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September 2017

David Archibald: Knowing Angela Merkel — Part II

Perhaps the most astonishing thing about Angela Merkel is her immunity to the political consequences of her decisions. Contrary to all promises, the cost of power has soared, yet this has not impacted her popularity. As to the 1.5 million migrants she has admitted, they haven’t budged the polls at all

In Barack Obama, Merkel had found a younger partner sharing her basic views about climate and social values, a man of mostly talk and little substance. Merkel increased the resources for a government-funded network, WBGU (Scientific Council to the Government, for Global Environmental Policy). The goal was set of a global transformation of the capitalist system in the ecological direction. The Germans on the board included Joachim Schellnhuber, Nebosja Nakicenovic, Ottmar Edenhofer and Claus Leggewie, all well -known to be left-wing.

In 2009, a conference was held in Essen ‘The Great Transformation’. In addition to German ministers, Obama’s Chief Councelor John Podesta and William Antholis from the Brookings Institution were in attendance. Lord Giddens, one of Tony Blair’s closest ideologists, was a speaker. The conference was about values ​​and lifestyles in a globalized interdependent world – how governments through ‘nudge’ could reprogram their people’s brains to make them choose a ‘sustainible lifestyle’. The conference was summarized thus:

Decarbonization of the whole society, through use of renewable energy.
Implementation of the Öko-Soziale Markwirtschaft (a euphemism for a planed economy)
People should avoid using private cars, travel as little as possible.
A vegetarian lifestyle was proposed, proteins from insects are more sustainable than eating meat. Eat bugs.
Organize society more like ant heaps – it’s resilient.
It is doubtful if this vision of the future would be possible to implement in a democratic society. It would be necessary to consider appointing a global expert council who can make important long-term decisions without risking disturbances of short-term populist ideas.

The conference had 500 participants, including four ministers, but had almost no impact at all in the media. Only four journalists attended.
Part I of this series: click here

In the 2009 elections, the FPD (Free Democrat Liberal Party) won more than 15%, becoming the natural coalition partner for CDU, instead of the Social Democrats. The FDP had promised significant tax cuts and a reassessment of the former nuclear-decommissioning policy by 2022. They also wanted to limit wind and solar development because the exorbitant cost of subsidies (EEG). In 2000 it was claimed that the EEG would cost the typical household the equivalent to one scoop of ice cream per month, or 3.5 cents per kWh. Merkel promised not only that the EEG would not only not rise any further, it would be capped and subsequently lowered. That promise was false. Today, in 2017, the EEG is expected to cost about 6.88 cents per kWh. The total cost of Energiewende in Germany until 2030 is estimated at least EUR 1,000 billion. It seems to be an economic apocalypse. German households now, next to Denmark, have the world’s highest electricity costs. At the same time, carbon dioxide emissions have not decreased at all over the last three years. Fossil fuel power is always needed as back-up.

Terrorists in Germany’s Parliament? by Bruce Bawer

Even as Germany is increasingly cracking down on criticism of Islam, it appears prepared to give a genuine Islamic terrorist group the opportunity to win seats in its parliament.

In a remarkable decision taken at the end of August, Germany’s Interior Ministry declined to bar the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) — listed as a terrorist organization by the US, Canada, the European Union, and Australia — “from campaigning as a political party in the September general election to the Bundestag.”

Yes, the PFLP — on a joint list with the Marxist-Leninist Party — plans to field candidates in this month’s elections in Germany and run for Parliament.

What is the PFLP? Formed shortly after Israel’s Six-Day War through the merger of three militant groups — The Young Avengers (Palestinian nationalists), The Heroes of the Return (based in Lebanon), and the Palestinian Liberation Front (which operated largely out of Syria and the West Bank) — it is today, after Fatah, the second largest faction in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Described variously as a blend of “Palestinian nationalism with Marxist ideology” and as “a Palestinian nationalist organization with different ideological outlooks at different times (from Arab nationalist, to Maoist, to Leninist),” it has called for Israel’s destruction and international communist revolution.

Considered more radical than Fatah, it has, ever since its founding, routinely targeted civilians without remorse. During its early days, it was on friendly terms with Germany’s Red Army Faction (the Baader-Meinhof Gang) and received funding from the USSR and China. In recent years the PFLP has been chummy with Iran.

Coming soon to Germany’s Parliament?
Pictured: Terrorists of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in Jordan, in 1969. (Image source: Library of Congress/Thomas R. Koeniges/LOOK/Wikimedia Commons)

Half a century ago, the PFLP specialized in hijacking planes — it was the first Palestinian group to do so, and the first successfully to commandeer an El Al plane. That act, in 1968, is widely considered to mark the beginning of the modern era of international Islamic terrorism. On a single day in September 1970, its members hijacked three passenger flights headed from European airports to New York. In 1972, a PFLP member took part in the Lod Airport Massacre, in which 28 people were murdered at what is now called Ben Gurion International Airport. In October 2001, it assassinated Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi in retaliation for Israel’s killing of its top leader at the time, Abu Ali Mustafa (after whom the group’s militant wing is now named).

During the next few years, the PFLP focused on suicide bombings in Israel; more recently, it has kept busy firing rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip.

In November 2014, two PFLP associates murdered six people in a synagogue massacre in Jerusalem. On June 16 of this year, it collaborated with Hamas on a fatal attack in East Jerusalem; on July 14, it murdered two Israeli police officers in Jerusalem’s Old City and bragged that its “heroic operation” had successfully broken through “the security cordon imposed by the Israeli occupation forces on the city of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa, breaking the arrogance of the Zionist security which sees in the city and in Al-Aqsa an impenetrable fortress.”

Does Condemning Islamic State Jihadis Constitute “Hate Speech”? by Denis MacEoin

Being a student used to be an uncomfortable experience, during which the fantasies of adolescence were exposed to rational, well-informed, and evidence-based argument. But the cults of political correctness, unbounded gender definitions, Islamophobia-obsession, and anti-Semitism, among other afflictions, have undermined the educational process in the USA and Europe.

If Travers has identified anti-Semitism and signs of radicalization on campus, he has, not just the right, but the duty to expose them to the public eye.Robbie Travers, a third-year law student of 21, has made a mark for himself in Scotland at the prestigious Edinburgh University. Apart from his many other activities, Travers has published articles on the Gatestone Institute site here, as well as for other outlets. He has written on subjects such as anti-Semitism in Europe, the “Fake News” censorship industry, Britain’s Labour Party as a haven for racists, shari’a councils, the assault on free speech, and more. An outspoken young man, he has become one of the best-known figures in the university. Although openly gay and a supporter of a centrist, Tony Blair-ish position in politics, he has frequently come into conflict with fellow students on the radical left, with Muslim students, and with anyone who can be upset by anything that smacks of a challenge to their complacent politically correct sensitivities. He is not afraid to call out radicals and expose them to criticism and factual information that so many modern students (and lecturers) are loath to hear.

On September 6, Robbie’s face appeared across the British media, from the conservative Times to the leftist Independent, to the populist tabloids, the Express, the Mirror, the Daily Mail, and the Sun. Travers had been accused of hate speech and was being investigated by the university, who could well sanction him. What sort of “hate speech” was that? Well, in a nutshell, he had referred to the jihadist fighters of Islamic State (ISIS) — who variously burns or drowns people alive in cages, and sometimes in acid, or kills 250 children in dough-kneaders — as “barbarians.”

You did not read that wrongly. It is now “racist” and “Islamophobic” to insult or ridicule the world’s most unspeakable terror gang, who, among other atrocities, behead innocent men, women and children, rape innocent women, and sell harmless women as sex slaves to grunting murderers and pedophiles. One could not make this up.

Here is what seems to have happened. Travers writes often on Facebook and Twitter, and many left-wing students are possibly outraged by his views on matters such as Islam. Here, for example, is a post on his Facebook page on August 31. I very much doubt if anyone here would find anything offensive in it:

“I propose a toast to the Western world. Unfashionable in today’s climate of moral relativism, but the UK, USA, Israel and other nations play a major role in shaping our world for the better. Whether it be standing against autocratic regimes, whether it be celebrating the freedoms of minorities & those who do not share the opinion of the majority.

“Our democracy has never faced a graver threat than the inhuman & theocratic peril posed by malignant, autocratic, and fascistic branches of Islamism. If we are to see our democracy continue from strength to strength, we must fight to defend our precious and treasured freedoms, rights and protection of minorities as much as jihadis struggle to destroy these just and tolerant values they despise.”

On April 13, he posted something shorter:

“Excellent news that the US Administration and Trump ordered an accurate strike on an IS network of tunnels in Afghanistan. I’m glad we could bring these barbarians a step closer to collecting their 72 virgins.”

It is hard to see how there is anything remotely racist or “Islamophobic” about that. ISIS fighters come from a variety of races and they have attacked and killed many Muslims. But that is exactly what one intolerant student activist claimed it was. Esme Allman, a second-year history student from inner-city London and the former black and ethnic minority convenor of Edinburgh’s student association (who also calls herself not just a feminist but also a “womanist”) was not an admirer of the positions Travers had taken on several subjects.

Covert ‘Arabization’ Threatens Moderate Islam in Africa Burkina Faso welcomes foreign charities and NGOs, but they insist on importing a rigid form of the faith. By Joop Koopman see note please

The suspected Islamist terror attack on a restaurant in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on August 14 made headlines briefly, until the carnage in Barcelona took center stage three days later. The killing of 18 people in the capital of the small francophone country was practically a mirror image of the terror attack that left 29 dead in a hotel in Burkina Faso in January 2016. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility for that assault.

In both cases coverage focused on the infiltration of jihadist extremists who are prepared to shed innocent blood to keep Westerners and Western investment out of the country and who are committed to paving the way, in the manner of ISIS and Boko Haram, for the eventual establishment of an Islamic caliphate on the African continent

Meanwhile, flying well below the radar is what some call the “Arabization” of Burkina Faso and other poor and underdeveloped African countries with significant Muslim populations. It takes the form of scholarships offered to impoverished youth who are invited to study in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, or Kuwait. They return schooled in a far more rigid, intolerant form of Islam. It clashes with the tranquil, easygoing ways of the faith as it has developed in certain African cultures, where it has been shaped by the peaceful strands of Sufism and mixed with animist beliefs and practices. “Arabization” is an effort to purify Islam according to the strict standards of the Wahhabi and Salafi sects.

That push is evident also in the work of non-governmental organizations from the Arabian Peninsula that are active in Burkina Faso. Prominent among them is Qatar Charity, one of the biggest Persian Gulf aid organizations. It is active in numerous countries, including the United Kingdom and France. The U.S. government has accused Qatar Charity of financing al-Qaeda. In Burkina Faso, Qatar Charity and similar NGOs operate subtly: Development projects, such as the digging of wells, go hand in hand with bringing preachers into the country from Pakistan and Qatar; the NGOs also build Koranic schools and social centers that help promulgate Wahhabism.

NGOs provide funding for the repair and construction of roadways, with projects often undertaken on the condition that local authorities allow for the building of mosques every so many miles — mosques run by highly conservative if not radical imams who are chosen by the NGOs. These NGOs work on hundreds of projects each year, all of them designed to benefit only the country’s Muslim population.

This Arabization is not necessarily tantamount to radicalization, at least not at this relatively early stage. Nonetheless, the import of stricter forms of Islam poses a threat to the comity that has long existed between Burkina Faso’s Muslims, about 60 percent of the population, and its Christians, just under a quarter.

Particularly at the village level, the unique bond between Catholics and Muslims has been expressed in their celebration of each other’s major feast days and other important occasions, such as the appointment of a new bishop. But since Arabization, a certain chill has begun to affect these bonds of friendship, particularly where the newly constructed mosques dot the cityscapes. This new wariness also reflects resentment that, although the Muslim majority holds economic power in the country, two Christians — President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré and Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thieba, both of them Catholics — steer the ship of state.

Trump Nominates Greg Katsas to the D.C. Circuit This is a home run for the president. By Shannen W. Coffin

Conservatives who voted for Donald Trump based on his promises to restore the integrity of the judiciary had a point. If there was one compelling reason to support Trump, even for those who harbored serious concerns about his readiness for office, it was that a loss in the 2016 election would render the judicial branch of the federal government a taxpayer-funded subsidiary of the Democratic party for a generation or more. Where Hillary Clinton had her litmus tests, Trump promised to appoint judges who understood the limited role of federal judges in our constitutional system, who respected the text of the Constitution and federal statutes, and who would not let their personal policy preferences dictate the results of the cases before them.

Many conservatives voted for Trump in the hope that he would keep those promises, and in the first eight months of his administration, he has. Along with a sustained rollback of Obama-era regulations, Trump’s judicial appointments — with Justice Neil Gorsuch as the centerpiece — have been key successes for an often-troubled administration. Just this week, the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings on two tremendously qualified nominees to courts of appeals in the Midwest: Michigan supreme-court justice and former University of Michigan law professor Joan Larsen, and Notre Dame law professor Amy Barrett. Both are former clerks to Justice Antonin Scalia who will prove to be judicial conservatives. Larsen and Barrett are both names to remember, as both are likely to be short-listers for a future Supreme Court vacancy.

Trump continued his promising run today with the nomination of my friend and former colleague Gregory Katsas to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit left by the retirement of Bush appointee Janice Rogers Brown. Katsas, who currently serves as deputy White House counsel, has a legal résumé that would be difficult to match. An executive editor of the Harvard Law Review during his law-school years, Katsas clerked on the Third Circuit and D.C. Circuit Courts of Appeals. He then followed his then-boss Judge Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, clerking for Justice Thomas in his first term on the high court.

Katsas then spent a decade in private practice for a prestigious law firm in Washington, D.C., before joining the Justice Department in the early days of the George W. Bush administration. There, Greg oversaw the appellate section of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, where he argued dozens of the most challenging and important appeals facing the Bush administration — cases involving the defense of the homeland in the aftermath of September 11, challenges to the president’s prosecution of the war on terrorism, and the federal ban on partial-birth abortion, and many more cases involving critical constitutional principles. Katsas served the entire eight years in the Bush administration, eventually being appointed as assistant attorney general in charge of the Civil Division.

In both government and private practice, Katsas has argued cases before the Supreme Court — he was one of the lawyers who argued the landmark challenge to Obamacare in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius — and in every U.S. court of appeals. In all, he has argued more than 75 appeals.

It is hard to imagine a candidate with greater qualifications to serve on the D.C. Circuit, one of the most important courts of appeals in the country owing to its location in the nation’s capital. The court’s docket, while varied, includes key cases regarding the powers and programs of the federal government. Katsas’s vast experience at the highest levels of that government gives him a perspective that would benefit any nominee to that court.

Here’s What Defenders of Campus Kangaroo Courts Won’t Tell You By David French

It’s Betsy DeVos day here at NR. I’ve got a piece up on the homepage detailing how critics of campus due process rely on junk science and sometimes even sheer malice to prop up failed Obama-era policies, and our editors have expressed their own support for reforming campus Title IX prosecutions. But as you read these pieces and weigh them against the #StopBetsy invective across the web, consider one more thing — state and federal courts are making change inevitable. Universities are losing due process cases from coast to coast.

I’d urge you to read my friend KC Johnson’s excellent, extended piece over at Commentary. It begins:

In late August, U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett blocked Miami University from suspending a student the school had found guilty of sexual assault. The student claimed that his due-process rights had been violated by Miami University’s fact-finding process. This process had featured a proceeding in which all the witnesses corroborating the accuser’s claims had refused to appear—and at its conclusion the chair of Miami’s disciplinary panel simply accepted their unverified statements as “true.” When the case reached federal court, university lawyers argued that cross-examination of the absent witnesses was irrelevant because the accused student was allowed to say that he disagreed with their claims. The university, Barrett responded, misunderstood the importance of cross-examination for assessing witness credibility. Miami’s “claim that no amount of cross-examination could have changed the minds of the hearing panel members,” the judge concluded, “arguably undercuts the fairness of the hearing.” The “arguably” was a nice touch.

Barrett’s decision marked the 59th judicial setback for a college or university since 2013 in a due-process lawsuit brought by a student accused of sexual assault. (In four additional cases, the school settled a lawsuit before any judicial decision occurred.) This body of law serves as a towering rebuke to the Obama administration’s reinterpretation of Title IX, the 1972 law barring sex discrimination in schools that receive federal funding.

Obama administration activists and campus ideologues have imposed procedures that revolt judges across the ideological spectrum. Change isn’t optional. It’s mandatory. Federal government policies are driving universities to violate the civil liberties of their students, and it’s legally unsustainable. Here’s Johnson again:

The process began in May 2013, in a ruling against St. Joseph’s University, and has lately accelerated (15 rulings in 2016 and 21 thus far in 2017). Of the 40 setbacks for colleges in federal court, 14 came from judges nominated by Barack Obama, 11 from Clinton nominees, and nine from selections of George W. Bush. Brown University has been on the losing side of three decisions; Duke, Cornell, and Penn State, two each.

As Johnson notes, the universities don’t always lose, but even when they prevail, they often prevail in the face of deep judicial misgivings about university processes. Moreover, these cases are brought against the backdrop of a very particular judicial bias. As a litigator who’s sued a number of universities on constitutional grounds, I can tell you that federal judges do not want their courts to become glorified student disciplinary boards. Yet the facts are often so egregious — and the constitutional violations so plain — that they often have no choice.

So the next time a campus ideologue says reformers are on the side of “rapists,” remember that their preferred procedures are too radical even for President Obama’s judges. One way or another, their kangaroo courts will come to an end.

DACA: Trump Does the Full Obama on Prosecutorial Discretion Joining Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, he reaffirms his Democratic predecessor’s sleight of hand. By Andrew C. McCarthy

The Donald’s renewed romance with old pals (and donees) “Chuck and Nancy” is already paying more dividends . . . for Democrats. If the president’s tweet on Thursday morning is to be believed (not always a sure thing), he has fully adopted the unconstitutional distortion of prosecutorial discretion employed by President Obama to avoid executing the laws faithfully.

Substance aside, the appearance of the tweet is a story unto itself. Trump was so giddy over sandbagging congressional Republicans and his own Treasury secretary that he called Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday morning to gloat about the positive news coverage — squealing, “The press has been incredible!” Smitten, he wanted to explore other potential areas of appeasement — er, I mean, bipartisan cooperation. This should go well: An all-id-all-the-time POTUS, who cares far more about media commentary than policy, rediscovers that nothing floats the MSM boat quite like a nominal Republican who accommodates Democrats while humiliating his party in the process. Can’t you just feel him evolving!

While she had the infatuated president’s ear, the New York Times relates:

Ms. Pelosi took the opportunity to ask Mr. Trump to send out a message on Twitter emphasizing that the 800,000 immigrants enrolled in a program that he canceled this week can keep their protection from deportation and work permits over the next six months as it phases out.

That program, of course, is DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). Contrary to the Gray Lady’s assertion — and as we explained this week — Trump has not canceled DACA. Nor is it being phased out. Trump has signaled that either it will be codified in law or he will continue the program by lawless executive action — as he is doing for the next six months, as he has done for the last eight months, and as his predecessor did for four years.

In any event, as Nancy tells it, “I asked him to do it. Then boom, boom, boom! The tweet appeared and that was good.” You can see why she’d say that. Trump tweeted:

For all of those (DACA) that are concerned about your status during the 6 month period, you have nothing to worry about — No action!

Translation: There is no daylight between Trump and Obama when it comes to ignoring the president’s constitutional duty to execute laws faithfully under the guise of prosecutorial discretion.

To repeat, properly understood, prosecutorial discretion is simply a resource-allocation doctrine. It is an unremarkable recognition of the fact that there are more violations of law than there are law-enforcement assets to investigate and prosecute them. The government has no choice but to prioritize: Serious crimes get the most attention; many less serious crimes, for the most part, are overlooked. But there’s a caveat: While a low priority is assigned to comparatively less serious crimes, they are still considered crimes. The government evaluates each case individually and reserves the right to take action against the low-priority misconduct in appropriate cases — for example, in a case involving a recidivist offender or an otherwise hardcore criminal.

That was not Obama’s practice. He disingenuously invoked “prosecutorial discretion” when, in reality, he was choosing not to enforce congressional statutes to which he objected on policy grounds. Substantially, there was no case-by-case review; just occasional lip service to the notion of individualized treatment when he’d announce non-enforcement directives and “waivers” of this or that statute. As noted above, the exercise of prosecutorial discretion cannot be avoided. If that is all the executive branch is doing, there is no need to make a big announcement about it. The point of decreeing DACA was not to exercise prosecutorial discretion; it was to confer de facto amnesty on a class of DREAMers, as the president — not Congress — defined them.

DeVos Takes on Lawless Campus Tribunals By The Editors

Yesterday, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos took a welcome step toward restoring a measure of justice and sanity to American higher education. In a speech at George Mason University — and in a follow-up interview with CBS News — DeVos indicated that she intended to withdraw Obama administration “guidance” on adjudicating sexual-assault claims on campus and replace it with a regulatory rulemaking process that is intended to protect students from sexual assault and preserve essential civil liberties.

It’s hard to overstate the legal and moral necessity of this action. First, let’s deal with the law. In 2011, the Obama administration issued a now-infamous “Dear Colleague” letter that required universities to lower the burden of proof in sexual-assault adjudication to a “preponderance of the evidence” standard (50.1 percent probability) without also adequately preserving essential due-process rights such as access to counsel, access to available evidence, and full and fair cross-examination of witnesses. At the same time, the administration commenced dozens of open-ended investigations of universities — acting on claims that they were insufficiently committed to protecting women from rape and applying the new guidance to evaluate university policies.

These actions were fundamentally lawless. No American administration has the ability to rewrite the law by merely issuing a letter. At the very least, the Obama administration should have conducted a notice-and-comment regulatory rulemaking process in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. Even then, the regulation would still have to be consistent with governing federal statutes and comply with the Constitution. But Obama’s Department of Education ignored these steps and instead violated the APA, Title IX, and the Constitution in an ideologically motivated trifecta of campus tyranny.

The result was entirely predictable. Campuses, fearing the loss of federal funds and pushed by their own internal constituencies who pushed ludicrous and discredited claims that up to one in five female students would be sexually assaulted during college, created a vast, morally outrageous, and oppressive system of kangaroo courts. According to a study released this week by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, 73.6 percent of America’s top universities don’t guarantee students a presumption of innocence, fewer than half require that fact-finders be impartial, and a full 58.5 percent of institutions don’t “provide students with a meaningful opportunity to cross-examine witnesses” in cases of sexual misconduct. And this is a partial list of university legal failures. All told, 45 of the 53 rated colleges received a “D” or “F” for their commitment to due process.

But those are dry statistics. The individual stories are harrowing, and DeVos provided startling examples in her speech. Schools have punished students even though the alleged “victim” claimed that nothing happened. They’ve investigated and punished professors and students for engaging in First Amendment–protected speech. They’ve refused to allow students to introduce exculpatory evidence. And they’re facing an avalanche of lawsuits from aggrieved students as a result. Brooklyn College professor K. C. Johnson has compiled a list of at least 60 university litigation defeats since the Obama administration issued its “Dear Colleague” letter, and the list often expands by the week.

Schools have been caught between the hammer of an overzealous and lawless Department of Education and the anvil of private litigation. Their choice? Follow the Constitution and potentially lose government funding. Comply with Obama-administration directives and potentially face the wrath of a federal judge.

Man Up, Mr. Meadows The Congressman has a lean and hungry look. So run for Speaker. (Amen!)

The Washington Post reports that defrocked White House aide Steve Bannon and Members of the House Freedom Caucus are plotting a coup to depose Paul Ryan as Speaker later this fall. Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows denied this on Friday on MSNBC, but you can bet something is afoot. And come to think of it, why wait?

If the Freedom Caucus is upset enough to contemplate a mid-session leadership coup, let’s get it on now. Congress is entering a critical few months that will determine whether Republicans will have anything significant to show for their majority. If the fate of this Congress hangs in the balance, then it’s unconscionable to wait and let the House fail. The manly—the patriotic—thing to do is force a debate and vote while there’s still time to save the day.

This has the added advantage of being a stab in the front for a change. The Freedom Caucus specialty is the stab in the back. Claim to be cooperative, to be working constructively toward some legislative compromise, but then at a critical moment raise its demands, vote no and blame the leadership. Soak up the cable-TV appearances and then sit back as someone else cleans up the political mess.

This is how Mr. Meadows played the ObamaCare repeal debate earlier this year. As House leaders and HHS Secretary Tom Price prepared the draft bill, Mr. Meadows was regularly consulted. According to numerous sources, Mr. Meadows’ priority in private discussions was killing any reduction, even a small one, in the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance.

For conservative health economists, this is a crucial policy reform. It would reduce a subsidy that drives up health-care costs, and it would begin to equalize the tax treatment for individual and employer insurance. But Mr. Meadows opposed it as a “tax increase,” a definition which would mean that Congress could never reduce any tax subsidy.

Mr. Meadows worked frantically behind the scenes to make sure there was no change in the tax exclusion, without objecting to other provisions. GOP leaders gave him what he wanted and killed the tax change. But within days Mr. Meadows began trashing the draft bill anyway—this time because it supposedly didn’t reduce insurance costs enough. His assault defeated the first attempt at a House vote, and delay its passage for weeks, helping Democrats build public opposition and making it a much harder lift in the Senate, where it failed.

With this record of accomplishment, clearly it’s time for Mr. Meadows to step into the spotlight and take some leadership responsibility. The honorable act now would be to announce an immediate challenge to Mr. Ryan surrounded by his Freedom Caucus supporters and Mr. Bannon’s Breitbart staff.

Lay out his strategy for passing tax reform, for raising the debt limit, and for passing the Freedom Caucus budget through the House and the Senate this fall. Then the Members of the House GOP conference can hold a debate and vote, and Mr. Meadows and the country can see how much support he has for his political strategy compared to Mr. Ryan.

If Mr. Meadows is too modest, or thinks he can’t win, then perhaps his Freedom Caucus running mate, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, would want to run. And if Mr. Jordan declines the honor, then perhaps Texas Rep. Louis Gohmert will want to exploit the high regard with which he is held by his colleagues.

This is the way a congressional majority is supposed to work. Individuals run for leadership, the Members vote, and then everyone accepts the results and moves on together. That’s what Democrat Steny Hoyer did after he lost to Nancy Pelosi in 2002, and Democrats proceeded to govern in unified fashion after they won the House in 2006.

If Mr. Meadows wants to stage a coup, he should do it publicly by putting his agenda and strategy front and center for everyone to see. Take the dagger out from under the toga, Mark, and show your colleagues that lean and hungry look. Then let’s hold a vote.

When great institutions lie By Caroline B. Glick

Over the past week, two major US institutions have produced studies that discredit their names and reputations as credible organizations. Their actions are important in and of themselves. But they also point to a disturbing trend in the US in which the credibility of important American institutions is being undermined from within by their members who pursue narrow partisan or ideological agendas in the name of their institutions.

The political implications of this larger trend were clearly in evidence in the 2016 presidential election. From a larger, long-term sociological perspective, if the current trend is not reversed the implications for American society will likely be long lasting and deeply destructive.

The first study was produced by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. It dealt with the Obama administration’s policies regarding the war in Syria and specifically the acts of mass murder undertaken by the Assad regime. Authored by Cameron Hudson, a former Obama administration national security official who now serves as the director of the museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, the report absolved the Obama administration of all responsibility of the bloodbath in Syria.

As reported by Tablet magazine, the paper argued that “a variety of factors, which were more or less fixed, made it very difficult from the beginning for the US government to take effective action to prevent atrocities in Syria.”

The paper’s claim was based on “computational modeling and game theory methods, as well as interviews with experts and policy-makers.” It argued that had then-president Barack Obama not ignored his own redline and actually responded with force to the regime’s 2013 chemical weapons attack at Ghouta, it wouldn’t have made a difference.

In the last months of the Obama administration, Obama appointed several of his loyalists, including his deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes, to positions on the board of the Holocaust Memorial Museum. Rhodes was one of the architects of Obama’s Syria policy.

After sections of the report were released to Tablet and the report was posted on the museum’s website, its findings were angrily rejected by prominent Jewish communal leaders and human rights activists.

For instance, literary critic Leon Wieseltier told Tablet, “The first thing I have to say is: Shame on the Holocaust Museum.”

He added, “If I had the time I would gin up a parody version of this that will give us the computational- modeling algorithmic counterfactual analysis of [then-US assistant secretary of war] John J. McCloy’s decision not to bomb the Auschwitz ovens in 1944. I’m sure we could concoct the f***ing algorithm for that, too.”

Wieseltier was exactly right. A mathematical model is based on inputs and outputs. If you input specific data, you will get specific consequences. From an academic perspective, the study’s findings are worthless.

In the wake of the firestorm the report provoked, the museum pulled the study from its website and canceled its scheduled formal presentation on September 11.

But the damage that the Holocaust Memorial Museum did to its reputation by producing and publishing a transparently false, politically motivated report is not something that can be mitigated by pulling it from its website.

As some of the Jewish communal leaders, who spoke to Tablet suggested, the Holocaust Memorial Museum diminished its moral authority as an institution by publishing a report clearly produced to rewrite recent history in a manner that absolved the Obama administration of all responsibility for the mass murder in Syria.

While distressing, the impact of the Holocaust Memorial Museum’s action is limited to a historical falsehood. The goal of the second study published this week by an esteemed institution is to distort and indeed block discussion about a problem that is ongoing.

This week, Stanford University’s Research Group in Education and Jewish Studies published a report which purports to show that there is no significant antisemitism on US college campuses and that Jewish students do not feel threatened by antisemitism.

The Stanford’s conclusions fly in the face of a massive body of data, collected by researchers over the past decade, which all show the opposite to be the case. If the Stanford study is believed, it will discredit the work of hundreds of professional researchers and academics, journalists and Jewish and academic leaders throughout the US.

But that’s the thing of it. The Stanford study is utter nonsense.