We may have finally discovered why the densest cities are so heavily Democratic. It's because the denseness is in the air.
When I saw that Michael Cohen’s attorney/mouthpiece was Clinton fixer Lanny Davis, I expected that we were in for a lot of accusations against President Trump, no matter what the facts were. I just didn’t expect to see the house of cards get blown over this quickly. Davis must feel right at home on CNN, since they both seem to share the motto, “Accuse first, fast-check later.”
One of the hallmarks of life in the age of Trump is the absolute, hair-on-fire, “these go to 11” hysteria of his critics. To listen to them, everything he does is an unprecedented OUTRAGE that is “literally” going to cause the END OF THE WORLD!!! Whoever imagined that when New York Times writer/”economist” Paul Krugman declared on Election Night that worldwide markets were going to melt down, throwing us into a global depression and we'd “never” recover, that he would soon look like the king of understatement compared to his media colleagues?
As the hysteria has ramped up and up, and the predictions have become more and more apocalyptic, America on the whole seems to be doing pretty well. The CEO of Target said last week that he has never seen an economy this good. Unemployment for nearly all demographics is at all-time lows. Wages are finally starting to rise after years of stagnation. ISIS isn’t stamped out yet, but at least we’re no longer fighting them with both hands tied behind our backs. North Korea is balking at living up to the denuclearization promises they made at the negotiating table, but at least they came to the table, and if it takes a little more stick and a little less carrot to make them do what they promised, then it’s better than our previous policy of impotent tut-tutting as they kept building nukes and testing missiles.
And then there were the trade deals: Trump was elected on a promise to craft better trade deals that wouldn’t result in US jobs being shipped overseas and artificially cheap goods being dumped here to bankrupt our domestic industries. The moneyed interests and the politicians in their cashmere pockets railed that Trump was going to start trade wars and crash the world economy. But he understood that America held the strongest hand in the poker game; we’d just been sending in players for years who knew only one move: how to fold.
We’ve already seen the EU come around, and now, after months of snide invective against Trump that was gleefully parroted by the US media, Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto joined Trump Monday to announce that they’ve agreed to an understanding to replace NAFTA, the free trade deal Trump ran against.
And did Peña Nieto do as Democrats and the media no doubt hoped and rail about what a terrible idea this is? Nope. He said the new agreement will be “very positive” for both countries, and that NAFTA needed to be renewed and “modernized” (if he knew that, it would have been nice to have said it a little sooner, but such is diplomacy.) He even praised Trump, telling him, “I recognize your political will and your participation in this.” And horror of horrors, he even urged the liberals’ heartthrob, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, to get on board. Trump said negotiations with Canada would begin “pretty much immediately” so that all three nations would be trading partners again under a better deal. It appears to be both a vindication for Trump and a triumph for his artistry of the deal.
In response to the news, the Dow hit yet another all-time high. Meanwhile, I’m sure the response of Trump’s critics will be that this will literally mean the END OF THE WORLD!!! Let’s hope it just means the end of their world. All this screeching is making my ears hurt.
Liberal media outlets are attempting to paint complaints by conservatives of bias against them by the media and then by social media as a false narrative and a paranoid delusion (funny, those are the two things I tend to see most often on liberal media channels.) As the bias has become more and more obvious in recent months, the denials have become more strident, with NBC’s Chuck Todd giving us a prime example. You can see it at this link, along with the results of a Harvard study of Trump news coverage:
That study found that during his first 100 days, Trump received 80% negative coverage in the mainstream media, compared to 60% positive coverage for Obama’s first 100 days (I'm stunned: only 60% positive for Obama?) At CNN and NBC, the Trump coverage was 93% negative. And at Fox News, it was 52% negative, 48% positive – “fair and balanced,” to coin a phrase. It was even slightly negative toward Trump, but the other media outlets are sooo biased that to them, Fox looks like Trump’s PR network.
To continue on with our groundless conservative paranoia round-up, Western Media (a site I have an affiliation with) just became the latest conservative news organization to be demonetized by YouTube and have its ad revenue cut off, for vague reasons that make a Magic 8-ball seem detailed and cogent.
And if you’ve noticed lately that Google news results look more like the magazine selection on the coffee table in Bernie Sanders’ office than a nonpartisan search engine, then you’re not alone. Paula Bolyard at PJ Media ran an experiment, searching for news stories with the word “Trump” on Google. The results returned were from almost uniformly left-leaning, anti-Trump sites. Not one right-leaning site appeared on the first page of results. Only two (the Wall Street Journal with three stories and Fox News with two) even made it into the top 100 stories Google returned. CNN was the top finisher with 21 stories (gee, I wonder which way those stories leaned?)
Liberals might try to dismiss this (“Of course, the results for ‘Trump’ were over 90% negative, you paranoid loon! He gets over 90% negative coverage!”), but let me note that this article also quotes the results of a study by a San Francisco SEO company called “Can I Rank?” In analyzing over 2,000 Google searches for politically-charged terms such as “gun control” or "Black Lives Matter,” they found that they were nearly 40% more likely to get left-leaning results in the top stories returned. There were no right-leaning stories at all in the top Google results for such terms as “minimum wage,” “abortion,” “NAFTA,” “Iraq war,” “campaign finance reform,” “global warming,” “marijuana legalization” or "TPP." Sixteen percent of results for politically-charged terms didn’t have a single right-leaning news story on the entire first page.
Most tellingly, Googling “Republican Platform” returned the text of the platform followed by seven left-leaning articles criticizing it. Just for grins, I Googled “Democratic platform.” I got back the text of the platform followed by various articles, none of them critical, from such liberal sites as Time, the Washington Post, the Nation, and the Atlantic.
Liberal news sites (which have enjoyed a boost in views thanks to this nonexistent bias) scoff that any claims of anti-conservative bias are just paranoid nonsense. And Google, like all the other social media and Internet giants, claims this is just coincidental, a quirk of their non-biased algorithm (which seems to have a little too much “Al Gore” in it for my taste.)
As much as conservatives like myself hate government intervention, these sites have become the 21st century town square, the equivalent of public utilities. We don’t allow the phone company to charge less or provide more free minutes to people whose politics align with the CEO of AT&T. If these tech and social media giants don’t take their thumb off the scale, they might find it forcibly removed by government regulation.
By the way, if any liberals want to argue with me that Twitter, Facebook, etc., aren’t the equivalent of public utilities, note that they’ve already been ruled to be in federal court. Some leftist trolls who liked to post nasty things on President Trump’s Twitter page ran to court when he blocked them, and a federal judge ruled against Trump. The judge found that sites like Twitter are the new version of a public forum, so blocking people for their political beliefs violates their First Amendment rights. If you’d like to read more about it, here’s an article with all the details. I’m sure it won’t be blocked because it’s from the rabidly leftwing site Slate.com, where the writer chortled smugly throughout because the ruling stuck it to Trump. He declared this ruling to be “an extraordinary victory for free speech on the Internet.”
That ruling just might end up being more of a victory for free speech on the Internet than this writer is going to like.
New Mexico update
More news about the New Mexico child abuse case that the media don’t seem to want to cover: the accused were allegedly not only running an Islamic jihadist training center for children, but a document recovered from the compound suggests they were also planning a terrorist attack on an Atlanta hospital.
Mr. Reich's Fantasyland
Clinton economic guru Robert Reich has always seemed like an intelligent fellow, even if his ideas tend to work a lot better in theory than in reality. But his latest is straight out of “wishing will make it so” Fantasyland.
Reich seems to believe there will be “overwhelming evidence (Trump) rigged the 2016 election,” and impeachment isn’t enough to remedy that: we must “annul” his presidency, reversing all his appointments and executive orders and erasing every trace of it from history.
Mark Steyn had a great take on this, comparing it to the season of “Dallas” where Pam opened the shower door and found her husband Bobby alive again, so that the whole previous season following his death was “just a dream.” In fact, “It was all a dream” has been the laziest cliché of drama for centuries. My first thought was that Reich's comments reminded me of Stalin having people who displeased him erased from official photos, or Winston Smith’s job in “1984,” removing things from historical records that displeased Big Brother.
My advice to Mr. Reich: you’re having a fever dream. Go get some rest and sleep it off. Try setting your alarm clock for 2024. By then, Trump will be leaving office and America will be so great again, everyone will be tired of winning. Maybe then they’ll elect a Democrat to reverse all that.
UPDATE on Stefan Halper: the mysterious origins of the FBI' "Russia" probe
A while back, I wrote about a whistleblower at the Defense Department, Adam Lovinger, who questioned the activities of someone named Stefan Halper (name ring a bell?), a Cambridge professor emeritus who was later implicated in the suspicious lead-up to the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation of then-Presidential candidate Donald Trump. The Washington Post and New York Times did stories on Halper’s role in setting that up but kept his name secret at the time.
In breaking news, thanks to documents obtained by Judicial Watch, investigative reporter Sara A. Carter has expanded on what she previously reported about Halper, now saying that he “was involved in every aspect of the FBI’s investigation.” That includes a role in the initial application for a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign associate Carter Page, when in July of 2016 he approached Page at one of his intelligence seminars at Cambridge and befriended him, pumping him for information about the Trump campaign and Russia. Halper has direct ties to Russian intelligence and appears to have been inserted into the Trump campaign.
Halper’s contacts with George Papadopoulos began in September of 2016, when he offered the young man a $3,000 contract and a trip to London, where Papadopoulos sat in a bar and happened to repeat within earshot of Australian diplomat and Hillary crony Alexander Downer a story he’d apparently been fed: that the Russians had damaging information on Hillary. Downer would later take that story to the FBI, providing pretense for them to investigate Russia “helping” Trump.
Halper is even tied to former Trump advisor and retired Gen. Michael Flynn, who was ambushed by FBI interrogators and ended up pleading guilty to lying –- something even his questioners don’t think he did. In 2014, Halper arranged a get-together at one his seminars and invited both Flynn and a Russian woman, later advancing a story that Flynn had had some sort of suspicious contact with her.
This man was reaching out to Carter Page, George Papadopoulos AND Michael Flynn? What are the odds?
Lovinger’s attorney, Sean Bigley, pointed out on Sean Hannity’s show Monday night that Halper worked in partnership hosting the Cambridge seminars with a “noted Putin apologist” who’d spent a decade at the State Academy in Russia. Halper taught the seminars with none other than the former head of Russian intelligence. He also is known to have accepted funds from what British intelligence agency MI-6 believes is a front company for the Russian intelligence service. (Christopher Steele is a former MI-6 agent.)
Lovinger happened to stumble onto Halper’s odd activities at the Defense Department while doing his job going through contract paperwork; he noticed that Halper had received a contract for over a million dollars essentially to write reports. What Halper was really doing at the Pentagon was a head-scratcher. He was making trips overseas and conducting so-called “diplomatic relations,” which contractors are forbidden by federal law to do. When Lovinger started asking questions, he was suspended without pay from his job as senior director for strategy at the National Security Council –- he’s surviving on the generosity of family and friends –- and he also lost his security clearance.
(See, John Brennan? If someone can lose his security clearance just for asking some innocent questions, is it any wonder you lost yours after all YOU’VE pulled? But I digress…)
Sara Carter has much more detail on her website. But a warning: it’ll make you angry, especially about what happened to Michael Flynn.