PowerLine -> John Hinderaker – Avenatti Agonistes + In defense of American nationalism

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PowerLine -> John Hinderaker – Avenatti Agonistes + In defense of American nationalism

Daily Digest

  • Avenatti Agonistes
  • Team Leniency extends its generosity to child pornographers
  • The Oceans Are Boiling! Oh, Wait—Never Mind
  • Key law enforcement groups oppose FIRST STEP
  • In defense of American nationalism
Avenatti Agonistes

Posted: 14 Nov 2018 04:54 PM PST

(John Hinderaker)Creepy porn lawyer and Democratic presidential candidate Michael Avenatti has been arrested on charges of domestic violence. The always-reliable TMZ has the story:

Our law enforcement sources say Avenatti was arrested Wednesday after a woman filed a felony DV report. We’re told her face was “swollen and bruised” with “red marks” on both cheeks.

Our sources say the alleged incident occurred Tuesday night, but there was another confrontation Wednesday between the two at an exclusive apartment building in the Century City area of L.A.

We’re told Wednesday afternoon the woman was on the sidewalk on her cellphone with sunglasses covering her eyes, sobbing and screaming on the phone, “I can’t believe you did this to me. I’m going to get a restraining order against you.”

We’re told security brought her inside the building, took her upstairs and Michael showed up 5 minutes later and ran into the building. He screamed repeatedly, “She hit me first.” We’re told he angrily added, “This is bulls***, this is f***ing bulls***.” We’re told he tried getting into the elevator but security denied him access.

Cops showed up and escorted Avenatti into a corner of the apartment lobby and spoke with him for 5 to 10 minutes and then took him into custody.

The Los Angeles Police Department has confirmed Avenatti’s arrest. This could put an end to Avenatti’s hopes of winning the Democrats’ 2020 presidential nomination. But then again, maybe not: Keith Ellison’s victory shows that Democratic voters can be forgiving. Or hypocritical. Call it what you will.


Team Leniency extends its generosity to child pornographers

Posted: 14 Nov 2018 10:15 AM PST

(Paul Mirengoff)FIRST STEP — the leniency legislation being pushed by the left, by some conservatives, and by Jared Kushner — is the gift that keeps on giving to federal felons of all stripes. Much of the leniency is extended to federal drug felons, a group that does not include citizens who merely possessed marijuana. But it also encompasses many sex offenders.

FIRST STEP provides for the early release from prison for those who obtain “credits.” The legislation does exclude some categories of felons from eligibility. However, as we have seen, in the case of those convicted of gun crimes and selling fentanyl, there are loopholes that would render many such felons eligible to get out of jail early.

The same is true for child pornographers. The relevant language appears in the exclusion list — i.e., the list of people ineligible for early release credits in one section of the bill. It reads:

second or subsequent conviction under any of paragraphs (1) through (6) of section 2252A(a), relating to certain activities relating to material constituting or containing child pornography.

(Emphasis added)

This means that the exclusion from early release only applies to second-time offenders. First-time child pornographers are eligible for early release. They would be eligible to have up to one-third of their prison sentence knocked off.

Team Leniency includes some influential evangelicals. I wonder what they, and more importantly the broader evangelical community, think about letting child pornographers out of jail early.


The Oceans Are Boiling! Oh, Wait—Never Mind

Posted: 14 Nov 2018 09:53 AM PST

(Steven Hayward)About ten days back Nature magazine generated a lot of media attention for a study it published that purported to prove that the oceans were warming considerably faster than previously thought–up to 60 percent more. Naturally, this set off the climatistas (“The study drew considerable media attention, including from The Post,” as the Washington Post laconically put it), as though they need additional confirmation of their eschatology.

There’s just one problem—one big problem. The study is riddled with errors. In a long blog post at Judith Curry’s website, Nic Lewis blew big holes in the paper. Here’s the key bit from Lewis’s conclusion:

The findings of the Resplandy et al paper were peer reviewed and published in the world’s premier scientific journal and were given wide coverage in the English-speaking media. Despite this, a quick review of the first page of the paper was sufficient to raise doubts as to the accuracy of its results. Just a few hours of analysis and calculations, based only on published information, was  sufficient to uncover apparently serious (but surely inadvertent) errors in the underlying calculations.

Moreover, even if the paper’s results had been correct, they would not have justified its findings regarding an increase to 2.0°C in the lower bound of the equilibrium climate sensitivity range and a 25% reduction in the carbon budget for 2°C global warming.

Because of the wide dissemination of the paper’s results, it is extremely important that these errors are acknowledged by the authors without delay and then corrected.

Of course, it is also very important that the media outlets that unquestioningly trumpeted the paper’s findings now correct the record too. But perhaps that is too much to hope for.

Well, the Washington Post and other outlets have, so we should give them credit for it. And the authors of the study has fessed up to their mistakes:

“Unfortunately, we made mistakes here,” said Ralph Keeling, a climate scientist at Scripps, who was a co-author of the study. “I think the main lesson is that you work as fast as you can to fix mistakes when you find them.”

It had to kill the Post‘s Chris Mooney (author of the tendentious Republican War on Science) to write this story, and it does everything it can to minimize the damage of this correction to the “certainty” of the climate catastrophist narrative. The San Diego Union-Tribune account is more revealing:

Co-author Ralph Keeling, climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, took full blame and thanked Lewis for alerting him to the mistake.

“When we were confronted with his insight it became immediately clear there was an issue there,” he said. “We’re grateful to have it be pointed out quickly so that we could correct it quickly.”

Keeling said they have since redone the calculations, finding the ocean is still likely warmer than the estimate used by the IPCC. However, that increase in heat has a larger range of probability than initially thought — between 10 percent and 70 percent, as other studies have already found.

“Our error margins are too big now to really weigh in on the precise amount of warming that’s going on in the ocean,” Keeling said. “We really muffed the error margins.”

A correction has been submitted to the journal Nature.

Perhaps the climatisas will pause for a day or two from their relentless attacks on people like Nic Lewis and Judith Curry, but that’s probably too much to hope for.

Chaser, from The Guardian today:

And I’ll bet The Guardian has just the radicals we need to get the job done! They really just can’t help themselves.


Key law enforcement groups oppose FIRST STEP

Posted: 14 Nov 2018 09:49 AM PST

(Paul Mirengoff)Team leniency — the folks who favor shorter sentences for federal drug felons and favor letting federal felons of all stripes out of jail before their sentences have been fully served — promised it would push for such legislation as soon as the elections were over. They have kept this promise by renewing the drive to enact FIRST STEP legislation.

Whether leniency legislation is enacted ultimately depends, I think, on whether President Trump wants it. Trump, in turn, may be influenced by the views of major law enforcement groups.

Team leniency won a victory when it persuaded the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) to endorse FIRST STEP. As I explained here, it accomplished this by making claims about the legislation that is untrue. It sold the FOP a bill of goods.

Fortunately, other major organizations have expressed strong opposition to FIRST STEP. The Free Beacon reports:

Leaders of four law enforcement groups slammed the latest version of Senate criminal justice legislation in a Tuesday letter to lawmakers obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Representatives of the Association of Federal Narcotics Agents, the National Association of Assistant U.S. Attorneys, the National Association of Police Organizations, and the National Narcotics Officers’ Associations’ Coalition cosigned a letter in which they strenuously objected to the latest version of the FIRST STEP Act.

The letter is here.

Two other organizations, the Major Cities Chiefs Association and the Major County Sheriffs of America, submitted a letter critical of the leniency legislation last week. That letter addressed to Jared Kushner, is here.

Power Line readers know my objections to FIRST STEP. There’s no need to rehearse them in this post.
However, one aspect of FIRST STEP that I haven’t discussed is a provision that permits judges to waive mandatory minimums altogether for many drug offenders.

This provision means that left-liberal judges, including a great many Obama-appointees, will be able to put dangerous federal felons back on the street much earlier than is allowed now, and that would be allowed even under the new regime of reduced minimums.

It was the leniency of liberal federal judges that helped produce the crime wave of the 1970s and 1980s, to which mandatory minimums were a response. Can we expect the current federal judiciary to be tougher on crime and less sympathetic to sob stories by felons than the judiciary of 30 to 40 years ago?

I don’t think so. Not with all those Obama appointees on the bench. Not with “the criminal justice system is racist” narrative all the rage.

FIRST STEP is a step towards the return of the bad old days of sky-high crime rates. No wonder major law enforcement organizations are resisting the full court press, spearheaded by the Jared Kushner and the Koch Brothers, to take this huge step backward.


In defense of American nationalism

Posted: 14 Nov 2018 08:25 AM PST

(Paul Mirengoff)Nationalism is under attack now that President Trump proclaimed himself a nationalist. Critics say Trump is either ignoring or embracing a horrific chapter or two of European history by invoking that label.

Nonsense. European history for many centuries is a history of nationalism, at times for better and at times for worse. Other than communism, nationalism was, until recently, the only game in town. And other than Lenin, the major communist leaders have been nationalists.

There have been great nationalists — e.g., Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi (the two adversaries had that much in common), and Abraham Lincoln — and there have been odious ones — e.g., Hitler. It all comes down to what the nation and the ruler in question want to achieve.

If the goals are world domination and genocide, then the nationalist is to be deplored and defeated. If the goals are freedom, prosperity, and security for the people within the nation, then the nationalist is to praised, provided he accomplishes the goals without starting unjust wars or oppressing others.

Thus, although the current dispute over nationalism is partly manufactured — another attempt to lash out at President Trump — there’s more to it than that. At best, it reflects the left’s loss of confidence in America — what it is and what it wants to achieve. At worst, it reflects an affirmative dislike for our country.

There’s nothing new about the left’s ambivalence, or worse, towards the United States. It’s not an accident that Presidents Clinton and Obama apologized to foreigners for our country’s behavior. Wags did not attach to John Kerry the middle name of “Francois” for no reason. The left wants to constrain America because it considers us some combination of too racist, too religious, too prone to violence, and too imperialist.

Couple the left’s ambivalence, or worse, towards America with its hatred towards Trump and it’s easy to understand the attack on American Nationalism. It’s also easy to see why the left equates it with White Nationalism. This has nothing to do with David Duke or Charlottesville. The left’s fundamental critique of America — its main beef — is that, at heart, we’re a white racist country.

If you believe this, why wouldn’t you oppose American Nationalism? But if you believe America is a fundamentally decent nation, and you are proud of its many accomplishments, and you agree with its core values, and you don’t want to see its sovereignty eroded by organizations that are in no way superior to America, why wouldn’t you embrace American Nationalism?

I hope most Americans still do. If they don’t — if they buy the narrative of America inherent in the attack on nationalism — our future is grim. I doubt any nation can withstand that much loss of confidence.


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