February 20, 2018

BUT THE LEFT LOVES MURDEROUS REGIMES:  Exploit Much? CNN to Hold Town Hall with Florida Shooting Survivors.

AND YET IT’S TRUE: Trump Says Obama Didn’t Stop Russian Meddling, Media Erupts.

WAIT, IS KIM DU TOIT ARGUING FOR MODERATION?  SOMEONE CHECK FOR PODS IN THE BASEMENT:  Extra Ammo.

THERE ARE OTHER CULPRITS THAN GUNS: Failing to Prevent a Preventable Massacre.

February 19, 2018

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#METOO’S LATEST: Womansplaining Megan Barry’s Affair With A Married Subordinate.

EMBRACE THE POWER OF “AND:” Jimmy Kimmel: A Moron Or Just A Bigot?

WITH DNC IN MIND, CITY BANS CARRYING URINE, FECES:

An NBC Bay Area Investigation reveals a dangerous concoction of drug needles, garbage, and feces lining the streets of downtown San Francisco. The Investigative Unit surveyed more than 150 blocks, including some of the city’s top tourist destinations, and discovered conditions that are now being compared to some of the worst slums in the world.

The “now” is a nice touch.

As Harry Stein quipped in his 2000 book, How I Accidentally Joined the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy (and Found Inner Peace), you can tell if you’ve already joined the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy when “Someone’s going on about how fantastic San Francisco is, and it suddenly hits you that’s one place on earth you never want to live.” When I was visiting both San Francisco and Manhattan during the pre-de Blasio era, I often thought how much cleaner and safer New York seemed to be. But Manhattan seems increasingly eager to to go head to head with San Francisco in their Red Queen’s Race to the bottom.

San Francisco’s last Republican mayor left office in January of 1964.

(Classical reference in headline.)

THESE WILL STILL WORK AFTER AN EMP ATTACK: Multi Point 2 Lead Pencils 10 PK.

OPEN THREAD: Bring the witty repartee for which InstaPundit comment threads are known!

AMERICA’S SINGLE WORST CONSTITUTIONAL OFFENSE, BY A POPULAR DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT WHO STILL LARGELY ESCAPES BLAME: A Date That Should Live in Infamy.

On February 19, 1942 — seventy-four years ago today — Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. With the stroke of his pen, the man who had earlier snubbed Jesse Owens after the Berlin Olympics used his executive powers to order the imprisonment of over 100,000 persons of Japanese ancestry (as well as thousands of German and Italian ancestry) for the duration of World War II.

Most of the internees were natural-born American citizens, whose “crime” was having a parent or merely a grandparent with Japanese blood. It was an act of naked, aggressive racism that damaged people and families, including my own, for generations.

Well, Democrats like big, dramatic civil-rights violations, as proof that they’re Doing Something about a problem.

SUZANNE VENKER: The Desperate Cry Of America’s Boys.

CHANGE: Poll: Most Americans now support GOP tax law.

SKYNET SMILES: U.S. Army: New plan… how about some robots with guns?

NEVER, BECAUSE THAT MIGHT MAKE WOMEN FEEL BAD ABOUT THEIR LIFE CHOICES, WHICH IS FORBIDDEN: When Will We Have the Guts to Link Fatherlessness to School Shootings?

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Plus, deals on Men’s Watches. A few years ago I bought Glenn a really nice Tag Heuer watch. He wears it on dressy occasions, but most of the time he wears a Timex Ironman because it’s so cheap it’s disposable, and he likes the indiglo light.

WEIRD, ALL THE EXPERTS TOLD ME THAT THE TAX BILL WOULD ONLY BENEFIT A HANDFUL OF BILLIONAIRES: Smucker’s Announces $1000 Tax Cut Bonuses for Employees, $20M Added to Employee Pensions.

(Classical reference in headline.)

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:

● Shot: When It Comes to Sexual Assault and Rape, Why Aren’t Women Believed?

—Headline, Yahoo News UK, December 16th, 2017.

● Chaser: How an Alt-Right Bot Network Took Down Al Franken.

—Headline, Yahoo News UK, today.

As Iowahawk tweets, “Now it can be told: he was lured into a honey trap by Natasha X-11, the Kremlin’s secret ultra bootybot.”

Note that the article on Franken is by Newsweek’s Nina Burleigh, who famously told Howard Kurtz in 1998 that “I would be happy to give [Bill Clinton] a blowjob just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their Presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs.” Propping up Clinton’s White House during his impeachment hearings is an understandable maneuver for a Democratic activist with a byline; does Burleigh believe that Franken’s career in politics can be resuscitated?

Update: As Glenn tweets, “So #MeToo is a Russian influence op? Now it all makes sense.”

Heh, indeed comrade.

AT THIS POINT, IT’S HARDLY AN EARTHSHAKING IDEA: Humans will actually react pretty well to news of alien life.

PROGRESSIVES RUIN EVERYTHING THEY TAKE OVER: WSJ: Tech Workers Plan On Leaving Silicon Valley In Droves.

YOUR DAILY TREACHER: Trump vs. Oprah: The Matchup We Deserve?

A DATE THAT SHOULD LIVE IN INFAMY: “On February 19, 1942 — seventy-four years ago today — Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. With the stroke of his pen, the man who had earlier snubbed Jesse Owens after the Berlin Olympics used his executive powers to order the imprisonment of over 100,000 persons of Japanese ancestry (as well as thousands of German and Italian ancestry) for the duration of World War II.”

NOT AT MY HOUSE, THERE ISN’T: There really is a tequila shortage.

THIS IS DISTURBING: Surgical Tools Could Be Spreading Proteins Linked to Alzheimer’s. But this report is at most suggestive, and nowhere near dispositive.

TONI AIRAKSINEN: Connecticut Professor Latest Victim of ‘Microaggression’ Claim.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: NYU Prof: ‘MAGA Maggots’ ‘Feasting On The Corpses Of Murdered Schoolchildren.’

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ON JORDAN PETERSON AND THE FUTURE:

We are, all of us, faced with the same basic set of choices. Are we taking full responsibility? Are we being careful to grow our sovereignty in alignment with our power? Are we able to take complete responsibility for what we find ourselves capable of doing?

Here is the final thing. No one is going to come close to being able to do this on their own. And no one is coming to save us. We are it.

If this seems overwhelming, return to Jordan Peterson. Yes, the world is in trouble. And yes, we are going to need to do incredible things to make it through this transition. But until you have achieved your own sovereignty, you are as likely to make it worse as you are to make it better. Thus the task is simple. Whether you are seated at the throne of Empire or are struggling to just make ends meet, the right, best and only path begins at the center of you. Clean your room. Get yourself sorted out. Build yourself into a rock upon which profound things can be set. Then, and only then, is it time to begin taking care of the rest of the world.

Slowly and deliberately become a master of your own sovereignty. And then, find the load that is yours to carry and carry it.

Related: Jordan Peterson Reveals a Glitch in The Matrix of The Blue Church (Video).

And as Glenn and Helen have noted, still at #1 on Amazon, Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.

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DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT HISTORY: Reagan, Obama Beat Lincoln and Washington in List of ‘Best Presidents.’

C-SPAN: A Conversation With Justice Clarence Thomas.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON ON UNDERSTANDING THE CALIFORNIA MIND:

In California, civilization is speeding in reverse—well aside from the decrepit infrastructure, dismal public schools, and sky-high home prices. Or rather, the state travels halfway in reverse: anything involving the private sector (smartphones, Internet, new cars, TV, or getting solar panels installed) is 21st-century. Anything involving the overwhelmed government or public utilities (enforcing dumping laws, licensing dogs, hooking up solar panel meters to the grid, observing common traffic courtesies) is early 20th-century.

Why is this so, and how do Californians adjust?

Read the whole thing. And note VDH’s warning: “In a state where millions cannot be held accountable, those who can will be—both to justify a regulatory octopus, and as social justice for their innate unwarranted privilege.”

JAZZ SHAW: How A Union Sank A Mom And Pop Company Overnight.

I WISH WE HAD SOME MAGIC POTIONS: ‘Not a Magic Potion.’ Flu Death Puts Antiviral Drugs in the Spotlight.

Maybe one of Joel Rosenberg’s healing draughts. I’d like to keep a case of those around.

BABY STEPS: Saudi Arabia allows first woman to star in theatrical play.

LIFE IN THE 21ST CENTURY: America at Home: Grandparents in the Attic, Children in the Basement.

CRINGEWORTHY: Fergie Botches National Anthem at NBA All-Star Game, Twitter Laughs Out Loud.

UP THE ACADEMY: 100 Chicago Professors “Propose To Exclude Viewpoints They Find Objectionable.”

THE 21ST CENTURY IS NOT TURNING OUT AS I HAD HOPED: Report proposes fentanyl test strips to prevent overdoses.

WELL-OILED CONFIRMATION MACHINE: While you were focused on … Republicans kept moving judicial nominees through pipeline.

POPULAR MECHANICS: There’s No Evidence Video Game Violence Causes Mass Shootings.

“COMPROMISE” NEVER WORKS OUT WITH THESE PEOPLE: 6 Reasons Your Right-Wing Friend Isn’t Coming To Your Side On Gun Control.

Also, the whole “If you disagree with me you’re a bloody-handed killer” stance doesn’t go well with “let’s have a national conversation.”

CHRISTIAN TOTO: Four ’80s Reunions We Want Next (After ‘Karate Kid’).

YES, HEADS SHOULD ROLL FOR FAILURE: John Fund: End the 9/11 Syndrome at the FBI: Terrible Things Happen, and There’s Little Accountability.

In the wake of the Florida school shooting, can we now have a real conversation about what is wrong with the FBI?

Howard Finkelstein, the Broward County public defender whose office is representing Nikolas Cruz, the suspect in the mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., puts it bluntly:

This kid exhibited every single known red flag, from killing animals to having a cache of weapons to disruptive behavior to saying he wanted to be a school shooter. If this isn’t a person who should have gotten someone’s attention, I don’t know who is. This was a multi-system failure.

Specifically, the FBI admits that it received two separate tips about Cruz. Last fall, a frequent YouTube vlogger noticed an alarming comment left on one of his videos. “I’m going to be a professional school shooter,” said a user named Nikolas Cruz. The vlogger alerted the FBI and was interviewed. But the agency subsequently claimed its investigators couldn’t locate Cruz, despite the highly unusual spelling of his first name.

Then, just six weeks ago, a person close to Cruz warned a call taker on the FBI’s tip line that the expelled student had a desire to kill and might attack a school. The bureau said that the information was not passed to agents in the Miami office. Florida governor Rick Scott has called for FBI director Christopher Wray to be fired. So has NRO’s Kevin Williamson in a powerful piece: “Fire the FBI Chief.” Other officials are calling for FBI heads to roll, but at a level below Wray’s. Florida attorney general Pam Bondi told Fox News, “The people who had that information and did not do anything with it, they are the ones that need to go.” . . .

Nor is the Parkland shooting the first time the FBI has fallen down on its most basic job: assessing threats and acting on them. Look at what has happened just in Florida in the last two years. FBI agents investigated as a suspect the man who gunned down 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in 2016, but concluded the agency couldn’t act against him. The FBI also had an unexpected visit from the mentally ill man charged with killing five people at Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport last year. He had walked into an FBI field office and made bizarre, though not threatening, statements.

Of course there should be a housecleaning at the FBI. But there is a larger issue. I call it America’s 9/11 Syndrome. I was across the street from the World Trade Center the day the terrorists flew two planes into it. I will never forget what I saw that day, including people holding hands jumping from the burning towers before they collapsed and killed 2,606 people.

I retain a mixture of feelings about that day, ranging from deep sadness to pride that my fellow New Yorkers played against stereotypes and helped each other so much that day and afterwards. But what also sticks in my mind is a simple fact: Not one person in the federal government was fired on account of 9/11.

When there’s this sort of major failure, the firings should begin at the top, but reach all the way down the chain. And not just at the FBI.

NIKKI HALEY: The U.N.’s Uncomfortable Truths About Iran.

Last week, the United Nations published a report with news a lot of people don’t want to hear. A panel of experts found that Iran is violating a United Nations weapons embargo — specifically, that missiles fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels into Saudi Arabia last year were made in Iran.

The mullahs in Iran don’t want to hear this news, because it proves Iran is violating its international agreement. Die-hard defenders of the Iran nuclear deal don’t want to hear it because it proves, once again, that the Iranian regime can’t be trusted. And some members of the United Nations don’t want to hear it because it is further proof that Iran is defying Security Council resolutions, and the pressure will be on the U.N. to do something about it.

Yemen is the scene of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis today. After three years of brutal civil war, 75 percent of the population is in need of humanitarian assistance. The government has virtually ceased to exist. Terrorist groups like the Islamic State and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula are exploiting that lawlessness to pursue their barbaric agendas.

The U.N. report reveals much more than just the Iranian sanctions violation. It charges the anti-government Houthi rebels with not only launching ballistic missiles into Saudi Arabia but also using the people of Yemen as human shields and kidnapping Yemeni children to fight in the war.

Read the whole thing.

POLITICO’S BLAKE HOUNSHELL: Confessions of a Russiagate Skeptic.

NARRATIVE-BUSTING NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF SCIENCE: The More Gender Equality, the Fewer Women in STEM. “It’s not that gender equality discourages girls from pursuing science. It’s that it allows them not to if they’re not interested.”

NO. NEXT QUESTION? Would you surrender your assault rifles for free martial arts training?

BAD NEWS FOR COMEY, MCCABE, STRZOK, ET. AL.: Attorney General Jeff Sessions told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo that the Department of Justice is investigating the FBI’s failure to notify the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court that its warrant application to surveil Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page was based on material paid for by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. As of noon Monday, this fact appears not to have been reported by either the New York Times or the Washington Post.

IN THE MAIL: Mediterranean Diet for Beginners: The Complete Guide – 40 Delicious Recipes, 7-Day Diet Meal Plan, and 10 Tips for Success.

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GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Olympic Viewership Headed for Lowest Numbers Ever.

TAX REFORM AND IRS RESISTANCE.

It’s a little-known fact that for 35 years the Internal Revenue Service has exempted itself from the most basic regulatory oversight. When the Labor Department or the Small Business Administration create “major” or “significant” rules or guidance, they are required to submit them for centralized review. That ensures regulations are consistent with the law and with White House priorities and that they’ve been analyzed for costs, benefits and flexibility.

But in 1983, the Treasury Department signed a memorandum with the Office of Management and Budget that largely exempted the IRS from submitting its rules to White House review via OIRA, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. The memo still stands today. In the face of congressional attempts at oversight, the IRS issued a 1996 opinion claiming that tax statutes are in and of themselves responsible for any costs or inflexibility—that the IRS’s rules are, by definition, pure distillation of law. …

[T]he IRS is already playing games with the GOP tax reform.

Just a week after passage, the IRS rushed out guidance declaring that most taxpayers couldn’t deduct prepaid 2018 property taxes on their 2017 returns to claim that benefit before the new law kicks in. The IRS decided this with no input from the White House or other agencies. IRS bureaucrats—many of them implacably opposed to his White House and bitter over recent congressional oversight—will have plenty of opportunity to cause trouble with its interpretations of a complicated tax reform. …

The swamp is rarely drained, for the simple reason that it takes rare and extraordinary governance. It requires leaders who are willing to offend institutions and top advisers, expose internal abuse, and willingly surrender unjustifiable powers. Today’s Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation are examples of what happens when those leaders follow the far more common route of succumbing to the natives.

Mr. Mnuchin’s Treasury can make the successful rollout and implementation of the Trump tax reform a priority, or it can roll to an IRS bureaucracy. That ought to be an easy call.

In the short term, people need to be fired. Longer term we need serious civil service reform.

CHANGE: Older Men Living Longer.

Of course, as the New York Times has helpfully explained, this is bad news for women and minorities.

FASTER, PLEASE: Falcon Heavy May Have Drastically Increased the Number of Asteroids We Can Mine.

NOT THE FINEST EXAMPLES OF FREE SPEECH, BUT EVERYONE GOT TO EXPRESS THEIR OPINION AND NOBODY WAS HURT: Enraged protesters scream at cops, fascists. And that’s how it should be, with everyone getting to speak and nobody getting hurt. I think KPD and the University did a good job with this.

LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: Florida Shooting Update, RUSSIAN Troll Farm Busted and Much, Much More. “Shortly after telling public that it had ignored a very specific tip about a maniac who would go on to shoot up his Florida school and murder 17 children and teachers, the DOJ decided to release a report on RUSSIA collusion so as to divert attention from its epic incompetence.”

Ouch.

BYRON YORK: A Non-Alarmist Reading Of The Mueller Russian Indictments. “The Russian operation, while warranting serious U.S. punishment, emerges as a small, poorly funded operation with a level of effectiveness that is impossible to measure but could be near zero.”

SOUTH AMERICA: Guyana keeps eyes on possible Venezuela’s options.

Stratfor, a United States-based geopolitical intelligence platform, earlier this month reasoned that there could be a two-pronged benefit for the President Nicolas Maduro-led administration if it invades Guyana.

“There are a number of political considerations that may motivate Caracas to make a move. In the short term, the incursion could help Caracas in its ongoing dialogue with the Trump administration over the terms of President Nicolas Maduro and his party’s departure from power. The Venezuelan president won’t leave power — or even loosen his party’s grip over the opposition — unless he has assurances from Washington that he and his acolytes will receive some form of amnesty. And seizing and holding Guyanese territory might offer Caracas a bargaining chip, allowing it to wrangle a better amnesty deal in exchange for a troop withdrawal.

In the long run, holding Guyanese territory could offer Venezuela a way to delay the International Court of Justice’s ruling about the border dispute. After all, the court may hold off on a ruling if Venezuelan troops are present in Guyanese territory. Moreover, the Maduro government may be counting on the incursion to pump up nationalism among Venezuelans. By directing attention outside its borders, the government could be able to buy time before organized domestic unrest gain critical mass, or even forestall any possible military coup attempt by moving units far from the capital,” Stratfor said in its publication, World View.

Things may get a whole lot worse before suddenly falling apart.

PARTY OF YOUTH: Biden telling policy aides 2020 run a real possibility.

Biden met with several aides at his office near Capitol Hill to plan for his new diplomacy center. During the meeting, he reportedly told those in attendance — including his former chief of staff, his former national security adviser and a former State Department official — that he had not decided about 2020.

He indicated to his longtime aides that he’d be interested in them joining his campaign if he decides to make a run for the White House, The Associated Press reported.

A spokesperson for Biden declined to comment to the AP.

Biden, 75, is considered a strong Democratic presidential nominee if he runs. He has repeatedly indicated in public he is considering a campaign, but has not made a final decision.

If Biden were to run and win, he would be slightly older entering the Oval Office than Ronald Reagan was leaving it.

OVER AT AMERICAN GREATNESS, an excerpt from my The Judiciary’s Class War. Buy a copy today!

YES. NEXT QUESTION? Has Turkey Gone Rogue?

Erdogan’s slow motion strangulation of democracy, however, will not top Tillerson’s contentious agenda with his Turkish counterpart. A pronounced eastern tilt in Ankara’s strategic orientation has seen this erstwhile NATO ally agree to purchase an advanced Russian air defense system, and attend Moscow-sponsored talks on the future of Syria that excluded the United States. A recent trial of a Turkish-Iranian gold trader in New York revealed that top ministers in Erdogan’s government were involved in a lucrative scheme to help Iran circumvent sanctions over its suspected nuclear weapons program to the tune of an estimated $100 billion.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s campaign of intimidation against critics at home and abroad has included the arrest of U.S. consulate workers and two U.S. citizens in Turkey; the issuance of arrest warrants targeting U.S. critics at think tanks and universities in this country; and death threats by social media trolls close to the Ankara government. Last year Erdogan’s body guards viciously attacked peaceful demonstrators in Washington, prompting the D.C. police to issue arrest warrants for a dozen members of Erdogan’s security detail.

“Much like Iran, Turkey is increasingly becoming a ‘klepto-theocracy’ where government leaders and family members profit handsomely from their positions, and both governments are united by an Islamist worldview that stands in opposition to the West,” said Aykan Erdemir, a former Turkish parliamentarian and senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies in Washington, D.C.

Islamism… Socialism… Communism… Fascism… it seems the only “ism” that doesn’t result in robbing a country blind is Capitalism.

THIS IS WHAT, THE FOURTH MAJOR SHOOTING WHERE THE AUTHORITIES WERE WARNED IN ADVANCE? Kevin Williamson: Fire The FBI Chief. “The FBI has a budget of $3.5 billion, almost all of which goes to salaries, benefits, and other personnel costs. Do you know how many employees the FBI field office in South Florida has? It has more than 1,000. Do you know how many employees the FBI has in total? It has 35,158 employees. It has 13,084 agents and 3,100 intelligence analysts. And not one of them could pick up the phone to forward vital intelligence gathered by the grueling investigative work of picking up the phone and taking a tip from a tipster. . . . For now, the FBI is in the stocks. Governor Rick Scott wants FBI director Chris Wray to resign. A self-respecting society would have him whipped.”

FLASHBACK: People don’t stop killers. People with guns do.

OH: Minnesota Terrorist Let Go After Telling FBI She Wanted To Join Al Qaeda And Wear Suicide Belt.

After Tnuza Jamal Hassan was stopped from flying to Afghanistan last September, she allegedly told FBI agents that she wanted to join al-Qaida and marry a fighter, and that she might even wear a suicide belt.

She also said she was angry at U.S. military actions overseas and admitted that she tried to encourage others to “join the jihad in fighting,” but she said she had no intention of carrying out an attack on U.S. soil, according to prosecutors. Despite her alleged admissions, she was allowed to go free.

Four months later, the 19-year-old was arrested for allegedly setting small fires on her former college campus in St. Paul in what prosecutors say was a self-proclaimed act of jihad. No one was hurt by the Jan. 17 fires at St. Catherine University, but her case raises questions about why she wasn’t arrested after speaking to the agents months earlier and shows the difficulty the authorities face in identifying real threats.

The FBI can’t seem to recognize a threat even when they self-identify.

WEIRD, I THOUGHT THAT PEOPLE EXPECTED THAT REPORT TO BE BAD FOR REPUBLICANS: Dem senator warns Mueller against issuing Russia report near 2018 election. But as I understand it, Mueller can only report confidentially to DOJ. If the report is made public, it will be up to the AG.

RACHEL BOVARD: Congress Loses Focus on Illegal Immigration.

DOUGLAS SCHOEN AND ANDREW STEIN: Democrats will lose this fall by fighting over immigration now.

By focusing exclusively on the Dreamers and offering no practical limits on immigration, much less any border security, the Democrats are in the process of writing their own political obituary for November and beyond. But a deal with President Trump can turn this perennially difficult issue into an electoral benefit. Here’s how.

President Trump has proposed a compromise by offering a path to citizenship for 1.8 million Dreamers, building a wall on the southern border, ending the visa lottery program, and ending what he calls “chain migration” and what the Democrats call “family unification.”

In fact, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has proposed a bill in Congress based on these four planks. The Democrats have previously said this proposal is dead-on-arrival, which is a clear mistake and there are some small bits of evidence now that the party is waking up to the fact that the Schumer-Pelosi approach was just plain wrong.

My hunch is that Schumer and Pelosi are willing to take the risk because they don’t believe that 1.8 million legalized Dreamers are enough to ensure that elusive Permanent Democratic Majority.

On the other hand, as I’ve written here previously, for Democrats a “bad” deal might be better than no deal at all — if if looks like Mitch McConnell might be able to cobble together enough votes between Republicans and vulnerable Red State Dems for an even “worse” deal.

WAIT, WHAT? Shocker! WaPo Fact Check Agrees With Rubio’s Statement On New Gun Laws.

A funny thing happened during the current national scream that Congress must do something about gun violence. A Republican lawmaker made a common-sense statement about the limits of government and the left went nuts. Then, wonder of wonders, a Washington Post fact-checker agreed with him.

While Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) preens before television cameras and proclaims his own love of hunting and guns, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is held responsible for the horrific school shooting on Valentines Day in Parkland, Florida. Rubio accepts campaign donations from the National Rifle Association (NRA) so he must be vilified. The willing cohorts of the left, the media, are only too happy to advance the notion that the NRA is evil and must be relieved of its First Amendment rights.

So, when Rubio was asked about pursuing legislation – gun control measures – he answered with a question of his own: wouldn’t it be best to wait until all the facts are in before everyone starts demanding that something is done by the government? He dared to say that new legislation may not have stopped this latest tragedy. . . .

The Washington Post went back to the Newtown shooting in 2012 and chose 12 mass shootings to analyze. Fact-checkers concluded that none of the shootings would have been avoided by passing new laws currently under discussion. What a disappointment that must have been to the newspaper.

Remember, this isn’t about saving lives or protecting children. It’s about asserting cultural superiority and showing those flyover rubes who’s boss.

And while the Democrats accuse the NRA of having blood on its hands — for, you know, daring to disagree with them on policy — look who Democrats are hanging out with.

YOU DON’T SAY: Taliban Still Intent on Ruling Afghanistan After ‘Peaceful’ Message to U.S. “Press accounts of the letter reported it as a Taliban extension for peace. But the reality is there is nothing new in this letter. The Taliban has consistently stated over the past decade that it does not seek to share power with the Afghan government, and the only peace possible begins with the U.S. abandoning the country.”

Well, the press gets a lot of stuff wrong.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Admissions Officers Personally Deliver Acceptances To Applicants (Sometimes With A Dog).

JULIE KELLY: The Media’s Walk-of-Shame Won’t End.

APPLE, TREE: Alexander Soros Donates $650K to Democratic Committees and Campaigns.

EMOLUMENTS: Seth Barrett Tillman: How My Next Academic Article Begins.

February 18, 2018

ANN ALTHOUSE: Trump’s Tweet This Morning Is Reading My Mind. “Yes, yes, yes, exactly. Aptest Trump tweet ever.”

STILL AT #1 ON AMAZON, Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.

ANDREW KLAVAN SKIPS BLACK PANTHER, SEES THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI INSTEAD, dubs it “A Surprising Meditation on God’s Grace:”

Apparently, there’s been some controversy about the film after leftists realized that what seemed like a feminist screed was, in fact, something else entirely. Well, good. Feminists have lost their way. Let them go and watch another showing of Wonder Woman and assuage their endless anger with dreams of a world that never was. Three Billboards is about this world, and the God who loves it in all its terrible beauty.

Read the whole thing.

OPEN THREAD! ‘Nuff said.

HMM: Alzheimer’s pervasive plaque contained when key enzyme is removed in mice, study finds. But is plaque the important thing?

CHANGE: The Ford Focus RS Will End Production In April.

AT AMAZON, save in Arts Crafts and Sewing.

Plus, deals in Grocery and Gourmet Food.

NBC’S CHUCK TODD PROMOTES ABOLISHING THE SECOND AMENDMENT. “The left often claims their calls for gun control don’t include taking everyone’s guns and it was just extremist right-wing fantasy, but Todd made it clear that no Second Amendment was their ultimate end goal.”

As Charles Cooke wrote in 2015, “That being so, here’s the million-dollar question: What the hell are they waiting for? Go on, chaps. Bloody well do it. Seriously, try it. Start the process.”

THE ABOLITION OF BRITAIN, PART 1,237,323: Church of England vicar is caught on video ‘inhaling from a crack pipe and discussing prostitutes as he says ‘I’m a very happy man.”

To be fair, I’m told by reliable sources that cocaine is a helluva drug.

(Classical reference in headline.)

KOSHER SALT: How Jewish humor became the standard.

Interviewed once on German television, the late Robin Williams was asked, “Why do you think there’s not so much comedy in Germany?”

“Did you ever think,” Williams snapped, “you killed off all the funny people?”

Leave it to a Gentile to summarize the Jewish experience in seven words.

Read the whole thing.

JEFF GREENFIELD: Why Democrats Shouldn’t Get Too Confident About November.

To be fair, neither should Republicans. But if the Democrats really do wind up running on gun control, open immigration, and Russia hysteria this fall, well . . .

FALSELY ACCUSED: #MenToo and the Zuleikha project.

BEHIND THE SANCTIMONIOUS TWEETS, JAMES COMEY HAS A VERY SERIOUS BOOK PROBLEM: “Oh sure, Comey has his defenders. However, there’s a battalion of people inside the DOJ and FBI who would love nothing more than a few moments of uninterrupted interrogation time with the lying liar who lies. How’s the need to ignore the 800lb gorilla going to work with a simultaneous book tour?”