In the category of “I was born a poor black child” and “cha-ching!” . . .

Hey, look at me! I’m just an ordinary man (who happened to be president).

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In the category of “great piece from @marcthiessen of the @WashingtonPost on political polarization” . . .

Funny — ‘enemies’ wasn’t so offensive when it meant ‘Republicans’

I originally found the article in the NY Post, so I’m leaving that link as the headline link, but here is the link to the original spot in the Washington Post’s Opinions section: The left’s hypocrisy on Trump’s ‘enemy of the American People’ comment. I disagree in some particulars with Thiessen, and some of those are significant, but they are less significant than the main thrust of the article. I recommend reading it when you have plenty of time to read thoughtfully and a few minutes to think reflectively when you’re done reading. We could all use some improved perspective regarding the political climate in America. Here are a few highlights from Thiessen’s article. It is worth reading entirely:

When President Trump tweeted that the news media “is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” the outrage on the left was palpable. That’s how dictators speak, they cried, comparing Trump to everyone from Lenin and Stalin to Mao and Mussolini. Former Obama adviser David Axelrod declared, “No other president would have described the media as ‘the enemy of the people.’ ”

No, not the media, just his Republican political opponents.

He immediately jumps into exactly who Obama called enemies and who Hillary Clinton called enemies.

I don’t recall widespread revulsion on the left when a Democratic president and Democratic nominee made these repulsive remarks. Perhaps they didn’t care, because the remarks were not targeted at the media, just Republicans.

But his point is not to cast aspersions at Democrats. His point is to reconcile Democrats and Republicans.

To be clear, it was an outrage when Obama did it. It was an outrage when Clinton did it. And it is an outrage when Trump does it. The Islamic State is an enemy. Iran is an enemy. North Korea is an enemy. Russia (yes, Russia, Mr. President) is an enemy. NBC News is not an enemy.

Members of the news media may be biased. They may even be an adversary, in the political sense of the word—“the opposition party,” as Stephen K. Bannon calls them. But our political opponents are not our enemies. They are our fellow Americans who disagree with us.

Please read the whole article. It’s worth your time.

In the category of “important stuff, but @Voxdotcom inserts so much conjecture that the entire thing is suspect” . . .

Vox admits that they basically know nothing about this that is a problem, but they report it as if it’s huge news and a huge problem. Here are a some other questions I bet we don’t know answers to:

  1. Has Hillary Clinton had an affair recently? “There are no reports to suggest anything, but boy we’d love to have the clickbait so we’re going to ask the question anyway.”
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In the category of “objectivity has left the building” . . .

 
‘What we’ve seen is a president who belittles judges when they don’t agree with him,’ said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). ‘What we’ve seen is a president who is willing to shake the roots of the Constitution and a fundamental premise—no religious test—that’s embodied in our Constitution within his first few weeks in office,’ Schumer said. ‘We certainly need an attorney general who will stand up to that president. . . . But [Sessions] is not, if you can say one thing about him, he’s not independent of Donald Trump.’

Here are some of my objections to this quote from Chuck Schumer. Obama belittled all sorts of people who agreed with him, even from other branches of government. And then, Obama tended to make an end-run around them through executive order. (Look it up for yourself; don’t take my word for it.) No U.S. President has shaken the “roots of the Constitution”  more than Schumer’s beloved Obama did (George W. Bush ran a close second). I’m not convinced that the job of the Attorney General is to “stand up to that president.” His job certainly is upholding the law. If that requires going against the President, I suppose that’s what he needs to do. But Schumer is actually asking for the U.S. Attorney General to go against his own job description—which is exactly the problem we suffer from with nearly all of our Federal Government: Presidents who overstep their bounds, Senators who overstep their bounds, Congressmen who overstep their bounds, Judges and Justices who overstep their bounds—not to mention all the bureaus and bureaucrats who overstep their bounds beyond all imagining. On top of this, Schumer makes a statement that is said as an insult (his clear meaning) but has no real discernible value in this conversation. Schumer says Sessions is “not independent of Donald Trump.” Well, duh. Donald Trump is the President and Sessions is the Attorney General—by definition they are not independent of one another. 

But this quote from Schumer is expectedly lacking in objectivity and is not the real problem with this article. The problem with this article is that the Washington Post is lacking in objectivity. There is a complete expectation in American society today that politicians will lack objectivity. Politicians are so, well, political, you know. But the Press—the hallowed, all-knowing, inerrant Press—we still expect it to be objective. This article is far from it. It is clear from the outset of the article which way it leans, and the what-ifs the article poses—the pure conjecture of some of the scenarios—are blatant well-poisoning. And the article ends with this about Dianne Feinstein:

 
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, said on the floor that her office had received 114,000 calls and emails regarding Sessions, with more than 98 percent opposed. She quoted from constitutents who ‘deeply oppose this president and this nominee’ and have hit the streets in protest. One doctor, she said, ‘marched because of the thousands of patients I’ve seen in the community, people of color, immigrants from all over the globe, who are terrified about the loss of their rights and the dramatic explosion of racially and culturally-focused hate crimes we’re reading about.’

She questioned how Sessions would handle the government’s investigation of Russian interference in the election, which could lead to the prosecution of individuals who helped hack the Democratic party in an effort to help Trump win.

‘It obviously has the potential to create embarrassment for the president and his people, and to implicate people involved in the campaign,’ she said. ‘Can [Sessions] be independent of the White House? I do not believe he can.’

After throwing in some (very brief) quotes from supporters of Sessions in what is a clear effort to pretend impartiality and objectivity, the article ends with three full paragraphs about Sen. Dianne Feinstein, quoting without objection, without counterpoint, without even analysis—and this esteemed publication wants us to believe that they deserve to be heeded regarding the news of the day? Why should we care how many calls and emails Feinstein received regarding Sessions? Oh, and tug at my heartstrings with the story of this doctor marching for this or marching for that. Oh, well, clearly this perspective on Sessions must be accurate, because, well, this good-hearted doctor said so. A news organization cannot claim objectivity when their articles are so full with such obvious bias, such blatant abuse of the principles of rhetoric with the clear purpose to deceive by shading truth with one-sided analysis. Here is how the article should end, if there’s any honesty in it:

 
‘Can [Sessions] be independent of the White House? I do not believe he can,’ Sen. Feinstein said. And we at the *Washington Post* really want you to feel the same way, so we are not going to include enough information or objective details from all perspectives for you to make up your own mind based on the facts, because, frankly, we don’t want you to make up your own mind. We want you to simply go along with what we say, and we are going to tell you just enough to (hopefully) sound credible but not nearly enough for you to having any real knowledge of the issues or the range of viewpoints of the American people at large or of the other Senators charged with confirming (or denying) Sessions’ appointment as attorney general.

Please note that I have not said I support the nomination of Sessions or stated any position beyond a critical analysis of the article itself.

In the category of “double dog dirty” and “@BarackObama and @JohnKerry are slimy double-crossers” . . .

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