The More You Know…

John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article yesterday about some of the things we have learned as information about spying on the Trump campaign and transition team is declassified. One thing that I don’t think has been widely reported is that Obama Treasury Department officials were on the list of those making unmasking requests relating to General Michael Flynn.

The article reports:

When Acting DNI Richard Grenell released the list of individuals who made unmasking requests relating to General Michael Flynn, one of the curious facts that stood out was the presence of a number of Obama Treasury Department officials on the list. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and no fewer than five of his subordinates–Deputy Secretary, Under Secretary, Acting Assistant Secretary, and so on, all political appointees in the Obama administration–all made unmasking requests with regard to conversations that turned out to involve General Flynn, on the same day: December 14, 2016. Lew made a second request on January 12, 2017.

The mystery of why President Obama’s Treasury Department was interested in electronic surveillance carried out for national security purposes may have been solved by this scoop in the Ohio Star: “The Treasury Department Spied on Flynn, Manafort, and the Trump Family, Says Whistleblower.”

President Barack Obama’s Treasury Department regularly surveilled retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn’s financial records and transactions beginning in December 2015 and well into 2017, before, during and after when he served at the White House as President Donald Trump’s National Security Director, a former senior Treasury Department official, and veteran of the intelligence community, told the Star Newspapers.

“I started seeing things that were not correct, so I did my own little investigation, because I wanted to make sure what I was seeing was correct” she said. “You never want to draw attention to something if there is not anything there.”

The whistleblower said she only saw metadata, that is names and dates when the general’s financial records were accessed. “I never saw what they saw.”

By March 2016, the whistleblower said she and a colleague, who was detailed to Treasury from the intelligence community, became convinced that the surveillance of Flynn was not tied to legitimate criminal or national security concerns, but was straight-up political surveillance among other illegal activity occurring at Treasury.

“When I showed it to her, what she said, ‘Oh, sh%t!’ and I knew right then and there that I was right – this was some shady stuff,” the whistleblower said.

“It wasn’t just him,” the whistleblower said. “They were targeting other U.S. citizens, as well.”

Only two names are listed in the whistleblower’s official paperwork, so the others must remain sealed, she said. The second name is Paul J. Manafort Jr., the one-time chairman of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

The Star’s source says that she filed a formal complaint with the Treasury Department’s Inspector General in March 2017, but nothing was done. There is much more at the link.

Please follow the link to read the entire article–it is fascinating.

The article concludes:

We don’t know what Flynn communication these Obama officials were poring over, but we do know that the Treasury Department was never able to make any kind of a case against Flynn for financial misdeeds of any kind. It bears remembering that Jacob Lew was an unusually political Secretary of the Treasury. He was Obama’s Chief of Staff before taking over the Treasury Department. We have written about him several times, e.g. here.

Evidence continues to grow that the corruption of the executive branch of the U.S. government by Barack Obama was comprehensive and perhaps unprecedented.

Consequences are justified and needed.

Good News On Covid-19

Yesterday John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog that included some good news about the coronavirus. Generally speaking it seems that a lot more people have had the virus without knowing it, and thus the death rate is much lower than originally thought. Americans are also in the early process of creating ‘herd immunity,’ which should prevent the overwhelming numbers of serious cases originally predicted.

The article includes the following graph:

As you can see, we are on the downside of the bell curve. It should be noted that the number of deaths from the coronavirus is a lagging indicator and may increase in the coming two weeks before going down.

The article reports:

…there is growing evidence that many more Americans have had COVID-19 than has generally been thought. Reuters reports that of the sailors on board the COVID-stricken aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, 60% of those who tested positive for the virus were asymptomatic. This is a higher percentage than was previously estimated by Dr. Fauci, 25%-50%. The Reuters reporter doesn’t seem to understand that this is good news, for two reasons.

First, it means that the fatality rate for COVID-19 is lower than most have believed. I think the balance of evidence so far is that the Wuhan virus is somewhat more lethal than the usual seasonal flu, but of the same order of magnitude. It is possible, however, that it may prove to be no worse, statistically, than the average flu.

Second, it means that the U.S. is closer to achieving herd immunity than previously believed. This ABC News story is to the same effect:

The first large-scale community test of 3,300 people in Santa Clara County found that 2.5 to 4.2% of those tested were positive for antibodies — a number suggesting a far higher past infection rate than the official count.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that we are still a long way from the levels that confer herd immunity.

The article concludes:

Currently, global COVID deaths are just under 30% of the average for a seasonal flu bug, per the WHO. Those numbers are likely wrong, because China and Iran have almost certainly underreported their fatalities. If we assume that China’s true fatality number is ten times what it tells the WHO, and Iran’s is three times, then total global fatalities from COVID-19 would be 41% of an average flu season, so far.

For the U.S., according to CDC, the COVID-19 deaths to date equal 53% of the deaths from seasonal flu two yeas ago.

COVID-19 is a disease, and there nothing good to be said about diseases. But today’s news is generally positive.

One of the reasons I don’t trust the Chinese numbers of people who died from the coronavirus is an article in The Epoch Times on March 22, 2020, that reported the following:

The number of Chinese cellphone users dropped by 21 million in the past three months, Beijing authorities announced on March 19. Deaths due to the CCP virus may have contributed to the high number of account closings.

That’s an awful lot of people who suddenly decided they didn’t need their cell phones.

An Attempt At Justice

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article about lawsuits brought by Carter Page. It seems to be common knowledge that before being targeted by the Obama administration as a back door to spy on the Trump campaign, Carter Page had done a lot of work for three-letter government agencies and was regarded as a reliable source of information.

The article reports:

Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page filed a lawsuit Thursday in federal court against the Democratic National Committee, law firm Perkins Coie and its partners tied to the funding of the unverified dossier that served as the basis for highly controversial surveillance warrants against him.

…“This is a first step to ensure that the full extent of the FISA abuse that has occurred during the last few years is exposed and remedied,” attorney John Pierce said Thursday. “Defendants and those they worked with inside the federal government did not and will not succeed in making America a surveillance state.”

He added: “This is only the first salvo. We will follow the evidence wherever it leads, no matter how high. … The rule of law will prevail.”

The lawsuit will be heard in the Federal District Court in Northern Illinois.

The article concludes:

Page could sue Steele, except that Steele is in England and has made it clear that he doesn’t plan to visit the U.S., ever again. Nearly all potential defendants other than Steele–Comey, Clapper, McCabe and the like–would try to erect a firewall by denying any knowledge that the Steele dossier was a fraud.

Whether such guilty knowledge could be proved is doubtful. At a minimum, Page will have to get far enough to conduct meaningful discovery against the existing defendants. Do the DNC’s or Perkins Coie’s emails contain evidence of a conspiracy to lie about Carter Page, for the purpose of damaging Donald Trump? Who knows? If the participants were careful, they don’t; then again, those who were talking to each other in 2016 and 2017 probably didn’t foresee that their actions might one day be exposed in court. So perhaps they were careless. Maybe, too, any such communications were deleted or destroyed long ago.

There is at least one obvious exception to the above analysis–the DOJ lawyer who misrepresented a CIA email to the FISA court. The email said that Carter Page was a CIA asset. The lawyer changed it to say that Page was not a CIA asset. That guy, who has been fired and I assume will be criminally prosecuted, has no defense other than causation. He likely would argue that he was just a cog in a giant wheel of lies, and that Page would have been equally defamed, surveilled and harassed even if he hadn’t lied about the CIA email. Which undoubtedly is true, although it is questionable as a defense.

What Carter Page is doing is noble. Let’s hope he succeeds in shedding light on the biggest political scandal, by far, in American history.

Finally, a fun fact: Page is represented by the same lawyers who are representing Tulsi Gabbard in her defamation case against Hillary Clinton, who called Gabbard a Russian asset. Which, of course, is what she and her minions also called Carter Page, an equally absurd lie.

Stay tuned.

Letting A Lie Stand

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog today about a lie told by Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib. She has made a number of anti-Semitic statements during her short term in Congress.

The article reports:

Yesterday Tlaib retweeted the claim that a “herd of violent Israeli settlers” had “kidnapped and murdered” a seven-year-old Palestinian boy. The original tweet was accompanied by a video that showed an Israeli rescue team recovering the body of the boy from a cistern.

The article concludes:

The whole thing was a hoax, made up out of whole cloth. (Not the death of the boy, which was real, but the assertion that he was murdered by Israeli “settlers.”) The tweet by the Palestinian politician, Hanan Ashrawi, has now been deleted, as has Tlaib’s retweet. But Tlaib’s deletion was silent, with no explanation or apology, or any attempt to correct the misinformation that she had spread to tens of thousands on Twitter.

What happened is obvious. Like many people, Tlaib believes anything that tends to confirm her pre-existing bigotry. There is no need to investigate or verify the facts when an opportunity to smear Jews is at hand.

Anyone can make a mistake and believe something that isn’t true. However, Congresswoman Tlaib owed the people who follow her on Twitter and explanation of why her tweet was deleted and a correction to the story. Kidnapping and murder is generally not something that Israelis do to children. Unfortunately the Palestinians who Tlaib supports have a history of killing innocent people–both Israeli and American–citizens of Israel and tourists. The Representative needs to check her facts more carefully.

Yesterday In Virginia

There was a Second Amendment rally in Richmond, Virginia, yesterday. 22,000 Second Amendment supporters showed up on Martin Luther King Day to support the Second Amendment. The media was predicting riots. On Sunday I posted an article based on a Canada Free Press story that predicted a ‘false flag’ operation by Antifa. That did not materialize.

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted a few observations about the rally. The headline on his article was, “Pro-Gun Rally In Richmond Is Peaceful; Liberals Hardest Hit.”

The article notes:

Today an estimated (by police) 22,000 people demonstrated at the Virginia capitol in Richmond in favor of Second Amendment rights, which are being threatened by the newly-elected Democratic majority in that state’s legislature. Liberal news outlets were hoping the rally would turn violent, and their disappointment when it didn’t was palpable.

The article includes this picture and comment from The Washington Post:

The Babylon Bee probably had the best headline and article:

The Babylon Bee headlines: “Media Offers Thoughts And Prayers That Someone Would Start Some Violence At Gun Rights Rally.”

Somber members of the press offered their thoughts and prayers that someone would start some violence at the gun rights rally in Virginia today.

Reporters expressed their grief and condolences as the violence they hyped has so far failed to materialize.

“Nobody has so much as fired a shot. This is an unbelievable tragedy,” said one teary-eyed MSNBC reporter, clearly caught up in the anguish of the moment.

The article cited one possible reason Antifa decided to stay home:

Antifa threatened to show up at the rally, and likely would have created violence if it had done so. But for some reason, the group’s leaders changed their minds. Maybe they focused on the fact that the 2x4s, pipes and baseball bats with which they are used to beating up innocent bystanders might not fare so well in this crowd. One young guy who looked suspiciously like a leftist advocated jumping the fence and killing people. The genuine demonstrators denounced him as an “infiltrator”–which I suspect he was–and told him to “get the f*** out.”

The article concludes:

Virginia’s Democrats are unabashedly in favor of gun confiscation. Why is it that when Democrats take control of a legislative body, they instinctively move to confiscate legally-owned firearms from law-abiding citizens, in violation of the Second Amendment? It would take a psychiatrist to answer that question. Certainly a student of crime statistics wouldn’t be able to explain it. Whatever the cause, the Democrats’ move against the citizens’ constitutional rights is manna from Heaven for Republicans, many of whom mingled with the demonstrators and endorsed their cause.

I would also like to note that those who attended the rally cleaned up after themselves before they left. It is also interesting to me that when so many ‘good people with guns” are in one place, there is no violence.

Why I Love The Alternative Media

Yesterday John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog titled, “Landmark Trade Deal With China; New York Times Hardest Hit.” The article details some of the actual facts of the trade deal and contrasts those details with the reporting of The New York Times.

Some examples:

Reaction was predictably partisan. On CNBC, Steve Bannon said that President Trump “broke the Chinese Communist Party,” and the U.S. “gave up very little in the end.” On the same program, hedge fund manager Kyle Bass said that he sees the agreement as a “‘temporary truce’ in which the U.S. got the better of China.”

At the New York Times, on the other hand, there was wailing and gnashing of teeth:

President Trump signed an initial trade deal with China on Wednesday, bringing the first chapter of a protracted and economically damaging fight with one of the world’s largest economies to a close.

Has the trade conflict with China damaged the U.S. economy? To some degree it has, although it has certainly hurt China’s economy more. This is the kind of short-term pain that Barack Obama, for example, was unwilling to accept. And yet economic growth under President Trump has been considerably better than under Obama.

The deal caps more than two years of tense negotiations and escalating threats that at times seemed destined to plunge the United States and China into a permanent economic war.

No one thought “permanent economic war” was a realistic possibility, except, perhaps, readers of the always-hysterical New York Times.

The agreement is a significant turning point in American trade policy and the types of free-trade agreements that the United States has typically supported. Rather than lowering tariffs and other economic barriers to allow for the flow of goods and services to meet market demand, this deal leaves a record level of tariffs in place and forces China to buy $200 billion worth of specific products within two years.

Phase One reduces or eliminates some tariffs and leaves others in place for Phase Two. This isn’t really all that complicated, but the Times wants its readers to think that Trump’s approach represents a departure from an imagined, purist practice of the past.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is a beautiful example of how the mainstream media takes good news and attempts to make it bad news because it involves an accomplishment by President Trump.

The Search Continues…

Yesterday John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog about a story The New York Times ran about a disgruntled Trump voter. The article in The New York Times was posted in October. It was about Mark Graham, a real estate appraiser in Erie, Pennsylvania.

The New York Times reported:

Mark Graham, a real estate appraiser in this faded manufacturing hub [Erie, Pennsylvania], sat with friends at a gym named FitnessU on the morning after the Democratic debate in mid-September. He had voted for Barack Obama, but in 2016 he took a gamble on Donald Trump.
***
“Things have changed in the last couple weeks: More stupidity has come out,” Mr. Graham, 69, said in a telephone interview last week. He hopes Democrats nominate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., but he is not particular. “I’d vote for the Democratic nominee no matter who it is at this point,” he said.

Well, voting records are public. It turns out that Mr. Graham did not vote in 2016.

The article at Power Line Blog continues:

Fast forward a month, to November 12. Now the Times reports, excitedly, on a new anti-Trump ad campaign being undertaken by David Brock’s disreputable organization, American Bridge:

A Democratic group unveiled a $3 million advertising campaign Tuesday featuring people who supported President Trump but now regret it, the first wave of a yearlong effort to reclaim some of the voters in the industrial Midwest who helped tip the 2016 election.

The group, American Bridge, will air commercials in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania that are first-person testimonials from residents of each state explaining why they backed Mr. Trump in 2016 and why they will not do so again next year.

The Times proudly noted its own role in tracking down anti-Trump converts:

The disaffected Trump voter who appeared in the Pennsylvania spot — Mark Graham of Erie, Pa. — was featured in a New York Times article last month.

It is reasonable to assume that American Bridge found Mr. Graham via the Times article.

Unfortunately, neither American Bridge nor the Times thought to check the Erie, Pennsylvania voting records to confirm Mr. Graham’s claim that he voted for President Trump in 2016. It turns out he didn’t:

An allegedly regretful Trump voter in Pennsylvania, highlighted in videos by a Democratic political action committee and by The New York Times, never actually voted in 2016.

News organization JET 24, an ABC affiliate, found after checking county voting records that Mark Graham of Erie County, Pennsylvania, did not vote in the presidential election three years ago.
***
[T]he Trump campaign noted Friday that American Bridge has yet to take down its ad or apologize.

The New York Times has run a correction:

After this article was published, local news media reported that Mark Graham did not vote in the 2016 election. The Times has confirmed that Mr. Graham did not vote in the election. While Mr. Graham acknowledged misspeaking about his voting record, he said the article accurately reflects his feelings about the 2016 race and President Trump’s performance in office.

I guess that’s sort of an apology for their lack of research. It gives me hope that the mainstream media is having so much trouble finding everyday Americans who regret voting for President Trump.

The Logic In This Is Beyond Me

Yesterday John HInderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article about the latest reason given to impeach President Trump.

The article quotes the wisdom of Congressman Al Green:

Rep. Al Green (D-TX) said on Saturday during an interview on MSNBC that President Donald Trump needed to be impeached “to deal with slavery.”

Green, who has previously stated that Trump must be impeached or else “he will get reelected,” said this week that there is “no limit” to the number of times that Democrats can try to impeach the president.

…I do believe, ma’am, that we have to deal with the original sin. We have to deal with slavery. Slavery was the thing that put all of what President Trump has done lately into motion.

…So, I appreciate whatever we will do, but until we deal with the issue of invidious discrimination as a relates to [the] LGBTQ community, the anti-Semitism, the racism, the Islamophobia, the transphobia, and also the misogyny that he has exemplified, I don’t think our work is done.

I’m sorry–this seems like a bit of a stretch to me. Also, keep in mind that President Trump has Jewish grandchildren that he evidently has a beautiful relationship with. That might be a problem to a thinking person who wants to accuse him of anti-Semitism. The racist charge runs into a problem when you consider that President Trump as a private citizen literally fought city hall to allow Mar-a-Lago to admit African-Americans and Jews. The misogyny accusation runs into a problem when you consider that President Trump as a private citizen hired to first woman contractor to build a New York City skyscraper.

As you can see, most of the often repeated charges against President Trump contradict actual facts. Joseph Goebbels is often credited with saying,  “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Unfortunately we are seeing that principle in action regarding reporting on President Trump.

Respecting The Constitutional Rights Of Americans

Yesterday John HInderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article with the following headline, “Schiff Obtained Phone Records of Nunes, Journalist, Others.”

How in the world did Adam Schiff get access to those phone records?

The article notes:

The mainstream media is abuzz with stories about Nunes communication with “Rudy Giuliani during key aspects of his Ukraine pressure campaign.” Nunes was in touch with John Solomon around the times he published major articles. And on and on. The telephone records don’t include the actual conversations. They identify who was calling whom and how long they spoke.

Schiff has crossed the line of decency with this move. Once again, he has abused his power. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton tweeted that obtaining these records is a remarkable abuse of President Trump’s constitutional rights. I would argue that it’s an abuse of the constitutional rights of all of the above. These are KGB tactics.

Well, fair is fair. Republicans should obtain Schiff’s phone records, those of the so-called whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella, and the colleague with whom he had a “bro-like” relationship, you know, Sean Misko, the one Schiff hired as an aide the day after the whistleblower’s complaint was submitted.

The repellent Adam Schiff has managed to reach a new level of depravity.

This is not something that should be happening in America. It is a total disregard for the constitutional rights of the people involved. However, this is not a new tactic by the political left.

In October 2014, I posted an article about Sharyl Attkisson. She was fired from CBS for her reporting on Operation Fast and Furious. As you remember, that was President Obama’s gun-running operation that was supposed to bring Americans to the point where they overturned the Second Amendment.

The article from rightwinggranny noted:

Attkisson says the source, who’s “connected to government three-letter agencies,” told her the computer was hacked into by “a sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.”

The breach was accomplished through an “otherwise innocuous e-mail” that Attkisson says she got in February 2012, then twice “redone” and “refreshed” through a satellite hookup and a Wi-Fi connection at a Ritz-Carlton hotel.

The spyware included programs that Attkisson says monitored her every keystroke and gave the snoops access to all her e-mails and the passwords to her financial accounts.

“The intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio, and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool,” she wrote in “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.”

But the most shocking finding, she says, was the discovery of three classified documents that Number One told her were “buried deep in your operating system. In a place that, unless you’re a some kind of computer whiz specialist, you wouldn’t even know exists.”

“They probably planted them to be able to accuse you of having classified documents if they ever needed to do that at some point,” Number One added.

It’s time to charge people with a crime when they violate the civil rights of an American citizen. I hope this will happen (but I am not optimistic).

A Policy That Is Working

It is not really in the interest of anyone (other than Iran) for Iran to successfully build an atomic bomb. Iran is a major supporter of terrorism around the world, and no person on earth will be safe if Iran successfully builds a nuclear weapon capable of reaching Europe or North America. The Iran nuclear deal did not stop Iran’s nuclear program–it simply postponed it until President Obama was out of office.

John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article today about the impact of President Trump’s Iran policy on the economy of Iran.

The article reports:

Iran has been roiled by demonstrations against the dramatic increase in the price of gasoline that was dictated by the government earlier this month. The demonstrations have been brutally suppressed, with somewhere between 100 and several hundred protesters killed by police. For several days, the mullahs pulled the plug on internet service to prevent videos of the protests and police brutality to be seen by the outside world.

So why is Iran in turmoil?

The article explains:

In other words, the Trump administration’s sanctions are working. Iran’s government, short of cash, was forced to dramatically raise the price of fuel, even though it knew what the reaction would be. And the resulting explosion–the analogy to the Yellow Vest protests in France is obvious–has shaken the regime.

Trump’s policy of using sanctions to starve the mullahs of cash contrasts favorably with Barack Obama’s inexplicable policy of sending $100 billion dollars to the regime in exchange for empty promises.

President Trump’s policy toward Iran is working.

Today At The Supreme Court

Today the Supreme Court will hear arguments about DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). It is interesting that the case has taken so long to get to the Supreme Court.

In September 2017, the Heritage Foundation reminded us of the following statement by former President Obama:

Responding in October 2010 to demands that he implement immigration reforms unilaterally, Obama declared, “I am not king. I can’t do these things just by myself.” In March 2011, he said that with “respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case.” In May 2011, he acknowledged that he couldn’t “just bypass Congress and change the (immigration) law myself. … That’s not how a democracy works.”

I guess he changed his mind. Also, just for the record, former President Obama was supposed to be a Constitutional Law Professor. We are not a democracy–we are a representative republic. Did he know that?

At any rate, DACA is now at the Supreme Court. Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article about the coming hearings.

The article notes:

The long-running battle over the Trump administration’s bid to end the Obama-era program for young undocumented immigrants known as “Dreamers” will land before the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
***
“The administration has basically chalked up the fact that they are going to lose a lot of these cases in the lower courts,” said Thomas Dupree, a former top Bush Justice Department official and now an appellate attorney.

“But they’re playing the long game. I think that there are those in the White House and the Justice Department who have made a calculation saying, ‘Look we can absorb all these losses in the lower courts because we are going to win the endgame when this case gets into the Supreme Court.’”

It remains to be seen how the court will rule, however, on this complicated issue — which concerns the limits of one president trying to rescind the policies of his predecessor.

The article concludes:

I haven’t studied the briefs so as to be up to speed on the technical arguments that will be presented to the Court tomorrow. But at the end of the day, it is hard to see how the courts can hold that the president is legally barred from carrying out his constitutional duty to see that the laws–including the immigration laws–are faithfully executed.

Stay tuned.

More Insanity In Our Public Schools

Yesterday John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog about the oppressive nature of mathematics. Barbie said that math class was hard, but I don’t remember her using the word oppressive.

The article reports:

The Seattle public schools have developed a new “ethnic studies” curriculum that tells students that mathematics is a tool of oppression. Sure, some of us thought that back in junior high school, especially when we didn’t get around to doing our homework. But to have this view endorsed by the schools is remarkable. Robby Soave reports at Reason:

The [Seattle public school] district has proposed a new social justice-infused curriculum that would focus on “power and oppression” and “history of resistance and liberation” within the field of mathematics. The curriculum isn’t mandatory, but provides a resource for teachers who want to introduce ethnic studies into the classroom vis a vis math.

Why, exactly, would you introduce “ethnic studies” into mathematics? This is from Education Week:

If adopted, its ideas will be included in existing math classes as part of the district’s broader effort to infuse ethnic studies into all subjects across the K-12 spectrum.

Again: why would a school district do this, unless it is deliberately trying to foment ethnic division? The rot, sadly, is not confined to Seattle:

“Seattle is definitely on the forefront with this,” said Robert Q. Berry III, the president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. “What they’re doing follows the line of work we hope we can move forward as we think about the history of math and who contributes to that, and also about deepening students’ connection with identity and agency.”

Why is it the mission of the public schools to “deepen students’ connection with identity and agency”? If “identity” means ethnic identity, which I understand it does, I would think the public schools should be trying to do the opposite.

For whatever reason, our education system and our political leaders are more focused on emphasizing the things that divide us rather than the things that unite us. Why not encourage all students to identify as Americans?

If They Had Any Credibility Left…

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article about the newest member of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Mauritania is expected to be voted onto the Council today.

The article notes:

Mauritania, the west African nation where slavery remains a widespread practice, is expected to be voted on to the United Nations’ Human Rights Council on Thursday.
***
Mauritania made slavery illegal in 1981, but did not criminalize the practice of owning slaves until 2007. It was the last country to abolish slavery. According to a 2012 CNN report, only one slave owner had been prosecuted for owning another human being since the practice was made illegal.

While the Mauritanian government officially denies that slavery is ongoing in the country, Mauritanian watchdog groups allege that one out of every two members of the country’s Haratine ethnic minority group are enslaved, and that as many as 20% of the population is enslaved. The exact number of slaves within the country is unclear, and estimates range from 90,000 to 500,000. The Global Slavery Index estimates more than 140,000 people are currently enslaved in the country.

The article concludes:

Slavery persisted in Africa long after it was abolished elsewhere, and Mauritania is, one could say, the last pro-slavery holdout. In Mauritania, as has so often been the case, lighter-skinned Arabs own darker-skinned Africans. So what better candidate for the U.N.’s Human Rights Council could there be? There may be a more useless and corrupt organization than the United Nations somewhere in the world, but it isn’t easy to think what it might be.

The United Nations should be forced to pay their parking tickets and leave New York City.

When The Numbers Are Just Not Cooperating

As the climate change hysterics from the Democrat presidential candidates continue, some of the actual facts seem to have gotten lost in the discussion.

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog yesterday with the following headline, “No U.S. Warming Since 2005.”

The article reports:

Even when measured, temperature records are not very reliable. The U.S. is generally considered to have the best records, but surveys show that over half of our weather stations do not comply with written standards. Some are located in places that obviously will be warmer than surrounding air, e.g., next to airport runways. Many are in cities, where temperatures are artificially inflated by concentrations of people, motor vehicles, buildings, etc. And on top of all of that, the alarmists who curate weather records have systematically fiddled with them, lowering temperatures that were recorded decades ago and raising recent ones, to exaggerate the supposed phenomenon of global warming.

The article continues:

In order to address some of these problems, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) implemented, beginning in 2005, a new surface temperature measurement system in the U.S.

[The U.S. Climate Reference Network] includes 114 pristinely maintained temperature stations spaced relatively uniformly across the lower 48 states. NOAA selected locations that were far away from urban and land-development impacts that might artificially taint temperature readings.

Prior to the USCRN going online, alarmists and skeptics sparred over the accuracy of reported temperature data. With most preexisting temperature stations located in or near urban settings that are subject to false temperature signals and create their own microclimates that change over time, government officials performed many often-controversial adjustments to the raw temperature data. Skeptics of an asserted climate crisis pointed out that most of the reported warming in the United States was non-existent in the raw temperature data, but was added to the record by government officials.

The USCRN has eliminated the need to rely on, and adjust the data from, outdated temperature stations.

So–not to keep you in suspense–what does the USCRN show so far? No warming:

I guess we might have a little more than twelve years left. Please follow the link to the article to read the rest of the information.

Not All Of What You Are Hearing Is True

Chicken Little is again running around yelling, “The sky is falling!” This time the attempt to induce panic in the general population is related to the fires burning in Brazil in the Amazon rain forest. The panicked extreme environmentalists cry, “The lungs of the earth.” The more rational environmentalists have a different perspective.

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article that reports some facts and historical perspective on the fires.

The article reports:

It isn’t entirely a fraud–there are indeed fires in the vicinity of the Amazon rain forest. But the hysteria that has been induced by those fires, which occur every year at this time, is ridiculous. Wildly exaggerated claims have been repeated uncritically in the press, and celebrity ignoramuses and politicians have avidly circulated photos of pretty much every forest fire that has occurred anywhere in the world over the last 20 or 30 years, claiming they were taken yesterday in the Amazon region.

The controversy has reached the level of high diplomacy (or rather, low comedy) as European countries have leaned heavily on Brazil to do a better job of controlling fires, threatening among other things trade sanctions, while Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro declined European offers of aid, while pointing out that French president Marcon wasn’t even able to prevent a foreseeable fire at Notre Dame cathedral. Relations between Brazil and France spiraled downward to the point of a Facebook comment by Bolsonaro on the relative pulchritude of the countries’ first ladies.

Yesterday The Tennessee Star posted an article about the fires.

The Tennessee Star reports:

The origin of this Amazon fire crisis traces back to the beginning of August, when Bolsonaro sacked his Space Institute minister for publishing worrisome data about the 2019 fire season. The dry season in Brazil typically runs from August to November, as farmers use these months to burn dried-out timber previously cut during land clearing operations. Ranchers also prepare the land for cattle grazing.

An important point to remember about these fires, however, is that the rainforests themselves are not entirely or uncontrollably ablaze. Natural fire does not typically occur in these tropical forests due to suffocating humidity, wet dense foliage, and daily thunderstorms. What is burning right now is land near the forests where farmers and ranchers have cleared hundreds and hundreds of acres of trees. This is easily seen in satellite imagery, which scientists finally examined and compared to the past two decades.

The New York Times pumped the brakes on the misinformation and published a highly informative map showing the location of the fires on previously cleared land obviously related to farmers and ranchers.

The Brazilian state of Mato Grasso has been transformed into an “ocean of soybeans” the size of Iowa. On the periphery, the land is cleared at the rate of 2,500-square-miles annually.

This deforestation peaked in the 1990s but lessened significantly over the past 10 years. There is evidence, however, to suggest Bolsonaro’s government had cut back on enforcement measures against illegal fires and land-clearing activities. The initial reports about the beginning of fire season sent the international community into a panic, led by the Europeans.

The number of fires and cumulative area burned so far in 2019, on the other hand, is on par with previous years and described as “near average” by NASA.

The farmers are clearing their land for their soybean crops. According to a Reuters article from May 2019:

Soybean trading in Brazil has gained momentum in recent days, driven by a wave of Chinese demand, boosting prices and premiums paid at ports amid a weakening of the Brazilian currency, according to analysts.

An estimated 5.5 million tonnes of soybeans have traded over the past few days, and are slated to leave Brazilian ports in June, July and August, according to estimates by the Center for Advanced Studies in Applied Economics (Cepea) issued on Friday.

The boost in trading has been driven by the failure of the Washington and Beijing to resolve their longstanding trade dispute, which made China turn to Brazil for soybean supplies, the analysts said.

The fires are not extraordinary when viewed through the lens of history. The farmers are clearing their land in order to plant soybeans and graze cattle. The hysteria is unfounded and unproductive.

A New Twist On Environmentalism

There is a lot of questionable science behind the push for ‘green energy.’ In some ways the quest is reminiscent of the quest for the elusive perpetual motion machine. One of the main reasons we have the wind and solar farms we have is that they are heavily subsidized by the government. Because the government has gotten involved, the free market has not invented the technology to make green energy truly effective. Why should they when competition is not a factor? Less than perfect technology has its challenges.

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article with the following headline, “Wind Energy Collapsing In Germany.’

The article reports:

The expansion of wind power in the first half of this year collapsed to its lowest level since the introduction of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) in 2000. All in all, just 35 wind turbines were build with an output of 231 megawatts. “This corresponds to a decline of 82 percent compared to the already weak period of the previous year”, according to the German Wind Energy Association (BWE) in Berlin.

“This makes one nearly speechless,” said Matthias Zelinger at the presentation of the data. The managing director of the Power Systems division of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) spoke of a “blow to the guts of the energy turnaround”. This actual development doesn’t match “at all to the current climate protection debate”.

The article notes the cause of the decline:

The most important cause lies in the legal resistance of wildlife and forest conservationists fighting new wind farms. The BWE President referred to an industry survey of the onshore wind agency. According to its findings, more than 70 percent of the legal objections are based on species conservation, especially the threat to endangered bird species and bats.

The article concludes:

The conservationists have a point. One of the worst features of both wind and solar energy is that they are terrible for the environment. They use up an enormous amount of land that otherwise would be available for agriculture, development or recreation. They are eyesores. And they kill huge quantities of wildlife.

It isn’t the most important reason to oppose corrupt subsidies and mandates for “green” energy, but the fact that these energy sources are bad for the environment is one more nail in the coffin.

Somehow I don’t expect to see this news in the mainstream media.

The Appropriate Response And The Slanting Of The Story

Yesterday John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog about the warfare of the future. In the article Mr. Hinderaker mentions that according to The New York Times, Russia and China are working on the technology of hypersonic weapons. These weapons would render our missile defense systems useless.

The article also mentions President Trump’s response to the Iranian attacks on oil tankers:

Cyber warfare is almost old hat by comparison. The Associated Press (AP) says that President Trump ordered cyber attacks on Iran in place of actual bombings:

U.S. military cyber forces launched a strike against Iranian military computer systems on Thursday as President Donald Trump backed away from plans for a more conventional military strike in response to Iran’s downing of a U.S. surveillance drone, U.S. officials said Saturday.

The article then illustrates how the Associated Press can spin a story by quoting the AP’s reporting on the President’s response:

“This is not a remote war (anymore),” said Sergio Caltagirone, vice president of threat intelligence at Dragos Inc. “This is one where Iranians could quote unquote bring the war home to the United States.”

Caltagirone said as nations increase their abilities to engage offensively in cyberspace, the ability of the United States to pick a fight internationally and have that fight stay out of the United States physically is increasingly reduced.

Note that the AP accuses the United States of picking a fight internationally.

The article concludes:

Did the U.S. pick a fight here? I thought Iran did that, by bombing tankers in international waters and shooting down an American drone. But for the AP, like many other American liberals, anything other than Obama-style supine acquiescence constitutes picking a fight.

Well said, sir.

Helping Solve The Healthcare Problem

It is becoming obvious that the Democrats in Congress are not really interested in solving problems. They have been absent on the border crisis and they have been absent on healthcare and health insurance. Meanwhile, President Trump is making gains in both of those areas.

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article about a recent change in health insurance regulations announced by the Department of Health and Human Services. The change will allow businesses to fund employees who buy health insurance on the individual market–something that until now has been illegal.

The article includes the announcement:

Today, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury issued a new policy that will provide hundreds of thousands of employers, including small businesses, a better way to provide health insurance coverage, and millions of American workers more options for health insurance coverage. The Departments issued a final regulation that will expand the use of health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). When employers have fully adjusted to the rule, it is estimated this expansion of HRAs will benefit approximately 800,000 employers, including small businesses, and more than 11 million employees and family members, including an estimated 800,000 Americans who were previously uninsured.
***
Under the rule, starting in January 2020, employers will be able to use what are referred to as individual coverage HRAs to provide their workers with tax-preferred funds to pay for the cost of health insurance coverage that workers purchase in the individual market, subject to certain conditions. … Individual coverage HRAs are designed to give working Americans and their families greater control over their healthcare by providing an additional way for employers to finance health insurance.
***
The HRA rule also increases workers’ choice of coverage, increases the portability of coverage, and will generally improve worker economic well-being. This rule will also allow workers to shop for plans in the individual market and select coverage that best meets their needs. … [T]he final rule should spur a more competitive individual market that drives health insurers to deliver better coverage options to consumers.

Moving healthcare and health insurance back to free market principles will be better for everyone–it will increase competition and eventually drive costs down. This is a step in the right direction.

Tariffs And Trade Negotiations

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line today about the ongoing trade negotiations with China. It is an open secret that China has been stealing American intellectual property for years. They have also engaged in other unfair trade practices such as manipulating their currency. What is happening now is that President Trump is trying to make the playing field more level. There will be opposition. There also may be some short-term losses for Americans, but the President is doing what needs to be done.

The article includes the following cartoon:

That about sums it up.

Follow The Example Of The People With The Money Who Have A Choice

Today John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article about Mick Jagger’s recent heart surgery. I was never really a Rolling Stones fan, but the Beatles aren’t there anymore. At any rate, the article includes the following Tweet from Mick Jagger:

That’s great news, but there is more to the story. Mick Jagger just underwent a successful transcatheter aortic valve replacement (in New York City). Wait a minute–if socialized medicine is so great, what is he doing in New York City? No long wait and up-to-date care. There is still enough of the free market left in American medicine that medical procedures are up-to-date and relatively easy to obtain.

The article explains:

I think it was Robert Conquest who said that everyone is a conservative about what he knows best. Likewise, the more you really care, the less wedded you are to liberal shibboleths. I need heart surgery? Goodbye, NHS. Some years ago, there was a woman who was a member of Canada’s Parliament. She was a fierce opponent of private medical care on the ground that the people should share health risks equally. Then she came down with a rare form of cancer. She was on the next airplane to the U.S.

The Rolling Stones have always had a good appreciation of the virtues of free enterprise. John Phelan, the British economist who works for my organization, likes to quote Keith Richards:

The whole business thing is predicated a lot on the tax laws…It’s why we rehearse in Canada and not in the U.S. A lot of our astute moves have been basically keeping up with tax laws, where to go, where not to put it. Whether to sit on it or not. We left England because we’d be paying 98 cents on the dollar. We left, and they lost out. No taxes at all.

Further proving that a conservative is simply a liberal who has been mugged and that tax policies have consequences.

If President Trump Did Nothing Else, This Makes Him A Great President

For years national security experts have been warning of the dangers of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack. A nuclear warhead exploded at a precise altitude in the middle of America could totally disable our electric grid. Car engines with electronic fuel injection would no longer run (older cars could simply replace their spark plugs and a few other parts and carry on). One well-placed EMP attack could instantly bring Americans back to the early 19th Century. The phenomena of EMP was discovered in the 1940’s and 1950’s during the nuclear testing the United States did on Bikini Atoll. When an atomic bomb was set off on the Atoll, it scrambled all of the traffic lights in Hawaii. That was an early example of the impact of an EMP.

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article today about a recent Presidential Executive Order.

The article reports:

In the first step of its kind, President Trump has signed an executive order calling for a government wide war on EMP, the types of electromagnetic pulses that can wipe out every computer, electric grid, and jet.

In joining the voices of those warning of EMP attacks, Trump called on his government to quickly generate a plan to detect EMP, protect critical infrastructure like water and electric sources, and also to recover if a hit lands.

This is part of the Executive Order:

(b) The Secretary of Defense shall:

(i) in cooperation with the heads of relevant agencies and with United States allies, international partners, and private-sector entities as appropriate, improve and develop the ability to rapidly characterize, attribute, and provide warning of EMPs, including effects on space systems of interest to the United States;
***

(iii) conduct R&D and testing to understand the effects of EMPs on Department of Defense systems and infrastructure, improve capabilities to model and simulate the environments and effects of EMPs, and develop technologies to protect Department of Defense systems and infrastructure from the effects of EMPs to ensure the successful execution of Department of Defense missions;
***
(vi) incorporate attacks that include EMPs as a factor in defense planning scenarios; and

(vii) defend the Nation from adversarial EMPs originating outside of the United States through defense and deterrence, consistent with the mission and national security policy of the Department of Defense.

In 2014 Natural News reported:

Meanwhile Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., has been working to raise concern about the issue (EMP attack) for years. He said during the first panel testimony that “catastrophic civilian casualties” could occur unless Congress acts.

…Franks has introduced H.R. 3410, the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act, which would enable the Department of Homeland Security to adopt measures necessary to protect the power grid.

Dr. Michael J. Frankel, a senior scientist at Pennsylvania State University, said Franks’ bill is a “necessary first step” for the defense of the electric grid, WFB reported. Currently, the measure has 19 co-sponsors.

Dr. Peter Pry, a member of the Congressional EMP Commission and executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, said during testimony that the issue is urgent because an EMP event could wide out nine-tenths of the nation’s population.

“Natural EMP from a geomagnetic super-storm, like the1859 Carrington Event or 1921 Railroad Storm, and nuclear EMP attack from terrorists or rogue states, as practiced by North Korea during the nuclear crisis of 2013, are both existential threats that could kill 9 of 10 Americans through starvation, disease, and societal collapse,” he said.

That was almost five years ago. It seems as if an Executive Order may be the only way to protect Americans–Congress does not seem capable of the job.

Following The Money On Renewable Energy

John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article yesterday about the cost of the a green energy proposal in Minnesota. The article illustrates what will happen if this sort of program is attempted on a national scale.

The article reports:

Today Center of the American Experiment released a groundbreaking paper that addresses a relatively mild “green” proposal: legislation that would raise the renewable energy standard in Minnesota from 25% to 50%. Two of my staffers have been working on the paper for months, drawing on publicly available (but rarely consulted) sources to understand what would be necessary to achieve that 50% goal, what it would cost, how it would impact the state’s economy, and what effect it would have on global temperatures.

The paper is titled “Doubling Down on Failure: How a 50 Percent by 2030 Renewable Energy Standard Would Cost Minnesota $80.2 Billion.” With appendices, it runs to 75 pages. I am not aware of a similarly comprehensive analysis that has been done of any “green” proposal at either the state or the federal level. The paper is fully transparent: all assumptions, data and calculations are clearly set forth. The appendices are largely spread sheets. If anyone disagrees with the report’s conclusions, it should be easy to identify where and why those disagreements arise. You can read the paper here.

The article cites a few highlights from the report:

* Building and maintaining “green” wind and solar facilities, along with transmission lines and necessary natural gas complementary plants (to provide electricity when the wind isn’t blowing, i.e. 60% of the time), would cost $80.2 billion through 2050. For a state like Minnesota, that number is out of the question.

* Every household in Minnesota would pay an average of $1,200 per year, in 2016 dollars, through higher electricity rates and otherwise.

* Electricity prices would rise by 40.2%.

* Electricity-intensive industries like mining, agriculture, manufacturing and health care would be hurt the most. Once again, urban greenies are hammering rural, and physically productive, America. [That last is my commentary, not found in the executive summary.]

* Higher electricity prices are a dead loss that will reduce spending in other areas as household budgets are squeezed. Therefore, according to economist John Phelan, using the generally accepted IMPLAN software, achieving the 50% renewable goal would cost Minnesota 21,000 permanent jobs, and reduce the state’s GDP by $3.1 billion annually. It is one small step on the road to Venezuela.

This really does not sound like a good idea. The push for green energy has always been about government power–whether at the state or federal level. It is interesting that the political left has chosen to attack fossil fuels just at the time when America has achieved energy independence because of fossil fuels and fossil fuels are driving our economic success. Economic success is the enemy of those who espouse socialism–if people are become prosperous, why would they want something different?

Be Careful When Getting Excited About An Upcoming Trip

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article about a recent controversy in the knitting community. I am posting most of the article because I am not sure anyone could explain this as well as Mr. Hinderaker.

The article reports:

It begins with a young (white) knitter who expressed enthusiasm about an upcoming trip to India on social media:

On January 7, she blogged excitedly about her upcoming trip to India. She wrote that 2019 would be her “year of color.” She said that as a child, India had fascinated her, and that when an Indian friend’s parents offered to take her with them on a trip, it was “like being offered a seat on a flight to Mars.” She spoke of her trip as if it were the biggest hurdle anyone could jump: “If I can go to India, I can do anything — I’m pretty sure.” Templer, it should be noted, is white.

As someone who is mixed-race Indian, to me, her post (though seemingly well-meaning) was like bingo for every conversation a white person has ever had with me about their “fascination” with my dad’s home country; it was just so colorful and complex and inspiring. It’s not that they were wrong, per se, just that the tone felt like they thought India only existed to be all those things for them.

Following a major controversy in the online knitting community, the offender offered a Maoist apology:

Templer has since apologized for her post, writing, “It took women of color pointing this out for me to see it … which is not their responsibility, and I am thankful to them for taking the time,” and that she’d be continuing to raise visibility of people of color (and specifically black/indigenous POC) knitters and their work.”

The article concludes:

Social media also makes pointing out racism easier than ever. For weeks, POC knitters have used Instagram, and specifically Instagram stories, to share their observations, tag other knitters, and conduct polls about others’ experiences with racism in the community. Hundreds of people of color have shared stories of being ignored in knitting stores, having white knitters assume they were poor or complete amateurs, or flat-out saying they didn’t think black or Asian people knit.

There is much more–“whitewashing,” for example. If lefties can turn knitting into a hotbed of racism, what can’t they do?

Wow. Not even knitters are safe from racism.

The Problem With Global Warming

Power Line Blog is one of my favorite blogs. Wikipedia describes it as follows:

Power Line is an American political blog, founded in May 2002. Its posts were originally written by three lawyers who attended Dartmouth College together: John H. Hinderaker, Scott W. Johnson, and Paul Mirengoff. The site is published by Publir, founded by Joseph Malchow, also a Dartmouth graduate.

The site gained recognition among the American right for its role in covering the Killian documents story that aired during the 2004 Presidential campaign about forged documents relating to President George W. Bush’s term of service in the Texas Air National Guard, which kept him out of the Vietnam war.

In 2004, Power Line was named Time magazine‘s first-ever “Blog of the Year.”[ When AOL added blogs to their news website in 2007, Power Line was one of the five blogs included. A 2007 memo from the National Republican Senatorial Committee described Power Line as one of the five best-read national conservative blogs.

The major writers for Power Line Blog are Steven F. Hayward, John H. Hinderaker, Scott W. Johnson, and Paul Mirengoff. Susan Vass, writing under the name “Ammo Grrrll,” contributes a humor column to the site each Friday. John Hinderaker lives in Minnesota and has written extensively about the new Congresswomen from Minnesota.

Yesterday John Hinderaker posted an article about the current weather in Minnesota.

The article reports:

I wrote here about the epic winter we are having in Minnesota, hard on the heels of “expert” testimony in Minnesota’s legislature to the effect that we don’t get much snow anymore because of global warming–false, snowfall has been increasing, not decreasing–and temperatures in Duluth are no longer expected to dip below 10 degrees. Less than two weeks after that testimony was given, the winter turned brutal and the temperature in Duluth fell to 25 below zero. The Al Gore Effect lives!

Meanwhile, here in the Twin Cities, the snow continued to fall. We have already smashed the record for snowfall in February by six or seven inches, and as I type this, there is a blizzard warning in effect for tonight. This was the view out my bedroom window this morning; some of these icicles are more than six feet long:

The article concludes:

Memo to the alarmists who warned us that children will grow up, no longer experiencing snow: not to worry.

Of course, all of this is just “weather,” as the alarmists tell us. But climate is experienced as weather, and the alarmists have made countless predictions about weather, pretty much all of which have turned out to be false. A model that generates false predictions has the same value as a losing lottery ticket. So I guess we should be happy that a blizzard is on the way.

I guess the people in Minnesota would welcome global warming.

The Ultimate Successful Disinformation Campaign

The following chart is taken from a Power Line article posted yesterday by John Hinderaker:

I realize that the print is small, but essentially the chart shows that 42% of all Americans believe that Russia helped defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016. This is true despite the fact that in two years there has been absolutely no evidence to support that claim.

The article concludes:

Note the question asked: Did Russia “tamper with vote tallies in order to get Donald Trump elected President?” There is no evidence–I repeat, none–that Russia “tampered with vote tallies.” To my knowledge, no one has claimed that Russia tampered with vote tallies. I am not aware of any plausible theory on which a foreign power could tamper with vote tallies. To say that Russia tampered with vote tallies is as credible as asserting that the moon is made of green cheese.

And yet, two-thirds of Democrats say it is either “definitely true” (31%) or “probably true” (36%) that Russia tampered with vote tallies. Women are especially gullible; 48%, across all party lines, have fallen for this fake news. Sadly, 70% of blacks have bought it hook, line and sinker. The Northeast is the country’s most ignorant region, apparently: 47% of Northeasterners have fallen for the hoax.

So the Democrats, by their constant hysteria and innuendo, have convinced a large majority of their followers, and 42% of all Americans, of a palpable falsehood that was fabricated in order to assure Hillary Clinton’s election and then, when that effort failed, perpetuated in an attempt to cripple President Trump’s administration.

Is this the most successful disinformation campaign in history? I don’t know. But in American history, I can’t think of a plausible rival. President Trump is right: fake news is a serious threat. By cynically selling an absurd lie to its followers, the Democratic Party has badly damaged confidence in our democracy.

This is chilling. It means that through a deceptive media campaign Americans can be convinced that any election the media does not like the outcome of can be labeled fraudulent and that many Americans will believe the label. This sort of disinformation campaign is a threat to our republic, but the even bigger threat is voters who believe everything the mainstream media tells them without doing their own research.