December 10, 2019

IN THE MAIL: The Dad Book: Truths, Hacks, and Dad-isms.

Plus, browse today’s Gold Box and Lightning Deals.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Cut out Washington noise: Let’s pay respect to the men who died last week serving the U.S.. “My fellow Knoxvillian Alex Haley used to say, ‘Find the good and praise it.’ And rather than write about the impeachment clown show or other aspects of Washington dysfunction, I’m going to follow his advice.”

HE ISN’T WRONG: Trump on IG Report: ‘This Was an Attempted Overthrow… We Caught ‘em Red-Handed.’ “And a lot of people were in on it and they got caught. They got caught red-handed. And I look forward to the Durham report, which is coming out in the not-too-distant future. He’s got his own information, which is this information plus, plus, plus. It’s an incredible thing that happened and we’re lucky we caught them.”

Also: AG Bill Barr Just Issued a Translation of the DOJ IG Report & It’s a Red-Hot Rebuke of ‘Intrusive’ Spying on Trump.

And this from Michael Goodwin: IG report proves whole investigation was as corrupt as Comey. “Taken together, the findings and statements from the Justice Department are potentially more important even than when Mueller reported he found no evidence Trump colluded with Russia. In effect, we now can say for certain that the search for collusion itself was corrupted from the start and that the numerous examples of misconduct were not honest mistakes.”

Read the whole thing(s).

MODERATE HOUSE DEM: I’m Struggling To See How The Evidence Here Justifies Impeachment.

LEFTIST PRIVILEGE: Students and alumni get slap on the wrist for shutting down Harvard-Yale football game.

STEAK IS SO AMAZING, IT CAN EVEN FIX WHAT’S WRONG WITH A VEGAN: Vegan influencer eats meat for 30 days, shocks fans by saying she’s healthier than she’s ‘felt in years.’

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A SMALL MEASURE OF ACCOUNTABILITY: Northwestern announces action against Jeff Sessions speech disruptors.

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: Nonbinary Gender Articles of Impeachment Day or Something. “The utter pointlessness of the impeachment charade is what is so frustrating. The Democrats are still upset that their long game with the Mueller report laid an egg and left them with nothing. This pathetic Ukrainian do-over of theirs won’t be given the kindest treatment by history, no matter how infused with righteousness their indignation may seem to them at the moment.”

AND THE PRESS IS BUSY COVERING THAT UP AND DEFENDING IT: Liz Harrington: FISA abuse — Obama’s FBI turned into arm of Hillary Clinton campaign.

NOW OUT FROM MY FRIEND NIKKI GOESER: Stalked And Defenseless: How Gun Control Helped My Stalker Murder My Husband in Front of Me. You’ll see her on some Fox shows talking about it this week.

LIKE JEFFREY EPSTEIN, ART DOESN’T HANG ITSELF: Banana wall vandalized with lipstick at Art Basel. The message was about Jeffrey Epstein.

CHANGE: Firms Withdraw From China On Worsening Business Conditions. “A growing number of companies from Korea and other countries are pulling their production out of China due to worsening business conditions sparked by the prolonged tension between the United States and China coupled with rising operating costs there. They are moving to the ASEAN market as the 10-nation economic bloc with its young population and cheap labor costs has been emerging as the world’s new manufacturing hub replacing the Chinese market.”

WELL, IN THE SENSE THAT BEING AN OUT YUPPIE GAY IS WHITE PRIVILEGE, MAYBE: Pete Buttigieg’s real ‘black problem’: He has been convicted of white privilege.

I THINK HIS ISSUES WERE BIGGER THAN JUST THIS: Pensacola Naval shooter was ‘infuriated’ after instructor nicknamed him ‘Porn Stash.’

FLASHBACK: An Open Letter from a Military Wife to Obama About Military Property Security. The whole “gun free” bases idea is crazy and needs to be ended.

THE FBI WILL TAKE DECADES TO RECOVER: IG Report: Here Are The 17 Specific ‘Inaccuracies And Omissions’ In The FBI’s FISA Warrants Against Carter Page. And its reputation has been damaged the most among those who were previously its supporters.

WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL: A Trail Of FBI Abuse: The Horowitz report confirms that the bureau deceived FISA judges with the Steele dossier.

The press corps is portraying Monday’s report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz as absolution for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but don’t believe it. The report relates a trail of terrible judgment and violations of process that should shock Americans who thought better of their premier law-enforcement agency.

Readers can look at the detailed executive summary and decide for themselves. But our own initial reading confirms the worst of what we feared about the bureau when it was run by James Comey. The FBI corrupted the secret court process for obtaining warrants to spy on former Trump aide Carter Page. And it did so by supplying the court with false information produced by Christopher Steele, an agent of the Hillary Clinton campaign.
***

How can anyone, most of all civil libertarians, pass this off as no big deal? The absolution is supposedly that Mr. Horowitz concludes that the FBI decision to open a counter-intelligence probe against the Trump campaign in July 2016 “was sufficient to predicate the investigation” under current FBI rules.

Yet Mr. Horowitz also notes that these rules amount to a “low threshold for predication.” John Durham, the U.S. Attorney investigating these matters for Attorney General William Barr, said Monday he disagrees with Mr. Horowitz’s conclusions on predication, albeit without elaboration for now.

Mr. Horowitz confirms what the FBI had already leaked to friendly reporters, which is that the bureau’s alarm in July 2016 was triggered by a conversation that former Trump aide George Papadopoulos had with Australian Alexander Downer. But we learn for the first time that the FBI immediately ramped up its counter-intelligence probe to include four Trump campaign officials: Messrs. Page and Papadopoulos, then campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn.

The bureau quickly moved to a full-scale investigation it called Crossfire Hurricane. The FBI’s justification, as related to Mr. Horowitz, is that the risk of Russian disruption of the 2016 election was too great to ignore.

Yet the bureau never told anyone in the Trump campaign, or even Donald Trump, whom or what it was investigating so he could reduce the danger or distance himself from those advisers. The FBI was investigating the campaign but wouldn’t tell the candidate who would soon be elected.

The FBI abuses escalated when it was presented with the now infamous Steele dossier. Mr. Steele was hired by Glenn Simpson and Fusion GPS, the oppo-research outfit hired by a law firm for the Clinton campaign. Mr. Horowitz confirms that the FBI then used the Steele dossier to trigger its application to the FISA court to spy on Mr. Page.

It was a put-up job from the beginning. It’s also interesting to watch the CIA hanging the FBI out to dry.

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BECAUSE THE PRESS AND THE FBI ARE ON THE SAME TEAM, AND IT’S NOT AMERICA’S. The IG Report Is a Huge Blow to the FBI’s Credibility. Why Is It Being Treated Like Vindication? “The IG report is a chronicle of massive government wrongdoing.”

Related: Horowitz report is damning for the FBI and unsettling for the rest of us.

UPDATE:

NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY LAW PROFESSOR STEPHEN PRESSER: Why Trump’s Impeachment Is Unconstitutional.

IN THIS PIECE ABOUT THE “CRUELTY” of setting up a fake university to nab visa fraudsters, one word is never mentioned: Obama, under whose presidency this was set up.

UH-HUH: China claims everyone in Xinjiang camps has ‘graduated.’

But Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities from the region say their family members continue to be arbitrarily detained in camps and prisons.

Shohrat Zakir, Xinjiang’s Uighur governor, made the remarks during a press briefing as part of a strident propaganda campaign launched following U.S. Congress’ approval last week of the Uighur Human Rights Policy Act.

“When the lives of people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang were seriously threatened by terrorism, the U.S. turned a deaf ear,” Zakir said at a press briefing. “On the contrary, now that Xinjiang society is steadily developing and people of all ethnicities are living and working in peace, the U.S. feels uneasy, and attacks and smears Xinjiang.”

The U.S. legislation condemns the mass detentions of an estimated more than 1 million Uighurs, Kazakhs and others.

It isn’t that Communists lie, which is a given. It’s that they lie so obviously and badly.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, DIVERSITY-AND-INCLUSION EDITION: Yale Prof Estimates Faculty Political Diversity at ‘0%’; Pressure to join the “herd groupthink” in New Haven.

According to computer science professor David Gelernter ‘76, faculty political diversity at Yale is low: “0%,” he wrote in an email. He added that while there are a “few conservatives, including prominent ones,” their numbers are not high enough to have a significant impact on campus culture.

Readers might assume that Mr. Gelernter, an occasional contributor to the Journal, is poking fun at the school’s overwhelming leftism rather than expressing mathematical precision. But via email, another Yale faculty member who chooses to remain anonymous tells this column, “I agree with the calculation.”

A third Yale faculty member, a self-described liberal, says the faculty is “moving further to the left” and has become increasingly intolerant of conservative viewpoints. This faculty member, who also requests anonymity, says that some faculty bias is subconscious: “They think people who agree with them are smarter than people who disagree with them.” This professor adds: “Universities are moving away from the search for truth” in favor of a search for “social justice.”

This is similar to the critique offered by former Yale Law School dean Anthony Kronman, another liberal who’s been mugged by “progressive” reality. In July this column noted his analysis of how ideology is “killing” important conversations on campus.

Yale today is a disgrace, and Peter Salovey — probably Yale’s worst president ever — has played a major role in allowing and encouraging it to reach such a state.

REALCLEARINVESTIGATIONS: Watchdog: FBI Knew ‘Pee Tape’ Highly Dubious, Didn’t Tell Trump.

AH, LET ME COUNT THE WAYS THE SENATE TRIAL WILL BE DIFFERENT: Trump may be impeached within a week or so, but whenever it happens, everything changes when the scene shifts to the Senate.

December 9, 2019

EYES WIDE SHUT: Epstein posed with Weinstein and dressed as Navy SEAL for Prince Andrew’s daughter’s birthday bash. “Epstein, who was found dead in his prison cell this year while awaiting sex trafficking charges, was reportedly close friends with Weinstein, who has been accused by multiple women of sexual abuse and is slated to go on trial in January. Epstein’s then-girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, was also part of the grinning trio and can be seen wearing a gold masquerade mask in the photo released by the Sun.”

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A CORNERED RAT RESPONDS:

Last week, the airwaves were full of media praise for Nancy Pelosi to cover for a meltdown seemly aimed at reporter James Rosen but I feel was much more a vent toward a plan going very badly. The media certainly came with both barrels. Chris Mathews and selected Hardball panelists agreed that it may well have been her “finest hour.” That tower of truth Lawrence O’Donnell celebrated her “crushing” of Rosen. Andrea Mitchell attested to Pelosi’s “deep faith” and her sincerity in citing her status as a properly raised Catholic. And the ever-so conservative of convenience David Brooks, no doubt more impressed by the crisp crease of her pantsuit than her substance, called it a “beautiful moment.”

When I bothered to watch the clip of the press conference (actually just a tight, measured statement to the reporters) and her turning on Rosen as she was leaving, my first impression was of a cornered rat striking out and releasing the frustration with its predicament. It might have been quite a bit of her own doing, but Pelosi has been cornered into calling for the bills of impeachment after losing all of the battles needed to make the measure favor her party and her ends.

A person who knows they have control of the situation does not meltdown like that. In her case, I believe she was on-board for an impeachment from the beginning but intended to play it for the full political benefit. And certainly, the present timing would be great for influencing the upcoming elections (seems to be a theme the Dems can’t escape from) if events were in their favor.

The heavy-handed committee meetings with such apparent lack of fairness (not mention evidence of any real kind) have been an across-the-board bust. The more they do, the easier it is to see they have no real case except a distaste for the president and anyone who voted for him. The parade of “witnesses” has been little more than a collection of career swamp dwellers unhappy with the rejection of their great policy insight who had no first-hand knowledge of anything and a selected set of snarky left-wing academics – all of whom appeared to talk down to everyone else without a D in front of their name or not holding a media card. One of the self-important, bow-tied professors even began by instructing us on his “conclusions” before even addressing any points of law and constitutionality.

The bottom line is that the more that the media and House Democrats have thrown out, the more support for Trump has grown. The more the whole thing is too easily seen through, regardless of one’s personal opinion of the president. It is a dishonest sham that can only damage our system of laws.

I am sure that the internal poling that all politicos do is even more telling than what reaches the public. And that it looks bad enough for Speaker Pelosi.

Yeah, nobody in that crowd is acting like a winner.

THEY’RE NOT WRONG: ‘Mass Immigration Turned Virginia Blue’ Banner Hung Over Bridge in Arlington.

GUN RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS: Armed “Don’t Comply” activists give food, clothes to homeless in Dallas.

R.I.P. Major Glenn Miller, US Army Air Forces.

BECAUSE THE PRESS AND THE FBI ARE ON THE SAME TEAM, AND IT’S NOT AMERICA’S. The IG Report Is a Huge Blow to the FBI’s Credibility. Why Is It Being Treated Like Vindication? “The IG report is a chronicle of massive government wrongdoing.”

Related: Horowitz report is damning for the FBI and unsettling for the rest of us.

MORE: What did the President know and when did he know it? IG Report Reveals Comey Did Brief Obama on Trump Campaign Investigation.

STILL MORE: Honestly, The Onion kind of nailed it: Comey: ‘What Can I Say, I’m Just A Catty Bitch From New Jersey And I Live For Drama.’ (Bumped).

HELTER-SKELTER:

Not surprisingly, it was quickly deleted, but not before questions were asked:

Williamson then in turn deleted her “apology” tweet. Williamson’s tweet on Trump and Manson was apparently inspired by an impeccable news source last month called…The Moron Majority:

Though Williamson’s tweet does unfortunately invalidate a headline published by an infinitely better satiric Website, the Babylon Bee, this past July: Marianne Williamson Not Sure What She’s Doing Up Here With All These Crazy People.

Speaking of which, here’s this post’s exit quote:

(Bumped.)

 

THE NEW YORK SUN ON PAUL VOLCKER:

The most surprising encounters we had with Volcker were at dinner. One was at the apartment Volcker shared with his second wife, Anke Dening, in Manhattan. Near the door was a display of gear for Volcker’s beloved sport of fly fishing. Inside, the towering central banker (he was 6’, 7”) was dressed in a Japanese kimono, right down to the white socks and sandals.

Another was at our own home, where a table of a dozen guests were arranged around him. The dinner was clocking along amicably enough, when, suddenly, a spat erupted between Volcker and the person seated next to him, our older daughter, aged 15. It flared so fiercely — the topic was baseball — that the rest of us sat and gawked. Then it blew over.

After dinner, we helped our eminent guest on with his coat and gave him a copy of a book of the Sun’s editorials on the gold standard. He put his hand on our shoulder as we walked him to the door. “Just remember,” he said, “you can’t go back.” It was the closest we ever got to a policy prescription from the great man.

In the morning, our 15-year-old descended for breakfast. “Do you know who Paul Volcker is?” she demanded. Yes, we exclaimed, he’s one of the great central bankers of all time. “No, no,” she said, “that’s not who Volcker is.” So we asked who he was. “He was on the baseball blue ribbon commission!” she exclaimed — nailing the fact that one of the reasons Volcker will be so widely missed is that was a man of many parts.

Read the whole thing.

OPEN THREAD: Give voice to your thoughts.

WALL STREET JOURNAL: Schiff Threatens Press Freedom: When the surveillance state exposes a journalist and his sources, there’s an instant chilling effect.

If Trump had done this to a journalist, we’d be hearing about a “constitutional crisis.” Since it was a Democrat who did it to a journalist, it’s crickets for the most part. But when Trump does do this to a journalist, I’m going to find it difficult to muster the requisite outrage, knowing how the profession as a whole stayed silent, or applauded, what Schiff did.

HERE’S WHY MATT WALSH IS DEAD WRONG ON BANNING PORN:

When conservatives say they want a less intrusive government, they mean it. Until they don’t. Conservative podcaster and commentator Matt Walsh published a piece for The Daily Wire arguing for more restrictions on, and even the banning of pornography.

In the article, Walsh discusses a letter that a group of Republican lawmakers sent to Attorney General William Barr urging him to enforce obscenity laws to combat hardcore pornography. Not only does Walsh support them, he also states that the government should go so far as to outlaw pornography altogether.

He’s wrong. I’ll show you why.

The Babylon Bee, America’s Paper of Record, may have stumbled into the scariest solution of all to the issue: Porn Addiction Ended By New Law That Requires Matt Walsh’s Disapproving Face To Appear On All Adult Sites.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): Meh. I addressed this over 15 years ago: Porn And Violence: Good For America’s Children?

Last week, I responded to James Glassman’s observation that American teenagers are doing better than they’ve done in decades by trying to figure out why that might be. Teen pregnancy is down, along with teen crime, drug use, and many other social ills. There’s also evidence that teenagers are more serious about life in general, and are more determined to make something worthwhile of their lives. Where just a few years ago the “teenager problem” looked insoluble, it seems well on the road to solving itself. But why?

After that column came out, it occurred to me that I had the answer: Porn and videogames. That’s what’s making American teens healthier.

It should have been obvious.

The evidence is incontrovertible.

IT’S IMPORTANT FOR CHILDREN TO LEARN SELF-RELIANCE: 4-year-old twins free selves, climb to safety after crash.

GREAT MOMENTS IN SELF-AWARENESS: Biden barks at NPR reporter, “Don’t compare me to Donald Trump. What Donald Trump says, he makes fun of people. He belittles people. He lies. I don’t do any of those things. Period,” Biden said.

Period:

ROGER SIMON: Durham Throws a Monkey Wrench in Horowitz’s Dumb Show.

WITH DNC IN MIND, CITY BANS CARRYING URINE, FECES: ‘OMG!’ Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) shows Dem counsel’s ‘pee tape’ tweet at impeachment hearing and destroys ‘nonpartisan investigator’ spin.

(Classical reference in headline.)

‘BREXIT, ACTUALLY:’ UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson parodied Love Actually as a major election looms.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson parodied the 2003 rom-com “Love Actually” in an ad asking people to vote Conservative in support of Brexit.

In Johnson’s remake of the iconic Christmas carol singers scene, the British prime minister imitates the character Mark (Andrew Lincoln), holding up cards telling a woman in the scene — mimicking the film’s Juliet (Keira Knightly) — that her vote has never been more important.

“The other guy could win…” the card reads. “So you have a choice to make between a working majority or another gridlocked hung parliament arguing about Brexit.”

It’s a remarkable ad (down to the parody of the famous Bob Dylan cue-card tossing gag in 1965’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues”) and Johnson’s completely non-threatening mannerisms. I suspect enterprising American political campaigns on both sides of the aisle will copy aspects of it in future elections:

PORTLAND CONSIDERS “MANDATORY REST SPACES” FOR THE HOMELESS ON PRIVATE PROPERTY.

Socialist Portlandia about to discover Conquest’s First Law of Politics: “Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.”

JOHN HINDERAKER: A Pensacola Postscript. “The first responders were local policemen because the Pensacola Navy base is, like most U.S. military facilities, a gun-free zone. Joshua Watson was a rifle team captain at the Naval Academy. If he had been armed when Alshamrani began his rampage the outcome likely would have been different. Many, many other servicemen and women at Pensacola are perfectly competent to carry arms and do so away from the base. Bizarrely, not even the guards at Pensacola were armed.”

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: NBA Ratings Are Down This Year And The Association Can’t Figure Out Why. Here’s A Theory. “Nowhere in its article does Variety mention another possibility; that people are sick of getting a dose of politics with their sports and may have been turned off this season by the NBA’s kowtowing to China.”

HEH: Joe Biden Will Command Respect from Both Our Enemies and Our Adversaries:

What you’re looking at here is a 77-year-old man who passed up his best shot at winning the presidency because he was afraid of Hillary Clinton. Now he’s desperately struggling to make up for that monumental mistake, while trying to hold onto his rapidly fading mental faculties. Even if you don’t like Donald Trump, you should be rooting for the Dems to nominate this guy. If he’s this hilarious now, how much fun will he be when the pressure really gets cranked up?

I wish I could be a fly on the wall when Barry watches Joe spewing this nonsense. Biden was Obama’s insurance policy for eight years — Who would ever want to assassinate him, if the alternative was this clown? — and now Biden has convinced himself he was the one running the show the whole time. It must be torture to Barry’s ego. Tee-hee!

It’s Jim Treacher, so read the whole thing, which dovetails well with this cringe-worthy moment on the eve of 2008 election, when two veteran television news readers, with access to their respective networks’ newsrooms, along with the wire services and every columnist in America on speed dial, pretend to not know Obama’s worldview, but have no qualms about voting for him:

But then, as Treacher himself wrote:

WELL. US Attorney Durham objects to IG findings on Russia probe origins in stunning statement.

The U.S. attorney who is conducting a wide-ranging investigation of the origins of the Trump-Russia probe released a rare statement Monday saying he disagrees with conclusions of the so-called FISA report — after DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz found in that review that the probe’s launch largely complied with DOJ and FBI policies.

“Based on the evidence collected to date, and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened,” U.S. Attorney John Durham said in a statement. . . .

“I have the utmost respect for the mission of the Office of Inspector General and the comprehensive work that went into the report prepared by Mr. Horowitz and his staff,” Durham said. “However, our investigation is not limited to developing information from within component parts of the Justice Department. Our investigation has included developing information from other persons and entities, both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S.”

As Horowitz has conducted his review of DOJ actions during the Russia probe, Durham, the U.S. attorney for Connecticut, has also been conducting a wider inquiry into alleged misconduct and alleged improper government surveillance on the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election.

Fox News reported in October that Durham’s ongoing probe has transitioned into a full-fledged criminal investigation.

Meanwhile, Attorney General William Barr ripped the FBI’s “intrusive” investigation after the release of Horowitz’s review, saying it was launched based on the “thinnest of suspicions.”

“The Inspector General’s report now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken,” Barr said in a statement.

Barr expressed frustration that the FBI continued investigating the Trump campaign, even as “exculpatory” information came to the light.

The IG report is nice, but Durham is the one who can file criminal charges, so his opinion kinda matters here.

Or you can put it this way: The IG report is the whitewash, and it’s still pretty damning, but the prosecutor with power to bring criminal charges has now said he thinks it’s not damning enough. And the Attorney General seems to agree.

Meanwhile Ann Althouse notes a flipflop in the way the IG report is being spun: “Exonerated? I remember when ‘exonerated’ had a strong meaning — back when the Mueller report was said not to have exonerated Trump because it did not prove Trump’s innocence but only failed to prove guilt. Now, to fail to prove guilt is to exonerate?”

It’s whatever the narrative needs it to be at the moment.

Plus:

And:

And:

Related: Just how bad was the FBI’s Russia FISA? 51 violations and 9 false statements.

UPDATE: “SLIPPERY JIM” COMEY. Fusion Co-Founders Glenn Simpson and Jonathan Winer Refused to Talk to IG; James Comey and Former FBI Attorney James Baker Also Avoided Fully Testifying. “Specifically, Comey and Baker refused to get recertified for a classification clearance, thus blocking the IG’s efforts to ‘refresh their recollection’ with classified documents.” Making it easier to say “I don’t recall” in response to every hard question. “And so Comey — the Straight Arrow Truth Teller — choose to avoid such efforts to get at the truth and keep himself without a security clearance.”

Comey’s not a straight arrow. He’s crooked slime.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Seen on Facebook:

MORE: What did the President know and when did he know it? IG Report Reveals Comey Did Brief Obama on Trump Campaign Investigation.

FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF “IT’S NOT HATE SPEECH WHEN WE DO IT:” Muh Constitution! Actor John Hertzler outraged his wife suspended for calling Candace Owens an idiot and skank.

Hertzler, a Bernie Sanders endorser, played several roles on the Star Trek series Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise. He might want re-familiarize himself with Gene Roddenberry’s “IDIC” concept.

STAR WARS ACTRESS DAISY RIDLEY: “Every Sane Person” Has an Issue With President Donald Trump. “Ridley is not the only Star Wars star to take issue with President Donald Trump. Star Wars icon Mark Hamill is an outspoken critic of the President.”

As I wrote in September, after Hamill dumped on Ivanka Trump “over a photo of her kid dressed as a Stormtrooper,” it’s tough to fault Ivanka for her kid dressing up as a workaday foot soldier for the good guys. But have some sympathy for Hamill, too — between Luke Skywalker and the voice of the Joker, his career is built around portraying mass-murdering terrorists — and in Skywalker’s case (and now Ridley) a communist-inspired slave-owning religious fanatic to boot. Even for an actor, it’s got to get to you after a while.

Related: It Happened To Me: Mark Hamill’s Son Got Me Pregnant, And His Family Tried to Make Me Get an Abortion.

ALL FORMS OF CONFIDENTIALITY ARE UNDER ASSAULT BECAUSE REASONS: Should psychotherapists be required to report patients who look at child porn?

LANDO CALRISSIAN: MORALLY AMBIGUOUS, BUT COMES THROUGH IN THE END. Billy Dee Williams: ‘What the hell is gender fluid?’

I HOPE WE’RE NOT TOO MESSIANIC, OR A TRIFLE TOO SATANIC: Typo from Hell: Paper prints ad for ‘Pictures with Satan’ at Christmas parade.

GOOD: Russia banned from Olympics for four years over doping scandal.

ON THIS DAY IN 1886, CLARENCE BIRDSEYE WAS BORN: He figured out that fast freezing things makes them taste a heck of a lot better than the mushy crap that you get from slowly freezing them. Progress!

NEVER A GOOD LOOK FROM NATIONAL OR INTERNATIONAL SOCIALISTS: Book burning by Chinese county library sparks fury.

(Or socialists teaching at American colleges, for that matter.)

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: More Evidence Emerges That Federal Government Is Funding Worthless College Degrees.

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DISPATCHES FROM THE K-12 IMPLOSION: Activist Handbook Reveals Secretive Transgender Attack on Parental Rights.

STILL BEST TO ESCHEW THE COCKINESS, THOUGH: Breaking: As Impeachment Moves Ahead Trump Surges in Battleground States.

OOPS: Tesla on Autopilot Rear-Ends a Parked Cop Car in Connecticut.

BUREAUCRATS SPY ON PEOPLE BECAUSE IT MAKES THEM FEEL POWERFUL. ANY OTHER BENEFITS (USUALLY MINOR OR NONEXISTENT) ARE SIDE EFFECTS. Schools Spy on Kids to Prevent Shootings, But There’s No Evidence It Works.

The best and safest way to prevent school shootings? Replace schools with something that works. But that threatens too many rice bowls, where as turning schools into Orwellian prisons does not.

SCANDAL FREE, EXCEPT FOR THE TAN SUIT: Obama gave CommonCore contract to publisher, got $65 million book deal in return?

WE’RE PUTTING THE BAND* BACK TOGETHER AGAIN! Joe Biden and John Kerry together in New Hampshire? ‘No good. No good at all.’

* It’s a Benny Goodman-era swing band, alas.

EVERGREEN: Liberal media spews nonsense on business and taxes.

“How FedEx Cut Its Tax Bill to $0.” So blared a November 17 headline in The New York Times. And headlines are what make impressions, especially when the liberal media echo-chamber reverberates the sound bite. The story below that headline wasn’t much better; spinning some facts and ignoring others to fit its anti-business, progressive narrative and slamming the 2017 Republican tax reform bill signed into law by President Trump. This is how the Times typically inflames rather than informs public opinion.

A few days later, Frederick W. Smith, chairman and CEO of FedEx Corp., set the record straight in the opinion pages of The Wall Street Journal. Needless to say, few progressives read those pages and even fewer are able or willing to comprehend their meaning.

Lots of good stuff from Mike Rosen at the link. Read the whole thing.

WELL, SOME OF IT CAN FAIRLY BE CALLED FOOD: School cafeterias waste 530K tons of food per year. If the offerings were more edible, there would probably be less waste.

BREAKING: Read the Horowitz IG Report on Spygate.

(Bumped.)

YOU’RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BLOG: Democratic Presidential Clown Car Update for December 9, 2019. “Bullock and Harris drop Out, Bloomberg rises (though slowly), Booker gets weepy, Tulsi sings, and Democrats have a diversity problem.”

BUT TRUMP SHOULD BE IMPEACHED FOR NOT LISTENING TO THE EXPERTS…: New Pentagon Papers? IG probe conclusions show Afghan war futility — and lies.

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FASTER, PLEASE: Clinical trial to test stem cells against type 1 diabetes.

DISPATCHES FROM LAPUTA: The Insanity of Progressivism Comes Right Out of Gulliver’s Travels. 

(Classical reference in headline.)

NEWS YOU CAN USE: How to Convert a School Bus to an RV.

CAM EDWARDS: The Michael Bloomberg Speech He Doesn’t Want You To Hear. “On February 5th, 2015, in front of less than 400 people, Michael Bloomberg had a speaking gig at the Aspen Institute, a think tank in Colorado that sponsors a variety of speakers to the ski town. Ordinarily the various speeches and events are recorded or streamed live, but either way, the speeches are in the public domain and available for public consumption. Since the Aspen Institute is all about exchanging ideas, that makes sense, but Bloomberg did something unheard of and blocked the release of virtually every second of footage of his talk that had been recorded.”

According to a report at the time, Bloomberg urged that “police should seize guns from male minorities between ages 15 and 25.”

AS THEY SAY AT AT HIS WEBSITE, UNEXPECTEDLY: Bloomberg Fumbles Facts, Laws in Gun-Control Policy Rollout.

SCOTUS: Supreme Court leaves in place Kentucky abortion law mandating ultrasounds. “Doctors must perform ultrasounds and have women listen to fetal heartbeats before performing abortions.”

I SAW A FRIEND TALKING ABOUT THIS GADGET FROM KEURIG, AND I THOUGHT THEY WERE JOKING: Drinkworks Home Bar: Cocktails, Brews, Wines and More.

THIS WHOLE THING HAD TO BE AN ELABORATE HOAX: New York man eats Art Basel banana that sold for $120G.

RIP: PAUL VOLCKER, THE CARTER-REAGAN FED CHAIRMAN WHO BEAT INFLATION, DIES AT AGE 92. Combined with President Reagan’s tax cuts, Volker’s fight against inflation “‘set the table for the long economic expansions of the 1980s and 1990s,’ former St. Louis Fed President William Poole said in a 2005 tribute.”

UPDATE: At Power Line, Steve Hayward quotes from his Age of Reagan series: “Reagan had his first meeting with Volcker over lunch on his third day in the Oval Office. Reagan opened the lunch with a question that must have nearly knocked Volcker out of his chair: Why do we need a Federal Reserve anyway?” Read the whole thing.

 

EXCEPT FOR ALL THE HEAP BIG WAMPUM: Warren Denies Receiving ‘Any Benefit’ as a Result of Her Native-American Lie.

CRACKS IN THE COLOSSUS: China’s Latest Bond Scare Casts Doubt on a $1.3 Trillion Market.

THIS KIND OF TAKE ON DIVERSITY IS ANATHEMA, EXCEPT WHEN IT’S NECESSARY TO ELECT A DEMOCRAT: Democrats’ December debate lineup could be all white, but diversity isn’t only about race.

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