Witch hunt to deny free speech?

The House launches its expected fishing expedition against the Great Orange Whale, Moby Donald. neo – “That net is very wide, isn’t it? But hey, they’ll do anything to harpoon Moby Donald.”

“I can’t recall anything even remotely like this, in terms of scope, against a sitting president. Watergate was mainly about Watergate, as far as I know. Even Whitewater was relatively circumscribed in nature, and mostly was handled by a succession of independent counsels. The Lewinski investigation was, likewise, comparatively limited and also involved an independent counsel (Ken Starr, who had originally started with the Whitewater matter).

The analogy to those investigations is the Mueller investigation. That’s been going on for nearly two years, and during that time Mueller has had access to the same people Nadler is pursuing, and has not found much of anything to implicate Trump. Democrats are upset about that, so they are going to try again. Whether their plan is to impeach Trump (they probably have the House votes to do that, but it would be dumb without some sort of smoking gun that could gain enough votes in the Senate to convict him) or whether they just want to try to engage in constant innuendos and smears from now to the 2020 election in hopes of damaging him further (that’s my leading theory at the moment), this is a deeply troubling although completely expected development. Another goal of this investigation—and one I would think had already been sufficiently met, but I guess the Democrats see no reason not to make the point ever more clear—is to frighten anyone away who might even consider working under Trump.
So one of the purposes of squeezing Cohen, the noted perjurer, and getting him to testify against Trump in the absence of any proof except the word of a known flagrant liar, is to set the scene for further investigations based on Cohen’s allegations. It’s a bit like the Steele dossier, isn’t it? You take a lie and make it the basis for an investigation to trap more little fish in your net in hopes of finally catching the big fish.

People who hate Trump—and they are legion—will be overjoyed. I’m wondering, though, how the vast middle will respond to this. I also wonder how vast the middle actually is anymore.

Net neutrality and the culture of contempt. Will Baird – “But the final speaker of the day struck a different tone. A business professor, the speaker described net neutrality as a “life-and-death situation” for entrepreneurs, whom he has advised to leave the country.”

“His remarks continued in this vein, exclaiming that we should not be “having this debate in an academic sense in a way that…legitimizes the other side.” After describing net neutrality skeptics as Flat-Earthers who want to destroy the American Dream for entrepreneurs who are “trying to make our planet a better place,” he concluded by stating that the fact that we are even discussing the issue “makes me think, Oh My God, where am I?”

I sat in stunned silence. The conference effectively closed with a plea to the audience, consisting mostly of law students and interested lawyers, to not even acknowledge the ideas that have shaped my academic career. I am not afraid of conflict; I love policy debates, and given where I stand on issues, it’s usually not hard to find someone who disagrees with me. But this ground had shifted from ideas to tribalism. …

Unfortunately, this dynamic has increasingly become the hallmark of the net neutrality debate. No one has felt it more than Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, who has suffered an endless stream of social media vitriol, harassment of himself and his family, and death threats because of his support for the Restoring Internet Freedom Order. The effect of this dynamic is to shut down policy discussion and instead relegate the issue to the raw power struggles of the political arena.

The list of issues where this happens is long. Climate whatever, vaccinations, chemicalz, GMO, pesticides, plastics, abortion, energy, natural whatever, Fake News™ … the behaviors are common and easily observed. Even international trade brings AEI (source of the article) into this set of behaviors.

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