Category Archives: Politics from Just Right of Center – I want Balance!

Michael Flynn Jr. cryptically tweeted that ‘you’re all going down.’ Um, what?

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Notes from the Noosphere:

This is an interesting piece of journalism with guessing at the conclusion based on what CNN wants to have happen. 

The odds at this time is that the Deep State is in trouble. All along, it was believed that General Flynn pled guilty as Mueller was putting pressure on his son just as he has been with Manafort hoping to get at Trump. After eighteen months it is clear that the evidence against Trump does not exist unless in the minds of those that enjoy Trump Derangement Syndrome desiring Trump to be impeached. 

What this article portends is that Flynn, Jr. is expecting the Trump administration is going down. Yet, every Deplorable (aka Trump Supporter) is thinking that this innuendo is pointing fingers at the Deep State actors that colluded against Trump thinking that Hillary was going to win the presidency. Ergo the plan was to support Hillary and gain her good graces. 

What we have is a classic “My Way of Thinking” is what is going to happen. Both sides should gain from this article that does not use journalist principles but neither will. They wil continue to plot and plan their own destructive stories in their own way. It is sad that this downslide of journalism has happened. We cannot blame either side as both have sinned greviously in the last 20 years.  

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Analysis by Chris Cillizza , CNN Editor-at-large/May 22, 2018

 

(CNN) — On Monday afternoon at 4 p.m., Michael Flynn Jr. tweeted this: “You’re all going down. You know who you are. Mark my word….”

Which is, um, intriguing?

Flynn is the son of Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser and now a cooperating witness in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

You’ll remember that Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to Mueller in December, and in announcing his decision, made clear that “my guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with the Special Counsel’s Office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and of our country.”

That guilty plea came just a month after CNN reported that Flynn was growing increasingly concerned about the legal exposure of his son, who served as his de facto aide-de-camp during the campaign and for a portion of the presidential transition.

Even as his father has disappeared from public view since last December’s guilty plea, Michael Flynn Jr. has continued to tweet up a storm. And at times, he has seemed to inadvertently(?), contradict the White House’s official line on the Russia investigation.

Take this tweet from last month:

“American Patriot @GenFlynn did not lie to Pence (or anyone else in the admin) about his perfectly legal and appropriate conversations w Russian AMB Kislyak in Dec 2016. Why would a highly decorated military intel officer lie about something legal? Been a MSM lie from day 1.”

That contention runs directly against the President’s stated reason for firing Flynn: Because Flynn lied to Vice President Mike Pence about the nature and number of his contacts with Russian officials.

Flynn Jr. provided no context or follow up as to what evidence (if any) he had to back up his claim that Trump’s reasoning for firing his father was false.

That’s sort of the way things go for Flynn Jr.’s Twitter feed. There’s a lot of boasting and braggadocio and very little in the way of provable facts. Flynn Jr. has touted the belated “#impeachObama” movement, attacked Starbucks and offered this vague warning about Google — “Google is becoming a dangerous platform…..tread wisely…” — all in the last 24 hours or so.

It’s also worth noting that Flynn Jr. often traffics in debunked conspiracy theories — including “Pizzagate,” the idea that a pizza restaurant in Washington was running a secret pedophile ring that Hillary Clinton was somehow involved in. (Flynn Jr. left the transition team after raising questions about “Pizzagate.”)

Which brings me back to Flynn Jr.’s “You’re all going down” tweet.

The wording creates lots and lots of questions.

The biggest one is who is the “you” Flynn Jr. is referring to? Is it people within the Trump administration who he thinks have sold his dad out? Is it the alleged “deep state” actors like former FBI Director James Comey, former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe and special counsel Mueller? Someone else?

A quick reading of Flynn Jr.’s other tweets sent around the same time — and there are lots — suggests he might be talking about the “deep state” idea. Why? Because, hours later, Flynn Jr. retweeted Sharyl Attkisson’s story detailing something called a “sensitive matter team” within the FBI that, according to Attkisson, was tasked with dealing with the Russia investigation.

Which is, I mean … who knows?

Look. It’s easy to dismiss Flynn Jr. as a son looking out for his dad and/or someone prone to see conspiracy everywhere he looks. Maybe that’s all this “you’re all going down” tweet is — just another empty boast.

But it’s also worth remembering that Flynn Jr. was his father’s closest aide. He was, therefore, intimately involved in the Trump campaign and, for a time, the Trump transition. Which mean he knows things. Which makes totally laughing off his latest warning a mistake.

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Stopping Robert Mueller to protect us all

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Notes from the Noosphere:

Is this the answer? It has become increasely clear that the Deep State went to far along with the Obama Administration influence there were actions taken that appear to be felonious. What is taking so long to circle back around and removing the Deep State influence of the FBI and DOJ? The more we learn the worse it seems. 

The Inspector General report is getting momentum to outline the damage done to the government and who did what. Then who will investigate the crimes committed by the FBI and DOJ. At this point it is not clear that the individuals responsible for investigating are part of the problem. 

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BY MARK PENN, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR — 05/20/18 07:00 PM EDT

THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY CONTRIBUTORS ARE THEIR OWN AND NOT THE VIEW OF THE HILL

Giuliani says Mueller has informed him that Trump cannot be indicted

TheHill.com

The “deep state” is in a deep state of desperation. With little time left before the Justice Department inspector general’s report becomes public, and with special counsel Robert Mueller having failed to bring down Donald Trump after a year of trying, they know a reckoning is coming.

At this point, there is little doubt that the highest echelons of the FBI and the Justice Department broke their own rules to end the Hillary Clinton “matter,” but we can expect the inspector general to document what was done or, more pointedly, not done. It is hard to see how a yearlong investigation of this won’t come down hard on former FBI Director James Comey and perhaps even former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who definitely wasn’t playing mahjong in a secret “no aides allowed” meeting with former President Clinton on a Phoenix airport tarmac.

With this report on the way and congressional investigators beginning to zero in on the lack of hard, verified evidence for starting the Trump probe, current and former intelligence and Justice Department officials are dumping everything they can think of to save their reputations.

But it is backfiring. They started by telling the story of Alexander Downer, an Australian diplomat, as having remembered a bar conversation with George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. But how did the FBI know they should talk to him? That’s left out of their narrative. Downer’s signature appears on a $25 million contribution to the Clinton Foundation. You don’t need much imagination to figure that he was close with Clinton Foundation operatives who relayed information to the State Department, which then called the FBI to complete the loop. This wasn’t intelligence. It was likely opposition research from the start.

In no way would a fourth-hand report from a Maltese professor justify wholesale targeting of four or five members of the Trump campaign. It took Christopher Steele, with his funding concealed through false campaign filings, to be incredibly successful at creating a vast echo chamber around his unverified, fanciful dossier, bouncing it back and forth between the press and the FBI so it appeared that there were multiple sources all coming to the same conclusion.

Time and time again, investigators came up empty. Even several sting operations with an FBI spy we just learned about failed to produce a DeLorean-like video with cash on the table. But rather than close the probe, the deep state just expanded it. All they had were a few isolated contacts with Russians and absolutely nothing related to Trump himself, yet they pressed forward. Egged on by Steele, they simply believed Trump and his team must be dirty. They just needed to dig deep enough.

Perhaps the murkiest event in the timeline is Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s appointment of a special counsel after he personally recommended Comey’s firing in blistering terms. With Attorney General Jeff Sessions shoved out of the way, Rosenstein and Mueller then ignored their own conflicts and took charge anyway. Rosenstein is a fact witness, and Mueller is a friend of Comey, disqualifying them both.

Flush with 16 prosecutors, including a former lawyer for the Clinton Foundation, and an undisclosed budget, the Mueller investigation has been a scorched-earth effort to investigate the entirety of the Trump campaign, Trump business dealings, the entire administration and now, if it was not Russia, maybe it’s some other country.

The president’s earlier legal team was naive in believing that, when Mueller found nothing, he would just end it. Instead, the less investigators found, the more determined and expansive they became. This president and his team now are on a better road to put appropriate limits on all this.

This process must now be stopped, preferably long before a vote in the Senate. Rather than a fair, limited and impartial investigation, the Mueller investigation became a partisan, open-ended inquisition that, by its precedent, is a threat to all those who ever want to participate in a national campaign or an administration again.

Its prosecutions have all been principally to pressure witnesses with unrelated charges and threats to family, or just for a public relations effect, like the indictment of Russian internet trolls. Unfortunately, just like the Doomsday Machine in “Dr. Strangelove” that was supposed to save the world but instead destroys it, the Mueller investigation comes with no “off” switch: You can’t fire Mueller. He needs to be defeated, like Ken Starr, the independent counsel who investigated President Clinton.

Finding the “off” switch will not be easy. Step one here is for the Justice Department inspector general report to knock Comey out of the witness box. Next, the full origins of the investigation and its lack of any real intelligence needs to come out in the open. The attorney general, himself the target of a secret investigation, needs to take back his Justice Department. Sessions needs to act quickly, along with U.S. Attorney John Huber, appointed to conduct an internal review of the FBI, on the Comey and McCabe matters following the inspector general report, and then announce an expanded probe into other abuses of power.

The president’s lawyers need to extend their new aggressiveness from words to action, filing complaints with the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility on the failure of Mueller and Rosenstein to recuse themselves and going into court to question the tactics of the special counsel, from selective prosecutions on unrelated matters, illegally seizing Government Services Administration emails, covering up the phone texts of FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, and operating without a scope approved by the attorney general. (The regulations call for the attorney general to recuse himself from the investigation but appear to still leave him responsible for the scope.)

The final stopper may be the president himself, offering two hours of testimony, perhaps even televised live from the White House. The last time America became obsessed with Russian influence in America was the McCarthy hearings in the 1950s. Those ended only when Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.) attacked an associate of the U.S. Army counsel, Joseph Welch, and Welch famously responded: “Sir, have you no decency?” In this case, virtually every associate and family member of the president has been subject to smears conveniently leaked to the press.

Stopping Mueller isn’t about one president or one party. It’s about all presidents and all parties. It’s about cleaning out and reforming the deep state so that our intelligence operations are never used against opposing campaigns without the firmest of evidence. It’s about letting people work for campaigns and administrations without needing legal defense funds. It’s about relying on our elections to decide our differences.

Mark Penn served as pollster and adviser to President Clinton from 1995 to 2000, including during his impeachment. He is chairman of the Harris Polland author of “Microtrends Squared.” Follow him on Twitter @Mark_Penn.

 

 

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LAW & THE COURTS

Notes from the Noosphere:

Under the current state of affairs within our beloved government, it is easy to see that the FBI and DOJ are corrupt and need a drastic house cleaning ridding the organizations of poltical bias as shown the last two years. 

While McCabe was terminated before his retirement could begin thus forcing him to suffer for his crimes by losing his pension there is more that he needs to face: criminal charges is what surfaces. 

Comey is now facing many legal challenges as well once the Deep State and DOJ corruption gets cleaned. Evidence seems to be growing that the people in charge of the Special Proscuter may be an intregal element in the illegal acts the FBI and DOJ have perpetrated in the last two years. 

There has been an effort from before Trump was elected and in office to prevent him from gaining office and then staying in office.

It is slowly becoming clear that the FBI and DOJ are corrupt. This is long after J. Edgar Hoover left office as Director of the FBI. J. Edgar was so corrupt and used blackmail to keep politicans from attacking him fearing that he would release evidence against them. Is that any different now?

When I was in my formative years in the 1960s we were led to not trust the government by people like Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and other liberal people that wanted the USA out of Viet Nam. i still vividly remember how I was told landing at the San Francisco Airport and being told not to wear my Army uniform while taking public transportation across the bay for out processing of the Army. The wonderful people of San Francisco were nasty to GIs accusing each and every one of us of being “Baby Killers.” 

Now they same people have led the gvernment into what may come to be learned once again that we cannot trust our government in WAshington, DC that thinks they know more about how to fix problems at all levels of goevernment when they are corrupt and only seek to cover their collective backs in Washington, DC.

The only element different is that the people claiming that we cannot trust the government recently was the government.   Some of those same people are still actively involved in the government. I still don’t trust them. 

Spinning a Crossfire Hurricane: The Times on the FBI’s Trump Investigation

By ANDREW C. MCCARTHY

May 17, 2018 12:22 PM

 

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a rally at High Point University in High Point, North Carolina, September 20, 2016. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters) The paper buries more than one lede.

If you’re a fading Baby Boomer, you’re faintly amused that the FBI code-named its Trump-Russia investigation “Crossfire Hurricane.” It’s an homage to the Rolling Stones golden oldie “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” — which, come to think of it, might just be a perfect handle for John Brennan, the former Obama CIA director whose specter hovers over each critical juncture of the case.

The young’uns may not believe it, but back before it was known as “classic rock,” you couldn’t just play your crossfire hurricane on Spotify. You had to spin it. Fittingly, that is exactly what the New York Times has done in Wednesday’s blockbuster report on the origins of the Trump-Russia probe.

The quick take on the 4,100-word opus is that the Gray Lady “buried the lede.” Fair enough: You have to dig pretty deep to find that the FBI ran “at least one government informant” against the Trump campaign — and to note that the Times learned this because “current and former officials” leaked to reporters the same classified information about which, just days ago, the Justice Department shrieked “Extortion! when Congress asked about it.

But that’s not even the most important of the buried ledes. What the Times story makes explicit, with studious understatement, is that the Obama administration used its counterintelligence powers to investigate the opposition party’s presidential campaign.

That is, there was no criminal predicate to justify an investigation of any Trump-campaign official. So, the FBI did not open a criminal investigation. Instead, the bureau opened a counterintelligence investigation and hoped that evidence of crimes committed by Trump officials would emerge. But it is an abuse of power to use counterintelligence powers, including spying and electronic surveillance, to conduct what is actually a criminal investigation.

The Times barely mentions the word counterintelligence in its saga. That’s not an accident. The paper is crafting the media-Democrat narrative. Here is how things are to be spun: The FBI was very public about the Clinton-emails investigation, even making disclosures about it on the eve of the election. Yet it kept the Trump-Russia investigation tightly under wraps, despite intelligence showing that the Kremlin was sabotaging the election for Trump’s benefit. This effectively destroyed Clinton’s candidacy and handed the presidency to Trump.

It’s a gas, gas, gas!

It’s also bunk. Just because the two FBI cases are both referred to as “investigations” does not make them the same kind of thing.

The Clinton case was a criminal investigation that was predicated on a mountain of incriminating evidence. Mrs. Clinton does have one legitimate beef against the FBI: Then-director James Comey went public with some (but by no means all) of the proof against her. It is not proper for law-enforcement officials to publicize evidence from a criminal investigation unless formal charges are brought.

In the scheme of things, though, this was a minor infraction. The scandal here is that Mrs. Clinton was not charged. She likes to blame Comey for her defeat; but she had a chance to win only because the Obama Justice Department and the FBI tanked the case against her — in exactly the manner President Obama encouraged them to do in public commentary.

By contast, the Trump case is a counterintelligence investigation. Unlike criminal cases, counterintelligence matters are classified. If agents had made public disclosures about them, they would have been committing crimes and violating solemn agreements with foreign intelligence services — agreements without which those services would not share information that U.S. national-security officials need in order to protect our country.

In the scheme of things, though, the problem is not that the FBI honored its confidentiality obligations in the Trump case while violating them in the Clinton case. The scandal is that the FBI, lacking the incriminating evidence needed to justify opening a criminal investigation of the Trump campaign, decided to open a counterintelligence investigation. With the blessing of the Obama White House, they took the powers that enable our government to spy on foreign adversaries and used them to spy on Americans — Americans who just happened to be their political adversaries.

The Times averts its eyes from this point — although if a Republican administration tried this sort of thing on a Democratic candidate, it would be the only point.

Like the Justice Department and the FBI, the paper is banking on Russia to muddy the waters. Obviously, Russia was trying to meddle in the election, mainly through cyber-espionage — hacking. There would, then, have been nothing inappropriate about the FBI’s opening up a counterintelligence investigation against Russia. Indeed, it would have been irresponsible not to do so. That’s what counterintelligence powers are for.

But opening up a counterintelligence investigation against Russia is not the same thing as opening up a counterintelligence investigation against the Trump campaign.

The media-Democrat complex has tried from the start to conflate these two things. That explains the desperation to convince the public that Putin wanted Trump to win. It explains the stress on contacts, no matter how slight, between Trump campaign figures and Russians. They are trying to fill a gaping void they hope you don’t notice: Even if Putin did want Trump to win, and even if Trump-campaign advisers did have contacts with Kremlin-tied figures, there is no evidence of participation by the Trump campaign in Russia’s espionage.

At the height of the 2016 presidential race, the FBI collaborated with the CIA to probe an American political campaign.

That is the proof that would have been needed to justify investigating Americans. Under federal law, to establish that an American is acting as an agent of a foreign power, the government must show that the American is purposefully engaging in clandestine activities on behalf of a foreign power, and that it is probable that these activities violate federal criminal law. (See FISA, Title 50, U.S. Code, Section 1801(b)(2), further explained in the last six paragraphs of my Dec. 17 column.)

But of course, if the FBI had had that kind of evidence, they would not have had to open a counterintelligence investigation. They would not have had to use the Clinton campaign’s opposition research — the Steele dossier — to get FISA-court warrants. They would instead have opened a criminal investigation, just as they did on Clinton when there was evidence that she committed felonies.

To the contrary, the bureau opened a counterintelligence investigation in the absence of any (a) incriminating evidence, or (b) evidence implicating the Trump campaign in Russian espionage. At the height of the 2016 presidential race, the FBI collaborated with the CIA to probe an American political campaign. They used foreign-intelligence surveillance and informants.

That’s your crossfire hurricane.

 

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Maxine Waters explodes on House floor: I resent ‘making America great again’!

Notes From the Noosphere: 

As often is the case many Congressmen or Congresswomen get elected and then they cannot get un-elected. Maxine Waters has taken her “Trump Derangement Syndrome” to extremes. Yet, her base back in her district love this type of disrangement or she would not have continued to take on Republicans that infringe on her double victim status of being a black female trying to overcome the “White Male Dominance” if it even exists outside Maxine’s mind.

In our simple-minded methods, the political class has taken back-biting and shaming to extreme levels even when the screamer has as much baggage as those they are screaming at in the political arena. My mother would not have allowed me to behave is such a juvenile manner. Perhaps as we look to enjoy Mother’s Day this Sunday we should all realize how both the Libtards and Redubs are behaving like children more and more every day and need to start uniting for the best of United States of America. 

MAY 11, 2018

BY VICTOR SKINNER

California Congresswoman Maxine Waters doesn’t want to hear any talk about making America great, especially if it’s coming from a straight white man.

Waters went off the rails at a recent House debate when Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly had the audacity to suggest the country needed to shift focus from what divides to what unites.

Yesterday, on the House floor, RM @RepMaxineWaters had #notonesecond for Republican efforts to undermine anti-discrimination policies. Watch

“We are trying to make sure we are making America great every day in every way and the best way to do that is to stop talking about discrimination and start talking about the nation,” Kelly said Tuesday, directing his comments to Waters. “We’re coming together as a people, in spite of what you say.”

Committee chairman Tom McClintock reminded lawmakers to direct comments to him, rather than each other, before yielding to “the gentlelady from California.” Waters ignored his request and immediately attacked Kelly, pointing to her special double victim status as a black woman.

“Mr. Kelly, please do not leave. Because I want you to know that I am more offended as an African American woman than you will ever be. And this business about making America great again, it is your president that’s dividing this country,” she said.

“And don’t talk to me about the fact that we don’t understand … that’s the attitude that’s been given toward women time and time again.”

Kelly attempted to chime in, but Waters refused to yield for a response. McClintock reminded Waters to direct her remarks to him, and she ignored the request a second time.

“I respect the chair, but don’t stop me in the middle when you didn’t stop him in the middle, and so I shall continue,” Waters said, turning back to Kelly. “Don’t you dare talk to me like that and think that somehow women don’t understand what goes on on the floor of automobile dealers.”

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The American Right: Its Deep Story

by Arlie Russell Hochschild, University of California, Berkeley, USA

As in much of Europe, India, China and Russia, the American political right is on the move. In some ways, America’s leftward cultural shift – a first black president, a potential female one, gay marriage – may obscure this rise. But it’s there. Over the last few decades, conservative voices have grown louder: the most popular cable TV channel and the most popular daily talk radio show lean strongly right. Both houses of the federal Congress in Washington D.C. are in Republican hands. Republicans also control far more state legislative chambers than do Democrats, and more state governorships. In 23 of the nation’s 50 states, Republicans control both houses of the state legislature and the governorship; the corresponding number for Democrats is seven. Some twenty percent of Americans – 45 million people – now support the avidly anti-tax Tea Party movement, and in recent months the populist nativist Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump won the most Republican primary votes in history.

What distinguishes the American right from its counterparts elsewhere is hatred of the federal government. The right calls for cuts in government benefits: unemployment insurance, Medicaid, college financial aid, school lunch and far more. Prominent Republican leaders have called for elimination of entire departments of federal government – Education, Energy, Commerce and Interior. In 2015, 58 House Republicans voted to abolish the Internal Revenue Service. Some have even called for abolishing all public schools.

Grassroots supporters of these leaders feel frustrated and angry at the government. The big question which prompted me to begin a five-year ethnographic study in Louisiana – part of the heartland of the American Right – was, why? As I began interviews for my book, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right[1], the puzzle only grew. The country’s second-poorest state, Louisiana has proportionately more failing schools, more sick and obese residents, than nearly any state in the nation. So it needed – and received – federal help; 44 percent of its state budget came from the federal government. So why, I wondered, were so many Tea Party supporters angry? And how does anger – or any emotion – underlie politics?

While many analysts address these questions from outside the personal experience of right-wing individuals, I wanted to understand that experience from inside. So I attended meetings of Republican Women of Southwest Louisiana, church services, and political campaign rallies. I asked people to show me where they’d grown up, gone to school, where their parents were buried. I perused high school yearbooks of my new Louisiana friends, played cards and went fishing with them. Overall I interviewed 60 people – 40 of them white, older, Christian supporters of the Tea Party. I gathered over 4,600 pages of transcribed interviews and field notes.

I also struck upon a method. First I listened. Then I drew up a metaphorical representation of their experience, stripped of judgment and of facts, a feels-as-if account which I call a “deep story.” Underlying all our political beliefs, I believe, lies such a story. In this case, it goes like this:

You are patiently standing in a middle of a long line leading up a hill, as in a pilgrimage. Others beside you seem like you – white, older, Christian, predominantly male. Just over the brow of the hill is the American Dream, the goal of everyone in line. Then, look! Suddenly you see people cutting in line ahead of you! As they cut in, you seem to be being moved back. How can they just do that? Who are they?

Many are black. Through federal affirmative action plans, they are given preference for places in colleges and universities, apprenticeships, jobs, welfare payments, and free lunch programs. Others are cutting ahead too – uppity women seeking formerly all-male jobs, immigrants, refugees, and an expanding number of high-earning public sector workers, paid with your tax dollars. Where will it end?

As you wait in this unmoving line, you’re asked to feel sorry for them all. People complain: Racism, Discrimination, Sexism. You hear stories of oppressed blacks, dominated women, weary immigrants, closeted gays, desperate refugees. But at some point, you say to yourself, you have to close the borders to human sympathy – especially if there are some among them who might bring harm.

You’re a compassionate person. But now you’ve been asked to extend your sympathy to all the people who have cut in front of you. You’ve suffered a good deal yourself, but you aren’t complaining about it or asking for help, you’re proud to say. You believe in equal rights. But how about your own rights? Don’t they count too? It’s unfair.

Then you see a black president with the middle name Hussein, waving to the line cutters. He’s on their side, not yours. He’s their president, not yours. And isn’t he a line-cutter too? How could the son of a struggling single mother pay for Columbia and Harvard? Maybe something has gone on in secret. And aren’t the president and his liberal backers using your money to help themselves? You want to turn off the machine – the federal government – which he and liberals are using to push you back in line.

I returned to my respondents to ask if this deep story described their feelings. While some altered the story here or there (“so we get in another line…” or “that’s our money he’s giving out…”), they all claimed the story as their own. One told me “I live your metaphor.” Another said, “You read my mind.”

What has happened to make this story ring true? In a word, a loss of honor. Tea Party supporters I met were generally not poor, but many had grown up in poverty, and had seen family and friends sink back into it. But wealth was not the only source of wellbeing and honor. As white, heterosexual Christians, many also described their fears of a demographic decline (“There are fewer people like us,” one woman told me), or of becoming a religious minority (“People aren’t churched anymore,” “You can’t say Merry Christmas; you have to say Happy Holidays”). Some felt like a cultural minority (“We’re the clean-living people, people who go by the rules, but we’re seen as sexist, homophobic, racist, ignorant – all the labels the liberals have for us”). If they turned for honor to their beloved home, often in the rural mid-west or South, some felt disparaged as “rednecks.” Behind the deep story, then, was their loss of honor from many quarters – an honor squeeze.

A deep story describes pain (others cut ahead of you). It describes blame (an ill-intentioned government). And it points to rescue (Tea Party politics). It also provides an emotional accounting system, establishing how much sympathy is due those waiting or cutting in line, how much distrust is owed the government, or how much government beneficiaries should be shamed. This system becomes a foundation for feeling rules[2] – which establish what we believe we “should and shouldn’t” feel – now a key target of heated political battle. Explicitly or implicitly, most service jobs require workers to abide by feeling rules (“It’s wrong to get mad at the customer; he’s always right”). Workers learn how to manage their feelings in training, and supervisors monitor how well they do it. Similarly, political ideologies carry feeling rules. Leaders guide sympathy, suspicion, blame, shame, and talk radio hosts and newscasters spread the word, which local and electronic communities monitor through commentary.

Left and right abide by ever-more divergent sets of feeling rules. In general, the left calls for sympathy for underprivileged groups, who are seen as deserving government help; the right does not. The left calls for trust in this part of government, the right suspects and reviles it. The left attaches dignity and entitlement to the receipt of government help, the right attaches great shame to it.

In the cultural battle between these two codes, the Tea Party supporters I studied felt dominated by the feeling rules of the left and resented it bitterly. “We’ve had enough P.C. [Political Correctness]” Donald Trump has often yelled, echoing a sentiment adamantly held on the right. One man told me, “Liberals want us to feel sorry for immigrants and refugees. But mostly I see a bunch of people saying poor me, poor me, poor me…” Another said, “Liberals get something from the government and we don’t – and I’m glad not to take if I’m not in need. But they want us to feel grateful for what they’re getting.” And many attached great shame to getting government help, and felt utter contempt for cheaters. “I know guys who put in for unemployment during hunting season.” Or, “A lot of people in that trailer park got on disability by claiming to have seizures. I don’t know how they hold their heads high. But they do, and the government encourages it.” Most Tea Party supporters strongly resisted the idea that anyone should feel sympathy with line cutters, gratitude toward government, or release from the shame of getting a “government hand-out.”

But not everyone I spoke to agreed. Indeed, it was as if two factions of those I interviewed heard different endings to the deep story. Traditional Tea Party supporters wanted to cut both the practice of cutting in line, and government rewards for doing so. Followers of Donald Trump, on the other hand, wanted to keep government benefits and remove shame from the act of receiving them – but restrict those benefits, implicitly, to native-born Americans, preferably white.

Trump’s pronouncements have been vague and shifting, but pundits have noted that he has not called for cuts to Medicaid. Rather he plans, he says, to replace Obamacare, which extends medical coverage to the uninsured, with a new program that will be “terrific.” Significant, too, is Trump’s distribution of shame. Though he has disparaged ex-POW hero John McCain, a disabled journalist, a female Fox News commentator, undocumented Mexicans, an American-born judge of Mexican heritage, all Muslims, and all his Republican adversaries, he has never shamed recipients of Medicaid or food stamps.

But in order to legitimize welfare for white men, Trump had to masculinize the act of receiving it. This may be a secret and potent source of Trump’s appeal. He applauds men who brawl, own guns, stand tough, act macho. Most welfare recipients are women, children and men of color. But there are many poor, or almost poor or afraid-of-becoming poor white men. If such a man needs it, Trump intimates, getting a government benefit can be a guy’s thing to do. You can slap a gun decal on your pick-up, start brawls, be macho, Trump implies, and also apply for unemployment or food stamps – stigma-free.

Importantly, many of Trump’s blue-collar white male followers face the same grim economic fate earlier visited on blacks: disappearing jobs, low wages, evidence of despair. Among such men, there are proportionately more single dads than among their richer white male counterparts, more split marriages, more children, and harder times. If they aren’t on Medicaid now, they might be in the future – and so they face the contradiction of needing the very government help which the right, and they themselves, have long disparaged. Detachment from welfare was a key status marker, distinguishing “real men” from the “real bottom.” In my interviews with Louisiana Trump supporters, talk of his support for government benefits did not arise, at least at first. But, asked about his view of a safety net for “regular people,” one auto mechanic noted, “Trump’s not against that. If you use food stamps because you’re working a low-wage job, you don’t want someone looking down their nose at you.”

Trump tacitly absolves blue-collar white men from shame, but not non-native or non-white men. Indeed, responding to the deep story, Trump has created a movement much like the anti-immigrant but pro-welfare state right-wing populism on the rise in Great Britain, Germany, France, Austria and much of Eastern Europe. All these right-wing movements are, I believe, based on variations of the deep story, the feelings it evokes, and the strong beliefs that protect it.

Direct all correspondence to Arlie Hochschild <ahochsch@berkeley.edu>

[1] Arlie Hochschild (2016) Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right. New York: New Press.

[2] See Arlie Hochschild (1983) The Managed Heart: the Commercialization of Human Feeling. Berkeley and Los Angeles: The University of California Press.

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Media Hide Facts, Call Everyone Else a Liar

Ann Coulter Letter

Ann Coulter  | Wednesday Jul 1, 2015 4:59 PM

Media Hide Facts, Call Everyone Else a Liar

When Donald Trump said something not exuberantly enthusiastic about Mexican immigrants, the media’s response was to boycott him. One thing they didn’t do was produce any facts showing he was wrong.

Trump said: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems to us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

The first thing a news fact-checker would have noticed is: THE GOVERNMENT WON’T TELL US HOW MANY IMMIGRANTS ARE COMMITTING CRIMES IN AMERICA.

Wouldn’t that make any person of average intelligence suspicious? Not our media. They’re in on the cover-up.

A curious media might also wonder why any immigrants are committing crimes in America. A nation’s immigration policy, like any other government policy, ought to be used to help the people already here — including the immigrants, incidentally.

It’s bad enough that immigrants, both legal and illegal, are accessing government benefits at far above the native rate, but why would any country be taking another country’s criminals? We have our own criminals! No one asked for more.

Instead of counting the immigrant stock filling up our prisons, the government issues a series of comical reports claiming to tally immigrant crime. The Department of Justice relies on immigrants’ self-reports of their citizenship. The U.S. census simply guesses the immigration status of inmates. The Government Accounting Office conducts its own analysis of Bureau of Prisons data.

In other words, the government hasn’t the first idea how many prisoners are legal immigrants, illegal immigrants or anchor babies.

But there are clues! Only about a quarter of California inmates are white, according to a major investigative piece in The Atlantic last year — and that includes criminals convicted in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, when the vast majority of California’s population was either black or white.

Do immigration enthusiasts imagine that more than 75 percent of the recent convicts are African-American? Blacks have high crime rates, but they make up only about 6 percent of California’s entire population.

A casual perusal of the “Most Wanted” lists also suggests that the government may not have our best interests in mind when deciding who gets to live in America.

Here is the Los Angeles Police Department’s list of “Most Wanted” criminal suspects:

– Jesse Enrique Monarrez (murder),

– Cesar Augusto Nistal (child molestation),

– Jose A. Padilla (murder),

– Demecio Carlos Perez (murder),

– Ramon Reyes (robbery and murder),

– Victor Vargas (murder),

– Ruben Villa (murder)

The full “Most Wanted” list doesn’t get any better.

There aren’t a lot of Mexicans in New York state — half of all Mexican immigrants in the U.S. live in either Texas or California — and yet there are more Mexican prisoners in New York than there are inmates from all of Western Europe.

As for the crime of rape specifically, different groups have different criminal proclivities, and no one takes a backseat to Hispanics in terms of sex crimes.

The rate of rape in Mexico is even higher than in India, according to Professor Carlos Javier Echarri Canovas of El Colegio de Mexico. A report from the Inter-American Children’s Institute explains that in Latin America, women and children are “seen as objects instead of human beings with rights and freedoms.”

All peasant cultures have non-progressive views on women, but Latin America happens to have the peasant culture that’s closest to the United States.

The only reason our newspapers aren’t chockablock with reports of Latino sexual predators is that they are too busy broadcasting hoax news stories about non-existent gang-rapes by white men: the Duke lacrosse team (Crystal Gail Mangum), University of Virginia fraternity members (Jackie Coakley) and military contractors in Iraq (Jamie Leigh Jones).

In fact, the main way we find out about Hispanic rapists is when the media report on dead or missing girls — hoping against hope that the case will never be solved or the perp will turn out to look like the rapists on “Law and Order.” When it turns out to be another Latino rapist, that fact is aggressively suppressed by the media.

New Yorkers were horrified by the case of “Baby Hope,” a 4-year-old girl whose raped and murdered body turned up in an Igloo cooler off of the Henry Hudson Parkway in 1991. After a 20-year investigation, the police finally captured her rapist/murderer in 2003. It was Conrado Juarez, an illegal alien from Mexico, who disposed of the girl’s body with the help of his illegal alien sister.

New York City is the nation’s media capital. But only The New York Post reported that the child rapist was a Mexican.

In 2001, the media were fixated on the case of Chandra Levy, a congressional intern who had gone missing. All eyes were on her boss and romantic partner, Democratic congressman Gary Condit. Then it turned out she was assaulted and murdered while jogging in Rock Creek Park by Ingmar Guandique — an illegal alien from El Salvador.

There was a lot of press when three Cleveland women went missing a decade ago. By the time they escaped in 2013 from the sick sexual pervert who’d been holding them captive, it was too late for the media to ignore the story. The girls hadn’t been kidnapped by the Duke lacrosse team, but by Ariel Castro.

Now, get this: While investigating Castro, the police discovered that he wasn’t the only Hispanic raping young girls on his block. (All in all, it wasn’t a great street for trick-or-treating.)

Castro’s erstwhile neighbor, Elias Acevedo, had spent years raping, among many others, his own daughters when they were little girls. The New York Times’ entire coverage of that case consisted of a tiny item on page A-18: “Ohio: Life Sentence in Murders and Rapes.”

The media knew from the beginning that the monstrous gang-rape and murder of Jennifer Ertman, 14, and Elizabeth Pena, 16, in Houston in 1993 was instigated by Jose Ernesto Medellin, an illegal immigrant from Mexico. But over the next decade, with more than a thousand news stories on that case, the fact that the lead rapist was a Mexican was not mentioned once, according to the Nexus archives.

Only when Medellin’s Mexican-ness was used to try to overturn his death sentence did American news consumers finally find out he was an illegal alien from Mexico. (After years of wasted judicial resources and taxpayer money being spent on Medellin’s appeals, he will now be spending eternity way, way south of the border.)

Who is this media cover-up helping? Not the American girls getting raped. But also not the Latina immigrants who came to the U.S., thinking they were escaping the Latin American rape culture. So as not to hurt the feelings of immigrant rapists, the media are willing to put all girls living here at risk.

No wonder the media is sputtering at Trump. He broke the embargo on unpleasant facts about what our brilliant immigration policies are doing to the country.

 Steve Benson for 7/1/2015

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Michelle Obama speaks of emotional toll of being first black first lady

May 09, 2015, 06:25 pm

By Elise Viebeck

Michelle Obama gave a candid view Saturday of the challenges and emotional toll of being the country’s first black first lady.

Obama, speaking to graduates at Tuskegee University in Alabama, described insensitive media questions and derogatory remarks from political pundits that she said have kept her up at night.

“You might remember the on-stage celebratory fist bump between me and my husband after a primary win that was referred to as a ‘terrorist fist jab,’ ” she said.

“And over the years, folks have used plenty of interesting words to describe me. One said I exhibited ‘a little bit of uppity-ism.’ Another noted that I was one of my husband’s ‘cronies of color.’ Cable news once charmingly referred to me as ‘Obama’s Baby Mama.’ ” 

Obama said she was subjected to a different set of expectations on the campaign trail in 2008 compared with other candidates’ wives.

“‘What kind of First Lady would I be? What kinds of issues would I take on?’ … The truth is, those same questions would have been posed to any candidate’s spouse,” she said.

“But, as potentially the first African-American First Lady, I was also the focus of another set of questions and speculations; conversations sometimes rooted in the fears and misperceptions of others. Was I too loud, or too angry, or too emasculating? Or was I too soft, too much of a mom, not enough of a career woman?”

In the end, she said, she realized all the negativity was just “noise.”

Obama encouraged the graduates of Tuskegee, a historically black university, to overcome adversity and discrimination by staying “true to the most real, most sincere, most authentic parts of yourselves.”  

People “will make assumptions about who they think you are based on their limited notion of the world,” she said. “My husband and I know how frustrating that experience can be.  We’ve both felt the sting of those daily slights throughout our entire lives. … And all of that is going to be a heavy burden to carry.”

“But,” she said, “those feelings are not an excuse to just throw up our hands and give up. They are not an excuse to lose hope.  To succumb to feelings of despair and anger only means that in the end, we lose.”

Notes from the Noosphere:

I am constantly amazed at what Blacks in America think is bias against them. I can honestly say that I do not care one way or another about even putting down a person for their color, gender or sexual preference. But it is an easy and thus the shortest path to take to say that every one is out to get you because you are colored, female or LGBT and blame it on the other people.

So people take the easiest path and blame others for their shortcomings and failings. When Hillary was First Wife she blamed the media for portraying her as an evil woman that did not care about her or the Right-Wing Conservative for constantly placing blame on the Clintons and their failing in the White House. Now that she is running for President she is attempting to recreate her image as a worldly stateswomen that accomplished so much during her time as Secretary of State. Now we have “What does it matter?” as a n0rmal background for the upcoming presidential race until the Democrats come up with a candidate that will outshine Hillary as happened in the last election Hillary was chosen as the early favorite for the Democrats.

I admire those of the above mentioned minority communities that do not want to be victims and conduct themselves as contributing members of society. Dignity is more difficult task to take on but the work results in earning respect from members of society.

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