Tuesday, December 31, 2019

"You might want to rethink that sign!"

Here is another photo from Misanthropic Humanitarian.

Happy New Year!

In celebration of New Year's Eve, here is a recent photo from Misanthropic Humanitarian who always posts beautiful photos in the Ace of Spades blog.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Do you think Pelosi and the Dems will add this to the Articles of Impeachment?

Breitbart News reports,
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke with President Donald Trump on Sunday to thank him for information that Putin said helped Russia foil terrorist attacks over the New Year’s holiday, the Kremlin said.

Putin thanked Trump “for information transmitted through the special services that helped prevent the completion of terrorist acts in Russia,” the Kremlin said in a brief statement posted on its website.

Based on the U.S. information, the Russian security forces detained two Russians suspected of preparing to carry out terrorist acts in St. Petersburg during the upcoming holiday, state news agency Tass reported, citing the Federal Security Service.

The security service said it obtained the information from its “American partners.” It said it seized material from the suspects that confirms they were preparing terrorist acts, with no further details.

There was no immediate comment from the White House.
Read more here.

"The ball’s in your court, California. Do you plan on doing something about this? Or will you essentially just legalize theft and tell the retailers that they’re on their own?"

Jazz Shaw writes in The Hill,
A few years ago, California passed one in a series of bills aimed at emptying the jails and prisons. Proposition 47 carried the disingenuous name of “the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act and its stated purpose was to keep non-violent offenders out of jail. To achieve this goal, the state decriminalized a number of lesser offenses, including retail theft. The law raised the value of the amount of merchandise someone could steal while still only being charged with a misdemeanor to nearly one thousand dollars.

To the great surprise of the government, people noticed this change and began taking advantage of it. They have now recorded multiple years of steadily increasing, organized robbery. These plots are known as “mass grab and dash” thefts and they generally involve large numbers of young people all entering a store at the same time, grabbing armfuls of merchandise and dashing back out to their vehicles and hitting the highway. Not only are robberies on the rise, but arrests and prosecutions are down. Who could possibly have predicted this? (CBS Sacramento)

...The fact is that there are always going to be a certain number of people who will be willing to break the law if they don’t feel the risk of significant punishment is too high. An understanding of this fundamental principle is why the “broken windows” policies enacted in New York City and other municipalities in the 90s were so effective. If you crack down on even smaller crimes, you lower crime rates overall.
Read more here.

Tribute to San Francisco


From the satirical Babylon Bee:
U.S.—The nation's media outlets announced they were grieving today as an armed citizen stopped a mass shooting.

"We grieve that this tragedy we could have exploited for weeks on end was stopped by a good guy with a gun," said one teary-eyed MSNBC reporter on the scene. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the shooter."

"We are absolutely heartbroken and in shock over here," said one New York Times journalist. "What could have given us weeks and weeks of frothing-at-the-mouth stories about gun control will now have to be suppressed since it does not align with our agenda."

News outlets also reminded the nation that they reserve the right to immediately bury mass shooting stories that don't help push their agenda.

Outlets like CNN, MSNBC, and ABC News confirmed that they carefully look over the facts of a given case to see if it lines up with the correct opinions before deciding to push it incessantly for weeks on end.

"While we usually would exploit a tragedy like this to push our gun control agenda, in this case, the facts don't really help us," said CNN reporter Bob Costanza, after a recent shooting was shut down by a citizen with a gun. "It's tragic that it ended that way, because we really could have gotten a lot of mileage out of that bad boy."

The media didn't even try to find children who were present during the shooting to parade around talk shows and put on the covers of magazines for a full year this time around.
Go here to view the photo of the hero killing the murderer.


Optimistic for ourselves and our communities, but less so for our country

Ace of Spades posts,
Poll: Americans Very Optimistic for 2020, Citing the Economy, and Often Crediting Trump
Most elections in which the country is feeling good about the current situation and expecting even better in the future go to the incumbent party, of course.

A USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll this month asked Americans if they thought things would get better or worse in their own lives in 2020. By an overwhelming 80% to 11%, they predicted their lives would be better. That optimism stretched across demographic lines, although men had a more positive outlook than women (83% vs. 76%) and Southerners a more positive outlook than Midwesterners (84% vs. 74%).

By about a 3-to-1 ratio (63% vs. 22%), those surveyed also predicted things would get better next year for their communities.

One bit of data is less optimistic: only 54% expect things to get better for the country.

But that makes sense to me, actually. You'd have to be blind not to notice the country is disintegrating. But that's not really something most voters will say is Trump's fault; I think most people realize the left has gone insane and intends to destroy the country if they're not permitted to rule it.

And meanwhile: Trump has previously come in second in Gallup's poll of most admired men in America.

In the current poll, he ties Obama.

Barack Obama and Donald Trump are tied this year as the most admired man. It is Obama's 12th time in the top spot versus the first for Trump. Michelle Obama is the most admired woman for the second year in a row.
Each year since 1948, Gallup has asked Americans to name, in an open-ended fashion, which man and woman living anywhere in the world they admire most. This year's results are based on a Dec. 2-15 poll.

"Impeachment was never about Trump’s failures, but about fears of his perceived successes."

Victor Davis Hanson writes in American Greatness,
...To move toward what the Economist believes is an existential redefinition of the border, the president has gone to court to fight constant lawsuits, scraped together almost $10 billion from previous allocations, as well as siphoning and redirecting funds from various agencies, shutting down the government from December 22, 2018 through January 25, and prompted a near crisis with the Mexican government—and yet so far built only 66 miles of replacement walling and about nine miles of new barriers.

...After all that fighting, the money and the momentum are turning in Trump’s favor, as border crossings have dived over the last six months. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection predicts that by the end of 2020 there will be 450 miles of new walling and another 60 miles started. The Left is beginning to worry that its intersectional doctrines cannot address increased job opportunities for entry-level African American workers when deportations of illegal aliens proceed.

...We currently are in the midst of a high-risk, radical recalibration with China, of which trade deficits are central, but not all that is at stake.

The United States is dealing with a number of Chinese-related crises: in Hong Kong, the reeducation-camps, the Orwellian nature of the Chinese government, and the growing imperialism of the Silk Road network abroad. Under Trump, there is at least the chance that China will be forced to curb its predatory trade practices.

In contrast, the prior bipartisan orthodoxy that concessions would win Chinese favor, enrich its population, and soon lead to liberalization of 1.4 billion affluent consumers was unhinged—to the degree it was sincere and not just a hackneyed circumlocution for corporate outsourcing production to China.

What “America First” Looks Like
U.S. energy production continues to rise, given even more federal lands have been opened up to leasing. Frackers and horizontal drillers no longer feel that they are enemies of the people, but are recognized as saviors who provide America with flexibility in foreign policy and inexpensive energy for the middle classes. In 2017, the United States became the largest producer of oil in the world. Gas prices in real dollars remain low.

Abroad, most of the traditional talking points of conservatives have been reified. The U.S. embassy to Israel is now in Jerusalem. The Golan Heights are not going back to the murderous Assad regime. Hundreds of millions of dollars less in U.S. aid not being rerouted through the United Nations to a corrupt Palestinian authority. The Iran nuclear deal is toast. Iran is not growing its tentacles over Syria and Iraq, but is broke and reeling.

The only irony is that those who used to demand such action blast Trump as a failure for actually turning their parlor talk into reality.

...For better or worse, we are now fundamentally recalibrating the United States—not just redressing the prior Obama transformation, but the policies of past Republican administrations as well. And no one quite knows where it will end, given that almost all our experts who swore in January 2017 that the economy would tank were wrong. They were wrong again with their prediction of a late summer 2019 recession. And they may well be wrong again that confronting China would ensure a global trade cataclysm. Never underestimate how greatly the hatred of Donald Trump can warp the mind of a Ph.D.

Fear of Trump’s Success Underneath It All
So we are watching a great experiment, as all of our past de facto assumptions about regulations, immigration, identity politics, trade, workers’ wages, manufacturing, the Middle East, China, Russia, and overseas interventions are all at once under sometimes chaotic reexamination.

...But the idea that Trump has “failed,” when the economy is booming, the United States is energy independent, the border is becoming a border again, China is on notice that the past 30 years of appeasement are over, the military is far stronger, and U.S. foreign policy is being radically recalibrated is absolutely absurd.

...The Left, far better than the NeverTrump Right, grasped that Trump is succeeding, and that it has little traction in demanding economic, energy, immigration, trade, and regulatory alternatives. Its lunatic multi-trillion-dollar proposals ensure that it cannot attack Trump on the deficit where he is weakest.

As a result, the Left rightly concluded that its only hope to save the progressive agenda is to destroy Trump before the people can vote on his agenda, which they rightly fear is succeeding.

Impeachment was never about Trump’s failures, but about fears of his perceived successes.
Read more here.

"It doesn't mean anything if they don't do anything with it. The House vote, as it stands, is just an 'Orange Man bad!' hissy fit."

In the Ace of Spades blog, Oregon Muse writes,
"After the House voted in favor of the articles of impeachment, do you realize there were people who thought that this meant that trump was no longer president?
"It's true. Where I live, they actually had a celebratory protest at the usual location where all of the other 'F* Trump' protests were held, and these idiots were jumping up and down, tooting little horns, and waving signs that proclaimed how great it was that the Bad Orange Man was finally gone.

"And this is a college town. Which should be full of smart people, or so they keep telling us, what with all of the perfessers and academic geniuses and gender studies majors boosting our collective IQ up into the stratosphere.

"So with all of our rocket scientists, you'd think that at least some of them would have taken a basic civics class in high school, so they would know at least something about the impeachment process.

"But no, apparently nobody around here has. And *we're* supposed to be the ones who are dumb.

"And does anybody believe that Pelosi is going to formally hand off the articles of impeachment to the Senate? She's already making a bunch of excuses why she might not, I mean, essentially, she won't do it unless she is guaranteed a guilty verdict. That's what all of her demands boil down to.

"But with their go/no-go waffling on impeachment, it is becoming clear that the progressives have hollowed out the impeachment process and are now wearing its skin and demanding respect. That is, they're insisting that the House with Pelosi sitting on the articles is solemn and momentous. They get mad when you point out that they've reduced it to just another species of political theater.

"It doesn't mean anything if they don't do anything with it. The House vote, as it stands, is just an 'Orange Man bad!' hissy fit.

"And those dimwits who were celebrating because they think Donald Trump is no longer in office? They're in for the mother of all hangovers."

"Make sure your vote is on target!"

In the Washington Examiner, Madison Dibble reports,
The man who fired back and saved the lives of his fellow churchgoers in Texas is running for office with the campaign slogan: “Make sure your vote is on target.”

Jack Wilson, 71, shot and killed a gunman who opened fire in West Freeway Church of Christ in Tarrant County, near Fort Worth, Texas. Wilson was on duty as the volunteer security officer at the time of the shooting. He drew his weapon and killed the assailant within seconds.

Wilson’s aim wasn’t surprising, given his background. He was president of On Target Firearms Training Academy until 2016, worked as a deputy sheriff, and is currently running to be a county commissioner for the third precinct.
Read more here.

How can anyone watch this and still be opposed to churches or schools employing armed security guards?

No hope.

In American Thinker, Clarice Feldman has some suggestions from Mary Poppins Perfect Piercing for a rant you can use while attending a New Year party. You can also read Ann Althouse's thoughts on Bret Stephens advice to his New York Times readers on how to defeat Trump in 2020, read what Eric Wemple had to say to Rachel Maddow, and analyze the exercise in futility of Pelosi's shampeachment. Clarice concludes that she can't think of anything the Democrats can do to help their cause.
Read it here.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

One of the best writers in America

Glenn Beaton is a writer in Aspen, Colorado. I have followed and enjoyed his writing for several years. This week he was fired on Christmas Eve by the snowflakes who run the Aspen Times newspaper. On December 15 he had written a column about Jesus entitled, "Here's what I know, Jesus is not our mom." Read it here. Then, on December 29 he wrote in his blog his 2020 vision here. He will soon be writing about his firing, and that will be a must-read!

The Intended Consequences Of Enforcing Immigration Law: More Jobs For Americans

In the Ace of Spades blog, CBD reports,

African Americans are taking back jobs that were stolen from them by illegal immigrants. In August, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers swept up 680 illegal immigrants during raids on seven food processing plants in Mississippi. Without the cheap labor, the companies were forced to hire Americans to do the work.

The best part of this is the monumental struggle to find something bad in increased employment for Black Americans. But rest assured, the NYT and the NAACP are on the job!

The president of the local NAACP compared the raids to slavery, proving once again the NAACP has become nothing more than an arm of the Democratic Party that stopped advancing the interests of African Americans a long time ago.
The raids were believed to be the largest statewide immigration crackdown in recent history and a partial fulfillment of President Trump’s vow to remove millions of undocumented workers from the country. The impact on Mississippi’s immigrant community has been devastating. For nonimmigrant workers, the aftermath has forced them into a personal reckoning with questions of morality and economic self-interest: The raids brought suffering, but they also created job openings.

Amazing, isn't it! Their tortured manipulation of the vernacular carefully avoids the salient data; these people were in the country illegally, therefore they were employed illegally. This is not some ethical conundrum. This is the law. But "the law is a ass" when it conflicts with the NYT world view that the most important goal of the modern era is the subsuming of America in a sea of unwashed illegals, so finally..FINALLY...their progressive utopia can be achieved. And if that destroys their old and tired weapon of choice (Black America)? Then so be it.

The poorest of the poor

Alexander Hammond reports in Foundation for Economic Education,
...in 1820, 94 percent of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty (less than $1.90 per day adjusted for purchasing power). In 1990 this figure was 34.8 percent, and in 2015, just 9.6 percent.

...of those who live in extreme poverty, over 40 percent resided in just two nations: India and Nigeria.
Read more here.

Something to add to Trump's list of accomplishments?

AP is reporting,
The Taliban’s ruling council agreed Sunday to a temporary cease-fire in Afghanistan, providing a window in which a peace agreement with the United States can be signed, officials from the insurgent group said. They didn’t say when it would begin.

A cease-fire had been demanded by Washington before any peace agreement could be signed. A peace deal would allow the U.S. to bring home its troops from Afghanistan and end its 18-year military engagement there, America’s longest.

There was no immediate response from Washington.

The U.S. wants any deal to include a promise from the Taliban that Afghanistan would not be used as a base by terrorist groups. The U.S. currently has an estimated 12,000 troops in Afghanistan.

Read more here.

Oh, I'm sure it is not bias!

You go, Max!

Thousands of AT&T workers hunting for new jobs

Axios has a story about how
AT&T is poised to send thousands into the new year hunting for new jobs after assigning them to train their own foreign replacements, according to conversations with current and former workers and documents obtained by Axios.

Many have worked for the company for over a decade. They aren't being offered severance or early retirement, and may not easily find a comparable job elsewhere with similar pay.

...Blackwell said past contracts she's seen lead her to believe that as many as nine in 10 of those impacted by AT&T's outsourcing may end up training foreign replacements.
It's a common business model that's been used by other U.S. companies, including Disney, Verizon, Bank of America, Toys 'R' Us and Southern California Edison.

...How it works: Workers may be assured their job will not change when they are "rebadged" to work for a contractor. "The sad reality is you’ve just been terminated without your severance," said one worker Axios interviewed. "You’re at the mercy of a company that doesn’t really want you."

Workers described shock and confusion when they were told during a scripted phone call that after a decade or longer at AT&T, they'd have to work for a contractor or resign. Some were told they could not apply for other jobs inside AT&T.
Some were told they were needed for a "knowledge transfer" — then tapped to train people on work visas or overseas who would replace them.

A presentation obtained by Axios outlining the knowledge transfer process for AT&T and Accenture includes a slide on how to interact with Indian workers.
Go deeper: Trump administration denied almost a third of new H-1B visas in Q3
Read more here.


Don Surber looks at the messages coming to America from the Democratic candidates. For example, Mayor Pete said last week he is for the decriminalization of all drugs.
For a half-century, Democrats argued that pot isn't any worse than booze. Now that they have finally won that argument in some quarters, they have moved on to it is OK to do any drugs, any time, anywhere!

Marijuana turned out to be a gateway drug after all as it will lead to legalizing cocaine. Never mind how this destroys communities and how it will eventually destroy our country. Democrats believe saying they will legalize everything may flip Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin back to blue, and so they say it.

...Democrats have no quality candidate for president. What person of any integrity wants to lead the party of poop? Even Hillary won't run. This is why their leading candidate is Joe Biden, who finished fifth in Iowa in 2008 with less than 1% of the vote. I won't say they are scraping the bottom of the barrel, but they are.
Read more here.

Will Trump end the Afghanistan War?

In his blog, Don Surber speculates,
Having fixed the economy, won a trade war battle with Red China, appointed 1/4th of the appellate judges, rolled back regulations, and cut taxes, what is next for President Donald John Trump?

My guess is he will end the Afghanistan War next.

Business Insider reported, "Months after taking office in 2017 and hoping to get a better understanding of America’s longest war, President Donald Trump began taking meetings with enlisted US service members who deployed to Afghanistan.

"'I want to sit down with some enlisted guys that have been there,' Trump told advisers, according to the national security journalist Peter Bergen’s latest book, Trump and His Generals: The Cost of Chaos.

"'I don’t want any generals in here. I don’t want any officers,' Trump added, according to Bergen’s book, which was sourced from dozens of interviews with current and former White House officials and military officers. 'I just want enlisted guys.'

"The meetings were intended for candid discussions about the war in Afghanistan, which was nearing its 16th year at the time, with US troops who served on the front lines."

It's Sun Tzu.

He said 2,500 years ago, "Treat your men as you would your own beloved sons. And they will follow you into the deepest valley."

It also is Washington. In eulogizing him, Henry Lighthorse Lee said, "First in war — first in peace — and first in the hearts of his countrymen, he was second to none in the humble and endearing scenes of private life; pious, just, humane, temperate and sincere; uniform, dignified and commanding, his example was as edifying to all around him, as were the effects of that example lasting.

"To his equals he was condescending, to his inferiors kind, and to the dear object of his affections exemplary tender: correct throughout, vice shuddered in his presence, and virtue always felt his fostering hand; the purity of his private character gave effulgence to his public virtues."

...After continuing his analysis, Surber concludes with caution, Afghanistan is halfway around the world. We went there based on deep state lies. It cost us thousands of our best men and women, as well as trillions of public treasure.

I had hoped 2019 would end North Korea's nuclear program. Negotiations continue -- and they continue in Afghanistan. Patience is a large part of the Art of the Deal.

As well as the Art of War.
Read more here.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Tucker Carlson reveals what he believes

Tucker says the divide in America is a religious and theological one. It is a spiritual debate. Do you think you are in control of the universe or don't you?

We are hardwired for faith. Are you going to worship God, or are you going to worship man?

You know you are going to die. Only faith in God answers what happens next.

The one thing that powerful people can never admit is that their power is limited.

Are you God? Can you decide when life ends (abortion)? The only time you get to take a life is in self-defense.

Hubris is the great killer (thinking you are in charge). Do you think you're God?

Our free will is the essential ingredient in the formula! God gives that to us! No one but ourselves can control what we believe. That is what is being challenged...your freedom to believe what you want to believe! We are facing evangelists who seek to convert by force! They want you to not just believe different things, but do different things!

All of us are capable of changing and being forgiven for what we have done wrong. Christians know they are flawed. They know they are not in charge of judging. There is someone else who is. That's God! Tucker's wife tells him he doesn't have to win or judge when he gets in debates with guests on his program.

Whatever you are hiding is known! We live in a world of deception. What do we need? Honesty, forgiveness, truth. To love God and to love people like God loves them!

Whose job is it to put Humpty-Dumpty together again?

In the Epoch Times, Roger L. Simon writes,
Reading the inspector general’s report and the many intimations of what is going on with John Durham’s investigation, it is clear that Trump was ganged up upon in an unprecedented, and quite likely illegal, way even before he was nominated, let alone elected.

He also writes about Trump's
opposition in the Democratic Party, the FBI, the CIA, and the media—not necessarily in that order but all working in tandem. (Entertainment and the academy helped too.)

Yet, Simon makes the case that
The unfortunate result of this, despite its being inherently unfair, is that Trump alone can and must lead the way in curing this condition. No one else is in a position to do it and he cannot expect his enemies to help him if past performance is any indication.

...But he should keep Humpty-Dumpty always at the forefront of his mind. The nursery rhyme character has clearly fallen from the wall. The president’s biggest job in his second term is to put him together again. If he can do that to a reasonable extent—even making a dent won’t be easy—America could be greater than it ever was.
Read more here.


In the Manhattan Institue, Mark Mills writes a persuasive essay here on how a fracking ban would cause a global recession. Yet, three of the Democratic candidates take a devastatingly stupid stand against fracking.
"I will ban fracking—everywhere."[1]
— Elizabeth Warren

"Any proposal to avert the climate crisis must include a full fracking ban on public and private lands."[2]
— Bernie Sanders

"I favor a ban on new fracking and a rapid end to existing fracking."[3]
— Pete Buttigieg

Kudos to Charlie Brown creator Charles Schulz and Coca Cola!

In Newsbusters, Scott Whitlock reports,
Watching A Charlie Brown Christmas has been a tradition for millions since it first aired on December 9, 1965. While many love the iconic Vince Guaraldi score, the humor and the animation, one part of the special has always stood out and made it unique: Linus’s recitation of the Gospel of Luke.

Explaining the true meaning of Christmas in a network television special broadcast to millions was a controversial move, even 54 years ago. In 2015, The Washington Post published a retrospective on A Charlie Brown Christmas. Michael Cavna explained Peanuts creator Charles Schulz’s mission in making the special:

Charles Schulz insisted on one core purpose: A Charlie Brown Christmas had to be about something. Namely, the true meaning of Christmas. Otherwise, Schulz said, “Why bother doing it?”

To Coca-Cola’s credit, Mendelson says, the corporate sponsor never balked at the idea of including New Testament passages. The result — Linus’s reading from the Book of Luke about the meaning of the season — became “the most magical two minutes in all of TV animation,” the producer says.

Schulz stood strong, despite efforts to talk him out of quoting from the Bible. On December 5, 2005, USA Today recounted:

[Executive producer Lee] Mendelson and animator Bill Melendez fretted about the insistence by Peanuts creator Charles Schulz that his first-ever TV spinoff end with a reading of the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke by a lisping little boy named Linus.

"We told Schulz, 'Look, you can't read from the Bible on network television,' " Mendelson says. "When we finished the show and watched it, Melendez and I looked at each other and I said, 'We've ruined Charlie Brown.' "

According to a recounting on MentalFloss.com, CBS executives also told Schulz: “You can't read from the Bible on network television.”

Mental Floss writer Kara Kovalchik recounted what happened next:

But CBS had made a commitment to their sponsor, so they aired the special as scheduled on December 9, 1965. And, as often happens in the world of entertainment, the original gut reaction of the suits was completely wrong. A Charlie Brown Christmas drew in 15.4 million viewers, placing it second in the ratings that week after Bonanza. A few months later, Charles Schulz and Lee Mendelson found themselves onstage accepting an Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Program.

And so, the Charlie Brown creator persevered and created a Christmas classic that endures 54 years later.

In case you don’t remember the iconic moment, here it is:

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth, peace and goodwill towards men.’

“That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

San Francisco dogs announce a citywide cleanup

From the satirical Babylon Bee:
SAN FRANCISCO, CA—The dogs of San Francisco have announced a citywide cleanup initiative, in which the canines will carry little plastic bags with them wherever they go in order to clean up the massive dumps humans keep leaving on the sidewalk.

The initiative is expected to freshen up the city significantly, ridding the sidewalk of millions of pounds of human waste.

"We need to start taking pride in our city," said one labrador as he scooped up a giant turd his owner had just left on the sidewalk and placed it in a nearby human waste bin. "It's incredibly rude what these humans do. They just see some rando's lawn and decide, 'Yeah, that's a good place to drop a deuce.' It's like, we're living in a society, here."

The dogs have begun putting signs up around the city reading things like, "Please Pick Up After Your Owner" and "If Your Human Poops, You Scoop."

Teaching Trump a lesson

From the satirical Babylon Bee:
The impeachment hearings have been thrown into chaos after President Trump announced that he supports impeachment, forcing Democrats to oppose their own impeachment inquiry.

"Impeachment? I'm for it. Great idea. Best idea, maybe ever," he said, adding that he's "getting kinda sick of all this winning anyway."

"Sure, why not. Impeach me. I love it. Whatever. Now I'm gonna go watch Joker again. Great film. What's that guy's name? Phoenix something. Bob Phoenix, that's it. Tremendous actor---absolutely perfect."

Democrats quickly condemned his statements. Pelosi said, "It's clear that Trump wants to be impeached because he's not good at being president. Well, we're going to show him a thing or two by forcing him to stay in the White House and finish out his term."

"And Joker is alt-right propaganda," she said, falling for Trump's ploy to make Dems condemn one of the most successful, beloved films of the year.

One pundit on CNN suggested that Trump is supporting impeachment at the request of Putin or the guy from Ukraine or "whichever conspiracy thing we're pushing this month, I forget."

At publishing time, Democrats had also withdrawn from the 2020 race to teach Trump a lesson.

Should be a huge seller!

via PowerLine

The difference

Reality check

via PowerLine

Why no FBI or CIA whistleblowers on the spying on the Trump team?

Because it was being run at the highest levels of the FBI and CIA in coordination with Susan Rice, Obama's National Security Advisor!

Friday, December 27, 2019

If there is a better organization than Judicial Watch, I don't know what it would be!

"If those responsible are not held to account, this will happen again."

In the American Thinker blog, Frank Watt, who served for over 22 years as an FBI special agent, supervisory special agent, and FBI SWAT team leader, writes in part,
Whichever explanation seems more likely, the end result should be infuriating to every American. Either your nation's premiere law enforcement agency was breathtakingly incompetent when the stakes were the highest, or select officials in that organization made deliberate decisions to break the law, undermine the Constitution, and illegally spy on a fellow American. Either possibility has deeply damaged the reputation of the FBI and DOJ in addition to the reputations of thousands of honest FBI Agents and DOJ attorneys. Despite the legitimate concerns of civil libertarians, the FISA process has indisputably proved an invaluable resource in safeguarding the country from terrorism. If the heinous abuses documented in the I.G.s report result in a weakening or loss of FISA, we will all be the worse for it. If those responsible are not held to account, this will happen again. There is no happy face to put on this episode.
Read more here.

"Playing a devious and cynical game"

The New York Times has an opinion piece indicating that men are "dismissing" the latest screen adaptation of the beloved novel "Little Women." Ace of Spades gives us his opinion:
Well, it just so happens that I have the perfect solution to this crisis -- a solution proposed and enforced by the Social Justice Warriors currently complaining that men don't want to see movies made for women.

In the past six or so years, whenever Social Justice Warriors and feminists decided that there aren't "enough women" going to see male-starring action movies, the SJWs/feminists always prescribed the same cure: that we entice women by putting more women into the movies.

Make 007 a woman. Make the Ghostbusters all-female. Make the hero in five of the six Disney Star Wars movies a progressive white woman.

So, applying this same solution to "Little Women" -- if the producers of the film wanted men to come, they should have offered more Male Representation in their films, and perhaps have gender-bent most of the female characters to male?

See, if women don't See Themselves on the Screen, they're not being represented, and a great crime is being committed.

So why aren't people outraged that Men Can't See Themselves on Screen in Little Women?

Also, the SJWs always demand more "diversity" in casting. That is both good for business and a necessary virtue signal, they tell us.

So I need to know: Why are there not more black women in Little Women? Where are the transwomen, for that matter?

Or is it that leftwing feminist white women are excluded from the same demands of Gender and Racial Representation they impose on all male-skewing entertainments?

By the way: I don't want any women to think I actually want Little Women to be turned into a mixed-race British version of the Dukes of Hazzard.

I think women should be entitled to have the sorts of entertainments that appeal to them, without being adulterated and distorted by bizarre racial-and-gender bean-counting identity politics.

I'm just asking: Why can't men have the same thing?

I also hope I haven't offended anyone by speaking of white women feminists. Note the "Feminists" at the end.

I like white women, obviously. But White Women Feminists are playing a devious and cynical game in always championing diversity for others, while branding themselves as "diverse" (despite being white, and despite being women, who are the majority of the population) and then just taking most of the Diversity Slots they themselves demanded.

A lot of nonwhite feminists notice this double game, too, and criticize White Women Feminists for using the rhetoric of diversity to get quotas and set-asides for themselves.

None of that applies to white women (or any other women) who are not feminists, of course. It's just White Women Feminists, specifically, who use a lot of black faces in their PR advertisements for diversity, and then fill up the top slots with their own white faces.

Close it up
Read more here.

"It’s not political—it’s personal."

Mark Bauerlein writes in American Greatness,
The liberal elite are in the midst of a crisis of legitimacy. In President Trump’s fate lies their fate. If he survives until November 2020, and proceeds to win reelection, the cognitive dissonance will be excruciating. The elite will never stop believing in their superiority, but they want the rest of the country to recognize it as well. It bothers them to realize that the Great Unwashed despise them as much as the elite deplore the masses.

...President Trump is the megaphone and the champion of those the elites despise. That’s what #TheResistance is all about. If Trump goes down, the elite go back up. His ascent is a blow to their collective ego. He’s an insult to their GRE scores and doctoral degrees. They will never stop hating him. It’s not political—it’s personal.
Read more here.

Chart of the day

via Mark Perry at AEI.

"Slow down!"

Thursday, December 26, 2019

"We were brainwashed into surveilling ourselves."

In PJ Media, Richard Fernandez cites some New York Times writers:
"Every moment of every day you are under surveillance by your phone and they don't even apply for a warrant. NYT reporters were given a workaday data set collected by application providers.

By analyzing these pings, our journalists were able to track the movements of President Trump’s Secret Service guards and of senior Pentagon officials. They could follow protesters to their homes and stalk high-school students across Los Angeles. In most cases, it was child’s play for them to connect a supposedly anonymous data trail to a name and an address — to a real live human being.
Your smartphone can broadcast your exact location thousands of times per day, through hundreds of apps, instantaneously to dozens of different companies. Each of those companies has the power to follow individual mobile phones wherever they go, in near-real time.

That’s not a glitch in the system. It is the system.

If the government ordered Americans to continuously provide such precise, real-time information about themselves, there would be a revolt. Members of Congress would trample one another to be first in front of the cable news cameras to quote the founders and insist on our rights to be free of such pervasive surveillance.

Yet, as a society, without ever focusing on this profound choice, we’ve reached a tacit consensus to hand this data over voluntarily, even though we don’t really know who’s getting it or what they’re doing with it. As the close of 2019 approaches, everybody is searching for the meaning of the decade. Here’s a thought: This is the decade — the period since the founding of the App Store, in 2008 — in which we were brainwashed into surveilling ourselves."
Read more here.

Fernandez quickly adds,
It would have been more convincing if the thundering NYT denunciation of surveillance had not also contained the boilerplate footer. "Like other media companies, The Times collects data on its visitors when they read stories like this one. For more detail please see our privacy policy and our publisher's description of The Times's practices and continued steps to increase transparency and protections." Even the NYT can't help spying on the public any more than anyone else.
Read more here.

Trying to win the black vote

Our ruling elites have no shame!

In the Claremont Review of Books, Michael Anton wrote in part,
People capable of feeling shame would not have immediately followed up the Russiagate hoax fiasco with another transparently phony—and in “substance” nearly identical—attempt to remove President Trump from office, overturn the 2016 election, and shower deplorable-Americans with contempt and hatred. But our ruling elites have no shame.

...Many others have called Russiagate the “biggest political scandal in American history” and, Lord knows, I agree. The amazing thing about it, then, is how little accountability there has been. From what I can tell, two individuals—Peter Strzok and Andrew McCabe, the latter on the cusp of retirement—were removed from their jobs. That’s it. No criminal charges or anything else. What are these “deep-staters” so worried about? They run everything and take care of their own. Even with a president in office who, they allege, hates them and routinely abuses his power, they’ve—as yet—faced no consequences at all.

...I hope that Attorney General William Barr, Special Counsel John Durham, and Inspector General Michael Horowitz will reassure me that American law has not become a tool for elites to enforce, or not, at their discretion and in their interests.

...(Whatever you think of Bill Clinton’s impeachment, it was emphatically not driven or supported by the administrative state, which protected him at every turn.) Trump would likely take this as small consolation, but it’s a measure of how much he’s feared that his enemies are running this play against him now, rather than simply trying to defeat him next year. Which more than suggests they doubt they can.

The secrecy has partly ended—but only after the Democrats gathered its fruits and shaped them into a “narrative” to spoon-feed to the public. The playbook is the same one that failed with the Russia hoax: selectively leak to create a fog, a miasma of vaguely negative-sounding “facts” or allegations that seem ominous but also too complex and in-the-weeds for ordinary folk to follow. Then publicly “confirm” those leaks as the authoritative account of the “scandal.” None of the actual facts adds up to any actual wrongdoing, but the hope is that regular people won’t notice and won’t listen to those who do. Leave it to us experts: we know wrongdoing when we see it! If the actual specifics of what we’re alleging don’t actually appear to you to amount to “treason, bribery, [or] other high crimes and misdemeanors,” as the Constitution’s Article II, section 4 requires, that’s only because you’re not an expert.
Read more here.

Ring of Fire

In Breitbart, Katherine Rodriguez reports,
A partial annular solar eclipse will illuminate the sky with a “ring of fire” during the day in the Eastern Hemisphere the day after Christmas.

An annular solar eclipse takes place when the moon is small in the sky and moves directly across the sun, but does not entirely cover it. Therefore, a “ring of fire” forms around the silhouette of the dark moon.

The natural phenomenon will be visible in Asia and the Middle East, including Oman, the UAE, southern India, Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Guam, and Malaysia. This eclipse will not be visible from North America.

This annular solar eclipse is the last of its kind this year and will last for about 3 minutes and 40 seconds. It is dangerous to view an annular solar eclipse without wearing proper eye protection.

The Battle of the Bulge: 75 years ago this month. What can we learn?

In PJ Media, Victor Davis Hanson writes in part,
Seventy-five years ago, at the Battle of the Bulge (fought from Dec. 16, 1944, to Jan. 25, 1945), the United States suffered more casualties than in any other battle in its history. Some 19,000 Americans were killed, 47,500 wounded and 23,000 reported missing.

...the losing side is often the most dangerous just before its collapse.

...Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, commander of Allied Forces in Western Europe, never expected that a tottering Germany could muster 400,000 attackers with roughly 600 tanks and massive artillery support -- all secretly massed just a few miles beyond Allied lines.

Yet by the second week in January, the month-long offensive had largely failed. The Germans were in retreat. They had lost almost as many men and machines as the Americans but lacked a commensurate ability to replace them.

What can we learn from our bloodiest battle on the 75th anniversary of it?

The deadliest periods of a war are often near its end. The losing side puts up a desperate resistance that is often unexpected by the overconfident, winning opponents. One of the most lethal American battles in the Pacific Theater was fought at Okinawa, costing 50,000 casualties and ending just weeks before Japan surrendered.

...Had the American command followed the rambunctious Patton's recommendation to cut off the overexposed German bulge at its base, rather than conservatively try to push it back at the nose, the campaign would have ended even sooner, with far fewer lost American lives.

...The Battle of the Bulge reminds us that when deadly enemies prove unpredictable, it is sometimes wise to have an even more unpredictable leader on our side.
Read more here.

The decline of Christian moral thought

In American Greatness, Dennis Prager writes about the decline of Christian moral thought. In particular, he singles out the editor-in-chief of Christianity Today, Mark Galli, who wrote an article calling for the impeachment of Donald Trump.
In my view, this editorial only serves to confirm one of the sadder realizations of my life: that religious conviction guarantees neither moral clarity nor common sense.
Read more here.

Make gas cans great again!

Buck Throckmorton writes in the Ace of Spades blog,
If Donald Trump wants to ensure he recaptures the 2020 electoral votes in the Great Lakes states he won in 2016 - and possibly add Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Maine - there is one simple thing he could do that would make him a hero to every snow-blowing American - issue an executive order to restore functioning gas cans.

To be clear, this would also make him a hero to tens of millions of other Americans throughout the country who use lawn mowers, power tools, etc around their homes or in their jobs. In 2009 the EPA banned the sale of gas cans that functionally pour gas. To be specific, the scientifically illiterate bureaucrats at the EPA outlawed gas cans with vents, mandating that all new gas cans must have crazy contraptions that require three hands to operate. Unlike the old gas cans, the new ones spill gas all over the user and onto the ground. The result of the EPA’s incompetence is a new gas can that is much worse for the environment than the one it replaced. The incompetent regulators at the EPA are so scientifically illiterate that they honestly believed that the vents on gas cans were there to allow gas fumes to escape, rather than the actual purpose of allowing air to flow in to the can so that gas can be poured out. Having received their “science” education in Oppression Studies classes at Grievance State University, these morons making rules for how we gas up our power tools have likely never handled a tool more powerful than their own personal groomers.

The government-mandated non-functioning gas can may be the most unpopular government-imposed regulatory rule since the 55 mile per hour speed limit. If you don’t know someone who mocks and despises these stupid red canisters, then you are living a very sheltered urban or upscale lifestyle. Most all working-class and middle-class Americans deal with these awful containers, and they mock the government for imposing them on us. Even James Lileks, the gentle Minneapolis newspaper columnist who also writes for National Review, had this to say recently on his daily blog about his efforts to gas up his new snow blower:
"This was not as easy as it sounds, since the gas can had a special safety nozzle that prevented gas from escaping under any circumstances, including the time when you wanted to pour it out. Push in the green tab to unlock, press with your palm! Nothing. Did it again: nothing. Did it again: somehow gas came out of the part where I was pressing, not the nozzle. Augh. Go inside, clean it off, try to get the damned SAFETY ENHANCED CAN to release a few drops. Nothing. In the process the smell of gas filled the garage and the tunnel, and when my wife came home she was overcome by fumes."

While not an obnoxious #NeverTrump writer like much of the National Review staff, Mr. Lileks has been politely #NotTrump. Perhaps liberating him, and millions of other snow blowing Americans, from the tyranny of the government-designed gas can would be persuasive come November 2020.

Even if you put politics aside, and out of compassion for his fellow Americans, Mr. Trump just needs to issue an executive order to end this gas can idiocy. His recent comments mocking government toilet regulations indicate that he has an ear for the impact of idiotic government regulations. Congress never passed a law which outlawed the old gas cans. Instead, these abhorrent new gas cans were simply foisted on us by zealous government imbeciles who have never mowed a blade of grass or poured a drop of gas out of a gas can. With one stroke of his pen President Trump can fix this mess. One more thing - after restoring functioning gas cans, President Trump should assemble the EPA team and ask every executive and manager in the EPA if they personally support the current non-functioning gas cans. Any EPA employee who replies in the affirmative should be terminated on the spot - with insults, derision, and mockery. Someone please forward this article to President Trump.

How about some appreciation for this UPS driver!

Earthrise in 1968

Robert Zimmerman wrote a book entitled, Genesis, The Story of Apollo 8. He writes in the Behind the Black blog,
...that space-faring future that spoke when they read from Genesis that evening. They had made the first human leap to another world, and they wished to describe and capture the majesty of that leap to the world. They succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

Yet, they were also still mostly Earth-bound in mind, which is why Frank Borman’s concluding words during that Christmas eve telecast were so heartfelt. He was a spaceman in a delicate vehicle talking to his home of Earth, 240,000 miles away. “And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you — all of you on the good Earth.” They longed deeply to return, a wish that at that moment, in that vehicle, was quite reasonable.

Someday that desire to return to Earth will be gone. People will live and work and grow up in space, and see the Earth as Bill Anders saw it in his photograph fifty years ago.

And it is for that time that I long. It will be a future of majesty we can only imagine.

Merry Christmas to all, all of us still pinned down here on “the good Earth.”
Read more here.

Throwing around labels of discrimination

In Spectator, Dov Fischer writes about the controversy involving Rudy Giuliani and George Soros.
...Mayor de Blasio next joined in the chorus, also calling Giuliani anti-Semitic for Giuliani properly criticizing the way that George Soros throws around his money to promote evil Leftist programs. The irony of de Blasio joining that chorus is that, under his tenure as mayor, New York City has seen a shocking increase in anti-Semitic violence in the streets, with videos of attacks on Brooklyn men in Hasidic garb going internationally viral. De Blasio, like most American leftists, refuses to see attacks on Jews as “anti-Semitic” unless they are perpetrated by haters on the right. Pictures don’t lie, and the Jew-hating attackers caught on video repeatedly fail to meet the basic definition of “White nationalists.” So de Blasio repeatedly characterizes them as street violence, rather than as anti-Semitic attacks. In this, one is reminded of Obama calling acts of Islamic terrorism “workplace violence.” But now de Blasio finally has found someone to label as “anti-Semitic,” a predecessor New York Mayor Giuliani, whose administration could not have been warmer to the Jewish community.

The reality for Jews is that George Soros indeed is an apostate. When the Left races in to defend Soros, they come up with the pablum that he survived the Holocaust. But what does that inherently prove? Adolf Eichmann also initially survived the Holocaust. Soros survived by living as a non-Jew under the guardianship of a Nazi whom he assisted in his teens, keeping records for that Nazi of property the Nazis confiscated from Jews. That is Soros’s own acknowledgement, in a CBS 60 Minutes interview with Steve Kroft. It is not as though he survived the Holocaust by organizing an uprising at the Treblinka concentration camp or by organizing the resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto. So, at best, his defenders should leave the Holocaust out of his defense because it does not wash. And today he is pure evil, an apostate akin to a Trotsky.

Same with the Communist Bernie Sanders, enemy of Israel. An apostate. An enemy from within.

...The Left wildly and irresponsibly wields defamation when they have nothing else — and they typically have nothing else. So they will use the term “racist” to attack very fine people who are not at all discriminatory but actually are good and decent.

The labels of discrimination are thrown around indiscriminately: homophobe, xenophobe, racist. For months — and even to this very day — President Trump has been tagged by Leftists with the label of “anti-Semite” even though there never before has been a President as favorably disposed to Israel and to standing up to Jew-hatred in this country. Thus, these words have lost all meaning, which is a shame. It should be a terrible thing for someone to carry the title “racist” or “anti-Semite” or “hater.” But the words now are a child’s game, akin to saying that “Your Mom wears army boots.” (And if she is serving in the armed forces, what’s wrong with that?) Most famously, Hillary Clinton went on her diatribe, packaging all conservatives into a “basketful of deplorables.” Her hateful comment was epically stupid and dishonest, helping her lose the 2016 Presidential election.

Those on the Left aim to protect enemies of Israel like George Soros and Bernie Sanders by setting up a defensive wall for the anti-Jewish evil they espouse, calling criticisms of them “anti-Semitic.” But it is not anti-Semitic for non-Jews as well as for Jews to call them out for the damage they seek to perpetrate on our society. Each is deeply evil. Each is surrounded by evil. Each perpetrates evil. Soros, for example, uses vast amounts of his money in part to try electing in targeted American cities local district attorneys who turn law enforcement on its head, freeing imprisoned thugs and refusing to prosecute criminals. Similarly, he has thrown around his money to prop up J Street, perhaps the worst enemy Israel has in Washington, D.C., an organization that offers a venue and microphone to politicians who want to attack Israel and threaten to cut off American support for Israel. Soros has given J Street close to a million dollars. He is despised in Israel — and they know a thing or two there about anti-Semitism.

...In the same way, Bernie Sanders is an enemy of Israel. One just looks at the supporters he attracts. He is endorsed for President by Ilhan Omar. He likewise is endorsed by Rashida Tlaib. He not only is endorsed by Linda Sarsour but also counts her as a campaign surrogate. Imagine: With twenty different Democrat Presidential candidates from which to choose, one Jew-hater after another opts to endorse Bernie Sanders as her choice. And that love is mutual. After each virulently anti-Semitic tirade, outburst, Facebook post, or tweet that gets an Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, or Linda Sarsour into trouble with decent people, Bernie Sanders races in to defend Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Sarsour. Yet he is quick to defame those prominent in defending Israel, calling Israel’s Prime Minister “racist” and calling for America to redirect huge amounts of its Israel support towards the Hamas-led government of Gaza that unabashedly aims to destroy Israel. Of course Jew-haters and Israel haters flock to support Bernie Sanders. And of course even Jews call him anti-Semitic.

...Rudy Giuliani is absolutely correct. George Soros is hardly a Jew. And, figuratively speaking, Giuliani not only is more Jewish than Soros but is more Jewish than half the Jews he knows. As for de Blasio, it would be appreciated if, now that he has terminated his ridiculous campaign for the American presidency, he would do something about the rash of anti-Jewish violence that has erupted on his city’s streets since he took office.
Read more here.

"Democratic Party / Hillary Clinton operatives were directly involved in the attempt to make Trump look like a Russian stooge."

Michael Van Der Galien reports in PJ Media,
Democratic Party / Hillary Clinton operatives were directly involved in the attempt to make Trump look like a Russian stooge. ...British ex-spy Christopher Steele shared more fake conspiracy theories with the FBI than just his infamous Steele dossier (with the pee story in it). At least three Steele assertions went to the Crossfire Hurricane team. Every single one of them was -- wait for it-- was untrue.

...This information was given to Steele, not by a Russian source, but by "two longtime Hillary Clinton operatives and liberal former journalists, Sidney Blumenthal and Cody Shearer." In other words, Democratic Party / Hillary Clinton operatives were directly involved in the attempt to make Trump look like a Russian stooge.
Read more here.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

"They impeached him because he wanted to go to court!"

"How far up does this go? I'd be shocked if Obama did not know what was going on!"

Merry Christmas!

I hope your Christmas Day was as wonderful as mine. I spent it at the farm owned by my ex-wife with her, her daughter by a previous marriage, our daughter, and our two sons. It had snowed last night, so the farm was covered in snow. Four of the six piglets came out to see me.

Inside the house, we were greeted by nine brand new Bernese Mountain Dog puppies. I posted that video on Facebook here.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Better than ever!

In the Ace of Spades blog, co-blogger CBD chooses to be optimistic in his Christmas Eve post.
We live in wondrous times, and in spite of the political and social stupidity of a large swath of people across the globe, our lives are better than ever, or at least we have the possibility of that condition.

Science has given us medical breakthroughs that are unbelievable; robotic surgery, gene-therapy for previously deadly cancers, the ability to save premature babies, new wonder drugs and thousands of other marvels that were unimaginable even a generation or two ago.

The technology of communication is quite simply magical! We have computers in our pockets (some people even use them as phones!) and our cars and in our refrigerators (yeah...I don't like that one) that are connected to a world-wide network that is seamless except for political manipulation.

Our transportation is more reliable and safer than ever, and unbelievably inexpensive. What once was an expensive cross-country flight in the 1980s has dropped in price by 50% when adjusted for inflation. Fuel to run our cars and heat our homes is abundant and cleaner than ever. Our environment is much, much cleaner than it was when we were kids, in spite of the caterwauling from the lunatic left.

Food is safe and abundant and better than ever, courtesy of GMOs and the miracle of free markets. We could feed the world with ease were it not for those aforementioned political manipulations.

We are left with complaining (correctly) that some consumer products are built without the legendary American robustness that our parents came to expect. Wow...life is pretty good if we need to complain about our dishwashers and washing machines and refrigerators (that make ice for us while we sleep!).

No...my name isn't Pollyanna Brown's Dildo. Our job is to protect the fruits of 2,500 years of Western culture from the depredations of those pesky political manipulations, and that means progressivism or socialism or leftism or whatever convenient shorthand we use to describe the pinch-faced scolds of the Left, who never saw a freedom they didn't want curtailed or a new technology they didn't want to control and tax or a dissident they didn't want imprisoned, or worse.

It's an existential fight, but it isn't a new one. We have been in this battle for a very long time, and it will still be going long after we are gone, so....enjoy the festivities of an American Christmas week and be confident that we can get back to running around with our hair on fire...but after New Years!

"Now what?"

Adam Mill writes in part in American Greatness,
One can imagine the unspoken question hanging in the darkness during the January 2017 ride back to the airport. A small gaggle1 of FBI agents had just concluded their long-overdue interview with Christopher Steele’s primary sub-source. The silence must have been deafening. Steele had tried to conceal2 his source from the FBI. But the FBI knew his identity and set up an interview behind Steele’s back, and the interview contradicted several Steele assertions. The downcast agents waited for somebody to ask the question on all of their minds: “Now what?”

The right answer would have been to admit to the court that Steele was an unreliable source who exaggerates and lies and put an end to spying on Americans in pursuit of the mirage of Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia.

When presented one last opportunity to do the right thing, the FBI instead pushed harder for their now-discredited hypothesis justifying the investigation. Peter Strzok had promised his lover, Lisa Page, he would “save” the country from Donald Trump. Given a choice between bringing the FBI back into the light of the Constitution or the darkness of blind hatred of Donald Trump, the conspirators choose darkness. It was at this precise moment that the FBI left behind any plausible deniability of “mistake” or “sloppiness.” From this point on, the FBI’s participation in the Trump-Russia collusion hoax became willful and intentional.

This is the FBI’s darkest hour. The next time the FBI prepared a warrant renewal application, it misrepresented the interview to make it appear as though the source confirmed Steele’s fairytale. It wasn’t a mistake. It was a deliberate defrauding of a court.

According to the recent inspector general’s report on the conduct of the FBI’s collusion investigation, several agents met with Steele’s primary source in early 2017 in order finally to get to the bottom of the Russia collusion claims Steele initiated. It would be another four months before then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would launch the reign of terror known as the “Mueller investigation.” Countless Americans would have their privacy invaded by 500 search warrants, 2,800 subpoenas, and 500 FBI interrogations.

...In December 2016, shortly before the electors formally cast their votes to make Trump the president-elect, the Clinton campaign manager made an appeal to the Intelligence Community to provide an “intelligence briefing” to the electors. He meant the Steele dossier which Clinton allies knew to be in the hands of the FBI.

Of course they knew. The Clinton campaign bought the dossier and paid Steele to give it to the FBI. Without any way for the Trump campaign effectively to rebut the smears, it’s hard to see how the electors could have resisted officials peddling Steele’s smears as official intelligence.

The hoax conspirators might have started as unwitting patsies to Steele. But their participation soon became intentional and criminal.

...Rosenstein’s signature on the last Carter Page warrant extension application sealed his fate as a co-conspirator. No wonder he threatened congressional staffers to keep his secret safe.

It’s the greatest scandal in U.S. legal history. Most chilling of all is that the current FBI chief, Christopher Wray, recently shrugged-off FBI agents lying to the FISA court. He said of the damning Horowitz report that, in his mind, what was “important that the inspector general found that, in this particular instance, the investigation was opened with appropriate predication and authorization.”

If that’s what he believes and thinks is important, then the FBI is truly constitutionally bankrupt. Russia is ruled by an alumnus of the FBI’s Russian counterpart. Our Constitution won’t protect us unless our own cops with guns respect it. After 2016, one wonders whether the FBI looks upon Vladimir Putin with fear—or envy.
Read more here.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Worse than Watergate?

In Instapundit, Stephen Green links to an article in which
House Minority Leader McCarthy says: Spying on the Trump Campaign Is ‘a Modern-Day Watergate.’
Actually, Stephen points out that it is worse,
because Watergate was a high-level coverup of a low-level crime, but the political corruption of the executive branch was a high-level crime, period.

" Civil Liberty Abuse by Liberals? No Problem!"

Victor Davis Hanson writes in American Greatness,
Consider the recent statements and acts of iconic progressive celebrities.

Jane Fonda is chronically furious. This time she directed her wrath at those who disagree about the urgency of ending the entire fossil fuel industry and ruining the current economy. Her idea is to put climate “deniers” on trial for incorrect speech. So much for the First Amendment. “Now, because of the fossil fuel industry, it’s too late for moderation,” Fonda says. “And given the emergency, it’s those who believe in moderation, in pre-Trump business as usual, who are truly delusional. And those who lie and continue to lie about what they’re doing to the environment should be put on trial.”

Green teenage heartthrob Greta Thunberg has a different solution for those who disagree with her orthodox view on “climate change”: “World leaders are still trying to run away from their responsibilities, but we have to make sure they cannot do that. We will make sure that we put them against the wall, and they will have to do their job to protect our futures.”

If Thunberg is truly worried about past government decisions that have threatened the world, she might study Swedish history and ask why her forefathers sold iron ore to the Nazi war machine—without which it could not have waged the war it did—and often threw in Swedish transport in the bargain.

For those who think the American Civil Liberties Union and other liberal watchdogs ceaselessly monitor our government to ensure our Bill of Rights and laws are not abused to the detriment of citizens, they should be sorely disappointed. The Left has redefined “civil liberties” to mean “correct thinking.” Thus, incorrect thinking is not protected speech or behavior.

It is now clear that the top hierarchy of the FBI under James Comey and Andrew McCabe used the powers of their agency to deceive a federal court with fraudulent evidence in order to surveil a U.S. citizen as part of a larger plan to subvert a political campaign and eventually a presidential transition. It is also likely that both James Clapper and John Brennan trafficked in a fake dossier, a product of opposition research designed to smear a political candidate in a presidential race. Both were also likely involved in the use of overseas informants to surveil Trump campaign aides.

Few on the Left feel that it was either morally or legally wrong for Hillary Clinton to hire a foreign national to spy on her opponent’s campaign, much less for a foreign national Christopher Steele to interfere in a U.S. election. Laws are fluid, to be enforced when they champion the “good,” to be ignored or subverted when they empower the “bad.” That is why both Clapper and Brennan—who in the past alike have admitted to lying to Congress while under oath—were rewarded with paid analyst positions, respectively with CNN and MSNBC.

Brennan, Clapper, Comey, and McCabe are iconic figures to the Left, who were willing to use any means necessary to stop the fiendish Trump. Comey’s idea of “a higher loyalty” proves to be a euphemism for taking the law into one’s own hands to destroy an elected president deemed a threat to status-quo agendas.

J. Edgar Hoover surely would have approved of Comey’s gambit, of privately misleading the president as to the status of an ongoing FBI investigation directed at him, recording in notes a one-sided version of such a confidential conversation, and then leaking such memos to the press to encourage a special counsel appointment to investigate a president.

Few libertarians care that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) was data mining the phone records of the president’s attorney and, by reverse targeting, his colleague Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). Fewer were concerned that he publicized such records, with the clear intent of smearing his enemies. Again, not a civil libertarian said a word—any more than any did during the Obama Administration when Eric Holder monitored the phone and email records of Associated Press journalists, or any more than when Schiff blatantly lied that he and his staff had no contact with the so-called whistleblower.

Civil Liberty Abuse by Liberals? No Problem!
A cynical reductionist with no faith in human nature might conclude that conservatives are less likely to abuse civil liberties because a mainstream press watches their every move, ready to pounce at even the suggestion of any abuse of free speech or expression or due process.

In contrast, liberals seem to have little problems with abusing FISA courts, inserting informants into political campaigns, snooping on congressional colleagues, and hiring opposition research to use foreign sources to defame a political opponent—because they correctly assume that the media either will ignore such abuse or that they will contextualize it in a way to help the “good” people ensure social justice.

Schiff, along with Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), remember, helped redefine the Constitution on impeachment by citing no treason, bribes, or high crimes and misdemeanors, but rather sought as an opposition majority in the Congress to smear with an indictment a first-term president before a scheduled reelection campaign.

We were told for weeks that impeachment must be accelerated to a vote. But when the polls supporting that effort tanked, we were told that such an impeachment vote must not really speedily be sent over to the Senate for trial. The Constitution’s guidance on impeachment is apparently what polls better on any given day—in a larger landscape in which the progressive agenda always would prefer to change the Constitution when it proves inconvenient, whether it be the Electoral College or the Second Amendment.

If and when fascism comes to America, it will not arrive with jackboots, stiff arms, and military uniforms. The attempt to suppress political opposition in anti-constitutional fashion, to regiment the economy by denying constitutionally protected freedoms, and the efforts to change the Constitution to reflect political utility, will come under the auspices of “equality,” “fairness,” “saving the planet,” and “social justice”—as a way to combat “climate change,” “racism,” “homophobia,” and “sexism.”

The old Confederate idea of state nullification of federal law—the great bane of a century of civil rights movements—is now a progressive trademark.

Over 550 sanctuary jurisdictions have announced that federal immigration law simply does not apply in full within their confines. Because there were no federal consequences when states simply ignored federal immigration legislation, why would not local jurisdictions—such as an increasing number of counties in Virginia—simply renounce state laws in matters of gun control?

The university is usually the canary in the mine of bad ideas and worse customs, and their fascistic view of the future has already arrived. Incoming students on many campuses are asked to select the proper racial background of their future roommates; if students can practice such racial segregation, will they soon be free to state which particular ethnic or racial background they do not prefer to associate with? Is there really a difference between preferring a particularly correct racial roommate and not preferring a particularly incorrect racial roommate?

“Safe space” is now the politically correct word for racial segregation. The First Amendment is already curtailed on campus by “hate speech” codes. If a student is accused of sexual harassment or assault, he will quickly learn that the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Amendments do not really apply to the accused at most colleges.

Try giving a lecture in opposition to radical climate change theory, late-term abortion, or affirmative action on a college campus, or wearing a MAGA hat in the campus “free-speech zone.” The point is not that vigilante students would disrupt the lecture or attack the wearer, but that the college administration would contextualize the violence as understandable if not justified given the stress, discomfort, and hurt feelings that such free expression is believed to cause the “good” students.

The modern university, the radical climate change movement, most of the media, and the new progressive party all share the same notion that the U.S. Constitution is an impediment to their agendas. If it can’t easily be changed, then at least it can be ignored when more power is needed to do more of the right things.

Clearing it all up

In PJ Media, Michael Van Der Galien provides us with the video and transcript of Nancy Pelosi talking about withholding the articles of impeachment. In addition, there is a Twitter video that "clears it all up." Read and watch it here.


Psychic powers of the Media-Democrat Complex

Ace of Spades writes,
Rudy Giuliani Alleges That Fired Ambassador "Masha" Yovanovich Blocked Probe Into Money-Laundering Operation
—Ace of Spades
The entire media is calling this a "conspiracy theory," which confuses me-- when a Democrat oppo research group shit out an actual conspiracy theory, they insisted on three years of investigation, including illegal surveillance of US citizens, to try to verify it.

But this, they know, on first sight, without any actual investigation, is a "conspiracy theory" unworthy of further consideration.

In addition to being the most virtuous, most intelligent, and most educated humans who ever lived on the earth, it also turns out that our Media-Democrat Complex is skilled in using psychic powers such as precognition.
Read more here.

Visiting the troops

Happy Festivus!

Senator Rand Paul apparently does an annual airing of grievances. Read his Happy Festivus grievances here.The video featuring his dad, Ron Paul, being confronted by Rudy Giuliani, is excellent. Rand Paul has some catty things to say later in a tweet about Giuliani.

Some of Trump's most recent accomplishments

In the Conservative Treehouse, Sundance lists a few of President Trump's recent accomplishments:
Tax cuts and regulatory reform; USMCA trade agreement negotiated and passed; Mexico halting illegal migration flows; new central American amnesty agreements; border wall under construction; lower energy costs; lower and stabilized fuel costs; highest blue collar wage gains in decades; largest resurgence of manufacturing jobs in 50 years; Korea-US trade agreement (KORUS); U.S-Japan trade agreement; U.S-China trade agreement (phase-1); withdrawal from Trans-Pacific multinationals (TPP); dissolution of Paris climate treaty; approval for ANWR energy development; five new gasoline refineries; U.S. energy independence; U.S. worlds largest producer of energy; LNG energy exports; elimination of excessive federal regulations; SNAP reforms; 3.5% unemployment; largest employed U.S. workforce in history; 150,000 employer registrations to U.S. trade-skills apprenticeship; seven new industrial steel manufacturing plants; low and stable 1.5% inflation; highest GDP growth amid industrial nations; highest consumer confidence in decades; highest small business confidence in decades; 7.3 million jobs available (JOLTS); one year net employment gain 2.4 million workers; two supreme court justices; no new wars; NATO countries stepping up defense financing; troops coming home; pay raises for military; VA Choice created; right-to-try legislation passed; U.S. embassy in Jerusalem; North Korean hostages released; ISIS destroyed, caliphate dismantled; al-Bagdadi dead.
Watch video here.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Is the Ground Zero Mosque back?

Mark Steyn writes in Steynonline,
And so the Ground Zero Mosque goes quiet, but it never quite goes away. 9/11 was "the day that everything changed" mainly in the sense that the urge to self-prostrate became pathological: precisely because America was attacked in the name of Islamic supremacism, it is no longer acceptable to object to Islamic supremacism.
Read more here.

"The social-justice crusaders are stripping the future of everything that gives human life meaning: beauty, sublimity, and wit."

Heather MacDonald writes in City Journal,
...The test for whether a norm is white and thus illegitimate is whether it has a disparate impact on blacks and Hispanics. Given the behavioral and academic skills gaps, every colorblind standard of achievement will have a disparate impact. The average black 12th-grader currently reads at the level of the average white eighth-grader. Math levels are similarly skewed. Truancy rates for black students are often four times as high as for white students. Inner-city teachers, if they are being honest, will describe the barely controlled anarchy in their classrooms—anarchy exacerbated by the phony conceit that school discipline is racist. In light of such disparities, it is absurd to attribute the absence of proportional representation in the STEM fields, say, to bias. And yet, STEM deans, faculty, and Silicon Valley tech firms claim that only implicit bias explains why 13 percent of engineering professors are not black. The solution to this lack of proportional representation is not greater effort on the part of students, according to social-justice and diversity proponents. Instead, it is watering down meritocratic standards. Professors are now taught about “inclusive grading” and how to assess writing without judging its quality, since such quality judgments maintain white language supremacy.

...This same process of de-norming is happening in law enforcement. Across the country, district attorneys are refusing to enforce misdemeanor laws and judges are releasing convicted felons early because virtually every criminal-justice practice has a disparate impact on blacks. That disparate impact is due not to criminal-justice racism, but to blacks’ exponentially higher crime rates. This ongoing push for decriminalization and deincarceration will result in more black lives being lost to violent street crime. The liberal elites seemingly don’t give a damn, however, since black street-crime victims are killed overwhelmingly by other blacks, not by racist cops or white supremacists.

...The only precedent for our current resentment-driven war on the West’s magnificent achievements is the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and that didn’t turn out well. The Cultural Revolution, however, was waged mostly by the less educated against the more educated. The oddest feature of today’s social-justice crusade is that it is being prosecuted by the elites against themselves. Every college president, law firm managing partner, and Fortune 500 CEO would rather theatrically blame himself and his colleagues for phantom bigotry than speak honestly about the real causes of ongoing racial inequality: family breakdown and an underclass culture that mocks learning and the conformity to bourgeois values as acting “white.” Anti-racism has become the national religion, with the search for instances of racism to back up that religion becoming ever more desperate. Over the last year alone, ladies’ flats, sweaters, keychains, and Adidas and Nike sneakers have been purged from the marketplace for their imaginary connection to racist symbols. Innocent schoolboys have been tarred as bigots by the national media, and a robust traffic in hate-crime hoaxes has thrived.

Our cultural past is full of wonderful mysteries, however: how, for example, did Western literature evolve from Medieval romance to the realistic novel—the romance peopled by allegorical figures who roam Classical landscapes, the novel showing acute attention to individual character and the details of everyday life? What did such a change mean for how human beings think of themselves in the world? The evolution of form, whether in literature, art, or music, is a grand adventure story, whereby we trace the ever-changing reflection of human experience in the mirror of human imagination. The greatest sin of the social-justice and diversity crusade is to teach students to hate this cultural inheritance. The social-justice crusaders are stripping the future of everything that gives human life meaning: beauty, sublimity, and wit.
Read more here.

"A tough chart for Democrats!"

"They like to focus on the gossip, not the substance!"

"The media wants to bash and focus on negativity."

"How high up the chain of command did this go?"

"Nobody is asking whether Barack Obama and Joe Biden signed off on the spying of their political opponents."

"Donald Trump had to be impeached not because of anything he had done or had failed to do but because of who he was, what he represented: an existential threat to string-pullers of our one-and-a-half-party system."

Roger Kimball writes in American Greatness,
...The point is that Donald Trump had to be impeached not because of anything he had done or had failed to do but because of who he was, what he represented: an existential threat to string-pullers of our one-and-a-half-party system. That is why the Democrats can ride roughshod over the rule of law, to say nothing of precedent and tradition, ruining who knows how many lives, tying up the business of government with preposterous special counsel investigations, House hearings, and the like, while the Republicans mostly vibrate in impotent fury and they emerge from the turmoil scot-free.

Again, there are some signs of fissures in this decades-on Democratic dispensation. The pugilistic response of the president himself is one such sign (“Cet animal est très méchant: quand on l’attaque il se défend”—“This animal is very mean: it defends itself when attacked”). Another sign of change is the stalwartness of Mitch McConnell and the doggedness of U.S. Attorney John Durham and his boss, Attorney General William Barr. My own guess is that we’ll know real progress has been made when—or rather if—a raft of indictments are handed down in the business of the deep-state effort to take down the Trump campaign and then his presidency.

It might never happen. It would, as far as I know, be the first time that the regime party was truly held to account. I am assured by many smart people that this will not happen. They may well be right. If they are, then Trump’s presidency—even if he manages a second term (which at this point I think likely)—will count mostly as an anomaly, a strange challenge to the nomenklatura that they tried to prevent, and then to destroy, but ended up simply waiting out.
Read more here.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Try living with 2010 technology for a day!

In the Wall Street Journal, Joanna Stern writes,
First, the Smartphone Changed. Then, Over a Decade, It Changed Us.
Try living with 2010 technology for a day. Then you’ll see what a difference 10 years can make.
Read more here.