Questions and Observations

Free Markets, Free People

A public service announcement … or something

As an FYI, QandO continues to go down to what we assume (given other information) may be a bug in the new WP software.  Lots of folks working on it, but we may see intermittent outages for a while.  We’ve been going through them for about 3 days now.

“Do not adjust your sets.”

~McQ

Thought police – you can only grieve in an approved way

So, Steve Martin mourns the passing of Carrie Fisher in his own way.  Okay.  His problem?  He put his thoughts up on Twitter.  What he said was the following: “When I was a young man, Carrie Fisher she was the most beautiful creature I’d ever seen. She turned out to be witty and bright as well.”

Not the most articulate tribute, but it certainly was heartfelt and moving.  A tribute to someone who had become a friend.  And someone to whom he was attracted at a younger age because he saw her as unsurpassingly beautiful.

Apparently that’s just a horrid way to feel and certainly verboten when it comes to expressing those feelings.  The feminist thought-police were up in arms over this harmless good-bye and fond memory.  The castigated Martin.  Excoriated him.  He deleted the tweet.  You can’t even express your mourning now except in a politically approved method.

I’ve been an Anthony Bourdain fan since I read his book “Kitchen Confidential.”  And I’ll tell you something, he’ll eat anything.  I’ve watched him eat some stuff that, yeah, not going near my stomach.  Anyway, I was reading a short bit of an interview he did with Reason and found him sounding quite a bit like Camille Paglia discussing today’s left (Bourdain is a self-identified liberal):

I hate the term political correctness, the way in which speech that is found to be unpleasant or offensive is often banned from universities. Which is exactly where speech that is potentially hurtful and offensive should be heard.

The way we demonize comedians for use of language or terminology is unspeakable. Because that’s exactly what comedians should be doing, offending and upsetting people, and being offensive. Comedy is there, like art, to make people uncomfortable, and challenge their views, and hopefully have a spirited yet civil argument. If you’re a comedian whose bread and butter seems to be language, situations, and jokes that I find racist and offensive, I won’t buy tickets to your show or watch you on TV. I will not support you. If people ask me what I think, I will say you suck, and that I think you are racist and offensive. But I’m not going to try to put you out of work. I’m not going to start a boycott, or a hashtag, looking to get you driven out of the business.

The utter contempt with which privileged Eastern liberals such as myself discuss red-state, gun-country, working-class America as ridiculous and morons and rubes is largely responsible for the upswell of rage and contempt and desire to pull down the temple that we’re seeing now.

I’ve spent a lot of time in gun-country, God-fearing America. There are a hell of a lot of nice people out there, who are doing what everyone else in this world is trying to do: the best they can to get by, and take care of themselves and the people they love. When we deny them their basic humanity and legitimacy of their views, however different they may be than ours, when we mock them at every turn, and treat them with contempt, we do no one any good. Nothing nauseates me more than preaching to the converted. The self-congratulatory tone of the privileged left—just repeating and repeating and repeating the outrages of the opposition—this does not win hearts and minds. It doesn’t change anyone’s opinions. It only solidifies them, and makes things worse for all of us. We should be breaking bread with each other, and finding common ground whenever possible. I fear that is not at all what we’ve done.

Indeed.  He gets it.  He also is the type of liberal that is interested in the debate.  The conversation.  Finding out about the other half.

You’ll likely find this amusing as well.  He nails what sunk the left in this last election as well as perfectly characterizing Bill Maher:

Bisley: A few years back you were on Real Time with Bill Maher and part of the discussion was about people living inside their own bubbles. What do you think of Bill Maher?

Bourdain: Insufferably smug. Really the worst of the smug, self-congratulatory left. I have a low opinion of him. I did not have an enjoyable experience on his show. Not a show I plan to do again. He’s a classic example of the smirking, contemptuous, privileged guy who lives in a bubble. And he is in no way looking to reach outside, or even look outside, of that bubble, in an empathetic way.

Precisely.  That’s one of the major reasons they lost and it is also why they were absolutely shocked when they did.  The hope, of course, is that they’ll continue as they have been.  I’ve  seen, by their actions and words, no indication that they’ve figured this out yet.

The idiot-in-chief has decided he’ll make the world situation even worse in his last few days in office by screwing over a ally and rekindling the Cold War.  Completely out played on the world stage, this is all he has left:

President Barack Obama ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian suspected spies and imposed sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies over their involvement in hacking U.S. political groups in the 2016 presidential election.

The measures, taken during the last days of Obama’s presidency, mark a new post-Cold War low in U.S.-Russian ties which have deteriorated over Ukraine and Syria.

Allegations by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally directed efforts to intervene in the U.S. election process by hacking mostly Democrats have made relations even worse.

So this is the response to “alleged” hacking?  Talk about reacting to fake news, this takes the cake.  I wonder how many diplos will be returning to the states in the next few days.

And then what?  Yeah, trust me, he hasn’t thought that far ahead.  But that’s nothing new, and besides, he can go on permanent vacation in a few weeks and leave this foreign policy wreck to Trump. Nothing but useless provocation.  But hey, don’t think that’s the last you’ll hear of him.  You can count on the “expert” in foreign affairs weighing in quite often from the golf course over the next 4 years.  Another negative is the man has no class.  Well done, Mr. Obama!

By the way, did you know Central and South America is a hotbed of activity for Muslim extremists?  Yeah, you wouldn’t because, if you were a thinking person you might put two and two together and see border security as a priority.  That would go against the leftist agenda and narrative.  Judicial Watch, however, is on the job:

Latin America is a hotbed of Islamic terrorism where groups like ISIS and Hezbollah operate freely and raise large sums of money to finance terrorist activities in other countries, mainly the United States, according to a new report released by Spain’s Defense Ministry. “Latin America represents an important region for Islamic radicalism because conditions enable the free, almost undetectable, movement of their members throughout the region,” the defense document states.

And:

Earlier this year Judicial Watch uncovered State Department records confirming that “Arab extremists” are entering the U.S. through Mexico with the assistance of smuggling network “cells.” Among them is a top Al Qaeda operative wanted by the FBI. The government documents also reveal that some Mexican smuggling networks actually specialize in providing logistical support for Arab individuals attempting to enter the United States.

But, you know, nothing to see here. It is just “children” who want to enter the US and are looking for a chance to better themselves.

Bah.

~McQ

Civil asset forfeiture is theft, Mr. Sessions

We had a bit of a glitch today with WordPress.  Dale finally figured it out but that’s why there’s been no access.  Thanks, Dale.

Anyway, on with the show.

For the most part, I think Jeff Sessions is a good pick for Attorney General.  The part that isn’t “good” is his obsession with drugs and along with that, seeing asset forfeiture as a viable and necessary tool in the fight against drugs.  Civil asset forfeiture is theft, pure and simple, because it requires no charges be brought and, to get your assets back, you’re required to take your case to civil court.

Assets are often seized—and never returned—without any judicial process or court supervision. Unlike criminal forfeiture, civil forfeiture doesn’t require a criminal conviction or even charges. According to the Virginia-based Institute for Justice, which tracks forfeitures, 13% of all forfeitures done by the Justice Department between 1997 and 2013 were in criminal cases while 87% were civil forfeitures. And 88% of those forfeitures were done by an administrative agency, not a court.

Recently a number of states have passed laws banning the practice and rightfully so.  Sessions, on the other hand, isn’t one of those that thinks that is a good idea.

Civil-rights activists have campaigned for years to end forfeiture abuses. But in a 2015 hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mr. Sessions defended the practice. He said he doesn’t “think it’s wrong to—for federal government to adopt state cases” and added that “taking and seizing and forfeiting, through a government judicial process, illegal gains from criminal enterprises is not wrong.”

Mr. Sessions said he was “very unhappy” with criticism of a program that mostly took money from people who have “done nothing in their lives but sell dope.” But his focus on the utility of criminal forfeitures overlooks the serious need for reform to end due-process abuse in civil forfeitures.

Make no mistake – there is a huge difference between criminal and civil forfeitures. I understand that.  And it is one Mr. Sessions needs to make in his confirmation hearings. Criminal forfeiture requires much more than does civil asset forfeiture in terms of legal requirements. It actually requires proof of lawbreaking and due process.  Civil asset forfeiture has no place in our culture or country, especially if we’re a nation of laws.  Any procedure that simply takes your assets without cause or due process is just flat wrong.  Incentivizing it is even worse.

The lack of procedural protection coupled with financial incentives has turned policing for profit into a slush fund for governments hungry for cash, and the payouts too often come at the expense of civil liberties. We’d like to hear what Mr. Sessions thinks of the practice today.

Yes we would like to hear what Mr. Sessions thinks of the practice today.  Clearly.  Completely. And without equivocation.

~McQ

Glad to see the passing of 2016 and the exit of Barack Obama

Frankly, it’s been a miserable year.  The only good thing, as a hat tip to Billy Hollis,  is it is the year that ensured that Hillary Clinton will never be president.  For that alone it isn’t the worst year on record.  And, thankfully, we’ll see 2017 enter and in 20 days after that entrance, Barack Obama’s exit.

What a petulant child Obama is.  He’s now showing his true colors – the colors that the left has denied for 8 years (and about which many of us warned those who would listen for 8 years).

If ever there was a consummate liar in the political world, Barack Obama has taken the title from them.  One of the things you learned early about Obama was to not believe a single thing he ever said.  Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  He will tell you whatever he thinks will help him get his way or put him in the position to do so.  He did exactly that countless times in his 8 year run.

The UN Israel abstention (an anti-Israel vote anyway you look at it) is simply his latest illustration of his blatant disingenuousness.  He’s mouthed the words of support for years, but now, with nothing for him to hold on too or gain, he lets the real Barack Obama come forward and show his face.   And it isn’t a very pleasant one.

Obama has, without any doubt or equivocation, been the worst president to hold office in my lifetime.  And I go back to Truman.  Obama has never done anything in his life of import – and that includes his 8 years in the White House.  He’s been a dismal failure in the one job that is almost exclusively that of the President – foreign policy.  The world is a wreck and he is directly responsible for it’s state today.  He is responsible for the rise of Russia.  He is responsible for Iran and it’s continued aggressiveness.  He is totally responsible for a more belligerent China.  Why?  Because he’s refused to do anything.  As I and many others have said, he seems to believe rhetoric is action.  Revisit the Syrian “red lines” for an example.

Secondly, he’s a wimp in a world that runs over wimps.  And he’s been “run over” any number of times.  I had to laugh out loud when he had the temerity to claim that this nation was stronger and more respected in the world than when he came into office.  That’s straight out of fantasy-land and, just like the global warming crap he spouts, doesn’t fit the facts or reality of the situation.

I lived through Jimmy Carter and I thought I would never see any other president in my lifetime that was as bad as Mr. Carter.  Well, I was wrong … and I was wrong by a long shot.

This was the president that was going to heal our racial wounds.  Instead, he’s set race relations back decades.  He was going to fight nuclear proliferation.  Then he handed Iran the keys to the nuclear arsenal.  He was going to provide “hope” to all.  In fact, he presided over the worst recovery in the nation’s history and piled debt up at a faster rate than all the rest of that history as well.

And then there’s the abomination called ObamaCare.  A poorly thought out piece of legislation that was rammed through Congress when he actually enjoyed a majority.  It was opposed by the American people, however he just didn’t care.  This was his legacy.  Well, it’s a legacy well worth him and just like him – a failure.

He’s now, in his last few days, taking actions unilaterally in an attempt to leave a lasting impression on the country.  We’ve had enough of his impression.

As all know, I’m not  a Trump fan – but even Trump has to be an improvement over Obama because, at least on the surface, Trump seems to love the country.  I can’t say that about Obama.

To paraphrase Michelle Obama, I know all about what not having hope feels like … I’ve suffered that condition for the 8 years your idiot husband has been president.  And he’s rewarded me by ensuring I continued to feel that way daily.

Now, I don’t know.  I have no idea what this next administration brings.  But I know Obama’s done.   And that alone is cause for celebration.

Obama claims he’d have won had he run for a third term.  I think that’s as delusional as him claiming our country is stronger and more respected in the world.  He’s worn out his welcome.  Hillary didn’t just lose because she was Hillary.  Part of that loss was because she represented Obama’s third term.

Rejected!

~McQ

Merry Christmas!

Sorry but the demands of the season have kind of overwhelmed me … kinda like Trump did to Clinton.  But never fear, I’m still here (although I’m sure there are a few out there that will be depressed to find that out).  I’m going to make this quick holiday greeting my last post before Christmas, but I want everyone to know I’m hoping for a wonderful and joyous Christmas and a happy Hanukah to all.

See you on the flip side of 12-25!

~McQ

Is MTV even relevant anymore

Was it ever?  Just asking.  Have you seen MTV’s racist, condescending,  racial stereotyping video presented by a bunch of kids who obviously have no idea of what real oppression or racism is?  I mean it is ignorance on parade.

As Rob Port says, “Because racial stereotypes are bad unless they’re the right kind of racial stereotypes.”  And these stereotypes are snowflake-racist approved.  Go take a look if you haven’t seen it.  It is now socially acceptable among the racist left to attack certain people because of their skin color.  Unless there’s pushback.  You can count on that here.

Oh, and a note to the left: This. Is. Why. You. Lost.  Please.  Keep it up.

The electoral vote is in.  Hillary had more “faithless electors” than did Trump, which I found greatly amusing.  We also had the usual tantrums by leftists in the usual places.  Again – This. Is. Why. You. Lost.  And everyone who voted for Trump is constantly reminded why they cast their vote for him by your antics.

As good a summary of the “Russian” fiasco as any.  And “fiasco” is being kind:

The Democrats want to play the victim, blame Donald Trump and declare Trump the beneficiary of the Russians’ interference in the 2016 campaign, but in fact, it was their own leadership that dropped the ball and gave the Russians the opening they needed. And, Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s silence on this was deafening. Where was she when her agents were trying to get the DNC’s attention? Probably somewhere carrying out her audition for a job in a Clinton administration.

Anyway, the tale of incompetence doesn’t stop there. In a Keystone Cops-worthy episode revealed in no less than the New York Times, it turns out the FBI repeatedly called the DNC beginning in September 2015 to warn them about hacking attempts, but the Democratic staffer the FBI agent reached wouldn’t return the agent’s calls because “he wasn’t certain the caller was a real FBI agent and not an imposter” and because the DNC had “nothing to report.” Not to mention, another Democratic staffer made the world’s most inexplicable “typo” and called a phishing email a “legitimate email” instead of an “illegitimate” one, opening the path for a hacker to gain access to all of John Podesta’s emails. Oops.

It’s unbelievable. And as troubling as it is that Obama and the Democrats allowed the Russians to interfere in the election and engage in cyberwarfare without any ramifications, we shouldn’t be surprised.

And these people wanted to run the country?  Good lord.  What was it Obama is reported to have told Putin when he met with him in China about the cyber attacks?  “Cut it out“?  Wonder if he was in his mommy jeans when he did it? I wonder if Putin had a difficult time stifling a laugh?

Whatever you may think of Trump’s election, it seems to be restoring the American people’s confidence in the economy.  That certainly hasn’t been the case under Obama, despite all the “fake news” about how well the economy was doing:

Americans’ confidence in the economy continues to gradually strengthen after last month’s post-election surge. Gallup’s U.S. Economic Confidence Index averaged +10 for the week ending Dec. 18, marking another new high in its nine-year trend.

Paul Krugman must be in the fetal position right now.  How many “recovery summers” did we have?  So many it became a pretty dark joke.  Whether this confidence actually sees real improvement is, of course, something we’ll have to see about in the future.  But at least half of what is necessary to turn an economy around is confidence.  It’s the spur for the entrepreneur.  It’s how investments happen, business expand and salaries grow.  Here’s hoping.

On the “global warming” side of things?  Surprise!

Snow in the SAHARA: Desert sees snow for the FIRST time in 37 years.

Ah, we all know that they’ll come up with some way to wave that off and blame it on warming … somehow.  Scientific?  Oh, no.  More like “consensus” or some weird almost religious faith instead.

Poor Venezuela is in the final throes of death by socialism.  And what usually happens during that time, is involving the military in trying to keep some semblance of order.  This all happened after the Maduro government eliminated half the country’s currency:

President Nicolás Maduro’s government deployed 3,000 troops to the southeastern state of Bolivar on Monday after people desperate over the government’s elimination of much of the country’s currency looted stores and homes over the weekend.

The unrest took an especially heavy toll on Chinese immigrants, who own many of the grocery stores in the capital, Ciudad Bolívar, and nearby towns.

“Everything was left in ruin,” said Juan Carlos Ho, standing next to the China Cham supermarket in the town of Sifontes, which had been left gutted. “They took the stands, the carts, all of the merchandise, which was a lot, and the air conditioners.”

Wow.  This is my surprised look.  What in the hell did the government think would happen when you unilaterally strip people of their means to survive?  Hmm?  Sean Penn … call your office.

~McQ

 

Ah, those niggling little things call “facts”

They’re SOOOO inconvenient.  Global warming watch – yeah, not so much warming:

In the Southern Hemisphere, sea-ice levels just smashed through the previous record highs across Antarctica, where there is now more ice than at any point since records began. In the Arctic, where global-warming theorists preferred to keep the public focused due to some decreases in ice levels over recent years, scientists said sea-ice melt in 2014 fell below the long-term mean. Global temperatures, meanwhile, have remained steady for some 18 years and counting, contrary to United Nations models predicting more warming as carbon dioxide levels increased.

For those who still don’t understand, all of the global warming scare has been based on badly flawed computer models in which fudged numbers have been fed.  That’s not science. Part of science is observation and then drawing conclusions from the observations.  Take a look at the paragraph above and draw your own conclusions.  If you’re a global warming skeptic, you’re on the side of science. If not, you’re on the side of backing a UN scam designed to get your money through a “carbon-offset” program naturally run by … the UN.

If you want a comedy of mixed signals, you simply need to watch what is coming out of DC concerning the “Russian hacking” nonsense.  If you believe her, AG Lynch says even if they did hack they didn’t hack the voting system itself:

Attorney General Loretta Lynch says there is no evidence of “technical interference” by Russia — or any other foreign entity — in America’s presidential election.

Or at least that’s how I interpret the use of “technical interference”.  No telling what she really means by it. So whatever else is going on other there is based in conjecture and opinion – the opinion of a bunch of crybaby losers.  Not one scintilla of evidence hs yet to be offered backing the claims being made.  And that’s all they are … claims.

It’s all about who is the “most oppressed” in a country in which few if any groups know what real oppression is or feels like:

This year’s University of California Students of Color Conference  unproductively devolved into something of an “oppression Olympics” between different minority groups, prompting arguments between participants and ultimately leading to some canceled sessions at the annual event.

Our church just had a medical mission group return from Cambodia.  They’ll never again look at poverty the same way they have before.  They’ve seen real poverty now.  That’s what these special snowflakes need to do – travel to an oppressed country.  Live there.  See how you like it.  Then come back and tell us how “oppressed” you are as a college student at an elite university.

Speaking of facts, here are a few to literally take to the bank.  And it is due to that horrific evil identified by the left – fracking:

Hydraulic fracturing generated $3.5 trillion in new wealth between 2012 and 2014 in spite of falling oil prices, according to a new study, but today’s rising prices could be even better for the U.S. economy.

From 2012 to 2014, the shale oil industry generated 4.6 million new jobs due to an energy boom and the resulting low gas prices, according to a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Expensive energy could be a huge net positive for the U.S. fracking economy because rising oil prices mean more drilling.

And for those who think this fracking thing is new, we’ve been fracking wells since 1948.  So it isn’t new and if all the horrific stuff they claim about it now were true, you’d think we’d have discovered that in the million or so wells that were fracked well before the current batch.  But those sorts of facts remain hidden when the left trots out their talking points about the evils of fracking.

One of the major reasons the economy is showing any life has much to do with the results of … fracking.  Fact.

~McQ

The current Leftist political theater will likely yield nothing but more whining

In case you missed it, this “the Russians did it” isn’t new.  Back in July, Salon, of all publications, was excoriating the Clinton campaign on the issue:

Now wait a minute, all you upper-case “D” Democrats. A flood light suddenly shines on your party apparatus, revealing its grossly corrupt machinations to fix the primary process and sink the Sanders campaign, and within a day you are on about the evil Russians having hacked into your computers to sabotage our elections — on behalf of Donald Trump, no less? 

Is this a joke? Are you kidding? Is nothing beneath your dignity? Is this how lowly you rate the intelligence of American voters? My answers to these, in order: yes, but the kind one cannot laugh at; no, we’re not kidding; no, we will do anything, and yes, we have no regard whatsoever for Americans so long as we can connive them out of their votes every four years. 

Clowns. Subversives. Do you know who you remind me of? I will tell you: Nixon, in his famously red-baiting campaign — a disgusting episode — against the right-thinking Helen Gahagan Douglas during his first run for the Senate, in 1950. Your political tricks are as transparent and anti-democratic as his, it is perfectly fair to say.

And now it has taken on a life of its own because?  Because a “sure bet” ran a completely fouled up campaign, assumed support in states that were shaky (and thus made no effort to shore up support – like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where local Democrats warnings were ignored) and simply succumb to their own smugness.  Yeah, now “the Russians did it.”  Read the whole article.

Even HuffPo is tired of this political theater with an article entitled “Hillary Clinton Lost. Get Over It And Stop Blaming Russia, WikiLeaks And ‘Fake’ News“. Pretty strong and too the point, wouldn’t you say. To counterbalance that sort of “reasonable” lefty, there’s Keith Olberman who is, to be kind, stark, raving mad.

I’ve found a professor I like.  He’s not afraid, to be controversial in an atmosphere that doesn’t tolerate it well if you have a divergent opinion.  Here’s the tagline on his emails:

Notice: It’s OK to print this email free of any “eco-guilt.” Paper is a biodegradable, renewable, sustainable product made from trees. Growing and harvesting trees provides jobs for millions of Americans. Working forests are good for the environment and provide clean air and water, wildlife habitat and carbon storage. Thanks to improved forest management, we have more trees in America today than we had 100 years ago.

Facts.  He has to know that on college campuses facts and logic always take a backseat to emotions and myths.  But hey, I applaud his courage.

A “how to violently” keep Trump from taking power by a guy who claims he has no desire to do so but then outlines one of the most absurd and militarily stupid plans to do so one might ever imagine.  But hey, he’s never served in the military so how would he know.  Too much X-Box.

I’d assemble armed resistance brigades in and around states that voted for Trump. I’d make sure the participants are well-trained in urban combat. I’d do drills. I’d ensure that secure communications have been established to enable inter-state coordination. I’d impart to participants that they should be prepared to face severe state punishment for their rebellious acts— perhaps even death.

So, let’s see, we have what, a little over a month until Trump is inagurated?  More than enough time to recruit “brigades” in all of the states that voted for Trump (yeah, that would be the motherlode of volunteers) and make sure they’re “well-trained in urban combat”.   And among gun hating lefties at that.

In a little over 30 days this would be done by  … magic!  Kinda like the underwear gnomes.  Whatta maroon.

Oh, can anyone guess who has big ties to the PR firm pushing the “faithless electors” movement?  Give you three and the first two don’t count.

And then here are some college professors I don’t like.   At all.  You see, they deem freedom of speech and freedom of expression to be harmful if it isn’t in accord with their beliefs:

It is not enough [to] encourage “open-mindedness” and “sensitivity” especially when these passive efforts and rhetoric invariably lead to a culture that accepts and tolerates bigotry and harassment; a campus culture that hides behind “tolerance” and discourses of free speech undeviatingly creates a campus that is especially disempowering to marginalized students.

We must create a campus that asserts that we are anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-xenophobia, antihomophobic, anti-Islamophobic, anti-ableism, and anti-bigotry. We must work to create mechanisms and structures that combat hate, which empower all constituencies to be active in our collective efforts to rid the campus of bigotry and systemic inequality.

And a campus culture that doesn’t tolerate these things “undeviatingly creates” a class of marginalized and disempowered students who don’t share the same beliefs as the lefty “in crowd.”  But honestly, irony has never been the left’s strong suit, so don’t expect them to suddenly realize it here.

~McQ

The truth is not important when it doesn’t support the political narrative

If you’ve been keeping up with the alleged Russian hacking scandal, you’ve got to be unimpressed by the “evidence”.  Let’s see, some anonymous CIA source with no proof offered says it was Russia.  Motive?  Well, let’s see, the Democrats just lost an election because … hacking.  Really?  That’s why?  Keep believing that.  Meanwhile, let’s look at what is out there in terms of real evidence.

Not much:

What should really distress Americans is that the losers are trying to overturn the election results based on little more than anonymous leaks and innuendo. Whatever Russia’s hacking motives, there is no evidence that the emails it turned up were decisive to the election result. Mr. Podesta is citing a CIA judgment that Americans have never seen and whose findings are vaguely public only because one or more unidentified officials chose to relate them to a few reporters last week.

Much of the press is reporting these as the gospel truth, though it isn’t clear that the CIA’s judgment is even shared across the intelligence community. The FBI doesn’t share the CIA’s confidence about Russia’s hacking motive, and our sources say the evidence is thin for the CIA’s conclusion.

Much of the press sees this as fitting the narrative they’re going to push for the next 4 years – the illegitimacy of the Trump presidency. So they’re willing to treat it as gospel even if, in the future, it is proven to be false.  This is simply the start of a  different version of “selected, not elected”.  A blatant and obvious effort to undermine the President-elect even before he takes office.

Other than John Podesta trying a soft coup with his demand that the electors be given an intel brief (focusing on the alleged Russian hacking) before they vote next week for the electoral college (hey, John, have they been vetted and do they have security clearances?), there’s not much “there” there.  What is there  – Podesta – has a pretty obvious agenda and narrative.

As the WSJ points out, the FBI doesn’t share the supposed CIA judgement that the hacking motive was to disrupt the elections or turn them to the favor of Trump.  In fact:

The nation’s top intelligence office is not on the same page as the CIA regarding its assessment that Russia interfered in the U.S. elections in a bid to help Donald Trump, a U.S. government source confirmed to Fox News on Tuesday.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees the U.S. intelligence community, has not fully embraced the CIA finding by any stretch:

Fox News is told that several U.S. election-related hacking incidents are being wrongly lumped together, when they should be treated as separate events — these cover breaches at the Democratic National Committee and another campaign arm; in a top Hillary Clinton campaign official’s email account; and at state election boards.

Reuters reports that while the ODNI does not dispute the CIA’s general analysis on Russia hacking, the office is not convinced of the evidence that Moscow sought specifically to help Trump defeat Democratic opponent Clinton.

So here we have, conveniently, only an anonymous CIA ‘source’ which supposedly has the goods on Russia and it’s hacking intent and two other agencies, rarely mentioned, who are pretty sure that the CIA’s assessment isn’t correct and may actually be wrong.

But hey, does that stop the MSM?

 

Again the WSJ:

This political farce is compounded by a press corps that spent Monday demanding that GOP leaders in Congress say if they too support investigations into the Russian hacking. Never mind that the Senate and House intelligence committees, both led by Republicans, have been looking into the election-related hacking for months, often with far too little cooperation from the Obama Administration.

Then the press reports as major news the non-story that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has endorsed an intelligence probe that has long been underway. Talk about fake news.

It may be fake news, but it supports the building narrative.  It also supports the idea that one should never, ever take anything printed or televised as news by the MSM at face value until there is real evidence of wrong-doing or whatever it is they’re claiming.  They’re simply not to be trusted with the truth.

What’s this really all about?  Sour grapes.  The refusal of the Democrats and the left to accept the election results (something they lectured Republicans and the right about prior to the “unthinkable” happening, i.e. “revenge of the deplorables.”

Conclusion?

The entire spectacle looks more like a Democratic attempt to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election than it does serious concern about cyber-spying. Democrats must figure they can’t lose. They know the Electoral College isn’t likely to throw the election to Hillary Clinton, but the headlines can help undermine public support for Mr. Trump’s Presidency even before he takes office. And these folks blame Donald Trump for violating democratic “norms.”

Seems much more plausible given the behavior of “progressives” since November 8th, doesn’t it?

UPDATE:  Oh, and there’s this:

U.S. officials said that both parties were repeatedly targeted as part of a months-long cyber-operation linked to Moscow, but that Democratic institutions and operatives came under a more sustained and determined online assault.

U.S. officials said the Republican National Committee’s computer systems were also probed and possibly penetrated by hackers tied to Russian intelligence services, but that it remains unclear how much material — if any — was taken from the RNC.

The lack of a corresponding Republican trove has contributed to the CIA assessment, reported by The Washington Post, that Russia was seeking to elect Trump and not merely to disrupt last month’s presidential election.

Or it could be that the RNC’s systems were more secure than those of the Democrats.  Or it could be that we’re mixing up Wikileaks with Russian hackers and the bulk of the Wikileak’s revelations  came from a disgruntled Democratic operative as Julian Assange claims.  Or both.

~McQ

Media: Cheerleading out, “hard questions” in

So the Democrats are looking at their nomination and primary system as well as superdelegates and they think … well, you tell me:

New York Assemblyman Michael Blake, also at the forum and running for DNC vice chair, said he agreed with Harrison and Ellison but cautioned about a system that did not include superdelegates at all. He said that if Republicans had had superdelegates, President-elect Donald Trump probably wouldn’t have won the Republican primary.

“There needs to be changes, no doubt about it. Think about on the other side, that if there would have been a superdelegate process, probably less a likelihood of Trump getting the nomination,” Blake said. “Sometimes we just have to figure out how to make the system better and what I want to make sure is regardless of what’s happening here, we’ll take the recommendations of the unity commission. Well let’s make sure, let’s figure out how to improve the process first rather than dramatically change it. Because what we don’t want to do as Democrats is dramatically change things and hurt ourselves in the long run.”

Or said another way, the reason that Hillary was our selection is because we did have a rigged system with superdelegates.  The reason we were able to sideline Bernie Sanders and subvert democracy was … superdelegates.  Screw the people’s will, we need a way to make sure the party’s “will” is carried out.

Don’t look for changes anytime soon in the Democratic fiasco of superdelegates.

Lessons learned by them?  Zip, nada, nothing.  Hopefully, it’s a trend.

Meanwhile the drumbeat of “fake news” continues unabated in the “mainstream media”.  For instance this WaPo “news”  piece in the “Energy and Environment” section by Juliet Eilperin attacking Trumps position that “nobody really knows” if climate change is real.  Her comeback?

There is a broad scientific consensus that human activity — including the burning of fossil fuels for transportation, heating and industrial manufacturing — is driving recent climate change.

No ma’am, there is not.  By the way, “consensus” means nothing in science.  Proof does.  And in a recent peer reviewed survey the “consensus” of scientists were skeptical of the claims of man-made global warming and, in fact, a strong majority of them were of the opinion that it is nature driving the change.

But hey, that doesn’t fit the narrative does it?  One assumes that “Energy and Environment” is your beat, Ms. Eilperin, yet somehow you are apparently unaware of this survey.  Or are you?

And, of course, the NYT manages to be both hypocritical and irony impaired in the same article as it lectures the TV media  on the necessity of ensuring “in the Trump era”,  news must be “uncompromising”.  Or, as the article states, “ask hard questions and demand answers”.

Television news is going to have to do its part should Mr. Trump and his administration try to make policy based on false assertions, the same way he used them on the campaign trail. (And, yes, television will have to be just as vigilant should Mr. Trump’s opponents use falsehoods to fight him, too.)

The same holds for all of the news media, of course. But live television can be a safe harbor for falsehood and deflection.

And print media, which was a lead cheerleader for so many Obama falsehoods (“if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”) and provided deflection on issues of importance for 8 years, suddenly has found a new direction since the dawning of the “Trump era”?  “Where was this new standard for the past 8 years” is a hard question … I demand an answer New York Times!

Keith Ellison, up for the DNC Chairman’s position, has been busily trying to hide his extremist roots and wave away or pretend his past didn’t happen.  He has now had his bluff called by an unlikely source: The Nation Of Islam.

And on Wednesday, an editorial published in the Nation of Islam’s house organ, The Final Call quotes at length from articles Ellison wrote in the 1990s in which he praised Farrakhan as “a sincere, tireless and uncompromising advocate of the Black community and other oppressed peoples in America and around the world” and wrote that Farrakhan “is not an anti-Semite.”

Illustrated with a photo of what the Final Call says is Ellison hawking copies of the Nation’s paper while at the University of Minnesota, the editorial by editor Richard B. Muhammad noted that Ellison went by the last name Ellison-Muhammad at the time and had helped organize a Minnesota delegation to Farrakhan’s Million Man March.

“If Mr. Ellison once believed those things about the Minister and changed his mind, that’s his business,” Muhammad wrote. “We will leave Allah (God) to judge and handle the hypocrites.”

You have to chuckle about people like Ellison trying to deny his past when he was quite interested and successful is seeking out media attention for himself when he was doing those things.

Democrats continue do the post-mortem on the presidential election.  They’ve discovered a couple of things on the way.  One, it wasn’t just Hillary Clinton.  Two – it’s the economy, stupid!

The party, these senators said, had grown overly fixated on cultural issues with limited appeal to the heartland. They criticized Hillary Clinton’s campaign slogan, “Stronger Together,” as flat and opaque, according to multiple people present at the dinner, some of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Most of all, they lamented, Democrats had simply failed to offer a clarion message about the economy with appeal to all 50 states.

Well, that and they believed their own “fake news” that the economy was doing well, unemployment was under 5%, and everyone in the heartland really didn’t matter as much as their pushing identity politics and catering to more and smaller minorities. I’m going to be interested in watching how they push for economic reform when most of the blue states which have been under Democratic control for any length of time are not in great economic shape.

 ~McQ

Buy Dale’s Books!