PowerLine – England Giving Up On Wind Power – What Trump’s attack on Judge Curiel tells us

PowerLine – England Giving Up On Wind Power – What Trump’s attack on Judge Curiel tells us

Daily Digest


England Giving Up On Wind Power

Posted: 05 Jun 2016 02:39 PM PDT

PowerLine Daily digest - Old Guard Audio.com

PowerLine Daily digest – Old Guard Audio.com

(John Hinderaker)Hugh McNeal, chief executive of the British wind industry’s trade body, has acknowledged that with subsidies at an end, there won’t be any more wind turbine projects in England. Why? The wind doesn’t blow hard enough:

We are almost certainly not talking about the possibility of new plants in England. The project economics wouldn’t work; the wind speeds don’t allow for it.

Then, of course, there is “the cost of operating a conventional fleet of almost unchanged size to guarantee security of supply.” In other words, you can’t count on the wind blowing (just as you can’t count on the Sun shining), so no matter how many turbines you build, you still have to have enough coal, gas or nuclear plants to meet peak demand.

Too often left unsaid is that in addition to being uneconomic, wind power is bad for the environment. Not only do wind turbines kill vast numbers of birds and bats, they are noisy–here in Minnesota, lawsuits have been filed by people who live near wind farms and claim to have experienced adverse health effects on account of noise–take up lots of land that could be put to more productive uses, and are unsightly.

What Trump’s attack on Judge Curiel tells us

Posted: 05 Jun 2016 01:15 PM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)What to make of Donald Trump’s attack on Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over the Trump U case? Is it a counter-intuitive litigation strategy? Is it, as Steve suggests, an attack, witting or not, on the premise of diversity? Is it, as the Washington Post and many others say, new evidence of his unfitness for the presidency?

In my view, it isn’t really any of the above. Rather, Trump is doing what he thinks will help him counter a line attack his political opponents have raised — that he’s a con man who defrauded those who enrolled in his “university.” He’s also acting in line with his propensity for lashing out at people who do things he doesn’t like.

Let’s try to reason our way through this situation. Litigants have a right to complain about judges. They don’t lose that right when they run for office.

Complaints that because Trump seeks the presidency, his criticism of a judge undermines judicial independence are off base. Even if Trump becomes president, he will have no power to remove or otherwise punish Judge Curiel.

Usually, it’s unwise for a litigant to blast a judge while a case is still pending. But here’s where Trump’s status as a candidate for president becomes relevant.

If you put politics aside, the Trump U litigation can’t seriously injure Trump. In the worst case, he pays an award he can easily afford.

Politically, it’s another matter. The very existence of the litigation is a source of potential injury — it exposes Trump on an ongoing basis to the “con man” charge leveled powerfully by Marco Rubio and sure to be pushed by Hillary Clinton. Thus, political considerations, not litigation strategy, should guide Trump’s statements about this case.

The “con man” charge didn’t work for Rubio. But that doesn’t mean it won’t work better with the different set of voters now in play, who will hear it leveled in new ways, possibly in attack ad after an attack.

Trump’s response is that the class case would not have been allowed to proceed had the judge not been biased. It’s the natural politician’s answer — very similar to Team Clinton’s suggestion that the State Department inspector general is biased against her.

Clinton’s complaint lacks plausibility. For one thing, the IG is an Obama appointee.

Trump wants to lend plausibility to his complaint, so he offers a plausible-sounding argument. The judge is of Mexican origin (Trump mistakenly calls him “Mexican”) and therefore doesn’t like Trump due to his position on immigration and his statements about Mexicans.

Anyone who assumes that ethnicity/race, ideology, and politics don’t sometimes enter into a judge’s handling of litigation is naive. I know from experience that litigating a claim of racial discrimination before a conservative white judge is often a different experience from litigating such a claim before a liberal black one.

I also know from the experience of attorneys in one of my former law firms that representing a controversial conservative (and one-time presidential candidate) before a celebrated liberal federal district court judge is no picnic.

Does this mean that Judge Curiel’s rulings in the Trump U case are the product of bias against Trump? No, they may or not be. Does it provide Trump with a potentially effective way of mitigating political damage the Trump U case may inflict? Possibly.

Now let’s return to the questions I posed in the first paragraph. In my view, attacking Judge Curiel is a political, not a litigation, strategy (and also consistent with who Trump is).

As for the second question, Trump isn’t out to make a statement about “diversity” (nor does Steve say he is). Trump’s attack on Curiel does raise questions about the premise of diversity, but it’s not his motive for making the argument or something he’s likely to be conscious of doing. Trump is simply seizing, as he always does (and often brilliantly) on an obvious, but politically incorrect, talking point.

The third question is whether the attack tells us anything new about Trump’s fitness, or lack thereof, for the presidency. I don’t think so. As I suggested in the paragraph above, this is more of the same from Trump. Since he isn’t jeopardizing judicial independence, he hasn’t crossed any line not previously traversed.

If Trump’s attack on Judge Curiel were something new and different, what would it tell us about Trump’s fitness? It would indicate that he’s nasty and not presidential. Ideally, a president should not be so ready to assume (or pretend) those judicial rulings (or other unpleasing forms of expression) are the product of ethnic or ideological bias. A president should have thicker skin and display more respect for those who disagree with him.

But we must also keep in mind that Trump’s opponent will very likely to Hillary Clinton. As noted, her campaign was ready to assume (or pretend) that the State Department’s inspector general (an Obama appointee confirmed by Democrats) is biased against her.

Clinton was also part of the effort to brand as bimbos (and worse) those who complained about her husband’s predatory sexual behavior. She blamed the woes that stemmed from her Whitewater-related corrupt behavior on a “vast right-wing conspiracy.”

Much of Trump’s objectionable behavior and concerning tendencies has been displayed by Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or both. You would never suspect this, however, if you relied on the Washington Post and other outlets doing the tut-tutting over the attack on Judge Curiel.

They may occasionally criticize Clinton, but they assume Trump’s flaws are of a different order of magnitude. I doubt that they are.

Trump’s Jujitsu Overthrow of Liberalism

Posted: 05 Jun 2016 10:51 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)On the surface Trump’s attack on the presiding judge in his civil trial over Trump University is reckless, irresponsible, menacing, and . . . just plain wacko. Jonah Goldberg speculates that what he’s really trying to do is force the judge to recuse himself and have another judge take over the case, which will result in a delay of the proceedings well beyond the election, at which point Trump might settle, or who knows what. I’m wondering whether Trump really wants to win in November after all, but I’ll ponder that idea another time.

And yet, leave it to our anonymous friend “Decius” at the Journal of American Greatness (who received a very nice extended shout out yesterday from Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal) to offer the case that Trump is, wittingly or not, directly attacking one of the most egregious aspects of liberal orthodoxy today—the premise of “diversity” embedded in our rigid identity politics that really means uniformity to the liberal line. Turns out, for example, that judge Curiel is a member of the lawyer’s advisory board to La Raza, a deeply ideological leftist group determined to mark out Latinos for a political and social identify largely separate from America. Take it away Decius:

The left mostly takes for granted, first, that people from certain ethnicities in positions of power will be liberal Democrats and, second, that they will use that power in the interests of their party and co-ethnics.  This is a core reason for shouts of “treason!” “Uncle Tom” (or Tomas) and the like.  People like Clarence Thomas are offending the left’s whole conception of the moral order.  How dare he!

The implicit assumption underlying Sotomayor’s comment [about a “wise Latina”] and Thomas’ refusal to play to type is that there is a type—an expectation.  By virtue of her being a liberal, a Democrat, a woman, and a Latina (wise or otherwise), Sotomayor’s voting pattern on the Court ought to be predictable.  As, indeed, it is.  So should Thomas’, but he declines to play his assigned role.

The slightly deeper assumption is that this identity-based predictability is necessary, because the institutions and laws as designed will not reliably produce the “correct” outcome.  That’s the logic of diversity in a nutshell.  If everybody in power strictly followed law and procedure, the good guys—the poor, minorities, women, etc.—would lose a great deal of the time and that would be bad.  We need people who will look past the niceties of the rule of law and toward the outcome—the end.  The best way to ensure that is “diversity,” i.e., people more loyal to their own party and tribe than to abstractions like the rule of law.

Trump simply took this very same logic and restated it from his own point-of-view—that is, from the point-of-view of a rich, Republican, ostentatiously hyper-American defendant in a lawsuit being litigated in a highly-charged political environment.  He knows full well that at least 50% of the country will howl like crazy if he wins this suit.  He knows that the judge knows that, too.  He further knows that judge knows what his own “side” expects him to do.  It would take an act of extraordinary courage to act against interest and expectation in this instance.  And our present system is not calibrated to produce such acts of courage but rather to produce the expected outcome.

That’s what diversity is for.  That is, beyond the fairness issue, viz., that in a multiethnic country, it’s unwise and arguably unjust for high offices to be monopolized by one group.  But that’s an argument for something like quotas—or, if you want to be high-minded about it, “distributive justice”—and the quota rationale for diversity is passé.  The current rationale is that diversity provides “perspectives.”  Perspectives to aid in getting around the law and procedure.  Otherwise, who cares about diversity?  Just apply the law.  Simple.

Trump is taking for granted—because he is not blind—that ethnic Democratic judges will rule in the interests of their party and of their ethnic bloc.  That’s what they’re supposed to do.  The MSM and the overall narrative say this is just fine.  It’s only bad when someone like Trump points it out in a negative way.  If a properly sanctified liberal had said “This man is a good judge because his background gives him the perspective to see past narrow, technical legalities and grasp the larger justice,” not only would no one have complained, that comment would have been widely praised.  In fact, comments just like it are celebrated all the time.  That is precisely what Justice Sotomayor’s “wise Latina” phrase was meant to convey.

Plus, Trump has whacked the hornets’ nest by his criticism of Mexican immigration, which he feels this judge is bound to take personally.  And why shouldn’t he conclude that?  The left (and the domesticated right) tell us incessantly that any criticism—however fair or factual—that touches on a specific group will inevitably arouse the ire of that group.  Don’t say anything negative about immigration or the Hispanics will never vote for you!  Don’t say anything critical of Islamic terror or more Muslims will hate us!  But when Trump uses that same logic—I’ve criticized Mexican immigration so it’s likely this judge won’t like me—he’s a villain.

In other words, with this seemingly reckless attack, Trump is once again performing a high public service that is long overdue. I still can’t tell if there’s a deliberateness behind Trump’s crazy genius, or whether this is all happening by weird instinct or randomness.

Terrorist wannabes guilty, Somalis hardest hit

Posted: 05 Jun 2016 05:56 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)We are all painfully familiar with the journalistic genre portraying the suffering of favored groups. That would be groups favored by the journalists. The satirical headline that captures the genre gives us the New York Times’s take on the apocalypse: “World ends, women & minorities hardest hit.”

Credit is due to someone for the shaft of light cast by that parody headline. NewsBusters credits comedian Mort Sahl, still going strong at age 89. I saw Sahl perform many times including once in June 1968 at the hungry I in San Francisco just before it closed. I loved him; it sounds like something he would say.

Minnesota’s Somali community has given rise to a subgenre of the form that has become a Times specialty. With respect to the terrorism trial that just concluded with a raft of guilty verdicts against three “Minnesota men” charged with seeking to join ISIS, the Los Angeles Times’s Matt Pearce parachuted in for a few days on the Prince beat at the opening of the trial and promptly delivered “I was just another reporter sent to cover radicalization in Minneapolis. Then 2 local Somalis took me on a tour.”

The Washington Post’s Abigail Hauslohner visited the trial for the first week (which included just three days of testimony). Hauslohner contributed to the subgenre in “Terror dragnet sweeps up Somali-American’s sons: ‘Now everything is broken.’” Hauslohner’s article should be an embarrassment to the Post. It is pathetic. (Has Hauslohner broken it to Post readers that the son on trial was found guilty? I don’t think so.)

With their “Somalis hardest hit” stories, Pearce and Hauslohner got a jump on the Star Tribune this time around. On Friday as the jury deliberated the Star Tribune published “ISIL case triggers fear in a community.” Not in the community that is hated by the terrorist wannabes, of course, but rather in the community that decries the efforts of law enforcement to protect us from them.

And that’s not all! After the guilty verdicts came in on Friday, the Star Tribune went back for more and came up with “For Somali-Americans, verdicts are discouraging.”

Once upon a time, the charges against the “Minnesota men” made it to page one of the New York Times. Yesterday Jack Healy and Matt Furber reported on the verdicts inside the A section of the New York Times on page 9: “3 Somali-Americans found guilty of trying to join the Islamic State.” (Healy, incidentally, is the author of the excellent 2014 Times story “For jihad recruits, a pipeline from Minnesota to militancy.”)

I don’t think any New York Times reporter was around for even a single day of the trial. Healy and Furber would, therefore, have missed the scene of Judge Davis throwing community organizer Burhan Mohamed out of the courthouse for multiple violations of the protocol he enforced during the trial. Healy and Furber work a bit of the subgenre into their article on the verdicts by inserting a quote from Mohammed:

The verdict was not much of a surprise to Burhan Mohumed, 26, a friend of the defendants who had been banned from the courthouse by the judge. He called the process “purely political.”

“I left a little hope that they wouldn’t be convicted on a conspiracy to murder charge,” he said. “I didn’t think they had enough evidence to convict them on that. I think that was an overreach.”

Now this is almost funny. Having been expelled from the courthouse for a key part of the trial, Mohamed missed a lot of the evidence. He is a friend of the terrorist wannabes. He lacks any obvious qualification to opine on the-the sufficiency of the evidence to support the guilty verdicts against his friends, yet the Times finds his comment worthy of a platform in the newspaper of record.

Here is a thought foreign to the subgenre under discussion. The evidence at trial and the articles above show that Minnesota has proved a welcoming host to a huge immigrant community with ambivalent feelings at best about those of us who have generously supported it with our tax dollars. How about going to one of us for a quote about our feelings?

Ali, my take

Posted: 04 Jun 2016 08:19 PM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)I wasn’t going to write about Muhammad Ali so soon after his death because I don’t have much nice to say about him. But I changed my mind because of (1) the non-stop lionization of him in the media and (2) the posts on the subject by Steve and John.

I agree with Steve that Ali was Donald Trump before there was Donald Trump. Beyond that, I’ll simply offer what I wrote about Ali in 2007 in a post called “Ali turns 65.” I’m including John’s comment on my post:

Muhammad Ali turned 65 today. The MSSM (mainstream sports media) has been in overdrive celebrating and extolling the life of the ex-champion. If you watch ESPN Classic for the next day or two, you can probably see nearly every punch (and taunt) he ever threw.

Ali is indisputably the best heavyweight boxer of the past 50 years, and may be the best heavyweight ever. That case is sustainable based on his record alone (considering the quality of his opponents), without giving him style points and without taking into account the prime years he missed due to his refusal to serve in the military.

But the rapturous praise Ali is receiving this week is not just for his ability in the ring. We are told that Ali transcended boxing and that he transformed sports in general.

This is true, for Ali precipitated a shocking and apparently permanent decline in sportsmanship. The bragging and taunting that mars so many sports today can be traced directly to the antics of Ali. (Along the same lines, recently someone argued that we owe rap music to the infantile poetry Ali used to spout, barely with a straight face).

Ali’s admirers prefer not mention his true non-ring legacy, but when asked they don’t deny it. Today, the great college basketball coach turned sports talk host, John Thomspon, asked sports columnist Dave Kindred (author of a book on Ali and his clownish partner, Howard Cosell) whether Ali is to blame for the trash-talking that goes on in sports. Kindred said he is, but argued that it doesn’t detract from Ali’s legacy because, unlike today’s athletes, Ali did it good-naturedly and for fun.

Kindred has it exactly backward. Today’s taunting — mostly celebratory in nature — is much better-natured than, for example, the kind of race-baiting through which Ali attacked Joe Frazier and others. And though today’s athletes may taunt each other non-stop during the game, they embrace and enjoy a laugh when the contest is over.

Ali was not an embrace or a laugher. Often, he was as nasty and ungracious after the fight as before it. If you check out the almost unwatchable tape of Ali and Cosell reviewing the film of the Ali-Ernie Terell fight, you will hear a whiny, sulky, vindictive man-child who bears no relationship to the MSSM’s Ali.

I haven’t mentioned Ali’s politics, and it’s probably unfair to attack someone for the views he held at age 25. But Ali’s politics — his opposition to racial injustice and his refusal to serve his country during the Vietnam War — are at the heart of the plaudits he’s receiving these days from the MSSM and, indeed, the MSM.

Thus, it’s fair to notice Ali’s embrace of Elijah Muhammad’s racist and criminal Black Muslim enterprise, and his willingness (assuming he had a choice) to be manipulated by it. Other high profile black athletes turned radical during the same era in an understandable response to the great injustices of the day. But to my knowledge, Ali was the only such athlete who threw in with the abominable Elijah Muhammad.

Many conservatives of my vintage are big Ali fans. That’s not surprising. Conservatives are suckers for virtuosos. And conservatives, especially those who endured the pre-Reagan days, tend to identify with Ali’s in-your-face approach to being the outsider. However, it was only during my radical phase that I had any use for Ali’s persona.

JOHN adds: Much of the good will toward Ali predates his Black Muslim conversion. Cassius Clay was the clean, intelligent, Olympian alternative to the mob-controlled and sinister Sonny Liston. His upset win over Liston was one of the seminal events, not unlike the advent of the Beatles, that suggested the dawning of a new and better world to the impressionable teenagers of the early 1960s.

I’m sure I’m not the only one of our generation for whom Ali never lost that early luster. And, if I’m not mistaken, the later Ali backed off from the worst aspects of his Black Muslim past. It is the middle Ali, Ali in his prime, that is most problematic and is most celebrated in the MSM and MSSM.

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