see Instapundit) Stop the Impeachment Fishing Expedition. David B. Rivkin Jr. and Elizabeth Price Foley – “Congress has no business investigating the president for conduct that occurred before he took office.”

“Unfortunately, the scenario the court called “unlikely” in 1997 now exists. Like Mr. Clinton, Mr. Trump faces an investigation by a zealous prosecutor with unlimited resources inquiring, among other things, into prepresidential activities. In addition, Mr. Trump is subject to a deluge of lawsuits and investigations, including by state attorneys general, involving his conduct before entering politics.

Congress has no authority to investigate or prosecute crimes; these responsibilities belong to the executive branch. It has no power to conduct fishing expeditions, and its investigatory authority is supposed to be in the service of legislation.

To protect the separation of powers, the president should defy all demands for information about his prepresidential activities. If Congress or private litigants seek to enforce these demands, the Justice Department should move to stay these proceedings while Mr. Trump is in office. If Democrats want to remove Mr. Trump from office, there are two legitimate ways to do so: By defeating him at the polls in 2020 or through properly conducted impeachment proceedings based on evidence of “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” committed while in office.

Covington teens exonerated by Diocese report. What is important here is the questions neo raises about what Bishop Foys did in jumping to false witness. Someone who should know better commits a grievous sin and then avoids Jesus?

This WILL piss you off –> Thread of FAKE hate crimes that have happened during Trump era is un-freaking-believable. Sam J. – “Ryan Saavedra put together a thread of fake hate crimes that have been reported during the Trump era and all this editor can say is HOLY CRAP. We suppose it shouldn’t be surprising that the Left is this desperate (and gross) to lie about a hate movement that doesn’t really exist in order to somehow get revenge for Hillary losing but wow.

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Evidence of a coup d’é·tat effort mounts.Will it matter?

A Court Case in Iowa Shows the Reality of Religious Discrimination in America. David French – “Media’s failure in covering this more than decade-long scandal helps explain why the secular public often seem mystified by Christian concerns with religious liberty.

“I’m talking about the Christian experience on campus, where there have been hundreds of cases and controversies involving the most basic rights of free speech, free exercise of religion, and freedom of association. And many of the cases contain the most obvious and blatant evidence of overt discrimination.

Across the United States, state officials are repeatedly telling American Christians that there is something inherently wrong with their faith. They’re even claiming that it’s out of bounds for Christian groups to seek Christian leadership and often claiming that orthodox Christian beliefs are on a moral par with defenses of slavery or other repugnant forms of bigotry. They engage in rank favoritism and blatant viewpoint discrimination. These actions warp American culture and transform American politics. They deserve far more media attention than they receive.

Colorado moves to thwart the Electoral College. Jazz Shaw – “The attempts to justify this sort of end-around run at the Constitution would be hilarious if the subject weren’t so serious.” Let the guy over there nullify your vote because he’s got more friends?

Coup kook a choo: McCabe admits pushing 25th Amendment to remove Trump after Comey firing. Ed Morrissey – “Did the “highest levels” of the Department of Justice attempt to foment a coup d’etat in May 2017?” While the AP works on ‘Republicans Pounce,’ the evidence about actual reality continues to trickle in.

Harris’ “Trump tax cut is really a tax hike” spin gets four Pinocchios. Ed Morrissey – “If Harris can’t figure out that reductions in rates and liabilities are tax cuts rather than tax hikes, and if her staff can’t distinguish between short- and long-term effects, then perhaps they shouldn’t be put anywhere near the White House.” But people keep electing people like her anyway.

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Satisfied. But at what cost?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What they don’t tell you

Trump cut drug prices. Don Surber – The Associated Press dismissed this, writing, “While President Trump is correct that drug prices dropped in the last year — and that hasn’t happened since 1972 — the drop was less than 1 percent.” That’s our media! “Under Obama, drug prices rose nearly 10% annually.

Media won’t call out gay black actor on hoax. Don Surber – “Nine days later, no one has corroborated his tale, video does not confirm it, and he refused to turn his cellphone into police.

“The Trump-supporters-beat-me-up story is popular among Muslim women, gays, and black people because the media for four years (including his campaign) have told them that Trump supporters are Islamophobic, homophobic, and racist.

John Ziegler of Media-ite … wrote … “The first thing you need to understand about this situation is that, because of Smollett’s persona and the nature of his allegation, no one in law enforcement or the news media wants any part of publicly questioning his story. Everyone knows that if they make any sort of negative implication against a black, gay, liberal, celebrity, victim of a horrible hate crime, that they will be roundly and severely attacked, regardless of whether they turn out to be correct.”

We used to joke about the media being Pravda. Now it is. The media unashamedly tells lies today.

Trump’s wild popularity overseas is one of media’s best kept secrets. Thomas Lifson – “The mainstream media pretends that their scorn for President Trump is almost universally shared overseas.”

“Stark evidence of this popularity of President Trump comes from Italy, where a populist government won power – though the media tend to ignore this. The Carnival of Viareggio, described as “world-famous” by Medium.com (the website chosen by Jeff Bezos for his j’accuse manifesto against the National Enquirer) dates back to 1873, and has established itself as the venue for featuring amazing giant figures. It takes place in Tuscany, a wealthy area that is a magnet for tourists worldwide.

Check out the highlight of yesterday’s parade:

Most delightful of all: This crowd transferred their love of President Trump into love for America.

The globalists realize that this is a worldwide phenomenon, one directed squarely at them and the transition they have wright on countries everywhere. The last thing they want is for Americans to understand that President Trump is THE global leader of a populist movement that is growing, is pro-America, and has already toppled statist governments

Acting AG Matthew Whitaker: Football impresario, stomper of Democrats. Ed Timperlake – “The Judiciary Committee hearing on February 8, 2019, held by Chairman Nadler (D-N.Y.) with committee witness Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, became an epic historic failure.

“A moment for the ages is captured in a lasting quote by witness Whitaker in his reminding the chair that if Nadler sets the rules, then he also must play by the rules.

In a day of theater, lines were crossed. One specific example in challenging a witness’s integrity was demonstrated by Rep. Jeffries (D-N.Y.). Congressman Jeffries made a rhetorical statement that was simply grandstanding against a proud, well educated, and distinguished man from Iowa. His behavior crossed over the line to a personal attack:

Vatican ex-doctrine chief pens manifesto amid pope criticism. Nicole Winfield – “a clear manifestation of conservative criticism of Francis’ emphasis on mercy and accompaniment versus a focus on repeating Catholic morals and doctrine during the previous two papacies.

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Dreadful thinking

The State Of American ‘Fact-Checking’ Is Completely Useless. David Harsanyi – “With a veneer of impartiality, fact-checkers engage in a uniquely dishonest style of partisanship.” … “State of Union coverage gave us an abundance of examples of how they do it:

“Hyper-precision fact-checking … Fact-checking subjective political assertions … Partisan talking point masquerading as a fact check … Fact-checking meant to obscure actual facts … Factchecking a truthful statement by demanding that Trump highlight information that has absolutely nothing to do with his contention

Will this be a new standard for all politicians?

The state of American fact-checking is dreadfully misleading. There’s no reason for conservatives to give its authors the deference they seek.

It is being noticed and, now, named and described. This leads to awareness and discussion and that to knowledge and better decisions.

Calling It A ‘War On Science’ Has Consequences. ACSH – National Geographic’s March 2015 cover story provided a thoughtful discussion around the question of “Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science?” The actual cover, however, simply said “The War on Science.” This one illustrates the problem it tries to name. It presumes those ‘poor deluded conservatives’ and completely bypasses and avoids matters of integrity and reason in much of what is put up as science. The ‘war’ thing should be seen as a psychological defense and a proper behavioral observation will show patterns that are oblivious to the authors of this study.

“Building on such arguments, our new research suggests that Americans may see scientists’ choice to accuse conservatives of waging a “war on science” as relatively aggressive compared to potential alternative ways of describing the current situation. In turn, this perceived aggressiveness may harm the credibility of scientists in conservative audiences that already have doubts about them.

Ocasio-Cortez’s plan properly should be called the ‘Green Leap Forward’. Thomas Lifson – “Lunatic schemes based on technological and redistributionist fantasies have been implemented on a huge scale within my lifetime with disastrous results.”

“China’s Great Leap Forward is the correct historical model for the visionary, transformational scheme of Ocasio-Cortez and Ed Markey’s plan, which properly ought to be called the “Green Leap Forward.” The Great Leap Forward was the personal creation of Chairman Mao Tse-tung, who wanted a rapid transformation of China from a backward, rural nation to a modern industrial one in the space of five, or maybe ten years, just as Ocasio-Cortez envisions a total transformation in a decade. … the horrors that it inflicted on China were vividly accounted by refugees who fled for their lives.

Just because the Green new Deal/Green Leap Forward is impossible to implement and is unlikely to become a law, there is no reason to assume the underlying madness will subside. We have our own Red Guards, some of which have already been elected to Congress. They are waiting for demography to hand them the victory they think the arc of history will provide

It’s a war on intellectual integrity … 

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A Clarion Call

Trump goes big, uses delayed State of the Union to make case on border, much more. Byron York – “The speech was big, not just in length — about 80 minutes — but also in concept. It had a structure. It had a message. It had passages to appeal to all Americans. It had passages to appeal to Trump’s conservative base. And it had passages to appeal to opposition Democrats, who otherwise hated nearly every word of it.

“Part of Trump’s plan was to show how far the Democratic Party has moved to the left. A particularly deft way of doing that came during Trump’s discussion of socialism. After noting the failure of socialism in Venezuela, Trump said, “Here in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence — not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”

Press now using ‘fact-checking’ to shout down President Trump. Monica Showalter – “It’s as if the press has turned the whole thing into a de facto exercise of shouting the president down with hollers of ‘lies!’ before his message could even get out. They’re doing it under the rubric of ‘fact checking.’

“First thing that leaps out at me is how neatly this ‘fact check’ drown-out of Trump’s actual speech stacks up exactly with Democratic Party’s talking points – it’s a truth-and-lies theme.

But if you look closely, you can see that none of these fact-checks are about that – ABC News, for instance, makes Trump’s statements, which they don’t like, all about ‘context’ since they don’t dare call them actual lies.

It’s all a bid to shout the president down with their version of ‘facts’ as Democrats see them.

The double standard on Obama aside, notice also that there’s virtually no fact-checking on Democratic respondent Stacey Abrams’ claims in her speech, despite the fact that the speeches were treated with equal weight by the press. Fact check for Trump but not his opponent.

What was have here is a glimpse into how the sausage is made as the press seeks to spin a “narrative” on behalf of its leftist masters. They are going all in for ‘fact checking’ to shout President Trump down and make the speech all about their version of events. Any questions as to why the public does not trust the press anymore?

Trump’s SOTU reveals the angry ladies of the left. Patricia McCarthy – “Trump’s SOTU speech was wonderful, factual and optimistic. It was a celebration of America and the successes of the last two years. No one would know it by the visible response of the ladies in white

“The only part of the speech they sincerely applauded was themselves – more women in Congress. For most of the rest of the speech, they sat on their hands, looking mad (Mazie Hirono), glum (all of them), petulant and dismissive (Kamala Harris), bored and studiously disinterested (Nancy Pelosi). …

These angry women could not have better demonstrated who and what the Democratic Party is today. As many have observed, this is not the party of JFK. It is the party of Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler. …

It was a pathetic, un-American spectacle, those women. In the end, they are about one thing, one thing only: rage. Rage at whom and what? Who knows?

This SOTU may be a tipping point. It should be a tipping point. It was that good. Trump is a fearless man and a great President. Tonight, he put the Democrats on their back foot. It is where they belong; they do not have America’s best interest at heart. Everyone who watched now knows that for sure.

A clarion call, but will those who need to hear it be able to do so?

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Betrayal on many fronts

Will Jeff Bezos Force Whole Foods To Stop Lying? Apparently Not. Alex Berezow – “The company’s entire business model is premised upon a foundation of lies.” The Washington Post is another Bezos property with a similar ethic. The harm done weighs heavily against the benefits of his main business.

“Last week, Whole Foods Magazine (which is not actually affiliated with Whole Foods*) published an article written by a lawyer, Scott C. Tips, about an evil plan to sneak more GMOs into our food supply

As you might expect, in an article in which GMOs are called a “disease,” the lies and distortions come early and often.

For example, Tips can’t even define basic terms properly:

GMOs and other modern pesticides make it easier to practice no-till farming, which helps prevent soil erosion. But Tips is opposed to GMOs and modern pesticides.

The rest of the article is sort of a pathetic conspiratorial rant about GMOs.

I’ve been to Whole Foods a few times. The food is pretty tasty, though grossly overpriced. Unfortunately, their unscientific, holier-than-thou attitude, in which farmers are treated as villains and scientists as evil manipulators, will keep me away.

Washington Post Super Bowl ad: Democracy dies in darkness, you know. Allahpundit – “Not a bad idea for the world’s richest man to buy some goodwill from the media, though, at a moment when “rich people shouldn’t exist” is becoming mainstream Democratic thought.

“It’s a strange irony that this ad aired at a moment when the biggest story running about America’s journalism industry is layoffs.

But then, that’s fitting: Journalism’s many, many celebrations of itself tend to obsess about the trade as it aims to be rather than the realities of what it is.

They’re biased, often frivolous, and too susceptible to a herd mentality that’s on display on Twitter hourly as they read and react to each other’s takes. Too much heat, not enough light. That’s part of the reason why there’s more darkness right now than democracy should have to put up with.

Houston’s Police Chief could use a refresher course on gun crimes. Jazz Shaw – “This inspired Acevedo to fire back at them, deriding the “thoughts and prayers” comments and issuing calls for new gun control measures. Any time you have a police officer saying something like that, they immediately receive national attention from liberals in the media. This was no exception, and the Washington Post was soon singing his praises.

“Here’s an extra bit of irony for you. Acevedo took to Twitter on the day of the incident and asked people to pray for the officers. …

The spat over thoughts and prayers isn’t the real issue here. What I’m sure Acevedo knows but isn’t mentioning is the fact that it’s highly unlikely that the guns the two drug dealers who shot the cops were using were purchased legally. When we see high-profile shootings being investigated and the source of the weapons is known, that information is generally released. I’ve checked multiple press reports of this incident, with statements from Acevedo and others in Houston and there’s no mention of where those two men obtained their handguns.

And if that’s the case, calling for new restrictions on “assault rifles” and extended magazines or conducting more background checks wouldn’t have prevented those officers from being shot. Chief Acevedo should know better and stop playing to the gun control crowd using his own wounded officers as promotional material.

Paul Begala on Trump WH Schedule Leak: ‘Betrayal of Our National Security’. Tony Lee – “Set aside my strong opposition to @realDonaldTrump,” Begala tweeted. “As a former senior White House official, it is a betrayal of our national security to leak any POTUS’ schedule.” Begala added that the “hatred and disloyalty all around him is remarkable.”

Decepticon Mitch Fires Trump Impeachment Warning with U.S. Senate Demand to Keep Troops in Afghanistan/Syria. sundance – “The Senate passed a “sense of the senate” resolution today demanding that President Trump keep troops actively engaged in perpetual war.” … “When you understand the background of the ‘Senate Cloture Scheme’ (see Trade Promotion Authority and TPP), today’s Senate vote essentially highlights the Decepticon caucus. [The Big Club]

“Those who have followed Mitch McConnell for a long time will immediately notice the republican names in his coalition. They are the identical recipients of direct payments made by U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue.

Notice also that Senator McConnell timed his rebuke against President Trump to take place just prior to the State of the Union address.

In addition to demanding perpetual war (and all the financial benefits therein), the republican vote is a signal to the republican President that he will not be allowed to defy the will of the Big Club.

In many ways this is also the deep swamp protecting themselves from the structural reform which would happen as a consequence of President Trump draining the swamp.

With this vote McConnell is warning President Trump he has enough votes to support the Pelosi/Schumer impeachment agenda; if needed.

How to Make It Home in California: Rules for the Modern Odysseus. Victor Davis Hanson – “I drove back from San Francisco not long ago to the rural San Joaquin Valley. It is only 200 miles. But in fact, it can feel like Odysseus trying to get back home to Ithaca from Troy.

“Walking to the car in San Francisco was an early morning obstacle course dotted with the occasional human feces and lots of trash. The streets looked like Troy after its sacking.

The rules of the road in downtown San Francisco can seem pre-civilizational: the more law-abiding driver is considered timid and someone to be taken advantage of—while the more reckless earns respect and right of way.

The trip can take over three hours in theory and often longer than six hours in practice.

For the California driver in the age of the post-apocalypse, the rules of the road and getting home are obvious.

VDH responding to a reader angry not at him but at the betrayal of her culture she sees.my anger is boiling over from this latest insult and assault on conservatives

“Dear Not Really Angry Reader Linda Barr,

You describe a paradox in which 55 percent of the country is socially and economically conservative and yet 90 percent of our influence creators—Hollywood, network news and programing, the mainstream media, the Internet and social media, foundations, universities, professional sports, most big corporations—are leftwing. The result is that the old silent majority is like some ancient defiant sandstone rock jutting out on the beach, as the relentless surf insidiously pounds it and wears it ever so slowly away.

My only advice is not to remain silent. Everyone, each according to his or her station, has a role to play. This is not time for timidity or reticence.

Third-trimester abortion is not normal but virtual infanticide. The New Green Deal is a prescription for disaster. Free college and cancellation of student debt are insults to millions who went to work at 18, did not drift in and out of college, and oppose Pajama Boy culture, and yet are asked to pay for the debts of the more advantaged. Medicare for all is Medicare for no one, and the pathway to managed and rationed care and worse to come. Wealth taxes and higher income and estate taxes will inevitably, despite the rhetoric, fall on the upper middle-class, given that billionaires are mostly on the side of the Left and find exemptions. Abolishing ICE and open borders mean the end of U.S. sovereignty.

These new progressive agendas are frightening and we must say “they shall not pass.”

Sincerely, Victor Hanson

Betrayal? Stand up!

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We want higher prices! (really?)

Trump won the Super Bowl. Don Surber – “But what was odd was Brennan — a good reporter who does her homework — did not realize that President Trump had addressed the problem that the players had protested.

“She began the interview with two premises. One, that Nancy Pelosi out negotiated him. Two, that the intelligence chiefs rebuked him.

I doubt the interview will change any minds because most minds in America now are closed.

But both Brennan and President Trump did well.

Almost as well as our country is doing.

Green New Deal: Is 100% Renewable Energy Even Possible, Or Good For The Environment? John Merline – “The obvious conclusion is that renewable energy alone cannot meet our economy’s enormous energy needs. And no amount of populist spin can change that fact.”

“But these wildly ambitious goals tend to overlook inconvenient questions. Such as: Is it even possible to get to 100% renewable energy? Is it worth the costs and disruptions that would entail? Would it even be good for the environment?

The idea of getting to 100% renewable gets even more difficult, since environmentalists oppose several forms of renewable energy claiming they aren’t “clean enough.”

Meanwhile, nuclear Energy, which is limitless and has zero carbon emissions, never shows up on any list of “clean” energy.

Most forms of “clean” energy require massive amounts of land to produce relatively small amounts of energy.

Aside from all these hurdles, the final one that remains is that renewable energy is expensive.

More troubling is the fact that these higher costs hurt the middle class and poor hardest. That’s because they spend a greater share of their household income on utility bills than do the rich.

It appears that the highlight of yesterday’s football game was the national anthem sung by Gladys Knight. Scott Johnson says “What I heard in Ms. Knight’s rendition of the anthem was belief in the United States of America and pride in our history. Perhaps it’s wishful hearing on my part. It probably is. But her performance spoke for itself. It burned to convey love of country. It belied the disgrace of the kneeling protests. It redeemed the time.

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This is what they do

Who Do Our Intelligence Agencies Think They Work For? Sebastian Gorka – “This week’s “Fake News” swirling around the Director of National Intelligence’s (DNI) testimony before Congress on his annual “National Worldwide Threat Assessment” isn’t simply dishonest. It is dangerous.

“But whether it was just the OSS during the war, or the 17 federal agencies we have today, the mission of the American intelligence was always the same: to provide its sole client with raw intelligence and analysis so that he can make his decisions on how best to secure America and her citizens. That end-user, of course, is the incumbent president.

While Capitol Hill has the mandate to exercise its oversight function—and should use it—over the executive branch, the IC does not work for Congress. In fact, it exists solely to support the national security policies and decision-making requirements of the commander-in-chief. As such, the reports that the testimony of DNI Dan Coates, CIA Director Gina Haspel, and FBI Director Chris Wray contradicted or undermined the president are not simply wrong-footed, they are reckless in the extreme.

In America, we do not have independent intelligence agencies functioning as fiefdoms unto themselves, with their own political agendas.

CNN Chyron Labels Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam a Republican. KR – “CNN aired a chyron Friday evening labeling Virginia Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam a Republican during a report on the Virginia Democrat apologizing for a racist medical school yearbook photo depicting two men— one of them himself— in blackface and Ku Klux Klan garb.” Bigotry runs deep at CNN. Note the tactics: no or limited apology and blame it on Republicans. Dig it and barrel on. See CIRCLE THE WAGONS: Top Virginia Dems DO NOT call for the resignation of Gov. Ralph Northam. This is what they do.

The Title IX lawsuit against universities for creating a hostile environment for males. neo – “Pekgoz has created this guide for others wishing to mount similar challenges. If you know any interested people, you might want to send them the link.”

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Yes, death happens when feel-good supersedes reason.

Congratulations Anti-Vaxxers, You’ve Made Measles Great Again. Investor’s Business Daily – “But then anti-vax mania started to spread, sparked by a single study — published in 1998 and since thoroughly debunked — conducted by a disgraced scientist.

“Yet despite their supposed devotion to science, many on the left — including celebrities like Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey — seized on this study to spread irrational fear about the supposed dangers of the vaccine. Call them “vaccine deniers.”

Their views found a major platform in the left-wing Huffington Post, which for years was the go-to site to spread anti-vax paranoia.

Keep in mind that measles is a highly contagious and potentially fatal disease. One in four who get it end up hospitalized. One in a thousand get encephalitis. Up to two per thousand end up dead.

Here’s an idea that would help move more states in the right direction. Instead of creating ugly paintings trashing President Donald Trump, Jim Carrey should consider a self-portrait wherein he abjectly apologizes for his and his friends’ role in spreading dangerous, unscientific misinformation.

Notice How Democrats are Never Indicted? William L. Gensert – “Yet, “What difference, at that point, does it make?” Hillary’s exempt from prosecution because she’s a Democrat and a bona fide leftist; and that provides blanket immunity.

“One can act with impunity when there is no fear of prosecution. Why not harvest ballots to steal elections, provide sanctuary for felonious illegal aliens, lie to Congress, or try to frame a president? Democrats never worry about financial ruin or Mueller going after their families (In like Flynn).

Real crimes go unaddressed, while misstatements about lawful actions warrant incarceration. Mueller is fond of false-statement charges where the underlying actions aren’t illegal; he also loosely interprets the definition of “lie.”

Apparently, in America today the only people who should fear prosecution are those who disagree with the “ones we’ve been waiting for” because if you’re a Democrat, you can’t get arrested in this town.

Latest Intel Assessment Shows How Trump-Russia Hoax Has Hurt American Interests. Mollie Hemingway – “This odd aversion to thinking about the best interests of the nation when pushing a conspiracy theory about treasonous collusion with Russia is dangerous.”

“Earlier this week, intelligence chiefs briefed U.S. senators on the Select Committee on Intelligence about global threats. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats’ 42-page written report read like a middling Obama-era update, with more space devoted to concern about climate change, Brexit, and social justice issues than Islamist terrorism or border disputes and violations.

Still, it’s worth considering the first and most serious global security threat Coats flagged for senators, which is the strengthened alliance of China and Russia as they seek to expand their global influence.

This is among the reasons Trump sought an improved relationship with Russia.

It’s also related to why the Obama administration tried to have a “reset” with Russia. The logic underlying that move was sound, even if it was poorly implemented. The strategic reasons for trying to build alliances where you can with Russia were, and still are, defensible, because it’s not in the U.S. interests to have Russia as a vassal of China. Unfortunately the relationship between Obama and Putin, and between the U.S. and Russia, soured, making the situation worse.

Seib notes that conspiracy theorists think Trump wants a good relationship with Russia because he owes them something. He instead suggests it’s because of geo-strategic goals.

As Henry Kissinger put it, “Balancing China against the Soviet Union from a position in which America was closer to each Communist giant than they were to each other was, of course, exactly the design of the evolving strategy.”

Yet when Trump has talked about developing a good relationship with Russia, a key aspect of triangulation approach, conspiracy theorists in the media and pundit class have lambasted him as a Putin stooge who is compromised. It’s not just an unverified and ridiculous conspiracy theory, but one that results in real harm to the United States as well.

the purpose of the intelligence agencies is to provide information to the president, not set U.S. policy. In fact, the danger seems to arise when intelligence agencies attempt to analyze and set policy

the purpose of the intelligence agencies is to provide information to the president, not set U.S. policy. In fact, the danger seems to arise when intelligence agencies attempt to analyze and set policy

The Real Reason Democrats Have Postponed Barr’s Confirmation. Julie Kelly – “As indictments unrelated to Trump-Russia collusion pile up, Republican lawmakers and Trump’s base increasingly are outraged that the culprits behind perhaps the biggest political scandal in American history remain untouched. Barr signaled that the good fortune of these scoundrels could soon take a dramatic shift under his stewardship.” Kelly highlights the criminal protection force and some of its tactics. Accuse, smear, delay, … and worse.

“Democrats also have accused Barr of bias against the Mueller investigation based on a detailed memo he authored last year that objected to the special counsel’s reported interest in whether President Trump obstructed justice. Some have suggested Barr should recuse himself from the investigation, which would be a repeat of a terrible mistake made by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions in 2017.

This one-two punch has a purpose: To taint Barr’s impartiality and discredit his office on all matters related to Trump-Russia. Why? Because during his confirmation hearing, Barr agreed—at the behest of Republican senators—to begin his own inquiry into who, why, and how the FBI launched several investigations into Trump’s presidential campaign and, eventually, into the president himself.

The enormousness of Barr’s task and the devastating consequences for those involved are now coming into clear view. The timing couldn’t be worse for Democrats and NeverTrump Republicans who are desperate to defeat Trump and the GOP in 2020. That’s why we can expect both parties to whip up more criticism of Barr over the next few months. One hopes he will resist that criticism—and both Trump and Graham need to reassure the new attorney general and the American public that his investigation will receive the same amount of protection that was afforded to the Mueller team.

The Corrupt DoJ vs. the People. Ed Brodow – “Thanks to the politicized justice system that was set in motion more than 20 years ago and reinforced during eight fateful years of the Obama administration, the quaint notion that we benefit from due process has evaporated.

“A venal gang of Obama alumni is getting away with the perversion of American justice. …

The civil rights of innocent individuals are being violated for no reason other than their political views. … Unless the Mueller investigation is terminated and we address the real scandal in our government — corruption at the top levels of the DoJ and FBI — we can kiss the American system of justice goodbye.

Weird: No Democrats in Congress seem to have heard Ralph Northam’s abortion comments. Allahpundit – quoting Henry Rodgers: “I just spoke with over 10 Democratic Senators in the past 2 hours. Not one of them would acknowledge @GovernorVA’s comments on late-term abortion. Everyone of them denied ever hearing them.

“The only reason to believe their ignorance might have been accidental rather than deliberate is that yesterday’s coverage in “neutral” media was partly of the “conservatives pounce” variety. There go the right-wingers, flying off the handle again over nothing. You could argue that restraint by the press was prudent under the circumstances; Northam’s office and various liberals online insisted he’d been misunderstood, after all. Can’t knock the media for pausing to make sure it has its facts right before proceeding with coverage of an electrically charged controversy.

Why, though, wonders Ross Douthat, does that caution only ever run one way?

our media is very deep in the tank on this issue, even more so than they are for most left-wing causes. We’re all long used to it. But occasionally the depth still manages to shock.

McConnell: Pelosi’s ‘reform’ bill nothing but a “Democratic Politician Protection Act”. Ed Morrissey – “A new paid federal holiday on Election Day turns out to be the most benign part of HR1, the election-reform package designated by Nancy Pelosi as the new House majority’s “signature” legislation in this session.” Morrissey may be thinking in too conventional of a paradigm, too ‘old school’ and missing the art of communications and an undertow in the populace noted in other articles cited in this post.

“Pelosi should send McConnell a bouquet of flowers for spending this much time on the Senate floor on a bill that has zero chance of becoming law. For a “signature” bill, which is what the HR1 designation signifies, the coverage of this bill has been remarkably low-key.

Pelosi knows this won’t move in the Senate; it’s a setup for the 2020 congressional elections. However, it’s not exactly the kind of bill that will fire up voters or be remembered for very long after its demise. House Democrats might have been better advised to focus more on hardening the voting infrastructure in the country ahead of the next election, a project that would have a much greater chance of success than giving federal workers freebies for participating in Democratic campaigns.

Green energy and litigation are bankrupting PG&E in California. Jazz Shaw – “That’s unusual because the energy business is largely a very stable industry and nearly recession-proof.

“If their transformers were exploding or the insulators on the lines were worn out and leading to sparking I could see blaming them. But they’re getting tagged with a $30 billion fine because storms blew trees over and took down their lines? …

The other half of their problem is that they’re locked into contracts to buy energy from solar and wind farms. California’s state government has issued a mandate that they must get to 60% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% by 2045. That’s left PG&E stuck buying $40B in energy from renewable firms, a lot of which they don’t even need. In fact, during peak renewable production periods they’ve been forced to sell energy off (at a loss) to neighboring states.

Put all of this together and one of the biggest energy companies in the nation has just filed for bankruptcy protection. They’re asking the court to let them out of the contracts with the wind and solar producers. If that doesn’t work, they may wind up going under. Perhaps that’s for the best and their investors can take their business to states without such a litigious and corrosive business environment.

Why “Green” Energy Is Futile, In One Lesson. John Hinderaker – “When the wind isn’t blowing–as it wasn’t yesterday–natural gas supplies the electricity. It also heats homes, and with bitter cold temperatures and no wind, there wasn’t enough natural gas to go around. The resulting “brownout” has been a political shock in Minnesota.

Much Has Changed for the Better Since 2016—Not That Trump Will Get Credit. Victor Davis Hanson – “aside from the weekly hysterias, the world has dramatically changed since 2016 in ways we scarcely have appreciated.

“There is also a growing, though little reported, consensus about what created the current economic renaissance: tax cuts, massive deregulation, recalibration of trade policy, tax incentives to bring back offshore capital, and dramatic rises in oil and natural gas production.

Since 2016, polls show that Americans have assumed that the proverbial mainstream media cannot be counted on for honest reporting but will omit, twist and massage facts and evidence for the higher “truth” of neutralizing the Trump presidency.

Trump’s popularity is about where it was when he was elected—ranging on average from the low to mid-forties. But many of his policies have led to more prosperity and address festering problems abroad.

And despite the negative news, they are widely supported, even—or especially—if Trump himself is not given proper credit for enacting most of them.

And there is more, much more.

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