It’s Friday, January 5th, 2018,…but before we begin, as indicated by these next two items, the inconsistencies in The Donald’s Administration…

Trump Administration Proposes Massive Expansion of Oil Drilling

Plan would open 90% of offshore areas for drilling starting in 2019

 

Justice Department to Rescind Obama-Era Relaxation of Marijuana Prosecution

Decision by Attorney General Jeff Sessions comes days after California became the latest state to permit sale of the drug for recreational use

 

…continue to leave us literally dizzy…particularly as relates to Jeff Sessions’ obsessions to date.

Think about it: Lois Lerner, John Koskinen, James Comey, Huma Abedin, James Clapper, Loretta Lynch, Andrew McCabe, Rod Rosenstein and even The Obamo himself, remain at large and uncharged.  Meanwhile, our Attorney General is focused, like King Canute, in resisting…

…what at this point is the inevitable.  (Hat tip to the incomparable Stilton Jarlsberg for the King Canute photoshop.)

One thing, however, is crystal clear:

Oh,…and this photo of Keith Ellison, Deputy Chair of the DNC, should play well…

…in the upcoming mid-terms!

Now, here’s The Gouge!

First up, in keeping with the Keith Ellison photo featured above, courtesy of Townhall.com, Ben Shapiro relates how…

America’s Left [is] in the Grip of Insanity

 

Not simply mad; rather utterly and completely CRAZED!!!

President Trump is unpopular. He’s unpopular because he’s boorish, crude and silly; he’s unpopular because he has a unique capacity to turn winning news cycles into referenda on his use of Twitter. But the United States under President Trump hasn’t seen any serious (or even minor!) anti-liberty revanchism. In fact, under Trump, regulations have dropped precipitously; the economy continues its pattern of growth; and press freedoms have actually been strengthened. Despite popular opinion (PROGRESSIVE popular opinion; i.e., PROPAGANDA!), women aren’t on the verge of enslavement into Vice President Mike Pence’s “Handmaid’s Tale,” nor are black Americans in danger of resegregation or political disenfranchisement.

Yet while Iranians protest against a regime that reportedly hangs homosexuals from cranes, members of the hard left in the United States insist that protesters against the Trump administration demonstrate bravery similar to that of Iranians risking death by an Islamist regime. Huffington Post political commentator Alex Mohajer tweeted: “The #IranianProtests, the #Resistance, and @WomensMarch are all the same. Across the world, people are fighting autocracies and oppressive regimes. @realDonaldTrump is NO DIFFERENT than the oppressive Ayatollahs in Iran.” Oddly, that movement of solidarity hasn’t prompted those who walked in the Women’s March on Washington to say a single word in support of the Iranian protesters to this point.

This idiocy doesn’t merely spring from hatred for Trump but from a deep-seated need to justify the Obama administration’s feckless Iran policy. Thomas Erdbrink of The New York Times reported that violence broke out in Iran after the demonstrators ignored “pleas for calm from President Hassan Rouhani” and termed Rouhani — a tool of the mullahs — a “moderate.” (Holy Walter Duranty, Batman!) Meanwhile, one CNN anchor fretted that Trump might put a “finger on the scale” against the Iranian regime. Members of the Obama administration took to Twitter to tell Trump to be quiet (Susan Rice, former national security adviser), chide Trump for failing to take in Iranian refugees (Samantha Power, former U.N. ambassador) and suggest that American policy has nothing to do with Iran’s protests (Ben Rhodes, former national security adviser and architect of the Iran nuclear deal narrative). All of these administration members did nothing as President Obama watched dissidents die in the streets in 2009, and all of them actively abetted the maximization of Iran’s regional power.

Herein lies the insanity of the left. Only nutcases on the right believed that Barack Obama’s governance was morally equivalent to the Iranian government. In the main, conservatives thought that Obama pursued bad policies domestically and horribly immoral foreign policies. But many on the left seem to believe that Trump is merely steps removed from the ayatollahs. The ayatollahs agree, and they use that nuttery for public-relations leverage: No wonder Ayatollah Khamenei tweeted: “The U.S. gov. commits oppression inside the U.S., too. U.S. police murder black women, men, & children for no justifiable reason, and the murderers are acquitted in U.S. courts. This is their judicial system! And they slam other countries’ and our country’s judicial system. #BLM.”

Trump isn’t Khamenei. And the only recent administration to help build Iran’s power is the Obama administration. Comparing the Trump administration to Iran’s regime isn’t just delusional; it’s insulting and counterproductive. And the only people it helps are America’s enemies.

Or at least, that’s the DNC/MSM talking point.

In a related item, the WSJ‘s Kimberly Strassel details the desperation evidenced by…

The Democrats’ ‘Russian Descent

Tactics in the Trump probe are starting to look a lot like McCarthyism.

 

Jim Comey (l) and Robert Mueller (r) confer.

“Democrats have spent weeks making the case that the Russia-Trump probes need to continue, piling on demands for more witnesses and documents. So desperate is the left to keep this Trump cudgel to hand that Senate Intelligence Committee Democrats have moved toward neo-McCarthyism.

If that sounds hyperbolic, consider an email recently disclosed by the Young Turks Network, a progressive YouTube news channel. It’s dated Dec. 19, 2017, and its author is April Doss, senior counsel for the committee’s Democrats, including Vice Chairman Mark Warner.

Ms. Doss was writing to Robert Barnes, an attorney for Charles C. Johnson, the controversial and unpleasant alt-right blogger. Mr. Johnson’s interactions with Julian Assange inspired some in the media to speculate last year that Mr. Johnson had served as a back channel between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks. There’s still no proof, but in July the Intelligence Committee sent a letter requesting Mr. Johnson submit to them any documents, emails, texts or the like related to “any communications with Russian persons” in a variety of 2016 circumstances, including those related to “the 2016 U.S. Presidential Campaign.”

Mr. Barnes seems to have wanted clarification from Ms. Doss about the definition of “Russian persons.” And this would make sense, since it’s a loose term. Russians in Russia? Russians in America? Russians with business in the country? Russians who lobby the U.S. and might be affected by the election—though not in contact with campaigns?

Ms. Doss’s response was more sweeping than any of these: “The provision we discussed narrowing was clarifying that the phrase ‘Russian persons’ in [the committee letter] may be read to refer to persons that Mr. Johnson knows or has reason to believe are of Russian nationality or descent” (emphasis added).

If this stands, Democrats will have gone far beyond criminalizing routine government contacts with Russians, which is disturbing enough. Trump transition and administration officials have been smeared and subjected to exhaustive investigation merely for doing their job, which includes interacting with Russian officials or diplomats. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has spent the past year having to justify why, as a U.S. senator, he shook hands with the Russian ambassador. The running joke in today’s Washington is that one risks a subpoena merely for ordering a salad with Russian dressing.

But the definition in the Doss letter potentially takes all this much further. It could be that Ms. Doss was simply trying to prevent a recalcitrant witness from evading legitimate requests. But it could mean you are now officially under suspicion by the U.S. government—subject to requisitioning your emails and texts or getting your own subpoena—if your parents or even great-great-grandparents were Russkis. By some estimates, the Russian-American community is more than three million strong, and quite a few of them are Mr. Warner’s congressional colleagues, including Bernie Sanders.

This comes from a Democratic Party that supposedly rejects group-based discrimination. Substitute the words “Arab or Arab background” into a hypothetical Republican version of the letter, and the left would melt downnot without reason.

The Doss letter suggests this is of a piece with the Democrats’ manic effort to keep the Trump-Russia investigations going, no matter what…”

Which means everything, including the kitchen sink…not to mention lying, cheating, stealing and…

27-Year-Old DNC Staffer Seth Rich Shot, Killed in Northwest DC

 

…murder.

Next up, writing at NRO, Jonah Goldberg explains…

Why Things Have Gotten So Weird

Our collapsed institutions have been supplanted by virtual communities.

 

“…I have a partial theory as to why, and it doesn’t begin with Trump. It begins with a failure of elites and the institutions they run.

Nearly three-fourths of Americans cannot identify all three branches of the federal government, according to an Annenberg Public Policy Center poll taken earlier this year. One in three Americans can’t name a single branch of government. More than a third of Americans can’t name any of their rights under the First Amendment. Multiple surveys find that Americans, particularly younger Americans, are increasingly ambivalent, or downright hostile, to free speech and democracy.

Even as knowledge of, and commitment to, our system of government has been eroding, partisan loyalty has radically intensified. Some studies find that partisan identification is now at least as predictive of behavior and attitudes as race or gender. As we lose our old meaningful attachments, we find new ones in shallow tribalism.

These trends have been in the pipeline for a long time, and while one can point a curmudgeonly finger of blame at the people, particularly these kids today, that wouldn’t be fair. Many older Americans haven’t exactly been model citizens either. Dismayed with the direction of American politics, they often grew as angry at the system as the young radicals. The real blame falls to elites of all stripes and ages — political, journalistic, economic and educational. Every generation has a responsibility to instruct the next on what is important. As an empirical matter, they — we — failed…”

No, not “we”…rather “them“, spelled “P-R-O-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E-S”:

Thus began the deliberate dumbing down of America’s system of public education.  Jonah simply failed to place the cause of America’s demise where it so squarely belongs.

Meanwhile, as Scott Rasmussen records, again courtesy of Townhall.com

The Ground is Shifting Under Obamacare

 

Obamacare swims with the fishes.

“…It’s true that there is more to Obamacare than the mandate. It’s also true that, in a purely political sense, there’s little reason to believe that Republicans will be able to repeal Obamacare in 2018.

But the repeal of the Obamacare mandate fundamentally changes the political dynamics in the real world far from Washington, DC.

Last year, an estimated 15 million Americans would have dropped out of Obamacare if they could. Now they can. Another 6.5 million paid a fine rather than sign up for coverage. This means that more than 20 million people directly benefit from the repeal of the mandate.

Most of these people would prefer to buy insurance that meets their needs, but the Obamacare mandate did more than say that people had to buy insurance. It said they had to buy a very comprehensive and expensive set of benefits. Especially for young people, it was often far more insurance than they needed and far more costly than they could afford.

The reality is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to health insurance. Different people have different needs and preferences.

This reality will create a demand for a variety of insurance options to meet a variety of needs. Some people will prefer more comprehensive coverage and higher premiums. Others will opt for less coverage and lower premiums. All will be covered against catastrophic events but day-to-day coverage will vary.

Sooner or later, Congress will begin offering ideas to meet this demand. One proposal introduced last year would allow insurance companies to offer a variety of options so long as they offered at least one plan with the full Obamacare coverage. Once those plans are available, they will find plenty of eager buyers…”

Ourselves included.  Yo, Barry: you see that glow flashing in the corner of your eye?

It’s your legacy dissipation light; and…

As Charles Krauthammer noted immediately after the 2016 election in words even Megyn Kelly could understand…

Which brings us to The Lighter Side:

Finally, our eldest son Major McKee forwarded the following:

As our B.S. (in more ways than one!) in history at Annapolis focused on The War Between the States and Nazi Germany, we were quick to inform Jon the photo was circa late-Summer 1864 during the Battle of Atlanta…and that Brian Williams was undoubtedly at the controls, with Hillary in the back seat working the radar, navigation and weapons systems!

Enjoy the first weekend of 2018…and stay warm!

Magoo