PowerLine -> President Trump Fights Back Against Mueller – False Equivalence at the Associated Press

PowerLine -> President Trump Fights Back Against Mueller – False Equivalence at the Associated Press

Daily Digest

  • False Equivalence at the Associated Press
  • Can Sea Monsters Be Far Off?
  • Christina Sommers Returns Serve
  • Sean Spicer resigns
  • Trump Fights Back Against Mueller
False Equivalence at the Associated Press

Posted: 21 Jul 2017 04:49 PM PDT

(John Hinderaker)

Following a day of violence in Israel, the Associated Press headlines: “3 Palestinians, 3 Israelis killed in violence over holy site.” It’s even-steven, right? More of that cycle of violence we keep hearing about, with equal fault on both sides.

Not exactly. This is how the AP describes the deaths of three Israelis:

After nightfall, a Palestinian sneaked into a home in the Israeli settlement of Halamish in the West Bank and stabbed to death three Israelis, the head of Israel’s rescue service said.

An Israeli news site said those killed were two men and a woman who were having dinner at the time. The army released footage showing a blood-covered kitchen floor.

Amazingly enough, the Israelis saved the murderer’s life:

Eli Bin, the head of Israel’s rescue service MDA, said an off-duty soldier next door heard screams, rushed to the home and shot the attacker through a window. Bin said the attacker was wounded and evacuated to hospital.

So three innocent Israelis were stabbed to death in a home intrusion as they ate their Shabbat dinner, while a fourth was wounded.

How about those dead Palestinians? Did an Israeli break into their home and slaughter them?

Just kidding. The AP says:

Earlier Friday, several thousand Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank clashed with Israeli troops, burning tires or throwing stones and firecrackers. Troops fired live rounds, rubber bullets and tear gas. Three Palestinians were killed and several dozen hospitalized with live or rubber bullet injuries.

That is accurate as far as it goes. Israel National News gives a fuller account:

Riots were reported in the Salakh A-Din, Ras al Amud, A-Tor, Rockefeller areas and Arab villages close to Jerusalem.

Four police officers were injured by rocks and firecrackers hurled at them by rioters. Some of the rioting Palestinian Arabs threw Molotov cocktails and other objects at security forces. They were dispersed through the use of crowd-dispersal equipment.

In Wadi Joz, close to the Lion’s Gate to the Old City, protestors set trashcans on fire. Law enforcement forces used measures for crowd-dispersal, including water hoses, to scatter the rioters.

At the Salakh a-Din thoroughfare near the Damascus Gate to the Old City, Arabs attempted to break thorugh police barriers and hurled stones at security forces.
Rioting occurred at the police barrier in Hevron and the Qalandiya checkpoint north of Jerusalem. Riots involving tens and sometimes hundreds were reported in Kafr Kadum in Samaria, Naalin and Sinjel north of Ramallah, at Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem and at the villages of Beit Omar and Arab Tekoa in Gush Etzion. In Tekoa two Israeli vehicles were damaged by rocks and one passenger was treated for shock at the site.

Amid this pervasive lawlessness and violence, only three Palestinians were shot, as Israeli police and security forces exercised their usual restraint. These photos show the Palestinian riots in progress:

So this is the real scorecard:

Palestinian launches murderous attack: three Israelis killed.
Palestinians launch multiple violent attacks: three Palestinians killed.

What we have here are two consequences of the same cause, Palestinian violence. Both might be considered tragic, but one is certainly far more so than the other. To report the deaths as somehow equivalent is to mislead the reader.


Can Sea Monsters Be Far Off?

Posted: 21 Jul 2017 02:32 PM PDT

(Steven Hayward)

Jonah Goldberg notes in a recent column that climate change alarmism seems to have turned itself up past 11, probably because (my theory) Trump has driven them out of what little of their minds was left:

One of the hallmarks of the “Ugly American” is the habit of thinking foreigners will understand what you’re saying if you just shout it louder and louder.

The Ugly Environmentalist does something similar. He exaggerates the challenge of global warming by using ever more hysterical rhetoric, thinking that if the last doomsday prediction didn’t work, this one will.

That’s one reason why a story reported this week in Nature will likely get a large echo very soon in the media, and be cited by the usual climatistas:

Satellite Snafu Masked True Sea Level Rise for Decades

The numbers didn’t add up. Even as Earth grew warmer and glaciers and ice sheets thawed, decades of satellite data seemed to show that the rate of sea-level rise was holding steady — or even declining.

Now, after puzzling over this discrepancy for years, scientists have identified its source: a problem with the calibration of a sensor on the first of several satellites launched to measure the height of the sea surface using radar. Adjusting the data to remove that error suggests that sea levels are indeed rising at faster rates each year.

“The rate of sea-level rise is increasing, and that increase is basically what we expected,” says Steven Nerem, a remote-sensing expert at the University of Colorado Boulder who is leading the reanalysis. . . Nerem’s team calculated that the rate of sea-level rise increased from around 1.8 millimetres per year in 1993 to roughly 3.9 millimetres per year today as a result of global warming.

In other words—we’ve fiddled with the satellite data. Isn’t it a curious thing that all of the recent various revisions of climate data all seem to come out with the same sign?

Here’s the underlying paper in Geophysical Research Letters, which is hard for  a non-scientist to get through, and here’s Nature‘s own contribution to the subject. Fortunately, we can consult an actual scientist about this. I sent this news item on to Dr. Roy Spencer at the University of Alabama, one of the scientists who helped design our climate satellite monitoring systems. He posts this note:

When I read that, I (like everyone else) assumed that corrections to the satellite sea level data since 1993 have now led to a revised trend toward faster (not slower) sea level rise. Right?


During the satellite era (since 1993), the trend in sea level rise was revised downward, by almost 10%, from 3.28 mm/year to about 3.0 mm/year. (For those concerned about Miami going underwater, these numbers equate to a little more than one inch every 10 years). This result was published back in April in Geophysical Research Letters, and the new Nature study looks at the wiggles in the revised data since 1993 and makes ominous pronouncements about sea level rise “acceleration”.

I’m calling “fake science news” on the Nature reporter who covered the story. The headline was technically correct…but misleading. (I can also make up technically correct headlines: “Scientists Agree: Sea Levels are Rising, We are All Going to Die.”)

The researchers in April made a major adjustment to the first 1/4 of the satellite record, bringing those early sea levels up. This results in adding curvature to the upward trend (an acceleration) by flattening out the early part of the curve. This new signature of “acceleration” was what made the news in the new Nature study, even though the long term trend went down.

We’re going to get predictions of sea monsters swimming in the streets of Miami and New York anyway. Oh, wait—that’s already happened.


Christina Sommers Returns Serve

Posted: 21 Jul 2017 11:30 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)

What do you get when you cross sports with hyper-genderism? You get the usual outrage machine train wreck of course. Like when tennis great John McEnroe said that if Serena Williams played in men’s professional tennis she’d rank around 700th. The media erupted as if to say, “You cannot be serious!” Yes, he can—as even Williams, herself agreed.

Fortunately, we have The Factual Feminist, Christina Hoff Sommers, on the case, returning serve with an un-returnable line shot in less than five minutes:

Chaser: Caitlyn Jenner under fire for “Dude Looks Like a Lady” tweet. Heh.


Sean Spicer resigns

Posted: 21 Jul 2017 10:38 AM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)

Sean Spicer resigned from his job as White House press secretary this morning. The resignation occurred promptly after President Trump appointed Anthony Scaramucci to be White House communications director. Spicer reportedly told Trump he believes the appointment is a major mistake.

It had been rumored for quite some time that Spicer would go. He seemed to lose Trump’s confidence and certainly had lost the trust of the White House press corps. I should add that neither loss was entirely Spicer’s fault.

Scaramucci who founded a global investment firm has been a Fox News contributor. He is said to have the backing of Trump’s children and son-in-law.

Scaramucci has vigorously defended President Trump on the air. However, according to the New York Times (which should know), he “enjoys good relationships with journalists from an array of outlets, including those the president has labeled ‘fake news.’”

Don’t expect these good relationships to last long.

Scaramucci’s appointment and Spicer’s resignation are viewed as defeats for White House chief of staff Reince Priebus. Spicer got the job on Priebus’ recommendation. As for Scaramucci, Priebus is said to believe he lacks the requisite organizational and political experience. Rumor has it that there is personal animosity between the two, as well. Reportedly, Scaramucci has been give significant power independent of Priebus’s.

The best explanation of the shake-up in the White House communications shop, for Priebus’s setback, and for a shakeup in Trump’s legal team may be this:


Trump Fights Back Against Mueller

Posted: 21 Jul 2017 10:03 AM PDT

(John Hinderaker)

I take it as a given that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is part of the Democratic Party’s effort to destroy the Trump administration. This is evidenced by the fact that he has staffed his investigation with Democratic Party activist lawyers and contributors to the Hillary Clinton campaign, and by his expansion of his “investigation” beyond any reasonable interpretation of his charge.

This is what the order appointing Mueller says he is empowered to investigate:

The Special Counsel is authorized to conduct the investigation confirmed by then-FBI Director James B. Comey in testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on March 20, 2017, including:

(i) any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and

(ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; and

(iii) any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a).

Item (iii) authorizes the special counsel to look into efforts to obstruct his investigation, so Mueller’s mandate extends only to “links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump” and matters arising directly therefrom.

Mueller evidently hasn’t found any evidence linking the Trump campaign to whatever the Russians did during the 2016 campaign–no one else has either–so instead of giving up, he is broadening his investigation to include President Trump’s business dealings:

FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development in New York with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said.

What on God’s green Earth do the 2013 Miss Universe pageant or Trump’s sale of a house in 2008 have to do with Russian interference in the 2016 election? Nothing. Some have tried to argue that the Miss Universe pageant is relevant, on the ground that Donald Trump, Jr. met Rob Goldstone, who years later introduced him to a Russian lawyer, there.

But so what? Mueller apparently doesn’t have any evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russians to spear phish the DNC’s email accounts, and no matter how much he investigates the Miss Universe pageant or Trump’s 2008 sale of a house, he still won’t have any such evidence.

I conclude that Mueller is not discharging his office of special counsel in good faith, but rather is acting as an agent of those who is trying to destroy or impede the Trump administration, and should be fired. Of course, whether President Trump thinks firing Mueller is politically viable is a separate question.

In the meantime, it is good to see that Trump is at least pushing back against Mueller. It was reported this morning that Trump’s lawyers are investigating Mueller’s lawyers, with a focus on conflicts of interest. That is good, but only a beginning. Trump and others in his administration need to make clear that they consider Mueller’s investigation illegitimate; that he has gone far beyond the mandate he was given by the Acting Attorney General; that he has hired a partisan, biased staff; that he is serving as a tool of the Democratic Party; and that his investigation is a fraud. They should accord Mueller and his staff no credibility whatsoever.

Trump is in a war. The good thing is, I think he knows it.


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