Fake Protests based on Fake Rationales

Cheryl K. Chumley: People’s Climate March — rally of the ridiculous – “Forgive the yawns. It’s just that after 100 days of anti-President Donald Trump protesting, which came on the heels of 200 or so days of anti-Candidate Donald Trump protesting, the Hate Trump message is getting a bit stale.

Valerie Richardson: The people’s billionaire: George Soros gave $36M to groups behind People’s Climate March – “Media Research Center report finds steering committee groups benefited from Soros’ largesse.”

The People’s Climate March scheduled for Saturday has a powerful billionaire behind it: Democratic Party donor George Soros.

Mr. Soros, who heads the Open Society Foundations, contributed over $36 million between 2000 and 2014 to 18 of the 55 organizations on the march’s steering committee, according to an analysis released Friday by the conservative Media Research Center.

“The presence of many non-climate related organizations leading the march indicated that this climate march (just like the March for Science and the Women’s March) is not about a single issue, but about attacking the new administration,” MRC’s Aly Nielsen said.

She pointed to the march’s “usual checklist of liberal policy priorities,” such as labor-union rights, a minimum-wage increase, and a halt to “attacks on immigrants.”

Anthony Watts: Saturday’s “climate march” in Washington turns into another wrongheaded farce that has little to do with climate – “Even full-on warmists are panning it, and it hasn’t even started yet.” Watts provides some pretty graphics about the causes and logistics from sponsoring organizations.

David Sherfinski: Sheriff David Clarke: ‘Rat bastards’ on the left never give up – people are beginning to notice and some are rather colorful in their observations.

“No, I didn’t misspeak.

“You see, for them defeat is never final. Election defeats don’t matter,” he said. “It’s simply a time to regroup and continue their assault on our Constitution, the rule of law, liberty, and American exceptionalism.

“Now, why would I call them rat bastards?” he said. “First of all, because I can. Second, as you know I call ‘em as I see ‘em. But third and more importantly, just listen to Saul Alinsky, a socialist professor who admired Lucifer, for heaven’s sake. And Alinsky’s admired by the left.”

VDH: How the Obama Precedent Empowered Trump – “A number of the things that explain Trump’s election also point to unique opportunities to overturn the Obama legacy.”

The Left is understandably apprehensive of Trump because Obama set the modern precedent that a contemporary president can do almost anything he pleases by executive orders (and in Nixonian fashion can weaponize federal agencies, from the NSA to the IRS, in order to monitor and hound political rivals and perceived enemies). Sen. Harry Reid’s near suicidal destruction of the Senate filibuster captured the unreality of the times, as if Obama progressivism most certainly would be America’s new orthodoxy for generations to come.

A supposedly disinterested media’s ecstasy over Obama’s election ensured that its subsequent revulsion at Trump could be taken no more seriously.

A critical media is not a mere reset button that one turns on and off at one’s convenience. Instead, once it was short-circuited after 2008, its burned-out switch cannot be flipped back on in 2017. In sum, there is no longer a believable media that can offer credible critiques of the Trump presidency.

There is as yet no credible response to Trump and certainly no opposing coherent agenda. Instead, the “Resistance” is being waged by cherry-picking liberal federal judges in hopes of delaying and slowing down executive orders in the courts, along with states-rights nullifications, organized advertising boycotts of conservative media figures, media collusion, jamming town hall meetings of conservative representatives, campus antics, and waging war on social media.

David French: California Is Seceding from the Constitution – “Is there no end to the harm progressives will do our republic in the name of ‘social justice’?”

why should a state bother seceding when it can simply nullify the portions of the Constitution it doesn’t like? A troubling trend is emerging: California is imposing its own vision of free speech, freedom of association, and freedom of the press on its citizens, and it’s daring the courts to stop it.

The rot extends far beyond Berkeley.

In short, California public officials at every level of state and local government have taken it upon themselves to replace core constitutional protections with their own radical vision of social justice. This isn’t federalism; it’s lawlessness. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and every state law, ordinance, regulation, or practice that conflicts its guarantees of individual liberty must be struck down.

Social-justice warriors may demand #Resistance, but they cannot opt an entire state out of the Constitution. It’s time for the courts and Congress to protect liberty, and it’s time for California to remember that membership in our constitutional republic carries with it constitutional obligations. California, you can’t nullify the Bill of Rights.

OregonMuse says That’s the Way You Do It – A grand jury has approximately 212 people facing felony charges for rioting during the inauguration in January.

The way to stop rioting is by vigorous, aggressive police action. Of course, everybody knows this. The mayor of Baltimore knows this. The mayor of Ferguson knows this. Even that adipose porker who runs Berkeley knows this. But they chose to not make any attempt to restrain the rioting because, bottom line, they have more sympathy for the goals and aspirations of the circus freak show rioters than they do with law-abiding citizens, i.e. normal people of their communities. So the cities burned.

I only wish there was a way to tell the normal people, “hey, the authorities are not on your side. They will sit back and watch you and everything you’ve built burn if it means they can further their agenda.”

You would think Berkeley would at least be receptive, but the people there keep electing the same crew year after year. And pride themselves on how progressive they are.

CBD cites: “J.J. Sefton has been telling us that Daniel Greenfield is very good writer, and I finally listened. The Left’s Culture of Contempt: Saving America by hating everyone.” Greenfield describes what has happened to what used to be an entertainment – “Comedy is creative. Contempt isn’t comedy. Ultimately it’s just contemptible.”

Steven Hayward: NY Times Readers Lose Their Minds – “Bret Stephens recently left the Wall Street Journal editorial page to become an op-ed columnist at the New York Times.” The first column at the new gig was about climate change and, boy, did it set off the climate alarmists. Luboš Motl picks up on the fracas: Bret Stephens’ skepticism will spread from NYT to other mainstream sources – “The content of the op-ed is simple. Stephens – who looks like a classic lukewarmer to me here, not too much more skeptical than Andy Revkin – says that it’s wrong to expect that one is 100% certain. Only fanatics do so, sane people know that they’re 65% right if they’re really good, and the climate alarmists claiming certainty should be ashamed.”

Fine. People have reacted. On Twitter, Gavin Schmidt and a few other fanatics have claimed that Stephens is fighting a straw man. I don’t think it is the case. The fanatical claims about the certainty of destruction by man-made climate change are omnipresent – and you may find lots of them written by the brainwashed or activist commenters under Stephens’ article, too.

But I found many comments that agreed with Stephens in the New York Times, many reasonable comments (these two sets are overlapping but not identical), and I do believe that Stephens’ first op-ed made the New York Times more attractive.

You should have figured out that the conventional wisdom is rubbish, dear newspaper managers, many years ago. But behaving just like all the other mediocre managers elsewhere looked like a good enough and comfortable enough strategy to you. It was easier than to do your job well, wasn’t it?

Just to be sure, I am bored by the articles saying that “certainty is politically incorrect” (such as this Stephens’ op-ed), too. To make me intrigued, The New York Times would have to publish something much more original and brilliant.

For the other side of this ‘debate’ see Greg Laden: Out of the gate, Bret Stephens punches the hippies, says dumb things – “Right in the middle, between the Trump-inspired March for Science, and the Trump-inspired People’s Climate March, the New York times managed to come down firmly on the side of climate and science denial, in its editorial pages.” It’s loaded. Consider the hubris and judgment dripping from statements like “other right wing positions,” “consider this all too cute sentence with which he attempts to dazzle his readers,” “ a dynamic, rapidly changing field like climate change,” “hold them to any standard at all with respect to fact checking,” “still think the Earth is round, with hemispheres, right?,” “never mind the pesky details such as facts,” “His overall argument is utterly stupid,” “involves some very attractive conspiratorial ideation,” “perhaps heeding his masters’ voice,” … do you still wonder why these folks avoid honest debate?

Consider Armando Simon on The Left’s Vicious Intolerance in Science – “the media has deliberately downplayed, or altogether ignored, the vicious attacks on science by liberals. And these attacks have been going on for decades.” Consider the case studies: E. O. Wilson, Charles Murray, Paul Cameron and the ‘fashionable research’ intended to support ideological fantasies.

So any scientist that carries out research on this topic and comes to these conclusions is (as usual) called “racist,” “fascist,” “Nazi,” etc. …Liberals went ballistic on hearing of this theory and insisted that it be suppressed. While delivering a lecture on the subject, the International Committee Against Racism, a front group of the Marxist Progressive Labor Party, invaded the stage and attacked him.

The bottomless hatred of liberals is not confined to people. It extends to plants. Genetically modified foods are plants which have been tweaked genetically so that these plants can survive drought conditions, or render a bigger yield of crops. You know, just what farmers have been doing for centuries. Except now they are evil.

Eugene Volokh lists The Jefferson Muzzles 2017 for ‘egregious and or ridiculous affronts to free expression’ – “judged by the center to be improper or excessive reactions to people’s expression.” Note the patterns.

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Can you examine your ideas?

There’s a lot on the right to free speech this morning with most centered on Berkely or Coulter. John R. Lott Jr. describes a different and more insidious facet from his personal experience in Challenging inaccurate information about guns – “A fair debate on the issue is needed, but liberal lobbying groups refuse to participate.”

Alcorn: “When there’s a credible scientist — somebody who wants to have a real constructive conversation about this, we’re going to be there. But folks who seek to minimize the issue of gun violence, the grave issue of gun violence in this country or to draw attention away from the real issues to themselves — that’s not a conversation that I think is productive to be a part of.”

I don’t minimize the issue of gun violence. I just disagree about what policies will effectively combat that violence.

But Everytown can afford to make excuses and miss opportunities for debate. After all, they have massive resources and can count on the mainstream media to push their agenda.

Note also the ‘ad hominem’ by Alcorn just like the climate alarmists using ‘denier’ that is proffered with such a heaping dose of hubris. The Democrats are doing something similar in claiming “Resistance” to obtain revenge for how Republicans treated their President. No matter that ‘revenge’ is a destructive motivation. No matter that the basis is questionable. No matter that real issues get shoved aside.

Jennifer Harper provides another example of this perfidy. Confirmed: Democratic Party sending protestors to Trump’s ‘100 Day’ speech in Pennsylvania – “There are two momentous political events to consider this weekend, and they are polar opposites.” These are the Trump rally and the Correspondents Dinner. The Dinner will likely be a gala affair of celebrities and elites. The Trump rally, on the other hand, is a target for the Left to act out in ‘resistance’ and ‘protest.’

Mr. Trump has protesters waiting, however. The Pennsylvania Democratic Party has organized “The Rally Against 100 Days of Broken Promises,” which includes Democratic National Committee Vice Chairman Michael Blake, multiple state lawmakers and officials, unions and Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse. “Bring your signs, hats and your slogans,” organizers advise.

Harper also notes that Trump’s loyal voters aren’t buying ‘shameful’ media spin: Report – “Improved economy, decisive leadership called the top Trump assets.” Note how this is in contrast to the Democrat’s claims of “Broken Promises.” Such assertions are why the voters are no buying the shameful deceits.

Sally Persons cites Sessions: Some judges are more interested in advancing an agenda rather than the law – The observation is gaining traction as the examples are getting rather hard to ignore. The question is what to do about the corruption of the justice system.

Matthew Continetti take a look from a different perspective: The Democrats’ First 100 Days – “Disunity, obstruction, incoherence, obsession, obliviousness.

Let’s reverse angle. The president’s first 100 days in office have been analyzed, dissected, evaluated. Not much left to say about them. What about the opposition? What do the Democrats have to show for these first months of the Trump era?

Little.

Chuck Schumer slow-walked Trump’s nominations as best he could. In fact his obstruction was unprecedented.

The prevalent anti-Trump sentiment obscures the party’s institutional degradation.

Democrats feel betrayed. The Electoral College betrayed them by making Trump president. Hillary Clinton betrayed them by running an uninspiring campaign. James Comey betrayed them by reopening the investigation into Clinton’s server 11 days before the election. Facebook betrayed them by circulating fake news. This sense of resentment isn’t so different than the sort Democrats attribute to Trump supporters: irritation at a loss of status, vexation at changed circumstances. The despondence of a liberal is alleviated when he sees throngs of protesters, hears Samantha Bee, scrolls through Louise Mensch’s tweets.

Makes him feel better. But his party is in tatters,

John Sexton cites another tactic that may make for ‘feel good’ but does little to advance anything. Progressives flood hotline for victims of crime by ‘criminal aliens’ with UFO sightings

The Trump administration launched a new initiative Wednesday called Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE). The office is intended to provide support for Americans who have been victimized by illegal immigrants. Trump mentioned it during his first address to a joint session of Congress.

Progressives offended by the existence of the office noticed that the launch also corresponded with “Alien day,” a day where fans celebrate the Alien film series. So some progressives decided it would be a good idea to flood the hotline that responds to reports of “criminal aliens” with calls about UFOs.

Rabbi Yonason Goldson asks Can we believe in science if we don’t trust scientists? – He highlights the problem the Left has with its protests and riots and mobs and Resistance™ and posturing.

What can we expect next? Doctors for Hospitals? Lawyers for Jurisprudence? Mammals for Oxygen?

To be fair, there is a real issue here. Namely, the exploitation of science for political advantage. In a perfect world, scientific data would be apolitical, serving as a nonpartisan lodestone for guiding public policy. Facts are facts, and the only debate should be about what they mean, not what they are.

But our world is far from perfect, and the problem is not that we don’t have faith in science. It’s that many have found good reason to lose faith in scientists.

The Rabbi makes a good point but rather degrades his argument when he picks up on creation and evolution by creating a straw man and parroting the ignorance and illiteracy of fanatic creationists. It appears that the comments have a better grip on science than the Rabbi does. A rabbi taking on the mantle of scientist and scientists taking on the mantle of priest. Just who can you trust, anyway?

Walter Williams says Environmentalists Are Dead Wrong – “Each year, Earth Day is accompanied by predictions of doom. Let’s take a look at past predictions to determine just how much confidence we can have in today’s environmentalists’ predictions.” … “Americans have paid a steep price for buying into environmental deception and lies.”  

Ace: Leftist Fascism Reaches New Lows in Blatant Thuggery, as “Mainstream” Left Covers Up for Them and Blames the Right – “This is the post I delayed because I didn’t know how to write it. … I won’t write it. I’ll just link the stories.”

I will just repeat my urgent warning and threat: The rules you make for us are the rules you also make for yourselves. If you’re comfortable with that, then I suggest you begin making serious preparations for the hell you are determined to unleash on this once-peaceful country.

It has happened and happened and grown worse every year precisely because the alleged “responsible voices” of the left, who could be expected to chastise their misbehaving correligionists and tell them to stop, have in fact covered up for them every step of the way, thereby tacitly approving of them and encouraging them to go further.

The Tide is Rising and the Left does not seem to be paying attention or have any awareness about the implications of their behavior. Consider John Hinderaker’s post Portland is Stupid, Too – “An activist group called the “Raging Grannies” testifies in harmony before Portland’s City Council.”

Steve writes below that “Portlandia” is the city of the petty, bankrupt, vindictive left. That’s true. It is also stupid. … why worry about losing a few million a year when you are trying to overthrow free enterprise? … So Portland’s City Council wants socialism? It would serve them right if Portland followed in the footsteps of Venezuela.

The Coyote also gets into ‘newspeak’ with How The Left Is Changing the Meaning of Words to Reduce Freedom — The Phrase “Incite Violence” – “A surprising number of folks on the Left of late seem to be advocating for restrictions on free speech.”

This is a horrible newspeak redefinition of a term. It is implying that a speaker is responsible for the violence by those who oppose her. By this definition, the socialists of 1932 Germany were guilty of “inciting violence” whenever Nazi brownshirts tried to brutally shut down socialist meetings and speeches.

I am not sure why the Left is so good at this – perhaps because most of the media is sympathetic to the Left and is willing to let them define the terms of the debate. The Left has successfully performed a similar bit of verbal judo with the claim that Russians “hacked” the last election. By calling leaks of Democratic private correspondence “hacking the election”, they have successfully left the impression among many that the Russians actually manipulated vote totals, something for which there is zero evidence and really no credible story of how it might have been done.

Speech is to convey ideas and examine perceptions and values. That makes it a vital component of intellectual integrity. 

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Paid Shills and Differing Reality

Jazz Shaw: Out: It’s a grassroots movement! In: So what if the protesters are paid? – “We may finally be seeing the first, tentative waving of the white flag when it comes to the question of whether or not these “massive” protests against the Trump administration which the media fixates on are a legitimate grassroots uprising or corporate sponsored theatrics organized by George Soros and his friends.”

I suppose there should be some credit given where due here. Admitting you have a problem is the first step on the road to recovery, after all. But there’s a bit too much denial of reality going on.

What we’re seeing now is something entirely different. The authors can try all they like to summon up the ghost of Rosa Parks (who, as they point out, was an NAACP staffer and activist) but that doesn’t change a thing. When you have mailing lists numbering in the millions summoning hoards of people who apparently have no day jobs to hinder them, and you’re paying for their transportation, lodging and signage, you are essentially just a wing of the Democratic Party. The “sacrifice” is less, and as such it simply doesn’t carry the same impact.

Shaw has another on the disease in California: California’s latest move to “fight the wall” is truly something out of La La Land – “ It wasn’t just the Republicans who were alarmed over the probably illegal measure either. One representative of the Southern California Contractors Association asked the obvious question, saying, “What next unpopular project would be blacklist?” [sic]

Stop and think about the implications of this legislation for a moment. At both the federal and state levels, governments bend over backwards on a regular basis to ensure that private sector companies are given equal access to government jobs when they come available. This is to ensure both a chance at the taxpayer getting the best price and to promote equal opportunity for such opportunities, with particular incentives offered to companies owned by minorities or small business entities who might otherwise have trouble competing with the big boys.

Now California is hoping to take a huge leap in the opposite direction. They would be effectively shutting out companies from the competitive bidding process for the crime of bidding on a different and (by the time it happens) presumably legal infrastructure project which was funded by the federal government. This is absolutely unheard of.

That would open up the floodgates to states using such arm twisting maneuvers to essentially blacklist any unpopular proposals requiring civilian contractors out of existence. Such blacklisting is a favorite tool of the Social Justice Warriors in the private sector, but if it suddenly receives the imprimatur of the government then all bets are off.

Andrew C. Mccarthy explains A Ruling about Nothing – “eight years of Obama’s phone and pen have made it easy to forget that the president is not supposed to make law, and thus that we should celebrate, not condemn, an E.O. that does not break new legal ground.” The issue at hand is the credibility of the judiciary.

Since Orrick ultimately agrees with the Trump Justice Department, and since no enforcement action has been taken based on the E.O., why not just dismiss the case? Why the judicial theatrics?

Of course, the peer branches of government are supposed to presume each other’s good faith in the absence of a patent violation of the law. But let’s put aside the unseemliness of Orrick’s barely concealed contempt for a moment, because he is also wrong. The proper purpose of an executive order is to direct the operations of the executive branch within the proper bounds of the law. There is, therefore, nothing untoward about an E.O. that directs the president’s subordinates to take enforcement action within the confines of congressional statutes. In fact, it is welcome.

Given that courts are supposed to refrain from issuing advisory opinions, the Constitution is actually more aggrieved by Orrick than by Trump.

It is not enough to say Orrick mulishly ignores the clear text of the executive order. Again and again, Justice Department lawyers emphasized to the court that Trump’s order explicitly reaffirmed existing law. Orrick refused to listen because, well, what fun would that be?

Such niceties matter only if you’re practicing law, though. Judge Orrick is practicing politics.

Cal Thomas has a rundown on the Trump meeting with conservative journalists: Talking right – “Americans get a different view when Trump meets with conservative journalists.”

What differed from the crowd of liberal journalists who ask questions during formal news conferences — and those who toss questions at his spokesman, Sean Spicer, at the daily press briefing — is that our group asked questions with the intent of getting information, instead of the accusatory tone and “gotcha” questions that often characterize what has come to be known as the mainstream media.

Conservatives should not be lapdogs for a Republican president. No one asked the types of softball questions the media usually toss at a Democratic president. The president told us he doesn’t expect to be free of criticism, but appreciates fairness. He allowed that conservative journalists are likely to be fairer to him than those his strategist, Steve Bannon, has called “the enemy” and “opposition party.” A side note: Mr. Bannon stood off to the side at our meeting with the president, frequently smiling.

The New York Times on Tuesday provided a useful service. It carried a story noting how differently conservative and liberal reporters and commentators have treated Mr. Trump and his administration. Reading these suggests not just different perspectives, but different realities.

While some reporters have groused about this exercise in ideological pluralism, the public is getting more information and a different perspective than what they are used to. That can only be good for the country, for conservative journalists who are often ignored by the major media, and for the president.

“Different realities” — what can be done about this?

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Justice corrupted

The next phase in the irrational obstruction shows as Trump prepares to seat Judge Thapar, first of scores of conservatives for federal courts by Alex Swoyer. The filibuster is out for the 18 circuit court and more than 100 district court vacancies but there are a lot more ways to obstruct, obfuscate, smear, delay, and destroy in the Democrats playbook. And reasoned argument based on intellectual integrity is not in that book.

An example by Rowan Scarborough: Ex-spy admits anti-Trump dossier unverified, blames Buzzfeed for publishing – “Mr. Steele has not spoken publicly about his disputed opposition research project, but for the first time he is being forced to talk in a London court through his attorneys.” But there’s still a Democrat insisting on an independent prosecutor!

Barristers for Mr. Steele and his Orbis Business Intelligence firm filed their first defense against a defamation lawsuit brought by Aleksej Gubarev, chief executive of the network solutions firm XBT Holdings.

Mr. Steele acknowledges that the part of the 35-page dossier that identified Mr. Gubarev as a rogue hacker came from “unsolicited intelligence” and “raw intelligence” that “needed to be analyzed and further investigated/verified.”

Democrats in Washington have embraced the unproven dossier as an argument for appointing a high-powered commission to investigate President Trump and his aides.

Mr. Steele’s court filing portrays him as a victim of Fusion GPS — the Washington firm that hired him with money from a Hillary Clinton backer.

Or consider Cheryl K. Chumley with a twofer on the Judge who blocked Trump on sanctuary city a big Obama donor – “Note to those who think judges are impartial, and the judicial system in America safe and sound from the dirty world of politicking: Not.”

Anyhow, here we are again with another judge of questionable background, from a left-leaning locale, making another decision that goes — surprise, surprise — against the Trump administration and in favor of the leftist open border people. And come to find out, this judge, Orrick, is a big Democratic supporter — a big Obama supporter — a big John Kerry supporter. The common denominator of those Orrick supported?

See also Sanctuary cities ruling a despicable sign of lawless times – “Judge William Orrick on Tuesday sided with Santa Clara County, the city of San Francisco and with other jurisdictions in saying that stripping federal funding from communities that refuse to lose the sanctuary label could be a violation of the Constitution.”

Stephen Dinan and Andrea Noble make it clear that the Judge’s efforts were more of a symbolic ‘stick it to Trump’ thing than anything to do with justice or the law. Judge says Trump is wrong to tie federal funding to sanctuary status, blocks executive order – “Judge says DOJ can withhold some funds, but Trump went too far.” Once again, the EO doesn’t do what the Judge said.

The ruling was still a partial victory for the president though, with the judge saying the administration can withhold funds in cases where the law already gives him permission.

That clears the path for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to strip sanctuary cities of hundreds of millions of dollars doled out each year across three Justice Department grant programs.

The Justice Department portrayed the ruling as little more than a symbolic setback, saying it had already limited the punishment to the three programs the judge said can be cut off under existing law.

But, the Left chooses to portray this as part of an “embarrassment to Mr. Trump” and “a disaster” in a “litany of mistakes.” Pulling the courts into the Left’s assault on civilization is just another example of imaginative creationism in denial of reality. Allahpundit has something relevant to this in asking Should the Supreme Court have dinner with Trump? It goes into a presumption of guilt and seeing everything in that light.

I think the liberal reaction here goes beyond standard hyperpartisanship, to Trump himself: Once you adopt “this is not normal” as your frame for his administration, anything he does that’s the least bit unorthodox begins to look alarmingly unconventional — even when there’s plenty of precedent to support it, as there is in this case. Also, because they view Trump as fundamentally unethical, him wanting to schmooze with judges who will rule on his policies takes on an air of improper influence that wouldn’t attach to the same degree to, say, Bush or Obama doing the same. (Certainly would-be Court-packer Franklin Roosevelt wouldn’t have dreamed of of trying to inappropriately tilt SCOTUS in his direction by wining and dining them.) And when all else fails, you can argue that Trump is unique among presidents who’ve followed this tradition because some of his former campaign staffers are currently being looked at by the FBI for possible Russian influence. Should a president be inviting SCOTUS to dinner when his associates are under federal investigation — even if, er, he himself is not, as far as we know?

And then Again: Federal judge halts Trump order blocking funding for sanctuary cities – “This marks the second time a Trump executive order has been blocked based partly on comments made by Trump or his aides outside the record, whether on the campaign trail, to the media, or so on.”

He got no benefit of the doubt in the travel-ban cases about his motive and he gets no benefit of the doubt in today’s sanctuary-city case in terms of which jurisdictions he might target and which grants, specifically, he’d seek to have the Attorney General withhold. Rather, thus far in his 95 days as president, lower courts seem to be grasping for reasons to halt his policies and willing to dig through whatever material they can find, including offhand comments made on “The O’Reilly Factor,” to support their conclusion. I wonder why.

Even so, we’re left here with a strange result in which, although the order has been blocked, the Attorney General still enjoys the same power to cut off funds to sanctuary cities as he claimed to have before the court. Remember, the DOJ argued that Trump’s EO only applied to the three grants under Section 1373 that can already be withheld from sanctuary jurisdictions, not to all federal grants. The court disagreed, but even if the Trump administration had won, it would mean that Sessions would be limited by his own reasoning to just those three grants in punishing sanctuary districts. And because he’s been authorized by statute to withhold those three, he can still withhold them notwithstanding the court’s decision today. In a sense, the order doesn’t matter. Only if you thought, or hoped, that it expanded Sessions’s power to withhold all sorts of federal money from sanctuary cities is it a true defeat. And not even the DOJ claimed that.

Any judge should be very concerned about what their colleagues are doing. The trend is toward what happened in Venezuela where the courts decided it was up to them to take over the legislature’s job.

Jazz Shaw says The anniversary of the LA riots shows that some of us haven’t learned a damn thing – “it’s rather curious that the LA Times chooses to provide something of a sympathetic or even apologist retrospective this week.” As with the race riots today, the stimulus incident was not as clear as the ‘activists’ seek to portray it. But that doesn’t matter, no lie matters if it supports the cause whatever it may be.

The LA Times quotes at least one individual who feels that it’s “understandable” how the riots happen given the “context” of Rodney King and Latisha Harlins. No. It is not.

No matter the severity of King’s injuries or the tragedy of that child’s death, it’s not “understandable” that Reginald Denny, someone with zero relationship to the events of King’s arrest, was dragged from his truck and beaten within an inch of his life. It’s not “understandable” that small businesses owned by individuals crossing all racial, religious and gender lines were looted. It’s not “understandable” that the city was set afire causing billions of dollars in damage. And most of all it’s not “understandable” that law enforcement was essentially chased out of an entire section of a major metropolitan center and hoards of violent mobs were set loose to unleash mayhem.

The thin fabric of civilization broke down that week. The rule of law was shattered and what was left in its wake was anarchy. It was mob rule, something which has never boded well for humanity throughout all of hour history. If we were to take any lesson away from the Los Angeles riots 25 years later it should be that our civilization rests on a knife edge where only a thin blue line stands between the peaceful, ordered society the American experiments depends on and the type of chaos which could collapse the entire thing.

And none of what happened then is “understandable” no matter what context you care to invoke.

Justice corrupted starts with citizens who do not consider the implications of their fantasies.

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Actions beget reactions. Best not backtracking or mea culpa.

Rowan Scarborough says Trump’s lawyer launches legal action against BuzzFeed for publishing ‘completely fabricated’ dossier – that dossier is what Democrats are hanging their ‘Russian Collusion’ hats on.

Douglas Ernst reports O’Reilly says ‘truth will come out’ on Fox exit: ‘You’re going to be shaken, as I am’ – “I was very surprised how it all turned out,” the host said. “I can’t say a lot, because there’s much stuff going on right now. But I can tell you that I’m very confident the truth will come out, and when it does, I don’t know if you’re going to be surprised — but I think you’re going to be shaken, as I am. There’s a lot of stuff involved here.”

Cheryl K. Chumley says Sean Hannity’s accuser retracts sex harassment claim – “Dang it, Debbie. This is why women aren’t believed. Because of people like Schlussel who accuse, accuse, accuse — and then, faced with legal backlash, deny, deny, deny.”

Seems to be a lot of definitions of truth and true floating around. Here’s a thought: How about not accusing someone of sexual harassment when, well, no sexual harassment occurred? That has a ring of truth in it, too.

See also In Defense of Sean Hannity by Melanie Morgan – “The left-wing media is engaged in attempted character assassination against Sean Hannity as part of their effort to try and destroy the Fox News Channel.”

So desperate is the Left to try and play the smear-and-destroy card on Sean Hannity that they had to resort to dredging up wild accusations from a woman whose career has consisted of one malicious attack after another. The woman attacking Sean Hannity has attacked Sarah Palin, Steven Crowder, Free Republic, and repeatedly tried to attack Sean Hannity over and over again. Oh, and she went after me the last time I defended Sean Hannity from one of her attacks.

Jennifer Harper on Inside the Beltway: Republican students sue Berkeley after campus blocks Ann Coulter speech – “If Berkeley won’t protect its students rights, Young America’s Foundation will,” proclaims the conservative youth organization of the same name, which is mounting a lawsuit against the University of California, Berkeley after the school essentially blocked an upcoming appearance by commentator Ann Coulter.”

Jazz Shaw notes When the New York Times advocates suppression of speech – “Who gets to decide which view has what “inherent value?” Those in power.”

If you read this verbal dancing through a minefield of self-validation for too long your head will be spinning. The essence of it is that certain groups of individuals who are more deserving of protection should not be exposed to contrary opinions because those opinions are inherently false and do nothing to add to the discussion, while causing harm of some sort to the listener. The obvious pitfall in that “logic” is that someone has to make the determination as to which opinions are not open to debate because they are harmful.

On that Russian Collusion thing Dan Boylan reports Grassley takes methodical approach, follows the money to find source of ‘dodgy dossier’ – “the dossier presented a Washington-style follow-the-money angle that investigators needed to pursue. The real question remains: Who paid Mr. Steele for the material?”

The background behind the anti-Trump report — parts of which have been discredited but parts of which U.S. investigators are still working to verify and parts of which U.K. sources have partially verified — is classic Washington intrigue, political dirty tricks and the industry that has been built up to satisfy the need for dirt on one’s political opponent. Mr. Grassley’s efforts suggest that the dossier and those responsible for compiling and leaking its contents are re-emerging at the heart of the investigation.

David Keene provides a foretaste of doom: Venezuela’s coming civil war – “Maduro is arming his thugs to crush the democratic hopes of his desperate people.” There is an analogy to U.S. politics and it is improving in the worst ways. See Stephen Dinan: Illegals thwart immigration laws with help from lawyers, judges, educators – “A massive anti-deportation infrastructure has emerged to try to protect illegal immigrants from President Trump’s crackdown, with advocacy groups coaching potential deportees on how to massage encounters with police, and lawyers and judges working to shield them from charges that would make them priorities for deportation.” Don’t forget Turkey as another lesson, either.

Another one in this line is Reporters Sleep as 60 Black People Rob a BART Train in Oakland by Colin Flaherty. It’s a case of horror ignored because it doesn’t fit, and even refutes, the desired storyline.

Alicia Trost, a BART spokeswoman, said Monday that seven robberies had occurred – with victims losing a purse, a duffel bag, and five phones. Six people were robbed inside the train car, with a seventh confronted on the platform, she said.

Not one of the reporters for any of the dozens of news outlets in that area mentioned the central organizing feature of the “teens”: they were black. Tons of Bay area law enforcement officials say so.

After they rampaged through the train, this black mob retreated into their East Oakland neighborhood – you know, the one that is widely reported to be the “backbone of African American life and culture in Oakland.”

The same neighborhood black activists want to save from the gentrifiers because Black Panther Huey Newton slept there.

Even the most cursory search of crime reports and news stories reveals what everyone in that area knows: BART is a center of black violence on wheels and official denial in abundance.

Another cause of the Left is the subject of ESPN’s Bill Polian: ‘Overwhelming Majority’ of NFL Prospects Who Test Positive at Combine Fail in League as reported by Trent Baker. “With the NFL Draft coming up and reports of players failing drug tests leaking, ESPN NFL expert Bill Polian weighed in on NFL prospects failing drug tests at the NFL Combine.” Odds are not good for recreational drug users seeking a successful career in professional football.

 

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April 24, 2017: Fantasy and reality

Rowan Scarborough reports: Democrats cling to intel dossier riddled with fiction in desperate attempt to take down Trump – “An anti-Donald Trump “dossier” created by a former British spy and financed by Democratic-linked money has significant detractors: the people accused of crimes in a supposed Trump-Russia conspiracy.”

The 35-page dossier by Mr. Steele has taken on critical importance in recent weeks for Democrats in Washington. They cite its accusations without corroboration as the reason for a special commission to investigate Mr. Trump and his aides for a supposed role in Russia’s hacking of Democratic Party email servers.

But there is independent evidence that Mr. Steele’s story is wrong.

Of the dossier, the former diplomat said, “There is stuff in there that just defies logic. Lots of it.”

Today, the Steele creation is cited by Democrats trying to get Congress to appoint a special commission and by some liberal news websites that contend it is true.

Robert Knight picks up on another issue where Fake News is being used by the Left. Voter fraud oughta be a crime – “Undermines fair and honest elections.” The Governor of Virginia provides the case study.

Joseph Stalin is credited with observing that, “It’s not the people who vote that count, it’s the people who count the votes.”

Over the last two decades the left has been changing both the rules of our election process and America’s demographics to suit their political agenda.

A perfect example is Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s brazen attempt to get more than 200,000 convicted felons onto the state’s voter rolls in time for the last election. Undaunted after his slapdown by the state supreme court, the governor recently vetoed six common-sense election integrity bills sent to his desk.

Once committed, vote fraud cannot be undone. The only sensible approach is to take measures to prevent it in the first place.

Vice President Pence’s commission on voting integrity will have the opportunity to ensure that our electoral system safeguards the right of U.S. citizens to have fair and honest elections.

Another case study is about the takedown of Fox News. Cheryl K. Chumley describes the third push: Sean Hannity, Fox star, vows legal action against ‘serial harasser’ – “Over the weekend, another woman, Debbie Schlussel, came forward to accuse another Fox News host — Sean Hannity — of sexual harassment. Insert collective groan here.”

But here’s the backstory, just the same: Schlussel, a former frequent face on Fox and on Hannity’s show, went on Today’s Pat Campbell show just recently and said, while in Detroit with Hannity on a previous occasion, he repeatedly asked her to come back to his hotel room. She said she declined, and as a result, Hannity never invited her back on his show.

But Hannity, unlike fellow former Fox star Bill O’Reilly, who reportedly paid out $13 million to various female sexual harassment accusers over the years, isn’t reaching for his wallet. Rather, he’s turned toward his legal team.

there’s also this: No matter how you slice it, Fox News has suffered a major public relations ding in recent months. And it’s going to take quite a while for the cable outlet to recover and reemerge as the place not just conservatives, but traditional family advocates, go to get their news. If ever.

This is, of course, the age-old weapon long used by vindictive womyn. Despite all the rhetoric about equality from the feminist contingent, the Title IX college ‘late’ regret’ allegations accepted without due process to destroy men, the brouhaha about the Vice President’s sensible chaperon policies, and the teacher rape student cases, implication and innuendo and questionable accusation by womyn to take down men is as old as the hills. From Ailes to O’Reilly to, now, Hannity, there is a pattern of assault against figurehead conservative media that speaks for just how ugly the Left can be. Hannity is saying that it’s time to change tactics and no longer just buy it off as a matter of convenience. It is time to fight back.

It appears that O’Reilly may be planning on doing so as well. He may also be looking at trends where viewers are eschewing cable for direct I’net feed and choosing the moment to ride that wave. See Ned Barnett about Justice for Bill O’Reilly – “O’Reilly’s case is a microcosm of a trend in America that the “wronged” woman must always be right, and the “wronging” man must always be wrong.”

Renee Garfinkel provides an example of analysis beginning to realize there is a new world of strategists on the stage. Trump’s tweets: Distraction or strategy? – “President should focus on terror, national security, domestic policies.” Note the ‘should’ as a bias indicator. The tag line indicates an old paradigm focus rather than a look at trying to figure out what actually is. But there are glimmers of reality in the essay.

When a president shoots himself in the foot, the entire country suffers a self-inflicted wound.

Famously impulsive and distractible, the impact of President Trump’s personal foibles and flaws is exaggerated by a staff wholly lacking in government experience. According to some observers, this confluence of factors resulted in the embarrassing display of incompetence that was the “Repeal and Replace” health care debacle.

Other, more cynical Washington watchers see it differently. They detect deliberate strategy, not incompetence, behind Trump’s apparently self-inflicted wounds.

Take the Russian investigation. The executive branch of government should be as motivated as Congress to uncover – or put to rest – questions about Russian attempts to influence U.S. and other democratic elections around the world. But instead of cooperating, Trump changed the subject by tweeting a bogus accusation of Obama and wiretapping.

If they are strategies, Trump’s techniques of deflection and diversion have been pretty effective so far. Congressional and media resources are busily engaged with them. In the meantime, the press has inadequately attended to serious, difficult issues, such as foreign policy.

Using the Russian allegations as a case study is also interesting. The tweet about “Obama and wiretapping” has been shown to be anything but bogus and they did turn the attention from bogus Trump collusion allegations (see story above) to actual governmental spying on political opponents.

The world is a dangerous place, and the U.S. can ill afford distractions and lack of focus in the Oval Office.

The president owes the American people a plan.

If Garfinkle was listening to what has been said and done rather than preaching about what he thinks should be, he’d know where the distractions are coming from and what the plan is. If he was at all aware, he’d know that “Famously impulsive and distractible” was a false ad hominem meme and that “a staff wholly lacking in government experience” is quite at odds with actual performance. There is an indicator for just how far off base Garfinkle and his compatriots really are. It is in the polling of Trump voters, even the reluctant ones, who are showing significant acceptance that the new President is indeed getting the job done. (see Poll: 96% of Trump Supporters Would Vote for Him Again, Win Popular Vote)

Byron York: Trump’s 100 days: An executive success – “During last year’s campaign, Trump spoke frequently of all the things he would do almost immediately upon entering the Oval Office.”

By the last weeks of the campaign, Trump actually dialed back some of his promises. On October 22, he traveled to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to announce his “Contract with the American Voter,” which formalized his pledges for the first 100 days.

The “Contract” was a single piece of paper. The front listed 18 actions Trump would take under his executive authority as president, and the back listed ten pieces of legislation he would introduce in Congress.

Now, three months into the Trump administration, the front and the back of the Contract are two very different stories.

On the executive action front, Trump has kept a significant number of his promises:

But the back page of the Contract is a different story. Unlike many of his speeches, Trump was careful not to promise legislative success. “I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures and fight for their passage with the first 100 days of my administration,” he said in the Contract

But it is precisely in the legislative area that the 100 day mark is such an unrealistic measure. Congress acts on its own schedule. Truth be told, next January, on the occasion of Trump’s first year in office, if he has passed either a full-scale Obamacare repeal and replace measure or a major tax reform measure, that would be a reasonably good legislative record for a first year.

Roger Kimbal takes a look at Trump vs. Obama: A Study in Contrasts – “A full recitation of the differences between Barack Obama and Donald Trump would fill a book.”

There is not, so far as I have been able to determine, anything similar in Donald Trump’s makeup. His approach to problems, to events generally, is less ideological than pragmatic. “What’s the right thing to do in this particular case?” That seems to be his cynosure. You might not like the answers he gives, but it is easy to see that they come not from a previously adopted program or ideology but from an ad hoc response to the case at hand. Critics call that “confusion” or “inconsistency” or “contradiction.” I’m not sure those categories have much purchase in this context.

In 2014, Obama made headlines when he traded five senior Taliban leaders held captive in Guantanamo Bay for the release of Bowe Robert Bergdahl … Donald Trump, through diplomatic intervention with Egyptian President al-Sisi when he visited Washington earlier this month, quietly secured the release of the Egyptian-American charity worker Aya Hijazi, her Egyptian husband, and four other humanitarian workers who had been held for three years by Egyptian authorities.

Mark the difference.

Obama ordered the liberation of terrorists to secure the release of an anti-American Army deserter whose desertion cost the lives of at least six Army soldiers who had been sent to look for him. Trump hears about the plight of a U.S. national, uses a behind-the-scenes diplomatic initiative as an occasion to secure her release, and celebrates it at the White House.

The moral is that, for The New York Times, Donald Trump is unable to perform a humanitarian act. Everything he does must be filtered through the lens of left-wing political animus.

As we approach Trump’s hundredth day in office, however, I am happy to say that I sense a change in the anti-Trump dynamic. The anti-Trump venom is as widespread and hysterical as ever. But as the days go by and Trump governs not as Hitler but as a deliberate executive, toting up victories here, setbacks there, rain checks and extenuations and opportunities, more and more people will say, “This guy is the real deal. He gets things done. He delivers on his promises. He really is making America great again.” The effect of that sentiment will be to marginalize the mainstream media.

John Hinderaker picks up on The Associated Press Interviews President Trump – “the more I have listened to Trump and, especially, read transcripts of his speeches and interviews, the more I am impressed by the fact that if you look past his gee-whiz real estate developer style and his generally-overlooked implicit self-deprecation, what Trump is telling us is usually very smart.”

Scott Adams was prescient.

Maybe ‘The Hero’ is back. Read Clint Eastwood to Direct Film on Heroes Who Stopped ISIS-Inspired Train Attack in Paris by Melissa Mullins – “Forget calling him a Hollywood director. Clint Eastwood is quickly earning the title of America’s director.”

Meanwhile, the effort to re-write history is underway. Jazz Shaw reports that New Orleans begins tearing down some Confederate history – “Somehow I don’t think this story is going to draw as much press attention as the fights over the Confederate Battle Flag of the past couple years, but you’ll quickly see some parallels.” This is part of an effort to personalize a created opponent to obfuscate an ideological fantasy.

There is something inherently destructive and short-sighted about these efforts to whitewash our history (if you’ll pardon the phrase.) I spent some time stationed outside of New Orleans when I was in the navy and had the chance to see and photograph several of the monuments under discussion. (When I was there, the Liberty Monument was still in its original location right in the middle of Canal Street. It was later moved.) These are long standing memorials to a controversial but still important and very real part of our history. They should definitely spark civil discussions about the nation and how the past shaped who we were and the journey to come. Removing them because you find the nation’s history offensive is shallow and does a disservice to the generations to come. But it’s the path that New Orleans has now chosen, so we’ll have to rely on photographs to remember them in the future.

Jazz also describes a desecration of art in NYC: Fearless Girl and a load of bull – “it once again all comes back to context and the infinitely variable responses we have to art.” It is another example of picking at symbols to promote an ideological fantasy whether it is removing them, altering them, or something else. Maybe they need to turn the bull around to face the other way?

On Democrats and the support for lawlessness and anarchy is a Nevada Representative. Are violent demonstrations acceptable political speech? Titus thought so – “Rep. Dina Titus last week said violent protests on college campuses are responses to Donald Trump’s presidency and proposed budget. She also included violent protests in a list of ways people are “coming together” to oppose Trump.” For where this leads, take a look at Venezuela’s socialist hell.

Speaking of Venezuela, the Pope steps in it again. Robert Spencer reports that Pope Francis calls refugee centers concentration camps – “The Pope continues to exhort Europeans to commit civilizational suicide, and doesn’t hesitate to shame them into it by claiming it’s their Christian duty.”

Except for that little matter of the Nazis putting people in concentration camps in order to work them to death or murder them outright. But what need does the Pope have for such petty details?

“Leave them; they are blind guides. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14)

“Pope Francis called refugee centers concentration camps. A Jewish group says there’s no comparison,” by Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Washington Post, April 23, 2017

David Prentice provides a retrospective on The Bush Family Conundrum – “To this day, I am uncertain how to see the Bush family.”

This brings me to the biggest problem they had (and have): they never understood the nature and character of their political opponents. They never comprehended what the Democratic Party became and stood for as it lurched to the left. They didn’t care to realize that these were nasty ideological leftists who were not just in a simple disagreement with them. They likely never read the sick tomes of Howard Zinn, nor understood how the left used his work. They never understood the evil of Saul Alinsky, and how the left gained and kept political power. While the left was, and is, at war with us (the right), the Bush family appeased it.

In a word, they were naïve.

Trump just showed us how to win: have a vision, be unafraid to communicate it, and know just how nasty your opponents really are. Fight them. Conservatives, it’s time to move on from the Bush family, and go back to Reagan’s vision of a great America. Throw out your timidity, communicate as if your lives depended on it, keep your promises, and defeat leftist tyranny.

If we don’t, we won’t have much left to conserve.

There is an education goin’ on.

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Is truth an invention?

Tammy Bruce on The rot of political correctness – “In today’s academy, truth is an invention. Expecting people to show up on time is racist. Censorship is good. Silencing opposing viewpoints imperative. Violence to enforce safety is natural.”

For the last 25 years, under the guise of “political correctness,” we’ve been watching the inexplicable flow into our culture. The idiotic demands of political correctness in the 1980s, ironically relying on the decency of the American people for their acquiescence, was just the prep course, an amuse bouche before the main course of creating social chaos and destruction.

It sounds dramatic, and it is, and it’s also the only way the left maintains power — brainwashing people into believing that social norms must be destroyed in order to create a more perfect society. From the ashes would emerge the great collective phoenix.

Just ask the Soviet Union, Cambodia, Cuba and Venezuela how well that works out.

There is naval gazing due to a couple of ‘close but no cigar’ votes where the Democrats have invested heavily. Gabriel Debenedetti: Democrats begin to wonder: When do we win? – “For all the roiling anger and energy at the grassroots, the party still fell short in Georgia and Kansas. And Democratic prospects in upcoming elections aren’t promising.” Perhaps have something the part is for might be a start. When “resistance” and lawlessness and obstruction and hate are your key drivers, strength is limited.

“The biggest driver of enthusiasm right now is the rejection of Trump and the Trump agenda,” said party strategist Jesse Ferguson

Schatz believes the party’s messaging needs some refining. In his view, that means officials at the DCCC should cut the doom-and-gloom messaging in their fundraising emails — a significant way the party communicates with backers.

IBD describes The Democrats’ Desperate Ploy To Block Tax Reform – “Democrats say they won’t work with President Trump on tax reform unless he first releases his tax returns. This has to be the lamest excuse for not fixing the tax code we’ve ever heard.” It’s becoming quite clear that this obsession is just another gambit to obtain something, anything, with which to smear, defame, and denigrate.

Let’s be clear. This is not about tax reform at all. And it’s not about making sure Trump isn’t sneaking some provision into a reform bill that will secretly benefit him or his family.

This is about politics, pure and simple.

Democrats continue to hope that there’s something in Trump’s tax returns that they can blow out of proportion to further hamper his administration, and they think they have some leverage over Trump at the moment.

But the question regarding the public’s need to see Trump’s tax returns has already been decided by voters, hasn’t it? They knew before casting their ballots that Trump had refused to release his tax returns, and voted him into office anyway.

Tax reform is vital to restoring economic growth and vitality. No one denies that. If tax reform fails — and the economy suffers as a result — it won’t be Trump’s tax returns that are to blame. It will be shortsighted Democratic lawmakers kowtowing to the extremists in their party.

Another of the petards coming home to roost is described by George Neumayr: Confirmed: John Brennan Colluded With Foreign Spies to Defeat Trump – “This is the open scandal that Congress should investigate.”

An article in the Guardian last week provides more confirmation that John Brennan was the American progenitor of political espionage aimed at defeating Donald Trump. One side did collude with foreign powers to tip the election — Hillary’s.

The Guardian story is written in a style designed to flatter its sources (they are cast as high-minded whistleblowers), but the upshot of it is devastating for them, nonetheless, and explains why all the criminal leaks against Trump first originated in the British press.

Liberals pompously quote the saying — “the bigger the lie, the more it will be believed” — even as their media enshrine it. Historians will look back on 2016 and marvel at the audacity of its big lie: whispers of an imaginary Trump-Russia collusion that wafted up from the fever swamps of a real collusion between John Brennan and foreign powers seeking Trump’s defeat.

Another one raising ire is by the OregonMuse: Berkeley: An Autopsy – “So who is to blame for the seemingly ongoing Berkeley riots?”

Meet Jese Arreguin, elected mayor of Berkeley, progressive loon, terrorist enabler, idiot. His Twitter TL reads like a conservative parody of a progressive Twitter account.

What it boils down to is that the rioting that happened this weekend, as well as the previous riots, occurred because Arreguin wanted them to. After all, it was his peeps that were rioting, and the people they were punching, beating, and pepper-spraying, i.e. Trump supporters, veterans, honest free-speech advocates, and other normal people, are generally not “progressive” enough for the likes of the Berkeley mayor.

Business owners and residents of Berkeley should take note. And perhaps look into hiring private security as Ann Coulter is scheduled to speak at Berkeley on April 27th.

Things were a bit different elsewhere as Brett T. notes Auburn takes Berkeley to school as police unmask anti-fascists outside Richard Spencer speech – “To be honest, we’re less interested in what alt-right leader Richard Spencer said Tuesday night at Auburn University than it what the police patrolling the event were up to, which was especially shocking in the wake of the latest round of rioting in Berkeley.”

Ed Morrissey describes another hazardous front Beware: “Democratic radical left” provoking a government shutdown, warns … – “One Senator warns that radical activists on the Left have pushed Democrats into complete “across the board obstruction” that will precipitate a government shutdown, which Chuck Schumer will do to appease hardliners despite the fact that it won’t have any success.” The key concept is one of deciding how much to invest in fighting which battles. In a war of attrition, care is needed to assure some return on the assets at risk. The Democrats are investing all in everything and this is likely to leave them nothing for anything.

Democrats plan an all-out fight against that funding, even in a nominal amount, as part of La Resistance to Trump. That much, at least, would be part of the actual discretionary budget process, unlike the “defund ObamaCare” government shutdown in 2013 that ended up flopping — and nearly distracting voters from the even bigger disaster of the ObamaCare rollout. As we see to this day, ObamaCare gets most of its funding and does most of its spending by statute rather than appropriations, which meant that the 2013 defunding effort was a dead end right from the start.

the Trump administration has some cards to play, too. Government shutdowns leave a lot of discretion in the hands of the president, and that could allow Trump to score a few points whether the media covers it or not.

In the end, presidents win shutdowns because they have a lot more leverage, even with a hostile media. Furthermore, a shutdown undermines the Left in a way that doesn’t apply to the Right — it attacks the notion that we need bigger and more-present government in all issues. Schumer & Co can’t afford to have a shutdown go on long enough to disprove their entire raison d’être. Even with a sympathetic media behind them, budget obstructionism is not sustainable for long, and will eventually infuriate voters who expect Congress to do their jobs rather than stamp their feet and threaten to take their ball home.

Another cause of the day is also starting to reap its ‘dividends.’ Jazz Shaw: San Francisco’s minimum wage spike is already shutting down restaurants – citing the Washington ExaminerSan Francisco’s higher minimum wage is causing an increasing number of restaurants to go out of business even before it is fully phased in, a new study by the Harvard Business School found.” It’s just like those global warming studies with dissonance between fantasy and reality. It is also worthy of note that it isn’t the elite that get the impact of the Left’s efforts.

Whenever I write about the “Fight for 15” and the impact of steeply increasing minimum wage rates on employment I am regularly assured by liberal activists that such concerns are either false or severely overblown. There is an entire body of work in the progressive sphere dedicated to nothing but this particular propaganda effort. The premise makes no sense in terms of basic economics (or simply math, for that matter) but it keeps on being repeated. And yet, when the experiment is moved off of the chalkboard and out into the real world the opposite always seems to happen.

As the Harvard study found, the most expensive and highly rated restaurants don’t seem to be affected at all. The closures and cutbacks are hitting all of the more modest priced outlets with lower customer ratings. Unfortunately for San Francisco’s workforce, that’s the majority of them.

There is a tide coming in.

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Marches to Protests to Sowing the Wind to Reaping the Wild Wind

Ethan provides 10 Reasons Why You Should March For Science (Synopsis) – “While there are undeniably many with very strong political opinions, the march itself isn’t political, but is rather a celebration of science and all it does for the world.”

The way to keep moving the world forward in the best way possible is strongly rooted in science and scientific investigation, and its greatest enemy is dogmatic, biased argumentation and reasoning. We live in a world that is extraordinarily dependent on science and technology, and that’s why valuing our investments in it and the results of our investigations are more important than ever.

The reasons aren’t listed but only link to an article at Forbes which has totally obnoxious nagware inhibiting review of its articles. The comments to Ethan’s post do provide some evidence of the skepticism about the integrity of his assertions. A Forbes writer also has a related post on The Global Warming Policy Forum: This Isn’t A March For Science — This Is About Economic And Political Policy by Tim Worstall, Forbes. It is a summary that links to a “full post” on Forbes, aarrrrghhh!

The complaint which is driving the ‘March for Science’ isn’t about an attack on science at all. Far from it, it’s one group of scientists not understanding that the policy they advocate is, by the scientific experts in the policy, considered to be a bad one which should be replaced.

The point is that we have yet another ‘protest’ that is falsely based by people who haven’t applied any of the intellectual rigor that is at the core of scientific literacy to their ideas. That leads to Ace and Backlash: Alleged “Antifascist” Rioters Are Finally Met By Counter-Rioters – “Even Noam Chomsky warned the “Antifas” to stop with the violence before even greater violence was visited upon themselves.” David French describes the Battle of Berkeley – “The leftist mob has sown the wind. Now, the whirlwind looms.”

If the media accurately and comprehensively reported on leftist mob violence, it would see that a pattern has emerged: On campus and in the streets, a violent or menacing core seizes the ground it wants, blocks access to buildings, and shuts down the speech or events it seeks to suppress. This violent core is often surrounded and protected by a larger group of ostensibly “peaceful” protesters who sometimes cheer aggression wildly and then provide cover for the rioters, who melt back into the crowd. After the riot, the polite progressives condemn the violence, urge that it not distract from the alleged rightness of the underlying cause, and then do virtually nothing to enforce the law and punish the offenders.

We are now teetering on the edge of a truly terrifying incident, one trigger-pull away from a slaughter. Campus and urban progressives have a choice to make. Is this a nation of laws?

Every single time the progressive establishment ignores, minimizes, or whitewashes leftist violence, it sows the wind.

Is anyone at all shocked that when the police hang back, others will step into the void? Leftists are fond of saying “violence begets violence.” If we don’t restore the rule of law, we’ll all find out just how right they are.

Actions have consequences.  

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Proclaiming one thing. Demonstrating another

PrawfsBlawg claims it is “Where Intellectual Honesty Has (Almost Always) Trumped Partisanship Since 2005.” The post on Donald Trump’s First Amendment tends to illustrate otherwise. The comments on the post notice this and describe the conflicts between claim and behavior.

Trump’s tweet “Someone should look into who paid for the small organized rallies yesterday. The election is over!” does not assert that there is something wrong with the rallies nor any sanctioning or limiting of the speech or its funding as Howard Wasserman asserts. Not does the tweet say there is something wrong with “organized rallies or other peaceable assemblies.” Nor does the tweet say that “only opportunity people have to express their political preferences is during an election.” These are perceptions and speculation about implications that are highly biased and intellectual honesty should acknowledge this. The bias is shown in that the perceptions are all extreme and in one direction and there is no consideration given to other ways the tweet might be interpreted  much less the context of the media involved. Honesty requires a basis in what was actually said, not what one thinks he heard.

 

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Foreign Intelligence and Cooperation

If you think spy thrillers are something, try In Her Majesty’s Disservice by Clarice Feldman. It’s dot connecting with what is known at this time about “wiretapping” and foreign intelligence agency assistance in spying on political opponents.

Rich Lowry writes in the NY Post that Obama’s record of bowing to Russian interests provides circumstantial evidence that he was the real Russian stooge. There’s no reason to believe that his long-time Secretary of State would have proven less so than he was.

There’s every reason to believe that Trump, on the other hand, will not be. There’s also every reason for the heads of the Western allies whose intelligence agencies cooperated in the electronic eavesdropping of Trump and his associates to come clean and apologize, and for those in the U.S. who orchestrated this to suffer fully the legal consequences of unlawful acts.

Scott Johnson notes that “Smith’s April 5 Tablet column hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves. In it Smith asks: “Did the Obama administration’s abuse of foreign intelligence collection start before Trump?” Smith argues that the Trump/Russia narrative replays Obama’s abuse of FISA to smear political actors opposing the administration in the lead-up to the Iran deal.” There is a drip, drip, drip and it is filling the basement. People are beginning to notice patterns that lead them outside their desired paradigms.

 

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A Sundance Saturday and a Change in the Winds

A busy pundit today, Sundance has Secretary Wilbur Ross Delivers A Message – The “UniParty” Congress is Put On Notice… – “The bought-and-paid-for UniParty congress has been under the influence of the globalist-minded U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the myriad of K-Street lobbyists, for almost two decades” AND Microsoft Transparency Report Shows Massive Increase in 2016 Obama Era FISA Orders… – that’s about the significant spike in FISA orders in 2016 AND President Trump Realigning Geo-Political Alliances, and Few Paying Attention… – “President Trump is fundamentally realigning international geo-political alliances and almost no-one is connecting the dots.”

On the Department of Commerce, the theme is familiar: “To start, we have brought a new energy to enforcement, working to ensure that all countries play fair and by the agreed-upon rules. We have been executing these trade investigations very rapidly.” i.e. there have been a lot of words, how about some action? The new administration seems to think actually enforcing the law is a good thing to do.

Number two relates to the Obama Political Opponents Problem. Secrecy laws prevent disclosing details but the summary has clues.

Microsoft tries to thread the needle of transparency by telling its consuming audience as much about governmental collection of data as possible. Toward that end Microsoft releases a biannual transparency report.

Within the latest transparency release Microsoft reports in the first half of 2016 they received a massive increase in FISA orders; primarily from U.S. governmental agencies.

The last item is about fundamental change in governance that seem to escape notice in The Swamp. “President Trump has expended nothing other than his sheer will, and yet he has leveraged gains that are jaw-droppingly consequential.” The case study is Chinese relations.

To build upon that mutually beneficial friendship – President Trump seeded the background by appointing Ambassador Terry Branstad, a 30-year personal friend of President Xi Jinping.

To enhance and amplify the friendship and personal respect – U.S. President Trump used Mar-a-Lago as the venue for their visit, not the White House. And President Trump’s beautiful granddaughter, Arabella, sweetly serenaded the Chinese First Family in Mandarin Chinese song showing the utmost respect for the honored guests.

Unfortunately most people are unfamiliar with the severity of Chinese tradition as it relates to family and respect. However, these gestures are intensely well received. Russia’s Vladimir Putin can deliver nothing even remotely comparable to the charm of the granddaughter of the U.S. President singing for President Xi and his wife in their native tongue.

Do not underestimate the value of these gestures and how it was perceived by the recipients as personal respect – far above the level of traditional political respect which would be customary during such encounters. President Trump made this visit personal, and his words after the meeting were all personal, not positional.

The panda fur has not only been stroked perfectly, it has been elevated in its own magnanimity without even so much as a bow.

Three things appear odd: #1) How no-one amid almost all media can see how effective this approach by President Trump has been; and #2) Nothing has been expended in order to achieve these remarkable results; and #3) Accepting all of the above, Donald Trump has planned this out for a long, long time.

The supporting cast today is also in full throat on similar themes. American Resurrection by David Prentice takes a look at a few other items to note. “Let’s face it — the obstruction of the “we must resist anything Trump does” leftists had taken its toll.” … “But the tide has turned in this war for the resurrection of the American spirit. Events have taken place that will overcome the obstruction of Trump’s big agenda.”

Global warming: Science or dogma? by Michael Nadler uses the ‘bury their heads in the sand’ idea to try to explain how so many miss so much.

The Science & Environmental Policy Project is an outstanding resource for those unwilling to bury their heads in the sand and blindly accept the notion that human-caused catastrophic global warming is settled science and must be the highest priority in allocating the world’s limited economic resources.

There’s been change on that front, too. Breitbart has stories on EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Calls for ‘Exit’ of Paris Climate Agreement by Ben Kew – “Since taking office, Trump has revoked a range of environmental legislation—including Barack Obama’s climate orders—with a plan to focus on energy independence and revitalize the coal industry” AND Trump’s Use of the Congressional Review Act Is a Legislative Milestone by Joel B. Pollak – “the use of the CRA is no small accomplishment. Future administrations will never be as careless in expanding the executive authority of the federal government far beyond the scope of the authority envisioned in the U.S. Constitution” AND Trump and Kelly ‘Dismantle’ Obama’s ‘Progress’ for Illegal Immigrants by Bob Price – “Jail is jail,” Butler County, Ohio, Sheriff Richard Jones told the New York newspaper. “It’s fair and it’s human, but we don’t put chocolates on the pillows” AND Trump Appoints Religious Liberty Defender Roger Severino to Head HHS Office for Civil Rights by Dr. Susan Berry – “It’s a super appointment. Roger Severino is a very balanced thinker who is also an experienced litigator,” said Family Research Council senior fellow Ken Blackwell, … LGBT rights advocates criticized Severino’s appointment.”

Writing at the Daily Signal last year on the issue of North Carolina’s bathroom privacy policy, Severino asserted, “The radical left is using government power to coerce everyone, including children, into pledging allegiance to a radical new gender ideology over and above their right to privacy, safety, and religious freedom.”

On the ‘yet there’s a long ways to go’ front is a John Hinderaker report Solar Power: An Environmental Disaster – “Solar power is expensive, unreliable and environmentally destructive. So it doesn’t come into being through consumer demand; rather, by government fiat or subsidy.” The case this time is a 60 acre solar panel install on a National Guard facility for $25 million (plus land rent) that could provide energy for 1,700 homes only under optimum conditions that never exist.

maybe it is irrelevant to point out how wrong the global warming alarmists are, and how severely their uneconomic installations damage the environment. Their doctrine is a religious faith that has nothing to do with science or history, and everything to do with government greed, so rational arguments are wasted on them.

Don’t forget the damage to the less well off for whom energy is a disproportionate part of their budget, either.

Maybe you’ve seen something about “Hold My Beer” lately and wondered where that came from? Jared Keller has the story about The Greatest ‘Hold My Beer’ Moment In American History Is Thanks To This Drunk Marine Veteran – “Have you ever risked life and limb to win a barroom bet, your veins so full of liquid courage that some harebrained feat of strength and derring-do actually seemed like a good idea? If you’re anything like those rambunctious partygoers swimming in Natty Light who sacrifice their bodies for the amusement of their fellow revelers, there’s a chance you’ve probably uttered this phrase: Hold my beer… and watch this.”

As for the body politic’s views on Trump, consider Greg P. KA-CHING! Trump, RNC have YUGE fundraising quarter – looks like a lot of money going towards Trump and colleagues.

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Mindset

David French says Trump’s MOAB Drop Triggered a Tweet You Need to Read — “Excessive American caution has cost American lives and American limbs, and it has left families and friends of the victims with deep psychological wounds.”

He doesn’t say he authorized the use of the bomb itself. He says he authorizes the military. This is a key, wise, statement — one that hopefully empowers the military to act from a proper position of legal, moral, and political strength. 

There’s another essay in the same direction by Conrad Black: A Secular Good Friday Came Early — “Trump has therefore managed to cover all the bases with a simple military exercise that put no Americans at risk.”

Domestically, the sane Democrats, who have not scrambled their brains chasing the itinerant party base to the left in hot pursuit of Bernie Sanders, recognize that it was a well-measured and unimpetuous gesture to deal with a moral outrage. It was, in its way, the most faultless intervention in the Middle East since President Eisenhower’s magnificent intervention in Lebanon in 1958
 …
It was a tour de force for Donald Trump, sending Assad a message, meeting the Chinese president, and confirming Judge Gorsuch on the same day. In the secular calendar, Good Friday came a week early.

Leadership makes a difference as it diffuses throughout an organization — or a country. There has been a change and its effects are being felt, seen and appreciated.

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Daniel Greenfield: The “RESISTANCE” Democrats Are A Terrorist Party – “The Democrats have committed to overthrowing our government.”

In this century, Democrats rejected the outcomes of two presidential elections won by Republicans. After Bush won, they settled for accusing him of being a thief, an idiot, a liar, a draft dodger and a mass murderer. They fantasized about his assassination and there was talk of impeachment. But elected officials gritted their teeth and tried to get things done.

This time around it’s “radically” different.

This fantasy is part clickbait. Leftist media outlets are feeding the worst impulses of their readers. But there is a bigger and more disturbing radical endgame.

A similar program implemented in Europe, with a covert alliance between Communists and Nazis, led to the deaths of millions, the destruction of much of Europe and the temporary triumph of the left.

The left has declared that President Trump’s victory is illegitimate. The response is “Resistance.” That covers violent anti-government protesters, states declaring that they are no longer bound to follow Federal immigration law and Senators obstructing for the sake of obstruction.

Jazz Shaw: The media sure loves the term “deportation force” – another case study on this ‘Resistance’ centered on the Left’s Propaganda Machine.

we’re ramping up our efforts to locate, apprehend and deport illegal aliens and the number of crimes being considered as triggers for prioritized processing has been expanded. That seems to be having a dampening effect on enthusiasm among those considering coming here without following the legal process. That’s good news, right? You might think so, but we’re seeing a new trend in the mainstream media this month which tends to color the story in a very different way. This recent entry from the Washington Post is a prime example, describing the administration’s efforts in terms of constructing a nationwide deportation force. (Emphasis added)

Rather than wringing your hands over whether or not there’s some sort of “mass deportation force” shaping up, perhaps you might consider a different approach in covering this story. What’s going on here might have been described in an earlier and gentler era as law enforcement. An expanded pool of law enforcement officials seeking to arrest and deport those who violate our long standing immigration laws is not some sinister shadow government plotting to institute the New World Order. They’re upholding the law.

There’s a war on. It’s only violent in small spots so far. The question is whether society can fall back to what K. A. Ellis calls revelation:

By revelation, I mean the wisdom and knowledge revealed to us by our infinite and personal Creator, essential for navigating both the earthly and unseen realms. By revolution, I mean the overthrow of an existing order in favor of a new order.
 …
Many Christians today are attracted to the ideas of historical Marxist revolutionaries, despite the philosophy’s historic tendency toward violence to achieve and maintain control.
 …
Yet power without revelation ultimately produces tyranny; resistance without revelation ultimately yields to anarchy.

Wisdom and knowledge from any source is difficult. Even Ellis skates around it. False Witness abounds. Self delusion is rife. Judgment overwhelms observation. Introspection and self knowledge take a back seat. The temptations of the Devil are difficult. There’s more to this war than you might think.

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Biased? Incestuous? Conflicted in Interests? In the Media? Unbelievably sordid? Say it ain’t so!

As if you didn’t know, Cheryl K. Chumley provides more observations: Meet the liberal press — a mainstream media cabal with deep ties to the Democratic Party – “there are those who still scoff at the idea of a biased mainstream media – at the notion that some in the press, many in the press, actually have active intents to take out Trump, tear down conservatives, trash the Republican Party, and build up the left. … Well, let the facts speak for themselves then.”

Follow the money and it underscores the inherent biases and ties between mainstream media and Democrats even more.

What’s worse than the actual donations, however, is the denial of bias.

Well, give me an open bias over a cloaked, feigned, secretive bias any day. Members of the media can profess all they want – wear whatever party pin they want – pretend independence and “no affiliation” all they want. In the end, actions speak louder than bumper stickers. One need only look at the dollars and donations, skim through the connections, marriages and Democratic Party-mainstream media ties, and it’s clear: the left-leaning press is alive, well and kicking in modern day America.

Melania Trump wins one. See Melania Trump – An Apology by Daily Mail and Mailonline – Media that got a bit carried away with Fake News and was called to account. A rumored $3 million in damages were awarded in addition to the apology.

Greg Gutfeld is entertaining in How to explain Trump to your liberal friends (not that they’ll listen) but he rather destroys his own point with the PC ‘both sides do it’ idiom.

We are now completing the third month of the Trumpocalypse.

The assumption that he’s anti-gay or hates minorities or women requires a logical disconnect — to make not just one leap of faith, but four or five concurrent leaps while juggling six balls of unequal weight.

So feel free to hate the guy. That’s OK. The right did that with President Obama. It’s a team sport thing. But it might be as false now as it was then.

Where he misses is the the Left is full of hate for the person while the Right’s hate is for the policies. In terms of Limbaugh, who expressed a desire that Obama’s policies failed, the Left now actively tries to destroy Trump the person.

Better advice on this from the Coyote: My Customer Service & Communication Advice to the United CEO – “My company serves nearly 3 million visitors a year. Though we always try for 100% satisfaction, some customers are going to slip through the cracks and be dissatisfied.”

you seem to be trying to teach this customer a lesson, and make them realize they have been bad. Even if the customer is really a jerk, this is never, ever ever ever going to happen. You will never ever convince a jerk that they are a jerk, because almost by definition jerks last self-awareness, so stop trying.”

In a more serious vein is Walter E. Williams on The Cancer Eating Away at College Campuses – “The average American has little knowledge of the extent to which our institutions of higher learning have been infected with a spreading cancer.”

Today we’re seeing the re-emergence of the mentality that gave us loyalty oaths, in the form of mandating that faculty members write “diversity statements,” especially as part of hiring and promotion procedures. They are forced to pledge allegiance to the college’s diversity agenda.

By the way, the next time you hear a college president boasting about how diverse his college is, ask him how many Republican faculty members there are in his journalism, psychology, English, and sociology departments.

College administrators have closed minds about their diversity agenda, but there’s nothing more effective in opening up closed minds than the sound of pocketbooks snapping shut.

John Hinderaker says A Shoe Drops: Obama Administration Spied On Carter Page [Updated] – this is about a WaPo story on a FISA warrant that again supports Trump’s Famous Obama Wiretap tweet.

The current leakers, whoever they are, described the Obama administration’s FISA application in detail. Or else the Post reporters have seen it.

In any event, the Obama administration failed to find any evidence that anyone associated with Trump was somehow cooperating with the Russians–not even a “junior member of the [Trump] campaign’s foreign policy advisory group,” as Page described himself. If they had, we would have learned about it long before now.

We haven’t heard the last of this story, but for the moment one thing is clear: a great many people, inside and outside of the media, owe President Trump an apology. Assuming that President Obama knew of, and approved, the FISA application–a safe assumption, I think–Trump’s much-reviled tweet was true

UPDATE: We are now starting to get a picture of how sinister this whole Democratic Party misinformation campaign is. Through the last half of 2016, the Obama administration was desperately searching for evidence of some link between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia. They went to the length of seeking (twice, reportedly) and finally obtaining a FISA order that allowed them to spy on at least one insignificant Trump associate.

In addition, we now know that Susan Rice headed up an operation whereby raw NSA intelligence was sifted for names of Trump associates, no doubt in hopes of uncovering dirt of some sort.* And we also know that these efforts came up dry. The Obama administration found no compromising information about Trump or any of his associates.

Nevertheless, ever since the Inauguration the Democratic Party, especially its press wing in Washington and New York, has relentlessly pushed the Trump/Russia story. What story? There isn’t one. But that hasn’t stopped Democrats in the press from talking about little else for the last three months.

And yet, all along, the Democrats have known that their spying produced nothing. This whole story is almost unbelievably sordid. The relevant Congressional committees should investigate thoroughly, and criminal prosecutions should follow where laws have been broken.

It is time to get to the bottom of the Obama spy scandal.

Benny Johnson says The Most Stunningly Detailed 2016 Election Map Was Just Released—Democrats Should Be Scared, Very Scared – “Ryne Rohla at Decision Desk HQ set out to model American voting patterns, not just on a national or state level, but by burrowing down to the most localized, nuanced metric available: local precincts.”

Rohla knows that voting trends reflect the true spirit of a people, at least for a window in time. This data is important and measuring it accurately is essential. However, even in our digital-first society, nailing down the accurate voting habits of a rural district is difficult.

There are maps from previous elections, too, so you can see changes. All told, though, it is a sea of red with speckles of blue.

A lot of the Trump governmental reorganization effort to ‘drain the swamp’ reminds me of the movie Force 10 From Navarone. The commando team could not take out the bridge as assigned as it was too well built but taking out the dam upstream was another matter. The resulting flood would take out the bridge. But, even then, the explosives didn’t immediately destroy the dam but only weakened it to let the water do its work. That ‘slow demolition’ surprised everyone except the explosive expert. Trump, too, is setting things in motion, dealing with sabotage, and working around obstacles while the swamp critters are expecting immediate dramatic results and using simple one-to-one models for their paradigm. They, like the Force 10 commando team, are puzzled in that they are hearing explosions but nothing is happening immediately that they can actually see but they can hear some strange rumblings in the dam.

See 20 Ways Trump Unraveled the Administrative State by Sean Moran. 

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Four Ten is not Ten Four, Good Buddy. Whoda’ Boss? A matter of style in leadership

Rowan Scarborough provides an analysis that is about leadership style. The image he paints is a near reverse of what is proclaimed in the Left’s Propaganda. Unlike Obama, Trump defers to generals’ advice on military strategy – “The same President Trump who can be gruff and erratic in public tweets is a commander in chief who is deferential and attentive when he talks to a star-studded cast of his closest military advisers.”

People familiar with the budding relationships portray Mr. Trump as often in listening mode among his generals and as accessible as the next phone call. They contrast the billionaire real estate developer’s affinity for the top brass with former President Barack Obama’s documented standoffishness.

But they share the body clock of a president who sleeps only several hours a day as well as a disdain for political correctness.

“No. 1, they get along very well,” said the former officer. “I call it street sense. They know how to talk the line, and Trump does too. Trump is like talking to a concrete worker. These two generals have got a man who listens and does not pretend like Obama and others to know everything.

Andrew Malcom opines about What Trump’s attack on Syria did – and did not – do.

Trump campaigned against U.S. military being a global policeman. This single strike doesn’t mean that’s changed. His justification was based on the paramount importance of U.S. national security. … But Trump’s action has also now become a new certainty that other international troublemakers must include in their assessments of American power.

Sundance says President Trump Calls Commanding Officers of Guided Missile Destroyers USS Porter and USS Ross…The Commander-in-Chief personally calls both commanders of the two missile destroyers who carried out the mission in Syria to thank them for their exceptional performance on mission. How cool is that?”

One thing about the U.S. is that it’s more likely California will go Venezuelan rather than the entire U.S. The IBD says Taxifornia Does It Again – “California’s far-left government has done it again. Not realizing its real problems are excessive spending on misplaced priorities, excessive taxes, too much debt and a far-too generous welfare state, its legislature working in cahoots with Gov. Jerry “tax-and-spend” Brown has pushed through the largest tax hike in state history.”

All told, the new taxes are expected to collect $5.2 billion a year.

Since 2004, California has lost more than 1 million people, representing a $26 billion net income loss.

Sure, right now, the state is enjoying a tech boom. But it won’t last. As wealthy taxpayers and businesses flee the state, who will pay all its bills? Even clever Jerry Brown hasn’t figured that out.

On the Healthcare issue, IBD brings up the lessons of history: A Guide To Repealing ObamaCare, Hidden In Plain Site – “As Republicans stumble around in search of a way to repeal ObamaCare, they should look to the states for answers. After all, several of them had to find solutions when their ObamaCare-like reforms started to fail.” This is fundamental to what is special about U.S. governance. Let the states do the experimenting. Let other states learn from what happened.

 

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Don Surber on What’s Happening

There is the news you don’t hear much about. Don Surber says Trump is plowing and salting the fields of a bureaucratic oligarchy.

When the Environmental Protection Agency thinks it has the authority to fine a chicken plucker in West Virginia because there are feathers in the ground that might wash off in the rain, then we no longer have environmental protection of navigable waters.

We have a monster.

Glenn Reynolds … “one reason why so many Reagan Revolution reforms foundered in the courts was insufficient attention to the niceties of administrative law. I’m glad to see that the Trump Administration is taking the right steps to avoid that error.”

The media and the Washington Establishment have dismissed President Trump as an outsider who does not understand government.

But as a builder who dealt with building codes, safety, and politicians for the last 45 years, he understands the whole concept of the hidden levers of government. Plus Newt Gingrich schooled him well.

Gingrich gave us the Congressional Review Act of 1996 to repeal bad regulations.

There’s big stuff going down and trying to ignore it is going to get ever more difficult for the Left’s Propaganda Machine.

On another front in the same war is Ed Morrissey: Unganged, or how the Senate learned to stop worrying and love the Reid Option. It’s Deep Change time all over government.

Perhaps one of the most remarkable aspects of the showdown in the Senate this week was the lack of any visibly organized compromise effort.

It was clear that this was obstructionism for obstruction’s sake, which is why McCain and others bitterly consented to the precedent change on Thursday. Had Democrats waited for a second opening to launch this attack — and a more provocative nominee — McCain and Collins would not have likely consented to the Reid Option. Regardless of whether or not a “gang” could get formed, Democrats badly blundered on strategy and practically forced McCain and others into the change.

If Senators really want to save the filibuster, then they need to end its abuse — and the only way to do that is to make filibusters costly, in both political and personal terms. As I wrote Wednesday at The Week, it’s time to end the two-track system that produced the cheap and easily abused filibuster

 …

 If the Senate can’t accomplish that much and fix the problems they’ve created for themselves, then their supposed distinctiveness isn’t worth preserving at all.

This goes back to the Amendment that changed the selection of Senators from a state function to a popular vote function. The Senate’s original flavor in governance has suffered from the original intent as the federalist idea has regressed in the onslaught of Democratic Idealism based on the individual voter rather than the collective voter balance.

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4/8/2017: Overboard. Do we do anything?

Going Overboard with #Russiagate by Robert Caskey explains the strategy involved. Remember Obama’s “no scandals” bragging? … maybe because they were not on the front page and not going anywhere in congressional hearings. That is where the tables being turned changes tactics. They tried it with Bush and the simple measure of their effectiveness is the poll numbers. Now it’s Trump’s turn.

It’s a sad day for politics in America when Rep. Trey Gowdy has to plead with Democrats in Congress to be “constructive” and responsible in finding the truth, but Gowdy knows as well as anyone that his appeal is doomed to fall on deaf ears. Democrats in Congress and their allies in the media have officially become obsessed with the alleged links between the Trump administration and Russia, and it has very little to do with concerns over the integrity of the electoral process or the fate of American democracy.

In reality, the president’s opponents see the investigations into Trump campaign associates and hangers-on as an invaluable weapon.

as long as the press and the Democrats can keep RussiaGate on the front page, President Trump and the GOP will never have a chance to tackle their legislative priorities and will be stuck in a constant cycle of mini-scandals that undermine the administration without ever actually impugning it.

President Trump’s opponents will continue to lay this trap for as long as they can, and the administration needs to take care not to fall into it by indulging conspiracy theories and letting themselves get bogged down fighting interference actions.

This last is ‘swamp critter’ advice and it does not appear that the President is playing that game. He has another approach and a lot of the ‘politics as usual’ paradigm people haven’t yet Grokked the Scene.

Democrats Aren’t the Opposition. The Media Is by Amanda Carpenter – “Where, oh, where is the leader of the loyal Democratic opposition these days?” This is a trying to come to grips with reality story with alternative hypotheses being examined to find one that is most comfortable for the moment.

For those making purely political calculations, it makes far more sense for team Trump to attack the members of the media, who represent a serious threat to Trump’s influence and power, than the Democrats, who appear to be no threat at all.

The only thing standing between Trump and his agenda, whatever that is, is the media. Just look at how terribly the Democrats have handled the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.

The problem is that the media problem is well known and understood and the President has been addressing it. One only has to look at the howling from the media to see this. One thing the President has not done is to simplify any issues and problems that confront him and this particular propaganda problem is just another example. The President’s response to problems has many facets and both short and long term implications. Those who do not pay attention, those who over-simplify, they are going to face ongoing dissonance.

John Sexton on Nikki Haley’s UN warning: ‘We are prepared to do more but we hope that will not be necessary.’ – Russia is being called out: “they are either complicit, incompetent or foolish.”

Haley placed blame on the Russian government saying, “Every time Assad has crossed the line of human decency, Russia has stood beside him.” Haley then examined Russia’s failure in Syria as the Russian representative sat perusing his phone and mostly avoiding eye contact.

“It could be that Russia is knowingly allowing chemical weapons to remain in Syria. It could be that Russia has been incompetent in its efforts to remove the chemical weapons. Or it could be that the Assad regime is playing the Russians for fools, telling them that there are no chemical weapons, all the while stockpiling them on their bases.

“The world is waiting for the Russian government to act responsibly in Syria,” Haley said. After outlining what the U.S. expected from Syria and its allies in the future, Haley gave a final warning: “The United States took a very measured step last night. We are prepared to do more but we hope that will not be necessary.”

Patience.There’s something new and different on the table and it will take a while to see what kind of difference it makes.

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4/7/2017: Missiles and Barricades and Causes

In the Washington Times this morning Mercedes Schlapp says Nunes takes the high road as Democrats offer only obstruction – that’s all about the misuse of the Office on Congressional Ethics to pursue political gains. Stephen Dinan provides a history lesson as Schumer advances his crusade to make ideology the focus of Supreme Court nominations – that’s a crusade by Democrats to destroy the rule of law that is, of course, blamed on Republicans. Cheryl K. Chumley points out why Preet Bharara’s anti-Trump ‘diss a red flag on Obama holdovers – for the Left it is always a win/lose issue and they do not accept a reality such as the will of the voter as a loss. Steve Milloy says The EPA lied — nobody died. “The Environmental Protection Agency’s human experiment program exaggerated the danger of outdoor pollutants.” The Left will fabricate reality, if needed, to suit their desires. The EPA case parallels the climate effort. Anthony J. Sadar and Susan Z. Forney pick up on another front is this effort to impose the real world on the Left in The changing world of climate change – “With its rollback of climate rules, the Trump administration taps the brakes on the unsettled ‘settled science’.” Then there’s a report about a slapdown of an international crime that was specific, focused, and timely – components of any effective discipline. If that’s too much of a Right bias, there’s an essay by Donald Lambro that is full of doom and gloom FUD mongering about what is coming over the horizon to bite the President, and the U.S.A.

On that Syrian Strike, the howling is rather isolated. The Daily Mail notes that Hillary Clinton called for the US to toughen up its response to Assad’s atrocities just hours before Trump launched strikes on Syria – “Clinton reiterated how she had favored a tougher approach against Assad when she was Secretary of State.” They’ve also got Thank you, Mr Trump! First images of damage at Assad’s burnt-out airbase emerge as tearful Syrians cheer US missile raid – “US missiles appear to have shattered hangars, destroyed at least nine Syrian jets, weapons and a fuel store, as well as leaving left giant craters in the runway at al-Shayrat military airfield near Homs.” … “Anti-Assad Syrians have been celebrating the strike after the horrific chemical weapons attack – critics in the country say that the US should be focussing on destroying ISIS.” Sundance has a report on the Clear and Concise Pentagon Statement on U.S. Missile Strike Against Shayrat Airfield in Syria… – “The U.S. is stating evidence that Bashir Assad did launch chemical weapons from this exact airbase, and Russia was willfully blind in their complicity.”

Meanwhile the New York Post opines that The filibuster war was all about Democrats’ excesses – “For all Democrats’ hyperbolic howls of outrage over Senate Republicans’ vote Thursday to “go nuclear” and end the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations, it is without question the left that has driven the “judge wars” to this point.”

And, no, Republicans didn’t help the cause of Senate comity by refusing even a hearing for Garland last year. But they were simply applying a standard — the “Biden rule,” after Sen. Joe Biden — that Democrats set long ago, when the shoe was on the other foot in the last year of Republican presidencies.

What the GOP has really done is ensure, as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, that there will no longer be two sets of standards: one for a Democratic president’s nominees and another for a Republican.

But J.M. Opal has a different view at Time: America Should Never Be ‘Great Again’ – “President Donald Trump is different. Unlike any of his forty-four predecessors, he does not even pretend to care about constitutional rules or official protocols. He has no need for facts or norms.” That is full TDS gone ‘round the bend’ with no regard for reality directly at hand. He even sees this but doesn’t recognize what he is saying.

More profoundly, we could see each other as flawed and vulnerable members of the same society, as civic brothers and sisters who are equally American. No longer dazed by frontier mythologies or blocked by Constitutional rules, we could think boldly and practically about a happier, more caring nation — one based on a new Bill of Rights, perhaps, or even on a new Constitution.

A similar, and related, delusion, is about how Shrieking Tantrum Throwing Titty Babies Score Another Awesome Victory Against Ever Saying Anything Even Mildly Clever [Warden] – “you might have missed this monstrous act of violence perpetrated against all women everywhere.” A jewelry store put up a billboard suggesting “Sometimes, it’s OK to throw rocks at girls” displaying some of their favorites (diamonds, rubies, emeralds, …).

Rather than apologize, they could have amped up the aggression by responding, “Well, we’re not too worried. The kind of people who lose their minds over an innocent turn of phrase aren’t our customer base–they’re far too ugly and hateful for any man to gift them with something so thoughtful and precious as fine jewelry, so we can safely ignore their tantrums.”

I’d lay down money that the response would have been largely positive and resulted in increased sales. People are fed up with all this chicken-shit bullying and, as Trump has shown us, these hypocritical scolds only have the power you grant them.

Keep in mind, there’s likely a high correlation between the population that is outraged over the billboard and the population that thinks it is OK to stone a woman to death in the mid-East because she offended her owner.

Ed Morrissey comments on Politico: Ivanka’s secret meeting with Planned Parenthood turned out as well as you’d expect – “Experienced politicians (and “advisers,” paid or not) recognize that Planned Parenthood does not operate on the principle of moderation. With pro-abortion groups like PP and NAF, you’re either a true believer, a heretic, or an apostate. They aren’t interested in back channels, especially not with Republican administrations. Ivanka did nothing but make herself a target for Richards et al.” There are many other examples, the SCOTUS nominee process being a glaring one right now. Not only is the line solid, anyone who dares think ‘moderation’ is going to get slimed and bullied.

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

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

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

A brief history lesson is in order.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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4/5/2017: TDS and total lack of control

Ajit Pai and Maureen Ohlhausen of the FCC and FTC say No, Republicans didn’t just strip away your Internet privacy rights – The WaPo calls this an “opinion” yet it has a lot of explaining and very little opining.

April Fools’ Day came early last week, as professional lobbyists lit a wildfire of misinformation about Congress’s action — signed into law Monday by President Trump — to nullify the Federal Communications Commission’s broadband privacy rules. So as the nation’s chief communications regulator and the nation’s chief privacy enforcer, we want to let the American people know what’s really going on and how we will ensure that consumers’ online privacy is protected.

During the Obama administration, the FTC concluded that “any privacy framework should be technology neutral” because “ISPs are just one type of large platform provider” and “operating systems and browsers may be in a position to track all, or virtually all, of a consumer’s online activity to create highly detailed profiles.”

The FCC’s regulations weren’t about protecting consumers’ privacy. They were about government picking winners and losers in the marketplace. If two online companies have access to the same data about your Internet usage, why should the federal government give one company greater leeway to use it than the other?

The FTC is in here because privacy in Trade is their bailiwick. The FCC got involved in order to make ‘special distinctions’ to go after perceived villains. The effort now is to level the playing field and put Trade practices in the FTC and communications technology practices in the FCC.

Tammy Bruce is all too real concerning Trumpmageddon – “The Democrats’ fever dream is doomed to fail.”

It’s not clear how long liberals will be able to keep up their perpetual Trump outrage, but a clever entrepreneur should immediately establish sanatoriums within which Hollywood types, Democratic operatives and “activists” receive the care they need when they collapse from exhaustion.

It’ll be rehab for bullies

The media, Hollywood and smug liberals are getting a lesson from a president who isn’t swayed by screams or threats or even polls. He’s focused on making things in this country better. Mr. Trump does have a challenge, though, and that’s making sure his message is communicated clearly and strongly enough to make sure the malevolence of his opponents is barely audible like the old, dead leftist echo that it is.

Cheryl K. Chumley notes the elevated insanity in The left’s lunatic plagiarism sling at Gorsuch – “The left-leaning media, working in concert with Democratic will, have launched an all-out last-minute attack on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, accusing him of plagiarism.”

It’s bogus, by independent accounts. But this is how the left works: Smear, disgrace, tear down, defame and defile. Anything to keep him from being confirmed, it seems.

The judge has penned literally thousands upon thousands of pages of documents and rulings as a judge — but the left, led now by Buzzfeed and Politico, apparently have found three instances where his writings seemed suspect.

One person Gorsuch is accused of plagiarizing actually flatly denies he plagiarized.

And another, emeritus professor Jon Finnis of Oxford University, said similarly.

But this, from Buzzfeed … And this, from Politico, a separate headline: “Gorsuch’s writings borrow from other authors.”

The White House has fired back.

The left’s concerted attack against all-things-President Donald Trump marches on. But this latest instance, an attempted assassination of a well-regarded and esteemed member of the judiciary, however, is a new and despicable level of low, even for the left.

Rd Whelan has more on these Bastardized Charges – “Surprise, surprise. Another desperate 11th-hour smear, something that appears to have become a rite of passage for Republican Supreme Court nominees.”

If you want to see another form of Trump Derangement Syndrome, check out Jonah Goldberg at National Review. The President Is This Presidency’s Worst Enemy – “The administration doesn’t suffer from a failure of ideas, but a failure of character.” One of the first clues that you’re not dealing with someone fully in charge of his bias is Goldberg bringing up the “Why so much chaos, then?” There are other clues such as his citations and a priori assumptions not to mention the thing about Tweets.

Trump brings the same glandular, impulsive style to meetings and interviews as he does to social media. He blurts out ideas or claims that send staff scrambling to see them implemented or defended. His management style is Hobbesian. Rivalries are encouraged. Senior aides panic at the thought of not being part of his movable entourage. He cares more about saving face and “counterpunching” his critics than he does about getting policy victories.

It’s true that Trump has racked up some wins — a few relatively easy executive orders and the Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch, who’ll wind up taking the late Antonin Scalia’s seat one way or another.

Such a diatribe should make for a good classroom exercise about finding logical fallacies. There is the ad hominem, of course, then the appeal to authority, then the minimizing of counter arguments, … it’s a rich source but very typical of those who haven’t come to grips with the Trump reality. Just how far those ‘relatively easy’ wins and such have to mount up to make an impression is going to create a scale for the depth of the derangement and dissonance.

The IBD gets into a result of the Propaganda machine and the dissonance expressions such as Goldberg’s. Trump’s 34% Approval In IBD/TIPP Poll Is Nothing To Cheer, Or Ignore – “The reaction to the latest IBD/TIPP poll showing President Trump’s approval ratings taking a big hit has been, well, depressing.”

Clearly, the left’s total war against Trump has taken its toll. Every day it is wall-to-wall attacks in news, entertainment, academia and every other corner of daily life. Rather than argue and debate Trump’s policies — about which the public is largely in agreement — they’ve resorted to their favorite weapon: the politics of personal destruction.

So, congratulations, Trump haters. You’ve managed to drive down his numbers before he’s had a chance to actually get much done.

This is not to say that Trump hasn’t contributed to his own poor ratings with his ill-conceived tweets, newbie administration mistakes, and a seeming lack of focus on the issues that got him elected. But nothing Trump has done justifies the level of hatred and vitriol being thrown at him.

For now, however, the results are what they are. Reality sometimes can be uncomfortable or unpleasant. But just as celebrating Trump’s low approval is wrong, so is denying it altogether.

It is early yet and the vitriol has been unprecedented both in its quantity and in it’s depths of depravity. As Tammy Bruce wonders about above, the question is really about how long the Left can keep it up. Alicia Colon notes something the Left, and people like Goldberg, miss. It is something that does and will surface and won’t have the kind of stench that the many Obama scandals that are surfacing right now have. The Very Presidential Donald Trump; What A Surprise!

My Democrat relatives were in complete agreement as were the NeverTrumpers in the GOP who ranted about the arrogant New York native as not being presidential material.

They dragged out every single negative Trump news item and when that didn’t dissuade us; they simply made up fake ones. They had no idea whom they were dealing with.

The truth is that on a superficial level, Donald Trump may be arrogant, boastful, a tad narcissistic and he tends to fly off the handle with maddening tweets.

But what I have come to believe since his election is that he is a brilliant strategist who loves this country.

In other words, what you see in Trump tends to be more a reflection of yourself. That is why it is important to understand one’s self first and to be aware that perceptions do not necessarily truly reflect reality. Check your feelings and if you find anger or other negative emotion, be particularly careful.

On those smelly things that are surfacing, see Katie Pavlich about Bribery: New Documents Show IRS Targeting Scandal Was More Expansive – “New documents obtained by government watchdog group Judicial Watch show the IRS targeting scandal was more expansive than previously known.”

the documents show IRS officials essentially bribed groups and offered tax exempt status in exchange for limited political activity. In other words, limiting opposition to President Obama’s agenda.

“No wonder the Obama IRS has been hiding these records. The new smoking-gun documents contain admissions by the Obama IRS that it inappropriately targeted conservative groups,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “But the records also show that the abuse continued – as the Obama IRS tried to force conservative applicants to give up their First Amendment rights in order to finally get their applications granted.”

Another one also has revelations summarized by Ace citing Andy McCarthy: The Russia Story Finally Yields a Watergate-Sized Scandal, But Not the One the Leftist Media and Democrat Party (BIRM) Were ExpectingWorth reading in full.

The two moves were required together to start the conveyer belt of leaks from Rice, Clapper, and the whole gang to their co-conspirators at CNN and the Washington Post. The two work in tandem to propel the information across the national sea, like the sail that catches the wind and the mast that transfers the wind’s power into the ship itself.

And that’s why CNN is so furiously attacking a Real News story: They’re protecting their sources, and protecting their own asses as well: In any genuine criminal probe of the leaks, CNN reporters could be sent to jail on a judge’s contempt order if they refuse to reveal their sources, just as Judith Miller was ordered to jail for refusing to give up her sources in the Valerie Plame investigation.

There is a good example of how the Left deals with unpleasant reality by John Sexton who notes that 20 House Democrats request removal of Devin Nunes from Russia investigation – “A group of House Democrats led by Rep. Gerry Connolly sent a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan Tuesday asking for the recusal of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes from the ongoing investigation into Russian influence on the 2016 election.”

The idea that Democrats are trying to rescue the House from too much partisanship is, of course, absurd. There is still no proof behind the allegations the Trump campaign colluded with Russian hackers, an allegation which is once again trotted out in this letter. The allegation itself has become a means to an end: to keep the attack on the administration going and collect as many Republican scalps along the way as possible. “This is about country, not party,” would sound less like a laugh line if Democrats would stop using these accusations as a cudgel against Republicans in the media. Instead, we have House Democrats continually talking up collusion and even impeachment in advance of any proof.

No matter how absurd or dishonest there is a solidarity and persistence to be admired. This is the battle at hand and many on the Right do not quite get it, yet. The Public may have realized this and the last election illustrates that.

John Hinderaker takes apart the AP problem with TDS saying The Associated Press Is Guilty of False Advertising – “Like other Democratic Party news outlets, the Associated Press is conducting a daily war against President Trump and his administration.”

Do you want to know what is really false advertising? The AP’s claim that its “fact checks” constitute “a look at the veracity of claims by political figures.” In reality, the AP “fact checks” only one political figure, President Trump, with occasional attacks on members of his administration. Here are the headlines for the last 25 AP “fact checks.” Judge for yourself:

We could go on (and on), but you get the drift. The Associated Press was once a respected news service, but today it is just one more member of the Democratic Party’s press auxiliary. There is no reason why anyone should take anything from the AP seriously, if it relates to the Trump administration or to any subject of partisan controversy.

 

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