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TED CRUZ CALLS OUT CHUCK TODD, DNC-MSM FOR TRUMP BIAS ON MEET THE PRESS:

“The media created this Trump phenomenon and then they don’t hold him accountable,” Cruz continued, “Now, I’m sure the media planned to do so if he’s the nominee in general election. Suddenly you’ll hear every day about Donald Trump’s tax returns.”

Many on the right speculate that is what the liberal media has planned for Trump. Citing how the media played nice with John McCain in ‘08 and Mitt Romney in ’12, but then took the gloves off after the Republican National Convention. Although Todd may not like it, Cruz is right to point out that the media does have a bias for Trump. He drives up their ratings and they think Hillary can beat him. What’s not to like about him for the media?

And note this:

Cruz pointed out that even though the networks stand to make millions of dollars from more GOP debates they don’t call for any more of them. He argued that the media doesn’t want more because that would mean Trump would have to answer hard questions about the foreign policy speech he had recently given. “They are giving up millions of dollars and the reason is, your network’s executives are partisan Democrats,” just looking to help their party in the general election. “You don’t get to just say that! Wait a minute, you don’t get to just say that,” shouted Todd before quickly backing down, “It’s not true but go ahead.”

As Erick Erickson wrote in 2013, “Let’s use this as a timely reminder that Chuck Todd was once a Democratic staffer to Senator Tom Harkin and is married to Kristian Denny Todd who served as a communications person for the Democratic Party and then helped found Maverick Strategies and Mail, a consulting group for liberal candidates.”

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Also, today’s in the mail link to Charisma: How To Be Charismatic And How To Be Charming Using Science was bad. Here’s the correct link.

OH, GOD, THEY’RE GOING TO START YAMMERING ABOUT “NERD PROM” AGAIN: Best White House Correspondents Dinner Party Is At The Renwick, Roll Call Readers Say.

Reminder: Reporters aren’t smart enough to be nerds, and this isn’t a prom.

ONLY A PC KILLJOY COULD HATE THE NEW JUNGLE BOOK, R. J. Moeller writes at Acculturated; but sadly PC killjoys are all too plentiful these days:

In a post titled, “How Disney’s New Jungle Book Subverts the Gross Colonialism of Rudyard Kipling,” Katy Waldman of Slate had the following to contribute to the conversation:

Well, Kipling was certainly a racist f**k—look no further than his novel Kim for a portrait of brave British spies and slavish, dark-skinned Buddhists—but The Jungle Book, which Kipling wrote out of a Vermont cabin in 1894, doesn’t showcase his bigotry so much as his uncritical reverence for power. Might makes right mesmerized Kipling; the more ruthless the subjugation, the better. He loved the panther Bagheera with his liquid menace (“his jaws shut with a snap, for he did not believe in being humble”), the terrifying python Kaa, and most of all Mowgli, who commands fire and possesses a gaze the beasts cannot meet without flinching. You might wince at the subtext of these characters’ dominance—for Kipling, whites were born rulers as surely as tigers were born predators—or point out the author’s lack of pity for the weak. You might furrow your brow at the way the Indian villagers succumb to supernatural babble and suspicion. But as far as pure and explicit racism goes, Kipling’s novel scores lower than Disney’s 1967 movie, which introduced a great ape called King Louie (after Louie Armstrong) who sang minstrel songs about his desire to get civilized.

One would have to guess that the Disney Corporation and director Jon Favreau did not set out to promote imperialism, colonialism, or disrespect for those who have suffered under the yoke of foreign rule—but words and ideas and stories do matter.

So what’s a conscientious, free society to do with such controversial, beloved stories? Am I contributing to 19th century crimes against humanity by singing the ballads of Baloo and King Louie while taking my morning shower? Should we start banning books and movies that Slate bloggers find offensive to their delicate sensibilities (on behalf of the ancestors of strangers half a world away)? Ought we to put F-bomb-laced warnings of “Pro-Colonialism Propaganda Contained Within!” on movie posters?

Nahh — that’s what we have Gawker and its spin-off Website io9 for — that’s where Katharine Trendacosta’s review can be found titled “Reminder: Rudyard Kipling Was a Racist Fuck and The Jungle Book Is Imperialist Garbage.” Hard to predict where’s she going with that subtle, nuanced headline:

The Jungle Book is just as drenched with racism and colonialism as anything else Kipling wrote on the subject. The thread running throughout the stories is that Mowgli is superior to the animals that raised him by virtue of being man, not beast. That’s a neat parallel to Britain and India.

“Except Mowgli is…Indian,” Kyle Smith of the New York Post tweeted in response. And as one of his followers added, “But man is superior to animals. What’s wrong with that?”

Why, that’s so, so problematic, to coin an adjective.

If only someone had predicted at the end of the 19th century that intellectual life was about to face a systematic “recessional,” with dire and lasting consequences to the West. (Lest we forget.)

GERMAN OFFICIAL SLAMS TRUMP’S ‘AMERICA FIRST’ FOREIGN POLICY; AMERICAN LEFT CHEERS, Michael Walsh writes:

How quickly everyone forgets that “America First” was once the consensus position across elements of the political spectrum. Back in 1940, Americans skittish about running headlong in the European war formed a number of committees to try and stay out of the wars in Europe and Asia. On both the patriotic right and the socialist left, groups like America First and the League of American Writers agitated for American neutrality, and pushed back against FDR’s interventionism.

Reminder: Stalinist lefties Pete Seeger, Dalton Trumbo and even Charlie Chaplin were also against America entering WWII and then — seemingly under orders! — turned on a dime when Hitler violated his nonaggression pact with Stalin in mid-1941. To coin an Insta-phrase, “Not anti-war, just on the other side.”

AUSTIN BAY: Abu Sayyaf’s Criminal Jihad in the Philippines. “Ridsdel’s hideous murder serves as another reminder that violent Islamist terrorists wage global war. Like Nigeria, where Boko Haram thugs enslave schoolgirls, Jolo and the Filipino islands ASG threatens are comparatively obscure locales. Unlike Brussels, Paris, Madrid, Mumbai, New York and Washington, they rarely draw elite media attention. But face this bitter fact: Islamist terrorists commit murder and apocalyptic atrocities in headline somewheres and neglected nowheres.”

More on the Philippines here.

‘WEAR HELMETS’: CHAIR-CHUCKIN’ BOBBY KNIGHT TO RALLY WITH TRUMP.

Yet another reminder, considering how many chairs were thrown across Mort’s set, that Trump is simply Morton Downey Jr. in HD, albeit without Mort’s sartorial and coiffurial subtlety.

RICK MONDAY’S GREATEST PLAY: Forty years ago today the Cubs center fielder saved the American flag.

Reminder to today’s sportsmen: you’ll never got a job at ESPN if anything akin to the above video is in your highlight reel.

JOE WALSH SLAMS GOP AS ‘FEAR MONGERING’ PARTY.

Reminder: the edgy, transgressive Eagles broke up in 1980 because guitarist Don Felder was insufficiently obsequious towards Democrat Senator Alan Cranston and his wife at an Eagle-hosted fundraiser.

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FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMED: “Bill Clinton is finding that crafting a Sister Souljah moment in 2016 isn’t as easy as it was back in 1992.”

In 1992, Clinton understood that he and his party had to woo white, middle class voters by at least appearing sane and centrist and not just the latest crop of McGovern retreads, hence the Sister Souljah moment and his use of Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow” to signal that he wasn’t trapped in the Mobius Loop of his party’s far left radical past. Obama has moved the base so far to the racialist left, Bill is now seen as an unwelcome reminder of its dalliance with centrism in the 1990s.

Or as John Schindler of the New York Observer tweeted last night, “A generation ago, Bill Clinton + DLC got the Democrats off their own brand of crazy. Obama brought them right back.”

RESET: Russian fighter jets in extremely close overflights with U.S. destroyer.

Navy officials are not commenting publicly, but inside the Pentagon there is an intense discussion about releasing video and still photos of the Russian encounter to demonstrate the danger the jets posed to the ship, a U.S. official told CNN.

The initial reports indicate the two concerning encounters occurred Tuesday night in international waters. A third overflight, at a more acceptable distance, happened Sunday, according to the source.

The ship, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, also had a Polish helicopter on board as part of routine training, according to the official, leading to some speculation in military circles that the Russians were also “sending a message to Poland,” the official said.

We, too, can send messages. One message be a reminder of some kind that the Arleigh Burke-class was designed to shoot down dangerous aircraft.

‘DIABETES HERE I COME’ NOTE OFFENDS STARBUCKS CUSTOMER:

A Starbucks customer in Florida wasn’t too pleased to see something printed in place of his name on a freshly made grande white mocha: “DIABETES HERE I COME.” (See a tweeted image of the offending cup here.) But the still-unidentified man had a personal reason to be upset about it, reports Mashable. “That first word just automatically brought the picture of both sisters in my head, and I was taken aback,” says the man, who has two sisters with Type 1 diabetes. “Just the struggles they went through and all the doctor appointments they had.” After having the coffee drink delivered to his office (an employee did the coffee run), the man went down to the St. Augustine-area Starbucks himself.

Reminder: last year, Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz expected the same young people who mock their customers to enlighten them on race relations.

BLUE MODEL BLUES: It’s Not Just Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico’s rolling bankruptcy crisis is just a taste of the fiscal storm that lies ahead if American state and local governments can’t find a way to bring their own gaping pension shortfalls under control. For decades, rapacious public sector unions and craven politicians on the mainland have also been also been propping unsustainable state employee retirement systems, and—crucially—using accounting tricks to dupe the public and conceal the magnitude of their unfunded obligations. Congress’s proposed relief package for Puerto Rico would require the island to be more forthright about its pension costs going forward, but it would allow state and local governments to continue downplaying the size of their debts….

The resistance to honest accounting is apparently coming not from Congressional Democrats, but from Republican state legislators eager to keep their pension Ponzi schemes in place—a reminder that corrupt blue model practices are thoroughly bipartisan. Hopefully Congressional Republicans will have the good sense to reverse course and require state and local governments to come clean as well.

Meanwhile, state Attorneys General who want to punish “climate deniers” may want to ponder the personal consequences of criminalizing political lies. Because who lies more about politics: Corporations? Or politicians?

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KIMBERLEY STRASSEL: A Vast Email Conspiracy.

In recent weeks, not one, but two, esteemed federal judges have granted an outside group—Judicial Watch—the right to conduct discovery into the origins and handling of her private email system. It’s a reminder that Mrs. Clinton’s biggest problem this election isn’t Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump. Her problem is a 1966 statute known as the Freedom of Information Act, and the judges who enforce it.

The judges have taken unprecedented steps to resolve this case. It is exceedingly rare—almost unheard of—for a judge to allow discovery in a FOIA proceeding. This is a testament to how grave Mrs. Clinton’s email problem is. In the usual course of things, an outside group demands documents, a judge requires a federal department to hand them over, and the public learns something.

In this case—as we all know—the problem is that the State Department doesn’t have the documents. Or rather, it can’t confirm that it has them all, because State left it to Mrs. Clinton and her aides to possess them, and then to unilaterally decide what to hand over.

Read the whole thing.

REMINDER: IF YOU CAN HEAR THE DOG WHISTLE, YOU’RE THE DOG: CNN’s Toobin Calls Cruz’s ‘New York Values’ Comment ‘Anti-Semitic.’

(Classical reference in headline.)

 

REMINDER: Claire Berlinski is crowdfunding a book on Europe’s crisis. She’s a keen observer and an excellent writer; her earlier works have been terrific. I donated to this project, and I’d encourage you to do so as well, if you can spare a bit of change.

REMINDER: Panama Papers Are About Government Corruption, Not ‘Tax Evasion.’ “In general, this is why politicians have off-shore accounts, to hide wrong-doing, and not just to ‘evade taxes.’”

The political class wants to talk about tax evasion, because then they don’t have to talk about how corrupt the political class is.

THE PANAMA PAPERS: Big Leak, Big Corruption, Deep Rot.

The weekend’s biggest story by far: the leak of a massive trove of documents, over 2.6 terabytes of data, from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, which specializes in creating offshore companies. The documents were handed over to the German paper Süddeutsche Zeitung under mysterious circumstances. The paper shared the documents with an NGO called the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which in turn unleashed 107 media organizations in 78 countries onto the find.
It’s unclear how the documents saw the light of day—disgruntled employee? black hat hackers? state-sponsored espionage?—but the haul, which was officially announced yesterday, is impressive.

About $2 billion appears to have been squirreled away by Russian President Vladimir Putin in various offshore vehicles. The broad outlines of the scheme and some of the players involved are already known. Western countries have already targeted sanctions against Putin’s buddy Yuri Kovalchuk and the shady Bank Rossiya, for example, in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea. But the documents reveal in impressive detail how Putin’s childhood friend, professional cellist Sergei Roldugin, sits as proxy for the Russian President in various schemes. They also reveal how a Russian bank in Cyprus funneled large unsecured loans to the offshore vehicle linked to Putin for vague “consultancy” services, and for apparently fake share deals. Other Putin associates who appear in the papers but are not necessarily directly linked to schemes involving the Russian President include the Rotenberg brothers (Arkadiy and Boris) and Gennady Timchenko, all of whom are billionaire oligarchs.

Other world leaders shown to have offshore assets include former Prime Minister of Iraq Iyad Allawi, the King of Saudi Arabia, current President of Argentina Mauricio Macri, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, and Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson. There is nothing inherently illegal in setting up offshore companies, and there are legitimate uses for them. Spokesmen for several of the leaders singled out have strongly denied any wrongdoing. Macri’s people, for example, said that, though he was listed as director of an offshore vehicle, he had no capital participation in the venture when he was forced to declare assets as Mayor of Buenos Aires.

Related: Clean Up The UN:

In addition to the Panama papers, there’s another big international scandal unfolding: the latest report of large-scale wrongdoing at the United Nations. . . .

These findings are another reminder that the ‘international space’ is poorly governed, and that the press doesn’t watch it as closely as it watches national politics. Organizations like FIFA, the IOC, and the various arms of the UN bring together people and interests from countries with many levels of public morality, some of which are kleptocratic sinkholes of rampant disregard for all standards of legality and decency. Because very large amounts of money are often involved, these organizations can make fantastic petri dishes for various criminal groups and activities. In the long run, much more aggressive international law enforcement is going to be needed; in the meantime, the U.S. Justice Department and other national organizations need to get more involved.

This will involve stepping on some toes—vast quantities of money slosh through the international system for programs that sound good but that can be very corruptly managed. Even the EU does such a bad job of handling its spending in member states that auditors routinely refuse to endorse its accounts; just imagine what goes on in UN and NGO-sponsored aid programs in some of world’s most corrupt countries.

Lots of unaccounted-for money, little accountability, plenty of opportunities for self-aggrandizement. It’s exactly what you would expect, and I’m not sure that it can be cleaned up. Though turning off some of the money spigots would help.

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SAVED YOU A CLICK:

Shot: Why the Second City is First in Population Loss.

—Chicago’s PBS affiliate, WTTW, Tuesday.

Chaser: Chicago off to deadliest start in nearly two decades.

—The Chicago Tribune, yesterday.

Reminder: Chicago’s last Republican mayor left office before Al Capone entered federal prison in 1932.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Report: New Obamacare enrollees sicker and costlier.

“Correction: sicker and pricier than YOU expected,” Iowahawk responds to CNN’s coverage of the same report.

As a reminder, in the fall of 2009, CNN featured a choir of school kids harmonizing in service of our Glorious Leader and the Obamacare wonders to come.

CULTURE ROT: Period underwear that lets women ‘bleed on Donald Trump’s face’ “are so popular they’re selling out.”

Reminder: “Donald Trump Is the Effect, Not the Cause — a sick society breeds gutter politics.”

AS THE DAVID BROOKS CROWD CLUCKS “HAVE YOU NO DECENCY?” HERE’S A USEFUL REMINDER: The Culture That Created Donald Trump Was Liberal, Not Conservative.

The man didn’t emerge, all at once and fully formed, from some hidden and benighted hollow in the American psyche. He’s been kicking around for 30 years or more, and he was promoted and schooled, made famous and made wealthy, by the same culture and economy that now reviles him, and finds his success so vexing.

After all, it wasn’t some Klan newsletter that first brought Trump to our attention: It was Time and Esquire and Spy. The Westboro Baptist Church didn’t give him his own TV show: NBC did. And his boasts and lies weren’t posted on Breitbart, they were published by Random House. He was created by people who learned from Andy Warhol, not Jerry Falwell, who knew him from galas at the Met, not fundraisers at Karl Rove’s house, and his original audience was presented to him by Condé Nast, not Guns & Ammo. He owes his celebrity, his money, his arrogance, and his skill at drawing attention to those coastal cultural gatekeepers — presumably mostly liberal — who first elevated him out of general obscurity, making him famous and rewarding him (and, not at all incidentally, themselves). . . .

If you think that sounds stupid and smug, imagine how it sounds to people out in the rest of the country. Liberals were sure the devil would come slouching out of Alabama or Texas, beating a bible and shouting about sodomy and sin. They didn’t expect him to be a businessman who lives on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. Rick Santorum was a threat, but your run-of-the-mill New York tycoon just couldn’t be, not in the same way — because even if the latter was unlikable, he was known, he was covered, he fell within a spectrum that the morning shows and entertainment press are comfortable with, much more so, anyway, than they are with what the slow learners among liberals still blithely call “rednecks.”

Want political leaders with the decorum of yesteryear? You’ll need a society with the decorum of yesteryear.

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BLUE MODEL CAN’T SAVE ITSELF FROM ITSELF: Illinois Supremes Scuttle Pension Reform.

The Supremes have spoken: The Illinois state constitution is a suicide pact. Less than two years after invalidating an adjustment to state workers’ budget-busting healthcare benefits, the highest court in Illinois has ruled unconstitutional the City of Chicago’s last-ditch efforts to stabilize its woefully underfunded pension system. . . .

Both this ruling and the one that preceded it were unanimous, with the court’s three Republican justices joining its Democrats in ruling that the constitution’s “shall not be diminished or impaired” clause protects all current public employee benefits from any adjustments, even if the government is approaching insolvency. The ruling is a reminder of how deeply entrenched the blue model is in state and local government structures; even when reform-minded Democrats push through modest changes in deep blue jurisdictions, they stand to be derailed by longstanding constitutional provisions and a judiciary bound to uphold them. Amending the Illinois constitution is a daunting task, requiring a supermajority vote in both houses and supermajority approval in a statewide referendum.

The Windy City now needs to go back to the drawing board to figure out how to rectify its crumbling fiscal situation. Given that benefits for the unionized public sector are largely off limits, City Hall will likely need to raise taxes (thereby becoming even less attractive to business investment) or else scale back services like criminal justice, education and welfare (further eroding confidence in the government, especially among minority communities) or—perhaps most likely—continue more-or-less on its current course in the hopes that a federal bailout might be forthcoming.

The GOP Congress should pass a “bailout” law that mostly just lets states get out from under pension obligations, setting off more blue-on-blue action. And if Obama vetoes it, that’s okay too. “We tried!”

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PHOTO: OBAMA AND CHE, TOGETHER AT LAST.

douche_bag_obama_cuba_che_3-21-16-1

“Righty media is going to spend the rest of the day regaling its audience with reminders of just how much of a subhuman degenerate Che Guevara really was. Here’s Benny Johnson out of the gate quickly with a reminder that Che was hoping for a nuclear attack on the U.S. during the Cuban Missile Crisis.”

Some of America’s more Strangelovian politicians would have no doubt assured us that America could have “absorbed” such an attack.

UPDATE: “Maybe we’re the bad guys. And Iran and Cuba are the good guys. That’s how Obama’s leftist mentors see the world. And just maybe, it’s how he sees it too.”

THE ONION RUNS PHOTOSHOP OF A BLOOD-SPLATTERED MITCH McCONNELL HOLDING ALOFT MERRICK GARLAND’S SEVERED HEAD, while standing on the steps of the Senate.

So just to confirm, Sarah Palin’s printer-registration marks clip art is the end of the world, but The Onion running an image of the Senate Majority Leader holding up the severed head of the president’s Supreme Court nominee? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Yet another reminder that as Andrew McCarthy noted earlier this month, “Trump Is the Effect, Not the Cause — A sick society breeds gutter politics.” And as Jonah Goldberg wrote in August of 2011, after the left’s self-imposed new civility timeout had ended and they were back to referring to the Tea Party as suicide vest-wearing members the “Hezbollah faction” of the GOP, “to hell with you people.”

Here’s the link to the Onion, which I was tempted to withhold, given that Paul Krugman and three quarters of the left would have melted down if such an image came from the right. It’s also screencapped here, in case it’s deleted.

Related: From last month, Ace on “What The Onion Looks Like Under the Ownership of a Hillary Backer.”

‘OUTRAGEOUS ATTACK’!: MSNBC’S CHRIS MATTHEWS CLUTCHES PEARLS OVER ‘SEXISM’ OF TRUMP’S BARKING-HILLARY AD.

Reminder: This is the network whose anchors demanded that when the Democrat primary was going on too long in their estimation in the spring of 2008, that one of  “superdelegates” needed to level the boom on Hillary, “Somebody who can take her into a room and only he comes out.” And in November of 2013 that someone defecate and urinate down Sarah Palin’s throat. Comcast-owned NBC and its affiliated networks laid the ground rules for political discourse and employed Trump as a host for nearly a decade; his current ad seems positively mild by MSNBC’s standards.

WHY TRUMP? WHY HIM? WHY NOW? John Podhoretz posits that he’s the reckoning for 2008:

Further, imagine that serious proposals arose that the 8 percent of homeowners who had defaulted on their home loans be forgiven their debts—the very proposal in 2009 that led investor Peter Schiff to call for a new “tea party” uprising on the part of the 92 percent who paid their bills on time. Only this time Schiff’s comments had been spoken in 2007. Imagine all these things. And then imagine the presidential race that would have followed. Does the rise of Trump and Bernie Sanders suddenly make all the sense in the world? Of course.

But of course the meltdown didn’t happen in 2006. It took place a mere seven weeks before an election. A presidential race that was a dead heat the week before Lehman Brothers went bankrupt turned into an 8-point rout. Barack Obama may have been a “change” candidate, but he had no idea the change would involve repairing the international finance system until that was thrust upon him by circumstance.

The Obama election had a distorting effect on the American response to the meltdown of 2008. The next seven years in American political life came to revolve around him. His actions in the wake of the crisis—a $1 trillion stimulus, the partial nationalization of the auto industry, and Obamacare—became the policy focus of American politics. Republicans opposed them and stopped him dead with the midterm shellacking of 2010. Democrats fought back and secured his reelection in 2012.

As the elections seesawed, Washington froze.

Read the whole thing, which is yet another reminder that Trump is the mirror universe version of an earlier reality show candidate, who similarly served “as a blank screen, on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views,” even as he goaded his supporters to “argue with neighbors, get in their faces,” “punch back twice as hard,” and bring guns to knife fights:

trump_obama_mask_9-10-15-1

Update: Don’t Blame Trump for Divisiveness, When the Left Says Stuff Like This.

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IS THIS THE HOPE, OR THE CHANGE? “Walmart’s customers are too broke to shop,” reads a snarky, virtue-signaling headline at Yahoo:

“Walmart is facing an almost perfect storm when it comes to top-line growth,” O’Shea wrote. “Until the health of the lower-to-middle-income consumer improves, Walmart will continue to face macroeconomic headwinds in the US.”

Walmart said last month that it’s expecting virtually no sales growth in the coming fiscal year. The company had previously projected growth of 3% to 4% for the year, but lowered its guidance last month citing the impact of the strengthening US dollar. The company’s share price has lost about 16% of its value over the last 12 months.

Despite its slowing revenue growth, Walmart continues to invest heavily in employee wages and e-commerce in an effort to stay competitive with Amazon.

Well, that’s one way to put it. As Twitchy noted in January, “’Raise the Wage’ activists last year protested Wal-Mart and demanded that the retail giant raise employee pay. Wal-Mart did raise its starting wage, but an ensuing cut in worker hours soon had progressives scratching their heads,” followed by Walmart announcing it was closing over 150 stores.

Which is reminder that even the Gods of the Copybook Headings shop at Walmart.

REMINDER: Sanders May Have Won Michigan, But Clinton Won The Delegates.

Related: “No Democratic candidate who lost 6 of the final 9 primaries has won the nomination since Barack Obama in 2008.”

More: “Lynch indicates DOJ not required to charge Clinton.”

As John Schindler of the New York Observer tweets, “The fix — she is in, folks ….”

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JUST A REMINDER: My revolving-door surtax plan has bipartisan support.

WELL, THAT DIDN’T TAKE LONG: “Is #MSNBCSoWhite? The departure of Melissa Harris-Perry raises the issue,” Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi writes.

Harris-Perry’s own initial thoughts on leaving the network that employed for four years are much more difficult to ascertain.

Related: This incident is yet another reminder why Comcast-NBC continues to pay its protection money to Al Sharpton.

More: Harris-Perry decries “culture of fear” at channel — a far cry from the days when (the long departed) Keith Olbermann was bragging “Phil” — MSNBC President Phil Griffin “thinks he’s my boss.”

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THE HILL: The Anti-Trump Onslaught Begins:

Senior-level people in conservative organizations across Washington are firing with both barrels in an attempt to stop Trump’s march to the GOP presidential nomination, multiple sources tell The Hill.

One conservative nonprofit is launching a multimillion-dollar campaign of raw attack ads against the front-running candidate ahead of next week’s Super Tuesday contests.

The group, American Future Fund, is buying ads that feature people who claim to be victims of “fraud” it says is perpetrated by one of the real estate mogul’s business ventures, Trump University.

The ad campaign is among several anti-Trump attacks announced over the past 24 hours, as mainstream Republicans make a desperate attempt to stop his rise.

Just a reminder; If “mainstream Republicans” had fought as hard against Obama in 2008 and 2012, they wouldn’t have to worry about Trump now.

A REMINDER: People say they want free college “like Europe,” but nobody wants the European system.

OUR APOCALYPTIC DEMOCRATS:

“Hillary Clinton: The Leader You Want When The World Ends.”

—Headline, BuzzFeed, today.

“‘He maybe the last voice we ever hear’: Veteran actor Dick Van Dyke releases video endorsing Bernie Sanders calling for voters to ‘hear the alarm he’s sounding.’”

—Headline, the London Daily Mail today.

And as Spike Lee adds, “Ninety-nine percent of Americans were hurt by the Great Recession of 2008 and many are still recovering, and that’s why I am officially endorsing my brother Bernie Sanders.” All of which is a reminder that the last 16 years which comprise President Bush’s four terms in office have left Democrats more than a little on edge and worried about who will succeed him.

Lee’s comments today are particularly odd since shortly before President Bush’s third election, he declared on MSNBC that America would witness two distinct eras: “You have B.B.: Before Barack and A.B.: After Barack,” a sea-change in history that was “predeortained,” the veteran writer-director-malaprop inventor added.

But whatever happened to that “Barack” fella that he spoke of?

WHITEWASHING THE BLACK PANTHERS: A new PBS documentary tries to excuse a murderous and totalitarian cult.

Last month marked the 45th anniversary of the infamous cocktail party that Leonard and Felicia Bernstein held in their Park Ave. duplex to raise money for the Black Panthers, an evening that would be written up by Tom Wolfe in his classic “Radical Chic” account. A decade ago, after George W. Bush had defeated John Kerry, a man with his own taste for radical chic, I naively pondered if 2004 was “the year that radical chic finally began to die.”

Between PBS and the NFL embracing the legacy of the Black Panthers, and the line that can be drawn from both the Black Panthers and the Weathermen (who were also interconnected at times) to President Obama (and with Kerry as his current Secretary of State), so much for that idea.

2009 FLASHBACK: First President in US History to Have Voted to Filibuster a Supreme Court Nominee Now Hopes for Clean Process:

President Obama’s expressed hope today in his weekly address “that we can avoid the political posturing and ideological brinksmanship that has bogged down this (Supreme Court nomination) process, and Congress, in the past” runs against another historical first for the 44th president: his unique role in history as the first US President to have ever voted to filibuster a Supreme Court nominee.

So while there is little indication Republicans intend to filibuster President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, the GOP will likely invoke the President’s unique history whenever he calls their tactics into question.

Just a reminder of where he used to stand.

PAUL RAHE: Scalia’s Passing: A Reminder of the Stakes.

GOVERNMENT IS JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR THE THINGS WE CHOOSE TO DO TOGETHER: How the D.C. Government Is Targeting Its Homeless Population; A reminder that unlawful property seizure and intrusive laws hurt vulnerable members of society the most.

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BLUE ON BLUE. Reminder: Bernie Madoff Donated Mostly to Democrats.

And it was mostly Democrats* who donated to Madoff, thus completing the circle.

* While feeling oh-so-superior to the naive rubes in the big empty space in the middle of  Saul Steinberg’s “View of the World from 9th Avenue” New Yorker cover.

TENURED THUGS AND THIEVES, as spotted by Kevin D. Williamson of NRO, who writes:

Professor Melissa Click of the University of Missouri criminally assaulted an undergraduate student and, though local prosecutors were slow to move on the case — there was video of the incident, and the facts were not in question — she eventually was charged with third-degree assault. She will not be convicted of a crime, and, so far, her tenure-track position is safe.

Ironies abound. Click, a professor of Lady Gaga studies (no, really), enjoyed an appointment in Mizzou’s journalism department, which for mysterious reasons is highly regarded. The undergraduate she assaulted was a student journalist going about his proper business, covering a campus protest of which Professor Click was one instigator.

The subject of that protest was, in part, “white privilege,” which the protesters held up in contrast to the purportedly rough and unfair treatment that African Americans, particularly young men, receive at the hands of the police.

Which brings up the obvious question: What do we imagine would have happened to a young black man who criminally assaulted a white female college professor — and then, as Professor Click did, attempted to instigate mob violence against her? On campus? On video?

At the New York Observer, Cathy Young explores “The Totalitarian Doctrine of ‘Social Justice Warriors,’” which she abbreviates as “SocJus” throughout her article. (“The callback to ‘IngSoc’ from George Orwell’s 1984 is not quite coincidental,” she adds):

There is a word for ideologies, religious or secular, that seek to politicize and control every aspect of human life: totalitarian. Unlike most such ideologies, SocJus has no fixed doctrine or clear utopian vision. But in a way, its amorphousness makes it more tyrannical. While all revolutions are prone to devouring their children, the SocJus movement may be especially vulnerable to self-immolation: its creed of “intersectionality”—multiple overlapping oppressions—means that the oppressed are always one misstep away from becoming the oppressor. Your cool feminist T-shirt can become a racist atrocity in a mouse-click. And, since new “marginalized” identities can always emerge, no one can tell what currently acceptable words or ideas may be excommunicated tomorrow.

Or as Jonah Goldberg warned in Liberal Fascism:

This is not to say that there are no racist conservatives. But at the philosophical level, liberalism is battling a straw man. This is why liberals must constantly assert that conservatives use code words—because there’s nothing obviously racist about conservatism per se. Indeed, the constant manipulation of the language to keep conservatives—and other non-liberals—on the defensive is a necessary tactic for liberal politics. The Washington, D.C., bureaucrat who was fired [in 1999] for using the word “niggardly” correctly in a sentence is a case in point. The ground must be constantly shifted to maintain a climate of grievance. Fascists famously ruled by terror. Political correctness isn’t literally terroristic, but it does govern through fear. No serious person can deny that the grievance politics of the American left keeps decent people in a constant state of fright—they are afraid to say the wrong word, utter the wrong thought, offend the wrong constituency.

Jonah’s book was published eight years ago last month — and in the years since, the number of items that campus crybullies find offensive has accelerated exponentially. Which brings us to another evergreen reminder of today’s age:

exjon_racial_healing_12-17-15

The gender healing of the Hillary era will be equally heartwarming to observe.

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REMINDER: THE SERVER IS THE SMOKING GUN. Robert Gates: ‘Odds Are Pretty High’ That Russia, China and Iran Compromised Hillary’s Server.

WHERE’S THE WORLD’S SMALLEST VIOLIN WHEN YOU NEED IT? The sky is falling on print newspapers faster than you think:

Nearly everyone in publishing with whom I shared the 2015 paid figures found them surprisingly low. There is no question that they are dramatically lower than the widely available 2013 numbers.

Unexpectedly!

Yet another reminder, that as Reason’s Matt Welch noted in 2012, when it comes to the first draft of history, it’s largely being written by the losers.

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KARMA: NYT REPORTER COMPLAINS ABOUT BEING EJECTED FROM TRUMP EVENT. “The DC Media created a world that allows politicians to treat them like garbage, and only now are they complaining about it. But it is too late, because in the world they created, hearing The Corrupt moan about Karma is music to the ears of every red-blooded American…Reminder: Back in July, New York Times reporter Maggie Habermann allowed herself to be literally roped by the Hillary Clinton campaign.”

QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED: “Can D.C. afford a $15/hour minimum wage?”, the left-leaning Brookings Institute asked in July.

Yesterday’s Washington Post article headlined “District leaders furious Walmart breaking promise to build stores in poor neighborhoods” is a succinct response:

Evans said that, behind closed doors, Walmart officials were more frank about the reasons the company was downsizing. He said the company cited the District’s rising minimum wage, now at $11.50 an hour and possibly going to $15 an hour if a proposed ballot measure is successful in November. He also said a proposal for legislation requiring D.C. employers to pay into a fund for family and medical leave for employees, and another effort to require a minimum amount of hours for hourly workers were compounding costs and concerns for the retailer.

“They were saying, ‘How are we going to run the three stores we have, let alone build two more?’ ” Evans said.

“The optics of this are horrible; they are not going to build the stores east of the river, in largely African American neighborhoods? That’s horrible; you can’t do that,” Evans said. “A deal’s a deal.”

As Tim Worstall responds at Forbes,“Obviously, the people who brokered the deal aren’t happy about this. Yet those same people are the very people that passed the laws that Walmart, informally at least, is saying have led to the change of mind. It is, obviously, always nice to see the biter bit, someone hoist on their own petard. But the people who will lose out from this are the consumers of those poorer areas of the capital. And the reason they’ll lose out is because the politicians have been loading costs onto Walmart by insisting upon higher wages in several different ways.”Additionally, Worstall notes that “Higher minimum wages mean fewer jobs as companies that would have expanded do not. And note again that not only do the workers not gain those higher wages the consumers also lose out on their benefits.”

Plus a reminder that “The correct minimum wage is, as it always has been, $0 per hour, as once even the New York Times knew.”

Why, it’s as if minimum wage laws were designed by the original “Progressives” to hurt low-skilled workers, not help them.

Related: Early evidence suggests that DC’s minimum wage law is also having a negative effect on the city’s restaurant employment.

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TOTALLY NAILED IT:

Related: “Quick reminder: Al Gore refused to sell Current to [Glenn Beck's The Blaze network] because ‘the legacy…is important to us.’”

PACKS OF GERMANS CONDUCT REVENGE ATTACKS AFTER NYE SEX ASSAULTS:

Packs of vigilantes conducted what appear to be revenge attacks on foreign nationals in Cologne, Germany — the same location where refugees and migrants reportedly sexually assaulted hundreds of women New Year’s Eve.

Cologne police said 20 men attacked at least six Pakistani nationals Sunday near the city center where the New Year’s Eve sexual assaults and robberies took place, reported CNN. About 20 minutes after the attack, an apparently separate group of five men assaulted a man of Syrian descent.

The Syrian man was injured, and two of the Pakistani nationals were hospitalized. The attackers allegedly beat the Pakistani men and verbally abused them. Police are looking to press charges as the group of men committed “serious bodily harm.”

As Glenn has written about American law enforcement, “Police don’t actually protect law-abiding citizens from criminals so much as they protect criminals from the much-rougher justice they’d get in the absence of a legal system. Burglars would be hung from lampposts, and shoplifters would be beaten and tossed into the gutter if there were no police, as in fact happens in countries where there isn’t a reliable justice system and a civil-society culture that restrains vigilantism. Reminder to the criminal class: Ultimately, we’re not stuck in this country with you. You’re stuck in this country with us.”

That’s something the immigrants — and Germany’s failing political class should remember.

And with “Europe’s political class…firmly scolding anyone who draws the wrong conclusions” after the Muslims’ sex assaults, as Michael Brendan Dougherty asks at The Week, “Does Germany’s leadership class secretly want to destroy the European Union? I’m beginning to wonder.”

Perhaps the real question is, does Germany’s leadership want to destroy Germany? Dougherty adds, “The message to ordinary Germans is clear: You can’t be allowed to say what you are thinking. And you probably shouldn’t think it either.” If German politicians keep up that mindset, they’re about to make the horrible situation they engineered for their nation far worse.

REMINDER: Obama’s Claims About Internet Gun Sales Are Completely False.

THE DAY THE CLOWN CRIED: “‘Every time I hear about those kids it makes me mad’: Obama cries for the victims of Newtown as he pushes gun control at speech surrounded by families who lost loved ones in mass shootings,” gushes the London Daily Mail, ignoring Obama’s silence on both the over 440 murders last year and disgraced crony Rahm Emmanuel’s sinking fortunes in Chicago, a city that should be entirely pacified, if overwhelming blue state gun control efforts actually worked.

But “The MacGuffinization of American Politics,” as Ace described how the media crafts its Obama narratives in late 2013 rolls on:

For Obama’s fanbois, this is not politics. This isn’t even America, not really, not anymore.

This is a movie. And Barack Obama is the Hero. And the Republicans are the Villains. And policy questions — and Obama’s myriad failures as an executive — are simply incidental. They are MacGuffins only, of no importance whatsoever, except to the extent they provide opportunities for Drama as the Hero fights in favor of them.

Watching Chris Matthews interview Obama, I was struck by just how uninterested in policy questions Matthews (and his panel) were, and how almost every question seemed to be, at heart, about Obama’s emotional response to difficulties– not about policy itself, but about Obama’s Hero’s Journey in navigating the plot of President Barack Obama: The Movie.

As with a MacGuffin in the movie, only the Hero’s emotional response to the MacGuffin matters.

Speaking of which, “Chris Matthews talking about Obama crying on ‘Hardball’ today will be must-see TV,” Allahpundit predicts. (An earlier tweet by Allah also inspired our headline above.) But then, as NewsBusters’ Geoffrey Dickens writes, the MSM has worked hard to pave the way for Obama’s anti-Second Amendment efforts.

Finally, just a reminder, here’s Obama on the stump in 2008:

Words — just words, to coin a phrase.

Related: Obama: Hey, forget what I said about Australia (twice) — no one’s looking to take away your guns!

More: “Obama is only this animated and energized when disarming the American people. ISIS not so much.” But then, his speech today is an attempt to distract Americans (via the supine media) from his ISIS and Al Qaeda-related epic failures.

HILLARY: ELECT ME AND I’LL GET TO THE BOTTOM OF UFOS AND AREA 51. “Ahem. These two had eight years to pursue any curiosity they had about UFOs and Area 51. It’s one thing to pander to the UFO conspiracy theorists as an outsider. It’s another to do it as part of the Clinton Restoration. What exactly would have changed since Hillary and Podesta left the Clinton White House 15 years ago, and Podesta left the Obama White House in February of last year?”

Let’s face it — Hillary is simply covering up the SHADO-y forces she and the government-media complex first buried deep underground decades ago:

Related: “Reminder: Bill Clinton Believes in UFOs and the JFK Conspiracy, And Hillary Talks to Ghosts. But these weird New Age nonsense beliefs — dopey pseudoreligions taking the place of actual religions — will be ignored, while the media continues to jeer at people for reading the Bible.”

OH, TO BE IN ENGLAND: It’s just like a Michelangelo! Epic New Year’s Eve photo of drunken carnage on the streets of Manchester spawns a string of ‘artistic’ memes.

Reminder: Theodore Dalrymple’s essays on life in 21st century England are warnings, not how-to guides.

(Via Maetenloch at Ace of Spades.)

KURT SCHLICHTER: DON’T LET LIBERALS TELL YOU WHAT YOU CAN AND CAN’T SAY ABOUT HILLARY:

That’s a little taste of what will happen in the general election, but we conservatives have to face the heat and tell the truth. Imagine Supreme Court litigator Ted Cruz (or whoever) on the stage at a debate with Hillary, when everybody’s watching and she’s minimally able to rely on the media to save her. Hillary starts talking about what a friend to women she is, and Cruz comes back with her shameful treatment of the women her husband abused. Yeah, I expect the moderators to pull a Candy Crowley and screech and intervene to stop it, and the next day the mainstream media will be full of pearl-clutching outrage about the Republican daring to bring up a subject that they’ve decreed was off-limits. But normal people will ask. “Hey, wait a minute. Hillary did what? Why are we only hearing about this now?” And the fact that we have an alternative media – talk radio, Twitter, Facebook, the net in general, means that we can get our ideas and our views out there. They can’t gatekeep her track record of perfidy forever.

Thank you Don Lemon, not only for bringing me an ungodly amount of attention and making me a conservative martyr, but for revealing the mainstream media’s tactics, techniques and procedures to silence conservatives and keep them from telling the truth about your gal Hillary. We have the truth, Republicans – let’s not be afraid to tell it.

Read the whole thing, which is a reminder of Andrew Klavan’s 2009 video from the start of the Obama administration that all “liberal” arguments ultimately consist of two words:

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REMINDER: IF YOU’RE A CONSERVATIVE OR LIBERTARIAN, BUZZFEED REALLY HATES YOUR GUTS:

[Milo] Yiannopoulos, who rode the angry gusts of GamerGate to become the inaugural technology editor of the far-right Breitbart.com, has sensed the potential of the Chanterculture better than anyone. He gives it a champion in the professional media. In an extraordinary November post called “Why I’m Winning,” he attributed his sudden rise in popularity to his willingness to go against the grain of a reflexively liberal internet media in thrall to the chilling forces of political correctness. And then he made a telling appeal to his audience:

“If you have ever felt bullied, or victimised, or harassed, or marginalised – not by bullshit imaginary concepts like the ‘patriarchy’ but by people who want to stop you expressing yourself and who call you a loser, a manbaby, a shitlord, a privileged cishet white male – then Milo Yiannopoulos is for you.”

Think for a moment about the demographic Yiannopoulos is appealing to as victims: young English-speaking white men, perhaps the least victimized group of people in the world, to whom popular and consumer culture have long catered and who are now angry because they are not doing so quite so much as they were, gosh, a year ago. This kind of reverse victimization politics feels more like the rhetoric you’d hear on the campaign trail (“Milo Yiannopoulos is for you”) than in the tech media. Now it’s everywhere.

I’ll bet this trolling Twitter update from Milo must have really struck fear in the hearts of BuzzFeed bullpen when it first appeared:

milo_trolls_buzzfeed_12-25-15-1

And they could certainly use him — just as a reminder: “[Editor In Chief] Ben Smith: BuzzFeed Is Pro-Gay Marriage — Neutral On Shariah.”

SUCKING IN THE SEVENTIES: The “top” 10 Christmas TV specials of the 1970s, and Christmas in the 1970s: Technology-Free and Full of Polyester.

I’d say that these posts are a double-barreled reminder how awful that decade was before the arrival of Star Wars and the Atari 2600 — but you already know what the number one Christmas TV special on that list is, don’t you?

REMINDER: Today is the last day for two-day shipping before Christmas at Amazon.

BIAS BY OMISSION: Leading Far-Left PR Firm Closes Over Sex Harassment and Assault Allegations; Press Coverage Is Minimal.

On the flip-side though, the closing of FitzGibbon Media is a reminder for the New Republic that “Yes, you can be a liberal and a sexual abuser.”

Gosh, who knew?

WELL, OF COURSE:

What if Muslims in the community objected to a lesson about Christianity that demanded that students read the Nicene Creed out loud? Would the New York Times portray the Muslims as potentially violent? I don’t think it would. In fact, I think the NYT would portray the reading aloud of the Nicene Creed — “I believe in one God, the Father Almighty… And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God” — as a violation of the Establishment Clause.

The NYT quotes one of the parents as understanding the assignment to be an instruction “to denounce our Lord by copying this creed of Islam,” which is “an abomination” to her family’s faith and that the school had simply “cloaked in the form of multiculturalism.” And therein lies the problem. How do you know what the school is really doing? And quite aside from what the school meant to do, there’s the question of how it is perceived, which is an important part of Establishment Clause analysis.

Our various elites have gotten dangerously out of touch with the country. They are being forcefully reminded of this fact, and those reminders are likely to become more frequent, and more forceful, in the future.

STAR WARS MEETS KEN BURNS: Dan Drezner and a couple of friends have put together a delightful parody of Ken Burns’s Civil War series, using the Star Wars civil war instead of the real-world one. It’s a happy reminder of a phenomenon I first wrote about in 1998 whose positive aspects have become too easy to forget in today’s grouchy environments. Dan writes:

But the above video should also remind us of one of the Internet’s glories: It’s the place to discover that there are other people out there who share your enthusiasms, and can help you express those enthusiasms in socially tolerant ways. Yes, LOTS of people are “Star Wars” fans, but only a small fraction of these people probably “get” the idea of mashing up “Star Wars” with a 25-year-old PBS civil war documentary. In the pre-Internet age, I suspect Rosenberg, Bunch and I would have just kept these quirky thoughts to ourselves, unaware that others might share the same goofball enthusiasm. Thanks to the Long Tail, however, we have discovered that we were not alone. And discovering that you are not alone is a pretty wonderful feeling in this galaxy.

I can’t figure out how to get PJ Media and the WaPo site to cooperate with an embedded video, but you can see the here.

NEW GLOP CULTURE PODCAST ONLINE AT RICOCHET, with Jonah Goldberg, Rob Long, and John Podhoretz, who eventually wind up discussing the little known cult science fiction movie opening this week. Along with a reminder of how soul crushingly grim science fiction movies were pre-Star Wars, when they had been co-opted by Hollywood to discuss their grim predictions of crushing overpopulation and environmental horrors in the 21st century — and forty years later, look like the Reefer Madness movies of the 1970s.

PETER BERKOWITZ: Universities Losing Control After Decades Of Indoctrination. Choose the form of your Destructor. . . .

UPDATE: A reminder: Evan Coyne Maloney’s excellent documentary, Indoctrinate U.

HMMM: This is a Brilliant Move by Donald Trump, Erick Erickson writes at Red State:

Hate Donald Trump all you want, be offended by his proposal all you want, but it is really brilliant politics for Trump right now in the Republican primary and the reactions from the other candidates prove it. All the people attacking Trump on his immigration proposals now attacking him on this have done themselves no favors within the primary process.

Have none of these people read Art of the Deal? This is an opening, bombastic salvo to set the terms of negotiations and the other candidates except Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) just decided to negotiation in Barack Obama’s position. And it comes at a time some polls are suggesting Trump is starting to fade in places like Iowa.

Again, ignore the merits and constitutionality — the politics of this work to his advantage.

And if they end up making he and the rest of the GOP appear to be unelectable — well, Trump probably wouldn’t lose that much sleep over that, either.

Related: “Homeland Security Secretary: If You Don’t Know Muslims Want Peace, You Don’t Know Islam” — a reminder of why Trump’s bombastic rhetoric scores with many voters who’ve tuned out the most PC administration in history.

 

ERICK ERICKSON: Well, Now We Know the President Has Turned a Blind Eye to Domestic Terrorism to Advance His Gun Control Agenda:

We now know from media reports that the President intends to call for gun control. He may even try by executive order.

This was the plan all along. Just like Europe.

Get Americans worried and fearful about terrorism, show that the government is incapable of dealing effectively with it, then declare that the only solution is to round up guns so terrorists cannot get them.

It is all by design. The President never had any intention of working aggressively to stop domestic terrorism. He needed it to fester and call it something else, just as he needs problems with Obamacare to fester to get to single payer, in order to curtail our freedoms.

Read the whole thing. And then check out Erickson’s reminder to the New York Times of the real definition of “gun control.”

Related: Roger Simon on How the ‘New York Times’ and Loretta Lynch Made Me Join the NRA.

(Via Ace of Spades.)

TERRORISM? MEH. TRUMP MOCKING OBAMA? IT’S CLOBBERING TIME! Barry blows a gasket over Trump mocking his religious faith in global warming.

So demonstrate how serious you are — voluntarily ground Air Force One for the reminder of your administration, Mr. President. After all, “If climate change is such a crisis, then why don’t global leaders make a few sacrifices for the team?”

A STILL-TIMELY REMINDER: Amazon Carries Shooting Supplies.

FROM KATIE PAVLICH, A REMINDER: The Obama administration, not the NRA, sells guns to terrorists.

A TIMELY REMINDER: Amazon Carries Shooting Supplies.

WILLIE NELSON: ‘I’M A GREAT BERNIE AND HILLARY FAN.’

Which is a reminder that not everyone who gets mugged by reality becomes a conservative.

EUROPE AND ISLAM — A CLASH OF FAILURES: At The Week, Michael Brendan Dougherty writes:

As I wrote last week, for some Muslims, the modern world presents a crisis for Islam. If Allah grants victories to the faithful community of believers, then Islam’s current situation is a problem. The Islamic world has been in retreat for decades, if not centuries. The exit of colonial powers has left the Middle East and surrounding regions to corrupt governments, seduced by foreign intrigue or foreign aid. Globalization sends constant reminders of the economic superiority of the West into the Muslim world, along with messages preaching the superiority of Western hedonism, human rights, and feminism. For certain Muslims, this is not an unfortunate turn in history, but a sign of the Muslim world’s defection from Allah. Islam must be purified to restore the ummah to the conditions of the early centuries of the faith. Islam’s failure to conquer, or even to produce workable, livable arrangements with its own domain, becomes an invitation to fundamentalism and conflict.

Something similar is happening to French society. After World War II, France devoted itself evermore fully to its conceptions of universal values. France disavowed political nationalism, and joined the European project with enthusiasm. France was to show that if French men were to become Nietzsche’s last men, well, what’s wrong with that? Every man wants to be free, prosperous, leisured. History has a direction, away from religion, prejudice, divisive nationalism, and toward reason. History was a march toward universally applicable and universally appealing human rights. In a few years, the sons of Algerian and Iraqi immigrants will drink coffee, a little Bordeaux too. They will pretend to be existentialists, and organize to keep French working hours distinctively French. Everyone in their heart wants this, no?

It turns out not.

Read the whole thing.

SWEET HOME, CHICAGO:

…And here we go:

“Video: The shooting of Laquan McDonald.”

—Allahpundit, at Hot Air.

● “Did Corrupt Rahm Emanuel Wait to After Election to Release Video?

—Steve Bartin, Newsalert. (And a reminder to a suddenly and “unexpectedly” incurious MSM: “This ‘Mayor of Chicago’ who suppressed Laquan McDonald tape was Obama’s WH Chief of Staff, Chairman of House Dem Caucus, & Chairman of DCCC.”

“CHICAGO ERUPTS! Laquan McDonald Protesters ATTACK POLICE, Toss BOTTLES, Steal Police Bikes (Video).”

—Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit.

“Chicago Releases Video of Police Shooting of Suspect; City Braces for Violence That Some Predict Could Be Described as ‘Tuesday’”

—Ace of Spades.

And finally, good advice from John Nolte, as the media gets ready to whip up a hot fresh riot in time for Thanksgiving (and in honor of the one year anniversary of last year’s holiday season riots): “Praying for my many family members in Chicago. Told them if they see any CNN trucks, they need to run.”

Indeed. ™

HARVARD LAW “HATE” CRIME: John Hinderaker over at Power Line has an amusing story about the “hateful” genesis of the HLS shield and the school’s early, slaveholding benefactor:

The back story is that the money that founded the law school came from a man named Royall, who was a slaveholder. This is how the law school itself tells the story:

Harvard Law School was established through a bequest from the estate of Isaac Royall, a wealthy Antiguan plantation owner and slaveholder who immigrated to Boston. Royall’s coat-of-arms, with its three stacked wheat sheaves, remains the school’s crest to this day.

The law school’s crest is displayed, among other places, at Wasserstein Hall. Someone, presumably a person associated with the movement on campus to do away with such reminders of the Royall family, put black tape over the seal. Then, overnight, someone removed some of the pieces of black tape and put them over portraits of black faculty members that hang in the hallway.

This supposed hate crime was described by a second-year student named Michele Hall, who also posted photos of the portraits with tape over them . . . . The reaction was what you would expect. Ms. Hall writes:

I am constantly reminded of the legacy of white supremacy that founded this school and still breathes through every classroom and lecture hall. I am also shown the small inroads that professors of color have made, breaking apart the notion that whiteness is the epitome of legal scholarship.

Whiteness is the epitome of legal scholarship? Seriously?

Ms. Hall further declared, “The defacing of the portraits of black professors this morning is a further reminder that white supremacy built this place, is the foundation of this place, and that we never have and still do not belong here.”

Okay, so if you really believe this, Ms. Hall (and like Hinderaker, I don’t think she does), why don’t you go to Howard or some other “historically black” law school, where you won’t have to be “reminded” that former benefactors, students and alumni were possibly slaveholders? Is it not sufficient to soothe your soul that you very likely attend one of the best law schools in the country because HLS has vigorously embraced the liberal/progressive policy of affirmative action? And do you really think that any institution that has received a generous grant from a slaveholder means that you do not “belong” there? If this is the case, you do not “belong” in about 90 percent of the best universities in the country, I suspect.

The truth is that Ms. Hall doesn’t really belong in any decent law school. She apparently has zero talent at logic, and her emotions control her brain. Sadly, these traits would likely put her on the short list for a federal court judgeship by the Obama Administration.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Obama right again on P.C. campus speech: As the president said, students shouldn’t try to silence other side but listen, engage and persuade. “And if you’re looking back at the 1960s Civil Rights Era as a model for your social justice crusade, here’s a reminder: The angry mobs trying to shut out speech they didn’t like? They weren’t the good guys there.”

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Obama right again on P.C. campus speech: As the president said, students shouldn’t try to silence other side but listen, engage and persuade. “And if you’re looking back at the 1960s Civil Rights Era as a model for your social justice crusade, here’s a reminder: The angry mobs trying to shut out speech they didn’t like? They weren’t the good guys there.”

KIM DU TOIT IS STILL ALIVE: and wishes to remind everyone that November 19th is National Ammo Day. 100 rounds (or more) of your favorite ammo.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): Thanks for the reminder! Just went to my former law students’ LuckyGunner.com store and ordered some.

THOMAS SOWELL: “Racism is not dead. But it is on life-support, kept alive mainly by the people who use it for an excuse or to keep minority communities fearful or resentful enough to turn out as a voting bloc on Election Day.”

Which is why in the last decade, the left moved towards weaponizing anyone with the scarlet-R when it suits their purposes – and then forgetting all of their past accusations when political expediency demands it.

REMINDER: Amazon carries shooting supplies.

KARL MARX CALLS MEXICANS LAZY. WILL SOCIAL JUSTICE WARRIORS DEMAND NOTED RACIST KARL MARX BE BANNED FROM STUDY ON CAMPUS?

In addition to slurs against Mexicans, Marx, whose father had converted from Judaism to Lutheranism, was none too keen on Jews and blacks, as well.

But the SJWs are already on the case! They want to see Marx removed from the college criteria not because he was a stone cold racist totalitarian, but — wait for it! — because he’s yet another dead white European male. As James Lileks wryly observed back in January, “Some Berkeley students are mad about a class that is just plain othering the living heck out of them. From a piece they wrote for the Daily Californian:”

We are calling for an occupation of syllabi in the social sciences and humanities. This call to action was instigated by our experience last semester as students in an upper-division course on classical social theory. Grades were based primarily on multiple-choice quizzes on assigned readings. The course syllabus employed a standardized canon of theory that began with Plato and Aristotle, then jumped to modern philosophers: Hobbes, Locke, Hegel, Marx, Weber and Foucault, all of whom are white men. The syllabus did not include a single woman or person of color.

In response, Lileks wrote:

If there’s one thing you take away from the Daily Californian essay, it’s the pursed-lip’d narrow-eyed glare of someone who is being forced to sit in a room and NOT BE VALIDATED. (Some of the complainants may be angry because they are witnessing the non-validation of others and are compelled to be enraged on their behalf.) College, apparently, is now a place where the notions of people freshly matriculated from high school must be handled with oven mitts and lightly buffed with soft cloth lest their orthodoxies suffer the slightest abrasion. Like the school that canceled the annual performance of The Vagina Monologues because it othered non-traditional women who lacked the titular orifice, it’s a delightful example of leftist autophagy. Marx is in foul order in Berkeley not for his ideas, or the heaps of corpses accumulated in his name, but because he had a prostate.

By the way, Foucault died of AIDS, so you can dismiss everything the students wrote. Homophobes and haters. No, kids, don’t bother defending yourselves. As your heroes would no doubt say: If it wasn’t true, we wouldn’t have accused you.

Heh. Yet another reminder that as Ray Bradbury predicted in Fahrenheit 451, the books will be burned as much to protect everyone’s feelings as much as to block the ideas within them.

THIS COULD BE A BUZZKILL FOR SOME FOLKS: Claimed Breakthrough Slays Classic Computing Problem; Encryption Could Be Next. “A professor’s claim to have created an algorithm that dramatically simplifies one of theoretical computer science’s most notorious problems has experts preparing to reconsider a long-established truth of their field. It is also seen as a reminder that similar algorithmic breakthroughs are possible that could weaken the tough-to-crack problems at the heart of the cryptography protecting the world’s digital secrets.”

THE EU SLAPS DISCRIMINATORY LABELS ON ISRAELI PRODUCTS:

The move has been in the works for a while. In September the European Parliament voted 525-70 in favor of it. Israeli settlement products have been excluded from EU trade preferences since 2004.

This latest move, though, is something new.

Once it comes into effect, shoppers in any EU supermarket will see certain products labeled “Made in the West Bank” (Israeli settlement) or “Made in the Golan” (Israeli settlement).

They won’t see such labels on products from any other of the world’s 200 territories that are under dispute. Not, for example, Turkish products from Northern Cyprus. Not Chinese products from Tibet.

In some strange way, in a continent that has a long, unlovely history of subjecting Jews to boycotts and badges, it is only products from the Jewish state that are going to be specially marked.

As Giulio Meotti wrote in Y-Net, as linked to by Roger Simon in a 2012 post ominously titled “A Jew-Free Europe,” “To quote psychiatrist Zvi Rex: ‘Europe will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz.’ Europe doesn’t want to live under the psychological burden of Auschwitz forever. The Jews are living reminders of the moral failure of Europe. This leads to the projection of guilt on Israel and the remaining European Jews.”

WAPO: ‘ON THE FRONT LINES OF THE FIGHT FOR FREE SPEECH AT YALE’: Glenn has written a lot about what has been going on at Yale over the past week.

By wild coincidence, I was on the ground at Yale last week when the campus erupted— I even managed to stumble into my own free speech controversy. In today’s Washington Post, I talk about what I witnessed while on campus. What’s been going on at Yale can be wild and hard to even keep up with, but I wanted to leave readers with a reminder of the most important point:

[T]he focus should remain on defending Erika and Nicholas Christakis’s free speech rights. In today’s campus climate, when professors find themselves on the “wrong” side of the culture war, even those with tenure can find their jobs in jeopardy.

I have seen time and again university administrations press faculty to resign for their controversial expression. The university usually tries to make the resignation look like it was the professor’s own decision. If this were to happen at Yale, it would be a chilling warning to future faculty and students that if you even mildly question the prevailing orthodoxy on campus, you will have hell to pay.

Yale students, alumni, and members of the public must demand that the Christakises face no threat of punishment, and if either professor steps down now or in the coming months, it must be understood to represent Yale’s glaring failure to live up to its own glowing promises to protect and honor freedom of speech on campus.

You can read my full op-ed over at The Washington Post, as well as a summary of last Thursday’s events over at FIRE’s website.

PRESCIENCE REWARDED:

Like many of you, I look at Europe, and think: this cannot end well. I can imagine civil order breaking down in Greece, riots, political paralysis, and a coup. Is it absurd to imagine Italy splitting? A German co-prosperity sphere with Euro-rule transferred from Brussels to Berlin? Perhaps I’ve been watching too many WW2 documentaries lately, but they have a necessary reminder: things fail. And another: tribalism is bred in the marrow. Everything modern about Europe is transnational – the architecture, the politics, the thin smear of high culture that passes for art, it has a brash modern style divorced from national identities. Divorced from Europe’s sullen husband, History.

People don’t want to be cut off from national identity; the more you suppress it, the nastier it gets when it’s let out of the hole. I think the idea of war in Europe is ridiculous – the question of “over what” is matched only by “with what,” but it just seems as if some Great Shuddering is due.

—James Lileks, the Bleat, June 20th, 2012.

“STICK A FORK IN EUROPE: It’s Done.”

—Headline, Director Blue, this past Thursday.

Related: Found via Kathy Shaidle, Mark Steyn adds,”Frau Merkel will have achieved what Bomber Harris and the Red Army couldn’t: she will have wiped Germany off the map.”

WHO’S BURNING BLACK CHURCHES? OH. Michelle Malkin exposes the media myth that angry, racist white folks have been burning down black churches:

Over a two-week period in October, an arsonist targeted seven churches in the St. Louis area — including several in Black Lives Matter protest hotspot Ferguson, Missouri.

The Atlantic magazine, invoking the “long history of terrorism against black churches in America,” lamented that the crime spree had been “slow to get the same attention” in the local and national media as another string of church arsons that occurred earlier this summer.

Reminder: Several of those hyped hate crimes against “black churches” had been committed by black suspects; a significant number of the “black churches” were, in fact, white churches; and the complex motives behind the crimes included mental illness, vandalism and concealment of theft.

Reminder: The same hyperventilators who stoked fears about this summer’s church incidents had also stoked hysteria about the 1990s black church arson “epidemic” that fell apart under scrutiny and ended with USA Today admitting that “analysis of the 64 fires since 1995 shows only four can be conclusively shown to be racially motivated.”

Undaunted, agitators did their best to fan the flames over the latest alleged wave of race-based black church burnings in October. On Twitter, social justice activists resurrected the #WhosBurningBlackChurches hashtag. “Black churches are burning again,” Oklahoma State University professor Lawrence Ware lamented in Counterpunch. The far left propaganda outfit U.S. Uncut concluded unequivocally: “Racists in Ferguson Burn Down 5 Black Churches in 9 Days.”

Except, they didn’t. Again.

Last week, police charged 35-year-old David Lopez Jackson, who is black, with setting two of the fires. “Forensic evidence linked him to the fire on Oct. 18 at Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 1011 Theobald Street,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported, and “video of his car near New Life Missionary Baptist Church, 4569 Plover Avenue, links him to the fire there on Oct. 17, police Chief Sam Dotson said.” Jackson is a suspect in the other fires and additional charges are pending.

The arrest follows another black church hate crime spree-gone-bust in my adopted hometown of Colorado Springs. In late June, after a pair of churches received menacing notices (“Black men, be aware, you are the target,” read one), black suspect Vincent Broughton admitted to posting the ugly signs.

And yes, Colorado Springs is also the home of the January 2015 NAACP office bombing that wasn’t.

Why is it that liberals/progressives–whose ideological core is defined by its adamant belief in various -isms (e.g., racism, sexism)–feel compelled to create examples of -ist actions? Logic suggests that if American society is so racist or sexist, liberals/progressives would not be compelled to invent these faux -ist incidents to justify their own hateful worldview.

Can you imagine conservatives purposefully engaging in activities they condemn, to “prove” that such activities are ubiquitous? Would conservatives obtain an abortion in the sixth month of pregnancy and inform the media that they did so because they decided they just didn’t want the inconvenience and expense of a child, hoping reporters would write stories about the moral/ethical hazards of late abortions? Would a conservative ever bomb or deface a church and spray paint “Christians beware–your faith is a lie!,” to trigger media reports about “hate” crimes and discrimination against Christians by atheists or non-Christians?

And even if conservatives did violate their own principles in a desperate attempt to keep a narrative alive, would the liberal/progressive media even bother writing a story to “highlight” such “hateful” or “disturbing” behavior?

I’M NOT A SKYDIVER MYSELF, BUT THIS DOES SEEM LIKE SOUND ADVICE: Reminder: always bring a backup chute if you’re planning shoot a flare into yours mid-fall.