Archive for the ‘Leftists’ category

Congress Drops The HAMMER Obama And Soros Are FINISHED!!!

April 12, 2017

Congress Drops The HAMMER Obama And Soros Are FINISHED!!!GLOBAL News via YouTube, April 12, 2017

According to the blurb beneath the video,

Congress drops the hammer, Obama and Soros are finished! Congress demands investigation into Obama admin. A group of leading senators is calling on newly installed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, to immediately launch an investigation into efforts by the Obama administration to sway foreign elections by sending taxpayer funds to extreme and sometimes violent political activists, that promote leftist causes according to a copy of the letter. The lawmakers disclosed multiple conversations with foreign diplomats, who outlined active political meddling by the Obama administration’s State Department, including the use of taxpayer funds to support leftist causes in Macedonia, Albania, Latin America, and Africa.

A portion of this State Department funding appears to have gone to organizations, supported by the controversial liberal billionaire George Soros, according to the letter, which was authored by Republican Sens. Mike Lee (Utah), Jim Inhofe (Okla.), Thom Tillis (N.C.), Ted Cruz (Texas), David Perdue (Ga.), and Bill Cassidy (La.). The senators are asking Tillerson to launch a full-scale investigation into these funding efforts, in order to determine how exactly the Obama administration sought to promote left-leaning causes, and political parties across the globe.

The latest disclosures of this activity mirror efforts by the Obama administration to send taxpayer funds, to Israeli organizations that opposed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in the country’s last election. Political leaders from a range of nations spent months informing the lawmakers about these activities. Over the past few months, elected officials and political leaders of foreign nations have been coming to me, with disappointing news and reports of U.S. activity in their respective countries,” Lee said in a statement. “This includes reports of diplomats playing political favorites, USAID funds supporting extreme and sometimes violent political activists, and the U.S. government working to marginalize the moderates and conservatives in leadership roles. This sort of political favoritism from our missions around the world is unacceptable, and endangers our bilateral relationships,” he said.

The senators are seeking an investigation that would review all funds, associated with promoting democracy and governance and review the programs, accounts, and multiplicity of U.S. entities involved in such activities.” Such an investigation could shed light on the distribution of taxpayer funds to organizations, and causes meant to instigate left-leaning political change abroad.

The letter insists that Tillerson should “review how all our tax dollars are being utilized in order to halt activities that are fomenting political unrest, disrespecting national sovereignty and civil society, and ultimately undermine our attempts to build beneficial international relationships.” The lawmakers outline specific evidence of political meddling. “We have received credible reports that, over the past few years, the U.S. Mission there has actively intervened in the party politics of Macedonia, as well as in the shaping of its media environment and civil society, often favoring left-leaning political groups over others,” they wrote.

This activity was pushed by USAID and groups associated with Soros’ Open Society Foundations, according to the lawmakers. The organizations are said to have pushed a “progressive agenda” meant to “invigorate the political left” using taxpayer funds, according the letter. Respected leaders from Albania have made similar claims of U.S. diplomats, and Soros-backed organizations pushing for certain political outcomes in their country,” the lawmakers wrote. “Time and again, foreign leaders visiting Washington have expressed concerns to us about, how American taxpayer funds are being used counterproductively in their respective countries,” the lawmakers disclosed, referring to efforts undertaken in Latin America and Africa.

This type of interference in foreign countries must stop immediately, the lawmakers said.

The Left’s Shifting Overton Window

March 27, 2017

The Left’s Shifting Overton Window, Front Page MagazineBenny Huang, March 27, 2017

[The “Overton Window” represents the breadth of ideas that the public considers acceptable discourse superimposed over a spectrum ranging from far left to far right. At both ends of the spectrum lurk ideas that are literally “unthinkable.” As we inch closer to the Overton Window we find ideas that are merely “radical.” The first category contained within the Overton Window is “acceptable,” followed by “sensible,” then “popular,” and finally “policy.”

The goal of most progressive strategists has been to move that window so that previously unthinkable ideas become conceivable and eventually uncontroversial. People who don’t adopt the newly mainstreamed idea quickly enough are usually shamed into silence. If they refuse to keep quiet they are shunned by polite society and often lose their livelihoods because their old ideas have been pushed into “radical” and “unthinkable” territory.

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is prepared to go to the mat to prevent the construction of a wall on our southern border. The senator from New York is threatening to use all available options, including a government shut-down, to forestall three key provisions in the new budget: a deportation force, a border wall, and the defunding of Planned Parenthood. 

Well, it’s good to know where Schumer draws his line in the sand. Anything that impedes the endless flow of undocumented Democrats he considers to be an act of war. 

But I’m old enough to remember when Chuck Schumer supported at least one of these budget items. In 2006, he and 25 other Democratic senators voted for the Secure Fence Act which would have built a double-layered fence on the US-Mexico border. The bill passed, by the way, and President Bush signed it into law. It wasn’t a close vote because it wasn’t particularly controversial. 

Now I’m sure that a persnickety liberal like Chuck Schumer would split hairs on this one. He voted for a fence, not a wall! That argument is a non-starter. Walls and fences are both barriers intended to keep people out so let’s not pretend that the difference between then and now is the type of barrier. What’s changed is that Chuck Schumer now supports endless and unlimited immigration with no distinction made between those who enter the country legally and those who don’t. He has likely learned that his party’s best interests are best served by diluting the voice of their actual constituents.

There is perhaps no better example than Chuck Schumer of how much this country has changed since the Bush years. Positions once held by a proud New York liberal are now considered reactionary. What happened? In short, the Overton Window has moved quickly and decisively leftward.

The Overton Window? What’s that? 

Glad you asked. I’m not talking about Glenn Beck’s boring novel but rather about its namesake: the handy mental model formulated by political scientist Joseph P. Overton. His window represents the breadth of ideas that the public considers acceptable discourse superimposed over a spectrum ranging from far left to far right. At both ends of the spectrum lurk ideas that are literally “unthinkable.” As we inch closer to the Overton Window we find ideas that are merely “radical.” The first category contained within the Overton Window is “acceptable,” followed by “sensible,” then “popular,” and finally “policy.”

The goal of most progressive strategists has been to move that window so that previously unthinkable ideas become conceivable and eventually uncontroversial. People who don’t adopt the newly mainstreamed idea quickly enough are usually shamed into silence. If they refuse to keep quiet they are shunned by polite society and often lose their livelihoods because their old ideas have been pushed into “radical” and “unthinkable” territory.

This is perhaps one reason the Left so despises the slippery slope argument—except when they employ it against their adversaries, of course. They want people to concentrate only on the issue as they narrowly define it without considering the principles at stake or the long-term ramifications. Who could have imagined, for example, that a little sensitivity toward racial issues would eventually lead to the stifling environment we find on college campuses today, in which it’s now considered a microaggression to say something as harmless as “I just believe the most qualified person should get the job”? That’s against the rules at the University of California, the largest university system in the country and a state school with an obligation to protects students’ free speech. Certainly no one foresaw this in the 1960s. We just thought we were telling racists—genuine racists—to shut up. What’s the next forbidden phrase? The Left doesn’t want you to ask. If people knew where this crazy train is going they’d demand to be let off.

But we should ask. What radical ideas will the Left be pushing in ten years? What unthinkable ideas will they champion in twenty? You can bet that they won’t admit to any of them now because the time isn’t right. That’s how this game is played.

For another example of the sliding Overton Window, consider Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders, both Democrats who sought the presidential nomination of their party, one successfully and the other unsuccessfully. When conservatives called Obama a socialist throughout his presidency, the Left balked. “Don’t be ridiculous!” they said. “He’s no socialist.” This protégé of the radical anti-American CPUSA member Frank Marshall Davis, who openly bragged of hanging out with the Marxist professors on his college campus, who praised a Soviet-backed communist terrorist like Nelson Mandela, was absolutely the furthest thing from a socialist a person could possibly be—or so we were told.

But then along came Bernie Sanders who didn’t even bother to hide his socialism. Of course, he made the highly dubious claim that he preferred the Danish variety of socialism to the Latin American brand he championed earlier in his political career, but at least he was honest enough to use the “S” word. And suddenly there really was nothing wrong with being a socialist. Who knew that after eight years of fervently denying Obama’s socialism—as if it were a bad thing—that the party’s next rising star would be a self-described socialist?

Sanders might even have won the nomination of the Democratic Party if Hillary Clinton hadn’t stacked the deck against him. His loss can be attributed to a number of factors but an aversion to socialism among Democratic voters isn’t one of them. Six in ten Democratic primary voters think socialism “has a positive impact” on society. That’s because the Democratic Party is really just America’s socialist party by another name.

The Left has been particularly successful in radically shifting the frame of acceptable discourse for three reasons. First, they have the media on their side to give them top cover. Second, they are masters of emotion-laden propaganda. And third, they recognize golden opportunities when they see them.

When Barack Obama came to power he recognized that an unpopular war and an economic collapse had left the American people stumbling and woozy. It was an opportune moment to remake society. “You never let a serious crisis go to waste,” said Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. “And what I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

Emanuel’s maxim has been the Left’s unarticulated strategy for a long time. They recognize that in times of national tumult the electorate often grants to progressives plenty of latitude to enact their policy wish lists. Obama benefited from one of these moments when he entered the White House in 2009 with a cooperative Democratic Congress to work with. The road was wide open and Obama went pedal to the metal into territory that most Americans would have considered too far afield just a few years before.

Few presidents have changed the nation as fundamentally as Barack Obama—and not in a good way. Within his first two years he had made the ideas of Saul Alinsky look all-American. I would argue that only Franklin Roosevelt spearheaded a more complete American transformation and he had twelve years to do it. Now there was a man who knew how to move the Overton Window. FDR’s New Deal was considered radical when he proposed it and would have been unthinkable a generation before.

But there was still work to be done. Thirty years later, President Lyndon Johnson exploited America’s national grief over the Kennedy Assassination to push through the atrocious Great Society agenda. President Carter pushed the window further to the left in those disorienting days after Watergate and the Vietnam War.

We conservatives never really push it back, often because we’re afraid we’ll be accused of “turning back the clock.” We need to get over our fear of moving the Overton Window in the other direction for a change. With both houses of Congress and the White House now in conservative hands, there is no excuse not to reverse most of the horrid policies of the Obama years. While they’re at it, they ought to reverse the policies of the Carter, Johnson, and Roosevelt years too.

Where is the America in which I grew up?

March 20, 2017

Where is the America in which I grew up? Israel National News, Joe David, March 20, 2017

(I was born in America a bit more than seventy-five years ago and feel the same way. Will America recover? Can she?  Will the “Deep State” allow it? Please see also,
I Will Name Names’: Infighting At EPA Drives Top Official To Resign and To Truly Beat The Bureaucrats, Trump Needs To Shut Their Agencies Down. President Trump needs all of the help he can get, and even that may be insufficient.– DM)

Some believe that it may be too late to stop this cozy triumvirate from achieving their goal, because they are too rooted for one president alone to handle. But one thing is for sure, whether the president wins or loses, the deep state’s cover has been blown. Thanks to the messaging of one brave man the America has wised up to what is happening and what is at stake. Hopefully that means that there will never be any turning back for the country and it will always be looking forward toward achieving a freer and healthier tomorrow.

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The America I knew growing up is rapidly disappearing. Law and order is being replaced by mob rule. A madness has claimed the country, introduced in recent years by hate groups who are dedicated to using violent protests to cause political instability. In a frenzy of madness, often triggered by just an innuendo, these groups want to crush all opposition to their agenda. For astute observers of our culture, this doesn’t come as a surprise. Our great universities, which were once citadels of reason, a safe place for open discourse, have abandoned both – and they have become instead centers for cultivating insurrection, with minimal tolerance for truth and clear thinking.

As a result of the events in the last eight years, I have come to the conclusion that my beloved country – the land of liberty, once ruled by freedom of speech, law and order, and a constitutional government – is being irreparably compromised by rebellion. In just a matter of a few years, many Americans have tossed aside sense and have joyfully embraced mob violence (examples, Berkeley University, inauguration riotsMichael Savage attack, and much, much more). The lessons in history on the fall of great nations have all been ignored – for those lucky enough to have once learned these lessons in school.

Every scheme that man could conceive to break a nation is being used today by agitators (i.e., followers of Saul Alinsky) in their eagerness to wipe away our liberties and independence in their move toward complete political control.

The strong, proud country of yesteryear, which once produced wealthy entrepreneurs and productive workers, is rapidly vanishing. Its citizens are demanding entitlement programs over honest employment, and, to get their way, they are using divisive rhetoric and action. Progressive leaders have spawned a lazy generation of lazy parasites who expect everything to be given to them – from housing and food to university education and medical plans. (Several supporters: Bernie SandersElizabeth Warren, and other left-wingers.)

What few resources that haven’t been squandered on federal aid programs (international and domestic) are insufficient to sustain us for long. America has seriously been weakened by poor management, and today it faces the world, impoverished and vulnerable, a cripple on broken crutches about to collapse (from the load of a nearly 20-trillion-dollar National debt).

Reaching this state didn’t occur overnight nor was it a result of one or two leaders. It was achieved over the years by the focused efforts of universities committed to turning students into social reformers obsessed with deconstructing a great nation To quote David Horowitz in his March 14, 2017, letter to his readers, we have reached this point “through silent planning, crafty messaging using pop culture as their vehicle, and the subtle brainwashing of the most impressionable group of people in our society – students.”

Our great universities aren’t completely to blame for what is happening in our country. If they were, their mistakes and deceits would have been exposed and corrected by a fair-minded media. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Instead, the universities have been protected by a mass media, stripped of objectivity and impartiality and bent on advancing their views with minimal respect for truth. As a result, educators have been free to do whatever they like, while journalists aggressively discredit anyone who challenges them. (Review almost any news spin on major school issues.)

Protecting these two deceivers from their questionable activities is a shadow government, made up of federal, state, and local workers who remain securely positioned, regardless of who is in the White House. This shadow government or deep state, as it is currently being called, has compiled over the years sufficient data on all us (by tapping into our emails, phone and medical records, and more) in order to silence us, when necessary.

Until recently, its existence was never obvious. The country moved along quietly, controlled by this shadow government, its citizens under the illusion that their freedom and independence was secure. From time to time there would be a news-breaking scandal when someone in position would question the decision of the deep state. But before the truth could be examined closely, the whistleblower would be compromised and the matter would come to a swift end.

Then, one man entered the political scene about a year ago who recently stepped into the Oval Office, a flawed but determined man, with one obsession, to turn America around and clean the swamp. Almost immediately, all hell broke loose across the country.

In an effort to discredit the man, everything positive that he was trying to do for the country was overshadowed by vicious innuendo and news stories. A sex tape, tax reports, an alleged Russian connection, and more were used against him to build a major scandal. In the establishment’s effort to bring him down, it exposed itself for what it really was attempting to do. That became obvious recently, when someone in position released highly classified CIA information. This information which was leaked to WikiLeaks by someone like an Edward Snowden, buried in the deep state, revealed the establishment’s true intent: not just to discredit a man, but to break a nation.

Some believe that it may be too late to stop this cozy triumvirate from achieving their goal, because they are too rooted for one president alone to handle. But one thing is for sure, whether the president wins or loses, the deep state’s cover has been blown. Thanks to the messaging of one brave man the America has wised up to what is happening and what is at stake. Hopefully that means that there will never be any turning back for the country and it will always be looking forward toward achieving a freer and healthier tomorrow.

I Denounce the Shameful Slanders Against Sebastian Gorka, Friend of Israel

March 19, 2017

I Denounce the Shameful Slanders Against Sebastian Gorka, Friend of Israel, PJ MediaDavid P. Goldman, March 17, 2017

“My father walked Jewish classmates to school to protect them from the anti-Semites during the war,” Dr. Sebastian Gorka (pictured above with the author) told me in Washington yesterday. He is still astonished by the allegations in left-wing media (and particularly Jewish media) that his father–a hero of the anti-fascist and anti-Communist resistance in Hungary–was a tied up with pro-Nazi elements in Hungary, and that he himself is linked to an Hungarian fascist organization.

Like the campaign of slander against his White House colleague Steve Bannon, these are lies from the whole cloth. As Liel Leibovitz (a liberal journalist at Tablet Magazine) wrote March 16: “I’d like to reach out to my friends and colleagues across town and ask, with clear eyes and a full heart: Have you lost your minds?”

There was an anti-Communist organization called Vitézi Rend, destroyed by the Communist government in the 1950s. Gorka’s father, Paul, was a dedicated member of the anti-Communist underground, and had risked his life to organize the Hungarian resistance and deliver vital information about the Soviets to western intelligence agencies, including the MI6. He was eventually arrested, badly tortured, and spent two years in solitary confinement and some more in forced labor in the coal mines before eventually escaping to England. The elder Gorka received a medal from the old Vitézi Rend and wears it on formal occasions to honor his father. After Communism fell in 1989 a number of new organizations called themselves Vitézi Rend, and some of them harbor anti-Semites. By this obtuse chain of indirect association, Sebastian Gorka–according to the liberal media–must also be an anti-Semite.

All the booze in Georgetown couldn’t have gotten Sen. Joseph McCarthy drunk enough to spin a dumb story like this one. As a writer, teacher and Fox News contributor, Dr. Gorka has been in the public eye for years. He is a fierce enemy of radical Islamic terrorism and a dedicated friend of Israel and the Jewish people. He has made this clear in countless public statements, for example, this one in the New English Review March 3. Dr. Gorka said:

There is no greater partner of the United States in the Middle East. We are very close and we help the Jordanians, Egypt, UAE  redressing and improving the very  negative relationship that was established between the White House under the Obama administration and Egyptian President Sisi’s government. Israel, as a beacon of democracy and stability in the Middle East, is our closest friend in the region and the President has been explicit in that again and again So it would be difficult  to overestimate just how important Israel is not only to America’s interest in the region but also to the broader stability of the Middle East.

Everyone in the Israel advocacy community in Washington knows Dr. Gorka’s strong commitment to the Jewish State.

As Congressman Trent Franks, the chairman of the Israel Allies Caucus in the House of Representatives, stated in a February 27 statement, “I have followed the recent press and social media attacks against Dr. Sebastian Gorka and am compelled to respond with disgust at the attempt to libel this American patriot. Most disturbing of all is the attempt to portray Dr. Gorka in any way as anti-Semitic. Having called upon his expertise on Counterterrorism repeatedly in Congress and used his analysis to inform our work, I can attest that Dr. Gorka is the staunchest friend of Israel and the Jewish people.”

The liberals at The Forward and other fake-news media should hang their heads in shame. Anti-Semitism is a serious business. We remember our dead at the hands of Jew-haters, from Pharaoh up to Hitler and Hamas. A false accusation of anti-Semitism dishonors their memory; it is what religious Jews call a hillul haShem, a desecration of the name of God.

Last year I denounced the “big lie” about Steve Bannon, who is one of the most philo-Semitic Gentiles I have ever met. I am disgusted that the same slander has been directed against Dr. Gorka. Israel is fortunate to have friends like Dr. Gorka advising the president. I personally am fortunate to know Dr. Gorka. The slanders directed at him are shameful and inexcusable.

Federal Judge Blasts Unprofessional Behavior of Justice Department Lawyers

March 11, 2017

 

Federal Judge Blasts Unprofessional Behavior of Justice Department Lawyers, PJ MediaJ. Christian Adams, March 11, 2017

(Perhaps the new sheriff will arrange some remedial attitude adjustment sessions for holdovers who can’t be fired. — DM)

Here we go again.  Another federal judge has scalded the unprofessional conduct of Justice Department lawyers inside the Civil Rights Division.  The first time it was perjury. After that, it was unethical conduct in a trial against New Orleans police officers.  Now it’s unprofessional behavior and bigotry toward the South in a federal court trial challenging Texas legislative districts.

United States Fifth Circuit Court Judge Jerry Smith has scalded a DOJ lawyer for misbehavior in the courtroom.  While it wasn’t perjury this time, it was behavior Justice Department lawyers aren’t supposed to do.  It’s behavior Attorney General Jeff Sessions will notice and should address.  From the case:

And then there is the United States, appearing through attorneys from the Department of Justice. I have no criticism of their knowledge of the law, and their zeal is, to say the least, more than adequate. But they entered these proceedings with arrogance and condescension. One of the Department’s lawyers even exhibited her contempt for Texas and its representatives and her disdain for these proceedings by regularly rolling her eyes at State witnesses’ answers that she did not like, and she amused herself by chewing gum while court was in session.

It was obvious, from the start, that the DoJ attorneys viewed state officials and the legislative majority and their staffs as a bunch of backwoods hayseed bigots who bemoan the abolition of the poll tax and pine for the days of literacy tests and lynchings. And the DoJ lawyers saw themselves as an expeditionary landing party arriving here, just in time, to rescue the state from oppression, obviously presuming that plaintiffs’ counsel were not up to the task. The Department of Justice moreover views Texas redistricting litigation as the potential grand prize and lusts for the day when it can reimpose preclearance via Section 3(c).

This attitude is in keeping with what Hans von Spakovsky and I have reported here on the pages of PJ Media.  An ideological hiring campaign took place during the Obama years where Every Single One of the lawyers hired into the Civil Rights Division were committed leftists.  When the DOJ Inspector General recommended that hiring criteria be changed to eliminate this perceived bias, then Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez rejected the recommendation.   I also discuss this attitude of Justice Department lawyers in my book Injustice.

I’m told that these reports are popular reading inside the Civil Rights Division.  Thanks to everyone there for helping make Injustice a New York Times bestseller.  Again, Judge Smith:

The Department of Justice has overplayed its hand and, in the process, has lost credibility. The wound is self-inflicted. The grand theory on which its intervention was mainly based—that invidious racial motives infect and predominate in the drawing of the 2011 district lines—has crashed and burned.

For those of you following along, this is a federal judge indicting the perspective, tactics and gum chewing of Justice Department lawyers.  They are bigots toward the South.  Sure of their righteousness.  Zealous in their struggle against people with whom they disagree.  We’ve been reporting about this bias now for eight years.  Thankfully federal courts now see the same biases and corruption that has been reported here for years.  As we saw in November, the American public also understands this bunch and their utopian transformative agenda.

Voting Section staff even hung a sign inside the Justice Department offices saying “Mess With Texas,” mocking the famous slogan “Don’t Mess With Texas.”

Here’s my bet: Voting Section management hasn’t alerted political managers of this misconduct in court.  If they have, Section managers will downplay the behavior or defend it.  Or, Section managers will have done utterly nothing to reprimand the person involved. They will recommend absolutely nothing be done.  That’s why the misconduct occurred—because a culture of misconduct and ideological zeal took hold—from hiring decisions to litigation.  Whichever lawyer was responsible should be removed from all future litigation.

News, Fake News, Very Fake News: A Primer

February 27, 2017

News, Fake News, Very Fake News: A Primer, PJ MediaRoger Kimball, February 27, 2017

spiceynewsconfWhite House Press secretary Sean Spicer takes questions from the media during the daily briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The motor of fake news is not inaccuracy. It’s malice.

I had an insight into this important truth a couple weeks back when I was at a swank New York club for an evening event. The establishment in question is overwhelmingly conventional, i.e., leftish in that smug “We’re-all-beautiful-people-who-are-you?” sort of way that publications like The New Yorker and the New York Times, along with such media outlets as CNN and MSNBC, exude like the cloying aroma of paperwhites.

I ran into an acquaintance, a female journalist I hadn’t seen in years. I knew that her politics were echt conventional in the above sense, but I had also found her an amusing and lively person. We were chatting with a couple of other people about this and that when someone she knew from the Times joined in. I then overheard him explain to her that she had to be careful about what she posted on Facebook, Twitter, etc., because anything too explicitly anti-Trump could be used against her when that glorious day came and “they” — the conventional fraternity of groupthink scribblers — finally took down that horrible, despicable man.

“We’ve got dozens of people working on it all the time,” he explained, adding that it was only a matter of time before they got the goods on Trump and destroyed him.

There in a nutshell, I thought, is the existential imperative that has been so gloriously productive of fake news and its exacerbated allotrope, first delineated by Donald Trump in his famous media-bashing presser on February 16, “very fake news.”

News is the reporting of facts. Someone says “this happened on such-and-such a day in such-and-such a way,” and independent, publicly available sources confirm that, yes, what was alleged happened at just that time and in just that fashion.

Fake news insinuates a skein of innuendo and a boatload of shared presumption floating on an ocean of fantastic desire into the mix. Repetition, like Rumor in the Iliad, whips this unstable congeries into an intoxicating frenzy:

Trump’s transition is in chaos, pass it on.”

Trump is a puppet of Putin, pass it on.”

Trump is Steve Bannon’s puppet, pass it on.”

Trump, like Steve Bannon, is a white supremacist/racist/homophobic/woman-hating xenophobe, really pass that one along.”

Every one of these fantasies is not only untrue, but ostentatiously, extravagantly untrue. Liberals of sound mind understand this.

Thus the British journalist Piers Morgan, than whom a more reliably left-liberal figure is hard to imagine, noted to Tucker Carlson that the Left’s hatred of Donald Trump has blinded them to reality. Godwin’s law, which states that the longer an online exchange proceeds, the more likely it is that Adolf Hitler will be dragged into the conversation, has been exacerbated in the case of Trump. It is true that every Republican since at least Ronald Reagan has been compared to Hitler, but in the case of Trump the comparisons have taken on an especially surreal tone. This, too, is something that Piers Morgan, in another interview with Tucker Carlson, noted with a sense of exasperated amazement.

In fact, Donald Trump’s first 30-odd days have been extraordinarily successful. That’s the news.

As Charlotte Allen noted in a column for USA Today, to date Trump has been even more successful than was Reagan in beginning to fulfill his campaign promises. All of his cabinet nominees have been confirmed (Trump withdrew his nominee for Labor secretary, Andrew Puzder, after it became clear that the two differed on immigration). He has moved quickly to get the ball rolling on tax cuts, repealing Obamacare, strengthening the military, enforcing the country’s immigration laws, and cutting the jungle of business-sapping regulation down to size. He has, as Allen observes, “already taken steps … to fulfill at least a dozen of his campaign promises.”

But listen to the New York Times or any of the other conventional (see above) “news” sources, and you would think Trump is a malevolent and incompetent monster who, despite his supreme incompetence, is somehow tipping the country into moral Armageddon.

Harken, for example, to Andrew Sullivan, who in a column for New York called “The Madness of King Donald,” tells his readers:

This man is off his rocker. He’s deranged; he’s bizarrely living in an alternative universe; he’s delusional.

Sullivan’s evidence?

There is no anchor any more. At the core of the administration of the most powerful country on earth, there is, instead, madness.

Hmm. The dogs are barking, but the caravan keeps moving along, Andrew.

So there’s news (well, there was news) and then there is fake news. Here’s one bit of news: the stock market has risen by nearly 3000 points since Trump’s election.

Here’s another bit of news: while Trump’s personal popularity remains low for a new president, the mood of the country as a whole has exploded with optimism, whereas towards the end of Barack Obama’s reign, 70% of those polled said that the country was moving in the wrong direction.

But what about “Very Fake News”? One could investigate the Left’s truly bizarre Russian fantasy to get a glimpse of the phantasmagoric nature of very fake news. Memo to CNN: Donald Trump was correct when he said the whole Russian gambit was “a ruse.” One of my favorite lines from the English essayist William Hazlitt is: “Those who lack delicacy hold us in their power.” It is ironical, to say the least, to find the very same people who decried Republicans for “red scare” tactics and the like now turn around and pretend that a man who is actively rebuilding America’s military, encouraging native energy production, and taking steps to unleash economic growth is somehow playing into Vladimir Putin’s hands.

That whole Russia narrative is deserving of the epithets served up by Andrew Sullivan: “deranged,” “delusional,” and smack dab in the middle of an alternate universe.

But Very Fake News is really more an attitude, an exfoliation of a moral atmosphere, than a putatively factual account. An exquisite specimen of the genre was vouchsafed us by the New York Times back in July, when the anti-George W. Bush historian Bruce Bartlett revealed that the Republican Party had become … the “party of hate.”

How did that terrible thing happen? Apparently, by a process akin to alchemical transformation.

Bartlett knows that the Democratic Party was the party of slavery in the 19th century, the party of segregation and Jim Crow in the early 20th century, and the party of identity politics, i.e., neo-segregation, now. He also knows, though he doesn’t come right out and say, that the Civil Rights Act was orchestrated overwhelmingly by Republicans over concerted Democratic opposition.

But then afterwards, somehow, Republicans became Democrats, or at least they became Southerners, i.e. the epitome of all that is racist, intolerant, homophobic, etc.

Note the logic: the GOP ushered in the Civil Rights and and the Voting Rights Act, but — pay attention now:

… in the process, Republicans absorbed the traditions of racism, bigotry, populism and rule by plutocrats called “Bourbons” that defined the politics of the South after the Civil War. They also inherited an obsession with self-defense, allegiance to evangelical Christianity, chauvinism, xenophobia and other cultural characteristics long cultivated in the South.

What do you think of that?

You should, I submit, think badly of it, on logical, moral, and historical grounds. Whence this alleged “process” of “absorption”? Is there any justification, any, for the deployment of those negative epithets racism, bigotry, populism? (And how did that last one sneak in?)

Bartlett’s dog’s breakfast of accusation is nothing more than a bagful of insults, utterly without content. He continues the disreputable campaign in the next paragraph:

The Southern states have long followed what are now doctrinaire Republican policies: minuscule taxes, no unions, aggressive pro-business policies, privatized public services and strong police forces that kept minorities in their place. Yet the South is and always has been our poorest region and shows no sign of converging with the Northeast, which has long followed progressive policies opposite those in the South and been the wealthiest region as well.

Personally, I am in favor of “minuscule taxes,” but, alas, the Republicans don’t favor them, at least not the ones writing the laws. Unions? There’s a place for unions in the private sector. But public sector unions, as even FDR understood, are a prescription for corruption. Privatized public services?  Why not? What’s better: FedEx or the U.S. Postal Service? Then there’s “pro-business policies.” I like them, the more  “aggressive” the better. Successful businesses make money, ergo they employ people and add to the country’s material well-being. It is true that Democrats favor the opposite strategy, but is that something to brag about?

As for the police, “strong police forces,” as Heather Mac Donald has shown (and Donald Trump has echoed) are valuable not only because they keep crime low but because they protect minorities, especially those in inner cities.

As for the relative prosperity of North and South, Bartlett is stuck in the 1850s. For more than a decade now, the South has outpaced the North in economic growth if not, thank God, in “progressive,” i.e., leftwing, anti-prosperity attitudes.

Bartlett’s scurrilous essay is one of those productions that, merely contemptible in itself, is nonetheless worth noting as a symptom. It exemplifies, even as it contributes to, that surreal atmosphere of groundless accusation and intimidation that has made the conventional (again, see above) reception of Donald Trump such a carnival of malignancy and groundless apocalyptic self-dramatization.

Steve Bannon was right to brand the media the “opposition party.”

To an extent marvelous to behold, it has become a factory for the production of fake and very fake news: not just the dissemination of lies, half-truths, and unsubstantiated fantasies, but also the perpetuation of that echo-chamber in which political paranoia feeds upon the bitter lees of its impotent irrelevance. As I say, that old adage about the barking dogs and the moving caravan is deeply pertinent to our situation. If Donald Trump is at all successful in his efforts to help the country, we will look back on the behavior of the media and its enablers circa 2017 with a mixture of horror and contempt.

An Émigré Explains Why The U.S. Should Want Russia As An Ally

February 22, 2017

An Émigré Explains Why The U.S. Should Want Russia As An Ally, TheFederalist, February 22, 2017

(Please see also, Is a Trump-Putin Detente Dead? — DM

I am a Russian-born U.S. citizen. Since my old country is all in the news now, unsurprisingly, several people have asked me about the latest spat between the two countries. I have rounded up a few frequently asked questions (FAQ) in no particular order, and here they are.

Question: Is Russia our foe or ally?

Answer: Neither. Lord Palmerston famously quipped, “Great Britain has no friends, only interests,” and the same applies to other countries. The United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) were geopolitical adversaries during the Cold War. Prior to that, they were allies in World War II when both faced an existential threat from Nazi Germany and Japan. Now both Russia and the United States are facing a threat of radical Islam, which may bring the two countries together again.

Q: But can we cooperate with the Russians after they captured large chunks of Ukraine and Georgia?

A: Well, the Soviet Union captured Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia in 1939, yet Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill cooperated with Joseph Stalin and actively supported his war efforts. The West never recognized the annexation of the Baltic republics; it just put that matter on the back burner for the sake of a more urgent goal. Henry Kissinger calls this realpolitik.

Q: Donald Trump has picked Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon Mobile, as his secretary of State. Tillerson has warm relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. How do we know which side Tillerson is on?

A: Let me cite a historical precedent. Another famous American oil executive was friendly with Soviet leaders. His name was Armand Hammer. He had numerous personal and business ties with the USSR, starting in the 1920s. In 1957, Hammer became president and CEO of Occidental Petroleum. He used his connections to end the Cold War between the two countries. According to his biographer, Hammer was “a go-between for five Soviet General Secretaries and seven U.S. Presidents.” Paradoxically, Hammer’s efforts on behalf of the USSR made him a darling of the American Left, even though he supported the Republican Party.

Q: Has Putin ordered the murder of Russian journalists and other political opponents?

A: That has not been proven conclusively, but is plausible. Regardless of whether that is the case, it should not determine American foreign policy. That was clear to FDR and Churchill, who were well aware of Stalin’s atrocities.

Q: Did Russia side with Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential race?

A: Of course, it did. Nations do take sides and interfere in other nations’ internal affairs all the time. For example, the United States actively encouraged the Arab Spring in several countries and even supported Syrian and Libyan “moderate” rebels. It was the job of the sitting U.S. president to prevent any Russian interference in U.S. elections.

Q: Is Russian spying on U.S. institutions a new phenomenon?

A: Absolutely not! However, things change. Between the 1940s and the 1960s, it was the conservative Right that was alarmed by Russian spying and Communist infiltration of the federal government. The Left dismissed that concern, mocking it as looking for “reds under the beds.” Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were convicted of spying for Russia and executed, became martyrs of the Left. Even in the 1970s when I arrived in the United States, the Left’s favorite motto was “it’s better be red than dead.” Things really changed in the 1980s.

Q: What happened in the 1980s?

A: When Ronald Reagan became president, he faced fierce opposition from the Left. The media elite ridiculed him as an unsophisticated cowboy and right-wing warmonger for calling the USSR an evil empire. The opposition became violent when Reagan proposed an anti-missile defense system, which the media dismissed as a “star wars” program. However, when an opportunity came up, Reagan held productive summits with former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev. These summits eventually led to the end of the Cold War.

Q: Is Putin a reincarnation of Stalin?

A: The two leaders represent two different generations separated by a period of 70 years. During those 70 years, the world has changed, and so has Russia. Stalin ruled Russia with an iron fist, while today’s Russians enjoy a degree of freedom. Putin is more pragmatic than Stalin. Yet contemporary Russian society is still quite different from its Western European counterparts, which is perhaps just fine, given that the latter are in a deep crisis now.

Q: Can the United States rely on Russia in the war on radical Islamic terrorism?

A: If it were a matter of life or death, I would always choose to have Russia on my side, rather than a Western ally, such as France. When Russians wage a war, they do it to win, not to satisfy lawyers by following every rule specifying acceptable ways of killing the enemy.

Here is an example. Somalian pirates threatened international shipping in the Indian Ocean between 2005 and 2013 by taking hostages. The American, French, Italian, and other navies rescued many hostages, caught pirates, and sent them to their countries. The arrests, trials, appeals, and imprisonment cost hundreds of millions of dollars. According to a Guardian report, there was a fear that “trials in European courts would encourage, rather than deter, pirates from committing crimes of piracy.”

In contrast, when a Russian destroyer rescued a Russian tanker with its crew from pirates in 2010, they did not arrest the pirates. They disarmed the pirates and set them adrift in an inflatable boat. The released pirates did not reach the coast. Rumor has it that the rescuers made a hole in the boat before releasing it.