Can we keep the Republic? Do we want to? Chasing after chimeras

Stephen B. Presser: What is a republic, and how do we keep it? – “The ‘resistance’ has forgotten the fundamentals bequeathed by the founders.”

Thus it was that the United States was to be a republic, rather than a democracy. In a republic, as the framers understood, there are at least two profound differences from a democracy. The first, most obvious, is that government is not by the people themselves, but, instead, is conducted through elected representatives. Second, less obvious, but an essential feature of republican government from Rome on, is that the government must not act arbitrarily, but must conduct itself pursuant to the rule of law. It must, in other words, follow established procedures and act according to accepted norms, in our case pursuant to our Constitution and laws.

Ever since the election of Donald Trump — an election conducted pursuant to the established procedures in the Constitution, procedures which the framers put in place to make sure that all of the states of the country would have a voice in the selection of our commander in chief

Rather than pursuing the fantasy of foreign plots, for which there seems little if any reality, it ought to be the job of a responsible media and responsible legislators to help the American people and their duly elected president to determine whether, in fact, the program on which the Republicans ran can be effected. There is plenty to examine, plenty to discuss, and plenty to debate without wasting the resources and time of our fellow citizens and their government chasing after chimeras. Moreover, we can’t keep a republic unless we understand our obligation to live under the rule of law, and to realize that the system under which we have thrived requires us to submit to events like the result of elections with which we may disagree.

Thomas Lifson explains how Andrew McCarthy demolishes the argument that Trump obstructed justice, or even did anything wrong in dinner talk with Comey. In the process, a problem in understanding how the U.S. Government works is revealed. Comey asserted that the FBI and the DOJ were DOJ were independent from the executive branch.

Nowhere in the Constitution is the FBI (or DoJ) defined as anything other than a part of the Executive Branch. The FBI didn’t exist in 1787, and wouldn’t for almost a century and a half.

Which brings us to Andrew McCarthy, explaining why President Trump had full authority to say what he did without compromising any ethics or laws

But that won’t make much difference to the conspiracy theorists on the Left. Another example and an explanation of why this lack of intellectual integrity is an issue is provided by Alicia Colon who says It’s the theory of Global Warming that’s really dangerous – “There is no excuse for not finding out the truth on many issues.” The problem is that of actually accepting the truth you find, i.e. summoning intellectual integrity to overcome personal ideologies and fantasies.

what does that say about the rest of the country who swears that climate change is not only more dangerous than Islamic jihadists but that disaster is imminent? Have we really become an idiocracy of fools believing whatever talking heads and celebrities spout about doom and gloom without finding out the truth for ourselves?

It seems we have abdicated our ability to think rationally or to question whatever claims these pseudo scientists make about planet earth. It is extremely unsettling that anyone questioning the flawed data given by these charlatans is deemed a denier and dangerous skeptic.

While there is no similarity between global warming and these other catastrophic scientific miscalculations, there is now the same danger in mixing science with politics and ideology and only with unfettered scientific research can we avoid disaster.

The latest Comey ‘scandal’ is that Trump asked for loyalty. Ace has a relevant Flashback: Defense Sec. Robert Gates Somehow Felt Compelled to Pledge His Loyalty to Obama; Bob Schieffert Accused Gates of a Lack of “Loyalty” In Writing a Memoir About His Obama Years. See also Lifson’s quotes from McCarthy on Carlson cited above as well.

Even if you somehow believe Gates pledged loyalty to Obama without prompting, then you’d have to take Gates as expert testimony that people who actually work in the upper reaches of official DC understand that if you want a job, or want to keep your job, you’re expected to tell a president you’re loyal to him.

And, frankly, I gotta say, the politics in DC are right now so obvious and obviously rotten that the first question I’d have for anyone — including law enforcement and intelligence officials, who naive authority-worshiping conservatives childishly still maintain are above any such doubt — is “Are you actually working for the Democrat Establishment?”

But the NeverTrumpers and the mainstream media, an increasingly difficult set of twins to distinguish between, did not make any grief about this, but now are labeling Trump’s similar request for “loyalty” — same as Obama asked of Gates — an impeachable offense.

In fact, Trump was right to ask where Comey’s loyalties lay — because a former AG under Bush asserted that Comey did in fact have political loyalties: It’s just that those loyalties lay with Chuck Schumer and the scorched-earth wing of the Democrat Party.

For something more solid to get incensed about, look for the stories about new documents uncovered related to the Fast and Furious scandal. Then figure out the implications of the policy change at the DOJ. Ian Mason: Jeff Sessions Ends DOJ Handouts for Leftist Groups – “Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new policy on Wednesday that prohibits payouts to third parties in settlements reached by the Justice Department.”

For decades, through a variety of initiatives, the DOJ has insisted on donations to third parties as part of the settlements it reaches with defendants, especially corporations. In the Obama administration, this practice took on the character of a “slush fund,” which funneled hundreds of millions of dollars from these corporate defendants and put it into the hands of non-government organizations.

And Hawaii thinks it can enter into treaties with foreign nations by signing in on the Paris Climate Accord. Who is the state loyal to? This is yet another example of where hatred has blinded. When you throw a tantrum, odds are higher you are going to do damage to something dear than to make any dent in what makes you angry.

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The Vicious Left

Cheryl K. Chumley: Eric Trump — rightly — slams vicious left as ‘not even people’ – “It’s such a cycle of hatred we live in right now in America.” And yet another example is provided about how even this interview is maliciously skewed in a media report.

Eric Trump, following in his father’s footsteps, issued some blunt talk about the very vicious left and its very vicious hatred — and now, predictably enough, his comments are being a bit skewed, no doubt, in order to drum up some of that vicious leftist hatred to generate even more anti-Trump headlines.

He’s quite correct; the political atmosphere is highly charged, and the left’s all-out attack on morals, values, conservatives — and Trump — is unlike any times in recent political history.

But in the regard Trump meant it — he’s right. Many of those in the Democratic Party, all of those on the far left, are using such vicious political tactics that they are indeed hardly human. They’re devoid of values, devoid of principles and notions of fair play — devoid of souls.

Jazz Shaw dissects another simmering controversy: Dems want Trump to nominate more people they can refuse to confirm – “there is plenty of blame to go around and, just possibly, some areas where “problems” are actually features rather than bugs.”

Are the Democrats obstructing Trump’s nominations? … There’s no question and they’ve been making no secret of it. … The average Trump nomination has taken 85 days to confirm so far. For Obama it was 32 days. For Bush it was 11.

Isn’t this partly the fault of the GOP? … No doubt about that either. We have the votes to confirm a canned ham, as the saying goes, but only if the entire GOP caucus is voting as a block. …

But isn’t Trump going too slow in in naming candidates? … what if he has no plan to do so and this is intentional? He came in with a mandate to put the federal behemoth on a crash diet and an attitude that many of these functions are a waste of time. If you believe that he’s serious about that he might not have any intention of filling them quickly… if at all. And if that’s the case, then I guess he’s moving at the right speed.

So do the Democrats (and the liberal media) have a point here? … The President has put up 117 names. Just 39 have been confirmed.

And now it’s the Comey circus. Indications are that this will be yet another let down for the “vicious left” with no handle provided to grab Trump.

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6/6/2017: Calling the charlatans’ bluff

This makes sense. James Delingpole: Revealed – The Real Reason Trump Pulled Out Of Paris… – “…Is because he has a very powerful bullshit detector.”

We know this thanks to a fascinating and unwittingly revelatory article in the German newspaper Der Spiegel.

The paper reveals how, in the days running up to President Trump’s decision to quit the UN Paris accord, he received a series of deputations from EU leaders urging him to change his mind.

“For me it’s easier to stay in than step out,” Trump told them.

This is perfectly true. Since his momentous Rose Garden speech announcing his plans to pull out of Paris, Trump has taken more flak than a thousand-bomber raid over Berlin in ’44.

Now do you see what I mean? President Trump pulled out of Paris for a lot of sensible reasons. But the one that tipped him over the edge was quite simply this: when you’ve got your fellow leaders of the free world insulting you with arguments you know to be bullshit and treating you like you’re some kind of an idiot, well suddenly it all becomes crystal clear what you’ve gotta do…

You call those charlatans’ bluff and remember why it was that people voted you to be President of the U.S.A: because they wanted someone real doing the job, for a change, and not yet another of those charlatans…

Calling the charlatans’ bluff seems to be something Trump does that the swamp pundits just don’t understand. Two recent stories may illustrate this. One is about labeling his EO on immigration a “travel ban” and the other is his rationalizing his use of twitter to bypass the media.

Allahpundit is showing his bias in White House to Comey: Go ahead and testify. We won’t stop you. – Note “A smart decision after a series of silly ones” and “Comey’s testimony Thursday is a cinch to damage Trump and the White House.” One needs to be careful when casting judgment on others and the “cinch” or ‘sure thing’ has been anticipated many times in the past with near zero realization. It may be, just perhaps, that the ‘mistakes’ are only in the eyes of someone who presumes guilt. That is a judgment that should be avoided unless there is solid evidence to support it which does not exist in this case.

VDH notes patterns in behavior: “How perfectly you conform to the now typical “angry reader” profile (ad hominem, streams of repetitive adjectives (“reductive, simplistic, polarizing, nonsense [do you ever come up for air?]), all without evidence and specificity. I congratulate you that you did not resort to capital letters and obscenity.”

Eugene Kontorovich: Trump’s travel tweets do not hurt the legal case for his executive orders – what comes out of this is that the animus isn’t from Trump. It is from those on the left and also those like Allahpundit and Newmark that have this presumption of guilt and incompetence in regard to Trump.

A fairly bizarre series of tweets by President Trump criticizing the Justice Department for its handling of his executive orders on visas has lead most observers to conclude that he has cemented the constitutional challenge to his own policies, blown up the government’s case and confirmed his own bigotry.

But reading the actual tweets reveals absolutely none of this: To the contrary, they may actually buttress the government’s defense of the travel restrictions in the Supreme Court. Certainly any reading of them as confirming a “Muslim ban” policy reads them through the same presumption of animus that informed the lower court readings of his campaign statements. However, animus is the thing to be proven — and it cannot be found in these tweets.

Sam Bray: Whose case? Whose remedy? Thoughts on the travel ban injunctions. – “the Constitution gives the federal courts “the judicial Power” — that is a power to decide “cases” for particular litigants, not a power to decide general questions and issue remedies for people not before the court.” … “The proper scope of an injunction against the national government is an important question, and increasingly hard to ignore.”

William A. Jacobson may get it: Stupid travel “ban” tricks

So no, I don’t think these tweets help Trump. I agree that Trump would be an impossible client to represent for this very reason. But perhaps he understands that this is not just a court fight, it’s a public opinion fight and he already knows how the media and punditry vote. They are not his audience.

On the legal front, the question is whether the Supreme Court Justices will take a personal view of this case, as have lower courts, or understand the enormous implications of the Courts taking on national security and immigration powers reserved for the President.

It’s a wild ride.

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6/5/2017: disgusting things

Ian Tuttle: The Roots of Left-Wing Violence – “A vague and dangerous ideology.” What is Antifa? Where does it come from? Why is it a problem to be solved and not a solution to anything? Why should it be considered a cancer on civilization and not a progressive step towards better social health? Consider the riots and other mayhem so far this year.

These and similar episodes call to mind Woody Allen’s character’s observation in the 1979 film Manhattan: “A satirical piece in the Times is one thing, but bricks and baseball bats really gets right to the point of it.”

All politics is, at some level, a vocabulary contest, and it happens that American politics is currently engaged in a fierce fight over, and about, words. The central word at issue is “fascist,” but there are others: “racist,” “sexist,” and the like. A great many people are currently involved in a turf war, aiming to stake out conceptual territory for these charged words: What is fascism? What isn’t it?

The point is finding charged language to signify that Mac Donald ought to be persona non grata, without needing to prove the case. The outraged undergraduates of Pomona College and Antifa are different in only one regard, albeit an important one: Antifa are willing to employ muscle to achieve their ends.

The purpose of words is, the philosopher Josef Pieper suggested, “to convey reality.” But it is clear that, for Antifa, the purpose is to cloak reality.

What George Orwell called “Newspeak” in his novel 1984 “occurs whenever the main purpose of language — which is to describe reality — is replaced by the rival purpose of asserting power over it.

Reality shapes language, but language also shapes reality. We think by means of words. Our perceptions change as the words change, and our actions often follow. Back to the Communists: No one killed affluent peasants. The Party “liquidated kulaks.”

Using words to cloak reality makes it easier to dispose of that reality. Antifa are not satisfied with labeling people fascists; they want them to bleed on that account.

Today’s leftists are more gun-shy than their predecessors, but the differences are a matter of degree.

Legitimate and stable political power is rooted in the healthful loyalties that temper destructive political passions. Rightly ordered affections — toward God, country, and one another — promote the civic friendship in which citizens work side by side to promote one another’s best interests, and by which inevitable disputes can be resolved with a minimum of conflict. When Lincoln urged that “we are not enemies, but friends,” he was stating a necessary condition of the American republic. The Antifa ideology can produce only enemies.

Hiding reality … Ace has an example. Oh My: Has #FakeNews CNN Been Caught Stage-Managing a “Muslim Protest” Against Terrorism? – “If “@BeckyCNN” (no idea who this is) didn’t actually stage the “protest,” she and her crew sure seem to have taken the lead in directing it for videotaping it.”

This may well show a genuine, real sentiment being expressed by the protesters — but it also shows CNN coordinating with them not to show an actual, organic protest, but to artificially set up a specific message that both CNN and the protesters want on TV.

More: This thread on Twitter is a good read — apparently, in the midst of a terrorist attack, one Brit took another Brit to task for using non-approved language against Islamist terrorists.

Yes — during the attack.

Jazz Shaw describes how Portland demonstrations erupt in violence thanks to the usual suspects – there were three groups. One was “Patriot Prayer” and the other two were protesting them.

Oddly enough, the group that ostensibly wanted to “stand against hate and racism” were the ones who initially started the trouble, but the mainstream press reports curiously didn’t make that very clear. Unfortunately, a third group of counter-protesters showed up at another location nearby, many wearing black masks and carrying “unknown objects” (which we’ve seen all too often before) and that’s when things really took a turn. Catherine Garcia, writing at The Week, teases out a few more details.

Welcome to the new era of peaceful protesting. If you organize a march against the current White House administration you will be lionized by the press and land interviews on CNN and MSNBC. If you set up a rally in support of any White House policies, people will show up with weapons and attempt to shut you down.

Newmark notes a “counfounding fact” exposed at Reason – “The folks who look at kiddie porn often get longer sentences than the people who molest children in real life.” Trying to establish molestation is difficult as the evidence is squishy and difficult to tie down. “But child porn? There it is on the computer. It’s a simple slam dunk for prosecutors.” Another example of this particular prosecution phenomenon is that for exceeding speed limits on the roads. Facility and faux objectivity make prosecution a lot simpler and more efficient.

David P. Goldman: Counter-terror Lessons from America’s Civil War – “There’s a tried and true American approach to suppressing terrorism, and it worked quite well during Gen. Sherman’s 1863 Kentucky campaign and Gen. Phil Sheridan’s subsequent reduction of the Shenandoah Valley. We don’t have to be particularly smart; we merely have to do some disgusting things.”

The Union always had more men and more resources; what it lacked was generals with the stomach for the job. That meant not only the grisly war of attrition waged by Grant, another middling commander with absolute resolve, but also retaliation against civilians: When snipers fired on Union soldiers from Tennessee or Kentucky villages, Sherman expelled residents, burned houses, and laid waste to crops. There are lessons here for what we used to call, quaintly, the Global War on Terror.

The way to win the war is to frighten the larger community of Muslims who passively support terror by action or inaction–frighten them so badly that they will inform on family members. Frightening the larger Muslim population in the West does not require a great deal of effort: a few thousand deportations would do.

We prefer to think about winning hearts and minds. Winning the hearts and minds of a people, though, isn’t difficult once they fear you.

This is why there are police and armies to do those’ disgusting’ things that convey the values of what is held dear and help define what is important and what is not to their societies.

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Remember that bit about Cruz v Chaplin? Luboš Motl weighs in

Now here’s a dose of high dudgeon for you: Was the U.S. created by int’l community in 1783?

The American departure from the insane Paris climate treaty has made the behavior of many extreme leftists extraordinary. After Donald Trump was accused of being a servant of Russia – in the absence of a glimpse of evidence – our EU overlords kindly informed us that the U.S. is no longer a good friend and we the Europeans are obliged to befriend China, India, and Russia instead.

Well, Ms Joyce Chaplin isn’t just an extreme leftist. She’s been also hired by Harvard University as an expert in the early American history, probably because she doesn’t even know when the U.S. was created. Cruz has mocked her, The Weekly Standard has mocked her, The American Thinker did it as well, and she deserves some words from me, too.

But the other thing that’s spectacular about Chaplin’s tweet is the claim that it was the “international community” that established the U.S. in 1783.

The big picture as well as virtually every detail that the likes of Joyce Chaplin tell you about things like that is insanely wrong. They distort the year in which the world’s only superpower was born, who created it, why, who signed the treaties, whom he supported, and on top of all these lies and stupidities, they interpret this alternative history as some debt that the U.S. should repay 250 years in the form of its support for some stupid ritual that got popular in some countries.

People like Chaplin are so far from anything that could be considered a reasonable opinion that it seems impossible to intelligently debate such people.

A Czechia string theorist is schooling a Harvard Historian? The really sad part of this is that Luboš has a better handle on early U.S. History than the Historian.

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The autopsy of propaganda and exposing false prohpets

Brandon J. Weichert and Chris Buskirk take up The Anatomy of a Lie – “An idea is like a virus. Resilient. Highly contagious. And even the smallest seed of an idea can grow. It can grow to define or destroy you.” It’s a rather long rundown but a good synopsis of an ugly situation.

It’s important to note when this story began. Because, as with all the best lies, there’s always at least an element of truth underneath the litany of falsehoods. This is to make the lie more easily digestible even to the most skeptical, well-informed observer. After all, if the false notion is immediately disregarded as patently false by the target audience, there would be no reason to engage in the perpetuation of political disinformation to begin with. A coherent timeline is thus essential to deciphering the truth.

Our story begins with a handful of loosely related threads that the Left slowly tied together in an impossibly complex, false, though nonetheless trafficable narrative.

when the CIA initially launched its investigation into Donald Trump last spring, it did so under the pretense that Russia aimed at “undermining the credibility of the U.S. election.” Given everything that has been presented here, seeing how the Left has misrepresented and outright lied about the Russian involvement in this last election, I would venture that it was Democratic disinformation—more so than any Russian interference—that has undermined the credibility of the U.S. election. … it is not foreign influence that we should be concerned about. It is, in fact, the Democratic Party and their allies in the partisan legacy media who are the real threats to our democracy.

In fact, today, June 1, 2017, Congress issued seven subpoenas insisting that four Trump Campaign officials and three Obama Administration officials come to testify on Capitol Hill. While there is little evidence proving any Trump Campaign collusion with Russia to steal the 2016 election, there is ample evidence that primary national security figures in the Obama Administration misused their power to improperly spy on Trump Campaign officials.

Carr: Examples of fake news? How much time you got? – “White House press secretary Sean Spicer finally lost it this week trying to correct the endless torrent of bogus news stories being churned out daily by the alt-left media.” This topic is beginning to attract analysis and catalogs of data and Carr provides another autopsy of the anatomy of a lie.

The Washington Examiner picks up on another one (a lie, that is): Green religion — justification by climate faith alone – “Listen closely to the cant and jargon of modern environmentalism, and in the empty invocations of “science,” you are witnessing the rites of a religious faith.”

If the screams after President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement seemed overwrought, it’s because Trump hadn’t merely adopted a policy the other side disagreed with; he’d committed a secular, liberal, sacrilege.

These overheated CO2 emissions reflect sincere emotion, but have nothing to do with facts and science. They’re entirely about faith in global, intergovernmental rhetoric.

The Paris Agreement is not about reducing emissions, which it will fail to do, but about professing the faith. … heretics will be burned.

An avalanche of pullouts from the Paris Climate Agreement? By Monica Showalter. “The screeching brouhaha over President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement could, at first glance, be called a global episode of Trump Derangement Syndrome.” It may be that the U.S. has taken a leadership position that frightens the faithful.

It’s probably painful, given that President Trump has upbraided them on their deadbeat defense contributions to NATO, and the European Union itself has suffered a blow to prestige because so few of its members bother to observe their monetary quotas.

Other satraps and officials keep letting the cat out of the bag by expressing fears (or false confidence) that other nations won’t follow the lead of the U.S. and pull out as well. There’s a “whistling past the graveyard” feel to many of these statements

These denials suggest that there is a fear that the U.S.’s withdrawal from the agreement will trigger an avalanche of exits. After all, no one wants to be bossed around by petty Eurocrats with no serious claim to rule anyone.

So, far from “not leading” on the world stage as President Obama bitterly claimed, President Trump is leading the world globally – out of the hands of it petty, unelected bureaucracies.

As for the prophets, Kathy Griffin isn’t doing so well. The Daily Mail says she “loses remainder of her tour gigs in wake of Donald Trump severed head scandal after dramatic press conference.”

Jazz Shaw cites another fallen prophet describing When “We Rate Dogs” went to the dogs – “Ian Tuttle has a great analysis over at National Review on the subject. It’s framed around Robert Frost’s ancient admonition that “good fences make good neighbors.”

I’d like to expand on two points here just a bit. As to the donations question, I’m with Tuttle on that one while keeping the entire idea of good fences and staying in your lane in mind. Nelson is running a business and seemingly doing well. He’s a private citizen, not a politician and I think that’s great. Make your money where and how you (legally) can, young man. And if he wants to take his earnings and give them all to Planned Parenthood or the NRA or blow it all at the blackjack tables in Vegas, that’s his business. If someone were to then go and somehow dig up the list of all of PP’s donors, match up his name and “out” him I would be more upset with the person doing oppo research on a dog pictures account than I would with him. But when you choose to start broadcasting an obvious and politically charged announcement such as that to your two million followers, whether you were giving the money to PP or the NRA, you’ve sullied what was otherwise a wonderful social media outlet for at least half your audience.

Ace says its time to “Prosecute. Drain the swamp, fill the jails.

VDH is thinking about Claudius – there are some parallels with modern times to consider.

In the end, Claudius was likely murdered by dynastic rivals and relatives who thought that a young, glib, handsome, intellectual, and artistic Nero would be a pleasant relief from the awkwardness, bluntness, and weirdness of Claudius. What followed was the triumph of artists, intellectuals, stylish aristocrats, obsequious dynastic insiders, and flatterers—many of them eventually to be consumed by the reign of terror they so eagerly helped to usher in.

Paul Mirengoff: Ted Cruz crushes bizarre attack on Paris withdrawal – “Chaplin teaches American Studies. Yet, she appears not to know how America was created. Ted Cruz reminded her.”

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Shake and Bake update 6/2/2017

Ben Wolfgang reports on the big news as Trump eviscerates Obama’s Paris legacy – what is remarkable is that Trump bypassed all the science arguments and actually demonstrated actual science thinking and values. His reasoning for dumping the accord put the focus on its measurable effects rather than on speculation, modeling, and faux science constructions to bend the issue towards ideological goals.

“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” he continued. “I promised I would exit or renegotiate any deal that doesn’t serve America’s interests.”

Mr. Trump, though, delivered a detailed evisceration of the deal Mr. Obama signed, saying it crushes American businesses, unnecessarily funnels billions of dollars to other nations and allows the world’s top polluter, China, to do little to curb its own emissions for the next 13 years.

Mr. Obama had committed the U.S. to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26 percent by 2025, while China needs only to cap its pollution by 2030.

The pact also calls on America to commit billions of dollars to the U.N.’s Green Climate Fund to pay developing countries to develop cleaner energy.

Those terms, Mr. Trump said, are unacceptable.

“The bottom line is that the Paris accord is very unfair at the highest level to the United States,” he said.

But for all the criticism, Mr. Trump brought data to the Rose Garden Thursday to back up his decision. Known for speaking off the cuff and often accused of being loose with facts, the president this time used raw numbers to justify the move.

Wesley Pruden: The president keeps a solemn promise to put America first – “Uncle Sugar doesn’t live here any more, and he didn’t leave a forwarding address.”

The president thus makes good on one of his most important campaign promises, mocking the holy writ of global warming, or “climate change” as it’s called now because the globe refuses to warm as promised and all the dead polar bears are still not dead and the ocean that was supposed to have inundated the financial district of lower Manhattan by now, has still not obeyed Al Gore.

The president sounds like the reasonable one now.

Of course, the Left is channeling Kathy Griffin and Democrat mayors are already promising to sacrifice their cities on the alarmist alter.

Bjorn Lomborg provides a bit of context: A path forward after the Paris climate agreement – “Like the Kyoto Protocol before it, the drastically over-hyped Paris climate treaty has fallen victim to political and economic reality.”

Instead of scrapping over the treaty’s corpse, this is an opportunity to try a new, better and more efficient approach to solving global warming.

Right now, the chances of anything so constructive seem slim. Rhetoric is overheated to the point of absurdity. Environmental campaigners condemn Mr. Trump for dooming the entire planet to a fiery Armageddon, yet claim rashly that the treaty could survive without the United States. It will not, and it should not.

The hyperbole and outrage can’t hide the truth: even with the United States included, the treaty was not going to make much difference to global warming.

While the climate alarmism was serious business, there is also the editorial about Getting to the bottom of Covfefe – “Maybe the Donald just wanted to ‘let the good times roll’” As Limbaugh keeps point out, the Left has no sense of humor.

This is what infuriates those who didn’t, and couldn’t, get the message. Being “in the know” is why “everyone” comes to Washington in the first place. Knowing that you don’t know, because you’re not “in the circle,” is the fate worse than a slow death. And even worse, why would anybody hire a lobbyist who doesn’t know?

The capital obsession with what some out-of-the-loop drudges and drones call merely the Donald’s typo — it was dispatched at daybreak, after all — has replaced the previous obsession with what Melania Trump meant when she appeared to swat her husband’s hand out of the way when they were leaving an event at the G-7 summit. An obsession has the shelf life of a shrimp in Washington.

It’s always party time the closer you get to New Orleans, and this puzzles Washington, where party time has an altogether different meaning — and, some would say, never fun and about as festive as the mark-up of a budget bill. This makes more sense than the usual nonsense from Washington. Maybe partying is how you make America great again.

There may be a whole lot of the American Public that gets what is going on and Trump understands them better than many politicians or pundits.

Before the Paris Climate Fiasco, there were the NATO discussions with its signatories. It is worthy of note that the President illustrated yet again that the Left’s fears about Trump’s dictatorial penchants are absurd and ridiculous. In both of these major policy shifts, the President consulted with the governments involved and with others before offering carefully crafted reasoning for his decisions based on sound data and clear values. Robert W. Merry describes Jostling NATO’s status quo – “Trump’s nudges don’t match the threats from Russia and unchecked immigration.”

In politics and geopolitics, people tend to cling to the old ways of thinking like a drowning man in a stormy sea clings to a life preserver. Case in point: NATO. Consider the reaction to President Trump’s performance at last week’s summit of the venerable Atlantic alliance, where he chided the Europeans for not hitting defense spending targets and seemed to avoid — somewhat pointedly, some thought — the standard expressions of devotion to NATO’s Article 5, which commits NATO members to consider an attack on one to be an attack on all.

With so many establishment institutions and figures singing the same angry ballad, it must mean something. And it does: that they continue to cling to the old ways of thinking even as events demonstrate that those old ways no longer fit reality. The more that becomes apparent, the more tenaciously they grasp the status quo.

The New York Times gave the game away in calling NATO “an indisputably important alliance that has kept the peace for 70 years.” That’s demonstrably false.

The fact is that the Russian bear constitutes no such threat, and Mrs. Merkel knows it. A further fact is that Europe doesn’t need any U.S. umbrella in order to protect itself from external threats because it faces no such threats that require U.S. assistance. Its only serious outside threat is unchecked immigration of such magnitude, and of such cultural challenge, that any smooth assimilation will be extremely difficult, perhaps impossible. We only need to look at what’s roiling European politics these days to see that this threat agitates the European mind far more than any potential Russian hostility.

But don’t expect today’s establishment thinkers to incorporate those realities into their thinking. The status quo is too comfortable, however shattered it may be in the real world.

Cheryl K. Chumley says Judicial Watch sues for George Soros funding records – “Judicial Watch just launched a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development, USAID, for records related to taxpayer funding of George Soror-tied political activities.”

And Democrats are worried about Russia’s intervention in the U.S. election? Now we know why. With all eyes turned on Republicans and President Donald Trump, few eyes are left to look at the Democratic Party’s own inner doings to spread a propaganda-type progressive mantra around the world.

Let the FOIA suits proceed. It will be interesting — to understate — to see how deep the Democratic Party’s dug in with fueling Barack Obama-era State Department and USAID funding to further a Soros-Alinsky message overseas.

The Russian Collusion Conspiracy still suffers a lack of concrete evidence about its supposed results – election interference – and its supposed methods – collusion with campaign officials – and any impropriety. Now Investigations focus on ‘unwitting’ conspirators aiding Russia’s efforts to sabotage U.S. election according to Dan Boylan and Guy Taylor. The word “flailing” comes to mind when reading about the investigation.

Sundance at bat: CNN’s Gloriously, Embarrassingly, Horrible and Terribly Bad Day – Reporting on: “An Extinction Level Event”… – “CNN executives wake up in the morning knowing Trump has done something terrible, they just don’t know what it is yet. Oy, how this ideological perspective is challenging to maintain.” and then brings in history: Targeting Trump – Kathy Griffin in 2016: “my edge is that I’ll go direct for Barron.” – “it is worth noting an interview Ms. Griffin gave to Vulture Media at the Equality Now Gala in December of 2016.” The adage used to be that the President’s family was left out of the fray. This was really just a one sided thing and we have yet another example of how the standards change depending upon the target. Oh, and now Griffin is showing the Hillary Value by holding a press conference to address ‘bullying’ from the Trump family. Why don’t those on the right make this sort of offensive defensive a norm, too?

Also see John Sexton: James O’Keefe sued for $1 million over video sting – “the million dollar price tag looks like a similarly excessive attempt to punish politically embarrassing journalism.”

Ace picks up on the fact that the Left, Get This, Freaks Out Over No One Paying Any Mind to Their Silly Monster Baby Asses – “The top 15 over-the-top reactions from the left — but is there any other kind of reaction from the left? … Below, some of the ones I found.” This is rather an easy target to find.

Allahpundit: Michigan city bans farmer from selling at public market because he won’t hold gay weddings on his property – “fines are one thing. Banishment from the public square for ungood thoughts feels like a new step.” Regulation of religion continues apace, despite whatever the U.S. Constitution may say.

 

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Poverty: A state of mind.

Cheryl K. Chumley: Ben Carson’s poverty comments shake, shock — and bear true – “Ben Carson, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, sent shockwaves through the liberal world during a recent radio show when he told the host that poverty is, “to a large extent,” simply a “state of mind.” He’s another Black Hero in the light of Thomas, Sowell, and Williams who have ‘been there, done that’ and know the road.

Carson was trying to say that a winning attitude isn’t a DNA trait — it’s trained, taught, learned, instilled. In other words, money doesn’t just not buy happiness. It also doesn’t buy lasting success, according to Carson.

Make way for the Democratic-driven Train of Outrage.

The left has gone batty over the remarks. But why? He wasn’t trying to deny the existence of poverty — to make it seem like it’s all in the person’s head. Rather, he was saying the key to its conquering comes largely with the upbringing.

Parents, Carson said, and caretakers need to give their children the “mindset of a winner,” and not let them wallow in a victim mentality that sabotages their futures.

Carson the HUD chief, he’s touched a nerve of basic liberal philosophy — that of the poor being helpless victims, needful of government assistance.

This is all left twisting and turning with intent to avoid basic truths, one of which is this: In America, land of opportunity, equality, the Constitution and the Judeo-Christian concept that we’re all equal in God’s eyes, all have a chance at success, all endowed by our Creator with the abilities to pursue happiness.

“You take somebody that has the right mindset,” Carson said, “you can take everything from them and put them on the street and I guarantee in a little while they’ll be right back up there.”

Liberals who whine otherwise? They just don’t want Americans to be self-sufficient and self-supporting, anyway — it eats into their control, chips at their victimhood mentality.

Douglas Ernst has a report on blowback: USAA flooded with angry feedback after pulling ads from ‘Hannity’: ‘They caved’ – “You obviously don’t know your customer base,” added Scott Grumpman. “If your decision in the Hannity issue is not reversed by 5pm Friday I will close my accounts with USAA Friday.”

“There is an effort now about to silence to me,” the host said Tuesday. “Media Matters is attacking my advertising base. That is what we have called on this program liberal fascism — attack, boycott, all in an effort to silence conservatives.”

Valerie Richardson says DeVos refuses to be hamstrung by Education Department red tape – it’s another example of DTS (draining the swamp). In this case, the topic is about not getting anal on formatting rules for grant applications. Rules like requiring double spacing in grant applications are a good way to help find reasons to reject that have nothing to do with the purpose of the program but rather a lot to do with subjective (i.e. political) judgments. In this era where typewriters are long gone and most documents have typesetting via word processing software, such rules are arcane and outdated.

Ms. DeVos fought the bureaucracy and won, announcing Wednesday that the funding requests would be reconsidered after an internal battle over the tighter formatting rules enacted under the Obama administration.

“These are things that were going on under the previous administration, and because those were the rules and because that was the basis for the rejection, the legal team was saying, ‘The safe thing to do here is to reject them and you can change the policy going forward, but you can’t reconsider that,’” Mr. Davidson said.

“Let me just say that this issue apparently has been going on through four different secretaries, unaddressed,” said Ms. DeVos. “The moment I found out about it, I issued a departmentwide policy indicating that we are not going to reject applications for any competitive bid process based on formatting. This is a bureaucratic requirement that we should be rid of now, and we are.”

She alluded to the internal struggle, saying, “if you had any idea how much time it has [chewed] up internally for us, you would be amazed.”

Howie Carr: Hillary chokes as she coughs up lies – “Folks, you can’t make this stuff up. Hillary Clinton, lecturing the youth of America about the dangers of lying, and pointing the finger … at somebody else.”

Where to begin?

This is the same woman who claimed that she was under sniper fire in Tuzla, that she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary (five years before anyone ever heard of him), who said all four of her grandparents were immigrants (it was one), who claimed she was “dead broke” when she left the White House.

This is the woman who said she’d never endorsed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, who tried to enlist in the Marines in ’75, who swore her server wasn’t hacked and she was never subpoenaed (Trey Gowdy called her out on that one), who compared herself to Honest Abe Lincoln, who said Chelsea Clinton was downtown on 9/11 …

“When people in power invent their own facts,” said the world-class fact-inventor, “and attack those who question them, it can mark the beginning of the end of a free society.”

Bre Payton: Obama Donor Judge Threatens Pro-Life Journalists With Contempt Charges For Releasing Video – “A federal judge who donated nearly a quarter of a million dollars to President Obama’s campaign has threatened to hold undercover reporter and pro-life activist David Daleiden in contempt of court after his organization released video footage of Planned Parenthood employees admitting that abortion involves killing a baby.” The innuendo sidesteps the judges rationale for his action. As explained in the column, it has something to do with California felony charges and a bit of confusion about public records in criminal proceedings. It does appear another case of judicial over-reach. See Ed Morrissey: CMP, Daleiden face contempt charge over video release for a bit more balanced explanation that is easier to follow.

Sundance picks up on Reuters/Washington Post Publish Evidence of Obama Spying on Trump Campaign and Unmasking Americans… – “Reuters/Washington Post Puts a Slice of Kushner Cheese on Russian Nothingburger and simultaneously prove the Obama Administration was spying on the Trump campaign.” This particular scandal has evidence to chew on unlike the Trump Russian Collusion Fantasies.

The extent of the U.S. media’s straw-grasping is boundless, but this one is going to backfire. HOPEFULLY. For the most recent example consider the Washington Post and Reuters claiming President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner participating in a proposal to set up a back-channel with Russia for communication after the November 8th election.

Pay attention to this part: “[…] FBI scrutiny of Kushner began when intelligence reports of Flynn’s contacts with Russians included mentions of U.S. citizens, whose names were redacted because of U.S. privacy laws. This prompted [FBI/Comey] investigators to ask U.S. intelligence agencies to reveal the names of the Americans, the current U.S. law enforcement official said.”

Reflect back on CIA Director John Brennan’s testimony to congress and reread that paragraph broken into two parts and combined with the Brennan testimony

Aside from proving the Obama administration was specifically using James Comey to spy on the Trump campaign – So what if team Trump, or Candidate Trump, or President-Elect Trump, wanted a way to talk privately with representatives of the Russian government? That’s politics. That’s the same for every country, not just exclusive to Russia.

What this Reuters and Washington Post story actually does is prove the Obama Administration was spying on the Trump campaign. That’s the explosive angle to the story.

Ace notes that Political Violence From the Left Continues Garnering Zero Condemnation in Leftist Media – “You can find my condemnation of Greg Gianforte’s bodyslam right next to CNN’s condemnation of the professor charged with three accounts of attacking peaceful Trump supporters — with a bike lock. Which is a heavy metal improvised weapon.” Instapundit has a video flashback: When a Dem Congressman Attacked a Student Journalist, the Media Didn’t Bat an Eye.

Jazz Shaw wonders: With all that farmland, why are Venezuelans starving? – “Venezuela has some of the richest farmland in the western hemisphere and was a net exporter of agricultural products until very recently. How can the people be starving? That’s the question being tackled at the Washington Post this week and the answer comes down to a single source: it’s the socialism, stupid.” Why does the Left want to replicate that disaster here?

See also John Hinderaker on What Venezuela’s Medical Crisis Tells Us About Socialism – “The Lancet refers to Venezuela’s “political and economic crisis, but never mentions the key word, socialism. This is the point I want to make: neither Venezuelan reformers nor the Lancet seem to understand the role of socialism in the collapse of Venezuela’s health care system, along with the rest of its economy.”

Ed Morrissey describes another case of foolishness as CA single-payer bill passes out of committee … without any explanation of funding it – “The reason why Democrats don’t have a funding plan for single payer is because all of the options would be political catastrophes.”

Details, details! Who cares about how one pays for an entitlement program? The point is to pass it, and let your great-granchildren figure it out. In this case, however, the problem is so large that it’s impossible to do without the funding in place first, because of the need to pay providers for goods and services. California hardly has an extra $200 billion laying around, and even if it did, it would need to shore up its collapsing pension system first. The state is also on the hook for a $100 billion high-speed rail system whose funding is still unclear. Democrats don’t have much idea about how to pay for their current priorities, let alone their seizure of the health-care sector.

That’s the reason why Lara and his allies want to pass this bill in a rush. They don’t want to account for the accounting, which will expose this as a massive and inefficient seizure of open markets that will require an avalanche of taxes, mandates, and rationing. “Don’t wait,” their allies urge while ridiculing fiscal responsibility. There’s a big, big lesson in DeMoro’s profane inanities, if Californians are willing to learn it.

Scott Johnson describes another case of Mugging Mr. Murray. This has been going on since the publication of The Bell Curve. Data and reality don’t sit well with the Left (see the note about Carson above).

Committee Democrats performed a concerted mugging of Murray rich in the defamation flaunted by ignorant rioters protesting Murray’s appearances at Middlebury and and other college campuses. Decrying the mugging committed by JEC Democrats on Murray, Joy Pullman tells the story in the Federalist column “Congressional hit on Charles Murray indicates rioting won’t stay on campus.”

Recall that Murray appeared before the committee by the invitation of the JEC, presumably (according to Beyer’s remarks) the invitation of Senator Lee. At no point was Murray invited to respond to the ignorant and cowardly attacks on him. At no point does Senator Lee speak up on Murray’s behalf. The committee Democrats are beyond shame or regret, but whoever was responsible for the hearing owes Murray a profound apology.

Politics of personal destruction: the idea that Sherman’s march to the sea is a good model for dealing with anyone whose ideas you don’t like is also a poverty of the mind.

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It’s leaking!

Hank Campbell describes modern propaganda using a case study: 9 Ways Whole Foods Is Lying To You – “It is classic political framing, and if there is one thing that Big Organic has mastered, it is framing. Their vendors, and by extension their customers, are the good guys, and everyone else are the bad, in their take on the world.”

S.A. Miller: After a stream of intelligence leaks, it takes an irate U.K. to stir U.S. investigations – “The diplomatic flap over American officials divulging details of a British terrorism investigation lit a fire Thursday under U.S. investigators of intelligence agency leaks, an issue that had been on a back burner when the primary victim of leaks was President Trump.”

an investigation should have been initiated the first time classified information was disclosed, including internal inquiries within the National Security Agency and the CIA.

The leaks from the intelligence community to the news media have plagued the Trump administration, but until this week the revelations were aimed almost exclusively at damaging the president. Concerns previously took a back seat to probes into suspected Trump campaign collusion with Russian spies to impact the election.

The leaks have become routine, including information gleaned from phone calls intercepted by spy agencies and accounts of Oval Office conversations given to the CIA.

Mercedes Schlapp: ‘Deep state’ leakers undercut country in their zeal to hurt a president – “The leakers of classified intelligence information are chipping away at our democratic institutions.”

It’s becoming a dangerous game where those who are feeding sensitive information to the media are also creating distrust within our intelligence agencies and damaging relationships with our allies abroad.

These leakers are on a mission to weaken President Trump and disrupt his ability to govern. They believe it is their moral obligation to fight the president and his team. But at what cost?

This should be an issue of bipartisan concern, but Senate Democrats remained virtually silent on the topic during the hearing.

Leaking classified information has become the new norm, and the leakers are providing a feeding frenzy for the media. However, these leakers are criminals, and their actions have already alienated key allies and caused distress in the Trump White House and in the intelligence agencies. The leakers’ goal is to undermine Mr. Trump and his agenda, even at the high price of committing a criminal act. The Department of Justice has already initiated steps to cut off the illicit information channels but it might be difficult to find and punish those responsible.

Roger L. Simon: Leakers and Journalists Are Destroying Our Republic – “Leakers and journalists are tied together like drug dealers and junkies.”

We have an epidemic of leaking in our society unlike anything I have seen in my lifetime. It’s approaching Plague level — but with no vaccine in sight.

In other words, there’s no there there other than leaks that continue to pour out, even after the installation of the supposedly confidential investigation by Special Counsel Mueller. How repellent and, frankly, illegal is that? Has Mueller launched a leak probe of his own? He should.

For its part, CNN (as a kind of low-rent, ineffectual Pravda) is just cooperating in a smear job that was apparently instigated by their colleagues at frequent leak conduit NBC.

the leakers have a co-dependent relationship, both convincing themselves that what they are doing is for the betterment of humanity.

So what do we do about this state of affairs in a democratic republic, assuming we are serious about having one?

Quite simply, the leakers need to go to jail with the proverbial key thrown away. That is the only way this leaking will stop and it must stop. Prosecutions should have started months ago. It’s hard to understand why it’s taken so long. Let’s hope we have indictments soon. Like tomorrow.

The zeal for an inside coup does not stop with just exposing national security secrets. It also involves fabrication. Rowan Scarborough takes up the case: FBI possessed, studied anti-Trump dossier, says former top spy – “The full effect of the dossier — which began circulating in Washington in June, with periodic updates filled with sensational charges through December — is unknown.”

“I know that there were efforts made by the bureau to try to understand whether or not any of the information in that was valid,” Mr. Brennan said of the 35-page document compiled by ex-British spy Christopher Steele and paid for by Democratic-tied Fusion GPS in Washington.

Whatever role the dossier played, former FBI Director James B. Comey on two occasions made it clear he does not want to discuss it in public.

In contrast, four Democrats embraced Mr. Steele and his work. Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the panels’ top Democrat, read repeatedly from its various memos, including unproven charges, as if they had been authenticated.

But Mr. Comey refused to acknowledge the FBI ever possessed or used the document.

Before and since those two hearings, no central charge in Mr. Steele’s dossier has been verified publicly.

One target, Russian-born tech entrepreneur Aleksej Gubarev, has sued Mr. Steele for defamation.

Douglas Ernst: Limbaugh: Media using leaks as ammo for ‘political assassination’ of Trump – “Radio host notes that stories often acknowledge — very late — that they aren’t confirmed.”

High-profile but anonymous leaks of classified information to The New York Times, The Washington Post and others have convinced the man behind “the golden EIB microphone” that a political hit job is underway to destroy the president.

“Every day, four o’clock to 5:30 in the afternoon, there is a new blockbuster … and if you read the entire story, you will find that the details suggested by the headline and the early reporting in the story actually cannot be backed up,” Mr. Limbaugh said. “It’s the most amazing thing.”

It is not just the intelligence services that have been corrupted. Cheryl K. Chumley: 4th Circuit’s Russian roulette roll of the border – “despite the fact his travel ban order doesn’t talking about banning the religion, judges, with a 10-3 voice, went with the rhetoric, not the facts.”

It’s like the court’s lefties just can’t get enough of Russian roulette — the game that’s basically being played with America’s border security and the open door approach the left wants to keep intact, regardless of terror and security concerns.

Jennifer Harper: Inside the Beltway: The strategic war on Fox News – “There are those who believe Fox News has been methodically targeted by critics who would like to see the end of the network’s ratings reign and influence.” There are two major tactics at play. One is accusation and innuendo to impugn and denigrate. That is then followed by an assault on sponsors and advertisers to have them withdraw support. At Fox News, these efforts are leveraged by changes in management.

Seth McLaughlin: Gianforte taps out Quist in Montana special election for Zinke House seat – “Tensions reached boiling point when the GOP candidate apparently choke-slammed a reporter.” It appears that voters took the incident for what it was: a frustrated (inappropriate) reaction to bullying. To the Left, it’s another victory in the ‘end justifies the means’ attempts to provoke something, anything, they can use for moral preening.

Still, there were signs Thursday that Mr. Gianforte’s victory could cause headaches for GOP lawmakers, who faced a barrage of questions over whether they condone Mr. Gianforte’s behavior and whether he should be barred from joining the GOP conference.

If the tables were turned, the ‘bug’ would be a ‘feature’ to laud the perpetrator and hold him up as a hero, not a rationale to recuse, condemn, and accuse.

Daniel Greenfield says in Montana: Even With The Game Rigged, The Left Can’t Win – “throwing a ton of money into low turnout elections backed by highly motivated leftists seemed like a good plan. … Despite rigging the election, the left still lost. All that money. All those efforts. All that hate. For nothing.”

David Horowitz: The Democrats’ Second Secession & America’s New Civil War – “How to look at the bizarre turn our political life has taken.”

It is not the proper role of an opposition party in a democracy to mount a “resistance” to a duly elected government and press for its overthrow at the very outset of its tenure. But that is precisely what the Democrats have done in the first months of the Trump administration. For the second time in its history, the Democratic Party has opted to secede from the Union and its social contract. This time there is not going to be an actual civil war because the federal government is now so powerful that whoever controls it will decide the outcome. The passions of an irreconcilable conflict are still present but they are channeled into a political confrontation over the executive power.

the animus behind Democratic assaults on Republicans and their support for law and order as “racist” is the direct consequence of viewing all social disparities through the distorted lens of oppression politics.

Trump and his followers not only understand the fateful nature of the conflict triggered by decades of these assaults. Their campaign to “Make America Great Again” is inspired by them. In his inaugural address Trump opposed to the progressive vision and its divisive consequences the American idea – e pluribus unum. Referring to those Americans who had been economically left behind, Trump said, “We are one nation and their pain is our pain. Their dreams are our dreams and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny. The oath of office, I take today, is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.” Trump then elaborated on the idea that Americans are united as equal citizens: “Through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.” And finally: “It’s time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget, that whether we are black, or brown, or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots. We all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same, great American flag. And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty Creator.

Jeremy Meister: The Devil in One Generation – “there is a crowd outside the house of FCC commissioner Pai. His crime? He is returning control of the internet to internet service providers.”

The Obama administration enacted “Net Neutrality” in defiance of a Supreme Court decision. In essence, Barack Obama seized ISP property because the ISPs weren’t serving the public interest. This was exactly how socialist revolutionary Benito Mussolini defined Fascism: a system where citizens own private property so long as they serve the public interest.

Churchill said Fascism would take root in the West under the guise of anti-Fascism, but I digress.

My real concern here is the rise of the radical left – those people who believe that their cause is so good that it justifies any means.

Do Republicans in leadership realize that the American left is intimidating their voters to get them unelected? Isn’t their first duty to get re-elected? Why aren’t they standing up for their supporters? Liberals do (see illegal immigration).

The law is supposed to apply to all of us equally. But it just doesn’t seem to be that way in 2017.

It’s said that when God created the world, the angel Lucifer became jealous. He thought he could create a world better than God – a world that would be more fair.

Some argue that the Devil is evil and wanted a world of misery. Some say that the Devil had nothing but good intentions, but things just didn’t work out quite the way he wanted. What’s not debatable is that the Devil’s world is a place of pain, suffering, and horror. His is a place of hatred, anger, jealousy, property destruction, and sexual depravity.

It’s hard not to think of this story as we watch social justice warriors, liberal politicians, and media elites trash our system, our nation, and its founding in the modern day. Just like the Prince of Darkness, their pride leads them to believe they know better and have all the answers.

Ronald Reagan once said that we’re never more than a generation away from losing our freedom. It seems that we are looking at the generation that is going to take it right now.

Jack Hellner: Why did Trump say that Obama spied on him? Because he did. – “What is the likelihood that the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Associated Press, USA Today or other major news outlets will cover the fact that the Obama administration repeatedly violated the law by spying on Americans from 2011 until they were almost out of office, when they finally admitted it?”

Is it any surprise that an administration that would target political opponents through the IRS would do this, or an administration that would start monitoring a political opponent four months prior to the election?

Obama was never scared to break the laws because he knew the Justice Department, the media, and the Democrats wouldn’t care.

The CBO has Obama problems, too. John Hinderaker explains why The CBO’s Analysis of the GOP’s Health Care Bill Is Worthless – “Yesterday the Congressional Budget Office released an analysis of the current version of the House health care bill that was trumpeted by Democrats because it projected that 23 million people would “lose” their health insurance if the law went into effect.”

However, as Guy Benson points out, this claim is false, since “the large bulk of those who are said to be ‘losing’ coverage do not currently have coverage.” Further, to the extent that some who currently are forced to buy health insurance by Obamacare decide it isn’t worth the cost to them, and choose not to purchase it, that is rightfully their decision.

Then, too, there is the fact that the CBO’s predictions about Obamacare have been ridiculously bad, as illustrated by this graphic:

There is another, more subtle reason why the CBO’s analysis is worthless. As far as I know, it has been pointed out only by my colleague at Center of the American Experiment Peter Nelson, one of the country’s top health care experts. Peter points out that the CBO has uncritically relied on articles by a former Obama administration official who apparently failed to read the GOP bill and existing regulations carefully.

The Congressional Budget Office is generally touted as “non-partisan,” which is technically true. But non-partisan does not equal reliable. With respect to both Obamacare and the House bill that would repeal and replace it, the CBO’s work product has been shoddy and unreliable.

Luboš Motl: Physics World insults me, simultaneously promotes climate alarmism and crackpottery in HEP – “The writer’s cognitive dissonance is amazing.” Perhaps the most significant highlight of the rant is a clarification of the ‘consensus’ argument.

Consensus may emerge because of legitimate reasons but also because of illegitimate reasons. The more politicized a discipline is, the more likely it is for the actual reason behind some consensus to be scientifically illegitimate. No actual scientist deciding about his healthy discipline will ever mention consensus as an argument. Inkspillers and activists such as Skuse and Smolin do so all the time. They are trying to distort science by political demagogy all the time. “You have to embrace this idea or another” because “the number of the people who believe it is already very high or it is too low” etc.

What’s remarkable about the likes of Skuse and Smolin is that they manifestly use these unacceptable political arguments in both directions – they constantly contradict themselves. Sometimes, they are using consensus as a “proof” that a claim is right and a reason why the consensus should be even stronger; sometimes, they are using consensus as a “proof” that something is wrong and there should be much more diversity. You simply can’t have it in both ways. And actual scientists can’t have it in either way. Whether there is consensus or not must be absolutely irrelevant for an actual scientist’s decision whether he believes a statement or another. A person may sometimes decide according to sociological criteria and even scientists do so – but whenever they do so, it simply means that they’re outsiders in that discipline and their opinion shouldn’t be counted in any scientifically meaningful poll trying to find the truth.

Citing consensus is the logical fallacy of an appeal to authority. It is a close cousin to the ‘seriousness of the alleged crime’ that the Left often uses to impugn its opposition with allegation, scandal, and innuendo.

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Whither optimism?

The Washington Examiner thinks Trump’s budget requires and should produce optimism – “The political Left struggled on Tuesday to find terminology sufficiently jarring to express their rage and disdain for President Trump’s just-released budget. That’s the price we pay for living in an age of political hyperbole.”

What’s actually remarkable about Trump’s budget is that its cuts are modest and, in many cases, are not cuts at all, merely smaller increases than some people desired or expected.

Many have criticized the document’s optimistic projection of a return to 3 percent annual economic growth, which could fall victim to the low and slow expectations that became normal throughout the last eight years. But 3 percent growth is attainable with the right policies in place, and suggesting it is impossible is defeatism.

The fact that it will be difficult to achieve makes it more vital — not less — that the federal government not be allowed constantly to grow and never to shrink. Once again, Congress should ignore the dire predictions and get on with putting policies in place that make optimism possible again.

David Prentice says Strong Enough – “It is disconcerting how many have become so unhinged over the past years. Even so, it’s not possible to have guessed just how extreme and hyperbolic the left would become.”

Championing “resistance” as if they were in a revolutionary cadre in a South American country was not expected. Acting like whining toddlers en masse was not anticipated. A media in total hysterical lockstep to unearth any evidence that Trump was bad, going as low as critiquing two servings of ice cream for him, was not foreseen.

Strength is a manifold concept. Some would say that calling for “strength” in a political leader borders on wanting a strongman such as a Mussolini, but that’s not it at all. It’s simply, strong enough.

It means bringing a different skill set to Washington. It means having a mind strong enough to strive towards a new change of direction for the country against a complacent Washington swamp that loves the power they have and the direction they have set.

Steve Bannon is on record: “If you think they (the left, the media) are going to give your country back without a fight you are sadly mistaken.”

Make no mistake, this is war, one declared by the left, and one we as citizens must face. They are pulling out all the stops. They lie, they cheat, they know the stakes, they want their power back.

Meanwhile, the suicide bomber at a Manchester teenie concert has disturbed the force, the Pope gave the President a book with his non-religious rantings on the economy and climate, more seem to be realizing that the Russian Collusion grand conspiracy theorizing is vaporware, and the Left’s propaganda machine is fixated on a gesture between the President and the First Lady.

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It’s fun to threaten Republicans?

Cheryl K. Chumley: Democrat logic: It’s fun to threaten Republicans – “This is crazed behavior. And it’s all coming from the left, aimed at the right.”

Colton Lochhead: Political vitriol sparks call for moderation in Nevada – “They disrupt … They lambaste … They accuse …

The protests have centered on the most partisan issues and often fail to resonate with the moderate base, said Billy Vassiliadis, an influential operatives for Democrats in Nevada and CEO of R&R Partners.

“Voters are sick of this. The average person is sick of this,” Vassiliadis said.

Vassiliadis, who worked for former Nevada Gov. Bob Miller’s campaign and was an adviser on the campaigns for President Barack Obama and longtime U.S. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, said this “downward spiral” has been building for the better part of two decades.

Jazz Shaw: Yet another argument saying the government can’t restrict immigration – “For reasons which are completely beyond me, Ilya Somin of the Volokh Conspiracy has once again taken to the pages of the Washington Post, making yet another argument claiming that the federal government has no power to restrict immigration in any fashion. We’ve already tackled some of his arguments here in the past, but let’s see what he’s up to this time.” Somin’s arguments anti-Trump have been a puzzle for someone of his stature.

Byron York: At this rate, it won’t matter if Trump colluded with Russia – Anonymous rumors leaking confidential notes without provenance or visibility create a running stream of antagonistic media stories that undermine the government.

That was then. Now, rather than focusing on alleged collusion, the thrust of leaks in recent days has been directed almost exclusively toward building a case of obstruction of justice against the president, charging that he actively tried to derail the investigation into his campaign and his associates. More and more, day after day, Trump’s adversaries believe that, when it comes to bringing down the president, it might not matter if collusion occurred or not. A cover-up would be enough to do the job.

On the other hand, the ‘cover-up’ may be yet another ‘fake scandal’ much like the Russian collusion turned out to be. The real question is whether the perpetrators of these malicious fabrications are held to account. It is also something to note that the prevailing presumption is that the leakers are telling truth. This seems correlated with the presumption that Trump is incompetent. Since the veracity of leakers has been so poor and there is much evidence contrary to the incompetence idea, these presumption should be something to consider.

Andrew Malcom opines on The hidden blessing for Trump in the special counsel’s investigation – “We warned the other day that Trump’s peremptory firing of James Comey and shifting storyline would thoroughly alienate Comey and his colleagues “who are real pros at the Washington game of assassination by leak.”

Here’s where the Mueller appointment is good news for Trump. Mueller has basically unlimited powers now, able to take this investigation in any and all directions. He is universally respected as a straight-shooter in Washington, a rare breed in that swamp.

What’s also quite striking in the hysterical media coverage of the usurper Trump is what didn’t happen before. Remember Attorney General Eric Holder’s Fast and Furious gun-running operation into Mexico? It was botched. Drug gangs got the guns and killed a border agent.

Holder stonewalled congressional investigators. He got censured. No special counsel.

For those of us in flyover country, the wily ways of Washington and its in-house media chroniclers eagerly being used by anonymous sources choose which scandals to snuff and which to fuel. That institutional coziness and congressional ineptitude by both parties partly explain the voter disgust that elected the angriest candidate as president. Never mind his qualifications.

The anger and suspicions of that plurality simmer to this day largely unnoticed back there. Hopefully, the probity of Mueller’s probe will prove convincing whichever way it goes.

Here’s another example of the destructive bias in perceptions: Here’s The Deal With That Glowing Orb Trump Touched In Saudi Arabia – “Social media users mused that the image, in which Trump touches a globe with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, resembled a scene where villains enact their master plan.”

In reality, Trump had touched the globe as part of an inauguration ceremony for the Global Center for Combatting Extremist Ideology in Ridyah, Saudi Arabia on Sunday. Together, the three leaders placed their hands on the globe to start a film about the center.

“This groundbreaking new center represents a clear declaration that Muslim-majority countries must take the lead in combatting radicalization, and I want to express our gratitude to King Salman for this strong demonstration of leadership,” Trump said. “We must be united in pursuing the one goal that transcends every other consideration. That goal is to meet history’s great test — to conquer extremism and vanquish the forces of terrorism.”

But all they can see is evil … maybe they are looking in the mirror?

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Rude, crude, vulgar — is this the new United States?

Cheryl K. Chumley: The art of the Trump take-down – “watching this despicable trend of Democratic-fueled accusation, followed by media-expressed outrage, followed by leftist expression of shock, gives rise to one very apt image: that of sharks circling prey.”

This is not how U.S. politics ought to be run. Yet this is America, campaign 2016 and White House 2017. Think hard, question everything. The vicious political atmosphere of late is not happenstance.

The Democrats are to blame. The mainstream media is a complicit close second for fault. And third? That’d be the gutless and elitists in the Republican Party, masquerading as true representatives of the people, who didn’t want Trump in office in the first place and are now only too glad to quietly sneer, “told you so,” while pretending allegiance to conservative principles.

And once again, let’s remember: There is no evidence Trump worked with Russians to beat Clinton in the election. But to paraphrase a famous Democratic politico, in an out-of-context way: What difference, at this point, does the truth make?

Take care, America, in this 24-hour news cycle, in this fiery anti-Trump atmosphere. There may be more reporting going on. But that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s more truth being provided.

Valerie Richardson: 80 percent of news stories were critical of Trump, says Harvard study – “President Trump has insisted that his press coverage has been historically negative, and a newly released Harvard journalism study backs him up.”

“Trump’s coverage during his first 100 days set a new standard for negativity,” said Harvard Kennedy School of Government professor Thomas E. Patterson in the report.

He added that the coverage was “negative even by the standards of today’s hypercritical press.”

At the same time, Mr. Trump has received more press coverage in general than previous presidents. He was the topic of 41 percent of all news stories, or three times that of previous presidencies, and he was the featured speaker in 65 percent of the stories.

Compare and contrast is provided by Roger Kimball describing Donald Trump’s Invigorating Speech in Riyadh – “Trump’s speech was a forthright, America First, speech, Obama’s an accommodationist’s dream.” There was also note of the media hate: “Fake news alert: the disgusting Washington Post, where truth goes to die, ran a breathless story about how Trump bowed when he received the medal signifying Saudi Arabia’s highest civilian honor. How exactly could the honor have been bestowed had Trump not bowed his head to receive it?”

Bottom line: Obama went to Cairo to apologize for America and hope for world peace. Trump went to Riyadh to champion America and extend an offer to work together for world peace.

I know that pundits will be descending like buzzards upon a carcass to pick away at the details of Trump’s speech. Happy eating to them.

Ed Morrissey says CA Dems keep it classy with digital salute to Trump at convention – “Following in the footsteps of DNC chair Tom Perez, outgoing California Democratic chair John Burton offered a foul-mouthed tirade at the party’s convention this weekend, complete with a two-finger display of defiance of Donald Trump.”

It’s a petulant whine. Normally, we’d expect that from high-school and college students living in their own little bubbles, not from people who are trying to make the case that they can be trusted to run the country. And yet more and more Democrats have begun to wallow in expletives and coarseness rather than address the issues, apparently in the belief that it’s Trump’s bluntness that won him the election. Instead, it comes across much more clearly as a middle finger to voters middle America, who have no love at all for college students and their special-snowflake protests, but at least might excuse it as youthful indiscretions. Pelosi, Perez, Kirsten Gillibrand, and other Democratic leaders hardly have that excuse.

As one party indulges this deeply unserious and idiotic behavior, they encourage more of it from all sides. The discourse in our political cultures has declined rapidly enough as it is, and our media and entertainment cultures have led the way for it. At some point in the future, if we stay on this path, we’ll end up with a political culture where grunts and rude gestures matter more than policy, a game in which the side that can produce the most gross bodily noises wins. In short, we’ll be stuck in a perpetual middle-school playground, only the bullies that come after your school lunch will have the IRS to back them up.

Instapundit cites Putin (re LA Times): “You know what surprises me? They are destabilizing the internal political situation in the United States under anti-Russian slogans,” Putin said, according to Tass. “They either do not understand that they are harming their own country, which means they are just shortsighted, or they understand everything, and that means that they are dangerous and unscrupulous people.”

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Safe Haven Index

First is a story about CNN and their obsession with the President. Then Joel B. Pollak describes how the New York Times Oversells ‘Comey’s Revenge’ Story – “The Times identifies its source as “one of Mr. Comey’s associates,” who did not provide a copy of the memo but read it aloud on the telephone.” Sundance fills in on the New York Times: President Trump Asked Comey To End Flynn Investigation… – “The Washington Post (yesterday) and New York Times (today) are attempting to frame the anti-Trump narrative right before he goes on his first overseas trip.” The IBT opines that No, Trump’s Top-Secret Whispering To Russians Isn’t Fake News — But It Is A Fake Issue – “We have no reason to disbelieve the basic story that Trump shared some intelligence with the Russians. But the details are highly suspect, to say the least. “Former” officials? That means almost certainly Obama administration officials. Hardly an unbiased source.” And reports indicate that Russian president Putin has offered to supply transcripts of the meeting to show that all was proper. Still, The Washington Examiner takes up on Schumer’s effort to cripple Trump – “Sen. Chuck Schumer is trying to sabotage the Trump administration, at the expense of the country.”

Schumer and the Left want to maximize the political price Trump pays for any action he takes, whether it is genuinely controversial and troubling, or only frothed up by critics to look that way. It’s crucial “that Democrats don’t just hand Trump and his party a quick bipartisan victory in the fight to replace James Comey,” a liberal writer urged at Rolling Stone on Friday.

Ace: Some Thoughts And Advice About How to Restore Your Chill – “Something I’ve noticed time and time again: People get the most frustrated and emotionally angry over disputes which are currently beyond their ability to resolve.” … “find the truth” … “Oddly, knowing the truth, even if it’s not the truth you’d hoped for, is less distressing, most of the time.”

How all this works, as I’ve said before, is that people with limited, incomplete, and biased information try to start a stampede of people into agreeing with their questionable, dubious, partisan-twisted conclusions. They make a lot of noise — a lot of noise — shooting off their idiot partisan pistols to get the herd stampeding in the direction they want, none of the cows quite knowing why they’re all headed in this particular direction.

It’s a deeply stupid way to conduct “debate” over political issues, which is why the left favors it so much.

It’s also grating on the mind and spirit to have to put up with so much empty noise.

Tune it out. You now know most of what there is currently available for knowing about the latest Dumb Scandals. There is no additional information currently available, and so there’s not really much reason to Run With the Stupid Bulls.

Paul Mirengoff provides some sense on the Comey meeting notes hysteria: Preliminary thoughts on the “Comey memo” [UPDATED] – “Gregg Jarrett of Fox News argues that if Comey believed the president’s statements to him amounted to obstruction of justice, then Comey himself committed a crime unless he promptly reported those statements to the Department of Justice. However, if Comey concluded that Trump’s language was vague, ambiguous or elliptical, then he had no duty under the law to report it because the statements weren’t criminal.”

Steven Hayward picks up on the intelligence leaks as Profiles in Media Hypocrisy – “We owe it to Marc Thiessen at AEI to offer a compilation of previous media hypocrisy about outing classified intelligence from foreign sources:”

Also on Powerline John Hinderaker notes “Apparently the Democratic Party press has anti-Trump stories lined up and ready to drop every two or three days.” … “The broader context, of course, is that Donald Trump declared war on the establishment, and the establishment is making war on Trump.”

Several pundits and commentators have expressed a basic assumption that Trump is not quite up to the job as President based on this all out war by Democrats and their Propaganda Machine. See Betsy Newmark saying “I can well believe that Trump had no idea that it was improper to talk to Comey about possibly ending the Flynn administration.” That, for her, isn’t new as she has always had a significant anti-Trump bias but it illustrates the presumption that is surfacing here and there. Roger Kimball expands the view a bit and asserts that Trump Maintains Momentum Despite Malicious Media – “As I had occasion to note in March, the “motor of fake news is not inaccuracy. It’s malice.”

Tucker Carlson is correct: the media is “stumbling around in a sightless rage” in their coverage of Trump.

The mournful assumption among many of Trump’s supporters is that the frenzy of media hysteria, though almost comically baseless, is nonetheless dangerous because, on the throw-enough-mud-and-some-will-stick principle, it has an abrading, delegitimizing effect, a drip-drip-drip apodosis that is corrosive of trust.

That may very well be the case. But I suspect nonetheless that the primary victim of the malicious static will not be Trump but the media, which has passed from carping hostility to surreal fantasy.

Two things are happening. On the one hand, the media’s credibility has entered a death spiral. On the other hand, Trump keeps chugging along, toting up victories and setbacks, just like every other successful politician known to man.

It is clear to most observers now that the media’s “bombshells” fail to detonate because they are total fabrications.

“If” is one of those treacherous words, I know, but I think that there are plenty of reasons for confidence. And at that point the great media hysteria of 2017 will seem not only hysterical, not only sad, but also disfiguringly repellent.

Neo-neocon also has Some personal reflections on the WaPo story claiming that Trump compromised security – “when the press is out to get a president—as it has been with Trump—it will ferret out every negative thing it can, and spin it in the most negative way. The attack will be coordinated and relentless, and it will draw at least some blood.” The column is about dealing with conflicts and dissonance.

I have gotten to the point where, when I scan the MSM outlets or memeorandum for the day’s headline stories, the entire enterprise seems more than ever before like mindless propaganda to me. And whether that phenomenon hurts Trump in the end or helps him, I can’t imagine that such a high a level of jusified distrust and weariness of the media is a good place for America to be.

When you stir up the mud at the bottom of the swamp, it releases putrid gases and foul mats of decaying vegetation float to the surface. The local radio investment pundit blamed the Yahoo Search page featuring Nixon and rumors that some Representative will broach impeachment in the House as the reason the stock market indices are dropping. He said investors were moving to ‘safe haven’ investments. This is what a civil war, an effort for a coup, the dismissal of an election, the treason and the sedition, the fake news, the propaganda, and the total lack of regard for intellectual integrity on display from the Left is putting on the table. 

 

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Hooey, self delusion, etc.

Charles Hurt: Hysteria, overblown hooey part of the fake news cycle – “Every time the Washington political press freaks out and goes into full panic mode against President Trump, the blockbuster, Watergate-volume story always unfolds the same way.”

Each time, these reporters sink deeper and deeper into a fantasyland as they dream bigger and bigger. THIS TIME, they keep thinking, we FINALLY got him!

Reporters and Democrats alike — not to repeat myself — are actually now speculating about whether Mr. Trump will survive the certain impeachment hearings to come.

But then, as the heavy breathing subsides and the adrenaline rush gives way to factual, concrete reporting, the most damning charges fall away.

Well, OK. But the White House should have handled it better.

Patricia McCarthy: The Media-Democratic Party Suicide Pact – “The national media and the Democratic Party have gone stark raving mad over President Trump’s election victory; they refuse to accept it.”

Our media and our Democrats seem to think that with all their hateful, childish behavior, their tantrums (“we won’t vote for an FBI director unless there is a special prosecutor”), they can win back the House and Senate in 2018. They seem not to realize that they are going to lose more seats in both houses. Their strategy, these vile tactics, are a suicide pact. And when the mainstream media and the Democratic Party die by their own hands, only the mind-numbed elites on both coasts and the denizens of the editorial offices of the NYT, the WaPo and the LA Times will be surprised. No one else will care. They will have seen it all coming for years.

Betsy McCaughey: The left’s sick lies about health reform – “Never mind facts. Democrats and media allies are resorting to shock value to defeat repeal — staging funerals with caskets and predicting massive deaths if the bill becomes law.”

Does the GOP bill abandon people with pre-existing conditions? No.

Does the GOP House bill pass the “Kimmel test”? Yes.

The public is being misled.

Is repealing ObamaCare “a death sentence for thousands” as Bernie Sanders says? No way.

The first thing to fix is the lack of intellectual integrity and self awareness on the Left.

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Uphold the truth

Rebecca Hagelin: By upholding the truth, can we fight the marketing of evil that is destroying America – “First released in hardcover in 2005 and in paperback in 2015, the book by David Kupelian (managing editor of WorldNetDaily.com) profoundly explains the marketing tactics in continuous use by the left in their attempt to destroy God and His created order and replace them with a world where mankind is sovereign.”

The awful, natural consequences that follow a culture focused on satisfying the arrogant desire of men and women to be their own gods are now infecting every area of life: Education is hijacked to teach moral relativism rather than science or facts, entertainment is permeated with the debasing of humanity, individuals and society become increasingly “entitled” to things and services at someone else’s expense, and children are left fatherless or motherless.

Paul forewarned us in Romans 1:28-31 of what becomes of nations that continue to reject Him: “Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.”

No, I Am Not a Moron but Half the Country is Deranged by Alicia Colon – “We ‘deplorables’ have probably done more research on the issues and are dumbfounded as to why anyone would ever think that Hillary Clinton was a viable candidate.”

In the very short time Donald Trump has been president, he is probably the most besieged leader since Abraham Lincoln presiding over a super polarized nation. This polarization is not based on the serious issue of slavery but by the lies and malicious machinations of a hostile opposition party and the lapdog media minions. They have successfully turned half this nation into blithering, infantile, angry non thinkers who base their anger on faux news emanated by the liberal fascists in the media.

To fully understand what I wrote in my headline, consider three issues where the derangement is most evident-Black Lives Matter, gender politics and Climate Change.

John Fund: Why Are Democrats Afraid of the Election Integrity Commission? – “They know that the voter rolls are breeding grounds for potential fraud.”

Indeed, smart liberals are already moving away from the mantra that “there is no voter fraud” to a more nuanced position.

Leftists have known for a long time that America’s voter-registration lists are breeding grounds for potential fraud. According to a 2012 Pew Research Center survey, one out of eight American voter registrations is inaccurate, out of date, or a duplicate.

That explains why the Democratic line on the new commission is to combine hysterical attacks with cautionary words that what the commission might find won’t be important anyway.

But that doesn’t explain why Democrats have so often opposed just such efforts at the state level or why the Obama administration for eight years played hide-the-ball with the data it did have on potential ineligible voters. When liberals claim that there is no voter fraud, to borrow Shakespeare’s words, they do protest too much. They know that lurking in our archaic election procedures are problems that need fixing. Here’s hoping the new commission — which includes Democratic secretaries of state Bill Gardner of New Hampshire and Matthew Dunlap of Maine — breaks through and conducts a first-ever national look at the problem.

John Hinderaker: Ignorance + Malice = James Clapper – “intended as a portentous warning, but for many Trump voters, the fact that he is “assaulting” some of our institutions is a feature, not a bug.”

CLAPPER: Well, I think, you know, the founding fathers, in their genius, created a system of three co-equal branches of government and a built-in system of checks and balances.

News flash for Mr. Clapper: the FBI is part of the Department of Justice, i.e. the executive branch, which reports to the president. The checks and balances inherent in the three branches of government have nothing to do with it.

the federal bureaucracy is not part of the constitutional system of checks and balances. It only seems that way, sometimes, because of its perennial hostility to Republican presidents.

Roger L. Simon: Schumer’s Special Prosecutor Proposal for Russia Lacks ‘Fairness’ – “Putin will have won. Even though he may not have turned our election upside down, he has certainly turned our minds upside down. We — especially our media — can’t think of anything else.”

If you’re going to have a special counsel for the Trump-Russia situation — in the spirit of bipartisanship and indeed fairness — you would need to have similar counsels for the following: The hidden Hillary Clinton email server, … The Clinton Foundation and its financial relations with Russia, … The misuse of our intelligence agencies for the surveillance and unmasking of Trump and associates and other private citizens by members of the Obama administration … The Internal Revenue Service’s singling out and harassing of many conservative-leaning non-profit organizations and attendant coverup of same, … The Benghazi incident … The Bergdahl affair … Of course there are more, but I had to start somewhere.

Richard Fernandez: Our Fragile Civilization – “Mark Steyn argued that exclusively blaming the other political side for your troubles can provide false comfort. When everything is falling apart the problem is probably bigger than any one point of view.” Fernandez starts with the recent ransomware attacks and notes that many of its victims were still running Windows XP which has been out of maintenance by Microsoft for several years (but they did issue a ‘fix’ for this attack, anyway).

The defection of Edward Snowden, the Office of Personnel Management data breach and the now infamous Hillary hacks all predated Trump though the vulnerabilities will probably continue under him. The list of commercial data breaches is also stunningly long.

One of the weaknesses of the anti-Trump resistance is their inability to address the factors which brought the current administration into existence. Too many think it’s all about one man.

So why can’t such a stupid, ignorant and incompetent bunch be seen off? That must be what troubles the Resistance. The scariest possibility is they are up against complexity itself, fighting a reality that refuses subordination to a narrative. The world is hard to control, even when you dominate all the media outlets.

What makes the pubic think governments which run Windows XP and lose secrets can manage Climate, which is as complex as a human organism? Perhaps we have to relearn humility and restore loose coupling between objects. Otherwise the reactive effects will ripple through “unexpectedly”. But of course no one will listen, just as in the Jurassic Park movies. It’ll be full speed ahead and ‘hold muh beer’.

 

Upholding the truth first involves being able to see it.

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It’s a dangerous path the Left is taking

Where the real danger lies:

Think about it: Wright was so proud of her behavior that she put it out there for the world to see. She felt no shame; no need to hide her actions.

Cheryl K. Chumley says For Republicans, it’s getting dangerous out there – “Wright ultimately left the scene — but was apprehended after she posted details of the incident to her Facebook page. And it’s that little facet of the story that seems most remarkable.”

This particular story ended with Wendi Wright, 35, being arrested and charged with felony reckless endangerment. And the specifics of her charges come down to this: She allegedly chased Kustoff and his aide, Marianne Dunavant, in her car as they drove from the town hall event, ultimately intimidating them to the point that they pulled into the driveway of somebody they knew.

Is Wright demented? Or just an average Democrat in the Trump era?

Certainly, the atmosphere in the country has turned much more accepting of violence as a form of leftist political protest in recent months — since the rise of President Donald Trump, in fact.

The congressional halls of Democratic offices are filled with calls to impeach Trump, finding an actual impeachable offense be danged. And the media, the ever complicit media, don’t mind rising from the mud, when opportunity presents, to join the anti-this, anti-that fray as well.

All this, meanwhile, comes on the heels of an appeal by a Huffington Post editor-at-large for leftists to simply hound those of the pro-Trump camp by following Republican politicians to their places of work, places of dining, places of living, and stand outside and protest and demand answers. Answers to what? Apparently, to why they’re Republicans, refusing to vote Democratic.

But this is the tone and atmosphere of the country right now. And it’s one created and fueled solely by the left. So what’s a good Republican to do to stay safe?

what’s called for in the face of these bullies is to fight harder. Bullies don’t back down unless they’re met with a force that’s to be reckoned with. And how do you best fight lying, deceptive, argumentative, angry, irrational, violent socialist-minded partisans with intent on corrupting the Constitution and destroying the greatness of America? With truth. With courage. With the full armor of God — including the breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith and sword of the spirit.

In the face of such power, evil, as these lunatic leftists represent, can only flee.

John Daniel Davidson: The American Left Is Talking Itself Into Violence – “The recent violence that’s marked our college campuses is seeping into the rest of society, and the vast majority of it comes from the intolerant Left.”

Something is wrong with the American Left. The recent spate of violent protests on college campuses has been well-documented, but the violence and intolerance championed by left-wing student activists is beginning to creep off campus and into mainstream public life.

The reason for this is straightforward enough: although progressives pride themselves on their putative tolerance and diversity, the imperatives of leftist politics are fundamentally illiberal. Justice imposed through power is the philosophical foundation of the political left, and when earnest progressives become convinced the only avenue to power is violence, their tolerance quickly falls by the wayside. Consider a few recent events, none of which involved college protesters but all of which were marked by threats of violence.

Leftist Intolerance Invites A Breakdown Of Civility

How has it come to this? No doubt, leftist ideology invites a kind of intolerance that leads to violence, as we’ve seen. But this tendency is exacerbated by a breakdown of civility fueled by social media. Would we see the kind of brutal, cutthroat behavior that’s marked the crowds at these town halls if those people had not inured themselves somewhat to it?

The problem here is picking a bogey man, social media, to sidestep and destroy the argument presented that it is a much deeper and more insidious evil at play.

William A. Jacobson: Buzzfeed asks: Why is Harvard Law Prof. Larry Tribe spreading conspiracy theories? – “A reputation is a terrible thing to waste.”

Lawrence Tribe, Harvard Law School professor, has sullied his reputation with his Trump Derangement Syndrome, as Buzzfeed documents

One of the great untold stories is how many liberals have damaged themselves in the desire to get Trump.

If Trump doesn’t go to jail, like so many of the liberal conspiracy theorists are predicting, there will be a price to pay for their delusions, and that price will be their reputations.

David Keene: A lesson in the loss of liberty – “Mischief-makers have turned new surveillance powers against Americans.”

Liberal civil libertarian types were convinced back then that it was dangerous to entrust too much to the likes of George W Bush, but went silent when Barack Obama entered the White House. …

Imagine what sort of public uproar would have erupted if, during the 2008 campaign, it had been revealed that the outgoing Bush administration had been caught doubling or tripling surveillance of its opponents and was “unmasking” candidate John McCain’s foreign policy advisers whose names may have been picked up through surveillance of noncitizens in troubled areas of the world. The media, Democrats in Congress and the liberal pundits would have simply gone berserk, but the cavalier use of these same powers by Mr. Obama against folks they don’t like hasn’t fazed them a bit.

The answer should be obvious. It goes beyond ideology to the nature of trusting government with too much power. When any government official assures the public that he or she can be trusted with powers we wouldn’t trust to “bad guys,” we should be wary because powers that can be abused will be abused by someone at some time for motives good or bad.

Clarice Feldman provides a summary on Russian Hacking and Collusion: Put the Cards on the Table – “The notion that Russia interfered in the election to help Donald Trump was a John Brennan/James Clapper confection created in an unorthodox way, and defied logic, given that Hillary and her associates had far closer connections to Russia than Trump or his associates did.”

12 prominent public statements by those on both sides of the aisle who reviewed the evidence or been briefed on it confirmed there was no evidence of Russia trying to help Trump in the election or colluding with him:

Law professor Jonathan Turley says much the same thing: “No one has yet to explain to me what the core crime that would be investigated with regards to Russian influence,’ Turley said Wednesday evening. “I don’t see the crime, so I don’t see how it’s closing in on Trump.”

Unless you think it makes political and constitutional sense to have an FBI director holding open forever an investigation of his boss with no factual basis, you might understand how ridiculous Comey’s refusal to publicly detail his reasons for so doing.

But there is much more than the misjudgment of allowing these people to head the investigation, which has run on for months with an ocean of leaks and no evidence.

if this is Watergate, it’s not because this president is trying to cover up any wrongdoing on his part, but rather Comey and others at the FBI are trying to cover up theirs, rather like Mark Felt. The drive to arrogate power to one’s self is a feature of Washington politics, and hardly unknown to the top ranks of the FBI.

Jazz Shaw picks up on how petty CNN has become: Impeachable? Trump gets TWO scoops of ice cream while the peasants all get one

they really didn’t have much of a point to make here. The best they could do was point to this as an example of how the White House staff is settling in with Trump and getting used to his preferences. But by the time they write it up on the web site the tone has definitely changed. Notice how they can’t be satisfied with simply saying that the staff has picked up on his druthers in dining. They have to paint the mental imagery of a plump, greedy child who has suddenly been turned loose in the palace and has the royal staff fetching him bowl after bowl of dessert treats.

So take that as you will. It might be a story about ice cream or the tale of some Caligula-like emperor who is gobbling up the riches of the realm while the peasants are forced to do without. This. Is. CNN. They report… you decide.

Or, another example by John Sexton: Michelle Obama is not happy about the rollback of her school lunch guidelines – “Mrs. Obama suggested that issues like school lunches should be above politics and yet she’s asking her audience to question the motives of the people who are making these changes.”

Ultimately, there has to be a balance between allowing kids to eat what tastes good to them and what will keep them healthy. It should be possible for adults to disagree about where that middle-ground is without assuming anyone who has a different opinion has bad motives and wants to see kids “eating crap.”

Or Jazz, again: This is how progressives undermine capitalism in the name of “character” – “It really wouldn’t merit much national attention were it not such a sterling example of enshrined, liberal tribal beliefs being carried over in the real world to the point of self-ridicule.” The community’s choice in which coffee shop is to replace an outed one … “what’s the difference if you drove down the property values and stopped someone from providing some jobs to local folks and possibly making a profit?”

On the U.S. economic front, Mark Perry is Putting America’s ridiculously large $18.6T economy into perspective by comparing US state GDPs to entire countries – “Overall, the US produced 24.7% of world GDP in 2016, with only about 4.5% of the world’s population.”

 

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Totally Bonkers but No shame?

Sundance: *UPDATE* – President Trump Drops Another MOAB – Media Missing Sally Yates and James Comey Timeline… – “what’s more stunning in the aftershock is the media’s incapacity to take the new Trump/Comey timeline information and add it to the existing Sally Yates timeline.”

Now, accepting the politicization of the entire Russian Conspiracy Narrative that was leading the headlines for the two months prior to this dinner; and knowing moments earlier your Chief White House counsel informs you that two political operatives (Yates and Priestap) within the DOJ were providing classified intelligence reports about General Flynn; and knowing the prior months (Nov/Dec/Jan) were fraught with leaks from intelligence reports identical to those discussed; wouldn’t you perhaps think that any action you take could be utilized to add fuel to this Russian narrative? And/Or be used by these same leak facilitators to make something seem like something it is not?

Think about it.

If you were President under those circumstances, wouldn’t you ask FBI Director James Comey what the deal was with these investigations, and whether or not you were under investigation BEFORE you took action to retain or fire Mike Flynn?

Given the circumstances it could appear, and most definitely should be considered, that the President was being ‘set-up’ to impede an FBI investigation by taking action against Flynn.

Then consider the news this morning that the Left is clamoring for the recordings as if they were Nixon’s missing minutes and Warren, among others, are taking the stance in public speech that Trump is guilty of every crime under the sun as their starting point – despite any evidence of a crime and the fact that the ‘investigation’ is about national security and not criminal matters.

Then take a look at John Merline: Oops: The New York Times Accidentally Exposed ‘The Hillary Clinton-Russia Nexus’! – “the incredible New York Times editorial* published on Thursday that lays out the case for how the Hillary Clinton campaign was colluding with the Russian government, and then tried to cover it up by blaming her election loss on Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

* OK, this is not really what The New York Times wrote in its editorial (the actual editorial can be found here). But it does closely track what the Times’ editorial accuses Trump of doing, and the Times’ accusations about a Trump “nexus” with Russia are just about as flimsy.

Top Democrats, as indicated above, also have a long history of business and political ties with Russia, for the simple reason that there is money to be made by people who can peddle their political connections. And sometimes these Democrats don’t disclose their Russia ties. If this is all the Times needs to accuse Trump and his associates of having “an unusually extensive network of relationships with a major foreign power,” then Clinton is equally guilty. (The one difference is that Hillary actually has a record of being soft on Russia.)

Phil Salmon: When science had no shame. Part 1: Why are nearly all sci-fi movies anti-science dystopia? – this has a lot to do with understanding current politics as it flavors many views and values of the Left.

Are we living in a new prohibition era? A generation of straight-laced environmental puritans have been teaching us and our children to be ashamed of science and technology.

For the self-appointed guardians of our environmental rectitude, technology is the new sex, business is the new gambling and CO2 the new alcohol

The blasted dystopian future-scapes that we view with monotonous regularity through theatrical off-stage blown mist, all communicate a not-so-subtle political message: if you don’t pay attention to our endless protest movements that are anti-science, anti-technology, anti-vaccine, anti-energy, anti that atom with the atomic number of the Beast, then look at all the bad stuff that’s heading your way! Only a small minority of SciFi movies rise above the rest and actually fulfil SciFi’s purpose, that is, to inspire us with the possibilities of science and technology – while also addressing its dangers and ambiguities but in a positive and hopeful spirit.

Optimism? Gone. Self Aware? Gone. Totally Bonkers it seems.

 

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Should have done it different

Charles Hurt: Hysteria, overblown hooey part of the fake news cycle – “Every time the Washington political press freaks out and goes into full panic mode against President Trump, the blockbuster, Watergate-volume story always unfolds the same way.”

But then, as the heavy breathing subsides and the adrenaline rush gives way to factual, concrete reporting, the most damning charges fall away.

“Well, he could have handled it better,” they sniff. “He didn’t follow Washington political protocol.”

Are you freaking kidding me? It all starts with charges of high crimes and misdemeanors — impeachment imminent — and when it all turns out to be fake news these people walk away grumbling about how Mr. Trump could have handled it better?

Cheryl K. Chumley: Insanity, as left calls for stalking GOP in streets, at home – “ If you can’t beat them at the ballot box, just scream them into submission.”

But this writer, Michelangelo Signorile, editor-at-large of the HuffPo’s “Queer Voices” section, is insane. He’s not just ratcheting the anti-Trump rhetoric. He’s outright calling for fellow leftists to publicly hound anyone wearing a Republican button, a MAGA hat, a White House job title — anyone who’s not of similarly leftist lunacy mind.

He’s making an appeal for anarchy in the streets — an appeal for “force” and widespread resistance.

And once again, like the left always does, Signorile blames the victim — blames Trump and Republicans and the Republican message as bringing down the drastic measures upon their own heads.

“This may sound too extreme and out of bounds to some people … [but] Donald Trump is not operating within boundaries — nor is anyone who is enabling him,” he said. “We much fight back with equal force.”

These people are delusional and dangerous, at minimum useful idiots for the higher-ranking on the ideological left — at worst, attackers in waiting. How any level-headed individual could call for such a thing is just beyond the scope of any sensible mind.

Another example: look at how the Democrats are going after Rosenstein whose memo detailed the problems with Comey. Karoun Demirjian, Ed O’Keefe and Paul Kane: Rosenstein role in Comey firing raises more questions than answers – “Democrats were demanding a reckoning over his role in the ouster but leaving more questions than answers in his wake.” No matter that many of these politicians were calling for the action in previous weeks. No matter the content of Rosenstein’s report. No matter that Comey serves at the pleasure of the President and the President does not need any reason to fire him. No, it’s the ad hominem at Rosenstein’s expense. It’s the irrational Left on parade.

Two weeks ago, Rod J. Rosenstein received the bipartisan confidence of the vast majority of the Senate during his confirmation as deputy attorney general. But a memo he drafted this week that has served as President Trump’s public justification for firing Comey has all but eviscerated that trust.

Led primarily by Democrats, senators are now asking Rosenstein to come back to Capitol Hill next week to explain his role in Comey’s dismissal. A senior Republican, too, declined to defend Rosenstein’s actions after meeting with him behind closed doors.

It also fits into Hurt’s behavior observations as well. Feinstein is “incredulous” that Rosenstein would use “quotes from opinion pieces and news clippings about former Justice Department officials critiquing Comey’s handling of the Clinton investigation.” The title of the report was “Restoring Public Confidence in the FBI” and, it seems to the Left, demonstrating this problem should have ‘been handled better’?

Michael Barone says James Comey Is the Latest Victim of the Clintons – “For some Democrats and journalists, every Republican military initiative is Vietnam and every possible scandal Watergate. That’s a measure of the nostalgic perspective of the baby-boom generation. We’re as many years away from Vietnam and Watergate as they were from the 1920s.”

Comey’s July 5 statement made clear that Hillary Clinton had violated Title 18, Section 793(f) of U.S. Code, put in place by the Espionage Act. But he added to the words of the statute an intent requirement and so recommended that she not be prosecuted. It’s not hard to imagine that he felt entitled to inflict political damage on someone for whom the Obama Justice Department had put in the fix.

That makes Comey only the latest victim of the Clintons, who, like F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tom and Daisy Buchanan, smash up “things and creatures” and then retreat “back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it (is) that (keeps) them together, and let other people clean up the mess they (have) made.”

The mess continues, as Democrats howl against the removal of an official whose removal they demanded up through lunchtime Tuesday and continue to search, Ahab-like, for evidence that Russia somehow stole the election.

Byron York picks up on the smear campaign with What Grassley and Feinstein said about Trump, the FBI, and Russia – “One of the most dramatic moments in then-FBI Director James Comey’s May 3 appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee came when Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal tried to press Comey into revealing that President Trump is a target of the FBI’s Russia investigation.”

Blumenthal’s tactics were so concerning that on Thursday, at a business meeting of the Judiciary Committee not devoted to any aspect of the Russia affair, Republican Chairman Charles Grassley and Democratic Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein both addressed the subject.

In a carefully-written statement, Grassley said that he and Feinstein were indeed briefed by Comey on the particular individuals targeted in the current FBI investigation. And Grassley strongly implied — in fact, did everything but come out and say directly — that the president is not one of those individuals.

John Sexton: Acting FBI Director: ‘There has been no effort to impede our investigation to date’ – “McCabe said there had been no effort to impede the investigation and added that nothing would stop the FBI from doing the right thing.” This is another of those contra Fake News items that tends to stomp on the conspiracy theories.

if this is an attempt at a cover-up, it’s a very stupid one. Firing the FBI Director does not stop the FBI investigation and does not stop the parallel investigations in the House and Senate. All this does is add fuel to the fire. In fact, you can bet that the FBI agents working this case are twice as motivated as they were before to find out what’s going on because their credibility is on the line.

Kimberly Strassel: Why James Comey Had to Go. (HT Instapundit as it’s a closed WSJ column) – “Which leads us to Mr. Comey’s most recent and obvious conflict of all — likely a primary reason he was fired: the leaks investigation (or rather non-investigation). So far the only crime that has come to light from this Russia probe is the rampant and felonious leaking of classified information to the press.”

As for the press, Patricia McCarthy has Three cheers for Sarah Sanders – “One has to almost like punishment to face the White House Press Corps these days.”

These people do this because they live for the moment the person at the podium slips. They ask the same questions over and over and over again in the apparent belief that if they ask often enough, at some point, they will get the answer they want. Each wants to be the person who trips up the press secretary and becomes the story himself for the next twenty-four hours. The whole routine is pathetic. Not only does it betray the wholesale lack of critical thinking among these privileged press folk, but it illustrates their absolute hollowness. They are hollow to their core. They care not one bit about the country, the Constitution, the incalculable damage done to the nation by Obamacare, the debt incurred by the Obama administration’s profligate spending, the racial animus Obama promulgated, the absolute gibberish that passes for a university education, the horrific danger Obama has engendered with his Iran deal, etc. No. Our White House press corps cares about none of these things. These reporters care about one thing only: taking Trump down.

That leads to The Next Big Lie About ObamaCare – “as night follows day, Republicans will be blamed for it all.”

Here’s how the Democrats’ story goes. After a rough start, ObamaCare was finally on the mend. Those massive rate hikes and insurance defections of last year were a thing of the past, and there was no truth to claims that ObamaCare was in a “death spiral.”

What insurers are saying is that the ObamaCare markets are continuing to deteriorate, as they have for years, with mostly older and sicker people signing up, while the young and healthy avoid ObamaCare’s overpriced coverage. The result is a sicker insurance pool that requires higher premiums to cover, which then drives out more young and healthy people, setting off another round of rate hikes.

In fact, in some ways Trump has worked to stabilize the ObamaCare markets, which Anthem notes in its Virginia filing, citing “helpful regulatory improvements” as a mitigating factor. Nevertheless, Anthem says, these improvements aren’t enough to overcome the fact that costs “continue to outpace premiums on a large scale.”

The inconvenient truth for Democrats is that ObamaCare is failing, and will continue to fail no matter what the GOP does. It is unsustainable and must be replaced. If Democrats wanted to act like mature adults, instead of petty partisans, they’d be as eager to find a replacement for ObamaCare as the GOP is.

This is the typical rationalization for the lack of success of socialism. The failures are because of some outside influence or not having the right leaders or anything but the reality of what actually happened. This is why you don’t see Venezuela in the news that much as that case has gone so far that it is hard to make excuses so typical of the Left.

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This time it’s not ‘fake’ it’s ‘faux’ as in faux outrage.

Two topics about the Comey firing seem to be rising to fill in for the lack of any evidence to support conspiracy or treason or other malfeasance. The first is the timing and the second is the method. Both are being used to denigrate Trump by ‘swamp critters’ who really ought to know to be careful in such old paradigm conclusion jumping by now. Incompetence may be an easy rationalization for what they don’t understand but, so far, such a model has just about the same credibility as the AGW climate models as far as verification goes.

IBD: Democrats Desperate To Turn Trump Into Nixon – “Watching the Democrats splutter in splenetic rage in recent days has been priceless, a lesson in instantaneous political outrage whipped up not out of legitimate moral indignation but purely for political ends.”

Democrats, true to form these days, care only about politics and power. They look mighty silly, turning 180 degrees on Comey in just the space of months, and in some cases, weeks.

And for the record, this is how the rest of Trump’s presidency will go. Whenever he does anything, the Democrats will squeal, call for legal action or an investigation, and obstruct the people’s business in Congress.

Americans voted for big change in November, but the Democrats seem dead-set on denying them that. Trump is not Nixon. And Congress would be wise not to pretend he is.

Chris Pandolfo: Pathetic: GOP divided on Comey firing as Democrats are unified – “Count on Republicans to be disorganized and send mixed messages whenever the Trump administration does something big.” One the one hand, this illustrates that Republicans are a collection of individuals while the Democrats tend more towards the ‘mind numbed robots’ soldiers of their leader. On the other, it explains why there is so much frustration in opposing the destruction of culture and government of the people.

What is there to be confused by? What is unclear? As Levin pointed out on the radio, the deputy attorney general who made the recommendation to President Trump to fire Comey has only been on the job for a week. In that first week, DAG Rod J. Rosenstein reviewed Comey’s actions as FBI director and, as he explains in his letter, found that “the FBI is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a Director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them.”

While it’s nice to see some fighters in the GOP, why is it so hard to get the whole party on the same page? Is there a single Democrat praising President Trump for firing Comey?

There’s not. That’s why the GOP is the party of self-defeat.

Brokaw on Comey Firing: ‘This Is Not the Saturday Night Massacre’ – “Brokaw argued Trump’s actions were much different, especially given months earlier Trump’s political opponents in Congress had been critical of Comey as well.”

Well, this is not the Saturday Night Massacre. I was there covering the Saturday Night Massacre. We had a criminal conspiracy in the White House, well known that we were working to find out what had gone on. Some of the president’s top aides were on the way to jail at that point.

At the same time, you have to remember that James Comey in the eyes of the Democrats was a very flawed director of the FBI. And it was funny to watch Mitch McConnell on the floor of the Senate in his kind of droll way saying, “This is a man that we were hearing from Chuck Schumer and others saying not too long ago that should not be in this job.”

Levin on Comey Firing: ‘We Have a Lot of Legal and Historical Illiterates Posing as TV Hosts and Commentators’ – “Levin hammered one of the biggest critics of that decision, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), but not before criticizing media pundits for what he deemed to be their legal and historical illiteracy.”

First of all, the president didn’t order an end to the Russian investigation.

But I have a couple of questions, if I might, for Chuck Schumer who is the leading demagogue and all of this. Tell me something, Mr. Schumer, can you name a single Russian, just one, who colluded with Donald Trump and his campaign? Just give us a one, one.

John Hinderaker goes after the AP, again. The Associated Press Goes Around the Bend on Comey – “when the AP really wants to cut loose it labels its stories “AP Analysis.”

This is deeply dishonest. Note that the AP doesn’t say that Trump is the first president since Nixon to fire an FBI Director. Nixon didn’t fire an FBI Director. The last president to fire an FBI Director, on far weaker grounds than Trump’s, was Bill Clinton.

And note the AP’s weaselly claim that Comey was “overseeing an investigation involving the commander in chief.” Trump was not a target of Comey’s investigation, which “involved” the president only in the sense that it related to members of his campaign team and, in at least one case, his administration.

Another false, overheated assertion. Trump didn’t challenge any institutions, he fired an officer of the federal government who served at his pleasure. The AP needs to get a grip.

Any Republican can become a profile in courage by siding with Democrats and selling out a Republican president. I am trying to remember the last time a Democrat became a profile in courage by siding with Republicans.

The AP’s “analysis” is all wishful thinking. The Democrats would love to see a constitutional crisis, but all they are going to get is a new (and undoubtedly better) FBI Director. Meanwhile, to say that the Democrats’ Trump-bashing has reached a point of diminishing returns is an understatement.

Betsey Newmark falls into the camp that presumes Trump incompetence but her Cruising the Web this morning also has a few links and highlights worth noting.

Beyond partisan motivations, Charles C. W. Cooke has an explanation why some people are divided about the Comey firing. … “I’ve been trying to understand why he was so vexed, and I think I’ve worked it out: He has assumed — and built into his thinking — that there is a huge Russia scandal in the background of all this. And I haven’t.”

Dan McLaughlin has a good article explaining that it is in the Republicans’ best interest to get the whole Russia story out there. … That’s why talking about a constitutional crisis is absurd – nothing has been done that is unconstitutional as far as we know. … Since Democrats and their allies in the media are jumping up and down to pretend that there is clear evidence of Trump collusion with Russia, it behooves the Republicans to make sure that the story is fully ventilated. … “In political terms, the problem for Republicans is that as long as the investigation is secret, Democrats can continue to make it look worse than it is. They have a license to spin conspiracy theories like Marshall’s, without the need for any facts or evidence;”

Daniel Henninger discusses what he found by reading the Rosenstein memo about what went on in the FBI as they investigated Clinton’s server and it is clear that James Comey way overstepped his duties as the head of the FBI to usurp the role of a federal prosecutor. That is what he should have been fired for. “The predictable tumult from the Obama-originated mass leaks then intimidated Congress into sending the House and Senate intelligence committees chasing after these “suggestions” of collusion.

“Beyond Mike Flynn and Carter Page, why haven’t we seen more leaks pushing past the original stories? Why have the leakers gone silent, unless they leaked everything they had? Indeed why hasn’t there been a mega-dump into the press by now of all the original NSA “raw signals intelligence” à la the Pentagon Papers?”

For those who believed that Sally Yates took Ted Cruz to school during her testimony before the Senate, Josh Blackman explains why that is so not true. “there is little to celebrate in Yates’ stand. Indeed, her explanation before the Senate only made things more confusing.”

One of the prevailing themes is that the Democrats would respond rationally to reasoned, thoughtful, and considerate action by Republicans or the President. Examples of this are few and far between and this is what Newmark seems to be missing. Neo-neocon shows better awareness of this in his post on The why and wherefore of the Comey firing

I disagree strongly with McCarthy’s statement that the reasoning in Rosentein’s memorandum “will make it very difficult for Democrats to attack President Trump’s decision.” On the contrary, they will find no problem whatsoever in doing so. It doesn’t matter how well-crafted Rosenstein’s enumeration of Comey’s errors is, and it doesn’t matter how many Democrats Rosenstein manages to quote who were in agreement months ago with what he’s saying now about Comey. Those Democrats are on another side of the political divide, and will act accordingly—as McCarthy himself seems to acknowledge towards the end of his piece

Those who assume Trump incompetence and Democrat integrity are telling you something about their credibility.  

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Confused minds?

Sundance starts with the trade arguments – Canada’s Liberal Politics Behind Trudeau’s Antagonistic Trade Positions… – to say something about the United States. “In addition to the size of our economy, America is profoundly unique in that there is almost no product on the planet that cannot be replicated in the United States.” And it’s not just natural resources. Examples are provided.

Additionally, our inherent American DNA strain is one of entrepreneurial existence. We know how to do things, create things, and think completely outside the box on new and innovative ideas for things. Yes, we are exceptional like that.

It’s high time we stop being embarrassed about our exceptional nature, and start being proud of it again. Because when it matters most, when it really counts, when it’s really needed, there’s a whole bunch of people all around this world of ours that are mighty happy when swagger walks in to solve their problems.

Yeah, “let’s make America great again”. Swagger on !

James Lewis wonders about the Conservative Cringe and The Real Reason Washington Post Republicans Hate Donald Trump – “Mr. Will has finally identified his complaint in a WaPo opinion piece dramatically called “Trump Has a Dangerous Disability.”

Now, I happen to think that Trump’s political jargon is a shrewd way to dodge the murderous hatred of our fair-minded media, the people Mr. Will spends his life with. We know they examine every syllable emerging from Trump’s mouth, ready to draw blood as soon as they can distort and lie about something he says that is perfectly innocent.

Trump has developed an effective way to reach you and me. We understand his private code, which leaves liberals foaming at the mouth.

After thinking about George and Jonah and Bill, who unanimously headed for the hills when Trump started to win, I’ve finally concluded that they despised Trump because he sounded low-class. It’s a class thing.

Well, the D.C. establishment also despised Abe Lincoln as a low-class hick from the backwoods who spoke with a country accent.

On the Fake News™ front, Ace describes how the WaPo digs in on a Fake Hoax story. “Hate Crime” Reported on By Washington Post 15 Times Turns Out to Be, Get This, a Hoax; Washington Post Refuses to Run a New Story On the Hate Hoax – “Democracy Dies in Darkness, doesn’t it?

Oh, and don’t forget the AP. John Hinderaker hasn’t: On the Judiciary, the Associated Press Parrots the DNC – “I think the Associated Press is even worse, or at least, more pervasive. A case in point is tonight’s story on President Trump’s judicial appointments: “Trump begins effort to pack courts with conservatives.”

Let’s stop right there. All presidents nominate judges with compatible philosophies. Did the Associated Press ever write that President Obama was “packing” the federal judiciary with liberals? I don’t think so. I tried this Google search–“associated press obama pack courts with liberals”–and got nothing.

The AP supplies some reasonably objective information, and then goes full DNC:

“The courts” didn’t “derail” the president’s agenda. Rather, a couple of Democratic Party stalwarts, who got the cases as a result of Democratic Party judge-shopping, issued absurd orders that are destined to be overturned in due course.

The AP fails to note that application of the filibuster to judicial nominees is a very recent innovation.

From there, it only gets worse:

The question is why people are fixated on incomplete or even fabricated world models and why they push them so hard on others.

 

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