A catalog of tactics: dirty, mean, dishonest, etc.etc.

First: horror, condolences, and prayers for the victims of a guy with automatic weapons firing down on a country music festival from the 32nd floor. There are many questions to be answered but those questions and the victims will likely be swept to insignificance over political ideology is history trends holds out (already showing from the usual suspects). Meanwhile, United Blood Services is seeking donations.

Jeff Sessions: When colleges became echo chambers of the politically correct – “The search for truth has suffered, with the imposition of truth-by-censors replacing it.”

Our legal heritage, upon which the Founders crafted the Bill of Rights, taught that reason and knowledge produced the closest approximation to truth — and from truth may arise justice. But reason requires discourse and, frequently, argument. And that is why the free speech guarantee is found not just in the First Amendment, but also permeates our institutions, our traditions, and our Constitution.

We have staked a country on the principle that robust and even contentious debate is how we discover truth and resolve the most intractable problems before us. This is the heritage that we have been given and which we must protect.

Charles Hurt: Puerto Rico the latest crisis Democrats see as too good to let go to waste – “Is there no third rail of American politics this president fears? Obviously not.”

In this case, San Juan’s mayor tangled with the wrong guy. Politics 101 has always instructed presidents to lie down and take any beating — no matter how politically motivated — that is offered up over federal response to natural disasters.

It did not help Ms. Cruz that she accused Mr. Trump of killing her people while standing amid aisles of food and bottled water on giant pallets. This only highlighted the fact that ships have been delivering cargo containers of rations and relief into the San Juan harbor, but local officials have not been able to distribute the goods to the people who need them.

Just one more tragic example that the federal government is not the answer to every problem. Even the weather.

Steven Hayward In Re: Puerto Rico – “The only surprising thing about the total catastrophe in Puerto Rico is that it took so long for the “Trump-Is-A-Bigot-Who-Hates-Brown-People” refrain to get cranked up to eleven.”

One difference today that is Bush was too much of a gentleman to respond to the demagogic attacks from the left. And one thing we know about Trump is that he is no gentleman and won’t take these attacks.

Even before the hurricane, it was clear that bondholders were going to take a large haircut in any restructuring; now I suspect Puerto Rico may default completely.

Prediction: The end result of the Puerto Rico disaster will either be statehood, or independence. I prefer the latter.

Jorge Rodriguez: ‘Inept’ Puerto Rican government ‘riddled with corruption’ – “For the last 30 years, the Puerto Rican government has been completely inept at handling regular societal needs, so I just don’t see it functioning in a crisis like this one.” Those seeking similarities with Katrina need to look at local government, not federal.

I’m really tired of Puerto Rican government officials blaming the federal government for their woes and for not acting fast enough to help people on the island. Last week I had three federal agents in my office and I was so embarrassed; I went out of my way to apologize to them for the attitude of my government and what they have been saying about the US response. When the hurricane hit we had experts from FEMA from all over the US on the ground and I was really proud of their quick response. The first responders and FEMA have all been outstanding in this crisis, and should be supported.

I have a message for the U.S. Congress: Watch out what relief funds you approve and let our local government handle. Don’t let the Puerto Rican government play the victim and fool you. They have no clue what they are doing, and I worry that they will mishandle anything that comes their way.

They don’t need another aircraft carrier. They need experienced people to run a proper disaster command center.

Via Instapundit: U.S. Military On Puerto Rico: “the Problem Is Distribution.” – “They have the generators, water, food, medicine, and fuel on the ground, yet the supplies are not moving across the island as quickly as they’re needed. It’s a lack of drivers for the transport trucks, the 18 wheelers. Supplies we have. Trucks we have. There are ships full of supplies, backed up in the ports, waiting to have a vehicle to unload into. However, only 20% of the truck drivers show up to work. These are private citizens in Puerto Rico, paid by companies that are contracted by the government,” says Col. Valle.”

Rowan Scarborough: Tormenting Manafort is seen as Weissmann’s way to snare big prosecution targets for Mueller – “Facing indictment and millions of dollars in legal debts, President Trump’s onetime campaign manager maintains his innocence and has nothing incriminating to offer Special Counsel Robert Mueller, associates say.”

“Manafort will be looking at several counts to begin with,” said Ms. Powell, who wrote the book “Licensed to Lie,” about what she considers Justice Department corruption. “If he doesn’t cooperate, in response to that, they’ll indict him for many more counts, which will ratchet up his cost of defense significantly, and he’ll be looking at a lifetime in prison.”

But people who know Mr. Manafort have a contrarian narrative. They wonder why Mr. Mueller and his staff of nearly 20 prosecutors had the FBI conduct the shock-effect raid.

They suggest that the trail to finding Russia-Trump collusion has become so cold that Mr. Mueller’s game of hardball led by Mr. Weissmann is a last-ditch effort to scare Mr. Manafort into becoming a prosecution witness.

Associates say Mr. Manafort is not a cooperating witness for one clear reason: He has nothing to reveal and has witnessed no illegal collusion.

Mr. Trump has called the Russia collusion investigation by three congressional committees and Mr. Mueller a “witch hunt.”

IBD: Is Any Part Of The Russia Election Hacking Story True? – “Instead of building up to a troubling conclusion about the Trump campaign’s collusion with Russian to interfere in the 2016 election, the “facts” about this story keep turning out to be untrue. The latest is the claim that Russian tried to hack 21 state election systems.”

This sparked renewed outrage from Democrats about how the election results had been “hacked” by Russia.

But then the story started to fall apart, when Wisconsin and California said DHS was wrong about their systems being targeted.

But that didn’t stop various Trump critics from claiming that this was further evidence that Russia stole the election for Trump.

This has, unfortunately, become the norm since Trump unexpectedly won the election in November. Headline-grabbing stories claim that Russia was involved in some nefarious election-related business, and then days or weeks later the stories turn out to false or wildly exaggerated.

As we’ve noted in this space repeatedly, after more than a year of investigations by law enforcement and the press, we’ve yet to see a shred of credible evidence that Trump had anything to do with whatever Russia actually was up to during the 2016 election. Or any evidence whatsoever that whatever Russia was up to had any impact on anyone’s votes.

It’s shameful, and a disservice to the public. Even Chicken Little didn’t claim the sky was falling this often.

Byron York: As fight enters second month, FBI still withholding dossier documents – “Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein met with committee chairman Devin Nunes last Thursday — the committee can perhaps take comfort in the fact that it is being put off by progressively higher-ranking officials — but it is not clear if the committee is any closer to receiving the documents than when it first issued its subpoena on August 24.”

Investigators in both House and Senate are serious about wanting to know the dossier story. They want to know why the FBI would have taken up, during the height of last year’s presidential campaign, an opposition research project in which a former British spy, paid by supporters of Hillary Clinton, collected what Comey called “salacious and unverified” allegations about Donald Trump and Russia. Grassley said the episode raised “questions about the FBI’s independence from politics.”

Now, the FBI and the Justice Department are resisting Congress’s effort to understand what the bureau did in the 2016 campaign. It seems clear that if it were up to the FBI, the public would never know what went on in the dossier affair. Which means that right now, the House and Senate are the public’s only chance.

David Catron: Tom Price’s Real Crime – “He was guilty of being a fierce and powerful opponent of Obamacare.”

Anyone naïve enough to believe that Tom Price’s ouster from HHS was actually about his use of chartered jets may wish to consider this: The same transgression was committed on a much larger scale by numerous Obama administration officials, yet neither the “news” media nor the Democrats ever exhibited any outrage over far worse abuses by repeat offenders like Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch.

The search for dirt on Price by the Democrats and the media continued apace, of course, and this effort to find damning information only increased after he was confirmed by the Senate and promptly initiated an extensive review of the more than 1,400 intrusive health care regulations promulgated by his predecessors.

Betsy McCaughey: Exposing Democrats’ lies on the Trump tax-cut plan – “Intent on stoking envy, these class warriors are willing to forfeit economic growth. But the nation can’t afford to.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders smears the Trump plan as “morally repugnant,” claiming the rich don’t pay their “fair share.” You’ll hear the same complaint in the “Not One Penny” TV ads paid for by MoveOn.org and other left-wing groups. They warn Congress not to allow one cent of tax cuts for high-income people.

But the top 10 percent of earners pay 80 percent of federal income taxes. Do the math.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren rages that the plan “delivers massive cuts to corporations” and “kicks working families to the curb.” Wrong, Senator. Business tax cuts don’t just benefit businesses. They produce higher wages and more job opportunities for workers.

Pelosi warns Trump’s plan will “blow a huge whole in the deficit.” That’s a new religion for Democrats. Don’t be fooled. The real problem isn’t that taxes are too low. It’s that spending is too high, and Dems want to push it higher.

Expect more demagoguery as Democrats battle Trump’s tax relief. They claim to want a bipartisan plan. Their rhetoric proves otherwise. Unwilling to help govern, they call themselves the “resistance.”

Don’t count on them to help rebuild America’s economy.

Thomas Lifson: How many $ billions will the NFL lose over its kneeling fiasco? – “Signs are evident that the NFL has done permanent damage to its business by appearing to side with the Colin Kaepernick-initiated kneeling during the National Anthem.”

Almost half of the public would be pleased to see them suffer financially! They are angry, and no longer identify with those teams.

Fans become a tribe of sorts, sharing a common identity and common hopes. Part of the reason people like to go to games is the glorious feeling of togetherness, sharing thrills and disappointments. They “affiliate” with the team.

The flag, the National Anthem, and the nation itself are an even larger identity, vastly larger and more important. The nation is a glorious tribe, one that is multi-racial and multi-everything, because it includes every American. It is a tribe for which Americans have willingly died, in fact, whom we honor by standing for the National Anthem and saluting the flag.

When identities clash, people are forced to choose between them.

Paul Mirengoff: The Vietnam War Gets The Ken Burns Treatment – “I found Burns’ version of the war biased and superficial.”

Burns consistently deploys the “iconic” music of the Vietnam era in service of the anti-war movement. When protesters appear, we often hear pop music rather than the voices of the protesters, e.g., “Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Min, NLF [the ones killing Americans] is gonna win.” Burns wants to associate the anti-war movement with music most people like in the hope that it will make us like the movement. It’s one of the oldest advertising tricks in the book.

Ironically, Burns doesn’t let us hear the one song of the era that was explicitly about Vietnam and that made it to the top of charts. I’m referring to “The Ballad of the Green Berets” by Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler. This was a pro-war song written by a member of the Green Berets, a special forces unit, while he was in the hospital recovering from an injury sustained during the war.

Gussying up the anti-war movement with the sounds of the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, etc. is a minor problem compared to gussying up North Vietnam. I’m being unfair. Burns doesn’t so much gussy North Vietnam up as give them something of a pass.

The Vietnam War was an attempt by a murderous Stalinist regime and the its proxy in the south, aided massively by the Soviets and the Chinese, to seize through military conquest an internationally recognized neighboring country. In the 12 or so hours of the series I watched, Burns and his crew downplayed this reality.

The U.S. and South Vietnamese governments came in for relentless criticism. The North Vietnamese mostly skated.

Ironically, Burns, who says he hopes his documentary will help end divisions over the war and facilitate national healing, has come under fire from the left. The contemporary left is so virulently anti-American that it objects to the few crumbs Burns has offered those who think the war was justified or was a mostly honorable mistake.

Ordinarily, I would find this sad. But in this context, anything that might prevent Burns’ version of the Vietnam War from becoming the received wisdom is okay with me.

John Hinderaker: How The Associated Press Spins The Supreme Court – “The Associated Press is a loyal servant of the Democratic Party and its liberal components. If you doubt that assertion, consider today’s AP article on the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court term by reporter Mark Sherman.”

So how does a liberal reporter spin his coverage of the Supreme Court? It’s easy: he just frames every legal issue with the liberal narrative, and turns exclusively to liberal sources for comments on the Court’s controversial cases.

the law favors arbitration of disputes. But Sherman doesn’t tell you that. Instead, he turns to a left-winger for comment: … The other side is not represented.

The issue is whether a public employee can be forced by law, against his or her will, to contribute money to a union that siphons off much or most of that contribution to support political candidates and causes of which the employee disapproves. But Sherman doesn’t tell you that. Instead, he goes for comment to a representative of a union that has a major financial interest in the case.

Next up is redistricting. … Sherman goes to former Obama administration official Donald Verrilli.

The Colorado wedding cake case comes next. … Sherman turns to–who else?–another former Obama Justice Department official, who speaks for the anti-baker side of the case: … Sherman didn’t think it necessary to find anyone to speak on behalf of Phillips. That’s not the side he is on.

Next, a gratuitous swipe at the Trump administration: … “Civil rights groups” are advocating for the voting rights of dead people, apparently. To continue his attack the Trump administration, Sherman turns to a neutral observer–the ACLU.

The Associated Press plays this game every day, in pretty much all of its coverage. Frame issues the way the Democratic Party wants them framed, then turn to liberal “experts” for comment. Are reporters like Mark Sherman fooling anyone? No, which is why trust in the media is in the toilet. Yet the incessant repetition of left-wing talking points has an effect, like rain wearing down rock.

Many examples and, no, both sides aren’t the same.

Comments are closed.