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IMAGINE IF A MALE REPUBLICAN USED THIS METAPHOR: Ocasio-Cortez: We’re going to “run train on the progressive agenda.”

CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST RICHARD COHEN, THE SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER’S PRESIDENT:  It seeks damages and an injunction prohibiting him from repeating the false accusation that the Center is a “hate group.”

ROGER SIMON: May the Shutdown Go On Forever.

Slower, please.

TYLER O’NEIL: Jewish Groups, ACLU, Planned Parenthood, YWCA Silent on Continued Women’s March Support. “Why do they remain, when EMILY’s List, the SPLC, and the DNC have jumped ship?”

SCIENCE-BASED CURRICULA: Transgender activists gearing up to rewrite Harvard Medical School’s curriculum.

LET’S NOT DO ANY OF THESE: The 4 Things That Could Hobble the Commercial Space Revolution.

STIMULUS ACT, NORTH CHINA EDITION: Chinese workers may get 2½-day weekend to go shopping, but public services users aren’t buying it.

TAKING SIDES: Colleges promote anti-Trump Women’s March. One offers free poster supplies. Given that the Women’s March is so anti-semitic that the DNC has disassociated itself, maybe colleges should think twice. Also, I thought tax exempt organizations weren’t supposed to take sides in partisan political disputes.

LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: Dems Dump Women’s March and Much, Much More. “[Women’s March] Leader Tamika Mallory appeared on the trash show The View and defended Jew-hater and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Mallory had called Farrakhan the GOAT, Greatest of All Time for his work in the black community, like spreading antisemitism and racism. Terrific work.”

I’D LIKE TO SEE SEARS MAKE IT: Sears, Kmart may survive: Eddie Lampert wins Chapter 11 bankruptcy auction.

BOOK REVIEW: Ironclad Captains of the Civil War by Myron J. Smith, Jr. As Smith “addresses the careers of these men [the ship commanders], he also imparts a great deal of information about the operation of the early ironclads, the course of the war, and naval service during it.” The reviewer says it’s a reference work — if so, it’s a reference with a great title.

APACHE SUNRISE: A U.S. Army AH-64 Apache helicopter flies in formation over Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

PHILIP CARL SALZMAN: The Toxic Mission To Re-Engineer Men.

The communists in the USSR and Cuba tried to invent a “new man,” a “socialist man” who would give up his individuality in order to advance the interests of “the people.” But the population never bought it, and oppressive security agencies were imposed to coerce people to live according to socialist ideals. That is why the “beneficiaries” of communism were delighted when their totalitarian societies fell.

Today, with the freeing of females from traditional role constraints, it is still primarily men who do the dangerous and dirty jobs, who make up most of the first responders and the military who defend us, and who, as scientists and engineers, continue to address the natural world for understanding and to serve our needs. These are some of the ways that the characteristics and qualities of men benefit society. And it is the job of socialization to direct the traits of men into constructive channels, a more realistic and productive strategy than trying to turn males into females.

Yes, being a man is not stress-free, and sometimes we have inner struggles. But do women not also have inner struggles, and is that not in our nature as human beings? Feminists who simplistically argue that women’s psychological and other problems are all and always the fault of “toxic” men, are doing a very human thing: blaming others for their problems. That such sad naivete has been adopted by our governments, scientific organizations, and schools and universities does not reflect a very sound understanding of people or the world. Even more so for psychologists, who should know better.


BLUE STATE BLUES: Disappointing photos show what living in San Francisco on a tech salary really looks like.

It’s a genuine loss when such smart, ambitious people have to devote so much of their smarts and ambition just to finding a place to live, but this bit from the photo essay is just too precious:

And so tech workers, both seasoned and newly minted, have had to get creative with how they can outsmart the city’s notoriously absurd rental costs.

Maybe they could, I don’t know, try voting Republican?

THE PROBLEMS WITH TINY HOUSES: They tend to depreciate in value. Tiny homes ≠ tiny consumption. Read the whole thing.


I mention these anecdotes not because I think the present record-setting shutdown is good or sane policy but because I am trying to illustrate why I and other Americans have a hard time caring much about it. In the popular imagination — and sometimes in dozens of little-read memos from the inspectors general of various departments — the average federal employee appears to be lazy, incompetent, performing meaningless tasks for too much pay, with an enviable array of benefits and other amenities (I still roll my eyes in disgust whenever I am reminded that there exist special credit unions for federal employees, whose pay and job security would be the envy of a hundred million other Americans). Government employees, at both the state and federal level, are among the only workers in the United States who continue to be represented by powerful unions, despite the fact that by definition they’re not bargaining against capital but against their fellow citizens.

This is to say nothing of the vast assortment of contractors, consultants, and hangers-on whose “work” has been temporarily interrupted by the shutdown. Their grotesque salaries have blighted the landscape with McMansions and driven housing prices in Maryland and northern Virginia to a level beyond what most families with children will ever be able to afford. So the people whose job it is to bid up the price of useless airplanes or dream up rival marketing schemes for some “cloud” project while our nation’s capital lacks a functional public transit system are going to have .05 percent fewer billable hours for the year? Boo hoo.

Coal miners lose their jobs for good and it’s “you’re obsolete, learn to code!” Federal workers have a few paychecks delayed and the press is in heartstring-tugging mode.

THE INEVITABLE RESULT OF GIVING AN ECONOMIC ILLITERATE SO MUCH POWER OVER THE ECONOMY: As economy sours, Erdogan’s party could lose grip on big cities in local polls.

SETH BARRETT TILLMAN CORRECTS AN AMERICAN LAW PROFESSOR on the Brexit process. Plus: “When you use such strong language about Brexit, and you do so for reasons that are (in my opinion) entirely opaque, it sort of undermines the force of the similar hyperbolic language you use in regard to Trump. You do see that, right?”

JULIE KELLY: The Walls Are Closing in on the FBI—and Its Media Accomplices.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. China Is a Dangerous Rival, and America Should Treat It Like One. “Enough with the endless talks and handshakes. We need to untie the American economy from China.”

After years of unsuccessful talks and handshake deals with Beijing, the United States should change course and begin cutting some of its economic ties with China. Such a separation would stop intellectual property theft, cut off an important source of support to the People’s Liberation Army and hold companies that are involved in Chinese human rights abuses accountable.

This will be no easy task. Some industries will have problems finding new suppliers or buyers, and there are entrenched constituencies that support doing business with China. They argue that any pullback could threaten economic growth. But even if American exports to China fell by half, it would be the equivalent of less than one-half of 1 percent of gross domestic product. The cost of reducing Chinese imports is harder to assess, but there are multiple countries that can substitute for China-based production, none of them strategic rivals and trade predators.

The United States economy and its national security have been harmed by China’s rampant theft of intellectual property and the requirement that American companies that want to do business in the country hand over their technology. These actions threaten America’s comparative advantage in innovation and its military edge.

Indeed. Trade is much better than war, but allowing a Communist autocracy into the WTO and to control such a huge chunk of our technology stack were huge mistakes.

MONEY CAN’T BUY EVERYTHING:  The National Science Foundation pours money into university programs intended to increase the number of minority STEM majors. But the best advice to minority students interested in STEM continues to be free: “Want to Be a Doctor? A Scientist? An Engineer? An Affirmative Action Leg Up May Hurt Your Chances.”

WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE? IRS Says It Will Issue Tax Refunds, But Not Audit, During the Shutdown.

WSJ paywall, but the headline says it all.

DAVID HARSANYI: Disagreeing With Conventional D.C. Wisdom Isn’t A Crime: Democrats keep confusing “policy disagreements” with “an attack on democracy.” To be fair, they only regard it as democracy when they get their way.

NEWS THIS PARENT OF A TEENAGER CAN MOST CERTAINLY USE: New App ReplyASAP Locks Kids’ Phones Until They Message Their Parents Back.

Available now for Android, coming soon to iOS.

BEGUN THE 2020 PROGRESSIVE PURITY CONTEST HAS: The MSN-DNC Unsheathes the Long Knives for Tulsi Gabbard.




SHE’S NOT ALONE:  Divorcing Hollywood.  To be fair, it abandoned us first.

NO, NO, WAIT, THIS REALLY IS MY SHOCKED FACE!   Trump Hatred–Or Is It America Hatred?–German Style. Next they’re going to tell us some dog bit a man.

AFTER THEY CLAIMED DEATH CAMP SURVIVORS  HAD WHITE PRIVILEGE, I STOPPED BEING ABLE TO FIND MY SHOCKED FACE:  Talk show host calls out black commentator for his “white privilege”.


OH DEAR, DEAR LORD:  #WilliamBarr: 5 Questions Senators Should Ask During Attorney General Confirmation Hearing.


NOTHING GOOD:  What Is Iran Up To?

OH, DEAR LORD:  NYC Adds Third Gender ‘X’ Option to Official City ID Cards.

IT’S ALIVE AND WELL:  To Dream The American Dream.


AT AMAZON, save on Vitamins and Dietary Supplements.

Plus, deals in Safety and Security.

SUZANNE VENKER: The Only Answer To The Attack On Men Is Women Who Stand Up To The Feminist Elite.

UPDATE: Well, here you go:


GOVERNMENT CHEESE: Kraft Opens ‘Free’ Grocery Store For Unpaid Federal Workers.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): Where were they when coal miners lost their jobs?

OPEN THREAD: Goodbye, Comment Tuesday. . . .

JIM GERAGHTY: Twenty Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Kamala Harris.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Universities Face Increased Pressure from Job Programs That Generate Results, Not Just Debt.


The Mueller action figure, which will begin shipping in early summer, is hardly the first politically charged creation from the Brooklyn-based manufacturer. FCTRY raised more than $600,000 on Kickstarter to fund a “Notorious RBG” figure inspired by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last year.

They’ve also created figures of former President Obama, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). The current president was transformed into a middle finger-raising “Trump Over Re-Action Figure” in 2017.

That same year, FCTRY made headlines when it announced that it would donate all profits from its Trump figure to the American Civil Liberties Union.

“That Trump is an infantile idiot with the mental age of a 10 year old.” “I know, I know – hand me my Robert Mueller and Bernie Sanders action figures so that I can help the DNC Adventure Team fight the evil orange man!”

GABBARD, CASTRO FACE THE LONGEST ODDS IN 2020 WHITE HOUSE BIDS: There was a time when some folks thought Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) brought hope of a revived moderate, independent-minded wing of the donkey party. But then she decided to run for president.

Then there’s former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who like Gabbard last week announced a loooonnnnnnggggg shot bid for the Democrats’ 2020 presidential nomination. He was a young, rising-star Texas Democrat. Then Beto happened.

Much more here about both Democrats (much of which you may not know). They have virtually no hope of actually being nominated, but keep an eye on both as potential veep nominees or cabinet members should whoever does get the Democratic nomination defeat President Donald Trump in November 2020.



JESSICA (Harvard ’09, JP Morgan ’10 to ’12, Obama White House Staffer ’13 to ’16) is returning to her Georgetown apartment after her morning Tibetan throat singing class. There is a yoga mat under her arm. She shares the apartment, and a lovingly open relationship with ZAK (Columbia ’10, Senior Green Urban Planning Correspondent at Vox.com, Fellow of the Aspen Institute for Ideas ’14 to ’17), who is blogging at their Hygge-influenced open-plan kitchen. JESSICA looks visibly disturbed.


Honey, what is it, is everything OK?


It’s… It’s…


Don’t worry about the Whole Foods delivery. It came just after you left. The chia seeds, flax seeds, pea protein, dried goji berries, resistant potato starch, turmeric powder, and collagen hydrolysate were all in there. They even remembered the coconut oil this time!


No it’s not that.


What is it?


It’s Trump… Did you see what he did this time?


The Big Macs?

JESSICA begins to ‘literally shake’. Her yoga mat falls to the floor and unfurls.


Not just the Big Macs… He put packets of Hot Mustard sauce in the Eleanor Roosevelt silver servewear… Zak, I – I don’t think…

ZAK pushes back on his chair and slowly runs both hands through his hair. He gets up and hugs JESSICA.


It’s going to be fine baby. Just remember your breathing exercises, OK? Alternate nostril breathing, just like you were doing this morning, OK?

JESSICA begins to weep.

Read the whole thing. (The fictional Jessica would really dive for the fainting couch if she discovered that Franklin and Eleanor would have loved what Trump did yesterday.)

SPACE: Stratolaunch Airplane Nears First Flight.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Donald Trump is a symptom of a new kind of class warfare raging at home and abroad. “But the New Class isn’t limited to communist countries, really. Around the world in the postwar era, power was taken up by unelected professional and managerial elites. To understand what’s going on with President Donald Trump and his opposition, and in other countries as diverse as France, Hungary, Italy and Brazil, it’s important to realize that the post-World War II institutional arrangements of the Western democracies are being renegotiated, and that those democracies’ professional and managerial elites don’t like that very much, because they have done very well under those arrangements. And, like all elites who are doing very well, they don’t want that to change.”


Last week I had a screengrab from “F is for Family,” an animated show that is not for everyone, because the F is for something else deployed with remarkable frequency. It’s set in the time of my early adolescence, so just about everything they get right makes me hurt. It’s so, so, so 70s, and not in the happy-drippy retcon style – oh they had cheap weed and everyone was cool and no fatal STDs and awesome fashion! No child, no, no; it was awful. They get that right.

The fashion was not awesome, but the lack of major STDs was pretty cool, not that we properly appreciated it at the time. But we were starting to by 1983, which was, as Lileks says, “the early middle of the beginning of the 80s.” The seventies really lasted until about 1982.

HOW’S THAT SPACE PROGRAM COMING ALONG? NASA asteroid warning: 167ft rock discovered on New Year’s Eve barreling to Earth TOMORROW. “Even at the lower end of the size estimate, the asteroid is big enough to be considered a potential hazard. A similarly sized asteroid injured more than 1,500 people in 2013 when it exploded over Chelyabinsk Oblast in Russia. The so-called Chelyabinsk meteor exploded with 20 to 30 times more power than an atomic bomb.”

It’ll be a clean miss, but that we barely saw it coming is troubling.

FLASHBACK: Mark Rippetoe: Strength Is Money In The Bank.


THE IDIOCY OF MODERN IDENTITARIANISM SUMMED UP IN ONE STORY: Steven Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story’ Finds Its Maria, Anita, Bernardo & Chino.

“When we began this process a year ago, we announced that we would cast the roles of Maria, Anita, Bernardo, Chino and the Sharks with Latina and Latino actors. I’m so happy that we’ve assembled a cast that reflects the astonishing depth of talent in America’s multifaceted Hispanic community,” said Spielberg. “I am in awe of the sheer force of the talent of these young performers, and I believe they’ll bring a new and electrifying energy to a magnificent musical that’s more relevant than ever.” ….

“I am so thrilled to be playing the iconic role of Maria alongside this amazing cast,” said [Rachel]  Zegler. “West Side Story was the first musical I encountered with a Latina lead character. As a Colombian-American, I am humbled by the opportunity to play a role that means so much to the Hispanic community.”

Why do Puerto Rican characters in West Side Story need to be played by Latinos, but not Italian characters by people of Italian or (better yet, given the demographics of New York’s Italian community, specifically Sicilian) descent? Why is having a Colombian-American a politically-correct choice to play a Puerto Rican? What do Colombia and Puerto Rico have in common besides different dialects of the Spanish language? If you were trying to cast an Australian of 1960, would casting an English-speaking actor from the US, or India, be “authentic”? Isn’t kind of insulting to assume that all Spanish-speaking countries are interchangeable?

I’ve been working on a paper about legal definitions of race and ethnicity in the U.S., and the designation of “Hispanics” as non-white was not exactly historically inevitable. “Mexicans,” along with other Spanish-speaking peoples of the Americas, were usually considered to be legally white in the census and otherwise, though Mexicans were sometimes sent to segregated school thanks to local policy. When affirmative action programs started in the Sixties, “Chicano” (Mexican-American) groups lobbied for Mexican-Americans to be included as a “minority” group. Once Mexican-Americans were included, the category gradually expanded. First, it was anyone with a Spanish surname. But that proved overbroad, because many Italians have last names that sound Spanish, and many people of Hispanic descent do not. So eventually this morphed into “Latino” or Hispanic. But why, for example, an Argentine immigrant of Italian heritage is less “white” than a native-born American of Italian heritage is a mystery. Having lived in Peru, the irony of seeing like-skinned Latin Americans of mostly European origin who are generally contemptuous of darker-skinned Latin Americans suddenly becoming “people of color” eligible for minority preferences if they immigrate to the U.S. is something to behold.

But as Glenn might note, dividing people into artificial “races” creates extra opportunities for graft.

Oh, and while we’re at it, here is Zegler’s “racial” background:  “Her father is of Polish ancestry on his own father’s side, and of Irish, German, and Italian ancestry on his own mother’s. Rachel’s mother is of Colombian origin.” So do we give Spielberg only half-credit for finding an actor who at best is half-Hispanic? Why does anyone sane want to go down this rabbit-hole?

UPDATE: And speaking of double standards, friend read this and commented, “And why is it OK for almost none of the actors on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel are Jewish in real life?”


“Sirius XM radio host and Fox News Contributor David Webb brought Martin onto his radio show to discuss diversity in media, and he noted that he has always considered his accomplishments to be more important than his skin color when applying to jobs […] “I’ve chosen to cross different parts of the media world, done the work so that I’m qualified to be in each one. I never considered my color to be the issue — I considered my qualifications to be the issue,” Webb explained.”

Martin replied:

After Webb said that expertise and experience are what matter, Martin interjected: “That’s a whole ‘nother long conversation about white privilege, the things that you have the privilege of doing, that people of color don’t have the privilege of.”

Martin apologized for her comment and insisted that her team gave her incorrect information about Webb’s race. Exactly how does that work?

“Oh, by the way, Areva, you’ll be on with a white guy, so if you’re backed into a corner, you know what to say…”

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Arizona State University restores students’ porn access.

To be fair, I’m pretty sure that no one at Reynolds Online University cares about what you’re “researching” when not on class time.

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR PROSTATE: “Of all the potential prevention strategies, the one most likely to attract buy-in from guys is sex. In the clinical vernacular, ‘ejaculatory frequency’ appears inversely related to PCa risk—i.e., the more often you climax, the less likely you are to suffer the disease.”

UPDATE: From the comments: “So combine this with semen curing depression in women from yesterday…” It’s a healthtastic win-win!

NOW OUT FROM GREG BENFORD: Rewrite: Loops in the Timescape. Sounds really good. I’m ordering it.

BRUCE BAWER: ‘Understanding’ Ourselves to Death.

OLD AND BUSTED: CNN newsreader getting the vapors over “the First Amendment and boobs.”

The New Hotnesss? CNN Panel Melts Down Over Trump’s ‘Sexist’ Salad Joke:

A CNN panel accused President Donald Trump of being “sexist” Monday night because the president made a joke about first lady Melania Trump making salads.

The president cracked the joke to the national championship-winning Clemson football team during their Monday visit to the White House. Trump noted that because of the shutdown, he had to personally purchase a spread of fast food for the team’s visit, and joked that his food choices were better than having the first lady make them “some quick little salads.” (RELATED: CNN Cries Sexism During Discussion On Hillary’s Health)

CNN anchor Erin Burnett and analyst Joan Walsh accused the president of being sexist for assuming that the first lady would prepare the salads.

“That’s appalling,” Walsh said. “It seems to me that the president will not be happy until there is one single female Republican voter in the country. It’s incredibly sexist.”

“Sometimes what people say when they’re being funny exposes exactly who they are and what they think,” Burnett agreed.

Such as titling your book, as Joan Walsh did, What’s the Matter with White People?

WHAT COULD GO WRONG? “Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruthProject, Google, and others, plans to place 1,000 journalists in local newsrooms over the next five years,” DNC-MSM house organ Columbia Journalism Review reports:

Writing in CJR, the project’s co-founders argue that America needs “a dramatically new approach at the local level—grounded less in the traditional commercial model and more on a reawakened spirit of public service among reporters.”

Steven Waldman and Charles M. Sennott say that they want to model their initiative on organizations like the Peace Corps and Teach for America, providing opportunities and support to emerging journalists while also helping newsrooms around the country do civically important reporting. Waldman first pitched the idea in the pages of CJR more than two years ago, calling for a new national service program dedicated to journalism.

Shades of the conversation that David Westin, then-president of ABC News, had shortly after the 2004 election with Tina Brown, back when she had a show on CNBC, which Rush Limbaugh paraphrased as “We need more foreign correspondents in Alabama:”

RUSH: So, anyway, she’s got David Westin on the program, and she says, “David, would you have a reporter/producer live in any of these communities?” She’s talking about the red states of America here, folks. “Would you have a reporter/producer live in any of these communities and saturate themselves in these cultures so that they get more stories from those communities?”

WESTIN: I think we don’t do that enough, and I’m not just talking religious communities. I’m talking all sorts of communities across the country. I think that… You understand this, Tina, living in New York or in Los Angeles, we have busy jobs. We go into the office every day. We tend to socialize with the same people, or the same types of people, and I think it’s terribly important for journalists to get out whether it’s overseas or domestically and try to understand.

RUSH: We need more foreign correspondents in Alabama! We need more foreign correspondents north of Palm Beach County in Florida! We need embeds to go to church, find out what’s going on with these holy rollers! Ah, folks, you can’t know how much I love this.

On Google’s journalists as Peace Corps initiative, the Columbia Journalism Review concludes:

Report for America won’t save journalism, just as Teach For America can’t save teaching, and the Peace Corps hasn’t brought about an era of global unity. But in a time of crisis for local newsrooms, it’s a bold attempt to reinvigorate a vital organ of American society.

Nothing like viewing yourself as a member of the Peace Corps having parachuted into a strange unknown town to provide the proper level of condescension when reporting local news. Will Ted Striker and Elaine Dickinson join the team?

Found via Ace, who notes that “Google will now be arranging for the payment of its own cadre of ‘journalists’ embedded in local news stations across America. I wonder if the media will become even more pro-Google than they are now.”


The Brexit deal painstakingly negotiated by British prime minister Theresa May over the past two years was rejected overwhelmingly by Parliament on Tuesday.

The deal, which fell in a 432–202 vote in the House of Commons, represented the only established path forward to prevent a so-called “no-deal” British exit from the European Union, which is set to take place in March and would likely result in massive political and economic upheaval.

In response to the historic defeat, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tabled a vote of no confidence, which, if passed, would oust May and give Corbyn a chance to form a new government. If Corbyn’s bid to become prime minister then failed to gain the support of a majority of MPs within 14 days, Parliament would dissolve and a new general election would be held.

May, in advocating on behalf of the deal she has negotiated over the past two years, cast it as the only viable option that accorded with the will of the British people, who voted in June 2016 to leave the European Union.

“This is the most significant vote that any of us will ever be part of in our political careers,” May said as the five-day Commons debate concluded. “The time has now come for all of is in this House to make a decision . . . a decision that each of us will have to justify and live with for many years to come.”

If Brexit falls and Corbyn becomes PM, I suspect these will be big sellers in England.

WOW: In Major Blow, Democratic National Committee Withdraws Women’s March Sponsorship.

ZOOM: New Shelby Mustang steals the show at Detroit Auto Show. “With five-inch diameter exhaust pipes and a 700-horsepower engine, the car runs counter to the forward-thinking image of electric cars and low emissions that Ford attempts to convey. The Mustang is also the final car in Ford’s lineup, after its announcement that it will exclusively build the SUVs and crossover cars currently popular with customers.”

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Donald Trump is a symptom of a new kind of class warfare raging at home and abroad.

Talking about the yellow-vest movement, French geographer Christophe Guilluy observes: “Immediately, the protesters were denounced as xenophobes, anti-Semites and homophobes. The elites present themselves as anti-fascist and anti-racist, but this is merely a way of defending their class interests. It is the only argument they can muster to defend their status, but it is not working anymore.”

That’s right. It’s class war masquerading as something else, but people have seen through the mask.

Read the whole thing.

TYLER O’NEIL: Trump’s Popularity Rose Despite 90 Percent Negative Media Coverage in 2018. “Trump-Russia was still the top topic on ABC, CBS, and NBC.”

Despite or because?

AT AMAZON, on sale, Gerber GDC Money Clip w/ Built-in Fixed Blade Knife.


Throughout the two-hour interview — which was often interrupted by bystanders urging him to run for president — O’Rourke boomeranged between a bright-eyed hope that the United States will soon dramatically change its approach to a whole host of issues and a dismal suspicion that the country is now incapable of implementing sweeping change.

When asked which it is, O’Rourke paused.

“I’m hesitant to answer it because I really feel like it deserves its due, and I don’t want to give you a — actually, just selfishly, I don’t want a sound bite of it reported, but, yeah, I think that’s the question of the moment: Does this still work?” O’Rourke said. “Can an empire like ours with military presence in over 170 countries around the globe, with trading relationships . . . and security agreements in every continent, can it still be managed by the same principles that were set down 230-plus years ago?”

O’Rourke doesn’t yet know the answer, but he’s ready to discuss it.

I think what he means is that “The issue of the Constitution is that the text is confusing because it was written more than 100 years ago and what people believe it says differs from person to person and differs depending on what they want to get done.”

SHE’S JUST A POOR GIRL FROM A POOR FAMILY: A Virtue Signaling Nancy Pelosi Is STILL Receiving Pay When Federal Workers Aren’t, And Trump Wonders Why.

TRADE: Blood pressure drug recalls: FDA inspection reports reveal problems even before the cancer-causing impurities were found. “FDA inspections of factories in China and India that made carcinogen-tainted ingredients that forced dozens of recalls of blood pressure drugs in recent months show a history of problems. Drug companies recalled dozens of lots of the front-line blood pressure and heart medications valsartan, losartan and irbesartan – alone or in combination with other drugs – after testing revealed the drugs had cancer-causing impurities in trace amounts. The Food and Drug Administration is investigating the underlying causes of the impurities. The federal agency hasn’t completed its inquiry, but inspection reports reveal problems at both factories – Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical in China and Hetero Labs in India – before the carcinogen-tainted drugs were discovered.”

SATIRE… OR IS IT? Conservatives Selflessly Raise $12 Billion For Ginsburg Retirement Fund.

THE SUPREME COURT CAN’T DECIDE WHETHER TO DECIDE: Powerline reports that three petitions are pending before the Supreme Court on issues of whether the law covers various LGBT-related issues, but the Court keeps putting off deciding whether to take the cases. Does this signal something about Kavanaugh’s and/or Roberts’ willingness to take on controversial issues? Or are those who think so reading too much into the tealeaves?

The other LGBT-related issue that has thus far escaped the Supreme Court’s decision is whether Title IX requires schools to assign transgender students to the bathrooms, locker rooms, showers and athletic teams that they psychologically identify with. When Attorney General Sessions withdrew the Obama-Era guidance that said it does, the issue suddenly became less pressing. But that doesn’t mean the issue was resolved. The argument remains, and there are still private lawsuits and potential lawsuits out there. Pete Kirsanow and I argued that Title IX does not so require here.

LEON IS GETTING LARGER: You’re Not Getting Much Taller, America. But You Are Getting Bigger.

Meet the average American man. He weighs 198 pounds and stands 5 feet 9 inches tall. He has a 40-inch waist, and his body mass index is 29, at the high end of the “overweight” category.

The picture for the average woman? She is roughly 5 feet 4 inches tall, and weighs 171 pounds, with a 39-inch waist. Her B.M.I. is close to 30.

That’s a not at all how Americans used to look. New data show that both men and women gained a whopping 24 pounds on average from 1960 to 2002; through 2016, men gained an additional eight pounds, and women another seven pounds.

I wonder how much of this is influenced by immigration, given that we have a lot of immigrants from Mexico, where people are shorter, and where obesity is actually worse than the United States? The story breaks numbers down into black, white, and hispanic, but doesn’t say anything about changes in relative numbers, or distinguish between immigrants and native born. But they do say this about average height: “The decrease may result from an increasing population of Mexican-American men, whose average height in 2016 was 61.5 inches.”

J.E. DYER: The Real Deal With Steele, An Actual BOMBSHELL From House Testimony Of Lisa Page.

It is extraordinary to discover this next passage in Lisa Page’s testimony from 13 July 2018, when she was asked about the events of August 2016, and pressed as to whether she knew Steele was talking to Fusion GPS or others outside the FBI:

Rep.: “Were you aware that Christopher Steele had conversations or multiple conversations with Fusion GPS and others outside of just working special intel for you?”

Page: “As of August of 2016, I don’t know who Christopher Steele is. I don’t know that he’s an FBI source. I don’t know what he does. I have never heard of him in all of my life. So let me just sort of be clear. When the FBI first receives the reports that are known as the dossier from an FBI agent who is Christopher Steele’s handler in September of 2016 at that time, we do not know who—we don’t know why these reports have been generated. We don’t know for what purpose.”

With this response, Lisa Page seems to put in question the basic narrative about Steele’s longstanding value to the FBI.

It may undoubtedly be the case that in-house attorneys for the investigative branches of the DOJ and FBI don’t know the actual identities of all of the agencies’ confidential sources. But Steele was supposed to have been a particularly valuable source, on whom the U.S. agencies placed particular reliance. His expertise was in Russian government, business, organized crime affairs, and the nexus between them – the nexus, in other words, of the suspicions in both the UK (where Steele was hired as an investigator by the football association) and the U.S. that the World Cup venues for 2018 and 2022 had been selected through a bribery operation.

The FIFA case has explained throughout the Russiagate narrative Steele’s prominent role in the “Russia-Trump” investigation and the personal links and trust he had with the DOJ and FBI. The connections Steele provided insight on in working FIFA were ones with which Bruce Ohr’s office was familiar. And Lisa Page would have had at least some expert knowledge of them, given the background outlined for her in the Wired blurb, even if she didn’t perform dedicated work on the FIFA case during her time with Ohr.

So it seems quite curious that she had “never heard of Steele in all her life” before the cognizant CI officials at the FBI became aware of the Steele dossier in September 2016.

Much more at the link.

AT AMAZON, Winter Deals on Men’s Shoes.

Also, Featured Deals in Men’s Watches.

NANNYSTATISM, ALL TOO LITERALLY: Oregon could become first state with universal home visits for families of all babies.

SLEEP HYGIENE IS IMPORTANT: Study: Less than six hours sleep per night increases risk for heart disease.

READINESS (OR LACK THEREOF): One-Third of Britain’s Air Force Can’t Fly.

“Figures unearthed by freedom of information campaigners show 142 of 434 of the air force’s planes have been sidelined,” said the British tabloid Daily Mirror .

Some planes and helicopters have been mothballed, while others are down for major maintenance. The problem spans numerous models, including the Royal Air Force’s flagship fighter, the Eurofighter Typhoon.

“Military top brass revealed 55 of the 156 Typhoon jets are in the RAF’s ‘sustainment fleet’ – and not in its ‘forward fleet’ ready to be deployed on operations,” the Mirror said. Even aircraft in the forward fleet, which should be available for operations, are down as “short-term unserviceable aircraft.”

In addition to the Typhoons, “five out of 20 Atlas A400M transport planes are in the sustainment fleet – despite the first of its type only being delivered in 2014,” said the Mirror.

Almost half of the RAF’s jet trainers are down. “Some 44 of 81 Hawk T1 jets – used by trainee fast jet pilots and the world famous Red Arrows [RAF aerobatics team] – are in storage or maintenance,” the Mirror said.

Glenn commented earlier about the USS Fitzgerald probe that “this is what a Third World navy looks like.”. Well, the RAF as a whole is looking more like a Third World military. Poorer nations are notorious for buying lots of shiny new equipment, which looks intimidating on parade, but then can’t afford the training, maintenance, and spares which turn men and equipment into an actual fighting force.

HEH: Women Need to Stop Being So Passive-Aggressive and Start Dueling. Actually, in the chapter I wrote on dueling for a forthcoming book on legal issues and the Hamilton musical, I have this footnote: “William Oliver Stevens, Pistols at Ten Paces: The Story of the Code of Honor in America 140 (1940) reports two instances of women dueling, one at a bridge in Buffalo, New York over causes unknown, and one in Georgia in 1817 over ‘the love of a swain.’ One girl was seriously wounded, ‘and the other carried off her beau in triumph to the bonds of matrimony.'”




GLENN GREENWALD: It’s Not the FBI’s Job to Criminalize Policy Differences.

When he’s right, he’s right.


FROM THE COMMENTS ON MY USA TODAY COLUMN: “Reynolds is a modern day Cassandra. He’s dead on and no one’s listening.” Oh, some people are listening.

COCAINE MITCH: The Senate majority leader’s low-key shutdown strategy is working.

William McGurn:

In the received wisdom, because Mr. Trump infamously welcomed a shutdown in December’s televised and contentious Oval Office meeting with Mrs. Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, he gets all the blame for it. It’s only a matter of time, it follows, before skittish Republicans abandon him and he is forced to cry uncle. Naturally this is feeding regular news stories about “cracks” in the GOP coalition.

Enter Mr. McConnell. By making clear he won’t send up a bill the president won’t sign, the Kentucky Republican has empowered Mr. Trump while sparing his Senate GOP caucus the pressure that would come from the meaningless votes to reopen government that his Democratic counterpart, Mr. Schumer, is so desperate to have. It works even better because Mr. McConnell isn’t a grandstander.

Read the whole thing.

HMM: Facebook is committing hundreds of millions to local news.

Facebook says the project is meant to support local journalists and newsrooms with their news-gathering needs in the immediate future and help them build sustainable long-term business models, on and off its platform.

Roughly one-third of the money from the effort has already been allocated to local news non-profits and programs, as well as Facebook’s own local news initiatives.
Facebook says it’s investing heavily in local news, in particular, because having spent more time with local news publishers via its accelerator programs over the past year, the company believes it will have the biggest impact in those areas.
“I strongly believe that because smaller publishers don’t have the same resources as larger ones, this is really where we can have the most impact.”

Local news organizations ought to bear in mind that in the modern economy, once you take the Danegeld, you’ll never be rid of the Danes.


President Trump [yesterday] hosted the Clemson Tigers NCAA football championship team, and served them fast food in the Oval Office.

Trump really is a genius, because faster than you can say C. Everett Koop, a leftist was triggered. In this case it is David Roberts of Grist and Vox, who writes some really excellent energy articles on Vox, but suffers from an advanced case of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

* * * * * * * *

Two observations. First, did Roberts or anyone else on the left react so indignantly when Bill Clinton ate conspicuously at McDonald’s when he was a candidate and then president?  (And just why do you suppose he made such a public spectacle of eating Big Macs, eh? He wasn’t called “Bubba” for a deficient grasp of populism.)

Second, as a long-time McDonald’s stockholder, I’m happy with the twin dividends the Golden Arches provide me on a daily basis. It’s almost as good as owning Dow Chemical stock back in the good old days when they made napalm in large quantities.*

Heh. Not surprisingly, the Clemson players loved it, with offensive guard Matt Bockhorst tweeting, “I mean you’re not just gonna NOT eat the Big Macs stacked in a pile right?” And safety Nolan Turner adding, “One of the greatest buffet lines I’ve ever been through.”

Naturally, the DNC-MSM had the vapors in response. Whatever his myriad excesses, does Trump know how to play the left or what? Their meltdown over his serving a football team a stack of fast food hamburgers reminded me of Mark Steyn’s comments in his classic 2004 “Could Kerry slum it in the White House?” column in the London Telegraph, when John Kerry and John Edwards posed at the Newburgh, NY Wendy’s, but in reality served Ben Affleck and the DNC-MSM reporters on their bus food catered by the Newburgh Yacht Club:

During their triumphant 1939 tour of Canada, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth took a brief detour south of the border to visit the Roosevelts at Hyde Park. It was the first time a reigning monarch had set foot on American soil and, to mark the occasion, President and Mrs Roosevelt introduced the royal couple to a local delicacy called “hot dogs”.

There’s an important lesson there: an American president, even one as wealthy as FDR, is obligated to share the tastes of the people in a way that the House of Windsor is not, even today. Try to imagine the roles reversed: the Roosevelts at Windsor, and the King serving up jellied eels and mushy peas.

And that’s the problem with John Kerry: it’s not that he’s rich, but that he’s rich in a very un-American way. His swank has a European air about it.

When he eats a hot dog, it appears as foreign to him as it did to George VI.

Even though his regal lifestyle is funded by the enduring popularity of his wife’s hot dog condiment.

Twitchy notes that the Washington Post is swinging into “Zapruder-like analysis from The Post’s Philip Bump of all of the wire photos to determine just how many hamburgers were served at the event…Even worse?  Bump fact-checked when Trump said, the burgers were ‘piled up a mile high’…Because what else could a Washington Post reporter be doing with his time?

Democracy dies in double-beef cheeseburgers.

CHANGE: Steve King Stripped of Committee Assignments by House Republicans. “Let us hope and pray earnestly that this action will lead to greater reflection and ultimately change on his part.”

IN THE MAIL: Charles Krauthammer, Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics.

Plus, browse today’s Deals Of The Day.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Donald Trump is a symptom of a new kind of class warfare raging at home and abroad. “But the New Class isn’t limited to communist countries, really. Around the world in the postwar era, power was taken up by unelected professional and managerial elites. To understand what’s going on with President Donald Trump and his opposition, and in other countries as diverse as France, Hungary, Italy and Brazil, it’s important to realize that the post-World War II institutional arrangements of the Western democracies are being renegotiated, and that those democracies’ professional and managerial elites don’t like that very much, because they have done very well under those arrangements. And, like all elites who are doing very well, they don’t want that to change.”

UPDATE: Related: