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A horror show in Syria, as civilians fleeing a city under siege are massacred by “moderate” rebels.

As the author of this summary notes:

War is always an awful thing. This is precisely why something more than sympathy—insight, belief, and philosophy—must adjudicate between the competing images of atrocity that can be easily paraded before the world on CNN.

I’ll be writing more in depth shortly.  But if Trump changes his colors and goes for a neocon war in Syria it would be a tremendous disaster, a betrayal of the nationalist themes of his campaign, an injustice against the legitimate and most sane player in the Syrian civil war, and, like the war in Iraq, will be based on dubious intelligence that will prove false.  Ramz Paul’s latest video summarizes my basic thoughts on the matter.

The Democrats changed longstanding Senate rules to prevent Republican filibustering of Obama nominees.  This is certainly majoritarian, but the whole point of custom and constitutions is precommitment.  You’re designing rules for a game where sometimes you’re in charge and somtimes you’re not; there are limits on majorities that are agreed ab initio because you don’t know if tomorrow you and your group will be in the minority.  Thus, everyone benefits by limits.  But the Democrats abandoned those limits, both the customary ones, and the formal ones.  Now the Republicans control all three branches of government, and the entire party recognizes the gem that is Neil Gorsuch:  a thoughtful, articulate, and eminently qualified jurist of the Scalia persuasion.

As a matter of pure politics, the Democrats probably shouldn’t fight on this hill.  They’ve lost the claims to any sacredness of the rules, having earlier up-ended them when it was convenient to them.  Why not extend it to Supreme Court justices too?  With Republicans united as they are on this, and disabused of any notions of reciprocity due to the tone of the Obama years, one way or another Trump will get Gorsuch on the Court, and the Democrats will face a more unfiltered and less controllable GOP majority, at least for the next two years.

In addition to fomenting race riots, lying about murdered ambassadors, and shaking down random police departments on trumped up racism charges, it turns out the Obama administration did not simply spy on our allies.  It spied on American political “enemies” of the regime.  Trump was right!  And the main offender was none other than Youtube Fantasist, Susan Rice.  

FISA wiretaps are supposed to be carefully controlled, excluding information on Americans caught up in the dragnet, and “masked” before being wildly distributed.  She went out of her way to unmask these talks–none of which incidentally has been proven to be illegal, immoral, or otherwise problematic.  This widely disseminated gossip was supposed to be under lock and key, but we were governed the last 8 years by extremely peculiar people who had little regard for our traditions.  Trump at least, for once, is not engaged in typical Republican unilateral disarmament.

In a normal country, this would be a scandal of enormous proportions, on every front page, with people calling for her prosecution.  But we’re not a normal country, and the press long ago abandoned its core responsibilities.  It’s serious though.

It seems almost every time Trump exaggerates, he is proven right.  Yesterday it was that he would win.  Today it’s the allegations Obama abused sensitive intelligence gathering to attack a political opponent.  Maybe someone will study the numbers of aliens voting (legal aliens can’t vote either, remember), and it’ll get close the margin of “popular vote” victory for Her Highness.

Double Standards are offensive everywhere and to everyone.  Trump simply had the temerity to voice the collective “id” for the forgotten people about how much this happened, both during Obama’s administration, by the Press supporting Hillary, and in day to day life.

I haven’t had much to write lately.  I guess I’m a good example of the criticism that the GOP is a better opposition party than a governing party.  At least personally, I find offensive things in the world and the media easier to write about, whereas good governance–broadly understood–just lets me focus on other interests.  Politics, after all, is chiefly an instrumental good, one that creates space for real life to flourish:  art, literature, music, family, creativity, commerce, and friendship.  And Trump, so far, is doing a good job.

That said, the bipartisan hatred of him is likely rooted in something interesting I read recently–I can’t find the link sadly–that the large permanent bureaucracy of the government means that elections largely don’t matter.  Indeed, when coupled with judicial supremacy, 99% of what government might in an ordinary country control is out of the hands of the governed.  We can’t decide who gets to be in our country, who gets to go to which public schools, whether to have war or peace, whether to permit abortion, gay marriage, or much else, whether and in what ways we may associate with one another privately, and for 3/4 or more of the federal budget, whether tax dollars are spent one way or another. These matters have either been decided by others, rendered off limits on the basis of dubious readings of the Constitution, or otherwise through bipartisan consensus of the political leadership, are deemed matters on which the will of the governed is wholly irrelevant.

And the meaning of Trump is that an election happened where something might actually change.  Something tangible and real on the main matters of bipartisan consensus:  immigration, trade, and our muscular (but largely unhelpful) foreign policy.

The Russia hacking allegations have now gone full circle.

For months we were told, mostly through leaks and insinuations, that something really bad was afoot.  This information was coming from somewhere, and apparently it came from information obtained by investigators using a FISA warrant that the Obama DOJ approved. Apparently, the initial request was not even granted by the notoriously easy-to-please FISA Court.  Then it happened finally in October.  Obama denies “ordering” it, which is an enormous weasel word, because Loretta Lynch does not do something like this without notifying her boss.

What was being looked into? Who was being looked into? What was told to get this warrant? And, even if not being looked at directly, who was caught up in the net?  After all, spies don’t advertise their status–bad form and all–and Trump and anyone associated with him might have been heard speaking or meeting with someone on the FISA target list.

Trump this weekend had the temerity to say, “What the hell is going on, here?” And the media now demands proof.  They demand proof even when they themselves earlier acknowledged the wiretaps existed if not of Trump, at least of his close associates. And they demand proof after the Russian Hacking “proof” is so incredibly vague and misleading, as the definite connection of individual Russian hackers to the Russian government has not and cannot be made. Indeed, their entire “dossier” on the hacking of DNC emails was laughably lacking in detail and attribution.

Finally, known liar James Clapper has acknowledged after months of digging and looking they’ve come up with absolutely nothing on this Russia business. It’s all just a massive character assassination campaign.

Even if someone in the Russian FSB did coordinate hacking of Podesta’s emails, it didn’t amount to much because, while illegal, it happens all the time, and it didn’t influence the election, and, most importantly, did not come from or ever get coordinated with the Trump Campaign.  I know this because someone would have said so already if it did! Finally, I’m extremely skeptical of Obama’s denials; Obama bugged Merkel, offending journalists, and the entire American people with his NSA spying program.  And I’m mostly nonplussed about Russia’s activities here because (a) it exposed mendacity and duplicitly by DNC officials by releasing emails and (b) it happens all the timne, as we were told by Obama defending his spying of Merkel and by the defenders of Jonathan Pollard.

There is no there, there, except in one particular, the one Trump pointed out in his offending Tweets:  Obama allowed his political opponent (or his close associates) to be wiretapped in the middle of an election on the flimsiest of pretexts.

Theand Big Media campaign against Trump is about to collapse under its own weight, because the ultimate findings of its spying campaign are completely minimal, while the manner and method of the spying are damning to everyone involved:  the FBI, James Comey, Obama, the media, and all the Never Trumpers who breathlessly repeated this implausible bullshit.

Just by way of roundup, there are some great and in depth pieces on the subject today.

Byron York at the Washington Examiner.

Andrew McCarthy’s piece today (and last week).

And Robert Barnes on the potential culpability of Obama administration officials.

 

Now they’ve turned on Sessions, whom they tried to play “gotcha” with regarding a meeting he had, as Senator, with the Russian ambassador.  It appears he misspoke, and he has said so today.  He’s smart to recuse himself, which I think people generally should do to avoid the appearance of impropriety in positions of power.

The problem with this entire line of attack by ex-Obama people and Deep State elements at the CIA is that the underlying substance is absolute nonsense that no one believes.  It’s an attempt to delegitimize Trump and his subordinates, and it’s laughably stupid. Hillary lost the election all by herself.  The ties of Wikileaks and Russia and the election itself are tenuous at best. Wikileaks *did* expose duplicity in the DNC, which led to at least one resignation, but the main issues of the election were open for all to see.  In fact, the revelations from Wikileaks are hard to summarize and barely mattered to voters–I don’t quite get their significance myself, and I’m a close follower of these things.  And Russia, like everyone else, almost certainly thought Hillary would win and Trump would lose.

Trump openly said he wants friendlier relations with Russia, and the American voters heard that to the extent they cared–I agree with him for example–and voted accordingly.   No one is particularly scared of Russia.  Indeed, the Cold War has been over for 25 years.  Democrats seem more scared of a Christian and nationalist Russia than they ever were of the far-more-hostile Soviet Empire.
Democrats seem to have forgotten their internationalist pretensions.  Remember Kerry saying how they loved him in France.  Other countries, not least Mexico, weighed in on the election too.  Does anyone doubt Hillary’s people occasionally talked to them? Or Israelis? Britons? French? Or other foreign officials concerned with the election?  Let’s not forget, Hillary’s foundation took in tons of money from the UAE, Tunisians, and Saudis and God-knows-who-else in an obvious form of bribery.  But we’re supposed to be concerned a US Senator met with an Ambassador, which incidentally is something both ambassadors and senators are supposed to do?!?
Sessions is a very honorable man, as best I can tell.  He almost certainly misspoke, as the context of the question was contacts between Russia and the Trump Campaign.  That said, the underlying substance doesn’t matter to anyone.  It’s a sign of how insular and stupid these globalist haters are in that they think Americans are staying up at night worried about this, as if their cocktail party concerns for the “balance of power with Russia” matter to all but 5% of the electorate at most.  The only offensive thing about this line of attack is who it is coming from, likely ex-Obama people inside and outside of the government, who forgot that they and their team lost bigly in the election.