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We Are Corruptable, Easily Corruptable

Thursday, March 23, 2017  |  posted by John Schroeder

If you are a columnist you know you have hit a home run when your column gets read on air by multiple radio talk show hosts.  Such is certainly the case with this morning’s Daniel Henninger column in the WSJ.  I have personally heard it read by Hewitt and Prager this morning, and I am betting if they read it so did a lot of others.  In the column, Henninger takes to task players on the Left, Right and supposed Center for their politicization of once sacredly apolitical governmental institutions, like our intelligence and law enforcement apparatus.  Here’s just a few select snippets:

They knew the drill. In 2011 the Obama White House leaked details of SEAL Team Six’s assassination of Osama bin Laden within hours of the operation. They politicized the SEALs and commoditized leaking, just as they now have politicized and undermined public confidence in U.S. intelligence agencies.

[…]

But rather than develop countermeasures against the Putin subversion effort, our politics wallows in the Trump vs. Democrats smackdown.

[…]

The “investigation” Mr. Comey identified at the Nunes-Schiff hearing essentially consists of cops walking the beat and knocking on doors for clues. The 17 agencies set loose in January by the Obama administration are an unfocused perpetual-motion machine. This uncapped Beltway hydrant likely will do little about the real Putin propaganda threat, but it will gush raw, unverified anecdotes to animate media melodramas about the current presidency and private U.S. citizens.

Henninger paints a very ugly picture of our government and our media.  But more importantly he paints a really ugly picture of us, the American people.  Why?  Because we accept, even buy into, this stuff.  For sure the media does what it does because we lap it up like a thirsty dog at a desert oasis – that sells ads and they make money.  The politicians feed it to the media because the media provides them with the means to manipulate the public towards their desired end – which starts with keeping their jobs or getting a better one and ends at “transforming America.”  When you get to the bottom of it all, even if you want to blame education, the internet, the liberal media, whatever, it is the way it is because it is what we,  the American people demand.  The free market works even in this situation.  We follow “the drama” of the degradation of our intelligence apparatus like it was The Crown or Downton Abbey.

But this is real life, here and now, with incredibly enormous stakes, not fiction nor fictionalized history.  How did we, the American people, come to a point where we view things like this with such triviality? Continue Reading

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Senator John Thune On The Judge Gorsuch Hearings

Thursday, March 23, 2017  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The audio:

03-23hhs-thune

The transcript:

HH: Joined now by United States Senator John Thune, third-ranking Republican in the Senate. Senator Thune, always great to talk to you, welcome, good to have you.

JT: Thanks. Great to be with you, Hugh.

HH: A lot of ground to cover. Let’s begin with the obvious. I believe that Judge Gorsuch is a lock for confirmation. Do you?

JT: Agreed. Yeah.

HH: Will they have 60? Will you have to deploy the Reid Rule? Or will you get 60 votes for him?

JT: Hard to say. I think the Democrats are going to dig in and fight on this, because their base won’t let them not fight. I think that’s, my guess is that they’ll let a handful go that they really, that are in tough races in ’18. And they’ll give us 58, maybe 59, but not 60, and that’s just a guess. But you know, I’m still hopeful and optimistic that they’ll come to their senses. This is a judge that will be very, very hard for them to attack. And I think the American people see that. And the more they see of him, the more impressed they are by him, and I think that makes the Democrats’ case tougher. But you’ve got to remember, the outside groups that are the center of gravity right now in the Democrat caucus is on the far left. Continue Reading

The Nature of Truth

Wednesday, March 22, 2017  |  posted by John Schroeder

Pretty much everybody has concluded at this point that President’s Trump’s tweeted wiretapping allegation is less than fully truthful. From writers at National Review to the Wall Street Journal editorial board, standard conservative sources are, after James Comey’s testimony, proclaiming the credibility of the Trump presidency damaged.  Trump’s staunchest supporters will be quick to note that “standard conservative sources” have been Trump skeptics all along.  Fair enough, but that does not change the fact that to date there is no evidence to back up the president’s tweeted claim.  And while these sources are skeptical, they, like any good conservative, would rather see the Trump administration succeed than fail.  There is simply too much at stake.  These criticisms are not born of opposition to Trump, they are born of a desire for the best from the current administration.  They are the very definition of “constructive criticism.”

By this time everybody knows that the president’s tweets are, in some sense, a thing apart from the operation of the actual administration, but that does not change the fact that the man is POTUS so his tweets carry far more weight than the average quip sent out there into the ether.  I am sure that if all the facts become public, which they very well may not in this lifetime, it will become evident that there is some sort of validity to Trump’s claim.  For example, hypothesizing – given the president’s ego which I doubt can draw a strict boundary between himself and his campaign, this morning’s Politico “SIREN,” and Comey’s admission of an investigation, Trump’s charge could be based in that investigation. As far as we know now, that investigation is not of his actual person which makes his claim specious, but at least spinnable as based in “reality.”  If I wanted to continue to strain my brain I am sure I could invent other ways to tell this tale so that Trump does not come out as a blatant liar, but even a less-than-blatant liar can have credibility issues.

Such discussion begins to call into question that very nature of truth itself. Continue Reading

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