Trump Blamed for Violence Against Media
Assorted media spokespersons have pointed the finger of blame at President Trump for incidents of violence that have endangered members of their profession in various locations since he became president. Jim VandeHei, founder of the news website Axios, asserted that Trump is directly "putting reporters at real risk of retribution or violence." New York Times media columnist Jim Rutenberg wondered "how long before someone is seriously hurt, or worse?" Jeffrey Toobin, a writer for the New Yorker warned "Someone is going to do something awful to a journalist."
Well, someone is doing some awful things to journalists, but it is mostly not Trump supporters. The lion's share of the violence has come from leftists protesting Trump. Nonetheless, the media still insist Trump is at fault because, as Rutenberg maintained, "these protests wouldn't be happening if Trump hadn't stolen the election from Secretary Clinton. There might have been some anti-Clinton demonstrations, but it is unlikely that the kind of behavior we have seen from the Antifa movement—masked men throwing rocks and bottles, brandishing cudgels, and smashing property would have been so prevalent."
"We have to ask ourselves whether the civil disruption that has emerged in the wake of Trump's victory isn't sufficient reason to reverse the election results via more peaceful mechanisms," Toobin suggested. "Removing Trump through impeachment or the 25th Amendment may be necessary if we are to dampen down the kind of street violence that threatens the domestic tranquility our Constitution was established to ensure."
53 Democrats Denounce Sessions' Policy on Sanctuary Cities
Fifty-three Democratic members of the House and Senate signed a letter of protest against Attorney General Jeff Sessions' plan to withhold federal law-enforcement aid from cities that flout US immigration laws.
Signer Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill) complained that "Sessions is only making a bad situation worse. Even with the federal aid Chicago is a virtual combat zone with dozens of shootings every week. He should be backing gun-control legislation, not insisting on the enforcement of immigration laws that would end up deporting felons who are in the country illegally."
Sessions called the letter "an endorsement of illegality. We have laws that prescribe the approved procedures for persons to enter this country. If these senators and representatives have objections to these laws the proper way for them to respond is to work to repeal them, not to support local governments that defy these laws. The number of incidents where cities have shielded illegal aliens from this law only to see these people go on to commit heinous crimes ought to have given pause to their rash demand that we continue to tolerate the ill-considered practice of coddling these threats to the safety of law-abiding citizens."
Durbin countered Sessions by pointing out that "not all the crimes committed by those given sanctuary can be accurately described as heinous. Many are mere crimes against property. In other instances the victims survive the attempted murder or assault. Even when they don't survive, the toll taken by those shielded by sanctuary is small compared to the carnage perpetrated by native citizens."
Pelosi Calls for Crackdown on "Dangerous Speech"
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) demanded that "we be more selective in what kind of remarks people are allowed to make in public. I'm generally in favor of freedom of speech, but some statements and points of view are so far outside the bounds of respectable opinion that they present a clear and present danger."
She went on to elaborate by analogy, saying "you can't shout 'wolf' in a crowded theater because everyone knows there is no wolf. If we don't suppress these bogus cries then one day when there really is a wolf no one will believe it. At that point people will be attacked without recourse. Our only option then will be to have FEMA distribute food and blankets to the victims."
While the Minority Leader's statement struck many as "confused and possibly demented" a spokesperson for the long-time member of congress explained that "what she was trying to say is that statements by President Trump and his supporters are inherently dangerous. Questioning policies of his predecessors undermines people's faith in their government. Questioning the media's coverage of the Trump Administration undermines people's faith in the news. If these two pillars of our way of life are knocked down it would be the equivalent of exposing us all to being devoured by wolves."
Germany to Remain Neutral in Possible US-NK War
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany has told the US Government "not to count on Germany's support in any potential armed conflict with North Korea."
"I don't see how Germany would gain from allying itself with the United States in such a conflict," Merkel said. "North Korea is far away and poses no direct threat to us. The United States' military would most likely crush the under-fed North Korean Army with ease. If the unimaginable happens and North Korea somehow wins, our stance of neutrality will reduce the incentive for them to turn on us."
The Chancellor also admitted to an emotional component stemming from World War II, saying that "it wasn't Koreans who mercilessly bombed every city in Germany, sank virtually our entire navy, shot down virtually every aircraft in the Luftwaffe, and sent millions of troops into my country in 1945. It was the United States and its allies. Germans have far more reason for antipathy toward America than they do toward North Korea. If Germany were to fight anyone, my gut tells me that it ought to be the Americans."
Merkel also complained that "President Trump's insistence that we must honor our NATO obligations is an added grievance. No previous American president made such a demand. We haven't budgeted for these obligations. The wisdom of our frugality has been born out by the lack of any military attacks on our country during the entire time of the NATO alliance. By assuming a position of neutrality we're hoping that Mr. Trump gets the message that we will not be pressured into fulfilling these unnecessary obligations."
Study Shows More Registered Voters than Adult Citizens
Data from the U.S. Census Bureau analyzed by Judicial Watch's Election Integrity Project found that there are 3.5 million more registered voters in America than there are citizens if voting age. More than 40% of these "ghost voters" were found in two California counties—700,000 in Los Angeles County and 800,000 in San Diego County.
Of course, not every citizen eligible to vote actually registers to vote. So, the potential over-registration is even larger than these figures imply. The potential for election fraud would seem to be huge. Nevertheless, Democrats adamantly deny that any significant fraud is taking place. The Brennan Center for Justice contends that it has conclusively proven that allegations of widespread fraud are "baseless." And the New York Times asserts that "there is essentially no voter fraud in America."
Given the confidence that Democratic partisans have that there is no election fraud it is puzzling that they hold such animosity toward President Trump's Election Integrity Panel. If the evidence is so overwhelmingly against the idea that fraud exists wouldn't the Panel end up confirming their contention?
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla rejected the need for investigation saying "it makes as much sense as the Administration's suggestion that global warming be the topic of a policy debate. It seems that every informed person but Trump knows that global warming is proven science. Likewise, every properly informed person but Trump knows there is no election fraud. Bucking this consensus is a waste of time and money."
Padilla explained the apparent over-registration endemic in his state as "an enigmatic anomaly. Even if we could figure out why there are millions of bogus registrations there is no proof that any of these resulted in ballots being cast."
The absence of "proof" may owe a lot to procedures barring use of photo IDs as a step toward verifying the identity of those casting ballots at the polls or by mail. Even the matching of signatures on mailed ballots with signatures on voter registration forms has been challenged by the ACLU as "disenfranchising."
ACLU spokesman Bertram Petty said "requiring a voter to prove his or her identity is humiliating. It puts procedural technicalities ahead of the obvious truth that a human being has a natural right to elect those who rule him. To deny a person the right to vote because he doesn't reside in the district or isn't a citizen is a violation of his human rights. So, what we are saying is that, in the big picture, all the ID rigamarole is aimed at suppressing the vote."
In related news, Richard Robert Rawling, a former elections worker in North Carolina, was indicted for altering vote totals by running ballots through the counting machine multiple times during a primary election in March 2016. In his defense, Rawling maintained that "I wasn't trying to favor any candidate. I was just trying to make sure that the results of the provisional canvass would match the number of approved provisional ballots. Otherwise, I'd have had to fill out a discrepancy report. That would've made me look bad and could have cast doubt on the reported election outcome."