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    Saturday, March 4, 2017

    VDH on the New Media in the Age of Trump

    Victor Davis Hanson has some thoughts in an NR corner post about the media in this day and age.

    It bears a read.

    The larger point is that the average person, getting his 'news' from Sean Hannity, is getting a much fairer recount of what is happening, coupled as it is, with the up front knowledge that Hannity has a particular point of view.

    That The NY Times and WaPo try to conceal their biases while shading the news has hurt them by diminishing their credibility.

    These media outlets have done this to themselves.

    Thursday, February 23, 2017

    The Democrat Party of Racism

    I hope that blacks and Hispanic people will soon become "woke" as our Prog friends like to say, to the fact that the Progressives, operating under the banner of the Democrat Party, have finally been able to do what Jim Crow and the militant wing of the Dem Party (i.e. the KKK) could not.

    That is, get a segregated society that marginalized people of color. And get those people to think that's what they want, and need, to succeed in America.

    Something called 'students4justice' at the University of Michigan is asking for
    “a permanent designated space on central campus for Black students and students of color to organize and do social justice work.”
    Over in Northampton, NH, we have a school board who cancelled a police outreach program because:
    “Concerns were shared that some kids might respond negatively to a group of uniformed officers at their school,” the police department said in a post on its Facebook page last week. "People were specifically concerned about kids of color, undocumented children, or any children who may have had negative experiences with the police."
    So, our little Prog SJWs celebrate and push for diversity by self-segregating, and we can't encourage better relations between the police and minority communities because we don't have better relations between the police and minority communities.

    Welcome to Progland, folks.

    Monday, February 20, 2017

    Trump hates the media. Obama attempted to silence them

    Remember when a president merely used the apparatus of the executive to silence the press?

    Nothing compared to the jawboning being done by President Trump.

    Good times.

    "Reporters’ phone logs and e-mails were secretly subpoenaed and seized by the Justice Department in two of the investigations, and a Fox News reporter was accused in an affidavit for one of those subpoenas of being “an aider, abettor and/or conspirator” of an indicted leak defendant, exposing him to possible prosecution for doing his job as a journalist. In another leak case, a New York Times reporter has been ordered to testify against a defendant or go to jail."
    Said New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan wrote earlier this year, “it’s turning out to be the administration of unprecedented secrecy and unprecedented attacks on a free press.” 
    “President Obama had said that default should be disclosure,” Times reporter Shane told me. “The culture they’ve created is not one that favors disclosure.”ration spokesmen are often unresponsive or hostile to press inquiries, even when reporters have been sent to them by officials who won’t talk on their own. Despite President Barack Obama’s repeated promise that his administration would be the most open and transparent in American history, reporters and government transparency advocates said they are disappointed by its performance in improving access to the information they need." 
    “This is the most closed, control freak administration I’ve ever covered,” said David E. Sanger, veteran chief Washington correspondent of The New York Times

    Saturday, February 11, 2017

    Trump is Going Four Dimensional on Immigration Foes

    Remember when President Trump gave a speech at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and proposed a bunch of radical stuff?

    You know, totally crazy shit, like, "I’m asking all of you to enforce the laws.”

    At the same time, he signed two executive orders that day, one to begin/continue construction of a border wall, and the second to restore the "Secure Communities Program" and strip money from so-called "sanctuary" cities and states. It includes the end of the "catch and release" program and money for more detention centers.  These EOs are a dead giveaway that the Trump administration fully intends to spend more effort on finding, detaining, and eventually removing these folks from society (whether it's by a long time in an American detention center, aka "jail", or by sending the scofflaws back to whence they came).  Absent anything else to distract attention, cue the sad stories about innocent mothers and their children separated by the evil Trump admin.  Ignoring that mom entered the country (illegally), then stole someone's identity to get papers to make her look like a legal citizen, something YOU or I would find ourselves serving some significant time for...

    As I said, "absent anything else..."

    Hence, in the next few days, we saw the wider travel ban on immigrants from seven previously identified failed states and Iran, and that's all we've been talking about since.

    Many have pointed to the botched rollout of the travel ban, and its subsequent troubles in court, leading to the Ninth Circuit's ridiculous and willful disregard of the law and precedent this week, as signs of the incompetence or, at best, chaos, of the Trump White House.

    But, what if this is not chaos, but orchestrated?

    Trump and his advisors know that the travel ban, especially as short as it was going to be, would end up having little impact on the immediate national security prospects, and likely knew they could "figure out what the hell is going on" even without a ban.  And I have every confidence they will come up with much better vetting procedures, especially for those from the failed states in this order, but for all immigrants from countries who export terrorism (yes, I'm looking at YOU, Saudi Arabia).

    They knew this would send the Left and their media squirrel chasers into paroxysms of outrage.  This would divert attention from the truly radical thing that happened here, and that's the actual enforcement of the law. 

    Eventually, the media will bore of the travel ban.  The admin will lessen it's severity, they'll put something more modest together and the media will move on to those grieving mother stories.  But it'll be too late, with the die cast.

    That this has the side benefit of exposing the Ninth Circuit for what it is, the Supreme Court of Californistan, well, that's icing.

    Sunday, February 5, 2017

    Killing the Filibuster

    This week was an eventful one for the President.

    You have to give him some credit, the guy has a tireless work ethic.

    He semi-carelessly implemented his promised "ban" on travel from 7 mostly failed-state, majority-Muslim countries, prompting the kind of theatrics one would have expected from The Left.  Cue the protests, the descriptions of it as "anti-Muslim," the faux crying by Chuck Schumer, the judge-shopping by Left-leaning State Attorney Generals, etc.

    Then, he nominated Neil Gorsuch to be the next SCOTUS justice, which was a universally-applauded pick, even by those on The Left TM.  Which is the subject of this post.

    Starting with Gorsuch.  He's an imminently qualified, well-liked and thought of jurist, in the mold of Scalia, with perhaps a bit more concern about the encroachment to Liberty we face from the administrative state.  He'll be a strong 4th Amendment advocate, which should please the libertarian-minded, and he has argued forcefully for religious liberty, and is a clear textualist, as was Scalia.

    For conservatives, the pick is a home run.

    Which is why he must be confirmed, and quickly.

    What are the Democrats to do here?

    Almost out of the box, their attack dogs, led by Oregon's Senator Ron Wyden, were painting Gorsuch as an ideologue determined to undo every civil liberty ever contemplated, and a danger to the American republic.  This despite Wyden's own vote to confirm him to the 10thDistrict Court of Appeals in 2006.

    This was followed by calls that this seat should not be filled because it was "stolen" by the GOP when they refused to even give Merrick Garland a hearing.  Although that was a strategy that had been advocated by Joe Biden (remember him) in 2008, hypocrisy knows no boundaries in Democrat politics.

    The fact on that argument is that the Supreme Court was a central theme, at least in conservative circles, and a key reason many reluctant Trump voters cast a ballot for him.  If The Left couldnt' get out the vote for this for Hillary Clinton, well, isn't that on their hands?  They held it within their own power to prevent a Trump nominee.  They lost.

    Now, we will have to deal with the filibuster.

    The GOP needs to peel off 8 Dems to prevent a filibuster, and given 2018's electoral map, that may be entirely possible.  I wonder how many of these 2018 Dems know they're dead senators walking and will just accept that and give in to their donor base and join a filibuster.  My guess is a vote against Gorsuch for a senator such as Manchin, Heitkamp, Tester, Donnelly, etc, is more dangerous to their chances than losing money from rich, progressive donors.

    I advocate 2 options here for the GOP, if the Dems threaten a filibuster and can sustain it with numbers:

    1. Force them to actually carry it out.  Enjoy the spectacle of Democrat senators actually bringing the senate to a halt and cover it full time on C-SPAN.  Change the rules so the Senate is in session 24/7 during it so they have to stay up all night.  Make these old geezers pay for their recalcitrance.
    2. Nuke it.
    For the Dems, what is the best political move here?

    Given that the seat does not change the existing court balance, do they hold their fire for the next one, which will either be Kennedy or Ginsburg (my guessses).  They'd certainly want to go hard after a choice for Ginsburg.  If they retain the filibuster and give Gorsuch this seat, you might see Trump, in a Ginsburg situation, go for someone like Garland.  In fact, were it me, and I knew that one would be filibustered, I would nominate Garland for Ginsburg.  he's older, and wont' likely serve more than 20 years, and he's already been nominated by a Democrat. How would they filibuster that?

    If they give up the filibuster and let the GOP nuke it, all future SCOTUS picks will be far right textualists.  Trump has a list, and he'd use it.  And he'd be mad enough to nominate the judges who piss the Dems off the most.

    Also, nuking the filibuster will make Chuck Schumer and the Dems in Congress completely powerless for 2 years, most likely 4.  Do the Dems really want to take that chance.  I think they have to keep their powder dry.

    We'll see.

    Saturday, January 28, 2017

    Dem's Crack Up and Media Stupidity

    A couple of articles caught my attention today


    The Washington Free Beacon's Matthew Continetti is joining Charlie Cooke and Kevin Williamson as my favorite NR contributors. Today, he writes about the Dem's crack-up.

    The Dems are following the path the GOP was on pre-2016, without the benefit of a thriving base to their party, which the GOP had in the post Tea Party era. That base, and a generally unifying vision (opposition to Dems, but generally limited government and fiscal conservatism) led to the landslide that is GOP control of everything today.

    The Dems have no such base, and much of that is because at the local level, what they are selling has no market. We see the results of long-term progressivism in places like Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore, and only Silicon Valley permits the morons in California from destroying their state, and even that may not save it in the end.

    At the national level, it's all ancient leaders beholden to their own donor class. It's generally retreads and losers, who are all too happy to tell these ancient politicians what they want to hear, and take their money from them.

    It's nice to see the Dems have their own little Mike Murphy's.

    Next, is Jonah Goldberg's weekly newsletter, the G-File, which occupies the primary space over at National Review Online today.

    This is a cautionary tale from a former #nevertrumper that we need a conservative media to be wary and honest about Trump. His position, which I share, is that Trump isn't a conservative, and while he has those tendencies, he is first and foremost a showman, and the show is Trump.

    He is going to do things antithetical to the conservative movement and its principles (trade chief among them) and we need a conservative polity that calls that out and makes fair and honest distinctions. I want to protect him from his worst instincts, because those have the capability to betray all the good things I think he can do. And he is doing a ton of good things. For example:
    • He will nominate a real constructionist replacement to SCOTUS to replace Scalia
    • He has put in place a serious, and professional national security team, particularly at DoD
    • He is going to emasculate the EPA, the DOE and the Education by sending in heads who find what these agencies have been doing deplorable.
    • Obamacare is going to get replaced by something that is more market-oriented and won't destroy the lives of the middle class people who are tasked with propping it up today
    • He's serious about border security and fighting Islamic Fascism
    • We will see a reduction in the corporate tax rate and real reform in the tax code, as well as loosening of regulations, like Sarbanes-Oxley, the Dodd-Frank reforms, and generally reducing the burden of regulation.
    All those are tremendously positive things that I believe will happen, and quickly. Make what you will of Trump, there is no "Apology Tour" to be held in the first 100 days. He's hitting the ground running, and once the Dems figure that out, they'll either get on board, or get run over. Sound familiar, Trumpistas?

    Anyway, back to Jonah, while he is primarily talking to the conservative media in this week's G-File, he has some scathing things to say about the left-wing (i.e 96% of the) media:

    On "Fake" news, Jonah reminds it's always been around:
    No, it wasn’t all “fake news” (man, am I exhausted by the ridiculous misuse of that term), at least not most of the time [insert outrage over Duranty’s Pulitzer, Janet Cooke’s and Steve Glass’s fabulations, and of course that time Dan Rather climbed the jackass tree only to hurl himself down, hitting every branch].
    On Liberal Journalists, Jonah falls where many are, that they mean well, but they truly live in a bubble.  This doesn't impact us on the right so much, because we live in much the same cultural bubble as the Left.  We read their newspapers, we hear their "news," we watch their TV and movies.  We're ensconsed in that bubble.  On the contrary, they have never set foot in our churches, or attend the same sporting events as us, or know who Sean Hannity is (I am not saying that last thing is a good thing). Jonah:
    Still, the more you get to know elite “objective” journalists, the more you can appreciate that they are trying to do it right. But it also becomes all the more obvious that they live in a social milieu where the borders between the Democratic party, liberal activism, and liberal experts are very, very fuzzy.
    He adds, talking about reporters seeking verification of "facts" and opinions they agree with:
    Reporters routinely call experts they already agree with knowing that their “takes” will line up with what the reporter believes. Sometimes this is lazy or deadline-driven hackery. But more often, it’s not. And that shouldn’t surprise us. Smart liberal reporters are probably inclined to think that smart liberal experts are right when they say things the smart liberal reporters already agree with.
    On the right, we know Vox to be an excuse for the Left to have an echo chamber.  But I love how Jonah puts this:
    Think of editors like security guards at a military base. They tend to wave through the people they know and the folks with right ID badges. But when a stranger shows up, or if someone lacks the right credential, then the guards feel like they have to do their job. This is the basic modus operandi for places like Vox, which seek to explain not the facts or the news, but why liberals are right about the facts and the news. [emphasis mine]
    I linked on Facebook to The Atlantic's ridiculous "sciency" article on the Right-to-Life's use of ultrasound technology and abortion.  This ridiculous article deserved the ridicule it received.  Like Jonah, I am happy that this extremely  long piece has now been equalled by the length of the retractions and corrections The Atlantic has had to issue.

    From here Jonah pivots to his discussion of how the right wing journos should approach Trump, and I think fair and balanced is the best way to describe what he wants.  In other words, not what the aforementioned Hannity is doing.

    My observation is that Jonah's observation here is correct:
    But if you actually watch the news side of Fox News, or read National Review, the Weekly Standard, Commentary (not to mention the more responsible conservative websites: The Federalist, Hot Air, etc.), you’ll find that we tend not to be swept up in the hysteria of the Left or the Right. There’s a diversity of writers and opinions to be sure, but on the whole we have praised some of what Trump has done and criticized other things. Fox reports inconvenient facts for the Democrats and inconvenient facts for the Trump administration. It’s not always easy to draw the lines — again, mixed bags and all — but so far I’m proud of the way most of my colleagues and peers have handled all of this weirdness.
    YOU, on the other hand, should read the entire piece.

    Sunday, January 15, 2017

    A-Listers not needed here

    Salena Zito is the one reporter who most accurately understands the Trump voter.  She has written about them tirelessly this cycle, and she correctly predicted Trump.  Today, she explains why having no A-list celebrities at the inauguration is a feature, not a bug, of the Trump Administration.

    Most telling is this section from a 19 year old Trump supporter who will be attending the inauguration:
    Jesse Crammer, 19, can’t wait for Friday, and all he wants to see during the inauguration is President Trump’s remarks about the moment. “He is all of the celebrity I need,” said the high-school sophomore from the Keystone State. 
    “This night is about him; it is about us. It would be really cool if he opened up his remarks and asked people attending one of the balls, in particular the ball that will have our military, police and first responders in attendance, and ask them to talk about their lives. 
    “[Trump’s] message about ‘making America great’ was aspirational; it was about something bigger than ourselves, and perhaps that is what Hollywood does not get. They cannot imagine something bigger than themselves.”

    Cory Booker & John Lewis Explained

    Cory Booker broke a longstanding precedent and engaged in a bit of moral preening over the nomination of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General.

    John Lewis has decided that Trump is not a "legitimate" president.

    What is going on with these people?

    It dawned on me today that they feel it is necessary to protect an important Democrat constituency, that is, black voters.

    I believe, under Trump, the 90/10 numbers that Dems have built with black voters is the softest part of their coalition, and the race hucksters and black politicians who rely on this as the source for their jobs, let alone their power, recognize this and must do whatever they can to keep it going for the next 4 (8?) years.

    Like accusations that Trump will somehow be less friendly to the LGBT community (come on, he waved their flag at an event and he thanked the GOP convention to cheering his line about equality for them), there is the likelihood that his policies will actually help the black community and inner cities and I think he actually means he is going to work on improving conditions in the cities.

    So, buckle up, because these people are not going to let go peacefully.  The Democrats had made it clear that they have one playbook in opposition, and it's the same one they've had for 40 years.

    It's old, it's worn, it's tattered, and it's basically been published for everyone to see.

    The GOP has gotten much smarter at this game, and the public has grown weary of it.

    I predict doom and gloom for Liberals for the next few years, if they don't truly revisit their worldview and how they oppose Trump.