Day: December 5, 2017

Why the United States and Russia Can Never Be Friends


Allegedly, the benefits of increased overtures to Moscow are significant, and varied enough to attract a wide spectrum of supporters. It’s not terribly hard to understand the instinct. Russia is one of the few powers on earth that could end civilization. Who in their right mind would want to fight with them? They have a history of brilliant culture, look like Americans, and share a religion with America’s Founders.

The problem, unfortunately, is that America can never be friends with Russia. America is a country based on freedom of speech and a government representing the people. Russia is the opposite. Russians don’t have anything like it. Not now. Not ever. This is a fundamental, irreconcilable difference.

Russian serfs were dominated by Tsars for centuries. Their revolution was owned by the Bolsheviks who killed people with machine guns for thought crimes. Russia was just getting started though, since Lenin was followed by Stalin. Almost a century after the Red Revolution, Russians still only had the choice of voting for a Communist or a former Communist who had been a career KGB man.

In modern Russia, if you say something that the leadership does not like, you may be shot in your house, shot in the back, or if you are lucky, maybe you will just have sh*t thrown on you and flee the country to protect your family.

By way of contrast, in American politics, Donald Trump was widely despised by the established powers, and won the Presidency. No matter what one thinks of Trump, whether he is a great man or a clown, there can be no doubt that he illustrated the power American citizens have to choose their own destiny. Indeed, the worse one thinks Trump is, the more it shows the power of the people to elect whom they please.

Trump could not have run his campaign in Moscow against Putin. Candidates from Vladimir Bukovsky to Boris Nemtsov to Garry Kasparov, have made milder statements against the establishment than Trump has, only to be exiled or killed.

Trump is a minor revolution against the government, something the world will see and learn from. In fact, there is a long history of America inspiring action around the world. Dramatically, it happened when the French decapitated their king. A more recent example would be how the United States stood with the oppressed people of the world throughout the Cold War, eventually enabling the Romanian people to execute their Communist overlords.

There is a lesson here for Putin. America’s very existence undermines him: his power, wealth, family, and life.

Closed societies engage in censorship of free speech to protect the ruling class. A prosperous and free America is “speaking” to ordinary Russians, whispering, hinting, showing a different type of life, one with freedom, one where Russians could freely say No to Putin.

The Ukrainians were also talking to Russians when almost a million patriots took to the streets, risking their lives, to oust the corrupt Russian puppet Viktor Yanukovych. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine only makes sense in this context. It was to silence freedom loving Ukranians lest the Russian people get any dangerous ideas.

Of course, Putin won’t stage a ground invasion of America. But in other ways, his tactics to weaken America — promotion of the secession of Texas, and funding BLM to incite ethnic rivalries — are remarkably similar to Russian actions in Ukraine

Russia, the country who has never held their Communists accountable for mass death, is planning on opening up a memorial to American Indians who died in America hundreds of years ago. The Kremlin wants to show that America is founded on genocide and thus morally bankrupt. If Putin cannot literally silence America, then undermining America’s credibility is necessary. These are not the actions of a friend.

America, for its part, has a choice. The President can call out Russian actions for what they are, this does not mean taking aggressive military action, but merely speaking the truth. A President tried this a few decades ago when he had the clarity to call the most dangerous power humanity has ever seen the “evil empire.” His foreign policy met with good results.

The other choice is to say what adversarial powers want America to say and hope this level of appeasement will decrease conflict without compromising America too badly.

Actually, this policy has already been tried. Bill Clinton tried to work out a relationship with the Kim regime, George Bush remarkably looked the other way while Iran aided Al-Qaeda, and of course Obama’s conciliatory attitude to any foreign power with a grievance was one of his trademark policies. The result is that today the world hangs on a knife’s edge.

Unfortunately, for all the nice gestures America has made to Russia — from the $20,000,000 given to feed Russians after the Bolshevik Revolution, to helping the Russian people rid themselves of the Communist regime, or the billions America gave Russia after the collapse of Communism — the Kremlin’s preferred policy is to demonize America.

Pleasant fantasies and smart policy are not the same thing. Unless anyone expects Putin to voluntarily put himself in danger, there is every reason to think Russia’s leaders will continue with the same necessarily antagonistic policy. Pleading with Russia to improve relations is unproductive and unbecoming to America. 

Friendship-with-Russia is a popular policy which candidates state boldly. It helps them get elected.

The yearning for a friend in Moscow stretches back decades, whether it be Bernie Sanders taking his honeymoon in the Soviet Union, Nixon bragging about his friendship with Brezhnev, or Franklin D. Roosevelt defending Stalin every chance he got.

Allegedly, the benefits of increased overtures to Moscow are significant, and varied enough to attract a wide spectrum of supporters. It’s not terribly hard to understand the instinct. Russia is one of the few powers on earth that could end civilization. Who in their right mind would want to fight with them? They have a history of brilliant culture, look like Americans, and share a religion with America’s Founders.

The problem, unfortunately, is that America can never be friends with Russia. America is a country based on freedom of speech and a government representing the people. Russia is the opposite. Russians don’t have anything like it. Not now. Not ever. This is a fundamental, irreconcilable difference.

Russian serfs were dominated by Tsars for centuries. Their revolution was owned by the Bolsheviks who killed people with machine guns for thought crimes. Russia was just getting started though, since Lenin was followed by Stalin. Almost a century after the Red Revolution, Russians still only had the choice of voting for a Communist or a former Communist who had been a career KGB man.

In modern Russia, if you say something that the leadership does not like, you may be shot in your house, shot in the back, or if you are lucky, maybe you will just have sh*t thrown on you and flee the country to protect your family.

By way of contrast, in American politics, Donald Trump was widely despised by the established powers, and won the Presidency. No matter what one thinks of Trump, whether he is a great man or a clown, there can be no doubt that he illustrated the power American citizens have to choose their own destiny. Indeed, the worse one thinks Trump is, the more it shows the power of the people to elect whom they please.

Trump could not have run his campaign in Moscow against Putin. Candidates from Vladimir Bukovsky to Boris Nemtsov to Garry Kasparov, have made milder statements against the establishment than Trump has, only to be exiled or killed.

Trump is a minor revolution against the government, something the world will see and learn from. In fact, there is a long history of America inspiring action around the world. Dramatically, it happened when the French decapitated their king. A more recent example would be how the United States stood with the oppressed people of the world throughout the Cold War, eventually enabling the Romanian people to execute their Communist overlords.

There is a lesson here for Putin. America’s very existence undermines him: his power, wealth, family, and life.

Closed societies engage in censorship of free speech to protect the ruling class. A prosperous and free America is “speaking” to ordinary Russians, whispering, hinting, showing a different type of life, one with freedom, one where Russians could freely say No to Putin.

The Ukrainians were also talking to Russians when almost a million patriots took to the streets, risking their lives, to oust the corrupt Russian puppet Viktor Yanukovych. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine only makes sense in this context. It was to silence freedom loving Ukranians lest the Russian people get any dangerous ideas.

Of course, Putin won’t stage a ground invasion of America. But in other ways, his tactics to weaken America — promotion of the secession of Texas, and funding BLM to incite ethnic rivalries — are remarkably similar to Russian actions in Ukraine

Russia, the country who has never held their Communists accountable for mass death, is planning on opening up a memorial to American Indians who died in America hundreds of years ago. The Kremlin wants to show that America is founded on genocide and thus morally bankrupt. If Putin cannot literally silence America, then undermining America’s credibility is necessary. These are not the actions of a friend.

America, for its part, has a choice. The President can call out Russian actions for what they are, this does not mean taking aggressive military action, but merely speaking the truth. A President tried this a few decades ago when he had the clarity to call the most dangerous power humanity has ever seen the “evil empire.” His foreign policy met with good results.

The other choice is to say what adversarial powers want America to say and hope this level of appeasement will decrease conflict without compromising America too badly.

Actually, this policy has already been tried. Bill Clinton tried to work out a relationship with the Kim regime, George Bush remarkably looked the other way while Iran aided Al-Qaeda, and of course Obama’s conciliatory attitude to any foreign power with a grievance was one of his trademark policies. The result is that today the world hangs on a knife’s edge.

Unfortunately, for all the nice gestures America has made to Russia — from the $20,000,000 given to feed Russians after the Bolshevik Revolution, to helping the Russian people rid themselves of the Communist regime, or the billions America gave Russia after the collapse of Communism — the Kremlin’s preferred policy is to demonize America.

Pleasant fantasies and smart policy are not the same thing. Unless anyone expects Putin to voluntarily put himself in danger, there is every reason to think Russia’s leaders will continue with the same necessarily antagonistic policy. Pleading with Russia to improve relations is unproductive and unbecoming to America. 



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Let's Apply the Precautionary Principle to Liberal Gender-Bending!


A thoughtful reader sent me an important Spiked article about “We Are More Than  Gender.” Author Joanna Williams rotates through the ritual liberal positions on sex and gender that takes for granted all the gender-bending dialectics we have learned to know and love. Then she cautions her readers with the science from evolutionary psychology. Still, she says:

Today, dominant understandings of gender disregard people’s own sense of agency in making their own life choices and shaping their own personality…


Of course, not everyone gets to react to biology and society in conditions of their own choosing, and we might not always approve of the choices other people make.

Do you see what is going on here? The author takes for granted the worldview of the People of the Creative Self, one of my reductive Three Peoples identities. She worries about “dominant understandings of gender” from the point of view of a creative person that wants a world in which she determines her own “sense of agency,” “life choices,” and “personality.” She also covers the lefty victim line that not everyone gets to act “in conditions of their own choosing.”

Quite so. But, because Williams is a Person of the Creative Self she completely misses the notion that there are other people in the world besides creative people and their desire for agency and life choices, and that these other people would not have a clue what she is talking about.

For instance, if you are a Person of the Responsible Self, you just accept that your religion’s cultural rules and the government’s laws are what they are, and that to step outside these guard-rails is not only unthinkable but evil. And for you the meaning of life is to live as a responsible individual inside those guardrails and thus earn your place in Heaven. So, for you, all the liberal gender-bending is the moral equivalent of driving the family car through the guard-rails and over the cliff.

If you are a Person of the Subordinate Self, worker or peasant victim, you don’t think about getting creative; you don’t even think about rules and laws. You unreflectively do just what you need to do to survive another day; your world ends with the family members, bosses, government officials, policemen, and gang members that keep messing you about.

By the way, our liberal friends that are so insistent about us getting creative about sex and gender and the avant-garde in art are notably noncreative when it comes to government programs and the economy. In fact, you might almost call them deplorable reactionaries.

Hey liberals, let’s challenge the “dominant understandings” about Social Security and let the creative types at Vanguard and Fidelity gin up a new one! Let’s junk the whole dysfunctional health care system, get the government out of the way, and let creative souls invent a new one. And let’s let the Internet get creative without “net neutrality” enforcing a dominant understanding.

Oh no, say liberals, like the most bigoted deplorable. Touch health care and you bring down the country. And as for the evil cable guy…

So on some things, liberals are complete subordinate victims; they are terrified by any world other than the world of their archetypal welfare state.

I’ve been reading the Jungian psychologist Erich Neumann recently in The Great Mother, all about the matriarchal archetypal unconscious epoch before the advent of our modern patriarchal consciousness. It is a reminder that our human conscious selves and our beloved reason may be no more than the slime mold on top of a mountain of unconsciousness. Suppose all the brilliant liberal creativeness about sex and gender touched off an eruption of some archetypal volcano in the deep unconscious, of which we previously knew nothing. And like the actual physical super-volcanos, the Yellowstones, the Crater Lakes of which we have heard tell from scientists, any one of these eruptions could completely erase life on Earth as we know it.

Liberals make a big deal about engineers and scientists observing the Precautionary Principle when doing energy projects. But they are utterly blind to the notion that their social experiments might accidentally violate some archetypal coding deep in the human unconscious and lead to the extinction of the human race, the human equivalent of the Mouse Utopia experiment.

Yes, liberals, bend gender all you want. But remember that your froth sits on top of our conscious civilization, and that sits on top of our archetypal unconscious, and that sits on top of the DNA of life. And then, of course, it’s turtles all the way down.

And don’t forget the awful truth known by every serious creative person: she might be barking up the wrong tree, and the whole thing turn out to be a dreadful failure.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.

A thoughtful reader sent me an important Spiked article about “We Are More Than  Gender.” Author Joanna Williams rotates through the ritual liberal positions on sex and gender that takes for granted all the gender-bending dialectics we have learned to know and love. Then she cautions her readers with the science from evolutionary psychology. Still, she says:

Today, dominant understandings of gender disregard people’s own sense of agency in making their own life choices and shaping their own personality…


Of course, not everyone gets to react to biology and society in conditions of their own choosing, and we might not always approve of the choices other people make.

Do you see what is going on here? The author takes for granted the worldview of the People of the Creative Self, one of my reductive Three Peoples identities. She worries about “dominant understandings of gender” from the point of view of a creative person that wants a world in which she determines her own “sense of agency,” “life choices,” and “personality.” She also covers the lefty victim line that not everyone gets to act “in conditions of their own choosing.”

Quite so. But, because Williams is a Person of the Creative Self she completely misses the notion that there are other people in the world besides creative people and their desire for agency and life choices, and that these other people would not have a clue what she is talking about.

For instance, if you are a Person of the Responsible Self, you just accept that your religion’s cultural rules and the government’s laws are what they are, and that to step outside these guard-rails is not only unthinkable but evil. And for you the meaning of life is to live as a responsible individual inside those guardrails and thus earn your place in Heaven. So, for you, all the liberal gender-bending is the moral equivalent of driving the family car through the guard-rails and over the cliff.

If you are a Person of the Subordinate Self, worker or peasant victim, you don’t think about getting creative; you don’t even think about rules and laws. You unreflectively do just what you need to do to survive another day; your world ends with the family members, bosses, government officials, policemen, and gang members that keep messing you about.

By the way, our liberal friends that are so insistent about us getting creative about sex and gender and the avant-garde in art are notably noncreative when it comes to government programs and the economy. In fact, you might almost call them deplorable reactionaries.

Hey liberals, let’s challenge the “dominant understandings” about Social Security and let the creative types at Vanguard and Fidelity gin up a new one! Let’s junk the whole dysfunctional health care system, get the government out of the way, and let creative souls invent a new one. And let’s let the Internet get creative without “net neutrality” enforcing a dominant understanding.

Oh no, say liberals, like the most bigoted deplorable. Touch health care and you bring down the country. And as for the evil cable guy…

So on some things, liberals are complete subordinate victims; they are terrified by any world other than the world of their archetypal welfare state.

I’ve been reading the Jungian psychologist Erich Neumann recently in The Great Mother, all about the matriarchal archetypal unconscious epoch before the advent of our modern patriarchal consciousness. It is a reminder that our human conscious selves and our beloved reason may be no more than the slime mold on top of a mountain of unconsciousness. Suppose all the brilliant liberal creativeness about sex and gender touched off an eruption of some archetypal volcano in the deep unconscious, of which we previously knew nothing. And like the actual physical super-volcanos, the Yellowstones, the Crater Lakes of which we have heard tell from scientists, any one of these eruptions could completely erase life on Earth as we know it.

Liberals make a big deal about engineers and scientists observing the Precautionary Principle when doing energy projects. But they are utterly blind to the notion that their social experiments might accidentally violate some archetypal coding deep in the human unconscious and lead to the extinction of the human race, the human equivalent of the Mouse Utopia experiment.

Yes, liberals, bend gender all you want. But remember that your froth sits on top of our conscious civilization, and that sits on top of our archetypal unconscious, and that sits on top of the DNA of life. And then, of course, it’s turtles all the way down.

And don’t forget the awful truth known by every serious creative person: she might be barking up the wrong tree, and the whole thing turn out to be a dreadful failure.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.



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Mueller's FBI Will Never Recover Its Good Name


Robert Mueller just fired a senior FBI agent for openly twittering against POTUS Trump. But if Mr. Mueller imagines that firing one guy will restore his shredded credibility to the public, fuggedaboudit. The unprecedented witch-hunt against a newly elected Donald Trump will remain green in the public memory for years to come. The FBI and DOJ will therefore have to live with a huge loss of public credibility. The IRS will never recover among Trump voters. 

Elected governments only work as long as they enjoy basic public confidence, and when that is gone — as it is in Italy and Greece — it can take many years to restore. Even if most of our FBI people are honest patriots, a few rotten apples will ruin it for the rest. In Italy, every sane person is expected to run some kind of tax scam, and until recently, the IRS told us that it relied on self-reported income. But high-level corruption sets an example for the whole country, and the Clintons and Obamas have shown us nothing but high-level corruption. The perps may get out of jail free, but the political culture will feel the damage they have inflicted. 

Mueller is a partisan hack to end all partisan hacks, and no sane observer believes otherwise. It was Mueller who got Bill Clinton out of trouble for selling missile launching secrets to China, secrets that may now be helping North Korea to aim nuclear-armed missiles at Washington DC and Paris. 

That’s the trouble when the Democrats elect major corruptocrats like the Clintons and the Obamas. Half the voters have been profoundly angered by their corrupt shenanigans for years and years. The Clintons came out of the old Dixiecrat Machine in Little Rock, Ark, with ole Bill smokin’ dope and harassing women to the max, and then came Obama…

Obama was mentored by the Godfather of the Chicago Machine, Emil Jones, and Michelle’s dad was a ward boss in Chicago. Can you spell C-O-R-R-U-P-T-I-O-N? 

Robert Mueller was set up as the DOJ’s choice for Special Prosecutor by James Comey, who just twittered his own delight when he heard that General Michael Flynn has been arm-twisted into revealing confidential communications with the Republican candidate for President of the United States. Trump voters are watching every move as the Swamp burps up another ugly bubble. Since Swamp monsters only read their own PR, they have no idea what you and I understand. That’s the trouble with closed cults: Pretty soon they start believing their own propaganda. 

Now inevitably people will be reminded about Obama’s very close relationship with Walid bin Talal, the Saudi billionaire who is now under arrest in the Riyadh Ritz Carlton, accused of “corruption on earth” far beyond the ordinary level of Arabian baksheesh. Talal was named by Percy Sutton as the Saudi money man who got Barry Soetoro-Obama into Harvard Law School, the beginning of his political career. Talal may also be the mysterious billionaire behind the Jihad war. We don’t know for sure, but Talal always says that he will leave his fortune to “charity.” Muslims understand what that means: In Islam, a percentage of charitable giving has to go to jihad. 

Obama and Valerie Jarrett’s were involved in obviously corrupt and highly dangerous communications with the Iranian mullahs, long before Obama got elected. Valerie Jarrett grew up in a Shi’ite (pro-Iranian) Muslim family, and Jarrett ran a back channel to the mullahs long before the first Obama election. When the United States “negotiated” a surrender on the nuclear issue with the mullahs, a planeload of Iranian negotiators landed in Cairo, and a photographer showed them coming off the plane looking drunk and laughing their heads off. Obama and Jarrett sold out the United States (and therefore also Iran’s enemy Saudi Arabia), because both of them are jihad-symps from way back. This is serious business, and a large number of American voters know about it. They are the same voters who didn’t answer the pollsters who called the election for Hillary. Their silence meant trouble for Hillary, who still can’t believe she lost. 

In the last election the Communist Party of the USA openly backed Hillary Clinton, and Hillary never said a word against them. She wanted their support. 

So Donald Trump, who has his finger on the real pulse of the American people, ran with tens of millions of Twitter followers, against Hillary, who was supported by the much-despised media. Trump is an international hotel owner who has to know the politics of every country where he builds a hotel. He also ran the Miss Universe beauty pageant and started reality shows like “The Apprentice.” He knows other big business people around the world, who are often also major politicians. 

But Trump is obviously a country hick, according to the New York Times and the sophisticates. Using Twitter and Facebook he ran under the media radar in a classical campaign that caught the Swamp with its pants down. 

Now Robert Mueller has hired more than a dozen partisan Democratic hacks, mostly Hillary contributors, who were hoping for big jobs in the Hillary regime that never was. They are fired up for revenge against Trump, and just because Mueller fired one FBI guy for speaking out of turn, he will not get a single brownie point from conservatives.

Harvey Weinstein might as well try to prove his virginity. Mueller will never, ever regain the kind of respect we used to feel for the Department of Justice and the FBI. The IRS cannot be trusted, as taxpayers around the country know very well. Our presidential candidates like the Clintons have sold favors for money, and the Obama White House sold our national security to the throwback mullahs of Iran. 

The Three Stooges of the Swamp, Comey, Brennan, and Clapper, chose Robert Mueller in collusion with the Democrats in Congress to become Special Prosecutor against Trump. Mueller has been part of that in-crowd all his life. But now the Swamp has finally sprung a trap on itself, and regardless of the legal outcome, the real accused in the dock will be one Robert Mueller. 

Robert Mueller just fired a senior FBI agent for openly twittering against POTUS Trump. But if Mr. Mueller imagines that firing one guy will restore his shredded credibility to the public, fuggedaboudit. The unprecedented witch-hunt against a newly elected Donald Trump will remain green in the public memory for years to come. The FBI and DOJ will therefore have to live with a huge loss of public credibility. The IRS will never recover among Trump voters. 

Elected governments only work as long as they enjoy basic public confidence, and when that is gone — as it is in Italy and Greece — it can take many years to restore. Even if most of our FBI people are honest patriots, a few rotten apples will ruin it for the rest. In Italy, every sane person is expected to run some kind of tax scam, and until recently, the IRS told us that it relied on self-reported income. But high-level corruption sets an example for the whole country, and the Clintons and Obamas have shown us nothing but high-level corruption. The perps may get out of jail free, but the political culture will feel the damage they have inflicted. 

Mueller is a partisan hack to end all partisan hacks, and no sane observer believes otherwise. It was Mueller who got Bill Clinton out of trouble for selling missile launching secrets to China, secrets that may now be helping North Korea to aim nuclear-armed missiles at Washington DC and Paris. 

That’s the trouble when the Democrats elect major corruptocrats like the Clintons and the Obamas. Half the voters have been profoundly angered by their corrupt shenanigans for years and years. The Clintons came out of the old Dixiecrat Machine in Little Rock, Ark, with ole Bill smokin’ dope and harassing women to the max, and then came Obama…

Obama was mentored by the Godfather of the Chicago Machine, Emil Jones, and Michelle’s dad was a ward boss in Chicago. Can you spell C-O-R-R-U-P-T-I-O-N? 

Robert Mueller was set up as the DOJ’s choice for Special Prosecutor by James Comey, who just twittered his own delight when he heard that General Michael Flynn has been arm-twisted into revealing confidential communications with the Republican candidate for President of the United States. Trump voters are watching every move as the Swamp burps up another ugly bubble. Since Swamp monsters only read their own PR, they have no idea what you and I understand. That’s the trouble with closed cults: Pretty soon they start believing their own propaganda. 

Now inevitably people will be reminded about Obama’s very close relationship with Walid bin Talal, the Saudi billionaire who is now under arrest in the Riyadh Ritz Carlton, accused of “corruption on earth” far beyond the ordinary level of Arabian baksheesh. Talal was named by Percy Sutton as the Saudi money man who got Barry Soetoro-Obama into Harvard Law School, the beginning of his political career. Talal may also be the mysterious billionaire behind the Jihad war. We don’t know for sure, but Talal always says that he will leave his fortune to “charity.” Muslims understand what that means: In Islam, a percentage of charitable giving has to go to jihad. 

Obama and Valerie Jarrett’s were involved in obviously corrupt and highly dangerous communications with the Iranian mullahs, long before Obama got elected. Valerie Jarrett grew up in a Shi’ite (pro-Iranian) Muslim family, and Jarrett ran a back channel to the mullahs long before the first Obama election. When the United States “negotiated” a surrender on the nuclear issue with the mullahs, a planeload of Iranian negotiators landed in Cairo, and a photographer showed them coming off the plane looking drunk and laughing their heads off. Obama and Jarrett sold out the United States (and therefore also Iran’s enemy Saudi Arabia), because both of them are jihad-symps from way back. This is serious business, and a large number of American voters know about it. They are the same voters who didn’t answer the pollsters who called the election for Hillary. Their silence meant trouble for Hillary, who still can’t believe she lost. 

In the last election the Communist Party of the USA openly backed Hillary Clinton, and Hillary never said a word against them. She wanted their support. 

So Donald Trump, who has his finger on the real pulse of the American people, ran with tens of millions of Twitter followers, against Hillary, who was supported by the much-despised media. Trump is an international hotel owner who has to know the politics of every country where he builds a hotel. He also ran the Miss Universe beauty pageant and started reality shows like “The Apprentice.” He knows other big business people around the world, who are often also major politicians. 

But Trump is obviously a country hick, according to the New York Times and the sophisticates. Using Twitter and Facebook he ran under the media radar in a classical campaign that caught the Swamp with its pants down. 

Now Robert Mueller has hired more than a dozen partisan Democratic hacks, mostly Hillary contributors, who were hoping for big jobs in the Hillary regime that never was. They are fired up for revenge against Trump, and just because Mueller fired one FBI guy for speaking out of turn, he will not get a single brownie point from conservatives.

Harvey Weinstein might as well try to prove his virginity. Mueller will never, ever regain the kind of respect we used to feel for the Department of Justice and the FBI. The IRS cannot be trusted, as taxpayers around the country know very well. Our presidential candidates like the Clintons have sold favors for money, and the Obama White House sold our national security to the throwback mullahs of Iran. 

The Three Stooges of the Swamp, Comey, Brennan, and Clapper, chose Robert Mueller in collusion with the Democrats in Congress to become Special Prosecutor against Trump. Mueller has been part of that in-crowd all his life. But now the Swamp has finally sprung a trap on itself, and regardless of the legal outcome, the real accused in the dock will be one Robert Mueller. 



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171106105555-manafort-11-06-2017-super-tease.jpg

MANAFORT BLOWS BAIL?


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CNN’s Evan Perez reports. “},{“title”:”Manafort’s journey to center of Mueller’s investigation”,”duration”:”01:25″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2017/09/20/manafort-journey-mueller-investigation-orig-alee.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”politics/2017/09/20/manafort-journey-mueller-investigation-orig-alee.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/170918161648-paul-manafort-rnc-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/politics/2017/09/20/manafort-journey-mueller-investigation-orig-alee.cnn/video/playlists/paul-manafort/”,”description”:”Paul Manafort’s path from Trump’s campaign chairman to currently finding himself under indictment by special counsel Robert Mueller.”,”descriptionText”:”Paul Manafort’s path from Trump’s campaign chairman to currently finding himself under indictment by special counsel Robert Mueller.”},{“title”:”Manafort asks DOJ to release any intercepted info”,”duration”:”02:18″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”http://www.cnn.com”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2017/09/19/manafort-asks-doj-release-intercepts-brown-sot-ebof.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”politics/2017/09/19/manafort-asks-doj-release-intercepts-brown-sot-ebof.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/170918192303-manafort-july-2016-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/politics/2017/09/19/manafort-asks-doj-release-intercepts-brown-sot-ebof.cnn/video/playlists/paul-manafort/”,”description”:”President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort asked the Justice Department to release any information on his conversations with non-Americans that were obtained through secret court-ordered surveillance. 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CNN’s Pamela Brown reports. “},{“title”:”Paul Manafort’s home raided by FBI “,”duration”:”02:31″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”http://www.cnn.com/”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2017/08/09/paul-manafort-home-raided-fbi-russia-probe-lead-dnt-schneider.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”politics/2017/08/09/paul-manafort-home-raided-fbi-russia-probe-lead-dnt-schneider.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/170725101534-01-manafort-file-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/politics/2017/08/09/paul-manafort-home-raided-fbi-russia-probe-lead-dnt-schneider.cnn/video/playlists/paul-manafort/”,”description”:”FBI agents raided a home of President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort last month, a source familiar with the matter told CNN.”,”descriptionText”:”FBI agents raided a home of President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort last month, a source familiar with the matter told CNN.”},{“title”:”Manafort’s history in the political spotlight”,”duration”:”02:23″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”http://www.cnn.com”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/cnnmoney/2017/03/22/manafort-pkg-keilar-ac.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”cnnmoney/2017/03/22/manafort-pkg-keilar-ac.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/160819101058-01-paul-manafort-resigns-t1-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/cnnmoney/2017/03/22/manafort-pkg-keilar-ac.cnn/video/playlists/paul-manafort/”,”description”:”Before he was President Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort managed several campaigns where he learned to navigate the political arena. 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CNN’su003ca href=”http://www.cnn.com/profiles/brianna-keilar-profile” target=”_blank”> Brianna Keilaru003c/a> reports.”},{“title”:”Paul Manafort’s Russia connections”,”duration”:”06:11″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”http://www.cnn.com”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2017/03/29/paul-manafort-russia-griffin-ac-dnt.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”politics/2017/03/29/paul-manafort-russia-griffin-ac-dnt.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/160815120149-01-paul-manafort-file-0815-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/politics/2017/03/29/paul-manafort-russia-griffin-ac-dnt.cnn/video/playlists/paul-manafort/”,”description”:”President Trump’s former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, has offered to meet with the House Intelligence Committee to face allegations about work he’s done in Ukraine and Russia. CNN’s Drew Griffin reports.”,”descriptionText”:”President Trump’s former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, has offered to meet with the House Intelligence Committee to face allegations about work he’s done in Ukraine and Russia. CNN’s Drew Griffin reports.”},{“title”:”Senate Judiciary subpoenas Paul Manafort “,”duration”:”01:22″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”http://www.cnn.com/”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2017/07/25/paul-manafort-subpoena-trump-senate-judiciary-committee-raju-sot-nr.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”politics/2017/07/25/paul-manafort-subpoena-trump-senate-judiciary-committee-raju-sot-nr.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/170412161609-paul-manafort-file-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/politics/2017/07/25/paul-manafort-subpoena-trump-senate-judiciary-committee-raju-sot-nr.cnn/video/playlists/paul-manafort/”,”description”:”Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley issued a subpoena to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to appear in public before their committee.”,”descriptionText”:”Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley issued a subpoena to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to appear in public before their committee.”},{“title”:”Senate panel wants Paul Manafort to testify”,”duration”:”02:21″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”http://www.cnn.com”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2017/07/12/grassley-manafort-testify-sot-manu-nr.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”politics/2017/07/12/grassley-manafort-testify-sot-manu-nr.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/170523213336-paul-manafort-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/politics/2017/07/12/grassley-manafort-testify-sot-manu-nr.cnn/video/playlists/paul-manafort/”,”description”:”Senate judiciary committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said he wants Paul Manafort to testify before his committee next week, following revelations related to Donald Trump Jr.’s email exchange with a Russian lawyer regarding potentially damaging information against Hillary Clinton.”,”descriptionText”:”Senate judiciary committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said he wants Paul Manafort to testify before his committee next week, following revelations related to Donald Trump Jr.’s email exchange with a Russian lawyer regarding potentially damaging information against Hillary Clinton.”},{“title”:”Paul Manafort resigns as Trump campaign chairman”,”duration”:”02:07″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”http://www.cnn.com/”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2016/08/19/paul-manafort-resigns-trump-campaign-nr.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”politics/2016/08/19/paul-manafort-resigns-trump-campaign-nr.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/160819101210-02-paul-manafort-resigns-t1-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/politics/2016/08/19/paul-manafort-resigns-trump-campaign-nr.cnn/video/playlists/paul-manafort/”,”description”:”Paul Manafort has resigned as the Trump campaign’s chairman. “,”descriptionText”:”Paul Manafort has resigned as the Trump campaign’s chairman. “},{“title”:”Meet the man running Donald Trump’s campaign”,”duration”:”02:39″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”http://www.cnn.com/”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2016/06/21/donald-trump-paul-manafort-gop-delegate-revolt-serfaty-erin.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”politics/2016/06/21/donald-trump-paul-manafort-gop-delegate-revolt-serfaty-erin.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/170523210825-paul-manafort-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/politics/2016/06/21/donald-trump-paul-manafort-gop-delegate-revolt-serfaty-erin.cnn/video/playlists/paul-manafort/”,”description”:”With the departure of Corey Lewandowski, Paul Manafort is now running Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. CNN’s u003ca href=”http://www.cnn.com/profiles/sunlen-serfaty-profile” target=”_blank”>Sunlen Serfatyu003c/a> reports.”,”descriptionText”:”With the departure of Corey Lewandowski, Paul Manafort is now running Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. CNN’s u003ca href=”http://www.cnn.com/profiles/sunlen-serfaty-profile” target=”_blank”>Sunlen Serfatyu003c/a> reports.”},{“title”:”WH attempts to minimize Manafort role “,”duration”:”01:11″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”http://www.cnn.com/”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2017/03/21/manafort-role-in-trump-campaign-keeping-them-honest-ac.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”politics/2017/03/21/manafort-role-in-trump-campaign-keeping-them-honest-ac.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/170317191803-paul-manafort-ukraine-graphic-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/politics/2017/03/21/manafort-role-in-trump-campaign-keeping-them-honest-ac.cnn/video/playlists/paul-manafort/”,”description”:”The White House attempted to minimize Paul Manafort’s role in the Trump campaign after the former chairman was mentioned during the House Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian activity in the 2016 election. “,”descriptionText”:”The White House attempted to minimize Paul Manafort’s role in the Trump campaign after the former chairman was mentioned during the House Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian activity in the 2016 election. “},{“title”:”Manafort wiretapped under secret court orders”,”duration”:”06:21″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”http://www.cnn.com”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2017/09/18/manafort-wiretapped-under-secret-court-orders-ebof.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”politics/2017/09/18/manafort-wiretapped-under-secret-court-orders-ebof.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/170918161648-paul-manafort-rnc-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/politics/2017/09/18/manafort-wiretapped-under-secret-court-orders-ebof.cnn/video/playlists/paul-manafort/”,”description”:”US investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election, sources tell CNN, an extraordinary step involving a high-ranking campaign official now at the center of the Russia meddling probe.”,”descriptionText”:”US investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election, sources tell CNN, an extraordinary step involving a high-ranking campaign official now at the center of the Russia meddling probe.”},{“title”:”Manafort pressed on ties to Kremlin (2016)”,”duration”:”01:42″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”http://www.cnn.com/shows/state-of-the-union”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/tv/2016/05/15/trump-adviser-pressed-on-ties-to-kremlin.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”tv/2016/05/15/trump-adviser-pressed-on-ties-to-kremlin.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/160512092408-03-trump-national-republican-congressional-committee-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/tv/2016/05/15/trump-adviser-pressed-on-ties-to-kremlin.cnn/video/playlists/paul-manafort/”,”description”:”Jake Tapper presses Trump Campaign Convention Manager Paul Manafort on the security concerns surrounding his close ties with Russian and Ukrainian leaderships.”,”descriptionText”:”Jake Tapper presses Trump Campaign Convention Manager Paul Manafort on the security concerns surrounding his close ties with Russian and Ukrainian leaderships.”},{“title”:”Manafort, Flynn spoke regularly with Russians”,”duration”:”01:43″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”http://www.cnn.com”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2017/02/15/manafort-flynn-communicated-russians-brown-lemon.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”politics/2017/02/15/manafort-flynn-communicated-russians-brown-lemon.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/170214231609-manafort-trump-flynn-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/politics/2017/02/15/manafort-flynn-communicated-russians-brown-lemon.cnn/video/playlists/paul-manafort/”,”description”:”According to intelligence, law enforcement and administration officials, President Trump’s then-campaign manager Paul Manafort and the president’s then-adviser Michael Flynn were in regular contact with Russian officials.”,”descriptionText”:”According to intelligence, law enforcement and administration officials, President Trump’s then-campaign manager Paul Manafort and the president’s then-adviser Michael Flynn were in regular contact with Russian officials.”},{“title”:”Paul Manafort firm under investigation in Ukraine probe”,”duration”:”01:42″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”http://www.cnn.com/shows/situation-room”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2016/08/19/paul-manafort-firm-under-investigation-in-ukraine-probe-perez-sot-tsr.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”politics/2016/08/19/paul-manafort-firm-under-investigation-in-ukraine-probe-perez-sot-tsr.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/160815120149-01-paul-manafort-file-0815-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/politics/2016/08/19/paul-manafort-firm-under-investigation-in-ukraine-probe-perez-sot-tsr.cnn/video/playlists/paul-manafort/”,”description”:” FBI and Justice Department prosecutors are looking at Paul Manafort’s firm as part of an investigation into possible US ties to the former pro-Russian president of Ukraine. CNN’s u003ca href=”http://www.cnn.com/profiles/evan-perez-profile”>Evan Perezu003c/a> reports.”,”descriptionText”:” FBI and Justice Department prosecutors are looking at Paul Manafort’s firm as part of an investigation into possible US ties to the former pro-Russian president of Ukraine. CNN’s u003ca href=”http://www.cnn.com/profiles/evan-perez-profile”>Evan Perezu003c/a> reports.”},{“title”:”Trump’s campaign chair responds to secret Ukrainian ledger”,”duration”:”03:25″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/tv/2016/08/15/trump-campaign-chair-paul-manafort-named-in-ukrainian-probe-drew-griffin-the-lead.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”tv/2016/08/15/trump-campaign-chair-paul-manafort-named-in-ukrainian-probe-drew-griffin-the-lead.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/170523213336-paul-manafort-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/tv/2016/08/15/trump-campaign-chair-paul-manafort-named-in-ukrainian-probe-drew-griffin-the-lead.cnn/video/playlists/paul-manafort/”,”description”:”CNN’s Drew Griffin reports.”,”descriptionText”:”CNN’s Drew Griffin reports.”}],’js-video_headline-featured-gtmw9f’,”,”js-video_source-featured-gtmw9f”,true,true,’paul-manafort’);if (typeof configObj.context !== ‘string’ || configObj.context.length



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'Make Them Bake Cake': The Bizarre Arguments against Bakers' Free Speech Rights


Last week’s New York Times piece by Jennifer Finney Boylan, “The Masterpiece Cakeshop Case Is Not About Religious Freedom,” floored me with the number of distortions it crowded into a few paragraphs.  I can only conclude that the left’s discourse and values have become so wayward and impoverished that they would rather criminalize creativity than take on the serious issues the Supreme Court will be hearing on December 5.

Boylan begins with a dark narrative about the pharmacy Boylan frequents, “run by a conservative Republican.”  (Is there any other kind?)  Will he refuse to fill the demanded prescription, Boylan quails, “given my condition”?  What condition is that? I wondered, as clearly each reader was meant to – compulsive self-dramatizing syndrome?

Thus begins Boylan’s parade of horribles.  If Phillips wins in his appeal from lower court decisions, sick babies will die, HIV patients will be turned away from treatment clinics, pre-Civil Rights abominations will become the order of the day.  Except none of these scenarios is backed up with citations from the court papers.  There’s a good reason for that.  They’re not in there.  But after all, what do facts matter when it comes to the left’s self-suffering legerdemain?

Does Colorado’s state public accommodations law as applied to Jack Phillips’s refusal to accept a commission for a cake for two men trying to marry each other regulate speech or conduct?  Under First Amendment law, the latter is permitted.  The former, with minimal exceptions, is not.

That is the threshold question. 

Phillips argues he was being forced to convey an unwanted message by providing a custom-made cake for Craig’s and Mullins’s ceremony.  One of the cases Phillips and the Justice Department as amicus rely on is the Supreme Court’s 1994 ruling in Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group of Boston, Inc.  It held that a private sponsor, a veterans’ group, was not required to admit an LGBGT group to its St. Patrick’s Day parade because that would require the group to alter its message, which did not embrace approval of gay pride.  The same doomsday predictions we hear in advance of Tuesday’s oral argument were adumbrated there, too.  None of them came true.  But why learn from history? 

What about the actual case?  Disagreeing with Phillips’s characterization, Craig and Mullins and the Colorado Civil Rights Commission (respondents) claim that CADA permissibly regulates conduct, not speech.  The targeted conduct is the provision of a good or service.  According to them, the nature of the good or service is irrelevant.  Phillips’s action is discriminatory, plain and simple.  His claim that CADA is unconstitutional as applied to him is just a pretext for his religion-inspired reactionary hatred.

Boylan echoes this reductionism, and then some.  But while Craig and Mullins are bound to the papers and what they actually say, Boylan is not.  Boylan singlehandedly reinterprets pages of argument and counter-argument analyzing CADA, discussing precedents, and building on agreed upon facts with magical revision: 

There are two important things to know about the religious freedom/wedding cake case.  One is that it’s not about religious freedom – it’s about religious exemption.  The other is that it’s about a whole lot more than wedding cakes.  

While CADA does in fact grant religious exemptions, that is not what Phillips is seeking.  As David French at National Review notes, it is the other way around.  Craig and Mullins are demanding an across-the-board application of Colorado’s public accommodations law that amounts to a state exemption from the First Amendment. 

But Boylan is right about Masterpiece being about a whole lot more than wedding cakes (as though the Supreme Court would grant certiorari to a case that didn’t have far-ranging implications).  The undisputed facts show that Phillips serves customers attracted to members of their own sex all the time.  He limits his rejection of their requests to cakes for ceremonies meant to be weddings.  In other words, Phillips maintains, and his actions corroborate, that he is selectively choosing not whom to serve, but what product to offer.  He bases this refusal on his religious beliefs in light of the nature of the specific product he produces – the demands it takes on his time; the drawdown it makes on his creative energies; and, perhaps most important, the dissonance that would result if he were forced to deploy his talents robotically in the name of dogma.  

The real question, therefore, is not whether Boylan can get estrogen at his pharmacy because he thinks he is a woman.  (We finally get let in on the secret of his condition!)  It is, in my view, not even about religion.  It is about preserving some anarchic sweet spot in our increasingly alienated, doctrinaire, one-size-fits-all society – a space devoted to whimsy, invention, and psychic independence.  That is what creativity requires.  Just ask the artists whom Stalin banished to Siberia and certain death for no worse crime than painting more like the American abstract expressionist Willem de Kooning than Stalin’s stable of Soviet Realist lackeys.  When the government starts requiring creatives to perform in the service of the one true ideology, vision withers.

Not that any lockstep leftists nowadays would notice.  This is why the soulless Boylan can glibly misrepresent the question of whether Jack Phillips’s wedding cakes are “art.”  The entirety of the argument in Boylan’s seeming make-it-up-as-you-go discussion comes down to sleight-of-hand: Phillips can’t win on the issue of faith, so he defaults to calling his “nice-looking cakes” art.  That’s simply incorrect. 

The possible First Amendment implications of CADA are not at issue.  They have already been admitted by respondents, including the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.  Indeed, the commission declined to enforce CADA against bakers who refused to serve religious customers asking for a special-order wedding cake with words from Leviticus on it on just these grounds.  The unresolved question here is not whether the First Amendment may apply.  It is whether it does where there is no express written message – only an implied one. 

Technically, if the cakes are deemed “art” rather than “implied speech,” according to ample case law, their expressiveness is absolutely protected.  Art, unlike implied speech, doesn’t have to convey a “succinct and articulable” message.  It is “pure expression” and can simply be.  Perhaps it is no coincidence that the Hurley court used the express inarticulateness of Jackson Pollack’s abstract expressionist paintings as an example of this principle.  In any case, the point is, even if the cakes are not “art,” the constitutional challenge doesn’t go away.    

Even granting, moreover, that there is room to disagree over the artistic status of Phillips’s “masterpieces,” Boylan’s caution that “that argument demands that the court get into the business of defining art itself” is mind-boggling.  The courts are asked to decide on the nature of expression and its protectability literally all the time.  Can a tattoo parlor be singled out in a zoning law, or does it engage in protected speech?  Is a cropped copy of a Walker Evans photograph thievery or fair use (sanctioned by the First Amendment exception to copyright)?  How do you define obscenity?  Boylan’s idea that the Supreme Court shouldn’t be asked to distinguish between Phillips’s elaborately designed ritual object and, as Boylan puts it, a “well-manicured lawn” is so out of whack that even the respondents don’t venture it.

At the end of the article, Boylan acknowledges that his old-timey pharmacist never treated him with anything but “kindness and respect.”  It is almost as if he is disappointed that reality hasn’t lived up to his counter-factual histrionics.  Although this type of commentary is what we have come to expect from the Times, it is worth adding that it is cheap – dirt cheap.  Anybody at all who sees fit to suspend the facts can make a “slippery slope” argument.  Fortunately, we still live in a country where the supreme court of the land attends to more than horror-baiting.

Last week’s New York Times piece by Jennifer Finney Boylan, “The Masterpiece Cakeshop Case Is Not About Religious Freedom,” floored me with the number of distortions it crowded into a few paragraphs.  I can only conclude that the left’s discourse and values have become so wayward and impoverished that they would rather criminalize creativity than take on the serious issues the Supreme Court will be hearing on December 5.

Boylan begins with a dark narrative about the pharmacy Boylan frequents, “run by a conservative Republican.”  (Is there any other kind?)  Will he refuse to fill the demanded prescription, Boylan quails, “given my condition”?  What condition is that? I wondered, as clearly each reader was meant to – compulsive self-dramatizing syndrome?

Thus begins Boylan’s parade of horribles.  If Phillips wins in his appeal from lower court decisions, sick babies will die, HIV patients will be turned away from treatment clinics, pre-Civil Rights abominations will become the order of the day.  Except none of these scenarios is backed up with citations from the court papers.  There’s a good reason for that.  They’re not in there.  But after all, what do facts matter when it comes to the left’s self-suffering legerdemain?

Does Colorado’s state public accommodations law as applied to Jack Phillips’s refusal to accept a commission for a cake for two men trying to marry each other regulate speech or conduct?  Under First Amendment law, the latter is permitted.  The former, with minimal exceptions, is not.

That is the threshold question. 

Phillips argues he was being forced to convey an unwanted message by providing a custom-made cake for Craig’s and Mullins’s ceremony.  One of the cases Phillips and the Justice Department as amicus rely on is the Supreme Court’s 1994 ruling in Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group of Boston, Inc.  It held that a private sponsor, a veterans’ group, was not required to admit an LGBGT group to its St. Patrick’s Day parade because that would require the group to alter its message, which did not embrace approval of gay pride.  The same doomsday predictions we hear in advance of Tuesday’s oral argument were adumbrated there, too.  None of them came true.  But why learn from history? 

What about the actual case?  Disagreeing with Phillips’s characterization, Craig and Mullins and the Colorado Civil Rights Commission (respondents) claim that CADA permissibly regulates conduct, not speech.  The targeted conduct is the provision of a good or service.  According to them, the nature of the good or service is irrelevant.  Phillips’s action is discriminatory, plain and simple.  His claim that CADA is unconstitutional as applied to him is just a pretext for his religion-inspired reactionary hatred.

Boylan echoes this reductionism, and then some.  But while Craig and Mullins are bound to the papers and what they actually say, Boylan is not.  Boylan singlehandedly reinterprets pages of argument and counter-argument analyzing CADA, discussing precedents, and building on agreed upon facts with magical revision: 

There are two important things to know about the religious freedom/wedding cake case.  One is that it’s not about religious freedom – it’s about religious exemption.  The other is that it’s about a whole lot more than wedding cakes.  

While CADA does in fact grant religious exemptions, that is not what Phillips is seeking.  As David French at National Review notes, it is the other way around.  Craig and Mullins are demanding an across-the-board application of Colorado’s public accommodations law that amounts to a state exemption from the First Amendment. 

But Boylan is right about Masterpiece being about a whole lot more than wedding cakes (as though the Supreme Court would grant certiorari to a case that didn’t have far-ranging implications).  The undisputed facts show that Phillips serves customers attracted to members of their own sex all the time.  He limits his rejection of their requests to cakes for ceremonies meant to be weddings.  In other words, Phillips maintains, and his actions corroborate, that he is selectively choosing not whom to serve, but what product to offer.  He bases this refusal on his religious beliefs in light of the nature of the specific product he produces – the demands it takes on his time; the drawdown it makes on his creative energies; and, perhaps most important, the dissonance that would result if he were forced to deploy his talents robotically in the name of dogma.  

The real question, therefore, is not whether Boylan can get estrogen at his pharmacy because he thinks he is a woman.  (We finally get let in on the secret of his condition!)  It is, in my view, not even about religion.  It is about preserving some anarchic sweet spot in our increasingly alienated, doctrinaire, one-size-fits-all society – a space devoted to whimsy, invention, and psychic independence.  That is what creativity requires.  Just ask the artists whom Stalin banished to Siberia and certain death for no worse crime than painting more like the American abstract expressionist Willem de Kooning than Stalin’s stable of Soviet Realist lackeys.  When the government starts requiring creatives to perform in the service of the one true ideology, vision withers.

Not that any lockstep leftists nowadays would notice.  This is why the soulless Boylan can glibly misrepresent the question of whether Jack Phillips’s wedding cakes are “art.”  The entirety of the argument in Boylan’s seeming make-it-up-as-you-go discussion comes down to sleight-of-hand: Phillips can’t win on the issue of faith, so he defaults to calling his “nice-looking cakes” art.  That’s simply incorrect. 

The possible First Amendment implications of CADA are not at issue.  They have already been admitted by respondents, including the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.  Indeed, the commission declined to enforce CADA against bakers who refused to serve religious customers asking for a special-order wedding cake with words from Leviticus on it on just these grounds.  The unresolved question here is not whether the First Amendment may apply.  It is whether it does where there is no express written message – only an implied one. 

Technically, if the cakes are deemed “art” rather than “implied speech,” according to ample case law, their expressiveness is absolutely protected.  Art, unlike implied speech, doesn’t have to convey a “succinct and articulable” message.  It is “pure expression” and can simply be.  Perhaps it is no coincidence that the Hurley court used the express inarticulateness of Jackson Pollack’s abstract expressionist paintings as an example of this principle.  In any case, the point is, even if the cakes are not “art,” the constitutional challenge doesn’t go away.    

Even granting, moreover, that there is room to disagree over the artistic status of Phillips’s “masterpieces,” Boylan’s caution that “that argument demands that the court get into the business of defining art itself” is mind-boggling.  The courts are asked to decide on the nature of expression and its protectability literally all the time.  Can a tattoo parlor be singled out in a zoning law, or does it engage in protected speech?  Is a cropped copy of a Walker Evans photograph thievery or fair use (sanctioned by the First Amendment exception to copyright)?  How do you define obscenity?  Boylan’s idea that the Supreme Court shouldn’t be asked to distinguish between Phillips’s elaborately designed ritual object and, as Boylan puts it, a “well-manicured lawn” is so out of whack that even the respondents don’t venture it.

At the end of the article, Boylan acknowledges that his old-timey pharmacist never treated him with anything but “kindness and respect.”  It is almost as if he is disappointed that reality hasn’t lived up to his counter-factual histrionics.  Although this type of commentary is what we have come to expect from the Times, it is worth adding that it is cheap – dirt cheap.  Anybody at all who sees fit to suspend the facts can make a “slippery slope” argument.  Fortunately, we still live in a country where the supreme court of the land attends to more than horror-baiting.



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The Disingenuous Tax Cut Debate


One of the important drivers of political dysfunction in America is the dishonest framing of debates Americans need to observe. Among the many controversies misrepresented by the commentary class is the tax cut debate. At the heart of the misrepresentation is the “cost” of the tax cut. Tax cuts do not cost money and empirically, they are almost certain to increase revenue to the United States Federal government.

In the current debate, we are told as we have been told by the commentary class since at least the 1980s, that the tax cut will be costly. It will “cost” more than a trillion dollars. It will blow a hole in the deficit. This rhetoric fills newspaper articles designed to attack the tax cut as illegitimate and a plain political contradiction to the conservative conventions of balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility. This turns the tax cut into a wedge device asking conservative Republicans to choose between party affiliation and philosophical fidelity. At the heart of this fallacious misrepresentation is an insidious civic assumption: all taxpayer money belongs to the government. Therefore, any failure to collect potential taxpayer assets is a “cost.” The government owns all and allows individuals to keep assets after it has discovered the true priorities for money in the economy. This all coming from a government that also has the power and freely practices the printing of money for its own ends beyond those found in the assets of the taxpayer. None of this prevents the commentary class from falsely intoning that the tax cut will cost the government.

Beyond the faulty assumption of who owns the money behind taxes, is the flawed analysis of what tax cuts do. Inevitably, the cost argument rests upon the expectation that tax cuts reduce revenue to the government every year they remain in effect. That makes sense since the rate of extraction from taxpayers is reduced by a percentage. However, tax cuts are not a theory. Tax cuts are a plain and clear empirical reality that we can observe. There are at least three important examples of tax cuts in U.S. fiscal history: the Kennedy tax cuts of the early 1960s, the Reagan tax cuts of the early 1980s and the Bush tax cuts of the early 21st century. What do those tax cuts demonstrate with regard to costs?

JFK as a democrat promised to cut taxes in the 1960 campaign for the Presidency. He got his wish with his election. Here are the facts on government revenue in millions of dollars for 1961-1963:

1961 – $94,388

1962 – $99,676

1963 – $106,560

The JFK tax cuts provide no empirical support for the contention that tax cuts reduce revenue or constitute a cost to the government or the public as a whole. Government revenues increased by more than 5 billion dollars each year which was a 5% increase in revenue each year. There is no observable decline in government revenues during the entire decade of the 1960s.

Reagan promised tax cuts in the 1980s and with his victory, cuts were implemented by 1982. The data for 1982-1987 gives us a fiscal picture for revenue into the federal government:

1982 – $617,766

1983 – $600,562

1984 – $666,438

1985 – $734,037

1986 – $769,155

1987 – $854,287

1988 – $909,238

Here the case for cost has some founding. Between 1982 and 1983, revenues declined by 17 billion dollars. That is a 2.8% decline in government revenue. In 1984, revenues surged well above 1982 levels. They increased by 11% and 66 billion dollars more than three times larger than the 1983 loss. The revenues to the USFG continued to move in a profoundly beneficial direction: 10% growth in 1985, 4.8% in 1986, 11% again in 1987, and finally 6% in 1988. Government revenues grew by more than 50% between 1983 and 1988. It was a staggering benefit to the coffers of the federal government.

George W. Bush promised to return government surpluses to taxpayers in the form of tax cuts in election 2000. By 2002, his tax cuts were law. The results are also clear:

2002 – $1,853,136

2003 – $1,782,314

2004 – $1,880,114

2005 – $2,153,611

2006 – $2,406,869

2007 – $2,567,985

Here again, we some indication of a cost in the first year of the tax cut. Government revenues declined by 5% in 2003. But again, the increase is 6% in 2004 and surpassing the revenues of 2002. There is a 14% increase in revenue in 2005. There is a 12% increase in revenue in 2006 followed by a 7% revenue increase in 2007. This is a 39% increase in government revenues over 5 years.

The data is clear and the debate can only be about the choices the Congress makes in spending taxpayer money — not in how it is raised in relation to tax cuts. The fact that Congress spends so recklessly is a fact understood by most voters but used to form the basis of faulty assumptions by the commentary class directing readers to the risk of “deficits” caused by tax cuts. In every case, one-year shortfalls are immediately erased and surpassed by revenues in the next year. In fact, it is rather extraordinary how much additional revenue has poured into government coffers since 1960.

The neo-Marxist assumption of the commentary class rarely focus their critical lenses on the world’s truly largest corporation: the United States Federal Government. Why should revenues not grow when the public is able to breathe the sigh of relief that this 4-trillion-dollar annually spending monstrosity might have encountered the fiscal limits symbolized by tax cuts? It is not surprising that private sector and consumer spending confidence rises in response. Tax cut legislation is rarely perfect and often inclusive of undue political favors. Nonetheless, constraints on the consumption habits of the largest corporation in the world leaves its involuntary contributors with a greater degree of freedom and liberty. The commentary class indicts any reduction in tax gathering power while ignoring spending abuses outside the Defense budget — probably the clearest Constitutional obligation of the Federal government. Take for example TARP 2008. The Temporary Asset Relief Program was ostensibly temporary. Because of a banking emergency — the Federal Government would temporarily provide roughly 3/4 of a trillion dollars to banks and GSEs. The spending was well more than 15% of all government spending. Did the spending budget of the USFG drop a corresponding 10-20% once the crisis passed? No. Does the commentary class think this is wrong? No. This rhetorical abuse has allowed the USFG to abound as “no good crisis goes to waste” in the words of former Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel. Whatever the flaws of the current tax cut legislation, a reduction in revenue gathering power of the USFG is a step toward economic freedom that will reduce poverty here at home and abroad.

Dr. Ben Voth is an associate professor of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs and Director of Debate at Southern Methodist University. He is an advisor to the George W. Bush Institute and the Calvin Coolidge Debate fellow. He examines our current political struggles in a book with Dr. Robert Denton titled Social Fragmentation and the Decline of American Democracy [Palgrave Macmillan-2017].

One of the important drivers of political dysfunction in America is the dishonest framing of debates Americans need to observe. Among the many controversies misrepresented by the commentary class is the tax cut debate. At the heart of the misrepresentation is the “cost” of the tax cut. Tax cuts do not cost money and empirically, they are almost certain to increase revenue to the United States Federal government.

In the current debate, we are told as we have been told by the commentary class since at least the 1980s, that the tax cut will be costly. It will “cost” more than a trillion dollars. It will blow a hole in the deficit. This rhetoric fills newspaper articles designed to attack the tax cut as illegitimate and a plain political contradiction to the conservative conventions of balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility. This turns the tax cut into a wedge device asking conservative Republicans to choose between party affiliation and philosophical fidelity. At the heart of this fallacious misrepresentation is an insidious civic assumption: all taxpayer money belongs to the government. Therefore, any failure to collect potential taxpayer assets is a “cost.” The government owns all and allows individuals to keep assets after it has discovered the true priorities for money in the economy. This all coming from a government that also has the power and freely practices the printing of money for its own ends beyond those found in the assets of the taxpayer. None of this prevents the commentary class from falsely intoning that the tax cut will cost the government.

Beyond the faulty assumption of who owns the money behind taxes, is the flawed analysis of what tax cuts do. Inevitably, the cost argument rests upon the expectation that tax cuts reduce revenue to the government every year they remain in effect. That makes sense since the rate of extraction from taxpayers is reduced by a percentage. However, tax cuts are not a theory. Tax cuts are a plain and clear empirical reality that we can observe. There are at least three important examples of tax cuts in U.S. fiscal history: the Kennedy tax cuts of the early 1960s, the Reagan tax cuts of the early 1980s and the Bush tax cuts of the early 21st century. What do those tax cuts demonstrate with regard to costs?

JFK as a democrat promised to cut taxes in the 1960 campaign for the Presidency. He got his wish with his election. Here are the facts on government revenue in millions of dollars for 1961-1963:

1961 – $94,388

1962 – $99,676

1963 – $106,560

The JFK tax cuts provide no empirical support for the contention that tax cuts reduce revenue or constitute a cost to the government or the public as a whole. Government revenues increased by more than 5 billion dollars each year which was a 5% increase in revenue each year. There is no observable decline in government revenues during the entire decade of the 1960s.

Reagan promised tax cuts in the 1980s and with his victory, cuts were implemented by 1982. The data for 1982-1987 gives us a fiscal picture for revenue into the federal government:

1982 – $617,766

1983 – $600,562

1984 – $666,438

1985 – $734,037

1986 – $769,155

1987 – $854,287

1988 – $909,238

Here the case for cost has some founding. Between 1982 and 1983, revenues declined by 17 billion dollars. That is a 2.8% decline in government revenue. In 1984, revenues surged well above 1982 levels. They increased by 11% and 66 billion dollars more than three times larger than the 1983 loss. The revenues to the USFG continued to move in a profoundly beneficial direction: 10% growth in 1985, 4.8% in 1986, 11% again in 1987, and finally 6% in 1988. Government revenues grew by more than 50% between 1983 and 1988. It was a staggering benefit to the coffers of the federal government.

George W. Bush promised to return government surpluses to taxpayers in the form of tax cuts in election 2000. By 2002, his tax cuts were law. The results are also clear:

2002 – $1,853,136

2003 – $1,782,314

2004 – $1,880,114

2005 – $2,153,611

2006 – $2,406,869

2007 – $2,567,985

Here again, we some indication of a cost in the first year of the tax cut. Government revenues declined by 5% in 2003. But again, the increase is 6% in 2004 and surpassing the revenues of 2002. There is a 14% increase in revenue in 2005. There is a 12% increase in revenue in 2006 followed by a 7% revenue increase in 2007. This is a 39% increase in government revenues over 5 years.

The data is clear and the debate can only be about the choices the Congress makes in spending taxpayer money — not in how it is raised in relation to tax cuts. The fact that Congress spends so recklessly is a fact understood by most voters but used to form the basis of faulty assumptions by the commentary class directing readers to the risk of “deficits” caused by tax cuts. In every case, one-year shortfalls are immediately erased and surpassed by revenues in the next year. In fact, it is rather extraordinary how much additional revenue has poured into government coffers since 1960.

The neo-Marxist assumption of the commentary class rarely focus their critical lenses on the world’s truly largest corporation: the United States Federal Government. Why should revenues not grow when the public is able to breathe the sigh of relief that this 4-trillion-dollar annually spending monstrosity might have encountered the fiscal limits symbolized by tax cuts? It is not surprising that private sector and consumer spending confidence rises in response. Tax cut legislation is rarely perfect and often inclusive of undue political favors. Nonetheless, constraints on the consumption habits of the largest corporation in the world leaves its involuntary contributors with a greater degree of freedom and liberty. The commentary class indicts any reduction in tax gathering power while ignoring spending abuses outside the Defense budget — probably the clearest Constitutional obligation of the Federal government. Take for example TARP 2008. The Temporary Asset Relief Program was ostensibly temporary. Because of a banking emergency — the Federal Government would temporarily provide roughly 3/4 of a trillion dollars to banks and GSEs. The spending was well more than 15% of all government spending. Did the spending budget of the USFG drop a corresponding 10-20% once the crisis passed? No. Does the commentary class think this is wrong? No. This rhetorical abuse has allowed the USFG to abound as “no good crisis goes to waste” in the words of former Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel. Whatever the flaws of the current tax cut legislation, a reduction in revenue gathering power of the USFG is a step toward economic freedom that will reduce poverty here at home and abroad.

Dr. Ben Voth is an associate professor of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs and Director of Debate at Southern Methodist University. He is an advisor to the George W. Bush Institute and the Calvin Coolidge Debate fellow. He examines our current political struggles in a book with Dr. Robert Denton titled Social Fragmentation and the Decline of American Democracy [Palgrave Macmillan-2017].



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While Percherons Graze, Mueller Perfects Whetstone Grinding


Oh my, how will the erstwhile unimpeachable, and irreproachable Robert Mueller rescue his reputation? In mid-June the former FBI director under presidents Bush and Obama — Washington DC’s liege lord — recruited thirteen, now up to twenty-one, mostly partisan adventure seeking knights-errant formerly pledged to Hillary, presumably determined to slay the “Russians, and Trump hacked the election” dragon.

Any honorable counselor would have demurred. Not Robert Mueller. Bored with semi-retirement, he could have gone gathering black winter truffles in the royal forest. Not Robert Mueller. He chose to search for the Black Knight.

Meanwhile, Independence Day, Veterans’ Day, and Thanksgiving have come and gone. Mueller’s armorers have outfitted his legion with lance, mail, and mace. Percherons are groomed, and well fed. But where have these knights-errant trotted about to find a worthy errand? Capturing beleaguered Michael Flynn who admitted lying to the FBI about conversations that were perfectly legal. Where is the evidence of collusion, and nefarious collaboration charges against Trump and his insurgents? There isn’t any.

Trump’s threats to the republic have vanished, like so many ghosts evaporating from a misty heath after sunrise.

Former Obama valet, Jeh Johnson, also holding the tenuous title Secretary of Homeland Security — stumbling over honesty carelessly discarded at the bottom of the turret stairs — was the most recent Obama official to debunk the ‘Russia hacked the election” theme. And president Barack Obama was well aware of the attempts by the Russians to hack into more than 100 state election polling systems, amongst other mischief-makings. Yet Obama informed no one else, much less sounded any alarms, until Trump was elected, instead creating the phony chronicle that it was Donald Trump who facilitated the Russian malfeasance.

But there was no Trump criminal conspiracy with the Russians, a longstanding truth finally disgorged by Chaucer’s glutton of sanctimony, former FBI chief James Comey, a Mueller pal, and confidant.

As Andrew McCarthy writing in National Review and others have pointed out — notably retired Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, not exactly a Trump partisan — collusion without a crime is no more nefarious than two passersby tipping their hats. Collaboration is equally innocuous, unless it drifts into a conspiracy to commit a crime, which no one, including Comey, Mueller, nor any Democrat party member of Congress, except resorting to innuendo, have shown any evidence, neither blood nor motive.

And Trump’s so-called obstruction was never to frustrate the finding of truth, already known to Comey, and Senate/House leaders. Instead Trump called out the conspirators who refused to reveal the truth — that Trump has never been the target of a conspiracy nor an obstruction probe, and there is zero evidence of Trump or his associates in conspiring with anybody — except legitimate voters — to seize electoral victory.

Moreover, Comey’s unwitting, and Johnson’s nearly prostrate, confessions opened the drawbridge inviting Mueller to redirect his probe into those Democrat party co-conspirators, the DNC, Comey’s FBI, and the Obama Justice Department.

Comey unveiled Obama’s late-term AG Loretta Lynch’s conspiracy to keep the unindicted criminal Hillary Clinton screened off from charging her with obvious felonies, by obstructing the FBI investigation, and providing secret warnings and tip-offs to the DNC.

Or was it Obama himself who desperately wanted Hillary to succeed him, not to secure an honorable legacy, but inoculate himself from post-presidency opposition scrutiny on his entire administration — ranging from gunrunning into Mexico, to illicit arms trading via Libya to Syrian rebels, to spying on members of Congress, to Benghazi, to IRS targeting of conservatives, to unmasking of U.S. citizens via intelligence bureau sweeps of opponents’ communications.

Meanwhile South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy, teased out from Jeh Johnson how the FBI was itself an accessory to the coverup — and diversion — over the mysterious DNC refusal to “cooperate” with the FBI in examining its server for alleged Russian hacking evidence — more likely containing evidence that the hacking was an inside job. More sinister are the FBI’s and DNC’s fingerprints all over the procurement, assembly, and dissemination of the salacious fake smear dossier on Trump.

Mueller’s own incompetence, and cover up in the FBI malfeasance over the Uranium One pay-for-play conspiracy directed by Bill and Hillary, is just more of the same sordid intrigue undermining truth, justice and the American Way.

Mueller and his knights-errant could accept a compelling crusade, the beckoning to cross the drawbridge into the Democrat courtyard cum cesspool which would yield a treasure of corruption, and criminal conspiracy, justifying millions of special prosecutor salaries, office costs, IT security, travel expenses, special consultants, leather briefcases and black trench coats. Something to show for all of the melodrama.

Instead, Robert Mueller can only muster a feeble roundup of a few poachers in the royal forest who have taken a wild boar or two for Christmas Eve’s past, snatched a wayward goose, and dragged a red herring across a sheriff’s trail.

Thus, Mueller’s percherons savor grasses on the high meadow, waiting to be saddled up for something athletic, while his knights yearn for tales of brave cunning that will never be. And Robert Mueller, the inscrutable Grand Prior, seems content to wield a mighty whetstone grinding on idle blades, ready to slay only trifles and tangents. 

Oh my, how will the erstwhile unimpeachable, and irreproachable Robert Mueller rescue his reputation? In mid-June the former FBI director under presidents Bush and Obama — Washington DC’s liege lord — recruited thirteen, now up to twenty-one, mostly partisan adventure seeking knights-errant formerly pledged to Hillary, presumably determined to slay the “Russians, and Trump hacked the election” dragon.

Any honorable counselor would have demurred. Not Robert Mueller. Bored with semi-retirement, he could have gone gathering black winter truffles in the royal forest. Not Robert Mueller. He chose to search for the Black Knight.

Meanwhile, Independence Day, Veterans’ Day, and Thanksgiving have come and gone. Mueller’s armorers have outfitted his legion with lance, mail, and mace. Percherons are groomed, and well fed. But where have these knights-errant trotted about to find a worthy errand? Capturing beleaguered Michael Flynn who admitted lying to the FBI about conversations that were perfectly legal. Where is the evidence of collusion, and nefarious collaboration charges against Trump and his insurgents? There isn’t any.

Trump’s threats to the republic have vanished, like so many ghosts evaporating from a misty heath after sunrise.

Former Obama valet, Jeh Johnson, also holding the tenuous title Secretary of Homeland Security — stumbling over honesty carelessly discarded at the bottom of the turret stairs — was the most recent Obama official to debunk the ‘Russia hacked the election” theme. And president Barack Obama was well aware of the attempts by the Russians to hack into more than 100 state election polling systems, amongst other mischief-makings. Yet Obama informed no one else, much less sounded any alarms, until Trump was elected, instead creating the phony chronicle that it was Donald Trump who facilitated the Russian malfeasance.

But there was no Trump criminal conspiracy with the Russians, a longstanding truth finally disgorged by Chaucer’s glutton of sanctimony, former FBI chief James Comey, a Mueller pal, and confidant.

As Andrew McCarthy writing in National Review and others have pointed out — notably retired Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, not exactly a Trump partisan — collusion without a crime is no more nefarious than two passersby tipping their hats. Collaboration is equally innocuous, unless it drifts into a conspiracy to commit a crime, which no one, including Comey, Mueller, nor any Democrat party member of Congress, except resorting to innuendo, have shown any evidence, neither blood nor motive.

And Trump’s so-called obstruction was never to frustrate the finding of truth, already known to Comey, and Senate/House leaders. Instead Trump called out the conspirators who refused to reveal the truth — that Trump has never been the target of a conspiracy nor an obstruction probe, and there is zero evidence of Trump or his associates in conspiring with anybody — except legitimate voters — to seize electoral victory.

Moreover, Comey’s unwitting, and Johnson’s nearly prostrate, confessions opened the drawbridge inviting Mueller to redirect his probe into those Democrat party co-conspirators, the DNC, Comey’s FBI, and the Obama Justice Department.

Comey unveiled Obama’s late-term AG Loretta Lynch’s conspiracy to keep the unindicted criminal Hillary Clinton screened off from charging her with obvious felonies, by obstructing the FBI investigation, and providing secret warnings and tip-offs to the DNC.

Or was it Obama himself who desperately wanted Hillary to succeed him, not to secure an honorable legacy, but inoculate himself from post-presidency opposition scrutiny on his entire administration — ranging from gunrunning into Mexico, to illicit arms trading via Libya to Syrian rebels, to spying on members of Congress, to Benghazi, to IRS targeting of conservatives, to unmasking of U.S. citizens via intelligence bureau sweeps of opponents’ communications.

Meanwhile South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy, teased out from Jeh Johnson how the FBI was itself an accessory to the coverup — and diversion — over the mysterious DNC refusal to “cooperate” with the FBI in examining its server for alleged Russian hacking evidence — more likely containing evidence that the hacking was an inside job. More sinister are the FBI’s and DNC’s fingerprints all over the procurement, assembly, and dissemination of the salacious fake smear dossier on Trump.

Mueller’s own incompetence, and cover up in the FBI malfeasance over the Uranium One pay-for-play conspiracy directed by Bill and Hillary, is just more of the same sordid intrigue undermining truth, justice and the American Way.

Mueller and his knights-errant could accept a compelling crusade, the beckoning to cross the drawbridge into the Democrat courtyard cum cesspool which would yield a treasure of corruption, and criminal conspiracy, justifying millions of special prosecutor salaries, office costs, IT security, travel expenses, special consultants, leather briefcases and black trench coats. Something to show for all of the melodrama.

Instead, Robert Mueller can only muster a feeble roundup of a few poachers in the royal forest who have taken a wild boar or two for Christmas Eve’s past, snatched a wayward goose, and dragged a red herring across a sheriff’s trail.

Thus, Mueller’s percherons savor grasses on the high meadow, waiting to be saddled up for something athletic, while his knights yearn for tales of brave cunning that will never be. And Robert Mueller, the inscrutable Grand Prior, seems content to wield a mighty whetstone grinding on idle blades, ready to slay only trifles and tangents. 



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