1. Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias…This is one of the times that I am sorry that the Trump Deranged on Ethics Alarms have temporarily withdrawn from the Comment section battles, as I would love to hear their self-indicting rationalizations.
Here was this morning’s New York Times, big black headline:
JUSTICES BACK TRAVEL BAN, YIELDING TO TRUMP
Outrageous in every way. The Court did not “yield” to anyone or anything but the law as it stands and has stood for centuries. As Constitutional Law expert Eugene Volokh succinctly put it, “The federal government may pick and choose which foreigners to let into the country (at least setting aside foreigners who have are already been granted residence), even based on factors — political beliefs, religion, and likely race and sex — that would normally be unconstitutional.” He explains:
This used to be called the “plenary power” doctrine, referring to the principle that the government has essentially unlimited power when it comes to at least this aspect of immigration law, unlimited even by the Bill of Rights. It is not based on the constitutional text; textually, the First Amendment would apply to all exercise of Congressional authority, whether under the Commerce Clause or the District of Columbia Clause or the Necessary and Proper Clause under Congress’s power over immigration. But, right or wrong, it is based on longstanding American legal history; and the majority adheres to that history.
Historically, this has even be used to authorize Congress to discriminate based on race (query whether the Court would today condemn this as “irrational”; more on that below). It has long been seen as authorizing Congress to discriminate based on country of citizenship, without investigation into whether such discrimination might actually be motivated by ethnic hostility. And, most relevant to today’s decision, it was seen in Kleindienst v. Mandel (1972) as authorizing discrimination based on political ideology, which would otherwise be forbidden by the First Amendment….The Court rejected the First Amendment claim:
Recognition that First Amendment rights are implicated, however, is not dispositive of our inquiry here. In accord with ancient principles of the international law of nation-states, the Court in The Chinese Exclusion Case (1889), and in Fong Yue Ting v. United States (1893), held broadly, as the Government describes it, that the power to exclude aliens is “inherent in sovereignty, necessary for maintaining normal international relations and defending the country against foreign encroachments and dangers—a power to be exercised exclusively by the political branches of government ….” Since that time, the Court’s general reaffirmations of this principle have been legion. The Court without exception has sustained Congress’ “plenary power to make rules for the admission of aliens and to exclude those who possess those characteristics which Congress has forbidden.” Boutilier v. Immigration and Naturalization Service (1967). “[O]ver no conceivable subject is the legislative power of Congress more complete than it is over” the admission of aliens. Oceanic Navigation Co. v. Stranahan (1909)….
As a result, the Court held that, if decisions to exclude aliens could ever be set aside, this would be so only if there was no “facially legitimate and bona fide” reason to exclude the alien. In Mandel’s case, the dissent noted, those reasons — labeled by the government as Mandel’s “flagrant abuses” during his past visits to the U.S. — “appear merely to have been his speaking at more universities than his visa application indicated.” The dissent argued that “It would be difficult to invent a more trivial reason for denying the academic community the chance to exchange views with an internationally respected scholar.” But the Court didn’t investigate whether the government’s true motive might have been the Administration’s disapproval of Mandel’s political ideas, rather than the supposed violation of past visa conditions; the requirement of a “bona fide” reason did not appear to require an investigation into the government’s true motivations, but rather simply focused on whether the “facial” reasons seemed sufficient:
In summary, plenary congressional power to make policies and rules for exclusion of aliens has long been firmly established. In the case of an alien excludable under [the provision involved in Mandel], Congress has delegated conditional exercise of this power to the Executive.
We hold that when the Executive exercises this power negatively on the basis of a facially legitimate and bona fide reason, the courts will neither look behind the exercise of that discretion, nor test it by balancing its justification against the First Amendment interests of those who seek personal communication with the applicant.
The majority’s decision in Trump v. Hawaii basically applied this logic to another clause of the First Amendment — here, the Establishment Clause (which normally bars discrimination based on religious denomination, including the use of neutral rules in a discriminatorily motivated way) rather than the Free Speech Clause….
Clear? The Justices yielded to established precedent and the law, not “Trump,” in the decision. In fact, the entire Court should have “yielded,” because this is how the Supreme Court is supposed to operate. with integrity. Four justices signaled their fealty to “the resistance” by ducking their responsibilities and giving support to a partisan Hawaii judge’s unsupported and unsupportable contention that what applied to every other U.S. President doesn’t apply to this one. Shame on every one of them, but especially Sotomayor and Ginsberg, who signed on to dishonest, emotion-based, partisan dissent, as I discussed here.
The Times headline is propaganda, deliberately playing into the “Trump is a Nazi dictator who is co-opting the other branched of government,” a fear-mongering lie that is cultural poison, inching the nation toward violence. Propaganda is not only fake news, it is the worst kind of fake news. Every one of the resistance-enabling deniers—here, there, and everywhere— of the news media’s deliberate distortions since November 2016 is complicit in the damage this conduct has done, is doing and will do to the nation.
2. But wait! There’s more: The Times is pushing “the resistance” propaganda in every section of its paper. Last week, its Review of Books featured a review of Stephen Greenblatt’s “Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics.” I don’t know if the book itself is the anti-Trump diatribe it is represented as being, but the review was unhinged, finding in every section a direct or veiled reference to President Trump, who, as we all know, is an aspiring autocrat/tyrant/Nazi. The section on “King Lear,” for example:
“But what happens when that executive is not mentally fit to hold office?” Examining the great early scene of the division of the kingdom, he observes, chillingly, “It is extremely dangerous to have a state run by someone who governs by impulse.” The whole of “Lear” bears this out.”
What garbage. “King Lear” is a play: it doesn’t bear anything out, any more than “M Butterfly” proves that middle aged men will have affairs with male transvestites for years without beginning to wonder if something isn’t a little bit off. Malcolm Gladwell, in his much-praised best-seller “Blink,” explains that often the best and indeed, most brilliant decisions are made quickly on instinct and impulse. This is especially true of leadership. Equally bad leadership decisions are made after careful consideration as are undertaken in a flash, as the entire administration of Barack Obama did “bear out.”
Meanwhile both reviewer and author are indulging a forced, ahistorical and fact-free “resistance” narrative that President Trump is mentally unstable, since Lear was arguably senile and eventually goes mad. Since President Trump is not a tyrant—we would have The Wall already if he were a tyrant—nor a Nazi—Maxine Waters, Robert De Niro, Samantha Bee, James Comey and Charles Blow, just to name a few, would be grease spots if he were—the entire conceit of the review, and perhaps the book, is based on anti-Trump hysteria. Naturally, the Times finds it profound.
Anyone vaguely familiar with history knows that Trump is no more of a “tyrant” than any strong U.S. President, many of whom were also called “tyrants” by their political foes.
3. A fake news headline about fake news! An Axios headline: 92% of Republicans think media intentionally reports fake news.
Why is that the headline, when the poll it references shows that 72% of all Americans, including 79% of Independents and 53% of Democrats, believe that “news sources report news they know to be fake, false or purposely misleading”? Well, you know why: the media narrative is that those dumb conservatives who only watch Fox News refuse to accept “the truth.” My position is that 100% of fair, analytical Americans should believe that the media intentionally reports fake news, because the media intentionally reports fake news.
The headline should be that there are substantial numbers of Americans who still trust the news media, which means 28% of the nation is stupid, ignorant, naive, or brain-washed. Good to know.
4. Maxine commands, and …Here is confused but typical “resistance” member and Georgetown College student Roberto on Twitter:
“I am Roberto, a rising Senior at Georgetown University. After coming back from my internship at United We Dream, my friend texted me that both Senator Mitch McConnell and Trump cabinet member Elaine L. Chao were present on campus…My parents are Mexican immigrants, and I was infuriated that a man who blocked the Dream Act and a Trump cabinet official were invited to my campus. As a result, my friends quickly mobilized and went to the event that was held inside Copley Formal.”
Roberto and his mob harassed the McConnells, and this was the result:
Nice optics, there, Democrats: your followers now have viral videos showing men harassing an Asian-American woman! Where do they think they are, Harvard?
The same day, a group of chanting protesters gathered outside White House adviser Stephen Miller’s Washington D.C. apartment and circulated “Wanted” flyers declaring Miller guilty of “crimes against humanity”—you know, like the Nazis.
Boy, I’m being forced to side with a lot of people I don’t like today—Chao, McConnell, Trump, and now Tucker Carlson, who said on his show last night:
“As progressives become more authoritarian and less tolerant, they seem more convinced that they’re fighting actual Nazis rather than their fellow Americans, with whom in the scheme of things, they have only mild political differences. The more they accuse the administration of extremism, the more extreme they become. Because once you decide that the people who disagree with you are Nazis, everything is allowed. Why wouldn’t you threaten them in restaurants? Or burn their houses down? Or who knows? This could very well end in tragedy… Start talking like this and you don’t know where it’s going to go.”
5. On a lighter note, a glimpse unethical America through the eyes of “The Smoking Gun”:
- The woman below forced her ex- to have sex with her by threatening him with a machete. (This is not consensual sex.)
- This guy told police that he wasn’t driving while drunk, because his dog was at the wheel.
(This is an unethical explanation–dishonest to the police, and unfair to the dog.)
- Finally, a Kansas man was charged with lewd and lascivious behavior for his repeated attempts to have sex with the tailpipe of a parked automobile. Best line in the story:
“Malek, whose blood alcohol content was later measured at more than four times the legal limit, continued trying to have sex with the tailpipe in the presence of officers.”
That must be one charming automobile…