February 23, 2018

PATTERICO: The Story of the Deputy Who Stood Outside the School Shooting Keeps Getting Worse.

It’s fascinating to watch him being defended by the DNC-MSM, despite their being heavily invested in the narrative of error-free big government.

AT AMAZON, bestsellers in Toys & Games.

UNDERSTATEMENT ALERT: Assimilating Grief-Stricken Florida Students Into the Mob Is Harmful.

AUTONOMY: The Cadillac CT6 review: Super Cruise is a game-changer. “Called Super Cruise, Cadillac’s new tech represents the best semi-autonomous system on the market. In fact, Super Cruise is so good, I think General Motors needs to do everything it can to add it to the company’s entire model range, post-haste.” Sounds a bit bossy to me.


Another war between Israel and Hezbollah is almost inevitable. Although neither side wants a conflict now, the shifting balance of power in the Levant and shrinking areas of contestation are indicators of a looming showdown. The real questions are how and where—not if—the impending conflagration will occur.


Since 2006, Israeli officials have repeatedly warned that in future conflicts they will follow the Dahiya Doctrine, named for Hezbollah’s stronghold in the southern Beirut suburbs near Beirut–Rafik Hariri International Airport, which was devastated by Israeli bombing in the last war. According to Gadi Eizenkot, the Israel Defense Forces chief of staff, in the next conflict the IDF will follow these same rules of engagement but across a broader landscape.

It’s on The Brookings Institution’s blog. Good read.

PRIME MINISTER ZOOLANDER TAKES ROAD TRIP: Justin Trudeau’s Laughable, Disastrous Trip to India.

21ST CENTURY PRODUCTS: DJI’s Next Drone Is For Farmers.


THERE’S AN IMMIGRATION POINT HERE: You Can’t Have Denmark Without The Danes. “Danish social cohesion works great for Danes. It’s not so great, though, at doing another thing modern advanced economies need: Absorbing outsiders.”

Plus: “Lots of countries with generous welfare systems aren’t particularly trusting, for example, and those systems produce all the dire effects American conservatives warn about. And as Bjornskov suggests, low corruption distinguished Scandanavian societies centuries ago. That’s a trait that may go all the way back to the Vikings.”

Also: “If you’re used to reporting on U.S. business and government, it’s eerie to hear people talk like that. The only other time I’ve had a similar experience was when I talked to people in Utah.”


WHERE’S MY FLYING CAR, DAMMIT?: Uber appears to be taking the lead in *actually making this happen* with Uber Elevate.

AT AMAZON, now #2, Jordan Peterson’s book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.

IN THE MAIL: Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre.

Plus, fresh Gold Box and Lightning Deals. New deals every hour. Your patronage is always appreciated!

MY LATEST CREATORS SYNDICATE COLUMN: Russian covert influence operations target more than U.S. elections. Bulgaria has become a target. (bumped)

IF ONE TWEET CAN DO THIS, THE PROBLEM ISN’T THE TWEET: In One Tweet, Kylie Jenner Wiped Out $1.3 Billion of Snap’s Market Value.

THIS SUPREME COURT CASE COULD BE BAD NEWS FOR PUBLIC EMPLOYEE UNIONS: Or not. LifeZette’s Brendan Kirby looks at an AFSCME case that could give Justice Neil Gorsuch an opportunity to strike a major blow for freedom of speech.

I’M GLAD PERSIAN JEWS DID MORE THAN BAKE COOKIES: The Jewish holiday of Purim starts next Wednesday. According to the Book of Esther, the evil Haman persuaded the Persian king to allow him to murder the Jews of the Persian empire, with the Jews not allowed to defend themselves. Thanks to the heroic intervention of Mordechai and Esther, the King issued a new order permitting self-defense, and the Jews slew seventy-five thousand of those who had planned to kill them.

The actual Purim story apparently didn’t make much of an impression on one young woman, the daughter of a liberal Congressman, who is organizing people to sell traditional Purim cookies called Hamantaschen to raise money for gun control: “I think it’s a holiday that within the Jewish world, at least within more liberal Jewish circles, people take a lot of messages of social justice from, so I think with that in mind it made sense to use it,” she said.

It’s both sad and infuriating to see a three thousand year old religious tradition consistently reduced to “supports whatever the SJW cause of the moment is.” Raise money for gun control if that’s what floats your boat, but leave Purim out of it, ok?

CENSORSHIP IS ALIVE AND WELL AT CNN: That rude and raucous “Town Hall” aired Wednesday night by the cable news network formerly owned by Ted Turner is being exposed by survivors of the Florida school shooting as little more than agit-prop for gun control.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, CIVIL RIGHTS EDITION: Iowa bill aims to protect belief-based student groups.

THAT’S WHO THEY ARE, THAT’S WHAT THEY DO: FL Shooting Survivor Ariana Klein: Networks Don’t Want Us To Give Our Real Opinions, “Want Us To Further Their Agendas.”

MICHAEL BARONE: Don’t take the Onion’s pessimism too seriously.

“Study: 90 percent of Americans Strongly Opposed To Each Other.” That’s the headline on a story in what on some days seems America’s most reliable news outlet, the Onion.

We laugh (or at least I did) because it strikes a chord. Americans of many different political outlooks today seem united in believing that we are experiencing the worst times in the nation’s history. Trump detractors talk about a neurotic Nazi establishing a dictatorship. Trump fans talk about a “Deep State” using secret protocols to undermine the voters’ choice.

Both sides have some cause for complaint. But their claims are overheated. Anyone familiar with the long course of American history — perhaps a smaller category than in times past — knows that, whatever our problems, things have been far worse before.

Many of us look back to a time when Americans shared a consensus on cultural values, and when we were told that high school graduates or even dropouts could easily snag well-paying blue collar jobs. That’s a reasonably accurate description of America in the 1950s on cultural values and of parts of America—the unionized industrial North—on those jobs.

President Trump’s unspecific slogan “Make America Great Again” probably strikes most listeners as a promise to restore the seemingly culturally unified America of the two post-World War II decades. Democrats’ calls for strengthening labor unions and job protections likewise evoke the 1950s, the time of peak union membership.

But this was a short period — I call it the Midcentury Moment — and the exception rather than the rule in American history. That tends to get overlooked by those lamenting polls showing low confidence in institutions. The benchmarks against which they are measured are inevitably when pollsters first asked those questions in the 1950s.

But that was a time when big institutions — big government, big corporations, big unions — had just finished leading Americans to victory in a world war and to unanticipated prosperity in the years that followed. They had arguably earned the confidence they enjoyed.

If you had been able to ask Americans those questions in the years before Gallup conducted his first poll in 1935, it’s likely that they would often have expressed low confidence, as they did starting in the late 1960s.

And those institutions haven’t exactly covered themselves with glory since. One problem is that the people running them care more for the high regard of their peer group than for the fortunes of the institutions they are entrusted with.

A SIMPLE NDA WOULD HAVE BEEN SMARTER: Missouri Gov. Greitens indicted for felony invasion of privacy stemming from affair. “The charge stems from a 2015 affair and allegations that he threatened to release a nude photograph of the woman, taken while she was blindfolded and her hands were bound, if she ever spoke publicly about the affair.”

SORRY, WE NEED YOUR APPLE TO BE A BANANA: FL Shooting Survivor Colton Haab: CNN Told Me I Needed To “Stick To The Script”; Entire Town Hall Scripted.

Trump’s luck is pretty amazing. The entire media sets up a week-long hatefest aimed at the NRA, culminating in that shameful fake “Town Hall,” and then the very next day it comes out that there was a police officer there who was too cowardly to do anything, and Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, who was shaming and lecturing gun owners the night before, must have known it while he was up there on stage.

Trump’s superpower is his ability, just by existing, to bring out the deep and pervasive rot in America’s institutions and the people who run them.

HARDEN THE INFRASTRUCTURE: America’s largest blackout is the best argument for grid resilience.

MEGAN BARRY UPDATE: Security Video Shows Mayor, Bodyguard During Early-Morning Cemetery Visits.

WEIRD, IT DOESN’T LOOK THAT WAY ON THE NEWS: Poll: Americans Are More Satisfied With Their Country Than They Have Been In A Decade. “Americans are more satisfied with the United States’ place in the world now than they have been in more than a decade, according to a new poll from Gallup — and that number has grown by more than 10% in the past year alone. According to the respected polling company, 45% of Americans ‘are satisfied with the position of the United States in the world,’ up 13 points from January of 2017 and, coincidentally, a 13-year high.”

BYRON YORK: McCain associate subpoenaed in Trump dossier probe.

House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes has issued a subpoena to David Kramer, a former State Department official who, in late November 2016, traveled to London to receive a briefing and a copy of the Trump dossier from its author, former British spy Christopher Steele. Kramer then returned to the U.S. to give the document to Sen. John McCain.

Kramer is a senior fellow at the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University. . . .

Kramer was interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee on Dec. 19. The new subpoena stems from statements Kramer made in that interview.

In the session, Kramer told House investigators that he knew the identities of the Russian sources for the allegations in Steele’s dossier. But when investigators pressed Kramer to reveal those names, he declined to do so.

Now, he is under subpoena.

Other reports say Kramer took the Fifth.

WHEN YOUR GUN CONTROL LIES CAN’T MAKE IT PAST WAPO: WaPo Gives Sanders Four Pinocchios for False ‘Gun Show Loophole’ Claim.

Sanders said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday that “We have to end the absurdity of the gun show loophole. Forty percent of the guns in this country are sold without any background checks.”

Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler was scathing of Sanders’ untruth straight from the start, noting he has addressed the inaccurate claim in the past. Kessler classified the false statistic among the “zombie claims,” false facts that keep being repeated “no matter how often we fact-check them.”

“We thought we had long ago buried this false claim,” Kessler wrote, “But it has once again risen from the dead! Let’s explore.”

The first time the Post encountered the statistic was when former President Barack Obama referred to it in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Do not trust gun statistics from Barack Obama.

TELL US SOMETHING WE DON’T KNOW:  Russian bots were a non-factor in 2016.

ZUT ALORS!  President Le Trump?

GO HOME, CRUMBS, YOU’RE DRUNK:  Pelosi Goes Full Stupid: Let’s Protect the Border By Mowing the Grass!

YOU’RE SCHEDULING EVERYTHING ELSE, AREN’T YOU?  How scheduling your sex life can save a marriage.

THESE ARE THE CRAZY YEARS:  500K people live in a country that doesn’t exist.


WORKING THAT SECOND JOB, THE SIDE GIG AND PILFERING COUCH CHANGE:  Americans are making more money for a depressing reason.

SUPERSTAR HOLLYWOOD WRITER/DIRECTOR ADMITS: “I GOT NOTHING”:  Director Joss Whedon exits Warner Bros’ ‘Batgirl’.


February 22, 2018

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: The Paradoxes of the Mueller Investigation.


As the New York Times reported in September:

New York’s most storied recording studios have been vanishing, victims of more accessible digital recording techniques and escalating real estate prices in Manhattan. First went the Hit Factory, in 2005. Last year, both the Magic Shop — a favorite of David Bowie, who recorded his final album there — and Manhattan Sound Recordings were shuttered.

But now one of these spaces filled with pop-culture lore is being saved: After almost two years on the market, the building that houses Avatar Studios has been acquired by Berklee. The studio — which originally opened as the Power Station in 1977, and where Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, David Bowie and the cast of “Hamilton” have recorded — will be renovated, expanded and rebranded as BerkleeNYC. The recording studios will continue to operate commercially as the Power Station at BerkleeNYC, along with new offerings including educational programs, performances and resources for local musicians.

The transaction was spearheaded by the Berklee trustee Pete Muller, with the support of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and the Economic Development Corporation. They have raised $25 million for the project, including $6 million from the city. According to the Berklee president, Roger H. Brown, this will be “enough to launch, renovate, and operate for a decade,” while the school continues to raise additional funds for the project.

Avatar, a 33,000-square-foot complex in a former Consolidated Edison power plant on West 53rd Street just off 10th Avenue, is one of the last full-scale recording studios left in Manhattan — the only one big enough to accommodate a full orchestra or a Broadway cast album.

If you enjoyed David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance,” Chic’s “Le Freak,” Bruce Springteen’s The River album, Dire Strait’s “Money for Nothing,” or the aforementioned Hamilton soundtrack, they were all recorded at the Power Station (along with a zillion other records), which thanks to Boston’s Berklee College of Music, received a reprieve from being turned into condominiums. Fun video for recording or music aficionados.

WELL, I TAKE ARGININE AS A BODYBUILDING SUPPLEMENT, AND I’M PRETTY CHEERFUL: Depression linked to reduced levels of amino acid: study. “The body uses the amino acid arginine to produce nitric oxide, which is a mediator for the nervous system and immune defender, and plays a role in vascular regulation. Reduced arginine is also a known risk factor of cardiovascular diseases.” Be aware, though, that if you have any form of herpes it may make a recurrence more likely.

On supplements, generally, here are a few I take that I have had good luck with:

1. Coenzyme Q10. I feel much better — and in particular, my afternoon fatigue has vanished — since I started taking this. I’ve persuaded the InstaWife and InstaDaughter and several other family members to do the same, and they report similar results. Also, it seems to prevent migraines.

2. Vitamin D: Not only is this good for you in many ways, but my irritable bowel syndrome has been much reduced since I started regular Vitamin D supplementation, and now there’s research supporting that as a benefit. (And when I posted that, several readers reported similar experiences in the comments). I’m currently taking a Vitamin D & K supplement.

3. Citrulline and Arginine:. When I take these I get a better “pump” during workouts, and stay that way longer. They’re also supposed to be myostatin inhibitors (as is Vitamin D), modestly improving muscle gains in theory.

4. Resveratrol: I still take the Biotivia Transmax. I stopped for a while in favor of pterostilbene but now I’m back.

5. Quercetin: Seems to help significantly with my allergies. In larger doses it’s supposed to kill off senescent cells. I’ve done that larger-dose thing once; no side effects, not the sort of thing that provides obvious immediate benefits so who knows?

I also took a phosphatidic acid supplement for a while that really seemed to work, but then they quit making it. As always, your results may vary, but people often ask about my supplements, so here you are.

OPEN THREAD: Sorry it’s late.

PROTECTING HIM LIKE HE DIDN’T PROTECT THE KIDS: Armed police are guarding the home of the deputy who resigned over his lack of action in the Parkland school shooting.

CAN THE BROWARD COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT GET ANY MORE SAD AND USELESS AND PATHETIC? YES, YES IT CAN. Sheriff: Armed officer at school never entered building during shooting.

Two thoughts: (1). So much for “only the police should have guns.” (2). If an armed teacher had had a gun, he/she would have already been in the building. So even if he/she was as big a coward as this officer, he/she might have still done something.

Oh, and (3): Now we see why the Broward Sheriff has been so eager to blame the NRA instead of his pathetic department.

Plus, this question: “When does the incompetent sheriff resign?”

And a friend on Facebook comments:

Let’s get this straight: the FBI failed to follow its own procedure when warned of the Florida school killer, which might have prevented the massacre; and now we learn that the armed sheriff’s deputy assigned to the school failed to execute his duty, which also might have prevented the massacre.

It should be no wonder Americans don’t trust their institutions — nor that they want the ability to protect themselves when those institutions show themselves incompetent to do the job. Instead of new laws and procedures administered by these same inept bureaucracies, either reform those bureaucracies and their personnel to enforce the existing laws, or allow American citizens to do for themselves what the institutions do not.

The present political moment for gun control will shortly fade without having achieved its major objectives, as all its predecessors have. The reason it will fail is not the NRA nor its money: it’s this.

Indeed. Or as another friend notes: “Government failed repeatedly and catastrophically at all levels. And the solution is more government?”


UPDATE: FIRE THE SHERIFF: Coral Springs police officers — and not Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies — were the first ones to try to help save students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

HERE’S THE TRAILER FOR LITTLE PINK HOUSE, a movie about the Kelo case.

Here’s the film’s website.

WE DON’T SEE MUCH FROM CNN THAT ISN’T SHAMEFUL THESE DAYS: David Harsanyi: CNN’s Shameful Town Hall Is A Clarifying Moment On Guns.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: As Obama Presidential Center comes closer to reality, tensions on race, class surface.

When Bronwyn Nichols Lodato began pushing to prevent a portion of Chicago’s Midway Plaisance from being developed into a parking garage by the Obama Foundation, she never expected to be criticized as anti-black.

After all, she is an African-American woman who has lived in Hyde Park for more than a decade and is sensitive to both the city’s racial tensions and the needs of her neighbors.

“All I wanted to do was make sure my kids could play with no garage in their park,” she said. “I have three young children and we live in a condo and the Midway is our yard. My story is simply, how can we keep the park so our kids could play there?”

But soon after taking up her campaign, Lodato, who believes the South Side deserves what she calls “jewels” of open space, found herself under fire by people who believed that the garage would foster business in the area. Some accused her of siding with her well-off white neighbors and taking a stance that hurts the struggling communities around hers.

But of course — any action that might prevent Mr. Obama from achieving a desired goal is by its very nature automatically racist. Additionally, I’m told by reliable media figures that merely uttering the word “Chicago” is doubly racist.


ADVICE FOR THE MIDTERMS: Make the Deep State Pay — It’s the Only Way.

YOUR DAILY TREACHER: Journalists Hate Conspiracy Theories and Fake News, Except When They Don’t.

Read the whole thing. Between Newsweek’s “Bots took down Al Franken” and CNN yesterday, the MSM have really been covering themselves in glory recently.

KURT SCHLICHTER: 7 Terrible Liberal Gun Control Arguments … And How To Beat Them.


Articles from CNN, The Hill, and more are currently trumpeting last night’s town hall as a victory, and releasing article after article of various moments that lend to the impression that gun control is winning. The chances that McCulloch is about to see a boost in sales is definitely high if the news cycle continues down this road for too long.

In the long run, 2018 CNN may have replaced 2009-2016 Obama as the nation’s greatest gun salesman if history is to be believed.

It’s a textbook example of How Progressive Radicals Move the Country Left, and Right.

TAMARA KEEL ON GUN NERDS: “A gun that allows you to yell down a dark hallway ‘You’d better leave! I’ve called the cops and I have a gun!’ and not be lying will put you ahead of the game in probably eight out of ten private citizen defensive gun usages. If the gun will make a loud noise, there’s a better than even chance it will solve the ninth. It’s only on that unlucky tenth incident that things like capacity, caliber, reliability, bullet selection and other angels we gun nerds like to set to dancing on the heads of pins come into play.”

WILLIAM SHATNER DEMANDS TEXAS DEMOCRAT REMOVE PHOTO WITH HIM. “Shatner replied with his demand the picture be destroyed. He tweeted to [Brandy Chambers, candidate for the Texas House of Representatives] saying, ‘using a convention picture in a political ad is NOT ALLOWED!! That implies endorsement which never will happen. Please remove my photo and destroy all copies of whatever this is immediately. Am I clear?’”


It’s fascinating watching his interviewer interrogator, Jay Caspian Kang, alternate between full-on Cathy Newmanisms (to the point where near the interview, Kang utters something like “I’ve really tried not to be like Cathy Newman here”) and acting incredibly naïve regarding Hollywood, despite writing for a Website named, err, Vice.

Since much of the segment is devoted to topic of workplace relations, here’s a flashback to a December New York Times article headlined, “At Vice, Cutting-Edge Media and Allegations of Old-School Sexual Harassment: A media company built on subversion and outlandishness was unable to create ‘a safe and inclusive workplace’ for women, two of its founders acknowledge:

People worked long hours and partied together afterward. And that’s where the lines often blurred. Multiple women said that after a night of drinking, they wound up fending off touching, kissing and other advances from their superiors.

The name of the Website they decided to work for might have been their first clue.


The company is facing a $375 million bond maturity in August, and a springing lien that could cause $185 million of debt to become current in July if the bond maturity isn’t addressed by that month. Gibson’s August 2018 bonds fell as much as 2.5 cents on the dollar Tuesday to 79 cents.

Talks are underway, but there’s not yet a deal in hand or firm pricing, [Gibson Brands Inc.’s Chief Executive Officer Henry Juszkiewicz] said. “We’re really trying to get the pricing right and get the best deal.”

Juszkiewicz bought Gibson from Norlin Corp. in 1986 with two of his former Harvard Business School classmates. According to his biography on the company website, he paid his way through school playing guitar in various rock bands — a Gibson, of course.

In the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, Juszkiewicz and his team did an excellent job of rebuilding Gibson, restoring the quality and the heritage of the venerable brand after Norlin lost its way in the 1970s, issuing quirky guitars that seemed to be better press release fodder than musical instruments. However, in recent years, Gibson has returned to the Norlin-style of questionable instrument designs. In addition, Juszkiewicz’s acquisition of home and pro audio companies in recent years may have saddled the company with an enormous amount of unsustainable debt, and the bill is rapidly coming due. Check out the comments at the end of this recent Nashville Post article headlined “Gibson ‘running out of time — rapidly’” to get a sense of the damage.

IS THERE ANYTHING IT CAN’T DO? Study: Red Wine Prevents Tooth Decay, Gum Disease.


Haiti on Thursday suspended the operations of British charity Oxfam pending the outcome of its investigation into allegations that its staff sexually exploited Haitians after a devastating 2010 earthquake.

The country’s ministry of planning and foreign aid said Oxfam GB had made a “serious error” by failing to inform Haitian authorities of the actions by their staff at the time they occurred.

“These reprehensible acts, alleged crimes, acknowledged by the perpetrators as well as the NGO, are a serious violation of the dignity of the Haitian people,” a government statement said.

It said the charity was suspended for two months pending an internal Haitian investigation into the matter.

At NRO last week, Kyle Smith explored how “The End Justifies the Obscene:”

When a devastating earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, Oxfam workers remembered Rahm Emanuel’s maxim that, in the progressive dictionary, one definition of crisis is “party time.” I’m paraphrasing.

But I’m quoting directly when I note that Oxfam execs set up brothels in Port-au-Prince that they called “pink apartments.” They took advantage of the economic dislocation and desperation (1.5 million homeless in a land of 10 million) to surround themselves with prostitutes, some perhaps under the age of consent, according to a recent exposé in the British paper the Times. Recalls an observer: “They were throwing big parties with prostitutes. These girls were wearing Oxfam T-shirts, running around half-naked, it was a like a full-on Caligula orgy. It was unbelievable. It was crazy. At one party there were at least five girls and two of them had Oxfam white T-shirts on. These men used to talk about holding ‘young meat barbecues.’”

Drivers in Haiti who wished to earn cash driving Oxfam employees around were told that their contracts were contingent on whether they could help with the, er, meat supply. “If you want your contract to be extended,” they were told, according to the Times, “we need girls and you need to pick them up.”

* * * * * * * *

How did we get to a point where relentlessly idealistic and progressive feminist women cover for men who turn girls from some of the poorest corners of the world into their sexual functionaries? Oxfam reminds us that a core feature of the Left is its happy-face Machiavellianism: The overall mission is so vital, so meaningful, so just, that the end justifies the obscene.

Harvey Weinstein and the Clinton family could not be reached for comment.

IT’S COME TO THIS: San Francisco Man Has Spent 4 Years and $1 Million Trying to Get Approval to Turn His Own Laundromat Into an Apartment Building. Now the city wants the laundromat studied to see if it is a historic resource.

Because, San Francisco.

Found via Virginia Postrel, who tweets, “This is why only rich people can afford to live in [San Francisco].”

SARAH HOYT: From The Mouths of Babes Comes a Great Deal of Nonsense.


SCOUT KNIVES and lessons learned.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Rethinking Watergate.

For liberals in 1973, the status quo was considered right-wing and dangerous—and it was therefore to be opposed at all costs to find the truth about Nixon. In 2016, Clinton was part of a status quo that extended eight years back through Barack Obama’s tenure and was considered the favored candidate by the permanent bureaucracy, the mainstream media, and the legal establishment, many of whom sought to help her defeat Trump.

Think about changing the roles in 2016. Imagine a Trump-funded anti-Clinton dossier drawing on Russian gossip about Secretary Clinton, peddled by the FBI, rubber-stamped by FISA courts, and used to monitor Clinton campaign operatives to find dirt on Clinton and to leak such information to the press—in the last days of a presidential campaign. Would we not then see a true progressive reenactment of Watergate, with all of the concerned parties repeating their 1973 roles—the press especially frenzied rather than somnolent?

FISA-gate is not just an upside-down Watergate. It also forces us to rethink Watergate itself. The facts, of course, that led to Nixon’s 1974 resignation are unchanged and condemnatory. But the relative eagerness to uncover them can be recalibrated by the contrast with FISA-gate.

In other words, was it really principle and concern for the transparent and blind administration of justice that drove the original and necessary official and media investigation of Nixon? Or, in some measure, did the furor over Nixon arise over his seemingly odious politics and person that for decades had enraged his enemies?

FISA-gate, and the media’s response to it, is not so much another Watergate as an anti-Watergate. The disconnect with the past begs us to redefine the story of Watergate itself 45 years later: Was it what Richard Nixon did, or who Richard Nixon was, that ignited the scandal?

The answer to that question can be found at Commentary, where Andrew Ferguson explores The Post, the new bookend to Redford and Hoffman’s All the President’s Men, in an essay titled “Mr. Spielberg Goes to Washington:”

Capra intended his movie to be a hymn to those ideals, and for nearly 80 years that’s what audiences have taken it to be. It is no such thing. Mr. Smith seethes with contempt for the raw materials of democracy: debate, quid pro quo deal-making, back-scratching compromise—all the tedious, unsightly mechanics that turn democratic ideals into functioning self-government. In Capra’s telling, democracy can be rescued only by anti-democratic means. An appointed charismatic savior (he’s not even elected!) uses a filibuster (favorite parliamentary trick of bullies and autocrats) to release the volatile pressure of a disenfranchised mob (the great fear of every democratic theorist since Aristotle). From Mr. Smith to Legally Blonde 2, the point of the Washington movie is clear: Left to its own devices, without an outside agent to penetrate it and cleanse it of its sins, self-government sinks into corruption and despotism.

Steven Spielberg is the closest thing we have to Capra’s successor. Like all his movies, The Post has many charms: a running visual joke about Bradlee’s daughter making a killing with her lemonade stand threads in and out of the heavier moments like a rope light. On the other hand, his painstaking obsession with period detail often fails: A hippie demonstration against the Vietnam War looks as if it’s been staged by the cast of Hair. The set-piece speeches are insufferable, an icky glue of sanctimony and sentimentality. What we call the Pentagon Papers was a classified history of the lies, misjudgments, and incompetence of four presidents, from Harry Truman to Lyndon Johnson, ending in 1968. Sometimes the speechifying is directed at the malfeasance of these men, as when Bradlee bellows: “The way they lied—those days have to be over!”

Weirdly, though, the full force of the movie’s indignation is aimed at Richard Nixon.

Which seems odd, considering the strange new respect the man has gotten from the left in recent years.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Did NYU serve a racist dinner to celebrate Black History Month? The black students complain, and two black dining-service employees lose their jobs. From the comments: “She got 2 low level black workers fired. Her tuition is probably more than their annual wages (used to be). I hope she’s proud.”

Diversity and inclusion!

THERE COULD BE A MARKET FOR THIS: Some Black Holes Erase Your Past.

TET OFFENSIVE ROCKET ATTACK AFTERMATH: Smoke and dust rise after a barrage strikes Khe Sanh, February 21, 1968.


“The America that emerged from World War II and the Great Depression was exceptionally unified and cohesive, and possessed of an unusual confidence in large institutions,” Yuval Levin wrote in his 2016 book, “The Fractured Republic.”

“But almost immediately after the war, [America] began a long process of unwinding and fragmenting,” Levin wrote.

And so, the fact that American Christianity hasn’t given rise to a leader like Graham over the last two or three decades isn’t just a result of the fracturing of evangelicalism into different factions — the slick prosperity gospel of Joel Osteen, the strident right-wing triumphalism of Graham’s son Franklin and the theologically precise new Calvinists, to name just a few.

It’s also a story about the fragmentation of American life — arguably a reversion to the norm in American history rather than a departure from it.

Read the whole thing.

(Via Jon Gabriel.)

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WORTHWHILE CANADIAN INITIATIVE: Canada reviewing ten small nuclear reactor designs including eVinci solid state microreactor.

JOURNALISM: CNN’s Tapper sits back as student equates Rubio to school shooter. That’s the standard lefty line: If you don’t support my policy preferences, you’re literally a murderer! Which, conveniently, also serves to justify actual violence against people who don’t support your policy preferences.

Related: Bernie Bro James T. Hodgkinson, Attempted Assassin Of Steve Scalise, Already Being Erased From History.

Plus: Shooting Survivor: CNN Gave Me “Scripted Question” After Denying Question About Armed Guards. Fake news.


Van Jones? Conspiracy theories? Impossible.

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PARKLAND STUDENT TO RUBIO: IT’S HARD TO LOOK AT YOU AND NOT SEE YOU FIRING THAT AR-15 AT MY CLASSMATES. “A lefty friend conceded to me that it was vicious and unfair, and doesn’t represent how most liberals feel about gun-rights supporters. Doesn’t it? Does anyone there seem perturbed by it?… Tapper could have said something in the name of keeping the event civil. Bill Nelson, who praised Rubio for showing up to face what everyone knew would be a hostile audience, didn’t say anything. On the contrary, Dana Loesch was heckled once or twice by the crowd with cries of ‘murderer’ when she came out to speak.”

This is CNN.

SETH BARRETT TILLMAN: Presidential Electors and the Brief of the Legal Historians in CREW v. Trump. “The Legal Historians claim regarding presidential electors is perplexing. They cite no authority for this position. More troubling is that there is a substantial body of authority taking the position that presidential electors are state positions, not federal positions, and so entirely beyond the scope of the Foreign Emoluments Clause and its Office… under the United States-language. The Legal Historians did not discuss this line of authority.”

Ever since the Bellesiles scandal, I’ve viewed legal historians’ legal arguments with some skepticism.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: “It’s almost as if the dominant culture and its institutions are radically dehumanizing teenagers, and are mystified as to why some of those teenagers don’t see others as human beings worthy of respect and care,” Rod Dreher writes. “Yes, maybe Stella Morabito is right, and Wendell Berry is right, and the form of our schooling has to do with this dehumanization. I think they are correct, to a great degree. But that’s only part of the story. The other part of the story is the culture itself present in these schools, among the children who have been raised like embourgeoised animals, and utterly failed by their parents and all the rest of us.”

Read the whole thing.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Gallup: Only 23% Of Law School Grads Say Their Education Was Worth the Cost. But none of the degrees measured, which include PhDs, MDs, MBAs, etc., do very well.

THREE LITTLE WORDS THAT DROVE MSM MAD: It doesn’t take much coming from the lips of President Donald Trump to drive the people playing television journalism up the wall.

IN THE MAIL: From and Kevin J. Anderson & Sarah Hoyt, Uncharted (Arcane America).

Plus, fresh Gold Box and Lightning Deals. New deals every hour. Your patronage is always appreciated!

RUSSIAN COVERT INFLUENCE OPERATIONS: They target more than U.S. elections.

I’D SAY IT HAS THE DESIRED EFFECT, IF YOU ASSUME PEOPLE DESIRE THE NATURAL AND OBVIOUS CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR ACTION: What effect does this kind of news coverage have on those who are thinking of becoming the next school shooter?


WHEN WORDS LOSE THEIR MEANING: UChicago criticized for promoting ‘white supremacy ideology.’

JUST FOR THE RECORD, if you think Mars colonization is “just another example of male entitlement,” you’re mentally defective and should get help. But this does serve as a clear illustration of Camille Paglia’s observation that if women ran the world, we’d still be living in grass huts. Well, if feminist women ran the world, anyway.

EARLIER REPORTS HAD SAID HE WAS EXPELLED, BUT THAT TURNS OUT NOT TO BE THE CASE: Parkland shooter always in trouble, never expelled. Could school system have done more?

No wonder the school and the sheriff are so eager to blame the gun.

REALLY, IS ANYONE SURPRISED TO HEAR THIS? Warren Neglected Harvard Native American Group As Faculty Member. “Dr. Gavin Clarkson, a citizen of the Choctaw Nation who received both a doctorate and a law degree from Harvard while Warren was a professor, says he ‘personally invited’ her three times to visit with Harvard’s Native American Law Student Association (NALSA), which he headed while attaining his dual degree. Warren, who had identified as a minority in law professor directories and was touted by Harvard as a Native American hire, never accepted his invites.”

MICHAEL BARONE: Justice Ginsburg and Secretary DeVos agree.

Guess who is in agreement that the Obama administration Education Department Title IX “guidance” needs to be changed? Two women who have raised families, done distinguished work in the nonprofit sector and now hold important jobs in the federal government: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Well, unlike today’s Tumblr feminists, they’ve seen the real world.

FAKE NEWS: Shooting Survivor: CNN Gave Me “Scripted Question” After Denying Question About Armed Guards.

I didn’t see the CNN show, but the reviews don’t make it sound like much:

Forget it, Greg, it’s CNN.

But there was a bright side: NRA Spokeswoman Dana Loesch receives MAD KUDOS from BOTH sides of the gun debate.

Related: WATCH: Student Emma Gonzalez is dumbfounded when Dana Loesch explains NICS reporting guidelines. “It was obvious from Gonzalez’s facial expressions that she had no idea about this information.”

I have an idea: Trump should propose legislation that exactly replicates existing gun laws. Most people, including the vast majority of vocal gun-control supporters, would think he was proposing something new and draconian.

YES. NEXT QUESTION? Is there a double standard for Nashville’s adulteress liberal mayor? “The irony in this story, too, is the ethical bona fides the two claim. Barry was ethics and compliance officer at Premier Ethics and Compliance. Forrest signed an ethics agreement to keep his private life as ‘an example to all’ and pledged not to discredit the agency. Oops.”