Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a dismissive comment about people who have a large number of Twitter followers when what Democrats need is a large number of votes on the House floor (gee, I wonder who she was talking about?) Sunday on “Sixty Minutes,” she made it even clearer that she’s feeling like a put-upon Romper Room teacher whose charges had too much sugar for breakfast when she brushed off the loud, demanding leftist media darlings such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez by saying that far-left wing of the party is “like, five people.”
She’s right that there are only a handful of these freshman radicals in the House (and what a handful they are!), but they represent a pretty large number of sadly misinformed young Democratic voters, which spells trouble for the Party in finding candidates who can win a Democratic Primary without repulsing most voters in the general election.
Her TV comments aren’t likely to calm the brewing clash between the old guard like Pelosi who want to at least keep up the pretense of being moderate, pro-business and pro-capitalism and the young firebrands who think the key to victory is badmouthing America, extolling socialism and calling anyone who objects a sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, xenophobic Nazi. While I personally find the latter group repugnant, I wish them well in keeping up that electoral strategy right through 2020.
The brilliance of President Trump’s suggestion that he might bus illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities just becomes more apparent by the minute. Calling their bluff was all it took for the liberal creators and proponents of sanctuary cities to start melting down in public like ice sculptures on the Fourth of July.
“Compassionate” California leftists such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Gov. Gavin Newsom must have sent their aides to fetch thesauruses to provide them with new words for how OUTRAGEOUS it was for Trump to suggest that we send illegal immigrants to states and cities whose leaders said they would be welcome with open arms because they contribute so much more to the community than they cost. Here are just a few terms they hurled at Trump:
Pelosi: “Cruel,” “cynical,” “despicable,” “criminal”…Newsom: "unserious," "illegal," "asinine," "sophomoric," “ludicrous,” “petulant,” “sophistry,” “insulting,” “immoral,” “pathetic,” “demoralizing,” “un-American” and “illegal.”
Methinks he doth hyperventilate too much.
Funny that he should mention “illegal.” Some Trump opponents are trying to make the case that it would be illegal for the government to transport illegal immigrants to blue state “sanctuary cities.” If they’re such sticklers for obeying federal immigration law, then why did they deliberately defy federal immigration law to declare themselves “sanctuary cities”?
If you really wanted to be cynical, you might entertain the suggestion by some on the right that Democrats really don’t want these people moving to their cities because they’ll bring all the problems and burdens of taking care of them with none of the increased Democratic electoral votes of turning states they were bused from, like Texas and Arizona, blue.
But they can howl all they like. All it’s doing is exposing what a load of virtue-signaling, “not in my back yard” hypocrites they are. If you think what Trump did was “asinine” rather than brilliant, then consider that he’s made Sen. Cory Booker sound like Trump himself, warning that letting a lot of unvetted illegal immigrants into sanctuary cities will make Americans “less safe.” I’ll pass on the easy comment of calling him a racist, the way leftists did to Trump, and just point out the bright side: it would hardly be possible to make most leftist-run cities any less safe than they already are.
In fact, Trump’s trolling is so powerful that behold: he’s apparently even managed to turn Cher into a Republican!
With the Russian collusion “scandal” turning out to be a dry hole, Congressional Democrats are now demanding President Trump’s tax returns in their desperate scavenger hunt for a pretext for the impeachment they’ve been promising for over two years. That demand sparked a hilarious response from Louisiana Republican Sen. John Kennedy that might have to be the quote of the day:
Update: The Clintons’ speaking tour is still going about as well as the band’s tour in “Spinal Tap.”
I already wrote about the spectrum of bias in press coverage of the Mueller report. But of course, that’s hardly the only story for which you have to “consider the source” before believing it.
For instance, a story about the Administration’s environmental policies appeared in Salon.com (which I would never mistake for a legitimate, unbiased news source) with a provocative headline claiming that a Trump official declared that “Science is a Democrat thing.” It’s such a load of garbage (complete with quotes from a group that poses as a nonpartisan pro-science organization but isn’t) that I’m not going to increase their click count by linking to it. But here’s a sample:
“Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Calif., citing the inspector general's report into the matter, said that a Trump appointee named Landon ‘Tucker’ Davis had offered a likelier explanation for why a study that was more than halfway done was abruptly shut down: In Davis' words, ‘Science was a Democrat thing.’"
Salon didn’t bother to explain what position of influence Davis might hold, or why they would not only use such a questionable quote from a partisan, third-hand source, but treat it as headline news. There was a link in that paragraph that readers who didn’t follow it might assume points to more information verifying the quote. Instead, it was a link to a typically dry letter from a deputy inspector general, saying that Trump officials explained that the study was canceled because after spending more than half of the million-dollar-plus budget, they felt it hadn’t produced results that were likely to justify further costs. The “Science is a Democrat thing” quote didn’t appear in it at all.
So I guess “journalism” isn’t a Salon thing.
I also think that after hearing that people can change genders just by deciding to, that there’s no biological difference between men and women, and that fetuses only become babies 15 to 20 minutes after they’re born, we can agree that science isn’t a Democrat thing, either.
Instead of linking to Salon, I think I’ll link you to this article by a science writer who is hardly a Trump supporter, but who is honest enough to realize what damage is done by partisan “journalists” who claim that Trump is “at war with science,” when that’s not true and it misleads the public. There are some areas in which Trump has increased funding, and others in which cutbacks are just part of a general reduction in non-defense spending and staffing. Meanwhile, Obama defunded science projects and suppressed access to scientific information, and the press painted him as a champion of science.
But then, truth just isn’t a modern journalism thing.
It seems as if these days, every news story, no matter how serious, has to include an element of WWE-level cartoonishness. And so, with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrested and facing likely extradition to the US, we’re told he partly lost his sanctuary in Ecuador’s London Embassy because he was the world’s worst house guest. He stayed for seven years and his hosts accused him of “putting excrement on walls, leaving soiled laundry in the bathroom, and not properly looking after his cat.”
Having a story with such major international ramifications for journalism and the First Amendment get launched due to dirty laundry and cat poop seems as crazy as derailing the entire US economic system to reduce cow farts. Oh, wait…
As I’ve mentioned before, the Julian Assange saga is extremely complicated, with no easily-defined, clear-cut lines. Some say he’s a journalist who helps keep the public informed by publishing material the powerful want to keep secret. Others say he’s a dangerous leaker who does “document dumps” of stolen classified information without redacting data that could put America’s security and the lives of confidential sources and intelligence operatives at risk. In fact, it’s likely that both are true, depending on the circumstances. So what is the exact charge for which the US wants to put him on trial?
You might be surprised at how minor it is. As a general rule, the law protects journalists who publish leaks of confidential information, but they can be charged if they helped the leaker commit an illegal act to obtain the information. So while Assange has been assailed for a number of things, the US indictment hinges on the 2010 leak of Defense Department information by former US intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning. But Assange is not charged for distributing all that damaging classified military data. He’s charged with conspiring with Manning to help figure out a password to obtain more data, a hacking attempt that didn’t even work.
If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison, or two years less than he spent hiding out with his untidy cat at the Ecuadoran Embassy. Of course, the US might file other charges, but it’s likely they’d have to reveal them before the UK decides whether to allow his extradition, and it’s not easy to see what they would be.
At the link is a good explanation by Emily Stewart of Vox.com of the charge, the cases for and against Manning being a journalist, and the possible ramifications of prosecuting him for publishing leaks and why the issues are so murky. The writer makes a good point that the charge he’s facing is like the feds nailing Al Capone for tax evasion: it’s not what authorities wanted to charge him with, but it was the charge they could get a conviction on.
It’s a reasonably unbiased article for Vox, although the author did feel the need to include this quote from an ACLU official: “Any prosecution of WikiLeaks for publishing government secrets would set a dangerous precedent that the Trump administration would surely use to target other news organizations.”
I thought we had already established that the Trump DOJ was prosecuting Assange for only one charge, conspiracy to aid a hacker, not for publishing news. For all the scare talk about Trump’s targeting of news organizations, all he’s ever done that I can see is criticize the media for doing a lousy job, which he has a perfect right to do under the First Amendment (recall that he revoked a CNN reporter’s White House credentials not for anything he reported but for being a rude, disruptive jerk.) And if the media feel restrained against criticizing Trump, they sure don’t act like it.
It was the Obama Administration that actually targeted numerous journalists. In case the ACLU has forgotten, here’s a round-up of Obama’s greatest hits on journalists.
They didn’t just call the press “enemies of the people” for undermining trust in our elections with fake news. They actually had Fox News reporter James Rosen secretly branded as a “criminal co-conspirator” under the Espionage Act of 1917 just so they could spy on his communications to try to discover his State Department source.
The ACLU’s concerns about the President “targeting” journalists would be a lot more believable if they’d aimed them at the President who actually did it.