Archive for February, 2020

Making things up when the need for accuracy is most important

Alex Berezow: Cell Phones, Cancer, And Coronavirus: Tucker Carlson Spreads Conspiracy Theories – “Tucker Carlson doesn’t know much about science, technology, or public health, but he definitely has an opinion about them. And he knows a conspiracy when he sees one.

“There are several other basic points to consider: (1) If China did accidentally release a virus to use as a bioweapon, it would probably be capable of killing more than 2% of those it infected. (2) Why create a bioweapon that is essentially a really bad cold when there are so many “better” options (e.g., plague or smallpox)? (3) The genome of the virus was sequenced and released to the public, which would be a very strange thing to do if the virus was actually a weapon. Why would the Chinese government hand over the recipe?

Tucker certainly can opine and espouse conspiracy theories, but to do so from such a public platform is somewhat reckless. He would be more persuasive if his speculation was grounded in scientific facts.

Additionally, nonsense has consequences. The Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reports that the conspiracy theories are hurting the Wuhan lab’s ability to research the new coronavirus.

Back in October, Tucker ran a segment about evidence for UFOs. Maybe they brought the coronavirus?

Kristyn Leonard: Program aims to raise awareness about cybersecurity, misinformation risks to elections – “This narrative was a result of both very real issues in Iowa and a rampant spread of misinformation on the internet that party leaders were unable to control. Conspiracy theories flourished.” … “While doomsday predictions about the Nevada caucus largely failed to materialize, Americans’ faith in democracy has dwindled amid perceptions that elections are insecure and the speed at which falsehoods can spread over social media.” Rather typically,they take a swipe at the President by mischaracterizing his statements but the bias is rather mild. But then the Russian Collusion fake axiom creeps in, too.

“In this volatile climate, the University of Southern California has introduced their Election Cybersecurity Initiative, a program that teaches individuals who work on elections and campaigns how to secure their devices and accounts, combat misinformation, and prepare for and address a crisis in an effort to instill a “culture of cybersecurity” and restore faith in democracy.

The program offers common sense advice about password security and the dangers of phishing, presented by Justin Griffin, the program’s managing director. It’s advice everyone’s heard before

People don’t necessarily need to gain access to a campaign staffer or candidate’s device to digitally endanger the security and integrity of an election or campaign. Another portion of the program addressed the rampant issue of misinformation and disinformation on the internet.

The program emphasizes an important difference between the two. While misinformation refers to inaccurate information that may have been shared in error, disinformation is, specifically, inaccurate information that is shared deliberately, when the propagator is aware that the information is false.

The topic of election interference from Russia came up multiple times during the one-day conference.

It’s nice to see people talking but the first thing they need to do is to look in the mirror and face their own culpability. Look, for instance at how many stories are also at The Nevada Independent about the coronavirus in a FUD mongering vein alongside this election scare story …

consider “This Is Serious” – Virus Hunter Who Discovered Ebola Discusses ‘Worst-Case Scenario’ For Coronavirus – from one who claims “I’m not the scaremongering type…” This might have more weight if properly compared to the annual flue statistics where there are millions sick instead of tens and tens of thousands of fatalities instead of none (U.S. statistics to date, not worldwide). The claim is qualified: “But I think this is serious in the sense that we can’t afford not to consider it as a serious threat.” Any communicable disease warrants this sort of concern until knowledge and precautions can be obtained to indicate otherwise. FUD mongering is competing with prudence.

Joel B. Pollak: New England Journal of Medicine: Coronavirus Could Be No Worse than Flu – “Citing an analysis of the available data from the outbreak in China, the authors note that there have been zero cases among children younger than 15; and that the fatality rate is 2% at most, and could be “considerably less than 1%.

“The vast majority of patients recover, and among those who are hospitalized, the median stay thus far is 12 days.

Coronavirus, they note, does spread easily, and the average infected person has infected two other people. That means the U.S. should expect the illness to gain a “foothold.” But they note travel restrictions on China (imposed by President Donald Trump over the objections of some critics) “may have helped slow the spread of the virus.”

John Hinderaker: Is Coronavirus a Hoax? – “Democratic Party media are claiming that last night in South Carolina, President Trump said that the coronavirus epidemic is a hoax.” … “Did Trump actually say the corona virus is a hoax? Of course not. The claim is idiotic. If the president thought the virus is a hoax, why did he do a press conference on it last week, along with various medical personnel? And why did he ban travel to China at the beginning of the outbreak?” … “The hoax, obviously, is the Democrats’ unfounded criticism of the Trump administration. Never in American history have we seen such nakedly dishonest criticism of anyone in public life.

Jeff Stier and Henry I. Miller: Nothing’s ‘Impossible’ When It Comes To Innovation – “The only side effects from the Impossible Burger are headaches, heartburn, and panic attacks in the self-designated food elite who demand that we eat “naturally” to protect the planet.

“Improvements in agriculture are typically continual and incremental, but cumulatively they can make a big difference, especially to those at the bottom of the food chain – subsistence farmers. But there are always naysayers, such as the activists who reject farming with state-of-the-art pesticides and crops developed with the most precise and predictable genetic techniques. Why would anyone do that? Simple – they are mouthpieces for the purveyors of inferior, overpriced competing organic products, which are made with primitive practices that are wasteful of water and arable farmland.

Truly disruptive innovation is not only rare, but as Impossible Foods is learning, bringing game-changing products to market requires overcoming resistance from entrenched interests that pretend to represent the public interest.

Making things up is easy. Dealing with reality can be difficult,

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Projection, Propaganda, driven ideologues flailing

Robert Kraychik: Tom Cotton: Sonia Sotomayor Falsely Accused GOP-Appointed Justices of Doing What Democrat-Appointed Judges Do – “I’ve read [Sonia Sotomayor’s] dissent, and this is a classic example of the president’s critics and opponents projecting onto him exactly what they and the other critics are doing.”

Ed Morrissey: 70 Former Senators: Form A “Bipartisan Caucus” To Return The Senate To Its Constitutional Vision – “Right idea, wrong solution. Or, better yet, right idea and no solution.

“It’s both craven and hypocritical to demand a return to the framers’ vision of the upper chamber while refusing to address how the 17th Amendment destroyed it. Unfortunately, that’s par for the course in Washington too, just as is the futility of bipartisan gangs, and the tiresomeness of occasional calls for reform from those getting their own ox gored at the moment.

Getting a lot of these ‘voice of many experts’ logical fallacy based propaganda efforts substituting for reasoned arguments these days … will it register? Will the voter be suckered?

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This justice isn’t blind

Tyler Durden: Lady Justice Spurns Her Blinders For Trump Associates – “It appears that Jackson, like so many Trump-haters in the Beltway, still clings to the fantasy that the collusion hoax is legitimate.

“Jackson’s grandstanding might have been met with shrugs (or ignored altogether) in any other political climate but her dire warnings about the necessary consequences for committing perjury and obstructing justice and covering up for political pals demonstrate an astonishing level of hypocrisy if not flat-out complicity in the selective application of the law.

The president and his supporters can hardly tolerate lectures about fairness when Trump foes such as Andrew McCabe, James Comey, Hillary Clinton, John Brennan, James Clapper, and others continue to escape justice for far worse crimes.

Further, unlike Stone, those offenders held positions of power and influence—and abused both in service of achieving their mutual goal that Jackson so dramatically endorsed today: The sabotage of Donald Trump and anyone associated with him.

The people, like Jackson, who claim to hold the greatest devotion to our institutions, who purport to cherish the rule of law above all else, are the ones responsible for systematically demolishing it all.

Debra Heine: K.T. McFarland Says Mueller Interrogators Put Her Through ‘Hell’ and Left Her ‘Traumatized’ – “McFarland told the hosts that she just wanted the ordeal—which cost her hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees—to be over with.

“They’re a certain group of people who have gotten used to governing and they think it is their divine right,” she explained. “And even if the American voter votes for someone who wants to get rid of them or change their policies, they feel they have the patriotic duty to overrule election results.”

McFarland said her new book, Revolution: Trump, Washington and “We the People” describes her ordeal in greater detail. It’s set to be released on February 25.

used to just be speed traps on the highway ….

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Schizophrenia trying to accommodate conflicting rationalizations

Thomas McArdle: The Democrats’ Strategy Against The Trump Economy? Schizophrenia – “There are two tacks from which to choose in confronting this politically. Democrats can argue that our prosperity is grossly exaggerated. Or they can claim they deserve the credit for the Trump economy.”

“Which of these strategies, both decidedly dubious in their chances of success, have the Democrats picked?

Both.

It’s quite remarkable that Obama is brandishing his so-called Recovery Act today, over a decade after he signed it. That’s because two and a half years after its enactment it was so clear to him and everyone else that it was a failure – a stimulus that wasn’t stimulating – he requested an emergency address before a Joint Session of Congress in September, 2011 to call for action. Democrats were in a state of panic because of how obvious it was that their stewardship of the economy was failing.

Democrats are going to have to decide which side of their split personality they think gives them any chance of ousting President Trump in November. Unfortunately for them, as we’ve seen, both Clyburn’s claims that the jobs boom is a slave economy, and Obama’s assertion that the policies he admitted were failing two and a half years after their implementation are now succeeding under Trump, are equally absurd.

Theme of the day starts with Susan Jones: Day After Dem Debate, Headlines Warn, ‘Russia Is Meddling to Re-elect Trump’ – “Here we go again with Russian meddling.”

Jim Hoft: Here We Go… Fake News Media Says Putin Is Looking to Help Trump Win in 2020 – “Their media had only one thing to do — launch a new Russia conspiracy.”

Sister Toldjah: Donna Brazile Gets Reminded of Some Inconvenient 2016 History After Saying Trump Will ‘Cheat’ in 2020 – “Though predictable, one of the most frustrating things about how Democrats have behaved since 2016 is their penchant for undermining election results simply because they don’t like the outcome.”

Trent Baker: John Kerry: Trump’s logan act accusation a ‘presidential lie’ – “In a tweet earlier in the day, Trump said the two “grossly violated the Logan Act,” noting there would be “very serious ramifications” if it had been done by Republicans.” interesting calling this a lie after the meeting with the Iranians. Then Kerry went after a duly appointed representative along with rationalizations and character assassination. Loaded labels and diversion do not an argument make.

“If [Trump] knew anything about the law, he’d know I didn’t negotiate with anybody. I did what every senator and secretaries of state in history have done, which is continue to go to conferences abroad or have meetings in order to be well-informed. We engaged in no negotiation.”

Ben Weingarten: Why Richard Grenell As Director Of National Intelligence Is A Loss For The Deep State – “Richard Grenell has doggedly pursued the president’s agenda in the face of unrelenting defiance from the European Union’s most consequential power.”

“President Donald Trump’s pick of U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell for acting director of national intelligence (DNI) is an inspired one of great symbolic and substantive significance.

In staffing another crucial position in the executive branch with someone who genuinely shares his worldview, instincts, and tenacity, President Trump is signaling to the Trump-haters of the administrative state, and its Deep State apotheosis, that those who reject or actively seek to undermine his America First agenda will no longer be welcome in meaningful positions.

The level of hatred is commensurate with the merit of the pick. It is a feather in Grenell’s cap, and only further validates the wisdom of the president’s decision.

J.B. Shurk: How Trump Made the Federal Courts Blink – “rather than cowering in intimidation, President Trump took the opportunity of an “emergency meeting” of the federal judges to publicly ask that they look into the well documented FISA Court fraud and the Judiciary’s role in perpetrating the greatest political scandal in our nation’s history

“The judges have postponed their planned “emergency meeting” indefinitely. Like most things the president says that cause alarm for the D.C. establishment, it is not the recklessness of his words, but their truthfulness that rattles them, and the more truth he slings their way, the more rattled they become. The judges realized they were about to make a consequential mistake by taking on directly the one person in the country not afraid to put the Judicial Branch in its place.

Curses, like chickens, come home to roost. When federal judges decided long ago to become lawmakers with lifetime tenure, rather than impartial adjudicators adhering to the Constitution, they cursed themselves. This country’s first act was to expel the most powerful king in the world. When the federal courts chose to become kings, they daringly did so without a navy. Hiding behind the sanctity of priestly robes was going to protect them for only so long; eventually, Americans would realize that tyranny with a gavel is not at all different from tyranny with a crown.

With President Trump unafraid of standing up to a coequal branch of the federal government, the Judiciary may finally receive the comeuppance it deserves. One thing is certain: if he is ever to receive justice of any kind, President Trump must first take on the justice system.

Justice transparency and awareness.

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Justice denied, and found again.

Andrea Widburg: President Trump’s list of pardons and grants of clemency make a lot of sense – “Trump was making a point about government overreach in prosecutions, as well as reminding people about his First Step Act, which brings reformed (mostly minority) prisoners home.” Then compare and contrast to Eric Boehm’s item Trump Uses Clemency To Help Drug War Victims, Reward GOP Donors, and Spite James Comey at reason.com.

GianCarlo Canaparo: Time to End the Tyranny of District Court Judges’ Nationwide Injunctions – “they undermine public confidence in the judiciary by giving activists judges near limitless power to undo the laws and policies of the democratically accountable branches of government.

neo: Judge Amy Brennan Jackson plans to go full steam ahead with sentencing Stone – “I think the authors of that sentence/paragraph from the Hill piece should get an award from the American Association of Subtle Propaganda Writers.” The reporting is awful … and predictable.

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Shut up! … and pushback

Alex Berezow, PhD: Editor At Journal ‘Science’ Doubles Down On Double Standard – “The scientific publishing industry is thoroughly dishonest and corrupt, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the journal Science are now also a part of the problem. Here’s a disturbing case in point.”

Peter O’Brien: The Further Fictions of ‘Dark Emu’ – “my quarrel with Dark Emu is not a disagreement with Pascoe’s interpretation of history. It is with his shameless distortion of facts and sources.

“If Aborigines were essentially sedentary agriculturalists, as Pascoe claims, Dark Emu provides scant evidence of this. The four main elements of agriculture would be tilling or preparing the soil, planting or sowing seeds, tending the crop and harvesting it. Pascoe provides ample evidence of Aborigines harvesting various foodstuffs– which is, of course, a facet of hunter-gatherer societies. He provides no reliable examples of explorers – from whose journals he claims to have gathered his evidence – observing the activities of tilling of soil, sowing of seed or tending crops.

Dark Emu is propaganda. It is not history and it should never be permitted to enter our educational institutions under that or any other guise.

Jonathan Turley: The Death Of Free Speech: Zuckerberg Asks Governments For Instructions On “What Discourse Should Be Allowed” – “The problem is that his comments were received as accepting that government will now dictate the range of free speech. What is missing is the bright line rule long maintained by the free speech community.” … “he is accepting the fluid concept of “balanced” regulations that has always preceded expanding speech codes and criminalization.

Andrea Widburg: Trump makes the 62nd Daytona 500 something special as media heads explode – “For leftists, though, Trump’s mere existence is a political affront:” … “People pushed back, reminding the Leftists that, while Obama never used the “official apparatus of government” to thrill actual Americans, he used those same apparatuses, plus a chunk of taxpayer money, for his own benefit.

Karen D. Hurvitz and Ilya I. Feoktistov: Criminalizing Dissent – “Louis was horrified to recognize the woman who stole his MAGA hat as Beth Peller, a 36-year-old grad student who would be teaching his mandatory freshman writing class.

“Louis’ ordeal is a glimpse of the far left’s “cancel culture” as it pushes the Overton Window on free speech from Twitter bans to outright criminalization of dissent. We believe that more malicious prosecutions like Louis’s are likely; brought, at first, in progressive enclaves like Northampton where the far left holds real political power. Much as occurred in the Jim Crow South, authorities in such places are increasingly choosing to enforce their political ideology instead of the rule of law entrusted to them. The American left these days is unable to accept defeat under fair rules of play, whether in elections or in judicial proceedings. To avoid defeat, leftists will continue searching for ways to criminalize dissent. Indeed, Beth Peller’s attorney argued to the court in Northampton that defamation and offensive speech can and should be criminalized. This is a dangerous trend, and is becoming one of the major civil rights issues of our time.

Robert Gorkin: Good Grief! – “It is a shame when a professional organization gets hijacked (by presumably well-meaning individuals) to take extraordinary positions on subjects that are manifestly well outside of its arena of competence.” The American Psychiatric Association provides this example.

“I have seen no evidence in these reports or on the APA website of any (let alone substantive) debate. Not only as to the validity of the underlying science, the inherent problems with climate models, natural variability, etc.; but even more fundamentally, there is no acknowledgement of the concept of weather as distinct from climate. Nor is there any consideration of the potential benefits of more temperate conditions on health, nature, biodiversity, agriculture, and economics, not to mention the potential and well-documented adverse environmental and economic consequences of the solutions proposed by CAGW activists.

Most unfortunately for Dr. Zilber and her like-minded comrades, her emotional endorsement of ecological guilt and other climate-related pathologies only serves to create, validate, and legitimize new mental disorders that have no basis in reality–this in a profession that has a sorry record of past iatrogenic abuses.

I suggest, rather than engaging in a self-imposed lobotomy, the APA should have a real debate. Rather than potentially following in the footsteps of Trofim Lysenko, the APA should welcome a Devil’s advocate. Perhaps suspending premature judgment but “Be Prepared” is, in fact, the best of all possible worlds.

Finally, it would be hard to find a better precept to guide the APA in its deliberations than Immanuel Kant’s descriptive credo for the Age of Enlightment: Sapere Aude! (dare to know, or more loosely, dare to think for yourself!).

1776 – “an assembly of independent voices who uphold our country’s authentic founding virtues and values and challenge those who assert America is forever defined by its past failures, such as slavery. We seek to offer alternative perspectives that celebrate the progress America has made on delivering its promise of equality and opportunity and highlight the resilience of its people. Our focus is on solving problems. … We do this in the spirit of 1776, the date of America’s true founding.”

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Equality in justice is not visible

Todd Gregory and Erik Gregory: Has the Deep State beaten Bill Barr? – “Prhaps even more disturbing, Barr’s prosecution (and declination) decisions have been scarcely different from those of Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, or even Jeff Sessions (namely, prosecute Republicans or their affiliates on any charge, no matter how spurious, and look the other way when Democrats engage in incidentals like illegal spying or entrapment).” The deplorables are not happy about inequality in justice.

J. Christian Adams: President Trump Starts to Drain the Swamp, Yanks Liu – “Justice is no longer blind. Investigations, charges, and even prison terms depend on the ideological views of the targets.

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violence acceptance and education

Monica Showalter: Leftist thuggery: Political violence accelerates against Trump supporters – “There’s a climate of political violence against Trump supporters and the press is giving it little more than disjointed and cursory coverage at best, if not ignoring entirely.

“The press is refusing to cover it. The cops are refusing to investigate and enforce. The laws are letting them off anyway. The Democrats are denying so much as a problem — in Sanders’ case, his nasty little thug operative in Iowa is still on the job.

It’s as if a whole universe of incompetence and malevolence is conspiring against Trump supporters. President Trump has his bag of snakes to deal with among the Obama holdovers in the White House. But Trump supporters have their own physical attacks to deal with.

Something is very wrong in this political climate, which is seeing ever stronger and more frequent physical attacks, with little recourse for the victims.

Jack Hellner: It was Obama, not Trump, who weaponized government against political opponents – “We are hearing from the Democrat talking points that Trump is weaponizing the government and exacting revenge.”

“The media frequently buries stories that might hurt political candidates or policies they support and will continually run false stories against political candidates and policies they oppose. How else can it explain the years of fake stories on Russian collusion, seeking to destroy white Christian boys for wearing MAGA hats, trying to destroy Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh with no evidence, the false “Hands up, don’t shoot” narrative?

How else do you explain the burying of stories about all the mental and sexual abuse of women by the Clintons and the burying of stories or the lack of investigation into the clear corruption and kickbacks of the Clintons and Bidens if not pure bias?

How many people are the media willing to destroy in order to get power back for the Democrats? Isn’t that pure weaponization and revenge?

But Trump is the problem as he seeks to move the power, purse and freedom back to the people as fast as he can because that is where the power and money belong. He is the opposite of a dictator but the media doesn’t give a damn about the truth. They are also consumed with power and revenge.

On the education front —

John Hinderaker: Global Warming In A Few Charts – “Climate change hysteria has been dialed up to 11 over the last year or two. Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager who knows little or nothing about the subject, apparently will continue being nominated for a Nobel Prize until she wins one. But, hype aside, what is actually going on with the Earth’s climate?”

Katarina Schwarz and Jean Allain: Slavery is not a crime in almost half the countries of the world – new research – “Legal ownership of people was indeed abolished in all countries over the course of the last two centuries. But in many countries it has not been criminalised.” … “Legal ownership of people was indeed abolished in all countries over the course of the last two centuries. But in many countries it has not been criminalised.” This one gets into the legal weeds about definition of terms and scope of definitions.

Trevor Klee: How to fix how people learn calculus: make calculus exciting again – “I only realized in college that I had been cheated out of a deep understanding of math and given a shallow collection of tricks instead.” A good rundown on the position of calculus in the intellectual understanding of mathematics.

Jazz Shaw: Biologists Propose Radical Concept That There Are Only Two Genders/Sexes – “The authors describe in brutal detail how the current claptrap about “gender identity” that’s been making the rounds actually serves to undermine the rights and safety of women, children, gays, and lesbians.

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Deception by complexity

The Roger Stone case is getting interesting above and beyond the Mueller connections and the attorney misrepresentations to the DoJ. Now it appears the jury was stacked with Democrat activists and the judge was not hearing objections to juror placement on such a basis. With leading Democrats engaging in their usual hyperbolic exaggerations demanding Barr and/or Trump’s head, recent historical examples are being dug out of the archives to illustrate the gross hypocrisy. Nunez says the onion is being peeled on the Mueller investigation and the public will soon see just how corrupt that effort really was.

sundance: The FBI Corruption is Far Worse Than We Currently Imagine – President Trump Authorized His Own Surveillance…The originating FISA and first renewal were authorized by the Obama administration officials. However, it was the second renewal -now identified as fraudulent- on April 7th 2017, under the Trump administration, when the conniving FBI ran into a problem.

“Acting Deputy AG Dana Boente advised AG Jeff Sessions to recuse himself (March 2nd, 2017). Then Acting DAG Boente and FBI Director Comey conspired to have President Trump authorize an executive order (March 31st, 2017); that changed the DOJ succession plan, thereby permitting them to sign for a fraudulent FISA application on April 7th, 2017, that was used to conduct surveillance on the Trump administration.

But wait, it gets better, who do you think is in charge of the 40 FBI agents now conducting the third year of that fraudulent Mueller investigation?

Norman Rogers: Renewable Power Theatre of the Absurd – “One might think that having a quota for renewable power means that the power has to be generated by wind or solar and consumed within the state. There is a loophole.” Here is how corruption is fostered by woke driven environmental fantasies.

“The situation is more than a little strange. Propaganda from the sellers of wind and solar power makes people think that wind and solar are actually useful. Huge subsidies make wind and solar seem cheaper than they really are. The idea that introducing wind and solar in U.S. states will make a significant difference in world CO2 emissions is wrong. The real emissions problem, if it is a problem, is in Asia. People that really believe in global warming should face up to the fact that nuclear is the only route to stopping the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. Some of the most important advocates of global warming catastrophe make that clear.

The most salient fact concerning wind and solar is that they are intermittent and erratic sources of power. They always have to be backed up with fossil fuel plants that take over when the sun sets or the wind stops. They never replace fossil fuel plants.

It’s deception by complexity where the critical parts are moved off to somewhere hard to find and expressed in the fine print with distractions and diversions. What doesn’t fit is ignored as much as possible or swept under the rug or hidden by mixing it in with a big stinky mess.

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Can’t just make it up — can you?

J. Frank Bullitt: The Facts About Trump That Are Deadly For Democrats – “Of course Trump’s acts of kindness, wildly inconsistent with his public persona, aren’t predictive of a successful presidency. But they don’t fit the outlandish caricatures sketched out by his opponents, and are therefore dangerous to their agenda.” Why is a catalog of benevolence worthy of note? It is because it highlights a significant character flaw in his opponents, one that should frighten any voter seeking a civil society.

Becket Adams: Four major journalistic errors in just 10 hours – “If you think the news industry’s credibility problem is bad now, you haven’t seen anything yet.”

Austin Bay: On Point: Fix the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and Punish the Crooks Who Abused It – “In the past, the public expected responsible reporters to scrutinize government operations. In the FISC saga, contemporary mainstream media served as a PR tool for crooked cops and spies.

Jazz Shaw: While nobody was looking Trump shattered primary records in New Hampshire – “If Trump’s base in New Hampshire is willing to turn out at those levels in the primary, what’s going to happen in November?

Scott Johnson: Jeff Sessions: The open questions – “If I wanted to pursue my disagreement with him, Paul encouraged me to air it publicly on the site.” What is important here is the ‘polite disagreement’ and how it is supported. Johnson notes the “loaded language” and the unsupported generalizations that seem so common among those trying to find fault with the President. It is the manner of argument that is often a first clue as to the quality of the position and, on this measure, Johnson wins.

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Enough already? The worm is restless.

Victor Davis Hanson: The Once and Future Scandal – “Soon the worm may turn. The real scandal is back on the horizon, and at last, we may learn that no one is above the law—most certainly not a group of smug and mediocre apparatchiks who assumed they had the moral right to destroy a presidential candidate and later an elected president.”

“So, we are now back to the existential issue of the entire Trump phenomenon: to what degree did the Hillary Clinton campaign collude with high-ranking Obama officials, and the top echelons of the FBI, CIA, and the national intelligence apparatus, to surveil, defame, and hope to derail Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign by unlawful means?

The litany of these systematic abuses constitutes the greatest scandal in American history.

Jay Latimer: It’s time for Trump to fight fire with fire – “So another coup attempt has failed.”

“these plotters used scorched-earth tactics; surprising Trump supporters with unannounced interviews to create perjury traps, threatening their children with jail time, sending SWAT teams to kick in their doors at 3 a.m., raiding his lawyers’ offices to search for dirt, and placing a defendant for a nonviolent white-collar crime in solitary confinement.

How could this happen in the Land of the Free?

So my instinct, and that of many other observers, is to fight partisanship with a strict adherence to the rule of law, and a determination to keep politics out of the legal equation.

However, I now feel that this may be a misguided as well as naïve view.

Who are we kidding? No one will give Trump or Barr credit for an impartial investigation. The Democrats and the media will automatically label any attempt by Trump to punish these wrongdoers as partisan and illegitimate. No matter how even-handed Trump tries to be, any such actions will be treated by the dishonest media as mere political payback or (more likely) proof that Trump has become an authoritarian dictator hell-bent on revenge.

Sally Zelikovsky: Trump’s Supporters Are Not Cult Members. We’re Americans. – “Taking the high road is admirable, but if you continue to come up short, you are going to have to find another path if you want to win.”

“Democrats are experts at fake outrage, fake sincerity, and transferring all of their insincerity and provocation to the Republicans. …

Democrats don’t want unity or collaboration. …

… Like a kid throwing a tantrum knowing eventually he will get his way as long as he doesn’t stop screaming, Democrats will keep it up as long as they think we will cave after enough of us have been broken, bankrupted, and canceled.

Being pushed and bullied gets old after a while.

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Congress needs to step up to the plate

Ed Morrissey: Appeals Court: Dems Have No Standing To Sue Trump Over The Emoluments Clause – “the court notes repeatedly, the case fails on its face because it involves political power, and only a minority of Congress is participating in the lawsuit.” There is no law – legislation properly adopted – to tell the courts what they should do in a case like this.

“A future Congress could — and probably should — work on a clearer consensus definition of emoluments, in case voters decide to keep sending moguls to the White House, and quit demanding that the judiciary do their job for them. That’s the clear message sent by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals today.

Ed Morrissey: Hmmm: Did Mueller #2 Admit To Setting A Perjury Trap For Trump? – “What are you afraid of is a schoolground taunt that probably works in more cases than it doesn’t — unless the subject or target has a good attorney.”

“What’s notable here is that Weissmann’s complaining about Trump’s refusal to testify in an investigation that found no evidence on its core issue. He also fails to note that the reason Weissmann’s team got to talk to everyone else is that Trump waived executive privilege entirely for their investigation. The reason why Trump didn’t want to testify is that (a) it was becoming clear that Mueller wanted to expand the scope of the probe beyond the unfounded Russia-collusion hypothesis, and (b) that cooperation wasn’t accelerating the end of the probe. (And the House investigations have been even more political and unbalanced.) Small wonder Trump relied on his constitutional rights to protect himself from a fishing expedition, which was precisely why the founders added those protections to the Bill of Rights in the first place.

This isn’t an “admission” of anything except typical prosecutorial zeal. It is, however, a reminder that everyone needs to be cognizant of their rights in any investigation, and that good legal representation is a must — as is following your attorney’s advice as to when to speak and when to remain silent. Presidents aren’t the only people susceptible to perjury traps.

Molly Olmstead shows the bias at Slate: Trump Is Purging People Who Testified Against Him During the Impeachment Hearing – The “purging” is about right and the targets did testify for the House Democrats. The problem is that their testimony was not “against him” but rather about disagreements with foreign policy. i.e. Olmstead is illustrating a common theme on the Left where differences of opinion are considered criminal. The article is full of ‘telling the truth’ and other moral preening platitudes while carefully avoiding the issue that the President has the responsibility to the voters to do what he promised to do in regards to foreign policy and needs a staff to faithfully carry out his lawful and Constitutionally based directives. For something a bit more constructive, see Matt Welch below.

Matt Welch: Instead of Removing Trump From Power, Remove Power From the Presidency – “After Watergate, Democrats rolled back executive power. Under Trump, they just want to be the ones who get to wield it.” … “For anyone who would like to once again see an independent legislature, the 99% partisan impeachment process in both chambers of Congress is cause for despair. As is the Democratic presidential field’s will to executive power. If ever America is to get off the populist seesaw, we’re going to need to root less for politicians, and more for the rules and mores than can restrain them.” The ‘both chambers’ axiom is an evasion but most of Welch’s argument needs careful thought.

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Senator Romney protests (defends) perhaps a bit too much

Glen Reynolds on a Romney compare and contrast citing Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tn): “That’s exactly why today I voted to acquit President Trump—because lowering the high bar of impeachment such that any American could be found guilty is far more dangerous than anything the Democratic ‘resistance’ has asserted.”

Dana Loesch on Romney: “He didn’t just vote his conscience, his virtue-signaling was level Pharisees, minus the sackcloth and ash. ”

Conrad Black: Romney’s Discreditable, Dishonest Vote – “From February 5, 2020, onward, Mitt Romney is a political outcast—a briefly useful idiot for the defeated Democrats and a traitor to the party he once led in a presidential election.”

“As an authentically scriptural man, Mitt Romney would know that it is the “God of Vengeance, God to whom vengeance belongs.” In cobbling together the righteous fairy tale previously utterable only by chronically dishonest people such as Representatives Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), and Speaker Pelosi (doubtless resuming her famous prayers for the president after ripping up the text of his speech in front of 40 million viewers), Romney descended from the prophet’s chair in the Mormon Tabernacle to the gutter of American public life.

Romney has walked out the portals of political relevance on a lost cause that had no business coming to a vote at all, for reasons of hatred he has tried to disguise as righteousness, and in the company of unmitigated scoundrels and liars in the opposing party who cooked up this phony impeachment.

And as a man who cares about his church, Romney might have considered what this will do to Mormon candidates in the future. He has made the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints look like a cult, whose members cannot be entrusted with responsible positions.

Romney’s vote to convict President Trump is falsely reasoned, ignobly motivated, and finishes his useful political career on a tragically discreditable note.

David Solway: The Left’s Great Lie Is a Pervasive Threat to Our Culture – “Writing the book forced me to undertake relentless scrutiny of the values and beliefs I’d accepted as gospel and to realize that I had thoughtlessly succumbed to an all-encompassing lie fostered by the media, the academy, and the political left.” … “Skinner refers to the insidious operation of the rhetorical figure of paradiastole—the conversion of a vice into a virtue—which would apply to the left’s destructive policies and initiatives like those I had once endorsed.”

neo: The Senate votes against removal – “It is unsurprising but still astounding that with such a weak case – or rather, a non-existent case – every single Democrat voted for removal. Every one. Now, that’s party discipline.” What is says to all Americans about the priorities and values of the Democrats should be a warning.

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SOTU impressions

Roger Kimball: Trump’s 2020 State of the Union address was nothing less than magnificent – “His major speeches will go down as among the most eloquent and important in the nation’s history.”

New York Post: State of the Union address: Trump hits grand slam, while Pelosi just looks sad – “This was the very best of Trump — generous, bipartisan (with a few barbs) and good-spirited. He not only got congressional Democrats to stand and cheer, but he credited the legislators in the room for working together across party lines to do right by America.

“Not once did he crow about his opposition’s failings: no mention of the debacle of House Democrats’ impeachment drive, or of the historic mess of the Iowa caucuses.

This president doesn’t have to stretch the slightest to term the State of the Union “strong.” Too bad that Pelosi, and the Democratic base she answers to, feel obliged to grimace at that self-evident truth.

Andrea Widburg: President Trump’s moving, statesmanlike State of the Union address – 

“On Tuesday night, two very different events took place. The first was President Trump’s State of the Union speech, one that showcased incredibly good news about the state of America today, soaring rhetoric, and moving human interest stories. That’s what this post is about. The other event was the embarrassing Democrat temper tantrum, something that we’ll save for a less uplifting, but perhaps more amusing, post.

As Trump began to speak, Pelosi began to perform a running pantomime behind his back. Rather than listen to Trump’s speech, she leafed through the written speech he gave her. She also wriggled around in her chair, sucked her dentures, made disdainful faces, waved to people in the crowd, and generally behaved like an angry 15-year-old girl whose parents have forced her to attend a formal event. It was painful to watch the person who is third in line to the presidency behave in such a childish, rude manner.

The Democrats thought that they were protesting Trump. That’s not what Americans saw, though. They saw politicians so invested in regaining political power that they deeply resented Americans becoming richer, healthier, and safer.

D. Hawthorne: SOTU Clarifies the Choice in November – “It boils down to a love for Americans and our liberty versus a lust for power and control over others.”

Patricia McCarthy: The unspeakable ungraciousness of the Democrats in Congress – “President Trump’s SOTU speech Tuesday night was spectacular on every level.” … “President Trump has succeeded beyond all expectations for the good of the nation. This is what so enrages the left; the man has done in three years what they have promised their voters for sixty-plus years but never accomplished — on purpose.” … “And they are also as ungracious as any group of people who have ever held office in America.”

“The American Democrat party has become something it was never meant to be: it has morphed into a radically fascist party of autocrats. Certainly not all of them fall into this category but those who do not are cowards. Clearly they are afraid of the tyrants who control the party so they sit quietly by in fear of losing their seats. As we watched them all refuse to applaud the many successes of this administration and the members of the audience Trump celebrated, we should all realize that these people are not on the side of America or Americans. As Pelosi so ungraciously ripped up her copy of the speech on camera, she proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the Democrat party is no longer pro-American, pro-freedom nor pro-democracy. This SOTU speech was a transformative moment. Now we know that only one party represents the American people. The Democrat party as currently constituted, should ship out to Venezuela where they would feel right at home.

Jay Latimer: Three takeaways from the failed impeachment – “It Proves Trump Is Clean as a Whistle” … “Try a simple thought experiment: if the House Dems were aware of any illegal activity by Trump, don’t you think they would have used that as a basis for their impeachment?

Then look at the rationalizations of those who dispute the President: Pelosi says the speech was ‘dirty’ while the ‘litany of lies’ gets top billing at the WaPo and its ilk. Compare and contrast and try to figure out how such perceptions actually fit with what any reasonable person can see for themselves.

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Roots of corruption

Jonathan Turley: How the House lost the witness battle along with impeachment – “As these blunders by the House became more and more obvious, all the efforts to excuse them became more and more absurd.” Turley makes a good argument for adhering to reasonable procedures but only passes by a bigger problem which he notes at the beginning: “It is a question that many in the media would never ask about Democrats, even in the face of overtly false claims.” He illustrates his bias in an assumption implicit as a truth near the end: “The case against the president could only have become stronger” … The assumption is that of assuming that more witnesses and testimony will reveal more malfeasance rather than a lack of foundation for the charges and revealing exculpatory evidence. Developing more lies and more deceit does not make any honest argument ‘stronger.’ The presumption of guilt is the basic flaw in the impeachment effort.

Dov Fischer: Why the Senate Passed on Witnesses – “It’s good to know not every Republican senator is a Romney.” A list of reasons to ponder …

George Neumayr: All the Pope’s Men – “His inner circle grows more corrupt.” The Church is facing the Deep State problem, too. “Far from uprooting Vatican corruption, his supposed mandate, Pope Francis has cemented it in place.

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Fallout. Already? Distortions, denial, etc.

Patricia McCarthy: Media puffery can’t hide the Democrats’ impeachment face plant – “Maybe someone at Politico thought better of heralding the continued fawning over the two men who made the biggest fools of themselves over the past week.” …

“Schiff cannot utter a sentence that doesn’t contain a lie. Jeffries’ most hilarious assertion was that the Steele dossier, the entirety of which has been proven to be all lies, was just fine because it was “purchased”! They are trying to impeach the President for allegedly asking the new President of Ukraine to look into the known corruption of the Biden family and the proven interference by some in Ukraine in our 2016 election to help Hillary, and Jeffries is dismissing the Clinton campaign’s actual solicitation of dirt from a foreign source because she paid for it! You can’t make this stuff up.

But they all got up to repetitively drone on and on and on, charging him will all manner of crimes not even mentioned in their articles. And these men and women are lawyers?

Beginning with Pelosi’s unconstitutional inquiry without getting a vote from the full House, thus invalidating all their subpoenas, to demanding more witnesses after they claimed their case was proven,

George Parry: How Not to Impeach a President – “Arrogance and incompetence were all the spiteful Dems had to offer.” With that he lays out, the real question is why the Democrat Party block remained so unified in deceit and falsehoods.

neo: The Democrats’ race to the left: Warren, Pelosi, and company – “And yes, these people understand full well that they are distorting and misrepresenting what Dershowitz said.”

neo: No witnesses – “However, I’m under no illusion that the drive to impeach Trump, and the attacks on him – as well as clandestine operations against him by the self-styled “Resistance” – are over. They will continue, probably unabated and perhaps even with increased vigor (if such a thing be possible). The Democrats and the “deep state” are desperate to be rid of him, their hatred is a thing of great force, and they believe that the ends justify the means.”

New York Post: The Flynn prosecution now stands exposed as massive FBI and DOJ abuse of power – “Here’s another black eye for the Justice Department’s Obama-era leadership: The case against Gen. Michael Flynn is in full collapse.”

But there is inspiration and the story of an American Hero — 

Emily Jashinsky: Director Of Powerful New Clarence Thomas Documentary Opens Up: ‘He Just Got Tired Of Having His Story Distorted’ – “It’s a classic story of going from dire poverty in the segregated South to the highest court of the land, including many spiritual and intellectual twists and turns.” … “The corporate media’s one-dimensional rendering of Thomas is deeply unfair, and that’s where director Michael Pack steps in.”

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