The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Moral Grandstanding

It's labeled differently, depending on the circumstances and the time period, but it's a phenomenon that has gotten increasingly worse over the past decade or so. It occurs when someone takes a strong position in order to demonstrate their perceived moral superiority over others who might question whether the position is correct or exaggerated or even wise. Whether it's concern about "income inequality," or "racism," or the "climate crisis," or "homelessness" or any of dozens of other points of moral outrage, there are many who insist on moral grandstanding (a.k.a., virtue signaling or moral preening).

Although moral grandstanding can be found across the political spectrum, it is particularly prevalent among those on the Left. That's what makes an article by Brian Resnick in left-leaning Vox rather fascinating. Resnick writes:
. ... On Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, people are using social platforms to make themselves look moral (and therefore good). It’s status-seeking, not argument, and it detracts from the democratic goal of actually engaging in arguments in good faith.

The thing is, it’s hard to know if someone is moral grandstanding when they, for instance, declare on Twitter they’re the “fathers of daughters” in expressing their outrage in the latest revelations from the #MeToo movements. Or it’s hard to know if it’s grandstanding when people join in on the latest Twitter pile on, attacking a person with a questionable opinion.

In 2017, philosophers Justin Tosi and Brandon Warmke wrote in an essay in Aeon that moral grandstanding “leads people to adopt extreme and implausible claims, and it devalues public moral discussion.” In other words: it’s yet another reason why public discourse has grown so toxic in recent years.

That’s why, recently, Joshua Grubbs, a psychology professor at Bowling Green State University, and colleagues (including Warmke and Tosi), conducted a psychological survey assessing (among other things) a nationally representative sample on their tendency to grandstand.

One of the questions they asked is: “Do you agree with the following statement: When I share my moral/political beliefs, I do so to show people who disagree with me that I am better than them.” It turns out, a lot of people agree with that question, and others like it.

According to Grubbs, “We’re at a time where partisanship is high, where people are just being savage to each other on the internet.” And he hopes that through studying moral grandstanding, we can better understand why.
Professor Grubbs argues that moral grandstanding occurs on both ends of the political spectrum, and I have no reason to doubt his assessment. However, he also contends that the amount of grandstanding is distributed equally—left and right. And that is difficult to believe. He notes:
The people who grandstand report more conflict in their life. But they also report they’ve grown closer to others over political and moral topics. In some senses, maybe it works: it alienates you from people who you don’t like, and draws you closer to people who you do like.

Can it be bad? Absolutely. There are people out there who are probably complete charlatans just trying to grandstand their way into some sort of financial benefit or social benefit.

There are other people who are grandstanding with generally good intentions. They’re trying to boost their own status by talking about things.
Those of us who reside somewhere in the political Center are less likely to grandstand and as important, are less likely to exhibit the hive-mind mentality of those that do. The vast majority of our population (to the extent they care at all) now suffers from "outrage fatigue." And as a consequence, those who insist on moral grandstanding do nothing to change opinions or solve problems. They blow verbal smoke into the wind, accomplishing nothing except to reinforce their inflated sense of self.

Thursday, November 28, 2019


On this Thanksgiving day, it worth thinking just a bit about this vast country that we all call home. Sure, on a personal level, we can all be thankful for our families, for the health and well-being of our significant others, our children, and grandchildren along with all of our extended families and friends. We can be thankful that unlike many, many places in the world, we live in freedom without the threat of widespread violence and upheaval. We live in a place where tens of millions live lives that are divorced from the political turmoil in the nation's capital—they work and play, they strive to better themselves and their families, and they reject the notion that the United States of America is systemically racist or anti-woman, or hegemonic, or irredeemably corrupt.

Think about it for half a second and you realize that millions upon millions of immigrants, gave up their home country, their culture, their family, their friends, and their livelihood to immigrate (often at substantial risk) to this wonderful place that is the United States. That's right ... it's a wonderful place no matter what some of our citizens and far too many of our politicians tell you.

Those millions of immigrants have assimilated into the American culture and have achieved at least some of what they wanted when they arrived here. On this day, they and their families give thanks for the opportunity that freedom has granted them and for a society that has by and large welcomed them.

And yet, storm clouds are brewing. Jason Willick writes about a book authored by historian David M. Kennedy:
The dominant American view until the late 20th century was that “we welcome all kinds of people but we expect them to assimilate into some range of standard values, behaviors, aspirations, ambitions.” Now, diversity itself has become the paramount value in parts of American culture. When celebrating difference replaces creedal values like liberty, fair play and respect for the Constitution, that undercuts “the project of assimilation,” Mr. Kennedy says.

Diverse societies need stories, even myths, to articulate what they have in common or what they are working toward collectively. Mr. Kennedy suggests that academic historians no longer contribute to this national understanding. When he was trained in the 1960s, most historians agreed on a “master narrative about American history.” It was based on the “perfection of the idea of democracy of this country.” That process was “incremental, slow, back and forth” but you could “still trace the arc.” And it gave Americans a way to talk about their national project.

Academic history is dominated today by “subsidiary questions” about “ethnic or racial or gender” groups, Mr. Kennedy says. These are “all interesting and legitimate stories in their own right,” but they have “squeezed energy out” of “the big, integrative, long-term project.” He worries that “the history of America is no longer the history of America—it’s about things that happened in America. But the fact that they happened in America is kind of incidental to the story.”
In it's own way, Thanksgiving allows a subtle rehash of the "story" of America that articulates what we all have in common. We cannot let a small but very vocal group of Leftists destroy the story with their own warped view of our history. We cannot let a narrative that emphasizes the obvious flaws that exist in EVERY culture dominate the story of a country that has allowed so many to achieve so much. Thanksgiving is our nation's push-back on that new warped narrative—and that's a very good thing.


As if to underscore my comment in this post that a "very vocal group of Leftists destroy the story [of America] with their own warped view of our history, two op-ed examples appear just in time for Thanksgiving in the left-wing's newspapers of record—The New York Times and The Washington Post. Charles Blow of the NYT is an incoherent and often unhinged commentator on the political scene. Today, the NYT saw fit to publish his op-ed screed entitled—"The Horrible History of Thanksgiving." It would seem that Mr. Blow can't take a day off from his hateful narrative on the evils of early America and offer an optimistic comment on this wonderful holiday and what it represents. Pathetic.

And speaking of optimism or lack thereof, there's this op-ed by Fareed Zacharia in the WaPo—"It's Hard to be Optimistic About America Right Now." Why exactly? Is it because the middle class is doing so well, or maybe it's that wages are rising, or maybe it's the fact that more people of color and women are now employed than at any other time in the last 70 years. Or maybe it's because we've extracted ourselves from endless wars, or maybe it's because we've finally asserted ourselves in international trade deals, or finally asked allies in NATO to (let me coin a phrase loved by the Left) to 'pay their fair share.' Or maybe ... you get the picture.

The garbage narrative espoused by the likes of Blow and Zacharia is far more destructive that any of our country's failings they lament. It tears at the cohesion of our people and does great damage to what David M. Kennedy has called the “the big, integrative, long-term project.” But then again, may that's exactly what the Left wants.

Monday, November 25, 2019


As the impeachment circus takes a time out while congress recesses for the holidays, Michael Barone notes that what the Dems have created over the past few months in a "pseudo-event." He writes:
The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events is the title of a 1960s book by historian and Librarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin. Pseudo-events, he wrote, are staged solely to generate news media coverage. Real events, in contrast, involve independent actors and have unpredictable outcomes.

It’s not difficult to say which category the House Democrats’ impeachment hearings belongs in. It’s a classic pseudo-event stage-managed to prod sympathetic media into running predictable stories. Inconvenient questions from Republican members are blocked. Even the name of the original “whistleblower” is concealed, though no law requires that, and the stage managers know who he is.

Yet on the front pages and cable news, this pseudo-event is crowding out two genuine events of potentially world-shaking importance and uncertain outcome.
Those two events are wide-spread popular protests against the mad-Mullahs in Iran and the anti-socialist Democracy movement in Hong Kong. Barone comments:
It’s possible that the regimes of post-Mao communist China and the mullahs’ Iran might collapse after 40 years of tyranny. Or, less happily and more likely, these regimes may sweep aside the protests and last for centuries, like so many Chinese dynasties and Persian monarchies. Real events have uncertain and possibly momentous outcomes.

Not so for the impeachment hearings. Witnesses are heard complaining that Trump subverted the “formal interagency policy process” and that he pressured — “bribed” is the focus-group-determined but inapt verb that Democrats are now using — Ukraine’s government for political gain. But Ukraine is not a formal U.S. ally, and Obama refused to provide it even defensive weapons when Russia seized its territory in Donbass and Crimea. Now we’re told that Trump should be ousted from office for a two-month delay in delivering those weapons.

“The executive power,” Article II of the Constitution states, “shall be vested in a president of the United States of America.” That president, as the career diplomats testifying have acknowledged, has no obligation to follow “interagency” processes or consensus. It’s hard to avoid concluding that Democrats who detest Trump seized on this weak pretext for impeachment when and because the charges of Russian collusion they brandished for three years turned out to be baseless.

Polls show support for impeachment declining. Americans, it turns out, don’t have to read Boorstin to recognize a pseudo-event when they see one.
But it's far worse than a pseudo-event. The impeachment circus sets a precedent that is dangerous and destructive. Don't believe me—the Democrats told us exactly that in 2016.

It wasn't that long ago that the Democrats got the vapors when prior to the 2016 election, Donald Trump suggested that he'd reserve acceptance of the sure-fire Hillary Clinton win until after all votes were counted.

"Unacceptable!" the Dems cried.

"Dangerous for democracy!" their trained hamsters in the media intoned.

"Destructive to the fabric of our society!" progressive talking heads screeched.

For three years the Democrats have refused to accept the results of a democratic election. Unacceptable ... Dangerous for democracy ... Destructive to the fabric of our society. What breathtaking hypocrisy!

Sunday, November 24, 2019

A Quote

Sometimes all you can do is shake your head at the blatant bias of the main stream media. Ivanka Trump commented on the Democrat impeachment circus by offering the following tweet:

Apparently, the originator of the quote wasn't de Tocqueville. The Washington Post indicates that the quote "was taken from an 1888 book called “American Constitutional Law” by John Innes Clark Hare, who was paraphrasing de Tocqueville’s canonical 1835 work “Democracy in America” to make a point about the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson.

Ivanka Trump did not plagiarize the quote nor did she intentionally try to mislead. I suspect she wanted to comment on the Dems' serial attempts to remove a duly-elected president from office and thought the quote was appropriate. Misquotes happen—frequently.

Yet the trained hamsters in the media decided that the misquote was a 'scandal' and spent many, many column inches telling us that Ivanka was somehow a bad or hypocritical person for using it. Here are just a few examples:

... "Ivanka Trump defends father with fake impeachment quote ..." The Guardian

... "Ivanka uses fake quote to complain about "decline of public ..." Salon

... "Ivanka Trump Accused of Hypocrisy After Tweeting Fake ..." Newsweek

and then, of course, the ubiquitous 'fact checks' that called foul.

Not one of these supposedly prestigious news sources (I use that term very loosely) examined the quote (circa 1888) itself relative to the Dems' impeachment circus in 2019. That's because it accurately reflects the current state of affairs as the Dems struggle to remove Trump from office. Better to change the subject by focusing on the misquote rather than the substance of the quote.

If the substance is considered, it's pretty easy to conclude that virtually everything that has happened over the past three years has the Dems alleging behavior by Trump that is actually the behavior of the Democrats themselves—collusion, dishonesty, obstruction, conspiracy, corruption, election tampering—all of it.

A recent Wall Street Journal oped contains the same quote, accurately attrbuted:
“John Innes Clark Hare, paraphrasing Alexis de Tocqueville, wrote in 1889: ‘A decline of public morals in the United States would probably be marked by the abuse of the power of impeachment as a means of crushing political adversaries or ejecting them from office.’ What House Democrats are doing is not only unfair to Mr. Trump and a threat to all his successors. It is an attempt to overrule the constitutional process for selecting the president and thus subvert American democracy itself. For the sake of the Constitution, it must be decisively rejected. If Mr. Trump’s policies are unpopular or offensive, the remedy is up to the people, not Congress.”
The Democrats don't trust the people ... in fact, they view them as 'deplorable.'

Hopefully, come next November, the "people" will consider the Dems actions over the past three years and decide that Democrats cannot be trusted to lead and that their attempt to "overrule the constitutional process for selecting the president" is in itself deplorable.

Friday, November 22, 2019


Whether it's a senator, a senior cabinet official, or the President of the United States, the payoff that occurs as a consequence of holding a high political office comes after the person leaves office. For example, the Clintons themselves noted that they were "broke" when Bill vacated the White House, and despite the fact that neither Bill or Hillary held any meaningful paying job, their net worth 20 years later was in excess of $100 million! That's amazing and concerning. Part of the Clinton meteoric rise in wealth had to do with the exorbitantly high speaking fees that Bill collected as he traveled the world, escalating when Hillary became Secretary of State and then a presidential candidate. After all, big corporations and many countries look at speaking fees as a down payment on future influence—a "legal" way to payoff for past favors and guarantee an influential voice for future needs.

Now we learn that Barack Obama is collecting equally outrageous speaking fees almost immediately after leaving office. Jake Johnson reported in 2017:
Less than a year has passed since he departed from the White House, and former President Barack Obama has already joined the "well trod and well paid" Wall Street speaking circuit, a decision many argued will negatively impact the Democratic Party's credibility as it attempts to fashion a message around taking on corporate monopolies, tackling income inequality, and loosening the insurance industry's control over the American healthcare system.

According to a Bloomberg report published Monday, Obama has in the last month delivered two speeches to massive financial firms—Northern Trust Corp and the Carlyle Group—for around $400,000 a pop, and he is slated to attend a three-day conference hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald next week, for which he will make another $400,000.

I have a modest proposal. The Congress should pass legislation that limits speaking or "consulting" fees paid to any government official that makes over $175,000 per year to no more than $25,000 per engagement. This would include a business entity in which a government official has an interest. Details to be worked out.

Oh wait ... I'm asking the same guys who would benefit to do the right thing. Never happen.

Ka Ching.

Thursday, November 21, 2019


Yesterday, the Democrats trained hamsters in the media told us that Ambassador Gordon Sondland provided the "smoking gun," that he was "Trump's John Dean," that Trump was now "proven guilty" by a "first-hand witness." What they forgot to tell us is that at the end of his testimony, Sondland mentioned (under cross examination) that his "accusations" were all about "impressions" and "presumptions" and when pressed, he admitted that he had NO evidence of any wrongdoing, that Trump said to him that he wanted NOTHING from the Ukrainians (and, BTW, got nothing) and that NO ONE told him that Trump wanted a "quid pro quo/bribe." But hey, why should the media or the Dems bother with the truth.

But there's something bigger going on and Daniel Henninger comments on it:
... the Pelosi-Schiff impeachment project reveals what has gone so badly wrong in Washington. The “resistance” has degraded into an endless personal vendetta between Mr. Trump, Democrats and the media. The rest of us are onlookers to what looks like a blood feud between families in 13th-century Italy.

The impeachment diverts attention from a more important issue that sits beneath the Ukraine narrative—to wit, Mr. Trump’s distant, increasingly isolationist attitude toward the world. No matter which global problem involves already existing U.S. interests, his common denominator is to back off and let it fester.

Ambassador Gordon Sondland’s Wednesday testimony makes clear that helping Ukraine defend itself was the point of all this internal effort. That was settled Trump administration policy until Mr. Trump took to obsessing over Ukraine’s alleged involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. Then he began telling everyone: “They are all corrupt. They are all terrible people. I don’t want to spend any time with that.”
This is a legitimate criticism of Trump, but it must be viewed within the context of the past 50 years. The Sondlands within the foreign policy community have been wrong at least as often as they've been right. They've embroiled us in unnecessary and damaging conflicts, they've failed our best allies and in some cases, sucked up to our adversaries. A case in point is their failure to assist the Iranian resistance (that's happening right now) as they try to depose the mad mullahs. When considering the totality of their work, they have been borderline incompetent. They fallback on their Ivy League credentials and shrug off the damage they have wrought. Trump campaigned against all that was was elected to fix it. In his ham-handed way, he's trying, and the Washington elites, along with a majority of the deep state HATE him for it.

Hence the Democrat parade of State Department and administration bureaucrats whose "impressions" and "presumptions" and "concerns" are presented as if they mean anything. They don't. They are policy disagreements, NOT evidence of wrong doing.

There is, however, one "presumption" that is fair to make. The Dems have adopted the Beria Rule—they have identified the man (Trump), and now in their own hysteria-fringed way, they will work until they've found a "crime" that fits the man.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Turning Point?

The Obama administration was the most anti-Israel administration in my lifetime. It's antipathy for Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu was as evident as it was embarrassing. Its overt and convert attempts to demonize the only liberal democracy in a sea of Arab hatred and violence was astounding. It tried hard to weaken the Israelis in the naive hope that Obama could craft a peace deal (likely as stupid and dangerous as his "Iran Deal). Yet Obama failed in his efforts to weaken Israel or to cement anti-Israel policy as the prevailing policy of the United States.

When Donald Trump was elected all of that changed. Caroline Glick comments on recent events:
Monday will long be remembered as a turning point in Middle East history. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement Monday that Israeli settlements are not illegal per se is the most significant shift in US Middle East policy in the past generation. Jerusalem’s status as Israel’s capital has been a matter of US law since 1996.

There was little interest in Washington in recent years in pressuring Israel to withdraw from the Golan Heights. But the issue of the legality of Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), has been the defining issue of much of the international discourse on Israel for a generation.

In the vast majority of cases, the discourse has revolved around the widely held allegation – with no basis in actual law – that Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria are illegal.

This allegation has served as the justification for a continuous barrage of condemnations of Israel in the international arena and for anti-Israel legal verdicts in international courts including the International Court of Justice at the Hague in 2004 and the European Court of Justice last week.
The elites who have counseled past presidents have argued that an "even-handed" treatment of Israel and the palestinians will lead to peace. How has that worked out over the past 70 years? The Arabs don't want peace—they want Israel gone. They don't want compromise, they want Israel to disappear. They don't want co-existence, they want Jews removed from the Arab crescent. Yet, the gray beards keep telling us that capitulation is the only path forward. They have been continuously and grievously wrong. Trump sees it differently.

Obama's antipathy for Israel from 2008 to 2016 opened the door for public statements of antipathy by far too many Democrats. There's a clear and continuous anti-Israel tinge to the stated policies of major presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders or Liz Warren. There's overt antipathy expressed by hard-Left members of "The Squad" (have you noticed they've been relatively quiet lately ... wonder who read them the riot act) or even deep state operators in the State Department.

Trump's actions on Israel fly in the face of the Left's desires and they hate him for it. As Glick notes:
Since taking office, Trump has worked consistently to align U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and beyond to the world as it is, rather than to the world as “experts” imagine it to be. In the Middle East, this realignment of U.S. policy has provided the nations of the region – including Israel and the Palestinians – with the first chance of reaching genuine peace they have ever had.
I hope Glick is correct, but I have my doubts. Building a country is difficult work, and given that reality, it seems that the palestinians would much prefer to remain perpetual victims supported by international welfare. Add the fact that Iran is now in control of terrorist organization like Hamas and Hezballah, and the chances for peace are slim to none. So be it.

Sunday, November 17, 2019


It's pretty remarkable, actually. A Democrat president, Barack Obama, refused to provide military aid to Ukraine after Russian mercenaries invaded along its broader in 2014. To be clear, Obama didn't just withhold aid for a few weeks, he never provided it. Not a peep out of Democrats in the House and Senate. I guess they just didn't care as much about Ukraine five years ago.

But now that Donald Trump withheld Ukrainian aid for a few weeks, the Dems (along with the trained hamsters in the media and deep state members of the State Department and intelligence community) have become "concerned." Not providing weapons for a few weeks after never providing them over a period of five years is reeeeally serious, I guess.

The Dems have conflated the aid delay to a very informal request (a few sentences in a simple phone call) to investigate Ukrainian corruption and how Joe Biden may have participated in it. The Dems claim that any attempt to uncover evidence about potential corruption by then Vice President Joe Biden threatens the constitution (or something) because influence peddling doesn't count when you're a Democrat (just look at the corruption surrounding O.G. Hillary Clinton). Hence, the "kid pro quo" (as it's called in some circles) allegation which, after focus group testing by the Dems, has now morphed into "bribery" and "witness intimidation." Ya gotta laugh.

Anyhow, back to recent events. When (there really is no 'if') the Dems hand down articles of impeachment, a trial in the Senate begins. I can only hope that the GOP-led Senate does a thorough investigation of the specious claims that will make up the Dems' allegations. And since the 2019 Dems care oh-so-much about the Ukraine, it might be a good idea to start by calling Alexandra Chalupa as a witness on the U.S. political involvement within Ukraine at that time. Never heard of Alexandra Chalupa? Daniel Sobieski provides some background:
... thanks to Tom Fitton and Judicial Watch that DNC contractor Alexandra Chalupa, who worked with Hillary Clinton to get Ukraine dirt on Trump, visited the Obama White House 27 times and even had meetings with the alleged Ukraine whistleblower whose name dare not be spoken, Eric Ciaramella.

This is the whistleblower coached by [congenital liar][ Adam Schiff and who colluded with him, a deep-state CIA agent whom we are told might wet his pants out of fear if his identity was publicly acknowledged. Ironically, ... Schiff forgot to redact Ciaramella’s name in a posted PDF of the transcript of Ambassador Bill Taylor’s testimony.

As Judical Watch notes in its recent press release:
Judicial Watch announced today analysis of Obama-era White House visitor logs that detail meetings of controversial CIA employee Eric Ciaramella, who had been assigned to the White House. Ciaramella reportedly was detailed to the Obama White House in 2015 and returned to the CIA during the Trump administration in 2017. The logs also reveal Alexandra Chalupa, a contractor hired by the DNC during the 2016 election who coordinated with Ukrainians to investigate President Trump and his former campaign manager Paul Manafort, visited the White House 27 times.
Judicial Watch noted that White House visitor logs revealed a number of individuals met with Eric Ciaramella while he was detailed to the Obama White House ...

If you want real collusion with a real trail of evidence of people trying to do real things interfering with the 2016 campaign, try Hillary Clinton’s real collusion with the Ukraine to derail and besmirch Team Trump.
The Dems have jettisoned common sense and caution and are playing a very dangerous game. Their fingerprints, not the GOP or Donald Trump, are all over Russian/Ukrainian collusion in 2015-2016. In addition Joe Biden and his son are eyeball deep in Ukrainian influence peddling. If a Senate trial demonstrates that, the Dems will not only lose in their attempt to impeach one president, they just might have unwittingly opened the door to provide enough evidence to ruin the reputation of their president at the time.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Moby Dick

As the impeachment circus drones on for yet another day, the Democrats have chosen their word for the day—"bribery." On cue, their media hamsters repeat the word over and over and over again as Dem politicians put on their somber face and tell us that the Republic in under threat because of a phone call. If you are to believe the sadly deranged Dems, foreign aid had now become a "bribe," meaning that every president in the past 100 years is guilty of "bribery." But no matter, it's just one ring in the circus tent.

Today, a fired ambassador will tell us that she didn't feel safe because Trump or Rudy or somebody were mean to her. Oh my, it looks like this supposed diplomatic professional has decided she's a snowflake who can't abide by palace intrigue. Um ... maybe she's in the wrong profession?

As the nonsense continues, Kim Strassel summarizes:
Democrats laid out their best case for removing Donald J. Trump from office, repeatedly using words like “extortion,” “bribery” and “abuse of power.” Mr. Trump was accused of “presidential misconduct,” of a “shakedown scheme” and of “corruption.” He was said to have broken the law and violated the Constitution. Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro analogized the president’s actions to “attempted murder.”

What else is new? The left has been leveling similar claims since before Mr. Trump was elected. When a party spends three years baselessly accusing a president of everything from being a Russian mole to obstructing justice, from profiting off the presidency to abusing security clearances and cheating on his taxes, that party loses the credibility to say: Really, this time, we mean it. Democrats didn’t lose the war for hearts and minds on Wednesday. They lost it three years ago.

Those hearts and minds are the only prize here. The media will continue to imbue this event with gravity, to report every bit of testimony as more “bombshell” evidence against Mr. Trump. But impeachment is a political process, so the measure of its “success” is whether its supporters can convince a bipartisan majority of the country that Mr. Trump took an action worthy of removal from office. Nothing in Wednesday’s hearing came close, and the Democrats took their best shot.

The FiveThirtyEight blog offers a useful polling tracker that broadly sums up public opinion on impeachment. Aside from a bump in favor in late September, when Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced her semiformal impeachment inquiry, the ensuing weeks of testimony and leaks have barely moved the needle. Instead positions have hardened. Democrats overwhelming support impeachment; Republican overwhelmingly oppose it. A majority of independents continue to oppose it. And a Politico/Morning Consult poll this week found that 81% of voters say there is no or little chance they will change their minds about the proceedings.
81 percent. And yet the Dems slog onward.

Like the obsessed and insane Captain Ahab of Herman Melville's Moby Dick, the Dems look at Trump as their while whale and will pursue him until their ship sinks. Blub, blub.

Thursday, November 14, 2019


A friend and life-long Democrat, knowing my distaste for the socialist wing of his party and my concern about the myriad socialist candidates that are vying for the presidential nomination, asked if I could support the more moderate possibilities. "What about Biden, or Buttigieg, or Bloomberg," he asked, "could you vote for one of them? "

Since his question was presented at a high level of abstraction, I decided not to get into the weeds of policy, but rather look at things from 10,000 feet up.

I responded that the "moderates" demonstrated considerably less craziness, and that in normal times, I might actually consider either Buttigieg or Bloomberg to replace the bombastic Trump, but these are not normal times. The Democrats as a party have in my opinion disqualified themselves from leading the country. Their absolute refusal to accept an election loss, their vicious and dishonest attacks on an elected president and his supporters, their despicable behavior during the Kavanaugh hearings, their 2-year effort to promote a collusion hoax, and now, their attempt to impeach a sitting president over a phone call (words!) that yielded no substantive results and even less foreign policv damage disqualifies them. Oh yeah, you can also add their singular focus on Trump hatred to the exclusion of the business of governing the country (think: their refusal to pass the new USMCA trade agreement or to address immigration reform).

Their deranged hatred of Trump has forced them to veer hard left, to take their masks off, revealing a desperate grasp for power that is as ugly as it is destructive. They do not deserve to lead.

Daniel Henninger considers the Dems' latest depredations that began with yesterday's impeachment circus:
Nancy Pelosi was right the first time. The Democrats shouldn’t have done this. They should not have tried to make the already overwhelmed American public believe that Donald Trump’s umpteenth “norms” violation was a constitutional crisis. But no, the party’s leftmost elements insisted, and the Beltway press insisted. Mr. Trump had to be impeached.

Once he had survived the Republican primaries in 2016 and then beaten Hillary Clinton by tapping into a slice of overlooked voters, most serious people got on with the business of coming to grips, if not terms, with this unconventional, pugnacious presidency.

But not these people. The political and media left convinced themselves it was somehow possible to make the Trump presidency end before its November 2020 sell-by date. So here we are, three long years later, with Adam Schiff ending his opening impeachment statement by quoting Benjamin Franklin about “a republic, if you can keep it.” That bad, huh?
According to Schiff, an inveterate liar, a phone call to a foreign leader threatens our republic to such as extent, that the president MUST be removed from office because of it. To quote Michael Goodwin, that's analogous to suggesting that a person convicted of jay-walking should be given the death penalty.

That level of hysteria and bad judgement tells us all we need to know about the current crop of Democrat leaders. Not one has said "Enough!". Not one has questioned whether this might be a bit much. It's because of that hive mind that the Dems should be kept away from the levers of power. Over these three years, they have demonstrated that they cannot be trusted to make rational, fact-based decisions, relying instead on a combination of magical thinking, emotion, and belief. That's dangerous.


Karen McQuilllan rephrases the concerns of many voters who have begun to #Walkway from the Dems—all in broader context of the upcoming election and the choices the voters will have:
It’s hard to think of a major Democrat issue and proposed solution that is not a fake. It’s an emergency. What’s the emergency? Everything. The planet, white privilege, transgender rights, Nazi policies on the border, killer cops. A health care crisis so dire the government must ban private insurance, private doctors, and private hospitals.

Most of all President Trump is a walking emergency. His voters are hate-filled bigots who love his authoritarian tendencies. They are a danger to our democracy.

Democrat fixes are a list of economic and physical impossibilities. Ban oil, gas, and coal; make health care and college “free”; hand out reparations for slavery. They promise they will raise all the money from billionaires’ spare change.

The Democrats running for president in 2020 don’t talk about normal issues—jobs and national security. They have nothing to say about opportunities for minorities. Instead, it is all fake investigations of fake scandals.
It's as if the Dems never heard the story of Chicken Little. When you become hysterical and tell people the sky is falling, but upon examination, people notice that it's right where it always is, you lose credibility—lots of credibility.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019


As today's impeachment circus drones on, there are people who still have a modicum of common sense and refuse to embrace the unhinged hysteria of the Democrats. Those people (and there are tens of millions of them) recognize that even if every allegation posed is true (and that is absolutely NOT the case), there is nothing—absolutely nothing—that is alleged that justifies the impeachment of a duly-elected president of the United States.

Michael Goodwin analyzes the impeachment idiocy, and writes:
... the worst possible interpretation of the [phone] call still lacks the gravitas to bring down a president less than a year before an election. If you don’t hate Trump beyond all measure, watching the left’s outrage over this is like watching a TV program in a foreign language you don’t understand. You can pick up an occasional word, but ultimately, the whole thing is baffling.

The one sure thing is that deplorables and bitter clingers understand that the death penalty is not a fair sentence for jaywalking. [emphasis mine] Democrats who defended Bill Clinton’s perjury and sex in the Oval Office with an intern certainly should be able to relate.

The process is a big part of the problem, as Schiff and his team blatantly mix the allegations of an anonymous “whistleblower” with the worries, concerns and fears of bureaucrats left out of the loop. These officials’ disagreement with Trump isn’t an ordinary event because they, too, apparently view him as an illegitimate president.

Once you cross that bridge in your mind, everything Trump does must be seen in the darkest possible light. If he removes an ambassador, it must be for nefarious reasons. If he changes policy or ignores certain protocols, it is your duty to bring him down.

The challenge of the public hearings, then, is tantamount to proving Trump was guilty of colluding with Russia after Robert Mueller said there was insufficient evidence even to level the charge.
But it's more than even that. A sitting president has every right to examine potential corruption of a past Vice President of the United States, and the Biden saga stinks to high heaven. The fact that Biden is now a presidential candidate in no way inoculates him (or his slimy son) from past potential wrongdoing, and the claim that it does is ridiculous. In fact, that claim is tantamount to one of the Dems favorite words—"obstruction."

The GOP was stupid and over-reached when they impeached Bill Clinton for lying about oral sex with a White House intern. They payed a stiff price for that stupidity.

Similarly, the Dems are unhinged, dishonest, and stupid as they slide toward impeachment using only what the president is alleged to have said and thought as grounds for impeachment. The Dems don't want you to know that in the real world nothing happened, no real actions were taken, the Ukrainians got their aid (as if not getting it would somehow have been a crime), and no investigation of Joe Biden occurred. It's a nothingburger. In fact it's less than that—it's not even a crumb from the bun of a nothingburger.


Goodwin's comments on the architect of this impeachment circus, smarmy Rep. Adam Schiff, are worth noting:
In a rational world, where facts matter and credibility counts, Schiff would already be consigned to history’s dustbin alongside Sen. Joe McCarthy. Like the infamous red baiter who saw a commie behind every desk, Schiff sees evidence of “high crimes and misdemeanors” every time the president opens his mouth. It’s been that way since before Trump was inaugurated.

McCarthy was not burdened by decency, as Army lawyer Joseph Welch famously noted. Schiff is similarly unburdened and so he, too, willy-nilly ruins lives and trashes reputations without a sense of guilt.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is no less culpable. In the early months after she got the gavel, she skillfully pushed back against the tide of radicalism sweeping through her party. Repeatedly, she insisted that impeachment was extremely divisive, should only be a last resort and had to have bipartisan support.
You'd think there would be a few prominent Democrats who would question all of this, but there are not. The Democrat hive mind is at work, and it's doing great damage to our democracy.


Devin Nunes, unlike his congressional counterpart, Adam Schiff, has been vilified by the Dem's trained hamsters in the media and sanctioned by the Dems for uncovering the 'soft coup' attempt that is now the subject of a full DoJ investigation. Although he has been accused of lying many times by Dems and their hamsters, Nunes has consistently been proven correct in his allegations and in his presentation of facts. Schiff on the other hand has been consistently proven to be a liar, has made dozens, if not hundrteds of allegations and statements that are provably false, and has done everything possible to obstruct any investigation into the true origins of Russian involvement in the 2016 election.

Following is Nunes opening statement, presented without further comment:
Rep. Devin Nunes
Opening Statement for Kent and Taylor Hearing on Impeachment
November 13, 2019

In a July open hearing of this committee following publication of the Mueller report, the Democrats engaged in a last-ditch effort to convince the American people that President Trump is a Russian agent. That hearing was the pitiful finale of a three-year-long operation by the Democrats, the corrupt media, and partisan bureaucrats to overturn the results of the 2016 presidential election.

After the spectacular implosion of their Russia hoax on July 24, in which they spent years denouncing any Republican who ever shook hands with a Russian, on July 25 they turned on a dime and now claim the real malfeasance is Republicans’ dealings with Ukraine.

In the blink of an eye, we’re asked to simply:

forget about Democrats on this committee falsely claiming they had “more than circumstantial evidence” of collusion between President Trump and the Russians;
forget about them reading fabrications of Trump-Russia collusion from the Steele dossier into the congressional record;
forget about them trying to obtain nude pictures of Trump from Russian pranksters who pretended to be Ukrainian officials;
forget about them leaking a false story to CNN, while he was testifying to our committee, claiming Donald Trump Jr. had colluded with Wikileaks;
and forget about countless other deceptions, large and small, that make them the last people on earth with the credibility to hurl more preposterous accusations at their political opponents.
And yet now we’re supposed to take these people at face value when they trot out a new batch of allegations. But anyone familiar with the Democrats’ scorched-earth war against President Trump would not be surprised to see all the typical signs that this is just a carefully orchestrated media smear campaign. For example:

After vowing publicly that impeachment requires bipartisan support, Democrats are pushing impeachment forward without the backing of a single House Republican.
The witnesses deemed suitable for television by the Democrats were put through a closed-door audition process in a cult-like atmosphere in the basement of the Capitol, where the Democrats conducted secret depositions, released a flood of misleading and one-sided leaks, and later selectively released transcripts in a highly staged manner.
Violating their own guidelines, the Democrats repeatedly redacted from the transcripts the name of Alexandra Chalupa, a contractor for the Democratic National Committee who worked with Ukrainian officials to collect dirt on the Trump campaign, which she provided to the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign.
The Democrats rejected most of the Republicans’ witness requests, resulting in a horrifically one-sided process where crucial witnesses are denied a platform if their testimony doesn’t support the Democrats’ absurd accusations. Notably, they are trying to impeach the President for inquiring about Hunter Biden’s activities, yet they refused our request to hear from Biden himself.
The whistleblower was acknowledged to have a bias against President Trump, and his attorney touted a “coup” against the President and called for his impeachment just weeks after his election.
At a prior hearing, Democrats on this committee read out a purely fictitious rendition of the President’s phone call with President Zelensky. They clearly found the real conversation to be insufficient for their impeachment narrative, so they just made up a new one.
And most egregiously, the staff of Democrats on this committee had direct discussions with the whistleblower before his or her complaint was submitted to the Inspector General, and Republicans cannot get a full account of these contacts because the Democrats broke their promise to have the whistleblower testify to this committee. Democrat members hid these contacts from Republicans and lied about them to the American people on national television.

I’ve noted before that the Democrats have a long habit of accusing Republicans of offences they themselves are committing. Recall that:

For years they accused the Trump campaign of colluding with Russia when they themselves were colluding with Russia by funding and spreading the Steele dossier, which relied on Russian sources.
And now they accuse President Trump of malfeasance in Ukraine when they themselves are culpable. The Democrats cooperated in Ukrainian election meddling, and they defend Hunter Biden’s securing of a lavishly paid position with a corrupt Ukrainian company, all while his father served as vice president.
Despite this hypocrisy, the Democrats are advancing their impeachment sham. But we should not hold any hearings at all until we get answers to three crucial questions the Democrats are determined to avoid asking:

First, what is the full extent of the Democrats’ prior coordination with the Whistleblower and who else did the Whistleblower coordinate this effort with?
Second, what is the full extent of Ukraine’s election meddling against the Trump campaign?
And third, why did Burisma hire Hunter Biden, what did he do for them, and did his position affect any U.S. government actions under the Obama administration?
These questions will remain outstanding because Republicans were denied the right to call witnesses who know the answers.

What we will witness today is a televised theatrical performance staged by the Democrats. Ambassador Taylor and Mr. Kent—I’d like to welcome you here, and congratulate you for passing the Democrats’ Star Chamber auditions held for the last six weeks in the basement of the Capitol. It seems you agreed, wittingly or unwittingly, to participate in a drama. But the main performance—the Russia hoax—has ended, and you’ve been cast in the low-rent Ukrainian sequel.

I’ll conclude by noting the immense damage the politicized bureaucracy has done to Americans’ faith in government. Though executive branch employees are charged with implementing the policy set by our President, who is elected by and responsible to the American people, elements of the civil service have decided that they, not the President, are really in charge.

Thus, as we’ll learn in these hearings:

After expressing skepticism of foreign aid and concern about foreign corruption on the campaign trail, President Trump outraged the bureaucracy by acting skeptically about foreign aid and expressing concerns about foreign corruption.
Officials’ alarm at the President’s actions was typically based on second-hand, third-hand, and even fourth-hand rumors and innuendo.
They believed it was an outrage for President Trump to fire an ambassador, even though the President has full authority to retain or remove diplomats for any reason at any time.
Officials showed a surprising lack of interest in the indications of Ukrainian election meddling that deeply concerned the President at whose pleasure they serve.
Despite all their dissatisfaction with President Trump’s Ukraine policy, the President approved the supply of weapons to Ukraine, unlike the previous administration, which provided blankets as defense against invading Russians.
By undermining the President who they are supposed to be serving, elements of the FBI, the Department of Justice, and now the State Department, have lost the confidence of millions of Americans who believe that their vote should count for something. It will take years, if not decades, to restore faith in these institutions.

This spectacle is doing great damage to our country. It’s nothing more than an impeachment process in search of a crime.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019


I grew up in a hard-scrabble mill town in Southern CT—a place that sadly, had its best years behind it. It was a wonderful place to grow up, even though there was crime and poverty and a rough feel to the place. You learned to become street smart very fast. You learned to recognize a street hustle before you were taken in by it, that you can't make nice with people who want to do you harm, and that some people have no compunction about taking what others have earned through hard work. Valuable lessons, all.

Sure there were a few nice neighborhoods where "rich people" lived, but in my neighborhood it wasn't unusual to see gangs of teenagers doing what gangs of teenagers do—only without the weaponry that today's gangs bring to bear.

And that is a roundabout way of getting to choreography. I can recall going to see the release of the movie "West Side Story" with my friends. When West Side Story's rival gangs broke into a choreographed dance number, I remember laughing out loud. I was too unsophisticated to recognize that a musical wasn't supposed to reflect real life, tough guys dancing in unison on city streets just looked silly to me.

I kinda get the same feeling today while watching the supposed congressional 'tough guy' Democrats dancing their way into an impeachment circus. It's all choreographed to such an extent that you just have to laugh out loud. We find the mysterious deep state and Democrat-connected whistleblower tap dancing behind an opaque curtain, unavailable for hard questions about his motivations and his connections. We listen to coordinated leaks from the "secret" testimony of disgruntled anti-Trump deep staters who tell us that they disapproved of Trump's handling of a phone call. We can't avoid the fake news and wailing of the trained hamsters in the main stream media as they work hard to amplify the Democrats' attempt to damage Trump before the 2020 election. We listen to inveterate liars like Adam Schiff and his new mini-me, Eric Swalwell, tell us repeatedly that the 'rule of law' must prevail as they consistently disregard it. It's a dance, and a very bad one at that.

Conservative commentator Cal Thomas writes:
A media largely committed to advancing the goal of Democrats to severely damage or remove him from office, a series of at first private testimonies by people who appear to have similar motives and connections to Democrats and/or anti-Trump forces, and now a new book by “Anonymous,” which claims the president has a bad attitude and is difficult to work with.

Where to start?

“Anonymous” is a self-admitted coward. He, or she, apparently still works within the administration. A true patriot would resign and go public so their accusations could be tested. Writing a book like this while still on the public payroll is more than cowardly; it is also an attempt to disregard, disrespect and dishonor the people who voted for Donald Trump.

Next comes the testimony starting Wednesday of carefully selected “witnesses” before Rep. Adam Schiff’s “intelligence” committee (now there’s a play on words).

These testimonies are designed to advance the left’s narrative about Ukraine, but only the narrative that fits their agenda and not the one featuring a real quid pro quo involving Joe Biden and his overpaid son, who held a directorship with a Ukraine energy company while his father was vice president and involved in U.S. policy on Ukraine. At the time, the elder Biden urged Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor, with the threat of withholding U.S. aid.
It's all choreographed for maximum effect—the timing, the visuals, the dance moves. There's only one problem. For tens of millions of Americans who live in a reality-based world, this choreography looks about as fake as the one in the street scene in West Side Story.

Monday, November 11, 2019

The Gang that Couldn't Think Straight

In a way, you almost have to feel sorry for the Democrats. Like the gang who couldn't shoot straight, they layout grand plans to take down their nemesis, Donald Trump, relying on a combination of lies, anonymous tipsters embedded in the deep state (which they now admit does exist after years of saying it didn't), and political posturing that would be embarrassing, if it wasn't so destructive. They invent "crimes" that never happened (think: Russian collusion), accuse Trump of trying to take down a political opponent when they have been caught doing just that (think: Hillary Clinton's purchase of the Steele dossier), and then, offer up a clown car of socialist presidential candidates most of who are so out of touch with the American mainstream that they struggle to remain relevant.

Last month they conducted secret star chamber impeachment investigation "hearings" in which they selectively leaked the most damaging comments from a collection of anti-Trump deep state denizens. This week, they'll attempt a public show trial, disallowing the testimony of anyone who might threaten their insane narrative. All you can do is shake your head and ask why?

The answer is fairly obvious. A real DoJ investigation of a real scandal is underway. If facts already known are any indication, the results of that investigation will not go well for either the Dems or the deep state. So ... it's critical for the Dems along with their trained hamsters in the media to change the subject before any damning evidence is released—to be able to claim that any report is just "political retribution" rather than a clear and irrefutable indictment of crimes committed as part of a 'soft coup' attempt.

Roger Simpon comments on some of this:
... the actual "favor" (that was the word used) being asked for on the phone by Trump to Zelensky was about CrowdStrike, not about the Bidens, who were an afterthought. You may have heard of CS by now. It's the digital firm with roots in California and Ukraine that was asked by the FBI to investigate the break-in of the DNC server during election 2016. Why the FBI, with all its vaunted cyber facilities, did not do this themselves is open to question—and everybody in the Beltway cesspool knows it, all the despicable creeps wringing their hands over Trump. Omertà rules in Washington, especially among the Democrats and the media (of all places).

They all know that the real investigation is in progress—what happened early in 2016 and thereafter that instigated the two-plus years of phony national hysteria known as the Russia probe, the probe that did everything it could, but thankfully failed, to upend the Trump administration. The characters who engineered this shouldn't just be impeached—some have already lost their jobs—they should be sent to stir. We shall see how this plays out, hopefully soon.

Meanwhile, if you were Donald Trump, wouldn't you ask a favor of a foreign leader if you thought he might have access to information solving that endless, vicious case against him that looks as if it was a set-up? Do bears you-know-what in the woods? You can bet Pelosi, Schiff, and even Rachel Maddow would do the same thing if they were subject to the same wretched, immoral, disgusting and unpatriotic treatment for three years and counting.

This whole show trial would just be an amusing farce in the farcical land of D.C. politics were it not for one thing—it just could (not likely, but could) be successful. And if it is, that's the end of our country as we know it. Half of our citizens will feel completely disenfranchised. Where it will go from there is anybody's guess.
After their show trial, the Dems (and possibly a few GOP #NeverTrumpers) will issue sham articles of impeachment against Trump. They're hoping that will drown out reports of actual crimes committed by Democratic partisans in the deep state. They're hoping that indictments of the perpetrators can be characterized as "just politics," and they're fighting hard to be sure that people don't connect the dots and come to a clear understanding that the previous Democratic administration was behind some or all of it.

None of this was supposed to happen to the gang that couldn't shoot straight. Hillary was supposed to win. The actions of the deep state against her opponent were supposed to remained buried forever. But it didn't work out that way.

Had the Dems accepted the result of the 2016 election and moved on, it just might be that the real 'soft coup' scandal would never have been revealed. But the Dems were so consumed with Trump Derangement Syndrome they could think straight. So they decided to wreck politics for a generation or more.


So ... let me see if I've got this straight. A few weeks ago, leading Democratic candidate for President, Socialist Bernie Sanders, stated that he would cut off all aid to our only true ally in the Middle east, Israel, if they didn't capitulate to the palestinians:
“I would use the leverage, $3.8 billion is a lot of money, and we cannot give it carte blanche to the Israeli government or for that matter to any government at all.”
Not to be outdone, Dem frontrunner, Liz Warren echoed the sentiment.

Wait ... what? Isn't that a quid pro quo? Where's the Dem outrage? Where are the hearings? Where's Adam Shiff?

The Left mindlessly hates Israel, so Bernie is just reflecting this extreme leftist position. If he were to be elected president (a frightening thought), he would be within his rights to modify aid to Israel -- although not without a tsunami of justified criticism. Would withholding aid be an impeachable offense. Nope. A catastrophically bad decision ... yes. But impeachable ... no.

But now, the Dems have created a precedent. So if Bernie or Liz or Pete or Joe or even Hillary (shudder) were to be elected in 2020 and place terms on aid to a foreign government, the GOP could then launch impeachment proceedings, right?

Friday, November 08, 2019

Responsible Journalism Stuff

Last week, an ABC reporter, Amy Robach, divulged that her three year effort to air a report on the actions of noted Democratic donor, friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton (not to mention many other celebrities and politicians), sexual predator and pedophile, Jeffrey Epstein, was spiked because the brass at ABC contended it wasn't ready to air. Sources not verified, fact checking not complete ... you know, responsible journalism stuff. An analogous situation involving Democratic donor, friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton (not to mention many other celebrities and politicians), and sexual predator, Harvey Weinstein, was treated the same way by the brass at NBC News. The report on Weinstein was ready to air -- Sources not verified, fact checking not complete ... you know, responsible journalism stuff.*

Except it wasn't responsible journalism in either case. It was yet another case of this:

Now compare the approach used by ABC and NBC to their approach during the Brett Kavanaugh debacle. John Kass comments:
Let’s remember what ABC, NBC and other media did to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing just a year ago, destroying his reputation, smearing him without evidence because he wasn’t on their political team.

Oh, you don’t want to go near Kavanaugh? Then just get off the bus, because I’m going there.

There is just no responsible way to discuss ABC’s alleged spiking of the Epstein story — or NBC’s spiking of the Harvey Weinstein story — without dealing with how those news networks, and other media outlets, worked frantically to destroy Kavanaugh.

Many in the media had one standard for Epstein and Weinstein, who had clout with Democrats including Bill and Hillary Clinton.

But Kavanaugh? He’s a Bush Republican nominated by President Donald Trump.

So that other standard was applied, one that allowed unsubstantiated allegations to be reported and repeated, endlessly, in an attempt to ruin him and keep him off the Supreme Court.

It seems clear now, from the Ronan Farrow stories and other accounts, and from Robach’s hot mic take, that NBC and ABC showed great deference to Epstein and Weinstein.

But Kavanaugh? He wasn’t treated deferentially. His reputation was destroyed by wild, unsupported and fantastic allegations that he was a serial sex predator.

Without corroboration, Kavanaugh was even shamed as the leader of a gang-rape crew that drugged young women before attacking them ...
When Kavanaugh dared become angry about the smears, TV panels of talking heads said he was all but insane. Newspapers were also attacking Kavanaugh, and now many are busy skinning Trump and calling his 60 million voters — some being their own readers — stupid.

The Kavanaugh hearings gave us a look at Democrats in their most unhinged, and vicious form. It wasn't pretty. The Dems jettisoned honesty, they dismissed due process, they took unsubstantiated allegations as fact ... They. Were. Despicable.

And their trained hamsters in the media were no better ... in fact, even worse.

If you think that Kass is exaggerating the bias exhibited by the media on the Weinstein, Epstein and Kavanaugh stories, here's some data collected by Real Clear Politics:

It should come as no surprise that the Kavanaugh data (right section of the histogram) got about 10 times the number of mentions as the real sexual predators. No doubt some of this is justified given that a SCOTUS nomination was in play, but why the hesitancy to run the investigative reports in the case of Epstein and Weinstein and the enthusiasm to run outrageous and completely unproven allegations in the case of Kavanaugh?

With their kid-gloves treatment of two sexual predators who just happen to have connections to prominent Dems, the main stream media has demonstrated just how hypocritical and venal they are. They can no longer be trusted because they're no longer objective journalists. They're partisans who have become as unhinged and vicious as their masters.


* As if not be outdone, CBS has fired the whistleblower who is alleged to have leaked elements of the Amy Robach interview. After all, the "true professionals" in the main stream media protect their unnamed sources, at all cost—except when those unnamed sources leak information that is damaging to the Dems. You can't make this stuff up.


The trained hamsters in the main stream media (including ABC and CBS) have elevated the Trump "whistleblower"—by all accounts, a hyper-partisan Democrat (with ties to Biden, Brennan and Schiff) with a clear agenda to hurt Trump—to Mother Teresa status. His name (which we already know) and background (which does not lend itself to credibility) cannot be divulged because—impeachment! He is untouchable.

Yet CBS and ABC worked together to get a CBS "whistleblower" fired. The CBS whistleblower divulged the quashing of the Epstein investigation at ABC. James Freeman comments:
And now it seems that CBS, which as far as this column can tell hasn’t been harmed at all by the employee, has fired her on the principle that whistleblowing must not be tolerated—unless it damages people like Mr. Trump.


For just a moment, take no notice of the Dems' unwillingness to accept the results of a democratic election in 2016. Overlook their attempt to impede a legitimate investigation into a soft coup attempt by senior members of the FBI and CIA. Forget for just a sec their full-throated endorsement of the proven hoax that was "Russian collusion." Disregard for a moment their on-going frenzy to impeach a duly-elected president over a phone call that resulted in no action that could be construed as damaging.

It's the Kavanaugh hearings that tell all.

In a series of posts (e.g., here, here, here, here, and here) in September and October of 2018, I expressed my outrage (yes, it's possible to become outraged even if you aren't 'woke') at the treatment of Brett Kavanaugh at the hands of the Democrats (including a few presidential contenders). I stand by every word, and would suggest that through their behavior during that dark episode, the Dems have provided thinking Americans with sufficient evidence that they do NOT deserve to lead.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Smart Kids

One of the most amusing things about far too many progressives, including a very large majority of Democrats, is they honestly believe they're the 'smart kids.' They and they alone see the flaws and injustices in our society and they and they alone have iron-clad "solutions" that if translated into policy and law, would make our irreparably flawed, country a leftist utopia. Everyone would get "justice," the rich would "pay their fair share," unkind words would never be spoken, diversity would triumph over merit, violence would disappear, and the United States would flourish as never before.

The 'smart kids' also think that anyone who doesn't agree with their solutions, who thinks that their utopian promises of a socialist paradise are bunk, who looks at the history of big government (and socialism) around the word and sees wreckage and failure is simply a low intelligence "deplorable" who must be ridiculed or when that fails, aggressively demonized. The Dem's trained hamsters in the media provide a major assist in all of this, smiling knowingly about 'the right-wing loonies, or conservatives, or Trump supporters. They want all of us to know that those people think monolithically—that's they're really no better than a cult. All of this is evidence of psychological projection on the part on progressives and Dems, but introspection has never been their strong suit.

Mollie Hemingway discusses a small example of this, based on the findings of a recent poll:
Coverage of a new poll out from Monmouth beautifully illustrates how Trump Derangement destroys what should be simple political analysis. The poll was brutal for impeachment fans in the media. Just less than 60 percent of respondents agreed that “people who want Trump out of office should just vote him out next year instead of going through impeachment.” Seventy-three percent have little or no trust in the impeachment process. And 60 percent say Democrats are more interested in bringing down Trump than in learning facts.
Staying true to form, the trained hamsters didn't mention any of that. Instead, much was made of poll findings that indicated that 26% of Trump supporters agreed with the statement that "nothing would cause you to support impeachment" and that 62% of Trump supporters said that they could think of nothing that would cause them to disapprove of Trump. The trained hamsters nodded knowingly and they smirked while reporting these results. But they decided to leave out still other results. Hemingway continues:
The numbers on that question for Democrats, which many in the media completely ignored, are even worse.

Trump approvers (43 percent of respondents) were asked if he could do anything that would make them disapprove of him. Of that group, 62 percent said there’s nothing he could do to make them disapprove of his job performance. That’s the question media are focusing on to prove how stupid and tribal those Republican voters are.

But Trump disapprovers (51 percent of respondents) were similarly asked if Trump could ever do anything aside from resigning that would make them approve of his job performance. Guess what: 70 percent of disapprovers said there’s nothing he could possibly do to earn their approval of his job performance.

So if one wants to argue that one party is mindlessly tribal, the numbers clearly show that the anti-Trump Resistance is the most mindless and tribal faction in American politics today.
Gee ... who are the 'smart kids' now?

Tuesday, November 05, 2019


The four constituencies that form the #Resistance think they are heroes, battling to save the republic from [you pick the epithet du jour] Donald Trump. They are not heroes.

The #Resistance rejects the notion that their actions literally are intended to negate the results of a democratic election (results that they didn't like one bit). They dismiss the simple fact that they perpetuated a proven hoax, leveling false accusations of Russian collusion that never happened. They moved on to false accusations of "obstruction" for a crime that never happened. When those accusations (and the many, many lies connected to them) were proven untrue (by their chosen investigator, Robert Mueller), they quickly chose another hoax—this time, Ukrainian quid pro quo—that smacks of The Beria Rule. Now, they gleefully march toward impeachment, rather than waiting less than 12 months to defeat the evil, orange-haired ogre at the ballot box—after all, if Trump is as bad, and corrupt, and lawless as they claim he is, the #Resistance candidate should win in a landslide, shouldn't she or he?

Victor Davis Hansen discusses all of this:
... the country witnesses about every six weeks a new “turning point,” “bombshell,” “walls are closing in” effort to subvert the Trump presidency. And the list of such futile and fabricated attempts to abort Trump is indeed now quite monotonous: the efforts to sue three states on false charges of tampered voting machines, the attempt to subvert the voting of the Electoral College, the invocation of the ossified Logan Act, the melodramas concerning the emoluments clause and 25th Amendment, the Mueller’s Dream Team and all-star 22-month failed effort to find collusion and obstruction, the personal psychodramas of Stormy Daniels, Michael Cohen, Michael Avenatti, and the Trump tax returns, the desperate efforts to tar Trump as a “white supremacist,” followed by cries of “Recession! Recession!,” and now, of course, “Ukraine! Ukraine!”
And with the shouts of "Ukraine, Ukraine," the Democrats cycle a collection of #Nevertrump members of the deep state through starchamber-like hearings to tell us that they were "concerned with" or "disagreed with" Trump's telephone call with the Ukrainian president—a call that resulted in NO investigation of the sainted Joe Biden and NO witholding of military aid. Now, it appears, words are all that matter. If a few disgruntled folks express concern or disagreement with those words—will damn, the Constitution of the United States in under threat. What unmitigated B.S.!

The onslaught against Trump began immediately upon his election. Hansen writes:
Donald Trump had been in office less than a month when The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. intelligence agencies had decided on their own to withhold information from the recently inaugurated president of the United States: “In some of these cases of withheld information, officials have decided not to show Mr. Trump the sources and methods that the intelligence agencies use to collect information, the current and former officials said.”

What would one call that? Obstruction? A coup? A conspiracy?

Most of the major intelligence heads in the Obama Administration—James Comey, John Brennan, and James Clapper—either leaked classified information aimed at harming candidate and then President Trump, later declared him a veritable traitor and Russian asset, or earlier took measures to monitor his campaign or administration’s communications.

In the coming months, the investigations of Michael Horowitz, the inspector general at the Justice Department, and the department’s own criminal investigations by U.S. Attorney John Durham, may well detail one of the most extensive efforts in our history by the American intelligence agencies and their enablers in the executive branch to subvert a campaign, disrupt a presidential transition, and to abort a presidency.
One can only hope that despite the predictable screams of "political retribution" which have already begun in the left-wing media, Michael Horowitz and the DoJ's John Durham will uncover the truth of this despicable conspiracy. It's time for some of these "heroes" to pay a price for their duplicity, but I continue to wonder if they will.


Jeff Tucker doesn't use the word "monotonous" when describing the impeachment travesty, but he comes close:
... I’m as civic-minded as the next guy. I’m against corruption. I’m for holding politicians accountable. Government should be good, morally upright, true blue. For this reason, I know that I’m supposed to find impeachment to be engaging, ominous, and fraught with significance for the future of our constitutional republic. Of course this is extremely important for our lives. Of course!

But maybe….maybe it is all kind of boring. For some reason, the whole affair is starting to take on the character of elevator music.

The trouble is that there are some things that everyone knows. Everyone knows how this ends. The Senate will stop the impeachment, and then the president will use this to amp up the drama for his re-election and energize his base as never before. That this whole thing will backfire to his benefit is as sure as sunrise. The Democrats these days are about as strategic as Wile E. Coyote and equally persistent in trying out their newest trick that will again end with a puff of dust emerging the ground below the cliff.

Everyone knows that the House Democrats and the entire party have been in an existential meltdown of fury, shock, and horror ever since election night 2016. The results were not supposed to be as they were, which everyone knew because nearly every living soul in the mainstream press assured us that Trump would flame out and die a disgraceful political death that night.

Everyone knows that the center-left has sought impeachment from that moment on. This Ukrainian business – even if the substance of every accusation is true – is the convenient excuse that they needed to do what they swore to do that night. The maudlin performances and pearl clutching in the House of Representatives are so much theater.
If you think clearly and dispassionately, it's difficult not to agree with Tucker's assessment. The problem, I suppose is that the Dems are driven by Trump Derangement Syndrome. As a consequence, they gave up thinking clearly and dispassionately a long, long time ago.

Tucker concludes with a remarkably accurate assessment of the entire political milieu as we approach 2020:
Finally, here is the core of what everyone knows. Everyone knows that the real-life business of government is shady, backstabbing, underhanded, duplicitous, dogs-eating-dogs, and fundamentally rotten. Both sides. All sides.

This impeachment, in particular, has a cast of characters out of the darkest corners of American life. We’ve got a salivating media hungry for readers, a gaggle of permanent bureaucrats wanting to drive out the interloping president, an opposition party consumed in fear and loathing, and vast partisan interests excited about how much money they can raise from the naive who join political tribes and cough up money to see their tribe win the day.
How. True.

Monday, November 04, 2019

The Crichton Conundrum

Until his death in the early part of this century, Michael Crichton (1942 - 2008) was a pre-eminent novelist and screen writer who focused on stories with a scientific plot line. Crichton accurately predicted a wide variety of scientific advances, and more importantly, the dangers of unintended consequences associated with them. He wrote about topics as varied as genetic engineering, climate change, artificial intelligence, robotics, among many others, making each a topic of broad discussion while he cranked out best sellers and blockbuster movies. Crichton was a futurist and a clear thinker whose writing and movies (e.g., Jurassic Park, Westworld, Sphere, Prey, State of Fear) still have relevance today.

In his later years, Crichton became very concerned that science was being bastardized in a way that allowed advocates of a specific ideology to use it inappropriately to make their arguments. Andy Kessler describes "The Crichton Conundrum" this way:
Crichton observed: “Once you abandon strict adherence to what science tells us, once you start arranging the truth in a press conference, then anything is possible.” That includes children at the United Nations yelling, “How dare you.” It’s knee-jerk analysis. I call it the Crichton Conundrum: “I’m against it, so these theories must be right—even though the science is most likely bunk.” Shallow, but sadly a reality.

The conundrum is everywhere. Take the $15 minimum wage, a so-called living wage—who could be against that? The problem is that the alternative isn’t necessarily $8 or $10 an hour; often it’s no job and $0 an hour. Lo and behold, restaurants are closing in San Francisco.

Or take net neutrality. No one wants an un-neutral internet, even though that enables innovative pricing to help fund fiber-optic and wireless buildouts. Similarly, we all feel good about “natural” forest management, and now California burns.

These arguments are often vague, even Orwellian—the expressions “net neutrality” and “climate change” conceal their shallow concepts. But they’re also Crichtonesque in the way they foreclose any argument from the other side. If you’re against food stamps or children’s health spending, you’re heartless, even though they are inefficient, ineffective and rife with fraud. And friendly sounding No Child Left Behind and Common Core? Sorry, math scores went down.

Free college, day care and medical care? Didn’t Cuba try that? Free or price-controlled goods always end up like subsidized bread in the Soviet Union. You get less of it and empty shelves. The same is true of rent control, as California will soon learn.
The Crichton Conundrum has been a staple of those on the Left for many decades. The game plan works like this:
(1) package a Leftist policy or program inside an "big idea" that everyone favors (e.g., better education, less gun violence, cleaner water and air); (2) using snippets of scientific studies that neither prove or disprove a point or worse, data that has been manipulated to "prove" the point, argue that science unequivocally supports the Leftist policy or program; (3) when others question the accuracy or relevance of the "scientific data" accuse them of being against the "big idea" that the policy or program falsely claims to solve, (4) shut down further investigation and debate by making the statement that "the science is settled." (science is NEVER settled)
The problem today is that there is no referee. The mainstream media used to take on that role, but since they've become the trained hamsters of the Left, any countervailing scientific arguments, data, studies, or the like that show flaws in a Leftist policy or program never see the light of day. The result—ruinous, authoritarian decisions, wasted billions, and most important, not helping the very people or entities that those policies or programs were purported to serve.

Friday, November 01, 2019

A Heavy Price

At the beginning of the Democrats' latest impeachment frenzy, they dredged up a "Whistleblower" who told us that Donald Trump tried to get the Ukraine to investigate corruption that may have enveloped Joe Biden, the Vice President of the United States at the time. The Dems claimed that there was a threat to withhold military funding (which was NOT withheld) so that the Ukraine would conduct an investigation (which was NOT conducted) to find dirt on Biden (there is copious evidence that ethical lapses by Biden occurred). The Dems began braying about a lawless president who had the temerity to suggest that the Obama administration looked the other way as Biden's son enriched himself using his father's high government office as leverage (sort of like the Clinton family enriched itself when Hillary was Secretary of State). Never mind that the Dems' 2016 candidate did far more than threaten to withhold anyone's funds—she literally bought and paid for Russian help in digging dirt on Trump. But Hillary Clinton is a Democrat, so her actions are perfectly acceptable to the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff.

But back to the Whistleblower. Have you noticed how the dems demanded that is identity remain secret. Wonder why?

The editors of Investor's Business Daily provide an answer:
The mainstream press has been oddly incurious about the identity of the “whistleblower” who got the Trump impeachment train rolling. Now we know the reason why.Real Clear Investigations on Wednesday published a bombshell account by investigative reporter Paul Sperry, who says that the identity of the so-called whistleblower “has been an open secret inside the Beltway.” There’s even a 40-page research dossier floating around on him compiled by former colleagues.

It turns out that the person who wrote the second-hand, factually inaccurate account of President Donald Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky isn’t just some careerist, non-partisan CIA official, or even, as Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson put it, a person with “some indicia of an arguable political bias.”

Eric Ciaramella is, as Sperry reveals, “a registered Democrat held over from the Obama White House, previously worked with former Vice President Joe Biden and former CIA Director John Brennan, a vocal critic of Trump who helped initiate the Russia ‘collusion’ investigation of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.”

What’s more, Ciaramella left his White House post in mid-2017 “amid concerns about negative leaks to the media.” Sperry reports that, according to that 40-page dossier, Ciaramella also helped generate the “Putin fired Comey” narrative.

Oh, and he worked “on Ukrainian policy issues for (Joe) Biden in 2015 and 2016, when the vice president was President Obama’s ‘point man’ for Ukraine.”

As partisan icing on the cake, before filing his complaint against Trump, Ciaramella met with the staff of House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff – who is running the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry – for “guidance.”
Oooo-kay then.

In other words, the "Whistleblower" is a partisan hack recruited and primed by the Dems as catalyst for their impeachment craziness. Every "witness" whose "secret" testimony has been leaked to the Dems trained hamsters in the media has been called using the Beria Rule.

The Dems conducted star chamber hearings with "witnesses" who tell us their interpretation of a phone call whose transcript is public. Why does anyone need their "interpretation"—read the transcript! Why should anyone care of any if these people felt "uncomfortable" with the call? Might it not be better to simply read the transcript to determine whether their discomfort was manufactured or genuine? And even if it was genuine—who cares? Is the job of the President of the United States to make everyone "comfortable" with his decisions and actions? Is it his job to be certain that no one is "concerned" with his words?

On Thursday, the Dems conducted a partisan vote to codify the rules for their impeachment inquiry. Donald Trump is correct when he calls their inquiry a "witch hunt" and a "sham." But it's more than that as Michael Goodwin writes:
The vote to formalize the impeachment jihad is a great day for Trump haters and a tragedy for democracy and common sense. Coming a year before an election and without a compelling claim that the president committed anything remotely resembling “high crimes and misdemeanors,” the action is an abuse of power for purely partisan purposes ...

Yet there is something bigger at stake than the next election. The effort to overturn the 2016 results is such a radical event that it raises the question of whether polarization has become fatal to our republic.

If so, then elections will never settle anything again. Each loser will simply look for a way to erase the outcome as if it never happened.
Driven by Trump Derangement Syndrome, the Dems have become increasingly dishonest and vicious in their attempts to remove Trump from office. There is no lie too big, no allegation too small, and no absurd theory too crazy for them to pursue. Yet they keep getting caught in their own lies. Their theories and allegations are disproven over and over again while their "witnesses" are outed for their political bias and/or their dishonesty.

At this point the Dems have invested so much that there's little doubt they'll impeach Trump. And if there's any justice at all, they'll pay a VERY heavy price for doing so.

Woke Culture

Regular readers of this blog understand that I was no fan of the Obama presidency or the man himself. I sometimes referred to him unkindly, but always because of things he actually did or failed to accomplish. I often questioned his policies because I disagreed with them. I occasionally noted that his followers resorted to magical thinking to justify his actions or words. I discussed the many real and serious scandals that plagued his administration. I praised his speaking style but never allowed his words to obscure his actions. And I never advocated that he be impeached or otherwise prematurely ejected from the office he was elected to serve. I never referred to his followers as "deplorables."

Having said all of that, I must admit that Barack Obama has mellowed, at least a bit. In a recent TV interview [video at the link] described by Ed Morrisey, he laments the current state of the "woke" culture that has embedded itself into progressive thought:
“This idea of purity, and you’re never compromised, and you’re always politically woke and all that stuff. You should get over that quickly,” he said. “The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws.”

Obama also called out what he perceived as a “danger” among younger people.

“There is this sense sometimes of ‘the way of me making change is to be as judgmental as possible about other people, and that’s enough,’” he said, then offered an example:

Like if I tweet or hashtag about how you didn’t do something right or used the wrong verb. Then, I can sit back and feel pretty good about myself because, ‘Man, you see how woke I was? I called you out.’ I’m gonna get on TV. Watch my show. Watch ‘Grown-ish.’ You know, that’s not activism. That’s not bringing about change. If all you’re doing is casting stones, you’re probably not going to get that far.
Obama seems to understand that woke culture will NOT resonate with the broader electorate, and because it is tighhtly bound to the Democratic party and its candidates, it represents a net negative for them.

He's right.