4/6/2017: Overlimit. Too much. Enough already

Jenny Beth Martin: Democrats continue to blow Up Senate tradition – “Sen. Chuck Schumer dusts off his playbook.”

Liberal media outlets are decrying the end of the Senate’s venerable traditions and putting the blame – where else? – squarely at the feet of Senate Republicans. The New York Times laments that the Republicans’ decision to end the use of the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees is further proof of the “decaying standards of civility among lawmakers.”

A brief history lesson is in order.

President Obama once famously remarked that “elections have consequences.” Indeed. But Democrats would do well to remember that sometimes elections are the consequence. November 2018 could end up being a devastating consequence for the Democrats’ fool’s errand in filibustering Judge Gorsuch.

Ed Morrissey takes note that the Reid Option has nuances: Senate GOP ready to go nuclear — with a side of tactical – when you pick a fight … well, go back to that VDH column cited above.

Let’s just say that McConnell plans to make it verrrry interesting. Not only will Democrats not have the filibuster on Gorsuch, they may end up with only a fraction of the normal time on future nominees too. They can also thank Harry Reid for this change, too

Not that it isn’t justified on its own. Reid pulled that one out of his hat in 2013 to deal with a significant number of appointments in a short period of time, so the precedent exists … Democrats have gone full obstructionist on Trump appointments, using procedural tricks to delay confirmation as long as possible on practically every Cabinet appointment. What better way to make them pay for that privilege than to reimpose yet another Reid innovation on the Democratic minority?

Judson Phillips: Ronald Reagan warned us – “Dems put liberty, freedom on the brink of extinction.” This is the sort of rhetoric commonly seen from the Left: hyperbolic and extreme. The difference is that the Left is talking fear about what is to come (with Republicans in charge) while this is based on what has already happened (with Democrats in charge).

Ronald Reagan warned Americans that freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. America is one generation removed from the late President Reagan’s term in office, and freedom now teeters on the brink of extinction.

During the eight years of the Obama Regime, there was one constant theme. The Democrats, or as real Americans refer to them as the “Party of Treason,” weaponized the government to be used against the political opponents of the Democrat Party.

Meanwhile the cover-up continues. There is a report that Nunez is stepping aside from the investigation into Russian meddling because “leftwing activist groups” have mounted an ethics complaint smearstorm. Renewed attacks on Gorka have earmarks of Soviet propaganda playbook by Monica Showalter is another example of the same tactic. “Now The Forward is back with more grotesquely false attacks, not the least bit concerned about its reputation.”

The reporting about Steve Bannon is an example of Swamp limited paradigms. Headlines were about “removal” and demotion and whatnot. A closer look at reality indicates that Bannon’s role is as an adviser and roving troubleshooter. His NSC appointment was sharply criticized by the Swamp Critters so they are happy about his being relieved. What they don’t understand is the implications of Bannon’s statement that his role was to “de-operationalize” the NSC. i.e. his role was to ‘fix’ the mess Susan Rice left behind. See ‘Other Fish to Fry’: Despite Screaming Headlines, Bannon News Considered ‘Logical Evolution’ – “In fact, his changing role in the Trump administration was planned, according to Bannon.”

Or see the NY Post on Why the media want to bury the Susan Rice ‘unmasking’ news

The folks at CNN and MSNBC are working overtime to splash cold water all over the startling disclosure that President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, was behind the “unmasking” of Trumpites in transcripts of calls with Russian officials.

“Another fake scandal being peddled by right-wing media” is what CNN anchor Chris Cuomo (brother of New York’s Democratic governor) called it.

Then there’s Eli Lake conflating importance and manufacturing reality to support his views: The Real Political Scandal? Actually, There Are Two – “Depending on where the facts lead, we will know whether Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, was justified in unmasking the names of Trump transition officials or whether the media’s obsession with the government’s Russia investigation was warranted.” For Trump, it’s suspicion and speculation. For the Obama camp, it is history and evidence.

It’s possible that Trump was just an unwitting beneficiary of this foreign meddling. But he and his associates have seemingly gone out of their way to act guilty.

in the meantime, Trump’s political opponents have weaponized the allegations of collusion against him. This does not support Trump’s claim that Obama illegally wiretapped Trump Tower.

Concern about unmasking is not a smokescreen, a nothing-burger or a diversionary tactic. It’s a real story. So is how Russia helped Trump win the White House. Don’t trust anyone who says “There’s nothing to see here.”

The facts are there but you have to look carefully to find them. The Russian collusion conspiracy depends solely upon Podesta’s physhing email breach coupled with paranoia about routine foreign leader communications by an incoming administration. The ‘wiretapping’ conspiracy depends upon front page news articles and whistleblowers. The ‘authorities’ have repeatedly asserted that the Russians did not hack the election yet that doesn’t seem to faze the likes of Lake.

John Podhoretz picks up on the deceit in Unravelling the Team Obama anti-Trump leak machine – “She didn’t “leak,” she only “unmasked.” This is former National Security Adviser Susan Rice’s self-defense.”

It’s important to note that Rice wasn’t an intelligence official or analyst. She was a foreign-policy aide. She had no need of operational intelligence in these cases.

The obvious question to ask when it comes to the unmaskings is whether they were secured, by Rice or others, at least in part to make it possible for someone else to leak names and information at some point. Her deputy Ben Rhodes bragged about his ability to control the Washington conversation when it came to the Iran nuclear deal, for example.

Because we know that did happen. We know someone leaked the unmasked information.

It is at precisely such moments of high melodrama that committing a crime like leaking the name of an American caught in telephone surveillance of a foreign national might seem like the truly moral thing to do, given the horror of an untrammeled and undiminished President Trump bestriding the narrow world like a Colossus.

None of this is to say the subject of Russian meddling isn’t the paramount concern. It is. But examining and getting the real story on the discomfiting behavior of the Obama White House in its final months is being all too flippantly dismissed by people who would be screaming bloody murder if Susan Rice were, say, Scooter Libby.

Where the obfuscation about “Russian meddling” occurs is in the efforts to paint it as Trump malfeasance. The fact that the evidence in such meddling tends to point Left is what stimulates the overboard defense and histrionics.

Andrew C. McCarthy says On Susan Rice, the Issue Is Abuse of Power, Not Criminality – “At her direction, the Obama White House violated the public trust.”

It should come as no surprise that the defense Ms. Rice and Obama apologists are mounting is heavily reliant on a fact that is not in dispute: viz., that the intelligence collection at issue was legal.

I anticipated that line of argument a week ago. The issue is not technical legality, it is monumental abuse of power.

Abuses of power are offenses against the public trust. They often overlap with a criminal offense, but they are not the same thing as a criminal offense.

This is why a “high crime and misdemeanor” — the constitutional standard for impeachment — need not be an indictable criminal offense. It may be a chargeable crime, but it need not be one.

If the new reporting is to be believed, Rice orchestrated the unmasking of communications involving the Democrats’ political rivals — the Trump campaign. Her current stress on the lawfulness of the intelligence collection is a straw man.

But the technical legality of any particular instance of unmasking is beside the point. The question is abuse of power.

The abuse of power and public trust are at the core of the Political Problem right now in the behavior of the opposition party. It is why words such as “treason” and “sedition” are surfacing more frequently. The Gorsuch nomination is providing a case study in irresponsible participation in government by elected officials as they struggle to rationalize an opposition that is unprecedented and totalitarian.

What is on the front pages tends to hide the growing tide of news that is likely to make a more significant long term impact. FoxNews reports on a SoCal water issue: Trump administration revokes Obama-era directive blocking controversial water project – this is an environmentalists worst nightmare from either a ‘it will destroy the desert’ perspective or a ‘corporate greed’ perspective or the ‘human plague’ perspective.

“The Trump administration wants to open the door for a private company to exploit a natural desert aquifer and destroy pristine public land purely for profit,” Feinstein said in a statement. “The administration is completely undermining federal oversight of railroad rights-of-way.”

Despite the pushback from Feinstein, the project enjoys a good deal of support in Congress. Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah – the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee – was one of 18 members of Congress to urge Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to revoke the BLM directives.

Ed Morrissey cites Reuters: Time’s running out for Republican “stealth assault” on regulatory state, you know – “according to Reuters’ headline writers, the GOP effort to roll back Barack Obama’s regulatory expansion over the last few months of his administration is a “stealth assault.” 

Stealth assault? The expansion of the regulatory state was a major issue in the 2016 election, especially the lame-duck efforts of Obama, with Republicans from Donald Trump down to individual House Republicans pledging to roll it back. What’s more, as the Reuters story itself notes, Republicans are even working in broad daylight to fulfill this campaign pledge

The White House itself clearly wants to keep this effort stealthy by issuing a dozen or more press releases in the last two months about CRA efforts to roll back regulation. Trump ensured that the Republicans remain in stealth mode by staging a signing ceremony last week for four CRA bills from Congress

The phrase “stealth assault” conveys both a sense of underhandedness and a sense of illegitimacy to Republican efforts, both of which are nonsense.

So Reuters admits to not doing their job and then blames them nefarious rascally Republicans. And then they wonder why they get laughed at.

Victor Davis Hanson provides Insight based on Ancient laws, modern wars – “The most dangerous moments in foreign affairs often come after a major power seeks to reassert its lost deterrence.”

Rightly or wrongly, China, Iran, North Korea, Russia and Middle East-based terrorists concluded after 2009 that the U.S. saw itself in decline and preferred a recession from world affairs.

Amid such growing chaos, a return to former (and normal) U.S. deterrence would inflame such aggressors and be considered provocative by provocateurs.

Finally, it is always better to be safe and ridiculed than vulnerable and praised.

He then provides ten “few old rules” we should remember “for these scary new crises on the horizon.” It is interesting to note that it appears that the new administration seems much more cognizant of these rules than the previous one. A case in point is the recent comment about not broadcasting threatened actions in advance (versus the Obama shifting Red Line in Syria).

Oh, and there Might be another scandal from the Scandal-Free Administration (TM). Ace notes this wondering Did Obama Illegally Divert Money From Fannie and Freddie Mae to Prop Up Obamacare?

Jazz Shaw: So that green card holder caught voting in Texas was “scapegoated” – “the editorial board at the Washington Post has seen fit to take up her cause in an argument this week claiming that she was made out to be a “scapegoat” for partisan Republican purposes.” Familiar? Same ol’ tactics. Massive amount of hot air and outrage; minimal evidence, reality, or reason.

The outrage being expressed here is no doubt sincere, but also misguided and driven by partisan, liberal dogma. The complaints being put forth by the editors can be broken down into a few separate categories, each of which is problematic.

the “travesty of justice” they describe is rooted in the fact that Ortega’s sentence was “too heavy.”

A second point the Post seeks to make is the unprovable claim that voter fraud, including ballots cast by ineligible immigrants, is such a rarity that we shouldn’t be punishing anyone this severely

The last point the Post attempts to make is that Ortega was “guileless” and just made some sort of mistake.

All of this adds up to a rather dubious picture if you’re trying to claim that Ms. Ortega is some sort of “scapegoat.” But even if she is, we probably need a considerably larger herd of such goats. As long as we have major news outlets advocating for weeks long sentences or probation in cases of voter fraud, none of the people perpetrating this crime are going to take it seriously. And indeed, the Post has once again shown that they don’t feel it’s a very serious crime either.

It’s a roilin’ boiln’ stew of a mess out there. This post is going over limit and the stew is too big for the pot. So you’ll need to get out on your own to manage the stew.

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