The standard of what was acceptable in the previous administration provides an objective indicator for analysis. There are two components to examine. One is a shifting standard and the other is how that shift is rationalized. Ian Hanchett provides an example Maher: Obama’s Dishonesty Was ‘Within the Normal Parameters’ – Trump’s Isn’t –
“Friday’s broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time,” host Bill Maher stated that untrue statements by President Obama were “within the normal parameters” while President Trump’s aren’t.”
Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist stated, “Obama said, repeatedly on the campaign, not once in a tweet, but again and again and again in speeches, that he was never going to raise taxes on anyone who earned less than $250,000 a year. That lasted 16 days, before he did.”
Maher responded, “Okay, but that’s within the normal parameters of what politicians do. Saying you see 3 million people that don’t exist is not.”
That sounds cute, of course, but the real issue is to resolve just who it is, Maher or Trump, that is seeing, or not seeing things. That is why Trump called for an investigation to find out who is seeing what. This case illustrates Maher shifting standards rationalized by ad hominem. There is a close analogy to Schumer’s broken promise about nominees. Shifting standards rationalized by logical fallacies are not conducive towards solving problems but many, especially in the media, seem to prefer that approach.
Donald Lambro has a bit saner approach about Trump and the facts – “Evidence suggests the 2016 election was not tainted by fraud.” His essay is headed by a misleading AP picture to provide a taste of what is to follow. The title is also interesting because the Democrat’s mantra is that the Russians skewed the vote and the popular vote was against Trump. In trying to rationalize this shift, Lambro goes ad hominem: “It was an issue that gnawed at his ego and that he has not been able to drop since the election…” This ignores the fact that the issue gnaws at Democrats and the media that continually try to use it to delegitimize the election. It is a Democrat talking point that is the source for the 3 million claim. It is the longstanding Democrat opposition to such ideas as Voter ID that raise concerns.
Lambro tries to put the focus on selected studies that can be interpreted as not supporting Trump’s claims about voting. That misses the point raised and attempts to to move the issue to trivia. Then he brings in the crowd estimates and “alternative facts” to support his ‘Trump Lies’ thesis. Again, he gets into misperceptions and shaky interpretations of statistics and misleading source data. That doesn’t stop the grand accusations presented with an aura of fact. Conway came up with ‘alternative facts’ to give the media an out, to allow for misperception and differing views of statistical or incomplete data. The Left missed that and now is trying to cudgel the Trump camp with it. All too often, it becomes apparent that those with the ‘alternative facts’ that go well beyond a reasonable interpretation are on the Left, not in the administration. More pictures and other data surface that show that the brouhaha source was off base. Additional studies come up that show the voter fraud problem is indeed a concern. More Fake News about the administration in major media gets retracted.
For more on these ‘alternative facts’ see Jom Hoft: Confirmed: More People, More Hotel Rooms Booked for Trump Inauguration than Either of Obama’s – William Campenni: Illegal Aliens Really Do Vote – a Lot – Deroy Murdock: Why Do Democrats Fear Trump’s Probe of “Fake” Voter Fraud? – John Sexton: Freakout of the day: Trump Photoshopped his hand in White House photo – Ed Morrissey: Correction of the year? The Atlantic regrets …. Update: And regrets … – the ‘facts’ aren’t quite as clear as Lambro, Maher, and others in their camp would like to believe.
This same angst shows up in response to other antics. Mercedes Schlapp describes The very mixed messages from an unwelcoming march – besides all the vulgarity in the Women’s March:
Simply put, the Women’s March represented some women, but by no means all. For too long the Democrats have claimed to champion women’s rights by lecturing us on how we need to think. The march followed the familiar playbook, with the liberal pro-abortion agenda front and center. Many women don’t agree with this agenda and feel that the liberals have become too extreme on these social issues.
The mainstream media gave wall-to-wall coverage to the Women’s March. In fact, Newsbusters reported that the major broadcast networks devoted 129 times more coverage to the march than to the 2016 March for Life. It’s a lock that Friday’s 2017 March for Life, which my family will be attending, will similarly get nowhere near the media exposure of the Women’s March on Washington.
I want my daughters to grow up in a culture and society where everyone is respected, especially the most vulnerable and innocent. Unlike the Women’s March, a gathering dominated by of darkness and anger, the March for Life will offer an uplifting, spiritual and positive message — a message vitally important for all women to hear.
For those worried about Trump, check out Kelly Riddell on The just war on the EPA – “The EPA and its counterparts need reining, a measure that’s long overdue.” The worry is another shifting standards example. What was OK, even if it was unethical or illegal, in the past is now to be protected from an administration that is portrayed as being unethical and illegal in action to clean the swamp.
EPA staffers — who reportedly cried and had to take days off for counseling after Donald Trump won the presidency in November — are in full revolt. After the Trump administration took away their social media accounts and froze their grants, a rogue staffer at the National Park Service tweeted out climate facts.
Tasked with unilaterally carrying out former President Barack Obama’s climate change policies by decree — because such legislation would’ve never made it through Congress — has emboldened many career bureaucrats within the EPA to become radical, partisan activists.
They don’t work for the American people, but rather to advance their environmentalism agenda. For some it almost takes on a religious fervor.
So yeah, there’s partisan problems at the EPA.
Scott Pruitt, Mr. Trump’s pick to lead the agency, knows this all too well. He’s sued the agency 13 times, and understands its culture of executive overreach, lawlessness and environmental activism. That’s why he’s the perfect man for the job.
And that’s why the liberals, and radical left career staffers at the EPA, are freaking out.
On this front there’s also John Sexton about Flooding expected at Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp – The location will make rescue difficult and then there’s the usual Leftist mob trash problem.
Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault warned about this back in November. From Vice: “I heard that they’re digging pits down there for their human waste. That’s a flood zone. So when the floodwaters come up, that waste is going to be contaminating the water. We’re no different than the oil company, if we’re fighting for water. What’s going to happen when people leave? Who has to clean it up? Who has to refurbish it?”
Archambault tells the AP, “There is a lot of debris, abandoned cars. When the flood comes all of that stuff is going to contaminate the environment.”
Scott Johnson: Extreme vetting, here we come – “President Trump began to fulfill one of his signal campaign promises yesterday with the promulgation of an executive order addressing immigration from Muslim countries yesterday.” Johnson cites the NYT which has posted the text of the EO.
The order proceeds through a series of cross-reference to other laws that renders it incomprehensible on its own terms.
According to Shear and Cooper, the order suspends the entry of refugees into the United States for 120 days, and Syrians indefinitely. It also suspends immigration from seven Muslim countries for only 90 days, while ordering priority be given to visas for Christians from Muslim nations (I don’t see the religious distinction in the text of the order). The seven Muslim countries are Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.
Shear and Cooper want to imply that differentiation among faiths for the purposes of the order is unconstitutional: “Mr. Trump also established a religious test for refugees from Muslim nations: He ordered that Christians and others from minority religions be granted priority over Muslims.” The Constitution, however, only bars religious tests for office or “public trust.”
Despite its difficulty, the order is worth reviewing in its entirety. The following provision, for example, should resonate with citizens of sound mind
In other words: Fake News Alert! The ‘alternative facts’ available for misperception and outright bias in perception creating what is not in the EO in order to bash Trump are easily seen.
Betsey Newmark started off yesterday with administration leaks and a ‘woe is me’ approach. What she was talking about appeared to be more a matter of transparency than leaks. For something more serious, Scott Johnson wonders At GOP retreat, whodunnit? – there may be consequences on this one.
Taking a quick look around online this morning, I believe that Pennsylvania is one of 11 or or 12 states that requires all-party consent for the recording of conversations as a general rule. The applicable law is set forth under chapter 57 of Pennsylvania’s criminal code (Title 18 of the Pennsylvania statutes). The general prohibition is set forth in § 5703. The law does not apply under circumstances where the speaker lacks a reasonable expectation of privacy. The exception is derived in the definition of “oral communication” set forth in § 5702.
What does come out of all of this is that the Left is going to any length to try to find meat for their ‘alternative facts’ fodder.
About that Doomsday Clock Glen Reynolds notes: “as Brendan O’Neill put it on Facebook: “The same media attacking Trump for making stuff up is now excitedly reporting that a bunch of scientists have moved the imaginary hand on an imaginary clock half-a-minute closer to an imaginary apocalypse. #fakenews.” The absurdity with pending Trump nuclear apocalypse is the fact that the last person who’d want such an event is a real estate developer with world wide multi-million dollar holdings. See also They scream about Trump having nuclear codes, but the hawks of WWIII reside on the left – “Ask them why Trump – a supposed Putin puppet – would start a nuclear war when it would decimate his international finances and destroy his puppet master’s country in the process, and you’ll get one of two things: a blank stare or deflection.” Logical consistency goes with intellectual integrity and can be used to evaluate positions and arguments.