Archive for May, 2019

With malice aforethought

Doxxing: The Newest Strategy To Destroy Scientists. Alex Berezow – “FOIA is meant to uncover wrongdoing by elected officials and bureaucrats, but activists use it to selectively extract quotes out of context in order to create controversy where none exists.

“Balter’s justification for his actions is that the information is old and no longer used, but Dr. Folta denies this. Even if Balter is telling the truth, disclosing somebody’s personal data without their consent is outrageously unethical. Credit checks and other systems used to verify a person’s identity often use older private information, such as the addresses of former residences. And what if some deranged person shows up to that address? What Balter did was a gratuitous act of pure malice.

Unsurprisingly, Dr. Folta announced that he intends to close his Twitter account. He says Twitter is not a safe place for scientists. Having personally received death threats on Twitter, I can verify that he is correct.

Green Policies Turned California A Charred Black. I & I Editorial Board – “More than half of California’s roughly 105 million acres are owned by the federal and state governments. It is on these sprawling parcels that the wildfires tend to rage before devouring private land, homes, and businesses.

“Public lands “have proved far more vulnerable to forest fires than properties owned by private groups,” Hoover Institution scholar Richard Epstein wrote in California’s Forest Fire Tragedy. “Private lands are managed with the goals of conservation and production. The management of public lands has been buffeted by legislative schemes driven by strong ideological commitments.”

The loudest voices assign blame for the fires to man-made climate change. But the human activity primarily responsible for the destructive spread of wildfires is public policy favoring burned timber over harvested timber. While maybe well-intended, laws inspired by the 1970s environmentalist movement, which is determined to make sure saw blades and trees never meet, have stoked the furnaces.

Mueller’s ‘Dog Whistle’ Now a Foghorn – Because Obstruction Was Always His Target. Bob Maistros – “First, Mueller shamefully took up multiple decibel levels his report’s “did not exonerate” defamation: “If we had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.” Many questions need answers and they are not questions about the President.

AG Barr: Mueller Could Have Reached A Decision On Criminal Activity…But He Didn’t. Jennie Taer – “Referring to the Justice Department policy, Barr said that “The [OLC] opinion says you cannot indict a president while he is in office…but he could’ve reached a decision whether it was criminal activity, but he had his reasons for not doing it, which he explained.

Robert Mueller’s ‘no questions’ routine is absolute nonsense. Jonathan Turley – “The problem is that Mueller was uttering absolute nonsense about his inability to reach a conclusion. He likewise did not offer a principled basis for refusing to answer any questions.

“Whatever space Mueller occupied in maintaining such a position, it was neither created nor countenanced by federal law or Justice Department policy. Instead, he accepted the job of special counsel and then radically redefined it, without telling anyone outside of his staff. In that sense, he failed as special counsel. Mueller was not appointed to be a chronicler of allegations. Mueller was appointed to perform a prosecutorial function in the investigation of a president and his associates. Moreover, he does not get to dictate what Congress can investigate, or to stonewall the media.

Dershowitz is completely fed up with Mueller… neo – “And that is why, whatever a person’s feelings are about president Trump, all people should be outraged at this. But they are not; not at all. And that’s a terrible sign of the ignorance of the populace, and the partisanship that would overrun basic guarantees of liberty to us all.

HBO’s Chernobyl mini-series is remarkable and surprisingly political. John Sexton – “In his review of the show, Jim Geraghty says the show is “an epic five-part comprehensive denunciation of the Soviet Union.” But he also notes the flaws the show puts on display are human ones, not just socialist ones

“Finally, the Federalist points out that quite a few of the mainstream reviews of the show seem to have skipped over all of the ways in which it indicts communism. They can ignore it all they want but it’s pretty hard to deny that’s one of the main things this show is about. The show got a very positive review from the Moscow Times.

Dan Bongino fires back at ‘Chernobyl’ writer/producer who took offense to him calling the disaster a ‘failure of socialism’. – “As was pointed out to us earlier, it’s interesting that for the Left the first person in government to come to their minds when watching “Chernobyl” was Trump, when it should have been somebody else entirely.” It’s a twitter case study.

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What kind of strange new standard is on display?

If the psychiatrists and psychologists weren’t so buried in the mud themselves, they wouldn’t miss the opportunity to study the phenomena unfolding front of them. It is a years long process of people trying to come to grips with the enormity of the malfeasance and malice expressed by friends, colleagues, and others they once held in high esteem; the overturning and abandonment of values and ideas behind jurisprudence and a civil society developed over centuries; the idea that we are seeing a banana republic flavor in our government.

Both those trying to come to grips with a reality that is alien to them and those providing the stimulus are worthy of study. Take today’s case about an aircraft carrier being told to stay out of sight of the President. What is it that makes this story so important to some? The Mueller saga is another case to study.

Mueller’s Final Statement Turns Jurisprudence On Its Head. I & I Editorial Board – “This starkly politicizes presidential investigations going forward and indicts, if we may say so, the already-dubious system of weaponizing a lawyer with a blank check, no deadline, and an open-ended mandate for him to fish where he likes with minimal oversight.

“What kind of strange new standard is Mueller setting here?

Mueller had all the time and money he could want, recorded countless hours of testimony, compiled a mountain of documents, got multiple plea deals, chased down out every conceivable lead, and then says he couldn’t prove the president didn’t commit a crime.

Since when is the job of prosecutors to determine innocence beyond a reasonable doubt? And, short of that, feel free to dump all the evidence that didn’t lead to a criminal charge, but that makes the defendant look a suspect nonetheless.

Robert Mueller is a Sleazy, Shameful, Partisan Hack. Patricia McCarthy – “Robert Mueller should have been disbarred decades ago, along with his enforcer Andrew Weismann; that is how egregious his record of malfeasance is, all matters of public record.

“Much has been written already about the sheer pettiness of what Mueller did and said on Wednesday morning. Many actual legal scholars have commented; Alan Dershowitz, Sean Davis, the guys at Powerline and of course Mark Levin. Given their analyses, it is safe to say that Mueller stepped in a tar pit that may well fossilize this pathetic man. He has sacrificed his entire career on the altar of the unscrupulous politics of the Democrats, who refuse still to accept the results of the 2016 election.

I hope that they will suffer the consequences of their own bitterness.

So, what did Mueller hope to achieve? He did energize the legally illiterate, Trump-hating left and their candidates for the presidency but other than that, all he did was demean himself and his ridiculous report. If he had been interested in the truth and the burnishing his legacy, he would have brought to light the falsity of the dossier and its provenance but he did not. May we never see his kind again, the kind that abuses their positions of power for the indiscriminate destruction of innocents.

Shame on Robert Mueller for exceeding his role. Alan Dershowitz – “No responsible prosecutor should ever suggest that the subject of his investigation might indeed be guilty even if there was insufficient evidence or other reasons not to indict.

“Until today, I have defended Mueller against the accusations that he is a partisan. I did not believe that he personally favored either the Democrats or the Republicans, or had a point of view on whether President Trump should be impeached. But I have now changed my mind. By putting his thumb, indeed his elbow, on the scale of justice in favor of impeachment based on obstruction of justice, Mueller has revealed his partisan bias. He also has distorted the critical role of a prosecutor in our justice system.

Robert Mueller and the Art of Innuendo. David Catron – “He used Wednesday’s presser to take a final cheap shot at Trump.”

“For all intents and purposes, Mueller accused the President of obstructing justice then hid behind obscure DOJ memoranda to excuse his failure to make that prosecutorial call in his report to the AG. It was an utterly disgraceful performance. First, as anyone who has bothered to read Mueller’s report knows, his reluctance to officially accuse Trump of obstruction was about the dearth of real evidence to support the charge. Moreover, his claim that it is unconstitutional to indict the President is widely disputed by legal scholars.

Robert Mueller, Partisan Fraud. John Hinderaker

“Here is my question. (I know it has been asked before, but it can’t be repeated too often.) If Mueller’s charge was to investigate “Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election…[including] investigating any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign,” why didn’t he look into the possibility that the false information fed by alleged Russian insiders to an agent of the Clinton campaign was a disinformation effort by the Russian government, meant to interfere in the 2016 presidential election–an effort in which the Clinton campaign colluded?

There is strong circumstantial evidence that the Steele dossier was exactly that, while there never was any evidence at all that the Trump campaign colluded in any way with Russians. So why was Mueller’s investigation confined to the wrong campaign?

Mueller Just Proved His Entire Operation Was A Political Hit Job That Trampled The Rule Of Law. Sean Davis – “At a hastily arranged Wednesday press conference, Special Counsel Robert Mueller proved that he was never interested in justice or the rule of law.”

“If it’s important for the work to speak for itself, then why did Mueller schedule a press conference in which he would speak for it weeks after it was released? The statement, given the venue in which it was provided, is self-refuting.

Let’s start with the Mueller team’s unique take on the nature of a prosecutor’s job.

The contradictions and double standards didn’t stop there, though.

In fact, DOJ guidelines expressly prohibit the actions of both Comey and Mueller in naming and shaming individuals who were never formally charged with any wrongdoing.

Nationwide bar rules governing all practicing attorneys in the United States also explicitly prohibit Mueller’s display during Wednesday’s press conference.

Funny how no one wants to look into that report that Omar married her brother… Monica Showalter – “You’d think they’d be all over this like tabloid papparazzi.” Echoing Johnson et al at Powerline. Yes, the mainstream propaganda machine is complicit in this whole family of scandals.

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Lies that will not die

SSCI Vice-Chairman Mark Warner Tells Intelligence Community to Defy Barr and Democrats Will Protect Them… sundance – “All of the same deep state actors/manipulators keep surfacing and resurfacing, like a game of whac-a-mole, as sunlight gets closer to revealing their corrupt behavior.” If you seek collusion, start here. If you want cover-up, start here.

The “Secret Research Project” – an IRS List, an NSA Database, and Resulting “Files” on Americans… sundance – “A carefully redacted footnote within a report by FISA Court Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer has always appeared to be a clue to a domestic surveillance program. Now details behind the redactions tell a concerning story.”

“A brief refresher is needed for those new to the story. In April 2017 Judge Collyer wrote a highly critical FISA Court opinion following discoveries by Director Admiral Rogers of government contractors accessing the NSA database, and extracting illegal search results from the electronic records of every American.

The scale of abuse was incredible [SEE HERE] and the surveillance issues had been covered up for years. Collyer cited the Obama administration as having “an institutional lack of candor” in their responses to her and the FISA court. The judge focused her criticism after a review of the period 2012 through April 2016.

Using the non-compliant admissions by NSA Director Mike Rogers and the results of the compliance audit, Judge Collyer used the period of November 2015 through April 2016 to gauge the scale of abuse at 85 percent.

Within the 99-page opinion from Judge Rosemary Collyer she noted none of this FISA-702 database abuse was accidental.

AG Barr Battles Intel Community And FBI. Illegal Surveillance Had Been Going On For Years. Sara Carter – “Despite the president’s order giving Barr authority over the declassification of the documents related to the bureau’s investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia, it won’t be met without a fight. And there’s a reason why.

“This isn’t just about Trump. It’s about nearly a decade of abuse inside the intelligence community and bureau regarding foreign-intelligence-collection authority. Why? Because it was carried out to monitor communications of Americans inside the United States and the procedures meant to protect Americans either swept up in those calls or targeted were not followed. The Fourth Amendment was under attack and abused for political purposes, say several retired intelligence sources.

“If the full extent of the abuse is made public the powers granted these agencies powers could be scaled back and those who allegedly abused their power could face prosecution,” one former senior intelligence official told SaraACarter.com.

Barr will have numerous battles to get to the truth of what occurred but it is a war worth fighting. It is a fight for accountability, oversight and constitutional protections that were endowed by our founding fathers.

The Rise of Junk Science – Fake publications are corrupting the world of research—and influencing real news. Alex Gillis – “These companies have become so successful, Franco says, that for the first time in history, scientists and scholars worldwide are publishing more fraudulent and flawed studies than legitimate research

“otherwise honest scholars cut corners and engage in junk publishing to further their careers without paying mind to the detrimental and sometimes dangerous effects on their fields of research.

That dark age may already be here. Increasingly, journalists, politicians, and the general public are—sometimes inadvertently, sometimes not—relying on fraudulent and flawed research to guide major decisions.

In a sense, the new open-access model offered a licence to print money—and studies—for unscrupulous entrepreneurs.

the junk industry is successful only because some academics are willing to participate. It’s hard to know how many are doing it out of ambition and how many, especially less experienced scholars, have simply been duped.

Revealing the corruption of junk, mediocre, and real publishers created a great deal of stress for Beall. His own university launched a misconduct case against him in early 2017, after an angry publisher complained that he’d fabricated information about it

The biggest challenge for universities is to find a way to differentiate between junk research and real work.

Canada’s big granting agencies could also do their part, some academics say.

Franco is happy that the worst has disappeared from his department. But he says that many of his colleagues across Canada still include mediocre journals on their CVs and evaluations—because some scholars still work in the grey zone between junk and real science, between ambition and integrity. “I’m sixty-five and happy to be getting old,” he says, “because this is the worst time in history to enter the world of science.” Franco’s department may have made improvements for now, but around the world, junk studies are increasingly drowning out real research—not the other way around. He is grateful for the courageous work of colleagues such as Lee, Pyne, Beall, Hanley, and Hawkes who are trying to change that reality. “There’s a nobility in generating knowledge to advance the world.” He hopes that more academics feel the same way.

The Lie That Will Not Die and the Truth about Black Mass Shooters. Colin Flaherty – “The lie that will not die: Most mass shooters are white.”

“At least one legacy media outfit figured out, however painful it was to report (and bury in the middle of the jump), that three quarters of mass shooters are black. That was the New York Times.

You read that right: mass shootings are a black thing. And we find them almost every day. Often more than one. In Philadelphia alone, they report one every eleven days.

Clarence Thomas Speaks the Truth for SCOTUS on Abortion. Mario Diaz – “Enshrining a constitutional right to an abortion based solely on the race, sex, or disability of an unborn child, as Planned Parenthood advocates, would constitutionalize the views of the 20th-century eugenics movement,”

“The case dealt with an Indiana law that contained two provisions. The first dealt with the “disposition of fetal remains by abortion providers,” and the second barred “sex-, race-, or disability-selective abortions by abortion providers.” In a Per Curiam opinion (meaning it comes from the Court as a whole and not signed by any particular justice) the Court granted cert. on the first question and reversed the lower-court ruling that had invalidated the law. But it denied hearing on the second question, leaving in place the lower court’s ruling that invalidated it.

It is against this putrid backdrop that this Indiana law stepped in to humbly uphold the value of every human life. It was promptly challenged by none other than Planned Parenthood.

To their shame, the District Court and the Seventh Circuit went right along with “Big Abortion” without any precedent compelling them to do so, whatever legal, mental gymnastics they tried to do to justify their unjust rulings.

The lie that will not die.

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Just what is being covered up and by whom?

Pelosi’s ‘Cover-Up’ Ploy: A Strategy in Seven Letters. Bob Maistros – “when the Speaker uses a word, you’d think it is with careful consideration and strategic forethought. And you would be right.” This opinion borders on the hagiography and fails in honesty. It is all about “the crafty veteran” and her skills.

“Will the Speaker’s shrewd strategy in two syllables work? Much depends on the President’s response. Usually, his smash-mouth counterpunching leaves opponents wondering what hit them. But Ms. Pelosi once again slipped his errant blows to win another round: Trump’s storming out of their scheduled meeting on infrastructure both made him look puerile and petulant and deprived him of his only issue where he could make headway with a Democratic House.

This “puerile and petulant” opinion flies in the face of what anyone can see if they look. Trump took it head on in a presser to point out just how off base this ‘stormed out of the meeting’ perception really was. Whether Pelosi will once again skip his errant blows remains to be seen. Trump’s record doesn’t fit this perception of errant blows, either. Pelosi’s record to date has not been good and the latest Trump label carries its usual grain of truth – it is indeed crazy to claim cover-up when there has been unprecedented transparency. These discrepancies lead to a conclusion that Maistros is more of a deluded political hack than a source of worthy opinion. i.e. he is more on the problem side than the solution side. For comparison and contrast, see Why Pelosi understands the impeachment question better than her new “superstar” colleagues by Jazz Shaw – “over the course of the evening, a discussion on education policy stayed on track and the President was barely an afterthought.

Joe DiGenova blows the lid off the real scandal: the Russia hoax was a cover-up effort for Obama’s political spying since 2012. Thomas Lifson – “we are on the verge of getting to the bottom of the weaponization of the nation’s top law enforcement and spy agencies to spy on political opponents, and it is far bigger than obtaining bogus FISA Court warrants to spy on Carter Page.

“There is little doubt the FISA-702(16)(17) database system was used by Obama-era officials, from 2012 through April 2016, as a way to spy on their political opposition. Quite simply there is no other intellectually honest explanation for the scale and volume of database abuse that was taking place. (snip)

Everything after March 9th, 2016, was done to cover up the weaponization of the FISA database.

Political spying 1.0 was actually the weaponization of the IRS. This is where the term “Secret Research Project” originated as a description from the Obama team.

Just what is being covered up and by whom?

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Something was very very wrong, and I didn’t know what it was, but I could feel it all around me

Robert Mueller: Dishonest, deceptive and diabolical. Patricia McCarthy – “Once all the facts are revealed, it is likely that he will be permanently tainted by his deceptive machinations for personal or political reasons many times over the course of his career in law. The same goes for James Comey.”

“It will be interesting to see if any of the plotters has a sense of decency and expresses profound regret for his part in this obscene project. On this Memorial Day weekend, it would be wise for them to remember how this nation survived as long as it has. We owe our safety and security to the untold thousands of great men and women who have died to protect and preserve it. These scoundrels, Mueller, Comey, Brennan, Clapper, and the rest of them, have dishonored their service and sacrifice.

Declassification and Cognitive Dissonance in the Media. David Catron – “How the media stopped worrying and learned to love the CIA.”

“The Times has executed a particularly dizzying pirouette. The editors of the newspaper that published the Pentagon Papers — and countless subsequent stories containing illegally leaked government secrets — have evidently had a road to Damascus experience with regard to the necessity of protecting classified information. In an article titled, “Potential Clash Over Secrets Looms Between Justice Dept. and C.I.A,” Julian E. Barnes and David E. Sanger admit that “the ultimate power to declassify documents rests with the president.” Yet they worry that Trump’s order will (heaven forefend) render the CIA impotent in bureaucratic territorial disputes

At the Washington Post, meanwhile, Jeff Bezos’ team of seasoned editors and crack reporters has apparently concluded that democracy thrives in darkness.

Consequently, the media must report the “news” in a way that requires them to claim two contradictory “facts” are both true: The President and AG Barr are engaged in a cover-up but are also involved in a nefarious plot to declassify and release as much information as possible.

As Barr mulls declassification, a familiar tune from critics. Byron York – “Many others echoed Brennan’s and Schiff’s and Holder’s sentiments. The problem is, they were wrong then, and they are likely wrong again now.

“Indeed, after the release of the Nunes memo, there was little discussion of any specific damage it had done to U.S. national security.

Now, there is another fight about declassification. Nunes himself has heard this all before. “Every time we have tried to get information on the Russia hoax, the Left as well as the media and their leakers claimed it would devastate national security,” Nunes said in a text exchange. “Now we hear the same argument from the same reporters, leakers, and leftists, even though all their previous doomsday warnings proved false. These people simply use national security as a false justification to hide information that would reveal their abuses.”

Nunes summed up with one more line: “Democracy dies in darkness.”

Now, if anything might endanger such a source, it would be exposure in the New York Times. But the story showed that the intelligence world will push back hard against this new effort to investigate its record. The fight could be messy. But Barr, like Devin Nunes, has heard such threats before. It’s time to find out what the CIA, FBI, and other agencies did in those difficult days of the 2016 campaign.

Tears of the Times. Scott Johnson – “Barnes and Sanger somehow overlooked the many cases in which the Times itself stripped the CIA of “its most critical power,” and did so without the color of law.

One doesn’t have to call up the ancient history of the Times’s unauthorized disclosure of the highly classified anti-terror programs I discussed in the 2006 Weekly Standard column “Exposure” or in related Power Line posts such as “When Bush begged the Times.” More recently, with a little help from “current and former intelligence officials,” the Times’s Matthew Rosenberg and Adam Goldman called out Michael D’Andrea, the CIA officer newly appointed to run the agency’s Iran operations.

One begins to suspect that the tears of Barnes and Sanger over the stripping of the CIA’s “most critical power” by the president are of the variety known as crocodile. For a definitive takedown of the Times on this score, see Eric Felten’s Weekly Standard column “Why Is the NYT Suddenly Opposed to Declassifying the FISA Docs?” Barnes and Sanger’s current story gives us another example of history repeating itself.

Did It Start With Israel? John Hinderaker – “This is really extraordinary. Power was not an intelligence official, she was the U.N. Ambassador. Why was she unmasking anyone, let alone making hundreds of such requests? And why would she keep up this feverish pace right up to the moment she departed the White House?”

“The context was U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334, which stated that Israel’s settlements on the West Bank are a “flagrant violation” of international law with “no legal validity.” The incoming Trump administration was urging the Obama administration to veto the resolution. In addition, at appears that members of Trump’s team were lobbying allies to defer the vote, or to vote against the resolution. It sounds as though the Obama administration was lobbying allies in the other direction, trying to undermine the policy of the new administration, although this isn’t entirely clear.

These reports raise several obvious questions. First, why were Obama administration officials so concerned with the U.N. vote as to unmask communications of U.S. citizens on 300 occasions? The Obama administration didn’t come out in favor of the resolution, and it abstained when the resolution came up for a vote. So why would it be so concerned about the possibility that incoming Trump officials might convince allies to defer the vote, or block it altogether?

I can’t think of any reason other than the obsessive hatred of Israel that is so common on the Left. But it is bizarre, in my view, for lame duck Obama minions to carry out a vendetta against Israel, one that apparently was given high priority, through their last days in power. Maybe I am missing something here, but I can’t think what it could be.

I don’t begin to understand how these pieces fit together. We can only hope that as Attorney General Barr pursues his investigation, the true story will come out.

Liberal media attack Constitution and democratic institutions. Dan Gainor – “The people who most want to undermine the United States are on the left – and the liberal news media are helping them. Liberals are attacking our Constitution, Supreme Court, bicameral legislature and our very electoral system.

“It’s understandable that both political parties try to work government to their advantage. This is different. It’s a concerted effort to manipulate key parts of our government so the left wins. It’s not just a few statues drawing protests, or Democratic candidates bashing Thomas Jefferson. The entire American experiment is at risk.

These threats aren’t theoretical. Many are being openly discussed by Democratic presidential candidates and pushed by the liberal media. They are part of a winner-take-all attitude to democracy. Americans better wake up to the real threats to our republic before it is too late.

Massive Victory for Conservative Nationalists in European Elections… sundance – “Polls are all closed. Election results are beginning to come in fast. The overall result in the European (EU) Parliamentary Election reflects massive gains for conservative nationalists in Italy, Greece, France, Poland, Hungary, Austria, U.K. and others…”

“Brussels consensus” suffers setback in EU elections. Paul Mirengoff – “Together, the center-right and center-left parties look like controlling about 43 percent of the parliamentary seats. That’s down considerably from their current share of 53 percent.

“As I argued here, because the European Parliament has been a “sign off” body — one in which the center-right and center-left parties consent to pretty much whatever the EU leaders and their bureaucrats want — the big question in this election wasn’t how the the center-right and the center-left parties would fare in competition between the two. Rather, the big question was whether the center-right and center-left parties would, together, win enough seats to keep signing off on the EU agenda — “the Brussels consensus” as it is called.

They did not. To keep rubber stamping the Brussels consensus, the big center-right and center-left parties will need help.

How marijuana legalization affected the outlaw growers of Humboldt County. neo – “At the age of nineteen he already knew a lot of dead people, and this was a long long long time ago.

“Something was very very wrong, and I didn’t know what it was, but I could feel it all around me. It wasn’t simply the economy; the town was located in proximity to a factory that was still bustling at the time and employed a lot of local people. No, it was something more difficult to define: a general aimlessness, a cultural anomie that even I, as a visitor, could sense.

Let’s Call the Russian Collusion ‘Hoax’ What it Really Is. Roger Kimball – “George Orwell made a kindred observation about the importance of having the courage to call things by their real names. Euphemism, the counterfeit of good manners, is the enemy of truth, which is the only ally worth having.

“I myself have deployed the term “hoax” to describe what happened to Donald Trump and his colleagues—and to the American people—during and after the 2016 presidential campaign. But a couple of friends have pointed out how inadequate the term “hoax” is for what just happened and—to at least some extent—is still happening in the machinery of our government.

But thinking about it, I conclude that the term “hoax” is wholly inadequate to describe the enormity of the political scandal that was perpetrated against Donald Trump, against the office of the president, and ultimately against the American people.

One of the remarkable things about this story is how many people it has involved and how long it has taken to get a full headcount of the anti-Trump team.

Barr’s arrival on the scene has made me rethink my resignation. But whatever happens to those individuals, it now seems clear that Barr’s investigation will reveal for all to see that what began in 2016 or even 2015 and continued until and beyond the day that Robert Mueller deposited his nearly 500-page report clearing the president of “collusion” was not a hoax at all. It was an attempted coup.

We should face up to that unpleasant fact and call things by their real names. The actions taken by the Obama Administration threatened not just Donald Trump and his presidency but the very processes and protocols by which the peaceful transition of power has been effected in the United States. As L.J. Keith observed, “Even in the most contentious elections and after disputed results, there was never been this sort of dangerous, systematic, deliberate rejection of the will of the people. The abrogation of the constitution to use extrajudicial methods to destroy the incoming president. It is the very definition of a coup.”

Something was very very wrong, and I didn’t know what it was, but I could feel it all around me” — maybe we will find out what is ‘very very wrong’ to be able to do something about it.

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an empty place at the table

Why Liberals Hate Chick-Fil-A. John Hinderaker – “the first thing we saw was an empty table that was set up to honor fallen military personnel over the Memorial Day weekend. There was a red rose, a folded flag, an inverted glass and an open Bible, along with text explaining the elements of the display.

“Chick-fil-A is unabashedly pro-American. I suspect that is the real reason for the animus that so many liberals bear against the company. …

… liberals are usually anti-American. They have been taught a twisted, Zinnified version of American history, and they have internalized a Chomskyite view of the world in which all evils are traceable to American misdeeds. Liberals tend to be angry, unhappy people, and it is convenient for them to blame their problems on their country’s supposed failings. Organizations like Chick-fil-A that are pro-America, pro-religion (Chick-fil-A restaurants are closed on Sunday), and culturally upbeat are anathema.

Science’s Untold Scandal: The Lockstep March of Professional Societies to Promote the Climate Change Scare. Tom Harris, Dr. Jay Lehr – “When we started our careers, it was considered an honor to be a member of professional societies that helped practitioners keep up with the latest developments in their fields through relevant meetings and publications.

“But things are different now. Whether it be chemistry, physics, geology or engineering, many of the world’s primary professional societies have changed from being paragons of technical virtue to opportunistic groups focused on maximizing their members’ financial gains in support of the climate scare, the world’s greatest science fraud. …

Dr. Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, wrote in 1994 that radical greens had taken over the organization after the fall of the Berlin Wall, leaving him no choice but to resign. The takeover of environmental institutions by extremists is now almost complete, the most important of which may be the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). President Donald Trump is aggressively trying to win back the EPA in the best interests of the nation, but it is an uphill battle as the climate cult has also taken control of academia, political parties, and governments themselves.

The lockstep march of professional societies in support of climate alarmism has been going on for years.

All of this seriously damages the image of these once-respected professional societies in the eyes of both the public and the membership.

The climate cult that has taken over the environmental movement has never been about the environment. It has always been a mechanism to advance socialism, grow government, reduce individual rights, reduce human population, and ignore the human suffering and environmental damage their policies cause.

Truth, reason, and logic are the first values sacrificed along the way. Professional Societies must stop supporting it.

Truth, reason, and logic … an empty place at the table.

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Tribal protection in the deep state

There is no middle ground for deep disagreements about facts. Klemens Kappel – “We are used to the idea that respectfully accommodating the views of fellow citizens, whose intelligence and sincerity is not in doubt, requires some degree of moderation on our part. We cannot, it seems, both fully respect others, regard them as intelligent and sincere, and still be fully convinced that we are right and they are completely wrong, unless we simply agree to disagree. But on a societal level we cannot do that, since ultimately some decision must be made.” A professor in the department of media cognition and communication at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark uses homeopathic medicine and climate change to argue his point. The choice of examples destroys his argument. The professor plays games with the meanings of words such as facts and evidence and makes up new ones, such as “deep disagreements” to salve his dissonance. He describes a problem and illustrates in his own essay why it is so pernicious. Old values of scholarship about maintaining intellectual integrity do not appear.

NPR’s guidelines on talking about abortion are really… something. Jazz Shaw – “have you ever noticed that the language being used in news articles seems to have a decidedly pro-abortion slant to it? It’s not just your imagination and this isn’t happening by accident.

“You’ve probably noticed it already, but it’s not just a series of choices made by individual liberal reporters. It’s right in the style guides. Terminology commonly used by “opponents” (pro-life people are referred to as “opponents” in all of these documents) is not allowed. The standards are in place to speak of pro-abortion activists favorably.

Obama Appointees in the Communist Orbit. Karin McQuillan – “Joking about support for Communism is not all that funny in the Obama administration.

“Obama choose Communists and Marxists for the highest, most powerful positions in our land, including his closest political advisors, and his head of the CIA. These facts are not in dispute. Most are openly admitted by the people in question, as necessary damage control. Our press chooses not to report them.
Is it any surprise that collusion with Russia, according to Victor David Hanson, was a eature of the Obama presidency?

The Obama administration colluded with Rusian agents who produced the Steele Dossier. It was paid for by Clinton, but it was Obama’s minions at the FBI, CIA and White House who weaponized this soviet disinformation against President Trump.

We are all victims of the Obama cabal’s collusion with Russia – President Trump’s voters and all Americans who believe in our free and fair election process.

How is this not colluding with America’s enemies? David Harsanyi – “Imagine, for a moment, what the political reaction would be if a leading Republican senator met with an antagonistic foreign power, say Russia, in the midst of high-tension standoff between President Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin?

“Such a scenario seems nearly ­inconceivable. Yet, it’s exactly the situation Sen. Dianne Feinstein created when hosting Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif for dinner a few weeks ago.

Feinstein isn’t merely just any senator, either. She is one of the leading proponents of reinstituting the Obama administration’s failed Iran deal.

Though Democrats have yet to come to terms with the harsh reality of a President Trump, negotiating deals with foreign powers is his jurisdiction. And, though the Obama administration regularly circumvented this process, the Senate’s job is ratify or reject those deals.

So while it’s one thing to debate the merits of foreign policy domestically — not only acceptable but essential in matters of potential conflict — it’s quite another for an opposition senator to shadow negotiate with a foreign minister who recently “warned” the United States on CNN and demanded our “respect.”

The Deep State Just Killed Space Force—and Endangered Us All. Brandon J. Weichert – “The congressman is a war hero. His service is unimpeachable and I maintain a deep respect for his commitment to our country. Yet his responses to my questions were flippant, painfully uninformed, and dangerously rooted in a reflexive NeverTrumpism that is unworthy of the man.

“Tragically, a group of powerful interests have aligned in Washington to prevent the creation of a sixth branch of the United States Armed Forces. Those interests are roughly comprised of the usual suspects behind all of the stymying of Trump’s policies since his historic election three years ago: the permanent bipartisan fusion party.

Ironically, this same group has, in the past, supported calls for the creation of a space force. Yet, because the dreaded Donald Trump has urged the creation of such a force; because “orange man bad!” is the battle cry in Washington today, the space force is being squelched by a bipartisan “Resistance” coalition in Congress.

The “Deep State” not only threatens the president with a #FakeNews story of Russia “collusion.” They are now seriously undermining American national security all in the name of “resisting” the dreaded “Orange Man” president. Sad!

Will The Media Ever Pay A Price For Its Irresponsibility? Steven Hayward – “because he was saying what the media wanted to hear (Trump is a horrible human being), the media were willing overlook all of the slime this reptile was leaving in media green rooms and on TV sets.

CJR: Obama admin surveillance of reporters “broader than previously known” Ed Morrissey – “For a look at what a realwar on journalism looks like, however, we can turn to an earlier report today from the Columbia Journalism Review and its analysis of actions taken by the Obama administration seven years ago.

“What wasn’t known until now was the astounding breadth of that effort … new report obtained by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and the Freedom of the Press Foundation

The report comes from the Office of Professional Responsibility, and consists of fifty-two pages that recount the DoJ’s leak probe, a four-page appendix, and a one-page cover letter that stretches into two pages with signatures. Both the report and the cover letter note that OPR “prepared its report relying on only unclassified documents or unclassified portions of classified documents,” but even a cursory scan shows significant redactions throughout. About half of the cover letter itself is redacted, and even a quarter of the Subject line is blacked out.

You have to see this juxtaposition to grasp the absurdity. On page three, the authors redact even the purpose of the investigation, then note that they didn’t use any classified information:

If we are going to criticize attacks on journalism, then let’s be clear on the identities of the most malevolent actors in that war. And let’s also be clear on which DoJ took redaction responsibilities seriously and which abused that power to hide its own wrongdoing.

Americans Are in Desperate Need of a Lesson on the History of Slavery. William Sullivan – “As Pete Buttigieg tries to erase Thomas Jefferson from history, liberals show how much they need to learn about how the Founders viewed slavery.

“In other words, these prominent men having turned against an institution that had been normal throughout human history was an expression of a revolutionary idea. To imagine that the idea that slavery is morally wrong would be embraced by everyone overnight, in such a world, is nothing short of childish fantasy.

The Founders knew that such change would require not only time, but a practical argument against the institution as well. Moreover, it would require proof that slavery is harmful.

Perhaps, rather than focusing on the fact that some Founders owned slaves, we would do better to remember their uniqueness in morally opposing slavery in their time and for having presented the economic formula through which it was expunged from American society forever.

Slavery and socialism, in other words, could be considered synonymous. Liberty is something else entirely. Our Founders should be continually celebrated for having recognized that there’s a difference between the two things and for advocating liberty over slavery.

American Suicide: A Permanent Solution to a Temporary Trump Problem. Steven Kessler – “Blowing up the Electoral College will have consequences the Left refuses to foresee.

“The problem with these moves is that they are a permanent solution to the Left’s temporary Trump problem. While these legislative acts are understood in the present as an effort to beat Trump in the next election, the authors of these bills fail to understand that the move may have long-term consequences that could come back to hurt them. As Edmund Burke once said, “Wise men will apply their remedies to vices, not to names; to the causes of evil which are permanent, not to the occasional organs by which they act, and the transitory modes in which they appear” (2).

Long-term legislation designed to fight a temporary issue that has no long-term possibilities is a mistake.

Uh oh: Does second ruling signify open season on Trump financial records? Ed Morrissey – “The long term consequence of this will be that no outsider will run for president ever again. And it’s not outside of the realm of possibility that this very outcome is at least a small part of the motivation driving this circus.

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There is no line that cannot be crossed

No, Nancy. It’s the Dems Who Are Engaged in a ‘Cover-Up’. Roger L. Simon – “The Democrats are like a beehive that has lost their queen — only, in this case, the queen is not Nancy Pelosi, but Barack Obama.

“Was it Machiavelli who said: When they accuse you of something, they’re the ones who are doing it? No, it wasn’t, not exactly anyway. But no question the brilliant Florentine saw that happening on a daily basis, as we do.

At this moment, since we know there was no Russia collusion, the big “cover-up” is the provenance of the Mueller investigation itself. And some of that, at least, is about to be revealed, as the Democrats are no doubt aware.

Trump called this investigation a “witch hunt,” but that appears to have been an understatement. It was a “treasonous coup plot” — unprecedented in American history — with many of the secret conspirators beginning to be known to those interested (Stefan Halper, Joseph Mifsud, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec).

New York State To Let Congress See Trump’s State Tax Returns. Jennie Taer – “New York State lawmakers on Wednesday gave their final approval to legislation that would allow Congress to obtain President Trump’s state tax returns.” There is something very wrong here. Laws are for all, not just one. 

New York Legislators Approve Double Jeopardy for Trump Cronies to Protect ‘the Rule of Law’. Jacob Sullum – “The bill allows dual prosecutions of people in the president’s orbit who receive pardons or commutations.”

“The low-minded rationale for Kaminsky’s bill is that Democrats who detest Trump want to take advantage of any weapon they can find to hurt him and people associated with him, especially since impeachment seems to be off the table. But in their eagerness to attack their political opponents, the Democrats who control New York’s legislature are compromising an important principle of justice.

Obama Judge: Congress Can Subpoena Trump’s Personal Finances. Ken Klukowski – “House Democrats argued that they wanted these records merely to inform their decision on whether to strengthen federal ethics and disclosure laws

“House Democrats are pursuing members of the president’s family and private family-owned businesses, demanding banking records and financial statements. As part of this partisan attack strategy, two committees in the U.S. House of Representatives controlled by Democrats – the Financial Services Committee and the Select Committee on Intelligence – issued subpoenas to Deutsche Bank and Capitol One Bank for at least ten years of records involving President Trump’s children, the children’s spouses, and various family businesses including the Trump Organization.

AG Barr: Nationwide injunctions violate separation of powers and make district court judges far too powerful. John Sexton – “Barr went on to say that he wasn’t interested in arguing about specific policies. He wanted instead to argue that the use of such nationwide injunctions violated the separation of powers courts have traditionally observed:” … “Secondly, Barr argued that nationwide injunctions effectively made district court judges more powerful than even the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, which was never the intent:

Democratic congresswoman accuses DHS Secretary of intentionally killing kids crossing the border. John Sexton – “Freshman congresswoman Lauren Underwood crossed a line today during a hearing where acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan was testifying about the crisis on the southern border.” Last week, the word spy was subject to ‘interpretation’ and this week it’s murder.

Word by Word, SJW’s Are Changing America. Philip Carl Salzman – “Old illiberal bigotries, in which women and people of color were demeaned, have not been removed, they have simply been flipped and applied to men and white people, demeaning and vilifying them as women and people of color were demeaned previously. Is the new bigotry more righteous than the old?

“Among common strategies for transforming society are elections, legislation, armed rebellion, terrorism, and undermining the culture. It is this latter strategy that special interest groups—feminists, racial minorities, and LGBT minorities—have pursued, in the hope of influencing public opinion and generating legislation in their favor. This stealth transformation of culture has involved redefining words and concepts to advance the special interests of these activists. Through disingenuous semantic manipulation, these special interests have succeeded in pushing the aside basic human rights and civil liberties of the majority and unfavored minorities.

Trump’s Rose Garden Presser. Scott Johnson – “As he reviewed his cooperation with the Mueller Switch Project, Trump bluntly stated: “Actually the crime was committed on the other side.” He got that right.” … and many other things, too.

Restoring the lost consensus. From Roger Kimball’s acceptance remarks at the Bradley Prize ceremony. “Looking around the cultural landscape today, I conclude that we are in the midst of a sort of negative religious revival: let’s call it America’s First Great Awokening.

“Consider, to take just one example, the fate of our colleges and universities. Once upon a time, and it was not so long ago, they were institutions dedicated to the pursuit of truth and the transmission of the highest values of our civilization. Today, most are dedicated to the repudiation of truth and the subversion of those values. In short, they are laboratories for the cultivation of wokeness. …

There are two central tenets of the woke philosophy. The first is feigned fragility. The second is angry intolerance. The union of fragility and intolerance has given us that curious and malevolent hybrid, the crybully, a delicate yet venomous species that thrives chiefly in lush, pampered environments.

The fact that the Left celebrated free speech in 1964 and now abominates it as a token of white supremacist ideology suggests the issue is not really, or not only, free speech.

Kendall points out that all societies are founded on a “consensus,” what he calls “a hard core of shared beliefs.” This is especially true, he notes, for the United States, whose founding principles are of recent vintage and are clearly and deliberately set forth.

Conservatives have rightly lamented the assault on free speech that is such a conspicuous and disfiguring reality of life in America today. But that loss only achieves its true significance in the context of a more fundamental erosion: the erosion of that shared political consensus, that community of sentiment, which gives life to the first-person plural, that “We, the People,” which made us who we are. Should we lose that, we shall have lost everything.

Federal Rats Are Fleeing the Sinking Collusion Ship. Victor Davis Hanson – “The entire Trump-Russia collusion narrative was always implausible.

“No wonder that special counsel Robert Mueller’s partisan team spent 22 months and $34 million only to conclude the obvious: that Trump did not collude with Russia.

Mueller’s failure to find collusion prompts an important question. If the Steele dossier—the basis for unfounded charges that Trump colluded with Russia—was fraudulent, then how and why did the Clinton campaign, hand in glove with top Obama administration officials, use such silly trash and smears to unleash the powers of government against Trump’s campaign, transition team and early presidency?

The question is not an idle one.

Democrats Are Painted Into a Corner. Conrad Black – “The turn of the tables has been exquisite and complete. The idea that anyone ever nominated by a serious American political party would collude with a foreign power to rig a presidential election is insane.

“But in their desperation and denial after the unimaginable victory of someone pledged to clean out the entire political class that has ruled America since the Reagan years, the Democrats paid $10 million for a false dossier on Mr. Trump, corrupted and politicized the intelligence services and the FBI, set up an echo chamber of self-verification with the national media Trump had already reviled as dishonest, and provoked the creation of a special counsel to look into Trump–Russian collusion.

Mr. Mueller did his best, with a character assassination of the president from selected Star Chamber testimony of no legal relevance and an attempt to pull the pin on a damp grenade by citing a series of legally innocuous facts and declaring an inability to exonerate for obstruction, though collusion with Russia was hopeless.

Now, finally, comes a president armed with a decisive legal and political advantage who is happy to meet his accusers and massacre them if they charge.

The Democrats have painted themselves into a corner. They must put up or shut up, impeach or back down. The president has called their bluff and the game is about to end, either an embarrassing defeat for the Democrats or political annihilation.

One way or the other, the papier-mâché Damoclean sword of impeachment will disintegrate just as the prominent Democrats who grievously abused their offices in trying to destroy Trump get ready for their own trials. Both sides come to bat in this legal game, and the Democrats have struck out.

Will the Spygate perpetrators ever be held accountable? neo – “I used to think I was rather cynical. And I was. But in recent years I’ve become more so. I’ve seen people get away with much more than I had thought they’d be able to get away with (Lois Lerner, call your office). And what’s more, I’ve seen more of my friends wink at it because it suits their political ends.

“Ah, but although Maddow’s rating have fallen, there is a substantial core still feeding on that sort of rhetoric and don’t find it empty at all. They have come to require it. They have become convinced it’s true, have been waiting for years for the big payoff, and cannot abandon it now because a mind is a difficult thing to change. Trump’s guilt is a given, and the people who tried to get him are heroes whatever method they used to accomplish it.

The NIPCC reports are actually amazing. Luboš Motl – “the left-wing media establishment – in some loose alliance with the governments – was capable of promoting the IPCC reports as if they were the Holy Scriptures while the NIPCC reports remained almost completely hidden from the world public.

Marc Morano has a number of stories about the Congressional hearings on the UN Species Climate Report at the Climate Depot for 22 May.

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A blind eye

Nevada passes National Popular Vote bill in bid to upend Electoral College. Valerie Richardson – “Assembly Bill 186 headed to Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak” … becoming just another California province without a voice of its own. The mob will rule!

“If signed as expected by Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak, Nevada would become the 16th jurisdiction to join the compact, along with 14 states and the District of Columbia. The compact would take effect after states totaling 270 electoral votes, and with Nevada, the total would reach 195.

While the effort has been billed by organizers as bipartisan, Democrats have embraced the NPV in the aftermath of President Trump’s 2016 victory, which saw the Republican win the electoral vote but not the popular vote.

Leftist groups like Common Cause, Indivisible and Public Citizen cheered the Nevada vote.

Transformative Technology Needed? John Hinderaker – “The idea that batteries will somehow make intermittent energy sources like wind and solar reliable is fanciful.

Rejecting Wind and Solar: Deep Green Resistance (Part II) rbradley – “Today’s post shares the DGR’s views on renewables, which this group correctly sees as invasive to the natural world.

“Washington-DC environmentalists pretend that their favored renewables are clear ecological winners compared to natural gas, coal, and oil. Wind and solar power are not, for reasons given by the Deep Green Resistance. Still, the DGR is a fringe, violent, deep-ecology outfit that must be watched closely. They are not so much anti-energy as anti-human life.

Millions Died Thanks to the Mother of Environmentalism. Paul A. Offit – “Carson made a critical mistake and a lot of people died as a result.”

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Accuse doesn’t need reality

A federal judge’s ‘tell’ in his order forcing Trump to turn over financial records to House committee. Thomas Lifson – “In effect, Judge Mehta has made himself the Supreme Court of the United States as far as litigant Donald Trump is concerned.

“A stay of a ruling with irreversible consequences is standard operating procedure. In this case, once the records would be turned over before the appeals process could play out, any appeals reversal would be moot, since the records, once disclosed, cannot be made private and confidential once again. …

This is a “tell” – an unintentional indication that the judge is biased and willing to deny the right to appeal his decision in order to advance the political agenda of the House Democratic Caucus, as expressed through Representative Cummings’s committee’s subpoena.

I expect an immediate appeal of the order to the DC Court of Appeals requesting an immediate stay while the appeals process plays out.

One mystery in the Mueller report still needs solving. Greg Richards – “one of the questions we would have hoped to see answered in the report is, what, exactly, was the charge against President Trump; what, exactly, is he supposed to have done?”

“It is astonishing that the word used for his alleged activity has been, from start to finish, “collusion.”

“Collusion” is a characterization of a charge, not a description of one.

We can narrow things down because we know what did not happen and thus could not have been collusion with the Russians or anybody else.

Mueller cleared President Trump of all charges, but that still leaves his report a disappointment because we still don’t know what charges it is that Trump was cleared of!

But who cares. It’s the seriousness of the charge and nothing else matters.

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Greedy and uncaring versus hapless and powerless victims

What are the odds that the Durham investigation is for real and will bring the bad actors to justice? Thomas Lifson – “But we must concede that there are plenty of reasons to worry that that the biggest political scandal in American history – the political weaponization of both the federal intelligence and law enforcement communities to spy on political opponents of the sitting president and remove a duly elected president from office – would be swept under the rug.

Even the NY Times finds bankrupt taxi drivers shouldn’t be blaming Uber. Jazz Shaw – “So who was it that buried the cab drivers financially? Uber and Lyft, the credit unions, or the municipal government that constructed this rolling scheme in the first place?

Is Dentistry Science Based? Grant Ritchey – “As for me, I feel that it was a bit heavy handed and focused too much on the evil doings of one derelict unethical dentist who did horrible things” … “This accusation paints all dentists as greedy and uncaring, who only want to do expensive treatment on their hapless, powerless victims.

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aggressive and somewhat sinister terms

Those pouncing, attacking, seizing, warring Republicans … neo – “It’s become obvious and commonplace: when Democrats do something for which they can be heartily criticized, instead of criticizing them the MSM attacks and pounces and seizes on the Republican reaction and characterizes it in aggressive and somewhat sinister terms such as the aforementioned attacking and pouncing and seizing, as well as warring.

EVs vs ICEs, NOx, critics of science as thought police, Ponzi scheme, Soph. Luboš Motl – “Those special attributes don’t seem to matter to the journalists anymore. Random angry activists and hecklers who are allies of the journalists are often made more visible.” It’s quite a long rant …

“The critics say it’s very important that they’re receiving supportive e-mail from other scientifically illiterate laymen and the journalist implicitly agrees with that. Meanwhile, Robbert is correctly pointing out that research works when it’s not constrained by a thought police. These witch hunts against physics are obviously just another part of the thought police that is gaining strength in our society – and theoretical physics is naturally another expected target of the far left movement, as something evil because it has been overwhelmingly built by the white males. People who don’t have the ability to do meaningful science are being happily hired by the fake news media as the inquisitors who are presented as equal to the top physicists.

This anti-meritocratic distortion of the life, Universe, and everything in the media affects all fields and all age groups.

Rashida Tlaib’s Latest: Not Anti-Semitic But Blatantly False. Paul Mirengoff – “David Harsanyi at The Federalist sets the record straight

“To call Tlaib’s account of what happened post-Holocaust “revisionist” doesn’t do it justice. It’s a bald-face lie.

Does Tlaib believe her account? That’s the most charitable interpretation — that she’s been brainwashed.

The alternative explanation is she’s flat out lying about what happened immediately after Hitler tried to wipe out the Jews. That’s no way to “celebrate,” um “remember,” the Holocaust.

Yet people believe.

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Propaganda and the reputation of Pravda

Journalism is Dead—Long Live the Media! Victor Davis Hanson –

“Fake news” is not just a Trump talking point or obsession. It is a factual account of what journalism has become—so often an arm of the progressive movement and an incestuous and inbred group of New York and Washington coastal elite mediocrities, or what former Obama official Ben Rhodes cynically wrote off as an “echo chamber” of greenhorn know-nothings.

WaPo: Trump launched “all-out war” with Congress … after 20+ “investigations”. Ed Morrissey – “Their lead seems a bit less contradictory but still lays all the blame at Trump’s feet

“I screencapped it in case the Post suddenly finds an answer to the chicken-egg question they raised. Unlike that purely philosophical argument, it’s possible in this instance to determine which one came first. Democrats have launched an unprecedented number of investigations into Donald Trump, and not just his actions in office but also his personal business and finances. There’s an all-out war going on, all right, but it wasn’t Trump that launched it. One might think that a Beltway editor would see the “more than 20 separate Democratic probes” part of the story and figure that much out.

As Paul Mirengoff explains at Power Line, a significant part of their story relies on spin, too. For instance, in two cases cited by the Post, the administration has been open to appearances before House committees, but under normal operating procedures.

Media and journalism no longer correlate.

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The big question. Stubborn ignorance.

Why Does Congress Keep Getting Global Warming Wrong? Brian McNicoll – “They get the same answers because they ask the same questions of the same people who provide the same responses regardless of the evidence.

“This is raw intimidation, a gotcha campaign against a successful company precisely because that company spent the money to do the research to determine to what extent global warming was a problem.

Oppenheimer talks about “the facts.” The facts are he is an attack dog whose insults are not backed by the research. He is defending people who predicted there would be no ice on the poles by now and that New York City would be under water by 2000 and Miami by 2015.

The question is how can someone who makes his living fearmongering about energy end up testifying before a congressional committee. And the answer is that no one in the majority wants the real answers either.

When Hostility to Russia Becomes Irrational. Ted Galen Carpenter – “Although Russia’s propaganda and other intrusive initiatives were more extensive than those of other countries, they were not dramatically different in kind. The United States certainly has engaged in similar surveillance

“Unfortunately, Swalwell is not the only prominent political figure to exaggerate Russia’s offenses and to argue that pursuing a constructive dialogue with the Putin government constitutes suspicious conduct bordering on treason.

Arguing that U.S. leaders should not even talk to their Russian counterparts is especially reckless.

Putin’s government is a corrupt, authoritarian regime, but no sensible person can argue that it is worse than the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin and his successors. Swalwell and like-minded individuals do a disservice both to America’s security and basic logic when they imply that even talking to Russia constitutes disloyalty.

Politics is front and center for Russiagate probe — and the farce has reached new heights. Andrew McCarthy – “meaning: Democrats put the AG to the untenable choice of violating the law or being held in contempt.

“Democratic legislators are not taking any legislative action (you know, their job) because they don’t really want the information. They want the issue. They are straining to create the appearance of Watergate, even as Barr has turned over an Everest of information.

But that is just a sideshow compared to the Mueller report itself. The bottom line is that the special counsel not only found no collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

It appears that the FBI’s investigation was opened on false pretenses:

It gets worse. The high likelihood is that, after taking over the investigation in May 2017, Mueller knew early on that there was no “collusion” case against the president.

Of course, that raises a big question: Why did Mueller allow the “collusion” investigation to continue for well over a year after it seemed obvious that there was no case?

Democrats turned up the noise and the heat on Attorney General Barr once he announced that he would investigate the origins of the Russiagate probe. Are they trying to destroy the messenger before he can deliver the message?

FOIA Documents Show Evidence of Weissmann/Mueller Entrapment Scheme… sundance – “Recently release FOIA documents into the special counsel team of Robert Mueller reveal the remarkable trail of a 2017 entrapment scheme conducted by Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann to target George Papadopoulos.”

“Taken in combination with hindsight of the search for the cash, and lack of a pre-existing warrant at the airport, this is clear evidence of a coordinated operation to entrap Papadopoulos.

Remember, the preferred approach toward targeting Paul Manafort, Mike Flynn and George Papadopoulos surrounded FARA (Foreign Agent Registration Act) lobbying violations. Papadopoulos has stated the special counsel threatened him with charges of acting as a unregistered agent for Israel. There’s a clear picture here.

Andrew Weissmann was conducting an entrapment scheme that would have ended up with three violations of law: (1) Treasury violation; (2) FARA violation; (3) Money laundering…. All it needed was Papadopoulos to carry the undeclared cash into the U.S. …

However, because Papadopoulos suspected something, and left the money in Greece with his lawyers, upon arrival at the airport the operation collapsed in reverse.

Rebellion is Bursting out All Over. Clarice Feldman – “let’s turn to the broader picture that explains in large part why so many officials were so determined to keep Donald Trump from the White House and to oust him once he won the election.”

“As Spygate proceeds to its certain conclusion — the trials of those who engaged in this scandalous coup attempt — we receive the details of the scheme only in dribs and drabs. Too many were involved and have too much to lose at this point by not revealing to the investigators their role in exchange for more lenient treatment, which is why I believe all will soon be revealed.

It’s not just Hungarian and U.S. voters that are moving away from the inept supranational controlling institutions and globalist worldview. Large number of Brits, Germans, and Italians are also having second thoughts about being ruled by unaccountable bureaucrats who eschew the very concept of nationalism.

Indeed, there’s a good argument to be made that devolving even more decision-making to local levels leads to both better decisions and an electorate better schooled at it than placing it in the hands of others whom they have little chance to influence or replace.

… Perhaps if those at the top of the international institutions had not proven so corrupt and incompetent, populist nationalism would not be gaining ground. On the other hand, if one considers people too weak and stupid to act in their own best interests, on what possible basis should we assume that elected and appointed officials, often far removed from ordinary life, are more capable than we voters of acting in our best interests, rather than their own?

Want to shock a college student? Tell him how much tuition cost in the ’60s. John J. Duncan, Jr. –  brings back memories for many Boomers.

“Telling students about my tuition has allowed me to then tell them a simple but important lesson that they have seemingly never been taught: that costs simply explode on anything the federal government subsidizes.

This is because most of the pressures or incentives to hold down costs that are constantly present in the private sector are not there when the federal government takes over.

Big government always ends up helping a few at the top while hurting or giving a few crumbs to everyone else. The federal student loan program has been great for college and university administrators and some tenured professors but harmful to a great many students and their families.

A few years ago, I read a column in the Washington Post that said college tuition had gone up four and a half times the rate of inflation since 1985. In other words, tuition would be 450% cheaper if we had simply left things alone.

Mark Cuban, one of the stars of Shark Tank, said a couple of years ago that if you want to make college really expensive, make it free.

Unfortunately, not many people really understand this.

The big question answer may be a bit tough to swallow, simple as it is.

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Glyphosate and state of mind

Glyphosate: How A Safe Chemical Is Being Maligned By Greedy Elites. Michael D. Shaw – “since glyphosate was introduced, all regulatory assessments have established that it poses low hazard potentials to mammals and does not show enough evidence to be considered carcinogenic

“But, there is the matter of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) ranking glyphosate a Group 2A carcinogen (probably carcinogenic to humans). Bear in mind that IARC also puts red meat consumption into Group 2A, while processed meat falls into Group 1 (carcinogenic to humans)-the same group containing cigarettes and mustard gas. Here is more detail on the IARC groups.

Notably, the findings of this single agency-which disagreed with essentially everyone else-spawned millions of dollars’ worth of litigation. After all, there are deep pockets, and the plaintiff’s attorneys have willing accomplices in the fear entrepreneur “environmental” groups.

Dear Wives: Publicly Criticizing Your Husband Makes You Look Horrible. Melissa Langsam Braunstein – “After reading the latest installment in the ‘my husband disappoints me’ genre in The New York Times last weekend — this one penned by a clinical psychologist — I’d say we have a trend.”

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Is reprehensible only in the eye of the beholder?

Birds of a feather: Why are so many Democrats so reprehensible in exactly the same way? Patricia McCarthy – “it is impossible to miss the defining characteristics of the most repugnant Democrats driving the impeach Trump campaign.”

“Pelosi, Swalwell, Schiff, Blumenthal, Nadler, Cohen, Waters, Harris, Booker, et. al. are all of a piece. Each of them seems to possess an almost identical and wholesale lack of any character at all. Each of them is vicious to the core. Each of them is either wholly unaware of his or her own hypocrisy, as in falsely accusing Attorney General William Barr of contempt, when those who were in Congress at the time, were hysterical when Attorney General Eric Holder was found to be in contempt of Congress. Or, they assume the American people are ignorant and unable to discern the deviousness of their plan to destroy Trump.

Likewise, the criminals who invented and perpetrated the Russia collusion hoax are equally unable to see themselves as they are: corrupt and treasonous. Like the Democrats in Congress, and their counterparts in the media, this coterie of thugs felt absolutely justified in breaking countless laws and abrogating the constitution to prevent Trump from taking office. One of Dennis Prager’s most oft-repeated quotes is that “Those who do not confront evil resent those who do.”

There is another quote of Prager’s that is appropriate here: “If we continue to teach about tolerance and intolerance instead of good and evil, we will end up with tolerance of evil.”

Senator Braveheart. Dan Brophy – “She understands bigotry at a personal level. Her critics are the intolerant bigots.”

“WE and its state media allies saw opportunity again in February and used their network to create a false controversy. They would make an example of Hutchings, make her feel public disdain, then watch her melt in the glare of negative publicity.

Rather than consider Hutchings’ hard questions, the GSA delegation complained. Worse, WE never offered its own legal definitions of these behaviors. They simply want protection against their notion of “discrimination”. Failing their goal, why not fabricate a story to smear a senator their lobby had previously targeted?

Predictably, the media network went into action. In “fake news” style, the media maulers never reported any side to the story other than the students’ claim.

There was also another unreported side. Senate leaders issued a calm statement. Hutchings received hundreds of supportive calls and emails. On Cheyenne’s KGAB talk radio, callers asked questions that fake news never asked. What were students doing at the legislature in the middle of the school day? Did their parents sign for travel permission? How is lobbying on this graphic topic a legitimate educational matter? Why did school administration permit it?

When our own legislators are intimidated into silence, we descend into mob tyranny. This won’t happen in Wyoming. Not yet.

Bravo, Senator Braveheart. If only there were more of you …

Behind Comey’s Claim That Trump “Eats Your Soul”. Paul Mirengoff – “Comey must not have read Robert Mueller’s report very carefully.” … “Clearly, Comey isn’t writing honestly about Trump’s team. Is he writing honestly about himself?

“I suspect that the real target of Comey’s op-ed isn’t Trump, but rather William Barr.

But given Barr’s standing and (I assume) their past relationship, he can’t plausibly make Barr the main villain. Thus, he attributes supernatural powers to Trump and claims, notwithstanding Mueller’s findings regarding McGahn, Lewandowsky, and others, that Barr is under some kind of nearly irresistible spell.

Brooks: Democrats are “making a terrible mistake” on contempt, destroying checks and balances. Ed Morrissey – “How surprising would it be to see Jerrold Nadler ripped at the New York Times for becoming the villain in the Mueller wars? So much so that columnist David Brooks felt the need for explaining just how unpopular he expects his latest column to be.” The content tells quite a story but so does the behavior, which is becoming so obvious and predictable that Ed uses it for reference.

“That recognition appears to play a role in the way Brooks makes his argument. He starts off his column with a heaping serving of poxes on both houses, especially Trump. Brooks writes that Trump “never understood checks and balances,” or “anything that stands in the way of his spoiled-boy will.” With that box checked in paragraph two, Brooks proceeds to dole out blame to both parties for the corrosion of checks and balances all the way down to paragraph five, where Brooks finally gets to the point

Brooks then covers in brief some of the arguments made yesterday by Jonathan Turley at more length. He notes that the contempt charge won’t actually solve anything, using Eric Holder as an example while also pointing out that Republicans gave Holder well over a year to produce Operation Fast and Furious documentation before triggering the contempt charge. Brooks then gets to his main point, which is that Democrats’ politicization of checks and balances will destroy them — and play right into Trump’s hands

Both sides are playing a dangerous game, but Democrats have much more to lose in it.

Go back to Prager’s quote on good and evil. Consider a war where both sides are playing a dangerous game. Does this sort of moral equivalency serve any purpose? Ed makes it very clear that there is a difference. The McCarthy and Brophy posts cited above note the difference. Why is Ed still avoiding and excusing and trying to pretend what he clearly shows is not so?

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Words (should) mean things

Fact-checking can’t do much when people’s “dueling facts” are driven by values instead of knowledge. David Barker And Morgan Marietta – “Perhaps the most disappointing finding from our studies — at least from our point of view — is that there are no known fixes to this problem.” This is cognitive dissonance on display with the Mueller dossier as the stimulant. Barker and Marietta provide an illustration of the nature of the problem they try to explain. It is not in the evidence nor in the facts but rather in the psyche and a matter of false witness even unto one’s self.

“In other words, people do not end up with the same answers because they do not begin with the same questions.

Fact-checking tends to fall flat. The voters who need to hear corrections rarely read fact-checks. And for those who might stumble across them, reports from distant and distrusted experts are no match for closely held values and defining identities.

In our data, those with higher levels of education are more, not less, divided. And the higher the level of training, the more tightly values and perceptions intertwine.

Based on this evidence, we conclude that dueling fact perceptions (or what some have labeled “alternative facts”) are probably here to stay, and worsen.

Our conclusions are much more definitive than Mueller’s: We see clear evidence of collusion and obstruction. Collusion between values and facts. Obstruction of the capacity to observe and accept legitimate evidence.

Words mean things. Perceptions and facts are two different things. Opinions and values need careful clarification. Collusion and obstruction have distinct meanings, especially in law. If higher levels of education are “more, not less, divided” it means that education is failing (unless you think the goal of education is indoctrination rather than enlightenment). They say they see ‘clear evidence’ and judge others on that basis without any consideration of why others many not see the evidence they do. They don’t debate, they argue. They make no effort to clarify perceptions, allow for bias and error, identify the ‘evidence’ they see or explain the rationale and logic behind their conclusions. This is not scholarly behavior – or at least at as scholarly used to be. For comparison and contrast, read VDH:

Progressives Face a Bleak Post-Mueller Landscape. Victor Davis Hanson – “Both the Mueller report and Barr’s summation can be found on the internet. Anyone can read them to see whether Barr misrepresented Mueller’s conclusions.”

“The besmirching of Barr’s conduct is surreal. He certainly has not done anything even remotely approximating the conduct of former President Obama’s two attorneys general.

Has Barr dubbed himself the president’s “wingman” or called America a “nation of cowards,” as did former Attorney General Eric Holder?

Has Barr’s Department of Justice monitored reporters’ communications or ordered surveillance of a television journalist? Has Barr used a government jet to take his family to the Belmont Stakes horse race, as did Holder?

The Mueller report ignored the likely illegal origins of the Christopher Steele dossier, the insertion of an FBI informant into the Trump campaign, the unlawful leaking of documents, and the conflicted testimonies of former high-level intelligence officials.

All of those things were potential felonies. All in some way yielded information that Mueller drew on in his investigation. Yet Mueller never recommended a single indictment of any of the Obama-era officials who likely broke laws.

Excellent and clear summation of the central problem with the Mueller report. Neo – “To me, this “outrageous shifting of the burden of proof” should actually outrage all Americans, because it really is “a violation of our entire system of law.” But it obviously has not outraged all Americans, or perhaps even most.

“And this is not the least bit surprising to anyone who has watched the decline of thought, knowledge, and discourse in this country. How many people even know how our system of justice works in the first place, or just why the system is set up so that a person does not have to prove his or her innocence, and how it is that it ultimately protects each individual, Democrats or Republican or anyone else?

And how many people who actually do understand those principles are still willing to suspend them if they can be weaponized against an enemy?

The malevolent vengeance of the Democrats and man’s inhumanity to man. Patricia McCarthy – “Watching and enduring the Democrats’ venomous drive to destroy President Trump brings the phrase to mind.

“The Democrats in Congress now realize that the jig may be up, that the hoax is about to be revealed to all. I.G. Horowitz and A.G. Barr are on the case. But their two-year, multi-million-dollar attempt to unseat a president has done irreparable damage to the nation, to the numerous people they bankrupted and charged with process crimes, to the presidency, and to the Trump family. They should be ashamed, but they are not. They are doubling down on stupid.

Let us hope the nation can recover from this long national nightmare the Democrats have visited upon us. In the end, “Man’s inhumanity to man Makes countless thousands mourn.” Indeed, it does.

“Traitors, searchers after novelty, and those who err out of light mindedness” Paul Mirengoff – A history lesson from a 1740 Hasburg Empress.

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Warfare

DOJ to Nadler: Threaten Barr With Impeachment, You Get Nothing. sundance – “Smart move by DOJ lawyers” Read this letter to see the perfidy of House Democrat leadership.

“The letter below informs Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler the previous report content was provided without assertion of executive privilege; however, if Nadler follows-through with impeachment plan, executive privilege is now enforced and the totality of the report is withdrawn from congress.

Essentially AG Barr et al is going old school with classic separation of power. POTUS Trump built a bridge from executive to legislative branch with voluntary production; however, if Nadler wants to be a resistance member then the executive branch will pull back and the customary three-branch separation of power rules will be the standard form of engagement.

DoJ fires back: Contempt vote on Barr will result in full executive-privilege claim on Mueller report. Ed Morrissey – “Nadler accused Trump of trying to make himself into a monarch rather than an elected official, and said it’s the responsibility of Congress to bring him to heel

“In point of fact, Trump’s claim of executive privilege have less to do with royal ambitions than the fact that the executive is a separate and co-equal branch of government answerable to voters, and not operating at the pleasure of Congress. Executive privilege is a well-established legal framework that allows for some measure of confidentiality for presidents to work closely with aides. The conversations revealed by Mueller in the report fall clearly within those parameters, and it’s not clear whether Mueller agreed to keep privilege claims in place in exchange for frank discussions with Trump’s staff. Executive privilege claims don’t always succeed and carry some political baggage, but that doesn’t make executive privilege illegitimate.

This threat looks like an attempt to attach some significant cost to the contempt charge, which otherwise would basically be a free shot for House Democrats but with little real bite. Just ask Eric Holder how a House contempt charge ruined his life.

Court Filing: From Day #1 Mueller Special Counsel Was Constructing “Obstruction” Case. sundance – “Special Counsel Attorney Michael Dreeben informed the court the special counsel was charged with investigating an obstruction case against President Trump from the beginning. President Trump was the target of their investigation from the outset.” i.e. the Mueller project was a fraud from the outset.

“Despite Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and Special Counsel Mueller assuring the President and his lawyers he was not the target of the investigation, they were lying.

As soon as the court was told Trump was the target (hearing January 22, 2018) the court agreed to seal everything relating to the journal of James Comey.

Citizen’s United: Docs Reveal British Spy’s Motive To Release Dossier Dirt On Trump Before 2016 Election. Sara Carter – “It is the first piece of solid communication that reveals Steele’s true intentions for the dossier.

“A recently discovered memo written by former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec reveals stunning information that FBI informant and former British spy Christopher Steele planned to release the unverified information in his dossier before Election Day. He also admitted to Kavalec in a meeting that his research was political, according to the memo first obtained by Citizen’s United through a Freedom of Information Act request. Steele was paid by the embattled research firm Fusion GPS through the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

No question there was spying on Trump campaign, but how much? Byron York – “Barr was saying: If the FBI really took the Trump-Russia matter seriously, if they thought it was a threat to the republic, would that be all they would do?

“So now there are Halper, Turk, and the Page FISA warrant. If they represent the totality of the FBI’s surveillance, that would still be a pretty anemic response to what some in the bureau viewed as a full-scale Russian attack on American democracy.

It is abundantly clear that Barr was correct. He was careful to add that the unknown factor about the spying was “whether it was adequately predicated” — that is, whether the FBI had a legitimate reason to do it. But there was no doubt spying happened.

Now, the question is whether there was more than is now publicly known. Congressional investigators are anxiously awaiting the results of an investigation into at least some of the surveillance by Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz. That report is thought to be coming in the next couple of months. They are also watching to see what Barr will investigate on his own.

Just don’t tell this to the current FBI director who got in bed with the Democrats at a recent hearing trying to pretend his agency did no wrong etc.

Study: The real cost of Renewable Fuel Standards is… a lot. Jazz Shaw – “What’s often left out of the debate about states adopting these sorts of energy portfolios are the questions of how effective they are and how much they wind up costing.

The rest of the study deals with a variety of factors that delve into less easily measured factors, such as the “social cost” of carbon. But the upshot is fairly clear. Adopting renewable energy standards in this fashion is generally not cost-effective and the bill gets handed off to the consumer in the end.

Cost effective? Productive? Beneficial? So many distractions and so many who seem to revel in them.

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Self deceit, studied ignorance, distorted perception

Why the Left Mocks the Bible. Dennis Prager – “on virtually every important value in life, the left and the Bible are diametrically opposed.

Jerry Nadler is just blowing smoke. New York Post Editorial Board – “Years of media hysteria left the Democratic base addicted to “news” about Trump wrongdoing. Rather than face junkies gone cold turkey, Nadler & Co. keep cooking up more junk.”

“Never mind that Barr by law can’t release grand jury testimony to the public. Or that Nadler and other committee members are free to view the report privately whenever they like. Or that handing over the complete Mueller files would be unprecedented.”

Omar: Israel’s occupation of Gaza causes rockets to fire and children to be killed, or something. Ed Morrissey – “The fighting has stopped for now, but the ignorance continues unabated.

“The rockets fired because of an occupation? That’s a neat trick, considering that the occupation of Gaza ended in 2005. It’s been fourteen years since Ariel Sharon dismantled all of the Israeli settlements in Gaza — to a loud outcry at home — and pulled the IDF out of the strip, leaving the Gazans to their own devices. Sharon’s government had to forcibly evict some settlers from their homes in the area, and ended up relocating thousands of Israelis back into Israel proper. Gaza held elections the next year and, despite warnings from all over the world, elected Hamas to govern the territory. The rest is history, as is any prospect of improvement while Gazans cling to terrorists as their leaders. Israel imposed a full blockade on Gaza in 2007 after Hamas won that election, but it’s not an occupation, even if Hamas calls it that.

In this iteration of the decades-long terrorist war on Israel, it wasn’t “occupation” that started the rockets firing. Hamas wanted money, wasn’t getting it, and worried about an uprising because of it:

If Omar wants “peace and justice,” she should call for the end of Hamas rule in Gaza and the emergence of leadership that actually desires peace and justice.

Irony: New York blocked a new pipeline and guess what they just found out. Jazz Shaw – “The state could be producing its own natural gas and supplying New York City more cheaply, but they’re refusing to do it out of spite. And now they’ve outstripped their fuel supply. This entire situation would be hilarious if it weren’t creating such a massive SNAFU for the energy grid.

Should Journalists Who Propagated the Russia Collusion Hoax Be Jailed? John Hinderaker – “In the end, Roger isn’t serious about jailing journalists, much as they might deserve it. But I would add this observation: Why is it that journalists who lied about Russia collusion will no doubt “get off scot-free,” while proudly displaying Pulitzers on their mantels? Why is it that the media organizations that employ them and share their political biases feel no need to sanction them in any way, let alone fire them?

“But when it comes to defamation, we don’t have a sane legal environment. The U.S. Supreme Court has seen to that in a series of decisions that deserve to be controversial. Wherever you think the boundaries of defamation law should properly be drawn, I think it is almost indisputable that our current legal regime goes too far in immunizing reporters, editors, newspapers and cable news networks against the consequences of negligently or maliciously propagating career-destroying and life-destroying falsehoods about public figures and matters of public interest.

Maybe if President Trump gets another Supreme Court appointment our extremist defamation jurisprudence will be moderated so that there is at least a possibility of holding journalists accountable.

VDH dissects Comey. Neo – “Recall—as Hanson points out—that Comey’s problem isn’t mere Trump Drerangement Syndrome (although there’s that). He showed his troubling characteristics even before Trump even became president, during the Hillary Clinton email investigation

“I can tell you one thing: I am almost certain that most Democrats don’t read Victor Davis Hanson. But I also am almost certain that, were most Democrats to do so, they would look at the facts detailed in that article with very different eyes than those of us on the right do. Would they be shocked, because they’re reading them for the first time and realizing how deep the rot goes? Or would they just say that Hanson is making stuff up, and deeply mistaken and/or lying?

I think the latter. A mind is a difficult thing to change.

The Mueller report and the assault on the AG provide an example.

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Consequences even possible?

Should Journalists Go to Jail for Spreading Russia Lies? Roger L. Simon – “As a First Amendment maximalist, I am inclined to reply an automatic “no” to my own headline … But a penalty of some kind, indeed a serious one, should certainly be levied for misinforming the public on the most important subject of our day

“And when these prevarications can be shown to have been deliberate, to have been done knowingly, difficult as that may be to prove, the line to sedition may have been crossed and there is an argument the reporters involved should face legal consequences. They should also be fired.

Unfortunately, because reporting is an occupation with no official standards like law or medicine, no professional organizations to disbar them, and because, as A. J. Liebling wrote long ago, “Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one,” with media operations like CNN and NBC often encouraging those very lies, this is unlikely to happen.

Unjust? Of course, it is. And not so deep down, the media outlets know this. I was not the only person to think the NYT was engaged in CYA when it reported (finally admitted) the other day there was indeed actual “spying” being done on the Trump campaign. The paper has done that before, reported bad or inconvenient news in advance, aware that revelations to come may not be flattering to their work.

Will these journalists have learned a lesson and change their habits? Not likely. For the most part, they are moral narcissists, primed to feel confident of the righteousness of their cause even when faced with countervailing reality. And in any case, to change would lead to personality disintegration, loss of friends and family and, worse, being fired by the profiteers who run their companies. That’s the way of the media world today.

Time for the rest of us to learn new ways of getting our news, if we already haven’t. And we probably have. Will those sources too be biased? Of course. All news is. It’s written by humans. But at least it won’t be criminal — or seditious.

The Voter Suppression Myth. Steven Hayward – “Bottom line: Democrats are lying about this and know they are lying about this.

Get Ready For More Global Warming Hysteria. John Hinderaker – “You might think that after decades of wrong predictions, global warming alarmists would back off and try to make their claims more realistic. But you would be wrong. The Science and Environmental Policy Project explains

Those MAGA-hatted Asians attacked in DC were North Korean defectors. Neo – “This incident encapsulates so many things that are wrong with the left today, but in particular its dangerous and many-pronged assault on free speech.

“It is often remarked on by those who escaped from totalitarian leftist countries that they came to the US for that very freedom, and lately it pains them tremendously to see the same threats to liberty occurring with increasing frequency. This incident may have been small in terms of actual physical harm done, but it is ominous for what it says about the state of our nation.

The FBI’s Trump-Russia Investigation Was Formally Opened on False Pretenses. Andrew C. McCarthy – “Chicanery was the force behind the formal opening of the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation.”

“The investigative theory on which the FBI formally opened the foreign-counterintelligence probe code-named “Crossfire Hurricane” on July 31, 2016, held that the Trump campaign knew about, and was potentially complicit in, Russia’s possession of hacked emails that would compromise Hillary Clinton; and that, in order to help Donald Trump, the Kremlin planned to disseminate these emails anonymously (through a third party) at a time maximally damaging to Clinton’s campaign.

There are thus two components to this theory: the emails and Russia’s intentions.

The State Department’s report to the FBI claiming that Papadopoulos had “suggested” these things to Downer was manufactured to portray a false connection between (a) what Papadopoulos told Downer and (b) the hacking and publication of the DNC emails. That false connection then became the rationale for formally opening the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation — paper cover for an investigation of the Trump campaign that was already under way.

Then there’s Omar’s rationalization of hundreds of missiles fired at Israeli citizens or the Democrat Party’s presidential hopefuls claiming the economic boom is due to Obama. Deception and self delusion run deep.

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