2/28/2017: Fake News, Fake Reality, Trying to be ‘Nice’

IBD: Sorry, Bush Is Wrong — The Media Aren’t Doing Their Job – “President George W. Bush has issued a full-throated defense of the media’s role in modern society. He’s being way too generous.”

While we deeply admire the former president for not holding a grudge, the media spent much of Bush’s eight years in office actively lying about what he was doing and what he was trying to do.
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The Obama administration had scandal after scandal — Operation Fast and Furious, the IRS going after conservative groups, wire tapping of media, outright lies about what transpired at Benghazi, the Department of Justice seizing media emails and phone records, the National Security Agency’s apparent illegal spying on Americans, the list goes on.

But the “independent” media stayed mum. Instead, they behaved more like bought-and-paid-for courtiers or sycophantic lickspittles, despite Obama’s open contempt for them.
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The media need to take a long look in the mirror and address their extreme ideological bias. If not, the media have no one to blame but themselves for being treated as what they are — political partisans with an ideological agenda.

Ed Morrissey has a view more focused on the victim: Bush: A free press is “indispensable to democracy” – “Did former president George W. Bush use a book-plugging appearance on NBC’s Today show to take shots at Donald Trump? Perhaps, but if so, he took a much more clear shot at the president in between the two of them.”

It’s no secret that the Bushes were not fans of Trump, and vice versa. However, Bush clearly tried to avoid being seen as directly criticizing Trump, and even scolded Lauer a bit over the rush to judgment on “healing” after only a month. It’s not exactly a shocking statement to herald a free press as indispensable to a democracy; it’s absolutely true, but also a cliché, especially in the framework of Lauer’s question, and so is the line about immigration policy. Like much of what we see in the media coverage of this administration, it’s a triumph of sound bites over context.

The book is Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors by George W. Bush.

Scott McKay asks Did Democrats Aid and Abet Terrorists Seeking American Secrets? – “Since Donald Trump took office there has been ubiquitous media coverage of what can most properly be termed crap.”

It’s not so surprising those outlets spend time on contrivances. Without The Russians! and those vaporous Trump abuses calling forth the echoes of Hitler and his brownshirts, airtime and column space might have to be devoted to other stories which would be less useful to the various narratives being concocted in New York and Washington editorial conference rooms.

One such inconvenient story is that of the Awan brothers.
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Do Carlos Slim and Jeff Bezos, one might ask, really believe they can’t sell papers with such a story to tell?

And then one might conclude Trump is well within his rights to treat these people as enemy propagandists, because to have buried such a profoundly disturbing story sure looks like a mockery of the public’s trust.

Ed Morrissey picks up on another example: Spicer: Special prosecutor? For what? Update: Issa backpedals – “When ABC’s Jon Karl asks about appointing an independent investigator into rumors of connections and coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence, Spicer reminds everyone that the FBI has been probing this for months already, under two different administrations, and have found bupkis so far.”

“A special prosecutor for what? We have now for six months seen story after story about unnamed sources saying the same thing over and over again and nothing’s come of it,” Spicer said. “At what point, you have to ask yourself ‘what are you investigating?’”

The sudden media interest in a special prosecutor for potential executive-branch misdeeds seems rather curious, to say the least.
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we don’t need a special prosecutor unless and until we establish that the Department of Justice has been compromised in its law-enforcement role. You know … like when the Attorney General takes private meetings with the spouse of an investigation target.

Jazz Shaw: So who is leading the field in the new Party of No? – “In the era of “Resist!” there seems to be a competition to see who can oppose, obstruct and defy president Donald Trump more than everyone else.”

For the folks out in the streets with their pre-printed signs and genitalia themed headgear it’s probably hard to pick a winner. Not so in the halls of Congress, however. Democratic Senators are lining up to lead this parade and one of the best measures they have in demonstrating precisely how willing they are to defeat the new president at every turn is the frequency with which they vote against the confirmation of his cabinet nominees. It should come as no surprise that the leaders in this race include some of the same people who are already being quietly discussed as possible presidential nominees in 2020.

Even Allahpundit gets in on this. Rubio: I’m not going to hold a town hall just to be heckled by liberal activists – It may not be (but then again) astro-turf or paid protesters but it is organized and scripted and ugly and without anything in mind other than destruction.

He has firsthand experience with liberal activists trying to put him on the spot this month even without having held a town hall. They’ve staked him out at a few places around Miami to confront him on camera about why he hasn’t held an event yet. He’s not wrong either about liberals cribbing from the “Indivisible” pamphlet, a protest guide “full of pointers on how to bird dog their members of Congress in the language of Capitol insiders.” The authors of the pamphlet claim it’s been downloaded more than a million times since December.
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Rubio’s attitude is that a member of Congress has a duty to meet with constituents but no duty to provide them with a target for a media-friendly spectacle that’s not really about either side listening

The Rampant Incivility of the Left by Steve McCann – “Those vehemently opposed to Donald Trump are apparently incapable of voicing coherent and compelling criticism.”

The compulsion to compare, either directly or deviously, one’s political opponent to Fascists, Nazis, Hitler, or Mussolini is indicative of the so-called Progressives’ inability to present a coherent argument in support of their policies. The mindless references to the World War II period (including the 1930’s) are an affront to and a denigration of the memory of nearly 60 million people who died in the War and the countless millions who suffered and were displaced. Far too many on the left side of the political spectrum, who so glibly throw around these comparisons, apparently do not know, or do not care to acknowledge, the socialist underpinning of Nazism and its parent Fascism and do not have the slightest concept of the real-life experiences of those who were there.
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It is an admission that the Left knows it cannot compete in the larger arena of ideas. They know the only means they have to accumulate power and win elections …

These are, in fact, some of the same strategies utilized by the despots of recent history in their seizure of power. If there is any group in the United States today that could be truthfully compared to the Fascists, it is the current iteration of the American Left.

On the kind of people behind the left is the ongoing saga of the floodplain camp protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. Besides a million dollar cleanup bill, there is a need for care in picking up the trash. John Sexton has pictures: Dakota Access Pipeline protesters left puppies behind at frozen camp. “When police shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp last week in accordance with a deadline established weeks earlier, protesters left behind cars, loads of trash and also a number of stranded pets. KFYR in Bismark reports on the efforts of one local rescue shelter to round up the abandoned animals.” Let the excuses continue.

Scott Johnson on Fake news: A case study about Rumana Ahmed – ““Burrowing,” as it’s commonly called, is the process through which political appointees move into career government status.”

In “Fake news, exposed.” Smith digs into the story behind Ahmed’s story … Smith finds the hidden hand of Obama fabulist Ben Rhodes behind Ahmed’s story (as well as the story of Ahmed’s former White Hourse office mate Ned Price). Please do read the whole thing.
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Women In the World in association with the New York Times promptly picked up Ahmed’s story and sought to amplify it in “‘Only hijabi in the West Wing’ shares the story of her exit from the Trump White House — after just 8 days.” The Times now professes to be big into “truth,” but the “truth” is that it remains an organ dedicated to pumping out story lines and fake news on behalf of the left.

The NRA titles the video below “Truth doesn’t matter to the New York Times.” The video’s critique of the Times is that the Times is a latecomer to the cause of truth. I doubt that this critique is sufficiently harsh.

For a different view of the President, John Hinderaker picks up on Trump Unbound, At Dinner – “For a completely different view of President Trump, check out this report by Benny Johnson at Independent Journal Review, titled “Inside Trump’s Secret Dinner.”

Benny Johnson got a tip that he was going to have dinner at the BLT Steakhouse inside Washington’s Trump Hotel. So he reserved a table near where he expected Trump’s party to be and arrived early. His account includes pictures and several videos.
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Benny Johnson’s report is a nice counterpoint to the anti-Trump propaganda with which we are bombarded 24/7. It is easy to understand why Trump doesn’t believe the media’s constant negativity reflects the views of most Americans.

A. Barton Hinkle says The Solutions Are Sitting Around a Campfire, Not In Congress – “Everything’s going to be more or less ok.” He is missing the pressure is putting on pushing their ideas to corrupt what he describes but it is still a ‘feel good piece’ for the day.

At the same time, it is possible to make too much of our current troubles. A little perspective is in order.

One way to regain that perspective is to spend a few minutes on HumanProgress.org, which tracks the generally meliorating conditions of human existence over the short, medium, and long term. It is filled with data showing how much better things today are than they once were: Hundreds of millions of people have climbed out of poverty. Literacy rates are rising, the gender wage gap is shrinking, child mortality is falling. Air travel is both cheaper and far less dangerous, food is more plentiful, malaria deaths have plunged, and on and on.

If your learning style is more experiential than data-driven, then you might try spending a few days with a Cub Scout pack. Few things are as likely to restore your confidence that everything is basically OK.
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Eight-year-old boys don’t care if you’re an immigrant or black or white or Asian or Muslim or evangelical. They just don’t. As comic Denis Leary once put it, “Racism isn’t born, folks, it’s taught. I have a 2-year-old son. You know what he hates? Naps. End of list.”
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While you’re telling that story you look around and realize none of the boys has touched an electronic device for a day and a half. They’re all running around in the woods with sticks, building forts and having swordfights. And you think, it’s not just this bunch of kids; this is going on all over the country. And it’s not just the Scouts but church groups and 4-H and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and sports teams and too many others to name. None of it created by Washington, none of it imposed by executive order. Just ordinary people, doing their part.

You look around and you realize: One of these days these kids are going to grow up and take over. And things will be just fine. Maybe even more than fine.

Economist: Wind and solar power are disrupting electricity systems – “But that’s no reason for governments to stop supporting them.” The underlying theme in this article is top down energy cost manipulation assuming that it is only via legislation that the price of energy is determined. The “free energy” myth that ignores both capital costs and lifetime issues is also present.

Normally investors like putting their money into electricity because it offers reliable returns. Yet green energy has a dirty secret. The more it is deployed, the more it lowers the price of power from any source.
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Policymakers are already seeing this inconvenient truth as a reason to put the brakes on renewable energy. In parts of Europe and China, investment in renewables is slowing as subsidies are cut back. However, the solution is not less wind and solar. It is to rethink how the world prices clean energy in order to make better use of it.
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First, the splurge of public subsidy, of about $800bn since 2008, has distorted the market.
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Second, green power is intermittent.
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Everyone is affected by a third factor: renewable energy has negligible or zero marginal running costs—because the wind and the sun are free.
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In short, policymakers should be clear they have a problem and that the cause is not renewable energy, but the out-of-date system of electricity pricing. Then they should fix it.

The “out of date system of electricity pricing” is the capitalist free market modified by governmental oversight to control the monopoly fears. The fact is that individual customers have choices they can compare to the public grid and some find that other sources of energy work best for them. The ‘dirty little secret’ in ideological driven energy choices is that it cannot compete and must, therefore, be mandated by government and paid for by public funds or by extra consumer fees and costs. That is a cost that hits hardest on the poor and needy.

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