Frank Bruni’s anti-Mueller opinion piece is an insight into the Leftist mind

With the Mueller investigation discredited, Frank Bruni suddenly realizes that Trump used America’s winner-take-all system to enact conservative policies.

Illustrated edition Trump not a sexual predator Congress MuellerFrank Bruni’s latest opinion piece at the New York Times — Robert Mueller, You’re Starting To Scare Me — is a fascinating window into the Progressives’ narcissistic mindset. Superficially, the column has a single point: the Mueller investigation is sucking so much oxygen out of the room that nobody is paying attention to what Trump is actually doing. In reality, though, it presents a world in which there can be only one point of view and one way to do things. All other viewpoints aren’t just different, they are unacceptable, even in a two-party democratic republic.

Before I get to the “Trumpian horrors” that Bruni lists, I want to take a minute to comment on his overarching thesis (that Mueller’s investigation sucked all the available oxygen out of D.C.’s news reporting). Much as it pains me to agree with Bruni, I have to. He’s perfectly correct that the Leftist media’s obsessive focus on the elusive Russian collusion theory has left them without time or energy to talk about the other things that Trump is doing.

However, while I’m always happy to blame Mueller for lots of things, the reality is that the silence on Trump’s other activities isn’t Mueller’s fault; it’s the media’s fault. Just see my reference, above, to the media’s “obsessive focus” on Mueller. Nobody is making them devote 90% of their time to that story; it’s their choice.

Bruni’s plaint probably explains why Trump didn’t exercise more executive authority over the past year to constrain the Mueller investigation. It wasn’t just the bad optics of doing so or the fact that Trump is a law-abiding executive and therefore was unwilling to interfere with a process he knew would reveal him to be innocent anyway. It probably suited Trump just fine to have the media off screaming about Mueller’s investigation, leaving him free to govern.

Just because Mueller is right about his major thesis, though, doesn’t mean he’s right about the minor thesis, which is that Trump has been committing governing atrocities all over the place. Apropos governing atrocities, when I think of them, I think of acts that violate the Constitution or the law of the United States. Some examples would be (1) allowing administrative agencies to legislate, as was the case with Obama’s HHS and EPA mandates; (2) weaponizing the IRS to shut down conservative groups during an election year; (3) spying on reporters; (4) entering into multi-million and billion dollar deals with foreign governments (the Paris Accord and the Iran Deal) without getting Congressional approval; (5) going into war in Libya without Congressional approval; (6) illegal gun-running into Mexico; (8) unilaterally changing Congressionally-legislated immigration laws to align with the Democrat Party platform, etc.

In all the examples I mentioned above, the problem for me is not that I disagreed with Obama’s policies. That’s a given, because Obama comes from a political ideology I oppose and, with him in the White House, I knew that his executive acts would run counter to my desires. However, that’s the way things happen in a “winner takes all” two-party democratic republic. The real problem for me is that each of the above acts exceeded Obama’s executive power under the Constitution or out-and-out violated federal laws. It’s one thing for an executive to pursue legal and constitutional ends that jive with his political ideology, even if I disagree with that ideology; it’s another thing entirely for him to go rogue. Continue reading

A new technology and random thoughts (and open thread)

Truly random thoughts about computer dictation, poverty, race relations, and women hurting women for cultural reasons, and an open thread.

Dictation to a computer dictating randomI’m trying something new today. After years of avoiding the technology, a series of conference calls in which I need to participate precipitated my buying a headset with a microphone. Then, just today, Windows 10 automatically updated itself and one of the tips it gave me was to tell me that I could use my microphone to dictate in any program. This sounded good to me because I have been a bit dilatory about typing of late. Part of this is because I’m struggling with ideas, and part of it has been that I am having some (temporary) pain in my hand which makes typing difficult. Articulating the ideas without going through the labor of typing seemed very tempting.

This, therefore, is my first fully dictated post. I’m wondering if it has a different “voice” then all of my previous posts, which are typed. I’d love to hear from you about this question. I also wanted to throw out some random thoughts that have been running around in my head lately.

The first random thing I want to talk about is the Tenement Museum in New York, a place I have talked about before. I first (and last) visited it around a decade ago, maybe more, and was absolutely blown away by it. I’m thinking about it now because I’ll be visiting again next month.

In my travels over the years, I have seen so many amazing homes throughout America, Europe And Southeast Asia. Except for the pretty farm houses relocated to various open air museums, these homes are almost invariably where the rich lived. Indeed, the only “ordinary” person’s home I can remember seeing is Mozart’s apartment in Vienna.

The Tenement Museum, however, is something completely different: it is where the poorest of the poor lived. It gives you a visceral sense of the abysmal poverty that immigrants to America faced at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. Even though the tenement is clean, deodorized, and empty, and sits on a clean, modern, relatively empty street, it punches you in the gut. The hallways are dark, the stairs are steep, the apartments are microscopically small and held both huge families and functioning sweatshops, and the running water and plumbing are not only primitive, but only existed during the second half of the tenement building’s useful life.

In terms of creature comforts, there were none. Contrast this with poverty in America today. I am not trying to say that there’s anything pretty or comfortable about poverty, whether today or yesterday. But the fact remains that today’s poor people have plumbing (often dirty and poorly functioning, but it’s still there), electricity, smart phones, clothes, and an adequate, if not healthy, food supply. The abysmal situations in which they live are less from material poverty — although they are definitely materially poor compared to other Americans — but from spiritual poverty.

America’s poor live in worlds compounded of failure, fear, substance abuse, welfare dependency, crime, economic despair, and mental illness that leaves no room for optimism or social mobility. What I wonder is whether it’s harder to fight spiritual poverty than it is to fight economic/material poverty. Continue reading

“What did the president know and when did he know it?”

Will a famous quotation from the Watergate hearings about presidential involvement in a scandal come back to haunt former President Barack “Nixon” Obama?

President Obama SpyIf you were around during the Watergate hearings, even if you were a disinterested child, as I was, there was one question you simply could not avoid. Sen. Howard Baker’s simply phrased focus on Richard Nixon’s role in Watergate resonated loud and strong throughout America: “What did the president know and when did he know it?”

The question today is “What did President Obama know and when did he know it?”

This morning, Former Press Secretary Ari Fleischer sent out a tweet reminding Americans that, when the press was still denying spying (rather than admitting to it but arguing that it was for Trump’s own good), they didn’t yet see any reason to hide Peter Strzok’s admission about Obama’s involvement: Continue reading

[VIDEO] There’s a reason that the Left hates Candace Owens

Candace Owens has a nasty habit of telling blacks that they’re good enough and smart enough not to define themselves as victims dependent on government.


What Business Thinks

Conservatives may spin facts, but Leftists live on lies.

Conservatives and Leftists aren’t just watching different movies, which goes to spin and values. Leftists are often watching movies based entirely on lies.

LiesScott Adams is fond of analogizing different political world views to the fact that people are watching different movies. I watch a movie that sees Trump as an incredibly effective leader who is restoring balance to American politics and to the world stage. Leftists see Trump as an evil fascist who is making the world a place of boiling oceans and hate-filled lands. That is a perception difference based upon values.

Others like to point out accurately enough that people tend to seek reinforcement for their ideas. They pay attention to those facts that support their world view, while ignoring those that don’t. That’s why Leftists like to point out that Robert Mueller is ostensibly a Republican, so conservatives have no right to complain that he has a partisan bias, while conservatives like to point out that the people on Mueller’s team are overwhelmingly Leftist in thought and deed, meaning that partisan bias infuses the whole investigation.

Under both those theories, conservatives and Leftists are living in the same world, with the same facts, but spinning them different ways.

I believe, however, that there’s a really stunning difference between conservatives and Leftists, which is that the latter cling desperately to data that is proven to be false. In other words, for Leftists, it’s not that “facts are stubborn things,” it’s that “falsehoods are stubborn things.”

I’ve got four examples of absolute falsehoods lined up here, all recent. I’m sure that you, my readers, will have your own additions to make. Keep in mind that these are examples in which the facts are absolute and unequivocal, and that the Left relentlessly clings to a narrative that bears no relationship to those stubborn facts:

1. Trump’s reference to MS-13 gang members as animals. The fact is unequivocal: There is a video showing Trump being asked a very specific question about MS-13 gang members and giving an answer that manifestly refers to MS-13 gang members, who enjoy torturing people to death and then mutilating their bodies, rather than immigrants generally, as “animals”:

Only someone deeply invested in a lie would contend that Trump was speaking of immigrants generally — but that is exactly what the entire mainstream media did:

“Trump Calls Some Unauthorized Immigrants ‘Animals’ in Rant,” screamed The New York Times‘s Julie Hirschfeld Davis. Her article referenced MS-13 only once, buried as an aside in the third paragraph: “He exhorted his administration to ‘do much better’ in keeping out undesirable people, including members of transnational gangs like MS-13.”

USA TODAY ran with the headline “Trump ramps up rhetoric on undocumented immigrants: ‘These aren’t people. These are animals.'” To their credit, Gregory Corte and Alan Gomez included a bit more context than The New York Times did. Even so, MS-13 did not come up until the fourth paragraph, and the opening sentence suggested that the president was “calling undocumented immigrants ‘animals.'”

NPR’s Scott Neuman ran with the same kind of twisted headline: “During Roundtable, Trump Calls Some Unauthorized Immigrants ‘Animals.’” Unlike USA TODAY and The New York Times, Neuman updated the story, including remarks from counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Perhaps worse than these selective headlines, various media outlets shared a selectively edited clip of Trump’s comments on Twitter. The clip removed the vital context of his comments — along with any mention of MS-13 — suggesting that the president was referring to all illegal immigrants as “animals.”

As recently as yesterday, Salon was still peddling the lie:

This is not spinning; it’s out-and-out dishonesty. Continue reading

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