Fake News


And we have another bombshell that’s a dud. It’s seems that there is no evidence to support the BuzzFeed story about Donald Trump ordering Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. One of the bylined reports has admitted that he’s seen nothing. No one else has been able to confirm the story. Oh, and the Special Counsel’s operation has disputed the report.

Those reporters and the editor responsible would probably be better suited to an outlet such as Breitbart Unmasked Bunny Billy Boy Unread. I hear there may be one or more openings there.

The Dispossessed


Neo has a post up titled Something’s going on in Europe which quotes several European source about populist movements on the other side of the Atlantic.

France and Britan—

Technically, our globalised economic model performs well. It produces a lot of wealth. But it doesn’t need the majority of the population to function. It has no real need for the manual workers, labourers and even small-business owners outside of the big cities. Paris creates enough wealth for the whole of France, and London does the same in Britain. But you cannot build a society around this. The gilets jaunes is a revolt of the working classes who live in these places…

Norway—

America isn’t the only Western country in which too much power accrues to self-seeking bureaucrats and lobbyists who don’t give a damn what ordinary citizens think or want or need. America’s not alone in being run by politicians who, preoccupied with short-term personal gains and political prospects at the expense of the long-term national interest, pursue disastrous policies that threaten to bring down Western civilization. And America isn’t the only country whose mainstream news media spread “fake news” about all the above, whitewashing dangerous alien cultures while showing insufficient concern for our own.

France—

The cities themselves have become very unequal, too. The Parisian economy needs executives and qualified professionals. It also needs workers, predominantly immigrants, for the construction industry and catering et cetera. Business relies on this very specific demographic mix. The problem is that ‘the people’ outside of this still exist. In fact, ‘Peripheral France’ actually encompasses the majority of French people.

I believe that there’s a lesson to be drawn from history about the long-term viability of a society that focuses on an urban elite at the expense of the plebes in flyover country. It is the history of Rome. Eventually, the political balance that maintains the elite in their commanding positions will fail as their internal conflicts weaken them. We may be seeing such a struggle on the Left here in the U. S.

Trump, Brexit, and les gilet jaunes are the vanguard of flyover country’s opposition to the current order. Bernie Sanders and ¡Ocasio! She Guevara appear to represent people who want to be part of the elite, but who feel that they have been cheated by a corrupt hierarchy. There are only so many slots available for executive, managerial, and professional workers, and many young inner party wannabes are finding that they have six-figure student loans and a working-class job or no job at all. They haven’t even been able to move into the outer party.

Free stuff—tuition, medical care, whatever—will ease the current burden on the elite wannabes, but many of the elite’s policies run counter to their real world interests. The internal fights on the Left are about to get interesting.

TDS and Wishful Thinking


Now that sentencing memos for Flynn and Cohen are floating around in public, the Left and the press, but I repeat myself, are having a good time explaining how those memos show that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has the evidence to take down President Trump. One of the sanest summaries I’ve read was by Max Bergman and Sam Berger at The Daily Beast. As much as I dislike Donald Trump and wish a different person were President, I find the evidence of collusion presented thus far to be sketchy. Most of it doesn’t even qualify as circumstantial. A good deal of it doesn’t past the laugh test. I mean, who would think that Putin would accept a penthouse in a Trump building when he already has equal or better housing with much better security?

It may be that there is some there there, but those memos don’t make a good case for it.

We’ll have to wait and see.

Hooked on Trump


Erick Erickson has a post up over at The Resurgent suggesting that the press have become addicted to Donald Trump.

Reporters are the addicts stealing money from their mom’s purse for a hit of their drug. It is an exotic one called Trump. … They need a twelve step program, but I fear the fix is too strong. And like meth addicts, even their faces are changing as they pick at their skin and more permanently scowl. This is unhealthy.

In order to begin working a twelve-step program of recovery, they’d have to admit that they are powerless over Trump and their lives have become unmanageable. They haven’t hit bottom yet.

 

Poker v. Chess


Arthur W. Goodhart has a post over at Spectator|USA titled Donald Trump is playing poker. He compares Trump’s negotiating style with more conservative “chess players,” and notes Trump’s similarities to and differences from other poker-playing Presidents (such as Teddy Roosevelt and Harry Truman). A chess player is well equipped to deal with a single opponent. A poker player is better equipped to deal with several opponents at once.

For all Trump’s faults, and there are many, he does seem to be able to read situations as well if not better than many of his opponents. What isn’t so clear is whether he is actor or reactor. Clearly the chess analogy suited a bi-polar world. But maybe an increasingly multi-polar world is one where the game has changed. Trump’s inclination to poker rather than chess is perhaps purely fortuitous. ….

A loose aggressive poker-playing President may horrify some but the reality is that such a person is often more in control of events than the supposedly reassuring and conservative leader. The latter spends much time reacting, responding while the former sets the agenda, decides when to raise the stakes, will have enough wins to their name to be able to fold and move on when something doesn’t work out.

Read the whole thing.

What Mueller is Trying to Deliver


Matthew Walther has a post over at The Week that begins this way—

Do you remember when the United States was about to have her constitutional order upended? If you printed out all the concern-trolling articles from the fall of 2016 about whether Donald Trump would “accept” the results of the presidential election and laid them end to end, they would stretch from China to Peru. As far as I recall, no one actually predicted that opioid-addicted out-of-work steelworkers in Carhartt jackets would roam the streets of Washington looting and burning and eventually installing an Alex Jones puppet government under the nominal leadership of the host of Celebrity Apprentice. The point, assuming there was one, was that the “credibility” of our election system would be undermined if one of the candidates and most of his supporters refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the next commander-in-chief.

Of course, one side did reject the legitimacy of the 2016 election, and they’ve been trying to do something about it. Hence, the “Russian collusion” investigation which, to date, has failed to turn up any solid evidence of collusion between any Russians and anyone associated with the Trump campaign.

At this point the most obvious fair-minded explanation of the Russia investigation is that it exists to paralyze the Trump administration. It certainly monopolizes the president’s attention. When he is abroad he broods over the latest media talking points from his suite. When he is in Washington, he fumes in front of the television and tweets his favorite tidbits from Fox News. The special counsel has taken his attention away from diplomacy and the other ordinary business of the presidency. Mueller has failed to deliver the goods not simply because there are no goods to deliver but because delivering them is not the point. The point is to hurt Trump.

Read the whole thing.

Trump and the 9th Circuit


The federal Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit is seen by many as a liberal court which has its decisions reversed quite often by the Supreme Court. Over the past few days, President Trump has taken a bit of flak (including some from the Chief Justice) about his comments concerning the 9th Circuit.

The President’s comments have a certain resonance for me. You see, his skepticism about the 9th Circuit is shared by many lawyers and some judges. This exchange between Brett Kimberlin and Judge Johnson occurred during first day of the Kimberlin v. Walker, et al. trial in 2014.

(Kimberlin failed to cite any case that would support the point he was trying to make to the judge.)

If a state court judge can express such skepticism of the 9th Circuit, why can’t the President?